Yet another week of cricket has flown by us, and yet again, we are here to remind you about everything significant that happened in the cricket world last week!
So why wait any further? Without any further ado, let’s dive right into the most comprehensive and zesty recap of the week you can find on the World Wide Web!
What’s happening ON the field?
> The Indian men’s team have taken an unassailable lead over Afghanistan in the ongoing three-match T20I series in India.
After winning the first game by six wickets, courtesy of a Player of the Match worthy performance by Shivam Dube (60 off 40 with the bat and 9/1 in 2 overs with the ball), India maintained their ruthlessness in the second T20I as well.
Despite posting 172 in Indore, Afghanistan lost the game by six wickets as Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube made a meal of the target and chased it down in 15.4 overs. Axar Patel impressed with the ball and picked up two crucial wickets to get the Player of the Match.
> Yuvraj Singh’s record for the highest individual score in the Cooch Behar trophy final went unchallenged for 24 years. But Prakhar Chaturvedi of Karnataka said, “Not anymore!”
He scored the first-ever quadruple century (404) in the final of the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy against Mumbai. Karnataka simply out-batted their opposition in the game and won the tournament based on their first innings lead.
> Australia Women defeated India in the third T20I by seven wickets, winning the series 2-1. Aussie skipper Alyssa Healy was adjudged the Player of the Series, and all-rounder Annabel Sutherland won the Player of the Match in the decider for her effective economic spell of 2/12.
> New Zealand have beaten Pakistan in the first two games of the five-match T20I series. The Kiwis took the first game by 46 runs and the second by 21 runs. Daryl Mitchell and Finn Allen have impressed with their performances so far in the series.
> Sri Lanka defeated Zimbabwe 2-0 in the three-match ODI series. While Janith Liyanage impressed with a 95(127) in the second ODI (the first one was abandoned due to rain), Wanindu Hasaranga decimated Zimbabwe in the third game with a seven-wicket haul.
Liyanage received the Player of the Series award for his 119 runs in the two innings he played in the series.
> Karnataka shocked everyone in the second round of Ranji Trophy matches by failing to chase down a 110-run target against Gujarat in Ahmedabad. Spinner Siddharth Desai picked up seven wickets for just 42 runs, with Karnataka falling short by six runs.
Karnataka received another shock when their premier pace bowler, Prasidh Krishna, injured his left quadriceps during the clash against Gujarat. He will no longer be a part of Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy campaign.
Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari stepped down as captain of the Andhra Pradesh team for the rest of the Ranji season. Ricky Bhui was given the leadership after him.
At cricket.com, we have been doing weekly roundups on the Ranji Trophy, and if you are interested in domestic red-ball cricket, it’s your one-stop shop for any information on the tournament.
> The top four teams in the ongoing Big Bash League have finally been decided. Adelaide Strikers skipper Matt Short steered his side straight into the finals with a 74-run innings. The Brisbane Heat, Perth Scorchers, and Sydney Sixers have confirmed their spots in the playoffs along with the Strikers.
Matt Short is also the leading run-scorer of this season with 435 runs in just eight innings.
> Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja was in the news in the BBL as well for displaying the dove and olive branch symbol on his shoes and bat during the match against Perth Scorchers. The ICC had earlier denied him permission to display these signs during the Pakistan Test series.
> Aaron Finch also bid adieu to his career in the BBL with a duck against the Melbourne Stars. Renegades won the game comprehensively, giving Finch some happy memories to retire with.
> After Finch, another Renegades player, has announced his retirement. Veteran batter Shaun Marsh called curtains on his professional cricket career by announcing that the game against Sydney Thunder would be his last.
Notably, despite his late start to this season, he has scored 181 runs at an average of 45.25 and a strike rate of 138.16. He is also the sixth-highest run-scorer in BBL history.
> The Durban Supergiants are currently leading the points table of the ongoing SA20 league in South Africa. The Paarl Royals have also won both of their games, but are behind the Supergaints on NRR. It's still early in the season, but Ryan Rickleton, the leading run scorer, has impressed many people with 185 runs in just two innings.
> Two spectacular catches in the ongoing T20 leagues worldwide caught everyone’s attention by their athletic displays.
The first catch by Troy Johnson and Nick Kelly in the New Zealand Super Smash is easily one of the most agile catches you would have seen. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
Meanwhile, Tom Abbel also showed his latent superhuman genes by putting in an incredulous one-handed dive at the boundary to save a six for his team successfully.
What’s happening OFF the field?
> The BCCI has invited applications for the post of one senior national men’s selector. The press advertisement doesn’t specify which selector would be replaced from the current five-member panel. It’s speculated that since Chairman Ajit Agarkar is from the West Zone, the current West Zone selector, Salil Ankola, might have to leave his post.
> The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee recently announced the Indian men’s Test squad for the first two Tests against England. Dhruv Jurel received his maiden call-up to the Indian Test side. Mohd. Shami is still out with an injury.
> Dean Elgar is the latest overseas signing for the English County Essex, and he will be playing for them on a three-year contract.
> The Pakistan Cricket Board announced the schedule for the upcoming season of the Pakistan Super League, which will be starting from February 17. The PCB also announced the National Women’s T20 Tournament starting January 15
> Multiple media outlets have reported that the BCCI has shortlisted Bengaluru and Delhi as venues to host the second season of the Women’s Premier League. It’s being speculated that the tournament might start from February 22 until March 17.
> It seems like the theatrics of Indian cinema have seeped into the bones of David Warner. Recently, he arrived at the Sydney Cricket Ground on a helicopter straight from his brother’s wedding north of Sydney to play the game for the Thunders against the Sixers. All that scene needed was the Bahubali BGM track.
> The Telegraph recently reported that the co-owners of the Delhi Capitals, the GMR group, were negotiating with Hampshire County’s Rod Bransgrove for buying his shares in the club. ESPNCricinfo further reported that Hampshire have verified the news of these negotiations.
> Dinesh Karthik has been signed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to join the coaching staff of the England Lions, where he’ll guide the batters for the first nine days of the tour.
> A Kathmandu court convicted Nepal’s international cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane for raping a minor and sentenced him to eight years in prison.
In the Spotlight
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was playing a first-class game after six years, but if you saw him bowl against Bengal in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, you wouldn’t have known it. He picked up 8/41 for Uttar Pradesh, and five of the eight dismissals were either bowled or LBW, with the other three being caught behind by the wicketkeeper. It was quite an extraordinary spell from the veteran.
Shivam Dube threw himself into the 2024 T20 World Cup reckoning by playing two boisterous innings with the bat in the ongoing series against Afghanistan. His 60* off 40 and 63* off 32 showed everyone the value he can bring in the middle order with his power-hitting.
The sheer prowess of his no-effort six-hitting beguiled everyone. Moreover, his two wickets in two games remind us that he’s also a genuine bowling option for the Men In Blue.
Matt Short is having a season to remember for the Adelaide Strikers at the BBL. Even last season, he was the Player of the tournament. As a reward for that performance, he was awarded the captaincy of the Strikers, and he responded by taking his team to the playoffs.
And the best part is he is not done yet! He has scored six half-centuries in the last nine innings and has played a significant role in his side’s four consecutive wins and entry into the playoffs. His remarkable batting form has also earned him a call-up to the Australian ODI side. Come the eliminators, he’ll be the lynchpin for his side once again.
The Controversy of the Week
South Africa’s U-19 player, David Teeger, was removed from the captaincy of the national U-19 team right before the U-19 World Cup by Cricket South Africa. The step was taken in anticipation of protests over his pro-Israel comments last year.
It’s noteworthy here that the South African government has taken Israel to the International Court of Justice in Hague over its indiscriminate attack on Gaza and the rest of Palestine. Pro-Palestine sentiments are currently at an all-time high in the nation of Nelson Mandela.
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