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Notts barely cling on in disastrous final session | Cricket



Ben Coad is in the wickets again © Getty Images

Nottinghamshire 188 and 181 for 8 (Coad 4 -55) require a further 222 runs to beat Yorkshire 256 and 334 (Ballance 82, Bresnan 68*)

On the eve of the 2018 season, Liam Plunkett and David Willey were both India-bound, favouring the lucrative IPL over their duties in the Championship. Yorkshire’s pace line-up was further depleted with injuries. If they needed someone like Ben Coad to step up to the plate, it was now.

Now was delivered with aplomb. Such was his impact with three wickets in an incisive new-ball spell that Yorkshire found themselves taking the extra half-hour to force an unexpected three-day win. They failed, but Nottinghamshire were eight down at the close, 181 for 8 chasing 403 the result of a disastrous final session.

Coad finished with four of them and with the forecast set fair, Yorkshire can anticipate a comfortable victory on the final day.

It did not feel like that on the first morning. Yorkshire desperately required the 24-year old to replicate his performance from last year, where he shot to prominence bagging 50 wickets at 21 apiece in his very first full season with the county.

He did just that, beginning by rapping the Notts skipper, Steven Mullaney, on the pads and winning and lbw verdict. The next two were bowled, the first one doing just enough to dislodge Jake Libby’s bails, while the second one nipped back perfectly to smash into Samit Patel’s off stump. Coad was the only one to make use of the extra half hour as Luke Wood’s edge carried comfortably to second slip.

A target of 403 was what Nottinghamshire were asked to chase after tea. Dauntingly, it would have been the fourth highest successful run chase against Yorkshire.

Yorkshire’s position of dominance owed much to Gary Ballance’s 82 from 166 balls, enough to ensure a first-innings lead of 68 was not wasted. It feels like Groundhog Day as far as Ballance is concerned – he has a dismal winter, comes back to Yorkshire, and scores runs aplenty.

Ballance would have been utterly pleased to be boarding a flight to Australia in November, but there was no place for him in the Test squad. In the two tour games where he did play, Ballance scored a half century as well as an unbeaten 45. Not to mention he was Yorkshire’s leading run-scorer last season, amassing 951 runs at an average of 68. This raises the question – is Gary Ballance too good a player to spend his time solely in county cricket?

The evidence in his favour would have been even more persuasive had he got to his century on the third morning. He displayed his trademark affinity for the crease early on Day 3, punching a Wood delivery through the covers off the back foot. But he added just six runs to his overnight score of 76, before he lost his middle stump to a Gurney delivery.

Often, a prolonged break acts in favour of the bowling side and Nottinghamshire benefited from the downpour. Straight after lunch, Yorkshire lost three quick wickets, all bagged by Gurney. Seven down and 272 ahead they were not entirely secure.

Enter Tim Bresnan, increasingly a batsman who bowls rather than a bowler who bats. His unbeaten 68 was the mainstay.

Bresnan’s bowling didn’t go unnoticed either as he got Chris Nash to edge one to the keeper. Jack Brooks picked up two wickets, and importantly saw the back of first-innings-hero Ross Taylor. With Notts needing 222 to win and Yorkshire only two away from victory, the finale looks to be a predictable one.

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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IPL 2020 – ‘Won’t be surprised if CSK continue with MS Dhoni as captain’



Gautam Gambhir believes that despite the Chennai Super Kings enduring its poorest season in IPL history this time in the UAE, the franchise will retain MS Dhoni as their captain in 2021 because of the “fabulous relationship” they share.

“You’re putting me in a fix. Now that’s a tough question. It up to the franchise. What he has done for the franchise and how the franchise actually deals with MS and treats MS is a fabulous relationship,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo in response to a question on the leadership of the Super Kings after a season where they could well end up finishing bottom of the table. “And that is how every franchise should deal with their captain, who has delivered for them.”

Dhoni’s future as player and as captain have come under severe scrutiny after the Super Kings became the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs’ race this IPL despite starting with a victory over defending champions the Mumbai Indians. They have since lost eight games and won just three more. And Dhoni is among several senior batsmen who have struggled to find form.

Gambhir felt that the relationship Dhoni and the Super Kings have developed since the inaugural season (2008), when he was bought by the franchise and appointed captain, was a unique one. And the “mutual respect” they shared, Gambhir pointed out, was the reason the Super Kings have been one of the most successful teams in the IPL – three titles (only behind the Mumbai Indians’ four) in addition to winning the Champions League T20 twice.

“I keep saying that CSK is CSK because of the relationship between the owners and the captain. They have given all the freedom to MS, and MS has received all the mutual respect from the owners as well. So I would not be surprised if they continue with MS and MS plays till the time he wants to play.”

Gautam Gambhir

“MS has won them three [IPL] trophies, couple of Champions Leagues, he has made them one of the top successful sides in the IPL after Mumbai Indians,” Gambhir said. “So CSK saying they are going to continue with MS – it is just the relationship, it is just the mutual respect. That’s why MS has been so loyal (to the Super Kings). That’s why MS has given everything: heart and soul, his sweat, sleepless nights – I’m sure he must have had sleepless nights while he has continued captaining CSK.

“I know people talk about that you should not be emotional, but then there is a connect. You’ve got to appreciate what the captain or a player has done for your franchise, how much hard work he has put in, because it is not easy being the captain of any franchise and that also for a such a long period of time.”

The Super Kings management has said that Dhoni would be retained at the next mega auction, which is likely to be pushed to 2022 with the 2021 IPL scheduled to begin next April. There is a likelihood of a mini auction taking place, but Gambhir was confident that Dhoni’s position was not in doubt for 2021.

“He deserves that much of appreciation from the owners,” Gambhir said. “I keep saying that why CSK is CSK is because of the relationship between the owners and the captain. They have given all the freedom to MS, and MS has received all the mutual respect from the owners as well.

“So I would not be surprised if they continue with MS and MS plays till the time he wants to play. And then next year he still continues to be the captain and have a much different squad than what he has this time around.”

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QeA Trophy – Sarfaraz Ahmed trumps Azhar Ali as Sindh win, Hussain Talat 253 routs Northern



Last year at the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, only 10 matches in the entire season produced results. The opening round saw all two off three matches drawn, with huge scores dominating games and little chance of a result in sight. The signs this time indicate this could be a very different QeA season. All three games ended up producing winners and losers; two of them saw results inside three days. The one likeliest to result in a draw, though, was saved by some aggressive captaincy by Azhar Ali, though it didn’t quite work out for him the way he’d have liked.

Sarfaraz Ahmed pips Azhar Ali

This game held particular intrigue from a personal match-up point of view, with the two men leading Central Punjab and Sindh also the pair who have swapped captaincy at international level for much of the past five years. And with Azhar’s Test captaincy reputed to be slipping from his grasp, a positive result here might have revived his fortunes. So as soon as he saw the game meandering to a draw, he declared Central Punjab’s second innings, setting Sindh 212 to win in just under two sessions.

It was the sort of captaincy Azhar isn’t exactly reputed for, but set up a tantalising finale to what should have been a bore draw. Sindh came out all guns blazing, while Central Punjab’s bowlers didn’t quite carry the threat their captain might have hoped for on a fading final afternoon. Saud Shakeel‘s 69-ball 61 led the charge, while Asad Shafiq, hopelessly out of form internationally, took over once he’d been dismissed to ensure Sindh didn’t just bat for light. Hassan Mohsin gave him good company, and with minutes remaining before the light faded decisively, Shafiq cleared his front leg to deposit the ball over cow corner to seal a dramatic finish.

Hussain Talat, Shan Masood get South Punjab off to flying start

Northern were the underdogs everyone rooted for along their run to the final last year, but repeating the feat may prove trickier on the evidence of the first match. Nauman Ali’s side were routed from the outset, bowled out inside 50 overs despite electing to bat first. Zahid Mahmood and Agha Salman took seven of the wickets before South Punjab batted Northern well out of the match thanks mainly to Hussain Talat and Shan Masood. Talat amassed a career-best 253, while Masood scored 134 of his own to give their side a colossal 342-run lead in the first innings.

With clinical efficiency, Northern’s bowlers set to work once more, Zahid Masood completing a 10-for with six wickets in the second innings. Mohammad Abbas removed two at the top to open up the middle order early, and there was little sign South Punjab would be forced into batting again. Hammad Azam’s 79 was the only thing resembling resistance from Northern, but it wasn’t to stop them from crumbling to an innings defeat.

Yasir Shah leads Balochistan to winning start

Yasir Shah might face an uphill task if he is to convince Pakistan’s selectors to send him with the national side off to their next assignment in New Zealand, given his poor record in the southern hemisphere. Here in Karachi, though, he couldn’t have asked for a better start, taking eight wickets – four in each innings – to help Balochistan beat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Bismillah Khan‘s century saw them get to 362 in the first innings, before Yasir and Khurram Shehzad, who took a five-fer, skittled KP out for 167.

That slowed Balochistan to set them a virtually insurmountable 413 to get in the fourth innings, and with five sessions to go, batting out ad raw seemed out of reach, too. Yasir was the man who ran through some middle order resistance to guarantee the game wouldn’t even need a fourth day, as he and Kashif Bhatti finished with a combined eight wickets to consign KP to a 186-run defeat.

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MI vs RCB, 48th match, IPL 2020



Welcome to ESPNcricinfo’s Rolling Report of the 48th game of IPL 2020, between the Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya will take on the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, and others in Abu Dhabi.

Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

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