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WWC final: England post 228/7 against India

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London, July 23: Three-time champions England posted a competitive total of 228 for seven in 50 overs against India in the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup at the Lord’s Cricket Ground here on Sunday.

Natalie Sciver (51), Sarah Taylor (45) and Katherine Brunt (34) were the major contributors for England.

For India, who are playing their second final till date, veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami bagged 3/23, while spinner Poonam Yadav took 2/36.

After opting to bat, Lauren Winfield (24) and Tammy Beaumont (23) provided the hosts a strong start, putting up 47 runs for the opening wicket. While Indian pace ace Jhulan kept it tight from one end, Sikha Pandey leaked 28 runs in her first spell of four overs.

India bagged England’s first wicket when left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad bowled Winfield in the 12th over.

Beaumont then followed Winfield to the pavilion after having offered a simple catch off a full toss from spinner Poonam Yadav to Jhulan Goswami at deep mid-wicket on the third ball of the 15th over. England were then at 60/2.

Soon, leg-spinner Poonam Yadav dealt a big blow to the home fans as she got a LBW verdict against captain Heather Knight (1) to reduce England to 63/3 in 16.1 overs.

For England, the responsibility of arresting the slide fell on Sarah and Sciver. The pair played positive cricket against the hostile spin bowling from India.

Starting with ones and twos, they took the attack to the opposition by using their full might and power as they pulled England out of trouble.

Forced by the onslaught from the English pair, India captain Mithali Raj resorted to her pace ace Jhulan. And the Bengal veteran delivered for her captain as Taylor nicked one to wicket-keeper Sushma Verma in the fourth ball of the 33rd over, breaking the 83-run stand.

Jhulan struck again off the following delivery when a yorker hit the front pad of right-hander Fran Wilson (0) — and the umpire raised the dreaded finger.

Jhulan didn’t stop there. She got rid of Sciver off a ripping fast delivery in the first ball of the 38th over that struck the pads — and once again, the Indians got the umpire’s favourable response. Sciver left the middle after hitting five fours during her ninth 50 in ODI cricket.

The Indian pacewoman ended her quota of 10 overs, much to the relief of the English team.

Katherine later got good support from Jenny Gunn (25 not out) and collected crucial runs before being run out by a direct throw from Deepti Sharma at short cover.

Gunn and Laura Marsh (14 not out) put up an unbeaten partnership of 32 runs to take England to a competitive total of 228 runs.

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IND Vs SL, 3rd ODI: India beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets, win series 2-1

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Visakhapatnam, Dec 17: India eased to an eight-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the decisive third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

After restricting Sri Lanka to 215 runs, Shikhar Dhawan’s 100 not out helped India canter to the big win with 17.5 overs to spare.

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Superseries Finals: Sindhu loses to Yamaguchi in final

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Dubai, Dec 17: Indian star shuttler P.V. Sindhu lost to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the women’s singles final of the BWF World Superseries Finals here on Sunday.

Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu lost 21-15, 12-21, 19-21 to world No.2 Yamaguchi at the Hamdan Sports Complex.

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Knee injury forces Sania Mirza to miss Australian Open

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Kolkata, Dec 16: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza said on Saturday that she will not be taking part in the Australian Open early next year due to a right knee injury.

“Basically I have something that’s called a jumper’s knee. So it’s extrmely painful…like I am okay to walk but it’s painful to change directions and play. That’s the biggest problem. So I can run straight but I can’t actually do plyometric stuff on it,” the 31-year-old said told reporters on the sidelines of the Premjit Lall Invitational Tennis Tournament at the Jaidip Mukherjea Academy.

“When I spoke to my doctor a couple of months ago, they told me to take a couple of months off, then see how it feels before getting into a process of either surgery or injections or whatever.

“So when I saw them, the pain wasn’t less after two months. So mow we have to take a call whether we have to do a surgery or take a couple of injections.

“So it’s a little up in the air. I can’t tell you a definitive when but it won’t be before the next couple of months atleast. I will be missing the Australian Open for sure,” Sania added.

Sania said she will need time to get back on the court though expressing hope that she will take part in the Commonwealth Games (April 4 to 15) and Asian Games (August 18 – September 2) next year.

“Hopefully I will be okay for that. I’ve always said that every time people ask me about plans ahead, as tennis players we don’t know about our health. We don’t know where will be at that point. It’s still one year, it’s a long time anything can happen. Hopefully I’ll be healthy again,” the 31-year old former former world No.1 in the women’s doubles said.

Sania was the guest of honour in the three-day event alongwith former Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman.

Asked if seeing so many kids in the academy asking for her autograph and a selfie reminded her of the first time she held a tennis racket, Sania said: “I was six years old. The coach did not want to take me as I was too small to play tennis at that time. My mum had to force him to take me. It was a big argument and then he took me.

“After a month, he called my parents and said ‘you have to come and watch her play because I’ve never seen a six-year old play like that. That’s how I remember my first memory of holding a tennis raquet.”

At the podium while giving away awards, Sania wished she spent more time playing in India.

“It’s good to be back in Kolkata. when Jaidip da calls us we come and that’s why we come. I miss playing in India. I am hoping for a women’s tournament as well,” Sania said.

IANS

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