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In Case You Missed It: A week of whitewashes

Our best content from the week gone by

Joe Root, who had a double-hundred in the first Test and a century in the second, masterminded England's series win in Sri Lanka  •  SLC

Joe Root, who had a double-hundred in the first Test and a century in the second, masterminded England's series win in Sri Lanka  •  SLC

It's whitewash season in international cricket, where England, South Africa women, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have handed their opponents comprehensive defeats, both home and away, and Pakistan will be hoping to join that club after their second Test against South Africa. Elsewhere, India players have come home to heroes' welcomes, and are looking to repeat their Australia performance at home against England next week. Here's your catch-up of this week's action.
England's 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka is a terrific achievement
After beating Sri Lanka soundly in their own backyard, England have now won five successive overseas Tests - the most away Tests in a row since 1914 - which is tremendous, says George Dobell, but they are about to face sterner stuff in India. Andrew Fidel Fernando, meanwhile, is imagining what could possibly have been going on in the Sri Lanka batsmen's heads ahead of their 126 all out in the second innings. Sri Lanka will take heart from the performance of left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, whose seven wickets briefly buoyed the home side and whose unsexy virtues might put him on the right path, much like his hero Rangana Herath.
England's attitude towards the IPL won't please everyone. But what is the alternative?
With the IPL set to begin in a couple of months, a number of England players, including Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow, have been rested for the Test series. Not everyone with happy with it, but England have also found success on the back of their players doing well in the IPL, argues George Dobell.
Nauman Ali, Yasir Shah, Fawad Alam power Pakistan to 1-0
Pakistan cruised to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the first Test, propelled by a flawless Fawad Alam century 11 years in the making, and sealed with a five-wicket haul by debutant Nauman Ali. This was South Africa's eighth successive Test loss in the subcontinent. Also playing a Test after two difficult years is Hasan Ali, who, in a side known for the high turnover in the fast bowling department, might be the one that didn't go away, says Osman Samiuddin.
Laura Wolvaardt and bowlers complete whitewash
The South Africa women's team had better luck back than their male counterparts, closing out the home ODI series with a 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan women. Pakistan seamer Diana Baig finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series after picking up a career-best 4 for 30.
Mohammad Saifuddin, batsmen help Bangladesh sweep series
The inexperienced West Indies line-up, missing most of their key players, managed just 177 in 44.2 in the last of three ODIs, and finished the series not having added a single point towards the ODI Super League. Tamim Iqbal, one of four half-centurions in Bangladesh's innings in the third ODI, was a key ingredient in Bangladesh's success. He often bats within himself nowadays, says Mohammad Isam, but he plays that role for a specific reason and does it brilliantly.
Rashid magic trumps Stirling heroics as Afghanistan sweep ODI series
Another whitewash, this time in the UAE, where Rashid Khan first scored 48 then picked up four wickets as Afghanistan made the perfect start to their World Cup Super League campaign.
BBL finalists: route to the title and how the squads stack up
If you're catching up on the BBL late, there are five teams - Sydney Sixers, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Thunder, Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers - still in with a chance of making the finals, and Alex Malcolm has a cheat sheet for how they all stack up.
Cheteshwar Pujara: 'You can punch me as long as you can. Then I'll punch back'
In the first installment of a two-part interview by Nagraj Gollapudi, the India batsman recalls his dogged battle with Hazlewood and Co on the final day at the Gabba.
T Natarajan: 'I teared up when Virat Kohli handed me the T20I trophy'
The India left-armer looked back at his fairy-tale Australia tour, where he made his debut in all three formats, and the rousing reception he got on his return as a homecoming hero.
Lockie Ferguson: 'You play sport to burn calories so you can eat fast food'
In a new series about all things food, the New Zealand fast bowler dishes on his favourite things to eat, the importance of moderation, and the secret ingredient in his pre-workout smoothie - cake.
Quiz: Who was the No. 11 at the non-striker's end when Kusal Perera scored his unbeaten 153?
And which current lower-order batsman has the most ducks in Tests? Take our quiz and see where you stand on tailender trivia.
Mitchell Santner: 'I watched a lot of Vettori. I thought I'd give it a crack'
How one New Zealand left-arm spinner passed on the baton to another.