Chittagong [Bangladesh], February 9 (ANI): After pulling off one of the most memorable Test chases, beating Bangladesh at home, West Indies coach Phil Simmons said that his side now has to make sure that they do not go backwards and they continue to build on this new high.
West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series against Bangladesh after chasing down 395 with the help of Kyle Mayers’ unbeaten double ton.
“I am tired of these one wins and then struggling for the next three or four games. We need to improve on some things and continue the intensity in our preparation. We have to make sure we don’t go backwards again. We are trying hard to put things in place so that we don’t go in that direction,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Simmons as saying.
West Indies have won just 12 Tests in the last five years, which include just two Test series wins: 2-0 against Bangladesh in 2018 and 2-1 against England in 2019.
Talking about what he would like his side to improve on, Simmons said: “I think one of the areas of concern is we haven’t had an opening partnership of note. It would be nice to get a big opening partnership to set up how things go with the other batsmen.”
“I don’t think our spinners were as consistent as they can be. They bowled well but there’s room for improvement in our bowling. I think we 90 per cent nailed down how our field placing will be for different batters but we have to be consistent. More than likely, Dhaka is going to spin more than Chattogram,” he added.
Talking about Mayers’ heroics, Simmons said: “I think the last time [a West Indies batsman made a double-century on debut] was Lawrence Rowe. It is an amazing feat. It is all right to do it in the first innings, but to have the temperament in taking us to winning the game made it extra special.”
“It is in the history books. You don’t start from 210, you start from zero. I know people will forget his double-hundred by the time the next Test is finished. You have to start from zero and do everything you did two days before the game. Most cricketers will know to start over. Sometimes we get into this hype when we have done well. Over the next few days, we have to get back down to earth and know that the game starts from zero again.”
Bangladesh and West Indies will now lock horns in the second Test beginning February 11. (ANI)
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Man Utd need ‘almost perfection’ to beat Man City: Fernandes
Manchester [UK], March 7 (ANI): Ahead of the clash against Manchester City, Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes acknowledged the threat their opponents can pose and said his side needs “almost perfection” to win the game.
Manchester City have been performing brilliantly and atop the Premier League table with 65 points, 14 points ahead of the third-placed Manchester United.
“We know it’s always difficult to play against City; we have to do everything good, almost perfection I think. The idea of the football they play is easy to understand but it’s difficult to play against. Everyone understands the way they play, they want to have the ball, they want to put pressure on and when they lose it they try to win it straight away,” the club’s official website quoted Fernandes as saying.
“Everyone knows that, but it’s difficult to play against and difficult to win the ball and have some possession for a long time against them. But I think we have to understand what we can do against that type of game and what we can do better to win the game. We all know it’s difficult for us, but it will be difficult for them in the same way,” he added.
Manchester United, in the previous game, were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace on March 4. Fernandes feels that there’s no better game than this to show that they are a better team than that.
“Everyone is looking forward to it after a draw where we should have won that game [against Crystal Palace] and done much better and created much more. We don’t create enough chances, but at the same time we can do much better and there’s no better game than this to show we are a better team than that,” he said.
Manchester United will take on Manchester City on Sunday. (ANI)
IND W v SA W: We’ll learn from our mistakes, says Harmanpreet after defeat
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 7 (ANI): After suffering a massive defeat in the first ODI against South Africa Women, India Women’s team’s vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur said her side’s batters failed to build good partnerships but asserted that players will learn from their mistakes.
South Africa Women defeated India Women by eight wickets in the first ODI on Sunday here at the Ekana Cricket Stadium. With this victory, the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
“They bowled well. We gave our wickets away but we cannot give away wickets that easily. We will try to build partnerships in the next games because, in long format games, you need those partnerships,” Harmanpreet said during the virtual post-match press conference.
Harmanpreet also feels that lack of game time also played a bit of a role as players’ struggled to find the rhythm. The Indian women’s cricket team last played cricket during the Women’s T20 Challenge in November 2020 while their last international match was on March 8, 2020, when they faced Australia in the T20 World Cup final.
“We didn’t play that much cricket recently and apart from the Women’s T20 Challenge, we did not get much time where we could work as a unit. As a team, you need to spend some time on the field and get ready for any series. But we are a side that likes to learn from our mistakes. We will definitely learn from our mistakes and try to prove ourselves,” she said.
During the match, Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee formed a stunning 169-run partnership to help South Africa chase down the target of 178 runs. Giving an honest assessment of the team’s bowling performance, Harmanpreet said it was “not up to the mark.”
“In bowling as well, there was no partnership. I feel in the next game, we need to that. Our bowling was not up to the mark. We have very experienced bowlers and our spinners are very good, but it can happen when you are playing after a long time and sometimes, things may not go in your favour. But we will work on that,” Harmanpreet said.
The second ODI will be played on Tuesday. (ANI)
ISL 7: Mumbai City aiming for final punch over depleted FC Goa
Goa [India], March 7 (ANI): Seven Indian Super League (ISL) seasons and Mumbai City FC have never made it to the final. After securing the League Winners Shield for the first time, the Islanders will hope to achieve another feat in what has been an incredible season as they face FC Goa in the second leg of their semi-finals at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim on Monday.
Mumbai finished the first leg with a 2-2 draw, despite Goa taking the lead on two occasions. But the table-toppers were not at their best, with the Gaurs fashioning better chances and dominating the majority of the game.
However, the result could have been different. They registered a total of 12 shots in the first leg, more than their opponents, but only three were on target, highlighting their wastefulness in front of goal. And Mumbai coach Sergio Lobera admitted that his side needed to put up a better show in the return leg.
“I am not happy (with the result),” Lobera said. “We had chances to score more goals and we need to be clinical in these situations. The game was very open (but) we didn’t have control of the game during some periods and gave them the opportunity to play between the lines. We need to improve on this.”
Goa, meanwhile, will be at a slight disadvantage after losing a few key players to injuries in the first leg. The draw in the first leg will seem like a missed opportunity for Juan Ferrando’s side, who took the lead twice in the game but saw their defence crumble under pressure, yet again. Goa may have been unbeaten for 14 games now but their backline will need to step up, if the two-time finalists harbour any hopes of getting past Mumbai.
They have kept only three clean sheets (only Odisha have kept fewer this season) and will be facing a side with the most goals this season. Ferrando revealed he wanted more than just a draw from the first leg.
“We are not very happy because we wanted to win,” he said. “The most important (thing) now is the players are 100 per cent ready. It’s a great opportunity for us to continue to improve and continue working. We hope to be in the final.”
While Princeton Rebello will be out, the return of Alberto Noguera and Ivan Gonzalez will serve as a much-needed boost for Goa. “We have some problems but we’ll see,” Ferrando said. (ANI)
We looked a really good side: Rodgers delighted with Leicester City’s win over Brighton
Brighton [UK], March 7 (ANI): Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is delighted with the team’s performance against Brighton despite admitting that his side lacked aggression in the first half of the game.
Leicester City secured a 2-1 win over Brighton in the Premier League here on Sunday.
“It says everything. You come away against a very good side. Brighton had a full week to prepare and we’re off the back of a tough week on Wednesday, so to show that mentality, I was pleased. I wasn’t happy with the first half. We weren’t aggressive enough, our pressing was too slow and we weren’t arriving in the right moments to press – our timing was out. The second half was much better, and then once we do that, the tempo of our game was much better,” the club’s official website quoted Rodgers as saying.
“You don’t want to go behind, but when you do, it shows your mentality when you don’t crumble. They’re a very good side. You see the games they’ve won against the top teams, Brighton, so you know they’re a very good footballing side. Especially going 1-0 up, they’ve got nice confidence. We just needed to focus on our game. When we did that in the second half, I thought we looked a really good side,” he added.
During the match, Adam Lallana scored the opening goal, putting Brighton ahead in the 10th minute. Kelechi Iheanacho levelled the scores in the 62nd minute before Daniel Amartey’s strike in the 87th minute handed Leicester a victory in the match.
The victory lifted Leicester City to the second position in the Premier League table. The club now has 53 points, 12 points behind the table-toppers Manchester City. (ANI)
Showed empathy to boys because of adverse circumstances: Shastri
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): India head coach Ravi Shastri said the team management showed empathy on players because of the unprecedented times forced by the coronavirus pandemic which curtailed the movement of people and being a sportsperson many of the cricketers could not train for that period.
Indian cricketers returned to the field for the first time in September to play the Indian Premier League (IPL) since the pandemic began. After that, they toured Australia to play three ODIs and as many T20Is, and then the four-match historic Test series which India won by 2-1.
While answering a question on what does he mean by empathy Shastri said in a virtual press-conference, “You had to be patient more than anything else. We started in Australia with two losses, in normal circumstances you can go straight to the point and say can be a little aggressive, you can be straight to the individual and tell him to pull up your socks. But I made up my mind with my team management that we gonna show empathy for six months a lot of the guys have not gone out of their flats. So, I knew very clearly that it would take time. It did not take too long.”
“This team takes pride in winning, this team does not mind losing as long as they throw punches. So, it was a matter of just being patient for one switch of result and it happened in the third ODI against Australia. And then we did not look back. From lockdown to get unlocked and then pull off something special was very special. So, that’s where empathy came in,” he added.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England.
Virat Kohli’s men, who defeated England in the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, will now face New Zealand in the WTC final slated to be played from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London.
“I said to the boys with adversity comes an opportunity. I said cricket has never seen something like this since the second world war. So, what you guys are going through is unreal, it is against what you used to but you have no choice. Leave everything aside and focus on the goal. It is channeling your energies from negative to positive in the direction of what you have come here for and that is — to play for India,” Shastri said.
India will now lock horns with England in the five-match T20I series at the Narendra Modi Stadium starting from March 12. (ANI)
Boxam International: India finish with 10 medals including one gold
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Continuing his splendid run in the tournament, Manish Kaushik clinched the gold medal as Indian boxers concluded their impressive campaign at the Boxam International Tournament with 10 medals in Castellon, Spain.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kaushik, who returned into the ring for the first time after the Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in March last year, beat Denmark’s Nikolai Terteryan with a split 3-2 decision in the men’s 63kg summit bout. However, the World Championship bronze medallist Vikas Krishan went down fighting 4-1 against local favourite Ndiaye Sissokho to settle for a silver medal in the men’s 69kg.
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Asian champion Pooja Rani lost to Word Championships bronze medallist USA’s Naomi Graham 5-0 in the 75kg final while young Jasmine, who was playing her maiden senior international tournament, showed a great attacking display but couldn’t hold an edge over 2019 European Champion Irma Testa of Italy and settle for a silver in the 57kg after going down 0-5 in the final.
The other five silver medals for the country were secured by Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (57), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumi Sangwan (81kg), and Satish Kumar (+91kg).
Ashish had to withdraw from the final after he was tested positive for COVID-19 while the rest four boxers also withdrew from the tournament as a precautionary measure.
Earlier, Mary Kom settled for bronze after her semi-final exit. A 14-member (8 men and 6 women) Indian contingent had participated in the 35th edition of the Boxam International Tournament. The team will be reaching back to India on Monday. (ANI)
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