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Australia retain the Ashes, beat England by 185 runs

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Australia Cricket Team

Manchester, Sep 8 (IANS) Australia saw off late resistance from Jack Leach and Craig Overton to beat England by 185 runs on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in the series and retain the Ashes. Chasing a target of 383, England folded for 197 as Pat Cummins took four wickets to pierce through its top and middle order, and Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc wiped out the rest.

With only a draw or a series win for Australia possible and the visitors winning the previous Ashes, they retain the title regardless of what happens in the final Test at the Oval.

Cummins started the day by adding two more wickets to his tally in the first session. The first was that of Jason Roy who put up 66 runs for the third wicket with Joe Denly. The pair managed to fend off 145 balls before Cummins got Roy. He then got the wicket of England’s Headingley hero Ben Stokes while the latter was on 1 off 17 balls.

Opener Denly, who had scored a half century was finally dismissed by Lyon in the 40th over of the innings after and after Jonny Bairstow, it was down to Jos Buttler to resist the Australians with the tail.

Buttler and Overton saw England through to tea and the former did well to fend off for 111 balls. He left a delivery from Josh Hazlewood that swung in and took off his off stump and thus had to depart having made 34 runs.

However, Leach and Overton then combined to grind out the bowlers for most of the third session. The pair looked comfortable against Hazlewood, Starc, Cummins and Lyon and it took Marnus Labuschagne to make the difference. Labuschagne pitched on the rough on length outside off and it got big on Leach. He fended it off only for the ball to fall into the hands of short leg. Leach had faced 51 balls and his ninth wicket stand with Overton lasted 85 deliveries and much of the third session.

Overton was the last man to fall with Hazlewood getting an LBW decision in his favour. The batsman reviewed the decision and unsurprisingly the decision was upheld.

Brief scores: Australia 497/8d (Steve Smith 211, Marnus Labuschagne 67; Stuart Broad 3/97) & 186/6d (Steve Smith 82, Matthew Wade 34; Jofra Archer 3/45) vs England 301 (Rory Burns 81, Joe Root 71; Josh Hazlewood 4/57) & 197 (Joe Denly 53, Jos Buttler 34; Pat Cummins 4/43)

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Anand gets past Xiong for first win in Tata Steel Masters

It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.

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Viswanathan Anand

Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Jan 17 : Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand beat Jeffery Xiong of the United States to notch up his first victory in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Friday.

Anand was struggling for form but roared back to notch a win after one loss and three draws.

The Indian was very good in the round four match, playing some brilliant chess.

It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.

Anand fired a king side attack early with his white pieces and enjoyed spatial advantage in the middle game.

Xiong tried to keep him at bay but in the end Anand found a crucial central breakthrough after which the resulting rook and pawns endgame was a walk in the park.

Anand moved to joint sixth spot with 2.5 points on a day.

Firouzja Alireza also scored a victory over Anish Giri of Holland.

Anish Giri dropped to 11th spot along with Nikita Vituigov of Russia on two points, Yu Yangyi of China is in 13th spot on 1.5 points and Kovalev stands last with just one point in his bag. Eight rounds still remain in the marathon event among 14 players.

Magnus Carlsen’s form was not too good even though he played his 112th game without a defeat.

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Rohit Sharma fastest to score 7k ODI runs as opener

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Rohit Sharma

Rajkot, Jan 17 : India’s Rohit Sharma on Friday became the fastest batsman to score 7000 ODI runs as opener, leaving behind Hashim Amla and Sachin Tendulkar. Rohit achieved the feat during the second ODI against Australia at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium against Australia.

While Rohit took 137 innings to reach the milestone, Amla, who now stands at the second spot, had achieved the feat in 147 innings. Tendulkar had completed 7,000 ODI runs in 160 inniings.

Rohit also became the fourth Indian opener to complete 7,000 ODI runs. Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag are the three other batsmen to have reached this milestone.

The 32-year-old, who had failed to score much during India’s thrashing in Mumbai, looked to be in fine form in Rajkot before he was dismissed by Adam Zampa after scoring 42 off 44 deliveries.

The Mumbaikar missed out on completing another record as he fell four runs short of reaching 9,000 runs in ODIs. Even though Rohit started as a middle-order batsman in the Indian team, then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted him to the top during the 2013 Champions Trophy.

There has been no looking back for Rohit since and commenting on Dhoni’s move, the batsman had said: “I believe the decision to open in ODIs changed my career and it was a decision taken by Dhoni. I became a better batsman after that. In fact it helped me understand my game better, react better according to situations.

“He (Dhoni) just came up to me and said ‘I want you to open the innings as I am confident that you will do well. Since you can play both cut and pull shot well, you have the qualities to succeed as an opener’.”

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Australia elect to bowl against India in Rajkot ODI

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Rajkot: Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field in the second ODI against India at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

Australia are going with the same playing XI which featured in Mumbai where they thrashed India by 10 wickets. “We are going to bowl first. It looks like a beautiful wicket. They controlled their length really well. Same team for us,” said Finch after winning the toss.

The hosts, on the other hand, have made two changes to line-up. Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur have been replaced by Manish Pandey and Navdeep Saini.

“We would’ve bowled first as well. But the good thing is that there’s not much dew. It looks really nice and hard. If we put enough runs on the board, we have a good chance of defending,” said India skipper Virat Kohli.

“You will be beaten comprehensively by sides like Australia at the international level. It’s about understanding what went wrong. We need to focus on the positives. We are going to be more brave than the last game, that’s for sure.”

Talking about the changes, Kohli said: “One forced change as Rishabh is out with a concussion. KL will don the gloves and Manish comes in for Rishabh. Also, Saini replaces Shardul.”

Playing XI: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul(w), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey(w), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa

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