Day-night Test: India crush Bangladesh to sweep series

News Network
November 24,2019

Nov 24: Paceman Umesh Yadav claimed five wickets as India thrashed Bangladesh in just over two days of their first day-night Test to sweep the series 2-0 on Sunday.

Bangladesh were bowled out for 195 in less than an hour of the first session on day three in Kolkata, as India won by an innings and 46 runs to record their 12th-straight Test series triumph on home soil.

It was a memorable pink-ball international debut for India, who become the only team to win four consecutive Tests by an innings margin.

Virat Kohli's side -- which has now won seven Tests in a row -- consolidated their top position in the world Test championship with three successive series sweeps.

Mushfiqur Rahim made a valiant 74 before falling to Yadav, and the innings soon folded as Mahmudullah did not return to bat after he had retired hurt on 39 on day two.

India took 8.4 overs to wrap up the game at Eden Gardens with Yadav taking all the three wickets to fall Sunday afternoon.

Ishant Sharma led the pacing charge with impressive match figures of 9-78 to flatten the Bangladesh batting that fell for 106 in their first innings of the opening day.

"With the way these guys are bowling now, they can pick up wickets on any surface -- whether we play at home or we play away," a victorious Kohli said.

"I think it is all about the mindset... these guys are very hungry, they are at the top of their game.

"I feel that we are in the right kind of space right now to capitalise on opportunities and everyone is enjoying playing in this team and I think that's the standout feature about us."

Ishant was named man of the match and the series for his 12 wickets in two Tests. Yadav also claimed 12 scalps in the series, while Shami took nine.

 Kohli played a key part with his 136 in India's 347 for nine declared on Saturday as they managed a lead of 241 runs.

The tourists were in early trouble at 13 for four in the final session on day two when Mushfiqur resisted India's persistent pace attack.

Ishant trapped Shadman Islam lbw for naught and then claimed skipper Mominul Haque, who got a pair of ducks.

The spearhead quickie, who claimed five wickets in the first innings, bowled at a lively pace as one of his rising deliveries hit Mohammad Mithun on the helmet.

Bangladesh were forced to take two concussion substitutes in Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam for Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan who were hit on the helmet by Shami on day one.

Mushfiqur was also at the receiving end of a nasty hit from Yadav but went on to play a fighting knock.

Kohli completed his 27th century before falling to a stunning catch by Taijul off Ebadat Hossain.

"Definitely, the gap between the two teams is concerning," Mominul said after the drubbing.

"We've got to learn from these two matches and follow up what happened. I think the pink ball was challenging especially because it moved a lot with the new ball."

India won the opening Test also inside three days, as well as the preceding Twenty20 series 2-1.

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CSA pays tribute to former spinner Ismail 'Baboo' Ebrahim

News Network
July 18,2020

Johannesburg, Jul 18: Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Saturday mourned the demise of former spinner Ismail 'Baboo' Ebrahim who died in Durban at the age of 73.

"Baboo was one of the outstanding South African spin bowlers of the 1960s and 1970s who would undoubtedly have played as many Test matches for his country as the 48 first-class games to which he was limited," CSA said in a statement.

In those matches, he took 179 wickets at an average of 21.33 with an economy rate of 2.12 including 8 five-wicket hauls and 2 ten-wicket hauls.

The left-arm spinner only had one opportunity on the international stage when he played for a SA Invitation XI against the International Wanderers at Kingsmead in 1976.

"At the age of 29, he was in his prime and took a match-winning 6/66 in the second innings, his victims including international captains, Greg Chappell of Australia and Mike Denness of England. It was a clear indication of what he could have achieved on grounds around the world at the highest level had he been given the opportunity. He was a master of flight and spin and had a good arm ball to back it up," the statement read.

His ability to perform at this level had become apparent much earlier when he went to watch the Australians at practice before their Test match against South Africa in 1970.

He persuaded the Australians to let him bowl to them and made an immediate impression, bowling experienced Test batsman Ian Redpath and impressing the likes of Ian Chappell and Ashley Mallett, the latter being Australia's leading spinner of the 1970s.

He had one season for Radcliffe in the Lancashire Central League when he took 62 wickets at 14.62 apiece.

Baboo finally got his chance to represent his country in Masters events in one of which he dismissed both Sir Vivian Richards and Gordon Greenidge.

"Baboo Ebrahim was one of the countless number of outstanding cricketers who was denied the opportunity to display his talents to the world and live his cricketing dreams," said CSA Acting Chief Executive, Dr Jacques Faul.

"On behalf of the CSA Family I extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends and cricketing colleagues," he added. 

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'Your character stood out for me': Kohli to Mayank Agarwal

Agencies
July 28,2020

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New Delhi, Jul 28: 'Your character stood out for me than the number of runs you scored," said India skipper Virat Kohli while explaining his decision to give opening Mayank Agarwal a Test debut in the 2018-19 Australia series.

Mayank Agarwal had made his Test debut against Australia in the third Test of the four-match series.

Playing the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Agarwal managed to register a half-century in his very first innings in the longest format.

"I had seen you play for RCB, even then you played international bowlers with conviction and you would take them on. You were performing in first-class matches in a dominating way. That is something always stood out with you, I would say your character stood out for me than the number of runs. I knew you would be fearless without having any baggage," Kohli told Mayank Agarwal in a video posted on the official website of BCCI.

In the longest format of the game, Agarwal has managed to score 974 runs from 11 matches at an average of 57.29 with three centuries as an opening batsman.

The Indian skipper also explained as to what makes him notice in a player and added that it is important that guys in the team look to face new challenges and emerge triumphantly.

"For me, the biggest marker is how a person approaches the game, so for example when you opened and we made Vihari open with you. The first opportunity we presented Vihari to open the batting, he said yes to it and that matters me to the most," Kohli said.

"I opened in my first series for India, I said yes to this opportunity and things worked out fine for me. So, a guy who wants to get into tough situations will come out either holding his head high or learning from his mistakes," he added.

Kohli and Mayank would soon be seen in action for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab respectively in the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting from September 19 in the UAE.

The comparisons between Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar keep on growing and many have picked the current Indian skipper to break the records set by Tendulkar.

Tendulkar called time on his career after registering 100 international centuries, while Kohli currently has 70 centuries across all formats.

At present, Kohli is ranked at the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings while he is in the second place in Tests rankings. Kohli has so far played 86 Tests, scoring 7,240 runs with 27 centuries at an average of 53.62.

His knock of 254 against South Africa at Pune in 2019 remains his highest Test score to date. When it comes to ODIs, the current Indian skipper has played 248 matches and has 43 centuries.

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Lanka Premier League: Irfan Pathan in pool of 70 foreign players for draft

Agencies
August 1,2020

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Colombo, Aug 1: Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has expressed his interest in playing the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), scheduled to start from August 28.

Pathan is among 70 foreign players to have shown interest in playing the LPL, ESPNcricinfo reported.

It is believed that Pathan has taken permission from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take part in the competition. 

BCCI doesn't allow active players to participate in other T20 leagues but Pathan announced his retirement in January this year.

Former swashbuckling all-rounder Yuvraj Singh also played in a foreign league last year. He played for Maratha Arabians in the T10 League in Abu Dhabi.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Pathan will now be put in a player draft unless one of the five franchises choose him to be a marquee player. The details of the draft, and the franchise owners, are yet to be finalised and announced. 

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is also waiting on some government clearances even as it decides on franchise owners. The five franchises will represent Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna.

On Monday, SLC Executive Committee granted approval for the tournament.

"The 23 match League will be played on the four international venues of R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Rangiri Dambulu International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium. Five teams named after the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will participate in the League," SLC said in a statement on Monday.

Sri Lanka has controlled the spread of COVID-19 better than many other cricket-playing nations.

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