Scotland Cruise Past Netherlands to keep Title…

The Netherlands will take on Scotland in a winner-takes-all final fixture on 20 June after the visitors made short work of their target of 161 to win by seven wickets with 14 balls remaining.

The Dutch got off to a flier after winning the toss and electing to bat, with openers Tobias Visee (25 from 15 balls) and Max O’Dowd (31 from 25) each reeling off a succession of boundaries in the Powerplay.

The Scots stemmed the flows of runs somewhat after left-arm spinner Mark Watt – who was the most parsimonious of their bowlers, returning figures of 1/18 from his four overs – clean bowled Visee and Richie Berrington had O’Dowd caught at short-leg by Michael Leask, but the experienced Wesley Barresi kept the scoreboard moving, hitting 53 from 51 balls to register his fourth T20I half-century.

Alasdair Evans accounted for Ben Cooper (22 from 19) and Sikander Zulfiqar to further halt the Netherlands’ progress in the final overs and Scotland would have been reasonably happy to restrict their opponents to 160/6 given the earlier fireworks.

Scotland’s openers started with conviction, George Munsey (46 from 29) and captain Kyle Coetzer (42 from 20) playing expansively to bring up the 50 in just 3.3 overs.

Coetzer eventually skied one to cover off the bowling of Fred Klaassen and Munsey fell four short of what would have been a second half-century in the format, holing out to deep square-leg off Barresi. It was Munsey’s third significant contribution of the tournament, his scores so far reading 41, 46, 46.

Calum MacLeod fell to skipper Pieter Seelaar for 14 but there were no further alarms, as Berrington (49* from 32) guided his team home with plenty to spare.

The victory leaves Scotland on three points, behind second-placed Ireland on net run rate and one point behind the Netherlands. If they can inflict another defeat on the hosts in the final fixture of the competition, the trophy will be theirs.

Chandimal Found Guilty of Changing Condition o…

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has been suspended from his side’s third and final Test against the Windies after he was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the second day’s play of the second Test, which concluded at Gros Islet on Monday.

During a hearing held at the end of the St Lucia Test, in which video evidence was used in the presence of the Sri Lanka team management as well as the match officials, Chandimal admitted putting something in his mouth but wasn’t able to recall what it was.

ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath handed Chandimal the maximum punishment available under the code, i.e. two suspension points and a fine of 100 per cent of his match fee.

As two suspension points equate to a ban from one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whatever comes first for the player, Chandimal will now miss the day/night Barbados Test, starting from Saturday, 23 June. Furthermore, and because two suspension points correspond to four demerit points, these have been added to Chandimal’s disciplinary record.

Commenting on his decision, Srinath said: “After reviewing the footage of the incident, it is clear that Dinesh applied an artificial substance to the ball, namely saliva containing the residue of something he had in his mouth, an action which is prohibited under the ICC Code of Conduct.

“The footage shows that upon receiving the ball, Dinesh took something from his pocket and put it into his mouth. After sucking or chewing whatever he put in his mouth for a few seconds, Dinesh then proceeded to spit on his finger and polish the ball with his saliva which would have contained the residue of the artificial substance that he had in his mouth, on two separate occasions.”

“During the hearing, Dinesh admitted to putting something in his mouth but couldn’t remember what it was, which I found unconvincing as a defence and the fact remains it was an artificial substance.

“In the pre-series briefing held on the back of the ICC Cricket Committee recommendations, both the sides were explicitly told that the match officials would be extra vigilant towards all aspects of fair play, including changing the condition of the ball and as such it is disappointing that this has happened.”

On Sunday, Chandimal had pleaded not guilty after on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould, and third umpire Richard Kettleborough had charged him for changing the condition of the ball.

England Power Their Way to Highest ODI Total

England registered the highest ever total in ODIs by scoring an incredible 481 for six in the third match against Australia in Nottingham on Tuesday. Opener Jonny Bairstow continued his rich vein of form and powered his way to 92-ball 139. He was ably supported by fellow opener Jason Roy, who chipped-in with 82 runs.

But it was Alex Hales who upped the ante in the middle overs and scored 147 in 92 balls and guided his team to the record-breaking total. His smashing innings included 16 fours and five sixes. Skipper Eoin Morgan too made a contribution of 67 runs. England failed to score any boundaries in the last four overs – but before that they struck 21 sixes during an incredible display of strokeplay.

As far as Australian bowling is concerned, fast-bowler Andrew Tye leaked 100 runs in the nine overs he bowled.

With this England bettered their own record of highest ODI total of 444 which they had set against Pakistan at the same venue in 2016. This was also the 19th time when a team crossed the 400-run barrier in ODIs, with the first one coming in 2005-06 by Australia (434). South Africa (438) too breached that mark in the same ODI.

Recently New Zealand women’s cricket team posted a mammoth 490 for four, which is the highest ever total in ODIs.

Live Cricket Score, Netherlands vs Scotland, 5…

Match 4 review: Scotland seamer Safyaan Sharif held his nerve at the death to deny Ireland victory in a high-scoring encounter at Deventer. Ireland looked strong favourites heading into the final over, requiring seven runs to win and Kevin O’Brien, who had already hit three sixes, on strike. However, O’Brien holed out to Dylan Budge in the deep to the first delivery of the final over – the Scotland fielder producing a superb piece of work on the boundary, throwing the ball up as he crossed the ropes before safely pouching the catch as he returned to the field of play – and Sharif then restricted Stuart Poynter and Stuart Thompson to five runs off the remaining deliveries, the latter scrambling two from the last ball to tie the scores.

Scotland had posted a commanding total of 185/4 – their highest in T20Is against Ireland – after winning the toss and electing to bat. Openers George Munsey (46 off 25) and captain Kyle Coetzer (54 off 41) got the Scots off to a flier, reaching 93 in 8.1 overs before the former was dismissed by George Dockrell, caught at gully, on the left-arm spinner’s 50th appearance in the format. Calum MacLeod (46* off 39) picked up the baton and kept the scoreboard ticking with his skipper until Coetzer was caught at deep mid-wicket off Simi Singh after registering his seventh T20I half-century. The loss of their openers stalled Scotland’s progress a little but some late blows from Matthew Cross (18 off 10) took them to a total they would have been happy with at the start of their innings.

Paul Stirling had starred in Ireland’s victory over the same opposition the previous day, hitting 51 from 29 deliveries, and he showed he was in no mood to mess around as he deposited the second ball of the innings over the ropes. James Shannon and Andrew Balbirnie both fell cheaply to Sharif (2/31) and Stuart Whittingham (2/33) respectively but Stirling was undeterred, motoring his way to a career-best 81 from 41 deliveries – including five fours and six sixes – as he and Simi Singh (26 off 23) put on a third-wicket stand of 68 which swung the game in Ireland’s favour.

When both fell in quick succession, captain Gary Wilson (20 off 14) and O’Brien (28 off 17) had to draw on all their experience to get the innings back on track and even after the loss of the former, Ireland still looked well on course. However, Sharif showed all his class in the final over to keep Poynter and Thompson in check after removing O’Brien to keep Scotland’s chances of winning the tri-series alive. Next up Scotland play the Netherlands twice in two days, on June 19 and June 20 in Amstelveen.

Live Cricket Score, England vs Australia, 3rd …

Catch all the live action from the 3rd ODI between England and Australia through our live commentary.

Already 2-0 down, Australia will have to do all the running come the third one-day international at Trent Bridge in Nottingham if they have to stay alive in the five-match series. The Australians, who have their backs to the wall in the series can take hope from the fact that Nottingham is one of their happier hunting grounds in England as they have the second best win percentage after The Rose Bowl. In ODI cricket, in fact the Australians have played England thrice and won two games while the first in 1989 in was a tie. The match will begin at 6:30pm IST with the toss scheduled for 6pm and it will be telecast on the Sony Six network. Australia have fought hard in both matches, but their bowlers and batsmen haven’t fired together. In the first game, they were bowled out for 214 but they fought hard to pick up seven wickets before the home side crossed the line. In the second, the bowlers conceded lots of runs as England piled 342/8. This time, Shaun Marsh led a strong chase but Australia stopped at 304.

As a gauge of how England have dominated Australia in the format, the loss in the second ODI was their seventh win in the last eight ODIs. Indeed, it’s not gone well for Australia in recent times, even when they have had all their first-choice players: Their last ODI series win came in January 2017 when they got the better of Pakistan at home. Australia have since lost series against New Zealand (2-0), India (4-1) and England (1-4). For starters, Australia will have to address the failings in the batting department. In the two matches, the batters have managed just a half-century and a century. In contrast, England have three half-centuries and a century. The inability to stitch partnerships together has been another major issue for the visitors. Aaron Finch’s move down to No.5 in the second ODI in a bid to strengthen the middle-order failed with the vice-captain bagging a four-ball duck. Marcus Stoinis, who has batted at No.4, has looked out of sorts, as has Paine, the captain.

Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar have both looked solid in the two outings but coming at No.6 and No.7 respectively hasn’t always given them a chance to make a big difference. The Australian bowlers, despite the lack of experience, have been good in batting-friendly conditions. Billy Stanlake, Australia’s best bowler in the opening ODI, was forced to miss the second game due to a toe injury and it is still unclear whether the lanky pacer will be fit for the crucial third ODI. If he comes in, the attack becomes stronger. England, on the other hand, seem to have most bases covered. They faltered at times in the chase in the first game, but eventually got home with enough to spare as Joe Root and Eoin Morgan hit half-centuries and David Willey chipped in with a 41-ball 35*. Jason Roy was spectacular in the second game as he hit a 108-ball 120 and so was Jos Buttler, who led the side in Morgan’s absence and provided the finishing touches to the innings with a stroke-filled 70-ball 91*.

The bowlers have pitched in the right areas, and have managed to pick up wickets at crucial junctures. Even when Marsh was going hammer and tongs in the last game, they ensured there were no steady partnerships. Liam Plunkett has been exceptional in both outings and is the leading wicket-taker so far in the series with seven strikes. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have been good in the middle overs as well. Collectively the two spinners have taken 10 wickets so far in the two games, a huge reason why England find themselves 2-0 up.

India vs England: Curran Brothers Eye Historic…

It’s a rare occurrence when two brothers represent a team in international matches together but soon Sam and Tom Curran could be seen plying their trade for the English team in T20Is against Australia and India.

Sam and Tom, who play for Surrey, could become the first brothers to represent England in the same match after Ben Hollioake and Adam Hollioake appeared in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Sydney in 1999.

Elder brother Tom is a right-arm fast bowler and a handy batsman down the order. He made his England debut in a T20 against South Africa. He has since played five T20Is, eight ODIs and two Tests.

On the other hand, Sam recently played his first game for the English side in the Leeds Test against Pakistan. He is yet to make his debut in the limited-over formats.

Both of them have been included in the squad after all-rounders Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes were ruled out of the series owing to injury.

The squad will also feature the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali, who were rested for the T20I series against Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. Sam Billings, Dawid Malan, Liam Dawson or James Vince have been left out of the squad.

England will take on Australia at Edgbaston on 27 June, while the series against India starts at Old Trafford on 3 July.

England squad: Eoin Morgan ©, Moeen Ali , Jonathan Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Alex Hales , Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey

Dale Steyn Plots Comeback With Eye on Pollock’…

When one thinks about bowlers who made a batsman’s heart skip a beat with their menacing pace and ability to move the red cherry in modern day cricket, the era that comes to mind is the 70s and the 80s. The legendary West Indian pace quartet of Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts and Malcolm Marshal top the list, along with the Aussie quicks Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Bob Willis were the other names who shone bright.

One man, who has kept that breed of fast bowling alive in the the 21st century is South African fast bowler Dale Steyn. Steyn’s awe-inspiring Test record has earned him a place alongside South African greats like Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock and the 35-year old is raring to go again, after returning from another unfortunate injury.

Steyn is looking to make his international comeback for the Proteas in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka next month. He is currently playing in the English County Championship for Hampshire. In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Steyn confirmed that he is feeling good post recovery and is getting in shape to represent the national team again.

“The body’s fine, body feels good. I’ve got no problems. I’ll have a look in the computer (his bowling footage) when I get back up. One thing is I’ve got overs under my belt, the rhythm seems to be coming back. I’ve got a good follow through going on which means there’s good pace at the crease and I’m hitting the crease nice and hard. Yeah, everything seems to be ticking over nicely,” the veteran of 86 Test matches said.

Steyn, who was sidelined for more than a year after fracturing his bowling arm in November 2016 during South Africa’s tour of Australia, made his Test comeback against India earlier this year. But the paceman picked up an injury on his heel and was sidelined yet again.

“I love playing cricket,” Steyn said. “I guess it’s my job as well but I also love playing it. I’ve been out for two years now. I broke my shoulder and then really bad luck, rotten luck really, I came back and my first game back, I landed in a foothole and tore a little muscle in my heel. I’ve never had a foot injury in my life. So just rotten luck.

"I’m just chomping at the bit to get out and play. I went for 80 the other day but I absolutely loved it. It was great to be back out and playing again and I felt this is where I needed to be rather than petting my dogs and driving and getting stuck in traffic and doing the rehab thing. I need to be on a cricket field so I’ll play for as long as this body can hold.”

Steyn is just two wickets shy of equalling Shaun Pollock’s record of 421 scalps, the most by a South African in Test history. While that is definitely on the agenda, Steyn also wants to represent South Africa in the shorter formats, specially with the World Cup round the corner in 2019.

“I’d love to play all formats. Like I said, I love playing cricket. I think Test cricket is the pinnacle. I’d love to try and play 100 Test matches, I don’t know whether I’ll get there. I’m at 86, so that’s about 14 more, but being a World Cup year, there’s a lot of white-ball emphasis right now. So I think we’ve only got five Tests until around this time next year.

"So if I’m going to look to play the 100 Test matches, I’m going to be around for the next three years. That’s 38. I think I can do it. The body seems fine. I’ve always been fit. It’s a mental thing. How long do you actually want to do it for. If you’ve got a family and if you’ve got kids – which I don’t but I do have a girlfriend and two dogs that miss me – and how much are you willing to give up. I think AB [de Villiers] hit the nail on the head. He’s got two young kids and he’s looking at life after cricket right now. He’s reached that point but I’m not there right now.”

South Africa has a world class fast bowler in Kagiso Rabada and the emergence of young Lungi Ngidi has ensured that the Proteas won’t run dry of quality pace bowlers, especially after Steyn’s long time bowling partner Morne Morkel called time on his career. The veteran paceman has the zeal and desire to partner Rabada and Ngidi in the days to come.

“[Kagiso] Rabada is so special. [Lungi] Ngidi’s coming through nicely. I just hope there’s a spot there for me when we get to Sri Lanka. In those conditions you’re always looking at playing possible two spinners. So good headache for the coach to have. When you get the opportunity to represent your country, you go and you make the most of it. I’m looking forward to going out there with some serious talent. The Proteas have someone to look forward to in Ngidi but Rabada’s been special for about two years no already. We all know that.”

19TH JUNE, 2017: ANIL KUMBLE STEPS DOWN AS TEA…

In what turned out to be one of the biggest ego clashes in Indian cricket, then India coach Anil Kumble stepped down from his position just a day after the team lost in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy to Pakistan after an ongoing rift with captain Virat Kohli. Kumble had tasted enormous success in his role as coach of the team over the past one year, but things started to go awry after his equation with captain Virat Kohli hit an all-time low.

There were stories in the media about a complete breakdown of the captain-coach relationship ahead of the global event. While India competed well to reach the finals, the undercurrents were there for everyone to see. The cold vibes between Kohli and Kumble further fuelled speculations of rift and matters came to ahead on June 19, 2017 as Kumble stepped down from his position.

Kumble informed the BCCI that he wasn’t willing to continue as India coach after skipper Virat Kohli expressed reservations with his “style” and about him continuing as the head coach.

Cricketnext takes a look at the turn of events since news first came in of the Kohli-Kumble tussle and the circumstances which led to the latter’s resignation:

March 25, 2017 – The first signs of conflict rose as Kohli and Kumble allegedly disagreed on the playing XI for the last Test against Australia. Kohli wasn’t playing and Ajinkya Rahane was the acting captain. While Kumble wanted to play chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, Kohli wasn’t too keen on the idea.

May 23, 2017 — Anil Kumble spoke about a pay hike for Kohli as captain in his presentation to the BCCI. Supposedly Kohli did not like the idea and wasn’t happy at being dragged into the money debate by the coach. A BCCI official told Cricketnext that Kohli was keen on cricketers playing in one format to be paid well and not interested in a pay hike for leading the team.

May 25, 2017 — The BCCI sends out invitation for the coach’s post. Speaking to Cricketnext, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary had already said that a call would be taken on Kumble’s position after the Champions Trophy as his contract ended with the showpiece event. The BCCI clarified that it was a mere formality, but news also came in that some officials had forced Virender Sehwag to apply.

May 29, 2017 – News comes in that Virat is not happy with Kumble’s ‘headmaster’ approach. Sources in the BCCI tell Cricketnext that the players are unhappy with Kumble and cannot breathe freely in his presence.

June 1, 2017 — Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh apply for the post of the Indian team’s head coach. Even though Kumble was an automatic inclusion, he still re-applies.

June 2, 2017 – Ramachandra Guha resigns from the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators as he tears into the superstar culture present in Indian cricket. He takes a dig at MS Dhoni, Rahul Dravid and even Sunil Gavaskar. Says episode with Anil Kumble shameful and highly disrespectful.

June 3, 2017 – Virat Kohli denies tussle with Anil Kumble at press conference. Says that stories are being made up. “There are no problems within the team and people are just making things up. There are agreements and disagreements which is basic human nature. There are disagreements in the family as well. You can’t agree on everything with everyone. I can’t comment on something if I knew there was a problem. For me there is no problem at all,” Kohli said before India’s opening game in the Champions Trophy against arch-rivals Pakistan.

June 17, 2017 — BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman meets Virat Kohli in the presence of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and general manager MV Sridhar. Kohli has an hour long interaction with them and makes it clear that there is no scope of a truce.

June 20, 2017 — Indian team leaves for West Indies and even though Anil Kumble was booked on the same London-Port of Spain flight, he stays back. BCCI sources say that he stayed back to attend the ICC Annual Conference in London as he is the head of the cricketing committee, but Kumble steps down from his post as Team India head coach. He refuses a two-week extension offered to him by the BCCI.

CoA to Acting BCCI Secretary: Watch India-Engl…

New Delhi: The squabbling between the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials has taken yet another ugly turn. In a terse email exchange, the CoA has told acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary that while it is okay for him to stay back in England to watch the three T20Is between England and India after the conclusion of the ICC meeting in Dublin, the board will not incur any expenses if he chooses to.

Interestingly, CEO Rahul Johri has also informed the CoA that he will be returning after watching the games in England but it is unclear if a similar response has been given to him.

Replying to the mail from the secretary, in possession of CricketNext, the CoA wrote: “The Committee of Administrators has taken note of your email. Although you have not sought approval from the Committee of Administrators for your travels abroad, permission is granted for you to travel only to Dublin for attending the ICC meetings from 28th June 2018 to 2nd July 2018. Kindly ensure that expenses towards ticketing and hotel stay are limited to the extent borne by ICC.”

The CoA then goes on to add that it sees no sense in Choudhary staying back to watch the India-England games. “From the contents of your email, the Committee of Administrators does not see any value addition to the BCCI in your merely watching the three-T20 India-England games to be played in England. Hence, if you wish to attend these games, kindly ensure that BCCI does not incur any expenses in this regard,” it said.

Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official said that the reply puts the secretary in an embarrassing position and was uncalled for. “This is yet another example of the high-handedness of the CoA. They had absolutely no problem with an entourage of officials travelling to England for the Champions Trophy last year since they themselves were keen to visit England. Suddenly there is no worthwhile purpose to the visit.

“Amitabh is a court appointed BCCI’s representative to the ICC and he has to meet other Boards’ representatives and this usually happens on the sidelines of international games. In fact, the office bearers should be going for these events in the interest of bilateral relations between boards. This new diktat has not only embarrassed Amitabh but has also considerably weakened the position of BCCI’s representative at the ICC,” he said.

Interestingly, the CEO Rahul Johri has also sent a similar mail to the CoA which informs the committee that he will also be returning to the country after watching the first two England T20Is. “The ICC Annual Conference is scheduled in Dublin from the 28th June to the 2nd of July and the 1st India-Ireland match is also in Dublin on June 27. I will be travelling to Dublin on June 26 and return to Mumbai on July 8 as I will stay back to attend the 1st two games of the India-England series in July 3 and July 6. This is for your information,” it read.

Josh Hazlewood Feels Pressure to Win Drove Aus…

Injured Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood feels that the pressure to win every time they took the field took a toll on Steve Smith and boys, resulting in the Sandpaper Gate in South Africa earlier this year. The fiasco saw skipper Steve Smith and deputy David Warner being handed a 12-month ban while Cameron Bancroft was banned for 9 months.

“It’s a big tour always South Africa, coming off the back of an Ashes as well which was quite stressful,” Hazlewood told News Corp. “All big tours are stressful and that added pressure we probably put on ourselves as much as anyone to win.

"Where the stress has come from is that we are pretty much measured on our cricket ability, not as people off the field, which we had probably got away from in the past six months, 12 months. A focus only on results I guess drives people to do different things and we are only measured on our cricket success,” Hazlewood conceded.

“I don’t think that’s how it is now, I think that’s changed a little bit, JL has talked a lot about how we are behaving off the field and we are going to be measured on that as well which is a good sign.”

Hazlewood further feels that while there was no doubt that Smith as a batsman and player was one of the best in world cricket, the responsibility of leading the champion side wasn’t something that the 29-year-old was equipped to handle.

“Cricket-wise I think he was ready, he probably wasn’t ready with everything that came with it I guess,” Hazlewood noted. “It’s a different time now where we’re basically cricketers from the time we leave school and we don’t really experience life outside of cricket and the cricket environment, back in those times they probably got out in the world, had a few jobs, learned a lot of life lessons. Now you go straight from school into a cricket environment and cricket is all you know.”

Hazlewood was also surprised by how the Australian people reacted to the whole news. “We went to bed that night and Australia hadn’t woken up yet, when it hit back in Australia and we woke up it was quite surprising how big a reaction it was. It wasn’t massive in South Africa, all the Australian writers know it’s going on here and there and around different teams and people have been done in the past, I guess they talked it down a bit if anything but once it hit home the media went the other way and the reaction was massive,” he said.