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

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TeamIndia

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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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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ATP Finals: Thiem beats Djokovic to reach 2nd successive final

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Dominic Thiem

London: Dominic Thiem outlasted world no.1 Novak Djokovic in a gripping last-four clash to reach his second successive final at the ATP Finals in the O2 Arena in London. Thiem, ranked third behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, won the match 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5).

Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace. Djokovic, however, grinded his way to victory in the second set, denying Thiem the win despite the Austrian getting four chances to seal the game.

The third game was also pushed to a tiebreaker, which was started by Thiem but he went on to lose the next three points. He however roared back to win the next six points and while Djokovic saved a fifth match point, Thiem got the job done at the next opportunity.

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Even our reserves are quick, you don’t see this kind of attack: Shami

The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment.

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New Delhi, Nov 21: The depth in the fast bowling department and the camaraderie that the players share between them are among the biggest reasons why India’s pace battery is rated as one of the best in the world, according to leading pacer Mohammed Shami.

Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are considered the core of a plethora of fast bowlers who have been integral to India’s success in Test cricket in recent years.

“Our fast bowling group can bowl at 140 kmph plus and you need that kind of pace in Australia,” Shami said in an interview on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official website.

“Even our reserves are quick, you don’t get to see that kind of an attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We have variety in our spin bowling attack too. We can bowl fast but we are all different, our skills are different. India have quality batsmen and we bowl at them in the nets. We don’t look at names, we focus on our skills. You can be a world-class batsman, but one good ball will still get you out,” Shami said.

India will be banking on Shami and Co. during their upcoming tour of Australia. The 30-year-old pacer comes into the series after a successfull Indian Premier League in which he took 20 wickets in 14 matches.

“My performances for Kings XI Punjab in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew that IPL would take place sooner or later and I was preparing myself for it,” he said.

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