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T20 World Cup 2021 – BD vs Eng

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Roy struck Shakib Al Hasan’s first ball for four on the way to a commanding 61 from 38 balls

Jason Roy was the only batter on either side to pass 30 in England’s thumping Super 12s win against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi and credited his work in the nets facing Liam Dawson as a key factor in his success.

England had expected Bangladesh to open the bowling with left-arm spin, as many teams have against Roy and Jos Buttler over the last 18 months, and Roy set the tone for a straightforward chase by carving Shakib Al Hasan’s first ball away for four through cover point. In all, he scored 21 runs from the 15 balls of left-arm spin he faced, and said that his work against Dawson – a reserve in England’s squad – had been vital.

“As a batsman – as a cricketer – you always have some darker thoughts going into your mind before the game: ‘what if, this can happen, this can happen’,” Roy said, “but you just have to remind yourself that your training has been so good.

“I worked a hell of a lot against Liam Dawson in the nets. He’s been bowling so much to me which has really helped my game. I’ve just got to keep reminding myself to do what I do in training, and things will be all right

“I think it’s an area of my game I’ve been working extremely hard on, on slow pitches against left-arm spinners and the angle as such. It was a big game for me to go out there today put all the hard work I’ve been doing into the nets into play. Credit to the bowlers but still, to knock it off, [I’m] very pleased.”

Opposing captains have often targeted Roy with spin early in his innings in recent years but his T20 record against it has gradually improved of late. In 2018 and 2019, he averaged just 17.14 against left-arm spin, with a strike rate of 134.83; since the start of last year, he has averaged 30.33 and struck at 135.82.

He was generally subdued against it after his early boundary off Shakib, knocking singles into gaps, but issued a reminder of his power game by thumping Nasum Ahmed straight back over his head for six to bring up his fifty.

“It’s a part of my game that has improved a lot,” Roy said. “Today was a very big test for me coming in with two left-arm spinners, two left-arm seamers and an offspinner. I had to really use all the skills I’ve learnt, and it seemed to work.”

Eoin Morgan, England’s captain, said: “It was nice for him and Dawid [Malan, who made 28 not out] to get some time at the wicket. With Jason, the way he plays is so imposing at the wicket and when you play like that on really slow wickets, it makes it very difficult to set fields and [decide] who to bowl. It’s great to see him in good touch.”

Roy also addressed England’s decision to take a knee before the game – as they had done against West Indies – after Quinton de Kock’s controversial and last-minute withdrawal from South Africa’s side on Tuesday. England had intended to continue the ‘moment of unity’ that they had observed during their home summer, but opted to take a knee instead after the ICC told them that wearing their anti-discrimination t-shirts would contravene the tournament’s kit regulations.

“It’s an integral part of the way we play our cricket,” Roy said. “Our team is extremely diverse with people from all over the world. It’s only right that we support that and we support what they are going through.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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Marnus Labuschagne eager for James Anderson duel with 'target on the back'

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Australia’s No. 3 is one of the few players who will enter the Ashes with substantial cricket under his belt



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India vs NZ, 2nd Test

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Tom Latham will lead New Zealand

Rahane is out due to a minor left hamstring strain he picked up while fielding on the final day of the Kanpur Test. Jadeja’s is a right forearm injury that required scans which revealed swelling. “He has been advised rest,” stated a BCCI release.

Ishant, meanwhile, dislocated his left little finger on the final day in Kanpur, leaving the door open for Mohammed Siraj‘s return. Siraj had himself sustained a finger injury during the T20I series, but has now been deemed fit.
For Williamson, it’s the recurrence of an old left-elbow problem that has troubled him for much of the year. Coach Gary Stead confirmed the injury had flared up during the first Test and with it failing to improve in the days following the match, the call was made to rule him out. In his absence. Tom Latham will lead the side.

“It’s been a really tough time for Kane having to deal with such a persistent injury,” Stead said. “While we’ve been able to manage the injury through the year and the T20 World Cup, the shift to Test cricket and the increased batting loading has re-aggravated his elbow.

“Ultimately the injury is still not right and while he got through the Kanpur Test, it was clear playing in the second Test wasn’t an option.”

Meanwhile, the absence of Rahane and Jadeja could leave India’s team management contemplate a sixth batting option. If they go down this route, it could mean a debut for KS Bharat or Suryakumar Yadav at his home ground. Wriddhiman Saha was ruled fit by Virat Kohli a day before the match.



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Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd Test 2021/22

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Ninth-wicket partnership of 107 with Embuldeniya hurts West Indies and their hopes of victory in Galle

Sri Lanka 328 for 8 (Dhananjaya 153*, Embuldeniya 25*, Permaul 3-100, Chase 2-82) and 204 lead West Indies 253 by 279 runs

Dhananjaya de Silva came to the crease with Sri Lanka only 23 runs ahead, with three wickets down, and their most experienced batter injured an unable to play normally. By the time his work ended on day four, Sri Lanka were 279 runs ahead, with two wickets still in hand, in firm control.
De Silva, in sublime touch for much of this knock, was 153 not out off 259 balls by stumps, put on 78 alongside Pathum Nissanka to rescue Sri Lanka from immediate peril, and made 51 with Ramesh Mendis during a second session in which West Indies’ spinners made a four-wicket charge, but it was with No. 10 Lasith Embuldeniya with whom he produced the most consequential and perhaps match-defining partnership – an as-yet unbeaten association of 107 runs, during which he completed his eighth Test century, and breezed past 150, plundering 73 runs off 98 balls from a tiring attack.
He was dropped twice – both times off the bowling of Veerasammy Permaul. On 5, wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva could not hold on to a big edge, though this was an incredibly difficult chance, the ball traveling quickly and hitting only the tips of his gloves. The opportunity West Indies will rue more came when de Silva was on 116 and attempted a slog sweep with the field spread. Permaul got himself under the swirling top edge as he ran toward the sight screen, but ultimately could not wrap his fingers around the ball. If he’d caught that, Sri Lanka would have been nine down with a lead of 218. It’s possible West Indies would already have been batting by now, chasing a difficult but not outlandish target.

The earliest stretch of the de Silva-Embuldeniya stand had been tense. Embuldeniya had come in with Sri Lanka only 179 ahead, and with Permaul having taken two wickets in quick succession with the second new ball. De Silva was batting on 80, and so the hundred was in sight as well. But the pair settled into a rhythm – de Silva farming the strike to give Embuldeniya only the last two or three balls an over, where possible. Though de Silva didn’t always attempt to hit boundaries early in those overs, largely because Kraigg Brathwaite had positioned fielders on the rope.

Embuldeniya scratched his way through that period, facing 20 balls before de Silva was able to complete the century. After that, de Silva moved up the gears. He hit Roston Chase behind point for four soon after getting to a hundred, then slammed him over long-on two balls later. The field spread back to him, he ran hard twos, and when Brathwaite brought the seamers back, attacked them as well. Having got to his hundred off his 189th delivery, he added the next 50 off 65.

Embuldeniya played an unambitious supporting hand, all the way up to stumps. He faced 110 balls for his 25. He did not hit a single boundary, but was largely good in defence. West Indies, through this period, seemed ragged and short of ideas. Brathwaite bowled a strange spell in which he occasionally tossed the ball up almost comically high.

West Indies will be kicking themselves for letting the situation slip, after having surged through the middle session, and having kept the opposition in check even before lunch. Sri Lanka had begun the day still three runs in arrears, and with two inexperienced batters at the crease. Permaul got one to bite to take Charith Asalanka’s inside edge, which popped up off the pad to short leg, in the first hour of play. And although Nissanka completed his third fifty of the series in the company of de SIlva, he was out the ball before lunch too – lbw to Chase.

Chase struck again in the afternoon, pocketing a return catch off Dinesh Chandimal, before Brathwaite was the beneficiary of the only wicket Sri Lanka truly threw away in the day – Mendis holing out at deep midwicket the over before the second new ball was due. Permaul removed Suranga Lakmal and Angelo Mathews cheaply with that new ball. He finished the day on 3 for 100 – West Indies’ best analysis.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf



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