Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Do IPL Franchises think before spending money?

A lot has been said about the sort of bids that Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills attracted at the recently held IPL auction.

Stokes was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants (and who came up with that name?) for US$ 2.16 million, the highest bid ever made for a non-Indian player at the IPL, and the highest bid ever for any player after Virat Kohli.

Great for him. Really, for Stokes this is one hell of a deal. He is a wonderful cricketer no doubt. He has just been made Vice Captain of England and he is definitely one of their star performers in Tests and ODIs.

But he has an extremely poor T20 record; international and otherwise.

He averages under 15 with the bat in T20 Internationals. He has a highest score of 38 in 18 innings. Not a single 50.

In 68 domestic T20 innings, he has crossed fifty 5 times.

His strike rate is in the mid 130s, but then that is just about average for a T20 performer.

So what got him this huge pay cheque?

His bowling?

Ha! He's the same bowler who got hit for 4 consecutive sixes in the final over of the World T20 final by Carlos Remember the Name Brathwaite. He lost that cup for England.

And that was not a one off.

Ben Stokes is among the 10 bowlers with the worst ever economy rate and worst ever average in the history of T20 Internationals !!!

Yet Rising Pune Supergiants dished out over 2 million dollars for him.

Just wow.

Now we come to Tymal Mills.

Have you even heard of him?

He has played 4 T20 Internationals for England, where he averaged 40 with the ball. More recently, he has turned out for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League, who bought him for US$ 70,000.

And you know what Royal Challengers Bangalore paid for him?

US$ 1.8 million ! The highest ever paid for a specialist bowler.


Thora paisa mujhe bhi dedo yaar... I can promise a better effort with the ball than either, 100%.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

David Warner Turns On the HEAT in ODIs

There is no doubt that David Warner is a destructive batsman; however despite making his ODI debut 3 years before his Test debut, he was never the accomplished ODI opener and was more successful at test level.

That is quite ironic given his style of play, but his record shows how he excelled in tests and never really did as well in ODIs in the initial part of his career.

In 5 years, between his ODI debut in January 2009 till the end of 2014, Warner played 50 matches, in which he managed only 2 centuries. His average during this period was a meager 31.4.

That average was a good 17 runs below his test average.

He made his test debut in December 2011, and in his first three years of test cricket, he played 35 matches, scored 13 centuries, and averaged a healthy 48.1.

Warner was a nightmare for test bowlers.

He played test cricket the modern way, in aggressive fashion, and scored big for Australia.

But he never really replicated the same success in ODI cricket.

Till now.

Right now, Warner, is having his most prolific ODI summer ever. He has scored 5 centuries in his last 10 ODIs, which is the most centuries for an Australian batsman in an ODI season (equal with Matthew Hayden).

Warner started the year 2015 with his 3rd ODI century, and he has never looked back since.

In 42 ODIs since the start of 2015, Warner has amassed over 2,000 runs at a phenomenal average of 58.6.

He smashed 10 centuries during this period and 6 half centuries.

Warner is averaging almost double of what he did in his first 5 years of ODIs, in ODIs over the past 2 years.

He has taken his ODI average from 31.4 at the end of 2014 to just over 43.

His turnaround has been so awesome that he is the leading run scorer in all ODIs played in the past two years, since 1st January 2015.

No one has scored more runs or more centuries in ODIs than Warner has in the past two years; and only AB de Villiers has a higher average and strike rate than he does.

Truly phenomenal.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What’s New on Cricket Betting Sites

In addition to football betting, cricket is definitely one of the most popular choices with punters around the globe. One of the most exciting sports in the world enjoys a huge fan base which not only follows the game, but also likes to place a bet or two to pump the adrenaline even higher.

If you are looking for a reputable and reliable cricket betting site to place your cricket wagers, some of the names in the business will pop out immediately. We are here to lead you through markets and odds you can currently find and offer some insight as to how to make the best of your betting.

Similar to football betting, bookmakers tend to highlight the most common markets for cricket as well and tipsters usually place their bets on Match Winner, Series, Total Wides, Most 6s and Most 4s.

When it comes to Match betting, it is hardly a surprise to realise that this is by far the most usual and common betting form. What you need to do is to predict the end result of the game and identify the winner or the draw. Some of the best odds for this market are listed at one of world’s biggest bookmakers – Bet365. Arguably the most reliable betting site around, Bet365 offers competitive odds on all markets, which is exactly what sets them apart from the competition.

Draw No Bet is another popular selection among cricket bettors, which can be used in combination with match betting selection. It is a great way to secure your bet and enhance the winning potential by making sure that draw result returns your stake. It is simple as that – if your match ends in a draw, you will receive your money back. It is another version of the Double Chance selection, also a popular choice among the punters worldwide, regardless of the sport.

Those who follow and love cricket are quite familiar with the fact that cricket sides tend to play three of five games in series with the biennial five-game competition called The Ashes being the most popular of all. Naturally, betting sites will offer an option to bet on the winner of the series, which makes another extremely popular choice.

It is exactly Ashes Series that you can currently find with Bet365, who offer you a chance to place a To Win Outright bet, but also to wager on Series Specials where you can back England to retain Ashes, but also to guess the Series correct score.

Outright Win on World Cup 2019 is also on offer, together with McDonald’s Super Smash – which offers To Win the match and To Win the Toss selections.

One of the main advantages with placing your bets with Bet365 is that you can get a wide selection of In-Play offers. What is more, Bet365 have recently introduced a brilliant Edit Bet option which enables punters to mend the unsettled bets by adding and removing selections from their slips and we are sure that all cricket bettors will appreciate this feature. 

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Where does Mohammad Hafeez fit in?

Since the start of 2010, Mohammad Hafeez has been Pakistan's most successful opener in ODIs. He has the most runs, the second best average (after Azhar Ali), and the second most 100s (after Ahmed Shehzad.

Based on this, Hafeez' inclusion in the side is a nobrainer. He should be opening for Pakistan if fit, no question about it.

And if you are going to question his ability outside Asia, then I guess do the same for the rest. Compare him to his peers, not Australians or Indians.

Having said that, Hafeez played only 4 ODIs in all of 2016, a year where Azhar Ali and Sharjeel Khan cemented their positions at the top of the order for Pakistan in ODIs.

Hafeez batted at number 3 in his 4 innings in 2016, something that he has done for some time now, and he has excelled at the position as well. He has been more successful at number 3 than while opening the innings in ODIs.

And in fact, Hafeez has been the most successful number 3 Pakistan has had in ODIs since 2010.

But the problem is, how can he come back into that position given what the fourth name in the above list achieved in the last ODI series Pakistan played.

Babar Azam's 3 consecutive centuries against the West Indies was a tremendous effort and it will be criminal to ask him to bat anywhere else.

So if Hafeez does not fit into the top 3, where does he fit?

With him bowling again his presence will be invaluable to the team, especially in the shorter formats; however the team management will need to rethink their strategy regarding his batting order.

With Azhar, Sharjeel, and Babar occupying the top 3 spots, my bet is that Hafeez will be utilized in the lower middle order. His aggression can be best suited to the latter stages of an innings.

There is no question that Hafeez deserves a place in the ODI squad. The only question is, where will he bat?

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Younis Khan Continues to Pile on the Runs and Hundreds...

It doesn't matter whether Pakistan's test team is the number 1 test team in the world or on their worst ever losing streak in test cricket, Pakistan's test batsmen continue to rewrite history. They continue to establish records and set new benchmarks.

First it was Asad Shafiq, then Azhar Ali, and now it is Pakistan's one and only King Khan, the undisputed master of test cricket batting, Younis Khan.

Younis has been a man on a mission for the past half a decade. He has piled on the runs, broken all of Pakistan's batting records, scored more runs and centuries than any other Pakistani batsman, is n the verge of becoming the first batsman from Pakistan to score 10,000 test runs, and continues to reach new heights that even other international batsmen have not reached.

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Number of Test Centuries
His unbeaten century on the 3rd day at the SCG against Australia was his 34th test hundred. This places him level with legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, and Mahela Jayawardene. Only 5 batsmen have more test centuries than Younis now.

The Best from Pakistan by a StretchMost runs, most centuries, and highest average among all batsmen ever to play test cricket for Pakistan. That too by a stretch, for runs and centuries.

Foreign Test Hundreds
Two weeks ago Asad Shafiq became the only Pakistan batsman after Saeed Anwar to score a test century in each of Australia, South Africa, and England.

Now, Younis Khan has also achieved this feat.

Test Centuries in all Countries
When Younis Khan scored a century against Australia in the UAE in 2014, he became the first batsman from Pakistan and the twelfth from the world to score a test century against all test playing nations.

Now, when Younis has scored a century in Australia, he has become the only batsman in the world after Rahul Dravid to score a century in every test playing nation.

But there is something more unique about Younis Khan's feat. He has become the only batsman in the world to score a century in every country that has hosted a test match - the 10 test playing nations and the UAE!

Dravid never played a test in the UAE; while Yousuf, Sangakkara, and Jayawardene have not scored a test century in South Africa, West Indies, and South Africa respectively.

Best Performer vs Australia
Till two years ago, Younis Khan had no test century against Australia. Now, he has 4, which places him behind only Javed Miandad and Ijaz Ahmed, each of whom have scored 6 test centuries against Australia.

Younis also has the best average among all Pakistan batsmen who scored over 1,000 test runs against Australia.

Frequency & Conversion of Test Centuries
Among all test batsmen with at least 20 centuries, after Sir Donald Bradman, Younis Khan has the highest frequency of scoring a century, every 6.06 innings, and the best conversion ratio (CR) of 51.5%, which basically means that Younis coverts 51.5% of his fifties into hundreds.

Pakistan has lost the series against Australia. They may even go on to be cleanly swept 3-0. But this series will be remembered for some special innings by Pakistan's batsmen; this series will be remembered for Asad Shafiq at the Gabba, Azhar Ali at the MCG, and Younis Khan at the SCG.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 - a strange year for Pakistan in Test Cricket. Or was it?

Year 2016 was quite a strange year for Pakistan in test cricket.

It was a year where Pakistan reached number 1 in ICC's test cricket rankings for the first time since the inception of the rankings. And then in the same year, Pakistan lost 5 consecutive tests, the most they have ever lost in a row.

It was a year where Pakistan's test captain, Misbah Ul Haq, was hailed for becoming the most capped Pakistan test captain in the history of the game and for scoring the highest number of test centuries as Pakistan captain. And then by the end of the same year, everyone was asking him to retire.

It was a year where Pakistan's leading test batsman, Younis Khan, was criticized for being too old and losing his reflexes. And then he was hailed for scoring a magical double century at the Oval. And then by the end of the year, everyone was asking him to retire.

It was a year where Pakistan's misguided left-arm prodigy, Mohammad Aamir returned to test cricket at the same venue where he had left it 6 years ago. Amid all the hype, Aamir, who had taken 51 wickets in 14 tests at 29, was left pondering his future following his 11 tests in the year where he picked up 30 expensive wickets at an average of 41.

It was a year where Pakistan's ODI captain Azhar Ali was criticized immensely for both his ODI and test performances where he seemed all at sea at the beginning of the England tour. And then in the same year, he ended it with a hundred in Birmingham, a triple hundred in Dubai, and a double hundred at the MCG becoming the first Pakistani batsman to have two scores of over 200 in the same year.

It was a year where Pakistan's ODI captain Azhar Ali went out of favor with the PCB Chairman. And then by the end of the same year, he was the favorite to become the new test captain.

It was a year where everyone from the fans to the management to the selectors wanted Mohammad Hafeez to correct his bowling action and pass the test to resume bowling in international cricket. Yet, by the end of the year when his action was officially announced as legal, the selectors failed to include him in the ODI squad for Australia.

It was a year where Pakistan finally moved Asad Shafiq to the crucial number 3 position, where he responded in the best possible manner with a magnificent hundred. And by the end of the same year he was back to number 6 only after a handful of innings at 3.

It was a year where Pakistan finally discovered that its spinners can win matches outside the subcontinent as well with Yasir Shah producing magic at Lord's and the Oval. And then in the same yearm Yasir was shredded to bits in Australia.

You get the gist, right? Anyone who indulges in cricket betting would never get it right with Pakistan. They are so inconsistent that it is beyond belief now.

It was a year where Pakistan found the perfect opener for tests in Sami Aslam, who knocked 6 fifties in as many tests including two scores in the 90s. And then by the end of the year he quickly ran out of favor.

It was a year where Shahid Afridi played his last international match. Then in the same year he asked the PCB for a farewell international match. And by the end of the year he vowed never to ask PCB for a farewell match.

Well nothing strange about that... Afridi does these things every year.

As does Pakistan really.

For years Pakistan has carried the tag of being "unpredictable". Under Misbah, however, they were quickly shedding that tag with their outstanding consistent performances in tests and their pathetic disappointment in ODIs.

Year 2016, however, was the year that brought back the unpredictability of the team.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Azhar Ali lights up the MCG

Pakistan's current test team has achieved a lot since Misbah took over its reins in 2010. Likewise, its batsmen, particularly Younis Khan, Misbah Ul Haq, Azhar Ali, and Asad Shafiq have achieved a hell of a lot over this period - more than what any of their predecessors ever achieved.

All these achievements have become a little bit sweeter with what Azhar and Asad have managed to do in Australia. Their feats have been remarkable.

While Asad was the hero at the Gabba, Azhar owned the MCG!

1. First Double Century by a Pakistan Batsman in Australia

Azhar Ali's unbeaten 205 in the boxing day test at the MCG is the highest score by a Pakistani batsman in Australia in 33 years and earned him the honor of becoming the first ever batsman from Pakistan to hit a double century in Australia.

2. Highest Score by a Visiting Opener in Australia

Azhar Ali's 205* is only the fourth double century by a visiting opener in Australia and the third highest score by a visiting opener in Australia.

3. First Double Century by a Visiting Opener at the MCG

Azhar Ali's 205* broke Virender Sehwag's record of the highest score recorded by a visiting opener at the MCG and earned him the honor of becoming the first ever visiting opener to hit a double century at the MCG.

Azhar Ali is only the third opener ever in the history of test cricket to score a double century at this historical venue. The other two are Bill Lawry and Justin Langer.

4. 1,000 Tests Runs in a Calendar Year

During his double century knock at the MCG, Azhar Ali completed 1,000 runs in test cricket in 2016. This first time he has achieved this feat since his debut in 2010.

Azhar became only the 5th batsman from Pakistan to complete 1,000 runs in test cricket in a calendar year, after Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Inzamam Ul Haq, and Mohsin Khan.

Azhar's tally of 1,155 is the third highest by a Pakistani batsman in a calendar year, and he has the opportunity to improve that to the second highest if Pakistan get a second innings crack at the MCG.

5. Most Runs by a Pakistan Opener in a Calendar Year

Out of Azhar's 1,155 runs this year, 939 runs have come as an opener, which is the second highest tally by a Pakistan opener in tests in a calendar year.

6. Pakistan's / World's Leading Run Scorer in 2016

With 1,155 runs in tests in 2016, Azhar is the leading run scorer from Pakistan and sits at number 5 among the leading run scorers of the year.

And look at that average! Second best among top 10 runs scorers of the year, behind only Virat Kohli.

Azhar Ali has had a magnificent year in test cricket. A triple hundred and a double hundred in the same calendar year is rare, and he has become the first batsman from Pakistan to achieve this feat. He is just entering his peak years as a batsman and one can only imagine what more he can achieve going forward.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Asad Shafiq is a HERO

No one expected Pakistan to chase 490, so when Pakistan ended day 4 with only 108 more to get with 2 wickets in hand, expectations changed.

Hopes rose even further as the target got to less than 50 on the 5th day.

But then, when another 40 odd runs were required, Pakistan lost Asad Shafiq, the man who had turned the first test between Pakistan and Australia on its head.

It was a monumental effort by Asad Shafiq, which took Pakistan to 450 in the 4th innings. Easily their highest every 4th innings total, and the joint third highest 4th innings total ever.

This Pakistan team has surprised us way too many times over the past 6 years, and especially in the 4th innings. The successful record making run chases in Sharjah and Palakelle, and now this epic effort at the Gabba.

The man behind Pakistan achieving this record, created some records for himself too.

Asad Shafiq has been a great addition to Pakistan's test line up and his performances at number 6 have played an instrumental role in the rise of Pakistan's test cricket over the past 6 years.

He is undoubtedly the best number 6 that Pakistan have ever had, and now he is very close to being considered the best number 6 ever to play test cricket. His record shows you why.

Most Runs at Number 6 in Tests

Steve Waugh is the ultimate number 6 and sits above all other batsmen in terms of number of runs scored in tests from this batting position.

Asad is fast approaching Waugh and is now only 400 odd runs away from becoming the leading run scorer in tests from number 6.

Most Centuries at Number 6 in Tests

It will take a few innings before Asad Shafiq becomes the highest scoring number 6 in test cricket history, however he has already created a record for making the most centuries from that position breaking the record of 8, which was held by Sir Gary Sobers.

Unique Pakistani Feat

As Asad brought up his first century in Australia in his first test downunder, Asad manage a unique feat that only Saeed Anwar had managed before him.

Asad is the only batsman from Pakistan, besides Saeed Anwar, who has scored a test century in Australia, South Africa, and England.

None of the greats who have played tests in all these countries have managed that. Inzamam, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, none of them.

That is surely a great achievement by Asad.

Asad Shafiq is a HERO!

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Team Misbah stirs hope and belief in Pakistan once again

I am an 80s kid who has grown up on Pakistan cricket and the magic they have produced.

Javed Miandad's last ball six, Waqar Younis' last ball yorker, Pakistan's World Cup 1992 win, and the numerous unbelievable victories orchestrated by the wizardry of the two Ws created an entire generation of Pakistan cricket fans who dare to dream.

Who believe that the impossible can be achieved.

Who never lose hope.

For whom the famous words from Miandad "the match is not over till the last ball is bowled" are etched in memory forever and they live by it.

I consider myself the most optimistic Pakistan cricket fan, yet even I had lost all hope when Pakistan were bowled out for 142 in the first innings and then eventually set a target of 490.

490! Never done before.

To top that, Pakistan's batting had been abysmal in the first innings, the two tests in New Zealand, and in the third test against the West Indies.

How could anyone hope for a miracle?

Not many did, but when Asad Shafiq's magnificence led Pakistan to within 100 runs of the target at the end of day 4, all of Pakistan dreamed again.

Even with only two wicket left, hope had become alive again and all of Pakistan prayed for a miracle.

It was not meant to be; it was never meant to be, but Pakistan getting to within 40 runs of the target was a monumental effort. It is an achievement that deserves all the praise in the world for the effort and the belief of Team Misbah.

It would have been an epic chase, but even now it will go down in history as an epic 4th innings fight.

This Team Misbah has surprised us way too many times now, especially in the 4th innings of tests.

It has once again stirred belief in supporters that the teams of the 80s and 90s had done.

The scoreline sure reads 1-0 to Australia, but Pakistan's hopes for Melbourne and Sydney have multiplied and the Aussies will surely need to step up their game to keep Team Misbah at bay!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cricket Themed Online Games

Lots of online casino slot games have sports themes attached.

Certain sports are more likely to inspire online casino games than others. Playing cricket themed online games is going to be more popular in some cases than playing games that have more generic themes.

Online slot games vary tremendously in terms of the nature of the themes that they use. Some of them appear to be aimed at the most generic audiences possible in the hope of more or less attracting universal attention. Others seem to be aimed at much more specific crowds.

However, one way or another, lots of online casino games have managed to succeed. Playing cricket themed online games is probably going to be more popular with people who are members of certain niches, but they are members of niches that are relatively large and broad in their own right.

You can also get fantastic odds and plenty of free bets with online bookmakers.

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