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Sheffield United end long wait for Premier League win | Football News

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LONDON: Sheffield United ended a 20-game winless run in the Premier League on Tuesday as Billy Sharp’s penalty earned a 1-0 victory over 10-man Newcastle.
The Blades still face an uphill task to haul themselves off the bottom of the table as they sit nine points adrift of safety.
But Chris Wilder‘s men ensured they will not set an unwanted record by going a full top-flight season without a win thanks to another night to forget for Newcastle.
The Magpies could yet find themselves dragged into a relegation battle as they remain eight points above the drop zone in 15th, but have played two games more than Fulham in 18th.
Steve Bruce’s men are winless in eight games in all competitions, including exits from both domestic cups.
Two quickfire bookings for Ryan Fraser just before half-time left the visitors a man down for the full second-half.
But scoring goals has been United’s Achilles’ heel all season and they struggled to make the man advantage count until Federico Fernandez was punished for the ball brushing his outstretched hand inside the area.
Cub captain Sharp showed his experience by sending Karl Darlow the wrong way from the spot.
Jayden Bogle nearly scored a spectacular own goal six minutes into stoppage time to ruin the Blades big night when his attempted pass back with his chest eluded Aaron Ramsdale and the ball rolled just past the post for a corner.
But the hosts held out to end a 186-day wait for a league win and more than double their points tally for the season.


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We as a team never spoke about Adelaide game: Hanuma Vihari | Cricket News

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HYDERABAD: India batsman Hanuma Vihari has said that winning the Sydney Test against Australia was not a possibility once Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara got dismissed on the final afternoon at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Batting out 258 balls with a fierce home team throwing everything it had up its sleeves is no mean feat. But the Indian duo of Vihari and R Ashwin stood ground and managed to do just that as they eked out a draw in what was nothing short of an action-packed fifth day in the third Test between India and Australia.
Playing out 131 overs — the most India have batted in the fourth innings of a Test since 1980 — showed exactly what Ashwin meant when he spoke about playing like true warriors at the end of the fourth day’s play at the SCG.

“If you look at the first session and most part of the second session, we were looking good for a win. The way Rishabh [Pant] and [Cheteshwar] Pujara played. To be honest, once they got out, I don’t think a win was a possibility. Even before my injury, Ash [R Ashwin] was struggling with his back, [Ravindra] Jadeja could have played only a few overs if needed. The draw came in when we knew that Ash couldn’t run, and then when my hamstring injury happened. We knew we just had to bat out time. And it is not an easy task [for one partnership] to bat out 43 overs. Australia, day five, against that attack,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Vihari as saying.

“We batted one ball at a time, one over at a time, me and Ash. We had a conversation every over about what we needed to do. The strategy also helped. We got messages from outside but we had already decided that he was going to face [Nathan] Lyon and I would face the fast bowlers. One he was batting well against Lyon and also I couldn’t stretch against the spinner with my hamstring. It panned out well. He was facing Lyon with ease on a day-five pitch, and I was pretty comfortable against the fast bowlers,” he added.

After historic win in Brisbane, Indian cricket team reaches Delhi

After historic win in Brisbane, Indian cricket team reaches Delhi

A hamstring injury notwithstanding, Vihari hit an unbeaten 161-ball 23 while Ashwin hit 39 off 128 balls as the two defended away any hopes Australia had of registering a win. Due to this injury, the batsman missed the fourth Test at Gabba, and he ended up returning back home.
“Two feelings came to mind. One was pain, the other was relief. The pain was there and sigh of relief that I could do the job for the team. It was a sweet pain. The pain was all worth it at the end of the day. If I hadn’t been able to save the match, it would have hurt more. But because we saved the Test, the pain was not so painful,” said Vihari.

“I hardly had any sleep. Again, with pain. One thing was pain and the other thing was I was happy and overwhelmed with the respect and love I got on the internet, in the messages I got. I think I slept for one hour and got up again at 6 in the morning. That is the kind of feeling I got. I would say for all the years of hard work I had done in first-class cricket, where there are no people watching you play and you have to go through the grind and struggle and to have 1.3 billion watching back home and all the people in the world watching you save a Test match… That was the thought that came into my mind. Real satisfaction of going through the grind in the first-class arena and then achieving this, the satisfaction was really amazing,” he added.

When asked about the 36 all-out in the first Test at Adelaide, Vihari said: “After the Adelaide Test, you won’t believe, we as a team we never spoke about the game. We only felt that it has never happened before, I don’t think it will ever happen again. It was a freak inning. So let’s move on and let’s look at it as a three-Test series from Melbourne. Now if you look at it, we have won the series 2-0. The Indian team, the character, and the fight we show, we leave everything on the ground. That’s the hallmark of the Indian team. That’s exactly how we played.”

On Tuesday, Australia’s fortress — The Gabba — was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds to take the series 2-1.


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Umpires offered us option to leave Sydney Test midway after racial abuse from crowd, reveals Siraj

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Hyderabad: India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj on Thursday revealed that on-field umpires had offered his team the option of leaving the third Test against Australia midway after he was subjected to racial abuse by the crowd in Sydney. Siraj and his senior pace colleague Jasprit Bumrah faced racial abuse for two days at the Sydney Cricket Ground, forcing the Indian team management to lodge an official complaint with match referee David Boon. Cricket Australia later offered an unreserved apology for the incidents.

Siraj, called a “brown monkey” by some spectators, had reported the matter to skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who brought it to the notice of on-field umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson during the match.

“I faced abuses in Australia. The case is going on, let’s see whether I get justice or not. My job was to report the incident to the captain,” the 26-year-old, who was India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps during the historic 2-1 series win, said during a press conference after his arrival here.

“The umpires offered us to leave the game but Rahane (bhai) said we won’t leave the game. We did no mistake, so we will play,” he recalled about the match that was halted for a few minutes on the fourth day and ended in a thrilling draw.

He said the unruly crowd behaviour acted as a morale-booster for him during his debut Test series.

“The abuses which I faced in Australia made me mentally stronger. I didn’t let them affect my game,” Siraj said.

Six spectators were expelled from the stadium after play was held up during the match.

Cricket Australia has promised to the strongest possible action those found guilty.



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Mohammed Siraj: Red carpet welcome for Ajinkya Rahane; Siraj heads straight to father’s grave

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Mumbai/New Delhi/Hyderabad: Chants of ‘aala re aala Ajinkya aala’ headlined a red carpet welcome for Ajinkya Rahane on his triumphant return from Australia with some other teammates but the mood was sombre in Hyderabad as one of his warriors, Mohammed Siraj, headed straight to his father’s grave.

The chants (meaning here comes our Ajinkya) were heard amid the beating of the traditional dhol tasha and showering of flower petals at Rahane’s residential complex.

Besides stand-in captain Rahane, also arriving in Mumbai were coach Ravi Shastri, star batsman Rohit Sharma, pacer Shardul Thakur and opener Prithvi Shaw, while Brisbane Test hero Rishabh Pant landed in the national capital early this morning.

Siraj, who decided to stay put in Australia with the team and miss his father’s last rites, drove straight from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to the graveyard and paid his last respects to his departed father Mohammed Ghouse.

It was the end of a two-month long wait for the speedster, who was India’s top performer with the ball during the trip.

Siraj’s 53-year-old father, who was an auto driver, had died on November 20 due to a lung ailment. This was just a week after his son landed in Australia with the Indian team on his maiden tour.

He was given the option of returning home but he decided otherwise and broke down thinking about him when the national anthem was played before the Sydney Test.

He made his Test debut in the second match in Melbourne and finished the Border-Gavaskar series with 13 wickets – the most by any Indian bowler.

T Natarajan, who was originally picked as a net bowler but became the first Indian cricketer to make his international debut across all three formats during the same tour, landed in Bengaluru and then took off for his village in Tamil Nadu’s Salem.

The players from Chennai, including veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, rookie Washington Sundar and bowling coach Bharat Arun are currently in Dubai and are expected to reach the country early morning on Friday.

On arrival in Mumbai, Rahane, Shastri, Rohit, Shardul and Shaw were felicitated by Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials, including President Vijay Patil and Apex Council members Ajinkya Naik, Amit Dani and Umesh Khanvilka.

Rahane also cut a cake to celebrate the team’s win.

However, more surprises awaited the reticent batsman after he drove straight to his housing society in suburban Matunga, where residents had made elaborate preparations to accord their hero a royal welcome.

Rahane was welcomed with the beats of dhol, while others showered the cricketer with flower petals.

Rahane was also joined by his wife and two-year-old daughter in the celebration.

Soaking in the carnival-like atmosphere, Rahane acknowledged the love and adulation showered on him by the people of the city, many of whom waited for his team at the airport wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his society, residents and videographers jostled to capture the moments and the unassuming batsman posed happily for them.

Rahane was then greeted in a traditional manner as he walked towards the entrance of the building.

Dhol tasha is usually played to celebrate special achievements and during joyous occasions.

An injury-ravaged India beat Australia by three wickets in the series-deciding fourth Test in Brisbane on Tuesday to clinch the rubber 2-1 and retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

Stepping in after the catastrophe in Adelaide in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rahane led by example with a classic century in the second Test at Melbourne, guiding India to a series-levelling victory.

There was no looking back after that as Rahane inspired a heavily-depleted Indian team to an unbelievable series triumph against a full-strength Australian team that possessed the world’s best bowling attack.



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