Tendulkar hospitalised with coronavirus

By Sports Desk April 02, 2021

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  • 'We are sorry!" Captain Kraigg Brathwaite says the batsmen let the team down in 2-0 whitewash 'We are sorry!" Captain Kraigg Brathwaite says the batsmen let the team down in 2-0 whitewash

    “We are sorry!”

    Those were the words of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite after the West Indies humiliating 158-run defeat to South Africa inside four days at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.

    The West Indies, resuming from their overnight score of 15 without loss in pursuit of 324, were bundled out for 165 thanks mainly to the bowling of left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who took 5-36, including a hat-trick that saw the home side slide from 104-3 to 104-6.

    Kagiso Rabada was also among the wickets, taking 3-44 as the West Indies batting one man short, fell for 165.

    Kieran Powell, who scored 51, Kyle Mayers 34 and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 27 and 25, respectively got into double figures.

    Brathwaite, who made scores of 0 and 6, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batsmen, himself included, for the poor performance of the team who did not score more than 170 runs in any of their four innings. The batting was especially embarrassing coming off much better performances against Bangladesh in Bangladesh and the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

    In the first Test, the West Indies had scores of 97 and 162 and followed those weak scores with 149 and 165 in the second Test capitulation. Confronted with that reality in the post-match media conference, the disappointed captain could not hide from the truth.

    “As batsmen, we know we went wrong. We didn’t bat well,” said Brathwaite, who revealed that they had planned to bat better and having consistent partnerships during the series against the South African bowling attack but said they have to come back better for the next series.

    “We are very sorry. Obviously, the fans look forward to the West Indies doing well and we were disappointing,” he said.

    “Sometimes it’s not about winning but you still want to see the fight and we didn’t show the fans that fight. Myself included, we have to come back better and make the fans proud.”

     

     

     

     

     

  • Hat-trick for Maharaj as Proteas whitewash Windies Hat-trick for Maharaj as Proteas whitewash Windies

    Keshav Maharaj claimed a sensational hat-trick as South Africa sealed a 2-0 Test series whitewash of West Indies with a 158-run victory on day four.

    The Proteas secured their first series victory away from home in the longest format since 2017 on Monday, bowling the Windies out for 165 at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.

    Set 324 to salvage a 1-1 draw, West Indies collapsed on the penultimate day in St. Lucia following a battling half-century from Kieran Powell (51).

    Kagiso Rabada took 3-44 and Maharaj (5-36) became only the second South African to take a Test hat-trick in a sensational over just before lunch, with the tourists retaining the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy in the afternoon session.

    Rabada reduced the Windies to 26-2 early in the day by removing Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope, but Powell and Kyle Mayers showed defiance.

    They put on 64 for the third wicket before Mayers (34) top-edged to Dean Elgar at second slip attempting to hook the rapid Rabada.

    Spinner Maharaj then took centre stage, dismissing Powell, Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva in the penultimate over before lunch to join the Test hat-trick club.

    Jermaine Blackwood (25) and Kemar Roach (27) added 40 for the seventh wicket, but Maharaj finished off the Windies with his fifth wicket by getting Jayden Seales caught at deep square leg, with Roston Chase unable to bat due to a quad injury.

     

    MAHARAJ MAGIC

    Geoff Griffin was the only South African to take a hat-trick for South Africa against England at Lord's in 1960 before Maharaj worked his magic in the penultimate over of the morning session.

    He had Powell taken by Anrich Nortje in the deep on the leg side and snared Holder before Da Silva was taken by Wiaan Mulder at leg slip, sparking jubilant scenes.

    The left-arm tweaker put the icing on the cake by helping himself to a seventh five-wicket Test haul after lunch.

     

    POWELL A PLUS FOR WINDIES

    Opener Powell was recalled for this series after being left out in the international wilderness since 2018.

    He made only 14 in the second innings of the first Test after being selected as a concussion substitute for Nkrumah Bonner and fell for only five in his first knock in this match.

    Powell, 31, showed the sort of defiance West Indies have been lacking in a 116-ball knock, but there was an all-too familiar collapse after he departed.

  • Italy's prime minister calls for Euro 2020 final to be moved from Wembley Italy's prime minister calls for Euro 2020 final to be moved from Wembley

    The prime minister of Italy has called for the Euro 2020 final to be moved from Wembley due to coronavirus concerns.

    Mario Draghi says the level of infection in the United Kingdom means alternative venues must be considered.

    "I will try to stop the final being held in a country where infections are rising quickly," he said on Monday when asked if Rome could be considered a possible replacement.

    Wembley is due to host five knockout matches, including both semi-finals and then the final on July 11. Italy will also play their last-16 game in London against Austria on June 26.

    Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing in recent weeks in the UK, fuelled by the Delta variant first identified in India, with a further 10,633 confirmed on Monday.

    There are also still strict travel restrictions in place, with almost all travellers required to quarantine for 10 days after entering the country.

    This is said to have prompted concerns among foreign officials, VIPs and media members who wish to attend knockout matches at England's national stadium.

    UEFA admitted last week that there was a "contingency plan" in place should it decide holding the final in London was impractical after reports suggested president Aleksander Ceferin was prepared to move the game to Budapest.

    However, it was reported in England on Monday that the UK government is prepared to allow a crowd of 60,000 people for the game – matching the proposed capacity from the Hungarian capital – while around 2,500 VIPs and media members could be exempt from having to quarantine after arriving for the fixture.

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