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Kagiso Rabada on his milestone of 200 Test wickets



Kagiso Rabada on his milestone of 200 Test wickets


The quick put his consistency at a level this demanding down to diligence and perseverance

South Africa’s bowlers did not have as much success as they might have wanted on the third morning in Karachi as Pakistan’s tail plundered 70 runs in 12.2 overs, but one of them reached a special, personal milestone. Kagiso Rabada became the third-fastest and fourth-youngest bowler to take 200 Test wickets.

Only Waqar Younis (7725) and Dale Steyn (7848) needed fewer deliveries than Rabada (8154) to reach the landmark, while only Waqar, Kapil Dev, and Harbhajan Singh were younger than Rabada’s 25 years and 248 days. Of all of them, Rabada has the best strike rate of 40.8.

“It’s a massive feat to be included among a list of such names. When you start playing you don’t ever think you will be on such a list and have such statistics,” Rabada said.

He put his consistency at a level this demanding down to diligence and perseverance. “I don’t think there is a magic answer. It’s just hard work and spending time on your craft and seeing where you can get better and analysing it. It hasn’t all been easy.

“You find yourself trying to perfect something that might seem so simple but it’s constant repetition and hours and hours of work. It’s being relentless with that and trying to see how much better you can get and finding ways. It’s hard and relentless work.”

While Rabada has played alongside Steyn, he is yet to share trade secrets with Waqar, who is part of the opposition camp, as bowling coach.

Asked if he sought tips from Waqar, Rabada indicated there may be time to pick his brain after the series. “We practised at the same ground but I think it would be a bit concerning if he was coaching me and not the Pakistan team,” Rabada said. “He was a wonderful bowler and someone that I have watched a lot in my spare time, when I am trying to learn about the game, and I would love to chat to him once this is over.”

“It’s been hard work, like any Test match, especially in the subcontinent where you have to be a lot more patient. It tests you mentally, it tests you physically. I just got reminded of how Test cricket can impact you.”

Kagiso Rabada

That may be too late to seek advice on how to generate reverse swing in Pakistan but Rabada and Waqar may want to reflect on the difference in conditions in Pakistan over the span of their careers. Rabada’s national coach, Mark Boucher, remembers Pakistan being flat and conditions being ripe for reverse swing in the time of Waqar, while Rabada is experiencing it as spinner-friendly with variable bounce and “not a lot of demons but enough to be concerned about for batsmen”. He however expects spin to play a role on the final two days, when South Africa’s two left-armers, Keshav Maharaj and George Linde, will be key to their attempts to defend a total.

South Africa are effectively 29 for 4 and will need to bat well if they are to challenge Pakistan. But Rabada thinks they can still do enough to win the Test match. “That’s what we believe. That’s what we have to believe. Aiden (Markram) and Rassie (van der Dussen) batted extremely well and in the subcontinent wickets can fall in clusters. We are constantly tested and now we are going to get tested again tomorrow. We are up for the challenge. That’s why we practice so hard – for times like these. Hopefully we can get the team in a good position and get some runs on the board so we can set a target.”

As things stand, the match is delicately poised after a see-saw first three days, marking an interesting return to the longest format for Rabada. He has not played Test cricket since appearing for South Africa against England in Port Elizabeth last January. In that time he has been part of the IPL and T20I series against England, and he acknowledged that red-ball matches are a complex assessment of a players skills.

“Test cricket never gets old and it never gets any easier. You are constantly challenged,” he said. “It’s my first time playing Pakistan. That’s quite amazing. It’s the only place I haven’t played at and I’m glad I could get the opportunity to play here. It’s been hard work, like any Test match, especially in the subcontinent where you have to be a lot more patient. It tests you mentally, it tests you physically. I just got reminded of how Test cricket can impact you.”

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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EngVsPak- England defeated Pakistan by three wickets

Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.





James Vince scored a hundred and Lewis Gregory contributed 77 as England defeated Pakistan by three wickets to complete a clean sweep of the three-match ODI series.

Vince raced to 102 off 95 deliveries and Gregory struck his 77 of 69 balls as hosts England, chasing Pakistan’s challenging score of 331 for seven wickets, reached 332 for seven with two overs to spare.

Opener Phil Salt scored 37 while skipper Ben Stokes added 32 as England held their nerves to register a comfortable win in third and final ODI.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam struck a career-best 158 (139-ball) and helped Pakistan’s batting finally came good in this series.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 56 and Mohammad Rizwan 74 as Pakistan posted 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Zak Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.
However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over.

He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.
Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61).

England 332/7 in 48 overs (Phil Salt 37, James Vince 102, Ben Stokes 32, Lewis Gregory 77; Haris Rauf 4/65).

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Corona hit – India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days




Corona hit - India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

India’s tour of Sri Lanka has hit a roadblock after two Covid-19 positive cases in the home team’s camp delayed the start of the ODI series by at least four days, and canceled due to more cases. The possibility has been left open. Sri Lankan batting coach Grant Flower and the team’s performance analyst Shirantha Niroshna have both tested positive and the entire team that arrived from England this week has been put in isolation.

Though both the boards have not made any official statement yet, it seems that all the six matches will be played within a period of 10-11 days if there is no scope for any more positive cases. There are also concerns that the series could be called off if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lankan camp. This means that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, will have to return home without playing a single match.

The tentative dates for the ODIs have been set as July 17, 19 and 21. The report states that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25 and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given any confirmation regarding the dates.

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise




Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

Just two months ago, Indonesia came forward to India’s aid with thousands of tanks of oxygen. Today, the Southeast Asian country is running out of oxygen as it grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response, said a shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health equipment arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia.

In addition, Pandjaitan said, Indonesia plans to purchase 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators — equipment that generates oxygen — from neighboring Singapore. He said he was in contact with China and other possible oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates have also offered help.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has reported more than 2.4 million infections and 63,760 deaths from COVID-19. Those figures are widely believed to be a huge undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures. On Thursday, Indonesia reported nearly 39,000 confirmed cases, its biggest single-day jump.

Indonesia’s hospitals have been flooded, with increasing numbers of sick people in isolation at home or waiting to receive emergency care. In Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, hospitals began setting up temporary intensive care units in mid-June. Many patients are waiting for several days to get admitted. Oxygen tanks rolled on the sidewalks for the lucky few, while others were told they’d have to find their own.

The city’s deputy mayor Yaya Mulyana said emergency rooms at a public hospital in Bandung city were closed earlier this week amid panic buying over rising infections in the West Java provincial capital.

“The panicked people bought oxygen tanks, though they didn’t need them yet,” said Muliana. “This has exhausted the supply of oxygen.”

At a hospital in Yogyakarta in central Java, 63 COVID-19 patients died in one day – 33 of them during its central liquid oxygen supply, although the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders was, spokesman Banu Harmawan said.

When a brutal outbreak ravaged the country, Indonesia donated 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India. As its own cases rose, Jakarta scrapped plans to send another 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in late June. The daily requirement of oxygen has reached 1,928 tonnes per day. According to government data, the total available production capacity of the country is 2,262 tonnes per day.

“I asked for 100% oxygen first for medical purposes, which means all industrial allocation should be shifted to medical,” said Panjaitan, a minister in the government. “We are racing against time, we have to act fast.”

Noting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, he warned that Indonesia could face a worst-case scenario with 50,000 cases a day. The next two weeks will be crucial, he said.

The industry ministry responded by issuing a decree that all oxygen supplies be sent to hospitals packed with coronavirus patients and asked industry players to cooperate.

Oxygen is used to make many products including textiles, plastics and vehicles. Oil refineries, chemical makers and steel makers also use it. But industry leaders are clamoring to support government efforts to maximize supplies for hospitals.

The government has redirected oxygen supplies from industrial plants at Morowali in Central Sulawesi, Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, and Belawan and Batam on the island of Sumatra, Pandjaitan said. Small oxygen industries have also been directed to produce pharmaceutical oxygen.

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