News Cricket

Pakistan want ICC to take strict action against Men in Blue for wearing Army Caps 

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 3:53 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Pakistan Minister Fawad Chaudhry has urged the ICC to take action against Virat Kohli-led team for politicizing the game by wearing army caps during the third ODI against Australia.

Indian players were sporting camouflage caps as a mark of tribute to the CRPF security personnel, who lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack.

Men in Blue also donated their match fee to the National Defence Fund, which will use the money to take care dependents of Pulwama attack martyrs.

“It’s just not cricket,” Chaudhry tweeted late on Friday. “By wearing the caps, the Indian team has politicized the Gentleman’s Game”, Dawn quoted the Information Minister as saying.

He insisted that PCB should lodge a formal protest against India.

“And if the Indian team does not stop wearing the caps, the Pakistan team ‘should (also) wear black bands to remind the World about Indian atrocities in (occupied) Kashmir,” said Chaudhry.

Many in Pakistan, including journalists Owais Tohid and Mazhar Abbas lambasted Team India for donning Army Caps.

“Sad to see war hysteria in Indian cricket team with great players like Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni leading it,” Tohid said in a tweet. “Heroes shouldn’t act like losers,” he added.

Abbas criticized the Indian players for their gesture. “Sports can defuse tension but not like this. Don’t (drag) cricketers in(to) politics.”

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News Cricket

Virat Kohli joins Michael Bevan in elite list after 41st ODI ton

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 2:18 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli's batting average in ODIs has gone past 60 after he scored a magnificent hundred in the third ODI against Australia. Despite Virat's 41st ODI ton, India lost the match by 32 runs in Ranchi.

Men in Blue now lead the series 2-1 having won the first two matches in Hyderabad and Nagpur. This is the highest batting average Kohli has reached in his career thus far. Virat is now behind former Aussie batsman Michael Bevan, who reached an average of 62.1 in his 102nd innings.

Virat and Bevan are the two players who have gone past the 60 mark as far as average is concerned. West Indies legend Viv Richards is at the third spot in the list. He had touched 56.8 average in his 100th ODI innings.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant to replace MS Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 1:57 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant will play as a specialist wicket-keeper batsman in the fourth ODI against Australia. With MS Dhoni being rested for the last two ODIs of the series, Pant can seal a slot in the World Cup squad. In earlier ODIs, Pant had played purely as a batsman with Dhoni donning the wicket-keeping gloves.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has the chance of playing on Sunday after Mohammed Shami was hit on the leg during the third ODI of the series.

Men in Blue will go in with couple of changes in the remaining games.

"We will have a few changes in the next couple of games but the idea is to tell the boys to put in match-winning performances and the boys will be looking to be in top form before the flight to England," Kohli said after the third ODI.

News Cricket

R Ashwin ready to grace Karan Johar’s popular show Koffee With Karan

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 1:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Koffee With Karan had to bear the brunt of fans when Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul made sexist remarks. They not only drew flak but were also suspended by the BCCI before being reinstated in their respective roles.

The governing body of Indian cricket was thinking of bringing a rule to bar players from participating in such shows. Despite BCCI's tough stance, R Ashwin is still interested to feature on Koffee with Karan.

He hosted a Q&A session on Instagram where he answered fans' questions. One of the fans asked him if he would fancy going to Koffee With Karan. “Sure,” he wrote.

Ashwin is currently out of the Indian team with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal preferred in the limited-overs side.

He has represented India in 65 Tests, 111 One-Day Internationals and 46 Twenty20 Internationals.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli has made it a joke: Mohammad Kaif after Kohli's 41st ODI ton

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Captain Virat Kohli scored 123 runs but India was prevented from clinching the one-day cricket international series when Australia won the third match by 32 runs.

Kohli reached his 41st hundred, and second in two matches, off 84 balls but after he was out at 219-6, bowled by leg-spinner Adam Zampa, India ran out of puff. Vijay Shankar, with 32 off 30 balls, was the second-highest scorer.

Kohli reached 50 off 52 balls, and picked up the innings' reins as he added 88 runs off 75 balls with Kedar Jadhav (26) for the fifth wicket. The skipper accelerated, attacking Marcus Stoinis (0-39) in particular.

Kohli didn't slow his pace as he hit 16 fours and a six in the 95-ball knock. As India crossed 200 in the 36th over, it seemed he would singlehandedly win the game.

However, Zampa bowled Kohli in the 38th over, with 95 runs still needed off 75 balls. And India's threat evaporated with him.

Mohammad Kaif took to twitter to laud Virat Kohli for his brilliant hundred. "It isn’t this easy. It isn’t a joke, but this man has made it a joke. 41st for King Kohli. #IndvAus," he wrote.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli issues a stern warning to Indian batsmen

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:45 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian team lost the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi by 32 runs. Barring Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, who scored 123 runs, all else struggled. Not even one batsman could score a fifty for India. And Virat Kohli has hinted for changes in the next two games. He doesn't want more batting collapses as well.

"We will have a few changes in the next couple of games. We have to figure out what those changes are. But the idea is to go out there and win matches and take a lot of pride in winning games for the country. That mindset will not change," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"We will have a few new faces and they will have to make the most of their chances because there is a World Cup coming and everyone wants to be on that flight. The guys are excited and looking forward to it. A little hiccup in the middle but we will regroup and come back stronger," Kohli added.

"The guys who have got out will want to make the most of the opportunity. We don't want collapses. We want partnerships that can get us going.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli makes a big statement about his 41st ODI hundred

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Captain Virat Kohli scored 123 runs but India was prevented from clinching the one-day cricket international series when Australia won the third match by 32 runs.

Australia cut India's lead to 2-1 in the five-match series. The fourth match is on Sunday in Mohali.

Australia made 313-5 after an opening stand of 193 between Usman Khawaja, 104, and Captain Aaron Finch, 93.

India was bowled out for 281 in the 49th over.

Only Kohli passed 35 in the chase. "In terms of hitting the ball, it was one of my finest innings. I was feeling good since ball one," Kohli said.

"We pulled things back because at one stage it looked like we would be chasing 350. I was told to expect dew in the evening, but none of it happened."

Australia was put into bat and Finch and Khawaja produced a mammoth opening stand.

Khawaja scored his maiden ODI hundred, and Finch crossed 50 for the first time since June 2018.

They plundered Mohammed Shami, who needed regular treatment after being hit on the ankle off a Finch drive, and benefited from dubious India judgment and fielding. India wasted a video review against Finch for lbw in the second over, and Khawaja was on 17 when he was dropped by Dhawan off Ravindra Jadeja in the seventh over.

Finch and Khawaja brought up their combined 100 off 99 balls on the best batting surface of this series so far.

They were close to 200 runs together when Finch was out lbw off Yadav in the 32nd over.

Finch sought a video review, which showed the ball pitching away from its original spot. However, Hawk-Eye claimed to suffer a technical glitch, the right decision was eventually made, and Finch walked.

Khawaja reached his hundred off 107 balls, and was out shortly afterwards, chipping Shami straight to midwicket.

"My previous high score was 98, so it was good to get those extra two runs," Khawaja said. "We weren't sure what a good score is and the bowlers bowled beautifully (to set up the win)."

Glenn Maxwell was promoted up the order and made 47 off 31 balls before he was run out by a deflection. That slowed Australia's momentum, though it crossed 300 in the 49th over, the first time any team has done so in five ODIs at this ground.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli breaks AB de Villiers’ world record

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

During the third ODI against Australia, Indian skipper reached another landmark. Virat became the fourth Indian skipper and 12th overall to complete 4000 ODI runs as captain. He also surpassed AB de Villiers to become the fastest skipper to reach the 4000-run mark as ODI captain. AB had touched this mark in 77 innings while Kohli breached his tally in juts 63 innings.

Kohli reached his 41st hundred, and second in two matches, off 84 balls but after he was out at 219-6, bowled by leg-spinner Adam Zampa, India ran out of puff. Vijay Shankar, with 32 off 30 balls, was the second-highest scorer.

Kohli reached 50 off 52 balls, and picked up the innings' reins as he added 88 runs off 75 balls with Kedar Jadhav (26) for the fifth wicket. The skipper accelerated, attacking Marcus Stoinis (0-39) in particular.

While Kohli scored another hundred, Zampa undermined India again by trapping Jadhav, who was out trying to sweep.

Kohli didn't slow his pace as he hit 16 fours and a six in the 95-ball knock. As India crossed 200 in the 36th over, it seemed he would singlehandedly win the game.

However, Zampa bowled Kohli in the 38th over, with 95 runs still needed off 75 balls. And India's threat evaporated with him.

News Cricket

JSCA stadium should be renamed after Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels that JSCA stadium should be renamed after MS Dhoni in a bid to give a fitting tribute to their beloved son. The Jharkhand State Cricket Association named one of the stands in Ranchi’s JSCA Stadium after MS Dhoni. The stand was inaugurated before the third ODI between India and Australia.

It was during the 46th over of the match when Sanjay Manjrekar asked Gavaskar, “Coming from a small town and leading an Indian team full of Superstars. Tendulkar, Dravid everyone played under him. MS Dhoni pavilion, what’s the stadium called?”

In reply, Gavaskar stated that JSCA should name the entire stadium after Dhoni's name.

“Good question, now that the pavilion is named after Dhoni, the stadium can be called after some national figure I guess. I don’t know which national/international figure in Ranchi is bigger than MSD. If anything, this stadium should have been called Mahendra Singh Dhoni Stadium, not just the pavilion whole stadium should have been called MS Dhoni stadium. That would have been the ultimate tribute from Ranchi to their beloved son,” said Gavaskar.

News Cricket

Matthew Hayden makes a big statement about Virat Kohli

Harshit Anand Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:09 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli was at his absolute best in the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi. He notched up his 41st ODI century. Kohli was in full flow and hit 16 fours and a six in his majestic 95-ball 123 run knock. Kohli's last seven 50+ ODI scores in India have been: 121, 113, 140, 157*, 107, 116, 123. Unfortunately, his knock couldn't help India win the game and they lost the game by 32 runs. But, India are still leading the series 2-1 in the five-match ODI series.

The whole world is in awe of Kohli. And former Aussie opener, Matthew Hayden is no different. "Absolutely staggering. I am trying to think back, check the memory banks of brilliant players over the years. Maybe Brian Lara in his heyday, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly all these players have been on top of their game at various points in one-day cricket. But Virat Kohli is doing it so easy. He is drifting away to a hundred. Not only that, just the way he is transcending every game seems to be a different performance," Hayden said during the post-match show at Star Sports after Australia's win on Friday.

"Tonight, on a better wicket, he made it look so easy. He does play out of his skin. It was outstanding, no area was untouched. We all know he loves playing through the mid-wicket area but tonight he played some cut shots and took on the spinners. It was just a remarkable innings, can't say anything more than that. I think he has always got great energy and the intent and he's got the fitness to be able to do it. It's almost like one performance leads to the next. His tempo is incredible. We saw the likes of Vijay that had an opportunity to bat with him. That's only going to be good for India ahead of the World Cup," Hayden added.

News Cricket

Zampa opens up on whether he considers Kohli his bunny or not

Harshit Anand Updated: 9 March, 2019, 10:49 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Zampa has now got the prized scalp of Kohli three times on this tour.
  • Kohli had hit back-to-back fours off Zampa before he got cleaned up by him.
  • Zampa has done well so far in the ODI series

Virat Kohli's 95-ball 123 went in vain as Australia won the third ODI in Ranchi by 32 runs. Virat Kohli played a gem of a knock to notch up his 41st century. He looked in ominous touch before Australia's leg-spinner Adam Zampa got him out. Kohli had hit back-to-back fours off Zampa before he got cleaned up by the spinner.

Zampa has now got the prized scalp of Kohli three times on this tour, so far. Aussie leggie opened up on whether he considers the world's no.1 ODI batsman his bunny or not. “We bowled well collectively. The quicks upfront were amazing, Virat is a serious player, it was good to take his wicket when we did. I don't think he's my bunny, he's one of the hardest players to bowl to. I was under a bit of pressure, if he had hit a couple of more boundaries, the momentum would have shifted towards them,” said the 26-year-old.

Australian bowlers bowled with single-mindedness, they knew losing the Ranchi ODI would mean conceding the series to the hosts. “The message from the management and the coach was to take wickets, the mindset was the same. The wickets here in India are pretty good and the outfield fast, that has a say in your bowling,” the spinner added.

News Football

Tottenham to move into new stadium in early April

AP Updated: 9 March, 2019, 10:39 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Tottenham will finally move into its new stadium next month following seven postponements.

Spurs were due to open their 62,062-seat stadium in August, but construction delays caused a series of announcements starting last June that kept pushing back the opening and caused 14 of 19 home Premier League matches this season to be played at Wembley, the home of England's national team.

The north London club said Friday the new facility will open with a Premier League game against Crystal Palace or Brighton in early April.

The opponent depends on the outcome of Brighton's FA Cup quarterfinal against Millwall on March 17.

Should Brighton win, a previously postponed game against Crystal Palace would be the opener on April 3. If Brighton loses, it would play Spurs in the first game on April 6 or 7.

The club will stage two test events needed to obtain a safety certificate: a youth-team game on March 24 with a crowd of 30,000 and a legends game on March 30 with the crowd increased to 45,000.

Tottenham started playing at White Hart Lane in 1899, and the stadium had a capacity of 36,284 in 2015-16. A corner was torn down during its final season, reducing capacity to about 32,000 and allowing construction of the new venue to start.

Spurs originally planned to play at 90,000-capacity Wembley only for 2017-18 and move into the new stadium for the start of 2018-19. The new stadium will have the second-highest capacity in the Premier League behind 74,994 for Manchester United's Old Trafford.

News Tennis

Serena Williams, Halep win at Indian Wells

AP Updated: 9 March, 2019, 10:36 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 in just over two hours in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Both players returned from maternity leave a year ago at the desert tournament. Since then, Williams has reached two Grand Slam finals and returned to the world's top 10.

Azarenka is still seeking to restore order in her personal life, having been involved in a legal tussle over her young son.

Williams needed just over two hours to close out the match in which she had four aces and nine double faults. She saved 11 of 15 break points.

Earlier, Sloane Stephens lost to Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-3, 6-0 in just over an hour.

The fourth-seeded American committed 32 unforced errors while Voegele had four aces playing in windy conditions. Voegele improved to 4-1 against the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

No. 2 seed Simona Halep beat Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4. Other seeded winners were: No. 12 Ashleigh Barty, No. 20 Garbine Muguruza, No. 22 Jelana Ostapenko, and No. 18 Qiang Wang.

Stephens wasn't the only seed to be ousted on the women's side.

No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, a finalist last year, lost to Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 6-1; No. 19 Caroline Garcia lost to Jennifer Brady 6-3, 3-6, 6-0; No. 27 Su-Wei Hsieh was beaten by Johanna Konta 6-0, 6-2; and No. 29 Mihaela Buzarnescu lost to Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2.

In men's opening-round matches, Steve Johnson beat fellow American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-3 and Stan Wawrinka edged Daniel Evans 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3. Also advancing were Feliciano Lopez and Hubert Hurkacz.

Novak Djokovic, the world's top-ranked player, won his first-round doubles match with Fabio Fognini. They beat Jeremy Chardy and Milos Raonic 7-6 (5), 6-1.

News Cricket

West Indies create unwanted record in 137-run defeat against England in second T20I

AP Updated: 9 March, 2019, 10:14 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

England won the Twenty20 series after humbling the West Indies by a record 137 runs in the second cricket match.

An unchanged England made a mighty 182-6, with Sam Billings rescuing the side from 32-4 with a career-best 87 before he was out off the last ball.

The West Indies, debuting seamer Obed McCoy, was all out for 45 in less than 12 overs, giving England its biggest T20 victory.

Chris Jordan took four wickets for six runs to rip the heart out of the home side.

England, which lost the test series and drew the one-day international series, won the T20s 2-0 before the third and final tour match here on Sunday.

England was made to bat first, and Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, captain Eoin Morgan, and Joe Denly were gone after 5.2 overs.

However, Joe Root and Billings, the last two specialist batsmen, resisted. Root reached his first T20 half-century since 2016 off 36 balls. The two combined for 82 until Root was run out on 55 in the 16th over.

Billings compensated for running out Root by bashing the bowlers. He and David Willey, 13 not out, plundered 44 off the last two overs, evenly divided between Carlos Brathwaite and debutant McCoy.

Billings' 87 came off 47 balls, and included three sixes and 10 boundaries.

Willey and his left-arm medium pace started the West Indies' demise with two wickets in three balls, including the prized Chris Gayle first. Gayle scooped Willey's yorker to Root at mid-on, then Shai Hope was caught by Morgan after colliding with Tom Curran.

In the next over, Jordan took out Darren Bravo and Jason Holder in consecutive balls for ducks. The West Indies was 14-4, then 22-6 after Jordan's second over, where he dismissed Nicholas Pooran, who edged behind, and Fabian Allen, who edged to the slips. Both went for 1.

The mopping up was completed by Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett, who finished with two wickets each.

News Cricket

Pakistan rests Sarfraz for ODI series against Australia

AP Updated: 9 March, 2019, 10:09 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been rested along with five other potential Cricket World Cup players for the one-day international series against Australia this month.

Shoaib Malik will lead the side for the five-match series in the United Arab Emirates from March 22-31, as Pakistan looks to shape its squad for the Cricket World Cup in England in May. Pakistan is also scheduled to play five ODIs against England in the buildup.

The 37-year-old Malik has played ODIs for Pakistan since 1999 but appeared in only one World Cup, in 2007. He's been captain in 38 ODIs, winning 25. The middle-order batsman averages 35, and has taken 156 wickets with his offspin.

Beside Sarfaraz, the others rested included Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who all played in the last ODI series against South Africa which Pakistan lost 3-2.

Middle-order batsman Hussain Talat was dropped while Mohammad Hafeez was not considered as he's recovering from thumb surgery.

Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has been given another chance, having not played an ODI since January 2017.

"Sometimes, time away from international cricket allows a player to recompose and come back strongly," chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq said on Friday. "I hope this happens with this player (Akmal), as a fully fit and in-form Umar will bolster the middle-order."

Test seamer Mohammad Abbas is among four uncapped ODI players, along with opening batsman Abid Ali, middle-order batsman Saad Ali, and 18-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain.

Sharjah will host the first two ODIs on March 22 and 24, followed by the third game at Abu Dhabi on March 27. The last two games will be at Dubai on March 29 and 31.

Pakistan: Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah.