Hey, I’m back! Not super busy for a change. The WBBL tops the list of news lately. The league just finished round 11 last night, and Melbourne Stars are firmly in the lead with 17 points, a 5-point cushion over Brisbane Heat. Meg Lanning’s club has only lost one game, a thriller against bottom-of-the-table Melbourne Renegades that went to a super over. The beginning of the season was marred by almost constant rain for two weeks, but there hasn’t been a rain-shortened game since.
The PSL finally got to play their playoffs after shutting down for COVID in March. In the 1st Qualifier, Karachi Kings won in a super over against Multan Sultans after tying at 141 in regulation. Mohammad Amir bowled two wides in the Multan reply in the super over but Sultans still could not get the 14 runs they needed to win. Lahore Qalandars won fairly easily in the 1st eliminator over Peshawar Zalmi, chasing down 170 in 19 overs. Multan had another shot in the 2nd eliminator against Lahore, but were trounced by 25 runs. Shahid Afridi came in at 7 for a desperate attempt to get Multan back in the game and was promptly bowled by Haris Rauf, who paid his respects to the great man on his way back to the shed. Lahore and Karachi square off today for the PSL championship.
The Sheffield and Plunkett shields are well underway. Queensland is in the lead in Australia, and Canterbury heads up the table in New Zealand.
Upcoming matches: The Windies are in New Zealand, enjoying some COVID-free living after they finish quarantine. The first match featuring the full sides will be on November 27th. They will play three T20Is and two Tests. Then the big antipodean spring/summer matchup: India visits Australia. They play three ODIs starting on November 26th, three T20Is on December 4th, 6th and 8th, a Test in Adelaide starting on December 16th, and the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. There has been one reported positive COVID test among the Indian coaching staff, but no news of postponements or cancellations yet. Virat Kohli will miss the Boxing Day Test due to paternity leave.