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Pink-ball Test: Lone match between Australia and India ends in a draw



Gold Coast, Oct 3: India tried to force a result on Day Four of the one-off pink-ball Test at Metricon Stadium. But with not much time left due to rain in the first two days, the tourists’ attempts to force a win against Australia were futile and the match ended in a draw on Sunday. Both teams pocketed two points from the drawn Test, which keeps Australia in the lead in the multi-format series 6-4. But it was India who gave a better account of themselves in their first-ever pink-ball Test with both bat and ball.

Starting the day at 143/3, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner went on to share an 89-run stand before Meghna Singh and Pooja Vastrakar triggered a batting collapse. With the new ball just nine deliveries away, Ashleigh, given a life at 20, was out with Mithali Raj pulling off a diving catch at mid-off off Deepti Sharma. Meghna took her maiden Test wicket with a lovely outswinger to get Annabel Sutherland caught behind. Four overs later, Meghna had her second wicket of the day with an inswinger trapping Sophie Molineux lbw.

Three overs later, Pooja had Georgia Wareham caught behind off an outswinger. A drive past mid-off by Darcie Brown meant that Australia avoided the follow-on. Amidst the wicket-taking spree, Ellyse was the lone ranger with the bat with luck on her side. She was first dropped by Deepti at gully on 58. Then, on 61, a healthy edge off her bat was shelled by Taniya Bhatia. After Darcie fell lbw to Deepti, captain Meg Lanning declared the innings at 241/9 with Ellyse unbeaten on 68, giving India a lead of 136 runs.

India began their second innings well as Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma put 70 runs for the opening partnership. Smriti, the centurion of the first innings, fell to a splendid catch in the deep by Ashleigh running to her right from deep mid-wicket off Sophie.

Yastika Bhatia’s promotion to number three to up the scoring rate lasted for 12 balls as Ashleigh disturbed her stumps through the gate. Shafali was undeterred and marched to her third half-century in just her second Test match with a four down the ground. Four overs later, Shafali was trapped lbw by leg-spinner Georgia Wareham for her first Test wicket.

Punam Raut raced to her 41 runs in 62 balls before India declared their second innings at 135/3 in 37 overs, setting Australia a target of 272 in 32 overs. The hosts lost openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney in the first ten overs. While Alyssa chopped on to her stumps off Jhulan Goswami, Beth’s top-edge on the pull lobbed to deep backward square leg off Pooja. It took effort from Meg and Ellyse to take Australia to 36/2 in 15 overs before both captains shook hands, signalling the end of the Test in a draw.

The focus will now shift to the final leg of the multi-format series featuring three T20Is on October 7, 9 and 10.

Brief scores: India 377 for 8 declared in 145 overs and 135/3 in 37 overs (Shafali Verma 52, Punam Raut 41 not out, Ashleigh Gardner 1/21, Sophie Molineux 1/23) against Australia 241 for 9 declared in 96.4 overs (Ellyse Perry 68, Ashleigh Gardner 51, Pooja Vastrakar 3/63, Jhulan Goswami 2/33) and 36/2 in 15 overs (Meg Lanning 17 not out, Beth Mooney 11, Jhulan Goswami 1/8, Pooja Vastrakar 1/13).

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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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