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Second Test: India tighten grip against Sri Lanka on 2nd day

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Colombo, Aug 4: India rode on a strong batting performance and some superb bowling by star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to consolidate their advantage on the second day of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka here on Friday.

India captain Virat Kohli decided on declaration during the last session of the day after the visitors had piled on a mammoth total of 622/9 in their first innings.

Ashwin made good use of the considerable turn being offered by the pitch to remove Lankan openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga as the hosts posted 50/2 in their first innings at stumps. India now have a lead of 572 runs.

Kusal Mendis (16 batting) and Dinesh Chandimal (8 batting) were at the crease when the umpires decided to call it a day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Ashwin registered figures of 2/38. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and fast bowler Mohammed Shami also bowled well, although both did not manage a wicket.

Earlier, the Indians rode on half-centuries from Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha and Ashwin to post a big total.

Jadeja remained unbeaten on a quick 70 runs off 85 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes. Saha and Ashwin made 67 and 54 respectively.

Off-spinner Rangana Herath was the most successful among the Sri Lankan bowlers with figures of 4/154. Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara returned with 2/156 while Karunaratne and Dilruwan Perera bagged a wicket each.

Resuming the day at 344/3, India lost Cheteshwar Pujara (133) in the second over of the day, trapped in front by part-timer Dimuth Karunaratne before Ajinkya Rahane (132) and Ashwin consolidated the innings with a 63-run fifth-wicket stand.

Pujara looked good during his brief stay on the second morning, fetching a boundary off Karunaratne, but the next delivery ended his 232-ball vigil.

The Saurashtra right-hander who had by now added 217 runs with Rahane, was hit on his thighs by a back of a length delivery from Karunaratne, resulting in loud appeals from the hosts.

The on-field umpire, however, did not budge and the home side immediately asked for a referral which got them the prized wicket.

The fall of Pujara, brought in the dependable Ashwin, who started briskly, striking two boundaries off Rangana Herath and Karunaratne before slowing down a bit.

The right-handed duo of Ashwin and Rahane continued to frustrate the Sri Lankans, stealing the odd boundaries and rotating the strike at a good rate to raise their 50-run stand in no time.

In his attempt to accelerate the scoring rate after India crossed the psychologically important 400-run mark, Rahane perished to debutant left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, smartly stumped by Niroshan Dickwella after facing 222 balls and sending the ball 14 times to the fence.

Rahane’s dismissal brought a sigh of relief to the Sri Lankan camp, as wicketkeeper-batsman Saha and Ashwin safely guided India to 442/5 at the lunch break.

The Sri Lankans started the post-lunch session on a promising note when Ashwin was bowled by Herath shortly after completing his half-century.

Ashwin, who notched up the 11th half-century of his Test career, faced 92 balls, hitting five boundaries and a six.

Hardik Pandya then scored 20 runs off as many deliveries before he mistimed his shot while trying to smash a Pushpakumara delivery out of the park only to see Angelo Mathews latch onto the skier at long-off.

Jadeja joined Saha in the middle and the duo added 72 runs between them to pile more pressure on the hosts.

Saha was batting comfortably but was stumped when he stepped out to a flighted delivery from Herath. His patient innings of 134 balls included four boundaries and a six.

Saha’s departure prompted Jadeja to up the ante and the Gujarat all-rounder brought up his half-century in style, flicking a Herath delivery off his pads for a boundary.

Shami played a brief, power-packed knock at the other end, smashing 19 runs off eight deliveries. He hit Herath into the stands off two consecutive deliveries before offering a skier to Tharanga at deep mid-wicket while going for a hat-trick of sixes.

Jadeja continued with his aggressive batting, stepping out to smash Herath for another six with Umesh Yadav also joining the party with a boundary off Dilruwan Perera.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka (first inings): 50/2 (Kusal Mendis 16 batting; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/38) vs India (first inings): 622/9 declared (Cheteshwar Pujara 133, Ajinkya Rahane 132, Ravindra Jadeja 70 not out; Rangana Herath 4/154).

IANS

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Blind Cricket WorldCup 2018 : India beat Pakistan by 2 wickets

Blind World Cup 2018: The Indian cricket team won the blind world cup 2018 by beating arch-rivals Pakistan by 2 wickets in the final.

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The Indian cricket team won the blind world cup 2018 by beating arch-rivals Pakistan by 2 wickets in the final. Chasing a target of 308 runs in 50 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE on Saturday, the Indian team reached there with 8 balls remaining.

It was India’s second title at the mega event as earlier they won World Cup, outclassing Pakistan at Cape Town, South Africa in December 2014. Batting first, Pakistan scored 308 runs with the help of Riyasat Khan and skipper Nisar Ali’s solid knocks who scored 48 and 47 runs, respectively after Pakistan was asked to bat first.

India, who are the defending champions, had also defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in their group match on January 13. Pakistan, on the other hand, entered the final after defeating Sri Lanka by 156 runs while India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets to book their place. India, who were favourites to retain the title, have remained unbeaten in this tournament.

The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council had also invited ICC CEO David Richardson, former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas and former Indian wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani to witness the final.

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U19 World Cup: India thrash Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in last group tie

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Tauranga (New Zealand), Jan 19: India crushed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in a Group A clash to maintain their all-win record at the ICC U19 World Cup here on Friday.

India had already sealed a quarter-final spot with back-to-back wins against Australia and Papua New Guinea in Group B. It was another clinical performance on Friday as India ended the group stage unbeaten and unchallenged.

Left-arm apinner Anukul Sudhakar Roy spearheaded the Indian bowling effort with figures of 4/20 as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 154 runs in 48.1 overs.

Openers Harvik Desai and Shubman Gill then produced unbeaten half-centuries to carry India to victory in just 21.4 overs.

The Indian boys have thus finished the opening round at the top of Group A with six points after winning all their three matches.

Electing to bart first on winning the toss, Zimbabwe ran into trouble right at the start when their opener Gregory Dollar was bowled by Indian fast bowler Shivam Mavi in the third over.

The other Zimbabwe opener Wesley Madhevere was then involved in two partnerships with Dion Myers and Milton Shumba.

The trio did their best to keep the Indian bowlers at bay, but struggled to keep the run rate going.

Once the three of them had returned to pavilion, the batsmen in Zimbabwe’s middle and lower order were cleaned up by the Indian bowlers with four of them falling before reaching double figures.

Shumba was the highest scorer for Zimbabwe with 36 runs off 59 deliveries.

Apart from Roy, Arshdeep and Abhishek Sharma also bowled well, ending up with a couple of wickets each.

Desai and and Gill then put on an unbeaten opening stand of 155 runs to power the Indians to an easy victory.

Gill was Player of the Match, scored a quickfire 90 off 59 balls which was studded with 13 boundaries and a six.

Desai produced a steady 56 off 73 balls with eight boundaries an a six.

Brief scores:

India 155/0 (Gill 90*, Desai 56*) beat Zimbabwe (155 all out) by 10 wickets.

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Virat Kohli named ICC Captain and Cricketer of the Year

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New Delhi, Jan 18: Indian captain Virat Kohli  had something to cheer about after the second Test debacle against South Africa when was named the ICC awards cricketer of the year, ODI player of the year and captain of the year as well, in both formats. 

The Indian batting mainstay is the leading run-getter in ODIs with 1460 in 26 innings at an average of 76.84 and strike-rate of 99.11, with six centuries – the most for any team. Kohli led India to the final of the Champions Trophy, ODI series wins over England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and Test series wins over Bangladesh, Australia and Sri Lanka (twice).

Kohli regained the No 1 spot on the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen with 889 rating points, the best ever by an Indian cricketer.

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