India crush SA; to face Bangladesh in Champions Trophy semi-final

Man of the Match Jasprit Bumrah (2/28 in 8 overs) was on target with his blockhole deliveries

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Defending champions India VS South Africa in all departments of the game to enter the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory in London on Sunday.

India will meet Bangladesh in the semi-finals in Birmingham on Thursday.

The Proteas lived up to their ‘Perennial Chokers’ tag in a virtual quarter-final clash that turned out to be a thoroughly one-sided encounter.

Shikhar Dhawan (78 off 83 balls) and skipper Virat Kohli (76 off 101 balls) made it look like a walk in the park as India chased down a target of 192 in only 38 overs.

Current Affairs : It was Dhawan’s third 50-plus score in the competition, while skipper Kohli made amends for a rare failure against Sri Lanka in style, notching up his 41st ODI half-century.

On a day when it mattered the most, India brought their A-game to the fore while AB de Villiers’ men wilted under pressure, as it has been with them in high-stakes games.

The Indian bowling was disciplined, the fielding exceptional with three run-outs, and then there was a professional batting performance.

If it’s the Champions Trophy 2017 , Dhawan can hardly put a foot wrong as he hit 12 fours and a flicked six off Morne Morkel over deep square leg.

If Dhawan muscled the ball through the off-side cordon, Kohli caressed it with care, hitting seven fours and a six as the duo added 128 runs for the second wicket.

A rhythm player to the core, Dhawan has made the best use of the second lease of life that he has got in this Champions Trophy. The ferocity with which he drove was a treat to watch. A lot of his shots were in the arc between cover and mid-off. When Imran Tahir bowled short, he pulled him with disdain.

Skipper Kohli also made merry with no pressure. He saw off Morkel’s first spell before teeing off with a cover driven six off rookie pacer Andile Phehlykwayo.

He later used the extra pace of Morkel to hit him down the ground, whip him through mid-wicket and slash the pacer over the off-side cordon.

By the time India’s total touched 100, the match was as good as over. It was Yuvraj Singh, who finished the match with a pulled six off JP Duminy. ReadMore >>>

Bangladesh attacks: No NSG team to Dhaka

Bangladesh attacks: No NSG team to Dhaka

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Government sources have confirmed that media reports about an NSG team heading to Bangladesh, to assist in the post blast analysis of the attack at the Eid prayer gathering in Kishoreganj on Thursday and the Gulshan cafe attack last week, are false.

“These are baseless reports, no truth in them,” said the government source to ANI when asked about movement of the NSG team.

Earlier, media reports had stated that the Special Forces establishment of Bangladesh Attacks had approved India’s request for inspection by NSG teams of the blast site to gather “first hand understanding of the situation.”

The National Security Guard, is India’s elite counter terrorism force that specialises in hostage rescue missions, countering hijack situations among other special operations.

NSG teams were last seen in action during the Pathankot terror attack, wherein six terrorists were neutralised.

An explosion took place during an Eid prayer at the Sholakia field of Kishoreganj town around 9:45 a.m. local time on Thursday, where people gather each year for Eid congregation. It is said to be the country’s largest Eid congregation.

The attack came days after the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka‘s upscale Gulshan area, claimed 22 lives, including 17 foreigners. The attack drew worldwide condemnation.

Dhaka hostage crisis ends with 20 hostages, 6 terrorists dead

Dhaka hostage crisis ends with 20 hostages, 6 terrorists dead

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Twenty foreigners were brutally hacked to death by ISIS militants inside a restaurant popular with expatriates here in the high-security diplomatic zone before commandos launched an assault today killing six attackers and capturing one alive, ending Bangladesh’s worst terror attack.

Director of Military Operations Brigadier General Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury said the militants slaughtered 20 hostages before the joint operation led by the armed forces began. Most of those killed were found with their throat slit, he added.

“Army Para commando Unit-1 led the operation and killed six terrorists within 13 minutes,” Chowdhury told reporters.

The mission codenamed ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ was launched after the Prime Minister ordered the army to intervene to end the hostage crisis, he said.

All 20 hostages killed were foreigners, with most being Italian or Japanese. Two senior police officers were also killed in the gunbattle that began last night.

He said the bodies of the victims were recovered during a search in the Holey Artisan Bakery compound after the operation. The bodies were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital morgue for autopsy to confirm their identity.

Gunshots and sounds of explosion rocked the area at 7:40 a.m. (local time) as security forces launched the final assault to end the siege.

Minutes later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the end of siege and said security forces “successfully” wrapped up their operation, freeing 13 hostages after killing six terrorists and capturing one militant at the Spanish cafe.

“It was an extremely heinous act. What kind of Muslims are these people? They don’t have any religion,” she said in a televised speech, referring to the terrorists.

“They (gunmen) defied the call of Ramadan’s tarabi (special evening) prayers and went to kill people…The way they killed people is intolerable. They don’t have any religion…Terrorism is their religion,” said Hasina, with Army chief General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq by her side.

“I thank Allah as we could destroy the terrorists and rescue the hostages,” Hasina said, adding that “none of the terrorists could flee the scene, six of them were killed on the spot and one was captured alive.”

Hasina vowed to do everything to “uproot the militants and violent extremists” from Bangladesh.

Among those rescued were Indian, Sri Lankan and Japanese nationals, media reports said.

Hasina said around 30 people were injured in the attack.

Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, nearly four hours after the hostage crisis unfolded, according to the US-based SITE Intelligence group, which monitors jihadist activity online.

It later issued a number of photographs of what it said were scenes from inside the restaurant. The pictures showed what appeared to be a number of bodies lying in pools of blood. Read More