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Dominant Kolkata register easy win over star-studded Bangalore

With this victory, KKR registered their third win of the season while RCB suffered their third defeat of IPL 2021.

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ABU DHABI: Andre Russell and Varun Chakaravarthy heroics with the ball was followed by masterful batting from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opening batsmen as they crushed Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) by 9 wickets, chasing the target of 92 in just 10 overs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer played innings of 48 and 41 respectively for Knight Riders. Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal got the only wicket for the RCB. With this victory, KKR has registered their third win of the season while RCB suffered their third defeat of IPL 2021. Chasing 92, KKR had the best possible start as both of their openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer displayed brilliant temperament and stunning flowing shots in the powerplay. They propelled KKR to 56 runs in the first six overs.

The lone wicket on the innings fell when Yuzvendra Chahal got the wicket of Gill, at the score of 82 in the 10th over. Gill returned to the pavilion after scoring 48 off 34 balls.

Soon Iyer finished the match in the next over with a four. The left-hander who was making his debut ended with 41 off just 27 balls. Earlier, Varun Chakaravarthy and Andre Russell starred with the bowl as Kolkata Knight Riders bowled out Royal Challengers Banglore to 92 in 19 overs. Chakaravarthy (3-13) and Russell (3-9) bamboozled the opposition with a perfect bowling display. For RCB, Devdutt Padikkal and KS Bharat played innings of 24 and 16 respectively.

Opting to bat first, RCB had a shaky start when their captain Virat Kohli (5) was trapped in front of wickets for LBW by Prasidh Krishna in the second over of the innings. The team in blue lost another wicket on the last ball of the Powerplay as Lockie Ferguson sent back Padikkal (22 off 20) after he edged to the keeper.

Srikar Bharat and Glen Maxwell tried to stabilise the ship of RCB for the few overs but Andre Russell soon struck and dismantled the opposition. The big West Indian first sent back Bharat to the pavilion in 9th over. And then after the timeout in the very same over he bowled AB de Villiers for a first-ball duck to turn the momentum of the match in KKR’s favour completely.

Varun Chakaravarthy then struck in the 12th over as he knocked Maxwell and then Hasaranga on two consecutive deliveries. Sachin Baby soon followed his teammates to the pavilion.

Kyle Jamieson was run out after Chakaravarthy got a feather of a finger on the ball. Harshal Patel (12) and Mohammed Siraj were last to fall as RCB innings was completed with one over still to go.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Banglore (Devdutt Padikkal 24, KS Bharat 16; Varun Chakaravarthy 3-13 Andre Russell 3-9) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Shubman Gill 48, Venkatesh Iyer 41; Yuzvendra Chahal 1-23).

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Worked hard on my swing yesterday in nets, says Shaheen Afridi

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Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi, who stole the show on Sunday with his brilliant bowling against India in the ongoing T20 World Cup, said he worked hard on polishing his skills in nets before the match.

Shaheen Afridi got the better of Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) and India were reduced to 6/2 in the third over.

The Pakistan pacer revealed that the plan was to pick early wickets and come back in the death overs to scalp some more. “Glad I was able to execute the team plan. The plan was to pick early wickets and then come back in the death and pick wickets again,” Shaheen Afridi told host broadcaster Star Sports after mid-innings.

“I worked hard on my swing yesterday in the nets. It becomes easy for batsmen if it doesn’t. I didn’t mind going for runs in order to pick up wickets,” he added.India skipper Virat Kohli once again showed what it takes to be a big match player as he hit a quality 57 to take India to a respectable 151/7 in the 20 overs against Pakistan.

Shaheen, who dismissed Kohli in the 19th over, said the ball is coming nicely onto the bat and hopefully Pakistan will be able to chase the score easily.

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Babar, Shaheen steal show, Pakistan thrash India by 10 wickets

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Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in their opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match Before this game, Pakistan had failed to beat India in the history of the men’s World Cup but the Babar-led side came out with flying colours on Sunday on the back of some sensational performance after Shaheen Shah Afridi’s show with the ball.

Chasing 152, Pakistan got off to a steady start as openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam took Pakistan to 35 after five overs. The two batsmen looked in great touch and steered the side to 71/0 after the end of 10 overs. Both Rizwan (79) and Babar (68) not only hit timely boundaries but also made sure they rotate the strike at regular intervals to put pressure on India. Rizwan and Babar continued to pile further pressure as they both smashed respective half-centuries to take Pakistan over the 100-run mark without losing a wicket.

Earlier, put into bat first, India posted 151/7 in their 20 overs on the back of skipper Kohli’s fifty. The India captain once again showed what it takes to be a big match player as he hit a quality 57 to take his side over the 150-run mark.

India got off to the worst start possible as it was once again a left-arm pacer who came in to haunt the Indian top order after Mohammad Amir had rocked the lineup in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.

Suryakumar Yadav then joined Kohli in the middle and the hopes were high from them. Both batters put on a brief 25-run stand for the third wicket, but as soon as the innings started streamlining for India, Hasan Ali dismissed Suryakumar (11), leaving the Men in Blue at 31/3.

Rishabh Pant then came together with Kohli and at the halfway mark, India’s score read 60/3. Pant changed the tempo of India’s innings with two sixes in the 12th over bowled by Hasan Ali and the Men in Blue started to gain some momentum.

However, Pant went for a shot too many and he perished off the bowling of Shadab Khan after playing a knock of 39, reducing India to 84/4 in the 13th over.

Kohli brought up his 29th half-century in the 18th over of the innings and he changed his batting gears upon reaching the landmark. Jadeja departed after scoring 13, and Shaheen once again changed the game as he took the key wicket of skipper Kohli (57).

Brief Scores: India 151/7 (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-31) vs Pakistan 152/0 (Mohammad Rizwan 79*, Babar Azam 68*; Jasprit Bumrah 0-22)

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EVERYONE IS EXCITED TO PERFORM WELL IN QUALIFIERS, SAYS DHEERAJ SINGH

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Indian U-23 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh expressed his happiness on being in the U23 camp in Dubai for the forthcoming qualifiers for the AFC U23 Asian Cup.

The U23 camp in Dubai for the forthcoming qualifiers for the AFC U23 Asian Cup comprises 20 players who have been part of Indian Arrows, and a total of 18 players who have been part of the AIFF Academy set-up some time or the other. “Everyone waits to meet their childhood friends once again – don’t they? We have all been friends or brothers for a long. Life is always good when you are surrounded by friends. The exceptional part among us is that there is no rivalry ever between any of us. The new boys have also experienced it,” said Dheeraj.

“Everyone is excited and looking forward to use this opportunity to perform well in the qualifiers. We are having a great environment inside the team. And we have got good new players adding up quality to the team,” he added.

Indian midfielder Princeton Rebello, who wasn’t a part of the U-17 World Cup squad but was part of the Academy system for the U19 National Team, and also the Indian Arrows, stated that he is ‘honoured’ to wear the National colours.

“It feels great to be back with the squad. It’s an honour for me to wear the national colours again. I will give my everything, and everyone is motivated to do well,” said Rebello.

India will play Oman in their first match of the Qualifiers of the AFC U23 Asian Cup on October 24 which will be followed by matches against UAE and Kyrgyz Republic respectively.

The U23 camp in Dubai for the forthcoming qualifiers for the AFC U23 Asian Cup comprises 20 players who have been part of Indian Arrows.

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My dream was always to do something like Ayrton Senna, says F1 champion Louis Hamilton

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Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he always dreamt of featuring in Formula One and wanted to replicate former Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna’s feat.

Hamilton, who has 100 race wins to his name, said to have seven titles under his belt is “crazy” as he didn’t think of achieving the milestone when he started racing. “My dream was always to get to Formula One, to do something like Ayrton Senna — he had three world titles. And then to see myself match him at one point, and then go beyond that,” CNN quoted Hamilton as saying.

“To think that I’m here today, where most people don’t even get one championship and to have seven is very, very crazy still,” he added.

The Formula One world champion, who is eyeing the eighth title when he takes on the field in United States Grand Prix, said he competes in every tournament as if it was his first.

“But every year when I come back, it’s like a reset. Like, I’m not a champion. I have no titles. I’m going for the first,” said Hamilton.

“That’s kind of my mentality. But an eighth? I don’t know. I never really say,” he added.

Hamilton competes in Formula One for Mercedes. In July this year, Hamilton had signed a two-year contract extension with Mercedes.

The deal will keep him in F1 with the Silver Arrows until at least the end of 2023.

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INDIA, ENGLAND TO CONCLUDE TEST SERIES NEXT YEAR

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The fifth match of the Test Series between India and England’s men’s teams has been rescheduled and will now take place in July 2022.

The match, which was supposed to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID-19 cases inside the camp.

With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)Last month, Indian physio Yogesh Parmar had contracted COVID-19 ahead of the fifth Test against England.

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T20 WC: Top order key for both sides in Sunday’s India vs Pakistan clash

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In the T20 World Cup opening match of the second group between India and Pakistan, a big responsibility will be on the top order of both the teams, whose top order went is a 75 percent guarantee to win the match.

India’s top order will be headed by Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Surya Kumar Yadav while Pakistan’s top order will be led by Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhr Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez.

If we look at the performance of the last ten matches, Pakistan’s top order has scored a lot of runs, while the Indian top order has improved their strike rate tremendously in this format. Looking at the performance of the last ten matches, Rohit Sharma`s SR is around 150 and Virat Kohli`s 145 while Surya Kumar Yadav’s SR has reached around 170. Although there is also a truth that Surya has played only four matches against England and Sri Lanka, in which he did not get a chance to bat on one occasion.

Rohit also played two 60 plus innings against NZ, while England and Australia batsmen have not been able to get out Virat Kohli in three out of four innings. KL Rahul is the only player in the top order who has the lowest average and strike rate in these ten matches. The big reason for this is his miserably failure against England.

On the other hand, Mohammad Rizwan has been the highest run-scorer in both the teams while Babar Azam has been second in this order but both of them have a much lower strike rate than Virat and Rohit. This should not at all mean that these players do not have the ability to improve the strike rate. Who can forget Babar Azam’s innings against South Africa in Centurion when Babar scored a century with a strike rate of over 200.

Similarly, his innings in Nottingham was an example of a good strike rate. Similarly, Rizwan was also successful in bringing his strike rate around 155 in both these innings. If not, many runs have been scored with the bat of Fakhr Zaman, then he has left all the players of his team behind in these ten matches in terms of strike rate. Be it his 8-ball 26 in Nottingham or his 34-ball 60 in Centurion. He has really done his team balle-balle.

Talking about Mohammad Hafeez, he has disappointed in these ten matches. In batting average as well as in strike rate. Fortunately, he has proved to be a very economical bowler in the bowling.

Obviously, looking at the T20 format, Team India’s top order is more effective due to their better strike rate.

The much-awaited high-octane clash between India and Pakistan in the upcoming T20 World Cup will take place on October 24 (Sunday) in Dubai. Pakistan has not defeated India in a World Cup match across both ODIs and T20Is.

In Group 2, India will then face New Zealand and Afghanistan, the emerging force in T20 cricket, plus the winners of Group B and runners-up from Group A.

The ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman got underway on Sunday and the final will be played in Dubai on November 14.

Pakistan’s top order has scored a lot of runs, while the Indian top order has improved their strike rate tremendously in this format. Looking at the performance of the last ten matches.

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