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Tuesday,22-June-2021

International

Madrid Open: Dominic Thiem eases past qualifier Giron

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Austrian third seed Dominic Thiem needed less than an hour to brush past American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-3, while Matteo Berrettini won against his fellow Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4.

Meanwhile, world number seven Andrey Rublev had to work hard on his Madrid Open debut on Tuesday before booking a place in the third round with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over Tommy Paul, Xinhua reports.

Rublev had problems adapting to the speed on the ball on the Madrid clay, where conditions are made a bit harder by the altitude of the Spanish capital, but is on track to continue his record of reaching at least the quarterfinals of every tournament he has played in all season.

In the first round, No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut needed three sets before edging past Marco Cecchinato 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-5, and 11th seed Denis Shapovalov beat Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-3.

Qualifier Federico Dabonic produced a surprise by knocking out Spanish No. 10 seed, Pablo Carreno Busta, coming back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

In the women’s tournament, No. 3 seed and two-time winner Simone Halep lost 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to Elise Mertens to crash out of Madrid before the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.

The Romanian struggled to find her game throughout the match, and ultimately 48 unforced errors were the difference in a close match.

“She played really well, and she definitely deserved to win because she was stronger in the end. I cannot say I played bad, but I did some mistakes, important mistakes. Sometimes it’s just a little bit and the match is going away,” said Halep after the match.

Mertens will play No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the last eight in a clash between two players who have been doubles partners in the past. Sabalenka needed only 52 minutes to power past Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-2.

No. 11 seed Jennifer Brady failed to make it through after losing a marathon match 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3.

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International

Mushfiqur Rahim suffers hairline fracture ahead of Zimbabwe tour

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Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has sustained a hairline fracture on his left index finger, which could affect his prospects of touring Zimbabwe in July.

Bangladesh are scheduled to play a one-off Test, three ODIs and three T20Is in Zimbabwe, but there is some uncertainty over the tour as the country has halted all sporting activity because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rahim, who plays for Abahani Limited in the Dhaka Premier League T20 tournament, sustained the fracture during his team’s match against Gazi Group Cricketers on Monday.

“We did a CT scan on Mushfiq’s hand, which has come up with a hairline fracture on his left index finger,” Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) chief physician, Debashish Chowdhury, told ESPNcricinfo.

“We have asked him to take a break of one week, but we are hopeful that the recovery won’t take too long, since it is a hairline fracture. We will review the injury after one week, and then we can determine what to do next,” he added.

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PCB, batting coach Younis Khan part ways ahead of crucial series

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and national men’s team batting coach Younis Khan on Tuesday “mutually” parted ways, seven months after the former batsman had accepted a two-year contract.

Younis was appointed in November 2020 until the 2022 ICC men’s T20 World Cup.

The development means that the 43-year-old former Pakistan captain will not travel with the squad for the England and West Indies series.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement on Tuesday, “It is sad to lose an expert of the stature and experience of Younis Khan. Following a series of discussions, we both have reluctantly but mutually and amicably agreed that it was time to move in different directions.

“I want to thank Younis Khan for his contributions during his short stint as the Pakistan men’s national cricket team’s batting coach and hope he will remain available to assist the PCB by sharing his vast knowledge with the emerging cricketers.”

The Pakistan men’s squad will travel to England without a batting coach, while the decision to appoint Younis Khan’s replacement for the West Indies tour will be made in “due course”.

The team will be in England from June 25 till July 20 for three ODIs and three T20Is, while the West Indies tour will be from July 21 till August 24 where the teams will play five T20Is and two Tests.

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WTC final: Fifth day’s play starts after rain delay

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The fifth day’s play of the World Test Championship final here at the Hampshire Bowl started after an hour-long delay due to rain. Pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah bowled the first over of the day. It was also the first over in over 40 hours as the entire fourth day’s play was washed out.

Besides the fourth day, the first day was also washed out. The second and the third days were affected by bad light.

New Zealand were 102/2 after the end of Bumrah’s over. Kane Williamson (12) and Ross Taylor (0) were at the crease.

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