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Recent Match Report – Queensland vs Tasmania 6th Match 2021/22

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Queensland declare to give the Tigers a mammoth chase but Jewell and Ward produce a century opening stand late in the day

Tasmania 182 (Kuhnemann 5-60) & 1 for 127 (Jewell 65*, Ward 54) trail Queensland 6 for 487 dec & 1 for 132 dec (Labuschagne 60*) by 310 runs

Matthew Kuhnemann‘s maiden five-wicket haul for Queensland, a rollicking half-century from Marnus Labuschagne and an assured century opening stand from Tasmania pair Caleb Jewell and Tim Ward has set up a fascinating final day in Townsville with the visitors well-placed in pursuit of a fourth-innings target of 438.

Tasmania appeared to let the game slip early on the third day when they folded to be all out for 182 in the first innings with Kuhnemann spinning through the lower-order. But an excellent partnership of 118 from Jewell and Ward has given the Tigers some hope at stumps. They lost Ward for 54, but Jewell remained 65 not out with nine wickets in hand and 311 needed for a remarkable win on the final day.

Such a position seemed fanciful when they crumbled in their first innings. Jordan Silk fell for 47 early on getting a bottom edge trying to cut Jack Wildermuth. Kuhnemann then extracted some turn and bounce to prize out three of the last five wickets with some help from Labuschagne, who took a phenomenal diving catch at midwicket. Kuhnemann finished with 5 for 60 from 30.1 overs, his best figures at Shield level.

Queensland chose not to enforce the follow-on and opted to instead chase quick runs to set a fourth-innings target on a fast-wearing pitch. Labuschagne heeded his captain’s instructions with a brisk 60 not out from just 46 balls. He entered with the score at 1 for 48 in the 15th over and Usman Khawaja was able to declare after 30 overs with Labuschagne and Joe Burns having added 84 at nearly a run-a-ball. Labuschagne struck four fours and three sixes while Burns made 44 not out.

Jewell and Ward then made batting look easy late in the day. They played the quicks with ease. They did face the odd nervous moments against the spinners but were relatively assured overall. Ward fell late in the day playing the wrong line to James Bazley to edge behind. But Jewell cruised 65 not out to give his team a chance on the final day.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Travis Head wins the race to be Australia's No. 5 in the Ashes

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Mitchell Starc will complete the fast-bowling trio alongside Josh Hazlewood and captain Pat Cummins



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Mithali Raj – We have had ‘good preparation’ for 2022 World Cup by playing SA, England, Australia this year

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“We are getting to play in New Zealand before World Cup which is also good,” she says

India Women are scheduled to play only one ODI series – against New Zealand – before the World Cup early next year but captain Mithali Raj feels the team has had “good preparation” so far in 2021.
This year, India hosted South Africa for five ODIs before playing a three-match series in England and Australia each. They lost all three series but made Australia, the No. 1 team, work really hard for their 2-1 win and also ended their 26-match winning streak in the third ODI there.

India will play World Cup hosts New Zealand for five ODIs before the World Cup in March-April.

“We have played three best teams since March and it has given us good preparation,” Raj said after a partnership between KFC and Indian Deaf Cricket Association in Delhi on Wednesday. “Players have played domestic cricket and also in the Women’s Big Bash so they are getting game time which is the most important thing.

“We are getting to play in New Zealand before World Cup which is also good.”

India, who were unable to post 250-plus scores regularly earlier, did that twice in the Australia series and chased down 265 in the final ODI.

“When you play against a strong team in its backyard you try to give your best,” Raj said. “Though we lost the series, the matches were very close. We scored 270 (274) and chased 270-odd, if we can do that consistently we will be among the best sides in world cricket.”

India’s middle-order batting needs improvement but Raj said all departments must fire as a unit if they are to win the World Cup.

“We bat as a unit so you can’t pinpoint one area,” she said. “There are times when the top order failed and the others performed. As a unit if we look to post a good total then it will help. If we focus on one area like middle order then it becomes too much of a burden for that particular slot.”

India finished runners-up in the 2017 World Cup in England when not many expected them to but expectations will be higher this time.

“There were not enough expectations back then,” Raj said. “Now in 2021, players have got experience and got a lot of exposure with the T20 leagues. Overall we have young players but they have got enough exposure. It is just of matter of gelling well as a team.

“Every match will be different there. The quicker we read our opponents the better it will be for us.”



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The Ashes 2021-22 – Michael Vaughan stood down from BT Sport Ashes coverage after Azeem Rafiq allegations

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Channel to adopt a “hybrid” approach with Vaughan’s stints on Fox Sports to be overlaid

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, will not be heard by UK audiences during this winter’s Ashes in Australia, after BT Sport followed the BBC’s decision to remove him from their TV coverage of the series.

Vaughan, 47, was last week stood down from BBC Test Match Special’s coverage for “editorial” reasons, following allegations from Azeem Rafiq, the former Yorkshire cricketer, that he had said “there are too many of you lot” following the selection of four players of Asian heritage in a county fixture in 2009.

Vaughan, who denies the allegations, apologised last week in an interview on BBC Breakfast for the “hurt” caused to Rafiq during his time as a player at Yorkshire, and will still be involved in this winter’s Ashes coverage through his commentary role with Fox Sports, the Australian host broadcaster.

However, BT Sport – who are due to take the Fox Sports feed after choosing not to send a bespoke commentary team to Australia – announced on Tuesday that they will be taking a “hybrid” approach to their coverage, with Vaughan’s on-air stints to be overlaid with studio analysis.

“As a result of Covid and travel restrictions BT Sport had made the decision to take our commentary feed from the Australian host broadcaster,” the channel said in a statement. “The recent report presented to UK Parliament uncovering institutional racism within cricket and specifically Yorkshire County Cricket Club is extremely disappointing and a concern for all.

“Given these recent events and the controversy with the situation we have taken the decision that including Michael Vaughan within our Ashes coverage would not be editorially appropriate or fit with BT Sport’s values. We are still finalising plans but we are assessing the option of taking a hybrid approach, using Fox commentary where possible with the aim of putting our own commentary team in place if necessary.”

Vaughan’s troubled build-up to the series continued on Tuesday, when he announced on Twitter that his arrival in Australia had been delayed by a week due to a positive Covid test. “[It] is frustrating,” he wrote. “But at least I’ll avoid the rain in Brisbane for a few days!”

However, his hopes of being retained by the BBC after the Ashes have received a boost, after the corporation confirmed that they had been in “regular contact” with Vaughan since his suspension, and had held “positive conversations with him in recent days”.

“Our contributors are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael’s involvement in a story of such significance means it’s not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at the moment,” the statement added. “We’re pleased with how our conversations are going and expect to work with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract to the BBC.”

The BBC’s stance was criticised this week by his former England team-mate Monty Panesar, who wrote in a column in the Daily Telegraph: “This feels deeply unethical — a classic case of someone being tried and convicted without any form of due process being undertaken.”



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