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Rohit, Kohli and Suryakumar power India to the top of Group 2

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Fifties of vastly different moods and tempos from Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav laid the platform for India to brush Netherlands aside and move to the top of the Group 2 table with a healthy net-run-rate boost. Choosing to bat first on an SCG surface that was considerably slower than the one they played their tournament-opener on at the MCG, India put on a classic display of controlled dominance over Associate opposition, posting a getable total and defending it ruthlessly.

Chasing 180, Netherlands were never in the game, and for a while seemed in danger of being bowled out for under 100. They avoided that fate, and the No. 11 Paul van Meekeren finished the innings with 4, 4, 4 off Arshdeep Singh to narrow their margin of defeat, but it was still a resounding 56 runs.India’s five specialist bowlers shared the wickets, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep, Axar Patel and R Ashwin picking up two apiece, and Mohammed Shami one.

The new ball swung, and occasionally stopped on the batter too. India scored just 11 runs in the first 2.4 overs of their innings, and van Meekeren picked up a well-earned early wicket too, having an lbw shout upheld after KL Rahul missed the flick off a late inswinger. Rahul didn’t review the decision, even though his opening partner Rohit seemed to suggest to him that the ball might have been swinging down the leg side; ball-tracking eventually proved Rohit correct.

Rohit struggled for fluency on this sluggish surface but he kept trying to hit boundaries. He survived a dropped chance – Tim Pringle putting down a sitter at mid-on when he was on 13 – and finished his innings with a control percentage of just under 59, but his preparedness to look ugly ensured he kept the scoreboard moving in the first 12 overs of India’s innings. He made 53 off 39 balls; during his time at the crease, the two batters at the other end – Rahul and Kohli – combined to score 28 off 31.

Kohli finished with a control percentage of 75. During the first 21 balls of his innings, when Rohit was at the other end, Kohli’s control percentage was 81. Unlike Rohit, he didn’t take chances early on and chose to trust in his ability to score quickly once set. He did this, and found the boundary with increased frequency in the last five overs to score 30 off his last 14 balls, having scored 32 off 30 balls before that.

India’s total of 179 was their lowest in T20I innings where they have lost only two wickets or fewer, and Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik didn’t even come out to bat, but India probably only aimed for par on a sluggish pitch against Associate opposition. Kohli may probably have taken more risks early on against a stronger team.



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Methwan wins marathon encounter

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ITF Junior Circuit Tennis

Methwan Wijemanne overcame Josh Hinton of Great Britain in a marathon three and half hour battle to win the first-round encounter of the ITF Junior Circuit Week 1 Tennis Event at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Tuesday.

Wijemanne scored 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 against Hinton.

ITF Junior Circuit Tennis Tournament which is currently underway in Colombo will conclude on February 5.

Meanwhile, in another first-round encounter, Nithila Goonathilake beat Aryan Mehata of India 6-3, 6-0.

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England Lions strongly placed

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Sadeera Samarawickrama with 43 runs was the top scorer for Sri Lanka.

Top-order batsmen Alex Lees, Haseeb Hameed and Tom Haines scored half-centuries for visiting England Lions to reach 249 for three wickets at stumps after they dismissed the hosts for 136 on day one of the unofficial Test at Galle on Tuesday.

Sadeera Samarawickrama with 43 runs was the top scorer for Sri Lanka.

Scores:

Sri Lanka ‘A’

136 all out in 35.4 overs (Oshada Fernando 21, Sadeera Samarawickrama 43, Lakshaitha Manasinghe 26; Matthew Fisher 5/34, Liam Patterson-White 3/51)

England Lions

249 for 3 in 48 overs (Alex Lees 56, Haseeb Hameed 81, Tom Haines 62, Josh Bohannon 26n.o.; Lasith Embuldeniya 2/89)

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Hathurusingha named Bangladesh head coach

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Bangladesh Cricket Board, on Tuesday (31), said that Chandika Hathurusingha has been named as the new head coach for a two-year period. He is expected to join the set-up in February.

“We have appointed Hathurusingha for two years as across the format head coach,” BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury was quoted by Cricbuzz as having said.

The former Sri Lanka all-rounder had earlier served as the head coach of Bangladesh from 2014 to 2017. He has also served in various coaching positions with Sri Lanka, Canada, NSW and Sydney Thunder.

In his previous coaching tenure, Bangladesh had won ODI series against India, Pakistan and South Africa, alongside achieving Test victories versus Sri Lanka, England and Australia. During his stint, Bangladesh also reached the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy in 2017.

“It’s an honour to have been given this opportunity to coach the Bangladesh national team once again. I really loved the warmth of the people and the culture of Bangladesh whenever I have been there. I’m looking forward to working with the players once again and enjoy their successes,” he said in a press release.

Cricbuzz had earlier reported that BCB is unlikely to continue with split coaching and Hathurusingha is the front-runner to replace Russell Domingo, who resigned before completing his stint that ran until the end of the 50-over ICC World Cup.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan remained tightlipped on the return of Hathurusingha as the head coach. No comments,” it’s all right,” he said, without elaborating further.

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