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Ashes, 5th Test, Day 3: Usman Khawaja hits 171 as Australia build lead

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Sydney: Usman Khawaja hit a mammoth 171 and Shaun Marsh was approaching his sixth test century as Australia eased 133 runs ahead of England on 479 for four after the third day of the fifth Ashes clash on Saturday.

Khawaja shared a stand of 188 with captain Steve Smith, who was dismissed just before lunch, and another of 101 with Marsh, who just missed out on his second hundred of the series in the over before stumps.

Marsh will resume on 98 on day four with his brother Mitchell, who was 63 not out, as they look to bat the tourists out of the match and set up an opportunity for their bowlers to secure a win that would give Australia a 4-0 series triumph.

 

The Marsh brothers combined for 104 in the final session and punished England with a flurry of boundaries in the last hour as the bowlers tired after a long day`s slog in bright sunshine at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It was Khawajas sure hand, though, that guided Australia past Englands tally of 346 after Mooen Ali (1-125) had stunned a packed house by moving the apparently unmoveable when he dismissed Smith caught and bowled for 83.

Smith had already scored three centuries, two of them unbeaten and one a double, in the series and although denied a fourth, walked off his home ground having amassed 687 runs at an average of 137.4 over the five tests.
Khawaja had an lbw scare in the following over but was reprieved when TV pictures showed Mason Crane had bowled a no ball and he otherwise looked assured as he calmly totted up the runs in the face of some tight English bowling.

A fine stroke-player but considered suspect against spin bowling, Khawaja has had a stop-start career in the baggy green since making his debut at the SCG in the corresponding Ashes clash eight years ago.

He wasted no time in knocking off the nine runs he needed to secure his first hundred against England at the start of the day, cutting Moeen for two before soaking up the ovation from a crowd largely clad in pink in support of former fast bowler Glenn McGrath`s cancer charity.

Spinner Moeen was again bowling when he reached the 150 mark, two consecutive fours to get over the mark a rare flourish in a 381-ball innings that contained 18 of them along with a solitary six.

England captain Joe Root came closest to a breakthrough in the second session when Shaun Marsh, on 22, was given out caught behind only for the decision to be reversed when TV pictures showed a big gap between ball and bat.

It was debutant leg-spinner Crane who finally ended the 31-year-old`s time out in the middle to claim his first test victim, beating the bat to leave Khawaja stranded and Jonny Bairstow with a simple stumping.

Crane, 20, attracted the ire of the crowd with his habit of pulling out of his run-up but kept his head up despite finishing with figures of 1-125.

It was a very good day on the decision review system for Australia with Mitchell Marsh also reversing a late lbw decision after the snicko revealed an inside edge.

Australia won back the Ashes with victories in the first three matches in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth with the fourth test in Melbourne finishing in a draw last week.


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.

 

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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