CHENNAI: Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal for 82 off the bowling of Dominic Bess on Day 3 of the first Test against England here revived memories of Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal in a similar manner during the famous India-Australia series, back in 2000-1. In the final session on Sunday, Pujara pulled a short delivery from off-spinner Bess but the shot got deflected off the back of the short-leg fielder and popped up to go straight to short mid-wicket where Rory Burns pouched it safely.
Back in 2001, in the first Test in Mumbai, Tendulkar was reviving Indian innings after the Sourav Ganguly-led side conceded a massive first-innings lead of 173 runs. India were close to clearing the deficit with just two wickets down at 154. Tendulkar, who had come in at No. 5, was on 65 when he pulled a delivery from Mark Waugh but the ball got deflected off the back of the short-leg just like Pujara’s and went straight to Ricky Ponting who completed the catch with utmost ease.
India collapsed from being 154/2 to 219 all out and then went on to lose the Test by 10 wickets. Virat Kohli’s India would hope that Pujara’s unlucky dismissal doesn’t trigger off another similar collapse as they reply to England’s first innings score of 578.
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Mohammadi to embark on boxing career after leaving Afghanistan due to turmoil
By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Afghanistan boxer Nawid Mohammadi, who left his country and came to India in 2013 because of turmoil back home, said he wants to do well in the sport and make his country proud.
The 17-year-old is currently training in the national capital and will be making his professional boxing debut on May 1 in the featherweight division. The ‘India Unleashed’ fight night will comprise of 10 fight cards that will include top-20 talents scouted.
The star attractions for the night are going to be Pawan Goyat, Chandni Mehra (featherweight) and Suman Kumari (lightweight). Amidst the three, Goyat will be gunning for a title shot.
“I left my country because of turmoil and came to India with my family and later, I started boxing in 2017. I used to play in my country also, but now I am doing it in India. I want to be a professional boxer so that I can make my country proud,” Mohammadi told ANI.
Aspiring to be a world champion, Mohammadi wants to set an example and be a role model to children in India as well as his ancestral country, Afghanistan.
When asked if he would like to return to his country: “Yes, I want to go but now my focus is to do well in boxing. That’s my land, and one day, I would love to go back.” (ANI)
Juventus’s Rodrigo Bentancur tests positive for COVID-19
Turin [Italy], March 5 (ANI): Italian club Juventus has announced that Rodrigo Bentancur has tested positive for coronavirus. The club said Bentancur is in isolation and asymptomatic.
“Juventus Football Club announces that, during the checks provided for by the protocol in force, Rodrigo Bentancur has tested positive for Covid 19. The footballer is in isolation and asymptomatic,” the club said in a statement.
“The club is in contact with the relevant health authorities for the definition of an effective implementation of the protocols required to allow the training and competition activities of the Team Group,” it added.
Juventus is currently preparing for the Serie A clash against Lazio. The club will be high on confidence as they had secured an impressive 3-0 win in the previous game, played against Spezia on Wednesday.
During the match, Alvaro Morata, Federico Chiesa, and Cristiano Ronaldo had scored one goal each to hand Juventus three points from the clash.
Sitting third on the Serie A table with 49 points, Juventus will play against Lazio on Sunday. (ANI)
Finch, bowlers set up series decider as Australia thrash New Zealand in fourth T20I
Wellington [New Zealand], March 5 (ANI): Skipper Aaron Finch smashed 79 off 55 balls before the bowlers put on an all-round show to help Australia seal a comfortable 50-run win over New Zealand in the fourth T20I on Friday.
It was a clinical performance from Australia in a must-win match as they bowled out New Zealand for 106 to set up a series decider on Sunday.
While Finch led from the front and took Australia to a competitive 156/6 almost single-handedly, it was an all-round performance from the visitors’ bowlers as Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Glenn Maxwell all picked wickets.
Chasing a decent 157, New Zealand suffered an early jolt as Agar removed the in-form Martin Guptill in the fifth over with just 21 runs on board.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals as New Zealand struggled to get a partnership going. Tim Seifert, skipper Kane Williamson, and Glenn Phillips all went cheaply as hosts scored just 41 runs in the first 10 overs.
It seemed like New Zealand was never really interested in the chase as they lost James Neesham and Mitchell Santner in the next two overs. With seven down for 64 runs, the chase was almost over as New Zealand required more than 90 runs in the last six.
Kyle Jamieson scored 30 off 18 balls but it wasn’t enough to repair the damage as the Kiwis were bundled out for 106 in the 19th over.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Australia got off to a bad start as Mitchell Santner struck in the first over. Opener Matthew Wade after hitting a four and six cut the ball into the hands of Ish Sodhi at short third man.
Josh Philippe then joined skipper Aaron Finch and played a sluggish innings while Finch continued to score at a run a ball. Philippe survived a close LBW call in the sixth over as Australia scored 37/1 after the completion of powerplay.
But Philippe wasn’t able to make the most of reprieve as he was sent back to the dugout in the next over by Sodhi. Last match’s hero Glenn Maxwell was looking dangerous but he too went back after Trent Boult ended his cameo.
Marcus Stoinis and Finch stitched a 25-run stand but Kane Williamson’s sensational catch ended the all-rounder’s innings in the 13th over. Boult in the next over dismissed Ashton Agar as Australia was reduced to 97/5 with skipper Finch looking for a company.
Wickets kept falling at one end while Finch continued scoring at a brisk rate. Australia were 130 for the loss of six wickets after the 19th over and Finch switched gear in the final five balls and whacked four sixes off Kyle Jamieson.
Brief Scores: Australia 156/6 (Aaron Finch 79*; Ish Sodhi 3-32); New Zealand 106 (Kyle Jamieson 30; Kane Richardson 3-19) (ANI)
We must stick to our professional duties: Rijiju to Boe
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said that everybody should stick to their professional duties in the best interest of Indian sports. His comments came after badminton coach Mathias Boe urged the minister to intervene in actor Taapsee Pannu’s matter as the Income Tax (IT) department conducted raids at her premises.
“Law of the land is supreme and we must abide by that. The subject matter is beyond yours and my domain. We must stick to our professional duties in the best interest of Indian Sports,” Rijiju replied on Boe’s tweet on Friday.
Taking to Twitter, Boe on Thursday wrote, “Finding myself in a bit of turmoil. Representing India for the first time as a coach for some great athletes, meanwhile, I-T department is raiding Taapsee’s houses back home, putting unnecessary stress on her family, especially her parents. @KirenRijiju please do something.”
In January, the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) approved the request of India’s badminton players Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy — ranked World No. 10 in men’s doubles — to rope in Boe of Denmark to train them in the run-up to the Olympics.
The raids, which started on Wednesday, continued on Thursday as well with the IT department carrying out searches at the commerce centre of KWAN Talent Management Agency in Mumbai. On Wednesday, Income Tax officials conducted raids at the properties of Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee and film producer Vikas Bahl while carrying out searches at their offices and residences. (ANI)
New Zealand pacer Southee reprimanded for breaching ICC code of conduct
Wellington [New Zealand], March 5 (ANI): New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has been reprimanded for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third T20I against Australia in Wellington.
Southee was found to have breached Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Player and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “showing dissent at an Umpire’s decision during an International Match.”
In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to the disciplinary record of Southee, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period.
The incident occurred in the first over of the match on Wednesday, when Southee shouted at the umpire in a disrespectful manner after a leg-before review taken against Australia opener Aaron Finch was declared an umpire’s call and given not out.
Southee admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Jeff Crowe of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and ratified by the ICC Cricket Operations department as per the COVID-19 interim playing regulations. There was no need for a formal hearing
On-field umpires Chris Gaffaney and Wayne Knights, third umpire Shaun Haig and fourth official Chris Brown levelled the charges.
Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.
Riding on skipper Aaron Finch, Maxwell and Ashton Agar’s performances, Australia bounced back in the series with a comfortable win over New Zealand.
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. (ANI)
Ind vs Eng, 4th Test: Stokes bags Rohit as visitors take control (Tea)
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 5 (ANI): A disciplined effort from the English bowlers has seen the visitors take the honours in the second session on the second day of the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday. The Indian batsmen have left a lot to be desired as the hosts managed to score 73 runs for the loss of two wickets in the post-lunch session.
At the Tea break, India’s score read 153/6 with – still trailing by 52 runs – Rishabh Pant (36) and Washington Sundar (1) at the crease. Ben Stokes continued his fine form as he sent back dangerman Rohit Sharma (49) in the second session after picking the prized wicket of Virat Kohli in the first.
Having lost three wickets in the first session, Rohit and Pant started well in the post-lunch session as they looked to defend the good balls and score of the rare bad deliveries. But just when the two started to look good, Stokes sent back Rohit, one short of a much-deserved fifty. The ball from Stokes came back sharply and there was not much that the opener could do. While he did review the call, the replays stuck to umpire’s call on impact and the English players celebrated.
Ravichandran Ashwin joined Pant in the middle and tried to accumulate runs to reduce the deficit. The duo had a brief 25-run partnership for the sixth wicket until Jack Leach sent Ashwin (13) back in the concluding minutes of the session. The ball seemed to stop on Ashwin as the batsman played early only for the ball to balloon into Pope’s hands. The lower order will need to wield the williow in the final session if India wish to go past England’s first innings score of 205.
Earlier, Anderson picked Rahane on the brink of lunch to hand England the upper hand. Going into the morning session with the score on 24/1 and with Rohit and Pujara at the crease, the hosts would have liked to get closer to the visitors’ total without losing a wicket. But it wasn’t to be as Leach struck first to send back Pujara, leg before. While it was a close call, the umpire was spot on as the ball hit the pad first.
In walked Kohli and with the scoring rate on the slower side, one expected the captain to bring on the attack with Rohit. But Stokes had other ideas as he got the India skipper to produce a nothing shot to a ball that got big on him and ended up giving keeper Foakes an easy catch. With the score on 41/3, the Englishmen realised they had walked right back into the game.
But Rahane and Rohit defied the visitors for a while as they tried to build the innings and stitched a 39-run partnership. But just when it looked like the duo would take India to lunch and start afresh after the break, Anderson sent back Rahane.
Brief Scores: England 205; India 153/6 (Rohit Sharma 49, Rishabh Pant 36*; James Anderson 2-19, Ben Stokes 2-33) (ANI)
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