After a prolonged build up, the Ashes is finally here. This time, it is expected that it will be a really close series. And the Aussies proved it right by staging a stunning comeback to win the first test. So, here are the top three things that we learned from the first Ashes test:
1) Sensational Smith
Steve Smith had a mixed World Cup. He did play some good innings, but he did not look convincing by any means. But in the first Ashes test, he was back to his absolute best. It is hard to say whether his 144 in the first innings was more important or the 142 in the second. But these two centuries indicate that he is simply in sublime form.
2) Legend Lyon
In the first innings, Nathan Lyon did not have much of an impact. But he more than made up for it in the second innings. His bowling on the last day was simply unplayable. He managed to pick up six wickets, ensuring that the Aussies got the win. Lyon is considered to be one of the finest spinners around, and he lived up to his reputation.
3) Anderson Injury
James Anderson only managed to bowl four overs in the first innings. He injured himself and had to go off the field after that. He did bat in both the innings, but could not bowl in the second innings. This was a huge blow for England as they were always a bowler short. England would have been better off had he not played at all.
To sum up, the test proved once again that the Aussies should never be written off. They have managed to come back from 8 wickets down inside the first two sessions to win the game. Hats off to them!
India came into the T20 series against the West Indies with high expectations. The West Indies have been inconsistent in recent times and this series proved to be an easy one for the Indians. So, here are the top three things that we learned from India’s T20 series win over the West Indies:
1) Brilliant Kohli
Kohli proved to be India’s best batsman during the series. He managed to string together partnerships with others at vital times. Although he scored just one fifty in the series, his contributions were critical. His captaincy was also excellent, making good use of his bowlers and fielders.
2) Charming Chahar
Deepak Chahar got just one game in the series. But in that solitary match, he managed to show his class. His bowling with the new ball was so good that he got immense praise from Kohli himself. He managed to display great control and was even compared to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He will be hoping to continue this form in the near future.
3) Pant on Fire
Rishabh Pant was being questioned after the first two matches of the series. But he managed to silence his critics in the final game. He played his shots all around the ground and provided great support to Kohli. He will he hoping to carry this form to the one-dayers. This could help him in cementing his place in the side.
To sum up, the series proved to be a cakewalk for the Indians. They managed to smash the West Indies 3-0 and are now looking full of confidence for the rest of the tour. Can the West Indies fight back?
Ireland played a test match at Lord’s for the very first time. England were the opposition, and they were expected to steamroll the Irish. But that is not how it panned out. So, here are the top three things that we learned from England’s win over Ireland:
1) Marvellous Murtagh
Tim Murtagh would never have imagined that he would be on the honours board at Lord’s. That too in the away dressing room. After so many years on the English county circuit, Murtagh opted to play for Ireland in international cricket. His first visit to Lord’s as an international player proved to be memorable as the Irish bowled out England for a mere 85.
2) Leach Show
Jack Leach is a spinner who bats a bit. This statement may have to be reviewed in the wake of the match. Leach batted outstandingly well for his 92 and managed to get England back in the game. He placed a high value on his wicket, managing to frustrate the Irish bowlers. For his effort, he was chosen as the man of the match.
3) Wonderful Woakes
Chris Woakes does not appear to be an intimidating bowler. However, if the conditions are right, he can prove to be a real handful. Woakes bowled superbly well in the second innings, as Ireland were bowled out for just 38. England managed to record a comfortable win and this was all due to their superb bowling.
To sum up, the Test was an amazing game of cricket and showed that Ireland can compete at the highest level. They managed to push England all the way, but eventually came up short. Hats off to the Irish.
The ICC has suspended Zimbabwe’s cricket board with immediate effect. This also means that the national team cannot play in any matches. Here are the top three things that we learned from Zimbabwe’s suspension:
1) Funds Mismanaged
For a number of years, there have been reports of financial mismanagement in Zimbabwe Cricket. It has been reported that the funds that were being provided by the ICC as well as the sponsors were not being used towards cricket. Also, the government was deemed to be interfering in the operations of the board.
2) Players Suffer
Players have been the biggest losers of this saga. This is because they cannot play for their country anymore. It also has a major impact on their ability to earn. And it is not just about the players, their families are also going to suffer with them. It is really a sad state of affairs. Players like Solomon Mire have already announced their immediate retirement.
3) Drastic Decline
This development marks a drastic decline for Zimbabwe as a cricket-playing nation. Just a few years ago, lofty targets were set by the administrators in the country. They wanted to make cricket the number one sport in the country and wanted to climb up the test rankings. In fact, Zimbabwe did really well at the 1999 World Cup. But those days are history now.
To sum up, the suspension has come as a major blow to Zimbabwe. Their players are shattered and there appears to be no viable solution in sight!
The ICC World Cup has ended with a bang. It was a remarkable final that was one of the closest games in the history of sport. England managed to scrape through and win the title. So here are the top three things that we learned from England’s World Cup win:
1) Brilliant Ben
Ben Stokes was truly amazing in the final. Whenever it looked like England were on the verge of losing the final, every time Stokes managed to pull them back in. He played a masterful innings with the bat in the tied final, and also played his part in the Super Over, which was also tied. But Stokes proved to be the man of the match as England won on boundary count.
2) England’s Cup
From the moment Ben Stokes survived due to Boult stepping on the boundary, it looked like it was England’s cup. In the last over, they again got a huge slice of luck when they got four overthrows with the ball deflecting off Stokes’ bat. They never looked back and went on to win the tournament. The players were ecstatic with the win, but it appeared as if they were destined to win it.
3) Unlucky NZ
You have to feel for New Zealand and Kane Williamson. They were extremely unlucky to lose out in such a close final. They tied the game as well as the super over, and yet they did not get the trophy. But we all need to stand up and admire the New Zealand team and their skipper, they have played their part in one of the most thrilling finals ever.
To sum up, the tournament has proved to be one of the most successful ever. The final was extremely close and no team deserved to lose. Nevertheless, the rules are the rules, and congratulations to England for winning their first World Cup, just as My Sports Dose had predicted last year!
The ICC World Cup has entered the knockout stage. This is the business end of the tournament and the qualified teams are close to winning the ultimate prize. So here are the top three things that we learned from the penultimate week of the World Cup:
1) India Crash Out
India were seen as one of the favourites. They were extremely happy when South Africa defeated Australia in the final league game to give them their preferred semi final against New Zealand. However, the Kiwis had other plans. They have beaten India by 18 runs in the semi-final to reach their second final in a row. It is a bit of an upset, but considering New Zealand’s win over India in the warm-up match, they were always likely to be competitive.
2) England Scrape Through
England have just about scraped through to the semi-finals. At one stage, they were looking particularly vulnerable, but they managed to beat India and New Zealand to reach the semis. Now they are up against the mighty Aussies in a fascinating contest. The Aussies are also in great form and will challenge the Englishmen no end.
3) Aussie Grit
Australia may have lost their final league match against South Africa, but it is clear that they mean business. The Aussies have hit the ground running in the tournament, and would love to get one over England. If they can beat England, they will set up a repeat of the 2015 World Cup Final against their neighbours New Zealand.
To sum up, the tournament has been wonderful and has drawn a lot of interest around the world despite the weather interruptions. It will be interesting to see whether we will see a new winner, as England and New Zealand have never won it in their history.
The ICC World Cup has really come to life over the past week. Some interesting results have thrown the tournament wide open. So here are the top three things that we learned from the fifth week of the World Cup:
1) India in Semis
India have booked their place in the semi finals by beating Bangladesh. But it was not an easy win by any means. Bangladesh pushed them all the way and showed how much they have improved. India got back on track with this win after they had been beaten by England in the previous game. India are looking like one of the two best teams in the tournament and have the ability to win it.
2) England Shock
England have had a major mid-tournament slump. This has shocked the cricketing world and made the tournament much more interesting. England have already lost to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Australia. If they do not beat New Zealand today, they are under threat of crashing out of the tournament, which would be a major shock.
3) Pakistan Pattern
Pakistan have followed the script perfectly. Their tournament results have completely been in sync with their 1992 cup winning campaign. However, if England beat New Zealand today, Pakistan’s fairy tale is likely to remain incomplete because they will need to beat Bangladesh by a really huge margin, which is unlikely.
To sum up, the tournament has been a fabulous one and now it is entering its final phase. It is looking like either India or Australia are likely to be the winners, but you never know in cricket. Let’s hope for a great finale.
The ICC World Cup has completed its fourth week. This was definitely the most exciting week of the World Cup thus far. There were many upsets and several close games. So here are the top three things that we learned from the fourth week of the World Cup:
1) England Struggle
England’s World Cup campaign has taken a shocking turn over the past week. First, they lost to Sri Lanka in a close contest. Then, they were hammered by Australia. All this has meant that their path to the semi finals looks a lot more tough now. Their next two matches are against India and New Zealand and they need to win at least one to have a chance.
2) Brilliant Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite played a superb knock for the West Indies against New Zealand. He took the Windies within one hit of a win despite having little support from the other end. Although he completed his century, he was unable to take them across the line. Nevertheless, his innings will be remembered for a long time.
3) Unlucky Afghans
Afghanistan played superbly well against India. Their bowlers restricted India to under 230 on a decent pitch. Plus, they almost chased it down. Led by Nabi, their batting clicked for once, and they were very close to causing an upset. Ultimately, they lost because of Shami’s hat-trick. But they should be proud of their effort.
To sum up, the tournament has been lit up by the last week. The sheer number of close games has generated new interest in the tournament. Let us hope for many more close games in the next week!
The ICC World Cup has completed its third week. This was one of the most disappointed weeks with a lot of matches being one-sided or completely rained out. So here are the top three things that we learned from the third week of the World Cup:
1) Incredible India
India have continued their incredible form by beating Pakistan comfortably. It was billed as one of the most exciting contests of the year. However, it proved to be a one-sided affair in which India crushed Pakistan. Rohit Sharma was in sublime form as he hit a marvellous century. Pakistan were never really in the chase. India appear to be the strongest team in the tournament along with England.
2) Rain Rules
Four matches have already been washed out due to rain. This is a sad state of affairs, especially because of the lack of reserve days for matches. The crowds have been left disappointed and the ICC needs to do something about this. Maybe it is time for some of the cricket grounds to be covered like it happens in Tennis.
3) England On Top
At the present moment, England are at the top of the table. The Englishmen have performed superbly during the tournament and lived up to their billing of favourites. Eoin Morgan smashed the record for most sixes by an ODI batsman and led his team to a 150 run win over the Afghans. England are looking one of the strongest teams.
To sum up, the tournament has been severely impacted by rain. The race for the top four is beginning to shape up now, with England, Australia, New Zealand, and India looking like the frontrunners. Let us hope for some exciting matches ahead!
The ICC World Cup has completed its second week. There have been some close matches, but there have also been a few wash outs. So here are the top three things that we learned from the second week of the World Cup:
1) Impressive India
India have looked impressive in both their matches. First, they beat South Africa in a one-sided game. Then, they managed to beat the Aussies by a comfortable margin of 36 runs. Their batting has been really impressive in both matches. Similarly, their bowlers have also looked the part. India are looking like real contenders, although Dhawan’s injury is a blow.
2) Bangla Battlers
Bangladesh have also played well in their games. Shakib Al Hasan has been the highest scorer of the tournament thus far. Mustafizur has also looked good with the ball. This might be the first time when Bangladesh sneak into the semi-finals. They are certainly likely to be one of the contenders for the fourth semi-final spot.
3) Kiwis On Top
As of today, New Zealand continue to be the team to beat. They have won all three of their games, and have played some fantastic cricket. The Kiwis are being well led by Kane Williamson, who himself looks to be in fine form. If they win their next two games, they will have one foot in the semi-finals already!
To sum up, it has been a great tournament thus far, despite the weather. The race for the top four is likely to be a close one, and no team has looked perfect till now. The next few weeks are likely to be very exciting!