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Day Night Test: Mushfiqur delays inevitable after Kohli-Ishant show

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Mushfiqur Rahim Bangladesh

Kolkata, Nov 23 : Mushfiqur Rahim scored a gritty unbeaten 59 to share the limelight with centurion Virat Kohli as Bangladesh kept India’s series sweep celebrations on ice and ended Day 2 on 152/6 in the second Test at Eden Gardens on Saturday.

Bangladesh still trail India by 89 runs with four wickets in hand. Taijul Islam (11) was removed off the last ball of the day by Umesh Yadav (2/40).

At close of play, Ishant Sharma, who bagged a five-for in the first innings, returned with figures of 4/39 in the second.

Earlier, Kohli slammed his 27th Test hundred and equalled former Australian great Ricky Ponting’s record of 41 international centuries as captain. With the century, Kohli’s 20th as India captain in Tests, the 31-year-old also surpassed Ponting’s tally of 19 Test tons as skipper.

India were on course to bat Bangladesh out of the maiden pink ball Test and sweep the series comfortably after declaring at 347/9 in reply to the tourists’ paltry 106.

A lead of 241 runs meant it was an improbable task for Bangladesh to force even a draw and after being being reduced to 13/4 inside seven overs, it was only a matter of time before the formalities were completed.

But seasoned batter Mushfiqur and T20 captain Mahmudullah Riyad forged a 69-run unbroken partnership before the latter retired hurt after pulling a hamstring.

Mushfiqur got to his 21st fifty in just 54 balls and added another 51 runs with Mehidy Hasan before Ishant had Hasan caught at first slip by Kohli.

The tourists were 7/2 at dinner losing opener Shadman Islam for a duck as skipper Mominul Islam got out for a pair, the 23rd occasion when the captain did not open his account twice in the same Test match.

Mohammad Mithun, who survived a knock on his helmet grill off Ishant, pulled a Umesh delivery to Mohammed Shami at short midwicket with Imrul Kayes (5) edging Ishant to Kohli at third slip.

In the afternoon, it was all about Kohli’s hundred as Ajinkya Rahane brought up his 21st half century to help India consolidate.

Kohli got to the landmark, his 70th international ton and 20th as captain, by tucking Taijul for two runs past square leg.

The talismanic batsman, who now has back-to-back tons at Eden Gardens with the last coming against Sri Lanka in 2017, took 159 balls to get to his century in 234 minutes after being on 59 at Stumps on the first day.

Kohli shifted gears after getting to his hundred and hit Abu Jayed for four consecutive fours to go into tea break looking good for a double ton. Rahane, who started the day on 23, smashed his 21st fifty but was dismissed soon after for 51 from 69 balls with the help of seven fours as India resumed on 174/3.

This was Rahane’s fourth consecutive 50-plus score as he added 99 runs with his captain.

Kohli cover-drove Ebadat to reach 99 and, with the crowd chanting his name, took two off Taijul to bring up his century.

In the second session, India lost Ravindra Jadeja (12) and Kohli in quick succession just after the break. Jadeja lost his off stump to Abu Jayed by not offering a shot while it took a stunning catch from Taijul Islam to get rid of Kohli.

The Indian captain flicked a poor Ebadat Hossain delivery to square leg where Taijul, who was axed from the playing XI originally but returned as concussion substitute for Nayeem Hasan on Day 1, threw himself to his right from square-ish long leg to take the catch.

Ravichandran Ashwin (9) was trapped before the wickets as the hosts declared soon after with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha remaining unbeaten on 14.

India triumphed inside three days in the series opener in Indore and a similar thrashing appeared on the cards for Bangladesh who were skittled out for 106 in their first innings.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 152/6 & 106 all out (Mushfiqur Rahim 59 batting, Mahmudullah 39; Ishant Sharma 4/39) vs India 347/9d (Virat Kohli 136, Cheteshwar Pujara 55; Al-Amin Hossain 3/85)

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Tata Steel Chess: Anand draws with Jorden van Foreest

It was the 18th straight draw between him and Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the Classical time control.

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Viswanathan Anand

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands), Jan 18 : Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand was on Saturday held to a draw by Dutch Jorden Van Foreest in the sixth round of Tata Steel Masters.

Veteran Anand faced the Four Knights opening in the sixth round as black and unleashed an attack in the centre early by sacrificing two pawns.

Anand tried to make inroads as White’s king was stuck around the centre for a long time and
it was a cautious move by both players especially after white lost back one pawn.

The draw was agreed upon once Anand picked the second pawn.

Anand remained in joint sixth spot after three points from six games.

Anand needs a powerful finish to be in with a chance of finishing on the podium with seven rounds still remaining.

Meanwhile, World champion Magnus Carlsen’s got a sixth draw on the trot as his search for an elusive win continued.

It was the 18th straight draw between him and Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the Classical time control.

Elsewhere, Anish Giri bounced back from his previous round loss to defeat Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus while Daniil Dubov thrashed his Russian compatriot Vladislav Artemiev.

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Sania scripts dream return, clinches doubles title in Hobart

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Hobart: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza along with Nadiia Kichenok came out with yet another brilliant performance as they defeated the China’s Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai in straight sets to win the women’s doubles title at Hobart International on Saturday.

Former doubles No.1 Mirza and Kichenok defeated the second-seeded Chinese duo 6-4, 6-4 in a rather one-sided contest which lasted one hour and 21 minutes.

The Indo-Ukrainian pair were the first to break in each set, but ultimately needed to wrap up the match by delivering the deciding breaks late. The unseeded duo won the last three games of the opener, and eight of the last 10 points to seal victory, having nearly seen a double-break advantage slip away.

Though the duo won six straight games from 3-4 in the opener to lead 6-4, 3-0, the 33-year-old Indian was the one who saw her serve broken twice as the Chinese eventually restored parity at 4-4.

Nonetheless, Mirza and Kichenok finished the match off in style with their fifth break of the match, before the Ukrainian served out the match and the victory for the team.

It is Mirza’s first WTA title in just over two years and 42nd of her storied doubles career, while Kichenok won her fifth, and first since partnering her twin sister, Lyudmyla, to win the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in 2018.

The Indian star last won a trophy alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Brisbane International in the first week of the 2017 season, one of three doubles finals she reached that year before announcing her pregnancy in April of 2018.

Three-time doubles Grand Slam winner Mirza was making a return to competition after a two-year hiatus away from tennis, initially due to injuries and then welcoming a son in October 2018.

The former world No.1 won the Australian Open doubles title in 2016 following a successful 2015 season in which she claimed the Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles, all paired with Martina Hingis.

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Rajkot ODI: India level series with 36-run win

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Rajkot, Jan 17 : India beat South Africa by 36 runs in the second ODI at the SCA stadium in Rajkot to level the three-match series between the two sides 1-1. Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli helped India post a total of 341 to chase. In response, Australia were all out for 304 despite Steve Smith scoring 98.

Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch, who posted a record 258-run stand to help Australia stroll to a win in the first ODI, could not do a repeat of their heroics with the former being dismissed in the fourth over. Smith came in at number three and put up 62 with Finch before the Australian captain fell to Ravindra Jadeja on account of a close stumping call in the 16th over.

Finch had attempted to hit Jadeja over extra cover but missed the delivery due to the turn. Finch dragged his backfoot marginally outside the crease and wicketkeeper Rahul whipped the bails off immediately. Replays made it a tough call for the umpire to make but the decision went India’s way in the end.

However, Marnus Labuschagne, playing his first ODI innings, stuck on with Smith and the pair gave Australia the upper hand in the middle overs. They put up 96 for the third wicket before Labuschagne holed out at mid-off off Jadeja on 46. Smith however looked settled and was cruising to his ninth ODI ton when a loose shot cost him his wicket.

Kuldeep Yadav, who was wicketless in the first eight overs, bowled the 38th over and got Carey when the latter sent the ball straight to Kohli at extra cover. It was Kuldeep’s 100th ODI wicket and two balls later, Smith played on and had to walk back two runs shy of his hundred.

Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins were dismissed off consecutive deliveries by Mohammed Shami in the 44th over. Both players were done in by pinpoint yorkers directed at the middle stump. Shami sent in a leg stump yorker for his hat-trick ball and hit Mitchell Starc on his pads but the umpire didn’t raise his finger with the ball clearly going down the leg side.

Navdeep Saini then got India closer in the 47th with the wickets of Ashton Agar and Starc off the first and third balls of the over. Kane Richardson then delayed the inevitable by smashing Mohammed Shami for three fours and a six in the penultimate over. Jasprit Bumrah ended the match by dismissing Adam Zampa off the first ball of the last over.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan scored his third straight fifty with a sublime 96 from 90 balls, his innings laced with 13 fours and a six as skipper Kohli smashed a 76-ball 78 (6×4). But it was Rahul, batting at No.5 who gave India the much-needed push in the last ten overs with his aggressive batting and range of shots. Rahul was run out in the final over for 80 off just 52 balls, his quickfire knock studded with six fours and three sixes.

For the Aussies, leg-spinner Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/50.

The decisive third ODI will be played on Sunday at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.

Brief scores: India: 340/6 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 96, KL Rahul 80, Virat Kohli 78; Adam Zampa 3/50) vs Australia 304 (Steve Smith 98, Marnus Labuschagne 46; Mohammed Shami 3/77)

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