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Maharaj takes eight to help SA bounce back in final Test

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COLOMBO: Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed career-best figures of eight for 116 as South Africa restricted Sri Lanka to 277 for nine by stumps on the opening day of the second and final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground .
Maharaj’s figures are the third best against Sri Lanka by any opposition bowler following Imran Khan’s eight for 58 in Lahore and Shannon Gabriel’s eight for 62 in St Lucia last month.
After a promising start where the openers put on 116 for the first wicket, Sri Lanka collapsed as Maharaj bowled a probing line. In a bid to strengthen their batting after their poor show in Galle, the tourists went into the game with a lone spinner, leaving out Tabraiz Shamsi and they may have regretted the decision given Sri Lanka’s troubles against the only spinner.
After electing to bat first, Sri Lanka’s openers dominated the morning session. Their 116-run stand is Sri Lanka’s first 100-plus partnership for the opening wicket since October 2016. Since then Sri Lanka have gone through 21 Tests without a 100-plus partnership by the openers.
Maharaj bowled unchanged in the afternoon session and picked up both openers Dimuth Karunaratne (53) and Danushka Gunathilaka (57) in successive overs. He also accounted for Kusal Mendis to reduce Sri Lanka to 168 for three by tea.
In the final session, Maharaj claimed five wickets to put South Africa on top. Kagiso Rabada claimed the other wicket to fall when he cleaned up Roshen Silva for 22.
Maharaj thanked his lucky stars as well as the pitch after his record haul.
“I think it was written in the stars by God that things worked out this way,” Maharaj said after recording the best figures for a South African spinner in a first innings anywhere, in addition to his own personal record. “I think I did get a little bit of assistance off the wicket. It is a little bit different here than in Galle, because the ball skids on. There’s a chance of getting LBWs and also the top edge when the batsman sweeps.”
Dhananjaya de Silva top scored with 60 and was tested by Rabada, who reverse-swung the old ball considerably but with little success. De Silva was hit on the shoulder by a Rabada bouncer when he ducked late.
Eventually, he became yet another victim of Maharaj as South Africa successfully reviewed after the appeal had been turned down by umpire Nigel Llong.


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Rasikh Salam banned for two years for submitting faulty birth certificate

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Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.

Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.

Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract – after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar – and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

 

Earlier this week, IANS had reported that Salam could be in trouble for age fraud after the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education informed JKCA that the age Salam gave the board doesn’t match the records they posses.

JKCA and the BCCI soon got involved in the matter and a two year ban was deemed appropriate.

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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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