Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann takes offence at sandpaper card stunt by English fans in first ODI

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Lehmann was evidently not happy with the advertising stunt at the Oval.

England cricket fans rubbing salt in the wounds of the Aussies in the ongoing ODI series between the two countries has not gone down too well with Darren Lehmann.

The former Australia coach, who resigned in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal which occurred during Australia’s tour of South Africa, was not happy with some of the shenanigans which occurred during the first ODI between the two sides on Wednesday at the Oval.

Before the start of the match, an advertising stunt saw pieces of ‘Australian ball-tampering grade sandpaper’ being handed out to fans entering the ground.

It was reported that over 5, 000 of these cards were confiscated by authorities inside the ground.

The stunt was in response to the ball-tampering episode in which Cameron Bancroft had been caught on camera shining the ball with a sandpaper.

Lehmann took to Twitter to express his disapproval at the advertising stunt to British journalist Alison Mitchell. The journalist had posted an image of the sandpaper cards being handed out to fans outside the stadium.

Lehmann wrote, “Your better than that @AlisonMitchell?”

It has to be said that before the start of the series, Australia’s newly appointed coach Justin Langer and ODI captain Tim Paine had stated that they expected to cop some punishment from their Ashes rivals during the five-match ODI series and one-off T20I.

I’m pretty lucky being in the middle I can’t hear anything,” Paine had said at the press conference before the start of the series.

“I haven’t spoken to the (other guys) but there wasn’t any talk of copping too much stick out there which is nice.

“Maybe if we win a few games they might.”

Australia were beaten by three wickets on Wednesday as England took a 1-0 lead in the series.

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Shikhar Dhawan becomes Afghanistan's maiden Test dismissal after record century

Sudhir Gupta 14/06/2018
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While expectations were sky high for Afghanistan’s maiden Test, Shikhar Dhawan didn’t adhere to the script as the debutants were given a rude awakening.

After stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat first, the India opener struck a rapid 87-ball century before lunch as the hosts piled on the runs at a brisk pace in the first session.

In the process, Dhawan became only the sixth batsmen in Test cricket history to register a ton before lunch on day one. He is the first Indian batsman to do and only the second in the world after Australia’s David Warner to achieve the feat in the last four decades.

Dhawan was his usual attacking self as he cut and drove fiercely. He had formed an unbeaten 158-run partnership with his opening partner Murali Vijay by the time lunch was taken on day one at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.

Dhawan entered the record books once again, this time post lunch as he became Afghanistan’s maiden Test wicket.

The left-hander fell shortly after lunch while attempting to drive pacer Yamin Ahmadzai through the covers. He could only find a thick edge as the ball flew towards Rahmat Shah at second-slip who failed to grab on to the chance. However, Mohammad Nabi was alert at first-slip and pounced on the rebound to complete Afghanistan’s maiden Test dismissal.

With that, 25-year-old Amhadzai ensured that his name will remain etched in the history of Afghanistan cricket just as Boyd Rankin had done for Ireland in their maiden Test against Pakistan recently.

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Sarfraz Ahmed becomes most successful Pakistan T20I skipper after Scotland clean sweep

Waseem Ahmed 14/06/2018
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The Pakistan side pose with the trophy after their 2-0 series win.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s personal form was the subject of heated debate as Pakistan beat Ireland in a one-off Test before squaring the two-match Test series against England at 1-1.

However, the Pakistan skipper roared back into form with a stupendous innings of 89 not out off just 49 deliveries in the first T20I against Scotland at Edinburgh on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Sarfraz’s men thumped Scotland by 84 runs in the second and final T20I to sweep the series 2-0. With this win, the 31-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has become the joint-most successful skipper in the T20I format in Pakistan’s history.

This was the 19th win under Sarfraz’s captaincy in just 22 matches since he took charge in September 2016. This puts him level with Shahid Afridi who also led Pakistan to 19 wins as skipper although the former all-rounder’s victories came in 43 matches.

Sarfraz's men proved to be too good for the Scots.

Sarfraz’s men proved to be too good for the Scots.

With a success-rate of over 86 per cent, Sarfraz has made Pakistan into a fearsome T20I outfit, which is reflected in their rise to the top of the ranking chart.

The right-hander has now presided over 11 wins in the last 12 T20I matches. Under his leadership, Pakistan have won all eight T20I series they have played. This run includes wins over England, West Indies, ICC World XI, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and now Scotland.

Pakistan have now not lost any bilateral T20I series since the start of 2016 when they lost 2-1 to the Blackcaps in a three-match series.

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