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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

UAE qualifies ~ Asia Cup to commence .. potential never won anything !!

United Arab Emirates entered the main draw of the Asia Cup after a convincing 71-run win against Oman in Dhaka. UAE won all three of their qualifying matches to finish first on the points table and book their berth. Oman were still alive going into the last match of the qualifying group, but had to chase the target in 13.5 overs after opting to bowl. UAE just needed a win to qualify.

In case you are not following – it is Asia Cup – India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh & UAE – 11 matches in all  in a league format from 24th Feb till 6th Mar – in T20 format [for the first time in Asia Cup] – a precursor to World T20 WC 2016.

There is news that Parthiv Patel is set to  join India's squad at the Asia Cup as a back-up for their captain MS Dhoni. According to a BCCI release, Dhoni suffered a muscle spasm in his back during a training session in Dhaka on Monday. Parthiv, the 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, last played for India during the ODI triangular series in Australia in February 2012.

Away, Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, has called for the team to play smarter cricket following the poor end to their tour of South Africa as they turn attentions to the World T20 in India. However, he does not want the players to go into their shells after a difficult couple of weeks, saying that the winner in India will be the "boldest" team on show. England ended their stay in South Africa with a crushing nine-wicket defeat at the Wanderers to lose the T20 series 2-0. From a promising position of 157 for 3 - with Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler finding their range - they were well placed for 200, but conspired to lose 7 for 14 and not even play out their overs.

It led to Bayliss saying it was like "men against boys" and meant that England finished with five defeats on the bounce having been 2-0 up in the one-day series before being let down by poor fielding when they could have sealed it in the Johannesburg ODI. Although the Test series was secured on that heady day at the Wanderers when Stuart Broad blew South Africa away the tour ended on a downbeat note. "I can guarantee you one thing, the team that wins the World Twenty20 will be the boldest team there," Bayliss said. Both Bayliss and Morgan have cited the inexperience in the side as a factor as to why the wheels came off somewhat in South Africa and cautioned that more such days cannot be ruled out as players continue to find their feet at international level.

Bayliss said " potential never won anything ... we've got some hard work to do.

At Christchurch in Trans-Tasman trophy – the score card reads : New Zealand 370 & 311/7 (102.0 ov) - Australia 505  in Test no. 2202.  In a test that will be remembered for the farewell to Brendon McCullum and his record-breaking ton off 54 balls, Aussies arrogance was to the fore again. Josh Hazlewood and Steven Smith were at the centre of an ugly confrontation with umpire Ranmore Martinesz on the fourth day in Christchurch, which could come under scrutiny from the match referee Chris Broad. The incident occurred in the 73rd over of New Zealand's second innings, the last over before lunch, when the Australians appealed for an lbw after a near yorker from Hazlewood to Kane Williamson.

Martinesz ruled not-out on the field, and Smith immediately asked for a review from third umpire Richard Illingworth. Hot Spot showed a small mark on the bottom of the bat as the ball passed, which was enough to satisfy Illingworth of an inside edge, and he then asked Martinesz to stay with his original not-out decision. The Australians, who had seen the replays on the big screen at Hagley Oval, appeared to be furious with the review, indicating to Martinesz that they thought the Hot Spot was the result of Williamson's bat hitting his boot. Smith walked towards Martinesz to remonstrate and Hazlewood was heard uttering expletives, on the stump microphone.

Their reaction drew immediate criticism from the TV commentators on air at the time, Mark Richardson declaring the actions of the Australians as "intolerable" and Ian Smith condemning the players for showing their anger at Martinesz. It is the same Australians who had objected to a decision favouring Kiwis using the big screen just a match ago !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Feb 2016.

excerpted from Cricinfo

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