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2nd T2oI: India clinch series with thumping win

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Lucknow, Nov 7 (IANS) An all-round show guided India to a thumping 71-run victory over West Indies in the second contest of the three-match T20 international series at the newly inaugurated AB Vajpayee Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.

It was a completely one-sided affair as the hosts dominated the visitors in every department of the game and with the thumping win, India also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the rubber.

After Rohit Sharma took every West Indian bowler to the cleaners to bring up his fourth T20 ton as India put a mammoth 196-run target before the visitors, the bowlers also rose to the occasion to restrict the opponents to 124/9 in the allotted 20 overs.

Chasing the huge target, the visitors were off to a poor start as openers Shai Hope (6) and Shimron Hetmyer (15) were packed back by Khaleel Ahmed as the West Indies’ scorecard read 33/2 in 5.2 overs.

With the addition of another 15 runs in the visitors’ score, Kuldeep Yadav struck twice in his first over to dismiss Darren Bravo (23) and Nicholas Pooran (4) in the eighth over.

Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar also joined the party to pick up the wicket of Denesh Ramdin (10), leaving West Indies reeling at 81/6 in 13.4 overs. A fine throw by Krunal Pandya in the very next ball saw incoming batsman Fabian Allen failing in making his ground as he departed without any contribution.

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar then scalped one wicket each to dismantle West Indies’ lower order before skipper Carlos Brathwaite, who remained unbeaten, and Keemo Paul chipped in with 15 and 20 runs respectively as the visitors somehow managed to reach the three-digit mark.

West Indies could only manage to reach 124 runs losing nine wickets in 20 overs as the visitors lost the T20I series too, with one match to go.

For India, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Khaleel and Kuldeep bagged two wickets each.

Earlier, Rohit became the leading Indian scorer in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) as he cracked an unbeaten hundred to help the hosts post 195/2.

Rohit remained unbeaten after smashing 111 runs off 61 balls, his innings studded with eight fours and seven sixes as the tourists could not find an answer to the Indian stand-in captain’s brilliance after opting to bowl first.

Rohit, who hit counterpart Brathwaite for a four in the third ball of the last over to bring up his fourth T20 ton — the most by any batsman — now has 2108 runs in the shortest format of the game. Regular skipper Virat Kohli is behind him at 2102 runs.

The Indian openers had to weather some good fast bowling by West Indies at the start, but from the moment Rohit broke the shackles with a six off the first ball of spin he faced, he looked unstoppable.

Rohit smashed 20 runs off the last over with Lokesh Rahul (26 not out) for company. Rahul hit two fours and a six to further propel the score.

Shikhar Dhawan (43 off 41; 3×4) also returned to form and joined hands with Rohit for a 123-run opening wicket stand.

For the hapless Windies, Fanian Allen returned best figures of 1/33 as all the bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Rohit.

Pacer Oshane Thomas started proceedings with a maiden, clocking 146 kmph in the last ball of the first over.

Till the fourth over, there was no boundary hit as Keemo and Thomas restricted the hosts to 11/0.

It was only in the fifth over that Rohit and Dhawan changed gears, hitting Thomas for 17 runs to take the score to 49/0 at the end of the powerplay.

There was no stopping the pair from there on as India raced to 83/0 at the halfway stage with both batsmen looking good for big scores.

Rohit was dropped by Khary Pierre when he was batting on 27 with the bowler claiming he had completed the catch but action replays showing the ball bounced before reaching Pierre.

Dhawan was also dropped on 28 by Keemo Paul at the midwicket boundary off Brathwaite.

But just when Dhawan was looking good for a half century, Nicholas Pooran took a fine catch at the long leg boundary off Fabian Allen to get rid of the southpaw.

Pierre got the back of Risabh Pant who was caught on the midwicket boundary by Hetmyer.

Brief scores: India 195/2 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 111 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 43; Fabian Allen 1/33) beat West Indies 124/9 in 20 overs (Darren Bravo 23, Keemo Paul 20; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/12)

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Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah retain top spots in ODI rankings

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Virat Kohli India vs West indies 2nd odi

Dubai, Nov 13: India skipper Virat Kohli and pacer Jasprit Bumrah retained their respective top spots in the latest One-Day International (ODI) rankings released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) here on Tuesday.

Kohli’s deputy Rohit Sharma also remained static at the second spot in the batmen’s list. Kohli has 899 points while Rohit has 871.

In the bowlers’ chart, apart from the top ranked Bumrah who has 841 points, spinner Kuldeep Yadav held on to the third place while Yuzvendra Chahal jumped three places to the fifth spot.

Rashid Khan of Afghanistan with 353 points is the top-ranked all-rounder and in the team rankings, India with 121 points, remained second behind England (126 points).

Apart from the Indians, several foreign players also made their presence felt. Two brilliant innings against Pakistan have lifted New Zealand’s Ross Taylor to a career best No.3 in the list for ODI batsmen, according to an ICC statement.

The innings took Taylor past Joe Root and Babar Azam to No.3, only behind Kohli and Rohit.

More changes were there within the top 10 of batsmen following the completion of the series between Australia and South Africa and, Pakistan and New Zealand. Faf du Plessis moved up three spots to No.7 and both Kane Williamson and Quinton de Kock dropped two spots, but still staying in the top 10 – Williamson at No.9 and de Kock at No.10.

Just below them, moving up six spots to No.11, was Fakhar Zaman, the Pakistan opener who hit 1, 88 and 65 in the three ODIs against New Zealand. It’s a career-high position for him too.

Other gainers included David Miller, whose 51 and 139 in the second and third ODIs catapulted him 11 spots to 31st position, Marcus Stoinis, who scored 63 in the last game to move up three positions to No.49, and Shaun Marsh, who hit a fighting 106 in the last ODI and moved up 18 places to 62nd spot.

No such luck for Australia captain Aaron Finch, who had a poor series – 5, 41 and 11 – and dropped two places to No.17.

On to the bowlers, Kagiso Rabada is now in the top five, at No.4, after picking up seven wickets in the series in Australia.

Imran Tahir has dropped out of the top 10, but moving up are Shadab Khan (up 16 spots to No.24), Lockie Ferguson (up 31 spots to No.42) and Lungi Ngidi (up 19 spots to No.43).

Coming into the reckoning after picking up five wickets in two ODIs in Australia was Dwaine Pretorius, who jumped 20 places to No.55, jointly with Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, the 18-year-old who picked up nine wickets in the series against New Zealand, gained a remarkable 66 spots to get to No.118, just outside the top 100.

Among the all-rounders, Mohammad Hafeez, who made big gains in the Twenty20 International charts too, swapped positions with New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner, getting to No.4.

IANS

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Real Madrid beat Celta 4-2

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Vigo (Spain), Nov 12: Real Madrid cruised to a 4-2 road victory against a Celta Vigo that couldn’t keep from committing defensive errors, the capital squad’s fourth win so far in the still-dawning “Santiago Solari era”.

The two teams rocked right from the start at Balaidos stadium on Sunday, with Real’s Benzema firing a pair of shots and Celta answering back with a cross from Boufal – and all this in the first five minutes, reports Efe news.

But then Real was able set the rhythm with good ball control and Celta backed off. Thus the capital squad had only a few reversals in the first half – the key one being Casemiro’s ankle injury in the 10th minute.

Midway through the first half, in the 23rd minute, Benzema took a great pass from Modric and moved in against Sergio alone after a simple fake got him by Cabral and Roncaglia, getting Real on the board.

The Madrid team kept up the momentum against their rivals, mounting easy attacks along the flanks, albeit being unable to sink another shot until the 53rd minute, when it was Benzema again on another great individual effort taking advantage of a defensive error to fire one towards the net that hit the post and rebounded off the body of Celta’s Cabral into his own net for the 2-0.

The home squad finally managed to get on the board in the 61st minute when team captain Hugo Mallo found the twine after a long pass by Brais.

In the 82nd minute, Sergio Ramos scored for Real Madrid on a penalty kick. Ceballos scored again for the capital boys with a powerful blast from outside the area in the 90th minute and Brais Mendez managed to notch a somewhat-face-saving tally for the home team in stoppage time.

Cabral was expelled in the 87th minute when he received his second yellow card.

IANS

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3rd T20I: India edge past West Indies in last ball thriller

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Chennai, Nov 11 : A brilliant batting display from Shikhar Dhawan (92) and Rishabh Pant (58) helped India edge past West Indies by six wickets in a last ball thriller in the final match of the Twenty20 International series here on Sunday.

With this win, India completed a whitewash in the three-match series.

After two quick wickets, Dhawan and Pant batted well and put India on the brink of victory but Pant’s wicket in the penultimate over changed the scenario of the match and the game went to the last over.

Needing five runs in seven balls, Dhawan and Manish Pandey scored four runs in first three balls but then a dot ball and Dhawan’s wicket made the match interesting which could have been finished much earlier.

Needing one run in one ball, Manish, who seemed out of sorts in the middle, somehow managed to steal a run to hand India a victory.

Chasing a challenging score of 182, India started on a bad note, losing opener Rohit Sharma (4) in the third over.

New batsman Lokesh Rahul (17) then came in the middle and displayed some brilliant shots but soon he was also dismissed by Oshane Thomas in the sixth over.

With the scoreboard reading 45/2, Dhawan (92) and Pant (58) took the charge and hammered the Windies’ bowlers all around the park to forge a 130-run partnership. In the process, the duo completed their respective half centuries.

But just when it seemed India will finish off the proceedings in style, Pant was dismissed in the 19th over.

New batsman Pandey then struggled at the crease but at the end, India managed to steal the game in the last ball.

Earlier, a good batting show helped West Indies post a challenging total of 181/3.

The visitors applied themselves perfectly and made sure they did not loose wickets till the end which saw middle-order batsmen Darren Bravo (43 not out) and Nicholas Pooran (53 not out) taking the charge towards the end, helping their team to post a decent score.

Opting to bat, openers Shai Hope (24) and Shimron Hetmyer (26) started the proceedings on a good note, forging a 51-run partnership in six overs.

But while trying to accelerate the score, Hope was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the seventh over. After adding 11 more runs to the total with Bravo, Hetmyer was also sent packing by Chahal.

Despite two quick wickets, Bravo kept on playing sensibly with Denesh Ramdin (15). Just when things seemed good in the middle, Ramdin played a poor shot and was clean bowled by Washington Sundar in the 13th over when the scoreboard was reading 94/3.

New batsman Pooran then joined Bravo in the middle and started punishing the bad balls. The duo forged a crucial unbeaten 87-run partnership for the fourth wicket and helped West Indies finish their innings in style.

Pooran played 25 balls and slammed four boundaries and as many sixes.

For India, Chahal took two wickets while Sundar scalped one.

Brief scores: West Indies 181/3 (Darren Bravo 43 not out, Nicholas Pooran 53 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/28) against India 182/4 (Shikhar Dhawan 92, Rishabh Pant 58; Keemo Paul 2/32)

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