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Aamer Sohail accuses Pakistan of Fixing Matches in Champions Trophy

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NewDelhi, June 16: Fixing claims seem to have returned to mar Pakistan cricket. The match-fixing scandal has apparently come back to haunt the Pakistan cricket team. Former skipper Aamer Sohail has indirectly accused the entire team of fixing matches as they qualified for the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after beating England in the semi-final in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Speaking on a Pakistan TV news channel, Sohail said that ‘external factors’ were behind Pakistan’s progress to the final where they will play India at The Oval on June 18. In a panel that also included former captain and coach Javed Miandad, Sohail said, “Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you win the game. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to be so happy. We all know what happens behind the scenes. Don’t wish to get into the details on who won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God have won them the games.”

However, Sohail later on clarified that he was misquoted and that he wished that Pakistan play their best cricket on Sunday.

Atul Wassan, former India cricketer and a common figure as an analyst, ridiculed Sohail’s claims saying that “Such incomplete statements” mean nothing.

This is not the first time that Pakistan cricket has been caught in the match-fixing scandal. In 2010, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and then skipper Salman Butt were convicted for spot-fixing in the Lord’s Test against England and were penalised accordingly. In the 2017 Pakistan Super League, the likes of Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed from playing any form of cricket for violating the anti-corruption code.

It has also been widely claimed over the years that crime lord and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had a role in determining the outcomes of Pakistan’s matches in the late 80s and early 90s.

Pakistan has entered the final of the tournament for the first time. After losing heavily to India in Edgbaston, they bounced back with tense wins over South Africa and Sri Lanka. However, they stunned the cricketing world by defeating England by a heavy margin in Cardiff. Sarfraz’s side will be aiming to break their India jinx in ICC events as they look to seal the Champions Trophy for the first time.

WeForNews Bureau

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Ranbir Kapoor to host prelude to IPL Finale

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New Delhi, May 21: Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor will host a two-hour prelude to the Indian Premier League (IPL) finale. Others joining the celebrations will include Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandes, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja.

Cricket Finals…Party Toh Banti hai will be followed by the VIVO IPL 2018 grand finale on Star India Network on 27 May.

Fans have so far been enjoying the commentary in six languages – Hindi, English, Tamil, Telegu, Bengali and Kannada. In an attempt to reach out to more cricket enthusiasts across India, Star Pravah and Asianet Movies will carry Marathi and Malayalam broadcasts respectively for the first time in IPL history.

The Marathi language broadcast will have Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Swapnil Joshi joining the celebrations. The prelude will see a melange of performances and fun-filled interactions with celebrities. Additionally, actors Ravi Dubey , Gaurav Sareen, Aakriti Sharma and Deshna Dugad will amplify the entertainment quotient of the finale.

The Dugout on Star SAill continue to cater to core cricket fans, giving a predictive and prescriptive analysis will be Dean Jones, Scott Styris, Anil Kumble, Kumar Sangakkara, Darren Sammy, Brett Lee and Mike Hesson.

IANS

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IPL 2018: Chennai’s win over Punjab sends Rajasthan Royals into playoffs

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Pune, May 21: Chennai Super Kings knocked out Kings XI Punjab from the play-offs race of the Indian Premier League (IPL), outplaying them in the last league match by five wickets here on Sunday.

In order to qualify for the play-offs, Punjab had to win this game by 53 runs or more but the visitors failed in doing so and thus got knocked out of the play-offs. With this result, Rajasthan Royals became the fourth team to progress to the next stage with 14 points. Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai are the other three teams.

Put in to bat, Chennai bowlers did a fantastic job to bundle out Punjab for 153.

After that, Suresh Raina (61 not out), who played sensibly throughout the innings and Deepak Chahar (39) along with other batters helped Chennai to complete the chase in the 19/1 overs. Chennai got off to a bad start, losing opener Ambati Rayudu (1) in the second over. After adding 24 runs to the total with new batsman Suresh Raina (61 not out), opener Faf du Plesis (14) also departed in the fifth over. In the same over, Sam Billings (0) was also sent packing by Ankit Rajpoot.

After five overs, Chennai were reeling at 27/3. Harbhajan Singh was sent up the order. The move also paid little as the off-spinner scored 19 runs in 22 balls which included two boundaries and one six. But in the 11th over, Harbhajan was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin. New Batsman Deepak Chahar (39) and Raina then joined hands and forged a crucial 56-run partnership to steady the Chennai innings. But just when things seemed good in the middle, Chahar was sent back to the pavilion by Ashwin in the 17th over when scoreboard was reading 114.

Unperturbed by the fall of wickets, Raina kept on playing sensibly and completed his half century. New Batsman and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16 not out) then joined Raina in the middle and completed the proceeding with ease.

Earlier, a quickfire lower order cameo by Karun Nair helped Kings XI Punjab post a modest 153. Coming into bat when Punjab were in a spot of bother at 76/4 in the 12th over, Nair plundered 54 runs off 26 balls to breathe life into the innings. The right-hander produced an exciting display of power hitting, smashing three boundaries and five towering sixes.

The Chennai bowlers came out all guns blazing at their adopted home ground to bundle out the visitors for a modest total. Lungi Ngidi was the wrecker-in-chief for the yellow brigade with stunning figures of 4/10 from his four overs.

Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab: 153 all out in 19.4 overs (Karun Nair 54, Manoj Tiwary 35; Lungi Ngidi 4/10) vs Chennai Super Kings:159/5 (Suresh Raina 61 not out; Ankit Rajpoot 2/19)

IANS

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IPL 2018: Delhi knock out Mumbai from play-offs

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New Delhi, May 21: Delhi Daredevils ended Mumbai Indians chances of qualifying for the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs with a 11-run victory at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 175 runs, Mumbai were all out for 163 in 19.3 overs.

Sandeep Lamichhane, Harshal Patel and Amit Mishra took three wickets each for Delhi.

Brief scores:

Delhi Daredevils: 174/4 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 64, Vijay Shankar 43 n.o.) vs Mumbai Indians: 163 in 19.3 overs (Evin Lewis 48; Sandeep Lamichhane 3/36, Harshal Patel 3/28, Amit Mishra 3/19)

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