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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs West Indies 1st Test 2020



Toss West Indies chose to bowl v New Zealand /b>

Jason Holder won an important toss and chose to bowl against New Zealand in the first Test. The pitch at Seddon Park in Hamilton was lush green, almost indistinguishable from the outfield, and the playing XIs for both West Indies and New Zealand reflected that. Both teams left out frontline spinners in Mitchell Santner and Rahkeem Cornwall, and went with a pace heavy attack.

New Zealand included Daryl Mitchell ahead of Santner, preferring the seam-bowling allrounder to the spin-bowling one. Their four seamers are Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson.

West Indies have Roston Chase’s offspin to call on, but their four frontline bowlers are also all pacers in Kemar Roach, Holder, Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph.

The first session of play was washed out due to a persistent drizzle, but the skies cleared and the toss, delayed by two hours, took place in bright sunshine.

Holder said the “grass was pretty high” while explaining his decision to bowl, while Kane Williamson said he would have chosen to bowl too. New Zealand have handed a debut to Will Young, who is coming in on the back of some good form in first-class cricket. Young’s inclusion will mean Tom Blundell takes the gloves – with BJ Watling injured – and will bat lower down the order.

West Indies didn’t include Shimron Hetmyer, who has a concussion, and have Jermaine Blackwood in the XI.

New Zealand: 1 Tom Latham, 2 Will Young, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Tom Blundell (wk), 7 Daryl Mitchell, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

West Indies: 1 John Campbell, 2 Kraigg Brathwaite, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Jermaine Blackwood, 5 Shamarh Brooks, 6 Roston Chase, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Shannon Gabriel

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BBL 2020-21 – James Faulkner out of the BBL with hamstring injury




Faulkner re-aggravated the hamstring injury that he suffered on December 27 and won’t play again in the BBL

Hobart Hurricanes seamer James Faulkner has been ruled out of the remainder of the BBL after re-injuring his hamstring at training on Sunday.

Faulkner had not played since he limped off the Gabba four balls into his second over in the Hurricanes’ loss to the Brisbane Heat on December 27.

He was on track to return to the Hurricanes side but re-aggravated his hamstring at training ahead of the clash with Sydney Thunder on Monday in Canberra.

Faulkner has left the BBL hub and travelled home to Hobart to have scans and begin treatment.

The Hurricanes have recalled Surrey batting allrounder Will Jacks into their squad after Colin Ingram departed to the Abu Dhabi T10 League. Jacks hasn’t played for the Hurricanes since December 19.

The Hurricanes currently sit seventh but only four points separate the teams between there and second position.

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Recent Match Report – Australia vs India 4th Test 2020




Updates, analysis and colour from the fifth day of the fourth Test

Welcome to our live report of the fifth day of the Australia-India Test from Brisbane. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here

*Most recent entry will appear at the top, please refresh your page for the latest updates. All times are local.

9.37am: On this day

Thirteen years ago, Irfan Pathan was named Man of the Match as India beat Australia in Perth. Things weren’t quite on par the way they are now, but this is the kind of thing that’d satisfy the optimistic Indian fan. H/T to Gaurav Sundararaman for spotting this.


We head into the last day of this sensational series with the opportunity for plenty of drama. India need 324 to win the series, Australia need 10 wickets. In both their paths is a glum forecast, but only one team really NEEDS to win. And that is Australia. A draw doesn’t do too much harm to India in terms of WTC prospects – considering they have a big home series coming – and they would get to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. For Australia, it’s not that simple on either of those fronts. But perhaps the one thing they have going for them is that it is a lot easier to force a result with the ball rather than with the bat on this pitch and in these conditions. This is the piece with all the WTC scenarios for the two teams.

And here is some info about the weather forecast for today. We are scheduled for 98 overs on paper.

Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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As it happened – Australia vs India, 4th Test, Brisbane, 4th day



Welcome to our live report of the third day of the Australia-India Test from Brisbane. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here

5.10pm: Stumps

It’s still raining quite heavily, and the umpires have indicated that there will be no more play today. We will hopefully get 98 overs tomorrow, starting 9.30am local time. Do join us nice and early for that, and let’s hope this enthralling series doesn’t end on a damp note.

4.37pm: Here comes the rain

Australia got to bowl just 1.5 overs before having to go off the field again. India are 4 for 0. The rain isn’t too heavy yet, but it’s really gloomy and overcast, and the floodlights are on at full intensity as the covers come on.

Cricket is probably the only thing that can get Tamil Nadu Weatherman to tweet the Brisbane weather radar.

4.20pm: India need 328 to win

Mohammed Siraj ends with a richly deserved five-for. Australia is such a difficult place for a visiting debutant to come to, and he’s come here and looked so impressive, especially today while leading this incredibly inexperienced attack. He’s hit that awkward length consistently, got the ball to move off the seam, and exploited the uncertain bounce very well too. The fifth wicket is of Josh Hazlewood, who makes room and steers a short ball down the throat of third man.

Siraj now has 13 wickets in this series, at 29.53. He’s gone past Ashwin to finish as India’s leading wicket-taker.

India will have to negotiate a possible 24 overs today, and, of course, all of tomorrow, weather permitting.

3.57pm: Lead passes 300

And Nathan Lyon celebrates by hooking Siraj for six.

Then he’s out in the next over, slapping Thakur straight to Agarwal at extra-cover. Now both Siraj and Thakur have four each.

Interesting point from Dan Brettig on why Australia may be delaying their declaration, or, at the rate they’re losing wickets, not declaring at all.

3.47pm: Smack on the elbow

Siraj hits a crack close to off stump, just outside off, and gets a shortish ball to jag awkwardly into Cummins and hit him on his unprotected bowling arm. The lead inches towards 300, but Australia are really risking losing one of their bowlers by continuing to bat here.

3.37pm: Siraj bags four-for

Mitchell Starc chips a slower offcutter to mid-off, and Australia are 247 for 8, effectively 280 for 8. No sign of a declaration yet.

In the previous over, Pat Cummins ducked into a Shardul Thakur bouncer that didn’t bounce as high as expected, and the ball grazed the back of his helmet. He had only the most perfunctory-looking concussion test after that, and didn’t look to have been affected in any way, but should Australia keep their bowlers out there and risk them getting injured on this pitch?

3.20pm: The covers are coming off

And play will resume at 3.30pm. If the rain stays away, we’ll only lose one over today.

2.32pm: Early tea

It’s begun drizzling fairly heavily at the Gabba, and the umpires have called the players off the field. Australia are 243 for 7, and they lead by 276. How long this rain break lasts will probably determine how long they continue batting, if at all.

2.24pm: Australia stretch lead to 275

As soon as I put that up, Shardul Thakur bowls an effort ball and gets Tim Paine to top-edge a hook. Thin edge, and Rishabh Pant takes a sharp catch over his head. No sign of a declaration yet, as Mitchell Starc walks out to join Pat Cummins.

2.06pm: Thakur sends back Green

Thakur has bowled beautifully in this innings, and he gets his second with a classic Gabba dismissal. Good-length ball in the corridor, a hint of movement away, and Green is caught on the crease while defending, edges and Rohit takes a chest-high catch at second slip. Australia are 227 for 6, their lead now 260.

1.32pm: Uncertain bounce gets Smith

A proper lifter on a tight, fourth-stump line, and Siraj gets Smith caught at gully, off the glove. The third umpire came in to check whether Smith’s glove was off the handle when the ball hit it, but it wasn’t. He goes for 55, and Australia are 196 for 5, leading by 229.

If the pitch keeps playing like this, Australia might already have enough of a lead.

At the other end, meanwhile, Cameron Green is batting on 20 off 73. He’s looked pretty comfortable out there, but he seems to have batted himself into a bit of a rut, with his technique looking a little mechanical at the moment. I’d say he’s batting more like an allrounder than a batsman at this stage of his career, by which I mean he’s a bit block-or-bash without the in-between tempos.

1.22pm: Fifty

Steven Smith gets there in just 67 balls. He’s looked to score at every opportunity today, and other than that dropped chance off Sundar – and one moment when he ran a quick single and seemed to feel a twinge in his hip – has looked utterly at ease. His footwork down the pitch against Sundar has been a particular highlight so far. Australia are now 185 for 4, and they lead by 218.

Yikes. Siraj comes back on to bowl the over after Smith reaches his fifty, and spills a caught-and-bowled off Green. Reflex catch, though, it was punched firmly back at him, and he had to stick his arms out to his right, against the direction of his follow-through.

1.10pm: Lead passes 200

Smith and Green are beginning to look quite comfortable out in the middle now, as their control percentages of 85 and 88 would suggest. India have bowled okay since lunch, but they haven’t done a whole lot to trouble the batsmen. Just as I type that, though, a ball from Natarajan creeps through at ankle height, beats Green, and just misses off stump. Then two of his next three balls, all from around the wicket, climb uncomfortably from a length and hit Green on the thigh pad and the box.

And in the next over, Smith jumps out and looks to hit Washington Sundar for six. There’s a long-on in place, and he initially runs a few yards in off the rope, which seems a misjudgment from the fielder, Siraj. He backtracks and moves to his left and reaches above his head after Smith miscues, and he gets both hands to the ball but spills the catch. It’s quite noticeable that Smith has tried to attack Sundar at every opportunity. He was getting a few to turn quite sharply in the morning, so maybe it’s an effort to put him off his lengths, or maybe he just thinks he can hit him for quick runs.

12.00pm: Luncheon

Australia are 149 for 4, and they lead by 182. Steven Smith and Cameron Green have added 26 in 10 overs so far, and the ball has continued to do something when pitched in good areas. India will be quite pleased with how that session went after Australia’s openers had threatened to take the game away, but they’ll have to bat fourth, and just for that you’d think Australia are in front right now. I would think even 250 will be hard to chase here, and Australia could set a lot more if that man Smith stays at the crease long enough. Ominous signs: he’s already moved to 28 off 38.

11.50am: Natarajan vs Green

Cameron Green, like a certain other Australia allrounder of recent vintage, is an lbw candidate, with a front-and-across movement that leaves his front leg planted firmly in line with the stumps. It often means his pad is in the way of his bat coming down straight against the incoming delivery, and Natarajan tried hitting that pad right through the first evening, bowling full from left-arm around. Now, from the same angle, he has an lbw appeal turned down, and India lose a review with ball-tracking returning umpire’s call on impact and suggesting the ball would have bounced over the stumps. It did swing in, though. India, however, will know it’s going to be hard to give Green out given he’s batting well outside his crease and getting a front-foot stride in, and even if he’s struck in line he’s usually struck a long way down the pitch. Plus he’s six feet and 396 inches tall.

India have bowled well since Siraj’s two-wicket over, by the way, and kept things tight. Navdeep Saini has also come on and bowled with discipline, though he’s well off his usual pace, hovering in the high 120s for most part.

11.11am: Siraj joins the party

He’s bowled well in this game without too much success, but now Mohammed Siraj gets Labuschagne with a peach after coming on for a new spell. Angling into the corridor, just back of a length, making the batsman play, and getting it to straighten and take the edge to second slip. Important breakthrough, because Labuschagne was counterattacking dangerously till then, using his feet brilliantly against Sundar in both directions to try and put the offspinner off his lengths. He’s out for 25 off 22, and Australia are 123 for 3. They’re 156 ahead now.

Two balls later it’s 123 for 4, as Rishabh Pant dives to his right to snaffle Matthew Wade, who’s out strangling the ball down the leg side. Well, well.

10.50am: Sundar gets Warner

Excellent delivery, the one that goes with the angle from around the wicket, Kryptonite for left-handers in the DRS era. This one would have been given out even in the pre-DRS era, because David Warner didn’t get a stride forward at all, and was struck on the back leg, just inside the line of the stumps. He was trudging off disconsolately before deciding to review at the last moment; he needn’t have bothered. Natural variation has done the trick for Sundar again, and Australia are 91 for 2 with two new batsmen at the crease. Those two are Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith, and if India can get rid of either of them quickly…

10.42am: Thakur breaks through

It’s been a good spell, and Thakur has struck just as the first hour was about to end, getting Harris to glove a sharp bouncer to the keeper. He was looking to get under it, but didn’t manage to drop his hands out of the way in time. Australia are 89 for 1, and lead by 122.

10.35am: The weather

That’s Google searches for those terms over the last seven days. My own search tells me there’s a 92% chance of rain starting around 3pm today.

10.25am: The pitch

The ball has done a lot over the last few overs, with Shardul Thakur beating the left-handers’ bat frequently. He’s bowling from over the wicket, pitching within the line of the stumps, thus forcing the batsmen to play, and getting the ball to jag away from them appreciably. He was wayward in the first innings; today he’s bowled with control and looked incisive, hitting the high 130s consistently. At the other end, Washington Sundar has also found a good amount of turn. While all this will enthuse India, Australia are still without loss, and their bowlers will like what they’re seeing too. It’s 81 for 0.

10.00am: Australia race away

A couple of expensive overs from India, and Australia are suddenly 94 ahead with all ten wickets in the bank. Both new-ball bowlers have strayed in line and length, dropping short and wide and straying on the pads, and Marcus Harris has hit three fours in two overs. He’s even driving balls on the up through the covers now, and rapidly catching up with his opening partner both in terms of score and strike rate. Natarajan, who conceded 14 in the 12th over, has now given way to Shardul Thakur. Navdeep Saini is on the field, by the way, which is hugely encouraging news for India.

9.49am: It’s all happening at the Gabba

So far it’s been a morning to summon up Bill Lawry’s classic line. Mohammed Siraj has beaten David Warner a couple of times with seam movement from just short of a length, and got him to edge a similar delivery just beyond Rohit Sharma’s reach at second slip. T Natarajan has found Marcus Harris’ edge at the other end, only for the ball to fall short of the cordon. When the bowlers have erred slightly on the full side, both batsmen have picked up boundaries with sweetly timed straight drives. Australia are 39 for 0 in 11 overs.

9.15am: The fairytale of Sundar and Natarajan

That’s Sidharth Monga on the common sense running through a partnership that was in every other way the product of schoolboy cricketing dreams. We also have Deivarayan Muthu speaking to Washington Sundar’s sister – who’s also a cricketer – and his coach and delving into his early years; if you were surprised by his batting display yesterday, you really shouldn’t have been.

Looking at it from the Australian perspective, Dan Brettig suggests the Sundar-Thakur stand told of a bowling attack that showed the physical and mental fatigue of playing all four Tests, in a deviation from the rotation policy adopted during the 2019 Ashes.

9.00am: Clear weather… for the moment

Australia are 54 ahead at the Gabba, with two full days left to play and all ten wickets in hand. Ordinarily that would mean they’re in the driver’s seat, but we may not get two full days of play given the rough weather that’s expected in Brisbane today and tomorrow. The news for now, though, is that it’s sunny, so we should start on time, which is 9.30am local time.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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