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Delhi aim to overturn deficit vs Kerala to enter ISL final

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DELHI DYNAMOS

New Delhi, Dec 13: Delhi Dynamos will look to exploit Kerala Blasters’ unimpressive away form to overturn a one goal deficit in the return leg Indian Super League (ISL) semi-final football match here on Wednesday.

Delhi lost the first leg semi-final 0-1 away in Kochi but Delhi will still be confident of reaching the final, particularly because of their encouraging home record.

They are the only team not to lose at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here and have scored 18 goals in the process during the group stages, the most by any team in ISL this season.

“When we play at home, it is an advantage for us. To play in front of our fans is an advantage, and we are fortunate to have the second match at home and it is a good opportunity for us. I hope we are able to utilise this opportunity,” said Delhi coach Gianluca Zambrotta, as per an ISL release.

Delhi were disappointing in their away clash, failing to trouble the Kerala defence. Strikers like Marcelinho Pereira and Richard Gadze had little impact on the match.

Even Delhi’s marquee player, the in-form Florent Malouda couldn’t impose himself. But they will look to avoid another disappointment like last season when they lost against FC Goa in the semi-finals.

Kerala need only a draw to qualify for their second final in three years. They have added impetus to reach the final as it will be played in their own backyard on December 18.

But Kerala’s unimpressive away record will be a concern for coach Steve Coppell as they have conceded 11 goals away from home this season, the most among four semi-finalists, and managed to score just four goals away from home, the fewest by any team.

“We will just go out and play and I don’t think you can set out and decide that we will defend or counter-attack and the game has an ebb and flow to it,” said coach Steve Coppell.

“But at home knowing that they have to score goals and beat us, so they might have more urgency in their play and we might be pressurised a little bit more and there is no way we will go there thinking we are 1-0 ahead. We will defend it but we will just go there and play and see what happens.”

IANS

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IPL 2018: Rashid, Shakib star as Hyderabad pip Punjab by 13 runs

Afghan all-rounder Nabi then joined Pathan for the final two deliveries but couldn’t trouble the scorers much as Rajpoot had the last laugh.

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IPL Hyd KXIP

Hyderabad, April 27 : Spin twins Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan shared five wickets between them to help Sunrisers Hyderabad defend a meagre 132 against Kings XI Punjab by 13 runs in a nail-biting Indian Premier League (IPL) clash as the Orange Army vaulted to the No.2 spot in the points table.

Demoted to No.3, Kings XI Punjab squandered a watchful 55-run opening start from Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul before falling apart, as Rashid (3/19) and Shakib (2/18) triggered a batting collapse to see the team home amid thunderous applause from the vociferous crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Thursday.

While Gayle (23 off 22 balls; 4×1, 6×2) started with a thunderous six over off-spinner Mohammad Nabi’s head before going into a shell, Rahul (32 off 26; 4×4, 6×1) sent the Afghan tweaker to the cleaners on three consecutive occasions to outscore his West Indian opening partner.

Rahul’s innings was laced with a range of stylish cover drives and straight drives even as Gayle found back his groove by welcoming medium pacer Basil Thampi for a thunderous six, and helping his side past the 50-run mark.

With Punjab sailing smoothly towards the target, Kane Williamson brought in his strike bowler Rashid Khan, who responded in style by hammering Rahul’s off-stump with a googly.

Thampi (2/14) then joined the party by getting the better of Gayle, who miscued a short ball to non-existent square-leg only to find the bowler completing a clean catch.

At 57/2, Punjab needed to start afresh with Mayank Agarwal (12) and Karun Nair (13) joining forces, but left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan nipped the partnership in the bud with the wicket of Agarwal.

Nair departed soon after failing to read Rashid’s googly which trapped him plumb in front even as Manoj Tiwary (1) was welcomed with a couple of fiery lbw appeals from the Afghan.

Punjab’s nightmare continued in the next over when Shakib packed back Aaron Finch (8) after being clobbered for a massive six on the previous ball.

Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma added salt to Punjab’s woes by packing Tiwary soon after as the visitors’ chase derailed after losing six wickets in a span of just 37 runs.

Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin (4), Andrew Tye (4) and Barinder Sran (2) could hardly offer any resistance as the home bowlers continued their stronghold.

With the target gradually getting out of Punjab’s hands, tailenders Mujeeb Ur Rahman (10 not out) and Ankit Rajpoot (8) got a few hits before Thampi uprooted Rajpoot’s middle stick to take his team home.

Earlier, medium pacer Ankit Rajpoot (5/14) ripped through the Hyderabad batting to restrict them to a paltry 132.

The 24-year-old Rajpoot started off with the key wickets of skipper Kane Williamson (0), Shikhar Dhawan (11) and Wriddhiman Saha (6) from his first three overs before returning to pick Manish Pandey (54) and Mohammad Nabi (4) in the final over of the innings.

Put in to bat, the hosts were saved from the blushes by Pandey’s fighting 51-ball knock, laced with three fours and a six after Rajpoot reduced them to 27/3 in the first five overs.

Pandey, however found a companion in Bangladesh skipper Shakib, who made the most of the two reprieves, striking a 29-ball 28, laced with three hits to the fence and forged a 52-run fourth wicket stand.

But the joy was short-lived as 17-year-old mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman ended the partnership with the wicket of Shakib.

Shakib’s dismissal brought in an experienced Yusuf Pathan (21 not out off 19; 4×1, 6×1) who was forced to curb his natural game, even as Pandey reached his fifty by sending Tye’s slower one to the extra cover boundary.

Afghan all-rounder Nabi then joined Pathan for the final two deliveries but couldn’t trouble the scorers much as Rajpoot had the last laugh.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 132/6 (Manish Pandey 54, Shakib Al Hasan 28; Ankit Rajpoot 5/14) beat Kings XI Punjab (Lokesh Rahul 32, Chris Gayle 23; Rashid Khan 3/19, Basil Thampi 2/14, Shakib Al Hasan 2/18) by 13 runs.

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IPL: CSK beat RCB by 5 wickets to return to top spot

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MS Dhoni and Bravo, Photo: IANS

Bengaluru, April 26 (IANS) Mahendra Singh Dhoni (70 not out off 34 deliveries) and Ambati Rayudu’s 53-ball 83 helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) register a thumping five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) here on Wednesday to return to the top spot of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Chasing a massive total of 206 runs, Dhoni was at his explosive best, blasting seven sixes as the visitors won with five wickets and two deliveries to spare clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The veteran skipper was well supported by opener Rayudu, who slammed four boundaries and eight sixes as CSK took their points tally to 10, while RCB remained in the sixth spot with four points.

Earlier, South Africans AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock’s struck breezy half-centuries to power RCB to a mammoth 205/8. De Kock (53, 37 balls; 4×1, 6×4) played the perfect supporting role in the 103-run second wicket stand with de Villiers (68 off 30; 4×2, 6×8), who started from the word go to bring up his half-century in just 23 deliveries.

Put in to bat, RCB got off to a decent 35-run start by skipper Virat Kohli (18) and de Kock before Shardul Thakur saw the back of the Indian captain, thanks to a smart catch by Ravindra Jadeja.

But the visitors wouldn’t have imagined what was coming their way, as de Villiers started off by clobbering Harbhajan Singh for two consecutive sixes before launching left-arm spinner Jadeja to the skies.

Such was the dominance from the former Proteas skipper that the hosts raced to 87/1 midway into the innings, with both de Villiers and de Kock nearing their respective fifties.

Despite being overshadowed by his senior partner, the southpaw brought up his half-century in style, tonking Shane Watson for a six over deep mid-wicket.

On the first ball of the very next over, de Villiers, who had earlier clobbered leg-spinner Imran Tahir for two massive sixes, took Thakur to the cleaners thrice consecutively to bring up his half-century.

With both the RCB batsmen going hammer and tongs, CSK skipper Dhoni threw the ball to his West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, and he responded in style by packing back de Kock with a smart catch off his
own follow through.

Tahir then joined the party by bagging the prized scalp of de Villiers and new man Corey Anderson (2) in the very next over to restore parity into the match.

De Villiers miscued Tahir’s tossed-up delivery pitched outside off-stump for Sam Billings to complete the formalities at deep cover.

Tahir immediately got rid of New Zealand’s Anderson with a googly as Harbhajan Singh completed a brilliant catch at slip.

With the hosts comfortably placed at 142/4, Mandeep Singh (32 off 17; 4×1, 6×3) and Colin de Grandhomme (11) struck a few lusty blows towards the end, even as two run-outs and a wicket in the final over could not stop RCB from crossing the 200-run mark.

During the chase, Chennai were off to a shaky start, losing opener Shane Watson (7), who was trying to clear the mid-on boundary, in the very first over.

Incoming batter Suresh Raina then shared a 42-run partnership with Rayudu, helping CSK touch the 50-run mark.

While trying to flick a Umesh Yadav ball, Raina (11) was caught at backward point by Mandeep Singh.

CSK received another jolt soon as leggie Yuzvendra Chahal struck to dismiss Sam Billings (9) in the seventh over, leaving Chennai reeling at 59/3.

Just when CSK added another 15 runs, Chahal got the better off Ravindra Jadeja (3) in the ninth over to put the visitors on tremendous pressure.

Rayudu however, kept the scoreboard ticking for CSK. The opener was then joined by Dhoni, who made his intentions clear after smashing a massive six over deep midwicket on the vey second ball he faced.

The duo then shared a crucial 101-run partnership for the fifth wicket, bringing back CSK in the contest.

Both the batters fired every RCB bowlers to skies and meanwhile, Rayudu bought his second fifty of the season in the 14th over.

On the other hand, Dhoni too, notched up his second fifty in the 18th over with Chennai’s scorecard reading 169/4.

Just when the visitors were inching closer towards the target, a brilliant throw by Umesh Yadav from short third man area saw the end of Rayudu, who was trying to gather couple of runs.

With 30 required off the last two overs, Chennai managed to accumulate 14 runs in the 19th over bowled by Mohammed Siraj to make the issue another nail-biter.

A boundary and a huge six by Dwayne Bravo (14 not out off seven) off the first two deliveries followed by a six by Dhoni sealed another win for Chennai in an edge of the seat match.

For RCB, Chahal was the pick of the bowlers bagging two wickets for 26 runs while spinner Pawan Negi and Yadav scalped a wicket each.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 205/8 (AB de Villiers 68, Quinton de Kock 53; Mandeep Singh 32; Imran Tahir 2/35) vs Chennai Super Kings 207/ 5 in 19.4 overs (Ambati Rayudu 82, MS 70 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/26).

IANS

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BCCI recommends Kohli for Khel Ratna, Dravid for Dronacharya, Gavaskar for Dhyan Chand

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virat kohli

Kolkata, April 26: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended Virat Kohli for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna honour while former India captain Rahul Dravid’s name was recommended for the prestigious Dronacharya award.

Legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar has been recommended for Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.

India captain Kohli has been the face of the sport for some time now and is often compared to the great Sachin Tendulkar for his exploits with the bat.

Dravid, meanwhile, coached India U-19 team to World Cup glory earlier in 2018.

Gavaskar’s contribution to India cricket has been immense and he is know as the original ‘Little Master’ who batted like no other during his times.

IANS

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