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Recent Match Report – Queensland vs South Aust 3rd Match 2021/22




Half-centuries from Jake Carder and Alex Carey ensured South Australia survived

Queensland 152 & 7 for 451 dec (Khawaja 174, Peirson 132) drew with South Australia 280 & 6 for 244 (Carder 79, Carey 66*, Steketee 3-48)

Jimmy Peirson produced his second century of the season and Mark Steketee claimed a career-best 10-wicket haul but Queensland fell four wickets short of a stunning come-from-behind victory at Adelaide Oval as South Australia held on in an enthralling draw.
Jake Carder and Alex Carey produced fighting half-centuries, with Carey finishing 66 not out to hold off a desperate Bulls’ attack late on the final day.

Queensland made a bold declaration after Peirson dashed to his second century of the season and his third in the past 12 months. He has made three centuries and four half-centuries in his last 12 Sheffield Shield innings, and averaged 59.63, to add his name to the list of wicketkeeper-batter candidates to replace Tim Paine in the Test side whenever the Australia captain retires.

Peirson and Usman Khawaja continued their fine partnership sharing a 195-run stand. Both men played with aggression on the final morning to set up the declaration. Khawaja fell for 174 to a fine catch at midwicket while Peirson raced to 132 before holing out at deep midwicket with the lead at 323. Khawaja immediately declared giving South Australia two-and-a-half sessions and more than 80 overs to chase the target.

The hosts lost Henry Hunt early with Carder and Nathan McSweeney put under extreme pressure as Steketee and Jack Wildermuth gave away just 10 runs in the first 10 overs. But the pair found their groove and put together an 88-run stand to give South Australia a platform with plenty of time remaining.

However, McSweeney was incorrectly adjudged lbw off an inside edge on 32, giving Steketee his ninth wicket of the match. Carder pushed on, taking a liking to Queensland’s two spinners. He moved to 79 before making a mistake, spooning a return catch to Matt Kuhnemann.

That brought Travis Head and Alex Carey together with 194 to win and more than 50 overs remaining. But Steketee snuffed out nearly all of South Australia’s hopes when he removed Head for the second time in the match to secure his first career 10-wicket haul. Head was caught at midwicket chipping a length ball off his pads.

Carey kept the runs flowing but when Harry Neilsen holed at deep square for 13, South Australia shut up shop. Nathan McAndrew faced 30 balls before scoring and chewed up 66 in total to get to the second new ball. Queensland were frustrated by the pair and the umpires making several frivolous appeals an over, with Marnus Labuschagne particularly exasperated that none of the appeals off his bowling were upheld.

Wildermuth knocked over McAndrew with a peach in his first over with the second new ball, but Carey and Daniel Worrall held out as shadows lengthened across the ground in 89th over of the innings.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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England players deserve medals, not criticism after getting through Ashes series



Paul Collingwood believes that the Ashes were “one step too far” and that he is genuinely concerned about the long-term implications on the mental health of players that Covid bubbles are causing.

Speaking in Barbados, where he is standing in for Chris Silverwood as head coach during England’s T20I series against West Indies, and on the island where he became England’s first ever World Cup-winning captain, Collingwood spoke explicitly on the realities of life in the bubble, and fears that the long-term impact of the pandemic on cricketers may be severely damaging.

“I don’t think people have understood the impact and the effects that these bubbles have had,” Collingwood said. “Going to the Ashes off the back of a tough bubble in Dubai, I think was literally one step too far.

“You can’t even explain what it’s like until you experience it. The simple fact is you cannot walk out of your front door and as soon as you’re told that you cannot do something as simple as going for a coffee, and you are penned in with the same guys. A lot of people will say ‘that must be fun’ and ‘you’ve got a lovely hotel’ [but] it hits you.

“Take someone like Chris Woakes, the most loveable and down-to-earth guy. I have seen him in some serious mental states. We have seen Ben Stokes, someone we consider to be the most mentally tough cricketer in the world, being hit by this. I just hope there are no ramifications moving forward because when they come, they won’t be obvious next week or the week after. These are things that might come out down the line. That’s what scares me.”

The England players underwent strict quarantine on the Gold Coast, and managed only two full days of match practice going into the first Test in Brisbane. Rory Burns’ golden duck set the tone for a dismal series as England were bowled out for 147 on the first day and went on to lose 4-0, hanging on for a draw in Sydney while nine wickets down.

Despite England’s hammering, Collingwood stressed that England were facing an impossible task. “I reckon if you had given us the best England cricketers in the Ashes from the last 100 years and put them in the same environment that those boys have lived in over the past two years with the preparation that we had going into this Ashes even they wouldn’t have had a chance,” he said.

Collingwood was part of the England squad that won the 2010-11 Ashes down under and understands precisely the physical and mental levels required to compete in Australia. He retired from international cricket after that winter and since then, England have failed to win a Test match in Australia, across 15 attempts.

Collingwood was part of a group alongside Silverwood, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Woakes and Mark Wood that spent six weeks in a bubble in the UAE, before flying to Australia for their quarantine period on the Gold Coast and insisted that the lack of meaningful preparation only compounded the situation.

And while he admitted that England made mistakes at the toss and in selection, he said that players should be praised for the efforts they had made in getting through the series in a strict environment, suggesting that Cricket Australia should have agreed to a compromise rather than packing five Tests into a short window during the pandemic.

“You are burnt out from the start after your team has been in the intense environment of a World Cup,” he said. “It wasn’t club cricket that these players were coming from. Then there’s just two days of preparation before going into the Ashes. Australia is the hardest place to go to when you’ve got your best team in form and everyone’s playing consistently. We’ve seen that from the past.

“Yes, we made mistakes, 100%. We made selection mistakes, we made toss mistakes, but the fact we actually turned up and agreed to a five-match Ashes series, the guys should be given medals for that. It would’ve been much better if we’d done two matches and then three next year. That would’ve been a great compromise.

“But no, Australia were not bothered that they were going to receive an England team who were mentally fatigued, they just wanted to get the product out there. They just wanted the Ashes. These guys deserve medals, not criticism. They should be told ‘well done’ for even going. It’s the equivalent of the England football team being asked to go to a World Cup, then from that bubble into the Euros. Would you expect a performance from that scenario? It’s ludicrous.”

Ahead of another hectic schedule for England in 2022, which includes tours to West Indies, Netherlands, Pakistan and Australia, as well as a jam-packed home summer and another T20 World Cup in October, Collingwood hopes that at least in England, they can operate without bubbles, but fears that the damage may already have been done – not just for England players but also for cricketers around the world.

“I almost think it is too late to get these messages across,” he said. “These sorts of things should have been brought out in the middle of last summer. We saw the signs then when boys were fading, and it is not healthy for the game. This isn’t just us. We have obviously played the most amount of cricket, but it will catch up with other teams as well.”

Aadam Patel is a freelance sports reporter who has written for BBC Sport, the Daily Mail, ESPNcricinfo, the Cricketer and other publications @aadamp9

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Under-19 World Cup – UAE get past Uganda in low-scoring thriller in Plate quarter-final




le Roux stars for Ireland in their win over Canada

United Arab Emirates 127 for 9 (Smith 25, Musinguzi 3-21, Baguma 3-29) beat Uganda 123 all out (Lutaaya 25, Shetty 4-29) by one wicket

A 12-run last-wicket partnership took UAE over the line in a tense contest against Uganda in the first Plate quarter-final in Port of Spain. Legspinner Adhitya Shetty played a crucial role in the win. First, his legspin yielded figures of 4 for 29 to bowl Uganda out for 123. Then, he made an unbeaten 11 from No. 10 to take his side over the line.

Shetty was among the wickets early in the game when he got the first wicket of the day, dismissing Uganda opener Ronald Opio for 12. Nilansh Keswani struck from the other end, and the three wickets had reduced Uganda from 30 for no loss to 39 for 3. Ronald Lutaaya (25) and Uganda captain Pascal Murungi (23) then added 35 for the fourth wicket, but once Shetty broke the partnership, the rest of the wickets quickly followed. Shetty himself took two more, while Aayan Afzal Khan took two lower order wickets to set themselves a 124-run target.

A 43-run opening stand for between top-scorer Kai Smith (25) and Dhruv Parashar gave UAE a solid start in the chase, but Uganda spinners Joseph Baguma (3-29) and Matthew Musinguzi (3-21) ran through the UAE batting line-up to have them reeling at 82 for 7. Aayan, the No. 9, scored a 38-ball 22 to take UAE closer to the target, but when the ninth wicket fell, the side was still nine runs away from victory. However, Shetty and Jash Giyanani (4*) held on to pip Uganda in a low-scoring thriller.

Ireland 179 all out (le Roux 83*, Gibson 3-36) beat Canada 85 all out (Wilson 3-18, Forbes 2-2, McGuire 2-13) by 94 runs

Le Roux made an unbeaten 83 in 107 balls for Ireland, a clear outlier in the match where the second-highest score from either team was 25. His innings of 12 fours lifted Ireland to 179, after which a combined Irish bowling performance left Canada all out for a sub-100 score.

Ireland seamer Reuben Wilson pegged Canada back early in the chase when he dismissed both openers cheaply. Liam Doherty then reduced Canada to 12 for 3, and by the time Nathan McGuire removed Gurnek Johal Singh, Canada were 41 for 5. Kairav Sharma displayed brief resistance in his 30-ball stay of 19 but two wickets for Jamie Forbes and Wilson’s third scalp ended Canada’s innings on 85 in the 30th over.

Le Roux, the Ireland No. 5, walked in at 34 for 3 in the first innings and stayed unbeaten right till the end. He put on 33 with the captain Tim Tector for the fourth wicket, but a flurry of wickets at the other end had Ireland struggling at 90 for 7. However, a 48-run eighth-wicket stand between le Roux and Forbes (25) took Ireland closer to 140, and a 37-run ninth-wicket stand with Muzamil Sherzad (13) took Ireland to 179.

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PSL 2022 – James Foster replaces Daren Sammy as Peshawar Zalmi head coach




Former West Indies captain being convinced to remain in a mentorship role

James Foster, previously assistant coach, has been elevated to the post of head coach by the Peshawar Zalmi management. ESPNcricinfo understands the franchise is in talks with Daren Sammy over the possibility of extending his role as mentor.

Sammy has been one of the key figures for the franchise since PSL’s inception in 2016, and has been one of the more recognisable overseas faces for the league. He started as vice-captain and took over the leadership following Shahid Afridi’s resignation in 2017.

He was an integral part of the team as a player until 2020 when the franchise made a mid-season shuffle by replacing him with Wahab Riaz as full-time captain. Sammy then had a two-year stint as head coach of the team in 2020 and 2021. For the record, Sammy is yet to officially retire from all cricket and hasn’t played any competitive form of the game since the CPL final in 2020.

Meanwhile, Foster, the former England wicketkeeper, is a familiar name in T20 Leagues and is fast becoming a constant across leagues, having worked in the IPL, BBL, BPL and CPL. He was also consultant with Netherlands.

It’s understood one of the reasons Zalmi were on the lookout for a head coach was because of Sammy’s other commitments as a broadcaster. However, they still are engaging with him to ensure his presence in a mentorship role.

PSL champions of 2017, Zalmi have featured in the most number of PSL finals. They are the second-most successful PSL teams, behind Islamabad United, with 38 wins in 70 games.

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