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Conway’s knock was unbelievable, says Williamson

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Christchurch [New Zealand], February 22 (ANI): New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson on Monday lauded batsman Devon Conway as he played an unbeaten knock of 99 off 59 balls to power his side to 184/5 against Australia in the first T20I here at the Hagley Oval. New Zealand thrashed Australia by 53 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match T20I series.
If Conway starred with the bat for New Zealand, it was an all-round bowling performance from the hosts that saw them clinch the game. Australia had reduced New Zealand to 19/3 before Conway unleashed the beast within himself to hammer an unbeaten 99.
The visitors never looked comfortable in the chase and kept losing wickets at regular intervals only to get dismissed for 131. For New Zealand, Sodhi picked four while Boult and Southee scalped two wickets each.
“It was an incredible knock. We had a tough start with the bat and to see those partnerships in the middle led by Devon, unbelievable knock. To get 99 on a surface that was not easy to start on and we also saw a little bit of swing in our innings as well. It was a great effort to get us to the 180-mark. We have seen a lot of breaks in recent times so it was exciting to get back together and play cricket,” Williamson said after the match.
“We would like to do better moving forward but it was an incredible effort with the ball. There was a bit of dew, it swung a bit and we weren’t expecting that. Obviously, a significant day, ten years (since the earthquake at Christchurch) and there are a number of people that came to the memorial today. We are happy to put on a performance for the people tonight,” he added.
Chasing 185 runs, Australia got off to the worst possible start as Tim Southee and Trent Boult both struck in their first overs. Southee ensured Finch’s lean patch continued while Boult dismissed Josh Philippe in the second over. Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell too didn’t bother the scorers much and were soon in the dugout after Boult and Southee again wreaked havoc to reduce Australia to 19/4.
Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis tried rescuing Australia from the precarious position but spinner Ish Sodhi joined the party. Sodhi came out firing on all cylinders and first broke the partnership of 37 runs between Marsh and Stonis and then dismissed Ashton Agar and Daniel Sams in the same over. (ANI)

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Strandja Memorial Tournament: Boora storms into semis, Manjeet enters last-8

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Indian boxers Naveen Boora and Manjeet Singh registered comprehensive victories in their respective categories on the third day at the 72nd Strandja Memorial tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The 2019 national champion Boora outpunched Brazil’s Eravio Edson 5-0 to enter in the 69kg semi-finals. With a place in the last-4, Boora is now assured of at least a bronze medal.
Boora had progressed into the last-8 stage with a 3-2 win over Armen Mashakaryan of Armenia B in the men’s 69kg category. Manjeet, who is playing his first senior international tournament, notched up an easy 4-0 win against Irish boxer Gytis Lisinskas to progress into the 91kg plus quarter-finals. The Haryana boxer will play against Armenia B’s Gurgen Hovhannisyan in +91 kg last-8 match later on Thursday night.
Earlier, Jyoti Gulia had produced a scintillating performance to upset two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan and progressed into the quarter-finals of women’s 51kg category.
The 2017 World Youth Champion Haryana pugilist Jyoti was clever with her footwork and showed great attacking display of boxing before outpunching experienced Kyzaibay 3-2. On the other hand, Bhagyabati had outclassed Russian opponent Anna Galimova 5-0 in the 75kg category.
Jyoti, Bhagyabati Kachari, and Deepak Kumar are the other Indians who will play their quarter-finals bouts on Thursday night.
The 2017 Youth World Champion Gulia will be up against Romanian boxer Lacramioara Perijoc in 51kg while Baghyabati (75kg) will face a stiff challenge from world championship bronze medallist Naomi Graham of USA.
In the men’s 52kg, Asian Championship silver medallist Deepak will play against Bulgaria’s Darislav Vasilev.
Also, four Indian men made an exit with narrow defeats in the pre-quarters. Asian Championship silver medallist Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) went down fighting against Ukraine’s Mykola Butsenko 3-2 while Ankit Khatana (75kg) lost to Viktar Dziashkevich of Belarus. Sachin Kumar (81kg) and Naveen Kumar (91kg) also suffered 3-2 losses against Armenia A’s Gor Nersesyan and France’s Wilfried Florentin respectively. (ANI)

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Tabebuia Open 2021: Wheelchair tennis tournament to kick off from Saturday

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 25 (ANI): Tabebuia Open 2021, the first official ranked tennis tournament for people with physical disability since COVID time, will kick off on Saturday. The tournament will see 38 players from across the country competing for the top position in singles and doubles events for men and women. The showpiece event will run for four days.
Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tour (IWTT) under the aegis of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) in association with the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (TSTA) is conducting the tournament.
Tabebuia Open is a wheelchair tennis tournament that brings together some of the best wheelchair tennis players in India. The tournament will be hosted while complying with the AITA and International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) rules and regulations.
“IWTT is excited to extend a warm invitation to all citizens of Bengaluru and beyond to come witness the grit and determination of men and women with disabilities as they compete for top slots in singles and doubles events for men and women,” an official statement from IWTT read.
“We request the visitors to strictly follow all the COVID guidelines in everyone’s interest. Entry for spectators is free for all. The tournament will take place from the 27th Feb to 2nd March from 12noon to 4:00pm,” it added.
The tournament is hosted at the completely accessible sports complex “D-Cube Sports Complex” at Yelahanka. As a tribute to the Trumpet Flower that blossoms at Cubbon Park in Winter the tournament is named after Tabebuia, one of the beautiful trumpet flowers.
The tournament’s opening ceremony is on Saturday and will be graced by Mahantesh G K, founder of Samarthanam and president of Cricket Associations for Blind in India. The final matches will be live on YouTube on the channel “Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tour”. (ANI)

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Six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom joins Koo app

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom (51kg) on Wednesday became the country’s first sportsperson to join the Made in India microblogging platform “KOO”.
Mary Kom, who is also a member of parliament, asked her followers to join on KOO while responding to the application. Mary Kom shared the post along with the link through her Twitter handle urging her followers by saying “Hello Everyone, you can now follow me in mcmarykom” on KOO App.
In a nation “first” message, Mary posted a video of undergoing training with the caption “If you want to push your limits. Challenge yourself every day #Roadtotokyoolympics.”
In recent days, Koo has been talked about as an Indian alternative to Twitter. Koo is also the winner of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat award’. It lets users send out tweet-like posts in English, Hindi. Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu.
Apart from Mary Kom, cricketer Harleen Deol, Neha Tanwar, hockey player Rani Rampal and Arjuna Awardee Hima Das have also joined the app.
Several political leaders and celebrities, including Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, Devegowda, HD Kumaraswamy, Priyank Kharge have also joined Koo.
The app was founded by Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka in March 2020. The app recently crossed over 3 million downloads with about a million active users.
Meanwhile, Mary Kom will return to the ring for the first time after the Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in Jordan in March last year. Mary Kom has recovered from dengue and is geared to pack a flurry of punches once again. (ANI)

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Vijay Hazare Trophy: Prithvi Shaw slams double ton as Mumbai amass 457/4 against Puducherry

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], February 25 (ANI): Mumbai skipper Prithvi Shaw put on a sensational batting performance and led from the front as he slammed an unbeaten 227 runs off 152 balls against Puducherry in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy on Thursday.
Prithvi whacked five sixes and whooping 31 fours to steer Mumbai to 457 runs in their allotted 50 overs. The right-handed batsman also broke former South Africa cricketer Graeme Pollock’s record of the highest score as a captain in List A cricket.
If Prithvi was in scintillating form while hitting the double ton, Suryakumar Yadav, who recently earned a maiden call up in the national side, showed why his selection was based on merit. Suryakumar, who came in to bat at number four, notched up 133 runs in just 58 balls on the back of 22 fours and four glorious sixes.
Leading from the front, Prithvi helped Mumbai register the fourth-highest total in List A cricket. The highest team total (496/4) was scored in the match between Surrey vs Gloucestershire, at The Oval in 2007.
Vijay Hazare Trophy, the domestic one-day competition in India, kicked off last week with white-ball specialists looking to impress the national selectors and get closer to their dreams of representing the country.
The tournament will also act as the perfect platform for the players who are looking to showcase their skills in the white-ball format ahead of the limited-overs series against England, keeping in mind the T20 World Cup is scheduled later this year.
And players are in no mood in throwing off this perfect opportunity. Earlier this week, Prithvi had slammed a match-winning hundred against Delhi.
Last week, Ishan Kishan smashed 173 runs in just 94 balls against Madhya Pradesh. Ishan whacked five sixes and 12 fours to bring up 102 runs in just 74 balls before unleashing the beast within himself. In the last 20 balls he faced, the Jharkhand skipper slammed 71 runs.
On the same day, Ishan earned a maiden national call-up when he was named in India’s T20 squad for the England series. (ANI)

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ISL 7: Never faced such a tough team before, says Dias after loss to Mumbai

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Bambolim (Goa) [India], February 25 (ANI): Odisha FC interim head coach Steven Dias admitted that they were expecting a tough match against Mumbai City FC in the ongoing seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) on Wednesday.
Mumbai City thrashed Odisha to register a thumping 6-1 win at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim in their penultimate match of the season.
“This is one of the best teams in the league. I never faced such a tough team before. They are a very good side so it was tough for us,” Dias said at the post-match press conference.
After Odisha had taken a shock early lead through Diego Mauricio (9′), Mumbai hit back hard through goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche (14′, 43′), Bipin Singh (38′, 47′, 86), and Cy Goddard (44′).
Despite a humiliating loss, Dias was proud of Odisha FC players knowing they were up against one of the formidable sides of the ISL.
“The first half would have been good if we hadn’t conceded goals from set-pieces. I knew we were playing one of the best teams in the league so we were compact and we got the lead also. But I am proud of my boys, they worked very hard,” said Dias.
Odisha FC skipper Steven Taylor was playing his 400th career game but had to leave the field due to injury with the scores level.
“It was very sad. We were 1-1 when he got injured. If you see in our squad, there are many players who are injured. I don’t have many options for that position. It’s very disheartening because after his injury, we conceded the goal,” Dias said.
Odisha FC with nine points is at the bottom of the table and will next lock horns with SC East Bengal in their last match of this season on Saturday. (ANI)

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Martin Guptill leapfrogs Rohit Sharma to record most sixes in T20Is

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Dunedin [New Zealand], February 25 (ANI): New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill on Thursday broke India opener Rohit Sharma’s record of most sixes in the shortest format of the game when he whacked eight maximums to announce his return to form. Going through a lean patch, Guptill slammed a whirlwind 97 off just 50 balls to steer New Zealand to 219 runs in the allotted 20 overs against Australia in the second T20I.
Guptill whacked eight sixes and six fours during his sensational knock to leapfrog Rohit’s record of most sixes in T20Is. Guptill now has 132 while Rohit has 127 sixes under his belt in the shortest format of the game.
England skipper Eoin Morgan (113), New Zealand batsman Colin Munro (107), and West Indies stalwart Chris Gayle (105) are the other three batsmen to have more than 100 sixes in T20Is.
In reply to New Zealand’s 219, Australia got off to a good start as the visitors smashed 33 runs from the first three overs. But Southee removed Matthew Wade in the fourth over to put a brake on Australia’s chase.
But the visitors continued to bat risk-free and seven overs into the chase, Australia was 64/1 before Sodhi dismissed skipper Finch on the last ball of the eight over.
Finch’s dismissal triggered a middle-order collapse which saw Australia losing wickets at regular intervals. The visitors were soon found reeling at 113/6 before Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams came out firing on cylinders.
The duo stitched a 92-run stand for the seventh wicket in just 37 balls but New Zealand held their nerve in the final over to prevail. (ANI)

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