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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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Australia women’s team prize money to equal men’s at T20 World Cup

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Cricket Australia will top up the team’s prize money at the women’s T20 World Cup to match the men’s for whichever stage of the tournament they reach next year.

That announcement follows the ICC’s decision to substantially increase the prize money on offer for women’s events.

If Australia successfully defend their title on home soil in February and March it would see CA putting up US$600,000 (AUD$885,000) alongside the ICC prize pool.

“We want to continue our commitment to equality by ensuring that any prize money earned by the Australian Women’s team in the T20 World Cup is the same as what is on offer in the men’s side of the tournament. This will include matching the prize money for the final, semi-finals, or group stage.” CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said.

“The quality and skill level of the women’s game continues to grow and that was witnessed firsthand last week with the team breaking another world record, winning 18 consecutive ODI matches.”

Roberts added that there was still much more work to do to bring parity between men’s and women’s pay and prize money.

“I commend the ICC’s commitment and while there is no doubt we are starting to see financial progress for our talented cricketers, we still have a way to go and CA will continue to play a role in driving equality for our athletes.”

Last week CA announced a new parental leave policy which provides 12 months paid maternity leave plus a guaranteed contract extension and a range of other support.



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Unusual suspects dominate ESPNcricinfo’s CPL team of the 2019 season

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Some marquee overseas names pulled out of CPL 2019 and some usual (local) suspects like Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle didn’t make the final. However, some unlikely heroes emerged to dominate ESPNcricinfo’s team of the season

Brandon King (Guyana Amazon Warriors)

King, a ninth-round pick in the draft, is the first name on our team sheet. True to his name, he rolled out a number of regal strokes, reeling off 496 runs in 12 innings at an average of 55.11 and strike-rate of 149.94. King’s tally included an unbeaten 132 off 72 balls – the highest individual score ever in the CPL – that extended Amazon Warriors’ winning streak to 11 and vaulted them into their fifth final.

The record-breaking hundred moved Amazon Warriors coach Johan Botha and his family to tears and perhaps signalled the change of guard in the league.

Notably, King also had the maximum batting impact as per ESPNcricinfo’s Smart Stats with a score of 662.58.

Lendl Simmons (Trinbago Knight Riders)

Simmons wasn’t supposed to be part of CPL 2019 in the first place. After finding no takers in the draft, Knight Riders picked him as a temporary replacement for Colin Munro, who missed the early stages of the tournament because of international commitments. Then, after regular captain Dwayne Bravo was sidelined from the entire season with injury, Simmons became a permanent part of the side.

While one end was a revolving door at the top – partly due to a finger injury to Sunil Narine – Simmons established himself as Knight Riders’ No.1 opener and cracked five half-centuries, including a measured 51 off 47 balls that secured his team a home qualifier against eventual champions Barbados Tridents. All up, Simmons made 430 runs in 11 innings at an average of 39.09 and strike-rate of 150.34.

Glenn Phillips (wk) (Jamaica Tallawahs)

Having racked up 457 runs in 11 innings in 2018, Phillips followed it with another productive season that netted him 374 runs in 10 innings at a strike-rate of nearly 145.

For Jamaica Tallawahs, the story of the season was Phillips or nothing. He struck three fifties, including a boundary-laden 87 off 49 balls, which in isolation was among the knocks of the tournament. By the time Phillips was dismissed, Tallawahs were 123 for 6 in pursuit of 177 and they eventually fell short. Phillips was also sharp behind the stumps and left some of our collective jaws on the floor when he flew to his right and plucked a one-hander to send back St Kitts & Nevis Patriots’ Devon Thomas.

ALSO READ: Della Penna: Hayden Walsh Jr.’s moment of truth, at 36,000 feet

Shoaib Malik (capt) (Guyana Amazon Warriors)

The ice-cool Malik proved the perfect foil for King’s fire for Amazon Warriors. In addition to seamlessly closing out the innings with the bat, Malik marshalled his attack expertly and his tactical nous came to the fore when he unleashed Imran Tahir on Chris Gayle at Kingston and shut down Tallawahs’ chase by giving his spinners nine overs in a row first-up.

And when Tallawahs reduced Amazon Warriors to 8 for 4 in the return fixture, Malik soaked up all the pressure and rescued his team to 156 for 6 with a match-winning 73 not out off 45 balls. The title slipped away from Amazon Warriors’ grasp once again, but Malik left his mark with 317 runs in 12 innings at an average of 63.40 and strike-rate of 124.31

Kieron Pollard (Trinbago Knight Riders)

Pollard marked his debut for his home franchise with a violent 47 and although the rest of the Knight Riders lost steam towards the end of the season, Pollard kept blowing hot, especially in the slog overs. He blasted 223 runs off 117 balls between overs 16 and 20. Only Fabian Allen and JP Duminy had a greater strike-rate than Pollard among batsmen who had faced at least 50 balls in this phase.

When Knight Riders seemed to have dug themselves into a hole in the Eliminator, it was Pollard who hauled them out of it with an unbeaten 26 off nine balls.

ALSO READ: Barbados Tridents end Guyana Amazon Warriors’ 11-win streak to win second CPL title

Fabian Allen (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots)

Power-hitter. Electric in the field. Bowls fast-ish left-arm spin. Allen has all the makings of a T20 star, and this season he even had Ian Bishop tweeting: “Lots of sparkling batting, but Fabian Allen is so cool. I hope West Indies target him for a special course of development”. This, after Allen had followed his two wickets with 37 not out off 15 balls in a successful chase of 242 against Tallawahs in Basseterre. Allen shellacked 177 off 79 balls between overs 16 and 20 at a strike-rate of nearly 225. Allen’s Smart strike-rate, meanwhile, soared to 235.24.

Chris Green (Guyana Amazon Warriors)

Bowling the tough overs in the Powerplay with just two men outside the circle could be a nightmare for the bowlers. But this seems to be Green’s dream destination: he bowled 168 balls in the first six overs this season, conceding just 151 runs while picking up five wickets. Only Sunil Narine (3.50) had a better economy rate than Green (5.39) in the Powerplay in CPL 2019. Green’s handy batting and leadership qualities add more value to the team.

Romario Shepherd (Guyana Amazon Warriors)

In a season where bowlers travelled for runs, Shepherd impressed with his hit-the-deck bustle and was the joint second-highest wicket-taker for Amazon Warriors with 13 scalps in nine innings at an economy rate of 8.32. In addition to being a safe outfielder, he can also swing the bat, as he showed during his unbeaten 32 off 13 balls against Knight Riders.

Raymon Reifer (Barbados Tridents)

Reifer didn’t have too much to do with bat or ball until the knockouts. In the second qualifier against hosts Knight Riders, he silenced a vociferous crowd with a crucial all-round performance. After helping Tridents loot 42 off their last two overs, he pinned a rampaging Seekkuge Prasanna and then Khary Pierre to put Tridents in the final. And on the big night, his left-arm angle and variations snapped Amazon Warriors’ stellar winning run and gave him figures of 4 for 24 – the best in CPL finals.

Hayden Walsh Jr (Barbados Tridents)

After playing understudy to Sandeep Lamichhane in the early half of the league, Walsh Jr set the tournament ablaze once the Nepal legspinner left the Caribbean to join the national side. Despite playing just nine matches this season, he claimed 22 wickets at an economy rate of 8.28. The USA legspinner was also a fireball in the field and ran out Pollard in the second qualifier to tip a thriller Tridents’ way. From warming the benches to the MVP of the tournament: it was one hell of a season for Walsh Jr.

Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors)

The South African took at least two wickets in seven of the nine games he played this season. He often shared the Powerplay load with Green and was also thrifty outside of that phase, excelling with his stock ball as well as the wrong’un. His 16 wickets and vaudevillian celebrations jazzed up the tournament further.

12th man: Phil Salt (Barbados Tridents)

The Sussex batsman was vacationing in Miami on Saturday and on Sunday, the day of the final, jetted to Trinidad and joined Tridents as a replacement for the injured JP Duminy. He bagged a duck but by the end of night lifted the title with Tridents. As simple as that.

With inputs from Gaurav Sundararaman





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‘I have to be ready when I get my chance’ – Umesh Yadav

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Umesh Yadav bowled more overs in Test cricket than any other Indian fast bowler in 2016 and 2017. Since then, though, he has slipped to fourth – or even fifth – sometimes in India’s pace pecking order, and had featured in only five of their last 18 matches before the Pune Test against South Africa.

It can be difficult for a fast bowler to stay positive, and keep himself in rhythm in times like this, but that’s exactly what Yadav has sought to do.

“This is part and parcel [of the game], it will keep happening as long as I play cricket,” he said after picking up match figures of 6 for 59 in India’s innings win. “These situations will keep coming, and I know I have to be ready when I get my chance. For that, it’s important to stay positive, keep playing the game, and stay focused.

“So, I always make sure I keep getting match practice, whether it’s Ranji Trophy or India A or anything else. These are the things that give me positivity, and my focus remains sharp because the more matches you play, the more match practice you have, which is very important, because as much as you may bowl in the nets, it’s different when you play matches, and know how you’re supposed to bowl, what planning you need to do.

“These things (selection) aren’t in my hands. I can’t say, ‘no, I need to play every Test match’. All the bowlers are good, all of them are doing well, and there’s healthy competition. Whoever does well will keep playing. At some stage, each of us will get chances, and when that happens, I need to be ready, positive, and focused.”

ALSO READ: ‘We’re not going to take the foot off the gas in the third Test’ – Kohli

Yadav wasn’t originally part of India’s squad for this series, and only came in when Jasprit Bumrah suffered a stress fracture. He was part of India’s previous squad, in the West Indies, but didn’t feature in either of the Tests. With the knowledge that he wouldn’t get regular games for India, especially since he is not usually part of the ODI and T20I squads either, he requested the selectors, during the West Indies tour, that they pick him for India A as often as possible.

“In the West Indies, when I was not playing, the selectors picked me [in the India A team that was concurrently touring the region],” Yadav said. “I knew I wasn’t getting that many matches, even in the T20s and one-dayers that were happening in between. So there was a gap, and I had told the selectors that I’d like to play whenever possible for India A because match practice for me is very important.

“At that stage it was a fully off-season for me because there was no Ranji Trophy, no one-dayers, nothing. So, I asked them [to pick me], and told them I wanted to play matches, and they said, ‘Okay’. If you’re playing matches, your mindset and planning and focus remain sharp.

“Suddenly, if you’re just practising at home or wherever, and you have to directly play a match, it becomes difficult, because as a fast bowler you’re out of the game. Bowling in a match and bowling in the nets are very different.”

Before the Pune Test, therefore, Yadav kept himself in rhythm by playing four multi-day matches against international opposition, two of them first-class. The rhythm showed in the way he troubled South Africa’s top order in both innings, running in with intensity and swinging the new ball at pace. India enforced the follow-on after taking a first-innings lead of 326, and Yadav said he was only too happy to bowl again.

ALSO READ: The fast bowler’s snarl ft. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav

“From my point of view, I felt, I don’t know about the others, but I need to bowl,” he said. “All bowlers said that we are ready if follow-on is enforced as we didn’t feel the need to rest. The intent was to win, and not, ‘Let’s bat a bit and stretch the game’.

“The wicket wasn’t difficult to bat on. Fast bowlers didn’t have much help as there was no seam or swing movement. The ball only swung for a few overs. There was no pace off the pitch and you needed to hit the deck. If we get some breakthroughs with new ball, it becomes easier for the spinners.”

Yadav came into India’s XI as a fifth bowler, and he was pleased that the selection had worked as planned.

“We had to bowl with 100% effort,” he said. “There was bounce, but the pitch lacked pace. We had to hit the deck hard to extract the pace.

“If you bowl long spells, you will get tired quickly and if you have five bowlers, you have options. We could come in, bowl [spells of] three overs with full intensity, and then the spinners would come in. I think this (playing five bowlers) was a good idea, and we could execute it as we had planned.”



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