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Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: Want the wicket to remain same for final Test, says Axar

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): After guiding India to a comprehensive 10-wicket win in the third Test against England, Axar Patel said he would want the wicket to remain the same for the fourth and final Test of the series.
Axar finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game.
“When it happens, it feels so easy. I am not thinking much. I want to continue this form. I am happy that if I am not contributing with the bat, I am doing it with the ball. My strength is to bowl wicket-to-wicket and not give batsmen room,” Axar said after the match.
“The mindset of batters is they play out couple of maidens, they either go for a sweep or try to hit over the infield. They call me Wasim bhai (Wasim Akram) because they feel my arm ball is very lethal. Ajju Bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) called me that and Pant has picked it up. I would want this wicket to remain the same for the final Test as well as I am picking up wickets,” he added.
England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship after losing the third Test against India.
England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, needed to win the four-match series 3-1 to play the final against New Zealand. England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points.
New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points. India need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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CHAHAR, MOEEN, DU PLESSIS HELP CHENNAI BECOME ‘SUPER KING’

Chahar’s four wickets helped CSK restrict Punjab Kings to a paltry 106/8. In response, Chennai easily chased down the target with 26 balls to spare.

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Right-arm pacer Deepak Chahar picked four wickets before Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) register an easy win over Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match here at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday evening.

Deepak Chahar and Suresh Raina of Chennai Super Kings celebrate the wicket of Deepak Hooda, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. (ANI Photo/IPL Twitter)
Faf du Plessis of Chennai Super Kings plays a shot during the match agaisnt Chennai Super Kings, in Mumbai on Friday. (ANI Photo/ IPL Twitter)

Chahar’s four wickets had helped CSK restrict Punjab Kings to a paltry 106/8. In response, CSK easily chased down the target with 26 balls to spare thanks to a quickfire 46 off 31 from Moeen. CSK defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets to open their account in the ongoing IPL. Chasing 107, CSK had a slow start as the side scored just eight runs in the first 18 balls with both openers trying to get into the groove in the initial overs.

Ruturaj Gaikwad was seen struggling a bit, but Faf du Plessis eased the pressure with two fours and a six in the fourth over. Ruturaj’s stint came to end in the fifth over as he tried to pull Arshdeep Singh but top-edged the ball with Deepak Hooda making no mistake.

Moeen Ali, who then came into bat, started smashing right from the word go as CSK got a move on. In no time, CSK raced to 64/1 in 10 overs having scored just eight in the first 18 balls.

Du Plessis kept scoring at run a ball but Moeen continued his onslaught as CSK got almost home before he departed in the 13th over with just 17 runs more to win.

However, CSK did suffer further hiccups as they lost Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu in consecutive balls but Du Plessis and Sam Curran ensured the MS Dhoni-led side got over the line in the 16th over.

Earlier put in to bat first, Punjab Kings had a horrific start as the side lost four wickets within the powerplay. Chahar wreaked havoc as he sent back Punjab Kings’ top order except for skipper Rahul, who became the victim of Jadeja’s brilliant throw.

Chahar first cleaned up Mayank for a duck in the first over and then dismissed Gayle and Pooran within a span of six balls to reduce Punjab to 19/4 after Rahul’s run out.

Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh were in the middle for Punjab Kings at the end of the powerplay but the former chipped it straight to mid-off in the seventh over as Chahar bagged his fourth wicket for the day.

Shahrukh and Jhye Richardson then tried to revive the Punjab innings with a brief 31-run stand before Moeen Ali cleaned the Australian all-rounder in the 13th over.

But Shahrukh kept the scoreboard ticking and hit timely boundaries to release some pressure. Dwayne Bravo dismissed Murugan Ashwin in the 17th over but Shahrukh took Punjab Kings over the 100-run mark. Sam sent Shahrukh back in the hut in the final over as Punjab Kings were restricted to 106/8 in their allotted 20 overs.

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Real Madrid, City storm into UEFA Champions League semi-finals

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LIVERPOOL

Manchester City advanced into the Champions League semi-finals after bouncing back from one goal down to snatch a 2-1 win over Dortmund (4-2 on aggregate), courtesy of Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden second-half goals.

Both teams staged a slow start into the clash but Jude Bellingham’s well-placed opener from 15 metres on 15 minutes sparked the game to life on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

Three minutes later, Dortmund had another promising effort on target as Manuel Akanji’s header following a corner forced Manchester City’s goalkeeper Ederson into action.

City dominated the proceedings on the pitch, but the hosts were still able to take the narrow lead into the half time.

In another game, Liverpool were left to rue a host of missed chances as Real Madrid held out for a 0-0 draw at Anfield to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate.

Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum were guilty of wasting glorious opportunities to get Jurgen Klopp’s men back into the tie as they failed to replicate a remarkable recovery from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate at the semi-final stage two years ago.

Madrid were far from their best, but did not need to be to set up a semi-final clash with Chelsea as Los Blancos extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 games.

Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane warned after Saturday’s 2-1 El Clasico win over Barcelona that his players were at their “physical limit” and the visitors looked jaded as they were happy to sit on their first leg lead.

UEFA is set to announce major changes to the Champions League next week but the make-up of this season’s semi-finalists confirms the extent to which elite club football in Europe has already been

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KOHLI NAMED WISDEN ODI CRICKETER OF THE 2010S

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LONDON

India skipper Virat Kohli has been named Wisden Almanack’s ODI cricketer of the 2010s. Kohli made more than 11,000 runs in the period, averaging over 60 and scoring 42 hundreds.

The decade began with him winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, and he added a Champions Trophy title two years later, top-scoring in the final. In five global ICC 50-over tournaments in the decade, Kohli and India never fell before the semi-final stage. Apart from this, England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World in 2020. West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder, Pakistani wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan, England’s emerging stars Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley, and Kent’s 44-yr old Darren Stevens have been named as the Five Cricketers of the Year.

Australia women cricketer Beth Mooney has been awarded as the leading women cricketer. West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard was named as the leading T20I cricketer in the world.

Earlier in the year, Kohli was named as the ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade and the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade.

“My only intention was to make winning contributions for the team and I just strive to do that in every game. Stats just become the byproduct of what you want to do on the field,” Kohli had said after winning the award.

Kohli was also named the skipper of ICC’s Test Team of the Decade.

In 2019, Kohli had surpassed MS Dhoni to become India’s most successful Test skipper. After winning the Test against West Indies, Kohli had scripted his 28th Test win as captain.

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Will Dhoni’s Chennai up their ante against Punjab?

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MUMBAI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have their work cut out as they take on buoyant Punjab Kings in their second match of the IPL 2021 on Friday night.The MS Dhoni-led side put in a horrible performance on the field in their first match against Delhi Capitals, dropping catches and bowling too many poor deliveries.

Punjab Kings on the other hand survived a scare from Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson, who hit a century, in their first match as they held on to win the game by a slender margin of four runs even after having put up 221.

CSK have had too many ageing cricketers in their side. That apart, many of the players, including skipper MS Dhoni, haven’t played too much cricket in recent times which is why they look rusty.

On a belter of a wicket at the Wankhede Stadium, CSK’s bowling struggled for ideas. Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali looked ineffective partly because Prithvi Shaw was dropped twice off Moeen’s bowling.

CSK’s top-order batting also needs to fire. Had it not been for Sam Curran, who hit a 15-ball 34 towards the end, CSK would have barely crossed 150.

Skipper Dhoni had said after the match that a 200-run total would be the safest considering the dew sets in later.

Dew could have been the problem for CSK in their first match and Friday’s match against PK will prove further if it was dew or plain rustiness.

PK have very few worries, especially in their batting. Deepak Hooda was pushed up the batting order, to No. 4 and he repaid the faith put in him by the team management, scoring a 28-ball 64.

With Hooda shining, the top six of the line-up looks completely packed with power. KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Hooda, Nicholas Pooran and Shahrukh Khan are batsmen who can whack the ball to a distance while Mayank Agarwal can provide the steady hand.

The only concern for PK would be the Australian pace duo Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson, who were clobbered for runs.

One of those Aussies may have to give way to spinner Ravi Bishnoi.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

Strengths:

• The successful comeback of Suresh Raina.

• Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, and Sam Curran.

Weaknesses:

• Flop show of openers in the previous match.

• Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur were very expensive.

PUNJAB KINGS

Strengths:

• K.L. Rahul and Chris Gayle are in good touch.

• Hooda’s power-hitting.

• Mohammed Shami’s comeback boost to the team.

Weaknesses:

• Expensive buys like Riley Meredith & Jhye Richardson proved to be expensive.

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NEED TO WORK ON PLAN B IF WE WANT TO WIN A MEDAL IN OLYMPICS: CHIRAG SHETTY

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NEW DELHI

World number ten doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have been on top of their game and the duo would be expected to perform to the best of their ability in order to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The duo was recently knocked out from the All England Open in the second round and they would next be seen in the India Open which will be played in New Delhi behind closed doors this May. India Open 2021 will be conducted behind closed doors at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi from May 11-16. The tournament, which is also an Olympic qualifier event, has attracted 228 (114 men and 114 women) entries from 33 different national associations including China.

Chirag Shetty believes that if the duo wants to return with a medal from the Olympics, then they need to have a sort-out plan B as sometimes plan A does not work out.

“We started off the year playing tournaments, we have played a pre-quarterfinal and a semi-final in the second tournament. Playing after a year, we had some good matches in Thailand, although we lost in the second match of our first tournament, we played a very close game against the world number two and also in the second tournament, we beat some really good players to make the semi-final. We would have loved to play the finals, but I think overall it was a good tournament.

“I think we would like to play a new trend of the game. If we really need to go for a shot at the medal in Olympics, we need to have a Plan B as well because we need to focus on our Plan B if our plan A is not working,” said Shetty while replying to a query.

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Morris’ cameo, Miller magic help RR beat DC

Chasing 148, the left-handed Miller came out to bat with the score at 17/3, and guided Rajasthan’s innings with a knock of 62 runs. With 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line.

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MUMBAI

Back against the ball, left-handed batsman David Miller produced a 62-run knock and it was followed by Chris Morris’ cameo of 36 runs off just 18 balls as Rajasthan Royals defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday here at the Wankhede Stadium.

Miller played a knock of 62 runs. The left-handed batter came out to bat with the score at 17/3, and he guided Rajasthan’s innings. And with 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line with two balls to spare. With this win, Rajasthan has registered their first victory in this edition of the IPL. Chasing 148, Rajasthan did not get off to an ideal start as the side lost its opening batters Manan Vohra (9) and Jos Buttler (2) in the third over of the innings. Chris Woakes provided the first two breakthroughs to Delhi. In the very next over, Kagiso Rabada dismissed Sanju Samson (4), leaving Rajasthan in a spot of bother at 17/3.

Shivam Dube and David Miller put on a 19-run stand for the fourth wicket, but Avesh Khan cut short the partnership in the eighth over as he dismissed the left-handed Dube (2). Avesh caused further trouble as he sent Riyan Parag (2) back to the pavilion, reducing Rajasthan to 42/5 in the 10th over. Rahul Tewatia then joined Miller in the middle and the partnership between these two batters saw Miller taking the mantle and accelerating the innings.

Miller and Tewatia put on 48 runs for the sixth wicket, but as soon as Rajasthan started getting on course for a win, Delhi stormed right back as Rabada sent Tewatia (19) back to the pavilion. Miller went on to register his half-century and he even dispatch Avesh for two consecutive sixes, but in looking for a third, he ended up losing his wicket in the 16th over after playing a knock of 62 runs.

With 27 needed off the final two overs, Morris first smashed Rabada for 15 runs in the penultimate over, and with 12 needed off the final over, Morris and Jaydev Unadkat managed to guide Rajasthan over the line by three wickets.

Earlier, an inspired bowling performance by Jaydev Unadkat, Chris Morris, and Mustafizur Rahman helped Rajasthan Royals restrict Delhi Capitals to 147/8. Delhi kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, and although skipper Rishabh Pant played a knock of 51, Delhi would have been hoping for a big partnership from skipper Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis, but this was not to be the case as Mustafizur Rahman had Stoinis (0) fooled by a slower delivery in the seventh over, and as a result, Delhi was reduced to 37/4.

Lalit Yadav and Rishabh Pant then got together at the crease and the duo revived the innings for Delhi by stitching a partnership of 51 runs for the fifth wicket, and this saw skipper Pant going past his 50-run mark. However, as soon as Delhi’s innings started to come on track, Pant (51) was sent back to the pavilion via a run-out. Soon after, Lalit Yadav (20) was dismissed by Chris Morris, reducing Delhi to 100/6 in the 15th over. In the final overs, Tom Curran (21), Ravichandran Ashwin (7), and Chris Woakes (15*) added some crucial runs to the total and as a result, Delhi Capitals posted a total of more than the 140-run mark.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 147/8 (Rishabh Pant 51, Tom Curran 21, Jaydev Unadkat 3-15); Rajasthan Royals 150/7 (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*, Avesh Khan 3-32).

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