Archer and Head star in Test arenas
It was a successful week for Sussex cricket stars in their endeavours around the world, with Jofra Archer and Travis Head impressing in particular.
Archer took his third five-wicket haul in Test cricket. Archer had a slow start to the first Test in South Africa, taking just the one wicket in South Africa’s first innings and making just three runs in England first go.
This may have been down to the fast-bowler still feeling the effects of illness that he and other teammates had suffered throughout the week. However, he bounced back in South Africa’s second innings as he took figures of 5-102 to help bowl out the Proteas for 272 as England were set a target of 376 runs to win.
Despite a good start to the chase at the end of day three, England collapsed on day four as they lost nine wickets for 129 runs, Archer making just four as the visitors lost by 107 runs.
Head had yet another successful week with Australia as he helped his side to an impressive 247-run victory over New Zealand in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
Head top-scored in the Australian first innings as he notched his second Test century, finishing on 114 as New Zealand struggled to control the Australian batsman. He backed up his century with 32 in the second innings as he went in search in quick runs before a declaration, before the Australian bowlers wrapped up the Test to stretch their series lead to 2-0.
Away from international cricket, Ravi Bopara continued his campaign in the Bangladeshi Premier League.
Bopara was in fine form for Rajshahi Royals as he finished another game, smashing 41 off 23 balls to help chase down 171. The all-rounder only made 10 in his next game versus Cumilla Warriors, but his team still ran out winners by 15 runs.
Laurie Evans was not in action for Dhaka Platoon and they were soon regretting dropping him, as they suffered back-to-back defeats.
Back in Australia, Phil Salt, Rashid Khan and Chris Jordan were in action with their Big Bash League franchises. The three players faced off each other this week, with Salt and Rashid lining up for Adelaide Strikers and Chris Jordan for Perth Scorchers.
Salt only made 2 in the Strikers innings, with Jordan taking the catch off Jhye Richardson to dismiss him. Jordan meanwhile went wicketless, his four overs going for 48 runs.
Rashid made his impact with the ball, taking three wickets for 40 runs, with Salt making his presence felt in the field, taking three catches, including a stunning diving catch to dismiss Cam Green.
Jordan tried to add some late runs with some big hitting, but the Scorchers fell just short as they lost by 15 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method after earlier rain.
The Scorchers failed to bounce back in their second game of the week versus Sydney Sixers despite Jordan impressing with the ball, taking figures of 3-29 as the Sixers amassed 174/7.
The Scorchers crumbled in reply as they were bowled out for 126, with Jordan making 6 runs, with the Scorchers now sitting second from bottom.
Meanwhile, the Strikers continued their good form as they beat Melbourne Stars by five runs to climb up to third spot. However, Salt made only 14 in the Strikers total of 174/4, with some late fireworks from Rashid pushing them to the total.
Rashid took figures of 1-23 from his allocation before teammate Peter Siddle bowled a tight last over as the Strikers clinched their second win of the season. Salt was soon able to redeem himself when the Strikers took on defending champions Melbourne Renegades later in the week.
The explosive opener reached his first BBL half-century off just 23 balls but was dismissed for 54 as the Strikers made 155/6 with Rashid chipping in with 25 from 16 balls.
Rashid had another superb performance with the ball, taking 2-15 as well as running out Aaron Finch, with Salt also adding a run-out of his own as the Strikers won by 18 runs to go top of the table.