India beat Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI, win series

India’s Shikhar Dhawan raises his bat and helmet to celebrate a century during their third and final one-day international game against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam, India, Dec. 17, 2017. (AP)
Updated 17 December 2017
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India beat Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI, win series

VISAKHAPATNAM, India: Opener Shikhar Dhawan’s blazing century and a decisive spell by their wrist spinners powered India to a series-clinching eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international on Sunday.
Chasing 216 for victory, India rode on a 135-run partnership between Dhawan (100 not out) and Shreyas Iyer (65) to romp home in 32.1 overs in Visakhapatnam.
Dhawan completed his 12th ODI hundred in 85 balls, his knock laced with 13 fours and two sixes, before taking India to their eighth consecutive ODI series victory since June 2016.
But it was Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who set up the comprehensive victory after taking three wickets each to help restrict the visitors to 215 all out in 44.5 overs.
The hosts lost skipper Rohit Sharma early after he was bowled by off-spinner Akila Dananjaya for seven but it was only a minor blemish in an otherwise comfortable chase.
Iyer, who registered his second successive half-century in just his third ODI, combined with Dhawan to take the attack to the opposition bowlers.
Starting with a fast-spin combination of Suranga Lakmal and Akila Dananjaya from either end, the visitors built up some early pressure only to lose steam against the in-form batsmen.
Iyer, who made 88 in the Mohali ODI, hit eight fours and a six during his 63-ball knock before falling to skipper Thisara Perera. The batsman mistimed a pull to be caught at mid-on.
The left-handed Dhawan stayed firm with Dinesh Karthik, who made 26, for company as India bounced back with two straight wins after losing the opener in Dharamsala.
Earlier Sri Lanka had got off to a strong start with opener Upul Tharanga making an 82-ball 95 after the visitors were invited to bat first.
Tharanga’s 121-ball second-wicket partnership with Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made 42, was the highlight of the Sri Lankan innings that fell apart from a commanding 136-1.
Leg-spinner Chahal got Samarawickrama, who was included in the XI in place of Lahiru Thirimanne, caught at deep cover to end the stubborn stand.
The in-form Tharanga, who registered his 36th ODI fifty, kept up the pressure with an attacking inning as he passed 1,000 runs in 2017.
But Yadav checked Sri Lanka’s surge in the 28th over with a twin strike, denying Tharanga a hundred and then sending Niroshan Dickwella (8) trudging back to the pavilion.
Tharanga, who hit 12 fours and three sixes, was beaten by a tossed-up delivery from the left-arm wrist spinner and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled off a sharp stumping.
Chahal soon joined in to take the key wickets of Angelo Mathews, for 17, and skipper Thisara Perera, for six, as Sri Lanka slipped to 197-6 and failed to survive their full quota of 50 overs.
Meanwhile veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga continued to be kept out of Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 squad that will play three matches against India starting Wednesday in Cuttack.


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 23 April 2018
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Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.