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  Asia Cup Hockey 2017: India Thrash Pakistan 3-1 to Top Pool A
Posted by: nairrk - 10-16-2017 09:04 AM - No Replies

[Image: India-Hockey-Pakistan_Hockey-India.jpg]

New Delhi: India made it three out of three victories as they thrashed Pakistan 3-1 in their final Pool A clash at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday. This is India's fifth successive win against their arch-rivals Pakistan in international hockey.

For the 'Men in Blue', Chinglensana Singh (17th minute), Ramandeep Singh (44th minute) and Harmanpreet Singh (45th minute) got on the score-sheet, while Ali Shaan (48th minute) scored the lone goal for Pakistan in the final quarter.

India had already secured a place in the round-robin Super 4 stage of the tournament after their stunning wins in the first two matches of the competition — Japan (5-1) and hosts
Bangladesh (7-0). But with this comprehensive victory over their neighbours, they topped the Pool A with nine points.

While as for Pakistan, they have also progressed into the next round, courtesy of having a better goal difference than Japan (both teams were locked at four points after three matches).

The first quarter was as cagey as possible with none of the teams getting even a single clear cut chance to make the breakthrough. However, in the last minute of the first quarter, Pakistan were awarded a penalty corner but they made a hash of it.

India finally got the breakthrough in the second minute of the second quarter with Chiglensana scoring the first goal of the match. The 25-year-old was given acres of space inside the Pakistan circle and he finished emphatically.

India goal-keeper Suraj Kerkera then came to the fore and made a couple of scintillating diving saves to keep India's lead intact at half-time.

Pakistan where down to nine-men early in the third quarter as Rizwan Senior and Mahmud were shown respective yellow cards for dangerous play. However, India failed to capitalise as Pakistan defended well.

India finally doubled their lead in the 44th minute when Harmanpreet hit a fantastic cross from the middle of the pitch and Ramandeep dove full-length to guide the ball into the net. Then in the dying seconds of the third quarter, skipper Harmanpreet drilled home the ball into the bottom right corner of from a penalty corner to triple India's advantage.

Ali Shaan got a consolation goal for Pakistan in the fourth quarter but India held on to record another famous win over their fierce rivals.

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  Roger Federer Destroys Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-3 to Clinch Shanghai Masters
Posted by: nairrk - 10-15-2017 06:20 PM - No Replies

[Image: Roger-Federer_AP.jpg]

Shanghai: Roger Federer got one over his old rival Rafael Nadal to win the Shanghai Masters 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday in a showdown between the two best players on the planet.

It was a 94th title for the Swiss legend, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl, and closes the gap on world number one Nadal at the top of the rankings as the season reaches its conclusion.

In-form Nadal was ahead in their overall record down the years, with 23 wins to Federer's 14, but he was up against it almost right away.

Number two Federer put Nadal under the cosh immediately on the Spaniard's serve, breaking him in the first game -- to roars of approval from the majority inside the arena.

The 36-year-old Swiss, fondly known as "Cow" in China for his laid-back personality, had started the better and he rattled through his own service game for 2-0.

Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam champion who had beaten Nadal in their last four encounters, was in full flow under the Qizhong Tennis Center roof, which was closed because of downpours in Shanghai.

Nadal, 31, groaned while lashing many of his shots; Federer was all quiet efficiency.

Somewhere in the stadium somebody rattled a cow bell.

Federer rapidly made it 4-2 with two booming aces in a row, drawing huge cheers from much of the stadium.

In contrast, Nadal -- a 16-time Grand Slam winner but who had never won the Shanghai Masters -- was labouring through his service games.

He went long on a straightforward forehand but powered an ace to make it 4-3 to the Swiss.

There were suggestions that Federer might not be quite as fresh as his old foe, having been pushed to three sets a day earlier in the second semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro.

The timeless Federer rubbished that notion as he seared his way to a 5-3 first-set lead.

Nadal sent down his fourth ace for 5-4, only for Federer to seal the set with his seventh ace of the match.

There was little between the great rivals in the early exchanges of the second set until the pivotal fifth game.

Nadal, on a great run of form that won him the US Open and China Open in recent weeks, saved the first break point but could not survive the second one to put Federer in reach of a second Shanghai Masters crown.

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  Uncapped Astle, Phillips added in ODI squad for India series
Posted by: nairrk - 10-14-2017 06:43 PM - No Replies

[Image: prv_1507977975.jpeg]

Uncapped wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips and legspinner Todd Astle have been selected in New Zealand's squad for the upcoming One-Day International series against India. New Zealand, who had earlier named nine players in the squad, have added the remaining six from the current A side for the upcoming ODI and the T20I series.

While the 20-year old Phillips has featured in a T20I, Astle has played two Tests and two T20Is. However, they are yet to make their ODI debut.

Speaking about the inclusion of the duo, selector Gavin Larsen said, "Todd has been one of the best white-ball players in domestic cricket the last few seasons and he's backed that up with a strong showing for New Zealand A. Todd brings all-round skill to the squad, quality legspin, is athletic in the field as well as being able to contribute with the bat.

"Glenn has made an immediate effect in domestic cricket and has certainly taken his opportunity over here with New Zealand A, including an outstanding 140 not out. Glenn is an option for us with the gloves in both Twenty20s and ODIs, so we feel we have our bases covered with the 15 we've picked."

Apart from the uncapped duo, Matt Henry, Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro and left-arm spinner George Worker have also been added to the side. They will join the squad following New Zealand A's tour of India.

The hard-hitting Munro is seen as one of the options to partner Martin Guptill at the top of the order. Head coach Mike Hesson said, "The beauty of Colin is he is a boundary hitter. He doesn't so much adapt to conditions, he plays one way - batting in the middle order can make that difficult, and he has had success since we moved him up in T20s."

Legspinner Ish Sodhi will replace Worker in the T20I squad, while Tom Bruce will also join the squad in place of Ross Taylor for the shortest format. Both Bruce and Sodhi will travel with the ODI squad, but will play only in the T20Is.

Worker, who batted at No. 3 in New Zealand's series against Ireland, is another option the team management is considering as an opener.

ODI squad: Kane Williamson ©, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker

T20I squad: Kane Williamson ©, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

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  Rahul, Shami, Umesh out; Karthik, Thakur included for NZ ODIs
Posted by: nairrk - 10-14-2017 06:40 PM - No Replies

[Image: prv_1507985503.jpeg]

Dinesh Karthik returns to the One-Day International fold for the three-match series against New Zealand, the BCCI announced on Saturday (October 14). Shardul Thakur and Shikhar Dhawan were also included in the 15-man squad announced, while KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were left out.

Karthik, who last played a one-dayer for India in July earlier in the year against Windies, was not picked for the one-day series against Australia. He, however, was named in the T20 squad for the three-match series against Australia, but didn't get a game in the two played.

Dhawan too missed the one-dayers against Australia having gone back to attend to his ill wife, but now returns to the one-day squad.

KL Rahul faced the axe after a string of low scores against Sri Lanka and not having had game time against Australia. Umesh and Shami, too, met a similar fate having not done enough to impress the selectors in the limited opportunities they got.

More to follow...

SQUAD: Virat Kohli ©, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.

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  Sri Lanka's cricketers refuse to tour Pakistan
Posted by: nairrk - 10-14-2017 06:37 PM - No Replies

[Image: prv_1507969953.jpeg]

Forty contracted players of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have handed a letter to the board indicating that they do not wish to travel to Lahore for the last T20I against Pakistan scheduled for later this month.

The letter signed by the entire current squad and contracted players back home doesn't directly say that they do not want to go to Pakistan, but has requested the board to consider a venue change.

"SLC will have a quick chat to the players very soon. We don't intend to disturb them in middle of a series, but we are left with no option but to address the issue. The ICC also will meet the players on Saturday to brief them about the situation in Lahore," an SLC source told Cricbuzz.

All-rounder Thisara Perera is believed to have not signed the letter as he was part of the World XI side that played three-T20I series in Lahore last month.

International cricket was pulled out of Pakistan after the Sri Lankan team bus came under a terrorist attack in 2009, outisde Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore, injuring several players and support staff.

There is still a possibility that the Lahore game could be played if SLC decides to send a second string team.

"We are looking at all possibilities. Pakistan has been one our closest allies and we don't want to let them down," the source added.

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