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Neththaru’s crucial blows secure St. Servatius’ Tier ‘A’ promotion  

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Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ semi-finals  

Chiran Neththaru picked up four wickets including two crucial wickets in consecutive balls during the dying minutes of the game for St. Servatiu’s Matara to advance to the finals and secure their place in the Tier ‘A’ tournament at the expense of formidable Mahinda, Galle in the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ semi-final at Surrey Village ground on Sunday.

In reply to their 350 for nine wickets declared, Mahinda were 295 for six wickets when Neththaru sprang in to action taking two wickets in successive balls. A century by Pramesh Madhubhashana and valuable knocks by Hareen Achintha, Ranmina Hettiarachchi, Hiruna Gallage and Senuka Dangamuwa had set Mahinda up for an interesting finish. Dangamuwa was unbeaten on 35 runs having struck three sixes and three fours when Neththaru had him stumped. In his next ball, Neththaru had Shehan Hasaranga out for naught.

With the match heading for no decision, that crucial double blow helped St. Servatius’ gain valuable points to edge out Mahinda. According to officials St. Servatius’ were ahead by 0.3 points.

Meanwhile, in the other Division I Tier ‘B’ semi-final on Monday, Maris Stella were strongly placed having reached 239 for three wickets at stumps on day one on the back of a valuable century by Kaveen Fernando in their match against St. Aloysius’, Galle at Surrey Village.

Results 

St. Servatius’ secure final spot at Surrey Village ground

Scores: 

St. Servatius’

350 for 9 decl. in 107.2 overs (Mithila Charles 28, Chamarindu Nethsara 30, Diniru Abeywickramasinghe 31, Chiran Neththaru 31, Vishwa Supun 101n.o., Kushan Wijerama 86; Senuka Dangamuwa 4/104, Kaveen Rukshan 2/58) 

Mahinda

295 for 8 in 82 overs (Hareen Achintha 30, Pramesh Madhubhashana 117, Ranmina Hettiarachchi 32, Hiruna Gallage 47, Senuka Dangamuwa 35; Chiran Neththaru 4/54, Thisan Dewmith 3/90) 

Kaveen scores century for Maris Stella at Surrey Village Ground

Scores: 

Maris Stella

239 for 3 in 61 overs (Kaveen Fernando 107, Shean Adithya 57, Ramith Bandara 36n.o.; Oshada Devinda 3/30) 



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Jaffna Kings beat Kandy Falcons in seven over game

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Jaffna Kings defeated Kandy Falcons by four wickets in a  seven overs per side match played at the RPICS in Colombo.

Brief scores:
Kandy Falcons 78/5 in 7 overs [Dinesh Chandimal 21, Nohammad Harris 30, Angelo Mathews 11; Jason Behrendorff  3-10, Asitha Fernando 1-19, Azmatullah Omarzai 1-20] lost to Jafffna Kings 79/6 in 5.5 overs [Avishka Fernando 16, Charith Asalanka 26, Azmatullah Omarzai 24* ; Angelo Mathews 2-22, Dasun Shanaka 1-26, Wanidu Hasaranga 2-18] by four wickets

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Jaiswal and Gill wrap up series in style for India

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India had plenty to cheer about in Harare [Cricinfo]

Zimbabwe’s most-assured batting effort wasn’t enough to mount a challenge against India’s young IPL stars. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill made light work of a 153-run target, sauntering home in just 15.2 overs in a sensational exhibition of intent-laden batting of the kind we hadn’t seen in the series so far.

Where Zimbabwe hit all of 10 fours in their 20 overs, Jaiswal and Gill smashed as many in their first four overs en route a ten-wicket thumping that delivered an unassailable 3-1 lead for India with one more game to play on on Sunday.

Zimbabwe had lost at least two wickets in the powerplay in each of the three T20Is in the series before this game. Today, though, Wesley Madhevere and Tadiwansabe Marumani rode their luck to add 63 in 8.4 overs to give them a platform.

In the third over, Marumani was dropped by Shivam Dube at mid-on while on 3. He also benefited from an overthrow that went to the boundary in the same over, and Marumani appeared to change gears after the reprieve by going after debutant Tushar Deshpande, who conceded 21 off his first two overs. Gill quickly turned to spin inside the powerplay and they managed to rein in the scoring; eventually an effort to up the ante against India’s part-time bowlers, who needed to fill the fifth-bowler’s quota, got Marumani.

Off Abhishek Sharma’s fourth ball, he looked to pull and ended up hitting it towards the longest part of the boundary where Rinku Singh was waiting at deep midwicket. This allowed Gill to bring on Dube from the other end in a bid to get the fifth-bowler’s quota out of the way, but he too struck – in his first over, he had the other set batter, Madhevere, pulling a short ball to Rinku at deep square leg.

Abhishek could have had a second wicket in T20Is, but for Ruturaj Gaikwad shelving a dolly at extra cover to reprieve Brian Bennett. The missed opportunity didn’t cost India much though.

Raza needed to rescue Zimbabwe as they had suddenly lost 4 for 33 after the solid opening. Having been guilty of running out Jonathan Campbell, Raza’s industry kept the runs ticking until he flicked the switch with five overs remaining.

On 21 off 17 at that point, he launched Washington Sundar over deep midwicket for a 90-metre six, and then went after Khaleel Ahmed in his next over, hitting a four and a six. Overs 16 and 17 produced 31 as Zimbabwe charged towards 160. That they fell eight short was thanks to two excellent overs from Deshpande, who dismissed Raza for his maiden international wicket, and Khaleel. Zimbabwe had a competitive, if not match-winning, total.

India’s chase was kickstarted with Jaiswal hitting three fours off left-arm seamer Richard Ngavara in the first over. Jaiswal was in no mood to stop there, hitting Tendai Chatara for four more fours off his first over, the third of the innings. The seamers kept giving him width and he kept crashing them away through point, alternating between hitting them along the ground and playing the full-blooded cuts. India raised their fifty in just 3.5 overs with Jaiswal contributing 39.

Jaiswal got to his half-century off 29 balls, and then unfurled one of the shots of the day when he sent Raza inside-out over extra cover. Having been beaten in flight, he quickly adjusted to loft him through the line and bisect the tiny gap between deep cover and wide long-off.

Gill then took over, helping himself against Faraz Akram’s gentle seam-ups in a exquisite display of hitting-on-the-up. Gill’s second straight half-century, off 35 balls, was mellow in comparison to Jaiswal but effective nonetheless.

As the match raced towards the finish line, the only point of interest was if Jaiswal could get the 17 of the 18 remaining runs needed to get to a hundred. He couldn’t; ended up 93 not out, having displayed his full range in an exhilarating display reflecting the type of intent that won India the T20 World Cup last month after 17 years.

Brief scores:
India 156 for 0 in 15.2 overs (Yashaswi Jaiswal 93*, Shubman  Gill 58*) beat Zimbabwe 152 for 7 in 20 overs (Wessley Madhevere 25, Sikanda Raza 46, Tadiwanashe Marumani 32, Khaleel Ahmed 2-32, Tushar Deshpande 1-30, Washington Sundar 1-32, Abhishek Sharma 1-20, Shivam Dube 1-11) by ten wickets

[Cricinfo]

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Djokovic sets up Alcaraz rematch in Wimbledon final

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Novak Djokovic is trying to match Roger Federer's total of eight Wimbledon titles [BBC]

Novak Djokovic outclassed Italian underdog Lorenzo Musetti to reach the Wimbledon final and set up a showdown with reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in a repeat of last year’s final.

The 37-year-old impressed as he stayed on course for a record-equalling eighth men’s singles title at Wimbledon with a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory on Centre Court.

Musetti, 22, had one chance to get the break back in the final set but sent a forehand into the net and crouched down with his head in his hands, knowing the end was near.  Djokovic made sure his opponent did not get another opportunity.

Under pressure, Musetti sent a shot long before Djokovic walked to the net, knowing he had reached his 37th Grand Slam final and 10th at Wimbledon.

The Serb then moved his racquet over his shoulder and imitated playing a violin, in a gesture aimed at his six-year-old daughter Tara, with television cameras showing her grinning along.

Some fans, however, started booing, thinking Djokovic, who produced the same celebration following his win over Holger Rune in the last 16, was being disrespectful.

Alcaraz beat Djokovic in last year’s showpiece, winning 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 in a five-set epic, which lasted four hours 42 minutes and is regarded one of the best matches in the tournament’s history.

The pair meet again on Sunday in what could be another amazing chapter in Wimbledon folklore.

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