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India Asian Champions Again, Lift Unimoni Asia Cup-2018!

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It is only logical that the unbeaten team of the Unimoni Asia Cup tournament become the eventual champions. India was the only team that remained unbeaten and in the Final tonight became the worthy champions beating an upbeat Bangladesh by 3 wickets. However, the highly competitive match was not without its moments of worries or even scares. First, it was a risky toss to win owing to India’s decision to field first, because in the slow pitches of UAE a total around 250 often proved to be insurmountable. Second, Bangladesh did show the promise of running away with the match while batting. Third, in the Indian innings loss of Dhawan and Rayadu early and the departure of Rohit while in full flow raised scares for an Indian conquest. And then the fall of Dhoni at the score 160/5 put the onus of a victory on the bowlers again.
Put into bat Bangladesh started a brilliant opening partnership of 120 runs in just 20 overs and looked set for a total of over 250 runs. However, all the Indian spi…

Unimoni Asia Cup-2018: No India-Pakistan Final, It’s Vs Bangladesh!

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In the last Super Four match of the Unimoni Asia Cup-2018 played in Abu Dhabi tonight Bangladesh played like tigers overcoming a spirited-in-splits Pakistan by 37 runs. It was a virtual semi-final with the winner set to meet India in the Final to be played in Dubai on Friday, 28th September, 2018. Seemingly Pakistan could never recover psychologically from the dumps inflicted by arch-rivals India, not once but two times. Their batting was lackadaisical and painfully slow this time too. More importantly for millions of fans all over the globe, a possible third encounter between India and Pakistan in the tournament was snuffed out.  Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first. After a shaky start they finally managed to put up a competitive 240-run target for Pakistan thanks to a glorious but unlucky innings of 99 by Musfiqur Rahim and a dashing 60 by Mohammad Mithun. Pakistan bowled them out in 48.5 overs. In reply Pakistan also tottered at the start losing three wickets quickly. T…

Asia Cup Cricket: India Pulverize Pakistan, Enter Final of Unimoni Asia Cup!

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India enter Unimoni Asia Cup Final to be played on 28th September, 2018 beating Pakistan by 9 wickets, their second win against the arch-rivals in the tournament. Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma hit a scintillating partnership of 210 runs and Pakistan had to engineer a run-out to separate them. In the process Shikhar hit his second century of the tournament with other consistent good knocks. Consecutive explosive knocks by captain Rohit Sharma is wonderful as compared to his earlier habit of following a terrific knock in one innings by a failure in the next. His century too was brilliant and worthy of a captain making the win a mere formality. 
Never saw such an extremely one-sided India-Pakistan encounter and such severe Indian mauling against Pakistan. Their first encounter was also one-sided, but that was largely due to an absolute Pakistan batting collapse. In this match Pakistan started shakily or rather over-cautiously, but finally put up a total which could be cal…

Asia Cup Cricket: What A Relief, India In Super Four!

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Yes, it is indeed a huge relief that India have reached the Super Four stage of the Unimoni Asia Cup-2018 and that they are going to play Pakistan at least two times, the big one coming up tomorrow in Dubai. Because, Team Hong Kong has suffered two losses--one at the hands of Pakistan and the other to India tonight, the latter being a most unwelcome thriller for Indian fans. This sense of relief owes its origins to two basic reasons, like it or not.
First, after the ODI series loss and the Test series disaster in England Team India has suffered a telling loss of credibility. There, only captain Virat Kohli played with some of the bowlers in tandem, and now here in UAE even the captain is missing with the one day specialists brought in again. Therefore, you never know who in Team India will play and who will play how. Upsets are common in tournaments, and last night Afghanistan eliminated Sri Lanka, one of the main contenders for the Cup despite everything. Tonight's match was almo…

Cricket: Asia Cup-2018 Begins, Bangladesh Crush Sri Lanka in Inaugural Match!

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The 14th edition of Asia Cup of One Day Internationals (ODI) between cricket playing nations of Asia began tonight, the 15th of September, 2018 in United Arab Emirates. UAE hosts this tournament for the third time due to well-known reasons. In the inaugural match played at the Dubai International stadium Bangladesh crushed Sri Lanka by 137 runs. Bangladesh, batting first, innings was built mainly on a superlative 144 runs by Musfiqur Rahim who was the last man out setting a competitive target of 261 runs. Sri Lanka began very shakily and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals including a  run-out, the whole team finally getting bowled out for a mere 124 . With its string of successes in last two years Bangladesh has become the team to watch out for in this two-week tournament. It was nice to see Lasith Malinga back in the Sri Lanka team and also among wickets again.
Asia Cup this year has six teams with Hong Kong joining the five full ODI members—India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangl…

A Curious Case For Delays!

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I made a discovery of sorts recently! You know, we have certain likes and dislikes, and we have been traditionally used to the reactions concomitant on these. However, I found out that such likes and dislikes are specific to the prevailing situation or circumstances. Depending on the prevailing situation or circumstances our traditional likes could very well convert into unconventional dislikes or our traditional irritation could translate into new-found pleasure. I do of course run the risk of suffering from naiveté as you all may know this or be experiencing such deferential distinctions. But somehow I am hell-bent on propagating my discovery to one and all.
Our crucial keyword here is ‘delay’. Almost always, delays cause irritation or dislikes, and fury in extreme cases. You hate when your train or flight is delayed; you hate waiting when somebody’s train or flight is delayed; you hate to be kept waiting for a meeting; you wholeheartedly dislike late comers in office; you get furio…

Test Cricket: Team India Where Only The Captain Performs And Selects!

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There was a lot of hue and cry about the humiliating loss suffered by India at Lords in London against England in the second Test match during 9-13 August 2018. Tremendous expressions of anguish surfaced at every possible public platform and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) even threatened to take the team captain and coach to task. However, it was much ado about nothing. It was just a loss like many other such losses over the decades due to absolute team failure, more pertinently batting failure. Furthermore, the match was severely affected by rains with the first day and few other sessions washed out. India was put into bat under heavy overcast conditions that hastened the end of an already battered batting line-up. Curiously when England in reply started their first innings it was bright sunshine, and with an impossible target when India replied in their second innings it was again heavy overcast conditions. So, it was an aberration or rather a freakish match not li…

“Because I Needed to Buy...!”

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Got late in office, but it was not a problem. Because I needed to buy a kilo of potatoes only which was crucial for the dish I planned to cook that night.
It was late evening when I finally left office. Across the road was the Esplanade metro railway station in Kolkata. As I descended the final steps leading to the station platform one train roared out. To my chagrin it was an air-conditioned rake. Commuting on Kolkata metro you needed a lot of luck to deserve an AC rake, because it still abounded in non-ac rakes, and if you wanted the pleasure of paying a minimum of just five bucks for a metro ride, arguably the cheapest rate across the globe, you had to pay a price in terms of lack of comfort and a consistently erratic time schedule. Also, once aboard the non-ac trains in the rush and crush you had to witness the sliding doors making at least 3 attempts to shut under normal circumstances at almost every stop and you had the unenviable option of cooling yourself with your own free-flo…

The Breakfast Show!

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Normally a breakfast show would refer to those morning shows telecast regularly on your channels. However, the point sought to be stressed upon here is that every single home of the millions around the globe does have its own breakfast show. And, that breakfast show is very important for various reasons.
It is the first ‘break’ for you to have without ‘breaks’. A time when you wouldn’t like to switch on the television set unless compelled by profession or addiction. When you wouldn’t want to remain glued to your digital devices, because like you those would also need to be charged. When you wouldn’t expect the door bell to ring much. When you wouldn’t expect unwelcome or surprise guests to land up. When, you would be far removed from the fear of being disturbed by the stakeholders seeking payments.
A real good time to unwind and freshen up; to have your belly filled with the food you would want; to relish a rare moment of togetherness with your entire family; to rejoice with the feeli…

Highs and Lows of Cricket and a Commercial Break!

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After some terrific cricket and some horrific related incidents during the first three months of 2018 it’s time now for a commercial break. Well, not exactly though for millions of avid fans! They have been patiently waiting for this most commercially viable form of cricket since the last season. Come April-May for over a decade now,and nobody can stop these fans for going gaga over this movie-styled entertainers of the sport.
Right, we are talking about the 11th Season of the Indian Premiere League-2018 T20 Cricket tournament starting from 7th April till the end of next month. Many fans would be excited this time for the return of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) with the former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni back as captain of CSK and Ajinkya Rahane replacing the tainted Steve Smith as captain of RR while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson replaced the tainted David Warner as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Shikhar Dhawan was earlier tipped for the pos…

The Discerning Commuter!

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He was not sure. He could never deny that he never wanted it. He needed it, particularly at times when he was stressed and tired. However, he was not at all sure what way he should act in general.
Yes, Amlan considered himself as a deserving candidate since he was fast approaching the life landmark. He was not there now, but it was not that far off either. And, most of the other candidates often showed a bullish attitude which always made his will stronger.
The evening that day was very warm and humid. And to add to it the rush hour lingered on somewhat late into the night. Amlan couldn’t get a seat and had to retreat to the farthest corner of the metro train coach near the coupling. There he found some standing space with his briefcase tucked in between his legs. As he leaned against the side panel near the coupling opening he watched quietly the movement around those seats that meant so much or so little for him. He was not sure, he made sure.
The occupier at the other end of the fou…

“You Are Invited...!”

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We could see the activities down in the longish courtyard of our colony. The courtyard was surrounded by buildings divided into blocks on three sides with the front side having the main entrance gate. Comfortably seated in the portico of our third floor quarter we often took a window view of the goings-on in the courtyard around the garden located in the center. This time it looked like preparations for some social ceremony. Soon we knew.
It was going to be the marriage ceremony of the colony secretary’s only son. We heard it not from the horse’s mouth as yet, but from other neighbours. We knew the secretary’s family housed in the ground floor of the same block quite well; I was often talking to the secretary on various issues including domestic ones while my wife was friendly with both him and his wife. So we expected to be invited for sure. And, so it came.
One morning about three days before the marriage I was as usual going through the daily newspapers and my wife busy in the kitc…

How To Protect Yourself From Online Fraud in 2018!

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Credit Card Frauds: A Real Close Shave! 
(I had this experience 3 years back. However, this problem is raging all over including India. To create awareness I'm reproducing this article along with the link. Plus, a comprehensive article on  "Protect Yourself From Fraud in 2018" has been published below with the link. We thank Anna Kucirkova, ex-DCCU, for her kind permission to utilize the article for our readers. The 9-step guide is very useful for all with other relevant information for US and other countries.)
Only the other day we were discussing with a few bankers about the fact that online frauds or crimes are still very low in India compared to advanced countries. We justified this with another fact that millions of Indians are still ignorant or have no online presence. And just the next day I had a close shave from a potentially serious credit card fraud. We have heard a lot about card protection in terms of safeguarding against phishing or seemingly genuine emails a…

The Bloated Musician!

He had just two lousy obsessions in his artistic existential being. First, he believed firmly in what he said, ‘East or the West, I am the best!’ Second, he always wanted others to talk him, hype him, move around him and worship him like an artist…nope…like the Hero!
He learned the classical method of playing his Indian instrument through a plethora of gurus so that he could finally perform on stage. With only a few stage performances he ballooned into an ill-gotten pomposity thus creating a chain of ill-fated disciples and making quite a few ill-humoured connections. Like you build your down lines!


He managed to capture several concerts outside India too through his connections that were desperate enough to help him have those in order to get rid of him permanently. Now, with his foreign trump cards he started manufacturing more hype for himself.
When performing on stage he was totally focused on the audience rather than on his music. Of course, he wanted his audience to applaud …

Milord O' Landlord--The Spit-Fire!

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Even the closed bedroom door could not shield the shrill of the door bell. I woke up and switched on my mobile to check the time. It was very early. We had been new to the place and the visits of the usual newspaper vendor or milkman or maid or the laundry guy had not yet been formalized. Who could it be? I got up and trudged lazily to the door. Felt happy that my wife was still sleeping peacefully. I closed the bedroom door behind me, and as I did so the shrill of the door bell caught me squarely. That someone outside had to be an impatient customer.
I opened the main door and was surprised to find our landlord right in front. His short and thin figure was upright; his longish face with a hairline mustache showed unmistakable signs of agitation and his eyes, still puffy from sleep, were blazing.
“Good morning! ...” I began in the customary way. He ignored it completely, “This has never ever happened in my house! How is this possible?” “What happened...?” “Just cannot imagine! Preposter…