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PSL: Haris Rauf’s inconsistency hurts Lahore

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Quetta Gladiators won a crucial, low-scoring showdown against Lahore Qalandars at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in the 23rd game of the Pakistan Super League.

With not a single batsman on either side being able to score a half-century, bowlers took charge to reduce the sides to a meagre total.

In the first innings, Quetta Gladiator finished with a below-par total of 158/5.

Considering the recent record of the Dubai track, it seemed like Lahore Qalandars would chase it down with many overs left, but the Gladiators were poised to taste victory.

Perhaps, for the first time this season, the Gladiators pace cartel stood tall to contain the opposition.

Usman Shinwari and Khurram Shehzad picked three wickets each to dismantle the Qalandars’ batting line-up.

They managed to win Quetta the game by 18 runs as Lahore were all out for 140.

Azam Khan falters again

Azam Khan has been struggling in converting good starts into a fifty or more.

The right-handed power hitter has faltered in odd 20s and 30s at times when the team needs him the most.

He scored quickfire 33 off 18 tonight but fell to James Faulkner.

Had he prolonged his stay with Quetta captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Gladiators may have put up a bigger total.

Haris Rauf too costly for Lahore

Lahore were doing everything right with the ball until Haris Rauf spoiled the night.

The right-arm pacer conceded eight boundaries to end up with 0-44 in his quota of four overs.

His poor spell let the Gladiators get runs at a crucial stage whereas the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi and James Faulkner had kept them on the backfoot.

Quetta Gladiators 158 for 5 (Weatherald 48, Sarfaraz 34*, Faulkner 3-25) beat Lahore Qalandars 140 (David 46, Shahzad 3-14, Shinwari 3-32) by 18 runs.

Preview: Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators

Mohammad Rizwan-led Multan Sultans are likely to clinch an easy win over Quetta Gladiators as Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men have failed to make it big in 2021.

The Gladiators have failed to live up to their hype in the Duba-leg of the tournament.

They started the second phase ranked at the bottom of the points table, and still languish at the sixth spot.

Probable best performer

Mohammad Rizwan

Rizwan has been a class apart with the bat.

He is the second-highest run-getter in the tournament, just behind Babar Azam, with 408 runs in seven matches.

The Sultans captain and wicket-keeper averages just over 68 in the league and has been finding the middle of the bat more often.

Rizwan is expected to pile up crucial runs against Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men as well in the Wednesday showdown.

Match Prediction

Multan Sultans haven’t been at their best, but have done just enough to outscore Quetta Gladiators.

This will be a must-win contest for Sarfaraz’s side if they want to cement a spot in the playoffs.

However, their worsening form is likely to hold them back against Multan.

Multan would be poised to get a win as well, but two points ahead of the Gladiators have paved an easier way for them.

Nonetheless, the Sultans are the probable winners of Wednesday’s game.

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No mercy from India! Jasprit Bumrah set to return for final Test against England in Dharamsala

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Jasprit Bumrah

Team India have pocked the five-match Test series against England with a five-wicket win in the fourth match. With a 3-1 lead in the series, they will head into the final Test in Dharamsala as a confident unit. While it is crucial for Ben Stokes and Co. to leave the touring nation on a positive note, the home side is likely to experiment with their playing XI for the low-key fixture.

According to reports, the Indian cricket management is considering resting a few players for the final Test due to the workload. India were without some key players due to withdrawal and injuries throughout the series. However, the youngsters stepped up and gave the desired result, gaining the confidence of the management.

Meanwhile, the Men in Blue are not going to make it easy for the visitors when the two teams clash at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium from March 7. As per Cricbuzz, elite pacer and the team’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah is set to be recalled. This shows that India will go hard in the upcoming match and aim to settle the series 4-1.

Bumrah was rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi as he played three matches on a trot. The 30-year-old has been carefully managed by management since his return from a back injury last year after a nearly year-long absence. He made his comeback in the T20I series against Ireland and after that, he played only in crucial fixtures like the Asia Cup, ODI World Cup, and Test matches. With the 2024 T20 World Cup also around the corner, it will be important for the team to manage Bumrah’s workload.

KL Rahul doubtful for Dharamsala Test 

KL Rahul, who was deemed 90% fit before the third Test in Rajkot, has not fully recovered and is unlikely to play in the final match. Rahul suffered a quadriceps strain in the series opener and missed the next two matches. The report states that the Karnataka cricketer has been sent overseas for treatment.

It remains to be seen whether the under-fire Rajat Patidar will get another chance to prove his mettle in Rahul’s absence. Patidar looked promising in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test, but then lost his rhythm and suffered a series of low scores, including two ducks.

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‘Ye toh Mohammad Kaif 2.0 nikla’ – Fans react as Brendon McCullum accepts series defeat against India and claim themselves to be better than they were in 2022

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Brendon McCullum has reacted to England’s performance in the ongoing series against India. The visiting side are currently trailing 1-3 in the series after the conclusion of the 4th Test in Ranchi. With the fifth Test set to happen in Dharamshala, England have lost the series by all means. They do have a chance to end the series on a high note by winning the last Test.

After the loss against India in the 4th Test, McCullum was in the press conference. He claimed that they are a better side than they were 18 months ago. Brendon acknowledged the fact that they lost the series against India and could not win in the Ashes. He felt that given the way England is playing, there is a good chance of them doing special things in the next 18 months in Test cricket.

“We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes, but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got an opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special shitz. I’m fizzing for it, to be honest,” said McCullum as he was hopeful of a bright future for England in Tests. It is true that England were not as competitive under Joe Root as they are under Ben Stokes.

Improved competitiveness of England

While Root’s tenure was good before the pandemic, the team struggled under his captaincy. 2021 and early 2020 were the years when England was demoralised. They lost in India 1-3 and trailed 1-2 at home against the same opponent. For the first time in over 20 years, NZ beat England in Tests in their own backyard. In 2022, England lost the Ashes 0-4 away from home.

They also lost to the West Indies 0-1 which acted as a final nail in the coffin of Root’s leadership. However, things have changed drastically under Stokes and McCullum. They won the series against New Zealand at home and clean-swept Pakistan in their own backyard. They drew the Ashes 2-2 and drew the series against NZ 1-1 before losing the series against India.

Here’s how the fans reacted to the statement of Brendon McCullum –

 

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WATCH: IShowSpeed reacts to Virat Kohli becoming father for 2nd time

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Speed

IShowSpeed took to his YouTube channel and reacted to Virat Kohli becoming the father for the 2nd time in his life. The popular YouTuber is known to be a fan of Virat in cricket. He claimed that the Indian batter got twins. In the video which has gone viral on the internet, Speed was seen reacting to the announcement of the star couple. He was visibly excited about seeing the good news.

Speed claimed that Akaay and Vamika are twins. The fan of the Indian batter claimed that the son of Virat should have been named as ‘Virat Kohli Jr’. He went on to add that Akaay could become a young GOAT. Seeing the announcement video, the popular YouTuber claimed that he would still call Akaay as ‘Virat Kohli Jr’.

Watch the viral video of Speed here –

 

He got twins!! Virat Kohli got twins!! Vamika and Akaay! Akaay about to be a young GOAT. He should have been named to Virat Kohli Jr, I’m still going to call him Kohli Jr bro,” said I Show Speed in his video. The fans are in bits after seeing the video of the YouTuber and said that he is too funny. The way Speed calls Virat was mocked by the fans on social media.

The family of Virat Kohli

Virat has a big family. While his father died when he was playing a Ranji Trophy game in the 2000s, he has a brother and mother. In 2017, Virat married Anushka which became a sensation. The star couple has been the talk of the town since then. In 2021, Virat and Anushka were blessed with their first child. The duo named her as ‘Vamika‘.

Earlier this year, Virat took a leave during the series against England. The fans were not sure of the reason behind the move of the batter that he even could not attend the Ram Mandir inaugural ceremony. Earlier this month, the fans got to know that the couple became the parents for the 2nd time. Anushka and Virat posted a joint statement where they declared to be parents and announced ‘Akaay’ to the world.

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