IN PICTURES: MS Dhoni launches his first cricket academy in the UAE

Sport360 staff 12/11/2017

India cricket star MS Dhoni inaugurated his first cricket academy in the UAE on Saturday, at the Springdales School in Al Quoz.

The event created a buzz as one of cricket's biggest stars graced the occasion to officially launch the academy, which began operating a couple of months ago. Excited trainees and their parents were on hand to see Dhoni cut the ribbon and interact with the media.

Jointly launched by the Dubai-based Pacific Sports Club and Aarka Sports Club, the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy has employed some of the best coaches from India, including former Mumbai bowler Vishal Mahadik.

The Academy has four turf, three cement, and three matted pitches, spin and swing bowling machines, safety nets, and is equipped for night practices as well. There's also an in-house sports shop for cricket gear and video analysis.

For more information on the academy, visit www.pacificsportsclub.com.

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Overton presses claims for Ashes spot with impressive performance in England's tour win

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Craig Overton improved his chances of an England Test debut in this month’s Ashes series with an impressive bowling performance in the emphatic tour win over the cricket Australia XI in Adelaide on Saturday.

England needed just half an hour to wrap up a comprehensive 192-run victory early on the final day of the four-day tour match at Adelaide Oval.

The Somerset paceman took one of the three remaining wickets to fall to finish with three for 15 off 11 overs to share the wickets among the pace battery.

Overton is now firmly in line to make his Test debut at the Gabba for the opening Test of the series on November 23 and insists he is ready for the task.

“I’d like to think so but I’ve still got a bit of work to do,” Overton told reporters.

“It’s still a work in progress. It’s just finding that rhythm over here and I’d prefer to be over-cooked than under-cooked going to Brisbane.”

On his chances of cracking a spot in the England Test XI, Overton said: “You’re never quite sure, you just keep on doing your thing and try not to worry about it too much.

“If you get a call up then happy days if not I will be supporting the team as much as possible.

“I’m just making sure I bowl the best I can when I get a chance and hopefully that will be good enough. I’m confident it will be.”

James Anderson took two wickets on the final day to finish with three for 12 off 10.2 overs while Chris Woakes, who triggered the CA XI second innings collapse late on Friday, did not bowl on Saturday to have four for 17 off 10 overs.

Anderson, who is now the new team vice-captain in place of the suspended Ben Stokes, said he has been impressed with Overton’s efforts on tour.

“He’s a big lad, gets plenty of bounce and he’s very skilful too,” England’s all-time Test wicket-taker said.

“He can swing the ball, seam the ball and he brings something different to the team. He’s settled in really well.”

An England batting collapse was averted only by Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten knock of 61 in the second innings of 207 and former fast bowler Ryan Harris, in charge of the CA XI, liked what he saw.

“I think their batting is vulnerable, absolutely, especially with no Stokes at six or seven,” Harris said.

“But it depends on how our boys bowl at them. If we’re loose and wide then we won’t have them in any trouble.

“We’ve got some good intelligence and knowledge on England and I’ll pass that on to our bowlers.”

Australia are delighted that England’s big two batting hopes, Joe Root and Alastair Cook, have not really fired on tour yet, the new captain having made one half century in his three innings and the former one having suffered three failures.

“We’ve been known to target the captain and Joe Root is genuinely their best player,” Harris said.

“You’ve got Alastair Cook too who knows these conditions pretty well so if you take the best two out it’s always going to be hard. That’s what I’m sure the Australians are trying to do.

“I think Cook looked a bit rusty. He’s had a good county season but it’s different in our conditions.”

England head to north Queensland on Sunday for their final Ashes warm-up game against the CA XI yet again, starting in Townsville on Wednesday, before the opening Test in Brisbane.

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Woakes takes four wickets as England close in on victory against Cricket Australia XI in Ashes warm-up game

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Paceman Chris Woakes claimed four wickets as England roared back to the verge of victory against the Cricket Australia XI after the third day of the four day-night tour match at Adelaide Oval on Friday.

The tourists scrambled to 207 in their second innings on the back of Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 61 off 66 balls leaving the CA XI 268 runs to win.

But Warwickshire’s Woakes led a spirited England fightback, capturing four for 17 off 10 overs to leave the CA XI innings in tatters.

The tourists tried to wrap up victory opting for an extra half hour of play on the third night under lights but were thwarted by Matt Short (28 not out) and Gurinder Sandhu (17 not out) through to stumps at 70 for seven.

Up until Woakes’s superb bowling spell it looked an embarrassing day for Joe Root’s tourists, stumbling to 124 for seven at one stage.

England tumbled from 79 without loss to lose seven wickets for 45 in a spectacular crash before Bairstow and leg-spinner Mason Crane (18) helped boost the innings in a 70-run stand.

When James Anderson became Simon Milenko’s fifth wicket England’s second innings was over, with injured Jake Ball unable to come to the wicket on his injured ankle.

Former England captain and opener Alastair Cook’s scratchy start to his Ashes tour continued, making 32 from 85 balls.

Cook began his tour with a second-ball duck against a West Australian XI and made only 15 in the first innings in Adelaide.

Chris Woakes' bowling spell rescued England after a dismal batting display.

Chris Woakes’ bowling spell rescued England after a dismal batting display.

The veteran’s dismissal triggered England’s slide – he was soon followed to the changeroom by his opening partner Mark Stoneman, who made 51, his third consecutive half-century on tour.

Captain Joe Root (one), Dawid Malan (five), James Vince (29), Woakes (two) and Craig Overton (0) fell in rapid succession as England plummeted to 124 for seven.

Bairstow hit a six to reach his half-century coming off 61 balls.

Meanwhile, Ball will miss the rest of CA XI match as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.

The Nottinghamshire paceman fell awkwardly while bowling his fourth over on Thursday.

Ball was forced to withdraw from the day-night warm-up match and had a scan on Friday to determine the damage to his right ankle.

The tourists have already lost paceman Steven Finn, who has flown home because of a knee injury and his replacement Tom Curran arrived in Adelaide on Friday.

And spinning allrounder Moeen Ali is yet to feature in the warm-up matches as he struggles with a side strain.

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