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Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine comeback to Zimbabwe T20I squad to be led by Sean Williams against Pakistan

Two experienced players in Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine have made a comeback into the Zimbabwe T20I set up for the upcoming three-match home series against visiting Pakistan. Both these players missed the T20I series against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi but were part of Zimbabwe's tour of the Paak nation in November 2020. 

Sean Williamson, 34, would continue to lead the side in absence of their regular white-ball captain Chamu Chibhabha. The right-hander batting all-rounder has been ruled out with a thigh injury since February.

There have been three uncapped players named in the squad including batter Tadiwanashe Marumani, fast bowler Tanaka Chivanga and offspinner Tapiwa Mufudza. All three of them have been in great touch in the recent domestic season in the Logan Cup, the First Class competition as well as the domestic T20 competition. 

There is another man’s entry into the side which is surprising and that is of 26-year-old Luke Jongwe. The all-rounder last played a game for the Chevrons in 2016 as a teenager. Primarily a bowler, Jongwe has taken 32 wickets and scored 296 runs in 22 ODIs and eight T20Is combined. 

The T20 series begins with the first of the three games at the Harare Sports Club on April 21st. The two teams will also play two Tests at the same venue starting April 29. 

Zimbabwe T20I squad

Sean Williams (capt), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine, Luke Jongwe, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Tapiwa Mufudza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano

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IPL 2021 | DC vs MI: Will spin-friendly Chepauk be welcoming to Pant and Co. against beastly Mumbai?

As Delhi Capitals set their foot in the uncharted territory of Chepauk, at what is officially known as MA Chidambaram Stadium, they will have their task cut out. The very first assignment of Rishabh Pant’s men is against the beasts from Mumbai who have manned Chepauk like none other. Although Royal Challengers Bangalore have won three out of three games, Rohit Sharma’s unit has no doubt been way more dominating, defending low titles with almost a smirk. This fight though is not only the battle of spinners. It goes back to the last IPL finals as well. The Capitals were beaten comprehensively by the Mumbai side both in the finals as well as the playoffs. The Win-Loss ratio in the last 10 games also sits comprehensively in the favour of the Mumbai side at 7:3. Thus for the Capitals, there is actually a lot to fight for. Chepauk to revive Ashwin's and DC's bowling fortunes? In the three games that Delhi have played so far in this IPL, they have conceded more than 190 runs twice and the only time they were defending score that big, they were defeated by a wily Rajasthan Royals, who took the game by the scruff of its neck. It is more than enough to tell that bowling has not been the strongest side of the blue and red. Kagiso Rabada has not been picking wickets in the powerplay for a while now, the lack of Anrich Nortje has hurt them in the middle overs and the resurgent Ravichandran Ashwin, their prime spinner has been going through a very lean patch as well. Ashwin, 34, has so far bowled 11 overs, but even after conceding 89 runs at more than eight runs per over, he has managed to pick only one wicket. Tamil Nadu born being expensive is not much of a problem for Ricky Ponting and his management. What should bother them is his ability to pick wickets has not worked so far. But Chennai might be able to end that drought, after all, it is Ashwin’s home ground. In 38 IPL games at the Chepauk, Ashwin has picked up 46 wickets, most for any ground at an average of 18.76 and an economy of just 6.01. Also, the way the pitch has turned at the MA Chidambaram, the Capitals would hope that Ashwin revitalises his relation with the first love of his life. Rohit Sharma's destructive innings on the way The Mumbai skipper has been itching to get on with his innings ever since the first game when he got run out on 19. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, he was at his best but unfortunately gave his wicket away to Pat Cummins. His 32 against Sunrisers too was an indication that the 33-year-old means business. Sharma has anyways been a great gunner against Delhi Capitals in the past. In the 28 games that he has played against the team from the capital, he has scored 818 runs, which is second only to his 982 against RCB. His average against the Capitals is also reasonably high for T20 cricket at 32.72. Thus it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Rohit Sharma show is unveiled at Chepauk on April 20. But for that to happen he would have to go through Ashwin! Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians: Match Details Match No.- 13 Date and Time: April 20, 2021, 07:30 pm IST, 02:00 pm GMT Venue- MA Chidambaram, Chennai Broadcast and Live Stream: Star Sports and Hotstar Pitch Report The pitch at which the last game was played between RCB and KKR in Chennai, has been, so far the only wicket which has offered runs aplenty. Will this wicket offer similar help. It’s hard to guess. What we can guess though, is that it can be two-paced, can have variable bounce and the team winning the toss would like to bat first, which is kind of a norm breaker, an achievement in a way for Chepauk. Weather and Toss For a change, the Chennai weather is going to be cloudy, so finally, the missing dew, which has been troubling the chasing teams, with a lot of grip for spinners, might be seen. With dew coming in, the quantity of which is still unknown, captains might be tempted to chase, but the odds of it are still low. Team News Delhi Capitals The Capitals would be playing on this wicket for the first time. Although they have lost the services of Axar Patel, playing Amit Mishra would be a no brainer. Lukman Meriwala, who made his IPL debut last game, might make way for the 38-year-old Mishraji, who is also the highest wicket-taker in the league among active players. Rahane might also make a comeback, considering it is going to be a slow wicket. Strongest XI Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steven Smith/Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav/Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan Mumbai Indians The Blue and Gold have not made many changes to their XI in the tournament so far and they are likely to with the same team in this game as well. Strongest XI Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Adam Milne, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult Dream XI Predictions / Fantasy XI Suggestions Rishabh Pant (wk), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Lalit Yadav, R Ashwin, Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar (vc)


Dilhara Lokuhettige slapped with 8-year ban from cricket

Former Sri Lanka cricketer Dilhara Lokuhettige has been slapped with an 8-year ban from all cricket. An ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal had found him guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. The ban on Lokuhettige is backdated to April 3, 2019 where he was provisionally suspended. The tribunal had found him guilty of the following. "Article 2.1.1 - for being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect(s) of a match. Article 2.1.4 - Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach Code Article 2.1. Article 2.4.4 - Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code. The International Cricket Council has also charged Lokuhettige on behalf of the Emirates Cricket Board. Lokuhettige had breached three counts of ECB’s anti-corruption code. "Having represented Sri Lanka in international cricket, Dilhara had attended a number of anti-corruption education sessions and would have known his actions were a breach of the Code,” said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manage, (Integrity Unit). Earlier, the 40-year-old cricketer was suspended by the ICC provisionally for breaching three charges of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Dilhara Lokuhettige played 9 ODIs and two T20Is for Sri Lanka. He picked up 6 wickets in the one day internationals and had an economy of 4.74 while scalped a couple of wickets in the shorter format of the game.


Royal Sanju Samson eyeing perfect preparation to hit sixes against Chennai Super Kings

The pitches at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai have produced matches of contrasting outlooks and results. Matches have either been high-scoring ones or the team have collapsed due to assistance to bowlers with the new ball. Rajasthan Royals have had a taste of both in their two games this season. In their first game against the Punjab Kings, it was a nightmare affair for the bowlers on both sides as batsmen ramped up scores beyond the 200-run mark. Royals’ captain played a sublime innings that almost turned out to be a match-winning one before he failed to hit the big shots on the last two balls of the game. He had denied a single to Chris Morris on the penultimate delivery of the game that created dividend opinions among experts and fans. Instead, he backed himself to clear the boundary and win his side a close game needing five runs off the last ball. He failed to do that and the Royals lost a game they should have won. That game was followed by another close game but that time bowlers had an upper hand over the batsmen from either side. Going into the third game against the Chennai Super Kings, Sanju Samson understands the pinnacle position he holds in the Royals batting line up and hence he sweated it out in the nets to better just the hard-hitting abilities. In a video released by the franchise on its Twitter timeline, Samson can be seen hitting all balls he faced in the air and practising long shots in a bid to prepare for the game against the Super Kings. Samson for long has been commended for his intent and abilities to hit big shots but has also faced criticism due to lack of consistency. He needs to up his consistency and the game against the Super Kings is the imperative occasion for him to do that having failed in the last game against the Capitals.