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IPL 2017: Kings XI Punjab beat Gujarat Lions by 26 runs.

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Kings IX Punjab

Kings XI Punjab have won their first game in five outings in the 2017 Indian Premier League. The Glenn Maxwell-led side defeated Gujarat Lions by 26 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.

Opening batsman Hashim Amla played a crucial knock of 65 as Punjab posted a challenging total of 188/7 in 20 overs. In reply, Gujarat could muster only 162/7, driven largely by Dinesh Karthik (58 not out) as the eighth-placed team succumbed to its fifth loss in seven matches.

Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma (2/40) and the spin pair of K.C. Cariappa (2/24) and Axar Patel (2/36) impressed for the visitors, who now have six points and are fourth on the points table.

Punjab, who were coming into the match with four consecutive defeats, had to be thankful to Amla (65; 40b; 9×4, 2×6), who shared a 70-run stand for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh (30 off 24 balls) at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.

The partnership came after Manan Vohra (2) edged a Nathu Singh delivery to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik in the second over. Both Amla and Marsh played aggressive cricket to put the pressure on the Gujarat Lions.

While Amla utilised his strong off-side stroke-making to good effect, Marsh decided to take more risk, hitting over the infield. By the end of the Powerplay overs, they reached 50/1, with Amla leading the charge.

The partnership was broken in the 10th over when a slow delivery from medium pacer Andrew Tye saw Marsh mistime and giving an easy catch to Suresh Raina at midwicket, with Punjab at 81/2 in 9.2 overs.

The same over saw Amla complete his fifty in 30 deliveries and the stage was set for Punjab’s power hitters. Amla was joined by Glenn Maxwell and the pair went on the offensive from the word go.

Maxwell took only 18 deliveries to score 31 before being dismissed lbw against left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over. Amla fell an over before him, driving one straight back at leg-spinner Shubham agarwal.

However, the fireworks from Punjab didn’t stop as Axar Patel batted with disdain, playing a quickfire 34 off 17 deliveries, of which three went for fours and two were deposited in the stands against Dwayne Smith as Punjab ended at 188/7.

Punjab then got about their job of defending the total very strongly, removing openers Brendon McCullum (6) and Aaron Finch (13) with the batsmen falling to medium pacers Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma respectively.

Suresh Raina (32) and Karthik showed some resilience but the former was caught at deep midwicket by Maxwell off a delivery from Axar Patel, as the hosts lost were reduced to 70/3 in nine overs.

Later, leg-spinner Cariappa stole the show with two quick wickets. First, he caught Ravindra Jadeja (9) of his own bowling in the final ball of the 12th over and then getting rid of Akshdeep Nath (0) in the first ball of the 14th over. In the 13th over, Dwayne Smith (4) had given Axar his second wicket and following Akshdeep’s wicket, Gujarat were looking down the barrel at 102/6, with 87 required of 6.5 overs.

However, Karthik, who had dragged Gujarat till then with occasional fours and ones and twos, got a good partner in Andrew Tye to give some hopes to the hosts.

Tye played a useful cameo of 22 from 12 deliveries as Sandeep bowled him to further dent the chase of Gujarat, who were at 137/7 in 16.4 overs. Punjab then had no trouble in getting a 26-run victory.

 

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IND vs SA: India aim bright start against S.Africa in 1st T20I

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India vs south africa odi

Johannesburg, Feb 17: Following a historic One-Day International (ODI) series victory, ruthless India will aim to continue their form in the cricket’s shortest format when they face South Africa in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday.

With a short interval for preparation after the ODI series that ended on Friday, the Virat Kohli-led India will aim to repeat similar performance as they did in the 2006 one-off T20I series here against South Africa.

The last time both the teams met here for a bilateral series, India clinched a six-wicket victory over South Africa under Virender Sehwag.

Bolstered by terrific all-round performances led by skipper Kohli, who was adjudged the Man of the Series in the recently concluded ODI series, India will hope to thrash the hosts in the three-match series.

Alongside the skipper, batsmen Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhwawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya will look to make the most of their capabilities in the shortest format.

Batsman Suresh Raina, who has made a comeback in the T20Is will act as an vital cog in the middle-order and will look to prove his mettle.

The bowling department, which looked lethal with wrist-spinning duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will try to make a mark in the shortest format.

Pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will only add depth to the formidable Indian bowling line-up.

However, the Proteas led by Jean-Pau Duminy in the absence of Faf du Plessis, will look to hit back at India in the shortest format of the game, under the likes of hard-hitting batsmen consisting the skipper himself, AB de Villiers, David Miller and Chris Morris, who can score some vital runs in the lower order.

The bowling department, led by Andile Phehlukwayo, Morris along with chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi will have to come out with something special in order to get rid of the flamboyant Indian batsmen.

Meanwhile, the three new faces inculded for the shortest format — batsman Christiaan Jonker, pacer Junior Dala and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen will be aiming to put up a show for the home team,

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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Roger Federer, 36, becomes oldest World No. 1 in ATP rankings history

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Roger Federer celebrates after victory over Robin Haase in Rotterdam. (PC- Reuters)

Rotterdam, Feb 17: Roger Federer added another highlight to his age-defying career resurgence by returning to the top of the world rankings on Friday after more than five years and becoming the oldest No. 1 at 36.

On Friday a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam guaranteed the Swiss would rise to number one for the fourth time in his career.

With return to World No 1, Federer sets multiple records. At 36 years and 195 days, he overtakes Andre Agassi as the oldest number 1 by three years. Agassi was 33 years and 4 months when he held the top spot in September, 2003. Federer would be back as World No 1 after a gap of over five years – the longest gap between stints as World No 1. During this period, Federer won three Grand Slams (two Australian Opens in 2017 and recently in January and Wimbledon last year) and was forced into skipping Grand Slams in 2016 due to injury for the first time since 1999.

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IND vs SA, 6th ODI : Unstoppable Virat Kohli leads India To 5-1 series win over S.Africa

Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

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Team India India vs South Africa
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Centurion, Feb 16: Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

This is the first ever bilateral series win by India on South African soil. Put into bat by India, South Africa were bowled out for a meagre 204 in the dead rubber. Chasing the target, India romped home in just 32.1 overs. Kohli remained unbeaten on 129, an innings studded with 19 boundaries and two sixes.

Kohli was in a punishing mood as he personally anchored Proteas’ biggest humiliation in a bilateral series at home in last 17 years. The last time South Africa lost 1-5 was back in 2001-02 season against a champion Australian side.

Kohli also became the fastest to 9500 ODI runs completing the feat in only 200 innings — 17 less than AB de Villiers.

Such has been Kohli’s dominance in the series, that after his aggregate of 558 runs, the next best is Shikhar Dhawan (323), who is more than 200 runs behind his skipper.

Earlier, playing his first match of the series, young pacer Shardul Thakur claimed four wickets to skittle South Africa for 204. For South Africa, all-rounder Khaya Zondo top-scored with a 74-ball 54, laced with three boundaries and two sixes on a good batting track, where most of the other batsmen failed against a disciplined Indian bowling.

Apart from Thakur, the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal (2/38) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/51) shared three wickets between them. Jasprit Bumrah also gave good support by taking two wickets.

For his brilliant form in the series, captain Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

Kohli took 82 balls to reach his 35th century with the help of 17 boundaries that saw him break a plethora of records.

Sachin Tendulkar, who is on top of the list with 49 centuries, had taken 309 innings to reach 35 centuries. Kohli got there in his 200th innings.

Kohli also became the first Indian batsman to score three centuries in a bilateral series.

Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have scored three centuries but not in a bilateral series. Ganguly scored three centuries during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, while Laxman slammed three tons during the 2004 VB Series in Australia.

Not just that, he also became the first man to score 500 runs or more in a bilateral ODI series.

The record was previously held by his team-mate Rohit Sharma, who scored 491 runs in the six-match series against Australia.

The record of most runs as captain in a bilateral series now also belong to Kohli. Australia’s George Bailey is second in the list with 478 runs against India in 2013-14. The Australian is followed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who achieved the feat twice – 367 runs vs Pakistan in 2012-13 and 358 runs vs India in 2015-16.

In the process, Kohli has now most runs in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa, a record previously held by England’s Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen had scored 454 runs in a six-match series in 2005.

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