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India shines at Commonwealth shooting

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ANISH Bhanwala silver medal
Anish Bhanwala, left, won the silver, gold medallist Sergei Evglevski and third-placed Neeraj Kumar

Brisbane, Nov 5: Anish Bhanwala got India a silver in the mens 25 metre Rapid Fire Pistol, while Neeraj Kumar bagged a bronze in the same event on day six of the ongoing Commonwealth Shooting Championships here on Sunday.

This takes India’s tally from Rifle and Pistol events in the competition to 16, including four gold medals.

Additionally, India has won one gold and one silver from Shotgun events.

India had three among six finalists in the men’s Rapid Fire Pistol, with Olympian Gurpreet Singh also qualifying along with Anish and Neeraj. Anish topped qualification with a score of 577, while Neeraj was second with 575. Gurpreet qualified in fifth place with a score of 566.

Gurpreet was first to be eliminated in the final in the same position as he qualified but Anish and Neeraj fought on gamely for the silver and bronze after Australian Sergei Evglevski made the gold beyond reach, pulling away from the field after the fourth five-shot series.

Neeraj won a fourth place elimination shoot-off over England’s Sam Gowin to assure himself of a medal. He had to be content with bronze as Anish beat him 21-19 after the sixth series.

In the end, Sergei ended with a score of 28 out of 40 to win Gold, while Anish was two behind with 26.

In the women’s Rifle 3 Positions, Scotland’s Seonaid Mcintosh won gold with a final round score of 459.9. Englad’s Katie Gleeson took silver and Singapore’s Martina Veloso the bronze.

Gaayathri finished fourth shooting 429.7 and was the best placed among three Indian finalists. Aditi Singh finished sixth while Tejaswini Sawant, the third Indian in the eight-woman final finished seventh.

In the women’s Trap, India’s Shreyasi Singh made it her second final of the Championships but missed out on her second medal by finishing sixth. She shot 11 in the final, after winning a shoot-off with compatriot Seema Tomar during qualification.

Australia’s Laetisha Scanlan won gold in the event, while Sharon Niven of Scotland got silver. Rio Olympics silver medalist Natalie Rooney of New Zealand got the bronze.

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IND vs SA, 3rd T20I: India, S. Africa eye T20I series win

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Rohit Sharma india vs south africa

Cape Town, Feb 24: India and South Africa will battle it out in the series-deciding third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Newlands Stadium here on Saturday.

In the first game, a brilliant all-round show helped visitors beat hosts South Africa by 28 runs at Johannesburg. In the second game, South Africa, who lost the One-Day International (ODI) series 1-5, kept the T20I series alive by registering a six-wicket victory at Centurion.

The second match was a show of respective batting resolves by both sides, especially of their middle-order batsmen. While Manish Pandey (79 not out off 48) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (52 not out off 28) responded for India, the hosts had to thank Heinrich Klaasen (69 off 30) and Jean-Paul Duminy (64 not out off 40) as they overhauled the visitors’ total of 189/4 with six wickets and 1.2 overs to spare.

Klassen and Duminy were particularly harsh on leg-spinner Yuzvender Chahal (0/64) and left-arm medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat (2/42) in the second match. These two will be eager to bounce back with improved performances in the third match as captain Virat Kohli trusts them.

Kohli will depend on seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if he is not rested, to provide the early breakthroughs. It is though not clear whether Kohli prefers to rest Bhuvneshwar, the way the team rested fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah in the second match. Bhuvneshwar has played a lot in the tour which comes to end with the match on Saturday.

The place of pacer Shardul Thakur is not guaranteed as the Mumbai right-armer has not impressed much in the two matches. The match may see the return of chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

In the batting department, alongside skipper Kohli, batsmen Rohit Sharma, Dhawan, Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Pandey will look to make the most of their capabilities this time also.

Batsman Suresh Raina, who made a comeback in the T20Is will act as a vital cog in the middle-order and will look to proving his mettle after scoring 46 runs in two games.

The home camp will be high on confidence after ending their three-match losing streak across ODIs and the first T20I. They must have been relieved the way they dealt with Chahal, who tormented them in the ODIs.

While Reeza Hendricks punished the Indian spinners in the opener, Klassen and captain Duminy did the job in the second game. Farhaan Behardien and David Miller have not lived up to the expectations yet and the match gives them another chance to make impact and impress the selectors ahead of the busy schedule.

The bowling department, featuring Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala, Dane Paterson and Chris Morris along with chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi will have to come up with something special in order to get rid of the flamboyant Indian batsmen.

Squads:

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.

South Africa: Jean-Paul Duminy (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.

IANS

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Indian shuttlers fined for withdrawing from Uganda Badminton event

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Badminton
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Kampala, Feb 22: Indian players Harshit Aggarwal and Chaliha Orijit will be fined for their late withdraw from the 2018 Uganda International Badminton Open Championship.

“The two players will be fined $150 for late withdraw as per the rules set by the Badminton World Federation,” Simon Mugabi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Badminton Association (UBA), told Xinhua.

The Championship, a World Series sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), will take place at the Lugogo Arena in Kampala from February 22 to 25.

Mugabi explained that the two Indian players would have been fined $650 each if they had not communicated in advance.

“We expect a very explosive tournament because over 15 foreign players will take part,” said Mugabi, who also added that Germany’s Jonathan Persson is yet to arrive.

Several foreign players, including top seed for the tournament Georges Juliean Paul, have arrived in Uganda ahead of the qualifiers for the main draw which starts on Thursday. Juliean Paul is fresh from winning the All Africa Senior Championship in Algeria last weekend.

Bahaedeen Ahmad Alshannik of Jordan, who is ranked second in the men’s singles, said he was happy to be in Uganda for the tournament. “I have prepared well and expect a very competitive event,” said Alshannik.

Former top African player Edwin Ekiring, who has represented Uganda at three Olympic Games, told Xinhua that he has recovered well from the shin injury he had for most of last year.

“I have prepared well with my team in Holland,” added Ekiring, who was unlucky to get injured in the final of the same tournament last year and did not continue.

The event will attract players from Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Algeria, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, India, the Netherlands, Syria, Germany, France, Turkey, Zambia and the Republic of Maldives, among others.

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IND vs SA, 2nd T20I: S.Africa beat India by 6 wickets to level series 1-1

India have made one change in their line-up from the previous match as debutant Shardul Thakur has replaced fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is suffering from abdominal stiffness.

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Centurion, Feb 22: South Africa rode on some powerful batting by Heinrich Klaasen and Jean-Paul Duminy to defeat India by six wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the SuperSport Park here on Wednesday.

Chasing a formidable target of 189 runs, the hosts romped home with eight balls to spare. The three-match series is now locked at 1-1.

Klaasen brought up his maiden T20I half-century, producing an awe inspiring show of power hitting to plunder 69 runs off just 30 balls.

Duminy remained unbeaten on 64 runs off 40 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.

The South African chase was off to a decent start before J.J. Smuts stepped out to pacer Jaydev Unadkat, only to be surprised by a slower delivery as Suresh Raina picked up an easy lofted catch at cover-point.

Reeza Hendricks handed pacer Shardul Thakur a wicket on his T20I debut when he went after a short piched delivery only to send his mistimed attempt into the hands of Hardik Pandya at deep mid-wicket.

With both opener back in the pavilion after five overs, the hosts seemed to be in deep trouble. But Heinrich Klaasen and Jean-Paul Duminy brought the South African innings back on track with a 93-run partnership.

Klaasen brought up his half-century in style, hitting Hardik Pandya for a boundary to reach 51 in just 22 balls.

The right-hander went berserk in the next over, smashing Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes and a boundary to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Unadkat brought his superb innings to an end in the very next over as Klaasen edged a slow off-cutter to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.

David Miller was removed by Pandya in the next over as the Indians looked to make a comeback.

However, Duminy led from the front to take the battle to the Indian bowlers and kept the asking rate within range.

Fittingly, it was the Proteas captain who hit the winning runs. He smashed Unadkat for two consecutive sixes to bring up the victory in some style.

Earlier, India rode on some power packed batting to post 188/4 in their 20 overs.

Manish Pandey was the highest scorer for India with an unbeaten 79 runs off just 48 balls.

His power-packed knock, which included six boundaries and three sixes, provided the late impetus to the Indian innings.

The veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave him excellent support from the other end, remaining unbeaten on 52 runs off a mere 28 balls, hitting four boundaries and three sixes along the way.

Coming together in the 11th over, the duo added 98 runs between them to carry the visitors to a formidable total.

Fast bowler Junior Dala bowled well on his T20I debut, notching up figures of 2/28.

Asked to bat first, the visitors suffered a scare off the very first ball when Shikhar Dhawan edged a Chris Morris delivery onto his pads.

The umpire had initially ruled the left-hander out but had to reverse his decision after television replays revealed a clear inside edge.

But the Indians’ relief was only temporary as Dala struck the first blow for the hosts with a delivery that kept low and trapped and outfoxed Rohit Sharma plumb before the stumps.

However, the arrival of Suresh Raina saw the momentum shift to the Indians’ favour as he and Dhawan started to play in an aggressive manner and dominated the South African pacers. The duo kept the Indians on track with a 43-run partnership.

That prompted South African captain Jean-Paul Duminy to come into the attack and the off-spinner had an immediate impact as Dhawan hit his second delivery into the hands of Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.

Dhawan was in good touch, scoring 24 runs off 14 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.

Dala removed Virat Kohli in the next over, outfoxing the Indian skipper with some extra bounce as overjoyed wicket-keeper Heinrich Klaasen latched onto to the outside edge.

The momentum however, stayed with the Indians as Raina and Manish Pandey added 45 runs between them off the next five overs.

Fast bowler Andile Phehlukwayo broke the crucial partnership when he trapped Raina leg before. Raina’s 24-ball knock produced 30 runs which included five hits to the fence.

That was the last bit of celebration the hosts will eventually manage as Pandey and Dhoni virtually tore the Proteas’ bowling apart.

Brief scores:

South Africa: 189/4 in overs (Heinrich Klaasen 69, Jean-Paul Duminy 64 not out; Jaydev Unadkat 2/42) vs India: 188/4 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 79 not out, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 52 not out; Junior Dala 2/28).

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