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Sports

IND vs ENG 5th Test: Bumrah sizzles but Root and Bairstow roast the rest

Just four overs before the close of play, Mohammed Siraj staggered in from around the stumps against Jonny Bairstow in an ambitious bid to bounce him out. It was the last-ditch effort of a lost and tired team to take some hope back to the dressing room. But Bairstow, in emphatic touch, blasted a weary bouncer from the wearier bowler into the stands. The ball and the shot captured the mood of the match. India, defending 377, looked defeated and deflated. England, who have never chased a score as steep as this to win a Test, looked triumphant and just 119 runs from the dreamland. The last hour was perhaps the most damning for India. For, England were not trading in the currency of Baz-ball or blinding aggression, but risk-averse text-book cricket, anchored by Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, ...
Sports

Wimbledon: Ajla Tomljanovic eliminates Alize Cornet, Simona Halep also advances

Ajla Tomljanovic came from a set down to beat Alize Cornet and reach her second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal. The Australian won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on No. 2 Court to set up a meeting with Elena Rybakina, and was in tears after a grueling match that lasted 2 hours, 35 minutes. “I didn’t really think I could do it,” said Tomljanovic, who lost to eventual champion Ash Barty in last year’s quarterfinals. “I can’t believe a year later I’m in the same position.” The 32-year-old Cornet ended No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak in the previous round. The French veteran was playing in her 62nd straight Grand Slam tournament — equaling the WTA record held by Ai Sugiyama — and 65th overall, but only reached her first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open this year. It's back-to-back Wim...
Sports

Kessie joins Barcelona as free agent after leaving AC Milan

Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie has joined Barcelona on a free transfer after leaving AC Milan, the LaLiga club announced on Monday. Barcelona said Kessie has signed a contract until June 2026 and his buy-out clause would be set at 500 million euros ($522.80 million). The 25-year-old left AC Milan at the end of his contract in June after helping the Italian club win their first Serie A title in 11 years last season. 𝐈𝐓'𝐒 𝐎𝐅𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐈𝐀𝐋! 😏 Welcome, Kessie! 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/wG051AUnpT — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 4, 2022 Kessie, who can contribute in attack and defence, has 58 caps for Ivory Coast. Barcelona came second in LaLiga last season, finishing behind rivals Real Madrid. !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) {if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arg...
Sports

Ian Nepomniachtchi becomes challenger for the title of World Champion

Following a draw in round 13 game against Hungarian Grandmaster Richard Rapport, Nepomniachtchi is on 9/13, a point and a half ahead of the rest of the field, according to a FIDE release. This is his second consecutive victory in the eight-player Candidates. In the post-game interview, when asked how he is feeling now, Nepomniachni told FIDE: ‘The traditional answer is – I don’t know… In this tournament I was trying more to play chess than playing for a win. That is important… Another important factor is that I never had a six-hour game here. I was lucky enough not to play for too long’, said Nepomniachtchi. The 31-year-old GM has taken an early lead in the tournament and is the only player not to lose a single game. American Hikaru Nakamura is currently in clear second place with 7.5 p...
Sports

England vs India: Under-pressure Pujara’s 50 shows there’s still room in Tests for obdurate batting

About six years ago, when Anil Kumble was India’s head coach, he was asked about Cheteshwar Pujara’s strike rate at a press conference. The great leg-spinner’s response was terse but meaningful: “For me, strike rate is meant for the bowlers.” Pujara has always been an outlier in a cricket world dominated by alpha males. He is old-school, wears down the bowlers and stroke-making is not his forte. He has survived at the highest level this way, playing 96 Tests and scoring nearly 7,000 runs, including 18 hundreds. But the Edgbaston Test was different. He was playing for his career and didn’t have the licence to fail. In the final over of the third day, when he reached his half-century by taking a single off Joe Root, former England off-spinner Graeme Swann, now a pundit for the host broadc...
Sports

Kohli teases but luckless, Pujara makes his own luck to tighten India’s grip on the match

There were signs of vintage Virat Kohli. He nodded off his 40-ball 20 with a magisterial cover-drive off Stuart Broad, before he check-drove him and off-drove James Anderson. Those strokes heightened the expectations, but like in the first innings, struck a stroke of misfortune. Just as he seemed to allay his chief tormentor, Anderson, came Stokes. These days, he isn’t as good a deceptive bowler he used to be but still has the sparks that make him a bowler to be not ignored. And he produced one such moment of brilliance. Nothing that Stokes had thrown up carried any harm. But this one burst from good length, straightened, kissed Kohli’s gloves and veered towards the keeper. Even Sam Billings was not anticipating the ball to kick up so deviously that he ended up dropping the catch. But ...
Sports

IND vs ENG 5th Test: When Indian bowlers counterpunched the counterpunchers

The numbers would lie, as they often do. The raw digits convey that India’s bowlers let England fightback from 83 for 5 and then 149 for 6 to post 284 runs. A classic England stung-by-the-lower-order tour story. Just change the names and dates. A once-typical losing the steam at the end narrative. Except that it was not. Instead, it was one of India’s finest bowling recoveries in recent times. They did let England off the hook, but they regathered to pull the hook back. Bazball-indoctrinated Jonny Bairstow could have blown them away, but they clutched at the straws, hung onto the swaying pole and then whipped up a furious storm of their own post lunch, counterpunching the counterpunch. The Bairstow carnage wracked them in the second hour of the first session. After a rip-roaring first...
Sports

Sainz Jr. wins 1st career F1 race with British GP victory

Carlos Sainz Jr. won his his first career Formula One race on Sunday with a victory at the British Grand Prix — the most dramatic race so far this season. It began with a frightening first-lap crash and ended with intense wheel-to-wheel battles for the podium positions. Sainz was in the lead with Charles Leclerc close behind and, while Ferrari at first said they were “free to fight,” the Italian team then asked Sainz to let Leclerc past to avoid losing time to Lewis Hamilton. But a safety car came out and Ferrari brought Sainz into the pits for fresher, grippier soft tires. Leclerc was left on older, hard tires and Sainz soon passed his teammate to regain the lead and pull away for his first victory in his 150th F1 start. “We did it. Yes! We did it! Yes! Vamos!” the Spanish driver radio...
Sports

Points shared by India, England, but points to ponder

It’s difficult to know what Sjoerd Marijne, watching from the stands, would think about his former charges as they opened their World Cup campaign against England at Amstelveen on Sunday. The Indian women’s hockey team was far from its best, being a bit too frantic and lacking composure at crucial junctures. But they did manage to come away with a 1-1 draw, after they had lost to Great Britain in both their encounters at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, narrowly missing out on a podium finish. Marijne was the head coach then. That performance, almost a year ago, ensured no opposition is likely to take the Indians lightly any more. Current coach Janneke Schopman has tried to take her wards to the next level where they face the best teams in the world on an equal footing. On the evidence of Su...
Gaming

Man fakes his kidnapping, extorts family, to return money borrowed to buy sports bike

The Delhi Police caught a 23-year-old man who allegedly staged his own kidnapping and extort money from his sister to pay for a sports bike. Police said the man took Rs 2.5 lakh from his friend to buy the Yamaha-R15 bike. Later, he allegedly faked his kidnapping to return his friend’s money, police added. On June 26, the man’s family called the police, saying that he was missing for two days. Police said a missing person report was filed in the Outer district, and police contacted newspapers to trace him. Police said they checked CCTVs near the house but couldn’t find any clue. After some time, the family told police that they received a call from an unknown person who said he has kidnapped the 23-year-old man, and demanded Rs 2.5 lakhs for his release. DCP (Outer) Sameer Sharma said, “...
Sports

Zhou involved in frightening 1st-lap crash at British GP

Zhou Guanyu was involved in a frightening first-lap crash Sunday that brought the British Grand Prix to an immediate halt as safety crews attended to the only Chinese driver in Formula One. Zhou’s car slide upside-down across the gravel and his Alfa Romeo seemed to be wedged between fencing and a tire barrier at the first corner. The race was red-flagged and George Russell, one of the drivers involved in the crash, sprinted from his car to the tire barrier to check on Zhou. Team manager Beat Zehnder told German broadcaster Sky Sport that Zhou was speaking and was being transported to the medical center at Silverstone. Holly molly…. 🚩🚩🚩#Zhou is OK#BritishGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/pBsX2GtAfp — Sound of Motorsport (@soundofmotor) July 3, 2022 Russell appeared to be hit from behind at the sta...
Sports

Rishabh Pant scored 100 due to England bowlers’ fault: Mohammad Asif

Former Pakistan speedster Mohammad Asif is no stranger to controversial opinions. Sometimes he is pointing out faults in Virat Kohli’s technical skills and recently he said that Rishabh Pant wasn’t tested enough on the first day of the Edgbaston Test between India and England where the wicketkeeper-batter scored a century to dig his team out of a hole. “It was totally England bowlers’ fault as Pant did no wonders. He has technical faults. His left-hand doesn’t work but still he managed to score a century because English bowlers didn’t bowl to him in his weak areas,” Asif said in a Twitter video. “I will not name individuals but England made a lot of mistakes. When Jadeja and Pant were batting, they brought in a left-arm spinner who wasn’t an ideal option to bowl at that moment,” he wen...
Sports

Rohit Sharma out of isolation after testing negative

Indian captain Rohit Sharma is finally out of isolation after having tested negative for COVID-19 and will now be available for the white-ball series against England beginning with the first T20I in Southampton on July 7. The 35-year-old all-format captain missed out on playing the rescheduled fifth Test against England as he tested positive on the second day of the four-day warm-up game against Leicestershire. “Yes, Rohit has tested negative and as per medical protocols is now out of quarantine. However, he is not playing today’s T20 warm-up game against Northamptonshire as he will need some recovery time and training ahead of first T20I,” a senior BCCI official told PTI. As per medical protocol, any player, who is out of quarantine, needs to undergo mandatory cardiovascular tests to c...
Sports

I knew Ashwin was going to bowl a carrom ball from the way he held the ball at top of his mark: Pietersen

Among the many famous knocks that he is known for, Kevin Pietersen’s sparkling 186 in Mumbai in 2012-13 that helped England win that series would rank one of his top knocks of his career. India bowled 102.3 overs of spin from R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, and Pragyan Ojhan and Pietersen blasted them around the park. Did he have a secret sauce on the track that aided the turn? It turns out, he had. On Sky Sports, during rain-forced lunch break on day 3, Pietersen revealed how he picked up and shred Ashwin and Harbhajan’s variations. Especially the former’s carrom ball, and the latter’s doosra. “People would rave about how I read his carrom balls from the grip and such.. but (the truth) was that he announced to me right at the top of his bowling mark that this was going to be a carrom ball....
Sports

Stirred by a hot exchange with Kohli, Bairstow turns aggressive to reach his fifty

Virat Kohli vs Jonny Bairstow started on the evening of day 2. Bairstow, who starred in two great chases against New Zealand with fiery knocks, was playing within himself. Some good old tuk-tuk cricket. On air, Graeme Swann would say, “Bairstow is looking a shadow of the player who was blasting everything against New Zealand. It’s a different quality attack here.” On the field, Kohli would start chirping. At one point, in the crossover of the overs, he shouted out, “A bit faster than Southee, eh?”. At the end of the second day’s play Kohli had walked away, with his hands over Bairstow’s shoulder and he was laughing away at some time. Day 3 began with Bairstow adopting similar conservatism as day 2. Kohli began to find his voice again. Bairstow found his lungs too. Both went verbally ag...
Sports

While You Were Asleep: Kyrgios stuns Tsitsipas in a fiery clash, Nadal eases past Sonego, Casey joins Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Nick Kyrgios knocked out fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a wild and ill-tempered affair in the Wimbledon third-round slugfest. Kyrgios won the match by 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6. Kyrgios was in his element throughout the match. He kept up a running dialogue with the umpire at times during the match, was warned for swearing and upset his opponent to such an extent that Tsitsipas tried to hit him with a smash after coming close to being defaulted for whacking a ball in frustration into the crowd. Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Nick Kyrgios: 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙃𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝘾𝙪𝙩#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/ySHotqt9fI — Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 2, 2022 At one point Kyrgios even demanded his opponent be defaulted for smashing a ball into the crowd in a bad-tempered affair. Kyrgios, who was fined $10,000 after his first-rou...
Sports

Harmony Tan: World No. 115 who defeated Serena Williams is keeping her Wimbledon dream alive

Harmony Tan’s 2022 season was exceptionally ordinary until last month. She had been on the outside of the top 100 of the WTA rankings looking, played a handful of tour-level main draws, and had not made the quarterfinal of a single event she played. And then, after receiving one of the unluckiest draws of the year, she has made the second week of a Major for the first time in her career. Tan’s name was a part of headlines all over the world after she was drawn against Serena Williams in the first round at Wimbledon this year. Williams returned to Wimbledon after an injury-ridden goodbye last year, with speculation active that this may be her last appearance at SW19. When Tan found out she was playing the 23-time Grand Slam winner, she was hoping to win a few games. “When I saw the draw,...
Sports

Jasprit Bumrah: Right arm fast and awesome

Jasprit Bumrah: Right Arm Fast. The categorisation is oversimplifying Bumrah. He is many in one—a versatile new-ball merchant; an old-ball virtuoso, a seam artiste; supreme length-manipulator, an all-format freak of nature, a talisman and a matchwinner, an icon and an entertainer. On Saturday, he was all, more than all, and pure theatre too. There are many reasons spectators flock to watch him in flesh or turn on the television when he is winding up that unique action of his. Apart from the sense of achievement that will grow with the years in just having been there the day that Bumrah did that, a desperation almost to be part of him in some tiny way, Bumrah brings something for everyone. For the masses, he gifts the visceral thrill of a supersonic fast bowler splaying stumps and blast...
Sports

Two badminton players suspended for age fraud at sub-junior ranking tournament

A day after the Badminton Association of India (BAI) postponed the All India Sub-Junior Ranking Tournament in Mohali for a day after parents’ made allegations of over-age players in the fray, the governing body for the sport suspended two players from Rajasthan. While the matches got under way on Saturday at Mohali, the two players were suspended after the protesting parents met Sanjay Mishra, the BAI secretary early on Saturday morning. Mishra assured the parents of strict action. The All India Sub-Junior Ranking tournament (Under-13) is being organised by Punjab Badminton Association. “After the complaint by the parents, Badminton Association of India has suspended two players from Rajasthan and their Badminton Association of India ID’s too have been deactivated. The issue has been fo...
Sports

Jasprit Bumrah’s pull in Stuart Broad record over evokes memories of Kapil Dev’s Nataraja

The most breathtaking shot from Jasprit Bumrah in the over of mayhem, in which he looted 29 of the 35 runs against Stuart Broad to break the world record for most runs in a single over in a Test, was a marvellous pull. The front leg swivelled up in the air, and it brought memories of three glorious pulls, somewhat similar. The soul of the shots was the flamboyant upward thrust of the front leg and the individuality comes through in what transpires next. We also look at the vastly contrasting version of Sachin Tendulkar’s. Kapil Dev’s Nataraja shot The takeaway from Kapil’s signature shot wasn’t a sense of brutality but of something wildly beautiful. There wasn’t violence in it, like most pull shots can often have. No wonder The Hindu’s R Mohan instinctively sensed something classical in...