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India, Sri Lanka aim to push for final spot

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Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 International, Photo Credit [email protected]_Trophy

Colombo, March 11: India will aim to push for a place in the final of the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket tri-series when they take on Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium here on Monday.

All the three teams — India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — have played two matches and won a match each and Monday’s match gives both the teams the opportunity to move to the top of the table.

India, captained by Rohit Sharma, lost the first match to Sri Lanka by five wickets before defeating Bangladesh by six wickets on Thursday.

Sri Lanka will not only be confident having defeated India but at the same time, the hosts will be angry after losing to Bangladesh by five wickets in a high-scoring affair on Saturday night.

The hosts had put 214/6 on the board but failed to defend the big total, as Mushfiqur Rahim (72 not out) tore the home bowlers apart.

For this reason, India have to be wary of the Sri Lankans. But this side has shown that it has the strength to go out and deliver and will be eager to continue their good work like they did against Bangladesh.

For India, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been outstanding, scoring 90 and 55 in the two matches, as he continued from where he left off in South Africa. His scores in the last 10 matches are 55, 90, 47, 24, 72, 18, 34, 109, 76, 51.

However, the worry for India has been the form of fellow opener Rohit, who has scored only 39 runs in the past five T20Is.

In the middle-order, India will depend on Manish Pandey, who posted 37 and 27 not out in the two matches.

Suresh Raina will also aim to have a big score after getting 28 in the last match. Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who has not been impressive so far with scores of 7 and 23, will also look to make amends.

As for the bowlers, medium pacers Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur and Vijay Shankar helped India restrict Bangladesh to 139/8 in the last match after being wasteful in the first match.

Spinners Yuzvender Chahal and Washington Sundar will again be key in the middle overs.

In the other camp, Sri Lanka will depend on Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis to score briskly at the top of the batting order. Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga will bat in the middle.

In their defeat to Bangladesh, all of the bowlers, barring Nuwan Pradeep, bowled with indiscipline, throwing full-tosses and easy deliveries at important moments and were made to pay for it.

Pradeep will need Thisara Perera and Dushmantha Chameera to step up, along with spinners Akila Dhananjay and Jeevan Mendis.

IANS

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Ranveer Singh has ‘fan moment’ on meeting P.V. Sindhu

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Mumbai, Sep 26: Actor Ranveer Singh says he had a fan moment meeting Indian star shuttler P.V. Sindhu and added that he loves her spirit.

Ranveer met Sindhu on Tuesday at the Forbes India Tycoon Of Tomorrow event, where he was feted with the Youth Icon Award.

Sindhu shared a photograph of herself with the actor and captioned it: “Finally we meet! It was such a pleasure meeting you and an absolute fan moment.I congratulate you for all the success and I wish you all the very best for your future endeavours. I would rather call you ‘rockstar’ than Ranveer Singh.”

To which, Ranveer replied: “Yes, finally! it was a pleasure indeed! and likewise, a fan moment for me too… You make us so proud, champ! Love your spirit. May you continue to shine bright.”

On the acting front, Ranveer is currently busy shooting for filmmaker Rohit Shetty’s “Simmba”, which also features actor Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara.

IANS

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Asia Cup: Afghanistan pull off thrilling last-ball tie with India

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Mohammad Shahzad

Dubai, Sep 26 (IANS) Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s comeback as skipper, albiet for a game ended in a thrilling tie against a resurgent Afghanistan in their final Super Four match of the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.

Chasing a competitive 253, the defending champions got off to a flier from the new opening pair of Lokesh Rahul (60 off 66 balls; 4X5, 6X1) and Ambati Rayudu (57 off 49; 4X4, 6X4) before a mini collapse, coupled with a few run-outs and umpiring errors, eventually resulted in a tie.

Needing 7 off the final over, Ravindra Jadeja (25 off 34; 4X1) struck a boundary on the second ball off leg-spinner Rashid Khan before taking two singles with last man Khaleel Ahmed in company.

With 1 needed off the final two balls, Jadeja pulled the fifth delivery — a shorter one towards midwicket only to find Najibullah running in from deep to grab it with both hands and help Afghanistan bow out of the tournament with their head held high.

Earlier, replacing the regular pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul and Rayudu got India to a 110-run opening stand before Mohammed Nabi managed to draw first blood with the wicket of Rayudu.

Rashid then joined the party by removing Rahul before Dinesh Karthik’s (44 off 66; 4X4) sedate knock stabilised things for the Men-in-Blue.

Karthik, however failed to get adequate support from the other end as Dhoni (8), Manish Pandey (8) and Kedar Jadhav (19) fell in quick succession before an umpiring blunder sent the Tamil Nadu stumper back in the hut.

Towards the end, Jadeja played a lone hand even as the bowlers — Deepak Chahar (12), Kuldeep Yadav (9) and Siddharth Kaul (0) — could hardly lend any support to the southpaw.

For the Afghans, pacer Aftab Alam and spin duo of Nabi and Rashid picked two wickets each while Javed Ahmadi picked one.

Earlier, electing to bat, Afghanistan rode opener Mohammad Shahzad’s entertaining century and a sensible innings from Nabi to post a healthy 252/8 against a relatively inexperienced Indian attack.

On a track where strokeplay wasn’t easy, Shahzad belted a brilliant 124 off 116 balls, laced with 11 boundaries and seven sixes, even as the rest of the top-five failed to reach double digits.

Nabi (64 off 56; 4X3, 6X4), however, played the perfect second fiddle to the wicketkeeper-batsman, raising a vital 48-run stand for the sixth wicket before finally losing Shahzad to part-timer Kedar Jadhav.

Thereafter, Nabi took the responsibility of pressing the accelerator even as the Indian bowlers bounced back well to leak just nine runs off the final three overs.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan: 252/8 (Mohammad Shahzad 124, Mohammad Nabi 64; Ravindra Jadeja 3/46) tie with India 252 (Lokesh Rahul 60, Ambati Rayudu 56, Dinesh Karthik 44; Mohammed Nabi 2/40, Rashid Khan 2/41).

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Kohli, Chanu conferred Khel Ratna; Neeraj, Hima get Arjuna award

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Arjuna Award Khel Ratna

New Delhi, Sep 25: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu were conferred with the country’s highest sporting honour — Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award — by President Ram Nath Kovind at the annual National Sports Awards ceremony here on Tuesday.

This year’s award ceremony was postponed to September 25 from the usual August 29 National Sports Day event due to the clash of dates with the Asian Games in Indonesia.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is given for a ‘spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years’. Both Kohli and Chanu received a medal, a citation and a cash prize of Rs 7 lakh.

Besides the Khel Ratna, star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, sprinter Hima Das, table tennis star Manika Batra were among the 20 recipients of the prestigious Arjuna award.

The other Arjuna awardees were long distance runner Jinson Johnson, shuttler N.Sikki Reddy, boxer Satish Kumar, woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana, golfer Shubhankar Sharma, hockey stars Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia, Col. Ravi Rathore (Polo), shooters Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh, paddler G. Sathiyan, tennis player Rohan Bopanna, wrester Sumit, Pooja Kadian (Wushu).

Para athlete Ankur Dhama and para shuttler Manoj Sarkar were also conferred with the Arjuna award, that included statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.

The President also gave away the Dronacharya awards to C.A. Kuttappa (Boxing), Vijay Sharma (Weightlifting), A. Srinivasa Rao (Table Tennis), Sukhdev Singh Pannu (Athletics).

Among the Dronacharya awardees for lifetime achievement were Clarence Lobo (Hockey), Tarak Sinha (Cricket), Jiwan Kumar Sharma (Judo) and V.R. Beedu (Athletics). The Dronacharya awardees were also given statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.

The Dhyan Chand award, that also includes statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each were given to Satyadev Prasad (Archery), Bharat Kumar Chetri (Hockey), Bobby Aloysius (Athletics) and Chougale Dadu Dattatray (Wrestling).

IANS

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