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Shakib Al Hasan retires hurt with suspected side strain

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Shakib Al Hasan retired hurt during the course of Bangladesh’s chase in the final league fixture against Ireland after hurting his left side.

The injury, suspected to be a side strain, took him off the field after he had faced 51 balls for his half-century. The incident occurred at the end of the 36th over of Bangladesh’s chase. Only an over earlier, he was holding his left side in pain. Physio Thihan Chandramohan spent several minutes trying to relieve him of the pain, before Shakib decided to continue batting.

Then as he resumed, he felt the pain as he pulled a short ball off Joshua Little. However, he decided to retire hurt in the next over. The gravity of his injury isn’t yet ascertained and it is likely that the Bangladesh Cricket Board will throw light after receiving an update from the physio.

The decision was a wise one, considering Bangladesh are in their final stretches of preparation for the World Cup. As such, Shakib has dealt with multiple finger injuries in recent times, the one last September nearly derailing his career as the finger contracted an infection.

Shakib then broke his finger during the BPL final in February, which forced him to miss the New Zealand tour.

Bangladesh are already through to the tri-series final against West Indies on May 17.



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Recent Match Report – Birmingham Bears vs Northamptonshire, Twenty20 Cup (England), North Group

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Northamptonshire 153 for 6 beat Birmingham Bears 150 for 6 by four wickets

Faheem Ashraf saw Northamptonshire home with two balls to spare as his side beat Birmingham Bears by four wickets on a golden afternoon at Edgbaston to keep the visitors hopes alive of qualifying for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.

Northants began the day having to win their last three matches to reach the top four of the North Group and were cruising in a chase of 151 at 128 for 2 in the 15th over. But wickets began to tumble and five were left from five balls. Ashraf then guided Henry Brookes wide of third man for two before striking the winning boundary over extra cover.

Defeat for the Bears ended their chances or reaching the top four as they slipped bottom of the table with two matches to play.

The home side chose to bat on a used wicket but slumped to 109 for 5 in the 17th over only for Will Rhodes, with 45 in 31 balls, and Chris Green, 23 from 13 to boost them to 150 for 6, taking 20 runs from the final seven balls of the innings.

Before then, the Northants’ spinners had a grip on the innings with turn available. Rob Keogh spun one sharply past Matt Lamb’s inside edge to bowl him for just one and deceived Adam Hose to have him stumped for 24. Left-arm spinner Graeme White also earned a stumping when Dom Sibley advanced and missed an off drive to fall for 24 in 20 balls.

Rhodes kept the Bears together – twice slog-sweeping to the short leg-side fence – and the blast from Green in the final over, hitting three fours off Ben Sanderson, gave the home side something to defend.

The Northants chase was given a bright start by Richard Levi, who made a timely return to form in making 44 from 27 balls – his highest score in the competition this season. He took three fours from Oliver Hannon-Dalby’s opening over before dealing with Jeetan Patel’s offspin by twice sweeping him for four. Levi eventually fell trying to hit Rhodes over mid-off but he laid the platform for the pursuit at 73 for 2 in the eighth over.

Captain Josh Cobb then shared a stand of 55 in seven overs that appeared to have put the game to bed, Cobb striking two sixes into the Raglan Stand. But trying to repeat the shot he holed out to deep midwicket for 42 from 36 balls and when Dwaine Pretorius’ measured 26 from 24 balls was ended by a superb low return catch by Patel, work was left for the Northants middle order.

The task appeared straightforward with 16 needed from 18 balls but Alex Wakely and Keogh couldn’t find the boundaries that would have killed the game. One reserve-sweep from Wakely earned four past backward point but Keogh was bowled swinging at Green’s final delivery and Wakely then fell to a Brookes nip-backer first ball of the final over.

Suddenly the Bears sensed a chance and Tom Sole would have run himself out taking a run straight to mid-on had Lamb’s throw struck. Ashraf, with four needed from four, then took over to win the game.



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Recent Match Report – Yorkshire Diamonds vs Southern Vipers, Women’s Cricket Super League, 26th Match

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Yorkshire Diamonds 185 for 6 (Rodrigues 112*) beat Southern Vipers 184 for 4 (Bates 47, Wyatt 42, Davidson-Richards 3-21) by four wickets

Jemimah Rodrigues‘ magnificent unbeaten 112 from 58 balls guided Yorkshire to victory, secured off the final ball by Linsey Smith.

But the Diamonds knew only a bonus-point victory would keep their chances alive. To secure that, they needed to chase 185 inside 16 overs.

Despite Rodrigues’ efforts, Suzie Bates‘ 47 and a rapid 42 from Danni Wyatt helped Vipers to a total that was only chased down on the final ball.

Vipers will face Loughborough Lightning in the semi-final for the chance to take on Western Storm.

Yorkshire lost their openers inside the Powerplay at the start of their chase – both to Tash Farrant – as Lauren Winfield departed for a second-ball duck and Alyssa Healy was caught for 22.

India star Rodrigues was aggressive from the outset, hitting eight boundaries in her first 20 balls to reach 42. Her half-century came from 26 deliveries and her partnership with Hollie Armitage stretched to 90 from 54 balls to take Yorkshire to 118 for two in the 13th over.

But the Diamonds quickly fell to 121 for five. Amanda-Jade Wellington trapped Armitage for 23 and also dismissed Bess Heath two balls later for a duck, before Fi Morris had Alice Davidson-Richards caught behind.

Rodrigues was undeterred, striking cleanly to all parts of the ground. She guided Yorkshire to within striking distance, needing 17 from 12 balls. Her century came from 51 balls and included 16 fours and one six.

There were 10 runs needed from the final over, with Smith’s single off the final ball clinching victory.

Earlier, Wyatt continued her sensational form by blasting 42 from just 20 balls inside the powerplay – taking her to 267 runs in her last four innings. She launched her second ball for six, taking seven fours and another six before skying one to Davidson-Richards as Leigh Kasparek made the breakthrough.

Opening partner Bates allowed Wyatt to provide the acceleration, pacing her innings perfectly. She steadily began to build momentum, on several occasions placing the ball perfectly down the ground.

Beaumont’s innings was full of ingenuity, punctuated by a string of sweeps and scoops. It was her wicket, dismissed by Davidson-Richards for a 29-ball 33, which ended the partnership at 76 from 51 balls in the 15th over.

Davidson-Richards struck again three balls later as Bates fell for 47 from 39 balls and Yorkshire began to claw back control at 127 for three.

Thea Brookes came and went for a run-a-ball seven – a third for Davidson-Richards – but a superb partnership of 43 from 20 balls between Maia Bouchier and Wellington guided the Vipers to 184 for four.

Vipers’ final group game is at home to Loughborough on Wednesday, with Yorkshire away at Western Storm.



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Managing bowlers’ workload ‘most important’ in Test championship – Kohli

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Managing the workload of their fast bowlers is going to be key for India to win the World Test Championship, India’s captain Virat Kohli believes. After the win in Antigua Test, which made him India’s most successful captain in overseas Tests, Kohli spoke of the importance of having his bowlers making maximum impact in Test matches.

One of those was Jasprit Bumrah, who sat out the limited-overs legs of the ongoing tour and came back to blow West Indies away in the second innings with a spell that read 8-4-7-5. He was not at his best in the first innings, which he put down to a slightly stiff back coming back into action after a long break, but in the second innings he was lethal, relying on the outswinger, which is not his stock delivery.

“That’s probably the most important thing for us right now, managing player workloads,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation. “That’s why he (Bumrah) didn’t play any white-ball cricket after the World Cup because we wanted him to be fresh for the Tests. He is going to be a key factor for us as long as the Test championship continues. We know how good a bowler he is. And the impact he can make in a spell.”

Kohli said India had the required personnel in the pace department to be able to dominate but spoke of the need to monitor the workloads closely. “[Mohammed] Shami is the same [as Bumrah],” Kohli continued. “Ishant [Sharma] is a banker for years now. And he can make an impact in any spell he bowls. Those three together are bowling really well. Umesh [Yadav] hasn’t had a game, and we have Navdeep Saini, who can bowl 150 clicks, waiting in the wings. We are pretty settled as far as our bowling options are concerned. Managing workloads and the number of overs we bowl is going to be a key factor for us.”

Other than workloads, the team’s selection of the XIs has come under scrutiny in the past. In this Test, too, they had to make two difficult decisions. They ended up leaving out R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma. Ashwin’s exclusion left the experts, including Sunil Gavaskar, surprised. Kohli said the selections were being made in the team’s best interests. While he went on to offer a reason for Hanuma Vihari’s inclusion ahead of Rohit, he avoided speaking about leaving out Ashwin.

“The combination is absolutely based on players who can provide more than one skill,” Kohli said. “That’s why Vihari got the nod for this particular game because he can bowl you those eight-ten overs when you are falling behind the over rate. As a part-timer he is pretty effective as well.

“Look, for us it is about managing the best combination we can as a side, and feeling settled about it. We all have a discussion on that particular thing, and we go ahead with what is the best thing for the team. There will always be opinions on a team selected, but we all understand that whatever decisions are taken are in the best interest of the team.”

To live with selection calls is definitely one of the challenges of captaincy, but it is a job that has brought Kohli a lot of satisfaction over the years. Going past Sourav Ganguly as the most successful India captain in away Tests is just one of them.

“It is a responsibility that I am fulfilling,” Kohli said of captaincy. “It is a blessing that I am in a position where I can contribute to the team in more than one way. I like taking that responsibility but nothing is possible without the team. If these guys hadn’t bowled or batted the way they have, we wouldn’t have won the Tests we have. The credit can’t be taken away from them at all because I am just making decisions on the field. Execution is in their hand. Always been a team game for us.”



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