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Feature

In Case You Missed it: Babar, Karunaratne bring the fight, scrappy Kapp keeps South Africa unbeaten

Our best content from the week gone by

Marizanne Kapp lets out a roar after South Africa finished the job, New Zealand vs South Africa, Women's World Cup 2022, Hamilton, March 17, 2022

Kappital punishment: Marizanne Kapp exults after a last-over win against New Zealand  •  AFP/Getty Images

Two heroic stands defined this week in Test cricket - Babar Azam's 196, which saved Pakistan's second Test, and Dimuth Karunaratne's 107, which, well, couldn't do the same for Sri Lanka. More heroics at the Women's World Cup where Marizanne Kapp has been near single-handedly cutting a swath through the opposition and leading South Africa's unbeaten run in the tournament so far. Plus, what are teams looking like ahead of the IPL that's less than ten days away? All this and more in our weekly round-up.
Babar's 196 and Rizwan's hundred earn Pakistan epic draw
After a massive collapse in the first innings and against all odds, Pakistan chased a seemingly impossible target and batted through 171.4 overs, finishing 63 short of the target, driven largely by Babar Azam's extraordinary 196. Danyal Rasool writes about how Babar, Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan made Karachi dream again with their fourth-innings stands.
India brush aside Sri Lanka despite Dimuth Karunaratne's resistance
A stoic hundred by the Sri Lanka captain only delayed the inevitable by a bit as R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah shared seven wickets between them to wrap up a dominant series sweep. Andrew Fidel Fernando laments Sri Lanka's planning, and says while the tour was always going to be challenging, it didn't have to be so shambolic. Also among the strugglers was Virat Kohli, whose century drought continued as he was dismissed for 23 and 13 - Shiva Jayaraman says his record of converting starts has suffered in comparison to his own lofty standards. Sidharth Monga looks at how Shreyas Iyer, who starred with the bat for India, turned around his season after a shoulder dislocation took him out of the game for a year.
Women's World Cup
Peerless Kapp takes South Africa over the line to leave England winless Marizanne Kapp was the architect of the World Cup's biggest upset so far, as she battled with bat and ball to take South Africa to their first win over England at a World Cup in more than two decades. Defending champions England, despite beating India in their last match, are now staring at an early exit after losing three straight matches. And Kapp wasn't done yet: three days later she steered her side to victory over New Zealand to make it four in four wins.
The Shakib saga: All you wanted to know, or didn't
Some of the biggest drama going on in the Bangladesh camp is off the pitch, and Shakib Al Hasan vs the BCB could well be the battle to watch. Mohammad Isam attempts to break it down. Is Shakib at fault or is it the BCB? What's all the toing-and-froing really about? Who gains? Who loses?
How the IPL franchises spent their money in the auction
Were keeper-batters more in demand than allrounders? Oldies better than newbies? We make sense of the numbers in this deep dive. And what are the big questions facing franchises now? Here's ESPNcricinfo's analysis of the puzzles teams face ahead of the 2022 IPL.
Taking in loss and joy in Amritsar
Andrew Fidel Fernando took time off from cricket to explore the history-laden Punjab city.
Who was the bowler MS Dhoni hit for a six to win India the 2011 World Cup final?
And who is the only batter to hit a six off the first ball of a Test? Take our quiz on memorable sixes and see how well you remember them.
How many batters have made their first two centuries in the same Test?
And who is the most economical bowler in Tests? All your questions answered in this week's Ask Steven.
The king is 70, long live the king
A quiet milestone passed almost unnoticed in the wake of Shane Warne's death - Viv Richards, lion in winter, turned 70. He spoke to Osman Samiuddin about T20 and whether he wishes he was playing in the modern era.
Test cricket can't afford to be boring
Ian Chappell says the format's problems will be exacerbated if games aren't evenly balanced between bat and ball.
Yastika Bhatia: 'I'm willing to sacrifice biryani to get better results out of my cricket'
The India batter talks to Annesha Ghosh about her love affair with butter chicken, discovering lasagna in Australia, and a secret Bhatia family recipe