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Forlan-less Mumbai take on buoyant ATK (ISL preview)

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Mumbai City FC

Mumbai, Dec 12 : Mumbai City FC will sorely miss their marquee footballer Diego Forlan against Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) in the second leg semi-final of the Indian Super League (ISL) match here on Tuesday.

Mumbai is railing by a goal after losing the first leg 3-2 in Kolkata on Saturday.

Mumbai needs to win by at least two goals to ensure a final berth while a draw is enough for ATK. A 1-0 or 2-1 result in favour of Mumbai will mean extra time.

ATK won the intense battle on Saturday after Mumbai had rallied to take a 2-1 lead in a frenetic first half which saw all the five goals scored.

The second dented the visitors’ moral severely when Forlan had to pay for his petulance after the Uruguayan kicked ATK midfielder Jewel Raja, needlessly.

Though Mumbai coach Alexandre Guimaraes said they have sufficient cover to replace Forlan, it is a given that the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball winner’s absence will be a key factor.

ATK on the other hand, is brimming with confidence. ATK drew eight of their 14 matches in the group stage.

That though didn’t bother coach Jose Molina but there have been sections of the people raising eyebrows over their lack of killer instinct.

“We beat Mumbai who has  such a good attacking line and scored three goals against Mumbai’s defence which is also good. That goes to show how well we have played,” Molina had said after their win on Saturday.

ATK did not play a number of first team players including in-form goalie Debjit Mazumder against Mumbai. Molina later explained the decision saying the team has no fixed “first XI” and on Tuesday Dani Mallo may again be asked to man the goal.

ATK’s marquee man Helder Postiga and Canadian striker Iain Hume have combined well thus far and are likely to pose a formidable threat with winger Sameehg Doutie at the heart of their attacks. Doutie’s blistering runs down the right have been their strongest feature and the South African will look to continue his rich form.

 

IANS

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IND vs SL, 2nd ODI: Sri Lanka in trouble as they loose 6 Wickets

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Sri Lanka vs India

Mohali, Dec 13: Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with his third ODI double century to help India post a mammoth 392/4 against Sri Lanka in the second One-day International at the Punjab Cricket Association I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Wednesday.

Sharma, who belted an unbeaten 153-ball 208, comprising 13 fours and 12 sixes, was engaged in two big partnerships — 115 runs for the opening wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 67; 4×9) and then 213 for the second wicket with rookie Shreyas Iyer (88 off 70; 4×9, 2×6).

Coming into the match, the Mumbaikar was the only batsman to have hit two double tons. He got to the landmark in 151 balls when he stole two runs after nudging a full length delivery off his counterpart Thisara Perera in the final over of the innings.

Teams Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera (Captain), Sachith Pathirana, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep,

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Sindhu, Srikanth aim to end 2017 on a high at Superseries Finals

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PV Sindhu Kidambi Srikanth

Dubai, Dec 12: Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will hope to end 2017 on a high when they compete in the season-ending World Superseries Finals, starting at the Hamadan Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

In the tournament featuring the eight best players and pairs of the World Superseries circuit across five categories, Srikanth, who has four men’s singles titles and Sindhu, with two titles, will be favourites in their respective sections.

Srikanth, 24, has been drawn in Group B alongside world champion Axelsen of Denmark, China’s Shi Yuqi and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen.

Group A features top seed Son Wan Ho (Korea), All England and Hong Kong Open champion Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), Ng Ka Long (Hong Kong) and China Open champion Chen Long (China).

The top two players in each group will progress to the semi-finals.

Srikanth, who clinched titles in Australia, Indonesia, Denmark and France, faces a daunting campaign-opener against defending champion Axelsen.

In the women’s singles, Sindhu has been clubbed in Group A with Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, Sayaka Sato and China’s He Bingjiao.

Defending champion and the year’s most successful singles player, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, finds herself in the company of last year’s runner-up Sung Ji Hyun (Korea), Denmark Open champion Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) and World Championships bronze medallist Chen Yufei (China) in Group B.

Sindhu won Superseries titles in India and South Korea Open. The 23-year-old will begin her campaign against Bingjiao. The three-time World Championships medallist got a bronze last year and improving the colour of the medal will be on her mind this time.

“There are going to be some long matches,” anticipated Sindhu, looking at the draw. “Of course Nozomi (Okuhara) and Carolina (Marin) weren’t able to make it, but the other top players are here. I have to play my game and I need to concentrate on each match.

“Since the semi-final places might be decided by the number of games won and lost if the players have an equal number of wins, it’s important to try to win every game.”

IANS

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IND vs SL, 1st ODI: Sri Lanka defeat India by 7 wickets to take 1-0 lead in series

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India vs Sri lanka
File photo

Dharamsala, Dec 10: Sri Lanka dominated with both bat and ball to outclass India by seven wickets in the first One-day International (ODI) at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.

After opting to field, Sri Lanka rode on career best figures of 4/13 from pacer Suranga Lakmal to restrict India to a lowly total of 112 runs. The right-arm seamer’s previous best of 4/30 was against England in December 2014.

Opener Upul Tharanga (49) then helped Sri Lanka chase down the target with a massive 29.2 overs to spare, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

For India, pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/42), Jasprit Bumrah (1/32) and Hardik Pandya (1/39) scalped a wicket each.

Sri Lanka endured a rough start to their innings, losing Danushka Gunathilaka (1) and Lahiru Thirimanne (0) within the first 10 overs.

But the experienced Tharanga brought the chase back on track, smashing 10 boundaries in his 46-ball innings. He also formed a 46-run third wicket stand with Angelo Mathews (25 not out).

However, Tharanga was sent back to the pavilion before completing his half century from a delivery by medium-pacer Hardik Pandya which was edged and easily carried at first slip by Shikhar Dhawan.

Later, incoming batsman Niroshan Dickwella (26 not out) and Mathews helped their side post 114/3 and clinch victory in 20.4 overs.

Earlier, Lakmal took a four-wicket haul as Sri Lanka dismissed India for a paltry 112 runs.

For India, middle-order batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni (65) played a fighting innings to help the hosts register a three-digit total.

After being asked to bat first, India lost their top order — Rohit Sharma (2), Shikhar Dhawan (0), Shreyas Iyer (9), Dinesh Karthik (0) and Manish Pandey (2) — in quick succession.

Sri Lankan opening bowlers Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep (2/37) combined well.

Later, Dhoni played a cautious innings, hitting loose balls to the fence to claim his 67th ODI half-century.

The veteran stumper’s valiant 87-ball innings was laced with 10 boundaries and two hits over the fence.

Kuldeep Yadav (19) from the other end played a perfect second fiddle, notching a 41-run crucial eighth wicket stand with Dhoni.

However, Yadav, who hit four boundaries, was sent back by Akila Dananjaya when his ball went past the outside edge. He was easily stumped by Niroshan Dickwella.

Later, Jasprit Bumrah (0) and Yuzvendra Chahal (0 not out) failed to get amongst the runs.

Dhoni, who stood firm while wickets kept falling, was the last man to be dismissed off a length delivery by Thisara Perrera which was chipped in the air and caught easily by Danushka Gunathilaka at the cover boundary.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 114/3 (Upul Tharanga 49, Niroshan Dickwella 26 not out; Bumrah 1/32) against India 112. 

IANS

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