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Ashish Nehra ‘satisfied’ to retire on a high

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Ashish Nehra India vs new zealand
Ashish Nehra waves to crowd after his retirement from all forms of cricket during the first T20 match against New Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

New Delhi, Nov 2: Very few cricketers bid adieu to international cricket with both the bowling ends named after them and that too in their home ground but veteran pacer Ashish Nehra called himself “fortunate” to have all these during his farewell game — the first T20 International against New Zealand at the Ferozshah Kotla here.

Nehra could not have asked for a better send-off as the men-in-blue also won the contest by 53 runs on Wednesday to register their first victory against the Kiwis in the shortest format.

Recalling his debut Ranji match against Haryana in 1997 from the same end where he was asked to bowl the final over on Wednesday, the 38-year-old said he was satisfied and happy to end on a high.

“I still remember my first match in 1997 when I bowled my very first over in professional cricket against Haryana from the same end. There is no doubt that it’s emotional but I am happy and satisfied to end his career on a high,” Nehra told reporters in the post-match press conference.

“I am very lucky to play my final game in front of my home crowd. This is where I have played my 20 years of cricket. It feels great to retire when you are on top of the game.

“When I informed captain Virat (Kohli) and head coach Ravi Shastri of my decision during the first T20I against Australia at Ranchi, Virat asked me ‘Are you sure'”

“I said ‘this is the time when you are on top of your game and fortunately got a match in Delhi’, what better occasion could I get to hang my boots,” he further said.

After undergoing a dozen surgeries during his 18-year-long injury-littered international career, Nehra said it is his body that will be at peace post retirement.

“I will miss all this. That’s what you train for. One thing which will definitely be at peace will be my body.

“I said earlier that I can go a couple more years, but there can’t be a better time to walk away,” Nehra said.

“I last played Test cricket when I was 24 or 25, but at the end, to have played for 18 years and to be here standing in blue clothing and to have played my final match, I could not have asked for anything more.

“I have no regrets. I am always happy, retired or otherwise,” added Nehra, who took 44 scalps from 17 Tests.

Asked about his future plans, Nehra said he is yet to take a call on whether to go for coaching or commentary roles.

Nehra finished his international career with 34 scalps from 27 T20 Internationals besides taking 157 wickets from 120 One-day Internationals.

IANS

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Asia Cup: Afghanistan thrash Bangladesh by 136 runs

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Afghanistan Cricket Team

Abu Dhabi, Sep 21 : A disciplined all-round effort saw Afghanistan thrashing Bangladesh by 136 runs in their last group match of the Asia Cup here on Thursday.

Chasing 256, Bangladesh were bundled out for 119.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan picked up two wickets each to hand Afghanistan a comfortable victory.

Chasing a decent target, Bangladesh never looked in the contention as they lost their wickets at regular intervals.

Shakib Al Hasan (32), Mahmudullah (27) and Mosaddek Hossain (26 not out) mainly contributed to the Bangladeshi score. No other batsman clicked and went back to the pavilion one after another, posting single digit individual scores.

Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain scored towards the end but the lack of support denied the run chase.

Earlier, Afghanistan rode on some brilliant batting by Rashid Khan (57 not out), Gulbadin Naib (42 not out) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (58) to post a decent score.

Besides the trio, opener Mohammad Shahzad (37) also played handsomely.

For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan took four wickets while Abu Hider Rony scalped two wickets.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 255/7, (Hashmatullah Shahidi 58, Rashid Khan 57 not out; Shakib Al Hasan 4/42) against Bangladesh 119/10 (Shakib Al Hasan 32; Rashid Khan 2/13)

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Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur ruled out of Asia Cup

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Mumbai, Sep 20: Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur have been ruled out of the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 owing to injuries, the BCCI announced on Thursday.

BCCI’s senior selection committee has now replaced the trio by Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Siddharth Kaul, who will be joining the team in Dubai on Thursday.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya had suffered an acute lower back spasm during the game against Pakistan on Wednesday and is undergoing treatment and assessment by the BCCI medical team.

Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Axar Patel injured his left index finger while fielding against Pakistan. He was sent for scans and the results showed that he had a tendon tear.

On the other hand, right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur had experienced right hip and groin soreness after the match against Hong Kong.

The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side, who had thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets on Wednesday, will take on Bangladesh in their first Super four game on Friday.

IANS

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Asia Cup 2018: India thrash Pakistan by eight wickets

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India vs pak asia cup 2018

Dubai, Sep 19: A strong bowling performance followed by some power-packed batting saw India thrash arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets in their Group A clash of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here on Wednesday.

Asked to field first, three-wicket hauls from pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav enabled India to restrict Pakistan to a paltry 162. Bhuvneshwar returned figures of 3/15 while Jadhav got 3/23.

In reply, a quickfire half-century by Rohit Sharma and his 86-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan saw India comfortably overhaul the target with a whopping 21 overs to spare.

Rohit plundered 52 runs off 39 deliveries, hitting six boundaries and three sixes along the way.

Dhawan scored 46 runs off 54 balls before a loose shot to a Faheem Ashraf delivery handed an easy catch to Babar Azam at point.

Following the duo’s departure, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthick ensured that India crossed the line without losing any more wickets.

Earlier, the Pakistan batsmen never really found any momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Pakistan got off to a slow start and could only manage 25/2 in the first 10 overs.

Bhuvneshwar sent back openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman early on to leave Pakistan struggling with two wickets down after 4.1 overs with just two runs on the board.

Shoiab Malik and Babar Azam then got going well and negotiated the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal — who went wicketless — and Kuldeep well. The pair stitched together an 82-run stand for the third wicket.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav triggered Pakistan’s slide with a brilliantly executed wrong un’ that outfoxed Pakistan’s best batsman Babar Azam (47) when he was looking good along with Shoaib Malik (43).

Jadhav removed Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (6) around the halfway mark of the first innings before accounting for Asif Ali (9) and Shadab Khan (8). That saw Pakistan, who were relatively comfortably placed at 85/2 at one point, collapsing to 121/7.

From then on, Pakistan could never recover as Mohammed Amir (18 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (21) joined hands for a 37-run partnership towards the end before Jasprit Bumrah (2/23) dismissed Ashraf and Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah got rid of Hasan Ali (1) and Usman Khan (0) respectively.

Malik hit the first six of the innings in the 13th over off Kuldeep and three overs later got a reprieve when Mahendra Singh Dhoni dropped him behind the stumps off Hardik Pandya.

Moments later, Pandya had to be stretchered off after suffering what turned out to be a lower-back injury during his follow through. Pandya clutched the floor and could not get up, needing attention from the medical team.

Just when the partnership seemed to be growing, Kuldeep once again underlined why he is a wily customer and can be unplayable at times with a ripper of a googly that pitched on middle and turned away from the batsman at the last moment to knock over his off-stump.

Malik then was dropped again at deep midwicket off Kuldeep as Bhuvneshwar failed to read a slog sweep in which the ball went high up in the air with the pacer misjuding the direction and over-running.

Captain Sarfraz, who had joined Malik at the crease, did not stay long as Manish Pandey took a superb catch at wide long-on off Jadhav.

Malik was run out soon after, failing to convert his start into a big one as the slide started for Pakistan.

Jadhav then added to his rivals’ misery by picking up the wickets of Asif Ali and Shadab Khan as Pakistan failed to string together partnerships.

Amir and Ashraf tried hard to get important runs towards the end but could not bat out the full 50 overs.

Brief scores:

Pakistan: 162 in 43.1 overs (Babar Azam 47, Shoaib Malik 43; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/15, Kedar Jadhav 3/23) lost to India: 164/2 in 29 overs (Rohit Sharma 52, Shikhar Dhawan 46) by eight wickets.

IANS

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