Connect with us


Shami spearheads massive win as India wrap up series



After a thrilling last-over finish in Hyderabad, India romped to an eight-wicket victory in Raipur on the back of an inspired performance from their quick bowlers to take the series 2-0 with one match to go. India’s domination started with a display of swing and seam with great accuracy to bowl New Zealand out for 108 in under 35 overs in an international debut for the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium. Two sharp return catches also helped matters.India chased it down in 20.1 overs after a 51 off 50 from captain Rohit Sharma, who struck seven fours and two sixes before Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan saw the hosts through. It was India’s seventh consecutive bilateral ODI series win at home.

Stifling Test-match style bowling from Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj caused the early damage, after India won the toss, to reduce New Zealand to 9 for 3. Hardik Pandya bowled three maidens and picked up 2 for 16 from six overs as New Zealand slipped to 15 for 5, with their top five falling in single digits, after 10.3 overs. Glenn Phillips stretched the score past 100 with the help of Michael Bracewell and Mitchell Santner, but 108 was a total too low to trouble a team that had scored 349 and 390 in their last two games.

Shami was the first to strike when he followed a few outswingers with one that came in and bowled Finn Allen for a duck in the first over. His swing and Siraj’s wobble seam tied up the top order, and Siraj had Henry Nicholls edging one to first slip in the sixth over.Four balls after Nicholls’ fall, Shami grabbed a sharp return catch with his left hand off Daryl Mitchell to finish his first spell with 4-1-5-2 while Siraj’s read 4-1-4-1. Shardul Thakur and Hardik also got breakthroughs soon after being brought on and kept the pressure on the visitors.

Devon Conway eased some nerves by registering the first boundary of the innings in the ninth over but Hardik sent him back with another one-handed return catch in the following over. Thakur also struck when Tom Latham, who had left nearly half of his first 16 balls, chased a wide delivery and handed Gill his second catch at first slip.

Fifteen was the lowest score at which India have picked up five wickets in a men’s ODI and it was also New Zealand’s lowest score at five down.Phillips, Bracewell and Santner all bothered India but only briefly. Phillips started with back-to-back fours off Hardik – including a top-edge over the wicketkeeper – before Bracewell dispatched consecutive low full-tosses for fours off Shami in the 19th over. Shami immediately changed from around to over the wicket and banged in a bouncer that ended the stand of 41 when Bracewell nicked behind for 22.

From 56 for 6, Phillips and Santner put on a patient stand of 47, thanks to two lives Santner got off Kuldeep Yadav. The first came when Rohit couldn’t hold on to a tough chance while diving to his right at midwicket, and Kuldeep later put down an easier return chance despite getting both hands to the ball over his head.

Phillips scored at a good clip during his 36 with boundaries whenever he got loose deliveries from Thakur. Santner, too, chipped in with two fours off Kuldeep after the halfway mark of the innings, but he fell just after New Zealand crossed 100.

Hardik started the 31st over with a 112.8 kph slower ball which Santner chopped on off the inside edge, and New Zealand collapsed again. Two long-hops from Washington Sundar saw Phillips and Lockie Ferguson hole out to deep midwicket, and Kuldeep trapped Blair Tickner in front in his eighth over to wrap up the innings.

In the chase, Rohit and Gill started patiently as the new ball swung around. Soon though, Rohit turned aggressor, starting with a pull in the second over off Henry Shipley before also pulling Ferguson for six in the fifth over. Whenever the scoring would quieten for India, Rohit would either unleash another pull or manufacture room to dispatch the ball on the off side, including a stunning six over the covers off Tickner. Rohit also used the cut with perfect timing to collect boundaries as Gill waited more patiently for the loose balls to pick boundaries. Rohit also swept and reverse swept Santner to reach a 47-ball fifty but was trapped lbw when a Shipley delivery stayed low in front of off stump.Kohli was stumped off Santner for 11 after he struck Shipley for two fours and Kishan and Gill wrapped up the win by smashing three fours in the space of 11 balls. (cricinfo)


Selection impasse continues 



by Rex Clementine  

Sri Lanka Cricket and Ministry of Sports are at daggers drawn and virtually naming of new selectors has become impossible after SLC submitted the same set of names to be reappointed. SLC wants a fresh term for Pramodaya Wickramasinghe under whose tenure the team won the Asia Cup. The Sports Ministry meanwhile wants Wicky gone. Among other things, they aren’t happy that he retained Danushka Gunatilleke on tour after he was injured during the World Cup. The top order batsman brought international shame to the country after his arrest in Sydney. He was charged with sexual assault.   In order to break the deadlock, the Sports Ministry now  wants to issue a gazette and call for interested former players to apply. The age old practice has been for SLC to advertise for the post and among the applicants, ten names are handpicked and sent to the Sports Ministry, which then chooses five out of those ten names and appoint them as selectors. But it’s all going to change now. The board will no longer have a say on selections. The selectors are answerable to the Ministry of Sports. But the board will pay their salaries. This is not an ideal situation and let’s hope it’s just a one off. SLC should have known better and instead of going on a collision course should have negotiated for a better deal.

Getting selectors to apply is never the ideal thing. Greg Chappell was a selector of Australia for a long period of time and if someone had asked him to apply he would have given that person a piece of his mind. Chappell’s role was a unique one from rest of the panel. He was responsible to alert the selectors on the next biggest talent in the country having scrutinized a player.

Similarly a Sidath Wettimuny, an Aravinda de Silva or  a Marvan Atapattu aren’t going to apply for the post of selector. They’ll come and serve if protocols are followed and obviously they would want a free hand. That’s the best way forward too. Surely you don’t want your best brains left behind simply because they didn’t apply for a post. What’s it with Wicky that he wants to hold onto this post so much. He needs to learn to let go. He’s anyway known as someone who’ll not take a backward step but what about little Kalu? Now that’s a man who is very conscious about his  reputation. If the system doesn’t want you, then there’s no point in hanging around. Take a break and make a comeback when there’s an opportunity. The present selectors maybe feeling that they have done a good job and need a fresh term. Well it doesn’t always happen that way.

Duleep Mendis is a case in point. Through meticulous planning, he had helped the national team for a maiden Test win in South Africa in 2011. The whole county was excited at what the team had achieved. Yet, two weeks later he was sacked along with captain T.M. Dilshsn and Head Coach Geoff Marsh.

Continue Reading


Bangladesh selectors okay if Hathurusingha is included in selection panel



There’s been a buzz after BCB president Nazmul Hasan announced that newly-appointed coach Hathurusingha will have a say in selection, although a decision on whether he will be officially included in the selection panel like in the past is yet to be made.

“Whether Hathurusingha will be included in the selection panel will be decided by the board. There are two selections: preliminary (squad) and final selection (playing XI),” said Nazmul Hasan, BCB President. “The final selection is always made by the captain and coach, and the captain decides whereas the coach gives suggestions but basically it is the captain.”

Many feel that if Hathurusingha is included in the selection panel, that will take away power from the selectors. However, BCB’s chief selector Minhajul Abedin and his long time associate in the selection panel Habibul Bashar disagree with it.

“I am not sure whether he will be included in the selection panel or not but I don’t think it will be a problem and we didn’t have any problems last time too,” Minhajul told Cricbuzz on Thursday, adding that he is in regular touch with the Sri Lankan to keep him updated.

Habibul told Cricbuzz that he has seen Hathurusingha working from close quarters and feels that there are lots of misconceptions floating in the air about him.

“It is not true that he had given us a paper” said Habibul. “We always discussed about our team with the head coach and always take his suggestion whether he is a part of selection panel or not. And it was the same with him as well.

“I don’t think he is any kind of strict headmaster. Instead what I feel is that he always looked at the cricketers equally.”

Khaled Mahmud, current team director and a close ally of Hathurusingha, feels that Hathurusingha is now much more matured than before.

“He has worked in Bangladesh before. There were a lot of good performances during his time. He is more mature now, which is good for the team. I think it is a positive thing that he is coming for a second time. He understands us well, as he is also from the subcontinent.” said Mahmud, who had worked as team manager during Hathurusingha’s first stint

Hathurusingha spent three years from 2014 to 2017 before leaving abruptly for the Sri Lanka role. He is expected to arrive by January 20 and his first assignment will be against England at home.


Continue Reading


SportUnleash Schools Sports Awards 2022



Fifteen outstanding school sports persons were felicitated at the inaugural SportUnleash School Sports Awards 2022 held at the BMICH recently.Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth was the chief guest at the awards ceremony while MP Eran Wickramaratne was the guest of honor.

The award winners for 2022


Track events-Nadun Kaveesha Bandara of Royal College, Colombo,

Field events –

Ashmika Keshan Korala of Yoshida International School, Sapugaskanda,

BADMINTON: Viren Nettasinghe of St Peter’s College,

BASKETBALL:GG Minoli Mariya Direkze of HFC Bambalapitiya,

BOXING: Pasindu Umayanga Mihiran, Nalanda College,

CHESS: LM Susal T de Silva, Nalanda College,

CRICKET: Dunith Wellalage, St Joseph’s College,

KARATE: CA Tharuki Sashindi, Sapugaskanda Visaka Vidyalaya,


Hiruni Heshani, HFC Kurunegala,

ROWING: Shaylon Shayan Gunaratna, Asian International School,

RUGBY: Dinupa Seneviratna, DS Senanayake College,

SWIMMING:Ganga Seneviratne, Visaka Vidyalaya,

TENNIS:Dinara de Silva, St Bridget’s Convent,

VOLLEYBALL:Kavishka Madushanka, Rajasinghe Central College, Ruwanwella,

WRESTLING: Nethmi Ahinsa Fernando, Welpalla Sangharathana Maha Vidyalaya, Giriulla,

COACH OF THE YEAR: TS Suranga Kumara,

SPORTING SCHOOL –Nalanda College.

The Jury Medals for Sports Excellence, were awarded to Danindu Chirath Sellepperuma of Ananda College and Vishmi Gunaratne of Rathnawali Balika Vidyalaya, Gampaha for their noteworthy performance in cricket and to Tharushi Karunarathne of A. Ratnayake MMV, Walala in Athletics.

Continue Reading