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Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Australia 22nd Match, Group 1 2021/22

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Combined bowling efforts from Zampa and Starc tied Sri Lanka down to 154 for 6

Australia 155 for 3 (Warner 65, Finch 37, Hasaranga 2-22) beat Sri Lanka 154 for 6 (Perera 35, Zampa 2-12) by seven wickets

David Warner returned to form with a powerful half-century as Australia started the Super 12s with back-to-back victories. For the second match in a row, Australia chased a target – although there was minimal drama this time, as Sri Lanka were made to pay for dropping Warner early in his innings.
Sri Lanka’s attack has played a big part in their success in the tournament so far, but the challenge provided by Australia represented a step up. Their three frontline quicks were largely treated with disdain, allowing Australia to tread carefully against the legerdemain of Maheesh Theekshana. Two wickets in consecutive overs from Wanindu Hasaranga, accounting for Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, did lift Sri Lankan hopes only for a half-century stand between Warner and Steven Smith to steady the chase.
Having chosen to bowl, Finch was grateful to the combined efforts of Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc as Australia dragged the innings back during the middle period. With Charith Asalanka providing the spark, Sri Lanka rattled along to 53 for 1 in the powerplay and were well-placed approaching halfway, only for Zampa to induce a slide from 78 for 1 to 94 for 5.

Zampa finished with fine figures of 2 for 12, while Starc’s pace accounted for Kusal Perera, Sri Lanka’s joint top-scorer alongside Asalanka, and the dangerous Hasaranga. Some resourceful batting from Bhanuka Rajapaksa helped repair some of the damage, as Sri Lanka managed to set a target above 150 – but it was not enough to stretch Australia, who became the 13th side out of 17 to win batting second in Dubai this year.

The Zampa and Starc Show

Legspin and pace – always an exciting combo, and two of the weapons of choice in T20. Sri Lanka had recovered well from the early loss of Pathum Nissanka, with Asalanka and Perera racing during a second-wicket partnership worth 63 before Zampa made the breakthrough in the 10th over. Sri Lanka have the worst record against legspin since the last World Cup, among all teams in the Super 12 stage, and Asalanka’s dismissal slogging against the turn of a googly precipitated a middle-order collapse.

In the next over, Starc responded to being slammed for six over long-on by sending a searing yorker through Perera’s defences and into the base of leg stump. Avishka Fernando top-edged an attempted slog-sweep off Zampa and Wanindu Hasaranga was then caught behind aiming an expansive drive at Starc, as Sri Lanka lost 4 for 16 in the space of 17 deliveries to put Australia on top.

Openers find form

Australia have kept faith with Finch and Warner at the top of the order, despite their slim recent returns – and that faith was repaid handsomely, as the experienced opening pair took advantage of a sloppy Sri Lanka start with the ball to reach 63 without loss after six, the highest powerplay score in all T20 World Cups.

Defending what was roughly a par score batting first on this ground, Sri Lanka needed early wickets. But Chamika Karunaratne’s first over was loose, twice going short and wide to allow Finch to cut fours – with those two boundaries, Australia’s captain had already raised his highest score in seven T20I innings in the UAE. And with the ball coming on nicely under lights, he took on the extra pace of Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, ramping the former over third and then lofting a straight six, before another four off Chameera brought up Australia’s 50 in the fifth over.

0:25

WATCH - David Warner punches through the covers to bring up fifty

WATCH – David Warner punches through the covers to bring up fifty

Warner has been in even worse nick, but he reverse-scooped a boundary in Theekshana’s exploratory over and rode his luck on the way to his highest T20 score since making 85 not out for Sunrisers Hyderabad almost a year ago. He should have been dismissed on 18, after gloving Chameera behind, but Perera dropped a simple chance and Warner drew on all his experience to produce the goods when needed.

Balancing act

The switch from playing five specialist bowlers to trying to fiddle their allocation from a clutch of allrounders has been a recent one for Australia, and this match demonstrated both sides of the coin. Maxwell got through four cheap overs in the win over South Africa but was taken down by Asalanka in the powerplay here, meaning Finch turned to Marcus Stoinis – only for Rajapaksa to collar him at the death as Sri Lanka kicked on.

In all, four overs from Australia’s “fifth bowler” cost them 51 runs, almost exactly a third of Sri Lanka’s total. But the benefit of adding depth to their batting was also clear to see. A confident start from the openers, hitherto lacking out in the UAE, meant Maxwell could be sent in at No. 3 to attack the spinners; and although he failed, Smith kept things ticking over before Stoinis came out and whacked 16 off seven balls to demonstrate his appetite for the finisher’s role. Mitchell Marsh, who wasn’t required to bat or bowl and was rarely called on in the field, couldn’t have had much easier night’s work.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick



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2022 English season – County Championship gets midsummer boost as 2022 fixtures are announced

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Bob Willis Trophy shelved, Yorkshire retained in Division One, Blast to be played in single block

“Lessons have been learnt” from England’s poor Test showing in 2021, according to Neil Snowball, the ECB’s managing director of county cricket, following the announcement of a 2022 domestic schedule which will provide prospective Test players more opportunity for red-ball cricket in the lead-up to their encounters with New Zealand, South Africa and India this summer.

Two “County Select XI” fixtures against New Zealand and South Africa, distinct from the England Lions set-up, have been added to the schedule as well, to provide Test candidates with further opportunities to pit themselves against the tourists. This comes after complaints in 2021 that England were undercooked going into their main campaign of the summer, against India in August and September, following just two Championship rounds in early July prior to the launch of the first season of the Hundred.

“It’s obviously well documented and acknowledged that recent results were extremely disappointing which again has called for a look at our approach to red-ball cricket,” Snowball said. “Clearly, the men’s domestic game has got a significant role to play in that, in terms of making sure that we can develop the best possible Test players who can then go on to aspire to be the best team in the world. We don’t think that county cricket has all the answers, but it certainly has some of the answers, and it certainly has an important role to play going forward, along with the first-class counties and the PCA and other stakeholders.”

Yorkshire have been included in the schedule as a Division One team, in spite of the ongoing investigation into the racism scandal that rocked the club in 2021 and may yet lead to further sanctions from the Cricket Discipline Committee (CDC), while both the Bob Willis Trophy final and the traditional Champion County versus MCC fixture, which has been held in the UAE and Barbados in recent seasons, have been shelved.
The Bob Willis Trophy, hastily arranged for the delayed 2020 season, was a success in providing context to a condensed first-class programme and culminated in a showpiece final at Lord’s. However, last season’s final was an anti-climax – comfortably won by Warwickshire, for whom it was a distant second to their County Championship triumph.

“The Bob Willis Trophy served us very well in 2020 to rescue the season, and of course we played for it last year as well,” Snowball said. “We’re very keen to continue to celebrate Bob’s legacy with a Bob Willis Trophy in some format but we’re not quite sure what that’s going to be yet. We’re in discussions with his family on that.”

In a bid to maximise the counties’ preference for Blast fixtures towards the back end of the working week, 99 of the 126 fixtures have been scheduled for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And, in an echo of the successful staging of the Hundred, in which the majority of women’s fixtures were played as double-headers alongside the men, ten Charlotte Edwards Cup matches will also feature on the same bill as the Blast, and at their respective county HQs.

Alan Fordham, the ECB’s head of cricket operations, said that the counties’ desire to put the women’s game on an equal footing to the men had been a factor in the double-header decision – as had the double bank holiday at the beginning of June, which encompasses half term and will provide an opportunity for more families to attend the matches. At this stage, one of the double-headers is due to be televised on Sky Sports.

A further boost for the women’s game will come with the final of the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, which is due to be held at Lord’s for the first time, on Sunday, September 25. The men’s Royal London Cup final will once again be held at Trent Bridge, but has been moved back to a Saturday (September 17), having been held on a Thursday last season.

“The women’s game is just going to have a phenomenal year,” Snowball added. “We’ve got the Ashes starting in Adelaide. We’ve got the Women’s World Cup and then the Commonwealth Games In Birmingham as well as the second edition of the Hundred. So it’s a huge year for women’s domestic cricket and international cricket. We look forward to seeing how that unfolds.”

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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CPL 2022 – Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Curtly Ambrose join Jamaica Tallawahs coaching staff

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The pair have been appointed as head coach and bowling coach respectively

Former West Indies batter Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been named Jamaica Tallawahs head coach for the 2022 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) while Curtly Ambrose, the former West Indies quick, has been roped in as bowling coach.
Chanderpaul, 47, represented West Indies in 164 Tests, 264 ODIs, and 22 T20Is, scoring more than 20,000 international runs in an international career that began in 1994 and ended in 2015. He replaces Floyd Reifer, who quit the position after taking over as head coach of the West Indies Under-19 side.

Ambrose, 58, took 405 wickets in Tests and 225 wickets in ODIs in an international career spanning 274 matches over 12 years, from 1988 to 2000. He has had spells as bowling coach of West Indies – he was in the role when the team won the T20 World Cup in 2016 – as well as in the CPL (with Guyana Amazon Warriors for three years). He also spent three years as assistant coach of the Combined Campuses and Colleges in Caribbean regional cricket. He is qualified to Level 3 standard.

“Shivnarine has had an illustrious playing career and is one of the greats of the game. He has served West Indies cricket with distinction, and I know he will take the Tallawahs to new heights,” Krishna Persaud, the Tallawahs owner, said. “Sir Curtly brings in a lot of technical expertise and experience to the Tallawahs and we look forward to having him in the team.”

Chanderpaul said being appointed the head coach was an honour.

“It’s an absolute honour to be appointed as the new Head Coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs and I am really looking forward to working with the players and support staff to bring another championship to Jamaica,” Chanderpaul said.

Andre Coley will serve as the Tallawahs assistant coach. He was part of the inaugural management team at the High Performance Centre Programme in Barbados from 2010-2013.



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Mark Boucher charged with ‘gross misconduct’

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South Africa’s head coach to face a disciplinary hearing chaired by senior counsel advocate Terry Motau; he will remain in his role as coach in the interim

In a follow-up to the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report, Mark Boucher has been charged with gross misconduct by Cricket South Africa, and will face a disciplinary hearing chaired by senior counsel advocate Terry Motau. Boucher remains in his role as head coach of the senior men’s team, and will be with the team as they take on India in the second ODI in Paarl on Friday.

On Thursday, CSA named Motau as chairperson of the disciplinary hearing into the allegations of misconduct against Boucher, and said in a statement that the coach had been presented with his charge sheet.

The statement said: “It is proposed that the parties [Boucher] will meet with Advocate [Motau] on 26th January 2022 to determine a timetable for the proceedings.

“This follows December’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report, which made tentative findings regarding allegations of discrimination and racism against various persons, including Mr Boucher. Specifically, during the SJN process, allegations of racism were levelled against Mr Boucher by his former Proteas team-mate, Paul Adams.
“CSA confirms that a charge sheet, containing both the disciplinary charges against Mr Boucher, as well as his rights, was provided to him on 17 January. The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.

“While Mr Boucher is being charged with gross misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal, CSA emphasises it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise.”

Responding to the development, Boucher issued a statement of his own later in the day, saying: “I look forward to dealing with and defending these allegations which have been made and will do so at the hearing in due course. For now I am solely focused on my duties as head coach of the Proteas.”*

The SJN report, which was released in December, made “tentative” findings that Boucher, among others, had engaged in prejudicial and discriminatory conduct in the past on the basis of race. But ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza was unable to make definite findings, and recommended to CSA that a further process be undertaken for this. This secondary process is now what CSA is flagging off, with Motau at the helm.

The CSA statement said further steps in this regard will be announced “in due course”. “Further steps and action by CSA to transform cricket and act on other applicable recommendations in the SJN report, aligned to the Board’s new strategic framework and pillars of access, inclusion and excellence, will be announced in due course.”

*2.45pm GMT, February 20: The article was updated with Boucher’s statement.



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