India tour of England
The hosts managed to hold off India in their 2-1 ODI series victory at Headingley, needless to say it was a must-win given the Indians defeated England in the T20I series prior to the one-day games. The third & final ODI at Headingley saw Indian skipper Virat Kohli once again take center stage as he constructed his innings brilliantly as usual before Adil Rashid castled his off stump for a near run-a-ball 71. Throw in Shikhar Dhawan’s fast start at the top of the order, and India were looking solid despite the loss of key batsmen Rohit Sharma early. History was destine to repeat itself in the series though, when both Dhawan and Kohli departed India struggled to keep up the momentum which eventually led to their downfall. MS Dhoni scored another scratchy-42, Suresh Raina was lucky to contribute anything and Hardik Pandya’s fast start eventuated to nothing. Adil Rashid and speedster David Willey were brilliant once again claiming three wickets each as India crawled to 256/8. A target that wasn’t viewed as enough to challenge England didn’t, even without Jason Roy they had enough ammunition to get them home. Joe Root notched up his second century in a row for the series with skipper Eoin Morgan not far behind scoring an unbeaten 88 to secure a series victory over India. The big news out of the match Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar who finally made his return but in the process managed to aggravate his injury, ruling him out of the upcoming test series.
Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe
It’s no surprise to anyone that Pakistan has made light work of Zimbabwe in this ODI series so far, they set themselves up brilliantly with a T20I tri-series triumph over Australia in the final and have been dominant ever since. For Zimbabwe, it’s been a huge step back having been defeated by 201 runs, 9 wickets and yet another 9-wicket defeat with 241 balls remaining in the third ODI. 28-year-old Fakhar Zaman has headlined a tour of dominance so far, the Pakistani batsman passed fifty runs in the T20 tri-series on three separate occasions, and he’s been just as impressive in the 50 over format against Zimbabwe as well. Zaman has only been dismissed once in the series for 60, apart from that he’s accumulated unbeaten scores of 117 & 43. The bowlers haven’t been short of success either – leggy Shadab Khan (4/32) and seamers Usman Khan (4/36) & Faheem Ashraf (5/22) have dominated the Zimbabwean line-up. If you haven’t been following the series, it’s fair to say you haven’t missed much apart from a one-sided contest which isn’t expected to change anytime soon.
South Africa tour of Sri Lanka
After the ball-tampering antics against the West Indies, it appears Sri Lanka have moved on quite quickly with the main culprits no longer a presence both on & off field. With Suranga Lakmal leading the side, the hosts caused a huge upset as they managed to defeat the Proteas in the first test in what can only be described as a shock result factoring in everything that took place not long ago. South Africa are one of the most competitive cricketing nations in the world, it’s not every day a team like Sri Lanka knocks them off their perch. Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada was damaging with the ball in the first innings claiming 4/50, but it was Dimuth Karunaratne’s unbeaten 158 that saved the hosts from being comprehensively behind in the match early on. In an even bigger twist, Sri Lanka’s bowling attack performed to the peak of their powers as they skittled South Africa for a measly-126 with the skipper Faf du Plessis top scoring with 49. The spinners were dominant, Dilruwan Perera (4/46) and Rangana Herath (2/39) paved the way for seamer Suranga Lakmal (3/21) who finished the job in no time. Another gritty knock from Karunaratne saw Sri Lanka pile on another 190 runs, despite the efforts of Proteas off-spinner Keshav Maharaj (4/58) this pitch was proving to be the death of South Africa. And that’s exactly how it ended, with a target of 352 in the fourth & final innings, the Proteas looked anything but confident as Dilruwan Perera became the man of the hour claiming 6/32 as South Africa lasted just 28.5 overs with 73 runs on the board to end a horrific three days of test cricket for their batsmen.
Bangladesh tour of West Indies & USA
Jason Holder and his men wrapped up a 2-0 test series victory over the touring Bangladesh as they look to translate their winning form into the upcoming ODI & T20I series featuring two matches in the United States of America as well. The West Indies first innings was enough to push Bangladesh beyond their limitations, Windies opener Kraigg Brathwaite recording his eighth test century after grinding the opposition bowlers down with a 279-ball stint at the crease. Shimron Hetmyer didn’t quite have Brathwaite’s patience, striking 9 boundaries and 1 six in his 86 which wrapped up their first innings of 354. Future Bangladeshi star Mehidy Hasan Miraz was rewarded for his efforts with the ball claiming his fourth five-wicket haul in just his 15th test. Bangladesh couldn’t match the home team’s first innings efforts as they stumbled to 149 all out, Tamim Iqbal the only real highlight top scoring with a diligent 47. Windies skipper Jason Holder proved too hot to handle with the cherry claiming 5/44 in just over 10 overs, he disrupted the woodwork three times as well. Nothing really came out of the home sides second innings apart from veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s six-wicket haul as he single-handedly knocked over the Windies top four batsmen. Shakib did his best to save Bangladesh with the bat as well, but his fighting 54 came to no avail as Jason Holder dominated proceedings yet again equaling Shakib’s efforts with 6/59. Holder finished the test with 11 wickets to his name.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.