Doug Bracewell, Scott Kuggeleijn Star As New Zealand Beat Sri Lanka In One-Off T20I


Although the target was not daunting, and Sri Lanka easily kept up with the required run rate to be four for 118 after 12 overs.

But their last six wickets fell for the addition of only 26 more runs and the innings folded for 144 with 19 balls remaining. 

Kuggeleijn and Bracewell both took wickets in their opening overs.

Kusal Perera, who raced to 22 off 12 deliveries was removed by Kuggeleijn’s third delivery while Niroshan Dickwella, who smacked a four and a six from the first two balls of the innings, went for 18 with the first ball from Bracewell.

Kuggeleijn and Bracewell also took the catches to dismiss Kusal Mendis (17) and Thisara Perera (43). 

The first game all tour for Sadeera Samarawickrama was a short-lived affair when he was bowled first ball by Lockie Ferguson.

Ferguson finished with figures of three for 21 while Ish Sodhi took three for 30.

Sri Lanka did with the toss and put New Zealand into bat with impressive early results.

With a more disciplined bowling attack than was seen in the ODIs, and with astute field placements, Sri Lanka ripped through the New Zealand top order to have them four for 27 midway through the fourth over. 

Ross Taylor, who tormented Sri Lanka in the one-dayers, had to play a more circumspect role.

His first 11 runs were all singles from 22 deliveries before he first found the boundary on his way to 33 off 37. 

Taylor’s patience, however, had set the stage for the Bracewell and Kuggeleijn to hit out and give the total some respectability.

Bracewell clubbed 44 off 26 balls including five sixes and a four while Kuggeleijn only faced 15 deliveries to be not out 35 with four sixes and a four.

New Zealand now prepare to host India in a series of ODIs while Sri Lanka head to Australia.

(With AFP inputs)



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Harmanpreet Kaur Named ICC Women’s T20I 2018 Team Captain; Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav In T20I And ODI Squads


“Bates’s appointment as the ODI captain is a recognition of her contribution in inspiring her side to second position in the ICC Women’s Championship after three rounds. In the seven ODIs this calendar year, Bates has scored 438 runs with two centuries and a half-century. Bates is presently ranked seventh in the ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters,” the release said.

Harmanpreet was rewarded for spearheading her side to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the Caribbean in November.

“In that tournament, Kaur scored 183 runs at a strike-rate of 160.5, while in the 25 matches in the calendar year, she accumulated 663 runs at a strike-rate of 126.2. Kaur is ranked third in the ICC Women’s Player Rankings for T20I Batters.”

Reacting to the news, Bates said: “Thank you very much to everyone who voted for the ICC team of the year. To be named captain is just an absolute honour. Obviously, I have been playing for a long time and stepped down from captaincy, but to be named captain of a World XI is pretty special and something I will always remember.

Women’s T20I Team of the Year (in batting order):

Smriti Mandhana (India), 2. Alyssa Healy (Australia) (wk), 3. Suzie Bates (New Zealand), 4. Harmanpreet Kaur (India) (capt), 5. Natalie Sciver (England), 6. Ellyse Perry (Australia), 7. Ashleigh Gardner (Australia), 8. Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand), 9. Megan Schutt (Australia), 10. Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh), 11. Poonam Yadav (India).

Women’s ODI Team of the Year (in batting order):

Smriti Mandhana (India), 2. Tammy Beaumont (England), 3. Suzie Bates (New Zealand) (capt), 4. Dane van Niekerk (South Africa), 5. Sophie Devine (New Zealand), 6. Alyssa Healy (Australia) (wk), 7. Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), 8. Deandra Dottin (Windies), 9. Sana Mir (Pakistan), 10. Sophie Ecclestone (England), 11. Poonam Yadav (India).

Harmanpreet was delighted to be appointed T20 captain, when she said: “To be honest, it was really surprising for me. The last two years we did not get enough T20I matches to play and it was really tough for me to build that confidence in the team and show that self-belief that we can do well in T20Is. Credit goes to all team members, the way they worked hard and show that self-belief.

“This award means a lot to me to build my confidence, BCCI is showing confidence on me – that I can do well in the format and I am looking forward to do well in the future.”

The voting academy included Melinda Farrell, Melanie Jones, Lisa Sthalekar (all Australia), Charlotte Edwards, Kalika Mehta (both England), Anjum Chopra, Snehal Pradhan (both India), Lesley Murdoch (New Zealand), Urooj Mumtaz (Pakistan), Natalie Germanos (South Africa), Alan Wilkins (Wales) and Ian Bishop (West Indies).



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MS Dhoni Returns To Action As BCCI Names Squad For Australia, NZ ODIs And New Zealand T20I Series


However, justifying the 37-year-old’s selection, a BCCI official, on conditions of anonymity, told PTI, “Since there are only eight ODIs (three against Australia and five against New Zealand), selectors want to give MS as much game time as possible (before the World Cup).

Three T20Is means 11 international matches through the next one month.”

In the ODI squad, the 21-year-old Pant’s axing is the only change that the selectors have made to the side that competed against the West Indies in a home series in October-November.

India are currently engaged in a Test series against Australia and will play three ODIs against them starting January 12 in Sydney. This will be followed by a limited-overs engagement with New Zealand,

starting with five ODIs from January 23.

The three T20 Internationals against Kiwis are lined up from February 6.

The squads:

India’s squad for ODI series against Australia and New Zealand: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami.

India’s squad for T20I series against New Zealand: Virat Kohli(Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed.

(With PTI inputs)





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Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis Hand Windies T20I Series Win Against Bangladesh


Opener Liton Das, Bangladesh’s highest scorer with 43 off 25, gave the hosts a strong start but they lost their way after an umpiring gaffe appeared to have broken their concentration.

In the fourth over of the innings, Bangladeshi umpire Tanvir Ahmed called a no-ball when Liton spooned a catch to Shimron Hetmyer at mid-off.

But TV replays showed Oshane Thomas had bowled a legitimate delivery, leaving Carlos Brathwaite furious.

The West Indies skipper immediately asked for a review, which halted the game for nearly 10 minutes.

Match officials eventually upheld the decision of umpire Ahmed after long discussion, but Bangladesh collapsed and were soon all out in 17 overs.

“I am very happy. We wanted to be aggressive and we wanted to be positive. In all three matches, we have batted really well,” Brathwaite said.

Bangladesh skipper Shakib lamented their poor batting.

“The way we came back with the ball was terrific. I think it was… (a) 180-run wicket. With the bat we were not sure how to go about our business,” he said.

Earlier, Lewis set the West Indies up for victory with a blistering innings, which included six fours and eight sixes — four of the sixes in one over — until he was dismissed by Mahmudullah.

Sent in to bat by Bangladesh, openers Lewis and Shai Hope put on 76 runs in just five overs for the visitors before left-arm spinner Shakib and pace bowler Mustafizur struck.

Shakib bowled Hope for 23 while Mustafizur removed Paul for two, but Lewis continued his onslaught, racing to 50 off just 18 balls.

Mahmudullah, who finished with 3-18, trapped Shimron Hetmyer leg-before for a duck right after he bowled Lewis, slowing the West Indies scoring spree.

Nicholas Pooran added 29 off 24 balls down the order but Bangladesh did well in the final overs to contain the tourists.

The West Indies were 176-5 after 16 overs but lost their last five wickets for just 14 runs, folding in 19.2 overs.

Mustafizur Rahman claimed 3-33 and Shakib finished with 3-37 in the Bangladesh fightback.

Bangladesh won the preceding Test series and one-day international series 2-0 and 2-1 respectively.



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Lasith Malinga Back As Sri Lanka ODI, T20I Skipper


Sri Lanka Friday brought back Lasith Malinga after a long hiatus as captain of its limited-overs squads to lead the national team against New Zealand. Sri Lanka Cricket said the 35-year-old right-arm fast bowler was named skipper of a 17-man squad for three one-day internationals and one T20 starting January 3. Malinga led Sri Lanka to the T20 World Cup in 2014. But since captaining Sri Lanka against the UAE in February 2016, he has not led the national team. He had lost his captaincy as well as his place in the team after recurring injuries which forced him to sit out many tournaments. However, he captained an ODI match against India in August last year.

The latest squad for the shorter forms of the game was ratified by President Maithripala Sirisena in the absence of a sports minister, the cricket board said.

Sri Lanka is effective without a government since a disputed cabinet appointed by Sirisena was defeated in a no-confidence motion last month.

Sri Lanka squad

Lasith Malinga (captain), Niroshan Dickwella (vc), Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Kusal Mendis,Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara.



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Kuldeep Yadav Enters Top Five In ICC Rankings After India’s T20I Series Draw


Kuldeep Yadav entered the top five in the ICC T20 International bowlers’ rankings following India’s series-levelling win against Australia in Sydney on Sunday. Kuldeep claimed the crucial wicket of Aaron Finch to break a 68-run partnership stand by the Aussie openers. Captain Finch, along with D’Arcy Short, gave the hosts a flying start after opting to bat in the third and final match of the T20I series. However, Yadav struck in the ninth over to send Finch back to the pavilion with 28 runs to his name. The 23-year-old left-arm spinner was a consistent wicket-taker for India in the three-match T20I series. In all, he took four wickets in the series that concluded in a 1-1 draw with a match being abandoned due to rain.

Along with Yadav, Australian spinner Adam Zampa also entered the top five bowlers’ chart. He claimed two wickets in the first T20I in Brisbane and struck once in the third match in Sydney.

While Yadav has leaped 20 places to claim the third position, Zampa went past 17 places to rank fifth.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who didn’t play a single T20I game in Australia, went down by seven places to sit on 11th spot. Australia pacers Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye were also demoted to 14th and 18th rank respectively.

India opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was bestowed with the Man of the Series award in the recently concluded series, was the biggest gainer in the batsmen’s chart. He rose by five places to claim a career-high 11th position. The left-handed opener scored 76 and 41 in two matches of the T20I series.

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell retained his top position among all-rounders after scoring 78 runs and claiming a wicket in the just concluded series.



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Mitchell Starc Included In Australia Squad For Final T20I Against India


Pacer Mitchell Starc has been included in Australia squad for the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) against India in Sydney on Sunday. Starc, who last played a T20I for Australia in September 2016, against Sri Lanka in Colombo, was called-up after Billy Stanlake was ruled out of the series decider. Stanlake strained his ankle during a warm-up mishap ahead of the rain-affected second T20I in Melbourne. The Queenslander injured his ankle on the boundary line while doing catching practice warming up and was today ruled out of the series finale by captain Aaron Finch.

Starc was scheduled to sit out of the T20I series and prepare for the first Test in Adelaide from December 6.

However the absence of Stanlake has altered those plans, with the left-armer linking up with the T20I squad in Sydney, Finch confirmed. 

“(Starc has) got so much experience in the limited-overs games as well and we’ve seen how dominant he can be when he gets it right with the ball,” Finch told cricket.com.au.

“We’ll have a look at the wicket this afternoon and discuss the side but coming straight off a Shield game with an eye on the first Test, his preparations will be really good.”

Nathan Coulter-Nile was brought into the side in Stanlake’s place for the Melbourne match, and the Western Australian smashed his first ball for a straight six to add some zing to a below-par batting performance. He hit a second six over the fence but exited for 18 from 9 balls.

Australia’s innings was curtailed by Melbourne’s weather after 19 overs, with the home side 132/7. 

Australia cannot lose the series against India following their win in Brisbane and the Melbourne wash-out. The Aussies sit third on the ICC’s rankings and will be hoping for an outright result in an uninterrupted match on Sunday.

Australia put together a convincing performance against India on Wednesday, with Glenn Maxwell hitting 46 off 24 balls before Marcus Stoinis kept his cool with a clutch final over.



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Australia Fined For Slow Over-Rate In First T20I vs India


Australia have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate in the first T20I against India at Brisbane. Jeff Crowe of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees imposed the fine after Aaron Finch’s side was ruled to be one over short of their target when time allowances were taken into consideration. The charges was levelled by on-field umpires Simon Fry and Paul Wilson, third umpire Gerard Abood and fourth umpire Shawn Craig. In accordance with Article 2.5.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Players Support Personnel, which relates to minor over-rate offences, players are fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.

Finch was fined 20 per cent of his match fee, while the players were fined 10 per cent.

If Australia are fined again in a T20I match within 12 months of this offence with Finch as captain, it will be deemed a second offence by Finch and he will face a suspension.

Finch pleaded guilty to the offence after the end of the match and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

Australia had won the opening match of the series by 4 runs (DLS).

Batting first, Australia had posted 158/4 in 17-over-a-side game due to rain. For the hosts, Chris Lynn scored 37 and Glenn Maxwell hit 46 off 24 balls.

India, who got a revised target of 174, could only muster 169/7 as the Australians produced a wonderful bowling performance.

The second T20I between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 23 was abandoned due to rain, with the hosts still having a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The third and final T20I will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 25.



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India Lose 1st T20I Despite Shikhar Dhawan Heroics


It was a morale boosting win for Australia, who have endured a dismal run of late in limited overs cricket.

The second match of the three-match series will be played in Melbourne on Friday.

Dhawan got India off to a quick start, putting on 35 off 25 balls for the opening stand with Rohit Sharma (7).

The latter was caught at long on off Jason Behrendorff (1-43) in a bid to accelerate his strike-rate.

In keeping with the strategy used during the T20I series in England, KL Rahul (13) came out to bat at number three.

Dhawan and Rahul put on 46 runs for the second wicket, but it was mostly down to the left-hander’s belligerence. He hit ten fours and two sixes overall, and reached his ninth T20I half-century off only 28 balls.

Rahul though was patchy at best and struggled for timing. He was stumped off Adam Zampa (2-22) in the ninth over, with the leg spinner also accounting for skipper Virat Kohli (4) who never really got going coming down at number four.

Zampa should have had a third wicket but he dropped a return chance from Dhawan (on 65). The batsman enjoyed another life at 74, when substitute Nathan Coulter-Nile put him down at square leg off Billy Stanlake (1-27).

The asking rate was climbing up and it took a toll on Dhawan, who finally holed out of Stanlake, leaving Rishabh Pant (20 off 15 balls) and Karthik with a mountain to climb.

They nearly achieved the impossible, putting on 51 off a mere 24 balls, toying around with the Australian bowling. But what is becoming increasingly frustrating with Pant, he played yet another loose and unnecessary stroke, throwing his wicket away.

It left Karthik to finish off things, but he found the going tough without enough support from the other end. With 13 needed off 6 balls, Krunal Pandya (2) and Karthik holed out off consecutive deliveries off Marcus Stoinis (2-27).

This was after Maxwell hit four sixes in a whirlwind knock before rain came, after Chris Lynn scored 37 runs off 20 balls to help Australia recover from a slow start.

India had won the toss and opted to bowl on a surprisingly green wicket.

Kuldeep Yadav was picked ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal as expected, while the hosts also included a spinner in Adam Zampa and left out medium pacer Coulter-Nile.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-15) and Jasprit Bumrah (1-21) got India off to a good start but Aaron Finch (27) pulled things back a bit.

Khaleel Ahmed (1-42) got the initial breakthough as D’Arcy Short (7) was caught at long on. The left-arm pacer proved expensive thereafter.

Kuldeep took a sensational catch running back to dismiss Short, and from there onwards, he had a marked influence on the game.

Later he also picked up 2-24 in his four-over spell. He dismissed Finch and then sent back Lynn as well, thus reducing Australia to 75-3 in the 11th over.

Apart from Yadav’s stunning effort, India were rather poor in the field. Skipper Kohli had dropped Finch in the fourth over, a straight chance spilled at cover, and then miss fielded later on as well.

Ahmed too dropped Stoinis (33 not out off 19 balls) late in the Australian innings, while Maxwell should have been run-out.

Finch took advantage of the reprieve and put on 40 runs off 26 balls with Lynn for the second wicket.

But it was Maxwell who stole the show with his belligerent hitting as Australia crossed 150 in the 16th over. He put on 78 runs off 37 balls with Stoinis as Indian bowlers proved expensive even before the death overs began.

Krunal Pandya had a forgettable day with both bat and ball. He went for 0-55 in his four overs before rain intervened, sucking out momentum from the Australian innings and leaving them only five deliveries on resumption of play.

Bumrah bowled cleverly, conceding only five runs after the disruption, while Australia still finished with a challenging total on the board.



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Virat Kohli Drops Straightforward Catch During First T20I


Watch: Virat Kohli Drops A Sitter In The First T20I vs Australia


Virat Kohli had a day to forget on the field during the first Twenty20 International. © AFP


Team India skipper Virat Kohli had a day to forget on the field during the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Gabba in Brisbane. After winning the toss, Virat Kohli opted to field and the Indian skipper displayed some sloppy fielding from the onset of the match. The first instance took place in the fourth over of the match when Kohli dropped Australian opener Aaron Finch at short cover from a delivery bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. Cricket Australia took note of the incident and posted a video on Twitter.

“A big moment early at the Gabba! #AUSvIND,” Cricket Australia said.

The 30-year-old Kohli later caused an error on the field in the 13th over which costed the visitors three runs. Kohli tried to charge-in towards the ball after Marcus Stoinis played a shot towards mid-wicket but the Indian skipper allowed the ball go through.

In the match, Australia posted 158 for four at the end of innings after the encounter was reduced to 17-over per side due to rain.

For the hosts, Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat scoring 46 runs from 24 balls while Chris Lynn scored 37.

For India, wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of 2 for 24.








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