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Super Smash 2020-21 round-up – Finn Allen the breakout star in Super Smash as Wellington defend title | Cricket



Super Smash 2020-21 round-up - Finn Allen the breakout star

Finn Allen had a stellar strike rate of 193.93 in the Super Smash, with 25 sixes © Getty Images

The Super Smash, New Zealand’s premier T20 competition ended on Saturday, with Michael Bracewell’s Wellington Firebirds successfully defending their title against the Canterbury Kings in front of a packed home crowd at the Basin Reserve. ESPNcricinfo looks back at the major talking points from the tournament.

Wellington’s near-flawless title run
After having scrapped to the title in 2019-20, the Firebirds thoroughly dominated this season, securing their fourth domestic T20 crown and second on the bounce at the Basin Reserve.

They launched the season by hunting down 177 against the Auckland Aces on Christmas Eve and simply powered on, with the loss against the Kings in the league phase being the only blemish in their otherwise flawless run.

The Firebirds ran into the Kings again in the final, but Devon Conway, who had watched the season opener from the grass banks after being rested, made a sublime 93 not out off 63 balls to close it out. After having topped the domestic run-scoring charts across formats last season, Conway finished second, behind his opening partner Finn Allen, in this season’s Super Smash.

Seamers Hamish Bennett and Logan van Beek led the way with the ball for the Firebirds, claiming 13 wickets apiece at economy rates of under eight per over. Allrounder Jimmy Neesham underwent surgery midway through the season for a compound dislocation on his finger, but he returned with a triple-strike against the Aces in the lead-up to the final.

Van Beek also torched the tournament with his scarcely believable one-handed outfield catch to dismiss the Northern Knights’ Brett Hampton.

Overall, the Firebirds won ten out of 11 games, while the next best sides – the Kings and the Central Stags – had only six wins to show for.

Finn Allen the breakout star of the tournament
He was the fire to Conway’s ice. He rattled off 512 runs in 11 innings at a stellar strike rate of 193.93, and nobody had more sixes than his tally of 25. Much like Brendon McCullum and his protégé Tim Seifert, the opener regularly dashed down the track to bend attacks out of shape. That Allen could do so against New Zealand internationals suggests that he isn’t too far away from making his international debut. A day after winning the Super Smash, Allen was picked in the New Zealand T20I squad as cover for the forthcoming T20I series against Australia.

Allen hit his peak when he smoked a 16-ball half-century against the Stags. Only Kieran Noema-Barnett (14 balls) and Martin Guptill (15) have struck faster fifties in New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition.

Is Colin de Grandhomme back in action?
The allrounder, who had been sidelined from the internationals against West Indies as well as Pakistan with a foot injury, was back in action although he didn’t bowl. He had last taken the ball in the four-day Plunket Shield in October 2020. He played four games for the Knights as a specialist batsman, making 51 runs at a strike rate of nearly 160.

In a revised chase of 91 from 14 overs against the Kings, he ushered the Knights home along with Kane Williamson. The New Zealand captain later pulled out of the tournament as a precautionary measure after hurting his elbow.

Ross Taylor returned to the Super Smash after four years © Getty Images

Did Taylor do enough to force his way back into the T20I side?
After being dropped from the T20I squad, Ross Taylor was asked to prove his form in the Super Smash. He returned to the competition after four years, and had mixed returns: 125 runs in six innings at a strike rate of nearly 165. Although Taylor showed signs of his best during his 25-ball half-century for the Stags against the Kings, he fell for a duck in the preliminary final as the Stags crashed out. With the younger players like Conway and Glenn Phillips stepping up for the New Zealand middle-order role, and Allen too throwing his hat into the T20 World Cup ring, Taylor probably needs to do more if he is to win his spot back.

Give me a rundown of the New Zealanders in the IPL auction shortlist
All up, 20 New Zealanders have made the cut with Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee and Corey Anderson in the top bracket, listing their base prices at INR 75 lakh ($US 103,000 approx.). Jamieson, who enjoyed a bumper home season, particularly with the ball, could be a hot pick among the overseas quicks. In January, coach Gary Stead, who has overseen Jamieson’s progress from his domestic side Canterbury to the national team, reckoned that the presence of New Zealand coaches in the IPL might be “one of the advantages” for him.

The likes of Guptill, Neesham, Phillips, de Grandhomme and Conway have set their base prices at INR 50 lakh (US$ 69,000 approx.). Colin Munro and Adam Milne, who had impressive stints in the Big Bash League across the Tasman Sea, will also invite bids from INR 50 lakh.

Meanwhile, Super Smash champion Allen and Stags allrounder Josh Clarkson are in the auction with reserve prices of INR 20 lakh (US$ 27,500 approx.).

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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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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