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Rayudu, du Plessis 50s give CSK winning start in IPL

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Abu Dhabi, Sep 20 : Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu’s master class helped three-time champions Chennai Super Kings beat arch-rivals and reigning champions Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Saturday.

South African du Plessis (58 not out) and Rayudu (71) were involved in a 115-run partnership for the third wicket that ensured ‘Yellow Brigade’ registered an easy win over the Rohit Sharma-led side. Chennai bowlers Lungi Ngidi (3/38), Deepak Chahar (2/32), and Ravindra Jadeja’s 2/42) helped restrict the Mumbai Indians to 162 or nine wickets in 20 overs.

CSK overhauled the target with four balls to spare, finishing at 166 for five in 19.2 overs.

Chasing the 163-run target, Chennai were off to a poor start as both of their openers — Shane Watson (4) and Murali Vijay (1) were back in the dug-out in the first couple of overs. While James Pattinson (1/27) accounted for the wicket of Vijay, Watson was trapped before the wicket by Trent Boult (1/23). With just six runs on the scorecard, the Chennai team looked in deep trouble, but Rayudu and du Plessis steadied the ship.

Without much hiccup, the two helped their team touch the three-digit mark in 13.1 overs. With nothing seemed to going Mumbai’s way, Rahul Chahar gave his side some relief as he picked Rayudu in the 16th over. But it was too late as the CSK had already reached 121 runs. Incoming batsman Ravindra Jadeja fell cheaply, thanks to Krunal Pandya who trapped him leg before the wicket.

South African du Plessis, however, kept the scoreboard ticking and was joined by Sam Curran, who played a cameo of six-ball 18 before departing off a Jasprit Bumrah delivery in the 19th over. Du Plessis hammered Boult for two consecutive boundaries off the first two deliveries of the final over to help his side cross the line with ease.

Earlier, asked to bat first, Mumbai Indians were off to a decent start with openers Rohit Sharma (12) and Quinton de Kock (33) sharing a solid 46-run partnership for the first wicket. However, just when everything was going fine for Mumbai, leggie Piyush Chawla (1/21) drew the first blood for Chennai as he pegged back Rohit in the fifth over.

England’s Curran further jolted Mumbai as dismissed a well-settled de Kock, who tried to hit the ball straight down the throat of Shane Watson at midwicket. Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Surya Kumar Yadav (17) kept the scorers busy for the next five overs. The duo shared a 44-run partnership for the third wicket.

Chennai pacer Deepak Chahar, however, gave his side some respite as he accounted for the wicket of Yadav in the 11th over. Tiwary was then joined by Hardik Pandya (14) but the Jharkhand batsman, who was approaching his half-century, was sent back in the 15th over by Jadeja. He made things more difficult for Mumbai after picking Hardik too, in the same over. Lungi Ngidi (3/38) then joined the party and scalped three wickets in quick succession to leave the opponents reeling at 156/8 in 18.5 overs.

Mumbai tailenders could manage only six runs in the final over as the side posted a moderate 162/9 off 20 overs in front of empty stands as spectators are not allowed inside due to Covid-19 protocols in the UAE.

Brief scores:

CSK 166/5 in 19.2 overs (Ambati Rayudu71, Faf du Plessis 58 not out; Trent Boult 1/23) beat MI 162/9 (Saurabh Tiwary 42, Quinton de Kock 33; Lungi Ngidi 3/38) by 5 wickets

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Win over Kolkata Knight Riders result of positive cricket: Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul

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KL Rahul

Sharjah, Oct 27 : Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Monday was the outcome of “positive cricket”, said winning team captain KL Rahul after his team’s fifth consecutive win that took them to fourth spot and kept them interested in the Indian Premier League playoffs.

“It’s something we all collectively decided to do — to go out there and play positive cricket. We all believed that things can turn around for us. All five wins, it’s a complete team effort; it’s not one person and one individual. Every game, it’s been different person putting their hands up,” Rahul said after the match.

“Batting’s looking good; bowling is looking good. We have fielded really well throughout the tournament; happy that everything is coming together and fingers crossed that we can win two more games. It’s so hard when you are away from your family. With the bubble, you don’t have the close ones,” he said.

Rahul picked Mandeep Singh, who scored a 56-ball 66, for special mention. “The kind of toughness he has shown has rubbed off on other boys as well. The way he played today, it makes everyone emotional. He’s gone through a rough time, just to put his hand up, be there and finish the game for the team would make him proud and make his father proud,” said the captain.

On picking two leg-spinners — Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi — in the playing XI, Rahul said: “When you have Anil Kumble as the coach, it’s not surprising that we are playing with two leg-spinners. It’s something that he had in his mind even before the IPL started. He always kept telling me that towards the second half or at some point that two leg-spinners is always an aggressive option. He’s worked really hard on the spinners, not just the guys who are playing but also the guys who haven’t played.”

Losing KKR captain Eoin Morgan found that going from ground to ground in the United Arab Emirates was a challenge.

“Particularly here at Sharjah, you have to counterattack if you lose early wickets, and identify the wicket early. Disappointed with the partnerships, thought we could have scored more. When we were three down, we wanted a partnership going. Around 180-190 would have been a good score, but we kept losing wickets. That’s one of the challenges this year, going from ground to ground,” said the England captain.

“Hopefully we adjust to the conditions in Dubai. That’s the nature of the tournament; there are not many bad sides. Our fate is in our own hands in the last two games. I think [Shubman] Gill scoring runs [57] and restricting the Kings till the 11th or 12th over, those were the positives,” he pointed out.

Both KXIP and KKR have 12 points each, though the former climbed to the fourth spot, thanks to their better net-run rate (-0.049). KKR have a net run rate of -0.479. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

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IPL Cricket : Stokes, Samson roar back to form as Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets

Brief scores: MI 195/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 60 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 40; Shreyas Gopal 2/30) vs RR 196/2 in 20 overs (Ben Stokes 107 not out, Sanju Samson 54 not out; James Pattinson 2/40)

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 25 : Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson made a mockery of a target of 196 set for them by the Mumbai Indians (MI) by helping Rajasthan Royals (RR) chase down with eight wickets and nearly two overs to spare. Stokes remained unbeaten on 107, thus scoring his second Indian Premier League (IPL) century and his highest score in T20s yet, while Samson was unbeaten on 54 as they ended their innings on 196/2 in reply to MI’s 195/5.

Stokes and Samson’s stunning assault produced as many as 65 runs between the 11th and 16th overs, thus leaving them needing 24 runs to chase off the last 24 balls. Their unbeaten third wicket partnership was worth a whopping 152 runs off just 82 balls after Stokes hit a six and a four off the first two balls of the 19th over bowled by James Pattinson to end the game. Pattinson was the only bowler to take wickets for MI, dismissing Stokes’ opener Robin Uthappa and RR captain Steve Smith early on in the innings.

Stokes is the first England player to have scored two centuries to his name in the IPL. He had earlier scored an unbeaten 103 for Rising Pune Supergiant against Gujarat Lions in the 2017 season. RR have also broken the record for the highest succesfull chase by any team against MI in the IPL. The win keeps RR’s slender hopes of making it to the playoffs alive as they remain level on points with fifth-placed Kings XI Punjab and two points behind fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders.

Earlier, it was Hardik Pandya’s 21-ball 60 that propelled MI to 195/5. Pandya’s carnage meant that MI, who had been reeled in by RR after a good start, milked 79 runs of the last five overs. He hit four sixes in the 18th over bowled by Ankit Rajpoot and the over produced 27 runs. Kartik Tyagi bowled the last over in which Pandya hit three sixes and two fours, thus sending another over for 27 runs.

Brief scores: MI 195/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 60 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 40; Shreyas Gopal 2/30) vs RR 196/2 in 20 overs (Ben Stokes 107 not out, Sanju Samson 54 not out; James Pattinson 2/40)

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Kapil Dev discharged from hospital after angioplasty

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Kapil Dev

New Delhi, Oct 25 : India’s first World Cup-winning cricket captain Kapil Dev was on Sunday discharged from the hospital after undergoing a successful angioplasty.

He was admitted to the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in South Delhi after suffering a cardiac arrest last Thursday, following which he had undergone angioplasty surgery as a treatment. Angioplasty is a procedure to restore blood flow through the artery.

“Mr. Kapil Dev got discharged today afternoon. He’s doing fine and can resume his regular daily activity soon. He’ll be under regular follow-up consultation with Dr. Atul Mathur,” a statement from the hospital read.

He was admitted to the hospital at around 1 am on Friday, and Dr Atul Mathur, Director of Cardiology Department successfully performed an emergency coronary angioplasty.

The ‘Haryana Hurricane’ himself tweeted late on Friday night to express his gratitude to his fans and friends. “Thank you all for all the love and concern. I am overwhelmed with the good wishes and well on the road to recovery,” he wrote.

The 62-year-old was working as a cricket expert during the ongoing IPL 2020.

Kapil held the world record for most Test wickets (434) for over six years until it was broken by Courtney Walsh of the West Indies. The other big achievement of Kapil was to lead India to World Cup triumph in 1983, when the team was considered minnows in limited-overs cricket.

He played 131 Tests and 225 ODIs between 1978 and 1994.

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