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Nov 28: Colombo Kings vs Galle Gladiators, Hambantota

Pro Tip: In-form players like Dinesh Chandimal and Isuru Udana are key in the line-up; pick another batsman-heavy team.

Our XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Hazratullah Zazai, Dinesh Chandimal, Laurie Evans, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Andre Russell, Angelo Mathews, Shehan Jayasuriya, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Mohammad Amir

Substitutes: Chadwick Walton, Akila Dananjaya, Thikshila de Silva, Ashan Priyanjan

Player availability: The Kings’ Ravinderpal Singh has not yet recovered from Covid-19 either. We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Hazrutullah Zazai

Zazai, still only 22, is one of the most outstanding hitters in the game, and the 62-ball 162* against Ireland last year has made him one of the most feared batsmen wherever he plays. In 15 T20Is, he has scored 570 runs at an average of 40.71 and a strike rate of 155.31. The numbers in T20s overall is poorer, but only in comparison – 1656 runs at a strike rate of 147.33 and average of 30.66.

Vice-captain: Dinesh Chandimal

Chandimal last represented Sri Lanka in the shortest format in 2018. But he has 392 runs in the last two seasons of the domestic T20 competition at an average of 39.20 and a strike rate of 133.33. He started the tournament with a bang too, scoring a match-winning 46-ball 80.

Hot Picks

Bhanuka Rajapaksa: Rajapaksa turned heads in his debut T20I series against Pakistan in 2019, when he hit 112 runs at a strike rate of 143.59, which helped Sri Lanka win 3-0. In BPL 2019-20, too, he impressed with his strokeplay, scoring 188 runs in six games at a strike rate of 155.37.

Isuru Udana: The left-arm seamer was the most economical bowler for the Kings in their opening game. He also showed his prowess with the bat, scoring a 12-ball 34 and successfully defended 16 runs in the Super Over.

Mohammad Amir: Amir was the highest wicket-taker for his sides in both the last editions of the BPL and the PSL. He has the quality and the pedigree – 205 wickets from 175 T20s at an economy rate of 7.03. Always a must-have.

Differential Picks

Asitha Fernando: The 23-year-old was the joint-most-prolific seam bowler in the Sri Lankan domestic T20 competition this year, picking up 14 wickets in eight games at an economy of 5.66.

Laurie Evans: The Kings’ Evans was the top scorer for Surrey in the T20 Blast as they finished runners-up. He scored 363 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 153.16, and though he started the LPL with a 14-ball 22, he is capable of more.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Akila Dananjaya can replace Asitha Fernando if the pitch looks spin-friendly.

  • Thikshila de Silva can be an option for Angelo Mathews since he is expected to bat higher up the order.



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Bangladesh vs Australia T20Is, 2021

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The 1994 tour to Pakistan was the last time a full series was not available to viewers in Australia

For the first time since 1994 a tour by the Australia men’s team will not broadcast into Australia after a last-minute deal failed to materialise for the rights to the T20I series in Bangladesh.

It had been hoped that in the absence of a traditional television deal the series would be streamed on YouTube but there was no live coverage into Australia.

Australia’s injured captain Aaron Finch, who is currently in hotel quarantine in Melbourne having left the tour with a knee injury, was among those caught out by the lack of coverage during the first T20I.

While the occasional one-off limited-overs match has not been seen in Australia over the last few years, it is not since the 1994 tour of Pakistan that an entire series won’t have been shown.



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IPL 2021 – Eoin Morgan to return to Kolkata Knight Riders for second half of IPL

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He says involvement of other England players in the tournament, scheduled in September-October in the UAE, was a matter of personal choice

Eoin Morgan has confirmed he will return to Kolkata Knight Riders for the rescheduled second half of the IPL in the UAE in September-October following the postponement of England’s limited-overs tour to Bangladesh.

England were due to play three ODIs and three T20Is in Bangladesh in September-October but the ECB and the BCB released statements on Tuesday morning confirming that they had “mutually decided” to postpone the tour until March 2023. The IPL is due to resume on September 19 after its postponement midway through the season earlier this year, with the tour’s postponement opening up the opportunity for England’s white-ball players to take part ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE.



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James Anderson admits his wife talked him out of retirement after injury setbacks

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England seamer says he struggled after calf problem forced him out of 2019 Ashes

James Anderson has admitted he had to be talked out of retirement by his wife after a series of injury setbacks.

Anderson managed just four overs in the 2019 Ashes after a recurrence of a calf injury ruled him out in the opening moments of the first Test. In the aftermath, he concedes he was struggling with the prospect of more rehabilitation work and it required the intervention of his wife, Daniella, to persuade him to continue.

He has claimed 42 more Test wickets at a cost of 23.00 since then, becoming the only seamer in Test history to reach the milestone of 600 wickets.

“A big reason I am still playing cricket is my wife,” Anderson said ahead of the first LV= Insurance Test against India at Trent Bridge. “She’s been really supportive.



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