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Australia hit back England with late wickets after Joe Root’s 83 in 5th Ashes Test

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Sydney :Australia stunned England with two late wickets, including that of Joe Root for 83, to leave the tourists wobbling on 233 for five at the end of a the rain-disrupted opening day of the fifth and final Test on Thursday. (Australia vs England, Ashes, 5th Test, Day 1, full cricket score)
A day that started with incessant light rain washing out the first session had looked like ending with a packed Sydney Cricket Ground bathed in summer sunshine and England’s Barmy Army of fans in full triumphant voice.
Root and Dawid Malan had combined for a 133-run partnership to help the tourists to 228 for three when Australia took the new ball with less than half an hour of play remaining.
Mitchell Starc, back after missing the fourth test with a bruised heel, induced Root into a flick to square leg where Mitchell Marsh took a superb catch before Josh Hazlewood removed nightwatchman Jonny Bairstow with the last ball of the day.
Malan, who survived a few scares to notch up his fifth test half century, reached stumps unbeaten on 55.
Despite the Ashes already having been relinquished after the loss of the first three tests in the series, the tourists had been determined to build on their performance in the drawn fourth test and secure a consolation victory.
Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Alastair Cook departed relatively cheaply before tea but Australia’s bowlers were unable to drive home their advantage until the dramatic climax.
Both Root and Malan scored slowly – the captain had six boundaries in his half century and his partner five – and there were chances to dismiss the latter in particular.
Root had just reached the 50 mark when he called for a single off Nathan Lyon only for Malan, who was on 28, to stand his ground and then set off very late.
Marsh fielded the ball but fired it to the striker’s end and Tim Paine’s throw to Lyon caused the spinner to spill the ball allowing Malan to make his ground.
Malan had eked his tally to 34 when he got an edge off to a Lyon delivery that eluded both Paine and captain Steve Smith at first slip.
Cameron Bancroft almost conjured up a sensational run-out from the close field but his throw just missed the mark and Malan again survived.
They were chances that Australia would have rued had the day not ended as well for them as it had started.
Stoneman and Vince had both got starts under brightening skies but they again betrayed their batting frailties to depart for 24 and 25 respectively, both caught behind off Pat Cummins.
Cook made 244 not out in the drawn Melbourne test last week and looked to be creeping assiduously towards another big tally when Hazlewood intervened.
With the former England captain on 39 and just five runs from becoming the sixth batsman to score 12,000 test runs, the big paceman fired down a fullish delivery that rapped the 33-year-old on the front pad.
A loud shout for lbw was turned down by umpire Joel Wilson but Smith reviewed immediately with the TV tracking removing any doubt about the ball pitching outside leg and forcing the decision to be reversed.


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UEFA probe Ronaldo for ‘improper conduct’ over goal celebration

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London : UEFA opened an investigation into Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal celebration after scoring a hat-trick in Juventus’ Champions League comeback win against Atletico Madrid last week.
European football’s governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of “improper conduct” after he mimicked Diego Simeone’s crotch-grabbing gesture in last Tuesday’s 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
After scoring the decisive penalty four minutes from time, Ronaldo turned towards the Atletico fans and replicated Simeone’s gesture after the Spaniards’ 2-0 first leg win by grasping his genitals and thrusting out his groin.
A decision will be taken by UEFA on March 21.
Juventus take on Dutch club Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals over two legs, on April 10 in Amsterdam and April 16 in Turin.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri has said he is confident Ronaldo will not be fined or suspended.
“I think everyone celebrated their own way on the field and in the stands.
I saw nothing strange, just a celebration. There won’t be a ban,” said Allegri.
Simeone was fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) by UEFA for his gesture.
“He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character,” said the Argentinian coach.
Five-time Champions League winner Ronaldo is the record goal scorer in the European competition with 124 goals in 160 matches.

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Sachin echoes Virat Kohli’s workload views

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New Delhi: There cannot be a uniform structure for workload management during the Indian Premier League as each and every player will have different set of requirements, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar said .
There have been a lot of discussions about how the World Cup-bound players need to effectively manage their workload during a demanding tournament like the IPL, and the maestro has his own take on it.
“Preparation before the World Cup is different for each player and so their workload management will also be different,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar agreed with skipper Virat Kohli who recently said that it is up to the players to realise the kind of load they are taking as well as the form they are in. “To me, momentum is important. Every individual should be smart enough to assess if he needs to take a break or he needs to play games to stay in the thick of things. So the responsibility is on the individual to take a call,” said the world’s highest run-getter in Tests and One-day Internationals.
He then gave an example of how workload management will be different for different players. “As a pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s workload will be very different from a pure batsman like Virat Kohli and a wicket-keeper batsman like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. All these players have a lot of experience and they will certainly make the right call,” said Tendulkar, who is a mentor with IPL’s most popular franchise Mumbai Indians.
Tendulkar echoed what Kohli had said a couple of days earlier during a media interaction in Bengaluru. “If I’m able to play 10, 12 or 15 games, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other guy can only play that many. My body might demand I play a certain number of games and I need to be smart about that and rest,” the Indian skipper had said.
“Someone else’s body might be more capable than mine or less, that is a very individual thing. And everyone wants to play the World Cup, so people will be smart about it because you don’t want to miss out on such a big event.”
Kohli had said that it is up to individual players to deal with the issue to keep their body fit and be in contention for a place in the World Cup-bound squad. “From a responsibility point of view, all the Indian players will have the responsibility during the IPL to keep a watch on their fitness and their workloads,” he said.
“And to continue the frame of mind we have created in the Indian team – strive towards excellence and improve every day. Each player will take this tournament as an opportunity to go to the World Cup in a good frame of mind,” he said.

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Kerala Blasters sign Rahul KP

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Mumbai : Kerala Blasters have wrapped up a deal to bring Indian Arrows forward Rahul Kannoly Praveen on board for the 2019-20 season, Goal has learnt.
The 19-year-old forward has become the fifth former India U-17 player to be roped in by Blasters after Dheeraj Singh, Mohammad Rakip, Nongdamba Naorem and Jeakson Singh.
Thrissur-born Rahul featured for Luis Norton de Matos’ Indian team in the U-17 World Cup held in India. He continued his development with AIFF’s Indian Arrows in the I-League and impressed in patches last season, scoring two goals in 17 appearances.
He has stepped up his game at Arrows this season under Floyd Pinto and contributed greatly to the team’s eighth-placed finish under the Indian head coach. He has three goals to his name this season.
Blessed with pace and dazzling feet, Rahul is good at taking on his opponent from wide areas and also has an eye for a pass. He was impressive against Gokulam Kerala and scored a terrific volley in the I-League match at Kozhikode earlier this season. He also featured in the Super Cup qualifier against Kerala Blasters as Indian Arrows won 2-0.
In what seems like a much-needed move after a disapponting season in the ISL, Kerala Blasters, under the new leadership of CEO Viren D’Silva, are off to a good start off the field and have added a promising local talent to the squad.

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