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PSL: Shan Masood & Muzarabani make it six out of six for the relentless Multan Sultans

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Shan Masood continued his brilliant form in this PSL season by scoring yet another half-century.

Blessing Muzarabani picked up 3 wickets to wrap up Peshawar Zalmi 42 runs short of the target.

Khushdil Shah also claimed a 3-for as he cleaned up the Peshawar’s lower order.

Khushdil Shah is now the second leading wicket-taker of this season with 12 wickets and he is just 2 wickets behind from the leading wicket-taker of PSL 7, Shadab khan who has picked up 14 wickets in the tournament so far. 

Multan Sultans       20 overs       182-7

Masood 68 (49)              Wahab 2-34                                                                                                                                   David 34 (18)                  Irshad 2-34                                                                                                                          Rizwan 34 (34)               Mahmood 2-44

Peshawar Zalmi   19.3 overs   140 all-out 

Malik 44 (31)                   Muzarabani 3-18                                                                                                        Livingstone 24 (16)         Khushdil 3-26                                                                                                                      Cutting 23 (11)                Dahani 2-35

The Tournament shifted from Karachi to Lahore, so the group and pitches were changed.

However, nothing changed for the undefeated Multan Sultans who registered their 6th consecutive win of the season.

Multan Sultans comfortably defeated the Peshawar Zalmi by 42 runs and it was all set up by the excellent batting of Multan’s top 3 batters.

The 98 run opening stand between Shan Masood and Mohammed Rizwan gave Multan a solid platform to put a big total on the board.

Tim David also contributed an 18-ball 34 runs knock.

Multan Sultans failed to score many runs from the last 3 overs as they lost some quick wickets in that period.

They still managed to score 182 runs from their 20 overs.

In reply, the tall fast bowler from Zimbabwe, Blessing Muzarabani gave Multan a perfect start by picking up two wickets from the second over of the innings.

He dismissed the dangerous Kamran Akmal and Haider Ali in the same over to jolt Peshawar’s chase right from the start.

Shoaib Malik was the batter who looked good in that entire Peshawar’s batting lineup as he scored 44 runs off just 31 balls.

Ben Cutting also played a little cameo with the bat smashing 2 sixes and a four in Dahani’s over but that wasn’t enough as the asking rate was over 20 runs per over at that time.

Hence, Peshawar Zalmi lost the match by 42 runs as they were all out on just 140 runs. 

Masood and Rizwan’s excellent opening stand 

The skipper Mohammed Rizwan and the in-form Shan Masood gave Multan Sultans an ideal start to their innings.

Both of them played brilliantly in the powerplay scoring 53 runs from it without losing any wicket and that was the difference between the two sides as Peshawar lost 3 wickets for 42 runs from their powerplay which hurt them badly.

The 98 runs stand between these two was ended by Wahab Riaz who dismissed Mohammed Rizwan in the 13th over, he scored run-a-ball 34 runs. 

Shan Masood also played another magnificent knock in this season.

He scored 68 runs off just 49 balls including 8 fours and a six.

Shan Masood is currently on the second spot on the chart of highest run-scorer of this tournament with 343 runs.

He was also declared Player of the Match award for his outstanding performance. 

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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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