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UPDATE 1-Cricket-New Zealand-Sri Lanka ODI reduced to 24 overs each

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Play in the fourth one-day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Saxton Oval will be reduced to 24 overs each after heavy rain in Nelson on Saturday prevented the start of play.

Overnight rain had forced a delay to the scheduled 11.00 am (2200 GMT) start time and persistent showers kept players off the ground until umpires Richard Illingworth and Billy Bowden decided a shortened game could begin.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and the tourists will field when play begins at 3.40 pm (0240 GMT).

The visitors kept the five-match series alive with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory in the third match at the same venue on Dec. 31, after the hosts easily won the first two games at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

The fifth match is at Mt. Maunganui on Jan. 5. The tour concludes with two Twenty20 internationals on Jan. 7 and 10.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Napier; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

Source: R-Csports


Cricket-NZ keen to host South Africa in pink ball 'extravaganza'

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<span class="focusParagraph articleLocation”>Jan 2 New Zealand are keen to build on the momentum of the inaugural day-night test with their own ‘pink ball’ match, possibly against the touring South Africans, next season.

Some 120,000 fans flocked through the gates of the Adelaide Oval over three days of play to watch Brendon McCullum’s side lose to Australia in the first day-night test in November.

On the back of such undeniable public support for the concept, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said the idea of hosting a pink ball test had already been discussed.

“I think it’s a distinct possibility,” White told Newstalk ZB on Saturday.

“Obviously, South Africa would have to be keen as well but I think that it’s very much a possibility.”

NZC were already considering a full round of day-night first class matches next month to test the concept, which would give them an indication of whether the conditions would be suitable during South Africa’s tour in Feb. 2017.

“The big difference between New Zealand and Australia is that it will be a big challenge to do it before Christmas because of our weather,” White said.

“But I think post-Christmas when it’s a lot warmer at night, I think will be more attractive.”

NZC also initially suggested they would trial the concept in a test against Bangladesh but after witnessing the interest in the Adelaide game, decided to make it more of an extravaganza, White said.

“As a first off game it was just outstanding,” he added.

“Huge crowd and a great spectacle (so) I think if we’re going to do it, the first one should be a very big game.

“Provided we get the conditions right and make it a huge, big extravaganza.”

Hamilton’s Seddon Park, which hosted a warm-up fixture under lights with the pink ball for the New Zealand side before they went to Australia looms as a likely venue for the match.

Seddon Park groundsman Karl Johnson travelled to Adelaide to discuss preparations and to monitor how the wicket and ball performed in the twilight conditions. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Napier; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: R-Csports


UPDATE 1-Cricket-Australia go with two spinners for Sydney test

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* O’Keefe to play maiden home test

* Siddle unfit, Boland misses out on first cap (Adds more quotes, detail, byline)

By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY, Jan 2 Australia will field two specialist spinners at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the first time in a decade when they host West Indies in the dead rubber third test starting on Sunday.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Stephen O’Keefe will play his second test and join off-spinner Nathan Lyon in Australia’s first twin spin attack at the SCG since Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill took on South Africa in 2006.

Paceman Peter Siddle, who has been suffering from an ankle injury, bowled in the nets on Saturday but drops out of the side and will be rested in preparation for February’s two-test series in New Zealand.

“I think the wicket looks a bit dry so I think it’ll take some spin so that was our original thinking,” captain Steve Smith told reporters at the ground on Saturday.

“Peter Siddle’s still a bit sore and he’ll have a rest for a couple of weeks and hopefully get himself right for New Zealand.

“We’re happy with the side with the two spinners and we think it’s going to turn and we’re ready to go.”

O’Keefe, who made his debut against Pakistan in Dubai two years ago, will play his maiden test on home soil at the age of 31.

Smith, once considered a spin-bowling all-rounder and one of the players who have kept O’Keefe out of the test side over the years, said he probably would have been included even if Siddle had been fit to play.

“It was more that it was going to spin,” Smith added. “It’s an opportunity to look at Stephen and see how he goes.

“We’ve got a tour of Sri Lanka coming up where two spinners is a real possibility.

“Nathan Lyon is our number one spinner, I think everyone knows that, and he’s got an opportunity now to become the second spinner.”

Uncapped Victorian paceman Scott Boland would have come into the side for Siddle had the selectors decided to go with a third quick along with Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson.

Australia, who won the first test in Hobart by an innings and 212 runs and the second at Melbourne Cricket Ground last week by 177 runs, are strong favourites to sweep the series 3-0.

Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’Keefe. (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: R-Csports

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