One win for Aussies and 3 for the Kiwi franchises
Trans – Tasman Rugby round 3
By Rajitha Ratwatte
We had a game scheduled for Queenstown, the Melbourne Rebels were scheduled to fly down and play the Otago Highlanders (probably in snowy conditions as winter is here) but the current Covid outbreak in Melbourne has that match scheduled for Sydney on Sunday. The only game that happened on Friday was at Mclean Park, Napier that lovely seaside town in the Hawkes Bay of the North Island, NZ. The Wellington Hurricanes playing the Western Force from Perth in conditions that would be far colder than anything experienced on the West Coast of Australia. The ‘Canes resting their hooker Dane Coles and the Force having 13 test All Black Richard Kahui in their ranks at no13 and former British Lion Rob Kierney at no15.
The Western Force started off like they meant business, tackling fiercely and racking up a 6–0 lead in the first ten minutes with two penalties from in front of the posts. 12 minutes into the game Asafo Aumua that dynamic Hooker who always plays in the Shadow of Dan Coles, picked up a miscued long throw from a line out, in his 22, and sprinted down the touchline for 80 meters to score far right. An incredible sight, a no2 jersey burning up the touchline like a no11 or no 14! Jordie Barret converted from a difficult angle and the Hurricanes in the lead at last 7–6. In the 20th minute, a back peel off a line out saw the backline activated and a great cut-out pass to wing saw a try from Rayasi Salesi which involved a great finish, dotting the ball down with the rest of his body in the air and in touch. Barret converted again from the left extreme and the score read 14–6. The Western Force kept attacking and Jordie Barret was guilty of throwing a few wild passes and disrupting attacking moves from the Hurricanes. He made up however with a 60-meter clearing kick to touch in the 35th minute of the game. Around 5 minutes from half time Tyrrell Lomax the All Black and Hurricanes loosehead prop ripped the ball away from a Force player and set Du’Plessis Kirifi his open side flanker on a 22-meter sprint, with Jordie Barret at his elbow, which ended in a try for Kirifi. Barret missed the conversion and the halftime score read 19–6.
Six minutes into the second half quick hands and a series of lovely passes saw Wes Goosen the open side winger sprint 22 meters and score another far-right. Barret missed again but the lead was comfortable now 24–6. Aardie Savea coming on off the bench and still recovering from his injury made a difference straight away winning the ball from a ruck and earning a turnover penalty for his side in defence. In the 57th minute, Salesi Rayasi picked up a loose ball inside his 10-meter line and ran the length of the field to score under the posts for a converted try 31–6. About seven minutes from the full-time whistle, a simple chip kick behind the advancing Western Force defense saw Ngani Laumape pick the ball up run 40 meters, and earn himself another seven pointer, 38–6, and the beginning to look like a rout. Jordie Barret was not to be outdone dotting down another in the last stages of the game after another abject lesson in ball handling from the Hurricanes three quarters. Too hard to convert for the try scorer and the final score 43–6 a convincing win with a bonus point to start off round three and the midway point of this tournament.
The first game played on Saturday was at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong, NSW. Another seaside ground and this time with a 30-mph wind gusting around and mainly behind the Waratahs as the Crusaders kicked off. The first seven minutes or so spent in the Crusaders territory and it was only in the eighth minute that Ritchie Mo’uanga decided that he had enough and sent a long pass out to Seevu Reece on the wing who passed to Will Jordan who ensured that the diminutive number nine Mitchell Drummond scored mid-right. Easily converted and the Crusaders into a 7–0 lead. Another great attacking move a few minutes later was disrupted when Leicester Fainga’anuku playing in the number 11 jersey didn’t pass early enough. This open-side winger is the only weak link (if the Crusaders do have a weak link) in the backline and if he continues to play, this will be exploited by the Australian teams. Two penalties converted by the ‘Tahs in the 10th and 17th minute saw the game reduced to a one-point margin reading 7–6 to the Crusaders. In the 21st minute Jack Whitton the second row forward of the Waratahs was yellow carded and during the ensuing 10 minutes the Crusaders scored twice through their hooker Codie Taylor (unconverted) and Seevu Reece (goal) and the Waratahs converted a penalty to take the score to 19–9. On the stroke of halftime, Will Jordan drew the defence beautifully and opened the way for his number 12 Dallas McCloud to score mid-right. No problem with the goal and the halftime score read 26–9 to the visitors.
The highlight of the game came in the 1st minute of the second half with Ritchie Muanga showing infinite grace and wonderful timing, collecting a ball one-handed, slicing through a gap, and running 30 meters to allow his skipper and second-rower, Scott Barret, to power his way over the line for a seven pointer 33–9. The Waratahs attacked furiously and the Crusaders defended grimly until Jack Maddocks broke through a hole in the defence and scored for the ‘Tahs well within kicking range to take the score to 33–16. The Tah’s shortened the margin further by another seven pointer from Zane Paresi their number 13 taking the score to 33–23. Leicester Fainga’anuku the “weak link” in the crusaders line, redeemed himself by scoring mid-left paving the way for a routine conversion and the score to 40–23, in the 62nd minute. We had reached the stage of the game when the Crusaders put their “foot down” and usually accelerate their scoring and the duly obliged with a rolling maul that gained about 20 meters and Bryn Hall in at substitute hooker breaking away and scoring unopposed first, to take the score to 47–23 and then Will Jordan collecting a perfectly weighted cross kick from Fergus Berk to take the score to 54-23. The ‘Tahs were not finished yet and with the yellow carding of David Havilli for a deliberate knock on a scoring area, Alex Newsome their number 11 scored an unconverted try to take the final score to 54–28.
Eden Park the bastion of the Auckland Blues hosted the Brumbies for the second game of the Saturday of round three of the Trans-Tasman Super rugby tournament. It was 15 minutes into the game before the Brumbies line was crossed by Brett Eklund the Blues hooker, ably assisted by Dalton Papelili off a line out maul. Eklund went over mid-right and the conversion was no problem for Oteri Black 7–0. The Blues have right throughout the season continued to keep their fans in a state of high tension by making basic mistakes on attack and losing many scoring chances due to “brain freezes”. They continued in this vein first winning a scrum penalty and then having it reversed and then giving a penalty right in front of their posts and finally conceding a try to the Brumbies in the 33rd minute, taking the Australians into the lead 7–10. Oteri Black pulled back a penalty for the blues making the scores level at 10 all. Two minutes from half time Ricco Ioane scythed his way through the Brumbies defence and passed to his number nine Finlay Christie who ran 60+ meters and scored under the posts, making the half time score 17–10 to the Blues.
The second half started untidily with the ball flying around everywhere and handling mistakes and aimless kicking dominating the play. In the seventh minute, Bryce Heem of the Blues scored under the posts from a move that involved passing and offloads from Patrick Tuapoletu and Hoskins Sututu. Easily converted and the score now reading 24–10 to the home side. Finlay Christie the Blues halfback was having his best game for the season and at this stage, the Blues unleashed their hitman off the bench Nepo Laulala the All Blacks tighthead prop who usually makes big difference to the tiring opposition scrum. Laulala however could only manage to concede a penalty upon arrival! A great intercept by Gerard Cowley-Tuioti in the 55th minute saw good territory gained and the Blues forwards got down to work. Many phases and much hard work later A.J. Lam scored mid-right taking the Blues to 31–10. The 69th minute saw a formal warning issued to the Brumbies and a yellow card dished out their number 16 for collapsing the scrum. The Blues promptly took advantage of the numbers superiority, with T.J. Fayani scoring a converted try mid-right. This took the score to 38–10 which remained the final margin of Victory for the Auckland Blues.
The last game for Saturday’s rugby was Townsville with the Queensland Reds hosting the Waikato Chiefs. Things started badly for the Chiefs with the first scrum resulting in a penalty to the reds and quickly got worse with a penalty try being awarded to the Reds by Aussie ref Nic Berry, in the 15th minute and a yellow card issued to the Chiefs no 11 Chase Tiatia 0-7. The Chiefs pulled in a penalty in the 17th minute with their main playmaker and placekicker Damian Mackenzie converting from 40 meters out 3–7. Then came the turning point of the game in the 21st minute when Damian Mackenzie was found to have shoulder-charged the Reds number nine McDermott and red carded out of the game. The video evidence was clear and a player who always punched well above his weight for the Chiefs was out of the game in the 21st minute. The rule in force for this tournament says that a red card will result in no player being replaced for 10 minutes and after that, another player will be allowed on the field. The red-carded player can take no further part in the game. This meant that the Chiefs were now down to 13 men for a while and would be playing with 14 until one minute into the second half. The Queensland Reds obliged with four tries (three of them converted) in the remaining period to half time taking the score to 3-33 at the break.
The Chiefs were back to 15 men in the second minute of the second half and they got down to work. The 51st minute saw Gus Sowakula playing at flanker for the Chiefs scoring mid-right but Kaleb Task who was kicking in the absence of D’mac missed a fairly straightforward conversion. 8–33 and the Chiefs position looking hopeless. Five minutes later Filipo Daugunu who always does an exemplary job manning the wing scored again for the Reds and O’Connor converted from the extreme left corner of the field. Score 8–40 and the Aussie commentators who always double up as a cheering squad were ecstatic and even managed to pronounce Daugunu’s name right! The next ten minutes saw four tries by the Chiefs three of which were converted and the kick at goal off the fourth try which left them behind by six points (34–40) with less than two minutes left in the game, was not taken in an attempt to restart the game and attempt to score again. It was not to be however and the Australian franchise was able to record their first win of the tournament.
IPL 2023 rule change: teams will name their playing XI after the toss
Captains in IPL 2023 will walk in with two different team sheets before handing in their final XI after the toss. That is one of the significant tweaks from the last season in the IPL’s playing conditions, which will soon be shared with the teams. The change, the IPL said in an internal note listing the various changes to playing conditions, would allow franchises to pick their best XIs based on whether they end up batting or bowling, the appropriate impact player included.
“Currently the captains have to exchange the teams before the toss,” the note, seen by ESPNcricinfo, said. “This has been changed to exchange of teams immediately post the toss, to enable teams to choose the best XI depending on whether they are batting or bowling first. It will also assist the teams to plan for the impact player.”
The IPL thus becomes the second T20 franchise tournament after the SA20 to allow teams to announce their XI post the toss. In the SA20, which recently staged its inaugural season, teams put 13 names on the team sheet initially before announcing their final XI after the toss. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, the SA20’s tournament director, had also said then that the move was designed to “lessen the impact of the toss” and allow a level-playing playing field based on the conditions.
The IPL has adopted a similar thought process now, with another key factor being neutralising the effect of dew, which has traditionally had a big impact at some venues in India, with teams bowling second adversely impacted.
While the toss will still matter, it should not be a case of “win toss, win match” in certain conditions with the new rule. For example, if a team that wanted to bat and then defend a total on a slow track in turning conditions is forced to bowl first, it can play an extra spinner in the starting XI, and then replace a specialist bowler with a batter in the second innings to help with the run-chase.
Other IPL playing conditions tweaks
Over rate penalty of only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle for every over not completed in the allocated time. Unfair movement of the wicketkeeper will result in a dead ball and 5 penalty runs. Unfair movement by a fielder will result in a dead ball and 5 penalty runs.
Litton, Tamim make light work of small chase after Mahmud’s maiden five-for
Openers Litton Das and Tamim Iqbal made light work of a 102-run target as Bangladesh beat Ireland by ten wickets in the third ODI in Sylhet and completed a 2-0 series win. The visitors were bowled out for 101 in 28.1 overs after the Bangladesh fast bowlers took all ten wickets in an innings for the first time in the format.
The short chase was enlivened by Tamim and Litton, who put on an exhibition of strokeplay, finishing the game in just 13.1 overs, Bangladesh’s second-shortest chase in ODIs. After Bangladesh beat Ireland by a record margin of runs in the first ODI, this was also their first ten-wicket win in ODIs.
A small crowd turned up at the picturesque Sylhet venue on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan starting, and went home shortly after sunset. Ireland’s 101 broke a sequence of five successive 300-plus totals by the side batting first on this ground.
Hasan Mahmud’s maiden five-wicket haul, Taskin Ahmed’s three-wicket burst and Ebadot Hossain’s two-for summed up the absolute dominance by the Bangladesh fast bowlers. The spinners were needed for only four overs in all with Shakib Al Hasan not getting a chance to bowl for only the third time in his ODI career. It was a day out for the quicks on the hard and bouncy Sylhet surface, a rarity among grounds in Bangladesh. The conditions prompted the team management to pick six bowlers including the three seamers.
Mahmud removed openers Stephen Doheny and Paul Stirling in a disciplined opening burst. Doheny was caught behind for 8 after scratching around for 20 balls before Stirling, dropped on 5, got to 7 before Mahmud trapped him lbw in the ninth over. The skiddy fast bowler soon picked up his third when he trapped Harry Tector lbw later in the same over. Taskin got captain Andy Balbirnie caught at first slip for just 6 as Ireland collapsed to 26 for 4 before the first powerplay was up.
Then came their only partnership of note. Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher added 42 runs for the fifth wicket, which effectively helped Ireland reach the three-figure mark. Campher top-scored with 36, while Tucker made 28, the only two double-figure scores in the innings.
But it was soon over. Ebadot’s in-dipper had Tucker lbw. Next ball, Ebadot clean-bowled George Dockrell for a golden duck as Ireland slipped to 68 for 6.Taskin then took a brace in his seventh over, first getting Andy McBrine to top-edge a quick bouncer before Adair inside-edged his second ball onto the stumps.
Campher was the ninth wicket that fell, top-edging Mahmud towards fine leg. Taskin took a comfortable catch, celebrating the younger team-mate’s first four-wicket haul. It soon became five when Mahmud trapped Graham Hume lbw for 3.
Tamim started the chase with a slashed four over point, before pasting the Ireland fast bowlers for boundaries through cover and square-leg. Most of Litton’s boundaries came through the covers, including a back-foot punch that looked scrumptious from every angle. Left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys then went for two expensive overs, before the Bangladesh opening pair calmed down briefly.
Tamim lofted Humphreys for a straight six in his third over, before Litton drove Campher through the covers. Then he struck two fours off Humphreys to reach his ninth ODI fifty, before Tamim hit the winning runs.
Bangladesh 102 for 0 (Litton Das 50*, Tamim Iqbal 41*) beat Ireland 101 (Curtis Campher 36, Lorcan Tucker 28, Hasan Mahmud 5-32, Taskin Ahmed 3-26, Ebadot Hossain 2-29) by ten wickets
AA Sponsors 68th National Billiard Championship
The Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) will sponsor the 68th National Billiard Championship, conducted by the Billiards and Snooker Association of Sri Lanka (B & SASL) this year.
The Automobile Association of Ceylon established in 1904 is the oldest Motoring Organization in Sri Lanka,and is afiliated to the Federation Internationale De L’ Automobile, world largest Mobility Organization in Geneva, which has 150 countries under its umbrella. AAC’s prime object is to make all Road users safe.
AAC conducts annual Billiard and Snooker Tournaments for its members and also takes part in the inter-club tournaments in order to promote the cue sports. In the past, AAC members have excelled in several National Billiard and Snooker Tournaments and brought glory to the association.
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