Aug 202017
Brathwaite reported for suspect bowling action

The Windies’ off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite has been reported with a suspect bowling action during the first Test against England, which the hosts won at Edgbaston on Saturday.The match officials’ report, which was handed over to the Windies’ team management, cited concerns about the legality of the 24-year-old’s bowling action.Brathwaite’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to suspected illegal bowling actions reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Brathwaite is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known. Click for detailed story

Aug 182017
Cook hails ?phenomenal? Root after day/night double century stand

Alastair Cook ended the first day 153 not out/Getty ImagesBIRMINGHAM: Alastair Cook suggested Joe Root was the best England batsman he had played alongside after they both marked the country´s entry into day/night Test cricket with hundreds against the West Indies at Edgbaston on Thursday.Cook, already England´s leading Test run-scorer and century-maker, ended the first day 153 not out in a commanding total of 348 for three.The ex-England captain shared a stand of 248 with current skipper Root (136) on the first day of the inaugural day/night Test on English soil.Cook, who had already made 193 for Essex in the round of floodlit County Championship matches in June, batted for more than six hours Thursday and rarely looked in any trouble as he compiled his 31st Test century.He also had the best view of anyone as the gifted Root made his 13th hundred at this level and set a new England record of fifties in 11 successive Tests.“He kind of makes it look quite easy. Frustratingly easy,” Cook told reporters.“It´s incredible he manages to score like he does. If he´s not the best England player I´ve played with he´s right up there.“His game is phenomenal…He´s just phenomenally consistent against world-class bowlers around the world,” the left-handed opener added.´Mental thing´The match started several hours later than would usually be the case for a Test in England and Cook told reporters: “It was slightly unusual because you´re programmed to play in white kit starting at 11:00am (1000 GMT) with a red ball, it´s [Read More…]

Aug 172017
England face Windies in UK?s first ever day/night Test

The first of a three-match campaign starts at Edgbaston on Thursday with the inaugural day/night Test in EnglandBIRMINGHAM: West Indies captain Jason Holder believes his pacemen can help the “huge underdogs” make life uncomfortable for England during their upcoming Test series.The first of a three-match campaign starts at Edgbaston on Thursday with the inaugural day/night Test in England.Leading British bookmaker William Hill have Joe Root´s men as 1/5-on favourites to triumph in Birmingham, with the West Indies 12/1 against.The reason for the huge disparity in the odds is not hard to find — since 1997, excluding matches against the often struggling Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the West Indies have won just three out of 86 away Tests, losing 66 and drawing 17.Their last Test win on English soil was at Edgbaston back in 2000 and it would constitute a major upset if they defeated an England side who come into this match on the back of a 3-1 series win at home to South Africa.But with the first Test a pink ball affair, all-rounder Holder believes an emerging pace attack can trouble an England top order where only Alastair Cook and Root are currently certain of their places.“I think our bowling has really carried us throughout the last few Test matches,” said Holder.“Shannon Gabriel has had a pretty decent year; I haven´t been doing too badly, and we´ve got young Alzarri Joseph and Miguel Cummins. “Kemar Roach is actually showing some very, very good form — so I´m really confident in [Read More…]

Aug 152017
Broad excited as England step into day/night Test ?unknown?

There have already been four day/night Test elsewhere in the worldLONDON: Stuart Broad is looking forward to seeing England step into the unknown when the first day/night Test to be staged in cricket´s birthplace starts later this week.The landmark fixture will get underway at Birmingham´s Edgbaston on Thursday when England face the West Indies in the first of a three-match series.There have already been four day/night Test elsewhere in the world, three in Australia and one in Dubai where the West Indies were defeated by Pakistan.Now England must confront the challenges that come with using the pink ball — required as it is more visible under lights while the white ball familiar from one-day cricket clashes with the players´ traditional white Test match clothing — as well as the difficulties of batting in an awkward twilight period. As happened in Australia, that could even lead to some unusual declarations and England fast bowler Broad, whose pink ball experience extends to one promotional delivery said Monday: “It´s stepping into the unknown completely. I´ve bowled one ball with the pink ball – I got it relatively straight.“We´re training this (Monday) evening under lights which will be a good session,” the Nottinghamshire paceman added at an event staged by series sponsors Investec.“I just don´t know what to expect. We are just going to have to be so adaptable on the day and figure out what´s going on.“The Adelaide Test matches, I really enjoyed watching — the couple that had the day/night games. I [Read More…]

Aug 042017
Old Trafford pavilion end renamed in honour of James Anderson

James Anderson, with Old Trafford in the background MANCHESTER: England great James Anderson insisted he wanted to win the Ashes again after an end at his Old Trafford home ground was renamed in his honour.The Pavilion End at Lancashire´s Manchester headquarters will now be known officially as The James Anderson End in recognition of England´s all-time leading Test wicket-taker´s “immense contribution” to both club and country in the 15 years since his first-class debut.The swing specialist could bowl from The James Anderson End as soon as Friday, when the fourth Test between England and South Africa is scheduled to start at Old Trafford. While Sachin Tendulkar won a 2011 World Cup final with India on a Wankhede ground in Mumbai where a stand was named after him, this is a rare recognition for a still active cricketer in the English game.Indeed Old Trafford´s Brian Statham End was only so named several years after the Lancashire and England pace bowling great, a star of the 1950s and 1960s, had died.For Anderson, born in the Lancashire town of Burnley and someone who has spent his entire career with the county, it was a shock late 35th birthday present.´Surreal´“I´m blown away, really, by the gesture from the club,” he told reporters at Old Trafford on Thursday.“I can´t quite believe it has happened. It is something that usually happens when people have stopped playing or are further down the line. So to have this happen when I´m still playing and potentially bowling from that end [Read More…]

Aug 032017
Netherlands down England to reach Women's Euro final

Host nation Netherlands swept England aside 3-0 on Thursday to reach their first Women’s European Championship final and set up a showpiece encounter against Denmark.The Dutch took the lead in the 22nd minute as Vivianne Miedema rose to head home Jackie Groenen’s pinpoint cross from the right wing, as England struggled in the absence of influential midfielder Jill Scott due to suspension.England went close to equalising minutes later but Netherlands captain Sherida Spitse turned Jade Moore’s header from a corner onto the post, with the ball eventually bouncing away to safety.Danielle van de Donk doubled the Dutch advantage in the 62nd minute, pouncing on Fara Williams’s headed back pass and deftly lifting the ball over the despairing dive of England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.England peppered the Dutch penalty area with long balls and went close to scoring on several occasions, but they could not find the goal that would get them back in the game in front of the partisan sell-out crowd.Lieke Martens had the final say, firing home a deflected shot deep into injury time to give the Dutch a measure of revenge for their 2009 semi-final loss to England and set up a mouth-watering tournament decider on Sunday. Click for detailed story

Jul 272017
Du Plessis aims for Australia repeat against England

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis has a stellar record as captain/Getty Images LONDON: South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes his side could be on the verge of another impressive away series win if they maintain their recent form against England.The Proteas head into Thursday´s third Test at The Oval all square at 1-1 in a four-match series following a thumping 340-run win in the second Test at Trent Bridge last week.South Africa have a proud away Test record. In their past 19 series they´ve won 13, drawn five and lost just one — in India in 2015/16.Their record under du Plessis is excellent, with just one defeat in 12 Tests when the 33-year-old batsman has been their captain.Du Plessis´s successes as a Test skipper include the Proteas´ 2-1 series win in Australia in 2016/17, with the hosts´ lone win coming when South Africa were already 2-0 up. “The situation felt very similar,” du Plessis told reporters at The Oval on Wednesday ahead of what will be the 100th Test staged on the south London ground.Last week´s defeat saw England subjected to some scathing media criticism, particularly from several of their own former captains, and du Plessis said it had been a similar story when South Africa were in Australia.´Free-for-all´“There was quite a bit of press against the Australian cricket team, and then we stepped our game up even more in the second Test,” he recalled.“Then after that, it was a free-for-all — and you could see the Australian team were [Read More…]

Jul 232017
England beat India in thriller to win Women's World Cup 2017

England crowned the new World Champions Anya Shrubsole bowled England to a dramatic nine-run win over India in the Women´s World Cup final at Lord´s on Sunday.India, set 229 to win, were well on course for victory at 191 for three in front of a full hose of more than 26,000.But the dismissal of opener Punam Raut, who made a fine 86, lbw to Shrubsole, sparked a stunning collapse.Shrubsole took five wickets for 11 runs in 19 deliveries as India, bidding for a first World Cup title on the ground where their men´s side won an inaugural World Cup crown in 1983, slumped to 219 all out with eight balls left.Pace bowler Shrubsole finished with record-breaking figures of six for 46 in 9.4 overs — the first five-wicket haul by any bowler in a Women´s World Cup final.Victory gave England a fourth World Cup title and third on home soil, as they gained revenge for their opening group stage loss to India. “I´m a little bit lost for words, if I´m honest,” Shrubsole told Sky Sports.“It was just an unbelievable game, we looked for a minute like we were out of it, but one of the great things about this team, we never give up.“We knew if we got a couple we´d be right in the game and all was well in the end.”England captain Heather Knight added: “I can´t stop smiling. I am so proud of this group of girls. We made it hard for ourselves but I couldn´t care [Read More…]

Jul 222017

Fresh from stunning the local scrabble circuit by becoming Pakistan’s youngest national champion, Sohaib Sanaullah has now set his sights on next month’s World Junior Scrabble Championship in England. Pitted against tournament favourites such as 2013 World Youth Scrabble Championship (WYSC) winner Moizullah Baig, 2016 WYSC runner-up Abdullah Abbasi and defending champ Waseem Khatri, 15-year-old Sanaullah  sprang a major surprise, sneaking with the national championship as his three major rivals finished second, third and fifth respectively. “It feels great to be a champion but it was not easy to win the national title as our circuit is just so competitive,” Sanaullah told The Express Tribune. “We have Abdullah, Moiz and Khatri and several others who have been to the WYSC before so it was not easy at all. I had to really focus and give my all. I’m now looking forward to the world championship.” The Generation’s School student started playing scrabble just four years ago, and got his big break two years later when he made it to local championships. During this time he has had to work hard on his game but he says it was worth the effort. Details disclosed for scrabble qualifiers “It’s been a journey,” he said. “I used to play recreationally but then two years ago I entered the national championships and since then all I’ve wanted to do is to improve my game. But this title is just the culmination point as only I know how many games I lost in the last [Read More…]

Jul 212017
Girl power as India hails World Cup heroines

India women’s team all smiles after beating Australia in World Cup semifinal/ICCNEW DELHI: Where the men failed, India is hoping its female cricketers can blaze to glory when they face England in the World Cup final on Sunday.Images of captain Mithali Raj and star batswoman Harmanpreet Kaur adorned the front pages and the team was hailed on social media after India stunned defending champions Australia in Thursday´s semi-finals. Kaur hit an unbeaten 171 to propel India into the final at Lord´s, England´s spiritual home. Kaur stars as India stun Australia to charge into World Cup final India will play hosts England in the sold-out Lord´s final on Sunday The win comes as a welcome boost with India in need of cricket cheer after the men´s team capitulated to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final last month.The performance came as no surprise to former players who believe Indian women´s team is destined for the big time. “Hats off to Harmanpreet. It´s a great victory for the India women´s cricket team and for women´s cricket in India,” former team captain Diana Eduljee told NDTV.“I thank the girls for the opportunity they have given to all women cricketers and the future of women´s cricket is now here to stay in India.“I am sure this victory is going to be historic as we have already beaten New Zealand, Australia and England. I´d think the World Cup is already in India irrespective of whatever happens on Sunday,” added Eduljee. Kapil Dev, who won the World [Read More…]

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