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Hobart Hurricanes vs Perth Scorchers, BBL 2020-21, Fantasy Pick, team predictions

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Jan 22: Hobart Hurricanes vs Perth Scorchers, Melbourne

Pro Tip: Batsmen who batted in top three positions averaged 33.70 at the Docklands Stadium, Melbourne in BBL 2019-20. This average is the highest for any venue which has hosted more than two games. So make sure you have a lot of top-order batsmen.

Our XI: Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Colin Munro, Ashton Turner, Jhye Richardson, Fawad Ahmed, D’Arcy Short, Ben McDermott, Dawid Malan, Scott Boland, Riley Meredith.

Substitutes: Josh Inglis, Andrew Tye, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tim David

Player Availability: Matthew Wade and Tim Paine have been added to Hurricanes squad. Mitchell Marsh is back for the Scorchers but might be fit to bat only.

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: Ben McDermott
Despite playing just nine games so far, this is McDermott’s best returns from an edition of the BBL so far and he is among the top few run-scorers this season with 397 runs at an average of 49.62. He also gets extra points for his wicketkeeping – he has effected eight dismissals in eight games. In the four games he has played at the Docklands Stadium, he has scored 209 runs at a strike rate of 171.31.

Vice-captain: Liam Livingstone
After a sedate start to the season, Livingstone cut loose recently recording scores of 67 (38) and 54 (39). He has accumulated 190 runs in seven games this season with a staggering 13 sixes. He had a stellar BBL 2019-20 too where he top-scored for the Scorchers with 425 runs in 14 games. In the two games he was asked to bowl, he picked up a wicket each time.

Hot Picks
Colin Munro: The New Zealand batsman is the leading run-scorer for the Scorchers this season with 353 runs in ten games. He has been in phenomenal hitting form of late registering scores of 52, 50, 50, 34, 82 in his recent outings. His T20I strike rate of 156.44 in 62 innings talks volumes about his hitting capabilities.

Dawid Malan: Malan, the No. 1-ranked T20I batsman, has scored 217 runs in seven games this BBL. He has hardly gone without a 50-plus score in multiple games recently, so expect a big one from him. In 2020, he scored 397 runs in 10 T20Is at an average of 49.62 and a strike rate of 142.29. He is a good vice-captain choice too.

Jhye Richardson: Richardson has taken 21 wickets in 11 games at an average of 11.52. He has gone wicketless only once in his last 12 BBL outings and this makes him a must pick in your XI. When these sides met last season, he bowled a stellar spell of 4-0-19-4.

Differential Picks
D’Arcy Short: For the first time in four seasons, Short has not been at the top of the run-scoring charts for the Hurricanes in the BBL. He has scored only 201 runs in 11 games but has made up for it a bit by picking up a couple of three-wicket hauls so far.

Scott Boland: Since the start of BBL 2019-20, Boland has been exceptional for the Hurricanes, picking up 29 wickets in 21 games, the most by a Hurricanes player. In the Hurricanes’ last match, a high-scoring game at the Manuka Oval, he picked up 4 for 41 against the Sydney Thunder.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Tim David or Marsh can replace Ashton Turner.
  • Sandeep Lamichhane and Riley Meredith can be swapped.
  • If Wade is available, he can replace D’Arcy Short.



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Afg vs Zim 1st Test

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Big day for Ahmed Shah Durrani too, as he becomes second Afghan, after Pakteen, to be a TV umpire in a Test match

The first Test between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe had four players making their Test debuts. There was another Test first-timer on the field, too, 44-year old Ahmed Shah Pakteen, who became the first from Afghanistan to be an on-field umpire in a Test match. Aleem Dar, the veteran official from Pakistan, was the other on-field umpire for the game.

Pakteen made his debut as an international cricket umpire in January 2017. He has previously stood in 15 ODIs and 20 T20Is. In March 2019, Pakteen had become the first Afghan to be a TV umpire during the only Test between Afghanistan and Ireland. Ten months later, in January 2020, he became the first Afghan umpire at an ICC main event when he officiated at the Men’s Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.

While there is no Afghan representation in the 12-member elite panel of umpires (the highest category), there are four in the international panel: apart from Pakteen, there are Ahmed Shah Durrani, Bismillah Jan Shinwari and Izatullah Safi.

The ongoing Test also marked a debut in Tests for Durrani, who became the second Afghan – after Pakteen – to be a TV umpire in the longest format. Durrani made his international umpiring debut in December 2016 and has been an on-field umpire 19 times in white-ball cricket.

Pakteen’s debut now means that Ireland is the only full-member nation to not field an on-field umpire yet. Ireland have played three Tests so far, and the only official from their country has been Mark Hawthorne, who was the TV umpire in their debut Test, against Pakistan in 2018 .

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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New Zealand hopeful of Lockie Ferguson return for Bangladesh T20Is

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The fast bowler has been sidelined since December with a stress fracture of his back

New Zealand are hopeful that fast bowler Lockie Ferguson will be able to make his return from a back injury in the T20I series against Bangladesh at the end of March.

Ferguson has been sidelined since the middle of December, when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture shortly after the T20I series against West Indies, in which he claimed a career-best 5 for 21 in Auckland. The plan put in place for Ferguson’s comeback involves a couple of club cricket outings this month before he links up with the New Zealand squad around the ODIs against Bangladesh to further assess his recovery.

“At this stage, he will meet up with the team around the time of the one-day series to put finishes touches on things and make sure the intensity is where we want it to be then if all goes well he’ll be available for the Bangladesh T20 series,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead told reporters in Wellington.

“You never know how people react to it [the injury], but in Lockie’s advantage he’s strong, he’s fit and he works very hard at that S&C [strength and conditioning] area. Hopefully all those things will have helped him in a quick recovery.”

Ferguson is one of six current New Zealand players to have IPL deals – there are seven in all including Adam Milne – while Ish Sodhi will also work with the Rajasthan Royals in an administrative role. The starting date for the tournament is yet to be confirmed, but Stead is preparing to not have all his first-choice names available for the latter matches of the season against Bangladesh.

Kane Williamson, Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson are the other players heading to India in April. Mark Chapman and Hamish Bennett are part of the 13-man squad against Australia but it appears likely there will be opportunity for others – potentially including the hugely talented Finn Allen – against Bangladesh.



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Recent Match Report – Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe 1st Test 2020/21

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Toss Afghanistan chose to bat vs Zimbabwe

An Afghanistan side with three debutants opted to bat first against Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi. Afghanistan went into the match with a new opening batsman Abdul Malik, middle-order batsman Munir Ahmad and legspinner Abdul Wasi, who was chosen in place of the injured Rashid Khan.

Zimbabwe also had a maiden cap, the much-anticipated debut of former Under-19 vice captain Wesley Madhevere who has had impressive white-ball showings for Zimbabwe so far. The visitors opted for an XI with three seamers, including the return of two-metre tall Blessing Muzarabani, who will operate with Donald Tiripano and Victor Nyauchi with Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Ryan Burl and Madhevere to share the spin duties.

This is the first Test meeting between these two sides, Afghanistan’s fifth Test and first since late 2019, and Zimbabwe’s first Test in more than a year.

Afghanistan: Ibrahim Zadran, Abdul Malik, Rahmat Shah, Hashamatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (capt), Afsar Zazai (wk), Munir Ahmad, Zahir Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Amit Hamza, Abdul Wasi

Zimbabwe: Kevin Kasuza, Prince Masvaure, Sean Williams (capt), Wesley Madhevere, Tarisai Musakanda, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (wk), Donald Tiripano, Blessing Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent



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