Sri Lanka vs South Africa Preview

Monday July 22, 2013
Tags: Sri Lanka, South Africa, Lasith Malinga
After being thrashed in the 1st ODI of the tour, South Africa look to bounce back as early as the 2nd ODI, to be played, tomorrow. The 2nd match will also be hosted in Colombo.
In the last game, South Africa were disturbed by the heat and could not finish off well in the bowling department, and they lost confidence from that point onwards. It is no excuse however, and they need to adjust to the conditions as soon as possible.

South African death bowling was not up to the mark and if it continues to be similar, another thrashing will be on the cards.

Only Morne Morkel was playing in the last match as the senior pro. Lonwabo Tsotsobe has now been declared fit, and Chris Morris is likely to make way for him, tomorrow. A more solid effort at the death can be expected from these two, tomorrow.

Batting was a total flop in the last game, and it had more to do with the target, the batsmen were required to achieve. If bowling goes well, the batsmen are also likely to support their efforts, tomorrow.
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England 2-0 up in the Ashes

Monday July 22, 2013
Tags: England, Australia, Graeme Swann
England duly went 2-0 up in the Ashes series at Lord's. Crushing Australia by 347, their biggest ever victory in terms of runs over their oldest opponents in England, as they all but ensured that at worse they will retain the Ashes.
The visitors were dismissed for 235 in their second innings, with just a few balls of the fourth day remaining, having been set 583 to win, following England's declaration on 349-7. The declaration coming as soon as the Yorkshire batsman was dismissed for 180.

The tourists were indebted to yet another fighting last wicket partnership, which gave them an least a semblance of respectability, as England had to wait for an hour to take the last wicket to clinch their overwhelming victory.

It was fitting, that off-spinner Graeme Swann took the final wicket, with just four balls left of the day's final over, trapping James Pattinson LBW for a gutsy 35. Swann finishing with 4-78 in the second innings, giving him nine wickets in the match, while Tim Bresnan, James Anderson and Root all chipped in with two wickets apiece.

England will go to Old Trafford on 1st August with one hand on the Ashes Urn, a win giving them their third successive Ashes series victory. Michael Clarke's Australians will have to do something that only one side has done in the 136 year history of the Ashes to wrest the trophy back, in coming from 2-0 down to win the series. The great Don Bradman's team of 1936-7 being the only previous side to achieve the feat.
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England in line for 2-0 lead

Sunday July 21, 2013
Tags: England, Joe Root, Australia
It has taken until the eighth day of the Ashes series before the spectators have had to endure an essentially predictable day, as opposed to the edge of the seat cricket to which they have so far been treated at Trent Bridge and Lord's.
Even so, the sell out crowd at Lord's had plenty to entertain them, as young Yorkshire batsman, Joe Root scored a beautifully constructed and almost chanceless unbeaten 178, which helped to put England into total control of the second Test.

Root batted throughout the day, losing only two partners along the way, as the home team closed the day's play on 333-5, giving them an overall lead of 566, as they ground Australia into the Lord's turf.

Root who isn't yet 23 years of age, became the youngest Englishman to make an Ashes century at Lord's, and shared a partnership of 99 with the nightwatchman, Tim Bresnan, and 153 with first innings centurion, Ian Bell, who contributed 74.
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BPL should be warned by SLPL

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has cancelled the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) 2013. It has come as a strong warning to the authority of the Bangladesh Premiere League (BPL), running for two seasons.
Last month, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) terminated contracts with five of the seven franchises in the BPL due to failure to pay for the third installment of player payments in 2013 season.

If the franchises go on to miss payment deadlines, the BCB will suffer massive losses. However, the board is still willing to give franchises the last chance to clear the payments.

The organizers thought that the only way to run the tournament was to make a complete makeover of the business model of the BPL. However, a complete renovation is likely to take another nine months.

The SLC cancelled the Twenty20 tournament after all the participating franchises missed two deadlines to provide either player payments or bank guarantees.
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West Indies vs Pakistan Preview

Sunday July 21, 2013
Tags: Chris Gayle, West Indies, Pakistan
After a dramatic tie in the last game, West Indies and Pakistan will now lock horns in the penultimate match of the 5 match ODI series, tomorrow. This 4th ODI will also be hosted at Gros Islet in Saint Lucia.
Pakistan were a better side for 97 overs of the previous game, but they panicked in the last three overs to allow West Indies tail to secure a tie, even when the Windies required 39 off the last 3 overs.

Jason Holder, not known for his batting in the international arena, showed his great batting skills, as he smoked 14 out of the last 15 runs required off the last over.

Pakistan need to learn that an over catious approach at the start of the innings, has been putting a lot of burden on the batsmen in the last 15 overs. A Wahab Riaz and Umar Akmal onslaught at the end is not likely to happen in all the matches, so they need to build momentum from the start, tomorrow.
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South Africa struggling with Morkel, Tsotsobe injuries

Friday July 19, 2013
Tags: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Morne Morkel
The first assignment of Russell Domingo, the head coach of South Africa, has become harder due to the recent injuries of his pace weapons Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
South Africa has already lost their pace spearhead Dale Steyn. Now, the team is in more trouble by losing Morkel and Tsotsobe who became injured after coming to Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday warm-up match against Sri Lankan Board President’s XI, Morkel could bowl only three overs before leaving the field with a discomfort in quad. Doctors assessed his condition on Thursday but he was still feeling discomfort. His condition would be checked again to determine if he could play on Saturday’s fist ODI.

The South African team management was concerned because Morkel picked up the injury in the same quad that made him to suffer during last month’s Champions Trophy. After South Africa’s first match against India, Morkel was ruled out of the entire tournament. After that, he had to go through a 3-week rehabilitation program at home. The team doctor and manager, Mohammed Moosajee, said on last Sunday that that the bowler was fully recovered from his injury.
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ICC happy with umpires and DRS

Thursday July 18, 2013
Tags: Aleem Dar, ICC
England and Australia played out the most thrilling and captivating of Test matches at Trent Bridge, and yet so many memories revolving around the game will forever be concerned with decisions made via the Decision Review System (DRS).
The controversy concerning some of these contentious decisions has led the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make a statement concerning the standard of umpiring through the game. As much as anything it might be presumed, to try and offset any problems before the start of the 2nd Test at Lord's on Thursday, and to re-establisg the credibility of its appointed officials.

During England's second innings at Nottingham, Jonathan Trott was given not out following an LBW appeal to his first ball, but following an Australian review, he was dismissed by the third umpire Marais Erasmus. England were furious about this outcome, which left them on 11-2, and in a very precarious position. The ICC have stated that this was one of three uncorrected errors during the Test.

However, the ICC have also stated that they believe that their umpires performed extremely well in the most difficult of circumstances.

The ICC's Chief Executive, David Richardson, pointed out, that just like players, umpires can have good and bad days, but that at the end of the day, it is important that in the spirit of the game, that the umpires decision is always accepted as final, whether it is right or wrong.
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Australia battling for team unity before Lord's Test

Thursday July 18, 2013
Tags: Australia, Mickey Arthur
Having played their part in one of the great Ashes Tests of all time at Trent Bridge, the Australian tourists have been shaken by tales of a rift in the camp just days before the start of the second Test at Lord's.
Australia's Seven Network have reported that former coach, Mickey Arthur, who was sacked shortly before the start of the first Test, and replaced by Darren Lehmann, has tendered documents to court, showing that the tourists had a serious divisions within the side.

In particular, there is claimed to be a major issue between the team's captain, Michael Clarke, and all-rounder, and ex-vice captain Shane Watson.

The Australian wicket keeper, Brad Haddin, who replaced Watson as vice-captain for the Ashes tour to England, has publically stated that there is no rift in the camp, claiming that the dressing room is harmonious, and the squad is looking forward to the start of the Test at Lord's on Thursday.

Haddin stated that the touring party has been in complete harmony from day one of the tour, and that losing the Trent Bridge Test by such a narrow margin (they lost an enthralling match by just 14 runs), has only served to make them an even tighter knit group than before.
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England vs Australia Preview

Thursday July 18, 2013
Tags: Australia, England, Michael Clarke
After a dramatic victory in the 1st Test, England now look to extend their lead as the action now moves on to the 2nd Test of this 5 match Investec Ashes series, tomorrow. This 2nd Test will be hosted at Lord’s cricket ground in London.
The first Test was full of inspiring performances from both the sides and some flawed umpiring decisions as well. Questions were raised on the DRS technology, but ICC defended the system and the umpires quite overwhelmingly.

Ian Bell was the star of the show for England, as his ton turned the game on his head, and finally helped England to go over the line by 14 runs. All the other batsmen also got runs, but Bell’s ton was a game changing knock. Another similar knock will be required from the English batsmen in the 2nd Test as well.

Bowling was also up to the mark as James Anderson’s 10 wicket haul did not allow the Australian batsmen to settle on the crease. The other seamers and Graeme Swann also supported Anderson with tight bowling and a few wickets as well.
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Graeme Smith wants to return by October

Wednesday July 17, 2013
Tags: South Africa, Graeme Smith
The Test captain of South Africa, Graeme Smith, hoped that he could return to competitive cricket in October. At that time, South Africa will play a Test series against Pakistan.
Smith was ruled out from cricket for five months in May this year due to an ankle injury. He has to endure that injury problem throughout his career.

Because of the latest injury attack, Smith had to quit playing for Surrey and return home for undergoing a surgery. Besides sitting out of the Champions Trophy, he will miss the upcoming Sri Lanka tour too for recovering completely.

If Smith can return in October in the series in UAE, it will be faster than what was estimated earlier. Mohammed Moosajee, the doctor and team manager of the South Africa team, said that Smith had been recovering from the injury quite steadily and consistently.
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Ronsford Beaton out of CPL

Wednesday July 17, 2013
Tags: West Indies, Ronsford Beaton
Ronsford Beaton, the Guyana fast bowler, will not be able to play the upcoming Caribbean Premiere League (CPL) due to an injury problem. He has been suffering from a stress fracture. The bowler was a part of the Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise.
The spotlight finds Beaton after he has passed a remarkable domestic season. In the regional four-day competition, he grabbed 16 wickets from six matches. His Twenty20 performance was also impressive as he took 7 wickets from five matches during the Caribbean Twenty20.

Keon Joseph, the 21-year-old fast bowler, will replace Beaton in the squad of Guyana Amazon Warriors.

The coach of the Amazon Warriors, Roger Harper, was not happy to lose Beaton. He said that Beaton was supposed to have an important part in their game plan as they expected him to play a key role in the squad. He also called it unfortunate to lose the bowler to injury.

However, Harper also welcomed the inclusion of Joseph by saying that they were delighted to have a talented player as the replacement of Beaton. He hoped that Joseph would be able to give a good service to the team.
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West Indies vs Pakistan Preview

Tuesday July 16, 2013
Tags: West Indies, Pakistan, Shahid Afridi
After being demolished single-handedly by the comeback king, Shahid Afridi, West Indies now look to stand up from the nosedive in form, as the 2nd ODI of the 5 match gets underway, tomorrow. This 2nd match of Pakistan’s tour will also be played at the Providence stadium in Guyana.
Last ODI saw one of the best ODI comebacks, and it was achieved by none other than Shahid Afridi. On a pitch, difficult for scoring, he played all around the park and smashed 76 off just 55 balls.

Even that was not enough, so he destroyed the Windies batting lineup with figures of 7 for 12 in 9 overs, the second best figures in ODI cricket. Consistency is always an issue for him, and if he manages to remain consistent, Pakistan may well look for a whitewash, starting with a win tomorrow.

Misbah ul Haq played his familiar grinding knock, and managed a half century under his belt. He also remains a key player for Pakistan in this series.

After winning by 126 runs in the last match, it is highly unlikely for Pakistan to change the winning combination, tomorrow.

West Indies on the other hand, would be pretty disappointed with their batting effort in the last game, after a spirited bowling performance, somewhat damaged by Afridi’s onslaught.
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India v Australia ODI and T20I schedule

Tuesday July 16, 2013
Tags: Australia, India, MS Dhoni
Australia will visit India in October and play a single T20 match and an ODI series consisting of seven matches.
The series will be started with the only T20 match in Rajkot on October 10. The ODI matches will be started on October 13 and ended on November 2. All the ODIs will be day-night matches.

The one-day matches will be played in different venues including Pune, Jaipur, Mohali, Ranchi, Cuttack, Nagpur, and Bangalore. With the opening ODI match, the new Pune stadium will make its ODI debut.

This year, this will be the second India tour of Australia. They first toured in March to play a four-match Test series, which they lost by 4-0. In October-November 2009, they played a seven-match one-day series in India, which they won by 2-4.

In October 2010, Australia played their last bilateral one-day series in India. India won that three-match series by 1-0. They won the single match in Visakhapatnam while two other matches were washed out by rain.
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Michael Clarke confident despite Ashes loss

Monday July 15, 2013
Tags: Australia, England, Michael Clarke
Despite defeat in an enthralling first Test of the Ashes series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, the Australian captain, Michael Clarke remains bullish about his side's chances of winning back the Ashes.
After last wicket pair, Brad Haddin and James Pattinson had taken the tourists to within striking distance of their victory target of 311, before Haddin was caught behind by wicket keeper Matt Prior off of James Anderson, Clarke stated that he was as confident of winning the series as he was when he side first touched down in England, claiming that the backing of the Australian fans had played a big part in the team's performance at Nottingham, and that he hoped to take that support through to the remaining Tests of the series.

The match at Trent Bridge was the first of back-to-back Ashes series, with England travelling to Australia in October to play the return five match series. The clash in Australia had been moved so as to avoid a clash with the 2015 World Cup. Some pundits, including legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham, went so far as to say that England would win all 10 Tests.
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West Indies vs Pakistan Preview

Sunday July 14, 2013
Tags: West Indies, Pakistan, Dwayne Bravo
After a winless Champions Trophy outing, Pakistan now to look to make amends as they face the West Indies in the 1st ODI of the 5 match series, tomorrow. This first international match of the tour will be played at Providence stadium in Guyana.
Pakistan have now moved on from the old guns Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Imran Farhat, and inducted new faces in their squad for this series. Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal also return to the national fold after being dropped from Champions Trophy on performance.

Misbah-ul-Haq will be leading the playing XI and Umar Akmal is likely to be preferred for the keeping role.

Pakistan bowling is still very strong and full of variety. Shahid Afridi will bring even more variety into this department with his leg spin. This department is well covered as far as Pakistan are concerned.

Batting and fielding are more of a concern but with youngsters like Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad, it still remains an unpredictable force, and a few fireworks can be expected.
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