West Indies vs Pakistan, 4th T20I, Pakistan tour of West Indies, 2017

Sarfraz marches up, collects the silverware and calls his team upon to pose with the Champions board. If this series was any indication, this could well be the first of a few more on this tour. A huge moment this for all the youngsters, products of the PSL, who’ve stepped up here in rescuing their side just when things seemed to slip away from there. Until the seventh of April, it is time for us to pack our bags from the Caribbean. I’ve been Vineet Anantharaman in the company of Sagar Chawla and Venkatesh bringing you the action. Ta ta!!

Shadab Khan, Man of the Series: “I was bowling slightly faster yesterday. I worked on that and it made a huge difference as I was getting the ball to turn. I don’t mind bowling to either left or right handers.”

Brathwaite: “I really cannot put my finger on anything but we just did not do well today. After the start we had, we were looking to cruise to a big total. We were planning to set a total of 150 but we did not even get close which cost us dear. Rotation of strike is very important but so is keeping wickets in hand. Had we had around 50 dot balls, it could have been different. As a team, the attitude and the fight that we showed would hold us good going forward.”

Sarfraz: “Credit goes to the players, especially the bowlers who did the job for us. The plan was to use Shadab outside the powerplays. The fielding was the best we’ve seen in a long time. Looking forward to the ODI series coming up.”

Hasan Ali, Man of the Match: “The plan was to bowl wicket to wicket. Yesterday’s match wasn’t all that good but the plan was to bowl into the pitch today. Yes, there was a bit of reverse swing around.”

Pakistan wouldn’t complain, not everyday do you get to inflict a 3-1 drubbing away from home. Against the World Champs too. This Windies side had some serious world beaters too, most of whom would now be on their flight for the madness in India. Sets the remainder of the One-Day leg up perfectly for them. Hang in there, the presentations coming your way..

All too easy. Pakistan did try their best towards the end in spicing up matters. But in the end, a target as sub-par as this just did not merit any competition. A good time for Shehzad to hit his straps and find himself some form and he used the opportunity to get himself some spot-saving runs. Babar Azam once again showed how it looks to be elegant while spanking boundaries. Nothing went the way of the Windies in their defence of 125. Pollard hurting his knee at the fence, catches being put down, misfields and some wayward bowling. Eventually, it was the 66 dot balls with the bat in their hands that came back to haunt them.

18.6 Holder to Shoaib Malik, FOUR, seals it in style. Gets a wide tired full toss for help and Malik this time stoops, crouches and stabs it square. That’s the series to Pakistan. 3-1

18.5 Holder to Sarfraz, 1 run, a desperate adventurous tap and a run. To cover. And had he connected with his throw, it could have been curtains. 2 runs needed. Final delivery?
Courtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports

Source: http://www.cricbuzz.com/live-cricket-scores/17870/wi-vs-pak-4th-t20i-pakistan-tour-of-west-indies-2017?utm_source=TOInewHP_TILwidget&utm_medium=ABtest&utm_campaign=TOInewHP

Maturity came after marriage, says Umesh Yadav

Umesh Yadav has grown leaps and bounds as a bowler over the years. Umesh Yadav has grown leaps and bounds as a bowler over the years.

It took some prodding from wife Tanya and vital tweaking in bowling to find the correct length and focus for Umesh Yadav as he transformed from erratic tearaway to dependable spearhead. Bharat Sundaresan listens in as India’s latest pace sensation traces back his run-up to success…

You have found new ways to take wickets this season, intimidating the Aussies in Dharamsala to beguiling them with cutters in Bangalore.

I have been working really hard over the last 10-12 months. The first thing I was focusing on was getting consistent with my line and length. To ensure that I land the ball exactly where I want to land the ball at will. Then it came to getting batsmen out. These days I keep an eye on batsmen a lot more, observe their footwork closely. I have also started using the crease to develop new angles of delivery this season, especially the last 6-7 months. I first study the batsman, to see what ball is troubling him, which ones he’s comfortable against. On that basis, I make my plans. So if I see he’s playing me off the back-foot then I know I have to keep targeting him with full-length deliveries. Because he’s waiting to play me off the backfoot, and a full ball will trouble him.

That’s how I plan. Then there are batsmen who stand covering the off-stump, so I have to get them out by using a wide angle. If I keep bowling from close to the stumps every ball, they’ll get used to me. So I make sure to bowl from wide of the crease. But when I can bowl from the corner of the crease, and then get the bowl to swing away from the right-hander from that angle, that becomes difficult for him. He will play with the straight bat, and will get into trouble. Anil bhai (Kumble) and Sanjay bhai (Bangar) have been of great help. Sanjay bhai was the one who told me about working with these angles. He said you have pace and everything else. But if you start using the angle then you will become more dangerous with that variation. It took me 4-6 months to get comfortable with it.

Former bowling coach Bharat Arun said you like to practice something new with the action before feeling comfortable…

I tried it out in the nets. You have to change your run-up a little. Different bowlers try different ways to do it. Some just run in straight like they do normally and then jump wide, others start running in from wide. Some corner to corner. It all depends on your jump and landing. It takes some time for your muscles to get used to that movement. Initially there will be some issues. Kabhi aapka angle galat ho jaata hai. You want to pitch it somewhere, but you end up sliding it wide. That’s why you need to practise it a lot before trying it in the match.

The Umesh Yadav of old would bowl a lot of great spells but wasn’t known to be someone who thinks batsmen out…

These things come through when you start playing a few matches on the trot. Your confidence keeps improving, and you get more match experience. So once I started playing matches continuously, I started having conversations with Sanjay bhai and Anil bhai, to get an idea. They told me when you are bowling, “batsmen ke upar focus rakha kar ki woh kya kar raha hai“. From then I started studying batsmen a lot more closely, and their movement, like are they going from leg-stump to off-stump or front to back.

So is this more satisfying, to think batsmen out?

Definitely. When you are bowling to get a batsman out with a plan it’s a lot more interesting and challenging as compared to just trying to get him out. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m enjoying it. There really isn’t one specific wicket that I planned and succeeded that I rate above the rest. I have always been someone who believes in taking wickets. That’s what gets me going. I don’t count kisko out kiya, or kaise out kiya. Whether it is a tail-ender or a top-order batsman, it’s the wicket that counts.

Yes, there doesn’t seem to be a bias in terms of who you’re dismissing. 16 righties and 14 lefties, and 16 out of 30 have been in the top 4, and 12 in the tail. But what’s been amazing is the number of times you have come on in a spell taken a wicket, Matthew Wade in Pune and Adil Rashid in Chennai come to mind.

Fitness is of course the key. But it’s more about when a bowler is enjoying his bowling and is confident about what he’s doing, things start happening. It’s all a result of the hard work that I have put in over the last 10-12 months. These days, I don’t feel any pressure. It’s not like oh, ab wicket lena hi hai come what may. It’s just that I know taking a wicket is my role and it’ll happen. A fast bowler will always stick to the best ball, which he knows will get him that wicket. I have the confidence that if I bowl that ball, which for me is on a length at full pace, often enough, I can get any batsman out in any spell, on any pitch and in any situation.

You keep talking about the hard work in the last two years. How has it been different to before?

Before that I used to play on and off, and often I wasn’t getting wickets. I was left out of a Test, I was left out of a certain series. I never felt settled. But I think the maturity that I have now came after I got married. Then you start thinking about the other person, and know that there’s someone there for you always. Then you start thinking about the future more practically. Once my wife (Tanya Wadhwa) came into my life and the first 2-3 years (they married in 2013) she saw the ups and downs, she started pushing me harder. She was like yes you’re doing well and trying hard, but I think you can try harder and do better. She kept saying, “Umesh you have that ability. I think you’re not doing as much as you can.” To the extent that when there were times when I felt like let me just take a break today from training and sit at home, she’ll say, “Koi chutti nahi. Practice jaani hai toh jaani hai.” So I couldn’t bunk or even go late for practice. She was like “tum training karke aao phir free time mein jo karna hai karo“. This is your job. This is your passion, pursue it. Hearing those words from someone so close and to see her support made me realize again that cricket is my life. Sab ki nazaron mein toh theek hai, uski nazaron mein apne ko iss kaabil banao ki she thinks yes my husband deserves this and he’s got it. That was the starting point of the transformation. Those words always remain etched in my head.

It was a good fun some where in between the Hills Mulshi @y_umesh 😊 pic.twitter.com/IJaC2jOZfr — tanya umesh yadaav (@tanya_wadhwa) 27 February 2017

So she continues to push you then?

Yes, I don’t think I’ve reached the level at which she wants to see me. She wants people to come up and say Umesh is a world-class bowler. I want to keep working hard to reach a point where she gets to hear that.

She’s in the fashion line . So when you look into the mirror, you don’t just see a better fast bowler but a more stylized person?

She’s in fashion retail. And she takes the call on most things. Even when I wanted to renovate my house, I just let her take all the calls. I can say that it’s not just my bowling that has improved but also my style and lifestyle that has improved since she came in. I have always had a passion for shoes and clothes, but these days my wife helps me a lot in my choices.

How did you two meet?

We met through a common friend. We dated for two years and then we decided it’s time we got married. Hame woh pasand aa gayi, hum dono ke aadate hume acche lagne lage, toh socha shaadi kar le. Right partner at the right time, what else can you ask for.

How did maturity reflect in your training?

I was always hard-working. But at times you aren’t as focused as you need to be. You are bowling a lot but you aren’t training with any direction. Then you realize something’s missing. What it is, you just can’t identify on your own. You need to have the mindset and focus to be the No.1 bowler in the world. Only then you can get there. So after I heard her say those things, I also realized I have pace and swing, it’s just about becoming a regular part of the team, and not just be in and out of the team anymore. It also helped that the Indian team was becoming a great unit and we got great coaches in the mix. They helped a lot in building my confidence. All my teammates are so supportive and I’m having fun in the dressing-room. And jaisa chah rahe ho, woh ho raha hai. Technically, I haven’t changed much. It’s just a clarity of thought that was needed.

Virat Kohli would always lament in his early days as captain about how his fast bowlers never had the same intensity in their later spells when the match was at the crossroads

The boys are now aware of how to deal with a spell once the body is tired. The idea is to set your field for one plan and keep bowling on that spot, and let the batsmen make mistakes. Just ensure you don’t make any mistakes.

Your career can be divided into two halves, pre-Delhi Test and post-Delhi Test..

Everyone has that Test after which you get that confidence and you get positive reviews from everyone and your own team. The management starts talking you up, then you realize that I only have to look ahead now. No point looking back. Basically in Delhi, I tried different things, like using angles from wide of the crease, dropped my arm and bowled side-arm because the ball was reversing. Because I wasn’t bowling with my natural release it was swinging late, the batsmen was confused by that movement. And it clicked.

Your economy rate and Pujara’s strike-rate always get debated over. It’s dropped drastically in your case.

It’s about focus again. Earlier what would happen is if I wasn’t getting wickets, in that quest I would bowl some half-volleys or stray down leg. Now I know what my length is and that if I keep bowling on the right spot, I will get wickets. So I realized that if I keep doing that my economy rate will come down and enhance my chances of getting wickets.

Bharat Arun had also said that you would get affected by getting hit for boundaries but that has changed…

Yes. It used to happen earlier, when you are playing one match, and sitting out the next. You get hit for a boundary, it does affect your confidence. And you start thinking about kya kare, kya na kare boundary chale gaye toh. But you learn. I have learnt to calm myself down in those scenarios, how to forget that ball and bowl a better delivery, that’s my greatest strength now I feel.

You have a background in fitness with your dad and him making you run around as a kid. But has it changed much of late and were you wary of playing nearly all of the 13 Tests in the home season?

My fitness routine is still the same. The trainer gives me a program and I stick by it. I have always known what I need to do and what I shouldn’t. My recovery, my strength program I stick to religiously. I know how much I need to train in a day. It’s very important to know your body. It comes from family background too in my case. I got it in my genes, my focus is to maintain it for as long as possible. My body is more suited to dealing with fatigue, maybe it’s God’s gift, but even when I’m tired, the body works at that same speed and intensity always without going down. My athletic background, sprinting and other sports that I played, have kept my body fit and flexible.

❤😘 pic.twitter.com/3OY3avuVj3 — tanya umesh yadaav (@tanya_wadhwa) 14 February 2017

Did you have to change your diet. You used to be a Ghee fanatic.

No, I still keep eating ghee. No problem. Haven’t changed my diet much. I eat what I should as a sportsperson. Avoid sweets, don’t eat much fatty food, only what is required for the body. I have ghee one time a day for sure.

But a fast bowler sporting a Buddha tattoo and bowling bouncers?

I had a Mother Mary tattoo made for my late mother. Then you get that chaska. So got two more made. Shiv ji ko maanta hoon toh unka tattoo. I bowl bouncers only to get batsmen out, that’s my job so I do it, but otherwise my nature is the same like Buddha, calm and cool.

You seem to produce deliveries that fly off the wicket even on slow, low tracks…

I think if you’re confident enough and are powerful in body and mind you can produce those deliveries on any kind of wicket. You have to be aggressive as a fast bowler. I’ll bowl a bouncer on a paata and a bouncy wicket with the same intensity. Fast bowling is similar to batting in the sense like they say you have to positive and confident while playing a shot, it’s the same for a fast bowler. He has to think he’ll take a wicket on any pitch.

You have been this shy guy who seems like a reluctant star, so how are you dealing with this all this sudden-adulation?

It’s good for me. When you are so focused on doing well, and things start going your way, you stop worrying about negative things. You don’t waste your time on them. You’ll go to the ground, training and come back home. I am only focusing on what’s important for me in life, my wife, my dad, family and my cricket. The other things will take care of themselves.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/maturity-came-after-marriage-umesh-yadav-4595721/

Winning away from home will make us better: Mashrafe

SETTING RECORDS RIGHT

Winning away from home will make us better: Mashrafe

• Last updated on Fri, 31 Mar, 2017, 06:23 PM Rex Clementine in Colombo

“People have to understand that the world over away matches are always difficult.” © AFP

Bangladesh have shown clear improvement in their cricket in recent times, but still they have to improve their record away from home. Out of the 158 One-Day Internationals they have played at home, they have won 64, but of the 165 away from home, they have won only 38.

Since the World Cup 2015, they have recorded series wins over India, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. But there have been fewer opportunities for them overseas. Prior to their current tour of Sri Lanka, the only ODI series they have played away since 2015 is the three-match ODI series against New Zealand in December last year, where they were whitewashed 3-0. However, Bangladesh have a fine opportunity to set that record straight on Saturday (April 1) where they go into the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo with a 1-0 lead.

“We will become a truly good team only when we also start winning away,” Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh’s captain, said on the eve of the match on Friday (March 31). “We have won a Test match and an ODI here. So, the progress will not happen all at once. In away matches, for example, we had no clue about the Dambulla wicket – it was supposedly new. We played here a long time ago. So it is difficult to adjust to these things; it will change slowly.

“People have to understand that the world over away matches are always difficult. If you see recent Test matches, Australia are playing in India and all the teams who are playing in India, it is difficult for them. And when India visit other countries, it becomes difficult for them too. So when other teams come to Bangladesh we play well. This is the reality,” he added.

Bangladesh were lucky to escape in the second ODI after Sri Lanka looked set to square the series having posted a huge 311 before rain washed out proceedings. No team has successfully chased a total in excess of 300 in Sri Lanka, but a heavy downpour rained on Sri Lanka’s parade as the game had to be abandoned, leaving Bangladesh in a position where they cannot lose the series.

“History has always changed. History is made to change. I think they batted really well. Credit should go to them. But from our point we were very confident because the wicket was really good. But as you said, history says that it is very difficult. But we knew that if there were good partnerships, it was gettable because of the wicket. Our boys have been really positive; that was nice to see from the dressing room.”

Mashrafe, however, admitted that Bangladesh had conceded too many runs in the second ODI. “In the last match, they scored 300. Obviously the wicket was very good, but maybe we have to try to minimize 20-25 runs from that. Where they can score 300, we have to keep it to 280. So if we can do something like that the task will become easier for us. As I said, we have to play according to the plan, otherwise it will be difficult,” he said.

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Source: http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/93691/winning-away-from-home-will-make-us-better-mashrafe

West Indies vs Pakistan, 2nd T20I: Pakistan win by 3 runs

Pakistan posted only 132 on the board. Pakistan posted only 132 on the board.

In a low scoring affair, Pakistan beat West Indies in the second T20 international by three runs after defending 132 on Thursday. Batting first, Pakistan lost regular wickets but managed to get to 132. West Indies were cruising at one stage before Shadab Khan had Marlon Samules caught behind. Shadab picked up four wickets for 14 runs. West Indies could not make the most of the good start and were 129 for nine wickets at the end.

West Indies vs Pakistan, 2nd T20I

0130 hrs IST: Pakistan win! Hasan Ali has defended 14 runs off the final over. Only a single on the final ball. Pakistan lead the series 2-0!

0125 hrs IST: Hasan Ali has bowled a wide down the leg side after bowling a dot ball. West Indies need 5 off 3 balls. Dot ball and West Indies need 5 off 2 balls

0124 hrs IST: Another four! Full toss to Narine who smashes it over the bowler’s head for four. Wesr Indies need 6 off 4. The next one is a dot ball

0122 hrs IST: Four! Sunil Narine you beauty! He hits the first ball for four through mid-wicket. On the leg side and just smacked it

0121 hrs IST: Final over coming up and West Indies need 14 runs to win the match and level the series. Hasan Ali to bowl the overs

0110 hrs IST: West Indies need 30 runs from 18 balls to level this years. Sohail Tanvir will bowl to Brathwaite

0051 hrs IST: WICKET! Has Shadab Khan turned it around? Marlon Samuels is caught behind as Shadab’s fourth wicket. West Indies are 86 for the loss of six wickets

Ahmed Shehzad is back on the field after been taken out on the stretcher earlier!

0042 hrs IST: WICKET! Shabad Khan has two in two. Powell has no clue about that delivery and is bowled. He is on a hat-trick

0040 hrs IST: WICKET! So Shadab Khan once again strikes. Pollard tries to go down the pitch but misses the ball as it turns away from him. Stumped

0037 hrs IST: Samuels is batting on a different level! Brilliant shot through covers. Consecutive boundaries.

0033 hrs IST: WICKET! Another wicket for Pakistan. Hasan has struck. Brilliant bowling from the pacer. Simmons leg before

0027 hrs IST: WICKET! Shadab Khan does it again! Googly from him to dismiss Walton. Bowled. Brilliant bowling

0025 hrs IST: West Indies are going strong against Pakistan. 50-run stand between Samuels and Walton up. West Indies are 60 for 1

0019 hrs IST: Six overs gone and West Indies are 35 for the loss of one wicket. Shadab Khan will be bowling now for Pakistan

0000 hrs IST: Another collision. Walton is running to make his ground and Shehzad is trying to pick the ball. Walton’s knee has hit straight into Shehzad’s back neck! This is nasty. Shehzad is in pain and is unable to get up. Walton is up. Arthur and the medical staff is out on the field. Shehzad is being stretched off the field. Looks conscious but collision was nasty

2350 hrs IST: WICKET! Evin Lewis has to go. Run out by Imad Wasim. This is bizarre. Lewis has lost his bat after colliding with Shadab at back-up. His foot is in the air and third umpire has given him out

2344 hrs IST: Imad Wasim will open the bowling for Pakistan with Evin Lewis and Walton to open the innings for West Indies

2329 hrs IST: Pakistan bowled out for 132 on the final ball of the innings. West Indies need 133 to win the second match and level the series

2314 hrs IST: What on earth! Pakistan lose another wicket as Carlos Brathwaite with a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Imad Wasim. Pakistan are 95 for the loss of 8 wickets

2311 hrs IST: Goner! Sunil Narine has his third wicket as Tanvir is leg-before. Pakistan lose three wickets in eight balls

2308 hrs IST: WICKET! Another big wicket for West Indies. Sarfraz is caught at backward point! Brilliant catch from Samuels and Pakistan are 6 down

2304 hrs IST: WICKET! Big wicket for West Indies as Shoaib Malik pulls it straight to deep square leg. Brathwaite has a wicket and Pakistan lose half of their team

2257 hrs IST: 13 overs gone and Pakistan have made 74 for the loss of four wickets. Shoaib Malik showing how it’s done

2250 hrs IST: Pakistan still not able to recover from the early and regular blows! They are four down. Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed at the crease

Hey guys how about hitting the ball down the ground.. the message is not going through even after years of batting blunders!! — Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) 30 March 2017

2240 hrs IST: WICKET! Fakhar Zaman is caught at deep midwicket. Disastrous for Pakistan. Second wicket for Badree. Outside off and Zaman sweeps it only to top edge it to the fielder

2234 hrs IST: WICKET! Now Sunil Narine has Ahmed Shehzad caught at short mid-wicket! This is a horrible start for Pakistan. Two new batsmen at the crease

2229 hrs IST: WICKET! Second wicket for West Indies as Babar Azam is caught behind. Extra bounce on that delivery and Azam could not keep it low

2219 hrs IST: 10 runs off the over for Pakistan and they have moved on to 25 for the loss of one wicket after five overs. Williams to bowl not. Final over of powerplay

2215 hrs IST: Babar Azam and Ahmed Shehzad are trying to rebuild the innings for Pakistan. Pacers from both end for West Indies

2201 hrs IST: WICKET! What a start for West Indies. Badree has knocked down the off stump of Kamran Akmal. Pakistan lose their first wicket in the first over

2159 hrs IST: Samuel Badree will bowl the first over of the day, Kamran Akmal will be on strike for Pakistan

2155 hrs IST: Moments away from live action in Port of Spain. Pakistan will come out to bat first against West Indies, who won the toss

2137 hrs IST: Fakhar Zaman makes his international debut as Pakistan drop Mohammad Hafeez for this contest. Big day for the batsman

2134 hrs IST: Pakistan too chased down the modest total with ease in the series opener. It remains to be seen whether West Indies could do the same in a crucial contest. A defeat here would give the visitors an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series

2130 hrs IST: TOSS! The coin goes for a flip and it lands in West Indies favour. The hosts elect to field first in the 2nd T20I of the four-match series

2123 hrs IST: Pakistan outplayed the hosts in the first match. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan impressed everyone with his mystery while Shoaib Malik played a decent hand to finish the modest chase for the visitors

2115 hrs IST: Welcome to the coverage of the second T20 international match between West Indies and Pakistan from Port of Spain. Pakistan lead the four-match series 1-0.

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Rashid Khan five-fer derails Ireland

INTERCONTINENTAL CUP

Rashid Khan five-fer derails Ireland

Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Wed, 29 Mar, 2017, 07:51 PM

Rashid Khan’s five-fer broke the back of Ireland to leave them tottering at 170 for 7. © Getty

Legspinner Rashid Khan continued to torment Ireland as he picked up a five-wicket haul on the second day of their Intercontinental Cup tie in Greater Noida. After having picked up a five-wicket haul in a Twenty20 International and a One-Day International recently at the same venue, Rashid bamboozled Ireland in the longer format as well while playing in his first ever Intercontinental Cup match.

As a result, Ireland were tottering at 170 for 7 at the close of play, still trailing their opponents by a massive margin of 367 runs. Earlier in the day, Afghanistan declared after posting 537 on the board. Overnight centurion Asghar Stanikzai continued to pile on the runs and had Afsar Zazai for company. After a calm start to the day’s play, both the batsmen imposed themselves with some big hits. While Stanikzai hit his sixth six, Zazai slammed one himself in the very next over to bring up Afghanistan’s 400. George Dockrell continued to leak runs but finally found some respite when he had the Afghanistan skipper stumped for 145.

Rashid then started off on a positive note with back-to-back boundaries off Dockrell but the left-arm spinner came out on top by cleaning him up in the following over to pick up his third wicket. With the eighth wicket falling, Zazai took the attack to the opposition and fetched a six and a four off Andy McBrine. He then reached his half-century off 93 balls while seamlessly shifting gears. With Dawlat Zadran also chipping in, Afghanistan began to frustrate Ireland and breached the 500-run mark. The team management then waited for Zazai to bring up his century in order to declare the innings. He duly obliged by hitting Peter Chase for a six followed by a four to reach the three-figure landmark.

With a daunting score ahead of them, Ireland were desperately looking for a positive start to their innings. Unfortunately, they were jolted very early with skipper William Porterfield getting trapped leg before wicket for 4 off Mohammad Nabi, who took the new ball. Ed Joyce and Andy Balbirnie looked positive though as a flurry of boundaries off Rashid brought up Ireland’s fifty. The duo continued to collect boundaries at regular intervals as the run rate kept hovering above 3.5. Eventually, Balbirnie raised a crisp half-century off just 63 balls.

The duo also brought up their century stand and were cruising at 123 for 1 before suffering a monumental collapse. While Zahir Khan broke the 117-run stand by getting rid of Balbirnie, Rashid sent back Joyce just five balls later to leave Ireland reeling at 127 for 3. The legspinner never allowed any newcomer to settle down as he kept chipping away with the wickets. He went on to remove Gary Wilson for 4 and then struck in three successive overs to send Niall O’Brien, Dockrell and Paul Stirling back to the pavilion. Stirling lasted only four balls after walking out to bat at No. 8 with an injured left hand. Ireland now have a huge task to preserve their lead at the top of the points table.

Brief scores: Ireland 170/7 (Andrew Balbirnie 62, Ed Joyce 45; Rashid Khan 5-54, Zahir Khan 1-27) trail Afghanistan 537/8 decl. (Asghar Stanikzai 145, Afsar Zazai 103*; George Dockrell 3-160, John Anderson 2-92) by 367 runs.

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Dinesh Karthik ton powers Tamil Nadu to Deodhar Trophy win

Dinesh Karthik was named Man of the Match for his flashy century. (Source: PTI) Dinesh Karthik was named Man of the Match for his flashy century. (Source: PTI)

Experienced stumper Dinesh Karthik slammed a 91-ball 126 to power Tamil Nadu to title triumph in the Deodhar Trophy with a comfortable 42-run win over India B in the final in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

Batting first after winning the toss, Tamil Nadu notched up 303 in the allotted 50 overs, and then bowled out India B for 261 in 46.1 overs at the Dr. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.

Tamil Nadu were at one stage struggling at 39 for three in the 11th over, before Karthik steadied the innings with a 136-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Narayan Jagadeesan (55).

The out-of-favour India keeper struck 14 boundaries and three sixes during his stay in the middle, while Jagadeesan found the fence four times and cleared it once.

Karthik then added 66 useful runs for the fifth wicket with skipper Vijay Shankar (21), before getting dismissed in the last ball of the 39th over.

Baba Indrajith contributed 31 off 30 balls as Tamil Nadu crossed 300.

Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni was the best bowler for India B, returning impressive figures of 5/39 in 10 overs.

In reply, India B lost Parthiv Patel early but Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey added 64 runs for the second wicket to keep their team in the hunt.

Both the batsmen fell after getting starts. Dhawan made a quickfire 45 off 34 balls with the help of right boundaries and a six, while Pandey struck a brisk 32 off 24 balls.

Punjab’s Gurkeerat Singh top-scored with a 64 off 85 balls, while Ishank Jaggi (36) and Akshay Karnewar (29) made decent contributions down the order, but they were not enough to see the team batting second through.

Harpreet Singh made 36 off 51 balls, as Tamil Nadu succeeded in checking the flow of runs after the Dhawan-Pandey exploits.

Among Tamil Nadu bowlers, Rahil Shaha picked up 3/40 while R Sai Kishore and M Mohammed bagged two wickets apiece.

Karthik was named Man of the Match for his flashy century.

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Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/dinesh-karthik-ton-powers-tamil-nadu-to-deodhar-trophy-win-4591467/

India’s awesome threesome emerges as the difference

AUSTRALIA TOUR OF INDIA, 2017

India’s awesome threesome emerges as the difference

• Last updated on Tue, 28 Mar, 2017, 12:31 AM Vishaal Loganathan in Dharamsala

Umesh has married his pace with great control to emerge into a potent strike force. © BCCI

It was an Indian attack that was showing Australia how things are done on a pitch that was distinctly Australian.

The Dharamsala surface, since the start of the Test, had been hailed – by players and coaches alike – as the best wicket in the series thus far. In fact, there was so much purchase off the wicket for the quicks, that people even compared it to the famous WACA surface in Perth.

On such a pitch, you would have expected Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon to be more of a threat thanks to the extra bounce. However, it turned out to be Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who ran riot.

The Indian attack is slowing starting to show that it has the weapons to become a threat in any conditions.

“[They] Found a little bit of extra bounce or whatever it may be in the wicket, and put us under pressure. It’s Test cricket, India played very well today and really challenged us,” was how Graeme Hick summarised India’s bowling performance.

For long, bounce was considered to be India’s biggest enemy. In Dharamsala, they made it their best friend. In Ranchi, on an otherwise dead pitch, the made full use of a rough to make life tough. In Bengaluru, variable bounce in the wicket helped them level the series.

This has become a constant feature with the current Indian team. Umesh, Mohammed Shami, Ashwin and Jadeja have all been the pillars of the bowling attack, but the likes of Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jayant Yadav and now, Kuldeep Yadav have also done well when the others haven’t stepped up.

On Day three of the fourth Test, three such pillars stood up to form a powerful bowling combination that wiped out the opposition and left them staring at defeat. And each had their own primary trait that made them so threatening.

Umesh’s pace was always his great strength, but he’s added a discipline and execution that has taken his game to a whole new level this season. When the pitch has little to offer, he still proves to be a thorn. As he had mentioned in a press conference earlier, there was initially a lot of talk of Umesh letting the pressure slip with a ball down leg or wide of off after a few good ones. But Umesh this season is like a bowling machine who only bowls to his plans. He has players in trouble with the new ball, but also wreaks havoc when reverse swing comes into play.

He had left David Warner and Matt Renshaw wondering if they had been magically transported back to a green WACA wicket. Having softened them up, he bowled the perfect outswingers to have them both caught by the keeper. And when the tail was just about beginning to wag, he came back with the old ball to break through.

After Umesh is done, Ashwin and Jadeja take over. Even when the pitch is not in their favour or when the batsmen have the upperhand, the spin duo is able to maintain a degree of control over proceedings. Jadeja was the pupil, but this season he has shown that he can be the master, too. So much so that many experts feel he’s the most valuable member of the Indian Test team.

“It feels good that people that I am one of the responsible players of this team. Someone, who can perform in any situation across all departments of the game. If someone works hard, it is with an aim to become a valuable player. My biggest achievement more than any Man of the Match or Man of the Series award is contributing in a winning cause.”

While Ashwin has been India’s big trump card, Jadeja’s consistency has pushed him into pole position slowly. His economy, combined with the ability to extract whatever little the pitch has to offer, makes him the kind of bowler to have on any kind of track.

Here, he picked up three wickets for just twenty four runs, but each of those wickets was planned well. Shaun Marsh stood upright and stiff due to his bad back. Jadeja got one to spin sharply past him and had him caught at forward short leg. For Pat Cummins, an attacking batsman, he knew his rewards lay in how much patience he had. He stayed put and after a long time offered a juicy volley outside off. Cummins drive, and Rahane took the edge at slip. The extra bounce in the pitch accounted for Steve O’Keefe.

Jadeja and Umesh Yadav turned in a stellar performance, and had the usually reliable Ashwin to lead from the front too. Ashwin has had a relatively lean spell this series. But such has been his impact this year, that even a match winning performance just two Tests prior to this performance puts the focus on him. However, he is never far away from a match-changing show. If Jadeja or Umesh are doing the trick, he is happy to play back up. If no one’s picking wickets, Ashwin somehow comes up with something up his sleeve.

On Monday, the three stood tall to leave Australia in dire straits. Back then, it was always India’s batsmen against the opposition’s bowlers. How things have changed now.

© Cricbuzz

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Source: http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/93598/indias-awesome-threesome-emerges-as-the-difference