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



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)


My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.




Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers




Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.





New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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