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In Case You Missed It: Maiden hundreds, big totals, and T20 World Cup planning

Our best content from the week gone by

Deepti Unni
Mominul Haque must wear many hats as Bangladesh Test captain  •  AFP/Getty Images

Mominul Haque must wear many hats as Bangladesh Test captain  •  AFP/Getty Images

A pitched battle in Pallekele where Sri Lanka are chasing Bangladesh's massive first-innings total and an emphatic win by Zimbabwe over Pakistan in Harare. A tough second week at the IPL for some, but not the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have made it four-in-four in the tournament so far. Catch up on our round-up of the best stories of this busy week.
Karunaratne holds fort as Bangladesh bowlers make crucial inroads
Sri Lanka are looking at an uphill chase after hundreds by Najmul Hossain Shanto - his first in Tests - and Mominul Haque, and 90 by Tamim Iqbal allowed Bangladesh to declare at 541 for 7. Could this be because of the green pitch Sri Lanka rolled out to favour their seamers, presumably because their spin stocks are at an all-time low? Andrew Fidel Fernando thinks so. And Haque's 11th Test century, and his first away, highlights the frustration of being a long-form specialist in Bangladesh, where Tests are few and far between but you're expected to be world-beating every time you play, says Mohammad Isam.
Pakistan lose seven for 21 as Zimbabwe end T20I losing streak
Zimbabwe beat Pakistan for the first time in a T20I match, ending a nine-match losing streak while also winning their first T20I at home since beating India in 2016. Fast bowler Luke Jongwe took 4 for 18 to dismiss Pakistan for 99 in a chase of 119.
At the IPL
If last week was defined by Sanju Samson's last-man-standing hundred, this week belonged to Devdutt Padikkal's "flawless" maiden century in the tournament that got the Royal Challengers Bangalore a ten-wicket win over a beleaguered Rajasthan Royals. Aakash Chopra has advice on how teams might approach the wildly different pitches in Mumbai and Chennai, the only two venues currently in action, and Andrew Miller has a report card for how England players have fared this week at the IPL.
The greatest IPL performances, No. 6: Brendon McCullum's 158 not out vs the Royal Challengers Bangalore
Coming in sixth place in our poll of the best performances in the history of the IPL so far is McCullum's blitzkrieg that set the tone, and the bar, for the tournament in the very first game.
England will miss Ed Smith's defiant independence as he leaves selector role in credit
The England selector's role was made redundant, with responsibility for squad selection now shifting to the coach. Andrew Miller wonders what prompted the change - was it the under-fire rest-and-rotation policy, or simply cost cutting by the ECB? For coach Chris Silverwood, though, thrust into the position of unlikely supremo, it means the responsibility of the England team success or failure will rest entirely on his shoulders, says David Hopps.
Javed Miandad on Sharjah 1986: 'To describe it is impossible. This was a gift from God'
Thirty-five years on, Osman Samiuddin looks back at the last-ball six that marked a high point in Pakistan's cricket history.
Do match-ups work in T20? The data says yes
Himanish Ganjoo calculates how effective a batter or bowler is against a specific type of opponent in each phase of a game.
Has Rohit Sharma bagged the most ducks in the IPL?
Also: what's the highest score by a player in his first Test as captain? These and more questions answered in this week's Ask Steven.
Mickey Arthur: 'If our batters average 40, with our attack, we'll have enough to bowl sides out'
Sri Lanka's coach talks to Andrew Fidel Fernando about the talent pool at his disposal, his coaching philosophy, and his strengths as a man manager.
ICC biosafety head: 'We don't want to cancel tournaments, we just want to have them safely'
With India firmly in the grip of the second wave of Covid-19 and due to host the T20 World Cup in just a few months, Dr Dave Musker talks about the risks facing the tournament, the steps taken to mitigate them, and learning from the ongoing IPL.
Chris Jordan: 'Watching de Villiers and Kohli - it was almost like a movie'
The England bowler on a blockbuster double act he watched live - and wished he were a part of - from the dressing room.

Deepti Unni is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo