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BBL10 | Match Report: Joe Burns take Heat to victory as Renegades run out of luck

It was once again a matter of luck combined with a lack of application from the Melbourne Renegades as they were beaten by a struggling Brisbane Heat at Manuka Oval Canberra in a BBL10 encounter. Experienced Joe Burns guided the Heat to the victory by scoring a 15 ball 31. With this win, the Heat have now reached fifth place in a tightly contested points table where only one point separates four teams in the middle of the table. 

Burns to the rescue

The Heat were going well as two experienced campaigners in Chris Lynn and Joe Denly had built a 59 runs partnership timing the chase of 150 to perfection. But as soon as skipper Lynn fell to Kane Richardson, there was chaos in the Heat camp and within a span of 12 runs and 14 balls, four Brisbane batsmen had been sent back to the pavilion. Denly, Lynn, James Bazely, and Lewis Gregory, all match winners were back in the hut and the Heat still needed 33 from 23 balls with two new men in Burns and wicket-keeper batsman Jimmy Pierson at the crease. 

Instead of backing down to the terrific spin bowling from the Renegades, the Australian Test opener decided to take the attack to the opposition and hit Peter Hatzoglou for 12 runs in the 17th over bringing down the equation to 22 from 18. He then hit Noor Ahmed the Afghan left-arm chinaman for another 12 runs, reducing the target to 10 from 12. Eventually, he hit Kane Richardson for a four to the third man to seal the deal on the fifth ball of the 19th over. 

It was Burns’ 31 off 15 in which he hit four boundaries and a six that got Heat over the line in what was a tight match, albeit the scorecard unable to suggest so. 

Luck quotient: Lynn had plenty, 'Gades kept searching for it

Luck seems to have deserted Renegades in this year's BBL as Lynn, who scored 50 off 40 balls was dropped twice, once at 22 and another time (though the ball did not reach the fielder, it was a catch nonetheless) in his 40s. If this was not enough, even after getting caught, he remained alive as the ball was declared a no-ball, not a front foot no-ball but a back foot one as Jack Prestwidge’s back foot just cut the white line of the crease. 

Although they tried a lot to make a match out of it, then young Hatzoglou Bowled short of length to Burns just when the pressure was mounting on the Heat in the death overs. Similar was the case at the time of the Bash Boost point. The heat needed 13  from the last over to win the Boost point, Noor Ahmed who had dropped Lynn in the last over was given the opportunity to defend it and he got swanked for a six via a damaging slog sweep by Denly, before straying down the leg to give three leg byes to fine leg and losing the Boost and a single point that the Renegades might have got. 

Webster gets Renegades' bowlers a total to defend

Renegades, much like their previous encounters were once again found to be lacking in the batting department as after being sent to bat first by the Heat, they lost their top scorer Shaun Marsh on the very first delivery that he faced. Youngsters Mackenzie Harvey and Sam Harper tried to build a partnership, but that couldn’t last long either. Skipper Aaron Finch, who was pushed into the middle order continued his miserable run in the tournament as he went down for 13 off 13 balls. 

The ‘Glades were struggling at 59-4 when Beau Webster joined Jake Fraser-McGurk at the crease in the 9th over. The two then stitched together a slow but needful 58 runs from 51 balls. But just as they were thinking to accelerate Fraser-McGurk was picked by Mark Steketee in the 17th over. Prestwidge followed him as well, as not a single run was added for the next five deliveries. 

At that moment, Webster was joined by Imad Wasim who fed him strike at regular intervals. Utilizing the opportunity, Webster smoked 28 runs in just 12 balls to get to his much deserved fifty and also pushed the total to 149. He hit three fours and two sixes in his 40 balls 50 not out. 

What's next?

Renegades will now travel to the MCG to play the all-important Melbourne Derby on 17th January while Heat will face the Scorchers in a fight for the Playoffs at the Docklands on 19th January.

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Daily Round up | Jan 14: Vikram Rathour hints at changes in playing XI, England in front on Day 1

India batting coach Vikram Rathour has hinted that there would be some changes in the playing XI while England have been pretty dominant against Sri Lanka on the first day of the first Test in Galle. Here’s a look at the updates from the cricketing world. Vikram Rathour talks about team changes India batting coach has hinted that there are going to be a number of changes in the side for the final game in Brisbane. Apart from this, India’s playing XI will be picked in the morning while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is being closely monitored. “Injuries are still being monitored. Our medical staff is working with the players. I wouldn’t be in a position to comment how it stands at the moment. “We would like to give them as much time as they can and only tomorrow morning you will know, which XI is going to play,” Rathour said on the eve of the series decider. England in charge on Day 1 England have been dominant on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. After bundling out the home side for 135, England ended the first day at 127/2, trailing by 8 runs. Captain Joe Root was unbeaten at 66 while Jonny Bairstow had scored 47* when the stumps were called. Earlier, Dominic Bess scalped a fifer in the first innings. England did have a couple of early hiccups but Root and Bairstow held the innings together. Tim Paine urges fans to leave all abuses at Gabba's gate Australia skipper Tim Paine has urged the fans to show some respect to the players. "In terms of crowd behaviour - we don't condone the abuse of anyone; let alone from the racial standpoint. So we want people to come along to the Gabba, enjoy the game of cricket, support Australia, support India. Support the umpires if you like. But my suggestion is you leave the abuse at the gate and just respect the players, respect the game and have a good time,” Paine said in the pre-match virtual press conference. Ashwin can pick 800 Test wickets Former Sri Lanka spinner has said that R Ashwin can pick up 800 wickets in Test cricket while Nathan Lyon is good but doesn’t have the potential to achieve the same feat. “Ashwin has a chance because he is a great bowler. Other than that, I don’t think any younger bowler coming in will go to 800. Maybe Nathan Lyon is not good enough to reach it. He is close to 400 (396) but he has had to play many, many matches to get there,” Muralitharan was quoted as saying in a Michael Vaughan column for the London-based Telegraph. Ashwin has picked up 377 wickets so far from 74 matches. Batsmen day out in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy The on-going Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy saw some brilliant performances with the bat. Jharkhand’s Virat Singh scored an unbeaten 103 against Assam as his side posted 233/3 in 20 overs in Kolkata. Assam were later restricted to 182/7 as Jharkhand won by 51 runs. Karnataka’s Devdutt Padikkal who has made a good name for himself in the IPL scored 99* against Tripura. Karnataka scored 167/5 in Alur while Tripura were restricted to 157/4 to lose the game by 10 runs. Punjab’s Abhishek Sharma scored 107 against Railways in Alur as his side put 200/4 in 20 overs. Railways were bundled out for paltry 83.


India-Australia rivalry no less than Ashes, India can breach 'fortress' Gabba: Mark Taylor

The rivalry between India and Australia has been ratcheting up in the last few years with the rise of India in overseas conditions and in the views of former Australian captain Mark Taylor, the rivalry between the two sides have scaled up new heights to challenge the rivalry of the Ashes series. In a column written for Sydney Morning Herald, Taylor opined that India have risen well as a team and beyond his expectations are challenging his country in their own backyard. However, he still termed Ashes triumph as the most ‘coveted’ trophy for the Australians. “For a sport that was once dominated by Australia and England, the rise of India as a superpower has dramatically altered the political landscape of world cricket and created another major rivalry. The Ashes urn remains the most coveted prize for Australian cricket but the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is not far behind,” Taylor wrote in his Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece. He said that the Indian teams have struggled in the past in Australia and hence he never thought they can challenge the Aussies at their home ground, but the performances in the last series and three matches of the ongoing series establish that they have become far more competitive on the Australian soil. “The importance of the series has escalated significantly in the past six years as each side has become more competitive away from home,” Taylor added. Talking about the series-decider game starting January 15 at the Gabba, which Taylor very reluctantly says a fortress of the home side, he said India have managed their resources well even after losing so many of their players due to injuries and that there is more pressure on Tim Paine and company going into the Gabba Test. Although he marked Australia as the favourite to win the Test, he did not hold back saying India have a real chance of trouncing the hosts at their most-suited ground but for that to happen, they will have to play out of their skins. “Throughout my career, I never felt India would trouble us in Australia but with one Test remaining they are still a chance to retain the trophy here and, if they play right out of their skins, win back-to-back series,” Taylor wrote further. “I have loved the way India have competed despite losing so many top-line players to injury. The pressure is right on Tim Paine and his Australian team, who have close to every advantage available to them.” He pointed out the lack of experience in the Indian bowling department as Mohammed Siraj who has the experience of two Test matches under him is set to lead the bowling attack at the Gabba. He said that the absence of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, who is likely to miss the series decider due to abdominal strain, is similar to Australia missing Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. He said that the Indians have their task cut out but it’s not insurmountable to defeat Australia and if they are able to pull it off in Brisbane, the win will go down as one of the greatest wins in the modern era of cricket. “Already weakened by the absence of captain Virat Kohli, India could well be without their first-choice pace attack if Jasprit Bumrah is out, as expected. To put that into perspective, how would Australia fare without Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc? Ajinkya Rahane may well be relying on a paceman playing his third Test, Mohammed Siraj, another in his second, Navdeep Saini, and a debutant to lead the charge at the pace-friendly ground. It's a mighty challenge but not insurmountable if they have the right mindset,” Taylor emphasized. “If India can get the job done in Brisbane and beat a strong Australian side close to full strength, it will go down as one of the greatest series wins in modern times.” The Indian side has had a tumultuous period in Australia with many first-choice plates returning home due to injuries in the early part of his career while some others have faced long-term injuries in the Sydney Test. Australia have not been defeated at the Gabba since 1988 and the last match between the sides on this ground resulted in a four-wicket win for the hosts in the 2014-15 series. India won the last series between the sides in Australia in 2018 and hence even a draw would enable them to retain the Border Gavaskar trophy whereas for the Australians a win at the Gabba is must to regain the trophy they last won in the 2014-15 series.


BBL10 | Match Preview: Stars face Strikers in a must win affair

The 10th edition of the Big Bash League is reaching its business end and Melbourne Stars must win to stake their claim at the playoffs spot. At 16 points from nine games, they have only five matches to make a case for themselves, and having lost two on a trot, they cannot afford to lose yet again. One more loss and they might just be out of the race and would then have to depend on other teams’ results. It is in this condition that they face the Adelaide Strikers at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Strikers need to push hard sans Rashid Khan It is not just Stars that need the victory, even the Strikers have only 20 points from their nine games and couldn’t be considered to be safe to go to the playoffs either. To add to the points table pressure, they will be without the services of spin magician Rashid Khan which would be a big setback for the team. It is at this moment that the other spinner, Englishman Danny Briggs would have to take charge. He has so far been effective and has taken eight wickets from 10 games at a decent economy of less than eight. Alongside him the other spinner, whoever takes Rashid’s place, it might also be a pacer in Cameron Valente in the team would have to be at the mark as well. But apart from the spinners, others like Wes Agar and batsmen like skipper Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald’s contribution would be crucial as well. Stars need Maxwell to bring his 'A' game on fore Glenn Maxwell has not been able to make a mark in the last three games for the Stars as he has been out for 0,0 and 6 in those games. There could never have been a more opportune moment for him to get his things back in slack and power his team to a win. It is not as if he has not been in form in this league. He has rather hit two fifties and one of them came back just three matches away. So he has the form with him, it’s just the application that needs to be there. Along with Maxwell, other batters like Hilton Cartwright, Nick Larkin, and Marcus Stoinis need to get back into the groove as well. Batting is the strength of the Stars and they need to prove that it indeed is in the upcoming game. Stars vs Strikers: Match Details Match Number- 40 Date & Time- Jan 15, 2021, 1:45:00 PM IST, 08:15 AM GMT, 07:15 pm LOCAL Venue- Melbourne Cricket Ground Broadcast: Sony Six and Sony LIV Pitch Report This is going to be the first game of the BBL10 at MCG and as it has happened over the last few years, the ‘G provides a solid T20 wicket with plenty for both the batters and bowlers. This year too, considering the strength of the home team a true wicket is expected where the shots are on if you hit well and bowlers to get some pace and bounce off the track. Weather and Bat Flip The chances of a light shower are there and 1.4mm of precipitation is expected between 07:0 0 pm and 10:00 pm, which means the match would be interrupted. In such a scenario, the team winning the Bat Flip would look to bowl first. Stars Strongest XI Marcus Stoinis, Hilton Cartwright, Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell (c), Seb Gotch (wk), Adam Zampa, Sam Rainbird, Liam Hatcher, Haris Rauf Strikers Strongest XI Matt Renshaw, Philip Salt, Alex Carey (c & wk), Jonathan Wells, Jake Weatherald, Ryan Gibson, Cameron Valente, Daniel Worrall, Danny Briggs, Wes Agar, Harry Conway Powered by Froala Editor


Jasprit Bumrah is being monitored: Vikram Rathour

India batting coach Vikram Rathour has said that Jasprit Bumrah is being monitored closely and the playing XI for the fourth and final Test in Brisbane would be announced in the morning. Rathour though dropped a major hint of few changes in the side. “Injuries are still being monitored. Our medical staff is working with the players. I wouldn’t be in a position to comment how it stands at the moment. “We would like to give them as much time as they can and only tomorrow morning you will know, which XI is going to play,” Rathour said on the eve of the series decider. “The medical team is looking at him and so again we will wait till tomorrow morning to know whether he is fit to play or not,” Rathour further added. India have been struggling with injury concerns on this tour. After Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul were ruled out of the Test series, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari were also added to the list. Jadeja broke his left thumb while batting in the first innings of the third Test while Vihari sustained a hamstring injury. Apart from this R Ashwin and Mayank Agarwal are also not fully fit. Talking about the injuries, Rathour said that there have been a lot of concern regarding this. “Still lot of injury concerns are there. They are still being monitored, and how they react to rehab process that they are going through, all these questions we can only answer tomorrow morning once we know who are XI which are going to play this game,” he said. India and Australia will begin the final Test on Friday. The four-match Test series is levelled at 1-1.