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Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs Australia 2nd Semi-Final 2021/22



Australia 177 for 5 (Warner 49, Wade 41*, Stoinis 40*, Shadab 4-26) beat Pakistan 176 for 4 (Rizwan 67, Zaman 55*, Starc 2-38) by five wickets

Second night in a row, second tournament favourites – Pakistan this time – paid the price for conservative batting in the first innings and were consumed by the curse of the defence. They looked in much more control than England did in Abu Dhabi, with Australia needing 62 off the last five with just five wickets in hand. They had two batters, who had barely batted in the tournament, but Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis got the better of possibly the best attack of the tournament with clean hitting.

It will be tempting to paint Hasan Ali, whose 18th over went for 15 and who dropped Wade in the 19th before he unfurled a hat-trick of sixes, as the villain, but the match was lost when Pakistan scored just 71 in the first 10 overs on arguably the best batting track Dubai has rolled out all tournament.

They somehow got to 176 thanks to Fakhar Zaman‘s 32-ball 55. Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan then kept Pakistan’s noses ahead – Shadab’s 4 for 26 are the best figures in a T20 World Cup semi-final – but Stoinis and Wade had the final say.

Babar, Rizwan get stuck

Mohammad Rizwan was in the hospital till late Wednesday night, getting treated for flu-like illness. He cleared the fitness test on match day, and there was no way Pakistan were splitting a successful opening partnership. Asked to bat first, the questions for them was: do you go for a par score and ask your bowling to bail you out, or do you try to provide them some cushion?

Rizwan attacked almost everything. His approach was clear the moment they saw what a belter the pitch was. Babar Azam, though, failed to help his partner out. Together they let Australia take out their fifth bowler’s quota for just 31 runs within the first 10 overs. Glenn Maxwell bowled an over to two right-hand batters with no boundary attempts. When Babar finally slogged Adam Zampa to be caught at long-on, Pakistan were 71 for 1, and had once again left themselves needing 120 off the last 10. At what is considered the best time to bat in T20s, Babar scored at 114.7 per 100 balls.

No-balls help Pakistan out

Backloading their best bowlers, Australia managed to put Rizwan and Zaman under immense pressure. Mitchell Starc conceded just three off the 13th. Zampa gave five in the 16th. Rizwan and Fakhar kept trying to hit, but nothing came off. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, though, ended up bowling two high full tosses which got deposited – with one of the free hits going for a six too. This was just the momentum Pakistan needed, reaching 158 for 2 in 18 overs.

Cummins sucks momentum out

Cummins, though, bowled a superb 19th over, with slower ones into the pitch, conceding just three runs and also taking out Asif Ali. The template was set for Starc in the 20th over, which gave him Shoaib Malik’s wicket and also just a single to Zaman. However, Starc went back to attempting yorkers in the end and conceded two sixes.

Boom boom Afridi

First ball to a right-hand batter, and Afridi ripped off the front pad of Aaron Finch. It was plumb. Second ball to a right-hand batter, Mitch Marsh had his toe taken off, only to survive an lbw on an umpire’s call. Australia 1 for 1 in 1.

Warner sets up the chase

Given the kind of finish, it is easy to forget the man who set the chase up. David Warner was in sublime touch, hitting three sixes in his 30-ball 49, one of them an incredibly powerful hit off a ball almost rolling along the ground. He looked nothing like a batter who had just been left out by his IPL side, and Pakistan needed to get him out if they were hoping to compete.

Shadab keeps Pakistan in

Shadab actually did nothing extraordinary. He bowled like he usually does. Good length, high pace, slight variations. Nor did the pitch do much for him. It is just that the batters kept attacking him, and they kept mis-hitting. Except for Warner, who walked when he thought he had nicked a slider that he actually hadn’t, Shadab had little agency over his other three wickets. Marsh and Steven Smith slogged him to deep catching fielders, and Maxwell switch-hit for the same result. By the time Shadab was done, Australia needed 74 off the last seven overs.

The Stoinis-Wade finale

Australia might have lost four extra wickets than Pakistan at this stage because of the risks they took, but they had 12 extra runs. Those 12 extra runs proved to be the difference in the end as Stoinis and Wade didn’t panic and finished the game off with one full over to spare, roughly worth 12 runs.

It wasn’t Hasan’s night, though. With 62 required in five overs, he bowled a no-ball in the 16th over to give away 12. Then he went for 15 in the 18th, which can happen to any bowler when batters are swinging for the hills. In the 19th, 20 required off 10, Hasan over-ran a catch in the deep, possibly the first big error from Pakistan in the field. What should have been 20 off nine with one bowler in was now 18 off nine. Wade then unleashed his pace hitting, pouncing on the small errors Afridi made in length. Two of the sixes were ramps, using Afridi’s high pace to his advantage. Rauf ended up not bowling 25% of his quota because Hasan was given the 18th. That was not the first mistake Babar made on the night.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Ban vs Pak 1st Test




Nurul Hasan was named as Yasir’s concussion substitute, although he won’t be allowed to keep wicket

Debutant Yasir Ali was taken for scans at a local hospital in Chattogram after being stuck on the back of his helmet during Bangladesh’s second innings on the fourth morning. Wicketkeeper-batter Nurul Hasan was named as Yasir’s concussion substitute, although he won’t be allowed to keep wicket as Yasir isn’t a keeper.

The incident occurred at the end of the 30th over when Yasir ducked into a Shaheen Shah Afridi bouncer. Yasir briefly took his eye away from the delivery while getting under the ball, and was hit on the helmet.

Bangladesh’s physio Bayejidul Islam checked Yasir immediately, and he went back to batting. But an over later, Bayejid came back to check on Yasir during the drinks break, after which he walked off.

The team director Khaled Mahmud confirmed a few minutes later that Yasir was out of the Test match, with Nurul as his replacement. Yasir has been taken to Imperial Hospital for a CT scan. A BCB statement said later that “he is medically stable. However, as a precaution, he will be observed for 24 hours at the hospital.”

This is the third time Bangladesh have needed concussion substitutes. The first instance was during the Kolkata Test in 2019 when Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan were struck on the head. Mohammad Saifuddin was also substituted during an ODI against Sri Lanka in May this year.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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




Roston Chase dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne late in the day, but not before another century opening stand

Sri Lanka 113 for 1 (Nissanka 61*, Karunaratne 42, Chase 1-33) vs West Indies

Pathum Nissanka breezed his way to a half-century, Dimuth Karunaratne fell eight short of a fifty that would have seen him equal a world record, and on a day in which rain washed out the first two sessions, Sri Lanka gained a significant advantage, moving to 113 for 1 in the 33.4 overs that were possible.
Before Roston Chase caught-and-bowled Karunaratne late in the day, Sri Lanka’s openers had put on 106 runs in 31 overs – their second century stand in the series. Kemar Roach, returning for this game after having been left out in favour of Shannon Gabriel, was perhaps the best of West Indies’ bowlers, delivering six overs and conceding just 12. Sri Lanka’s batters were largely untroubled by the others.

Nissanka was positive almost from the outset. He drilled a full Jason Holder ball down the ground for four to begin the second over, carved Roach past the slip cordon soon after, and although occasionally beaten by deliveries that jagged past his outside edge, was on a constant hunt for runs, moving to 20 off his first 30 balls. Karunaratne was typically conservative by comparison – defending and leaving the majority of deliveries he faced from the seamers, making just 4 from his first 30 deliveries.

Eventually though, Holder and Roach wrapped up their spells, and batting seemed to get easier. Kyle Mayers was hit for three fours – twice through the leg side by Karunaratne – in his first two overs, the only two he bowled on the first day. Nissanka attempted to dominate the left-arm spin of Veerasammy Permaul, who was playing his first Test since 2015, coming down the track in Permaul’s second over to launch him into the sightscreen.

Soon, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite had spinners bowling from both ends, and although they prompted the occasional mistake, the batters largely settled into a rhythm against them, with Nissanka scoring primarily through the off side, and Karunaratne favouring the leg side, as he often does. Nissanka got to fifty – his third in Tests, and second in the series – off the 74th ball he faced.

Karunaratne’s dismissal came against the run of play. Earlier in that Chase over, he had played a late cut and a flick through midwicket, both of which went for four. But Chase found some rip off the last delivery of that over, and turned a ball more than the batter expected, which produced a return catch off the inside half of the bat as Karunaratne attempted to drive him down the ground.

If he had got to fifty, Karunaratne would have made seven Test half-centuries in as many innings, a feat only six batters had accomplished. In any case, his last seven scores read 42, 83, 147, 66, 118, 244 and 75.

Oshada Fernando survived ten balls before the players went off for bad light. Nissanka was 61 not out off 109 balls, his scoring rate having slowed as the light faded.

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

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Ray Illingworth reveals cancer diagnosis amid support for assisted dying




Former England captain wants law changed to prevent the suffering of terminally ill patients

Ray Illingworth, the former England captain, has revealed he is being treated for oesophageal cancer, and has called for assisted dying to be legalised in the UK after witnessing the way his wife Shirley suffered from the same disease.

Illingworth, who captained England to victory in Australia in 1970-71 and went on to become English cricket’s most powerful figure in the mid-1990s, says that he has undergone two rounds of radiotherapy and hopes to hear a positive prognosis when his condition is reassessed next month.

“They got rid of a lot of the tumour but there were still two centimetres left, originally it was eight,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “They are just hoping to get rid of the last bit with extra double doses. I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck.”

However, having cared for his wife for the final years of her life, prior to her death in March, Illingworth has lent his support to the Assisted Dying Bill, which received its second reading in the House of Lords in October, and would enable mentally competent adults to make the decision to end their own lives.

At present, the 1961 Suicide Act states that anyone who is found to have assisted a person to take their own life could face up to 14 years’ imprisonment. However, earlier this month, Jersey became the first British parliament to approve assisted dying, with the prospect for a draft law by 2023.

“I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had. She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain. I don’t want that,” Illingworth said. “I would rather go peacefully. I believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months and I don’t see the point of living like that, to be honest.

“But we don’t have assisted dying in England yet so you don’t have the option do you? They are debating it and I think it will come eventually. A lot of doctors are against it but if they had to live like my wife did in her last 12 months they might change their minds.”

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