Ashton Agar happy to see Australia batsman David Warner in commentator's role

Nick Purewal 11/06/2018
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Ashton Agar insists it is “great” that banned batsman David Warner will assume a television commentary role for Australia‘s one-day series in England.

Disgraced former vice-captain Warner will join Nine Network’s commentary team for Australia’s second one-day international against England, in Cardiff on Saturday.

Skipper Steve Smith and deputy Warner were banned for a year over the ball-tampering incident in March’s third Test against South Africa. Cameron Bancroft – who doctored a ball with sandpaper amid South Africa’s 322-run win in Cape Town – was also banned for nine months by Cricket Australia, and head coach Darren Lehmann stepped down at the end of the series.

Warner has opted to take up a punditry role just three months after the scandal – and spinner Agar has backed that decision.

“There probably hasn’t really been a lot of talk about it,” Agar said of Warner’s decision to take up a commentary job. “But personally I think it’s a great thing for him to be back around cricket.

“He would have been hurt, and his family too. So for him to be back around the game he loves will be important.”

Australia will launch the five-match series against England with Wednesday’s clash at Lord’s, with Agar hoping the tourists can exploit their hosts’ shock defeat to Scotland in Edinburgh.

Agar believes Australia can pounce on uncertainty created by England’s six-run loss to the Scots on Sunday, when Calum MacLeod blasted a match-winning 140 not out.

Asked if England will suffer a dent in confidence after Sunday, Agar replied: “I hope so. I think we’ve got momentum coming into these tours and to play a couple of practice games and get a couple of wins is great for us. It’s great England didn’t win (on Sunday) because you always like to start with a win.

“It was an interesting game (on Sunday). First of all, it’s great for Scotland. As a 50-over nation, it’s really exciting for them.”

Asked if the Scotland defeat exposed some cracks in England’s bowling attack, Agar continued: “Potentially. I didn’t watch it as closely as I could have. At the end, England didn’t really finish the job. They’re a really dangerous side, though, and you can’t ever take a side like that lightly. We need to bring our A-game and be ready to go.”

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Wins for women’s and men’s Australian Aboriginal XI squads in Derby

Alex Broun 11/06/2018
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Dan Christian (r) presents Tomas Wood, captain of Derby, with a ceremonial stump before the match.

It was two from two for the women’s and men’s Aboriginal XI squads at the 3aaa Country Ground in Derby today with both recording comfortable victories.

The women crushed the National Cricket Conference by 137 runs while the men defeated hosts Derbyshire by 7 wickets with 17 balls to spare.

Being sent in after losing the toss the women’s Aboriginal XI suffered an early set back with star opener Hannah Darlington bowled for just 3.

Darlington’s dismissal brought skipper Ashleigh Gardner to the crease and combining with Sara Darney the pair made their intentions clear immediately as they went after the NCC opening bowlers.

Gardner was instrumental belting the tour’s first century off just 60 balls and eventually carrying her bat through the remainder of the innings to finish on 129 not out off 71 balls including fifteen 4s and four 6s.

She was well supported by Darney (17), Christina Coulson (22) and Naomi Woods (11*).

Gardner’s avalanche of runs saw the women’s Aboriginal XI post a massive 4-199 off their 20 overs.

In reply some tight early bowling from Darlington and Woods kept the run rate to around 3.00 off the first five overs.

Zoe Fleming then virtually put the game beyond reach for the hosts claiming two quick wickets on her way to figures of 2-13 off fours overs.

The NCC fought hard to ensure they batted out their full allocation, but in the end, fell well short on 5-62.

Along with Fleming other strong performances with the ball came from Sally Moylan and Naomi Woods.

In men’s match against Derbyshire the Aboriginal XI won the toss and sent the hosts in to bat.

This decision backfired early as Derbyshire openers Thomas Wood and Chesney Hughes exploded out of the blocks racing to 0-96 off 10 overs.

However just when the game was slipping away from the Aboriginal XI squad, Nick Boland claimed the key wickets of Wood and Hughes and young spinner Brock Larance clean bowled Dan Birch and Derbyshire had lost 3 for 9.

After the collapse Derbyshire struggled to recreate their earlier form and with Larance and the Boland brothers tightening the screws with the ball, Derbyshire were restricted to 6-156.

In reply the opening combination of Brendan Smith and Damon Egan put the visitors in the box seat with an 85 run opening stand off just 9.3 overs. Smith smashing his second half century of the tour that included five 4s and four 6s.

The departure of both Smith (57) and Egan (38) didn’t alter the momentum though as captain Dan Christian was joined at the crease by the in-form Ben Patterson.

The pair continued to find and clear the fence at regular intervals and despite Patterson being dismissed for 16, the Aboriginal XI chased down the target in 17.1 overs with 7 wickets in hand.

Attention now turns to the final match day of the tour in Tuesday at Trent Bridge with the women taking on an ECB Academy squad and the men taking on Nottinghamshire.

Full scorecard of Aboriginal women v NCC HERE

Full scorecard of Aboriginal men v Derbyshire HERE

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Australia coach Justin Langer banking on Ricky Ponting to help Glenn Maxwell regain form

David Cooper 10/06/2018
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Australia coach Justin Langer said the form of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is a concern ahead of the five-match ODI series against England. However, Langer said the arrival of Ricky Ponting as a member of the support staff should help Maxwell raise his game.

Maxwell was twice dismissed for less than 10 runs by spinners during Australia’s warm-up games against Sussex and Middlesex. It has been a long struggle for Maxwell, who failed to fire for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL where he scored 169 runs in 12 innings at an average of 14. Interestingly, Ponting was also Maxwell’s coach in Delhi.

Asked if Maxwell’s form is a worry, Langer said: “He is. But that said I have been super impressed with Glenn Maxwell, his preparation has been literally outstanding.

“I would be very surprised if he doesn’t get a very big score very soon. There’s been a lot of talk about Glenn Maxwell but I have been incredibly impressed with the way he goes about his business and even the way he has been batting in the nets,” Langer was quoted as saying by AFP after Australia’s 101-run win over Middlesex at Lord’s on Saturday.

New coach Langer is confident Maxwell will benefit from spending considerable time with Ponting.

“He has just had a couple of months with ‘Punter’ (Ponting) in the IPL, to have the influence of someone like Punter is gold. Punter is joining us again tomorrow (Sunday), so if he (Maxwell) keeps preparing well and keeps trusting his preparation it is not far until he becomes an absolute star, I think. He’s got so much talent.”

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