England completed a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka on Monday by winning the second Test by six wickets with a day to spare. Set a target of 164, the Englishmen lost four wickets for 89 runs but an unbroken 75-run stand for the fifth wicket by Jos Buttler (46) and Dom Sibley (56) finished it off. Sibley only managed six runs in three innings but he returned to form with a much needed half-century in the final innings. England were still batting in their first innings when the fourth day began. The tourists managed to add only five more runs to their overnight total as they were bowled out for 344 to concede a first innings lead of 37 runs. Sri Lanka then produced some sloppy batting. England’s spinners had gone wicketless in the first innings, but they came into their own in the second with Dom Bess and Jack Leach taking four wickets apiece. It was England's sixth win in a row in Sri Lanka. The tourists won all three Tests during their last tour in 2018. Prior to that, they won the second Test in 2012 in another two-match series. Root was the captain in five of those wins, matching Virat Kohli’s record for an overseas captain in Sri Lanka.
Sindhu, Srikanth qualify for World Tour Finals
Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu qualified for the BWF World Tour Finals to be held in Bangkok from January 27 to 31. However, the men's doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and the mixed pair of Satwik and Ashwini Ponnappa failed to make the Finals. Only the top eight players and teams in the Tour rankings will make it to the year-end event. Srikanth managed to stay in the top-eight as all the Chinese and Japanese shuttlers pulled out of the three events in Thailand due to Covid-19 fears. Srikanth is ranked seven in Tour rankings and his world ranking is No.14. World No. 7 Sindhu is No.10 in Tour rankings. There are three Thailand players and Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in top eight. Only two players from each country are eligible and Sindhu qualified because Okuhara pulled out of all three tournaments.
IPL auction likely on Feb 18: BCCI
The auction of IPL players ahead of the 2021 season is likely to be held on February 18, a BCCI official said. “The auction venue is yet to be decided,” the official said. The BCCI is also yet to decide whether the IPL will happen in India or not even though Board president Sourav Ganguly has repeatedly asserted that everything possible would be done to keep the glitzy event at its home.
Bangladesh clinch series
Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan claimed a career-best 4-25 as Bangladesh clinched the three-match series against the West Indies last week with a seven-wicket victory in the second game. Skipper Tamim Iqbal hit 50 to help the side chase the target in 33.2 overs after the West Indies were bowled out for 148 in 43.4 overs. Brief scores: West Indies 148 in 43.4 overs (K. Ottley 24, N. Bonner 20, R. Powell 41; Mustafizur 2-15, Mehidy 4-25, Shakib 2-10) lost to Bangladesh 149-3 in 33.2 overs (Liton Das 22, Tamim Iqbal 50, Shakib Al Hasan 43*).
Malinga announces retirement
Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga announced retirement from franchise cricket after Mumbai Indians released him ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League season. Malinga, the highest wicket taker in the IPL history, informed his decision to the Mumbai Indians management earlier this month, making himself unavailable for the champion side, MI said in a statement. Malinga has already retired from Test and ODIs but he is yet to call it quits from T20 internationals.