Proteas admit to being 'caught off guard' by rejuvenated Sri Lanka
Top-scorer Quinton de Kock admitted South Africa were "caught off guard" when Sri Lanka bowled them out for 235 on the first day of the first Test at Kingsmead on Wednesday.
Underdogs Sri Lanka, seemingly in disarray going into the match, reached 49 for one at the close to finish the day in a strong position.
Left-arm opening bowler Vishwa Fernando and right-arm seamer Kasun Rajitha, playing in their fourth and fifth Tests respectively, did the major damage. Fernando took four for 62 and Rajitha claimed three for 68.
"We were a bit unaware of the new guys. I think they caught us off guard," said De Kock who made 80. "We had good game plans against (opening bowler) Suranga Lakmal but the two new guys were unseen before. They bowled really well, they didn't miss their lengths often and they made us work hard for what we got."
Asked what specific problems Fernando and Rajitha caused, De Kock said: "The angle of their bowling, the skills they had, their actions, the skiddiness, the bounce. They are two solid bowlers and they will give us trouble throughout the series, so we will just have to keep our eyes open for them."
Lalmonirhat crowned after Musfiq's 7
Bowler Musfiq Hasan ran riot as his seven wickets for 16 runs saw his side Lalmonirhat Government High School become district-level champions, defeating Church of God High School by 134 runs in the Prime Bank Young Tigers National School Cricket Tournament final in Lalmonirhat yesterday.
Asked to bat first, Lalmonirhat posted 162 runs in 45 overs before being bundled out. However, right-arm pacer Musfiq, who was a net bowler for current BPL champions Comilla Victorians, made sure of his side's ascendency with a fiery spell that saw Church of God High bundled out for just 28 runs in 12.3 overs.
Gabriel suspended after Root exchange
West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was Wednesday suspended for four ODIs after breaching the ICC's code of conduct over comments to Joe Root.
Gabriel has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee for the incident during the third Test in St Lucia and handed three demerit points, taking his total to eight -- enough to be banned for four ODIs or one Test.
The nature of the paceman's words is not known but England captain Root was picked up on stump microphones telling Gabriel: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."
A statement from the ICC said: "During the third day of the St Lucia Test against England on Monday, Gabriel was found guilty of breaching article 2.13 of the ICC code of conduct... which relates to "personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an international match", following an incident with Root.
Zaniolo urged not to lose his head
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco has urged teenage sensation Nicolo Zaniolo not to lose his head after his stunning brace grabbed the Italians a first-leg advantage over Porto in their Champions League last-16 tie.
The 19-year-old scored two quick-fire second-half goals, both off Edin Dzeko assists, in a 2-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night to become the youngest Italian to score a Champions League double.
"After his first goal I told him to use his head," said Di Francesco.
"He did that and scored the second by playing smart.
"We have to let him develop at his own pace and he needs to remain level-headed, as he is on the pitch. He played in a position he's not used to but he performed really well. We have a great player and we knew that. We're happy to have him and he deserves the praise."