Player of the Match Andre Russell’s six-laden half century and an MVP-like performance from Akeal Hosein helped steer Melbourne Renegades to a four-wicket victory over Brisbane Heat with four balls to spare in their Big Bash clash at Geelong on Wednesday.

Hosein took three wickets and scored a quick-fire 30 for Melbourne after Russell had bludgeoned them back into contention after a Michael Neser’s hat-trick had threatened to deny them victory.

Brisbane won the toss and chose to bat first but were two wickets down for 14 in the third over thanks to Mujeeb ur Rahman and Hosein who claimed the wickets of Max Bryant for five and Colin Munro for eight, respectively.

However,  knocks of 25 from Sam Billings, 29 from Matt Renshaw and an unbeaten Jimmy Peirson helped stage a recovery. However, after a partnership of 61 between Billings and Renshaw both were dismissed by Tom Rogers in the 11th over as Brisbane slipped to 78-4.

It was soon 96-5 as Rogers dismissed Ross Whitely for 8 in the 15 over.

Hosein took the wickets of Neser (3) and James Bazley (0) in three balls in the 15th over. Peirson smashed 45 from 30 balls with six fours to get Brisbane to a competitive 138-7.

Rogers ended with 4-23 while Hosein took 3-26 in another solid performance with the ball.

Melbourne’s relatively simple chase of just under seven runs an over, became extremely difficult when Neser ripped through the top order with just nine runs on the board.

He dismissed Sam Harper first ball and then Jake Fraser-McGurk from the final ball of the first over and then in his second dismissed Nic Maddinson for two and Johnathan Wells for a duck in consecutive balls of his second over to leave Melbourne facing defeat.

However, Russell and Aaron Finch staged a recovery would set the team firmly on the path to victory.

Russell hit two fours and six sixes and he and Finch put on 81 for the fifth wicket before he got out caught behind off Mark Steketee for 57 from 42 balls.

Hosein picked up from where Russell left off hitting two fours and two sixes in a 39-run partnership with Finch. He eventually holed out to deep midwicket for 30 from 19 balls off the fifth ball of Steketee’s final over with Melbourne needing just nine from seven balls.

Will Sutherland smashed Steketee’s last ball for a massive six over the midwicket boundary leaving Finch to hit the winning runs, a four over extra cover to seal with victory from Bazley’s second ball of the final over.

Melbourne’s third straight win means they have six points and only trail leaders Adelaide Strikers on net run rate.

 

 

 

 

India are hoping KL Rahul will be fit for their second and final Test with Bangladesh after he hurt a hand in the nets.

The batter has been skippering the side in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma, but he suffered an injury on Wednesday, the eve of the match.

 

Speaking ahead of Thursday's first day, batting coach Vikram Rathour indicated the blow was not a major one, but did not confirm whether Rahul would be fit to start.

"It doesn't [look serious]," he said. "He seems to be fine. Hopefully he'll be okay. The doctors are looking at it, but hopefully he'll be okay."

Rahul's potential absence would be a major blow to India, who are looking to seal a Test sweep after a 2-1 defeat to their hosts in their ODI series earlier this month.

Aside from Rohit, who is out with a thumb injury, Jasprit Bumrah remains a long-term absentee with back trouble, while Navdeep Saini is also missing for the second game due to a muscular problem.

Interim vice-captain Cheteshwar Pujara is the likely candidate to take over the leadership if Rahul is unable to recover in time, while Abhimanyu Easwaran could make his debut at the top of the order.

The Bengal batsman posted consecutive hundreds for India's A side, and was originally called up to the senior squad as Rohit's replacement.

Steve Smith has thrown his support behind embattled Australia opening batsman David Warner and predicted a steely reaction following poor form.

Warner has not scored a Test century in his past 27 innings, dating back to January 2020 against New Zealand and is running out of chances ahead of the second Test against South Africa starting on Monday at the MCG.

The 36-year-old left-hander was dismissed for a golden duck in the first innings of the first Test against the Proteas, scoring three in the second innings.

Warner failed to reach a half-century in the recent 2-0 Test series victory over the West Indies too, leading to calls for him to be dropped.

But Australia vice-captain Smith pointed to Warner's 106 from 102 balls against England at the MCG in a one-day international in November as reason for hope.

"You only have to look back a [few] weeks ago, a one-day game out here against England, he scored 100 on what was a pretty tough wicket," Smith told reporters.

"We've seen David when his back's up against the wall, he's done pretty well."

Smith added: "It doesn't matter what format of the game, Davey always plays in a pretty similar way, which has been the beauty of him in Test cricket, being able to take the game on from ball one.

"Sometimes it doesn't work, and he hasn't had a great deal of luck lately."

Australia selection chair George Bailey remained confident in Warner earlier this week, stating it was difficult to glean much from the Gabba Test which was dominated by the bowlers and over inside two days.

"No doubt David would be the first to say he'd like a few more runs and to be contributing a bit more knowing the importance of that role at the top of the order," Bailey said. "But full confidence that will come."

West Indies captain Hayley Matthews has jumped to second place among T20I allrounders and is ranked fourth among bowlers after the latest ICC update.

Matthews went up by three places among the bowlers, to slot in behind Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn and Deepti Sharma, and rose one spot among allrounders to be just four rating points away from No. 1 Sophie Devine.

In four T20Is at home against England, who are leading 4-0 in the five-match series, Matthews has picked up five wickets and scored 66 runs with knocks of 23 and 25 in the last two games.

Barbadian all-rounder Matthew Forde produced an excellent display to help the Dambulla Aura defeat the Galle Gladiators by four wickets in the Lankan Premier League on Monday.

Despite a top score of 63 not out from Nuwanidu Fernando, the Gladiators were restricted to 129-8 from their 20 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat.

Forde, who represented the West Indies at the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa and the St. Lucia Kings in the most recent edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), was spectacular with the ball, producing figures of 4-11 from his four overs, conceding just one boundary in the process.

The Barbadian also led the way with the bat, scoring a 30-ball 52 including six fours and two sixes to spearhead an easy chase. Englishman Jordan Cox also contributed well with 34 as the Aura needed just 14.2 overs to reach 134-6.

The win was just the second for the Aura this season meaning they failed to advance to the playoffs.

The Playoffs begin on Wednesday with the Kandy Falcons taking on the Jaffna Kings in Qualifier one before the Colombo Stars and the Galle Gladiators face off in the eliminator.

The Sydney Thunder hit 10 times as many runs against the Adelaide Strikers as they managed the last time the two met, but still came up short on Tuesday.

Unwanted history was made by the Thunder when they were all out for just 15 in the Big Bash League on Friday, the lowest total ever recorded in men's professional T20 cricket.

Unsurprisingly, they lost that game at the Sydney Showground Stadium to the Strikers, who had set a target of 140.

All eyes were on the Thunder to see if they could respond when the two teams met again in Adelaide, and an ironic cheer went up from the home fans as openers Alex Hales and Matthew Gilkes went past 15 after just two-and-a-half overs.

T20 World Cup winner Hales went on to hit 68 from 50 balls, including six fours and three sixes, while Ollie Davies added 42 from 30 as the Thunder posted a far more respectable total of 150-5 from their 20 overs, exactly 10 times as many as last week.

It was not enough, though. Jake Weatherald fell early for Adelaide in their chase, but they were rarely troubled after that as Matt Short (65) was ably supported by 28 each from Chris Lynn and Adam Hose (not out).

Despite a late run out of Colin de Grandhomme, the Strikers eased to the target with six wickets and eight balls to spare to maintain their winning start to the season, while the Thunder have won just one of their four matches.

Rehan Ahmed will forever be grateful to his mother, even if she was not in attendance to take in his England Test debut against Pakistan.

The teenager became the nation's youngest men's Test debutant when he was named in the side to face the hosts in Karachi for the third and final match of their tour.

The 18-year-old spinner grasped his opportunity to shine, taking seven wickets as England completed a series clean sweep at the National Stadium.

With two wickets in the first innings, Ahmed became the youngest bowler to take a five-for on debut in a men's Test in the second, while the last England spinner to post better match figures in their maiden game was Peter Such in 1993.

Ahmed's father was in the stands to see his son make history, though his mother was not in attendance.

The teenager knew she was praying for him however, writing on Twitter afterwards: "I can't put into words how I feel.

"Without my mother's prayers, I would never have got to this stage.

"I'm forever grateful to my mum, who unfortunately wasn't able to be here with me. However, her prayers are always with me regardless."

India captain Rohit Sharma will miss the second Test with Bangladesh as he continues to recover from a thumb injury.

Rohit suffered a dislocation of his left thumb during the recent ODI series against the Tigers and missed the opening Test in Chattogram as a result.

KL Rahul stepped in to lead India in their 188-run victory, culminating on Sunday, and will do so again in Dhaka.

After being ruled out of the first Test, the BCCI said Rohit would be assessed ahead of the second and final game of their red-ball tour.

However, it was confirmed on Tuesday that the 35-year-old will be absent again, with the BCCI stating: "The medical team is of the opinion that the injury needs some more time to heal completely before the Indian captain can bat and field with full intensity.

"He will continue his rehab and will not be available for the second and final Test against Bangladesh."

India will also be without Navdeep Sani, with the pace bowler ruled out after suffering an abdominal muscle strain.

Shubman Gill retains his place after scoring 110 in India's second innings in Chattogram.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have made changes to their squad after struggling in the opener, including spinner Nasum Ahmed coming in potentially for his Test debut amid fitness doubts around skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who only bowled 12 overs in the first Test.

The second Test gets under way on Thursday.

England batsman Ben Duckett believes it was "fitting" for Ben Stokes to help seal a historic series win over Pakistan, adding he does not think he will play in a side quite like the current Test team again.

The opener combined with his skipper to chase down the 55 runs required in Tuesday's first session on day four for an eight-wicket win in Karachi, to complete a historic 3-0 clean sweep.

No other touring side has ever achieved the latter feat in a Test series in Pakistan, with the result continuing to vindicate Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum's aggressive approach to red-ball cricket.

Duckett, back in the Test side for the first time since 2016, posted one century and three further half-centuries across six innings, but was more than happy to credit his captain for their success abroad this month.

"It was fitting that Ben Stokes was there," he told Sky Sports. "We played to our strengths and thankfully got off to a flier.

"I'm very happy. I tried to stick to my game. The mindset of this team from the start of the summer, it is brilliant to come in to as you have the full backing to play the game your way.

"I'm not sure I will play in a team like this again. We are willing to lose games to win and if you go with that mentality, all the pressure goes off you. We are just trying to enjoy it."

Though Duckett's resurgence has helped offer hope for the immediate future amid England's otherwise thin opening batsman options, it was the middle order where they thrived, with Harry Brook particularly impressing.

With 468 runs in five innings – including three centuries – the 23-year-old excelled in the conditions in Pakistan, and credited his displays to the freedom enjoyed under Stokes.

"It is a good feeling to come out here and do something no other team has done," he said. "We all put our hard work in, and we've been phenomenal.

"I've been out here a couple of times. It's quite lucky that I started my Test career out here and adapting to conditions as soon as possible. The way the team has been playing, I think I fit in quite well here."

With the Indian Premier League just around the corner, Brook's impressive performances in red-and-white-ball cricket – he was a member of the T20 World Cup-winning side – have him hopeful of a call.

"It is a competition I've always watched since I was younger and the best franchise competition out there," he added. "Hopefully I get picked up.

"[But for now] I'll be having some family time and a fair bit of food at Christmas."

Ben Stokes described England's tour of Pakistan as "perfect", highlighting his side's effort with ball as much as bat after they romped to an eight-wicket win in Karachi.

The captain and all-rounder combined with opener Ben Duckett to chase down the 55 runs required to complete a sweep against the hosts in Tuesday's first session, completing a 3-0 win.

Having won just two Test matches in their previous 30 attempts in Pakistan, England not only made their own history, but also became the first red-ball side to win every game of a three-match series in the country.

It continues Stokes' near-flawless start to his captaincy, less than a year after succeeding Joe Root, and he suggested their success came down to an unshakeable confidence in both sides of their game.

"It has been perfect," he said. "Whoever I threw the ball to, they seemed to deliver. A lot gets said about the way we bat, but the way we applied ourselves with the ball has been top drawer.

"It all comes down to belief. The belief I have in taking the guys out in the field with me. At no point did I not believe in the team and what we are trying to do.

"The confidence everyone has in themselves and the people around them is unbelievable. To be able to lead a group [like that], it is a very special feeling."

With regulars Jonny Bairstow and Stuart Broad missing, several younger players were able to stake their claim on the tour.

After impressing on the T20 tour in September, Harry Brook top-scored with a century in each match and 468 runs overall for the series, while teenager Rehan Ahmed claimed a five-for on debut in Karachi.

Stokes was reluctant to pinpoint individuals, claiming every player "has stood up at some point and delivered some kind of match-winning performance".

But he had no hesitation in highlighting the duo's contribution, adding: "Harry Brook has been unbelievable this series. The amount of runs [he has scored] and the way he has done it is a serious treat to watch.

"Rehan, [at] 18 years old. He is not the finished article but to have that ability to affect the game is exciting going forward for English cricket."

Having not played a red-ball tour in Pakistan amid security concerns since 2005, England's long-awaited return was celebrated by supporters on both sides, and Stokes was quick to thank them all too.

"We have got the best fans in the world, but the people of Pakistan who came out and cheered the game of cricket on, we felt the cricket we played was being celebrated and everyone enjoyed their time," he added.

"We came here to win but we also came to play an exciting brand of cricket and to get people in to watch. I want to say thank you to the people of Pakistan."

Ben Stokes and Ben Duckett took just 38 minutes on day four of the third Test to see England to an eight-wicket victory against Pakistan.

It completed a 3-0 series win for the tourists, the first time Pakistan have ever lost every match of a home Test series.

Starting Tuesday needing another 55 runs to chase down the overall target of 167 in Karachi with eight wickets remaining, Stokes and Duckett made a careful start initially, with just one boundary coming in the first four overs.

Back-to-back fours from Duckett off the bowling of Abrar Ahmed were followed by more steady batting from the pair, before Duckett hit the winning runs off Mohammad Wasim with another four to finish on 82 not out.

After securing what was England's ninth win in 10 Test matches since he and Brendon McCullum took the reins, Stokes – who ended unbeaten on 35 – described his team's performances as "perfect", adding: "We've got a process we want to play but the challenge was the different pitches for every Test.

"We stuck to our gameplans and adapted really well."

His opposite number, Babar Azam, was reflective but could not hide his disappointment at the result. 

"Definitely disappointment as a team," he said. "First innings, we lost back-to-back wickets, we were good in batches, but that moment cost us.

"Bowling [was also a problem], definitely, your best pacer [Shaheen Shah Afridi] is not fit so that cost us. A lot of positive things in this series, but also things that we lack."

Duckett's star continues to shine

The Nottinghamshire batsman did not exactly take his opportunity in 2016 when he faced Bangladesh and India, scoring just 110 across four Test matches against the pair.

Finally getting back into the England team six years later, he looked far more accomplished, scoring 357 across six innings in Pakistan at an average of 71.40, and hitting at least 100 runs in all three Test matches, before ultimately seeing his team home with another impressive outing in Karachi.

Brook announces himself on Test scene

Stokes and McCullum appear to have a gem in Harry Brook, who won the player of the match and series awards.

Speaking at the presentation, the 23-year-old, who scored three centuries in the series and averaged 93.60 runs, said: "This was probably my best tour so far, to win 3-0 here, no-one's done it before, it was phenomenal from the lads."

Theo Edward scored his fourth century in as many matches to lead St Lucia to the title in the 2022 WINLOTT WICB U15 Cricket Tournament at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium on Friday.

The home side defeated St Vincent and the Grenadines by 160 runs to go undefeated in the tournament.

Heading into the decider with three consecutive centuries under his belt, the 15-year-old Edward scored 104 as St Lucia scored 270-7 from their 50 overs, their lowest score of the tournament.

Edward hit 15 fours and four sixes to prop up his side that had slipped to 18-2 in the third over. However, Edward and Tyler Venner staged a recovery with a third-wicket stand of 128 before the prolific opener was dismissed in the 23rd over.

He faced 78 balls in his impressive knock that saw him accumulate a massive 540 runs from his four innings during the competition.

Venner and Aaron St Clair added 79 for the fourth wicket, a stand that was broken when the latter was dismissed for 38. Venner was next out for 70 but the tail barely wagged as St Lucia reached 270 at the end of their 50 overs.

Lebron Douglas was the best of the St Vincent bowlers with 3-18 and was supported by Elron Glasgow 2-30 and Ozaid Edwards, who claimed the prized wicket of Edward, to finish with 2-58.

St Vincent folded to the St Lucia attack for 110 from 28.1 overs.

Jawayne Adams (24) and Jorden Charles (22) offered minimal resistance to Leon Alexander who had another impressive outing with the ball with 4-39.

Sheldon Willie took 2-3 while Edward chipped on with 1-1 from the 2.1 overs he bowled.

 

 

Rehan Ahmed described his five-wicket haul as a "dream come true" after the teenage debutant put England on the brink of a historic Test series whitewash in Pakistan on Monday.

Ahmed claimed two wickets on day one of the tour's third and final Test, but that was nothing compared with what was to come as the 18-year-old spinner tore through Pakistan on day three.

His match figures of 7-137 are the best of any England debutant since Peter Such's 8-145 against Australia in 1993, and have put Pakistan on the brink of suffering their first home Test series whitewash.

Having previously described Saturday as the best day of his life, Ahmed told BBC Test Match Special that Monday's display had left him reconsidering that assessment. 

"It's probably the best day of my life again! To get five on my debut is a dream come true. It's great," Ahmed said.

"I was thinking about the five-for. I'd be lying if I said I didn't. But at the same time, I was trying to forget it. The more you try and chase the wicket, it just won't happen." 

The highlight of Ahmed's performance came when his delivery had Pakistan skipper Babar Azam caught by Ollie Pope, just as the hosts appeared to have steadied the ship following Jack Leach's early three-wicket haul.

"I've bowled better balls and got wickets so just to get Babar Azam out is a dream come true," Ahmed said. "He's a very good player. Pope has got good hands so it's good the ball went to him. 

"I liked [Mohammad] Rizwan's wicket because I've been working on my leg spin for the last two years. To get one to spin on the other side was great."

Meanwhile, Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali saw his final Test innings end in disappointing fashion as he was bowled for a four-ball duck by Leach in his final outing before retirement.

Azhar struggled to hide his frustration when speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, saying: "You want to finish on a high and win your last game, you want to contribute. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. 

"It was a bit of a disappointment, so I have mixed feelings. I am thankful to the England and Pakistan team for giving me a send-off.

"I was more emotional in the first innings than the second. It was a nervy start in the first innings. I was quite calm in the second but I am a human being so there was some emotion. 

"I played down the wrong line and Leachy got me out. He has bowled really well in this series. It was my time to say goodbye to international cricket."

England closed in on an unprecedented whitewash in Pakistan as a five-for from debutant Rehan Ahmed decimated the hosts on day three of the third and final Test.

Having taken two wickets on day one at the National Stadium in Karachi, England's youngest Test debutant built on Jack Leach's three-wicket haul as the hosts crumbled.

After bowling Pakistan out for 216, England look certain to claim a convincing win after navigating the late dismissals of Zak Crawley and Ahmed to cut the deficit to 55 by stumps.

Leach's incredible spell at the end of the first session on Monday set the tone.

Having enjoyed a stroke of fortune when Shan Masood (24) was bowled reverse-sweeping, Leach followed up by dismissing Azhar Ali for a duck in his final Test innings before retirement and pinning Abdullah Shafique (26) leg before wicket.

Ahmed then came to the fore, claiming the crucial wickets of Babar Azam (54) and Saud Shakeel (53).

The 18-year-old's googly then accounted for Mohammad Rizwan just after he was dropped by Ollie Pope, before Joe Root and Mark Wood got in on the act.

However, the day belonged to Ahmed, who rounded off a terrific performance by drawing catches from Mohammad Wasim and Agha Salman as England were set 168 to win.

Ben Stokes' team wasted little time in reducing that target – Abrar Ahmed's late dismissals of Crawley (41) and Ahmed, who moved up the order to come in at three, surely not enough to provoke a turnaround.

Ahmed makes more history

Ahmed played a key role in teeing up what will surely be a success for England in Karachi, becoming the youngest bowler (aged 18 years and 128 days) to take a five-wicket-haul on debut in a men's Test match.

The last England spinner to record better match figures than Ahmed's 7-137 on debut was Peter Such, who managed 8-145 against Australia in 1993.

Ahmed might well have cemented his place in the Test squad heading into 2023.

Leach hits the summit

While Ahmed stole the headlines, Leach limited Pakistan by claiming three big dismissals in the space of two overs, becoming the leading wicket-taker in men's Tests this year in the process.

The wicket of Shafique was Leach's 46th of 2022, more than any other player in the format – South Africa's Kagiso Rabada is second with 45.

West Indies Women suffered a 49-run defeat to England Women in the fourth T20 International at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday.

The English batted first and posted 131-8, their lowest total batting first in the series, after winning the toss.

Sophia Dunkley continued her good form this year by top scoring with 35 while Katherine Brunt (24 not out) and Amy Jones (21) also had meaningful contributions against Cherry Ann Fraser’s career best 3-20 and Sheneta Grimmond’s 3-33.

The Windies chase once again fell short as only Captain Hayley Matthews (23), Shemaine Campbelle (17) and Afy Fletcher (14 not out) managed to reach double figures as England needed just 16 overs to bowl out the hosts for 82.

Pacer Lauren Bell was the pick of the bowlers with a brilliant 4-12 from three overs while Sophie Ecclestone and Charlie Dean took two wickets each.  

West Indies Head Coach Courtney Walsh still had praises for his players despite the loss.

"I thought restricting them to 131 was a positive for us. We had a couple injuries during the match with Gajnabi unable to return to bat and Campbelle getting cut so we were hampered in that aspect. The bowlers stood out today, they're all showing but the consistency we're working on. Fraser and Grimmond lead with the ball today but Afy and Hayley have been the most consistent for the series. We have one more game to play and we're going to regroup and come with one last push."

West Indies will have one last chance to get a positive result in this series as the two teams return to Kensington Oval for the final encounter on Thursday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.