Gautam Gambhir joined the campaign to spread awareness ion organ donation © IANSNew Delhi: Cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Saturday joined a campaign to encourage people to pledge to donate organs, at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals. “I am extremely humbled to be a part of this drive. Organ donation is an egalitarian and a moral act,” said Gambhir, who is also an ambassador for “Gift a Life.” Gift A Life is an initiative launched in 2011 to create awareness about organ donation to save countless lives and is supported by the Apollo Transplant Institutes. “Thousands die every year for want of organs and I feel that this initiative will bridge the gap by spreading awareness in the society,” said Gambhir, who has already pledged to donate all his organs. Every year nearly five lakh people die in India due to non-availability of organs. Nearly 1.5 lakh people are in dire need of kidney transplants but only 3,000 of them receive one. READ: Gautam Gambhir heaps praises on Cheteshwar Pujara; calls him more consistent than Virat Kohli in Test cricket “One of the major reasons is lack of awareness about organ donation in India at large where majority of the population is still shackled with myths and religious beliefs, hence there is an urgent need to address this issue and create sound awareness,” said Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director and Senior Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Apollo Hospitals Group. Vital organs such as the heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys and lungs can be transplanted to those whose organs are failing. A single donor can save eight lives by donating the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and small bowel. World Organ Donation Day is observed every year on August 13.
◄ Back Next ► Picture 1 of 5 KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan provided India with a solid start © AFP Shikhar Dhawan smashed a scintillating century for India, but Sri Lanka‘s spinners struck five times to leave the tourists on edge after the first day of the third Test on Saturday. Malinda Pushpakumara took three wickets and Lakshan Sandakan two, leaving India on 329-6 at the close, with Wriddhiman Saha on 13 and Hardik Pandya on one. Pushpakamara rattled the Indian top-order with his left-arm spin after a 188-run opening stand between Dhawan, who hit 119 in 123 balls, and Lokesh Rahul. Left-arm wrist spinner Sandakan’s wickets included the prized scalp of Indian skipper Virat Kohli for 42. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs India, 3rd Test The left-right opening batting team of Dhawan and Rahul, who made 85, took India through the first session against a hapless Sri Lankan bowling attack. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal then rotated his spinners in the second session and India lost three top batsmen in just 11 overs. The 30-year-old Pushpakumara, who made his Test debut in the second Test in Colombo, removed the openers to bring the hosts back into the contest. Rahul, who scored his seventh consecutive Test fifty, mistimed a drive to mid-on and Dhawan soon followed his partner to the pavilion. Rahul joined Everton Weekes, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kumar Sangakkara and Chris Rogers on the list of batsmen who have made seven consecutive 50-plus scores in Tests. Kohli tried to stem the rot during a 84-ball innings, ended when he edged a Sandakan delivery to slip. Kohli and India toiled in the last session. The innings run-rate plummeted from around five in the morning session to 2.76 after tea. Pace spearhead Vishwa Fernando chipped in with the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin, who was caught behind after a hard-working 31. India elected to bat first as they eye a series sweep after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in Colombo.
Pallekele: He has hit a purple patch since his comeback into the Indian team for the Champions Trophy and opener Shikhar Dhawan attributes it to a distinct change in mindset, when put under the pump. “When I experienced failure, I had a different kind of approach. I was more on the defensive mode but now I try to go and express myself out there and play my natural game. So that has worked for me. I try to back myself as much as possible,” Dhawan said at the post-match media conference. Dhawan added a record 188 runs for the opening stand with KL Rahul, which is an Indian record. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs India, 3rd Test “The wicket is bit on the slower side and doesn’t have much of bounce on it. Rahul and I, we played very nicely. We got out playing shots. It was not as if we were getting out because of the track or anything,” Dhawan said. Asked about his cracking pull-shot that was impressively pouched by rival skipper Dinesh Chandimal, Dhawan smiled and said: “I said jokingly that if you bat like a king, you should also get out like a king, you should not be dismissed like a soldier. If you have made runs aggressively, then you will get out that way too. That’s how it is. “I know I am an aggressive batsman so I would rather get out that way (pull to square leg) than getting out in the slips and being defensive because that is not my natural game,” he added. Dhawan said that once they had reached 75 plus score, they were not talking to each other. “When we were 75-80, we didn’t talk to each other but each batsman talks to himself. He can see that 100 is not far away. Each batsman has his own plan on how to get there. Some like to do it in singles, with less risk. I know if I can hit a bowler, I go on that basis. The senior opener is not unduly worried that India lost six wickets in the two final sessions. “It happens,” said Dhawan on Saturday, referring to the collapse. “It’s not that it has happened for the first time. We got a good start and still feel at the end of the day, 329 is a good score. Those are batting now are capable of scoring big runs and it’s a wicket where it is not spinning but it doesn’t have bounce. “So it’s not easy to score runs out there and even outfield is not that quick. When Sri Lanka come out to bat, we are going to make sure that we squeeze them hard and not give away easy runs.” Dhawan praised Sri Lanka’s chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan, “The Chinaman bowler (Lakshan Sadakan) is very nice. He was turning the ball and one odd ball was turning a lot. It s hard to pick his googly also. Especially once we got out, the way he came back and bowled, it was good for them. Their left-arm orthodox spinner (Malinda Pushpakumara) is also good and he took wickets today. He has been bowling consistently on the right spot for them,” Dhawan observed. Dhawan commended the bowlers for doing a good job. “They came back well. Their body language was good and they held good catches. Whatever credit they must get, they deserve. They bowled in consistent areas,” he signed off.
Malinda Pushpakumara gave Sri Lanka breakthrough on Day One © AFPThe pitch significantly slowed down as the opening day of third Test progressed. The southpaw duo of finger-spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan exploited the conditions and picked up 5 wickets between them. The track has a tinge of grass, but the bounce has been a bit low, making the Indian batters difficult to read the lengths. While Ajinkya Rahane was knocked over, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were caught in the slips. Given the track is expected to get slower and lower, India’s 329 for 6 on the opening day seems to be enough. At the crease are Hardik Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha. The duo would look to add as many runs on the scoreboard. India had not lost any wicket till lunch. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul added 134, slamming quick fifties. They started the second session in a similar fashion, taking on the bowlers. However, Rahul yet again failed to reach the three-figure mark despite getting a good start. He went for 85. Dhawan, on the other hand, went on to score his fifth overseas hundred – third against Sri Lanka in their own den. That was it though. Sri Lankan spinners came to the party and restricted India, taking six wickets. At one point India were going at a rate of over 5. With wickets falling in quick succession, India were kept at bay. Having said that, India still have the edge given the amount of runs they have scored so far. “The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled well and pulled the match a little bit on their side. We got a good start and still feel at the end of the day, 329 is a good score. Those (who) are batting now are capable of scoring big runs,” said Dhawan after the end of day’s play. “It’s not easy to score runs out there and even outfield is not that quick. When Sri Lanka come out to bat, we are going to make sure that we squeeze them hard.” Dhawan made it clear that the batters are not going to have a good time.
Fatullah Ground is filled with stagnant water © AFPThe Fatullah Cricket Stadium had got its first opportunity to host Australia for the first time since 2006 as the warm-up game for the upcoming two-Test series had been scheduled there. But the chances of the ground finally hosting the match looks thin, as filled with contaminated water, Fatullah looks far from being ready to hold a match. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are left with no other option than looking for an alternative. To be played on August 22 and 23, the match might be taken to either of Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) and Sylhet if the Fatullah stadium not be ready. “We are still trying to get Fatullah ready. We are using pumps to drain out the water. Fatullah was set as the venue for the practice match almost a year ago, when we had done the tour MoU with Cricket Australia. As the rain falls every day, the situation is becoming more delicate. The possibility [of holding the match in Fatullah] is falling, but we are thinking of alternative venues like the BKSP. We will hold talks with CA’s security team about the venue, whether we can have it somewhere other than Fatullah. If we can shorten the travel time to BKSP, maybe there can be a solution. Sylhet is also an option but we have to see how viable it can be,” Jalal Yunus, BCB’s media committee chairman was quoted as saying by EspnCricinfo on the matter. Bangladesh will play two Tests at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka and Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong.
Tom Westley scored a half-century on debut © AFPTom Westley had a memorable debut series as he scored a 59 on the debut match and saw his side win the series against South Africa later. Though he has faced many talented bowlers during his county stint, Westley has named Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada among the best bowlers he has faced till date. Both Rabada and Morkel bowled exceptionally well in the series which kept the visiting South Africa team in contest. Morkel was later adjudged the Player of the Series from South Africa alongside Moeen Ali from England. Westley also mentioned he is excited about England’s first Day-Night Test. Tom Westley reminds me of Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, says Nasser Hussain “Morne Morkel bowled phenomenally through the series and probably didn’t get the rewards he deserved. He and Kagiso Rabada, who I’ve played against before a little in county cricket, are two of the best bowlers that I’ve faced so with the extra pressures of Test cricket it was a challenging experience,” Westley wrote in his column for Skysports. “ A few of my four dismissals were quite similar so I’m enjoying honing my game; having got starts, I felt like I could score runs at this level so hopefully with a bit of tinkering I’ll be in a good place going forward. I’ve had plenty of advice over the last fortnight – not all of it good! There have been a few jokes – mainly from Stokesy and Moeen – suggesting that now I’m in the team, I need to change my entire game-plan and try to hit the ball through the off-side,” he added, talking about his experience in the series. “Beating South Africa is something I’ll always treasure and although I only came in halfway through the series at 1-1, it was very special to sit with the lads and enjoy our success,” he wrote about the successful series. “I’ve only played two days of day-night cricket before – for Essex against Middlesex – and that was a bit of a non-event because we didn’t bat for the first two days and then it rained before I had to leave the match early due to England Lions commitments. I did bat against a pink ball earlier this winter for England A against Sri Lanka A, but that wasn’t a day-nighter, so I’m relishing the challenge,” Westley said about England’s approaching Day-Night Test to be played with pink ball.
Stephen Cook scored 120 on Day 1 of 4 Day unofficial test © Getty ImagesStephen Cook found the perfect platform to make a statement. Dropped from the South Africa’s Test series against England, Cook milked India A’s bowlers for 86 overs in South Africa’s A four-day unofficial Test on the opening day. Cook was well supported by another Test discard David Miller. The pair added 138 runs for the third wicket at Pretoria against a lackluster Indian attack. South Africa ended their day on 274 for 4 after India pulled back strings in the dying moments. While Cook made good use of this outing, skipper Aiden Markram failed to make any mark since returning from England. Markram fell for 22 to Shahbaz Nadeem. Rudi Second too went cheaply, as Mohammed Siraj scalped him. Cook, who was then joined by Miller, played with caution all through the day. They batted with impeccable composure in the middle. Cook scored his 41st First-Class hundred, while Miller scored his 17th half-century. Miller fell for 72 to a brilliant caught-and-bowled by Siraj. Cook followed suit and fell for a 252-ball 120. He became Shahbaz’s second victim. South Africa A currently have Khaya Zondo, Beuran Eric Hendricks are in the middle batting on 4* and 0* respectively. India skipper Karun Nair tried as many as 6 bowlers including Aniket Choudhary and Navdeep Saini. Siraj and Nadeem bowled 47 overs between them picking 4 for 132.
© AFPPallekele: Sri Lanka‘s bowling coach Chaminda Vaas today expressed satisfaction with the performance of spinners Malinda Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sadakan, who shared five wickets between them to restrict India to 329 for 6 at stumps on day one of the third Test. India looked set for a score close to 400 after opting to bat but some fine bowling in the final two sessions by left-arm spinner Pushpakumara (3/40 in 18 overs) and chinaman Sandakan (2/84 in 25 overs) helped the hosts gain some foothold at the close of play. India lost three wickets each in the last two sessions. “The bowlers came and bowled pretty well, especially the spinners. We kept them to 320 for the first day. I am really, really happy with the spinners. At the end, the way Vishwa Fernando bowled in the last two spells was also good,” said Vaas at the press conference. “The track is really good for batting. We saw in the first few hours how the ball was behaving, and how the batsmen were scoring runs. This is a typical Kandy wicket,” he added. The spinners did most of the restrictive work but Lankan pacers found their rhythm late in the day. The hosts have been hit by a spate of injuries with their senior bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal unavailable. Inexperienced Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara were called up in their absence. “I am not happy with the way the fast bowlers bowled in the morning. They bowled here and there. These guys are inexperienced. Vishwa is playing his second game and Lahiru is bowling his sixth. They didn’t bowl well. After lunch they came back strongly and bowled pretty well,” said Vaas. “Yes, we have good fast bowlers, but Sri Lanka Cricket needs to give some time to these fast bowlers. They haven’t played much cricket. If you see the Indian fast bowlers they have played about 60 games. We need to be patient and we will be able to get the result from the fast bowlers. They need to play more. If you take pacers from any country, they start bowling well after they have played 20-25 Tests. We can’t suddenly expect a lot from Vishwa and Lahiru. But they need to practice and play a lot of games. With that match experience only they will develop,” he added.
Asia Cup U-19 will now be held in Malaysia © Getty Images (Representational Image)The Asia Cup Under-19 which was supposed to be held in Bengaluru, India, will now take place in Malaysia. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) raised objections over security in India with the relations a bit stalled with their neighbouring nation. The tournament will take place in the month of November. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have direct qualification to the tournament, while qualification rounds will decide remaining 4 teams. The first edition of the U-19 Asia Cup took place in 2012 in Malaysia itself, where India and Pakistan were joint-winners. As reported by ESPNCricInfo PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi said, “The matter of shifting the tournament to Malaysia was amicably agreed by all participants in the development and executive committees, since no one wanted it marred by security considerations of any member.” The remaining four teams will be decided from Western and Southern Region qualifying rounds; 2 from each group. Western Region has teams like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain with the games being held in Kuwait. India are the current Asia Cup U-19 champions; their third title and most by any team. They beat Sri Lanka in the final of the 2016 edition by 34 runs. Speaking of PCB, a PIL has been filed in the Lahore High Court challenging Najam Sethi’s appointment as PCB Chairman. Sethi was unanimously selected as PCB Chairman by the Board of Governors. He replaced outgoing Chairman Shahryar Khan who completed his three-year tenure last week.
© AFPThe third and final Test between India and Sri Lanka kicked off at the picturesque ground of Pallekele. This is India’s first ever Test at the venue. The coin favoured Virat Kohli for the third time in a row, and visitors opted to bat. India ended Day 1 at 329 for 6 on the back of Shikhar Dhawan‘s hundred and KL Rahul‘s fifty, followed by splendid recovery from Sri Lankan spinners. There were plenty of moments for both sides. Let us walk through the top highlights of the day. Ashwin’s 28th, Rahane’s 27th and Saha’s 25th: It’s never easy to predict Kohli’s XI. The 28-year-old is yet to field the same side in a Test match. India, again, underwent one change in their line-up, with Ravindra Jadeja banned due to breach of conduct by ICC, after the second Test. He was replaced by Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav. This brings us to a unique debate: who has played the most under captain Kohli? Interestingly, Ravichandran Ashwin has played maximum since Kohli’s tenure. This is his 28th match, vice-captain Rahane’s 27th, wicketkeeper Saha’s 25th time in the Kohli era. Same old story: We saw India elect to bat first and pile mammoth score in the preceding Tests. The script seemed to be heading in the same direction, at least till first session. Rahul and Dhawan continued to pile runs, adding 188 for the opening stand, in their free-flowing manner. Both batsmen got the scoreboard ticking and Sri Lanka bowlers paid the price for being erratic. Visitors were 134 for no loss at lunch, scoring at over 5 per over. Rahul slammed yet another fifty, while Dhawan was not far behind. Rahul — Naam toh sunna hoga? Yes, the above line is a clichéd in Hindi cinema. But when Rahul is on song, this suits him the best. After scoring a plethora of runs in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017, Rahul stormed his way back into the side in the ongoing series. Since then, he has carried on in similar fashion. He had scored a fifty in every Test against Australia, and already has two half-centuries in this series (remember, he missed the opener at Galle). Today was his 7th consecutive fifty (most by an Indian), thereby matching the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Rogers. In process, Rahul also went past Allan Border, Gary Sobers and Jack Ryder. Hudd Hudd Dhawan Dhawan Dhawan Dhawan… After Rahul, it was Dhawan’s turn. The left-hander went a step ahead of his partner. While three figures continued to evade Rahul, Dhawan registered his second ton in Sri Lanka. The swashbuckling left-hander crafted his innings and creamed some glorious strokes in the middle. He notched up his 6th Test ton – fifth outside India. Dhawan also became the 5th opener to score two 100s in a series in Sri Lanka – and second after Virender Sehwag – to have two centuries as visiting opener. Nonetheless, he could not go on to make a big hundred and fell for 119. His innings comprised of 17 fours and wholesome entertainment. No wait, there’s a twist in the tale After getting rid of Indian openers, Sri Lanka crawled their way back into the contest. They appeared more energetic post lunch and did not allow India’s middle order to stay for long. Credit goes to Lakshan Sandakan and Malinda Pushpakumara. The duo weren’t afraid of tossing the ball despite the platform provided by Dhawan and Rahul. They maintained accuracy for long and bowled slow through the air. Sri Lankan fielders also responded and the camp grew in confidence with every breakthrough. Everything was in display by the Lankan spinners. They bowled round as well as over the stumps and even resorted to doosras. As a result, Kohli, Rahane and Ashwin got starts but perished before stumps. At 329 for 6, visitors need a strong lower order contribution on Day Two to get close to 450-run mark.