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Recent Match Report – Cape Town Blitz vs Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Mzansi Super League, 26th Match

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Tshwane Spartans v Cape Town Blitz – match abandoned without a ball bowled

Durban Heat face a nervous wait on the weather in their bid to reach the play-offs of the Mzansi Super League after Tshwane Spartans’ game against Cape Town Blitz was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Sunday.

The Heat sit fourth in the points table ahead of the final game of the group stage on Tuesday, needing a win against rock-bottom Jozi Stars to overtake the Spartans and finish third.

But the forecast is again poor in Johannesburg, meaning Tuesday’s game set to be rain-affected. A fifth no-result of the season would leave the Heat a single point behind the Spartans.

Paarl Rocks qualified to the final by beating Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Sunday, with the two teams finishing level on 27 points each, but the Rocks prevailing thanks to their superior head-to-head record.

That means the Giants will host Friday’s qualifier, with the winner of that game qualifying for Monday’s final in Paarl.

Both the Spartans and the Heat have suffered badly from heavy rainfall throughout the tournament. Five of the Spartans’ ten group games were washed out, including four of their five games at Centurion, while four of the Heat’s nine games thus far have been no-results.

Permutations

Paarl Rocks – finished top, qualified for home final
Nelson Mandela Bay Giants – finished second, through to home qualifier
Tshwane Spartans – will finish third and go through to qualifier unless Heat beat Stars
Durban Heat – will finish fourth and be knocked out unless they beat Stars
Cape Town Blitz – finished fifth
Jozi Stars – finished last

Points table



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Highly-rated Kavisha Dilhari and Hasini Perera return to Sri Lanka’s squad for Women’s T20 World Cup

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Sri Lanka made four changes to the squad that was whitewashed in Australia last year as they attempt to put on a better show at the Women’s T20I World Cup in Australia starting on February 15. Chamari Atapattu will lead the side, while Harshitha Madavi continues as her deputy.

Sri Lanka Cricket announced the 15-member squad on Monday. Of the changes, four players are under the age of 25, including the uncapped 20 year-old Sathya Sandeepani, while there are returns to the national set-up for the 18 year-old Umesha Thimashini, 19 year-old Kavisha Dilhari and 24 year-old Hasini Perera. Dilhari has long been identified by Sri Lanka’s coaching staff as a future star, as such her inclusion despite modest recent form is unsurprising. The same goes for Perera.

Both Thimashini and Sandeepani, however, make the cut by virtue of their form with the Sri Lanka’s Emerging Women’s side, where their all-round efforts have proved integral to the team’s chances of success.

Making way are the veteran quartet of Yasoda Mendis, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadhi Ranasinghe and Inoshi Priyadharshani, all of whom are over 30. Their exclusions are unsurprising with all four having struggled to make a mark in Sri Lanka’s tour down under towards the end of 2019.



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Recent Match Report – India Under-19s vs Australia Under-19s, Under-19s World Cup, Super League Quarter-Final 1

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India Under-19s 233 for 9 (Jasiwal 62, Ankolekar 55*, Murphy 2-40) beat Australia Under-19s 159 (Harper 75, Tyagi 4-24, Singh 3-30) by 74 runs

In their chase of 234, Australia received a punch to the gut right at the start, when their in-form opener Jake Fraser-McGurk was run-out for a diamond duck. After that India’s right-arm quick Kartik Tyagi delivered three blows in his first two overs to put Australia down for the count which they couldn’t ever recover from, eventually losing to the defending champions by 74 runs at the first quarter-final in Potchefstroom. India’s win sets them up for a semi-final clash against the winners of the quarter-final between Afghanistan and Pakistan, while Australia can now, at best, finish fifth in the tournament.

Tyagi, consistently clocking speeds in upwards of 135kph, was given the responsibility of beginning India’s defense. His first delivery was driven by Sam Fanning to mid-off, but he took off for a single while Fraser-McGurk was watching the ball and as a result was run-out without facing a ball. By the end of the over, Australia’s misery had compounded thrice over, with their captain Mackenzie Harvey lbw to a full delivery – although it pitched outside leg stump – and Lachlan Hearne bowled for a first-ball duck to Tyagi’s yorker.

Tyagi’s second over was equally menacing albeit only half as rewarding, with the Australia batsmen playing and missing before No. 5 Oliver Davies edged a drive into the hands of Yashasvi Jaiswal in the slips. From 14 for 4, it was going to be a mammoth effort for Australia to win the game, especially after Tyagi struck again in his second spell, dismissing Patrick Rowe in the 21st over as his fourth scalp, to reduce the batting side to 68 for 5.

But Australia were not willing to give up just yet. Fanning and No. 7 Liam Scott – who wasn’t in the XI but was batting as a concussion substitute following Corey Kelly’s injury while fielding – put on 81 for the sixth wicket. The partnership made India nervous, with India captain Priyam Garg shouting “body language, guys” to keep his team-mates zoned into the game. Fanning held up one end while Scott played more freely, but soon after the latter hit a six over midwicket, he was out caught-behind by legspinner Ravi Bishnoi in the 41st over. The score of 149 for 6, however, soon became 155 for 9 following a team hat-trick.

In the 42th over, Fanning was dismissed by an Akash Singh short ball for 75. The next ball Australia were eight down as Sangha’s attempted jab-and-run didn’t pay off. Wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel picked the stray ball and aimed at the stumps with an underarm throw, effecting his fourth dismissal of the day, running Connor Sully out. Singh then cranked up the pace to No. 10 Todd Murphy to bowl him for a duck. It wasn’t long before Australia folded for 159, igniting celebrations from the handful of India fans who were present at the ground.

More to follow



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Kieron Pollard joins Northamptionshire for Vitality Blast

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Kieron Pollard will join Northamptonshire for the middle stages of the 2020 Vitality Blast.

Allrounder Pollard, who was named West Indies white-ball captain in September, has played 499 T20s, more than any other player.

Pollard will join the squad for eight games, beginning with the Steelbacks’ first home fixture on June 5 against Durham, subject to approval from his home board. He will then lead West Indies in their bid to defend the World T20 title in October.

“Now, visa criteria permitting, I see this as a wonderful opportunity to be back in England again playing in the action-packed Vitality Blast tournament,” Pollard said. “I want to thank Northants for welcoming me to their group of exciting players. I know they have some amazing fans and I look forward to entertaining them and bringing more success to the club.

“Of course as captain of the West Indies team and defending champions I have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup later this year in Australia, but I can assure you my focus will be 100 percent on winning games for Northants when I arrive in June.”

Pollard is poised to become the second player behind Gayle to score 10,000 T20 runs with 9,966 at an average of 30.85 and with a strike rate of 150.40. With a highest score of 104 and 49 half-centuries, Pollard adds genuine firepower to the Steelbacks’ middle order.

Steelbacks captain Josh Cobb was looking forward to welcoming Pollard to The County Ground.

“His stats are unbelievable,” Cobb said. “We’ve actually won a trophy together before at the Dhaka Gladiators, though I’m not sure he’ll remember that, so hopefully we can get another one together this year in the Blast.” Cobb said.

The Steelbacks are Pollard’s 30th professional club and his first return to English domestic cricket since 2010, when he helped Somerset reach the T20 final.



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