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A walkthrough the home of Miami Heat

When champions from the cricketing world and basketball got united

It was an afternoon full of shooting hoops, taking layups and slamming dunks for Team India members Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as they visited the home of Miami Heat (three time champions of National Basketball Association) in U.S.A. on Thursday.

The trio were hosted by the latest recruit of Miami Heat - Tyler Johnson as he gave them a walk through their locker room, team meeting room, gymnasium and recuperation centre at the American Airlines Arena.

Briante Weber joined Johnson in hosting the Indian trio as they explained the techniques involved in Basketball to the Cricketers and showed off some moves. The group then got involved in a session of Basketball in the practice court.

The cricketers enjoyed their experience at the court with some engaging discussion with the NBA stars. While Shikhar and Bhuvneshwar were chatting up with the hosts, Ashwin seemed to have gone back to his school days of playing basketball.

Speaking about his visit at the Miami Heat home arena, R Ashwin said: “I’ve played a bit of basketball during my school days, so that got me really excited while I tried my hand at it again after so many years. I am thankful to both Weber and Johnson for taking time out and showing us around their home turf.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar said: “It was great to see these guys and learn about their game. I was impressed with the facilities here and it was a learning experience for me to see the amount of technology being used in sports science.”

“It was great fun,” exclaimed India opener Shikhar Dhawan. “I am very happy we could make it here. Exchanging thoughts about how sports has transformed with the latest technology is always good. While I tried to explain these guys how Cricket is played, they in return taught me the finer details of basketball.” 

Rajlaxmi Arora

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A Mukund, first to score 100 in first-class match under lights with pink ball

Centurions Mukund, Chatterjee put India Red on top

India Red were leading by 354 runs at stumps on Day 2 courtesy centuries by Abhinav Mukund (162*) and Sudip Chatterjee (114) after Nathu Singh (6/53) had bowled the team to a marginal 10-run lead against India Green. While bowlers had dominated on the first day, the batsmen milked runs with ease on the second day of the first first-class match with the pink ball under lights in the Duleep Trophy.

Mukund’s patient effort with the bat put the team in the driver’s seat. The opener became the first batsman to score a ton under lights in a pink-ball first-class game when he did so in the ongoing tournament.

Mukund, who had scored a watchful 77 in the first innings, which proved to be a vital knock in seizing a first innings lead, continued from where he had left when he took guard in the second.

Although his opening partner KS Bharat lost his wicket to Ankit Rajpoot with 39 runs on the board, Mukund found an able ally in Sudip Chatterjee to shape the India Red innings. The pair worked to lay a solid platform for the side. The opener timed the ball beautifully as he found the ropes with drives and crisp shots. He reached his second successive fifty of the tournament with a pull to midwicket off Rajpoot. Scoring at a quick pace he had helped tilt the balance in his team’s favour.

With Chatterjee, Mukund took the team to 173 for one at the end of the second session. The opener was on song as he continued to milk the bowlers in the final session of the day. It was off Rajpoot again as Mukund flicked the delivery to run two and reach the three-figure mark. Chatterjee, who had played the perfect foil too brought up his hundred a while later. Having survived on 74, the top-order bat continued to pick singles and do the hard yards as he inched towards his ton; he slammed Jalaj Saxena to fence to get to the mark.

The flourishing partnership eventually ended for 240 with Chatterjee being trapped lbw by Shreyas Gopal. Yuvraj Singh then came to the crease cheered by the few hundred people gathered around the stadium. Mukund at the other end continued to cruise forward bringing up the 150-run mark in the process. His captain too, joined in plundering the opposition. He dismissed Gopal for six over deep mid-wicket. However, after a boundary to take his team to the 300-run mark, Yuvraj departed hitting the ball back to Saxena.

At 300 for three Gurkeerat Mann joined the opener in taking the innings forward. The pair saw the team through to the end of day’s play at 344 for three.

Earlier, trailing by 45 runs overnight, India Green added 35 runs before Nathu Singh claimed the last three to bowl the team out for 151 and help his side to a narrow 10-run lead.

While brief showers stopped play after a couple of overs in the afternoon, Nathu dominated the proceedings when play resumed again. The pacer began by yorking Dinda and a ball later knocked back Pragyan Ojah’s stumps to put his team in the driver’s seat. Then, 11 runs later he followed up with the wicket of Saurabh Tiwary, who was striving to keep the innings afloat with the lower order. The hard-hitting batsman swung his bat only to be caught at long off after completing his half-century.

Brief scores:

Day 1 - India Red
1st inn 161/10 in 48.2 overs (A Mukund 77, S Sharma 4/62, P Ojha 3/19); India Green 1st inn 116/7 in 35 overs (S Raina 35, K Yadav 3/26, N Singh 3/32)

Day 2 - India Green
1st inn 151/10 in 45.4 overs (S Tiwary 50, N Singh 6/53); India Red 2nd inn 344/3 in 78 overs (A Mukund 162*, S Chatterjee 114, G Mann 28*, A Rajpoot 1/63)

Prajakta Pawar

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