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Stokes, Unadkat star in Pune’s 12-run win over Hyderabad

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RPS
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Hyderabad, May 6: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) rode on an all-round effort from Ben Stokes and a hat-trick from left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Saturday.

With the win, the Steve Smith-led Supergiant vaulted to the second spot in the IPL standings, and almost booked their place for the IPL play-offs while the Sunrisers remained fourth after their second successive loss.

Unadkat returned with figures of 5/30 from his four overs, including the hat-trick in the final over, which saw the dismissals of Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The left-armer also accounted for the wickets of the in-form Yuvraj Singh and stumper Naman Ojha to get to his five wicket haul.

The left-armer was complimented well by Stokes, who first helped Pune reach 148/8 with a 25-ball 39, before taking three wickets to dent the hopes of the hosts.

Stokes struck with the wickets of the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (19) off his first delivery before packing New Zealander Kane Williamson (4) one ball later as the Sunrisers lost their first match on home soil this season.

Skipper David Warner (40 from 34 balls) did well to get to 500 runs in this edition of the IPL, striking four fours, including three off tweaker Washington Sundar besides clobbering Imran Tahir for a massive six.

Read more…IPL: Hyderabad restrict Pune to 148/8

The Australian added 54 runs for the third wicket with Yuvraj (47 from 43) before Stokes returned to see Warner’s back with a short ball to be caught by Shardul Thakur at sweeper cover.

Tahir then jolted the hosts with the wicket of Moises Henriques (4) with a googly, which the batsman tried to cut but instead crashed onto the stumps.

With the asking rate mounting, Yuvraj, who got a life on 32 belted a few boundaries and sixes to step up the gas and add 21 runs with Ojha (9), before slicing a short and wide ball from Unadkat only to land in Rahul Tripathi’s hands.

Unadkat once again struck on the last ball of his over to pack back Ojha, who repeated the same mistake as Yuvraj did to slice a wide ball for Stokes to take a brilliant running catch.

Requiring 13 off the final over from Unadkat, left-hander Sharma (8) failed to connect the first ball before holing out the second to Stokes at deep midwicket.

The third delivery cost the hosts the wicket of Rashid (3) off a simple caught and bowled chance before Bhuvneshwar (0) gave Unadkat the hat-trick and his 100th IPL wicket on the fourth ball.

Earlier, Hyderabad kept it tight at the beginning as Pune got off to a poor start. In-form opener Rahul Tripathi (1) was run out by a direct throw from Bipul Sharma from short fine-leg after he flicked a delivery from left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra in the fifth delivery of the second over and decided to run but was sent back by Ajinkya Rahane.

Stokes took his time to settle in before deciding to tear into the home bowling attack as Smith opted to anchor the innings as he got two lives after being dropped at his personal scores of five and 22 by Bipul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively.

Bipul was carted for another six towards long-on in his next over as Stokes made his intentions clear. It took a faster delivery from leg-spinner Rashid Khan to break the dangerous looking partnership as the ball ran through Stokes’ defence, with Pune at 99/3 in 14.3 overs.

Medium pacer Siddharth Kaul dealt two big blows to the visitors by getting rid of Smith and Daniel Christian (4). While Smith was caught by Bipul at short third man, Christian was holed out at long-on by Rashid.

Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni showed flashes of his old devastating self as he bludgeoned medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two sixes and a four in the 19th over. He bagged another four against Kaul in the final over.

(IANS)

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

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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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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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