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Bangladesh cricket – Mominul Haque rested for next NCL round after recent issues with Covid-19

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He has since tested negative but Bangladesh want him in top condition for Sri Lanka tour; Shadman, Ebadat also rested for similar reasons

Mominul Haque, the Bangladesh Test captain, is among nine players who will be unavailable for the National Cricket League’s (NCL) second round starting on Monday. Haque tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, though he had since tested negative before the first round of the NCL and subsequently played for his team Chittagong Division in the match that started on March 22. Haque had also tested Covid-19 positive last November and shown “mild symptoms” then.

Shadman Islam and Ebadat Hossain, both Test hopefuls who also tested positive recently, are also out of action in the upcoming round. Shadman didn’t turn out for his side, Dhaka Metropolis, in the first round, but Ebadat played for Sylhet Division before being replaced by Rejaur Rahman Raja on the third day after testing positive during the game.

All three players will be considered for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka in mid-April, which is why they are being kept away from domestic cricket and rested for now.

Six other players’ reports have returned “invalid” test results, according to the BCB, and as such their participation in the second round of the NCL has been put on hold.

The first-class NCL is the first major domestic competition in Bangladesh this season. It will be followed by the List A Dhaka Premier League, which begins in May.

Meanwhile, the South African women’s emerging side arrived in Dhaka on Sunday. After a three-day quarantine period, they will play five one-day matches against the Bangladesh emerging side in Sylhet from April 4 to 13.

The Pakistan Under-19 team is also scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on April 12, to play a four-day match and a five-match Youth ODI series against the Bangladesh Under-19s, in Sylhet and Dhaka. They will depart on May 6.

Bangladesh have already hosted West Indies senior men’s team earlier this year, for a three-match ODI and a two-match Test series in January-February. Their men’s team is currently in New Zealand on their first international tour since the start of the pandemic.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Jofra Archer ‘happy to go back in the bubble’ after confirming Test fitness bid is on track

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Fiery outing for Sussex shows progress in recovery from elbow and finger injuries

Jofra Archer demonstrated that his return to fitness is firmly on track following a fiery performance for Sussex on the opening day of their LV= County Championship clash with Kent at Hove, and confirmed he would be ready to step back into the England bubble if selected for the two-Test series against New Zealand, at Lord’s and Edgbaston next month.

Archer claimed 2 for 29 in 13 well-grooved overs, with both of his scalps coming in his opening four-over spell, including his England team-mate Zak Crawley, who was caught behind for 7. Kent were rolled aside for 145 inside 55 overs, with Archer’s fellow England prospect, Ollie Robinson, also starring with 3 for 29 in 18 overs.

It was Archer’s first Championship appearance for Sussex since September 2018, and potentially his last of the season too, given that the county has no fixture in next week’s round of games – the last that England’s Test players will be able to play ahead of the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, beginning on June 2.

But, after a low-key outing for Sussex’s second XI against Surrey last week, he assuaged many concerns about his recovery from both a long-term elbow injury, and an operation to remove a shard of glass from the middle finger of his right hand.

“It’s great to play again with the [Sussex] lads who I’ve played with nearly all of my career,” Archer told the ECB Reporters’ Network afterwards.

“My fitness is fine, I thought I bowled okay. I played in the second team last week and it’s good to get some confidence and I felt fine. I bowled in short spells for protection in case we had a long day but it was overcast, which helped a bit. There was a bit of management, but it all worked out.



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Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell offered their first New Zealand central contracts

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Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, though, was omitted from the 20-man list

Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell have been offered their first New Zealand central contracts, for the 2021-22 season. However, Ajaz Patel, who won his first deal last year, has been omitted from the 20-member list.

BJ Watling, who had announced his decision to retire from all forms of cricket after the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June, dropped out of the list.

Phillips had dislodged Ross Taylor to become a permanent member of the T20I side, slotting into the middle order and also pitching in with his quickish offbreaks. He even reeled off New Zealand’s fastest T20I century, off 46 balls, against West Indies, at the Bay Oval in November last year. In all, Phillips played 14 T20Is last summer, hitting 366 runs at an average of 40.66 and strike rate of just under 185.

As for Mitchell, he stepped in for Colin de Grandhomme, who had been sidelined from the entire home summer with injury, and played key roles across formats. He struck his maiden Test and ODI centuries in addition to contributing with the ball.



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Recent Match Report – Durham vs Worcs Group 1 2021

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Hosts recover to post competitive 246 on opening day at Chester-le-Street

Worcestershire 6 for 0 trail Durham 246 (Lees 99, Tongue 5-39) by 240 runs

Worcestershire’s Josh Tongue claimed a five-wicket haul to bowl Durham out for 246 on the opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship clash at Emirates Riverside.

Tongue was on the mark for the visitors to tear through the Durham middle and lower order with figures of 5 for 39 in his second appearance of the campaign. Alex Lees continued his fine form for the hosts with the bat, falling just short of a deserved century with an innings of 99.

Through Lees’ exploits and an unbeaten 38 from Brydon Carse, the home side worked their way to a competitive total. The Worcestershire openers were faced with a tough three-over spell before bad light brought a premature end to the day with the visitors six without loss.

Worcestershire’s bowlers found their rhythm after inserting the home side. The Durham openers found life tricky against the new ball and Joe Leach, who was rewarded for a fine opening spell when he pinned Will Young lbw with an inswinger. Charlie Morris maintained the pressure for the visitors and removed Scott Borthwick, who edged to Tom Fell at third slip.

Lees and David Bedingham stemmed the tide and saw the home side through to the lunch interval without further damage at 80 for 2. The two players put on fifty for the third wicket, but a loose Bedingham drive allowed Morris to break the stand. Lees was the only batsman that seemed comfortable, and he manoeuvred his way to his third fifty of the season from 145 balls.

Tongue turned the day in favour of the visitors as he ended a promising partnership between Lees and Jack Burnham, removing the latter lbw for 23 before using a well-aimed bouncer to force Ned Eckersley to play on to his stumps.

Lees accelerated the rate of his innings amid the clatter of wickets at the opposite end. He surged his way into the nineties with a fine array of strokes, but was agonisingly caught behind from a wide ball from Leach on 99 on the stroke of tea.

Carse and Mark Wood added valuable runs for the ninth wicket to take Durham past the 200-run mark and their first batting point. However, Tongue wrapped up the innings with two excellent deliveries to skittle Wood and Chris Rushworth to claim his first five-wicket haul of the term.



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