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The Weekly - 26th February

Last updated on 26 Feb 2024 | 02:06 PM
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The Weekly - 26th February

From Dhruv Jurel's brilliant show with the bat to Hanuma Vihari's big reveal, we've got you covered

Another week of cricket has breezed past us once again, bringing with it some massive results, controversies, amazing performances and interesting results. Let’s dive right into it.

Key matches and Results

> India completed a five-wicket victory against England in the fourth Test in Ranchi and have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. 

> Australia beat New Zealand 3-0 in the T20 International (T20I) series, with skipper Mitchell Marsh leading from the front with an all-round show that saw him hit 98 runs at a strike-rate of 150.77 while picking up two wickets in six overs.

> We’ve had three matches in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024, that has seen Mumbai Indians (MI) make it two in two while Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat UP Warriorz to get off the mark.

> Four playoff teams have been confirmed in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), with Chattogram Challengers, Fortune Barishal, Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians making it through.

> It has been a week to forget for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024  who have lost all their five matches in the tournament so far. Multan Sultans, on the other hand, are at the top of the table having won four of their five matches so far. 

> In the first tri-series of the Cricket World Cup (CWC) League 2, Namibia have walked away with three wins. While Netherlands managed two victories, while hosts Nepal could only muster one 'W'.

> The eight-team Cricket World Cup Challenge League Playoff, which is currently happening in Malaysia, has progressed to the Super Six stage. Two teams from this tournament make it through to the Qualifier playoff, which is one of the qualification pathways for the next 50-over World Cup.

What’s happening ON and OFF the field?

> India pacer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of IPL 2024, as he is set to undergo an ankle surgery in the UK.  "Shami was in London in last week of January to take special ankle injections and he was told that after three weeks, he can start light running and take it from thereon,” said a senior BCCI source according to multiple reports.

> England spin all-rounder Rehan Ahmed has flown back home due to personal reasons and also missed his side’s defeat in Ranchi. It is believed that the 19-year-old flew back home to attend to an emergency. He will take no part in the fifth Test in Dharamshala as well.

> England spinner Jack Leach, who was earlier ruled out of the Test series against India, will undergo a knee surgery and could spend a considerable time on the sidelines. 

> The schedule for the first 21 matches of the IPL 2024 has been announced with RCB taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first game of the tournament on March 22. With the election dates yet to be announced, the IPL have played it safe by announcing matches till April 17. 

> Noor Ahmad has been banned from the International League T20 (ILT20) for a year for breaching his contract with the Sharjah Warriors. The wrist-spinner chose to play for Durban Supergiants in the SA20 instead of the Warriors after which the franchise lodged a complaint. 

> In a massive blow to Lahore Qalandars and potentially Pakistan, fast bowler Haris Rauf has been ruled out of the PSL 2024, after dislocating his shoulder while taking a catch in the game against Karachi Kings on Saturday (February 24). It is understood that he will need 4-6 weeks to recover.

> The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have revealed Antigua and Barbuda Falcons as the new franchise for the upcoming edition of the tournament in place of Jamaica Tallawahs after the owners decided to shift base due to the inability to function smoothly in the country of Jamaica. However, CPL is committed to having a team based out of Jamaica by 2025, making it a seven-team event.

> In the Ranji Trophy, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh have made it through to the semi-final, following wins over Saurashtra and Andhra, respectively.

In the spotlight

R Sai Kishore

Tamil Nadu captain R Sai Kishore played a pivotal role in the quarter-final clash against defending champions Saurashtra to help his side to an innings and 33-run victory in Coimbatore. Sai Kishore picked up nine wickets in the match and also chipped in with a valiant 60 batting at three.

Shoaib Bashir

Despite going down in the third Test in Ranchi, England can take pride with the way rookie spinner Shoaib Bashir performed in the match. He finished with figures of 8 for 198, including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

Dhruv Jurel

India wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel batted with great maturity in Ranchi, notching up 90 in the first innings and then finished the match off for his side in the fourth innings, scoring an unbeaten 39. As a result, India went on to register a five-wicket victory and also claim the series. He was rightly adjudged the Player of the Match for his efforts.

Asha Shobana

Leg-spinner Asha Shobana turned the game around for RCB in their WPL 2024 opener against UP Warriorz, picking up three wickets in an over to hand her side a two-run victory. Overall, she finished with figures of 5 for 22, making her the first Indian to get a five-wicket haul in the tournament.

S Sajana

Needing five off the last ball, 28-year-old S Sajana from Kerala smashed Alice Capsey over the long-on fence to hand defending champions Mumbai Indians their first victory of WPL 2024. The match seemed over when Harmanpreet was dismissed with five off two, but Sajana wrote herself a memorable script. 

Here's more on her: Sajeevan Sajana - Remember the name!

Controversies of the week

Technology error

Hawk-eye, which is used worldwide for ball tracking, especially to judge leg-before calls, admitted that it had made an error to give Rilee Rossouw a life in PSL 2024. Hawk-eye showed that the ball would have straightened instead of gripping and turning, much to the surprise of everyone on the field.

It proved to be crucial as Quetta went on to win the match by three wickets with Rossouw finishing unbeaten on 34. Hawk-eye later apologised for the error.

Spirit of cricket?

Cricket World Cup Challenge League Play-off 2024 in Kuala Lumpur, Vanuatu needed a boundary to assure themselves of a place in the Super Six, but knowing this, Malaysia fast bowler Vijau Unni decided to bowl a wide, thereby not allowing the batter hit a four or a six. Hence, Vanuatu were dependent on the result between Tanzania and Bahrain, which the former won by 20 runs. 

Thanks to that victory, Vanuatu also made it to the next round, given that they had beaten Malaysia. The Super Six in this tournament is decided on head-to-head and not net run-rate.

Umpiring errorSri Lanka T20I captain Wanindu Hasaranga did not mince his words against the umpires after his side’s three-run loss against Afghanistan in Dambulla on Thursday (February 22). "If you can't see that, that umpire isn't suited to international cricket. It would be much better if he did another job,” he had said after the match. On Sunday (February 25), he received a two-match ban for breaching article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "Personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an International Match.”

Did Vihari step down?

In a post on social media, Hanuma Vihari launched a scathing attack on one of his teammates, alleging that he was forced to step down as captain after “he shouted at 17th player, and he complained to his dad (who is a politician).” 

The player Vihari was pointing his fingers at is speculated to be Kuntrapakam Prudhviraj - son of Kuntrapakam Narasimha (Tirupati's 25th Ward corporator from YSRCP). However, Prudhviraj has denied all allegations, though Vihari has found the support of his teammates and coaching staff.

Picture of the week

This one's for you, dad

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