Sri Lanka to Face South Africa in T20 International

Despite the alterations in format, the primary focus for both Sri Lanka and South Africa will remain on the 50-over World Cup. The Proteas selected the same team for the first T20 International as they did for the ODI. Linda Zondi, the national selector, stated that Cricket South Africa will regard the game as yet another stepping stone to complete their Vision 2019 campaign. This is essentially their grand plan for success at the World Cup.

South Africa

Faf du Plessis, the captain of the South African cricket team, stated that he is 99.9% sure regarding the team he will take with him to the cricket tournament in England. All the changing and chopping of South Africa throughout a generally prosperous and long home summer has provided the team with a decent idea of which player does what. The Proteas have managed to regain confidence and form during the ODI’s. Although their focus is somewhere else, their T20 International outfit will be complicated to defeat.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka seemed to have retreated since their rare victory that managed to open the tour. The glory and triumph of their remarkable Test series look like a distant memory following their 5-0 win in the ODI’s. The team is also currently facing yet another crisis when it comes to coaching. Chandika Hathurusingha has been requested to return to Sri Lanka, while Steve Rixon, the fielding coach, will fill in to act as the head coach during the T20 Internationals.

Sri Lanka has been unable to succeed in one-day cricket, and they need to cover plenty of ground to make up for it during the 20-over format successfully. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 9th in the 20-over format, placing them below Afghanistan. They only managed to win 6 out of the past 20 matches when it comes to T20Is. Before they can truly focus on the World Cup, they will need to get their squad in order.

Conditions and Pitch

Summer is coming to an end in South Africa. However, the weather should be beautiful in Cape Town during the tournament. The surface at Newlands is usually on the slow side. However, before the final day of the 5th ODI, fast bowlers from Sri Lanka and South Africa enjoyed both bounce and pace so that anything can happen this time around too. The last time a T20I was played at Newlands was when South Africa faced Pakistan in February where South Africa accumulated 192 for 6. This is considered the highest total recorded at the venue when it comes to T20Is.

Stats

No cricket player has scored a century at Newlands during a T20I. JP Duminy has the highest recorded T20I runs at Newlands, scoring 229 runs from 7 matches. Sri Lanka has enjoyed two T20 Internationals in Cape Town, losing to Australia in 2007 and defeating South Africa in 2017.

England Defeats West Indies in Second T20 International

Sam Billings managed to rescue England before the four-wicket haul from Chris Jordan to demolish the West Indies for 45. This provided England with a 137-run win during the second T20 International and an incontrovertible 2-0 lead in the cricket series.

Sam Billings and Joe Root

Sam Billings was the Man of the Match, knocking a career-best of 87 from 47 balls and a T20I return from Joe Root who managed to make 55 off 40 balls. This allowed the England squad to be resurrected from a mere 32 for four after only 5.2 overs.

Then Jordan’s incredible four from 6 overs meant that the West Indies were never actually in the contest. They are falling for the second lowest total in T20I history, behind the 39 runs made by the Netherlands against Sri Lanka in 2014 during the World T20. It’s considered the lowest total from a Full-Member nation. This is worse than the 60 runs accumulated by New Zealand when they played against Sri Lanka in the T20I and the 60 runs made by West Indies in Karachi last year against Pakistan.

While the top order was tumbling around Root, he managed to produce a genuinely composed innings where he shared an 82-run partnership with Sam Billings to accumulate his half-century. This was the first time Joe Root managed to reach double figures in 4 T20 International innings. He also had his 10th knock since he last managed to reach 50 during the World T20 Final in 2016 which was won by West Indies.

Once Joe Root was run-out, the rescue mission fell to Sam Billings, and he accepted it willingly. Sam Billings managed to rake up 17 runs in one over from Sheldon Cottrell which included a 6 to provide his half-century.

Carlos Brathwaite was economical throughout the first three overs where he claimed 1 for 11. However, he conceded a total of 22 during his last over which included three fours to Sam Billings and a 6 to David Willey. The partnership between Billings and Willey provided 68 runs before Billings was dismissed. By the time Billings was denied, he had managed to lead England to a phenomenal total. The West Indies won the coin toss and requested that England go on the pitch, anticipating that the ground will improve as the game unfolded. However, the West Indies were not on the ball long enough for this to occur.

England Dismissals

David Willey continued to press during the match, snaring the wicket of Gayle for only five which was caught by Joe Root in mid-on. He also managed to knock out Hope. After that, Jordan went crazy, claiming wickets of Jason Holder and Darren Brova with consecutive balls. He also led to dismiss Allen and Nicholas Pooran during his second over. The damage was done, allowing Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid to clean up the tail end of the West Indies batting force. This provided England with the most significant T20 International victory within 12 overs.

Test Cricket Will Never Die

Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, might feel that test cricket is dying. However, the chief executive for global cricket, David Richardson, states that he has numbers to prove that the statement from Manohar is entirely wrong. According to Richardson, after an ICC survey was conducted in 2018, Test cricket has a committed and active fan base of approximately 700 million. This is around 68% of the fan pool on a global scale of more than a billion.

World Test Championship

Without countering the ICC chairman. Richardson stated that Manohar was merely suggesting that Test cricket is dying for a context, and the upcoming World Test Championship will be able to provide that context.

“We are attempting to see if the Test championship will be able to generate interest,” Manohar stated during a visit to Bangladesh that took place earlier this month. “Because Test cricket is essentially dying if I need to be completely honest.”

Manohar also stated that cricket fans find it extremely difficult to attend a five-day match. Therefore much instead prefer to watch a T20 game which only lasts around 4 hours. The T20 cricket format has managed to generate keen interest from broadcasters which has been based on the television rating points.

The comments made by Manohar seemed a bit misplaced if you take into account that Test cricket was the centre of attention when it came to significant results and thrilling contests. Consider the match between India and Australia or when the West Indies managed to beat England is a shocking 2-1 win. You can also include Sri Lanka becoming the first Asian team to claim victory in South Africa during a Test series.

However, the format still lacks context that will make fans sit up and notice these matches that don’t involve their favourite teams, according to Richardson. This is something that the World Test Championship will be able to provide.

Comments from David Richardson

“What Manohar was trying to say about Test cricket is that it’s calling for more context.” David Richardson stated to reporters recently in London, during the countdown to the Cricket World Cup. “Some phenomenal matches occur from time to time. However, unless you consider yourself a die-hard fan of all participating teams in the cricketing world, that particular series didn’t have much interest on a global scale.

“Thanks to the introduction of the WTC, that adds far more interests. Assisting in promoting Test cricket around the world, regardless of who is playing on that day. This is what Manohar was trying to say: Test cricket simply needed an extra boost and needs to be promoted which the WTC will hopefully achieve.”

“Perhaps the way fans are following Test cricket is very different to how it was two decades ago. However, I don’t believe it’s dying. Thankfully, the World Test Championship will offer more interest and context to Test cricket which will give it the much-needed boost it deserves.

Shannon Gabriel Has Been Suspended for 4 ODI’s Following Joe Root Incident

The fast bowler from the West Indies, Shannon Gabriel, has recently been handed by the ICC a four-game suspension due to his homophobic remark made at Joe Root during the Test in St Lucia. Gabriel plead guilty to this offence and was fined seventy-five percent of his fee and managed to receive 3 demerit points and that put him over the total points needed in terms of a ban.

Shannon Gabriel was also charged with a Level 2 offence which falls under the ICC’s Code of Conduct article 2.13 which covers personal abuse. Once Gabriel accepted the charge, there was not the need to undergo formal hearinga with Jeff Crowe who was the match referee. Even though Gabriel didn’t form part of the original team for the first of several ODI matches against England, he was part of the lineup due to being the one who replaced Keemo Paul.

The Joe Root Incident

Joe Root was heard by stump microphones while he was playing on the third day where he responded to a comment unheard from Shannon Gabriel. Joe Root stated: “You can’t use that as an insult. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone being gay.”

The Joe Root incident was handled by umpires on the field at the time it occurred, however Gabriel was only charged the next day following the widespread attention that the review of footage it received. Root stated towards the end that all comments on the field should stay on the field. However, he still received several praises for his stance which included the United Kingdom. equality charity Stonewall.

Gabriel’s Ban

Speaking to reporters before Gabriel’s ban occurred, Trevor Bayliss, the coach for England, repeated his outlook on stump microphones, stating that it should not be on off when deliveries occur. Sarfraz Ahmed also suffered a 4-game suspension when making a racist remark which was the television broadcast picked up.

“I’ve said this plenty of times in the past, I’m not in favour of stump microphones and I won’t change my mind on this matter,” he said. “If microphones on stumps were available a couple of years ago, there would have been plenty of players in trouble as well.

“I believe stump microphones should be removed. I am well aware that some believe that it’s ideal for the game. However, in the heat of battle there will always be words between players. Once that player has the time to think about what he/she said, they will undoubtedly kick themselves for what they said.”

Gabriel previously received 3 demerit point during April of 2017 for physical contact with Sarfraz Ahmed, and received another 2 in November of 2018 when he interfered with Imrul Kayes. When he accumulated over 4 points, he was banned for the test that followed in Dhaka. He currently has 8 points to his name within 2 years, converting to a total of 4 suspension points. This essentially means that he is banned from 2 Tests or 4 limited overs when it comes to internationals.

AB de Villiers Provides Life-Changing Experience for Lutho Sipamla

Lutho Sipamla, a 20-year-old seamer from South Africa, managed to make his international debut during the second T20 International match against Pakistan. He has credited his experience while playing under de Villiers in the MSL as a life-altering one. Although the Tshwane Spartans struggled during their campaign, Lutho Sipamla consistently shined at the top of the innings as well as during the death of his team. This is where he gained irreplaceable experience from his world-renowned captain every step of the way while attracting the attention of several national selectors.

Lutho Sipamla commented that “I managed to gain a world of experience while playing with Ab De Villiers,” Sipamla stated. “Training, sharing the dressing room, and playing beside him was life-altering for me as he managed to keep me calm. Ab de Villiers presence calms you due to the fact that he speaks to you directly and gives you important plans. I learned a great deal from him as he allowed me to set the field how I wanted it at times to assist with my bowling.”

Sipamla managed to find the experience of making his debut in international cricket “impeccable”, and stated that words were insufficient to describe his feelings during his match on Sunday while playing in front of a jam-packed crowd at Wanderers stadium where the top-ranked T20 side in the world was defeated by South Africa to clinch a dominant lead in the 3-match series.

“When I walked onto the pitch in front of a full house, my childhood dream came true, and it was undoubtedly an incredible moment for me,” Sipamla stated after he made his debut. “There aren’t any words to describe the feeling I had at that moment.”

The 20-year-old seamer admitted that he was feeling rather nervous prior to the start of the match. However, he didn’t let it show once he had the ball in his hand. “I was definitely nervous before the match. I guess anyone making their debut for South Africa will be nervous. I merely tried to control my emotions to the best of my ability and soaked everything in.”

Sipamla’s Performance During His Debut

Sipamla didn’t take any wickets during his first international game, but he did manage to look the part as he reined in the batsmen from Pakistan following an explosive start. Sipamla was brought on after Babar Azam accumulated 30 runs from just two overs, Sipamla managed to only give away a total of 5 singles in his debut over which was followed up by an impressive 3 dot balls to Babar.

Faced with a batsman who had an imperious mood on a noticeably dry pitch, Sipamla reduced his pace and simply cut the ball while varying his lengths. The captain of the day, David Miller, required someone that could regain control and Sipamla certainly assisted in that regard as he brought South Africa back into the match during the middle overs. Let’s hope he plays another match before the series comes to an end.

West Indies Women Will Tour Pakistan After Almost 15 Years

West Indies, who are the last non-Asian women’s cricket team to tour Pakistan, are scheduled to compete in the country again after almost 15 years. The cricket series, consisting of three T20 Internationals, will occur from 31 January to 3 February 2019 in Karachi, marking the resumption of international cricket for women in Pakistan since the country hosted Bangladesh for two ODI’s and two T20 Internationals in September 2015.

West Indies vs Pakistan Schedule

The West Indies cricket team last toured Pakistan back in March 2004 where they played an ODI series. The West Indies were only the second cricket team to play in Pakistan, after the Netherlands. The West Indies are scheduled to play a total of three T20 Internationals in Karachi at the Southern Club before they move to Dubai to play three ODI’s which forms part of the ICC Women’s Championship.

The 1st ODI will take place at the Dubai International Stadium, while the 2nd and 3rd ODI’s will take place at the ICC Academy ground. The West Indies women cricket squad will arrive in Dubai on 26 January 2019 before they travel to Karachi on 30 January 2019.

Reviving International Cricket in Pakistan

“The West Indies women’s cricket team visiting Karachi is fantastic news not only for the cricket scene in Pakistan but for women’s cricket as well,” Subhan Ahmad stated who is the PCB chief operating officer. “We greatly appreciate the West Indies cricket team for trusting us and accepting the opportunity to play 3 T20 Internationals in Karachi.

The decision made by the West Indies will endorse our position to showcase that Pakistan is as secure and safe as any other country around the world. We are confident that this cricket tour will go a long way to revive the international cricket scene in Pakistan.

“The CWI and the PCB have a long history of mutual respect and collaboration, and this recent decision just further illustrates how strong the relationship is between the two prestigious boards. With the women’s cricket team from West Indies agreeing to participate in 3 T20 Internationals, the CWI has repeated their support as a vital role to ensure international cricket makes its way back to Pakistan.

“By competing in Karachi, the West Indies will also contribute to the popularity and growth of the women’s cricket scene in this part of the world. We are confident that this cricket series will inspire young women to finally take up this incredible sport.”

Although the Pakistan women’s cricket team made their debut as early as 1997, a constant conservative outlook towards females in the cricketing world has meant that they could only play two T20 Internationals, 23 ODI’s and a single Test on home soil. Only two non-Asian women’s cricket teams – West Indies and the Netherlands – have managed to play international cricket in the country.

Thankfully, the women’s cricket scene is returning to Pakistan in 2019, and we can only see good things come from this new development.

Why Bumrah is Difficult To Face

The unorthodox bowling technique from Jasprit Bumrah gave him a tremendous head-start that is simply not available to cricket bowlers that utilize regular actions. One of the bowling basics is that once the non-blowing hand is up, the hand that bowls are very close to the waist, and once the non-blowing hand is coming down, the arm that bowls will move upwards to deliver the ball.

However, this is not the case when it comes to Bumrah as the non-blowing arm does not go up like most textbook bowlers. During his action, both his arms are usually stretched out which is a sight that most batsmen do not except as they prepare to face the fast bowler.

Bumrah As a Fast Bowler

Due to years of training, batsmen have been able to get used to Bumrah’s bowling technique rather quickly, and if that was the only danger that Bumrah was posing as a bowler, he would have been neutralised instantly. Once the novelty of Bumrah’s unorthodox bowling technique fades away, its important for such a fast bowler to create something special on a frequent basis to remain relevant and that’s exactly where Bumrah is so tremendously successful. Once batsmen were able to get used to his unique bowling technique, he simply added more arrows to his quiver.

He initially started out as a bowler that managed to bowl from the corner of the bowling box and bring the ball back on the right-hand side of the batsman. For outswingers, Bumrah’s bowling arm finished across the torso, while for his arm finished on his right hip. This is something that batsmen were unable to spot and take advantage of. To play such exaggerated angles was quite easy as you merely need to play inside the line without having to worry about the ball fading away. Bumrah then decided to straighten his wrist when he delivered, making him stronger as a bowler. This provided him with the opportunity to deliver the ball towards the third man and allowed him to get closer to the stumps.

Bumrah Doesn’t Have a Specific Pattern

Since Bumrah’s evolution into a world-class bowler from white-ball cricket, he managed to maintain his essential qualities for succeeding in shorter formats and added the necessary requirements for Test cricket. Most world-class bowlers seem to follow a specific pattern, such as Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Josh Hazlewood who all provide the same patterns, ball after ball. However, Bumrah does not follow a specific pattern at all. He continuously alters his bowling technique without overdoing or bowling loose balls and does not bowl a yard shorter or get carried away during matches.

The variety of control and skills in his execution is brilliant, and he definitely understands when to use certain techniques when he faces a specific batsman. This has made Bumrah into an incredibly fast bowler in cricket and is the main reason why so many batsmen from around the world have a difficult time when they face him.

The Fastest Bowlers in the World


The world of cricket has managed to evolve over the years in a manner where it’s completely transformed into a batsman’s game, while bowling has managed to take a back-seat. Due to more limited overs, batsmen are being forced to hit the ball across the park, while bowlers are being trashed which means they end up with horrible economy rates.

This means that bowlers are required to step up to the demanding changes of the game and that’s exactly what a handful of bowlers have done. While cricket is turning into a more fast-paced sport, a need for fast-paced bowlers is a necessity as it makes it more difficult to judge the timing and length when the ball comes at you at a quicker pace. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the fastest bowlers in the world of cricket.

Wahab Riaz – 149.6 Kmph

Wahab Riaz is definitely at the top of our list due to his aggressive pace bowling, making him a key player when it comes to international cricket for Pakistan. He first appeared in the spotlight during a World Cup match against Australia in 2015 where he managed to decimate the betting setup for Australia, especially when he faced Shane Watson with his aggression and wrath. Although Pakistan lost the match, they managed to earn the fastest bowler in that game.

Pat Cummings – 149.2 Kmph

Pat Cummings comes in at second place on our list. However, there’s still a long way to go in his career as a right armed fast bowler as he is only 24 years of age. He managed to achieve a mind-blowing 143 Kmph bowling speed during a One Day International. He is not only considered one of the fastest bowlers in the world but is also recognised as one of the best in the cricketing world. He is considered the answer to the legendary bowler, Brett Lee.

Tymal Mills – 149 Kmph

Tymal Mills is a left-armed fast bowler and made his presence known during a destructive match against India in 2017. Although he is not the most popular name when it comes to English cricket, he certainly has the pace to be considered one of the fastest bowlers in the world. He has been playing for Sussex for several years and might even be considered for the England bowling setup for the next World Cup.

Mitchell Starc – 148.5 Kmph

Mitchell Starc, along with Pat Cummings, are the current weapons for the Australian bowling attack to replace the legendary duo of Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee. Starc is regarded as the most feared bowler in the world of cricket and managed to dominate his opponents in the Indian Premier League and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Shannon Gabriel – 148.2 Kmph

Pollard and Dwayne Bravo to take care of batting and bowling, Gabriel has managed to impress everyone with his consistent pace bowling which seemed to revive the bowling attack for the team in recent years.

Hashim Amla Exhibits the Famous Protea Fire


The biggest drawback to being true to form on a constant basis is that no one truly knows what it looks like when you have a bad run. For Hashim Amla, who was in incredible form thanks to a 23.36 average spanning over 10 Tests in a year, this was a nagging problem as he experienced the gravest dip when it comes to form in more than a decade.

The natural elegance, the definite wrist work, and the luxuriant cover drives from the number three batsman in South Africa is cricket’s answer to the renowned Bolshoi Ballet. The movements is so perfect, the technique is so unfailingly graceful, that when they fail to produce the necessary results it seems naturally predisposed.

Hashim Amla’s Performance

There were several discussions of his dip as being more like a decline as Amla, after all, has been playing international cricket for more than 14 years. He is also considered the oldest player in the National cricket team, at age 35. The ungainly, scratchy time he spent during the first innings while playing against Pakistan didn’t give the impression that he was a cricket player with his best years behind him.

During his time in the South African cricket squad, one of the most successful and popular marketing campaigns when it comes to cricket teams was the #ProteaFire slogan that was developed to represent the aggressive combativeness of a cricket team that will never give up. It certainly caught the attention of the public, both abroad and at home, which is essentially a symbol of how the South African side plays the game, with passion on full display and their hearts on their sleeves.

However, Amla who is one of the modern faces in the South African cricket team, is very far from the ‘fire’ the squad seems to showcase at the moment. However, playing international cricket for such an extended period of time does take its toll on any cricket player and once the motivation is completely lost, the sports is essentially over, regardless of how good you are.

Comments from other cricket players in the South African team

“Amla’s does everything exactly the same as the moment he walked into the team. That’s his trademark when you look behind the scenes. Whether he scores runs or doesn’t, his attitude and mental application remains the same even away from the game. He is an extremely calm and level-headed guy. He doesn’t get frantic at all, even when he doesn’t manage to score any runs. He merely believes that things will turn around eventually.

Thankfully, the dip that cursed Amla recently seemed to disappear while playing against Pakistan. Once the ball lost its venom and shine, Pakistan were the ones that were blinking. Once he was back in form, Amla found himself improving constantly on the field and after South Africa lost several wickets during the Test, Amla was still standing as a solid rock for the South African team.

India Excited Over Pitch Surface in Perth


One of the most significant factors when it comes to the WACA Ground is undoubtedly the pitch, and the stadium in Perth in making its debut with intense anticipation around its pitch. Most of the questions that Virat Kohli had to answer during a press conference before the match revolved around the pitch. Brett Sipthorpe, the curator, stated that they attempted to deliver the bounciest, fastest pitch possible with no pressure to make the test match go the distance.

The Perth Pitch

One of the most curious things about the pitch in Perth is the amount of grass it has. The WACA Ground was previously known for its incredible bounce, but it used to be a brown, hard surface. The latest one will certainly add more movement to the bounce. India is truly excited over the new pitch. Earlier this year, they picked up loads of experience on a similar bouncy and quick pitch in Johannesburg. So bouncy that is was actually considered dangerous where play had to be stopped at times. With India’s quick bowlers, Kohli was nearly salivating when he though about playing on the pitch, especially due to the fact that the lush green grass wasn’t shaved off prior to the match.

India’s Thoughts on the Perth Pitch

“I was extremely pleased to see the pitch in the condition it was and I sincerely hope no more grass is taken off from it,” Kohli stated. “This will ensure that the first three days will undoubtedly be very lively and the Indian cricket team is very excited about that. We merely need to challenge ourselves when it comes to batting and remain positive that our bowlers will achieve what they did in Adelaide. I believe the pitch in Perth is going to offer a lot more when compared to Adelaide.

“We definitely get more excited as oppose to nervous when it comes to a lively pitch. We are completely aware that we have a strong bowling attack that has the ability to bowl out the opposition. With 4 or 5 bowlers at the peak of their careers, its definitely a great feeling to have. We also get much more motivation at batsmen when our bowling attack is so strong, allowing us to win more matches as well.

“Johannesburg will always be a huge inspiration for India. “I have managed to play across the globe for over a decade and I have never played on a pitch similar to the one in Johannesburg,” Kohli stated. “I managed to play in Perth in early 2012 but nothing compared to the one in Johannesburg. We are certainly not new to this kind of pitch as we’ve played on them before. We have a good idea of what to expect from this pitch as well. I am just grateful that my team consists of bowlers that are currently at their peak. The way they are bowling is just amazing and I believe they are going to succeed on this pitch as well.”

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