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Feature

In Case You Missed It: A battle for the WTC final spot, thrillers at the WPL

Our best content from the week gone by

Smoke show: the WPL didn't lack for star power  •  BCCI

Smoke show: the WPL didn't lack for star power  •  BCCI

Pitched battles are raging across Test cricket currently, with at least two teams' WTC final spot hinging on the results - India need at least a 2-2 scoreline to secure their place while Sri Lanka will make it if they win both their Tests in New Zealand. For Rohit Sharma, the final Test in Ahmedabad is another sort of reckoning - that of his Test captaincy. South Africa have claimed the first Test at home against West Indies but West Indies have made inroads in the second. And the first WPL is turning out to be every bit the blockbuster that was promised. Here's your catch-up of the week.
Opening act: Blue is the warmest colour as Harmanpreet, Mumbai carry WPL torch
Zenia D'Cunha was at the opening night of the WPL and she says it had it all - fireworks, loud music, a near sellout crowd, and a special knock from a special player. The WPL is just a week old but it's already thrown up its first stars - Mumbai Indians' Saika Ishaque, who's had a rough path to get to the tournament and USA's Tara Norris, who took the first five-wicket haul of the inaugural season for Delhi Capitals.
Shakib Al Hasan's all-round heroics lift Bangladesh to consolation win
Bangladesh claimed a consolation win in the final game of the ODI series with Shakib notching a half-century and four wickets in an ODI for a record-breaking fourth time. For England, this is the last ODI they'll play till September before the World Cup. Have they worked out their best XI yet?
This is the way: Going around the wicket to take buckets of wickets
Karthik Krishnaswamy looks at why the India vs Australia series has seen a massive switch in the angle of attack for spinners, even if it may be temporary.
Australia have also made it to their first final of the second World Test Championship cycle. Andrew McGlashan looks at the two years that brought them here. Last year's WTC champions, New Zealand, have had a forgettable time of it this time around. S Rajesh breaks down the whys.
Following his father's footsteps, Tagenarine wants to carve a niche for himself
Despite the inevitable comparisons with his father, Shivnarine, the younger Chanderpaul would like to be seen as just a regular batter, he tells Firdose Moonda. "I've got to try and be myself and I can't be him. Every time I go out and bat, I just try to be me and get some runs." And even as the South Africa-West Indies series plays out in the shadow of the bigger Test teams, players from both sides are making impassioned calls to fight to protect Test cricket outside of the Big Three. And they are not the only ones.
Andy Flower: 'I'd like Rizwan and Masood to develop their partnership a bit more'
The Multan Sultans head coach explains to Umar Farooq why his team has been so successful, and the talent of the 20-year-old Ihsanullah.
Has any visiting bowler bettered Nathan Lyon's two eight-fors in India?
And what is the highest innings score in a Test without extras? Steven Lynch has the answers.
Watch: Would Marnus Labuschagne rather talk cricket with Sachin Tendulkar or Jacques Kallis?
The Australia right-hander has tough choices to make between Gill and Brook, cold toasties and pizzas, bowling to Root or Smith, and more.
ESPNcricinfo Awards
In a year of remarkable World Cup upsets, edge-of-the-seat thriller in Test cricket, and a women's game that surged ever forward, which were the performances that stood out? The ESPNcricinfo Awards shortlisted the best individual batting and bowling performances of last year.