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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Lankan batting trumps India



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.

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.


Rajasthan Royals unveil team anthem ‘Phir Halla Bol’




Jaipur, March 19: Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Rajasthan Royals on Sunday released this year’s team anthem “Phir Halla Bol” with a renewed spirit and exuberance.

“Our anthem has been unique in the sense that it is soaked in the flavour and colour of Rajasthan. ‘Phir Halla Bol’ is a tribute to our fans who have awaited with anticipation to see us back in the IPL,” Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale said.

The anthem, sung by popular Rajasthani folk singer Ila Arun, was launched at Game Plan event organised by Star Sports in Jaipur.

The video of the anthem vividly portrays the emotions and the love for cricket in the region.

Last year, several IPL franchises welcomed Rajasthan Royals after it returned to the cash-rich cricket tournament after serving a two-year ban.


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Dinesh Karthik stars as India beat Bangladesh by 4 wickets in Nidahas Trophy final



Dinesh Karthik celebrates after completing the four-wicket win over Bangladesh in Nidahas Trophy final.

Colombo, March 18: Wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik (29 runs off eight balls) played a brilliant cameo towards the end as India beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series at the R.Premadasa Stadium here on Sunday.

Coming in the second last over with scoreboard reading 133/5, Karthik announced his arrival at the crease through two sixes and a four in first three balls which narrowed the gap between remaining balls and required runs.

Image result for Dinesh Karthik stars as India beat Bangladesh by 4 wickets in Nidahas Trophy final

The drama unfolded in the last over when India needed five runs in the last ball. Kathik slammed a flat six over extra cover to clinch the issue.

Chasing 167, skipper Rohit Sharma (56) once again led from the front with his classy knock but failed to finish off the proceedings. Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey (28) played sensible innings but was dismissed when needed the most. Then came Karthik who took India to victory.

India started off on a steady note as openers Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan (10) scored 32 runs in three overs but then Dhawan was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan.

Suresh Raina (0), who also played a crucial role along with Rohit in the last match could not disturb his score this time as the Uttar Pradesh batsman was dismissed in the very next over by Rubel Hossain.

But incoming batsman Lokesh Rahul (24) and Rohit forged a crucial 51-run partnership before Rahul was sent packing by Hossain in the 10th over.

Just when things seemed good in the middle, Rohit departed with Nazmul Islam picking up the crucial wicket in the 14th over. His 42-balls innings was laced with four boundaries and three sixes.

Needing 69 runs in 40 balls, it was all on new two new batsmen Pandey and Vijay Shankar (17). Pandey displayed some superb shots while Shankar also supported handsomely at the other end.

But with 37 needed in last three overs, Shankar played four dot balls which mounted the pressure and as a result, Pandey, while trying for a big one, was caught by Sabbir Rahman off Mustafizur Rahman. Pandey played 27 balls and slammed three boundaries.

Experienced batsman Karthik then joined Shankar and guided India to victory.

For Bangladesh, Hossain picked up two wickets.

Earlier, top-order batsman Sabbir Rahman dragged Bangladesh out of a hole with a well paced 50-ball 77 to help his team post a fighting 166/8.

After spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (3/18) and Washington Sundar (1/20) took four wickets between them to leave their rivals reeling at 68/4 at one stage, Sabbir mixed caution with aggression to hit seven fours and four sixes before Jaydev Unadkat (2/33) took his wicket.

In the last over, Mehidy Hasan (19 not out) took 18 runs off Shardul Thakur (0/45) who had a forgettable outing.

Openers Tamim Iqbal (15) and Liton Das (11) got off to a steady start but just when they looked to step on the gas, in-form Sundar put a spanner in their works, stretching his purple patch with the ball.

Sundar bowled a slower one just outside off stump, forcing Das into a slog sweep which went straight up in the air to Raina who completed an easy catch near short fine leg.

In the next over, the dangerous Iqbal followed suit thanks to an acrobatic catch by Thakur on the very edge of the long-on boundary off Chahal’s bowling.

Chahal removed Soumya Sarkar (1) in the same over, the batsman sweeping straigh to Dhawan at square leg, as Bangladesh looked in disarray inside the Powerplay tottering at 40/3 in six overs.

At the halfway stage, Bangladesh were 68/3 with Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim (9) trying to stem the rot.

In the very first ball of the 11th over, Chahal grabbed his third wicket as Rahim miscued a widish googly, skying the ball over backward point where Shankar took a fine diving catch running to his right. The pair added 35 runs for the fourth wicket.

Mahmudullah (21), who hit the winning six in the last do-or-die game against hosts Sri Lanka, took time to get going and along with Sabbir looked to build a partnership.

Bangladesh struggled to find the boundary with Mahmudullah breaking a four-over drought with a sublime shot between backward point and short third man off Unadkat in the 13th over.

Mahmudullah’s run out brought an end to their patient association of 36 runs for the fifth wicket but Sabbir lived up to his reputation of a promising young player by smacking Shankar for two sixes in the 17th over and Sundar for one in the previous over.

In the 18th over, Rahman showed deft skills to and place the ball behind the wicket with exploit both third man and fine leg inside the ring for consecutive boundaries.

Trying to go for one too many, Rahman’s brilliant innings came to end with Unadkat ruffling his wickets to get his first wicket.

In the same over, Unadkat castled Hossain (0) and gave away just three runs to underline his potential as a death bowler.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 166/8 in 20 overs (Sabbir Rahman 77, Yuzvendra Chahal 3/18, Jaydev Unadkat 2/33) against India: 168/6 ( Rohit Sharma 52, Dinesh Karthik 29, Rubel Hossain 2/35)


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Bangladesh’s Shakib, Nurul penalised for ICC code breach



Bangladesh reserve player Nurul Hasan argued and pointed fingers at Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera, which led to further altercations.

Dubai, March 17: In the aftermath of Friday’s ugly final over drama between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series in Colombo, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan and reserve Nurul Hasan have both been fined 25 percent of their match fees and also received one demerit point for breaching Level 1 of the ICC code of conduct.

This was the first time either player has had one demerit point since the system came into effect in September 2016.

“Shakib was found to have breached Article 2.1.1 of the ICC code of conduct for players and player support personnel, which relates to conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, while Nurul was found guilty of violating Article 2.1.2, which deals with conduct that brings the game into disrepute,” the ICC said in a statement.

The incident involving Shakib happened in the final over of the Bangladesh innings when he came to the edge of the boundary and gestured at his batsmen to come off the field while remonstrating against an umpiring decision.

As regards Nurul, the reserve player argued and pointed a finger at Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera which led to unruly public behaviour after he was sent by the team on to the field of play to pass on a message to the two batsmen.

Bangladesh reserve player Nurul Hasan argued and pointed fingers at Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera, which led to further altercations

Image result for Bangladesh-Sri Lanka match marred by controversy

On Saturday, both Shakib and Nurul pleaded guilty to the offences and accepted the sanctions proposed by ICC match referee Chris Broad and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.

Announcing his decision, Broad said: “Friday’s incidents were disappointing as you don’t want to see such player behaviour during any level of cricket. I understand that it was a tense and an edge-of-the-seat match with place in the final on the line, but the actions of the two players were unacceptable and cannot be condoned as they clearly went overboard.”

“Had the fourth umpire not stopped Shakib and the fielders remonstrating, and then the on-field umpires not intervened between Nurul and Thisara, things could have become worse,” he added.

The charges were levelled by on-field umpires Raveendra Wimalasiri and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, third umpire Ranmore Martinesz and fourth umpire Lyndon Hannibal.

Bangladesh clinched the nail-biting tie by two wickets and will take on India in the final on Sunday at the same venue.

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