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Recent Match Report – India vs Pakistan, World Cup, 22nd match

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India 336 for 5 (Rohit 140, Kohli 77, Rahul 57, Amir 3-47) beat Pakistan 212 for 6 (Fakhar 62, Kuldeep 2-32) by 89 runs by the DSL method
As it happened

Seven-nil. On its biggest stage, cricket’s most fraught rivalry really hasn’t lived up to its billing.

None of the six previous World Cup meetings between India and Pakistan produced anything approaching a tight finish, but most of them contained tense passages of play and moments of crackling electricity. Sunday at Old Trafford had none of that. There was plenty of quality cricket, but nearly all of it was from one side. The other side was a shadow, not just of what it had been in the past, but even of what it had been two weeks ago.

Pakistan barely showed up, and the contest turned into an uninterrupted celebration of Indian excellence.

Watch on Hotstar (India only)Full highlights of the match

Rohit Sharma scored his second hundred in three games, a far breezier knock than his effort in a scrappy chase against South Africa, and at one stage he seemed set for a tilt at a fourth ODI double-hundred. KL Rahul, batting in his preferred position thanks to the enforced absence of Shikhar Dhawan, made a solid half-century in an opening stand of 136. Virat Kohli came to the crease, occupied it like a favourite bit of lawn furniture, and made 77 at comfortably over a run a ball without ever seeming to stretch himself.

These efforts set Pakistan a target of 337. This was a flat pitch, and India lost one of their two main fast bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to hamstring stiffness after he had delivered just 1.4 overs, leaving the fifth and sixth bowlers 18.2 overs, rather than just 10, to handle. And yet, apart from a brief period during a 104-run second-wicket stand between Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam, Pakistan never threatened to make a chase of it.

The Fakhar-Babar partnership only rarely hit high gear, partly because of the discipline from India’s bowlers – even Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya – and partly because Pakistan were looking to keep wickets in hand, perhaps with an eye on staying close to the DLS par score, given that rain had already caused a couple of brief interruptions.

A series of authoritative slog-sweeps from both batsmen brought Pakistan 26 runs from overs 21 to 23, one of them bringing up Fakhar’s half-century. At the 23-over mark, Pakistan were 113 for 1, 11 behind the DLS par score of 124 for 1.

That was as close as they got, as Kuldeep Yadav put India firmly on top once more with the wickets of both set batsmen. They didn’t arrive out of the blue; Kuldeep was consistently challenging the batsmen in the air and off the pitch, and he had already come close to having Fakhar stumped, ripping one across his bat face and causing him to overbalance.

The breakthrough arrived in the 24th over, courtesy a cocktail of drift, dip and turn. Drift drew Babar into playing at a wider line as Kuldeep floated one across him from left-arm over, opening a gap between bat and pad. Dip ensured the ball landed shorter than Babar wanted, causing him to push further out in front of his body than he would have wanted. Turn did the rest.

Dip forced Fakhar to top-edge a sweep in Kuldeep’s next over, and Pakistan were 126 for 3. When Pandya followed up in the next over with the back-to-back wickets of Mohammad Hafeez and the dreadfully out-of-sorts Shoaib Malik, the contest was all but over.

The game dragged on for a while longer, though, thanks to a 40-minute spell of rain that shaved 10 overs off the chase. When play resumed, Pakistan needed 130 in 30 balls, with four wickets in hand, in front of stands that had gone two-thirds empty. It was the tired and farcical end that this contest – hyped to absurd levels for months and painted in dangerously jingoistic shades – probably deserved.

The match was probably won and lost in its first ten overs, when Pakistan chose to bowl in overcast conditions and failed to make use of them. Unlike most of the grounds at this World Cup, Old Trafford has long straight boundaries and short square ones, and with the clouds massed overhead it was the one place at which to bowl a fuller length. Barring Mohammad Amir, none of Pakistan’s fast bowlers did this.

The quicks bowled nine of the first 10 overs for Pakistan, and of the 54 balls they sent down, 30 were pitched either short or short of a length, according to ESPNcricinfo’s data. Rohit and Rahul scored 35 off those 30 balls, with Rohit in especially punishing mood with his square-cut and his range of pulls. The other 24 balls, mostly from Amir, were pitched on a good length or fuller, and off those balls India only scored 13 runs.

In comparison, India’s seamers bowled 36 balls on the fuller lengths in their first Powerplay, conceding 18 runs, and 24 on the shorter lengths, conceding 17.

Rohit usually starts sedately in ODIs and beds in for the long haul, accelerating gradually through his innings. Pakistan’s freebies had allowed him to begin in much more of a hurry now. At the 10-over mark he was on 37 off 29 balls, and a drive to the cover point boundary off Shadab Khan in the 12th over brought up his fifty off 34 balls. It was his quickest in ODIs.

The pace of Rohit’s scoring allowed Rahul to play at his own pace at the other end, and ease into a role he hasn’t really played too much of in his ODI career so far. Having moved to 14 off 31 at the 10-over mark, he accelerated when the spinners came on, bringing out his sweep, square cut, and lofted hits with a full extension of the arms. In all, he scored 12 off 30 against the faster bowlers and 45 off 48 against the spinners.

When Rahul spooned Wahab Riaz to short cover in the 24th over, India had already laid the base for a massive total. Rohit and Kohli, masters of pressing home advantageous situations, did what they do best, putting on 104 runs of increasing inevitability in 19.1 overs. Rohit brought up his century – his third-quickest in ODIs – off 85 balls, off the last ball of the 30th over, and proceeded to add 40 more to his score off his next 27 balls. Another double-century seemed to be his for the taking, but right after he had hammered Hasan Ali for a typically Rohit boundary – a mighty pull over mid-on – he fell playing an entirely atypical shot, shuffling across and scooping to short fine leg.

India came into the World Cup with questions over their No. 4, but through the tournament they’ve found a solution by taking so long to lose their second wicket that they can promote Pandya. They did so again, and he clattered 26 off 19, but there wasn’t really a proper end-overs explosion to follow his dismissal, as Amir’s angle and changes of pace tied down India’s lower middle order. India only made 38 off their last five overs, but by then they already had more than enough.



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Marcus Trescothick to join Ashes coaching set-up

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Marcus Trescothick is set to join the England coaching team for the first two Tests of the Ashes series.

Trescothick, the former England opening batsman, has recently announced his decision to retire as a player at the end of this season and is currently struggling to break into the Somerset side. He will spend the training days ahead of the Edgbaston and Lord’s Tests with the England squad at both training sessions and at the team hotel.

Jonathan Trott has fulfilled a similar role with England ahead of the Test against Ireland.

The appointment does not necessarily suggest that Trescothick – or Trott – is about to be appointed as the England team’s batting coach. The ECB have yet to identify a successor to Mark Ramprakash, who left his role a couple of months ago, but are using the likes of Trott and Trescothick to help ease the burden on Graham Thorpe – the ECB’s lead batting coach – on training days where coaches are expected to provide throw-downs for several hours at a time.

Thorpe is currently suffering from a sore shoulder and missed England training on Tuesday due to illness.

As a vastly experienced and successful player – the 2005 Ashes series was among his 76 Tests – Trescothick has the respect of all current players and understands the demands, both emotionally and technically, of playing at international level.

He will be on hand both in training sessions and at the team hotel, to support players as required. And, aged 43, the sessions may also help him to decide if he wants to pursue a career in coaching.



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Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka Board President’s XI vs Bangladesh Tour Match 2019

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Bangladesh 285 for 5 (Mithun 91, Mushfiqur 50, Kumara 2-26) beat Sri Lanka Board President’s XI 282 for 8 (Shanaka 86, Shehan 56, Soumya 2-29, Rubel 2-31) by five wickets

Bangladesh got their tour of Sri Lanka off to a winning start with a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Board President’s XI in their one-off warm-up game at the P Sara Oval. The visitors added pace bowler Shafiul Islam to their squad for the three-match ODI series which begins on June 26. Shafiul is expected to join the team in Colombo on Wednesday.

Set a target of 283, fifties from Mohammad Mithun and Mushfiqur Rahim ensured the visitors remained in control through their chase.

Mithun’s 100-ball 91 in particular will please the Bangladesh coaching staff, after he was given a chance in the No. 3 position vacated by Shakib Al Hasan. Scoring 11 boundaries and a six, the 28-year-old right-hand batsman put on partnerships of 73 and 96 for the fourth and fifth wickets respectively, with the rest of the Bangladesh line-up batting around him.

Mithun’s calm approach also allowed Mushfiqur to take on a more attacking role on his way to a 46-ball 50, built on a threatening 37 from Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order. Mahmadullah (33) and Sabbir Rahman (31) kept the Bangladesh innings on track, as Sri Lanka’s bowlers – apart from Lahiru Kumara, who impressed with figures of 2 for 26 in six overs – struggled to gain any foothold in the game. Mithun fell with Bangladesh only 21 runs shy of the target, but some lusty hitting from Mosaddek Hossain and Sabbir made sure there were no late scares.

For the hosts, Dasun Shanaka was arguably the only Sri Lankan player to come out of the game with his reputation significantly enhanced. Having come in to bat at 127 for 5, his 63-ball 86, studded with six boundaries and as many sixes, put a significant dampener on what was an otherwise stellar bowling performance from Bangladesh. The hosts put on a respectable 282 for 8 in 50 overs.

Shanaka was aided by 21-year-old legspinning allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who bolstered his case for selection in the first ODI with a quickfire 28 that included three fours and a six to go with his bowling figures of 1 for 39.

Earlier, Shehan Jayasuriya’s 56 off 78 deliveries had helped the hosts recover from a top-order collapse during which Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka and Oshada Fernando fell by the eighth over of the game. Shehan put on 82 for the fourth wicket with Bhanuka Rajapakse and helped steer Board President’s XI past 100.

Of the Bangladesh bowlers, on a wicket that didn’t offer much assistance, fast bowlers Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed struck early after the hosts opted to bat. Alongside Rubel, medium-pacer Soumya Sarkar stood out, taking the two crucial middle-order wickets of Jayasuriya and Rajapakse.



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Darren Stevens to leave Kent but wants to play on

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Darren Stevens will leave Kent at the end of the current season after 15 years with the club but has no intention of retiring from the professional game.

Stevens, 43, joined Kent from Leicestershire in 2005 and has enjoyed an outstanding career with bat and ball, scoring 11,718 first-class runs and claiming 487 wickets for his second county.

He is currently on loan to Derbyshire for the T20 Blast, but had continued to be impressive with the ball in the County Championship with 28 wickets at 24.21 in eight matches although runs had been harder to come by with an average of 20.36.

“It’s been an amazing 15 years,” Stevens said. “So many wonderful memories both on and off the pitch and many strong friendships made along the way. This is not retirement for me as I think I still have a lot to offer on the pitch, both as a player and a coach and am excited by the next stage in my career.

“I believe I can still do it at the top level, as my recent form shows, and I am looking forward to the remainder of the T20 season with Derbyshire and finishing the season successfully with Kent. I will look back at my time with Kent with nothing but happiness and pride but must now look forward to the next challenge.”

Kent have an eye on the future and want to invest in their younger players while also hoping to bring in an overseas fast bowler next season.

“When you look at his record, it is a travesty that Darren Stevens did not receive the international call-up he so richly deserved whilst in his prime,” Paul Downton, Kent’s director of cricket, said. “It’s now time for a new chapter at Kent with a number of young bowlers, and hopefully an overseas fast bowler next year, all demanding the new ball as the club seeks to keep raising standards and compete for the Division One Championship title.”



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