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Saturday, May 26th

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ICC Under-19 World Cup Preview: Afghanistan vs Pakistan

Pakistan have been one of the better sides in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup over the years. They are the only ones to have won back-to-back titles, in 2004 and 2006, and have also finished runners-up on three other occasions. In the last edition, they lost to eventual champions the Windies in the quarterfinals.

Hassan Khan, who topped Pakistan’s batting charts with 293 runs in the Bangladesh event and made his first-class debut for Karachi Whites this season, will lead the squad in New Zealand, where the tournament is being held for the third time.

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South Africa battle back to edge ahead of India at Newlands

Just who had the better of day one of the Freedom Series at PPC Newlands on Friday will in all probability not be clarified until well into day two. The Proteas found themselves on 12/3 after winning the toss and deciding to bat first under hazardous conditions to three testing overs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar but critically still had AB de Villiers at the crease.

The Proteas returning warrior launched a calculated counter-attack that set the mood for the rest of the innings as he and his captain, Faf du Plessis, shared a stand of 114 that enabled the Proteas to score 107/3 in the first session and then 123/4 in the second.

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Kirsten and Nehra to strengthen RCB Coaching Team

Cricket stalwarts are set to bolster the coaching team of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), as preparations begin for the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League. Former coach of the world cup winning Indian cricket team and South African cricketer Gary Kirsten and former Indian fast-bowler Ashish Nehra have come on-board as Batting and Bowling Coach, respectively. Additionally, Kirsten and Nehra will also play the role of mentors for the team during the league.

Daniel Vettori, Head Coach, Royal Challengers Bangalore, said, “I am excited to welcome Gary and Ashish to the coaching team for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both of them bring a wealth of experience in cricket, which the team can learn from immensely.  We look forward to an amazing season.”

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Spin options in New Zealand ODI squad for Pakistan

The BLACKCAPS have selected two spin options in their ODI squad to face Pakistan in the opening two matches of the GJ Gardner Homes Series. Allrounders Todd Astle and Mitchell Santner both feature in the 13 man squad, with Martin Guptill also returning to the side. The opening match of the series is on 6 January at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen said having both Astle and Santner gave the team options.

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Alastair Cook vaults back into Top 10 of ICC Test Rankings

A magnificent unbeaten double-century by Alastair Cook has helped him to finish the year inside the top 10 of the latest ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released today following the conclusion of the Melbourne and Port Elizabeth Tests.

The 33-year-old left-handed opener scored 244 in his side’s first innings score of 491, which has helped him to rise nine places to eighth position. He will now start 2018 with South Africa’s seventh-ranked Hashim Amla firmly within his sights, who is 17 points ahead of the former England captain.

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Chris Morris added to Proteas Test squad

All-rounder, Chris Morris, has been added to the Standard Bank Proteas squad for the first Sunfoil Test match against India starting at PPC Newlands on January 5th. Morris has recovered from a groin injury and replaces fast bowler, Duanne Olivier, in the 15-man squad. This selected squad is only for the first match of the 2018 Freedom Series.

The Proteas will assemble in Cape Town on January 2nd to begin preparations for the first Test of the three-match series.

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De Villiers gives pink ball experience thumbs-up

Proteas stand-in captain, AB de Villiers, has given the four-day pink ball experience the thumbs-up despite the one-sided innings and 120-run victory against Zimbabwe at St George’s Park on Tuesday. De Villiers says the novel idea brings in a fast-paced dynamic compared to the traditional five-day approach, and teams can learn to adapt to the varying conditions that affect the match throughout the day.

“I think it was quite nice,” he said of the experience. “ I found the batsmen were a little bit more positive. There were talks of declaring earlier than normal, I spoke to Gibbo (Gibson) last night and we started talking about declarations a lot earlier than normal. It encourages a lot more positive cricket, I enjoy that. I still enjoy five-day cricket but there is definitely an excitement to day-night Test cricket for four-days. It is positive, there is a lot happening, we all enjoyed it as well as the spectators.

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