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Hamilton: Hanuma Vihari, who scored a gritty hundred in the ongoing three-day practice game against New Zealand XI, on Friday said he is ready to bat anywhere for India in the upcoming two-match Test series starting February 21.Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, who are expected to fight it out for the opener’s slot in the first Test against the Black Caps, came out with disappointing performances as they were out for a duck each on the opening day of the warm-up game.With Rohit Sharma out injured, Mayank Agarwal, who also failed with the bat, will have a new partner against the Black Caps.Coming in at No. 6, Vihari scored a hundred and alongwith Cheteshwar Pujara, shared a 195-run stand for the sixth wicket and took India out of troubled waters, who at one stage were struggling at 38/4.“As a player, I am prepared to bat anywhere. As of now, I have not been informed anything. As I said before as well, if the team requires me to bat wherever, I am ready to bat,” said Vihari, who retired after scoring 101.“Initially, I thought the extra bounce surprised us. (In) the couple of matches I played against New Zealand A, the pitch didn’t do as much as what it did in the morning today,” said Vihari on the challenging wicket on offer.“Once we adjusted, me and Puji (Pujara’s nickname), we got our eye in, then we knew we had to bat long and that’s exactly what we did,” Vihari said.“Maybe we will get pitches like these because New Zealand’s strength is their fast bowling. They have a very experienced bowling attack but it’s good that we got some time in the middle and we experienced these conditions.“They were tough and it’s good to experience tough conditions before the series and we’re happy with the way the day went,” he said. IANSAlso Read: Hanuma Vihari Joins Tendulkar in The Elite List After 2nd Innings FiftyAlso Watch: International Day of Women and Girls in Science observed at Assam Startup the Nest in Guwahati
Senior forward Tara Steinbauer scored 10 of UW’s first 20 points en route to finishing with a game-high 19 points and five rebounds.[/media-credit]The state of Wisconsin gave Illinois quite a series of beatings on Sunday, ending the day with a 3-0 record versus rival Illinois teams. The Packers are headed to the Super Bowl after beating Chicago, the UW men’s basketball team crushed Northwestern and got its first ever triple-double from Josh Gasser and the women’s basketball team gained sole possession of second place in the Big Ten with a 60-47 victory over Illinois (7-13, 2-5 in the Big Ten).Second place is quite a few rungs up the ladder when you consider where the Badgers – now at the midpoint of Big Ten play – began the season. Wisconsin (11-9, 6-2 Big Ten) had a 2-7 record in early December but has since gone 9-2 overall and 6-2 in conference play, trailing only the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans. “We are at the midway point. We’re 6-2; we’re at a good position for a bye week. The kids have earned a couple days off, but we haven’t done anything yet,” head coach Lisa Stone said. “We have 8 games left, and we’re on a mission. I have a great senior class that wants to go out with something that hasn’t been done here in a long time.”Senior forward Tara Steinbauer had a terrific game, leading all scorers with 19 points. Steinbauer scored 10 of the Badgers’ first 20 points and also contributed five rebounds and three assists over the course of the game.The first half was a back and forth battle between the two teams, as well as Steinbauer and Illinois forward Karisma Penn. Penn, only a sophomore, entered the game averaging 17.1 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game and scored 13 points in the first half on an electric 6-of-7 shooting. Illinois led at the break 29-28.The second half looked poised for a down-to-the-wire finish until Penn – who hadn’t picked up a foul the entire game – picked up three in a span of less than two minutes.“Those fouls changed the whole complexion of the game. I don’t understand it,” Illinois head coach Jolette Law said. “You have no fouls and you blink your eyes, and in less than two minutes, a minute and 37 seconds to be exact, you pick up three fouls. I don’t understand it; it’s just the way it goes.”Penn left the game with Illinois leading 33-32 with 16:30 left to play. Unfortunately for the Illini, they would only score 14 more points the rest of the game. The lack of Penn’s inside presence allowed the Badgers to dominate the paint the rest of the night.While the loss of Penn was a huge advantage for the Badgers, their execution of all facets of the game was what really propelled them to a victory. Wisconsin committed a season-low in turnovers – only six – and shot 94 percent from the free throw line, making 16-of-17.“I challenged our team to shoot a minimum 80 percent from the line today, and they answered the call,” Stone said. “Free throws are going to be something particularly [important] in the Big Ten. These games are not going to be blowouts. They are going to be close, and you have to capitalize at the free throw line.”Senior forward Lin Zastrow and sophomore guard Taylor Wurtz joined Steinbauer in the double-digit points category for Wisconsin. Zastrow had 10 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds and game-high four assists. Wurtz had 12 points and was 2-of-5 from behind the arc, along with a game-high two steals.“It’s a collective effort, and I like what I am seeing develop. We have a ways to go, but [the girls] kind of know where they are at now, and that’s what you want this time of the year,” Stone said. “Keep getting better and keep that chemistry headed in the right direction.”