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Australia to tour Pakistan for full series in March 2022

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Series will mark Australia’s return to the country for the first time since 1998

Australia is set to tour Pakistan for the first time in over 24 years in March 2022. This frees up a window in February for Pakistan to host the PSL.

The series will comprise of three Tests, three ODIs and a one-off T20I. The matches will be held across Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore, which will host one Test each. The limited-overs leg will be held entirely in Lahore.

The Tests – starting on March 3 in Karachi – will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.

“I am delighted to welcome Australia to Pakistan,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja was quoted as saying in a Cricket Australia release. “From a personal point of view, it pleases me no end that we’ll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight.

“Australia are one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans.

“Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore.”

Cricket Australia’s confirmation comes at a time when Pakistan have had to cope with tour cancellations lately. In September, New Zealand left ahead of their limited-overs series over a security threat. England followed suit, citing bubble fatigue of their players.

A Cricket Australia delegation is expected to visit Pakistan meet with PCB officials as well as provincial and federal authorities to discuss and finalise matters relating to team operations, logistics, security and Covid-19 protocols.

Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998-99, a series remembered for Mark Taylor’s epic unbeaten 334* at Peshawar. Australia won the series 1-0, their first in the country since Richie Benaud’s side defeated Fazal Mahmood’s team by 2-0 in the 1959-60 series.

Since 1998, however, Pakistan staged their last four home series against Australia overseas. The first of those (2002) was held in Sri Lanka and UAE. The 2010 series was played in England while the other two were hosted entirely in UAE. The most recent series was held in 2018 with Pakistan winning 1-0.



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

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Blackwood fell in the last over before lunch after he’d batted out 23 overs with Bonner

West Indies 253 and 65 for 2 (Bonner 22*) trail Sri Lanka 204 and 345 for 9 declared (Dhananjaya 155*, Permaul 3-106) by 232 runs

Tasked with seeing out at least 93 overs to save the second Test in Galle, West Indies lost two wickets inside the first 31 before lunch. Kraigg Brathwaite had been dismissed towards the end of the first hour of play, when Ramesh Mendis trapped him lbw with an arm ball.

Jermaine Blackwood and Nkrumah Bonner then mounted some resistance, batting out 23 overs together. Then with three balls to go for lunch, Lasith Embuldeniya tempted Blackwood into a drive, with loopy delivery outside off stump. The bowler had spun this one hard, though – it dipped, took the outside edge, and was caught at slip by Dhananjaya de Silva. Blackwood had batted out 92 balls for his 36. Bonner, at the other end, was on 22 off 71.

The late wicket was reward for Sri Lanka’s spinners, who had created a number of half chances through the course of the session. Blackwood was dropped by Dimuth Karunaratne at short midwicket in the 20th over, the ball only just carrying to him, low to his left. At other times, balls took the inside edge but evaded the short leg fielder, who was constantly in the action.

Despite the loss of their openers however, West Indies batted well to see out the new ball, which has been the Sri Lanka spinners’ primary weapon, as is often the case in Galle. On a pitch that is taking substantial turn, but is not unplayable yet, the visitors do bat deep – Joshua da Silva coming in as low as No. 8.

Early in the day, Sri Lanka added 17 runs in 2.4 overs – No. 10 batter Embuldeniya doing much of the attacking. When Embuldeniya was bowled by Jason Holder, captain Dimuth Karunaratne declared the innings, Sri Lanka sitting on a lead of 297. Dhananjaya added two to his overnight score and finished 155 not out.

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



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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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