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India Sign Off With First-Ever Badminton Team Silver At Asian Games

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Injured HS Prannoy’s absence hurt India as they went down fighting 2-3 against badminton powerhouse China to sign off with their first-ever silver medal in the men’s team championships at the Asian Games on Sunday. After world No. 7 Prannoy was ruled out due to a back injury, Lakshya Sen produced a gutsy show in the first singles and doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then bossed over their opponents to put India 2-0 ahead. So, it was once again left to Srikanth to carry the team on his shoulders. The former world No. 1, who had produced a gritty show against South Korea in the semifinals, couldn’t go the distance this time despite a healthy lead and multiple game points as China fought back to make it 1-2.

(Asian Games 2023 Medals Tally | Asian Games 2023 Full Schedule)

The defending champions then won the remaining two matches to maintain their hegemony in the Asian Games.

With Prannoy missing the summit clash due to a back injury, Sen was handed the responsibility of leading the Indian charge.

Sen recovered from a mid-game slump to erase a five-point deficit in the decider and put India ahead with a 22-20 14-21 21-18 win over world No. 6 Shi Yuqi in an 83-minute opening slugfest.

World No. 3 men’s doubles pair of Satwik and Chirag then went on a smashing spree to outclass world No 2. Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang 21-15 21-18 in 55 minutes to extend the lead to 2-0. Srikanth, however, squandered an 18-14 lead and multiple game points in the first game to go down 22-24 9-21 against All England champion Li Shifeng in the third singles to expose India’s weakest link — the second doubles and third singles matches.

Scratch pair of Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek Krishna Prasad then lost 6-21 15-21 to world No. 8 Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi, while Prannoy’s replacement Mithun Manjunath, ranked 53, went down 12-21 4-21 against world No. 20 Weng Hong Yang in the third singles as India finished second best.

Despite the loss, it is a creditable performance from the Indian team as it sealed India’s second silver medal in badminton at the continental championships with two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu winning the first in women’s singles in the 2018 edition.

The last time the Indian men won a badminton medal in the team championships was at the 1986 edition in Seoul where Sen’s mentors Prakash Padukone and Vimal Kumar played a crucial role.

India now has 11 badminton medals in the Asian Games, including three individual singles medals, one silver and three bronze in the men’s team, two women’s team bronze and one medal each in men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

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Rashid Khan Breaks Silence As ‘Cheating’ Accusation Sours Afghanistan’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final Entry

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On Tuesday, Afghanistan experienced their most important day in their cricket history so far. The team led by Rashid Khan defeated Bangladesh to knock out Australia and qualify for the first time ever in a T20 World Cup semi-final. However, there was one incident that seemed to mar the whole occasion for Afghanistan. It happened when Gulbadin Naib dramatically fell on his back, clutching his thigh after Trott signalled his players to slow things down.

But minutes later, not only was the all-rounder back on the field but he also went on to take Tanzim Hasan’s wicket, causing several former players and commentators to question the genuineness of his discomfort.

But Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan sought to play down the incident. 

“Well, he had some cramp, I don’t know what happened to him and I don’t know what’s going on in social media but that doesn’t matter – it’s just the end field injury which comes and then we haven’t lost any overs, the rain came and we just went off, it’s not something like brought a massive difference in the game,” Rashid khan.

“We came back on field after five minutes and there was no massive difference. For me, it’s just like a small injury comes in, then you have to take some time.”

Skipper Rashid Khan believes that Afghanistan’s maiden T20 World Cup semifinal qualification, following spectacular wins over New Zealand and Australia along the way, is a momentous feat that will inspire the youth of the strife-torn nation.

Afghanistan, who became a full ICC member only in 2017, scripted history by qualifying for their maiden T20 World Cup semifinal with a win over Bangladesh here.

“I think the semi-final is going to be a massive, massive like inspiration for the youngsters back home in Afghanistan. That Afghanistan team get into the semis for the first time,” Rashid said at the post match press conference.

“And we have done it under 19 level, but this level we haven’t done that. Even Super Eight was first time for us and then in semis,” he added.

Moments after the win, visuals of jubilant fans back home celebrating Afghanistan’s historic achievement started doing the rounds on social media.

With the feat, Afghanistan have showed how much they have progressed in the white ball formats. At last year’s ODI World Cup, they upset defending champions England and former winners Sri Lanka and Pakistan. They are continuing their giant slaying run at the T20 World Cup having beaten heavyweights New Zealand and Australia.

“The cricket we have played in the whole tournament so far – I think we deserve to be in the semis. The way everyone took the responsibility of getting into the game and performing best for the team,” said Rashid.

“So, I don’t know how I can describe my feeling but it’s a massive achievement for us as a team and as a nation to be in the semis and now looking forward to the semis.” The Afghanistan cricket team is a group of individuals who have honed their skills by plying their trade in T20 leagues around the world. But when they come together to play for their country, it’s hard to find a more passionate bunch.

With PTI inputs

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Axar Patel Receives ‘Fielder Of The Match’ Medal From Team India’s ‘Unsung Hero’ – Watch

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India bowling all-rounder Axar Patel won the ‘Fielder of the Match’ medal after India’s 24-run win over Australia in the Super Eights match of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 on Monday. In the ninth over of the second inning, Axar took Mitchell Marsh’s catch with his non-dominant right hand and helped India take control of the match. Kuldeep Yadav placed a length ball onto the pads, Marsh pulled it behind the square where Axar made no mistake in taking the catch. Speaking while honouring the medal, India fielding coach T Dilip showered praise on the Men in Blue for their commitment to every catch. The medal was presented by by Nuwan Seneviratne, a throwdown specialist for the Indian team – someone that T Dilip described as an ‘unsung hero’ for the Indian cricket team.

“Phenomenal effort, boys. Everyone, well done. When it comes to fielding in the Caribbean, we will always test our metal… from boundary to infield we covered every gap, but the masterpiece was the commitment for every catch that we have done. With this kind of determination, whether it’s adjusting to the wind or speed in the outfield, we were top-notch. Lastly, we clearly show that we are here to dominate,” T Dilip said.


Recapping the match, Australia won the toss and decided to bowl against India.

Rohit Sharma (92 runs from 41 balls, 7 fours and 8 sixes) played a stupendous knock at a strike rate of 224.39. Rohit’s captain’s knock helped India to put 205/5 on the scoreboard in the first inning. Suryakumar Yadav (31 runs from 16 balls, 3 fours and 2 sixes) and Hardik Pandya (27* runs from 17 balls, 1 four and 2 sixes) played a supporting role and gave a solid target.

Mitchell Starc and Marcus Stoinis led the Aussie bowling attack after both of them picked up two wickets each in their respective spells.

During the run chase, Travis Head (76 runs from 43 balls, 9 fours and 4 sixes) played a dangerous knock but Jasprit Bumrah removed the Aussie opener in the 17th. Mitchell Marsh (37 runs from 28 balls, 3 fours and 2 sixes) also tried his best to chase the 206-run target but fell short in front of the Indian bowling attack.

Arshdeep Singh led the Indian bowling attack after he picked up three wickets in his four-over spell and helped India to win the match by 24 runs. India skipper Rohit Sharma was named the Player of the Match after his stupendous knock in the first inning.

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David Warner Retires From International Cricket After Australia’s T20 World Cup Exit

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One of the greatest batters of all time, David Warner‘s international career ended on a bitter note after Australia failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup 2024 semi-finals, exiting in the Super 8 stage. For Australia to continue their journey in the tournament, they needed Bangladesh to beat Afghanistan in the final Super 8 match on Monday. Though the Bangla Tigers came close, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq and others stepped up at crucial intervals to knock the Aussies out of the tournament with a win.

Australia’s premature elimination from the tournament also confirmed Warner’s international exit. The opening batter had already confirmed that the T20 World Cup in USA and West Indies will be his last in the Australian shirt.

Despite hinting at a potential return for next year’s Champions Trophy, it appears unlikely, Warner ended his international career in stages, playing his last ODI during Australia’s triumphant 2023 campaign in India, his final Test against Pakistan in early 2024 and was set to finish altogether after the 2024 T20 World Cup.

His breathtaking 89 from 43 balls on his T20I debut against South Africa told the world of his talent. In 110 matches he scored 3277 runs including a century against Pakistan in 2019–third Aussie to score centuries in all three formats of the game, and 28 half-centuries.

Away from international cricket, he has had a prolific franchise T20 career, especially in the IPL, and in 2021 became just the fourth batter to pass 10,000 runs in T20.

“(I) put my arm around him,” Australia Ricky Ponting recounted on ICC’s Digital Daily show. “I said, ‘…just take a moment tonight to sit back by yourself and reflect on what’s been an unbelievable career across all three formats for Australia.’

“We know he retired in the summer from test cricket, but you’ll struggle to find a guy that’s had as big an impact on all three forms in Australian cricket than David Warner has.

“I’ve been able to play with him, I’ve been able to coach him in the IPL the last couple of years and I really enjoy his company. So he should be very proud of what he’s done.”

Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood had also spoken of Warner’s international retirement after the team’s defeat against India in the Super 8s.

“We’ll definitely miss him around the group, out in the field and off field,” Hazelwood had said after the team’s loss to India.

“(An) amazing all-format career. It’s sort of been a slow burn with Test cricket and ODI cricket and now T20. So, life without him, we’ve sort of gotten used to it a little bit … it’s always different when you lose a player that’s been there for so long.”

With IANS Inputs

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