Zak Crawley epitomised both sides of England’s “risk and reward” strategy as India grabbed control of the second Test but has vowed not to dial down his attacking instincts.

Birthday boy Crawley, who turned 26 on day two in Visakhapatnam, batted majestically at times on his way to 76 from 78 balls but his dismissal proved a turning point.

Responding to the hosts’ 396 all out, England were motoring along on 114 for one when Crawley tried to smash Axar Patel’s third ball back over his head and holed out.

England never regained their composure as the imperious Jasprit Bumrah tore them down for 253 with a brilliant six-wicket haul, but Crawley had no regrets about going on the attack.

On tour here in 2021 he scored just 67 runs in four innings using a much more conservative plan and believes he is a better batter now that he is taking the game on.

“I wasn’t happy to get out when I did but I’d definitely do the same thing again,” said Crawley, who hit 11 fours and two sixes before coming unstuck.

“I was disappointed with myself, especially when the wickets fell afterwards, but I’ll keep telling myself to back my aggressive game because that’s what got me here.

“If I start doubting myself in those situations and not backing my instincts then I revert back to the player I was a couple of years ago, really not scoring many runs for my team.

“I’m happy that I’m much more aggressive now and that’s helped with consistency. If that one doesn’t turn and I hit him over his head for six then suddenly he’s under a lot of pressure and I can milk him for two hours or whatever.

“There’s risk and reward there. I’ve done it before and it’s come off but unfortunately it didn’t come off today.”

Crawley managed to get the better of Bumrah, at one stage hitting the seamer for four boundaries in a single over, but he was alone in that.

The 30-year-old was an unstoppable force once the ball started to reverse swing, gutting England’s middle order and mopping up at the end to finish with six for 45.

India stretched their advantage to 171 with all 10 second-innings wickets intact by the close of play but Crawley does not fear a big chase.

Despite seeing his side bowl India out for 202 to seal victory in the first Test at Hyderabad, Crawley hopes for friendlier conditions when the time comes.

“I feel it’s not breaking up like last week. I don’t think it’s going to turn as much,” he predicted.

“It will obviously turn more than it is now, that’s always the case here, but I don’t think it’ll be as tricky as it was fourth innings for them last week so I feel like we can chase a decent score.

“It’s a quick scoring ground, really small boundaries and a quick outfield.

“If you put them under pressure you can get on top of them. With a good couple of partnerships in the second innings we can really put them under some pressure but we’ve got to bowl well first and that’s all that’s on our minds now.”

England’s batters had no answer for the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah as India’s star paceman left the tourists in need of another dramatic turnaround in the second Test.

Ben Stokes’ side have made a virtue of never knowing when they are beaten – and overcame India’s 190-run lead to win last week’s series opener in Hyderabad – but found themselves back in familiar trouble as they were bowled out for 253 in Visakhapatnam.

That left them 143 behind after the first innings with India’s openers adding another 28 before the close.

Zak Crawley hit a free-flowing 78 on his 26th birthday and Stokes chipped another 47 off the deficit but Bumrah was almost unplayable at times as he claimed six for 45.

He served up a pace bowling clinic, getting the ball to reverse swing both ways at high speed and alternating between attacking the stumps and threatening the edge.

Ollie Pope suffered most extravagantly, with middle and leg sent flying as he groped at a toe-crusher, but he was not alone in finding Bumrah’s best too hot to handle.

At 114 for one and with Crawley motoring England were well positioned to take on India’s 396 but less than 34 overs later they were all out.

England took India’s last four wickets for 60 as James Anderson pre-empted Bumrah by showing off his own enduring skills. Handed a brand new ball in the morning the 41-year-old bowled eight overs unchanged, taking two for 17 in the latest reminder of his class.

He had the last word in a minor spat with Ravichandran Ashwin, who had been distracting him at the non-striker’s end before falling caught behind, and removed the brilliant Yashasvi Jaiswal for a match-defining 209.

The 22-year-old seems destined for cricketing superstardom but found out why so few have slogged Anderson and lived to tell the tale, stepping away and hacking straight to deep cover.

Anderson finished with impressive figures of three for 47, with Rehan Ahmed and debutant Shoaib Bashir wrapping things up to finish with three each.

England started their innings with a typically vibrant stand between Crawley and Ben Duckett, who put on 59 at a run-a-ball either side of the lunch break. Duckett could not kick on, popping Kuldeep Yadav’s wrist spin to silly point on 21, but Crawley was in fine form on the day he turned 26.

He needed a life on on 17 but the very next over saw him dispatch Bumrah for four boundaries. Crawley also slog-swept Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav for sixes but this was a sprint next to Jaiswal’s marathon.

The introduction of left-armer Axar Patel drew him into one big shot too many and he was well caught by the back-tracking Shreyas Iyer.

The ball had begun to take reverse swing and that meant trial by Bumrah. It took him only five balls to set up and knock over Joe Root, shaping a couple away in the channel then taking his outside edge with one that ducked back in and held its line.

Six balls later he summoned something even more spectacular to floor Pope, a match-winning centurion in Hyderabad. Fizzing in a furious yorker, he had Pope hopping on the crease as the ball snaked through and sent two stumps flying in opposite directions.

England survived until tea without further danger but the break in play merely allowed Bumrah to rest up and come again. Jonny Bairstow was next, following one that left him and threading to Shubman Gill at slip.

Pressure was building too fast for England’s liking and Yadav took advantage. Ben Foakes played inside the line and lost his off stump and Ahmed dragged a short ball straight to the midwicket catcher.

At 182 for seven, Stokes landed a few blows of his own and Tom Hartley shared the load in a stand of 47 but the resistance did not survive Bumrah’s return.

After one sighter he lit the crowd up again, coming round the wicket and knocking back Stokes’ off stump with one that scuttled through lower than expected. The England skipper let the bat fall from his hands and shrugged in disbelief before making his way to the pavilion.

Bumrah sealed his five-for at his next visit, Hartley off a thick edge, and closed the innings when Anderson fell lbw. Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma negotiated five overs at the end of the day, stretching the lead to 171 by stumps.

England lost four wickets in the afternoon session as Jasprit Bumrah gave India the upper hand on day two of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

With James Anderson on song with the new ball, the tourists had earlier taken four for 60 runs to keep India to what seemed a manageable total of 396.

But despite the best efforts of birthday boy Zak Crawley, who peppered the boundary ropes in a free-flowing 76 at the top of the order, Bumrah’s brilliance had England 155 for four at the tea break.

In a devilish spell of reverse swing and seam, he had Joe Root caught cheaply at slip before detonating two of Ollie Pope’s stumps with a vicious yorker in his following over.

With Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow still at the crease, England will not have given up on making a serious dent in the Indian lead but the efforts of home opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was finally dismissed for 209, could yet prove the difference.

England started their innings with a typically vibrant stand between Crawley and Ben Duckett, who put on 59 at a run-a-ball either side of the lunch break.

Duckett could not kick on, popping Kuldeep Yadav’s wrist spin to silly point on 21, but Crawley was in fine form on the day he turned 26.

He saw a tough chance go down at short midwicket on 17 and exploded into life almost immediately.

The next over after his reprieve saw him dispatch Bumrah for four boundaries, including a pull in front of square and two immaculate on-drives. Ravichandran Ashwin fared little better, slog swept for six and then stroked with minimal fuss for two fours through the off side.

For a time India could not bowl to him but his knock was a sprint rather than a marathon.

The first over of Axar Patel brought it to an end, Crawley aiming a booming shot down the ground but failing to make a proper connection. It needed a fine diving catch from Shreyas Iyer, a smart take that bought India some much-needed breathing space.

By now they sensed the ball was reversing and Bumrah was ready to return. Root allowed a couple to sail through in the channel but when the paceman threatened to nip one back, the Englishman bit. He felt for contact as it held its line off the pitch and pinged a catch to slip with just five scored.

Six balls later, Bumrah had a second as he sent Pope’s middle and leg stumps flying in opposite directions. It was a brutal delivery and one that cut off the man who made a match-winning 196 last week in Hyderabad on 23.

Bairstow (24no) and Stokes held out to the end of the session without further damage but have a fight on their hands in the evening with England still 241 behind.

The morning had belonged in large part to Anderson. At 41 years of age he showed all of his experience as he bowled unchanged from one end and claimed two for 17.

It was metronomic stuff from the old stager, who had Ashwin caught behind to have the final word in a minor spat between the pair, and then dismissed the ebullient Jaiswal.

The 22-year-old seems destined for cricketing superstardom and threw his arms out in the style of Jude Bellingham when he brought up his double ton with a six and a four off Shoaib Bashir.

But he soon learned why so few over the years have slogged Anderson and survived to tell the tale. Stepping away and aiming for the stands, he only got half a connection and picked out Bairstow at deep cover.

Job done, Anderson handed over to the next generation, with wickets for Rehan Ahmed and Bashir leaving all three with three-wicket hauls.

James Anderson led from the front as England bowled India out for 396 on the second morning in Visakhapatnam.

Anderson, 41 years old and with 22 years of international cricket on the clock, charged in for eight overs in the mid-morning heat in a metronomic spell worth two for 17.

He dismissed old adversary Ravichandran Ashwin and the dashing Yashavi Jaiswal, who finished with an outstanding 209, as England picked up their last four wickets for 60 runs.

There is plenty of cricket still to play but in keeping India below the 400 mark in what should be the best batting conditions of the match, England performed admirably. They then made a typically bright start to their reply, Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett rushing to 32 without loss in six overs before tea.

With the hosts resuming on 336 for six, England captain Ben Stokes chose to lean on his most and least experienced players, pairing Anderson with newcomer Shoaib Bashir and leaving them unchanged for 75 minutes.

Anderson, taking the new ball, used all of his subtle skills in an excellent spell and set the tone with a pair of breakthroughs. An early lbw shout against Jaiswal was close but not close enough and it was Ravichandran Ashwin, who had annoyed Anderson by moving around at the non-striker’s end, who was first to fall courtesy of a thin edge behind.

Jaiswal took just 20 balls to convert his overnight score of 179 into an outstanding double ton, sweeping Bashir for six and four in successive deliveries before standing arms outstretched in a manner that called to mind Jude Bellingham’s favourite celebration.

The 22-year-old seems destined for cricketing superstardom but he soon learned why so few over the years have slogged Anderson and survived to tell the tale. Stepping away and aiming for the stands, he only got half a connection and picked out Jonny Bairstow at deep cover.

His work finally done, Anderson retreated for a well deserved rest with figures of three for 45 in 25 overs.

The next generation did the rest, Rehan Ahmed (three for 65) getting Jasprit Bumrah caught at slip and Bashir (three for 138) made short work of fellow debutant Mukesh Kumar.

That left a tricky window for the England openers but they made light of the challenge, sharing six boundaries to begin the job of building their side’s response.

West Indies Test players Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner and Kirk McKenzie headline a strong 13-member Jamaica Scorpions Squad for the opening rounds of the 2024 West Indies Championship.

Blackwood, 32, will captain the team and is looking to earn a recall to the West Indies Test outfit after he was dropped prior to their recent tour of Australia. Blackwood, who averages 30.18 in 56 Tests, played two games for the Scorpions in last season’s West Indies Championship, scoring 159 runs with two fifties in four innings.

Bonner, who averages 38 in 15 Tests with his last coming against Australia in December 2022, will be looking to bounce back from a rough season last year where he only scored 43 runs in four innings at 10.75.

McKenzie is coming off a promising tour of Australia that saw him produce scores of 50, 26, 21 and 41 against a superb Australia bowling attack and will be looking to score big runs for the Scorpions.

Leg-spinning all-rounder Abhijai Mansingh, whose performances with bat and ball last season saw him earn a call-up to the West Indies “A” team for their tour of South Africa, is also in the squad.

38-year-old Chadwick Walton, who last played first-class cricket in 2019, has also been named in the Scorpions squad as has former West Indies Under-19 Captain, Ramaal Lewis.

The Scorpions will open their campaign against the Windward Islands from February 7-10 at Sabina Park. They were last in last year's points table with 25.6 points.

Full Squad: Jermaine Blackwood (C), Nkrumah Bonner, Derval Green, Abhijai Mansingh, Peat Salmon, Jeavor Royal, Kirk McKenzie, Marquino Mindley, Gordon Bryan, Romaine Morris, Carlos Brown, Chadwick Walton, Ramaal Lewis

West Indies Under-19s have unfortunately missed out on a spot in the semi-finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa after their crucial final Super Six match against Australia ended in a no result on Friday at the Diamond Oval in Kimberly

The West Indies entered the game third in Group 2 behind Australia and South Africa knowing they needed a win to keep their final four hopes alive.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, things started really well for the Windies as they restricted the Aussies to 87-5 just past the halfway mark of their innings.

However, an 89-run sixth wicket partnership between Sam Konstas and Raf MacMillan provided some much-needed stability to the Australian batting effort.

In the end, Australia were reduced to 227-8 from their 50 overs. Konstas led the way with a brilliantly compiled 108 off 121 balls including 11 fours and three sixes while MacMillan was the next highest scorer with 29.

Nathan Edward led the way with the ball for the West indies with 3-32 off nine overs while Isai Thorne took 2-50 from 10.

In reply, the West Indies were 24-2 off 4.3 overs when play was halted due to lightning.

As time passed, the lightning was joined by rain and the match was eventually called off.

The no result meant that the West Indies ended the Super Six on five points from their four games, one point behind hosts South Africa who booked their spot in the semis with a dominant 119-run win over Sri Lanka in Potchefstroom to move to six points.

Australia ended up on seven points to win the group.

 

Nat Sciver-Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Danni Wyatt and Alice Capsey will miss England’s first three T20s against New Zealand next month due to their Women’s Premier League commitments.

Confirmation last week that the WPL final will be held on March 17 in Delhi left a logistical headache for England, who begin their New Zealand tour two days later with the first of five T20s in Dunedin.

While captain Heather Knight and seamer Lauren Bell backed out of WPL stints, England gave their blessing to Sciver-Brunt, Ecclestone, Wyatt and Capsey playing a full part in the tournament in India.

The quartet will return for the fourth and fifth T20s, with England head coach Jon Lewis initially going to the WPL to lead UP Warriorz before heading to New Zealand a week out from the opening match.

“We explored every option available to us to make sure all our players were available during the New Zealand series but that didn’t quite work out as we would have liked,” said Lewis.

“Yes, there are things that other boards could have done but they’re things that are totally out of our control. We’ve had to react to the situation as best we can.

“Heather and Lauren really wanted to prioritise playing those first three games in New Zealand and the rest of the players felt – and we backed both ways – playing under pressure in the WPL gives them a really good opportunity to grow.

“I think, moving forward, all the boards around the world will create a window for the WPL similar to what happens in the men’s game (with the Indian Premier League).”

WPL rules forbid mid-tournament replacements and England’s players were informed staying on for the entire campaign would mean having to miss T20s against New Zealand on March 19, 22 and 24.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the absences of several regulars for the start of the trip is Tammy Beaumont, who has an opportunity to press her claims ahead of the T20 World Cup in the autumn.

Beaumont has been stranded on 99 T20 caps since January 2022, conspicuously overlooked despite a resurgence in form last year in which she starred in both the multi-format Ashes and then The Hundred.

While Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley are a settled opening combination in T20s for England, Beaumont, a Test and ODI regular, can muddy the waters a few months before the World Cup in Bangladesh.

“Tammy’s played some really good cricket,” said Lewis, whose side also play three ODIs against the White Ferns in April. “We asked her to go away and improve in certain areas.

“She went away and did that and she’s pushing her case to open the batting. I think that’s probably the only position she can bat. I hope that she’ll get the opportunity that she probably deserves.”

Uncapped batting all-rounder Hollie Armitage is in England’s squad for the first three T20s as is slow left-armer Linsey Smith, who is in line for her first international appearance in four years.

Mahika Gaur played two T20s for England last summer but the 17-year-old left-arm seamer has been omitted as she is studying for her A-levels.

England’s T20 squad: H Knight (captain), H Armitage (first three T20s), T Beaumont, L Bell, M Bouchier, A Capsey (last two T20s) C Dean, S Dunkley, S Ecclestone (last two T20s) L Filer, D Gibson, S Glenn, B Heath, A Jones, N Sciver-Brunt (last two T20s), L Smith (first three T20s), D Wyatt (last two T20s).

England ODI squad: H Knight (captain), T Beaumont, L Bell, M Bouchier, A Capsey, K Cross, C Dean, S Dunkley, S Ecclestone, L Filer, D Gibson, S Glenn, B Heath, A Jones, N Sciver-Brunt, D Wyatt.

West Indies One-Day International (ODI) Captain Shai Hope believes a lack of intent with the bat cost his team in the first ODI against Australia on Thursday.

The West Indians went 0-1 down in the three-match ODI series after suffering a comprehensive eight-wicket loss at the hands of the reigning World champions.

Australia won the toss and elected to field first before dismissing the tourists for 231 in 48.4 overs. They then needed just 38.3 overs to reach 232-2.

“Starting a tour like that…you would want to take the first win but unfortunately we’ve got to go back to the drawing board now,” Hope said in a post-match press conference.

“We’ve still got two more games to go so we’ve got some room to improve,” he added.

As is usually the case, quick wickets at the top of the order made things tough for the West Indies with the bat. They lost the wickets of Justin Greaves (1), Alick Athanaze (5) and Shai Hope (12) all in the first powerplay, eventually reaching just 37-3 in the first ten overs.

Hope believes this period was ultimately what led to the poor total batting first.

“As you see we lost too many wickets in the powerplay. I didn’t think we showed as much intent as we needed to in the beginning of the innings. That would’ve changed their mindset in terms of where they need to bowl at us,” he said.

“We probably need to show a bit more intent and just be up for the fight. We’re playing in their backyard so they’re not just going to roll over and allow us to score freely and win games so we need to find a way to put them under pressure and to score some big totals,” Hope added.

“Definitely not,” was Hope’s response when asked if he felt at the time like 231 would be enough to win.

He continued, “even if we score 10 or 15, any time you cross the line as a fielding group you’ve got to believe that you can win the game. I still think it was a way below par score. We need to be looking at excess of 300 to give ourselves a chance.”

One could easily argue that the poor performance for the West Indies was down to the absence of a number of their first-choice players. Hope, on the other hand, says that is no excuse.

“One thing I always say is that you miss the performance more than the player. People can misunderstand that comment at times but you can have all the players in the world but if we’re not hitting our straps then what’s the point? It’s about trying to get the guys to understand that they all belong,” Hope said.

“We just need to learn quickly because we’re not at home. We’re not used to these conditions, most of the guys, so the faster we adjust, the faster then we can come better for the next game,” he added.

That next game will take place on Saturday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

 

 

Colin Graves has called for a “line in the sand” to be drawn on Yorkshire’s turbulent recent history after members voted in favour of his return as chairman on Friday.

A resolution to accept a loan offer to the debt-ridden club from the 76-year-old, who has previously served as chairman and helped to save Yorkshire from financial ruin in 2002, received overwhelming support from members at a heated extraordinary general meeting.

Graves’ comeback will be controversial given the racism scandal which has engulfed the club since 2020 took place partially on his watch, with Yorkshire member Gurminder Singh speaking out at the EGM to say it was Graves who had “led (Yorkshire) down the path” to their current difficulties.

Graves warned it may be a “bumpy ride” ahead but struck a conciliatory tone after the special resolution was passed by an 88 per cent majority among the 845 who cast votes – just under a quarter of the 3,500 members who were eligible to vote.

“I give my personal pledge to you and the entire Yorkshire public that regardless of background, community, ethnicity, everybody – and I mean everybody – will be welcomed in a solid, inclusive culture and environment at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. There will be no exception,” he said.

“What the board has done in this area over the last two years is a great job and will be continued.

“I have already unreservedly apologised for any and all mistakes that were either made by the club or I over the painful and difficult years in the past.

“Let’s draw a line in the sand. What’s happened is history – I can’t change it, you can’t change it. So there’s no point dwelling on it. We’ve all put our hand up and said if things were wrong, we apologise. Let’s forget that. Let’s look forward.

“Lessons have been learned and will continue to be acted upon. Make no mistake, this is not going to be easy. It will be a bumpy ride. But we can do this together with hard work, with transparency, with trust and with enthusiasm.

“I’m not doing this for fun, I’m not doing this for the good of Colin Graves, I can assure you I am doing this for the good of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

“I could be sat at home with my slippers on my feet doing nothing. I made the decision to come here, sort this club out and get it back to where it needs to be.”

Last month, when the board recommended to members that Graves’ offer be accepted, Graves apologised to anyone who had experienced racism at Yorkshire. Azeem Rafiq, who spoke out in 2020 about the discrimination he faced, said at the time he did not accept that apology.

The England and Wales Cricket Board warned last month it was “vital” the work done to tackle discrimination at Yorkshire continued, and that it had “significant powers which can be used to hold Yorkshire to account” if that was not found to be the case.

The Culture, Media and Sport select committee confirmed on Friday that Graves would appear before it alongside senior figures from the ECB on February 20 to answer questions about the sport’s progress in tackling discrimination.

CMS committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage said: “On the Yorkshire takeover, while Colin Graves has now apologised to those who experienced racism, and for his dismissive approach to those who suffered, during his last spell at the club, we want to make sure that lessons have been learnt and attitudes have changed.”

The appointment of Graves to the board and three associates – Phillip Hodson, Sanjay Patel and Sanjeev Gandhi – as non-executive directors is still subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority over the next two weeks, which Graves said limited his ability to spell out his plans for the club.

Members were asked to recommend the loan offer from Graves in a notice issued on January 11. It consists of a two-part unsecured personal loan of £1million from Graves, while the new non-executive directors will work with the board to arrange a further £4million of funding over the next five months.

Current chair Harry Chathli told media after the meeting that the board’s initial focus in its search for refinancing had been on retaining Yorkshire’s members’ club status, and that deals to sell the club which would have ended that status could have been accepted “three times over” at least.

However, Chathli and chief executive Stephen Vaughan both made clear to members that as things stood now, the club would be facing administration without Graves’ offer.

“We as directors would not be discharging our duty of care if we deliberately put this club into administration just because we didn’t like a personality. That cannot happen,” Chathli said during the meeting.

Vaughan added: “We have kissed a lot of frogs and been to lots of beauty parades, and we are at a place now where the deal that Colin and his team are bringing to the table is the only one that will keep the business solvent going forward.”

England newcomer Shoaib Bashir put his visa issues behind him as he soaked up the “incredible feeling” of dismissing India captain Rohit Sharma on his first day as a Test cricketer.

Bashir was left high and dry in Abu Dhabi after hold ups with his application forced him to miss the start of the series in Hyderabad.

He was eventually forced to travel back to London to receive the stamp of approval and arrived just in time to watch his new team-mates apply the finishing touches to their first Test victory.

Fast forward five days and the 20-year-old was in the thick of the action as India reached 336 for six in Visakhapatnam, capping a remarkable rise to prominence by snaring his first two international wickets.

It took him less than four overs to open his account when he had Sharma, a master of these conditions who boasts eight centuries and an average of 63 on home soil, caught at leg-slip with an off-break.

It was a moment that looked unlikely when he was flying back in the wrong direction last week, but in years to come he will only remember the good things.

“I’m just going to look back on this day and think about getting Rohit Sharma out, I think that’s all that matters really,” he said.

“I had no doubts at all that I’d make it here, I always knew I would get the visa. It was a bit of a hassle but we’re here now, I’ve made my debut, and that’s all that counts. I’m pretty chilled.

“It’s been a very special day. To get Rohit Sharma out, my first wicket, is an incredible feeling. I just let it all out. He’s a quality player, one of the best in the world and a great player of spin as well.”

Bashir was still playing under-18 cricket for Berkshire in 2022 and turned out for Taunton Deane in the West of England Premier League last summer, but England captain Ben Stokes treated him like an old hand.

He was trusted with 28 overs – 10 more than anyone else – and responded with two for 100 on a batting friendly pitch that saw Yashasvi Jaiswal help himself to a superb 179 not out.

Skipper Stokes has excelled in his management of young players – particularly spinners – and told Bashir in the team get together that he was allowed to be nervous.

Yet there was no evidence of any anxieties as he warmed to his task.

“Stokesy is such an incredible lad. He made me feel at ease straight away in the huddle and with all I’ve been through over the past two or three weeks,” he said.

“He has been so supportive. Credit to Stokesy, he’s backed me all the way. He basically just said to me, ‘Remember why you started playing the game, remember your family’.

“He said, ‘Go out there and show what you’ve got. We already know, we’ve seen you, so go out and do what you do best’. Those words helped me massively with my confidence.”

England debutant Shoaib Bashir described the “awesome” experience of taking the wicket of India captain Rohit Sharma on the opening day of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

Bashir repaid the faith shown in him by the England selectors as he went on to claim the wicket of Axar Patel and finish with two for 100 in 28 overs.

The 20-year-old off-spinner told TNT Sports: “That (Sharma) was the highlight – he’s such a good player of spin and for me to get his wicket as my first is very, very awesome.

“It was a tough pitch to bowl on, it didn’t offer too much, but I thought the way the boys went about it was awesome and for us to pick up six wickets puts us in a good position going into tomorrow.”

Bashir, who was called up for his international debut having made just six first-class appearances, paid tribute to England captain Ben Stokes for giving him the confidence to step up.

“In the huddle he just said, go out there and enjoy it and remember why you started playing the game, and you’ve got nothing to lose,” added Bashir.

“That gave me so much confidence going in. The guys have been so supportive and welcoming, and that takes the best out of you as well.”

In a spectacular display of cricketing prowess, Australia claimed a convincing eight-wicket victory in the first One Day International (ODI) against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Debutant Xavier Bartlett stole the show with an extraordinary bowling spell, and Cameron Green's exceptional all-round performance guided Australia to a comprehensive win.

Xavier Bartlett, making his ODI debut, showcased his talent by dismantling the West Indies' top order with a remarkable 4 for 17. This performance marked the second-best figures on ODI debut for Australia, placing him just behind current selector Tony Dodemaide. Bartlett's ability to swing the ball both ways troubled the West Indies batsmen, setting the tone for Australia's dominance.

Matthew Lee, Director of the Jamaica Badminton Academy, drew parallels between Bartlett's impactful debut and the academy's commitment to nurturing talent. "Just like in badminton, where a player's debut can shape their entire journey, Bartlett's remarkable introduction to ODI cricket showcased the impact a debutant can have on the game."

Bartlett, along with fellow debutant Lance Morris, became the first pair of Australian debutants to open the bowling in an ODI since 2016. Bartlett's early breakthroughs, including a magical outswinger that dismissed Justin Greaves, left the West Indies struggling at 59 for 4.

The West Indies, anchored by Keacy Carty's career-best 88 and Roston Chase's gritty 59, managed to post a total of 231. However, Bartlett's spell had already set up the victory for Australia.

Josh Inglis provided a fiery start to Australia's chase with a quick-fire 65 off 43 balls. Inglis's aggressive approach set the tone, smashing ten fours and a six, and his whirlwind knock allowed Cameron Green to settle into the innings. Steven Smith's unbeaten run-a-ball 79 and Green's composed 77 not out guided Australia to victory with 11.3 overs to spare.

Despite the West Indies showing resilience with half-centuries from Carty and Chase, Bartlett's brilliance and Green's all-round show ensured Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series.

The MCG witnessed a dominant performance from Australia, with Bartlett's debut spell earning him well-deserved accolades. As the series progresses, cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate more exciting contests between these two cricketing giants. The West Indies, though faced with a setback, will look to bounce back in the upcoming ODIs, showcasing the resilience that makes cricket a thrilling and unpredictable sport.

 

England debutant Shoaib Bashir enjoyed a memorable start to his Test career as he vied for centre stage with India’s next big thing, Yashasvi Jaiswal, on day one in Visakhapatnam.

Bashir was fast-tracked into the England side on the back of just six first-class appearances and began repaying that faith when he grabbed the big wicket of home captain Rohit Sharma in his fourth over.

His exuberant, fist-clenching celebration was a wonderful moment for the 20-year-old off-spinner, who grabbed a second late on when Axar Patel chopped to point, and may even have made up for the visa complications that added 10,000 air miles to his trip and delayed his arrival on tour.

Bashir was trusted to bowl more overs than anyone else and finished with two for 100 in 28 overs as India ran up 336 for six on a good batting pitch. Teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed added two of his own in the evening session, this second Test may hinge on the efforts of rising star Jaiswal.

He made a dashing 179 not out, carrying his bat from first ball to last in an exemplary knock. The 22-year-old, who made his name in the Indian Premier League and looks primed to inherit Virat Kohli’s mantle as the country’s next cricketing icon, never allowed England’s bowlers to breathe easily. Punishing any errors in line or length with bursts of controlled aggression. He hit 17 fours and five sixes, including a towering blow to reach his hundred.

On a pitch that is expected to break up and take sharper turn as the game progresses, England’s task looks a tricky one as they seek to build on the high of victory in Hyderabad.

Ben Foakes, meanwhile, reiterated his value behind the stumps with a pair of smart catches. The first, to see off Shubman Gill just before lunch, saw him dive in front of slip to make the ball his own, but the second was even better. He needed razor sharp reflexes and soft hands to cling on to Shreyas Iyer’s under-edge, with Tom Hartley the beneficiary.

James Anderson, replacing Mark Wood as the solitary seamer, gave up just six runs from his initial five-over spell but England were soon relying on spin at both ends. Joe Root shared the new ball, a gambit aimed at unsettling Jaiswal, but gave way to Bashir as Ben Stokes got his latest newcomer into the game early.

Despite having only 10 first-class wickets to his name, the Somerset prospect started confidently and settled into a steady groove. Sharma had been unusually quiet, grinding out 14 from 41 balls, but when he flicked Bashir round the corner to Pope it was a major first scalp for the youngster.

With Jaiswal putting away anything loose, India were still able to get the best of the first session and it felt a surprise when Anderson returned to take Gill’s outside edge 10 minutes before the break.

Jaiswal resumed on 51 and dialled up the intensity in the afternoon, lifting Root for six over extra-cover with an effortless back-foot drive. Hartley, coming back to earth after his match-winning seven-wicket haul last time out, overpitched a handful of times and was punished repeatedly by the opener.

It was Jaiswal who hit Hartley’s first ball in Test cricket for six and he took the Lancastrian on again here, driving emphatically and giving the fielders no chance to intercept.

He had one scare on 73, Root getting finger tips to a thick edge off Hartley, but moved fluently towards his hundred before reaching three figures with a handsome blow that went all the way over the ropes.

Foakes’ instincts nabbed England a wicket that could easily have gone begging, Iyer cutting a ball that shot through low and and nicking off the bottom edge. It was looking like a long final session at tea, with the score at 225 for three, and Jaiswal did his best to sap Ahmed’s enthusiasm when he clattered the teenage leg-spinner for six.

But Ahmed did not shirk the contest, attacking the stumps until he forced a mistake from debutant Rajat Patidar. Pressing forward in defence he ran it off the face of his bat and watched on as it spun back and unsettled a bail.

England looked like they would settle for four wickets but there was a bonus scalp for Bashir, who finished the day as he had started it, in celebration. It was something of a gift, picking out Ahmed with an uncontrolled cut, but it was Bashir’s height and bounce that made the stroke dangerous.

Srikar Bharat fell in similar style but this time the roles were reversed, Ahmed with the ball and Bashir adding a first to catch to his day’s achievements.

Colin Graves’ controversial return as Yorkshire chairman is virtually complete after members voted to accept the terms of his loan offer.

Graves, who served as Yorkshire’s chairman between 2012 and 2015 having first helped to save the club from financial ruin in 2002, has been given the green light to reprise his old role as members approved a special resolution at a heated extraordinary general meeting on Friday.

Three associates of Graves – Phillip Hodson, Sanjay Patel and Sanjeev Gandhi – are also set be appointed to the board as non-executive directors following the passing of the resolution.

The resolution passed with 746 votes in favour, 88 per cent of the votes cast.

The vote is subject to regulatory approval by the Financial Conduct Authority in the next 12 to 14 days, but once fully ratified the second tranche of a personal, unsecured loan of £1million from Graves will be advanced to the club. Members have been told the new non-executive directors will then work with the board to arrange further funding of up to £4m over a five-month period.

With almost £15m owed to the Graves family trust and a host of other potential investors no longer at the table, the board said last month it was recommending a loan offer from Graves “having exhausted all other options” in its search for refinancing to avoid entering administration.

Graves’ return is controversial given that the racism scandal which has engulfed the club partially took place during his first stint in charge.

Last month he apologised to anyone who experienced racism at Yorkshire, and expressed “profound regret” at the language he used in an interview with Sky Sports last summer when he said no one had reported racism to him but that there had been “a lot of banter”.

Azeem Rafiq, who in 2020 spoke out about the racism he experienced across two spells at Yorkshire, says he does not accept Graves’ apology.

Current chair Harry Chathli told members on Friday: “We as directors would not be discharging our duty of care if we deliberately put this club into administration just because we didn’t like a personality. That cannot happen.”

Chief executive Stephen Vaughan said: “We have kissed a lot of frogs and been to lots of beauty parades, and we are at a place now where the deal that Colin and his team are bringing to the table is the only one that will keep the business solvent going forward.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board warned last month it was “vital” the work done to tackle discrimination at Yorkshire continued, and that it had “significant powers which can be used to hold Yorkshire to account” if that was not found to be the case.

England debutant Shoaib Bashir enjoyed a memorable start to his Test career before a fine century from Yashasvi Jaiswal put India in charge on day one in Visakhapatnam.

Bashir, fast-tracked into the team after just six first-class appearances, was just four overs into his first international spell when he grabbed the big wicket of Rohit Sharma.

The 20-year-old off-spinner, whose entry into the country was held up by visa complications, clenched both fists and roared in celebration when the home captain turned him straight into Ollie Pope’s hands at leg-slip.

But it was hard work for the tourists after losing the toss on a good batting pitch, with Jaiswal striking a fluent 125 not out as they reached 225 for three at tea.

He judged conditions expertly and picked his moments to attack England’s inexperienced spin attack, bringing up his hundred in grand fashion as he skipped down the track and launched Tom Hartley for six.

With no real encouragement from the surface chances were hard to come by, and Ben Foakes proved his value behind the stumps to make sure two of them counted. He dived in front of slip to catch Shubman Gill just before the lunch break, giving James Anderson a timely breakthrough on his return to the side, and was even more alert in the afternoon session.

Hartley, the seven-wicket hero of Hyderabad, was the beneficiary of Foakes’ brilliant glovework but the 24-year-old left-armer struggled in the face of Jaiswal’s controlled aggression.

Anderson, replacing Mark Wood as the solitary seamer, gave up just six runs from his initial five-over spell but England were soon relying on spin at both ends. Joe Root shared the new ball but gave way to Bashir as Ben Stokes got his latest newcomer into the game early.

Despite having only 10 first-class wickets to his name, he started confidently and settled into a steady groove. Sharma had been unusually quiet in making 14 from 41 balls but when he flicked Bashir round the corner to Pope it was a major first scalp for the youngster.

With Jaiswal putting away anything loose, India were still able to get the best of the first session and it felt a surprise when Anderson returned to take Gill’s outside edge 10 minutes before the break.

Jaiswal resumed on 51 and dialled up the intensity in the afternoon, lifting Root for six over extra-cover with an effortless back-foot drive. Hartley overpitched a handful of times and was punished mercilessly by the opener, who punched the ball emphatically down the ground to leave the fielders no chance.

He had one scare on 73, Root getting finger tips to an edge off Hartley, but moved fluently towards his hundred before reaching three figures with a handsome six down the ground.

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