Dhaka [Bangladesh], February 12 (ANI): Joshua Da Silva and Alzarri Joseph both scored half-centuries before Shannon Gabriel picked two wickets to put West Indies on top on day two of the second Test against Bangladesh on Friday.
West Indies scored 409 runs in their first innings then dismantled Bangladesh’s top order to reduce hosts at 105/4 before the close of the second day’s play. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun are unbeaten at 27 and six runs respectively with Bangladesh trailing by 304 runs.
The Windies took charge on the second day of the second Test as the Tigers had a torrid outing with both bat and ball. Two unbeaten overnight batsmen Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua resumed the West Indies innings with 223 for 5.
They batted sensibly in the first hour as bowlers were searching for the wickets. Finally, it was Mehidy Hasan who gave the first breakthrough of the day by dismissing Bonner for 90. Then Joseph joined with Joshua and they added 118 runs in the sixth wicket to frustrate the Bangladesh bowlers.
Just before the tea break Abu Jayed led the fightback with a couple of wickets but the damage was done as Joshua and Joseph’s two fifty-plus knocks helped them score past the 400 runs mark. Abu Jayed and Taijul grabbed four wickets each.
In response, Bangladesh lost two wickets for just 11 as Soumya Sarkar and Najmul Hossain Shanto got out cheaply. Skipper Mominul looked good but could not convert his innings to a big one as he went after scoring. Tamim played a counter-attacking knock before Gabriel dismissed him for 44 as Bangladesh were in all sorts of trouble on 71 for 4.
From there, Mushfiqur and Mohammad Mithun batted with patience as the duo ensured no more further trouble before the end of the day’s play.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 105/4 (Tamim Iqbal 44, Mushfiqur Rahim 27*; Shannon Gabriel 2-31); West Indies 409/10. (ANI)
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Swiss Open: Rankireddy, Ponnappa outclass second-seeded Indonesian pair to progress to 2nd round
Basel [Switzerland], March 3 (ANI): Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa started their campaign on a high as they outclassed second-seeded Indonesian pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the first round of the Swiss Open 2021 on Tuesday.
Rankiredddy and Ponnappa defeated the World no. 8 pair in straight games 21-18, 21-10 in the encounter that lasted for 38 minutes. Indian pair will now proceed to the second round of the tournament.
The first game saw a high competition between both sides but the Indian pair stood up strong in the closing of the set to claim the game with 21-18.
It was the one-way in the second game as Rankireddy and Ponnappa did not give any chance to the Indonesian pair to make comeback in the match.
In the other clash of the day, Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy were ousted by third-seeded pair of Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England 21-18, 21-15 in 39 minutes.
Later in the day, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap will start their campaign in the tournament. (ANI)
‘Uncomfortable situation’: Guardiola on Bartomeu’s arrest
Manchester [UK], March 3 (ANI): Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has labelled former Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu’s arrest as an “uncomfortable situation.”
After spending a night in jail, Bartomeu on Tuesday was provisionally released.
Guardiola is regarded as one of Barcelona’s best-ever players and managers. He played for the club until 2001 and then he returned as a manager of Barcelona B in 2007 before taking the reigns of the senior team. Guardiola won three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns as manager of Barcelona before leaving the club in 2012.
“It’s an uncomfortable situation but I hope it will finish well. He’s already innocent until the court proves he is guilty,” Goal.com quoted Guardiola as saying.
“I’m concerned that in one week we’ll have a new president. It’s a difficult situation in Barcelona but the new man needs to have the courage to lead in the next years. As many people as possible can vote and lead the best club in the world. I’m pretty sure they’ll come back stronger. The new president has to lead with confidence and get the fans together and that will make them the club they are. I’m looking forward to the election and, hopefully, the president will be okay,” he added.
As per the report, Bartomeu was provisionally released, with the 58-year-old invoking his right not to testify. The news of the former members of the club’s board being taken into custody following a raid on offices by regional police officers was broken by Cadena SER.
Bartomeu was arrested in a case related to ‘Barcagate’ at Camp Nou. Chief Executive Officer of the club, Oscar Grau, a former adviser to the presidency Jaume Masferrer, and head legal counsel Roman Gomez Ponti were also arrested.
According to the report, Bartomeu’s administration has been accused of paying PR company I3 to oversee online work for the club and it is alleged that I3 was paid to clear up Bartomeu’s image.
Also, Barcelona on Monday released a statement saying that the club offered their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts that are subject to investigation.
“Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation,” Barcelona had said in a statement.
“The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case. FC Barcelona expresses its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation,” it had added.
Bartomeu had stepped down from his position as Barcelona President in October last year. Also, the entire board had stepped down from their posts. (ANI)
Ind vs Eng: Drawing series against hosts would be one of my greatest achievements, says Root
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 3 (ANI): Ahead of the crucial fourth Test against India, England Test captain Joe Root has said that if his side manages to draw the ongoing series then it would be one of his greatest achievements as a captain.
The four-match series is currently being led by India 2-1 and the hosts just need to win or draw the final Test to qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).
On the other hand, England is out of WTC’s final contention, and they would be playing just to end the four-match series 2-2. If England wins the last Test, then Australia would qualify for the WTC finals.
“You look at India’s record at home in recent times and it’s incredible. So, for us to come away with a drawn series would be a really good achievement, especially off the back of the last two games. We’ve had two challenging weeks but that doesn’t define us as a team. We need to look at this as a real opportunity to do something special. It would be a brilliant achievement to leave here two-all. It would be a monumental effort from this group of players. So there are loads to play for,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Root as saying.
“It would certainly be up there with my greatest achievements as captain. The progress we’ve made over the last couple of years has been really pleasing, especially away from home. If we end up winning this game it’d be four wins out of six Tests on this tour. It would be a phenomenal achievement from the players to have found a way in some very foreign and difficult conditions. So it’s a great motivator for us as a side and I’d be extremely proud of everyone involved if we managed to do that,” he added.
India had managed to defeat England by ten wickets within two days in the third Test at the same venue. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that did not turn and skidded through from the spinners.
Root also ended up taking a fifer in the first innings of the third Test and he returned with the figures of 5-8. However, England went in with just Lack Leach as a frontline spinner and now the England skipper says that Dom Bess is also in contention for the fourth and final Test.
“If the pitch looks anything like the last one, he’ll (Bess) be licking his lips at the opportunity. He is certainly in contention for selection. He is a very skillful young player that is very ambitious and will be desperate to make his mark. You look at the side for the last match: we got that wrong in terms of the way we selected the team; we read the pitch wrong. We looked at the conditions and how the ball had behaved and the previous pink-ball Test in India and we got it wrong. We didn’t envisage it to spin as much,” said Root.
“If the pitch is anything like the last one, of course, Dom would be a fantastic option. His skill levels are far above mine. He will be very much looking forward to bowling on it. We’re definitely expecting this pitch to spin. That’s been a big part of our focus in training so we’re as prepared as we can be going into this game,” he added. (ANI)
Premier League: Man City thrash Wolves to extend lead at top of standings
Manchester [UK], March 3 (ANI): Gabriel Jesus’ brace helped Manchester City thrash Wolves 4-1 in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
With this win, City further consolidated its lead at the top and now the side has 65 points from 27 matches. Pep Guardiola’s side now has a 15-point lead over the second-placed Manchester United.
This win was Manchester City’s 21st consecutive victory across all competitions this season.
In the first half, Wolves’ Leander Dendoncker registered an own goal and this helped in City gaining an early lead in the 15th minute of the game.
No more goals were registered in the first half and City went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Wolves got the equalising goal in the 61st minute as Conor Coady got among the scoring sheets, bringing the scoreline level to 1-1.
Gabriel Jesus then came into his own and he got his first goal of the match in the 80th minute, giving City a 2-1 lead. Ten minutes later, Riyad Mahrez got among the act and this ended up giving City a 3-1 lead.
Jesus scored his second goal of the match three minutes later and in the end, the hosts walked away with a comfortable 4-1 victory.
Manchester City will now take on Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday. (ANI)
Resilient Indian men’s hockey team play out 1-1 with Germany
Krefeld [Germany], March 3 (ANI): Indian men’s hockey team’s second of their four-match tour of Europe ended in a 1-1 draw with both the teams living up to the billing on Tuesday.
Jarmanpreet Singh of India opened the scoreboard for India in the 4th minute while Martin Haner scored for Germany. Riding high on confidence after a dominating 6-1 win in their first international match of 2021, India started on an attacking note against the hosts and earned themselves a penalty corner in the 4th minute, which was converted by defender Jarmanpreet Singh with a classic slap shot.
Within the following two minutes, the hosts also bounced back and got their chance to score an equaliser with a penalty corner but could not capitalise.
The visitors continued to dominate in the second quarter, with better ball possession, creating potential opportunities with intent to capitalize on the early lead. However, the quarter ended with the hosts putting pressure on the Indian men with strong man-to-man tackle.
The hosts backed their tactical play with some quick forays into the striking circle, resulting in them earning back-to-back penalty corners. It was in their second attempt when the experienced Martin Haner levelled the score 1-1 minutes ahead of the half-time break.
Continuing the momentum, the third quarter saw Germany keeping the ball in the Indian half to create scoring opportunities but, Indian defenders remained composed and set-up a well-structured defence that kept the German forward line from converting. A solid block from Surender Kumar at the very last minute saw the third-quarter ending in a 1-1 stalemate.
The final quarter saw some nail-biting moments, with both the teams upping the ante but neither allowed a goal with the match ending in a 1-1 deadlock.
“This match was a good experience for our players. It was a tough match and the team worked hard. Both teams created opportunities and I believe we will learn a lot from this game,” stated India’s coach Graham Reid.
India will next play Great Britain on Saturday, March 6. (ANI)
Crowd to be allowed for 5th T20I if Wellington’s alert level status is relaxed
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday announced that the order of Sunday’s T20I double-header at Wellington’s Sky Stadium has been reversed.
As a result, New Zealand’s men’s team will be taking on Australia in the early game and New Zealand’s women’s team (White Ferns) will be squaring off against England later in the afternoon. “The decision follows discussions between New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia and will allow the Australia squad to catch a charter flight home immediately after the game – and avoid having to transit through Auckland,” NZC said in an official statement.
“Should Wellington’s Alert Level status be relaxed ahead of Sunday’s doubleheader, a crowd will be allowed inside the venue,” it added.
On Monday, NZC had announced that the final T20I of the five-match series between New Zealand and Australia has been shifted to Wellington from Bay Oval.
The final T20I of the three-match series between New Zealand women (White Ferns) and England women will also be played in Wellington.
Earlier, it was confirmed that the upcoming third and fourth T20Is between New Zealand and Australia will be played behind closed doors. The first and second T20I between New Zealand Women (White Ferns) and England Women will also be played behind closed doors following the change to New Zealand’s alert levels with an eye on the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland would return to level 3 for seven days. As a result, no sport can be held at level 3, reported stuff.co.nz.
The fourth T20I between New Zealand-Australia and White Ferns-England was to be played in Auckland, but as per the new guidelines, the matches were relocated to Wellington.
The rest of the country has moved to alert level 2 and the restrictions will last for a period of seven days. While announcing the new restrictions, Ardern said that the lockdown was needed due to there being no immediate transmission link between the new mystery case and the latest Auckland cluster.
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