I-League: Aizawl, Sudeva optimistic ahead of crucial clash - The Daily Guardian
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I-League: Aizawl, Sudeva optimistic ahead of crucial clash

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Kalyani (West Bengal) [India], February 13 (ANI): Aizawl FC and Sudeva Delhi FC will face each other in a mid-table clash at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani on Sunday as both sides will look to push themselves above the other in the I-League standings.
After their goalless draw against Churchill Brothers, Aizawl were stunned by TRAU 1-0, thus lowering the former champions to the eighth position with eight points from seven games. With four rounds remaining in the first phase, a victory for Yan Law’s side will give them a chance to make up for lost ground and begin moving into the top half of the standings to eventually fight for the top six spots.
Speaking at the virtual pre-match meet, Law said, “We were fantastic in the last game. The better team lost. The boys were fantastic, tactically disciplined. We kept most of the ball and creating chances. We just failed to convert. Despite the defeat, I am really proud of the players, and if we convert our chances, I am sure we can win this competition.”
“The gap between the second and us is just three points. We are really hungry for a win, and I am sure if pick up a victory, it is going to change the table completely. I am really happy with the attitude and mentality that the players have shown in training and am hoping for a positive result. We respect Sudeva Delhi. They have a brilliant squad. The fact that they have all Indian players is even more impressive,” Law added.
Vice-Captain of Aizawl, Zuidika said, “Immediately after the last game, we were left with our heads down. However, we have moved on. Both mentally and physically, I believe the team feels good, much more positive, and we are preparing very well.”
Sudeva Delhi FC put up an eye-catching display in their last game as they beat Chennai City FC 4-0. The newcomers loom in seventh place with eight points from six games but have a chance to make it a memorable debut campaign by making it to the top six. After getting a 10-day rest, Chencho Dorji’s all-Indian contingent will be raring to get on the field and win the game against the former I-League champs.
Speaking at the virtual pre-match meet, head coach Dorji said, “The mood in the camp is good. We have watched a lot of our game tapes and worked on avoiding the mistakes. The players are rested well, and now, are looking forward to the next game against Aizawl.”
“It is important to keep picking up points. One more loss and we could be at the bottom of the league. Aizawl play well when they are on the ball. We need to keep our focus on defence and make sure we take our chances in front of the goal,” he added. (ANI)

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SEAT BROKEN BY GLENN MAXWELL’S SIX TO BE AUCTIONED FOR CHARITY

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WELLINGTON: Australia star batsman Glenn Maxwell’s whirlwind 31-ball 70 not only tore apart the Kiwis bowling attack in the third T20I, but also one of his sixes broke a seat in the stands as he smashed 28 runs off a James Neesham over.

After a string of low scores, Maxwell entered demolition mode in the third T20I and launched two mammoth sixes in the 17th over. One of those two sixes was hit with sheer power and ended up breaking a seat at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

The seat which Maxwell destroyed during his sensational knock against New Zealand will be put up for auction. After the game, Maxwell signed the seat so it can be auctioned off for charity.

Riding on skipper Aaron Finch, Maxwell and Ashton Agar’s performances, Australia bounced back in the series with a comfortable win over New Zealand.

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AHEAD OF THE FOURTH TEST ENGLAND PLAYERS FALL SICK

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AHMEDABAD: Ahead of the fourth test, England’s campaign against India has been disrupted by a sickness bug that has swept through the camp.

A sudden rise in temperature here has affected the visitors with a few members, including assistant coach Paul Collingwood, reportedly suffering from diarrhoea.

England captain Joe Root confirmed that a bug has hit the camp without confirming what it was or how many were affected. “There’s been a little bit of stuff flying around. We’ll keep monitoring it. To be honest, I don’t know exactly who’s been affected badly at this stage but it’s just really important we try and give everyone the best chance of being available for selection ahead of this game,” Root told British media.

India captain Virat Kohli, however, confirmed that India players are fit and fine with none of the players contracting any ailment.

“There are no health concerns or health issues. Everyone is fit and fine. Probably, (England players) would have been caught by a change in weather. It has been pretty hot over the last couple of days. It was pretty pleasant the first few days,” Kohli said.

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RAHUL FIRM AT THE SECOND SPOT, KOHLI MOVES TO SIXTH

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New Zealand left-hander Devon Conway and opener Martin Guptill may have missed out on centuries in the first two T20Is of their home series against Australia, but the duo made significant gains in the latest ICC men’s T20I rankings. India batsman KL Rahul has retained his second spot in the batsmen rankings while skipper Virat Kohli has moved one spot to attain the sixth spot.

Conway’s 99 not out in the Christchurch opener has helped him gain 46 spots and reach 17th position after just eight matches while Guptill, who has reached as high as second in the past, has gained three slots to reach 11th position after his knock of 97 in Dunedin. In what is a chance for both sides to prepare for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India, New Zealand took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and had some other fine performances too that resulted in significant gains for their players.

Glenn Philips and Jimmy Neesham have moved up in the list for batsmen while Tim Southee (up to one place to sixth), Mitchell Santner (up to two places to seventh), Ish Sodhi (up to three places to 11th), and Trent Boult (up 24 places to 49th) have progressed in the bowlers’ list.

For Australia, Marcus Stoinis’s knock of 78 in the second match sees him gain 77 places to reach 110th position. Matthew Wade (up from 132nd to 118th) among batsmen and Jhye Richardson (re-entered at 115th) among bowlers are the others to gain from the mid-series update as per the new system which sees a weekly update for all women’s player rankings on Tuesday and those for men on Wednesday.

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NEVER INTENDED TO INSULT ANY LEAGUE: STEYN APOLOGISES FOR IPL COMMENT

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MUMBAI: After sparking controversy over his remarks on the Indian Premier League (IPL), South Africa pacer Dale Steyn on Wednesday issued an apology and said his remarks were “never intended to be degrading, insulting, or comparing of any leagues”.

Taking to Twitter, Steyn wrote: “IPL has been nothing short of amazing in my career, as well as other players too. My words were never intended to be degrading, insulting, or comparing of any leagues. Social media and words out of context can often do that. My apologies if this has upset anyone. Much love,” he added. The speedster had said that sometimes emphasis may be placed on the amount a player is bought for in the IPL and as a result, cricket ends up taking a backseat.

The pacer had also hinted that other leagues are more rewarding to him as a player as compared to the most successful domestic T20 league — IPL. Steyn is currently playing for the Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League.

“I wanted some time off. I found that playing in these other leagues was slightly more rewarding as a player. I think when you go to IPL, there are such big squads and so many big names and so much emphasis on maybe the amount of money players earn and everything like that, so sometimes, somewhere down the line, cricket gets forgotten,” Steyn had told Cricket Pakistan.

India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday rubbished all the claims which stated that sometimes the emphasis is on the money in the IPL rather than the game. Rahane, who has even captained teams in the showpiece event, said the IPL gave players the perfect platform to express themselves in the shortest format of the game.

“See, I am here to talk about the fourth Test match and not here to talk about PSL or Sri Lanka Premier League. IPL gave us that platform to express ourselves and also to a lot of Indians players. I am not sure what Dale Steyn has said, I am here to talk about this Test match,” Rahane had said during a virtual press conference.

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AGAR SCALPS SIX AS AUSSIES THRASH BLACKCAPS IN 3RD T20I

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Skipper Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell smashed half centuries before Ashton Agar spun a web over the Kiwi batsmen to steer Australia to a 64-run win over New Zealand in the third T20I on Wednesday.

New Zealand was 109/3 at one stage, but Agar wreaked havoc and picked six wickets to bundle out the hosts for 144. Agar turned the game in Australia’s favour with three wickets in the 13th over. New Zealand now lead the five-match series 2-1. For James Neesham it was an unforgettable night as he not only went wicketless, but also leaked runs at an economy rate of 15. The all-rounder was also dismissed for a golden duck despite coming in the game on the back of a stellar performance in the second T20I.

Chasing a mammoth 209, New Zealand got off to a bad start as they lost opener Tim Seifert in the second over. Debutant Riley Meredith conceded a six and a four in his first over, but took a wicket off the last ball.

New Zealand seemed well on track as the hosts ended the powerplay with 59 runs on board. In the ninth over, Adam Zampa got the wicket of the dangerous Guptill.

Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips then played risk-free cricket to ensure the hosts didn’t suffer any more hiccups during the chase. Just when their partnership started flourishing,

Brief Scores: Australia 208/4 (Glenn Maxwell 70, Aaron Finch 69; Ish Sodhi 2-32); New Zealand 144 (Martin Guptill 43, Devon Conway 38; Ashton Agar 6-30)

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AFTER EXCRUCIATING STRUGGLES, SIMRAN BAHADUR FINALLY GETS HER DREAM CALL

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Medium pacer and southpaw batsman Simran Dil Bahadur has received a dream call to represent India’s National Women Cricket Team in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa. The series will commence from 20 March, and Simran is deeply immersed in her preparations.

Talking to The Sunday Guardian about this opportunity, Simran said, “I was selected in the last IPL but could not find a berth in the playing eleven.”

“Now again, I am working hard,” Simran continued, “to find my place in the forthcoming T-20 series against South Africa.”

Simran is a natural out-swing bowler but can move the ball in both directions. Moreover, she is a sturdy option for middle-order batting. Simran, who scored two fifties in the domestic matches last year, is pretty confident about finding her place in the playing eleven.

“If allowed to play in the main squad, I am sure I would perform well in 3 match series,” the all-rounder said. “Representing the country would be a great moment for me,”

The 21-year-old cricketer has closely been following the Indian Pacer Ishant Sharma who has also played in the Rohtak Road Cricket Club and was groomed well under the guidance of Cricket Coach Sharvan Kumar.

Shravan Kumar told The Daily Guardian that Simran is a consistent hardworker, has good stamina, and her fitness and agility give her an upper hand to stand out and outperform in the fielding department.

“When she came to me for the first time,” Kumar said, “Simran was going to take up a private job, but at my behest, she made changed her mind and started working hard to realise her dream,”

“Simran is a genuine all-rounder. I firmly believe that with her capability and skill-set, she can make a permanent place in the National Team,” the coach said.

Simran has already played against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the under-23 side for India. “But now with her inclusion in the senior team,” Kumar expresses, “it seems that it has increased my lifespan.”

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