The opening day of the Virtual Cricket Tournament 2020 saw six matches being played on Tuesday, June 2. There were some memorable performances in the simulated reality league cricket tournament, and here, we look at what transpired through the day and bring you the summary of each game.
AUS v ENG, Match 1: AUS won by eight runs
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, AUS opener Daniel Warner anchored the innings with a 12-ball 32 peppered with seven boundaries. With healthy supporting performances from Sam Smith, Glen Maxwall and Pat Handscomb, AUS were able to set a target of 61 for ENG.
ENG got off to a promising start in the virtual match, with a robust 41-run partnership between openers James Butler and Jackson Bairstow. However, ENG started to lose momentum in the third over and wickets in the fourth, ultimately sputtering to the finish nine runs short of the target.
IND v NZ, Match 2: IND won by seven wickets
Contrary to AUS earlier in the day, IND chose to field after winning the toss and it paid off for them, narrowly. NZ put up a healthy score of 51/2, with solid double-digit stints between Callum Munro, Ken Williamson and Ross Tailor.
IND, however, were just that little bit better across the board. With Shikhar Dhaven rolling with the big shots early on, it was skipper Viraj Kohli who bought just enough insurance for his side with a couple of boundaries in the penultimate over to allow IND to safely creep to 53 runs and win the virtual cricket match with seven wickets to spare.
PAK v SA, Match 3: PAK won by four runs
PAK stepped out to bat after SA opted to field and they wasted no time in getting going. Openers Baba Azem and Fakhar Zakir racked up the early numbers on the scoreboard, with five boundaries between them. Shoaeb Malek and Sarfaraz Ahmad picked up where they left off to set a 53-run target for SA.
Much to SA’s dismay, they found PAK’s bowlers to be just as in-form as their batsmen, and their wickets fell with rapid succession, with Iman Wasem alone taking three scalps. Regardless, Quincy de Kock and Fabian du Plessis’ heroics with the bat almost saw them home, falling short by five runs.
AUS v IND, Match 4: AUS won by 10 wickets
AUS let IND bat first, and the latter were but a shadow of their former self when they had beaten NZ earlier in the day. The opening ball that dismissed Rohan Sharma for a duck caused the crack that initiated the collapse of IND’s batting order. Bowler Bhuvan Kumar was the only one to put up a double-digit score during the innings that saw IND finish with a paltry 31/7.
AUS breezed to the easy target set before them, with openers Daniel Warner and Armand Finch doing the honours and winning by a whopping 10 wickets.
ENG v SA, Match 5: ENG won by seven wickets
Put to bat first, SA got off to a positive start, with Quincy de Kock opening the innings with a couple of boundaries. However, the scoring soon slowed to a crawl, with either singles or dots trickling in.
Although de Kock managed two more boundaries near the tail end of the innings, the rest of the squad could not step up, leaving ENG with a relatively easy target of 39 for the win, which they comfortably managed with an over to spare.
PAK v NZ, Match 6: NZ won by 10 runs
While Callum Munro got out for a duck on the first ball of the innings, Markus Guptill and skipper Ken Williamson took charge. NZ were hungry to make up for their loss to IND earlier in the day, and it showed in the performance of these two men, whose 53-run stand helped set an ambitious target of 60 for PAK.
That turned out to be a bridge too far for PAK, despite openers Baba Azem and Fakhar Zakir putting together an admirable 49-run unbeaten stand, with Azem managing five boundaries.
Join us again on Wednesday, June 3 at 900 IST (0330 GMT) for more exciting action.