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Rohit, Kuldeep help India thrash England in 1st ODI

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India Vs England 2018
Image: David Davies/PA via AP

Nottingham, July 13 (IANS) A maiden fifer for Kuldeep Yadav (6/25) followed by Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 137-run knock sealed a comfortable eight-wicket victory for India in the first match of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) rubber at Tent Bridge here on Thursday.

The visitors dominated England, the No. 1 ODI side, in all departments of the game as the men in blue took a 1-0 lead in the series with 59 balls to spare.

It was Kuldeep’s magnificent bowling display before which the English batting line-up succumbed and later, Rohit and skipper Virat Kohli (75) helped India overcome the 269-run target with ease.

Rohit Sharma

Chasing 269 for victory, openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit started the proceedings cautiously as they took India past the 50-run mark in just 6.5 overs when the centurion lofted the ball in the air over mid-off to clean the stands.

Dhawan fell early becoming a victim of Moeen Ali in the eighth over leaving India at 59/1.

England’s joy was short-lived as incoming batsman Kohli and Rohit denied the hosts to make any further inroads in their batting line-up as they stitched a crucial and massive 167-run partnership for the second wicket as India crossed the 200-run mark.

Meanwhile, Rohit also notched up his 18th ODI century off 82 deliveries as the opener cleared Adil Rashid over long-on.

With the visitors inching closer towards victory, Adil Rashid came with the second breakthrough for England as Kohli missed a flighted delivery to be stumped in the 33rd over with India’s scorecard reading 226/2.

With 33 runs needed, Rohit and KL Rahul (9) helped India reach the target with ease as the men in blue took a 1-0 lead in the series.

Rohit’s innings contained 15 fours and four hits into the stands.

Earlier, Kuldeep’s heroic bowling effort restricted England at a moderate 268 runs.

Despite a deep batting line-up, the hosts’ succumbed before the wrist-spinner, who emerged with his best ODI figures at a batting-friendly Nottingham wicket.

It was Ben Stokes (50) and Jos Buttler (53), who showed some resistance against the visiting bowling attack to push their side to a fighting total.

Put into bat, England was off to a decent start as openers Jason Roy (38) and Jonny Bairstow (38) forged a 73-run partnership for the opening wicket before Kuldeep drew the first blood, dismissing the former in the 11th over.

With just eight runs added on England’s scorecard, Kuldeep struck again to pack back incoming Joe Root (3).

The wrist-spinner made worsened England’s situation when he sent back opener Bairstow, who was caught before the wicket, leaving the hosts reeling at 82/3.

Skipper Eoin Morgan then tried to nurse their inning with Ben Stokes before he became a victim of Yuzvendra Chahal in the 20th over leaving the hosts at 105/4.

Stokes and Buttler then forged a 93-run stand to inch England near the 200-run mark before Kuldeep shot another bullet in opposition’s line-up. The spinner scalped his fourth victim as he dismissed Buttler with England’s scorecard reading 198/5.

As England managed to another 16 runs to their score, Kuldeep gave another jolt to the hosts after sending back Stokes in the 45th over.

There was no stopping for Kuldeep at a batting paradise Tent Bridge wicket on Thursday as he pounced his another wicket in the same over when David Willey was back to the dressing room after contributing a single run.

Before falling down to Umesh Yadav, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, chipped in with 24 and 22 runs while Liam Plunkett respectively while Liam Plunkett contributed with 10 runs to take their side to a competitive total.

Apart from Kuldeep, Umesh bagged couple of wickets leaking 70 runs from his 9.5 overs.

Brief Scores: England 268 all out in 49.5 overs (Jos Buttler 53, Ben Stokes 50; Kuldeep Yadav 6/25) lose to India 269/2 (Rohit Sharma 108 not out, Virat Kohli 75; Moeen Ali 1/60)

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Arjuna Award is recognition of my hard work: Paddler Manika Batra

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Manika Batra during a programme

Elated after being among those selected for this year’s prestigious Arjuna Award, star paddler Manika Batra on Thursday said it was a recognition to her hard work over the years.

The 23-year-old Manika recently scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman paddler to win an Asian Games medal when she paired up with veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal to bag the bronze in the mixed doubles competition.

“It’s a real pleasure to be selected for this year’s Arjuna Award. I am excited to receive the award,” Manika told IANS after being signed as the latest face of Herbalife Nutrition.

“This is a recognition of my hard work, and the medals which I won in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. This is the time to be happy and excited,” she added.

Manika has also proved that her Commonwealth Games (CWG) success, where she emerged as the country’s top performer with four medals — a gold each in women’s singles and women’s team event, silver in women’s doubles, and a bronze in mixed doubles — was not a fluke and clearly she is the next big thing in table tennis.

Despite grabbing eyeballs with her brilliant performances this season, Manika has an unfulfilled dream which she is striving hard to achieve.

“From here on, the main target is to improve on my world ranking and find myself in the top-30 or top-20. With a better world ranking, I will have better chances at the Tokyo Olympics.

“The dream is to be among the top-10 in the world. I have the National Ranking zonals and then the Pro Tours where the focus will be mainly on improving my world ranking,” said Manika, who is currently ranked World No.56.

When prodded on the level of competition in the CWG and the Asiad, and how eventually she managed to break the shackles at Jakarta, Manika explained: “The level of competition in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games is totally different.”

“In the CWG, the battle is mainly against the Singapore paddlers whereas in Asiad, all the table tennis powerhouses compete, which makes it really tough,” she added.

Rating her Asian Games medal as the “greatest achievement” till date, Manika was however candid enough to admit that she wasn’t at her fittest self during the Asian Games.

“Even during the Asian Games, I felt I lack on the fitness standards of the Chinese and other Asian paddlers. I have to work more on my reflexes and movements.

“I am currently focussing on my agility and fitness with my fitness coach Subodh More with an eye to match to the standards of the Chinese,” she added.

On being quizzed if her height is the secret of her being touted as the next big thing in the table tennis world, the 5′ 11” paddler said it works both ways for her.

“My height works both ways…it is advantageous as the taller players have a better reach and require less movement but at the same time there is a negative which is we are more prone to back and knee injuries. I suffered from back pain recently but have worked on that and now I’m back to full fitness,” she recounted.

(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at [email protected])

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Asia Cup: Afghanistan thrash Bangladesh by 136 runs

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Afghanistan Cricket Team

Abu Dhabi, Sep 21 : A disciplined all-round effort saw Afghanistan thrashing Bangladesh by 136 runs in their last group match of the Asia Cup here on Thursday.

Chasing 256, Bangladesh were bundled out for 119.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan picked up two wickets each to hand Afghanistan a comfortable victory.

Chasing a decent target, Bangladesh never looked in the contention as they lost their wickets at regular intervals.

Shakib Al Hasan (32), Mahmudullah (27) and Mosaddek Hossain (26 not out) mainly contributed to the Bangladeshi score. No other batsman clicked and went back to the pavilion one after another, posting single digit individual scores.

Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain scored towards the end but the lack of support denied the run chase.

Earlier, Afghanistan rode on some brilliant batting by Rashid Khan (57 not out), Gulbadin Naib (42 not out) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (58) to post a decent score.

Besides the trio, opener Mohammad Shahzad (37) also played handsomely.

For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan took four wickets while Abu Hider Rony scalped two wickets.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 255/7, (Hashmatullah Shahidi 58, Rashid Khan 57 not out; Shakib Al Hasan 4/42) against Bangladesh 119/10 (Shakib Al Hasan 32; Rashid Khan 2/13)

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Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur ruled out of Asia Cup

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Mumbai, Sep 20: Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur have been ruled out of the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 owing to injuries, the BCCI announced on Thursday.

BCCI’s senior selection committee has now replaced the trio by Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Siddharth Kaul, who will be joining the team in Dubai on Thursday.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya had suffered an acute lower back spasm during the game against Pakistan on Wednesday and is undergoing treatment and assessment by the BCCI medical team.

Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Axar Patel injured his left index finger while fielding against Pakistan. He was sent for scans and the results showed that he had a tendon tear.

On the other hand, right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur had experienced right hip and groin soreness after the match against Hong Kong.

The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side, who had thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets on Wednesday, will take on Bangladesh in their first Super four game on Friday.

IANS

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