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Pakistan Women to undergo 25-day camp in 40-degree heat in Multan

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The PCB has said Multan was the most feasible venue given the need to create a bio-secure environment

Over the next 30 days, Multan is expected to experience temperatures hovering well over 40 degrees, with a predicted high of 44 degrees. A 26-member Pakistan Women contingent will train in these extreme conditions from May 29 to June 22, as part of the team’s preparations for the 50-over Women’s World Cup Qualifier that is scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka in December.

While acknowledging the severity of the conditions, the PCB has said it had few other options but to train in Multan, given numerous challenges including the need to prepare a bio-secure bubble in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Historically during the summer months, the PCB has mostly held its camps in the city of Abbottabad, which is located in the hilly Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and experiences relatively milder weather than the lower-altitude regions of the country where temperatures often rise above 45 degrees and occasionally touch 50 degrees. But the venue isn’t seen as being feasible for the creation of a bio-secure bubble.

Karachi could have been an option too, but the city is presently facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, while grounds in Central Punjab, according to Urooj Mumtaz, the chair of the PCB’s women’s selection committee, are presently undergoing repair work.

“Each venue had its own challenges around the pandemic,” Mumtaz told ESPNcricinfo. “Multan was the only feasible facility available as a package. It has the ground, gym, and accommodation within one block, and it’s easy to maintain the bio-secure bubble there.

“But we are conscious and mindful of the extreme weather conditions, and that is why we have scheduled the training sessions to avoid the hottest part of the day. We are starting early in the morning and ending by midday, giving them ample rest in the day, and we’ll start again in the evening.”

After the camp concludes, Pakistan Women could return to action after a five-month gap. ESPNcricinfo understands that the PCB and SLC are in talks for a potential series in Sri Lanka in July.

Pakistan Women’s last international fixture was in Zimbabwe, where they won the first ODI before the remainder of the series was cancelled when Emirates Airlines, the Pakistan team’s carrier, announced it would suspend its operations in the Harare-Dubai route eight days before their scheduled departure.

Before that, Pakistan Women had toured South Africa, where they lost the ODI series 3-0, and won the third and final T20I to deny the hosts another series sweep.

Since the aborted Zimbabwe tour, Pakistan Women haven’t played any international cricket, but a group of 26 players underwent a skills and fitness camp in Karachi, similar to the one that is being organised in Multan.

“We need to understand these challenges especially given the situation with Covid, which changes dramatically every other day. But the board is determined to continue to invest in the women’s game and we make sure our girls remain connected to the game so that they don’t get rusty,” Mumtaz said. “Women’s calendar hasn’t been as busy as the men’s has been so far, so it’s important to keep the girls engaged with the elite panel of coaching staff.”

The Multan camp, according to the PCB, will be held in a bio-secure environment, with the players and support staff undergoing pre-arrival Covid-19 tests on Thursday. All those who tested negative are meant to assemble at the National High-Performance Centre in Lahore today and will travel to Multan by road. The players and support staff will be tested upon arrival in Multan and will subsequently go into isolation. Those who test negative will commence training in groups from May 31. The groups will be allowed to train together as units subject to testing negative for a third time on June 4.

Players called up for Multan camp: Aliya Riaz, Aiman Anwer, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Javeria Rauf, Kainat Imtiaz, Kaynat Hafeez, Maham Tariq, Muneeba Ali, Nahida Khan, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Saba Nazir, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Syeda Aroob Shah.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent



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SL vs IND, 2nd T20I, 2021

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He trusted his lower-order team-mates to play big shots if he took the game deep

Bat long and take the game deep. These were the things Dhananjaya de Silva was telling himself during his match-winning 40 not out off 34 balls on Wednesday when he helped deliver Sri Lanka’s first T20I victory in six matches.

Not known for his hitting capability, the match situation was perhaps made for de Silva, who struck only two boundaries – a six and a four – and focused instead on running singles and twos. With a severely depleted India making only 132, Sri Lanka did not require huge fireworks with the bat to chase it down.

“This is what I’m meant to do for the team,” de Silva said after the match. “In the previous match as well, what I’d been told was to bat 20 overs from one side. I wasn’t able to do that in the previous game. Today was my day and I did that. If I can bat at a run-a-ball until the final overs, letting others attack around me, I can raise my strike rate towards the finish as well. That was the coach, captain and selectors’ plan.”



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The Hundred – Jofra Archer not expected to link up with Southern Brave this week

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Team hopeful of having the pacer for the last four games as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery

Southern Brave are not expecting to have Jofra Archer available for either of their next two men’s Hundred fixtures as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery.

Archer has played twice for Sussex in the last 10 days, first bowling three overs in their Vitality Blast win against Kent and a further six against Oxfordshire in a 50-over warm-up match last Tuesday, but has not linked up with the Southern Brave squad since the start of the Hundred and is not expected to do so this week.

“We’re hearing stuff from the medical teams at the ECB and Sussex,” James Vince, the Brave’s men’s captain, said after Tuesday’s defeat to Welsh Fire. “I think he’s maybe undergoing a jab or something yesterday or today, and then hopefully we might get him for the last four [games] or something.

“It’s one of those where I’m staying out of it and leaving it to the experts in that area. Hopefully we do get him because it would be a big boost for us, but if we don’t, we’ve got guys who are capable here.”



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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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