Shehzad, Hasan Ali shine in Pakistan’s series-winning performance

PAKISTAN IN WEST INDIES, 2017

Shehzad, Hasan Ali shine in Pakistan’s series-winning performance

Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Mon, 03 Apr, 2017, 06:14 AM

Disciplined bowling followed by Shehzad-Azam’s 70-run second-wicket stand sealed the fourth T20I in Pakistan’s favour. © AFP

The fourth Twenty20 International (T20I) between Pakistan and West Indies ended up being a no-contest as the touring side outclassed the hosts in all departments to take the series 3-1 on Sunday (April 2) at the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad. Unlike the popular case is in most T20Is where the bat dominates the ball, this contest was marked by a slightly unheard or unused word in the format – middle overs. After choking the hosts to a mediocre 124 and setting out to chase it down, the tourists romped home in a canter, winning the game by seven wickets with an over to spare.

All eyes were on Evin Lewis after Pakistan invited the hosts to bat first, but the danger was doused off as early as the third over when Imad Wasim drew first blood. Chadwick Walton went after the bowling, hitting as many as four sixes to hold the West Indies in good stead. But once Shadab Khan removed the wicketkeeper-batsman for his 31-ball 40, West Indies’ innings reared off into the dark.

Hasan Ali, who was bowling his second over, troubled Jason Mohammed throughout the over before sending him back on the final delivery with a sharp inswinging ball. When he came back to bowl his next over, Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels departed off back to back balls, leaving no scope for the hosts to recover from there. By the end of that over, Hasan Ali had bowled back to back maiden overs.

A flurry of dot balls in the middle overs, if they ever existed in this format, choked the West Indies and by the time, their skipper Carlos Brathwaite struck two sixes and two fours during his 24-ball 37, the West Indies had already done much damage to themselves to only end up with 124 for 8 in 20 overs. Having played out 66 dot balls in the innings, the hosts had pushed themselves against the wall and it would have needed an outstanding bowling effort to deny Pakistan the edge in reply.

On a wicket that was being used for the second time in as many days, Pakistan openers put together 40 runs, dismissing any debate about the slowness of the wicket, if at all. Once Kamran Akmal was dismissed after playing a smart hand of 20 runs, Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam got together for the best partnership of the match, stringing together 70 runs. The duo ran 30 of those runs, while finding the fence quite regularly.

Shehzad raised his 6th T20I fifty in the 16th over and with only 15 more needed to win, he shuffled across too much to be bowled around his legs. The other set batsman in Babar Azam followed his partner back into the hut, having added valuable 38 runs.

Shoaib Malik was joined in by skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and they completed the formalities without much hassles. Malik was dropped on 2 but he quickly redeemed himself to hit a four and take the visitors over the line. In the process, the former skipper also became the second-highest run-getter for Pakistan in the shortest format of the game.

Brief Scores: West Indies 124/8 in 20 overs (Chadwick Walton 40, Carlos Brathwaite 37*; Hasan Ali 2-12, Shadab Khan 2-16) lost to Pakistan 127/3 in 19 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 53, Babar Azam 38; Kesrick Williams 2-16) by seven wickets.

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Here’s what India’s 2011 World Cup heroes are doing these days

MS Dhoni scored unbeaten 91 in World Cup 2011 final. (Source: AP) MS Dhoni scored unbeaten 91 in World Cup 2011 final. (Source: AP)

2nd April 2011 holds a special place in the hearts of the Indian cricket fans as the Men in Blue lifted the ICC World Cup for the second time in the history on this very day. Under the leadership of MS Dhoni, India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

While Dhoni smashed a maximum to conclude the proceedings for the home side, it was a team that consisted of some big names and performers. Here’s a list of players who were a part of India’s World Cup 2011 winning team and what they are up to now.

MS Dhoni

The skipper of that Indian side which lifted the ultimate glory, MS Dhoni has now stepped down from the helm position in the limited overs format while has bid an adieu to Test cricket. Dhoni who is now available as a player for the Indian side has recently led his state team Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare trophy and is a part of the Rising Pune Supergiants franchise.

Sachin Tendulkar

India’s most iconic player and legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar has now retired from all forms of cricket. The right-hand batsman is now more often seen in getting involved in non-cricketing activities like sharing stage with legendary Tabla master Zakir Hussain. Tendulkar also owns ISL team Kochi and he has been pretty active in supporting his side. Though, he is generally focusing excursions and non cricketing events, Tendulkar is still a mentor for IPL franchise Mumbai Indians and came up with an All Stars cricket league with former Australian spinner Shane Warne that comprises of former cricketers.

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh has been in and out of the Indian side after the ICC World Cup 2011 triumph and had a set back when after he was diseased with cancer. Though the flamboyant batsman made a cut back in the Indian side later but his place isn’t cemented yet. He is right now a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.

Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag is now a retired Indian cricketer and is often busy using the social media platform Twitter. His rigorous tweets on various topics collect a lot of attention. Apart from tweeting, Sehwag is now the coach of Kings XI Punjab side in the IPL.

Gautam Gambhir

If the Indian fans can give credit to somebody other than Dhoni for the 2011 final win, it’s none other than Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir’s 97 in the night of the final certainly made the difference in the result ended that 28-year drought. But the left-hand batsman’s place in the Indian side saw some tumbling later on and he was eventually dropped after some bad performances. For now, the Delhi batsman and the former Delhi skipper is leading Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

Suresh Raina

Not many would remember Suresh Raina’s knock against Pakistan in the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup in Mohali that showed resistance to a bowling line up that was creating problems for the Indian side. Raina who was a part of 2011 World Cup winning team is presently the skipper of Gujarat Lions franchise in the IPL and is a part of Uttar Pradesh team in the domestic front.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has certainly shifted gears in not just his batting but also in the way of judging the game. He has been producing some magical innings with his willow, be it a Test match, an ODI or a T20. Kohli has now been handed over the captaincy reigns across all formats and the swashbuckling skipper has been so far pretty successful with his duties.

Yusuf Pathan

Yusuf Pathan is an integral part of Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in the IPL while plays for Baroda in Domestic arena.

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan is another cricketer from this squad who has bid a farewell to the game and is now the skipper of Delhi Daredevils team in the IPL. Zaheer was India’s most successful bowler in the ICC World Cup 2011.

Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh who is presently out of the national side is a part of Mumbai Indians in the IPL and has been performing pretty in the domestic matches too. Apart from this he was recently in a special role in the reality show “ROADIES”.

Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra’s gutsy bowling has troubled a lot of batsmen. The left-arm bowler though hasn’t played an ODI after 2011 semi-final encounter still his effiecient bowling has made him a regular customer in the shortest format of the game in the Indian side.

Munaf Patel

Munaf Patel is an integral part of his domestic team Baroda.

S. Sreesanth

One of the most promising cricketers S. Sreesanth, found himself in a lot of trouble when he was arrested after being allegedly involved is spot-fixing scandal in IPL 2013. Since, then he has been out of cricketing arena. He later joined the BJP and has tried his hands at acting as well.

Piyush Chawla

Piyush Chawla is a mainstay of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise and has been pretty consistent for Uttar Pradesh on the domestic front.

Ravichandran Ashwin

India’s spin bowling spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the most important cricketers in the Indian side. Presently he is playing for the Indian team across all formats and is the number 2 Test bowler in the world and has also scored 4 hundreds in the longest format. (All coming against West Indies)

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India-Australia series was the best of all: Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is the skipper of MI in IPL. (Source: PTI) Rohit Sharma is the skipper of MI in IPL. (Source: PTI)

Praising the highly competitive nature of the recently concluded four-Test series between India and Australia, fit-again batsman Rohit Sharma felt it was the best among the four home rubbers this season.

“The last series against the Australians was the best among the 3-4 series at home because of the way it went through from the first Test. Losing the first Test and then bouncing back to win two Test matches (to win the series 2-1) was a fantastic effort (by India),” said Sharma in Mumbai on Sunday.

The flamboyant batsman, who played in the first of the three Test rubber against New Zealand before getting injured in the ODI game against the Kiwis at Vizag to miss the rest of the Test season, said the beauty of the series was the fact that different individuals came through to fill the gaps and performed well too.

“It was not about one individual; a lot of guys came in at different times, took up the challenge and performed, which is why it was the best series. The wickets were not easy and were challenging for batters. It was wonderful to watch from outside.”

He insisted that although both teams fought hard they never crossed the limits vis-a-vis player behaviour and felt some incidents were blown out of proportion.

“India-Australia series have always seen good rivalry over the years and I was not surprised at what happened. When you play against a top side in the world, these things are bound to happen. As long as one remembers not to cross limits it’s good. “It was a hard-fought battle and some things were blown out of proportion. Players know what needs to be done on and off field,” he concluded.

The series was bitterly fought and there was a lot of verbal duels indulged by both the teams’ players right through the four-game rubber that ended with India’s series triumph at Dharamsala last month-end.

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Cameron White stands down as Victoria captain

PASSING ON BATON

Cameron White stands down as Victoria captain

Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Fri, 31 Mar, 2017, 10:59 AM

Cameron White stepped down as captain after leading side in 76 Shield games. © Getty

After leading Victoria to a record third consecutive Sheffield Shield title, Cameron White has called it time on his captaincy career. White stood in for regular captain Matthew Wade, who was away on national duty.

This was the fifth Shield title that White led the Bushrangers to, having the most number of wins as captain in the history of the competition, spanning 124 years.

“I think that’s my time done with the captaincy,” said White on Thursday (March 30) after leading Victoria in 76 Sheild games, with only three others to have had more for their respective sides. “I can’t do it forever. It’s been a great honour to do it again this year and to cap it off with a Shield (title). I think it’s time for someone else to do it.

“I just want to get back to enjoying playing. I can always help out as well while I’m still around. There’s a lot of guys who can do the captaincy,” he added, before endorsing Peter Handscomb for the role. “Peter Handscomb is probably the number one cab off the rank I’d assume. I haven’t spoken to Pete about it and that’ll be up to (coach) Andrew McDonald and the Cricket Victoria board, but he would be the obvious choice.

“I’m always going to help out while I’m around, whether it’s captaincy (this year) or just trying to teach the young fellas how to play the game. I’m looking forward to doing that kind of role.”

White was handed the coveted role when he was 20, in 2003-04, making him the youngest-ever Victoria skipper. He went on to skipper the Bushrangers for nearly a decade, before Wade replaced him in 2013-14 and later led the team to the first two of the three titles. Wade, however, has made clear his intent on moving back to his home state of Tasmania at the end of the season, which leaves him out of contention to take over the reins of the side, which gives Handscomb the chance.

Handscomb has led Victoria six times in the Shield and the Matador One-Day Cup over the last two seasons. He also was picked to lead Australia A during last winter’s Quadrangular series against India A and South Africa A. However, Handscomb, even if picked as Victoria’s new skipper, would likely miss a fair bit of the Shield season due to national commitments, following his impressive performances in national colours.

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MS Dhoni is very supportive, and we have exchanged a few texts, says Rising Pune Supergiant’s skipper Steve Smith

Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, Pune Supergiants finished seventh in the previous edition. Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, Pune Supergiants finished seventh in the previous edition.

Over the period of 10 years, MS Dhoni has carried the responsibility of captaincy (for IPL teams, state and country). But now it seems, one of the most successful captain of the game, will have a new role to play on the field. In the upcoming season of IPL, Rising Pune Supergiant will have a new captain in Steve Smith while MS Dhoni will be fulfilling his wicket-keeping duties.

Smith, announced as Dhoni’s replacement, spoke to the media on Thursday at the end of hotly contested India-Australia series. On being asked about leading a team with captains like Dhoni, Faf Du Plessis (South Africa captain) and Ajinkya Rahane (India’s captain in the fourth Test), the right-handed batsman said, “It’s great to have a team full of leaders and players from all over the world. It will make my job a lot more easier. Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable. I really don’t think that it will be a hindrance at all. Hopefully, with the squad at our disposal, I hope to get the results that we are striving for – which is to win the IPL.”

“MS is very supportive, and we have exchanged a few texts. My being captain does not in any way change my professional equation with him,” he said. When asked about Dhoni’s absence in the presser and a change in captaincy, franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka said “We play our first game on April 6 and Mahi will be joining us from April 3 in Pune and you will be able to make out with his performance. Steve and Dhoni have been in constant touch. Both of them have been involved in teams selection. He is completely amicable.” “Whenever I’ve talked talked to Mahi (Dhoni), that many times I have walked out with some learning. He is one of the finest minds I have ever interacted with him. I walk away with tremendous respect with him. As an individual, as a leader and as a player, I have been his biggest fans. This is a new season, a new captain and there is complete unity in the team and we have the potential to perform well,” he added. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in the series decider against Australia, showed glimpses of Dhoni’s style of captaincy. Praising Dhoni’s influence on him, Rahane said, “Dhoni bhai jaise player ek inspiration hain. Woh koi bhi team ho, chahe Indians ho ya bahar se, sabhi unse seekhte hain. (A player like Dhoni bhai, plays for which ever team, is an inspiration for everyone, be it an Indian player or a foreigner). His presence in a team is always an advantage for every player. You get to learn a lot from Mahi bhai. Even if he is not the captain, but as a player whatever goes in his mind, how he reads the situation in the match, it will be learning experience for every player. So it is not necessary that you get to learn from him only if he is captaining your side but it is whenever you talk to him about cricket, he explains us how to read the situation.” In their only season so far in the IPL, RPS under Dhoni finished seventh in a eight team event with five wins and nine losses.

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