Ireland stunned by England 20-32 in 2019 Six Nations

Ireland have a dismal start to their 2019 Six Nations Championship campaign, with a 20-32 defeat against England on 2nd February 2019 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. England under coach Eddie Jones kicked their Six Nations 2019 quest by outclassing 2018 champions Ireland. Six Nations Championship offers important preparation of Rugby World Cup 2019 for rugby union teams from northern hemisphere.

England outclass Ireland in Six Nations 2019
England outclass Ireland in Six Nations 2019

England attacked right from the beginning with Jonathan May scoring a try in 2′, that captain Owen Farrell converted on 3′ to make score 0-7 in visitors favour. Ireland replied with a penalty by Jonathan Sexton on 11′. Irish prop Cian Healy hit a try on 25′, which Jonathan Sexton converted on 26′ to turn scoreline read 10-7. Elliot Daly put England ahead with a try on 30′ and subsequent conversion by Farrell on 31′. Owen Farrell nailed a penalty on 40′ to put England in lead with 10-17 score on half time.

Jonathan Sexton kicked a penalty on 55′ to take Ireland close. But then England went on rampage to take game out of Ireland. Henry Slade smashed a try on 66′, while Owen Farrell connected a penalty on 70′. Henry Slade scored his second try on 76′, with a conversion by Farrell on 77′. John Cooney consoled Ireland with a try on 80′ with a conversion by Jonathan Sexton to make scoreboard read 20-32 with England emerging victorious on match close.

This was first home defeat for Ireland under coach Joe Schmidt in Six Nations Championship. This loss finished Ireland’s 12-match winning streak at home. This was first victory of England against Ireland at Aviva Stadium after their win in 2013 Six Nations, which had also ended the run of 14 unbeaten matches by Ireland at Aviva Stadium. England won the Millennium Trophy for 19th time with Ireland trailing by 13 awards.

Ireland Vs England 20-32
2nd February 2019 – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Ireland: 20
Try: Cian Healy (25′), John Cooney (80′)
Con: Jonathan Sexton (26′, 80′)
Pen: Jonathan Sexton (11′, 55′)
England: 32
Try: Jonathan May (2′), Elliot Daly (30′), Henry Slade (66′, 76′)
Con: Owen Farrell (3′, 31′, 77′)
Pen: Owen Farrell (40′, 70′)

Jimmy Neesham’s new approach has him on track for Cricket World Cup 2019

Jimmy Neesham is taking a diverse approach in his quest for selection as the 2019 edition appears. In 2015, Neesham was a surprise slip from the squad but his treasures look rosier this time, mainly thanks to a transformed mentality. Evoked for last month’s series against Sri Lanka after 18 months away from international cricket, the all-rounder is pushing less burden on himself to perform.

CWC19

Additionally, he believes his practices from four years ago have him in a much restored place.

“I’ve done it before — it’s a bit like Groundhog Day from four years ago with that World Cup race, and I think having that experience of desperately wanting to make a team for a big tournament and missing out, it puts me in good stead this time around,” said Neesham.

“I’ve probably been putting less pressure on myself to succeed. I remember four years ago, we had a one-day series in the UAE and it felt that every game was make or break as far as the World Cup spot went, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed every innings.

“I know coming into this tournament, it’s about accepting what comes. If the runs and wickets come, they do, if they don’t, so be it.

“I know what not to do and what not to focus on. For me, my attitude for the whole season has been ‘I won’t make it’, so what’s the point of stressing about it? I’m not going to change that mindset, it’s obviously been working so far.”

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Warm-up matches for Cricket World Cup 2019 revealed

ICC has announced warm-up fixtures for Cricket World Cup 2019 in England. All ten teams participating in the mega Cricket tournament will play two practice matches each. Fixtures will be contested between 24th May and 28th May 2018. Venues for these games are Bristol County Ground, Cardiff Wales Stadium, Hampshire Bowl and The Oval in England and Wales. These games will provide ample preparation for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, that will run from 30th May till 14th July 2019. These practice matches will be 50 overs a side affair, will not be official ODIs and will allow teams to field all 15 players.

Pakistan will start warm-up matches by taking on Afghanistan at Bristol County Ground on 24 May 2019. Sri Lanka will face South Africa in second fixture of the day at Cardiff Wales Stadium. CWC hosts England will square off against arch rivals Australia at Hampshire Bowl on 25th May 2019. Tournament favourites India will clash with another favourite New Zealand at The Oval on the same day. South Africa will take on West Indies at Bristol County Ground on 26th May 2019. Pakistan will meet Bangladesh at Cardiff Wales Stadium on same day.

Cricket World Cup 2019 Warm-Up Fixtures
Cricket World Cup 2019 Warm-Up Fixtures

Five time tournament winners Australia will compete with 1996 champions Sri Lanka at Hampshire Bowl on 27th May 2019. England will take field against Afghanistan at The Oval in second fixture of the day. Two time champions West Indies will face-off with New Zealand at Bristol County Ground on 28th May 2019. Bangladesh will contest with twice champion India at Cardiff Wales Stadium in second game of day to finish warm-ups.

Pakistan v Afghanistan – 24th May 2019 – Bristol County Ground
Sri Lanka v South Africa – 24th May 2019 – Cardiff Wales Stadium
England v Australia – 25th May 2019 – Hampshire Bowl
India v New Zealand – 25th May 2019 – The Oval
South Africa v West Indies – 26th May 2019 – Bristol County Ground
Pakistan v Bangladesh – 26th May 2019 – Cardiff Wales Stadium
Australia v Sri Lanka – 27th May 2019 – Hampshire Bowl
England v Afghanistan – 27th May 2019 – The Oval
West Indies v New Zealand – 28th May 2019 – Bristol County Ground
Bangladesh v India – 28th May 2019 – Cardiff Wales Stadium

World Cup managing director Steve Elworthy said: “It is always a huge milestone announcing an exciting warm-up schedule for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as it really highlights just how close we are to the action getting underway this summer.”

“These games provide another fantastic opportunity for fans to see world-class players at their local venue and allows the tournament to engage local schools and communities with another chance to get involved with the Cricket World Cup.”

Trent Boult helps New Zealand win In 4th ODI against India

New Zealand at last won a match in current ODI series against touring India side. Trent Boult revived BlackCaps with consolation win in 4th ODI on 31st January 2019 at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Boult led bowling attack in restricting India to 92 all out inside 31 overs. Colin de Grandhomme helped in tightening screws on Indian batting line-up. New Zealand easily chased the meager target in 15 overs for the loss of two wickets. Ross Taylor aced the chase with Henry Nichols playing the anchor role as hosts finished the game before dinner time. Swing played vital role in limiting India to a low total, with Boult and Grandhomme bowling ten overs each on the trot. India and New Zealand are using this ODI serie for preparation of Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Trent Boult swings New Zealand to victory in 4th ODI against India at Hamilton
Trent Boult swings New Zealand to victory in 4th ODI against India at Hamilton

India had won first three matches of the ODI series comfortably. Indian selectors rested captain Virat Kohli for last two ODIs and T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan and stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma were dismissed early by Trent Boult. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik became easy targets of Colin de Grandhomme. Debutant Shubman Gill had disappointing start and became third scalp of Boult. Kedar Jadhav became fourth wicket of Trent Boult by getting lbw to leave India 35 for 6. Grandhomme picked his third scalp by bowling out Bhuvneshwar Kumar with India 7 down on 40. Hardik Pandya hit some lusty blows to help India cross 50 runs mark. Trent Boult removed Pandya to complete his five-for, with India reeling on 55 for 8. Ninth wicket partnership of 25 runs between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal took India to 80 runs, before Todd Astle sent Yadav packing. Chahal hit some crucial boundaries to take India to 92 runs, when James Neesham bowled Khaleel Ahmed.

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill started briskly by hitting first ball for six, followed by two fours on next two deliveries. Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Guptill on fourth ball to bring BlackCaps in check. Stand-in opener Henry Nichols in place of Colin Munro left out due to being out of form, played sheath anchor role scoring 30 runs from 42 balls with 4 fours and a six. BlackCaps captain Kane Williamson made 11 runs from 18 deliveries, hitting 2 fours before being plucked out by B Kumar. Ross Taylor finished the match with a cameo of 25 ball 37 runs, comprising 2 fours and 3 sixes. It was biggest defeat for India in terms of number of balls remaining, with 212 deliveries left. Trent Boult was judged player of the match for his 5 for 21.

Cricket World Cup Cricketeers Unveil Uniform for 4,000 Volunteer Staff

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 have revealed the uniform that will be worn by their volunteer workforce at this year’s competition. Over 4,000 volunteers will wear the particularly designed uniforms at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The kit will make the World Cup Cricketeers rapidly familiar to the hundreds of thousands attending the World Cup 2019.

CWC19

Cricket World Cup 2019 Volunteers Head, Mary Cahill: “The World Cup Cricketeers will be the go-to people for those needing assistance and this uniform will help them stand out from the crowd”

All volunteers will receive a bespoke polo shirt, softshell jacket, trousers, belt, cap, backpack and water bottle, as well as a pair of accompanying New Balance coaches.

The kits were intended in line with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 brand, which is reinforced by bold easiness. The use of ‘Royal’ and ‘Spring’ colours gives the volunteers an exclusive image which will support to make them easily recognisable. The same colours will also be used for wayfinding signs and instructions throughout Host Venues and cities at CWC19, offering a smooth viewer journey when looking for info and assistance.

“We’re delighted to be able to share the stand-out uniform designs with those who will be wearing them this summer and hope they share our excitement about being the face of this summer’s World Cup.

“The World Cup Cricketeers will be the go-to people for those needing assistance at the Cricket World Cup, and the uniform helps set them out from the crowd, easily identifiable for anyone who requires assistance.”

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Bowlers, de Kock help South Africa win ODI series 3-2 against Pakistan

South Africa outclassed Pakistan in decider to win ODI series 3-2 against Pakistan. Proteas bowlers restricted Pakistan to 240 for 8 in the fifth ODI. South Africa’s experimentation with bowling and all-rounder options throughout the series paid dividends in the decider. Proteas all-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder came handy by knocking five wickets to limit Pakistan to below-par score of 240. South Africa got bragging rights with comfortable victory for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Proteas spearhead Dale Steyn drew first blood by bouncing out leading run scorer of ODI series Imam-ul-Haq. Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman and Babar Zaman tried to revive visitors’ batting by 50 runs partnership. Dwaine Pretorius bowled Babar on 24 runs to end the promising stand. Mohammad Hafeez could not get going and snicked Phehlukwayo delivery to keeper de Kock. Fakhar Zaman played brilliantly after early chance, amassing 70 runs off 73 balls with 10 fours. Imran Tahir took athletic catch at deep fine leg boundary to send Fakhar packing. Pakistan’s second-choice wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan got dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius after miserable 10 runs of 30 deliveries. Shoaib Malik, stand-in captain in absence of regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed suspended on racial comments charge, got run-out after mix-up with Shadab Khan, who himself miss-timed a Wiaan Mulder delivery to short mid-wicket. Imad Wasim played brilliantly to take Pakistan to 240/8 with 31 ball 47 runs, comprising of 4 fours and 2 sixes.

Bowlers, Quinton de Kock make South Africa win ODI Series against Pakistan 3-2
Bowlers, Quinton de Kock make South Africa win ODI Series against Pakistan 3-2

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock made chase easy from get going. His partner Hashim Amla was caught behind early by wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan on Shaheen Shah Afridi delivery. One down Reeza Hendricks farmed fifty plus runs partnership with de Kock before getting dismissed by Mohammad Amir for 34 runs. Quinton de Kock smashed 11 fours and three sixes to register 83 runs of 58 balls, before miss-timing a Usman Shinwari delivery to mid-wicket. Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and new batting find Rassie van der Dussen took hosts home with fifty apiece.

Andile Phehlukwayo has turned star performer for South Africa in ODI series versus touring Pakistan side. He took most wickets with 8 scalps and recorded decent lower order batting to bolster his credentials for all-rounder spot. Rassie van der Dussen has proved his selection right by becoming leading scorer for Proteas with 241 runs in 4 innings. Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis have displayed good batting form. Rotation in South Africa squad has offered rest for senior players and allowed team management to check alternative players. Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has provided extended run to the all-rounders extended in the team.

‘Have to identify our strengths ahead of World Cup 2019’ – Says Sarfaraz Ahmed

Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, has said they want to “identify their strengths” and “try different blends” in the one-day international series against South Africa to find the right XI ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Pakistan are fifth on the ICC ODI Team Rankings and will use the South Africa series, as well as the ODIs against England to follow to fine-tune their planning for the premier tournament, which to starts on 30 May.

The team last gained the World Cup back in 1992, but their success in England, where they raised the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and reached the World Cup final in 1999, should give them assurance.

“We have to identify our strengths ahead of the World Cup for which we will be trying different combinations in this series,” Sarfaraz said on Friday, 18 January, ahead of the opening ODI against South Africa.

After a 3-0 defeat against the Proteas in the Test series, the visitors are intense to turn the tables in the shorter formats of the game. The captain believed batting first and putting up a good total was key to that.

“It is necessary to get runs while batting in the first innings. If a touring team is able to do that, they win matches,” he said. “Four of our five matches are day/night encounters. The teams prefer to bat first here, like India did [last year], as it gets difficult to bat under lights.”

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South Africa have Lowered World Cup 2019 Expectations – Du Plessis

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis chosen hosts England and 2011 champions India as the title favourites for this year’s Cricket World Cup and said his side will go into the competition with lowered expectations, which could work to their lead.

South Africa’s World Cup journeys have often ended in unfortunate circumstances – including falling foul of an unfair rain rule, misreading the Duckworth–Lewis run-rate requirement, or comical run outs at the death.

“We will go with a little bit less pressure on us as a team in terms of the expectation of winning it,” Du Plessis, who team are ranked fourth in the ODI standings, said on Tuesday.

“It is pretty clear that England and India are the two favourites. We are a young group and the guys are just excited about the opportunity.”

However, Du Plessis is aware that South Africa will still have to face a lot of hype in the run-up and during the contest as well as the narrative of their previous failures.

“We have gone to tournaments in the past where we have felt like we had the strongest team on paper, but cricket is not played on paper,” he said. When opponents look at us now, we are not the strongest team. But when a South Africa team goes to the World Cup, the chat in the media starts, even the opposition starts to chat!”

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Wiaan Mulder included in South Africa squad for 5th ODI as Pakistan level Series 2-2

South Africa have continued their experimentation with squad for ODI matches against Pakistan. All-rounder Wiaan Mulder is added to Proteas squad for fifth and final ODI. Pieter Willem Adriaan Mulder who bowls medium pace, has played seven ODIs so far with moderate success. Mulder who bats in lower middle order, is a convincing candidate for number 7 all-rounder position. South Africa have made recent changes in ODI squad to identify the best bowling and all-rounder options ahead of Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Wiaan Mulder was injured with ankle problem after 1st ODI versus Zimbabwe at end of September 2018. He recovered from Achilles tendon injury in January 2019 to take part in 4-Day Franchise Series. A career best first-class score of 146 and good bowling figure have earned him ODI recall. His naming in squad means that he is in the fray for all-rounder position before 2019 edition of ICC Cricket World Cup. Mulder is also included in the T20I squad to face the visiting Pakistan side. Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has vowed to give the all-rounders extended run in the team.

Wiaan Mulder added in South Africa squad for 5th ODI against Pakistan with Series level 2-2
Wiaan Mulder added in South Africa squad for 5th ODI against Pakistan with Series level 2-2

South Africa selectors have continued the rotation within the squad. Regular wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock and Pace bowler Dale Steyn were rested from first two ODIs. It is part of Proteas’ efforts to manage the workload of senior players. Pace bowler Duanne Olivier was rested from last three ODIs to give him break before Test series with Sri Lanka.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed will not take part in the 5th ODI, as he is suspended by ICC for 4 matches due to racial comment against Andile Phehlukwayo. Shoaib Malik will lead the green shirts in his absence. Sarfraz had been benched in 4th ODI with Shoaib leading Pakistan. Shoaib Malik will be skipper of Pakistan team in T20I series against Proteas as well.

South Africa squad for 5th ODI: Faf du Plessis(c), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Beuran Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Wiaan Mulder

Pakistan ODI squad (5th ODI): Shoaib Malik (c), Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Khan Shinwari

Steyn, de Kock back and Beuran Hendricks called up for last 3 ODIs against Pakistan

South Africa have brought back Dale Steyn and Quinton de Kock for last three ODI matches against Pakistan. Medium fast bowler Beuran Hendricks is also called up for maiden ODI series. Pace bowlers Dane Paterson, Duanne Olivier and wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen are dropped from remaining ODI matches. Changes in squad are part of Proteas’ search for bowling options before the Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock back; Beuran Hendricks called up for last 3 ODIs against Pakistan
Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock back; Beuran Hendricks called up for last 3 ODIs against Pakistan

Pace bowler Dale Steyn and regular wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock were rested from first two ODIs versus touring Pakistan side. It was also part of Cricket South Africa’s efforts to manage the workload of senior players. Medium pacer Beuran Hendricks has been rewarded for consistent performance in Mzansi Super League. Beuran Hendricks has appeared in seven T20Is from 2014.

Selection panel convener Linda Zondi said: “We are very happy with the depth of our fast bowling resources. Particularly if you consider that Lungi Ngidi is still on the road back from injury and we also want to have a look at Anrich Nortje when he is fully recovered. At the same time we want to explore all the options that are available to us and Beuran will be able to offer variety to our attack.”

South Africa selectors are planning to continue the rotation within the squad. They are hopeful of including pace bowler Anrich Nortje after he fully recovers from ankle injury. After the completion of ODI series against Pakistan, selectors want to rest Kagiso Rabada for the 3-match T20I series. Pace sensation Duanne Olivier is also rested from remaining ODIs to offer him break before Test series versus Sri Lanka.

Linda Zondi stated: “We are well aware of what Duanne, Dane and Heinrich have to offer and in the case of Duanne we are mindful of the amount of bowling he has done at the top level over the past month and we want to give him a break ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka. For the same reason we will be looking to rest Kagiso Rabada for the entire T20 International Series.”

South Africa squad for last three ODIs: Faf du Plessis(c), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Beuran Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen