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Lockie Ferguson returns from injury to face England

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Lockie Ferguson will make his return from injury for the New Zealand XI in England’s warm-up matches ahead of their T20I series.

Ferguson suffered a fractured thumb at the start of the tour of Sri Lanka in August and the two practice matches at Lincoln on October 27 and 29 will give him a chance to get up to speed ahead of the T20Is.

He was one of the stars of the World Cup, finishing as New Zealand’s leading wicket-taker with 21 at 19.47.

“The thumb has healed well and I’m looking forward to having a hit-out at Lincoln,” he said. “While it’s obviously frustrating to be side-lined, it’s actually been good to take some time to freshen up and be able to return with plenty of motivation and energy. It’s the beginning of a really big summer of cricket and it’s exciting to be starting it against a quality England side.”

He will be joined in the New Zealand XI by current internationals Colin Munro, who will captain the team, and Tim Seifert.

Squad Colin Munro (capt), Katene Clarke, Josh Clarkson, Blake Coburn, Anton Devcich, Lockie Ferguson, Jake Gibson, Brett Hampton, Anaru Kitchen, Christian Leopard, Tim Seifert (wk), Anurag Verma



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Recent Match Report – Afghanistan vs West Indies 2nd T20I 2019

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Toss: Afghanistan opted to bat v West Indies

In a must-win T20I, Afghanistan decided to try a new tack by batting first against West Indies at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday, with the coin falling in Rashid Khan’s favour once again.

Afghanistan had lost the first T20I while chasing, which perhaps prompted the change in tactics, though the home team will likely have to contend with dew when bowling second. West Indies had won the first T20I comfortably – by 30 runs – despite bowling second, and victory here will seal the series for them. Evin Lewis played the defining innings in the first game hitting 68 off 41, while captain Kieron Pollard had a good outing with bat and ball.

The only point of worry for West Indies was Fabian Allen, who had hobbled off the field in the second innings. Cricket West Indies confirmed that Allen had a Grade 1 posterior cruciate ligament sprain on his right knee, and would be out of action for two weeks. Allen will remain in India for his rehabilitation. Keemo Paul replaced Allen in the West Indies squad for the last two T20Is, and has been drafted into the XI for this game.

Afghanistan also had one change, bringing in the young right-arm pacer Karim Janat in place of left-arm quick Fareed Ahmad.

The match is being played on one of the pitches that are slightly off-center, making one of the square boundaries closer than the other. There is less grass than there was on offer for the first T20I, which could bring spinners into play more.

“We’re just trying to do something different,” Rashid said. “On a wicket like this, having a good total on the board is tough to chase. We have bowling as our strength. We just need to focus on playing good cricket. What happened in the ODIs is past, today we have a chance to come back in the series.”

Pollard was happy to be bowling first. “Fresh wicket again, so not really sure what it’s going to do,” he said. “Great opportunity to bowl first. When you put runs on the board, the batsmen have to chase it, so we have to try and suffocate them. Hopefully the guys can go out and tick all the boxes and the result will take care of itself.”

The result in the first T20I also meant Afghanistan haven’t yet notched a victory in the tour so far, having lost 3-0 in the ODIs.

West Indies: 1 Brandon King, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Shimron Hetmyer, 4 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 5 Kieron Pollard (capt), 6 Sherfane Rutherford, 7 Jason Holder, 8 Keemo Paul, 9 Kesrick Williams, 10 Hayden Walsh, 11 Sheldon Cottrell

Afghanistan: 1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Asghar Afghan, 3 Ibrahim Zadran, 4 Najibullah Zadran, 5 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Gulbadin Naib, 8 Rashid Khan (capt), 9 Karim Janat, 10 Naveen ul Haq, 11 Mujeeb Ur Rahman



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Recent Match Report – Jozi Stars vs Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Mzansi Super League, 8th Match

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The Jozi Stars’ hopes of repeating last season’s events, when they lost three of their first four Mzansi Super League (MSL) matches but went on to win the competition, have been severely dented after they crumbled to a fourth successive defeat. The Stars were skittled out for 108 and went down to Nelson Mandela Bay Giants for the second time in this tournament, and remain at the bottom of the points table. At the opposite end are the Giants, who claimed a bonus-point win with a successful chase inside 10 overs and sit in pole position.

Runs but no wins

Reeza Hendricks and Temba Bavuma are first and second on the tournament run charts, with 161 and 160 runs respectively, but that has not translated into wins for their team. Hendricks’ two half-centuries came in the first two matches, when the Jozi stars put up a fight, while Bavuma’s scores of 62 and 27 were both top scores in otherwise limp efforts from his team-mates. Of course, you may want to point out that the Stars are the only team to play four matches so far, but let’s not let that get in the way of the obvious problem for the defending champions. They need their two best batsmen to fire together, and one or two others to come to the party if they are going to turn things around. The form of Chris Gayle (46 runs in four matches) and Rassie van der Dussen (52 runs in four matches) are particular concerns.

Dala what you must

That’s the South African slang phrase for “do what you need to do” and seems to be the mantra of the Giants bowler Junior Dala. He is top of the wicket-taker’s list with six wickets at an average of 10.16, three of which came in this match. Dala yorked Chris Gayle the ball after the Jamaican slashed him for six, and then removed Kagiso Rabada and Bavuma in his second spell. He finished with the Player-of-the-Match performance of 3 for 19.

Hello KG, it’s Jason Roy

Rabada had Roy out for a duck six days ago but, today, Roy had his revenge. He took 16 runs off Rabada’s opening over – which also featured a wide – including two cover drives for four and a flick in front of square for six. In the context of the match, it was only a small tussle, but in the bigger picture of this summer, it is part of a larger narrative. South Africa host England for four Tests, three ODIs and three T20s between December and January, so Rabada and Roy will definitely meet again, especially in white-ball formats.

Just how much is the MSL costing?

We already know that CSA is footing the bill for the tournament, which was in excess of R80 million last year, but that is not the only – or perhaps even the biggest – cost. That may have happened on the field where Stars’ bowler Gerald Coetzee went down with what looked like a hamstring problem in his first over. Coetzee impressed on MSL debut on Thursday night when he bounced out the Cape Town Blitz’s openers Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan, and though he did not have much to work with against the Giants, he introduced himself with pace and aggression. That only lasted four balls before he aborted his run-up, clutched his right leg and tumbled onto the turf, where he proceeded to punch the ground, perhaps indicating the severity of the injury.

Depending on how long Coetzee is sidelined for, this MSL injury could have an impact on South Africa’s under-19 World Cup plans, which he was all but certain to feature in. Coetzee turned 19 on October 2, which makes him eligible to play in the event. He has two months to recover – South Africa’s first match of the Under-19 World Cup is on January 17, against Afghanistan, in Kimberley.

He is not the only player on the tournament’s injury list. JP Duminy pulled out of the Rocks’ squad with a torn hamstring, and Farhaan Behardien will not feature further for the Giants after breaking a finger in training.



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Lack of Tests ‘main difference’ between Bangladesh and India – Mominul Haque

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Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque is pleased that his side is getting to play more Test matches courtesy the ICC World Test Championship (WTC). Bangladesh are slated to play against Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand next year as part of the 2019-2021 championship, and a Test each against Zimbabwe and Ireland outside of it.

It is a jump from the number of Test matches that they were previously playing, which had prompted many complaints from administrators, players and coaches about the long gaps between Tests. Mominul, who is treated as a Test specialist, and therefore has to deal with long breaks between Test matches, said that the gulf between Bangladesh and India in the longest format was mainly a result of the difference in the number of matches the two teams tend to play.

“We are happy,” Mominul said. “The WTC is a huge opportunity for those who play Tests. It is a huge competition. If the ICC didn’t arrange this competition, we wouldn’t get many Tests. It will be better for everyone.

“We have to play a lot of Test matches. If you see in the last seven months, we have played only two Tests. We don’t play Tests like other teams. I think it is the main difference [between the two sides].”

Pressed for answers about Bangladesh’s big defeat in Indore, where their batsmen wilted under the pressure exerted by the “No.1 bowling attack in the world”, Mominul said that the opening batsmen could have made life a little easier for the rest of the line-up had they played out the first hour.

“The bowling attack was challenging. It would be easier for the rest of the batting line-up if the openers played out the first 15 to 20 overs.

“India have a threatening attack, but we also failed as a batting unit. They are the No. 1 bowling attack in the world. We couldn’t latch on to our chances also.”

Mominul also said that they were considering promoting Mushfiqur Rahim up the batting order, after his scores of 43 and 64 in this game. “Promoting Mushfiqur would be a positive sign, if the team management decides to. I think we can have that line of thinking.”



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