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All-round Chennai thrash Delhi to storm into final

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CSK Chennai super kings ipl 2018

Visakhapatnam, May 10 (IANS) All-round Chennai Super Kings rode half centuries from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson to storm into their eighth Indian Premier League (IPL) final as they beat Delhi Capitals by six wickets in the Qualifier 2 at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

After asking Delhi to bat first, Chennai bowlers put up a superb show to restrict the first time semi-finalists to 147/9.

Chasing a modest 148 for victory, openers du Plessis (50; 39 balls; 7×4; 1×6) and Watson (50; 32 balls 3×4; 4×6) were off to a slow start but recovered in time to share a 81-run stand for the opening wicket.

South Africa captain du Plessis was the aggressor early on and once he got out, Watson took over as Delhi bowlers looked hapless.

Having notched up his his 12th IPL fifty and fourth this season, du Plessis mistimed a pull to Keemo Paul at deep square leg off Trent Boult’s bowling while Amit Mishra had Watson caught by Boult at wide long-off.

Suresh Raina (11) was castled by Axar Patel, bringing skipper M.S. Dhoni to the crease. With 21 needed off 24 balls, it was a cakewalk for the defending champions, although Dhoni (9) got out with two runs required for victory.

Dwayne Bravo was at the crease as the yellow army crossed the target with four leg byes with Ambati Rayudu (20 not out) at the other end and an over to spare. Chennai posted 151/4 in 19 overs.

Chennai will now take on old foes Mumbai Indians in the final in Hyderabad on Sunday, the fourth time the two teams will be locking horns in the summit clash.

Earlier, Harbhajan Singh (2/31) and Bravo (2/19) used their reservoir of experience to good affect while Deepak Chahar (2/28) continued his rich form with the ball as Delhi never got going despite having Rishabh Pant at the crease for more than an hour.

Ravindra Jadeja (2/23) and Imran Tahir (1/28), their best bowler this season, also returned impressive figures.

It was an uncharacteristic innings from Pant who was initially starved of the strike and then kept at bay by the Chennai bowlers as the 21-year old eventually managed 38 off 25 with the help of two fours and a six.

Pant looked to be taking off when he hit Tahir for a four and six in the 17th over which yielded 14 runs. But Bravo bowled a brilliant 18th over in which he gave away just three runs besides accounting for Keemo Paul (3).

Chahar dismissed Pant in the penultimate over with Bravo taking the catch at long-on before Trent Boult (6 off 3) and Ishant Sharma (10 not out off 3) smashed some lusty blows to take the score close to the 150-run mark.

It all started with Chahar trapping young Prithvi Shaw (5) in front in the third over.

Harbhajan then accounted for the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (18), the India southpaw giving a healthy edge to Dhoni who took the catch in his second attempt.

Colin Munro and Shreyas Iyer then tried to steady the ship but just when the former was looking good, Ravindra Jadeja had him caught at deep square-leg by Bravo for 27 off 24 deliveries.

Iyer (13) departed soon after, skying a Tahir googly to backward point where Raina completed a good catch. Axar (3) too failed to contribute, holing out to Tahir at third man off Bravo’s bowling.

Harbhajan then sent back Sherfane Rutherford (10) and it all looked downhill from there for the first time qualifiers.

Brief scores: Delhi Capitals: 147/9 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 38; Deepak Chahar 2/28, Harbhajan Singh 2/31, Ravindra Jadeja 2/23, Dwayne Bravo 2/19); Chennai Super Kings: 151/4 (Faf du Plessis 50, Shane Watson 50)

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My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

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Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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