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Karnataka create Indian record with 15th T20 win in a row

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When they beat Uttarakhand by nine wickets in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 Group A match on Friday, Karnataka not only created an Indian record for most T20 wins in a row, but also moved to second spot in the overall list, joint with Otago. Ahead of them, by a long way, are Sialkot Stallions, who were as close to invincible as a T20 team has ever been, winning 25 games on the trot in Pakistan’s National T20 Cup between 2006 and 2010. Here’s a look at some of the most impressive winning streaks in the sport.

Sialkot Stallions, 25 wins, 2006-10

Competition: National T20 Cup

Long before Shoaib Malik became a sought-after allrounder in T20 leagues around the world, he was a serial match-winner for his regional T20 side in Pakistan: Sialkot Stallions. Stallions’ stunning streak comprised five consecutive National T20 Cup titles, a feat unlikely to be bettered given how competitive the circuit has become in modern times. If the low-profile nature of a domestic T20 competition makes it sound like a mean feat, its superlative nature is emphasised by the fact that no other T20 side has come anywhere close in the decade since then.

With a core comprising players who featured in Pakistan’s run to the inaugural World T20 final in 2007 – Malik, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Asif and Abdur Rehman – they were clinical in dispatching all comers through that five-year run. A significant part of their winning streak came under Nazir’s leadership, when they won all 13 of their games between 2006 and 2009. Stallions’ streak made them the first Pakistan side to be invited to the Champions League, in 2012, where they did not make it past the abbreviated qualifying stage. They would go on to win the 2011-12 edition under Malik, but that was the end of their golden age.

Karnataka, 15* wins, 2018-19

Competition: Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (ongoing streak)

It is rare in any T20 competition these days for a side to go through an entire tournament without being beaten, but that’s exactly what Karnataka did in the 2018-19 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India’s other domestic T20 competition, away from the glitz and hype of the IPL. While they are blessed with a number of players who have made the step up to India colours, it was Karnataka’s youngsters who stepped up through the tournament. The tournament’s top run-getter Rohan Kadam and their highest wicket-taker V Koushik were both stars from the local Karnataka Premier League, while big names like Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey and Karun Nair stepped up in big games towards the business end.

The 2019-20 edition of the tournament kicked off on Friday, and there was no change in the team’s attitude – ruthless and clinical – as they ran out nine-wicket victors in Visakhapatnam. Abhimanyu Mithun and Shreyas Gopal picked up two wickets each to stop Uttarakhand at 132 for 6, and Kadam, continuing his own streak, hit 67 not out and Devdutt Padikkal, another promising youngster, hit 53 not out to seal the chase in 15.4 overs.

Otago, 15 wins, 2012-13

Competitions: New Zealand Domestic T20 (HRV Cup), Champions League T20

Otago, led by the vastly experienced Derek de Boorder, were a cut above the rest of the teams in the six-team competition at home, starting with a 24-run loss to Northern Districts but then recording nine consecutive wins in the league stage and then topping Wellington by four wickets in the final.

That took their streak to ten in a row, which they extended to 15 after reaching India later in 2013 for the Champions League T20 tournament.

They started in the qualifiers. First up, Brendon McCullum hit a 65-ball 83 not out to give them victory against Faisalabad Wolves, then came a Ryan ten Doeschate starrer, as he picked up two wickets and then smashed 64 in 32 balls in a big win over Kandurata Maroons, and the other McCullum, Nathan, then led a brilliant bowling display to give Otago victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

All those games were played in Mohali, and Otago made it 14 when they beat Perth Scorchers in Jaipur in the main competition next, Neil Broom’s 117 not out in 56 balls leading their cause. It could have been tricky for them had their match against eventual champions Mumbai Indians – before the one against the Scorchers – not been washed out, but they did go on to win the one-over eliminator against Lions to get to 15 after that before going down to Rajasthan Royals.

Kolkata Knight Riders, 14 wins, 2014

Competitions: Indian Premier League, Champions League T20

Kolkata Knight Riders were down and out in IPL 2014 with four points after seven matches when the tournament’s most storied winning streak began. Away from their familiar home conditions at Eden Gardens till the 47th game of the tournament, thanks to the 2014 parliamentary elections, they struggled to get going, first in the UAE and then at different makeshift venues around the country. Robin Uthappa, shifted up to the top of the order, smashed his way to the top of the run chart, Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav led the pace attack, while the spinners – Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla – starred with the ball to revive their winning formula.

If they were unstoppable in the latter stages of the IPL, their continued dominance in the Champions League makes the case for this to be the most comprehensive winning streak in T20 franchise history. They beat the champions of Australia (Perth Scorchers), Pakistan (Lahore Lions) and South Africa’s second-best team (Dolphins) on their way to the final, where Chennai Super Kings ended their run at 14 games.



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Farcical end to rainy day at Abu Dhabi T10

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A rain-affected sixth day of the Abu Dhabi T10 ended in farcical fashion as confusion reigned over the specifics of Deccan Gladiators’ shortened chase against Team Abu Dhabi, with players ready on the field but officials still in discussion off it as the game’s cut-off time was reached.

Abu Dhabi T10 rules state that a minimum of five overs must be bowled in both innings to constitute a contes. Deccan 25 for 1 after 2.2 overs when rain stopped play, just 2.4 overs shy of forcing a result. The rain duly cleared with the Abu Dhabi fielders and unbeaten Gladiators pair Mohammad Shahzad and Anton Devcich taking to the field only to be left waiting as discussions continued off the field.*

Despite a target of 62 to win from five overs being set – leaving Deccan needing 37 from 16 balls – the 13 minutes that had elapsed with the players in limbo took the game past its 9.59pm local time cut-off.

A lack of DLS printouts of projected scores was said to be behind the error but with a revised total confirmed and the Deccan chase reduced to its minimum five overs, there seemed no requirement for target forecasts beyond the final revision. In a statement, the organisers confirmed that “supporting documentation” on the target was not available, leading to the delay.

“In the second innings of the Deccan Gladiators vs Team Abu Dhabi match, rain suspended play at 21.30, with covers coming on immediately at Zayed Cricket Stadium,” the statement read. “Match officials confirmed that play would resume at 21.46, with the view to reduce the match to five overs, implementing the Duckworth Lewis System (DLS).

“DLS target discussions continued between team management and match officials as both teams took to the field. Supporting documentation was requested, and this was not immediately available before the scheduled 21.59 match cut-off time. The match referee subsequently decided to abandon the match.”

The point apiece leaves Deccan top of the pile on seven points, but it will be a particularly tough result for Abu Dhabi to take. A win would have moved them into third at least, level on points with the Gladiators on six, while strengthening their grip on the top-four finish required to remain in the competition. But now, and with one game left to play, the UAE capital’s franchise could be out of the competition by the time they take on Karnataka Tuskers in their final outing on Friday.

Earlier in the day, a spate of bad weather across the UAE made its way to the capital at the midway stage of the first game as Maratha Arabians and Karnataka was called off before the latter could start their pursuit of 130 for victory. The subsequent match had Bangla Tigers edge out reigning champions Northern Warriors by six runs.

The tournament’s organisers have also faced questions over the format, following two tied matches without a tie-breaker such as a Super Over in place.

*05.40GMT, November 21: The article was updated after the organisers issued their statement



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Recent Match Report – West Indies Women vs India Women 5th T20I 2019

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India women 134 for 3 (Krishnamurthy 57*, Rodrigues 50) beat West Indies women 73 for 7 (Knight 22, Patil 2-3) by 61 runs

Veda Krishnamurthy produced the highest score of her T20I career, her unbeaten 57 along with 50 from Jemimah Rodrigues helping India women to a resounding 61-run victory over West Indies women in Providence to sweep the series 5-0.

India were able to put up 134 for 3 on the board, and it proved way more than enough as Anuja Patil, in her 50th T20I game, returned outstanding figures of 3-1-3-2.

India needed to recover from a poor start after they elected to bat, with the openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana dismissed for single-digit scores. But that only meant more time for Krishnamurthy and Rodrigues to influence the game. They put on a 117-run partnership, hitting seven fours together. It appeared to be a tough pitch for run-scoring, but Krishnamurthy rose above it. Of all the batters to face at least ten balls in the game, she was the only one with a strike rate above 100.

India’s bowlers made use of those conditions well, Patil picking up both her wickets in the fourth over to hurt West Indies in the chase.

After that opening, which left the hosts 13 for 2, the spinners took over, each of Radha Yadav (1-10), Poonam Yadav (1-15) and Harleen Deol (1-13) picking up a wicket each. West Indies could barely get any momentum in the case; they were 31 for 4 in the 11th over and the game was pretty much done there. Kyshona Knight top-scored with 22 off 39 balls.

India ended the tour having won nine out of ten matches as they continue their preparations for the T20 World Cup in February 2020.



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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs England 1st Test 2019

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Toss England chose to bat v New Zealand

England captain Joe Root called correctly at the toss and chose to take first use of the batting surface at the Bay Oval, as Mount Maunganui made its Test debut.

Both Root and Kane Williamson, his New Zealand counterpart, took the view that the pitch was good for run-scoring, despite a greenish tinge. First-class games have only been played in Mount Maunganui since 2015, but several of the New Zealand side have experience of the ground in Plunket Shield.

The teams for this Test had been confirmed in advance, with England handing a cap to opener Dom Sibley, a recall to Ollie Pope and preferring Sam Curran to Chris Woakes as their third seamer.

With Williamson fit to resume in charge of the side after missing the T20Is with a hip niggle, New Zealand were able to go with a settled XI, Mitchell Santner preferred to Todd Astle as the team’s spinner after missing all of the 2018-19 home summer with injury.

New Zealand are currently ranked No. 2 in the ICC Test rankings, with England a place below. The series will not contribute points to the World Test Championship, however.

New Zealand: 1 Tom Latham, 2 Jeet Raval, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Colin de Grandhomme, 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

England: 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Joe Denly, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Ollie Pope, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Sam Curran, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Jack Leach, 11 Stuart Broad



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