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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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My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

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Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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