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Hasaranga and Asalanka named in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup team 

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ICC T20 World Cup Tournament’s highest wicket taker Wanindu Hasaranga and Charith Asalanka have been named in the official ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Most Valuable Team of the Tournament.

While Babar Azam has been named captain of the team, players from six countries have been named in the team.

Stars from champions Australia, runners-up New Zealand, semi-finalists England and Pakistan as well as Sri Lanka and South Africa feature in the star-studded line up.

Opening batter David Warner, leg-spinner Adam Zampa and seamer Josh Hazlewood all make the cut for Australia after helping steer their side to their first ever ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title.

There are also spots for England ace Jos Buttler as wicketkeeper, Pakistan’s Babar Azam as captain, New Zealand left-armer Trent Boult and Sri Lanka star Wanindu Hasaranga – the tournament’s leading wicket-taker – in the line-up.

The side was pulled together by a selection panel featuring commentators, former international players and journalists Ian Bishop (Convenor), Natalie Germanos, Shane Watson, Lawrence Booth – of Wisden, the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday – and Shahid Hashmi of Agence France Presse and ARY Channel.

Ian Bishop said: “As with any team selection there will be varying opinions, and robust discussion on the final composition of the squad. The panel respects that, and we encourage the strong debate that will ensue. This team was incredibly difficult to select over such a highly competitive tournament. Selections were based predominantly on the Super 12 onward to the final.”

The team of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 (in batting order) is:

David Warner (Australia) – 289 runs at 48.16

Jos Buttler (wk) (England) – 269 runs at 89.66, five dismissals

Babar Azam (Captain, Pakistan) – 303 runs at 60.60

Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka) – 231 runs at 46.20

Aiden Markram (South Africa) – 162 runs at 54.00

Moeen Ali (England) – 92 runs at strike rate of 131.42, seven wickets at 11

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) – 16 wickets at 9.75

Adam Zampa (Australia) – 13 wickets at 12.07

Josh Hazlewood (Australia) – 11 wickets at 15.90

Trent Boult (New Zealand) – 13 wickets at 13.30

Anrich Nortje (South Africa) – nine wickets at 11.55

12th: Shaheen Afridi – seven wickets at 24.14

Warner came into the tournament in uncharacteristically patchy form but laid those demons to rest in style with a power-packed set of performances.

The left-handed Australian opener racked up a tally of 289 runs – the second most of the tournament – at a healthy average of 48.16 to help propel his team to victory in Sunday’s Dubai final.

Warner struck 65 against Sri Lanka in the Super 12 stages, before a breath-taking 89 not out against the West Indies and then 49 against Pakistan in the semi-finals placed his team on the cusp of global glory.

And his 53 in the final provided the perfect support act for Mitchell Marsh – 77 not out – as Australia chased down a total of 173 to clinch their maiden ICC Men’s T20 World Cup crown.

England star Buttler was in similarly blistering form throughout, scoring just 20 runs fewer than Warner at a brilliant average of almost 90.

He cracked a perfectly-paced century against Sri Lanka – off just 67 balls – when his team needed him most, while his brutal knock of 71 not out against Australia helped fire England to an emphatic eight-wicket victory against the eventual champions.

Captaining the side at No.3 is Pakistan skipper Babar, who was the only batter to break the 300-run barrier throughout the duration of the competition.

His 68 not out against old rivals India powered Pakistan to a memorable 10-wicket victory, while three further half-centuries in the Super 12 stages helped book his team’s slot in the semi-final against Australia.

And while they were unable to battle past Aaron Finch’s outfit, Babar helped himself to 39 in the first innings to finish his campaign in typically consistent fashion.

Asalanka slots in at No.4 after his match-winning innings against Bangladesh in the Super 12s.

With his team in pursuit of 172 to win, Asalanka cracked a scintillating 80 not out off just 49 balls to guide Sri Lanka over the line and solidify his reputation as one of his country’s brightest talents.

A further innings of 68 against the West Indies soon followed as Asalanka scored 231 runs at an average of 46.20 throughout the course of the tournament.

South African Markram and England all-rounder Moeen occupy the No.5 and 6 positions, with Markram’s quickfire 52 not out against England helping down Eoin Morgan’s team in Sharjah.

Another half-century against the West Indies helped him reach a total of 162 runs at an average of 54 while for Ali, a haul of 92 – at a strike rate of 131.42 – provided a valuable contribution for England.

His economical off-spin also went for just 5.50 per over as his seven wickets at 11 saw him function as a crucial string to England’s T20I bow.

Completing the middle order is Hasaranga, who stands tall as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with a stunning 16 from his eight matches.

The skilful leg-spinner bagged a brilliant hat-trick against South Africa as he dismissed Temba Bavuma, Markram and Dwaine Pretorius – across two separate spells – to etch his name into ICC Men’s T20 World Cup folklore.

And a further three wickets against England, bolstered by two against Australia, saw him emerge as the most prolific bowler of the tournament and firmly deserving of his place in the Team of the Tournament.

Australian pairing Zampa and Hazlewood line up at No.8 and 9, with fellow leg-spinner Zampa lying closely behind Hasaranga in the tournament’s leading wicket-takers.

Conceding an average of his 5.81 runs an over, the Australian ace removed 13 victims across his seven matches – including a memorable five-wicket haul against Bangladesh in the Super 12s.

Zampa ended with figures of 5 for 19 off his four overs and after Australia navigated their way to the final, teammate Hazlewood followed in his footsteps with a record-equalling three for 16 against the Black Caps.

Hazlewood dismissed Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips in Dubai and his figures represented the joint-best of any seamer in an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final alongside Indian Irfan Pathan in the 2007 showpiece.

And that helped cap a haul of 11 total wickets as the skilful right-armer proved a crucial weapon in guiding Justin Langer’s team to their maiden tournament title.

Rounding off the side at No.10 and 11 are fellow pace bowlers Trent Boult and Anrich Nortje, who both took 13 and nine wickets respectively for New Zealand and South Africa.

Left-armer Boult took three-fers against both India and Afghanistan, while grabbing both of his team’s wickets in the final helped him finish the tournament with an average of 13.30.

Nortje’s express pace sees him slot into the team at No.11, with his nine wickets at 11.55 featuring a barnstorming performance that blew away Bangladesh.

He took three for eight off his 3.2 overs to help bowl the Tigers out for just 84 and further enhance his reputation as one of the short format’s most blockbuster bowlers.

Taking his place as 12th man is Pakistan prodigy Shaheen Afridi, who started his tournament in style with a blistering new ball spell against old foes India.

Afridi, 21, removed the talismanic top three trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and captain Virat Kohli to end with figures of three for 31 and lay the foundations for a memorable victory.

The left-arm pacer finished the tournament with seven wickets at 24.14 and will no doubt continue to star at multiple more ICC World Cup events throughout an exciting future career.



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Mihiranga, Charuka shine as Richmond secure quarter-final place 

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Under 17 Division I Cricket  

by Reemus Fernando   

Spinner Pubudu Mihiranga produced a five wicket haul to lead Richmond to 60 runs victory over Sri Devananda in the Under 17 Division I cricket pre-quarter-final played at Ambalangaoda on Sunday. Richmond were in danger of missing the quarter-final berth after Ravindu de Silva triggered a middle order collapse to restrict them to 166 runs. But Mihiranga’s counter attack helped them earn the crucial victory as they restricted the home team to 106 runs.

Chasing a target of 167 runs to win, Mayura Malshan, Lahiru Kavinda and Sithum Vihanga were the only batsmen to reach double figures as Devananda were bowled out in the 25th over. After doing well in the field, their batsmen failed to back up, with five batsmen getting out without scoring.  For Richmond, Thamindu Pradeeptha and Yuri Koththigoda did early damage before Mihiranga came up with his impressive spell to complete a five wicket haul.  Mihiranga’s 8.5 overs included four maidnes and he gave away just 23 runs for his five wickets.

Deciding to bat, Charuka Gunasekara stood out with a valuable knock of 81 runs (94 balls, 14x4s). With Gunasekara going great guns Richmond were looking at posting a challenging total. But Ravindu de Silva had other ideas.

Introduced to the attack as the ninth bowler, de Silva rattled the Richmond batting line up with a five wicket haul. Richmond were 133 for two wickets at the end of the 30th over but their last eight wickets could add only 33 runs during the remainder of the innings as Ravindu De Silva joined Sithum de Silva to contained the formidable line up to 166 runs.

Sithum who completed his quota of ten overs gave away just 19 runs for his three wickets. Ravindu bowled seven overs taking five wickets for 19 runs, while Mayura Malshan and Sithum Vihanga too bowled economical spells. Malshan’s seven overs (7.2) cost him just 12 runs. In the other two pre-quarter-final matches played on Saturday, Revata College, Balapitiya pulled off an exciting three runs victory over St. Thomas’, Matara and Trinity scored two wickets victory over D.S. Senanayake.

Scores:  

Richmond 166 all out 43.2 overs (Helith Edirisinghe 19, Charuka Gunasekara 81, Extras 24; Sithum de Silva 3/19, Ravindu de Silva 5/19) 

Sri Devananda 106 all out in 24.5 overs (Mayura Malshan 28, Lahiru Kavinda 30; Pubudu Mihiranga 5/23, Yuri Koththigoda 2/11) 

Results of the Matches played on Saturday 

Revata beat St. Thomas’ Matara by three runs at Matara  

Scores: 

Revata 140 all out in 49.1 overs (Kaveesha Mendis 59, Malith Mihiranga 23; Loshitha Diksith 3/26, Manuga Yonal 2/22, Pesandu Sanjan 2/14) 

St. Thomas’ 137 all out in 37.5 overs (Abdul Majid 26, Manuga Yonal 23, Sanju Dilshan 21; Kaveesha Mendis 2/32, Malith Mihiranga 2/18, Shehan Madusanka 3/18, Purna Ranyuru 3/18) 

 Trinity beat DSS by one wicket at Mount Lavinia  

Scores: 

DSS 144 all out in 45.3 overs (Shanal Binuksha 23, Sohan Senarathyapa 39, Chanul de Alwis 20, Extras 24; Malith Rathnayake 2/25, Sweaph Anurajeewa 2/24)

Trinity 145 for 8 in 49.5 overs (Sweaph Anurajeewa 27, Jayavi Liyanagama 32; Akidha Weerasuriya 2/19, Randisha Bandaranayake 2/22) 

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Man United’s David de Gea after Brentford defeat: Last season’s horror show still in our minds

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David de Gea has said Manchester United are struggling to get over last season’s traumatic campaign and added the hangover is contributing to a nightmare start to life under Erik ten Hag.Ten Hag is the first United manager in more than 100 years to lose his first two games in charge after back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

The 4-0 humiliation at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday left Ten Hag’s team bottom of the Premier League table and De Gea said the dismal end to last season, when United lost seven of their final 12 games, is playing a part.

“It was a difficult season and probably it’s still in our minds,” he said. “When something goes wrong people get panicky, it’s difficult. But we have to learn, we have a new manager, some new players, we need to be more positive, keep learning and improve.”

All four goals at Brentford were conceded in the opening 35 minutes, prompting Ten Hag to replace Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez and Fred at half-time. The Dutchman said afterwards he wanted to change his entire starting lineup following a disastrous first 45 minutes and De Gea said the United boss relayed his anger to the players at the break.David de Gea endured a miserable afternoon as Manchester United were thrashed at Brentford. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

“He said it was unacceptable, what we were doing on the pitch,” De Gea said. “Nothing else to be honest. It was horrible, then some tactical things. It was horrible from us.

“I must take responsibility, I think I cost two goals to the team today. That first goal cannot happen. As a team we should react much better than we did, but I think I cost the team two goals.”

It won’t get any easier for United with Liverpool their next opponents at Old Trafford on Aug. 22. United haven’t beaten Liverpool in a league game since 2018 and the last three fixtures against Jurgen Klopp’s side have ended in three defeats and a combined score of 13-2.

“It’s about winning games,” De Gea added. “As soon as we win one game, two games, we’re going to start feeling better and more positive.

“We’re training really well, people are training hard, everyone is giving everything, to be honest, but then in the games we are not performing. For sure we’re going to learn, we have to learn and we have to play much better.”

(ESPN)

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Godamanne retires as Sri Lanka secure Group III promotion

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Sri Lanka registered a 2-0 victory over Iraq to earn promotion to Group III as they won the vital encounter in the Asia Oceania Zone Group IV Event, which was also the final Davis Cup match for Harshana Godamanna at the SLTA clay courts in Colombo on Saturday.

In the singles Yasitha de Silva beat Abdullah Ali Hatem 6-4, 6-2 and Harshana Godamanna beat Adel Mustafa Al-Saedi 6-3, 6-2.

Godamanna who represented Sri Lanka for 20 years made his retirement from the game a memorable one. He was presented with a plaque with many pictures of him in action and his parents in appreciation. The presentation was made by Iqbal bin Issack president of SLTA.

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