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Debutant Mayers’ double ton helps WI defeat Bangladesh

Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner bravely chase down the 395 runs target on the fifth day of the first Test.

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West Indies debutant Kyle Mayers’ double ton guided the side to a three-wicket win over Bangladesh on the final day of the first Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Sunday.

Debutants Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner lead the run-chase and bravely chased down the 395 runs target on the fifth day of the first Test. Resuming from 110/3 on the final day, Mayers and Bonner continued their partnership and kept the scoreboard moving. The duo hammered the ball all around the park and completed their respective maiden fifties. Mayers carried his knock forward and completed his first century in the longest format of the game.

Meanwhile, the fourth wicket partnership between the debutants enabled Windies to go past the 250-run mark. Finally, Taijul Islam brought an end to a 216-run stand between Mayers and Bonner.

Bonner was picked by Islam after playing a gritty knock of 86 runs off 245 balls including a six and 10 fours. The 200-plus partnership was also the second-highest stand for the debutants in Test cricket.

Jermaine Blackwood joined Mayers in the middle. The duo added a brief 17-run stand for the fifth wicket. Bangladesh spinner Nayeen Hasan picked Blackwood (9) and brought his side back in the game.

Bangladesh’s joy did not last long as new batsman Joshua Da Silva stitched a 100-run partnership for the sixth wicket which was dominated by Mayers. That stand guided the side to the 350-run mark and took the visitors close to the win.

Meanwhile, Mayers smashed double ton in his maiden Test and achieved the highest score ever by a debutant in the fourth innings. Just before reaching the target, Silva departed after playing a knock of 20 runs. Islam bowled out Silva in the 125th over but it was too late for the hosts as visitors required only three runs to win the match. Mehindy Hasan got hold of Kemar Roach on a duck and reduced them to 394/7 in 126.5 overs. In the next over, Mayers took a single and chased down the 395 on the last day of the Test match. Mayers’ unbeaten 210 was studded with seven sixes and 20 fours.

For Bangladesh, Mehidy Hasan bagged four wickets while Islam scalped two wickets. Earlier, Mehidy Hasan’s three wickets on the fourth day had put hosts in a strong position as Windies were required 285 runs to win the Test.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 432 and 223/8d; West Indies 259 and 395/7 (Kyle Mayers 210*, Nkrumah Bonner 86; Mehidy Hasan 4-113).

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BCCI chief Ganguly congratulates Gavaskar and team of 1971 for contribution to Indian cricket

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): As former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar celebrates the 50th anniversary of his Test debut, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Saturday said this is the time to thank the team of 1971 for their contribution to the game in the country.
BCCI felicitated Gavaskar for his contribution to Indian cricket as Secretary Jay Shah honoured the batting great during the lunch break on day three of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Taking to Twitter, Ganguly wrote, “This day marks the 50th Anniv of Mr. Gavaskar in international cricket and the team of 1971.. It is time today to once again congratulate them for what they have for Indian cricket. The game is as strong as it is today because they made a start then against all odds. @BCCI.”
Gavaskar made his Test debut on March 6, 1971, against West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Over his career, Gavaskar went on to break many batting records and established himself as one of the finest batsmen to ever play the game.
India toured the West Indies during the 1970-71 cricket season for a five-Test series. The series turned out to be one of the most memorable ones as India won its first-ever Test series against the West Indies.
India, led by Ajit Wadekar, emerged victorious 1-0 in the five-match series and Gavaskar finished as the leading run-scorer, registering four centuries including one double ton. In his career, Gavaskar played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs for India. He was also a part of the 1983 World Cup win and 1985 World Championship of Cricket victory. (ANI)

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IPL 2021 to start on April 9, final on May 30 subject to GC approval

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to be played from April 9 to May 30 subject to the approval of the Governing Council (GC). In another development, while the date of the all-important GC meeting to decide on the venues for the 14th edition of the league is yet to be finalised, it is most likely to be held next week.
Speaking to ANI, a GC member on conditions of anonymity said while the final approval will be given in the GC meeting, the league is expected to start on April 9 and a call on the venues will be taken next week.
“We haven’t yet decided on the day of the GC to decide on the venues, but the meeting will take place next week. As per the proposal, the IPL will get underway from April 9 and the final will be played on May 30,” the GC member said.
Progressing from the initial idea of hosting the 2021 edition of the IPL in one city, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is exploring the option of playing the league across four to five cities. While the logistical part will need further discussion, the idea has been floated and is being discussed by the senior officials of the board.
A BCCI official in the know of developments said the idea has indeed been discussed and while it is still early days, the 14th edition of the league could well be played in more than one city if things go as per plan and the GC gives an approval.
“We are exploring the possibility of conducting the IPL at more venues than originally planned. The intent is to take it to more fans as the situation is moving towards normalcy. The feasibility of the bio-secure bubble and logistics will of course be crucial to determine the venues finally. It is a fluid situation and the health of the participants is our primary concern,” the official had said.
Some of the cities that have been discussed are Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
While the tournament is still some time away, franchises too are open to the idea of having the league in more than one city as that will help to stay flexible with an eye on the COVID-19 situation.
While the BCCI is keen to take the most successful domestic league to as many fans as possible, the board is also clear that the bio-bubble restrictions will be made keeping the safety of the players in mind as was the case when the tournament was moved to UAE in 2020. (ANI)

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Ashwin first Indian cricketer to pick 30 wickets in Test series twice

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 6 (ANI): Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Saturday became the first Indian cricketer to have picked 30 wickets or more in a Test series on two separate occasions.
In the ongoing four-match series against England, Ashwin’s wicket-tally stands at 30 while in 2015, the spinner had registered 31 wickets in the four-match series against South Africa.
Bishan Singh Bedi, Harbhajan Singh, BS Chandrasekhar, Kapil Dev are some of the former India stars to have taken more than 30 wickets in a single Test series.
In the third Test of the ongoing series against England, Ashwin picked the wicket of Jofra Archer in the second innings, and as a result, he registered 400 wickets in the longest format of the game.
Ashwin is just the fourth Indian to take more than 400 wickets in the longest format of the game.
With this performance in the third Test, Ashwin also rose to the number three spot in the ICC Test bowling rankings.
In the first innings of the ongoing fourth Test against England, Ashwin returned with three wickets as he dismissed Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, and Jack Leach. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: India inch closer to series win and WTC final spot

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 6 (ANI): India on Saturday afternoon inched a step closer to their World Test Championship (WTC) final berth as they had England on the mat in their second innings on Day Three of the fourth and final Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
At Tea on Day Three, England’s second innings score read 91/6 and the visitors still trail by 69 runs. Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes were unbeaten on 19 and 11 respectively at the end of the second session.
The turn of the event started in the post-lunch session as skipper Virat Kohli brought spinner – Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel — from both ends.
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley continued the innings from 6/0. In the second over after the commencement of the session, Ashwin scalped the wicket of Crawley (5) who was caught at first slip by Ajinkya Rahane.
On the next ball, Ashwin picked Jonny Bairstow on a golden duck, piling further misery on the visitors.
Sibley added a brief 10-run stand for the fourth-wicket stand with skipper Joe Root before he was dismissed by Axar at his individual score of 3.
All-rounder Ben Stokes, who had scored a gritty half-century in the first innings, tried to revive England innings along with the skipper. However, Axar sent Stokes (2) back to the pavilion to scalp his second wicket of the innings. England was then left reeling at 30/4.
Ollie Pope (15), who walked in to bat at number six, played some shots to release pressure and added 35 runs alongside root. However, Pope’s stay was shortlived as he was out stumped by Axar in the 25th over of the innings.
In the next over, Root’s 30-run stint was also ended by Ashwin as he caught the visiting skipper in front of the wickets. At that point, India totally gained the upper hand over Englishmen and dominated the session.
Lawrence and Foakes then made sure that England did not lose any further wicket till the end of the session.
Earlier, resuming the third day on 294/7, India got bundled out for 365 in the morning session, taking a substantial 160-run lead. Rishabh Pant (101) and Washington Sundar (96 not out) were the top scorers while Rohit Sharma and Axar made useful contributions of 49 and 43 each.
Brief Scores: England 205 and 91/6 at Tea (Joe Root 30, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-35, Axar Patel 3-28); India 365 (Rishabh Pant 101, Washington Sundar 96*) (ANI)

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Need to have a little bit of patience and we will see Shafali very soon: Mithali

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): India women’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday said that she would like to give every youngster in the side a game in the upcoming five-match ODI series against South Africa for a perfect build-up ahead of the Women’s World Cup in 2022.
The women’s side would return to international cricket action after almost one year as they will lock horns in the five-match ODI series against South Africa, beginning Sunday. After the five ODIs come to an end, India and South Africa will play a three-match T20I series.
“Definitely, yes because it’s a five-match ODI series and we have some young players in the side. As the captain, I would like to give them opportunities to show their talent and yes we are looking at giving the youngsters an opportunity in this five-match ODI series,” said Mithali while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“This series is very important, we will see the composition of the team. Everybody is coming after a long gap, this series is very important as we have young players and it is the right platform to give them opportunities. It is also about ensuring that the core players get enough game time to develop that rhythm and take it from there,” she added.
When asked about Shafali Verma’s omission from the ODI squad, Mithali replied: “She definitely is in the scheme of things, she is on the radar. We need to have a little bit of patience and we will see her very soon.”
Talking about practice sessions ahead of this series, Mithali said: “As a professional athlete, it’s important that we keep ourselves fit and find ways to be in training. We have had four good days of training sessions, we also had a session on the central wicket. The girls have been training in their respective places before joining the team as the domestic season is underway.
“South Africa played against Pakistan before coming to India but then we are playing after a gap. Having said that, we have put in the efforts to train ourselves, we had a short camp and we have had four sessions here. It does not look like that we are rusty, girls are excited about putting in a good performance,” she added.
When asked about her preparation ahead of the South Africa series, Mithali said: “It’s been like how I prepare myself before any series, it is no different. In terms of game time, we have not played any matches as such but in terms of training and preparation, I have prepared myself how I do before any series. This is no different, a lot has gone into the methods as players are coming after a long gap. I am definitely looking forward to getting more runs, the last series against West Indies in 2019, I was in a rhythm and I would like to continue that.”
The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) on Friday had announced that 10 per cent of the capacity of Ekana Stadium will be opened for spectators for the upcoming India women’s series against South Africa.
Commenting on fans coming in, Mithali said: “It is always good to play in the stadiums where there are people who turn up to watch the match. You have supporters supporting the team. I am happy to see that there is a price on the tickets for people to come over. This probably is one way where women’s cricket can sort of develop the revenue coming in. If we do well, the interest will develop, I am looking forward to people to turn up in the stadium and support the national women cricketers.”
India Women’s ODI squad: Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), D. Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Swetha Verma (wicket-keeper), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C. Prathyusha, Monica Patel. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Jaffer takes dig at visitors, says pitch difficult to complain about

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Former India batsman Wasim Jaffer on Saturday took a jibe at England’s batting line-up and hoped that the visitors would get a decent score in the second innings because there is nothing to complain about the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Many former England cricketers have been criticising the wickets being used in the four-match Test series as they are favouring more spin. Former England captain Michael Vaughan was quite vocal in his criticism of the pitches used in the series and went a step further and asked for the ICC to look into the wickets after the third game ended in two days.
Taking to Twitter, Jaffer wrote, “I hope England at least get a decent score in the second innings because this pitch is really difficult to complain about. #INDvsENG.”
Taking to Instagram, Vaughan on Tuesday shared a picture of him standing in dugup soil with a bat in his hands. “Preparations going well for the 4th Test !! #OnOn #INDvENG,” he wrote in the caption.
In the ongoing fourth Test between India and England, the hosts are in the driver’s seat as they dismantled the English top-order in the second essay after setting a 160-run lead.
After the completion of 19 overs, England was at 46/4 with Joe Root unbeaten on 16 and Ollie Pope not out on five runs. For India, spinners put the hosts on top as Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel scalped two wickets each.
Earlier, resuming the third day on 294/7, overnight batters Washington Sundar and Axar saw off the first hour with ease and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace, piling on further misery on the tired England bowlers. The first hour saw India scoring 50 runs as both Sundar and Axar looked to make the most of the bad balls from the visiting bowlers.
Just when the 100-run plus partnership looked to take India’s lead beyond England’s reach, Axar (43) was run out against the run of play. In the very next over, Ishant Sharma (0) was out leg before off the bowling of Ben Stokes and India’s score was reduced to 365/9 with Sundar still four runs away from his century.
While Sundar would have hoped for Siraj to hold one end up, Stokes cleaned him up in the same over as the all-rounder was left stranded — four short of a much-deserved maiden Test century. (ANI)

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