Schofield powers England to a historic first Deaf Ashes victory

BRISBANE: England Deaf Cricket Team created history as they achieved an unassailable 5-2 lead over Australia for the first time in the Deaf Ashes.

In the seventh match of the series, England bowlers completely dominated the Australian batting lineup as they bowled out the hosts for a mere 129 runs, thanks to the brilliant bowling spell of the all-rounder James Schofield, who took four wickets for a mere 37.

Tyson Hay retaliated against the strong England bowling attack with his gritty knock of 21 runs but following his dismissal to Jake Oakes, diminished the hopes of the hosts as they were left stranded to 119-8 in the 35th over.

For England, Schofield led the way with four wickets, while Henry Wainman made two scalps. Oakes and Josh Price, on the other hand, managed to bag one wicket apiece.

In the run chase, the touring side survived an early wobble, losing Price and Joel Harris inside the opening two overs. But an unbeaten century-plus partnership between Schofield and Umesh Valjee closed the doors of the hosts’ hope.

The pair took their side to a rebuilding phase by rotating the strike with a chanceless display before switching gears and easing to the target in just the 22nd over when Schofield clubbed Sean Walsh for six.

In the batting charts as well, Schofield led the way for the touring side with an unbeaten half-century; scoring 63, while the veteran Umesh Valjee remained not out on 45.

Following the victory, Schofield expressed his delight and termed the victory a special day for the entire team while also his pleasure to be able to contribute to his side’s triumph.

“It was a pretty special day – it’s great to be involved after the stress of watching a lot of it on TV,” said Schofield.

“I’m just pleased I’ve been able to contribute in the last couple of games. It’s [a] reward for a lot of hard work and dedication from everybody on and off the pitch – and people have taken responsibility on the day to see the job home. They’re a competitive side and have given us some tricky moments – it’s been a really good series and a great advert for deaf cricket,” he concluded.

Skipper Greenway was ecstatic. “I’m so proud of all the players and so thankful to all the support staff who’ve really looked after us, especially through Covid,” he said. “It’s a huge team effort and a massive achievement for us. A few of us are quite emotional.

“There’s been a couple of mornings where I haven’t been able to eat because of nerves, but James and Umesh settled us down so well today. I’m so thrilled with the way we fought back from that disappointment of losing the T20 super-over to come back and dominate.”

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