From Australia’s teenage pace cartel to Maxwell’s big show, here’s everything that happened in the cricket world this week
Yet another week of cricket where there’s so much to unpack and talk about, and we can’t wait to give you the most comprehensive weekly recap of all the important events from the cricketing world.
Let’s dive right into it!
What’s happening ON the field?
> Australian captain Hugh Weibgen was ready to christen his team as the ‘underdogs’ before their final with India in the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, but his underdog team toppled the most dominant side of the tournament comprehensively when it mattered the most and won their fourth Under-19 World Cup title.
India fell short of Australia’s total by 79 runs after the Kangaroos scored 253/7. The Australian pace quartet wreaked havoc along with off-spinner MacMillan to deny India their sixth Under 19 World Cup title.
Mahli Beardman was the Player of the Match for his three wickets, and South Africa’s Kwena Maphaka became the Player of the Tournament for picking up 21 wickets.
Also read – Kwena Maphaka, the Kagiso Rabada re-gen who bowls thunderbolts
> New Zealand defeated South Africa by 281 runs in the first Test of the two-Test series, being played for the Tangiwai Shield.
Rachin Ravindra was adjudged the Player of the Match for 240(366).
> Pathum Nissanka became the first double centurion for Sri Lanka, against Afghanistan in the first ODI of the three ODI series. His 210 (139) came in just 136 balls and is the third fastest double hundred of all time.
Sri Lanka have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
> After clean sweeping the West Indies in the three-match ODI series, Australia have won the T20I series as well after winning the first two games of the three T20I series.
While David Warner impressed with 70(36) balls in the first T20I, Glenn Maxwell showed his beast mode in the second one and scored 120 off just 55 deliveries.
> South African women won a historic ODI in the second game of the three ODI series, but the Australian women came back in the third ODI to win it by 110 runs and take the series 2-1.
The one-off Test between the two sides begins on February 15.
> Nepal clean swept Canada in the three-match ODI series. Skipper Rohit Paudel was the Player of the Match in the first two games for his all-round performance. He scored 95 runs and picked 6 wickets in the series. 25-year old Anil Sah scored 112(124) for Nepal in the third T20I and was the Player of the Match. He also scored 50(20) in the second game, which is the fastest-ever ODI half-century for Nepal.
Meanwhile, Nepal have now won 15 consecutive ODIs at the Tribhuvan University ground in Kirtipur. Netherlands and Namibia are bound to tour Nepal after this.
> The Sunrisers Eastern Cape (SEC) won the second edition of the SA20 by defeating Durban Supergiants (DSG) comprehensively by 89 runs.
Tristan Stubbs scored 56(30) in the final, and Tom Abell also lit up the game with 55(34) to take SEC to 204/3 in the final. Marco Jansen picked up five wickets with the ball, and DSG couldn’t compete at all in the chase.
Heinrich Klassen was adjudged the Player of the Series for scoring 447 runs at the SA20. Stubbs, just like Klaasen, showed his big-hitting abilities at the death.
Oh, by the way, did you see this absolutely ridiculous catch from Aiden Markram? I mean, this shouldn’t even be real.
> Central Zone won the Senior Women’s Inter Zonal One Day Trophy by defeating West Zone by 3 wickets in the final. Railways’ Poonam Yadav picked up 4/35 playing for the Central Zone.
Yastika Bhatia was the highest scorer of the tournament with 349 runs in just 6 innings, which included 151 off just 107 balls against North Zone.
> The league stages of the ILT20 in UAE are done. MI Emirates will play the Gulf Giants in the first qualifier after the teams ended up at the first and second spot respectively. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and Dubai Capitals will joust in the eliminator.
James Vince is the leading run-scorer of the tournament (298 runs), and Afghan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi is at the top of the wicket-taking charts with 17 wickets.
Oh, before we end this ‘on’ the field section, don’t miss this absolutely ridiculous dismissal. It’s like mixing Murali and Harbhajan’s bowling action in a grinder and then watching it in slow motion.
What’s happening OFF the field
> Jake Fraser-McGurk and Wes Agar have been added to Australia’s squad for the third T20I against West Indies, which will be played in Perth on Tuesday (February 13).
Meanwhile, Josh Hazlewood is returning back to Sydney to prepare for the New Zealand tour.
> The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Saturday (February 10), announced the squad for the final three Tests of the five-match series against England, with Virat Kohli continuing to stay away from the game for personal reasons. The BCCI has thrown their full support behind the former Indian skipper, asking for his privacy.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja, who scored valiant half-century in Hyderabad but was ruled out of the Visakhapatnam Test, has been named in the team. Shreyas Iyer isn’t part of the remaining three Tests.
> India have called-up Devdutt Padikkal in place of the injured KL Rahul for the third Test against England, starting Thursday (February 15) in Rajkot, according to reports. Rahul missed the second Test in Visakhapatnam due to pain in his right quadriceps, allowing Rajat Patidar to make his debut.
However, it seems like Rahul has picked up a knee injury in the lead up to the third Test. He was due to join the Indian team on Tuesday (February 13), but it looks like his Karnataka teammate Padikkal will link up with the Test side instead.
> England spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against India, the ECB confirmed in a media release. Leach, who played the first Test in Hyderabad, had injured his knee and, as a result, missed the second Test in Visakhapatnam. England have decided not to name a replacement for him.
> Former India cricketer Saurabh Tiwary has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Jharkhand’s last league game of the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy against Rajasthan, starting on February 16 in Jamshedpur, will be his last professional match.
> Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) have named Shamar Joseph as a replacement for England pacer Mark Wood for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Joseph will join LSG for INR 3 Crore.
> Australia have recalled pacer Michael Neser to the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand, keeping the Tasman conditions in mind. Neser, who was a part of the Australian squad for the World Test Championship final against India, has so far played two Tests for Australia.
> Daryl Mitchell will miss the second Test against South Africa and the three-match T20I series against Australia to get himself fit for the two-Test series against Pat Cummins and his men, starting on February 29.
> Jasprit Bumrah scripted history to become the first fast Indian bowler to top the ICC Test rankings. Bumrah picked up nine wickets in the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam to help his side to a series-levelling 106-run victory. As a result of Bumrah’s rise, Ravichandran Ashwin, who has occupied the top spot since March last year, drops to three after managing just three wickets in the same Test.
> Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting has confirmed Rishabh Pant is confident of playing the entire season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, but is unsure in what capacity he will play. Pant was involved in a horrific car crash in December 2022 and has been out of action since then but is expected to be available for the upcoming IPL season.
> Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed the head coach of Washington Freedom for the second season of the Major League Cricket (MLC). He has been signed on a two-year contract. Ponting replaces fellow Australian Greg Shipperd.
> Mohsin Naqvi was elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday (February 6), a volatile position frequently the target of political interference.
Naqvi, who is also the caretaker chief minister of Punjab province as the cricket-mad country heads into an election on Thursday, will serve a three-year term.
> India will play a five-match T20I series in Zimbabwe in July, right after the T20 World Cup, the Zimbabwe Cricket announced on Tuesday (February 6). The series is scheduled to take place from July 6 to 14 in Harare. Meanwhile, the 2024 T20 World Cup will happen in June in the West Indies and the USA.
> Australia have named a full-strength 15-man squad for the three-match T20I series in New Zealand, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Travis Head and Steven Smith making their return.
> Gujarat Giants have appointed former Australian cricketer Michael Klinger as their head coach ahead of the second season of the Women’s Premier League. The 43-year-old comes in place of Rachael Haynes.
> Netherlands and Namibia will tour Nepal for the bilateral ODI and T20I series in February and March. All the three teams are part of the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA in June. The ODIs will be a part of the World Cricket League 2.
> Fabian Allen was robbed in Johannesburg during the SA20. The incident happened on January 25 and has been confirmed by his team Paarl Royals. ESPN Cricinfo reported that Allen lost his luxury wristwatch along with other personal belongings.
In the Spotlight
Australia’s Under-19 Pace ‘Cartel’
Callum Vidler, Tom Straker, Mahli Beardman and Charlie Anderson call themselves a cartel. They behaved exactly like one against India in the final, where they picked up seven wickets and broke the back of India’s chase.
With Vidler’s fast swinging deliveries, Beardman’s movement and pace, Straker’s hit-the-deck ability and Anderson’s conventional swing, they formed a ‘complete’ pace attack, which wreaked havoc in Benoni’s pace-friendly conditions. To say that the future is bright for the Aussie pace bowling reserves would be an understatement after this performance.
Pathum Nissanka’s double blast
Nissanka became the first Lankan to score an ODI double-century against Afghanistan and proved that the promise he has continued to show at the top of the order is ready to be fulfilled.
Nissanka was on absolute fire that day, as he scored 128 runs in boundaries alone. It was also a big reply to all those who doubted his big hitting game. The way he heaved against and hit the Afghan spinners was a treat to watch. These were 210* runs of sheer class.
I would just let my colleague Aakash Sivasubramaniam talk about this extra-terrestial specie that masquerades as a batter.
Heinrich Klaasen is perhaps the best T20 batter in world cricket, and what he is doing is nothing short of stunning. Klaasen scored 447 runs this year at SA20, averaging 40. That’s just one part of it. What made Klaasen’s SA20 season stunning was his strike rate. 207.90. Without any filter, the right-hander had the best strike rate this season, which jumps to 247.1 at the death, with 210 of his runs coming at that stage.
Safe to say, this upcoming IPL is going to be quite interesting, with Klaasen ready to begin his show for the same Sunrisers franchise in Hyderabad.
Ever since the ODI World Cup, Glenn Maxwell has kept his “big show” mode on.
Maxwell slammed a 50-ball century as Australia beat the West Indies by 34 runs in the second T20 International (T20I) to seal the series in Adelaide. He was in ominous form throughout the game and brought up his fifth T20I century. He blasted off eight sixes and 12 fours in a blistering 120 not out from 55 deliveries. It propelled Australia to 241 for 4, which proved too much for the Windies.
He was looking for the boundary with every delivery, finding it frequently with a range of magnificent shots to reach a half-century off 25 balls. After that the carnage just continued. RCB fans would be quite happy with this, won’t they?
Controversy of the Week
No appeal, no out!
Another week and another controversy has floated up in cricket surrounding an umpiring decision.
In the 19th over of the second T20I between West Indies and Australia, Alzarri Joseph hit a ball towards cover and ran for a quick single. But he was run out by Spencer Johnson at the bowler’s end. However, the Australian players didn’t appeal to the umpire for that run out, and the on-field umpire did not refer it to the third umpire.
The Australian players were shocked not to get the dismissal, but the decision remained not out, and created quite a furore.
Picture of the Week
Rahul Tewatia ❌
Mario Tewatia ✅
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