Sport Sports

Australia’s Cummins Backs Squad Changes

The T20I series began just 4 days after the World Cup final in Ahmedabad. It was understandable that Australia rested most of their World Cup stars for the series opener in Visakhapatnam….reports Asian Lite News

Australia skipper Pat Cummins has welcomed Cricket Australia’s decision to pull back World Cup-winning players ahead of the third T20I against India saying, ‘players needed some time off the game’.

Seven members of the World Cup-winning team stayed back in India for a five-match T20I series against Indian side, led by Suryakumar Yadav. Surprisingly India fielded only 3 players from their World Cup squad. Suryakumar is leading the side in the T20I series while Ishan Kishan and Prasidh Krishna are the other two players.

The T20I series began just 4 days after the World Cup final in Ahmedabad. It was understandable that Australia rested most of their World Cup stars for the series opener in Visakhapatnam.

However, Australia on Tuesday confirmed changes to the T20 squad ahead of the third T20I match against India as Steve Smith, Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell, Sean Abbott, Josh Inglis, and Marcus Stonis set to head home.

“I don’t (begrudge them). It’s been a pretty busy few months. These are still games for Australia and it’s great that these tours do provide opportunities for some of the younger guys or guys who might not be in the first XI. I think these are important tours and you can get a lot out of them,” said Cummins as quoted by Fox Cricket.

“But they’re humans. They’re not robots. Putting everything into a World Cup and then playing a few days later,” he added.

Wicket-keeper batter Josh Phillippe and Ben McDermott have already joined the squad and are available for the third T20. Ben Dwarshuis and spinner Chris Green will join the squad in Raipur ahead of the fourth match.

Australia are scheduled to play 10 T20 internationals (plus any warm-up matches yet to be confirmed) before next year’s T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean.

Australia face a must-win game against India on Tuesday to remain in the series as after slipping to defeat in the opening two matches.

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Sport Sports UAE News

Abu Dhabi T10: New Leaders, Fresh Aspirations

The seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 will take place between November 28 – December 9….reports Asian Lite News

Abu Dhabi T10 announced the captains for the seventh season in a press conference held in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, here on Monday.

The seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 will take place between November 28 – December 9.

West Indies heavy hitter Nicholas Pooran, who led Deccan Gladiators to a title win in the previous edition has been retained as a captain by the defending champions. Meanwhile, the runners-up of last season New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army will also continue with veteran allrounders Kieron Pollard and Moeen Ali as Captains, respectively.

The remaining teams made a change in leadership as Sikandar Raza handed over the reins for the Chennai Braves to Charith Asalanka, whilst Northern Warriors named Angelo Mathews as captain, and Delhi Bulls named Rovman Powell as skipper for the season. Team Abu Dhabi picked Dwaine Pretorius to lead the side whilst Bangla Tigers made a surprise pick in Benny Howell as captain.

All the Captains, in attendance at the Press Conference made their intentions clear for the season. Pooran, who was also the highest run-scorer of the last season with 345 runs in 10 matches at an average of 49.29 and a strike rate of 234.69, said that he wishes to win the record third title for Gladiators this season.

“It was a good season for me the last time around, and I was happy to contribute to the team’s success, not only as Captain but also as a batsman. Our target this year is to retain the trophy and we will continue to play the kind of cricket we like to play. It would be an honour for me to lead Gladiators to a record third title this time around. I am ready to take up any role the team wants me to,” Pooran said.

Presently, Gladiators and Northern Warriors are the only two teams to have won two titles. The Warriors have made a strong choice in Mathews as skipper, who has been one of the most successful Captains for Sri Lanka in international cricket.

“I am grateful to be considered to lead Northern Warriors, a franchise that has already achieved massive success in this league. Warriors have already won two trophies and I would love to bring the trophy back to the team so that we all can script history together. This is an exciting format, and the fans can expect big things from our side in the 7th season,” Mathews said.

Meanwhile, Strikers and Morrisville will look to use Pollard and Moeen’s familiarity with the format once again to boost their chances of getting their hands on the trophy. Pollard said he wants to finish the job this season.

ALSO READ: Hardik Back Home

India News Sport Sports

Hardik Back Home

At Mumbai, Hardik will be re-united with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and other members in IPL 2024, which marks his homecoming to the team where he rose to prominence in the cricketing world…reports Asian Lite News

A day after IPL 2024 retentions deadline ended, Gujarat Titans’ captain Hardik Pandya has made a move to his first IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, following a trade between the two franchises.

In an official statement, the tournament also said MI has traded Australia all-rounder Cameron Green to Royal Challengers Bangalore, with both trades carried out as per the existing player fees.

Sources had been saying to IANS for the last few days that trades involving Hardik and Green were likely to happen even though they didn’t materialise before the IPL 2024 retentions deadline ended at 5pm on Sunday, November 26. It is to be noted that trade window is open till December 12, a week before the IPL auctions happen in Dubai on December 19.

Hardik led Gujarat to the IPL title in 2022 in their debut season, and was the Player of the Match in the final against Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. In 2023, Gujarat made the IPL final for the second time in as many seasons, where they finished runners up to Chennai Super Kings.

“As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one TATA IPL championship and one appearance in the final. He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” said Vikram Solanki, Director of Cricket, GT.

In both seasons, under Hardik’s leadership, Gujarat had topped the points table in the league stage. But it was at Mumbai, where Hardik began his IPL career from in 2015, at INR 10 lakhs. From an uncapped player, Hardik rose to be Mumbai’s vital cog in the wheel as a fast-bowling all-rounder.

“Seeing Hardik back at Mumbai Indians makes me very happy. It is a happy homecoming. He provides great balance to any team he plays. Hardik’s first stint with the MI family was hugely successful, and we hope he achieves even more success in his second stint,” said Akash Ambani, owner of Mumbai Indians.

He also earned an India cap across all formats and was a member of their IPL title-winning seasons in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Hardik was released by Mumbai ahead of IPL 2022 mega auctions, and was taken in by Gujarat for INR 15 crores, where he spent two seasons.

In his stint with Gujarat, Hardik amassed 833 runs in 30 innings, with an average of 41.65 and strike rate of 133.49, hitting six half-centuries. He also took 11 wickets for the franchise at an economy rate of 8.1.

At Mumbai, Hardik will be re-united with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and other members in IPL 2024, which marks his homecoming to the team where he rose to prominence in the cricketing world.

Hardik now becomes the third IPL captain to be traded after Ravichandran Ashwin moved from Punjab Kings to Delhi Capitals, and Rajasthan Royals traded Ajinkya Rahane also to Delhi in 2020.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hardik back home! It’s a heartwarming reunion with our Mumbai Indians family! From being a young scouted talent of Mumbai Indians to now being a team India star, Hardik has come a long way and we’re excited for what the future holds for him and Mumbai Indians!” said Nita M Ambani, owner of Mumbai Indians.

On the other hand, Green, who was bought for a whopping INR 17.5 crores at the IPL auction in December last year, featured in 16 matches for Mumbai. The Australian had an impressive start to the IPL, hitting an unbeaten century and two half-centuries while also taking six wickets as Mumbai’s campaign ended in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023.

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Kerala Sport Sports

Blasters FC Clinch Top ISL Spot with 1-0 Victory Over Hyderabad

The resounding support that Kerala Blasters receive in Kochi was visible and how, when Drinčić tapped in an assist by Adrian Luna four minutes before the halftime break…reports Asian Lite News

Kerala Blasters FC progressed to the top of the points table with a narrow 1-0 victory against Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here to round off the Saturday double header of Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24.

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic recently stated that the Tuskers have an obligation towards their home fans to give their hundred per cent and more every time they step onto the field in Kochi. It’s safe to say that the players lived up to those expectations in this faceoff against Hyderabad FC, with a goal in the 41st minute by Milos Drincic helping them bag all points possible from their first fixture after the international break.

The resounding support that Kerala Blasters receive in Kochi was visible and how, when Drinčić tapped in an assist by Adrian Luna four minutes before the halftime break. The home side had won a corner, and they overloaded players upfront to find a breakthrough past the Hyderabad FC backline. Luna received a through ball inside the 18-yard box and he was quick to spot an onrushing Drincic. The 24-year-old Montenegrin defender put the ball into the back of the net and helped Kerala Blasters head into the halftime high on confidence.

Hyderabad FC are dealing with challenges in their frontline this season, having scored only four times in seven matches this season now. Their major concerns come across in finishing off moves, as they went toe to toe in giving Kerala Blasters a run for their money even after trailing in the proceedings.

Jonathan Moya had a fantastic opportunity to get them ahead in the game even before Drincic’s strike. At the tip of the attacking unit, Moya was responsible for efficiently optimising the opportunities that Hyderabad created. However, his headed effort failed to even test Sachin Suresh.

Unfortunately for them, no concrete chances came their way afterwards, with Kerala Blasters nearing doubling the lead. Drincic had an opening to bag a brace after his strike, but that effort did not materialise. However, Vukomanovic will be pleased with the effort that Luna put in as well. Arguably the most impactful individual in the league thus far, the Uruguayan again notched a decisive assist as his team continues to rally behind the relentless efforts he keeps putting in one game after another.

Kerala Blasters will next host Chennaiyin FC on November 29 whereas Hyderabad FC will be squaring off against the Mohun Bagan Super Giant at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar for their upcoming match on December 2.

Adrian Luna Clinches ISL Player of the Month for October

Kerala Blasters FC captain Adrian Luna has won the Indian Super League (ISL) Player of the Month award for October 2023, a prize which is given to the best player in the ISL every month.

The voting criteria involve fans’ votes, which contribute to 50 per cent of the total vote share, while the remaining 50 per cent comes from expert votes. Luna secured the award based on fans’ votes cast between 3 PM IST on November 22 and 3 PM IST on November 24. He secured all 10 votes from the experts while acquiring 80 per cent fan votes, taking his total percentage to 90 per dent, reports ISL.

The 31-year-old midfielder triumphed over stiff competition from teammate Sachin Suresh, Jay Gupta of FC Goa, and Rehenesh TP of Jamshedpur FC.

Kerala Blasters FC engaged in four matches in October, securing victories in two, drawing one, and experiencing a loss in the other. Luna’s exceptional performance throughout the month, which encompassed two goals and one assist, earned him well-deserved recognition.

The Uruguayan has been a key figure for the Blasters so far this season, playing a crucial role in orchestrating attacks. His versatility is evident as he created 12 chances and demonstrated physical prowess, winning 32 possessions and 23 duels.

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‘When you play for the country, you forget everything’

Shami stands out as the top bowler in the tournament, securing 24 wickets in eight games, including three remarkable five-wicket hauls. His journey since 2015 is likened to a captivating movie script…reports Asian Lite News

Mohammed Shami, the leading wicket-taker of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 with 24 wickets yet again set the tone in the final against Australia with a fiery start, claiming David Warner on his very first ball. But despite this promising beginning, India couldn’t seize the moment as they got beaten by Australia in the final.

Team India’s dream run came to an end with a billion heartbreaks as Australia clinched their sixth title by securing a six-wicket victory in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Emerging as the most impressive bowler in the tournament with 24 wickets from eight games, including three impressive fifers, Shami’s journey since 2015 has been nothing short of a movie script.

Shami opened up about various facets of his difficult yet impressive cricketing journey, right from scoring a century as an opener in his first leather ball match, earning money through cricket for the first time at around 16 years of age, overcoming personal challenges bravely, creating an old-school training set-up at a farmhouse, to maiden India call-up and many more.

“Nobody knew the pain I was dealing with (during the 2015 edition),” Shami said in an interview.

“I had swelling in my knee before the 2015 tournament. Someone else could have said no but I have the ability to bear pain and I was told two options—either directly go for surgery or play the tournament and then go for the surgery. While the team would return to the hotel after every match, I would go to the hospital to take the injection. When you play for the country, you forget everything,“ shared Shami.

Shami in an interview with Puma also talked about the comeback and journey that has been a dream run for him after he underwent a knee operation.

“I was unconscious for two hours. When I woke up, I asked the doctor when I could start playing. He replied, ‘It will be a big achievement if you walk without a limp, forget playing. It all depends on how you go about your rehab,” Shami said.

Shami has not looked back since.

His comeback journey has been visibly inspirational. He not only surpassed the likes of bowling greats to become the highest wicket-taker for the country surpassing Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath in the world’s biggest cricket tournament with 55 wickets from 18 matches, but also created history earlier in the semi-finals when he registered India’s best ODI bowling figures of 7-57.

“Generally, bowlers check the pitch after arriving at the ground. I never go close to the wicket because you will know how it behaves only when you bowl on it. Then why take the pressure? It’s best to keep it simple, keep yourself relaxed and only then you will perform better,” said Shami, as he also revealed that he doesn’t follow any pre-match ritual.

Kohli Third, Gill Holds Ground in Rankings

Following an impressive display at the ODI World Cup, India batter Virat Kohli gained ground in the latest update to the ODI Player Rankings, moving up one spot to third. Meanwhile, his teammate Shubman Gill maintained his position at the top.

Kohli scored a tournament-best 765 runs during the recent ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and that helped the right-hander jumped to third and within just 35 rating points of Gill, who remained on top of the batting chart.

Gill maintains a grip on the top spot with 826 rating points, narrowly ahead of Pakistan’s skipper, Babar Azam, who holds onto second place with 824 points. However, Kohli (791 points) and India’s skipper, Rohit Sharma (now in fourth place with 769 points, climbing one spot), are closing in after impressive displays in the World Cup.

Kohli reached triple figures on three occasions at the World Cup to break the record of former teammate Sachin Tendulkar for most ODI centuries, while Rohit smashed 597 runs as the India duo finished the tournament as the two leading run scorers.

Kohli famously held the No.1 ranking for a total of 1258 consecutive days during a reign of almost four years between 2017 and 2021, with Babar spending the majority of time in the premier position in recent years until Gill claimed top billing during the World Cup.

The rise of the India duo means South Africa opener Quinton de Kock drops two spots to fifth on the ODI batter rankings, with New Zealand right-hander Daryl Mitchell rising five spots to sixth on the back of his 552 runs at the World Cup.

The most notable mover is Australian opener Travis Head, who surged an impressive 28 places to reach 15th overall following his outstanding century and Player of the Match display in the World Cup final.

In the bowling chart, South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj remains on top, with India pair Mohammed Siraj (third) and Jasprit Bumrah (fourth) remain firmly nestled within the top 10 for ODI bowlers, while teammate Kuldeep Yadav drops one spot to equal sixth

A host of Australia players making some good ground after their successful World Cup campaign.

Experienced seamer Josh Hazlewood rises four places to second overall, fellow quick Mitchell Starc jumps eight spots to 12th, while skipper Pat Cummins improves seven rungs to 27th.

There isn’t much change inside the top 10 of the ODI rankings for all-rounders at the completion of the World Cup, with Bangladesh veteran Shakib Al Hasan maintaining a healthy lead at the head of proceedings. New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner drops two spots to seventh and Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan Miraz rises two places to ninth.

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Indian Powerhouses Dominate ODI WC Dream XI

Named in the Team of the Tournament for the second straight time in a 50-over World Cup, Rohit was instrumental in setting the tone at the top of the order for India…reports Asian Lite News

India skipper Rohit Sharma, talismanic batter Virat Kohli, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul, spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, fast-bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been included in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup team of the tournament.

Though India finished as runners-up in the tournament, after its unbeaten ten-match winning streak came to an end with a six-wicket defeat to Australia in the final at Ahmedabad, six players from the team made it to the team of the tournament, including Kohli, the leading run-scorer and Player of the Tournament, as well as leading wicket-taker Shami.

Named in the Team of the Tournament for the second straight time in a 50-over World Cup, Rohit was instrumental in setting the tone at the top of the order for India. After a duck against Australia in Chennai, Sharma was unstoppable with a blistering 131 from just 84 balls to win the Player of the Match award against Afghanistan.

He backed that by top-scoring with 86 in a vital win over fierce rivals Pakistan, and passed 40 on all but one occasion thereafter, including in the final against Australia, setting the base for India to get big totals or ace chases.

Kohli hit a staggering 765 runs at an average of 95.62, shattering the previous record held by Sachin Tendulkar, who amassed 673 runs during the 2003 edition. Kohli’s best performance came in the semi-final win over New Zealand as his 117 and third tournament century, also his 50th ODI ton and surpassing Tendulkar, steered India to its first final in 12 years.

Rahul chipped with several key knocks throughout the tournament, like an unbeaten 97 in Chennai, as well as a hundred in a routine win over the Netherlands at his home ground in Bengaluru. He top scored for India in the final with 66 but it proved in vain as the hosts were denied by an inspired Australia side.

Jadeja impressed with the ball, most notably against South Africa when he became only the second Indian spinner after Yuvraj Singh to take a five-wicket haul in ODI World Cups. He made further history with two wickets against the Netherlands three days later, as he overtook Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble for the most wickets in a single World Cup by an Indian spinner.

Shami was a late addition to India’s playing eleven, but left a huge impact thereafter. He recorded the best figures of any bowler in a World Cup knockout game after his seven-for in the semi-final success over New Zealand. That performance helped Shami to the top of the wicket charts following mesmerising displays against New Zealand (5/54) and Sri Lanka (5/18).

Bumrah, just like Rohit, is included for the second World Cup running after taking 20 wickets, two more than his tally in 2019. Ever a threat with the new ball, Bumrah picked up the early wickets of Australia’s Mitchell Marsh and Steven Smith as India threatened to stage a dramatic fightback in the final.

Other players in the team of the tournament include all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who helped Australia get their sixth World Cup title on Sunday. New Zealand’s top-order batting all-rounder Daryl Mitchell, as well as Sri Lanka’s left-arm pacer Dilshan Madushanka find places too. South Africa’s recently retired wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock is also included, while young fast-bowler Gerald Coetzee is the 12th man.

2023 Men’s ODI World Cup Team of the Tournament: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Daryl Mitchell, KL Rahul, Glenn Maxwell, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Dilshan Madushanka, Adam Zampa and Mohammed Shami. 12th player: Gerald Coetzee

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Australia Sport Sports

Australia Edges South Africa, Awaits India Showdown

Keeping nearly 50,00 fans on the edge of their seats, South Africa’s spinners asked all sorts of questions but they failed to latch on their chances…reports Asian Lite News

Australia have set up a 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup title clash with India after beating South Africa by three wickets in a tense semi-final here at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Travis Head top-scored with 62, before Steven Smith (30), Josh Inglis (28), Mitchell Starc (16 not out) and captain Pat Cummins (14 not out) thwarted the valiant challenge from South Africa to march into their eighth Men’s ODI World Cup final, where they will take on India in a replay of the 2003 edition finale.

Keeping nearly 50,00 fans on the edge of their seats, South Africa’s spinners asked all sorts of questions but they failed to latch on their chances, along with some field placements which left a lot to be desired, leading to another semi-final heartbreak for them.

Australia’s efforts meant David Miller’s gritty century in the first innings went in vain, as Quinton de Kock’s ODI career came to an end. Chasing 213, Travis Head and David Warner were off to a flying start by hitting two boundaries each in the first four overs. The duo then took 15 runs off Marco Jansen in the fifth over, including two fours and a six, to keep Australia going.

Warner tore into Kagiso Rabada in the next over, hitting him for three sixes, included lapping him over backward square leg for six on the free-hit delivery. But Aiden Markram struck on his first ball of the night by castling Warner. Mitchell Marsh was sent back for a six-ball duck by Rabada as Rassie van der Dussen made a full dive to take a blinder of a catch.

Head had a reprieve when substitute Reeza Hendricks dropped his catch at deep point off Gerald Coetzee, who was hit for two fours by the left-handed batter. Head would get his fifty by pulling Coetzee for four and had another life when Heinrich Klassen couldn’t hang on to a tough chance at slip off Tabraiz Shamsi.

Keshav Maharaj, the top-ranked ODI bowler, struck on his very first ball by turning enough to castle Maharaj through the gate. Marnus Labuschagne survived an lbw appeal off Shamsi, but replays showed umpire’s call on impact despite ball hitting the stumps. It was Smith’s turn to get a reprieve when Quinton de Kock dropped a tough chance off Shamsi.

But Shamsi eventually got Labuschagne when the right-handed batter was trapped lbw on a reverse-sweep against a delivery which turned in sharply and review showed the ball was clipping leg stump. Shamsi came back to knock off Glenn Maxwell’s leg-stump with a quicker delivery, a dismissal which reminded many of the way Kuldeep Yadav took the batter out in Chennai.

Smith and Inglis hanged around to hit three boundaries between themselves, but the former after playing an uncharacteristic hoick on a short ball and was caught by de Kock off Coetzee. With his crouched stance and low backlift, Inglis hanged around with Starc before being castled by a straight delivery from Coetzee.

South Africa fought hard, but burnt their second review when Coetzee trapped Cummins in front of stumps, but replays showed ball pitching outside leg. There was more tension when Markram created a half-chance and dismissal chance, but Bavuma and de Kock couldn’t latch on to it. Starc whipped through mid-wicket off Jansen for four, before Cummins finished off the tense chase with a steer past backward point for a boundary.

Earlier, Miller stood tall with a fighting century, the first hundred by a South Africa batter in the Men’s ODI World Cup knockouts, to take the Proteas to 212. Electing to bat first under overcast skies, South Africa were rocked by Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc to be reduced to 24/4.

Miller then soaked in pressure and hanged around to make 101 off 116 balls, hitting eight fours and five sixes, getting a standing ovation from the crowd. Miller’s century is also the first ton by someone batting at number six or lower in a Men’s ODI World Cup knockout match.

He stitched a 95-run stand with Klassen and was severe on leg-spinner Adam Zampa, against whom he slammed all of his sixes in Thursday’s match. In the afternoon, Australia’s new ball pairing of Starc and Josh Hazlewood did the damage by swinging the ball both ways to leave South Africa in tatters. Captain Temba Bavuma, who was not at 100% fitness, edged behind for a four-ball duck off Starc in the opening over.

De Kock ran out of patience and went for a wild slog to break free, but he was caught brilliantly by a back-pedalling Cummins off Hazlewood. Markram edged to backward point off Starc while van der Dussen’s loose drive ended in the hands of second slip, as Australia were in driver’s seat straightaway.

Cummins was superb in keeping Starc and Hazlewood relentlessly, as well as ground fielding being impressive, kept two slips consistently to keep the pressure on – meaning South Africa took 52 balls to score their first boundary. South Africa were 44/4 in 14 overs before rain interrupted play for 35 minutes.

Post resumption, it appeared that the pitch has eased out. Miller landed opening punches by clearing his leg and smacking Zampa for a couple of sixes over mid-wicket fence. It was Klaasen’s turn to cash on against Zampa, pulling him twice over mid-wicket for two sixes, before Miller smacked a full-toss over the same region for another maximum.

Klaasen lofted and flat-batted Head for back-to-back fours, before the part-time spinner bounced back by castling the right-handed batter and had Jansen lbw the very next ball to put South Africa in trouble again. Miller brought up his fifty with a cut past point off Maxwell for four.

With Coetzee giving him some support, Miller peppered mid-wicket to down the ground arc with boundaries. The 53-run stand came to an end when Coetzee gloved a pull off Maxwell behind, only for replay to show it missed the glove.

After Maharaj toe-ended to mid-off, Miller pulled thrice, last of which went for six, to get him his hundred. But right after reaching three-figure mark, Miller pulled straight to mid-wicket off Cummins, before Rabada holed out to long-on to end South Africa’s innings at 212.

Brief Scores: South Africa 212 in 49.4 overs (David Miller 101, Heinrich Klaasen 47; Mitchell Starc 3-34, Pat Cummins 3-51) lost to Australia 215/7 in 47.2 overs (Travis Head 62, Steven Smith 30; Tabraiz Shamsi 2-42, Gerald Coetzee 2-47) by three wickets

ALSO READ: Kohli, Iyer Set The Stage, Shami Finishes With Flair

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Kohli, Iyer Set The Stage, Shami Finishes With Flair

Two-time winner India will next meet the winner of the second semifinal between Australia and South Africa, to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. The final will be played in Ahmedabad on Sunday (Nov 19) …reports Asian Lite News

Mohammed Shami claimed his third five-wicket haul of the tournament in a brilliant 7-57 after Virat Kohli struck a record-breaking 50th century in ODIs and Shreyas Iyer blasted a second successive century to help India defeat New Zealand by 70 runs and storm into the final of the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 on Wednesday.

In a semifinal clash replete with many twists and turns, Shami struck vital blows and claimed the first four wickets to fall as India overcame a valiant century by Daryl Mitchell (134), who added 181 runs for the third wicket with skipper Kane Williamson (69), to avenge their defeat at the same stage New Zealand four years back in 2019.

Shami, who came into the team after Hardik Pandya was injured and claimed 5-54 against New Zealand at Dharamsala and then picked 5-18 against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium here, struck when India needed the most, finishing with 7-57 in 9.5 overs.

After Kohli (117) broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most centuries in One-day cricket by scoring his 50th century and Shreyas Iyer (105) helped India post a massive 397/4 in 40 overs, Shami came to India’s rescue and inspired the team to bundle out New Zealand for 327 in 48.5 overs to script a memorable triumph.

Two-time winner India will next meet the winner of the second semifinal between Australia and South Africa, to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. The final will be played in Ahmedabad on Sunday (Nov 19).

Providing vital breakthroughs when India needed the most, Shami prised out openers Devon Conway (13) and Rachin Ravindra (13) to give India a good start. He returned to action to dismiss Kane Williamson (69) and Tom Latham (0) in one brilliant over to pull India back into the game after the New Zealand skipper and Daryl Mitchell had raised 183 runs for the third-wicket partnership.

Shami, who bowled in five spells, sent back Mitchell, Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson in the final few overs to complete his best haul in ODIs.

After Shami had accounted for both the openers, Williamson and Mitchell rebuilt New Zealand.

Both completed their half-centuries in quick succession — Mitchell reaching his fifty off 49 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes while Williamson reached the milestone off 58 deliveries, hitting five boundaries and one maximum.

Williamson and Mitchell reached 150 runs in their partnership and soon propelled New Zealand past the 200-run mark, off 182 balls. New Zealand scored 75 runs from 21 to 30 overs.

Shami again provided India the much-needed breakthrough when he claimed two wickets in three deliveries in the 33rd over (his fifth over of the day), giving away only 1 run.

He got Williamson holing out to Suryaklumar Yadav at deep square, just short of the boundary ropes. A ball later, Shami trapped Tom Latham (0) with one skid back to hit the front foot, New Zealand were down to 220/4 and the Indians had their tails up in the air.

With the packed Wankhede Stadium singing ‘Vande Mataram’ in one voice, the Indian bowlers went in search of more wickets, bowling some incisive overs. At the end of 35 overs, the Black Caps were 224/4 while at the same stage, India were 248/1.

Mitchell continued to hold the fort and got a willing partner in Glenn Phillips as they tried to repair the innings again. However, the going was slow and the run rate kept mounting.

In the 41st over, Siraj conceded 20 runs with Glenn Phillips carting him for two big sixes off successive deliveries. A wide ball later, Phillips struck him for a boundary at deep third and could have got another four if Shubman Gill had not pulled off a fine save in the deep.

With New Zealand needing 103 runs off 44 balls, Bumrah struck a vital blow when he sent back Phillips, who holed out to Ravindra Jadeja left off wide long-on. Mark Chapman (2 off 5) tried to look for a boundary and was caught by Jadeja off Kuldeep Yadav as New Zealand slumped to 298/5, needing 100 runs in 37 deliveries.

Mitchell’s vigil came to an end in the 46th over for 134 runs, caught by Jadeja off Mohd Shami, giving him his third five-wicket haul in this World Cup and the writing was clear on the wall.

Earlier, Kohli set the record for the most centuries in One-Day cricket and Shreyas Iyer hammered his second successive hundred as India put up a batting masterclass to reach 397/4 in 50 overs.

Kohli, who had joined Sachin Tendulkar on 49 centuries in the match against South Africa around 10 days back, scored his 50th hundred with the Little Maestro watching and applauding from the stands. Kohli thus took his total for this World Cup to 711 runs in 10 innings at an average of 101.57.

With the slow and dry pitch looking conducive to batting, the Indian batters made most of their chances after Rohit Sharma had elected to bat first.

Iyer, who scored 128 not out against the Netherlands in India’s last league match in Bengaluru, took the cake by scoring a second century in a row, blasting eight sixes in his 70-ball 105 and helping India put up a massive score.

Skipper Rohit Sharma gave India a good opening, starting in whirlwind fashion as he has done so far in this World Cup. He took the attack to the New Zealand pacers — Trent Boult and Tim Southee, as he hammered four boundaries and four maximums in his 29-ball 47.

Gill took up the mantle of scoring, hitting seven superb boundaries — a couple of pulls off Lockie Ferguson catching attention as the young opener raced to his third half-century in four innings.

Gill and Kohli raised 93 runs for the second wicket before the opener walked off to the pavilion with 79 off 65 balls, and retired hurt because of severe cramps.

Shreyas Iyer joined Kohli in the middle but the rate of scoring did not slag.

Kohli, who survived a close DRS review for lbw off Southee in the 9th over as Snicko showed a small spike as the ball went past the bat, played as he has done throughout this World Cup, starting cautiously and punishing the bad balls. He completed his fifty off 59 balls, hitting four boundaries.

He continued in the same vein as he marched to his 50th century off 106 balls, hitting eight boundaries and one six to edge past Sachin Tendulkar to become the batter to score most centuries in One-Day Internationals. He reached the landmark with a double off Ferguson in the 42nd over.

With Tendulkar applauding from the stands, Kohli ran halfway to the boundary, leapt into the air and then sunk onto his knees, acknowledging the wild cheers and clapping from the dressing room.

Kohli, who struck a boundary off Ferguson soon after reaching the hundred, got a life when Phillips dropped a catch at deep midwicket off Southee when on 107. He rubbed salt into the wound by hoicking it over Phillips for a six. However, the former India captain did not last long as he got out two balls later, stepping out to attempt another big one but managing to shovel the slower ball to Devon Conway at deep square leg.

Kohli and Iyer added 163 runs for the second wicket as India went past the 300 runs mark.

Iyer, who blazed to his fifty off 35 deliveries, hitting two fours and four sixes, hammered Rachin Ravindra for a six and a four off successive balls in the 27th over and heaved Southee over wide long-on for another six. He took quite a liking to Ravindra’s gentle spinners as he smacked him for three more sixes. He completed his century off 67 balls, hitting three fours and eight sixes.

Iyer and KL Rahul raised 50 runs for the third wicket partnership as India went past the 350 runs mark. Iyer was out, caught by Daryl Mitchell off Boult, his 105 coming off just 70 deliveries. KL Rahul remained unbeaten on 39 as India posted a massive total.

Brief scores:

India 397/4 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 117, Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 80 not out; Rohit Sharma 47; KL Rahul 39 not out; Tim Southee 3-100) beat New Zealand 327 all out in 48.5 overs (Kane Williamson 69, Daryl Mitchell 134, Glenn Phillips 41; Mohammed Shami 7-57) by 70 runs.

ALSO READ: Shami’s Seven Sensation

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Shami’s Seven Sensation

Shami is now the highest wicket-taker in this World Cup with 23 wickets in six just matches, overtaking Adam Zampa of Australia at the top…reports Asian Lite News

While the world swears by variations in bowling to do the trick, India pacer Mohammed Shami still believes in pitching it up and getting wickets with the new ball as he came up with a brilliant 7-57 to help India beat New Zealand and storm into the final of the ICC men’s ODI World Cup on Wednesday.

On a Wankhede pitch that was slow, dry and conducive for batting despite providing seam and swing early and sharp turn later, Shami provided India early breakthrough by claiming both the openers.

Player of the Match Shami, who came into the playing XI after Hardik Pandya got injured in India’s fourth match against Bangladesh, then came back to break the 163-run partnership between Kane Williamson (69) and Daryl Mitchell (134) to claim two wickets in an over to help India fight back.

“I was waiting for my chances. I didn’t play a lot of white-ball cricket. My return started against New Zealand [in Dharamsala]. We talk a lot of variations, but I still believe in pitching it up and getting wickets with the new ball,” Shami said in the post-match press conference on Wednesday.

Shami is now the highest wicket-taker in this World Cup with 23 wickets in six just matches, overtaking Adam Zampa of Australia at the top.

Shami’s third five-wicket haul in this tournament helped India reach the World Cup final after failing to cross the semis hurdle in the 2015 and 2019 editions.

“It feels amazing [this kind of performance]. Last two World Cups, we lost [in the semifinals]. Who knows when or if we’ll get a chance, so we wanted to do everything for this, one chance we didn’t want to let go,” he added.

He said though the wicket was good for batting, it also helped the bowlers as the usual dew was not there.

“The wicket was very good, lots of runs were scored in the afternoon. There was some fear of dew, the grass had been shaved off from the wicket. If dew was there, it skids on and there’s a chance runs could’ve been made,” he added.

ALSO READ-Men In Blue to End World Cup Jinx

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Men In Blue to End World Cup Jinx

India has never beaten New Zealand in a knockout match in white-ball cricket. If one adds the World Test Championship defeat in the final of the 2019-21 edition at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, the jinx runs deeper…reports Asian Lite News

The cricket world has tagged the South Africa men’s cricket team as chokers while New Zealand have been the eternal underdogs. But when it comes to white-ball cricket events conducted by ICC, New Zealand have quite a formidable record.

The Black Caps have reached the semifinals of nine out of the 13 Men’s ODI World Cups and four times in the T20 World Cup. However, they are yet to win any of the two titles. New Zealand have finished runner-up twice in the 50-over events (2015, 2019) and once in T20 but are yet to be crowned champions.

However, there is one team that they have dominated when it comes to the knockout stages of ICC events. New Zealand has never lost to India in the knockout stages matches of the Men’s ODI World Cup.

India had not beaten New Zealand in any ICC match since 2003 but that jinx was broken when Rohit Sharma’s side overcame New Zealand in a closely-contested match at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCL) Stadium in Dharamsala a couple of weeks back.

In 10 matches in the 50-over World Cup, New Zealand won five while India won four and one match ended in a no result. Overall in while-ball matches in ICC tournaments, India and New Zealand have met on 14 occasions with the Black Caps winning nine of them while India won four, with one no-result.

India has never beaten New Zealand in a knockout match in white-ball cricket. If one adds the World Test Championship defeat in the final of the 2019-21 edition at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, the jinx runs deeper.

The most disappointing defeat from India’s standpoint was the 18-run defeat to New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.

In a rain-interrupted semifinal that was played over two days, New Zealand were restricted to 239/8 in 50 overs thanks to half-centuries by skipper Kane Williams (67) and Ross Taylor (74). For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed 3-43.

Chasing 240 at Old Trafford in Manchester, India were in deep trouble when they lost three wickets for five runs with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and K.L Rahul back in the pavilion. It became 24/4 when Dinesh Karthik got out and 71/5 when Rishabh Pant was sent back after a 58-ball 32. Ravindra Jadeja (77) and M.S Dhoni (50) nearly pulled off an improbable-looking win for India before the India captain was tragically run out in the 49th over. India eventually lost the match by 18 runs.

India’s jinx against New Zealand had started in the first World Cup in 1975 when they lost by four wickets at Manchester. In the next edition, the defeat margin was eight wickets when India lost to the Black Caps in Leeds. India won the next two encounters in the 1987 editions — by 16 runs in Bangalore and Nagpur in the league stage in which teams played each other twice.

New Zealand were the co-host of the 1992 edition with Australia and scripted a four-wicket win in Dunedin. In 1999, India lost by five wickets in Nottingham and though India won by 7 wickets in Centurion in the 2003 edition, that was their last win and though India did not play New Zealand in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions, the Black Caps got the better of India in the 2007 and 2016 editions of the T20 World Cup.

In 2019, their preliminary league clash produced no result but New Zealand made the most of their chances in the all-crucial semifinal clash to dash India’s hopes of reaching the final.

Now that the two teams are set to meet again in the World Cup semifinal, India will be hoping to end the knockout stages jinx too when they take on Kane Williamson’s Black Caps at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said history, especially the result of the 2019 semifinal, does not have much role to play as things are different.

Yeah, I mean I think the game will be a little bit different. It might be played over one day rather than two, looking at the weather, but at the same time teams work hard to get to this stage, they have to play a lot of good cricket within the format or the structure of the tournament to get here over such a long period of time. It’s a great occasion and it’s on the day. Both teams are looking to play their best cricket and compete in the best way that they can,” said Williamson.

The Indians are unbeaten in nine matches in the 2023 edition and have pulled off some crucial wins. New Zealand just scrapped through to the semis as the fourth and last team. On current form, India are the favourites. But as we have seen in the past, anything can happen on a given day when these two teams clash, whatever the format of the game.

ALSO READ: Semifinal Battle: India vs. New Zealand – A SWOT Insight