#CWC22 continues toward the semifinals. Australia remain unbeaten and seemingly unbeatable, steamrolling New Zealand by 141 runs and not needing the final 118 balls in a 7-wicket mauling of the Windies. South Africa is right on their tails, requiring a little more effort in two final-over wins against England and New Zealand where Marizanne Kapp took over both games and willed her side to victory. The showdown between the two undefeated teams happens Monday (Tuesday locally) at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Test cricket is happening in several places, and almost no wickets are falling anywhere. Pakistan and Australia played to another, much more closely contested draw in Karachi. Pakistan was handed a whopping chase of 506 on day 5 after Australia eschewed the follow-on and declared at 97/2. Babar Azam (196) and Mohammad Rizwan (104) nearly got them there before the overs ran out with Pakistan at 443/7. Maybe Lahore has some wickets? They’ll try there starting Monday.
Meanwhile, England and West Indies moved to Barbados after their opening draw at Antigua. England batted first and amassed another huge total of 507/9d, with Joe Root and Ben Stokes recording centuries. Kragg Brathwaite (remember another name?) has answered with a century of his own and is still batting as the Windies try to climb back into it. Grenada is the final stop on the tour, starting next Thursday.
Bangladesh opened up a tour of South Africa with a stunning ODI win at Centurion, the first ever for the Tigers in that country. Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan and Yasir Ali had half-centuies and Mushfiqur Rahim stumped David Miller in the 46th over to end his rampant 79 for 57 balls that looked to be taking the hosts to a comeback win. They play two more ODIs and two Tests, and this tour just became a lot more interesting.
Australia’s domestic leagues are heading into the playoffs. It looks like Victoria will get into the Sheffield Shield final to face either Queensland or Western Australia, and in the WNCL, Tasmania has a 9-point lead over NSW. The top two teams make the final on March 24th.
If you or anyone you know has a wicket to give to a Test match, please be generous. Or just comment below.