Sohail Khan credits Waqar Younis for teaching him to swing the ball 'late'

News Network
July 22, 2020

Derbyshire, Jul 22: Ahead of the upcoming Test series against England, Pakistan pacer Sohail Khan has credited bowling coach Waqar Younis for teaching him how to swing the ball late.

On the third day of the practice match between Azhar Ali's Team Green and Babar Azam's Team White, the 36-year-old Khan returned figures of five for 50 in 20.1 overs which saw the former fold for 181 in the first innings before they staged a comeback on the final day to win the match by six wickets.

Prior to the practice match, Sohail had a conversation with bowling coach Waqar Younis on the art of late swing. The pacer shared how the presence of the bowling legend in the support staff helped him gear up for the four-day match.

"The conditions in England are swing conducive so every fast bowler gets the ball to move. I asked Waqar bhai to teach me how to swing the ball late. It took him only two minutes to explain it to me. It is because of his tips that I took five wickets in the first innings," Khan said in a release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

"I am eager to learn from Waqar Bhai. I follow him wherever he goes and speak to him about the art of bowling as he has an abundance of knowledge to share. A few days back I was struggling with something while bowling, I thought of reaching out to him and even before I spoke to him about it, he said he knew what I wanted to talk to him about and he explained it to me in a minute," he added.

During Pakistan's tour of England in 2016, Sohail played a crucial role in helping Pakistan secure a 2-2 Test series draw by returning two five-wicket hauls in as many matches.

In total, he picked up 13 wickets at 25 apiece and finished as the third-best wicket-taker.

"Definitely, it is an honour for me to return to the side. I had taken two fifers here against England in 2016 and now in the practice match, I have started off with five wickets so I am feeling very good. We had been at our homes for the past four months due to coronavirus so starting off on a high feels nice," Khan said.

Prior to Sohail's five wickets, 17-year-old Naseem Shah made a big impact when he took five wickets for Team Green. The strength of Pakistan's pace attack was further established as Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Shah Afridi picked up three wickets each providing valuable support to Naseem and Sohail respectively.
Naseem and Shaheen finished the match with six and four wickets respectively.

Shedding light on the youngsters' performances, Sohail said: "It gives me immense pleasure to see Naseem Shah. He bowls consistently at 150kph. Just like him, Shaheen Shah Afridi is another good bowler. I like both of them."

"It gave me great happiness to see Naseem pick five wickets in the first innings. He is in rhythm and is looking great. What is astonishing is that he is playing in these conditions for the first time but still he is doing so well. Shaheen has also been phenomenal," he added.

Pakistan and England are slated to play three Tests and as many T20Is against each other. The first Test will be played at Manchester from August 5.

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News Network
September 17,2020

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Mumbai, Sept 17: Sportradar, the world's leading supplier of sports integrity solutions and sports data products, has signed an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to support its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) in monitoring and safeguarding the integrity of matches during the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season.

As part of the agreement, all matches in IPL 2020 will be monitored by Sportradar's Integrity Services to detect betting irregularities. Sportradar will also provide a risk assessment to the BCCI driven by intelligence and data-driven insights, and furthermore the BCCI will be able to call upon Sportradar's Intelligence and Investigation Services during the term of the partnership, if required.

"It is an honor to partner with the BCCI for the 2020 IPL season. As the global leader in sporting integrity, we hope to provide our expertise and help protect the tournament against integrity-related issues. We know that the BCCI takes integrity seriously, and we look forward to working alongside them throughout the tournament and providing our support to their integrity program," Sportradar Integrity Services' Managing Director Andreas Krannich said in a statement.

The IPL 2020 will be played from September 19-November 10 in the UAE across three venues --Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.

Dubai will host to 24 games, 20 matches will be hosted by Abu Dhabi while Sharjah will hold 12 games. The opening match between the finalists of the 2019 edition will be played in Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

There will be a total of 10 doubleheaders in this edition of the tournament. The evening matches will be played at 7:30 PM IST while the afternoon matches are due to start at 3:30 PM IST.

The 13th edition of the league will start from September 19, with CSK locking horns with Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Sharjah, Sept 23: Sanju Samson's effortless six-hitting exhibition along with Jofra Archer's magnificent all-round show formed the cornerstone of Rajasthan Royals' comfortable 16-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match here on Tuesday.

Rated as the weakest among eight teams, Royals without a Ben Stokes or a Jos Buttler in their playing XI did most things right under skipper Steve Smith.

On a placid Sharjah track, Royals amassed 216 for 7 largely due to Samson's 74 off 32 balls that had nine maximums apart from a solitary boundary.

He found an able ally in skipper Steve Smith, who opened in T20 cricket for the first time in his career and scored 69 off 47 balls without much fuss while making a comeback to competitive cricket after a concussion break.

But it was Archer's four sixes off Lungi Ngidi in the final over that tilted the scales decisively with 30 runs coming off it.

Even going by the easy nature of the track, scoreboard pressure was always there and CSK still managed 200 for 6 with Archer (1/26 off 4 overs) swinging it in favour of Royals with a decisive 19th over.

Rahul Tewatia (3/37 in 4 overs) also needs to be credited for his wickets at the top of the order.

It was always a catch-up game for CSK and one imagined that their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would at least try and come up with the order but he came at No 7 when the match was as good as over.

The night belonged to Samson, a man-rated for his talent but criticised for his lack of consistency. He always has one or two incredible IPL days every year. Tuesday was one such day when he was at his brilliant best.

Piyush Chawla after a dream start to his IPL career was hit for three sixes in one over by Samson, all clean hits that landed several rows behind. His skipper also joined the six hitting competition hitting four himself adding 121 for the second wicket in just 9.2 overs.

What stood out was the minimum effort he used in lofting the straight sixes as the bat looked like a mere extension of his hands.

Chawla (1/55) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/40 in 4 overs) were targeted keeping short boundaries in mind and 95 runs came off those 8 overs from slow bowlers.

Just when it looked that century was there for taking, Samson was holed out at deep extra cover trying to hit Ngidi for a six.

Once Smith was out in the 18th over, a total of 200 that looked so imminent after first 10, started looking distant. Till Archer decided to use his bat like a sword and scythed through a hapless Ngidi, who lost nerve and length simultaneously. Four sixes and 30 runs finally proved to be decisive.

CSK did try at one stage with Faf du Plessis (72 off 37 balls) launching into Jaydev Unadkat (0/44 in 4 overs)'s final over hitting him for three sixes and seven in all.

However Archer bowled a lethal short ball that grew big on Du Plessis to close in the match with Dhoni's (29 off 17 balls) three sixes in final over were in a lost cause.

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News Network
September 17,2020

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Dubai, Sept 17: India captain Virat Kohli maintained the top rank in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen while Englishman Jonny Bairstow broke into the top-10 following a string of good performances against Australia in the just concluded white ball series.

Kohli (871 points) and his deputy Rohit Sharma (855 points, ranked two) are out of action for some time due to Covid-19 forced break but they have kept intact their positions.

Bairstow topped the series aggregate with 196 runs after his 126-ball 112 in the final match to re-enter the top 10.

The previous best for the 30-year-old Yorkshire player was ninth position in October 2018. He is now within 23 points of his career-best rating points of 777.

Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey after their hundreds in a series-winning cause also made gains in the ranking charts.

Maxwell has gained five places to take joint 26th position along with Paul Stirling of Ireland after scoring 186 runs in the series, while Carey comes in next after his total of 152 runs elevated him 11 places to a career-best 28th position.

England all-rounder Chris Woakes is a major gainer in the rankings for bowlers, advancing three places to a career-best fourth position after finishing with six wickets in the series. New Zealand's Trent Boult and India's Jasprit Bumrah are current occupying the top two slots.

Woakes is also second in the list of all-rounders after also notching 89 runs in the series. His compatriot Ben Stokes is among those he has overtaken to reach within 20 points of Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi. Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has returned to the top 10 for the first time in nearly two years, his player of the match performance of 3/34 in the first match the highlight of a four-wicket tally. He has moved up from 15th to eighth position.

Five-time World champions Australia collected 20 points from their first series of the Super League, introduced to add context to bilateral ODI series.

The top seven teams from the Super League and hosts India book direct spots for the 2023 World Cup. England lead the points table but are the only team to have played two series, winning 2-1 at home against Ireland early on in the championship. India manage to hold onto their second position.

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