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    West Indies appear to be on the verge of a massive upset!
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    I'm surprised SL haven't declared yet against Zimbabwe. I guess their lead is 373 which is exactly what Zimbabwe scored in their first innings. Might end up drifting towards a draw if SL bat too much longer.
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    (Original post by Enginerd.)
    I disagree, I do think he is an excellent spinner but he hasn't proved his ability in non Subcontinent conditions.

    Yasir, Ashwin, Mehedi are levels above the rest. Tahir is really good too.

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    I personally prefer Tahir in white-ball cricket. What a talent.

    Speaking of which, the SA vs Australia series gets underway this week - and there have been plenty of barbed comments in the build-up, with Australia questioning SA's new "quota" selection system, and SA aiming to get rid of the "head of the snake" Steve Smith.

    2005 was the last time South Africa lost a Test series in Oz - and since then, they have won two Test series in the country - 2-1 in 2008, and 1-0 in 2012. In fact, they have only lost one Test in Oz in the last eight years, but David Warner's batting average in Tests against Dale Steyn is 59. He has scored 176 runs against Steyn, and been dismissed three times. That battle could be crucial, with Australia's bowling attack yet to be determined.

    Some say Mennie will make his debut, others suggest Siddle will be deployed. You wonder whether the freedom of SA's young squad will benefit them - after all, the WACA has a similar pitch to the Wanderers, which will suit SA's novices like Bavuma. Nine of the 16 squad members have not played a Test series in Australia and the other seven have only won.

    Whatever happens, it'll be feisty. Haddin and Clarke have both warned against excessive sledging.
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    And, yes, as aforementioned, WI are controlling the Test. It has taken them long enough to impress me on this tour! Kraigg Brathwaite's unbeaten 142 off 318 steered West Indies to a first-innings lead of 56.

    And their bowlers enjoyed a good day, too, with Jason Holder making three breakthroughs as Pakistan ended on 87-4.

    Azhar Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed are appearing to stabilise the innings - they've enjoyed an unbroken 39-run fifth-wicket partnership - but the day belongs to the Windies, who saw Brathwaite and Devendra Bishoo take them to 337.

    Holder got Aslam after tea, before dismissing Asad Shafiq and Younis, while Chase chipped in to send Misbah back. Pakistan had lost four wickets for 11 runs to slip to 48 for 4 - so it could have been worse!
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    I personally prefer Tahir in white-ball cricket. What a talent.
    Yep, he's an integral player for the South Africans in the limited overs. His celebrations are class too!
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    SL stretch their lead on a rain-hit day vs Zimbabwe.

    Dimuth Karunaratne struck his second fifty-plus score of the match and his first Test century in a year to bump take their lead to 411. Mumba claimed four wickets for Zimbabwe, who were bowled out for 373 in response to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 537.

    SL end the day on 247-6, with de Silva posting 64 and with a thunderstorm predicted for Wednesday, Sri Lanka might consider an overnight declaration to force a result.
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    Australia vs SA at the WACA starts tomorrow - and one thing is for sure: home advantage means nothing. The past six series between these two sides has seen the away team win five and the other drawn. Not since 2005-06 in Australia has the home side won an Australia-South Africa or South Africa-Australia series.

    Mitchell Starc is coming off a nasty leg injury, but Australia have confirmed Siddle will play, in favour of Mennie. But the WACA holds no fear for SA, who must choose between deploying Morkel as a fourth seamer alongside Steyn, Philander and Rabada, or whether to use Maharaj.

    Warner's Test average at the WACA is 95.85 from four Tests, which will give the hosts hope, but Australia have never beaten South Africa at the ground. And as many as seven of South Africa's likely XI - Steyn, Amla, du Plessis, JP Duminy, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Dean Elgar - have experience of winning WACA Tests.
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    Sensational collapse from Pakistan - losing their last five wickets for 33 runs, including 3 for 4 in the space of 18 balls, to be bowled out for 208 and leave West Indies with a target of 153.

    Jason Holder took the last two wickets of Pakistan's innings to claim his first five-wicket haul in Tests, with Devendra Bishoo dismissing Mohammad Nawaz to kick-start the slump, before he had Azhar Ali sent back after posting 91.

    Amir gave his wicket away in tragicomic fashion, and Holder got rid of Wahab before Babar and Yasir were dismissed by the bowler too.

    Zimbabwe, meanwhile, are 97-5 and need another 300 to beat SL, who declared on their overnight score of 247 for 6.

    Suranga Lakmal and offspinner Dilruwan Perera did the damage this morning, with the former striking twice in three balls just before lunch, and Dilruwan claiming Mawoyo and Ervine in the space of an over-and-a-half, and Chari was dismissed by Herath as SL head into cruise control.
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    Can Pakistan pull this of?!

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    (Original post by Enginerd.)
    Can Pakistan pull this of?!

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    Touch and go. Would not surprise me in the slightest to see the West Indies lose 5 wickets for 10 runs, but they're certainly favourites. All on Braithwaite.
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    (Original post by The Wavefunction)
    Touch and go. Would not surprise me in the slightest to see the West Indies lose 5 wickets for 10 runs, but they're certainly favourites. All on Braithwaite.
    I've just checked the score and it's less likely now, Brathwaite has been exceptional this test.
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    Windies have victory in their sights now.

    Pakistan took five wickets before stumps to make things interesting, but Kraigg Brathwaite looks set for the long haul after he carried his bat through the first innings for 142.

    He ends the day on 44, having seen his side recover from 67-5 to 114-5, with Shane Dowrich by his side as the pair struck an unbroken 47-run sixth-wicket stand. The Windies need 39 runs - with five wickets in hand.

    Amir recovered from that farcical run out to nearly dismiss Johnson, but Misbah hashed the catch, and Aslam did the same the next over, but Yasir chipped in with three wickets - Johnson, Bravo and Samuels - before Wahab bowled Jermaine Blackwood and then dismissed Roston Chase.

    SL, meanwhile, are just one wicket away from victory over Zimbabwe.
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    ... and there we go, SL win by 225 runs.

    After getting them five down by tea, Sri Lanka whittled down the Zimbabwe resistance in easy fashion, dismissing Williams and Tiripano in the space of a few overs as the hosts struggled to 145-8. Herath claimed the former and latter, with a catch from de Silva and LBW call respectively, while Moor was dismissed by Kumara for the sixth.

    Cremer - who shot a brave 43, was stumped off the bowling of Herera as Zimbabwe fell to 183-9, before Mpofu was bowled straight by Perera just three runs later.

    Lakmal ends with two wickets, as well as Kumara, with Herath and Perera boasting three respectively from the second innings.
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    Wow. Just read that West Indies' win-loss record in Tests outside home since 2000 excluding in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, is 2-56. They have never lost a Test when chasing targets of less than 2000, though, and the last time West Indies won a Test against Pakistan outside home was back in 1990.

    A momentous victory, if/when they pull it off!
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Wow. Just read that West Indies' win-loss record in Tests outside home since 2000 excluding in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, is 2-56. They have never lost a Test when chasing targets of less than 2000, though, and the last time West Indies won a Test against Pakistan outside home was back in 1990.

    A momentous victory, if/when they pull it off!
    Props to them, and they owe it all to Brathwaite.

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    India have some injury concerns, which should buoy England. Rohit Sharma, a heavy run-scorer in the recent series against NZ, is absent through injury, alongside Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul.

    Gautam Gambhir - who I'm a big fan of, being a KKR follower - should come in you would expect, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also set to be a doubt in the bowling department.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    India have some injury concerns, which should buoy England. Rohit Sharma, a heavy run-scorer in the recent series against NZ, is absent through injury, alongside Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul.

    Gautam Gambhir - who I'm a big fan of, being a KKR follower - should come in you would expect, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also set to be a doubt in the bowling department.
    They still have Virat Kohli though!!! England's best hope was Jimmy Anderson who worked him out in 2014 so he kept getting out cheaply. But now Anderson is an injury doubt. Based on England's performance in Bangladesh and how other teams have fared over there recently, I'm just hoping that England don't lose 5-0. If they do better than that I'll be pleased, India are definetly the best test team in the world at the moment.
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    Pandya is an intriguing presence - and possibly viewed as a left-field choice by some, having only started his first-class career in 2013. He is a talented player, but is young and raw. He has already played four ODIs and 16 T20 internationals. He featured in the 2016 World T20, and was the Man of the Match on his ODI debut.

    There was no like-for-like replacement for Rohit, which could mean a debut for Nair - who says batting positions don't effect him - or Pandya in Rajkot.
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    Don't think I've ever seen an opener carry his bat through two innings in one test. Absolutely unreal stuff from Brathwaite, and brilliant to see the Windies get a win.
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    (Original post by The Wavefunction)
    Don't think I've ever seen an opener carry his bat through two innings in one test. Absolutely unreal stuff from Brathwaite, and brilliant to see the Windies get a win.
    Chuffed they're not going back to the Caribbean empty handed.

    For those who don't know, Brathwaite became the first opener to be unbeaten in both innings of a Test. That marks the West Indies' first Test win outside the West Indies and Bangladesh since 2007. It was also West Indies' first win in 14 Tests and their first under the captaincy of Jason Holder.

    Naturally, the captain has hailed Brathwaite - and rightly so - saying he was "outstanding" and "took responsibility", something sometimes you don't necessarily associate with WI.

    Dowrich, who struck his fourth half-century in an 87-run sixth-wicket stand that helped West Indies wipe off the remaining 39 runs in 7.5 overs this morning, also deserves credit, but Brathwaite's concentration was boundless, and he managed to bat for 10 hours across both innings.

    I can't believe WI managed to bat 100 overs. Anybody watching their farcical tour to Australia at Christmas would have been gobsmacked had they been told that.

    There's some bad news in among the celebratory feeling, though, with the announcement Samuels, Bravo and Carlos Brathwaite have declined central contracts - taking the list of centrally-contracted players from 15 to 12.
 
 
 
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