England, NZ coaches differ on T20 internationals

New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (R) bats watched by England’s wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (L) during the Twenty20 Tri Series international cricket match between New Zealand and England at Seddon Park in Hamilton on February 18, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018
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England, NZ coaches differ on T20 internationals

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has come out in strong support of the Twenty20 format, saying it forms a "meaningful" part of the international game.
Hesson was responding to comments from England coach Trevor Bayliss who has called for Twenty20 cricket to be removed from the international schedule and confined to franchise tournaments such as the Indian Premier League or Australia's Big Bash League.
Bayliss, speaking after England's two-run win over New Zealand in a tri-series Twenty20 match on Sunday, said players and coaches risked blowout because of the demands of T20 matches on top of tests and one-day games.
He highlighted that some members of the current England team had played five Ashes tests and five one-day internationals in Australia before playing four T20 matches in the current Trans-Tasman tri-series. They now face a tour of New Zealand which incorporates all three formats.
"Look, I haven't changed my opinion on it. I wouldn't play T20 internationals," Bayliss told Sky Sports. "If we continue putting on so many games there'll be a certain amount of blowout with not just players but coaches as well.
"If you want to play a World Cup every four years or whatever it is, maybe six months before you get the international teams and let them play some T20 cricket. But I'd just let the franchises play (beyond that)."
Hesson told reporters on Monday that Twenty20 had an important role to play in international cricket. He agreed with Bayliss that the demands on players have to be managed but said the short format was critical to smaller nations such as New Zealand.
"There's always a workload issue, I think that's fair," Hesson said. "But there's also a revenue-generation issue as well.
"In some countries that's not as big a deal but for New Zealand Cricket, to get 35,000 people to Eden Park or whatever it was the other day is huge for us, huge for the game and huge for the promotion of the game. And we certainly get great support for T20 internationals over here."
Asked if T20 internationals are meaningful, Hesson replied: "Too right they are. Every international you play is incredibly meaningful.
"You've got guys that only play T20 and that's their chance to play international cricket, so I think absolutely it's meaningful."


Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

Bangladesh's Mahmudullah, right, bats during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6

DUBAI: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much needed win and now face arch rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.
Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.
But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.
Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.
Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.
Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.
But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan’s bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan’s early progress.
Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.
The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pakistani fielders dropped four catches — three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.
Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.