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Iyer, Gill and Kohli fire as India set Sri Lanka daunting target



Both Kohli and Gill missed their hundreds but India still got to a strong total (Cricbuzz)

Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli fired against Sri Lanka on Thursday (November 2) as India posted 357/8 after being sent into bat in Mumbai. All three batters had opportunities to hit centuries at different junctures of the innings but managed to miss the landmark. Meanwhile, Dilshan Madushanka impressed for Sri Lanka with a five-wicket haul.

Madushanka silenced the crowd very early in the game by castling Rohit Sharma with an away-seaming delivery after the Indian skipper got off the mark with a boundary first ball. The Sri Lankan seamer staged an excellent comeback off the very next delivery to rattle the stumps that brought Kohli out to the middle very early. He got off to a positive start finding boundaries regularly in the powerplay and Gill got going as well after a quiet start.

Kohli and Gill hit a boundary each off Maheesh Theekshana as well after the powerplay, forcing the skipper to take him out of the attack and replace him with the leg spin of Dushan Hemantha. The two batters kept milking the bowling attack to bring up their respective half-centuries and in the process, Kohli went past 400 runs in the tournament. With wickets in hand, it was around the halfway mark the two batters decided to step it up a notch as the boundaries started flowing regularly to put Sri Lanka under pressure.

Gill in particular hit sixes off successive overs to finally overtake Kohli as both the batters looked good to bring up their respective centuries. In what turned out to be an anti-climax, Madushanka came back into the attack to ruin those plans. Gill first edged one behind in his attempt to ramp it over the keeper’s head to fall for 92. And the crowd were stunned again in Madushanka’s next over when he rolled his fingers over the ball once more to force Kohli into a shot early and hit one to short cover. The former skipper fell for 88 and missed an opportunity to go level with Sachin Tendulkar for most hundreds in the format.

The two wickets didn’t harm India’s approach though as Shreyas came out with a positive approach to club three sixes in three overs to race to 26 off just 16 balls. Sri Lanka made inroads at the other end though as KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav fell in quick succession. One more wicket at that point could have helped Sri Lanka have a crack at the Indian tail but Shreyas and Ravindra Jadeja denied the opponents that opportunity.

Jadeja was happy playing second fiddle with Shreyas doing bulk of the damage. After going past fifty, Shreyas kept going and at one point looked in great nick to get to the three figure mark especially when he hammered Madushanka for consecutive sixes. But Sri Lanka’s best bowler of the afternoon staged a strong comeback by bowling one slow and wide, forcing the batter to reach for the ball and mistime it, only to get caught for 82. A couple of boundaries from Jadeja in the penultimate over helped India go past 350 and register the highest team score in World Cup history without a century.                        


India innings
Rohit Sharma b Madushanka                             4
Shubman Gill c Mendis b Madushanka           92
Virat Kohli c Nissanka b Madushanka            88
Shreyas Iyer c Theekshana b Madushanka     82
K.L. Rahul c Hemantha b Chameera               21
Suryakumar Yadav c Mendis b Madushanka 12
Ravindra Jadeja run out                                    35
Mohammad Shami run out                                2
Jasprit Bumrah not out                                       1
Extras: (b 5, lb 6, w 8, nb 1)                            20
Total: (for eight wickets)                           357
Overs: 50
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Rohit), 2-193 (Gill), 3-196 (Kohli), 4-256 (Rahul), 5-276 (Yadav), 6-333 (Iyer), 7-355 (Shami), 8-356 (Jadeja).
Did not bat: Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj.
Bowling: Dilshan Madushanka 10-0-80-5 (w 6), Dushmantha Chameera 10-2-71-1, Kasun Rajitha 9-0-65-0 (w 1), Angelo Mathews 3-0-11-0, Maheesh Theekshana 10-0-67-0 (w 1), Dushan Hemahta 8-0-52-0 (nb 1).

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (Captain and Wicketkeeper), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dushan Hemantha, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka.

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“Operation ‘Yukthiya’ will persist despite pressure” – Minister of Public Security




Minister of Public Security, Mr. Tiran Alles, attending a news conference held at the Presidential Media Centre today (21) under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.emphasized his unwavering commitment to continue operations aimed at suppressing drugs, tackling the underworld and preventing violence against women and children, regardless of any pressure encountered.

Furthermore, Minister Alles disclosed that operation ‘Yukthiya’, which commenced on December 17, has resulted in the seizure of narcotics valued at Rs. 7.8 billion and assets including vehicles and buildings confiscated by law enforcement amount to Rs. 725 million. . A total of 58,562 raids have been conducted, leading to the arrest of 58,234 individuals involved in illicit activities.


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Marsh, David leave New Zealand bruised in Australia’s thrilling last-ball win




Mitchell Marsh's 44-ball unbeaten 72 held the Australia chase together (Cricinfo)

Australia captain Mitchell Marsh produced a powerful all-round performance before Tim David batted superbly at the death to complete a last-ball win over New Zealand in a high-scoring series opener in Wellington.

Chasing 216 after Devon Conway emerged from a form slump with a half-century, Australia appeared on the brink of defeat despite Marsh’s effort. But David took over with 31 off 10 balls punctuated by a boundary through the leg-side off Tim Southee to seal Australia’s remarkable heist.

Australia drew first blood in the fight for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy,  which had previously only been awarded to the winner of bilateral ODI series between the teams. With the T20 World Cup just over three months away, the three-match series is vital preparation for both teams.

There was no room for Steven Smith in Australia’s batting order, with Travis Head returning after missing the West Indies series. He opened alongside David Warner for the first time in T20Is. But neither could capitalise on starts. Warner was booed off the ground by the partisan crowd and responded by giving them a wave.

It was left to Marsh, who obliged with typically belligerent batting. Anything in his hitting zone was handled with disdain as he motored to his half-century off 29 balls. But Marsh lacked support as Australia fell away and needed a seemingly improbable 32 runs off nine balls to win. But David took over with a boundary off Adam Milne before launching consecutive sixes to reduce Australia’s target to 16 runs off the final over.

Southee bowled well at the start of the final over by bowling a few yorkers, but David again showed his prowess at finishing with a six over the leg-side off the full-tossed fourth delivery of the 20th over. Two balls later, his swat through wide long on with two fielders converging went for four, and underlined a remarkable chase that showcased their firepower. It also illustrated that there may not be room for Smith at the T20 World Cup.

Milne and Lockie Ferguson were only playing their 10th T20I together. They menaced with prodigious swing at rapid pace with Ferguson reaching speeds of 150 kmph.

Milne claimed the much-needed first wicket after a flier from Head, while Ferguson chimed in by getting through Glenn Maxwell to halt Australia’s momentum.

Ferguson was superb throughout and bowled accurate yorkers under pressure in a brilliant 18th over that appeared to put New Zealand in the box seat. But New Zealand ultimately rued sloppy fielding, most notably Glenn Phillips missing a chance on the boundary when Marsh was on 36.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who had both rested for the past three weeks since the Test summer ended, played their first T20I since the 2022 T20 World Cup as Australia unveiled a full-strength attack.

Starc was on the money immediately as he angled a delivery past Finn Allen on the first delivery of an excellent first over. He returned in the sixth over to pick up Allen having not let him have any width to hit.

Starc was the pick of the bowlers until he was thrashed for 16 runs in the penultimate over of the innings. Cummins had also mostly defied the onslaught with his canny array of slower deliveries before being dispatched for 15 runs in the last over.

After recording the worst-ever figures by an Australian bowler in T20Is in their last match against West Indies, legspinner Adam Zampa copped another flogging with 0 for 42 from three overs. Australia, who sloppily conceded 15 extras, became the first team ever to concede four straight 200-plus totals in T20I cricket.

In better news for Australia, Marsh utilised slower deliveries effectively and claimed the wicket of Conway to finish with 1 for 21 off three. Marsh didn’t use himself against West Indies but stepped up here with Marcus Stoinis missing from the series.

Conway entered the series finding himself in his career’s first prolonged form slump. Conway got out of it by perhaps channelling the last time he batted against Australia in a T20 match when he made an unbeaten 92 to launch the 2022 T20 World Cup.

It was deja vu with Conway and Allen again monstering a half-century inside four overs just like they did at the SCG. Conway relished a surface that was fast with a consistent bounce to notch his first international half-century since last year’s ODI World Cup. His knock was marked by superb back-foot play as he continually whacked shorter deliveries in a confidence-boosting innings.

After Allen fell just before the end of the powerplay, Conway combined with Rachin Ravindra, who was sluggish early and was halted initially by Cummins’ nagging line and length. But Ravindra eventually found his groove and pummelled Zampa for a trio of sixes in the 15th over.

Ravindra raced to his second T20I half-century off just 29 balls to make the most of his opportunity with skipper Kane Williamson not playing due to the birth of his third child. The top-order batting, plus the finishing touches by Phillips and Mark Chapman, meant big-hitting debutant Josh Clarkson was not required.

Brief scores:
Australia 216 for 4 in 20 overs (Travis Head 24, Mitchell Marsh 72*, David Warner 32, Glenn Maxwell 25, Josh Inglis 20, Tim  David 31*; Adam Milne 1-53, Lockie Furgeson 1-23, Mitchell Santner 2-42) beat New Zealand 215 for 3 in 20 overs (Finn Allen 32, Rachin Ravindra 68, Devon Conway 63,Glenn Phillips 19*, Mark Chapman 18*; Mitchell Starc 1-39, Pat Cummins 1-43, Mitchell Marsh 1-21) by six wickets

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Agriculture and tourism key sectors for the nation’s swift recovery- President




Addressing the 37th session of the Asia and Pacific Regional Conference (APRC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Colombo today (20), President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed the government’s dedication to elevating Sri Lanka as a prominent exporter of agricultural produce through rapid agricultural sector transformation. He emphasized the pivotal role agriculture played in navigating Sri Lanka through the previous economic crisis and highlighted agriculture and tourism as key sectors for the nation’s swift recovery.

The conference, which commenced on the 19th of February in Colombo with the participation of diplomats and representatives from 34 countries including the United States, China, and Russia, will conclude tomorrow (21). Sri Lanka’s chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific region of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization will extend from now until 2026.

This year’s conference, themed “Transformation of the Agro-Food System,” will delve into key areas such as promoting nutritious food production, ensuring food security, enhancing food production, safeguarding the environment, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change risks.

Sri Lanka hosted the 2nd Asia and Pacific Regional Conference in 1955.



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