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CPL 2021: Third consecutive win for Patriots

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St Kitts & Nevis Patriots marched on to their third consecutive victory in the Caribbean Premiere League 2021 by beating Guyana Amazon Warriors by six wickets.

The Patriots are quickly becoming firm favourites to lift this year’s title.

The Warriors put up a decent target of 167, but it proved to be too little for the Patriots.

Dwayne Bravo’s men got to an ideal start, scoring 49 runs in the powerplay without a loss of wicket.

Rutherford grabs another MOTM trophy

Sherfane Rutherford is in the form of his life.

He clinched yet another Man of the Match trophy for his batting display.

With three wickets down in quick succession, the West Indian star smacked 59 runs and remained unbeaten till the end.

The left-handed power-hitter made sure he takes the team across the line.

Not to forget, two big sixes in the second last over off Naveen ul Haq helped Rutherford wrap up the game in a jiffy.

Meekeren, Tahir make the ball talk

Dutchman Paul van Meekeren delivered the goods with the ball.

In his quota of four overs, he picked two wickets to leave the Warriors’ batting line-up in tatters.

Giving away only 23 runs, the Dutchman registered an incredible economy of 5.8.

When it comes to bowlers leading the charge, Imran Tahir deserves praise too.

The South African ended with 2-26 in his four overs against one of the deadliest batting line-ups in the CPL.

The leg-spinner has continued to dominate franchise cricket with his unorthodox bowling that has a mysterious element to it.

How can the Warriors recover?

Guyana Amazon Warriors have brought together some best batsmen and bowlers of the franchise cricket, but they are being inconsistent.

Warriors skipper Nicholas Pooran is a game-changer when it comes to the shortest format of the sport, hence, he should try to tweak with the batting line-up to see how it works out.

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez looked sublime for his 70 off 59, but it seemed a tad slow.

Pooran can wreak havoc if he can stay for a few overs on the pick.

Hence, he should elevate his order to allow himself to face as many balls as he can and try to make the ball disappear often.

Today, he played only nine balls.

If one of your best batters in the side is not getting to play enough balls, then the team is unlikely to amass big totals.

Asif Ali fails again

Pakistan middle-order batsman Asif Ali is failing to fill the void of a powerful striker in the Patriots.

He is well known for his huge sixes that can change the context of the game rapidly.

However, the right-handed star hasn’t been able to fire all cylinders this season.

Ali departed for only 2 against the Warriors.

Odean Smith got him caught to Anthony Rumble to show Ali the path to the dressing room.

Dwayne Bravo has a decision to make in the coming days.

Continue with Ali at 3, or pick another strong hitter who can add another 20-30 runs in the death overs.

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 168 for 4 (Rutherford 59*) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 166 for 3 (Hafeez 70, Hetmyer 52) by six wickets.

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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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