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Marco Jansen star turn gives South Africa a come-from-behind series win



The hosts came from a 0-2 deficit against Australia to seal the series 3-2 (pic Cricbuzz)

In what is their last series before the ODI World Cup in India, South Africa gave themselves a massive morale boost as they came from a 0-2 deficit against Australia to seal the series 3-2 in Wanderers on Sunday. Marco Jansen led the way with a stunning all-round performance as he followed up his blitzy 23-ball 47 with a five-wicket haul that included each of Australia’s top-five to derail their run-chase early and lead to South Africa’s 122-run victory.

Chasing South Africa’s 315/9, Australia began in typical gung-ho fashion as David Warner and Mitchell Marsh took them to 34/0 in 3 overs. In came Jansen to put the brakes on that as Warner fell on the second ball of the fourth over, playing a cut shot to a ball angled into him from round the stumps. Aiden Markram did well to take a low, sharp catch at point. Three balls later, Jansen bowled a short ball that new batter Josh Inglis chopped on to his stumps. Mitchell Marsh didn’t let that deter Australia in the chase as he and Marnus Labuschagne set about resurrecting the innings.

Jansen kept bowling short to Marsh and was duly punished on numerous occasions. In the 20th over, Marsh pulled the tall left-arm pacer for two sixes before Jansen bowled a steep bouncer on the off-side which Marsh upper cut towards the third man fence. Lungi Ngidi covered a lot of ground near the boundary to complete a catch to end the Marsh juggernaut on 71 off 56 balls – an innings that included six fours and six sixes. Jansen then dug his heels into Australia’s line-up as he pulled off another double-wicket over, dismissing Labuschagne – a miscue off a short ball well taken by Andile Phehlukwayo at long leg – and Alex Carey – who nicked an attempted pull shot to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps. With that, Jansen had five of the five Australian wickets to fall, with only 136 runs on the board.

There was just no scope for Australia to make a comeback from this point on, even as Cameron Green and Tim David attempted it very briefly. Their ambitious endeavour was thwarted by Keshav Maharaj. Maharaj first cleaned up Tim David with a peach that turned away from the right-hander and rattled his stumps and then got rid of Cameron Green with a caught and bowled. Phehlukwayo added to Australia’s woes with the wicket of Michael Neser before Maharaj mopped up the chase to finish with a four-wicket haul.

South Africa didn’t quite start as strongly as they finished, as Temba Bavuma fell to a run out in the first over and Quinton de Kock – in his last ODI on home soil – was sent packing in the 12th over. Australia, who oped to bowl in the decider, were far more disciplined than they were two days ago in the fourth ODI where they conceded 416 and gained an upper hand by the halfway stage as Rassie van der Dussen and the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen were sent packing by Sean Abbott and Adam Zampa.

A measured fifth-wicket stand between Markram and David Miller laid out the platform for two of their allrounders to walk and blaze away. Jansen took the cue and smashed his way to an exceptional 23-ball 47 that saw him tear apart the likes of David and Abbott. His assault took South Africa to 273 for 6 in 46 overs, keeping them on track for a 300-plus score.

Zampa and Green however, picked three quick wickets to put doubts over those expectations, until Phehlukwayo too threw his bat around with great success in another cameo. Phehlukwayo’s unbeaten 39 off 19 included four sixes – two of which came in the 24-run final over that pushed South Africa to 315/9 – a total more than sufficient to earn the hosts a sensational series win.

Brief Scores:
South Africa 315/9 in 50 overs (Aiden Markram 93, David Miller 63, Marco Jansen 47; Adam Zampa 3-71, Sean Abbott 2-54) beat Australia 193 in 34.1 overs (Mitchell Marsh 71, Marnus Labuschagne 44; Marco Jansen 5-39, Keshav Maharaj 4-33) by 122 runs


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France rout Namibia 96-0 in Rugby World Cup match




France captain Antoine Dupont was forced off in the second half with an injury to his face during the Pool A rout of Namibia (pic BBC)

France are on the brink of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals after claiming their biggest-ever win with a 96-0 victory over Namibia in Pool A.

Damian Penaud scored a hat-trick, while Jonathan Danty, Charles Ollivon and Louis Bielle-Biarry all scored twice.

Antoine Dupont, Thibaud Flament, Baptiste Couilloud and Melvyn Jaminet also crossed before a penalty try took their total tally to 14 in Marseille.

The only French cause for concern was the loss of Dupont to injury. The hosts’ captain was withdrawn during the second half following a head-on-head tackle by Johan Deysel, whose yellow card was upgraded to a red by the bunker-review system.

France head coach Fabien Galthie’s decision to keep his talisman on the field despite his side’s huge 54-point half-time advantage could be scrutinised if Dupont’s injury keeps him on the sidelines with the knockout stages looming.


France: Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Bielle-Biarry; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Mauvaka, Atonio; Woki, Flament; Cros, Ollivon, Jelonch.

Replacements: Bourgarit, Wardi, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Boudehent, Couilloud, Moefana, Jaminet.

Namibia: Van der Bergh; Mouton, Deysel, Burger, Greyling; Loubser, Theron; Sethie, Van der Westhuizen, Coetzee, Tjeriko, Ludick, Katjijeko, Retief, Gaoseb.

Replacements: Nortje, Benade, Shifuka, Van Lill, Hardwick, Blaauw, Izaacs, Rossouw.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

(BBC Sports)

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Bangladesh discover Mustafizur’s success with the new ball in rainy Dhaka




Mustafizur picked up two wickets with the new ball to dent New Zealand early (pic Cricbuzz)

In a called-off game, disrupted due to rain on several occasions, Bangladesh lucked out. Amidst the rain breaks in the three-match ODI series opener between Bangladesh and New Zealand at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, the hosts found out their experienced campaigner Mustafizur Rahman had something to offer with the new ball.

In the recent past, Mustafizur had hardly looked dangerous with the new ball and in the present setup – comprising Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam – it looks he’ll hardly have the chance to open the bowling attack. Mustafizur’s recent performances also validate the fact that his role is to hold the batters during the middle overs, and he is doing that quite efficiently with his cutter and slower deliveries.

Mustafizur, who was rested after the opening game against Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded Asia Cup, made a comeback against India in their last game of the tournament after team management rested several first-choice fast bowlers and it also opened an opportunity for him to bowl with the new ball.

Though he put up an impressive show with the ball picking up 3-50 he turned out to be more effective with the old ball. He had given away 31 runs in the first four overs against India without any success but returned strongly when he was asked called in during the death overs.

It’s true that the two-paced wickets in Sri Lanka helped him against India, being suitable for cutters and slowers which were too hot to handle for the lower-order batting unit of their Asian neighbours. However, on Thursday against New Zealand, Mustafizur proved he still has something to offer with the new ball. What was more heartening for the hosts was the way he attacked to pickup a wicket – an instinct that had been missing for a while.

The way the 28-year-old got rid of Finn Allen (9), courtesy of a brilliant catch by Nurul Hasan Sohan behind the stumps, only showed he can still make the new ball talk as the New Zealand opener hardly had an answer to the length delivery that was pitched on the leg-stump and took the edge.

Since picking the wicket of Allen, Mustafizur was keen on trying different things that included bowling some short balls while he also tested the batters with his angled deliveries and quite surprisingly it was different from the way he bowled in the recent past where his major focus only remained on keeping a check on the flow of runs rather than going for wickets.

“Potentially, yeah. I thought Mustafizur bowled really nicely and hit the seam with the new ball,” New Zealand skipper Lockie Fergusson said after the first ODI was called off.

For Bangladesh, it was a breath of fresh air seeing him remove Chad Bowes (one) when the batter failed to negotiate his swinging delivery while he trapped Henry Nicholls (44) plumb in front to end the day with 3-27 from his seven overs.

Although the overcast conditions helped Mustafizur a lot to shine with the new ball, Bangladesh can definitely heave a sigh of great relief after his terrific performance just before the World Cup. Their interim head coach Nick Pothas echoed the same sentiment.

“Yeah he was very tidy. You know Fizz has been working very hard the last month or so to try and find some rhythm. We know his credentials bowling at the death. You can ask him to wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning and bowl death overs and he will do them with the best in the world,” said Pothas.

“He has just been trying to get back some rhythm with the new ball and he has worked very hard himself along with Allan Donald and you can see the fruits. Just coming good at the right time just before the World Cup and very happy for him,” he added.

Pothas added that switching roles for Mustafizur is not a problem for him considering the vast amount of experience he has.

“No they are very specific, those two roles (bowling with new ball and old ball). They are almost living in two different boxes. These guys are professionals and have to be able to do everything. He does it and prioritizes that very well and he got a lot of experience.”

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Murali’s ‘800’ to be screened from Oct 6th



Muttiah Muralitharan and Arjuna Ranatunga chat prior to the press briefing to announce the movie 800.

by Rex Clementine

A movie titled ‘800’ elaborating the life and career of spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan will be screened in Sri Lanka from the 6th of October onwards. The movie made in several languages will be a hit and a trailer was shown in Colombo yesterday in the presence of Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardene and Murali’s first Test captain Arjuna Ranatunga.

Murali, a World Cup winner with Sri Lanka, retired from Test cricket in 2010 with a wicket off the last ball he bowled and it turned out to be his 800th Test wicket. The movie is titled ‘800’.Directed by M.S. Sripathy, Indian actor Madhur Mittal plays the role as Muralitharan.Muralitharan played his entire career during the civil war and recalls how the entire nation supported him and his commitment to the nation.

The movie deals on the chucking controversy during successive tours of Australia in 1995 and 1998 and how the entire team and the nation stands behind the bowler.In the infamous ODI at Adelaide where Sri Lanka win by one wicket, captain Ranatunga is seen urging last man Muralitharan to score the winning runs and win the game for the team and Murali does exactly that.

Ranatunga spots Muralitharan first during a school match in Kandy and then does everything to fast track the off-spinner to the senior side.

“We knew that what Australia was doing for Murali was wrong. We stood by Murali. The irony is that several years later, Australia appointing Murali as their Spin Bowling Coach. This for me is Australia accepting their guilt,” Ranatunga said during the press briefing.

Actor King Ratnam, who plays the role of Ranatunga in the movie speaking at the briefing suggested that a movie should be made on Sri Lanka’s World Cup triumph and on Arjuna himself.The captain had taken so much risks putting his own career in danger in protecting Murali.Muralitharan speaking at the briefing said that no captain will ever take the risks that Ranatunga took.

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