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The state has been able to gain the leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker from last season

The long-expected moves of Elyse Villani and Molly Strano to Tasmania have been confirmed along with the signing of Hayley Silver-Holmes from New South Wales.

Securing Villani and Strano is especially significant as it gives Tasmania both the leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker from last season’s WNCL.

Villani was prolific with the bat as she scored 611 runs at 87.28 with three centuries while Strano captured 14 wickets at 14.42.

Offspinner Strano, who was part of Australia’s successful T20 World Cup squad last year, was a late addition to Australia’s tour of New Zealand although did not feature in any of the matches but Villani has not been selected since early 2019.

Silver-Holmes made her WBBL debut for Sydney Sixers aged 15 and her WNCL debut for New South Wales at 16 making her the second-youngster player for state. She will bolster Tasmania’s pace-bowling resources as they look to build on last season’s third-place finish.

“It’s a really exciting group of players we’ve got here at the Tigers,” head coach Salliann Beams said. “We’ve worked to build both our program and our list over the past few years, and with the additions to our playing group this year, it’s a testament to the staff and players within our program – as well as the wider organisation – that we have players of this calibre wanting to be a part of our team.”

Amy Smith, the 16-year-old legspinner, is among the current Tasmania players to sign new deals along with former New Zealand wicketkeeper Rachel Priest. Emma Thompson will miss the 2021-22 season on maternity leave.

Tasmania squad Chloe Abel, Nicola Carey (CA contracted), Maisy Gibson, Heather Graham, Corinne Hall, Emma Manix-Geeves, Sasha Moloney, Rachel Priest, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Amy Smith, Emily Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Molly Strano, Emma Thompson (maternity leave 2021-22), Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani.



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Recent Match Report – Gladiators vs Qalandars 23rd Match 2020/21-2021

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Their 18-run win consigned the Lahore Qalandars to their second straight defeat

Quetta Gladiators 158 for 5 (Weatherald 48, Sarfaraz 34*, Faulkner 3-25) beat Lahore Qalandars 140 (David 46, Shahzad 3-14, Shinwari 3-32) by 18 runs

The Quetta Gladiators bagged the much-needed two points to remain afloat this season, as their bowlers combined to fashion an 18-run win over the Lahore Qalandars after being boosted by Jake Weatherald, Azam Khan and Sarfaraz Ahmed with the bat.
Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari‘s strike in the first over of the Qalandars’ chase meant the Gladiators began their defence just how they would have liked. Shinwari had the opposition captain Sohail Akhtar caught behind for a first-ball duck before getting Mohammad Hafeez in the fifth over. In between, against Mohammad Hasnain’s scrambled seam, Fakhar Zaman’s attempted slog dislodged his middle stump. It felt like the Gladiators had more or less sealed the match by the seventh over when Ben Dunk, too, departed to leave the Qalandars five down for just 47 runs.

Weatherald comes to the rescue
After James Faulkner had Usman Khan loft one right down the throat of deep point in the second over, it was Usman’s opening partner Weatherald who initiated the repair job for the Gladiators. Weatherald was on 7 off 16 deliveries at one stage after the early nerves encountered by the movement of Shaheen Shah Afridi and the accuracy of Faulkner, whose slower deliveries and variations continued to keep a check on the opposition batters. But Weatherald got into Ahmed Daniyal in the fifth over after the first four had produced only 16 runs. He first pulled Daniyal to deep square before driving his slower ball to the right of mid-off for two fours in the over.

And with one over of the powerplay to go, Weatherald took the aggressive route against Faulkner as well. He cracked two fours and a six off him – a guide down to third man, a flick to deep square leg and a pull over the square leg boundary, respectively – to inject some momentum into the Gladiators’ innings. When the Qalandars introduced Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hafeez, even they were not spared by Weatherald, who fell for 48 off 41 deliveries when he was bowled by Hafeez.

Azam counterattacks, Faulkner applies the brakes, Sarfaraz hits back
Hafeez and Rashid Khan removed Cameron Delport and Weatherald in quick succession, but Azam Khan from No. 5 didn’t shy away from counterattacking. After getting a boundary off Rashid by skipping down to a googly, he bashed Rauf for four fours in the 12th over – after a gentle dab, a pull and a whip down the leg side, he rounded off the over with a subtle glide to deep point for four. But after Azam struck a six off Rashid in the next over, Faulkner hit back with his wicket off the first ball of the 15th.

Applying a change of pace yet again with a well disguised ball, Faulkner nabbed Azam for 33 off 18 balls when the batter’s attempted slog on the leg side only found deep midwicket, where Zaman ran in to complete the take. Five balls later, Faulkner’s sharp reflex catch off his own bowling sent back Mohammad Nawaz for six. That started a quiet period with the bat for the Gladiators, who could muster only 18 off the next 17 deliveries before Sarfaraz hit back with two fours and a six to provide the finishing touches with an unbeaten 34 off 27 balls, having been on 18 from 19 deliveries until the 18th over.

The famous Qalandars collapse
They had folded up for 124 in their previous match after being 86 for 2 in the 11th over while chasing 153 against the Islamabad United, and the Qalandars repeated the script against the Gladiators on Tuesday evening. A score of 23 for 1 became 66 for 7 in the blink of an eye, as the highest score by a top five batter was Zeeshan Ashraf’s 16, with all three of Akhtar, Hafeez and Dunk falling for single-figure scores.

Nawaz produced a beauty in the seventh over when he gave the ball some air just outside off, as it turned into Dunk, who went for the drive only for the ball to find the gap between his bat and pad. He next bowled Rashid in the ninth over off a short of a length ball that didn’t get up a great deal, as Rashid played the pull only to be bowled by one that didn’t turn.

David fights as Qalandars take it deep
The Qalandars needed a 84 from 45 balls with three wickets in hand before Tim David decided to throw everything at the Gladiators’ bowlers. In Zahoor Khan’s first over – which had started with seven runs off the first three deliveries – David hammered 4, 6, 6 off the last three balls to drag the required rate down from 11.33 to 9.71. And after Nawaz finished off his quota in the next over – he ended with 2 for 16 – David resumed with consecutive fours off Shinwari just after the time-out.

But Shinwari had him caught by Sarfaraz off the last ball of the over, after David had cracked 46 off 27 balls, including four fours and three sixes. But Sarfaraz’s worries wouldn’t end with that as first Afridi’s 12 runs from six deliveries and then No. 11 Rauf’s 19 off seven brought it down to 19 needed from 13 balls. But Hasnain, who had got the battering from them both, wrapped it up with a yorker to dismiss Rauf and seal an 18-run win.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Match Preview – ENG Women vs IND Women, India Women tour of England 2021, Only Test

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First Test encounter for seven years sets the scene for multi-format series

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They call it the seven-year itch and after so long in the Test match wilderness, India are ready for a change of scene which they and their opponents, England, hope will be anything but dull or scratchy. So rare are women’s Tests that there is a sense of pressure to provide excitement, not least to a live TV audience, as well as to fans who are just beginning to whet their appetites for witnessing the action in person as pandemic-enforced restrictions slowly ease.

But more pressing for two professional sports teams is the will to win. England haven’t done so at home to India in eight completed Test matches while India are playing just their second Test since their last meeting in the format in 2014, having also played and beaten South Africa later the same year. In fact, India are on a three-match winning streak in Tests – if you can call it a streak given that that streak begins in 2006 – and victory in Bristol would pull them clear of Australia to a women’s record number of Test victories on the trot.



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The Hundred 2021 – Kagiso Rabada set to pull out of deal to play in the Hundred

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South Africa fast bowler becomes latest international player to withdraw

The Hundred is set to lose more big-name players as the competition battles to compete with international schedules and bubble fatigue. Days after it emerged that David Warner, Marcus Stoinis and Sophie Devine had pulled out, ESPNcricinfo understands that Kagiso Rabada is also withdrawing.

Rabada, the South Africa fast bowler who had signed for Manchester Originals, is currently involved in a Test series in the Caribbean. The team is then scheduled to play six limited-overs matches (three T20Is and three ODIs) in Ireland in a tour that finishes on July 25, the same day as Manchester Originals’ first home fixture.



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