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UPDATE 1-Cricket-Burns, Khawaja frustrate West Indies bowlers

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(Updates at tea)

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE Dec 26 Opening batsman Joe Burns repaid the Australian selectors’ faith with a composed half-century as the hosts pushed to 193-1 at tea on the opening day of the second test against West Indies on Saturday.

Burns was widely tipped to make way for the returning Usman Khawaja but it was middle order batter Shaun Marsh making way for the stylish left-hander who also cashed in with a half-century on a sunny, breezy afternoon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Burns was on 83, with Khawaja on 84 at the break, the Queensland pair having put on an unbroken stand of 164.

Australia, who won the opener emphatically in Hobart, can seal the three-match series with a game in hand and took a big stride toward that goal after being sent in to bat by West Indies captain Jason Holder.

Rain delayed the start by an hour and Holder had little hesitation in choosing to attack on a green-tinged pitch.

The clouds quickly made way for bright sunshine, however, and the Australian batsmen were rarely troubled after the early loss of opener David Warner, who was caught slogging for a quickfire 23.

Khawaja, who missed Australia’s last two tests with a hamstring strain, was scratchy early and nicked a full-blooded drive off paceman Jerome Taylor in the third over after lunch but the half-chance was put down in the gully.

The Queensland captain duly made the West Indies pay and brought up his 50 by cutting Kemar Roach to the fence.

Burns, retained despite a modest run of scores since a century in the series-opener against New Zealand, earlier raised his 50 with a drive for three off debutant paceman Carlos Brathwaite.

Pummelled by Australia’s batsmen in Hobart, the West Indies attack was again expensive, with Roach plundered for over five runs an over and Taylor well over four.

Warner earlier smashed fours from his first three balls off Roach then two more off Taylor to race to 23 off eight deliveries.

Taylor hit back in his third over, however, firing in a short ball to force a miscued pull which Marlon Samuels did his best to drop at cover before clinching it on the third grab.

Lambasted for their abysmal fielding in Hobart, the West Indies were more focused at the MCG but again ragged at times, with players fumbling regularly and throwing wildly back to the stumps.

West Indies went in with one change, with Brathwaite coming for the injured Shannon Gabriel.

Khawaja’s selection was Australia’s only change from the team that thrashed the tourists by an innings and 212 runs at Bellerive Oval. (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)


Source: R-Csports

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UPDATE 1-Cricket-Run machine Guptill guides NZ past Sri Lanka

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<span class="focusParagraph articleLocation”>Martin Guptill became the highest run scorer in one-day international cricket this year as he guided New Zealand to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first game of their five match series on Saturday.

Guptill, who scored 237 not out in the World Cup quarter-final against West Indies in March and was the highest run-scorer at the tournament, was dismissed for 79 within sight of the 189 needed for victory at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Ross Taylor was on five with debutant Henry Nicholls hitting the winning runs to move to 23 as New Zealand raced to 191 for three in 21 overs.

Captain Brendon McCullum scored 55 from 25 balls in an 108-run opening partnership with Guptill, who moved to 1,366 runs from 30 matches in 2015.

Compatriot Kane Williamson, who has a knee injury and missed the match, has scored 1,317 runs this year, with South Africa’s AB de Villiers third on 1,193.

While Guptill and McCullum made light work of the run chase, victory had been set up in Sri Lanka’s innings when opening bowlers Adam Milne and Matt Henry reduced the visitors to 27-5 inside the first 10 overs with the latter taking four wickets.

“I thought the wicket was outstanding so for us to take five for 30 up front was a truly outstanding bowling performance,” McCullum said in a televised interview.

“I guess that was the winning of the game.”

Both Henry and Milne, who started in place of the rested regular new-ball pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, were consistently faster than 140 km per hour in their opening spells with the fiery Milne exceeding 150 kph on several deliveries.

The pair also produced a disciplined line and length on a pitch that Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews described as “a belter” when he won the toss and elected to bat.

“It was good to have Adam bowling well at the other end and creating pressure,” said Henry, who finished with 4-49.

“We are pretty pleased with the way things went and as a bowling group we were fairly happy.”

Milinda Siriwardana (66), who was dropped at deep midwicket by Nicholls on 10, and Nuwan Kulasekara (58), however, combined for a 98-run seventh-wicket partnership to give Sri Lanka some credibility.

“We just had to bat and put runs on the board to put pressure on the Kiwis but unfortunately we kept losing wickets in the first 10 overs (and) that was really tough going,” said Mathews. “They just bowled well and we couldn’t handle it.”

The second match is at the same venue on Monday.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Napier; Editing by John O’Brien)


Source: R-Csports

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Cricket-Run machine Guptill guides NZ to big win over Sri Lanka

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<span class="focusParagraph articleLocation”>Dec 26 Martin Guptill became the highest run scorer in one-day international cricket this year as he guided New Zealand to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first game of their five match series on Saturday.

Guptill, who scored 237 not out in the World Cup quarter-final against West Indies and was the highest run-scorer at the tournament, was dismissed for 79 within sight of the 189 needed for victory at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Ross Taylor was on five with debutant Henry Nicholls hitting the winning runs to move to 23 as New Zealand raced to 191 for three in 21 overs.

Captain Brendon McCullum scored 55 from 25 balls in an 108-run opening partnership with Guptill, who moved to 1,366 runs from 30 matches in 2015.

Compatriot Kane Williamson, who has a knee injury and missed the match, has scored 1,317 runs this year with South Africa’s AB de Villiers third on 1,193.

While Guptill and McCullum made light work of the run chase, victory had been set up in Sri Lanka’s innings when opening bowlers Adam Milne and Matt Henry reduced the visitors to 27-5 inside the first 10 overs with the latter taking four wickets.

Both Henry and Milne, who started in place of the rested regular new-ball pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, were consistently faster than 140 km per hour in their opening spells with the fiery Milne exceeding 150 kph on several deliveries.

The pair also produced a disciplined line and length on a pitch that Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews described as “a belter” when he won the toss and elected to bat.

“It was good to have Adam bowling well at the other end and creating pressure,” said Henry, who finished with figures of 4-49 from 10 overs.

“We are pretty pleased with the way things went and as a bowling group we were fairly happy.”

Milinda Siriwardana (66), who was dropped at deep midwicket by Nicholls on 10, and Nuwan Kulasekara (58), however, combined for a 98-run seventh-wicket partnership to give Sri Lanka some credibility.

The second match is at the same venue on Monday. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Napier; Editing by John O’Brien)


Source: R-Csports

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