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India vs Pakistan Match Rescheduled Due to Rain in Colombo

Rain halted the India-Pakistan Asia Cup showdown after 24.1 overs, moving the game to a reserve day with India at 147-2.

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India vs Pakistan Match Rescheduled Due to Rain in Colombo
Photo:-Twitter/@_FaridKhan

In Colombo, a highly anticipated cricket match between India and Pakistan in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup was interrupted by rain on Sunday, leading to a postponement of the game to a reserve day. After just 24.1 overs of play, the contest was halted abruptly due to the inclement weather. When Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl, India was at 147-2.

This additional day of play was added as a last-minute provision for this Super Four clash, making it the only match other than the final to receive such an extension. A previous encounter between the two teams had been washed out due to rain in Pallekele.

The persistent rain in Sri Lanka, which is co-hosting the tournament with Pakistan, has posed challenges for the organizers. This tournament serves as a precursor to the upcoming ODI World Cup.

At the time the rain intervened, Virat Kohli was at eight runs, while KL Rahul had scored 17 runs. Despite the efforts of the groundstaff to prepare the pitch for play after the showers had subsided, the game remained suspended following three inspections due to further rain.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma (56) and opening batsman Shubman Gill (58) had provided a scintillating start, forming a partnership of 121 runs off 100 balls, which put Pakistan on the defensive. They took on the new-ball bowlers, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, with audacious aerial shots during the powerplay, where only two fielders are allowed outside the inner circle.

Both Shaheen and Naseem proved to be formidable in their initial spells, with the ball frequently eluding the bat. One edge from Gill even managed to squeeze between two slips. Rohit, in particular, was in superb form, smashing leg-spinner Shadab Khan for two consecutive sixes and a four in a 19-run over, much to the delight of Indian fans in the mostly empty stadium.

However, Shadab Khan redeemed himself after the first drinks break by dismissing Rohit Sharma, caught out, while Shaheen returned in the subsequent over to send Shubman Gill back to the pavilion. Following these wickets, Kohli and Rahul were focused on rebuilding India’s innings before the rain intervened once more.

Sports

Virat Kohli Clinches Fourth ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year

Kohli wins ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer 2023 (4th time). Cummins named Cricketer of the Year, leading Australia to Test and ODI victories.

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Virat Kohli Clinches Fourth ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year
(Virat Kohli Indian cricketer: Photo FB )

On Thursday, Virat Kohli, the prolific Indian batsman, was declared the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2023 in recognition of his outstanding performances in the format throughout the previous year. Kohli, who secured his fourth such award, emerged as the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs in 2023, trailing his compatriot Shubman Gill.

The former Indian skipper concluded the year with an impressive tally of 1,377 runs, featuring six centuries and eight half-centuries. Notably, 2023 marked a historic moment as Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s long-standing record for ODI centuries, etching his name in cricket history.

Kohli’s exceptional year included leading India to the World Cup final, where he not only played a pivotal role but also secured the Player of the Tournament award for his record-breaking 765 runs in 11 matches. This latest accolade adds to Kohli’s illustrious collection of seven individual ICC awards, with four specifically in the ODI category (2012, 2017, 2018, and 2023).

Competing against compatriots Shubman Gill and Mohammed Shami, along with New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell, Kohli claimed the ODI Cricketer of the Year award, although he narrowly missed out on the overall Cricketer of the Year honor, which was clinched by Australian captain Pat Cummins.

Cummins, who had a stellar year, not only secured the Cricketer of the Year award but also the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Additionally, Australian batter Usman Khawaja was named the Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year, and Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu made history by becoming the first female cricketer from her country to win the Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award.

The awards ceremony also recognized England umpire Richard Illingworth with the David Shepherd Trophy for Umpire of the Year for the third time. Zimbabwe received the Spirit of Cricket Award for their sportsmanship during the World Cup Qualifier match against West Indies.

Cummins expressed his gratitude for the honor, citing the team’s success and his individual achievements during the remarkable year. With outstanding performances in both Test and ODI formats, Cummins played a crucial role in Australia’s victories in the World Test Championship and the World Cup, capping off an extraordinary year for the Australian cricket team.

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India

MS Dhoni files criminal case against former business partners

Dhoni claims Rs 15 crore loss, stating company breached 2017 agreement terms in his complaint.

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Dhoni Files Rs 15 Crore Cheating Case Against Former Partners
File Photo:Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has taken legal action against his former business associates, Mihir Diwakar and Soma Das of Arka Sports and Management Limited, by filing a criminal case at the Ranchi Civil Court. Dhoni alleges that he was cheated of Rs 15 crore due to the company’s failure to adhere to the conditions outlined in a 2017 agreement.

According to Dhoni’s complaint, the agreement stipulated that Arka Sports and Management Private Limited, represented by Mihir Diwakar and Soma Das, would establish cricket academies in Dhoni’s name and pay the associated franchisee fees. Dhoni granted the company authorization through a letter. Initially, the company made payments, but eventually ceased both payments and updates on the progress of the new cricket academies, leading to a loss of Rs 15 crore for Dhoni.

Advocate Dayanand Singh, representing Dhoni, stated that Dhoni revoked the authority granted to the company on August 15, 2021. The advocate further alleged that the company continued to open cricket academies globally, exploiting Dhoni’s name without his knowledge, and collecting funds from individuals.

“After sending a legal notice to the company in 2022, they persisted, causing Dhoni a financial loss exceeding Rs 15 crore,” explained the advocate. Subsequently, a criminal case was filed in the civil court in Ranchi by advocate Simant Lohani. The case, filed under Sections 406, 420, 468, 471, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, had its first hearing on Friday, with the next hearing scheduled for January 20.

The academies were closed following the termination of the agreement in 2021. Mihir Diwakar, a longtime acquaintance of Dhoni, is implicated in the case.

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Sports

England’s World Cup Hopes Diminished by Sri Lankan Victory

England’s defeat has severely dented their semifinal prospects. Opting to bat first, they managed only 156 runs in 33.2 overs, diminishing their chances.

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England's World Cup Hopes Diminished by Sri Lankan Victory
(Photo:X@ESPNcricinfo)

In a stunning turn of events, England’s reign as the 50-over World Cup champion has been cast into serious doubt after a resolute performance by Sri Lanka. On Thursday, Pathum Nissanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s fifty-run partnerships, coupled with exceptional bowling, led Sri Lanka to an emphatic eight-wicket victory.

A Struggling England

England, choosing to bat first, suffered a bewildering batting collapse, being dismissed for a meager 156 runs. The primary culprits were the comeback man Angelo Mathews, who claimed 2 wickets for 14 runs, and the impressive Lahiru Kumara, who took 3 wickets for 35 runs.

A Sri Lankan Triumph

Despite losing a couple of early wickets, Sri Lanka confidently chased down the target. Pathum Nissanka, who scored 77 runs off 83 balls, and Sadeera Samarawickrama, with his 65 off 54 balls, played a pivotal role in this victory with an unbroken 137-run partnership for the third wicket.

England’s World Cup Hopes Dwindling

With just two points from five matches, England now retains only a theoretical chance of making it to the semifinals. In contrast, Sri Lanka, with four points, has a stronger foothold in the competition.

A Glimpse of Hope

England managed to dismiss opener Kusal Perera and Lankan captain Kusal Mendis early on, reducing their opponents to 23 for 2. However, Nissanka and Samarawickrama, two of SL’s best ODI batters this year, combined to produce a solid partnership to ease Lanka’s nerves.

A Battle of Determination

The right-handers displayed moments of elegance but prioritized compactness to secure their partnership. Occasionally, they unleashed their natural batting prowess, with Samarawickrama’s exquisite drives and Nissanka’s daring six over long-on.

A Day of Lacking Determination

Unfortunately, England’s performance lacked determination. While Ben Stokes (43) and Dawid Malan (28) made noteworthy contributions, they were the only ones who showed any intention to bat with purpose in this must-win match.

Batsmen’s Struggles

Joe Root got run out attempting a non-existent single, Jos Buttler’s aggressive drive ended in a catch behind, Jonny Bairstow mistimed a pull, and Liam Livingstone fell prey to an LBW. These were expected to be the leading figures of England’s batting charge, but they failed to deliver.

Stokes’ Brave Effort

Stokes did try to carry the weight on his shoulders, but a tough chance dropped by Samarawickrama off Kumara when Stokes was on 12 didn’t change the course of the game. His dismissal marked the end of England’s chances of posting a challenging total.

The Comedy of Errors

Rashid’s comical run-out symbolized England’s struggles with the bat. The inept batting display shouldn’t overshadow the remarkable performance of the Lankan bowlers, particularly Lahiru Kumara.

Conclusion

In a surprising turn of events, England’s World Cup campaign is teetering on the edge. Their inconsistent batting and a formidable Sri Lankan side have put their title defense in jeopardy. They will need to regroup and come back stronger to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

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