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Monday, Feb 27th

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Afghanistan stun Zimbabwe to seal series 3-2

For the second time in the series the weather played Zimbabwe a very bad hand as they went down in the final and deciding ODI to Afghanistan by 106 runs in almost farcical circumstances, with a Duckworth-Lewis ruling, losing the series three-two.

Zimbabwe paid the penalty for a mediocre bowling and fielding display when rain cut 28 overs from their innings and forced them to chase a very difficult target in less favourable batting conditions. The loss of early wickets soon turned the very difficult into the impossible, the batsmen did not handle the situation wisely or well, and it was a sad end to what had appeared to be a revival in the Zimbabwe team’s play and fortunes.

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Steve Smith consolidates no.1 Test ranking

Australia captain Steve Smith has consolidated his position at the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following his outstanding batting effort in the opening Test against India.

Smith scored 109 during Australia's second innings to help his team win by 333 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The 27-year-old right-hander reached a career-high 939 rating points which is the sixth best ever after Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting (both 942) and Peter May (941).

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Sachin Tendulkar: "The series is still wide open"

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday backed the Indian team who were beaten by Australia by 333 runs in the first cricket Test of the four-match series at Pune. The 43-year-old batsman also said that one loss cannot decide the fate of the series and the Virat Kohli-led team will surely bounce back.

Australia ended India's 19-match record unbeaten streak after thrashing the hosts within three days of the match on Saturday.

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New Zealand beat Australia in series opener to take 1-0 lead

Australia have suffered a five-wicket loss to New Zealand in the opening match of the Rose Bowl Series at Eden Park today, despite a maiden One-Day International century from Beth Mooney.

Requiring 276 runs to claim victory, New Zealand openers Suzie Bates (55) and Rachel Priest (20) put on 58 runs before leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington (2-51) combined with Nicole Bolton to remove the dangerous Priest.

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Guptill and Patel in for fourth ODI against South Africa

New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill and off spinner Jeetan Patel have been named in the squad for the fourth ODI against South Africa in Hamilton on Wednesday. Guptill returns after been sidelined with a hamstring strain, while Patel last featured for the side in the ANZ ODI series against Bangladesh earlier in the summer.

Matt Henry drops out of the squad and will play for Canterbury in the Plunket Shield match beginning today at the Basin Reserve. 

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Sunil Gavaskar: "I am disappointed with a lack of fight"

After the massive 333-run defeat to Australia within three days of the opening Test here, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday termed the Indian cricket team's approach as "careless".

Gavaskar also criticised the lack of fight by the Virat Kohli-led side, which could only master 105 and 107 in both their innings against the visitors' 260 and 285 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

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Former Indian, Australian cricketers congratulate visitors on Opening Test win

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who predicted a 4-0 verdict in favour of India in the run-up to the four-match Test rubber against Australia, on Saturday blamed the pitch for the home team's 333-run loss in the opening match at the Maharastra Cricket Association Stadium.

The Virat Kohli-led home side succumbed to their fourth biggest Test loss after Australian left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe spun a web to take identical figures of 6/35 in both the innings and break the pre-series favourites India's backbone within just three days.

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