April action: International stars dominate in bilateral series, domestic tournaments


By Daniel Beswick

Hit For Six!

With bilateral action continuing and the IPL now in full swing, players are eager to find a groove with one eye on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, and even the T20 World Cup 2024 in USA and the West Indies.

With white-ball cricket taking most of cricket's attention, both through domestic tournaments and a smattering of international play, a look at how each national team's players sit during the period.


On top of beating Pakistan in a T20I series in UAE 2-1, it's been a positive start by Afghanistan internationals at the IPL.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been imposing to begin his Kolkata Knight Riders campaign, hitting 57 (44) against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Fazalhaq Farooqi meanwhile continues his run on the domestic scene, claiming three opening batters across his first two matches. Fellow quick Naveen-ul-Haq made his first appearance on Wednesday night, miserly with a spell of 0/19 (4) to help Lucknow defend 154.

Ever-present Rashid Khan has 11 wickets in his first five matches (joint-top wicket-taker), including a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders. Noor Ahmad made his first appearance of the tournament as an impact player on Sunday, taking the key wicket of Sanju Samson but going at over 12 an over in a spell of 1/29 (2.2)

Video T20 World Cup 07 Nov 22
Rashid Khan takes creative catch to see off Pat Cummins | T20WC 2022
Rashid Khan ran in from the deep and took a sliding catch for Afghanistan to dismiss Australia's Pat Cummins in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022


Cameron Green stood up for the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, making 64* from just 40 balls in their 14-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, also taking 1/29 to close out as their sixth bowler. Jason Behrendorff claimed 2/37 in the same match, including the key wicket of England's Harry Brook, and Riley Meredith also chipped in with 2/33 bowling first-change.

Discussion of David Warner's red-ball future has subsided after news of his squad selection for the WTC final and the first two Ashes Tests, and the veteran is off to a strong start for the Delhi Capitals, making three fifties, albeit at a modest strike-rate.

Marcus Stoinis had been playing solely as a batter for Lucknow Super Giants, though it was his first outing with the ball that helped his team to a gritty 10-run win against the Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday. He claimed 2/28 (4) on top of his 21 (16) to end as Player of the Match, adding to what has been a strong start at IPL 2023.

Glenn Maxwell too has enjoyed the tournament, making 59 from 29 balls in a blistering effort against Stoinis' side, and knock of 76 (36) against Chennai. Nathan Ellis has made his mark for Punjab Kings, taking 4/30 against the Rajasthan Royals, while Mitchell Marsh is finding his feet, taking three wickets. Adam Zampa has made his first two appearances of the year for Rajasthan, taking a wicket in each.


International play has taken precedence for Bangladesh, hosting Ireland across all three formats.

The Tigers claimed the the only Test match in Mirpur and won the ODI series 2-0, though dropped the final T20I. 

The international team travel to the UK to take on Ireland in Chelmsford next month, and should have the services of Litton Das, named in the squad despite also joining the Kolkata Knight Riders camp.

Mustafizur Rahman meanwhile has made two appearances for Delhi, returning 1/38 against Mumbai Indians in his first outing.

Bangladesh will be without Taskin Ahmed, who sits out of the next month's action with a side strain.


Jos Buttler continues to exhibit consistency at the top of the order, hitting three half centuries in his first six knocks at a strike-rate of 147 for Rajasthan Royals.

Mark Wood goes from strength to strength, joining Rashid Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal atop the wicket tally (11 wickets in his first four matches), including 5/14 against the Delhi Capitals in his first outing. Moeen Ali continues to show his ability on both sides, taking 4/26 against the Lucknow Super Giants, also chipping in during Chennai Super Kings' batting efforts.

T20 World Cup 2022 Player of the Tournament Sam Curran has brought his economy down to 8.52 to begin his IPL campaign, but has made contributions with the bat, making 77 runs at a strike rate of 124. Reece Topley is out of the IPL after dislocating his shoulder.

Video T20 World Cup 22 Oct 22
Curran makes England history with five-for | Highlights | T20WC 2022
Sam Curran returned a brilliant 5/10 to dismantle Afghanistan in their Super 12 ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 clash.


Ruturaj Gaikwad's 200 runs leads the way for the Chennai Super Kings, with Bhardwaj Sai Sudharsan's early spell for Gujarat (176 runs) also worth a mention, though it would be remiss to not acknowledge Rinku Singh's final over five-six effort for KKR that stole the world's attention in a final-ball victory over the Titans.

Venkatesh Iyer meanwhile showed his credentials, blazing 104 off just 51 balls, laced with nine sixes. He overtook Shikhar Dhawan as the leading run-scorer among domestic players, usurping the 37-year-old's 233 at a strike rate of 146.54.

Despite this, established national team members have also shown their wares with bat in hand. Virat Kohli has stood up for RCB, with three fifties in five innings to begin his campaign, while Shubman Gill (228 runs) has shown his quality. Rohit Sharma too has flexed his muscles, making a 45-ball 65 in Mumbai Indians' victory over Delhi. Axar Patel has been a shining light in Delhi's slow start, making 129 runs at a strike rate of 165, and KL Rahul has found a groove for the Super Giants (194 runs).

On the bowling side, Yuzvendra Chahal joins Mark Wood and Rashid Khan on 11 wickets, with Arshdeep Singh bringing his form into the tournament (eight wickets). Mohammed Shami has ten wickets next to his name. Ravichandran Ashwin continues to show his craft, taking eight wickets in 16 overs at an economy of 6.75.


After their tour of Bangladesh, Ireland have moved onto Sri Lanka, currently 1-0 down in their two-match Test series.

After their Sri Lankan sojourn, Ireland meet Bangladesh in a crucial ODI Super League series in Chelmsford in May. Three wins from three is the only series result that can take them directly to Cricket World Cup 2023, and that's only if the three wins take their net run-rate past South Africa's.

Josh Little is flying the flag for Ireland cricket with three appearances for Gujarat Titans in the IPL, taking thee wickets across four matches.

New Zealand

While series victories over Sri Lanka in both white-ball formats have been savoured, any joy has been soured by the news of Kane Williamson's ACL injury sustained at the IPL, with the stalwart seemingly destined to miss out on the World Cup later in the year.

The national team has travelled to Pakistan, pulling back the five-match T20I series 2-1 after a win on Monday night. Tom Latham's 64 (49) and Jimmy Neesham's 3/38 led the way for the Blackcaps, with Neesham closing out victory over their fast-finishing opponents in the final over.

Kiwis have slowly found their feet at the IPL, with Devon Conway blitzing 83* (45) for the Chennai Super Kings on April 17. Trent Boult's work has been a positive, taking seven wickets, and the left-armer will likely be available for the Cricket World Cup later in the year despite his refusal to take a New Zealand central contract.

Mitchell Santner has been consistent for Chennai, taking 0/32, 1/21 and 2/28 across his first 12 overs.


Pakistan spent late March experimenting with their T20I line-up, handing the captaincy to Shadab Khan for a recent series against Afghanistan. The side lost 2-1 in the series played in the UAE, though results have bettered in their T20I series against New Zealand.

Pakistan enjoy a 2-1 lead and have been boosted by the return of Babar Azam, celebrating a century in the second victory over the Blackcaps in Lahore.

Haris Rauf's 4/18 helped bundle New Zealand out for just 94 in the first match, with Imad Wasim's 2/2 helping clean up the tail.

South Africa

After hosting the Netherlands in make-up series, winning both matches to finish their Super League campaign, Proteas players have moved into their IPL work.

Aiden Markram jumped in as Sunrisers skipper after international action, making an unbeaten 37* (21) against Punjab, before a score of 50 against KKR. Compatriots Heinrich Klaasen (36 off 16) and Marco Jansen (2/43 and 13 runs off six balls) join Markram at Sunrisers, and chipped in on Tuesday, albeit in a defeat to Mumbai.

Sisanda Magala returned figures of 1/37 in his first IPL outing, while Anrich Nortje claimed 2/39 against Gujarat Titans to begin his campaign for the Delhi Capitals.

David Miller was finally dismissed, hitting 96 runs from 67 balls across four matches. Wayne Parnell returned 3/41 in his first game for RCB, picking up another in his second outing.

While "retired" from international cricket at least to this point, Faf du Plessis currently boasts the top run-tally of the competition (259 runs in five innings), and seemingly remains open for an international return.

Video cwc19 28 Jun 19
Nissan POTD: Faf du Plessis hits Lakmal for six down the ground

Sri Lanka

It wasn’t the most prosperous of New Zealand tours for the Sri Lankans, not doing the job in the Super League series to avoid the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, though there were positives in the shorter format, with Charith Asalanka starring in a Super Over victory.

The international team have since turned their attention to red-ball cricket, enjoying a strong first Test victory over Ireland.

Prabath Jayasuriya has continued his jaw-dropping start to Test cricket, moving to 43 scalps in just half a dozen appearances, while Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Sadeera Samarawickrama all raised the bats for centuries in their score of 591/6 declared.

At the IPL meanwhile, Bhanuka Rajapaksa does have a fifty to show for his exploits, off 32 balls against KKR, though is in competition to keep a spot in the Punjab Kings with their strong international options.

Wanindu Hasaranga has joined his RCB teammates after the tour of New Zealand, taking 1/37 in his first match, while Matheesha Pathirana appeared for the Chennai Super Kings, taking 2/42 in a tough Monday night for bowlers in Bengaluru.

West Indies

Despite a disappointing T20 World Cup and forced to go through the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in June, West Indies players look in form at least individually.

Nicholas Pooran's Player of the Match 62 (19) to help Lucknow Super Giants to their final-ball win over Royal Challengers Bangalore lit up the tournament, and the left-hander's 141 tournament runs have come at a strike-rate of 216. Kyle Mayers, sharing an IPL change room with Pooran, boasts a strike-rate of 154 in his own right.

Shimron Hetmyer matched Pooran's match-winning effort, making 56* (26) in a chase of 178, while on the bowling side, Alzarri Joseph has a trio of two-wicket hauls.

Video T20 World Cup 17 Nov 22
Alzarri Joseph bowling at 147.82kph | ICC Men's T20WC 2022


Sikandar Raza is the sole Zimbabwean at the IPL, and was Player of the Match in Punjab Kings' victory over Lucknow on Saturday evening, making 57 (41) in a successful chase on top of his 1/19.

Elsewhere in world cricket

USA and UAE claimed the two Cricket World Cup Qualifier spots via the Play-off tournament in Namibia, and the Emiratis join a number of Qualifier teams who will feature prominently in April play.

Muhammad Waseem's men have travelled to Nepal who host the ACC Premier Cup, a 50-over competition on the road to the Asia Cup. Oman will also feature in the tournament.

UAE and Oman won their first matches on day two of the competition, while Nepal enjoyed a first up win over Malaysia.


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