Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 16 (ANI): After taking a five-wicket haul in his debut Test match against England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, India all-rounder Axar Patel said that variation in speed helped him to get better of English batters on the spin-heavy pitch.
Indian bowlers produced a sublime performance on day four as England only managed to score 164 runs in their second innings. Patel returned with the figures of 5-60 during England’s second innings while Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav scalped three and two wickets respectively.
Patel bagged a total of seven wickets in the game including two scalps in the first innings.
“It was a good experience, to get a five-wicket haul on debut is special. As Kuldeep said, there was much happening on the pitch. It was about varying your speed and I just kept doing it. Forced the batsman to make mistakes. On the first day itself, it was turning. So, we bowled tight lines and got the rewards,” Patel told host broadcaster Star Sports after the conclusion of the second Test.
Ashwin took an eight-wicket haul in the second Test, along with his 106-run knock in the second innings as India registered an emphatic 317-run win on Tuesday. India levelled the four-match Test series 1-1.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship after completing an impressive victory over England in the second Test to draw level in the four-match series.
The victory has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India. (ANI)
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Swiss Open: Srikanth beats Sameer Verma to get off to winning start
Basel [Switzerland], March 3 (ANI): Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth defeated compatriot Sameer Verma in the first round of the ongoing Swiss Open here on Wednesday. Srikanth secured an 18-21, 21-18, 21-11 win over Verma to progress to the next round of the tournament.
In the first game, Sameer played really well and took a 5-1 lead over Srikanth. Sameer maintained his lead throughout the game, winning the set 21-18.
Kidambi shifted gear after losing the first game and went on to win the next two games. While Sameer gave tough competition to Srikanth in the second game, the latter completely dominated the third game. The match lasted for 61 minutes.
On Tuesday, Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa started their campaign on a high as they outclassed second-seeded Indonesian pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the first round of the Swiss Open.
Rankiredddy and Ponnappa defeated the World No. 8 pair in straight games 21-18, 21-10 in the encounter that lasted for 38 minutes. The first game saw a high competition between both sides but the Indian pair stood up strong in the closing stages of the set to claim the game 21-18.
It was one-way in the second game as Rankireddy and Ponnappa did not give any chance to the Indonesian pair to make comeback in the match. However, Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy were ousted on Tuesday by third-seeded pair of Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England 21-18, 21-15 in 39 minutes. (ANI)
Agar scalps six as Australia thrash New Zealand in 3rd T20I
Wellington [New Zealand], March 3 (ANI): Skipper Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell smashed half centuries before Ashton Agar spun a web over the Kiwi batsmen to steer Australia to a 64-run win over New Zealand in the third T20I on Wednesday.
New Zealand was 109/3 at one stage, but Agar wreaked havoc and picked six wickets to bundle out the hosts for 144. Agar turned the game in Australia’s favour with three wickets in the 13th over. New Zealand now lead the five-match series 2-1.
For James Neesham it was an unforgettable night as he not only went wicketless, but also leaked runs at an economy rate of 15. The all-rounder was also dismissed for a golden duck despite coming in the game on the back of a stellar performance in the second T20I.
Chasing a mammoth 209, New Zealand got off to a bad start as they lost opener Tim Seifert in the second over. Debutant Riley Meredith conceded a six and a four in his first over, but took a wicket off the last ball.
Martin Guptill continued from where he left the other night but Meredith again stole the show when he dismissed skipper Kane Williamson in his second over.
However, New Zealand seemed well on track as the hosts ended the powerplay with 59 runs on board. In the ninth over, Adam Zampa got the wicket of the dangerous Guptill.
Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips then played risk-free cricket to ensure the hosts didn’t suffer any more hiccups during the chase. Just when their partnership started flourishing, Agar put Australia in control by dismissing both batsmen in the same over.
The left-arm spinner then dismissed Neesham for a golden duck to end New Zealand’s hopes of winning the game. Agar kept accounting for wickets to record best figures as New Zealand folded for 144.
Earlier, Australia had posted 208/4 from their 20 overs courtesy half-centuries from Finch and Maxwell, and a quickfire 43 from Josh Philippe
If Maxwell smashed 28 runs off a Neesham over, it was a welcome return to form for skipper Finch as had faced the wrath of former cricketers in the last few weeks.
Brief Scores: Australia 208/4 (Glenn Maxwell 70, Aaron Finch 69; Ish Sodhi 2-32); New Zealand 144 (Martin Guptill 43, Devon Conway 38; Ashton Agar 6-30) (ANI)
For teams like us, it is just a distraction when you start thinking of WTC: Kohli
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 3 (ANI): Ahead of the fourth and final Test of the series against England, India skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday said the World Test Championship (WTC) is a distraction for them as the team is already motivated enough to play Test cricket or any form of the game.
The fourth Test is decisive for the hosts as it would take them to the WTC final. India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the third Test and took the 2-1 lead in the series.
India only need to draw the final Test against Joe Root’s men in order to seal a spot in the WTC final. Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped 11 wickets in the day-night Test to spin a web over the Englishmen.
“To be brutally honest it (WTC) might work for teams that are not motivated enough to play Test cricket. Teams like us who are motivated to play Test cricket and want to win Test matches and keep the Indian cricket team at the top of the world in Test cricket we have no issues whatsoever whether it is WTC or not,” Kohli said in a virtual press conference.
“I think for teams like us, it is just a distraction when you start thinking of WTC. Eventually, it is only a game of cricket. World Cup final, semifinal anything you take it is the game of cricket at the end of the day. And if you are not motivated to play a normal game of cricket and extra motivated to play a game of cricket which has some incentive to it for me, as an individual that is unacceptable. We as a team have never played with that mindset. For us any game is important, we are going to go for result whenever an opportunity presents itself that’s why people want to watch us as a team now,” he added.
When asked if spinner Kuldeep Yadav has fallen down in the pecking order, the skipper replied: “There is no issue with skill, there is no issue with headspace. His game is absolutely precise, bowling better than he has ever bowled before. We need to make sure that we cover all facets of the game, we have our strongest balanced squad on the park. See if Jadeja is playing and you are talking about the third spinner then Kuldeep comes into the picture way more because of Jadeja’s experience with the bat and the number of times he has done the job for the team. Right now, we are going in with Ashwin. Washi is playing, Axar is playing. Washi has scored few runs so yes they can contribute with the bat, but it is not same experience as Jadeja.
“So, the combination becomes very different when Jadeja comes. You can play Kuldeep who is primarily a wrist spinning bowler but it’s all about the combinations. He will always be in consideration to play whatever game is in front of us purely because of his skill with the ball,” he added.
The fourth Test of the series will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium from Thursday. (ANI)
NRAI to discuss Sports Code, banned shooters in General Body meeting
By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will discuss the Sports Code and also the banned shooters in its general body meeting, scheduled to take place on Friday.
“It’s a very important meeting because we are going to discuss some important issues… The agenda is to discuss Sports Code. We want to have a detailed discussion over the Sports Code as it is important to understand the aspects. As of now, I can say that Sports Code is the main topic of this meeting. Apart from Sports Code, there will be a discussion on banned shooters as well,” a source in the association told ANI.
Last month, NRAI President Raninder Singh had said that he would be persuading the General Body of the National Federation to stay the decision taken by the Governing Body to ban certain shooters from the next Nationals for disciplinary reasons.
Invoking powers vested on him as President, Raninder, in a statement, had said: “It has always been our endeavor to act in the best interests of our sport and our shooters. As such, no one is as pained as us when at times severe action is needed to be taken on anyone belonging to the shooting fraternity, most of all, on our dear shooters.
“I received several requests from the parents and the affected shooters themselves on the recent decision taken by the Governing Body. As such I have decided to refer the decision to the General Body, scheduled to meet early next month, and persuade them to not implement the said decision. However, this will certainly be a one-off, and any such disciplinary breach, will not be tolerated in the future,” he had added.
The Governing Body of the NRAI had banned as many as 15 shooters from taking part in the next Nationals, for breach of discipline. They are: Sriharsha R. Devaraddi, Keshav Sharma, Vikram Singh Bhati, Imroz Ahmed, Pratyush Aman Barik, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, Tarun Kumar Dahiya, Meenal Yadav, Tejpreet Kaur Oberoi, Dilpreet Singh, Rajeev Ranjan, Visnu Shivraj Pandian, Krishan Kumar, Jyothi H Sannakki, and Ishank Ahuja. (ANI)
Mary Kom appointed as chairperson of AIBA champions and veterans committee
Lausanne [Switzerland], March 3 (ANI): Six-time world champion pugilist Mary Kom has been appointed as the chairperson of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) champions and veterans committee.
“With great pleasure I inform you that you have been selected to serve as the chairperson of the AIBA Champions and Veteran Committee following the mail vote by the board of directors of AIBA,” AIBA President Umar Kremlev said in a letter to the 2012 Olympic bronze-medallist.
“I am confident with your vast knowledge and experience you will make a valuable contribution to the success of this important committee,” he added.
The committee, formed in December last year, “consists of most respected worldwide boxing veterans and champions who have achieved significant results and who are ready to share their experience.”
Mary Kom thanked AIBA president and said she will give her best at the position.
Taking to Twitter, Mary Kom wrote, “Thank you so much @Kremlev_U @AIBA_Boxing President and all boxing family for giving me the new assignment. I will give my best and put my voice for the upliftments of @AIBA_Boxing @BFI_official @Media_SAI.”
Mary Kom and Amit Panghal are part of 12 Indian boxers who would need just one win to secure a medal at the Boxam International Tournament in Spain after they drew themselves in the quarter-finals.
The draw for the event was unveiled on Tuesday and it would see six-time world champion Mary Kom clash against Italy’s Giordana Sorrentino in the 51kg category of the tournament. (ANI)
ICC T20I Rankings: KL Rahul firm at second spot, Kohli moves to sixth
Dubai [UAE], March 3 (ANI): New Zealand left-hander Devon Conway and opener Martin Guptill may have missed out on centuries in the first two T20Is of their home series against Australia, but the duo made significant gains in the latest ICC men’s T20I rankings. India batsman KL Rahul has retained his second spot in the batsmen rankings while skipper Virat Kohli has moved one spot to attain the sixth spot.
Conway’s 99 not out in the Christchurch opener has helped him gain 46 spots and reach 17th position after just eight matches while Guptill, who has reached as high as second in the past, has gained three slots to reach 11th position after his knock of 97 in Dunedin.
In what is a chance for both sides to prepare for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India, New Zealand took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and had some other fine performances too that resulted in significant gains for their players.
Glenn Philips and Jimmy Neesham have moved up in the list for batsmen while Tim Southee (up to one place to sixth), Mitchell Santner (up to two places to seventh), Ish Sodhi (up to three places to 11th), and Trent Boult (up 24 places to 49th) have progressed in the bowlers’ list.
For Australia, Marcus Stoinis’s knock of 78 in the second match sees him gain 77 places to reach 110th position. Matthew Wade (up from 132nd to 118th) among batsmen and Jhye Richardson (re-entered at 115th) among bowlers are the others to gain from the mid-series update as per the new system which sees a weekly update for all women’s player rankings on Tuesday and those for men on Wednesday. (ANI)
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