MITHALI RAJ, SNEH RANA STEER INDIA TO WIN OVER ENGLAND IN THIRD ODI - The Daily Guardian
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MITHALI RAJ, SNEH RANA STEER INDIA TO WIN OVER ENGLAND IN THIRD ODI

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Skipper Mithali Raj smashed a classy fifty while Sneh Rana played a fighting cameo as India defeated England by four wickets in the third and final ODI on Saturday.

With this victory, India finally registered their first win on the England tour. The hosts had already won the series after clinching the first two ODIs but Mithali played a captain’s knock to give India a consolation win. Chasing 220, India got off to a good start with both openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana scoring regular boundaries. The visitors were right in the chase before Kate Cross provided England with the first breakthrough and dismissed Shafali (19) in the ninth over.

Mandhana then stitched a brief 20-run stand with Jemimah Rodrigues before Sophie Ecclestone sent the latter back in the dugout to reduce India to 66/2.

A few minutes later India lost Mandhana (49) as she departed without completing her fifty. Skipper Mithali stitched an important partnership with Harmanpreet Kaur for the fourth wicket after becoming the leading runs scorer across formats in international women’s cricket.

However, Knight dismissed Harmanpreet before Sciver sent back Deepti Sharma in the 40th over to reduce India to 164/5. India needed 38 runs from the last five overs and Sneh Rana rose to the occasion hitting some classy shots. Mithali too joined the party as she hammered the ball along the ground to see India home. Sneh smashed 24 runs off 22 balls to aid India’s chase in the third ODI.

Earlier, Deepti Sharma picked three wickets to restrict England to 219. England collapsed from 151/3 to 219/10 in 14 overs as Indian bowlers kept it tight in the second half of the hosts’ innings. It was an all-round bowling performance from the Indian side as every bowler, who bowled picked at least a wicket. Put in to bat first, England got off to a bad start as they lost Tammy Beaumont for a duck in the second over. It was Beaumont’s first duck in ODIs since November 2016.

Lauren Winfield Hill (36) and Heather Knight then stitched a solid partnership to steady the ship before Sneh Rana struck in her first over to reduce England at 68/2 in the 17th over.

England skipper Knight crossed 3000 ODI runs and became the fourth woman from her country to achieve the feat. But her stint at the crease soon ended as she fell four runs short of a fifty. Harmanpreet dismissed the England skipper as Knight slog-swept to Shikha at deep midwicket. Amy Ellen Jones and Natalie Sciver then built a brief partnership to take England over the 150-run mark in the 33rd over. But the hosts lost three wickets in quick intervals as India denied any chance of slogging to the England batters. Mandhana ran around from deep mid-wicket to take a sensational catch to dismiss Sciver (49) while Poonam Yadav bamboozled Katherine Brunt to reduce England to 177/6. Wickets didn’t stop falling in the death overs as England could only manage 219 in the 47 overs (reduced due to rain).

Brief scores: England 219/10 (Natalie Sciver 49, Heather Knight 46; Deepti Sharma 3-47); India 220/6 (Mithali Raj (75, Smriti Mandhana 49; Sophie Ecclestone 2-36).

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Olympics: Deepika Kumari bows out after losing to top-seed An San

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Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari bowed out of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing to South Korea’s An San in the women’s individual quarter-finals here at Yumenoshima Park on Friday.

Top seed San defeated world number one Deepika in an absolutely dominating fashion 6-0 to march into the semi-finals of the individual event. 20-year-old San is aiming for her third gold medal at Tokyo after finishing top of the podium in the mixed team event and the women’s recurve team event. Korean An San had a brilliant start to the first round as she aimed at three 10s while Deepika shot 7-10-10. San carried that momentum in the second round and clinically shot 9-10-7 to which Indian responded with 10-7-7.

The dominance of the South Korean continued in the third set as she gathered 26 as opposed to 24 of Deepika. Match ended in less than six minutes. With this San will either face USA’s Mackenzie Brown or Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia in the last four.

Earlier in the day, Deepika defeated Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Ksenia Perova to progress into the quarter-finals (6-5) in the 1/8 Eliminations round in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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YUZVENDRA CHAHAL AND GOWTHAM TEST POSITIVE IN SRI LANKA

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Three days after Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19, it has come to light that spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and K. Gowtham have also tested positive for the virus in Sri Lanka.

Sources in the know of developments confirmed that the duo have tested positive for COVID-19. “Unfortunately, they have tested positive. They were close contacts of Krunal and were already away from the rest of the squad in the team hotel,” the source said. Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and eight Indian players — Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, and K Gowtham were identified as close contacts.

Being close contacts of Krunal, they were staying away from the rest of the team and didn’t participate in the last two T20Is after Krunal’s test came positive.

Meanwhile, Wanindu Hasaranga’s four-wicket haul and Dhananjaya de Silva’s unbeaten 23-run knock helped Sri Lanka defeat India by seven wickets in the third and final T20I. With this win, Sri Lanka won the series 2-1.Sri Lanka won the T20I series while India had earlier won the ODI series.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS: NUMBER ONE SEED DJOKOVIC BOWS OUT, LOSES TO ZVEREV

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Number one seed Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic on Friday was knocked out of the men’s singles event in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing the semi-final clash. Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Djokovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the men’s singles event.

As a result of this loss, Djokovic would not be able to achieve the Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold) in the same year. Djokovic had brought out his A-game to the court in the first set, and he ended up winning it 6-1. However, disappointment followed for the Serbian as he lost two back-to-back sets and as a result, he bowed out of the tournament.

Djokovic had won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year and now he would look to win the US Open, beginning August this year. Earlier, top seeds Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka were also knocked out of the Olympics.

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INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM BEAT IRELAND 1-0, KEEP QF HOPES ALIVE

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The Indian women’s hockey team defeated Ireland 1-0 here at the Oi Hockey Stadium North Pitch on Friday. As a result, India’s hopes of making it to the quarter-finals of the women’s hockey event remain intact.

Earlier, the Rani Rampal-led side had suffered defeats in its first three group-stage games. The first quarter between India and Ireland saw no goals and after the end of the first 15 minutes, the scoreline remained 0-0.

A similar story was on the offer in the second quarter and at the halftime mark, the scoreline remained the same and it was Rani Rampal’s side that was feeling the pressure going into the third quarter. The third quarter also saw no goals, however, Navneet Kaur finally broke the deadlock in the fourth quarter and she gave India a lead with three minutes left to play. In the end, India managed to hang on to the advantage to score a 1-0 victory.

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INDIA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM FIRE ALL CYLINDERS, DEFEAT JAPAN 5-3

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A resilient Indian hockey team came firing on all cylinders to thrash Japan 5-3 in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Friday. This was India’s fourth win of the ongoing quadrennial event. The Men In Blue will next be in action in the quarter-finals of the mega event. Japan might have scored three goals but the Indian boys made sure the Men in Blue were in the lead throughout the game and dominated proceedings.

Just two minutes before the end of the third quarter, India earned their second Penalty Corner only to miss the net. But the Indians were in the lead (3-2) with one quarter to go. Both teams got off to a cautious start but the Manpreet Singh-led side broke the shackles and netted the first goal in the 13th minute.

Gurjant Singh then scored early in the second quarter as India doubled the lead over Japan. However, Japan came back with a goal as Tanaka opened the team’s account.

In the third quarter, Kota Watanabe scored an equaliser but Shamsher Singh again put India on top as he scored a goal in the 34th minute. At the end of the third essay, India led 3-2 with a thrilling final quarter on cards. In the final quarter, Nilakanta Sharma doubled India’s lead after a desperate attempt from both sides to find the net.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS: SINDHU DEFEATS YAMAGUCHI, GETS INTO SEMIS

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India shuttler P.V. Sindhu stormed into the semi-finals of the women’s singles event after defeating Japan’s number four seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1 on Friday. Sindhu defeated Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20. The quarterfinal clash between Sindhu and Yamaguchi lasted for 56 minutes.

The first game was more close than the scoreline suggested and Sindhu had to bring out the best in her to win it 21-13. The scoreline in the first game might not indicate how closely it was fought, but Yamaguchi made her fight for every point. The star Indian shuttler was just one more game away from progressing to the semi-finals.

Yamaguchi made Sindhu toil hard in the second game, and for every point, the Indian shuttler had to be at her best. In the end, the number six seed Sindhu ended up winning the match in straight games.

In the second game of the quarter-final, there was a 54-shot rally between Sindhu and Yamaguchi and it lasted for one minute and two seconds. On Thursday, Sindhu had defeated Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the Round of 16 match of women’s individual event in the Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 3. Sindhu defeated Blichfeldt 21-15, 21-13 in just 41 minutes to cruise into the quarter-finals.

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