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Recent Match Report – India A vs South Africa A 2nd unofficial Test 2019

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India A 417 (Gill 92, Nair 78, Dube 68, Mulder 3-47, Piedt 3-78) and 202 for 3 dec (Panchal 109, Nair 51*, Piedt 2-88) drew with South Africa A 400 (Markram 161, Mulder 131*, de Bruyn 41, Kuldeep 4-121, Nadeem 3-76)

Priyank Panchal scored a century and Karun Nair hit his second half-century of the match on the final day of the second unofficial Test between India A and South Africa A in Mysuru, before the two teams agreed to call off the game after just 64 overs of action on Friday. The result meant India A won the two-match series 1-0.

Opener Panchal’s 109 and Nair’s 51 not out from No. 4 took the home side to 202 for 3 in their second innings, with the declaration coming once Nair had reached his milestone. But with not much time left on the day, South Africa opted not to chase their 220-run target.

Panchal – who had batted at No. 3 with Shubman Gill opening in the first innings – was on 9 with his opening partner Abhimanyu Easwaran on 5 overnight. The two built on the Indians’ 17-run first-innings lead with a 94-run stand before Abhimanyu fell, bowled by offspinner Dane Piedt, for 37 off 93 balls with three hits to the boundary.

That was in the 34th over, and Piedt struck again in his next over when he had Gill, batting at No. 3 this time after top-scoring with 92 in the first dig, caught by Senuran Muthusamy for a duck.

Panchal chugged along though, and proceeded to add 92 more with Nair, bringing up his 22nd first-class century in the process. His innings included nine fours and four sixes. It continued Panchal’s rich vein of form, which had hit a temporary snag in the Duleep Trophy with a top score of 33 across four innings.

Muthuswamy, the left-arm spinner, did succeed in sending back Panchal, caught and bowled, but Nair, who had settled down by then, continued his own strong form in recent times with a half-century. His scores in first-class cricket this season read: 99, 166*, 90, 20, 78 and 51*. When the teams shook hands, Nair had captain Wriddhiman Saha, unbeaten on 1 off 33 balls, for company.

Earlier, after Aiden Markram asked the Indians to bat, they rode on the half-centuries from Gill and Nair as well as Saha’s 60, Shivam Dube’s 68 and Jalaj Saxena’s unbeaten 48 to put up 417.

Kuldeep Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem combined to then reduce South Africa to 142 for 5, before hundreds by Markram and Wiaan Mulder rescued the visiting side. Markram (161) and Mulder (131*) added 155 runs for the sixth wicket, and though Markram was eventually bowled by Mohammed Siraj, Mulder carried South Africa close to India’s total.

Kuldeep and Nadeem picked up seven wickets between them, and Markram was named the player of the match.

This match marked the end of South Africa A’s tour of India, which started with a five-match one-day series – India took that 4-1 – and concluded with the two four-dayers, the first of which the Indians won by seven wickets.

The senior sides from the two countries are currently engaged in a T20I series and will then play three Test matches.



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West Indies selector Roger Harper backs Darren Bravo to return to Test side

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Darren Bravo might have been left out of the West Indies squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan, but lead selector Roger Harper backed the batsman to strike form in domestic cricket and return to the side.

Bravo scored a mere 47 runs in four innings at an average of 15.66 in the Test series against India. His form hardly improved in the CPL, where he managed 128 runs in seven innings, striking at 103.22, and only one half-century.

“Firstly I don’t want to term it as dropping a player like Darren Bravo,” Harper said in a press conference at the Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday. “We all know the quality of a player like Darren Bravo, with the sort of Test and one-day record he has representing West Indies.

“We recognised Darren has not been at his best as we have seen over the years. Therefore, we wanted to give him the opportunity to go away, maybe play club cricket, but definitely our regional cricket, get his game right and come back to being the best he can be, so that he can make a real positive impact for our West Indies team and be the force we know he can be in world cricket.”

The new selection panel of Harper, Miles Bascombe and coach Phil Simmons also gave maiden call-ups to legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr and opener Brandon King for the white-ball squads. Walsh Jr topped the bowling charts in the 2019 CPL with 22 wickets from nine games. But more than the wickets, it was his wicket-taking ability – an astonishing strike rate of 9.1 – that impressed the selectors. King was the leading run-scorer with 496 runs at an average of 55.11 and a strike rate of 148.94.

ALSO READ: Hayden Walsh Jr’s moment of truth, at 36,000 feet

“During the CPL, he [Walsh Jr] excited everyone with his performances and given the direction white-ball cricket has gone, we realize the need for bowlers capable of taking wickets,” Harper said. “Walsh has proven he is a wicket-taker and I think he will have a great impact on the team, especially in middle overs so that we won’t be drifting through but can keep control of games.

“He [King] had an outstanding season, made runs in our domestic four-day competition and followed it up with an outstanding CPL that demanded a place in the team. We were impressed not just by his stroke play, but his maturity and wish him all the best.”

Apart from King and Walsh Jr, experienced batsman Lendl Simmons also reaped rewards of a strong show in the CPL and made a comeback to the T20I side. His 430 runs at an average of 39.09 and a strike rate of 150.34 were second only to King’s tally. Meanwhile, Denesh Ramdin, who last played a T20I in November 2018 when West Indies toured India, also found a place in the 20-over side as the selectors went for a back-up wicketkeeper in each format.

“Similar to Brandon King, his [Simmons’] weight of runs in the CPL prior to the squad selection made us had to consider him,” Harper said. “When we looked at the balance of the team, we needed a player like him because he is a versatile batsman.

“One of the things we tried to carefully do in all three squads is to have a wicketkeeper as cover. Denesh brings with him a lot of experience and as a batsman can contribute in the middle if required and I think he will add a good blend to the team as well.”

Talking about his own appointment, Harper said his target was to make the selection process as transparent as possible.

“If the West Indies team is to move forward it’s an area we have to get right. I look forward to working with coach Simmons, fellow selector Bascombe, taking the advice of captain Holder and Pollard so that we make this process as transparent as possible, so that every player who is performing and meeting the criteria, will feel they have a fair chance at being selected. Once we do that I believe players will give their best and we will see a positive effect of that on the field.”



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‘I feel guilty’ – Mohammad Naveed accepts he failed to report corrupt approach

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Mohammad Naveed, the UAE fast bowler and captain facing ICC corruption charges, says he made a “mistake” in not reporting an approach made to him.

According to a report in the National, Naveed was approached by a person claiming to be a representative from a T10 franchise but once the 32-year old realised the person he was meeting was a “fixer” he ended the conversation.

Naveed, however, faces more than just a failure to report charge. On Wednesday, the ICC charged him and senior batsman Shaiman Anwar with “contriving, or being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the upcoming ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019.” ESPNcricinfo understands that both players, allegedly, stood to gain up to US$272,000 (approx.) if they were successful in their attempts.

“I am very sincere about my game, I am very sincere about my career,” Naveed told the National. “I have been successful for the UAE around the world, in leagues, for franchises. That is because I am very sincere about my game.

“Now this has happened, I feel guilty. Why did I not talk to the board, why did I not talk to the ICC? It is my mistake, and I feel guilty.”

“My family is let down, my friends are let down. Everybody is let down. This was my mistake.

A third UAE player has also been charged in the ICC’s investigation. Qadeer Ahmed is in trouble for “failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct that would amount to Corrupt Conduct under the Code” in relation to the Zimbabwe v UAE series in April 2019 and the Netherlands v UAE series in August 2019. The 33-year-old has played only 11 ODIs and ten T20Is for UAE but Naveed has been one of the team’s pillars.

“I’m only scared of my God, not anybody else,” Naveed said. “I speak very truly. My passion is cricket, I love cricket, my life is cricket.

“I am a successful cricketer – not only in Associate cricket, but in all the world.

“Look at my ranking, look at my economy rate. My focus is only on cricket, not on being a bad boy.”

Naveed and his team-mates have 14 days from October 16, 2019 to respond to the ICC’s charges.



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Aiden Markram ruled out of third Test with self-inflicted wrist injury

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Aiden Markram has been ruled out of the third Test against India, starting on October 19 in Ranchi, after sustaining an injury to his right wrist. After his dismissal in South Africa’s second innings in the Pune Test, Markram lashed out at a solid object in frustration, resulting in the injury.

Markram was given out lbw by the on-field umpire, and after a consultation with his opening partner Dean Elgar, he chose not to review the decision. However, replays showed the ball would have missed the leg stump.

“A CT scan of Aiden Markram’s wrist showed a fracture involving the wrist bones,” team doctor Hashendra Ramjee said in a press release. “The medical team has therefore ruled him out of the next Test match against India. Arrangements have been made for him to see a specialist on his return to South Africa for further management of the injury.”

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