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SRH bowler Sandeep Sharma’s swing makes him dangerous

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SunRisers Hyderabad pacer Sandeep Sharma’s ability to move the new ball has ensured that almost half of his 108 wickets have come in the powerplay in the Indian Premier league (IPL). The right-armer has scalped Virat Kohli seven times in the IPL history, a joint record. Not surprisingly, four of those Kohli dismissals have been in powerplay overs.

 “The great thing about Sandeep’s bowling that I have noticed since his early days is his good wrist position and his ability to swing the ball both ways. That makes it possible for him to trouble the batsmen, and that plays on their minds,” said Munish Bali, Sharma’s mentor and head coach of Punjab Ranji Trophy team. Bali was also the assistant coach to Dav Whatmore when India won the 2008 under-19 World Cup, which the Kohli-led Indian team won. In the game against Mumbai Indians (MI), Sharma took his 53rd wicket in the powerplay, scaling the record of Zaheer Khan for most wickets in the phase.

 He incidentally shares the record of dismissing a batsman most times with Zaheer, who has scalped Dhoni seven times. “I have watched him since his early days. I am not surprised he got Kohli out so many times. Last season, he took seven for 19 in a Vijay Hazare Trophy (one-day) match against Haryana, making good use of the conditions in Vadodara,” Bali said.

 Among other great batsmen of the day, Sharma has dismissed both Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma four times each. A look at Sharma’s statistics shows he has matched Bumrah in IPL in every yardstick. Both have played 90 matches.

 While Bumrah has taken 105 wickets, Sharma has bagged 108. Bumrah’s economy rate and average are 7.46 and 24.21, respectively, whereas Sharma’s corresponding figures are 7.75 and 24.02. In this season’s IPL, Sharma has taken 13 wickets in 11 matches at 7.34 runs per over, which is a shade better than his overall IPL economy rate. 

On Tuesday, former Australia all-rounder Brad Hogg had tweeted, saying Sharma’s consistency was the most impressive thing for him in this IPL edition. Sharma was part of the India under-19 World Cup squads in 2010 and 2012. Unmukt Chand-led India won the 2012 World Cup and Sharma was the joint highest wicket-taker for India in the tournament with 12 scalps.

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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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AHEAD OF THE FOURTH TEST ENGLAND PLAYERS FALL SICK

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AHMEDABAD: Ahead of the fourth test, England’s campaign against India has been disrupted by a sickness bug that has swept through the camp.

A sudden rise in temperature here has affected the visitors with a few members, including assistant coach Paul Collingwood, reportedly suffering from diarrhoea.

England captain Joe Root confirmed that a bug has hit the camp without confirming what it was or how many were affected. “There’s been a little bit of stuff flying around. We’ll keep monitoring it. To be honest, I don’t know exactly who’s been affected badly at this stage but it’s just really important we try and give everyone the best chance of being available for selection ahead of this game,” Root told British media.

India captain Virat Kohli, however, confirmed that India players are fit and fine with none of the players contracting any ailment.

“There are no health concerns or health issues. Everyone is fit and fine. Probably, (England players) would have been caught by a change in weather. It has been pretty hot over the last couple of days. It was pretty pleasant the first few days,” Kohli said.

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RAHUL FIRM AT THE SECOND SPOT, KOHLI MOVES TO SIXTH

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New Zealand left-hander Devon Conway and opener Martin Guptill may have missed out on centuries in the first two T20Is of their home series against Australia, but the duo made significant gains in the latest ICC men’s T20I rankings. India batsman KL Rahul has retained his second spot in the batsmen rankings while skipper Virat Kohli has moved one spot to attain the sixth spot.

Conway’s 99 not out in the Christchurch opener has helped him gain 46 spots and reach 17th position after just eight matches while Guptill, who has reached as high as second in the past, has gained three slots to reach 11th position after his knock of 97 in Dunedin. In what is a chance for both sides to prepare for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India, New Zealand took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and had some other fine performances too that resulted in significant gains for their players.

Glenn Philips and Jimmy Neesham have moved up in the list for batsmen while Tim Southee (up to one place to sixth), Mitchell Santner (up to two places to seventh), Ish Sodhi (up to three places to 11th), and Trent Boult (up 24 places to 49th) have progressed in the bowlers’ list.

For Australia, Marcus Stoinis’s knock of 78 in the second match sees him gain 77 places to reach 110th position. Matthew Wade (up from 132nd to 118th) among batsmen and Jhye Richardson (re-entered at 115th) among bowlers are the others to gain from the mid-series update as per the new system which sees a weekly update for all women’s player rankings on Tuesday and those for men on Wednesday.

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NEVER INTENDED TO INSULT ANY LEAGUE: STEYN APOLOGISES FOR IPL COMMENT

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MUMBAI: After sparking controversy over his remarks on the Indian Premier League (IPL), South Africa pacer Dale Steyn on Wednesday issued an apology and said his remarks were “never intended to be degrading, insulting, or comparing of any leagues”.

Taking to Twitter, Steyn wrote: “IPL has been nothing short of amazing in my career, as well as other players too. My words were never intended to be degrading, insulting, or comparing of any leagues. Social media and words out of context can often do that. My apologies if this has upset anyone. Much love,” he added. The speedster had said that sometimes emphasis may be placed on the amount a player is bought for in the IPL and as a result, cricket ends up taking a backseat.

The pacer had also hinted that other leagues are more rewarding to him as a player as compared to the most successful domestic T20 league — IPL. Steyn is currently playing for the Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League.

“I wanted some time off. I found that playing in these other leagues was slightly more rewarding as a player. I think when you go to IPL, there are such big squads and so many big names and so much emphasis on maybe the amount of money players earn and everything like that, so sometimes, somewhere down the line, cricket gets forgotten,” Steyn had told Cricket Pakistan.

India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday rubbished all the claims which stated that sometimes the emphasis is on the money in the IPL rather than the game. Rahane, who has even captained teams in the showpiece event, said the IPL gave players the perfect platform to express themselves in the shortest format of the game.

“See, I am here to talk about the fourth Test match and not here to talk about PSL or Sri Lanka Premier League. IPL gave us that platform to express ourselves and also to a lot of Indians players. I am not sure what Dale Steyn has said, I am here to talk about this Test match,” Rahane had said during a virtual press conference.

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