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Cricket-Australia go with two spinners for Sydney test

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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 Steve O’Keefe will play his second test — his first on home soil — and join Nathan Lyon in Australia’s first twin spin attack at the SCG since Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill took on South Africa in 2006.

“We’re happy with the side with the two spinners and we think it’s going spin,” captain Steve Smith told reporters at the SCG on Saturday. “It’s really been skidding off the surface here recently and hopefully the guys will get some traction.”

Paceman Peter Siddle, who has been suffering from an ankle injury, drops out of the side despite bowling in the nets on Saturday and will be rested in preparation for the upcoming two test series in New Zealand.

A 3-0 series sweep over the West Indies would send Australia above India to second in the test rankings.

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

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by…)

Source: R-Csports


Cricket-Rain delays fourth New Zealand-Sri Lanka ODI

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<span class="focusParagraph articleLocation”>Jan 2 Heavy overnight rain delayed the start of the fourth one-day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Saxton Oval in Nelson on Saturday.

Play had been scheduled to start at 1100 local time (2200 GMT) but groundstaff are working to clear water from the playing surface and showers are forecast to last until Sunday.

Sri Lanka kept the five-match series alive following 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


UPDATE 1-Cricket-Anderson poised for England return

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Sports | Fri Jan 1, 2016 6:21pm IST


CAPE TOWN England’s leading all-time wicket-taker James Anderson is set to return to their attack for the second test against South Africa starting on Saturday after recovering from a calf injury.

Anderson, 33, was hardly missed in Durban as England bowled out South Africa for 214 and 174 en route to a 241-run victory but is set to return in place of Chris Woakes for the Cape Town test.

Anderson has gone through a lengthy session in the nets with no adverse results and coach Trevor Bayliss said “the signs look good.”

“He’s been working hard but we have to wait and see how he pulls up,” Bayliss told reporters.

“My thought is you’d probably go with him, so fingers crossed he comes to us and says his body’s feeling good.

“He’ll know his body and what he’s capable of.”

Captain Alastair Cook said Anderson was “desperate” to play but England had to carefully consider changing a winning team.

“It’s fair to say the 11 who played in Durban did a pretty good job but when you’ve got someone like him and his wickets, then if he is fit to go he’ll play,” Cook told a news conference on Friday.

“It’s an interesting call because the number of overs he’s bowled on this tour so far are not a huge amount and the heat out there means the test conditions will be tough for all of us.”

Anderson played only in England’s first warm-up match in Potchefstroom in mid-December against an Invitation XI and bowled just five overs.

Cook said 2015 had been an “up-and-down year” for England and he wanted consistency to be the key word this year.

“It was great to finish with a performance like that in a match that was relentless from ball one. But can we do that again? Can we have an Edgbaston-Trent Bridge fortnight again in Durban and Cape Town?” he asked, evoking memories of England’s dramatic wins in the third and fourth test of the Ashes in July and August that secured the series against Australia.

“We have to be careful not to get carried away. It took a lot out of us to win in Durban, we had to get out of some tight situations but we managed to drag it back through absolute determination. It’s just whether we have the same hunger is us to do it again.”

(Writing by Mitch Phillips, Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Justin Palmer)

Source: R-Csports

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