Australia restrict India to 252 in ODI

A strong recovery by the Australian bowlers has restricted India to 252 in the second one-day international in Kolkata.

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Grappling with oppressive conditions, the visitors wrested control from the home side who at one stage looked in a position to set a target in excess of 300, after winning the toss and deciding to bat.

Australia will chase 253 for a victory under lights to level the series at one-all, with India all out after Yuzvendra Chahal was run out off the final ball.

Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile was again the pick of the Aussie attack, picking up three wickets for the second-straight match.

The 29-year-old again snared the wicket of Virat Kohli who played superbly until he chopped one on to the stumps on 92.

India were cruising at 1-121 until Ajinkya Rahane (55) was run out by Hilton Cartwright after hesitating when turning for a second run.

He and Kohli combined for a 102-run partnership.

MS Dhoni couldn’t repeat his heroics from the first match of the five-game series, caught by Steve Smith at cover for five off the bowling of Richardson.

Hardik Pandya couldn’t get hold of the bowling as he did in Chennai, holing out to Kane Richardson (3-55) for 20 in the final over.

As rain started falling in the 48th over, Pandya was caught off a Richardson full toss which was deemed to be a no-ball.

As Pandya walked off the bails were whipped off at the non-striker’s end.

Despite repeated Australian appeals for a run out, Pandya survived after the umpires ruled the ball was dead.

Steve Smith’s tough tour in the field continued after the 15-minute delay when he spilled a chance from Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the outfield.

Ashton Agar (1-54) bowled nine overs before coming off the ground with cramp, while Richardson and Matthew Wade both showed signs of heat stress with the sun beating down in the first half of the innings.

Wade recovered to take a superb catch to dismiss Kuldeep Yadav in the penultimate over, with Pat Cummins (1-34) getting a deserved reward from an impressive 10-over spell.

South Korea urges North to abandon nukes

Adopting a less confrontational stance than key allies, South Korea’s president urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and seek dialogue to prevent conflict breaking out on the divided peninsula.

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President Moon Jae-in voiced support for stronger sanctions in response to the North’s recent weapons tests, but his tone was in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s dark warning at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that North Korea would be “totally destroyed” if it attacked.

Another US ally, Japan, said Wednesday that pressure, not dialogue, was needed.

Moon cautioned that North Korean nuclear issues need to be “managed stably” to prevent a spike in tensions and military clashes – a prospect that has overshadowed this year’s gathering of world leaders.

Pyongyang conducted its most powerful underground atomic test explosion and fired missiles over Japan twice in the past three weeks.

The standoff over North Korea’s weapons development has intensified as its autocratic leader Kim Jong Un has accelerated his nation’s development of a nuclear-tipped missile that could soon strike the continental United States.

Yet it is still South Korea, and its capital Seoul close to the heavily militarised frontier with the North, that faces the greatest immediate risk in a conflict.

“(North Korea) must immediately cease making reckless choices that could lead to its own isolation and downfall and choose the path of dialogue,” Moon said.

“We do not desire the collapse of North Korea. We will not seek unification by absorption or artificial means, if North Korea makes a decision even now to stand on the right side of history, we are ready to assist North Korea together with the international community.”

Kuldeep hat-trick sets up India’s win against Australia

Chasing India’s total of 252 all out, the touring side appeared comfortably placed at 138-4 before they suffered a collapse and were bundled out for 202 in the 44th over.

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The 22-year-old Kuldeep had not enjoyed success in his first seven overs and gave away 39 runs. But he dismissed Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins in his eighth over to turn the match in India’s favour.

He is only the third Indian to take a hat-trick in one day internationals after Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma.

Kuldeep’s triple strike snuffed out Australia’s hopes of squaring the series as the visitors were reduced to 148-8 in the 33rd over. The left-arm spinner finished with figures of 3-54 in his quota of 10 overs.

Australia captain Steve Smith and Travis Head propped up their team’s chase with a 76-run stand for the third wicket after India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had dismissed openers Hilton Cartwright and David Warner cheaply.

Head was out for 39 to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal while Smith fell for 59, caught in the deep when trying to pull all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Kumar dismissed Kane Richardson for a nought with the first delivery of his second spell to complete India’s win and finish with miserly figures of three for nine runs from 6.1 overs. Marcus Stoinis was left stranded on 62 not out at the other end.

Earlier, India’s innings was built on captain Virat Kohli’s sublime 92 and opener Ajinkya Rahane’s 55. The duo added 102 for the second wicket after Kohli had won the toss and opted to bat.

India looked set for a total in excess of 300 when they reached 186-3 in the 36th over but they lost their way after suffering a mini collapse, losing Kedar Jadhav (24), Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (five) in quick succession.

Pace duo Nathan Coulter-Nile and Richardson both picked up three wickets each for Australia, who must now win the third ODI at Indore on Sunday to stay alive in the series.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Keith Weir)

AFL final not a battle of coaches: Pyke

Adelaide coach Don Pyke isn’t buying it.

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Pyke reckons Friday night’s AFL preliminary final won’t hinge on his coaching box battle with Geelong counterpart Chris Scott.

While Scott has been hailed for his tactical genius in the Cats’ semi-final win against Sydney, Pyke believes the impact of coaches can be overblown.

And so is dubbing the preliminary final as a battle of the coaches.

“I don’t really think it’s about myself or him,” Pyke said ahead of the Adelaide Oval fixture.

“It’s about the teams and the players. They are the ones that do it.

“So I don’t really buy into that side of it.

“We prepare our teams. We understand the strengths of our teams. And we understand how we want to play.

“Both teams have got to this point playing some really good, strong footy. There’s no reason to go away from that.”

Pyke predicted Scott would tinker with Geelong’s tactics that delivered their semi-final triumph.

“I will expect some changes, some subtle tweaks, which is really what they did well last week against Sydney, to their credit,” he said.

“But we will prepare to play the way we want to play.”

Adelaide and Geelong met twice in the home-and-away season, for one win each.

The Cats prevailed in Geelong in round 11; the Crows won a round 18 rematch in Adelaide to snap a five-game losing streak to the Cats.

“We have learnt out of both of them,” Pyke said.

“And it’s not just the Geelong games we have learnt out of, we have learnt out of other games later in the year.

“I’m sure they will come with a clear plan in terms of how to beat us.

“And we will come with a clear plan of what we think is going to get it done against Geelong.

“That is the joy of this time of year, there’s a great opportunity that presents to win a prelim final.”

Giants’ AFL backs must be smart: Corr

Greater Western Sydney back Aidan Corr would relish the chance to spend time on old teammate and new Richmond scoring threat Jacob Townsend in their AFL preliminary final clash.

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Townsend has been a revelation in his new forward role at the Tigers, kicking 13 goals in their last three games.

Deployed as an inside midfielder and tagger by the Giants, Townsend kicked just four goals in 28 games over four seasons with GWS.

He played just four matches for the Tigers in his first season there in 2016 and had to wait till round 22 for his first senior appearance this year.

Played up forward, the 23-year-old promptly kicked bags of six and five goals in successive weeks against Fremantle and St Kilda respectively.

He booted two more in the qualifying final win over Geelong, for a tally of 13 goals from just 21 kicks over the three games.

“(At GWS) he was definitely a midfield hard nut,” Corr said.

“He kicked a few goals in the NEAFL, but I don’t think he kicked a bag of five or six, like he has been doing.

“He’s a great fellow, he was a good mate of mine when he was here, so I’m happy to see him go so well, but hopefully this weekend we can take him down.

“Hopefully I’ll get my hands on Jacob, that would be fun.”

The Giants back line will face a very different challenge against Richmon’d’s mosquito fleet after curbing West Coast’s taller attack last week.

“West Coast had the three key talls and we had three key tall backs,” Corr said.

“They (Richmond) have got pretty much just Jack (Riewoldt as a tall forward).

“Jacob Townsend is a bit of a marking target and Josh Caddy; they are medium-sized.

“You’ve just got to do your research early. You’ve got to make more decisions if you play on a small player.

“If the ball is coming in high, you can’t fly every time, so we’ve just got to make smart decisions.”