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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Australia Final 2021/22

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Williamson’s brilliant 85 in vain as New Zealand lose second straight global limited-overs final

Australia 173 for 2 (Marsh 77*, Warner 53) beat New Zealand 172 for 4 (Williamson 85, Hazlewood 3-16) by eight wickets

This has been a tournament of tricky, two-paced pitches, and as a consequence it has recorded the lowest scoring rate of any T20 World Cup. The final, however, came as close to pure T20 as anything we’ve seen over these past few weeks in the UAE. A new record for the fastest fifty in a T20 World Cup final was established, and, in no time, broken, and if Kane Williamson ended up on the losing side and Mitchell Marsh among the winners, the difference lay in what happened around them.

Williamson scored 85 off 48 balls, and New Zealand’s other batters made 78 off 73 between them.

Marsh finished on an unbeaten 77 off 50. Australia’s other batters combined to make 86 off 63. This included a superbly controlled half-century from David Warner, who in this tournament has returned to his best as a T20 opener after an unsettled and unsettling IPL, and a breezy cameo from Glenn Maxwell, to whom fell the honour of playing the winning shot: a reverse-swipe past short third man off Tim Southee.

Australia won by eight wickets, with seven balls to spare, and at long last they were T20 world champions.

Australia weren’t among the favourites when this tournament began, but look down that line-up once more. You can’t have hitters of the calibre of Warner, Aaron Finch, Marsh, Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis and not be a seriously good T20 team for too long. The bowlers played their part too – not least Josh Hazlewood, whose into-the-pitch legcutters enabled him to return figures of 4-0-16-3 in a match with a combined run rate of nearly 8.9 – but this was primarily a triumph of T20’s most vital skill: boundary hitting.

Australia, on the day, were markedly better than New Zealand at this skill, though it certainly helped that they won the final toss of a heavily toss-influenced tournament.

A slow beginning

Much like England and Pakistan in their respective semi-finals, New Zealand went at a sedate pace through the first 10 overs of their innings – and not just relative to the last 10. At the halfway point, they had only lost one wicket, but they only had 57 on the board.

Between the fourth over – when Martin Guptill punched Hazlewood in front of point – and the ninth – when Williamson stepped out and slapped Marsh through the covers – New Zealand went 32 balls without a boundary. This period included some tight bowling – particularly from Hazlewood, whose cutters denied the batters both room and pace to work with, and Adam Zampa – but also some quiet overs where New Zealand didn’t seem to try to force the issue at all.

The seventh over, which featured the offspinner Maxwell bowling to two right-hand batters, was a case in point: one dot and five quiet singles to the deep fielders, the sort of singles the bowling team is more than happy to concede.

Guptill eventually made 28 off 35 balls, and it wasn’t necessarily the innings of a player looking to attack but not succeeding in doing so. For 22 of the 35 balls he faced, his intent was either to defend or rotate the strike, according to ESPNcricinfo’s data.

Williamson vs Starc

This was one of the defining contests of the match, and it could have been over in one ball, had Hazlewood held onto a straightforward chance at fine leg in the 11th over. Hazlewood put it down, however, and Starc ended up on the wrong side of a shellacking.

The most severe punishment came in the 16th over, when Williamson went 4, 4, 6, 0, 4, 4 against the left-arm quick. There were some outstanding shots in this sequence, most notably a whipped six off the pads and over deep backward square leg, but the two shots that really summed up the exchange – and Williamson’s innings – were a pair of edges to the third man boundary.

With Starc bowling from left-arm over, and with both backward point and third man in the circle, Williamson probably knew he would get four if the ball was outside off stump and he swung hard and edged. Starc ended the night with figures of 4-0-60-0 – the worst recorded in a T20 World Cup final

Full report to follow

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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BBL11 2021-22 – Bowling attack gives Melbourne Renegades hope of revival

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The batting remains questionable and they will be looking for the youngsters to develop

Captain Nic Maddinson
Coach David Saker

Squad
Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, Jono Merlo (replacement player), James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, James Seymour (replacement player), Will Sutherland, Nic Maddinson, Reece Topley (Eng), Unmukt Chand (Ind), Mohammad Nabi (Afg), Zahir Khan (Afg)

In Nic Maddinson, Jono Merlo, James Seymour, Reece Topley, Unmukt Chand, Zahir Khan
Out Beau Webster, Peter Hazloglou, Jon Holland, Benny, Howell, Noor Ahmed, Imran Tahir, Imad Wasim

Last season

It was another disastrous season for the Renegades finishing last for the second straight year. They won their first match and then lost seven in a row. Their batting was abysmal, bowled out for less than 90 on three occasions and 111 in another match against Adelaide. The bowling was nowhere near as effective as season’s past and they struggled to find a consistent unit as they mixed and matched their overseas players. There was one bright spot as they produced a brilliant chasing win over Melbourne Stars late in the season. Mackenzie Harvey starred smashing 47 not out from 21 balls to give a glimpse into the future.
International impact
Renegades have been severely impacted by both Australia selection and injury. Nic Maddinson‘s selection in the Australia A side to face England Lions means the new Renegades captain won’t get a chance to lead his new club until their fourth game at the earliest. Marcus Harris is set to miss most of the season due to Test duty. Aaron Finch is in doubt for the early games due to his ongoing knee issue while Shaun Marsh is set to miss at least half the tournament due to a calf tear. England does have tour of West Indies in the new year and Afghanistan is scheduled to visit Bangladesh but it is unknown if the likes of Reece Topley, Mohammad Nabi or Zahir Khan will need to leave the BBL early.
Player to watch
Reece Topley is an important recruit for Renegades and has a chance to make a serious statement to England selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Fellow Englishman Harry Gurney was a key part of Renegades’ run to the title three years ago and Topley has a similar opportunity to cause havoc on the inconsistent home surface of Marvel Stadium.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)
Renegades were the worst bowling unit in the previous BBL edition. Their bowling economy rate of 8.61 was the highest among all teams and their death bowling economy was 11.24. If Renegades want to play finals, this is an area they need to focus on. Their attack certainly looks stronger this season

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Chris Gayle farewell on the cards with Jamaica set to host West Indies-Ireland series

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The series will comprise three ODIs and a one-off T20I, all at Sabina Park

West Indies will play three ODIs and a T20I against Ireland in Jamaica from January 8 to 16, the CWI has announced, with the possibility that the standalone T20I will be used as a farewell match for Chris Gayle.

While Gayle will not be part of the ODI squad, with the series counting towards 2023 World Cup qualification through the Super League, the one-off fixture at Sabina Park could be used as his farewell game. ESPNcricinfo understands that a decision has yet to be made on Gayle’s inclusion but that the issue will be up for discussion at the next meeting of CWI’s board of directors later this month.

“It’s whether collectively we all feel that it’s appropriate for him to have one last game at home to say farewell in a one-off game,” Johnny Grave, CWI’s chief executive, told the Mason and Guest radio show in Barbados last month. “That Ireland series would represent that opportunity.

“It would certainly be appropriate, as far as I can see it, to treat our players and give them the opportunity to bow out – especially players like Chris who have had unbelievable careers and won trophies for the West Indies.”

Ireland will travel to the Caribbean on December 31, immediately after their series against USA which starts on December 22 and comprises two T20Is and three ODIs. They have already named their squads for both tours, with Kevin O’Brien left out and David Ripley taking temporary charge as interim head coach.
Ireland last toured the Caribbean in 2020, drawing the T20I series 1-1 and losing the ODI series 3-0. Sabina Park was also the venue for one of the finest moments in Irish cricketing history, their victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup on St Patrick’s Day.

“We are pleased to be returning to the Caribbean where we have so many great memories,” Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director, said. “The World Cup Super League is a crucial set of fixtures for Ireland as we attempt to qualify for the next Cricket World Cup, and – if the series in 2020 is anything to go by – we look forward to a highly competitive series in January.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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Bangladesh tour of NZ BCB approves Shakib Al Hasan’s request to skip New Zealand tour

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Nazmul Hassan says BCB has no problem with players wanting a break, but says it should happen via official channels

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said on Monday that the board has accepted Shakib Al Hasan‘s leave request to skip the New Zealand tour for which Bangladesh are scheduled to leave later this week. Some days ago, Hassan claimed that Shakib only informed them “unofficially” of his reluctance to be on the tour, and hours later, Shakib reportedly had requested the board by handing over a letter officially.

“We have accepted his request,” Hassan said. “We have been saying this for a long time that we have no objection if a player wants to take a break or rest, but it has to be informed officially. The thing is, we want to be informed about such a decision in advance as it is difficult for us if it is informed suddenly. From January, if anyone wants a break, he has to inform us in advance so that we can prepare alternatives.”

This is the third time in 2021 that Shakib has skipped a tour for Bangladesh. He opted out of the white-ball tour of New Zealand in March due to paternity leave before missing the two Tests against Sri Lanka in April to play in the IPL.

Hassan felt Shakib should have asked for the leave officially, rather than informing them verbally.

“This [the confusion] is not embarrassing, to be honest. We simply didn’t know about it, officially,” Hassan said. “The thing is, these things have always happened unofficially. Now, to avoid confusion, we are emphasising that these matters should be official.”

Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand includes two Tests, part of the World Test Championship, beginning on New Year’s Day. The team will leave on December 9 to complete quarantine and then play practice matches.



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