Young Hazratullah Zazai stars in Afghanistan's 16-run win over Ireland in first T20

Waseem Ahmed 21/08/2018
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Hazratullah Zazai starred with the bat. Image - Cricket Ireland/Twitter.

Afghanistan beat hosts Ireland by 16 runs in the first T20 of the three-match series at Bready on Monday.

Young Hazratullah Zazai was the star of the show for the Afghans with the opening batsman smashing 74 from just 33 balls with the help of eight boundaries and six sixes.

In a game reduced to 18 overs per side, due to a rain delay, Afghanistan posted 160-7 after being made to bat first by Ireland skipper Gary Wilson.

They were given a sensational start by Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad who added 87 runs for the first wicket. The former was in belligerent mood as the racked up 74 of the 87 runs in the partnership before being dismissed by Simi Singh.

The 20-year-old batsman brought up his half-century off just 22 deliveries as more than 80 runs came off the first seven overs of the innings.

The visitors’ batting collapsed towards the end of the innings as five wickets fells for just nine runs but Zazai’s show had ensured the Afghanistan would pose a daunting total. 18-year-old spinner Joshua Little was the pick of the bowlers for Ireland with impressive figures of 2-20 from his four overs.

In reply, Ireland never got going with spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman picking up the wickets of Stuart Thompson and William Porterfield with the new ball.

Paul Stirling (27) and Wilson (34) put up a brief fight but a three-wicket haul for ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan put the brakes on Ireland’s innings as Afghanistan completed a comfortable win.

The second T20 between the two sides will also take place at the Bready Cricket Club on Wednesday.

BRIEF SCORES

Afghanistan: 160-7 (18 overs)

Hazratullah Zazai: 74 (33)

Joshua Little: 2-20 (4 overs)

Ireland: 144-9 (18 overs)

Gary Wilson: 34 (23)

Rashid Khan: 3-35 (4 overs)

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Michael Vaughan believes Virat Kohli is the best batsman in the world across all formats

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Kohli registered his 23rd Test ton on Monday.

Michael Vaughan has labelled Virat Kohli the best batsman in the world across all formats after the India skipper registered his 23rd Test ton on Monday to put the visitors in command of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge.

Kohli followed up his 97 in the first innings with a 103 in the second as India imposed a target of 521 for England to chase in the final innings.

The former England skipper believes Kohli’s ability to succeed in all three formats separates him from the rest of the pack.

“There are many really great players but he is the stand-out across all the three formats of this era by a country mile,” Vaughan told BBC’s Test Match Special.

“He’s got the gift to play all around the wicket in every single format,” he added.

The India skipper has banished his demons from the 2014 tour of England where he could only garner 134 runs in 10 innings at an average of 13.40.

He is currently the leading run-scorer in the series by some distance having scored 440 runs in six innings at an average of 73.33.

England’s Jonny Bairstow is the second highest run-scorer in the series with 206 runs.

Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the series by some distance.

Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the series by some distance.

“He is a wonder player. There were questions about if he could bat in English conditions. No question in my mind; he is the best batsman in the world across all three formats. He is an unbelievable player,” said Vaughan.

His views were echoed by England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace who believes his side’s batsmen could learn from the way Kohli has gone about his business in the series.

“You would be hard pressed to argue against him being seen as the best player in the world at the moment,” Farbrace said.

“The way that he has developed, he has played fantastically in this series. I like the way that he plays the game. It’s fantastic to see someone playing the game in that way.

“He’s a high-quality player and he’s shown that he’s learned a lot on this tour alone. He deserves the runs that he’s scored.

“Our bowlers might argue that he’s been given too many chances, but he’s shown he is high quality.

“I’m a big believer in players learning from players. Our players should be watching the way he has played.”

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Ehsan Mani set to take over Pakistan Cricket Board chief after Najam Sethi hands in resignation

Waseem Ahmed 21/08/2018
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Ehsan Mani has been nominated to take over as PCB chief.

Putting an end to intense speculation over his job, Najam Sethi handed over his resignation from the post of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman on Monday.

Former ICC President Ehsan Mani is now set to take the vacant role after being nominated by the country’s new Prime Minister and former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan.

Sethi’s future had come under fire ever since Imran Khan’s political party won the country’s recent general elections. Sethi and Imran Khan have not enjoyed the best of relationships and with the PCB constitution permitting the Prime Minister to change the chairman, the former’s days at the helm were numbered.

“I was waiting for the new Prime Minister to take oath before submitting my resignation as PCB Chairman, which I have done today. I wish PCB all the best and hope our cricket team goes from strength to strength. Eid Mubarak. Pakistan Zindabad,” Sethi tweeted on Monday along with an image of his resignation letter.

“You have said on many occasions you have a vision for Pakistan cricket. Therefore, it is only proper that you should assume charge and responsibility for assembling a management team for PCB that enjoys your full confidence and trust,” he wrote in the letter.

Minutes later, Imran Khan announced Ehsan Mani as his choice for the PCB role.

“I have appointed Ehsan Mani as Chairman PCB. He brings vast and valuable experience to the job. He represented PCB in the ICC; was Treasurer ICC for three years and then headed the ICC for another three years,” the Pakistan Prime Minister tweeted.

Sethi had taken over as PCB chief in 2017 and had previously served in the role in 2013 and 2014 too. Mani’s nomination for the role is contingent to an election process which set to be all but a formality.

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