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Fourth Test: India strike back after being dismissed for 191



London, Sep 3: India looked to suffer almost the same fate that they did on the first day of the third Test at Headingley, when they found themselves reduced to 127/7 on the opening day of the fourth Test on a batting-friendly Oval pitch on Thursday.

The two new inclusions for this Test, Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav, however, kept them in the game. The former’s half-century took India to 191 while the latter’s dismissal of in-form Joe Root pegged England to 53/3 at the draw of stumps.

The hosts still trail by 138 runs with seven wickets in hand. However, they have a major concern since Root, the batsman to score over 1/3rd of their runs in the present series, is already back in the hut.

Much of the day, however, depicted a story of Indian team’s fragile batting against moving deliveries.

The openers Rohit Sharma (11) and K.L. Rahul (17) began well, adding 28, but they both fell on the same score as England tightened pressure bowling maiden after maiden.

Cheteshwar Pujara (4) was the third wicket to fall — for the 11th time to James Anderson — with the score on 39 and when Ravindra Jadeja, promoted to No. 5, was dismissed with the score on 69, it all fell on the shoulders of skipper Virat Kohli, who looked the best of the Indian batsmen.

Kohli’s masterly 50 off 96 deliveries contained eight fours and while he and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who came in at No. 6, batted, India still had hope.

But all that hope blew up in smoke when Kohli nicked one from Ollie Robinson (3/38) to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow in the 43rd over, and seven overs later, Rahane (14) edged one to Moeen Ali in the slips off Craig Overton (1/49).

Soon Rishabh Pant was gobbled up by Chris Woakes (4/55), the most successful bowler on the day.

However, Shardul Thakur walked in and played some great shots. He hit three big sixes, including one over the cow corner that reminded one of Kapil Dev.

“A lot of my teammates are calling me by that name. It is great to be compared to the greats of the game,” Thakur said after the day’s play.

His other sixes, equally delectable, were a pull over square leg and one straight down the ground. Thanks to his 57 off 36 balls, India reached their eventual 191-run total.

The total was still low by any standard on a batting-friendly pitch at The Oval.

Jasprit Bumrah (2/15) then struck early, in his second over, dismissing both Rory Burns (5) and Haseeb Hameed (0). While Burns chopped one on to his stumps, Hameed was caught behind by Pant as he suffered a brain fade and went for a cut over the slips.

Skipper Root (21) resurrected the innings from 6/2, adding 46 for the third wicket with Dawid Malan (batting 26) as England went past fifty.

However, just as he looked to take England to stumps undefeated, pacer Umesh Yadav produced a ball that moved in a bit to beat Root’s defence and rattle the stumps.

India were back in the game.

Brief scores (at stumps, Day 1): India 191 (Shardul Thakur 57, Virat Kohli 50, Chris Woakes 4/55, Ollie Robinson 3/38) vs England 55/3 (Jasprit Bumrah 2/15, Umesh Yadav 1/15).

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You will see me in yellow but not sure as player, says Dhoni on playing for CSK in 2022



Dubai, Oct 7: Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni on Thursday said that fans will see him in ‘yellow in IPL 2022, but he doesn’t know if he will be part of the franchise as a player or in some other role.

Dhoni, who has been CSK’s captain since the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, highlighted that there is a ‘lot of uncertainty’ because of the two new teams coming in and the mega auction, next year.

“Well, you can see me in yellow next year. But whether I will be playing for CSK? There are a lot of uncertainties around it for a simple reason that we have two new teams coming up. We don’t know the retention policy. We don’t know how many foreigners, Indian players we can retain, the money cap that every player will be cutting from the kitty,” said 40-year-old at the toss ahead of CSK’s match against Punjab Kings in Dubai.

“So there are a lot of uncertainties. Unless the rules are in place you can’t really decide that. So we will wait for it to happen and hopefully it will be good for everyone,” he added.

The former India captain also mentioned that it has been difficult to maintain fitness this season due to back to back matches in the UAE leg of the 2021 IPL.

“It’s tough to maintain fitness. Once the IPL was postponed, it meant there will be back-to-back games (whenever the tournament resumes). We had that sort of a stretch but, looks good, no concern with fitness,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni, who has led CSK to three IPL titles, earlier indicated that he will be playing his farewell game in Chennai.

The 40-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman in an event celebrating 75 years of India Cements, earlier had said that he hopes to play his last IPL match in Chennai.

“When it comes to farewell, you can still come and see me play for CSK and that can be my farewell game. So, you will still get that opportunity to bid me farewell. Hopefully, we will come to Chennai and play my last game over there and we can meet the fans there,” Dhoni said while interacting with fans during the virtual event on Tuesday.

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Du Plessis’ fifty takes CSK to 134/6 against Punjab Kings



Dubai, Oct 7: A hard-earned fifty by Faf du Plessis (76 off 55) took Chennai Super Kings to 134/6 against Punjab Kings in the 53rd match of the IPL 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Thursday.

Put in to bat first, CSK were off to a poor start as they lost the wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad (12) and Moeen Ali (0) inside the powerplay.

Arshdeep Singh provided Punjab Kings the first breakthrough as he dismissed Gaikwad. The in-form opener tried to take on the short-pitch delivery bowled by Arshdeep but got a top edge and Shahrukh Khan completed the catch. Faf du Plessis was then joined by Moeen Ali, who didn’t trouble scorers and was dismissed for a duck.

Du Plessis looked in fine touch and hit back-to-back boundaries. But, he didn’t get the required support from the other end as Robin Uthappa (2), Ambati Rayudu (4) got out cheaply. Both Uthappa and Rayudu were dismissed by Chris Jordan, who is playing this game in place of Nicholas Pooran.

MS Dhoni, who came to bat next, hit a few boundaries before getting playing-on to his stumps a googly bowled by Ravi Bishnoi, leaving CSK struggling at 61-5 after 11.6 overs. From there on, Du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja batted sensibly and rebuilt the CSK innings.

The Proteas cricketer took calculated risks and completed his fifth fifty of IPL 2021 in 46 balls and kept Chennai Super Kings alive in the match. Jadeja, on the other hand, gave him the much-needed support by rotating the strike regularly.

In the final overs, Du Plessis batted freely and hit a few lusty boundaries to give impetus to CSK innings. His fine innings came to an end for 76 in the last over of the innings and he added 67 runs for the sixth wicket with Jadeja.

In the last few balls, Dwayne Bravo hit a four and helped CSK post a total of 134-6 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:
Chennai Super Kings Innings – 134-6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis (76 off 55, Chris Jordan 2/20, Arshdeep Singh 2/35) against Punjab Kings

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Sports gears of Olympians in highest demand in auctioning



New Delhi: Sports gears of Olympians have received the highest bids with just one day left for the e-auction of the Prime Minister’s mementos to end, historical items and religious artefacts seem to have drawn more interest. The javelin used by Neeraj Chopra, which brought him the gold medal, received the highest bid of Rs 10 crore on the opening day, it was later cancelled on the suspicion that it could be a fake bid.

The auction opened on September 17 and since then all eyes are focusing on the sporting gear of Olympians and Paralympians. Weeks later, a javelin used by a Paralympic gold medallist remains at the top with a bid of Rs 1,00,50,000. However, till now it has received only two bids, according to the latest bid details on the PM”s memento’s site

In comparison, a metal mace whose base price was Rs 2,500 has received 54 bids, with the highest at Rs 5 lakh. The javelin used by Paralympic gold medallist Sumit Antil, with a base price of Rs 1 crore, received a bid of Rs 1,00,05,000 from one bidder, while a wooden model of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya saw 24 bids come in. The mandir’s base value was Rs 2,50,000.

A badminton racquet autographed by Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games gold medallist Krishna Nagar received a highest bid of Rs 80.15 lakh but there were only three bidders who showed interest in it. On the other hand, a small metallic figurine showing Lord Rama, Hanuman, Laxman and Goddess Sita, titled Bhagwan Ram Parivar, received 44 bids,

With the highest being Rs 1.35 lakh. Its base price was only Rs 10,000. Apart from religious items, a large-scale three-dimensional replica model of a DRDO tank placed inside a glass box has received 23 bids, with the highest being Rs 5 lakh. Its base price was Rs 75,000.

Another item, a memento of the Pune metro line with a sculpture of Chattrapati Shivajji on a horse and the metro line within the cityscape, received 24 bids, with the highest being Rs 43,000, while its base price was only Rs 3,000.

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