Ashes 2019: Pat Cummins says James Anderson injury a massive loss for England

Press Association Sport 19:04 11/08/2019
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England's James Anderson.

Pat Cummins believes James Anderson will be a “massive loss” for England in the second Ashes Test and says Australia are well prepared to deal with his replacement Jofra Archer at Lord’s.

Anderson has been sidelined by a calf injury, with his return date unclear, after he managed only four overs of the opening Test at Edgbaston before Australia went on to run by 251 runs.

“It’s unfortunate for them that he went down early in the first game, it’s no secret that he is a massive loss” said Cummins, who last week became the second fastest Australian to 100 Test wickets as he reached the mark in his 21st outing.

“He’s been their highest wicket-taker and is arguably the best bowler in the last few Ashes series.

“As soon as he went down I felt like there was a real opportunity in the second innings to try and get some overs into their bowlers and bat well – luckily we did.”

Anderson’s absence opens the door for Archer just a month after he bowled the dramatic Super Over in the World Cup final win over New Zealand.

“Some of the boys have played against Jofra at the World Cup or with him in the IPL or Big Bash League, so he is not an unknown,” Cummins said.

“We’ll do our homework but we’ve all faced him.”

Archer is not the only new face in the England attack with Jack Leach replacing Moeen Ali after the latter had a disappointing match in Birmingham.

Asked if Australia had forced England into a re-think of their strategy, Cummins said: “It might seem like a big call but Leach had a good game only a couple of weeks ago.

“We’ll just keep doing our thing. The good thing is we have a full squad to pick from. The unfortunate guys who had missed out on the bench have done well in the warm-up games.

“Whoever is the 11 that comes at us doesn’t really bother us too much.”

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"I've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain", says Jack Leach on Ashes selection

Press Association Sport 17:55 11/08/2019
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Jack Leach.

Jack Leach says he has “nothing to lose” after being called up for the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s.

England left-arm spinner Leach seems certain to start on Wednesday after replacing fellow spinner Moeen Ali in the squad following the opening defeat at Edgbaston.

Leach will be tasked with slowing Steve Smith, who scored a century in both innings last week to put England to the sword, but the Somerset man is keen not to overthink the task ahead.

“It feels like I’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain,” Leach said on BBC 5 live’s Sportsweek programme. “I just want to go and do my thing.”

Leach’s last appearance at Lord’s saw him famously score 92 as a nightwatchman as England overcame a dismal first innings to beat Ireland in an Ashes warm-up.

But this week all the focus will be on his bowling as England hope he can be the man to crack Smith.

“There has been a focus on his supposed weakness against left-arm spin,” he said.

“I suppose those stats are there but I’ve just got to – if I’m in the 11 – I’ve got to do my thing and bowl as well as I can and see what happens.

“It’s the same for every batter. I want to get every batter out. Yes, there’s Steve Smith but there’s 10 other guys as well and I’ll be focusing on all of them.”

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Colin Ackermann picks world-record seven wicket haul in T20 Blast

Press Association Sport 13:35 09/08/2019
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Colin Ackermann of Leicestershire.

Leicestershire spinner Colin Ackermann took a world record 7-18 in the Vitality T20 Blast clash with Birmingham Bears at Grace Road.

The off-spinner took three wickets in a single over twice as he helped his team to a comfortable 55-run victory.

The Bears lost their last eight wickets for just 20 runs as they were all out for 134.

Harry Swindells and Lewis Hill both scored half-centuries as Leicestershire posted 189-6 to move into fourth place in the North Group.

Meanwhile, a commanding display with bat and ball saw Somerset thrash Essex by 114 runs at Chelmsford.

Babar Azam hit his third half-century of the competition as the visitors posted 225-6. Roelof Van Der Merwe then claimed 5-32 with his spin to help bowl the hosts out for 111 in 12.5 overs.

Kent missed the opportunity to move back to the top of the South Group following a five-wicket defeat to Gloucestershire.

Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond (62) accounted for almost half of the Spitfires’ 125-8 and the hosts reached the target with seven balls to spare as Jack Taylor and Benny Howell guided them home with an unbroken 35-run stand from 22 deliveries.

Rob Keogh was the unlikely hero with the ball for Northamptonshire as the Steelbacks defended 145-6 to beat Durham by 21 runs.

Keogh took a career-best three for 30 as Durham could only make 124 for eight in reply at Wantage Road.

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