Our event of the day is the T20 fixture between England and Pakistan at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. These teams will play a final five game ODI series before the start of the World Cup but this T20 will serve as the curtain raiser. Both teams typically do well in the format and will be eager to trial potential additions to their World Cup squads. England come off a comeback win against Ireland and will hope to find their confidence against Pakistan. Be sure you don’t miss this match. England’s final preparations before the start of the cricket World Cup have been slightly bumpy so far with suspensions, injuries and loss of form and they will want a solid win to bounce back from the scare provided by Ireland on Friday. At one point, eventual winners England found themselves at 101-6, chasing 198, as they struggled to provide an answer to Ireland’s young talent, Josh Little. However, despite the fact that England were not at full strength against Ireland, debutant Ben Foakes and Tom Curran were able to save the day and get England over the line. Pakistan is a team that England will face in the World Cup next month and will provide much more of a challenge today. England will look to continue to test Jofra Archer. The Barbados-born right-arm fast bowler became eligible to play for England after a change to the ECB’s eligibility rules. He played well in this international debut against Ireland, taking one wicket and giving up forty runs in eight overs of work as well as taking an impressive catch. While not a debut for the headlines, he showed resilience, refusing to crumble as his first ball of the match was taken for four; good pace with both the new and old ball; strong fielding awareness and most importantly, promise. Archer still has a chance at being named for the World Cup squad and he can do that by showing his talent against Pakistan. As for the visitors, they will begin this series against England without Mohammed Hafeez. The all-rounder is currently out due to an injury sustained in league play and is not expected to return until the third ODI between the two sides on May 14th. However, Pakistan are confident that their new ball bowlers will give England trouble and if the match against Ireland is anything to go by, England cannot afford to lose quick wickets in the early stages. Pakistan have done well in the T20 format recently and are currently ranked as the number one team in the world. They have won eleven of their last twelve series, indicating a strong level of comfort with the limited overs format. England have won two of their last three T20 series and are ranked third in the world in this format. With both teams looking to fine-tune their approach and strategy for the fast approaching World Cup, this should be a fun match to start an exciting English summer of cricket.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NHL, where the Dallas Stars host the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center. The Stars can win the series tonight at they enter the game with a 3-2 lead. That is thanks to a close game five that the Stars won 2-1 with goals from Esa Lindell and Jason Spezza. If they can win tonight, they will progress to the conference finals for the first time since the 2007-08 season. This is sure to be a night of exciting playoff hockey in Dallas tonight. Elsewhere, in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers host the Denver Nuggets for game four of their playoff series. Portland leads 2-1 after a thrilling quadruple overtime match on Friday, This is a must-watch game for basketball fans. In MotoGP, the Spanish Grand Prix takes place at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto in Jerez de la Frontera. In Premiership rugby, Bath host Wasps at the Recreation Ground. In tennis, the Mutua Madrid Open continues at the Madrid Caja Mágica. On the LPGA Tour, the Mediheal Championship concludes at the Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, California.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by ICC Cricket
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