Wasim Akram wants Pakistan to include Fawad Alam in second Test

Karachi: Pakistan’s former captain Wasim Akram thinks that the team management should include left-hander Fawad Alam in the middle-order in the second Test at Rose Bowl against England.

While speaking to a local news channel, The Sultan of Swing said that Pakistan will not find the same wicket as Manchester Test.

“In the next match, you will not find a turning wicket. You will play with one spinner and you will have to play with an extra batsman,” the former captain said. “If I was the captain, I would include Fawad Alam in the middle order,” he added.

It must be noted Pakistan lost to England by three wickets in the first Test at Old Trafford.

Read also: Woakes, Buttler drive England to three-wicket victory

James Anderson denies retirement rumors as he eyes return to form

London: England’s most successful bowler James Anderson says he is not pondering his test retirement but conceded the decision to step away could be taken out of his hands if he continues to underwhelm.

The 38-year-old has endured a frustrating summer, managing just six wickets in his last three tests, fuelling speculation that his 17-year test career could be drawing to a close.

Anderson struggled for rhythm in England’s three-wicket win over Pakistan in the first test at Manchester but the Lancashire pacer confirmed that while he was disappointed with his effort, the thought of hanging up his boots had never crossed his mind.

“There’s no truth to that. It’s been a frustrating week personally, I felt out of rhythm and probably for the first time in 10 years I got emotional on the field and let that get to me,” Anderson told reporters on Monday.

“I think after one bad game, there are some whispers that go around but I don’t really think that’s fair. I’ve just got to work hard and hope I get the nod for the next game.”

Anderson, who has picked up 590 test wickets, said earlier this year that he was hungry to keep playing for England and on Monday he reiterated his desire to carry on until next year’s Ashes series in Australia.

“I want to play as long as I possibly can. If I keep bowling the way I did this week, the opportunity to retire will be taken out of my hands. It will be a selection issue. But, for me, I’m still hungry,” he said.

Anderson is on the brink of becoming the first pacer to pick up 600 test wickets but he admitted his focus was not on personal milestones.

“It’s not a huge incentive for me really. I want to be bowling well and contribute to winning,” he said. “If I get 600 wickets then great, if I don’t, I’m happy with what I’ve got.”

The second test will begin on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Read also: ‘Coronavirus break may extend my career’ James Anderson

PCB to file appeal against reduction of Umar Akmal’s ban

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to file an appeal against reduction of Umar Akmal’s ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), in Lausanne, Switzerland.

According to the details, ex-Supreme Court judge Mr. Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, in his capacity as an independent adjudicator had reduced Akmal’s ban to 1.5 years from 3 years.

Now, PCB, after reviewing the detailed order of the independent adjudicator, has decided to appeal against the decision as they think the cricketer violated anti-corruption code despite knowing its consequences.

“The PCB takes matters relating to anti-corruption very seriously and firmly maintains a zero-tolerance approach. The PCB believes a senior cricketer like Umar Akmal was aware of the consequences when, after having attended a number of anti-corruption lectures at domestic and international level, having witnessed the consequences of indulging in corrupt conduct, still failed to report the approaches to the relevant authorities,” read PCB’s statement.

Read: Just-in: Independent adjudicator reduces Umar Akmal’s ban to 18 months

“The PCB doesn’t take any pride in seeing a cricketer of Umar’s stature being banned for corruption, but as a credible and respectable institution, we need to send out a loud and clear message to all our stakeholders that there will be no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who breaches the regulations,” it added.

“The PCB, in its commitment and drive against corruption in sports, has already submitted a draft proposal with the relevant government authorities around legislation on criminalising corruption in sports and has also reviewed the existing legislation enacted within Pakistan whilst noting that the same fail to adequately target and address corruption/illegal manipulation in sports,”

“In the draft paper, the PCB has proposed severe sanctions pertaining to corruption, illegal manipulation, betting, match and spot-fixing as well as aiding and abetting such conduct; and proposes the penalties to be imposed on individuals found guilty of engaging in such offences,” it concluded.

It must be noted here that under Article 7.5.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code, an appeal against the decision of the independent adjudicator lies exclusively before the CAS.

Read Also: Umar Akmal banned from all forms of cricket for three years

Watch: Children in Pishin construct cricket pitch with ‘Eidi collection’

Karachi: Young cricket fanatics in Pishin, city of Baluchistan, contributed Eidi collection worth PKR 15,000 to construct a tennis ball pitch. 

A twitter user named Asfandyar Khan posted a video seeking attention of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) towards no cricket facilities in Pishin.

“There are no grounds in Pishin, no pitches too where the young kids can play and polish their skills,” he said in the video. “Here, a tennis ball pitch is in the making which cost PKR 15,000, an amount which was ‘Eidi Collection’ of young kids,” he added.

Asfandyar urged authorities to look into this matter and provide young talented cricketers in Pishin with the best possible facilities to showcase their talent.

“There is a lot of talent in Pishin but there is no facility available to groom these youngsters. If PCB provides a platform to these youngsters, they can represent Pakistan at a higher level,” he concluded.

Read: Babar Azam needs to establish himself as match-winner: Shoaib Akhtar

Ramiz suggests Sarfaraz to retire from Test cricket gracefully

Lahore: Ramiz Raja suggested Sarfaraz Ahmed to retire from Test cricket gracefully after experiencing four years of captaincy across three formats. 

Speaking on a YouTube channel, Ramiz said Sarfaraz should have taken retirement from Test cricket after being removed from captaincy. “Sarfaraz should have taken retirement from test cricket after captaincy. He should have focused more on white-ball cricket in which he has the potential to do well,” he said.

“For me, you better take retirement gracefully after captaincy. Because from captaining a side to sitting on the bench is not an easy task for a player, especially for a player like Sarfaraz who has represented Pakistan in all three formats,” he added.

It must be noted here that Sarfaraz was removed from captaincy and dropped from the team too in 2019 after poor form. He recently made a comeback for an ongoing England tour as a second-choice wicket-keeper.

Read: Wasim Akram wants Pakistan to include Fawad Alam in second Test

Watch: Pakistan team arrives in Southampton for second Test

Southampton: Pakistan’s squad has reached to Southampton for second and third Test against England, starting from August 13. 

According to the details, after resting for a day, the Pakistan team traveled to Southampton where they will play the second Test against the home side.

The green shirts will resume training from tomorrow in Southampton.

It must be noted here that Pakistan lost the opening Test by three wickets against England in Manchester.

Read: Stay strong, we’ll bounce back: Sarfaraz backs Azhar after first Test loss

When a glorified county attack made Michael Vaughan mince his words

After a thrilling draw at Lord’s in the English summer of 2014, Sri Lanka faced England at Headingley for the second and final Test of the series.

Winning the toss, England elected to field first.

Despite openers Dimuth Karunaratne (28 off 65) and Kaushal Silva (13 off 38) wasting their starts, Sri Lanka were in a relatively decent spot at 5-228 in the last session of Day 1. But the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara (79 off 147) would see the Sri Lankans collapse to an under-par score of 257 all out.

English openers Alastair Cook and Sam Robson had a tough hour to negotiate, but the pair survived as England went to stumps at 0-36.

Sri Lanka started Day 2 positively as Alastair Cook was removed for 17. Yorkshire boy Gary Ballance joined Robson and the pair put on 142 for the second wicket en route to the duo reaching their half-centuries.

At 1-191 Ballance missed out on a golden opportunity to score a Test century at his home ground as he was caught behind for 74. Robson reached his maiden Test century as he and Ian Bell (64 off 90) took past Sri Lanka’s first innings total.

At 2-278 England had the perfect opportunity to bat Sri Lanka out of the game and possibly win by an innings. But this is England we’re talking about. They love collapsing from dominant positions.

Nuwan Pradeep nipped one back at Robson’s stumps as the Australian-born batsman departed for a well-made 127. From there England struggled to post a daunting first-innings total, bowled out for 365. Despite the collapse, England went into the second innings with a lead of 108.

Kaushal Silva’s love with number 13 in the Test continued, with the Sri Lankan opener dismissed first. Dimuth Karunaratne got a start but departed for 45. Kumar Sangakkara scored his fourth 50-plus score of the series as he and Mahela Jayawardene (79 off 168) took Sri Lanka into the lead. But the off spin of Moeen Ali denied Sangakkara the chance to score a hundred in his last international innings on English soil, trapping him LBW for 79.

After losing another quick wicket, Angelo Mathews and Jayawardene steadied the ship, and Sri Lanka were 4-214 at stumps on Day 3.

Mathews and Jayawardene kept on attacking as the lead passed 150, but the new ball alongside the duo of James Anderson and Liam Plunkett caused a mini-collapse as Sri Lanka faltered to 7-277. With a lead of only 163 and tail-enders who aren’t known for their batting abilities, the onus was on captain Mathews to steer Sri Lanka home.

Boy, does he do it in fine fashion.

With Rangana Herath (48 off 82) the pair put on 149 for the eighth wicket before Herath was run out. Mathews scored his best hundred under massive pressure before he was dismissed for 160. Sri Lanka ended up being bowled out for 457 as England were tasked to chase down 350 on a deteriorating wicket.

Before the English second innings Sri Lankan quick Dhamikha Prasad’s Test numbers were woeful: 23 wickets at 59.61 with an economy of 4.11. In the last hour of Day 4 Prasad bowled the most devastating spell of his life. Removing Alastair Cook (16 off 39) first, Prasad took four wickets in his first spell with England 5-57 at stumps on Day 4. Sri Lanka could sniff victory while England were praying for a miracle.

After battling for over 30 overs alongside Moeen Ali, Joe Root’s blockathon (31 off 108) came to an abrupt end when the hometown boy was caught at gully. Ali reaches his 50 soon after, but he and Matt Prior knew the job was far from done. Prasad’s persistence with the short ball paid dividends when Prior was dismissed less than half an hour before tea. Prasad had taken his maiden five-wicket haul.

With the Sri Lankan seamers doing nothing with the new ball, Angelo Mathews summoned Rangana Herath. For the first time in this series the Sri Lankan veteran is called on to make breakthroughs in a dire situation. Herath paid back his skipper’s faith, removing Chris Jordan (21 off 62) and Stuart Broad (0 off 31).

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England needed to survive 20.2 overs to pull off a miraculous draw with enormous responsibility falling on the inexperienced Moeen Ali and veteran seamer James Anderson.

Ali reached his maiden Test tonne in what was his second Test, but individual scores weren’t anywhere near as important as the result. He and Anderson kept on fighting, slowly chipping away at the balls left to complete Day 5.

With two overs left in the day, Mathews brings on Dhamikha Prasad for one last over. Despite taking a five-wicket haul, Prasad fails to take the final wicket.

One over left. Mathews has the chance to go for the expensive, but faster Nuwan Pradeep or the economical Shaminda Eranga.

He gives the ball to the latter. Anderson survives the first four deliveries.

Two balls left. Pressure on Eranga to pull off a dismissal. He bowls a bouncer, giving it his all. Anderson fends again, except the ball pops up instead of going down.

The ball goes straight to the hands of Rangana Herath.

Sri Lanka won the Test by 100 runs and pulled off one of their finest Test victories with one ball remaining in the test.

Before this series began, Michael Vaughan called the Sri Lankan bowling attack “a glorified county attack”. His comments reeked of arrogance and were surprising to hear considering England was in rebuilding mode after the 2013-14 Ashes drubbing.

For a glorified county attack, Sri Lanka’s bowlers picked up 37 out a possible 40 wickets on two roads. Their bowlers began an English collapse at Headingley twice. And, boy, did Angelo Mathews have a dig at Vaughan during the post-match press conference.

Throughout the series Sri Lanka was the underdog who faced the brunt of the English – whether it was the players, the English crowd that is the Barmy Army or the cricket pundits. But during the one innings, when the Lankans were in control, they lapped it up and lapped it up hard. He who laughs last laughs longest.

Six years on, only Australia in 2019 has been able to breach the British Isles, with all others drawing series at best. With England taking a 1-0 lead against Pakistan in Manchester recently, it looks like we may have to wait a bit longer to see England lose a home series again.

I think this shows how the cricketing public should appreciate Sri Lanka’s efforts in 2014 even more. After all, a glorified county attack achieved this, eh Michael?

Why are we so terrible in nail biters?

“Pressure is a funny thing” said Steve Waugh in the wake of Australia’s ground breaking triumph in the Caribbean in mid-1995.

“It causes you to do things you don’t think you would do (good or bad).”

Cricket is full of different pressure-type situations which can even vary from format to format, while also remaining fundamentally the same.

A batting side grimly holding on trying to force a draw on the last day of a Test they cannot possibly win is different to a defending team in a one-day match exploiting the chasing team’s need to score quickly in order to dismiss their batsmen.

Then there’s a team just containing the others so that when they run out of overs they do not have enough runs, remembering obviously that a draw is not an option in the abbreviated one innings form of the game.

I do not have the precise statistics, nor shall I search for them unless this Covid Crisis sees me out of work for years to come, but I remember vividly, during the Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting eras, as well as to a lesser extent the Michael Clarke era, and even during Mark Taylor’s brief stint in charge of the one day team, the phenomenal frequency that Australia would prevail over small, even single figure run margin victories sealed in the dying overs of the run chase in limited overs matches.

This being the case, why then is our record in similar nail biters in the purer form of the game so abysmal in my near 40-year career as a follower of the international game?

Since 1981, there have been 18 Tests involving Australia that have been decided by less than 20 runs or only two or one wickets – and Australia have been the vanquished on 15 of those occasions.

What has proved a repetitive heartbreak for those of us willing them on is that they always fall prey to the same twist in the script time and time again.

We have only prevailed on a mere three occasions – and two of those were against the Saffies during their choker era – and one of them was a dead rubber. The third occasion was against an emerging nation of the time, Sri Lanka in 1992.

Marnus Labuschagne plays a cover drive

Marnus Labuschagne plays a cover drive. (Photo by Stephen Blackberry/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Why do we always get so near and yet so far?

Here is the statistical breakdown from those 15 losses from 18 nail-biter games since 1981.

Of the 15 chokes, ten involved us chasing, of which six featured a significant partnership for either the last or second-last wicket after we had been all but dead and buried and nowhere near the target.

Of the five where the other country was chasing, four also involved a significant partnership for either of the final two wickets, the difference being that when we were chasing we fell over at the final tiny hurdle, whereas on the occasions the opponents were chasing we were not able to induce them to do the same.

I do not have the answer to the forlorn question ‘why?’, but I aim to provide a brief summary of the 18 matches in question in chronological order.

I am not so interested in the match scores, or whether someone followed on, or who made centuries but will merely provide the venue, the year, the opposition (for games in Australia) as well as the result in runs or wickets.

The only other thing I will provide is the occurrence, if applicable, of a significant partnership for the final or second last wicket in the chasing team’s innings. This didn’t actually occur in any of the three nail biters that we won in the 39-year period under scrutiny.

The ones we lost
Headingly 1981
Lost by 18 runs

Melbourne 1982-83 v ENGLAND
Lost by 3 runs

Last wicket stand of 70 when 74 more were needed (for victory)

Adelaide 1992-93 v WEST INDIES
Lost by 1 run
9th wicket stand of 42 when 84 more were needed followed by a 10th wicket stand of 40

Sydney 1993-94 v SOUTH AFRICA
Lost by 5 runs
9th wicket stand of 35 when 42 more were needed

Karachi 1994
Lost by 1 wicket
Last wicket stand of 57

The Oval 1997
Lost by 15 runs

Melbourne 1998-99 v ENGLAND
Lost by 12 runs

Bridgetown 1999
Lost by 1 wicket
9th wicket partnership of 54 when 60 were needed

Chennai 2001
Lost by 2 wickets

Edgbaston 2005
Lost by 2 runs
Last wicket stand of 59

Mohali 2010
Lost by 1 wicket
9th wicket stand of 81 when 92 were needed

Hobart 2011-12 v NEW ZEALAND
Lost by 7 runs
Last wicket stand of 34 when 42 were needed

Trent Bridge 2013
Lost by 14 runs
Last wicket stand of 65 when 80 were needed

Dhaka 2017
Lost by 20 runs

Headingly 2019
Lost by 1 wicket
Last wicket stand of 76

The ones we won
Colombo 1992
Won by 16 runs

Port Elizabeth 1997
Won by 2 wickets

Johannesburg 2006
Officially won by two wickets but it was a virtual one-wicket victory given that Justin Langer was never going to bat in second innings.

That victory in Johannesburg was also a dead rubber. Of the losses already listed, there was only one ‘pure’ dead rubber – The Oval 1997 – while Melbourne 1998-99 was a virtual dead rubber in the context that England could still square the series, but Australia had already retained the Ashes.

It is interesting that all three of the wins came during Australia’s great era that began in the twilight of Border’s career and ended pretty much with the retirement of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. However, eight of the 15 losses under consideration also came during this same period.

Shane Warne of Australia and team-mate Ricky Ponting celebrate

Shane Warne of Australia (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

To finish off, it should be recognised that such narrow margins of victory or defeat are far rarer in Test cricket than one day cricket (I am not interested in T20). Test cricket, as the ultimate form of the game, brings with it considerable other types of pressure situations that make a team great or simply break them or even something in between.

For example, Steve Waugh might go in on the first morning at 3 for 30 and halt the rot before fighting his way back on top and Australia might go on to win convincingly by 100 runs or more.

Or conversely, a team batting first might be skittled for 170 and then fight back to have the side batting second 4 for 40, only for a vital catch to then go down which ultimately proves costly as a huge partnership is subsequently built that paves for way for a comprehensive innings victory or even ten-wicket triumph.

That is ultimately what superiority is about in Test cricket.

However, it does not hide the white elephant in the room that we simply suck in Test matches that go right down to the wire.

Australian cricket must never forget the lessons of 1984

George Orwell’s dire predictions for 1984 may have seemed minor compared to what Australian cricket faced that year.

At first there seemed hope. Australia had beaten Pakistan in Sydney during January to win the Test series 2-0. Soon after that the national team travelled to the West Indies.

During a lead up match a prominent Australian journalist labelled the Australians as ‘strictly amateurs.’ They were facing a West Indies at their peak, although at the time of the first Test, the local side had injury concerns.

A draw was played out, although the West Indies dominated the Australian bowlers in the second innings, making 0/250. The second Test also resulted in a draw, although Australia had been behind, needing to chase a 213-run deficit in the first innings.

From there the tour went badly for Australia. A third Test loss by ten wickets, fourth Test by an innings and 36 runs and fifth Test by ten wickets. The results proceeded the decline of Kim Hughes as captain. The media had begun calling for his resignation with Allan Border at one stage declaring Hughes had ‘lost the plot.’

Later that year the West Indies toured, winning Tests in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, followed by a draw in Melbourne before Australia eventually claimed a victory in Sydney in January 1985.

During 1984 also came the announcement of an Australian cricket rebel tour to South Africa. The 1985 Ashes team had already been chosen but several players from the squad had accepted places in the rebel side. They were Graeme Wood, Wayne Phillips, Terry Alderman, Rod McCurdy, Murray Bennett, Dirk Wellham and Steve Rixon.

The tour was a rebel one as South Africa at the time still maintained apartheid, resulting in their being banned by the ICC.

On holidays at the time, Allan Border was enjoying his break when the news found its way to him. As a player about to take on the responsibility of captaining, he could only speculate how the departures would impact on his leadership and the team.

As the Ashes tour approached, some players began changing their mind. Wood, Wellham, Phillips and Bennett withdrew from the rebel tour. Border found himself in charge of a divided team with poor morale.

In 1985 things didn’t improve. Australia was outplayed on the Ashes tour, losing the series three Tests to one. England finished the tour by far the stronger, winning the fifth and sixth Tests by more than an innings in each.

Border’s dogged and brave batting, including 196 in the second Test, was admired but the headlines were dominated by news of an under performing and unhappy team.

Worse was to come. During the Australian summer of 1985 New Zealand toured. The first Test was yet another innings loss for Australia.

Richard Hadlee, in full flight, decimated the Australian batting. He took 9/52 in the first innings, then followed up with 6/71 in the second.

Martin Crowe’s batting was meanwhile sublime, making 188 in New Zealand’s first and only needed innings. In the second Test Australia fought back, despite being behind after each team batted first with Hadlee again among the wickets.

Allan Border batting

Allan Border (Adrian Murrell/Getty Images)

With one Test each, Australia’s summer wasn’t about to improve. In Perth they lost the Test and the series, their tormenter Richard Hadlee cleaning up with eleven wickets.

You probably know how the story ends. From those depths Australia won the 1987 World Cup. There was the triumphant 1989 Ashes tour, a 4-0 series win to the tourists from a six Test tour. It was the first ashes series win by Australia since 1982/83.

Australia had consistently used the same players in that series, keeping to 12 throughout the Tests. England meanwhile utilised 29 players. The Ashes would ultimately be held by Australia until 2005. In one decade Australia had recovered to form the foundation of a team that would produce a succession of impressive results.

It’s a story worth reflecting on. The mid-1980s is not the only time Australia has been in the depths. An Andrew Strauss-led England during the 2010-11 Ashes series defeated Australia 3-1, including bowling out the locals for less than 100 on the first day of the Boxing Day Test.

Australia lost heavily to India 4-0 in 2013. Later came the series loss to India in Australia during 2018-19 – 2-1. During the gloom of these losses it can feel like our national team will never recover. But it’s worth recalling the losses, rebel tour, struggling captaincy and fractured team of 1984 and 1985 to demonstrate how our capacity to find new talent and recover is revealed.

Now we look, perhaps a little nervously, to our coming Sheffield Shield competition and any Australia A games in the hope they can continue to deliver that new talent.

My top ten IPL knocks by Australians

The IPL has revolutionised T20 cricket and the way franchise cricket is run. With a wealth of overseas talent mixing with the Indian locals, many Australian cricketers have had their fair share of success in the tournament.

With the 13th edition set to start in a month, I wanted to look at back at my top ten knocks by Australian cricketers in the IPL (in no particular order).

Faulkner cuts loose in Bangalore – 2014 IPL
T20 masterclasses from Yuvraj Singh (83 off 38) and AB De Villiers (58 off 32) would see Royal Challengers Bangalore post 5-190.

Into the 14th over, Rajashtan Royals were in deep trouble as the set batsman in Karun Nair (56 off 39) was bowled and the Royals 5-106. With 85 off 39 required, in came James Faulkner to join Steve Smith. Faulkner struggled at first, scoring a mere three runs in six deliveries and nearly being run out in the 17th over. That slice of luck would end up paying dividends for the Aussie all-rounder.

He took Mitch Starc to the cleaners, smashing 18 runs in his next five deliveries. With Steve Smith (48 off 21) smashing Ashoke Dinda in the 18th over, Rajashtan went from needing 65 off four overs to 18 off 11. Faulkner’s next four deliveries would go – six, two, four six and Rajasthan Royals pulled off an incredible run chase.

For Faulkner to take on Bangalore’s best bowler in Mitch Starc began a shift in momentum where he and Steve Smith took Rajasthan home with seven balls remaining. Scoring 41 off 17 and taking one wicket, Faulkner was adjudged man of the match.

Lynn tames Lions in Rajkot – 2017 IPL
In Kolkata Knight Riders first match of the 2017 edition, they faced Gujurat Lions in Rajkot. On a flat surface, the Lions racked up 4-183 courtesy of Suresh Raina’s half-century (68* off 51) and handy contributions from Brendon McCullum (35 off 24) and Dinesh Karthik (47 off 25).

After facing seven deliveries, Chris Lynn had smashed 22 runs and continued to play in the same manner. Whether it was hoicking it through square leg or smashing sixes down the ground, Lynn was middling everything. Hitting Dwayne Smith for 23 runs in one over, the Queenslander would reach his half-century in 19 balls.

Scoring 23 runs in his next 17 deliveries, Lynn was dropped on 73 in the 15th over. He’d punish the Lions for their mistake by finishing the game in the 15th over as Kolkata chased down 184 in 14.5 overs and by ten wickets.

Everything went Lynn’s way that night and it was some of the cleanest hitting I had seen in the IPL. Scoring 93 off 41, Chris Lynn was announced as man of the match.

Henriques the difference in thriller – 2015 IPL
After a flurry of boundaries, Sunrisers Hyderabad lost Shikhar Dhawan for 13 in the fourth over. His dismissal would prompt Moises Henriques to join his Australian counterpart David Warner at the crease. The Sunrisers’ batting struggled for timing with Warner gone for 17 while Eoin Morgan (22 off 25) was dismissed by the 11th over.

Struggling for timing himself, Henriques patiently waited as he hit his first boundary after 18 balls. But just when he was starting to cut loose, Henriques lost his partner Karan Sharma (16 off 13) to a poor shot.

The loss of Sharma didn’t stop Henriques for too long, as he reaches his half-century off 39 balls – quite a turnaround considering Henriques was 12 off 17 at one stage. Cashing in at the final few overs, Henriques finished 74 off 46 not out as Sunrisers Hyderabad posted 4-163 on a slightly two-paced wicket.

Grafting and grinding his own innings, Henriques’ innings ensured that Sunrisers had a competitive total. Despite half-centuries from Quinton De Kock (50 off 31) and Kedar Jadhav (63* off 34), Delhi would lose by six runs as Henriques’ 74 would see him get player of the match.

Moises Henriques

Moises Henriques. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Warner thrashes Kolkata bowlers all over Hyderabad – 2017 IPL
Batting first against Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad needed to put runs on the board. Shimmying down the wicket to Nathan Coulter-Nile first ball, David Warner was nearly caught behind first ball. In his ninth delivery, Warner would be dropped by Chris Woakes as he mistimed a pull shot off Umesh Yadav. From thereon, Warner didn’t look back.

Tearing apart the KKR bowlers, he would reach his half-century in a mere 20 deliveries.

Warner’s onslaught would continue but once again, luck went his way when Chris Woakes dropped a relatively simple chance at long-on with Warner on 86. In front of the Hyderabadi crowd, the boy from Matraville reached his century in 42 balls with Sunrisers 0-126 after 11 overs.

Chris Woakes would finally dismiss Warner on 126 as he mistimed a slower ball to the hands of Gautam Gambhir at cover. Warner’s century against a quality KKR bowling attack would see Sunrisers propel their score to 3-209 and ultimately, win by 48 runs.

Warner’s second IPL ton lights up Hyderabad – 2012 IPL
In the days when David Warner was at the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), they travelled to Hyderabad to face the Deccan Chargers (now Sunrisers Hyderabad). Half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (84 off 49) and Cameron White (65 off 40) saw Deccan put up a very competitive score of 4-187. Delhi’s run-chase began poorly when Shikhar Dhawan dismissed Virender Sehwag in the first over.

But that didn’t bother Warner. Tonking the Deccan bowlers all over Hyderabad, Warner took a liking for medium-pacer Ashish Reddy – scoring 20 runs off his over before reaching his half-century in 26 deliveries. Deccan captain Kumar Sangakkara had no answers as Warner kept on motoring along. Warner and Naman Ojha (64 off 46) kept the scoreboard ticking.

Warner’s onslaught would continue as he smashed Ankit Sharma for a six to reach his century off 52 balls. The partnership between Ojha and Warner would yield 189 runs as Delhi chased down 188 in 16.4 overs with Warner finishing 109 not out.

Michael’s might in Mohali – 2008 IPL
The IPL made a big bang in the opening match following a breathtaking 158 from Brendon McCullum and needed an entertaining second match to keep the interest well and truly alive as Chennai Super Kings faced Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. Batting first, Chennai lost an early scalp in Parthiv Patel, leading to Michael Hussey walking in at three.

Losing Matthew Hayden (25 off 17) and MS Dhoni (2 off 3) in quick fashion, Hussey plays the anchoring role for a few overs. Cutting loose from the 11th over, Hussey reached his 50 in 31 deliveries. Despite losing Suresh Raina (32 off 13), the Western Australian motored along. As more overs passed, Hussey kept on shifting up the gears, leaving no Punjab bowler spared.

Smashing Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth in the death overs, Hussey would reach his century in the 19th over – gently nudging one off Brett Lee to the off side. James Hopes would concede 25 runs in the final over as CSK posted 5-240 and Hussey finishing 116 not out off 54 deliveries.

Despite scoring 18 off 16 at one stage, Hussey cranked it up when it mattered and gave CSK a daunting total on a flat wicket. Punjab would give the chase a fair hot crack but would fall short by 33 runs in an entertaining run-fest. Fun fact from the game – five of the eight overseas players in this match were Australians (Michael Hussey, Matthew Hayden, James Hopes, Simon Katich and Brett Lee).

Marsh’s scintillating century – IPL 2008
In a dead rubber, as both sides had qualified for the semi-finals, Rajashthan Royals faced Kings XI Punjab in a top of the table clash. Sent in to bat first, Punjab openers Shaun Marsh and James Hopes had the responsibility of giving their team a solid start.

After being watchful in the first over, Marsh went after Shane Watson and Munaf Patel before taking on Pankaj Singh – racing off to 45 off 25. Reaching his fifty off 27 deliveries, Marsh took a back seat as Hopes began to take the ascendancy. Marsh’s onslaught began again from the fourteenth over and despite losing Hopes (51 off 35), Marsh went up the gears. Pushing one down the ground, the Western Australian batsman reached his hundred off 59 balls.

Marsh and Yuvraj Singh (49 off 16) continued their reign of sixes all over Mohali until Marsh was dismissed by Shane Watson for a well made 115. The then 24-year-old had hit 11 fours and seven sixes in an exhilarating knock as Kings XI Punjab posted 3-221. Despite a late flurry from Rajashtan’s middle order, Punjab would comfortably win by 41 runs.

Shaun Marsh of the Renegades bats during the Big Bash League

Shaun Marsh. Power hitter. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Maxwell’s day out in Abu Dhabi – IPL 2014
In the third match of the 2014 edition (first 20 matches held in UAE due to Indian elections), Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab faced each other in Abu Dhabi. On one of the flattest wickets I’ve seen for a white-ball game in the UAE, Chennai posted 4-205.

With Virender Sehwag dismissed for 19 in the third over, Glenn Maxwell was promoted to number three.

Despite losing Cheteshwar Pujara (13 off 10) and Akshar Patel (2 off 3) in quick succession, Maxwell played his natural game from ball one. Playing all type of sweep shots against Chennai’s spinners, MS Dhoni and his bowlers were struggling to contain the Victorian all-rounder. Taking 25 balls to reach his fifty, Maxwell knew the job was far from done.

Smashing Chennai’s bowlers all over the park, Maxwell kept on shifting gears. Taking on Dwayne Smith in the 16th over, Maxwell raced to 95 and the required run rate was suddenly below nine an over. But the West Indian yorked Maxwell and took his pegs as he fell five short of a deserving hundred.

A half-century from David Miller (54* off 37) ensured Punjab chased down 206 with seven balls to spare. Despite a flat wicket on offer, Maxwell’s onslaught was one heck of an innings under pressure.

Gilchrist ensures Deccan progress in Durban – IPL 2009
In the 1st semi-final, wooden spooners from the previous edition in Deccan Chargers faced Delhi Daredevils in Durban (2009 IPL was played in South Africa following the unfortunate terrorist attack in Mumbai a few months earlier. Batting first, Delhi posted 8-153 and had the bowling attack to defend a middling score.

But Adam Gilchrist had other ideas. Defending his first ball, Gilly smashes five boundaries in the first over as Delhi are pushed back. Despite Herschelle Gibbs (0 of 2) and Azhar Bilakia (10 off 20) struggling to even rotate the strike, Gilchrist is in sixth gear from the get-go. Attacking the Delhi bowlers mercilessly, Gilchrist score the then fastest IPL fifty (19 balls).

Reaching 74 off 25, Gilly tones down a tad before Ashish Nehra dismisses Gilchrist for 85 off 35. In one the most breathtaking innings in IPL history, Gilly had single-handedly knocked out Delhi with the bat as Deccan won by six wickets in a comfortable run-chase.

Watson tons up in Wankhede – IPL 2018
In the 2018 IPL final, Sunrisers Hyderabad faced Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Batting first, Sunrisers post a competitive 6-178 and with the best bowling attack of the competition, it looks like Chennai may not chase it down.

Chennai begin their run-chase terribly as Faf Du Plessis departs for ten as Chennai are 1-16 after four overs. Watson is struggling to middle anything as he ekes to eight off 16. In his 17th delivery, Watto finally connects one in the middle of the bat as he nails Sandeep Sharma over square leg for six. From there, Watson seems to have turned a corner as he starts middling everything, reaching his fifty off 33 balls.

Shane Watson Sydney Thunder

Shane Watson (Photo by Matt King – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

No one was stopping him from there. Taking a liking for Sandeep Sharma and Carlos Brathwaite, Watson reached his fourth IPL century off 51 balls. 92 of those runs came in his last 35 deliveries. Scoring another 17 runs in his next six deliveries, Ambati Rayudu (16* off 19) hits the winning runs as Chennai won the 2018 IPL edition. Scoring 117 not out off 57 deliveries, Shane Watson had scored a brilliant knock in the biggest game in franchise cricket.