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Ind vs WI: Rohit, Rahul & Kohli blitz seals T20 series

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Team India vs West Indies

Mumbai, Dec 11 : K.L. Rahul and Rohit Sharma shared a hundred-run opening stand before skipper Virat Kohli bludgeoned an unbeaten 70 off just 29 balls as India batted the West Indies out of the series-deciding third T20 International to win it by 67 runs and grab the series 2-1, at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

Openers Rahul (91 off 56b; 4×9, 6×4) and Rohit (71 off 34; 4×6, 6×5) shared a 135-run partnership to decimate the West Indies before Kohli showed why he is the best batsman in the world with a whirlwind, unbeaten 29-ball 70 (4×4, 7×6), his 100th international half-century, as the hosts set the visitors a target of 240/3.

The Windies lost destructive opener Evin Lewis even before they started their chase as the opener picked up a knee injury while fielding and could not continue.

The visitors were reduced to 17/3 before Kieron Pollard (68) and Shimron Hetmyer (41) shared a 74-run stand for the fourth wicket to keep the visitors in the game. But once Hetmyer hit Kuldeep Yadav straight down long on’s throat where Rahul took the catch, it looked all over.

However, Pollard kept their slim chances alive with some big hitting. The captain finally got out, trying to go for one too many as the asking rate was touching 20 runs per over.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar had the West Indian caught by substitute Ravindra Jadeja at deep midwicket in the 15th over, and from there on it was only a matter of time before India wrapped up the proceedings as West Indies managed 173/8 in the end of 20 overs.

Mohammed Shami, playing his first T20I after two-and-a-half years, returned impressive figures of 2/25 from his four overs, while Kuldeep Yadav — back in the side after a while — Bhuvneshwar and Deepak Chahar also picked up two wickets each.

Earlier, Rohit got off the mark with a delectable lofted cover drive in the second ball of the match to set the tone.

In the second over, Rahul hit Jason Holder for two consecutive fours only for the West Indies Test captain to comeback with two excellent deliveries to end the over.

At the other end, Rohit looked like a man on a mission as he took 16 off Cottrell’s next over, hitting the pacer for his 400th six in international cricket and then going on to caress two more fours.

Rahul also got into the act by welcoming Kesrick Williams with two fours and a six in the sixth over as India zoomed to 72/0 inside the Powerplay.

Rohit brought up his 19th T20I fifty off just 23 balls by hitting left-arm spinner Khary Pierre for two sixes while Rahul also notched up his eighth half-century in the format off 29 deliveries as India raced to 102 in eight overs and were 116/0 at the halfway stage.

Williams finally ended the opening stand as Rohit holed out to Hayden Walsh at deep midwicket in the 12th over.

Rishabh Pant was promoted to No.3 but the big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman picked out Holder in his second ball off Pollard to continue his poor run with the willow.

Kohli joined Rahul in the middle and took on Holder in the 15th over, hitting two fours and a six as 22 runs came off it.

In the last five overs, Kohli and Rahul took the Windies bowlers to the cleaners as India amassed 67 runs. Kohli smoked his counterpart Pollard for two sixes in the penultimate over to bring up his 50 off just 21 balls.

Rahul missed out on his third T20I hundred as he was caught by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran off Sheldon Cottrell in the final over.

Brief scores: India 240/3 in 20 overs (K.L. Rahul 91, Rohit Sharma 71, Virat Kohli 70 not out); West Indies 173/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 68, Shimron Hetmyer 41; Mohammed Shami 2/25, Deepak Chahar 2/20, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/41, Kuldeep Yadav 2/45)

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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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