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Dhawan masterclass helps Delhi beat Kolkata by 7 wickets

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Delhi Capitals KKR ipl 2019
Shikhar Dhawan powers Delhi to 7-wicket win over Kolkata
Kolkata, April 13: Shikhar Dhawan made sure that Sourav Ganguly had the last laugh in his own backyard with an unbeaten 97 as Delhi Capitals (DC) did a double on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by scripting a seven-wicket victory in their reverse Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.

DC had won the one-over eliminator against KKR in the first leg played in Delhi on March 30. With Friday’s win, DC moved to the fourth position in the points tally with 8 points from 7 matches, while KKR remained at the second spot with the equal number of points but a superior net run-rate.

A ‘visitor’ at the Eden Gardens, DC advisor Ganguly watched Dhawan miss out on a maiden T20 hundred from the dugout as the southpaw (97*; 63 balls, 4×11, 6×2) roared back to form just three days ahead of India’s World Cup team selection.

Rishabh Pant too showed maturity at the other end with a 31-ball 46 (4×4, 6×2) as the capital side won with seven balls to spare.

Delhi posted 180/3 in 18.5 overs with Colin Ingram (14 not out) hitting a six off Piyush Chawla to seal the issue.

Pant and Dhawan combined for a 105-run third wicket stand off 69 balls after DC were 57/2 chasing 179 for victory.

KKR had posted a competitive 178/7 riding on Shubman Gill (65; 39 balls, 4×7, 6×2) and Andre Russell’s (45; 21 balls, 4×3, 6×4) knocks on a wicket which had a greenish tinge on it.

In reply, Delhi lost Prithvi Shaw (14) early with Dinesh Karthik snaffling a stunning catch flying to his right off Prasidh Krishna.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer (6) too did not last long with Karthik taking another catch behind the stumps off Russell in the 6th over.

From then on, it was a Dhawan and Pant show as the former returned to form with some crisp cover drives while his junior partner showed composure before holing out to Kuldeep Yadav at long on off Nitish Rana.

Earlier, Gill struck his maiden half-century of the season to set the platform before Russell hit Kagiso Rabada, who had dismissed him in the first leg with a toe-crushing yorker in the Super Over, for three sixes and a four.

The hosts scored 106 runs in the last 10 overs after being asked to bat by DC skipper Iyer. KKR were 72/2 at the halfway stage.

For DC, Rabada (2/42) was expensive but picked up two wickets while Chris Morris (2/38) and Keemo Paul (2/46) also chipped in.

Russell came in to bat when KKR were 93/3 after 12.4 overs, needing to up the ante. Soon compatriot Carlos Brathwaite (6) joined him at the crease, and the big-hitting pair combined for a 19-ball 39-run stand for the sixth wicket in which Brathwaite’s contribution was just 6.

Russell took sweet revenge on Rabada by taking him apart in the 18th over, smashing two maximums as the South Africa pace ace leaked 16 runs.

Morris got the better of Russell in the penultimate over with a full toss outside off which the Caribbean all-rounder hit straight down Rabada’s throat at third-man.

Paul was given the last over in which he got the wicket of Brathwaite, giving away 10 runs.

Opener Gill, who never got to bat up the order for KKR earlier, made the most of the opportunity by playing some delectable shots to give KKR a solid start.

Gill and Robin Uthappa (28) joined hands to stitch together a 63-run stand for the second wicket after debutant Joe Denly (0), Nitish Rana (11) and skipper Dinesh Karthik (2) failed with the bat.

Gill was dismissed giving a catch to Axar Patel at short fine-leg while trying to flick Paul through that area in the 15th over.

In the end, some lusty blows from Russell helped the team post a competitive total.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders: 178/7 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 65, Andre Russell 45; Kagiso Rabada 2/42, Chris Morris 2/38, Keemo Paul (2/46) lost to Delhi Capitals: 180/3 (Shikhar Dhawan 97, Rishabh Pant 46) by seven wickets.

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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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