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Scotland’s bowlers surprise the West Indies in a big way.



Scotland Team

West Indies, the defending T20 World Cup winners, were shocked by Scotland in Group B’s opening encounter in Hobart. George Munsey, Scotland’s opening batsman, held their innings together and hit 66 off 53 to help them reach 160. In the bowling department, Scotland relied on their slower bowlers to restrict West Indies to 118 all out and send them home with a 42-run loss.

After Namibia defeated Sri Lanka on the first day, a Full-Member team has lost to an Associate nation twice in two days.

West Indies had a great start to their chase, reaching 53 for 1 in 5.4 overs, but lost their next seven wickets for 26 runs. Left-arm spinner Mark Watt produced a piercing and cost-effective performance, finishing with 3 for 12 in his four overs. With the dismissals of Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell, offspinner Michael Leask also established a grip, while right-arm seamer Brad Wheal secured significant breakthroughs at the top and later in his return stint.

With games against Ireland and Zimbabwe coming up, West Indies are under pressure as a result of the setback. Scotland, on the other hand, will be hoping to build on their convincing victory and will aim for a second straight Super 12 berth in the T20 World Cup.

Watt, Leask open West Indies’ wounds

While trying to play their strokes in a chase of 161, many of West Indies’ top hitters stumbled due to the pitch’s lack of real difficulty. After smashing a four and a six, Kyle Mayers was the first to fall, caught at deep midwicket while attempting a huge shot. The rest of the powerplay was positive for Evin Lewis and Brandon King, but Lewis died when his pull hit the lone fielder on the leg side boundary.

The sky had already begun to get gloomy. After the powerplay, Watt, who had started the bowling, returned. However, the DLS sheet was the main focus of both his and the captain Richie Berrington’s attention. At that moment, Scotland was only barely ahead, but when King was bowled while attempting to cut Watt off the back foot, the situation changed. West Indies were trying to press the action, and in doing so, hampered their own game since rain never came in the second innings even though Scotland was now significantly ahead of the DLS.

After Pooran missed a pull shot, Leask got him bowled for 5 from close to the stumps. Powell quickly came after, holing to long-on. After 12 overs, West Indies were reeling at 77 for 6 when Shamarh Brooks was caught attempting to heave a back-of-a-length delivery to the lone boundary rider on the leg side.

Team Scotland Celebrating

After a mix-up, Akeal Hosein was then sent outside. After Watt forced a nick from Alzarri Joseph for a first-ball duck to reduce West Indies to 79 for 8, the outcome seemed inevitable.

With his 33-ball 38, Jason Holder, the team’s No. 7, did help West Indies preserve face by pushing the score above 100. He was the final man to leave the field in the 19th over, caught at long-off by Chris Greaves, which led to a calm and collected victory celebration from the Scotland team.

Munsey holds Scotland’s fort

Pooran requested that Scotland bat during the toss. The West Indies skipper stated that he intended to utilise the moisture on a brand-new pitch first before tossing the new ball to left-arm spinner Hosein and medium-pacer Mayers.

Before play was halted for 45 minutes by rain, Munsey and opening partner Michael Jones quickly racked up a wicketless 52 runs in 5.3 overs. During the opening salvo, Munsey in especially engaged Mayers and Joseph, utilising his wrists to pelt the leg side with fours or bending in to drive over the covers.

However, Scotland was slowed down by a modified bowling plan as well as a sluggish outfield following the rain. After the powerplay, Holder took the opening wicket and added the scalp of Matthew Cross to make it two. On the opposite side, Hosein and Joseph overcame their first periods, with Joseph eliminating Riche Berrington for 16 points.

Scotland seemed to be losing momentum as the designated batter Munsey was having trouble finding the boundaries due to the dispersed field, but Calum MacLeod added some spice with four fours in his 14-ball cameo of 23. Munsey, on the other end, took 43 balls to reach fifty in the 17th over.

At that point, Scotland appeared to be headed for a score below 150, a significant drop from where they had been following the powerplay.


1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy




1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli's Cricket Legacy

On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.

Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs

Virat Kohli celebrating 1000 Runs in ODIs with a jump on the field

Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.

An Unforgettable Journey

In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.

Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets




Shah Afridi celebrating a wicket

Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.

A Landmark Moment

In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.

Surpassing Preceding Records

Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Legacy of Excellence

Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.

Beyond ODIs

Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

A Testament to Talent and Dedication

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.

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ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’




Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistani fast bowler

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah laughing together on the field

India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation

In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.

The Indian cricket team is standing for the national anthem at the ICC World Cup

India’s Path to World Cup Glory

Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.

Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism

Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.

Virat Kohli gives a hand gesture on the field during a match

Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli

Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.

In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.

In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.

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