Pakistan cruise to 8-wicket win over Zimbabwe, win series - The Daily Guardian
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Pakistan cruise to 8-wicket win over Zimbabwe, win series

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Pakistan recorded an eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second T20I in Rawalpindi on Sunday, thus wining the series. The Zimbabwe side was restricted to 134/7 with spinner Usman Qadir and fast bowler Haris Rauf taking three wickets each. Captain Babar Azam and Haider Ali then scored half centuries as the hosts made 137/2 in 15.1 overs. Pakistan have taken a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Rauf made the early breakthroughs with the wickets of openers Brendan Taylor and Chami Chibhabha in the first four overs. His third wicket would come in the 19th over in the form of Donald Tiripano. Qadir, meanwhile, kept up the pressure in the middle overs, dismissing Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza and Elton Chigumbura.

Babar opened the batting with Fakhar Zaman, who was dismissed in the third over by Blessing Muzarabani. Haider then joined his captain and the pair put up a partnership of 100 runs. Babar fell to Muzarabani on 51 off 28 balls in the 13th over while Haider remained unbeaten on 66 off 43.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 134/7 in 20 overs vs Pakistan 137/2 in 15.1 overs.

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Ind vs Eng: Will visitors carry scars of last two matches in the final Test, asks Laxman

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Thursday asked whether England would be carrying the scars of the previous two Tests in the fourth and final Test of the series.
India and England will be locking horns in the fourth and final Test of the series, beginning today at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
“Good teams and players realise that it’s the will to prepare that matters. While skills of both the batting line-ups will be tested, I’m eagerly waiting to see the mental approach of both sides. Will England carry the scars of the last two tests and whether India continues to be ruthless,” Laxman tweeted.
India had managed to defeat England by ten wickets within two days in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that did not turn and skidded through from the spinners. But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen.
On Wednesday, India skipper Virat Kohli had agreed that spinning tracks are indeed subjected to more criticism as compared to other tracks in the world.
“I totally believe that. There is always too much noise and conversation about spinning tracks. I am sure if our media is in a space to contradict those views or present those views which say it is unfair to criticise just spinning tracks then I think it will be a balanced conversation. The unfortunate part is that everyone plays along with that narrative and they keep making it news till the time it is relevant,” said Kohli while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
“Then a Test match happens, if it finishes on day four and five, nobody says anything, but if it finishes inside two-three days, everyone pounces on the same issue, it becomes the issue everyone is talking about. We lost in New Zealand on day three in just 36 overs, I am sure nobody of our people wrote about the pitch, it was all about how India played badly in New Zealand and none of the pitches were criticised,” he added.
Elaborating further, Kohli said: “Nobody saw how much the ball was doing and how the ball was moving and how much grass was there on the wicket. The reason behind our success is that we never crib about the pitches we play on. We will continue that as a team, it is always been the case that spinning tracks come into focus way more, when teams get bundled out for 40-45 on seaming tracks, nobody talks about that.”
The four-match series is currently being led by India (2-1) and the hosts just need to win or draw the final Test to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).
On the other hand, England is out of WTC’s final contention, and they would be playing just to end the four-match series 2-2. If England win the last Test, then Australia would qualify for the WTC final. (ANI)

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NZ vs Aus: Not easy to lead side when you’re not scoring runs, admits Finch

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Wellington [New Zealand], March 4 (ANI): Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch has admitted that it is not easy leading a team for a player when he is going through bad form.
Finch finally returned to form as he played a match-winning knock of 69 runs off just 44 balls in the third T20I against New Zealand and with this win, Australia gained their first win of the five-match series.
“It was just nice to get a few runs, it’s been a while. I was just short of runs. It’s never easy when you’re trying to lead the side and you’re not performing as well as you would like personally. But you always put the team first. I felt as though my captaincy has been pretty good throughout this period as well, right through the Big Bash,” cricket.com.au quoted Finch as saying.
Before the knock against New Zealand in the third T20I, Finch had just registered 495 runs at an average of 17.06 in his previous 29 T20 innings across both domestic and international cricket.
Finch also said that he evaluated his mental approach rather than making changes in his technique during his form slump.
“I obviously would have loved to have got some more but I was never doubting that I would never get runs again. T20 can be a brutal game at the best of times so just having the ability to take a step game and reassess my own game and go out there with as clear a mind as you can. When you’re searching for a score sometimes you can forget the absolute basics, you get a bit fixated on the end result and not what’s right in front of you at the time,” said Finch.
“At times it was a little bit of wanting so desperately to get some runs that you forget to watch the ball. As soon as you don’t … one percent can be enough in this game to have you off and you’re out. So it was just trusting my process that, for the past 10 years, has been pretty solid and has given me a great foundation to bounce back from,” he added.
Australia and New Zealand will now lock horns in the fourth T20I of the five-match series on Friday. The series is currently led by the Kiwis as they have a 2-1 lead.
The visitors had gained a comprehensive 64-run win in the third T20I to register their first victory in the series. (ANI)

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Premier League: United’s title contention derails further after draw against Crystal Palace

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London [UK], March 4 (ANI): Manchester United’s Premier League title contention took a further hit on Wednesday (local time) after the side had to settle for a goalless draw against Crystal Palace at the Selhurst Park Stadium.
United is now at the second spot in the standings with 51 points from 27 matches and the side is 14 points behind table-toppers Manchester City.
Manchester City, on the other hand, is on a winning spree as Pep Guardiola’s side has registered 21 straight wins across all competitions this season.
In the match between Crystal Palace and United, both teams struggled to get many shots on target. United just made one shot on target while Crystal Palace had two on target.
The ball possession was dominated by United as they held on to the ball for 63 per cent of the match, but it did not reap any rewards for the visitors.
United also had six corners in the match, but none of them became into a perfect set-piece for them and in the end, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had to settle for a goalless draw.
United will next take on Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday. (ANI)

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WI vs SL, 1st T20I: Pollard carnage as hosts register four-wicket win

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St John’s [Antigua], March 4 (ANI): Kieron Pollard’s six 6s in an over stole the show as West Indies registered a comprehensive four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the three-match series on Thursday here at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
With this win, the hosts have gained a 1-0 lead in the series. Both the teams would now lock horns in the second T20I, beginning Friday.
Chasing 132, the hosts got off to a blazing start as the openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons put on 52 runs in the very first three overs. However, Sri Lanka staged an emphatic comeback as spinner Akila Dananjaya took a hat-trick in the fourth over to send back Lewis (28), Chris Gayle (0), and Nicholas Pooran (0).
Simmons also departed soon after and West Indies was reduced to 62/4 in the fifth over. However, skipper Pollard provided real entertainment in the sixth over as he dispatched Dananjaya for six 6s in over and the hosts’ score read 98/4 after the conclusion of the sixth over.
Pollard departed after playing a knock of 38 off just 11 balls, but in the end, Jason Holder (29) and Dwayne Bravo (4) guided Windies to a four-wicket win with 41 balls to spare.
Earlier, a spirited bowling performance by the hosts helped them restrict Sri Lanka to 131/9 in the allotted twenty overs.
Niroshan Dickwella (33) and Pathum Nissanka (39) were the only Sri Lanka batters to get a score above 30+ and the visitors were hampered by not many batsmen getting in and taking the scoreboard forward.
Every Windies bowler deployed by Pollard got among the wickets and Obed McCoy returned with the figures of 2-25 from his four overs.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 131/9 (Pathum Nissanka 39, Niroshan Dickwella 33, Obed McCoy 2-25); West Indies 134/6 (Kieron Pollard 38, Jason Holder 29*, Akila Dananjaya 3-62). (ANI)

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Pollard becomes third batsman to hit six 6s in an over in international cricket

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St John’s [Antigua], March 4 (ANI): West Indies limited-overs format skipper Kieron Pollard on Thursday became the third batsman in the history of international cricket to hit six 6s in an over.
He achieved the feat in the first T20I of the three-match series against Sri Lanka here at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
With these six 6s, Pollard has joined the likes of Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh in the elusive list.
Pollard hit Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya for six 6s in the sixth over of the innings as the hosts’ Windies were chasing a target of 132 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
The right-handed batsman hit the first ball over the long-on fence, the second ball was dispatched straight down the ground while the third was hit to the long-off fence.
Continuing the carnage, Pollard dispatched the fourth ball to the mid-wicket boundary, the fifth ball was once again hit down the ground and the final ball of the over was hit to mid-wicket.
After hitting the final ball of the over into the stands, Pollard bowed down to acknowledge the roaring reception he was receiving from his team-mates.
Pollard is now the second batsman after Yuvraj to achieve this feat in the shortest format. Yuvraj had hit 6 sixes in an over during the 2007 World Cup against England.
While Gibbs achieved the feat against the Netherlands during the 50-over World Cup in 2007. (ANI)

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SEAT BROKEN BY GLENN MAXWELL’S SIX TO BE AUCTIONED FOR CHARITY

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WELLINGTON: Australia star batsman Glenn Maxwell’s whirlwind 31-ball 70 not only tore apart the Kiwis bowling attack in the third T20I, but also one of his sixes broke a seat in the stands as he smashed 28 runs off a James Neesham over.

After a string of low scores, Maxwell entered demolition mode in the third T20I and launched two mammoth sixes in the 17th over. One of those two sixes was hit with sheer power and ended up breaking a seat at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

The seat which Maxwell destroyed during his sensational knock against New Zealand will be put up for auction. After the game, Maxwell signed the seat so it can be auctioned off for charity.

Riding on skipper Aaron Finch, Maxwell and Ashton Agar’s performances, Australia bounced back in the series with a comfortable win over New Zealand.

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