Handscomb hundred sets up record chase for Australia over India and winner-takes-all clash

Handscomb's 117 set up the win for the Australia. (AFP)
Updated 10 March 2019
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Handscomb hundred sets up record chase for Australia over India and winner-takes-all clash

  • Maiden ton for Aussie as tourists level five-match series 2-2.
  • Series decider on Wednesday with World Cup on the horizon.

MOHALI: Peter Handscomb’s maiden century and a blistering 84 from Ashton Turner helped Australia chase down a record 359 against India to level the series at 2-2 in the fourth one-day international on Sunday.
Turner’s 43-ball blitz in Mohali gave Australia the win by four wickets with 13 balls to spare in their highest ever run chase.
The Baggy Greens’ previous best was a race to 334 against England in 2011 in Sydney.
A 192-run second-wicket partnership between Handscomb, who smashed 117 off 105 balls, and Usman Khawaja, who made 91, was key to take the series into the final ODI in Delhi on Wednesday.
Turner, who made his debut in the opening ODI and playing just his second match, also built crucial partnerships including an 86-run stand with Alex Carey, who made 21.
The 26-year-old Turner, who replaced an injured Marcus Stoinis in the playing XI, hit 5 fours and 6 sixes to smash the bowlers to all parts of the ground.
“The plan was to take the game as deep as we could. Ashton playing his second game and playing a match-winning knock and Peter playing such a knock and Usman coming to form was wonderful,” skipper Aaron Finch said after the win.
“We have seen him do that a lot in Big Bash. It was a world-class knock and to take on two of the best death bowlers in the world was outstanding,” Finch added in praise of man of the match Turner.
Earlier Shikhar Dhawan struck a career-best 143 to guide India to 358 for nine after electing to bat first.
The hosts rode on a 193-run opening stand between Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who made 95, to post a big total.
Australia were 12 for two in their chase after Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled Finch for nought and fellow paceman Jasprit Bumrah got Shaun Marsh for six.
Bumrah took three wickets but the Indian spinners were at the receiving end of some attacking play in dew-laden conditions and sloppy fielding.
Rishabh Pant, doing the keeping duties in place of the rested Mahendra Singh Dhoni missed a chance to stump Turner on 38 and the innings also witnessed a few dropped catches.
“It became too wet to bowl, it was very difficult to bowl in the right areas. Crucial (about the stumping chance), we were sloppy in the field and should’ve grabbed our chances,” said captain Virat Kohli.
“But Ashton (Turner) played one hell of a knock, Handscomb and Khawaja played well too but Ashton’s innings was the game-changer.”
Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins returned his best-ever ODI figures of 5-70 in 10 overs.
Dhawan, who has been struggling to get big scores in recent times, struck form as he reached his fifty in 44 deliveries to take the attack to the opposition.
The right-left batting combination of Sharma and Dhawan mixed the right dose of caution and aggression to lay the foundation for India’s big total.
Sharma registered his 40th ODI fifty but missed out on a hundred after falling to Jhye Richardson, who took three wickets.
Dhawan went on to register his 16th ODI ton and his first in 18 innings amid crowd cheers and a standing ovation from the Indian dressing room.
He surpassed his previous best of 137 in ODIs before being bowled by Cummins, striking 18 fours and three sixes in his 115-ball knock.


Refugee swimmer Mardini rising fast after fleeing war

Updated 21 July 2019
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Refugee swimmer Mardini rising fast after fleeing war

  • Mardini’s time was more than 12 seconds slower than that of reigning champion Sarah Sjostrom and 47th overall
  • Mardini famously competed at the Rio Olympics under the refugee flag

GWANGJU, South Korea: Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini, who almost drowned at sea fleeing her war-torn country four years ago, heaved a deep sigh after failing to set a personal best at the world swimming championships on Sunday.
Representing FINA’s independent athletes team, the 21-year-old looked up at the giant scoreboard and winced at her time of 1min 8.79sec in the 100 meters butterfly heats in South Korea.
“I’m not very happy actually,” Mardini told AFP.
“I had some problems with my shoulder but I’m back in training. I still have the 100m freestyle and I’m looking forward to that.”
Mardini’s time was more than 12 seconds slower than that of reigning champion Sarah Sjostrom and 47th overall, but she has come a long way since risking her life crossing from Izmir in Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos in the summer of 2015.
Thirty minutes into that treacherous journey, the motor on their dinghy cut out and the tiny vessel, carrying 20 people rather than the six or seven it was designed for, threatened to capsize.
As the only people who could swim, Mardini and her sister Sarah jumped into the water to push and pull the stricken dinghy for over three hours until they finally reached the shore.
“I arrived in Greece in only jeans and a T-shirt,” said Mardini, who also swims in the 100m freestyle later this week. “Even my shoes were gone.”
Mardini famously competed at the Rio Olympics a year later under the refugee flag.
“In the beginning I refused to be in a refugee team because I was afraid people would think I got the chance because of my story,” said Mardini, who now lives with her family in Berlin.
“I wanted to earn it. But then I realized I had a big opportunity to represent those people — so I took the chance and I never regretted it,” she added.
“Rio was amazing. It was really exciting to see the reaction of people to the team. Now I’m representing millions of displaced people around the world and it really makes me proud.”
It is a far cry from life back in Syria, where rocket strikes would often shake the pool she trained at in Damascus.
“There were bomb attacks sometimes that would crack the windows around the pool,” said Mardini, who has addressed the United Nations general assembly and whose story is set to be told in a Hollywood movie.
“We were scared the whole time.”
Fellow Syrian Ayman Kelzieh was also forced to flee the country before competing at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
Returning to Korea five years later, the 26-year-old now owns a fistful of national swim records, including the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly.
“When the war started I had just moved to Damascus and I couldn’t get back home to Aleppo,” said Kelzieh, who now lives on the Thai island of Phuket.
“But even in Damascus bombs sometimes even went off at the swimming pool we trained at,” he added after taking a poolside selfie with his idol, South African star Chad le Clos.
“There were even attacks at the hotel I stayed in — I was lucky.”