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Recent Match Report – Scotland vs P.N.G. 5th Match, First Round Group B 2021/22

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Second win in a row puts Scotland in a great position to make it to the Super 12s

Scotland 165 for 9 (Berrington 70, Cross 45, Morea 4-31, Soper 3-24) beat Papua New Guinea 148 (Vanua 47, Davey 4-18) by 17 runs

Papua New Guinea threatened a late heist courtesy the big-hitting Norman Vanua after stumbling to 35 for 5 in a 166 chase, but Scotland’s experience and excellent work up until then helped them prevail for their second win of the T20 World Cup, and PNG’s second loss.

Scotland now top Group B, but in minimising the margin of defeat, PNG may have ensured they will have to wait till the end of their final game to see if they can progress to the Super 12s or not. In case there is a three-way on two wins each, or on one win each, it will come down to net run-rate.

For PNG, this was a massive improvement from their ten-wicket pounding against Oman. In Vanua and Chad Soper, who had an excellent game with bat and ball, they had two heroic performances that nearly helped them achieve the impossible. In the end, they fell 17 short, having to rue their top order meltdown. When Josh Davey, the fast bowler, picked up the final wicket, to finish with 4 for 18, the relief in the Scotland camp was palpable.

0:33

WATCH - Richie Berrington raises fifty with four over the bowler's head

WATCH – Richie Berrington raises fifty with four over the bowler’s head

PNG’s early strikes
George Munsey looked to premeditate and picked off two boundaries courtesy slog sweeps off legspinner Charles Amini, but fell soon after as he top-edged a heave to square leg in the fourth over. It came on the back of left-arm seamer Kabua Morea giving PNG their first World Cup wicket. Beaten on the outside edge on Sunday, Kyle Coetzer was deceived by a slower delivery that nipped back in to beat his inside edge this time. Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross, in his 50th T20I, then needed to rebuild as Soper’s accuracy and late movement kept them honest.

Berrington and Cross rescue act
Having struggled early on to gauge the pace of the pitch, Berrington, who had scored five runs in ten balls, broke the shackles by launching legspinner Lega Siaka for a big six down the ground. It proved to be the trigger for him to get going. His quick footwork to fully go back or get right to the pitch helped negotiate the spinners. And Cross’ tactful strike rotation ensured Scotland didn’t get stuck. He launched the half-century stand off just 44 balls by muscling a slog sweep into the stands, Amini coming in for special treatment. His four wicketless overs would eventually cost 41.

The acceleration
Scotland smashed three fours and three sixes between overs ten and 13, picking 42 off those in all, to signal a significant shift in momentum. Cross was a beneficiary of some friendly long-hops that he put away over the ropes, and PNG’s sloppy outfielding also contributed to the run-bleeding. Ironically, it was a long hop that had Cross pulling one to the lone man on the leg side at deep midwicket for a 36-ball 45 in the 15th over. It brought an end to the 92-run third-wicket stand, Scotland’s highest for any wicket in T20Is. An excellent final over from Nosaina Pokana, where he executed his yorkers well, and tight bowling from Soper that included the wickets of Calum MacLeod and Berrington in the space of three balls, denied Scotland a final kick after they looked set for 180-plus at one stage. Morea picked up three wickets in his final over with the batters looking for the big hits, finishing with 4 for 31.

1:13

WATCH - Smart-work by Cross runs out Amini

WATCH – Smart-work by Cross runs out Amini

PNG’s sorry collapse
PNG came out swinging, lost shape, and lost wickets. The openers fell inside four overs, Assad Vala sparkled briefly before hitting to mid-off, Amini was brilliantly run-out by Michael Leask‘s rocket throw from the deep as he wandered out for a second, and Berrington plucked a one-handed stunner at backward point. PNG were 35 for 5 inside the powerplay.
Vanua, Doriga’s fightback
Faced with a steep ask, Vanua struck a few meaty blows to keep PNG’s interest fluttering. His takedown of Brad Wheal in an 18-run over brought the equation down to 62 off the last five overs. His mantra was simple: clear front leg, keep stable base, and swing like a golfer. As the runs suddenly cascaded, Kiplin Doriga found his hitting range against legspinner Chris Greaves as the 16th over went for 16. Suddenly, the pressure was on Scotland as the pair raised a half-century stand off just 25 balls. Then, the Mark Watt-Matt Cross combine dealt a massive blow to remove a charging Doriga, Cross collecting a full and wide half-volley way outside off to effect a smart stumping. It deflated PNG, who eventually went out with their heads held high.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Pat Cummins eager for clarity over Justin Langer’s contract

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The coach is not certain to get a new deal despite T20 World Cup and Ashes success

Pat Cummins is keen to have clarity on Justin Langer‘s contract status beyond this summer’s Ashes, insisting Australia’s Test side “absolutely love” their coach.

The future of Langer, who comes off contract in mid-2022 and has made it clear he is keen to continue, remains an unresolved talking point.

Langer came under intense pressure to keep his job last year, when Cummins and other on-field leaders delivered forthright feedback about dressing-room disgruntlement.

The former Test opener changed his ways, adopting more of a low-key role as Australia went on to win the Twenty20 World Cup and retain the urn. But there remains speculation Cricket Australia will opt to move Langer on.

Cummins, asked about Langer after Australia claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-Test series against England, bluntly replied that “his contract is up for renewal in a few months and we’ll deal with that then”.

He struck a more diplomatic note in Hobart, speaking after his four-wicket haul helped Australia claim a first-innings lead of 115 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test.

“That’s above my pay grade. We’ll wait and see, it’d be nice to have clarity for everyone,” Cummins said. “But he’s been doing a fantastic job, we absolutely love JL.

“He’s been really great through the World Cup and the Ashes. Honestly, it’s not been a talking point at all within the camp.

“The plan has always been to chat about it after the Ashes, so the powers that be, I’m sure, will chat at some stage. But he’s been fantastic for us and the boys love having him around.”

CA chief executive Nick Hockley and high-performance boss Ben Oliver are yet to set a definitive timeline around the call on Langer, likewise a final decision on potentially splitting the role by installing separate white-ball and red-ball mentors.

But the growing expectation is the elephant in the room will be addressed soon after the Ashes series finale. Oliver noted last month that CA will take player feedback on board before resolving Langer’s future.

Former captain Steve Waugh, who worked under Langer as a consultant during the 2019 Ashes, offered strong support for his former team-mate on social media.

“Position in doubt? Influenced the culture and character of the team after the Cape Town debacle,” Waugh posted on Instagram. “Coached the team to a winning World Cup 20/20 and now to a commanding Ashes victory. Time to put the rumours and innuendo to rest. #respect #culture #character.”

Other former team-mates of Langer have also offered their support in recent days with Shane Warne questioning why he had not already had his deal renewed.

“I don’t know what everyone’s waiting for,” Warne told Fox Cricket. “He should be signed up in my opinion because he’s done such a good job.

“We’re not inside the dressing room, so we don’t know all the inside-outs, but I think the only way we can judge a coach is from the performances and has Australian cricket got better? Is the better of cricket better domestically? Is there a group of players? There’s probably three or four players outside this squad now that could all play and that wasn’t there a couple of years ago.”

Australia do not have much of a break in their schedule after the Ashes with limited-overs matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka from late January to mid-February.

That is then followed by the tour of Pakistan, Australia’s first to the country since 1998, which also falls within Langer’s current contract. There will be the need to split coaches during that period with a brief T20I series in New Zealand during March, the same situation that was set to occur last season before the South Africa tour was postponed.



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Recent Match Report – South Z (BD) vs Cent Z (BD) Final 2021/22

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Bowlers, Al-Amin shine as Central beat South by six wickets after bowling them out for 163

Central Zone 164 for four (Al-Amin 53 not out, Mizanur 39, Ahmed 3 for 32) beat South Zone 163 all out (Pinak 35) by six wickets

Central Zone completed a domestic double after they beat South Zone by six wickets in the BCL One-Day final held at the Sylhet International Stadium on Saturday. Central Zone took 42.3 overs to chase down 164 in the low-scoring tournament.

Asked to bat first, South Zone were bowled out for 163 runs in 48.5 overs. They gave away a good start as they slipped to 99 for four after Anamul Haque and Pinak Ghosh added 51 for the opening stand. Nahidul Islam’s 31 took them past the 150-mark.

In reply, Soumya and Mizanur Rahman helped Central Zone get off to a brisk start. The duo added 65 for the opening stand in 12.1 overs. Al-Amin Hossain followed it up with an unbeaten 53, adding 88 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Mosaddek, who remained unbeaten on 33.

Captain Mosaddek was later adjudged the Player-of-the-Match and the Player-of-the-Series for scoring 148 runs and taking six wickets in the tournament. Imrul Kayes was the only batter to score more than 150 runs in the competition while Soumya was one of the four bowlers to take seven wickets.

Earlier this month, Central Zone had won the BCL first-class competition after they beat South Zone by four wickets in a tense final day.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Sans big names, Sri Lanka eye crucial Super League points against Zimbabwe

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Sri Lanka could be pushed out of the top eight in the table to qualify directly for the next World Cup, while Zimbabwe are dead last



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