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Intercontinental Cup: Chhetri double on 100th game helps India beat Kenya

On either side of Chhetri’s landmark double, Jeje (71st) made it 2-0 as India bagged two wins in as many games and moved to six points.

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Sunil Chhetri

Mumbai, June 4 (IANS) Skipper Sunil Chhetri scored a brace on his 100th international game as Jeje Lalpekhlua also got on the scoresheet to help India beat Kenya 3-0 and put on foot in the final of the Intercontinental Cup on a rain-soaked Monday night at the Mumbai Football Arena here.

After a barren first half which saw chances few and far between due to torrential downpour, Chhetri (68th minute penalty, 90+1) won and converted a penalty before adding to his tally in second-half added time with a delicate chip past the goalkeeper to round off the victory in front of 9,000 odd-spectators.

On either side of Chhetri’s landmark double, Jeje (71st) made it 2-0 as India bagged two wins in as many games and moved to six points.

Stephen Constantine’s wards thrashed Chinese Taipei 5-0 in their first outing and will now take on New Zealand on Thursday in the four-team tourney. They are top of the table followed by Kenya (three points), who beat the All Whites 2-1 in their first match and will now take on Chinese Taipei.

The top two teams in the points table will meet in the summit clash on Sunday.

This was India’s 13th win in 16th games and second on the bounce since the loss to Kyrgyz Republic.

Both sides struggled for cohesion in the first period as it rained profusely.

In the 25th minute, Chhetri tried to take advantage of a sloppy clearance and chip the ball over retreating Kenyan goalkeeper Patrick Matasi but his effort went just over the crossbar.

Kenya looked the better side in a scrappy 45 minutes as Chhetri chased down another Subashish Bose long ball but Matasi averted the danger on the edge of the box.

Towards the end of the first period, the rain looked to relent as both teams headed towards the tunnel.

Kenya got two gilt-edged chances early on after the break, but Ovella Ochieng and Pistone Mutamba dragged wide of target with the Indian centre-back pairing of Anas Edathodika and Sandesh Jhingan carved open far too easily.

At the other end, Halicharan Narzary did well to elude his marker on the left flank and cross for Chhetri inside the box, but the latter failed to connect properly.

Minutes later, Chhetri had another opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet, but the Bengaluru FC marksman volleyed wide from a good position inside the area.

Just after the hour mark, Pronay Halder — who scored his first goal for India in the last game — unleashed a curling long ranger which drew a brilliant save from Matasi.

Soon after, Chhetri won a controversial penalty as replays showed Kenyan defender Michael Kibwage bringing him down just outside the box.

The referee, nonetheless, pointed to the spot and Delhi boy made no mistake from 12 yards despite Matasi getting a hand to the ball.

Chhetri did not celebrate his landmark goal as his teammates hugged him from all corners. With wife Sonam Bhattacharya watching from the stands, Chhetri pointed towards hugged him from all corners, then folding his hands as the fans cheered along.

Three minutes later Jeje doubled India’s tally, rifling a rebound into the top corner from the edge of the box.

It was picture perfect in the end when Chhetri linked up with substitute Balwant Singh to run clear and dink the ball past Matasi.

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Dean Jones, former Australia cricketer and renowned commentator, passes away at 59

Former Australia cricketer and renowned commentator Dean Jones passed away on Thursday following a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai.

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Dean Jones

Former Australia cricketer and renowned commentator Dean Jones passed away on Thursday following a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was 59. A batsman during his playing days, Jones played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia between 1984 and 1994 before venturing into commentary.

Jones was part of the Australian team that won the 1987 World Cup, playing a starring role in the campaign. Jones was Australia’s third highest run-getter in the tournament, scoring 314 runs in 8 matches. He was currently in India as part of the team of experts working on the Indian Premier League with host broadcaster Star Sports.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Dean Mervyn Jones AM. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time. We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements,” Star India said in a release.

“Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game associating himself with Cricket development across South Asia. He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young Cricketers. He was a champion commentator whose presence and presentation of the game always brought joy to millions of fans. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Jones made his debut for Australia in a Test match in the West Indies in 1984. He scored almost 9500 international runs. He retired from international cricket with an average of 46.55 in Test cricket and 44.61 in ODIs.

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It was all about being ruthless: MI skipper Rohit Sharma

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Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi, Sep 24 : Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, returned to his usual, elegant self with a masterful innings to lead Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rohit scored 80 off 54 as MI scored 195/5. In reply, KKR managed to score 146/9.

Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.

“It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible. We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.

As the KKR bowlers fumbled with their line and length and gave Rohit short deliveries, the MI captain replied with his trade mark pull shots to deposit the ball over the boundary.

“I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight,” he said.

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IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 49 runs

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Rohit Sharma

Mumbai Indians (MI) cruised to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Wednesday (September 23).

Earlier in the day, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik won the toss and invited Rohit Sharma’s MI to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The Mumbai side got off to a poor start after they lost Quinton de Kock (1) in the second over of the game.

However, things changed massively after that with Rohit Sharma and Suriyakumar Yadav forming a formidable partnership.

The duo knitted together a 90-run stand before Yadav was dismissed for 47. Saurabh Tiwary (21) and Saurabh Tiwary (18) constructed short innings with the Mumbai skipper who completed his half-century.

It was thanks to Rohit’s captain’s knock of 80 rubs which propelled MI to 195/6. Pat Cummins had a horror show with the ball for KKR on his debut as he ended up giving away 49 runs from his three overs.

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