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DC vs SRH, IPL 2021 – David Warner

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It remains unclear as of now who the “selectors” Warner was referring to are

Dropping Manish Pandey from the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI was a “harsh call”, according to captain David Warner. It was a decision made by the team’s “selectors”, Warner said following their Super Over loss to the Delhi Capitals in Chennai on Sunday night.

“It was a harsh call in my opinion. But at the end of the day, it is a decision of the selectors to do that,” Warner said at the post-match presentation when asked about Pandey’s absence.

Pandey’s replacement, 23-year-old Virat Singh, managed 4 off 14 balls on a sticky Chepauk surface, where he was not the only batsman to struggle in a chase of 160. “You can’t discredit Virat. He’s a very good player and on this surface, not getting too much time out there, it’s very difficult,” Warner said. “They [the Capitals bowlers] bowled fantastic through the middle and made it challenging for us.”

It remains unclear as of now who the “selectors” Warner was referring to are. Among the big names on the Sunrisers’ support staff are director of cricket Tom Moody, head coach Trevor Bayliss, assistant coach Brad Haddin, batting mentor VVS Laxman and bowling mentor Muttiah Muralitharan, who had left the IPL bubble earlier in the tournament to get treatment for a blocked artery.

Pandey has played three games so far this season, all in Chennai where scoring has been far from free-flowing, beginning with 61 not out off 44 against the Kolkata Knight Riders. In the next two games, he could not find momentum, his strike rate plunging below 100 in knocks of 38 off 39 and 2 off seven.

In all, he has played 46 games for the Sunrisers since he joined them in 2018, scoring 1154 runs at 33.94 and a strike rate of 123.81. Last season, in the UAE, he was the team’s second-highest scorer, behind Warner, with 425 runs at 32.69 and a strike rate of 127.62.

The Sunrisers now sit in seventh place on the points table, having lost four out of five games. Their next game is against current table-toppers Chennai Super Kings on April 28, in Delhi.



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Thisara Perera retires from international cricket

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The 32-year-old allrounder has confirmed he will continue to play franchise cricket

Sri Lanka allrounder Thisara Perera has announced his retirement from international cricket. A white-ball regular, Perera was known for his hit-the-deck bowling and his clean ball-striking down the order. Of all batters with at least 2000 runs in men’s ODIs, Perera’s strike rate of 112.08 is the fourth-highest of all time. Thisara conveyed news of his retirement to Sri Lanka Cricket on Monday morning.

While he will no longer turn out for Sri Lanka, the 32-year-old Perera has confirmed he will continue to play franchise cricket. For starters, he has indicated that his involvement with the Jaffna Stallions LPL franchise, of which he is captain, will carry on. Thisara has at various points over the last few years been unable to pursue opportunities with T20 franchises around the world, due to national commitments.

His retirement comes after he is understood to have been told by Sri Lanka’s team management that he, along with several other senior cricketers, will not be picked for the forthcoming ODI series against Bangladesh, with the team looking to blood new players. He was, however, still in the mix for T20 internationals, with a view to him potentially being part of the T20 World Cup side later this year.

Although Thisara’s ODI form has been patchy at times, his striking ability was still viewed by most selection committees as a substantial asset in the shortest format. However, Sri Lanka’s refusal to make him a mainstay of their limited-overs XIs since 2015 is understood to have caused frustration.

Thisara had also been perturbed by his sidelining from the Test team, despite his having taken four wickets and struck an 86-ball 75 in the last Test he played, against Pakistan in 2012. In fact, these Test frustrations had prompted him to hand over a notice of his Test retirement to the board at age 28. The board had not taken this letter particularly seriously; in any case, a Test retirement was moot, because he had not been in the frame for selection in that format for several years.

He had, however, been elevated to captaincy in the white-ball formats, leading Sri Lanka in three ODIs in 2017, as well as nine T20 internationals between 2017 and 2018. Although his wicket-taking ability with the ball had waned since his earliest years in the team, Thisara remained capable of ballistics with the bat. His highest score of 140 off 74 balls (and only international hundred) came in January 2019. In 2020, he was Sri Lanka’s third-highest runscorer in a victorious ODI series against West Indies, having produced 106 runs at a strike rate of 136 through the course of three matches.

Nevertheless, the onus on developing young talent with a view to the 2023 ODI World Cup has seen him drop out of favour with selectors.

Thisara will be remembered, also, for his contributions to Sri Lanka’s 2014 World T20 triumph, and for hitting the winning six in that final, having been sent up the order.



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IPL 2021 – Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier positive for Covid-19, KKR vs RCB rescheduled

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Monday night’s IPL match has been pushed back

Monday night’s IPL match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challenges Bangalore has been rescheduled. It is understood that two players of the Knight Riders contingent – mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seam bowler Sandeep Warrier have tested positive for Covid-19. It is believed that Chakravarthy recently left the IPL bio-bubble through the official green channel to carry out a scan on his shoulder and that is where he might have got exposed. Barring Chakravarthy and Warrier, the rest of the the Knight Riders contingent’s tests came out clear.

This is the first instance of positive Covid-19 cases to members within the IPL bio-bubble since the 2021 season started. Both the franchise and the IPL are yet to issue a statement.

Knight Riders are currently seventh on the points table, having won only two of their first seven matches. The last played on Thursday against the Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad. With a misfiring top-order, overseas combination issues and questionable powerplay bowling plans, they are under threat of failing to make the play-offs for the third season in a row.

More to follow

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh 2nd Test 2021

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He claimed match figures of 11 for 178, the best by a Sri Lankan spinner on debut

Sri Lanka 493 for 7 dec. (Thirimanne 140, Karunaratne 118, Taskin 4-127) and 194 for 9 dec. (Karunaratne 66, Islam 5-72) beat Bangladesh 251 (Tamim 92, Jayawickrama 6-92) and 227 (Jayawickrama 5-86, Mendis 4-103) by 209 runs

Praveen Jayawickrama entered the record books as Sri Lanka’s inexperienced spin attack carried them to a 209-run win against Bangladesh in the second Test in Pallekele. Sri Lanka also won the series 1-0. Jayawickrama’s match figures of 11 for 178 was the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut, the best by a left-arm spinner on debut and the first bowler to take a 10-wicket haul on debut since Jason Krejza in 2008.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who kept Sri Lanka in the field for an hour on the fifth morning, was Jayawickrama’s tenth wicket. After making 39, Miraz had telegraphed his lap sweep far too soon, as Pathum Nissanka anticipated the shot, moved to his right and took the catch. Jayawickrama wrapped up the game with Abu Jayed’s wicket, his fifth lbw in the game.

The visitors added 50 runs to their overnight score of 177 for 5 but a long tail made sure all the onus was on the Liton Das-Miraz partnership for any chance of survival. But that lasted just 14 balls in the morning when Liton was lbw to Jayawickrama, missing a subtle straighter delivery. Jayawickrama’s left-arm stock deliveries had earlier sucked Liton into thrusting his pad down the line. Taijul Islam offered his usual resistance but Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Jayed didn’t.

Bangladesh were set a target of 437 runs with roughly 150 overs left to play. Tamim Iqbal was the first to go, undone by Ramesh Mendis‘ beautifully dipping offbreak that took his outside edge. Tamim’s streak of four fifties was broken as he was dismissed for 24.

Saif Hassan and Najmul Hossain Shanto then stuck around for 56 balls, in which both batters went after the Sri Lankan spinners. Hassan cleared his front leg on several occasions to hit straight, but the approach cost him when he holed out at cover point, giving Jayawickrama his first wicket. Shanto too fell to the left-arm spinner, missing a delivery that spun through his bat and pad.

Mominul Haque fell to Mendis for the second time in the match, this time bowled off an inside edge after falling lbw in the first innings. It was a soft dismissal, an attempted late cut that looked lackadaisical. Mushfiqur Rahim also fell to Mendis when an offbreak reared on him, brushed his gloves and gave short leg an easy catch. He made 40.

But much like Hassan, Shanto and Mominul, Mushfiqur too was chancy. Lahiru Thirimanne dropped him at slip, before Niroshan Dickwella missed a stumping chance through his legs.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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