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Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 – West Indies

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Back in the mix after six years, seamer hopes his experience would help the team in their T20 World Cup defence

When Trinidad & Tobago enjoyed a barnstorming run to the inaugural Champions League T20 final in 2009, Ravi Rampaul proved an able foil to Dwayne Bravo, who finished as the highest wicket-taker that season. Twelve years later, Bravo is a T20 phenom and Rampaul is still relevant in the shortest format as the pair get back together to lead West Indies’ seam attack at the forthcoming World Cup in the UAE.

“My experience [with Derbyshire] will help [lead the bowling line-up] and there’s Dwayne Bravo as well,” Rampaul said, speaking from West Indies’ base in Dubai. “We have a lot of guys who have been playing a lot of T20 franchise cricket around the world and we could feed off each other with our experience and when different situations in the game come up, we can come together and have a plan to go ahead.”

Rampaul, who has been playing county cricket for a number of years as a Kolpak player, had marked his CPL return in 2021, with a chart-topping 19 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 16.21 and an economy rate of 7.96 for Trinbago Knight Riders. Fourteen of those 19 wickets came in the powerplay and the death in largely sluggish conditions. He was particularly potent during the field restrictions, giving up only 99 runs off 78 balls. Rampaul backs himself to bowl the tough overs for West Indies, too, despite being absent from the national team for almost six years.

“Yeah, definitely [see myself doing a top-tail role] for the West Indies,” Rampaul said. “I’ve done a lot of practice bowling in the three areas of T20 cricket and whatever situation I’ve to play for the West Indies, I’ll try to do my best. I strive on the tough areas of the game to come out on top. So, whatever situation I’m put under, I’ll try to come out on top.”

Multiple injuries have troubled Rampaul in the past, but the 37-year-old seamer felt that he is now in a better space to understand his body and work accordingly.

“With the experience gained, I know exactly what my body needs to perform. At a younger age, I didn’t know and I just wanted to continue playing cricket every day,” Rampaul said. “But, with the experience gained, playing over the years, I know exactly how I need to train – the sort of gym and running work I need to do, so with that experience right now, I feel I’m a bit better at preparing for more games that way.”



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Recent Match Report – Hurricanes vs Renegades 53rd Match 2021/22

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Melbourne Renegades crash out of the race, must now win their final match to stand a chance of avoiding the wooden spoon

Hobart Hurricanes 5 for 182 (Wade 48, David 46*, Lalor 2-37, Boyce 2-37) beat Melbourne Renegades 6 for 176 ( Finch 75, Marsh 51, Rogers 3-35, Lamichhane 2-27) by six runs

Smart bowling from Hobart Hurricanes helped them clinch the final BBL playoff spot after a thrilling six-run victory over Melbourne Renegades. The result knocked Stars from the playoff race ahead of their clash with Sydney Thunder on Wednesday.

Hurricanes had looked in grave danger of failing to defend their 182 at Marvel Stadium with an Aaron Finch-led Renegades cruising at 2 for 161 in the 18th over. But Hurricanes found inspiration with seamer Tom Rogers claiming two wickets in the penultimate over, including Finch for 75, as they hung on to secure victory.

The bottom-placed Renegades now need to win their last match, against Thunder, to stand a chance of avoiding a third straight wooden-spoon finish.

Hurricanes find a way at the death
Hurricanes looked lifeless against Finch and Shaun Marsh, who combined for a second-wicket century partnership. A vintage Finch appeared to be leading Renegades to victory until Hurricanes clawed back into the contest with their season in the balance.
Sandeep Lamichhane, who had earlier taken the wicket of Marsh, was superb in the 18th over with a game-turning dismissal of debutant Unmukt Chand, who had become the first Indian cricketer to play in the BBL.

Then Rogers claimed the big wicket of Finch to decisively turn the game the Hurricanes’ way. That eased the pressure on them ahead of their final league-stage game against Melbourne Stars, even though their playoff position is still undecided.

In further good news for Hurricanes, they are set to welcome back Ashes cult hero Scott Boland, whose sole BBL game this season was against Perth Scorchers on December 14.

Finch stands tall but Renegades collapse
Renegades could well be wondering how their season might have gone with a fit and firing Finch and Marsh, who both missed large chunks of the tournament with injuries.

Marsh turned the clock back with a 38-ball 51 complete with gorgeous strokes around the wicket, but it was Finch who looked best-placed to get Renegades over the line until his dismissal triggered a collapse.

Finch appeared to have timed his run to perfection, but Renegades lost 4 for 15 at the end to suffocate under the pressure in a disappointing performance that encapsulated another poor season for them.

Hurricanes’ batting packs a punch
After an erratic season, Hurricanes have settled on their batting order and No. 3 Matthew Wade has taken to his new role after a sluggish run mid-season in a major boost for their title hopes. The Hurricanes captain helped his side overcome the early loss of Ben McDermott and showed his intent by smashing a six off spinner Cameron Boyce‘s first delivery in the eighth over.
Wade fell just short of his second straight half-century – having made just eight runs in four prior innings – but Hurricanes received a late flurry from D’Arcy Short and Tim David with the pair pummelling 51 off just 22 balls.

In another welcome boost for Hurricanes, an aggressive Short showed great form with 37 off 22 in his most fluent knock of a difficult season, where he had been demoted from opener to No. 4 and entered the match with a low strike rate of 103.

But even he was overshadowed by the big-hitting David, who smashed 46 from 20 balls with four sixes. Hurricanes have had a dilemma all season whether to utilise their designated finisher up the order, and David showed his prowess with his highest score of the season.

Evans pulls off a stunner
Without spearhead Kane Richardson, who has had an excellent season, Renegades’ weakened attack needed someone to step up, and youngster Zak Evans did exactly that in his third BBL match of the season.

First, he took one of the best catches of the tournament to dismiss McDermott – a one-handed blinder after he ran back 30 metres from the edge of the ring and dived backward.

Then the 21-year-old was entrusted to bowl in the power surge and his plan to pitch up worked when he claimed the key wicket of Wade. He couldn’t quite finish the job against a red-hot Short at the death, but it was an encouraging performance from him overall.

It was needed for Renegades with frontline spinner Zahir Khan, who started the season superbly, once again wicketless, having taken just five wickets in his last ten matches.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth



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Recent Match Report – Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI 2021/22

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Zimbabwe 302 for 8 (Ervine 91, Raza 56, Vandersay 3-51) beat Sri Lanka 280 for 9 (Shanaka 102, Kamindu 57, Chatara 3-52, Muzarabani 3-56) by 22 runs

Regis Chakabva provided the innings’ early impetus, Craig Ervine hit 91 and put on 106 with Sean Williams, and Sikandar Raza struck a half-century late in the piece to get Zimbabwe to 302 for 7. But the visiting bowlers had to hold their nerve too. In the face of a Dasun Shanaka hundred, which threatened to turn the game after Sri Lanka’s terrible start, Blessing Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava bowled exceptional final spells to suck the oxygen out of Sri Lanka’s desperate chase, eventually sealing a 22-run win that leveled the series.

Earlier in Sri Lanka’s innings, Zimbabwe’s seamers had struck perhaps the most decisive blows of the match. Tendai Chatara bowled Kusal Mendis in the fifth over, Muzarabani then had Pathum Nissanka caught behind for 16, before having Dinesh Chandimal out at slip in his next over. Sri Lanka were 31 for 3, then when Charith Asalanka got out, 63 for 4 in the 15th over.

That the hosts recovered was down to Shanaka, and the 118-run fourth-wicket stand he put on with Kamindu Mendis. But the required rate continued to climb right through that partnership, and although Shanaka progressed to his first international century in the company of Chamika Karunaratne, he could never quite push his team into the ascendancy. He got to triple figures with a six over deep square leg, but when he holed out to long off the next ball, with 56 still to get off 32 deliveries, Sri Lanka’s chase essentially lost its last serious hope.

Sri Lanka went down by 22 runs in the end, their last wicket pair in the middle at the close. Chatara and Muzarabani shared three wickets apiece, while Ngarava and Wessley Madhevere took one each. Left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza contributed to Zimbabwe’s defence too, conceding just 34 from his eight overs.

Zimbabwe had only hit seven less in the previous ODI, on a very similar surface, and at the same ground. But this time, they took Sri Lanka by the collar by claiming early wickets.

Kusal Mendis had been dropped at third man off Muzarabani in the second over, but Chatara ensured the mistake would barely cost Zimbabwe, nipping one back off the pitch to breach his defences, for 7. Nissanka, arguably Sri Lanka’s best batter in the previous ODI, was out next over, edging a teasing Muzarabani delivery behind.

When Chandimal edged Muzarabani to the slips in the eighth over, it left Sri Lanka at 31 for 3. Already the hosts’ chances were dwindling. When Asalanka departed for 23, the hosts’ plight appeared pretty much shot.

Kamindu Mendis and Shanaka kept the hosts alive with the biggest stand of the game. Where Kamindu was watchful, Shanaka was aggressive from very early in his innings, smoking Madhevere over midwicket for six off the sixth ball he faced, before crashing him for four through cover later in that over. Shanaka continued to find regular boundaries, particularly square of the wicket. But as briskly as he scored, it never seemed quick enough to put Sri Lanka in control, particularly as Kamindu scored at a measured pace through the course of his knock.

By the end of the 30th over, the required rate had crept up to 7.65. After the 35th, it was up to 8.06, and Kamindu had just got out. Shanaka and Karunaratne then put on 66 together, but the runs didn’t come fast enough, and the partnership was not sufficiently substantial.

Zimbabwe’s own innings had been, like it was on Sunday, a group project in which a middle-order left-hander took the lead. This time, it was captain Ervine that played the defining knock. He put the bad legside balls away to begin his innings, and then settled into a diet of frequent singles and twos into the outfield, rarely missing the opportunity for a risk-free run. He and Williams ensured Zimbabwe’s run rate skipped along at more than 5.5 an over through the course of their big partnership, with Ervine reaching his fifty off the 56th ball he faced.

Later, Raza played a vital innings too. He hit a six off the sixth ball he faced, in the 37th over, and did not let his strike rate dip below fifty for the majority of his innings, getting to his half-century off the 41st ball he faced.

Zimbabwe had rolled up to the 40th over on 232 for 4, and Sri Lanka would perhaps reflect that from that position, they had done well to keep the opposition to 70 runs in the last 10 overs. But when Zimbabwe’s quicks made those early strikes, the outlook of the the match changed dramatically.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf



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Former TN and IPL player R Sathish gets offer of INR 40 lakh to ‘fix’ match

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BCCI anti-corruption unit helps player lodge police complaint following the offer, made through Instagram

Former Tamil Nadu batter R Sathish has filed a police complaint in Bengaluru after being approached on social media to fix a match.

In the complaint, filed on January 14 and seen by ESPNcricinfo, Sathish has mentioned that on January 3 he was approached by a person named Bunny Anand, who “offered” the player INR 40 lakh (USD 53,000 approx) to “fix” a match. In the complaint, filed in the Jayanagar police station in Bengaluru, Sathish has also alleged that Anand told him “two other” players had “already agreed” to fix the match. The statement said that Sathish politely declined to entertain the offer.

Sathish also declined to respond to ESPNcricinfo when asked about which match or tournament Anand was referring to concerning the alleged fix. While Sathish, who turned 40 on January 14 (the day he lodged the complaint), last played on the Indian domestic circuit in 2017, he has continued to be an active player featuring in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Premier League, where he represents Chepauk Super Gillies.

Having received Anand’s message, Sathish is believed to have alerted all the concerned authorities, including the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the BCCI, before being advised by the board’s anti-corruption unit to approach the police. According to BCCI ACU chief Shabir Hussein Khandwawala, the board’s ACU officer B Lokesh facilitated Sathish in lodging the FIR. Khandwawala said that the BCCI had informed the ICC’s ACU. “For the offer made of 40 lakh in an attempt to fix the games, abetting a crime and thus cheat the game of cricket, the complaint is accepted,” the police’s first information report (FIR) said.

Sathish gained more prominence in the first half of the 2010s, when he featured in the IPL. In all, he played for three IPL teams. He was part of Mumbai Indians in 2010 and 2011, having been picked up after the players who had joined the banned and now-defunct Indian Cricket League were allowed back into the BCCI’s fold. He then played for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2013, and his final IPL stint was with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2016.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo



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