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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Lankan batting trumps India

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London, June 8, 2017:  Sri Lanka rode on a solid batting display to register a seven-wicket victory over India in their Group B Champions Trophy match at The Oval here on Thursday.

Set a challenging target of 322 runs, the Lankans rode on half-centuries from Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka to cross the line in 48.3 overs and register their first win the tournament.

The duo dominated the Indian bolwers to add 159 runs between them and lay the foundation of a successful run chase.

Mendis was the highest scorer among the Sri Lankans, producing a steady 89 runs off 93 balls before being run out thanks to an excellent piece of fielding by Indian pacer Buvneshwar Kumar off his own bowling.

Gunathilaka smashed 76 off 72 deliveries with seven boundaries and two sixes.

Thursday’s result throws the group wide open as all the teams in the group — India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa — have identical records of a win and a draw.

India will now have to beat South Africa in their last group match on June 11 and Sri lanka face a must win contest against Pakistan a day later in quest to qualify from the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka suffered an early jolt when Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back Niroshan Dickwella in the fifth over.

However, Mendis joined Gunathilaka in the middle and the duo proceeded to turn things around with some superb batting.

After Gunathilaka’s dismissal, Mendis and Kusal Perera added 26 runs between them off 29 balls.

However, poor communication between them coupled with an accurate throw by Bhuvneshwar Kumar deprived Mendis of what would have been an extremely well-deserved century.

Angelo Mathews joined Perera in the middle to produce another crucial partnership for Sri Lanka.

The duo added 75 runs between off just 62 deliveries before Perera had to retire due to an injury to his right hamstring.

Perera scored 47 runs off 44 bals with five hits to the fence.

Mathews continued to battle on and remained unbeaten on 52 at the end.

He received excellent support from Asela Gunaratne who scored a quickfire 34 runs off 21 balls with two boundaries and a couple of sixes.

Earlier opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan’s 125 powered defending champions India to 321/6 in 50 overs.

Dhawan, who registered his 10th century in One-Day International (ODI) cricket, shared a partnership of 138 with fellow opener Rohit Sharma (78; 79b; 4×6, 6×3).

Dhawan also shared an 82-run stand with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (63; 52b; 7×4, 6×2)) for the fourth wicket as India posted a highly-challenging total.

Asked to bat, the Indian right-left combination of Rohit Sharma and Dhawan laid a solid foundation as they made the most of the shorter length maintained by the Sri Lankan pacers.

Dhawan and Rohit initially ensured that they get through the early overs without any damage and then paced their innings nicely once they got settled.

Both the batsmen showed good cutting, pulling and hooking strore-making techniques as they milked runs mostly through the square of the wicket.

Rohit, having completed his 31st fifty, was cruising until being caught by Thisara Perera off pacer Lasith Malinga. That put India at 138/1 in 24.5 overs.

Then, India lost Virat Kohli (0) and Yuvraj Singh (7) cheaply within the next few overs but Dhawan kept finding fours to keep Sri Lanka at bay.

Captain Kohli disappointed the crowd when he edged behind a delivery from paceman Nuwan Pradeep in the fifth ball of the 16th over.

Yuvraj dragged a ball from Asela Gunaratne on to his stumps, and India score read 179/3 in 33.3 overs.

Even if they were at a spot of bother, Dhawan and new batsman Dhoni showed a lot of positivity, not staying away from punishing poor deliveries.

Dhoni made his intention clear as he opened his account with a six over point off pacer Suranga Lakmal.

His approach helped Dhawan and the latter completed his century in 112 deliveries. A cut towards point off Pradeep brought up his three-figure mark.

Dhawan stepped up after completing his century but his innings was halted at 125, when he couldn’t clear Kusal Mendis at long-on off a delivery from Malinga. The Delhi batsman’s knock featured 15 fours and a six from the 128 deliveries he faced.

Dhoni, however, continued to flay the Sri Lankan bowlers who erred in line and length, making it easy for him to showcase his brute power.

Later, Kedar Jadhav scored a quickfire 25 not out from 13 deliveries to take India past 320.

Teams:
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Matthews (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, 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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India aim to bounce back in second ODI vs Sri Lanka

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India vs Sri Lanka

Mohali, Dec 12: Still licking their wounds after the humiliation in Dharamsala, India will be aiming to roar back when they face a rejuvenated Sri Lanka in the do-or-die second One-day International (ODI) at the Punjab Cricket Association’s I.S. Bindra Stadium here on Wednesday.

The embarrassing seven-wicket loss in Sunday’s opener of the three-match rubber was not only an eye-opener for the Men-in-Blue, who are expected to face similar conditions when they land in South Africa later this month.

While Mohali may not be as cold as Dharamsala, the pacers could still have a say in the second match, considering it is another 11.30 a.m. start to the day-night affair.

In such a scenario, Rohit Sharma’s men will need to pull up their socks and learn from the mistakes of the first match, where the top order fell like ninepins.

It was once again the old war-horse Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who stood tall with a patient half century to lift the team’s total to 112 after being down 29/7.

Moreover, the exclusion of the experienced Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI without regular skipper Virat Kohli, also raised questions on the team management’s strategy in the opening game.

India went in with a relatively inexperienced middle order, comprising debutant Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik, who failed to cash on the opportunity after the hosts lost the opening duo of Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply.

In the bowling department, the worry for India will be the performance of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who once again leaked runs when the hosts were defending a paltry score.

Considering Sri Lanka cantered to victory in 20.4 overs, the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav did not get to bowl and would be itching to get back into action after a month’s gap.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand will have a golden opportunity to seal the series after ending a 12-match losing streak on Sunday.

The visitors will, however, need to revisit their top order batting after opener Danushka Gunathilaka and one-drop Lahiru Thirimanne failed to click in the first match.

The Sri Lankans will take a lot of heart from the performance of their experienced all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who not only came good with the ball picking the crucial wicket of Dhawan but also guided the visitors home with an unbeaten 25.

The tourists will also be expecting another brilliant show from their bowling unit led by pacer Suranga Lakmal, who returned with figures of 4/13 along with Mathews and Nuwan Pradeep.

The spin combo of Akila Dananjaya and Sachith Pathirana, complimented the pacers beautifully despite getting little help from the pitch at Dharamsala.

Teams:

India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul.

Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera (Captain), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Chaturanga de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Sachith Pathirana, Kusal Perera.

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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