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Afghanistan wins by 16 runs in first of three ODIs against Ireland

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2021)

Afghanistan got off to a flying start in their first ODI against Ireland in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after they won the toss and opted to bat first.

The Afghanistan opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz – a 19-year-old on ODI debut – and Javed Ahmadi put on 120 for the first wicket before Ireland’s Andy McBrine accounted for Ahmadi, who found Simi Singh in the deep after a period of sustained pressure.

That breakthrough sparked somewhat of a middle-order collapse at the hands of McBrine, whose wickets reduced Afghanistan from 120-0 to 161-5 in the space of 10 overs.

Fortunately for Afghanistan, Rahmanullah displayed a kind of maturity that belied his relative inexperience, as the youngster held firm as wickets fell at the other end, Cricket World reported.

Rahmanullah – who was the player of the series in the three-match T20I series between the two sides in 2020 – eventually brought up his maiden ODI hundred in the 35th over, before accelerating to finish on 127, a knock that came at exactly a run per ball.

Rahmanullah’s effort seemed to inspire the Afghanistan lower-order who rallied after the centurion’s dismissal, to take their side from 198-7 to an imposing final total of 287-9 from their 50 overs with the majority of their late innings run-scoring coming off the blade of Rashid Khan, who blasted a 30-ball 55 from No.9.

Afghanistan kept a tight hold on Ireland’s run chase throughout. Right-arm quick Naveen-ul-Haq took two important early wickets, first trapping O’Brien lbw for one before deceiving Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie with a slower ball for 15, reported Cricket World.

Paul Stirling and Harry Tector brought up a 50-run partnership for the third wicket before both fell in quick succession, as Tector spooned a return catch to Gulbadin off another slower ball before Nabi pinned Stirling in front for 39.

With Ireland 88-4, a rebuilding job was required. Curtis Campher and Lorcan Tucker combined to put on 86 for the fifth wicket before the former eventually fell lbw to Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 39.

Tucker kicked on, though. He soon brought up a second career ODI half-century and raced past his previous career-best ODI score of 56; he eventually fell on 83, stumped trying to use his feet against Rashid as the asking rate climbed. As assured an innings it was, it wasn’t quite enough for Ireland as they eventually fell 16 runs short.

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Australian cricketers flee India for Maldives after IPL abandoned

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(Last Updated On: May 6, 2021)

Australian cricketers playing in this year’s IPL fled COVID-ravaged India for the Maldives Thursday, but New Zealand’s top stars are stuck in Delhi until May 11, the earliest they can secure exemptions to enter England where they are due to play a Test series.

AFP reports that cricket authorities have been rushing to evacuate players and support staff after the Indian Premier League was abandoned this week.

India reported 3,980 deaths and more than 412,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

While most overseas-based players headed home, the Australians, including Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins, are unable to do so after Canberra closed its borders and threatened anyone entering from India with jail time.

They must wait until at least May 15, when the travel ban will be reviewed.

In the meantime, the 37 players, coaches, officials and TV commentators left for the Maldives, reportedly on a charter flight arranged and paid for by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association can confirm Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators have been safely transported from India and are en route to the Maldives,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.

“The Australians will remain in the Maldives until the conclusion of the travel pause pertaining to flights from India to Australia.”

They are likely to be chartered back to Australia once the ban has been lifted, again with the help of the BCCI.

But Chennai Super Kings batting coach Mike Hussey was not among the travelling party, forced to remain in isolation after testing positive to the virus.

Cricket Australia said he was “experiencing mild symptoms” and would remain in the care of the Super Kings until it was safe for him to return to Australia.

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IPL 2021 put on hold after several players test positive for COVID-19

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(Last Updated On: May 4, 2021)

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been postponed, said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday after several players tested positive for COVID-19.

“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect,” BCCI said in a statement.

“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind,” the statement read.

Two Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a CSK travel team support staff member are among those who have tested positive for the virus, NDTV reported.

As per IPL protocol, CSK squad was put in isolation.

“These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the BCCI statement added.

“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

“The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times.”

A total of 29 out of the scheduled 56 league games were played this season – the last match played was between Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals on May 2.

The match on Monday between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed after COVID-19 cases were reported among the KKR team members.

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IPL reschedules match after 2 players test positive for COVID

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(Last Updated On: May 3, 2021)

Monday’s IPL cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad has been postponed after two KKR players — Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a statement issued by the IPL, Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive in the third round of testing in the last four days.

All other team members have tested negative for COVID -19.

“Both the players have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad. The Medical Team is in continuous touch with the duo and are monitoring their health. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders have now moved towards a daily testing routine to identify any other possible cases and treat them at the earliest,” the statement read.

“The Medical Team is also determining the close and casual contacts of the two positive cases during the 48 hours prior to collection of the sample that returned the positive test results,” the IPL stated.

The match will be played some time later during the tournament, which is scheduled to end on May 30.

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