Well, then. That was something! India, missing only, you know, some random guys named Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin, chased down 328 in the fourth innings to beat Australia at Fortress Gabba in Brisbane. Hard to believe that this is a true statement. I only wish I had witnessed it first-hand, but Monday evening Test match sessions in Brisbane go a bit too late for me here in Texas. That was quite a shock to wake up to. The heavy lifting came from Cheteshwar Pujara, who faced over 200 balls in what initially was supposed to be a block-and-wait-for-rain effort, and the two youngsters, Shubman Gill (age 21) and Rishabh Pant (age 23). Pujara and Gill partnered for 114 runs, and Pujara and Pant for 61. Gill finished with 91 and Pant with 89 not out, including the winning four, with India down seven wickets and only three overs left in the match. Incredible. Test cricket, huh?
The BBL is into Round 11. Sydney Sixers are 8 points clear of Perth Scorchers, and then there is a scrum down to Melbourne Renegades, who have already managed to play their way out of contention this year. Any of the remaining seven teams still has a legitimate chance to win, although Adelaide Strikers will miss out on the superlative Rashid Khan due to international duties.
England took an easy Test match from Sri Lanka in Galle. The Poms needed only 74 runs in the fourth innings and got it with the loss of only three wickets. Joe Root had a double-century in the England first innings, and Dom Bess and Somerset’s Jack Leach each had five-fors. The two teams play again in Galle starting Thursday.
Wellington, Central Districts, and Canterbury are all at 20 points atop the Men’s Super Smash table in New Zealand. The Women’s Super Smash also has Wellington at the top with 20 points, alone over Auckland in second. I’ve been watching both of these on ESPN+, which is an added bonus over past years.
The World Cup Super League kicks off for 2021 tonight with West Indies and Bangladesh playing an ODI at Dhaka. Imagine everyone having to qualify for a World Cup! What a concept!