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James Anderson heads to Manchester City in bid to overcome injury

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James Anderson is set to swap Old Trafford for the Etihad, after arranging to train at Manchester City in a bid to recover from the calf injury that wrecked his Ashes campaign.

Anderson, 37, bowled just four overs in the first Test against Australia at Edgbaston in July before suffering a recurrence of the injury that he first sustained while playing for Lancashire at Sedburgh this summer.

He was subsequently left out of the England squad that will play two Tests in New Zealand next month, but still hopes to resume his career on the South Africa tour in December and January.

The agreement with City means that Anderson will be able to use the facilities at their Etihad campus for the next two months, accompanied by England’s head of strength and conditioning Rob Ahmun.

The pair met with City’s head of sports science, Sam Erith, on Tuesday to discuss the arrangement. Anderson has previously trained in the off-season at Burnley, his home club, at the invitation of the manager, Sean Dyche.

With 575 Test wickets from 149 matches to date, Anderson is already the leading wicket-taker in England’s Test history, and recently overtook Australia’s Glenn McGrath to become the most prolific seam bowler of all time.

However, he has no plans to retire just yet, and recently said that he wanted to emulate Ryan Giggs, who played for Manchester United until he was 40.

“It has been absolutely devastating to miss the Ashes series but I have not thought for one second about retiring,” Anderson said. “In fact, I’m going to look into how Ryan Giggs was able to play football at the highest level until he was 40. That’s what I’d like to do.”



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Recent Match Report – Sydney Sixers Women vs Sydney Thunder Women, Women’s Big Bash League, Innings

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Sydney Sixers 6 for 192 (Perry 81) beat Sydney Thunder 9 for 143 (Blackwell 56, Aley 3-28) by 49 runs

Ellyse Perry has been a little in the background in Australia colours at the start of the season because of the dominant form of her team-mates, but back with Sydney Sixers she picked up from last season with an agenda-setting all-round performance with 81 off 48 balls and two wickets as the Sixers began the first standalone WBBL with a handsome 49-run victory.

Last season Perry scored a WBBL record 777 runs including two centuries. She did not spend much time at the crease against West Indies and Sri Lanka over the last six weeks but made full use of being back at the top of the order with a classy innings with 58 off her 81 runs combing in boundaries.

Initially, she took a backseat to Alyssa Healy who carried on from her world record T20I score of 148 not out against Sri Lanka on this ground a couple of weeks ago with 42 off 32 balls, ended when she skied to mid-on as Pakistan allrounder Nida Dar claimed the first wicket of the tournament.

The Thunder’s fielding was poor with a number of balls not gathered cleanly while Ash Gardner was dropped on 20 by Alex Blackwell. Dar, the first Pakistan player in the WBBL, was heading for respectable figures until her final went for 21.

In the final over of the innings there was what appeared to be a nasty injury when debutant Maddy Darke stumbled attempting her first run and remained down in the middle of the pitch. The Thunder had a chance to run her out but declined yet the run was eventually credited to the Sixers which left captain Rachael Haynes a little perplexed.

In the end, however, one run was far from making the difference as the Thunder did not threaten the target with the top order dispatched inside the powerplay.

Perry made immediate inroads when she trapped Naomi Stalenberg lbw then had Rachel Priest caught at backward point in the space of three deliveries. Any chances of the Thunder making an impression on the chase disappeared when Haynes skied Marizanne Kapp.

However, there was the opportunity for a glimpse at the future as 16-year-old Phoebe Litchfield played a debut innings that showcased the immense promise that has been talked about. Her first boundary was lofted over midwicket, that was followed by a scoop over short fine leg and two more boundaries followed before she was lbw trying to paddle another 16-year-old, Hayley Silver-Holmes.

Alongside Blackwell, a player at the other end of her career, they added 68 in eight overs, with Blackwell progressing to a 30-ball fifty, to give the Thunder some encouragement ahead of their match against the defending champions Brisbane Heat on Sunday.

The opening match of the tournament was watched by a crowd of 1891 in the ground and there will be a hope that figure grows over the festival weekend.



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Singapore captain Mahboob explains how they beat top-ranked Scotland

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With 19 runs to get off two overs and a well-set Calum MacLeod at the crease, all signs pointed to Scotland holding their nerve and avoiding slipping on a first-day banana skin at the T20 World Cup Qualifier. But Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob had other plans and got a little help from his friends to spark the tournament’s first upset on Friday at the ICC Academy.

“Before the second-last over, we had 19 to defend,” Mahboob said after the two-run win over Scotland. “I told [Janak Prakash] if you give me eight to ten runs, I am definitely going to win the match for Singapore. I had self-belief, confidence in me that I could do it and God helped me, and I did it.”

While Mahboob got most of the limelight for defending eight off the final over, Prakash’s role in the denouement was no less significant. The 19-year-old allrounder had scored a vital 20 off 11 balls at No. 6 to bolster Singapore late in the first innings. On the first ball of his second over, Kyle Coetzer‘s straight drive pinged Prakash just over the right eye, splitting open a sizable gash as blood poured onto the ground and physios from both teams ran out to assist.

But Prakash was able to get to his feet with a towel pressed against his head and walked off on his own power. It looked like he might not take any further part in the match, yet he was back on the field just 17 balls later with his head stitched up and wrapped in bandaging. Then he bravely came back into the attack and conceded 11 off the 19th. It set the stage for Mahboob to deny Scotland by claiming MacLeod and Safyaan Sharif to brilliant catches at deep midwicket by Tim David before a last-ball run out ended the match.

“I was very confident because this ground is not easy to hit boundaries,” Mahboob said. “So I just bowled in the right areas. The first three balls I bowled with variations and that helped me. The last ball, I knew only if they hit a six, they could win. I bowled the leg-stump yorker and the result was in our favour.”

“When the batsman hit the ball, some of the boys had started celebrating already. I was shouting at my keeper to throw the ball to me, the batsmen are still running. The fielder threw the ball again to the keeper end. Aritra [Dutta] was there and he took off the bails and the result was ours. It’s a great feeling. Beating Scotland is not an easy thing. We know they are one of the strongest teams and we are very happy. We want to carry on with the same momentum in the tournament.”

David’s placement at deep midwicket was not the original plan either. It took some prodding from Manpreet Singh behind the stumps to reposition David on the boundary into the area where Manpreet felt Scotland were most likely to target.

“I think he is an all-round package,” Mahboob said of David, who only made 1 but was instrumental in the field with four catches and a runout. “If he never clicks with the bat, he can do well in the bowling and the fielding. Thanks to my keeper, he asked me to put Tim David on the leg side. I listened to him and I think that helped me.”

On the flip side, Scotland’s fielding cost them badly as several missed stumpings and a drop on the boundary resulted in bonus runs for Singapore. Coetzer said his side needs to be more clinical when opportunities in the field present themselves.

“I guess it’s about being a little bit more ruthless in terms of taking our opportunities,” Coetzer said after his side’s loss. “In T20 cricket, it’s fine margins sometimes. I think both sides missed opportunities at key times in the game. We missed a couple in the first half, which possibly could have put them on the back foot, with three-four wickets down. But that’s how the game goes. We seemed to have it under control towards the end. As we all know, there is no team you can underestimate in this tournament and Singapore are a very good side. In the end, they deserved their win.”



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Recent Match Report – United Arab Emirates vs Oman, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, 4th Match, Group B

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Oman 109 for 3 (llyas 45*) beat UAE 108 for 9 (Butt 3-16, Khan 3-23) by seven wickets

The absence of three banned players in the wake of an ICC ACU investigation into match-fixing left UAE badly exposed on the opening night of the T20 World Cup Qualifier on home soil as Oman ran roughshod over the depleted hosts, storming to victory by seven wickets.

Oman demonstrated early that they would show little mercy to their shorthanded gulf rivals with some superb fielding leading to three wickets in the Powerplay. The sequence included a direct hit from mid-on by Khurram Nawaz but was highlighted by a brilliant diving catch from Aqib Ilyas at backward point off the fifth ball of the match to dismiss Ashfaq Ahmed and give Bilal Khan the first of his three wickets.

The normally fluent Rameez Shahzad and Rohan Mustafa struggled to pace their innings in the middle overs without the suspended Shaiman Anwar as a buffer, each scoring below a run a ball before they fell after the halfway stage. Shahzad was bowled missing a slog sweep to Khawar Ali’s legspin before Mustafa lofted Khan to Aamir Kaleem at long-on.

UAE wheezed their way past 100 before stuttering badly in the final two overs as Khan and Fayyaz Butt excelled at the death. Butt took three wickets in four balls in the 19th with clever use of the slower bouncer. Khan then had Junaid Siddique caught behind in the final over on what may have been a far more contentious decision – replays indicated it was a bump ball but third umpire referrals are not in place for this tournament – had the scoreline been remotely tighter.

The chase became even more comfortable for Oman thanks to some very sloppy fielding by UAE, in contrast to the visitors. Medium pacer Siddique bounced out Khawar for a five-ball duck to start the reply and should have had Jatinder Singh at deep square leg for 2 in the third over, but Waheed Ahmed put down a diving effort coming in from the rope and Jatinder went on to make 16, not much but enough in a low-scoring match.

A much clumsier effort was put down by Ashfaq Ahmed at slip in the 9th over. Kaleem was fresh at the crease after Jatinder’s run out by Waheed from deep cover and captain Ahmed Raza supported Mustafa’s offspin with a slip in the form of Ashfaq. But he still had his hands on his knees when Kaleem, on 2, edged one that went in between his legs at knee height and carried on for a boundary.

Kaleem made 27 off 19 before he slogged to long-on in the 14th off Raza but by that stage Oman needed just 28 off 39 balls to reach the target. An uncharacteristically sedate Ilyas patiently knocked singles and twos in tandem with captain Zeeshan Maqsood in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand to get Oman across the line with 10 balls to spare as Maqsood ended the match pulling a six off Siddique over square leg.





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