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IND VS AUS: INDIA DOWN & UNDER IN AUSTRALIA

Aaron Finch and boys defeat Virat Kohli’s Team India by 51 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead as Steve Smith plays a knock of 104 runs while David Warner hits 83 runs.

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INDIA DOWN & UNDER IN AUSTRALIA

Australia displayed an all-round performance to outclass India by 51 runs in the second ODI of the three-match series on Sunday here at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

With this win, Australia has gained a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three-match series.

Indian bowlers were once again made to toil hard and as a result, the hosts posted a big total of 389/4. Steve Smith played a knock of 104 runs while David Warner hit 83 runs. Glenn Maxwell and Marnus Labuschagne also got among the runs for Australia.

In reply, it was only Virat Kohli (89) and K.L. Rahul (76) who could salvage some pride with the bat in hand. In the end, Australia wrapped up an easy win. Chasing 390, Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan provided a good start to India as the duo put on 58 runs inside the first eight overs. However, in trying to hit a big shot, Dhawan (30) ended up giving his wicket away to Josh Hazlewood. In the very next over, Pat Cummins sent Agarwal (28) back to the pavilion, reducing India to 60/2 in the ninth over.

Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli then retrieved the innings for India as the duo put on runs for the third wicket. But as soon as the hosts started to gain an upper hand, Moises Henriques dismissed Iyer (38) in the 24th over. Virat Kohli was looking all set for his century, but Henriques came up with a special catch off the bowling of Hazlewood to send the Indian skipper back to the pavilion, and this reduced India to 225/4 in the 35th over.

Rahul (76), Hardik Pandya (28), and Ravindra Jadeja (24) tried their best to give India some hope in the match, but in the end, the task proved too much for the side and they had to succumb to a 51-run defeat.

Earlier, Steve Smith and David Warner played knocks of 104 and 83 respectively as Australia posted a total of 389/4 against India. Opting to bat first, Australia once again got off to a flier as Warner and Aaron Finch hammered the Indian bowlers all around the park. Both batters went past their 50-run mark and the duo stitched together a partnership of more than 100 runs for the third consecutive time in ODI cricket.

The duo went on to form a partnership of 142 runs and it was Mohammad Shami who finally ended Finch’s (60) stint at the crease in the 23rd over. Soon after, Warner (83) was also sent back to the pavilion via a run-out in the 26th over, and this reduced Australia to 156/2.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith got together at the crease and the duo ensured that the side does not more wickets in a cluster. Smith brought up his century in the 41st over of the innings. This was Smith’s second consecutive century against India. However, Smith (104) was sent back to the pavilion in the 42nd over by Hardik Pandya and this brought an end to a 136-run stand between Smith and Labuschagne.

In the final eight overs, Labuschagne and Maxwell added 93 more runs to Australia’s total and as a result, the side posted a total of more than the 380-run mark. Labuschagne was dismissed after playing a knock of 70 runs while Maxwell remained unbeaten on 63.

Brief Scores: Australia 389/4 (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83, Hardik Pandya 1-24) defeat India 338/9 (Virat Kohli 89, KL Rahul 76, Pat Cummins 3-67) by 51 runs.

Steve Smith celebrates his century during the second ODI match between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. ANI

David Warner and Aaron Finch during the Second ODI match between India and Australia, in Sydney on Sunday. ANI

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ISL 7: NorthEast United defended really well, says Kerala Blasters coach

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Vasco (Goa) [India], February 27 (ANI): Kerala Blasters FC interim head coach Ishfaq Ahmed didn’t shy away from praising the strong defence of NorthEast United FC after his side ended the season with a defeat.
NorthEast United sealed their playoff berth following their 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan, on Friday.
Though NorthEast was clearly the better side in the first session, Kerala Blasters did have their chances. But the Highlanders’ defense stood strong.
Ishfaq praised Highlanders’ midfielder Khassa Camara and expressed disappointment on ending the season on a losing note.
“The players wanted to sign off with a good feeling. But we have to give credit to NorthEast also, they defended really well, I thought their defensive midfielder Khassa Camara was amazing,” said Ishfaq at the post-match press conference.
The interim coach also pointed out how Kerala Blasters have been conceding goals right after the water breaks. Ishfaq said the lack of concentration during the match is one of the reasons the Kerala-based club has not been able to win games.
“We conceded immediately after the water break but that has been our story [this season]. Not just water breaks but even when we’ve been playing good football, one [moment of] lack of concentration or not paying attention to small details and we concede,” said Ishfaq.
“We were dominating in the [first half] and we created two good chances from set-pieces. [Bakary] Kone missed a clear goal and then the water break happened and we switched off for a second and conceded the goal,” he added. (ANI)

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Sports Ministry restores recognition of Gymnastics Federation of India

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided to restore the recognition of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) as a National Sports Federation (NSF).
In a letter to the GFI president, the Sports Ministry mentioned that the elections of two office bearers — Sudhir Mittal (President) and Kaushik Bidiwala (Treasurer) — for the term 2019- 2023 have been taken on record of the Ministry.
The letter also mentioned that the decision on the acceptance of the election of S Shanti Kumar Singh as general secretary will be taken after Manipur High Court’s judgment in the writ petition filed by S Shanti Kumar Singh. Further, the election of Parmeshwar Prajapat as executive Member will be accepted by the Department subject to verification of NOC and other facts from his employer.
“Upon consideration of the entire matter. it has also been decided to restore the recognition of GFI with immediate effect, upto 31.12.2021,” the letter read in order to promote and development of sports of gymnastics in the country.
“It has been noticed that constitution, MoA of the GFI needs to be aligned with the provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 (Sports Code) Accordingly, the Federation is required to make categorical affirmation of the provisions of the Sports Code in its constitution withal 6 months so as to bring the same fully in line with the Sports Code,” it added.
The Sports Ministry said the office bearers of the federation shall invariably be appointed by election as per the Model Election Guidelines issued by the Ministry.
The GFI shall also give at least two months advance notice to the Government for any change in its constitution and a copy of the proposed changes should be sent along with the notice.
The Sports Ministry also warned that the recognition may be withdrawn if any of the terms and conditions of the recognitions are violated or its own constitution is violated. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Chris Woakes flies home from Test tour

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 27 (ANI): All-rounder Chris Woakes will not be available for selection in the playing XI for the fourth and final Test between England and India as he has left the tour for his pre-planned break.
According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, Woakes left England’s bio-secure bubble on Thursday to fly back home.
The 31-year-old cricketer named in England squad for South Africa, Sri Lanka, and India series but wasn’t picked in the playing XI in any of the tours.
Jos Buttler played the first Test and then he was back home while all-rounder Moeen Ali did the same after playing the second game.
Earlier Jonny Bairstow was rested for the first two Tests while premier pacer James Anderson missed the second game even after England emerged victorious in the opening game.
This is all a part of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) rotation policy. And now Woakes has returned home to be with his wife two young daughters.
In the third Test, India defeated England within two days to seal the pink-ball game quite comprehensively. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that didn’t turn and skidded through from the spinners.
England head coach Chris Silverwood on Friday said that his side expected the pitch in the third Test against India to hold on a little longer than it did at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
“First and foremost, it’s just a follow-up from what Joe Root said yesterday, he got 5/8 yesterday but at the same time, whatever the pitch did or it didn’t do, India ultimately played better than us on that surface, probably they pushed us to the extremes which our players haven’t experienced before,” said Silverwood in a virtual press conference on Friday.
Meanwhile, England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, are out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India needs to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who are in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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Tiger Woods in ‘good spirits’ after successful follow-up procedures

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Los Angeles [USA], February 27 (ANI): Golf legend Tiger Woods, who was involved in a single-car accident, is recovering after receiving additional procedures at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Woods had suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity but the golf superstar is now in “good spirits” after the treatment.
“Tiger has moved to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and received follow-up procedures on his injuries this morning. The procedures were successful, and he is now recovering and in good spirits,” a statement read from Tiger Woods Twitter account.
“Tiger and his family want to thank you all for the wonderful support and messages they have received over the past few days. We will not have any further updates at this time. Thank you for your continued privacy,” it added.

Earlier this week, in a statement released on Woods’ Twitter account, Anish Mahajan, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, informed about the extent of injuries suffered by the golfer.
“Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopaedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center. Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia,” the statement quoted Mahajan as saying.
“Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling,” it added.
Woods was injured after the car he was driving met with an accident in Los Angeles County on Tuesday. (ANI)

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Chris Gayle, Fidel Edwards recalled to West Indies’ T20I squad for Sri Lanka series

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St John’s [Antigua], February 27 (ANI): Star batsman Chris Gayle will return to play for West Indies for the first time in two years while pacer Fidel Edwards has been included in the squad after nine years.
Edwards, who last played an international game in 2012, and Gayle were named in the West Indies squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair earned his first West Indies selection and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein gets his first T20I call-up after being named in the squad.
“As we build towards the defence of the T20 World Cup, the opportunity is being taken to determine our best team and squad as we go forward,” Cricket West Indies (CWI) lead selector Roger Harper said in an official statement.
“Chris Gayle has performed very well in recent tournaments and the selection panel thinks that he can still add great value to our team. Fidel Edwards has been selected to give the bowling the potent firepower needed,” he added.
West Indies also named the ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series and Test skipper Jason Holder has been included in both white-ball segments. The three T20I matches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, while the ODI series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua on March 10, 12, and 14.
“Jason Holder has shown his all-round value in this format in recent times and after missing a few series he will add depth and experience to the squad. Akeal Hosein performed very well in Bangladesh [ODI Series] and had excellent stats in the CPL so this is an opportunity to see how he equips himself in this format,” said Harper.
“Kevin Sinclair grabbed our attention in the Super50 Cup back in 2019 and has been consistently economical in the last CPL and the current CG Insurance Super50. He will provide an off-spinning option for the team,” he added.
All-rounder Andre Russell is still recovering from contracting COVID-19 earlier this month, and despite testing negative over a week ago was ruled out of the T20Is by the CWI Medical Panel whilst he completes his “return to play” protocols.
Fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas, along with batsman Shimron Hetmyer, and all-rounder Roston Chase all failed to reach the minimum fitness standard in time for selection consideration. They will all remain in Antigua after the CGI Insurance Super50 Cup to work on their fitness and conditioning. (ANI)

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PSL 6: Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz shine as Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by 3 wickets

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Karachi [Pakistan], February 27 (ANI): Late onslaught from Sherfane Rutherford and Wahab Riaz guided Peshawar Zalmi to a thrilling three-wicket win over Quetta Gladiators in the PSL 6 on Friday.
Chasing a huge 199 to win, Zalmi found themselves struggling at 145 for five in 15.5 overs and required 54 from 25 balls when Wahab joined Rutherford.
Both batsmen took bowlers to the cleaners and collected 44 runs in the next three overs to bring down the equation to only six required off the last over.
Mohammad Hasnain got Wahab (20 off 8) on the first ball of the last over but bowled a wide full toss away from the keeper which cost the team five runs, and eventually, Rutherford played the winning shot hand Zalmi their second win of the season with three balls spare.
Rutherford remained unbeaten on 36 off 18 balls, which included one four and four towering sixes.
Zalmi’s run chase got off to a wobbly start as they lost experienced Kamran Akmal (3 off 8) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (4 off 4) in the first four overs for 27.
It was Haider Ali’s sizzling half-century that helped Zalmi stage a comeback and set the platform for his team to surmount the mammoth total. The 20-year-old smashed 50 off 29.
Undeterred by the fall of wickets, Haider timed his first ball for a four behind point and smashed his third for a gigantic six down the ground off Hasnain’s full-toss.
He accumulated 17 runs off Usman Shinwari in the 13th over, dispatching the left-arm pacer for a boundary through cover and a six over deep long-on before an inside edge of his bat went for four.
The youngsters spanked as many as five fours and two sixes and received the desired support from opener Imam-ul-Haq from the other end as the pair knitted a crucial 51-run partnership.
Imam was bowled by leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood for 41 off 30 balls. His innings included four fours and a six.
Haider, then, was joined by experienced Shoaib Malik with the side still required another 120 runs from 64 balls.
Haider brought up his second half century of his HBL PSL career off 28 balls and was caught off Dale Steyn on the next. Steyn, playing his first match of the season, took two wickets for 44 in four overs.
Following Zalmi captain Wahab’s decision to field, the crowd at the National Stadium was treated with sumptuous stroke play by Gladiators’ captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who scored his fourth HBL PSL half-century, and young hard-hitting batsman Azam Khan after they accumulated runs at seven an over in the batting powerplay.
Openers Cameron Delport (2 off 5) and Saim Ayub (21 off 19) were back in the pavilion in the seventh over with 48 runs on the board.
Faf du Plessis, who has come in as a partial replacement for Chris Gayle, was joined by Sarfaraz, who smashed 12 fours and a six in his impressive 40-ball 81, and the pair contributed 40 runs for the third wicket, before du Plessis fell to his former teammate Wahab for 37. The former South Africa captain struck four fours and a six in his 26-ball innings.
Azam Khan, coming to bat at number five, smashed bowlers all around the dial and struck a 105-run stand for the fourth wicket with his captain. Azam scored 47 off 26 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes – one of them landing on the roof of the stadium.
Saqib Mahmood was the pick of the bowlers for Peshawar Zalmi, taking three for 34. Gladiators have played three matches in the ongoing season and are yet to open their account.
Brief Scores: Quetta Gladiators 198/7 (Sarfaraz Ahmed 81, Azam Khan 47; Saqib Mahmood 3-34); Peshawar Zalmi 202/7 (Haider Ali 50, Imam-ul-Haq 41; Dale Steyn 2-44) (ANI)

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