Kalyani (West Bengal) [India], January 30 (ANI): Chennai City FC returned to winning ways in the I-League after a 1-0 victory over Indian Arrows at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kolkata on Friday.
In a game largely dominated by Satyasagara’s men, it was Elvedin Skrijelj’s 63rd-minute header that was the difference between the two sides.
Chennai City made five changes to their starting XI after their loss against TRAU, bringing in Vladimir Molerovic, Suhail Pasha, Nagappan, Jishnu and Jockson Dhas.
The Indian Arrows, coming into this game after their defiant performance in the 1-1 draw against Aizawl, made two changes – Harsh Patre and Sajad Hussain Paray, who scored the last gasp equaliser against Aizawl, were replaced by Vibin Mohanan and Parthib Gogoi.
Chennai City FC made a bright start to the game. The first chance of the game fell to them as early as the fourth minute when Mohamed Iqbal was played onto goal. However, Indian Arrows custodian Syed Hussain Bukhari swept off his line to deny them an opener.
Chennai kept attacking in the opening ten minutes and threatened to break the deadline on the 12th with a well-built move. However, Vijay Nagappan’s shot across the goal was tame and easily handled by Bukhari.
The former I-League champions held most of the possession and dominated the early proceedings, while the Arrows looked to hit them on the counter. Arrows got their first chance a little after the quarter-hour mark, when Vibhin Mohanan tried a long ranger, but his shot was always rising.
A minute later, Chennai City came close again to open the scoring as Jishnu’s deflected cross fell to Pasha, who skied his volley.
The game slowed down considerably after these early exchanges. However, Chennai kept on failing to penetrate the Arrows defence as both the teams headed off into the halftime break without a goal.
Chennai City returned in the second half and immediately started to pile pressure and won a corner. Bukhari made his first impactful save as he tipped Suhail Pasha’s header over the bar. Moments later, Iqbal Hussain blasted his volley over the goal.
The Coimbatore-based side kept applying the pressure through, but the final deliveries could not penetrate the Arrows defence. They finally broke the deadlock and the Arrows’ defence in the 63rd minute. Iqbal’s corner was met by Elvedin Skrijelj at the far post, and the Serbian midfielder powered his header into the roof of the net.
Satyasagara’s side almost doubled their lead minutes later, when Bukhari was unable to collect Rajesh’s bouncing shot. However, the danger was cleared by the Arrows defence.
The Arrows made a final push with a range of attacking substitutions, but Satyasagara’s men held them off to win their second game of the season. (ANI)
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CWI announce “Best v Best” West Indies squads in preparation for Sri Lanka Tests
St John’s [Antigua], March 1 (ANI): Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel on Monday named 26 players to participate in a “Best v Best” four-day practice match in preparation for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
The match will be held on March 8-11 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) ahead of the two-Test matches which will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in Antigua.
Several members of the West Indies Test team which beat Bangladesh in the recent series have been named for the match, while other recent Test squad players are participating in the three-match ODI series from March 10-14.
“The ‘Best v Best’ game is firstly part of our preparation for the Test series against Sri Lanka. It gives the players who performed well in the last West Indies Championship an opportunity to showcase their skills, playing against each other, which we expect to be very competitive and put forward a case for themselves. It is a chance to raise their stock and show what they can do,” CWI Lead Selector Roger Harper said in an official release.
“The Test series win in Bangladesh was a real joy to watch. The results were brilliant, but it was the passion, the application, and the determination, as well as the team spirit that were exactly what we wanted to see. It was most encouraging to see everyone pulling together and working hard for each other and enjoying each other’s success. I think the team performed much better than many people thought they were capable of doing. I am really looking forward to seeing the team move forward and build from here,” he added.
SQUAD A: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Derval Green, Keon Harding, Shimron Hetmyer, Kavem Hodge, Paul Palmer Jr, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Preston McSween, Jayden Seales.
SQUAD B: Roston Chase (captain), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Imran Khan, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Nial Smith, Jomel Warrican.
Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel have been rested for this match due to their workload management. The Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka will begin on March 21.
Before the Test series, West Indies and Sri Lanka will be locking horns in three T20Is, beginning March 3. (ANI)
NZ vs Aus: Final T20I shifted to Wellington, to be played behind closed doors
Wellington [New Zealand], March 1 (ANI): New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Monday announced that the final T20I of the five-match series between New Zealand and Australia has been shifted to Wellington from Bay Oval and it will now be going ahead behind closed doors.
The final T20I of the three-match series between New Zealand women (White Ferns) and England women will also be played in Wellington behind closed doors.
“The final BlackCaps v Australia and White Ferns v England T20 double-header, scheduled for the Bay Oval on Sunday March 7, will now be played on the same date and time at Sky Stadium in Wellington. The change has been forced on NZC because of logistical complications arising from the transfer of this Friday’s second double-header from Auckland to Wellington,” the NZC said in an official statement.
The current Alert Level 2 protocols in Wellington mean all three double-headers – on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, will be played behind closed doors,” it added.
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. (ANI)
Premier League: Liverpool break losing jinx, defeat Sheffield United
Sheffield [UK], March 1 (ANI): Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool finally managed to break its losing streak in the Premier League 2020-21 season as the side defeated Sheffield United 2-0 on Monday.
The defending Premier League champions are now at the sixth spot in the standings with 43 points from 26 games and the side is just one point behind fifth-placed Chelsea.
The first-half between Liverpool and Sheffield United saw no goals being scored and the honours were level at the halfway mark.
However, in the second half, Liverpool picked up its intensity and they were immediately rewarded as Curtis Jones got among the scoring sheets to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead.
In the 64th minute, Sheffield’s Kean Bryan registered an own goal and this ended up giving Liverpool a 2-0 lead.
No more goals were registered and as a result, the visitors walked away with a 2-0 victory to end their losing streak in the ongoing premier English football competition.
In the entire match, Liverpool had eight shots on target as compared to two of Sheffield United.
Ball possession was also dominated by Liverpool as they held on to the ball for 61 per cent of the game as compared to Sheffield’s 39 per cent.
Liverpool will next take on Chelsea in the Premier League on Thursday, March 4. (ANI)
HOSTS PUSHING CONDITIONS TO EXTREMITIES, SAYS FOAKES
AHMEDABAD: Amid the debates over the nature of the pitch that was prepared for the pink-ball Test between India and England in Ahmedabad, England wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes on Sunday said that his side knows that the pitch is going to turn from ball one as the hosts are pushing their conditions to the extremities. “Obviously, we got thoroughly outplayed. Those were tricky conditions, but they played well. They have a couple of class spinners and we did not have answers to them so I think going forward, we have to be good enough to counter that to score big runs on the board.
I think we know what we are going to get in the last Test in terms of surface. They are pushing their conditions to the extremities and we know it is going to spin from ball number one, it is about finding a way to play well in those conditions,” said Foakes during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
ROHIT ATTAINS CAREER-BEST ICC RANKING, MOVES TO EIGHTH SPOT
DUBAI: India opener Rohit Sharma has progressed six places to a career-best eighth position in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after a fine performance in the low-scoring third Test against England in Ahmedabad that the home side won by 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin have also made rapid strides while England’s Joe Root and Jack Leach too have moved up after shining with the ball in Ahmedabad. Rohit top-scored in the first innings with 66 and remained unbeaten on 25 in the second to move ahead of compatriot Cheteshwar Pujara among others. His rating points aggregate is 742, 20 more than his best of 722 in October 2019 when he was ranked 10th. In bowling rankings, Ashwin has moved four spots and he now sits at the third spot in the Test rankings.
IF 4TH TEST’S WICKET IS SAME, ICC MUST DOCK POINTS: PANESAR
NEW DELHI: Former England spinner Monty Panesar on Sunday said that the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad did not deserve the Test match as it ended inside two days and added that the International Cricket Council should dock India’s points if the pitch is similar in the fourth Test. In an interaction with ANI, Panesar gave his take on the pitch used in the third Test between India and England and he also opined that ICC should dock points from India if a similar kind of track is produced in the fourth Test which will be played on the same ground. “I think being the biggest stadium in the world, Narendra Modi Stadium deserves longer Test matches because people want to see how good the wicket is, you look at the stadium, beautiful views, and what an amazing stadium India has produced. It does not deserve a two-day Test match that’s under 900 balls, you might just play on a park, if you are going to play this type of cricket,” Panesar said, adding: “I think if the next Test match is the same, then yes, the ICC should dock points.”
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