Kohli’s fireworks come just in time to make it happy Deepavali for India

October 23, 2022 10:02 pm | Updated 10:02 pm IST

Virat Kohli celebrates the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match win against Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23, 2022 in Melbourne.

Virat Kohli celebrates the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match win against Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23, 2022 in Melbourne. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Deepavali fireworks were expected from India against Pakistan in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. And, despite an early stutter, India dished out a splendid chase with Virat Kohli’s incandescent knock lighting up the skies.

Kohli’s unbeaten 82 and his 113-run fifth-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya (40) marshalled a nervy pursuit that culminated in a terrific four-wicket victory over Pakistan at a venue high on storied history, electric atmosphere and packed with fans from either side of the Wagah border.

Chasing Pakistan’s 159 for eight, India finished with 160 for six in 20 overs with the last over being high on drama and chewed up nails.

Sixteen runs were required against left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz but the dismissals of Hardik and Dinesh Karthik besides a medley of no-balls, wides and a big strike ensured that R. Ashwin needed one from the last delivery, which he promptly pocketed and delirium reigned within the Indian camp.

Initially the Indian openers — skipper Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul — had to deal with Pakistan’s speedsters. The openers survived Shaheen Shah Afridi’s first over but in the next, Naseem Shah found an ally in Rahul’s tentative defensive blade and the ball ricocheted onto the stumps.

Haris Rauf then scalped Rohit, drawing the edge with Iftikhar Ahmed pulling off a sharp catch.

And while Kohli watched, Suryakumar Yadav struck a few fours but failed to counter a Rauf delivery that homed into his body. And when Axar Patel got run out, India was hobbling at 31 for four.

However, Kohli had other plans and with Hardik for company, the two ran briskly and India moved to 45 for four in 10 overs.

In the 12th over, the dam broke as Hardik and Kohli tucked into Nawaz. Three sixes were clouted and immediately Babar Azam got his pacers back but Kohli flicked Afridi and Shah for fours and finally hope stirred within the Indian ranks.

The former India captain remained the last man standing with his arms aloft, a big grin lighting up his sweat-streaked visage.

Values inculcated by Lord Ram inspiration for ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Lord Ram’s rule was the inspiration behind his government’s "Sabka Saath, Sabja Vikas" motto, as he spent an evening in Ayodhya where lakhs of "diyas" (lamps) lit up the banks of river Sarayu.

Ram Ki Paidi is illuminated with earthen lamps during Deepotsav celebrations on the eve of the Deepavali in Ayodhya on October 23, 2022.

Ram Ki Paidi is illuminated with earthen lamps during Deepotsav celebrations on the eve of the Deepavali in Ayodhya on October 23, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Modi linked the BJP government mantra that suggests inclusive development during his speech at the Ram Katha Park. He went on to make another short address at Ram ki Paidi where a record 15.76 lakh earthen lamps arranged on the river bank were lit by volunteers.

Modi was on his first visit to Ayodhya after he laid the foundation stone of a Ram temple at the once disputed Ram Janmabhoomi site on August 5, 2020.

After offering prayers to Ram Lalla at the makeshift temple, the prime minister reviewed the progress of the construction work.

Modi also performed a symbolic coronation of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita at the Ram Katha Park.

Speaking on the occasion, he said "The values inculcated by Lord Ram through his words, thoughts and rule are the inspiration for 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' (collective effort, inclusive growth)." The PM said Lord Ram's ideals are a beacon of light for people aspiring for a developed India in next 25 years and give the "courage to achieve the most difficult goals".

Asserting that a picture of Lord Ram, his brother Lakshman and Mother Sita is inscribed on the original copy of the Constitution, he said, "That is another guarantee of our constitutional rights." He, however, stressed that more the resolve of performing duties is strengthened, the more the concept of Ram Rajya will be realised.

"We will have to reiterate our resolve. We have to learn as much as we can from Shri Ram," he said. "I am happy that people of Ayodhya, entire UP and world are witnessing this event. As we are celebrating 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava', the determination like Lord Ram will take the country to new heights," he added.

Centre cancels FCRA licences of NGOs headed by Sonia Gandhi, Congress says move to ‘divert public attention’

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled the FCRA registration of two NGOs, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), headed by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi owing to irregularities, a senior government official said. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are also associated with the NGOs.

Registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act is mandatory to receive foreign funds. The cancellation makes the two NGOs ineligible to receive foreign funds.

After the June 15, 2020 Galwan incident, in which 20 soldiers were killed in clashes with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), when Rahul Gandhi sharpened his attack accusing the government of surrendering territory to China, the ruling BJP had accused the two Congress-linked NGOs of receiving foreign funds from the Chinese government in 2005-06. The MHA constituted an inter-Ministerial probe committee on July 8, 2020 to probe the allegations. Two years after the committee was formed, the MHA recently cancelled the registration of the two NGOs.

"There were several irregularities by the two NGOs in the way the FCRA registration was being used, following the probe, the registration was cancelled," the official said. The annual returns filed in December 2021 show that the NGOs did not receive any foreign donation in fiscal 2020-21 but the account balance stood at ₹11.5 crore for the RGCT and ₹13.5 crore for the RGF.

The Congress hit back at the Centre and said the move was aimed at diverting public attention from the main issues being faced by the country.

"They (Centre) recycle old charges against the RGF and RGCT. This is to defame the Congress and divert public attention from issues of day-to-day concern to them," said Congress general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh.

The economy is in deep crisis caused by spiralling prices, unemployment and a falling rupee, he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP reacted to the developments, saying that the Gandhi family and organisations linked to it cannot be above law.

Party spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the cancellation of the FCRA licenses “exposed” the corruption in these organisations.

He said that the Narendra Modi government had acted as per law and pointed out that the RGF had in the past accepted donations from controversial preacher Zakir Naik, the Chinese government and its embassy in Delhi and from Rana Kapoor—the founder of Yes Bank—who is currently under investigation for corruption.

He also alleged that former Congress president Sonia Gandhi had been running “the UPA government and the NGOs with extra constitutional authority” and further stated that these NGOs had received patronage from the then ruling dispensation as several Ministries and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) donated huge sums to them.

ISRO renames GSLV Mark-III as LVM-3

The Indian Space Research Organisation renamed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark -III as Launch Vehicle Mark-III, mainly to identify its task of placing satellites into a variety of orbits.

The LVM-3 rocket will also be used for India's maiden human space flight tentatively scheduled for late 2024 and is also emerging as a favourite for ISRO's commercial launches after the successful placing in orbits of 36 OneWeb satellites on Sunday.

"Earlier, the launch vehicles were named for a specific purpose, such as PSLV for putting polar satellites in orbit or GSLV for geostationary satellites,” a senior ISRO official said.

"The rocket no longer goes only to the geosynchronous orbit. A rocket can go anywhere, it does not have a fixed orbit to go anywhere—GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit), MEO (Medium Earth Orbit), LEO (Low Earth Orbit),” the official added.

The decision to rename the rocket was to remove the confusion regarding the type of orbits identified for launch.

"A GSLV – for the GEO orbit – will continue to be called so, but the GSLV-Mark III has been renamed as LVM3. The LVM3 will go everywhere —GEO, MEO, LEO, missions to the moon, sun,” the official said. LVM3 was used to put 36 OneWeb satellites into orbit on Sunday and will also be used for a similar mission next year.

I am standing to be British Prime Minister, says Rishi Sunak

Britain’s former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed he was standing to replace Liz Truss as Prime Minister.

“The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis,” he said on Twitter.

“That’s why I am standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister.”

Sunak was defeated by Truss in the race to replace Boris Johnson in September after losing an election held by members of the Conservative party across the country.

Even before declaring, Sunak had received more support from Conservative lawmakers than his rivals — former defence minister Penny Mordaunt and Johnson, who is attempting a comeback.

Sunak quit Johnson’s government in July, helping trigger a rebellion that bought him down.

“There will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of the government I lead and I will work day in and day out to get the job done,” he said in a statement.

“I am asking you for the opportunity to help fix our problems.”

In an accompanying vision statement, Sunak highlighted his track record of serving in the Cabinet, helping to steer the economy through the toughest of times with the COVID pandemic.

“The challenges we face now are even greater. But the opportunities — if we make the right choice — are phenomenal. I have the track record of delivery, a clear plan to fix the biggest problems we face and I will deliver on the promise of the 2019 manifesto,” he tweeted.

“There will be integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of the government I lead and I will work day in and day out to get the job done. I am asking you for the opportunity to help fix our problems,” he added.

Britain’s recently-resigned Home Secretary Indian-origin Suella Braverman came out in support of Rishi Sunak, as the candidate who can provide “unity, stability and efficiency” to the governing Conservatives.

In a boost to frontrunner Sunak and a blow to former prime minister Boris Johnson’s expected bid for Tory leadership, the former minister with significant support on the extreme right of Tory party said Johnson was no longer the best choice for the party or the country.

In Brief: 

Russian warplane falls on building in Siberia, 2 pilots die

A Russian warplane crashed into a residential building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing both crewmembers — the second incident in less than a week in which a combat jet has crashed in a residential area. Irkutsk Gov. Igor Kobzev said the plane came down on a private, two-story building housing two families. There were no casualties on the ground. The local branch of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said the Su-30 fighter jet crashed during a training flight, sparking a fire. A surveillance cam video posted on Russian social networks showed the fighter coming down in a nearly vertical dive. Other videos showed the building engulfed by flames and firefighters deployed to extinguish the blaze.

China unveils new leadership, dominated by key Xi Jinping allies

Chinese leader Xi Jinping began his unprecedented third five-year term in even firmer control of the ruling Communist Party after filling the newly announced Politburo Standing Committee with all of his allies. As many as four allies of Xi (69) were appointed to the PBSC that was announced after the first meeting of the new Central Committee. With two other allies continuing on the PBSC, this marks an unprecedented clean sweep of all seven positions on the all-powerful body, a first in Chinese Communist Party politics where power in the past was shared between different party factions, an arrangement shattered by Xi.

Evening Wrap will return tomorrow

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