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India break T20I jinx, bid adieu to Nehra with win vs Kiwis

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New Delhi, Nov 1 : Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra could not have asked for a better send-off as India thrashed New Zealand by 53 runs at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Wednesday to bring up their maiden win against the Kiwis in T20 Internationals.

India’s opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan (80 from 52 balls) and Rohit Sharma (80 from 55 balls) blasted identical half tons to set the tone with a 158-run record opening stand and guide the hosts post a massive 202/3.

In reply, the tourists failed to get going as only five of their batsmen — Kane Williamson (28), Tom Latham (39), Mitchell Santner (27), Ish Sodhi (11) and Tom Bruce (10) could manage to reach double figures.

The Kiwis found both their openers — Martin Guptill (4) and Colin Munro (7) back in the hut inside the first four overs with just 18 runs on the board.

The credit for Guptill’s dismissal went to Hardik Pandya’s quick reflexes, latching on to a superb running catch at long-off off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Munro failed to make full use of the life when he was dropped by Pandya off Ashish Nehra, and was beaten by a pacy yorker from Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Tottering at 33/2 by the end of the powerplay, the onus was on skipper Kane Williamson (28 off 24 balls) and Tom Latham to take out of troubled waters.

Williamson, who started off by clobbering Bhuvneshwar for a six before enjoying a reprieve from Kohli at mid-off off Nehra, fell prey to Pandya’s first delivery of the match, comfortably caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The dismissal of Williamson brought in Tom Bruce (10 from 10b), who started off with a boundary off Pandya but fell immediately to left-arm spinner Axar Patel.

One ball later, Axar dismissed Colin de Grandhomme (0) as the Kiwis found themselves tottering at a precarious 84/5 after 13 overs.

They were soon reduced to 99/7 as the Indian bowlers tightened the noose.

Chahal dealt the final nail on the coffin by dismissing New Zealand’s last hope — Latham, smartly stumped by Dhoni as the asking rate kept on mounting.

Merely a formality with the Kiwis requiring 61 off the last over, Kohli threw the ball to Nehra for one last time in his 18-year-old international career.

As Nehra went back to his run-up to bowl his fourth of the over, a young ball boy took everyone by surprise when he came up running to touch the veteran pacer’s feet.

Earlier, India made full use of the horrible fielding effort from the Kiwis to decimate the Kiwi bowlers.

While Dhawan belted a 52-ball 80, to eclipse his previous highest T20I score of 60, Rohit continued his glorious form to smash a 55-ball 80, comprising six boundaries and four sixes.

With the dew setting in, the New Zealanders found it tough to grip the ball, which was well utilised by the Indian duo, reaching 80/0 midway through the innings.

Dhawan had by now reached his third T20 fifty with a single off an inside edge off left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, who cramped him for room.

The southpaw turned up the heat by smashing a couple of sixes even as Rohit got to his 12th T20I half century by clobbering Santner for a maximum and two consecutive boundaries as India’s score crossed the 150-run mark in no time.

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who was till now at the receiving end of Dhawan’s onslaught, got the better of the southpaw with a googly outside off.

Dhawan’s stay at the crease was ended when he failed to connect the ball and instead nicked back to stumper Latham.

Two balls later, Sodhi packed the dangerous Pandya (0), who was promoted up to accelerate the scoring rate.

With 3.2 overs left, skipper Virat Kohli (26 off 11 balls) walked into the middle amid loud cheers from the capacity crowd and began sending the bowlers to the leather hunt in the company of former skipper Dhoni, who was at 7 off two deliveries.

After the match, Nehra took a lap of honour around the ground with the entire team with him.

His long-time Delhi team-mates Kohli and Dhawan hoisted him up on their shoulders as he waved energetically at the crowd.

With the win, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match rubber and will next face the Kiwis at Rajkot on Saturday.

IANS

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IND vs SA: India beat S. Africa by 28 runs in 1st T20I

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A brilliant all-round show helped India beat South Africa by 28 runs in the first Twenty-20 International (T20I) at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday.

Put in to bat, Shikhar Dhawan (72) hammered the South African bowlers all around the park and helped India to post a massive 203/5 before pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/24) wreaked havoc in the South African batting line-up to take a crucial 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

With this bowling stats, Bhuvneshwar also became the first Indian bowler to take five wickets in each of the three formats (four times in Tests and once each in One Day Internationals and T20Is).

Chasing a challenging target, South African openers J.J.Smuts (14) and Reeza Hendricks got off to a good start. But in the third over, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Smuts to make it 29/1.

Middle-order batsmen Jean-Paul Duminy (3) and David Miller (9) were also dismissed cheaply by Bhuvneshwar and Hardik Pandya respectively.

With the scoreboard reading 48/3, Farhaan Behardien (39) came in the middle and played sensibly along with Hendricks.

The two displayed quality shots and forged an 81-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But just when things seemed good Behardien was sent back to the pavilion by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the 15th over.

After adding a few more runs with new batsmen Heinrich Klaasen (16), Hendricks (70) was caught behind off Bhuvneshwar in the 18th over.

Now with 46 needed in 14 balls, lower-order batsmen Andile Phehlukwayo (13), Chris Morris (0), Dane Paterson (1) and Junior Dala (2 not out) failed to rise to the occasion and only managed to score 175/9 in 20 overs.

Earlier, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan once again unleashed mayhem in South Africa, with his 72 powering India to 203 for five wickets.

The Delhi left-hander, who hit 323 runs in the six One-Day Internationals (ODIs), blasted 10 fours and two sixes in his 39-ball innings as others batted around him.

After home captain Jean-Paul Duminy put India into bat, India’s innings was lifted by a brisk 21 off nine from Rohit Sharma, who got out in the fifth delivery of the second over after edging to wicket-keeper Heinrich Klassen off debutant Junior Dala.

Dhawan’s show began after this as he got useful support from Suresh Raina (15 off 7) and Virat Kohli (26 off 20). Till the dismissal of Kohli, who was ruled LBW against spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the third delivery of the 10th over, India had already scored 108.

Dhawan made the most of the ill-disciplined bowling from Chris Morris, Dala and Andile Phehlukwayo, who were allowing the 32-year-old to free his arms on the leg side.

A failed scoop attempt of a slower delivery from Phehlukwayo ended Dhawan’s innings as Klassen dived front to removed the danger.

Later, Manish Pandey (29 not out off 27), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) and Hardik Pandya (13 not out) took India past the 200-run mark.

Following is the scoreboard of the first Twenty-20 International match between India and South Africa here on Sunday.

India Innings 203-5 (20)

Rohit Sharma c Klaasen b Junior Dala 21
Shikhar Dhawan c Klaasen b Phehlukwayo 72
Suresh Raina c & b Junior Dala 15
Virat Kohli (c) lbw b Shamsi 26
Manish Pandey not out 29
MS Dhoni (wk) b Chris Morris 16
Hardik Pandya not out 13
Extras 11 (lb 2, w 9) Total 203/5 ( in 20 Overs)

Fall of Wickets 23-1 (Rohit Sharma, 1.5), 49-2 (Suresh Raina, 3.6), 108-3 (Virat Kohli, 9.3), 155-4 (Shikhar Dhawan, 14.4), 183-5 (MS Dhoni, 18.1).

Bowling:

Dane Paterson 4-0-48-0
Junior Dala 4-0-47-2
Chris Morris 4-0-39-1
Tabraiz Shamsi 4-0-37-1
JJ Smuts 2-0-14-0
Andile Phehlukwayo 2-0-16-1

South Africa Innings 175-9 (20)

J.J. Smuts c Dhawan b Bhuvneshwar 14
Reeza Hendricks c Dhoni b Bhuvneshwar 70
Jean-Paul Duminy c Raina b Bhuvneshwar 3
David Miller c Dhawan b Hardik Pandya 9
Farhaan Behardien c Manish Pandey b Chahal 39
Heinrich Klaasen c Raina b Bhuvneshwar 16
Andile Phehlukwayo c Chahal b Unadkat 13
Chris Morris c Raina b Bhuvneshwar 0
Dane Paterson run out (Hardik Pandya/Dhoni) 1
Junior Dala not out 2
Tabraiz Shamsi not out 0

Extras 8 (b 1, lb 1, w 5, nb 1) Total 175/9 (in 20 Overs)

Fall of Wickets: 29-1 (JJ Smuts, 2.5), 38-2 (Jean-Paul Duminy, 4.6), 48-3 (David Miller, 6.2), 129-4 (Farhaan Behardien, 14.6), 154-5 (Reeza Hendricks, 17.1), 158-6 (Heinrich Klaasen, 17.4), 158-7 (Chris Morris, 17.5), 159-8 (Dane Paterson, 18), 175-9 (Andile Phehlukwayo, 19.4).

Bowling:

Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-24-5
Jaydev Unadkat 4-0-33-1
Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-32-0
Hardik Pandya 4-0-45-1
Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-39-1.

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Roger Federer, 36, becomes oldest World No. 1 in ATP rankings history

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Roger Federer celebrates after victory over Robin Haase in Rotterdam. (PC- Reuters)

Rotterdam, Feb 17: Roger Federer added another highlight to his age-defying career resurgence by returning to the top of the world rankings on Friday after more than five years and becoming the oldest No. 1 at 36.

On Friday a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam guaranteed the Swiss would rise to number one for the fourth time in his career.

With return to World No 1, Federer sets multiple records. At 36 years and 195 days, he overtakes Andre Agassi as the oldest number 1 by three years. Agassi was 33 years and 4 months when he held the top spot in September, 2003. Federer would be back as World No 1 after a gap of over five years – the longest gap between stints as World No 1. During this period, Federer won three Grand Slams (two Australian Opens in 2017 and recently in January and Wimbledon last year) and was forced into skipping Grand Slams in 2016 due to injury for the first time since 1999.

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IND vs SA, 6th ODI : Unstoppable Virat Kohli leads India To 5-1 series win over S.Africa

Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

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Centurion, Feb 16: Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

This is the first ever bilateral series win by India on South African soil. Put into bat by India, South Africa were bowled out for a meagre 204 in the dead rubber. Chasing the target, India romped home in just 32.1 overs. Kohli remained unbeaten on 129, an innings studded with 19 boundaries and two sixes.

Kohli was in a punishing mood as he personally anchored Proteas’ biggest humiliation in a bilateral series at home in last 17 years. The last time South Africa lost 1-5 was back in 2001-02 season against a champion Australian side.

Kohli also became the fastest to 9500 ODI runs completing the feat in only 200 innings — 17 less than AB de Villiers.

Such has been Kohli’s dominance in the series, that after his aggregate of 558 runs, the next best is Shikhar Dhawan (323), who is more than 200 runs behind his skipper.

Earlier, playing his first match of the series, young pacer Shardul Thakur claimed four wickets to skittle South Africa for 204. For South Africa, all-rounder Khaya Zondo top-scored with a 74-ball 54, laced with three boundaries and two sixes on a good batting track, where most of the other batsmen failed against a disciplined Indian bowling.

Apart from Thakur, the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal (2/38) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/51) shared three wickets between them. Jasprit Bumrah also gave good support by taking two wickets.

For his brilliant form in the series, captain Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

Kohli took 82 balls to reach his 35th century with the help of 17 boundaries that saw him break a plethora of records.

Sachin Tendulkar, who is on top of the list with 49 centuries, had taken 309 innings to reach 35 centuries. Kohli got there in his 200th innings.

Kohli also became the first Indian batsman to score three centuries in a bilateral series.

Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have scored three centuries but not in a bilateral series. Ganguly scored three centuries during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, while Laxman slammed three tons during the 2004 VB Series in Australia.

Not just that, he also became the first man to score 500 runs or more in a bilateral ODI series.

The record was previously held by his team-mate Rohit Sharma, who scored 491 runs in the six-match series against Australia.

The record of most runs as captain in a bilateral series now also belong to Kohli. Australia’s George Bailey is second in the list with 478 runs against India in 2013-14. The Australian is followed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who achieved the feat twice – 367 runs vs Pakistan in 2012-13 and 358 runs vs India in 2015-16.

In the process, Kohli has now most runs in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa, a record previously held by England’s Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen had scored 454 runs in a six-match series in 2005.

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