Sciver-Brunt’s 72 and Wong’s hat-trick power Mumbai Indians into final
Nat Sciver-Brunt’s power-packed batting performance was followed by Issy Wong becoming the first to bag a hat-trick in the WPL as Mumbai Indians registered a comprehensive 72 run win against UP Warriorz to seal a date with Delhi Capitals in the final.
Sciver-Brunt struck nine fours and two sixes in her 38-ball 72 not out which took Mumbai to a formidable 182/4 at the DY Patil Stadium on Friday (March 24). Wong then headlined a clinical bowling performance as she finished with 4 for 15 from her four overs as UPW were bundled out for 110 despite Kiran Navgire’s 27-ball 43.
A sweep for a four off Grace Harris, a slice over the infield off Anjali Sarvani and two more shots over point off Rajeshwari Gayakwad gave Yastika Bhatia four boundaries in the first three overs as she got MI off to a brisk start. With the UPW line-up loaded with spin options, Hayley Matthews was kept quiet initially before the West Indian deposited a Harris delivery over the fence. But Yastika’s outing came to an end in the fifth over when she tried to force a Sarvani delivery over mid-on, finding the fielder instead. Sciver-Brunt didn’t take long to get going, getting her first boundary by flicking a Sarvani delivery to the fence. Matthews hit her first four by cutting a Gayakwad delivery between point and cover while Sciver-Brunt got a lucky break in the same over as she was put down by Sophie Ecclestone at mid off when she was on 6, with MI finishing the power-play at 46/1.
Matthews and Sciver-Brunt built a steady stand to help MI make good progress, and the former also had a reprieve as the third umpire deemed that the ball touched the ground before landing in Sarvani’s hands. But Matthews did not do much damage after that, handing a simple catch at long on trying to hit Parshavi Chopra’s first ball over the fence. The 16-year old legspinner thought she had the big wicket of Harmanpreet Kaur in the same over too but a review from the MI skipper revealed there was an inside edge, forcing the onfield umpire to reverse a leg-before decision. Sciver-Brunt, meanwhile, took on the young spinner by scoring 19 off five balls across two overs, which included three fours and a six. Harmanpreet, though, struggled to pick the wrist spinner and was also slow to get going, eventually falling to Ecclestone for a 15-ball 14. But Sciver-Brunt kept MI going with her quick-fire knock as she took her team to 116/3 after 15 overs.
Sciver-Brunt brought up a 26-ball fifty with a boundary off Ecclestone in the 16th over, followed by two successive fours off Gayakwad. Melie Kerr also struck regular boundaries as she helped raise a half-century stand off 34 balls. Three of Kerr’s five fours came in the 19th over bowled by Ecclestone before she fell to the same bowler. Pooja Vastrakar then struck a four and a six straight down the ground in the final over off Deepti, who was also hit for a maximum over mid wicket by Sciver-Brunt as MI finished with a 180-plus total.
84/4 became 94/8 mainly thanks to Wong’s hat-trick in the 13th over. With the required rate going up, Navgire tried to hit a big one off Wong but she found Sciver-Brunt at deep midwicket. Simran Shaikh missed a yorker to be bowled next ball and Ecclestone completed the hat-trick of victims as she inside-edged onto the stumps. Deepti Sharma, after scoring two fours, fell to Matthews for 16 off 20, with Jintimani Kalita taking a good catch at short fine leg. All UPW could do from thereon was to reduce the margin of defeat, which still happened to be a big one as Kalita and Saika cleaned up the tail.
Mumbai Indians women 182/4 in 20 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 72*, Melie Kerr 29; Sophie Ecclestone 2-39) beat UP Warriorz women 110 in 17.4 overs (Kiran Navgire 43; Issy Wong 4-15, Saika Ishaque 2-24) by 72 runs.
Novak Djokovic takes on Carlos Alcaraz in Paris semi-finals today
From the moment the French Open draw was made a fortnight ago, the tennis world licked its lips at the prospect of one blockbuster match. The countdown towards Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, against Spanish world number one Carlos Alcaraz was on.
Today (09), the two men – at opposite ends of their careers but in the same stunning form – finally go head-to-head at a Grand Slam when they meet in the Roland Garros semi-finals.
“That’s the match that a lot of people want to see,” said 36-year-old Djokovic, who is bidding for a third French Open title and a men’s record 23rd major.
Alcaraz, 20, won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in September and is contesting his maiden semi-final on the Paris clay. “Since the draw came out, everyone was expecting that match. Myself as well. I have really wanted to play this match,” Alcaraz said.
The pair have long been considered the main contenders to lift the Coupe des Mousquetaires on Sunday, even before 14-time champion Rafael Nadal withdrew with a hip injury.
Whoever wins in the last four will be favourite to beat the victor of Friday’s other semi-final between Norwegian fourth seed Casper Ruud and Germany’s 22nd seed Alexander Zverev.
Bowlers extend Australia’s dominance in WTC final
Australia extended their dominance in the World Test Championship 2021-23 final on Thursday (June 8), with their bowlers taking the centre stage after a massive partnership between Travis Head and Steve Smith.
India did limit the damage from the Australian batters as they picked up the last seven wickets for 108 runs. But Australia, who finished with 469, ensured they did not let any substantial partnership develop in India’s innings as the Rohit Sharma-led side ended Day 2 at 151/5, trailing by 318
The day began with Smith bringing up his 31st Test hundred with two successive fours off Mohammed Siraj in the opening over. A short while later, Head registered his fourth 150-plus score as they extended their partnership to 285. India, though, came back strongly as they picked up three for 26 which started with the dismissal of Head. While there were a few boundaries scored, India persisted with short-ball tactics and the move paid off when Siraj had Head caught down the leg-side to dismiss him for 163. Cameron Green edged a Mohammed Shami delivery to second slip and Smith chopped Shardul Thakur onto the stumps to depart for 121. Australia lost their fourth wicket in the first session as Mitchell Starc was run out.
Alex Carey, who had seen off the opening session along with Pat Cummins, began with a flurry of boundaries at the start of the second, including three in an over off Shami. He also struck a six off Ravindra Jadeja to power Australia past the 450 mark and raise the half-century stand with Cummins. But he missed a reverse-sweep off the left-arm spinner and was out leg-before, with India using the review to reverse the onfield call of not out. Siraj bagged the last two wickets, accounting for Nathan Lyon and Cummins, as he bagged a four wicket haul and reached the 50-wicket milestone in the process.
India made a confident start with the bat, with Rohit and Shubman Gill dealing in regular boundaries. But it didn’t take Australia long to get on top again as the openers departed in quick succession. Cummins trapped Rohit leg-before while Gill was bowled by Scott Boland shouldering arms. Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara faced a couple of probing overs but got through the testing period unscathed before the Tea break.
Pujara began confidently in the final session, clipping a Boland delivery wide of mid-on and then playing a square drive off the backfoot off Green. But much like Gill, a poor judgement ended Pujara’s outing as he was bowled shouldering arms to a Green delivery. A rising delivery off a length from Mitchell Starc clipped Kohli’s thumb en route to the ‘keeper, leaving India in further trouble as they slipped to 71/4. Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile, had a lucky break as he was trapped in front by Cummins but upon review it was clear that the bowler had overstepped.
Rahane, meanwhile, needed the physio’s attention a couple of times as he was struck on his fingers by a Cummins delivery while he was struck on the helmet after missing a hook off Green. Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, batted positively as he dealt in regular boundaries and also flicked a Boland delivery over the fence. Rahane, however, did capitalise on anything in his zone as he executed a cover drive off Boland en route to a half-century partnership. The fifth wicket pair extended their stand to 71 before Jadeja edged a Nathan Lyon delivery to slip to fall two short of a fifty. Rahane and KS Bharat were unbeaten at Stumps, having their work cut out for Day 3.
Australia 469 (Travis Head 163, Steve Smith 121, Alex Carey 48; Mohammed Siraj 4-108, Shardul Thakur 2-83) lead India 151/5 (Ravindra Jadeja 48, Ajinkya Rahane 29*; Nathan Lyon 1-4, Scott Boland 1-29) by 318 runs
Mathews left out of World Cup qualifiers
by Rex Clementine
Sri Lanka’s selectors have left out former captain Angelo Mathews from the World Cup Qualifiers that will begin in Zimbabwe shortly. There was not much change from the squad announced for the bilateral series against Afghanistan with the only omission being that of Mathews.
Mathews had made a comeback to the ODI side when Sri Lanka toured New Zealand a couple of months back and was dropped after the first ODI against Afghanistan. Since making a comeback to the ODI side in more than two years, Mathews had managed scores of 12, 0 and 18.
However, if hard hitting batsman Kusal Perera hadn’t recovered from a hamstring injury, Mathews was expected to be part of the squad for Zimbabwe, despite not having a big knock to his name. It was leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha who was expected to miss out but the selectors have chosen to pick two leg-spinners with Wanindu Hasaranga being the number one pick.
As for Kusal Perera, the hopes of him recovering in time for the qualifiers have faded away. The batsman returned to international cricket after shoulder surgery in New Zealand but featured only in T-20 cricket. Even if he wasn’t picked for the Afghanistan series, he was tipped to make it to the World Cup Qualifiers but his hamstring is continuing to give trouble.
Sri Lanka will be pleased that Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara have recovered from injuries and the team’s hopes of earning one of the two remaining slots for the World Cup are very much high. Extra pace is going to be vital against associate countries who’ll be featuring in the qualifying round. Even Afghansitan were shaken up by the pace as Chameera and Kumara claimed the top six wickets with the new ball in the deciding third ODI where the tourists were shot out for 116.
The lack of left-arm variety in the attack is cause for some concern but the selectors seem to be adamant that they have got all bases covered. The return of Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne to the ODI side is the biggest plus point as Sri Lanka had struggled to bat out their 50 overs in recent months. The irony is that the same selectors who axed him have recalled him.
Sri Lanka Squad:
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Kusal Mendis (Vice-Captain), Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya De Silva, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha
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