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Dhoni may return as CSK skipper after new IPL rule

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni Chennai Super Kings

New Delhi, Dec 7: In a decision that could see the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the skipper of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and some of its top players, the IPL Governing Council has allowed the returning franchises CSK and Rajasthan Royals to secure the players who represented them in the 2015 edition and were part of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions squads in 2017.

It also decided that an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise can retain or secure through the Right to Match (RTM) clause a combined total of five players for the 2018 edition of the Twenty20 cricket tournament, it was announced on Wednesday.

An IPL franchise is eligible to secure up to five players by virtue of a combination of player retention (pre player auction) and Right to Match (during the auction), BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said in a statement.

The decision was taken during the IPL Governing Council’s meeting with the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) here.

The decision means CSK can call upon the likes of Dhoni, Suresh Raina and veteran New Zealand star Brendan McCullum. They may also recall West Indies star Dwayne Bravo.

Rajasthan Royals meanwhile, can secure the services of Australian all-rounders James Faulkner and Shane Watson, opener Aaron Finch and India star Ajinkya Rahane.

CSK and Rajasthan were suspended for two IPL seasons after the tournament was hit by a spot-fixing controversy in 2013.

They were replaced by Rising Pune Supergiants — who employed Dhoni as captain — and the Gujarat Lions.

The IPL Governing Council had allowed a maximum of either three retentions or three Right To Match (RTM) at the discretion of the franchises. If there is no retention before player auction then the franchises can have up to three ATM.

A franchise can secure a maximum of three capped Indian players and a maximum of two overseas players. A franchise can secure a maximum of two uncapped Indian players.

Meanwhile, the salary cap for teams for the 2018 edition is Rs. 80 crore. It will grow by Rs 2 crore and Rs 3 crore for the next two editions respectively.

“The minimum spend will be 75 per cent of the salary cap for each season,” the statement read.

IANS

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Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah retain top spots in ODI rankings

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Virat Kohli India vs West indies 2nd odi

Dubai, Nov 13: India skipper Virat Kohli and pacer Jasprit Bumrah retained their respective top spots in the latest One-Day International (ODI) rankings released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) here on Tuesday.

Kohli’s deputy Rohit Sharma also remained static at the second spot in the batmen’s list. Kohli has 899 points while Rohit has 871.

In the bowlers’ chart, apart from the top ranked Bumrah who has 841 points, spinner Kuldeep Yadav held on to the third place while Yuzvendra Chahal jumped three places to the fifth spot.

Rashid Khan of Afghanistan with 353 points is the top-ranked all-rounder and in the team rankings, India with 121 points, remained second behind England (126 points).

Apart from the Indians, several foreign players also made their presence felt. Two brilliant innings against Pakistan have lifted New Zealand’s Ross Taylor to a career best No.3 in the list for ODI batsmen, according to an ICC statement.

The innings took Taylor past Joe Root and Babar Azam to No.3, only behind Kohli and Rohit.

More changes were there within the top 10 of batsmen following the completion of the series between Australia and South Africa and, Pakistan and New Zealand. Faf du Plessis moved up three spots to No.7 and both Kane Williamson and Quinton de Kock dropped two spots, but still staying in the top 10 – Williamson at No.9 and de Kock at No.10.

Just below them, moving up six spots to No.11, was Fakhar Zaman, the Pakistan opener who hit 1, 88 and 65 in the three ODIs against New Zealand. It’s a career-high position for him too.

Other gainers included David Miller, whose 51 and 139 in the second and third ODIs catapulted him 11 spots to 31st position, Marcus Stoinis, who scored 63 in the last game to move up three positions to No.49, and Shaun Marsh, who hit a fighting 106 in the last ODI and moved up 18 places to 62nd spot.

No such luck for Australia captain Aaron Finch, who had a poor series – 5, 41 and 11 – and dropped two places to No.17.

On to the bowlers, Kagiso Rabada is now in the top five, at No.4, after picking up seven wickets in the series in Australia.

Imran Tahir has dropped out of the top 10, but moving up are Shadab Khan (up 16 spots to No.24), Lockie Ferguson (up 31 spots to No.42) and Lungi Ngidi (up 19 spots to No.43).

Coming into the reckoning after picking up five wickets in two ODIs in Australia was Dwaine Pretorius, who jumped 20 places to No.55, jointly with Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran, while Shaheen Shah Afridi, the 18-year-old who picked up nine wickets in the series against New Zealand, gained a remarkable 66 spots to get to No.118, just outside the top 100.

Among the all-rounders, Mohammad Hafeez, who made big gains in the Twenty20 International charts too, swapped positions with New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner, getting to No.4.

IANS

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Real Madrid beat Celta 4-2

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Vigo (Spain), Nov 12: Real Madrid cruised to a 4-2 road victory against a Celta Vigo that couldn’t keep from committing defensive errors, the capital squad’s fourth win so far in the still-dawning “Santiago Solari era”.

The two teams rocked right from the start at Balaidos stadium on Sunday, with Real’s Benzema firing a pair of shots and Celta answering back with a cross from Boufal – and all this in the first five minutes, reports Efe news.

But then Real was able set the rhythm with good ball control and Celta backed off. Thus the capital squad had only a few reversals in the first half – the key one being Casemiro’s ankle injury in the 10th minute.

Midway through the first half, in the 23rd minute, Benzema took a great pass from Modric and moved in against Sergio alone after a simple fake got him by Cabral and Roncaglia, getting Real on the board.

The Madrid team kept up the momentum against their rivals, mounting easy attacks along the flanks, albeit being unable to sink another shot until the 53rd minute, when it was Benzema again on another great individual effort taking advantage of a defensive error to fire one towards the net that hit the post and rebounded off the body of Celta’s Cabral into his own net for the 2-0.

The home squad finally managed to get on the board in the 61st minute when team captain Hugo Mallo found the twine after a long pass by Brais.

In the 82nd minute, Sergio Ramos scored for Real Madrid on a penalty kick. Ceballos scored again for the capital boys with a powerful blast from outside the area in the 90th minute and Brais Mendez managed to notch a somewhat-face-saving tally for the home team in stoppage time.

Cabral was expelled in the 87th minute when he received his second yellow card.

IANS

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3rd T20I: India edge past West Indies in last ball thriller

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Sports India Supporters

Chennai, Nov 11 : A brilliant batting display from Shikhar Dhawan (92) and Rishabh Pant (58) helped India edge past West Indies by six wickets in a last ball thriller in the final match of the Twenty20 International series here on Sunday.

With this win, India completed a whitewash in the three-match series.

After two quick wickets, Dhawan and Pant batted well and put India on the brink of victory but Pant’s wicket in the penultimate over changed the scenario of the match and the game went to the last over.

Needing five runs in seven balls, Dhawan and Manish Pandey scored four runs in first three balls but then a dot ball and Dhawan’s wicket made the match interesting which could have been finished much earlier.

Needing one run in one ball, Manish, who seemed out of sorts in the middle, somehow managed to steal a run to hand India a victory.

Chasing a challenging score of 182, India started on a bad note, losing opener Rohit Sharma (4) in the third over.

New batsman Lokesh Rahul (17) then came in the middle and displayed some brilliant shots but soon he was also dismissed by Oshane Thomas in the sixth over.

With the scoreboard reading 45/2, Dhawan (92) and Pant (58) took the charge and hammered the Windies’ bowlers all around the park to forge a 130-run partnership. In the process, the duo completed their respective half centuries.

But just when it seemed India will finish off the proceedings in style, Pant was dismissed in the 19th over.

New batsman Pandey then struggled at the crease but at the end, India managed to steal the game in the last ball.

Earlier, a good batting show helped West Indies post a challenging total of 181/3.

The visitors applied themselves perfectly and made sure they did not loose wickets till the end which saw middle-order batsmen Darren Bravo (43 not out) and Nicholas Pooran (53 not out) taking the charge towards the end, helping their team to post a decent score.

Opting to bat, openers Shai Hope (24) and Shimron Hetmyer (26) started the proceedings on a good note, forging a 51-run partnership in six overs.

But while trying to accelerate the score, Hope was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the seventh over. After adding 11 more runs to the total with Bravo, Hetmyer was also sent packing by Chahal.

Despite two quick wickets, Bravo kept on playing sensibly with Denesh Ramdin (15). Just when things seemed good in the middle, Ramdin played a poor shot and was clean bowled by Washington Sundar in the 13th over when the scoreboard was reading 94/3.

New batsman Pooran then joined Bravo in the middle and started punishing the bad balls. The duo forged a crucial unbeaten 87-run partnership for the fourth wicket and helped West Indies finish their innings in style.

Pooran played 25 balls and slammed four boundaries and as many sixes.

For India, Chahal took two wickets while Sundar scalped one.

Brief scores: West Indies 181/3 (Darren Bravo 43 not out, Nicholas Pooran 53 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/28) against India 182/4 (Shikhar Dhawan 92, Rishabh Pant 58; Keemo Paul 2/32)

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