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Hendricks, Christian power Jozi Stars to second place | Cricket



Dan Christian hits down the ground © Getty Images

Jozi Stars 196 for 4 (Hendricks 79, Burger 2-32) beat Cape Town Blitz 146 (J Malan 43, Christian 4-22, Olivier 3-38) by 50 runs

Chris Gayle had warned before this game that it was Reeza Hendricks, rather than Gayle himself, who posed the most formidable threat to Cape Town Blitz, and Hendricks proved him right with his fourth successive score of fifty or more in the Mzansi Super League.

After his 55 against Tshwane Spartans last week and back-to-back hundreds against Durban Heat and Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Hendricks blazed his way to a 48-ball 79 to set up Jozi Stars’ dominant 196 for 4. Dan Christian then backed up Kagiso Rabada’s accuracy with the new ball to collect 4 for 22 in a massive 50-run win that took Stars to second on the tournament table with a bonus point, with Duanne Olivier also chipping in with 3 for 38.

Stars lost Gayle to a travel-weary chip to mid-on off Nandre Burger in the fourth over and Blitz worked up considerable pressure in the early exchanges. Steyn did as Steyn does with the new ball, and Burger too impressed in his first outing for Blitz, having come into the side to replace Anrich Nortje. But Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen combined to take 18 off Andile Phehlukwayo’s first over, taking the rate above a run a ball for the first time in the sixth over.

Hendricks’ innings started as a slow burn, and as he had done against Heat and Giants, he showed just how much time there is to build an innings in T20 cricket, provided one can shift swiftly through the gears. Hendricks’ strike rate was hovering just over a run a ball at the ten-over mark, but he hit six sixes in the next five overs and was joined in the fray by van der Dussen, who swiped a six and a four in Burger’s comeback over later in the innings.

It seemed Hendricks was set for a third ton, having raced to a 40-ball fifty before he went on the charge, ruining Phehlukwayo, Steyn and Mohammad Nawaz’ figures in a flurry of boundary-hitting. He fell attempting a seventh six off Malusi Siboto in the 16th over, and van der Dussen soon followed him to the dugout. But Christian, Pite van Biljon and Dane Vilas kept the momentum going with the bat.

Christian and van Biljon kept their strike rates well over 200, while van Biljon combined with Vilas to pillage 25 off the last over of the innings, bowled by Malusi Siboto. Stars made 132 off the last ten overs, Hendricks masterminding what turned out to be an almost perfectly paced T20 innings.

Needing close to 10 an over from the start of their chase, Blitz wanted a rapid start, but Rabada gave up just a single in his first over, very nearly removing de Kock with his fifth delivery after stringing together four dots. De Kock survived a strong appeal for a catch down the leg side in Beuran Hendricks’ first over, and he eventually holed out to Nono Pongolo in the deep for a scratchy 15-ball nine.

At the other end, Janneman Malan collected five boundaries in the Powerplay with some crisp hitting but lost his timing as the pitch slowed down in the evening, while his namesake Dawid got going with two boundaries in the first over he faced from Olivier but was soon caught in the deep off Christian.

Rabada’s accuracy, ably backed up by Pongolo and Christian, kept Blitz behind the asking rate throughout. The hosts were further set back by regular wickets, with Farhaan Behardien and Asif Ali falling in consecutive overs without having made much impact on the run rate. With the required rate rocketing above 20, Janneman swiped across the line to be pinned lbw by Christian for 43, and Blitz quickly folded.

Christian removed Phehlukwayo and Mohammad Nawaz with successive deliveries and came within a couple of millimetres of a hat-trick when he completely deceived Steyn with a canny slower ball in the 18th over. In the very next over, it was Olivier’s turn. He bounced Kyle Verreynne out and then flattened Steyn’s middle stump with a yorker, but his attempt at a hat-trick went awry as he slipped the crucial delivery well down the leg side. It made no difference to the result, of course, and in the final over Pongolo had a reverse-lapping Siboto easily caught behind to end the match and secure a bonus point.

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Three UAE players suspended for eight weeks from international cricket



Three UAE players have been handed an eight-week suspension from international cricket by the Emirates Cricket Board for violating the ‘Player’s Code of Conduct’ and requirements for the use of social media, a board release said. Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad, participating in the Emerging Teams Cup in Pakistan earlier this month, had tweeted criticising the ground facilities in Karachi, after rain wiped out their hopes of a semi-final spot.

“Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has today confirmed it has completed a disciplinary investigation relating to an alleged violation of its Player’s Code of Conduct, and use of Social Media following a recent incident during the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Emerging Teams Asia Cup,” the ECB statement said.

“ECB concluded that 3 players; Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad, had violated its Code of Conduct and requirements for the use of Social Media. As a result, each of the players have been suspended from International Cricket for a period of 8 weeks, fined and warned about their future conduct.”

UAE had restricted Hong Kong to 87 for 4 in 31 overs at the Southend Stadium in Karachi in the Group B match, before a spell of rain that lasted for about half an hour interrupted play. However, inadequate measures to cover the pitch and failed attempts to get the ground ready in time meant the match was abandoned, with the two teams sharing points. A win would have boosted UAE’s chances of a semi-final spot.

The players took to Twitter to express their frustration after the match, but the tweets were later deleted.

The board arrived upon the decision following a disciplinary investigation, and also handed out fines and warnings regarding their future conduct apart from the suspension.

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High on Hope and IPL riches, West Indies eye series win



Big Picture

Two days ago, West Indies crushed Bangladesh by eight wickets after chasing down their 130-run target in 10.5 overs. The next day, six of their players walked away with deals worth a total of USD 2.4 million (INR 17 crores) in the coveted IPL auction. It should put a smile on the face of the visitors who have had it rough in the last four weeks in Bangladesh.

And it is not just the IPL boys who will happy. Sheldon Cottrell, the left-arm quick, got career-best figures in Sylhet before Shai Hope struck six sixes in his 23-ball 55. Keemo Paul then struck three sixes in his unbeaten 14-ball 28 to take West Indies home. The Sylhet crowd, like Bangladesh’s bowlers and fielders, were stunned into silence.

The home side’s road to recovery will have to be through a more disciplined showing. The bowlers will be aided by the Dhaka pitch offering less bounce and pace.

Bangladesh’s batsmen must also use the pace on the ball from the West Indies fast bowlers. Neil McKenzie, the batting coach, said after the first game that there are better ways to go toe-to-toe with a pace attack. Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan all got caught trying to pull the ball. Shakib, however, looked more comfortable, and that was because he was patient.

Bangladesh’s bowlers would hope that they get a larger total to defend and if they are bowling first, they must find ways to stop West Indies’ big hitters from getting away to a rampant start again.

Form guide

Bangladesh LWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)

West Indies WLLLL

In the spotlight

While batting, Shakib Al Hasan had great judgment of deliveries that were beyond his control, and then off the bad balls, he cashed in. His pragmatism during his 43-ball 61 should have been copied by many of his team-mates in the first game.

Sheldon Cottrell created an awkward angle with his pace and bounce to get 4 for 28. It will be a bit of a challenge to do so in Dhaka, so Cottrell may have to dip his hands into his bag of tricks to do something different.

Team news

Shakib Al Hasan has a bit of fever but he is unlikely to miss out. Bangladesh are likely to give their eight batsmen another opportunity but it might not be so for left-arm paceman Abu Hider. Rubel Hossain could replace him. Mohammad Mithun and Nazmul Islam are the other options in the squad.

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

West Indies will be tempted to not change their XI after their overwhelming win in the first T20I. They also have Kesrick Williams, Khary Pierre, Denesh Ramdin and Sherfane Rutherford in reserve.

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

Pitch and conditions

Weather is likely to clear up by Thursday but dew will be a factor for both sides as it is a 5pm start in Dhaka. It might just end up being a high-scoring game because of the dew.

Stats and trivia

  • Mehidy Hasan has been struck for three sixes in an over twice this year, first against Sri Lanka in the January ODI tri-nation series final, and the second time against West Indies in the first T20I.

  • The Shere Bangla National Stadium has hosted 37 T20Is, the second-most behind Dubai International Cricket Stadium’s 47

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PCB to pay nearly USD 2 million to BCCI after losing legal dispute



Having suffered the injury of a lost claim for damages from the BCCI, the PCB now has to face up to the added insult of paying the India board nearly USD 2 million in legal costs.

Last month, the PCB’s attempt to claim USD 63 million from the BCCI for two bilateral series that did not take place in 2014 and 2015 was rejected by the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC).

As is the norm in arbitration cases such as this, the winning party claims legal costs from the losing side, which the BCCI had done. Those claims were submitted a week after the decision.

As with the final decision, there was a morsel of consolation for the PCB in that the panel decided they would not have to pay full costs.

“The Dispute Panel,” an ICC statement said, “has determined that the PCB should pay 60 percent of: “(a) the [BCCI’s] Claimed Costs; and (b) the administrative costs and expenses of the Panel… (including, without limitation, the fees of the Tribunal members, and the costs and expenses they incurred in relation to this matter), the figure whereof is to be supplied to the PCB by the ICC.”

Though neither party has made the total amount public, 60% is understood to come out to roughly USD 2 million. For a board that already does without playing India at bilateral cricket, or at home in Pakistan, that will be an especially unwelcome blow.

“The PCB notes the ICC Dispute Panel’s decision on BCCI’s claims for their legal expense incurred on the PCB-BCCI dispute,” the board said. “The award of significantly lesser costs than claimed by BCCI reflects that PCB’s case had merits. The PCB, however, reiterates its disappointment in the original decision/award given against it.”

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