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Wednesday, Jan 29th

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Ben Stokes launched a memorable blitz on the Proteas to effectively take any chance of a home win out of the equation on day four of the second Test match at Newlands on Monday.

The England’s all-rounder’s onslaught was as unorthodox as it was effective as he shared a partnership of 92 with Dom Sibley and contributed 72 off the runs scored off just 47 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes.

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The old firm of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad took charge as England bowled themselves back into the series and an almost certain first innings lead on day two of the second Test match against the Proteas at Newlands on Saturday. The Proteas finished the day on 215/8, still 54 runs in arrears with only Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje left to bat with Vernon Philander.

Just how significant England’s likely first innings advantage will be remains to be seen but bearing in mind that this has been an unusually low scoring New Year Test match with 18 wickets having fallen for less than 500 runs it looks like being important.

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India needed just two overs to wrap up the final Freedom Series Test match against the South Africa at Ranchi on Tuesday by an innings and 202 runs margin and clinch a 3-0 series triumph and, with it, 120 points in the ICC World Test Championship. Shahbaz Nadeem took the remaining two wickets in successive balls, the final one in bizarre fashion when he dismissed Lungi Ngidi caught and bowled as the ball deflected off the non-striker, Anrich Nortje.

Rohit Sharma was named both Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his aggregate of more than 500 runs that included three centuries, one of them being a double.

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South Africa lost 19-14 to Kenya's Morans team in the final of the Tusker Safari Sevens at RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi after a slow start in the first half saw the visitors concede 19 points against the locals.

The home side, consisting mainly of the Kenyan HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series squad, scored three tries in a six-minute spell, with the SA side falling off tackles they were making earlier in the tournament.

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The Springboks produced a second half revival to clinch a place in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals after a ‘nervous’ first 40 raised hopes for a packed home crowd of a repeat of the ‘Miracle of Brighton’ which had seen Japan turn the rugby world on its head with victory over South Africa four years ago.

The Springboks stretched away from an edgy two-point halftime lead (5-3) with 21 unanswered points in the second half.

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India had a near perfect second day to the final Freedom Series Test match against South Africa at Ranchi on Sunday when Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane both achieved further personal landmarks and the home side then dismissed both the South African opening batsmen cheaply.

Their only disappointment for India would have been the fact that most of the final session was again lost to bad light, but the home side still held an overwhelmingly strong position, having declared at 497/9 and then reduced the Proteas to 9/2 by the early close.

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Rohit Sharma batted India through a difficult new ball period after Virat Kohli had again won the toss to score his third century of the series and put his side on the way to another substantial first innings total against the Proteas on the opening day of the final Freedom Series Test match at Ranchi on Saturday.

Sharma finished the day unbeaten on 117 (164 balls, 14 fours and 4 sixes) for his sixth career century and in the process took his series aggregate past the 400-run mark. His partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the fourth wicket – so far 185 runs in a little more than 42 overs – was also an Indian fourth wicket record against the Proteas, improving on the 178 that Rahane and Kohli had put together in the previous match at Pune.

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