That man, Conway!
New Zealand hit top gear in its World Test Championship final preparatory mode to crush England by eight wickets in the second Test in Birmingham. Since the first Test ended in a draw, the victory handed the Kiwis a 1-0 series win.
New Zealand also tasted its first red-ball series win in England in 22 years and toppled India from the No. 1 spot in the ICC rankings.
Fast bowlers Trent Boult (4/85), Matt Henry (3/78) and Neil Wagner (1/68) shared eight wickets among themselves as England limped to 303 in its first innings. Opener Rory Burns (81) and middle-order batsman Dan Lawrence (81 not out) played well but they couldn’t convert their fifties into hundreds.
It was once again Devon Conway (80) who helped New Zealand to a healthy lead of 85 runs. The left-hander won the player of the series award for 306 runs in four innings, which includes a double ton.
Conway’s 122-run partnership, for the second wicket, with Will Young (82) set the stage for a handsome total. Veteran batsman Ross Taylor (80) finished the job by lifting the side to 388.
The English batsmen couldn’t figure out Matt Henry’s length in the second innings. They were five down inside 20 overs. Tail-ender Mark Wood (29 off 38) tried to salvage a bit of pride by hitting five fours and a six but England stopped at 122.
Needing 38 for victory, stand-in skipper Tom Latham (23 not out) took charge and hit the winning runs.
Shakib, why so serious?
Bangladesh international Shakib Al Hasan set a poor example of sportsmanship by kicking the stumps, and later uprooting and throwing them, after an lbw appeal was turned down in a domestic game.
Shakib lashed out at umpire Imran Parvez for rejecting the appeal against Mushfiqur Rahim in the Dhaka Premier Division Premier League clash between Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani Limited at Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Shakib Al Hasan lashed out at umpire Imran Parvez for rejecting an appeal against Mushfiqur Rahim in the Dhaka Premier Division Premier League clash between Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani Limited. – AFP
Furious with the decision, Mohammedan skipper Shakib kicked the stumps before rain stopped play. He had a heated conversation with the umpire. While returning to the dressing room, Shakib had a few things to say to the Abahani players which enraged Khaled Mahmud, the coach.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board fined Shakib $5,900 for his actions and handed him a three-match ban.
“I am extremely sorry for losing my temper and ruining the match for everyone and especially those who are watching from home. An experienced player like me should not have reacted that way but sometimes against all odds it happens unfortunately. I apologise to the teams, management, tournament officials and organising committee for this human error,” Shakib later said in a statement issued on his Facebook page.
Keshav Maharaj’s hat-trick
Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj became the second South Africa bowler to take a Test hat-trick, and the first in 60 years. His effort handed South Africa a 2-0 series win over the West Indies in St. Lucia. It had already won the first Test by an innings and 63 runs.
Fast bowler Geoff Griffin was the first to get to the milestone against England at Lord’s in 1960, which turned out to be his last international appearance due to suspect action.
Chasing 324 for an improbable victory, the Caribbeans folded for 165 with Maharaj returning 5/36. He dismissed Kieran Powell (51), Jason Holder (0), Joshua Da Silva (0), Kemar Roach (27) and Jayden Seales (7).
Under new captain Dean Elgar, who is hungry to rebuild the side and bring it back among the top three Test-playing nations, South Africa’s 158-run will be a huge boost to the sport in the country.
Keshav Maharaj returned with figures of 5/36. – AFP
In the first Test, a classic example of fine fast bowling, aided by sharp slip-catching, helped the Proteas gain a 1-0 lead. West Indies looked out of sorts against the pace and swing of Anrich Nortje. The delivery that kissed the top of Shai Hope’s off-stump was the ball of the match.
Nortje claimed seven wickets overall which includes a four-for in the first innings. His partner, Lungi Ngidi, picked a fifer as the West Indies folded for 97.
Quinton de Kock’s breezy 141 off 170 balls, which comprised 12 fours and seven sixes, lifted the Proteas to 322. The 225-run lead was too good for the home team as its batting woes continued in the fourth innings. This time, Kagiso Rabada picked up five to restrict them to 162.
Faf’s close escape
June 12, 2021 will be remembered for a long time in the world of sport. Two sportsmen faced serious threat to life.
Denmark footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch due to a cardiac issue during the Euro fixture against Finland. And in the cricketing world, Faf du Plessis had a massive concussion after colliding with Mohammad Hasnain while trying to save a boundary in a Pakistan Super League match.
Faf du Plessis, who represents Quetta Gladiators in the PSL, suffered memory loss moments after the incident. – Rajeev Bhatt
The South African, who represents Quetta Gladiators in the PSL, suffered memory loss moments after the incident. “Thank you everyone for all the messages of support. I’m back at the hotel recovering. Have concussion with some memory loss but I will be fine. Hopefully be back on the field soon. Much love,” he later confirmed on Twitter.
The ordeal ruled him out of the league.