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IPL-10: Vintage Dhoni powers Pune to 6 wkt win over Hyderabad

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Pune, April 22 : Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s late order blitzkrieg guided Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) to a thrilling six wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a last ball thriller Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 contest at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Saturday.

With 47 needed off the last three overs, the situation was tailor made for one of the best finishers in world cricket, and Dhoni (61 not out from 34 balls), started in his usual fashion taking time to settle down before unleashing his power against the likes of Mohammed Siraj and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

In the 18th over, the Ranchi stumper dispatched Siraj for a flat six over long-on before helping the ball over point and short third man for a four the next ball to milk 17 runs from the over.

The penultimate over witnessed a vintage Dhoni smashing two consecutive boundaries before using his bottom hand to launch Bhuvneshwar for a powerful six over long-on to reach his half century and leave Pune needing 11 from the final over.

The final over had medium pacer Siddharth Kaul going for a six in the very first ball from Manoj Tiwary (17 not out) before Dhoni finished off in style with a boundary through extra cover. Dhoni’s match-winning knock was laced with five hits to the fence and three over it.

Chasing a stiff 177, Pune were off to a dismal start losing Ajinkya Rahane (2) in the fourth over before opener Rahul Tripathi (59) and skipper Steve Smith (27) rescued them with a 72-run second wicket stand in quick time.

Tripathi made full use of the life he got on 17 when Bipul Sharma put down a tough chance off medium pacer Mohammed Siraj’s first ball of the match.

The 26-year-old immediately smacked Siraj out of the park the next ball before taking Siddharth Kaul to the cleaners twice in the next over as he got his half century in just 32 balls.

Smith at the other end, dispatched Bipul for two consecutive sixes as Pune looked on course before Afghanistan’s teenaged leg-spinner Rashid Khan packed back the Australian after facing 21 balls with a googly knocking his off stump.

Two overs later, Tripathi, who by now had faced 41 balls and struck six boundaries and three huge sixes, was brilliantly ran out by a direct throw from Rashid, reducing the hosts to 98/3.

With 62 needed off the last five overs, the stage was set for former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and English all-rounder Ben Stokes (10) to press the accelerator.

But purple cap holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned to bowl his second spell had other plans when he induced Stokes to loft one to deep midwicket which substitute Vijay Shankar latched on with ease.

In the end, it was Dhoni all the way who smashed the bowlers all around the park once he got his eye in with Bengal’s Manoj Tiwary giving him company to see the team through.

Earlier, a late surge from all-rounder Moises Henriques helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a healthy 176/3 after the visitors were put in to bat by Smith.

Pune faltered in the death overs, leaking 63 runs in the last five overs with Henriques (55 not out from 28 balls) and Deepak Hooda (19 not out from 10) taking the bowlers to the cleaners.

Sunrisers had a slowish start with skipper David Warner and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (30) putting on 55 runs before South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir gave Pune the first breakthrough in the form of Dhawan.

Dhawan’s departure brought in the in-form New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (21 from 14 balls), who added 29 for the second wicket with Warner before medium pacer Daniel Christian’s off-cutter caught him plumb in front.

But it was the late order blows from Henriques and Hooda which helped the visitors go past the 150-run mark.

Henriques started by hitting two consecutive fours off medium pacer Shardul Thakur before meting out special treatment to Unadkat for two sixes while Hooda too used the long handle once off Unadkat for a flat six into the second tier over long-on.

The right-handed Australian brought up his half century in the final over of the innings with a four into the extra cover boundary off Thakur.

(IANS)

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IND vs SA, 3rd T20I: India, S. Africa eye T20I series win

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Cape Town, Feb 24: India and South Africa will battle it out in the series-deciding third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Newlands Stadium here on Saturday.

In the first game, a brilliant all-round show helped visitors beat hosts South Africa by 28 runs at Johannesburg. In the second game, South Africa, who lost the One-Day International (ODI) series 1-5, kept the T20I series alive by registering a six-wicket victory at Centurion.

The second match was a show of respective batting resolves by both sides, especially of their middle-order batsmen. While Manish Pandey (79 not out off 48) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (52 not out off 28) responded for India, the hosts had to thank Heinrich Klaasen (69 off 30) and Jean-Paul Duminy (64 not out off 40) as they overhauled the visitors’ total of 189/4 with six wickets and 1.2 overs to spare.

Klassen and Duminy were particularly harsh on leg-spinner Yuzvender Chahal (0/64) and left-arm medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat (2/42) in the second match. These two will be eager to bounce back with improved performances in the third match as captain Virat Kohli trusts them.

Kohli will depend on seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if he is not rested, to provide the early breakthroughs. It is though not clear whether Kohli prefers to rest Bhuvneshwar, the way the team rested fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah in the second match. Bhuvneshwar has played a lot in the tour which comes to end with the match on Saturday.

The place of pacer Shardul Thakur is not guaranteed as the Mumbai right-armer has not impressed much in the two matches. The match may see the return of chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

In the batting department, alongside skipper Kohli, batsmen Rohit Sharma, Dhawan, Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Pandey will look to make the most of their capabilities this time also.

Batsman Suresh Raina, who made a comeback in the T20Is will act as a vital cog in the middle-order and will look to proving his mettle after scoring 46 runs in two games.

The home camp will be high on confidence after ending their three-match losing streak across ODIs and the first T20I. They must have been relieved the way they dealt with Chahal, who tormented them in the ODIs.

While Reeza Hendricks punished the Indian spinners in the opener, Klassen and captain Duminy did the job in the second game. Farhaan Behardien and David Miller have not lived up to the expectations yet and the match gives them another chance to make impact and impress the selectors ahead of the busy schedule.

The bowling department, featuring Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala, Dane Paterson and Chris Morris along with chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi will have to come up with something special in order to get rid of the flamboyant Indian batsmen.

Squads:

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.

South Africa: Jean-Paul Duminy (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.

IANS

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Indian shuttlers fined for withdrawing from Uganda Badminton event

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Kampala, Feb 22: Indian players Harshit Aggarwal and Chaliha Orijit will be fined for their late withdraw from the 2018 Uganda International Badminton Open Championship.

“The two players will be fined $150 for late withdraw as per the rules set by the Badminton World Federation,” Simon Mugabi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Badminton Association (UBA), told Xinhua.

The Championship, a World Series sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), will take place at the Lugogo Arena in Kampala from February 22 to 25.

Mugabi explained that the two Indian players would have been fined $650 each if they had not communicated in advance.

“We expect a very explosive tournament because over 15 foreign players will take part,” said Mugabi, who also added that Germany’s Jonathan Persson is yet to arrive.

Several foreign players, including top seed for the tournament Georges Juliean Paul, have arrived in Uganda ahead of the qualifiers for the main draw which starts on Thursday. Juliean Paul is fresh from winning the All Africa Senior Championship in Algeria last weekend.

Bahaedeen Ahmad Alshannik of Jordan, who is ranked second in the men’s singles, said he was happy to be in Uganda for the tournament. “I have prepared well and expect a very competitive event,” said Alshannik.

Former top African player Edwin Ekiring, who has represented Uganda at three Olympic Games, told Xinhua that he has recovered well from the shin injury he had for most of last year.

“I have prepared well with my team in Holland,” added Ekiring, who was unlucky to get injured in the final of the same tournament last year and did not continue.

The event will attract players from Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Algeria, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, India, the Netherlands, Syria, Germany, France, Turkey, Zambia and the Republic of Maldives, among others.

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IND vs SA, 2nd T20I: S.Africa beat India by 6 wickets to level series 1-1

India have made one change in their line-up from the previous match as debutant Shardul Thakur has replaced fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is suffering from abdominal stiffness.

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Centurion, Feb 22: South Africa rode on some powerful batting by Heinrich Klaasen and Jean-Paul Duminy to defeat India by six wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the SuperSport Park here on Wednesday.

Chasing a formidable target of 189 runs, the hosts romped home with eight balls to spare. The three-match series is now locked at 1-1.

Klaasen brought up his maiden T20I half-century, producing an awe inspiring show of power hitting to plunder 69 runs off just 30 balls.

Duminy remained unbeaten on 64 runs off 40 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.

The South African chase was off to a decent start before J.J. Smuts stepped out to pacer Jaydev Unadkat, only to be surprised by a slower delivery as Suresh Raina picked up an easy lofted catch at cover-point.

Reeza Hendricks handed pacer Shardul Thakur a wicket on his T20I debut when he went after a short piched delivery only to send his mistimed attempt into the hands of Hardik Pandya at deep mid-wicket.

With both opener back in the pavilion after five overs, the hosts seemed to be in deep trouble. But Heinrich Klaasen and Jean-Paul Duminy brought the South African innings back on track with a 93-run partnership.

Klaasen brought up his half-century in style, hitting Hardik Pandya for a boundary to reach 51 in just 22 balls.

The right-hander went berserk in the next over, smashing Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes and a boundary to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Unadkat brought his superb innings to an end in the very next over as Klaasen edged a slow off-cutter to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.

David Miller was removed by Pandya in the next over as the Indians looked to make a comeback.

However, Duminy led from the front to take the battle to the Indian bowlers and kept the asking rate within range.

Fittingly, it was the Proteas captain who hit the winning runs. He smashed Unadkat for two consecutive sixes to bring up the victory in some style.

Earlier, India rode on some power packed batting to post 188/4 in their 20 overs.

Manish Pandey was the highest scorer for India with an unbeaten 79 runs off just 48 balls.

His power-packed knock, which included six boundaries and three sixes, provided the late impetus to the Indian innings.

The veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave him excellent support from the other end, remaining unbeaten on 52 runs off a mere 28 balls, hitting four boundaries and three sixes along the way.

Coming together in the 11th over, the duo added 98 runs between them to carry the visitors to a formidable total.

Fast bowler Junior Dala bowled well on his T20I debut, notching up figures of 2/28.

Asked to bat first, the visitors suffered a scare off the very first ball when Shikhar Dhawan edged a Chris Morris delivery onto his pads.

The umpire had initially ruled the left-hander out but had to reverse his decision after television replays revealed a clear inside edge.

But the Indians’ relief was only temporary as Dala struck the first blow for the hosts with a delivery that kept low and trapped and outfoxed Rohit Sharma plumb before the stumps.

However, the arrival of Suresh Raina saw the momentum shift to the Indians’ favour as he and Dhawan started to play in an aggressive manner and dominated the South African pacers. The duo kept the Indians on track with a 43-run partnership.

That prompted South African captain Jean-Paul Duminy to come into the attack and the off-spinner had an immediate impact as Dhawan hit his second delivery into the hands of Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.

Dhawan was in good touch, scoring 24 runs off 14 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.

Dala removed Virat Kohli in the next over, outfoxing the Indian skipper with some extra bounce as overjoyed wicket-keeper Heinrich Klaasen latched onto to the outside edge.

The momentum however, stayed with the Indians as Raina and Manish Pandey added 45 runs between them off the next five overs.

Fast bowler Andile Phehlukwayo broke the crucial partnership when he trapped Raina leg before. Raina’s 24-ball knock produced 30 runs which included five hits to the fence.

That was the last bit of celebration the hosts will eventually manage as Pandey and Dhoni virtually tore the Proteas’ bowling apart.

Brief scores:

South Africa: 189/4 in overs (Heinrich Klaasen 69, Jean-Paul Duminy 64 not out; Jaydev Unadkat 2/42) vs India: 188/4 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 79 not out, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 52 not out; Junior Dala 2/28).

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