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All-round Ravindra Jadeja leads Chennai into IPL final



(Last Updated On: May 24, 2023)

Ravindra Jadeja starred with bat and ball as Chennai Super Kings beat holders Gujarat Titans by 15 runs on Tuesday to enter the Indian Premier League final that could be skipper M.S. Dhoni’s farewell.

Four-time winners Chennai posted 172-7, a total their bowlers defended as they bowled out Gujarat for 157 in a play-off believed to be the last home match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium for the 41-year-old Dhoni, AFP reported.

The left-handed Jadeja returned figures of 2-18 with his spin bowling following his 22 runs, which boosted the Chennai total after Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 60 on an awkward pitch for batting.

Fireworks lit up the sky as Chennai made their 10th Indian Premier League final.

Gujarat, led by Hardik Pandya, will have another shot at making the final, which is on Sunday in Ahmedabad, when they take on the winner of the second play-off between Lucknow Super Giants and five-time champions Mumbai Indians.

The spotlight remained on Dhoni, who is India’s most decorated player, leading his country to two World Cup triumphs including the inaugural T20 crown in 2007 and has played mentor to younger heroes including Virat Kohli.

Believed to be playing his last IPL as a player, Dhoni has attracted huge crowds across venues with fans turning up in Chennai’s yellow as a tribute to the cricketing great.

His home venue was nearly packed to capacity as fans cheered every move of their hero, who raised the noise when he came into bat.

But the crowd soon fell silent as the superstar, who has been troubled with a knee injury in this season but has not explicitly said he is retiring, fell to Mohit Sharma for one off two balls.

Earlier Gaikwad registered his fourth half-century of the season as he capitalized on a reprieve on two when he was dismissed in the second over only for the delivery to be called no-ball.

He hit back with a six and four and soon converted Chennai’s modest start to a strong opening stand of 87 with New Zealand’s Devon Conway, who made 40.

Chennai wobbled after Gaikwad’s departure but Jadeja’s 16-ball cameo, which included two sixes, and one hit over the fence by England’s Moeen Ali in the final over fired Chennai to what turned out to be a winning total.

Shubman Gill attempted to drive Gujarat’s chase with his 42 but the rest of the batting faltered.

Fast bowler Deepak Chahar, who took down Gill, and the Sri Lankan duo of Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana also took two wickets each.

Rashid Khan attempted to pull out a rabbit in his 16-ball 30 but fell in the 19th over and Pathirana sealed the deal on the final ball.



Gurbaz included in Afghanistan’s squad for one-off test against Ireland



(Last Updated On: February 26, 2024)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced the nation’s squad for the one-off test match against Ireland that is scheduled to be played from February 28 to March 3 at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been added to the test squad and is expected to be a potential debutant for Afghanistan against Ireland. In addition, a right-arm leg-spinner, Khalil Gurbaz, is expected to provide his leg-break bowling services.

Fast Bowler Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai has also been recalled to the squad after featuring in the Afghanistan squad for the Bangladesh tour in June last year. Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Saleem Safi who were part of Afghanistan’s squad for the Sri Lanka test earlier this month, miss out on the selection due to injuries.

ACB CEO Naseeb Khan stated that Afghanistan carries a rich playing history against Ireland over the past 15 years.

“We have quite a good playing history with Ireland, both countries have played plenty of cricket against each other and have been granted ICC Full Membership at the same time. This will be our second test against them and we are eagerly looking forward to what will be an exciting test match between the two team,” he said.

“We will also be playing tests against Bangladesh, New Zealand (for the first time) and Zimbabwe later in the year, so we are looking forward to building a formidable lineup for the test matches ahead.”

Ahmad Shah Sulimankhil, ACB’s interim Chief Selector said: “The team underwent a 10-day conditioning camp in Abu Dhabi, which featured 22 players and all the support staff to work with the players and ensure full preparation for the series. We have thoroughly monitored the proceedings and have picked the squad which includes several new faces who have excelled well during the recent domestic events.”

Afghanistan Squad for the one-off test against Ireland: Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Rahmat Shah (VC), Ikram Alikhail (WK), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Abdul Malik, Baheer Shah, Nasir Jamal, Karim Janat, Khalil Gurbaz, Zahir Khan, Zia Ur Rehman Akbar, Nijat Masoud, Ibrahim Abdulrahimzai and Naveed Zadran.

This will be Afghanistan’s 9th overall test match and second against Ireland. The one-off test match against Ireland will be followed by 5 more test matches this year, including a two-test home series against Bangladesh and a one-off home test against New Zealand. Afghanistan has previously won three test matches each against Ireland (2019), Bangladesh (2019), and Zimbabwe (2021).

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Sri Lanka captain suspended by ICC for abusing umpire during Afghanistan match



(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga has been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over abusing an on-field umpire during the third T20I against Afghanistan in Dambulla earlier this week.

Hasaranga has been slapped with a two-match suspension after his total demerit points reached five within the last 24-month period following his latest breach of the ICC Code of Conduct, for which he received a 50 per cent fine and three demerit points.

On Wednesday, Hasaranga approached umpire Lyndon Hanibal to express criticism regarding a decision of a high full toss not called a no-ball.

Sri Lanka required 11 runs off the final three balls when the incident occurred. With Momand’s delivery called legal and Mendis making no contact with the full toss, the equation became 11 off 2. Sri Lanka eventually lost the match by three runs.

The suspension means Hasaranga will miss Sri Lanka’s first two T20Is against Bangladesh next month.

Afghanistan player Rahmanullah Gurbaz has also been penalised. He has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct in the same match.

Rahmanullah was found in violation of article 2.4 of the Code, which pertains to “Disobeying an Umpire’s instruction during an International Match.”

Furthermore, one demerit point has been added to Rahmanullah’s disciplinary record, marking his second offence within a 24-month period and bringing his total demerit points to two.

The sanction was imposed on Rahmanullah for altering the grip of his bat on the field despite repeated warnings against doing so.

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Afghanistan A cricket team to tour Sri Lanka in April



(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Friday announced that the nation’s A team is scheduled to play five One Day matches and one four-day match against Sri Lanka from April 28 to May 14.

Afghanistan A will arrive in Sri Lanka on April 25 and kick off their tour with a One Day match against the Sri Lanka A side on April 28. Other four One Day matches are scheduled to be played on April 30, May 3, May 5, and May 7. 

Following the One Day matches, a one-off four-day match is slated to be held from May 11 to May 14.

The venues for these matches are yet to be confirmed.

Naseeb Khan, CEO of ACB, expressed his satisfaction with the consistent engagement of the Afghanistan A squad in bilateral events and multi-nation events. He highlighted the importance of providing ample exposure to the A team, which serves as the backup for the senior national team.

“The ACB remains committed to facilitating as much exposure as possible for the AfghanAtalan (A team) squad, which comprises our talented young cricketers,” he added.

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