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Work Ongoing In Fielding To Keep Getting Better: Jemimah Rodrigues Ahead Of South Africa T20Is

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India batter Jemimah Rodrigues said on Thursday that the team was focussing on improving its fielding, dubbing the department as a “game-changer”, ahead of the three-match Women’s T20I series against South Africa. “We have clarity in our plans across the three departments. The work is ongoing in fielding to keep getting better because it is one department that is a game-changer,” she said during the pre-match press conference ahead of the opening T20I against the Proteas in Chennai on Friday.

The 23-year-old’s fielding effort during the one-off Test against South Africa here was lauded when she took a diving catch in the second innings to get rid of Delmi Tucker.

She praised head coach Amol Muzumdar’s no-nonsense approach towards fitness and fielding.

“Since Amol sir has come, we have been hearing the same thing in every team meeting — fitness and fielding are non-negotiable. And, it is something we have specifically been working on,” she said.

“During the camp (at NCA), there were fitness sessions at 7am and then there were fielding sessions in the evening.

“In fielding, the Indian women’s cricket team is setting high standards. We will continue to do everything to maintain it. We will work hard and the results will come.” The three-match T20I series will be India’s final preparation before the Asia Cup (T20) and the T20 World Cup.

Jemimah also said the experience gained during the Women’s Premier League will come in handy during the World Cup.

“The best part about our team is that it has been a consistent team for a very long time, having played a lot of matches together. Also, having the WPL experience is a plus,” she added.

“The first WPL (in 2023) had quite a few inexperienced girls, but coming into this year’s WPL, playing on the low and turning pitches of Delhi, similar to Bangladesh, the girls will be taking in a lot of confidence heading into the World Cup.” The Women’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be hosted in Bangladesh from October 3 to 20 October.

The wicket of Chepauk will be interesting to look out for, given how a belter was presented for the Test that saw both teams scoring over 600 runs.

Jemimah said India will have a clear plan for the T20I series here where they thrashed South Africa by 10 wickets to win the one-off Test recently after scoring 600-plus runs in the first innings “Who said Chennai is not high scoring? We got to score 500 runs in the opening day of the Test, which speaks a lot about the wicket here. We will assess the conditions and then go about it. Looking at the pitch today, it felt like a perfect wicket to bat on. However, we will never know till the ball is bowled.

Will look to play our most likely side for World Cup: Wolvaardt

South African skipper Laura Wolvaardt said that she would look to field her best playing XI during the T20 series against India, given that it was her team’s last opportunity before the World Cup to streamline things.

“Obviously, we will be looking to play the strongest XI we can. The team has plans leading up to the World Cup, be it bowling or batting options and nail down different combinations,” she said.

“We have tried some things and given youngsters opportunities in the last few T20I series. But for this tour, we will be looking to play our best side and the most likely side to be playing in the World Cup.

South Africa used plenty of spin options during the one-off Test against India and the skipper said the experiment with spin would continue in the series against India.

“It’s a good time to see if we could perhaps use more spin in the powerplay and the death. Although we generally bowl spin in the middle overs, it could be a good time to experiment with a couple of things.

“India will play a lot of spinners and will probably bowl spin throughout the innings. But, it all depends on the conditions that unfold, and how spin-friendly it’s out there,” she added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Smriti Mandhana Gifts Wheelchair-Bound Girl Mobile Phone After India Match In Asia Cup

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Smriti Mandhana (right) with a differently-abled girl.© X/@OfficialSLC




In a heartwarming gesture, star India batter Smriti Mandhana gifted a wheelchair-bound girl a mobile phone after the team’s match at the ongoing women’s T20 Asia Cup tournament in Dambulla. Adeesha Herath, who came to the stadium escorted by her mother in a wheelchair, experienced a pleasant surprise as Mandhana came to meet her and presented her a phone. “Adeesha Herath’s love for cricket brought her to the stadium, despite all the challenges. The highlight of her day? A surprise encounter with her favourite cricketer, Smriti Mandhana, who handed her a mobile phone as a token of appreciation,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a tweet.

In the video posted along with the tweet, Mandhana was heard asking the girl her name.

“You like cricket, that is nice. You enjoyed today’s match. I have brought a gift for you from all of us,” Mandhana told the girl, before having a high-five with her and posing for a photograph.

The girl’s mother said it was an unexpected gift.

“We came to watch the match unexpectedly, as my daughter wanted to go for the match. We met Mandhana madam from Indian team and my daughter received a phone from her. It was unexpected and my daughter is so lucky to receive this gift from her,” she said.

India beat arch rivals Pakistan by seven wickets on Friday in their opening match. They are up against United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Sri Lanka Beat Bangladesh By 7 Wickets In Women’s T20 Asia Cup

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Hosts Sri Lanka started their campaign in the Women’s T20 Asia Cup on a positive note, beating Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dambulla on Saturday. After restricting Bangladesh to a modest 111 for eight, Sri Lanka completed the task with 17 balls to spare, reaching 114/3 in 17.1 overs. Opting to bat first, Bangladesh were off to a disastrous start and lost three wickets with just six runs on the board. It soon became 17/4, and then 48/5, before skipper Nigar Sultana steadied the sinking ship with a 48-run knock that came off 59 balls and included six boundaries.

Down the order, Shorna Akter contributed a brisk 14-ball 25 as Bangladesh crossed 100.

Udeshika Prabodhani (2/20) and Inoshi Priyadharshani (2/17) grabbed two wickets each for Sri Lanka, while there was one apiece for Sugandika Kumari, Kavisha Dilhari and Chamari Athapaththu.

As far as Sri Lanka batting was concerned, opener Vishmi Gunaratne was the highest scorer with 51 off 48 balls, hitting seven fours and a six in her knock.

Harshitha Samarawickrama chipped in with 33 in 31 balls and got out with her team on the doorstep of victory.

Nahida Akter was the best bowler for Bangladesh, finishing with fine figures of 3/12 in her quota of four overs.

Thailand defeat Malaysia

In the day’s first match, Thailand got the better of Malaysia by 22 runs.

Batting first, Thailand posted 133 for six after wicketkeeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai top-scored with a 35-ball 40, while Phannita Maya chipped in with 29 in 28 deliveries.

Mahirah Izzati Ismail was the most successful bowler for Malaysia, returning excellent figures of 3/16 in four overs.

Mahirah’s effort, however, went in vain as Thailand restricted their opponents to 111 for eight in the allotted 20 overs, despite a half century from opener Wan Julia (52 off 53 balls).

Captain Winifred Duraisingam made 22 in 28 balls at the top of the order while being associated in a 68-run first-wicket partnership with Julia.

The Malaysian batting, however, collapsed after that as Thailand produced a disciplined show with the ball to emerge victorious.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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“Very Slim Chances”: Ex-Pakistan Board Chief’s Blunt Admission On India Travelling For Champions Trophy

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File photo of an India vs Pakistan match© AFP




Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Khalid Mahmood believes India will not travel to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy early next year. “They are very very slim chances they will agree to play in Pakistan,” Mahmood, who is a retired senior bureaucrat, said. He, however, said that if India doesn’t visit Pakistan, it would be a non-profitable deal for PCB and the ICC.

“India is the richest cricket board and carries a lot of clout. If they don’t send their team to Pakistan I foresee even countries like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh following their path,” Mahmood said.

“This would basically reduce the Champions Trophy into a venture where revenues will take a hit, expenses will grow and profits would fall,” Mahmood, who twice went to India in 1989 and 1999 as Pakistan’s junior and senior team manager, said.

Mahmood said that PCB should just follow their policy of not mixing sports and politics.

“Look the thing is at this level you can only lobby and try to convince other boards to be on your side. India has too much clout in the ICC it would do no good for Pakistan to adopt a tit for tat strategy.” “Thing is when the BCCI says it can’t send its team and will play its matches outside Pakistan, it does reduce the purpose for Pakistan of hosting an ICC event,” he added.

The Champions Trophy is scheduled to be held from February 19 to March 9 next year.

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