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    KL Rahul the new sehwag? Looks to hit at an 80+ SR and seems to get 30+ at a consistent basis - definitely better than Dhawan (personally think he should be dropped in all formats) Silly dismissal from him though, should have left that ball or at least hit it straight down past slip instead of jabbing at it to ross taylor (nice catch as well; good reflexes)

    Otherwise, williamson batted very nicely, good footwork. Ronchi as well played some shots. Funny to see that these 2 had decent SR and scored comfortably - Latham (tho getting a well played 50) seemed to have difficulty hitting 50+ from 150+ balls and the others looked slightly out of their depth
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    Pakistan take the series against WI. Who'd have thought? Remember that Pakistan are ranked ninth in the world in ODIs - and that means they need to really improve if they are to qualify automatically for the next World Cup. But performances like this, and results like this, will help.

    Granted, it was a T20, but the success in limited overs should transcend into both the 20-over and 50-over arena. Sarfraz Ahmed extends his unbeaten run as T20I captain to three matches, posting an unbeaten 46 to boot. Pakistan managed to score 10 an over for the last six overs, which took the game away from West Indies and meant they'd have to chase the highest ever total at the ground in question if they were to emerge victorious. WI didn't help themselves, though, as chances were dropped and extra runs conceded through misfields.

    Tanvir helped strangle WI, despite Narine and Fletcher's 30 and 29 respectively. Those scores helped put the Windies within 16 of Pakistan, but they couldn't chase the total set for them as the WI batsmen consistently played for turn when there was none. They didn't read the conditions - and, like yesterday, they didn't adapt to them either.

    After getting to 45 for 4 in 10 overs, it is remarkable Windies took it so close before being bowled out. Tanvir took three wickets, and Pakistan take the series. Roll on T20 three...
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    India declare to set NZ 434 to win the first Test, meaning the tourists will have to achieve the highest ever successful run chase, after WI set the record of 414 against Australia some 13 years ago.

    Sharma and Jadeja - who once again contributed vital runs in the middle order - were called in by Kohli after posting half-centuries.

    NZ have plenty of work to do, despite keeping India in check during the morning session, restricting Pujara and Vijay and denying them hefty scores, while Kohli was also dismissed cheaply.

    The pitch offered generous turn to Sodhi and Santner, with the latter dismissing Ragnar after Craig got Kohli out, but Jadeja ramped up the scoring with three sixes and two fours in quick succession and India managed a hefty total after enjoying a 5.20 run rate.

    All to do for NZ.*
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    Boom. And there we go. Ashwin's six-for wraps up a 197-run win for India in the first Test against NZ.

    In truth, the match was done and dusted yesterday. Ashwin got them four wickets towards their target, becoming the second-fastest to 200 Test wickets by dismissing Williamson.

    NZ were always going to struggle today - and despite the partnership between Ronchi and Santner, which delayed the inevitable - it was always going to be India's victory. And so it proved. Shami got a couple of key wickets in a rare exhibition of reverse-swing, but that wasn't the story of the Test. India relied on Jadeja or Ashwin for all but 18 of their overs bowled, and Ashwin ended with figures of 10-225 in the match.

    Craig has been ruled out of the Test series for NZ now, adding to their woes, but they will take heart from the way Ronchi and Santner frustrated the hosts. I actually thought it would be done far quicker than it was, with India sealing the win just after lunch, as Ashwin claimed his 19th five-wicket haul and ended a landmark Test for himself in style.

    Elsewhere yesterday, Bavuma became the second SA cricketer to score a century on ODI debut as Ireland were swept aside with absolute ease, and Bangladesh held on against Afghanistan but it was a much closer affair than they would have liked.
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    thoughts about potentially dropping dhoni as per sandeep patil's comments?

    also what do we think of pujara at 3 and his (apparently) terrible strike rate?
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    ABDV ruled out of Australia series, which is a huge loss for SA.

    Australia today have completely dismantled Ireland, who squandered a good start with a mid-innings collapse that took them from 121 for 2 to 146 for 6 before they were bundled out for 198.

    Zampa took three and Khawaja is now anchoring the chase, lifting the Aussies to 140-1. In truth, though, Australia lacked venom and danger when the seamers had the ball - they'll be crying out for Starc's return, you imagine.
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    Not that I will watch it but it has intrigued me but anyone seen the new film biopic of MS Dhoni? Seen trailer and the actor seems to have captured him well aesthetically and saw he learnt his cricketing shots including the 2011 final moments

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    Crikey. Pakistan confirm a 3-0 whitewash over the Windies. Who seriously expected this at the start of their meetings last week?

    They absolutely strolled to victory today, too. Malik's unbeaten 43 spearheaded their chase, after the Windies posted a total of 103 for 5 which was never going to be anywhere near good enough.

    WI were propelled slightly by Samuels' unbeaten 42, but despite Williams chipping in with two wickets, the Pakistan chase was a procession and very straightforward.

    Their eight-wicket win was good value, completing the rout in the 16th over after some very loose deliveries from Jerome Taylor contributed massively to their total. Taylor was guilty of conceding far too many extras, and despite Williams claiming both Pakistani openers, they were never under pressure.

    Pakistan really exposed WI's flaws when it comes to T20 today. Windies struggle on grounds with deep outfields, when they can't rely on big hitting. That was the case in the World Twenty20 earlier this year, you may remember, when they struggled against Afghanistan despite going on to win the entire tournament. The pitch today was slow and didn't offer pace and bounce, meaning the batsmen struggled to get boundaries away, and WI don't have batsmen of Kohli's temperament and the vast majority of their order is unwilling to push the ball deep and run twos consistently.
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    Disappointing to see Bangladesh lose to Afganistan in the 2nd ODI. The batting performance in both games so far have felt below par by Bangladesh (around 250 and then just over 200). The bowling has been better but hard to defend such low scores.

    I guess this is what happens when you haven't played much cricket in almost a year.
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    Going at 5 an over whilst only losing 5 wickets in a T20 innings is baffling and as Mackay said, proof of their lacking ability in rotating the strike. With cricket getting more and more commercialised, boundaries getting smaller and pitches getting flatter, I can't imagine it's a problem they'll face too often. The days of 5/6 an over being enough to win games is over.
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    (Original post by tazza ma razza)
    thoughts about potentially dropping dhoni as per sandeep patil's comments?

    also what do we think of pujara at 3 and his (apparently) terrible strike rate?
    Only just seen this, sorry.

    Kumble has said Pujara's strike rate is superfluous - and, to all intents and purposes, he is right. Kohli has told him to quicken up, but his SR in India is actually pretty respectable. His strike rate has obviously slowed massively in recent years, but that is largely to do with his inability to play pace on overseas soil.

    I think the debate regarding his strike rate comes down to other, underlying issues. In truth, if a player is good enough, it doesn't matter how slowly they score. Hameed scores very slowly for Lancashire, but he's in the England team now. Cook, likewise, is a slow scorer, and so was Trott, two stalwarts of the England side.

    The problem for Pujara is he hasn't been delivering consistently, and hasn't been scoring match-winning totals. If he was scoring enough runs, the strike rate debate would subside.
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    Afghanistan are killing it atm
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    (Original post by Aky786UK)
    Pakistan v West Indies will be on Sky channel Zing, 789 for those interested. Intrigued if Hasan Ali continues his form from the England series. Meanwhile, come across Pakistan unearthing a bowler who bowls quick both with his right and left arm!

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    I was looking for it everywhere! Thanks for letting us know the channel
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    Anderson AND Wood ruled out of Bangladesh tour, which just isn't ideal for England. That really depletes the seam options.

    But anyway, this week is a busy week for cricket: SA face Australia, and will welcome back Steyn/Morkel after their pace attack looked toothless in recent matches, and I'm intrigued to see how Khawaja, Smith, Warner et al get on against tougher opposition. ABDV will be a huge miss for the South African side, and it will be up to Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy to step up as senior players.

    Australia's attack of Hastings, Zampa, Chris Tremain/Daniel Worrall and Scott Boland is hardly the most inspiring.

    All eyes on Pakistan and WI, too, as they compete in the first of the ODI matches after the former whitewashed the latter in the T20s. Remember Pakistan can leapfrog Windies in the rankings - which may have potentially HUGE ramifications for both sides as we head towards the World Cup - if the results go their way.

    And India are facing NZ with the number one Test ranking in their sight. NZ must learn how to play the turning ball, and learn to pick the straighter delivery. They will have to do that without Williamson, who will be a huge, huge blow for the away side.

    Pujara and M Vijay will be integral on a green pitch, and KL Rahul's hamstring injury provides a way back for Shikhar Dhawan. If Williamson is ruled unfit, Henry Nicholls will come in, as well as Warwickshire bowler Patel.

    NZ can take heart from Eden Gardens being the venue, though. India's last defeat on home soil came at that venue four years ago.
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    Well, even without Kane Williamson, NZ shone against India today and find themselves needing to take three more wickets tomorrow.

    Pujara and Rahane did their bit - hitting 87 and 77 respectively - but Henry was on fire in the morning session, dismissing both openers before Boult sent Kohli back cheaply too.

    Naturally India won the toss and chose to bat, knowing the pitch will deteriorate, but Henry helped ensure it was to the visitors' day. Wagner had Pujara caught at short cover for 87 and Jeetan Patel trapped Rahane - and it's so pleasing to see the Bears spinner take international wickets.

    NZ will be chuffed they kept the runs down. They strangled the batsmen, not allowing them to score freely, and Ross Taylor's captaincy and field placements were ideal.

    Only four batsmen reached double-figures for India, but Pujara's form will please them. He boasts five 50+ scores in six first-class innings this month.

    Elsewhere, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis chose to chase in the series opener in Centurion with Amla ruled out, and Bavuma not picked. Steyn also returned, with Imran Tahir forcing Aaron Phangiso.

    Windies won the toss against Pakistan and opted to bowl, too.
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    SA and Pakistan beat Australia and WI respectively.

    de Kock hit South Africa's second-highest individual score in ODI cricket with a career-best 178 as SA won by six wickets. Really, Australia should have got over 300, because SA's bowlers struggled for discipline - especially Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell and Kagiso Rabada. Luckily for SA, though, Andile Phehlukwayo struck four times after Australia got to 88-1 comfortably to strangle the innings and give SA a chance.

    Bailey struck well, scoring his third half-century in four innings and sharing a decent stand with John Hastings, but Australia just couldn't convert their starts (Warner, Finch and Marsh all got into the 30s but couldn't bag themselves a fifty).

    Behardien and David Miller completed the rout after du Plessis and JP Duminy gave their wickets away, with SA winning with 13 overs remaining. Roussow struck 60+ to help de Kock, as Australia's seamers and spinners struggled (Boland went at 10 an over, Zampa at 8.80).

    And in the other match, Pakistan continued their good run against WI to beat them by 111 runs on. Azam struck 120, Sharjeel struck 54, and Nawaz picked up four wickets to seal the victory after Pakistan posted 284-9. Remember that the winner of this series will strengthen their grip on the eighth placed ranking. Pakistan need a whitewash to leapfrog WI, which could have huge ramifications as we near the World Cup.
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    Pleasing to see Bangladesh thrash Afganistan in the final ODI and take the series. Few ranking points which thankfully weren't dropped.

    In some ways this may have been the ideal preparation for England - couple of tough games which forced Bangladesh to find some intensity and then a morale boosting thrashing to wrap it up.
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    NZ absolutely floored today. They were set up well after the first day's play, rendering India to seven down, but the hosts have got back on top and will surely go on to win this now.

    The tourists are trailing by 180 runs still, with just three wickets remaining, on a second day where 10 wickets fell either side of a break for poor light.

    In truth, NZ can probably feel a little aggrieved at some of the dismissals, which came in the middle of that dark patch when visibility was limited.

    Kumar bagged a five-for - surprisingly so, given the fact Indian seamers usually play second fiddle to the spin options. A few of New Zealand's wickets were given away, and Jadeja was troublesome as ever, but it's perhaps surprising how NZ struggled against seam considering they found it difficult to play Ashwin and Jadeja in the first Test.

    India had 316 on the board, Saha's maiden half-century propelling them to that total after they lost two wickets for just nine runs at the start of the day.

    Saha batted brilliantly - digging in and picking his shot well, and it was even more impressive given the trouble India were in and the prospect of NZ taking the new ball.

    His innings will really hearten India, and it seems their lower order and tail can wag and bat deep these days, rather than just be skittled over. Indeed, it looks like there is batting still to come and runs still to be put on the board even if Jadeja is dismissed cheaply.
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    IN case it wasnt mentioned last week - Ashwin offically became 2nd ever fasted to 200 wicketsafter clarie grimmet, ahead of dennis lillee, waqar younis and malcolm marshal, with a the highest strike rate of any spinner in history. You can add his 4 test centuries to that feat to put into perpesctive one of the most impressive careers in recent times that seems to go under the radar in an indian team of bigger bames
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    India strengthen their position on day three, with Rohit helping to take their lead passed 300.

    The groundwork was done by Kohli, who met the ball late and used great footwork at the crease. Indeed, I felt the Indian skipper really deserved a half-century - and it was a shame to see him dismissed on 45, to be honest.

    India dismissed NZ without too much fuss at the start of the day, Ashwin and Kumar both shining with the ball, before the tourists reduced NZ to 40-4 with some good work by Henry and Boult. The visitors were dismissed very cheaply, but Rohit came to the rescue and repaid Kohli and Kumble'a faith.

    Henry and Santner both claimed three wickets each, but India built an imposing total and NZ still have work to do in the morning by dismissing the final two Indian wickets.

    But with a lead of 340, you've got to fancy the hosts.*
 
 
 
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