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USA’s Megan Rapinoe wins Women’s Ballon Dor award 2019

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Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe of the United States has won Women’s Ballon d’Or for 2019, with England’s Lucy Bronze the runner-up.

Winger Rapinoe, 34, co-captained the US to victory at this summer’s World Cup, where she was named player of the tournament and finished joint-top scorer with six goals.

Bronze, 28, the Uefa Women’s Player of the Year, played a key part in England’s run to the semi-finals.

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Anand gets past Xiong for first win in Tata Steel Masters

It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.

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Viswanathan Anand

Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Jan 17 : Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand beat Jeffery Xiong of the United States to notch up his first victory in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Friday.

Anand was struggling for form but roared back to notch a win after one loss and three draws.

The Indian was very good in the round four match, playing some brilliant chess.

It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.

Anand fired a king side attack early with his white pieces and enjoyed spatial advantage in the middle game.

Xiong tried to keep him at bay but in the end Anand found a crucial central breakthrough after which the resulting rook and pawns endgame was a walk in the park.

Anand moved to joint sixth spot with 2.5 points on a day.

Firouzja Alireza also scored a victory over Anish Giri of Holland.

Anish Giri dropped to 11th spot along with Nikita Vituigov of Russia on two points, Yu Yangyi of China is in 13th spot on 1.5 points and Kovalev stands last with just one point in his bag. Eight rounds still remain in the marathon event among 14 players.

Magnus Carlsen’s form was not too good even though he played his 112th game without a defeat.

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Rohit Sharma fastest to score 7k ODI runs as opener

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Rohit Sharma

Rajkot, Jan 17 : India’s Rohit Sharma on Friday became the fastest batsman to score 7000 ODI runs as opener, leaving behind Hashim Amla and Sachin Tendulkar. Rohit achieved the feat during the second ODI against Australia at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium against Australia.

While Rohit took 137 innings to reach the milestone, Amla, who now stands at the second spot, had achieved the feat in 147 innings. Tendulkar had completed 7,000 ODI runs in 160 inniings.

Rohit also became the fourth Indian opener to complete 7,000 ODI runs. Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag are the three other batsmen to have reached this milestone.

The 32-year-old, who had failed to score much during India’s thrashing in Mumbai, looked to be in fine form in Rajkot before he was dismissed by Adam Zampa after scoring 42 off 44 deliveries.

The Mumbaikar missed out on completing another record as he fell four runs short of reaching 9,000 runs in ODIs. Even though Rohit started as a middle-order batsman in the Indian team, then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted him to the top during the 2013 Champions Trophy.

There has been no looking back for Rohit since and commenting on Dhoni’s move, the batsman had said: “I believe the decision to open in ODIs changed my career and it was a decision taken by Dhoni. I became a better batsman after that. In fact it helped me understand my game better, react better according to situations.

“He (Dhoni) just came up to me and said ‘I want you to open the innings as I am confident that you will do well. Since you can play both cut and pull shot well, you have the qualities to succeed as an opener’.”

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Australia elect to bowl against India in Rajkot ODI

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Rajkot: Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field in the second ODI against India at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

Australia are going with the same playing XI which featured in Mumbai where they thrashed India by 10 wickets. “We are going to bowl first. It looks like a beautiful wicket. They controlled their length really well. Same team for us,” said Finch after winning the toss.

The hosts, on the other hand, have made two changes to line-up. Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur have been replaced by Manish Pandey and Navdeep Saini.

“We would’ve bowled first as well. But the good thing is that there’s not much dew. It looks really nice and hard. If we put enough runs on the board, we have a good chance of defending,” said India skipper Virat Kohli.

“You will be beaten comprehensively by sides like Australia at the international level. It’s about understanding what went wrong. We need to focus on the positives. We are going to be more brave than the last game, that’s for sure.”

Talking about the changes, Kohli said: “One forced change as Rishabh is out with a concussion. KL will don the gloves and Manish comes in for Rishabh. Also, Saini replaces Shardul.”

Playing XI: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul(w), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey(w), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa

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