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Tuesday,13-April-2021

International

4th Test: India 24/1 after spinners rock England

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England got a 200-plus total for the first time after five innings of sub-200 scores but the 205 they could muster on Thursday still kept them on the backfoot against India on the first day of the fourth and final Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday. India were 24 for one at stumps.

Against India’s spin trio that bowled 70 per cent of the overs and took 80 per cent of the wickets, England’s batting heavy line-up faltered again after winning the toss and electing to bat as Axar Patel (4/68), R. Ashwin (3/47) and Washington Sundar (1/14) ran riot.

Only Ben Stokes (55) and Dan Lawrence (46) could put up some resistance of note as the visiting batsmen showed lack of patience on a wicket that was spin-friendly but not as much as during the preceding two Tests.

England’s innings on Thursday lasted for 75.5 overs, which was quite close to the 79.2 overs it lasted across two innings combined in the third Test.

Left-arm spinner Patel, who has taken a hat-trick of fifers, once again took a wicket in his first over of the innings like he had done in the third Test. He removed Dom Sibley, having him bowled with an armer.

In his second over, he got rid of the other opener Zak Crawley who tried to hit out against him. Soon Joe Root (5) was back, dismissed leg-before by a Mohammed Siraj delivery that came back in.

A 48-run partnership brought England to safety but Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal gave India a chance to repeat their act from the third Test when they dismissed England for just over a 100.

However, Stokes’ half-century and contributions from Ollie Pope (29) and Lawrence took them to a total which kept them alive.

India lost an early wicket, of Shubman Gill (0), off the bowling of James Anderson during the 12 overs they had to face towards the end of the day’s play.

Rohit Sharma was unbeaten on eight and Cheteshwar Pujara was not out on 15.

England had packed their line-up with batsmen, leaving out Jofra Archer, who had a niggle in his elbow, as well as Stuart Broad.

Lawrence and off-spinner Dom Bess replaced the two English bowlers.

Brief scores: England 205 all out in 75.5 overs (B Stokes 55, D Lawrence 46, O Pope 29, A Patel 4/68, R Ashwin 3/47, W Sundar 1/15) vs India 24/1 in 12 overs (R Sharma batting 8, C Pujara batting 15, D Bess 1/4)

International

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos tests positive for Covid-19

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Real Madrid defender and captain Sergio Ramos has tested positive for coronavirus, the Spanish club said on Tuesday.

Ramos has been sidelined since the beginning of April due to a muscle injury and his recovery is supposed to last around six weeks, DPA reports.

He missed the Clasico 2-1 win over Barcelona on Saturday and also the Champions League quarter-finals first leg against Liverpool last week.

Due to his injury, Ramos was already set to miss the second leg against Liverpool on Wednesday. Madrid have a 3-1 advantage following their first leg triumph.

Madrid will also miss Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard and Lucas Vazquez, all injured, and Raphael Varane, who tested positive for coronavirus.

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International

Lauren Davis stuns Kenin to progress in Charleston tennis

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Lauren Davis shocked fellow American and second seed Sofia Kenin in the second round of the Charleston Open.

Davis picked up her third career win over a Top 5 player with the gruelling two-and-a-half-hour victory over world number four Kenin, rallying to claim the win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday, Xinhua news reports.

“I’m super excited,” Davis said. “It was a really tough match, she obviously is an incredible player and one of the best competitors that I’ve seen. To have won this, in Charleston with these conditions, being so hot out, it’s really special for me.”

The 79th-ranked Davis is now a win away from matching her career-best run in Charleston, when she reached the quarter-finals in 2015 before losing to eventual runner-up Madison Keys.

“I think this gives me some really good momentum,” Davis said. “I always have that self-belief, but it’s just a matter of digging deep and applying that on the court. So the fact that I was able to do this today and show myself that I can beat a Grand Slam champion, it’s very cool, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”

Davis will now meet another American, Coco Gauff, in the round of 16.

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Surprised SA allowed players to leave for IPL during series: Shahid Afridi

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Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said that it was surprising to see Cricket South Africa (CSA) allowing players to leave for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the middle of an international series.

South Africa’s Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were among players who were allowed to leave for their respective IPL teams after the second ODI of their three-match series against Pakistan.

“Surprising to see @OfficialCSA allowing players to travel for IPL in the middle of a series. It is sad to see T20 leagues influencing international cricket. Some rethinking needs to be done!!” Afridi tweeted.

The series was poised at 1-1 and a depleted South Africa ended up losing the third ODI by 28 runs.

Additionally, New Zealand could be without captain Kane Williamson and frontline fast bowlers Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Lockie Ferguson in their upcoming Test series against England if the trio’s respective IPL teams end up reaching the final. England themselves could be missing players like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes among others if their teams end up reaching the IPL final.

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