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Recent Match Report – Nelson Mandela Bay Giants vs Tshwane Spartans, Mzansi Super League, 23rd Match

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Nelson Mandela Bay Giants 192 for 4 (Dunk 99*) beat Tshwane Spartans 188 for 5 (de Villiers 63, Mulder 52) by six wickets

The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants completed the highest successful chase of this year’s Mzansi Super League against the Tshwane Spartans at St George’s Park to join the Paarl Rocks on 23 points at the top of the table. Ben Dunk‘s unbeaten 99 off 54 balls anchored the Giants’ effort and his fifth-wicket stand of 86 off 44 with Marco Marais took the team over the line. The Spartans had their chances to close out the game but dropped Dunk four times and had an ordinary night in the field which left them unable to defend a good total.

Slam Dunk as Ngidi lets it slip

Dunk was on 8 when he offered his first chance, hitting Tom Curran to deep midwicket where Wiaan Mulder dropped a straightforward chance. Lungi Ngidi made up for that two wickets in his opening over, which also showed off a skill he has honed in this season’s tournament – the slower ball. According to broadcaster SuperSport, eight of the nine wickets Ngidi has taken have been with deliveries slower than 125kph, including both in this match. He had Jon-Jon Smuts caught at deep midwicket and Heino Kuhn dragging one on to legstump to leave the Giants on 28 for 3.

Dunk and Ryan ten Doeschate led the recovery with a fourth-wicket stand of 78 but they gave the Spartans a big opportunity to end their partnership on 51. Dunk, on 37, hit the ball to Ngidi at deep square leg but the big fast bowler let it slip through his fingers. Ngidi made up for his mistake when he took a good catch low down to get rid of ten Doeschate off Morne Morkel. But just when Ngidi might have considered the night his, Tony de Zorzi dropped Dunk, now on 52, off his bowling at deep midwicket. The dance continued when Ngidi had a chance again in the next over. Dunk hit Morkel to deep backward square, Ngidi made his ground to get to the ball but could not lay hands on it. The Giants needed 62 off the last five overs and Dunk scored 40 of them.

Say hello to Salamkheil

When the Spartans bought Afghan left-arm wristspinner Waqar Salamkheil in the draft, coach Mark Boucher admitted he didn’t know much about the teenager – and hoped no one else would either. South African viewers got their first sighting of Salamkheil in the 10th over of the Giants’ chase, and saw the youngster take a hop, a skip, another skip and then deliver the ball. His unusual action does more than amuse, it also disguises his many variations which includes the googly but that didn’t yield much reward. His two overs cost 23 runs on a poor night for the Spartans’ spinners.

New openers set tempo

Theunis de Bruyn and Dean Elgar have the highest opening stand of the tournament, 104 against the Paarl Rocks, but after stands of 3, 10 and 12 in the Spartans’ last three matches, change was needed. Both internationals were benched for this fixture, where de Zorzi made his tournament debut and Mulder was promoted to open the batting. The move paid off. The pair scored 57 runs in the Powerplay before de Zorzi was was stumped off an Imran Tahir google. Mulder went on to score 52 off 31 balls including the first six of the innings, over long-on.

Another AB special

There were only two other sixes in the Spartans innings, and they came from none other than AB de Villiers. He scored his third half-century of the MSL and now lies third on the run-charts. His moments of glory came in the 18th over, when he hit Junior Dala to cow corner for his first six, followed up with back-to-back fours, and then hit Dala back over his head for a second six. Dala saw de Villiers dropped at long leg off his fifth ball but then had the last laugh when de Villiers was caught at deep midwicket. The over cost 23 runs but removed de Villiers and kept the Spartans under 200.



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Recent Match Report – Tasmania vs South Australia, Sheffield Shield, 18th Match

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South Australia 346 (Weatherald 126, Carey 73, Bird 4-70) and 4 for 170 beat Tasmania 254 (Milenko 100, Agar 3-68) and 261 (McDermott 89, Agar 5-53) by six wickets

An unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 136 between Harry Nielsen and William Bosisto delivered South Australia their first Sheffield Shield victory after a drought of 18 matches over 659 days, in what was also the 161st – and last – first-class game for the Australian selector-in-waiting George Bailey.

The Redbacks, as may have been expected given their run of defeats, made life hard for themselves by slipping to 4 for 34 in pursuit of 170 to beat Tasmania by six wickets at Bellerive Oval, as Gabe Bell and Riley Meredith found swing and bounce respectively with the new ball.

However Nielsen – with only one half century from his previous 15 innings for SA – and the former West Australian Bosisto fought their way through the difficult period and did not offer a chance as they glided home, doing so on the stroke of tea in Hobart.

Resuming at 6 for 241 on the final morning, the Tigers could add only 20 runs to their overnight total, as Chadd Sayers and Wes Agar combined potently for the visitors. Agar’s eight wickets for the game were to earn him Player-of-the-Match honours, while SA also had reason to thank Jake Weatherald, the captain Alex Carey, Joe Mennie and Nick Winter for their first innings batting contributions.

Nevertheless, victory looked a long way off when Bell swerved the newish ball into Henry Hunt’s back pad and then Callum Ferguson’s off stump, while at the other end Meredith drew edges from Weatherald and Carey. An older ball meant that conditions eased for Nielsen and Bosisto, but they showed a remarkable level of composure in knocking off the runs with minimal fuss.

Bailey was left to bowl the final over of the match, clad in his state cap, before accepting congratulations from both sides for a long and fruitful red-ball career that featured five Test match appearances in the 2013-14 Ashes and a leading hand in all three of Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield-winning seasons.



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Recent Match Report – New South Wales vs Queensland, Sheffield Shield, 17th Match

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New South Wales 375 (Henriques 116, Nevill 88*, Abbott 86, Neser 4-60) and 1 for 42 (Hughes 27, Swepson 1-27) beat Queensland 240 and 176 (Khawaja 54, O’Keefe 3-28) by nine wickets

New South Wales shrugged off appalling air conditions in Sydney to record a nine-wicket victory over Queensland at the SCG and go to the Big-Bash-League break at the top of the Sheffield Shield table with five wins and a draw after six matches.

On a day when NSW health authorities held an afternoon press conference advising all caught in the bushfire-smoke-filled air around Sydney to stay indoors and the harbour’s ferry service was suspended due to low visibility, the Blues and Bulls played out the final act of their contest after Dr John Orchard assessed conditions with match officials and concluded it was safe to play.

Not only was the air a concern on a breathing level, the smoke was so thick that visibility also looked to be an issue for players on both sides – reminiscent of some of the worst smog-induced conditions seen at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi from time to time.

On Friday, Cricket NSW had advised club and community cricket organisations to consider cancelling weekend matches amidst similar conditions emanating from the bushfires that have engulfed the east coast of Australia in recent weeks.

Resuming at 5 for 111, still needing another 25 runs to make NSW bat again, Queensland suffered arguably the decisive blow in the first half an hour when Trent Copeland coaxed an outside edge from Usman Khawaja from around the wicket.

Michael Neser and Mitchell Swepson kept the Bulls’ wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson company for long enough to allow the visitors to forge a lead, but when Peirson was last out, shortly before lunch, they had left the Blues needing just 42. This was enough to allow Swepson the wicket of Daniel Hughes, but with only another four runs required.

The allrounder Moises Henriques was named Player of the Match for his match-shaping first-innings century.



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Nasir Jamshed pleads guilty to bribery at PSL fixtures

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Nasir Jamshed, the former Pakistan batsman, will be sentenced in February after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to bribe fellow cricketers in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Jamshed, 33, was given a ten-year ban by the PCB in August 2018, and is standing trial at Manchester Crown Court, following his arrest in February 2017 alongside two UK nationals, Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34.

On the opening day of the trial, Jamshed chose to change his plea, having originally entered a not-guilty plea at a pre-trial hearing last week, after his two co-defendants admitted offering financial inducements to PSL players, with a view to them under-performing during various matches in the tournament.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Andrew Thomas QC told how an undercover police officer infiltrated the spot-fixing network, and secured an initial meeting with Anwar, by posing as a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.

His investigations identified an attempted fix during the Bangladesh Premier League in 2016 and an actual fix in the PSL fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 9.

Jamshed, acting as the go-between for the PSL game, persuaded Sharjeel Khan to play out two dot-balls to order from the first two balls of Islamabad’s second over. Sharjeel was later banned for five years by the PCB.

The court heard how Jamshed himself had been the intended fixer during the BPL contests, when he and Sharjeel were both playing for Rangpur Riders.

However, the first attempt was called off when Jamshed did not give all the pre-arranged signals – which included the use of certain coloured batting grips. And a second attempt against Barisal Bulls was cancelled after he was dropped for what was the final match of the season.

The court also heard how Jamshed’s co-defendant, Anwar, had first met the undercover officer at a hotel in Slough in November 2016, where he said he had been involved in spot-fixing for ten years, and claimed to have six players working for him in the BPL.

A second meeting, at a restaurant in Birmingham in January 2017, resulted in Khan and his Islamabad team-mate, Khalid Latif, being lined up for the next fix in the PSL.

The prosecutor added that Latif’s bag had been searched upon arrival from the UK to Dubai, and a number of coloured grips were found. He was also banned for five years by the PCB.



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