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1st Test: Bess five-for gives England opening day honours in Galle | Cricket News

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GALLE: Off-spinner Dom Bess claimed five wickets to help bowl out Sri Lanka for 135 and give England the advantage on day one of a Test that took 10 months to start on Thursday.
Bess, who returned figures of 5-30, combined with paceman Stuart Broad, who took three wickets, as Sri Lanka were all out in two sessions as the two-Test series resumed in Galle after the original tour was aborted over the coronavirus in March.
SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs England, 1st Test
England lost their openers early but skipper Joe Root, on 66, and Jonny Bairstow, on 47, steered the tourists to 127 for two at close of play. They still trail Sri Lanka by eight runs.
The batting duo put on an unbeaten partnership of 110 after Dom Sibley, for four, and Zak Crawley, for nine, fell to Lasith Embuldeniya’s left-arm spin.

Root, who successfully reviewed an lbw call in his favour after being given out by the on-field umpire on 20, reached his 50th fifty in 98 Tests. He has 17 centuries.
Bess though remained the hero of the day with his second five-wicket haul in his 11th Test as the venue witnessed its lowest first-innings score, well below Sri Lanka’s 181 against Pakistan in 2000.
Sri Lanka suffered a pre-match jolt when skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was ruled out of the first of the two Tests with a fractured thumb.
Stand-in-captain Dinesh Chandimal scored 28 and put up some resistance in a 56-run stand with Angelo Mathews, who made 27 on his return from a hamstring injury.
Broad struck twice in an over to send back opener Lahiru Thirimanne, who had scored four, and Kusal Mendis for nought – his fourth straight duck – to spell early trouble for the hosts.
Spin was introduced in the 11th over and Bess, with his second ball, got Kusal Perera for 20 when the batsman top-edged a reverse sweep to England captain Joe Root at first slip.
Sri Lanka had slumped to 25 for three but Mathews and Chandimal stood firm till lunch.
Broad came back in the second session to break the stand as he got Mathews caught at slip and Chandimal, who survived a dropped catch by debutant Dan Lawrence before lunch on 22, departed two balls later off Jack Leach.
Mathews, whose hamstring injury kept him out of the 2-0 Test series defeat in South Africa, went past 6,000 Test runs during his knock before Bess soon ran through the middle and lower order.
In reply, the tourists slipped to 17 for two after Sibley was caught at first slip and Crawley also back in the pavilion inside nine overs.
Root and Bairstow then batted cautiously to bring up England’s best partnership for all wickets at the venue.
The game is being played behind closed doors.



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Olympics would be ‘extremely difficult’ for unvaccinated athletes: France | Tokyo Olympics News

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PARIS: Athletes who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 would face “extremely difficult” conditions at the Tokyo Games this summer, the president of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) said on Monday.
Unvaccinated athletes who go to the Games in Japan face “quarantine of a fortnight” and “will have to undergo tests in the mornings and evenings,” Denis Masseglia warned.
The issue of vaccination of athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed last year because of the pandemic, is to be discussed Wednesday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Committee.
The IOC officially encourages the vaccination of athletes but says it cannot impose it.
Masseglia said there was no choice. In a video press conference, he said that “holding the Games is at stake”.
“We are not alone,” he said. “For our Japanese friends to receive athletes and accredited people from all over the world requires some precautions.”
He said that the difficulties they would face could have “a dissuasive effect” for athletes who did not want to be vaccinated.
Masseglia said he spoke to IOC president Thomas Bach last week.
In France, nearly a million priority people have been vaccinated, but the pace of vaccination is extremely varied around the world. Some countries, including Japan, have not started yet.
The issue of vaccination of athletes also raises an ethical problem.
“It’s out of the question that athletes should be given priority over other categories of population, but between now and the Games we can assume that it is possible to have them vaccinated without penalising other people,” Masseglia said.
“I have taken a position in favour of vaccination, I hope that all French athletes will share this perspective,” he added.


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AFC cancels, postpones tournaments; India’s schedule also affected | Football News

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday decided to either cancel or postpone a number of its competitions, also featuring India, keeping in mind the safety of all stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian team was to take part in the next AFC U-16 Championships, which was slated to be held in 2021 after being rescheduled twice last year. A total of 16 teams were to play in the tournament.
“In line with FIFA’s decision to cancel the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups in 2021 and taking into consideration the safety and health of Asia’s youth players, the AFC has reluctantly decided to cancel the AFC U-16 Championship Bahrain 2020 and the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020,” the continental football body said in a release.
The AFC said the next editions of both the competitions will be allocated to the same hosts in 2023.
The U-16 tournament was originally scheduled between September 16 and October 3, 2020, and then rescheduled between November 25 and December 12, 2020. It was later announced that the tournament would be postponed to early 2021 due to the pandemic.
AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “We are grateful for the support of the hosts for these competitions who agreed with the AFC the need to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders during this time of uncertainty and taking into consideration the risks of the current pandemic.”
The AFC also cancelled its Futsal Championship Kuwait 2020 and the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup Thailand 2021.
Both the Kuwait Football Association and the Football Association of Thailand will host the next editions. Kuwait will stage the AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2022 and Thailand, the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup 2023.
The AFC has also decided to reschedule the qualifying rounds for the U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 and U-17 Women’s Asian Cup 2022.


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Hopefully Motera becomes an IPL venue soon: Dinesh Karthik | Cricket News

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AHMEDABAD: Ahead of the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Tamil Nadu skipper Dinesh Karthik on Monday said that the new Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad looks amazing and added that he wishes the stadium becomes an IPL venue soon.
“The new stadium looks awesome! Well done, @bcci and @GCAMotera. I’m sure the International matches played here are gonna be fun and hopefully it becomes an IPL venue soon. Excited to play here tomorrow,” tweeted Karthik.

Motera Stadium will be hosting quarterfinals, semifinals and the final of the Syed Mushtaq Trophy this week. The newly built stadium will then host two Tests and five T20Is between India and England in February-March this year.
With a seating capacity of more than 1,10,000, the Motera Stadium will dislodge Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground as the world’s largest stadium.
Located in Ahmedabad, the Motera Stadium was made in 1982 with a seating capacity of 49,000 at the time of construction, which has now been increased.
Motera will also beat Eden Gardens in Kolkata as India’s largest cricket stadium, which has a seating capacity of 66,000 spectators.
On Tuesday, Karnataka and Punjab will start the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and later in the day, Tamil Nadu will clash against Himachal Pradesh.
The remaining two quarter-finals between Haryana-Baroda and Bihari-Rajasthan will take place on Wednesday.



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