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ICC Test rankings – Sri Lanka’s Praveen Jayawickrama bursts into top 50 after 11-wicket haul on debut

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Dimuth Karunaratne has edged closer to a top-ten spot following his 118 and 66 in second Test against Bangladesh

Praveen Jayawickrama‘s 11 for 178 in Sri Lanka’s 209-run win over Bangladesh in their second Test in Pallekele has helped him enter the ICC Test bowlers’ rankings at No. 48. Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who scored 118 and 66 in that game, moved up from No. 15 to No. 11.

Twenty-two-year-old Jayawickrama’s match haul was the best by a Sri Lankan on Test debut. He took 6 for 92 in the first innings as Bangladesh were bowled out for 251 in response to the home side’s 493 for 7 declared. And then, when Bangladesh were chasing 437 for an unlikely victory, Jayawickrama chipped in with 5 for 86.



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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Glamorgan Group 1 2021

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Michael Hogan’s four-for not enough as Glamorgan let several winning positions slip

Somerset 180 for 7 (Green 87, Hogan 4-33) beat Glamorgan 179 for 9 by one run

New Somerset List A captain Ben Green produced a match-changing innings to lead his side to a thrilling one-run Royal London Cup win over Glamorgan at Taunton.
The hosts crashed to 26 for 4 after losing the toss in a match eventually reduced to 37 overs per side by rain, Michael Hogan claiming all four of those wickets.
But Green smacked 87 off 72 balls from No. 7, with 11 fours and a six, sharing a stand of 86 with Lewis Goldsworthy, who made 41, as Somerset posted a challenging 180 for 7.
Glamorgan responded with 179 for 9, Billy Root and Tom Cullen both making 37, while young Somerset seamers Kasey Aldridge and Sonny Baker shared five of the wickets.

Andy Gorvin needed a six off the last ball of the game from left-arm spinner Goldsworthy to win the game for Glamorgan and came close with a powerful four over the bowler’s head.

Play did not start until 12.10pm, with the game initially reduced to 42 overs per side. Somerset’s innings had only occupied 2.4 of them, with five runs scored, when rain forced the players off.

That was enough time for Hogan to strike twice, Sam Young caught behind off the fourth ball of the innings and Steven Davies brilliantly snapped up by Gorvin at midwicket from the first delivery of the third over.

On the resumption, the veteran pace bowler took his figures to 3 for 3 by bowling George Bartlett between bat and pad and then had James Hildreth caught at first slip.

Somerset were in disarray at 49 for 5 when Eddie Byrom feathered a ball from offspinner Steven Reingold through to wicketkeeper Cullen.

But Green and Goldsworthy calmly steadied the ship and had taken the total to 84 for 5 in the 26th over when heavier rain brought another stoppage at 2.10pm.

Half an hour later, with a further reduction in overs, Green and Goldsworthy batted with far more intent. Green was the main aggressor, with Goldsworthy notching just one boundary in his valuable innings before slogging a catch to cow corner off Callum Taylor.

Green, cut loose in the closing overs with some majestic shots until playing a ball from Lukas Carey onto his stumps in the final over.
Glamorgan’s reply began badly when Hamish Rutherford fell lbw to the final ball of Jack Brooks’ opening over.

Eighteen-year-old Baker then got a ball to lift at Nick Selman’s ribs, forcing the opener to loop up a catch to the diving Byrom, running in from square leg.



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Recent Match Report – West Indies vs Pakistan 1st T20I 2021

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Hasan Ali and debutant Mohammad Wasim impress for Pakistan with the ball

No result West Indies 85 for 5 (Pollard 22*, Hasan 2-11, Qadir 1-6) vs Pakistan

Incessant rain first reduced the first West Indies-Pakistan T20I to a nine-over shootout before eventually washing away the match. Pakistan had chosen to bowl first under cloudy skies with rain also predicted, but the teams raced off to the dressing room just after completing their national anthems. It took almost three hours for the rain to stop and the ground to dry, with the umpires then deciding to curtail the contest.

But of whatever was played, Kieron Pollard and the Pakistan bowlers combined to ensure there was entertaining cricket while it lasted.

Debutant Wasim has instant impact

All it took right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim to land a blow was five balls, although that was not a wicket. In the second over of the West Indies innings, he pitched one short of a length on middle and off, and got it to angle in with the bounce on to Lendl Simmons, who missed his pull. The ball instead hit him on the right side of his neck, immediately inviting the physio on the ground, who decided to take Simmons off with a sling protecting his right arm.

Wasim was taken off after that, but returned to bowl the seventh over. After hurting Simmons, he then had Chris Gayle caught at long-on as the bowler now brought out the slower ball. Gayle, who had come in after Simmons, played away from his body to try and heave that, but only found the fielder in search of rapid runs.

Just wickets and sixes
Amidst a flurry of dot balls – which were 30 in total – and a bunch of extras, which contributed 14, there were five wickets claimed with as many sixes slammed from the third over until the eighth. Hasan Ali got two, while Mohammad Hafeez, Usman Qadir and Wasim all grabbed a wicket each. Nicholas Pooran cracked twin sixes off Hafeez, before Gayle deposited Shadab Khan over his head and Andre Russell dispatched Qadir over extra cover – all this, before Pollard got into Ali with a whip.

Pollard provides late entertainment, but Hasan delivers too
Pollard arrived at the crease with one ball of the sixth over left, but watched from the other end as Gayle fell in the following over with West Indies’ run rate still under nine. With Pollard on strike, Ali was brought back for the eighth after foxing Evin Lewis off his first ball earlier in the innings. This time, Ali was whacked first ball over deep square leg as Pollard swung his bat to a good length ball on middle and leg, and despite not quite finding the middle of the bat, sent the ball sailing over deep square leg.

But that was the only boundary Ali conceded off his two overs, digging the slower balls perfectly on a rain-affected pitch to keep the West Indies batters quiet. Ali then got Shimron Hetmyer three balls later – Mohammad Rizwan completed a good diving catch – with the hosts struggling for momentum amidst the numerous cutters from the visiting bowlers.

Pollard was on 10 off 5 deliveries when only four balls remained in the innings, and the West Indies captain ensured they were well taken care of. A dot ball later, Shaheen Afridi pitched one short on middle and leg as Pollard pulled fiercely to bisect deep square leg and deep midwicket for four. After nabbing two more runs, he ended with a maximum by sending the ball crashing over deep square leg when he made room to a length ball on middle and off, and pulled with disdain. Although he got 12 runs off the last three balls, rain would have the final say with Pakistan not having to chase the total.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Ashes 2021-22 – Dom Bess ‘would never turn Ashes down’ as England players head for talks

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Australia’s strict Covid-19 restrictions raise prospect of senior players’ withdrawals

Dom Bess, the Yorkshire and England offspinner, has said that the prospect of being selected for his maiden Ashes tour this winter is something he “would never, ever turn down”, amid concerns that a number of England’s senior players may be reluctant to commit to the tour due to Australia’s strict Covid-19 restrictions.

England’s Test players are expected to seek clarity this week over the Ashes arrangements, with the series due to begin in Brisbane on December 8 before concluding six weeks later in Perth on January 18. With England’s multi-format players likely to head straight to Australia from the T20 World Cup in the UAE, the final of which takes place on November 14, it means that those players with young families, such as Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, are likely to undergo several months of separation.

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, wrote in his Telegraph column on Wednesday that in the event families were unable to join the touring party, Cricket Australia “either have to delay the Ashes by a year or the series will go ahead and be a farce with an under-strength England side”.

However, Bess – who turned 24 last week, and who admitted earlier this season that he had begun to “hate cricket” after enduring a tough tour of India last winter – insisted that, at this early stage of his career, with no family commitments to distract him from his cricket ambitions, he wouldn’t hesitate to travel if selected.

“It gives me goosebumps talking about it,” Bess said. “It is the pinnacle. Just watching the 2005 Ashes and then being at school and staying up all night to watch the 2010-11 when Cooky [Alastair Cook] scored hundred after hundred. That is pinnacle of the career – everyone thinks about it.

“It is a tough ask,” he added. “Obviously I don’t know what will be happening about Australia and their regulations – but I think if your name was on the ticket and you were going to an Ashes series as a 24 year old, a young lad, you would never ever turn that down.

“I think it would be very tough leaving family and supporters at home, but it is an Ashes series away from home – something you dream of, playing against Australia in Australia and looking to win there. Certainly you wouldn’t turn that down. I don’t think anyone who dreams of doing that would be able to turn that down.”

Bess has been named in England’s 17-player squad for the first two Tests against India, at Trent Bridge and Lord’s next month, and while Jack Leach is likely to be England’s first-choice spinner at this stage of the series, he is feeling upbeat about making a return to the Test bubble, with the return of crowds likely to make a big difference to the team environment, compared to the behind-closed-doors experience in 2020.

“It is so good to have fans back in the ground,” he said. “You look at these Hundred games, it’s been amazing. But with bubbles, it was very taxing by the end of it. At the start of last summer we went to Southampton, up to Manchester, back to Southampton … we didn’t see anyone, no one in the crowd, empty stadiums, then we had a bit of a break, then straight to Sri Lanka, then India.

“Obviously, I am only one of the Test specialists, but you look at the one-day and T20 guys, and you can understand why people get burnt out and mentally fatigued, and how much it has an impact on your actual game.

“That was something I had to learn to try and deal with during India,” he added. “I was mentally tired and physically tired by the end of it, because you’d play or not play, go back to your room, do nothing, then next day get the bus to the ground, do your work, go back to the hotel … day in, day out.



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