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PSL 2021 | LHQ vs ISU: Shadab makes a Hussain Talat blunder as Rashid, Tim David take Qalandars over the line

It took three years and a big blunder of the size of Hussain Talat by the skipper Shadab for Islamabad united to lose a game against Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, but it finally did happen. In the opening game of the PSL’s sixth edition’s Abu Dhabi leg, Lahore Qlanadras needed 16 runs off the last over and even though, Shadab himself had conceded just 23 runs in his three overs to pick an important wicket as well. 

But instead of applying himself in the final over, he chose to go to an inexperienced part-time medium-pacer Talat to deliver for the team, which he couldn’t as he was hammered for three fours of the first three balls by Rashid Khan, a double on the fourth delivery meant that only two runs were required of the last two balls and the Afghan took a single to put Singaporian Tim David on strike. Talat bowled a bouncer at last, but a top edge behind the wicket-keeper meant that Qalandars not only won the game by five wickets but also went on to top the table. 

Explaining this move after the game, Shadab said that due to Ben Dunk, a left-hander being on the crease, he, a leggie could not bowl his one spare over during the 15-19 overs. “When it came to the 20th, the ball was wet and Hussain in the past and in nets had bowled. I was confident in him, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out in our favour. But if given a chance and we are stuck in a similar situation, I would once again for Hussain, ‘ said 22-year-old United skipper. 

Chasing a small but tricky target of 144 on a two-paced wicket in Abu Dhabi at the Shiekh Zayed Stadium, Lahore didn’t have a great start. Hard hitter Fakhar Zaman was bowled for nine runs by Faheem Ashraf. Sonn after youngster Mohammad Faizan was removed by Shadab at the team score of 44. Mohammad Hafeez and skipper Sohail Akhtar then put up a partnership of 38 runs before a brilliant review, asked for by wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir and taken by skipper Shadab, got Sohail out leg before wicket on the bowling of Fawad Ahmed.

Hafeez was trapped by Hasan Ali on a slower delivery just one over after Sohail’s wicket. Ben Dunk and his young Australian compatriot David tried to get as close to the target as possible.  The duo added 25 in 23 balls and just as they were about to tee off, another brilliant slower one by Ali in the 19th over removed Dunk. 

It would have been a perfect 19th over had David not hit a six off the last ball to bring the equation down from 22 off seven balls to 16 off six. 

Earlier in the evening, after winning the toss, Sohail invited Islamabad to bat first. The red lions couldn’t really get going and as a result, lost wickets at regular interval. In fact, at one point in time, they were struggling at 109-8 in 16.5 overs before Mohammad Wasim Junior combined with Faheem to take the team to a fighting total of 143. Qalandars skipper too agreed to the fact that his bowlers gave away extra runs to the tailenders at the end. “We gave away 10-15 runs more than we should have,” Sohail said during the post-match presentation ceremony. 

The 24-year-old Rashid might not have picked too many wickets, but he along with James Faulkner were the pick of the bowlers. While Faulkner took three early wickets in the powerplay, Rashid gave away just nine runs in his four overs while taking the wicket of Talat. For his extraordinary bowling and match-winning batting, Rashid was adjudged Man of the Match. 

The Qalandars will be in action once again on Thursday, June 10 when they take on Peshawar Zalmi in the second game of the doubleheaders. United on the other hand would face Quetta Gladiators on June 11 at the same venue. 

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ECB award central contracts to 17 England Women cricketers

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the list of centrally contracted England Women players for 2021-22. In total 17 players were awarded the contracts and it includes experienced players like Anya Shrubsole, captain Heather Knight, vice-captain Nat Sciver. Young guns like Katie George and Sarah Glenn have retained their contracts as well. Sophia Dunkley, the South-Eastern Stars and Surrey batter and part-time leg-break bowler replaced Kristie Gordon to earn her maiden ECB Central Contract. The contracts run from May 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022, aligning with the professional contracts that the eight Regional teams offer the women. Jonathan Finch, Director of England Women’s Cricket hoped that the new contracts would help the team get on with the job at hand for the next two years which include two World Cups, an Ashes down under and the Commonwealth Games 2022. “We’re pleased to confirm a strong group of Centrally Contracted England Women’s cricketers ahead of a really exciting two years for Lisa, Heather and the team,” said Finch. “The Central Contracts, along with the roll-out of professional women’s domestic contracts, provide a fantastic opportunity to develop a larger pool of players pushing for selection and help strive for success on the field for England Women,” she added. The first assignment for these newly contracted English players is against India Women. The two teams will fight it out in three series in three different formats, starting with a one-off Test in Bristol from June 16. List of Centrally Contracted players Tammy Beaumont (Lightning), Katherine Brunt (Northern Diamonds), Kate Cross (Thunder), Freya Davies (South East Stars), Sophia Dunkley (South East Stars), Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder), Georgia Elwiss (Southern Vipers), Sarah Glenn (Central Sparks), Katie George (Western Storm), Heather Knight (Western Storm), Amy Jones (Central Sparks), Nat Sciver (Northern Diamonds), Anya Shrubsole (Western Storm), Mady Villiers (Sunrisers), Fran Wilson (Sunrisers), Lauren Winfield-Hill (Northern Diamonds), Danni Wyatt (Southern Vipers)


WI vs SA | 1st Test: Searching different trajectories with new captains, two teams embark on red ball journey

South Africa has probably had one of the most difficult Tests cricket lives among all Test-playing nations ever since 2018. Among the seven Test series it played since then, the men under Faf du Plessis and then under Quinton de Kock lost five of them, winning only against weakened Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home. West Indies on the other hand have been on a bit of a revival spree of late, first under Jason Holder and then the new leader Kraigg Brathwaite. Since 2018, the men from the Caribbean have played 11 Test series, losing five, winning four and drawing two. They lost to higher-ranked opponents like England, India and New Zealand away from home and only against India at home. But, now, with an inspiring leader like Brathwaite at the helm, under whom the team won a series in Asia for the first time and came close to winning against Sri Lanka in Antigua in April, the Windies would be looking to strike hard against a newly built South Africa under an experienced player, but new leader Dean Elgar. The 33-year-old Elgar would be looking to create an impact on his first tour as captain as well. It is not only important for him personally but also important to bring back the confidence of the sponsors in boards, of players in themselves and most importantly, of the South Africans into cricket, after all the mudslinging that happened in this pandemic, be it on Black lives Matter or the CSA’s battle with Sports Ministry. The records hang in balance of the South African team in terms of wins and losses in Test scenario are concerned. The Proteas have won 18 of the 28 Tests between the two with West Indies getting only three games in their favour. Also, West Indies have not been able to win even a single Test series against South Africa since 1992/93. Winning a series against South Africa after a wait of almost 30 years would be a huge achievement for Brathwaite's team. But at the same time, Elgar's men would equally keen to protect the legacy. Thus the two captains with different trajectories, different side goals but one main goal- to win the series, would battle it out in the Daren Stadium, starting June 10. West Indies vs South Africa: Match Details Match Number- 01 Date and Time: 07:30 pm IST, 14:00,,to GMT, 10:00 am Local Venue: Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia Broadcast/ Live Stream: Fancode Pitch Report The pitch at Gros Islet in St. Lucia is a bit on the slower side as has been the case with West Indies in recent years. However, it does not break easily leading to it being batting friendly. In fact, out of the seven Tests that have been played on this ground since its inception in 2003, four have resulted in a draw. In this game too, a slow wicket with bounce and swing in the first few hours of the day would be expected. Weather and Toss With 96% cloud cover, 40% chances of precipitation and 8% chances of a thunderstorm on Thursday, June 10, the situation in Gros Islet doesn’t look ideal for Test match start. However, on winning the toss, the captains would like to field first without any doubt in such conditions. This weather forecast is only for the first two days and the remaining three days are supposed to play friendly, forcing the captains even more to field first on winning the toss. Team News West Indies The West Indies final squad was announced just on June 8, only two days ahead of the game. While Shai Hope and Roston Chase have been called in, a new face in the form of Jayden Seales has been drafted in the squad as well. Going by the looks of things, all three of them are looking like getting a shot in the playing XI. Probable XI Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shai Hope, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales South Africa The Proteas are coming on the ack of a Test series loss against Pakistan. Therefore it is most likely that they would like to do some changes in the playing XI that played last time. With Faf du Plessis having bid adieu to the longer format, it is almost certain that Kyle Verreynne, who is coming on the back of a great domestic First-Class season where he scored a double century alongside one hundred and three fifties would feature in the playing XI. Another change from their previous XI would be playing an extra pacer in place of George Linde. Probable XI Dean Elgar(c), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne, Quinton de Kock(w), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi Dream XI / Fantasy XI Predictions Quinton de Kock, Shai Hope, Dean Elgar (vc), Kraig Brathwaite, Rassie van der Dussen, Jason Holder (c), Wiaan Mulder, Kemar Roach, Rakheem Cornwall, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje


Adam Milne roped in by Kent Spitfires as a replacement for Mohammad Amir

Kent has roped in New Zealand speedster Adam Milne for the Vitality T20 Blast which commences from June 9. Milne who was part of the Mumbai Indians squad on the PL has been brought in as a replacement for Mohammad Amir who is expected to miss the season due to his commitments in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Amir would have been part of the Kent outfit if not for the rearranged PSL in UAE which is slated to begin from 9th June (Wednesday). The restrictions for arrival in UK from South Asian countries means that he won’t be able to take part in the competition. Milne has earlier been part of the Kent squad and has already taken 38 wickets in 28 matches for them between 2017 and 2019. The fast bowler after serving his quarantine is expected to be available for selection from June 28 against Somerset. "We're delighted that Adam will be coming back to be a Kent Spitfire once more," Kent's director of cricket, Paul Downton was quoted as saying by the ESPN Cricinfo. "He is a world-class T20 bowler who has made a significant difference to our side every time he has played for the Spitfires. I am sure our Members and supporters will be excited to welcome him back for the later stages of the Vitality Blast,” he further added. Back in 2018, Milne was part of the Kent side that qualified for the quarter-final for the Vitality Blast. He was part of the team even the next year when Kent narrowly missed out from a berth in the knockouts. Milne is excited to be part of the Kent Spitfires squad for the fourth time. "I love being a Spitfire and I'm really excited that the opportunity has arisen for me to come back to Kent for a fourth time. It'll be great to see familiar faces in the dressing room but I'm also looking forward to working with the new talent that has joined since my last stint in 2019,” Milne said.


After Ollie Robinson, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler comes under scrutiny for tweets from the past

England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler might find themselves in cold waters after the England Cricket Board (ECB) promised detailed investigation about some tweets from these two players mocking Indians and their English. The ECB has promised that relevant and appropriate actions will be taken and each case will be given individual attention. Some tweets from the past where Morgan and Buttler uses the word ‘sir’ to mock Indians have surfaced on the internet after fast bowler Ollie Robinson was suspended by the ECB for his sexist and racist tweets dating back to 2012-13. "Screenshots have also been shared of a message by Buttler in which he says 'I always reply sir no1 else like me like you like me' and, separately, Morgan includes Buttler in a message which says, 'Sir you're my favourite batsman'," a report in the Telegraph.co.uk read. Both Buttler and Morgan is a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has spent considerable amount of time in India. While the tweets which were later deleted was made way back in 2013, it must be noted that both players had become established names in the international circuit back then. "Although there are questions over the precise context of the tweets, they were written at a time when Buttler and Morgan were established England players and have caused offence on social media," the report in the UK Telegraph further added. Meanwhile, the England Cricket Board (ECB) have made it clear that they won’t be leaving any stones unturned in dealing with the manner in an appropriate way. "Since we were alerted to offensive tweets last week, a number of historical social media posts by other individuals have been questioned publicly as well," an ECB spokesperson said on Tuesday. "There is no place for discrimination in our sport, and we are committed to taking relevant and appropriate action where required. "Given the concerns which have been raised are clearly now broader than a single case, the ECB Board will discuss how we deal with issues over historical social media material in a timely and appropriate manner. Each case will be considered on an individual basis, looking at all the facts. We will assess cases with the ECB Board before making further statements,” the spokesperson further added. Meanwhile one ore tweet from 2010 has gone viral where veteran fast bowler James Anderson is seeing mocking Anderson by calling him a fifteen-year-old lesbian after he posted a photo with his new haircut. Revealing on the same Anderson said that its 10-11 years ago and he has certainly changed a lot as a person. "For me, it's 10-11 years ago, I've certainly changed as a person. And I think that's the difficulty, things do change, you do make mistakes," Anderson said.