Inside Ground

BPL 2022: Comilla Victorians ready to snatch third title


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The eighth edition of Bangladesh Premier League is being played in a few days. In the second part of a series of reports on the six teams participating in the eighth edition, today we will talk about the Comilla Victorians.

In the eighth edition of BPL, many teams have appeared under new names under new ownership. The exception was Comilla Victorians. The team is going to take part in the upcoming edition of BPL under the old owner. Comilla, which has a record of winning the title twice in the BPL, wants to keep the title at home again. And for that purpose, Comilla Victorians have formed a balanced team. Nafisa Kamal, the owner of the franchise, has already stated that they are happy with the formation of the team. They will take the field to win the title.

The auction of the eighth edition of BPL was completed on Monday (December 27). Comilla Victorians have surprised everyone by including three popular foreign players in their team from outside the auction. Looking at the entire squad of Comilla after the auction yesterday, it was easy to guess that the success of the team will depend on the foreign cricketers. Sunil Narine, a popular cricketer of T20 format, was included in the Comilla team from outside the auction. Comilla also took star cricketer Faf du Plessis and English cricketer Moin Ali. There is a lot of demand for Narine, Du Plessis and Moin Ali in any franchise league in T20 format. Depending on these three cricketers, Comilla will want to win the title for the third time.

In the Players' Draft which ended yesterday, the team picked up Bangladesh national team wicketkeeper batsman Liton Das for the first time. In the second call of the first set, pacer Shahidul Islam was selected from the 'C' category. After that Comilla included Imrul Kayes in their team. Kayes has fond memories of winning the title in Comilla jersey even before that. Among the foreign cricketers selected from the draft are Sri Lanka's Kushal Mendis and West Indies fast bowler Ocean Thomas. Comilla Victorians also fielded Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque at the very end of the Players' Draft.

Analyzing the team, it is seen that this time the bowling lineup of Comilla team is quite strong. They are ahead of any other team by dincluding Sunil Narine, a very effective bowler in T20 cricket. The star cricketer will be the main head of the spin department. Comilla will be led by pace bowler Mostafizur Rahman. Comilla bowling will depend a lot on the performance of these two. Besides, the team will be looking at Ocean Thomas, Moin Ali and Abu Haider Rony. If two bowlers can consistently perform well in the T20 format, the team will benefit. In that case, if Mostafiz and Narine can perform to the best of their ability throughout the tournament, then Comilla will have nothing to worry about their bowling department.

Comilla is not as advanced in bowling as in batting. Faf du Plessis is the team's mainstay in batting. If he burns with the bat, he can stand in panic for any opponent. Moreover, the team has confidence in Liton Das of the national team. The team also has high hopes for Imrul Kayes, who is highly experienced.

It remains to be seen whether the three-star foreign cricketer will be able to win Comilla the title for the third time.

Comilla Victorians squad at a glance –

Mustafizur Rahman, Faf du Plessis, Moin Ali, Sunil Narine, Liton Das, Shahidul Islam, Imrul Kayes, Tanvir Islam, Kushal Mendis, Ocean Thomas, Ariful Haque, Nahidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Sumon Khan, Muminul Haque, Mahidul Islam, Parvez Hossain Emon, Abu Haider Rony, Mehedi Hasan.



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Inside Ground

Mushfiq becomes the first-ever Bangladeshi batter to score 5000 test runs

Publish: 12:39 PM, 18 May, 2022


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Mushfiqur Rahim has become the first-ever Bangladeshi batter to reach 5000 Test runs on Wednesday (May 18).

Mushfiq needed 68 runs to reach the milestone. He nudged the ball down to fine leg off Asitha Fernando for a couple to reach the milestone.

Right after him is Tamim Iqbal who is now 19 runs away. He scored an unbeaten 133 before retiring hurt with a cramp on Tuesday.

Mushfiq reached the milestone in 81 matches with an average of 36.77. He has seven centuries and 26 fifties in his bag with a highest score of 219*.

He made his debut at Lord's in 2005.


Mushfiqur Rahim   5000 runs  


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Inside Ground

Nayeem takes 2 in first session, SL stands 73/2 at lunch

Publish: 01:03 PM, 15 May, 2022


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At lunch break of day one of the Chattogram Test, Sri Lanka posted 73 for two in 24 overs after they opted to bat first winning the toss. 

Nayeem Hasan, the off-spinner, bagged two wickets for the hosts including the Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne (8) in the eighth over of the innings. 

After Karunaratne, Nayeem removed Oshada Fernando (36) who was set well in the wicket. 

Nayeem was not in the squad for this series. But a finger injury to Mehidy Hasan Miraz paved the way for Nayeem. He managed to justify his place at the first chance. 

After the openers were sent back, Kusal Mendis and veteran Angelo Mathews paired up in the third wicket stand. Mendis scored 27 while Mathews is yet to score a run.

Both teams enjoyed an even session at the start of the Chattogram Test where the wicket looks good to bat on. 

Bangladesh secured the service of Shakib Al Hasan in this Test who was doubtful of his fitness. The allrounder just recovered from Covid-19. 

This series is a part of the ICC World Test Championship. Bangladesh played six matches in this event and won only a match against New Zealand.


Ban vs SL   Test Match   Cricket  


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Inside Ground

Liverpool win FA Cup after beating Chelsea again on penalties

Publish: 09:11 AM, 15 May, 2022


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Liverpool continue to make heroes during a never-to-be-forgotten season, to accumulate silverware, to hint at something historic. On this occasion, it was the back-up left-back, Kostas Tsimikas, who made the difference, proving that even the more unheralded members of Jürgen Klopp’s squad can be counted on.

Introduced as a substitute in the closing stages of extra time, the Greece international, who joined from Olympiakos in the summer of 2020 for £11.7m, stepped up to take Liverpool’s seventh penalty of the shootout. It was the kick which won the FA Cup.

Liverpool had been in the same situation at the end of round five. César Azpilicueta had hit the post for Chelsea with the first kick of the second round and Sadio Mané made the mission to the spot, intending to complete phase two of Operation Quadruple.

Mané seemed to be taking his time over the walk, savouring it. He had scored the decisive penalty for Senegal in their victories in the Africa Cup of Nations final and the World Cup playoff. Everybody knew that he was going to score. But he did not, his Senegal teammate Édouard Mendy going the right way to save.

It was a moment of the purest drama. Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea manager, beat the turf in delirium. It was back on for his team; the opportunity to end a traumatic season on a high. And then it was snatched away again after Alisson read Mason Mount’s intentions to make an outstanding save to his left.

Enter Tsimikas. What a moment for the 26-year-old. And he made it a defining one for his career with the coolest of finishes. The Liverpool half of the stadium exploded, red flares lighting the scene, and Klopp could celebrate the addition of the FA Cup to his CV.

Klopp wants more. The Premier League feels like a big ask, with his team trailing Manchester City by three points with two games to play – and an inferior goal difference. Then there is the small matter of the Champions League final against Real Madrid on 28 May.

There was a scare here when Mohamed Salah was forced off with an injury in the 32nd minute but it was not a time to dwell on that, rather for the club to enjoy a first FA Cup since the Steven Gerrard-inspired victory over West Ham in 2006, which was also won on penalties.

Is there a team that has shown greater composure in shootouts over the years than Liverpool? Their first trophy of this season had been won on penalties – the Carabao Cup against Chelsea – and there were parallels to that day, particularly in how both teams failed to take their chances during a stalemate.

It was not as open as the previous instalment, the legs heavy after a long season. For Chelsea, there has been the emotional drain of the impending takeover; for Liverpool, the remorselessness of a schedule that could bring the ultimate glory. But there were still plenty of opportunities.

The tension rose steadily and Liverpool thought they had cracked through it not once but twice in a whirlwind 60 seconds from the 83rd minute. Instead, they twice struck the post. First, the excellent Luis Díaz shot against the outside of the right-hand upright and then Andy Robertson, arriving to meet a cross from the substitute James Milner, crashed against the other one.

Chelsea had craved what Tuchel called an “injection of positivity” from this showpiece and they almost got it in normal time, before the slow and inevitable trudge towards penalties. There were big chances for Christian Pulisic and Marcos Alonso in the first half and Alonso again straight after the interval. The left wing-back would also rattle the crossbar with a 48th-minute free-kick from a tight angle.

Tuchel pulled the same move that he had done in the Carabao Cup, introducing a player specifically for the shootout in the 119th minute. Back then, it had been the goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and we all remember how that worked out. This time, it was Ross Barkley for a nonplussed Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who had come on himself as a substitute. Barkley did not touch the ball before the final whistle, meaning that his only touch was when he stepped up in round four. He lashed past Alisson.

Mendy would get his fingertips to the penalties of Milner and Roberto Firmino, albeit in vain, and Chelsea’s players crumpled to the turf when it was all over. It was their third FA Cup final in succession and their third defeat, an unwanted new record. Revenge for the Carabao Cup was on their minds. They did not get it.

Liverpool had laid down the early markers, with Díaz worrying Trevoh Chalobah with his pace. He almost picked out Thiago with a cross and then missed a one-on-one after a wonderful Trent Alexander-Arnold through-ball. Credit Mendy with a big block.

Chelsea battled back after a tough opening 20 minutes. Pulisic dragged wide and then played in Alonso, whose first touch let him down. Romelu Lukaku also shot high. Tuchel’s team had a flurry of chances at the start of the second half, with Alonso shooting past the far post before his free-kick effort and Pulisic extending Alisson.

Diogo Jota, who came on for Salah, blew two good chances while the ball would not go in for Díaz. But Liverpool found a way.

– The Guardian


Liverpool FC   Chelsea FC   Liverpool vs Chelsea   FA cup  


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Inside Ground

Former Australia all-rounder Symonds killed in car crash

Publish: 09:00 AM, 15 May, 2022


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Former Australian test cricketer and two-time World Cup winner Andrew Symonds has died following a car accident in Queensland, Cricket Australia confirmed on Sunday.

Symonds was aged 46. He had played 26 tests for Australia.

Police said the accident occurred in Hervey Range, 50 km from Townsville on Saturday night. The car Symonds was driving left the road and rolled, according to a police statement, which described it as a single vehicle incident.

"Australian cricket has lost another of its very best," said Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson in a statement.

"Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia's success at World Cups and as part of Queensland's rich cricket history.

"He was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends.

"On behalf of Australian cricket our deepest sympathies are with Andrew's family, team-mates, and friends."

Symonds was a member of Australia's World Cup-winning teams in 2003 and 2007 and appeared in 198 one-day internationals in addition to 26 tests from 2004 to 2008.

Known for his swashbuckling middle order batting displays, he was an accomplished all-rounder who could bowl both off-spin and medium pace.

"Everyone had him earmarked as a white ball player," former team mate Mark Taylor told Channel Nine.

"He wanted to prove to the world he could play test cricket and he did that way.

"He was just an entertainer. He wanted to go out there and have fun and play the game he remembered to play it as a kid.

"At times he got in trouble for not going to training or maybe having a few too many beers...but that is the way he lived his life and the way he wanted to play his cricket also."

Symonds' death occurred with Australian cricket still coming to terms with the the passing of all-time greats Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who both died in March.

Queensland Police said an investigation into the crash has been opened.

"Early information indicates, shortly after 11 p.m. the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled," the police statement said.

"Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries.

"The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating."

- Reuters


Cricket   Australia   Symonds   Death   Car Crash  


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Inside Ground

Bangladesh get Shakib boost ahead of 1st Test

Publish: 02:25 PM, 14 May, 2022


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Bangladesh captain Mominul believed Shakib Al Hasan is 100 percent fit to play the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting tomorrow (Sunday) at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here.

After joining the side yesterday night, following his recovery from the Covid-19, Shakib today (Saturday) batted for a long time in the net, indicating that he is desperate to play.

"He is 100 percent fit. As a captain I think, he is fit to play the Test match," Mominul Haque said here today.

Shakib in fact batted for the first time after the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) last month. But he showed no sign of fatigue when he was facing off the pacers and spinners in the net. In fact, he batted aggressively, which was enough to impress the head coach Russell Domingo, who was seen to applaud Shakib.

"From what I have seen, he batted really well. I think he will play," Momimul said. "The good thing about Shakis is that he is psychologically very strong. If he wants, he can play the game despite the adversities.

If Shakib plays tomorrow's, this will be his first Test in this year.

After playing against Pakistan last year, he skipped the New Zealand Test series and missed the South Africa Test series due to family emergency.

"He is prepared to play the South Africa Tests but due to family problems, he had to miss that series. He was also doubtful in this series after being contracted Covid-19. But he now recovered and I think he is desperate to play."

- BBS


Shakib Al Hasan  


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