T20 World Cup: Australia out to halt Pakistan charge in Dubai semi-final

By Sports Desk November 10, 2021

Pakistan have taken on all comers in the T20 World Cup and will look to end Australia's hopes of winning a maiden title at the semi-final stage on Thursday.

Babar Azam's side made a statement when they hammered fierce rivals India by 10 wickets in their opening match of the tournament and they have never looked back, winning all five Super 12 games.

Australia qualified as runners-up to England in Group 1 as they strive to win the T20 World Cup for the first time and have come out on top in their previous two T20Is against Pakistan.

Pakistan had won five in a row versus Australia in the shortest format prior to those two losses.

Matthew Hayden stated that he believes being a "warrior of Australian cricket over two decades" can give Pakistan an edge in his role as batting consultant for this tournament.

Pakistan's only T20 World Cup title was won back in 2009 and they were beaten by Australia in a semi-final the following year.

Stats Perform usese Opta data to preview the second semi-final at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday, with the winner facing England or New Zealand at the same venue three days later.

Brilliant Babar leading by example

Pakistan's classy run machine Babar has been outstanding with the bat and his captaincy in this tournament.

The prolific skipper has made four scores of least 50 in this tournament, only the third player to do so in a T20 World Cup. Australia great Hayden (four in 2007) and India captain Virat Kohli (four in 2014) are the other two.

Babar is the leading run-scorer in the competition with 264 from five innings at an average of 66 and a strike rate of 128.15.

Paceman Shaheen Afridi has been magnificent with the ball, forcing a false shot from a batter with 44 per cent of his 120 deliveries – the highest rate of any player at the Super 12 stage to bowl more than a single innings.

Haris Rauf has also made a big impact and is Pakistan's leading wicket-taker with eight to Afridi's six for the only team with a 100 per cent record in the Super 12s.

 

Zampa providing Australia x-factor

Spinner Adam Zampa has been one of Australia's leading lights on their run to the last four.

The tweaker has claimed 11 wickets at an average of just 9.90, with only Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga (16) having taken more scalps. His figures of 5-19 against Bangladesh are the best in the tournament.

Zampa has finished four of his five innings in the tournament with a bowling economy below six runs per over after having done so only once in his 17 innings prior. 

Paceman Josh Hazlewood has also maintained his outstanding form on the back of an Indian Premier League triumph with Chennai Super Kings.

Hazlewood has taken eight wickets with a strike rate of 11.87, delivering with the new ball time and again, and Australia will be looking for him to make early inroads along with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

 

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    Windward Islands Volcanoes registered their third win on the trot, as they defeated Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners by eight wickets, while Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Barbados Pride and Guyana Harpy Eagles, also secured wins in their respective Round three West Indies Championship encounters on Saturday.

    Set 125 for victory at Chedwin Park, Volcanoes cruised to their target with West Indies batsman Alick Athanaze finishing unbeaten on a 58 off 42 balls. He struck six fours and three sixes in an unbroken 83-run third wicket stand with Trinidadian left-hander Jeremy Solozano, who struck an unbeaten 61-ball 42, which included six fours.

    Solozano also shared in a 37-run opening stand with Kimani Melius (20) before off-spinner Romario Greaves struck twice to end with two for 64.

    Earlier, left-arm spinning all-rounder Kavem Hodge grabbed two of the last four wickets to end with two for 48 as the Marooners, who resumed on 271 for six, were bowled out for 315.

    Romario Greaves, unbeaten on 62 at the start, added just one, while Sion Hackett never added to his overnight 24.

    Scores: Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners 204 (Demario Richards 46, Damel Evelyn 43, Jonathan Carter 31, Shamarh Brooks 29; Darel Cyrus 25-2-72-6, Gilon Tyson 3-32) and 315 (Jonathan Carter 94, Romario Greaves 63, Damel Evelyn 56, Zishan Motara 33, Sion Hackett 24; Shamar Springer 2-33, Kavem Hodge 2-48).

    Windward Islands Volcanoes 395 (Kavem Hodge 158 not out, Sunil Ambris 120, Alick Athanaze 26; Romario Greaves 5-142, Jediah Blades 2-35, Edmond Govasta 2-54) and 128 for two (Alick Athanaze 58 not out, Jeremy Solozano 42 not out)

    At Sabina Park, Barbados Pride marched to their second win of the competition with a six-wicket victory over hosts Jamaica Scorpions.

    Chasing 173, Pride reached their target courtesy of 43 from Roshon Primus, 29 from Kevin Wickham and 25 from Shayne Moseley, off-spinner Peat Salmon claiming three for 69.

    Salmon struck twice early to leave Pride in a spot of bother on 52 for three, but Moseley posted 45 for the fourth wicket with Wickham before adding a further 44 for the fifth wicket with Primus, who slammed seven fours in a robust 34-ball knock, as Pride recovered well.

    Scorpions were earlier dismissed for 292 after resuming on 220 for eight. Pacer Shaquille Cumberbatch finished with five for 46, as Scorpions Derval Green resisted with an unbeaten 78-ball 48, which include seven fours and a six. Green was the aggressor in a 40-run ninth-wicket stand with Gordon Bryan (26) and 37 for the last wicket with Ojay Shields (4).

    Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 269 (Romaine Morrison 97 not out, Carlos Brown 40, Kirk McKenzie 40, Peat Salmon 24; Jomel Warrican 27.4-6-62-5, Jair McAllister 3-69) and 292 (Abhijai Mansingh 54, Derval Green 48 not out, Leroy Lugg 43, Kirk McKenzie 39, Carlos Brown 35; Shaquille Cumberbatch 5-46, Kevin Wickham 2-26)

    Barbados Pride 389 (Kraigg Brathwaite 142, Kevin Wickham 63, Shane Dowrich 44, Jonathan Drakes 31, Roshon Primus 22; Derval Green 4-78, Peat Salmon 3-94) and 176 for six (Roshon Primus 43, Kevin Wickham 29, Shayne Moseley 25; Peat Salmon 3-69)

    Reigning champions Guyana Harpy Eagles completed an emphatic, record win at Coolidge Cricket Ground.

    Harpy Eagles wasted little time in picking up the last four CWI Academy wickets cheaply, to storm to a 221-run win – the fifth largest margin of victory by runs for Harpy Eagles in the modern era of the championship.

    For Harpy Eagles, it was also their first win of the campaign following a draw in their first game against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and a heavy 273-run defeat to Leeward Islands Hurricanes in their second game.

    Resuming the morning on 161 for seven in pursuit of 429 for victory, CWI Academy were dismissed for 207 all out, with veteran left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (2-48) claiming two of the three wickets to fall.

    Carlon Bowen-Tuckett, unbeaten on 34 overnight, top-scored with 43 while Ashmead Nedd, on two at the start, struck a breezy 30 off 28 balls. Together, they stretched their eighth wicket stand to 32 before the final three wickets went down for 16 runs.

    Scores: Guyana Harpy Eagles 175 (Ronaldo Alimohamed 30, Matthew Nandu 28, Tevin Imlach 24, Kevin Sinclair 24; Joshua James 4-43, Johann Layne 2-27, Joshua Bishop 2-31) and 415 for seven decl. (Kevin Sinclair 165 not out, Kemol Savory 58, Kevlon Anderson 49, Ronaldo Alimohamed 31, Veerasammy Permaul 29 not out, Tevin Imlach 29, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 22; Ashmead Nedd 5-97).

    Cricket West Indies Academy 162 (Rashawn Worrell 58, Joshua Bishop 51; Kevin Sinclair 4-45, Veerasammy Permaul 3-15, Gudakesh Motie 3-31) and 207 (Jordan Johnson 54, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 34, Joshua James 26; Isai Thorne 4-49, Kevin Sinclair 2-30)

    At Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts, Hurricanes too helped themselves to their second win of the campaign when they beat Red Force by four wickets.

    Set 162 for victory after bowling Red Force out in their second innings for 342, Hurricanes got a top score of 53 from West Indies white-ball stroke-maker Keacy Carty while 17-year-old Jewel Andrew missed out on his second fifty of the game with 48.

    With the hosts in trouble at 26 for two, Carty put on 45 for the third wicket with Jahmar Hamilton who made 29 from 38 balls, and a further 70 with Andrew for the fourth wicket, to put Hurricanes in touching distance of victory.

    While Carty faced 136 deliveries and struck half-dozen fours, the Under-19 World Cup star Andrew belted three fours and two sixes in an entertaining 53-ball knock.

    Left-arm spinner Khary Pierre claimed four for 69.

    Resuming earlier from 285 for six, Red Force were undermined by left-arm spinner Daniel Doram (3-80) who snatched three of the last four wickets to tumble.

    Scores: Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 137 (Jyd Goolie 30; Colin Archibald 3-28, Jeremiah Louis 3-38) and 342 (Jyd Goolie 64, Jason Mohammed 49, Tion Webster 38, Cephas Cooper 36, Terrance Hinds 34, Joshua Da Silva 34, Vikash Mohan 25, Bryan Charles 24; Rahkeem Cornwall 3-68, Daniel Doram 3-80, Jeremiah Louis 2-70)

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes 318 (Jewel Andrew 87, Kieran Powell 65, Jeremiah Louis 41, Mikyle Louis 34; Anderson Phillip 4-62, Bryan Charles 3-81) and 165 for six (Keacy Carty 53, Jewel Andrew 48, Jahmar Hamilton 29; Khary Pierre 4-69)

     

  • Gayle, Bravo adds to ‘out of this world’ campaign excitement ahead of T20 World Cup Gayle, Bravo adds to ‘out of this world’ campaign excitement ahead of T20 World Cup

    Fans celebrated 100 days to go to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with tickets going on general sale as the was launched with larger-than-life cricket balls landing in the nine host locations including in Times Square in New York City and Bridgetown in Barbados.

    Cricket stars Dwayne Bravo and Liam Plunkett took center stage hitting sixes in New York’s Times Square with local fans and players ahead of the biggest cricket carnival ever. Chris Gayle was in attendance in Freedom Park in Barbados with a spectacle of colour and music, as a street parade in Bridgetown celebrated the biggest T20 World Cup ever.

    A number of other spectacular events took place in Dallas, Miami, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent & The Grenadines with sporting talent present and fans enjoying cricketing activities. The launch also signified the start of general ticket sales for the event which begins on 1 June where hosts USA face Canada in Dallas in a repeat of the first-ever international cricket match in 1844.

    Tickets are available at tickets.t20worldcup.com

    Dwayne Bravo expressed excitement about the build up to the tournament.

    “I think the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be an incredible event and here in New York for the first time you are going to have the greatest players competing against each other. It's going to create history. It's about time that cricket made its mark here in the USA and people here now can look forward to seeing their favourite players and can experience it first-hand," he said.

    “The fact that it's co-hosted between the US and the West Indies is good for cricket. It's fantastic for our region in the Caribbean to be able to show the world that we are able to host events as big as the World Cup. We are also happy that we are able to contribute to the growth of the development of cricket in the USA," Bravo added.

    For Chris Gayle the expectation is also high, especially given the talent that will be on show in the tournament.

    “We have some fantastic entertainers within the sport and you're going to see them live in the West Indies and USA this year at the T20 World Cup. You're going to see the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, youngster Yashavsi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shaheen Afridi – the list goes on! It's going to be a cracking, entertaining event," Gayle said.

     

  • Joe Root vows to keep ‘evolving’ after century against India Joe Root vows to keep ‘evolving’ after century against India

    Joe Root believes he must keep “evolving” as a batter or risk being exposed after returning to form as England moved into the ascendancy against India in Ranchi.

    Root’s sparkling 122 not out ushered England from 112 for five to 353 all out in the fourth Test as the Yorkshireman ended a lean patch which had seen him collect just 77 runs in six previous innings.

    A couple of attack-orientated dismissals brought scrutiny on whether Root needed to tailor his approach – one that has brought more than 11,000 Test runs – to suit England’s current ‘Bazball’ model.

    But when asked whether he has been stung by recent criticism, Root gave an impassioned defence of England’s style and insisted he must continue to develop to remain among the world’s top-tier batters.

    “Certainly the execution of the shots has weighed on me,” the former England captain said. “Not necessarily the selection but the execution – I’m better than that.

    “It’s not about being arrogant. Bazball is a word that’s used a lot but that’s your word, that’s not how we look at it. It’s about how can we get the best out of each other as a team. You’re not always going to get it right (but) we’ll continue to keep trying to improve.

    “The reason I’ve played as many games as I have is that I’ve not wanted to stand still as a player, I have to try to keep evolving.

    “If you keep on trying to play the same way over and over again, teams work you out and they find your weaknesses. If you don’t try to get better and find different ways of scoring runs, you’ll get found out.”

    Root played a more traditional Test innings en route to his 31st hundred in the format before Shoaib Bashir exploited helpful conditions to finish with four for 84 as India closed on 219 for seven.

    Root kept his reverse ramp out of sight and admitted a brief inkling of unfurling it to bring up three figures was quickly banished.

    “It was a fleeting and selfish thought that left my mind very quickly,” Root said. “You don’t mess with the game, you just try and play what you honestly think is the best way to score runs.

    “It was nice to finally get some runs in this series. It felt like it’s been a long time coming.

    “It’s been disappointing but the fact I have got quite a lot of experience has been able to keep me calm. The way I’m preparing meant it was going to come at some point.”

    Bashir bowled 31 overs at one end in just his eighth first-class match and second Test, with the 20-year-old offering control and a wicket-taking threat on a pitch producing spin and uneven bounce.

    Bashir was solely responsible for India lurching from 86 for one to 161 for five, which included the wicket of the in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal, who made 73 before bottom-edging on to his stumps.

    “The way he bowls is a great little insight into his character and personality: he is quite cheeky and great fun to be around,” Root said.

    “To be able to continually put pressure on some very good players of spin, I know the wicket was helpful at times but he did an amazing job and it’s a great sign for English cricket.”

    Bashir’s success left Root “itching to get on” after only being called upon to bowl a single over.

    But he added: “It’s nice for Stokesy to be able to put so much trust in a young guy that’s played so little Test cricket.

    “You can see he wants it, he’s desperate to do his part and and it was great to see him get rewards for that.”

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