Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 15 (ANI): Spin spearhead Jack Leach and Moeen Ali picked two wickets as England stole the show before skipper Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin extended India’s lead by 351 runs on day three of the second Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Monday.
At the lunch break, India’s score reads 156/6 with Kohli and Ashwin unbeaten on 38 and 34 runs respectively. The duo managed to stitch a fifty-run partnership before lunch. The first session saw five wickets falling and 102 runs being scored from 30 overs.
It was a dream start for England as India lost five wickets in the first session on the back of some fine glove work by birthday boy Ben Foakes. The wicket-keeper stumped Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant and completed an unfortunate run out of Cheteshwar Pujara
Resuming day three from 54/1, India got off to the worst possible start as the hosts lost both Rohit and Cheteshwar in the first 15 minutes.
While Pujara lost the grip on his bat and failed to ground it on time, Rohit got stumped off Leach’s ball courtesy of some quick glove work by Foakes.
Pant was sent up the order after the fall of two wickets but he too failed to leave a mark. Foakes stumped Pant as Leach scalped his second for the day.
Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Virat Kohli then started to rebuild India’s innings with a couple of boundaries. But Moeen Ali struck his first for the day as he dismissed Rahane to leave hosts reeling at 86/5 in the 31st over.
Just when a partnership was flourishing between Axar Patel and Kohli, Moeen got his second scalp of the day as the all-rounder departed after hosts extended their lead to 301 runs. Kohli and Ashwin then ensured England doesn’t make any further inroads before the concluding minutes of the first session on day three.
Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin’s five-wicket haul was the highlight of the second day of the second Test as it helped India end England’s first innings on 134 runs before the hosts began to extend their lead over the visitors on Sunday.
India witnessed a good start to their second innings, with Rohit and Shubman Gill scoring regular boundaries. Leach provided England with the first breakthrough as he got hold of Gill (14) in the 12th over.
Brief scores: India 329 and 156/6 (Virat Kohli 38*, Ravichandran Ashwin 34*; Jack Leach 3/63), England 134 (Ben Foakes 42*, Ollie Pope 22, Ashwin 5/43) (ANI)
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Will never shut up about things that are wrong: LeBron fires back at Zlatan
New York [USA], February 27 (ANI): Los Angeles Lakers’ forward LeBron James on Saturday fired back at AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s comment that athletes like him should not comment much about politics, rather they should stick to talking about the sport.
Earlier, Zlatan had also said that athletes like LeBron James sometimes end up taking advantage of their status.
“I will never shut up about things that are wrong. I preach about my people and I preach about equality. Social injustice, racism, systematic voter suppression, things that go on in our community,” Goal.com quoted LeBron James as saying.
“I was part of my community, I’ve seen the things that are going on. I have a group of 300-plus kids in my school that are going through the same thing and they need a voice. I am their voice and I use my platform to shed light on things that are going on, not only in my community but around this country and around the world,” he added.
Earlier, Zlatan had advised LeBron to just stick to basketball and talk about what he’s good at, rather than going out of his way to talk about politics.
“LeBron is phenomenal at what he’s doing, but I don’t like it when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time,” Ibrahimovic told Discovery+ in Sweden, as reported by Goal.com.
“Do what you’re good at. Do the category you do. I play football because I’m the best at playing football. I don’t do politics. If I would be a political politician, I would do politics. That is the first mistake people do when they become famous and they become in a certain status. Stay out of it. Just do what you do best because it doesn’t look good,” he added.
However, LeBron has said that he does his homework before commenting on issues that are hampering the world.
“It’s funny that he’s (Ibrahimovic) said that because I believe back in 2018 he’s the same guy who said that when he was back in Sweden, he was talking about the same things. Because his last name wasn’t a certain last name, he felt like there was some racism going on while he was out on the pitch… right. He did say that, right? Yeah. I thought he said that. I speak from a very educated mind. I’m the wrong guy to go at because I do my homework,” said LeBron James.
LeBron James has been vocal in his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and he has always thrown his support towards bringing equality in the world. (ANI)
You are one step closer to ultimate dream: Shami congratulates brother Kaif
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Pacer Mohammed Shami on Saturday congratulated his brother Mohammed Kaif for making his debut in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Kaif made his debut for Bengal in the match against Jammu and Kashmir in Kolkata.
“Congratulations to my brother on your Vijay Hazare Trophy debut. We have waited for this moment. You are one step closer to the ultimate dream. Keep working hard,” tweeted Shami.
Kaif had played a few club matches before representing Bengal’s senior side. He was also named in Bengal’s squad for the Syed Mushtaq Trophy which was played in January this year.
On the other hand, Shami is currently recovering from a hand injury that he suffered in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide in December 2020. The pacer missed the ongoing series against England and he has also been rested for the T20I series against the Three Lions.
India had defeated England by ten wickets in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium to gain a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
England is 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 is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)
Keyboard warriors should get a bloody life: Finch’s wife hits back at trolls after receiving threats
Melbourne [Australia], February 27 (ANI): Aaron Finch’s wife Amy has fired back at online trolls who targeted the couple following Australia skipper dearth of runs in recent games.
Finch has witnessed a slump in form during the recent outings in the shortest format of the game. The white-ball skipper scored a paltry 12 during Australia’s chase of a mammoth total on Thursday in the second T20I against New Zealand.
Moreover, Finch has scored 495 runs at an average of 17.06 in his last 29 T20 outings across the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL), and international cricket.
Owing to Finch’s poor show with the bat, his wife Amy allegedly received threats of sexual assault on her social media. She decided to hit back and slammed the trollers via social media post (now deleted) saying,” Part of me doesn’t want to give this individual the satisfaction of a response, but this kind of crap happens far too often!
“I don’t appreciate it, neither does my husband who is battling and doing everything he possibly can to get back into the runs,” she said while responding to the vile attacks.
“Honestly, these keyboard warriors need to go get a bloody life. This isn’t even one of the worst that has come my way but I’ve had enough!” the cricketer’s wife added.
Following an unsuccessful chase in the second T20I against New Zealand, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis came out in support of skipper Finch.
Stoinis, who almost got Australia over the line with his sensational knock in the second T20I, voiced his support for the skipper citing the key role Finch can play in the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in India later this year.
“There’s just full confidence that he’s going to perform for us and, personally, all I can see is a long-term picture because come the World Cup, we need him firing,” cricket.com.au quoted Stoinis as saying.
“He’s arguably the best Twenty20 batter in the world over a long period of time. His record’s so good and he’s our captain, so maybe that’s what’s going on off-field but in our heads we just trust him,” he added.
Stoinis highlighted how Finch didn’t have a good Indian Premier League (IPL) season last year but wasn’t short of runs when it came to scoring in ODIs against India.
“The same thing happened when he came back from IPL. He didn’t have the IPL he wanted but then he came and made hundred after hundred in the one-dayers,” said Stoinis.
“I think that’s just the game of cricket, you’ve got to ride out these sorts of things and I think it’s important that, as a team, he feels backed,” he added.
The third T20I between New Zealand and Australia is slated to be played on March 3. (ANI)
NZ vs Aus: Third and fourth T20I to be played behind closed doors
Wellington [New Zealand], February 27 (ANI): The upcoming third and fourth T20Is between New Zealand and Australia will be played behind closed doors, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Saturday.
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.
The decision regarding the fifth T20I between New Zealand and Australia and the third T20I between White Ferns and England will be taken later on.
“Double-headers (inc WHITE FERNS v ENG T20) to go ahead in Wellington on Wednesday, March 3, as planned — but behind closed doors. Double-headers scheduled for Auckland on Friday, March 5, now to be played in Wellington, also without crowds,” NZC said in an official statement.
“Double-headers scheduled for Tauranga on Sunday, March 7 to go ahead — will wait for Government advice re crowds. All ticket holders to receive full refunds,” it added.
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.
Earlier, the T20I matches were set to be played in Auckland, but as per the new guidelines, the matches have now been 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)
Yusuf Pathan, Sanath Jayasuriya to feature in Road Safety World Series
Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 27 (ANI): All-rounder Yusuf Pathan, wicket-keeper batsman Naman Ojha and pacer Vinay Kumar will feature in the India Legends team in the upcoming Road Safety World Series scheduled to start at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur from March 5.
While Yusuf and Vinay announced their retirement from cricket on Friday, Naman had hung up his boots earlier this month. Vinay played one Test, 31 ODIs, and 9 T20Is for India while Yusuf featured in 57 ODIs, 22 T20Is, and was a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning squad and the 2011 50-over World Cup squad.
On the other hand, Naman had made his international debut for India in 2010, but he played just one ODI for the Men in Blue. In the same year, Ojha went on to play his first T20I for India.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Legends have also included Sanath Jayasuriya, Russel Arnold, and Upul Tharanga in their team led by Tillakaratne Dilshan.
India Legends play their first match against Bangladesh Legends on March 5 and Sri Lanka Legends start their campaign against West Indies Legends on March 6.
England legends will open their account against Bangladesh on March 7 while India will take on the English side in their second match on March 9
The semi-finals of the tournament is slated for March 17 and 19 while the final will be held on March 21. All the matches will start at 7:00 p.m.
The Road Safety World Series is an initiative by Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra in association with Professional Management Group (PMG) spearheaded by Sunil Gavaskar as the Commissioner of the Series and Sachin Tendulkar is the brand ambassador of the league.
Education technology platform Unacademy is the title sponsor and Viacom18 is the broadcast partner of the league.
The first edition of the series had to be called off after four games on March 11 last year due to the Covid-19 situation worldwide. (ANI)
India name ODI and T20I squad for series against South Africa women
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): The All-India women’s selection committee on Saturday announced the squads for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against South Africa.
India and South Africa will lock horns in a five-match ODI series before they face each other in three T20Is in March. The ODI series will begin from March 7 while the T20I series will be played from March 20 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia, and Shikha Pandey aren’t part of the squad while C. Pratyusha, Yastika Bhatia, Ayushi Soni, Swetha Verma, Monica Patel, and Simran Dil Bahadur have earned their maiden call-ups.
Veteran cricketer Mithali Raj will lead India in the ODIs while star batter Harmanpreet Kaur will captain the hosts in the T20I series against South Africa.
While Sushma Verma has been picked up as the wicket-keeper for both the series, Swetha and Nuzhat Parveen will give her company in ODIs and T20Is respectively.
Team India will undergo a full fledge training session on March 6 before they play their first international match after almost a year. While there is a gap between all the ODIs, the first two T20Is will be played on consecutive days.
The Indian women’s cricket team last played cricket during the Women’s T20 Challenge in November 2020 while their last international match was on March 8, 2020, when they faced Australia in the T20 World Cup final.
Australia defeated India in the final of the mega event to secure a fifth title on home soil. The hosts beat India by 85 runs at the MCG on the back of Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney’s sensational batting performances.
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
India Women’s T20I squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur (ANI)
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