Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? MOST READ MANILA, Philippines—Kobe Paras would rather look at the bright side after University of the Philippines’ exit in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Rice industry paralysis LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Celtics beat Wizards despite 44 points from Bradley Beal Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics The Fighting Maroons lost twice to University of Santo Tomas in the semifinal stepladder and the 68-65 loss on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena booted them out of title contention.Instead of sulking, Paras said he’s actually happy with how his collegiate career continued after much difficulty in the United States as an NCAA Division I recruit and, for a brief time, player.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practice“This loss just made me happy and I’m just grateful,” said Paras. “I’m super appreciative of all the schools I went up against and this was the first time that I’ve been playing in a while so I’m just really happy.”Paras was a high school standout, both in academics and athletics, with Cathedral and Middlebrooks in California and shortly committed thereafter to University of California in Los Angeles. Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ View comments The athletic 6-foot-6 forward, however, withdrew from UCLA after failing to meet the school’s academic requirements.From UCLA, Paras moved on to Creighton where he was finally able to play college basketball but eventually withdrew after failing to secure a regular playing role with the Blue Jays and thus enrolling with Cal State Northridge where he was a student-athlete for less than a year.UP thus became Paras’ fourth college after he enrolled at the State University in 2018.“This is my fourth college and what I learned is to be grateful for what I have,” said Paras who had eight points and three rebounds in his final game of the season. “My plan A didn’t work, this is my plan B and my plan B is still the dream for other people.”“I’ve learned to love myself and be more appreciative of what I have instead of wanting more things and I think that’s a lesson for a lot of people in this world that you have be grateful for what you have.”ADVERTISEMENT
Sandhu, who has been with the national team for more than Sandhu, who has been with the national team for more than two decades, said on the upside, boxers got all the facilities they wanted to prepare for the Games but what they did not get was competitive foreign exposure. “I have never seen the kind of facilities that were provided to the boxers this time. They got everything they wanted and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director Injeti Srinivas was exceptionally cooperative. But yes, because of the suspension we were not being invited for those crucial training-cum-competition trips to Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan or Cuba where our boxers could test themselves against the best minus the pressure,” he said. “That is why I am saying again and again that we need a strong federation. We need to get India back in the World Series of Boxing (WSB). We need to get back that franchise because this Olympics was dominated by the boxers who participated in WSB and the International Boxing Associations (AIBA) Professional league (APB),” he said. India were a part of the semi-professional WSB before the administrative mess led to the franchise owners giving up on it. “We must immediately start APB because it helps in getting seedings. Vikas got the 7th seeding in the Olympics because he had competed in a couple of APB bouts, I think it made a difference. Shiva, on the other hand, did not get a seeding even though he is World No 6 in amateur rankings,” he explained. Asked about his own future given that he had wanted “rest” after Rio, Sandhu was non-committal. “Lets see whats in store,” was his rather open-ended response before signing off. PTI PM KHS KHSadvertisement
Leander Paes may have played down his late arrival at the Rio Games and those attributing the same as the primary reason for his and Rohan Boppana’s first round exit from the Olympics but his famed partner of yore Mahesh Bhupathi strongly disagrees. (Paes-Bopanna crash out of Rio Olympics on Day 1) Asked if Leander and Rohan were under prepared, Mahesh told India Today, “Not underprepared, they were not prepared at all. No events, no matches at the highest level. Leander unfortunately only got there 36 hours before the first match. We could not expect anything from them and the results told.” In practice though a number of singles players who don’t play doubles on the circuit do join hands without tournaments under their belt before the games. But Mahesh cited history, of how Leander and him even when they were not playing as a pair on the tour did come together in tournaments before the Olympics to give themselves a better chance.”Tournament play is very important in pressure situations. Even me and Leander in 2004 and 2008 made sure we played some events to get ourselves prepared. This wasn’t done this year and that’s why we failed there,” he opined.EVERYBODY TO BLAME FOR DEFEAT When asked if it surprised him why Leander chose not to give more tournament or even practice time for Rio, an event where he made history to play his 7th consecutive Olympics, he blamed Leander and the federation in equal measure. “No point blaming anybody. I guess we have to blame everyone from Leander, Rohan, the federation for not forcing them to play together. At the end of the day someone had to take the bull by the horn. It’s after all the Olympic games. And no one did,” he said. Leander and Mahesh’s comments on each other are often taken with a pinch of salt given their frosty relationship over the years. But many believe their differences have spilled over to the other players as well. Between Bhupathi, Leander, Sania and Bopanna, Indians have won 36 doubles Grand slams; mixed and men’s, but have no Olympic medals of any color to show in various failed attempts over the last two decades. It’s been an Olympian failure, literally and figuratively. Bhupathi concurs. “Its a disappointing feeling, not that of hurt. I am sure all four of us Leander, myself, Sania and Rohan would have wanted an Olympic medal in doubles or mixed. Players lot less unaccomplished than us in Grand Slams have Olympic medals. But that’s the way it crumbles. You got to be in it to win it and it didn’t happen for us,” he says.advertisement
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and coach Mike Hesson agreed that it will be “bit of scrap” for the batsmen to face Ravichandran Ashwin and other Indian spinners when the Test series gets underway from September 22. They also added that their own spinners need to adapt quickly to Indian conditions and the SG Test ball from the usual Kookaburra ball to have a say in the series.Williamson had no second thoughts in saying that spin will play a major role in the series.”In the previous series, spin played a huge part. At times batting was difficult. No doubt it will be bit of a scrap. We have three very good spinners as well. It will be a challenge. Playing India at home is one of the toughest challenges. As a team we are excited to get involved,” said Williamson. (Also read: Virat Kohli’s ability to dominate in all formats makes him special: Kane Williamson)Coach Hesson also agreed to the fact that it is going to be difficult to replicate the sub-continent’s spin friendly conditions back home in New Zealand “Look we spent a lot of time in Bulawayo. It was a spin dominant series and the wickets were slow and similar pace of what we get in India. Replicating those conditions at home is difficult.”Hesson is hopeful that New Zealand spinners like Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi will be able to adapt to the ‘SG Test’ ball from the ‘Kookaburra’.”Look there have been a number of overseas spinners who done have well in these conditions. Our spin group is young and the challenge is adjusting to a different ball to ‘SG Test’ from ‘Kookaburra’,” said Hesson. (Also read: Adapting quickly to Indian conditions will be key for New Zealand: Ish Sodhi to India Today)advertisement”There are changes in seam angles. Our bowlers are not going to bowl like sub-continental bowlers but we have to create opportunities.”When asked about the roles of fast bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, the Kiwi coach said that the surface will play a big factor in deciding their roles. “Certainly there will be element of reverse swing. You need to adapt with tactics and selection. As we get to first Test, we need to see the surface. That will be huge factor.”But Hesson reckoned reverse swing will be a huge factor when one plays in these conditions where ball reverses. (Also read: New Zealand eye reverse swing to escape India’s spin trap)”I think it’s a huge component of playing cricket overseas. In abrasive surfaces where there’s not much seam movement, we need to find another way. We are keen to get reverse in legitimate fashion. We have to work on them in coming days.”(With PTI inputs)
A rare run drought over the last three innings does not bother Virat Kohli, the Indian Test captain said on Thursday. (India vs New Zealand: Ganguly feels Eden pitch will not turn much)”I don’t think about these things. Cricket is a game where you can only prepare well. Results cannot be in your hand all the time. You get caught to a no-ball and different things can happen which are out of your control,” Kohli said at a media briefing ahead of India’s second Test against New Zealand starting at the Eden Gardens on Friday. (‘Ambitious’ Gautam Gambhir as excited as debutant after India recall)”Preparation is something that is in my hand and I look to do that every time I walk in to practice,” said Kohli, who has averaged 26 in the last three essays after his double century in the first Test in the West Indies. (India’s Mecca of Cricket, Eden Gardens not a heaven for the hosts)The 27-year-old batsman said he doesn’t believe in form. (Eden Gardens all set to make India’s 250th Test at home a grand occasion)”I don’t think there is anything called ‘form’. It is how you are feeling on a certain day. It always doesn’t mean you are out of form. It’s just about how you are feeling mentally on a given day. We want to understand what we want to achieve and be stable in our head. I am looking to work hard,” Kohli said. (Kohli, Gambhir forget ugly fights, share a joke at training)advertisementOn whether the Decision Review System (DRS) should be implemented by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after Kiwi captain Kane Williamson nicked a caught-behind in the first innings of the series opener at Kanpur, which was not given, Kohli said, “Those are the things I can’t say yes or no sitting here. These are things we had discussed and had a meeting.””Some things can be debated like ball tracking and hawk eye. I personally feel these are things that can be debated on. We don’t have DRS, so we cannot blame umpires. Once DRS is in place, then we can think about it.””I don’t think there is anything called ‘Form’. It is just how you are feeling on a particular day”- #TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/zRwA3jKVew BCCI (@BCCI) September 29, 2016
The Kabaddi World Cup will get underway in Ahmadabad from Friday without Pakistan. Concerns around the security of the team had compelled the organisers to drop the six-time runner up Pakistan.Organising committee’s president and Punjab cabinet minister Sikander Singh Maluka said, “The situation in the state following the surgical strike by Indian Army at the LoC does not augur well to invite Pakistan for the World Cup scheduled to be held between November 3 and 17.”The Kabaddi World Cup was last held nine years ago. The sport has become popular in India with the emergence of the Pro-Kabaddi League.International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) Deoraj Chaturvedi said the decision to leave Pakistan out of the World Cup was taken after much deliberation.”This is not the right time to engage with Pakistan,” Chaturvedi said. “Pakistan is a valuable member of the IKF but looking at the current scenario and in the best interest of both the nations, we decided that Pakistan must be refrained from the championship.”However, Pakistan, who were highly fancied, are not amused. (India to host Kabaddi World Cup in October)”We have called a meeting to discuss this issue but let me tell you that a Kabaddi World Cup is no world cup without Pakistan,” said Pakistan kabaddi federation secretary Rana Muhammad Sarwar. “This is just like a football world cup without Brazil.”Last month, cricket legend Kapil Dev lost his cool at a Kabaddi World Cup media conference, where he was the chief guest, when a scribe asked why Pakistan had not been invited to take part in the tournament to be held from October 7 in Ahmedabad. (Anup Kumar to lead India in Kabaddi World Cup)advertisement”If you are a Hindustani you should not ask the question at all. Is it the time to ask this question?” he had asked fuming, obviously referring to the deadly fidayeen attack by militants suspected to be from Pakistan-based JeM on Sunday at Uri, which left 19 soldiers dead.
By Kushan Sarkar New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) The ICCs decision to award six points to Pakistan after the Indian womens team was deemed to have forfeited each of the three matches of the ICC Womens Championship was a result of non-communication from the BCCI about the teams participation. A well-informed source told PTI that there were multiple e-mail communication from ICC, but there was no response to any of the e-mails to provide reasons for not playing the series against Pakistan, which was scheduled to be held between 1 August and 31 October. The ICC went by the book and it would have been a different scenario had BCCI given in writing that the political tension and cross-border terrorism was the reason for their “forfeiture”. The ICC rule states that a documented reason is a must, which the governing body never had in its disposal. It was also learnt that the BCCI has not filed any official appeal to the world crickets governing body. An ICC technical committee assigned to decide the matter felt the “BCCI had not been able to establish “acceptable reasons” for not participating in this series” at a time when Indian teams had been playing Pakistan in other international sport events. The Indo-Pak clash in the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Malaysia is being cited as example by many, and the junior hockey team from Pakistan is also coming to India for the Youth World Cup. While BCCI bigwigs point their fingers at ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar, the counter point is that Manohar is not involved in this decision with the technical committee being headed by Geoff Allardice. This is not the first time a country has been sanctioned for not honouring its obligation in an ICC event. Australia and the West Indies lost points as they did not play their scheduled matches in Sri Lanka during the ICC Cricket World Cup 1996, citing security concerns. England and New Zealand similarly forfeited points by refusing to tour Zimbabwe and Kenya respectively during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003. According to a well-informed source, ICC was also not bothered when parallels were being drawn between the Faf du Plessis mintgate incident and ball tampering allegations levelled against Indian captain Virat Kohli since the video that emerged was outside the five-day reporting window. PTI KHS AH KHSadvertisement
Bringing the excitement closer to passionate bikers, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI), today announced commencement of bookings for the all new 25th anniversary Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade& CBR 1000RR Fireblede SP in India, the flagship supersport motorcycles fromglobal Honda line-up. The 2017 Fireblade will be introduced as a Completely Built Unit(CBU) in India. For booking enquiries, customers can contact or visit Honda’s exclusive Wing World outlets located in Mumbai & Delhi*. Customers can also log on toHonda2WheelersIndia.com.Commenting on the development, Mr. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Since 2009, when the Fireblade was first introduced in India, it has redefined the benchmarks for refinement, reliability & performance. With an unmatched thrilling experience for the rider on board, the all-new Fireblade will leave the riding enthusiast spellbound. The new and extremely advanced Fireblade, will be the most powerful, faster and lighter CBR1000RR from Honda’s stable and we are very excited to add another chapter to the success story with its introduction in India.”Also Read:Honda Africa Twin coming to India in July 2017First unveiled at the EICMA 2016 in Milan, Italy, the 2017 CBR1000RR Fireblade SP marks 25 years since the celebrated machine re-wrote the rules of the Super Sport segment. At the heart of the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade is a 999cc in-line four cylinder engine, producing 189bhp at 13,000rom and 114Nm at 11,000rpm output mated to six-speed transmission.Its relentless focus on handling and agility under the mantra of ‘Total Control’ continues, with 90% of main components revised for a 16kg weight reduction to a class-leading 195kg. Coupled with an 8kW top end power boost, it improves the new Fireblade’s power to weight ratio by 14 per cent, to a level hitherto unseen in its history. For 2017, the Fireblade now moves into ‘Next Stage Total Control’, with a comprehensive electronic control package featuring a new gyroscopic ABS system, Throttle by Wire (TBW), 9 Level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Selectable Engine Brake (SEB), Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) and Power Selector. All these parameters can be precisely adjusted with the Riding Mode Select System (RMSS), Fireblade uses a full-color TFT liquid crystal dash to clearly communicate information to the rider, inspired by the RC213V-S street legal version of Honda’s MotoGP machine.CBR 1000RRFireblade SP is the first Honda motorcycle to be equipped with semi-active Ohlins Electronic Control (S-EC) suspension front and rear: a 43mm NIX30 fork and TTX36 shock, Quickshifter (Downshift Assist) and Lithium-Ion battery.advertisementThe 25th anniversary CBR 1000RR Fireblade starts atRs 17.61 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) and will be available in 2 variants i.e. CBR 1000RR Fireblade& CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP.Also Read:Honda Jazz facelift spotted during testing in Brazil
Suresh Raina played a captain’s innings as Gujarat Lions beat Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets in Kolkata to register their second win in this year’s Indian Premier League.Raina, who hammered 84 off 46 balls as the Lions roared in the Knight’s den, also became the all-time highest run-scorer in the IPL.He once again went past Virat Kohli (4,264 runs) to become the leading run-scorer with 4,341 runs. He is currently 77 runs ahead of the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, who will next take the field on Sunday when RCB take on KKR in Kolkata.Raina started off the day on a good note after picking up Sunil Narine, who was looking dangerous on 42 off just 17 balls as Kolkata were racing along in the opening few overs. He ended with figures of 1/11 from two overs.The Gujarat captain continued the good work with the bat as he came out to bat after Aaron Finch fell scoring a breezy 31 in chase of 188. Raina looked in sublime touch right from the word go. He was not only timing the ball beautifully but also hitting some massive sixes.What was really impressive about Raina’s innings was the way he handled the situation and took responsibility even though wickets were falling around him. He brought up his fifty off just 32 balls and built a crucial partnership of 58 runs with Ravindra Jadeja for the sixth wicket before finally falling on 84, with Gujarat just eight runs away from victory.The stylish left-hander hit nine fours and four sixes in his innings of 84.advertisementGujarat will next play fifth-placed Kings XI Punjab on Sunday in Rajkot.
A clinical finish from Punjab and they have ended their 4-match losingstreak. The hosts got off to a poor start as they lost their prolificrun-scorer McCullum cheaply. Raina came in and along with Finch gave the momentum to the innings. However, the departure of Finch and Raina inquick succession turned the tide in favour of the visitors. (SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE)Dinesh Karthik scored a good fifty but he didn’t get good support fromthe other end. The tourists’ bowlers were right on the money and kept on mounting the pressure on the opposition. The middle order lost the plot and crumbled under pressure. KC Cariappa was brilliant and the homeside found it difficult to read him. He ended with figures of 4-024-2and was the standout bowler. Mohit Sharma bowled a miserly spell too and Sandeep and Patel were among the wickets too.Glenn Maxwell: Very good toss to lose. Wicket got a bit slower and our bowlers bowled really well. Got some wickets in the Poweplay and we were clinical. Amla and Marsh are outstanding. Classical batsmen, and for them to get as deep as they did, it allowed the hitters to play their game. Making handy contributions most games, but I would like to make a bit more to make it easier on the lower order. I can’t say enough about Cariappa, he bowled the right lengths, him and Axar Patel did a great holding job and kept the run-rate up for them. We have a great group of guys who are easily motivated. The guys have celebrated Hashim and Manan’s outstanding innings the other day. I’m uncertain of Hashim’s fitness issues, he was pretty sure when I was out there batting with him. Anytime you lose a run of games in a row, you desperately need to turn it around. For us to win this game, after losing the game, on a good wicket, I’m pleased about the character they showed.advertisementSuresh Raina: You can’t chase 190 every time. Bowlers have to do something. We haven’t won any 4 pm games. It’s a learning curve for us. Spinners have to step up. Nathu got cramps, so I had to bowl Smith in the second last over. The bowlers are lacking confidence. They are not executing on match day, they do well in the nets, but not on match day. We thought we could still chase it down, but while we were batting, the wicket got slower and Sandeep and Mohit bowled good slower balls and made it hard for us to hit. At this stage, I can’t say anything. We have to go there. Couple of injury issues, but we have to win more games, we can’t just talk in training. We’ll go to Bangalore, regroup and hopefully we can win.Hashim Amla is the man of the match for his 40-ball 65. HIGHLIGHTS:GUJARAT INNINGS:19.29 IST: All over! Fuller length outside off, Karthik looks to put it away but cannot put bat to ball. That’s it, PUNJAB WIN BY 26 RUNS!19.26 IST: FOUR! Inside edge! Sandeep bowls it full on the stumps, Thampi gets hisbat down in time but only gets an inside edge through fine leg for aboundary. 32 needed in 5 balls.19.25 IST: Sandeep Sharma to bowl the final over of the innings.19.24 IST: Mohit Sharma Slants it outside off on a length, Karthik looks to swipe it away butfails to put bat to ball. What an over, just 5 runs from the over. 36needed in 6 balls. Do Gujarat have a Yuvraj among them?19.19 IST: Natarajan Spears it full and wide outside off, Thampi looks to drive but isbeaten. A top over from Natarajan. Gujarat need 41 more in 12 balls.19.13 IST: FOUR! Well played, Karthik! Fuller outside off, Karthik gets intoposition and reverse sweeps it between short third man and backwardpoint for a boundary. He has played a brilliant knock here. Gujarat need 47 more in 18 balls. 13th IPL fifty for Dinesh Karthik.19.11 IST: OUT! Sandeep Sharma castles Tye for 22. Full and straight works! Sandeep spears in a yorker on middle, Tye plays all over it and is bowled. That is a brilliant ball. End of a handycameo by Tye. Gujarat need 52 more in 20 balls. GL 137/7 in 16.4 overs, chasing 189 vs KXIP 19.10 IST: FOUR! More boundaries! Shorter in length outside off, Tye goes for thepull shot. He gets it off the top edge over the head of the keeper for a boundary.19.08 IST: FOUR! Low full toss on the pads, Dinesh Karthik gets behind it andsweeps it through backward square leg for a boundary. Top start to theover.advertisement19.08 IST: Sandeep Sharma returns for his final spell.19.05 IST: Gujarat Lions are 128/6 in 16 overs, chasing 189 vs Kings XI Punjab. Karthik 43*, Tye 18*. Time out taken!19.00 IST: FOUR! Handy runs! Lands it on middle and leg, Tye looks to sweep butgets it off the gloves to the fine leg fence for a boundary. Gujaratneed 68 more in 30 balls.18.58 IST: SIX! Into the stands! Patel lands it around off and middle, Tye gets under it and swings it over mid-wicket for a 90m maximum.18.55 IST: No hat-trick! Cariappa bowls it outside off, Tye looks to drive but gets beaten all ends up. The keeper collects the ball and appeals long andhard. Nothing from the umpire, rightly so. There was noise but it was of the bat hitting the pad.18.54 IST: OUT! Cariappa removes Nath for a duck. Another one bites the dust! Bowls it full and on middle and leg, Nathlooks to clip it through but is hit on his boot. The players appeal foran lbw and the umpire rules it out. A duck for Akshdeep! Gujarat sinkfurther. GL 102/6 in 13.1 overs, chasing 189 vs KXIP. Andrew Tye comes out to bat. Cariappa is on a hat-trick.18.52 IST: OUT! Axar removes Dwayne Smith for 4. Smith throws it away! Patel bowls it on middle, Smith looks to go bigover long off but completely mistimes it. The ball flies down the throat of long off where Stoinis takes the catch easily. The end is nigh forthe home side? GL 102/5 in 13 overs, chasing 189 vs KXIP. Akshdeep Nath is the next man in.18.48 IST: OUT! Cariappa removes Jadeja for 9. Soft dismissal, top catch KC Cariappa! Bowls it around off, holds up atouch, Jadeja ends up pushing it back down the wicket. The bowler divesto his left and takes it well inches off the ground. That is a bigwicket for the visitors. GL 94/4 in 12 overs, chasing 189 vs KXIP. Dwayne Smith strides out to bat. Gujarat need 94 from 48 balls. Punjab are on top at the moment.18.43 IST: FOUR! Just past the fielder! Shorter outside off, Jadeja makes most ofit and cuts it past the diving point fielder for a boundary. GL 90/3 in 11 overs, chasing 189 18.39 IST: FOUR! Shot! A touch short on middle and leg, Karthik pulls it through backward square leg and the ball races to the fence. GL 82/3 in 10 overs, chasing 18918.36 IST: 50 wickets for Axar Patel in the Indian Premier League.18.35 IST: OUT! Axar Patel removes Raina for 32. Great composure by Maxwell to pull off a superb catch! Short delivery,Raina rocks back and pulls it uppishly towards deep mid-wicket. GlennMaxwell, stationed there stays calm, leaps and judges it to perfectionto pouch it brilliantly. GL 70/3 in 9 overs, chasing 189. Ravindra Jadeja comes out to bat. He has been promoted above Dwayne Smith here.18.32 IST: FOUR! Dispatched with disdain! Short delivery on middle, Karthik rocks back and pulls it over square leg for a boundary.advertisement18.31 IST: Axar Patel comes on for a bowl.18.29 IST: Karthik uses his feet and drives the fullish delivery to long off for asingle and he will retain the strike. A tidy over from Natarajan, only 5 from it. Gujarat need 126 from 72 balls with 8 wickets in hand. Thematch is nicely poised at the moment. Gujarat Lions are 63/2 in 8 overs, chasing 189 vs Kings XI Punjab. Raina 31*, Karthik 13*. Time out signalled.18.24 IST: FOUR! Poor delivery and duly punished! Short outside off, spinning away. Karthik cuts it hard through covers for a rocketing boundary. GL 58/2 in 7 overs, chasing 189 vs KXIP18.20 IST: FOUR! Shortish delivery on off, Karthik pulls it through backward square leg and the ball races to the fence. Gets off the mark in style! Fifty up for Gujarat Lions in 6 overs18.18 IST: OUT! Mohit Sharma removes Finch for 13. Terrific take, Stoinis! Finch looks to back away again and Sharma bowlsit full outside off, Finch gives himself room and drives it towardsStoinis at extra cover. He dives to his left and seems to have taken abrilliant catch. Finch feels that Stoinis hasn’t grabbed it cleanly andthe umpires walk across to each other and refer it upstairs. The thirdumpires has a good look at it with a lot of replays. Marcus’s fingersseems to be underneath it as he took it inches above the ground. Feelsthat it is conclusive enough and the soft signal is upheld. GL 46/2 in 5.3 overs, chasing 189 vs KXIP. Dinesh Karthik is the new man in.18.11 IST: FOUR! The boundaries are coming at ease now! Shorter delivery on off,Raina pulls it through mid-wicket. The fielder in the deep puts in adesperate dive but fails to stop it. GL 43/1 in 5 overs, chasing 18918.10 IST: KC Cariapaa to bowl now.18.09 IST: SIX! Bang! On a length outside off, Finch tonks it over wide long off for a maximum. He picked that up with so much ease. GL 36/1 in 4 overs18.04 IST: Thangarasu Natarajan brought on for a bowl.18.03 IST: FOUR! Well played! Low full toss well outside off, Raina reaches out and carves it behind point for a boundary. GL 25/1 in 3 overs, chasing 18918.02 IST: Run out chance missed! Finch gives himself room and punches it towardsStoinis at covers. He dives to his left and is aware of the situation.Raina has taken off and Stoinis aims at the bowler’s end but misses.Raina is a country mile away from the crease. Patel who is backing uphits the bull’s eye as Raina looks to get back in. The umpire refer itupstairs but Raina is safely in.18.00 IST: FOUR! Easy pickings! On a length on leg stump, Raina moves inside theline and tickles it in between the keeper and short fine leg fielder for a boundary.17.59 IST: FOUR! Easy pickings! On a length on leg stump, Raina moves inside theline and tickles it in between the keeper and short fine leg fielder for a boundary. GL 14/1 in 2 overs, chasing 18917.57 IST: In the air… but safe! Good length delivery outside off, Finch looks to go downtown but mistimes it towards mid off. Shaun Marsh at the edge of the circle leaps to take it but the ball just goes over him. Two runstaken.17.53 IST: OUT! Sandeep Sharma removes McCullum for 6. Sharma strikes! Bowls a low full toss on off, Brendon McCullum looks towhip it through mid-wicket but misses it completely to get rapped on the back pad. Up go the Punjab players in unison and the umpire has nohesitation in ruling it out. GL 6/1 in 1 over, chasing 189. Suresh Raina comes out to bat.17.50 IST: FOUR! McCullum is off the mark in style! Back of a length outside off, he stays back and cuts it behind point for a boundary.17.48 IST: Welcome back for the chase. The two Gujarat openers are Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch. Punjab begin with Sandeep Sharma. A slip in place forhim. Here we go…Punjab Innings:17.36 IST: Axar Patel hit 18 runs off the Dwayne Smith over to ensure his sidecrossed the 180-run mark. It could well be the difference between thetwo sides in the end. Andrew Tye and Ravindra Jadeja were economical and took wickets as well. The rest, as has been the case with the homeside, got a hammering. Gujarat will feel that they have done fairly well on this high-scoring ground to keep Punjab to a score which they mightthink can be chased down. The wicket has held up a touch. The Punjabbowlers coming off a pasting from Mumbai, will hope they do well. Itsets up a fascinating chase. Join us in a while for it.17.34 IST: A good finish for Gujarat despite the big over from Dwayne Smith towards the end. They began well taking the wicket of Manan Vohra early but the pair of Shaun Marsh and Hashim Amla added 70 runs for the secondwicket. The southpaw departed after a start but Amla registered hisfifty. Maxwell and Amla threatened to take the game away but the hostsstruck in time to send both of them back in the hut before they could do a lot of damage.17.30 IST: OUT! Punjab finish on 188/7. Yorker outside off, Saha only manages tojam it down the track. Sharma takes off from the other end and Saharesponds. Basil Thampi collects it on his followthrough, runs back tothe bowler’s end and flicks the bails off calmly. Saha is out of thecrease by a country mile. More importantly, it is a crucial dot ball for the hosts.17.27 IST: SIX! Handy maximum! Searches for the yorker but ends up bowling a lowfull toss outside off. It’s in the slot and Saha clubs it over deepmid-wicket for a biggie.17.23 IST: OUT! Smith removes Axar Patel for 34. Patel departs after a breezy knock! Slower back of a length deliveryaround off, Patel pulls it towards wide long on. Finch has a lot ofground to covers and does so with ease. Takes a brilliantly well-judgedcatch to his left near the ropes. KXIP 174/6 in 18.4 overs 17.21 IST: SIX, FOUR, SIX… Axar Patel taking Smith to the cleaners. KXIP 174/5 in 18.3 overs 17.16 IST: OUT! Tye removes Stoinis for 7. The slower ball has done the trick! Tye rolls his fingers on it onceagain and bowls it outside off, Stoinis looks to go downtown but miscues it towards long off. Brendon McCullum stationed there takes an easycatch. KXIP 157/5 in 17.5 overs. Wriddhiman Saha comes out to bat.17.13 IST: Nine runs came off that over from Thampi. Kings XI 152/4 in 17 overs. Axar 14*, Stoinis 4*17.06 IST: Tye to Axar, FOUR! Hits a boundary straight back past the bowler. Kings XI 143/4 in 16 ovs17.02 IST: Good over from Jadeja, just seven runs came off it along with a wicket. Kings XI 135/4 in 15 ovsJust 7 runs coming off #Jaddu’s last over and a wicket. He finished with 4 overs, 32 runs and 1 wicket. #GameMaariChhe #GLvKXIP- The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) April 23, 201717.00 IST: Jadeja to Maxwell, OUT! Jadeja strikes and he has got the big fish! Both the set batsmen are back in the hut now. Tosses it up around off, comes in with the arm. Maxwell goes for the reverse sweep but fails to connect. Is pinged on the front pad and there is a huge appeal for an LBW to which the umpire obliges. Glenn departs after a fine cameo. Good passage of play for the hosts. Kings XI 132/4 in 14.2 ovs WICKET. #Jaddu comes to the party and gets the wicket of the dangerous #GlennMaxwell #KXIP 132/4. #GameMaariChhe #GLvKXIP- The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) April 23, 201716.55 IST: Agarwal to Amla, OUT! Amla departs after a brilliant knock! Shorter in length on off, Amla backs away and flat-bats it straight towards Agarwal. He is alert and bends to take a sharp catch. That is a massive wicket, Amla was looking ominous. This is also the first Indian T20 League wicket for Shubham Agarwal. The young man is elated! Kings XI 128/3 in 14 overs WICKET. And this is a huge one for the Lions. Shubham Agarwal takes a stunner. Amla departs. #GameMaariChhe #GLvKXIP pic.twitter.com/5tlFqojY6F- The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) April 23, 201716.49 IST: 13 runs came off that over from Thampi. Kings XI 104/2 in 12 overs. Amla 56*, Maxwell 12*16.44 IST: Tye to Amla, FOUR! Well played, Hashim Amla! He makes most of the reprieve. Tye angles it on middle, Amla works it off the toe end of the bat wide of the short fine leg for a boundary. He brings up his fifty and will be eager to make it big again. Scores his third half-century of the season as Kings XI reach 91/2 in 11 ovs .@amlahash following up his 100 with a half century! #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #GLvKXIP pic.twitter.com/6nKQB7qhLB- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 2017What a way to bring up your fifty! Flicks the ball down to fine leg for yet another boundary! #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #GLvKXIP- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 201716.38 IST: Tye to Marsh, OUT! The bowling change works, another soft dismissal for Shaun Marsh, he has had plenty of them in his career! Another knuckle ball around off, Marsh is early into his shot. The ball goes off the face of the bat and lobs towards Suresh Raina. He goes to his right a touch and takes it easily. Marsh departs after a start, yet again. Kings XI 81/2 in 9.2 oversThat’s OUT. @aj191 with a beautiful slower delivery foxes Shaun Marsh. Simple catch for #SureshRaina #KXIP 81/2 #GameMaariChhe #GLvKXIP pic.twitter.com/pSLMTdKjmR- The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) April 23, 201716.33 IST: Jadeja to Amla, FOUR! Flatter on the pads, Amla tucks it fine past the short fine leg fielder for a boundary. Jadeja concedes 13 runs off his over. Kings XI 80/1 in 9 ovs 13 runs off the 9th over as the strategic time-out is called. We’re 80/1 with @amlahashon 45 & @shaunmarsh9 on 30! #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 201716.33 IST: Jadeja to Amla, SIX! Over covers, goes Amla! Fuller outside off, Amla gets under it and just carves it over extra cover for a maximum. This could be the shot of the match.16.29 IST: Agarwal to Marsh, FOUR! Brings up the fifty-run partnership between Amla (32*) and Marsh (26*). Fires it wide outside off expecting the charge, Marsh though manages to get his bat to it and sends it packing through extra covers for a boundary.16.29 IST: Agarwal to Marsh, SIX! Lovely hit! Floats it around off, Marsh comes down the wicket and launches it over long off for a clean hit. That was well timed.16.28 IST: Jadeja concedes just 3 runs from his first over. Kings XI 53/1 in 7 ovs.16.25 IST: Tye to Amla, SIX! Just over the ropes! Slants it on a length outside off, Amla gets under it and launches it over long on. The elevation does not seem to be enough but it just flies over the fielder at long on as Kings XI reach 50/1 in 6 overs. Amla 31*, Marsh 15* SIX! @amlahash just manages to evade the man at long on for the first maximum of the game. #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #GLvKXIP- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 201716.23 IST: Tye to Amla, FOUR! Up and over! Bowls it outside off, Amla gets under it and thumps it over the head of the bowler for a boundary.16.21 IST: Thampi to Marsh, FOUR! Kings XI 36/1 in 5 ovs 16.16 IST: Kings XI 25/1 in 4 ovs. Amla 15*, Marsh 7* 16.05 IST: Nathu to Vohra, WICKET! Superb catch! Nathu Singh bowls it outside off on a good length, Manan Vohra looks to dab it down to third man but gets an outside edge. Dinesh Karthik dives to his right and catches the ball. Brilliant effort and Nathu Singh has his maiden Indian T20 League wicket. Kings XI 11/1 in 1.2 ovsWicket! @ImMananVohra edges one and Dinesh Kartik makes no mistake. It’s 11/1. #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #GLvKXIP- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 201716.00 IST: Punjab have started the attack with leg-spinner Shubham Agarwal.15.45 IST: For Gujarat – Nathu Singh, Shubham Agarwal, Andrew Tye, Akshdeep Nath come in for Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, James Faulkner and Ishan Kishan.Here’s our Playing XI for today’s match. #GameMaariChhe #GLvKXIP pic.twitter.com/i2zI6i05Od- The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) April 23, 201715.40 IST: Kings XI have made three changes to their side – Starting XI: H Amla, M Vohra, G Maxwell, W Saha, S Marsh, MP Stoinis, A Patel, KC Cariappa, T Natarajan, M Sharma, Sandeep Sharma. #GLvKXIP- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 20173 changes to the team as @ImMananVohra, KC Cariappa and Natarajan make their way back into the starting XI. #LivePunjabiPlayPunjabi #GLvKXIP- Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) April 23, 201715.36 IST: BIG BLOW FOR GL! Apart from the four changes that Gujarat have made for this match, Raina also revealed at the toss that Dwayne Bravo has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Going to miss this Champion! Unfortunately he has been ruled out this season due to injury! I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery! pic.twitter.com/XkKiMN9ojt- Keshav Bansal (@KeshavBansal08) April 23, 201715.30 IST: TOSS! Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina wins the toss and opts to bowl vs Glenn Maxwell’s Kings XI PunjabTOSS: Captain #SureshRaina has won the toss and the Lions will be bowling first. #GameMaariChhe #GLvKIP pic.twitter.com/aiQfEAMhqv- The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) April 23, 2017Brief Preview:Motivated by the morale-boosting four-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their last Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Gujarat Lions will be aiming to keep the momentum going when they face Kings XI Punjab at home on Sunday.EXCLUSIVE: Suresh Raina shows off his singing skillsThe Lions rode on skipper Suresh Raina’s brilliant 46-ball-84 at the Eden Gardens on Friday to their second victory of the season while Kings XI will be eager to end their four-match losing streak at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.On paper, there is not much to choose between the two teams even though Punjab, despite being on a losing streak, are placed fifth with four points while Gujarat are seventh with the same number of points.For Gujarat, former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum with 258 runs and Raina with 243 runs, are among the top five run-getters in the tournament so far.Punjab will take solace from the fact that they scored a near 200 total (198) against the Mumbai Indians with South African Hashim Amla scoring a terrific hundred and skipper Glenn Maxwell also hitting some lusty blows.However, the problem area for both the teams has been bowling which has let them down on most occasions.Both the teams are heavily dependent on the Indian bowlers, who have failed to rise to the occasion when their teams needed them the most.
It has been 10 years already since Lalit Modi’s brain-child, the Indian Premier League , took the world of cricket by storm and has since left the Indian audience fighting internal struggles: which is more important, country or city? Success at the inaugural World T20 brought along with Indian’s fairy-tale love story, the concept of cheerleaders. WATCH VIDEO What the well-meaning layman in this country of 1.2 billion people understood by that is completely different, ‘scantily clad white women dancing to pulsating music’.Numerous debates and verbal battles aside on the morality of it all and its linearity with Indian values, things have changed, a lot. The Indian Premier League has moved on from treating these cheerleaders as just props and showpieces to place at the boundary ropes to do what actually they are supposed to, cheer the action on the field, every four, six or wicket.The cheerleaders themselves have evolved, with first Indian women being included, then finally the advent of the less fairer sex, men. Although it coincided with Lalit Modi’s exit after the third season and the emergence of the Pune Warriors India (PWI) from 2011. They introduced cheerleaders, who exuded elegance in sarees.From season 2 itself teams like Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings started their own cheerleader hunts.The Shah Rukh Khan -owned Kolkata franchise, decided to go the route of a reality show with then captain Sourav Ganguly handpicking the squad. Chennai Super Kings also started their own search for cheerleaders with a reality show of their own.advertisementMoral policing and misconstrued opinions have plagued the cheerleaders from the very start. Former Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray said cheerleaders were introduced to “seduce” the crowd. Shatrughan Sinha, actor turned politician, felt it was a mockery of cricket.Then comes the mother of all IPL cheerleader controversies. Gabriella Pasqualotto. She blogged about “flirtatious” and “inappropriate” behaviour from cricketers and even named some of them.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) then barred the cheerleaders from interacting with the cricketers during the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League.But, that did not deter an IPL cheerleader from revealing her league experience on the social networking website Reddit . The IPL cheerleader, who chose to be anonymous and went by the moniker ‘IPLCheer’, participated in Reddit’s AMA (ask me anything) live chat to disclose the experience and hazards of her jobs.The league and the ones dancing and cheering the ever-thinning crowds at IPL venues have seemed to have moved on. The sleeves are still longer, the chest is no longer the most exposed and the shorts have lost their reason to named thus anymore. The cheerleaders’ costumes are seen as a canvas for advertisement and overall brand exposure. The best example of such costumes would be the Royal Bangalore Challengers’ cheerleaders, who have among them, a man dressed as Captain Morgan, serving as an advertisement for the liquor brand.However one questions the presence of cheerleaders on the cricket field, but the passion they have shown over the years stands out in the age of players changing teams every season. There have been times when bad performances from a team brought their cheerleaders to tears and visibly upset. A case-in-point is Kolkata Knight Rider’s match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator at the Feroze Shah Kotla last year.Having said all that, just think about the IPL without cheerleaders. It takes away a bit of the charm, glamour and fun you associate with the tournament, right?
Everybody knows that veteran Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir is a very passionate cricketer, who loves his country more passionately.Time and again, Gambhir has openly raised his voice on social media and called for action to be taken against those who attack India’s security forces – be it the Border Security Forces (BSF) or Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).Earlier this month, the left-handed batsman had condemned the video in which a security personnel was seen being roughed up by a youth while he was returning from a polling booth in Srinagar and had said at least 100 jihadi lives must be taken for every slap on an Indian soldier’s face.Expressing his anger towards the same, Gambhir wrote on Twitter:For every slap on my army’s Jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. Whoever wants Azadi LEAVE NOW! Kashmir is ours. #kashmirbelongs2us- Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 13, 2017Anti-Indians hav forgotten dat our flag also stands 4: saffron – fire of our anger, white – shroud for jihadis, green – hatred 4 terror.- Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 13, 2017Recently, following the attack by the Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district in which 25 CRPF jawans lost their lives, the 35-year-old asked for action and response in retaliation to the loss of lives.He even pledged to bear the educational expenses of the children of the paramilitary personnel, who were killed in the attack.Now, in a post for his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Gambhir wrote how hollow he felt after Wednesday’s attack.”I can even watch and enjoy a cricket match being played between associate nations. I just love this game. But some incidents shake me so hard that I lose context of playing cricket. Our last game on Wednesday was one such day where I experienced the hollow feeling,” his post read.advertisement’Some incidents shake me so hard that I lose context of playing cricket,’ an emotional @GautamGambhir speaks out. https://t.co/PuhsScpaAg- KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) 28 April 2017″The recent CRPF attacks in Chhattisgarh were still fresh in my mind. On Wednesday morning I picked up newspapers and saw gut-wrenching pictures of the daughters of two CRPF men killed in the latest attacks. One of them was saluting her martyr father while in the other picture the howling young woman was being consoled by her relative.””We were to play against Rising Pune Supergiant in the evening. As the day went on and I was going from selection meeting to batsmen’s meeting to bowlers’ meeting the pictures kept growing on me. I thought to myself how does it matter to the families of those 25 CRPF men whether KKR won or lost. I spoke to few close people about it and their advise was try to shut out these incidents and do my job. Hell,” he added.Chattisgarh, Kashmir, North East,do v need more alarm bells or r we a deaf state?Life of my countrymen isn’t cheap,someone needs 2 pay 4 it- Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 24, 2017The KKR skipper further revealed that this was not the end of the story.”I kept thinking and decided a few things. First, my team KKR would play with black arm bands to express solidarity with mourning families. Second, Gautam Gambhir Foundation will take care of the entire education expenses of the children of these martyrs. My team has already started work on this and I shall soon share progress we have made. I was little bit at ease when I reached the ground,” he said.”Winning the toss helped me a bit to readjust my focus. I was trying to push Chhattisgarh in the background as the first ball was about to be bowled. But it was just not leaving me. After a point I gave up as the images were too strong and I knew they’ll only go with time.””My colleagues were fielding poorly. In normal course it would have infuriated me no end but at the back of my mind Chhattisgarh was shouting, “It is just a game”. Bang, four and I was transported to present,” he added.The left-handed opener also praised Kuldeep Yadav for his courage, saying, “I was also proud of Kuldeep Yadav’s courage. Bowling to MS Dhoni didn’t faze him one bit. I think Monty Panesar summed it up really well in a tweet. He said, “@imkuldeep18& @robbieuthappa have a story for their grandchildren ‘Dhoni st Uthappa b Kuldeep!’ It won’t have been a bad idea if Kuldeep had requested MS to sign the match ball and preserved it for life.”advertisement”These are the reasons I love this game – team work and selflessness. For the same reasons I love armed forces too, although the quantum of losing a dear one while serving the country can never ever be compared to losing a cricket match,” he concluded.
Tour de France champion Chris Froome said on Tuesday that he had escaped unhurt while having his bike written off by an impatient car driver in a hit-and-run incident.The 31-year-old three-time winner of the world’s biggest bike race, tweeted a picture of the twisted remains of his “totaled” training bike, saying he had been deliberately knocked off by the driver.Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay ?? Bike totaled. Driver kept going! pic.twitter.com/o7FT4iXsAo- Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) May 9, 2017The Team Sky rider said he was “okay” after the incident that happened during a training ride near his home in the south of France.Sky News reported that it understood Froome would be reporting the incident to police.”Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay. Bike totaled. Driver kept going!”, the Team Sky rider wrote, adding an emoji of hands clasped in prayer.Team Sky said the Monaco-based Froome had continued his training session after returning home to get a spare bike.Froome is training for June’s Criterium du Dauphine, his familiar warm-up event before the Tour de France between July 1-23. He is favourite to win the event for a third successive year.The incident was just another reminder of the continued perils faced by professional cyclists on the road during training rides.It occurred less than three weeks since the death of 37-year-old Michele Scarponi, the former Giro d’Italia winner, who was struck by a van while training in Italy.advertisementHis team, Astana, described the death of Scarponi, a husband and father of two, as a ‘tragedy too big to be written’.
Mumbai Indians reached their fourth Indian Premier League final in the history of the tournament after they beat Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in the Qualifier 2 at the M. Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru, to meet the Rising Pune Supergiant final in Hyderabad on Sunday.In their previous three finals, they have won twice in 2013 and 2015 against the Chennai Super Kings and lost once to the same team back in 2010.They now are second in the list of most finals played by a team in the IPL after CSK, who have played six out of the first eight seasons. They were suspended for two seasons in 2015 by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee for spot-fixing and betting scam that rocked the Indian cricket in 2013.The Mumbai team has been in brilliant form this season as they topped the table with 20 points and looked in sublime touch throughout the extravaganza before hitting a rough patch. But they beat Kolkata in their final league game to confirm their top spot and march on to the qualifiers.However, their joy was short lived as they lost to the Pune at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Qualifier 1 and had to play the second qualifier where they steamrolled Kolkata to book a place in the final for the third time in five years.But their task is cut out as Mumbai have failed to beat Pune in this year’s IPL. The teams have met thrice and lost in all the three occasions prior to the big final on Sunday.advertisementIncidentally, Rohit’s men will come across a familiar face in the final once again — Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Dhoni, who was earlier dropped as the captain of the Pune franchise, had led CSK each time the two teams faced each other in the final. This time however, it’s Steve Smith who will lead the team but his presence in the team has and will play a huge factor when the two teams meet at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Pakistan cruised to the ICC Champions Trophy final after thrashing hosts England by eight wickets in the first semi-final at the Sophia Gardens on Wednesday.Chasing a below-par 212, the Green Brigade rode on a brilliant 118-run opening stand between Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) before Babar Azam (38 not out) and Ali helped the team with a 55-run second-wicket stand to set their date with the winner of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh, on Sunday.After bowling the hosts out for 211, thanks to pacer Hasan Ali’s 3/35, the Pakistani opening duo of Ali and Zaman made light work of the English bowlers as the visitors crossed the 50-run mark at the end of the mandatory powerplay.The 27-year-old Zaman was the more destructive of the two, bringing up his second consecutive fifty off 49 balls, laced with six boundaries and a six off a bouncer from pacer Mark Wood in the very first over of the innings.It seemed the Pakistan batsmen were in a hurry to get to the total as the duo helped the team touch the three-figure mark in the next seven overs before Ali too got to his half century off 68 deliveries.Unable to find the breakthrough, English skipper Eoin Morgan got Adil Rashid back into action, and the leg-spinner delivered on the very first delivery of his fourth over with the wicket of the dangerous Zaman, stumped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.The wicket of Zaman brought in Azam, who wasted no time in settling down, dancing down the track to loft Rashid over for a straight six as the visitors crossed the 150-run mark in no time.advertisementAli slowed down a bit midway till he picked Liam Plunkett for a boundary as the second wicket partnership flourished to 50 off 55 deliveries.But a slower one from pacer Jake Ball saw the back of the opening batsman. Ali, who had by now faced 100 deliveries, only managed to get a bottom edge which crashed into his own stumps.Needing 39 runs to win, the experienced Mohammed Hafeez (31 not out off 21 balls) and Azam finished off in style with a 42-run unbeaten third-wicket stand.Hafeez, who started off clobbering all-rounder Ben Stokes for a massive six, got the winning runs with a boundary off the same bowler as Pakistan overhauled the target with 77 balls to spare.Earlier, Pakistan bowlers led by Hasan Ali put up a quality display to restrict England to 211 runs in 49.5 overs. Ali was complimented well by Juniad Khan and debutant Rumman Raees, who chipped in with two wickets each.For England, Joe Root (46), Jonny Bairstow (43) and Ben Stokes (34) were the major contributors to the cause.England, who were brilliant in the group stages, wasted a steady start, thanks to the immaculate line and length of the bowlers, who were right on the coin throughout the match.The home side’s ploy to bring back Bairstow in place of Jason Roy clicked but some poor middle-order batting saw Pakistan dominating the game.Unlike the previous matches, England’s lower-order drastically failed to live up to the pressure as Jos Buttler (4), Moeen Ali (11), Rashid (7), Plunkett (9) and Wood (3) only managed to add 30 runs for the cause.
Former world champion Tyson Gay will not be able to compete at this year’s world athletics championships, after failing to reach the final of either of his preferred sprint events at the US athletics championships.Gay missed the final of the 200 meters on Sunday after finishing in a time of 21.37 seconds in his semi-final. The 34-year-old finished third place in his 100-meter heat on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.Despite the failure, Gay, who has struggled with form since the shooting death of his teenaged daughter in Kentucky in October, told reporters that he had no intention of ending his career just yet.”I’m going to try to race at least a couple more times, hopefully,” Gay said.”I’m still fit, I’ve just got to put it together.”Gay owned the second-fastest time over 100 metres ever set – behind Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds.
Abhinav Bindra may have quit professional shooting but now serving in some decision making capacities, India’s Olympic legend still remains at centre stage for the shooting world.As the chairman of the athletes commission of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Bindra-led governing body recommended converting three men’s Olympic medal events into mixed events. Bindra has lost many friends in the process.”The change was mandated by the international body and was always going to be a difficult change. Nobody likes changes. Athletes hate changes, I would as well. But when you are trying to make hard decisions and ones which are tough for sport, you will never win the popularity contest,” an unfazed Bindra told India Today.With men’s 50-metre free pistol, 50-metre rifle prone and double trap dropped from the Olympic program and replaced with mixed doubles events there have been voices of dissent coming from affected shooters. But defending the changes Bindra says, “You have to keep personal ambitions and biases aside and take a decision which is for the good of the sport, which is evident by the recent general assembly called by shooting federations where 249 voted for the changes and there were 2 against. It pretty much has universal acceptance once you understand the reasons behind it and why it was necessary.”Following the changes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) achieves it objective of gender equality with nine gold medals each for men and women in shooting for Tokyo 2020. But Bindra has had to deal with criticism at home as well of it affecting India’s medal prospects. The 50 meter pistol was India’s top Olympic prospect Jitu Rai’s pet event. Rajyavardhan Rathore kick started India’s rise in shooting by winning silver at Athens 2004 in double trap. The prone event has seen the likes of Gagan Narang and Joydeep Karmakar winning medals at international events.advertisementBindra responds by reminding the critics his brief wasn’t to protect India’s interest. “My role as chair of international committee of athletes of ISSF was not to take a decision which would be only better for India. It was one for good of sport that was my mandate and that’s what we tried to do,” he states.The shooting great is however confident the depth in Indian shooting will not only ensure they adapt to changes but believes it will be an advantage. “Indian shooting has a lot of depth and with time and people getting adjusted with the format am sure they will do well. The mixed team event is one that I am sure will be an advantage for us. It needs time, patience and whether you like it or you don’t you have to adapt,” he says matter of factly.Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu, two of India’s best pistol shooters winning the mixed pistol test event recently at ISSF World Cup signals good beginnings. Bindra does not read too much in the win but is quietly confident Indian shooters will soon have a grip over things. “I followed it a little bit. Mixed team events are still at a test stage. Still Grand Prix events at the World Cup and not quite world events. Next year will be more interesting because people will know it’s a reality and everybody will take it up seriously with Olympic medals at stake. But I am sure our boys and girls will do well,” he says with optimism.
(EDs: Adding Virat Kohlis name in intro) Colombo, July 20 (PTI) Whether its Shikhar Dhawan or Abhinav Mukund, whoever opens alongside KL Rahul in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle should treat this as an opportunity rather than feel the pressure to perform, India skipper Virat Kohli said today. The skipper termed regular Test opener Murali Vijays wrist injury as “unfortunate” but also praised his players being honest about their fitness status. “Every player comes to the team wanting to perform. Injuries are unfortunate part of sport. Vijay was back from rehab and played a game and told selectors he was not match fit. That is the kind of culture being created. People are honest,” Kohli said during his arrival media conference. “Abhinav (Mukund) is there, he has played lot of domestic cricket. Shikhar got a hundred here last time and then he had to miss couple of games. “(Cheteshwar) Pujara opened in the last Test (in Dharamsala). So guys are looking these scenarios as opportunities rather than getting under pressure. I am sure they are going to be up for it,” said Kohli admitting that the team will have to make a mental change from white ball to red ball cricket. Sri Lanka performed shoddily against Zimbabwe in the recently concluded series where they even lost the ODI rubber. But Kohli insisted that they are not taking Sri Lanka lightly. “Not at all. I remember we came here two years back after tour of Australia, we were six or seven in the rankings. That particular series in Sri Lanka gave us belief. It taught us to come together as a team. Everyone in the team knows this is where it all started after losing the first Test in Galle. It was a dent for us. “The way we came together in the last tour is iconic for us,” said Kohli referring to the 2-1 win in the 2015 Test series, which was his first as full-time captain. Sri Lanka are a team in transition but Kohli expects them to put up more than a fight. “We know we have to work very hard. You have to respect the game. You have to be professional,” said Kohli when asked what it takes to be the number one Test side. Sri Lanka senior spinner Rangana Herath took 15 wickets in the last series two years with seven of them coming in the victorious Galle Test. “He is such a good bowler. If you dont find a solution to tackle him, then he will do what he did at Galle. You have to stay a step ahead of the opposition and find ways to counter it. If mistakes happen consistently and then you are not improving as a side,” Kohli stated. Ravi Shastri insisted that his team will play fearless cricket but is that simple, Kohli quipped: “Yes it is.” “All you need is that players are in the frame of mind so that they can be at their best. After you take the field, you are expected to take over and adapt to situations. That is something have been doing well in the past few years.” PTI BS KHS ATKadvertisement
Former international athlete Anil Sharma, 43, who has won several medals for the country, is battling for his life in a city hospital after a group of seven to eight men thrashed him with bricks and rods in Central Delhi’s Paharganj area on Friday evening.Sharma participated in several power lifting championships under physically challenged category in the 1990s.The incident took place when Sharma, along with two friends, went to Hotel Heritage Inn in Paharganj area. After coming out of the hotel, the three sat down in their car for a conversation. A while later, Sharma received a phone call and got out of the car to talk.Chandra Mohan, the eye-witness of the incident, told Mail Today: “I saw a group of men approach Sharma who was sitting on a scooter and talking on phone. They had a heated argument and the men started beating him up. They attacked him with bricks and rods. One of them threw a brick towards us. It hit me on my head and I became unconscious. The other friend managed to escape.”A call was made to the police control room and the duo was rushed to RML hospital.FACE SMASHED, EYE DAMAGED, NOSE BROKENWhile Mohan was discharged after medical aid, Sharma’s family transferred him to BL Kapoor hospital. Sharma’s face was smashed, leaving a damaged eye and broken nose.The impact of the attack was so severe that the doctors had to remove his kidney, pancreas and part of the intestine. He is currently admitted in the ICU at BL Kapoor hospital and is in critical condition.advertisement”A major surgery was conducted at BL Kapoor hospital, in which one kidney, which was smashed with a brick, had to be removed. The impact of the attack was such that the pancreas also got damaged. His nose and one eye also got damaged,” said Pooja, Sharma’s wife.Mohan, a businessman, identified one of the accused as Sharma’s friend, Ashu. He also claimed that Ashu has a criminal background and had served punishment in Tihar Jail too.Sharma, who owns a food joint near Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place, had represented India in an international power lifting championship in the 90s and even won a gold medal. He later left the sport and joined the family business. He has three children, including two daughters.A case has been registered at the Paharganj police station and the investigation is underway. The police said the accused are yet to be nabbed, and added that the CCTV footage from the area is being looked at for clues.ALSO READDelhi: Father-son killed for spat over air cooler Delhi Police constable suspended for masturbating in front of female colleague, touching 2 others inappropriately
The BCCI has awarded three Test matches of the November-December home series against Sri Lanka to Kolkata, Nagpur and Delhi while the newly-constructed stadium in Barasapara, Guwahati was awarded a marquee T20 International against Australia in October.The decisions were taken at the Board’s tours and fixtures committee meeting here.It will be a big home season for the Indian team as it will play 23 international matches across three series starting end of September and concluding at the end of December.The season starts mid September with five ODIs against Australia slated to be played at Chennai, Bangalore, Nagpur, Indore and Kolkata.The three T20 Internationals against the Aussies will be held in Hyderabad, Ranchi and Guwahati.The series against New Zealand will commence mid October and the three ODIs will be held in Pune, Mumbai and Kanpur followed by three T20 Internationals at Delhi, Cuttack and Rajkot.The final stretch of the international season at home will commence from middle of November with Kolkata hosting the first Test against Sri Lanka.The second Test is scheduled in Nagpur, which will be making a comeback after ICC suspension for poor pitch. The final Test will be held in Delhi.The three ODIs against Sri Lanka will be held in Dharamsala, Mohali and Vizag.The three T20 Internationals will be held in Kochi or the newly-accredited Thiruvanantpuram, Indore and Mumbai.Australia Series5 ODIs: Chennai, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Indore, Kolkata3 T20Is: Hyderabad, Ranchi, Guwahati Barsapara)Sri Lanka Series3 Tests: Kolkata, Nagpur and Delhiadvertisement3 ODIs: Dharamsala, Mohali, Vizag3 T20Is: Kochi/Thiruvanantpuram, Indore, Mumbai