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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PBL 2020: Bengaluru Raptors remain in semifinal contention as Sai Praneeth wins thriller

World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth of Bengaluru Raptors held his nerves to beat Mumbai Rockets’ Parupalli Kashyap to help the defending champions remain in contention for the semi-finals at the Premier Badminton League here on Tuesday.

In a thrilling match that saw two of India’s best men’s singles shuttlers locking horns, Sai Praneeth edged the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion 15-14, 14-15, 15-14.

Kashyap came out firing right from the first point. Raining his smashes down relentlessly, the world No. 25 had Sai Praneeth on the ropes initially as he surged to 8-2 lead.

It was only after the break in the first game that Sai Praneeth was able to find his aggression as he closed the gap to 9-11 in a remarkable turnaround.

Sai Praneeth used body smashes to tie the score at 14-14 before the game point was decided on a challenge and it went in favour of the Bengaluru player.

High on confidence after making a strong comeback in the first game, Sai Praneeth kept his momentum going to race away to 4-1 in the second game before soaring to 8-5.

Kashyap smartly mixed it up after that to put the world No. 11 Sai Praneeth out of his comfort zone. His efforts were soon rewarded as the two were level on 10-10 and then 13-13. Sai Praneeth used his down-the-line smash to save a game point but soon saw Kashyap summoning his own attacking game to take the match to a decider.

The match reached its climax in the decider with both showing exceptional defence. With both refusing to break down, the exciting match reached a 7-7 tie.

In a heart-stopping finish to the match that had the crowd on the edge, the two remained on level terms till 14-14. An exhausted Sai Praneeth pushed the shuttle to the backcourt on match point to seal one of the most dramatic matches this season.

In a clash of youth and experience in women’s singles, Mumbai’s Shriyanshi Pardeshi began well against world No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying to have a slender lead of 4-3 before the Raptors ace stormed back to inch ahead 8-6.

Having wrested the momentum, Tai Tzu did not waste any time to pocket the opener 15-8.

Tai Tzu opened up a 4-0 lead in the second game and raced away to 8-3 lead. Pardeshi, however, showed excellent retrieving skills to engage Tai Tzu to a 28-shot rally and get to within two points of the former world No. 1 at 7-9.

A couple of errors from Tai Tzu allowed her young opponent to remain on her heels at 11-12. But the Chinese Taipei ace was soon able to regroup and steer her way to a 15-8, 15-12 win to remain unbeaten this season.

Earlier, Mumbai Rockets began the tie with a fantastic performance in men’s doubles. Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang combined to take a 13-15, 15-8, 15-10 win against Bengaluru’s Arun George and Rian Agung Saputro.

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U19 World Cup Semifinal: High-intensity clash on the cards as India meet Pakistan

U19 World Cup: The last time the two were up against each other in the 2018 World Cup semi-final, now India senior cricketer Shubman Gill notched up an unbeaten century to set a 273-run total for India.

India have been undefeated so far in the U19 World Cup. (Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

India have been undefeated so far in the U19 World Cup. (Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India will face Pakistan in the U19 World Cup semifinal on Tuesday
  • Both the teams will come into the contest undefeated
  • Pakistan have not defeated India in U19 World Cup since 2010

The blockbuster cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan will resume when the U19 players from the two sides play against each other in the first semifinal of the ICC U19 World Cup in South Africa on Tuesday. Both the teams will come into the contest undefeated.

The last time the two were up against each other in the 2018 World Cup semi-final, now India senior cricketer Shubman Gill notched up an unbeaten century to set a 273-run total for India. In response, Pakistan were bowled out for 69 in 29.2 overs–their lowest total in the tournament’s history– as seamer Ishan Porel took a four-wicket haul.

The last time Pakistan beat India at the U19 World Cup was way back in 2010 and the Rohail Nazir-led side will look to end their losing streak and also prevent India from reaching their third successive final at the U19 World Cup.

“Whenever there is an India-Pakistan match, there is a lot of hype and people from both sides have a lot of expectations from their players. Our boys are prepared both mentally and physically to face India. We have played them back in the Asia Cup so we know their strengths and weaknesses,” Nazir had said about the semifinal.

India reached the last four with a 74-run win over Australia in the quarterfinals where they were tested against a lethal bowling attack but their all-rounders bailed them out of a tricky situation to bat through the 50 overs. Other than that, India U19 did not need to sweat hard for victories as they claimed an easy 90-run win over Sri Lanka in the opener and bowled debutant Japan out for 41 to register a win with 271 balls remaining. In a rain-affected game, India defeated New Zealand U19 by 44 runs to enter quarterfinals.

India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal has been the most consistent batsman thus far in the tournament with 43 fifties in his four innings whereas the rest of the batsmen have had forgetful outings. It were the Indian all-rounders Ravi Bishnoi and Atharva Ankolekar who rescued India in the quarterfinal against Australia.

Wristspinner Ravi Bhisnoi has been impressive with his wicket-taking abilities. He also claimed a 4-wicket haul against Japan. Medium-pacer Kartik Tyagi ran through the Australian batting unit as he picked 4 wickets to help India defend a below-par total. Tyagi has taken 9 wickets in the four matches thus far.

However, facing Pakistan fast bowlers Abbads Afridi, Mohammad Amir Khan and Tahir Hussain will also be a challenge for the Indian batsmen. Opener Huraira made an impressive debut in the last game, scoring 64 to lead his team to a comprehensive win over Afghanistan after bowlers nicely set up the game.

Also Read | Rohit Sharma ruled out of ODI and Test series against New Zealand with calf injury

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Premier Badminton League: North Eastern Warriors down Pune 7 Aces to seal semi-final berth

World No. 10 Michelle Li staved off a spirited challenge from Rituparna Das as North Eastern Warriors notched up a commanding 5-0 win over Pune 7 Aces to seal their semi-final spot at the fifth Premier Badminton League here on Saturday.

The Guwahati-based franchise bagged their third victory in five ties with a fabulous performance that saw them win four of the five matches, while the loss snapped Pune’s three-match winning streak.

With the 15-8, 13-15, 15-13 win against the resilient Das, Li has remained unbeaten in four ties.

In Warriors’ Trump match, Li was expected to cruise against Das but the World No. 100 displayed remarkable courage under pressure despite losing the first game 8-15.

In a spectacular turnaround, Das put the former Commonwealth Games gold medallist under pressure with her smart placement of the shuttle before grinding out the second game. A visible injury on her right hand could not deter the 23-year-old whose composure left the crowd in awe.

In the tight decider, Das even moved ahead to 11-10 as the match headed to a close finish.

Li then dug deep to level the score at 12-12 and then inched ahead to 14-12 to have a couple of match points in hand.

Das, who made it to the semi-finals of the Syed Modi International in November, even saved a match point before Li wrapped up the match to take the North Eastern Warriors to victory.

What really helped the Guwahati team dismantle the high-flying Pune 7 Aces was their win against the Aces Trump of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock.

The Commonwealth Games champions had come into this tie having not lost a single match this season. But against the supreme combination of Lee Yong Dae and Kim Ha Na, the two failed to bring their best game and slumped to a 6-15, 8-15 loss.

Earlier, PBL veteran Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk set the stage for the Warriors’ win with a narrow 15-13, 15-14 win over World No. 73 Kazumasa Sakai.

Tanongsak had won both his previous matches in the Hyderabad leg and brought that momentum today. With the two being tied 1-1 on the BWF circuit, a hard-fought match was always on the cards. The Thai was able to lift his game at the latter stages of every game to finish off the win for the Warriors.

Indonesia Masters semi-finalist Lee Cheuk Yiu brought his array of powerful smashes to prevail over the 37th ranked Loh Kean Yew of Pune 15-12, 15-8. The World No. 18 had mastered the Singaporean in both their meetings on the BWF World Tour and it was no different this time.

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