Three-nil inside the space of three days

On a day when Sri Lanka were looking for a turnaround in their fortunes, India rioted through their batting ranks, bowling them out for under 200 runs for a second consecutive innings. In the process, the visiting side completed their series annihilation of the Lankans – winning the test series 3-0. 

Asked to follow on after a first innings 135, Sri Lanka lost the services of Upul Tharanga late in the second day. Overnight, the score was 19 for 1, a deficit of 333 runs. 

None in the batting camp put on much resistance as the Indian bowling lineup led by Mohammed Shami (three wickets), Ravi Ashwin (four wickets) and Umesh Yadav (two wickets) ensured the innings defeat by 171 runs. 

Captain Dinesh Chandimal was the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal batting performance, putting on 48 runs from 87 deliveries. 

For his efforts both with the bat and ball, Hardik Pandya was named player of the match, while Shikhar Dhawan walked away with player of the series courtesy his two centuries.

Statistically, this is the first time India has whitewashed the opposition in an away test series of 3 of more. To follow is a limited overs series consisting of five one-day internationals and a one-off T20I. 

News Source- Cricinfo

Pandya century hands India reigns as Sri Lanka sink

At the close of play of day one of the third test between India and Sri Lanka, Hardik Pandya was on one run. At the other end was the wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha on 13. 

Soon enough at start of play on day two, Saha nicked one to gully where Dilruwan Perera took a sharp catch. Thus started a 15-wicket day where the visitors were bowled out for 487, but not before Hardik Pandya scored his maiden first class century in a test – becoming the fifth Indian to do so after the likes of Kapil Dev and Vijay Manjrekar. Pandya hit seven sixes as well in a record laden effort that further enhanced the credibility of India’s lower order. 

Lakshman Sandakan finished with a five-wicket haul, while Malinda Pushpakumara got three to his name, as did Vishwa Fernando. When the home team came out to bat, it was trouble from the start when Mohammed Shami quickly got rid of the openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Upal Tharanga which led to a landslide score of 38 for 4. 

Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella put up some resistance with a 63-run partnership, but in vain as Kuldeep Yadav (four wickets) and Ravi Ashwin (two wickets) cleaned up the Lions for a paltry 135. 

Asked to follow-on by Virat Kohli, the Lankans once again lost the services of Tharanga early courtesy of Yadav and are placed at 19 for 1 come the end of the second day, trailing by 333 runs with nine wickets remaining. 

The visiting side will look to make it a three-nil whitewash come tomorrow while the home side will attempt to stay in the contest. 

News Sources- Cricinfo

Even kneel at stumps on day one of third test

Shikhar Dhawan made his second century of the series while KL Rahul put on a handy 85 to give the visitors an opening stand of 188 during the first day of the third and final test between hosts Sri Lanka and India at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. 

The last time an Indian open scored atleast two centuries in an away test series was Rahul Dravid in England, 2011. The openers also went past the previous highest opening stand for visiting sides in Sri Lanka held earlier by Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Singh Sindhu at the SSC in 1993(171 runs).

Virat Kohli won his third consecutive toss to put Dhawan and Rahul into bat before the orthodox spinner Malinda Pushpakumara stuck, removing both in a space of eight overs. Virat Kohli was the only other prolific scorer putting up 42 runs before falling to the unorthodox spin of Lakshman Sandakan. 

Pushpakumara finished the day with three scalps, while Sandakan has two to his name. Fast bowler Vishwa Fernando took one as the Indians finished stumps at 329 for 6. 

During the course of the first innings, Rahul scored his seventh 50+ score, joint-highest with five others including Andy Flower and Kumar Sangakkara. After the openers were sent back, the visiting side lost four more wickets for 134 runs dropping the run rate from 4.75 to 3.65 heading into Day 2. 

Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is not out on 13 runs alongside Hardik Pandya who scored 1 run at the close of play.

India has already sealed the test series 2-0, and will play a limit overs series after the conclusion of the third test. 

News Sources- Cricinfo

Arvind Panagariya to quit Niti Aayog for academic career

Arvind Panagariya, vice-Chairman Niti Aayog has announced that he will step down from his position in the government at the end of August this year.

Panagariya who was appointed in January 2015, has decided to follow in the footsteps of former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and move back to the US to teach. 

He is a professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University, and did not have any further extensions from the educational institute. The 64-year old also did not have any fixed term in the government think tank. 

Citing his age, the Padma Bhushan had let Prime Minister Narendra Modi know of his decision to be relieved of his position by the end of this month. 

Earlier, after Rajan had left the RBI – Panagariya’s name had done the rounds as a probably successor as head of the country’s central bank. Eventually, Urjit Patel was appointed. 

Arvind Panagariya is an economist by profession who has worked for the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He holds a PhD from Princeton. Apart from his Ivy League experience, he has also taught at the University of Maryland. 

The Niti Aayog came into force early in 2015, replacing the Planning Commission of India. 

Sources- Hindustan Times, Deccan Chronicle, The Times of India 

Federer looks for No. 8 at Wimbledon

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach his 11th Wimbledon final. The seven-time winner at the All England Club beat the 2010 runner-up 7-6(4), 7-6(4),6-4 and will now face Croatia’s Marin Cilic for his record eighth title. 

Cilic is the 2014 US Open winner. He reached the finals on the other half with a four-setter victory over Sam Querrey 6-7(6),6-4,7-6(3),7-5. 

The last time Federer won here at center court was during the 2012 finals. In the process he tied Pete Sampras and William Renshaw for the most number of titles at Wimbledon. In the 2014 and 2015 editions, he fell short losing on each occasion to Novak Djokovic. 

This is his second grand slam of the year, he won the Australian Open in a five set battle against rival and friend Rafael Nadal. Federer subsequently chose to skip the French Open which was won by Nadal. 

In the seven times Federer has played this season, he has reached all finals, won five, lost one and plays one tomorrow. 

During the post match press conference, the 18-time grand slam winner admitted it was nice to avoid any of the other top-five players in the world. Earlier, Cilic had beaten Federer in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open. 

Sources: ESPN, Economic Times

Vintage Federer through to semi-finals at Wimbledon

Third seed Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic in straight sets to clinch a record 12th semi-final at the All England Club. In the process, he also become the oldest to reach the last four since Ken Roswell in 1974.

The seven-time winner at Wimbledon won 6-4,6-2,7-6(4), this coming moments after second seed Novak Djokovic withdrew from his quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych. 

Losing only 19 points, Federer hit 11 aces and 46 winners as Raonic didn’t show any resistance until the final set. 

Speaking after the game, he said he was happy that his body has held up all these years. According to three-time champion Boris Becker, this was a masterclass from the 35-year old. Becker also said that Federer was one of a kind, a dominant player who is the clear favorite to win his record eighth title. 

This victory marks the Swiss tennis player’s 100th singles match, and 89th win at the tournament. The last time he won the title was in 2012 when he overcame Andy Murray. 

Federer now faces Berdych while Sam Querry will take on Marin Cilic to decide the final two.

Between Berdych, Querry and Cilic, they have only one grand slam. Cilic is a former winner of the US Open in 2014. 

Sources: BBC

Union Govt gives Army free-run to purchase munitions

Mindful of last year’s Uri attack in September, the Narendra Modi led central government has given the army financial leeway to purchase spares and ammunition in case of an extraordinary situation as reported by The Hindu. 

An internal audit carried out by the office of the Master General Ordnance (MGO) found plugs in the army’s security and surveillance systems. These powers have been announced under further notice. 

The Vice-Chief of Army Staff Sarath Chand has been given no upper limit if he feels the need to purchase 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 types of weapon platforms such as infantry combat vehicles and mines according to a report in India Today.

Earlier, the process of acquiring ammunition and spares was under the revenue stream. The permissions had to, therefore, go through the Defense Acquisition Council. 

This has been done with a view to erasing any time lapses in the procurement process. It has also been widely reported that these privileges are going to be extended to the Navy and Air Force in due course of time. 

The ongoing face-off between soldiers on the Line of Actual Control has the Indian Army on high alert. It is not only the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet area but also the Line of Control shared with Pakistan as well.