We thought it was time for another look at what has been happening around the world, with the other eight Test sides all still involved in ongoing series.
Firstly, to South Africa where Australia won the ODI series 2-1. The first game was rain-affected but the visitors won handsomely: Ricky Ponting top scored with 63 before Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins took three wickets apiece in bowling South Africa all out for 129. In the second match, South Africa responded excellently, compiling 303/6 (half centuries for Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy and David Miller). David Warner scored 74, but the rest of the Australians largely failed, Morne Morkel taking 4-22, as they succumbed to an 80-run defeat. Fifties from Hashim Amla and Kallis in the third match were insufficient to set a decent target as South Africa only reached 222/6 from 50 overs. A team effort from the Australian batsmen saw them home comfortably to win by four wickets. Mike Hussey was Man of the Series.
The tourists are currently playing South Africa A, before the first of two Tests starts next week.
The first Test between Bangladesh and West Indies was affected by rain and poor drainage, two full days completely lost. A draw was always likely, but Bangladesh at least did well in taking a 106-run lead on first innings. Elias Sunny was the star on his debut, taking 6-94. The second and final Test is now underway; West Indies scored 355ao (Kirk Edwards 121, Shakob Al Hasan 5-63) and 383/5d (Darren Bravo 195), Bangladesh 231 (Shakib 73, Fidel Edwards 5-63) and currently 164/3 in reply (Tamim Iqbal 82*), with one day left to play.
New Zealand meanwhile continue their series against Zimbabwe (which incidentally is the first time two international sides have played each other whose captains share the same surname). The ODIs were eventful, to say the least. In the first, Brendan Taylor hit 128* and Forster Mutizwa 69, however the other batsmen could only scrape 31 runs between them. Zimbabwe’s 231/6 never looked enough and unsurprisingly New Zealand chased the target with ease. Martin Guptill scored 74 and Rob Nicol an unbeaten 108 as the visitors won by nine wickets and six overs to spare. It was the captain Taylor who again top scored for Zimbabwe in the second game, this time 107* (Zimbabwe 259/8, Andy McKay 4-53). This time it was Guptill (105) and Brendon McCullum (87) who helped New Zealand to victory, this time by four wickets. But it was the third ODI that was most remarkable. New Zealand batted first and reached 328/5 (Ross Taylor 119, Kane Williamson 100*). Such a high total looked out of Zimbabwe’s reach, but Taylor once again batted superbly for his 75. Tatenda Taibu contributed 53, but was dismissed with the score 183/5 from 30 overs. It was left to Malcolm Waller – who had only come in to bat in the 27th over- to try and win the game. With one over remaining, Zimbabwe were only four runs shy, with two wickets left, Waller 95*. Of Jacob Oram’s first two balls, Waller was amazingly dropped twice by Ross Taylor (one difficult, one easy), scoring three runs in the process. Ray Price was caught of the fourth ball, but luckily the batsmen crossed whilst the ball was in the air. Waller had two balls to face, and coolly scored a single of the penultimate ball of the match. It was truly a superlative chase. Brendan Taylor was the deserved Man of the Series, despite ending on the losing side.
The only Test match started today: New Zealand making a solid 275/3 with Guptill making 109.
Over in the United Arab Emirates, the Pakistan v Sri Lanka opened with an intriguing contest. Pakistan dismissed Sri Lanka for a poor 197, Junaid Khan taking 5-38. Their reply was impressive, Taufeeq Umar scoring 236 out of 511/6d. This was the first Pakistani opener to score a Test double hundred since 1992. Sri Lanka’s second innings was much better, mostly thanks to Kumar Sangakkara who scored 211. Their 438ao meant Pakistan had a tricky 170 to chase, but an early wicket meant a push for victory never looked likely. The second Test was very one-sided. Again, Sri Lanka were unable to compile a decent first innings total, bowled out for 239. Pakistan made 403ao in reply, with Azhar Ali scoring a precise 100. The second innings was more of the same, Saeed Ajmal taking 5-68 as Sri Lanka stuttered to 257. This time, the target of 94 was in reach, and Pakistan won by nine wickets. The final Test starts on Thursday.