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Sheffield Shield 2021-22 – Victoria look to kick on after season of development

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There was just one Shield victory last summer, but it was the start of a rebuilding phase for coach Chris Rogers

Captain Peter Handscomb
Coach Chris Rogers

Fixtures
October 27-30: New South Wales (Sheffield Shield), Drummoyne Oval
November 5-8: New South Wales (Sheffield Shield), MCG
November 12: New South Wales (Marsh Cup), MCG

Winter moves
James Seymour, who made his Sheffield Shield debut at the end of last season, earned his first contract in a squad of minimal changes. Victoria put significant faith in youth during the 2020-21 campaign and will hope that brings dividends this season.

Squad
R=Rookie, CA=Australia contract
Scott Boland, Brody Couch (R), Xavier Crone, Travis Dean, Sam Elliott (R), Zak Evans, Aaron Finch (CA), Jake Fraser-McGurk, Seb Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Tom Jackson (R), Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell (CA), Cameron McClure (R), Jonathan Merlo, Todd Murphy (R), Tom O’Connell, Fergus O’Neill (R), Wil Parker, James Pattinson (CA), Mitchell Perry, Will Pucovski, James Seymour, Matt Short, Will Sutherland.

Last season
As with this summer, Victoria had a delayed start to the Sheffield Shield last season due to the need to quarantine in Adelaide. When they did get on the park their early encounters were dominated by the extraordinary run-scoring of Will Pucovski who made back-to-back double centuries. Victoria could not force a win in either of those games, but when the tournament resumed in February a young team secured a notable victory over New South Wales at the SCG with 20-year-old Mitch Perry making an impression. That would be their only win of the season although they were strongly placed against Tasmania before rain ruined the final day chase. Outside of Pucovski and Marcus Harris, captain Peter Handscomb made 511 runs at 46.45. With the ball, Scott Boland was outstanding with 30 wickets at 24.00, bending his back on some flat surfaces. In the Marsh Cup things never got going for them but they avoided last place by beating South Australia.
Player to watch
Having both played all eight matches last season, Perry and Will Sutherland will be looking to further establish themselves in the pace attack. They shared eight wickets in the win over New South Wales and each claimed the scalp of Steve Smith. With some uncertainty over when James Pattinson will be available they will have an important role to play. Sutherland will also be looking for an uptick in his batting returns. Sam Elliott, the son of former Test opener Matthew, and legspinner Wil Parker have also been included in the first squad of the season.

Australia radar
Will Pucovski will miss the opening match as he recovers from another concussion while his shoulder is still not fully functioning after reconstructive surgery. He is facing a short timeframe to make his Ashes case. Marcus Harris is the incumbent Test opener from the Gabba against India in January. Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson are some way down the pecking order. Pattinson would have been firmly in the mix but announced his retirement from international cricket last week.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Recent Match Report – Challengers vs Dhaka 4th Match 2021/22

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Tamim Iqbal scored 52 but no other team-mate could build on that start

Chattogram Challengers 161 for 8 (Jacks 41, Rubel 3-26) beat Minister Group Dhaka 131 (Tamim 52, Shoriful 4-34, Nasum 3-9) by 30 runs

How the match played out

Chattogram Challengers brought down the very experienced Minister Group Dhaka by 30 runs to round off a thrilling second day in the BPL. Nasum Ahmed‘s superb figures of 3 for 9 scripted Dhaka’s doom, including Andre Russell’s wicket, before he could get going in the chase of 162.
Left-arm quick Shoriful Islam mopped up the lower order with career-best T20 figures of 4 for 34, as Dhaka were bowled out for 131 in 19.5 overs. Chattogram had put on a competitive 161 for 8 in 20 overs, with the English pair of Will Jacks and Benny Howell providing big hits at either ends of the innings.
Dhaka were unable to take advantage of a good start provided by Tamim Iqbal‘s 42nd and second straight T20 half-century. Instead, Shoriful and Nasum engineered a collapse by sharing seven wickets in their eight overs.

Big hit

Two big overs helped Chattogram knock over Dhaka. Shoriful took out Tamim, for 52, and Jahurul Islam in the space of three balls in the 12th over. Nasum then removed Mohammad Naim and Dhaka captain Mahmudullah in the 14th over, and Dhaka had slipped from 73 for 1 to 83 for 5 in the space of three overs.

Nasum then took out Russell in his last over. A big hit was palpable but when Russell mistimed a hoick, and Shamim Hossain stayed calm under the skier for his third catch.

Chattogram got an early boost when Jacks struck 41 off 24 balls, with six fours and two sixes over midwicket and square leg, all within the first 7.4 overs. Howell added three sixes of his own, one over long-on and two high over square leg, towards the end of the innings, in his 19-ball 37. Rubel Hossain, meanwhile, made up for his poor figures in the first match, this time taking 3 for 26.

Big miss

After being bizarrely run out on the tournament’s opening day, Russell had another day to forget. He conceded 17 runs in his only over, before getting out for 12. He also dropped two catches. The only saving grace for Russell was the two good catches he held on to.

Chattogram captain Mehidy Hasan Miraz also went wicketless after taking a four-wicket haul in their game on Friday, but he would be more than happy to pick up the hard-fought win.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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BCCI rejigs schedule of India vs West Indies ODIs and T20Is to avoid clash with IPL auction

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The board also confirmed the ODIs will be played in Ahmedabad, followed by the T20Is in Kolkata

The BCCI has confirmed that the venues for the limited-overs series at home against West Indies will be Ahmedabad and Kolkata, and has also advanced the third ODI from February 12 to 11, to avoid a clash with the IPL auction slated for February 12-13. As reported by ESPNcricinfo on January 20, the board had planned to keep the venues to two instead of the original six, to limit any chance of the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the series.

The BCCI said the move was “to mitigate biosecurity risks by cutting down on travel and movement of the teams, match officials, broadcasters, and other stakeholders.”

The tour will begin with three ODIs, which will all take place in Ahmedabad, and the teams will then move to Kolkata for three T20Is. The ODIs are scheduled on February 6, 9 and 11. The opening T20I will now take place on February 16 instead of 15, and the remaining two T20Is will go ahead on February 18 and 20, as originally planned.

As reported by ESPNcricinfo earlier, the BCCI had mooted the change of dates, and was waiting to make an official decision after discussions with Cricket West Indies.

Last September, while unveiling India’s home calendar for 2021-22, the BCCI had named Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Kolkata as the venues for the ODIs, with the original dates being February 6, 9 and 12. The T20Is were to be played in Cuttack, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram, on February 15, 18 and 20.

Apart from avoiding a clash with the IPL auctions, the change in schedule is a precautionary step by the BCCI, taken in response to the growing number of positive cases in India, which is currently experiencing a third wave of the pandemic, with the Omicron variant dominant across the country. Though the impact of this wave has been less severe than the preceding Delta wave, the high degree of transmissiblity of Omicron has led to stringent curbs on movement and public activities, particularly in big cities.



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Recent Match Report – Sunrisers vs Victorians 3rd Match 2021/22

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Nahidul picked up two wickets before scoring 16, as Victorians were made to work hard by Sunrisers

Comilla Victorians 97 for 8 (Janat 18, Nazmul 3-17, Mosaddek 2-10) beat Sylhet Sunrisers 96 (Ingram 20, Mustafizur 2-15, Shohidul 2-15) by two wickets

Comilla Victorians crawled to a two-wicket win in a low-scoring game against Sylhet Sunrisers in Mirpur. The match ended when Kesrick Williams bowled two wides, as Victorians needed two runs off nine balls with two wickets in hand. Victorians’ Nahidul Islam was adjudged Player of the Match after he followed his two wickets with 16 runs.
Sunrisers’ left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam took three wickets, while offspinners Sohag Gazi and captain Mosaddek Hossain got two each. However, all their effort went in vain. Despite Victorians slipping to 88 for 8 in the 17th over, Mahidul Islam and Tanvir Islam, unbeaten on 9 and 3 respectively, got the job done.
Big hit
Sohag Gazi, out of the national side’s reckoning for five years, removed Victorians’ openers Faf du Plessis and Cameron Delport, before Mosaddek had Mominul Haque and Imrul Kayes caught on the off side. Karim Janat and Nahidul then added 27 runs for the sixth wicket, but both fell to Nazmul.
Janat holed out at deep cover, while Nahidul gave Colin Ingram a simple catch at point. When Ravi Bopara took a tumbling catch at long-on to dismiss Shohidul Islam, Victorians were in trouble. With six required off the last two overs, Williams bowled a poor 19th over to hand victory to Victorians.

Earlier, Sunrisers had batted similarly when they lost their top order early. Ingram fell to a miscued pull off seamer Shohidul for 20, giving Victorians control with the ball. Offspinner Nahidul bowled his four overs in one go, taking 2 for 20, as he made an impressive return to Victorians’ colours after six years.

Left-arm spinner Tanvir followed it up with more control, taking 1 for 10 from his four overs. It encouraged Victorians captain Kayes to bring on the part-timer Mominul who removed Bopara. Mustafizur Rahman and Shohidul then completed the formalities, bowling Sunrisers out for 96 in 19.1 overs.

Big miss
Several of Bangladesh’s batting stars had a poor outing in this game. Sunrisers’ Anamul Haque, Mohammad Mithun and captain Mosaddek got out for single digits. Nahidul removed both Anamul, who lost his balance while trying to cut the ball, and Mithun, who was caught at point.
Mosaddek gave Ariful Haque an easy catch at slip.

Kayes swung and missed a couple of balls before hitting one to cover. Mominul holed out to short third man. du Plessis, billed as the BPL’s
biggest star this season, also fell for a single-digit score when Gazi had him caught-and-bowled for 2.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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