Pujara Ieads India’s revival in 2nd Test

India’s Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane run between the wickets as Australia’s Josh Hazlewood reacts Monday during the India vs. Australia second Test cricket match in Bangalore. (Reuters)
Updated 07 March 2017

Pujara Ieads India’s revival in 2nd Test

BANGALORE: Batsman Cheteshwar Pujara hit an unbeaten half-century to lead India’s spirited fightback against Australia on the third day of a gripping second Test in Bangalore on Monday.
The hosts were 213 for four at stumps, leading Australia by 126 runs in their second innings after the tourists’ hopes of building a big lead were undermined by an oustanding bowling performance by Ravindra Jadeja.
Pujara on 79 and Ajinkya Rahane on 40 were batting at close of play.
The duo put together a stubborn 93-run partnership for the fifth wicket to lift India from a wobbly 120-4 at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Pujara led the way with his controlled knock as he kept a persistent Australian attack at bay, prompting skipper Steve Smith to rotate his bowling options.
Rahane was equally persistent in his resolve to give the visitors a daunting fourth innings chase as he hardly played a loose shot during his 105-ball stay.
The 29-year-old Pujara, who recorded his 14th Test fifty in his 46th Test, capitalized on a dropped chance by Smith at first slip off Nathan Lyon when he was on four.
Off-spinner Lyon, who had grabbed a career-best Test haul of 8-50 in the first innings, went wicketless on a day when Indian spinner Jadeja claimed six wickets.
It was Australian seamer Josh Hazlewood who rattled the Indian top-order with his three wickets, including the prized scalp of skipper Virat Kohli in the afternoon session.
Hazlewood trapped Kohli lbw for 15 on a shooting inswinger and a review did not help the star batsman as he walked back to a stunned silence at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
India’s move to promote all-rounder Jadeja in the batting order also backfired when the left-hander was bowled by Hazlewood for two to leave the hosts reeling at tea.
India’s trouble started when opener Lokesh Rahul fell to left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe after hitting a dominant 51 and handing India a good start.
Rahul, who top-scored with 90 in India’s first innings, put on 45 with Pujara after Abhinav Mukund (16) was bowled by Hazlewood early in the lunch session.
O’Keefe lured Rahul into a drive outside off stump and a diving Smith took a brilliant one-handed catch at first slip.
In the morning session, left-arm spinner Jadeja returned with figures of 6-63 to help dismiss Australia for 276 in their first innings, a lead of 87.
Australia lead the four-match series 1-0 after humbling the hosts in the first match in Pune.


Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

Updated 25 February 2020

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

  • The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected
  • Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe

ROME: Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected, but the minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban.
There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.
Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.
“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.”