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India look to clinch first-ever T20 series in New Zealand

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India vs New Zealand

Hamilton, Feb 9: The Indian team, led by Rohit Sharma, will be aiming to become the first side to win a T20 International series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the final match here on Sunday.

It has been a season of records for the Men in Blue who won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand.

The T20 series is now locked at 1-1 with the hosts winning the first one convincingly and India returning the favour in style in the last game.

India had a nightmare in the same venue during the fourth ODI where they were skittled out for 92 in the wake of some quality swing bowling from Trent Boult.

India are expected to remain unchanged from the first two games.

In the first T20, Kiwis’ Tim Seifert gave the Indian bowlers a hard time but they came back strongly in the second tie.

Krunal Pandya has once again punched above his weight with some gritty performances in the two games.

Khaleel Ahmed also took wickets and would look to fire again on Sunday. Skipper Rohit led with the bat in the game and became the world’s top run-getter in T20 Internationals.

India’s middle-order has also shown solidity with the experience of M.S. Dhoni and the exuberance of Rishabh Pant combining well as was evident in Auckland.

For the hosts, they would look to draw inspiration from their first game and bat better.

Skipper Kane Williamson has endured a lean patch by his standards and veteran Ross Taylor has also blown hot and cold during the last three weeks.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham.

IANS

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India-Pakistan World Cup tie on schedule: ICC

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Wednesday a decision on the group match between India and Pakistan at the ODI World Cup will be taken at its next meeting.

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials Sanjay Patel and Rajiv Shukla had demanded that India boycott the World Cup match against Pakistan following the recent suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed.

“There is no indication that any World Cup match will not go ahead as planned. Sport, in particular cricket, has the wonderful ability to bring people together and unite communities. We will work with our members on that basis,” Richardson was quoted as saying.

According to ICC officials, the game’s global governing body is likely to take a call on cricket ties between the two south Asian nations at the February 27 meeting in Dubai.

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Veteran coach Irfan Ansari banned from cricket for 10 years

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Irfan Ansari
Irfan Ansari (File Photo)

Dubai, Feb 20: United Arab Emirates-based veteran coach Irfan Ansari has been banned from all forms of cricket for 10 years after he was found guilty of breaching three counts of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code, it was announced on Wednesday.

During the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing, the Tribunal heard evidence that Ansari approached Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Pakistan series with Sri Lanka in the UAE in October 2017 with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct by soliciting information from him, according to an ICC statement.

Sarfaraz reported the approach immediately and an ICC ACU investigation ensued which resulted in these charges and decision.

Ansari is bound by the code as a result of his affiliation to the Pakistan cricket team and also as a result of being a coach to two teams that participate in domestic matches in the UAE.

He was found guilty of the three offences under the Code.

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – ACU said: “I would like to place on record my thanks to Sarfaraz Ahmed who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach. He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal.

“This is the first time we have prosecuted for failure to cooperate with an investigation since the new rules enabling us to demand the participants hand over their phone for examination and the sanction reflects the seriousness of the offence. It is an important tool to aid our investigations and continue in our efforts to rid the sport of these corrupters,” he added.

IANS

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IPL 2019: Schedule for 2 weeks announced, CSK to take RCB in opener

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Defending champions CSK will face RCB in the IPL 2019 opener

New Delhi, Feb 19: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening match of IPL 2019 in Chennai on March 23.

The schedule of the 2019 edition of the IPL will be released in parts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections. A total of 17 matches will be played during the two-week period from March 23 to April 5 across the eight home venues of the respective franchises.

All teams will play a minimum of four matches with the newly-christened Delhi Capitals and RCB playing five matches. Every team will play a minimum of twp home and two away matches with DC playing three home matches, while RCB will play 3 away matches.

Here’s the schedule; Take a look!

March 23 – Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8 p.m.

Match 24 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – 4 p.m.

March 24 – Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals – 8 p.m.

Match 25 – Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab – 8 p.m.

March 26 – Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings – 8 p.m.

March 27 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab – 8 p.m.

March 28 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians – 8 p.m.

March 29 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – 8 p.m.

March 30 – Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians – 4 p.m.

March 30 – Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders – 8 p.m.

March 31 – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 4 p.m.

March 31 – Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals – 8 p.m.

April 1 – Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals – 8 p.m.

April 2 – Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8 p.m.

April 3 – Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings – 8 p.m.

April 4 – Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – 8 p.m.

April 5 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders – 8 p.m.

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