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Tuesday,13-April-2021

International

Zak Crawley hopeful England can make a match of it

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Despite getting bowled out for just 112 in their first innings of the third Test, England are hopeful of giving India a target of at least 150 on “a wicket where batting fourth will be extremely difficult”.

“Have to aim for a lead (target for India) of at least 150. We are going to have to play extremely well but we are capable,” said England opening batsman Zak Crawley after the end of the first day’s play. Crawley scored the lone half-century in England’s innings and was dismissed for 53.

The right-handed England opener believed that a win for England is still within reach.

“I don’t think it will require a miracle actually. Batting last on this wicket will be extremely difficult… I think the pitch will continue to break up,” he said.

“If we bat well in the third innings and put a bit of pressure on them we can defend anything if the pitch continues to get worse.”

England’s scoring options were restricted as the India spinners kept a tight leash by bowling straight and tight. They couldn’t use innovative strokes like the reverse sweep.

“Did not use the reverse sweep as the ball kept coming straight. May use it in second innings if the ball turns consistently,” he added.

Asked if England made a mistake by picking just one spinner in Jack Leach, Crawley said, “If we’d got a few more runs things would look different. If they were 100 for 3 and we had 250 on the board we’d be well on top but unfortunately we didn’t get the runs and we put our bowlers until pressure.”

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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