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Ind vs Eng 2020-21 – Eoin Morgan out of ODI series with hand injury, Sam Billings to miss second game

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England captain split webbing on his hand in first ODI, while Billings suffered shoulder injury

England captain Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of the remaining two ODIs against India with a hand injury suffered during the opening match in Pune on Tuesday. Jos Buttler is set to take over the reins, with Liam Livingstone in line for a debut.

Sam Billings, who sustained a shoulder injury in the field in the first ODI, will not be considered for Friday’s second game but could still return to play a part in the series. Dawid Malan, who was with the touring group as cover, has been drafted into the squad and is available for selection.



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WTC final – R Ashwin suggests neutral venues for matches that count towards WTC points

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India spinner also thinks New Zealand will come into WTC final ‘with an advantage’, having played England in England in the lead-in

A week before the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton, India offspinner R Ashwin has suggested that one of the tournament’s potential evolutions could be that teams play the bilateral series that count towards WTC points at neutral venues to “add context”.

“If I may say this, it has to be the most exciting part of playing Test cricket. In all these years, it never happened – we’ve never played a team in a neutral venue,” Ashwin said on bcci.tv. “But I think going forward, maybe the WTC could add context this way, [by having] two teams playing away from their home and sort of bringing the whole ebbs and flows of the game.”

The WTC’s first edition ran a two-year cycle starting in 2019. As per the original structure devised by the ICC, each team was to play six bilateral series, three at home and three away. To make each match count, points were handed out for every match, with the top two teams on the points table contesting a one-off final. The final of the first edition between India and New Zealand will happen in Southampton, a neutral venue, and Ashwin said it could add more to the quality of the tournament if the associated bilateral series took a similar route.

Ashwin’s viewpoint was also shared by his India team-mate and fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who – also speaking to bcci.tv – said India and New Zealand squaring off in the final without either having a “home advantage” would make for good competition.
This is the second suggestion for potential improvements on the WTC coming from the Indian camp. Before their departure to England, head coach Ravi Shastri had said that a best-of-three series should be considered to crown the WTC winner, as opposed to a one-off game at the end of the two-year cycle. Shastri appreciated that conditions around the world may not be suited to such a series at the moment, but said it would be the “ideal” culmination to a two-and-a-half year tournament going forward.
‘New Zealand will come in with an advantage’
India will be heading into this WTC final with less game time in the lead-up than New Zealand, who are currently playing the second Test of a two-match series against England in England. While the first game was truncated due to the weather and multiple senior players have been rested for the second, the workout in English conditions should offer New Zealand an advantage.

“I expect a very well-planned and well-knit New Zealand team to come at us,” Ashwin said. “Obviously having played two Tests, they will definitely come in with an advantage. So we have to adapt to that.”



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Recent Match Report – United vs Qalandars 20th Match 2020/21-2021

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Qalandars surrendered from advantageous positions in both innings after dominating the first ten overs each time

Islamabad United 152 for 7 (Asif 75, Iftikhar 49, Faulkner 3-19) beat Lahore Qalandars 124 (Zaman 44, Musa 3-18, Shadab 2-14) by 28 runs

At first, the Islamabad United’s historic decision to bat first at the toss – for the first time in PSL history – seemed like a bad idea. Their top five were each out for single-digit scores against the Lahore Qalandars and the team was reeling at 20 for 5.
However, a 123-run partnership for the sixth wicket changed the game around. Asif Ali counter-attacked with six fours and five sixes in his 75, and Iftikhar Ahmed played Asif’s sidekick with 49. Together they neutralised Rashid Khan and posted a total big enough to give their bowlers something to defend.
That was successfully pulled off as Muhammad Musa, Shadab Khan and Fawad Ahmed produced a period of play where the Qalandars lost seven wickets for 14 runs. Musa collected three wickets, and both Shadab and Fawad took two each to seal a win that was eventually very comfortable.
The win took United to the top of the PSL points table, tied on points with their opponents of the night, and helped them achieve victory in a manner they had never done previously. And all that without Hasan Ali’s services.

Faulkner, other pacers breathe fire
It was meant to be a long, hot afternoon in the sun for the Qalandars unit after United chose to bat following the toss – more so as Colin Munro and Usman Khawaja came in on the back of a ten-over partnership of 137 runs against Quetta Gladiators. But that wasn’t to be, as Shaheen Afridi had Khawaja caught behind for a duck on the third ball of the first over after getting a full ball to move away and forcing the opener to flick down the wrong line. Next ball, Rohail Nazir was pinned lbw via a yorker, only to survive as Afridi had overstepped.

However, Nazir could not make the most of his reprieve. He was trapped lbw by a James Faulkner ball that moved into him in the second over. Two overs later, Faulkner earned another wicket through an lbw, when Munro did not pick a cutter and looked to defend down the wrong line, only for the ball to strike his pad in front of the stumps.

With Faulkner’s military medium still getting sideways movement, he was given a third over where Hussain Talat’s flick went straight to deep midwicket. Haris Rauf, Shaheen’s replacement at first change in the seventh over, then struck first ball when a quick delivery that was angling in had Shadab Khan edging behind to Ben Dunk. After 6.1 overs, Faulkner had three, Afridi and Rauf had one each, and the Qalandars were 20 for 5. In the last match, the Qalandars had posted their highest ever powerplay score; in this game, they posted their lowest ever.

The counterattack
The early blows aside, it remained a batting-friendly track, and that was proved by the next period of play. For United, Ifthikar and Asif had their backs against the wall after Shadab’s wicket, but they clawed their way back with every passing over.

Asif struck two fours off Faulkner to bring the Australian’s spell to a close and then used Rauf’s pace to hit back-to-back boundaries. Ahmed Daniyal then bore the brunt of Asif’s onslaught as he cleared long-on for six, after which he deposited a flighted Rashid Khan ball for another maximum. More boundaries off Daniyal took Asif to 49, and a single next ball gave him a 28-ball fifty in the 13th over.

All this while, Iftikhar was scoring at a strike-rate of less than a hundred but he changed gears in the 15th over. After striking Daniyal for a four, he brought up United’s hundred before depositing a full-toss and a slower ball off Rauf for consecutive fours. Together, Rashid and Daniyal conceded 82 runs in eight overs for no wickets, and with two overs to go, United had reached 135 for 5.

The 19th from Shaheen began with the bowler being hit for a six by Asif, but a few balls later he was hit-wicket after going too deep in his crease while expecting a yorker, thus ending their 76-ball stand of 123. But his 43-ball 75, together with Iftikhar’s 49, ensured United went into the break with the momentum as they finished on 152 for 7.

Qalandars crumble after Akhtar departs
Sohail Akhtar took the early charge in the powerplay during the Qalandars’ chase of 153 as he helped take 11 runs off Mohammad Wasim’s first over. He then walked across his crease multiple times to explore the fine-leg region with boundaries off Ali Khan and Wasim. However, Shadab introduced Fawad for the final over of the powerplay, and he struck off the last ball of the over when Akhtar failed to pick a googly. His 19-ball 34 had helped the Qalandars raze down 55 runs already, but his dismissal started a massive collapse that the Qalandars simply could not arrest.

A run out of the No. 3 Zeeshan Ashraf in the seventh over didn’t help when they just needed to settle into another partnership after Akhtar’s wicket. But a brilliant piece of fielding near cover from Shadab sent Ashraf back.

Musa, usually expensive but with the habit of taking crucial wickets, then took two – of Mohammad Hafeez pulling to deep midwicket and Dunk caught behind – to tilt the balance United’s way. Musa then added a third as Fakhar Zaman fell for a laboured 37-ball 44, top-edging one to third man.

Then came the spin onslaught. Tim David was out trying to clear long-on off Shadab, while Rashid failed to pick Shadab’s googly. From the other end, Fawad’s quick thinking had Shaheen run-out before he bowled Faulkner through his defenses. At 100 for 9, the Qalandars had truly lost the plot, and despite an entertaining tenth-wicket stand, they fell 28 runs short. Apart from the openers and the No. 11 Rauf, no other Qalandars batter reached double digits.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx



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Vitality Blast 2021 – Ned Eckersley, Liam Trevaskis rescue Durham as Naveen-ul-Haq falls apart at the death | Cricket

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Ned Eckersley gets down to sweep © Getty Images


Durham 170 for 8 (Eckersley 50*, Lilley 3-26) Leicestershire 168 for 9 (Steel 53, Potts 3-27) by two wickets

Durham pulled off what will go down as one of the more extraordinary wins in their T20 history as Leicestershire Foxes threw away what looked like a nailed-on victory in the Vitality Blast at the Uptonsteel County Ground.

Chasing 169 to win this North Group match after Scott Steel hit 53 against his former team-mates, Durham were 108 for 8 in the 14th over and still needed 49 with only four overs left. That came down to 23 off two after Gavin Griffiths conceded 15 in the 18th but winning still looked a tall order.

Yet former Leicestershire man Ned Eckersley and Liam Trevaskis saw their side home with an over to spare as the Foxes conceded 24 in a calamitous 19th over that was started by their overseas player Naveen-ul-Haq and ended by Ben Mike after the Afghan fast bowler was ordered out of the attack for bowling two head-high no-balls.

Naveen’s first and sixth balls were called for height, the second of which Eckersley ramped for four, adding nine to the total just from no-balls. In between came a two, two singles and a leg-bye and a four for Trevaskis when he should have been caught at deep midwicket, Arron Lilley losing the ball in the sun.

Naveen’s second no-ball meant he could not bowl the extra delivery. Mike took over and Eckersley clubbed the free hit for six over long-off to complete a 36-ball half-century and win the game to a stunned silence from the home crowd.

Earlier, Durham had restricted the Foxes to what looked like a below-par 168 for 9, with Lilley hitting 31 but Matty Potts and ex-Leicestershire seamer Ben Raine taking three wickets each. Having been 117 for 3 in the 14th over, the Foxes stumbled from 155 for 4 to 166 for 9, losing five wickets for 11 runs in 15 balls.

Steel’s 53 included five fours and two sixes, Lilley’s 31 off 21 balls with sixes off Paul Coughlin over midwicket and two down the ground in consecutive balls off Scott Borthwick’s legbreaks.

Durham’s reply was off to a blistering start as David Bedingham blasted 38 off 19 balls with three sixes off left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson’s opening over. At 58 for two after 6, they looked well placed but after a bad call by Raine saw Cameron Bancroft run out they lost five wickets for 20 runs in 22 balls.

Lilley, who had Jack Burnham caught at short third man in an attempted reverse sweep and Coughlin leg before, took his third wicket as Borthwick missed the ball trying to work to leg but a career-best 3 for 26 was small consolation for what happened at the end as Trevaskis took four and a six over deep midwicket off Griffiths and Naveen’s afternoon turned into a nightmare.

©
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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