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Liam Livingstone steers England home in rain-affected low-scorer



Liam Livingstone scored unbeaten 29 to secure a five wicket win according to D/L method.

Sri Lanka’s batting was not good. That much is clear, right? In fact, we’re being diplomatic. It was awful. England’s bowling was decent, and the pitch was not exactly a flatbed, and yet, even despite all that, 111 for seven was still a pathetic total. One that was always going to be run down, even if Sri Lanka had a good first seven overs with the ball.

Sri Lanka’s batsmen repeatedly struggled for timing. Imagine a T20 innings in which only two players hit boundaries. Only Kusal Mendis (who hit a run-a-ball 39) and Isuru Udana (who made 19 not out off 14), found the rope – four fours and two sixes between them.

England stuttered early in their response, slipping to 36 for four in the seventh over, but they bat so deep that their victory never really seemed at risk. Liam Livingstone and Sam Billings put on 54 off 48 balls for the fifth wicket, and essentially made the game safe for the hosts.


England’s Powerplay dominance

As Sri Lanka had made a poor score in the first T20I, and given their reliance on their top four, the Powerplay was always going to be a good indication of how this game was going to go. Once again, the visitors failed, this time, almost embarrassingly. First, Danushka Gunathilaka was run out attempting a quick single – Sam Curran booting the ball into the stumps like a babier-faced David Beckham to find the batsman short of his ground.

In Curran’s next over, Avishka Fernando attempted to hook the bowler but holed out to deep square leg – the fielder having to run in several metres to complete the catch. Kusal Perera and Mendis attempted desperately to hit boundaries after that, trying to make something of the Powerplay overs. But their timing was woeful. And Sri Lanka were 26 for 2 after six overs.

The Mark Wood Express

On a surface offering pace and carry, Mark Wood was quick and menacing. In his first over he was already into the high 140s kph/90mph range, and troubled Mendis, whose outside edge he beat. In later overs, he cranked it up to 150kph/93mph, and in the 14th over of the innings, he dismissed Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella off successive balls – the first off a big top edge that wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow settled under, and the second off a leading edge that went to cover. He finished with figures of 2 for 18 from his four overs.

Billings and Livingstone see England home

Sri Lanka had an excellent first seven overs with the ball too. In fact, at one point in the seventh over, the visitors had England 36 for 4 – Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Isuru Udana and Wanindu Hasaranga all having struck once apiece.

But so modest was the required rate that Billings and Livingstone had the luxury of building steadily. They were watchful initially, only hitting out against the truly bad balls. As rain began to fall over Cardiff, they collected safe runs into the outfield to get England ahead of the DLS par score.

The rain caused a long delay, cutting their innings short by two overs, but the target never seemed daunting. They cruised towards it – Livingstone remaining not out on 29 off 26 as Curran hit the winning runs after Billings became a second wicket for Hasaranga. (cricinfo)


Brief Scores

Sri Lanka 111 for 7 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 21, Kusal Mendis 39, Isuru Udana 19; Mark Wood 2-18, Adil Rashid 2/24)


108 for 5 in 16.1 overs (Liam Livingstone 29n.o.; Wanindu Hasaranga 2/20)


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




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



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.


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



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.


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