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SMA Trophy: Azharuddeen’s scintilating hundred rocks Mumbai; Chahar, Sakariya pick five-fors as Bisht smashes 17 sixes

It was a day of reckoning for Thalangara born 26-year-old Mohammed Azharuddeen of Kerala as he hit a scintillating hundred at Wankhede to virtually put Mumbai the giants of domestic cricket out of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. On the back of his 54 balls 137, Kerala chased the target of 197 runs in just 15.5 overs. Azharuddeen on his way to this historic knock also became the first Keralite to score a hundred in a T20 game. He hit the century in just  37 balls, which was joint third fastest for an Indian batsman. 

Earlier in the evening, Mumbai had set a challenging total of 196 in 20 overs, which could have been more if not for KM Asif’s brilliant 20th over in which he picked up three wickets and gave away just two runs. Suryakumar Yadav scored a 19 ball 38 while the rest of the batsmen contributed too. 

This was Mumbai’s second loss in as many matches and it has now become exceedingly impossible for them to qualify to the knockouts as only one team from each group qualifies. The only chance for Mumbai would be to finish among the two second-best teams out of all elite groups, but for that to happen now, it will have to depend on the results of other teams.  

Brief Scores: Mumbai 196/7 in 20 overs (Aditya Tare-42, KM Asif 3/25) lose to Kerala 201/2 in 15.5 overs (Mohd. Azharuddeen-137 not out, Shams Mulani- 1/41) by eight wickets. Check Full Scorecard

In another of the evening matches, Rahul Chahar of Rajasthan stole the show with the ball as he spun a web around the Madhya Pradesh batting lineup in the Holkar Stadium to down the hosts by 10 runs in a low scoring encounter. Chahar’s figures of 5/14 were the main reason as to why it became a mountain of a task for the MP brigade to chase down 149. The hosts could only make 138 in their designated 20 overs and eventually lost the game. 

Earlier Avesh Khan of MP had stopped Rajasthan batsmen from getting to a high score by taking four wickets for 22 runs. Mahipal Lomror however top-scored for the men from the desert as he scored a brilliant 27 ball 51 laced with four boundaries and three sixes. 

Brief Scores: Rajasthan 148/10 in 19.2 overs (Mahipal Lomror-51, Avesh Khan- 4/22) beat Madhya Pradesh138/8 in 20 overs (Parth Sahani 74, Rahul Chahar- 5/14) by 10 runs. Check Full Scorecard 

In the day games, Suarashtara thrashed Vidarbha by 79 runs handing the Central India team their second consecutive loss in the tournament. While Avi Baroit was the hero with the bat for Saurashtra scoring a 44 ball 93 runs, Chetan Sakaria shone with the ball picking 5/11. 

Brief Scores: Saurashtra 233/7 in 20 overs (Avi Barot-93, Darshan Nalkande- 4/32) beat Vidarbha 154/10 in 17.2 overs (Jitesh Sharma-43, Chetan Sakariya- 5/11) by 79 runs. Check Full Scorecard  

In another record-breaking game, Puneet Bisht of Meghalaya hit 17 sixes, the joint second highest in a T20 game and the highest for an Indian in a T20 game as he scored a career-best 141 not out of 51 balls to take Meghalaya to a huge total of 230/6 in 20 Overs. The highest number of sixes have been hit by the Universe Boss Chris Gayle who hit 18 sixes in a BPL game. Gayle has also hit 17 sixes in an IPL match. The Mizoram team had no answers whatsoever to this onslaught as they could muster only 100 runs in their 20 overs, giving Meghalaya a huge 130 runs win. 

Brief Scores: Meghalaya 230/6 in 20 overs (Puneet Bisht- 141 not out, Lalnunkima Varte- 2/45) beat Mizoram 100/9 in 20 overs (KB Pawan-33, Aditya Singhaniya- 4/15) by 130 runs. Check Full Scorecard   

In other Plate group games, Bihar beat Sikkim by eight wickets where skipper Ashutosh Aman shone with the ball with figures of 4/18 while Chandigarh was able to thrash Manipur by 110 runs, courtesy some brilliant batting by Shivam Bhambri and disciplined bowling Gurinder Singh and Bipul Sharma. In another game in Chennai, Rongsen Jonathan’s Nagaland defeated Arunachal Pradesh by nine wickets. 

Brief Scores: Sikkim 110/8 in 20 overs (Varun Sood- 28, Ashutosh Aman- 4/18) lose to Bihar 111/2 in 19.1 overs (Mangal Mahrour- 55, Anureet Singh- 1/20) by eight wickets. Check Full Scorecard  

Brief Scores: Arunachal Pradesh 145/6 in 20 overs (Techi Doria-36, Kievits- 1/19) lose to Nagaland 149/1 in 15.5 overs (Shrikant Mundhe- 69 not out, Nazeeb Saiyed- 1/28) by nine wickets. Check Full Scorecard 

Brief Scores: Chandigarh 178/5 in 20.0 overs (Shivam Bhambri- 56, Bishworjit Singh- 2/33) beat Manipur 68/8 in 20.0 overs (Thokchom Kishan-22, Gurinder Singh- 3/10) by 110 runs. Check Full Scorecard  

In the day games of Group E, Haryana defeated Puducherry while an all-round Delhi won over Andhra Pradesh at Wankhede. Elsewhere in Group D, Goa defeated Services in a closely fought match in Indore to put themselves on the points table with their first win. 

Brief Scores: Puducherry 148-4 in 20.0 overs (Sheldon Jackson 82, Arun Chaprana- 2/19) lose to Haryana 149-4 in 19.0 overs (Himanshu Rana- 58, Pankaj Singh- 2/31) by six wickets. Check Full Scorecard 

Brief Scores: Andhra 124-9 in 20.0 overs (Ashwin Hebbar-32, Pradeep Sangwan- 3/33) lose to Delhi 128-4 in 17.0 overs (Anuj Rawat-33, M Harishankar Reddy- 2/40) by six wickets. Check Full Scorecard  

Brief Scores: Services 160-7 in 20.0 overs (Ravi Chauhan- 62, Lakshay Garg- 2/25) closed to Goa 163-5 in 19.4 overs (Aditya Kaushik- 78, Mohit Kumar- 3/32) by five wickets. Check Full Scorecard

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BBL10 | Match Preview: Rejuvenated Renegades face desperate for points Heat

The Big Bash League is finally reaching a stage where teams can afford no more slip-ups and every match is more important than last all matches. Teams cannot afford to lose while those who have been losing cannot let the same form continue. In such a scenario the Melbourne Renegades, who finally tasted victory after losses would be up for a challenge against the Brisbane Heat, who have had a few things going in their favour off late. Renegades to play the party poopers After losing seven games on tarot, the Aaron Finch led Red Machine has been virtually kicked out of the tournament. But it is now that they would become the most dangerous side as they have nothing to lose now. A glimpse of that was seen in their last game against Adelaide where they beat the much-fancied side at its home turf. In the last game, Mohammad Nabi played a huge role in the Reds’ victory, however, the President wouldn’t be there for this game due to national duties and it is at this moment that the young guns in Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, and Sam Harper need to make the fans believe that they are worth the investment. The departure of Nabi and Noor Ahmed will open up opportunities for the likes of Rilee Russow and Cameron Boyce to come back into the side and help it win a few games. It is the lack of fear that is going to do the trick for the Renegades and make it dangerous for other sides that are still having the hopes of making it to the Playoffs. Chris Lynn's Heat need to buckle up The Heat has lost two close games to let things pass by now. The last game against the Sixers could have easily gone their way had they just kept their patience and held on to few catches. The Heat bowlers are bowling brilliantly and with the edition of Morne Morkel, the lineup would be strengthened even more. However, it is the batting of the Heart that needs to pick pace and consistency needs to be their word in the dictionary. With Mujeeb not being there extra cushioning would be required for the bowlers and it is now that the huge hitters in skipper Chris Lynn, Lewis Gregory, and stylish pros in the form of Joe Burns and Joe Denly need to up their game and give Heat the much-required boost to keep their hopes of making it to the Playoffs alive. Heat vs Renegades: Match Details Match Number- 39 Date & Time- Jan 14, 2021, 1:45:00 PM IST, 08:15 AM GMT, 07:15 pm LOCAL Venue- Manuka Oval Broadcast: Sony Six and Sony LIV Pitch Report The pitch at Manuka Oval has been great for t20 cricket as it promises all the fireworks as witnessed in today’s game but at the same time, it does not leave the bowlers unsatiated as well, always producing some juice to grip the bowl if they bowl at the right lengths. If today’s game was any indication of how the wicket is going to behave, then as viewers you are in for a tight game of T20 in the capital of Australia. Weather and Bat Flip The weather in the last game at the Manuka Oval between Sixers and Thunder did play spoilsport, but it is forecasted that for 14th January, Thursday, the weather is going to remain mostly sunny with clear skies and a maximum of five chances of a drizzle are there. In any case, chasing has been the favoured call of the captains and even though there is some grip in the dry Manuka wicket, chances are that captains winning the toss would choose to bat second. Heat Strongest XI- Max Bryant, Chris Lynn (c), Joe Denly, Joe Burns, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Lewis Gregory, James Bazley, Jack Wildermuth, Mark Steketee, Morne Morkel, Jack Wood Renegades Strongest XI- Aaron Finch (c), Mackenzie Harvey, Sam Harper (wk), Beau Webster, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Rilee Rossouw, Imad Wasim, Jack Prestwidge, Cameron Boyce, Kane Richardson, Peter Hatzoglou


BBL 10 | Match Report: Philippe, O’Keefe power Sixers to win over Thunder in rain marred Sydney Derby

Although Josh Phillipee would rue the fact that he got out just when one more run was required to reach the revised Duckworth- Lewis target of 129, but Sixers and it’s fans would be pleased with the way he led the team to the victory at Manuka Oval. Due to rain post the first innings, the target for the sixers was reduced from 167 to 129, which was to be chased in 14 overs. The men in Pink to their credit chased it down with eight balls to spare. With this five-wicket win, they have now got a clear lead at the top of the table getting six points ahead of the second-placed Thunder. Aggressive Philippe took the game away from Thunder Coming down to chase the revised target, the Sixers’ wicket-keeper batsman and dynamite opener decided to get going right from word go as just after setting his eyes with the first few balls in the opening over, he slammed left-arm spinner Jonathan Cook for 23 runs in only the second over of the innings. From there on there was no looking back as he got the Sixers over 50 just in the fourth over, taking the game further away from the Thunder. Though Thunder got wickets in regular intervals, Philippe didn’t stop or slowed down, scoring the fastest fifty of his BBL career, which came in just 24 balls. Alex Ross dropped the match for Thunder The Thunder bowlers after the initial drubbing from Philippe came back well and picked wickets to keep their team in the hunt. When the runs slowed down a bit with Jordan Silk playing a few dots, Philippe decided to take the Power Surge and Daniel Sams was called in by Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson to bowl the all-important over. At this stage, the Sixers required 31 off 24 balls and Sams got Silk out off the very first delivery. Facing the third delivery of the SSurge over, new man Dan Christian hit it in the air and Alex Ross ran behind to cover a good amount of ground but after doing the hard work he dropped the catch and Sixers got the much-needed reprieve. Had the catch been taken another new batsman would have come in and more pressure would have been transferred in the young shoulders of Philippe and then who knows? After all, funnier things have happened in the last few overs of a BBL encounter! Post the dropped catch, Christian smashed 15 from just five balls to seal the game. Steve O'Keefe and the game-changing spell Earlier in the day, Sixers skipper Daniel Hughes won the toss and decided to send in Thunder to bat. Accepting the invitation the Thunder openers, especially Alex Hales leaped on to the opportunity, thrashing the Sixers’ bowlers left, right, and center of the ground. He was so aggressive in the approach that the Men in Green had reached 44 in just 3.3 overs when Usman Khawaja, who was at 2 from 6 balls decided to lift one up in the air and holed out to Christian at mid-off. From there on, the momentum started shifting and Ferguson too got out cheaply for just three runs. Hales was joined by fellow Englishman Sam Billings and the duo tried to provide some stability in the middle. But one over, the 10th of the innings from the experienced left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe changed the complexion of the whole game. He got both Billings and Hles out in the same over, both trying to clear the ropes and both holing out to the men at the fence. Hales made 54 off 33 and got himself on the second spot among highest run-scorers in BBL 10 while Billings made 15 off 15. In his very next over and last one of the spells, O’Keefe also got Ross out LBW and finished his spell at 3/15 in four overs. Daniel Sams to the rescue After the middle order collapse, two all-rounders in Sams and Ben Cutting tried to rebuild the innings and built a 27 runs partnership, before Cutting was caught brilliantly by Philippe of Jake Ball. Post his wicket Sams got into an aggressive mindset and along with Nathan McAndrew scored 44 runs in 23 balls. The 28-year-old hit a four on the last ball of the last over to reach his fifty and took the team total to 166/6. This was Sam’s second fifty of the tournament and incidentally, both have come at Manuka Oval only. What's Next? The Sixers will now face Perth Scorchers in another heavyweight clash at the same venue on 16th January while Thunder will take on Hurricanes who can’t afford to lose any more games. That match will also be played at Manuka Oval only on 18th January.


Daily Round up | Jan 13: Langer blames IPL, Vihari silences critics

Sri Lanka have announced the squad for the Test series against England at home while Justin Langer has blamed IPL for the injury concerns for both India and Australia. Here’s a look at the latest updates from the cricketing world. Justin Langer blames IPL Australia coach Justin Langer has said that the timing of the IPL 2020 has been a reason behind the players’ injuries. India have suffered a huge blow after the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hanuma Vihari have been ruled out of the deciding Test against Australia slated to take place in Brisbane from Thursday. “It is really interesting how many injuries (it) has been throughout this summer. I can’t help and think that the IPL this year (2020)...probably wasn’t (having) ideal timing for anyone, certainly for such a big series like this,” Langer said at a virtual press conference. Earlier, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav were ruled out after sustaining individual injuries.  Sri Lanka announces squad for England series The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has announced the squad for the two-match Test series against England at home. Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Pradeep have been included in the team. Mathews was a part of the Sri Lankan squad but had to withdraw his name after he suffered a hamstring injury in a domestic T20 competition. The two-match Test series between England and Sri Lanka begins on Thursday. Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Asitha Fernando, Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Ramesh Mendis Ben Dunk leaves Melbourne Stars mid-way The BBL franchise Melbourne Stars has decided to part ways from Ben Dunk. "My time with the Stars has come to an end and it's time for me to focus on other playing opportunities around the world," Dunk shared on social media today. It's been a great journey and there are so many people to thank. Marcus Harris to open Australia head coach Justin Langer has said that if Will Pucovski isn’t fully fit then Marcus Harris is going to open the innings with David Warner in Brisbane. Pucovski has dislocated his shoulder only partially earlier. "Will had a sore shoulder before he fell, he was actually going to have a scan after that day's play anyway, just to see what was happening," Langer was quoted as saying during a virtual press conference. Hanuma Vihari’s witty response to critics India batsman Hanuma Vihari came up with a witty reply to singer Babu Supriyo’s tweet. Supriyo in a tweet wrote, “Playing 109 balls to score 7 !That is atrocious to say the least•Hanuma Bihari has not only killed any Chance for India to achieve a historic win but has also murdered Cricket.. not keeping win an option, even if remotely, is criminal.  PS: I know that I know nothing abt cricket.” Vihari later reacted on the tweet and corrected Supriyo for the spelling error that he made in his name. “*Hanuma Vihari,” replied the Indian batsman. 


Ricky Ponting says sending Rishabh Pant up the order was a master-stroke

Former Australia skipper and one of the greatest batsman to have graced the game, Ricky Ponting showered praises on the decision to send Rishabh Pant up the order during the final day of the 3rd Test and it was Pant’s stunning counter-attacking knock of 97 which gave India a glimmer of hope of registering a historic victory. "Very good proactive captaincy or coaching for sending Rishabh up. For India to stay in with a chance to win, they needed to do that. He had a little bit of luck with Paine putting him down a couple of times," Ponting said. It's not all crash and bangs with him, there is a lot of skill involved, and he is proper test match batsman to the point today where a lot of the commentators were saying can he play as a batsman in the middle order and have Saha keep." Ponting is the head coach of the Delhi Capitals in the IPL and has seen Pant from very close quarters. He was impressed with Pant’s performance and said that consistent performance like this will help the southpaw cement his place in the longest format for several years to come. “It was a masterstroke to put him up there, but he still got to play that innings, and he did it. He does it in his own way; he does it with a bit of swagger and confidence," Ponting added. "Taking on Lyon like he did, even with fielders out says he backs himself and his skillset. I said at the start of the series that there is a chance for him to cement himself as India's keeper-batsman for the next 10-12 years and innings like today will go a long way in helping that." India needed in excess of 300 on the final day of the Test match with 8 wickets in hand. Captain Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in the 2nd over of the day and in place of Vihari, Pant came out to take guard at No 5. He was patient for the first 30 deliveries but launched a stupendous all-out attack on the Australian bowlers which put some serious pressure on them. He took on Lyon with utter disdain and slammed him for 3 huge sixes even challenging the long-on fielder. His 150 odd partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara totally changed the complexion of the game. His counter-attacking knock was studded with 12 fours and 3 sixes and gave India a serious chance of chasing this humungous target down. Eventually, Vihari and Ashwin defied all the odds and battled the final session to eke out a historic draw for the visitors.