Live Cricket Blog: Aaron Finch goes on a record-breaking spree

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Catch the latest happenings in the world of cricket.

Hello, Ajit Vijaykumar and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout your day and the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

3:45 pm – Tom Curran out of India series

England seamer Tom Curran was ruled out the T20 and ODI series against India due to a side strain.

The ECB announced Tom’s brother and left-arm bowler Sam will replace him for the ODI series.

For more, click here.

2:20 pm – Finch goes berserk

CRICKET-AUS-RSA

Australia captain Aaron Finch smashed his own record of the highest score in T20Is during his knock of 172 against Zimbabwe in the T20 tri-series on Tuesday.

Finch added a world record 223 for the opening wicket with D’Arcy Short to put Zimbabwe bowlers to the sword.

Read more about his records here.

2:00 pm – Sarfraz eyes quick turnaround

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed will be hoping to put the heavy defeat handed out by Australia behind them when they play hosts Zimbabwe in the T20 tri-series on Wednesday.

Pakistan were shot out for 116 by Aussie pacer Billy Stanlake and saw the men in gold reach the target inside 11 overs. The world No1 T20 team will be desperate to put that result behind them.

Read more talking points here.

12:40 pm – Dravid pleased with bench strength

Rahul Dravid has been doing an excellent job with the India 'A' side.

Rahul Dravid has been doing an excellent job with the India ‘A’ side.

India ‘A’ coach Rahul Dravid said he is proud of his team as they not only defeated England Lions in the tri-series final but also provided two players – Krunal Pandya and Deepak Chahar – to the senior team for the T20 series against England which begins on Tuesday.

“Definitely some positives, as well as seeing some of the boys get into the national side as well, irrespective of the result,” Dravid said.

For more, click here.

12:00 – Steve Smith and David Warner fail

Steve Smith and David Warner got out for low scores – three and one respectively – in the Global T20 Canada Tournament.

Warner’s Winnipeg Hawks secured a 56-run win over Smith’s Toronto Nationals. Warner has now scored just six runs in three inning in the tournament.

Read the full report here.

11:30 am – Six-Test suspension for ball-tamperers

The ICC unveiled stricter punishment for ball tampering in an effort to clean up the game following the Cape Town Test fiasco.

Ball tampering will be considered a Level Three offence which will carry a maximum sanction of 12 suspension points equivalent to six Test matches or 12 ODIs.

For more, click here.

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Sarfraz Ahmed's Pakistan look to regain winning momentum against beleaguered Zimbabwe

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Pakistan will look to get back to winning ways.

With the games coming thick and fast in the T20 tri-series, Pakistan will lock horns with hosts Zimbabwe for the second time when the two sides meet at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.

PAKISTAN BID TO RESUME WINNING RUN

The nine-wicket loss to the Aussies on Monday broke a run of eight consecutive wins for Sarfraz Ahmed’s men. The No1 ranked T20I side in the world have been in sublime form in the format for the past year or so and have gone on to win 20 out of the 24 matches they have played under Sarfraz’s captaincy.

Such has been their form that the loss against Australia seems like an aberration. However, it will also serve as a wake-up call for the men in green as it exposed a few chinks in the armor.

Pakistan's winning run was brought to a halt by the Aussies.

Pakistan’s winning run was brought to a halt by the Aussies.

HUSSAIN TALAT IN THE FIRING LINE

After scores of 41 and 63 in his first two T20 matches for Pakistan, it has all gone downhill for Hussain Talat. The 22-year-old batsman has been a part of the T20 squad for the past few months after some excellent displays in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). However, in his last four international innings, the left-hander has failed to cross the 20-run mark on each occasion.

Batting in the crucial No3 slot for Pakistan, Talat’s inability to play the big innings has been putting a lot of pressure on the batsmen to follow such as Sarfraz and Shoaib Malik. His failure against Australia on Monday could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and open the door to a Pakistan debut for fellow 22-year-old Sahibzada Farhan or the more experienced Haris Sohail.

Talat has been enduring a poor run with the bat.

Talat has been enduring a poor run with the bat.

BELEAGUERED HOSTS WEAKENED FURTHER

That Zimbabwe cricket is in turmoil is no secret. The ongoing dispute between the country’s cricketing body and the players has resulted in five top stars missing the T20 tri-series. The likes of Brendon Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Graeme Cramer, Craig Irvine and Sean Williams have all opted out of the series due to the non-payments of their salaries.

As if things weren’t already too bad for the Hamilton Masakadza led side, all-rounder Kyle Jarvis suffered a broken thumb in the opening clash against Pakistan and could be ruled out for the rest of the series.

The heavy defeat at the hands of Australia on Tuesday has only compounded the misery.

Kyle Jarvis will be a major loss to the hosts.

Kyle Jarvis will be a major loss to the hosts.

PAKISTAN WRESTLE WITH AMIR DILEMMA

Pace spearhead Mohammad Amir has finally been given some rest after not being picked in the side’s two clashes so far in the tournament. Nursing a chronic knee injury, the Pakistan pacer’s workload is being managed in the lead-up to the 2019 ICC World Cup.

However, in his absence, the likes of Usman Khan and Hasan Ali were unable to create much of an impact in the clash against Australia. While Zimbabwe should be a much easier test, Sarfraz might be tempted to throw on Amir for the clash in a bid to get him into match rhythm for the final should Pakistan progress.

Amir has not been called upon in the two matches so far.

Amir has not been called upon in the two matches so far.

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Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane proves his mettle in Global T20 Canada tournament

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Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Image: BCCI.

Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane roared back into form after a fine display for Montreal Tigers against the Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada tournament on Monday.

Lamichhane finished with superb figures of 1-19 from his four overs as he helped restrict Vancouver to 166-6 in King City. However, Montreal batsmen failed to meet the challenge and were bowled out for 148.

It was good game for the 17-year Lamichhane at a personal level as he had been smashed for 57 runs in his first match against West Indies XI.

On Monday, Lamichhane was all over the Vancouver batsmen as the wicket was dry and allowed him to get the ball to grip and turn it square with pace.

He got West Indian batsman Chadwick Walton stumped with a ball that spun right across his swinging bat.

Lamichhane also became the first spinner to bowl a maiden over in the Global T20 Canada tournament. It extends an overall good run in T20s for Lamichhane who picked up five wickets from three games for IPL side Delhi Daredevils.

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