Pakistan registers most T201 wins in a year

With their 3-0 clean sweep of West Indies in December 2021, Pakistan created a record for most T20 internationals victories in a calendar year. With 20 T201 wins in 2021, Pakistan broke their own record of 17 from 2018.

Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan have been central to Pakistan's success in 2021. In 25 innings when they opened the batting for Pakistan in 2021, they scored 1,380 runs at an average of 57.50 and a run rate of 8.10. They had six stands of 100 or more and now hold the record for most century partnerships by any pair in T20Is. Four out of these were 150-plus stands, including the unbeaten 152 against India in Dubai during their victorious run-chase that helped them seal their maiden World Cup victory against their arch-rivals.

While the Azam-Rizwan partnership has been central to Pakistan's success, others have also contributed handsomely. The likes of Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali and seniors Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have pitched in whenever necessary with their bats. The bowling department has also been a well-rounded unit. While Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf have led the wicket-takers chart for Pakistan in 2021 with 25 scalps apiece, Shaheen Shah Afridi has picked 23 wickets and shadab Khan has claimed 20 in 2021.

Mohammad Rizwan was at his belligerent best in 2021, setting two new batting milestones in T20s in the process. With 1,326 runs in T20 internationals and 2,036 T20 runs in 2021, Rizwan not only became the first player to go past the 1,000-run mark in a calendar year in T20Is, but also the first batter with 2,000-plus T20 runs in a calendar year.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam d occupied the second place in both these lists that were headed by Rizwan. Azam had 939 T201 runs and finished with 1,779 runs in T20s in 2021.

Pakistan were the only unbeaten side in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup played in 2021, winning all five games they played. Pakistan, however, lost to eventual champions Australia in the semi-finals.

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Spain successfully defend their EHF Euro title

Following victories in Euro 2008 and the FIFA World Cup 2010, Spain made it three global competitions in a row when they won the Euro title again in 2012.

Spain were in Group C along with Italy, Croatia and Republic of Ireland in Euro 2012, which was held in Poland and Ukraine. Following a 1-1 draw against Italy in their opener, they produced two wins, defeating Republic of Ireland and Croatia 4-0 and 1-0 respectively. With seven points from their three games, Spain topped their group ahead of Italy, who had five points.

In the quarter-final against France, Spain won 2-0 to progress to the semi-final against Portugal. That game ended as a goalless draw even after extra time and had to be settled by penalties. Spain went through to the final on the back of a 4-2 win in the penalties. The final between Spain and Italy was played in Kiev and turned out to be totally one-sided. Spain were runaway winners as they scored four goals and conceded none. The 4-0 victory allowed them to defend their Euro title and lift the trophy once again.

Did you know?

Spain's Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot in Euro 2012. He was tied with five others on three goals. Among those five, he was tied with Germany's Mario Gomez on assists as well. But since Torres had played fewer minutes than Gomez in the tournament, he won the Golden Boot.

By scoring in their 4-0 win in the final against Italy, Torres became the first person to score in two finals, having also scored the only goal in their 1-0 Euro 2008 final win against Germany.

Spain also produced the best player of the tournament as Andres Iniesta was awarded the UEFA Player of the Tournament award.

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Bangladesh script history in New Zealand

Bangladesh created history during their recent tour of New Zealand. In the first of the two Tests between the sides that was played from January 1-5, 2022 at Mount Maunganui in New Zealand, Bangladesh won by eight wickets - their maiden victory against New Zealand in Test cricket.

Despite their dismal record in the longest format of the game. Bangladesh remain one of the best supported teams, not just in their home grounds, but also away from home. Their fans had plenty to cheer in the first Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh as they emerged unexpected winners. The flag-waving fans couldn't hide their delight as their smiling faces revealed the whole story.

Bangladesh's victory was a truly collective effort. After winning the toss and electing to bowl first. Bangladesh bowled out New Zealand for 328 with four different bowlers chipping in with wickets. Bangladesh then batted a phenomenal 176.2 overs for their 458, a lead of 130. Four different batsmen scored fifties, with captain Mominul Haque top-scoring with his 88 and Liton Das making 86. After Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed ran through the Kiwis in the second innings, the visitors reached the target for the fall of just their openers. While veteran Mushfiqur Rahim scored the winning runs to take them to 42 for two, their skipper Mominul was at the non-strikers end.

Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed's bowling performance in the second innings was instrumental in Bangladesh winning the match.

Ebadot finished with figures of six for 46 in New Zealand's second innings, while Taskin chipped in with three for 36 as the two bowlers combined for nine of the ten wickets to fall while restricting the hosts to just 169 in their second essay.

Ebadot's six for 46, in fact, are the second-best bowling figures for a Bangladeshi pacer in Test cricket, behind only Shahadat Hossain's six for 27 against South Africa in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2008.

Ebadot's six-for in the second innings, along with his one wicket in the first, earned him the player of the match award.

A number of firsts and the end of streaks

Bangladesh's win at Mount Maunganu in the first Test was their first-ever victory in Test cricket against New Zealand. It came in the 17th scheduled Test between the two sides. While one of these Tests was cancelled without a ball being bowled. New Zealand had won on 12 occasions, with the three remaining matches ending as draws

This victory, in fact was Bangladesh's first-ever win in any format against New Zealand in New Zealand New Zealand had won each of the previous 32 matches across formats at home against Bangladesh, the longest such streak for any team at home against a single opponent

The loss also brought an end to New Zealand's longest unbeaten streak in Tests at home. Their unbeaten run had started after their defeat against South Africa in 2017 and spanned 17 consecutive home Tests New Zealand's run of eight Test series wins at home also ended with this defeat.

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Which is the Indian player who scored a century in the second match at Adelaide when India chased down 299?

Virat Kohli scored his 24th century while chasing as India chased 299 to level the three-match series in Adelaide.

Kohli's mastery in chasing was again at display as he paced his innings to perfection in the do-or-die fixture, thus, helping India win the match by 6 wickets and level the series at the Adelaide Oval.

Coming in to bat in the 8th over of the match after Shikhar Dhawan's wicket, who gave India a blazing start before falling for 32 off 28 balls to Jason Behrendorff.

Kohli started off slowly as Rohit Sharma accelerated from the other end the two put on a stand of 54 runs for the second wicket to stead the ship for the visitors. However, Rohit tried to up the ante and fell to Marcus Stoinis in the 18th over of the innings for 43.

Once Rohit got out, it was on Kohli to take the mantle on his hands and lead the chase and that is exactly he did. Kohli kept rotating the strike with Ambati Rayudu and put the bad balls away.

The 30-year-old then bought up his 49th ODI fifty in the 31st over of the innings with a double of Glenn Maxwell. But, his joy didn't last long as Rayudu fell later in the over while trying to hit Maxwell over mid-wicket but only to hand a simple catch to Stoinis.

Rayudu's wicket brough Mahendra Singh Dhoni into the crease and that's when the Indian captain decided to take on the bowlers as Dhoni tooj is time to settele in. Kohli cut, pull and hit a magnificent six over Nathan Lyon's head to signal his intent and race into the 80s.

With India neededing less than 100 in 14.3 overs, Kohli then switched to rotating the strike -- something that he could with ease with Dhoni.

The Indian captain then kept pushing for singles and twos and brought up his century in the 43rd over of the Indian innings with a double off Peter Siddle to hit his second century in this tour Down Under -- the first came in the second Test at the Perth Stadium.
This was also Kohli's fourth century in Adelaide with three comning in Tests and first in ODIs.

This was Kohli's 24th hundred while chasing in ODIs and 39th overall in 50-over cricket. Kohli currently also holds the record for most centuries -- 21 hundreds -- in successful chases. 

This was also Kohli's 11th hundred in Australia across all formats -- the most by any overseas batsman Down Under.

Kohli also overtook Sri Lankan pair of Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara to become the player with second most centuries in ODIs overseas. Kohli now has 22 -- behind Sachin Tendulkar, who has 29 to his name.

The Delhi dasher is also the 11th highest run-getter in ODI cricket now. He has 10339 runs from 218 games for India in ODIs.

Kohi however, failed to take his team all the way as he fell for 104 off 112 balls in the 44th over of the innings while trying to flick one for a six over mid-wicket off Jhye Richardson.

He smashed five fours and two sixes in his 112-ball stay at the crease.

Credit :  India TV 

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India's first bilateral ODI series win Down Under

Did you know that India's first bilateral ODI series win against Australia in Australia happened only in 2019? It was a three match series that India won 2-1, after losing the first ODI.

India headed into the series in a confident mood after the three-match T20 series finished 1-1 and India had won the four Test series 2-1.

India, however, lost the opening game as Australia won the match played at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 34 runs.

In the second match at the Adelaide Oval, India chased down 299 with four balls remaining as captain Virat Kohli struck a brilliant 104 off 112 deliveries.

With the ODI series tied, it went to the decider at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Yuzvendra Chahal worked his magic, picking up six wickets while giving away just 42 runs in his 10 overs. His spell of six for 42 helped India restrict Australia to 230.

MS Dhoni, who had scored an unbeaten 55 in the second ODI, followed it up with another fifty. He top-scored with an unbeaten 87 and was ably supported by Kedar Jadhav, who was 61 not out, as they reached the target with four balls to spare.

The come-from-behind series victory handed India their first bilateral ODI series win in Australia.

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