Jan 162017
 
Stoinis replaces injured Marsh in Australia ODI squad

MELBOURNE: Victorian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis will replace the injured Mitchell Marsh in Australia´s one day international squad for the ongoing series against Pakistan, Cricket Australia said on Monday. Fast bowling all-rounder Marsh has been ruled out of the remainder of the five-match series with a shoulder injury, which he sustained in Australia´s six-wicket loss against Pakistan in the second one-dayer at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Australia have already added batsman Peter Handscomb to their squad with Chris Lynn ruled out of Thursday´s third ODI in Perth due to an ongoing neck injury. Stoinis has a single one-day international for Australia to his name, against England in 2015.The 27-year-old will play Melbourne Stars´ Big Bash Twenty20 match against Brisbane Heat on Tuesday before he and leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who has been released from the squad to play in the same match, join the one-day team in Perth on Wednesday. The series is tied at 1-1 after Australia won the opener in Brisbane by 92 runs before Pakistan bounced back in Melbourne. Click for detailed story

Dec 282016
 
Australia fight back after Azhar's double ton

MELBOURNE: A rampaging David Warner smashed a run-a-ball century to fire Australia to 278 for two and wrest back the momentum from Pakistan after Azhar Ali’s unbeaten double-century buoyed the touring side on day three of the second test on Wednesday. Warner’s exhilarating 144 anchored a 198-run partnership with Usman Khawaja at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, as Australia slashed the deficit to 165 runs after Pakistan’s first innings declaration of 443-9 after lunch. Khawaja was unbeaten on 95 at stumps, with captain Steve Smith on 10 not out and Australia holding genuine hope of forcing a result despite the rain interruptions that blighted the opening two days. Warner’s furious counter-attack sapped the morale from the tourists, who had also glimpsed a chance of a series-levelling victory following gritty opener Azhar’s brilliant knock of 205. More galling for Pakistan was that Warner was reprieved on 81 when he was bowled by a no ball from Wahab Riaz. The Pakistan paceman had a dreadfully wayward day, sending down 10 no balls, including a hat-trick of overstepped marks in the over of Warner’s non-dismissal. It was a golden day, however, for opposing openers Warner and Azhar and both raced by a number of milestones. Azhar’s double hundred was the highest innings by a Pakistan player in Australia and only three runs shy of Viv Richards’ 1984 record for touring batsmen at the MCG. He also became his nation’s first to surpass 200 twice in a calendar year, having scored an unbeaten 302 against West [Read More…]

Dec 282016
 
Cricket commentator Mark Nicholas taken to hospital during MCG Test

Former Hampshire captain and cricket commentator Mark Nicholas has been taken to hospital for a second time in three days after falling ill during the second test between Australia and Pakistan on Wednesday. The 59-year-old Englishman was taken to hospital on Monday after suffering abdominal pains but discharged after tests, with his employer Channel Nine reporting that he was in “good spirits”. He returned to the Melbourne Cricket Ground commentary box on Wednesday to commentate on day three of the test but was taken to hospital again after suffering the same symptoms, a Cricket Australia spokesman told reporters. Nicholas played 377 first class games and led English county side Hampshire for over 10 years before retiring in 1995 to carve out a career in journalism and broadcasting. Click for detailed story

Dec 262016
 
Pakistan two down at lunch against Australia

MELBOURNE: Pakistan lost an important wicket to the last ball before lunch on the first day of the second Test against Australia at the MCG on Monday.At lunch, the visitors were 60 for two, with opener Azhar Ali on 26. Babar Azam fell to the last ball of the session, caught by Stephen Smith for 23 from the bowling of Josh Hazlewood. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat in the second test against Australia in Melbourne on Monday.Australia won the first test by 39 runs in Brisbane and bring an unchanged side to the Melbourne Cricket Ground where they will bid to seal the three-match series with a game to spare.Pakistan has lost four tests in succession but arrived in Melbourne upbeat after scoring the highest ever fourth innings total in Australia to give the home side a huge scare at the Gabba.They made one change, with right-arm paceman Sohail Khan replacing left-armer Rahat Ali.The MCG wicket had a covering of grass before the opening session but the pitch is likely to dry out quickly with hot weather in the opening days. A strong fourth innings fightback that had nearly clinched a remarkable record run chase in the first test loss to Australia in Brisbane had given Pakistan the confidence they needed for the rest of the series, captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said.The visitors, who were dismissed for 142 in their first innings, had Australian cricket fans chewing their fingernails to the quick as they counter-attacked in chasing [Read More…]

Dec 252016
 
Australia unchanged for Boxing Day test against Pakistan

MELBOURNE: Out-of-form Australia batsman Nic Maddinson has been granted a reprieve with his captain Steve Smith confirming his side would be unchanged for the Boxing Day test against Pakistan.Maddinson has scored 0, one and four in his three test innings since making his debut against South Africa in Adelaide and his place in the team had been in question following the decision to call all-rounder Hilton Cartwright into the squad.Smith, however, said Maddinson would play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday as his fast bowling trio of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird had recovered well after a heavy workload in the first test in Brisbane.“We brought the all-rounder into the squad because the bowlers had a pretty heavy workload but they´ve pulled up well and they´re confident they can get through,” Smith told reporters on Sunday.The trio bowled 113 overs in Pakistan´s second innings in the first match in Brisbane, where the visitors were dismissed for 450, chasing 490 for victory.Bird had told reporters on Saturday that he thought the trio had managed to shake off any aches and pains since the first test ended and would perform if given the nod.“I think us three quicks and Nathan Lyon have been doing a good job,” Bird said.“We´ve won the last two test matches and I´m not sure why they´d change that.” Australia second test team: David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Nathan [Read More…]

May 112016
 
Australia toughens helmet standards after Hughes review

MELBOURNE: Australia’s cricket board will make it compulsory for players to wear helmets when facing fast and medium-paced bowling in line with recommendations from a review into the death of Test batsman Phillip Hughes. Wicketkeepers and players fielding close to the wicket will also have to wear helmets in first class matches in accordance with the David Curtain review, which was released on Wednesday. The helmets, mandatory in games and during practice, must adhere to the highest British standard, Cricket Australia (CA) said. Hughes was struck on the back of the head by a rising delivery when batting for South Australia in a domestic match in November 2014. He died two days later in a Sydney hospital aged 25. “There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t think of Phillip,” CA boss James Sutherland told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. “This report won’t bring him back and it won’t do anything to ease the pain of his family or his loved ones who miss him most. “But we have a responsibility and a duty to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.” Hughes’s death shocked the cricketing world and ignited a debate about safety standards, particularly for batsmen, who face fast bowling that can exceed 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph). Hughes was wearing an Australian standard helmet when he was struck but the Curtain report said even the newer British standard helmet available at the time would not have afforded him extra protection from [Read More…]

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