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Saturday,08-May-2021

International

2nd Test: Kraigg Brathwaite helps West Indies take command

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West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite came very close to a second century in the second Test which helped his team get to a commanding position against Sri Lanka on the fourth day.

The experienced opener followed his 126 in first innings with a patient 85 in the second which, along with half centuries from Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder, allowed Brathwaite to declare at 280/4 — setting the visitors a target of 376 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Holder was 71 not out, having shared a 53-run partnership with wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva who was unbeaten on 20.

West Indies then had 40 minutes to bowl before stumps and Sri Lanka managed to not lose any wickets, reaching 29/0. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne scored 11 runs and Lahiru Thirimanne scored 17. They will resume on Friday with another 347 runs needed for victory while West Indies will be hunting 10 wickets in 98 overs.

Sri Lanka started the day at 250/8 in their first innings and the home side took just over three overs to wrap up the innings at 258, thus taking a first innings lead of 96 runs. Pathum Nissanka, on 49 overnight, completed his half century from the fifth ball of the day, but was out soon after for 51 — caught by substitute Hayden Walsh Jr. at deep backward square from the bowling of Kemar Roach.

When West Indies batted a second time, Mayers went on to score a half century from 63 balls, with eight fours, before eventually falling lbw to fast bowler Suranga Lakmal for 55. Brathwaite reached his 21st half century from 137 balls and looked set to reach centuries in both innings when he went on to 85 which came off 196 balls and included four boundaries. Holder played a number of outstanding shots and paced the innings well with his half century requiring just 69 balls.

Brief scores: West Indies 354 all out and 280/4 declared (Kraigg Brathwaite 85, Jason Holder 71 not out; Suranga Lakmal 2/62) vs Sri Lanka 250/8 and 29/0 (Lahiru Thirimanne 17 batting, Dimuth Karunaratne 11 batting; Jason Holder 0/3).

International

Kane Williamson & Co move to Maldives after entry in England delayed

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New Zealand Test players Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson, who were playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), have opted to spend extra days in Maldives instead of India after their entry in England was delayed by a week.

The three have flown to Maldives from where they will travel to England after about 10 days. They were supposed to fly to England from New Delhi on May 11 according to initial plans after the postponement of IPL.

“There have been changes to the arrangements for New Zealand’s UK-bound Test contingent, with Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, and physio Tommy Simsek, transferring to the Maldives (rather than staying in New Delhi) ahead of travelling to England,” said a statement from New Zealand Cricket.

“The decision for this group to transfer to the Maldives was taken after advice that their entry into the UK, initially thought to be about May 11, was likely to be delayed a further week,” the statement added.

Williamson, Santner and Jamieson are part of New Zealand’s Test squad that will play two Test matches against England — between June 2 and 14 as well as the World Test Championship final against India from June 18.

“Blackcaps (New Zealand team) trainer Chris Donaldson, who initially signalled his intention to return home on one of the NZ-bound charter flights before returning to England, has instead opted to remain with the UK-bound players and is also in the Maldives,” the statement further said.

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Play IPL in England in September as top players will be there: Kevin Pietersen

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The availability of players from world’s top two T20 Internationals teams — England and India — should prompt the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to host the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in England in September, said former England captain Kevin Pietersen.

The IPL was postponed indefinitely last week, after just 29 matches, as Covid-19 cases emerged in the bio-bubble.

The BCCI, which was left red-faced, is mulling over a window and venues to complete the tournament which still has 31 matches left.
Pietersen said that the matches should be held immediately after the India-England series in September.

“I have seen people talking about the UAE as a possible destination to finish the IPL in September but I actually think that the IPL should move to the UK,” said Pietersen in his blog on betway.com.

“There is a window in September after the England v India Test series has finished. All the best Indian players would already be there and all of the best English players would be available as well,” added the South African-born English player who was commentating at the IPL.

“Mid-to-late September is the most beautiful time in the UK. They could use Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and the two London grounds… There is also a good chance that crowds will be allowed in the grounds and there will be great atmospheres,” he further added.

“I have played internationals against India – one in particular in a World T20 against India at Lord’s – when it has felt like an away game because of how well Indian cricket is supported in the UK.”

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Mike Hussey and Balaji air-lifted to Chennai, put in isolation

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Mike Hussey and Lakshmipathy Balaji, the Covid-19 affected members of Chennai Super Kings’ coaching staff, have been flown to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance by their franchise and kept in isolation at a hotel in the city.

An official on Thursday told IANS, “They have been flown to Chennai in an air ambulance and have been kept at the Taj Club House in isolation.”

Both Hussey and Balaji had tested positive and were left behind as the rest of the team members, who reported negative tests, flew to Chennai soon after the Indian Premier League (IPL) was suspended on Tuesday.

While Balaji will then leave for home, Hussey will most probably be flown on a chartered plane to Maldives and stay there for a while before departing to Australia.

All of Hussey’s fellow Australians, who were part of the Indian Premier League — players, members of the coaching staff, commentators and other support staff — left for Maldives on Thursday morning.

They will do a two-week long quarantine before leaving for Australia.

The Australian government has banned flights from India till May 15.

After three Aussie players — Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye — had left for Australia earlier during the tournament after getting an inkling that the government would ban flights, commentator Michael Slater and umpire Paul Reiffel tried to leave but couldn’t since the ban was already underway.

Slater later escaped to the Maldives where the rest of the Aussies joined him.

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