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  1. Standing tall at a staggering six feet and eight inches (2.03 metre), Kyle Jamieson first grabbed limelight when was included in the New Zealand squad of the One-Day International (ODI) series against India. While his bowling capabilities was still unknown on the international circuit, Jamieson did get attention after becoming New Zealand's tallest cricketer in history, taller than Kiwis batting coach Peter Fulton (6'6). After sitting out in the 1st ODI, Jamieson was handed his international debut in the second match where he bagged two wickets including the brilliant in-swinger to send Prithvi Shaw back into the hut. The third and final ODI saw him taking just one wicket, after he castled Mayank Agarwal's stumps, but his bowling skillset was hard to overlook. Move over Two Metre Peter! Meet NZ's *new* tallest cricketer Kyle Jamieson 2.03 metres (6'8) in jandals #FordTrophy pic.twitter.com/eLbZFMWz4U â BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 16, 2016 A seamer of Morne Morkel's mould, only taller by three inches, Jamieson has an ability to extract extra bounce and swing the ball at will which was touted to trouble prominent right-handers in the Indian line-up. But, that's not all. The 25-year-old, despite his inexperience internationally, has proved his understanding of the game as a bowler to trouble the opposition with testing line and length - something that was on full display during Day 1 of the 1st Test between India and New Zealand. The lanky seamer would likely have not played the clash at the Basin Reserve if Neil Wagner, away on paternity leave, had been available. But, on his Test debut, Jamieson might have left an indelible mark on the match and probably the series with the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Hanuma Vihari on Day 1. © Twitter/@BLACKCAPS Jamieson welcomed Kohli with a short ball, so short that it was deemed a wide by the on-field umpire. In his next over, he bowled a couple of short balls before following it up with a fuller delivery. His first full-length delivery to Kohli was too straight which further allowed the Indian captain to work it for a couple. Whether itâs James Anderson Or Jamieson Virat Kohli Getting Out Nicking One To The Slips is Permanent. Imagine Reaching To The Ball Wayyy Outside Off So Early in The First Session Of The Game. Poor From @imVkohli #NZvIND ?? pic.twitter.com/XK1YYVDcOA â CriCkeT KinG?????? (@imtheguy007) February 21, 2020 But, on the next occasion, he bowled a wide length ball, the troubling channel for Kohli. Unable to stop himself from following the delivery, Kohli, despite being mindful of the bounce, couldn't help but edge it to first slip where Ross Taylor did the rest. NZ players on Test debut to dismiss the current #1 ranked batsman 1949 - Harry Cave (Denis Compton) 1949 - Fen Cresswell (Denis Compton) 1951 - Alex Moir (Len Hutton) 2010 - Andy McKay (Sachin Tendulkar) 2020 - KYLE JAMIESON (Virat Kohli) @BLACKCAPS #NZvsIND â Swamp (@sirswampthing) February 21, 2020 While Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane immediately got to rebuilding the innings, Jamieson, after the drinks break, got back to haunt the visitors with his impressive bowling. He drew blood again with what looked like a repeat of the Pujara dismissal, only this time getting rid of Hanuma Vihari (7) to have India reeling at 101/5. He nearly grabbed his fourth wicket after bouncing Rahane with a mean short of a length delivery. But, despite taking his eyes off the ball and throwing his bat up in self-defence, Rahane was fairly lucky the ball lobbed to safety. From initially being aggressive to batting solidly, a change in approach from Rahane allowed him to weather the storm as he continued to play the ball late and with soft hands, stitching a much-needed 21-run partnership with Rishabh Pant (10*) at Stumps. First Test cap ?? Three wickets, including Virat Kohli ?? Bowling with the wind ?? "No complaints" from Kyle Jamieson, as you'd expect ??#NZvIND pic.twitter.com/TAoDeqV4VH â ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 21, 2020 On a day that saw the Indian batting unit ducking for cover, Jamieson was arguably the brightest star in the New Zealand bowling attack. His impressive spell of 3-38 which included prized wickets of Pujara, Kohli and Vihari didn't just allow the home side to gain a crucial upper-hand, but also allowed Jamieson to establish his reputation as a brilliant seam-bowling option for the Kiwis. View the full article
  2. Naseem Shah awarded player of the match award for his four wickets, including a hat-trick
  3. Yesterday, CNET published a video that tests the Motorola Razrâs durability. In the video the smartphoneâs hinge begins to give up just after 27,000 consecutively non-stop folds. Last night, Motorola responded to this with their own test video where a folding robot is seen conducting a similar test. © YouTube/CNET In CNETâs test, the Razr was found to have a âvery stiffâ hinge after 27,000 folds and would not fold all the way. The issue was resolved by âflexingâ the hinge, but it never returned to the original state. In response to CNETâs test, Motorola told The Verge in a statement: âSquareTradeâs FoldBot is simply not designed to test our device. Therefore, any tests run utilizing this machine will put undue stress on the hinge and not allow the phone to open and close as intended, making the test inaccurate. The important thing to remember is that razr underwent extensive cycle endurance testing during product development, and CNETâs test is not indicative of what consumers will experience when using razr in the real-world. We have every confidence in the durability of razr.â In response to the test, Motorola published its own video titled âThe real razr flip test- flip for yearsâ where the folding test is noticeably slower and more accurate to human usage patterns. It isnât as aggressive as CNETâs test but the company claims that the Razr can âflip for years.â Motorola has still not specified how many folds the Razr can withstand which is a bit alarming as Samsung does not shy away from giving those numbers for their folding smartphones. © Youtube/Motorola The Motorola Razr retails in the U.S. for $1,500 + taxes and the smartphone is yet to launch in India. The Indian pricing is not yet known, however it would be nice to know how many times one can fold the phone before shelling out over Rs 1 lakh for a smartphone. Motorola claims that the Razr can last up to two years with an average of 80 folds a day, but it still doesnât sound convincing enough. A smartphone that doesnât come with a guarantee of how long it can last, especially when it comes to the durability of a folding screen seems like quite a gamble right now. View the full article
  4. Hardik Pandya is known to be one of the more flamboyant cricketers to represent Team India in international matches. He is considered to be a fashion icon, one of the better all-rounders the roster boasts and a vital cog of the squad as far as the ICC Menâs T20 World Cup 2020 is concerned. On September 22, 2019, India were playing their final T20I against South Africa in Bengaluru when the cricketer complained of lower back issues. The medical staff of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) consulted a panel of England-based spine specialists who recommended surgery for âa long-term solutionâ of this issue, according to the statement released by the organisation. Pandya underwent the successful operation on October 4, 2019 and was scheduled to begin his rehabilitation soon. âSurgery done successfully. Extremely grateful to everyone for your wishes. Will be back in no time! Till then miss me,â Pandya captioned a post on his Instagram account. View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@hardikpandya93) Pandya then went on to make good on other aspects of his life. He proposed to marry his girlfriend NataÅ¡a StankoviÄ and got engaged. He then started uploading videos of doing pilates and bowling and batting sessions in the nets regularly. View this post on InstagramA post shared by (@hardikpandya93) Last month, a day after India made a historic comeback in the ODI series against Aaron Finchâs Australian side to win the second and third matches, the BCCI announced that Pandya was unfit for the upcoming New Zealand series. Given the severity of the surgery, it was understandable. Then news came that Pandya was selected for the India âAâ team, which was to compete against New Zealand XI only to confirm that he was ruled out due to not recovering completely. Less than a week ago, BCCI bossman Sourav Ganguly later confirmed that Pandya was not even fit enough to compete in domestic cricket. According to Ganguly, the 26-year-old was at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and was working on getting his back better. And yet Pandya was made to take a fitness test for the upcoming Test series against the Blackcaps. Hardik Pandya ruled out of the Test Series against New Zealand #HardikPandya | https://t.co/cdRhWJtTxn â LatestLY (@latestly) February 1, 2020 The constant shift in Pandyaâs timeline to recovery only begs the question: why is the BCCI in such a hurry to make him return to the field? Sure, he is one of the best all-rounders we have and it is important for Pandya to get some miles under his feet ahead of the T20 World Cup, but we still have over eight months between today and the first match India is going to play during the tournament in Australia. Also, it is not as if the Men in Blue are struggling without the Baroda-born by their side. Ever since Pandya went out with the injury in September, India have played against six teams in 23 matches (including all formats of the game) and have won 19 of them. Lower back injuries are never easy to recover from. When Pandya was contemplating surgery, the doctors made it clear that he would not be able to return to his usual self until 3-4 months since the day of operation. It is wrong to expect Pandya to play his kind of cricket before this season of the Indian Premier League. Instead of making him go through fitness tests and hurrying his comeback, the BCCI should give him time to recover at his own pace. View the full article
  5. Deepika Padukone's 'Chhapaak' team test acid sale in India with social experimentDeepika Padukone’s freshly-released film Chhapaak holds a powerful social message throwing light on a pertinent issue widespread in India. Evidencing the intensity and the severity of the problem, the 34-year-old actor along with the Chhapaak team headed out to do a social experiment that showed how the accessibility of acid in the markets is what fails to eradicate the issue at hand. In a video shared by the Padmaavat actor, the team members and the starlet head to the markets to check the sales and find a majority of shopkeepers handing bottles of acid without asking for any valid proof of identification. Some of the members were able to get their hands on highly-concentrated acid without showing their ID which the Supreme Court’s guidelines demand. By the end of the clip, Deepika revealed that the entire experiment resulted in the team buying 24 bottles of acid regardless of the guidelines by the SC that were made to add barriers to its easy availability.
  6. Bangladesh have said no on Sunday to a proposal by Pakistan to play a full Test series later this month, saying they will only tour the country to play three T20Is Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan said the recent tension in the Middle East between Iran and the United States was the main reason behind the decision as the government had given the board permission to send the team only for a short period. "The current state in the Middle East is definitely different than other times. So considering escalating tension in that particular region, they (the government) have told us to keep the tour as short as possible," Hassan told reporters in Dhaka after a meeting of the BCB board. "They (government authorities) have told us to play the three Twenty20s as quickly as possible in a short period. Later, if the situation improves, we can play the Test matches. We are going to communicate the same thing to Pakistan Cricket Board," he said. According to the ICC´s Future Tour Programme, Bangladesh are scheduled to play three T20 internationals and two Tests in Pakistan in January-February. The BCB had earlier made a similar proposal to play T20s in Pakistan, but the PCB had rejected their offer. The PCB wants Bangladesh to play Test matches if Bangladesh are to make the series short as the two Tests are also part of the ICC Test Championship. The BCB president said he will be flying to Dubai on Monday to discuss with ICC chairman Shashank Manohar about the possible implications of skipping the Test series against Pakistan. Test cricket returned to Pakistan in December for the first time since 2009 when the country hosted Sri Lanka for two matches, held in Rawalpindi and Karachi.
  7. England's Ben Stokes. Photo: AFPBen Stokes made an emphatic case for the unique drama of five-day Test cricket this week — inspiring England to a series-levelling win against South Africa in the final overs of a dramatic contest. His match-winning performance in Cape Town on Tuesday came at a time of intensifying debate over the future of the longest form of the game, which has been played since 1877. The International Cricket Council (ICC) will in the coming months discuss reducing Tests to four days as part of structuring the global calendar beyond 2023. For a sport so closely linked with tradition, cricket has shown a remarkable ability to innovate in recent decades, introducing multiple forms of limited-overs cricket that have taken firm root. But the latest proposal, part of an effort to tackle the crowded international cricket calendar and save on costs, has divided players, many of whom consider Test cricket the gold standard. The ICC allowed four-day Tests in 2017 and they have been tried in one-off games between South Africa and Zimbabwe and England against Ireland. But they are not allowed in the Test world championship, which is currently led by Virat Kohli's India. Cricinfo said mandatory four-day Tests rather than five-day matches during the current cycle from 2015 to 2023 would have freed up a total of 335 days of scheduled cricket over the period. The England and Wales Cricket Board has offered "cautious" backing to the suggested new model and Australia and New Zealand said four-day Tests deserved serious consideration. But a succession of top cricketers have spoken out against the idea and the global players' representative body has warned of "significant player resistance", though others such as Shane Warne have voiced support for a change. England all-rounder Stokes claimed the last three South Africa wickets at Newlands to earn a 189-run victory for England, who levelled the four-match series at 1-1 on Tuesday. Afterwards he and England captain Joe Root spoke out in favour of the longer format, which allows the drama and nuances of the game time to play out. "It's why five-day cricket should always be around. It´s the best form of the game," said Stokes, England´s man of the match. Root´s opposite number, Faf du Plessis, also said he did not support a move towards four-day Test matches, despite a statement by Cricket South Africa that it was official policy to back a reduced format. England director of men's cricket Ashley Giles said on Wednesday that five-day Tests were "precious". "If we played four-day cricket, I fear we would miss out on a lot of matches like yesterday (England´s win)," Giles told the BBC. "I know a lot of Test matches now don´t go to the fifth day — but you know it is precious to me, and I know it is to the players." Kohli opposition Kohli spoke earlier this month about his opposition to any move to cut a day from Tests, questioning where it would ultimately lead. With four-day Tests "you are purely only talking about getting numbers in and entertainment, and I think the intent will not be right," said the India skipper. "Then you will speak of three-day Tests. I mean, where do you end? The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations executive chairman Tony Irish stressed there was "currently a lot of negative sentiment" concerning the proposed changes. "Until such a time as we and the players are provided with the full picture and compelling reasons for change, we remain supportive of five-day Test cricket, and would expect significant player resistance if a shift to that is imposed on players by the ICC and/or boards," Irish said in a statement on Tuesday. "Test cricket is a cherished format of the game and it needs player support and buy in to survive. We urge those making decisions to understand that."
  8. Photo: ReutersCENTURION, South Africa: South Africa broke down stubborn England resistance to win the first Test of their World Test Championship series by 107 runs at SuperSport Park on Sunday. England needed 376 to win but despite some committed batting were bowled out for 268 on the fourth day of the five-day encounter. An enthralling contest swung South Africa´s way when left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj bowled Ben Stokes to halt a brief flurry of strokes as Stokes and captain Joe Root tried to lift the scoring rate before the second new ball was due. The new ball then had an immediate impact with Kagiso Rabada having Jonny Bairstow caught at gully before Anrich Nortje claimed the crucial wicket of Root, who made a fighting 48 before he was caught behind. It was the second time in the day Nortje claimed a wicket with the second ball of a new spell after he made the first breakthrough of the day by dismissing top-scorer Rory Burns for 84. The remaining wickets fell quickly, with Rabada finishing with four for 103 and fellow fast bowler Anrich Nortje claiming three for 56. Maharaj, who broke England´s first wicket stand of 92 on Saturday when he dismissed Dom Sibley, took two for 37. South Africa produced a disciplined bowling performance, making scoring difficult on a pitch which always offered something to the bowlers with some sideways movement and uneven bounce. England added only 50 runs in 25 overs while losing two wickets during the morning. Rory Burns took his overnight score of 77 to 84 before mistiming a pull against Nortje to be caught at mid-on, while Joe Denly was leg before wicket to Dwaine Pretorius for 31. Burns and Denly saw off the threat of Vernon Philander and Rabada but found scoring difficult. Philander conceded only one run in five overs. Rabada gave up 23 in six overs, which included two hooked sixes by Denly. Burns, who faced most of Philander´s bowling, adding only seven runs off 37 balls. The change to Nortje brought an immediate result for South Africa as Burns attempted to pull the fast bowler´s second delivery and sent the ball looping to Rabada at mid-on. Nortje made a second crucial breakthrough when South African captain Faf du Plessis made an inspired bowling change. First innings destroyer Vernon Philander sent down three overs with the second new ball but was not making the batsmen play many deliveries, so Du Plessis called on Nortje with immediate success.
  9. Photo: Reuters Australia marched toward a dominant series victory over New Zealand on Saturday after dismissing the visitors cheaply and building a mammoth 456-run lead on day three of the Boxing Day test. Leading 1-0 after thrashing the Black Caps in the Perth opener, Tim Paine’s Australia pushed to 137 for four in their second innings at stumps after routing the tourists for 148 in a firestorm of pace bowling at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Replying to Australia’s first innings 467, New Zealand were bowled out 120 runs short of forcing the hosts to bat again, but Paine sent his batsmen back out to pile on the agony. At the close, Matthew Wade was 15 not out, with Travis Head, the first innings centurion, on 12. The equation is bleak for Kane Williamson’s men, who had hoped for a result in Melbourne to keep the series alive to the third and final match in Sydney next week. No team has ever scored more than 417 runs in a fourth innings at the MCG, and none has ever chased down more than 332 to win at the venue. Dominated by Australia’s batsmen in the opening two days, New Zealand crumbled in the face of formidable fast bowling. Pat Cummins was chief tormentor, underlining his claim as the format’s premier exponent with a blistering display of pace and precision. He led Australia’s bowling with 5-28 to continue a brilliant year. “I’ve had a pretty good run lately so I can’t see it getting too much better than what the last year’s been but hopefully I can maintain it at that level,” 26-year-old Cummins, the year’s leading wicket-taker, told reporters. He was scarcely better than team mate James Pattinson, the fiery 29-year-old quick claiming 3-34 in his return to the side as replacement for the injured Josh Hazlewood. Only opener Tom Latham scored more than 20 runs for New Zealand, but after raising a tough half-century, he promptly gave up his wicket for 50, one of Cummins’ four caught-behind victims. Thousands of New Zealanders had flown across “the ditch” to watch their team’s first appearance at the MCG in 32 years, many with hope of a better show than the 296-run capitulation in Perth. Instead, they have seen another disaster unfold in the wake of Williamson’s decision to send Australia in to bat after winning the toss. Adding to the gloom, their pace spearhead Trent Boult suffered a fracture in his hand when struck by a Mitchell Starc ball while batting after lunch. Having missed Perth with a rib injury, Boult will head home after Melbourne and miss the Sydney test. “It’s obviously gutting news for Trent and also for our group to have someone like that ruled out with his injuries,” said Latham. In a rare highlight for New Zealand, seamer Neil Wagner captured his 200th Test wicket when he dismissed Steve Smith for seven, the fourth time he has scalped the master batsman in the series. But Head and Wade stood firm in the final overs to ensure Australia will return on day four with victory all but assured. “Fair play to Australia the way they bowled,” said Latham. “They were relentless and didn’t really let us have anything, unfortunately.”
  10. Photo: AFPKARACHI: Abid Ali and Shan Masood became only the third opening pair for Pakistan to hit centuries in the same innings as Pakistan turned the tables on Sri Lanka in the second and final Test in Karachi on Saturday. Abid, nicknamed "legend" in Pakistan´s dressing room, hit 174 for his second hundred in as many Tests -- becoming the first Pakistani and ninth batsmen overall to score two centuries in his first two Tests. When the third day´s play ended Pakistan were in a strong position with 395-2, having an overall lead of 315 after conceding an 80-run lead in the first innings. Skipper Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 57 -- his first fifty in 14 innings -- and Babar Azam on 22 not out. It was a day for the batsmen as Pakistan added 338 runs after resuming at 57-0 on a National Stadium pitch which dried up to help batting. Masood blasted 135 for his second century in his 19th Test as the duo put on 278 for the opening wicket, just 20 short of equalling the highest opening stand for Pakistan of 298. Amir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed had set that record against the West Indies at the same venue in 1997. Masood batted for nearly five hours for his 135, which included three sixes and seven fours. Abid struck 21 boundaries and a six in his 398-minute stay at the crease. - Abid´s feat - Abid, 32, completed his century with a sweep off spinner Lasith Embuldeniya for two to follow his 109 in the drawn first Test in Rawalpindi -- his debut. The Rawalpindi century made Abid the first batsman ever to score hundreds in both Test and one-day debuts. He had scored 112 in his first ODI, against Australia in Dubai earlier this year. Abid said team management calling him "legend" adds to his responsibility. "The management calls me legend, thanks to them," said Abid. "But it adds to my responsibility to perform well. This time we were under pressure because of the lead we conceded, but I am happy that we are now in a good position." It was pacer Lahiru Kumara (2-88) who broke the opening stand when he had Masood caught hooking just five minutes from tea before he trapped Abid with the second new ball. Abid´s successive hundreds have put him in an elite company. India´s Mohammad Azharuddin scored three hundreds in his first three Test after making his debut against England at home in December 1984. William Ponsford, Doug Walters and Greg Blewett of Australia, Sourav Ganguly and Rohit Sharma of India, Alvin Kallicharran of the West Indies and Jimmy Neesham of New Zealand are the others who hit two centuries in their first two Tests. Before lunch, Abid survived a confident leg-before shout off paceman Kumara on 61 but the tourists lost the referral with the replays showing the ball would have missed the stumps. Masood, playing his 19th Test, completed 1,000 Test runs when he reached 46. The current series -- part of the ongoing World Test championship -- is the first in Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 which suspended international cricket in the country.
  11. For someone who first grabbed eyeballs with his unorthodox action, Jasprit Bumrah has arguably come a long way to become a vital cog in Team India's bowling attack. If his anomalous, sling-arm action and natural pace allows him to get vital breakthroughs for his side, the peculiar release point of his deliveries creates all sorts of problems for the opposition batsmen. But, for someone who has been key to India's success in recent years, Bumrah has been out of action since the conclusion of the West Indies tour earlier this year. The right-arm speedster took 13 wickets, including two fifers, and returned home as only the third Indian bowler to claim a Test hat-trick. Owing to a stress fracture in his back, Bumrah took a break from cricketing action in a bid to nurse his injury. He went to England to consult specialists and returned home earlier this October. Thereon, he went through a rehab process that included recovery, conditioning, strength training and an eventual return to bowling in the nets - a roadmap that had been prepared for the bowler's comeback. © Reuters But, just when Indian fans were hoping to see Bumrah back on the field, the Rahul Dravid-led National Cricket Academy (NCA) refused to conduct the Indian seamer's fitness test in Bengaluru. NCA director Dravid, along with physiotherapist Ashish Kaushik, reportedly met Bumrah earlier this week and asked the bowler to consult his own set of specialists. It is understood that Dravid and his team were not impressed with the fact that Bumrah had his own team of specialists and trainers during his recovery from a stress fracture in his back instead of training at the NCA. Bumrah had flown to Bangalore a day after training in the nets with the Indian team on the eve of the second ODI against West Indies in Vizag. © YouTube As per the onlooker, Bumrah seemed to have achieved supreme fitness and was looking good bowling in the nets, but with the NCA declining his fitness test, Bumrah might have to wait a bit longer for his international comeback. The NCA's decision, under the supervision of chief Dravid, to refuse Bumrah his fitness test has created a lot of confusion. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly has claimed that he intends to find out exactly why Bumrah was refused his fitness test at the NCA, the recent developments has drawn flak for Dravid and his team. "At no point in time did Bumrah act on his own. He was asked to report in Visakhapatnam and bowl in the nets, which he did. He was asked to travel from Visakhapatnam to the NCA in Bangalore, which he did as instructed. The NCA told him that they could not conduct his fitness test and asked him to return to Mumbai, which he did. The decisions were not his," sources were quoted as saying by TOI. © Reuters "Whatever the controversy, the bowler needs to be left out of it. He's 24 years old and a prized asset for Indian cricket. People should keep their egos aside and work towards his progress, not create a controversy. It is never the cricketer's decision. A player will only do what he's told to do. If Rahul (Dravid) saw no point in NCA conducting Bumrah's fitness, he should tell the same thing to BCCI and it is for them to understand," sources added. Bumrah last played for India in the overseas Test series against the Windies. Since his injury, he has missed Test and limited-overs series against South Africa, Bangladesh and, more recently, West Indies at home. While the Indian team management continues to closely monitor Bumrah's fitness, the Indian seamer will probably have to wait a little longer to mark his return on the playing field. View the full article
  12. Babar Azam plays a shot against Sri Lanka in the second Test. Photo: AFPPakistan fought back after being dismissed relatively cheaply on Thursday as bowlers dominated the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Karachi. Lahiru Kumara and Lasith Embuldeniya grabbed four wickets each to dismiss Pakistan for just 191 before the home team had the visitors at 64-3 at stumps at the National Stadium. Pacer Kumara took 4-49 while left-arm spinner Embuldeniya finished with 4-71 after Pakistan won the toss. But Pakistan staged a fightback with the wickets of Oshada Fernando (four), Dimuth Karunaratne (25) and Kusal Mendis (13) leaving Sri Lanka still 127 runs behind on the first innings. Lanky pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi had Fernando caught behind before Mohammad Abbas removed Karunaratne and Mendis. Read more: Fernando's quickfire double reduces Pakistan to 72-3 At stumps, Angelo Mathews was eight not out and nightwatchman Embuldeniya unbeaten on three. Pakistan were well set at 127-3 with Babar Azam (60) and Asad Shafiq (63) involved in a 62-run stand for the fourth wicket, but once Azam fell the home side lost their last six wickets for just 24 runs. Azam was shaping well after scoring his 13th half-century before Embuldeniya had him stumped off a well-disguised delivery. Shafiq hooked Kumara tentatively to deep square-leg, ending Pakistan´s hopes of a big total in their bid to win the series after the first Test ended in a draw due to poor weather in Rawalpindi. Kumara dismissed Mohammad Rizwan for four and Yasir Shah (nought) off successive deliveries in the first over after tea before Embuldeniya removed the tail. Earlier, Sri Lanka left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando dismissed opener Shan Masood for five and skipper Azhar Ali for a duck to rattle Pakistan at 10-2 in the morning. Sri Lanka´s cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan´s Abid Ali (L). Photo: AFP Fernando's new-ball partner Kumara dismissed first Test centurion Abid Ali for 38 to end a third-wicket partnership of 55, which had lifted Pakistan from a precarious 10 for two. Fernando thought he had Azam leg-before on four, but TV referalls showed the ball hit the bat first. Azam reached his fourth half-century in the last five innings with a crisp boundary to cover off-spinner Dilruwan Perera, but could not match his hundred in the first Test. Azam's 96-ball knock contained eight boundaries and a six while Shafiq's 126-ball stay had six boundaries. It was Fernando who provided Sri Lanka with early breakthroughs. He angled one in to Masood to hit his off stump before clean bowling skipper Azhar with a full-length delivery. That left Azhar without a fifty in 13 innings, including nine scores of under 10. Pakistan brought in leg-spinner Yasir Shah for ailing paceman Usman Shinwari, while Embuldeniya came in for unfit Kasun Rajitha. The two-match series is the first in Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus killed eight people in March 2009, leading to the suspension of international cricket in the country over security fears.
  13. Abid Ali scored 112 against Australia in Dubai on his one-day international debut in March this year. Photo: ESPNcricinfoRAWALPINDI: Pakistan's opener Abid Ali scored his maiden Test ton as he became the first batsman to score hundreds on Test and one-day international debut, as the first Test in Pakistan since the 2009 attacks heads for a draw.Ali’s century made him the first male player to score century on ODI and Test debuts. The only other player to achieve the feat before Ali was England’s woman cricketer Enid Bakewell.The 32-year-old was joined by Babar Azam, who scored his 13th Test fifty for the hosts on day five of the Rawalpindi Test. At tea, Pakistan reached 177-2 at tea in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 308-6. Abid scored 112 against Australia in Dubai on his one-day international debut in March this year.Bad weather hit the Test on all previous four days and only 91.5 overs were played as rain, bad light and overcast conditions affected the game. The fourth day was abandoned without a ball being bowled.But there was bright sunshine on Sunday as Sri Lanka batted for 20 minutes to declare their first innings at 308-6 with middle-order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva scoring an unbeaten 102.With gates opened to the crowd for free, about 12,000 fans were kept entertained by Dhananjaya and then Abid.Pakistan lost opener Shan Masood for nought when he drove a full toss from pacer Kasun Rajitha straight into the hands of Dinesh Chandimal at cover, while skipper Azhar Ali scored a shaky 36 before he was caught off paceman Lahiru Kumara.Dhananjaya finally completed his sixth Test century in the morning.The 28-year-old right-hander drove paceman Mohammad Abbas for his 15th boundary to bring up the hundred in his 28th Test.De Silva remained unbeaten on 102 after 241 minutes of batting, having come in with the score on 127-4 on Thursday. Dilruwan Perera remained unbeaten on 16.The pick of the Pakistan bowlers were 16-year-old pace bowler Naseem Shah, who took 2-92, and Shaheen Shah Afridi with 2-58.The second Test is in Karachi from December 19.
  14. Tarps cover the pitch grounds to protect them from the rain after the Pakistan v Sri Lanka ODI cricket match was cancelled due to weather at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan September 27, 2019. Photo: ReutersThere is a lot more at stake than World Test Championship points for Pakistan when they host Sri Lanka in a two-match series this month as the country hosts its first Tests on home soil since the 2009 attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.That attack left six security personnel and two civilians dead and six players injured, and saw Pakistan spend the next decade in the Test wilderness as teams refused to play there.With the country’s cricket board (PCB) giving assurances that Pakistan was safe to travel, Sri Lanka returned to play several limited overs matches earlier this year, though 10 key players opted out citing security concerns.Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne said it was now time to bring Test cricket back to Pakistan.“After the 2009 incident, players were scared to travel to Pakistan,” he said in a PCB podcast.“But our T20 and ODI teams have toured the country and they told us that security and other arrangements were really good.“All our guys are ready to play. We are looking forward to a good series in Pakistan.”The series, which begins in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, will be as much a test of Pakistan’s organisational abilities as its cricketing skills.The PCB has promised watertight security for the tour and has invited Bandula Warnapura and Javed Miandad, captains in the first Test between the teams in 1982, for the series opener.“December 11 will be a very special day in Pakistan cricket history and it is appropriate that it is celebrated with Bandula Warnapura and Javed Miandad on our side,” PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement.“PCB will continue to hold similar events ... as we are now on the road to hosting regular international cricket at home.”Pakistan, who were forced to play their “home” Tests at neutral venues, will look to use the series as an opportunity to bounce back after being swept 2-0 in Australia, suffering innings defeats both in Brisbane and Adelaide.Sri Lanka will be playing under new head coach Mickey Arthur, who only took charge last Thursday and will start his tenure against his former employers Pakistan.The tourists suffered a blow hours before their departure for Pakistan on Sunday when quick Suranga Lakmal was ruled out of the series with dengue fever.Uncapped Asitha Fernando, currently playing in the South Asian Games in Nepal, will join the squad ahead of the second Test in Karachi from December 19.The series is part of the World Test Championship, which sees the top nine test nations face-off over a two-year period, scoring points based on their success and culminating in a final at Lord’s in June 2021.
  15. Members of the Pakistan Cricket team during a practice session in Rawalpindi. Photo: PCB TwitterRain may play a spoilsport in the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka starting tomorrow at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast rain in the city from Thursday to Saturday, meaning the second, third and fourth day of the Test is likely to be affected by rain. It is interesting to note here that the first one-day international between the two teams in September in Karachi was called off after heavy rain brought the city to a standstill. Pakistan will stage its first home Test in a decade on Wednesday, when they take on the Islanders in Rawalpindi, since the 2009 attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.Read also: Pakistan set for first real 'home' Test in a decadeThat attack left six security personnel and two civilians dead and six players injured and saw Pakistan spend the next decade in the Test wilderness as teams refused to play there.Pakistan, who were forced to play their “home” Tests at neutral venues, will look to use the series as an opportunity to bounce back after being swept 2-0 in Australia, suffering innings defeats both in Brisbane and Adelaide.Sri Lanka will be playing under new head coach Mickey Arthur, who only took charge last Thursday and will start his tenure against his former employers Pakistan.The series is part of the World Test Championship, which sees the top nine test nations face-off over a two-year period, scoring points based on their success and culminating in a final at Lord’s in June 2021.
  16. The world of cricket has witnessed the excellence of numerous batsmen over the years. But, in the modern era of the sport, the batting charts have been thoroughly dominated by four batsmen - Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root. Labelled as the 'Big Four' of modern-day batting, the quartet has appeared to be in a class of their own. Such has been the level of competition between these four batsmen that it's almost hard to pick who's the best. But, if statistics are anything to go by, the likes of Smith and Kohli, especially in the past couple of years, have clearly left Williamson and Root behind. From scoring centuries at will, dominating ICC rankings to shattering old records, Smith and Kohli have carved their own niche in international cricket, making others look mediocre. Their consistency with the willow has not only left the pundits in disbelief, but also the fans who are truly relishing the contest between Smith and Kohli. Their batting masterclass has changed the way we perceive the gentleman's game and every time someone poses a query over the best batsman around, the answer is either Kohli or Smith. © Reuters While it is still hard to pick between the two, there is little doubt over Smith's excellence, especially in the longest version of the game, Returning to the playing field after a year-long suspension earlier this year, Smith silenced the naysayers and probably all his detractors who felt that he may have lost his touch. Hitting his lowest ebb in years, Australian cricket's darling marked a sensational return and won back his fans after clobbering 774 runs, including two hundreds, a double ton and three fifties, in the Ashes series earlier this year. His brilliant outing also propelled him to the top spot in ICC rankings for batsmen in Test cricket. But, for someone who truly made the longest format his own little playground, Smith couldn't replicate his success during the recently-concluded Test series against Pakistan. The first Test at the Gabba saw the right-hander falling prey to Pakistani spinner Yasir Shah for a mere four runs in the first innings and a brilliant bowling display by Australia denied him an opportunity to bat in the second. © Reuters In the second Test, where his teammates David Warner (335*) and Marnus Labuschagne (162) looked at their menacing best in the first innings, Smith could only manage to score 36 runs before being dismissed by Pakistani seamer Shaheeh Afridi. With Australia offering a follow-on to Pakistan, Smith was once again denied an opportunity to make amends for his mediocre batting display in the second innings. With just 40 runs to his name in the two-match series, Smith didn't just miss out on carrying his fine form, but also lost the no.1 spot in the ICC rankings for batsmen in Test cricket. Smith's loss has proved to be Kohli's gain as the Australian's nemesis has reclaimed his old spot that he had lost earlier this year. Virat Kohli back to No.1! David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Root make significant gains in the latest @MRFWorldwide ICC Test Rankings for batting. Full rankings: https://t.co/AIR0KN4yY5 pic.twitter.com/AXBx6UIQkL — ICC (@ICC) December 4, 2019 The Indian captain, who has 7202 runs and 27 hundreds from 84 Tests, currently occupies the top spot with 928 points to his name. He is followed by Smith, who dropped points owing to his recent struggles in Brisbane and Adelaide, with 923 points. The list also includes New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, at the third spot, whose 51 points adrift at the top. Kohli might have reclaimed the top spot, but the fact that he will not play any more Test matches in 2019, makes him prone to getting dethroned again. Unlike Kohli, Smith, despite losing his top spot to Kohli, will have a great opportunity to snatch the No. 1 spot back when he takes the field in the two Tests against New Zealand later this month. © Reuters While Kohli and Smith continue to upstage each other with their impeccable skills, the cricket fans should be blessed to witness their competitive edge which appears to bring out the best in two of the modern-day batting greats. View the full article
  17. Williamson, who had been gifted two lives, was on 96 and Taylor 84 with both having posted their 32nd Test half-centuries in an unbroken 183-run partnership. Photo: FileHAMILTON: Centuries from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ensured New Zealand...
  18. Neil Wagner (C) celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket. Photo: AFPA fiery five-wicket burst from Neil Wagner sealed a comprehensive innings and 65 runs victory for New Zealand over England late on the final day of the first Test in Mount...
  19. India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in just over two days to sweep the two-match series. Photo: cricket.com.auIndia´s fast bowlers are enjoying a rare moment in the sun after they combined to dismantle Bangladesh in the maiden...
  20. The modern-day Indian cricket team has become a force to be reckoned with. Once terrified of fast-paced Australian and Pakistani bowlers, the Indian bowling attack itself has evolved into a pacing superpower. Add to that the extensive and steady batting lineup spearheaded by the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Team India is virtually unbeatable at home. In the first ever Day-Night Test match to be held in India, Kohli and Co. showed their mettle in the longest format of the game at the prestigious Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Thanks to the extraordinary fast-ball lineup of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, the entire Bangladesh batting order collapsed on the first day having scored just 106 runs. Sharma's 5-for combined with Yadav's three-wicket haul was the highlight the the pink-ball debut on Day 1. Ishant Sharma has only his second five-for at home, 12 years since his first against Pakistan ðï¸https://t.co/Rl7lqr69i5 #PinkBallTest pic.twitter.com/OMiWDxzmOs — ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 22, 2019 And then came Virat Kohli's thunderous 136-run innings alongside Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane's respective half-tons which gave India a 241-run lead before the skipper decided to declare the innings and let Mominul Haque's men approach the pitch for their second innings. Century No.70 ðð White ball Hundred-ðComplete Red ball Hundred-ðComplete Pink ball Hundred-ðComplete #ViratKohli ðKingð pic.twitter.com/UV4o33XDO0 — Karan Patel (@kp85karan) November 23, 2019 However, despite some serious effort shown by Mushfiqur Rahim who played a respectable 74-run knock the might of the Bengal Tigers failed to withstand the Indian pace, eventually leading to a defeat by an innings for the second of the two Tests as well. While this was Team India's first pink-ball win, it also happens to be the fourth straight Test match that they have won by more than an innings. Ahead of the two-match Test series against Bangladesh, the Indians hosted Faf du Plessis for a three-match Test series. After winning the first match by 203 runs in Visakhapatnam, they went on to seal the series win with innings victories in Mumbai and Ranchi. This is #TeamIndia's 7 straight Test win in a row, which is our longest streak ððªð#PinkBallTest @Paytm pic.twitter.com/Lt2168Qidn — BCCI (@BCCI) November 24, 2019 The series win against Bangladesh also takes Team India's undefeated streak in the red and pink ball cricket to 12 with the last series that India faced on their homeland dating back to the 2012-13 season against England. View the full article
  21. BRISBANE: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and chose to bat in the first cricket Test in hot and humid conditions at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday.As expected, Pakistan will give 16-year-old pace sensation Naseem Shah his first cap,...
  22. BRISBANE: Teenage bowling sensation Naseem Shah will become one of the youngest cricketers to play a Test after Pakistan captain Azhar Ali confirmed Wednesday the 16-year-old will make his debut at the Gabba.Shah, who opted to remain on tour after...
  23. Australia cricket coach Dean Jones. Photo: AFPSYDNEY: Pakistan?s hopes of upsetting hosts Australia in their upcoming two-match Test series have been seriously undermined by their poor preparation schedule, former Test batsman Dean Jones...
  24. Arguably one the most popular and decorated cricketers in the country, Mahendra Singh Dhoni continues to live in the hearts and minds of cricket fans across the globe. After taking Indian cricket to new heights, the Jharkhand cricketer is now in the twilight of his illustrious cricketing career. The 38-year-old almost sent India into the ICC World Cup final after coming agonisingly close to pulling off the miraculous run-chase against New Zealand in the tournament's semifinal. But, as India crashed out of the World Cup, the speculations on Dhoni's retirement reached an all-time high. The former Indian captain was expected to call time on his career soon after the World Cup but, more than three months later, there is still no word on it. Taking a sabbatical from the game after the ICC spectacle, Dhoni was expected to return to action at the start of India's home season but the veteran campaigner is yet to don the iconic 'Blue' jersey again. © Reuters He missed the T20I series against South Africa and then failed to make the cut for the ongoing T20I series against Bangladesh. Recent media reports have also suggested that the Indian selectors have decided to move on from Dhoni, keeping in mind the next year's World T20 in Australia. But, while there may be no official word on Dhoni's return to the playing field, cricket fans will finally be able to see the former Indian captain in action, but this time in the commentary box. The Indian wicket-keeper is likely to make his debut in the commentary box during India's maiden Day-Night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens. In what appears to be an exciting prospect proposed by host broadcasters Star Sports, all former captains of the Indian team are to be invited for the first two days of the Test match and will be asked to share their favourite moments from country's Test history. The proposed plan has been sent by Star to the new Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly. © Reuters "Invite India Test captains for Day 1 & 2 of the Test. All captains at the ground along with (Virat) Kohli and the rest of the team as well as the dignitaries line up for the anthem. Captains appear on commentary as guests through the day to recollect their favourite moments from India's Test history. Down memory lane segments recorded with individual captains are played on the big screen at the ground in breaks Day 4 onwards," reads the plan for the former India captains as quoted by Hindustan Times. Apart from that, the host broadcaster, on the third day of the Day-Night Test, is also eager to celebrate India's greatest win at Eden Gardens, that came against Australia in 2001. "V.V.S. Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble (?) and Rahul Dravid (?) re-live the Test match (2001). Segments aired on the big screen," the plan further elaborates. The question marks next to Kumble and Dravid's name suggest they might have not made their availability known when the documentation was done on 2nd November. Also, the host broadcasters are also planning to telecast the training session of the Indian team with the pink ball on the eve of the game - a first in the history of Indian cricket. © Reuters "Free entry to watch India practice on Friday (B & L block). Live coverage of the practice session on Star. Crowd interaction with legends. Crowd interactions with select India players (at the end of the session)," reads the mail. In a delight for those who are in attendance at the picturesque stadium, Star is also looking to organize audio commentary for them. In what appears to be a historic Test, filled with entertainment for viewers, India will take on Bangladesh in the much-anticipated Day-Night Test at Eden Gardens on 22nd November. Currently trailing 0-1 in the three-match T20I series, Team India will be eager to get back into the groove when they take the field at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot on November 7. View the full article
  25. PARIS: An at-home, non-invasive screening for cervical pre-cancer could increase compliance with recommended follow-up tests, according to research presented Monday at a cancer conference. The new screening, called the S5 test, is based on a urine...
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