Kohli backs Indian grit and class after Sri Lanka draw

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Updated 20 November 2017
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Kohli backs Indian grit and class after Sri Lanka draw

LONDON: Virat Kohli praised India’s response to their first-innings collapse as they nearly forced a remarkable win in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Kolkata.
The hosts were skittled out for 172 on day two of the the series with the Sri Lankans able to post a first-innings lead of 122. But undeterred Kohli’s side launched a counterattack in the second innings and thanks to the skipper’s 119-ball 104 not out were able to reach 352 for eight declared, setting the tourists a target of 231 for victory.
India had Diniesh Chandimal’s men floundering on 75 for seven when bad light stopped play, forcing the match to end in a draw.
But while he would have prefererd the victory, Kohli was more than happy with his side’s fightback after a torrid first two days.
“It was important to make something out of the game with whatever time we had,” the India captain (pictured left) said. “Conditions changed drastically over the five days. We had to show character, having been on the backfoot on day one and day two. Credit to Sri Lanka.
“The team showed a lot of character. We didn’t look at the batting collapse. We believed in our strengths. If you didn’t have intent on this wicket, it would’ve been difficult to survive. That was the key. If we got enough good balls in the right areas, it would’ve been tough. All in all, we’re proud of how we finished.”
Kohli’s ton was his 50th international century. India’s other star turn came from Bhuvneshwar Kumar who picked up four wickets to give Sri Lanka a scare in a nervous final session before the match concluded with honors even.
Dasun Shanaka (six not out) and Rangana Herath (0) played out the final few deliveries of a nervous final period which saw Sri Lanka lose five quick wickets.
But, like his opposite number, Chandimal was content with the result.
“In these kind of conditions, the toss was crucial,” the Sri Lanka skipper (pictured below) said.
“We fought hard and competed well. (Until) the last session, we fought well and played as a team. Unfortunately, the last 10-15 overs brought a lot of pressure but we played good cricket and competed well.
“Unfortunately spinners couldn’t come into the game. We’ll have to learn how to battle, especially in the second innings. In UAE also, we didn’t bat well in the second innings against Pakistan. If we can do that, we can do a lot better.”
The action now shifts to the second match in Nagpur starting Friday.


Saudi Arabia club Al-Nassr sign Peru World Cup defender

Updated 21 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia club Al-Nassr sign Peru World Cup defender

  • Christian Ramos has signed a contract until 2022
  • He becomes second Peru star to join a Saudi Pro League team this week

LONDON: Al-Nassr have followed up the headline-grabbing signing of Nordin Amrabat by landing Peru international defender Christian Ramos.
Jose Daniel Carreno’s side finished third last season and they signalled their ambition to challenge the top two by recruiting Amrabat, the Moroccan World Cup winger, from Premier League club Watford this week.
Not content with that, they have recruited another World Cup player by luring Ramos, 29, to the Kingdom.
He played every minute of Peru’s World Cup group games against France, Denmark and Australia and has won 69 caps for his country.
The 6ft central defender has played all over South America during an 11-year career and has now decided the time is right to switch continents and play in the Middle East.
He becomes the second Peruvian to move to the Saudi Pro League this week, following on from Andre Carrillo’s loan move to Al-Hilal.