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India win Bengaluru Test by 75 runs

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Bangalore, March 7, 2017: Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin led the way with a six-wicket haul as India defeated Australia by 75 runs in the second cricket Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 188 runs, Australia were all out for 112 in their second innings shortly after tea on the fourth day. India have now levelled the four-Test series at 1-1.

The Indians bowled superbly on a pitch which has developed quite a few cracks, making it difficult for batting.

Ashwin did the most damage with figures of 6/41. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav displayed excellent speed and swing to return 2/30 while fellow pacer Ishant Sharma and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja bagged a wicket each.

The Australians found it difficult to score against Jadeja who gave away only three runs in his eight overs which included five maidens.

Ashwin now has the most number of wickets in the 2016-17 season with 89 wickets. He is the fastest ever to reach 25 five-wicket hauls, achieving the feat in 88 innings ahead of Sri Lankan great Mutthiah Muralithaaran (100) and legendary fast bowler Richard Hadlee (111).

The Chennai spinner is also the fastest Indian bowler to take 200 Test wickets in India.

“It was not coming out of the hand all right. I was trying to turn it too hard. One good thing I did was when wickets were not coming, I kept the runs down,” Ashwin said after the match.

“We just spoke inside the dressing room to bowl some short spells and keep changing over. That is why we were rotating so we could attack through such short balls.”

Indian opener Lokesh Rahul was declared the man of the match.

Having dismissed the hosts for 274 in their second innings, the visitors ran into trouble early in their second essay as young opener Matt Renshaw was caught behind off Ishant’s bowling.

Ashwin trapped the other opener David Warner leg before Umesh was rewarded for his excelelnt bowling with the wickets of Australian captain Steven Smith and Shaun Marsh.

That put the pressure on the visitors and Ashwin rammed home the advantage by sending back Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade in quick succession.

The Australian batting disintegrated quickly after tea, losing their remaining wickets in just under eight overs.

Earlier during the morning session, Josh Hazlewood clinched a six-wicket haul as India were dismissed for 274 runs in their second innings.

Hazlewood had figures of 6/74 while fellow pacer Mitchell Starc and spinner Steve O’Keefe took two wickets each.

For India, Cheteshwar Pujara top scored with 92.

Resuming at the overnight score of 213/4, Pujara and Ajinkaya Rahane batted steadily for the first half hour or so.

But the introduction of the second new ball saw a dramatic change in fortunes as Hazlewood and Starc produced a devastating spell which saw five wickets fall in 19 balls.

Rahane was the first to go, almost immediately after his half-century. The Mumbai batsman fell to an astute call by Australian skipper Steven Smith who decided to call for the review after the umpire had given a not out decision to a loud lbw appeal from Starc.

Smith stood vindicated as the third umpire reversed the on-field official’s decision and sent Rahane on his way.

Starc struck again with his very next ball, uprooting Karun Nair’s middle stump with a fast inswinger to send the batsman back to the pavilion with a golden duck.

Wriddhiman Saha walked in to deny Starc his hattrick with an inside edge on to his pads even as the Australians came up with another loud appeal for lbw.

There was more trouble in store for the hosts in the next over. Pujara fell in the 90s for the first time in his career when some extra bounce from a Hazlewwood delivery took the shoulder of his bat for a simple catch to Mitchell Marsh at gully.

Ravichandran Ashwin was dismissed only a couple of balls later when a Hazlewood delivery came in sharply after pitching outside the off stump and beat the outside edge of an attempted drive before crashing into the stumps.

Hazlewood completed his six-wicket haul in his next over when Umesh Yadav lofted one to David Warner at mid-off.

Saha and Ishant Sharma then came up with a late partnership to push the hosts’ lead to 187.

 

Wefornews Bureau

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Tony Kroos fives Germany win over Sweden

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Sochi, June 24 : Tony Kroos produced a last gasp winner as Germany revived their campaign with a 2-1 win over Sweden in a Group F match of the FIFA World Cup here.

Ola Toivonen gave Sweden the lead with a superb finish in the 32nd minute during the match on Saturday.

Germany displayed large doses of their famed fighting spirit as they staged a strong comeback in the second half.

Marco Reus (48th minute) got the equaliser early in the second half.

Germany left everything to the last minute, scoring in the 95th minute, avoiding what could have been an embarrassing elimination from the World Cup in the group stage.

The Germans felt disaster coming when Ola Toinoven scored the first goal in the 32nd minute, giving Sweden a 1-0 lead by half time, Efe news reports.

To Germany’s relief, Marco Reus scored three minutes into the second half off a cross from the left by Timo Werner, giving his teammates the jolt of energy and confidence they needed.

Germany soon took control of the match, achieving nearly 80 per cent possession of the ball and finding several clear chances to score, although the Swedish defence held the line.

Even though Jerome Boateng received a red card in the 83rd minute, the Germans continued to play as one would expect from the former World Cup champions.

In the 89th minute, Germany’s Mario Gomez was close to scoring with a superb header that was deflected by keeper Robin Olsen.

It wasn’t until the 95th minute that Germany sealed their 2-1 victory with a free kick by Toni Kroos from the left of the box, beautifully curling the ball into the far corner of the net.

The rest of the game saw the Germans dominate as they created and wasted a hatful of chances.

The Swedish defence also did well, holding the defending champions at bay with some last ditch defending.

Kroos finally found the winner five minutes into second half added time when he curled in a free-kick at the far post.

Sweden and Germany are now tied in Group F with three points each, while Mexico is in first place with six points and South Korea is last with zero point.

Germany have three points from two matches and will face South Korea in their final group engagement.

Sweden, who had beaten the Koreans in their first match, remained on three points as well.

They will take on Mexico in their third and final group match.

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World Cup 2018: Germany face must-win against Sweden

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sweden fifa 2018

Sochi, June 23: Holders Germany will have to beat Sweden in order to avoid an early exit from the FIFA World Cup when the two sides meet in a crunch Group F clash at the Fisht Stadium here on Saturday.

Blessed with a strong squad brimming with talented players, Germany were hot contenders to become the first team in 56 years to retain the World Cup.

But after a shock 0-1 defeat to Mexico, the jolted four-time winners will have their task cut out against Sweden. A reversal will all but end their campaign.

“Everyone is aware that this is our first ‘final’, it’s annoying that it comes so early, but it’s self-inflicted,” team director Oliver Bierhoff was quoted as saying.

Germany were all over the place in the first half against Mexico and their heroics in Brazil four years ago seemed distant.

After the defeat, there have been catcalls to drop under-performing players like Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

Sweden, meanwhile, will believe they can cause another upset after their confidence lifting 1-0 win over Korea Republic. This was their first win in the competition since hosting the tournament in 1958.

The Swedes are no strangers to upsetting the odds, beating France during qualification and getting past Italy in the play-offs, so an under-performing German side will hold no fears for Janne Anderson’s men.

IANS

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FIFA WC 2018: Confident Mexico up against under-pressure Koreans

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Mexico FIFA 2018

Rostov-on-Don (Russia), June 23: A confident Mexico will be eyeing their second win to seal a pre-quarterfinal berth when they take on South Korea in a Group F match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Rostov Arena here on Saturday.

The South Americans were impressive during their 1-0 win over defending champions Germany in their campaign opener where they put on one of the best team performances.

Meanwhile, the Asian side will be under pressure after going down 0-1 to Sweden on Monday and are facing the prospect of being eliminated at the group stage in a second consecutive World Cup.

Korea head coach Shin Tae-yong will certainly be wanting something special from his side to keep themselves alive in the mega event.

The Koreans played well in their first match, but found the going tough against the tall, physically strong Swedes.

While the Koreans did well in the midfield, the well-organised Sweden defence coupled with the Europeans’ physical advantage proved too much for them.

While most of the Mexican players do not have too much of a physical presence, their superior skills and tactical ability will present a different sort of challenge for the Koreans.

Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio will be hoping for a repeat show from his side and despite being known for reshuffling his lineup, he is not expected to make much changes against the Koreans.

Hirving Lozano, star for Mexico against Germany, scored the only game of the match and will be eager to go against South Korea to find the back of the net again.

However, despite having a great start to their campaign and being favourites in Saturday’s clash, Mexico midfielder Marco Fabian believes his side has to still do a lot.

“We reached our first target and have beaten Germany, but we can’t sit back,” Fabian told the media.

“Some consider us to be group favourites now, and that’s a compliment – but it’s one we shouldn’t believe. There are no favourites in this World Cup,” he added.

On the other hand, Koreans after suffering a defeat by Sweden, would have to reconsider their 4-3-3 formation which handed space to their opponents in the first game.

South Korea midfielder Koo Ja-cheol said his teammates were preparing to tackle Mexico and had found striker Javier Hernandezas as one of the major threat.

“Of course we are not ready to give up. Everyone put in so much effort to get here,” Koo said.

“What we want is to turn fans’ disappointment into joy,” he added.

Overall, it will be a herculean task for the Asian outfit to pull off a victory against the Mexicans on Saturday.

IANS

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