Category Archive: Cricket

Cricket News

Mar 25

In Stats: Kuldeep Stars on Debut But Ashwin Enters Record Books.

India trail Australia by 300 runs at Stumps on Day 1.

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Mar 25

Yadav stars on debut to give India the momentum despite Smith century

  • Australia 300 all out, India 0-0 at stumps on day one at Dharamsala
  • Tourists collapse after lunch from 144-1

Steve Smith posted yet another captain’s century but Australia wasted a strong start to be all out for 300 late on day one of their Test series decider against India. The hosts were 0-0 in response at stumps on Saturday, having survived one over delivered by Josh Hazlewood.

Smith and David Warner blitzed the opening session of the fourth Test in Dharamsala, powering the visitors to 1-144 shortly after lunch. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, on debut in the absence of injured captain Virat Kohli, then turned the match on its head by kickstarting a collapse of 5-64. Yadav, mentored by Kolkata teammate Brad Hogg during the Indian Premier League, shed a tear when he claimed his first Test wicket and finished with figures of 4-68.

Related: Virat Kohli falls down ICC batting rankings with Steve Smith still top

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Mar 25

South Africa reach 123/4 vs New Zealand on rain-marred opening day

South Africa reach 123/4 vs New Zealand on rain-marred opening dayHamilton, March 25 (Cricketnmore) Former skipper Hashim Amla’s 32nd half century helped South Africa reach 123/4 against New Zealand on an intriguing opening day of the third and final Test, cut short because of rain at the Seddon Park here on Saturday.

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Mar 25

Evening newswrap March 25

Evening newswrap March 25British Parliament condemns Pakistan’s move over Gilgit-Baltistan, says it belongs to India

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Mar 25

Kuldeep Yadav becomes India’s first chinaman; The origin of the term ‘chinaman’

Kuldeep Yadav becomes the first chinaman bowler to play for India

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Mar 25

John Derrick tribute: He was Mr Welsh Cricket, says Mark Wallace

Glamorgan cricketer Mark Wallace pays a personal tribute to John Derrick, the former club player and coach who died aged 54.

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Mar 25

Interview: “One good ball is needed to dismiss an in-form player, don’t you think I have the upper edge?” asks Ishan Porel

The 18-year-old has been part of the Indian U-19 squad as well as CAB XI which won the Cooch Behar under-19 trophy.

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Mar 25

South Africa – 123/4 on rain-affected first Day against NZ

South Africa - 123/4 on rain-affected first Day against NZMarch 25 (CRICKETNMORE) – South Africa were 123/4 at stumps when   in the third and final Test against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday. Skipper Du Plessis was unbeaten on 33 and Temba Bavuma on 13 when rain arrived midway through the afternoon session to cut the day prematurely.

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Mar 25

Smith, Warner give Australia strong start after Renshaw loss

By Amlan Chakraborty DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) – Steve Smith continued his prolific run with the bat and David Warner capitalised on an early reprieve to give Australia a strong start on the opening day of the fourth and final test on Saturday. Smith…

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Mar 25

4th Test: Smith guides Australia to 131/1 at Lunch on Day 1

4th Test: Smith guides Australia to 131/1 at Lunch on Day 1March 25 (CRICKETNMORE) – Australia were 131/1 at Lunch on Day 1 of the fourth test against India at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharmasala on Saturday.

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Mar 25

India v Australia: fourth Test, day one – as it happened

  • Australia 300 all out, India 0-0 at stumps in Dharamsala
  • Another century for Smith but Kuldeep sparks collapse after lunch

11.52am GMT

Related: Yadav stars on debut to give India the momentum despite Smith century

11.08am GMT

Well, an eventful day. From the moment Warner was dropped in the cordon to the very first ball. Australia went on to dominate the morning courtesy of their captain Smith. A quarter hour into the second session the two had put on 134 and it was getting easier by the over. But then the day took a sharp twist. Kuldeep’s debut brought four wickets, three in that middle session ripping out Australia’s middle order.

With the mess around him, Smith kept on keeping on. His 20th Test ton and third for the series was the only thing that stood between his side and already being just about out of this already. 20 tons in 54 Tests. All coming in the previous 43 he has played. What a player.

11.01am GMT

India: 0-0 (KL Rahul 0, Vijay 0). Okay. One over. Six balls of the best. Lillee to Viv? The conventional three slips and a gully in place, no short leg. Hazlewood not Cummins. Plenty of carry to begin. Then full. Then again. The one that shapes away. Not forced to play though. Nor the last ball. In ordinary circumstances a decent set, but not quite where he needed to be in that situation. Maiden and stumps.

10.52am GMT

After tea. Australia probably would have taken all-out 300 from where they resumed at 6208. In saying that, a few minutes ago it was looking like a relatively excellent session. But Wade losing his off stump on 57 ensured that the Australians would have to bowl, albeit briefly, on evening one. It will be four minutes. Probably one over, maybe two if they try something on.

Smith brilliant warner/wade contributed well but batting looked vulnerable on a pitch worth 400+. Hopefully oz won’t be batting last!

10.48am GMT

Finished off with the new ball. Wonderful catch at midwicket diving forward, Bhuvneshwar in the book with Australia’s tenth wicket. India to bat for four minutes, I reckon it will be. Stand by for formal word on that.

10.46am GMT

88th over: Australia 300-9 (Lyon 13, Hazlewood 2). Just when they had India losing their way a bit, too. Four overthrows earlier in the over. But it matters not now. A Hazlewood edge gets him a couple, and Australia 300. Important milestone, but would have felt a lot better had Wade been the man bringing it up. I think I’m right in saying due to changeovers and whatnot, Australia need to face seven further minutes for the day to close regardless of the time on the clock. Maybe it is in their interests to be bowled out here and have two overs at India? Probably not quite where they are at. New ball now taken by India as well.

10.42am GMT

Oh no. 20 minutes to stumps Wade has launched into a sweep shot with Jadeja angling into him from over the wicket. But he missed, the bowler hit. Off stump to be precise. Such an important innings, but had plenty left to do. An annoying TV review follows, for reasons that are entirely unclear, but he’s off all the same. Deflating for the visitors.

10.38am GMT

87th over: Australia 294-8 (Wade 53, Lyon 13). Ashwin now, Kuldeep given a breather after another long shift from the southern end. They can afford to take their time here, well ahead of the over rate. That encourages Ashwin to tweak the field, consult his captain. All of that. Only a Wade single from the set.

10.34am GMT

86th over: Australia 293-8 (Wade 52, Lyon 13). Wade off strike first ball of the Jadeja over, turned behind square. Lyon keeps up to his end of the bargain thereafter, solid in defence as the spinner first gives a couple a rip, then a couple some air. The response is the same.

David Kalucy with some grounding thoughts on the email. “It’s kind of a false hope watching the tail wag at the moment, makes you forget just how long India could potentially grind and baffle. This is the sort of worry that his holiness avoids & keeps Mr Smith up at night.”

10.31am GMT

85th over: Australia 292-8 (Wade 51, Lyon 13). What doing Umesh?! I’m going to have to dig out that when the highlight emerges. Or the low light. You’ll never see a worse misfield at this level. Lyon sweeping, of course, and through his legs on the rope. Barely moved off the straight. Lyon hits it considerably better next up, and it is another boundary. Two on the spin. Half an hour further for these two to reach stumps. We saw how crucial that was in Pune. A long time ago, and barely any similarity in the conditions, but not for nothing if they can stick about. Especially if the runs keep coming as they did there. Second new ball? Gotta be worth a crack.

10.28am GMT

84th over: Australia 283-8 (Wade 50, Lyon 5). Oh gee, just as I welcome a slower over rate Jadeja is back on. Mate, just chill out for a sec at the top of your mark. It’s not a race. This is a maiden. Metronomic.

10.25am GMT

83rd over: Australia 283-8 (Wade 50, Lyon 5). Mercifully for OBO purposes, Kuldeep bowls his overs like a normal person and not in 60-75 seconds ala Jadeja/O’Keefe/Ashwin. Welcome relief comparatively. After Lyon swept another single, Wade gets his 50 from the last ball of the over, via a whip to midwicket. 113 balls. First half-century of the series, and since returning to the Test XI in November. Couldn’t have picked a better time.

Amid everything that’s happened this series, where does Virat Kohli rocking a luminous yellow bib with no shirt rank? Top 2? #IndvAus

10.22am GMT

82nd over: Australia 280-8 (Wade 48, Lyon 4). Four leg byes gets the Australian balcony excited, as they think Wade hit it and it’ll lodge his half-century. He’ll have to wait. Handy runs, of course. One to deep square gets him to 48. Lyon heads to a similar part of the ground with a sweep. Plays that shot compulsively. Hope he continues to for the rest of his career.

10.18am GMT

81st over: Australia 274-8 (Wade 47, Lyon 3). No new ball, Kuldeep continuing to Wade. He takes a single early in the over down the ground to expose Lyon. I say expose. It’s not as though he can’t bat. He’s played some extremely valuable hands. But not this series, facing only 34 balls so far for 21 runs. Two into deep midwicket will build some confidence. The last one just about went past the edge though, another excellent googly from the young spinner.

10.14am GMT

80th over: Australia 271-8 (Wade 46, Lyon 1). Another quick single ends the other. Sure. Whatever gets you going, fellas. Second new ball due. Reckon they’ll look at it. Bhuvi hasn’t had a jam roll for a while. Worth a crack to try and roll through Australia before stumps. Yeah? We’ll see in a tic.

Aust look like having to bowl tonight and given lunch score that is one of their poorest efforts of the entire series

10.12am GMT

Well, it can’t be said that this wasn’t on the cards. Twice this pair have looked shaky between the wickets. This time around, the substitute Iyer has enough time to get the throw into Saha who does the rest. A long time taken by the third umpire to arrive at the decision – determining if the glove or ball hit the stumps first – but it matters not. From short fine leg, the quick single has not been worth it. Dear oh dear.

10.04am GMT

79th over: Australia 269-7 (Wade 45, O’Keefe 8). Wade has a sound handle on Kuldeep, a clever glide behind point getting him a single. O’Keefe does the rest, content to defend. Drinks out there now. One wicket for Australia in the hour obviously one more than ideal, but they would probably have taken that at the tea break.

10.01am GMT

78th over: Australia 268-7 (Wade 44, O’Keefe 8). Yadav to O’Keefe for the bulk of this one. The no. 9 is growing in confidence, evidenced by the glorious on-drive he unfurled to end the over. Have that!

9.57am GMT

77th over: Australia 263-7 (Wade 43, O’Keefe 4). Wade at is best there, meeting Kuldeep’s first ball at the pitch and hitting through the line to the long-off rope. That’s his highest score on tour. But he’s been, to be fair, a fraction better than that sounds. A single down to the same area adds to the score later in the over. But then… nearly a run out. From nowhere, O’Keefe wants to take on the man at mid-off. He’ll be glad they didn’t go through with it.

Time for a bit of stinginess from Jadeja. Dry spell for the batsmen and force the mistake. #IndvAus

9.50am GMT

76th over: Australia 258-7 (Wade 38, O’Keefe 4). Runs! Nine of them. Wade’s steer through the cordon isn’t the most convincing stroke he’s played today, but it was with soft enough hands for it not to be a bother. Then O’Keefe plays the shot of the session! On about off-stump he stepped over to clip like Mark Waugh. Yeah, I know that’s the second time I’ve dropped his name today. Australia’s 250 is up along the way.

Ross McGillvray in with some thoughts. “I heard Ian Chappell say one time the best Tests were often when the team batting first made between 280 and 340 and didn’t take too long getting them I reckon a good first day is the team batting first bowled out half an hour before stumps for around 300 with one batsman making century and one bowler getting four or five. That might happen today. Then it’s game on.”

9.46am GMT

75th over: Australia 249-7 (Wade 33, O’Keefe 0). What would be the repercussions for a run out right now? A question we nearly learned the answer to when O’Keefe was dashing to the non-strikers end with Jadeja the man trying to throw the stumps down. Bold play, given the regularity in which he hits. But he’s safe. Wade looks good. But his job is nowhere near done.

Pete Salmon likes my stat. “You can’t tease us like that re slow strike rates! Any list that has O’Keefe followed by Rackemann is by definition not dreary. Can you give the full list, or a link? My mind is whirring at the moment, wondering who the otehr ten are. Tom Hogan? Julian Weiner? We have a right to know.”

9.43am GMT

74th over: Australia 246-7 (Wade 30, O’Keefe 0). Umesh gets another go here as well, perhaps with a view to giving the Australian lower order a work out with a bit of reverse swing at pace. Wade takes one out to point, O’Keefe now in charge. He’s beaten outside the off-stump at a delivery he should be leaving well alone.

Epic Smith notches third century of series: #INDvAUS

9.37am GMT

73rd over: Australia 245-7 (Wade 29, O’Keefe 0). We know O’Keefe can defend. That much is shown again to play out the Kuldeep over. Want a fact to prove it? From when balls faced became a reliable measure in 1980, he has the slowest strike rate of any Australian batsmen for those who have played a minimum of ten innings. It’s 18, in case you were wondering. And Big Carl Rackemann is second on that dreary list. You’re welcome.

9.35am GMT

At the very moment these two looked under control, Cummins has returned the easiest of catches to the debutant, giving him a fourth wicket! Not much more to that one, the Australian coming down the track a fraction, looking to force the spinner through the air down the ground. But he didn’t get enough of it, beaten in flight perhaps, and that is that. The partnership, handy as it was, ends on 37.

9.33am GMT

72nd over: Australia 242-6 (Wade 26, Cummins 21). Good or a bad thing for Australia that batting looks easier by the over? Three times in the over Wade and Cummins are able to milk easy singles through the off-side off Ashwin.

An email in from Paul. He’s from Dublin. Morning, Paul.

9.31am GMT

71st over: Australia 239-6 (Wade 24, Cummins 20). Kuldeep’s back. From the Southern End where he did his earlier damage. And it is back to back maidens. Cummins would have seen his teammates come and go to the wrist spin after lunch, and is taking no chances to begin with.

9.29am GMT

70th over: Australia 239-6 (Wade 24, Cummins 20). After collecting nine from the previous over, Wade happy watch and defend Ashwin throughout this over. It’s a maiden. Significantly, he’s now batting in a baggy green. Like it. A lot.

9.26am GMT

69th over: Australia 239-6 (Wade 24, Cummins 20). Busy, busy. Wade knocking it around, getting Cummins down there for Jadeja’s last couple. His response? Bang, bang! He clobbers the best bowler in the world over midwicket first time around, then goes slightly straighter next time around. Not to be underestimated, this bloke.

9.23am GMT

68th over: Australia 230-6 (Wade 23, Cummins 12). They trade in singles to start Ashwin’s new over, Wade behind square then Cummins with soft hands past slip. Wade sweeps for another, before Cummins defends the remainder. Look alright here, don’t they?

Phil Withall has dropped a line on Smith and his fancy numbers. “Reading the stat about Steve Smith and his speed with scoring centuries and it dawned on me that he is still only 27 years old. Given a touch of luck with injuries he potentially has another 7-8 years in him. What do you think he could achieve?”

9.18am GMT

67th over: Australia 227-6 (Wade 21, Cummins 11). Handling Jadeja well too, is Cummins. Round to wicket is the approach, and Cummins responds by using his big old front pad, right alongside his blade. Technically perfect. When Jadeja threw it up, Cummins was up to that ask too, smashing it down the ground for his second boundary.

While all eyes have been on Kuldeep, understandably, Rahane has been spot on with captaincy: bowling changes, field placements … #IndvAus

9.16am GMT

66th over: Australia 223-6 (Wade 21, Cummins 7). Cummins really looking the part defending Ashwin. Didn’t trouble the scorers last week, but rarely lets any side down that he plays for with that bat. Had plenty of time to practice, I guess. A single to long-on ensures the board keeps ticking as well.

9.13am GMT

65th over: Australia 222-6 (Wade 21, Cummins 6). Really nice batting from Wade. In control against Jadeja defending throughout. Then, when set, used the feet to meet the delivery at the pitch before clipping with lovely timing through midwicket for a boundary.

Let’s remember that Wade is in this XI for his batting. That’s why he replaced Nevill. Not the Nice Garry stuff. He’s made a couple of Test tons. Both excellent. He’s done it at ODI level as well. My point? He’s due. Big time. And now he has a start.

9.09am GMT

64th over: Australia 218-6 (Wade 17, Cummins 6). Cummins get off the mark with a six! Just as I was writing that, despite not having yet scored, don’t expect him to be livin’ la vida loca any time soon. Mature lad, young Cummins. To be fair, it was a perfectly safe shot to a ball that deserved to go, well overpitched.

9.06am GMT

63rd over: Australia 212-6 (Wade 17, Cummins 0). The best bowler in the world, according to the ICC, barely got a trundle in the second session. Kuldeep made sure of that from the southern end. Wade is busy in response to his first over of the spell, twice sweeping for two. He tries to make it three on the trot but doesn’t make contact. At his best when he’s busy.

Teatime ‘live’ #sketch Handscomb bowled; Saha keeping #IndvAus #INDvsAUS @guerillacricket @Sofa_Katie @abdulhayemehta #cricket #drawing

9.04am GMT

62nd over: Australia 208-6 (Wade 13, Cummins 0). The opening exchanges of the new session amounted to Ashwin coming around the wicket to Cummins, who was perfectly happy patting them back. Good plan. Stick to it.

This trophy being keenly fought for #INDvAUS

8.54am GMT

Well, I did my bit.

Australia were cruising when I left you at lunch. A lot of chat about how hard it is to lose a Test from 1/131 at the first break. India were flat, their primary spin weapons somewhat blunted. Then Kuldeep Yadav (and Geoff) showed up. What a fine spell from the 22-year-old on the debut, with a bag of tricks full of big turning leg-breaks, useful topppies and sharp googlies. Where we he a month ago? Well bowled, young man.

8.47am GMT

Well and truly a session won for India. The pitch looks pretty good, the bounce looks pretty true, and still thye’ve managed to stack up five Australian wickets including the century-making captain Steve Smith. He notched his 20th, but will be angry that he didn’t go on when his team was struggling. Soft dismissals really for Marsh, Handscomb and Maxwell, and a strange one for Smith. Only Warner got a ball that really made his life difficult. Perhaps the batsmen’s eyes lit up at seeing a pitch with the truer bounce they’re more accustomed to at home. But I’m confident that India will make plenty on this surface, so if Australia can’t rally to post at least 300, they’re in real trouble.

That’s it from me, Adam Collins will be back for the last session of Day 1. Do unto him as you would have him do unto you.

8.44am GMT

61st over: Australia 208-6 (Wade 13, Cummins 0)

So close to tea, and Wade wants to get there. Blocks out Kuldeep’s over, back for one last twirl, and so ends India’s session.

8.42am GMT

60th over: Australia 208-6 (Wade 13, Cummins 0)

At least Smith’s wicket distracts from Wade’s horror shot earlier that same over. Ashwin bowled outside his off stump, wide, and somehow Wade tried to heave across the line, which looked even worse as the ball spun sharply away. Ugg boots. Then another one went off the pitch and got away for a bye. Cummins has one ball to negotiate at the end, and does so.

8.38am GMT

And the fox has been run to ground! The key wicket, Australia in real trouble now. Good batting conditions, but they’ve let the opportunity slip. It was Smith holding the innings together, but four minutes short of tea he goes. Just a simple misjudgement. Ashwin around the wicket, at the stumps, the ball straightens a touch. Smith plays a defensive push, may have just lapsed in concentration as he goes at it quite casually. Doesn’t quite read the line, and it takes a thick outside edge to slip.

8.35am GMT

59th over: Australia 207-5 (Smith 111, Wade 13)

@GeoffLemonSport no 20th Century pun?

8.31am GMT

58th over: Australia 201-5 (Smith 106, Wade 12)

Ashwin. A maiden. A Waiden? Wade faces it. Apparently Smith has reached 20 Test hundreds in by far the fewest Test by anyone, 54 to Tendulkar’s 69.

8.30am GMT

57th over: Australia 201-5 (Smith 106, Wade 12)

I was wrong. Quickly. Kuldeep off. Jadeja on. Three singles, and the 200 up.

8.29am GMT

56th over: Australia 198-5 (Smith 105, Wade 10)

As we all know by now, Steve Smith met the Dalai Lama the other day. He seems to be channelling that in his monkish occupation. He has a mantra, muttered each ball. Back, and work to leg. Back, and work to leg. Again, to Ashwin. Again, single. Wade ruins the synchrony with an enthusiastic paddle shot.

Did the Dalai Lama try to boop the snoot of Steve Smith?

8.22am GMT

55th over: Australia 196-5 (Smith 104, Wade 9)

Kuldeep might just bowl all day. Has Matthew Wade defending, defending, defending. Then there’s a hefty drive, straight into the close catcher’s body on the bounce, and it ricochets off for a run. Smith, as ever, back and works to leg.

8.19am GMT

54th over: Australia 194-5 (Smith 103, Wade 8)

Here is Ashwin, as we say his name. Operating around the wicket to the right-handed Smith. Yet another leg-side flick for one. He’s batting like Younis Khan right now. Wade nicks the next ball to get off strike to third man. Smith defends.

8.17am GMT

53rd over: Australia 192-5 (Smith 102, Wade 7)

Kuldeep was the surprise pick, but he’s the main man now. Smith works a single. Wade sees it out. Kuldeep has bowled 13 overs, Ashwin 10, Jadeja 6.

8.14am GMT

52nd over: Australia 191-5 (Smith 101, Wade 7)

Matty Wade has had enough, and he’s not gonna take it any more. He resists the first few short balls from Yadav, but finallyone is in his slot and he pulls it for six over fine leg.

8.10am GMT

51st over: Australia 185-5 (Smith 101, Wade 1)

A couple of singles, then Kuldeep bowls leg side, Smith flicks fine, and there is his 20th Test century. What a momentous achievement. No visiting captain has ever made three in a series in India. Well, one has now. All the people who spoke of roads when Smith was making them against India at home, well, now he’s done it away. Seven hundreds in his last eight Tests against India. What? An average of 93 against India. What? An average of 70 in India. This is absurd. It is ridiculous. It really is.

8.05am GMT

50th over: Australia 179-5 (Smith 96, Wade 0)

Another day, another dollar. If by dollar you mean single. And by day you mean over. Smith has all the single dollars. Wade has to survive the next five balls from Umesh Yadav, who’s back in. One of them very nearly takes his off stump after cutting back in.

8.02am GMT

49th over: Australia 178-5 (Smith 95)

I don’t even know what that is. It’s not a brilliant delivery but Maxwell makes a meal of it. He goes back on his stumps to defend, the ball doesn’t spin as much as expected, and it slides past the outside edge into his off stump. He is looking to defend on middle and leg. It’s Kuldeep over the wicket again, so that slight angle across the batsman has done him in. That came two balls after Maxwell had blasted a lofted four out to deep midwicket, so perhaps he was trying to be conservative when really he could have just pulled that ball away for runs.

7.58am GMT

48th over: Australia 172-4 (Smith 94, Maxwell 3)

This is interesting. Bhuvi going after Maxwell is attacking the batsman: short balls, into the pads. Maxwell drives a single. Then to Smith, he’s bowling way outside off. Trying to tempt a big drive. Nothing doing.

7.51am GMT

47th over: Australia 171-4 (Smith 94, Maxwell 2)

Smith just keeps finding the singles. Another one from Kuldeep worked into the on side. He’ll do this all day. He has. Maxwell gets his second run off the outside half of the bat.

7.49am GMT

46th over: Australia 169-4 (Smith 93, Maxwell 1)

Thomas Meehan on the email, “I haven’t been there, but I’m putting forward Dharamsala as the most beautiful Test ground on Earth. Previously it was the SCG.”

7.43am GMT

45th over: Australia 169-4 (Smith 93, Maxwell 1)

Maxwellball. He’s met the Dalai Lama. He’s taken his box out of the freezer, dropped it into his strides. He’s calm and ready. One ball to come, and he drives it through the covers in measured fashion for a single. Strike rate 100. Classic Maxwell.

7.41am GMT

What a delivery! That’s the stuff of dreams for a left-arm wrist spinner. Floated the ball up there, giving it a real rip. It was coming from left-arm over the wicket to the right-handed Handscomb. Angled across him. Handscomb saw the width and said yes please. Aimed a big cover drive at it. Back the ball ripped, from well outside off stump, right through the gate, and knocked over the stumps. Brilliance.

7.38am GMT

44th over: Australia 167-3 (Smith 92, Handscomb 8)

Bhuvneshwar is cranking it up. He’s over the 140 kmh mark, when he has a reputation for hanging around 125. Is that a new-found skill? Swinging it too. Smith escapes strike from the first ball, but Handscomb survives the rest of the examination. This is high-class stuff.

7.33am GMT

43rd over: Australia 166-3 (Smith 91, Handscomb 8)

Smith into the 90s, and doing it with ease in singles. Again to midwicket. Handscomb edges a run, Smith flicks one. Then the tempo lifts. Down the wicket again, here comes Peter Dancecomb. Kuldeep is his reluctant partner. Meets the ball on the full again, but this time times his drive and slams it through wide mid on for four. Class.

7.29am GMT

42nd over: Australia 159-3 (Smith 89, Handscomb 3)

Now it’s Bhuvi. He’s swinging the ball. Wonder if he should have been back for a look earlier. Handscomb square-drives a run, Smith flicks one to leg. From there Bhuvneshwar nails Handscomb to the off stump with the next four balls.

7.24am GMT

41st over: Australia 157-3 (Smith 88, Handscomb 2)

Kuldeep is providing something here. Some doubt. Smith drives a single sqaure of the wicket, but Handscomb gets a wrong ‘un that keeps very low. Almost overspin on that delivery, and it spat through off a full length. That forces Handscomb to come down to the next ball, advancing to take it on the full but slamming it straight to midwicket. He reads the next googly and drives that square for a run.

7.20am GMT

40th over: Australia 155-3 (Smith 87, Handscomb 1)

Nearly a bowling change for Bhuvneshwar, but Rahane elects for the double Yadav to continue. If only Jayant was in this side as well. It could rival Australia’s all-Mitchell attacks. Handscomb square drives a run. Smith blocks a couple, leaves one bouncer, then plays the next. Just a single. Blow me down, Smith could make another hundred here. He’s been going so smoothly that I hadn’t even noticed.

7.16am GMT

39th over: Australia 153-3 (Smith 86, Handscomb 0)

Double Yadav attack. Kuldeep finally, of the Indian bowlers, hits a spot six times. Smith defends five, plays straight to the field for the other.

7.15am GMT

38th over: Australia 153-3 (Smith 86, Handscomb 0)

So it’s Peter Handscomb’s turn. The other Hero of Ranchi. I won’t give him the same level of intro. Umesh has 2/45 after 9.

7.12am GMT

That is peculiar. Umesh has bowled plenty of good balls today and got nothing. Then he bowls a pie down leg side, Marsh tries to glance, and nudges it off the glove through to the keeper. I said 2 runs. He’s doubled that.

7.09am GMT

37th over: Australia 152-2 (Smith 85, Marsh 4)

As of that run, Smith’s average is now only behind Bradman for those who have played 20 Test innings: #INDvAUS

7.05am GMT

36th over: Australia 150-2 (Smith 84, Marsh 3)

Marsh blocks, leaves, then gets one too straight and works a single. Runs still coming too easily, Umesh doesn’t have much to work with at the moment. Smith matches Marsh. Marsh matches Smith. The 150 comes up.

7.01am GMT

35th over: Australia 147-2 (Smith 83, Marsh 1)

Here he comes. The Hero of Bengaluru. The Man of La Ranchi. Shaun Edward Marsh. Australia’s new favourite son. All sins forgiven. Unless he’s out for 2 today. Gets halfway there by flicking a single. Smith gets two leg byes from the last ball. Kuldeep finishes a successful over.

6.59am GMT

Finally the breakthrough! Warner broke through first for a fifty, after being dropped first ball today, then Kuldeep gets him. That ball bounces quite high, Warner is trying to defend, it pops up to the stand-in captain at slip. Simple, and Kuldeep gets his first Test wicket.

6.57am GMT

34th over: Australia 144-1 (Warner 56, Smith 83)

What an over. Yadav zips past the outside edge. Then Smith flicks four through midwicket. Yadav responds by taking the edge next ball, bouncing just in front of Rahane at slip. Then Smith goes back to pound another boundary through square.

6.52am GMT

33rd over: Australia 136-1 (Warner 56, Smith 75)

Kuldeep from the other end. Watching left-arm wrist-spinners is always a lot of fun. Such a strange art. I like the visual so far. he’s giving it plenty of air. Smith flicks a straight ball for one, Warner blocks out the next four. Not getting huge turn here but landing them accurately.

6.48am GMT

32nd over: Australia 135-1 (Warner 56, Smith 74)

Yadav to start after lunch. One of the features of this first session was how easily the Australians found ways to score. No jamming up the innings here. And it proves much the same here, as the batsmen work four singles from the opening over. That’s just too easy.

6.15am GMT

My my. What a start for the Australians. Adam has got out of the blocks and is off to a flyer. Hello, Geoff here. You can send me an email via the address on the left of screen, or the top of your phone. Or I could just write it for you. Fine. I will. It’s Happy now? Don’t say I never do anything nice. The Twitter machine is @GeoffLemonSport. Let’s play OBO.

6.11am GMT

Some superb, authoritative batting by Australia’s leadership team put them comfortably ahead in this final Test after one session. But it could have been so much different. To go back to the opening ball of the day, Bhuvneshwar won Warner’s edge only to be put down at third slip by Nair. It’s cliche to suggest that’ll cost India the match, but until they remove him it will play on all their minds.

It still didn’t prevent Smith from having to make an early trip to the middle, Renshaw losing his off-stump when loosely driving at an Umesh beauty in the second over. The captain was jittery for about ten minutes before getting in the best way he knows how: playing his shots. He thrashed at anything remotely off target, peppering the rope between cover and point when the seamers operated. And looked so good in doing it.

6.03am GMT

31st over: Australia 131-1 (Warner 54, Smith 72). You do not need to move when you hit drives as sweetly as that, Smith leaning into Kuldeep with a belated ‘welcome to Test cricket, champ’. Glorious cover drive. Knocking the last ball on the head, that’s lunch. What a ride that was. I’ll collect my thoughts on it all. Back in a moment.

6.00am GMT

30th over: Australia 125-1 (Warner 54, Smith 68). Ashwin’s last one before the break. Warner handles it comfortably in defence before pushing a single into the on-side. Smith repeats that formula, retaining the strike with one down to long-on from the last ball of the set. Ashwin threatened Warner early, but not so much at the moment.

The good teams try and take the game away as quickly as possible. Australia are doing that on a fine track in Dharmasala

5.57am GMT

29th over: Australia 125-1 (Warner 53, Smith 67). Kuldeep called upon for his first bowl in international cricket! An exciting moment for any player. Warner welcomes him with aggression, cutting off the edge for four! Watching the replay, that really could have been a wicket with his second ball. Instead, it is Warner’s 50, from 72 balls. He’s more watchful of the conventional looking leg breaks thereafter. Australia’s incumbent duo now have two more overs to see out for a samosa and a sit down.

The moment Kuldeep was presented with his cap before play. Nice.

Huge moment this for young @imkuldeep18 as he receives his Test cap #INDvAUS #TeamIndia

5.54am GMT

28th over: Australia 120-1 (Warner 48, Smith 67). Warner picks his moment before going at Ashwin again. Three boundaries in three overs for him now, the off-breaker dropping way short and Warner making no mistake picking the boundary at cover. Another single in that direction keeps him the strike. Had to reset a couple of times in this innings, but he’s still there and now really motoring.

The time has come to get @imVkohli on the field as substitute fielder. Can someone please oblige with a fall or a slip? #INDvsAUS

5.50am GMT

27th over: Australia 115-1 (Warner 43, Smith 67). With another carve to point by Smith it is the 100 partnership between these two. And would you believe, the first time they’ve had a three-digit stand in Test cricket? Harder to achieve than not to given their prolific careers. Also the highest second-wicket union for either side in the series. Warner, growing in confidence, does a great job of getting back into the crease early before cutting Jadeja hard to the boundary. Into the 40s he moves.

5.47am GMT

26th over: Australia 109-1 (Warner 38, Smith 66). What did I say about Warner putting it away through to lunch? Nah. Instead, armed with the protective shield of the baggy green, he gets on the front foot to Ashwin and hits him over the rope at long-off for the first six of the match. He’s hit it beautifully.

5.44am GMT

25th over: Australia 102-1 (Warner 32, Smith 65). Jadeja get a go at Warner and wins another big edge! But it is safe after evading a diving Rahane at slip. Four added, bringing up Australia’s 100. A more conservative approach greets the rest of the over. Rightly so. Inexcusable to throw it away from something daft now.

5.43am GMT

24th over: Australia 98-1 (Warner 28, Smith 65). Smudger Smith has nowhere near the issues with Ashwin that his deputy does. We have a new shot of the morning, when he met the offie on the advance and lofted him over mid-on, a couple of bounces into the rope. Beautiful batting. Then when pushed back, he carved with perfect timing out to point for four more. The definition of hitting a bowler off his length.

5.41am GMT

23rd over: Australia 90-1 (Warner 28, Smith 57). Jadeja, confident that he has the Australian captain’s measure, throws it up repeatedly at him to encourage something lavish. But just as Warner held firm in the previous over, Smith did here. Good batting. So important they now get to lunch to bank these early gains.

5.37am GMT

22nd over: Australia 89-1 (Warner 28, Smith 56). A maiden from Ashwin to Warner. The former varied his pace and angle, but the latter didn’t give into his desires. Straight bats all the way. For now.

5.35am GMT

21st over: Australia 89-1 (Warner 28, Smith 56). Jadeja again beats Smith with one that really goes. To an extent this early turn looks to validate Smith’s decision to hold firm and play two spinners. Lyon especially should enjoy plenty of bounce out there. Then driving, Smith gets a fat edge and it is four. Not convincing. So we have two pretty good battles going on here. Warner v Ashwin from the Himalayas End, Smith v Jadeja from the not-Himalayas End.

5.32am GMT

20th over: Australia 83-1 (Warner 28, Smith 50). For the second time in consecutive Ashwin overs he’s nearly through Warner with one that doesn’t turn from round the wicket. This time it is into Warner’s front pad, but missing. Ominous for the left-hander. He’s better on the back foot, pulling hard for one and getting away from his nemesis for a moment. Smith ends the set with a single through midwicket himself, collecting his 21st Test Match half-century in the process. 67 balls to the mark. He’s given everything remotely off target the treatment this morning after coming in part way through the second over. He’s also now beyond 400 runs in the series, leading all comers.

5.29am GMT

19th over: Australia 81-1 (Warner 27, Smith 49). Smith has all the time he needs when Jadeja misfires to get deep and flick a couple behind square. Sure enough, Jadeja responds with a rip, spinning it past Smith’s bat. A legit play and miss there.

5.27am GMT

18th over: Australia 79-1 (Warner 27, Smith 47). Ashwin lets Smith take the first ball to deep square leg. He won’t mind that, getting another look at Warner, who is now batting in the baggy green. He’s nearly through him from around the wicket. That didn’t spin, Warner didn’t pick it, and if not for an inside edge he was gone. A bit of confusion between the batsmen ends the over. Yes, no, yes, no. No wins out. Different gravy with these two spinners on, no matter what the state of play.

5.24am GMT

17th over: Australia 78-1 (Warner 27, Smith 46). Twins in spin for the first time in this match, Jadeja into the act having picked up both of these batsmen the previous time they met. He’s immediately on his mark, leaving Smith no other option but defence. Oh, scrap that, Smith is down the track and trying to clip. It doesn’t look that great through the air, but well short of the man at mid-on.

5.22am GMT

16th over: Australia 77-1 (Warner 27, Smith 45). Ashwin has Smith to probe to begin. But he’s driving for one. Warner back, which will please him. But he lets him get away with a short ball the left-hander can knock into the deep for one. Smith is happy defending, before turning the final delivery away for one. Productive times for the baggy greens.

“Can you walk on water, Virat?”
“I’m pretty awesome, Anil, but I wouldn’t go that far.”
“No, I mean, can you take the drinks out, please?”

5.18am GMT

15th over: Australia 74-1 (Warner 26, Smith 43). I thought you were meant to chill out after sharing an Eskimo Kiss with the Dalai Lama?Smith has an approach, it is working, he isn’t changing it. Bhuvi short of a length outside off-stump, a delivery that would conventionally be left on an opening morning. Stuff that, says the captain, throwing his hands at it as hard as he can, little footwork to speak off. Nails it, of course. Four scored to start the over. He cuts in that direction two further times in the over, albeit to the sweeper they have been forced to put in place given the frequency that Smith is popping it out there, and how hard it is travelling.

5.12am GMT

14th over: Australia 67-1 (Warner 26, Smith 36). Ashwin v Warner. It’s a heavyweight battle. Into his defensive posture, the first isn’t convincing, but the second is. A strong push to mid-off gets him off strike. Advantage Warner. Smith puts him back down the business end with one behind square. But he keeps it out from the crease. India like that behind the wicket. Proper Test cricket.

5.09am GMT

13th over: Australia 65-1 (Warner 25, Smith 35). First ball, Smith without footwork trying to thrash Bhuvneshwar down the ground. It’s a high risk game the captain is playing at the moment compared to how he went about it on day one at Ranchi, but it is paying off for the time being. The 50 run stand comes up later in the over, Smith pushing behind point when given a fraction more width. Only the 65 balls required to get to that mark. Smith has another go at the limited-footwork shove. Why not? It’s on the up and edgey and altogether risky. But it’s also his fifth boundary. Cricket in fast forward.

Stunning view from the South Stand. Very close to the action and the Himalayas in the background. #AUSvIND

5.02am GMT

12th over: Australia 59-1 (Warner 24, Smith 30). There’s a change, Umesh replaced by Ashwin. The man who has Warner more than any other in Test cricket, so it makes sense. Initially, the opener does what he is meant to. Defending, coming down the track. Then? Dancing and top edging! There’s a deep point rather than a conventional one, so it is safe. But it’s not pretty. Hard to know where that came from or why; he’s looked really good since that first ball faux pas. And that’s drinks. Phew. Get a raspberry cordial. It’d be in keeping with the theme of that first hour.

Second time in an hour that umpires looking at the ball shape. Probably cos Australia are smacking it at 5/over right now. #IndvAus

4.59am GMT

11th over: Australia 57-1 (Warner 23, Smith 29). How’s the tempo of this first hour? Another single to point from Warner gives the main man Smith another crack. He’s on the advance, but unable to beat the field with some pushes. Not the case when Bhuvneshwar is a fraction wider, the Australian captain throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at a cut shot. It’s to the boundary at point in no time at all.

4.54am GMT

10th over: Australia 52-1 (Warner 22, Smith 25). Warner past point for one early in the over. Scoring well through that part of the ground. It’s when you know he’s in decent nick. Smith then plays the shot of the morning to bring up the Australian 50. Barely off-target, the captain clips Umesh with the timing of Mark Waugh or VVS Laxman or David Gower. It’s real pretty running into the mid-on rope. The replay shows it wasn’t even straight, basically outside off-stump. Freak. In ODI terms, the power play is over. And that’s how it has felt the last few overs.

Kohli the biggest name drinks waiter since?

4.49am GMT

9th over: Australia 45-1 (Warner 21, Smith 19). Better from Bhuvi. Early in the over he’s far closer to the off-stump than Umesh was in the previous set, Smith watching cautiously. When using his bat, Smith defends off the edge. Twice. He’s back to leaving and defending to see the over through. Good contest emerging between the pair. The first maiden of the day.

4.47am GMT

8th over: Australia 45-1 (Warner 21, Smith 19). Righto, Smith is in. A lovely, compact drive past point runs away to the boundary to begin the Umesh over. Next up, he misses waaaay outside the off-stump and Smith doesn’t hesitate helping it on its way to the cover boundary. Through the air bit no real danger. Consecutive fours. Two more with another drive in a similar direction. Umesh goes upstairs to end the over, and Smith has a crack at that as well, hooking to fine leg for one. 11 from it. As you do 40 minutes into a Test Match. After battling badly to begin, he’s now 19 from 21 balls. That’s why he’s the top-ranked bat in the world.

Enjoy some imagery from TV commentary. So much imagery.

RS: now that is a serious tracer bullet, it’s hit the fence at a rate of knots, not a muscle moved.
MH: Pick the bones out of this.

4.41am GMT

7th over: Australia 34-1 (Warner 21, Smith 8). Bhuvneshwar misses the mark first ball, but only just. Enough of Warner’s pad makes contact to secure four leg-byes. He’s defending the next three deliveries. I don’t think he’s left one yet come to think of it? Oh, now a snorter! That’s come racing back at Warner who didn’t want to play, but it was all too late. It went over the cordon and down to the rope. He survives. Superb bowling, giving him nothing here.

Phil Withall has dropped a line on twitter. “With Virat running drinks we can expect a lot of stoppages. Captaining when not captaining?”

4.37am GMT

6th over: Australia 26-1 (Warner 17, Smith 8). One of those impromptu drinks breaks, after 30 minutes, when the ball goes bung. The fourth official is out there with umpires Erasmus and Gould to try and find a new one. Pretty hard work finding a ball 5.4 overs old, I would have thought? But they’ve done it. It came after the Australians turned the strike over to three consecutive deliveries, albeit with strokes that were well away from the middle of their bats. After the changed ball it’s better for Warner, who pushes out to point to retain the strike.

Disco Bob is battling his way to enjoying this Test. He’s written in to tell us all about it.

4.32am GMT

5th over: Australia 21-1 (Warner 15, Smith 5). Smith just working his way in here. We’ve seen it many times from the Aussie captain, looking vulnerable before facing 300 balls. He grabs a couple with a flick to midwicket after Bhuvi overpitches. Then two more to the same region after Smith shuffles across with confidence. A tense moment follows, defending off the inside edge and nearly rolling back onto his stumps! But he’s back in the groove right away with a lovely off-drive to end the set. Shame, for him, there is a fielder there.

Thilo Fobes has his say on the tweet. “Aus said before series they’d go horses for courses, but looks like it should have been bird for … eh (CA) shirt.”

4.27am GMT

4th over: Australia 17-1 (Warner 15, Smith 1). Classic Warner version 2.0 to end the over, standing high in the crease and pushing with perfect timing to the point boundary. That’s pretty much exactly how he lodged a century in a session at Sydney a couple of months back. Until that point, singles were taken by each, in turn Smith off the mark with a push to mid-on.

Not many in at the ground at this stage. The pattern of the series is that they’ve piled in after lunch. Let’s hope they do. Hard to think of a better spot to watch our sport. What do you reckon? Get excited sitting on the fort at Galle? Fancy the horseshoe set up at Adelaide? Basin Reserve gives it a nudge, for mine. But this is something else.

4.22am GMT

3rd over: Australia 11-1 (Warner 10, Smith 0). Warner far more cautious now, watching Bhuvi who had it going both ways in his first set. He gets off strike when inside-edging an inducker. The Indian quick right on his game. Smith had three balls to look at, and each of those were defended awkwardly, none hitting the middle of the bat. Proper graft required from both.

Here’s that shot from before the game I mentioned. What a place.

Australia getting a taste of English conditions in beautiful Dharamsala. #AUSvIND

4.17am GMT

2nd over: Australia 10-1 (Warner 9, Smith 0). Smith is tempted before leaving a shorter ball to end the over. It’s quick, with plenty of swing after passing the batsman. The Australian leadership team both at the crease now. Warner, having given that chance first up, has a huge job. Hasn’t fired a meaningful shot this series, and he knows it. As for Smith, he was blessed by the Dalai Lama yesterday. Not that he needs any added edge to score heavily in this series.

No reason for third slip to be so close. Potentially, a costly positional error above all else with that Warner drop. #INDvAUS

4.14am GMT

The youngster beaten pace and movement, slipping past the inside edge when driving, then crashing into his off-stump! Brushed the pad on the way through, it would have been leg before had it not gone onto the stumps. Spot on from Umesh, who has been brilliant throughout this series. The hosts are up and about, Kohli leaping from his chair on the sidelines. The Australian captain Smith on his way.

4.10am GMT

1st over: Australia 10-0 (Warner 9, Renshaw 1). WARNER DROPPED FIRST BALL! Bloody hell! That would have been an utter disaster for Australia. Warner flayed at Bhuvneshwar. It’s moved significantly away from the left-hander, full enough to entice. Oh, it’s a bad drop too before going to the rope. Nair went to his left with a dive at third slip, but probably didn’t need to go with the one hand. He’s moving it both ways, Bhuvi, after getting the first over exactly for this. Singles are exchanged, Renshaw with a tidy clip. It will hurt watching Warner drive the last ball beautifully to the cover rope. Wow. Take a breath? 10 from it.

4.02am GMT

They’re out for the anthems. The highlight, an extraordinary shot the cameraman nabbed of the Australians arm in arm with the snow-covered mountains in the backdrop. No body contact from the Indians, belt and braces hands behind the back, looking straight ahead.

Some early correspondence from Michael Spears gets the OBO off the mark. “Given the madness in sports since last year – Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Cubs, Superbowl comeback and extra time, Cronulla Sharks, Western Bulldogs,” he says. Before listing about six more. “My theory is that the end is nigh and sports is going out with a bang, with droughts broken, comebacks and underdogs winning. Consequently, I’m expecting a cracker!”

3.51am GMT

Some potpourri.

3.38am GMT

Not quite Thriller in Manila, but I’m going with it. Adam Collins coming to you here from the Himalayan End of the wondrous HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala. For what, I think we can agree, is the most anticipated Border-Gavaskar Test since at least 2004. Winner takes all.

We’ll come to the broader context in a tic. For now, I have news. To begin, Steve Smith has won the toss and Australia will bat! Huge for the visitors. No hesitation from the captain.

4.04am GMT

Adam will be here shortly. In the meantime, check out Andy Bull’s latest on the Cricket All Stars scheme.

Related: Cricket’s All Stars scheme is fine but kids must see the game as well as play it | Andy Bull

Continue reading…

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Mar 25

Watch | Rahane Walks Out For Toss as India’s 33rd Test Captain

Virat Kohli ruled out of the match due to injury.

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Mar 25

Morning Newswrap March 25

Morning Newswrap March 25

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Mar 25

Bitter end for Cricket Australia’s brewery deal after 20-year innings

Carlton and United Breweries calls time on 20-year deal as groups opposed to alcohol-related advertising in sport hail the moveCarlton and United Breweries has ended its 20-year sponsorship deal with Cricket Australia, a move welcomed by groups opposed…

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Mar 25

4th Test: Australia won the toss and have opted to bat first

4th Test: Australia won the toss and have opted to bat first25th March, Dharamshala (CRICKETNMORE ):   Australia captain Steven Smith won the toss and decided to bat first in the fourth and final cricket Test against India at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium here on Saturday.

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Mar 25

4th Test: Australia opt to bat, Rahane to lead

4th Test: Australia opt to bat, Rahane to leadMarch 25 (CRICKETNMORE) – Australian Skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opt to bat in the final test against India at Dharamsala. This is the first time that Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA) is hosting any test.

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