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WBBL 2021 | Sophie Devine wins Super Over thriller, Deepti Sharma leads Thunder season’s opening win

Sophie Devine seems to be in the form of her life as after scoring a hundred in her last game against the Sydney Thunder Women, she went on to win the Super Over for her team Perth Scorchers Women against Adelaide Strikers Women to win to back to back games and move up to the third spot in the points table, just two points below leaders Melbourne Renegades Women. 

While batting first after winning the toss, Scorchers could get to only 121-5 as the wicket was low and slow at Lilac Hill Park in Perth. Chasing the small target of 122, Strikers didn’t have a great start either as they were reduced to 88-7 in the 17th over and required 34 from 23 balls with only bowling all-rounder and experienced Tegan McPharlin in the middle alongside fast bowler Sarah Coyte. 

The two were able to score 33 off the last 23 balls, which resulted in the match getting tied and as a result, Perth Scorchers and Women’s Big Bash League 2021 saw its second Super Over. In the Super Over, Strikers batted first as they had batted second in the main match. Unable to score even a single boundary against Marizanne Kapp, Strikers could reach only nine runs in the only over. 

It seemed like getting close as 10 runs were required of the last over and Megan Schutt, an experienced international player, who in the main game had given only 19 runs in her four overs, was going to bowl it. However, Sophie Devine had other ideas and hit two sixes off the first two balls to end the game without any fuss whatsoever.

As far as the Indian talent was concerned, it was a mixed day as Deepti Sharma with her all-around show won the first game for Sydney Thunder against Melbourne Stars. She scored 16 off 14 balls and took 3-25 in her four overs in the defence of 133. Courtesy of her all-around show, the Thunder managed to win the game by 19 runs. Smriti Mandhana, who played in the same game failed with the bat as she was out for only three runs. 

In another game, four Indians were in the fray as Melbourne Renegades faced Sydney Sixers. Harmanpreet Kaur’s 43 off 32 along with Jemimah Rodriguez’s 25 off 28 and Jess Duffin’s 41 off 32 balls pushed the Gades to 142 in their 20 overs. 

Radha Yadav, bowling for Sixers did pick a wicket in her four overs, but Shafali Verma failed to get going once again as she was pushed down the order to bat at number four. She could score only 20 off 15 balls as Sixers failed to chase the total, remaining 12 runs behind the target.

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To me attacking someone over religion is pathetic: Kohli slams 'spineless' online trolls

India pacer Mohammed Shami had faced some trolling on social media after the side lost the T20 World Cup fixture against Pakistan. Captain Virat Kohli has now opened up about the same and has slammed the trolls stating that attacking someone on the basis of religion is pathetic. "To me attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing a human being can do. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion but I personally have never even thought of discriminating someone over their religion,” Kohli said during the pre-match press conference. The right-handed batsman further added that he and the team stand by Shami 200% and the passion the fast bowler poses for playing for India. "They have no understanding of the fact that Mohammed Shami has won India a number of matches...If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, I honestly don't want to waste even 1 min of my life on them. We stand by him 200%. Our brotherhood cannot be shaken," added Kohli. The Indian skipper labelled these online trolls as “spineless”. "There's a reason we are playing on the field and not those spineless people. It is so unfortunate and sad to see people getting entertained. That is why we are doing what we are, & those spineless people are doing what they are," said Kohli. India will now be up against New Zealand on Sunday in Dubai. Both the sides have lost their first respective matches and would seek to make a return in the competition.


Ntini ran to stadiums from team hotels, because he felt unwelcomed in team bus: Holding

Former West Indies fast bowler and currently a Test commentator, Michael Holding said that he believes that the quota system put in place in selecting players of colour for the South African cricket team is actually working as an unnecessary burden for players. To magnify his point, Holding gave the example of South Africa’s most successful cricketer of colour, Makhaya Ntini and how he faced all sorts of differentiations within his team. "The quota system - I have heard that used on so many occasions when referring to South African cricketers of colour, that they are only there because the regulations say they have to be there," Holding was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "They are never given full credit for their abilities. When you pick someone just because you think you have to have certain boxes ticked, whether they are good or not. They are carrying an extra burden because there will always be people who say they are only there because regulations say they have to be there,” he added before going on to explain the same with the case of Ntini, whom he spoke with regarding his book ‘Why we kneel how we rise’. "From the early stages of his career, he proved his worth and that he belonged there but kept on carrying that burden of being pointed out as being there only because regulations said he should be there,” said the West Indian about Ntini. Holding then went on to explain how stories about Ntini running to the ground from the hotel instead of taking a bus are not something to be proud of, rather something that as a society and team South Africans should repent about. Apart from this Holding also opened about many other experiences of South Africa’s third most successful South African Test bowler with 390 wickets, just behind Dale Steyn and Shaun Pollock. "We all know the stories of him running to the ground. A lot of people thought it was part of his training regime. When he spoke to me, he explained to me the reason that he ran to the ground and did not take the bus. Because when he went on the bus, he felt as though he did not belong because he was treated as though he did not belong. "He would go for breakfast in the morning, he would sit at a table and his teammates would come in and sit at another table and leave him by himself at his table. Other teammates would come in and go and join their other teammates and leave him at his table,” said Holding, who himself has on a number of occasions said how he was treated differently during his county cricket days. “I played cricket. I know about committees that are formed within teams, I know about senior members within teams. There were committees formed within the team, supposedly senior members of the team to discuss things, and he was never called to be a part of that committee. People who joined the team long after him, automatically became seniors because of the colour of their skin,” Holding further explained before saying that he would like to see people recognise Ntini’s efforts and if not apologise, at least learn from the mistakes they made. "I am thankful to him [Ntini] to bear it out and still be so successful. That shows the strength of character of the man. Hopefully, those who did things like that and perhaps did not recognise the hurt and the harm they were doing and the attitude that they had wasn't right, hopefully, they will all learn and recognise their faults and their mistakes and they will be willing to learn and willing to change,” said Holding.


First to take 10 wickets and score 100 runs in a Test, Aussie legend Alan Davidson passes away

Legendary Australian allrounder Alan Davidson passed away at the age of 92 on Saturday morning, October 30th. Known for his ability to bowl and bat with equal measures, Davidson ended off with the second-best Test average among bowlers with more than 150 scalps in Test cricket’s history. Only SF Barnes of England has a better average than the New South Wales player. In his career which began in 1953 and ended in the summer of 1963-64, Davidson represented the Aussies in 44 Tests. In these Tests, he took 186 wickets and scored 1328 runs with 80 being his highest score. His best bowling figures in an innings were 7/93. He was not only great with bat and ball but was a great catcher of the leather ball as well. His accuracy with catching was high that he was nicknamed 'The Claw'. The most famous Test for Davidson was the one against a touring West Indies side in the summer of 1960-61. The left-arm batter entered the match with a broken finger and finished it with the honour of becoming the first to take 10 wickets and score 100 runs in a Test. With the ball he grabbed 5-135 and 6-87; with the bat, he posted 44 and 80, the second-innings contribution keeping the locals in the game which eventually ended in a tie. The passing of Davidson has now meant that in less than 24 hours Australia lost two of its very famous Test cricketers as former Test off-spinner Ashley Mallett died on Friday at the age of 76. "On behalf of Cricket Australia, and all those who benefitted from Alan's vast contribution across Australian cricket, I offer my deepest condolences to the Davidson family as well Alan's many close friends, colleagues and former teammates,” Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein said in a statement.


T20 World Cup | Mohammad Nabi slams Pak journalist for asking Taliban related questions

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi slammed a Pakistani journalist who tried to get him to answer related Taliban take over of the Afghan government and relations with Pakistan after the team’s clash against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. Nabi at first asked him politely to ask questions related only to cricket and the Afghanistan team, but the journalist still tried to play smart and asked the same question in a different tone. The Journalist, Mohammad Idris, asked, “Nabi, do you have any kind of pressure or fears that the new regime might ask you difficult questions when you go back home and the second one, in the new era of the Afghan regime, relations are better with Pakistan now, so can we expect that Afghan cricket would benefit from that?” Nabi, seemingly not pleased with the effort from the Pakistani scribe said in chaste Urdu, “Our team has prepared very well for this World Cup and is here to participate in it and win matches. Let other issues stay where they are and please ask me questions related to my team’s performances and preparations.” As far as the game was concerned, the Afghan team remained in it till the 18th over and almost had the upper edge with 24 required from two overs and two new batters in Shadab Khan and Asif Ali at the crease. However, Asif had other ideas and he muscled four sixes in one over, the 19th, bowled by Karim Janat to take his team to the third straight win of this World Cup.