Talking points from a manic day two of England vs South Africa second Test

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Chris Morris chipped in with three crucial wickets.

England surrendered a yawning advantage to South Africa on a manic second day at Trent Bridge.

The hosts, hoping to consolidate here after their wide-margin win at Lord’s, will have to do so the very hard way after being bowled out for 205 to concede a first-innings deficit of 130 in this second Test.

South Africa then extended their lead to 205 with a stumps total of 75 for one, as a curiously serene late passage of play broke the mould and yielded a solitary wicket in a daily tally of 15.

TWEET OF THE DAY

CRAZY CRICKET

After 19 wickets on the fourth day at Lord’s, another 15 fell here on just the second. Overhead conditions played their part, as they often do in Nottingham, and an untypical spinners’ pitch was a key factor at HQ.

Even so, after England were bowled out in little more than 50 overs, it seems few modern-day cricketers retain the capacity to dig in and bat time.

English skipper Joe Root was left scratching his head at how the day unfolded.

English skipper Joe Root was left scratching his head at how the day unfolded.

SOUTH AFRICA CAN BOWL

Everyone expected the tourists to miss the banned Kagiso Rabada badly here. They got stuck into England in his absence, though, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel doing the early damage and Keshav Maharaj and Chris Morris completing the job quickly.

With Rabada due back at The Oval, there is an argument that South Africa may even have the better of two quality attacks.

Chris Morris chipped in with three crucial wickets.

Chris Morris chipped in with three crucial wickets.

STAT OF THE DAY

700 – James Anderson’s dismissal of Keshav Maharaj took his and Stuart Broad’s Test aggregate tally in partnership to an impressive round figure.

Only Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh have more together as a pace pairing. For good measure, by the time he was done in South Africa’s first innings, Anderson had taken his all-time record Trent Bridge haul to 58 in nine Tests.

James Anderson cleaned up the South African tail in the first session of Day two.

James Anderson cleaned up the South African tail in the first session of Day two.

WHAT NEXT?

More wickets, few boundaries in between, and an early conclusion – with South Africa by far the likeliest winners.

South African spinner Keshan Maharaj showed there is turn to be extracted from the pitch.

South African spinner Keshan Maharaj showed there is turn to be extracted from the pitch.

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Mithali Raj leads India to semi-finals of ICC Women's World Cup 2017 with masterful century

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Indian skipper Mithali Raj

In the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, India took on New Zealand on Saturday in the last round robin game for either team before the knockout stages commence. The two teams squared off in Derby in what was a direct shootout for a semi-final spot.

Kiwi skipper Suzie Bates won the toss and put the Mithali Raj-led Indian side into bat. New Zealand’s fast bowling pair of Lea Tahuhu and Hannah Rowe were effective early on and removed the Indian opening pair of Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana cheaply leaving the Indians tottering at 21-2.

Skipper Mithali Raj then got together with Harmanpreet Kaur to steady the ship as the two put on 132 runs for the third wicket before Kaur, after scoring 60, chipped an easy return catch to spinner Leigh Kasperek.

Deepti Sharma was next to go but Raj got together with Veda Krishnamurthy and took the attack to the Kiwi bowlers as the duo put on a quickfire 108-run partnership for the fifth wicket to push India’s total to over 250.

Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj.

In the process, Raj completed her sixth ODI century before being eventually dismissed for a masterful 109 while Krishnamurthy’s boundary-laden 70 off just 45 deliveries ensured that India set New Zealand a tough target of 266 runs.

In reply, the Kiwis got off to the worst possible start losing Bates and her opening partner Rachel Priest within the first three overs. Pacer Shikha Pandey had Bates edging to wide slip while Jhulan Goswami took a brilliant return catch to dismiss Priest.

From then on, it was an uphill battle for the New Zealand batting line-up and they never got going as they folded without a fight.

New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates fell cheaply.

New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates was dismissed for a low score.

Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the destructor-in-chief for the Indian team picking up a fifer in her first match of this tournament.

Gayakwad had been warming the bench for the previous six matches but when the call came in a crunch match, she delivered with aplomb finishing with career-best bowling figures of 5-15.

New Zealand were eventually bundled out for a paltry 79 runs, falling short of the target by a mammoth 186 runs handing the Indian women their first semi-final berth at a major ICC event since 2010.

The Indian team have now won all the four games they have played at Derby and the fact that their semi-final against Australia takes place at the same ground augurs well for them.

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Arjuna Ranatunga seeks probe into Sri Lanka's 2011 World Cup final defeat

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Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga.

Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga on Friday demanded an investigation into the country’s 2011 World Cup final defeat by India amid allegations of match fixing.

Ranatunga, 53, in a video posted on his Facebook page, said he was shocked by Sri Lanka’s six-wicket defeat in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

“I was also in India giving commentaries at the time. When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt,” Ranatunga said.

“We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup final.”

“I cannot reveal everything now, but one day I will. There must be an inquiry.”

Without giving names, Ranatunga said players could not hide the “dirt” with their clean white cricket clothing.

Sri Lanka, batting first, scored 274-6 off 50 overs and appeared in a commanding position when Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar was caught for 18. India turned the game dramatically thanks partly to poor fielding and bowling by Sri Lanka.

Ranatunga’s spokesman Thamira Manju said he was writing to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe complaining about the state of cricket in the country.

There have been recriminations in the country since Sri Lanka suffered a humiliating 3-2 loss to bottom-ranked Zimbabwe in a five-match one-day series on home soil this month.

There is also growing tension between Sri Lankan sports authorities and players about the use of managers, including an agent who represents more than half the national team.

Last year, the International Cricket Council imposed a three-year ban on a top Sri Lankan official Jayananda Warnaweera for failing to cooperate with an anti-corruption investigation.

Warnaweera, a former Test player who was facing a two-year domestic ban over allegations of involvement in match-fixing, failed to attend interviews with an ICC anti-corruption unit.

Sri Lanka’s cricket board also suspended a fast bowling coach and sacked a part-time employee for their alleged roles in approach to two Sri Lankan players to arrange a defeat by West Indies at Galle in October 2015. An unnamed man linked to a bookmaker had offered the two players around $70,000 to lose the match.

(Provided by AFP)

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