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Warner, Renshaw tons put Australia on top against Pakistan

(Sydney,Jan 03, 2017):Riding on brilliant knocks from openers Matthew Thomas Renshaw (167 not out) and David Warner (113), Australia scored 365/3 on the opening day of the third cricket Test match against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground here on Tuesday.

Warner, who slammed 17 boundaries in a 95ball knock became the first batsman to hit a century in the opening session of a Test match here, while his compatriot Renshaw scored his first Test century.

Renshaw and Peter Handscomb (40) were at the crease when umpires dislodged the bails for the day.

For Pakistan, pacer Wahab Riaz scalped two wickets while Yasir Shah took one wicket.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Australia started the day on a positive note as Renshaw and Warner, who slammed his third consecutive Test ton at the ground, forged a 151run partnership for the first wicket before the lefthander was dismissed by Riaz in the 33rd over of the innings.

Usman Khawaja (13) then joined the 20yearold but could not add much to the score as he was also sent packing in the 49th over.

Skipper Steven Smith (24), who was dominant in Melbourne, then gave a simple catch to Sarfraz Ahmed in an attempted cut at a Yasir Shah delivery in the 60th over.

After the fall of three quick wickets, Handscomb along with Renshaw steadied the innings and stitched a 121run fourth wicket partnership to help Australia reach a strong position.

Brief score: Australia 365/3 (Renshaw 167 not out), Warner 113; Wahab Riaz 2/63) against Pakistan.

Jayaram, Prannoy fire Mumbai to clean sweep of Delhi

(Mumbai, Jan 4, 2016): Local lad Ajay Jayaram and Keralaborn H S Prannoy pulled off spectacular wins over more fancied rivals to power Mumbai Rockets to a clean sweep of all five matches and a 60 scoreline against holders Delhi Acers in the Premier Badminton League here.

The home team fired on all cylinders in a clinical display to beat the defending champions at the NSCI Stadium with Ajay providing the early momentum with a shock opening men's singles victory over world no. 2 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark.

The India world no. 19 won the first game of the trump match, for Delhi, in dramatic fashion over extra points at 1514 before breezing through the second 114 in the two players' firsttime meeting to give the hosts an early advantage late last night.

While Jayaram's win was huge, Prannoy fought off a nervy Korean world No. 4 Son Wan Ho to hand Mumbai a 20 lead. The 119, 119 win over Son meant that the loud Mumbai crowd saw yet another top5 player losing.

Such was the pressure Prannoy put on Ho that the Korean ended up netting his serve when the home boy was up match point.

The mixed doubles, which was a do or die encounter for Delhi, saw their team of Russian Ivan Sozonov and India's Maneesha K put up a fight, but eventually it was Mumbai's KoreanPolish combine of Lee Young Dae and Nadiezda Zieba who won 115, 811, 119.

Mumbai Rockets then had Ji Hyun Shung win her trump match, downing Delhi's Mumbaiborn lass Tanvi Lad 116, 118.

And finally, Lee Young Dae and Nipithphon P carved out a straight game win over Ivan Sozonov/Vladimir Ivanov 119, 109 to complete the rout.

The fine victory also boosted the Rockets to the second place on the table with a 60 points advantage behind Chennai Smashers who yesterday demolished Bengaluru Blasters 50 for their first win in two contests

Results: Mumbai Rockets bt Delhi Acers 60 (Ajay Jayaram bt Jan Jorgensen (Trump) 1514, 114; H S Prannoy bt Son Wan Ho 119, 119; Young Dae Lee/Nadiezda Zieba bt Ivan Sozonov/Maneesha K 115, 811, 119; Ji Hyun Shung (Trump) bt Tanvi Lad 116, 118; Lee Young Dae/Nipithphon P bt Ivan Sozonov/Vladimir Ivanov 119, 109). (PTI)

Essam El Hadary heroics defy age and belief as Egypt reach African Cup of Nations final

Libreville, Feb,2,2017 :It is a script that would require a castiron suspension of disbelief, but film makers would have no shortage of material to document the exploits of 44yearold goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, whose heroics helped Egypt reach the African Nations Cup final on Wednesday.

Not satisfied with getting another chance in the national team and breaking the record for the oldest player at a major continental championship, El Hadary saved two spotkicks as the seventimes champions beat Burkina Faso 43 on penalties.

El Hadary, making his 150th international appearance, virtually carried his team to the final with a string of secondhalf saves in Libreville, keeping the score tied at 11 before stopping from Herve Koffi and Bertrand Traore in the shootout.

Flinging himself around his box like a sprightly teenager, El Hadary rebuffed the Burkinabe time and again and was all that stood between his tiredlooking side and defeat.

“I had a feeling that I was going to save the final two penalties,” El Hadary said after the game.

A place in Sunday’s final in Libreville, where Egypt face either Cameroon or Ghana, offers him a chance to become the first player to win five Nations Cup titles.

His first came as a reserve in 1988, just two years after his debut, but he was at the peak of his career as Egypt won three backtoback Nations Cup titles between 2006 and 2010.

“When we headed to the penalty shootout, our 2006 title victory crossed my mind,” he added. In that final El Hadary saved from Didier Drogba as Egypt edged Ivory Coast 42 on post match kicks.

Images of El Hadary celebrating on top of the goalpost remain among the tournament’s most endearing.

A recall as backup in the squad last year and then injury to Ahmed El Shenawy in the first game of the tournament in Gabon opened the door for another remarkable chapter to his career, just two days after he turned 44 on Jan. 15

“I’m happy to be in contention for all of these records but the most important is for Egypt to win the cup,” El Hadary told reporters on the eve of Wednesday’s semifinal.

“If we win the title, then the record will pass to me and I will be grateful. But I’ve never worried about my personal records. The country comes first, then the record book.”

Anil Divan replaces Fali Nariman in team to pick BCCI officials

(New Delhi,Jan 03, 2017):Mr. Nariman said that he had represented the cricket body as a lawyer in 2009 and hence, did not want to be part of this exercise.

Wary of conflict of interest, senior advocate Fali Nariman on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to excuse him from the responsibility of finding suitable persons for the Committee of Administrators to run the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Nariman said it would be “embarrassing” for him to get involved in the assignment as he had been BCCI’s lawyer in 2009.

The apex court had commissioned Nariman and senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam to provide it “objective assistance” in selecting persons of experience and integrity for the committee.

In a formal order, a Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud accepted Nariman’s recusal and appointed senior advocate Anil Divan in his place.

“We quite appreciate the difficulty expressed by Nariman and accordingly discharge him of the role assigned to him. In his place, we request Anil B. Divan, learned senior counsel, to assist the Court and to recommend suitable names for appointment as members of the committee of administrators in consultation with the amicus, Gopal Subramaniam,” the order said.

The decision to form the committee was part of an order passed by a Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on January 2, stripping BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke of their posts.

MI, KKR lock horns in qualifier 2 to enter IPL final

(Bengaluru, May 18 2017):Twotime champions Kolkata Knight Riders would be eager to avenge their twin defeats in the league stage when they face old foes Mumbai Indians in the IPL Qualifer 2 here on Friday.

KKR have an abysmal 515 headtohead record against Mumbai Indians, who notched up twin victories over their rivals in the league stage of the tournament this year.

In fact, Mumbai Indians had pulled off their first win of the season against KKR at the Wankhede stadium last month when they beat them by four wickets with just one ball to spare.

Needing 60 runs off last 24 balls, Hardik Pandya had finished the job in dramatic fashion, smashing 29 off 11 balls.

Mumbai once again got the better of KKR when they handed them a ninerun defeat in their last league match at Edens Gardens.

Come Friday, MI and KKR will face each other once again with the IPL final spot at stake after suffering contrasting fates in qualifier 1 and eliminator respectively.

Mumbai are coming into the match after a 20run defeat against Rising Pune Supergiant, while KKR defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets via DuckworthLewis method in a raintruncated eliminator last night.

Both Mumbai and KKR have won the IPL trophy twice in the last nine editions and a win will take them to the final against Rising Pune Supergiant to be played in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Mumbai's batting has been remarkable this season with openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel giving them good starts and skipper Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayadu and Kieron Pollard firing in unison.

Adding to this, the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal have been exceptionally good whenever the team has needed them.

With 10 victories in the league stage, tabletoppers MI have been in rampaging form and they would like to forget their defeat against Pune and rise to the big occasion.

In bowling, Mumbai may continue to open their attack with Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga and Kiwi Mitchell McClenaghan.

Jasprit Bumrah has been their best death overs specialist and along with Hardik, he will have to play a key role to restrict KKR, which boasts of some big names like Chris Lynn, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa, among others.

After clinching a win against Hyderabad last night, the Shah Rukh Khanowned side would like to continue its winning momentum.

KKR would hope Lynn, who just scored six in the last match, comes to the party. Lynn had scored a quickfire fifty off just 21 balls against Gujarat Lions on his return at Chinnaswamy stadium after recovering from an injury.

Lynn had an excellent start to the season when he stitched a record opening partnership of 184 with skipper Gambhir against Gujarat and went on to score an unbeaten 93.

Sunil Narine's pyrotechnics as a pinchhitter have helped KKR's cause. He had blasted 50 off just 15 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore to equal the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL and Gambhir would hope the West Indian to come up with another whirlwind innings.

Among others, KKR also boasts of Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa, who have scored 396 and 387 runs respectively.

Uthappa, though would like to forget the previous match after he scored just one when he was asked to open the innings with Lynn.

Gambhir, who is placed in the second spot in the most runs list with 486 runs, will hope to lead from the front. He was in redhot form early in the season but seemed a tad offcolour in the business end.

As far as their bowling is concerned, Chris Woakes (17 wickets) and Umesh Yadav (16 wickets) have been on song, and they have their task cut out to stop Simmons and Rohit at the top of the order, and Rayadu and Pollard in the middle.

Teams (From):

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Lendl Simmons, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma and Vinay Kumar.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, ShakibAlHasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Umesh Yadav.

India maintain top position in ICC Test rankings

(Dubai, May 18 2017): India retained its top position in ICC Test ranking with 123 points a clear six point lead over second placed South Africa.

The Proteas (117 points) have reduced the gap with India to six points while nine points now separate thirdranked Australia from seventhranked Sri Lanka as per latest ICC release.

The 9th ranked Bangladesh trailing eighthranked West Indies by six points.

India has gained one ranking point while South Africa has leaped from 109 to 117 points. This jump means the preupdate gap of 13 points has now been trimmed to just six points.

While India and South Africa have made upward movements, Australia, England and Pakistan have headed in the opposite direction.

Australia has retained its third place but has plummeted from 108 points to 100 points, England has stayed in fourth position but has slipped to 99 points after conceding two points, whereas Pakistan has dropped behind New Zealand in sixth place after conceding four points to sit on 93 points.

The swings for Faf du Plessis's and Steve Smith s sides have come after South Africa's 21 loss to Australia and Australia's 50 series win over England in 201314 have both been dropped for calculation purposes.

Sri Lanka is seventh on 91 points (up by one), West Indies eighth on 75 points (up by five), Bangladesh ninth on 69 points (up by three) and Zimbabwe 10th with zero points (down by five).

South Africa routs Sri Lanka

Durban, Feb,2,2017:South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers hailed an “almost perfect performance” after his team crushed Sri Lanka by 121 runs in the second OneDay International at Kingsmead on Wednesday.

He singled out Faf du Plessis and David Miller, who both hit centuries as South Africa recovered from a poor start and piled up 307 for six after being sent in on an unusually dry, slow pitch.

du Plessis (105) and Miller (117 not out) put on 117 for the fifth wicket off 136 balls after South Africa had been struggling at 108 for four.

South Africa’s total always seemed likely to be too many for the tourists to chase and so it proved, as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 186, giving South Africa a 20 lead in the fivematch series.

“It was a fantastic effort by Faf and David, an incredible partnership after being four down early on,” said de Villiers. The batting was backed up by good bowling and lively fielding.

Sri Lanka made a quick start, with Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga putting on 45 for the first wicket off 46 balls.

But both openers fell to outstanding catches, by du Plessis and de Villiers.

Sri Lanka captain Tharanga rued the failure of his other batsmen to make more than Dinesh Chandimal’s top score of 36. “There were lots of twenties and thirties but nobody went on,” he said.

Tharanga said the stand between du Plessis and Miller was the difference between the teams. de Villiers said South Africa had worked hard on taking the chances in the field after missed opportunities let it down when it lost a recent Twenty20 series.

Dinesh Karthik replaces injured Manish Pandey in CT squad

(New Delhi, May 18 2017):Senior Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik on Thursday earned a recall to the Indian cricket team for the upcoming Champions Trophy after Manish Pandey was ruled out due to a sidestrain.

Karthik was one of the five standbyes and has been rewarded for his stupendous form in the domestic cricket last season.

Karthik, who will soon be celebrating his 32nd birthday, scored 607 runs during Tamil Nadu's victorious Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign, including a century in the final. His average was 86 plus and scored the runs at a strike rate of over 100.

He has also scored 704 runs in the Ranji Trophy and another 361 runs in IPL10, capping off a consistent domestic season.

He last played for India against Afghanistan in the 2014 Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

Having played 23 Tests and 71 ODIs for India, Karthik pipped another glovesman Rishabh Pant, who was also a part of the reserves.

Incidentally, Karthik was a part of the Indian team which won the Champions Trophy, back in 2013.

Pandey had suffered a side strain during one of Kolkata Knight Riders' training sessions and was replaced by Ishank Jaggi during their Eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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