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Asian Championship: Sakshi Malik, Pooja Dhanda stunned in trials




Causing a major upset, two-time world cadet champion Sonam Malik defeated Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik to cement a place in the Indian team for the Asian wrestling championship while promising junior Anshu Malik knocked out world championship medallist Pooja Dhanda in another encounter, here on Saturday.

Despite, trailing 4-6 in the second period, Sonam made a comeback as she produced a four-point throw with just three seconds left in the bout to make it 10-10 and later emerged victorious on criteria of scoring the last point.

Sonam then went on outclass Radhika 4-1 in the final to fix her place the Indian team in the 62kg category.

On the other hand, Anshu hammered ace Pooja and then Mansi in the final of the 57kg category.

Meanwhile, star wrestlers Vinesh Phogat (53kg) and Divya Kakran (68kg) also registered easy wins in their respective bouts while Nirmala Devi (50kg) and Kiran Godara (76kg) also won the trials.

The Asian championship will be held in New Delhi between February 18 and 23.


David Warner and Marcus Stoinis pull out of The Hundred




Australian cricketers David Warner and Marcus Stoinis have pulled out of The Hundred dealing a blow to the tournament organised by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The Hundred will run from July 21 to August 21 and was expected to attract a number of stars from across the world.

Warner and Stoinis were contracted by Southern Brave franchise for 100,000 and 80,000 pounds respectively.

“It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid mean there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome,” the ECB told ESPNcricinfo through a statement.

“Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to the Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer.”

Both Warner and Stoinis are part of the 23-member preliminary Australia squad picked for the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh. It is likely that the duo, along with Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, will skip the national assignments as they look to spend time with their families after having spent a lot of time bio-secure environment over the past few months.

Cricket Australia had already added six more players to the preliminary squad expecting withdrawals.

New Zealand woman cricketer Sophie Devine too has made herself unavailable for it.

Sophie, who was picked by Birmingham Phoenix and was replaced at the franchise by world No. 1 woman T20 batter Shafali Verma, has already taken some time off from international cricket.

She had withdrawn from a couple of T20Is and the ODI series against Australia in April.

The all-rounder will return to the Kiwi squad for the three-match T20I series in England in September.

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West Indies’s Nkrumah Bonner suffers blow to his head, out of first Test




West Indies No. 3 batsman Nkrumah Bonner suffered concussion after a sharp bouncer from South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje hit his helmet leading to Keiran Powell taking field as like-for-like replacement on the first day of the first Test.

Bonner, who top-edged the first ball he faced off Nortje as he attempted a hook but deflected the ball onto his helmet, continued batting on Thursday despite getting hit before he was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada for 10.

The 32-year-old right-handed batsman did not appear on the field when the South Africans batted.

“Nkrumah Bonner is currently concussed after receiving a blow to his helmet in the 1st innings — Kieran Powell replaces him in the field #WIvSA,” Windies cricket confirmed on its Twitter handle.

Bonner, who has played four Test matches and scored a century and two half-centuries in his career, will play no further part in the ongoing Test which is a big blow for the host side after it was bowled out for 97 in first innings.

Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson is the match referee for the ongoing Test match.

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Marnus Labuschagne’s 93 not out sends a message to franchises




Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne, who was ignored at the Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction this year, turned up the heat in England’s T20 Blast competition scoring a career-best unbeaten 93 although his knock could not steer Glamorgan to victory over Gloucestershire.

Labuschagne’s good performance in T20 Blast could pave the way for him to make it to The Hundred competition as a replacement in Southern Brave franchise for either David Warner or Marcus Stoinis, who have pulled out of the tournament.

Labuschagne hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 56-ball innings, but Glamorgan were short by four runs, making 175/9 in 20 overs as against 179/6 by Gloucestershire.

Walking in to bat with the score on 31 for one, Labuschagne stood his ground even as a couple of wickets fell with Glamorgan struggling at 41 for three in 5.2 overs.

He, however, single-handedly took his side close to the total as only wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Cooke could star with a 21-ball 26.

“I am still thinking about where I could have found those extra five runs and taken the game on a little bit more,” Labuschagne told BBC Sport Wales.

“I am evaluating that so I know when I am in that situation again I can get us over the line. Pleasing to get some runs but disappointing not to get us over the line,” he added.

“I never doubted I could get a fifty in T20 cricket but for me it is about winning games with Glamorgan, Australia or Queensland.

“Early on my strokes were not too different (to longer formats) but through the middle of the innings it looks a lot different in terms of targeting the right areas, it is a new and exciting challenge,” he said further.

The South Africa-born Labuschagne is ranked No. 3 in ICC Test rankings for batsmen but his performances in limited-overs cricket have not been of the highest level and that has not attracted the IPL or The Hundred franchises. His current form may force a change in thinking and earn him a contract.

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