In his weekly round-up, Shaun Seigert, Head Coach, Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy, give us his thoughts on how Liam Plunkett is performing during his spell in Adelaide as he continues his preparations ahead of English season starting in April.
In this week’s round-up Liam has a problem with his luggage and shows signs of progress with bat and ball.
After a weekend of cricket for his club side Adelaide University, the Yorkshire all-rounder headed for Melbourne on Monday morning.
Arriving in Melbourne just after 9:00am, the plan was to go straight to the MCG for a training session as preparation for the DLCA’s game against the Victorian Bushrangers 2ndXI. This plan was held up as Liam’s luggage failed to arrive on his Jetstar flight. This meant a slight wait at Melbourne Airport before he was reunited with his luggage.
At the MCG, Liam’s session involved a visit to the gym to stretch and loosen up after which he ran into some of the England Lions squad, who were also training at the ‘G’ for their series of games against Victoria as part of their Australian tour.
Monday night was a recovery session at the team hotel and a BBQ.
Tuesday morning the first day of the three-day game saw the DLCA lose the toss and field first. Plunkett took the new ball and was impressive on a bouncy quick wicket that saw him gain early success for the DLCA. His first two lengthy spells saw him bowl with good pace and control and create plenty of pressure and have the batsmen playing and missing on numerous occasions.
After tea, Liam created a vital breakthrough with a rocket arm from deep backward square with a return over the stumps, which saw the batsman caught short attempting a second run. With the second new ball, he again impressed maintaining his pace throughout and finishing the innings with 3/77 from 25 overs.
On the second day, chasing 283, the DLCA struggled with the steep bounce of the wicket and were bowled out for 135. Plunkett made five in the first innings when he was caught behind off the bowling of Cameron.
After tea, the DLCA were back in the field looking for quick wickets and again his pace and control created pressure and returned figures of 0/26 from his nine overs.
Into day three, with a chase of 380, it was a case of who was going to step up. Once again the top order succumbed to the bounce of the tall quicks from Victoria. At 132/6 things were looking grim until Plunkett joined Ross Whiteley from Derbyshire and the pair put on 93 of which Plunkett made 60. Whiteley went on to make a 100, but Plunkett controlled the partnership, hitting 11×4’s and 1×6 in his 64-ball stay. It was a valuable three days that saw Liam get some valuable practice against a quality side in their home conditions.