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Kohli, Pujara stand tall after Ishant wreaks havoc with five-for

Ishant Sharma bagged a five-for, his 5/22 complimented by Umesh Yadav (3/29) and Mohammed Shami (2/36) as left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja only had to bowl one over.

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India vs Bangladesh Pink Ball

Kolkata, Nov 22 : The red-hot Indian pace battery ran through the fragile Bangladesh batting like a hot knife through butter, before Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli eased to typically classy half centuries as India reached 174/3 at stumps on Day 1 of the first pink ball Test in the country here on Friday.

At stumps, Kohli was batting on 59 from 93 balls, his innings laced with eight fours. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was batting with him on 23 as the lead read 68 with seven wickets in the kitty.

Pujara, who brought up his 21st fifty in 93 balls (8×4) failed to survive the final hour as the impressive Ebadat Hossain had him caught at second slip by Shadman Islam.

There was no stopping Kohli at the other end as the Indian captain got to his half century in 76 balls with the help of seven boundaries. Kohli looked in ominous form as he pulled Ebadat from outside the off stump to reach the landmark.

The day started with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ringing the customary Eden bell in the presence of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Bangladesh Cricket Board chief Nazmul Hasan and Sachin Tendulkar.

At the toss, Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque called it right and asked India to field first on a wicket which looked good for batting.

The Indian pacers took seven overs to get used to the pink ball and find their mojo. In the next 24 overs, they dismantled Bangladesh with surgical precision to entertain the packed crowd at the Eden Gardens.

Ishant Sharma bagged a five-for, his 5/22 complimented by Umesh Yadav (3/29) and Mohammed Shami (2/36) as left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja only had to bowl one over.

Opener Shadman Islam (29) top-scored for the visitors with only Liton Das (24) and Nayeem Hasan (19) crossing double figures.

To make matters worse for Bangladesh, wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan, playing his first match of the series, picked up knocks on their helmets and had to be replaced with Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam respectively as concussion substitutes.

India lost Mayank Agarwal (14) during the twilight period, the in-form opener caught at gully by Mehidy off Al Amin Hossain. Rohit looked good for his 21 from 35 balls which included a six which he hit to get off the mark. But the limited overs vice-captain was trapped in front by Ebadat Hossain.

Kohli joined Pujara in the middle and there was no looking back from there on for the duo as they sent the Bangladesh bowlers on a leatherhunt.

During the dinner break, former India captains Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kris Srikkanth, Mohammad Azharuddin, Shanta Rangaswamy, Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj were taken out on carts making a round of the ground along the boundary lines much to the delight of the 60,000-odd fans.

Earlier, Ishant drew first blood for the hosts, trapping Kayes (4) in front two balls after a caught behind appeal was turned down as reviews showed the ball missing the bat on its way to the wicketkeeper.

In the space of the next eight overs, the visitors lost four wickets as the ruthless pace arsenal fired in unison.

Umesh snared two wickets in the space of three deliveries to remove visiting skipper Mominul Haque (0) and Mohammad Mithun (0) for a pair of ducks.

While Rohit took a brilliant one-handed catch diving low from second slip to send Mominul back, Mithun was castled. In the next over, Mushfiqur Rahim (0) chopped a fast Shami delivery on to his stumps.

Shadman was caught behind off Umesh. Mahmudullah and Liton tried to forge a partnership but an outstanding catch by Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps off Ishant sent the former back in the hut as Bangladesh huffed and puffed to tea at 73/6.

Liton, who was hit on his helmet by a fierce Shami bouncer at the stroke of tea, did not come out to bat after the break with Mehidy coming out to bat after Ebadat Hossain (1) was clean-bowled by Ishant.

The all-rounder managed to score eight before Pujara took a sharp low catch at mid wicket off Ishant to get him out. Nayeem, who also picked up a knock on his helmet, carried on before he was castled by Ishant. Shami sent Abu Jayed back as Bangladesh’s abysmal innings came to and end inside three hours.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh: 106 (Ishant 5/22, Umesh 3/29); India: 174/3 (Kohli 59, Pujara 55)

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Ind vs NZ: Munro & Taylor take Kiwis to 203/5 in 1st T20I

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Auckland: New Zealand started with a flourish, but the Indian bowlers — led by Jasprit Bumrah (1/31) — came back strongly at Eden Park on Friday to restrict the Kiwis to 203/5 in their 20 overs in the first T20I of the five-game series.

Colin Munro (59) was the star of the show for the hosts at the top, but he was well supported by skipper Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (54*).

Put into bat, New Zealand had a great start as opener Munro and Martin Guptill put on a 80-run stand for the first wicket. Both the batsmen took the Indian bowlers to the task as they scored boundaries at will.

It was all-rounder Shivam Dube who provided India with the first breakthrough when Rohit Sharma took a brilliant catch on the boundary to dismiss Guptill who scored 30 off 19 balls.

Skipper Williamson then joined forces with Munro and took the New Zealand score to 116 before the left-handed opener was sent packing by Shardul Thakur in the 12th over. Munro scored 59 off just 42 balls and his power-packed innings was studded with 6 fours and 2 sixes.

Colin de Grandhomme, who came in next, didn’t trouble the scorers as he was sent home by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in just his second ball of the spell. However, those two quick wickets didn’t deter the hosts as Taylor and Williamson stitched a 61-run partnership and took the Black Caps’ total to 178 before the skipper was dismissed by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

The small ground ensured that the Kiwis kept finding the boundary ropes with Taylor looking to lead the show in the death overs for the home side. While Bumrah did look his brilliant self and gave away just four runs from the 18th over and picked the wicket of Tim Seifert, Taylor looked to take Mohammed Shami to task in the 19th as he started with a boundary. But the senior pro came back strongly and gave away just 9 runs from the over.

Bumrah twisting his ankle in the last over meant that he didn’t look his usual self and gave away 12 runs as New Zealand had Taylor remaining unbeaten on 54 with a strike rate of over 200.

Brief Scores: New Zealand: 203/5 (Munro 59, Taylor 54*, Williamson 51) vs India

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Divij Sharan exits Australian Open in 2nd round

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Divij Sharan

Melbourne: India’s Divij Sharan on Friday got knocked out of the ongoing Australian Open after he lost his second-round men’s doubles match with New Zealand partner Artem Sitak.

Sharan and Sitak lost 7-6 (6-2), 6-3 to Brazil’s Bruno Soares and Mate Pavic of Croatia in a match that lasted one hour and 17 minutes. The duo had entered the second round after defeating Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday.

Earlier, Rohan Boppanna had also crashed out of the tournament in first round after he, along with Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan, lost 1-6, 6-3, 3-6 to US’ Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike.

On Thursday, Sania Mirza’s campaign in the women’s doubles had also come to a disappointing end after she was forced to retire mid-way during her first round women’s doubles match with Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine.

Mirza and Kichenok were trailing 0-1 in the second set against the Chinese pair of Xinyun Han and Lin Zhu when the Indian was forced to retire due to a calf injury. The Indo-Ukranian pair had lost the first set 2-6.

Before that, Mirza had already pulled out of the mixed doubles event alongside Bopanna with the same injury.

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Shikhar Dhawan’s shoulder injury has ruled him out of India’s T20i series

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Shikhar dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan injured his shoulder while fielding in the third and final ODI against Australia in Bangalore. He was soon sent for the scans and didn’t even bat in the second innings. Moreover, he was seen in a sling while in the dressing room.

And now it has been confirmed that the southpaw is ruled out of the upcoming New Zealand tour as the results of the scans are not encouraging.

India are scheduled to play the first T20I of the five-match series against New Zealand on January 24. With the short turnaround between the two series, the Men in Blue was scheduled to leave in two batches, one of which left on Monday night and the other will take the flight to the Kiwi nation on Tuesday night. Dhawan, with his latest injury concern, is set to be left out of the touring party.

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