Sports News SahilOnline, Leading news portal from Coastal Karnataka, bringing you latest updates from the Coast, State, Nation and the World, in Kannada, Urdu and English. Sports News There was environment of fear in Pakistan team during 2019 WC: Inzamam There was a sense of insecurity among Pakistan players during the 2019 World Cup, claims former chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, who also reckons that the PCB should have given Sarfaraz Ahmed more time as captain instead of removing him abruptly. Rohit is one of greatest ever ODI openers: Srikkanth Stylish India batsman Rohit Sharma is one of the greatest ever ODI openers, considering his ability to score daddy hundreds, says former captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth. Ronaldo can only watch as Napoli wins Italian Cup title Cristiano Ronaldo never had a chance. Arkadiusz Milik converted the decisive spot kick in a penalty shootout as Napoli won its sixth Italian Cup following a 0-0 draw with Juventus. Dhoni at no 3 would have broken most records: Gambhir Mumbai, Jun 15 (PTI) Former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes that Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been a different player with all batting records in his kitty had the Indian captain opted batting one down in 50-over format. Gambhir was asked to chose between current India skipper Virat Kohli and Dhoni, to chase down a target. "It's very difficult to compare both of them because one bats at No. 3, one bats at No. 6 or 7," Gambhir said on Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'. According to Gambhir, with the kind of flat pitches on offer and quality of current bowling attacks in world cricket now, the Jharkhand dasher could have broken most of the records had he batted at three. "Probably, I would have taken MS Dhoni. MS Dhoni batting at No. 3 on flat wickets, with the quality of bowling attack now in world cricket. "Look at Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies, in the current situation, with the kind of quality in international cricket there is, MS Dhoni would have probably broken most of the records," added the southpaw, who is a member of both 2007 and 2011 World Cup winning Indian team. Dhoni in his career usually batted lower down the order and was more of a finisher. The former left-handed opener felt that Dhoni would have been the most exciting cricketer in the world had he not captained India and batted up the order at number three. "Probably, world cricket has missed one thing and that is MS didn't bat at No. three . Had MS not captained India and batted at No. three, probably world cricket would have seen a completely different player, probably he could have got many more runs, he would have broken many more records." However former India speedster Irfan Pathan had a different viewpoint. Pathan said that if one compares Dhoni to Kohli at number three, Kohli would have been a better option. "But MS had all the chance to bat at No. 3, he didn't. Look, I really believe that if you compare Virat and Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting at No. 3, I still feel Virat has a better technique. "There's nothing that I am taking away from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, obviously he has been an absolute legend of the game. Everyone has their own opinion. I will still take Virat any day," said Pathan on the same show. Gary Kirsten recalls how he landed India coach's job in 7 minutes He was never interested in coaching neither did he apply for the job, but it took exactly seven minutes for Gary Kirsten to land the high-profile India coach's job back in 2007, a process set in motion by the great Sunil Gavaskar. Better planning needed for ICC events: Pathan Mumbai, Jun 14 (PTI) India have all the resources but need to plan better going into the big-ticket ICC events, says former all-rounder Irfan Pathan who blamed an unsettled middle order for country's exit from last year's World Cup. India last won an ICC tournament in 2013, when they lifted the Champions Trophy under the leadership of iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Since then India have not clinched any ICC Trophy, making a semifinal exit from ODI World Cup, last year. "We need to make sure that we have better planning going into the ICC trophies, going into the World Cup. If we have better planning, we have all the resources to be a champion," Pathan, a member of the 2007 T20 World Cup winning Indian team, said on Star Sports show' Cricket Connected'. Pathan said India struggled to get a proper playing XI before the ODI World Cup last year as the team made a semifinal exit, losing to New Zealand. "The only thing lacking is that we did not have a number four batsman just before the World Cup as well. We were struggling with having a proper eleven," Pathan said. "If you look at the recent 2019 tournament, it was bad planning. We have resources, we have players, we have fitness, we have everything to be a world champion," added Pathan, who played 120 ODIs and 29 Tests. Shahid Afridi tests positive for COVID-19 Karachi, Jun 13 (PTI) Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Saturday said he has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first high-profile cricketer to be infected with the deadly virus. "I've been feeling unwell since Thursday; my body had been aching badly. I've been tested and unfortunately I'm covid positive. Need prayers for a speedy recovery, InshaAllah," Afridi announced on Twitter. Afridi played for Pakistan between 1996 and 2018, featuring in 27 Tests (1716 runs and 48 wickets), 398 ODIs (8064 runs and 395 wickets) and 99 T20 Internationals (1416 runs and 98 wickets). He remains involved in the game and was last seen on the field in the Pakistan Super League in March. Afridi is also actively involved in his charity work as the head of a foundation named after him. Following the coronavirus outbreak, he was seen outdoors on many occasions, mainly for his charity work. Wishes of a speedy recovery started pouring on social media soon after Afridi made the announcement. He might have retired from international cricket his popularity in the sub-continent has not dipped. His tweet also drew quick response from his Pakistan teammates including Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). "Get well soon. Praying for your swift recovery!" wrote PCB on Twitter. Hafeez said that Afridi was a "fighter by nature" and was sure that he will "fight the virus and will defeat it soon". Akmal also joined in praying for Afridi. "Prayers are for your long, healthy life. Get well soon," he tweeted. The Pakistan all-rounder, famous for his big-hitting, retired from international cricket in 2017. He had already quit Tests in 2010 and ODIs after the 2015 World Cup but captained Pakistan in the World T20 in India. Another former Pakistan international Taufeeq Umar, had also tested positive for coronavirus but he recovered earlier this month. At least two Pakistani first-class players have died from the infection with leg-spinner Riaz Sheikh passing away in Karachi earlier this month. Sheikh, a leg-spinner who took 116 wickets in 43 matches, died in his home. Another Pakistani first-class player, Zafar Sarfaraz, 50, died due to the virus in April in Peshawar. Players will have to be mentally strong when international cricket resumes: Mushtaq Ahmed Karachi, Jun 11 (PTI) Spin consultant and mentor of the Pakistan team, Mushtaq Ahmed says more than the skills, the players' mental strength will matter when top-level cricket resumes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in England. Ahmed, who recently joined the national set-up, said the series between England and the West Indies will provide lessons as the game is set to resume with that series, starting July 8. "I think we are going to learn a lot from the West Indies and England series and in the Covid-19 conditions. More than the skills, the mental strength of players will matter a lot. In these difficult circumstances the role of mentors have become very important," he said. The Pakistan team is likely to reach England around June 25 to start preparations for their Test and T20 series in a bio-secure environment including remaining in a 14-days quarantine and having nets and practice drills and matches in isolated conditions. Ahmed also made it clear that the new-look management of the Pakistan team including head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, bowling coach Waqar Younis, batting coach, Younis Khan and he himself were all on the same page and realised the importance of playing in England. "Players and coaches will require some time to adjust to the new playing conditions and playing in front of empty stadiums. I think the time we have in England before the series will be spent on preparing the players mentally for these challenges." "For cricket activities to start in Covid-19 conditions is a tough ask of the players." Mushtaq who has worked as spin consultant with teams like England and the West Indies said if the upcoming two series in England go off well then world cricket can slowly get back to normalcy within this year. "That is why these two series are so important. We have to see how players, especially bowlers, adjust to the new rules like not using spit to shine the ball. We have to see how this will affect performance of the bowlers," he said. ICC should wait for a suitable time to host T20 World Cup: Akram Karachi, Jun 5 (PTI) Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram cannot visualise a T20 World Cup happening behind closed doors and believes the ICC should wait for a "suitable time" to host the big-ticket event after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. There is speculation that the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November will be postponed due to the travel restrictions in place for the coronavirus outbreak. "Personally, I don't think it's a good idea. I mean, how could you have a cricket World Cup without spectators," Akram told 'The News' on Thursday. "A World Cup is all about big crowds, spectators coming from all parts of the globe to support their teams. It's all about atmosphere and you cannot get it behind closed doors," he said. On May 28, the ICC had deferred a decision on the fate of the T20 World Cup till June 10 as it continued exploring contingency plans amid the raging pandemic that has derailed calendars worldwide. "So I believe that they (ICC) should wait for a more suitable time and once this pandemic subsides and restrictions are eased then we can have a proper World Cup," he said. The ICC Cricket Committee has recently recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball but allowed sweat as an interim measure to counter the coronavirus threat. It also did not allow use of artificial substances. Akram said allowing sweat is not enough and ICC will have to find a "quick fix" to the problem. "I'm sure fast bowlers won't like it if they are stopped from using saliva to shine the ball. They are allowing sweat but I can say for sure that it isn't the same," he said. "You shine the ball with saliva and sweat is just something of an add-on, a top-up. Too much use of sweat will leave the cricket ball too wet," he added. "I believe that they will need to find a reasonable solution. But I would say that they will need to find a quick fix to this problem." Calls have been growing for an alternative to saliva from former and current cricketers including lead India pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Sri Lanka bowlers have also said that they prefer saliva over sweat to shine the ball following their first training session post lockdown. Former footballer Hamza Koya dies of COVID-19, toll touches 15 in Kerala Former Santosh Trophy National Football Championship player, E Hamsakoya, who had tested positive for COVID-19, succumbed to the virus early Saturday at a hospital here, taking the toll due to the infection in the Kerala state to 15. Cricket not free of racism, I faced it too: Chris Gayle Expressing solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign, star West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has alleged that he faced racist remarks during his career and cricket is not free of the menace. Current situation is like Test match on dangerous wicket: Ganguly on coronavirus pandemic BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is deeply saddened and intimidated by the devastation caused because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has equated the unprecedented crisis to playing a Test match on a dangerous wicket. Pressure of replacing Dhoni behind wickets was immense: KL Rahul The pressure to replace iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps was "immense" due to high expectations from fans says K L Rahul, who has been doing the wicket-keeping duty for India in the limited overs format for some time now. Argentine football season declared over due to virus The Argentine football association will put an end to the 2019-20 season which has been interrupted since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, its president Claudio Tapia said. Umar will definitely challenge harsh three-year ban: Kamran Akmal Umar Akmal will "definitely challenge" the three-year ban imposed on him for failing to report corrupt approaches, his elder brother and fellow Pakistan cricketer Kamran asserted, slamming the PCB for the "very harsh" punishment. Ajmal still believes he got Tendulkar out in 2011 WC semifinal Former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is still not over the disappointment of missing Sachin Tendulkar's wicket in the lost 2011 World Cup semifinal against India and is now deriving solace from English umpire Ian Gould's recent assertion that the iconic batsman was indeed out. Corruption has damaged Pak cricket as much as Lahore attack on Lankan team: Zaheer Abbas Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas says the PCB has been "soft" in dealing with corruption in country's cricket which, according to him, has been as damaging for the game here as the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team. Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman great cricketers, greater human beings: Monty Panesar Former England spinner Monty Panesar has tremendous respect for Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman not just for their cricketing talent but the way they carried themselves in world cricket. Shami reveals how Zaheer Khan, Wasim Akram shaped his bowling career India pacer Mohammed Shami on Tuesday revealed what role Zaheer Khan and Wasim Akram have played in shaping his bowling career. Tanvir urges fellow Pakistan cricketers to use social media responsibly Pakistan's T20 specialist Sohail Tanvir is upset with the irresponsible use of social media by some of his fellow players. India seal women's World Cup berth after Pakistan series scrapped India have qualified for the 2021 women's World Cup after the International Cricket Council declared that the points from a cancelled series against Pakistan would be shared. COVID-19: Kohli, Anushka bat for self isolation New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) India's cricket captain Virat Kohli and his actor wife Anushka Sharma on Friday issued a joint appeal for self-isolation to combat the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, which has left the world in disarray. Kohli and Anushka posted a video message on Twitter, appealing everyone to stay at home, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation to advocate self-isolation. "We all know we are going through a very difficult time," Kohli said. "And the only way to stop the spread of Coronavirus is by acting together," urged Anushka. As they took turns to speak, Kohli said, "We are staying at home for our safety and for everyone else's one." Anushka followed, by suggesting that, " should do it too to prevent the further spread of the virus." "Let's make it safe for us and everyone else by self isolation," said Kohli while Anushka concluded with," stay at home and stay healthy." A number of sports personalities have come forward in spreading the message to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 2,00,000 people worldwide and killed over 9,000. Modi has called for a 'janta curfew' on March 22, asking citizens to stay at home from 7am to 5pm. In self-isolation, I have found some freedom: Mary Kom New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) The COVID-19 pandemic has isolated her from the world outside but iconic Indian boxer M C Mary Kom says the forced slowdown of life as usual has also redefined the meaning of freedom for her. Mary Kom has self-isolated at her Delhi residence since returning from the this month's Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan where she booked herself a second Olympic berth. The precautionary measure was necessitated by a training trip to Italy before landing in Jordan even though the entire Indian team got COVID-19 negative certificates from the IOC. "I am chilling, doing my exercises, taking care of my fitness and playing with my children after being away from them for almost one month," Mary Kom told PTI in an interview. "That's the best part of this isolation, I am with my family through the day without having to think of anything. My appeal to everyone is don't panic, try and stay at home if you can and spend time with your family," she said. "In my case, I have felt a sense of freedom with this isolation. I have realised that I am not feeling the stress of a daily schedule right now." The six-time world champion is also a sitting Rajya Sabha MP. Does she miss not being in Parliament when it is in session, given that she is among the most regular MPs? "I hope to attend the last few days of the session. My isolation is till end of this month. Parliament will function for a few more days after that," she said referring to the schedule of the ongoing budget session which runs till April 3. "Right now, all I know is that my children are very happy. For 10-15 days, they have got their mom and that too without any interruption," she quipped. Relaxed she might be at home but Mary Kom said she understands the fear of the virus outbreak, which has killed more than 9,000 people globally. In India four have died so far and the number of positive cases stands at more than 190 now. "My children, out of innocence, ask me, 'mama this virus will stay na?' They are happy being at home playing and missing school but I know how serious it is. It is a scary situation and I hope everyone follows the health guidelines. It is crucial that everyone does," she said. "That's the only way we can save ourselves. Everyone has to be careful," she added. "The precautions that I am taking include not giving appointments to anyone right now," she further stated. A five-time Asian champion besides being a gold-medallist at the Commonwealth and Asian Games, Mary Kom would be competing in her last Olympic Games if it goes ahead as scheduled in July-August in Tokyo. There are growing concerns about the Games' fate with several current and former athletes demanding that IOC put their safety first. The IOC, however, has resolutely stated that the quadrennial showpiece will go ahead on time despite the current crisis. "I don't think the Games will be postponed or cancelled. It is too huge an event to be shifted just like that. It will cause chaos. In any case, it's not in my hands. So, it's better I don't say much," she said. But will the current situation, in which travel restrictions by most countries have nearly brought the world to a halt, have a bearing on her preparations for Tokyo? "Some planning is required. I haven't yet made up my mind, Training here is also pretty smooth. There is nothing missing. We will see how the situation is in the next couple of weeks before deciding on whether going outside is an option," she explained. "Till then, everyone please stay at home and don't forget to wash your hands," she laughed. Govt will make efforts to take kabaddi to Olympics: Rijiju New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) The government will make efforts to take indigenous sport kabaddi to the Olympics, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday. "A total of 2,880 athletes have been selected under Khelo India scheme for further training to excel in various national/international competitions," he told Lok Sabha. Responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports said kabaddi is an indigenous sport and that the government would make efforts to take it to the Olympics. Under the schemes, promising sports persons and teams identified are provided support of modern sports science and exposure abroad under experts of respective disciplines, among others, he said. "Sports being a state subject, the responsibility of promotion of sports, including identification of young talent and its nurturing, rests with state governments," he added. I respect BCCI's decision and accept it as professional: Manjrekar New Delhi:  Dropped from the BCCI commentary panel for the South Africa ODI series, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar on Sunday said he always considered commentating a privilege and accepted the decision as a professional. One of the most accomplished voices among Indian experts, Manjrekar, who got embroiled in controversies in recent years for some of his views on air, was axed from the BCCI's commentary panel for the South Africa series recently. "I have always considered commentary as a great privilege, but never an entitlement," the 54-year-old wrote on his twitter handle. "It is up to my employers whether they choose to have me or not & I will always respect that. Maybe BCCI has not been happy with my performance of late. I accept that as a professional." Manjrekar, who played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs for India, had courted controversy during last year's World Cup when he termed Ravindra Jadeja a "bits and pieces cricketer", something that didn't go well with the Saurashtra all-rounder, who questioned the Mumbaikar's cricketing credentials. Manjrekar later admitted that he was off the mark with his unsavoury analysis of Jadeja's cricketing prowess. He was also panned on social media for his on-air comment about fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle during the 'Pink Test' when he questioned the latter's credibility since he hasn't played at the highest level. Manjrekar had to apologise for that also. If IPL 13 happens, it will be a short one: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly Suspended till April 15 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 13th edition of IPL can only be a truncated one provided the situation improves, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Saturday. All international football should be postponed, says FIFA Paris:  FIFA on Friday recommended that all international football matches scheduled for March and April be postponed due to the spread of the new coronavirus. Falling short of banning matches outright, world football's governing body said that clubs would be allowed to refuse to send their players to national squad gatherings in March and April. FIFA also said that it was working on rescheduling qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in both Asia and South America which have been postponed. "All international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment," FIFA said. FIFA added that the "final decision" on any postponements "rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies". FIFA rules normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches, but this rule has been temporarily reversed. "In light of the current situation concerning the Coronavirus, FIFA has decided that general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the up-coming international windows in March/April," the statement said. Rain washes out first India-South Africa ODI in Dharamsala Dharamsala: The first ODI between India and South Africa was on Thursday abandoned without a ball being bowled due to incessant rain here. The second ODI of the series will be played in Lucknow on March 15 while the third and final match will be in Kolkata's iconic Eden Gardens. However, as per the Indian government's latest health advisory regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the remaining two ODIs in Lucknow and Kolkata are expected to be played without spectators. This latest advisory, in addition to Wednesday's travel advisory restricting entry into India until April 15, has also cast a shadow on the Indian Premier League scheduled to start on March 29. The government has advised the Board of Control for Cricket in India against staging the tournament. The BCCI is considering holding the seven-week tournament without spectators, and is expected to make a final decision at a meeting on Saturday in Mumbai. on March 18. Dharamsala and rain It was the second match in less than six months to be abandoned at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium because of inclement weather. Incidentally, that match was also an India-South Africa clash in September last year. The first ODI of the three-match series was always in doubt after the weatherman forecast widespread rains and thundershowers over the region on Thursday and Friday. Heavy rain had also lashed the hill town just after the two teams' practice sessions on Wednesday, forcing the organisers to cover the entire playing area. If that was not enough, it rained the entire night on the eve of the match. The rain was not that heavy but was enough for water to accumulate, forcing organisers to press three super-soppers into action. The ground staff worked relentlessly but failed to clear the ground, forcing the on-field umpires to call off the match. The cut-off time for a 20-over game was 6.30pm (IST) but the on-field umpires made their final inspection and decided to abandon the match much before that. Foreign players not available for IPL till April 15 due to fresh visa restrictions New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) No foreign player will be available for this year's IPL till April 15 due to visa restrictions imposed by the government to contain the novel coronavirus threat, a top BCCI source told PTI on Thursday, casting fresh doubts on the fate of the event. "The foreign players who play in the IPL come under the Business Visa category. As per the government's directive, they can't come till April 15," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity. The government issued fresh advisory with a ban on all existing foreign visas, except a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in the wake of new positive cases of novel coronavirus in the country. India has reported 60 positive cases in the outbreak which has led to over 4,000 deaths globally. The fate of the IPL itself will be decided on March 14 at the event's Governing Council meeting in Mumbai. "All decisions will be taken by the GC in Mumbai," the source said. Having the IPL, starting March 29, played in empty stadiums is an option being explored. India Legends romp home with Pathan's heroics Navi Mumbai:  Irfan Pathan's blistering unbeaten 57 helped India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends by five wickets in their Road Safety World Series match here. It was the 18th over, where Pathan and Manpreet Gony (11 not out) amassed 26 runs off Farveez Maharoof, that brought the hosts into contention after a top-order collapse. Pathan displayed his batting skills, hammering six boundaries and three sixes. After smashing three successive boundaries in the 19th over, Pathan finished the game with a single. Mohammed Kaif (46) played his part to perfection in the 139-run chase. Sachin Tendulkar (0), Yuvraj Singh (1), Virender Sehwag (3), and Sanjay Bangar (18) had fallen cheaply. Earlier Munaf Patel (4-19) was the pick of bowlers as Sri Lanka were restricted to 138/8. The innings had a Tendulkar catch, a diving catch by Kaif, customary celebration by Pathan who dismissed Romesh Kaluwitharana (21), and `Sachin-Sachin' chants. Tillekaratne Dilshan (23) in his brief stay rekindled the memories, but Marvan Atapattu (1) could not recreate the magic. Muttiah Murlitharan was ruled out due to a groin injury. Despite the coronavirus scare, a decent crowd had turned up. India Legends vanquish West Indies Legends by seven wickets Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar 7 (ANI): India Legends secured a massive seven-wicket victory against West Indies Legends in the opening match of the Road Safety World Series here on Saturday. Chasing a decent target of 151 runs, India Legends witnessed a stunning start with openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag smashing West Indies Legends' bowlers.India Legends were at 83 when they lost their first wicket. Tendulkar, who played a knock of 36 runs, was dismissed by Sulieman Benn in the 11th over.Virender Sehwag kept hitting boundaries and completed his half-century. Carl Hooper then came out furiously in the 17th over as he picked two wickets off the first two balls of the over. Yuvraj Singh then took the field and accompanied Sehwag.Sehwag played an unbeaten knock of 74 runs which powered his side to a massive victory in the match .Earlier, after being asked to bat first, West Indies Legends got off to a flying start as Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Daren Ganga struck regular boundaries.Zaheer Khan provided India with their first breakthrough as he bowled Ganga (32). Brian Lara (17) then came out to bat but failed to leave a mark as Irfan Pathan got hold of him.Danza Hyatt then joined Chanderpaul out on the field and played furiously. Both the players took their side over the 100-run mark in the 13th over. Pragyan Ojha then broke the partnership as he took the wicket of Hyatt (12).India Legends bowlers then made a scintillating comeback in the game and completely dominated West Indies Legends. The Lara-led side kept on losing wickets and only managed to score 150 runs in the allotted 20 overs.Australia Legends will take on Sri Lanka Legends on Sunday. Anjuman Bhatkal beat JG College Hubballi by 5 wickets, Abdul Baqi shine Abdul Baqi Siddiqua flourished, as Anjuman Degree College, Bhatkal notched up a convincing five-wicket victory over KLE's J G College of Commerce, Hubballi in Karnataka University 2nd Zone Cricket Tournament held at Hubballi. Jaffer's insatiable hunger for runs ends, retires Former India opener Wasim Jaffer on Saturday announced retirement from all forms of cricket after amassing a mountain of runs in a glorious first-class career that spanned almost a quarter century. Wasim Jaffer announces retirement from all forms of game MUMBAI: Former India opener Wasim Jaffer on Saturday announced retirement from all forms of cricket, drawing curtains on his illustrious career spanning over two decades. The 42-year-old Jaffer has played 31 Tests and scored 1,944 runs with an average of 34.11. DY Patil T20: Hardik smashes unbeaten 158 off 55 balls Fit-again India all-rounder Hardik Pandya blazed his way to an unbeaten 158 off just 55 balls against BPCL in a semifinal match of the D Y Patil T20 Cup here on Friday. New Zealand sweep Test series, beat India by seven wickets Indian captain Virat Kohli was left frustrated and deflated as New Zealand won the second Test inside three days in Christchurch on Monday to sweep the series. India started the day at 90 for six and were all out for 124, before New Zealand chased down the required 132 to win for the loss of three wickets in 36 overs. It ended a disappointing tour for India and Kohli as New Zealand, who won the first Test by 10 wickets early on day four, wrapped up the series with ease. Nice to see Virat making errors under pressure, says Trent Boult Forcing a world class batsman like Virat Kohli make errors after piling pressure on him was extremely satisfying, senior New Zealand pacer Trent Boult said on Sunday after his side took control of the second Test here. I'm not going to show all my tricks in IPL: Tom Curran  England all-rounder Tom Curran says he will not be showing all his tricks during the upcoming IPL keeping in mind the T20 World Cup that begins in Australia in October. Tennis star Maria Sharapova announces retirement Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, one of the world's most recognisable sportswomen, on Wednesday announced her retirement at the age of 32. David Warner to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020 Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday announced Australia's David Warner as the skipper of their side for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. Women's T20 WC: India defeat New Zealand, become first team to qualify for semi-finals India displayed an all-round performance to defeat New Zealand by four runs on Thursday in the ongoing Women's T20 World Cup here at the Junction Oval and became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. Day-Night tests is way forward: Glenn McGrath Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath is not in favour of tinkering with the five-day format, saying to bring in more fans to the game, day-night Test matches is the way forward. Bhatkal's BIFA clinch championship in Uttara Kannada District Football Association's tournament The Uttara Kannada District Football Association, in association with the Karnataka State Football Association, organized the annual Football League Championship 2020 in Sirsi and Byndoor held from 16th to 23rd February, wherein the Bhatkal Inter Football Association (BIFA) clinched the championship title. New Zealand thrash India by 10 wickets in first Test Indian batsmen's inadequacies in adverse conditions were laid bare as they crashed to an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat against a ruthless New Zealand side that wrapped up the opening Test in just over three days here on Monday. Won't rule out playing 2023 World Cup, says Taylor Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor doesn't rule out playing the 2023 ODI World Cup but says his form, fitness and motivation level at the end of next year will decide whether he actually manages a place in the squad. England beat South Africa in third T20I to clinch series Captain Eoin Morgan hit 57 not out off just 22 balls to lead England to a Twenty20 series victory over South Africa by chasing down a challenging target of 223 in the third and final match on Sunday. India to play day-night Test in Australia New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) India will play a day-night Test during their much-anticipated tour of Australia later this year, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Sunday. This comes a month after captain Virat Kohli asserted that his team was ready to play a day-night Test anywhere in Australia. "Yes, India will play a Day/Night Test in Australia. A formal announcement will be made soon," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told PTI. Ganguly, a former captain, also said that the second Test of the next home series against England will be a day-night affair. He added that the Board will try to have at least one day-night Test in each series moving forward. India played their maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh last November at the Eden Gardens, winning the match quite comfortably with plenty of time to spare. While the venue has not been finalised yet, the pink ball game is likely to be held in either Adelaide or Perth. Hosting the game in one of these venues makes sense given the better time slot for Indian broadcast audience. On the eve of India's three-match ODI series opener at home against Australia last month, Kohli had said, "We're ready and up for the challenge - whether it's Gabba, Perth... it doesn't matter to us. It's become a very exciting feature of any Test series and we're open to playing day-night Tests." After India's mauling of Bangladesh in their maiden day-night Test outing in Kolkata, Ganguly had said that they "will deal as per the request" of the host Board when on tour. India declined Australia's offer to play a day-night Test in Adelaide in 2018-19, citing lack of experience. However, with day-night match seen as a possible answer to Test cricket's dwindling attendances, Australia had been hoping that India will agree to play one game at the Gabba this year. A Cricket Australia (CA) delegation met top BCCI officials on the sidelines of a limited-overs series in January with the day-night Test figuring on the agenda. Meanwhile, it is also learnt that India is set to play three ODIs and three T20 Internationals in Sri Lanka after the IPL. Bengal, Karnataka make Ranji quarters; Delhi knocked out Patiala: Bengal and Karnataka scripted contrasting wins over Punjab and Baroda respectively to qualify for the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals on Friday. The results on day three of the final round of Ranji Trophy also knocked Delhi out of the tournament. Punjab, needing 190 runs for victory, fluffed their run chase to be bowled out for 141, handing Bengal a 48-run victory. Spinners dominated the game with Bengal left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed picking up four wickets in the second innings to take his match-haul to 11. Resuming day three at 199 for nine, Bengal scored only three runs to set Punjab a 190-run target. It turned out to be enough in a low-scoring game with Punjab getting bowled out in 47. 3 overs. Ramandeep Singh (69 not out off 104) ran out of partners in the end. Bengal gained six points from the win, pushing them on the top of the standings. In Bengaluru, Karnataka advanced to the quarterfinals with an eight-wicket win over Baroda. It was an improved batting effort from Baroda in the second innings after being shot out for 85 on day one. They ended their second innings at 296 all out, setting Karnataka a 149-run target, which the hosts reached in 44.4 overs with the loss of just two wickets. Karnataka skipper Karun Nair took the team over the line with an unbeaten 71 off 126 balls. At the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi made Rajasthan follow-on after bowling them out for 299 in the first innings in response to their mammoth 623. Rajasthan captain Ashok Menaria scored a gritty 119 but he did not get support from the other batsmen. Following-on, Rajasthan were 128 for in their second innings, trailing Delhi by 196 runs. Ranji Roundup: Sarfaraz continues run of form, scores 169 Mumbai, Feb 12 (IANS) Mumbai''s Sarfaraz Khan continued his scintillating form this season by scoring 169 at the Wankhede on the first day of their Ranji Trophy group stage match against Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. Mumbai were 352/4 at stumps largely thanks to a 275-run stand between Sarfaraz and Aakarshit Gomel. Mumbai were down to 72 for 3 at one point but Sarfaraz and Gomel''s stand took them out of the doldrums and ended up giving them the advantage at the end of the opening day. Gomel was dismissed on 122 while Sarfaraz remained unbeaten and looks on course to scoring his third double ton in five matches. His last few scores read 301*, 226*, 78 and 25. Karnataka dismissed Baroda for just 85 runs with Abhimanyu Mithun and Krishnappa Gowtham taking three wickets each. They ended the day with a lead of 80 runs with three wickets in hand. Punjab''s Vinay Choudhary took six as they dismissed Bengal for 138 in Patiala. They ended Day 1 trailing by 45 runs. Jaydev Unadkat picked up three wickets as Saurashtra reduced Tamil Nadu to 250/7 despite Abhinav Mukund making 86. Uttar Pradesh rode on Aquib Khan''s five-wicket haul as they bowled out Himachal Pradesh for 220 in Lucknow. UP ended the day on 23/1. Maharashtra were all out for 207 and Uttarakhand in reply ended the first day on 112/3. Haryana dismissed Jammu and Kashmir for 340. Hyderabad were 239/7 against Vidarbha while Services were 81/3 after dismissing Chandigarh for 179. Gujarat bowled out Andhra Pradesh for 177 and scored two runs at the end of the day. Odisha ended their opening day on 205/4 against Jharkhand. Among the Plate Group matches, Meghalaya were 387/4 against Arunachal Pradesh while Chhattisgarh were 352/5 against Manipur. Goa declared on 490/4 with Smit Patel smashing 236 off just 195 balls. It was part of a whirlwind 301-run stand with captain Amit Verma who scored 148 off 123 balls. Bihar were 286/8 against Sikkim. India suffer ODI clean sweep in New Zealand India suffered a rare series whitewash as New Zealand posted a five-wicket win in the third and final one-day international at Mount Maunganui on Tuesday. Aditya Mehta wins National Snooker Championship Pune, Feb 10 (PTI) Ace cuiest Aditya Mehta defeated multiple-time world champion Pankaj Advani 6-2 to win the National Snooker Championship here. Mehta, who represented the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) in the clash on Sunday night, started off with a bang after wining the first frame with a break of 103 while the score remained 103-17. He lost the next two frames with a close margin of 50 -58, 47-48 and it looked like Advani was staging a comeback. But, Mehta held his nerves and claimed all the following four frames to win the title with a 6-2 score line in the best of 11 frames. "This title will be very special to me since it's coming after four years. I was nursing an injury which kept me off the tables," Mehta was quoted as saying in a media statement issued here on Monday. "I was struggling a bit due to a headache. And luckily for me from two one down, I fought well to lead and that was the turning point, so I'm confident of my game. And you know, when two top players are playing, sometimes the margins are very small," he added. In the women's snooker finals, Karnataka's Vidya Pillai edged out Amee Kamani of Madhya Pradesh 3-2 (41-68, 57 -35, 37-61, 69-50, 87-05) to defend her senior ladies snooker title. Morgan named captain of the year by ESPNcricinfo New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Eoin Morgan was on Monday named captain of the year by the ESPNcricinfo Awards jury for leading England to their maiden ODI World Cup triumph. After losing to Sri Lanka and Australia in the tournament, England needed to win four straight games to lift the trophy which they did, winning the title after a tied thriller against New Zealand. The ODI batting performance of the year award went to Ben Stokes for his nerveless performance in the World Cup final. He made an unbeaten 84 in the regulation 50 overs and a further seven in the Super Over. Stokes' epic rearguard in the Headingley Ashes Test lost out narrowly in the Test batting category to Kusal Perera who made a landmark 153 not out against South Africa in Durban to take the title. Sri Lanka were 52 for three chasing a steep 304 to win when Kusal came in to bat in the fourth innings. With nine wickets down and 78 runs to chase, Perera played one of his greatest knocks to see them home. Jofra Archer, who was voted the Debutant of the Year, also starred in the World Cup, with three-wicket hauls in five of England's first six games. He finished the tournament as their leading wicket-taker, and took that form into the Ashes series that followed, producing six-fours in two Tests and finishing with 22 wickets at an average of 20.07. Matt Henry, whose three-wicket spell in the World Cup semi-final knocked India out of the tournament, won the award for ODI Bowling performance of the year. Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry of Australia won the women's batting and bowling performances of the year awards, respectively. Lanning was consistent with the bat through the year, but it was her unbeaten 133 off 63 balls in the first T20I at Chelmsford, at the time the highest score in women's T20I cricket, that was her zenith. Perry's 7 for 22, also against England, were the best ODI bowling figures by an Australian woman cricketer. Bangladesh beat India to win maiden ICC U-19 World Cup title Bangladesh clinched their maiden ICC U-19 World Cup title after beating favourites India by three wickets in the summit clash here on Sunday. New Zealand beat India by 22 runs, clinch series New Zealand exorcised the ghost of a nightmarish T20 whitewash with a series-clinching 22-run victory against India in the second ODI on Saturday with the visitors paying price for some poor shot selection. Tendulkar to flag-off New Delhi Marathon on Feb 23 Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will flag off the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon on February 23, with around 13,000 runners having already registered for the event. Iyer maiden ODI ton goes in vain, Kiwis record first win of India tour Hamilton, Feb 5 (PTI) Young batsman Shreyas Iyer's maiden ODI hundred went in vain as New Zealand defeated India by four wickets in the series-opener, here on Wednesday. Producing a commanding batting performance, India posted a competitive 347 for four but seasoned Ross Taylor anchored the Kiwi chase with an unbeaten 109-run knock. The hosts overhauled the stiff target with 11 balls to spare with the Indian bowlers struggling badly despite having a big total to defend. It was New Zealand's first win since India landed in the country with the hosts suffering a humiliating whitewash in the five-match T20 series. The Kiwis were quite comfortable in their chase but lost wickets of Tom Latham (69) and James Neesham (9) and Colin de Grandhomme (1) when they were close to the target. Taylor ensured that the host do not snatch yet another defeat from a strong position. Earlier, sent into, Iyer (103 off 107 balls) scored his maiden ODI century, while KL Rahul (88 not out) and skipper Virat Kohli (51) made fine fifties in the first match of the three-game series. Tim Southee (2/85) picked up two wickets for the hosts. Brief Scores: India: 347 for 4 in 50 overs (Shreyas Iyer 103, KL Rahul 88 not out, Virat Kohli 51; Tim Southee 2/85). New Zealand: 348 for 6 in 48.1 overs. (R Taylor 109 not out, H Nicholls 78; K Yadav 2/84). India beat NZ in Super Over, clinch 5-match T20I series 3-0 Hamilton: India defeated New Zealand in the third T20 International via Super Over to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series here on Wednesday. India posted a competitive 179 for five at Seddon Park after being sent into bat. Opener Rohit Sharma top scored for India with a 65-run knock while skipper Virat Kohli contributed 38 runs in team's total. Later, skipper Kane Williamson smashed a 48-ball 95 but New Zealand faltered in the final over to take the match into the Super Over. Needing nine runs of the last over, New Zealand lost Williamson and Ross Taylor to finish at 179 for six and tie the match. In the Super Over, New Zealand scored 17, a target which India overwhelmed in the final ball with Rohit smashing Tim Southee for two consecutive sixes. The fourth T20 International between the two sides will be played on Friday in Wellington. Brief Scores: India: 179 for 5 in 20 overs. (R Sharma 65, V Kohli 38, KL Rahul 27; Hamish Bennett 3/54. New Zealand: 179 for 6 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 95; Shardul Thakur 2/21). India beats New Zealand in 2nd T20, leads 5-match series AUCKLAND, New Zealand: K.L. Rahul made an unbeaten 57 Sunday to steer India to a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the second Twenty20 international and to a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Rahul and Shreyas Iyer put on 86 for the third wicket as India cruised past New Zealand's total of 132-5 with 2.3 overs to spare. Shivam Dube (13 not out) hit a six from the bowling of Tim Southeein in the 18th over to lift India to 135-3. Iyer made 58 not out and Rahul 56 as India beat New Zealand by six wickets with an over to spare in the first match of the series. New Zealand made 203-5 batting first in that match but on Sunday, on the same pitch, it struggled to achieve any real momentum. During the second match the pitch played much slower and India bowled expertly to restrict New Zealand's total. Martin Guptill made 33 in a 48-run opening partnership with Colin Munro and Tim Seifert made an unbeaten 33 at the end of the innings but New Zealand wasn't able to reach a total that could stretch India's deep batting lineup. Rohit Sharma (8) and captain Virat Kohli (11) were out relatively cheaply but Rahul and Iyer (44) sped India towards a comprehensive victory. Dube came to the crease shortly before the end and quickly brought the match to a conclusion. "I think we backed up the first match with a very good performance today, especially with the ball," Kohli said. "We demanded that the bowlers stood up and took control of what we wanted to do out there. "I think our line and length and the way we wanted to bowl on that wicket, sticking to one side of the wicket and being shorter was a very good feature of us as a team and helped us restrict a very good New Zealand team." New Zealand's total was inadequate, even on a slower pitch, and India almost toyed with the home side as it made its way to a comfortable win. New Zealand named the same team that lost the first match of the series and batted after winning the toss, just as it batted when it was outplayed in the first match of the series. The match raised further questions about the coaching and captaincy of the New Zealand team after its humiliating test series loss in Australia last month. New Zealand showed again Sunday it hasn't the talent to compete with the best teams in the world. "As a batting unit we probably needed another 15 or 20 to make that total more competitive," said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. "But credit to the way the India side bowled, they're a class side in all departments and they put us under pressure throughout that middle period." Iyer, Rahul power India to six-wicket win in T20 opener against NZ Auckland, Jan 24 (PTI) K L Rahul and Shreyas Iyer smashed quick-fire half-centuries, while skipper Virat Kohli made 45 as India defeated New Zealand by six wickets in the first T20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series here on Friday. Chasing a challenging 204-run target, Rahul smashed 56 off 27 balls and together with Kohli shared 99 runs for the second wicket to lay the foundation for the chase. Later, Iyer (58 not out off 29 balls) and Manish Pandey (14 not out) remained unbeaten as India chased down the target with an over to spare. Earlier, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor smashed scintillating half-centuries to power New Zealand to a challenging 203 for five. Opener Munro blasted six fours and two sixes in his 42-ball 59, while skipper Williamson treated the Indian bowlers with equal disdain, hitting them out of the park four times in his 26-ball 51. Taylor then clobbered an unbeaten 54 off 27 balls. His innings was laced with three sixes and as many fours. Opener Martin Guptill also chipped in with a 19-ball 30. Earlier, India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to field. For India, Jasprit Bumrah (1/), Shardul Thakur (1/44), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/32), Shivam Dube (1/24) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/18) snapped one wicket each. Brief Score: New Zealand: 203 for 5 in 20 overs (Colin Munro 59, Kane Williamson 51, Ross Taylor 54; Jasprit Bumrah 1/31). India: 204 for 4 in 19 overs (Shreyas Iyer 58 not out, K L Rahul 56, Virat Kohli 45; Ish Sodhi 2/36). Ranji Trophy: Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan joins illustrious list after maiden first class triple ton vs UP Mumbai: Staying true to his words, young Sarfaraz Khan stuck his maiden triple 100 to single-handedly give Mumbai the crucial first-innings lead and grab three points on the last day of their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh here on Wednesday. Uttar Pradesh had posted a humongous 625/8 declared in their first-essay courtesy wicket-keeper Upendra Yadav’s unbeaten maiden double-ton. But Sarfaraz’s (301 not out off 391 balls; 30x4; 8x6) herculean task overshadowed Yadav’s double-ton on a flat track, which had absolutely nothing for the bowlers even on the final day. Right-handed Sarfaraz was the cynosure of all eyes at the Wankhede Stadium, as he batted for as long as 633 minutes and hammered 30 fours and eight sixes. What is more special about his knock is that the pint-sized batsman was suffering from fever two nights ago, but he came out to bat and did the job for his team. Sarfaraz, who had played for Uttar Pradesh and returned to Mumbai, had all shots in the book. But more importantly, contrary to his style, he showed restraint and respected the good balls. Sarfaraz, in the process, became the seventh Mumbai batsman to score a triple ton in first-class cricket and joined the illustrious list comprising Wasim Jaffer (301 and 314 not out), Rohit Sharma (309 not out), Ajit Wadekar (323), Sunil Gavaskar (340), Vijay Merchant (359 not out) and Sanjay Manjrekar (377). The hosts resumed the final day on overnight score of 353/5 needing 273 more runs to overhaul Uttar Pradesh’s first innings total, with 22-year-old Sarfaraz unbeaten on 132 in company of his skipper Aditya Tare, who was unbeaten on 9. Mumbai had a difficult task at hand, but the way Sarfaraz, who had faith in his abilities, built his innings, was remarkable. Sarfaraz and Tare tore into a listless UP attack, as they were determined to fetch three points. They ensured that the first session remained wicket- less, as Mumbai went into lunch at 434/7. Tare played a perfect second fiddle, as they duo launched a counter-attack. Sarfaraz first got able support from Tare (97 off 144 balls, 14x4) and then Shams Mulani (65 off 82 balls; 5x3; 1x6), as they took the game away from Uttar Pradesh. While Sarfaraz and Tare added 179 runs for the sixth wicket, he and Mulani added 150 runs for the seventh wicket and it was their partnership that ensured Mumbai crossed Uttar Pradesh’s first-innings total. Sarfaraz, who had completed his individual 250, took a single, as Mumbai surpassed Uttar Pradesh’s mammoth total and celebrated like the team had won the match. Then Mumbai allowed Sarfaraz to complete a well- deserved 300. He completed his triple ton with a six over wide long on, after which the match was called off. Uttar Pradesh bowlers struggled on day three and four and had an off-day in the field. They were able to take only take two wickets on the final day. Mumbai play Himachal Pradesh next in away encounter at Dharamshala, and Sarfaraz’s innings would have given the 41- times Ranji Trophy champions confidence that they can make the knock-outs. Brief Scores: Uttar Pradesh 625/8 declared v/s Mumbai 688/7 (Sarfaraz Khan 301 not out; Siddesh Lad 98; Ankit Rajpoot 3-133) Mumbai took first-innings lead. Mumbai 3 points, Uttar Pradesh 1 point. At Dharamshala: Himachal Pradesh 496 v/s Baroda 150/2 (Vishnu Solanki 85 not out; Vaibhav Arora 1-42). Match Drawn. Himachal Pradesh 1 point, Baroda 1 point. At Indore: Saurashtra 344 and 256/9 (Harvik Desai 115, Cheteshwar Pujara 69; Gourav Yadav 4-65) v/s Madhya Pradesh 280 and 223/9. Match Drawn. Saurashtra took first-innings lead. Saurashtra 3 points, MP 1 point. India beat Japan by 10 wickets in U-19 World Cup loemfontein: Defending champions India outclassed debutant Japan by 10 wickets in their second match of the ICC U-19 World Cup, here on Tuesday. Opting to field first, India bowled out a hapless Japan for 41 runs in 22.5 overs with leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi taking four wickets. India needed just 4.5 overs to complete formalities with Yashasvi Jaiswal and Kumar Kushagra remaining unbeaten on 29 and 13 respectively. In their tournament-opener on Sunday, India had beaten Sri Lanka by 90 runs. India beat Australia by 7 wickets to clinch ODI series Opener Rohit Sharma top-scored with 119 as India beat Australia by seven wickets in the third one-day international to clinch the series 2-1 in Bangalore on Sunday. Rohit Sharma third fastest to 9000 runs in ODIs Bengaluru: India opener Rohit Sharma on Sunday became the third fastest to 9000 ODI runs during the series-decider against Australia here. Rohit reached the milestone in the first over of India's chase with a double. Rohit took 217 innings to reach the landmark while his skipper Virat Kohli is the fastest to 9000 runs with 194 innings. AB de Villiers is the second fastest, having reached there in 208 innings. Besides Rohit and Kohli, the other Indians who have crossed the 9000-run mark are Sachin Tendulkar (18,426 runs), Saurav Ganguly (11,221), Rahul Dravid (10,768) Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10,599) and Mohammed Azaruddin (9,378). India thrash Netherlands 5-2 in FIH Pro League debut Bhubaneswar: The Indian men's hockey team made a dream debut at the FIH Pro League, beating world number three Netherlands 5-2 in the opening match of the two-game encounter here on Saturday. Rupinder Pal Singh (12th, 46th minutes) converted two penalty corners, while Gurjant Singh (1st), Mandeep Singh (34th) and Lalit Upadhyay (36th) scored three fine field goals for India. Jip Janssen (14th) struck from a set piece, while Jeroen Hertzberger (28th) scored from a field effort for the Dutch side. After having missed the first edition of the Pro League, the Olympics-bound India kick-started their preparations for the quadrennial showpiece in earnest. With all the top teams of the world in the fray, the home-and-away Pro League is looked upon as an ideal preparation for world number five India ahead of the Summer Games later this year. India will square off against the Netherlands in their second game on Sunday. The Indians made a perfect start and took the lead inside 30 seconds through Gurjant, who fired past Dutch goalkeper Pirmin Blaak after an exchange with fellow striker Mandeep Singh. India doubled their lead in the 12th minute when Rupinder converted a penalty corner. Two minutes later, the Netherlands pulled one back through Janssen's brilliant penalty corner conversion, which rattled the bottom left corner of the Indian goal. In the 20th minute, the Netherlands secured three consecutive penalty corners but the Indian defence stood tall to keep the Europeans off the score-sheet. Janssen was twice denied by brilliant blocks from the onrushing Amit Rohidas, with India goalkeeper P R Sreejesh blocking the third effort, a drag-flick from Mink van der Weerden. A diving Sreejesh came up with another brilliant save to deny Bjorn Kellerman's. But two minutes from the end of second quarter, the Netherlands drew level through Hertzberger's field strike, as both the teams went into half time locked at 2-2. The break seemed to rejuvenated the Indians as four minutes into the third quarter, Mandeep scored after receiving a pass from captain Mandeep Singh to restore their lead. A minute later, India secured another penalty corner but Rupinder's drag-flick sailed wide of the right post. Lalit extended the home team's lead, tapping into an unguarded net after a brilliant play down the left by Harmanpreet Singh. The Indians were bang on target with their video referrals as a fourth decision went their way for a penalty corner. But the Dutch defence held firm to deny the hosts a fifth goal. The Indian defenders, too, were on their toes as they blocked three penalty corners by their rivals. A minute into the fourth and final quarter, India made it 5-2 when Rupinder netted his second of the game from another penalty corner. In the 53rd minute, India earned another penalty corner through their sixth successful video referral, but Amit Rohidas failed to capitalise. Two minutes from the final hooter, the Dutch earned a penalty corner, but Mink van der Weerden's flick was saved by an alert Sreejesh. Sania Mirza wins Hobart doubles title in dream comeback Hobart: In a dream start to her second innings after a two-year break, Sania Mirza lifted the WTA Hobart International trophy with partner Nadiia Kichenok after edging out Shaui Peng and Shuai Zhang in the final, here on Saturday. The unseeded Indo-Ukrainian pair pipped the second seed Chinese team 6-4 6-4 in one hour 21 minutes. Playing her first tournament after giving birth to son Izhaan, the 33-year-old Sania has begun well in the Olympic year as she warmed up for the Australian Open in style. It is Sania's 42nd WTA doubles title and first since Brisbane International trophy in 2007 with American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Sania did not compete on the WTA circuit in the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons to start a family with Pakistani cricketer husband Shoaib Malik. Sania and Nadiia began by breaking the Chinese players in the very first game of the match but only to drop serve in the next. The two pairs played close games towards the end and at 4-4, 40-all, Sania and Nadiia got the crucial break, earning the opportunity to serve out the set. There was no twist in 10th game with Sania and Nadiia comfortably pocketing the first set. The second set could not have started better for them as they broke the Chinese rivals to take early lead and consolidated the break with an easy hold. The game of the Chinese was falling apart as they dropped serve again in the third but broke back immediately to repair some damage. Sania and Nadiia were now feeling the heat at 0-30 in the sixth game but Peng and Zhang let them hold serve for a 4-2 lead. The Chinese though kept fighting and made it 4-4 with another break in the eighth game. The Indo-Ukraine team raised its game when it mattered as it broke Peng and Zhang for one final time in the ninth and served out the match in the next game. Sania and Nadiia split USD 13580 as prize money and eared 280 ranking points each for their winning effort. Dhoni dropped from BCCI's central contracts list New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Thursday dropped from the BCCI's list of centrally contracted players, raising fresh doubts on the future of the former India captain who has not played since the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand last year. The BCCI announced the central contracts for the period of October 2019 to September 2020. Dhoni was in the A category, which fetches a player Rs 5 crore, until last year. Skipper Virat Kohli, his white-ball deputy Rohit Sharma and top pacer Jasprit Bumrah were retained in the highest A+ bracket of Rs 7 crore. Among others, batsman K L Rahul has been promoted from B grade to A. Dhoni's contract not being renewed is not exactly a surprise as he has not played a competitive game since that World Cup semifinal on July 9. He has been on an sabbatical and has refused to divulge his future plans. Head coach Ravi Shastri had recently said that Dhoni may soon end his ODI career but could be in contention for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad provided he does well in the IPL. Test opener Mayank Agarwal, who has done well since making his debut during the tour of Australia in 2018-19, has been included in the list in Grade B, which also features Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal along with two others. Pacer Navdeep Saini and T20 specialist Washington Sundar are new entrants in Grade C alongside Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur. The dropped list also includes the retired Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik. Outgoing chief selector MSK Prasad has already made his stance clear on Dhoni, saying the World Cup-winning captain can only be selected again on the basis of performances. While Dhoni has not revealed anything about his future, he is very much expected to captain Chennai Super Kings in the 2020 IPL. Since the World Cup, he has missed the tour of the West Indies and the home series against South Africa, Bangladesh, the West Indies and the ongoing one against Australia. One of the biggest names in Indian cricket, Dhoni led India to two world titles the 2007 World T20 in South Africa and the 2011 ODI World Cup at home. The veteran has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20 Internationals for India, accumulating over 17,000 runs and effecting a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps. BCCI Central Contracts for October 2019 to September 2020: Grade A+: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah. Grade A: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant. Grade B: Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal. Grade C: Kedar Jadhav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar. Hobart International: Sania enters women's doubles semifinals Hobart: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza's comeback from maternity leave continued to be a success as she entered the women's doubles semifinals of the Hobart International with Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok here on Thursday. Sania and Kichenok defeated the American duo of Vania King and Christina McHale 6-2 4-6 10-4 in a contest that lasted one hour and 24 minutes. The fifth-seeded Indo-Ukrainian combination will now lock horns with the Slovenian-Czech pair of Tamara Zidansek and Marie Bouzkova. Zidansek and Bouzkova got the better of Canada's Sharon Fichman and Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3 3-6 10-4 in their last-eight stage clash. Sania and Kichenok made a strong start and broke their opponents twice to take the lead. They also did well to save four break points in the opening set. The second set went on serve till the eighth game before King and McHale broke Sania and Kichenok to draw level in the contest. However, the third set was a stroll in the park for Sania and her partner as they dominated their opponents with superior serves. The 33-year-old Sania is returning to WTA circuit after two years. During her two-year break, she battled injury breakdowns before taking a formal break in April 2018 to give birth to her son Izhaan. She is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. Before the ongoing event, Sania last played at China Open in October 2017. A trailblazer in Indian tennis, Sania is a former world No.1 in doubles and has six Grand Slam titles to her credit. She retired from the singles competition in 2013 after becoming the most successful Indian woman tennis player. In 2007, she attained a career-high 27th position in the WTA singles chart. Warner, Finch shine as Australia thrashes India by 10 wickets in first ODI Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch's centuries paved way for Australia to register and easy victory over India in the first ODI at Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday. With this Victory, Australia now leads the three-match series with 1-0 score. Chasing a score of 256, visitors kicked off the run-chase in style as both the openers smashed Indian bowlers out of the park. Warner and Finch took the score of Australian innings past 100 in just 13 overs. Warner became the fourth-fastest batsman to smash 5000 ODI runs. The left-handed batsman achieved the feat in 115th innings. He surpassed England's Joe Root who had scored these many runs in 116 innings. Both openers smashed individual centuries and remained unbeaten, powering Kangaroos to a 10 wicket victory. Warner smashed 128* while Finch knocked 110*. After being put in to bat first, India got off to bad start as Rohit Sharma got out in the fifth over. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan stitched a 121 run stand to revive India's hopes in the match. Ashton Agar dismissed Rahul (47) in the 28th over which provoked a middle-order collapse. Dhawan's wicket in the next over an added insult to the injury. The hosts then struggled to stitch any strong partnership as skipper Virat Kohli (16) and Shreyas Iyer (4) both went cheaply. Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja's 49 run stand gave some hopes but a flurry of wickets in the death overs saw India getting all out at the score of 255. For Australia, Mitchell Starc scalped three wickets while Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson both took two. The second ODI between both teams will be played on January 17. Sania makes winning return to WTA circuit, enters women's doubles QFs of Hobart International Hobart : Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza made a winning return to the WTA circuit by advancing to the women's doubles quarterfinals of the Hobart International Tournament here on Tuesday. Returning to the court after two years, Sania and her Ukrainian partner Nadia Kichenok prevailed 2-6 7-6 (3) 10-3 over Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia and Japan's Miyu Kato in a contest lasting one hour and 41 minutes. ​​​​​​​The Indo-Ukrainian pair will next be up against Americans Vania King and Christina McHale. The US combination upstaged fourth-seeded Spainish duo of Georgina Garcia Perez and Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2 7-5 in a round of 16 clash. During her two years away from the game, the 33-year-old Sania battled injury breakdowns before taking a formal break to give birth to her son Izhaan. The 33-year-old last played at China Open in October 2017. Jofra Archer abuser banned for two years in New Zealand Wellington: The Barbados-born bowler tweeted after the match it was "a bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team". (Reuters Photo) The man who racially abused England bowler Jofra Archer during a Test against the Black Caps was banned on Tuesday from international and domestic matches in New Zealand for two years. Archer was targeted by racial abuse on the final day of the first Test between England and New Zealand in November. Police tracked down a 28-year-old Auckland man who admitted responsibility for the abuse and was issued with a verbal warning for using insulting language, New Zealand Cricket spokesman Anthony Crummy said. Crummy said the man has been banned from all international and domestic fixtures in New Zealand until 2022 and if he breached the ban he "could face further police action". "We'd again like to extend our apologies to Jofra and the England team management for such an unsavoury incident and reiterate once more that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable," Crummy said. "We want to thank the police for their efforts in identifying the person responsible, and for making it clear that this type of behaviour will not be minimized." The Barbados-born bowler tweeted after the match it was "a bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team". The 24-year-old said the abuser was a solitary spectator making comments "about the colour of my skin".  Bumrah receives Polly Umrigar and Dilip Sardesai awards Mumbai, Jan 12 (PTI) India spearhead Jasprit Bumrah on Sunday headlined the BCCI Annual Awards function, grabbing the prestigious Polly Umrigar award apart from annexing the Dilip Sardesai honour for his exploits in international cricket in the 2018-19 season. Polly Umrigar award is presented to the best male International cricketer and it carries a citation, trophy and cheque for Rs. 15 lakh. Dilip Sardesai award is conferred on both the highest wicket-taker and highest run-getter in Test cricket. Bumrah took 34 wickets in six matches with three five-wicket hauls. Prolific Saurashtra batsman Chetshwar Pujara was picked for the honour for scoring 677 runs in 8 matches at an average of 52.07 with three centuries and two half centuries. Bumrah, the world's number ODI bowler made his Test debut during India's tour of South Africa in January 2018 and hasn't looked back since. He picked up a five-wicket haul in South Africa, England, Australia and the West Indies, becoming the first and only Asian bowler to achieve the feat. He played a stellar role in the historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia, India's first Down Under and which helped them retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy. While Bumrah netted the biggest prize in the men's category, Poonam Yadav claimed the top prize in women's section and was awarded the best international cricketer. The award will be another feather in the leg-spinner's cap who recently received the Arjuna Award. Former India captains Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anjum Chopra were presented the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for women respectively. A member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Srikkanth took on the fearsome West Indies fast bowlers and scored an attacking 38, the top individual score in the low-scoring final at the Lord's. He also captained India and post-retirement served as the chief selector and it was during his tenure that the 2011 World Cup squad was picked. Anjum is one of the finest batswomen and the first Indian to play 100 ODIs. In a career spanning 17 years, Anjum represented India in four 50-over World Cups and two T20 World Cup (played in one). Mayank Agarwal, who emerged as an impact batsman starting with his debut series in Australia in 2018-19, received the best international debut in men's category while talented 15-year-old Shafali Verma grabbed the same in the women's category. Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube, who impressed in the recently concluded T20 series against Sri Lanka, was presented the Lala Amarnath Award for the best all-rounder in the Ranji Trophy while Delhi's Nitish Rana received the same for doing well in the limited overs competition. India's middle-order batsmwoman Deepti Sharma received the Jagmohan Dalmiya Trophy for best woman cricketer in senior domestic circuit while Shafali was picked for honour in the junior category. Virender Sharma was adjudged the best umpire in domestic cricket while Vidarbha Cricket Association were presented the best performance award in domestic cricket for wining the Ranji Trophy. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said, "The BCCI Awards is our way of recognising the finest on-field performances right from the age group to senior level and also honour our legends." Board secretary Jay Shah said, "We wanted to make Naman bigger and better and have introduced four new categories highest run-getter and wicket-takers in WODIs and best international debut men and women from this year. India finish 2019 as number one shooting nation in world New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) On the back of its sparkling show through 2019, India finished the year as the top shooting nation in the world, leapfrogging Olympic heavyweights China and the USA. In terms of overall medals, the tally stood at 21 gold, six silver and three bronze as India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals in a unforgettable year. A delighted National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh tweeted a screenshot of the International Shooting Sport Federation's (ISSF) overall rankings for 2019. "Well done Team India," he wrote. While India leads the standings with 30 medals overall, China is second with 11 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze for a total of 44 podium finishes. The USA is placed third with 15 medals (six gold six silver and three bronze). The number of Olympic quotas, which now stands at a record 15, is not a only refection of the country's rapid rise in the sport over the last one year but also sets up the shooters nicely for a record haul at the Tokyo Games, after the meltdown at Rio de Janeiro. Besides the shooters, the federation has also worked extensively towards bringing the sport to where it is today. Indian shooting's best show at the Olympics remains the two medals won at London in 2012, but if the shooters' exploits in recent months are anything to go by, the country can easily emulate or better that in Tokyo. Bumrah set to receive Polly Umrigar Award: BCCI Mumbai:  India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award for his exploits in international cricket in the 2018-19 season, the BCCI announced on Sunday. The world's leading pacer will be honoured during the BCCI Annual Awards here on Sunday. The world's No. 1 ODI bowler made his Test debut during India's tour of South Africa in January 2018 and hasn't looked back since. He picked up a five-wicket haul in South Africa, England, Australia and the West Indies becoming the first and only Asian bowler to achieve the feat. He played a stellar role in the historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia, India's first Down Under and which helped them retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy. While Bumrah nets the biggest prize in the men's category, Poonam Yadav will claim the top prize in women's section and will be awarded the best international cricketer. The award will be another feather in the leg-spinner's cap who recently received the Arjuna Award. Former India captains Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anjum Chopra will be presented with the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for women respectively. A member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Srikkanth took on the fearsome West Indies fast bowlers and scored an attacking 38, the top individual score in the low-scoring final at the Lord's. He also captained India and post-retirement served as the chief selector and it was during his tenure that the 2011 World Cup squad was picked. Anjum is one of the finest batswomen and the first Indian to play 100 ODIs. In a career spanning 17 years, Anjum represented India in four 50-over World Cups and two T20 World Cup (played in one). BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said, "The BCCI Awards is our way of recognising the finest on-field performances right from the age group to senior level and also honour our legends. "It will be a special evening in Mumbai as we will also have the 7th MAK Pataudi lecture and I am delighted to inform that it will be Virender Sehwag, who will address the gathering." Board secretary Jay Shah said, "The BCCI Awards are an important feature in India's cricketing calendar, a melange of aspiration and inspiration. "We wanted to make Naman bigger and better and have introduced four new categories highest run-getter and wicket-takers in WODIs and best international debut men and women from this year. A total of 25 awards will be presented." Arun Singh Dhumal, the board's treasurer, said, "Right from domestic to international level, Indian Cricket has had a memorable 2018-19 season. "We have started the year on the right note with Team India completing a convincing series win against Sri Lanka and they will be in attendance. "The U-19 team is in South Africa for the World Cup and all eyes will be on the stars of tomorrow. It will be a special evening and I congratulate the award winners. India beat Sri Lanka by 78 runs to clinch series 2-0 Pune: India defeated Sri Lanka by 78 runs in the third and final T20 International to win the the three-match series 2-0 here on Friday. Sent into bat, India rode on K L Rahul (54 off 36) and Shikhar Dhawan's (52 off 36) 97-run opening stand to post a challenging 201 for six in their allotted 20 overs. Manish Pandey then smashed 31 off 18 balls and skipper Virat Kohli, batting at number six, scored a brisk 17-ball 26. But India wouldn't have crossed 200-run mark had it not been for Shardul Thakur's blistering 22 off only eight balls. He smashed two sixes and a boundary. Defending the total, the Indian bowlers, led by right-arm pacer Navdeep Saini (3/28) Shardul Thakur (2/19), dished out a disciplined effort to bundle out Sri Lanka for 123 in 15.5 overs. Off-spinner Washington Sundar also picked up two wickets giving away 37 runs from his four overs. India, thus, won the series 2-0 after registering a comprehensive seven-wicket win in the second T20 International in Indore. The first match of the series was washed out in Guwahati without a ball being bowled. Dhoni may end his ODI career soon, says Shastri New Delhi, Jan 9 (PTI) Two-time World Cup winning India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may "soon end his ODI career", head coach Ravi Shastri has revealed. Speaking on other issues, Shastri also slammed the ICC's four-day Test proposal, calling the concept "nonsense". "I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us. He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career... In all probability, he will finish one-day cricket," Shastri told 'CNN News18'. "People must respect that he's played non-stop in all formats of the game for a while. "At his age, probably the only format he'll want to play is T20 cricket which means he'll have to start playing again, get back into the groove because he's going to play in the IPL and see how his body reacts." The coach reiterated that the 38-year-old veteran could still be a contender for the T20 World Cup if he does well in the upcoming Indian Premier League. "... So he will be left with T20, he will definitely play the IPL. One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then..." Dhoni's last outing in India colours was during the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in July where he was run out following a half century. Shastri said form and experience will be taken into consideration while picking the team for the shortest format's biggest event. "We will have to consider the person's experience and form. They will bat in the number 5-6 position. If Dhoni plays well in the IPL then he does put himself in contention." Dhoni, who is on a sabbatical right now, has turned up for the country in 350 ODIs, 90 Tests and 98 T20 Internationals while effecting a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps. His career is studded with several milestones including leading India to the trophy in the 2011 World Cup where he finished the title clash with a six. As the discussion turned to four-day Tests, Shastri, like some of the greats of the game such as Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, opposed the idea. "Four day Test is nonsense," he said. "If this goes on we may have limited-overs Tests. There is no need to tamper with five-day Tests. If at all they want to tamper then let the top six sides play five-day Tests and the next six be allowed to play four-day Tests. "If you want to preserve Tests then let the top six play more against each other. You have the shorter format to popularise the game." When asked about day-night Tests, Shastri called on ICC to get the ball right. "Day-night Test is still under test. I still feel that pink ball does not give any advantage to spinners, they need to get the ball right for day night. During the day you have full Tests, by night it looks like half Test. "I still feel that you will get more people to watch Tests if you have the top six play each other (more often). India steamroll Sri Lanka in second T20 to go 1-0 up Indore, Jan 7 (PTI) K L Rahul maintained his upper hand over Shikhar Dhawan in the race for the opener's slot with a classy knock as India outplayed Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the second T20 International here on Tuesday. The convincing win gave the hosts an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series. After reducing an inexperienced Sri Lanka to 142 for nine, Rahul (45 off 32) provided a perfect start, taking India to 54 for no loss in six overs. Eventually, Virat Kohli (30 not out off 17) and Shreyas Iyer (34 off 26), who batted ahead of the skipper at number three, fired India home in 17.3 overs. Iyer fell just before India crossed the finishing line as Kohli finished things with a spectacular six over deep fine leg. The third and final game of the series will be played in Pune on Friday. Dhawan (32 off 29), returning to action after missing the limited overs series against the West Indies due to injury, was not at his fluent best and could not keep up with Rahul at the other end. The 27-year-old from Karnataka carried his sublime form against the West Indies into effectively what was the first game of the series, following the washout in Guwahati. Rahul's off-side play was a treat to the eye, with five of his six boundaries coming between backward point and mid-off region. His cover drives seemed as effortless the backfoot punches. Both Dhawan and Rahul are competing for the second opener's slot. After the fall of the openers, Kohli and Iyer enthralled the Indore crowd with some clean hitting. Left-arm pacer Isuru Udana could not bowl a single over due to an injury he suffered just before his team went out to field, and skipper Lasith Malinga admitted the islanders missed his services. "He's (Udana) our main bowler and is very experienced in this format. He got injured just before we went out to bowl. He's recovering now," Malinga said. Earlier, a disciplined Indian bowling attack proved too good for the struggling Sri Lankans, reducing the visitors to a below-par total. On a good batting surface, the inexperienced Sri Lanka batsmen squandered promising starts. Their job was made harder by Navdeep Saini (2/18), Shardul Thakur (3/23) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/38), who shared seven wickets among themselves. Coming from a three-month injury lay-off, lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah did not look at his best, ending with figures of 32 for one in four overs, the most expensive after Kuldeep. In a rare occurrence, death overs expert Bumrah conceded three back-to-back boundaries in the 20th over. Kusal Perera top-scored for Sri Lanka with an entertaining 34 off 28 balls. Both teams went in with the same eleven that was picked for the abandoned series opener. Sri Lanka made a decent start after Kohli opted to chase on a batting beauty, reaching 48 for one in six overs. The brisk start was provided by Avishka Fernando (22 off 16), who got off the blocks with a delightful cover drive off a juicy half-volley from Bumrah. It was the first legitimate ball Bumrah bowled in his comeback game after starting with a wide. Bumrah, playing his first game in more than three months, bowled his two overs in the Powerplay from different ends, giving away 16 runs. He removed Dasun Shanaka with a slower ball in his third over before conceding 12 runs in the 20th. Opener Fernando looked all class in the middle until he threw it away. Danushka Gunathilaka (20 off 21), too, looked good at the other end, but just like Fernando, he also departed after getting set. Fernando was caught at mid-off in Washington Sundar's first over before Saini cleaned up left-hander Gunathilaka with a fast yorker, something the Delhi pacer has been doing really well. Kuldeep, too, struck in his opening after Oshada Fernando (10 off 9) failed to pick his googly, leaving Sri Lanka at 82 for three in the 12th over. Kuldee got rid of the dangerous Perera in his next over. After reverse sweeping the left-spinner for a six, Perera tried to clear the straight boundary but was caught by Dhawan at long-on. Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals which did not allow them to put up a competitive total. Australia close gap with India in World Test Championship Australia have grabbed a full 120 points from their series against New Zealand and are firmly placed in second position on the ICC World Test Championship points table. Ranji Trophy: Karnataka thrash Mumbai by 5 wickets Mumbai, Jan 5 (PTI) Putting up an all-round show, Karnataka defeated Mumbai by 5 wickets in their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy game here on Sunday, inside two-and-half days. This was Mumbai's second consecutive loss at home, following their defeat against Railways. It is also Karnataka's fourth outright win against Mumbai since the 2013-14 season. Chasing 126 for an outright win, Karnataka openers R Samarth (34; 2x4) and Devdutt Padikkal (50; 5x4, 2x6) gave the team a solid start and the visitors were racing towards the target as they were 77/0 at lunch. Samarth was batting on 27, while Paddikal was the more aggressive one, being unbeaten on 50. However, post lunch offie Shashank Attarde (4-52) pegged back the visitors by taking two wickets. He trapped Padikkal in front of the wicket and then dismissed Abhishek Reddy (4) as Karnataka were 84-2. It became 91/3 as Shams Mulani cleaned up Samarth. Debutant Rohan Kadam (21) and skipper Karun Nair (10) brought the side on the cusp of a win when Attarde removed Kadam. Karnataka needed eight more runs. In the same over, Attarde sent back Nair. Shreyas Gopal (5 not out) and B R Sharath (4 not out) took the side home without any further damage. Earlier, resuming the day on 109/5, Attarde (10) joined overnight batsman Sarfaraz Khan (71 not out). The two added 25-runs for the sixth wicket. Sarfaraz was playing a responsible knock as he kept on increasing Mumbai's lead, but was falling short of partners. Left-arm pacer Prateek Jain (4-11) grabbed all the wickets in the morning session as he ran through the Mumbai's lower order. Attarde's resistance came to an end, after he edged a short-pitched ball in the slip cordon with Mumbai at 134/6. From 134/6, Mumbai's innings ended at 149/9. It was already announced that Prithvi Shaw, who sustained a shoulder injury and was rushed to the National Cricket Academy on Saturday, would not bat in the second essay. Jain gave a double blow to Mumbai in the 48th over, when he dismissed Tushar Deshpande (6) and Deepak Shetty (0). While Jain cleaned up Deshpande, he forced Shetty to nick. Last man Royston Dias (0) lasted just six balls as he too was cleaned up by Jain. For Mumbai, apart from Sarfaraz, no other batsman stood tall. Karnataka had bundled out Mumbai for 194 in the first essay and then taken a slender 24-run lead. The 41-time domestic champions next play Tamil Nadu in Chennai from January 11. Nair praised his bowlers for restricting Mumbai in the second innings and also said the target was "gettable". He also said in low-scoring game, any lead is important. He also praised Padikkal and Sharath for their knocks. Mumbai captain Suryakumar Yadav said they failed as a unit. He also said that when he got out Shaw approached him to bat, but they did not take the risk, as he even could not lift his plate. "When I saw him (Shaw) it was not that good. Even after me getting out, he came upto me and the manager, (saying) that I would love to bat. But we had a word with physio and the coach and it was not looking that good. We did not want to get it more severe. The physio had to take that call... when we he was having his lunch, he was not able to lift his plate," said Surya. Surya also praised Rahane for taking responsibility and opening the batting in the second innings. Meanwhile in Vadodara, Baroda thrashed Railways by 99 runs. Brief Scores: Mumbai 194 and 149/9 (Sarfaraz Khan 71 not out, Shams Mulani 31; Prateek Jain 4-11) vs Karnataka 218 and 129/5 (Devdutt Padikkal 50, R Samarth 34; Shashank Attarde 4-52). Karnataka 6 points, Mumbai 0 points. At Vadodara: Baroda 201 and 98 vs Railways 99 and101 (Karn Sharma 38; L Meriwala 6-25, A Sheth 3-43). Baroda won by 99 runs. Baroda 6 points, Railways 0 points. India's 2007 T-20 WC star Irfan Pathan announces retirement India's 2007 T-20 World Cup hero, Irfan Pathan on Saturday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. "I am announcing retirement from all forms of cricket. I have been fortunate to share the dressing room with greats of the game like Ganguly, Dravid, and Laxman. I am calling time on my career," he said. "I would like to thank my family for providing much-needed support. I would like to thank my fans. They have always hoped for my comeback. Their support has kept me going," Pathan added. The 35-year-old was considered by many as the most lethal swing and seam bowler to emerge from India after Kapil Dev. Pathan played a clinical role in the final of the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in 2007. He picked up three wickets and returned with the figures of 3-16 in his four overs and was named as the player of the match. He is one of the three bowlers to have claimed a Test hat-trick for India and the first in the world to claim it in the first over of the match. In 2006, Pathan dismissed Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf on consecutive deliveries. The swanky left-arm pacer featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20Is for India, bagging 301 wickets across all formats. He also managed to score 2,821 runs studded with a single hundred and 11 half-centuries. Pathan donned the Indian jersey for the first time in Test cricket when he played against Australia at Adelaide in 2003. India won that match by four wickets and Pathan picked his maiden wicket in the game. He last played a match for India in 2012 against Sri Lanka. Pathan is currently performing the role of mentor-cum-coach for the Jammu and Kashmir cricket team. India, under Kohli, can win all ICC tournaments: Lara New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) Batting legend Brian Lara believes the Indian cricket team, under Virat Kohli, is capable of winning all ICC tournaments it competes in. The 50-year-old left-handed batting icon was of the view that every international side sort of targets India in ICC tournaments. "I think they are definitely capable of winning all tournaments that they play. I think what Virat Kohli and company and the Indian team has to appreciate the fact that everybody sort of target India," Lara was quoted as saying by 'India Today'. "Everybody knows that some point of time one team is going to play that important match against India. If it's a quarter-final, semi-final and final," he added. Under Kohli's leadership, India has reached greater heights in both Tests and ODIs but has so far failed to win an ICC tournament, fizzling out in crucial games. The Men in Blue last won an ICC event was in 2013 when Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side lifted the ICC Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom. Regarded as one of the finest batsmen that world cricket has ever produced, Lara's 15-year-old record of 400 not out against England is still the highest individual score in Test cricket. However, Lara feels Kohli, David Warner and Rohit Sharma have the potential to break his record. "It would be difficult for Steve Smith to do it batting at No.4 for Australia. He is a great player but he doesn't dominate. You know a player like David Warner for sure," Lara said. "A player like Virat Kohli, who gets in early and gets set. He is a very attacking player. Rohit Sharma on his day. So they have got quite a group of players who can do so," he added. Country proud of both Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen: Kiren Rijiju  Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday said not much should be made of the "ugly spat" that marred the trial bout between M C Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen and the country is proud of both the six-time world champion and her promising challenger. Mary Kom beats Zareen to make Indian team for Olympic qualifiers New Delhi, Dec 28 (PTI) Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg category) defeated Nikhat Zareen in an intense trial bout here on Saturday to make the Indian team for next year's Olympic qualifiers in China. In a bout which had very few clear punches, Mary Kom prevailed 9-1 to make the squad, but tension was palpable inside the boxing hall owing to the bitter row triggered by Zareen's public demand for a trial. Words were exchanged between the boxers during the bout and outside the ring, a few representatives from Zareen's home state Telangana's boxing association cried foul once the result was declared. "I was a bit angry. There is no doubt. But it's all done now. I have moved on. All I say is that talk once you perform not before that. Everyone can see what you do in the ring," Mary Kom told PTI after the bout. Mary Kom did not respond to Zareen's attempt at hugging her after the bout. "They call it clinching in our sport," was her sharp retort on being asked about it. "I am hurt by how she behaved. She used some foul language inside the ring too, but it's ok," said Zareen. Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh had to step in to control the situation after AP Reddy, claiming to represent the Telangana Boxing Association vociferously protested the decision. "How will boxing grow amid this kind of politics," Reddy later told reporters after being asked to leave the ringside by Singh and pacified by a disappointed Zareen herself. Bitterness dominated the buildup to the bout after it was insinuated that the onus was on Mary Kom to agree for the trial even though it was a call that the federation had to take. Mary Kom was visibly pumped up at the end of the bout in which she impressed with her composure. In other results, two-time world silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) was upstaged by a swift-moving Sakshi Chaudhary. Lather, also an Asian medallist, couldn't cope with Chaudhury's relentless attack. In the 60kg category, former world champion L Sarita Devi lost to national champion Simranjit Kaur. It was once again a battle of pace as Kaur outwitted Sarita with her precise hitting and quick reflexes. Also making the squad was two-time world medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) after beating Lalita. Shadab Jakati quits all forms of cricket Panaji:  Goa spinner Shadab Jakati, who also played in the cash-rich Indian Premier League, on Friday retired from all forms of cricket. Jakati, who was part of teams like Chennai Super Kings, now defunt Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore, took to Twitter to announce the decision. "Just announced my retirement from all forms of cricket. Even though I have not been playing much over the last 1 year,it has been one of the harder things I have done in my life.Thank you @BCCI @goacricket11 with sincere gratitude 4 making me live my dream for the last 23 years," tweeted Jakati, a slow-left arm orthodox spinner. He had sclaped 275 wickets from 92 first-class matches. Jakati made his first-class debut in the 1998/99 season and played his last first-class game against Punjab in October 2017. He, however, could never make it to the Indian team. "At this juncture as I look back at my career I wish to thank with sincere gratitude my family,friends who have stood by me all the while. @BCCI #GCA, senior cricketers, all my fellow teammates,support staff with whom I have spent moments which I shall cherish all my life," he further tweeted. Leander prepares for one last roar, to retire in 2020 New Delhi, Dec 25 (PTI) Indian tennis icon Leander Paes on Wednesday announced that he will bring the curtains down on his illustrious career in 2020, which will be his farewell season on the Pro-circuit. His cupboard overflowing with hundreds of trophies, that include 18 coveted Grand Slam doubles titles, the 46-year-old has been enduring a lean patch for some time. The last of his 18 Grand Slams came in 2016 French Open mixed doubles with Martina Hingis. Paes, who is the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup with 44 wins, recently dropped out of top-100 for the first time in 19 years. "I want to announce 2020 as my farewell year as a pro tennis player," Paes wrote in a statement, which he posted on his twitter handle. "I am looking forward to the 2020 tennis calendar where I will be playing a few select tournaments, travelling with my team and celebrating with all my friends and fans around the world," the statement read further. "It is all of you who have inspired me to become me and I want to take this year to say "Thank You" to you." Paes is targeting to be the only tennis player in the history of the sport to play eight successive Olympics. In a career spanning nearly three decades, during which he also overcame a brain tumour, Tokyo Olympics (provided he qualifies) is expected to be his swansong. He is the only tennis player from the country to have won a singles Olympic medal as he grabbed a historic bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games, beating Argentina's Fernando Meligeni in the play-off. With compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, he created an awe-inspiring partnership during which they dominated the circuit in late 1990s, winning three Grand Slam titles together and claiming the number one rank. In their partnership, they also weaved a a record 24-match unbeaten streak before splitting as a team due to difference of opinion. India's Davis Cup hero thanked his parents Dr Vece Paes and Jennifer, both of whom represented India at the highest level, for giving him sports genes. "I want to thank my parents for their genetics, guidance, discipline, environment they created and unconditional love they've always shown me throughout my life, I would not be who I am without your unstinting support and belief in me, I love you." He also thanked his two elder sisters and daughter Aiana. Paes asked fans to share their favourite memories of him over the years using #one last roar. "2020 is going to be an emotional one and I look forward to seeing all of you out there rolling with me. It has been an honour being your lionheart," he concluded. ECB bans Mohammad Hafeez from all English competitions for illegal bowling action Islamabad: Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been suspended from bowling in all competitions conducted by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after a bowling-action assessment found his action to be illegal. According to a statement issued by the English Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday, the assessment found that the player's elbow extension for his off-spin delivery exceeded 15 degrees -- the limit defined in the Illegal Bowling Regulations. "The off-spinner's suspension follows the process set out in the ECB's Regulations for the Review of Bowlers Reported with a Suspected Illegal Bowling Action," the statement read, as cited by Geo news. His bowling action was reported by the on-field umpires after a Vitality Blast (T20) match between his county Middlesex against Somerset on August 30. The 39-year-old all-rounder, who has played 89 T20 internationals, has been advised to correct his action, after which he may request a re-assessment. The spinner will not be eligible to bowl in ECB competitions until he is able to pass an independent re-assessment. In a statement issued by Hafeez's county team Middlesex, the Pakistani player has accepted the verdict "despite identifying procedural testing flaws, which have been accepted by the review committee". "I have received the ECB Bowling Review Group report on my bowling action. Despite identifying procedural testing flaws, which have been accepted by the review committee, as well as realising the findings will potentially affect my reputation as a world-proven all-rounder, I accept the Bowling Review Group findings," the statement read. "As per ECB regulations, I am ready to appear for an independent analysis at an ICC-accredited centre so that I become eligible to play in ECB-organised events," he added. India beat West Indies by 107 runs to level ODI series Hat-trick hero Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami backed the efforts of the Indian batsmen as the hosts beat West Indies by 107 runs in the second ODI that was played at the VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. India have thus levelled the three-match series 1-1 and the decisive third ODI will be held in Cuttack on Sunday. Wasim Jaffer appointed Kings XI Punjab's batting coach Former India player Wasim Jaffer has been appointed as the batting coach of Kings XI Punjab for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. RSA Manki crowned 'NSA Champions Trophy' championship title against Lion Bhatkal A dominant RSA Manki stamped their authority with a crushing 8-wicket win over Lion Sports Center of Bhatkal, in the final match of NSA Champions Trophy played at Kochapu ground, Manki on Sunday. ICC opens anti-corruption investigations into Qatar T10 League Dubai:  The International Cricket Council is investigating the Qatar T10 league after intercepting "a number of known corruptors" in the event, which it sanctioned a year ago and featured some prominent retired players such as South Africa's Hashim Amla. The ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit was working with the organisers to monitor the league since its inception. "The ICC sanctioned this event 12 months ago based on the sound information provided by the organisers," ICC's Integrity Unit General Manager Alex Marshall said in a statement issued Tuesday night. "However, substantial changes to both team ownership and the organisers just days prior to the event getting underway rang alarm bells for us and we applied additional investigative resource on the ground to address our concerns. "As a result we have intercepted a number of known corruptors both in Qatar and globally and disrupted planned corrupt activity at the event. This has given rise to a number of new investigations for the ICC ACU team as we continue in our efforts to ensure cricket is a corruption-free sport," he added. The inaugural edition of the Qatar T10 League, 10-over format tournament organised by the Qatar Cricket Association was held from December 7 to 16 this year. The T10 league witnessed six teams comprising 24 international cricketers, 12 players from associate ICC countries, Qatar national cricket team players and other local players. Falcon Hunters won the tournament by beating Swift Gallopers by four wickets. Fast bowler Manpreet Gony, who played just two ODIs, was the only Indian to feature in the tournament. Other prominent players to compete in the league apart from Amla were Pakistan discards Kamran Akmal, Mohammed Hafeez and Sohail Tanveer. Mandhana in ICC women's ODI and T20 teams of the year Dubai:  India opener Smriti Mandhana was on Tuesday named in both the International Cricket Council's ODI and T20 teams of the year, capping off a memorable season. Mandhana has Jhulan Goswami, Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey for company in the ODI team of the year and all-rounder Deepti Sharma in the T20 side. The 23-year-old Mandhana has played 51 ODIs and 66 T20Is for India, besides a couple of Test matches. She has a combined tally of 3476 runs in T20Is and ODIs. Australia's Alyssa Healy was chosen as the T20 cricketer of the year following her record-breaking 148 against Sri Lanka earlier this year. The ODI cricketer of the year honour went to Australia's Ellyse Perry, who scored 441 runs at an average of 73.50 and took 21 wickets at 13.52. Perry also pocketed the the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint award for being the cricketer of the year across formats. Perry has had a stellar year across formats, with three hundreds including one in the women's Ashes Test. She also became the first player to complete 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in T20I cricket. "It's an amazing honour and I'm a little bit shocked, given how many amazing performances there have been across the year," said Perry, who has won the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the second time in three years. "It's amazing to be acknowledged and I do truly appreciate it. It's a really nice way to finish the year on a personal note." The emerging cricketer of the year award went to Thailand's Chanida Sutthiruang. The 26-year-old seamer took 12 wickets at this year's ICC Women's T20 World Cup qualifier. Australian Meg Lanning was chosen as captain of both the ODI and T20 side. "It's a huge honour to be named captain of the ICC ODI and T20 Teams of the Year alongside some incredible players. It's been an amazing year for the Australian team and we're looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in 2020," said Lanning. "A home T20 World Cup is an opportunity that doesn't come along often, but we are looking forward to and embracing the challenge of performing well in front of our home crowd," she said referring to the showpiece event at home in February-March next year. Wasim Jaffer becomes first Indian to play 150 Ranji matches Veteran opener Wasim Jaffer on Monday became the first player in Indian cricket to feature in 150 Ranji matches. The 41-year-old from Maharashtra, who has been an important part of the title-winning Vidarbha team in the last two years, achieved the rare distinction during their Group A opener against Andhra Pradesh here. The former India opener is now just 853 runs away from completing 20,000 runs in first class cricket. Jaffer is followed by Madhya Pradesh batsman Devendra Bundela (145 matches) and Amol Muzumdar (136 matches), who have played for Mumbai and Assam. Overall, Jaffer has played 253 first-class games, scoring 19,147 runs at an average of 51.19. He has scored 57 hundreds and 88 fifties with 314 being his highest score. The Mumbaikar has represented India in 31 Tests between 2000 and 2008, scoring 1944 runs which included five hundreds and 11 fifties. He also has a double hundred to his name -- a highest score of 212 against West Indies in 2006 at St John's. He also played two ODIs for India. Want to make most of the opportunity without worrying about T20 WC: Rahul Handed a chance to open the innings for India in the T20I series against the West Indies, KL Rahul said he is looking to make the most of the opportunities but doesn't want to worry about sealing his T20 World Cup berth. The India team is continuing its preparations for next year's T20 World Cup in Australia with the three-match series and many players, whose places are not yet secured, are trying to impress the selectors with their performances against the West Indies. Rahul, who was promoted as an opener in the absence of injured Shikhar Dhawan, grasped the chance with both hands by scoring a 40-ball 62 to help India record their highest successful run chase in a T20 International, beating West Indies by six wickets in the first game on Friday. Bhatkal Premier League 2020 auctions held in UAE: Sahil Sawda emerged as the highest bid player Sahil Sawda, emerged as the highest bid player in the AUZ Bhatkal Premier League (BPL) players' auction, held recently here at Deira Twin towers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sahil Sawda, who began with a base point of fifty, was finally bought by 'NFN Warrior' for a whopping 107 points. New Zealand beat England by innings and 65 runs in first test New Zealand wrapped up an impressive innings and 65-run victory over England shortly after tea on the fifth day of the first test at Bay Oval on November 25 with Neil Wagner running through the lower order. Mohamed Salah among 30 nominees for top African award Trophy-holder Mohamed Salah is among 30 nominees named Sunday for the 2019 African Player of the Year award. Bhatkal: Sahil Sawda, Hayat Shaikh selected for KUD cricket team Two students, Sahil Sawda of Manki and Muhammad Hayat Shaikh of Murdeshwar have been selected for the cricket team of Karnataka University Dharwad. India takes 9 medals in best-ever haul at World Para Athletics Championship India signed off the campaign at the World Para Athletics Championship with their biggest ever haul nine medals - finishing in the 24th position in the nine-day competition here. India win first Test against Bangladesh by an innings 130 runs India bowled out Bangladesh for 213 to record an innings and 130-run victory in the first Test, here on Saturday. 2019 World Kabaddi Cup to be held from December 1 to The 2019 World Kabaddi Cup, to be orgainsed by the Punjab government, will be held from December 1 to 9, state's Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said here on Wednesday. Shane Watson appointed president of Australian Cricketers' Association Former all-rounder Shane Watson has been appointed as the president of the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), a position, he says, will help him "to give back to the game".