T20 SuperUpdate for October 28th: What You Missed!

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19Shocked and surprised by de Kock’s decision: SA skipper Bavuma

Bengaluru: South Africa’s Temba Bavuma in action during the 3rd T20I match between India and South Africa at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sep 22, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Dubai, Oct 27 – South African skipper Temba Bavuma has said he was “surprised and taken aback” by the decision of team-mate Quinton de Kock to opt out of the game against the West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup on Tuesday due to “personal reasons”, adding that he will still get “whatever support he wants from the team”.

Minutes before the toss in the ‘Super 12’ game, which the Proteas won by eight wickets on Tuesday evening, de Kock made himself unavailable for selection. The news came after Cricket South Africa (CSA) released a statement saying that all players should take the knee before their remaining T20 World Cup matches in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

De Kock was one of a number of South Africa players who had not been taking the knee ahead of recent internationals, including the team’s tournament-opener against Australia, with some players kneeling, some raising a fist and some standing.

The inconsistencies with the way players have been acknowledging a stance against racism was one of the reasons CSA issued the clear directive to its team.

Indian batsman Dinesh Karthik, meanwhile, added fuel to the fire by revealing on Twitter that the Proteas batsman is not playing because of his stand on Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Although de Kock himself has not elaborated on missing the game, statements from CSA and Bavuma make it clear the decision had to do with CSA’s directive for all players to take the knee at the start of the game.

“We as a team were surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not only with the bat but also the role he plays from an experience point of view. Not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously not something I was looking forward to,” said Bavuma after the win against the West Indies.

“In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision, we respect his convictions.”

On de Kock’s future playing for South Africa, Bavuma said, “It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace Quinton or get a substitute. As far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players, one of the boys. So whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates will be there for him. And if there’s a need for further conversations to be had, those will definitely happen among the guys,” he said.

Bavuma said that the instructions from the board to take the knee, “in a united and consistent stance”, was taken on the morning of the game. The message was passed on to the players before they got on to the bus to travel to Dubai.

“The trip was about an hour and half to two hours. In that trip I guess that’s where Quinton made his decision. I found out when we got to the changing room. (The timing) was probably not ideal. The good thing is we were still able to find a way to get on the field and represent our country the way we did.

“Quinton is still one of the players, one of the boys. So whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates will be there for him. And if there’s a need for further conversations to be had, those will definitely happen among the guys. The timing meant the team had not had the time to discuss the matter with de Kock and clear the air,” Bavuma explained.

18Pakistan played in the right spirit; will consider playing in PSL in future: Williamson

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson.

Sharjah, Oct 27 – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has said that Pakistan played the ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12′ game against his side on Tuesday in the “right spirit”, contrary to speculation that Babar Azam’s boys would be all charged up after the Black Caps abandoned the tour of the country last month due to “security threats”.

Several former Pakistani cricketers and commentators have been vocal about New Zealand cancelling the limited-overs tour of Pakistan hours before the start of the opening ODI in Rawalpindi last month, terming the T20 World Cup game a “revenge” match.

Asked during the post-match press conference, if the Pakistan player were “aggressive towards” New Zealand cricketers, Williamson said, “No, they played in the right spirit, I believe, and a great spirit. They’re a very competitive, proud cricketing nation, and they showed that tonight. They’ve been outstanding in the first couple of games of this tournament. I’m sure they’ll be very, very competitive throughout the back end as well. Their hopes are high, no doubt.”

Speaking about the cancellation of tour due to the security threat perception, Williamson, whose side lost by five wickets in a low-scoring game on Tuesday, said, “That was obviously a very unfortunate, disappointing situation for Pakistani cricket fans and the cricketers; a decision that was outside of the players’ control.

“But all the guys were there looking forward to that series to start, and unfortunately it didn’t happen. So it was very disappointing for all involved.”

To a question on whether he would play in the Pakistan Super League if he gets an opportunity, Williamson started by saying that t was a “real shame” to not have played the series in the first place.

“It was a real shame to not have that series go ahead and be played in front of what are some of the most passionate cricket supporters in the world and a very proud cricketing nation. So that was a real shame.

“The Pakistan league is a brilliant league. Sometimes that clashes, I think, with some of our cricket back home. So that’s always a tough one, but as an international player, often you do look at these other opportunities when the timing is right, and they’re always fantastic experiences. I’ve heard a lot of really good things from other players that have played over there as well. Yeah, it’s, I suppose, something to consider in the future.”

17Guptill’s injured toe could rule him out for crucial India game on Oct 31

Auckland: New Zealand’s cricketer Martin Guptill raise his bat after completing fifty during the 2nd ODI of the three-match series between India and New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland,New Zealand on Feb 8, 2020. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dubai, Oct 27 – In a major setback for the New Zealand team ahead of the clash against India in the ICC T20 World Cup on October 31, their opener Martin Guptill has suffered an injury to his toe, which could rule him out of the big-ticket encounter.

Guptill, who made a 20-ball 17 in the game against Pakistan on Tuesday, got the bruised toe after being hit by a Haris Rauf delivery in the final over of Powerplay. New Zealand lost the low-scoring match by five wickets with eight balls remaining in Sharjah.

“We’ll see how he scrubs up overnight,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead told reporters after the match. “He looked in a little bit of discomfort at the end of the game and it might take 24 to 48 hours to see how he goes.”

New Zealand have already lost pace bowler Lockie Ferguson to a calf muscle tear and he was unable to take the field in the game against Pakistan.

The coach said that the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Technical Committee’s decision not to approve Adam Milne as a replacement for Ferguson in time for the Pakistan game was disappointing.

“We tried pretty hard to get across the line with the ICC our replacement player, but it wasn’t to be. That was really disappointing for us because Adam Milne is someone who’s waiting in the wings as a like-for-like replacement. We’ll seek clarification on that decision of theirs.”

Stead said that Pakistan, most certainly, will top the group after two wins, adding the other teams in the Group 2 would be aiming to finish second in order to qualify for the semifinals.

“You would imagine that Pakistan are now the hot favourites in our group to be the number one seed and the rest of us are fighting it out for the next spot, which makes the India game pretty critical,” he said.

“You sometimes have to lose one to find out the important things for you. If we can go and beat India then we certainly put ourselves back on the right track,” added Stead.

16Shakib reclaims T20I crown as Babar closes in on top batting spot

Shakib Al Hasan and Stefanie Taylor win ICC’s Player of the Month award for July

Dubai, Oct 27 – Star Bangladesh player Shakib Al Hasan has reclaimed the top spot on the ICC men’s all-rounder rankings off the back of his stellar start to the T20 World Cup.

Shakib’s T20I all-rounder rating climbed 20 points to 295, taking him ahead of Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi, who slid from 285 points to 275.

It has been a campaign to remember so far for Shakib, who is the tournament’s top wicket-taker with 11 at an average of 6.45, and sits third for runs scored with 118 at 29.50. His tally of 11 wickets is already the most by a bowler in a single Men’s T20 World Cup tournament.

The Bangladesh all-rounder was not the only big mover on the all-rounder rankings, with Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (161 rating points) moving up three spots to third after Australia’s first up win against South Africa. He is level with Namibia’s JJ Smit (161), who has shot up an incredible 23 spots.

With the bat, England’s Dawid Malan (831) remains on top but Pakistan’s Babar Azam (820) has cut the gap down to just 11 points after his strong start to the tournament. They are joined in the top five by South Africa’s Aiden Markram (743), Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan (727) and Virat Kohli (725) in that order.

Markram has climbed eight spots after posting scores of 40 and 51* in South Africa’s first two matches of the T20 World Cup, while Rizwan has moved up three spots after scores of 79* and 33.

On the bowling front, Bangladesh’s Mahedi Hasan (621), Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi (596) and Haris Rauf (563), and Australia’s Josh Hazlewood (557) were the big movers.

Hasan has rocketed up 11 spots to enter the top 10 at ninth with 621 points, sandwiched between compatriots Shakib (632) and Mustafizur Rahman (614).

Afridi (596), whose opening spell against India stands among this tournament’s most iconic moments so far, also moved up 11 spots and is now knocking on the door of the top 10 at 12th spot.

Rauf (563), Player of the Match in Pakistan’s win over New Zealand, was the biggest mover in the top 20, surging 34 spots to 17th, one ahead of Hazlewood (557), who himself improved his ranking by 16 spots.

15T20 World Cup: Bangladesh win toss, opt to bat first against England

T20 World Cup: Bangladesh win toss, opt to bat first against England

Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 – Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah won the toss and opted to bat against England in a Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, here on Wednesday.

Bangladesh, who lost to Sri Lanka in their last match, made one change in their team as Shoriful came in place of Saifuddin for this clash.

“We are going to bat first. The wicket looks good, so we want to put a good total. We got three spinners playing, so we need to restrict them. This is a new game, so we need to play well,” said Mahmudullah at the toss.

On the other hand, England who thrashed West Indies in their last match, didn’t make any change for this clash.

“We have been good at chasing, the wicket looks good, played here during the IPL. We need to adapt, no team changes for us. The scars of past motivate you for the future. The focus today is on what we can do,” said Eoin Morgan at the toss.

Playing XI:

England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler(w), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan(c), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Tymal Mills.

Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah(c), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan(w), Mahedi Hasan, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed.

14T20 World Cup: England restrict Bangladesh to 124/9

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) A clinical bowling performance by Tymal Mills (3/27), Liam Livingstone (2/15) and Moeen Ali (2/18) helped England restrict Bangladesh to 124/9 in a Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, here on Wednesday.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Bangladesh were off to a terrible start as they lost their top three batters inside the powerplay. Just like their previous game, Eoin Morgan’s decision to throw the new ball to Moeen Ali worked well as he dismissed Liton Das (9) and Mohammad Naim (5) in successive deliveries of the 3rd over.

Chrish Woakes then sent the in-form Shakib Al Hasan (4) back courtesy an excellent one-handed catch by Adil Rashid, leaving Bangladesh in deep trouble at 26-3 after 5.2 overs.

From there, Mushfiqur Rahim (29) and skipper Mahamudullah (19) batted sensibly and revived Bangladesh fortunes, taking them to 60/3 at the halfway point of the innings.

Just when it looked like things were going well for Bangladesh, Liam Livingstone trapped Mushfiqur leg before to break the 37 runs partnership. Horror show continued for Bangladesh as Afif Hossain, who came to bat next, got run out on a misfield in the 13th over.

Soon, skipper Mahmudullah, who looked in good touch, also went back to the pavilion. In order to score, he tried to go big but the leg break bowled by Livingstone turned enough to find the edge.

Thereafter, Bangladesh never got the momentum and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. In the end, some late fireworks by Nasum Ahmed (19 off 9 balls) steered Bangladesh to a respectable score of 124-9 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:
Bangladesh: 124/9 in 20 Overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 29; Tymal Mills 3/27, Liam Livingstone 2/15) against England

13T20 World Cup: Sania Mirza comes to Mohammad Hafeez’s rescue, arranges birthday cake for his wife

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Sharjah, Oct 27 (IANS) Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez on Wednesday revealed that he had forgotten to arrange a birthday cake for his wife Nazia but India tennis star Sania Mirza came to his rescue and helped him on time for the celebration.

A clinical Pakistan beat New Zealand by five wickets in Sharjah on Tuesday to register a second consecutive win of the tournament. Pakistan team celebrated the memorable victory with a customary group selfie in the stadium.

Soon after the team celebration, Hafeez also celebrated his wife’s birthday with his friends and family in Sharjah but he had forgotten to get the birthday cake and it was Sania who arranged it on time for his wife.

The Pakistan all-rounder Hafeez, who scored 11 off 6 during Pakistan’s chase, took to social media to share photos of his wife’s birthday celebration and thanked Sania for the help.

“Happy birthday to my wife @naziahafeez8 i forgot but thanks to rescue angel @MirzaSania to arrange a birthday cake on time (sic),” Hafeeez wrote on twitter along with pictures.

Notably, Sania was cheering for her husband and Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik from the stands at the Sharjah Stadium on Tuesday. Malik, also didn’t disappoint Sania and played a crucial knock along with Asif Ali.

Malik and Ali added 48 runs for the 6th wicket in just 23 balls as Pakistan chased the 135-run target with 8 balls to spare. Pakistan are on top of the T20 World Cup Group 2 Super 12 points table with 2 wins from as many matches.

12T20 World Cup: England hammer Bangladesh by 8 wickets

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) England produced a clinical all-round performance to hammer Bangladesh by 8 wickets in a Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, here on Wednesday.

This was England’s second successive victory in the Super 12s of the tournament and they moved to the top of the points table in Group 1.

A brilliant bowling performance by Tymal Mills (3/27), Liam Livingstone (2/15) and Moeen Ali (2/18) helped England restrict Bangladesh to 124/9 in 20 overs.

In reply, Jason Roy smashed a quickfire fifty (61 off 38) and helped England chase the target quite comfortably in 14.1 overs. Apart from Roy, Dawid Malan (28) and Jos Buttler (18) also made valuable contributions with the bat for England.

Brief scores;
Bangladesh: 124/9 in 20 Overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 29; Tymal Mills 3/27, Liam Livingstone 2/15) lost to England 126-2 in 14.1 overs (Jason Roy 61, Dawid Malan 28; Nasum Ahmed 1/26).

11T20 World Cup: Namibia win toss, elect to bowl first against Scotland

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus has won the toss and elected to bowl first against Scotland in a Group 2 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday.

After winning the toss, Erasmus said that his team is unchanged from their win against Ireland in the final Round 1 match. “The dew plays a big role and we have a strong bowling attack, so we hope we can perform. It was an emotional group stage, and we have to regroup after that. (David) Wiese is a great performer, but 10 other guys are raring to go today. There’s a lot of potential and we want to unleash them as well. We play with each other often, so we know them.”

Scotland have a stand-in skipper in Richie Berrington as Kyle Coetzer is out of the playing eleven due to a finger injury. Berrington said that Craig Wallace filled in for Coetzer in the eleven. “We are putting the Afghanistan (match) to one side now, and we are happy with the cricket we are playing. It doesn’t throw us off, and we are ready to get back on track. Namibia are a strong side, but we are ready and raring to go.”

Playing XIs;

Scotland: George Munsey, Richie Berrington (captain), Matthew Cross (wicketkeeper), Craig Wallace, Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Josh Davey, Safyaan Sharif and Bradley Wheal

Namibia: Zane Green (wicketkeeper), Craig Williams, Michael van Lingen, Gerhard Erasmus (captain), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Jan Frylinck, Pikky Ya France, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann and Bernard Scholtz

10T20 World Cup: England’s Roy credits working ‘hell of a lot’ against Dawson for improved spin game

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 28 (IANS) England opener Jason Roy has credited working “hell of a lot” with reserve player Liam Dawson on improving his game against left-arm spin while guiding England to an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday.

Roy was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his knock of 61 off 38 balls laced with five fours and three sixes.

“As a batsman, as a cricketer, you always have some darker thoughts going into your mind before the game: What if; this can happen; this can happen. But you just have to remind yourself that your training has been so good. I worked a hell of a lot against Liam Dawson in the nets. He’s been bowling so much to me which has really helped my game. So, I’ve just got to keep reminding myself to do what I do in training, and things will be alright,” said Roy in the post-match press conference.

“I think it’s an area of my game I’ve been working extremely hard on on slow pitches against left arm spinners, spinners, and the angle as such. It was a big game for me to go out there today and put all the hard work I’ve been doing into the nets into play. Credit to the bowlers but still, to knock it off, but yeah, very pleased,” added Roy, who made his 50th T20I appearance memorable.

Roy was in praise of hard-hitting batter Liam Livingstone, who scalped the wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim and Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah with his part-time off-spin, thereby stalling their recovery march. “He’s been working extremely hard. It’s been great having Moeen and Rash on the side as well, and he learns a lot from them and Jeetan Patel, our spin coach, as well, has been giving him some words of wisdom.”

“It’s paying off for him. He’s doing extremely well for us and holding up an average is extremely positive. Especially as the tournament goes on where the pitches might get a little bit harder against spin, who knows, he might have more of a role to play.”

The 31-year-old was appreciative of pacer Chris Woakes, who bowled a tight spell of 1/12, keeping Bangladesh on a tight leash in power-play. “His line and length has been perfect from ball one. On these sorts of pitches as well, that sort of line, that sort of length, it’s incredibly hard to get away as an opening batter. So, he’s running it in and keeping it nice and simple for us and doing an incredible job.”

“Take nothing away from the bowlers. I don’t think we took too much of a foot wrong. We took our catches and fielded and bowled really well. It was a pitch that was on the slow side, and if you bowled straight and on a good length, it was quite hard to get away. We got off to a great start with the bats and then just capitalized on a lower total,” concluded Roy.

9T20 World Cup: For us, it’s just about us improving all the time, says SL coach Arthur

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Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur was firm about his team trying to make improvements all the time in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup. He added that every time Sri Lanka has taken the field, he has applauded the players for their intensity, skill and execution.

Sri Lanka has been on a winning streak in the tournament starting from Round 1 and now face Australia in their second match of Super 12 in Dubai on Thursday.

“For us, it’s just about us improving all the time. And every time we go out and play, I’ve applauded the players in terms of intensity, in terms of skill, in terms of execution. And the players have been outstanding. And we just are improving. For us, it’s about our journey at the moment. It’s not a sprint. Our players are getting better and better. We’ve got one sitting next to me here, that they get better with every outing that they play,” said Arthur in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“So I’m really, really happy. The qualifiers were tough. There was a lot of pressure on us there. Now the pressure is reversed because we come into this space with not much to lose. We’re playing good cricket. We’re very dangerous. The players are very clear on what their roles are, and we’re confident we can beat anybody on our day,” added Arthur.

Arthur confirmed that off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana will be available for Thursday’s match against Australia. Theekshana, who took eight wickets in three matches of Round 1, didn’t play in Sri Lanka’s win in their first Super 12 match against Bangladesh on Sunday due to side strain.

“Maheesh will be playing tomorrow, if everything goes well. We rested him from training yesterday. He’s improved tremendously. So we’ll warm him up tomorrow; and if everything goes well, he’ll be playing.”

“He’s a quality bowler. He’s a mystery bowler. He’s still young, though. He’s still making his way in the game. If you haven’t seen Maheesh, he certainly poses some questions. He has a couple of different balls that do make you quite hesitant if you can’t pick them. So, look, it will be an interesting contest tomorrow.”

Arthur is also looking forward to registering his 16th win as a coach in T20Is in the UAE, but as a Sri Lanka coach. Previously, he spent time in the Gulf nation as the Pakistan coach. “It’s certainly helped. As I said, I spent three years playing with Pakistan. So, we do know the wickets. And with Pakistan we also had a set format that we played to, sort of set brand.”

“And we’ve sort of tried to replicate that just a little bit with the Sri Lankan boys. So that’s certainly helped. Conditions aren’t overly different to what we experience in Sri Lanka. So that’s helped our guys as well. And let’s just hope that 15 becomes 16 tomorrow,” signed off Arthur.

8T20 World Cup: Bowler, Roy power England to 8-wicket win over Bangladesh (Ld)

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) A stellar performance by bowlers, followed by a quickfire fifty by Jason Roy (61 off 38) powered England to an emphatic 8-wicket win over Bangladesh in a Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, here on Wednesday.

This was England’s second successive victory in the Super 12s of the tournament and they moved to the top of the points table in Group 1.

England’s bowlers – Tymal Mills (3/27), Liam Livingstone (2/15) and Moeen Ali (2/18) produced their second clinical performance of the tournament and restricted Bangladesh to 124/9 in 20 overs.

Chasing a modest target for victory, openers Jason Roy and Jos Buttler gave England a flying start, scoring 50-1 in the powerplay. However, during the process, England also lost the wicket of Buttler (18) in the 5th over.

Nevertheless, Buttler’s wicket didn’t affect Roy’s flow as he and Dawid Malan kept the scoreboard ticking with occasional boundaries. The duo added 73 for the second wicket, off just 48 balls.

Roy brought up his fifty with a six down the ground off just 33 balls, and then added to his tally of maximums with a cheeky scoop. He got out trying to repeat a similar shot, but with only 13 runs needed then. In the end, Malan (28) and Jonny Bairstow (8) remained not out and helped England chase the target quite comfortably in 14.1 overs.

Earlier, batting first, Bangladesh were off to a terrible start as they lost their top three batters inside the powerplay. Just like their previous game, Eoin Morgan’s decision to throw the new ball to Moeen Ali worked well as he dismissed Liton Das (9) and Mohammad Naim (5) in successive deliveries of the 3rd over.

Chrish Woakes then sent the in-form Shakib Al Hasan (4) back courtesy an excellent one-handed catch by Adil Rashid, leaving Bangladesh in deep trouble at 26-3 after 5.2 overs.

From there, Mushfiqur Rahim (29) and skipper Mahamudullah (19) batted sensibly and revived Bangladesh fortunes, taking them to 60/3 at the halfway point of the innings.

Just when it looked like things were going well for Bangladesh, Liam Livingstone trapped Mushfiqur leg before to break the 37 runs partnership. Horror show continued for Bangladesh as Afif Hossain, who came to bat next, got run out on a misfield in the 13th over.

Soon, skipper Mahmudullah, who looked in good touch, also went back to the pavilion. In order to score, he tried to go big but the leg break bowled by Livingstone turned enough to find the edge.

Thereafter, Bangladesh never got the momentum and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. In the end, some late fireworks by Nasum Ahmed (19 off 9 balls) steered Bangladesh to a respectable score of 124-9 in 20 overs.

Brief scores;
Bangladesh: 124/9 in 20 Overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 29; Tymal Mills 3/27, Liam Livingstone 2/15) lost to England 126-2 in 14.1 overs (Jason Roy 61, Dawid Malan 28; Nasum Ahmed 1/26)

7T20 World Cup: I don’t see a lack of form at all, says Wade on Finch and Warner

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Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) Australia wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade feels that he doesn’t see lack of form in openers Aaron Finch and David Warner. He added that Finch and Warner are terrific players who are just short of runs at the moment.

In warm-up matches, Warner had scores of 0 and 1 while Finch, returning from a knee surgery, made 24 and 8. In Australia’s first match against South Africa in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup, Finch was dismissed for a duck while Warner struck three boundaries before falling for 14.

“I don’t see a lack of form at all. They’re terrific players. They’re just short of runs. To be honest, guys that are world-class players for as long as they have been in this format are never out of form. They’re just short of runs at the moment. We back them wholeheartedly,” said Wade in a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“It’s been spoken a lot about going into this tour about Davey especially. We know he’ll come good. I’ve played long enough with him now that he’s been under pressure plenty of times in his career, comes out, has a big score. So, whether it’s this game or whether it’s a few games down the track, those two will definitely pile on some runs for us. We’re sure of that,” added Wade.

Wade was in praise of pacer Josh Hazlewood, whose spell of 2/19 never allowed South Africa to make a comeback in the match. He was also a member of the Chennai Super Kings winning the IPL 2021 just before the start of the men’s T20 World Cup. “Josh has been huge over the last 12, 19 months for us in white ball cricket, not only 50-over but T20. I think a lot like a guy that I played a lot of cricket with, Peter Siddle, kind of got pigeonholed earlier in his career as a test bowler.”

“I think it’s just because we didn’t see Josh play a lot of white ball cricket. He hasn’t played a whole heap of it at the international. I think he got pigeonholed because he wasn’t exposed as much, but now you’ve seen him play a lot more white ball cricket, you work out how good a bowler he is. His powerplay stuff, he’s outstanding.”

“More importantly I think what’s underrated, his back end, closing out the innings with the ball, is certainly underrated. Externally but internally we know how good he is. Yeah, he’s been huge. He’s one of those guys that you love to jump on the back of. He usually gets a cricket early and we stack with Cummins as well, throw him on top of it. We’ve got some nice bowlers to bowl in the first six, which is good.”

Speaking on Sri Lanka, Australia’s opponents in the match at Dubai on Thursday, Wade stressed that the 2014 champions had played more matches in the tournament than them. “As we’re seeing throughout the tournament, every team in the competition on their day is going to be hard to beat, so Sri Lanka is certainly no different. They have had a few more games leading in than what we have as well.”

“They’re a terrific team. They’re going to challenge us with a fair bit of spin, I would’ve thought. They could be up to 12 overs of spin, I reckon, that we’ll probably face tomorrow. And it’s going to be hard work. And we’ll have to be at our best to beat any team in this tournament, and Sri Lanka will certainly be no different tomorrow.”

6T20 World Cup: I actually think people talking about my form is quite funny, says Warner

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Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) Australia opener David Warner believes that people talking about his form sounds quite funny to him. He added that he is in good space and is hitting the ball well in the nets. Warner was left out of the playing eleven of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 after registering scores of 0 and 2.

In the warm-up matches ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, he amassed 0 and 1. In Australia’s first match against South Africa in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup, Warner struck three boundaries before falling for 14.

“From my perspective, I actually think people talking about my form is quite funny. I laugh at the matter because at the end of the day I’ve played hardly any cricket and then in the IPL I had two games and then they basically wanted to give all the other youngsters a crack,” Warner was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Wednesday.

“From my perspective, that’s fine. And warm-up games are warm-up games for a reason. The other day (against South Africa) I got my benchmark back with where I should be with my feet and everything. I feel like I’m in a good space, I’m hitting the ball well in the nets, I couldn’t be any more ready to go. The other day (against South Africa) I felt like I was one boundary away from having a good innings,” added Warner, who turned 35.

To get back into form, Warner and his opening partner, captain Aaron Finch, have started to practice on polished concrete pitches in Dubai, instead of sluggish practice wickets in the UAE. Both Warner and Finch are practising against wangers, a throwing tool used by coaches in cricket. The wangers help in delivering a skiddy ball with extra pace, helping in stimulating the raw pace of Sri Lanka seamers Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara.

“My batting coach at home Trent Woodhill flicked me a text and just said to me to try and get back on the ‘syntho’ (synthetic pitches) again and get your feet moving. It’s something I have done at home before.”

“It’s one of those things that you want to feel bat on ball… But it also makes you start moving your feet a little bit more because it’s difficult to get in positions where we’re so used to the ball coming onto the bat.”

“If you don’t get your feet in the right positions and your weight moving forward through the ball, and you’re practicing bad habits at training because you’re not able to get that volume in,” signed off Warner.

Australia are scheduled to face 2014 champions Sri Lanka in their second match of Super 12 in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai on Thursday.

5T20 World Cup: Trumpelmann, Smit lead Namibia to first-ever Super 12 victory (Ld)

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) Rubel Trumpelmann’s triple strikes in the opening over followed by an unbeaten 32 from JJ Smit led the way for Namibia to defeat Scotland by four wickets in a Group 2 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday.

The win also marks Namibia’s first-ever win in Super 12 stage of the mega event, going ahead of India and New Zealand while Scotland remain at the bottom of the points table for Group 2. It was a commendable effort from Scotland to take the game to the final over despite not having many runs to defend.

Chasing 110, Namibia had a slow start with 26 runs coming in the first five overs. In the final over of power-play, they lost Michael van Lingen, who top-edged a pull to cover off Safyaan Sharif. Four overs later, Namibia lost their second wicket as Zane Green holed out to longoff off Chris Greaves.

Two overs later, Michael Leask triggered a classic off-spinner dismissal while going through Gerhard Erasmus’ stumps. In the very next over, Craig Williams was stumped by Mark Watt while coming down the pitch for a flick.

JJ Smit and David Wiese put on a stand of 35 runs off 31 balls to take Namibia closer to the target, keeping the pressure from Scotland’s spinners at bay. But Leask took out Wiese with an outside edge flying to short third man in the 18th over to keep Scotland in the hunt. It didn’t deter Smit as he drove for a boundary off Wheal in the penultimate over before finishing off the match in style, smashing a six over point to seal a tight win for Namibia with five balls remaining.

Earlier, Namibia had a fantastic start as George Munsey chopped on his stumps off Trumpelmann on the first ball of the innings. Trumpelmann then made back-to-back strikes on the fourth and fifth ball of the innings. While Calum MacLeod nicked one behind, stand-in captain Richie Berrington was trapped lbw to a full in-swinger. Scotland’s misery continued as David Wiese struck in the final over of power-play, trapping Craig Wallace lbw.

Michael Leask (44 of 27 balls) led the recovery route, setting a 39-run stand off 34 balls with Matthew Cross (19). But Jan Frylinck got one to sneak past Cross’s bat to hit off-stump. Leask then joined forces with Chris Greaves (25) in taking Scotland past the 100-run mark. Though Greaves fell on the final over of the innings, he did the job for his side in getting to three-figures, which wasn’t enough to stop Namibia’s winning streak in the tournament.

Brief scores; Scotland: 109/8 in 20 overs (Michael Leask 44, Chris Greaves 25, Ruben Trumpelmann 3/17, Jan Frylinck 2/10) lost to Namibia: 115/6 in 19.1 overs (JJ Smit 32 not out, Craig Williams 23, Michael Leask 2/12, Bradley Wheal 1/14) by four wickets.

4T20 World Cup: How inswinger and googly could cause trouble for Indian team

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Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) With Pakistan winning two matches in three days against India and New Zealand in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, they have now become the unquestionable favourites to top Group 2. What the back-to-back victories have ensured that the rest of India’s matches are now a do-or-die affair, starting from Sunday’s clash with New Zealand in Dubai.

There is no doubt about the quality of talent in the Indian batting order, with anyone capable of delivering a match-turning innings on their day. But last Sunday’s ten-wicket hammering from Pakistan in the tournament opener has revived a painful memory: the early fall of the openers, especially to inswingers. In a T20I, openers getting a good start means that the team can build up on it and end at an imposing total. But when the vice-versa happens, then the other batters take up the rebuilding act and finish at a just-par total.

Pakistan’s main wrecker-in-chief, on Sunday, Shaheen Shah Afridi, did just that. Before the high-octane India v Pakistan match, K.L. Rahul had never faced Afridi before. Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, played Afridi for just 19 deliveries in the 2018 Asia Cup, a 50-over affair.

Afridi exploited the fragility of the Indian openers against left-arm pace, mainly inswingers. On the fourth ball of the innings, Afridi got a middle-stump yorker to swing back in and ended up rapping Sharma in front of the stumps while he was trying to flick on the leg-side. On the first ball of his next over, Afridi took out Rahul with a peach of a delivery. Rahul, trying to whip across the line, missed the nip-backer coming in sharply and sneaked through the gate to hit the stumps.

The twin strikes by Afridi meant that India recovered from the early blows and managed to reach a par-total which was made to look easy by wonderful stroke play of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

Against inswingers in T20Is, Sharma averages just 17.43 at a strike rate of 98.4 and being dismissed seven times. Rahul on the other hand, fares worse. He averages 16.4 and has a strike rate of 95.3, being dismissed five times.

New Zealand have a world-class left-arm pacer in Trent Boult, who played a part in India’s early collapse in the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi-final in Manchester. His ability to cause havoc with in-swing and out-swing will trouble Indian openers.

After New Zealand, India will play Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on November 3. They will be up against a three-pronged spin attack of captain Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Rahman had run through the Scotland batting order on the back of googlies, taking 5/20 while Khan scalped 4/9. In T20Is, against googly, Sharma averages 30 with a strike rate of 130.4, dismissed just once. Rahul, on the other hand, averages 35 with a strike rate of 120.7, dismissed just once.

Captain Virat Kohli has got the best numbers against in-swing in the team. With an average of 47.33 and strike rate of 154.3, Kohli has been dismissed just thrice by the in-swingers in T20Is. But his numbers against googly are pale, averaging 24 with a strike rate of 106.7 and dismissed twice.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has faced in-swing just once in T20Is, scoring just six and being dismissed. Against googly, he averages 53 and has a strike rate of 151.4 while being dismissed just once. Suryakumar Yadav hasn’t been dismissed by in-swing yet in T20Is but has been dismissed by googly once out of three occasions. Hardik Pandya, whose ability to bowl has been a mystery, has been dismissed by in-swing in the only occasion he faced this type of bowling. Against googly, he has been dismissed once out of seven occasions with a strike rate of 66.7.

There are clearly in-swing and googly threats for the Indian team from their next two opponents in the men’s T20 World Cup. It will be interesting to see how the batting order, especially the openers respond to it, something which will go a long way in deciding how long India’s journey in the tournament will be.

3T20 World Cup: Smit leads Namibia to four-wicket win over Scotland

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) JJ Smit (32 not out off 23 balls) led the way for Namibia to defeat Scotland by four wickets in a Group 2 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday. The win also marks Namibia’s first-ever win in the Super 12 stage of the mega event.

Chasing 110, Namibia had a slow start with 26 runs coming in the first five overs. In the final over of power-play, they lost Michael van Lingen, who top-edged a pull to cover off Safyaan Sharif. Four overs later, Namibia lost their second wicket as Zane Green holed out to longoff off Chris Greaves.

Two overs later, Michael Leask triggered a classic off-spinner dismissal while going through Gerhard Erasmus’ stumps. In the very next over, Craig Williams was stumped by Mark Watt while coming down the pitch for a flick.

JJ Smit and David Wiese put on a stand of 35 runs off 31 balls to take Namibia closer to the target. But Leask took out Wiese with an outside edge flying to short third man in the 18th over to keep Scotland in the hunt. It didn’t deter Smit as he drove for a boundary off Wheal in the penultimate over before finishing off the match in style, smashing a six over point to seal a tight win for Namibia with five balls remaining.

Brief scores; Scotland: 109/8 in 20 overs (Michael Leask 44, Chris Greaves 25, Ruben Trumpelmann 3/17, Jan Frylinck 2/10) lost to Namibia: 115/6 in 19.1 overs (JJ Smit 32 not out, Craig Williams 23, Michael Leask 2/12, Bradley Wheal 1/14) by four wickets.

2T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya bowls in nets ahead of NZ game

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Dubai, Oct 27 (IANS) Ahead of the crucial T20 World Cup game against New Zealand, all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Wednesday went through fitness drills and bowled in the nets for the first time in months during India’s practice session, here on Wednesday.

As per reports, Pandya, who played solely as a batsman in India’s opening World T20 match against Pakistan, went through several fitness drills under the watchful eye of team physio Nitin Patel and assistant trainer Soham Desai. Thereafter, he bowled close to 20 minutes to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur in one of the nets.

Captain Virat Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri and team mentor MS Dhoni kept a close eye and closely monitored Hardik’s progress.

The all-rounder bowled a couple of overs in a T20I during India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July. But, he didn’t bowl a single over for Mumbai Indians during the UAE leg of the IPL.

Many experts even questioned Pandya’s inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad. His bowling fitness also forced national selectors to include Shardul Thakur in India’s 15-member squad at the expense of Axar Patel.

In the Pakistan game, Pandya was hit on the right shoulder while batting and he did not take the field after India’s innings. Later, he underwent a scan, which revealed nothing serious.

Hardik’s bowling in the nets is a good sign for the Indian cricket team, who India have been suffering from a lack of sixth bowling option in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

1T20 World Cup: Spirited Namibia restrict Scotland to 109/8

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) A spirited Namibia bowling attack, led by pacer Rubel Trumpelmann’s triple strikes in the opening over, restricting Scotland to a below-par 109/8 in 20 overs in a Group 2 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday.

Pushed into batting first, Namibia had a fantastic start as George Munsey chopped on his stumps off Trumpelmann on the first ball of the innings. Trumpelmann then made back-to-back strikes on the fourth and fifth ball of the innings. While Calum MacLeod nicked one behind, stand-in captain Richie Berrington was trapped lbw to a full in-swinger.

Scotland’s misery continued as David Wiese struck in the final over of power-play, trapping Craig Wallace lbw. Michael Leask (44 of 27 balls) led the recovery route, setting a 39-run stand off 34 balls with Matthew Cross (19) followed by Chris Greaves (25) taking Scotland past the 100-run mark. Though Greaves fell on the final over of the innings, he did the job for his side in getting to three-figures.

Brief Scores: Scotland 109/8 in 20 overs (Michael Leask 44, Chris Greaves 25, Ruben Trumpelmann 3/17, Jan Frylinck 2/10) against Namibia

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