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Liverpool title hopes dented after thrashing by Man City

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Liverpool [UK], February 8 (ANI): Liverpool’s hopes of winning the Premier League 2020-21 season were severely dented on Sunday as the side suffered a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Manchester City here at the Anfield Stadium.
With this loss, Liverpool remains static at the fourth spot in the standings with 42 points from 40 points from 23 matches while City consolidated its position at the top spot.
Liverpool enjoyed the bulk of ball possession in the match, but the side made some costly errors which ended up handing the match on a platter to Manchester City.
Manchester City also registered five shots on compared as compared to Liverpool’s three.
The first half of the match saw no goals as both teams were trying to outdo each other and at the halfway mark, the scoreline remained 0-0.
Premier League: Liverpool title hopes dented after Man City thrashing
However, it was the second half where the whole complexion of the game as City managed to get the lead in the 49th minute as IIkay Gundogan registered the first goal of the match. Gundogan had missed a penalty in the first half, but he corrected his mistake and the visitors were able to take a 1-0 lead.
Mohamed Salah equalised the scoreline for Liverpool in the 63rd minute through a penalty. Ruben Dias had brought down Salah inside the penalty area and as a result, the Reds were awarded a penalty.
However, two back-to-back errors from Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker helped Manchester City get a 3-1 lead in no time. The second and third goals for City were scored by Gundogan and Raheem Sterling respectively.
With the third strike, Raheem Sterling became the third player to score 100 goals under manager Pep Guardiola. Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero are the other two to have achieved the feat.
The final nail in the coffin came in the 83rd minute as Phil Foden scored the fourth goal for City and this gave the side a 4-1 victory for Liverpool.
Liverpool will next lock horns against Leicester City on Saturday while City will square off against Tottenham Hotspur on the same day. (ANI)

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POLLARD HITS 6 SIXES IN AN OVER, WELCOMED BY YUVRAJ AND GIBBS INTO THE CLUB

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Kieron Pollard

ANTIGUA: West Indies limited-overs format skipper Kieron Pollard on Thursday became the third batsman in the history of international cricket to hit six 6s in an over.

He achieved the feat in the first T20I of the three-match series against Sri Lanka here at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. With these six 6s, Pollard has joined the likes of Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh in the elusive list.

Pollard hit Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya for six 6s in the sixth over of the innings as the hosts’ Windies were chasing a target of 132 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

The right-handed batsman hit the first ball over the long-on fence, the second ball was dispatched straight down the ground while the third was hit to the long-off fence.

Former cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Herschelle Gibbs on Thursday, took to the microblogging platform Twitter, and welcomed all-rounder Kieron Pollard to the 6 sixes club.

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VERY POOR BATTING FROM ENGLAND: FORMER ENGLAND SKIPPER VAUGHAN

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Michael Vaughan

AHMEDABAD: Former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Tuesday, Former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Thursday criticised the English team for not batting to their potential in the ongoing fourth Test against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

England skipper Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first, but the batters failed to make the most and lost wickets quickly in the first session of play. Vaughan, who has been quite vocal in his criticism of the pitches used in the series, called this pitch “perfect” and blamed England batters for failing to score runs.

Taking to Twitter Vaughan wrote, “England’s batting so far worse than any of the last few Tests … This Pitch is a perfect surface to get a big first innings score … No spin … Ball coming onto the Bat … Very poor Batting so far … #INDvENG.”

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Elgar to lead Proteas in Tests, Bavuma in limited-overs format

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Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday announced the appointments of Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar as captains of the Proteas men’s team in the limited-overs and Test format respectively.

CSA said Bavuma will lead the Proteas in the 2021 and 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cups as well as the ICC Men’s World Cup in 2023. Elgar will take over the reins into the next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. CSA’s Director of Cricket (DoC), Graeme Smith, in a statement, said: “We are grateful to Quinton for the work he has put in as captain of the team in the limited-overs formats and are indebted to him for stepping up while the National Selection Panel continued its search for the Test captain. We expect him to still play an integral role in the team’s leadership group.

“We as CSA are pleased with the appointments of Temba and Dean and believe that we have the men who will lead the Proteas back to their winning ways of old. The pair bring the required stability in both leadership and form to turn the ship in the direction that will eventually bring trophies back to the cabinets.”

Praising Bavuma, Smith said the player has shown consistency on the field in all formats, solidifying his place as a leader. Smith is also confident that Elgar will bring the same grit and determination to his captaincy as he has brought to his many performances on the field over many years.

“Temba has been a strong and influential voice in the team in recent times and has shown consistency on the field in all formats, solidifying his place as a leader. He also has the trust and backing of the players and coaches around him. We are excited to have him lead the Proteas in the upcoming T20 World Cups as well as the 2023 World Cup in India. He will also be the Test team’s vice-captain, working closely with Dean to ensure continuity and stability in the squad,” Smith said.

“Dean has made no secret of his Test captaincy ambitions over the years and we are pleased to have a leader who is ready, willing and able to step up to the massive task of turning our Test cricket fortunes around,” Smith added.

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Amid surge of Covid cases, PSL postponed indefinitely

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LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday confirmed that the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) season 6 will be postponed with immediate effect following a string of positive Covid-19 cases.

“Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect. The decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on February 20,” the board said in an official statement. The PCB, as an immediate step, will now focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines, and isolation facilities to the six participating sides.

Earlier on Thursday, PCB had confirmed that three more players from two different franchises in the PSL tested positive for Covid-19.

PCB also said that all the positive cases will now isolate themselves for 10 days.

“The three players were not part of the sides that featured in Wednesday’s Pakistan Super League 6 double-header, and had been tested in the afternoon after showing symptoms,” PSL said in a statement.

“PSL 6 organising committee will hold a virtual meeting with the team owners and management later on Thursday, following which a further update will be provided,” it added.

Earlier, England wicket-keeper batsman Tom Banton had also tested positive for coronavirus after Australia leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed contracted COVID-19 in the ongoing sixth season of the PSL.

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Pollard’s blast helps WI register 4-wicket win

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Kieron Pollard’s six 6s in an over stole the show as West Indies registered a comprehensive four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the three-match series on Thursday here at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

With this win, the hosts have gained a 1-0 lead in the series. Both the teams would now lock horns in the second T20I, beginning Friday. Chasing 132, the hosts got off to a blazing start as the openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons put on 52 runs in the very first three overs. However, Sri Lanka staged an emphatic comeback as spinner Akila Dananjaya took a hat-trick in the fourth over to send back Lewis (28), Chris Gayle (0), and Nicholas Pooran (0).

Simmons also departed soon after and West Indies was reduced to 62/4 in the fifth over. However, skipper Pollard provided real entertainment in the sixth over as he dispatched Dananjaya for six 6s in over and the hosts’ score read 98/4 after the conclusion of the sixth over.

Pollard departed after playing a knock of 38 off just 11 balls, but in the end, Jason Holder (29) and Dwayne Bravo (4) guided Windies to a four-wicket win with 41 balls to spare.

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KKFI INTRODUCES A 10-DAY UNIQUE PROGRAMME FOR KHO KHO COACHES

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Following the successful completion of the High-Performance Assessment and Scientific Analysis & Evaluation Programme—Rise in Sports Excellence—for the national Kho Kho players, the Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) on Thursday introduced High Performance Coaches’ Coaching Camp for the very first time. The Kho Kho Federation of India will be starting the 10 day camp for coaches which will be held at the Manav Rachna Educational Institutions in Faridabad.

According to KKFI General Secretary Mahender Singh Tyagi, as many as 54 coaches from all over India are taking part in this 10-day programme.

“The coaches will be monitored by vastly experienced officials at Manav Rachna Sports Science Centre with the help of experts from Sports Authority of India, Delhi University, and other institutions. This will be a Level 2 course and the coaches will be informed about the sports science benefits, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, injury management, biomechanics, biokinetics, psychological impact, leadership quality, and other important things.

“Then there will be a technical official workshop Level 3 from March 12 to March 17. Nearly 75 officials will come for that. They will be guided by the experts about the new rules and regulations of the Kho Kho. Our focus is to make this sport more advanced and easier to understand for all,” Mr. Tyagi added.

Focussed on regaining complete fitness with the help of sports science technology, India’s top Kho Kho players lately discovered a new experience in their playing career with their participation in the first-ever High-Performance Assessment and Scientific Analysis & Evaluation Programme conducted by KKFI

Despite playing the sport for almost a decade, many players weren’t aware of correct techniques that lead to rehabilitation, injury management, biomechanics, biokinetics, and nutritional guidance.

The camp provided a timely opportunity for Indian Kho Kho players to regain full fitness after staying away from the sport for seven months due to the nationwide lockdown owing to the pandemic.

The sport has now gained momentum and the Kho Kho Federation of India, under the leadership of President Sudhanshu Mittal and also with the guidance from IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, is leaving no stone unturned to make it more and more attractive for the general audience.

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