It reminded me a little bit of Flintoff: Root hails Anderson's spell - The Daily Guardian
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It reminded me a little bit of Flintoff: Root hails Anderson’s spell

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 9 (ANI): England skipper Joe Root on Tuesday heaped praise on James Anderson and said the pacer’s amazing spell reminded him a little of Andrew Flintoff’s heroics in 2005.
Anderson, in the 27th over, bowled brilliantly and picked the wickets of Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane. He finished with the figures of 3/17 during India’s second innings.
England won the first Test against India by 227 runs here on Tuesday.
“It reminded me a little bit of Flintoff in ’05 and the impact of that over to Ponting and Langer, but in the context of this game it was huge,” Root said in the post-match press conference.
“When you are looking around, in big moments in Test matches, naturally you expect that from him and the likes of Ben Stokes, coming on and taking the wicket of Virat Kohli. Big-game players stand up and do special things. It is a great example for young guys around,” he added.
Back in 2005, Flintoff’s fiery spell had helped England defeat Australia by 2 runs in Edgbaston. The former player had picked the wickets of Langer and Ponting in the 13th over. Flintoff had finished with the figures of 4/79 during Australia’s second innings.
England’s winning start against India in their ICC World Test Championship series has kept alive the visiting side’s hopes of making the final of the nine-team competition.
The victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted England to first place and 70.2 percentage points on the points table and they’ve improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favour that could see them through to the final – 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.
New Zealand has already qualified for the final winning 70.0 per cent of their matches (with no other series scheduled) while India and Australia remain in contention for the other place along with England. (ANI)

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Guptill’s blitzkreig knock guides NZ to a win

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Marcus Stoinis’ 78 off 37 balls and Daniel Sams’ 41 off 15 balls weren’t enough to help Australia secure a win as New Zealand emerged victorious in the second T20I by four runs on Thursday.

With this thrilling win, New Zealand has taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series. Martin Guptill returned to form with a sensational knock while James Neesham slammed 45 off 16 balls before Stoinis and Daniel almost got Australia over the line. Neesham dismissed both Stoinis and Daniel in the final over to help New Zealand secure a win in the second T20I. For the Kiwis, Mitchell Santner picked four, Neesham struck two while Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi picked a wicket each.

Chasing a mammoth 220, Australia got off to a good start as the visitors smashed 33 runs from the first three overs. But Southee removed Matthew Wade in the fourth over to put a break on Australia’s chase.

But the visitors continued to bat freely and seven overs into the chase, Australia was 64/1 before Sodhi dismissed skipper Finch on the last ball of the eight over.

After the Finch’s dismissal, Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was soon found reeling at 113/6 before Stoinis and Daniel came out firing on cylinders. The duo stitched a 92-run stand for the seventh wicket in just 37 balls but New Zealand held their nerve in the final over to prevail

Earlier put in to bat first, New Zealand got off to a bad start as Kane Richardson struck with his first ball to dismiss Tim Seifert in the fourth over.

However, Guptill was in altogether a different mood on Thursday as he raced off to 37 in 23 balls to announce his return to form in style. New Zealand scored 45 runs in the first six overs with Guptill alone accounting for 37 of those. Guptill continued his scintillating batting and notched up his half-century in just 27 balls. A few blistering shots and the right-handed batsman moved to 70 off 37 balls as New Zealand went past the 100-run mark in the 11 overs.

With Guptill’s 97 (50) and Neesham’s quickfire 45* (16), New Zealand ended the innings with 219 runs in the allot-ted 20 overs.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 219/7 (Martin Guptill 97, James Neesham 45*; Kane Richardson 3-43); Austral-ia 215/8 (Marcus Stoinis 78, Daniel Sams 41; Mitchell Santner 4-31) .

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PEP GUARDIOLA SEEKS IMPROVEMENT DESPITE MAN CITY’S WIN

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Despite a win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is seeking improvement in his side and said that the team has to be more clinical.

Manchester City secured a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 match here on Thursday. “We had incredible focus for 90 minutes but we were not good enough today in the opposition’s box. We played really well, but we have to be more clinical in this competition. You have to be better, but in general no complaints because we know how good they are and how physical they are,” the club’s official website quoted Guardiola as saying.

During the match, Bernardo Silva opened the scoring in the 29th minute before Gabriel Jesus doubled Manchester City’s lead in the 65th minute.

Guardiola said Champions League is different from Premier League and they have to be clinical in the competition.

“In this competition, we don’t have much margin for error — if you have a 1 on 1 or a 3 v 2 situation, you have to at least finish the action or make the keeper make a save and we didn’t do it. In that position, we have to finish better. They have to know that — in the Premier League we can drop points but in this competition, you have to be clinical,” he said.

“If there is something I want us to improve it is that. In general, it was a good game. It was the first step and there are many weeks until the second leg. We are thinking now about recovery before West Ham,” Guardiola added.

Manchester City will now take on West Ham in the Premier League on February 27. Guardiola’s men will face Borussia Monchengladbach in the second leg on March 17.

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SAURABH CHAUDHARY: HITTING BULL’S EYE

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In the previous century, shooting remained largely a sport for the elites. It was Jaspal Rana who brought this sport to the limelight with his Gold medals from International shooting ranges. After the silver of Ra-jyawardhan Rathor in Athens Olympics 2004, the sport started to spread to every nook and corner.

Only 2 years before this historic first-ever Olympic silver, a boy named Saurabh Chaudhary was born. Toy-gun was his first touch with the sport, courtesy being his sibling Nitin. He would pay a visit to the nearby shooting range with Nitin when he was 13. From then onwards, he was a regular to blaze the gun in Mee-rut shooting range. His coach Amit Sheron asked his father to purchase a gun for Saurabh. For a family of limited means, it was a big task. Taking their call, his farmer father Jagmohan Singh took a loan to purchase the best equipment for his beloved son.

He didn’t let them down. The rise was visible as results started in only 3-4 months, and the elated family created a makeshift shooting range in their home for the emerging superstar. The range was between two rooms, providing a quiet space to the talent, away from the chaos of the academy.

In his first World Juniors Championship in Suhl 2017, Saurabh finished just outside the medal zone. But his 4th position from the shooting capital of Germany shaped him to touch new heights.

From 2018 onwards, Gold medals began to fall in his bag one after the other. At Jakarta, he faced a stiff challenge from 42-year-old Japanese Tomoyuki Matsuda and his sparring partner Abhishek Verma. Final-ly, Saurabh became the youngest Gold medal winner for the nation in the Asian Games. His success story was published on the front pages of the newspapers. Now ‘Saurabh Chaudhary’ was a well-known name.

The sensational run continued. The boy from Kalina village of Meerut (UP), returned with another Gold from the 2018 Youth Olympic Games held in Argentina. He would bag five more gold medals and a bronze at the ISSF Junior World Cup, the ISSF Junior World Championships, and the Asian Junior Airgun Championship in the same year.

He showed no signs of slowing down in 2019 either. In February, he clinched Gold at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi.

From here onwards, his tuning with fellow teenage prodigy Manu Bhaker began. The duo won the gold medal at the mixed team 10m air pistol events in 2019 shooting World Cup. The combo added two more gold medals from the ISSF World Cups in Beijing, Munich, and silver arrived from Rio de Janeiro. Adding ice to the cake, Saurabh broke the world and junior records in 10m pistol in Munich. In January 2020, otherwise shy Saurabh came first at the 63rd National Shooting Championship in men’s 10-meter air pistol.

Just when he was a firm favorite for a medal from the Tokyo 2020, COVID-19 come a bolt from the blue. Saurabh Chaudhary was ready for the challenge.

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AXAR, ASHWIN STAR AS INDIA SINK ENGLISH ARMADA BY 10 WICKETS

India beat England inside two days, dashing the tourists’ hopes of making the final of the inaugural World Test Championship in June.

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Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thurs-day to go 2-1 up in the four-match series. In the end, English skipper Joe Root winning the toss and bat-ting first meant nothing as the visitors were completely outplayed in the game.

Axar Patel finished with 11 wickets in the match.

Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands. The win has taken India one step closer to the final of the World Test Championship. But the star of the show was hometown boy Axar as he finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game. Interestingly, the off-spinner also became the second-fastest to 400 Test wickets during England’s second innings when he trapped Jofra Archer plumb in front.

Root and Jack Leach’s domination in the opening session on the second day was indication enough that the English batsmen would have their task cut out in the second innings. And that is exactly how it panned out as Axar picked his third consecutive fifer in Test cricket.

It all started from the first ball of England’s second innings as Axar took the new ball and immediately sent back first innings’ top-scorer Zak Crawley for a duck. The flow of wickets didn’t stop from thereon with only Root (19) and Ben Stokes (25) looking like they were in with a chance to take England’s total past the 100-run mark.

But clearly the Indian spinners had other ideas as they kept picking wickets in quick succession to ensure that the game didn’t roll out of their comfort zone for a second. Washington Sundar picked the last Eng-land wicket as he sent back James Anderson (0) to see the visitors’ innings fold up for 81 — their lowest in Test cricket against India.

Starting the day on 99/3, Rohit did not have Ajinkya Rahane’s company for long as India’s Test deputy was out for 7 minutes after passing England’s first innings total. His lack of consistency will be a concern for the team management.

It was the Root show after that as he started with the wicket of dangerman Rishabh Pant and took 5 wickets.

Of the 30 wickets that fell in the game, 28 were picked by spinners with Ishant Sharma and Jofra Archer picking one wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: England 112 and 81 (Ben Stokes 25; Axar Patel 5/32); India 145 and 49/0 (Rohit Sharma 25*, Shubman Gill 15*).

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ISL 7: Jamshedpur hold on to sixth spot after edging Bengaluru in five-goal thriller

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Goa [India], February 25 (ANI): It was a thrilling game of two halves but Jamshedpur FC came out on top as they survived a second-half onslaught to beat Bengaluru FC 3-2 in their last Indian Super League (ISL) game at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Thursday.
With both sides playing for the sixth spot, JFC held on to the win despite a spirited second-half show from Bengaluru, who finished seventh.
Goals from Stephen Eze (16′), Seiminlen Doungel (34′), and David Grande (41′) put JFC up at the break before Bengaluru responded through goals from Francisco Gonzalez (62′) and Sunil Chhetri (71′).
Jamshedpur were all over Bengaluru in the opening half. They constantly caused problems for Bengaluru’s inexperienced defence and raced to a 3-0 lead at the break — their first-ever in ISL history. Bengaluru’s defence had been culpable of starting poorly — only Odisha have conceded more goals in the first half this season — and the Blues crumbled under pressure, yet again.

Eze, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture, opened the scoring for JFC through a free-kick. The defender converted Aitor Monroy’s cross at the far post after Bengaluru keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte failed to clear his lines.
Winter signing Doungel soon joined the party, netting his maiden goal for JFC and also the season’s first. Farukh Choudhary squared the ball to Doungel, who skipped past his marker before drilling his shot at the far corner from an acute angle.

JFC continued their ruthlessness in front of the goal and found the net once again from a set-piece just before the closure of the first half. Monroy whipped a teasing cross in the box for the unmarked Grande, who nodded home past Ralte with ease. Bengaluru made two changes at the break — with Gonzalez and Erik Paartalu coming on. Those substitutions would prove handy as Naushad Moosa’s side dominated the second half.
They received a way back as Gonzalez cut short their deficit with a strong finish. JFC’s defence failed to deal with Parag Shrivas’ throw-in and the Spaniard pounced on the loose ball, burying his header into the net.
There was more to come from BFC and it was their talisman, Chhetri, who pulled another back with a landmark 100th goal. Harmanjot Khabra delivered a powerful cross in the box for Chhetri, who got ahead of Eze and scored a thumping header. JFC’s defence held firm in the dying minutes as they completed the double over their opponents. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Rohit hails Ashwin, Axar after their heroics in 3rd Test

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): India batsman Rohit Sharma on Thursday heaped praise on Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel after the spinners guided the team to an impressive win over England in the third Test.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar and Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands. The win has taken India one step closer to the final of the World Test Championship.
But the star of the show was hometown boy Axar as he finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game and also reached the 400-wicket mark in Test cricket.
“Ashwin is probably one of our match-winners, if not ‘The match-winner’ of the Indian cricket history. He is definitely a match-winner for us and has won so many games for us. Big congratulations to him to get to that milestone. It must be a great feeling for him as well. To do that in his 77th Test match, it is a great feat. Hats off to him and not to forget his contribution with the bat in the series as well. He has done remarkably well and obviously, the team relies on him a lot,” Rohit said in the post-match press conference.
Praising Axar, Rohit said: “Axar was simply brilliant… He understands the conditions really well. He knows how to vary the pace and what lines to bowl which is very, very important as a bowler to understand your line, to the right-handers and to the left-handers is very important. And what he did brilliantly in this game was that he made the batters play most of the balls which is always important on a wicket like that… It all goes to his skill set and he has got a solid skillset.”
With this defeat, England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, needed to win the four-match series 3-1 to play the final against New Zealand. 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 need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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