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Friday, Dec 13th

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The return of Rohit Sharma to the Indian side turned into a landmark day for cricket with the dashing opener producing an innings worthy of the occasion, smashing an incredible 264 runs from just 173 balls to break all records that existed in the ODI format. Sharma's innings, the highest score ever by a player in this format led India to a mammoth total of 404, the fifth time the hosts have scored in excess of 400 runs. Sri Lanka in reply were bowled out for 252 in the 44th over, ending with a score less than what Sharma scored on his own as India took a 4-0 lead in the 5 match series.

The Eden Gardens, Kolkata, was the momentous venue hosting game four of the series and it could have been oh so different for Sharma when Thisara Perera grassed a sitter at third man when the batsman was only on 4. Sharma was dropped twice more in his incredible essay, once off a no-ball, before finally being dismissed on the last ball of the innings, attempting to clobber Nuwan Kulasekara out of the park.

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The Indian bowlers had a rough day with the ball as Leicestershire posted 349-5 in 62 overs in response to India’s first innings total of 333-4 declared, with Angus Robson and Greg Smith hammering centuries. The day’s play was marred by scattered spells of rain, though that didn’t stop Leicestershire from increasing India’s bowling woes as Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma proved to be expensive.

Kumar began well for the Indians with a testing spell where he almost dismissed Angus Robson. Pankaj Singh too bowled well from his end as he picked up the wicket of Mathew Boyce with the score on 30.

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Former Champions India continued their unbeaten run at the 2014 ICC World T20 with a facile 7 wicket win against the reigning champions, the West Indies in Mirpur. India were largely exceptional with the ball, ordinary in the field and never really got out of second gear with the bat in what was a very one sided contest.

India won the toss and put the West Indies into bat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was completely unplayable with the brand new ball, conceding just 3 runs from 3 overs and beat the bat on numerous occasions. His new ball partner Mohammad Shami was unlucky not to get Chris Gayle in his very first over with Ravichandran Ashwin grassing a regulation chance at first slip. Gayle went on to make 34 and top scored for the West Indies, but it wasn't one of his more explosive innings with his strike rate barely better than a run a ball.

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The Mumbai Indians made sure that there are three IPL teams going through to the semi-finals of the Champions League T20, recording a thumping 6 wicket win over the Perth Scorchers in Delhi on Wednesday, to knock the unlucky Otago Volts out of the tournament on net run rate. Mumbai had the advantage of playing a day after the Volts, and as a result knew exactly what they needed to do to qualify for the final four.

The Indians won the toss and opted to put their money on their batsmen chasing down whatever target Perth set them inside 14.2 overs to book their place in the semi-finals. The Scorchers did reasonably well to finish at 149-6 from their 20 overs despite a slow start with Sam Whiteman smashing an unbeaten 51 from 32 balls to post a decent target on the board. Nathan Coulter-Nile once again excelled for Mumbai, taking 3-19 from his 4 overs, while Pragyan Ojha chipped in with 2 wickets too.

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The Sunrisers Hyderabad took a giant step towards qualification for the Champions League T20 Group Stages with a crushing 8 wicket victory over the Sri Lankan T20 Champions, Kandurata Maroons at Mohali today. In a game which featured 4 half-centurions, Kumar Sangakkara's 61 and Lahiru Thirimanne's 54, both scored at solid strike rates in excess of 130 went in vain as Shikhar Dhawan (71) and Parthiv Patel (52) put their team well on the course to victory with a 121 run stand for the opening wicket, chasing down the Maroons' target of 169 to win with 9 balls to spare.

The Sunrisers weren't at their best with the ball, and certainly could have fielded better, but did start well, keeping down the flow of runs in the early overs as the Maroons stuttered to 33-2 at the end of 5 overs. Sangakkara and Thirimanne were required to do a rebuilding job initially before cutting lose towards the second half of their innings to post 168-3. Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for the Sunrisers taking 2-20 from his 4 overs, while Darren Sammy picked up the only other wicket to fall.

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India put in a clinical performance with both bat and ball, riding mainly on the back off a maiden ODI century from Shikhar Dhawan to beat South Africa by 26 runs in the opening game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. India's batsmen put in consistent partnerships and finished off well with the bat before the bowlers kept pegging back the South African run chase to secure the all-important victory in their first game of the competition.

India and South Africa squared off for the first game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff in a Group B encounter. Both sides realized the importance of securing an early victory in the competition, as the two skippers MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers walked out to the centre for the toss. South Africa won the flip of the cpin and decided to bowl first on a cloudy day in Cardiff.

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The IPL 2013 was widely considered to be a success for the sheer quality of cricket it produced to go with the huge crowds at all venues throughout the competition and the record numbers of viewers on television and online.

There were records broken in all three departments of the T20 game and some great innings, bowling spells and catches which stood out at the end of the competition.

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