Ranji Trophy semifinal: Arpit Vasavada 139 puts Saurashtra in command vs Gujarat

Arpit Vasavada’s gritty 139 propelled Saurashtra to set a challenging 327-run target for Gujarat on the fourth day of their Ranji Trophy semi-final here on Tuesday.

Chintan Gaja’ fiery spell had brought Gujarat back into contention on the third day, but Vasavada’s seventh first-class hundred, and the third this season, swung the momentum in favour of the hosts.

Courtesy his ton and handy contributions from Chetan Sakariya (45), Chirag Jani (51) and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (21), Saurashtra recovered from a dismal 15 for five to post 274 in their second innings.

They had a 52-run lead and hence the target set was 327.

When stumps were drawn, Gujarat were seven for one with opener Priyank Panchal (0) back in the hut.

Earlier, resuming the day at 66 for five, Sakariya and Vasavada were going strong before their 90-run sixth-wicket stand was broken by a horrible mix-up between the two, which resulted in the former’s dismissal.

The hosts lost their sixth wicket on 105. Jani then joined Vasavada and played the perfect second-fiddle as the hosts took lunch at 155 for six. Saurashtra’s overall lead had by then passed the 200-run mark.

Post lunch, Vasavada and Jani kept frustrating the Gujarat bowlers.

It was Gaja again, who provided the crucial breakthrough for the visitors by dismissing Jani in the 84th over.

The new ball did the trick for Gaja, as he bowled in the good length area and Jani’s outside edge flew to Samit Gohel in the second slip. Vasavasa and Jani added 109 runs for the seventh wicket.

Gaja took his seventh wicket when he removed Prerak Mankad (1) at the stroke of tea, which Saurashtra took at 222-8.

After Jadeja fell, Vasavada upped the ante but perished in the process. In his 139-run innings, he blasted 16 fours and a six.

Considering that it’s a worn-out pitch, it would be a tough ask for Parthiv Patel-led side to chase the target on the final day.

The winner of this game will clash with Bengal, who made to the summit clash after defeating Karnataka.

Brief Scores: Saurashtra 304 and 274 (Arpit Vasavada 139, Chirag Jani 51; Chintan Gaja 7/71) v/s Gujarat 252 and 7/1.

Gujarat need 320 runs to win.

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$8 to Share Bank Balance: Study Puts Monetary Values to Online Data, Privacy

German Facebook users would want the social media platform to pay them about $8 per month for sharing their contact information, while US users would only seek $3.50, according to a study of how people in various countries value their private information.

The study by US based think tank the Technology Policy Institute (TPI) is the first that attempts to quantify the value of online privacy and data. It assessed how much privacy is worth in six countries by looking at the habits of people in the United States, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, and Argentina.

It addresses growing concern about how companies from technology platforms to retailers have been collecting and monetising personal data. US regulators have imposed hefty fines on Facebook and Alphabet-owned Google’s YouTube unit for privacy violations.

“Differences in how much people value privacy of different data types across countries suggests that people in some places may prefer weaker rules while people in other places might prefer stronger rules,” Scott Wallsten, president and senior fellow at TPI told Reuters.

“Quantifying the value of privacy is necessary for conducting any analysis of proposed privacy policies,” he said.

The study found Germans want to be paid more for letting technology platforms share their personal data with third-parties followed by US consumers.

People across the board place the highest value on financial information such as bank balance and biometric information such as fingerprint data in particular, and consider location data the least valuable, the study found.

A technology platform, on average, across all people the study assessed, would have to pay consumers a monthly $8.44 to share their bank balance information, $7.56 to share fingerprint information, $6.05 to read an individual’s texts, and $5.80 to share information on cash withdrawals.

By contrast, people wanted to be paid only $1.82 per month to share location data and nothing to be sent advertisements via text messages.

The study found Latin American consumers have a preference for seeing advertisements on their smartphone, in contrast to US residents and Germans.

US lawmakers are working on a federal privacy legislation while states like California have put in place a new privacy law.

On Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a letter to four top US lawmakers urging them not to pre-empt the state’s new privacy law with a watered down federal legislation.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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1st Test: Kane Williamson 89 puts New Zealand in firm control despite Ishant Sharma triple strikes

After more than 6 months of cruising through the World Test Championship cycle, India seem to have finally found their match in an inspired New Zealand side who became the 1st opposition in more than a year to grab a 1st innings lead vs the No.1 Test team. After India were bowled out for 165 runs in the 1st session of the opening Test on Saturday, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson played a captain’s innings of 89 to take his team to 216/5 and a 51-run lead at Stumps.

Earlier, a lot was expected of the overnight batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant when India resumed their innings at 122/5 on a sunny Wellington morning. Those expectations received a major boost when Pant stepped out to hit left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for a huge six over mid-wicket.

However, Pant (19) soon fell to a mix-up with Rahane as he sacrificed his wicket after his senior had ran more than half of the pitch’s length without looking at his partner. Pant’s exit triggered a collapse wherein India lost their last 5 wickets for just 33 runs.

Rahane, who top-scored with 46 runs, was Tim Southee’s 3rd victim after R Ashwin fell for a first-ball duck right after Pant departed. Mohammed Shami entertained the crowd at the Basin Reserve with his entertaining little cameo of 21 runs off 21 balls and was the last batsman to fall taking Southee’s wicket tally to 4 – the same as that of debutant Kyle Jamieson.

In reply, Ishant Sharma lifted Indian spirits by getting Tom Latham (11) caught behind in the 11th over of the New Zealand innings. Williamson then forged a 47-run stand for the 2nd wicket with Tom Blundell as the wicket hardened under the bright sun.

It was Sharma again who provided India with the next breakthrough getting one to nip back and hitting the top of middle-stump as Blundell went back after a well-made 30.

Ross Taylor, playing his 100th Test proved to be an ideal partner for Williamson, who was by now looking to dominate the proceedings. Williamson soon brought up his fifty off 93 balls.

Meanwhile, the Indian bowlers except Ishant looked far from threatening as the veteran Kiwi duo looked to take the match away from India with a 93-run partnership for the 3rd wicket. Taylor (44) was Ishant’s 3rd victim of the day as the pacer got one to bounce a bit more and hit the batsman’s gloves before lobbing up into the hands of Cheteshwar Pujara at short-fine-leg. By then, New Zealand had already moved into the lead.

The spongy bounce of the Wellington pitch came back to haunt New Zealand when Williamson fell just 11 short of what would have been his 22nd Test hundred. His was Shami’s first wicket after leaking 47 runs in his previous 13 overs. Ashwin soon made sure that half of the New Zealand batting was back in the hut by getting Henry Nicholls (10) caught by Kohli at 2nd slip.

Wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling and Colin de Grandhomme, however, ensured no further dents to New Zealand by playing out the final half an hour or so and swelling the lead to 51 runs when Stumps were called.

Saturday wasn’t the greatest day for the Indian Test attack as even Jasprit Bumrah, Shami and Ashwin were negotiated easily by Williamson and Taylor with all 3 conceding close to 3 runs an over.

This is now the 15th Test under Virat Kohli that India have conceded a lead based on the 1st innings. Only twice (vs Australia, Bengaluru, 2017; vs South Africa, Johannesburg, 2018) have India emerged as winners in these instances while managing 4 draws. Clearly, the odds are stacked against India in Wellington and they will need to come up with a much-improved batting and bowling performances in the 2nd innings if they have to maintain their perfect World Test Championship record.

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Facebook’s Facial Recognition Lawsuit Settlement Puts Spotlight on ‘Biometric Privacy’

Facebook’s massive settlement in a class action case over violating a state law on how it uses facial recognition is being hailed as a watershed moment for “biometric privacy.”

The leading social network said Wednesday it agreed to the $550 million (roughly Rs. 3,900 crores) payout after failing to win dismissal of the case alleging it illegally collected biometric information for “face tagging” in violation of a 2008 Illinois privacy law.

The settlement could have wide-ranging implications for Facebook and other tech firms using facial recognition technology, and highlights the potential for state laws to force changes in privacy practices.

Plaintiff attorney Jay Edelson said the case helps establish the principle of biometric privacy, or the right of users of tech services and products to control access to their data used for facial recognition.

“Biometrics is one of the two primary battlegrounds, along with geolocation, that will define our privacy rights for the next generation,” Edelson said in a statement.

“We hope and expect that other companies will follow Facebook’s lead and pay significant attention to the importance of our biometric information.”

Attorney Nathan Wessler of the American Civil Liberties Union, which backed the plaintiffs’ legal arguments, said the settlement could mark a turning point for consumers and biometrics.

“Companies are going to have to take this seriously,” Wessler said.

“Hopefully a settlement of this size will be a deterrent.”

The deal is one of the largest settlements in a US privacy case, topped only by Facebook’s $5 billion (roughly Rs. 35,000 crores) deal with the Federal Trade Commission on its data practices. Both are awaiting court approval.

Facial recognition growing
The legal case comes amid an array of deployments of biometric technologies such as facial recognition for law enforcement and border control, but also for “tagging” in social networks and in applications for retail stores or unlocking personal devices and cars.

Several US cities including San Francisco have passed bans on the use of facial recognition technology. There are concerns about creating large databases with the potential for errors in identifying some individuals.

“We have seen growing recognition in the courts and in the public for the last few years on the need for reasonable but strong limits on the collection and use of our most private information,” Wessler said.

The Illinois law does not apply to government entities or contractors. At least two other states have similar laws, but Illinois is the only one allowing for private lawsuits for damages when companies collect data without consent.

Alan Butler of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which also supported the plaintiff arguments, called the case “hugely significant” with a potential impact for all Facebook users.

Butler noted that the courts ruled the case could proceed merely on the basis of showing a violation, without evidence of specific harms.

Unintended consequences?
But the Illinois law and similar restrictions may have negative consequences as well, according to Daniel Castro of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank often aligned with industry.

The ability to sue without showing damages has unleashed a flood of litigation and some firms “are even blocking their services in Illinois to avoid the risk of penalties. That’s not good for consumers,” Castro said.

“At the same time, it does not do much to actually address many specific concerns, such as police use of facial recognition to track citizens.”

Castro said the “patchwork” of state laws could make it difficult for tech firms to launch new products, leaving them at a disadvantage compared to their Chinese counterparts.

The settlement comes as US lawmakers are debating federal privacy legislation, with some proposals that could pre-empt laws such as those in Illinois.

Wessler argued that some states have been taking the lead in offering strong privacy rules, and that a federal law could weaken overall data protection.

“The worst outcome would be a weak federal law with no private right of action, and which pre-empts state law, even though that is what the industry is seeking,” he said.

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2nd Test: Sikandar Raza’s 7-wicket haul puts Zimbabwe ahead vs Sri Lanka in Harare

Off-spinner Sikandar Raza produced his career-best performance with the ball enabling Zimbabwe to a healthy lead on Day 3 of the 2nd Test before rain arrived to force the close of play.

Zimbabwe took a big step towards parity in the series on the 3rd day of the 2nd Test in Harare

Zimbabwe took a big step towards parity in the series on the 3rd day of the 2nd Test in Harare (@zimcricketv)


  • Zimbabwe finished the day with a lead of 175 runs and 9 wickets in hand
  • Earlier Sikandar Raza outfoxed the Sri Lankan batting to trigger a collapse of 6 wickets for 67 runs
  • The 4th day’s play will start earlier due to overs lost to rain on Wednesday

Off-spinner Sikandar Raza grabbed career-best figures of 7-113 as Zimbabwe took control of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday, but for the second match running the home side suffered a concussion scare.

Zimbabwe are 62 for one in their second innings at the close of the third day, a lead of 175 with nine wickets remaining, after Raza helped them bowl the visitors out for 293 on a pitch that is offering plenty of assistance to the spinners.

Prince Masvaure (26 not out) and nightwatchman Regis Chakabva (14 not out) will resume on day four, with makeshift opener Craig Ervine (13) the one wicket to fall.

Ervine was pushed to the top of the order after regular opener Kevin Kasuza had to be stretchered off the field when he was hit flush on the helmet while fielding at short leg and was taken to hospital with a concussion.

It is the second Test in a row that Kasuza has been concussed fielding in that position and allows Zimbabwe to use the International Cricket Council’s new concussion protocols to bring another batsman into the side.

Timycen Maruma has been drafted into the line-up, with his only previous Test against Bangladesh in April 2013.

Sri Lanka had resumed the third day on 122 for two, but added only 12 runs before Kusal Mendis (22) crashed the ball into the helmet of the helpless Kasuza and was caught at square leg by Carl Mumba.

Angelo Mathews (64) and Dhananjaya de Silva (42) put on 84 for the sixth wicket, before the latter was caught and bowled by Raza.

The prized wicket of Mathews, who scored an unbeaten double-century in the first Test, was claimed by Mumba as he got a tickle to a ball down the leg-side and was caught by wicketkeeper Chakabva with the score on 244.

All-rounder Raza’s figures beat the 5-99 he managed against the West Indies in Bulawayo in 2017.

Zimbabwe will want to bat quickly on the fourth day to build a sizeable lead as they attempt to square the series, having lost the first Test at the same venue by 10 wickets.

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