The West Indies got their third win in a row with a tense three-wicket win over Sri Lanka to open their Super Six campaign at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka first posted 231 from their 50 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat first at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley.

Dinura Kalupahana made 53 from 83 balls to lead the Sri Lankan batting effort while Malsha Tharupathi made 42 off 38 and Supun Waduge 31 off 40 to provide good support.

Raneico Smith took 4-47 from his 10 overs to lead the West Indian bowling effort while Nathan Edward took 2-47 from his nine overs. Nathan Sealy and Tarrique Edward took a wicket each.

The West Indies then completed a tense chase, reaching 232-7 from 49.3 overs.

Steven Wedderburn, playing only his second match of the tournament, led the way with a 71-ball 61 at the top of the order. His knock included five fours and three sixes.

He was well supported by Jordan Johnson who made 39 off 46 balls including four fours. Captain Stephan Pascal made a swift 26-ball 33 including five fours and a six.

The West Indies were cruising at 147-2 in the 27th over before Wedderburn and Johnson fell in successive overs to leave the West indies 149-4 in the 28th over.

The subsequent wickets of Mavendra Dindyal (17), Nathan Edward (13) and Jewel Andrew (11) left the West Indies in a tricky position at 206-7 in the 46th over before a match-winning 26-run eighth wicket partnership between Nathan Sealy and Tarrique Edward.

Sealy finished 27* off 28 balls while Edward finished 11* off 13 balls.

Vishwa Lahiru took 2-32 from his 10 overs for Sri Lanka while Dinura Kalupahana and Sineth Jayawardena also took a pair of wickets, each.

The West Indies are now second in Group two of the Super Six with four points, the same as Australia who play England tomorrow. The Caribbean side will play Australia in their final Super Six game on Friday.

The top two teams in the group will advance to the semi-finals.

Head coach Brendon McCullum has hinted England could go “quids in” and field an entire attack of spinners in the second Test against India.

After claiming an unforgettable victory in the curtain-raiser at Hyderabad, where sole seamer Mark Wood bowled 25 overs without opening his account on a slow turner, nothing is being ruled out.

Going into a five-day game with just one pace option looked a remarkably bold move a week ago but, with 18 of India’s 20 wickets falling to spin and the other two to run-outs, the Kiwi is mischievously flirting with an even more maverick selection.

After watching Lancashire’s Tom Hartley take nine on debut, including a decisive seven for 62 on the final day, he is entertaining the idea of throwing another newcomer into the mix if India serve up a spinner’s paradise in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

 

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Twenty-year-old Shoaib Bashir only touched down in the country at the weekend, with his arrival delayed by visa issues related to his Pakistani heritage, but is already under consideration to make an unprecedented five-pronged spin unit alongside Hartley, Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed and Joe Root.

“He comes into the calculations,” McCullum told New Zealand’s SENZ Radio. “If the wickets continue to spin as much as we saw in the first Test, as the series goes on we won’t be afraid to play all spinners, or a balance of what we’ve got.

“We’ll have a look at conditions and make a call. You’re not going to get every call right, especially over here – it’s hard to read some of the wickets. But we’ll make a decision and go quids in on trying to commit to that. Then we’ll see where we land.”

Playing at least one fast bowler is still the likelier outcome, with the ability to change the pace of the game still a valuable string to captain Ben Stokes’ bow and the country’s record wicket-taker James Anderson eager to get into the series.

But where Somerset off-spinner Bashir is concerned, it is clear he is not merely along for the ride.

Despite only playing six first-class games to date, he earned rave reviews for his efforts in the recent training camp in the United Arab Emirates and has finally put his travel woes behind him after being sent back to London to secure the required embassy stamp.

“Bash was obviously with us during our camp in Abu Dhabi and he really impressed with his skillset,” McCullum said.

“He’s a great kid, he’s got an infectious personality and it was good to have him around us. He’s fitted in seamlessly within the group and he’s a guy who’s got an immense amount of enthusiasm, albeit at a young age and pretty limited in his first-class experience.

“Like Tom Hartley, he was a guy who we looked at and thought, ‘He’s got some skills which could assist us in these conditions’.

“When you see guys you think are good enough, and who you think are going to suit the conditions, it’s sort of horses for courses. Sometimes, you’ve got to be a little bit brave with selections.”

Batsman Kevlon Anderson will captain the Guyana Harpy Eagles at the upcoming West Indies Championship.

The 23-year-old has scored 529 runs in seven First Class games at an average of 44.08.

On Saturday, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) named a strong unit led by the former West Indies Under-19 batsman, consisting of a few familiar faces and a new crop of players.

Leg-pinner Steven Sankar is among the new faces in the squad, following a breakthrough year with the ball at the domestic level.

Opener Raymond Perez, following his immaculate batting form, which rolled over from 2023, will get his chance to play at the senior level.

All-rounder Ronaldo Alimohamed, returns to the squad after being an injury replacement in 2020 and having played 50-over cricket for Guyana at the senior level.

According to a release from the Guyana Cricket Board, Alimohamed, Perez and Sankar will likely make their debut.

Additionally, middle-order batsman Akshaya Persaud makes a return to the Harpy Eagles unit.

Matthew Nandu will be Anderson’s deputy as “they lead a well-balanced side featuring a few veterans among the new faces.”

Lead spinner Veerasammy Permaul, Anthony Adams, and West Indies’ latest Test player, Kevin Sinclair, will form a quality spin department.

Fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton, Nial Smith, and Alimohamed will make up the front-line seam unit, adding to their star-studded spin bowler batch.

Test opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Nandu, Sinclair, Perez, Anderson, and Persaud will look to carry the Eagle’s batting unit.

Kemol Savory will be the wicket-keeper for the first two rounds until Tevin Imlach returns from West Indies duties.

Savory is also expected to play a vital role in the batting department.

The Harpy Eagles Head Coach is Ryan Hercules with the Assistant Coach being Garvin Nedd. Ryerson Bhagoo is the Analyst, and Albert Clements is the Manager.

Meanwhile, this year’s Four-Day Championship will significantly increase prize money as the winning team will pocket US$250,000, while the runner-up will receive US$100,000.

Harpy Eagles open their campaign against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force when the Championship bowls off in St. Kitts on February 7.

SQUAD: Kevlon Anderson (C), Matthew Nandu (VC), Nial Smith, Veerasammy Permaul, Antony Adams, Kevin Sinclair, Ronsford Beaton, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Akshaya Persaud, Raymond Perez, Ronaldo Alimohamed, Steven Sankar and Kemol Savory.

 

Rising sensation Shamar Joseph has been ruled out of his International League Twenty20 (ILT20) stint with Dubai Capitals due to the toe injury he picked up during West Indies recent Test victory over Australia at the Gabba.

Though scans showed no fracture after he was clattered on the boot by a Mitchell Starc yorker, a gritty Joseph battled through pain on the fourth day to produce one of the greatest spells in Test history. The 24-year-old Guyanese claimed seven wickets for 68 runs to inspire West Indies to a famous eight-run win - their first victory in Australia since 1997.

Interestingly, Joseph was not expected to feature on the day, but with the help of team physio and painkillers, he defied the injury and bowled a remarkable spell that will forever be etched in the minds of cricket enthusiasts.

Following his heroics, Joseph was due to head straight to the ILT20 having signed with Capitals, the team of West Indies T20 captain Rovman Powell, before the Australia tour, but will now return home to recover before travelling to the PSL where he was signed as a replacement by Peshawar Zalmi.

Still, with his stocks rapidly rising, Joseph is unlikely to be short of offers from T20 leagues around the world after the stunning start to his Test career where he claimed Steven Smith with his first delivery and claimed two five-wicket hauls.

Tom Hartley’s headline role in England’s famous victory in India has left members of his hometown club “basking in the reflected glory” of a rags-to-riches Test debut.

After Hartley’s second-innings seven for 62 sealed a famous 28-run win in Hyderabad on Sunday, Ormskirk CC offered a free drink to their patrons as they celebrated one of their own’s remarkable success.

Hartley progressed through the juniors at Ormskirk, a market town in Lancashire 13 miles north of Liverpool, and was even playing the odd game for them up until a couple of years ago.

He still has close ties to the club as his father’s flower business supplies their hanging baskets, so it is little wonder there was unconfined joy at Hartley’s accomplishments on the subcontinent.

“It’s a massive, massive achievement for him,” club chair Bill Rankin told the PA news agency. “We’re all basking in the reflected glory, just to have been part of his cricket career.

“We’d have been watching it anyway as cricket fans and that was a fantastic result but to have a fantastic result where you know someone who’s been a significant part of that, it adds a new element.

“It was a great game, full stop, but it was an even greater game when you know someone who was making it happen. It’s like a dream what happened to him on Sunday.

“This is the first time we’ve had someone who’s come through juniors who played at the highest level. That’s why it’s such a special moment as a club because he really is one of our own.”

Hartley endured a turbulent start to his Test career as his maiden delivery was dispatched for six by Yashasvi Jaiswal, with the slow left-armer’s opening nine-over burst leaking an eye-watering 63 runs.

But from humble beginnings, Hartley showed his redoubtable character when the game was in the balance after India were set 231, snaring their top three then taking the final wicket as England went 1-0 up.

The unwavering support of captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum echoes how Hartley was treated at Ormskirk after stepping up to adult level in his early teens.

“The way he’s been captained and looked after at Ormskirk, he’s been backed,” Rankin added. “It’s a healthy way to bring people on.

“He’s been given the ball even when he was fairly young at a time when it could make the difference to a game, told not to worry about the outcome and he’s won games that could have gone the other way.

“It’s nice to think that at the highest level he can play at, he seems to be getting that same sort of backing where you can play in an environment where you’re not afraid to fail.”

Ormskirk’s X feed on Sunday garnered plenty of attention, while a video posted by their first-team captain showing a younger Hartley standing on a table and singing ‘I wanna dance with Tom Hartley’ to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ has been viewed nearly a quarter of a million times.

Held in the highest regard by his old club, Rankin hopes this is just the start of the 24-year-old’s journey.

“It was always obvious he was a talented cricketer but I think his progress has been a steady one,” Rankin added. “He’s been steady, steady and improving all the time.

“You’ve got to work really hard to get yourself in the situation where you have the opportunity to do what he’s done. He has done that.

“Hopefully he’ll keep on doing that, we believe he’s capable of doing it, obviously others do now so fingers crossed.”

Johnson Charles and Maheesh Theekshana were the catalysts as the Sharjah Warriors moved into second on the International League T20 (IL T20) points table with a dominant nine-wicket win over the Dubai Capitals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Monday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the Capitals were reduced to just 104 all out off 18.2 overs.

Sikandar Raza (22), Roelof van der Merwe (21), David Warner (16) and Rovman Powell (10) were the only Capitals batsmen to scratch double figures.

Theekshana produced a masterful spell of bowling to take 4-20 from his four overs while being well supported by Daniel Sams’ 3-28 off four.

The Warriors then needed only 13-1 overs to reach 105-1 and secure their third win in five games.

Charles top-scored with an unbeaten 43 off 33 balls including four fours and one six. Joe Denly was Charles’ partner at the crease with an unbeaten 23 off 16 balls. Earlier, Niroshan Dickwella made a 30-ball 37.

 

England newcomer Tom Hartley hopes the fairytale finish to his Test debut persuades India to “put a bit more respect on my name”.

The left-arm spinner, who was fast-tracked into the side after just 20 first-class games, played a starring role in a famous win at Hyderabad with second-innings figures of seven for 62.

That capped an emphatic shift in fortunes for the 24-year-old, who had earlier suffered a nightmare start when Yashasvi Jaiswal clubbed a solid first delivery in Test cricket for six.

More of the same followed just three balls later and his initial nine-over spell came at a princely cost of 63. While some may have been concerned over his readiness for the big stage, there was nothing but support from his team-mates.

He went on to pay that back quicker and more dramatically than anybody could possibly have anticipated and now travels to Visakhapatnam with a spring in his step and a point proven.

“I was so nervous that first day…so to come and out in the fourth innings and do what I did, hopefully they can put a bit more respect on my name and go forward from there,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’ve been hit for a lot of sixes in my career, so I don’t let these things get on top of me. It was more frustration of ‘why me? why am I getting picked on?’.

“The background that I’ve had is to not let yourself get down. I just want to be a fighter and throw some punches back.”

Hartley explained how his grounding in limited-overs cricket, including as an opening option for Manchester Originals in the Hundred, allowed him to compartmentalise his brutal welcome from Jaiswal.

“He’s not the first and he won’t be the last,” he told reporters.

“You look at the first ball and it wasn’t a bad ball. If that’s the way they want to play you’ve just got to play with it.

“Thankfully I’ve had this white-ball background and, even playing in the Championship this past year, lads have come after me. You’ve just got to accept it. I’m fine with it if people want to come after me.”

Hartley, whose local club Ormskirk CC opened up to offer free drinks to members in honour of his achievement on Sunday, progressed from relative unknown to marked man at breakneck speed.

How India choose to combat him in the second Test promises to be an intriguing sub-plot but one thing he knows he can rely on is the full backing of captain Ben Stokes.

The England skipper won plaudits for the way he kept his rookie involved after his difficult introduction, publicly showing his faith where others might have taken defensive measures.

“The confidence that he has, the way he just builds you up, there’s no negative thoughts,” said Hartley.

“After that first innings it was real tough for us and, personally, I didn’t bowl the way I really wanted to. But it’s all positive, if you’ve not bowled great it’s, ‘Right, what can we do better in the second innings?’ He brings so much confidence and life to this team.”

While Hartley’s stock has never been higher, there is an elephant in the room when it comes to his Lancashire prospects next season. The Red Rose have signed Australia’s Nathan Lyon on an overseas deal for 2024, with the off-spinner expected to be available for the majority of the season.

England would be disappointed if that hinders the progress of their latest find but the man himself has a better idea.

“I highly doubt (Lyon will miss out) so I hope we’re playing together, that would be fantastic,” he said.

Well, that didn’t take long!

Just over 24 hours after bowling the West Indies to a pulsating eight-run victory over World number-one Test team Australia, 24-year-old Guyanese fast bowler Shamar Joseph is already banking buck, having been signed by Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) set to begin next month.

Joseph, Player of the Series in the just-concluded two-Test series against Australia, famously took 7-68 as the West Indies bowled out Australia for 207 to hand the West Indies a narrow but hard-fought victory inside four days. It was the West Indies' first Test victory in Australia since 1997.

His performance in the series where he took 13 wickets, caught the eye of Peshawar Zalmi’s owners who have signed Joseph for the entirety of the tournament. Zalmi has initially announced Joseph’s signing as a partial replacement for England fast bowler Gus Atkinson.

Meanwhile, Johnson Charles was among the other players brought in by PSL sides in the supplementary and replacement draft.

Karachi Kings have replaced Kieron Pollard, who is partially unavailable, with left-arm spinner Zahid Mahmood.

 

With the group stage done on Sunday, 12 teams remain in contention for the ICC U19 Men's World Cup 2024 as the tournament enters the Super Six phase.

Qualified Teams

The Super Six will involve the top three sides from each of the four round-robin groups, with teams progressing from Groups A and D comprising one Group, and those from B and C the other.

Crucially, each team carries forward the points and NRR they earned against fellow Super Six qualifying teams.

The six teams to make it from Groups A and D are India, Bangladesh, Ireland, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Nepal.

South Africa, England, West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe progress from Groups B and C.

USA, Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland – the four teams who didn't make the second stage of the tournament – will contest in play-offs for the last four places.

Super Six format

The teams will play two matches in the Super Six stage against their opponents from the corresponding group who finished in a different position in their group. That means India (toppers of Group A) will face off against New Zealand (second position in Group D), and Nepal (third position in Group D).

The top two sides from the two Super Six groups will then progress to the semi-final stage.

The two semi-finals are scheduled to be held on 6 and 8 February. The final is set to take place on 11 February, with all three knockout games set to take place in Benoni.

Below are the complete fixtures of the Super Six Stage:

30 January

India v New Zealand in Bloemfontein

Sri Lanka v West Indies in Kimberley

Pakistan v Ireland in Potchefstroom

31 January

Nepal v Bangladesh in Bloemfontein

Australia v England in Kimberley

Zimbabwe v South Africa in Potchefstroom

02 February

India v Nepal in Bloemfontein

West Indies v Australia in Kimberley

South Africa v Sri Lanka in Potchefstroom

03 February

Pakistan v Bangladesh in Benoni

New Zealand v Ireland in Bloemfontein

England v Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom

The West Indies will begin the Super Six third in group two with two points thanks to their group stage win over England, trailing Sri Lanka (2) and Australia (4).

India’s hopes of squaring the Test series with England have taken a double blow, with key all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batter KL Rahul both ruled out through injury.

Already missing star batter Virat Kohli for personal reasons, Rohit Sharma’s side were on the wrong end of a huge upset on Sunday, when the tourists chased the game from behind to complete a 28-run win in Hyderabad.

The series moves on to Visakhapatnam this week, with the second Test starting on Friday, and two experienced players will not be involved for the hosts.

Jadeja, a world-class left-arm spin bowler as well as a dangerous top-six batter who top scored for India last week, pulled his hamstring while being run out by Ben Stokes on day four and the experienced Rahul has hurt his right thigh. Between them, the pair have 119 Test caps, know-how India cannot easily replace.

Jadeja’s place is liable to go to wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, but his absence with the bat threatens to unbalance India. All-rounders Washington Sundar and Sourabh Kumar and batter Sarfaraz Khan have been added to the squad.

It is not yet known whether Jadeja and Rahul will come back into contention for the remainder of the five-match series, with Kohli’s status also unclear. Pace bowler Mohammed Shami is working his way back to fitness and is expected to be in contention for the third Test.

Meanwhile, seamer Jasprit Bumrah has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council for stepping into the path of England centurion Ollie Pope. Bumrah admitted a level one charge of causing “inappropriate physical contact”, earning one demerit point and losing half of his match fee.

Cricket West Indies has lauded its Test team after it secured a historic victory against Australia, marking the first since 1997 that the Caribbean senior side was achieving victory in that country. This remarkable achievement, it said, signals the relevance of West Indies cricket on the global test stage and underscores its unwavering commitment to excellence.

The history-making performance came on the back Shamar Joseph’s seven-wicket haul in Australia’s second innings that spurred the West Indies to a pulsating eight-run victory. Joseph finished with figures of 7-68 from 11.5 overs bowled on the trot. The bowler, playing in only his second Test, was awarded Player of the Series for the 13 wickets he took during the two-Test series.

Commenting on the achievement, Dr. Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies, remarked "This victory is a testament to the indomitable spirit of West Indies cricket. It demonstrates our ability to rise above adversity and justly be among the world's cricketing elite.

"Captain Kraigg Brathwaite's exemplary leadership has been instrumental in guiding our team through challenges and victories alike. His resilience, determination, and unwavering dedication to the cause have inspired this young team and every member of our cricketing fraternity."

Dr Shallow also heaped praise upon the 24-year-old Joseph whose performance was key to the West Indies victory, stating, "The stellar performance of debutant Shamar Joseph is a shining example of the talent and potential within our ranks. His remarkable contribution underscores the depth of talent in West Indies cricket and bodes well for the future of our sport.”

As the Caribbean celebrates this historic accomplishment, Cricket West Indies extended its gratitude to its players, coaching staff, and support personnel for their tremendous efforts and hard work. In addition, heartfelt appreciation is offered to the loyal fans, stakeholders, and partners whose unwavering support continues to fuel West Indies cricket.

Cricket West Indies said remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing talent, fostering inclusivity, and upholding the rich legacy of West Indies cricket. “Together, we embark on a new chapter filled with promise, excitement, and endless possibilities.”

Mark Wood feels England’s audacious victory in the first Test has changed the dynamics of the Test series, insisting “we’ve given them something to think about” ahead of next week’s clash in Visakhapatnam.

England completed a famous 28-run win in Hyderabad, bouncing back from 190 behind after the first innings to complete a success already being talked about as one of their best ever away results.

Debutant spinner Tom Hartley outperformed the decorated home attack with his seven-wicket haul on day four and Ollie Pope’s 196 exemplified the tourists’ ability to control the game with sweeps and reverse sweeps, raising questions about how India will respond.

When England last travelled here in 2021, India responded to losing the series opener by preparing extreme turning pitches and walked away 3-1 winners, but it is not at all clear that such an approach would suit them this time around.

And pace bowler Wood is excited to place the ball firmly back in their court.

“I don’t know what they will produce next, they have the potential to do any wicket they want. But now we’ve given them something to think about,” he said.

“It’s one of our greatest wins, that tells you how big it was, and now we know we can do it. They now have to come up with a different plan.

“We’ve only won one game and there are five in the series, so it’s another big task to win the next game, but we’ve proved to India it will be a battle and we’re not going to give up.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion that we are going to turn up here and they’re gonna spin us out. Popey has played a fantastic knock and they’re now going to have to go analyse, like we would do if things didn’t go well, and think how they are going to try and combat that.

“We’re playing differently. It’s not just plodding forward and trying to survive. We’re trying to put the pressure back on India. Their spinners were going at over four an over – that would have never happened in the last series.

“People call it ‘Bazball’, but it’s putting that pressure on when the time comes and that’s how we’re trying to win games.”

Wood played as a solitary seam bowler in the opener, delivering just 25 overs in the match and a new ball spell of just one over in the second innings.

His was a unique role by English standards but one he or James Anderson may be asked to perform again by captain Ben Stokes in the second Test.

“I actually said to Jimmy that I found it more bizarre not having anyone to talk to,” said Wood of going it alone.

“Going with four spinners and myself I knew my role would be very different to what I was used to. It was a bit odd, a bit weird at times, but spin was doing the damage.

“Very rarely would you ever think you’d bowl just one and then be off but I trust what Stokesy says. I’ll give it everything for one over and when he says ‘rest’ I’m not annoyed; I get it, we’re going to spin now.

“It could (happen again) depending on what they produce. Going forward, for all the seam bowling group, we know that could be the statement and it’s about getting your mind around how to approach it.”

Mark Wood feels England’s audacious victory in the first Test has changed the dynamics of the Test series, insisting “we’ve given them something to think about” ahead of next week’s clash in Visakhapatnam.

England completed a famous 28-run win in Hyderabad, bouncing back from 190 behind after the first innings to complete a success already being talked about as one of their best ever away results.

Debutant spinner Tom Hartley outperformed the decorated home attack with his seven-wicket haul on day four and Ollie Pope’s 196 exemplified the tourists’ ability to control the game with sweeps and reverse sweeps, raising questions about how India will respond.

When England last travelled here in 2021, India responded to losing the series opener by preparing extreme turning pitches and walked away 3-1 winners, but it is not at all clear that such an approach would suit them this time around.

And pace bowler Wood is excited to place the ball firmly back in their court.

“I don’t know what they will produce next, they have the potential to do any wicket they want. But now we’ve given them something to think about,” he said.

“It’s one of our greatest wins, that tells you how big it was, and now we know we can do it. They now have to come up with a different plan.

“We’ve only won one game and there are five in the series, so it’s another big task to win the next game, but we’ve proved to India it will be a battle and we’re not going to give up.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion that we are going to turn up here and they’re gonna spin us out. Popey has played a fantastic knock and they’re now going to have to go analyse, like we would do if things didn’t go well, and think how they are going to try and combat that.

“We’re playing differently. It’s not just plodding forward and trying to survive. We’re trying to put the pressure back on India. Their spinners were going at over four an over – that would have never happened in the last series.

“People call it ‘Bazball’, but it’s putting that pressure on when the time comes and that’s how we’re trying to win games.”

Wood played as a solitary seam bowler in the opener, delivering just 25 overs in the match and a new ball spell of just one over in the second innings.

His was a unique role by English standards but one he or James Anderson may be asked to perform again by captain Ben Stokes in the second Test.

“I actually said to Jimmy that I found it more bizarre not having anyone to talk to,” said Wood of going it alone.

“Going with four spinners and myself I knew my role would be very different to what I was used to. It was a bit odd, a bit weird at times, but spin was doing the damage.

“Very rarely would you ever think you’d bowl just one and then be off but I trust what Stokesy says. I’ll give it everything for one over and when he says ‘rest’ I’m not annoyed; I get it, we’re going to spin now.

“It could (happen again) depending on what they produce. Going forward, for all the seam bowling group, we know that could be the statement and it’s about getting your mind around how to approach it.”

England produced one of the best Test wins in their history in Hyderabad, coming from behind to stun India with a 28-run victory in the series opener.

Here, PA looks at some of the key takeaways from four unforgettable days.

Never write off the Bazball brigade

Since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum brought their ambitious philosophy to an underperforming dressing room, they have rewritten the rules of engagement in cricket’s oldest format. Even so, many thought India’s 190-run first-innings lead was simply too much to overcome. This England side do not allow themselves to be weighed down by precedent or pressure, though. They won’t succeed every time but for Stokes’ men there is no such thing as mission impossible.

Pope’s promise fulfilled

Ollie Pope has been talked about as a star in the making for years, but his game-changing 196 looked and felt like an innings that finally propelled him to the next level. Prior to the regime change that brought Stokes to power, he was on the verge of becoming a wasted talent but his numbers are trending in a formidable direction. In 23 Tests before the summer of ’22, he averaged 28.66 and had just one century to his name – in 16 Tests since, he averages 46.46 with four hundreds.

All-conquering India can be knocked off course

India have established an enviable reputation on home soil since they were last beaten by a touring team, Sir Alastair Cook’s England 2012 side. But there were chinks in their armour in Hyderabad. In the second innings of the match, their elite spin attack seemed spooked by the inventiveness of the strokeplay, with the steady supply of sweeps, reverse sweeps and ramps upsetting their usual rhythm. When it came to chasing down 231, they then found themselves unusually passive, with too many batters clinging on for dear life rather than building momentum. For the first time in a decade, they look vulnerable under fire.

Selectors justified in going Hartley over head

Eyebrows were raised when Lancashire Tom Hartley got the nod for this tour with a modest first-class record doing little to push his case. There were other left-arm spinners with superior stats, most obviously Hampshire’s experienced Liam Dawson who had just come off the back of an excellent county season. But England, led by director of cricket Rob Key, fancied that Hartley’s specific characteristics of height, air speed and trajectory would flourish on Indian pitches. After a tough baptism, he proved them right in glorious fashion with seven for 62 in second innings.

King Kohli leaves a vacuum

There is no bigger name in world cricket than Virat Kohli and his withdrawal from the first two Tests for personal reasons weakened the home side. Kohli’s absence from the middle order diminished India’s potency, with Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer unable to cover for him. But his aura and spiky personality were missed too. It is hard to imagine India being so quiet and passive in the field as England racked up 420 and he would surely have played more aggressively in the subsequent chase. Should he feel able to make a belated entrance in the series, it could prove a huge moment.

Despite Andre Russell's scintillating 17-ball 46, the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders faced an unfortunate eight-wicket defeat in the International League T20 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Russell's explosive performance saw him smashing six sixes, propelling the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to a challenging total of 188-5 in their allotted 20 overs.

The powerful Jamaican all-rounder, known for his aggressive batting style, showcased his prowess and took ADKR to a competitive position after contributions from Matthew Pepper (38), Alishan Sharafu (37), and Sam Hain (40). However, the bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi emerged as a formidable obstacle, restricting the scoring with a solid 3-35 in his four-over spell.

Despite Russell's heroics with the bat, his bowling performance was in stark contrast. Conceding 33 runs in the three overs he bowled, Russell found himself unable to contain the MI Emirates' batting onslaught.

MI Emirates, with their eye on the chase, approached the target with determination and skill. Kusal Perera led the charge, racing to a blistering 54 from just 26 balls, while Nicholas Pooran added a quick-fire 33 from 19 balls. However, the standout performance came from Muhammad Waseem, whose remarkable knock of 89 from 62 balls propelled MI Emirates to a comprehensive victory.

The MI Emirates' batsmen displayed remarkable control and execution, ensuring that they reached the target with six balls to spare. The win also extended their lead atop the league table, moving to eight points.

They are four clear of Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants and ADKR who each have four points.

 

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