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India aim to continue winning momentum against Sri Lanka

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Kolkata, Nov 15: India would look to emulate their recent success against Sri Lanka and go into the forthcoming South Africa tour brimming with confidence when the Asian rivals meet in the first of the three-Test here at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Not long ago in August, Sri Lanka were annihilated 9-0 across all formats in their own den by a ruthless India led by their aggressive captain Virat Kohli.

Since then, the men in blue have won limited overs series against Australia and New Zealand at home, while Sei Lanka — still in transition after the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara — triumphed 2-0 over Pakistan in Tests only to lose five One Day Internationals and three T20s against the same opposition.

For a start, skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane will look to get back amongst runs.

While Kohli’s last big score came way back in February against Bangladesh where he srruck 204, Rahane has not got a hundred since his 188 against the Kiwis in Indore last year. Kohli has not got a half-century in his last five Test innings, and Rahane has been guilty of not converting his starts.

Both ace batters practised a lot of reverse and paddle sweeps at the nets in the build-up to the Test.

Kohli, who has been dismissed trying to drive on the front foot of late and playing away from his body, even got the handle of his bat trimmed during nets on Monday to rectify his drive.

Rahane, on the same day, was seen fine tuning his reverse-swep against chinaman Kuldeep Yadav square and fine of the wicket, a weapon the right-hander might use against veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.

India have been aggressive against Herath, Sri Lanka’s highest wicket-taker in the team, in recent past.

In the last two years, the 39-year old who has 405 scalps to his name, has averaged 53.61 against India, taking 13 wickets in four Tests and giving away 3.58 runs per over.

It goes without saying that Herath will be skipper Dinesh Chandimal’s go-to man besides Angelo Mathews who is making a comeback. Out of the Pakistan series with a calf injury, the former skipper looked good for his 54 retired in the warm-up game against the Board President’s XI.

Sri Lanka’s bowling did not look good against a lowly Board President’s side shorn of quality domestic players due to the ongoing Ranji Trophy.

They could only manage to take five wickets although Herath, who took 16 scalps in two Tests against Pakistan, was not bowled much.

In their batting, opener Dimuth Karunarate has been among runs in Pakistan (306 runs in 4 innings). Fellow opener Sadeera Samarawickrama, slated to replace Kaushal Silva who is not here, gave a good audition in the tour match with a strokeful 74 of just 77 balls.

Besides Silva, the Lankans are also without the services of promising batsman Kushal Mendis and seasoned pacer Nuwan Pradeep.

Coming back to India, with in form all-rounder Hardik Pandya rested for this series it will be interesting to see who takes his place. Going by the nature of the pitch which is expected to be a sporting one, India could play five bowlers with three seamers in their ranks.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been in good form of late, could come into the picture alongside Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. R Ashwin and Kuldeep are the likely two spinners, meaning Ravindra Jadeja might have to sit out.

Squad:

India: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.

Sri Lankas: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella (wicket-keeper), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva.

IANS

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Asian Games 2018 : Bajrang Punia enters finals of 65Kg freestyle wrestling

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Jakarta, Aug 19 : Bajrang  Punia entered finals of 65kg freestyle wrestling and will take on Japan’s Daichi Takatani or Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek Okassov in the Gold medal bout later on today evening.

On day 1 of the Asian Games 2018, Indian shooters have impressed in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event with Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar bagging bronze in 10m event final.Bajrang, who is looking to emulate his mentor Yogeshwar by winning a Gold in the 65kg FS event has won all his bouts convincingly.

Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj has qualified for men’s 100m Backstroke final, while Rower Baban Bhokanal Dattu is set to compete in the Repechages event of the Men’s Single Sculls.

 

Bajrang Punia has reached the final of the Men’s 65kg FS after he beat Mongolian Batmagnai Batchuluun 10-0 to complete a hat-trick of wins by technical superiority.

Bajrang Punia beats Tajikistan’s Abdulqasim Fayziev in quarterfinals, enters men’s freestyle 65 kg semifinals.

Meanwhile, Sandeep Tomar’s chances of a medal through the repechage is also over and he follows Sushil Kumar out of the tournament.

Bajrang Punia takes early 2-0 against Mongolia’s Batchuluun Batmagnai. And soon races to 8-0 lead in the first period in the semi-final.

Just two points away from technical superiority win. End of first period Punia leads 8-0.

Punia won 10-0 in the second period with technical superiority.

Wrestling Men’s Freestyle 86kg:

Pawan Kumar out of gold-medal race as he lost to Iran’s Hasan Yazdanicharati in quarter-finals.

Volleyball Women’s Tournament:

India lose 0-3 to South Korea.

Women’s Handball:

India lose 21-36 to China in the Group A match.

Wrestling Men’s Freestyle 97 kg:

Uzbekistan’s Ibragimov Magomed beat Mausam Khatri 6-0 in the quarter-finals. The Indian tailed 0-2 at the end of first period.

No medal for Sushil Kumar:

Adam Batirov, who defeated Sushil in the first round, failed to reach the final and with that Sushil’s hope of a bronze through repechage have also ended.
14:58 Asian Games updates: Bajrang enters semis; Tomar loses in quarters:

Wrestling Men’s Freestyle 65 kg:

Bajrang Punia takes an early 2-0 lead against Tajakistan’s Fayziev Abdulqosim. And soon it is 6-0. Excellent! What a display of skills and power. It is 9-2 in favour of Punia in the first round.

Punia wins 12-2 by technical superiority.

Wrestling Men’s Freestyle 86 kg:

Pawan Kumar defeats Cambodia’s Heng Vuthy 8-0 to reach quarterfinals.
14:40 Asian Games updates: Bajrang in quarters; Tomar loses in quarters: Sandeep Tomar loses 15-9 to Iran’s Reza Atrinagharchi in the men’s freestyle 57 kg quarter-finals.

Earlier Tomar was trailing 0-6 but made it 6-6 at the end of first round.

Soon Reza Atrinagharchi slammed Tomar to lead 13-6.

 

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Asian Games 2018 : Swimmers Nataraj, Prakash qualify for finals

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Jakarta, Aug 19 : Swimmers Srihari Nataraj and Sajan Prakash made the finals of the 100m mens backstroke and 200m butterfly events respectively at the 18th Asian Games here on Sunday.

Nataraj started in lane six and clocked 55.86 seconds in the heat while compatriot Arvind Mani finished second but failed to qualify to the next round.

Meanwhile, in the 200m butterfly event, Prakash qualified for the final with a time of 1:58.12 seconds.

Prakash was 0.06 seconds behind Nao Horomura of Japan who led the pack.

Saurabh Sangvekar, the other Indian in the fray, crashed out in the 200m freestyle event, clocking 1:54.87 seconds.

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Asian Games 2018: India women’s basketball team lose to Chinese Taipei

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Jakarta, Aug 19 :India’s women’s basketball team suffered a 61-84 defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei in group A match of the 18th Asian Games here on Sunday.

It seemed that India had not learnt from its mistakes at the Commonwealth Games as lack of proper defence structure and accuracy cost them the match.

For India, Palanilkumakalayil Skaria Jeena (13) Raspreet Sidhu (12) scored maximum points while Szuchin Peng (14) and Pingjen Huang (11) were the major contributors for the Chinese Taipei.

The match started with both the teams attacking each other. In the first two quarters India gave a good fight and maintained the pace of the game.

India scored 17 points in the first quarter and 11 in the second. But the last two quarters saw India lose the plot.

The Chinese Taipei upped the ante and started putting pressure on the Indian defence and as a result Indian girls failed to stop them.

Regular attacks from their opponents saw India only score 17 and 16 points as compared to Chinese Taipei’s 31 and 20.

India ended the game with 23 turnovers which is 11 more than their opponents. They will now face the Unified Korean team in the third match.

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