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Bracewell, Ferguson dominate rain-affected second day against India A

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New Zealand A A 121 for 3 (Seifert 55*, Siraj 2-25) trail India A 323 (Vijay Shankar 71, Gill 62, Easwaran 56, Bracewell 5-78, Ferguson 4-88) by 202 runs

India A’s batsmen could add only 75 runs – in 20 overs – to their overnight score of 248 for 4 as New Zealand A fast bowlers, Lockie Ferguson and Doug Bracewell, sniped out three wickets apiece on the second day of the rain-affected third unofficial Test in Whangarei.

After rain robbed the day its first session, Ferguson triggered a middle-order collapse, dismissing Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar and K Gowtham in consecutive overs, from around the wicket. Gill and Shankar got to their half-centuries – 62 and 71 respectively – while wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat, who was the only one in the last five to get into double figures, hit a-run-a-ball 47 to lift India A to 323. Bracewell finished with figures of 5 for 78 – his ninth first-class five-wicket haul.

In reply, the hosts suffered an early wobble as Mohammed Siraj had opener George Worker caught behind for a 43-ball 8. Offspin-bowling allrounder Gowtham then bowled captain Will Young immediately after the total reached 50.

Tim Seifert and Glenn Phillips put on a 59-run third-wicket stand before Siraj took his second wicket of the day, bowling Phillips for 27. Seifer, however, dug in to bring up his 10th first-class 50 off 120 balls and ensured the home side went to stumps without further damage.



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Cricket

Steven Smith captains grade team to T20 title

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Steven Smith led his grade side Sutherland to the New South Wales Premier T20 title at the SCG on Sunday.

While the Australia Test team was going head-to-head with India in Perth, Smith made scores of 42 and 19 in the semi-finals and final at a venue he has lit up during his international career.

The T20 finals were the first time Smith had captained a team since the controversy in South Africa which saw him stripped of the Australia captaincy. He won’t be eligible to return to that role for a further 12 months after his initial ban finishes, but that does not extend to club cricket.

His next chance to play for Australia at the SCG won’t come until next season as he sees out the remainder of his year-long ban after the Newlands ball-tampering.



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Virat Kohli, Tim Paine collide, exchange words before umpire interrupts

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The fourth day witnessed heated conversations between the two captains, Tim Paine and Virat Kohli, in Perth as Australia were strengthening their grip on the match. During the wicketless first session, the captains even came into physical contact when Paine ran down the pitch for a single in the 71st over of the innings. As Paine nudged the first ball of the over towards midwicket for a run, Kohli ran towards the pitch in anticipation of collecting the ball and collided with Paine before the batsman could reach the non-striker’s end. Even as Kohli collected the ball and made his way towards mid-on for the next delivery, Paine followed him for a couple of steps for a few words before umpire Chris Gaffaney interrupted to remind them they were the captains.

Kohli to Paine: “I’m not saying a word to you, why are you getting riled up?”
Paine to Kohli: “I’m fine. You’re the one that lost it yesterday, why are you trying to be cool today?”
Chris Gaffaney: “Oi, that’s enough, that’s enough.”
Paine: “We’re allowed to talk.”
Gaffaney: “Nah, nah, come on, play the game. You guys are the captains.”
Paine: “We can have a conversation… there’s no swearing, no…”
Gaffaney: “Tim you’re the captain.”
Paine: “Keep your cool, Virat!”

When Paine was walking off after being dismissed for 37 eight overs later, Kohli said a few more words that made the Australia captain turn around for a reply.

Kohli and Paine had earlier been recorded exchanging words after a caught-behind appeal against Australia’s captain was turned down on the third evening. Walking past Paine, Kohli had remarked to his team-mates “If he messes it up, it’s 2-0”, moving Paine to retort “You’ve got to bat first, big head”.



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Evin Lewis returns for WI as Bangladesh opt to bat

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Toss Bangladesh opt to bat v West Indies

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan chose to bat first against West Indies in the first T20I in Sylhet.

From their last T20I, also against West Indies in August this year, Bangladesh have made two changes. They have replaced Rubel Hossain and Nazmul Islam with Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mohammad Saifuddin.

West Indies have included Evin Lewis, Rovman Powell and Sheldon Cottrell to their XI, as they go without Denesh Ramdin, the injured Kieron Powell and left-arm spinner Khary Pierre.

Bangladesh: 1 Liton Das, 2 Tamim Iqbal, 3 Soumya Sarkar, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Ariful Haque, 8 Mohammad Saifuddin, 9 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 10 Abu Hider, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

West Indies: 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Shai Hope, 3 Shimron Hetmyer, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Carlos Brathwaite (capt), 8 Fabian Allen, 9 Keemo Paul, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Oshane Thomas



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