A quick-fire half-century from Rovman Powell was not enough to prevent Northern Warriors from being defeated by the Bangla Tigers in the Abu Dhabi T10 on Monday.

Batting first, the 2018 champions made 126-4 from their 10 overs spurred by Powell’s 63 from 27 balls. The Jamaican all-allrounder smashed four fours and six sixes that propelled Warriors from 42-3 at the end of four overs.

Powell and Samit Patel added 80 in the last six overs before he got out off the penultimate ball of the innings. Patel remained unbeaten on 21 from 13 balls.

Needing 125 for victory, the Tigers scored 10 runs from the opening over but then lost Andre Fletcher for one at the start of the second over.

Willy Jacks replaced Fletcher and set about the bowling. He and Hazratullah Zazai added 23 for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed for 17.

However, before Jacks got going, he was losing wickets at the other end as Faf du Plessis (1), Karim Janar (16) and Johnson Charles (1) all went cheaply to see the Tigers slip to 58-5.

With 23 balls left Tigers needed 67 for victory and Jacks and Benny Howell delivered. Jacks hit eight fours and three sixes while Howell smashed four fours and a six in the 11 balls he faced to power their team to victory with five balls to spare.

Samit Patel gave up 19 runs in seven balls to finish with 1-19 while Rayad Emrit took 1-31 from his two overs. Chris Jordan was the most expensive of the bowlers, his one over going for 21 runs.

West Indies were in a world of trouble at the end of day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle on Monday. Chasing a target of 386, the West Indies slumped to 113-6 at stumps still 273 runs behind on a day that promised much but instead descended into disaster.

India sealed a T20I series 3-0 clean sweep over New Zealand as Rohit Sharma and Axar Patel guided the home side to a 73-run victory in Kolkata.

The hosts had already dominated against visitors who were beaten by Australia in the T20 World Cup final just a week ago, cruising to consecutive victories to guarantee a series triumph before Sunday's final game.

India opted to bat first at Eden Gardens and raced to 69-0 at the end of the powerplay – their highest score in the first six overs of the series - before Ishan Kishan (29) fell two balls later.

New captain Rohit carried on imperiously, blasting three sixes in his 31-ball 56 to not only become just the second batter to hit 150 maximums in T20I cricket but also to place him top, above Virat Kohli (29), for the most 50-plus scores in the format.

The hosts eventually concluded on 184-7 from their 20-over allocation after Deepak Chahar clubbed 21 from eight deliveries as India collected 50 runs from the final five overs.

New Zealand's response began brightly with 16 taken off Chahar in the second over, but Axar (3-9) removed Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips cheaply to leave the visitors 37-3 after their first six.

Martin Guptill (51) offered the only serious resistance for the tourists, who capitulated to 111 all out to hand India their eighth consecutive match win in T20I bilateral series against New Zealand.


Santer shines as Kiwi bowlers falter

Mitchell Santer (3-27) was the only New Zealand bowler to go for an economy under seven.

While picking up the key wickets of Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant, the left-armer bowled tightly after the powerplay and, with more support, could have limited India to a lower total.

Almost perfect from Axar

Tasked with operating in the powerplay, Axar struck with his first delivery in the match and that set the tone for the rest of the game.

As well as picking up a trio of wickets in quick succession, the off-spinner produced 13 dot balls to concede just nine runs from his three overs.

An unbeaten century by Dimuth Karunaratne and half-centuries from Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva put Sri Lanka in a position of strength at 267-3 at stumps of the opening day of the first Test against the West Indies in Galle on Sunday.

West Indies debutant Jeremy Solozano was taken to the hospital after receiving a blow on the helmet while fielding during the opening day of the Test series against Sri Lanka.

The 26-year-old had to be stretchered off the field after being struck by a pull shot from Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne.  The incident happened during the fourth delivery off spinner Roston Chase’s over that had seen the player deployed at the short-leg position.

Shai Hope was brought in as the replacement after the injured player left the pitch.  Solozano was reportedly responsive while being taken to the hospital and is currently undergoing scans.  Cricket West Indies has promised to give further news on the player’s condition as soon as it becomes available.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first Sri Lanka were 163 for 1 at the end of the second session.  Pace bowler Shannon Gabriel claimed the team’s only wicket so far after dismissing Pathum Nissanka.

West Indies middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be looking to score heavily during the team’s upcoming series against Sri Lanka and believes the rest of the team is in a similar mindset.

The last time the batsman was in Sri Lanka for a Test series was in 2015 where he fell just short of a century with 92 in Galle.  His performance was not good when the teams met earlier in the Caribbean this year but believes he can set things right on a ground where he will have good memories.

“To be honest, I try to stick to my strengths.  Now, I’m starting to understand my game a lot better than I did in the past.  I really know my game inside out now,” Blackwood told members of the media.

“The last time I played there I played more attacking to be honest because I was batting at a proper level.  This time around if I get a chance I can bat longer for the team and score more runs.  I not looking to just score a century or a half-century, I’ll be looking to push it beyond that.  So, hopefully, if I get in on this track, I can score a lot of runs for the team.”

In four series to date, the West Indies are yet to win a  match in Sri Lanka.

West Indies newcomer Jeremy Solozano insists the focus will be on ensuring he contributes to the team rather than worry about cementing a spot in the squad, with a potential debut against Sri Lanka on the cards.

The 26-year-old is tipped to make his debut as an opener against Sri Lanka when the series gets underway on Saturday.  The position at the top of the order has been a problematic one for the Caribbean team in recent years.  The struggle has been to find a consistent partner for captain Kraigg Brathwaite. 

The likes of John Campbell, Kieran Powell, Devon Smith, and briefly Shai Hope have all played in the position but failed to deliver the required performances.

With neither Powell nor Campbell in the squad and Hope unlikely to be tried in the slot again it appears to be a golden opportunity for the young opener to stake his claim.  For the moment, however, it isn’t a primary focus.

“I’m feeling confident.  Once given the opportunity I will do my best for the West Indies,” Solozano told members of the media on Friday.

“There’s not really any pressure with the environment I’m in, it’s about going out there to enjoy the game.  I believe once you enjoy your game and training and everything, everything will fall into place,” he added.

A debut against Sri Lanka could be a steep step up for Solozano who has managed just 40 first-class matches with an average of 23.41.

“Once given the opportunity I’ll contribute to the team as much as possible, doing what the team requires in the given situation.”

 

 

 

West Indies Women head into the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier on a winning note after defeating Thailand women by 151 runs in their warm-up match at the Sunrisers Sports Club ground in Harare.

West Indies Women posted 230-6 from their 50 overs, with Thailand Women replying with 79 all out in 36.3 overs.

The West Indies Women owed their score to Deandra Dottin, who scored 101 and Hayley Matthews, who contributed with 57.

 Onnicha Kamchomphu took 2-26 while Suleeporn Laomi returned figures of 2-37.

Thailand was never in the hunt, despite Chanida Sutthiruang’s 37.  Sornnarin Tippoch was the next best scorer with nine as Shakera Selman took 2-1 and Aaliyah Alleyne 2-9 proved too much for the opposing batters.

Naturally, Head Coach Courtney Walsh was pleased with the outcome ahead of the first match on November 23 against Ireland.

“It was good to get in a practice match in Zimbabwe to get accustomed to the conditions. The ladies went out and did what was required,” he said.

“Deandra and Hayley had good knocks, so it’s good to see the runs continuing from over from Pakistan. We gave all the bowlers a chance to get a feel of the pitch here in Zimbabwe. It was important to get match practice as Papua New Guinea pulled out so we are short one game.”

Walsh believes winning the series against Pakistan 3-0 and overwhelming Thailand will boost the confidence of his players.

“Once you keep winning you’re going to keep having confidence. We left Pakistan pretty confidently and it’s important to keep that momentum and not taking anything for granted,” he said.

“Obviously, this was just a practice game but the win is important for team morale and then we have a few days before we start the competition, so it’s good to get that win under our belts.”

The West Indies Women will continue their training schedule for the next three days before they bow into World Cup qualifying action.

India captain Rohit Sharma played a central role as his team clinched a T20I series win over World Cup finalists New Zealand with a clinical seven-wicket victory in Ranchi.

After making a valuable 48 when India won the first game in the three-match series by five wickets on Wednesday, Rohit – who took over from Virat Kohli as T20 captain for this series and seems set to be handed the role on a full-time basis – added a rapid 55 on this occasion as he and KL Rahul produced a century opening partnership.

Chasing New Zealand's 153-6, Rahul plundered 65 from 49 balls and Rohit's runs came from just 36 deliveries, before India withstood a slight stumble to get over the line with 16 balls to spare.

Rishabh Pant finished it off with two sixes at the start of the 18th over, with India getting the job done emphatically at JSCA International Stadium Complex.

New Zealand captain Tim Southee's inspired bowling had accounted for both openers and Suryakumar Yadav, but by that point India were almost home and hosed. Pant and Venkatesh Iyer both finished on 12 not out.

The visitors paid the price for being unable to build on a strong platform of their own, having been 79-1 in the ninth over. Martin Guptill thrashed 31 from 15 balls, perishing to a top edge off Deepak Chahar after striking the same bowler for six from the previous delivery.

Harshal Patel had a strong debut for India and his 2-25 included the wicket of middle-order dangerman Glenn Phillips, who hit three sixes, taking his total to 97 in T20 matches at all levels in 2021, making 34 in 21 balls.

The three-match series concludes in Kolkata on Sunday, with India eyeing a clean sweep.

Rohit and Rahul take game away from Kiwis

Trent Boult dropped Rohit on 29 after he sliced into the on side. A wicket at that point, in the 10th over, might have made a difference, but India's opening pair went on to put on 117 and such a foundation meant the outcome became a foregone conclusion. It means the India openers have equalled the most century partnerships in T20I matches, joining Pakistan's Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan on five.

Super Southee efforts in vain

Southee's salvo came too late to majorly affect the outcome, but his bowling was terrific and figures of 3-16 from four overs matched his fifth-best T20I performance, in what was his 92nd appearance in the short format for the Black Caps.

Steve Waugh believes Pat Cummins would be the "logical choice" to replace the disgraced Tim Paine as Australia Test captain.

Paine sensationally resigned in shame on Friday and was reduced to tears as he apologised for being embroiled in a sexting scandal.

The wicketkeeper, who is married with two children, revealed the decision was based on an explicit text exchange with a female former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

Vice-captain Cummins is expected to take over from Paine, who will still be available for selection to face England.

Former Australia skipper Waugh endorsed paceman Cummins to step up.

"Pat Cummins is definitely the front-runner to lead the side in Brisbane for the first Test, he's the vice-captain and there is a lot of talk of him taking over Tim Paine sooner or later even without this incident. So, I think he is the logical choice," Waugh told WA Today.

"For the vice-captain, I don't know, someone like a Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain, he's experienced."

Mark Taylor is another ex-Australia captain to back Cummins for the role three years after Smith's reign as skipper ended due to the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

"I think CA [Cricket Australia] will probably want to go for someone fresh and clean. The timing will make it a more comfortable decision for CA to make Pat the captain," Taylor told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It will be hard to go back after another controversy to Steve. I know Pat very well, he's a terrific fella. I think it is harder for a quick bowler to be captain. In terms of leadership he will be very good because he’s a good, solid human being."

Australia batter Travis Head thinks Cummins would be a good appointment.

"Obviously Pat’s been well spoken about, named as vice-captain, it's hard to go past him, or give him the opportunity to," he said.

"He's someone who oozes leadership, not only in the way he presents himself and speaks and the way he goes about things and the way he trains, but also when he's on the field."

Alex Hales has apologised after a photograph emerged of him being "incredibly disrespectful" by painting his face black at a fancy dress party.

Former England batsman Hales says a picture that was published by The Sun shows him trying to pay tribute to rapper Tupac Shakur at a party in 2009.

Nottinghamshire batter Hales knows he has been "incredibly reckless and foolish".

The 32-year-old on Friday once again denied Azeem Rafiq's claim that he had named his dog Kevin, a name the spinner alleged his former team-mate Gary Ballance used as a "derogatory" term to refer to a player of colour.

Hales said in a video posted on Instagram: "With the allegations that have come to light over the last few days, I feel like it's important that I address these myself.

"I'll start with the picture that has appeared in The Sun of me in a fancy dress party in 2009. The theme was musicians and Tupac is, was, always will be my favourite musician so I went as him.

"I obviously realise it is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for the offence that this has no doubt caused. It's incredibly reckless and foolish on my behalf so I want to apologise for that and I want to apologise to the club for the embarrassment it would have caused them

"I guess my 20s was full of mistakes like that, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down team-mates, let down friends, close relationships I had in my 20s.

"I guess some of those decisions I'll regret for the rest of my life. The last few years, being away from the spotlight a little bit has given me the chance to better myself as a human, keep getting better at cricket but getting better off the field as well. It's something I feel like I've done and am continuing to strive to do.

"With regards to the allegations about the dog, it's an ongoing investigation at the club, so I can't go into that, but I want to reiterate what I said in my statement the other day.

"Finally, I deplore all forms of racism and discrimination. I've been incredibly lucky to play around the world in different backgrounds with players of different races, different cultures and I think it's great our game is so diverse."

Nottinghamshire said the club has "extended the scope of their investigation" into the historic conduct of Hales following the publication the photo.

South Africa legend AB de Villiers has confirmed his retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 37.

The Proteas great made the announcement on Friday, calling time on a glittering career that saw him win 114 Test caps, feature in 228 ODIs and make 78 T20I outings.

He stepped down from the international stage in 2018 but continued to represent Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, as well as feature in other T20 competitions. 

However, the prolific batsman - an excellent fielder who also donned the wicketkeeping gloves - will no longer showcase his incredible talents after deciding to call it a day.

"It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket," he wrote on Twitter.

"Ever since the back yard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly.

"That's the reality I must accept – and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement. I've had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me.

"Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities, and I will always be grateful.

"I would like to thank every team-mate, every opponent, every coach, every physio and every staff member who has travelled the same path, and I am humbled by the support I have received in South Africa, in India, wherever I have played.

"Last, I am aware that nothing would have been possible without the sacrifices made by my family – my parents, my brothers, my wife Danielle and my children. I look forward to the next chapter of our lives when I can truly put them first."

De Villiers last played for South Africa in a Test match against Australia back in March 2018, having debuted against England in 2004.

He scored 8,765 runs in Tests at an average of 50.66, with 22 centuries as well as taking 222 catches, 101 of those as a keeper.

De Villiers was even more impressive in the ODI format, averaging 53.50 and racking up 25 hundreds in 228 appearances, while he made 1,672 runs in T20I 75 knocks at an average of 26.12. 

The veteran's 157 matches for RCB yielded 4,522 runs at a strike rate of 158.33.

Tim Paine has sensationally resigned as Australia's Test captain on the eve of the Ashes after being embroiled in a sexting scandal.

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper made the stunning announcement at a brief press conference on Friday, although he clarified he intends to remain available for selection.

Paine had taken over as Australian skipper from Steve Smith in the wake of the sandpaper scandal during the South Africa Test tour in 2018.

The Tasmanian, who is married with two children, revealed the decision was based on an explicit text exchange with a female former Cricket Tasmania colleague from 2017.

The incident was investigated at the time and Paine had been cleared of breaching Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct but he had recently learned the exchange was set to be made public and subsequently opted to stand down.

"It's an incredibly difficult decision but the right one for me, my family and cricket," Paine said.

"On reflection my actions in 2017 do not meet the standards of an Australian cricket captain or the wider community. I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and pain that I have caused for my wife, my family and the other party.

"I'm sorry for any damage that this does to the reputation of our sport and I believe it's the right decision for me to stand own as captain effectively immediately. I do not want this to become an unwelcome distraction to the team ahead of a huge Ashes series."

Paine became particularly emotional when discussing his role as Test captain, which he described as the "greatest privilege" of his playing career, having led the side which retained the Ashes in England in 2019.

"I've loved my role as captain of the Australian cricket team," he said. "It's been the greatest privilege of my sporting life to lead the Australian men's team.

"I'm grateful for the support of my teammates and proud of what we've been able to achieve together. To them I ask for understanding and forgiveness. To Australian cricket fans, I'm deeply sorry my past behaviour has impacted our game on the eve of the Ashes.

"I've been blessed with a wonderful loving supportive family and it's breaks my heart to know how much I've let them down. They've always stood by me and been my most loyal fans. I'm indebted to them for their support.

"I will remain a committed member of the Australian cricket team and look forward with anticipation for what is a huge Ashes tour."

Paine had earlier this week been included in Australia's 15-man squad for the first two Ashes Tests despite neck surgery in September.

Fast bowler Pat Cummins had been named in that squad as vice-captain, while Smith may be considered to step in as captain having served his penance for his 2018 indiscretion.

The First Test against England is due to commence at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 8.

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite claims the team is eager to buck the trend of typically poor performances in Sri Lanka when the teams meet in Galle later this week.

Since 1994, the teams have played 10 series between them, with the West Indies winning two and Sri Lanka winning three.  The rest have ended in draws.  None of the West Indies wins have come in Sri Lanka.  In fact, the West Indies are yet to win a match in Sri Lanka and suffered a 2-0 loss on their last visit in 2016.

Brathwaite believes the current squad, who did experience some success on the continent in February with a win over Bangladesh, is capable of finally breaking this long-running trend.

“I was here in 2016, my first series here and we lost both matches.  As a youngster it didn’t feel good just coming into the team.  Now I’m looking forward to these games, I think we have a very good team,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Thursday.

“This team is ready to go, and we are ready to break the shackles and win some games in Sri Lanka this time around,” he added.

The West Indies face Sri Lanka in a two-Test series in the Caribbean earlier this year, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

 

 

Azeem Rafiq has apologised and described himself as "ashamed" after anti-Semitic messages he sent in 2011 resurfaced.

The former Yorkshire cricketer, who this week made an emotional appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee amid claims of institutionalised racism in English cricket, posted an apology on Twitter on Thursday in the wake of his own offensive remarks circulating on social media.

The 30-year-old confirmed the messages, which were part of an exchange with another cricketer, were written by him but insisted "I am a different person today", having posted them at the age of 19.

"I was sent an image of this exchange from early 2011 today," said Rafiq. "I have gone back to check my account and it is me – I have absolutely no excuses.

"I am ashamed of this exchange and have deleted it so as not to cause further offence. I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today."

In the note, posted on his Twitter account, Rafiq added: "I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this."

Rafiq was found to have suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire.

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