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Recent Match Report – Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders, Caribbean Premier League, 10th Match

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Trinbago Knight Riders 267 for 2 (Munro 96*, Simmons 86, Pollard 45) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 226 for 5 (Phillips 62, Hasnain 2-51) by 41 runs

There was plenty of sympathy for the bowlers at Sabina Park on Friday. The 10th match of CPL 2019 witnessed the highest T20 score in franchise cricket and the second-highest match aggregate (by runs) in all T20 cricket. By the end of it, Trinbago Knight Riders’ 267 for 2 was too much for Jamaica Tallawahs, who finished 41 runs short despite a brave attempt. The result meant Knight Riders made it four wins in a row while Tallawahs suffered their fourth straight defeat.

There was, however, no sympathy for the fielders. A total of 12 catches went down across both innings with Knight Riders taking more advantage of that. Colin Munro struck a 50-ball 96 in the company of Lendl Simmons, who struck a 42-ball 86 in the first innings, and they both rode on the multiple opportunities that Tallawahs’ fielders provided to set Tallawahs a record-breaking target of 268.

Glenn Phillips gave the Jamaican home crowd some hope when he blazed to a 32-ball 62, but Mohammad Hasnain‘s double-wicket burst and an injury to Rovman Powell extinguished that. While Tallawahs continued finding the boundaries – they matched Knight Riders’ 17 sixes with 17 of their own – they had much fewer fours, but entertained the crowd till the final ball.

Simmons, Munro cash in on error-prone Tallawahs

All it took was two balls for Lendl Simmons to make his intentions clear at Sabina Park. The way he rose to pull Derval Green showed the pitch offered next to nothing for the pacers. Three balls later, when Green bowled so short that the ball flew over the wicketkeeper, the tone of the day – a Tallawahs performance peppered with errors – was set.

Jerome Taylor shared the new ball, and he started off with a front-foot no-ball. In all, he’d bowl four no-balls (that’s four extra free-hit deliveries too) and three wides on the night. But that first no-ball was punished by Simmons right away, and as the Powerplay progressed Knight Riders found a minimum of one boundary every over. The first double-boundary over was the third when Sunil Narine – at that point on zero off seven balls – struck ten off the next three deliveries to bump his strike-rate to 100.

Simmons, like Narine, was living dangerously, unafraid to go the see-ball-hit-ball approach. That offered a chance to Taylor in the fourth over, when he edged an attempted loft to the wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips, but he failed to hold onto a difficult chance. Three balls later, Simmons mistimed a slog straight into midwicket’s hands and was seen hitting his own pads with disgust, but looked back to see the umpire call another front-foot no-ball for Taylor.

At 55 for 0 after five overs, spin was introduced for the first time, in the form of Zahir Khan. The let-arm wristspinner from Afghanistan struck immediately, trapping Narine lbw for an 18-ball 20. In walked Colin Munro, the highest run-scorer of CPL 2018, at No. 3 and he took Zahir on from the first ball.

Munro approached Zahir with a stance that exposed leg (and part of middle) stump to negate the spinner’s googly, and found success cutting the 20-year old through cover and following it up with a reverse sweep over point. Simmons and Munro then creamed Zahir for a further 11 next over.

Simmons entered the forties in the tenth over by opening his stance and pulling Ramaa Lewis over deep midwicket. Next ball, he drilled a flat shot to Taylor at long-on, but the fielder dropped it after running in. That ball was struck hard, but there were no excuses when Simmons was reprieved three balls later after slicing a full ball. Deep cover ran in, but he fluffed another chance, and that error ended the halfway stage of the first innings. The score at that stage read 98 for 1.

Entertainment galore as Knight Riders smash CPL records

Rovman Powell – who had a quiet first spell – was welcomed into his second spell by two boundaries that took Knight Riders past hundred. Simmons then cut Oshane Thomas to bring his half-century in 32 balls to close a quiet 12th over. But then began the carnage. Munro smashed Powell for two sixes next over and Simmons added another to cream 23 off the 13th. They did the same off Zahir off the 14th to take 22 off it. Those two overs lifted Munro past his fifty, the partnership past hundred and Knight Riders past 150. The 15th began with Simmons smashing Thomas for three fours and a six. The last of those fours was off a no-ball, so Simmons, on 86, shaped up to maximise the free-hit.

But what followed was straight out of a Charlie Chaplin classic. Simmons mistimed the free-hit in the air, and straight into deep midwicket’s hands. The fielder began celebrating, forgetting that the previous ball was a no-ball, which Simmons noticed. He asked Munro to scamper across for a third run, but by then Glenn had noticed his mistake, and drilled in a throw that saw Simmons well short of the crease. There was also reasonable doubt whether Thomas had removed the bails cleanly with his hands, but Simmons was eventually declared run-out, one of only three ways – stumpings and hit-wicket are the other two – where a wicket is allowed off a free-hit.

In walked No. 4 Kieron Pollard, and he clobbered them to all parts too. While Munro hammered Green for two sixes in the 17th over, Pollard helped Knight Riders smash 30 runs off Taylor’s final over, including a maximum off a front-foot no-ball. Taylor’s four-over spell went for 55, and Thomas followed suit by conceding 21 off his final over to finish his spell wicketless for 63 runs.

Knight Riders finished on 267 for 2, only 11 short of the highest-ever T20 total. But the innings of 21 fours, 17 sixes, seven no-balls, and 12 wides had set a record for the highest total in the history of franchise cricket. It beat Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 263 for 5 in the IPL. Munro was unbeaten on 96 off just50 balls, while Pollard made a 17-ball 45. In all, Knight Riders scored 171 runs in the final ten overs. Tallawahs didn’t help by dropping seven chances off Simmons, Munro and Pollard.

Phillips give Sabina Park hope

Tallawahs had few options but to attack, and they began their chase with Chris Gayle finding point off Ali Khan in the first over. Hasnain, the Pakistan fast bowler, then leaked 20 as Phillips struck two fours and two sixes. Gayle backed that up with two sixes off Narine to complete the Powerplay. Next over, Phillips creamed his countryman James Neesham for a six and a four in a 17-run over to lift Tallawahs to 84 for no loss after seven overs.

Phillips rode on some luck of his own to reach his fifty in 22 balls in the ninth over. While he was around, Tallawahs could still believe, especially since his innings thus far included being dropped twice on 37 and given not-out – on 29 – despite edging one to the keeper. He tore into Khary Pierre for a 17-run over but fell to a cutter from Pollard in the 12th over, holing out in the deep for 62.

An eight-ball spell that turned the momentum over

Searching for a way to get the breakthrough, Knight Riders captain Pollard turned to Hasnain again despite the 20 he conceded to begin his spell. And the captain’s trust paid off as Hasnain broke Gayle’s stumps with a quick delivery that crashed through the batsman’s leg-side swipe. Chadwick Walton followed Gayle to the dugout four balls later after a short ball from Hasnain cramped the No. 3 up, eventually splicing a catch to the keeper. That double-wicket over was followed by the retirement of No. 4 Rovman Powell, who left the game after developing a side strain. Powell’s departure, only two balls after Walton’s dismissal, meant Tallawahs lost three big-hitters in the space of eight deliveries.

The required run-rate then swiftly crept past 22 at the end of the 15th over courtesy a tidy spell of Neesham and Narine. But the latter couldn’t finish his night well as Lewis and Glen struck three sixes and a four off the 16th over to take 23 off his final over. Ali Khan and Hasnain then bore the brunt of the pair’s big shots, as the pair added 63 in 28 balls, but it was too little too late as Knight Riders won the match with plenty of runs in the bag.



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‘World Cup or IPL?’ – Quinton de Kock clarifies

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During the World Cup earlier this year, Quinton de Kock created a mild furore by saying the atmosphere during his IPL 2019 win with Mumbai Indians was more emotionally intense than the one during South Africa’s semi-final defeat in the World Cup in 2015. Blasphemy, cried those who support international cricket over leagues, national flags over similar-looking jerseys. Blown out of proportion, said those who had heard the question, which related to emotional atmosphere at a ground and not the value of a tournament or a match.

A couple of months later, on the eve of South Africa’s T20I against India in Mohali, de Kock was given an opportunity to clarify what he meant.

“What must I say?” It is the biggest thing I have won so far. I haven’t won a World Cup,” de Kock said as a matter of fact. “So obviously once I win a World Cup, if I do, that will be the biggest ever thing I have done in my career. So far it is an IPL. I had played for a couple of teams but had never made the play-offs before. I played for Mumbai, we made the final and we won. So obviously it is a big achievement for any cricketer. There are so many things that cricketers these days want to be part of. They want to win IPL finals. They want to be part of World Cup finals and win them. Personally it’s different for everyone. Everyone has their opinions. My opinion is mine. Their opinion is theirs. For me that’s the biggest thing I have achieved so far.”

The IPL final could not be accused of being dull. Played in front of a raucous crowd, the match involved a successful defence of eight runs in the final over. De Kock was in the thick of him: taking a catch, effecting a run-out, but also conceding four byes off a Jasprit Bumrah hand grenade. The World Cup semi-final was a similarly close affair, but New Zealand beat South Africa in that heart-breaking finish. As a wicketkeeper, de Kock was in the thick of it again, taking a superlative catch to send back Ross Taylor but missing the run-out of Grant Elliott, who eventually took New Zealand home.



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Recent Match Report – India A vs South Africa A 2nd unofficial Test 2019

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Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi and Senuran Muthusamy, three bowlers who could line-up together in the XI for South Africa’s first Test against India in Visakhapatnam, had to go through the grind on the first day of South Africa A’s second four-day fixture against India A in Mysuru. They managed just one wicket between them in 35 overs as the Indians got to a healthy 233 for 3 in 74 overs before bad light forced early stumps.

Shubman Gill, who is unlikely to feature in that Test but is part of the India squad, provided yet another reminder of why he’s rated so highly. Opening the innings, he struck a 137-ball 92, courtesy 12 fours and a six, before becoming the third Indian wicket to fall. Karun Nair, the man with whom Gill forged a 135-run third-wicket stand, continued his good form from the Duleep Trophy to remain unbeaten on 78. His first-class scores for the season before this one read: 20, 90, 166* and 99.

ALSO READ: Shubman Gill interview: ‘Mindset, not game should change.’

When play ended for the day, Nair was batting alongside India A captain Wriddhiman Saha, unbeaten on 36. Rishabh Pant’s Test position isn’t yet under scrutiny, but with a potentially tough examination coming up against South Africa, Saha, who has been named the second wicket-keeper in the Test squad, will have an opportunity to further press his credentials.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, who opened alongside Gill, and Priyank Panchal, who came in at No.3 with Gill opening, scored 5 and 6 respectively. Abhimanyu, coming off a match-winning 153 in the Duleep Trophy final that potentially set him in line for a Test call-up, was the first to go lbw to Ngidi in the sixth over. Panchal followed 11 overs later when he was out to Wiaan Mulder’s medium pace.

From there, Gill and Nair drove home the advantage before Gill fell eight short of his fifth first-class century, shortly before the tea interval. In his 15-match first class career, the 21-year-old now has two centuries and two double-centuries, the last of which was an unbeaten 204 against West Indies A in a second innings, which lifted India A from the pits of 14 for 3 to set up a declaration and eventually push for victory.



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Match Preview – Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, Bangladesh Twenty20 Tri-Series 2019, 4th Match

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Big Picture

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have been no match for Afghanistan in the T20I tri-series so far, so the game on Wednesday is one neither side can afford to slip up in. Both have not produced noteworthy moments so far, with both sets of senior players going through a rough time, though Bangladesh hold the advantage of having won the first encounter between the two.

The hosts’ problems against Afghanistan have resulted in wholesale changes in their squad for the remaining league matches, although only Soumya Sarkar’s axing was courtesy his performance or lack thereof; Mahedi Hasan, Abu Hider and Yeasin Arafat were all dropped without playing a game.

Bangladesh must arrest the top-order slides that marred their first two matches. Seniors Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have not made important contributions, neither have the likes of Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman. Among the bowlers, only Mohammad Saifuddin has stood out with wickets.

Zimbabwe have plenty to gain if they can manage to beat the under-fire home side. Much like in the case of Bangladesh, their senior batsmen – Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine – must be desperate for decent contributions. On the bowling front, Neville Madziva has at times shown some skills with his slower bouncers and Kyle Jarvis has at times tested with pace and bounce, but Masakadza will probably rely on his spinners to slow things down.

It will be interesting to see if both team managements feel some of their younger players can be tried out in their top orders. For Zimbabwe, that could mean breaking up the Taylor-Masakadza opening pairing, but one of them can add a handy bit of meat and experience down the order.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LWLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Zimbabwe: LLWLT

In the spotlight

Since his breakthrough 94 against West Indies in the World Cup, Liton Das hasn’t crossed 33 in eight innings across formats, culminating in a duck against Afghanistan in the previous game. Some of Bangladesh’s batting woes will go away if he finds form.

Ryan Burl has been something akin to Zimbabwe’s surprise package in this tri-series, having made a rapid, unbeaten fifty against Bangladesh in the first game, and a run-a-ball 25 against Afghanistan. His side would hope for consistency from him in the rest of the series.

Team news

With Soumya Sarkar axed from the squad, Bangladesh may look to hand a T20I debut to Mohammad Naim, the lanky opener who has impressed recently in domestic cricket. If they are willing to be a little adventurous, legspin-bowling allrounder Aminul Islam could be a possible replacement for Sabbir Rahman.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Afif Hossain, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taijul Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Zimbabwe can try out Chris Mpofu and Richmond Mutumbami who are yet to play on this tour. Tony Munyonga, the 20-year-old allrounder should get another opportunity as he neither batted nor bowled in his debut against Bangladesh on September 13.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Brendan Taylor (wk), 2 Hamilton Masakadza (capt), 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Sean Williams, 5 Tinotenda Mutombodzi, 6 Ryan Burl, 7 Regis Chakabva, 8 Neville Madziva, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Ainsley Ndlovu, Tendai Chatara

Pitch and conditions

Sides batting first have averaged 138 runs in night games at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, but the totals vary wildly: from Netherlands’ 39 all out to South Africa’s 196 for 5.

There is a slight possibility of a shower in the evening.

Stats and trivia

  • Asghar Afghan is now the second Afghanistan player to appear in 50 consecutive T20Is for his country. Mohammad Shahzad tops the overall list with 58 appearances in a row.

  • Mustafizur Rahman is one wicket short of becoming the second Bangladesh bowler to take 50 T20I wickets. Shakib Al Hasan is the overall leader with 90 wickets.

  • Sabbir Rahman is 55 short of becoming the fifth batsman to reach 1,000 T20I runs for Bangladesh.

Quotes

“We know they [Bangladesh] are under pressure, but we have to get the basics right.”
Zimbabwe allrounder Sean Williams on whether this is his side’s best chance to push Bangladesh



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