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Found 15 results

  1. In what was considered to be one of the most controversial tri-series of 2018, the Nidahas Trophy between India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka saw a rare show of skills, patience and explosive batting when Indian wicket keeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik took control of the final, deflated the Bangladeshi bowling line-up and won the trophy for the Men in Blue exactly one year ago, today. Returning to the top roster after a long gap, the tri-series was more of a test for the then 32-year-old, a question of whether he's still got what it takes to be a part of the best cricket team in the world. While India managed to make it to the final of the series without requiring a lot of help from the righty, skipper Rohit Sharma (https://www.mensxp.com/topic/rohit-sharma.html) and the squad demanded a miracle of an innings by him to be able to win it all, late in the game. When Karthik entered the field after Manish Pandey's dismissal, India required to score 34 runs off the last two overs. The need for Karthik to hit big shots was of utmost importance as his co-batsman Vijay Shankar was struggling to connect the deliveries with his bat. Karthik, however, had different plans altogether. Stepping on the batting crease in the 19th over, he scored 22 runs off Rubel Hossain's deliveries while also sending the last ball for a maximum to bring the trophy to India. "Really happy to come out of this performance. Really happy for the team. We've played really well in this tournament and to not win the final would have been unfortunate. It was not that easy to bat there,” said a modest Dinesh Karthik after the game who was also named the Man of the Match for his short yet impactful innings.
  2. Arguably the best T20 league in the cricketing world, the Indian Premier League, is back with its 12th edition along quite some changes in the team names and their squads too. We have witnessed new records replacing the old ones, and with the addition of newcomers and the shake-up of the experienced ones, this year's IPL also has a high probability of breaking all records from the past seasons. One of the most difficult records to break would be that of the highest total, which is currently possessed by none other than THE Royal Challengers Bangalore, scoring a mammoth 263 runs in mere 20 overs against the Pune Warriors with the help of a 'Gayle storm' at the Chinnaswamy Stadium during the 2013 season. Let's go through all the highest total ever scored in IPL history: Royal Challengers Bangalore's 265-5 Vs Pune Warriors (2013) © BCCI RCB was reckoned to be one of the most lethal teams in the history of IPL till they were backed by the trio of AB De Villiers, Virat Kohli, and Chris Gayle. In their years together, this trio has gone on to play some magnificent knocks, and the score of 265 being one of them. April 23, 2013, would have been a normal day for everyone if Chris Gayle wouldn't have decided to score a monstrous 175 of just 66 deliveries, consisting of 17 humongous sixes and 13 fours. With Gayle registering the highest score in T20 cricket, Pune Warriors could only manage to post 133, paving the way for Bangalore to earn the record of the biggest IPL victory in terms of runs (130). Royal Challengers Bangalore's 248-3 Vs Gujrat Lions (2016) © Facebook@RCB After putting up a gigantic total of 265 on board in 2013, RCB seemed in full mood to replicate that innings but this time, with ABD and King Kohli on the field. After registering the highest total in the history of IPL, RCB bagged the position for the second highest total also by posting 248 on the scoreboard against Gujrat Lions in the 9th edition of the league. This mighty total was courtesy 'Mr. 360 Degree' who was not out on 129 and skipper Kohli who contributed 109 runs in the total. Chennai Super Kings' 246-5 Vs Rajasthan Royals (2010) © AFP The title holders of 2010 IPL, Chennai Super Kings, produced a spectacular show against the Rajasthan Royals, posting 246 runs at MA Chidambaram Stadium on April 3, 2010. The special knock was played by the home lad Murli Vijay as he scored a brilliant 127 off meagre 56 balls with 11 sixes and eight fours. Vijay's score that year was the second highest after Brendon McCullum's 158. He also became the third Indian to score a century in an IPL match after Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan. The way Vijay hammered the Australian trio of Shaun Tait, Shane Warne and Shane Watson, it seemed like he was playing in some local league. He slaughtered the Royals bowlers, who failed in every attempt to make a comeback during the game. Kolkata Knight Riders' 245-6 Vs Kings XI Punjab (2018) © BCCI Kolkata Knight Riders were one of the star performers of the 2018 IPL and their newly discovered opener, Sunil Naraine was in itself the biggest surprise of the season. Throughout, he kept performing with both, the ball and the bat. In the battle against Kings XI Punjab, Naraine once again opened the innings and blasted the bowling line up of Punjab by scoring a quick 75 in 36 balls with the help of four 6's and nine 4's. Once he was gone, the baton was handed over to Dinesh Kartik who went on to score a decent 50, posting 245-6 on the scoreboard. Kings XI showed good character and almost reached the target, but in the end, could register only 218 runs on the board, eventually losing the match by 18 runs.
  3. Forget every other cricket player for a second, the man of the hour is Prithvi Shaw and no one can seem to stop talking about him. Saying that he played brilliantly against West Indies would be an understatement, I mean, he just became the 15th Indian cricketer to score a century in his debut Test match. Moreover, the 18-year-old achieved the huge feat at the opening day of the first Test against the West Indies at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot today, but everyone already knows that. ð¯ðð Take a bow, @PrithviShaw #INDvWI pic.twitter.com/3ttCamlAcl — BCCI (@BCCI) October 4, 2018 Shaw also became the second youngest Indian ever to score a Test century, just right behind the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. I feel like having your name up there with someone like Sachin is an achievement in itself. It was the perfect occasion for all desi cricket fans to get together and celebrate this achievement. Bohot dum hai. It's been the Shaw show. Congratulations Prithvi Shaw, abhi toh bas shuruaat hai , ladke mein bahut dum hai #IndvWI pic.twitter.com/obEcSylvCV — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 4, 2018 Wonderful, indeed. Wonderful century on debut for Prithvi Shaw. Great to see a 18 year old go out and play his natural game. Got a bright future. #IndvWI pic.twitter.com/e86XPsg6ho — VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) October 4, 2018 Couldn't dream of a better debut. What a moment! 18 years of age, debuting for India's test cricket squad and scores a century! ð¯ Well done Prithvi Shaw! #INDvWI @PrithviShaw — Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) October 4, 2018 A round of applause. Congratulations to Prithvi Shaw for a hundred on debut. Love the fact that he can score at a strike rate of 100 just batting instinctively without looking to over attack or by taking risks. ðð��ð#PrithviShaw — Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) October 4, 2018 Everyone just knows he has a bright future. Fantastic achievement by young #Prithvishaw Hundred on Debut and going strong,showing good temperament and positive approach #INDvsWI — zaheer khan (@ImZaheer) October 4, 2018 Yes, exactly. Lovely to see such an attacking knock in your first innings, @prithvishaw! Continue batting fearlessly. #INDvWI pic.twitter.com/IIM2IifRAd — Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 4, 2018 Hashtag throwback? Ladies & Gentlemen, Meet our one of the Opener, Prithvi Shaw.âºï¸ #IndvWI pic.twitter.com/nywZvquCQA — Monica (@monicas004) October 4, 2018 He sure has. Wow .. 18 yrs old @PrithviShaw .. Test ð¯ on debut .. Looks like #India have another superstar that has arrived on the scene !!! #INDvWI — Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 4, 2018 Hard work always pays off. Lost his mother at the age of 4, Father shut his company to take him on 90-min journey to & fro school. Hard work pays off Made test debut at 18 & scored maiden century . Stance , temperament , shot selection, perfection Prithvi Shaw what a player ! The Flawless#INDvWI pic.twitter.com/xzv6rDw0wv — R i s h i ð®ð³ (@Rishi__1) October 4, 2018 Yep. This boy is class and a lambi race ka ghoda- Prithvi Shaw. So good to watch #IndvWI — Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) October 4, 2018 Well played a very young man. Hundred on debut for shaw.#INDvWI pic.twitter.com/y4QtStkFsm — Akki (@CrickPotato1) October 4, 2018 Maybe. Before Rajkot, the last time West Indies played a Test in India, Sachin Tendulkar bowed out of international cricket Nearly five years later, Prithvi Shaw makes his international debut against the same teamhttps://t.co/fhLJxxFXWp #INDvWI #TheNextSachinð¤ pic.twitter.com/XSykpIXPKG — ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 4, 2018 So impressive! Prithvi Shaw: Century on Ranji debut! Century on Duleep debut! Century on Test debut! Welcome to International Cricket — Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) October 4, 2018 He sure did. He came, he Shaw, he conquered ð¯ðð#PrithviShaw — Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) October 4, 2018 Oh no. Prithvi Shaw makes a century on his debut. #IndvWI pic.twitter.com/UTfxUnvwYY — Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) October 4, 2018 Very proud. Aakash Chopra was a down-to-Prithvi opener. And for Prithvi Shaw, Aakash is the limit.#ProudOfMyHindiKnowldge — Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) October 4, 2018 Simple and spot on. View this post on Instagram Century on Ranji debut, century on Duleep, century on Test debut. KUDOS ððð A post shared by All India Bakchod (@allindiabakchod) on Oct 4, 2018 at 12:34am PDT
  4. Akshay Kumar has always been 'cool'. No, we're not only referring to his chilled out persona or his down to earth yet super charismatic demeanour - we're talking about him in terms of his style game. Right from embracing his toned physique (along with his body hair, mind it) back in the 80s and 90s when it was not even 'in', to wearing unusual pieces such as fluoro shirts or dungarees, 'Mr. Khiladi' has always managed to impress us, not to mention the ladies. Not a thing has changed even now, at the age of 50, we must say. He just proved it by stepping out in a pair of pants that are the coolest pair we have seen in a long time. Take a look. © Viral Bhayani Time and time again, AK has publicly maintained his affinity towards camo, with his outfits. Taking this forward, he wore a pair of camo pants that stand out in terms of their fit, and the fact that they are ripped at his knees, in a way that mirrors his own badassery. © Viral Bhayani Don't you just love the pair? Not only is it super fashionable, it is super versatile as well. He has sagaciously paired it with a smart black tee, which we think is the perfect accompaniment with the awesomeness beneath. © Viral Bhayani When it comes to his footwear, staying true to his affinity towards comfort, but not neglecting fashion forwardness, he chose to wear a pair of dope AF beige Asics with white detailing. We love the pair! © Viral Bhayani All we can say is that, Mr. Khiladi seems to be getting more and more stylish with time, and he is not hesitant at all when it comes to establishing that too! Bravo.
  5. Arjun Tendulkar is not the only son of a legendary cricketer out there, all prepared to match up to his father's legacy. The Junior 'Wall' is just 12-years-old right now, but he's already telling the world that he's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the cricketing arena. Samit Dravid is the eldest son of Indian icon Rahul Dravid, someone who honestly doesn't need any introduction. Dravid Jr. is playing for his school team at the moment (obviously, since he's 12) and has been giving one impressive performance after another. Twitter In this particular match, along with an unbeaten 51 knock, he also bagged 3 wickets while only giving 9 runs. Of course, this led to his school, Mallya Aditi International School, to a nine-wicket victory against the Cambridge Public School. I'll admit that I don't know much about cricket, but even I can understand that this is quite impressive. This isn't even the first time Samit has made people sit up and take notice of his performance; back in January, he scored a match-winning century in the BTW Cup Under-14 Tournament. He also received a 'Best Batsman' award back in 2015 in the Under-12 Gopalan Cricket Challenge. Twitter Going by his current performances, it's safe to say that this young cricketer will have a long career filled with even more incredible performances, just like his father.
  6. The Bihar Board examinations seem to be as magical as the ones conducted at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After the results were announced on Saturday morning, many students ended up in a flummoxed state of confusion over their marks. Turns out, that some students managed to score 38 in a paper that was only for 35 marks! No kidding! Also, some students have been marked in papers that they did not even sit for! If this is not magic, what is? © Twitter (representational image) According to a report in TOI, some students have complained regarding this absurd marking scheme. Bhim Kumar got 38 out of the total 35 marks in Mathematics (theory) while 37 out of 35 in the objective-type questions. “I am not shocked because such things have been happening in the state board exams for long,” he said. Another student Sandeep Raj scored 38 out of 35 in the theory paper of physics. “How is it possible? I got zero in the objective-type questions in English and Rashtra Bhasha,” he said. Rahul Kumar from Darbhanga scored 40 out of 35 in the objective paper of maths. Another student complained that she received marks in Biology even though she didn't appear for the exam. © Twitter (representational image) This is not the first time that the Bihar Board examinations have come under the radar for their weird marking scheme. Two years ago, Board topper Ruby Rai came into the limelight after topping the Board without having adequate knowledge of the subjects. A fact that was brought to light in a very dramatic manner. It seems as if the educators at the Bihar Board are very generous and are not holding back in making the students happy, by doling out marks so liberally! But all jokes aside, this seems to have become a trend of sorts in Bihar and students are clearly suffering the consequences. The state government needs to look into the matter with immediate effect, in order to get to the root of the crisis.
  7. Yesterday, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced the class 12 results and since then the internet has been flooded with congratulatory wishes and memes on Meghna Srivastava, the new equivalent of 'Sharma ji's kid', who scored 99.8% and became the CBSE topper. Twitter Honestly, if the recent CBSE and ICSE results have taught me anything, it is – first, thank god we're not of this bunch of exceptionally brilliant kids who are scoring 95% to 99% like it's no big deal; second, there is no dearth of talented and hardworking students in India, who are the biggest source of inspiration one can ever find. This brings us to the class 12 topper in Delhi from the Science stream, Prince Kumar. It was a matter of joy from Prince and pride for his father, who is a bus driver with the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). In fact, by scoring 97% percent in the exams, Prince has also proved the notion wrong about government schools not having a proper education system in place. Twitter Among all the wishes that poured in for Prince, there was one that came from Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister and the state education minister, Manish Sisodia. In fact, Sisodia even tweeted about his exceptional report card. He wrote, “Very proud moment, just congratulated Prince Kumar, topper of Delhi Govt. school, Science stream in Class 12, Son of a DTC bus driver has got 97% with 100/100 in Maths, 99/100 Eco, 98/100 in Chemistry.” Very proud moment, just congratulated Prince Kumar,topper of Delhi Govt school, Science stream in Class 12, Son of a DTC bus driver has got 97% with 100/100 in Maths, 99/100 Eco, 98/100 in Chemistry #DelhiEducationRevolution pic.twitter.com/IeaxhNpX9m — Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) May 26, 2018 Prince, who is still reeling from this surprising result, reportedly said (while in tears) “I am the son of a DTC bus driver. I never expected this…Now I have media people calling me.” He further added, “The kids at these schools may come from a particular socio-economic background. But our teachers and facilities are almost as good as private schools. All teachers are well qualified, and they help us out.” Prince has already cleared his JEE (Mains) and now dreams of pursuing electronics and communications engineering in future. We congratulate Prince Kumar for his exceptional performance and for making us all proud. Also, now that the results are out, it's time to take revenge from all those relatives, who never called us the whole year except for days when your results were announced, and ask their kids “Kitne number aaye?”
  8. Watching Manchester City clinch the Carabao Cup, dumped out of Champions League by Juventus and currently placed fourth in the Premier League, the only real chance of silverware for Tottenham Hotspur lies in the FA Cup semifinals where they face a daunting task against a rejuvenated Manchester United side on 21 April. While the lack of silverware might not do justice to their attacking prowess, the fact that their mercurial striker Harry Kane has been in scintillating form while chasing the Golden Boot, would surely give their fans some consolation this season. The England forward has been the driving force for Mauricio Pochettino's men with his ever-increasing tally of goals. © Reuters The 24-year-old has been fighting it out with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who currently leads the list of top EPL goal-scorers with 29 strikes to his name this season. With Kane looking to cut down the deficit while taking big strides at the second spot, it appears that the duel between Kane and Salah to win the Golden Boot could very turn into a dogfight. For a striker who has made a habit of finding crucial spaces inside the box, Kane's hunger to increase his goals saw him resorting to a desperate antic - one wouldn't generally expect from a great custodian of the game like him. If his impeccable footballing skills on the pitch weren't giving him enough goals, the exploits of the Spurs frontman off the field seems to have earned him a free goal now. pic.twitter.com/bubSQObrak — Chris Prodromou (@chrisprodromou) April 9, 2018 During their clash against Stoke City on Saturday, Tottenham found their second goal after a free kick from Christian Eriksen which may or may not have taken the deflection from Kane's shoulder before hitting the back of the net. Kane celebrated the goal as if he'd gotten a touch, but the league's official scorekeepers gave the goal to Eriksen. While the replays, even when played in super-slow mode, couldn't really suggest if there was a touch from Kane or not, the Spurs star's desperate plea - where he literally swore on his one-year old daughter's life - that he did score that goal was way too weird. Harry 'I swear on my daughter's life I touched it' Kane pic.twitter.com/F4b1IK7zzc — SH (@Sennesation) April 9, 2018 “Have they? I swear on my daughter's life that I touched the ball, but there's nothing I can do. If they turn it around, they turn it around. If they take my word, they take my word," Kane said after the match when he was informed that his teammate Eriksen had been officially credited the goal. Now, that's being quite dramatic for something so seemingly meaningless. Yes, it did increase his tally of goals to 25 this season, but desperately swearing on your daughter's life for one single goal isn't the kind of thing you'd associate Kane with. But, irrespective of what we might think, Kane launched an appeal and after taking his post-match testimony into account, the Premier League's goal accreditation appeals panel reversed the decision to hand the Spurs frontman what seemed like a free goal. Wooooooow really ? — Mohamed Salah (@22mosalah) 11 April 2018 While Kane finally got the goal and his daughter Ivy Jane, now officially safe, his counterpart Salah minced no words in expressing shock at the officials' reversed decision. Taking to Twitter, Mo Salah wrote: "Wooooooow really?". And, he was thoroughly backed by his Liverpool teammates. pic.twitter.com/t8L5uQWXXA — Simon Mignolet (@SMignolet) April 11, 2018 Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who posted a meme of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg to sum up his shock, while GeorginioWijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold took to social media to express their surprise. While the support of the Reds for Salah was quite understandable, the fact that former Spurs striker Gary Lineker also questioned Kane's successful appeal makes the case stronger. Well, well, @HKane has been awarded the goal after all by the Premier League's goal accreditation appeals panel. That's actually a thing. — Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 11, 2018 "Well, well, @HKane has been awarded the goal after all by the Premier League's goal accreditation appeals panel. That's actually a thing," he tweeted before following it up with another dig at Kane. Mandzukic goal now being given to Harry Kane. — Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 11, 2018 ððð¤¨ð¤¨ð¤·ð¼‍âï¸ — Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) April 11, 2018 Soon, Jamie Vardy, who scored 24 goals in Leicester City's title-winning season two years ago, joined the chorus on Twitter. Reacting to the news, Vardy posted a tweet containing the raised-eyebrow emoji. Though he didn't mention Kane, but we all know who was targetted in that tweet. Well, apart from helplessly questioning, no one can change the latest decision. But, those who've seen Kane play this season would agree that he doesn't really need such Ronaldo-esquetheatrics. For all his envious skillset, the Spurs stalwart can very well improve on his league tally and still cut down Salah's lead by letting his on-field performance do all the talking.
  9. Cricket is a sport that thrives on the contest between the bat and the ball. Apart from the occasional byes and leg-byes, the contact with the body parts is neither ideal nor intentional. When you compare it with football, where legs and head usually do the job, cricket is all about making contact with the willow. And, given the restrictions in gentleman's game, it's quite bizarre if anyone scores runs with their head, right? Wrong. In a crazy turn of events, a batsman ended up scoring a six after the noticeable help of an opposition bowler. During the Ford Trophy - a domestic 50-over competition in New Zealand, a batsman smashed a six after the ball ricocheted off the head of the bowler and sailed over the ropes. Ol' Jeets used Andy's head as a ramp today. Don't worry, nobody died. #FordTrophy https://t.co/g2EsYaYifJ — The Niche Cache (@thenichecache) February 21, 2018 The incident occurred in the third preliminary final of the tournament between Auckland and Canterbury when Jeet Raval struck a delivery straight back at the bowler Andrew Ellis. Such was the power of the shot that even before Ellis could get out of the way, the ball hit his head and then soared over the boundary for a six. Despite the massive impact of the ball on his head, Ellis seemed okay as players from both sides checked up on his well being. He was taken off the field for a concussion test and was declared fit enough to resume the match. He went on to bowl seven overs for figures of 2-52. Canterbury Captain Andrew Ellis was Struck on Head by a straight Shot from Jeet Raval who scored 149 The ball hit him so hard on head that it struck on his head and then sailed for a six, he left the field for concussion test but was able to return for the Match #FordTrophy pic.twitter.com/rS0hDnzlU5 — Abhijeet (@TheYorkerBall) February 21, 2018 Raval, who has represented New Zealand in nine Tests, said he was concerned about the Ellis' well-being and was relieved when he returned to the field. "Whenever anybody gets hit in the head, your immediate concern is for the person, and I was worried Andrew had hurt himself," Raval was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "But, thankfully, it soon looked like he hadn't been injured by what had seemed a nasty blow. He's a true Cantab, a very tough nut, and it was a relief for me to see him carry on and complete the game without any visible effects. My hope for him is that he won't experience any delayed concussion. It's certainly not pleasant for anyone to experience that in a game," he added. Despite being shaken by the incident, Raval didn't let it affect his batting as he went on to score a match-winning 149 off 153 balls with 10 fours and four sixes, powering Auckland to 304/6 in 50 overs. In reply, Canterbury were bowled out for 197 in 37.2 overs with spinner Tarun Nethula recording figures of 4-43.
  10. Bhaichung Bhutia is also known as the 'Sikkimese Sniper'. Well, rightfully so, because he is one of the best strikers India has ever seen. However, recent events suggest that football goals are not the only ones he is adept at. Bhaichung just walked the ramp at the Lakmé Fashion Week as a showstopper and if that does not say 'fashion goals' (see what we did there?), we don't know what else does. © Viral Bhayani Bhutia was the showstopper for the IMG Reliance-United Nations' North East Mojo Show on day 2 of the Lakmé Fashion Week. The show featured the unique collections of designers from the North East who represented the six states - Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Assam. © Viral Bhayani This was a show which was not only about fashion. Fashion, of course, was the foundation, but what we got to experience were stories of local weavers and artisans - their heritage and their struggles. The fact that it was an attempt at enriching the local economy in a sustainable manner while showcasing traditional fabrics and weaves, made it a very meaningful show. © Viral Bhayani The show ended with Bhaichung as the showstopper, looking dashing in a traditional Sikkimese outfit. He was the embodiment of the rich, rustic aura of Sikkim in an asymmetrical coordinated set, with a grey base and red and black motifs. © Viral Bhayani It is always heartwarming to see our favourite sports stars in different avatars. But when it encompasses style and glamour, that too for a good cause, the experience transcends our already stellar expectations. Kudos!
  11. The Ketchaoua mosque in the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah is set to open its doors for the first time in nearly a decade following a lengthy renovation. Photo: AFP ALGIERS: At the foot of the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah district in Algiers, the Ketchaoua Mosque has had a tumultuous past that, at one point, saw it turned into a cathedral under French rule. Now the ornate towers and arches are set for a new chapter as the majestic place of worship gets ready to open its doors for the first time in nearly a decade following a lengthy renovation. Once a symbol of Ottoman influence, it was known for more than a century as the Roman Catholic Saint Philippe Cathedral after France?s conquest of Algeria, only to revert to a mosque when the country claimed independence in 1962 following a bloody struggle. In 2008 it was shut down as the ravages of time ? and a powerful earthquake ? took their toll. The latest renovations of the Ketchaoua mosque in Algiers have seen a greater overhaul, restoring more original features and making space for some 1,200 faithful, including, for the first time, women. Photo: AFP But much to the delight of local residents it will soon be up and running again after more than three years of restoration work, funded by the Turkish government. "I can?t wait to return there to pray," said Salim, a trader working nearby, who declined to give his second name. "My father brought me here to pray for the first time in 1978 when I was just nine years old." Bloody assault The date of the first mosque built on the site remains under debate but the earliest references to it can be found in 1612. In the late 18th century, the Ottoman ruler of the region Hassan Pasha completely transformed the location and turned it into one of the grandest mosques in the city. That lasted only for around 40 years until the French seized Algeria and requisitioned the building by force. "Its conversion into a church in 1832 took place after an assault by the colonial army" that claimed the lives of some of "the several hundred faithful who had dug in to oppose the takeover," said Aicha Hanafi, professor of archaeology at the University of Algiers. The date of the first mosque built on the site where the Ketchaoua mosque in the famed UNESCO-listed Casbah district of Algiers now sits remains under debate but the earliest references to it can be found in 1612. Photo: AFP "That same year, on December 24, they celebrated the first Christmas Mass," she said. The Christian capture of the mosque brought both a physical and spiritual change to the building. A large part was knocked down as the site was enlarged to become the city?s principal cathedral. Two bell towers, designed in an Eastern style, were erected, framing a new entrance at the top of a grand staircase. Its first women After returning to its original function following independence some 55 years ago, the mosque underwent cosmetic changes to make it conform to the demands of the Muslim faith. Now the latest renovations have seen a greater overhaul, restoring more original features and making space for some 1,200 faithful, including, for the first time, women. "We did all that we could to maintain the historical monument," said Abdelouahab Zekkagh, director of the national agency that oversees the use of historical buildings. He said that the minarets were taken apart stone by stone and those blocks that were too badly worn were swapped for new ones brought in from the west of the country. Once a symbol of Ottoman influence, the Ketchaoua Mosque was known for more than a century as the Roman Catholic Saint Philippe Cathedral after France?s conquest of Algeria, only to revert to a mosque when the country claimed independence in 1962. Photo: AFP The original minbar (pulpit) built by the Ottomans in 1794 has been restored and the niche indicating the direction of prayer has been repainted in gold leaf by a Turkish craftsman. Architect Akli Amrouche is slightly disappointed that the new verses of the Koran inscribed on the walls do not match the originals. But, overall, after the long road that the mosque has travelled he is happy with the facelift. "It is an excellent job, the minarets have been saved and the prayer room renovated," he said.
  12. This year has been an eventful one so far in terms of academics and results. First, it was Raksha Gopal, who scored 99.6 % and displayed greater efficiency than Dettol. And while, the class 12th students were recuperating from her unbelievable grades and their parents' rants; one guy moon-walked in the frame and stole the limelight by scoring 100 percent in the JEE-Mains exam. Udaipur's Kalpit Veerwal stunned everyone when he scored 360 out of 360 in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) – Mains. In fact, he became the first ever student to score such insane grades. Having said that, now this unmatched feat has inked Kalpit's name in the golden pages of Limca Book of Records and although we were jealous of him earlier, we are extremely proud of him now. © Facebook Kalpit is currently studying Computer Science at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Reportedly, his perfect score will be featured in 2018 edition, under the ‘Education Achievements' category. According to a report in The Times of India, he told PTI, “I was confident of cracking the examination but didn't expect a perfect score. Similarly, making it to the Limca Book of Records was not something I ever dreamt of.” © Facebook (for representation) Kalpit's insane scores made everyone think he must have either taken the ‘Kota route' or studied for 48 hours at least, but he cleared the air around it too. He said, “I did not study for 15 hours a day, I did not go down the usual ‘Kota route for IIT preparations but consistent studies helped me a lot.” Kalpit's father is a nurse at the Maharana Bhupal Government Hospital in Udaipur, his mother is a government school teacher and his elder brother is pursuing MBBS from AIIMS, Jodhpur. Kalpit scored 109th rank in the JEE-Advanced. Kalpit is an inspiration for all the medical and engineering aspirants and we hope that other students to get that push to write their own success stories. Source: The Times Of India
  13. The players auction for the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) is known to throw up surprises with little-known domestic cricketers raking in the moolah. So when the auction for the tenth edition of India's decorated T20 league was being held in Bengaluru, it was the turn of Tamil Nadu seamer Thangarasu Natarajan to break new ground. With his eyes glued to the TV screen, Natarajan was finding it surreal when the bids against his name zoomed at a breakneck pace amid some tense bidding during the auction. The life of the little known pacer changed in a matter of a few minutes as his Rs 10 lakh base price witnessed a quantum 30-time jump reaching Rs 3 crore with Virender Sehwag vigorously raising the pedal for Kings XI Punjab. But wait! Natarajan didn't emerge as the highest-paid player in the IPL auction. And his Rs 3-crore pay cheque was nowhere close to someone like Ben Stokes (Rs 14.5 cr) or Tymall Mills (Rs 12 cr). So what makes him so special? Well, he might not be close to the top buys, but Natarajan's is a story that began with tennis ball cricket and eventually reached the great horizons of the IPL. Early struggles © Twitter Natarajan's father is a daily wager in the power loom sector, while his mother runs a roadside stall selling tea and snacks in their hometown, Salem. Eldest of five siblings, Natarajan took the responsibility of helping his parents to meet their expenses. He volunteered to take up odd jobs to supplement his family's income. He would wake up early in the morning to distribute newspapers or milk. And sports were the least of his priorities. For Natarajan, cricket was also an odd job in a sense. The local tennis-ball tournaments, in and around his hometown offered some prize money which served as an option for Natarajan to make some extra cash on the sidelines. Beginning of a career © Twitter What began as a way to earn some quick money, soon turned into a viable platform for Natarajan to fight the adversities for his family. After becoming the undisputed tennis-ball hero, Natarajan was handed his first leather ball by his neighbour Jayaprakash - a former fourth-division cricketer. Surprised by his neighbour's gesture, Natarajan told Jayaprakash that he didn't have any use for it since he never dreamt of becoming a cricketer. But, his neighbour's push got the 20-year-old a stint with a fourth-division club in Thiruvallur - managed by Jayaprakash's friend. Within two years, Natarajan was bowling for one of the elite teams of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association league - Jolly Rovers - which has fielded big names like Murali Vijay, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav among others. Fighting all odds © Twitter The year 2015 was probably the turning point in Natarajan's career after he was picked for the state team. Five days later, Natarajan made his debut against Bengal and his three-wicket burst raised a few eyebrows. But, his promising career suffered an early jolt after he was reported for suspect action. Sulking in the shadows, Natarajan even decided to quit cricket in order to find another way to support his family. But, Jolly Rovers' coach Bharat Reddy helped him in correcting his action for almost an entire year. After remaining on the sidelines for almost an year, Natarajan resurfaced for the Dindigul Dragons in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) with a re-modelled action. His consistency to bowl yorkers at death saw him claim 10 wickets in the tournament. A rich haul - and a reputation as a death-over specialist - paved Natarajan's return to the Tamil Nadu state team. And, this time, his return was not one to be forgotten. The left-arm seamer left his mark on the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season with 24 wickets in just eight games. “I don’t know whether it’s a reality or an illusion,” Natarajan said. Clearly, the news is yet to sink in for the 25-year-old whose hardwork and perseverance eventually paid off in the IPL auction.
  14. Mohit Ahlawat couldn’t have written a better script for himself. Scoring 300 runs in just 72 balls just before the IPL season gets underway is an incredible way to make your presence felt. While T20 is all about smashing the ball the out of the stands, Ahlawat has given the format a new meaning altogether. The 21-year-old was a part of Maavi XI and scored a total of 39 sixes in his 72 ball innings against Friends XI. He has earlier played just three first-class games in 2015 with a highest score of just 4. On the back of Ahlawat’s incredible innings of 300, his team posted a humongous total of 416 in 20 overs. The opposition, Friends XI bundled out for 200. © Twitter "I was feeling good out there in the middle. I was middling the ball. I knew I could get to the 300-run mark if I batted for 20 overs. After the 17th over I felt I had a realistic chance of getting to the figure. I thought if I could get at least 12 balls from final 18, I could get there. Fortunately, things went my way," Mohit told Cricket Country. Mohit hit 50 runs in last two overs, including 34 runs in the final. Ahlawat hit five consecutive sixes in the last five balls of the innings. Apart from him, teammate Gaurav also scored a handy knock of 86. © Twitter With scores like these being posted at local club level, it’s just a matter of time that we see huge totals like 300 being just par for the course in future. It’s a certainty and one can only pray for the future generation of bowlers because T20 is going to be brutal for our budding seam talent.
  15. Pranav Dhanawade shot to fame last year after he scored a mammoth 1009 runs not out in school cricket. Now, a year later the talented boy is in the news for a reason that will make you furious. Pranav has been arrested by the police and is presently detained. Why? Well, because the guy protested against the conversion of his cricket ground into a helipad for a minister’s arrival. As usual, dirty politics played out and the budding cricketers were left stranded with nowhere to go. Since the minister in question is BJP’S Prakash Javdekar, the kids had couldn’t figure out which authority to complain to and eventually had to stage a protest. Of course, they had to bear the brunt of it since it is India and there’s nobody above the corrupt ministers. The protest even turned a bit violent and Pranav was beaten up by the police and thrown behind bars without any valid reason.
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