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Recent Match Report – Warriors vs Delhi Bulls 16th Match 2021/22

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Veteran Luke Wright helps add 116 for first wicket in eight-wicket victory

Delhi Bulls 133 for 2 (Gurbaz 70, Wright 40*) beat Northern Warriors 128 for 6 (Powell 56) by eight wickets

Rahmanullah Gurbaz was just five years old when Luke Wright made his debut for England against India. After two consecutive defeats for the Delhi Bulls, the pair combined magnificently with youth and experience to carry their side up to second place in the Abu Dhabi T10, with a brutal 116-run opening partnership against the Northern Warriors.

Sport has its way of telling tales and on the eve of his 20th birthday, Gurbaz took centre stage with a ruthless 70 off 32 balls as the Bulls inflicted a fifth defeat out of six on the reigning champions. Gurbaz made his debut for Afghanistan aged just 17 and it was a special knock from a special talent as he cut, lofted and slogged the Warriors bowling attack around the Zayed Cricket Ground.

“On the pitch, when there is experience with you, you will be even more confident,” Gurbaz said post-match and in Wright, his partner was someone who had masses of experience. Wright himself was just playing his second game of the competition, having flown in a day before the tournament. But the Englishman showed exactly what he can do with the bat, with an unbeaten 40 off 18 deliveries. He ensured that he was there at the end alongside Eoin Morgan, who hit a six off the penultimate delivery to seal victory.
For the Bulls, it was a return to winning ways. After Rovman Powell, the top scorer of the tournament thus far, blasted 56 off 22 balls to propel the Warriors to 128, they were in for a tricky chase. Yet, Gurbaz and Wright ensured that the likes of Mohammed Hafeez and Dwayne Bravo were given a night off with the bat as they smashed their way to a hundred partnership in just 38 deliveries.

The 19-year-old, who was the youngest player at the T20 World Cup, played with the class and poise of a man with bags of experience, as he pierced the gaps and struck the ball beautifully in a knock which included six fours and five sixes. By the time the wicketkeeper batter, who has signed for Leicestershire next season, was dismissed, the game was all but done. He was met by joyous smiles from the Bulls dugout and a massive hug from his skipper, Bravo.

For Bravo, despite the loss of Jason Roy pre-tournament and an injury to Rilee Rossouw, he was full of praise for his opening pair. “Luke Wright is a class player, he’s proved that over the years. He came in today in just his second game and showed his dominance,” said Bravo. He added, “But a big special mention to Gurbaz because that kid has a special talent and the world is getting to see what he has to offer.”

Such was the confidence in Gurbaz that the first ball he faced from Imran Tahir was not defended or nudged away. Instead, the Afghanistan batter audaciously smashed the 42-year-old – who had made his first-class debut before Gurbaz was even born – over long-off for six in the second over. Asked about his mindset going into that particular battle, a buzzing Gurbaz said, “I don’t think about who is the bowler against me, I try just to wait for the loose ball and watch the ball clearly.”

Oshane Thomas, who had taken the first hat-trick of the tournament the night before, was brought back down to earth by Gurbaz as he was lofted over square-leg off his first legitimate delivery, before the youngster hit him for two more sixes in the seventh over. The West Indian’s first appearance of the Abu Dhabi T10 had been one to remember as he sealed the Warriors’ first win, removing Mark Deyal, Tion Webster and Curtis Campher to claim a memorable hat-trick. Courtesy of Gurbaz and Wright however, his second appearance will be one he will want to forget in a hurry.

This format allows batters to tee off to a degree rarely seen elsewhere and, after belting 30 off 10 in the opening match of the Abu Dhabi T10 against the same outfit, Gurbaz’s combined tally of 100 off 42 against the Warriors alone, highlights just how dominant he has been against the defending champions.

“That’s the beauty of T10 that players really get to express themselves and showcase their talent,” Bravo said, and Gurbaz mentioned how a word of advice from his coach, Andy Flower, had allowed him to do just that.

“My confidence was a bit low [after the last two games] but he [Flower] told me you have this ability, so just show it… the coach told me that the other team should be under pressure and not you, because we have some very big legends in our team” said Gurbaz. “So yeah, it’s easy for me.”



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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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