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5th Test: India quell England's fightback to reach 473/8, take 255 run lead

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Dharamshala, March 8 (IANS) Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav put up an unbeaten 45-run stand after England fought back in the last session to extend India’s lead to 255 runs as the hosts reached 473/8 at stumps on Day 2 of the fifth and final Test at the HPCA Stadium here on Friday.

After debutant Devdutt Padikkal (65) and Sarfaraz Khan (56) steered India to a dominating position at the stroke of tea after skipper Rohit Sharma (103) and Shubman Gill (110) had laid the foundation, England staged a fightback in the last session of the day with 5 wickets for 52 runs.

Shoaib Bashir came to break the deadly-looking partnership, giving some reprise to the England camp by dismissing Sarfaraz for 56. Then came a special moment for Padikkal, who brought up his half-century on debut, becoming the fifth member of India’s top five to reach 50 in this innings.

Soon after a ripper of a ball from Bashir dismissed Padikkal for 65, who was looking to defend from the crease. Then, another steady partnership seemed to be taking shape for India as Ravindra Jadeja and Dhruv Jurel collaborated to extend the lead beyond 200. However, Jurel’s dismissal, caught at long-on, handed Bashir his fourth wicket.

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Later, Tom Hartley got his first wicket of the match, trapping Jadeja LBW. The batter took a review and the ball-tracking showed that the ball crashed into the leg-stump. In the same over, he bowled Ravichandran Ashwin for a duck in his 100th Test. Following a brief surge from the English spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah showcased composed batting to thwart England’s efforts. As a result, India stretched their lead past 450 runs.

At tea, Padikkal and Sarfaraz, who have just four caps between them, raised a 97-run fourth wicket stand following the dismissals of skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, both of whom notched up centuries. Rohit and Gill both cruised to hundreds during the morning session as India tightened their grip on the final Test. England finally made a breakthrough when captain Ben Stokes made the difference by introducing himself into the attack.

Stokes, who had refrained from bowling since the Lord’s Test in June due to a persistent knee problem that necessitated surgery before Christmas, removed Rohit for 103. Then, Padikkal came to join another centurion of the day Gill. James Anderson soon got another big fish, Gill on 110, for his 699th Test scalp as England got rid of both the set batters shortly after lunch. Sarfaraz walked out at No.5 for India, joining Padikkal. The pair steadied things for India and grabbed the momentum back after England’s double-strike post-lunch.

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Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 135/1, Rohit (102 off 160) and Gill (101* off 142) dominated the opening session of the day and put up a 160-run stand at lunch, India’s second consecutive hundred partnership in the series. Rohit was the first to reach the three-figure mark. He notched his second hundred of the series and 12th overall with a clip-through midwicket off Tom Hartley.

In the next over, he handed the strike back to Gill, who slog-swept Shoaib Bashir to bring up his second century of the series and fourth in Tests.

Brief scores:

At stumps, Day 2: England 218 trail India 473/8 in 120 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 57, Rohit Sharma 103, Shubman Gill 110, Devdutt Padikkal 65, Sarfaraz Khan 56, Jasprit Bumrah 19 not out, Kuldeep Yadav 27 not out; Shoaib Bashir 4-170, Tom Hartley 2-126) by 255 runs

–IANS

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IPL 2024: Stellar bowlers run riot as Kolkata bowl out Hyderabad for just 113

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Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Andre Russell (3-19), Mitchell Starc (2-14) & Harshit Rana (2-24) shined in a stellar bowling show as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowled out Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for just 113 in the IPL 2024 title clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

On a red-soil pitch, only winning the toss was the lone right thing for SRH as they never got any partnership or momentum to post the lowest total in an IPL final. Starc and Vaibhav Arora bowled consistently in the good length area, and had the ball swinging continuously, followed by others getting grip to leave SRH in tatters.

Such was the fantastic bowling show that every KKR bowler had at least one wicket against their names. KKR now need to chase down 114 to win their third IPL title. Starc gave KKR a bright start from the word go when he hit Abhishek Sharma’s top of off-stump with a delivery which began from leg-stump and then nipped away sharply.

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In the next over, Arora’s seaming across delivery resulted in Travis Head nicking behind for a golden duck. After early movement, Starc bowled a short cross-seam delivery on which Rahul Tripathi tried to flick, but gave a massive top edge to mid-wicket fielder. Aiden Markram and Nitish Kumar Reddy looked to counter-attack with four quick boundaries.

But there was no stopping KKR as Harshit Rana bowled three slower balls, before bowling a nipping away seam-up delivery which took Reddy’s edge on the drive behind to keeper. Markram was next to fall, pulling to long-on off a short ball with extra bounce from Russell.

Wickets continued to crumble for SRH as Shahbaz Ahmed top-edged a sweep to short fine leg off Varun Chakaravarthy, followed by impact player Abdul Samad edging away from his body to keeper off Russell and Heinrich Klaasen played on to his stumps off a slower ball from Harshit.

A few boundaries from captain Pat Cummins, who top-scored with 24, took SRH past 100. But he and Jaydev Unadkat fell in quick succession as one of the most attacking batting line-ups of the tournament folded for 113.

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Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 113 in 18.3 overs (Pat Cummins 24, Aiden Markram 20; Andre Russell 3-19, Mitchell Starc 2-14) against Kolkata Knight Riders.

–IANS

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Golf: Scheffler hauls himself into contention with 63, lies second at Charles Schwab

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Texas (USA), May 26 (IANS) Scottie Scheffler is back in contention as he shot 7-under 63, his best round of the week at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Now at 10-under, he is second but four shots behind leader Davis Riley (66) who is 14-under.

Scheffler made a great charge at the end. He birdied 15-16-17 and pulled closer to Riley.

Riley shot a 4-under 66 at Colonial Country Club, setting up the Sunday question of whether he can hold off world No. 1 Scheffler for his first solo victory. Riley was at 14-under 196.

Scheffler is second alone at 10-under. He has played his last 41 holes in 13-under since his first triple-bogey of the year in the first round.

Pierceson Coody and Hayden Buckley were a stroke behind Scheffler after 69s.

Tony Finau was alone in sixth at 7-under after a 68. Collin Morikawa (67), who played in the final group at the Masters and the PGA Championship this year, was at 6-under. Morikawa was tied with three others, including Keegan Bradley.

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The top Asian was Sungjae Im (70) at 6-under and Tied-seventh, while Tom Kim (690 was 5-under and T-11.

–IANS

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Goalkeeper Debjit Majumder leaves Chennaiyin FC after three seasons

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC on Sunday announced that they have parted ways with goalkeeper Debjit Majumder, who has been with the club since 2021. During three seasons with the Marina Machans, Majumder made 38 ISL appearances for the side.

The ISL 2023-24 campaign particularly stands out as a highlight in Majumder’s career with Chennaiyin FC. Under the stewardship of head coach Owen Coyle, the goalkeeper played a pivotal role in the team’s journey to the playoffs.

Initially not the first-choice goalkeeper for Chennaiyin FC, Majumder’s opportunity arose following an injury to Samik Mitra. Seizing the moment, the experienced custodian showcased his mettle with stellar performances, securing his place in the starting lineup.

Across 19 appearances during the season, Majumder exhibited his shot-stopping prowess, tallying three clean sheets and an impressive 66 saves. Remarkably, his save count ranked third in the league, despite playing fewer matches compared to his counterparts, Amrinder Singh of Odisha FC and Bengaluru FC’s Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

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With a total of 82 appearances spanning seven seasons in the ISL, the goalkeeper boasts a rich reservoir of experience. Notably, he has an ISL Cup to his name, having achieved it during his stint with ATK FC in 2016.

–IANS

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Men’s T20 WC: Obed McCoy replaces injured Jason Holder in West Indies’ 15-member squad

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St. John’s (Antigua), May 26 (IANS) Pace bowler Obed McCoy has been named as the replacement for injured Jason Holder in co-hosts’ West Indies’ squad for the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup. West Indies is in Group C of the tournament and will play its first match on June 2 in Guyana against Papua New Guinea.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in its statement on Sunday that Holder sustained the injury during his 2024 County Championship stint for Worcestershire and added the team’s medical staff will provide all necessary support to the fast-bowling all-rounder for ensuring his swift and complete recovery.

“Jason is an experienced player in our set-up. His absence will undoubtedly be felt both on and off the field. We look forward to having a fully fit Jason with us again soon. While it is unfortunate to lose a player of Jason’s caliber, we are confident in the abilities of Obed McCoy.”

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“Obed has shown remarkable skill and promise in his performances, and this opportunity will allow him to further showcase his talent on the international stage. We believe he will bring a fresh and dynamic energy to the squad,” said lead selector Desmond Haynes.

McCoy has picked 33 wickets in 27 T20 games this year, and is known for his skillful variations, particularly at the back end of the innings. He was the leading wicket-taker on the West Indies A team’s recent tour to Nepal, and is turning out for the side in their ongoing T20I series against South Africa at Jamaica.

CWI added that Kyle Mayers, Matthew Forde, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr. and Andre Fletcher are the five reserve players who would be ready to step in if needed to the Rovman Powell-led West Indies’ side for the Men’s T20 World Cup.

“We are fortunate to have such depth and quality in our ranks. Our reserve players are all A-class talents who have proven their abilities in various formats of the game, but certainly T20. Each one of them is fully capable of slotting into the team seamlessly should the situation arise,” added head coach Daren Sammy.

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West Indies won the Men’s T20 World Cup twice – first in Sri Lanka in 2012 and then in India in 2016. Now hosting the tournament for the second time at home after 2010 edition, West Indies will be eyeing to be the first team to win a Men’s T20 World Cup on home soil.

Following their tournament opener against PNG, West Indies will face Uganda on June 8, followed by playing New Zealand at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on June 12, and facing Afghanistan on June 17 in St Lucia.

West Indies Squad: Rovman Powell (Captain), Alzarri Joseph (Vice Captain), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, and Romario Shepherd

Reserves: Kyle Mayers, Matthew Forde, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr. and Andre Fletcher

–IANS

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IPL 2024: Powerplay in both innings is going to be what shapes the game, says Mitchell Starc

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Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Mitchell Starc, the fast-bowling spearhead of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), believes the power-play in both innings of IPL 2024 final will be a major factor in shaping the outcome of the title clash.

KKR is up against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2024 final at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and are eyeing to win their third IPL title after 2012 and 2014. KKR have beaten SRH twice already in this season of the IPL.

“Sunrisers played here a couple of nights ago but it is a different wicket, it will be about adapting with the bat and ball, I think powerplay in both innings is going to be what shapes the game, we were on the better side of that in Ahmedabad and hopefully it is the same here, but we know in T20 cricket anything can happen,” said Starc in a pre-game chat with broadcasters.

Asked about KKR’s preparation for the title clash, Starc said, “We had one (practice session) interrupted by rain last night. We all got warmed up and ready to go and then the rain came, so hopefully that’s not the case tonight.”

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“It was nice to get here early after our game in Ahmedabad, obviously we watched the other game (Qualifier 2) here last night unfold which resulted in us playing the Sunrisers, everyone is ready to go.”

After having a lean time in IPL 2024, Starc has been amongst the wickets, especially with his three-fer against SRH in Qualifier 1 playing a huge factor in KKR having an easy passage into the final. As of now, Starc has scalped 15 wickets in 13 games, averaging 28.66 at an economy rate of 11.07.

“I felt that my rhythm was building up being back into T20 cricket after a fair while, so thankfully that has been the case and got back into rhythm – the intensity and how quickly you need to adapt in T20 to conditions or how the batting team goes about it.”

“Our bowling unit has been fantastic throughout, the openers at the top order have been phenomenal as well and we have just gone about our business as a group, trying to improve game on game and find ourselves in the final. It has been nice personally to contribute to that and hopefully it is another successful night tonight,” he stated.

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Middle-order batter Rinku Singh thinks KKR’s success in IPL 2024 has been shaped by the positive team environment. “Team atmosphere is superb. Whenever we enter the dressing room, Ramandeep Singh plays Punjabi songs and it changes the environment.”

“GG (Gautam Gambhir) sir and Chandu (Chandrakant Pandit) sir have given us a lot of freedom. The thought process remains the same (for the final), playing according to the match situation.”

“It’ll be a dream come true to win a senior trophy. I’ll try to give my best. Hopefully we win the match. We have played a match here as well, so we know how the wicket plays. I never look too far ahead, I always stay in the present,” he concluded.

–IANS

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