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Dhananjaya drags Sri Lanka to 241

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Dhananjaya de Silva came up with a vital 91 to drag Sri Lanka to 241/9 in the second ODI at the Oval on Thursday (July 1). At one stage, it appeared as if the visitors would struggle to even touch three figures after Sam Curran struck thrice with the new ball in front of his home crowd to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 21/4. Eventually, the youngster went on to collect his first five-fer in ODI cricket with Sri Lanka also making a commendable comeback, which is still unlikely to prevent them from going 2-0 down in the series.

The Sri Lankans were rocked very early in the game after England opted to field first as Sam trapped Kusal Perera leg-before-wicket. Losing the captain, who top-scored in the first ODI, for a duck was a massive blow and the seamer hardly gave them any breathing space by striking again after two balls. Avishka Fernando fell prey to a sharp inswinger and was dismissed lbw as well. To make matters worse, both Kusal and Avishka ended up wasting two reviews while getting dismissed. Another inswinger from the left-armer accounted for Pathum Nissanka’s wicket in just the fourth over and David Willey opened his account shortly as well with Charith Asalanka mistiming a pull in tame fashion.

At 21/4, the visitors were badly in need of a partnership with a familiar story unfolding. Dhananjaya then found an able partner in Wanindu Hasaranga as the duo began rebuilding. Dhananjaya, who has been looking to cement his spot in the ODI XI, did his chances no harm as he kept picking up boundaries to get the scorecard moving. He played some exquisite shots off the seamers punishing anything that was bowled full and short as well. Hasaranga, who was watchful at the other end with Dhananjaya doing the bulk of the scoring, finally found his groove as he picked up a couple of boundaries off Sam to bring up the half-century stand.

The left-arm seamer persisted with a short-ball ploy against Hasaranga despite getting pulled for a boundary once but his patience did yield in a wicket eventually. Against the run of play, Hasaranga took on the short ball only to find the fielder at deep midwicket. It was then Dasun Shanaka’s turn to aid Dhananjaya as the two batsmen began guiding Sri Lanka to safety. Shanaka had to curb his natural instincts with plenty of overs left in the innings but did chip in with timely boundaries. Dhananjaya on the other hand continued to look fluent, went past his highest ODI score, and was on course to getting to his maiden hundred before a lapse in concentration resulted in his downfall.

Just nine short of three figures, the right-hander pulled Willey but failed to connect it to perfection and was caught by Joe Root near deep square leg. With Shanaka also getting dismissed before he could open up, Sri Lanka had to settle for a par score of 241 but they have certainly given their bowlers something to fight for which looked unlikely after the first 20 minutes of play.

 

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka

241/9 in 50 overs (Dhananjaya de Silva 91, Dasun Shanaka 47; Sam Curran 5-48, David Willey 4-64 )



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India crowned champions of inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup

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The Shafali Verma-led side beat England in the final by seven wickets

Titas Sadhu, Archana Devi and Parshavi Chopra took two scalps each while Gongadi Trisha and Soumya Tiwari made useful scores as India Under-19 scripted a memorable seven wicket win over England Under-19 to seal the inaugural Women’s Under-19 World Cup in Potchefstroom. India U19 chased down the paltry target of 69 in the 14th over.

Brief scores:

England U19 68 in 17.1 overs (Ryana Macdonald Gay 19; Titas Sadhu 2-6) lost to India U19 69/3 in 14 overs (Soumya Tiwari 24*; Alexa Stonehouse 1-8) by seven wickets

 

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ICC names all-woman panel of match officials for 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup

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The upcoming women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa will have an all-woman line-up of match officials, in what will be a landmark first in the game.On Friday, the ICC announced the panel of three match referees and ten umpires, featuring officials from seven countries. The match referees are GS Lakshmi (India), Shandre Fritz (South Africa) and Michell Pereira (Sri Lanka). The on-field and TV umpires will be Sue Redfern (England), Eloise Sheridan (Australia), Claire Polosak (Australia), Jacqueline Williams (West Indies), Kim Cotton (new Zealand), Lauren Agenbag (South Africa), Anna Harris (England), Vrinda Rathi (India), N Janani (India) and Nimali Perera (Sri Lanka).

Selecting this panel was part of the governing body’s “strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket,” an ICC statement said.

The panel will also have the most number of women umpires and match referees in a global ICC tournament, four more than the nine who are at the ongoing women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup.

“Women’s cricket has been growing rapidly in recent years and as part of that, we have been building the pathways to ensure more women have the opportunity to officiate at the highest level,” Wasim Khan, ICC’s general manager of cricket, said. “This announcement is a reflection of our intent in this space and just the start of our journey where men and women enjoy the same opportunities across our sport.

“We are committed to continuing to support our female match officials and provide opportunities to showcase their talents on the global stage. I wish them all the best for the tournament.”

The eighth edition of the women’s T20 World Cup begins with hosts South Africa facing Sri Lanka on February 10. Defending champions Australia are in Group A with Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Arica. Group B has England, India, Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies. The top two teams from each group will move into the semi-finals.The matches will be played in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Paarl with the final scheduled for February 26 at Newlands.

(Cricinfo)

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ACC to meet in Bahrain on Feb 4, call on Asia Cup expected

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The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will meet in Bahrain on February 4. A decision on the Asia Cup is expected at the much-awaited meeting where the representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be present. It could be a stormy affair in the Persian Gulf city of Bahrain, with the two boards having been at loggerheads.

The hosting right of the upcoming Asia Cup, which will be an ODI championship among the continental sides, has been a bone of contention, with the BCCI and the PCB being at odds over the venue. The August-September championship was allotted to the PCB but in view of political tension between India and Pakistan, the BCCI had declared that the Indian team will not be in a position to travel to Pakistan.

The BCCI’s refusal was initially escalated by former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja who threatened to boycott the World Cup in India later in the year. A similar stand seems to have also been taken by Najam Sethi, who succeeded Raja, but there seems little support from other ACC members to the PCB position.

The BCCI and the PCB sparred recently after Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary and ACC president, announced the schedule of the council. It was responded with sarcasm by Sethi who said in a social media post, “Thank you @JayShah for unilaterally presenting @ACCMedia1 structure & calendars 2023-24 especially relating to Asia Cup 2023 for which Pakistan is the event host. While you are at it, you might as well present structure & calendar of our PSL 2023! A swift response will be appreciated (sic).”

The PCB chairman’s comments were rejected by ACC which declared that Shah’s post was not unilateral. “It has come to our knowledge that PCB Chairman Mr Najam Sethi has made a comment on the ACC President unilaterally taking the decision on finalising the calendar and announcing the same. The ACC wants to clarify that it has followed well established and due process. The calendar was approved by its Development Committee and Finance & Marketing Committee in a meeting held on December 13th, 2022.

“The calendar was then communicated to all the participating members individually, including Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), via an email dated December 22nd, 2022. While responses were received from certain Member Boards, no comments or suggested modifications were received from PCB. In view of the above, Mr Sethi’s comments on a social media platform are baseless and are vehemently denied by the ACC,” the ACC said backing Shah’s position.

With the meeting in Bahrain happening in such a backdrop, it could be a stormy affair. A BCCI official, who was in Mumbai for the unveiling of Women’s Premier League teams, confirmed a final decision on the Asia Cup will be taken in Bahrain on February 4.

(Cricbuzz)

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