Virat Kohli limps off as India beat South Africa in first T20

Indian captain Virat Kohli left the field after 13 overs of the South Africa innings. (AP)
Updated 18 February 2018
0

Virat Kohli limps off as India beat South Africa in first T20

JOHANNESBURG: Virat Kohli limped off the field before India completed another dominant performance over South Africa in the first Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were mainly responsible for India’s 28-run win, just two days after the tourists completed a 5-1 thrashing of the hosts in a one-day international series.
India captain Kohli left the field 13 overs into South Africa’s innings after suffering a left leg strain while batting.
“I tweaked my glute a little bit. Thankfully it’s not my hamstring,” he said.
“I felt a little more stiffness (in the field) so I decided to go off and not be stupid and tear a muscle.”
Dhawan made 72 in an Indian total of 203 for five after they were sent in to bat.
Then opening bowler Kumar produced a masterly display as he claimed career-best figures of five for 24 as South Africa were restricted to 175 for nine.
Kumar took the first two wickets and put a clamp on South Africa’s scoring rate with an opening spell of two for 19 in three overs, displaying superb control and changes of pace.
Then he came back to settle the contest and secure the man of the match award by taking three wickets and conceding only five runs in the 18th over.
South Africa were outplayed once again despite a fourth wicket partnership of 81 off 54 balls between Reeza Hendricks (70) and Farhaan Behardien (39) with India superior in all departments.
Kohli hailed “one of our most balanced performances” in a T20 international.
South African captain JP Duminy admitted he was “very disappointed” but backed a policy of short-pitched bowling in an attempt to take wickets when India batted.
The left-handed Dhawan hit ten fours and two sixes in a 39-ball innings.
He was lucky to escape on ten when he flicked at a ball down the leg side from Junior Dala.
South Africa appealed half-heartedly for a catch behind and the ball was called wide. Replays showed the ball had brushed his glove.
India made a flying start, with Rohit Sharma square-cutting the first ball from Dane Paterson for six. He added a second six in an over which yielded 18 runs.
Sharma was caught behind off new cap Dala in the second over but all the Indian batsmen followed his attacking example on a ground where there had been three successful run chases of over 200 in T20 internationals.
Kohli’s run of big scores ended when he was leg before wicket to left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for 26. He had been dropped off the same bowler at long-on when he had ten.
South Africa were without star batsman AB de Villiers, who was ruled out of the series after suffering a blow to his left knee ahead of the sixth one-day international in Centurion on Friday.
India also suffered an injury blow, with left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav missing because of a thumb injury suffered in Centurion when India completed a 5-1 series win.


Ahmed Barman out to toast Al-Ain success in FIFA Club World Cup

Updated 11 December 2018
0

Ahmed Barman out to toast Al-Ain success in FIFA Club World Cup

  • Tournament gets under way on Wednesday when Al-Ain take on Team Wellington at home.
  • UAE midfielder sure his side can cause a few shocks.

LONDON: While he is only too aware of the quality opposition they have to face, Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman is backing “The Boss” to scare a few teams in the FIFA Club World Cup.
The tournament gets under way when the UAE outfit face Team Wellington on their home ground in the opener today. Last year saw fellow Arabian Gulf League side Al-Jazira reach the semifinal where they gave Real Madrid a huge fright before narrowly losing 2-1. And inspired by that march to the last four, Barman is looking for Al-Ain to go one better and become the first Emirati side to make the final.
“The FIFA Club World Cup is a global competition coveted by every club,” Barman said. “Al-Ahli, Al-Jazira and Al-Wahda participated in this tournament before and did their part, putting the UAE on the world map. We at Al-Ain hope to reach the semi-final, as Al-Jazira did, or do even better.”
Before any tournament it is only natural to dream of glory and lifting the trophy in front of adoring fans. But the midfielder is not getting too cocky, revealing that despite having home advantage Al-Ain are taking absolutely nothing for granted, starting with Wednesday’s clash against the Kiwis.
“There’s no doubt that we’re aiming to reach the final and face a giant like Real Madrid, but first we have to focus on our opening match against Team Wellington,” the 24-year-old said.
“We need to win to progress from this round and play the subsequent games until we reach the final against Real Madrid and show a standard of play the UAE can be proud of.”
Barman is not anticipating an easy opener.
“Team Wellington are a very good team with considerable ability. They won their local league and the OFC Champions League, which proves they’re powerful.
“So, all our focus is on this opening match. We’re annualizing our opponents to understand their capabilities as we prepare to perform well on the pitch and get positive result.”
The UAE champions did not have the best preparation for their stab at Club World Cup glory, losing 5-2 to Al-Wasl in the UAE President’s Cup at the weekend.
That result, while clearly not ideal, has not bothered the side’s coach.
“We cannot win every game, what is gone is gone, it’s full concentration on the match ahead,” Zoran Mamic said.
“There are no rules that Al-Ain cannot lose games, that’s why I don’t make any drama.”
But while Barman was keen to invoke the memory of Al-Jazira’s march to the last four, his boss was less so, telling his team to focus on the match at hand before getting ahead of themselves.
“We are not here to talk about last year, just as we are not here to talk about the future,” the Croatian said. “We are here to represent the club in the best possible way. We focus on the match at hand and everything will take care of itself.”
Of today’s opponents he added: “We have watched all their games, we know their strengths and where they are not so strong. They are particularly good offensively, they play with fast wingers and a striker who is a good scorer, they play a system that is unusual to us because no teams in the Emirates play with three in the last line. If we do our job we will (have) a good match.”