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Recent Match Report – Queensland vs New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, 2nd Match

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New South Wales 9 for 288 dec (Warner 125, Bertus 53, Gannon 5-94) and 5 for 134 (Hughes 66*) beat Queensland 153 (Labuschagne 69, Conway 5-17) and 268 (Labuschagne 52, Burns 52, Conway 5-39) by five wickets

Harry Conway took career-best match figures of 10 for 56 but New South Wales needed Daniel Hughes‘ composed 66 to secure a hard-fought five-wicket win at the Gabba it what became a tricky chase.

Conway’s second-innings haul of 5 for 39 – to follow 5 for 17 on the opening day – left New South Wales a target of 134. David Warner fell for a first-ball duck, edging low to third slip off Michael Neser, and after lunch the chase fell to 5 for 53.

Steven Smith was caught behind off the impressive Neser, who added Moises Henriques in similar manner. Billy Stanlake then made an impression, removing Nick Larkin and Nick Bertus in the space of three balls, and with half the side out and 81 still needed, Queensland were sensing a notable turnaround.

However, Hughes, who was in sparkling form during the Marsh Cup, played the testing situation nervelessly as he reached a 93-ball half-century alongside captain Peter Nevill, who was unbeaten on 31 in a match-winning stand of 81.

Queensland had resumed on 5 for 186 and Trent Copeland made the breakthrough when he hooped one back at Jimmy Peirson, who shouldered arms. Ten runs later came the key wicket, when Mitchell Starc struck his only blow of the match by having Marnus Labuschagne caught behind shortly after he had passed fifty for the second time in the game.

New South Wales were then frustrated by a 48-run stand for the eighth wicket between Neser and Cameron Gannon before Conway got into the act. Neser popped a leading edge to mid-off, Mark Steketee was sharply held at second slip by Smith, and Stanlake was yorked first ball.

While Conway led his team-mates off the field with ten wickets to his name, Starc finished the match with figures of 39-10-129-1. With Copeland and Sean Abbott having also bowled well, New South Wales could face a tricky selection decision for their next match at the SCG if Nathan Lyon is available.



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Recent Match Report – South Australia vs Western Australia, Australian Domestic One-Day Competition, 18th Match

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Western Australia 252 (Green 86, W Agar 5-40) beat South Australia 246 (Ferguson 127, Coulter-Nile 5-48) by seven runs

Callum Ferguson nearly pulled off a miracle, Nathan Coulter-Nile reminded the Australian selectors of his worth, Cameron Green continued his stunning form, and Ashton Agar was left bloodied by his brother Wes as Western Australia won a nail-biter against South Australia in a thrilling game in Adelaide to qualify for the Marsh Cup final.

Chasing 252 to win, Ferguson almost pulled off the impossible for the Redbacks, dragging his side back from 7 for 126, to get within seven runs of victory with a stunning 127 from 125 balls. South Australia were 9 for 190 when Ferguson was joined by Daniel Worrall and he farmed the strike bowling expertly to make his 12th List A century and reduced the equation to 23 from 12. He then smashed two sixes and a four off Jhye Richardson to cut it to 7 from 7, before Richardson trapped him with a brilliant yorker to put Western Australia into the final.

Coulter-Nile had run through South Australia’s top order taking his second List A five-wicket haul and had 5 for 18 at one stage as he ripped through Jake Weatherald, Jake Lehmann and Alex Carey with express pace in the powerplay. He returned after a steadying partnership between Ferguson and Cam Valente to take out two more in quick succession and remind the Australian selectors he is still a high-class white-ball bowler.

The selectors would have also kept a close eye on Green, who made his highest List A score of 86 from just 78 balls to steer Western Australia from a perilous position of 5 for 73 to post 252. Following on from his stunning performance against Queensland in the Shield, Green again showed his maturity and his class controlling the second half of the innings. He shared an 85-run stand with Hilton Cartwright who contributed 43, and a 54-run partnership with Richardson. He fell trying to clear the rope for the fourth time.

Among the chaos, the most bizarre storyline of the day belonged to the Agar brothers Ashton and Wes playing on opposing teams. Wes Agar got early bragging rights over his brother, clean bowling him for 5 as part of his brilliant five-wicket haul. He claimed 5 for 40 in 10 overs to continue his excellent start to the summer in both formats.

More dramatically, however, while batting late in the chase Wes flat-batted a ball towards Ashton at mid-on where he got his feet in a tangle and the ball appeared swerve as he slipped and it hit him flush between the eyes. He had blood streaming down his face as his younger brother rushed to his side. Ashton was able to walk off the field unassisted but did not field for the last 10 overs of the match.

Western Australia have now qualified for the final. South Australia’s hopes are all but dashed. The Redbacks now need to win their last match against Victoria on Tuesday by a large margin and hope Queensland are beaten by a big margin by Tasmania.



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Ben Stokes using David Warner’s name for book sales – Tim Paine

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Australia’s captain Tim Paine has declared Ben Stokesrevelations about using David Warner‘s words as motivation to score his epic Headingley century is the latest in a trend of using the opener’s name to “spike book sales”.

Warner has made a significant change to his behaviour on the field since his return from the Newlands scandal ban, not resorting to the kinds of abuse he subjected other players to at regular points over his international career.

His overall visage has remained talkative however, something that Stokes claimed to have raised his ire during the Headingley innings that bloomed from an initial rearguard into an unforgettable, match-winning century that delayed Australia’s retention fo the Ashes until the fourth Test of the series at Old Trafford. Paine, who as wicketkeeper stood alongside Warner throughout, said there was nothing abusive in the opener’s words, even if they were frequent.

“I was obviously standing next to David the whole time and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field,” Paine said when asked whether the Stokes allegations were a “cheap shot”. “But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey’s name to spike book sales. So good luck to them.”

Stokes wrote that he was spurred on by Warner in particular, stating that he would have been happy to accept similar words from “just about any other opponent” other than him. “I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps,” Stokes wrote. “A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.

“He just wouldn’t shut up for most of my time out there. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though. The changed man he was adamant he’d become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed ‘Humble’ by his Australia teammates, had disappeared. Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back?

“Although he’d enjoyed a prolific World Cup campaign, he had struggled with the bat at the start of the Ashes and was perhaps turning to his old ways to try to get the best out of himself,” Stokes wrote. “The nice-guy act had done nothing for his runs column. I muttered ‘Bloody Warner’ a few times as I was getting changed. The more time passed, the more it spurred me on. All kinds of ideas of what I might say to him at the end of the game went through my head. In the end, I vowed to do nothing other than shake his hand and say ‘Well done’ if I could manufacture the situation.

“You always shake the hands of every member of the opposing team at the end of a match. But this one would give me the greatest sense of satisfaction.”

Paine, however, pointed out the abuse that Warner had to face throughout the England tour from spectators, as well as a few choice words here and there from England’s players, without ever retaliating in a way that would have brought disrepute to the game.

“I was standing right next to him, I had absolutely no issue,” Paine said. “The way David handled himself during the Ashes was excellent. Particularly given the fact he wasn’t scoring a hell of a lot of runs and I’m pretty sure he was on the end of a fair bit himself on and off the field in England. So I thought he did a great job of handling that and held himself really well throughout the series. They write books to sell and they have to get headlines to get sales.

“We’re going to concentrate on what we do and maintain our own standards. What Ben and England want to do is completely up to them.”



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After early finish, India and Bangladesh train in Indore to be pink-ball ready

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After a three-day finish to the first Test, India and Bangladesh have stayed back in Indore to train with the pink ball before they head to Kolkata for the second and final Test, also the maiden day-night Test for the two teams.

The Eden Gardens Test will start on November 22, which gives the players just under a week for full-fledged preparation. At the moment, only a handful of players from the two teams have trained with the pink ball, mostly in small pockets during their regular training sessions before the start of the series.

ALSO READ: ‘The lateral movement is big’ – Rahane’s pink-ball experience

“I hadn’t played with the pink ball before,” Virat Kohli had said on Tuesday, before the first Test began. “I was given an opportunity to try and I wanted to, so that was my mindset behind playing with the pink ball. I think everyone else did it as well. You require extra concentration to pick the pink ball suddenly when you’re playing with the red ball.

“It [the alternating] was to work on the reflexes a little bit as well. Because when you play with the red ball in the net and you arrive at the pink ball, it gets very difficult to pick it up, which can be the case in the game as well. It sort of gives you the match scenario and how it might be difficult to pick it early on. To get into that zone was the reason behind it.”

“It’s a new experience, and as we go on, we’ll understand bowling with the pink ball”

India bowling coach Bharat Arun

There are various other factors that the players will have to take a look at.

The few players in the Indian team who have played matches with pink balls have only played with the Kookaburra ball, whereas the Kolkata Test will be played with SG balls, the same brand as the ones used in regular Test and domestic cricket in the country.

Also in the discussions, no doubt, will be catching. India dropped at least five clear catching chances across two innings in the first Test, and Bangladesh dropped two. And while a lot of talk around the pink ball so far has focused on swing, the spinners in the two teams will also have to figure their way around long spells in the dew that is expected at the ground in the evenings.

ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar expects dew to affect pink-ball Test

“Actually, it is a new experience for us, the pink ball,” bowling coach Bharat Arun said after India sealed the win on Saturday. “The spinners that we have are No. 1 and No. 2 in the world [among spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, respectively]. They come with a lot of experience. My job is to give them the right feedback so that they can connect with what they know better and use that. It’s a new experience, and as we go on, we’ll understand bowling with the pink ball.”

The players will also welcome the extra time to train in the relative calm of Indore as Kolkata prepares for what looks like it will be a grand affair under the direct guardianship of new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly at his home ground. Tickets for the first three days have been sold out and the Test could have a dramatic start, with the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) reportedly looking to enlist paratroopers to deliver pink balls to the two captains at the start.

“The paratroopers will fly into the wicket with two pink balls. We have discussed the plans with the army (Eastern Command),” CAB secretary Abhishek Dalmiya was quoted as saying by PTI on Friday. The army, it is believed, will also play both teams’ national anthems before the start of the game.

The paratrooper delivery is only one element of a lavish plan, which includes the ceremonial ringing of the Eden Gardens bell by Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, laps along the boundary by sporting greats of the two nations, and a feature programme with five players who were part of India’s famous 2001 come-from-behind win against Australia in Kolkata.



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