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13/10/19 – International Cricket: Weekly round-up – India wrap up series 2-0, inflict innings defeat on South Africa in 2nd Test at Nagpur

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India: 601/5 decl, South Africa: 275 and 189 – India win by an innings and 137 runs

India won the toss at Nagpur and chose to bat and made the most of the South African attack, piling up a mammoth 601 for 5 before the declaring the innings just before the end of the 2nd day’s play. The highlight of the innings was a magnificent 254 not out by skipper Virat Kohli who became the fourth-fastest Indian to reach the 7000-run mark in Test cricket after Sunil Gavaskar, Virendar Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. It was also Kohli seventh double hundred in Tests surpassing Rahul Dravid’s tally of six. The 30-year old batting champion from Delhi was in full glory, smashing 33 boundaries and 2 sixes in his 336-ball innings. Mayank Agarwal proved his mettle as an opener once again when he followed his double ton of 215 in the first Test with an impressive 108 in the second. As for the Proteas attack, less said the better, for they are yet to bowl out the Indian side so far in the Series while conceding an obscene average of almost 500 runs in each innings. 

On the other hand, India had no problems achieving what the visitors failed to do. A rear-guard action by extreme lower-order batsmen Vernon Philander (44 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (72) lent some respectability to an innings that looked to fold up inside 150 at a certain point. Come-back boy, Umesh Yadav, a Nagpur lad himself, helped himself to three wickets while off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin continued where he left off in the first Test with figures of 4 for 69. 

Asked to follow-on with a first innings lead of 326 staring at them, the Proteas were in dire straits from the outset as wickets kept falling at regular intervals on their way to being bundled out for a paltry 189 and handing the Indians their biggest win against the visiting nation. Quickie Umesh Yadav was even more deadly in the second innings, scalping 3 wickets and giving away just 22 runs. The right-arm fast bowler finished the Test with very impressive figures of 6-59. Ravindra Jadeja followed up his quickfire act of 91 with the bat in the first innings with a lethal dose of left arm spin, scalping 3 wickets for 52. Aswhin chipped in with two, taking his series tally to 14 wickets.

With the Nagpur win, India registered their 11th consecutive Series victory at home which betters Australia’s record of 10 home wins from 1994 to 2001 and 2004 to 2008.

It’s a clean sweep for Sri Lanka in the T20 series in Pakistan

The visiting Lankans fought of mental pressures of terror threats and rigid security in Pakistan to hand the hosts a shock 3-0 drubbing in the three-match series of the said format.

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I, Karachi

SL 182/6 (20 overs), PAK 147/10 (19 overs) – SL win by 35 runs.

Pakistan put in the visitors to bat after having won the toss and scented early success having sent back opener Danushka Gunathilaka with the score reading just 16. But a savage innings from No.3 bat Bhanuka Rajapaksa put paid to the Pakistani bowlers’ hopes. The 27-year old left-hander plundered as many as 6 sixes in a belligerent innings of 77 that came from just 48 deliveries. Shehan Jayasuriya (32) and skipper Dasun Shanaka (27) gave support to Rajapaksa’s innings thus taking the islanders’ total to a formidable 182 for 6 from 20 overs.

It was a tough ask for Pakistan and it showed when they lost half their wickets with just 52 runs on board. A rear-guard action from Asif Ali (29) and Imad Wasim (47) wasn’t enough to serve the hosts’ cause as their innings wound up for 147. Fast-bowler Nuwan Pradeep was again Pakistan’s chief tormentor with 4-25 while leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga chipped in with 3 wickets for 38.

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Lahore

SL 147/7 (20 overs), PAK 134/6 (20 overs) – SL win by 13 runs.

Having wrapped up the 3-match series in Karachi, a buoyant Sri Lankan were made to sweat a little in their third outing. Thanks to an attacking 78 off 48 balls from Oshada Fernando, the Sri Lankan total reached a mediocre 147 for 7 from 20 overs even as wickets kept falling at the other end. The most a batsman scored apart from Fernando was Angelo Perera who managed just 13. 

Pakistan failed to wrest the initiative of a bright start, as they tumbled from a commanding 76-1 with Babar Azam (27) and Haris Sohail (52) at the crease. With the dismissal of the above two, the remaining Pakistani batsmen made heavy weather of things, adding just 58 more to the score from 8 overs and losing five wickets in process. Pakistan fell short of Sri Lankan’s total of 147 which looked very chaseable at one stage. Wanindu Hasaranga was again one of Pakistan’s chief destructors with figures of 3-21 and Lahiru Kumara coming in for Nuwan Pradeep accounted for a couple of scalps, both putting in excellent spells in the second half of the Pak innings to reduce it to just 134.

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