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Ollie Pope ton keeps England going in Hyderabad

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England see-sawed their way to a lead of 100-plus on an engaging Day 3 of the first Test (Cricbuzz)

Ollie Pope scored a gritty fifth Test hundred, and added 112 runs for the sixth wicket with Ben Foakes to keep England going on an engrossing third day in Hyderabad. Indian bowlers, led by Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin, had the visitors on the mat at 172 for 5 at Tea. Pope however, set them on a recovery path, ending the day having steered England ahead by 126 runs.Pope’s 148*, incidentally, is the highest score by a visiting batter in the second innings vs India in India since Alastair Cook’s 176 in Ahmedabad in 2012 – the first Test of India’s last series defeat at home.

In a line-up with three frontline spinners, Joe Root soared as the best of the lot with a four-wicket haul as he accelerated the end of India’s innings. He began by denying Ravindra Jadeja – who’d gone into a shell early on – a century, and knocked back Jasprit Bumrah’s stumps with the next ball. His search for a hat-trick against Mohammed Siraj with six close-in fielders was futile but Rehan Ahmed cleaned up Axar Patel with a ball that spun and kept low, keeping India’s lead to 190.

England then started their innings like only they do, as Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett came out reverse-sweeping against Ashwin. Rohit Sharma’s decision to bring on Axar Patel in tandem was challenged with a lot of disdain as Crawley gave him the charge and picked quick runs. Though Ashwin got the better of him towards the end of the session, England’s ideas of batting quickly didn’t waver as they reached the first intermission at 89/1 in just 16 overs – wiping out nearly half the deficit.

Bumrah forced a change in complexion of the flow of play in the second session with a stirring spell that had him dismissing Duckett twice. First, LBW that Rohit refused to review (he should’ve) and then, in his next over, with one that came in with the round-the-wicket angle and sent Duckett’s off-stump cartwheeling. Life got queasy for England when shortly he trapped Joe Root leg before. Jonny Bairstow weathered a bit of the Bumrah storm, who was varying his pace for fun, unfurling deliveries 20kmph slower than the previous one with just a well-disguised flick of the wrist. Bairstow, however, was sucked in by a Jadeja trap as the left-arm spinner got one ball to turn away sharply and just the next to hold its line and flummox an unsuspecting Bairstow who offered no shot.

Ollie Pope meanwhile brought up a brisk fifty but shifted his gears downwards while trying to rebuild in the company of Ben Stokes. The England captain made an ultra-cautious start as India doubled up on spin and attempted to run through the middle and lower order while they still held a lead. As has always been the case, a mini-tussle of grit and wit ensued between Stokes and Ashwin, with the latter emerging victorious once more with a full ball that had flight, dip and turn to beat the outside edge of Stokes’s bat and clean him up.

From 172/5 at Tea, England’s attempt to politely turn the tables back began with Pope finding an able ally in Ben Foakes. The third session offered very slow spin, allowing the two batters to comfortably use their feet without fearing the consequences of the turn. The pair batted together for 30.1 overs to take the team to a respectable lead before Foakes fell to a slider from Axar Patel. Pope carried on in the company of a plucky Rehan Ahmed, who batted 31 of the 60 balls in the partnership.

Even after such a gritty batting day, England will need to have a lot more defiance in the tank on Day 4 if they are to take something away from this fixture.

Brief scores:
England
246 & 316/6 (Ollie Pope 148*, Ben Duckett 47; Jasprit Bumrah 2-29, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-93) lead  India 436 (Ravindra Jadeja 87, KL Rahul 86; Joe Root 4/79) by 126 runs



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Advisory for strong winds and rough seas for naval and fisher communities in the deep-sea areas in the South-eastern Arabian Sea

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Advisory for strong winds and rough seas issued by the Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre at 12.30 p.m. 18 May 2024

Naval and Fisher communities in the deep-sea areas in the South-eastern Arabian Sea have been warned  that strong winds accompanied with heavy rainfalls and very rough seas are likely over the sea areas around the country and over the South-eastern Arabian Sea areas during the next few days.

Naval and fishing communities are advised not to venture into the sea areas marked RED color on the map below until further notice.

Naval and fishing communities are also requested to be attentive to future forecasts issued by the Department of Meteorology in this regard.

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England spinners apply the squeeze as Pakistan slump to series-ending 65-run loss

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Alice Capsey struck twice in her first over, after an important innings with the bat (Cricinfo)

A disciplined, clinical performance with the ball and in the field saw England ease to a 65-run win in Northampton, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead over Pakistan. As in the first T20I, Sarah Glenn spearheaded her side with two wickets to follow up her four-wicket haul last Saturday, chopping through Pakistan’s middle order to cut the visitors, who fell apart with the bat once more, adrift.

Several bowlers chipped in, with Lauren Bell, Charlie Dean, Alice Capsey and Sophie Ecclestone – who became the leading WT20I wicket-taker for England with her three, all among the wickets. It came during another tame batting performance from Pakistan, whose flashes of talent were unable to plug the holes their lack of consistency left exposed. The pursuit of 145 never really got off the ground, and before long, Nida Dar’s side folded feebly for 79.

Pakistan had much to be hopeful about after the first innings. They dragged England back after a bright powerplay from the hosts, taking wickets at regular overs to stymie English momentum at every turn. It wasn’t quite as helpful a wicket to bat on as the one at Edgbaston, and England ensured most batters made contributions; five of the top seven scored between 15 and 31. A late cameo from Dani Gibson took England to 144, and while it seemed a vulnerable target at the time, England’s excellence in the second innings demonstrated it was anything but.

In an ultimately low-scoring game, England’s bellicose approach right from the outset provided them a buffer that would ultimately come in handy. Waheeda Akhtar was too straight with the first ball, and Maia Bouchier punished her with a flick for four, setting the powerplay tempo early. Another slap past point in the same over went for four, and Sadia Malik’s width was punished with a drive through the covers.

Capsey, meanwhile began stodgily, managing just two off the first nine. However, she cut loose in an onslaught against Waheeda in the fifth over, plundering five boundaries to make up for lost time. By the end of the fifth over, England had raced along to 43 for one; it would take Pakistan until the eighth over and the loss of three extra wickets before they breached that number. By that time, the game was all but secure for the hosts.

If Pakistan could have strung together their powerplay bowling performance in Birmingham with their middle-overs showing today, the series may well have been level. Pakistan enjoyed relative control during the eight overs that followed the powerplay in the first innings, keeping England on a leash with their parsimony with the ball and in the field. Nida, Nashra Sandhu and Diana Baig whizzed through their overs, tying Bouchier down before a stunning bit of fielding caught her out of her crease and ran her out. Dar’s variety in the air was instrumental in deceiving an onrushing Capsey as the brakes were applied across a 48-ball spell that saw just 42 scored and set Pakistan up nicely for the death

There’s little point in breaking Pakistan’s innings down into phases. Much of it was a phantasmagoria of an absence of intent, frenetic shot selection and self-imploding running between the wickets, all of which England were much too impressive not to punish. Bell received the payoff for a tight couple of overs with two wickets in the third, Gull Feroza and Sadaf Shamas smacking a couple straight to fielders as the pressure told. A handful of boundaries from Muneeba Ali in the second half of the powerplay was as good as it got for the Pakistan batters, but that 30-run partnership was followed by another clump of wickets that killed Pakistan off.

All of England’s bowlers understood Pakistan’s dilemma perfectly. They lack power hitters, and that means racking up dot deliveries can amp up the pressure in no time. That plan was executed to perfection, with a series of dot deliveries almost invariably followed up by high-risk shots that did not pay off. The last six wickets fell for just 19 on a scorecard that did not truly reflect Pakistan’s competitiveness in the first innings, though the gulf in quality between the two sides means the 2-0 scoreline is well deserved.

Brief scores:
England Women  144 for 6 in 20 overs (Maia Bouchier 30, Nat Sciver-Brunt 31, Alice Capsey 31; Waheeda Akhtar 1-31, Diana Baig 1-24, Sadia Iqbal 1-20, Nida Dar 2-33) beat Pakistan Women  79 in 15.5 overs (Aliya Riaz 19, Muneeba Ali 18; Sophie  Ecclestone 3-11, Alice Capsey 2-04, Lauren Bell 2-20, Sarah Glenn 2-10) by 65 runs

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Brazil named as hosts for 2027 Women’s World Cup

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Brazil will be the first South American country to host a Women's World Cup (BBC)

Brazil have been named hosts of the 2027 Women’s World Cup after beating a joint bid by Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany (BNG).

They became the first nation to be handed the rights by an open vote, with member associations voting 119 to 78 in favour of Brazil at Fifa’s congress in Bangkok on Friday.

It will be the first time a Women’s World Cup has been hosted by a South American country.

“Congratulations to Brazil,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino said.  “We will have the best World Cup in Brazil. Many thanks as well to the BNG bid, who have been fantastic.”

Both bids met hosting criteria, but Brazil scored higher on technical aspects covering areas such as stadiums, accommodation, fan zones and transport in a Fifa bid evaluation report.

The United States and Mexico withdrew their joint bid in April, saying they would focus on bidding for the tournament in 2031, while South Africa did the same in November.

“We knew we would be celebrating a victory for South American women’s soccer and for women,” said president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues.  “You can be sure, with no vanity, we will accomplish the best World Cup for women.”

Valesca Araujo, the operational manager of Brazil’s bid team, added: “We are working on a transformation, not only for the country but for the continent.”

Brazil hosted the men’s World Cup in 1950 and 2014.

The 10th edition of the Women’s World Cup will follow the same 32-team format as was used in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, where Spain were crowned champions after defeating England in the final.

China, Sweden, the United States, Germany, Canada and France have all also previously hosted the competition.

(BBC Sports)

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