October 24, 2013
England, pleased no doubt to be leaving wind and rain behind, are heading for scorching Australia. No doubt the reception from the local media will be barbed, but captain Alastair Cook says that England can feel quietly confident as they aim to complete a fourth successive Ashes victory. Joe Root, currently a regular in all three formats of the game, has been awarded a central England contract. Eoin Morgan, out of favour in the test team, gives way.
Australia leads India by two matches to one in the current ODI series in India. So far it has been a run fest, with no target, however imposing, seeming to be beyond the chasing side.
Following their fight back in Jaipur where they successfully chased down 360, India received a taste of their own medicine in Mohali where they were unable to defend a total of 302. Australia, thanks mainly to man of the match James Faulkner who cracked a quick-fire 64 not out of 29 balls, were able to smash their way to victory in the latter overs. Ishant Sharma, bowling a succession of length balls, was hit for 30 in his last over. Adam Voges (76 not out) had batted sensibly throughout and was the one to steer Australia through a difficult patch. Earlier, India had recovered from 76-4 and 158-5 thanks to another immense, but ultimately fruitless, innings of 139 not out from skipper MS Dhoni.
The fourth match at Ranchi was washed out after Australia had posted 295, thanks to contributions from George Bailey (98) and Glenn Maxwell (92). India could reach only 27-0 before play was abandoned. With three games to play, the result of the series could well depend on skipper Bailey’s ability to call correctly at the toss.
Two test matches are currently in progress. In Dubai, South Africa has gained the early advantage, after dismissing Pakistan for just 90 in their first innings. The unlikely hero was leggie Imran Tahir, who grabbed five cheap wickets. South Africa are solidly building a first innings lead, with skipper Graeme Smith, who has completed yet another hundred, showing a welcome return to form.
In the second test in Mirpur, New Zealand dismissed Bangladesh for 292, with seamer Neil Wagner claiming five wickets. In reply, they posted 437, thanks largely to a maiden ton from all rounder Corey Anderson. Bangladesh has now the wiped off the deficit; Tamin Iqbal has completed his second half-century in the match.
The Scoop 24/10/13