Buttler, Woakes give England improbable win against Pakistan in first Test

Agencies
August 9, 2020

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Manchester, Aug 9: Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler played knocks of 84 and 75 respectively as England gained an improbable three-wicket win over Pakistan in the first Test of the three-match series here at the Emirates Old Trafford.

England chased down a total of 277 on the fourth day of the first Test.

Chasing 277, England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley put on 22 runs for the first wicket, but Mohammad Abbas finally provided the breakthrough to Pakistan as he had Burns (10) adjudged leg-before wicket in the 12th over.

Skipper Joe Root came to the crease next, and he along with Sibley ensured that the side does not lose any more wickets before the lunch break, and England went into the lunch break at 55/1.

Sibley and Root eventually put up a 64-run stand, but their partnership was finally brought to an end by Yasir Shah as he dismissed Sibley (36) in the 36th over. Soon after, skipper Root (42) was also sent back to the pavilion by Naseem Shah, reducing England to 96/3 in the 39th over.

All eyes were on all-rounder Ben Stokes (9), but Pakistan's Yasir Shah sent him back to the pavilion in the 42nd over, and England was left in a spot of bother. Shaheen Shah Afridi, then also got among the wicket-taking charts as he scalped the wicket of Ollie Pope (7), reducing England to 117/5 in the 45th over.

Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler then got together at the crease, and the duo played in an aggressive manner to retrieve the innings for England. The hosts went into the tea break at 167/5, still, 110 runs away from the target with five wickets in hand.

Buttler and Woakes continued their march to frustrate the Pakistan bowling attack and the duo brought the target within the grasp of England. Both batsmen put up a stand of 139 runs, however, with just 21 runs away from the target, England lost the key wicket of Buttler (75) as Yasir Shah had him trapped in front of the wicket.

With England just needing four more runs for the win, Yasir Shah dismissed Stuart Broad (4), but in the end, Woakes and Dom Bess ensured England's win by three wickets.

For Pakistan, Yasir Shah was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped four wickets.

Earlier, resuming day four at 137/8, Yasir Shah (33) along with Mohammad Abbas (3*) and Naseem Shah (4) added 32 more runs to the overnight score to give England a target of 277 to win the first Test.

Stuart Broad was the pick of England bowlers as he scalped three wickets.

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News Network
September 19,2020

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Dubai, Sept 19: Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting believes that senior batsman Ajinkya Rahane's inclusion adds "more depth" to the side but there will be a healthy competition for middle-order slots during this IPL season.

The Capitals, which finished third last year, will start their campaign against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday and both Ponting and skipper Shreyas Iyer agreed that R Ashwin and Rahane have been great additions to the young side with their experience they brought in.

While the coach didn't give away much but there is a possibility that India's Test vice-captain may have to wait for his chance in the playing XI considering the explosive top five (Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer) that DC possesses. There is in-form Alex Carey also in the mix.

"We really have a balanced side. There is a lot of competition for middle-order slots. Rahane gives us more depth to our batting," the Australian legend said on Saturday during his team's pre-season virtual media conference sitting, alongside skipper Iyer.

"Shikhar had as good a last season as anybody. Prithvi has been training very well. Shreyas has had his best 12 months for the Indian team. We have Pant, Hetmyer and Alex Carey (both left-handers), which gives us a good mix of left-right combination. We have our bases covered," Ponting said, giving a subtle hint about Rahane's immediate future.

Iyer, on his part, said that Ashwin and Rahane have mixed well within the group and never gave a sense that they are senior players.

"They give that extra sense of confidence. You don't feel that they are seniors and are willing to help every individual," said Iyer, who believes that Ashwin will be beneficial for the team, given his idea of the KXIP core team (Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal) and the slowish nature of the Dubai track.

Ponting also felt that wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been shaping up well since last week and he is expecting another good season from the burly southpaw.

"Pant, during the last week, has really turned the corner well and I would expect him to perform as well as he did last year.

"In DC, we as a coaching group don't put added pressure on the players. We like to take as much as possible pressure off them. We never expect any such thing from them which they don't expect from themselves," the coach said.

With Dubai hosting 24 games out of the 60, Ponting is sure that the tracks will get slower in the second half of the tournament and spin will become more important factor.

"Conditions might change through the tournament. They have four tracks in Dubai that will host 24 games. I saw a lot of green grass cover on the track and before the game, some of it will be off. I don't see a lot of spin now but it might become a factor during later part of the tournament," the three-time ODI World Cup winner said.

Considering the nature of the track, Ponting is confident that replacement left-arm seamer Daniel Sams can be very effective with his slower off-cutters and a pace of 135 to 140 kmph.

"I have watched Daniel Sams for the last three to four years. He has been one of the highest wicket-takers in BBL. He could be effective during the back end of the tournament when pitches will get slower. He has variations and bowls lot of off-cutters. He gives us left-arm option," Ponting said.

About celebrations, Iyer said that the players are restricting it to "fist bumps", something they had been doing during practice games.

While concluding, Ponting said that the "ban on saliva" at least in white ball cricket and that too in T20 won't be that big deal compared to red ball cricket.

"But it's about habit. We need to be careful as if you do it multiple times, you can cop hefty fines," he said.

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Agencies
September 26,2020

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Mumbai, Sept 26: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday appointed five-member for the all-India Women's Selection Committee.

All-India Women's Selection Committee include former India cricketers -- Neetu David (10 Tests and 97 WODIs), Arati Vaidya (3 Tests and 6 WODIs), Renu Margrate (5 Tests and 23 WODIs), Venkatacher Kalpana (3 Tests and 8 WODIs), and Mithu Mukherjee (4 Tests).

The board had invited applications for the respective positions earlier this year via a press release and a notification on its official website.

On account of seniority, Neetu David, the former left-arm spinner, will head the five-member committee.

"She holds the world record for best bowling figures in an innings in a Test for her 8/53 against England Women in the Jamshedpur Test held in 1995. She is also the second-highest wicket-taker for India in WODIs with 141 scalps and was also the first from India to take 100 WODI wickets," read a release from BCCI Secretary Jay Shah's office.

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Agencies
September 13,2020

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Dubai, Sept 13: International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday charged two United Arab Emirates (UAE) players Amir Hayat and Ashfaq Ahmed with five counts of breaching cricket's anti-corruption rules and provisionally suspended them with immediate effect.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had suspended Ashfaq during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier in October last year but no formal charges had been laid so far.

Both Amir and Ashfaq have been charged with the following breaches of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code under Article 2.1.3 (Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other reward), Article 2.4.2 (failing to disclose to the ACU (without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit), Article 2.4.3 (non-contractual benefits offered to a participant that have a value of USD 750 or more), Article 2.4.4 (failing to report any approaches or invitations received by the participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code) and Article 2.4.5 (failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any facts or matters that came to his attention that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under the Code by another participant).

The players have 14 days from September 13 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage. 

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