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Ravichandran Ashwin wins Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016

Ravichandran Ashwin on 22 December 2016 won the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.
●    Ashwin was chosen for the award after being adjudged the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Cricketer of the Year. With this, he became the second Indian player after Rahul Dravid to bag the two prestigious prizes in the same year.
●    Ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was awarded with the prestigious trophy in the year 2010. The other recipients of the Sir Garfield Trophy include Andrew Flintoff, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mitchell Johnson among others.
●    Ravichandran Ashwin is a right-handed batsman and right-arm off break bowler.
●    He plays for the Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL.
●    Ashwin is the fastest Indian bowler to reach the 50-, 100-, 150- and 200-wicket mark in Test cricket.
●    He is the only bowler of recent times apart from Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka to bowl the carrom ball.

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India lifts Under-19s Asia Cup title beating Sri Lanka

India on 23 December 2016 won the Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title. In the final played at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka, India defeated hosts Sri Lanka by 34 runs.
●    Opting first after winning the toss, India Under-19 team posted a competitive score of 273 runs for a loss of eight wickets in their 50 overs. 
●    In reply to it, the Sri Lankan side was bowled out for a score of 239 in 48.4 overs.
●    Foundation of India’s total was based on the first five batsman, especially due to the score of 71 and 70 by Himanshu Rana and Shubham Gill respectively. 
●    Later, the fine bowling efforts by Indian spinners helped the Indian side in dismissing the Under-19 team of Sri Lanka and clinch the trophy.
●    Skipper Abhishek 4 for 37 produced a fine display of slow left-arm orthodox bowling and was assisted ably by leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who returned with impressive figures of three for 22 from his quota of 10 overs to dismantle the Lankans.
●    For Sri Lankan Under-19 team, pacer Nipun Ransika and left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama took three wickets each.

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Shiva Keshavan won gold at Asian Luge Championship

Sheva Keshavan, the Winter Olympian from India, won the gold medal at Asian Luge Championship on 23 December 2016. 
●    He braved an injury to clinch the gold at the championship in Nagano.
●    Keshavan who dominated the event finished the 2 heat race in 1:39.962 seconds. 103.4 km/hr was his top speed in the race.
●    Tanaka Shohei of Japan clinched the silver medal in the event with a combined time of 1:44.874 seconds. His top speed was 124.6 km/hr. On the other hand, the bronze medal went to Chinese Taipei’s Lien Te-An. He completed the race in 45.120 with a top speed of 126.3 km/hr.
●    It is an annual Luge competition for Asian countries and it came into existence in 1998.
●    The competition is held in different formats, namely men’s and women’s single events and men’s double events.
●    All editions of the competition are held by Spiral bobsleigh luge, and skeleton track at Nagano, Japan.


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Virat Kohli First Indian Captain to lead India in 18 Consecutive Unbeaten Tests

India on 20 December 2016 won the five-match test series against England, 4-0. In the fifth and final test played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, England wrapped up the second innings at 207 in 88 overs. With this Virat Kohli became the first Indian Captain to lead India in 18 Consecutive Unbeaten Tests
●    Karun Nair’s triple century in first innings of the fifth test-match against England was the key factor in the enormous win of India.
●    India's first innings total was its highest score in Tests and was the most runs made against England by any team.
●    The first match was played at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. 
●    2nd Match was played from at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. India won the match by 246 runs. 
●    3rd Match was played at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.  Indian won by 8 wickets. 
●    4th Match was played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. India won by an innings and 36 runs. 
●    5th Match was played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. India won by an innings and 75 runs.

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Karun Nair became second Indian to score triple century in Tests

Indian cricketer Karun Nair on 19 December 2016 scored triple century in first innings of the fifth and final test-match against England. 
●    The match is being played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
●    With this, Nair became the second Indian batsmen to score triple century in tests. Earlier, Virendra Sehwag scored two triple centuries in test matches.
●    Karun Nair’s unbeaten 303 helped India to reach 759/7 score. This score also helped India to lead England by 282 runs.
●    In the first innings of the match England scored 477 runs.
●    In the test cricket history, a triple century has been scored by 26 different batsmen on 30 different occasions.
●    These triple centuries were scored by batsmen from eight of the ten test cricket playing nations. No cricketer from Zimbabwe and Bangladesh has scored 300.

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Vijender Singh defeats Francis Cheka to retain WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Title

Indian boxing star Vijender Singh had promised that he will take his opponent Francis Cheka down in six rounds, before entering the ring. 
●    The Bhiwani boxer on Saturday took less than 10 minutes to knock Cheka out in the third round itself to retain his WBO-Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title.
●    Undefeated in his last seven bouts, Vijender silenced the hype surrounding Cheka with a powerful knockout punch and lifted the coveted title in front of a jam-packed Thyagraj stadium.
●    Vijender won the title in July by beating former European champion Kerry Hope of Australia.
●    Thirty Four-year-old Cheka, who hails from Tanzania, had fought 43 bouts prior to his duel with Vijender. 
●    He had tasted victory in 32 of these showdowns, winning by virtue of a knock-out on 17 occasions.

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Junior Hockey World Cup: India claimed title

For the second time this year, Harjeet Singh's junior Indian men's hockey team beat Belgium on the way to lifting a trophy; this one, however, was the biggest prize of all.
●    In its first such final in 15 years, India overwhelmed Belgium 2-1 to lift the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup at Lucknow's Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium on Sunday and become the second team, after Gagan Ajit Singh's colts in 2001, to get their hands on the most coveted title.
●    On the biggest day for Indian junior men's hockey since the class of 2001 claimed the Junior World Cup, Harjeet's dominating Indian team was put ahead within minutes when Gurjant Singh stunningly knocked one past Belgium goalkeeper Loic van Doren to give the colts a much-needed boost and an early lead. 
●    This win maintained India's 100% record in the tournament and underlined their status as rightful winners.
●    Belgium, having stunned six-time champions and defending champions Germany 4-3 in a shoot-out in the semi-finals, were overawed in the initial passages of their first Junior World Cup final. 

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Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana named in ICC Women's Team of the Year

India bats woman Smriti Mandhana was on 14 December 2016 named in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women's Team of the Year 2016.
●    With this inclusion, she became the first Indian woman cricketer to figure in the prestigious list.
●    The team will be captained by Stafanie Taylor of West Indies.
●    Besides the captain and Smriti, the team features three players from New Zealand, two players each from Australia, England and South Africa.
●    Rachel Priest of New Zealand is the wicket-keeper of the team.
●    Kim Garth of Ireland was included in the list as the 12th player.
●    The 12-member team was selected based on their performance between 14 September 2015 and 20 September 2016.
●    The list was prepared by a panel consisting of Clare Connor (Chair), Mel Jones and Shubhangi Kulkarni.
●    The list was announced by ICC chief executive David Richardson at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.

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AB De Villiers stepped down from South Africa's Test captaincy

AB De Villiers stepped down from South Africa's Test captaincy with immediate effect on 12 December 2016. He endorsed Faf du Plessis’s name to take over his role permanently, which was confirmed by Cricket South Africa.
●    While stepping down, de Villiers said he decided to step down from the position because interest of the team should always be kept above the interests of any individual, including me.
●    He led the Proteas in two Test matches against England, before injury forced him to miss the series against New Zealand and Australia.
●    Cricket South Africa Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat said, ‘AB has always carried himself as a true team player and his decision to step down confirms his attitude to put the team first’.
●    De Villiers, who stepped down as the captain of South African Cricket team, was appointed to the post in January 2016. 
●    He succeeded Hashim Amla, who resigned from the position.
●    Later, he was ruled out of the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka after he failed to recover sufficiently from an elbow injury.

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Ruchita Vinerkar settles for bronze at Asian shooting meet

India's Ruchita Vinerkar claimed bronze in the women's 10m Air Pistol, the last event of the 9th Asian Championship 10m (Rifle/Pistol) which concluded here on Thursday.
●    Ruchita shot 175.5 points in the eight-woman final, while China's Mengshue Xang won gold with a score of 198.8. Xang's compatriot Yuemei Lin took the silver after shooting 194.3.
●    India thereby concluded a successful campaign, finishing second overall with a haul of 15 medals comprising six gold, five silver and four bronze.
●    China finished on top of the standings with a total of 32 medals -- 14 gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals. 
●    Hosts Iran and Japan followed the top two in the final standings.
●    The highlight of India's performance was Shahzar Rizvi's gold in the men's 10m Air Pistol event. 
●    Indians took the top two spots in the event with the seasoned Jitu Rai taking the silver.
●    Shahzar shot a phenomenal 199.9 in the final to Jitu's 197.5 to cap off a brilliant performance which also saw him partner Jitu and Om Prakash Mitharval for the team gold in the event.


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