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Recent Match Report – Queensland vs NSW 13th Match 2020/21

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Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins took three wickets apiece but NSW will lose five players to the IPL

New South Wales 2 for 204 (Hughes 101, Smith 86*) beat Queensland 203 (Peirson 59, Cummins 3-34, Starc 3-46) by eight wickets

New South Wales secured the hosting rights for the Marsh Cup final with a thumping eight-wicket victory over Queensland in Sydney as Daniel Hughes, one of only seven players across the two sides without an international cap, emerged from a lean season with 101.

Nine of those with Australia representation to their name were in the home side which fielded the Test attack. They featured the group due to depart tomorrow for the IPL, including Steven Smith who finished unbeaten on 86, meaning they won’t be available the title showdown on April 11.

Queensland now need to wait on the result of the Western Australia-Tasmania match next Thursday to see whether they can cling onto a place in the final.

Pat Cummins, the New South Wales one-day captain, and Mitchell Starc took three wickets apiece as Queensland were never able to lay a foundation. From 6 for 104 it needed a half-century from Jimmy Peirson and a useful hand by Michael Neser (31) to lift them over 200.

Although David Warner fell early it was always unlikely to challenge New South Wales once the second-wicket stand started to develop. Hughes and Smith, playing his first game since mid-February after an elbow injury, largely did as they pleased although Billy Stanlake created a few uneasy moments.

Hughes, who has a List A average of over 56 brought up his century with a crunching drive for a 13th boundary although top-edged to fine leg two balls later to end a stand of 174 with Smith. It was the first time he had passed fifty for New South Wales this season.

Smith finished with four sixes and a series of powerful strokes to suggest the elbow was not causing too many issues. The last of them was a blow over midwicket that almost ended up on the roof.

After Queensland had opted to bat, Starc struck in his second over to have Max Bryant caught behind. Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne went along at a good tempo to suggest it could be a high-scoring contest, but Khawaja dragged on when he was cramped for room by Cummins who then removed Matt Renshaw for a duck.

The innings was coming off the rails when Nathan Lyon held a fierce return catch to remove Labuschagne the ball after he had sent him for six.

Peirson and Joe Burns briefly steadied things for Queensland but Josh Hazlewood returned to trap the latter lbw. Starc then also struck in his comeback over when he had debutant James Bazley well caught at deep square leg by Warner leaving the visitors six down with more than half the overs remaining.

Peirson and Neser added 57 in 13 overs, the stand broken when Lyon gabbed a sharp chance at midwicket. The one non-Test player in the attack, Daniel Sams, then got among the wickets as Xavier Bartlett missed a wild swing and a fine catch at deep midwicket ended Peirson’s rearguard.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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BBL draft uncertainty leaves Greg Shipperd ‘nervous’ as he plans Sydney Sixers hat-trick quest | Cricket

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Sydney Sixers are back-to-back BBL champions and hope to have a settled list © Getty Images


Sydney Sixers coach Greg Shipperd is not in favour of the proposed BBL draft for overseas players and admitted the uncertainty over how it could work has added a layer of complexity to planning for next year’s competition where the club will aim for a hat-trick of titles.

Plans for a player draft were put on hold last year due to the pandemic but it is expected to be added to the tournament for this season although Shipperd, who signed a two-year contract extension with the Sixers on Thursday, said details were still thin on the ground.

The Sixers have Tom Curran locked in as part of a three-year deal (he sat out last season due the complexity of traveling during Covid-19) and they are hopeful of having James Vince return after he scored 537 runs at 38.35 in last season’s campaign.

“I know there’s been meetings going on…but there’s been no finality and no crystallisation of any position that I’m aware of at the moment,” Shipperd said. “We’re hanging on the edge trying to understand if there is a draft or not, whether there’s two or three international players, how many domestic players, any rule changes. All of those things are being juggled behind the scenes but none of them have consolidated to the point where we can start to strategise around that.

“My personal preference is to go out and source your players as we’ve done in the past, but I’m not sure if that position is universally held across other coaches or franchises. I like to fit the people I source to the people and combinations and personalities in our group and be really specific around that.

“That’s served us very, very well and a draft takes a bit of that preparedness out of play. I’d be a little bit nervous about how that all unfolds and I hope that those deliberating around whether or not it does go ahead canvas all possibilities around how you can make the media attention around the draft…by proposing an alternative method.”

Should the draft come into being, one element that has been proposed is a system that allows clubs to retain overseas players they have had lengthy associates with such as Rashid Khan at Adelaide Strikers. That could help the Sixers keep Vince with Shipperd clear that club loyalty and keeping his squad together is a high priority.

“I like to provide stability within my groups and that’s why we signed Tom Curran straightaway once we saw the quality of him as a young player, a young man and young leader within our group – we wanted him for a long-term,” he said. “James Vince has hit that zone as well so I would be disappointed if, potentially, we missed the opportunity to have both of those players in our franchise this year because of the quirk on the draft.

“Conversations have been had but our squad is going to look very similar from a domestic point of view. I’m a big believer in, as best as we can, giving this group that has achieved so much in the last two years a strong crack at a third opportunity. Some would say that’s a big risk but there’s a lot of faith in the group from our coaching staff that they’re good enough to do it again.”




Greg Shipperd is hopeful of having James Vince return for another season © Getty Images


With the men’s Ashes series running until January 18 then a limited-overs visit by New Zealand starting at the end of that month, Shipperd is not expecting to see much, if anything, of those involved in the national squads.

Last season Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc were contracted but did not play a match due to the restrictions of moving between bubbles, with Starc later agreeing not to take part in the final so as not to disrupt a successful team. In a testament to the group put together by Shipperd, Moises Henriques and Sean Abbott were also absent for a large part of the regular season. The previous summer Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Steven Smith all appeared in the latter stages of the tournament.

“This year I think it’s probably going to be the worst year for availability for our international players, given where we predict the tournament will be played with a significant Ashes series,” Shipperd said. “I’m tipping those big name international players are unlikely to be available for us which is again just a problem that confronts us every season. And it’s a difficult problem to ever solve given that the international programme is the one that takes priority.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo


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Recent Match Report – Qalandars vs Zalmi 17th Match 2020/21-2021

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Tim David’s 36-ball 64 set up a stiff target after Lahore were in trouble, and Rashid Khan did the rest

Lahore Qalandars 170 for 8 (David 64*, Dunk 48, Allen 2-36) beat Peshawar Zalmi 160 for 8 (Malik 73, Umaid 23*, Rashid 5-20, Faulkner 2-23) by ten runs
After the drama of last night, Lahore Qalandars ensured their victory today would be slightly more straightforward, seeing off Peshawar Zalmi by ten runs. A magical five-wicket haul for Rashid Khan – his first in franchise T20 cricket – ripped the heart out of Zalmi’s middle order, ensuring a valiant 48-ball 73 from Shoaib Malik wouldn’t really come close to taking them over the line.
That didn’t mean the Qalandars didn’t take the scenic route ,though. The men in green looked as if they had batted themselves out of the game when they were reduced to 25 for 4 inside eight overs. Thereafter, however, it was all Qalandars, thanks initially to a match-rescuing 81 run partnership between Ben Dunk and Tim David to set their side back on course. David then combined with James Faulkner to take it up a notch in the final six overs, which saw 90 runs scored. The Singaporean led the way with a 36-ball 64, setting Zalmi a stiff 171 for victory.
Zalmi would end up mirroring Qalandars’ woeful start, losing openers Kamran Akmal and Haider Ali to Faulkner’s first over, whose irrepressible start to the PSL may even see the Australian selectors begin to pay attention in a World Cup year. A 51-run stand between Shoaib Malik and David Miller kept Zalmi interested, but that was before the Rashid Khan show. The legspinner would rip apart the middle order, impossible to either read or play for Zalmi. By the time he was done with his spell, he had ended up taking five wickets, and Zalmi were all but out of the contest. Umaid Asif kept Qalandars’ nerves jangling with a breezy cameo at the death, but Zalmi had been left too much to do.

Peshawar’s stifling start

The Dunk-David partnership had the quality to win most T20 games, but it’s easy to forget how hopeless the position they were forced to consolidate from was. That was the case thanks to a superb opening spell from both Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan, who beat the batter’s tentative outside edges so often, it might have been a Test match with a new Dukes ball in overcast English conditions. Wahab mixed up the length deliveries with a pinpoint yorker to dispatch Fakhar Zaman in the first over, while Irfan followed it up by drawing an outside edge from Qalandars skipper Sohail Akhtar.

The blows from Zalmi kept coming, Umaid Asif proving Mohammad Hafeez’s undoing with a devilishly quick bouncer the batsman toe-ended to extra cover. Mohammad Faizan, who endured a wretched little innings where he appeared to lack both ability and intent, fell thanks to a stupendously good diving catch from Wahab Riaz at mid-off. It was his 21st delivery, with the No. 3 managing just eight runs. It brought David and Dunk together, and the rest was history.

Rashid Khan masterclass

It might be easier to copy and paste the rich tributes the Afghan superstar earned after his exploits against Islamabad United, but this was an even more imperious performance. He begun sloppily with a few wayward balls down legside, and his first over ended up going for 15 runs – six more than he had allowed in his entire spell yesterday.

But from thereon, a mesmeric two overs changed the face of the game entirely. Up to this point, Malik and Miller had quietly built up a partnership of mounting importance for Zalmi after the quickfire loss of the openers, and while the asking rate approached 11, players like Sherfane Rutherford and Fabian Allen were to follow. But when Rashid had Miller chopping onto his stumps in the tenth over, Zalmi found their defences breached in a far more comprehensive way. Rovman Powell attempted, and missed, a sweep shot two balls later; but the third Rashid over was the icing on the cake.

He looked to have Rutherford plumb first ball, and the batsman was spared only by the faintest hint of a glove on it. A couple more googlies followed before he threw in the conventional legspinner, a magical delivery that sent the off stump bail flying. The hapless Allen looked dead in front first ball, and again, was only saved by the impact on the pads being marginally outside off. Rashid would have the last laugh, though, finishing him off with a googly the following delivery, and on that occasion, the umpire had no hesitation raising the finger. He would return to remove Wahab and complete a five-for, with his figures of 4-1-20-5 not flattering him in the slightest.

David a diamond in the rough

What is it with men named David and finishing games off for Lahore? It’s safe to say David wasn’t widely known in Pakistan when Lahore Qalandars plumped for him in the replacement draft, but he certainly is now.

Filling David Weise’s boots for Qalandars is a near-impossible task, but David has made a sparkling start. After a priceless cameo against Islamabad, his 34-ball 64 today offered much more substance. He was involved in a sensible rebuild with Dunk early on, prioritising keeping wickets. But without taking risks, he looked to be moving the run rate upwards. He brought up his half-century of 30 balls by pulling Wahab over midwicket for six before following up with two more in the final over to guarantee his side had a vice-like grip on the game they were never likely to relinquish.

Where they stand

Lahore extend their lead at the top of the table with five wins in six games. The defeat sees Zalmi drop down to fourth.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000



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West Indies vs South Africa 2021

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Fast bowler hopes for more opportunities with seamer-friendly ball after five-wicket haul

Lungi Ngidi hopes to have more opportunity to bowl with the Dukes ball after it helped him earn his second Test five-for in St Lucia. Ngidi, who took 6 for 39 against India on debut in January 2018, rated the Dukes ball as more seamer-friendly than the Kookaburra, used in South Africa, or India’s SG, because of the way it behaves.

“I prefer the Dukes ball. It stays harder and moves around a lot more,” Ngidi said after the first day’s play. “The Kookaburra ball tends to get a bit soft and once it gets soft, it doesn’t really swing and you try to look for reverse swing. The SG gets scuffed up really quick and it’s a really hard ball to maintain. But the Dukes ball is really a test of skill. Once you can get the wrist position right and hone in on your area, you can be very successful with this ball. Having bowled with it now, I hope I bowl with it for many, many years.”

Ngidi had never used the Dukes ball in a Test match before, having not played any Tests in England or in the Caribbean before this tour. He did have access to it when practising in South Africa and said the training group was “trying everything to control that ball,” and showed off the results of their persistence inside two sessions on the first day.

South Africa dismissed West Indies for 97, for their second sub-100 total since 2004, through a combination of aggression and discipline that Ngidi explained could be difficult to get right in favourable conditions. “You can get carried away, especially when it’s nipping around and swinging like that,” he said.

In the morning session, South Africa were anything but over-excited by conditions. While Kagiso Rabada and Ngidi kept the brakes on West Indies, Anrich Nortje tore through the top order. “My role definition has been very clear – it’s been to make sure I keep one end quiet. We do have some really quick bowlers and a lot of batsmen were struggling with them so for me to give them nothing was part of the plan,” Ngidi said.



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