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Oz knock Pak out of T20 World Cup

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Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade played unbeaten knocks of 40 and 41 respectively as Australia defeated Pakistan by five wickets to enter the final of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.

Australia will now lock horns against New Zealand in the summit clash on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. Chasing 177, Australia got off to the worst start possible as skipper Aaron Finch (0) was sent back to the pavilion by Shaheen Shah Afridi on just the third ball of the innings. However, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh did not let the momentum drop and the score read 52/1 after the end of the sixth over.

Pakistan stormed right back into the match as Shadab Khan dismissed Marsh (28), and this brought Steve Smith to the middle. In his next over, Shadab dismissed Smith (5). At the halfway mark, Australia was at 89/3, still needing 88 runs to win from 60 balls.

Shadab continued to be the match-winner for Pakistan and he got the biggest wicket possible as he sent the set batter Warner (49) back in the hut in the 11th over. Reverse and switch hits are the go-to shot for Glenn Maxwell, but this proved his downfall in this match, and Shadab bagged his fourth wicket, to reduce Australia to 96/5 in the 13th over.

In the last five overs, Australia needed 62 runs to win. Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis kept on registering boundaries and in the last two overs, Aaron Finch’s side needed 22 to win. In the second last over, Hasan Ali dropped a simple catch of Wade, and it came to bite Pakistan, as Australia registered a win by five wickets. Wade scored 41 off just 17 balls.

Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman played knocks of 67 and 55 as Pakistan scored 176/4. Asked to bat first, Pakistan got off to a steady start as openers Babar Azam and Rizwan put on 47 runs inside the first six overs. Both batters put on 71 for the first wicket, and this partnership was finally broken by Adam Zampa in the 10th over.

Babar (39) looked to break the shackles by scoring a six, but he only managed to hand a simple catch to David Warner. Fakhar Zaman joined Rizwan in the middle and the duo did not let the momentum drop for Pakistan. The duo registered boundaries at regular intervals and after 15 overs, Pakistan’s score read 117/1. Rizwan and Zaman went all guns blazing and heading into the final three overs, Pakistan had nine wickets in hand.

Rizwan (67) was sent back to the pavilion by Mitchell Starc in the 18th over and this brought the big-hitting Asif Ali in the middle. In the final three overs, Pakistan managed to add 33 more runs to take their total past 170-run mark.

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PAT CUMMINS NAMED AUSTRALIA TEST CAPTAIN, STEVE SMITH APPOINTED DEPUTY

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Fast bowler Pat Cummins was on Friday named Australian men’s Test cricket team captain following the announcement of Tim Paine taking an indefinite break from all cricket.

Paine had announced his resignation as skipper of Australia last week following a ‘sexting scandal’ with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017. Meanwhile, batter and former captain Steve Smith has been named vice-captain of the team.“Pat is an outstanding player and leader. He has earned enormous respect from his teammates and from all corners of the game for his attitude and achievements, both on and off the field,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said in a statement.

“We are extremely fortunate to have an experienced group of senior players who themselves are superb leaders. I have no doubt that Pat and Steve will be well supported in their respective leadership roles,” he added.

According to Cricket Australia (CA), fast bowler Cummins joins an elite club with the honour of leading Australia, stepping into the role after almost two years as vice-captain. “I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years,” said Cummins.

“With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly-knit group.“This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to,” he added.

Smith returns to the leadership alongside Cummins. Smith, who made his Test debut in 2010, has been an integral part of the senior playing group in with his growth as a leader and person on and off the field.

He will assume the captaincy in the event Cummins is absent for any reason.“I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well,” said Smith

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P.V. Sindhu rallies to beat Sim Yujin, enters semi-final

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Ace Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu battled past into the semifinals of the ongoing Indonesia Open on Friday. Playing it out at Court 2, the two-time Olympic medallist Indian rallied back to defeat South Korea’s Sim Yujin by 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 in a titanic 1 hour and 6 minutes match.

The 22-year-old Korean started quick off the blocks as she won the first game against the reigning world champion by 21-14 in 17 minutes. Sindhu then showed her immense composure as she fought back and won the second game 21-19 in a close affair to force the match into the decider.

The third game was level at 11-11 and the essay could have landed either way but the South Korean wasn’t able to hold her nerve as Sindhu clinched the final game by 21-14 in the end.

PV Sindhu will now face either Japan’s Asuka Takahashi or the shuttler from Thailand, Ratchanok Intanon in the semifinal.

The two-time Olympic medallist Indian rallied back to defeat South Korea’s Sim Yujin by 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 in a titanic 1 hour and 6 minutes match.

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Mushfiqur, Liton Das help hosts dominate proceedings on Day 1

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Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das had an impressive day with the bat as Bangladesh dominated the proceedings on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test against Pakistan here at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Friday.

At stumps on Day 1, Bangladesh’s score read 253/4 with Liton Das (113*) and Rahim (82*) currently unbeaten at the crease. Rahim and Liton have extended their fifth-wicket partnership to 204 runs. Opting to bat first, Bangladesh did got get off to an ideal start as the hosts lost their first four wickets with just 49 runs on the board.

Shadman Islam (14), Saif Hassan (14), Najmul Hossain Shanto (14), and skipper Mominul Haque (6) failed to leave a mark with the bat in hand. However, Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das then joined forces and the duo revived the innings for Bangladesh, taking the score to 171/4 at the tea interval. By the break, both batters had crossed their respective half-centuries.

After the tea break, the duo started from where they left off and Liton Das brought up his century off 199 balls in the 78th over of the innings. In the end, Mushfiqur and Liton ensured that the hosts do not lose any more wickets before stumps on Day 1.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 253/4 (Liton Das 113*, Mushfiqur Rahim 82*; Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-50) vs Pakistan.

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At 19, Manisha Kalyan gets the sole distinction of scoring goal against Brazil

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Manisha Kalyan at barely 19, is a winger for the Indian Senior Women’s National Team, and has the sole distinction of being an Indian to have scored a goal against any Senior National Brazil side.

On Friday November 26th, Manisha, upon receiving a cushioned header from fellow forward Pyari Xaxa close to the halfway line, darted towards the Brazil box, sold a feint to her marker and fired a left-footer into the bottom corner. History! Dreams! Future!

“It was a dream come true for me to play against Brazil and to score against them was the icing on the cake,” said Manisha, who, after the match, was seen posing for pictures with Brazil’s legendary midfielder Formiga Mota, who was felicitated by all parties present at the Arena da Amazonia after the game, as she hung up her boots.

“To be on the same pitch as her (Formiga) was a big deal. I hope we can learn from this experience and do better in the next game,” added Manisha. “We always knew it was going to be difficult against a team of Brazil’s quality. But as soon as we stepped onto the field, we forgot about the pressure. That is what we need to do in the upcoming matches and play with an open mind.”

Like many female footballers from across the world, however, Manisha’s journey has been one of struggle, right from her early days in a small village called Muggowal, Manisha was up against the odds. “I’ve been playing since I was 13, when I switched over from athletics to football after my coach Brahmji sir asked me to change sports. The teamwork involved in football was really interesting to me, and I fell in love with this game,” Manisha recalled.

While not everyone from her village supported Manisha’s decision to take up the beautiful game, the pacey forward had the full support of her parents.

“Many in my village did not want me to keep playing. A girl playing football was just not acceptable to them. But my parents stuck right by my side and gave me all the support I needed,” she informed.

The first time Manisha came into the National Team fold was ahead of the BRICS U-17 Women’s Football Cup in South Africa, and the powerful attacker has never looked back from there.

“Yes, we had played Brazil in that tournament too, but that was a different kind of a game. Most of us were new to that level of football. But tonight’s match was a memorable one for us. Yes, we conceded a few goals in the end, but we held our own for most parts of the match, and that is a very important learning for us, heading into the AFC Asian Cup,” said Manisha.

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DIDN’T EXPECT TO RECEIVE TEST DEBUT CAP FROM SUNIL GAVASKAR, SAYS SHREYAS IYER

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India batter Shreyas Iyer on Friday said that he was not expecting to receive his Test debut cap from legend Sunil Gavaskar.

Shreyas Iyer registered a century on debut as the hosts posted 345 runs on the board against New Zealand in the first innings of the ongoing Test here at Green Park, Kanpur. Tim Southee took five wickets for the BlackCaps. Gavaskar had handed Shreyas his Test debut cap before the start of the first Test on Thursday. “I obviously thought Rahul Dravid sir will present me with the debut Test cap, I was not expecting to receive it from Sunil Gavaskar sir. Both are legends of the game, either of them would have given me the cap, I would have been happy. It is a great feeling the way everything panned out but not satisfied with the way I got out,” said Shreyas.

Further talking about his conversations with Sunil Gavaskar, Shreyas said: “See, Sunil Gavaskar sir when he gave me the cap, he told me one important point — you do not have to think about your past and future, all you have is the present and focus on the next ball. I am just looking at the present, whatever happens, happens for the best. I will take everything in my stride.”

Talking about the impact of MS Dhoni, Shreyas said: “Mahi Bhai and I spoke about IPL when I was doing rehab and I went in to play football with Bollywood friends. I mean you know he is really calm and composed. Whenever you go for a chat, he has so much experience, it is always fun to chat with him.”

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Half-centuries from Young, Latham put visitors on top

At stumps on Day 2, New Zealand’s score read 129/0 with Young (75*) and Latham (50*) currently unbeaten at the crease.

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New Zealand opening batters Will Young and Tom Latham registered half-centuries as New Zealand dominated Day 2 of the ongoing first Test against India here at Green Park, Kanpur on Friday.

At stumps on Day 2, New Zealand’s score read 129/0 with Young (75*) and Latham (50*) currently unbeaten at the crease. The visitors are currently trailing by 216 runs. Resuming the third session of Day 2 from 72/0, the Kiwis continued their domination over the Indian bowlers and Young brought up his half-century in the 28th over while Latham reached the 50-run mark in the 55th over.There were few hairy moments along the way, but Young and Latham made sure to completely neutralize the hosts’ bowling.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand bundled India out for 345 in the first innings. The hosts ended the opening session at 339/8 with Ashwin and Umesh Yadav unbeaten on 38 and 4 respectively.

However, New Zealand bowlers didn’t waste any time in wrapping up the tail as Ajaz Patel dismissed Ashwin and Ishant Sharma to bundle India out for 345 at the Green Park Stadium.

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer hit his maiden ton before New Zealand bundled India out for 345.

Brief Scores: India 345/10 (Shreyas Iyer 105, Ravindra Jadeja 50; Tim Southee 5-69) vs New Zealand 129/0 (Will Young 75*, Tom Latham 50*; Ravichandran Ashwin 0-38)

Resuming the third session of Day 2 from 72/0, Kiwis continued their domination over Indian bowlers and Young brought up his half-century in 28th over while Latham reached 50-run mark in 55th over.

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