Dec 082017
Hafeez to reach England next week for re-modification of bowling action

[embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: Pakistan’s former captain and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will travel to England next week to work on his bowling action under bowling coach Carl Crowe and biomechanics expert Dr. Paul Hurrian.Hafeez was suspended from bowling in international cricket after his bowling test was found to be illegal.According to a statement issued by PCB, Hafeez will travel to England in the middle of next week to work on re-modification of his bowling action.“Hafeez will have his bowling action assessed under Dr. Paul Hurrian, Bio mechanist expert and Carl Crowe, bowling coach who has worked successfully with Sunil Naraine,” the board’s statement said.Carl Crowe has also worked with Hafeez previously.Azhar Mahmood, Pakistan’s bowling coach, who is already in England, would also be present during the assessment of Hafeez’s bowling action.“After the assessment both the experts would devise a remedial work action plan that would be handed over to Azhar Mahmood for implementation in Pakistan,” said PCB.Azhar Mahmood and PCB’s bowling action review committee, on the advice of experts, would work with  Hafeez under the guidelines given by the Paul and Carl for the correctness of his bowling action.The committee would also perform periodical testing at PCB Biomechanics lab at LUMS university in Lahore to ensure Hafeez’s bowling action is well within the allowable benchmarks before recommending that he may be sent for re-testing at any ICC accreditation biomechanics lab.Hafeez, according to PCB, has agreed to follow the plan after having gone through his initial assessment on his bowling action [Read More…]

Dec 062017
Nigeria to play WC warm-up with England

ABUJA: Nigeria’s Super Eagles are set to play England in a World Cup warm-up game in June, the general secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Mohammed Sanusi has said. “We plan to play a friendly against England in June, before the World Cup,” he said, adding that the venue and other details of the match were still to be worked out. Both Nigeria and England will feature at next year’s World Cup in Russia. The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D along with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, while England are in Group G with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. Both countries have clashed once at this level, in November 1995, when England won 1-0 at Wembley courtesy of a David Platt headed goal. Click for detailed story

Dec 062017
Day-night Test: Australia beat England by 120 runs

ADELAIDE, Australia: Pacemen Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood spearheaded Australia to a crushing 120-run win in Adelaide on Wednesday leaving Ashes holders England trailing 2-0 and on the verge of losing the five-Test series.Hazlewood snuffed out England’s hopes of a miracle victory when he claimed the key wicket of captain Joe Root in the third over of the final day of the first-ever day-night Ashes Test.Left-armer Starc ripped through the tail to finish with five for 88 and bowled Jonny Bairstow to clinch victory 15 minutes from the end of the first session.England now face the prospect of losing the series in next week’s third Test at Perth’s WACA Ground where they have not beaten Australia since 1978. While Root was batting England still had a chance to pull off a record run chase of 345 at Adelaide Oval.But Hazlewood enticed a bottom edge and wicketkeeper Tim Paine did the rest to the unrestrained glee of the Australian team. Root left the field on his overnight score of 67 and with him England’s hopes disappeared. Australia got off to a dream start when nightwatchman Chris Woakes was out to the second ball of the day, caught behind off Hazlewood for five. Woakes sought a review and while the ‘Hot Spot’ infrared imaging system could not find anything, the ‘Snicko’ sound-video technology detected an edge and the umpire’s decision was upheld and Root followed shortly afterwards. Nathan Lyon got the wicket of fellow off-spinner Moeen Ali for the fourth time in [Read More…]

Dec 042017
Stunning Lyon, Starc catches floor England

Nathan Lyon with a blinder of a catch/Getty Images ADELAIDE: Two freakish Australian catches rocked England´s diminishing hopes of saving the second Ashes Test on a fast-moving third day at Adelaide Oval on Monday.Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc pulled off stunning caught and bowled efforts to leave the tourists reeling and facing a massive deficit in the first-ever day-night Ashes Test.Everything that could go wrong for Ashes holders England did on a demoralising day in the context of the five-Test series.Australia tightened their grip on the pink ball Test and they pursue a 2-0 lead in the series after winning last week´s Brisbane opener by 10 wickets.At the dinner break, England were 219 for eight in reply to Australia´s imposing first innings declaration of 442 for eight with Craig Overton not out 36 and Stuart Broad yet to score. They trail by 223 runs. Lyon pulled off an athletic one-handed catch to dismiss Moeen Ali off his own bowling in the second over after the first break.Moeen chipped to the left of Lyon, who flung himself across the pitch in a split second reaction to take the catch.Lyon, nicknamed GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), again produced a sublime piece of cricketing skill following his laser throw to run out James Vince in the first Brisbane Test. Moeen had scored 25 off 57 balls in a 30-run stand with Bairstow.Five overs later Bairstow was on his way for 21 after Starc juggled the return catch and finally accepted it behind his back. [Read More…]

Dec 042017
Turn down the sound, urges England coach as Ashes sledging heats up

Tensions simmered between the feisty rivals with umpire Aleem Dar at one stage stepping between England paceman James Anderson and Australia skipper Steve SmithADELAIDE: England coach Trevor Bayliss says he wants the stumps microphones turned down as emotions spill over in the fiercely-fought Ashes Test series with Australia.Tensions have simmered between the feisty rivals with umpire Aleem Dar at one stage stepping between England paceman James Anderson and Australia skipper Steve Smith, who were insulting each other at close quarters.England’s Stuart Broad was also highly animated in his send-off of batsman Peter Handscomb after he dismissed him leg before wicket during Sunday’s second day of the day-night Adelaide Test.Bayliss said he was not comfortable with the level of sledging between the two sides.“Probably not and that goes for both sides but it’s just the way the game is these days. I’d like to see the microphones turned down,” he told reporters.“I don’t think anyone necessarily has to listen to what is being said but it’s grown men playing a very competitive sport and sometimes emotions spill over.”Bayliss denied there was a concerted English plan to unsettle master batsman Smith and the Australian team.“Certainly not. It’s just red-blooded young males competing against each other,” he said.“I think most of the time it’s fairly light-hearted. A lot more is made of it in the press.“After the games and after this series the blokes are together having a beer with no hard feelings. It’s just the way the game is played.”Smith and Anderson [Read More…]

Nov 262017
Australia on cusp of big Ashes win over England

BRISBANE: Openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft breezed to an unbroken century stand on Sunday, leaving Australia needing just 56 runs to go one up in the Ashes series after England imploded.The tourists were skittled out for 195 off 71.4 overs, losing their last six wickets for 82, as the Test swung Australia’s way on the fourth day at the Gabba.The Australians, unbeaten at their Gabba fortress since 1988, were chasing down 170 runs to win and made easy work of the 34 overs to the close.At stumps, they were 114 without loss with Warner unbeaten on 60 and Bancroft not out 51.“Winning the first Test of a series, let alone the Ashes, is huge,” fast bowler Mitchell Starc said.“Obviously, if we can knock off these runs tomorrow it puts us in a very strong position heading to Adelaide (second Test) and England has to chase us from now on,” he added.“It’s a great spot for us to be in heading into day five of the first Test match. I’d rather be in our change room than theirs.”Warner powered to his 25th Test fifty off 74 balls with seven fours, while Bancroft reached his first Test 50 off 111 balls.Bancroft, playing in his first Test match, showed the flinty side of his character when he took a direct throwback from bowler Jimmy Anderson near his groin without flinching.It was 50-50 between the traditional rivals over the first three days, raising England’s hopes of a first win at the ground in [Read More…]

Nov 252017
Smith's masterful ton as England crack in Ashes battle

Steve Smith rejoices after bringing up the first century this Ashes/CA/Getty Images BRISBANE: Steve Smith produced a defiant unconquered century and Josh Hazlewood claimed two wickets to leave England reeling as Australia cracked open the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on Saturday.The Australian skipper played one of his greatest Test knocks with an unbeaten 141, forged over eight and a half hours, to deliver his team a 26-run lead over the tourists on the third day.Paceman Hazlewood compounded the tourists´ woes with the wickets of Alastair Cook (7) and James Vince (2) in his opening two overs before a nasty Mitchell Starc lifter thundered into Joe Root´s helmet grille late in the day.At the close with two days left, England were hanging on in a torrid ending to the day at 33 for two, leading by just seven runs with Root, on five, and Mark Stoneman, on 19, at the crease.England captain Root did everything to remove the obdurate Smith with ´Bodyline´-style field placings, but the world´s top-rated batsman laid waste to the tourists´ well-laid plans to give the Australians the advantage at the Gabba, where they haven´t lost a Test since 1988.“I think we´re in a reasonable spot being around 30 in front — we didn´t look like we were going to get there for a while,” Smith said.“It just meant a lot. Ashes series are always huge. As a captain, I want to lead from the front as much as I can with my performance and the way [Read More…]

Nov 242017
Smith defies England as Australia fight back in Ashes

Smith and Marsh put up a vital partnership on day two of first Ashes Test/Cricket Australia BRISBANE: Skipper Steve Smith led a rescue mission to revive Australia´s fortunes after a top-order batting collapse in the Ashes Test against England in Brisbane on Friday.Home hopes rested on Smith to mount a fighting rearguard after the loss of four wickets in a faltering chase after England´s first innings of 302 at the Gabba.At the close on the second day, the Australians were 165 for four and trailing by 137 runs, with Smith unbeaten on 64 and Shaun Marsh not out 44.It left the match intriguingly poised once again after England ended day one in a similar position before collapsing before lunch on Friday.Smith was then thrust into another high pressure situation after Australia suffered a now-familiar batting malfunction.England had done their homework, encircling Smith with fielders and trying to frustrate the fidgety Australian captain into playing a rash shot. But Smith, Test cricket´s top-rated batsman, stepped up to the challenge with a defiant knock off 148 balls.Marsh, 34, recalled for an eighth time to the Test team, provided stout support to his skipper off 122 balls to share in an unbroken 89-run stand. The tourists had the Australians on the ropes with three batsmen out in the middle session, including the prized scalp of David Warner. James Anderson dismissed Pete Handscomb for his first wicket of the match/Getty ImagesWarner attempted to pull newcomer Jake Ball through the leg-side only to find Dawid Malan [Read More…]

Nov 212017
England, Aussies look for important points in Ashes

DUBAI: Important ranking points will be up for grabs in the Ashes as Australia and England battle it out in five Tests starting in Brisbane tomorrow (Thursday), says an ICC release.Third-placed England go into the series with 105 points on the ICC Test Team Rankings table, enjoying an eight-point lead over Australia, who will look to maximize their home advantage and move up from fifth position.Australia will overtake England if they win by a margin of 2-0 or better and could even go up to third position if they can complete a 5-0 series washout. In the event of being blanked out, England will slip down to 98 points.On the other hand, England will go up to 110 points with a 5-0 win, in which case Australia will slip to 91 points and could be down to sixth position. India, who are currently engaged in a three-Test home series with Sri Lanka, lead the table with 125 points while South Africa are in second place with 111 points.Series scenarios: If Australia win 5-0: Australia 106 (+9), England 98 (-7).If Australia win 4-0: Australia 104 (+7), England 99 (-6).If Australia win 4-1 or 3-0: Australia 103 (+6), England 100 (-5).If Australia win 3-1 or 2-0: Australia 102 (+5), England 101 (-4).Australia win 3-2, 2-1 or 1-0: England 102 (-3), Australia 101 (+4).If drawn series: England 104 (-1), Australia 97 (no change).If England win 5-0: England 110 (+5), Australia 91 (-6).If England win 4-0: England 109 (+4), Australia 92 (-5).If England win [Read More…]

Nov 182017
England humbled by novice CA XI pair

TOWNSVILLE, Australia: Novices Jason Sangha and Matt Short scored their maiden first-class centuries for a Cricket Australia XI to frustrate England on the last day of their final Ashes warm-up game on Saturday.Eighteen-year-old Sangha and team skipper Short — with only seven first-class matches between them — shared in a 263-run fourth-wicket stand to draw the four-day game ahead of next week’s first Brisbane Test.Sangha hit 133 off 226 balls with 13 fours and a six, while Short remained unbeaten on 134 off 264 balls when the game was called off late on the final day in Townsville.Sangha is the second-youngest player to score a century against England behind India great Sachin Tendulkar.He was finally caught off leg-spinner Mason Crane, allowing the tourists to avoid the indignity of going wicket-less on the final day.“It’s not really damaging to us,” England coach Trevor Bayliss said. “Obviously we’d like to take 10 wickets for 90 runs in every game, but this is what can happen in cricket.“A number of guys spent time in the middle with the bat and the bowlers got a lot of overs under their belts.“Hopefully everyone now has got their rhythms right and they can come out next week and go from ball one.”The inexperienced CA XI finished on 364 for four off 110 overs to lead by 99 runs when the rival captains agreed a draw.Sangha was dropped by Mark Stoneman on 43 but England’s bowlers created few other chances.England comfortably defeated a similar CA XI in [Read More…]

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