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Bangladesh set India 265 to win

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 15 June 2017 14:04

India require 265 to beat Bangladesh and book their place in Sunday's ICC Champions Trophy final, where Pakistan await.

Virat Kohli's side restricted the Tigers to 264-7 despite a third-wicket stand of 123 between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim that had threatened a total of nearer 300.

Bangladesh stuttered from 154-2 to 179-5 after losing Golden Bat front-runner Tamim for 70 to Kedar Jadhav, whose two wickets were matched by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.

Tamim and Mushfiqur came together after Bhuvneshwar bowled Soumya Sarkar second ball and had Sabbir Rahman (19) caught at backward point, ending a 21-ball cameo.

The pair rotated the strike well, Tamim taking time to bed in after being bowled off a front foot Hardik Pandya no-ball.

The left-hander signalled his growing intent by clipping Pandya for the first six of the match on his way to a 62-ball fifty and then striking three boundaries off one Ravichandran Ashwin over, the pick of them an inside-out drive over extra cover.

Mushfiqur, meanwhile, survived a tight stumping chance off Ravindra Jadeja - just getting his foot behind the line before MS Dhoni whipped off the bails - and reached his half-century off 61 balls, his 26th in ODIs.

The platform set, Tamim sought to raise the rate further only to be bowled by a round-arm slower delivery from Jadeja as he looked to slog-sweep.

A wobble ensued as Shakib Al Hasan, so assured as he and Mahmudullah shared a record-breaking stand of 224 against New Zealand, was caught off the toe end of the bat as he tried to cut Jadeja.

Two runs later, Mushfiqur latched onto a full toss from Jadhav but miscued it to midwicket where Kohli anticipated well, moving to his right to take the catch.

Ashwin fared less well, dropping Mahmudullah (21) on four at third man off Pandya - the error quickly rectified by Bumrah, who knocked out the batsman's off-stump with a supreme yorker.

Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (30no) gave the innings some belated thrust, sharing an unbroken stand of 35 with Taskin Ahmed.

Kohli, Hazlewood top rankings

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 15 June 2017 14:02

India captain Virat Kohli is back on top of the ICC one-day international batting rankings.

Kohli's haul of 862 ranking points is one more than Australia opener David Warner, with South Africa's AB de Villiers dropping down to third on 847.

He and team-mate Shikhar Dhawan have been two of the stars of the ongoing Champions Trophy in England, with Dhawan - the tournament's top scorer - moving into the top 10 thanks to his 271 runs.

England's Joe Root has moved up a slot to fourth but is the only member of the squad in the top 15 - Alex Hales is 16th while Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes round out the top 20 in that order. Stokes is at his highest-ever ranking.

The leading bowler in the Champions Trophy - Australia's Josh Hazlewood - is also top of the world rankings for the first time in his career.

Hazlewood took nine wickets in his three matches in England but the weather would prove unkind to Australia as they failed to make it out of the group stage.

He overtakes South Africa's Imran Tahir at the top of the rankings, with another Australian third in Mitchell Starc.


Liam Plunkett, who has taken eight wickets on home soil, rises to a career-high ninth spot, one place behind Chris Woakes who misses the rest of the tournament with a side strain.

England leg-spinner Adil Rashid sits just outside the top 10 in 11th spot.

Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan retains top spot in the all-rounder rankings with Stokes in sixth and Woakes ninth.

Notts triumph in 834-run thriller

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 15 June 2017 13:59

Brendan Taylor led Nottinghamshire into the semi-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup with a brilliant century as hosts Somerset were defeated by 24 runs in a spectacular big-hitting contest.

After losing the toss, Notts posted 429-9 - the highest List A total ever made at Taunton - Taylor contributing 154 off 97 balls with 17 fours and five sixes while Riki Wessels blasted 81 and Samit Patel 66. Lewis Gregory finished with 4-60 off eight overs.

Somerset replied with 405 all out off 48 overs, Dean Elgar making 91 off just 63 balls and Peter Trego contributing 66, with five fours and four sixes. Harry Gurney finished with three for 71 but the batsmen dominated throughout and a 3,500 crowd were treated to 28 sixes.

Having been invited to bat first on a sunny morning, Notts went on the attack from ball one, which saw Michael Lumb top-edge a four to third-man off Craig Overton.

The left-hander went on to smash 47 off 28 balls and set the tone for the day before driving a catch to extra cover off the spin of Roelof van der Merwe.

Somerset had elected to go into the game without a specialist spinner and might have been ruing the decision as Wessels took up where his opening partner left off.

The score had raced to 147 off 18.1 overs when Wessels drove a catch to mid-off, his runs having come off 62 balls, with eight fours and four sixes.

By the halfway stage in their innings, Notts had hit 17 fours and nine sixes as Taylor took up the attack with gusto, adding 133 in less than 17 overs with Patel. They took the score to 280 in the 35th over before Patel, having struck
four boundaries and two sixes drove a catch to mid-off to give Tim Groenewald a welcome wicket.

Taylor was almost run out taking the single that brought up a 69-ball century, but otherwise looked invincible, Steve Mullaney added a breezy 37 before falling to Jamie Overton, who then dropped Taylor on 124 with the total on 373 in the 45th over.

A late clatter of wickets included that of Taylor, but the last five overs still saw 56 more added.

What Lumb had done for Notts, Johann Myburgh did for the home side, blasting 44 off 19 balls to launch the reply. The South African hit 10 fours from the first 16 deliveries he faced but when Myburgh fell with the total on 55 and was
quickly followed by Steve Davies and Jim Allenby, the run-chase looked set for predictable failure.

Notts dropped Elgar twice before he had made 20 and the outcome was a fourth-wicket stand of 154 in 16 overs with Trego, who played with customary power and aggression. His 47-ball contribution ended attempting a third six in an over from Patel.

Elgar was bowled round his legs by Stuart Broad having maintained his record of scoring at least a half-century in all of his six Royal London Cup innings this season.

Adam Hose and Van der Merwe kept the scoreboard moving, Hose making a useful 32 off 27 balls before being bowled by Patel sweeping.

When Van der Merwe was bowled for a quick and useful 43, swinging at a slower ball from Harry Gurney, the target was 95 from 12.1 overs.

Gregory (26) quickly followed to another big hit and, despite some lusty blows from Jamie Overton who made 40 before being run out to end the game, for the second successive day Somerset suffered bitter disappointment at the end of an epic contest.

Hoggard links up with Lightning

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Published in Cricket
Saturday, 27 May 2017 09:17

Loughborough Lightning have appointed former England seamer Matthew Hoggard as their new assistant coach.

Hoggard joins head coach Sall Briggs at Loughborough and will work with the squad in the build-up to the second edition of the 2017 Kia Super League, which commences in August.

The 40-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the role. He played county cricket for both Yorkshire and Leicestershire, and is England's sixth-highest wicket taker, with 248 wickets from 67 matches.

Hoggard told Lightning's official website: "There is a massive amount of talent in the women's game, coupled with the tenacity and desire to improve.

"I'm massively looking forward to helping the team get more game aware and to reach their full potential."

Briggs added: "Matthew is a great addition to our coaching staff - his experience and knowledge will be invaluable to our bowling unit.

"We've started our preparation already so he's already working with our talent ID players, upskilling their knowledge on white ball cricket. His presence has already brought excitement to our environment and the girls are keen to learn as much as they can."

Australia edge SL in warm-up

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Published in Cricket
Saturday, 27 May 2017 09:16

Aaron Finch made 137 from 109 balls as Australia edged out Sri Lanka to win a thrilling ICC Champions Trophy warm-up match.

Sri Lanka, having slipped to 92-4 at one stage, recovered well to post 318-7 from their 50 overs, thanks to Angelo Mathews' 95.

However, Finch's boundary-laden century and an unbeaten 85 from 73 balls from Travis Head saw Australia to a two-wicket win with two balls to spare.

Niroshan Dickwella (41) and Upul Tharanga got Sri Lanka off to a quick start after they had been put in to bat but both were back in the pavilion as Australia picked up three wickets in the space of five overs.

Dinesh Chandimal was bowled by James Pattinson (1-80) soon afterwards but after Chamara Kapugedera (30) had helped Mathews rebuild, the Sri Lanka captain shared an important sixth-wicket stand of 91 with Asela Gunaratne.

Moises Henriques (3-46) eventually removed Mathews but Gunaratne (70no from 56 balls) smashed Sri Lanka to over 300 to set up a tantalising Australian chase.

While Finch came out firing, stand-in skipper David Warner made a more circumspect start and was caught behind off Nuwan Pradeep before he had the chance to really get going.

Chris Lynn and Henriques also fell cheaply and, having hit 11 fours and six maximums on his way to three figures, Finch was bowled by Pradeep (3-57) in the 36th over.

Glenn Maxwell fell to the very next ball to give Sri Lanka hope but while wickets continued to fall at the other end, Head held his nerve to see Australia home.

CCD2: Lumb, Pujara fire for Notts

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Published in Cricket
Saturday, 27 May 2017 09:02

In Specsavers County Championship Division Two, centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Michael Lumb helped put leaders Nottinghamshire in control against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge.

India Test batsman Pujara scored 112 and Lumb added 117 as Notts piled up 357-5 after being asked to bat.

Joe Denly's first hundred of the season helped Kent recover from a poor first session to reach 316-8 eight against Sussex.

Denly hit 119 in a five-hour stay at the crease as Kent rallied after losing three wickets in the morning session.

Daryl Mitchell's unbeaten half-century made it Worcestershire's opening day at Wantage Road.

After Northamptonshire were bowled out for 238, Mitchell's 52 not out steered the visitors to 108-2 by the close.

Paul Collingwood hit 127 on his 41st birthday but Durham lost their final four wickets for no runs at Glamorgan.

Michael Hogan took 5-49 as Durham missed out on a fourth batting bonus point for reaching 350.

Skipper Billy Godleman led Derbyshire's reply after Leicestershire passed 600 on the second day at Derby.

Godleman marked his 50th first-class appearance for the county with an unbeaten 60 as Derbyshire closed on 154-1, still 465 runs behind, in reply to Leicestershire's 619 all out.

Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove top-scored with 188, adding 239 inside 38 overs with Ned Eckersley, who made a career-best 158.

England agree Ashes warm-ups

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:06

England will play warm-up games in Perth, Adelaide and Townsville ahead of their bid to retain the Ashes on Australian soil.

The squad will arrive in Perth in the opening days of November and their first game will be a two-day clash against a Western Australia XI at the WACA on November 4 and 5.

They will move on to Adelaide for their second clash, a day-night encounter against a Cricket Australia XI at the Adelaide Oval from November 8.

That game will give England added preparation for the first day-night Ashes Test at the same venue from December 2.

Their final preparation for the first Test in Brisbane - which starts on November 23 - will be in the heat of Townsville in north Queensland, again taking on a Cricket Australia XI over four days.

The only other tour game arranged is a two-dayer against another Cricket Australia XI in Perth - venue yet to be confirmed - on December 9 and 10 ahead of the third Test at the WACA from December 14.

"Those fans here to support England can get along to these matches and in particular we're pleased to be able to bring a four-day match up to Townsville," Cricket Australia team performance manager Pat Howard said.

"These tour matches also importantly provide our emerging players the ability to experience top level international competition."

India want head coach applicants

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:04

India have invited applications to take over from head coach Anil Kumble, who will also be considered for a contract extension.

The 46-year-old's current deal comes to an end after next month's Champions Trophy and the Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to advertise for candidates.

Kumble's year-long stint has been largely successful, with just one defeat in 17 Tests, but he is likely to face strong competition for one of the top jobs in the world of cricket.

Three of India's most distinguished recent players, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, will be responsible for the final decision.

A BCCI statement read: "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would like to call upon interested candidates to apply for the position of 'Head Coach' for India Cricket Team (Men). Present Head Coach, Mr. Anil Kumble, will be a direct entry for the process.

"To ensure a fair and completely transparent process, a nominee of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) will oversee the entire process along with the Cricket Advisory Committee.

"The BCCI's three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Sourav Ganguly and Mr. VVS Laxman will conduct interviews and seek presentations to select the best possible candidate to guide the team and take Indian Cricket forward."

Community service for Bracewell

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 25 May 2017 12:03

New Zealand bowler Doug Bracewell has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service after blaming the killing of a pet cockatoo for a third drink-driving offence.

The 26-year-old fast bowler was pulled over by police in March and returned a blood-alcohol reading more than three times the legal limit.

Bracewell's lawyer told Hastings District Court that he had been drinking at a function when his girlfriend called him in distress at an incident at home, where the cockatoo had been killed by dogs the couple were minding for friends.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh also disqualified Bracewell from driving for a year but he will face no further sanctions from New Zealand Cricket as he is likely to be sidelined from international cricket for the rest of the year with a serious knee injury.

"I'm just looking forward to moving on... and obviously not getting behind a wheel anytime soon after having a few drinks," Bracewell said outside court.

"It was an unfortunate situation, but that's no excuse driving a vehicle while having a few drinks. I'm disappointed in myself but at the same time I'm just wanting to move forward."

Bracewell has been involved in a string of incidents since beginning his international career in 2011, and he was previously caught drink driving in 2008 and 2010.

He was banned for a match in 2012 after an altercation in Napier also involving team-mate Jesse Ryder, missed the first Test with England in 2013 after cutting his foot clearing up glass after a party and was fined in 2014 after going out drinking with Ryder before a match against India.

Scotland topple Sri Lanka

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Monday, 22 May 2017 07:14

Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross both struck centuries as Scotland beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the tour match at Beckenham.

Sri Lanka, currently the sixth-ranked one-day international side, are warming up for the Champions Trophy and had inflicted a 148-run loss on Scotland when they last met at the 2015 World Cup.

However, openers Coetzer and Cross helped Scotland past Sri Lanka's 287 total to record a first victory over an ICC Full Member team.

Sri Lanka chose to bat and looked to be on course for a strong target as opener Kusal Perera made a near run-a-ball 57 while Dinesh Chandimal top-scored with 79 and Chamara Kapugedera added 71 including six boundaries as well as four over the rope.

Alasdair Evans and Stuart Whittingham took three wickets apiece for the Scots.

Grant Bradburn's side then set about the Sri Lanka attack as Coetzer and Cross swiftly brought up the half-century stand in the 10th over.

The partnership was finally broken with 201 on the board when Coetzer was caught by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews off Thisara Perera for 118, which came off 84 balls and included 15 boundaries as well as four sixes.

Despite Sri Lanka picking up a couple of cheap wickets, Cross continued to drive Scotland on towards their victory target, as he finished unbeaten on 106 from 123 balls.

Scotland captain Con de Lange was 19 not out as his side made 291 for three off 42.5 overs in their memorable victory.

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