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India skittled out for 172 in 1st innings

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Chesteshwar Pujara
Chesteshwar Pujara, Photo Credit Tweeted by @HTSportsNews

Kolkata, Nov 18: Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera and pacer Lahiru Gamage shared two wickets each as India were skittled out for 172 in their first innings at lunch on the third day of the first Test at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.

For the hosts, in-form top order batsman Chesteshwar Pujara top-scored with 52 while Wriddhiman Saha contributed 29 as fast bowler Suranga Lakmal returned best figures of 4-26 for the tourists.

Resuming at 74/5, Saha (6) and Pujara (47) could manage only a 29-run stand for the sixth wicket before the latter was castled by Gamage (2-59).

Pujara completed his 16th half century while Saha then stitched together a 48-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja before the all-rounder was fell lbw off Dilruwan Perera (2-19).

Dasun Shanaka (2-36) also took two wickets while veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath bowled only two overs.

Pujara brought up his 50 in the very first over of the day, sweeping veteran Herath for a boundary down fine leg.

Just as the hosts looked to be getting out of a hole they were from the beginning, their only hope, Pujara, fell to a peach of a delivery from Gamage. The right-arm pacer, who failed to get wickets in the first two days, beat Pujara all ends up with an in-cutter that jagged back off the surface and went between the Saurashtra man’s bat and pad to rattle the off-stump.

Gamage bowled a few more good deliveries but they were too few and far between to trouble Saha, who looked good resuming from his overnight score of 6.

Read more…First Test: India vs Sri Lanka Day 2 scoreboard

The 33-year-old, who was the Man-of-the-Match the last time India played here against New Zealand in 2016 for his important 58 in the second essay, played shots judiciously, holding fort at one end.

Saha got a reprieve when wicketkeper Niroshan Dickwella missed an easy stumping off Perera when he was batting on 25.

With him was Jadeja who upped the ante hitting two fours and the first six of the innings before being lbw, a decision which the tourists reviewed after umpire Joel Wilson — standing in place of indisposed Richard Kettleborough — did not rule in favour of Dinesh Chandimal and Co.

In the very same over, Saha gave an easy catch to Angelo Mathews trying to paddle sweep Perera. The local boy asked for the review after consulting with Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the other end but to no avail.

Bhuvneshwar scored 13 before got out off Lakmal’s bowling while Mohammed Shami’s quickfire 22-ball 24 helped India get past 150-run mark wih Umesh Yadav (6 not out) at the non striker’s end.

The last wicket partnership was of 26 runs, in which Shami hit three boundaries before Gamage got his back.

Brief scores: India 172 all out in first innings (Chesteshwar Pujara 52, Wriddhiman Saha 29; Suranga Lakmal 4/26, Dilruwan Perera 2/19, Dasun Shanaka 2/36, Lahiru Gamage 2/59) vs Sri Lanka.

IANS

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Real Madrid tops Huesca 1-0 in La Liga action

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Real Madrid

Huesca (Spain), Dec 10: Real Madrid played at less than its best but still managed to earn a 1-0 win over recently promoted Huesca, whose winless streak has now extended to 14 matches.

With nemesis Barcelona and rival Atletico Madrid having won their respective matches, Real Madrid did not crumble under pressure, although the club did not shine against a tough team that lacked precision, especially in the second half on Sunday, reports Efe.

Real Madrid got going early, when Welsh forward Gareth Bale tried his luck, but Serbian goalkeeper Aleksandar Jovanovic saved the day for Huesca, although not for long.

On his second opportunity, Bale did not disappoint, finding the back of the net on a left-footed shot off a cross from right back Alvaro Odriozola in the 8th minute.

Having taken the lead, Real Madrid waited for the opportunity to attack, while keeping the ball under control.

At the other end of the field, Huesca struggled to move the ball, but the club tried to take advantage of the space left behind the opponent’s backs and relied on the counter-attack.

Argentine midfielder Ezequiel Avila fired a powerful shot in the 17th minute, forcing a nice save by Real Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois.

Huesca’s Jovanovic had to save another shot by Bale in the 25th minute.

After the half, Huesca put pressure on its rival and besieged Real Madrid’s area, but the club did not make the most of the crosses sent into the box.

Bale fired a shot that Jovanovic barely blocked in the 62nd minute and he squandered another chance on a lob eight minutes later.

Real Madrid managed to hold its 1-0 lead until the end of the game despite Huesca’s efforts.

With the win, Real Madrid is in fourth place in the La Liga standings with 26 points, five points behind leader Barcelona, while Huesca remains in the 20th and last spot with seven points.

IANS

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1st Test: India creates history, beat Australia by 31 runs

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IND vs AUS 1st Test

Adelaide, Dec 10: India on Monday created a historic 31-run win over Australia by beating them on their home ground after 10 years in the final day of the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval. With this win, India has taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.

This is the sixth Test win for India on Australian soil.

Earlier, resuming the day at 104/4, the hosts soon lost overnight batsman Travis Head (14) with the scoreboard ticking 115/5.

Head fell to a short pitched delivery from the experienced Ishant that resulted in a simple catch by Ajinkya Rahane at gully. The hosts still had a ray of hope with the other overnight batter Shaun Marsh (60) and captain Tim Paine (41) raising 41 runs for the sixth wicket before Bumrah packed away the former.

Bumrah jolted the Australians once again just at the stroke of lunch by getting Paine caught behind, leaving the hosts to the tail to achieve the target.

It was always going to be a tall ask for the tailenders to survive two full sessions but the Australians — Pat Cummins (28), Mitchell Starc (28), Nathan Lyon (38 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (13) — batted their skin out to reduce the deficit to only 31 runs.

Needing three wickets for an outright win, the Indian attack seemed to be on a mission as Shami started the post-lunch session with the wicket of Starc after the Aussie quick put on 59 runs for the eighth wicket with fellow pacer Cummins.

Starc’s departure brought in Lyon, who doubled his effort of getting six wickets in India’s second innings, with a solid 47-ball unbeaten 38 and more importantly being involved in two crucial stands.

Lyon first raised 31 runs for the 9th wicket with Cummins before adding another 32 runs for the final wicket with Hazlewood to leave the Indians frustrating before Ashwin managed to get Hazlewood caught by Lokesh Rahul to guide India to a fabulous victory.

Brief Scores: India 250, 307 (Cheteshwar Pujara 71, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Nathan Lyon 6/1 22) beat Australia 235 and 291 (Shaun Marsh 60, Tim Paine 41; Mohammed Shami 3/65, Jasprit Bumrah 3/68, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/92) by 31 runs.

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Gambhir’s retirement draws curtains on glorious career

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gautam gambhir

New Delhi, Dec 9 : The high points of Gautam Gambhir’s career are a stuff every aspiring cricketer dreams of. Top scorer in two World Cups, winner of two IPL titles with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), one of the most prolific opening pairs in world cricket alongside the great Virender Sehwag. The list goes on and on.

On Sunday, the combative former Team India player made his exit from the game as the Ranji Trophy match between his native Delhi and Andhra drew to a close.

The match ended in a dull stalemate at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. The match itself however, faded into inconsequence as Gambhir was at the centre of attention of the spectators present in the stadium.

He made the occasion a memorable one, top scoring with 112 in Delhi’s first innings.

The 37-year-old has an enviable record. He has played 58 Tests (4154 runs), 147 One-Day Internationals (5238 runs) and 37 Twenty20 Internationals. He has also played 197 first-class matches.

But apart from the statistics, what fans will remember most is his combative attitude, the never-say-die spirit which stood out during those nerve wracking run chases or when the going became tough.

These qualities were on full display during two of the most memorable occasions for Indian cricket since the World Cup triumph in 1983 — winning the 2007 World Twenty20 and the 2011 ODI World Cup.

He played an integral part in India’s wins in both finals. At the the 2007 World Twenty20 final against arch-rivals Pakistan, he top scored with 75 runs from 54 balls.

He was the top scorer in the 2011 World Cup final as well with a composed 97 from 122 deliveries as India pulled off an exciting chase against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.

Gambhir is also the lone Indian and only one of four cricketers to have scored hundreds in five consecutive Test matches. He is the also the only Indian batsman to score in excess of 300 runs in four consecutive Test series.

But even before he announced his retirement earlier in the week, the signs were there for the past couple of years.

Gambhir did not exactly see eye to eye with India captain Virat Kohli which played a part in his exit from the national squad. He also struggled in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in recent times and his last season after returning to the Delhi Daredevils was not a very memorable one.

On Sunday, as Gambhir walked off the field and into the sunset, the curtains came down on a glorious career. Indian fans, perhaps even several around the cricketing world will miss one of the most exciting and talented batsmen of his generation.

(Ajeyo Basu can be contacted at [email protected])

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