Kane Williamson and Trent Boult dragged New Zealand back into contention against Pakistan on the second day of the first Test.

New Zealand slumped to 153 all out in Abu Dhabi on Friday as Yasir Shah took 3-54 to put the hosts in complete control.

But the Black Caps bounced back on day two with Boult recording fine figures of 4-54 as Pakistan were bowled out for 227 in reply.

Captain Williamson (27) and opener Jeet Raval (26) then led New Zealand to stumps, called early due to bad light, on 56-1 after Tom Latham departed first ball, leaving the tourists 18 runs behind with nine wickets remaining.

Pakistan resumed on 59-2 but lost Haris Sohail (38) and Azhar Ali (22) in consecutive overs, the latter becoming Boult's second victim as New Zealand battled back.

Asad Shafiq hit five fours and a maximum in his 43 as an 83-run partnership with the watchful Babar Azam (62) took Pakistan into the lead.

Boult removed both batsmen to spark a fightback for the Black Caps, Ajaz Patel (2-64) chipping in with the wickets of skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (2) and Bilal Asif (11).

Pakistan lost their last five wickets for just 53 runs as they failed to build a dominant platform but Mickey Arthur's men made an early breakthrough in the field.

Hasan Ali's first ball sent Latham's off stump cartwheeling for a golden duck, with Williamson and Raval rebuilding by sharing a 56-run stand to steer New Zealand through to the close.

South Africa eased to a 21-run victory in their Twenty20 clash with Australia - a match limited to 10 overs each after rain delayed the start.

The Proteas prevailed 2-1 in the recent ODI series between the sides and were again celebrating after the first international cricket match to be played at the Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium.

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl after the covers were finally pulled back following a wait of an hour and 50 minutes.

South Africa's progress was solid if unspectacular, with Quinton du Kock (22) and Faf du Plessis (27) contributing to a 10-over total of 108-6.

Having seen opposite number Du Plessis top score for the tourists, Australia captain Aaron Finch - celebrating his 32nd birthday - struggled to get his innings off the ground, falling for just seven.

D'Arcy Short (0), Chris Lynn (14) and Marcus Stoinis (5) all followed in quick succession to leave the hosts 37-4.

Glenn Maxwell was the only man other than Lynn to reach double figures, but his 38 was not enough to rescue a result for the home side and he was caught by Farhaan Behardien off Lungi Ngidi with the final delivery of the match - his side finishing on 87-7.

"We just left ourselves too much to do," Maxwell told Fox Sports. "We didn't start well and didn't recover from there.

"Hopefully we can improve before we hit the ground running against India [on Wednesday]."

Rain stopped play as England turned the screw after tea on the fourth day of the second Test in Sri Lanka.

Angelo Mathews (88) appeared to have steered Sri Lanka into a strong position with a performance that helped drag the hosts away from early struggles that had left them 26-3 in pursuit of a 301-run victory target.

But his dismissal shortly after tea at Pallekele, and the subsequent wicket of Dilruwan Perera, allowed England to build a head of steam and left the home side on 226-7.

Dilruwan's wicket was the final action of the day as an evening downpour brought about an early finish and gave Sri Lanka time to ponder a route to the remaining 75 runs required, with only three wickets remaining.

A stellar batting display from Joe Root on Friday looked to have put England in firm control, and the early scalps of Kaushal Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis on Saturday certainly strengthened their bid for a first away series win since 2015-16.

The trio fell during a devastating period from Jack Leach (4-73), who accounted for all three in the space of three of his overs.

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne (57) found a more stable batting partner in Mathews and the pair combined for 77 runs for the fourth wicket to haul Sri Lanka back into the contest.

Karunaratne was ultimately caught behind off Adil Rashid (1-52) but Mathews was assisted ably by his fellow middle-order batsmen Roshen Silva (37) and Niroshan Dickwella (27 not out).

Sri Lanka reached tea on 219-5, needing only 82 for victory.

However, their challenge was significantly weakened when Moeen Ali trapped Mathews lbw, before Dilruwan - who had survived on review in the previous over - also walked after being pinned in front by the impressive Leach.

The covers were hurried on as Dilruwan returned to the pavilion and the rest of the day's play was abandoned soon after.

Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor was satisfied with the team’s batting effort after recording a comfortable 83-run victory over Sri Lanka on Friday.

After being accused of going missing earlier in the tournament, following subpar performances against Bangladesh and South Africa, the Windies top order got their act together in time to punish the Sri Lanka bowlers. 

Led by a belligerent 62 from opener Hayley Matthews and 49 from Deandra Dottin, the Windies put on 94 for the first wicket.

Taylor, who came to crease when the partnership was broken after Matthews’ dismissal, then added 41 from 25 balls to help the team post an unassailable 187.

In response, the Sri Lankan’s anchored by 44 from their captain Chamari Atapattu, were helped by some sloppiness in the field but still fell far short of making the match competitive after being dismissed for 104. 

“We came to the party with our batting, but I can’t say the same for the fielding.  We looked a bit ragged there,” Taylor said.

“We said that we just needed to apply ourselves out there spent some time at the crease.  The reason for winning the toss and batting was that I found that the pitch might be a keeping a bit low,” she added.

The Windies top order came to the party to post their highest Twenty20 International total of 187/5, and backed it up with a dominant performance on the field to wrap up an 83-run win over Sri Lanka in Match 16 of the ICC Women's World T20 and seal their spot in the semi-final. 

Joe Root was pleased to lead by example after his superb century boosted England's hopes of a series-clinching victory in Pallekele.

After overcoming a scratchy start, Root blossomed to make 124 from 146 deliveries on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka, helping the tourists reach 324-9 before heavy rain cut short the final session.

Still, despite the damp finish to proceedings, England's overall outlook is bright. They hold a 278-run lead and, on a wearing pitch, will hope their trio of spinners can secure an unassailable 2-0 lead with one Test remaining.

Having called for his batsmen to play positively in tough conditions prior to the tour, Root was happy to back up his words with an aggressive knock that included 10 fours and two sixes.

"They're all different, but that was a thoroughly enjoyable one today," the Yorkshireman said of his 15th Test ton in an interview with Sky Sports.

"Obviously it was quite challenging on that surface but the most pleasing thing for me was that I've asked the guys to play in a certain manner when we've come to this part of the world and in these conditions, so you want to set the example and lead from the front, play in that manner yourself.

"For it to come off as it did today is really pleasing.

"You look at the group of players we've got and it suits their natural games. You've got to play your advantage and we've certainly done that on this tour so far with the bat.

"You're not going to get it right all the time but we've given ourselves a really good chance, especially now in this game.

"If we bowl pretty well on that surface, hopefully we will be able to create at least 10 chances."

The right-handed batsman admitted it was tough going in the early stages of his innings, describing his batting like a "reverse swan" as he looked frantic on the outside but remained somewhat calm underneath.

"To start, I felt a bit all over the place at the start, a bit hectic," he added. "It was like a reverse swan, as I felt calm underneath but my legs were flapping on the outside.

"It was just about trying to get the bowlers to bowl in the areas you wanted them to. Take a few risks early and get used to the surface and how it was playing.

"Once I got to 20-odd, got a few boundaries away, I felt I was picking length pretty well in terms of sweeping. It sort of made things a lot easier, and from that point you figure out a good method of how to play on that surface."

Root also praised top-order duo Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings, who made 59 and 26 respectively to help erase a small first-innings deficit following the early departure of nightwatchman Jack Leach.

"We kept the board going at a really good rate, especially in that first session," the skipper said.

"Credit to the guys for coming out and playing that way. We lost Leach early and, looking at the scoreboard with a bit of a deficit, the temptation is to go into your shell.

"But the guys played with freedom and a lot of courage, as well as showing respect to the good balls out there."

New Zealand collapsed to the lowest first-innings total registered by any Test team in Abu Dhabi as Pakistan made a strong start to the series on Friday.

The Black Caps capitulated from 111-3 to 153 all out on a slow track and they would have been facing total humiliation but for a half-century from Kane Williamson (63).

Yasir Shah took 3-54, while the excellent Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali and Haris Sohail took two wickets apiece.

Pakistan were 59-2 at stumps, already trailing by just 94 runs despite openers Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez throwing their wickets away.

Williamson, passed fit after recovering from a groin injury, arrived at the crease earlier than he would have hoped after winning the toss, Jeet Raval (7) nibbling Abbas behind and Tom Latham (13) falling to a poor shot in Yasir's first over.

The tourists were 39-3 when Ross Taylor edged Yasir behind, but Williamson and Henry Nicholls dug in to prevent further damage from being done before lunch.

Nicholls struck Yasir for back-to-back boundaries and Williamson played with more freedom early in the afternoon session, the captain bringing up his half-century off 88 balls with a textbook cut.

But Abbas, whose 12 overs cost only 13 runs, struck again when Nicholls (28) nicked through to Sarfraz Ahmed with a loose drive and New Zealand crumbled after Hasan (2-38) took two wickets in as many balls.

Williamson gloved behind down the leg side and Colin de Grandhomme was trapped leg before first ball, Haris then getting in on the act by removing Ish Sodhi (4) and BJ Watling (10).

New Zealand had lost seven wickets in 22 overs by the time Yasir rapped debutant Ajaz Patel on the pads in front, teenager Shaheen Afridi no doubt watching on enviously after missing out on a debut.

Imam - cleared to play a week after being struck on the helmet by a Lockie Ferguson bouncer - fell with a loose drive and Williamson took a second catch when Hafeez slapped a short ball from Trent Boult straight to him at midwicket.

It was Pakistan's day, though, after Haris (22 not out) Azhar Ali and (10no) denied New Zealand from making further inroads.

Joe Root made a brilliant attacking century to give England a substantial lead despite Akila Dananjaya's six-wicket haul on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

Root went on the attack to give the tourists a great chance of winning the series with a match to spare, the captain scoring a masterful 124 from only 146 balls.

Rory Burns (59) hit a maiden Test half-century and Ben Foakes continued his dream start to his England career with an unbeaten 51 on a pitch offering plenty of turn on Friday.

Dananjaya, reported for a suspect bowling action in the first Test, took Test-best figures of 6-106 but England were 324-9 with a lead of 278 when play was cut short due to bad light before the rain came.

Joe Leach succeeded with his task of seeing out one over as nightwatchman on day two, but failed to hang around in the morning session, Dilruwan Perera (2-87) trapping him leg before sweeping.

Keaton Jennings (26) and Burns moved England into a lead of 31 with a positive second-wicket stand of 73 before the former was caught at slip reverse-sweeping Dananjaya.

Burns did not allow the Sri Lanka bowlers to settle, striking the ball with power and running superbly between the wickets in a promising knock which included seven boundaries before Malinda Pushpakumara snared him lbw.

England were 109-4 when Perera pinned Ben Stokes leg before without scoring, but Root looked in great touch from the start of his innings and put on 74 for the fifth wicket with Jos Buttler. 

Buttler (34) played on attempting to reverse sweep Dananjaya, but Root continued to use his feet expertly, finding the boundary with apparent ease as he took on the spinners.

Root shifted through the gears after bringing up his half-century, Sri Lanka unable to contain the skipper, who continued to charge down the track, smashing Perera for six over midwicket before Moeen Ali departed cheaply.

The magnificent Root moved into the 90s by launching Dananjaya over the ropes and let out a roar after bringing up his 15th Test hundred by steering Suranga Lakmal to the third-man boundary just after tea.

Root was also undone sweeping Dananjaya, but the impressive Foakes had a half-century when he swatted Perera over the ropes after Dananjaya bowled Sam Curran first ball with a beauty and then removed Adil Rashid. 

Deteriorating light and a subsequent downpour brought a premature halt to what was England's day, Foakes still there brimming with confidence following his debut hundred in Galle.

Australia batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner will play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) next year after being retained by their respective teams.

Smith (Rajasthan Royals) and Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad) missed this year's tournament after being handed 12-month bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

However, it was announced on Thursday that the duo had been retained by their teams on contracts worth about 2.4 million Australian dollars.

The 2019 IPL is due to start on March 29, a day after Smith and Warner's bans expire.

Cricket Australia (CA) is not approving contracted players to appear in the IPL until after the Sheffield Shield season ends on April 1, unless their team fails to make the final, in which case they can depart after the last round (March 20-23).

Smith will be joined by England duo Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes at the Royals after the pair were also retained.

In the first stand-alone T20 World Cup for women, there were questions about what the crowd would be like. 

Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite is one of two players released by Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the IPL 12 auction.

The 28 -year-old all-rounder endured a difficult season with the Sunrisers last season, after being left on the bench for the first half of the campaign.  In total, Brathwaite tallied 75 runs and grabbed 5 wickets in four matches.

Prior to that, the West Indian featured sparsely for the Delhi Daredevils for whom he played only 10 matches across two IPL seasons (eight in 2016 and two in 2017).  In addition to Brathwaite, the team also Wriddhiman Saha.

Yuvraj Singh was on Thursday released by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the Indian Premier League auction next month while Rajasthan Royals let go left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat after paying a whopping Rs 11.5 crore for his services earlier this year.

Delhi Daredevils expectedly released Gautam Gambhir, who stepped down as the team's in the middle of the 2018 season after a poor run of form.

Yuvraj, who last played for India in June 2017, was bought by KXIP at a base price of Rs 2 crore at the mega-auction held in January.

Chris Gayle, who too was lapped up by KXIP at his base price of Rs 2 crore, has been expectedly retained after a productive run in the 2018 edition. The deadline to retain players ended on Thursday.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has allayed fears he will miss the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi with a groin strain.

Windies women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor pointed to the benefit of playing against South Africa in drawn One Day International and T20i series in the Caribbean when the defending Women’s World T20 champions were able to conjure up a 31-run win in a game the Windies were quite poor with the bat. 

England captain Joe Root received the first demerit point of his career for breaching the ICC's code of conduct on a day when Sri Lanka claimed a 46-run lead in Pallekele.

Roshen Silva steered Sri Lanka into a lead with a classy half-century after England looked destined to take a healthy advantage on day two of the second Test in Pallekele.

Sri Lanka were in trouble on 165-6 on Thursday but led by 46 at stumps after recovering to 336 all out.

Dimuth Karunaratne (63) and Dhananjaya de Silva (59) made half-centuries and Roshen top scored with a superb 85 after receiving support from the tail.

Jack Leach (3-70) and Adil Rashid (3-76) took three wickets apiece, while the tourists were also boosted by five penalty runs - taking their first-innings total up to 290 – awarded after Roshen was adjudged to have deliberately run short.

Sri Lanka added 84 runs for the last two wickets as they attempt to level the three-match series, with nightwatchman Leach successfully seeing off one over before the close.

Moeen Ali (2-85) struck in the third over of the day after Sri Lanka resumed on 26-1, Malinda Pushpakumara (4) giving Rory Burns a simple catch at midwicket.

Karunaratne played with great application for a deserved half-century and it took a moment of brilliance from Ben Stokes to run the opener out with a direct hit when the all-rounder only had one stump to aim at.

Sri Lanka were 139-4 at lunch after Stokes demonstrated his prowess in the field again with a brilliant instinctive one-handed catch at first slip when Leach drew an edge from Kusal Mendis (1).

Dhananjaya pulled Stokes for four to bring up his half-century and played with finesse before he was caught behind off Rashid, who generated huge turn to remove Angelo Mathews (20) in the same manner.

Roshen played with increasing authority in a tricky situation, but Sri Lanka were facing a big first-innings deficit when Niroshan Dickwella (26) was trapped leg before by Joe Root.

Dilruwan Perera became Leach's third victim just two balls after Roshen reached his fourth Test half-century at the start of the final session, but Akila Dananjaya offered support in a ninth-wicket stand of 56.

There was confusion when umpire Marais Erasmus deemed Roshen ran short on purpose at the non-striker's end before returning to other, as he and Dananjaya looked unsure if the ball touched the boundary ropes at third man.

He took that on the chin and dished out more punishment of his own, lofting Moeen for six before Rashid finally dismissed him to end the innings after Dananjaya fell for a brisk 31.

Leach played out an over from Dilruwan with confidence as Burns watched on at the other end, ensuring no further damage was done on a frustrating day for Root's side.

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