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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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Argentina declares three-day national mourning for Maradona

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

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Buenos Aires: The Argentina government has declared three days of national mourning for the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona, the office of the presidency has said.

“The President of the Nation will decree three days of national mourning from the day (of his death),” according to the statement on Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

Maradona died due to cardiorespiratory arrest at his home in the Tigre district on the northern outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires.

His body did not show “any sign of violence” and everything indicates that he died of “natural causes,” the prosecutor general of the Argentinian town of San Isidro, John Broyad, said.

According to Broyad, Maradona passed away “around 12:00” local time (1500 GMT) Wednesday at his home in the neighbourhood of San Andres, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

In statements to the press, Broyad said that “at 16:00 (local time) the work of the Forensics Police began” on the body of the former footballer.

“No signs of criminality were evident, no signs of violence,” said the prosecutor.

In addition, he reported that an autopsy would be carried out at the morgue of San Fernando Hospital, to “reliably determine the causes of death”.

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

On October 30, Maradona had celebrated his 60th birthday.

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Diego Maradona (1960-2020): When death felt like a tackle from behind

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008.

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Diego Maradona, the shanty-town boy who became a supernatural footballer before his life went into a downward spiral of addiction and myriad health issues for over 30 years, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He turned 60 on October 30.

Maradona had looked death in the eye a number of times and when he underwent successful surgery for a subdural haematoma recently, his fans would have been forgiven for thinking the worst had passed. In 2004, doctors said his heart was functioning at 40% efficiency. Back then, Maradona pulled through and went on to coach Argentina in the 2010 World Cup where amid the constellation of the planet’s football star, he — in a sharp suit, a diamond stud glinting from an ear and a wristwatch on either hand — was the cynosure till Argentina were gobsmacked by Germany one day after Holland sent Brazil home.

Life, it seemed, was sucked out of that World Cup because the curtains had come down on Maradona’s performance. At press conferences — where once he climbed over the dais to bearhug a journalist who then became the story — and on the pitch where his last memorable act was possibly burying his face on son-in-law Sergio Aguero’s back as Germany scored another goal in that 4-0 rout.

The year 2004 wasn’t the only time he had flirted with death and had the world praying and believing in a miracle. One year later, he had a gastric bypass surgery to help deal with obesity. And as a boy he had survived falling into a pit where he could have drowned. On turning 45 at a party with 400 friends for company, Maradona had said: “I am 45. And I am alive,” wrote Marcela Mora y Araujo, who translated his autobiography “El Diego” in The Observer. “He’s a crazy little giant who dices with death and toboggans unto hell on a daily basis,” wrote Araujo in the introduction to the autobiography.

So it wasn’t surprising that the Maradona of 2006 had again made way to a bloated version of the genius who slalomed his way past England in the 1986 World Cup to score one of the most memorable goals of the competition ever. In Russia in 2018, the version of Maradona that filled fans with dread was seen in the World Cup when he had to be helped from his seat during the Argentina-Nigeria game. He blamed it on wine and said he was fine and we got on with our lives. So when news broke of his heart attack at home in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, it felt like a tackle from behind. How could death win this round?

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008. In Egypt, bandits released a group of Argentine tourists on realizing they were from Maradona Country, writes Jimmy Burns, in “Hand of God” . But at least he had played a friendly there. He had not in Kolkata, where the Salt Lake stadium spilled over to see him move in a car. In Bangladesh he had not either, but it didn’t matter. Seeing God, the hero of the 1990 World Cup too and in the bit part he played in 1994 before failing a drug test, felt like an act of fulfillment itself.

Maradona’s rise coincided with football transforming into a billion dollar industry, in whose crosscurrents he found himself for most of his playing career. Except possibly the time at Napoli, where he handheld a team trod upon by the rest of the country to European glory. Two Serie A titles, two second-place finishes an Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup immortalized him in the city. It was while he was at Napoli that Maradona transformed from being an artful dodger to a messiah.

It was also where he came in contact with the Cammora, the city’s crime syndicate. It was where he became a cocaine addict. With Maradona, you see, the sublime and the ridiculous are never mutually exclusive, they exist cheek by jowl. Just as life and death did with him till the final blow on Wednesday.

“Maradona,” Burns begins in ‘Hand of God’, “is the story of a natural-born football talent who grew up to believe he was God and suffered as a result. It was on the pitch where he was the happiest, away from all his troubles, he had said. But while doing what he loved since his uncle gifted him a ball when he could barely walk, he also became a hero for the downtrodden, his ‘Hand of God’ epitomizing — justifying too perhaps — the chicanery that they needed to deal with life’s unfair hand. That magical left foot drew you to him, his outspokenness then endeared him to you.

“Poor old Diego. For so many years we have told him repeatedly, ‘You’re a God’, ‘You are a star’, ‘You are our salvation’ that we forgot to tell him the most important thing: ‘You are a man.’” The words of Jorge Valdano, Maradona’s Argentina teammate in the 1986 World Cup, sums up a life extraordinary.

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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