Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 8 (ANI): As Ishant Sharma became the third Indian pacer to reach the milestone of 300 Test wickets, former cricketer VVS Laxman praised the bowler for his work ethic and commitment towards cricket in the longest format of the game.
Ishant on Monday became the third Indian pacer to take 300 wickets in the longest format of the game. He scalped the wicket of Dan Lawrence on the fourth day of the ongoing first Test against England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and with this, he registered his 300th wicket.
Laxman congratulated Ishant on the glorious milestone and said that the Indian pacer thoroughly deserves the rich reward.
“What an achievement @ImIshant Congratulations on becoming the third Indian pacer to reach the 300-wicket milestone in Tests. Always admired your work ethic and commitment towards the game especially this format. And you thoroughly deserve this rich reward,” Laxman tweeted.
Indian white-ball opener Shikhar Dhawan also praised Ishant on his “amazing achievement” of 300 wickets in the longest format of the game.
“Congratulations on an amazing achievement @ImIshant bro Clapping hands sign You’re in fantastic company. A testament to your exceptional hard work and dedication,” Dhawan tweeted.
The other two pacers to have taken 300 Test wickets are Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan. Overall, Ishant is the sixth Indian bowler to take 300 Test wickets.
Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and Ravichandran Ashwin are the other five bowlers who have taken 300 wickets in Test cricket.
Meanwhile, India need 381 runs on the final day to win the first Test against England. At stumps on day four, India’s score read 39/1, with Shubman Gill (15*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (12*) on the field. Ashwin picked six wickets, restricting England to a very low total in the second innings and with this, a target of 420 runs was set for the hosts. (ANI)
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I-League: Sudeva Delhi return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Chennai City
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): Sudeva Delhi came back from a goal down to defeat Chennai City 2-1 in their Group B fixture of the ongoing I-League on Saturday.
William Pauliankhum cancelled Jockson Dhas early goal, before Hero of the Match Sairuatkima headed in the winner in first-half injury time, and broke Sudeva’s four-game winless streak.
Chennai City came knocking on Sudeva Delhi goal as early as the second minute after Demir Avdic threaded a through pass for Vineeth Kumar, but Sudeva keeper intercepted and cleared the danger.
Satyasagara’s side took the lead in the sixth minute after Demir Avdic won the ball of Sairuatkima in the area, and cut his cross back to Jockson Dhas, placed his finish into the right bottom corner.
Fuelled by his goal against TRAU in the last game, William Pauliankhum came close to levelling the scores in the 18th minute after he cut in and curled his effort, only to see his shot crash against the woodwork.
Sudeva finally cracked the Chennai City defence in the 34th minute when William latched on Naorem Mahesh’s through pass and powered his strike through the keeper’s legs and levelled the scoreline.
Demir Avdic had another chance in the 42nd minute, a carbon copy of the opening goal, but failed to hit the target from inside the area. With half time approaching, it was Sudeva’s turn to threaten after surviving three close scares. But unlike Chennai City, Sudeva made good of the one chance they got as Sairuatkima headed in Kean Lewis corner, making up for his earlier error.
Sudeva finished the first half with a 2-1 lead over Chennai City. Demir Avdic had a sighter in the 64th minute from just outside the area, but his toe-poked effort flew inches over Sachin Jha’s crossbar.
Meanwhile, Sudeva forced the Chennai City keeper into making two stops- first from William Pauliankhum in the 73rd minute and Shubho Paul two minutes later.
Satyasagara brought in Elvedin Skrijelj and Pravitto Raju, and the latter came close to equalise in the 85th minute, when he met Jockson Dhas’ cross, but his diving header ended on the wrong side of the post.
Chennai City pushed for an equaliser, but the Sudeva Delhi defence stood tall throughout the five minutes of injury time and secured their victory.
With the victory, Chencho Dorji’s side now has 12 points from 11 games and move within three points of Aizawl FC. Chennai City, on the other hand, fall more behind in their fight for survival. (ANI)
WTT Star Contender Doha: Indian paddlers Sutirtha, Ahyika make winning starts in tournament
Doha [Qatar], March 6 (ANI): Indian paddlers Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee started their campaign at World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Doha with comfortable victories in women’s singles qualifying round one on Saturday.
While the World No. 95 Sutirtha registered a dominating 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 victory over her opponent Ala Mohamed from Qatar, World No. 131 Ahyika notched up an easy 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 win over Qatar’s Maha Faramarzi. With these wins, both the players moved into the second qualifying round of the tournament.
Meanwhile, bronze medallist at the recently concluded National Championship Sreeja Akula went down fighting in a 5-gamer against Japan’s Sakura Yokoi. She was seen trailing by 2-1 before making a strong comeback to make it 2-2. However, Akula couldn’t sustain the momentum and lost the match 12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11.
Later tonight, Diya Chitale and Archana Kamath will be in action in the women’s singles qualifying round one. Among men, World no.73 Harmeet Desai and World no.99 Anthony Amalraj will begin their campaign in the first round in the singles qualifying.
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, who are ranked 32 and 37 in the world respectively, have received direct entry into the men’s singles main draw while World No. 63 Manika Batra has also earned a place in the women’s singles main draw.
In the mixed-doubles category, the Indian pair of Manika Batra and Achanta Sharath Kamal, who received a bye in the first qualifying round, will begin their campaign in the second on Sunday. (ANI)
Dimuth Karunaratne returns as Sri Lanka name Test squad for West Indies series
Colombo [Sri Lanla], March 6 (ANI): Dimuth Karunaratne has made a return to the Test side as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Saturday announced a 17-member squad for the two-match Test series against West Indies.
The cricket board also informed Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Roshen Silva, Vishwa Fernando, and Lasith Embuldeniya will leave for the Caribbean on Saturday night to take part in the Test series, which starts from March 21.
“The National Cricket Selectors have chosen the following squad to play the 02 Match Test Series vs West Indies. The squad was approved by the Minister of Youth and Sports Honorable Namal Rajapaksa,” the SLC said in an official statement.
Earlier, Sri Lanka all-rounder Dasun Shanaka, who had missed the flight to West Indies due to an issue related to securing his visa, will now travel on Sunday to join his teammates.
Shanaka, who was named in the ‘White Ball Squad’ for West Indies series, did not travel with the team due to a visa issue he confronted, pursuant to the loss of his previous passport, which had a valid visa for the USA stamped on it.
Sri Lanka Cricket on Friday said that the all-rounder will now travel to West Indies via France and is expected to join the national team during the ODI segment of the tour.
Sri Lanka and West Indies are currently locking horns in the T20I series. West Indies defeated Sri Lanka in the first T20I on Wednesday (local time) but the visitors made a comeback displaying an all-round performance in the second T20I on Friday (local time)
Both teams would now lock horns in the third and final T20I on Sunday. After the T20I series, West Indies will shift focus towards the 50-over format. The first ODI between Sri Lanka and West Indies will be played on March 10.
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Dasun Shanaka, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Roshen Silva, Dhananjaya De Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Embuldeniya. (ANI)
Monumental effort to be in bubble for so long: Ganguly hails Team India after series win
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 6 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Saturday hailed hosts’ ‘monumental effort’ of playing good cricket for so long while staying in the bio-secure environment.
India defeated England by an innings and 25 runs in the fourth and final Test to win the series 3-1 at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.
With this win, India set up the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) against New Zealand.
Ganguly, the former Indian skipper, congratulated the Virat Kohli-led side for qualifying to the WTC finals and hailed the “outstanding” effort of playing good cricket for the last five months.
“Congratulations Team India for winning the series and getting to the finals of WTC ..it’s a monumental effort to be in the bubble for so long and still play such good cricket for the last 5 months .. outstanding,” Ganguly tweeted.
Meanwhile, India head coach Ravi Shastri said that living in a bubble isn’t an easy thing to do. The Indian players haven’t been on a break since the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Shastri pointed that it is “really tough” living in a bio-secure environment.
“Six months in the bubble, seeing the same faces. The bubble will burst (smiled Ravi). It’s tough for professional players when you are not doing well. it’s really tough being in the bubble,” Shastri said in the post-match presentation.
Shastri also pointed out the fact that the visitors failed to convert the chances hence lost the series even after winning the first Test.
“The scoreline of 3-1 doesn’t reflect how close the series was. It’s like our series in England we lost 1-4. England had their moments and if they grabbed those we could have had a different result,” Shastri said.
India finished as the number one team with 72.2 percentage points in the WTC points table, the factor that determined the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the Covid-19 disruption. (ANI)
Experience between India and England spinners is the difference: Rajkumar Sharma
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): India skipper Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma on Saturday said that there is an experience difference between the spinners of home and English side as the latter did not get much success in the final Test of the series at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the WTC following emphatic innings and 25-run win over England as Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel scalped five wickets each.
“Former England cricketers created a lot of fuss about the wickets in this series. The pitch was expected to spin and the wicket was spinning a bit but the experience between our spinners and English spinners is different. Indian spinners bowled really well whereas England bowlers were delivering the lose balls in every over,” Sharma told ANI.
“It is a crucial win for the side as they now qualified for the WTC final. It is a great achievement for India and I would like to congratulate the side,” he added.
Delhi coach further applauded the knocks of Rishabh Pant (101) and Washington Sundar (96*) which enabled hosts to take a 160-run lead. Sundar was left stranded on 96 as India got dismissed for 365 in their first innings on the third day of the Test match here at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
“Indian batters especially Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar played it was a wonderful innings from them and they showed how to bat on difficult wickets if you have technique and temperament,” Sharma said.
It was a no-show from the English batsmen once again as they looked completely clueless after walking into the middle in the post-lunch session with the score on 6/0. Dan Lawrence (50) was the only player who had some answer to the duo of Ashwin and Axar as none of the other batsmen seemed to have the technical acumen to dig in, barring skipper Joe Root (30).
But once Ashwin sent back Root, it was all about delaying the humiliation for the English batsmen. Ashwin picking up Jonny Bairstow for a golden duck only added to England’s misery. (ANI)
National Rifle Association of India accepts provisions of National Sports Code
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), the governing body of the Olympic sport of Shooting in the country, on Saturday announced after a special general body meeting, that they have accepted the National Sports Code in its entirety, except one, where a practical relaxation has been made.
It can be recalled that the Sports Ministry had last month given the National Sports Federations six months to align with the National Sports Development Code.
Divulging details of this significant development, Raninder Singh, President, NRAI said, “We are probably one of the first Olympic Sporting Federation to have taken such a step. NRAI has always been at the forefront when it comes to taking decisions, which put athletes and their welfare ahead of everything else.”
“All necessary action in this regard has been initiated. On behalf of the NRAI, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Hon. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports for standing by us at all times,” he added.
Citing the provision, which was “un-implementable”, Singh said, “The one which says that half the districts should be affiliated to the state federation for it to be recognized is practically not possible on ground in States like Chhattisgarh and Union Territories like Jammu, Kashmir, etc. due to prevailing local law and order situations- so we have relaxed that provision to 20 per cent for all State Rifle Associations/UT’s.”
Among other decisions taken, the general body has remanded the matter on punishment to shooters to the Disciplinary Committee. Till the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee are received, the Shooters will be allowed to participate in shooting competitions. (ANI)
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