Star player: Ben McDermott — No one in this year’s competition scored more runs than the 24-year-old last time out. Only Chris Lynn — not playing in this year’s One-Day Cup — bettered McDermott’s 427 at 71.16 in 2018. Once considered a star for the future, McDermott is very much a star of now. With Australian T20I fixtures just around the corner, there is extra incentive for him, too. “He’s always a very tough competitor and he’s a very class act — his performances and his stats show that,” Imam told reporters. “Whether it’s white or red ball, I always have difficulties facing him because he’s very hard to judge and off the pitch his ball nips around, especially the new ball. So I guess Abbas under lights with the pink ball will be difficult.”
Test cricket is played in innings (the word denotes both the singular and the plural). In each innings, one team bats and the other bowls (or fields). Ordinarily four innings are played in a Test match, and each team bats twice and bowls twice. Before the start of play on the first day, the two team captains and the match referee toss a coin; the captain who wins the toss decides whether his team will bat or bowl first.
Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first under dark, grey skies – which his opposing skipper Azhar Ali was content with. The alarm bells started ringing for Australia early when opener Joe Burns (4) was caught behind off Shaheen Afridi in just the fourth over. Labuschagne was then a whisker away from following Burns into the sheds the very next ball after another strong appeal for caught behind. The umpire – despite the rapturous celebration – was unmoved.
Sides designated as "England" began to play in the late 18th century, but these teams were not truly representative. Early international cricket was disrupted by the French Revolution and the American Civil War. The earliest international cricket match was between USA and Canada, on 24 and 25 September 1844. This has never been officially considered a "Test match". Tours of national English sides abroad took place, particularly to the US, Australia and New Zealand. The Australian Aborigines team became the first organised overseas cricketers to tour England in 1868.
Twenty20, a curtailed form of one-day cricket with 20 overs per side, was first played in England in 2003. It has proven very popular, and several Twenty20 matches have been played between national teams. It makes several changes to the usual laws of cricket, including the addition of a "bowl-out" (similar to a penalty shoot-out in football) to decide the result of tied matches, which was subsequently dispensed in favour of a Super Over.
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