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2nd T20: New Zealand beat India by 40 runs, three match series tied at 1-1

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Rajkot, Nov 4: New Zealand dominated with both bat and ball to defeat India by 40 runs in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.

The Kiwis, who had lost the first match by 53 run in New Delhi, have now levelled the three-match series at 1-1.

Opting to bat first on winning the toss, the visitors rode on an unbeaten quickfire century by opener Colin Munro to post 196/2 in their allotted 20 overs.

Munro batted through the innings, smashing 109 runs off 58 deliveries. This is his second century in 34 T20Is.

In reply, the hosts could only manage to post 156/7.

Fast bowler Trent Boult was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with figures of 4/33.

Chasing a stiff target, India suffered a big setback in the second over of their innings when Boult sent back openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.

Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya also returning to the pavilion in quick succession, leaving the hosts struggling at 67/4 in the 10th over.

India captain Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried to stem the rot with a 56-run partnership.

Mitchell Santner however, an end to their chances when Kohli stepped out of his crease, only to hand an easy edge to New Zealand wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips.

Earlier, New Zealand rode on Munro’s power packed batting to post a big total.

Martin Guptill, the other Kiwi opener, also batted well, scoring 45 runs off 41 balls.

The Indian bowlers did not exactly cover themselves in glory, with only debutant pacer Mohammed Siraj and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal bagged a wicket each.

Siraj was at the receiving end of a lot of punishment from the Kiwi batsmen during his first match at the international level. The 23-year-old from Hyderabad was the most expensive Indian bowler on Saturday evening, giving away 53 runs in his four overs, although he managed to bag the wicket of Guptill.

Chahal was the only other Indian bowler who managed a wicket, returning figures of 1/36 in four overs.

Medium-pacer Jasprit Bumrah also bowled well, conceding just 23 runs in his four overs. He had a good start to his spell, giving away only nine runs in his first two overs.

Munro and Guptill gave the Kiwis a flying start with an opening stand of 105 runs in 67 balls.

Munro raced to his half-century in just 26 balls, bringing up the landmark with a six off Axar Patel over long on. He then made good use of a couple of narrow let offs to reach his century in 54 balls.

Opening the bowling for India along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siraj’s very first over in international cricket saw him concede 10 runs, including two boundaries. He copped even more punishment in his second over with Munro smashing a couple of sixes.

Chahal also had a poor start to his spell, giving away 17 runs in his first over. He continued to leak runs but finally had his revenge when Guptill was outfoxed by some extra bit of spin and was caught by Pandya at long off just five runs short of his half-century.

New Zealand captain Kane Willamson was dismissed a short while later when a mistimed shot off a half-volley by Siraj found its way to Rohit Sharma at deep mid wicket.

Munro was handed a let-off while on 79 when he was dropped by Chahal off Bhuvneshwar’s bowling at deep cover. The Kiwi left-hander promptly punished the hosts for that folly, going on to hit a couple of boundaries later in the over.

Munro had a narrow escape only a couple of overs later when he nicked a slower delivery from Bumrah but the ball did not have enough pace to carry over to Dhoni behind the stumps.

The hosts had to pay for those mistakes as Munro and Tom Bruce carried the visitors close to the 200-run mark by adding 56 runs between them. Bruce remained unbeaten on 18 runs off 12 deliveries.

Team Squads: 

India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only for first T20I).

New Zealand : Kane Williamson (c), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips (wk).

WeForNews Bureau

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FIFA WC 2018: Brazil edge past brave Costa Rica with last gasp goals

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Sochi, June 23: Philippe Coutinho and Neymar Junior scored late in the second half as Brazil ensured their passage to the second round with a hard-earned 2-0 win over Costa Rica in a Group E clash of the FIFA World Cup here on Friday.

Both Brazilians struck in the second half added time at the Saint Petersburg Stadium to hand the five-time World Cup winners their first victory in the tournament.

Costa Rica managed to hold fast for the full 90 minutes of normal play thanks to a solid display from goalkeeper Keylor Navas but one minute into stoppage time, Barça’s Coutinho rescued Brazil, driving through the defense to attack a loose ball in the penalty area, smashing it home between the legs of the Real Madrid man between the posts.

Then, in the dying embers of stoppage time, of which there were six minutes, Neymar, who was yet to score at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, connected to a simple cross to tap home and seal the game.

At the final whistle, the most expensive player in the world broke into tears of relief in the center of the pitch.

Brazil, one of this year’s favourites to win the trophy, all but secured its place in the knockout stages of the competition, recovering from a 1-1 draw in its opening match against Switzerland, who in turn is to meet with Serbia in the evening kick-off.

Costa Rica put on a tough display in the first half knowing that a loss would essentially resign them to booking an early ticket home, but the players tired towards the end of the 90 minutes and succumbed to the relentless attacking tactics of the Brazilians.

Brazil, who now top the table with 4 points, is set to play Serbia on Jun 27 in its final Group E match.

IANS

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Ahmed Musa double downs Iceland to keep Nigeria’s World Cup dreams alive

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Volgograd (Russia), June 23: Two brilliant strikes by Ahmed Musa propelled Nigeria to a 2-0 win over Iceland in a Group D match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup here on Friday.

Musa (49th, 75th minutes) scored both his goals in the second half as Nigeria revived their chances of advancing to the second round.

The Africans, who had lost 0-2 to Croatia in their campaign opener, now have three points from two matches.

They now face a must win clash against Argentina in their third and last group encounter.

Iceland have two points from as many matches. They had held mighty Argentina 1-1 in their first match.

The result also helps the chances for Lionel Messi’s Argentina to advance, as they can move from bottom of the table into second with a win over Nigeria, so long as Iceland do not beat Croatia by an equal or larger margin.

In the first half of the game, chances were few and far between. While Nigeria dominated possession, Iceland got the better chances to take the lead.

The best of them all was a Gylfi Sigurdsson effort which was tipped over the bar by Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

Nigeria nosed ahead four minutes into the second period when Victor Moses sprinted down the right wing and crossed towards Musa. The Nigerian controlled beautifully, before slamming home to give his side the lead.

Musa could have grabbed a hattrick had his attempt from 20 yards not come off the crossbar.

Musa then sped past Iceland right-back Kari Arnason on the wing to round goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson and score his second of the evening.

Iceland were handed a lifeline when Tyronne Ebuehi was late on a challenge on Alfred Finnbogason, and the referee gave a penalty — though only after reviewing the play on video.

But Sigurdsson sent his shot high over the bar and into the stands after a short run-up and Nigeria held on to take the three points.

IANS

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World Cup: Switzerland beat Serbia 2-1 in Group E tie

Switzerland equalised in the second half, thanks to a superb long range strike by Granit Xhaka (52nd).

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Switzerland vs Serbia

Kaliningrad (Russia), June 23 (IANS) A late goal by Xherdan Shaqiri earned Switzerland 2-1 win over Serbia in a Group E clash of the FIFA World Cup at the Kaliningrad Stadium here.

Aleksandar Mitrovic handed Serbia the lead in the fifth minute during the match on Friday.

Switzerland equalised in the second half, thanks to a superb long range strike by Granit Xhaka (52nd).

Shaqiri (90th) found the winning goal in the final minute of regulation time.

Switzerland now have four points from two matches.

Serbia have three points from two games.

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