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LPL: Bopara helps Kandy bag first win

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The bowlers helped the Kandy Warriors to register their 1st victory in the tournament after 3 straight losses.

Kandy Warriors bowled superbly to restrict the Gladiators strong batting lineup on just 127-7 in the 20 overs. 

Galle Gladiators   20 overs       127-7

K. Mendis 44(34)                    Mendis   3-25                                                                                                                 S. Patel     36(32)                    Vimukthi 2-17

Kandy Warriors    18.4 overs   131-5

Bopara  34*(39)                      S. Patel   2-20                                                                                                      Moores 28(21)                        M. Amir 1-19

Galle Gladiators elected to bat first after winning the toss but they lost their main player Gunathilaka in the second over.

Shiraz Ahmad cleaned him up for just 5 runs.

In the very next over, Nimesh Vimukthi clean bowled Sadeera Samarawickrama for a duck.

Kusal Mendis excels

Kusal Mendis was batting brilliantly but he was not getting enough support from the other end.

Gladiators scored 43 runs with the loss of 2 wickets in the Powerplay. 

Ben Dunk was struggling to hit big shots and in a try to hit a six over mid-wicket on a slow ball, he was caught by Vimukthi who took a brilliant catch while running.

The Gladiators continued to lose wickets in the middle overs and that hurt them badly.

Kusal Mendis scored a superb 44 off 34 balls in a fighting situation. 

After the dismissal of Mendis, the scoring rate became very less and the Gladiators were on 98-6 in 16 overs at one stage of the game.

But Samit Patel rescued his side a little bit and played a crucial and unbeaten knock of 36 runs off just 32 balls.

Samit Patel’s little cameo helped his side to put at least a respectable total on the board.

Gladiators finished their innings on a score of 127-7 giving the Warriors a target of 128 runs to win the game. 

M. Amir gave a wonderful start to the Gladiators by dismissing Tillakaratne Sampath for a golden duck in the first over of the innings.

Charith Asalanka was looking good but he threw away his wicket by getting caught out in a try to hit a shot over midwicket on a delivery that was on a length outside off.

Asalanka scored 21 runs off 19 balls including 3 fours and a six before getting dismissed by Lakshan. 

Kandy Warriors scored 43 runs in the Powerplay but they had also lost 3 wickets in that period.

Kamindu Mendis also failed to score runs with the bat and was dismissed in the 10th over.

The Warriors were  struggling in their chase and were 59-4 at the end of 10 overs. 

But Bopara and Moores played sensibly and scored a much-needed 50 runs partnership for the 5th wicket.

Moores was stumped out on 28 runs in Patel’s over.

Bopara stayed calm till the end and he get his side over the line in the 19th over of the innings.

Bopara remained not out on 34 runs in the end.

With this victory, the Kandy Warriors have opened their account on the points table with 2 crucial points.

On the other hand, Gladiators have won two matches, lost two matches and one of their matches was washed out due to rain.

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Harsha Bhogle gives major update on Dharamshala’s weather for fifth Test between India and England

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Harsha Bhogle

Harsha Bhogle gave a major update on Dharamshala’s weather for the five days of the commencement of the 5th Test between India and England. The popular commentator and analyst took to his X account and claimed that he is set to go to the venue in the coming days and claimed to have checked the forecast for the Test between India and England.

“I am due to go to Dharamshala in a week,” wrote Bhogle on X. The fifth Test of the series will be taking place from the 7th of March to the 11th of March. Harsha claimed that just reading the forecast made him shiver. “I checked the forecast today and just reading that makes me shiver,” wrote Harsha on his social media handle. The tweet of Harsha has gone viral on X.

The analysts further added that the temperature in Dharamshala is likely to be 10 degrees centigrade at maximum. While Bhogle hoped it would change, he added that the temperature at the morning in the venue would be two degrees centigrade. The maximum temperature forecast for March 07 (at this stage, hopefully, it will change) is 10°. The temperature forecast at 7 am is 2°! Snow??” added Bhogle on X.

Will England have any advantage?

As soon as Bhogle gave the update on X, the fans started claiming that England could have an advantage given the weather. There has been an opinion that the lack of sunshine could help their pace attack more than that of India. England possess a serious weapon in James Anderson who is known to get unreal swing in overcast conditions.

In addition to the experienced pacer, England has three more talented pacers. While Mark Wood can be effective with his express pace, the likes of Ollie Robinson and Gus Atkinson could prove handy as well. The fans also felt that India had an attack to counter that of England. Either way, the 5th Test is set to be a no-dud, as it could be valuable for the teams keeping in mind the points for the WTC.

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Former Under 19 winning captain claims Big Bash league similar to Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

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Unmukt Chand

Unmukt Chand has made a huge claim on the Big Bash League. The former Under19 World Cup-winning captain of India claimed that the BBL is similar to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The fans are divided over the statement of the USA player. While some believe that his context is right, others feel that he has exaggerated his opinion on the BBL. Many consider it to be a top league in cricket.

Unmukt did accept the fact that BBL is big in its own way. But he felt that the IPL is on a different level altogether. Chand felt that the best players in the world take part in the IPL. The former DC player claimed that the management in the league is different from that of the other leagues. Chand claimed the IPL to be ten times bigger than the other leagues.

The former U19-winning WC skipper played a lot in the BBL. He represented Melbourne Renegades in the league. Having played in the league in the past, he added that BBL in Australia is good in its own way. Unmukt was of the opinion that Australia is a great place to play cricket. He felt that Australia has people who love the sport a lot.

Unmukt Chand’s comparison of BBL with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Chand felt that Australia had good ground, wicket, and stadiums. “I mean playing the Big Bash in Australia is anyways great. It is a great place to play cricket where you know you have your sport, you have your sports-loving people, they come and watch and good grounds, good stadiums, good wicket,” added Chand in his statement on Australia and BBL.

Chand claimed that BBL is similar to India’s Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. He claimed BBL to be more of its top T20 tournament than a big T20 league like the IPL. “But Big Bash was more like it’s Cricket Australia’s premier tournament like you know we have a Syed Mushtaq Ali in India. So, it’s that but obviously done at a bigger stage,” said Unmukt Chand.

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Will Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer remain in contention for national selection? Explained

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Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan

In a major move, the Indian Cricket Board has decided to terminate the central contracts of Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan and Mumbai batter Shreyas Iyer. This decision can be seen as walking the talk by the board, as players were seen avoiding crucial instructions from both the board and team management.

Now, a major question arises: will Kishan and Iyer remain in contention for further national selections? This is important as both have been key members of the Indian cricket team in the last few months. Kishan’s participation in the Asia Cup 2023 and Iyer’s in the ODI World Cup 2023 have been phenomenal for India. So, will they be in contention?

The answer is yes. Despite being omitted from the Board’s central contracts for the 2023–24 season, both will remain eligible for selection to the national team. The duo’s exclusion from the annual contracts was a result of their reported defiance of directives to participate in the Ranji Trophy. It prompts the board’s decision not to consider them for the prestigious contracts.

However, the national selection depends on various factors, which certainly do not include the central contract. Players like Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel are playing for India without a central contract. Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s comeback will depend on the team’s needs and their performance in the domestic and the Indian Premier League in 2024.

Who has received central contracts for India?

The central contract announcement revealed that the Grade A+ category, which houses elite players, included stalwarts such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja. In the Grade A category, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, pacers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, as well as batters KL Rahul and Shubman Gill, secured central contracts.

Hardik Pandya, who led the Indian T20I squad in 2023, earned a Grade A contract, emphasising his crucial role in the team. On a positive note, the central contracts did introduce new faces like Rinku Singh and Tilak Varma, securing places in the Grade C category alongside 15 players. The category also welcomed the comeback duo Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shivam Dube, who showcased strong performances in the Indian T20I team.

The Grade B contracts included Rishabh Pant, alongside Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Pant’s return is anticipated in the upcoming Indian Premier League, while Suryakumar continues to shine as a promising batter in the T20 format.

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