NZ thrash listless Pakistan, take series

NZ thrash listless Pakistan, take series

New Zealand thrashed Pakistan by 183 runs in the third one-day international in Dunedin today.

The overwhelming win gave New Zealand an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

New Zealand made 257 with Kane Williamson 73 and Ross Taylor 52.

Pakistan in reply were all out for 74 in the 28th over. Trent Boult took five for 17.

Pakistan might be the current Champions Trophy holders, but over the last two years, they have conceded the highest score in the format's history - 444 at Edgbaston. Today, in Dunedin, they came perilously close to posting the lowest ODI score; it was very much on the cards when they reeled at 32 for 8. In a batting performance so listless that even New Zealand appeared to be embarrassed by the ease with which Pakistan's innings crumbled.

Any semblance of a contest was blown to pieces by a sensational opening spell from Trent Boult, who made a mockery of the notion that it was a slow pitch on which bounce was difficult to extract. Azhar Ali was the first to fall. Granted a life two balls earlier, when Santner dropped one at cover, Azhar poked at one outside the off stump and gave first slip a straightforward grab.

Pakistan: 74 all out in 27.

Result: New Zealand won by 183 runs.


Young Tigers beat Namibia by 87 runs

Young Tigers beat Namibia by 87 runs

Bangladesh Youth team pulled off an 87-run victory against their Namibian counterparts in their opening ICC Under-19 World Cup Group C game at Lincoln today.

In a rain-interrupted game, the young Tigers posted a comprehensive 190-4 in 20 overs with captain Saif Hasan hitting a blistering 84 off 48 balls that featured three fours and five sixes. Opener Pinak Ghosh scored 26 and Mohammad Naim hit a 43-ball 60.

With the fixture reduced to 20 overs a side, a fast start was imperative for Bangladesh, and they got it thanks to Pinak Ghosh, who dominated the early scoring, making 26 of Bangladesh’s initial 33, and striking four fours. His departure brought Saif to the crease, and he provided a captain’s innings before falling on the last ball of the innings.

Namibia, in the chase, scored 103-6. They were struggling at 12-4 before a battling 55 by E van Wyk salvage them from a conceding a defeat by big margin.

Bangladesh’s next game is against Canada at the same venue on January 15.


Tushar nears 10k with 25th ton

Tushar nears 10k with 25th ton

There was not to be a second double century in as many days in the Bangladesh Cricket League as the closest in the running, Jahurul Islam, could only add eight runs to his overnight score of 152. However, there were three centuries on the third day as the two first-class games were poised for contrasting outcomes.

Mosaddek Hossain shrugged off a painful shoulder injury to hit a battling century and a vintage Tushar Imran ambled to his 25th hundred in his 153rd match as Prime Bank South Zone responded gallantly at the BKSP in Savar, where they were up against a massive Islami Bank East Zone total of 546, thanks to a magnificent 258 by Mominul Haque.

Riding on Mosaddek's 110 and Tushar's 105, South finished the third day on 318 for five, still 228 runs behind in a match that offered only 48 overs on the day due to fog early in the morning and bad light in the evening.

Resuming the day on 22, Tushar played fluently in his 163-ball knock that contained 18 fours. The experienced right-hander, who has been in fine form, actually fell 55 runs shy of that monumental 10,000-run mark, a feat no Bangladeshi player has achieved before. It is unlikely for him to get a chance to bat on the final day today. He will however get the chance to have a crack at history when his side play the second-round game against Walton Central Zone at the same venue on January 15.

A member of the Bangladesh team from 2001 to 2007, the 34-year-old has failed to do justice to his reputation as a solid middle-order batsman and a fine player off the back-foot. He has however become a prolific scorer in domestic first-class competition. Unfortunately, the absence of a proper A team is hindering his chances of a comeback, especially on the demanding Test front.

Mosaddek, who resumed on 44, was very watchful in his 226-ball vigil. The young right-hander, known as a sweet timer of the ball, struck 11 boundaries and four sixes. The effort of the duo meant the game is heading for a draw unless something extraordinary happens today, the fourth and final day.

Off-spinner Shohag Gazi, who took two wickets on the second day to rattle South, dismissed Mosaddek to finish with 3-65. Leg-spinner Alok Kapail had Tushar bowled on a day when only two wickets have fallen at the batting-friendly BKSP, where a staggering 864 runs have already been scored for the loss of only 15 wickets.

At the Sylhet International Stadium, North Zone captain Jahurul lost the necessary composure to have a go at a double hundred after the departure of Forhad Reza. And when Jahurul was dismissed by pacer Taskin Ahmed for 158, South declared the innings at 457 for nine. They could add only 24 runs to their overnight total of 433 for seven. Taskin, dropped from the national team for his inconsistent performance, bowled well and finished with four for 122.

Although Jahurul missed a double, his side were closing in on a comfortable victory against Central Zone, who finished the day on 234 for seven, still 35 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat with a day to go.

Central however fared better in their second essay after being bowling out for 188 on the opening day. The highlight of their second innings was a fine 105 from Rakibul Hasan. The experienced national discard hit 17 fours his in 152-ball knock. Leg-spinning all-rounder Tanbir Hayder, with 38, was the other notable contributor in an innings that lacked partnerships of substance. Pacers Subhasish Roy, Ariful Haque and left-arm spinner Sohrawardi Shuvo took two wickets each for North.


India seek 'intent' to combat SA speed kings

India seek 'intent' to combat SA speed kings

You can't just stand there and take whatever is coming your way and not have intent," Kohli said after his team were beaten by 72 runs in the first Test in Cape Town.

You might get out but it's important to keep coming at the bowler and making them feel, 'if you make an error I am going to score.

With conditions at Centurion again likely to favour fast bowling, the problem for India is not just how they should execute Kohli's strategy -- but who should do it.

No Indian top-order batsman made more than 28 in either innings in Cape Town. The only two scores above 30 were 93 by Hardik Pandya in the first innings and 37 by Ravichandran Ashwin in the second.

Pandya and Ashwin were batting at number seven and eight respectively, which suggests India have enough depth in their batting order -- if their top-order players can get themselves through the new ball.

At least two batting positions will be debated as the tourists seek a way to play themselves back into the three-Test series.

Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan fell to short-pitched deliveries in both innings and there is an argument for Lokesh Rahul to take his place, while Ajinkya Rahane must be a contender to replace Rohit Sharma at number five.

Kohli said the selection for Cape Town was based on form. Rahane had a dismal recent series against Sri Lanka but has shown the ability to score runs away from home.

On India's 2013/14 tour of South Africa Rahane scored 47, 15, 51 not out and 96 in the two Test matches and looked one of the best-equipped Indian batsmen against pace.

South Africa, meanwhile, look set to once again pick a four-pronged pace attack, although they have to replace the injured Dale Steyn.

There are three candidates -- two out-and-out pace specialists in Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi or Chris Morris who has batting skills as well as the ability to bowl at more than 140 kmh.

Both teams showed batting fragility in Cape Town, with India's pace bowlers showing they too could take advantage of helpful conditions.

AB de Villiers' aggression in innings of 65 and 35 was a key factor for South Africa. It is that sort of intent that both teams will be seeking in what promises to be another action-paced Test.

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Chris Morris or Duanne Olivier or Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel.

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan or Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.


Gibson wants SA to continue pace barrage

Gibson wants SA to continue pace barrage

Reflecting on South Africa's 72-run win in the first Test at Newlands, Gibson said: "When you are playing at home you play to your strengths and at the moment we have some high-quality fast bowlers.

I'm a very fast bowling-minded kind of coach," said former West Indies player Gibson, explaining why two fast bowlers, Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi, had been added to an already big squad following a series-ending heel injury to Dale Steyn.

Even without Steyn, a pace attack of Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada sent India crashing to 135 all out in the second innings after they had been set a victory target of 208 at Newlands.

Gibson said the balance of the team depended on conditions but added that Centurion, where the second Test starts on Saturday, usually had pace and bounce, which would incline him towards four fast bowlers.

If you want to beat the best team in the world, which India are, then maybe we have to do something slightly different to what we've done in the past," said Gibson. We have to get stuck in and be tough with the bat and the ball. Get in their faces a bit, use our physicality in terms of our pace.

Olivier and Ngidi are specialist fast bowlers, while Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo are both all-rounders who can add to the batting depth of a team whose fragility was exposed when they were bowled out for 130 in the second innings.

Morris is capable of bowling at more than 140kmh, while Phehlukwayo is a medium-pacer.

Phehlukwayo's lack of raw pace could count against him. He will remain in Cape Town when the rest of the squad travel to Centurion on Wednesday in order to play in a domestic one-day match for the Dolphins franchise.

Team spokesperson Lerato Malekutu said Phehlukwayo had not been released from the Test squad but had been given permission to play for his franchise because he had not played in the Test match.


Guptill bludgeons New Zealand to rain-affected win

Guptill bludgeons New Zealand to rain-affected win

The second one-day international was evenly poised when rain forced the players from the field for more than two hours with New Zealand 64 for two after 14 overs in reply to Pakistan's 246 for nine.

When play resumed under the Duckworth-Lewis system New Zealand's target was revised to 151 in 25 overs meaning they had 11 overs left to make 87.

Pakistan showed some real resistance at the end and put some partnerships together which would have been a tricky total on that surface," Williamson said, adding the rain break "worked in our favour a little bit".

But the New Zealand skipper also hailed the "brilliant" partnership involving Guptill and Ross Taylor to get New Zealand home with seven balls to spare.

Guptill, 31 off 40 at the break, was 86 not out off 71 deliveries at the end. Taylor advanced from 14 in as many balls to 45 off 43.

For Martin and Ross to come out after that rain break. and play so beautifully and to see Martin play with freedom at his best was great to watch," Williamson said.

And (with) Ross a calming influence at the other end. it was a brilliant partnership to get us across the line.

It left Pakistan winless after two rain-affected matches in New Zealand with both decided under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

We are very disappointed with our batting," said captain Sarfraz Ahmed. The first 10 overs is very important and we lost too many wickets in the first 10 overs.

Our batting is not performing well but later on our lower order batted really well.

After Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat Mohammad Hafeez (60) held the first half of the innings together as Pakistan struggled to 141 for seven in the 37th over before Shadab Khan (52) and Hasan Ali (51) struck out with a 70-run partnership for the eighth wicket.

Pakistan still harboured hopes of levelling the series when they made early inroads into the New Zealand innings claiming Colin Munro for duck and Williamson for 19 to have New Zealand at 47 for two in the 10th over.

However, the momentum changed when Taylor joined Guptill in the middle.

New Zealand now lead the five-match series 2-0 ahead of game three in Dunedin on Saturday.

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