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Women’s World Cup: Smriti, Harmanpreet hammer centuries in India’s 155-run thrashing of West Indies

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Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur hammered centuries as India emerged triumphant over the West Indies by a huge margin of 155 runs in the third match of their campaign at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup at Seddon Park on Saturday.

While Smriti hit 123 runs in 119 balls, Harmanpreet slammed 109 in 107 balls apart from the 184-run partnership, rescuing India from 78/3.

The refreshing batting performance, led by Smriti and Harmanpreet helped India reach 317/8, their highest score in World Cups, including of the ongoing edition.

In reply, West Indies raced to 100 for no loss in just 12 overs, thanks to Deandra Dottin’s 62. But once she fell, the rest of the batting order couldn’t stand up to the scoreboard pressure and crumbled to 162 all out.

The 155-run win, coming 48 hours after a 62-run loss to New Zealand at the same venue, now puts India on top of the points table and gives their NRR a huge boost in the race to semifinals.

Mithali Raj’s decision to bat first on a used pitch was validated early on by Yastika Bhatia’s 21-ball 31. After getting her first boundary with an outside edge flying over slip, Yastika pulled Chinelle Henry thrice in the arc from deep mid-wicket to backward square leg.

Yastika continued to pull as Shamilia Connell was taken for fours through leg-side. Yastika’s knock came to an end when she chipped a cutter from Shakera Selman back to the bowler. Mithali’s promotion to three didn’t go well as she closed her bat face too early and chipped straight to mid-on off Hayley.

Deepti Sharma fell to Anisa Mohammed while trying to slog sweep and Hayley at first slip took a one-handed stunner to her right at slip. On the other hand, Smriti took her time before driving Shamilia through cover and lofting Hayley Matthews over mid-off. Harmanpreet began by using her feet against Anisa for two boundaries through off-side and began to rotate the strike with Smriti starting to get her groove.

The duo ran exceptionally between the wickets while rotating the strike and scoring delightful boundaries in between. Smriti brought up her fifty with a boundary clipped between mid-wicket and mid-on.

Harmanpreet brought out her sweep against Stafanie Taylor’s off-spin while Smriti thumped Shakera for a grand six down the ground. Harmanpreet then reached her fifty with a loft over long-off for four.

As Smriti and Harmanpreet’s partnership began to grow, West Indies began to fumble in the field. Misfields, dropped chances and missed run-outs began to creep in as Smriti got some luck on her side in nervous 90s. Smriti then reached her century with a pull through square leg off Hayley. Hayley came under further attack from Smriti as she slammed a hat-trick of boundaries.

Though Smriti found deep mid-wicket on the pull off Shamilia, Harmanpreet hit Dottin for a four and six and reached her century with a single through long-on. Harmanpreet fell in the 49th over as the outside edge on the paddle went to the ‘keeper. Pooja Vastrakar, Richa Ghosh and Jhulan Goswami fell in quick succession but India had crossed the 300-mark by then.

In reply, Deandra began by cracking two fours through cover and over slip off Meghna Singh. Jhulan Goswami teased her on the off-stump line but Deandra replied with successive boundaries over mid-wicket and extra cover.

From the other end, Hayley started with a drive in the gap between backward point and over off Meghna. Hayley then smacked a wayward Jhulan for a hat-trick of fours before Deandra hit two more fours in a row to take 21 runs off the over.

Hayley was given a reprieve at 23 when she was dropped by substitute fielder Taniya Bhatia. But Deandra continued to plunder boundaries, including a six over long-on off Deepti to reach her fifty in just 35 balls. Pooja and Rajeshwari Gayakwad were brought in but were unable to stop the boundary flow. Hayley’s drive off backfoot through cover brought the century of West Indies in just 12 overs.

From there, West Indies began to implode as Sneh Rana drew a top-edge from the slog-sweep of Deandra and was safely caught by short fine leg. A sustained pressure of dot balls resulted in Kycia Knight trying to pull Meghna but found fine leg. In her next over, Meghna got the big wicket of Stafanie, who nicked a shaping away delivery to keeper.

Sneh got one to turn and bounce away from Hayley, who looked to cut but edged behind to keeper. Pooja, returning for her second spell, got Shemaine Campbelle to slice straight to backward point. In the next over, Rajeshwari trapped Chinelle plumb lbw and effected the run-out of Aaliyah.

With Anisa flicking to a tumbling short mid-wicket, Jhulan grabbed her 40th scalp in World Cups and also became the leading wicket-taker in history of the tournament. Chedean Nation fell to a run-out from Deepti and Sneh finished off the match with a caught and bowled dismissal of Shamilia.

Brief Scores: India 317/8 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 123, Harmanpreet Kaur 109; Anisa Mohammed 2/59, Aaliyah Alleyne 1/26) beat West Indies 162 all out in 40.3 overs (Deandra Dottin 62, Hayley Matthews 43; Sneh Rana 3/22, Meghna Singh 2/27) by 155 runs.

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Bangladesh might have succumbed to pressure v India; not taking fake fielding issue any further: Sriram

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Bangladesh coach Sridharan Sriram has conceded his team might have succumbed to pressure in the thrilling five-run loss to India in their Super 12 Group 2 match of the ICC T20 World Cup, and has also said he has no intention of taking the potential fake fielding incident involving Virat Kohli during the match any further.

Bangladesh were cruising along at 66 without loss in seven overs, with Litton Das coming out all guns blazing and snatching the advantage of making 184/6 from India through a breath-taking 59 not out off 26 balls — laced with seven fours and three sixes at a strike rate of 226.9 — when rain put a halt to his pyrotechnics.

Bangladesh’s target was revised from 185 in 20 overs to 151 in 16 overs. They needed 85 more runs in nine overs to win the match, with all wickets in hand. India’s bowling attack, which took a beating in the power-play, got the much-needed respite thanks to the rain break and they went on to win the match by five runs (D/L method).

Sriram agreed the rain delay and the revised target brought the pressure on his side and it crumbled.

“Well, it was quite frantic for that brief (last) 10-12 minutes (of the match), which is understandable. I think the boys, nine runs an over or 9.75 runs an over, definitely I think the pressure got to them a little bit. Yeah, it was a little bit of a frantic 15-20 minutes if I can put it, yes,” said Sriram, the former Australia spin-bowling coach.

Bangladesh are scheduled to play their last Super 12 game against Pakistan on Sunday with a win not guaranteeing them a place in the last four, but the results of the remaining two Group 2 games — South Africa vs Netherlands and India vs Zimbabwe — could facilitate their semifinal entry.

Much heat has been generated over on-field umpires missing a potential fake fielding incident involving Kohli, which could have earned Bangladesh five runs in penalties and a victory against India, but Sriram said he is not here “to offer any excuses” for the defeat.

Wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan accused Kohli of fake fielding during the match, claiming that the umpires missed the incident and could have resulted in the opposition getting crucial five runs as penalty. The incident that Hasan talked about going unnoticed took place in the seventh over of Bangladesh’s chase when Kohli feigned a throw while standing at point, as if he was relaying a throw coming from Arshdeep Singh from the deep off the bowling of Axar Patel.

Neither the on-field umpires, Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown, spotted it, nor did the two Bangladeshi batters, openers Litton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto, out in the middle, pointed it out.

Law 41.5, pertaining to unfair play, prohibits the “deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of (the) batter”, and if an incident is deemed to be a breach, the umpire can declare that particular delivery as dead ball, and award the batting side five runs. But Hasan didn’t mention if either of Das or Shanto spoke to him or to the team about distraction or deception from Kohli pretending to throw the ball to the keeper.

Shedding light on the controversy, Sriram said, “No, we are not here to offer any excuses. I did speak to the fourth umpire as soon as it happened, but I think it was the on-field umpire’s call, and that’s what we were told, but we’re not here to offer any excuses.”

Sriram said the focus now is to beat Pakistan and wait for the results of other matches to go in his team’s favour.

“I’ve been very clear in all my press conferences. We’re just taking it one game at a time, plan for one opposition at a time. Every game we want to go, we obviously want to win it, but we’re aware of what challenges Pakistan present. We played them in New Zealand just recently (in the Tri-series), and we have high respect for that team, so we’re going to turn up and be at our best on that day.”

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Adit, Nihaal lead a strong showing in third leg of US Kids Golf India; Five boys, two girls complete hat-trick of wins

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Adit Veeramachaneni of Bengaluru landed three eagles in a superb winning effort of 7-under 65 in the third leg of the US Kids Golf India at the links-style Golden Greens.

Adit, winner of the first two legs of the India series, completed a treble in the U-9 category.

Veeramachaneni was one of the five players in the Boys section to complete a hat-trick of wins. Two other players in the Girls section also completed a similar feat of three wins in three starts.

Among the outstanding performances in the third leg was Nihaal Cheema in the Boys Under-6. He carded an incredible six birdies in his nine-hole competition for a 6-under 30 score.

Divjot Singh playing in Boys U-7 Category gave the US Kids Golf India Series a milestone moment by holing his second shot at the 275-yard Par-5 fifth hole for the Tour’s first-ever albatross in India. Divjot’s second shot from just over 100 yards disappeared into the hole sparking off a big celebration.

Divjot also avenged the defeat he had suffered earlier at the hands of Kabir Goyal, who finished second this time.

The excellent scores were indicative of the talent on view, as six winners and one second placed player shot under par scores and another two winners had even par rounds. It meant that the players with under par scores will have a chance to qualify for the US Kids Golf’s World Championships in the US and the European events.

The six winners shooting under par at the Golden Greens included Nihaal Cheema (Boys U-6), Divjot Gupta (Boys U-7), Adit Veeramachaneni (Boys U-9) and Armin Paul Singh (Boys U-12) among boys and Amaira Gulati (Girls U-8) and Shambhavi Chaturvedi (Girls 11-12). Arnav Kumar (Boys U-9), runner-up in U-9, also shot 1-under.

The players completing a treble were: Nihaal Cheema (Boys U-6), Jot Sarup Singh (Boys U-8), Adit Veeramachaneni (Boys U-9), Chaitanya Pandey (Boys U-11) and Manyaveer Bhadoo (Boys 15-18).

Among the girls, Lucknow’s Amaira Gulati (U-8) and Gurgaon’s Mahreen Bhatia (Girls 13-14) made it three in a row.

Rajesh Srivastava, President of the US Kids Golf India, said, “It was a sensational day. Adit (Veeramachaneni) from Bengaluru and Nihaal Cheema carded brilliant scores of 7-under and 6-under. There was also the first-ever albatross in US Kids Golf India when Divjot Singh holed his second shot on the Par-5 in the U-7 category. The birdies and eagles also signalled the rising standards as the youngsters aim for berths at the World and European Championships, ahead of the Indian Championship later this month.”

Amit Dube, the Tournament Director, a former pro and now a coach, added, “The standard shows that these youngsters are ready for big events and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events. We look forward to a high level of play and more youngsters coming out in future.”

Fifty players teed up across the various age categories as they got ready for the Indian Championship, a three-day international event to be held from November 23-25, 2022. The Indian Championship, scheduled at the Classic Golf and Country Club, will have World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points.

Players shooting 72 and below in at least two Local Tour events will earn Level 11 status and will earn AJGA Performance Star.

The US Kids local Tour is the only tournament giving opportunity to Players to earn AJGA Stars. The youngsters are looking to accumulate Priority Level status for the US Kids Europe and World Championships and the AJGA stars, which helps them get into numerous international events.

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West Indies U19 women’s team to tour India ahead of U19 T20 World Cup 2023

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Ashmini Munisar has been named skipper, while Trishan Holder will be her deputy in the 15-member West Indies women’s U-19 squad for the T20 tour of India beginning in Visakhapatnam on November 13.

The tour will feature matches against India-A Women U19, India-B Women U19 and Sri Lanka Women U19 at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy International Stadium in Visakhapatnam. West Indies will then travel to Mumbai where they will play against New Zealand Women U19 at the DY Patil Stadium.

The team will be under the guidance of head coach Steve Liburd. Munisar is an allrounder who led the team when West Indies U19 played against USA Women’s U19 in Fort Lauderdale in August. Vice-captain Holder is a top-order batter who was a member of the Barbados team at the Commonwealth Games playing matches against Pakistan, Australia and India.

The players for the T20 matches were selected after trial matches in Trinidad.

“As part of the preparation for the tour the squad was involved in some practice matches during a seven-day training camp in Trinidad. The final team selected contained some of the players who participated in the series in the USA and there are some new players who the panel would like to have a look at before a final team is selected for the World Cup,” said lead selector, Ann Browne-John.

“The composition of the team is quite balanced with some strong batters and a good mix of spin and medium pacers. It will be their first experience against top international teams and these tour matches will give a better indication of where the team is at the moment,” she added.

This series in the sub-continent will form a crucial part of the team’s preparations for the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023. The global event will feature 41 matches be played from January 14-29 in South Africa.

The official warm-up matches will be from January 9-11. The 16 participating teams will play in four groups in the preliminary round. West Indies have been drawn in Group C alongside New Zealand, Ireland and Indonesia.

Full squad: Ashmini Munisar (captain), Trishan Holder, Asabi Callendar, Kenika Cassar, Jahzara Claxton, Naijanni Cumberbatch, Jannillea Glasgow, Realeanna Grimmond, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, KDJazz Mitchell, Shalini Samaroo, Shunelle Sawh, Lena Scott, Kate Wilmott.

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