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SRH vs KKR IPL 2021

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The New Zealand captain would have taken the place of Jonny Bairstow in the season opener had he been match-fit

Kane Williamson has made a career out of proving those who write him off in T20s. He tends to not start the season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, but ends up being a key player by the end of it. While Sunrisers began once again without Williamson in the XI, there was no underestimation of his talents this time. It was ring rust that led to his being left out.

Williamson came into the IPL off the back of an elbow injury that ruled him out of the ODI series against Bangladesh. In his last competitive appearances, more than a month ago, he endured a string of three single-digit scores against Australia. His replacement, Jonny Bairstow, meanwhile came off a fruitful ODI series against India in similar conditions.

“Yeah we just felt that Kane needs a little bit of extra time to get his match fitness,” Sunrisers coach Trevor Bayliss said. “A little bit more time in the nets. He would have played in place of Jonny Bairstow if that would have occurred. But we weren’t too perturbed about that. Jonny has been in form obviously recently in white-ball cricket here in India. And obviously showed in how he batted well tonight.

“Kane will obviously certainly come into calculations as the tournament unfolds.”

Bairstow scored a 32-ball fifty to keep Sunrisers alive in a tall chase, but his dismissal with 86 to get in seven overs just about ended the game for Sunrisers. Abdul Samad raised some hopes for them with an eight-ball 19, which led to the question if Samad is getting enough time to bat for Sunrisers and if he should have come in ahead of Vijay Shankar.

“Hindsight is always a wonderful thing, you know,” Bayliss said. “It is easy to sit back here after the fact but Vijay, in the practice matches that we had, was our best player. He struck the ball beautifully. In one of the games he got 95. He hit a lot of the balls long way over the fence. Look it’s always difficult in those situations when you go in and have to pretty much go from the first ball you face. Samad, in a short space of time last IPL and this one, has shown he has got a lot of talent and he is a clean striker of the ball. I think as he gets more experienced he will get more opportunity.”

With his effectiveness against spin, Bairstow might have earned a bit of a rope before Williamson is brought back into the side. For the moment, Bairstow will be kept in the middle order with Wriddhiman Saha having earned a place at the top.

“At the moment what we want to do is reward the guys that finished the tournament off last year,” Bayliss said. “We got off to a slow start last year but we came home very well to make the playoffs. Someone like Saha opening the batting and batting so well in the tournament. We felt we’d reward the guys that finished it off so well last year. Obviously depending on fitness and form and that kind of thing, we know Jonny can open the batting and keep wicket as well. It gives us a few options but he has done well at No. 4 for England just recently.”

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo



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West Indies vs South Africa

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19-year-old quick has big future, says captain, after three-wicket debut

Despite slumping to an innings defeat before lunch on the third day of the first Test in St Lucia, West Indies had one undoubted silver lining in the form of their debutant fast bowler, Jayden Seales, whose fiery performance in a losing cause hinted at a hugely promising future in the sport.

Seales, 19, had played just one first-class game before he was thrust into the Test team against South Africa – and that came last winter on West Indies’ tour of New Zealand – but Kraigg Brathwaite, the captain, said he saw enough in that display to know he was ready for higher honours.

“The first time I saw him was in New Zealand, and I just knew he had a natural length,” Brathwaite said. “Not all bowlers have that natural length, and he obviously swings the ball. So I was not surprised by his performance in this game, or for the future.”

Seales finished South Africa’s only innings of the first Test with figures of 3 for 75 in 21 overs, having bagged his maiden wicket in his first over of the game, as Keegan Petersen spliced an edge to Jason Holder at second slip. He followed up with two more in consecutive overs at the end of the first day, before Quinton de Kock took the match away with a superb 141 not out.

“I think he’s something special and obviously he’s quite young, he’s only played one first-class game,” Brathwaite said. “That says a lot. Even at practice, there are different little things that he does with the ball, and what he says to back it up, is quite phenomenal. For sure, he’s one for the future, big time.



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PSL 2021 – Islamabad United’s Hasan Ali to miss rest of season

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The fast bowler will fly back to Pakistan for personal reasons

Hasan Ali will not feature in the remainder of the PSL season. The Islamabad United fast bowler will leave the tournament bubble in the UAE and return to Pakistan “due to family concerns”.

“I want to say to all Islamabad United fans, unfortunately due to personal reasons I have to pull out of the remaining PSL matches,” Hasan said in an Islamabad United statement. “Some things are more important than cricket and nothing is more important than family. I am thankful to Islamabad United for their support and understanding. This team truly is a family that stands with you through thick and thin. I wish the team very best of luck for the remaining PSL matches.”

Hasan’s absence will be a blow to Islamabad, who are currently second on the PSL table with eight points from six matches. Hasan is the joint third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament as on Saturday evening, with 10 wickets at an average of 14.00, and, even more impressively, an economy rate of 5.83 across 24 overs.

“We understand Hasan’s situation right now, family always comes first,” Islamabad captain Shadab Khan said. “We wish Hasan the very best of luck. He will obviously be a huge loss to our team and the tournament, but some things are more important than cricket. At Islamabad United we have always looked after each other like a family and we will continue to do so.”



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Recent Match Report – SE Stars vs Diamonds 2021

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England great plays her part in three-wicket win as she revels in new mindset

Northern Diamonds 254 for 7 (Kalis 76, Langston 59* Gunn 50) beat South East Stars 250 for 6 (White 73) by three wickets with four balls remaining

It is half-past ten on a perfect June morning at Emerald Headingley and Sarah Taylor squats down in readiness for the first ball of a cricket match. This is something she will have done hundreds of times, for in addition to club and county games Taylor has played ten Tests, 126 one-day internationals and 90 T20Is for England. And even since her retirement from international cricket in September 2019, she has kept wicket for Sussex Women in a few T20 games. This is rather different, though, because Taylor is making her debut for the Northern Diamonds against South East Stars in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

This is a higher-profile, professional game, the type of match Taylor was not sure she would ever play again. But earlier this year she agreed to play for Welsh Fire in The Hundred and she is plainly satisfied that returning to the game will no longer risk harming her mental health. Playing cricket, you see, is now only one of the things Sarah Taylor does. There is teaching at Bede’s in East Sussex; there is coaching at the County Ground in Hove, where she works with the full-time professional wicketkeepers and the Academy players; there is, in other words, a balanced life.

“I don’t see myself as Sarah Taylor the cricketer anymore,” she told ESPNcricinfo in January. “I just see myself as Sarah. It’s just a really healthy place to be.”

The first ball is bowled by Beth Langston and Bryony Smith plays it out to midwicket where Ami Campbell trots in to field. Already Sarah is up at the stumps to collect the return, although there is not the remotest possibility of a run. A pattern has been set, one that will be familiar to wicketkeepers of whatever standard throughout the game.

The eighth delivery of the morning is bowled by Phoebe Graham and it jags back a little to Alice Davidson-Richards, whose cut is now a cramped ungainly effort. The ball would have passed over middle stump and down leg side but it catches Davidson-Richards’ glove and flies between wicketkeeper and first slip. Taylor has transferred her weight to her left but dives back, holds the ball in her right gauntlet… and spills it. It would have been a stunning grab. There is little more she could have done except hang on to the thing.

“I had it!” she said afterwards. “It was literally in my webbing and I just hit the deck. The girls will tell you I was talking about it when we were batting. I did the hard work and I was thinking, ‘Yes, stunner!’ and then my elbow hit the ground and it popped out. But to be fair, it was nice to get there. I felt rusty, believe me, but it was just nice to dust the cobwebs off. Legs, back, hands…Yeah, pretty happy with that. That was good fun.”

After that eighth ball Taylor returned to the more routine habits and skills of her chosen trade. Over the next three hours she squatted down over 300 times and the ball was returned to her after the vast majority of deliveries. It frequently went to her directly, of course, and her takes were clean, unfussy, professional. There is never a point in an innings when wicketkeepers are not involved in the game and Taylor was constantly encouraging, congratulating or commiserating with her new colleagues. She was the focus around which the Northern Diamonds’ efforts revolved. In the 48th over there was a stumping off Jenny Gunn that Taylor clearly thought was a decent shout but Tom Lungley took a different view. South East Stars scored 250 for 6 in 50 overs and 14 of the runs came from wides. There were no byes.



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