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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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Under-19 World Cup – Afghanistan defend 134 against Sri Lanka to storm into semi-finals

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Vinuja Ranpul’s 5 for 10 in vain for Sri Lanka

Afghanistan 134 (Hadi 37, Noor 30, Ranpul 5-10) beat Sri Lanka 130 (Wellalage 34, Sami 2-33) by four runs

In a low-scoring thriller between two Asian sides, it was Afghanistan who pipped Sri Lanka to set up an Under-19 World Cup semi-final date with England.

Defending 134, Afghanistan were on top in the second innings when Sri Lanka were reduced to 43 for 7, but a 69-run eighth-wicket stand between Dunith Wellalage and Raveen de Silva gave Sri Lanka a sniff off a back-door win. However, Afghanistan’s legspinner Izharulhaq Naveed and left-arm spinner Nangeyalia Kharote took two late wickets, and Sri Lanka’s No. 11 Treveen Mathew was run out when they were five runs away from their target.

Wellalage and da Silva got together after Sri Lanka had lost their first seven wickets, which included three run-outs, inside the 18th over of the chase. Right-arm seamer Bilal Sami got the length ball to nip away early to induce an edge from opener Sadisha Rajapaksa and then bowled the No. 3 Shevon Daniel with a full ball. Sakuna Liyanage was then run-out from a throw from cover after a mix-up and a Naveed Zadran delivery angling across Anjala Banada took an edge to the keeper to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 24 for 4.

Left-arm wristspinner Noor Ahmad then trapped Ranuda Somarathne lbw before Sri Lanka lost their next two wickets to run-outs. Opener Chamindu Wickramasinghe was the victim of a direct hit and a mix-up saw Yasiru Rodrigo walk back for 2. At that stage, Sri Lanka, with three wickets in hand, still needed 92 to win.

The Wellalage-de Silva stand, though, brought the runs required down to 23, with the duo grinding it out for 142 balls while putting on 69. Wellalage struck three fours in his 34 and de Silva made 21 from 84 balls. But Wellalage was out trying to cut Kharote and de Silva was out to a Naveed googly to leave Sri Lanka with only one wicket in hand and 19 to get. Then it became a game of nerves with Sri Lanka’s final pair adding 14, but Treveen Mathew tried to pinch a single that wasn’t there, costing them their fourth run-out and leaving them agonisingly short of their target.

Afghanistan, too, struggled with the bat, rattled by right-arm seamer Vinuja Ranpul‘s 5 for 10. Ranpul had Nangeyalia Kharote caught behind after beating his bat on numerous occasions. Sulaiman Safi was then out lbw with a nip-backer and Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai’s drive took an edge to the keeper as Ranpul’s early burst left Afghanistan at 26 for 4.
However, a brief recovery followed as Allah Noor (25) and Abdul Hadi (37) battled out the middle overs to get Afghanistan close to triple digits. While relying mostly on running between the wickets, the stand also featured its share of pulls and attractive drives against the turn.

After Wellalage broke that stand, Hadi and the attacking No. 8 Noor took Afghanistan past 130 in an seventh-wicket stand worth 48. Noor smacked four sixes in his 33-ball 30 to give Afghanistan a batting impetus. He went over cover, down the ground and over long-on, before Ranpul returned in his final spell to break the stand. At 132 for 7, Afghanistan looked on course for a total in excess of 150, but they lost their last four wickets for only two runs.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx



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Steven Smith’s BBL final chances officially over

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The injury-hit club have had their final bid for the Australia batter rejected

Steven Smith will not play in the Big Bash League final after another request to make him available for selection was rejected by Cricket Australia.
Besieged by injuries and Covid-19 cases in their playing group, the Sixers made a third appeal for Smith to be able to play in Friday night’s final against the Perth Scorchers.

However, AAP has been told that was knocked back late on Thursday, with Smith no longer on stand by for the clash and the Sixers having since moved on.

It’s believed officials determined that there was adequate batting cover available for the Sixers in the local replacement pool, despite them being without three players through Covid and up to another two through injury.

Josh Philippe, Mickey Edwards and Jack Edwards are all infected by coronavirus while Jordan Silk has been ruled out of the final with a hamstring injury.

Daniel Hughes will need to pass a pre-match fitness test on his ankle to play, after missing Wednesday’s win over the Adelaide Striker due to injury.
Captain Moises Henriques and retiring veteran Steve O’Keefe will both play through calf injuries in the decider, after being declared fit to play.
It means the Sixers will again use a member of the player replacement pool and assistant coach Jay Lenton behind the stumps.

Fellow pool member Jake Carder will play in the final, while a third replacement from the pool in Nick Bertus will also come into the side for Silk if Hughes is unavailable.

Sixers had made an application to contract Smith before the finals last week, when he suddenly became available with the New Zealand ODI series postponed.

However, that was dismissed by Cricket Australia and the clubs, after it was agreed mid-season new players could only come from the replacement pool set to deal with Covid-19 outbreaks.

A fresh request was made before the Sixers’ clash with Adelaide when Philippe contracted Covid-19 and Hughes was injured, but it was again knocked back.

The spate of injuries from the mid-week match had then prompted a third bid, before its denial on Thursday spelled the end of any hopes of Smith playing.

Several Sixers players have voiced their frustration on the issue, with Dan Christian posting a tongue-in-cheek tweet on Thursday asking if anyone could fill in for the club as long as they weren’t a Test player.

Henriques admitted he was “clueless” about the situation on Thursday, while Perth captain Ashton Turner claimed he would have liked for Smith to play.

Friday’s final will be contested on neutral ground at Marvel Stadium and across-town from Australian Open tennis, with Perth unable to host the BBL game in Western Australia.



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Recent Match Report – AUS Women vs ENG Women Only Test 2021/22

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An overcast day offered more encouragement for the pace bowlers

England 38 for 2 trail Australia 337 for 9 dec by 299 runs

Australia made early inroads on an overcast second day in Canberra after Katherine Brunt had completed a five-wicket haul before the home side declared.

It was the third five-wicket bag of Brunt’s career as Australia could only add 10 runs to their overnight tally with Meg Lanning opting to call them in after Jess Jonassen departed.

Darcie Brown soon provided Australia’s breakthrough with her first Test wicket when she lured Lauren Winfield-Hill into a drive which was neatly held by Beth Mooney at second slip.

Ellyse Perry, during a seven-over opening spell, then found a way past Tammy Beaumont as the tactics of targeting the pads paid off when a delivery nipped back to beat the inside edge and take the back leg. Beaumont reviewed but it was three reds.

However, despite the two wickets Australia will probably consider they could have bowled better overall with the batters not made to play often enough. Brown bowled with good pace but was too wide either side of claiming her wicket while Tahlia McGrath did settle from either end across two spells and also had no-ball problems.

But in an encouraging sign for Australia before lunch, debutant legpsinner Alana King ripped her final delivery of the session past Heather Knight’s bat.

Australia had resumed on 327 for 7 after losing McGrath to the last delivery of the opening day and where tied down against the moving ball. Sutherland was removed by a fantastic delivery from Brunt which pitched middle and took the top of off stump before the England quick completing a fully deserved haul by taking Jonassen’s edge. That wicket also provided Amy Jones with a record-equalling sixth catch in the innings

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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