India complete T20 series whitewash against Australia

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Team India win T20

Team India completed a magnificent run chase (India 200/3 against Aus 197/5), the second highest by any team against Australia in T20s, to win the final game by seven wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground Sunday. India won the T20 series 3-0 and are now at the top of T20 ranking.

Batting first, Australia put up a daunting total of 197/5 in 20 overs anchored by Shane Watson’s 124 in just 71 balls. India needed more than an ordinary good start to get to the total and Rohit Sharma (52 off 38 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (26 off 9 balls) gave the visitors the momentum that was needed right at the start of the inning. India charged to 45 runs in the first 3 overs of their inning.

Virat Kohli’s half century in 36 balls set the stage for the finish but Team India still needed a match winning effort from someone in the middle order. And Suresh Raina who is known for his power ranking in T20s delivered that part. Raina’s 49 not out off 25 balls included some clever cricket shots and a boundary of the last ball of the match.

Yuvraj Singh got his first chance to bat in the series and produced 15 runs off 12 balls in a pressure situation and mind you he is returning to international cricket after nearly two years. Yuvraj struggled initially but pulled himself up hitting a six and a four in the first two balls of the last over in which India needed 17 to win. After that it was up to Suresh Raina to finish the task and he did it in style with a boundary in the last ball of the match.

Virat Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Series for his consistent batting performance.

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Sydney Thunder beat Melbourne Stars to win Big Bash League

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Sydney Thunder

Sydney Thunder have won their maiden Big Bash League title by defeating Melbourne Stars in the final of the Australian T20 tournament. Sydney defeated Melbourne by three wickets in spite of Kevin Peterson’s blistering 39-ball-74.

Batting first, Melbourne Stars put up a total of 176 runs for 9 wickets in 20 overs helped by Kevin Pietersen’s blistering 74 runs. Sydney Thunder (181 for 7) achieved the target with 3 balls to spare as in-form opener Usman Khawaja displayed his batting skills in his 40-ball-70 guiding the Thunders’ chase.

Sydney Thunder did lose quick wickets towards the end, but the pace set by openers Usman Khawaja and Jacques Kallis early in the inning proved enough to secure a victory.

In the end, a six by Ben Rohrer sealed the match in favour of the Thunders in 19.3 overs. This is a remarkable turnaround for Sydney team that was at the bottom of point table in three of the previous four editions of the BBL.

It seemed a big day for Sydney Thunder as the women’s team of the franchise also won the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League.

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WATCH: Chris Gayle hits fastest 50 in Big Bash League

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Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle has smashed a 12-ball-50 to equal Yuvraj Singh’s record of the fastest half century in a T20 game. Yuvraj Singh had set the record of the fastest 50 in Twenty20 in the 2007 World Cup against England in Durban. Yuvraj had smashed 6 sixes in an over of Stuart Broad in the match.

Gayle hit 7 sixes and 2 fours for Melbourne Renegades before he was dismissed for 56 off 17 balls in the semi final of the ongoing Big Bash League in Australia.

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Melbourne Renegades needed 171 runs in 16 overs against Adelaide Strikers to qualify for Big Bash T20 league final. And Gayle started by hitting four consecutive sixes in Greg West’s first over. He reached his 50-run mark in the fourth over of Renegades’ innings.

The West Indies opener also holds the record for the fastest T20 century in the Indian Premier League. Chris Gayle had scored 100 in just 30 balls in the 2013 edition of the IPL while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

In spite of Gayle’s blistering half century, Renegades lost the semi-final and and crashed out of the Big Bash League. The Melbourne team fell 27 runs short of their target of 171

Chris Gayle was met with raucous applause by the crowd of 25,227 people in the Etihad Stadium as he walked off raising his bat after his dismissal. This could be the Jamaican’s farewell match if Cricket Australia decides not to welcome him back in the next edition of the cricket league.

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Chris Gayle to TV presenter Mel McLaughlin: Don’t blush baby

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Chris-Gayle interview

Chris Gayle is drawing ire for his comments to a female reporter during a live interview after a Big Bash League game in Australia. Gayle asked Channel 10 presenter Mel McLaughlin out for a drink during a live interview after Melbourne Renegades‘ Big Bash League win over Hobart Hurricanes. The West Indian cricketer further added “Don’t Blush Baby” making the interviewer uncomfortable with his remarks that has been criticised by former England all-rounder and Channel 10 commentator Andrew Flintoff.

Chris Gayle made a whirlwind 41 in 15 balls to help Melbourne Renegades register a comfortable victory in the match.

Mel McLaughlin said to Gayle at the start of the interview: “You’re absolutely smashing this innings!”

Gayle, who is known for his antics, replied: “I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well.. That’s the reason why I’m here, just to see your eyes for the first time. It’s nice so ..“Hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after. Don’t blush baby.” The cricketer burst out in laughter after the comments leaving the interviewer clearly embarrassed.

The comments led to an onslaught of condemnation on social media. According to Australian media, David Barham, Channel 10 head of sport said, the network was “deeply offended” by Gayle’s comments and had conversations with Cricket Australia and had sought an apology.

Twitter has been trolling Chris Gayle but not all of it is criticism. There is some support for the star West Indian batsman too.

This is not the first time Gayle has been criticised for his sexist comments on female reporters during interviews.

In 2014, Chris Gayle who was captain of franchise Jamaica Tallawahs during the Caribbean Premier League was asked, “How does the pitch feel so far in terms of the training (and) the weather?,” by a female reporter. And in response he said to her, “Well I haven’t touched yours yet so I don’t know how it feels.”

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Did Gambhir snub MS Dhoni after Vijay Hazare match?

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gautam-gambhir-ms-dhoni

A video that is doing the rounds of social media shows India discard Gautam Gambhir allegedly snubbing ODI cricket captain MS Dhoni after a match in the ongoing Vijay Hazare trophy. Some news outlets took queue from the Youtube video uploaded by an individual and published news stories peppering it with instances of reported past animosities between Gambhir and Dhoni. A furious Gautam Gambhir has blasted the media over the reports and for publishing stories without verifying ‘facts’.

What the video shows

Jharkhand and Delhi clashed in the quarterfinal of the Vijay Hazare trophy – India’s premier domestic One-Day cricket tournament. Chasing 225, Jharkhand team was all out for just 126 runs with MS Dhoni still at the non-striker’s end having scored an unbeaten 70. Dhoni shook hands with opposition players at the end of the game as is customary after cricket matches. Other Delhi players courteously shook hands with Dhoni but when the latter reaches near Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir, the southpaw walks away ignoring India’s limited-over captain. Gambhir is seen looking the other way and shaking hands with his own team members when Dhoni almost extends his hand for a handshake.

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What Gambhir says

Gautam Gambhir lambasted the media for the reports and shared photographs on his official Twitter handle of him shaking hands with MS Dhoni after the quarterfinal match. He even advised media houses to verify facts before publishing them.

 

Gambhir has been out of the national squad for quite some time. He last played an ODI for India in January 2013. There have been one or two instances of differences with skipper MS Dhoni during Gambhir’s days in the Indian cricket team.

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5th ODI: South Africa beat India by 214 runs at Wankhede, win series

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Virat Kohli AB de Villiers

South Africa won their first ODI series in India after defeating the hosts by 214 runs in the 5th and final match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium today. It was evident right from the first over of the game that the Proteas were playing to win the title. They put up a mammoth total of 438 runs for the loss of 4 wickets making the Indian bowling attack look lackluster after captain A. B. de Villiers won the toss and decided to bat first.

South Africa’s score of 438 runs is the joint third highest total ever scored in a One Day match. As many as 3 Proteas batsmen – Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers – scored tons. This was only the second time in a One Day match that a team had 3 players scoring hundred runs.

Ab de Villiers’ 119 came off just 61 balls. Quinton de Kock faced 87 balls to score 109 runs and Faf du Plessis’ 133 came off just 115 deliveries before he was retired hurt. The two Indian seamers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma gave away 106 and 84 (7 overs) runs. Indian fielders dropped at least 4 catches at a time when the South African batsmen were unstoppable.

None of the Indian batsmen barring Ajinkya Rahane responded to the huge challenge posed by the visitors. Rahane scored 87 in 58 balls but the team needed many such performances.

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India Vs SA: Advantage Team India at Wankhede in ODI final

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Virat Kohli AB de Villiers

Stage is set for the fifth and final ODI of the bilateral series between India and South Africa at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. With the series evenly poised at 2-2, Sunday’s encounter is expected to be a treat for cricket lovers.

Team India is buoyant after its convincing victory in Chennai in the 4th ODI and will aim at keeping the momentum. The good thing about the home team is that it has found the right batting order and Suresh Raina’s return to form gives the middle order the stability that skipper MS Dhoni has been looking for. It is expected that Dhoni will maintain the same batting order with Virat Kohli at Number 3, Ajinkya Rahane at Number 4, Raine at No 5 and the captain himself at 6.

It is the bowling department that needs to compliment the batsmen. Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence has been somewhat filled by Harbhajan Singh‘s comeback. Bhajji has responded well to the opportunity so far. Axar Patel and Amit Mishra too need to do their bit in the final on Sunday. South African batsmen have looked less comfortable facing Indian spinners in the series barring AB de Villiers. The Proteas skipper averages 129 against Indian spinners as against rest of the team’s average of 25.78.

It is Indian seamers who need to back the spin department. Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel have led the South African attack and troubled Indian batsmen with their pace and bounce. Morkel, who has a leg injury, is however doubtful for Sunday’s final. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and company need to perform better than they have done so far in the series. Indian pacers have just taken one wicket with the new ball in the ODI series so far.

The toss is going to be important and the team winning it is expected to bat first.  Both India and South Africa have faltered in chasing totals in the series.

It is a clash between the two batting heavyweights and with India not having lost a home series to South Africa yet and with the exuberant Mumbai crowd behind them, it is advantage Team India.

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India defeat South Africa by 35 runs after Virat Kohli scores 138

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Virat Kohli century

India defeated South Africa by 35 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai to level the One Day International (ODI) series 2-2. Virat Kohli delivered the match winning performance he is known for at a time when Team India needed it most. It was a must win game for the Men in Blue if they had to stay in the series and Virat’s magnificent 138 helped India put a formidable total of 299 for 8 on a slow pitch that seemed to assist bowlers.

Kohli’s ton and partnerships

Kohli got good support from Ajinkya Rahane (45) and Suresh Raina (53) after India lost both its openers early (India were 35 for 2 at one stage). It resulted in two crucial partnerships between Kohli and Rahane (104 runs) and Kohli and Raina (127 runs). India were headed for an even bigger total in excess of 300 but were squeezed towards the end as South African seamers claimed 4 for 29 in the final five overs.

South Africa chase

AB de Villiers led South Africa’s chase and scored a century but Indian spinners made sure that the visitors remained short of their target of 300 runs. In the end, India won the match by 35 runs setting the stage for the decider at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on October 25.

India’s spin troika of Harbhajan Singh (2 for 50), Axar Patel (1 for 40) and Amit Mishra (1 for 55) used the slow conditions to their benefit. Pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 3 wickets including the crucial one of SA skipper AB de Villiers.

AB de Villiers innings

The Proteas captain was in no mood to give in as he hit the ball all round the wicket playing some innovative reverse sweep shots. His 112 came of just 107 balls with 10 boundaries and 2 sixes laced to it. It was only after de Villiers fell while playing a flat batted shot that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team could heave a sigh of relief.

India’s batting order

The match also settled doubts, if any, about the Indian batting order especially the No 3 and No 5 positions.  This time Dhoni did not promote himself above struggling Suresh Raina who scored back to back ducks in the last two matches. This gave the southpaw time at the crease and he delivered with a half century. Kohli too showed that he is most comfortable when batting at his usual Number 3 position.

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WATCH: Arjun Tendulkar left-arm seam bowling at Lord’s cricket ground in England

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Arjun Tendulkar

When the English cricket team practiced at Lord’s for the second Investec Ashes Test beginning Thursday, a 15-year-old left-arm seamer was seen bowling at them. Not that the England batsmen were aware of the surname of Arjun Tendulkar who had joined the other bowlers at the nets to help the English cricket team prepare for the upcoming Test match against Australia. But young Arjun, son of legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, was surely impressive maintaining a good line and length throughout the training session. His bowling action was also pleasing.

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It was surely not the ideal preparation for England’s batsmen who will be facing the left-arm pace attack of Mitchell Johnson on the cricket pitch. But Arjun Tendulkar seemed quite happy with the accomplishment. England assistant coach Paul Farbrace was seen congratulating the young talent at the end of the training session.

Arjun also chatted with some of the England players and they were surprised when they came to know about his age, according to ESPN Cricinfo.

 

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Sachin was a regular at the MCC Academy when he was part of the Indian cricket team and now it is his son Arjun who uses facilities of the club which is based at Lord’s cricket ground.

The Tendulkar family has an apartment near Lord’s and it is often spotted there during this time of the year. It was at the request of Neil Burns, the former county keeper, who is a friend of Sachin Tendulkar, that Arjun was allowed to bowl at the nets.

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#SelfieWithDaughter: Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan join Modi’s campaign

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Sachin TendulkarSachin Tendulkar and Shikhar Dhawan have also joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much publicised campaign #SelfieWithDaughter on social networking site Facebook. The little master has posted his picture with his daughter Sara Tendulkar. He captioned it, “Selfie with my daughter Sara ?#?BetiBachao?”.

Shikhar Dhawan too posted pictures of himself with his two daughters Rhea and Aliyah. He wrote, “Daddy’s girls” with the pictures.

It seems the cricketers have taken Modi’s campaign of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana’ quite seriously along with the rest of the world. Cricketer Parthiv Patel is also among the cricketers who have joined the bandwagon.

The campaign has become an online hit as the #SelfieWithDaughter is trending for last few days. The initiative has garnered support from all over the globe with parents posting pictures with their daughters.

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