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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Lucknow hosts an One dayer not involving India on most significant day for the Nation

Who would be interested in a Cricket One dayer on most significant day of the Nation ~ the day on which the verdict on Rama Janmabhoomi was delivered !

As some may be following,  after trouncing South Africa, India is playing neighbouring Bangladesh who began the series by beating India in a T20I for the very first time, and they know they have every chance of going one better and winning the series.  The 3rd and deciding match is to be played tomorrow  at Nagpur.  If there's a bit of grip in the surface, they have the spinners to exploit it, as well as a canny exponent of cutters in Mustafizur Rahman. Their batting is suited to a slower surface too, but they'll need to learn a few lessons from Rajkot, where they failed to build on a bright start and ended up - in their captain Mahmudullah's estimation - 25-30 runs short of a challenging total. 

Should India continue to repose faith on Rishab Pant is one Q ~  India have kept faith in Shikhar Dhawan as Rohit Sharma's partner at the top of the order despite KL Rahul making a strong case whenever he has had the chance to open. Dhawan has lately shown a greater willingness to take risks during the powerplay overs, and has tasted some success while doing so, both in the IPL and in recent T20I innings against West Indies and South Africa. Bangladesh, however, have managed to tie him down in this series by denying him width. How will he respond to that tactic in the decider?  Having conceded 81 runs in eight overs across the first two T20Is, Khaleel Ahmed has been the one misfiring component of an India attack that Bangladesh have otherwise found hard to get away for boundaries. The left-arm quick is a talented bowler and gives India a bit of variety, but they may choose to leave him out and play Shardul Thakur instead.   Yuzvendra Chahal needs four wickets to go past R Ashwin and become India's most prolific T20I bowler. Chahal currently has 49 in 33 games at an average of 20.89.

Today the whole Nation was incensed with the verdict.  The news flash that the Supreme Court would deliver on Saturday made everyone waiting to hear.     Reading the "unanimous" judgment on the Ayodhya title suit in a packed courtroom today, CJI Ranjan Gogoi opined that there is clear evidence that Hindus believe Lord Ram was born at the disputed site. "Babri Masjid was not constructed on vacant land. There was a structure underlying the disputed structure. The underlying structure was not an Islamic structure," the bench said.  The Supreme Court today  pronounced its verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, clearing the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the 2.77-acre disputed site in Ayodhya. A Supreme Court Constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the Shia Waqf Board's petition to be considered an appellant in the case as well as the claim of Nirmohi Akhara.  The Supreme Court order recognised the deity Ram Lalla's title rights to the  entire  2.77-acre Ayodhya land and directed the government that a trust be set up to manage the land's affairs, paving the path for the construction of a Ram temple. The Supreme Court has directed that the Sunni Waqf Board be given a five acres of land in Ayodhya for the construction of a mosque.

The Indian Railways has installed two 'Health ATMs' at the Charbagh railway station in Lucknow.   The kiosks, promoted by YOLO Health ATM, provide 16 health check-ups for Rs 50-100. There are two types of check-ups -- a 9-minute one that costs Rs 100, and a 6-minute one that costs Rs 50. The report is delivered instantly to the email or smartphone of the user. Health ATMs can be defined as private, walk-in medical kiosks with integrated medical devices for basic vitals, cardiology, neurology, pulmonary testing, gynecology, basic laboratory testing and emergency facilities and staffed by a medical attendant.

At Rajkot India played and defeated Australia in a T20I on 10.10.2013 chasing a mammoth 201.  In his second comeback after recovering from cancer, a leaner and fitter Yuvraj Singh was called upon to do a job he has done numerous times for India in ODIs - revive a floundering chase, with MS Dhoni for company, and only the lower order to follow. Only, this was a T20 and Yuvraj did not have the luxury of building his innings before accelerating. He duly cut out the building part, and unleashed trademark pick-up sixes and lofted drives to haul in the target of 202 with two deliveries remaining.  Nic Maddison made his debut.  An attacking batsman who is not afraid to go over the top, Nic Maddinson was a surprise inclusion in Australia's Test squad against South Africa in 2016-17.

Now comes the news that Nic Maddinson has withdrawn from the Australia A team to face Pakistan a three-day tour match in Perth for mental-health reasons. Maddinson, 27, has become the second player in recent weeks to step down from an Australian representative team due to mental-health issues after Glenn Maxwell stepped away from the T20 international squad during the series against Sri Lanka. Western Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft will replace Maddinson in the Australia A team for the day-night game at Perth Stadium. Australia A coach Graeme Hick said the squad was fully supportive of Maddinson's decision to withdraw. "Nic has made the right decision and we are all behind him," Hick was quoted in a statement. "It is braver to speak up than to suffer in silence and I applaud Nic for having the courage to put his health first.

West Indies overcame a spirited Afghanistan fight fuelled by Najibullah Zadran's half-century to win their first ODI series since Aug 2014. The key architects of their win in the second ODI were Nicholas Pooran and Roston Chase - the former leading an excellent lower-order rally to make 56 while the offspinning allrounder nicked out Afghanistan's top order in a superb spell of 3 for 30 to put the brakes, eventually resulting in a 47-run win.  Afghanistan would rue a number of opportunities, not least of all the double-strike following a sixth-wicket stand of 68 between Najibullah and Mohammad Nabi. Then Sheldon Cottrell had Najibullah nicking behind for 56 while attempting a slash to turn the scales. Needing 70 off 66 at that stage, legspinner Hayden Walsh had Nabi lbw next ball to extinguish any hopes of an Afghanistan rearguard. Walsh, who was only introduced in the 29th over, seemingly because Afghanistan had two set left-handers, finished with 3 for 36, including the final wicket to seal victory when Sharafuddin Ashraf holed out to Shimron Hetmyer at deep midwicket.

What could easily escape one’s attention is that both the ODI  between WI and Afghan were played at India at Lucknow and today’s match went uninterrupted least on a day when the Nation was hooked to Mandir judgment settling the century long pending issue.  The match was played at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.  It hosted its first International match, T20I between India and WI on 6 Nov 2018.    In that match Rohit Sharma became the first cricketer to score four centuries in T20Is. India won that match by 71 runs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th Nov. 2019

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