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Shikhar Dhawan becomes fastest Indian opener to reach 6000 ODI runs

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Shikhar Dhawan became the fastest Indian opener to reach the 6000-run mark in ODI cricket, crossing the milestone in the series opener against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.

The Indian skipper went past former India captain Sourav Ganguly (160 innings) and Rohit Sharma (200 innings) to reach the milestone in 140 innings.

Dhawan is now the second fastest opener in the world to cross the feat behind Hashim Amla who went past the mark in just 126 innings. Dhawan is fourth on the all-time list behind Amla (126), Virat Kohli (136) and Kane Williamson (139).

The 35-year-old who also became the oldest Indian on captaincy debut, is the fifth Indian opener to cross 6000 behind Sachin Tendulkar (15310), Sourav Ganguly (9146), Virender Sehwag (7240) and Rohit Sharma (7238).

Incidentally, Dhawan also notched up 1000 ODI runs against Sri Lanka when he crossed 17 runs in the series opener. He became the fastest to the mark in 17 innings, pipping Amla who crossed 1000 against Sri Lanka in 18 innings.

Fastest to 6000 (overall) as opener
Hashim Amla (SA) – 123 innings Hashim Amla (SA) – 126 innings
Virat Kohli (IND) – 136 innings Shikhar Dhawan (IND) – 140 innings
Kane Williamson (NZ) – 139 innings Sourav Ganguly (IND) – 160 innings
Shikhar Dhawan (IND) – 140 innings Graeme Smith (SA) – 161 innings
Vivian Richards – 141 innings Desmond Haynes (WI) – 162 innings

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Harness racing selections: Sunday, August 1

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Two meetings to look at on Sunday, with my attention at Marburg and Cranbourne.

The best bets for the respective programs are down below.

Marburg

Best bet: Race Two Number 1 Mustang Dude
The best on the card, and quite comfortably too. His recent runs have come at Redcliffe, placing three back after getting the box seat sit. The last couple have been plain but he hasn’t been helped by barriers. He gets the inside gate this time around and has enough early speed to hold up and prove hard to get past.

Next-best: Race One Number 1 The Last Starfire
He gets a perfect set-up here to bounce back into the winners’ list. He hasn’t won in a tick under 12 months, but the set-up here looks ideal with the lead his for the taking with a positive steer. He led and felt the pinch at Redcliffe last time but he does get such an ideal scenario here. A soft lead on a track where if you lead, there’s a good chance you’ll win.

Value: Race Three Number 6 Okanes Devil
I’m happy to have a small speck each way on this mare. She hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in recent times, but she did run a game fourth here three-back when attempting to lead throughout. She draws inside the second row and follows out a fast beginner, so should she land leaders back, she’ll be dangerous.

Cranbourne

Best bet: Race Four Number 2 Ultimate Me
He went 2/2 at Cranbourne and I’m confident he makes 3/3 with Chris Alford to steer. He spanked them two-back at Melton before going to Maryborough and was game in defeat when second in a fast mile rate. I suspect he finds the front and will take a power of beating from there.

Next-best: Race Seven Number 7 Here Comes Kyvalley
He’ll need luck in the run from outside the front row, but he’s a smart trotter that will take beating on current form. He snagged back last start at Kilmore and worked to the line well when second in a race dominated on speed. If he gets the right run in transit, he’ll take beating.

Value: Race Three Number 1 Mister Macedon
A lightly-raced four-year-old that has done little wrong in his career to date, placing in 11 of 14 career outings. His latest run came last Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton when wide with cover late and working to the line strongly. He can hold a forward spot from the pole and each-way at double figures appeals.

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David Blough, Lions rooting on Melissa Gonzalez will warm your heart

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David Blough and Detroit Lions teammates cheer on his wife Melissa Gonzalez

This is the type of viral social media content we are here for. Obviously, the whole global pandemic has made things especially difficult for the Olympics to happen in the first place. They were postponed by a year. Even though we have a vaccine for COVID-19, many of the same health restrictions are in place, as the virus mutates and impact the livelihoods of everyone involved.

Though Blough is not excepted to play much in his third season out of Purdue, it is not like he can travel across the world in the latter part of July. He has a football season to prepare for. While he would have loved nothing more than to have been in Tokyo in-person, it is great to see he and his teammates root on Gonzalez, as she tries to fulfill her lifelong dream of winning Olympic gold.

Here is to Gonzalez being one step closer to becoming an Olympic medalist for Colombia this year.

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Blue Jays’ Manoah to start Saturday vs. Royals after activation from IL

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Toronto Blue Jays rookie pitcher Alek Manoah has been activated from the 10-day injured list and will start Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the team announced.

In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays optioned Trent Thornton to triple-A to make room for Manoah.

Manoah had been placed on the 10-day injured list with a bruised back on July 21 after he slipped and fell down rain-soaked dugout steps at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. He successfully completed a simulated game and is hopeful to start against the Royals in the Blue Jays’ first home game at the Rogers Centre since 2020.

The rookie hurler was also out at the end of June due to a a five-game suspension he received after an ejection against the Baltimore Orioles on June 19.

Manoah, Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, has thrived in his first season, boasting a 2-1 record with a 2.90 ERA and 52 strikeouts across 40.1 innings.

Live coverage of Blue Jays vs. Royals begins at 3:07 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.

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