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Bangabandhu T20 Cup – Mahedi Hasan and Nurul Hasan hand Rajshahi narrow win over Dhaka



Minister Group Rajshahi 169 for 9 (Mahedi 50, Nurul 39, Muktar 3-22) beat Beximco Dhaka 167 for 5 (Mushfiqur 41, Akbar 34, Mahedi 1-22) by two runs

Mahedi Hasan bowled a brilliant final over to help Minister Group Rajshahi clinch a two-run win over Beximco Dhaka in the opening game of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup.

Mahedi bowled five dot balls – most of them yorkers – to a rampant Muktar Ali, who could only get a four through square leg off the fourth delivery. Off the next ball, the square-leg umpire sent a stumping appeal to his TV colleague, but it emerged that Mahedi had overstepped. Mahedi, however, made up for it by firing two more yorkers to give away just one more run, finishing with figures of 1 for 22 from his four overs. Earlier in the game, he had also produced 50 runs off 32 balls when Rajshahi had landed in trouble midway through their innings.

Dhaka needing 30 runs off the last two overs, Mukhtar gave his side a lifeline by smashing three sixes off Farhad Reza. The first two of those went over midwicket while the last one was over long-on, as Dhaka managed 21 runs off the penultimate over. Eventually, it was an apt finish to a topsy-turvy game that could have gone either way.

At the start of the chase, Dhaka had moved quickly, but lost three wickets within the first seven overs. Young Tanzid Hasan was run-out in the second over after hitting 18 off 11 balls. Mahedi then had Yasir Ali lbw in the fifth over, before Mohammad Naim, who also got off to a quick start, was caught one-handed at deep midwicket while trying to clear a long-hop from Arafat Sunny.

Dhaka recovered through a 71-run fourth-wicket stand between Mushfiqur Rahim and Akbar Ali, the Under-19 World Cup-winning captain who chipped in with 34, including a six over long-on and four fours. But his dismissal with Dhaka still requiring 44 off the remaining 26 balls brought Rajshahi back in the game.

Rajshahi had earlier built their total with two scoring bumps. They had started well with captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, before newcomer Anisul Islam Emon placed them in a strong position in the powerplay. Shanto was the first wicket to fall in the fourth over, but Emon struck five fours and a six in an attacking 23-ball 35. But from 65 for 2 in the ninth over, they lost three wickets – Mohammad Ashraful, Emon and Fazle Mahmud – on the same score, reducing them to a position from where survival took more importance.

But Nurul Hasan and Mahedi turned things around quickly after a short lull. The sixth-wicket pair added 89 runs before Nurul, having struck three sixes and two fours in his quick 39, holed out trying to ramp off Muktar. Shortly afterwards, Mahedi too skied to deep square-leg but only after an aggressive 52 off 32 balls with three fours and four sixes.

Dhaka’s pace bowlers had a better outing than their spinners, who went for combined figures of 2 for 84 from their eight overs. Muktar took 3 for 22, while Rubel Hossain and left-arm quick Mehedi Hasan were both economical.

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Sydney Sixers vs Hobart Hurricanes, BBL 2020-21, Fantasy Pick, team predictions



Jan 24: Sydney Sixers vs Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne

Pro Tip: Hurricanes have been the best batters against spin in BBL10 averaging 28.95. So, it is safe to avoid spinners from the Sixers for this game.

Our XI: Josh Philippe, Moises Henriques, Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Ben Dwarshuis, Matthew Wade, D’Arcy Short, Ben McDermott, Nathan Ellis, Sandeep Lamichhane

Substitutes: James Vince, Steve O’Keefe, Scott Boland, Dawid Malan

Player Availability: Sean Abbott’s availability for Sixers is in doubt as of now.

We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Josh Philippe

With 441 runs in 12 games at an impressive strike rate of 150, Philippe is the second highest run scorer in this season. He has been phenomenal against spin this BBL, scoring 143 runs at an average of 47.66 and a strike rate of 193.24.

Vice-captain: Matthew Wade

Even though he missed a majority of this season due to national commitments, Wade has been a sensational opener for the Hurricanes scoring 1068 runs at an average of 42.72 and a strike rate of 155.45. He scored a sensational 130* off 61 balls against the Strikers last year.

Hot Picks

Ben McDermott: McDermott has been enjoying a dream BBL edition so far with 397 runs at an average of 44.11. He also gets extra points for his wicketkeeping – he has effected eight dismissals in ten games. He has recorded three 20-plus scores in four games at the MCG.

Ben Dwarshuis: Although he has missed a handful of games for Sixers in this season of the BBL, he is the joint leading wicket-taker for them with 14 strikes in just nine games at an average of 18.57. He has taken nine wickets in eight games against the Hurricanes at a strike rate of 15.89.

Daniel Christian: The 37-year-old allrounder has been a revelation for the Sixers this season winning them a couple of games on his own. Christian is the only player to pick more than 10 wickets as well as score 150-plus runs in this edition of the BBL. Against the Hurricanes, he has scored 251 runs at an average of 35.86 and a strike rate of 159.87.

Differential Picks

D’Arcy Short: Short had a shocker of a start to the season as per his standards but has slowly found a way to score runs recently recording scores of 43 and 54. He has scored 244 runs in 12 games but has made up for it a bit by picking up a couple of three-wicket hauls so far.

Moises Henriques: Henriques, who recently had a good limited-overs series against India, made his comeback in the BBL in the last game where he scored a quickfire 56 off 35 balls. He bowled extremely well in the T20I series against India and if he is fit enough to bowl, he can be a good pick for a captaincy role, too.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Jordan Silk’s position can be replaced by any one of the names in the substitutes list.
  • Sandeep Lamichhane and Scott Boland can be swapped.
  • Ben McDermott and Daniel Christian can be the alternate captaincy options.

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Roy Torrens, former Ireland player and team manager, dies aged 72




Torrens played 30 times for his country and was team manager during Ireland’s 2007 World Cup run

Roy Torrens, the former Ireland player and team manager, has died aged 72. Torrens played 30 times for his country between 1966 and 1984, and was team manager during Ireland’s famous run to the Super Eights stage of the 2007 World Cup.

A brisk medium-pace bowler who took 77 wickets in Ireland green at an average of 25.66, Torrens’ best performance came against Scotland in 1974, when he claimed figures of 7 for 40. He was also good enough with the bat to thrash 177 in an hour in a club game.

After retiring, he served as a selector and president of the Irish Cricket Union (the forerunner to Cricket Ireland), before becoming Ireland men’s manager in 2004.

“I am greatly saddened to learn of the loss of our great friend, Roy Torrens,” Ross McCollum, chair of Cricket Ireland, said. “Roy was a truly remarkable character, an immense presence in Irish cricket, and a truly great friend – not just personally, but to many people within and outside the cricket family.

“He was a player, a team manager, a president and – most importantly – an inspiration to all he met.

“It goes without saying, but we will miss him greatly and our hearts go out to Joan, the family and his friends at this time.”

During Torrens’ time as manager, a position he held until 2012, Ireland developed the most-successful side in their history. As well as overcoming Pakistan and Bangladesh at the 2007 World Cup, they qualified for World T20s in 2009, 2010 and 2012, while famously beating England at the 2011 World Cup.

In 2009, Torren was awarded an OBE for his services to cricket.

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Recent Match Report – SA Women vs PAK Women 2nd ODI 2020/21




Pakistan lost the second ODI by 13 runs as South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in three-match series

South Africa 252 for 7 (Kapp 68*, Lee 47, Baig 2-43) beat Pakistan (Riaz 81, Dar 51, Khaka 4-40, Kapp 3-44) 239 for 8 by 13 runs

South Africa scored 53 runs in the last five overs of their innings. Pakistan needed 52, and fell 13 runs short of completing their highest successful run chase. The difference was Marizanne Kapp.

She scored 26 runs off the last six balls she faced to finish unbeaten on 68 and took 3 for 44 to ensure South Africa saw off a stern threat from Nida Dar and Aliya Riaz‘s 111-run sixth-wicket partnership and seal the three-match ODI series, having won narrowly in the series opener, too.

Dar scored a second half-century in as many games and Riaz brought up a career-best 81 and between them they took Pakistan from 73 for 5 to 184 for 5. Victory was still a tough task from there, but Riaz acknowledged that “there was no point at which we felt the match would not be won.” Doubtless South Africa’s “shocking” effort in the field, as Kapp put it, would have contributed to Pakistan’s confidence.

Riaz was put down twice in the deep, on 59 and 81 – both simple grabs that should have been taken at long-on. Sidra Nawaz was dropped in the 14th over and several run-out chances were also missed. “I feel like we fall asleep halfway through the match,” Kapp said. “It’s something we have to get better at if we want to be in the top four in the world.” South Africa sit in fourth place at the moment on the ODI rankings.

For Kapp, the ten months of inaction prior to this series helped her refocus her game on her batting, and she is keen to develop into a more formidable allrounder in the team. “Something just clicked. In this last year I took my batting more seriously and decided to give myself more of an opportunity coming in at the back end,” she said. “I’m starting to find my feet. This is just the start. I am starting to really hit the ball well.”

Kapp was also South Africa’s top-scorer in the first match, with 47, and showed her ability to usher a younger player through her innings today. Nadine de Klerk was batting with Kapp in the last 10 overs, and at first played defensively and looked to get off strike with singles at every opportunity. Between overs, Kapp gave her a stern talking to. “I was a bit frustrated with her because I know how good she is,” she said. “I told her to play a strong shot and not be scared.”

De Klerk went from four runs off her first 13 balls to 19 off 21 as she freed up towards the end. With Kapp, she put on 39 runs in six overs and ensured South Africa built a competitive total against a strong Pakistan attack. Diana Baig was again the best of their bowlers, with 2 for 43 from nine overs. She dismissed Lara Goodall and Mignon du Preez and also ran out Laura Wolvaardt to deprive South Africa’s most notable names of the chance for big runs.

Baig also had the chance to make an impact with the bat, after her unbeaten 35 in the first match, when she came in with Pakistan needing 28 runs off 13 balls but tried a reverse paddle off Shabnim Ismail and was caught by a diving Nonkululeko Mlaba. The catch gave Ismail a wicket on an otherwise disappointing performance for her in her 100th ODI. Her 10 overs cost 57 runs.

Ismail appeared to try too hard with the new ball and it was Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka who reduced Pakistan to 73 for 5. Then, Dar and Riaz threatened to take the game away with a strong stand but South Africa’s skills won out, even though they are not at their sharpest. Still, they’ll take the series win, not least because it came on a particularly auspicious day for the team. South Africa played the match in an all-black kit as a gesture of protest against gender-based violence.

Earlier in the day, former men’s captain, Faf du Plessis threw his weight behind the campaign too, especially in light of statistics which show that South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world.

“It’s really important that we create awareness. It’s not just a women problem in our country. It’s an us problem and we need to be better, especially as males,” du Plessis said. “The stats are ridiculous. I want to make sure I learn as much as I can. The more you speak about it, the more your mouth drops open about what’s going on.”

South African sport has been slow to join anti-racist social-justice movements around the world – and neither the national men’s nor the national women’s team have taken a knee, though both have raised a first as a gesture against inequality – but cricket taking on gender-based violence is a cause they are willing to get behind. Black Day is set to become an annual event, in addition to Pink Day, the men’s ODI that raises awareness about breast cancer.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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