‘Fearless cricket’ — Bangladesh praised after India near-miss

Bangladesh’s captain Shakib Al Hasan, right, congratulates his Indian counterpart Rohit Sharma after the finals of Nidahas triangular Twenty20 cricket series in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, March 18, 2018. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
Updated 19 March 2018

‘Fearless cricket’ — Bangladesh praised after India near-miss

COLOMBO: India captain Rohit Sharma praised Bangladesh for their “fearless cricket” after the Twenty20 minnows came within one ball of a shock victory in the tri-series final in Colombo.
Tenth-ranked Bangladesh pushed their illustrious neighbors all the way in Sunday’s final before wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik smashed a six off the last ball to secure a four-wicket win.
With the packed 20,000 crowd cheering India, in anger at Bangladesh’s tactics in the semifinal, Karthik’s eight-ball 29 clinched it after a tense, 167-run chase that saw Bangladesh concede 35 runs off the final two overs.
But Sharma, who gave his team a blazing start with a 42-ball 56, said Bangladesh were a “very good team” who have vastly improved over the past three years.
“(Bangladesh) play fearless cricket, it’s always good. Sometimes, it can bite you when things don’t go your way but that is the style of cricket they want to play,” Sharma told reporters after the final.
“They are certainly a very good team... in the last three years, we’ve seen how they’ve changed their style of cricket.
“A few of the guys who are experienced are nurturing the younger guys.”
Sharma said the unusual Sri Lankan support for his team had been “very crucial” at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Home fans were angry at Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan briefly withdrawing his batsmen in the final over of their win over Sri Lanka in protest at an umpiring decision.
“We didn’t feel that we were playing outside India,” the captain said. “They supported us throughout the course of 40 overs.”
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who registered two half-centuries in the series, senior batsman Mahmudullah and skipper Shakib Al Hasan played key roles as the Tigers beat hosts Sri Lanka twice to book the title clash with third-ranked India.
Bangladesh’s Rubel Hossain, who sent down the 19th over in the final that conceded 22 runs, and Soumya Sarkar, who was entrusted with the final six balls which went for 13, were the unfortunate bowlers on the receiving end of Karthik’s explosive innings.
But Sharma had comforting words for Soumya, an occasional medium-pace bowler, after his final ball disappeared for six as Karthik took India to 168 for 6. Soumya conceded just seven runs from his first four deliveries and then had Vijay Shankar caught at long-on with the fifth, leaving India needing five runs.
But his wide half-volley was drilled over the extra cover rope by Karthik as the India dressing room erupted in wild celebrations.
“We always knew Soumya Sarkar is not a premier bowler. He’s a part-time bowler at the most,” said Sharma.
“It can happen to anyone when you bowl those big overs. It’s never easy at the death. The pressure is always on the bowler not the batsman,” he added.
Shakib also lauded the performance of his team, who have never won a T20 match against India in eight meetings so far and have also lost 11 of their last 14 games in the shortest format.
“We were very close but in the end India was on the winning side. Credit goes to them but we cannot take anything away from us for the way we played throughout this tournament,” said Shakib.
“We have showed some good character and played the game in the right spirit and I cannot ask more than that from my team,” the all-rounder added.


Neymar donates $1m to fight coronavirus

Updated 03 April 2020

Neymar donates $1m to fight coronavirus

  • Neymar donated part of the money to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • The rest of the donation went to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck, a Brazilian TV presenter

RIO DE JANEIRO: Neymar has donated $1 million to fight the impact of the new coronavirus in his native Brazil, according to TV network SBT.
The Paris Saint-Germain star, the world’s third-highest-paid footballer, donated part of the money to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck, a Brazilian TV presenter, the report said.
The striker’s press office declined to comment, saying: “We never talk about donations or amounts.”
Neymar, 28, followed the example of PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, who last month made what was described as a major donation — amount undisclosed — to a French charity helping fight the impact of COVID-19.
Huck, who has been touted as a possible candidate in Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, launched his fund to help poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.
The donations come as high-paid footballers face pressure to forego some of their salaries amid the crisis, which has ground the sporting world to a halt and left some clubs struggling to pay their staff.
Neymar is riding out the pandemic at his luxury villa in Mangaratiba, a resort town outside Rio.
He faced criticism last week after he was photographed relaxing with a group of friends on a beach volleyball court, even as half the world’s population — including most of Brazil — is in confinement to slow the virus’ spread.
His press team said he was receiving no visitors and was in quarantine at a “completely isolated” residence with people who made the trip from France with him.