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IND vs SA, 4th ODI : South Africa beat India by 5 wickets in Johannesburg

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India vs South Africa

Johannesburg, Feb 11: South Africa beat India by five wickets (D/L) in the fourth ODI at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Johannesburg.

After opting to bat, the visitors rode on Shikhar Dhawan’s century and Virat Kohli’s 75 to post 289/7 in their allotted 50 overs. In reply, South Africa were 43/1 when lightning and rain interrupted play for more than an hour. The hosts were set a revised target of 202 in 28 overs, which they achieved with 15 balls remaining. Heinrich Klaasen remained unbeaten on 43 off just 27 balls.

Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan marked his 100th One-Day International (ODI) with a brilliant 109 to take India to 289/7 in 50 overs in the fourth match against South Africa at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Saturday.

Dhawan, who hit his 13th century, shared a 158-run second-wicket stand with captain Virat Kohli (75) as a ruthless India showed strong intent to clinch the six-match series.

India were cruising at 197/2 in 34 overs when the play was interrupted for nearly an hour due to lightning. After the play resumed, India lost the plot and lost wickets regularly to what looked an under-par total.

Before the interruption, however, Dhawan and Kohli, two of best in-form visiting players in the series, dominated the home bowlers after India won the toss and opted to bat.

They didn’t allow India to feel the loss of Rohit Sharma, who fell for five to extend his poor run of 0, 15, 20 in the series. The right-hander drove a full delivery back to paceman Kagiso Rabada, who managed to take a very low catch.

Kohli and Dhawan then steered India to a position of strength. Both matched strokes per strokes as they played sensibly, waiting for weak deliveries.

Kohli stamped his authority as he continued to punish the South African bowlers. For someone coming into the match with scores of 112, 46 not out, 160 not out, batting looked easy. He registered his 46th ODI fifty.

South Africa, playing without any spinners, looked out of ideas to stop the two with no variety in their bowling. Part-time Jean-Paul Duminy delivered four overs of spin but, expectedly, didn’t look like taking a wicket.

At the other end, left-hander Dhawan pulled, cut, and drove with ease as the partnership flourished.

The stand was broken when Kohli hit pacer Chris Morris straight into the hands of David Miller at short cover, with India at 178/2 in 31.1 overs.

Later, Dhawan went on to complete his century, with a straight drive off a full toss from Morris crossing the mid-off fence giving him the three-figure score.

India’s march was halted by lightening with dark clouds hovering over the New Wanderers Stadium.

When the match resumed, Dhawan was the first to be dismissed, driving Morne Morkel to AB De Villiers at mid-off.

Ajinkya Rahane (8) too perished, with a pull off Lungi Ngidi failing to clear Rabada at deep square leg. With these two wickets, things suddenly looked gloomy for India, who were at 210/4.

The saviour of India was old war-horse, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who remained not out 42 off 43 deliveries.

At the other end, Ngidi and Rabada accounted for Shreyas Iyer (18) and Hardik Pandya (9) to dent India’s hopes of a late surge but Dhoni once again showed why he is so important for the side.

Brief scores: India: 289/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 109, Virat Kohli 75, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 42 not out; Lungi Ngidi 2/52, Kagiso Rabada 2/58) vs South Africa.

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Lionel Messi named best La Liga player in September

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Messi

Madrid, Oct 17:  Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi on Wednesday was named the best player in the Spanish football league for the month of September, La Liga said in a statement.

Messi is to receive the award in Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sevilla, reports Efe.

“Leo Messi, the FC Barcelona forward, has been named the La Liga Santander Player of the Month for September,” La Liga said via their website.

“The Argentine scoops the first prize of the 2018/2019 season after an impressive start to the campaign which saw his side go to the top of the standings,” the statement added.

Messi scored three La Liga goals last month, one against Girona and a brace against Huesca, as well as collecting four assists.

Barcelona holds the second spot in the Spanish league table with 15 points, one point behind Sevilla.

IANS

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Wrestlers Bajrang, Sakshi to lead Indian challenge at World C’ships

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Bajrang Punia Sakshi Malik

New Delhi, Oct 16 : Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia will spearhead the 30-member Indian contingent at the World Wrestling Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungary from October 20 to 28.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has selected 10 members each in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling categories.

The burden of India’s medal hunt at the worlds will mostly be on the shoulders of Bajrang (65kg) and Sandeep Tomar (57kg) in the men’s freestyle category.

In the women’s section, Sakshi (62kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg) and Ritu Phogat (50kg) are expected to be strong medal contenders in their respective weight categories.

Ritu is the only Phogat sister to feature in the squad as Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh was ruled out because of an elbow injury during the trials.

Four wrestlers — Bajrang, Kuldeep, Gurpreet and Harpreet — have been training in Hungary for more than a fortnight while the rest of the squad joined a week back.

The squads:

Freestyle: Sandeep Tomar (57kg), Sonba Tanaji Gongane (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Pankaj Rana (70kg), Jitender (74kg), Sachin Rathi (79kg), Pawan Kumar (86kg), Deepak (92kg) Mausam Khatri (97kg), Sumit (125kg), Jagminder Singh (chief coach).

Women: Ritu Phogat (50kg), Pinki (53kg), Seema (55kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg), Sangeeta (59kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Ritu (65kg), Navjot Kaur (68kg), Rajini (72kg), Kiran (76kg), Kuldeep Malik (chief coach).

Greco Roman: Vijay (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Gaurav Sharma (63kg), Manish (67kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Manjeet (82kg), Harpreet Singh (87kg), Hardeep (97kg), Naveen (130kg), Kuldeep Singh (chief coach).

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Saina survives, Sindhu ousted from Denmark Open

Saina, who lost to Cheung in their sole previous meeting two years ago, came back from a game down before eventually holding her nerve to advance to the next round.

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P.V. Sindhu And Saina Nehwal

Odense (Denmark), Oct 16 (IANS) Star shuttler Saina Nehwal survived a scare before progressing to the second round of the Denmark Open but it was heartbreak for Rio silver medallist P.V. Sindhu, who crashed out after being stunned by unseeded American Beiwen Zhang in the opening round of the womens singles event here on Tuesday.

Saina overcame stiff resistance from Hong Kong’s Ngan Yi Cheung before eventually pocketing the match 20-22, 21-17, 24-22 in 81 minutes. However, third seed Sindhu lost 17-21, 21-16, 18-21 to Zhang in another tough opening encounter that lasted 56 minutes.

Saina, who lost to Cheung in their sole previous meeting two years ago, came back from a game down before eventually holding her nerve to advance to the next round.

The match went down to the wire with both the shuttlers going for the kill. But the London Olympics bronze medallist finally managed to keep her cool and save two match points at 21-20 and 22-21 in the decider which helped her pocket the pulsating tie.

Earlier, Sindhu succumbed to her third consecutive loss to American Zhang, who also beat the Hyderabadi at the Indian Open in February this year.

After meekly losing the opening game 17-21, the 23-year-old Sindhu came back strongly in the second and did not allow the American to move ahead before finally winning it 21-16.

In the decider, the American bounced back in style to first take a 12-8 lead before Sindhu hit back to make it 14-13 in her favour.

From thereon, both the shuttlers went neck and neck before the match ended in Zhang’s favour with the scoreline reading a close 21-18.

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