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Recent Match Report – England Women vs Pakistan Women, ICC Women’s Championship, 3rd ODI

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Pakistan 145 for 8 (Nahida Khan 55, Glenn 4-18) v England – Match abandoned

Legspinner Sarah Glenn claimed a four-wicket haul in only her third ODI but rain ruined the prospect of a result in the final match of the series between Pakistan and England. Having been put in to bat, Pakistan were 145 for 8 from 37.4 overs before the weather intervened, meaning England took the series 2-0.

Looking for their first ODI win over England, Pakistan made an impressive start in reaching 96 without loss. Glenn then removed both openers in consecutive overs, dismissing Javeria Khan for 37 and Nahida Khan for a fluent half-century.

The spin pairing of Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone wheeled their way through 16 overs in tandem, as England dragged the game back their way. Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof was caught behind off Ecclestone and Glenn bowled Kaynat Hafeez and Nida Dar to give her figures of 8-1-18-4.

“I was really happy to get four wickets today, but it’s a shame the rain came and the game had to be abandoned,” Glenn said. “We came back really well with the ball after Pakistan had started on top. We kept it tight and we got our rewards.

“I’ve really enjoyed the three matches and it’s good to come out with a series win. The girls have been really welcoming and I’m looking forward to the T20s.”

Anya Shrubsole returned from an expensive opening spell to pick up three wickets, with only Umaima Sohail’s unbeaten 27 offering much in the way of middle-order resistance for Pakistan. There was also an economical performance with the ball from Freya Davies, making her ODI debut, but England’s chances of claiming a third consecutive win were ended by the rain.

The result means England finished their ICC Women’s Championship campaign with 14 wins from 21 games, placing them second on the table behind Australia. Pakistan moved up a spot to fourth, level on 16 points with South Africa, but having played three games more. The top four teams qualify automatically for the 2021 World Cup.



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McKenzie among Bangladesh coaches to withdraw from Pakistan tour

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Five members of Bangladesh’s coaching staff will not be going to the first leg of Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan later this month. According to BCB’s cricket operations chairman Akram Khan, Neil McKenzie, the white-ball batting coach, is among those who have withdrawn alongside fielding coach Ryan Cook.

The BCB preferred not to use Daniel Vettori, who is contracted to them as spin consultant, for such a short series. They didn’t consider team analyst Shrinivaas Chandrasekaran either on account of his being an Indian citizen. The BCB didn’t apply for visas for the two women’s team coaches during their tour last year because they were Indian citizens as well, although, during the recently concluded series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, several Indian nationals were part of the TV production that brought live pictures from the games in Lahore and Karachi.

“[Strength and conditioning coach] Mario [Villavarayan] broke his hand recently while team analyst [Chandrasekaran] will be working with the team over Skype. McKenzie and fielding coach [Cook] will also not be going, while we haven’t yet confirmed on our new bowling coach,” Akram said.

Russell Domingo will therefore only have physio Julian Calefato among the regular staff while Sohel Islam (fielding coach) and Tushar Kanti Howlader (strength and conditioning coach) will act as support.

The BCB is in the middle of discussions with Ottis Gibson but if they cannot get him on board as bowling coach ahead of the Pakistan tour, they are likely to send Champaka Ramanayake who is already working for the BCB’s development programmes.



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Recent Match Report – Khulna Tigers vs Rajshahi Royals, Bangladesh Premier League, Final

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Rajshahi Royals 170 for 4 (Sukkur 52, Nawaz 41*) beat Khulna Tigers 149 for 8 (Shamsur 52, Irfan 2-18) by 21 runs

All-round contributions from Mohammad Nawaz and Andre Russell lifted Rajshahi Royals to the BPL title, as they edged out Khulna Tigers by 21 runs in the final. Nawaz and Russell added 71 runs in the last 5.4 overs of Rajshahi’s innings, before bowling defining overs to weaken Khulna’s chase.

Rajshahi became the fourth consecutive team to win the BPL final after batting first, and their 170 for 4 was at par with the average first-innings score in a final, which stood at 172 before this game.

Nawaz, who made an unbeaten 41 off just 20 balls, removed Rilee Rossouw for 37 in the 11th over of the chase, a crucial wicket after the tournament’s leading run-getter had put on a superb partnership with Shamsur Rahman. Russell took an even more crucial wicket in the context of the contest, in the 18th over.

Russell’s knockout blow

Khulna were still in the game after 17 overs with 40 needed off the last 18 balls, with Mushfiqur Rahim and Robbie Frylinck at the crease. Russell came back for his third over, and conceded just three runs off the first four balls. The pressure was on Mushfiqur.

He had no answer to Russell’s yorker, however, and was unable to jam his bat down in time. Having made 21 off 15 balls, Mushfiqur fell just four runs short of teammate Rossouw in the tournament run-getters’ chart.

Khulna lean on Shamsur

After Khulna had slumped to 11 for 2 in the second over of their chase, Shamsur and Rossouw steadied them with a 74-run third wicket stand in nine overs. Rossouw made 37 off 26 balls to finish just five short of 500 runs in the tournament. Rossouw, when on 18, was dropped at point by Abu Jayed though it wouldn’t have counted since replays showed that Shoaib Malik had overstepped. Shamsur contributed 52 off 43 balls, hitting four fours and two sixes.

Kamrul’s double-strike

One of Shamsur’s boundaries was a classy inside-out cover drive off Kamrul Islam, but the pace bowler shot back in his next over. Shamsur was caught on the cover boundary, albeit to a poor short ball outside off stump. Then Kamrul revved up his pace against Najibullah Zadran, troubling him with an in-ducker that nearly trapped him lbw, before having him caught at point. Khulna slipped from 101 for 3 to 104 for 5 by the end of the 14th over.

Khulna apply early squeeze

Rajshahi’s innings followed a similar pattern. They lost an early wicket before they had their recovery partnership, between Liton Das and Irfan Sukkur, who put on 49 off 6.4 overs. Liton didn’t really get going, falling in the tenth over for 25 off 28 balls, but his partner at the other end was having a better day.

Sukkur holds Rajshahi together

A known face in the domestic circuit, Sukkur became the first uncapped Bangladeshi cricketer to score a fifty in the BPL final. He held things together and vindicated his No 3 position when Rajshahi could have used any of their more established names there. He made 52 off 35 balls, with six fours and two sixes.

Shanto misses golden opportunity

Before Russell really got going, he skied Shahidul Islam in the 17th over, a critical moment when Rajshahi hadn’t even crossed the seven-per-over mark. As the ball ballooned towards the extra-cover boundary, Najmul Hossain Shanto ran in, got under the ball with a diving effort, but couldn’t hold on to the chance. In their remaining 3.4 overs, Rajshahi scored 60 runs.

Nawaz overshadows Russell

Mohammad Amir vs Russell was the most anticipated battle within the final, but it only lasted three balls. Amir hardly made any dent, as Russell smoked him for a big six over midwicket with a trademark flick of his bat.

Nawaz was Rajshahi’s unsung hero with his unbeaten 20-ball 41, which included six fours and two sixes. Usually it is Russell who does the bulk of the big hitting in the slog overs, but Nawaz’s contribution ensured that a middling 150-ish score became a fairly daunting total.



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Marnus Labuschagne shows courage in his new role

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For some time during the second ODI in Rajkot, it felt like the Australian Test summer was being played in India in coloured clothing. Steven Smith was facing a short-ball barrage from a fast bowler with a leg gully, Smith and Marnus Labuschagne were looking good together, and David Warner was dismissed by a brilliant catch from Manish Pandey, reminding one of Tim Southee’s leap at the MCG last month.

The format was different and the result was not in Australia’s favour but the common theme was Smith and Labuschagne extending their scoring streak into India after not getting the chance to bat in the series opener. Australia have seen Smith score nearly 4000 runs in ODIs, and in a 36-run loss on Friday, they saw Labuschagne’s effectiveness in 50 overs too.

Labuschagne has had a prolific summer with four centuries and three half-centuries in only five Tests, and averaging over 60 in the domestic 50-over competition that earned him a call-up for the three ODIs in India. He made his debut in the first ODI in Mumbai but only got the chance to bat in the second, impressing with 46 off 47 balls to keep Australia in the chase with Smith until the 31st over.

“I thought Marnus played really well in his first bat in one-day International cricket,” Smith said. “He was really busy, we were going at a reasonable rate, we were going at around six an over there for a while, we were just busy and playing good cricket shots.”

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Smith and Labuschagne added 96 in 94 balls for the third wicket – the best partnership of the chase – after having scored 378 runs together at an average of 94.50 during the Test summer back home. On Friday, Labuschagne showed deft strokeplay in Indians conditions, especially against the spinners by taking on the deceptive Kuldeep Yadav in a stiff chase. It was a wrong’un from Yadav that eventually got Smith but Labuschagne struck him for impressive boundaries, highlighted by a spectacular inside-out drive that oozed with confidence. Labuschagne scored a brisk 32 runs off the 29 balls he faced against the spinners.

“The way Marnus played in his first game, to have the courage to hit one over mid-off off Kuldeep really early on, that just shows he’s got something about him,” Smith said. “We know he’s in terrific form, he’s been batting beautifully, but transferring that into one-day cricket now is another thing.

“I thought he looked exceptionally good tonight. He hit the gaps hard, ran hard between the wickets and played some nice shots. The one over cover off Jadeja was a beautiful shot and he looked right at home. No reason why No. 3, 4, 5 can’t stay as is, I think.”

Smith and Labuschagne were the only Australia batsmen to hit the nets behind the stadium in Rajkot well before the game began on Friday, with Labuschagne toiling against two wristspinners, one right-handed and the other left-handed.

Much before the two came together in the match, Smith faced a short-ball barrage from Mohammed Shami as soon as he came out to bat, including a body blow and a big lbw shout in the sixth over, with Rohit Sharma waiting at leg gully for a catch.

“It was a pretty clear plan, what they were trying to do,” Smith said. “I had to think about that and think how I wanted to play. I got a few away but I probably didn’t feel great the first 20 balls I was at the crease, and then I started to find a bit of rhythm and feel a bit better. Hopefully some time in the middle today helped and I can make some more runs in Bangalore.”

Smith did get more confident with his strokes later on, by targeting Navdeep Saini for three consecutive fours in the 10th over to race away from 3 off 16 balls. He then chaperoned the stand with Labuschagne and looked set for a century but fell just two short.

“It was nice to score a few runs, I would’ve liked to have batted a bit longer and been there in the happy hour but unfortunately, tried to cut one that stopped in the wicket a little bit and dragged it on,” he said. “It was unfortunate at the time, it was a pretty bad time, we had lost Kez [Alex Carey] in the same over. Unfortunate but these things happen sometimes, learn from it, move on.

“I think the area where we lost it was losing the three wickets in between 30 and 40 overs and not having someone there that could start to launch, had we lost maybe one wicket in that 30 to 40 overs and had seven wickets in hand. We saw some guys doing some damage at the end, Kane [Richardson] got 24 off 11 balls. If we had an in batter and someone that had been out there for a while, perhaps things may have been different but that was probably where we lost it. I thought we timed the run reasonably well but I thought just losing those three wickets in that 30 to 40 overs put a big dent in the run chase.”

Australia still came close and with the series decider on Sunday, they will hope the result resembles what they’ve been seeing back home this summer – a trophy in their hands.



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