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Indian hockey team gears up preparations for HWL Final

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New Delhi, Nov 4 : After stamping their supremacy in the continent by winning the prestigious Asia Cup 2017, the Indian men’s team will regroup at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Bengaluru for an 18-day national camp ahead of the all-important Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar, starting December 1.

The 35-member core group that includes the 18-member Asia Cup squad as well as players who were part of the India ‘A’ team that participated in the Australian Hockey League will be put to test starting November 5 in order to select the final team for the season finale in Odisha.

While there is no change in the core group which includes the likes of Manpreet Singh, S.V. Sunil, Sardar Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Harjeet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Akashdeep Singh, Varun Kumar, Armaan Qureshi, Affan Yousuf among others, goalkeepers Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera will be joined by Vikas Dahiya and celebrated custodian P.R. Sreejesh, who is working on making a comeback after a long haul due to injury.

Dragflick specialist Rupinder Pal Singh, fullbacks Birender Lakra and Kothajit Singh too will be available for selection after injury lay-off while forward Mandeep Singh is back in the camp after being rested for the Asia Cup.

“It is not only the players making a come back after recovering from an injury who will have to prove their mettle but every single player will have to strive to make his position in the team for the Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar 2017. The standards are high to be selected in the team and that’s good because it makes players better,” chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said in a statement.

Not reading too much into the Asia Cup triumph, Marijne was modest to admit that the team needs to improve a lot more to achieve the desired results at the December event.

“Together we have to become more consistent. We have a tendency of dropping our level too low in a match where the opponent ends up coming back into the game. If we make too many technical errors the level drops and that’s one of the things we have to improve and focus upon during this camp,” he said.

Emphasising on room for improvement, the Dutchman was also quick to draw positives from his team’s abilities on the pitch.

“The team brings a lot of energy into matches. Our speed and fitness are strong points and if we combine this in a good way with our technical skills then we can be quite lethal,” he stated.

National Campers:

Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte, P.R. Sreejesh, Vikas Dahiya, Suraj Karkera;

Defenders: Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Birendra Lakra, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurinder Singh, Amit Rohidas, Varun Kumar;

Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh, S.K. Uthappa, Sumit, Satbir Singh, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Manpreet (Junior), Simranjeet Singh;

Forwards: Ramandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Gurjant Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Armaan Qureshi.

IANS

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IPL 2018, SRH vs KKR: Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal is SK Turning Point of the match

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The Kolkata Knight Riders booked their place in the playoffs in a convincing fashion, after securing a five-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday (May 19).

It was an imperative batting performance by the visitors, as they chased down a total of 173 against a strong bowling lineup in a fairly easy manner.

They are now the third team to qualify for the playoffs, joining SRH and Chennai Super Kings in the knockout stage.

It was Kane Williamson who won the toss and decided to bat first on a surface where his team has defended numerous low totals.

Considering those incredible achievements, a target of 172 for KKR seemed a lot of effort for Dinesh Karthik and his men and gave a tiny room of error to the SRH bowling lineup.

However, the visitors stepped up in a brilliant fashion, taking home the two points with some imperative batting display on the day.

Ultimately, the runs put up on the board were not enough for the home side, as they crumbled under the onslaught from the KKR batsmen.

At one point in the match, SRH looked set to reach a total in excess of 200. Shikhar Dhawan was at the crease for the most part of the innings and at one point in the game, the hosts were cruising at 141-2 after 15 overs.

The left-handed batsman looked well settled and it seemed as if SRH were in for a massive finish in the last five overs.

However, Prasidh Krishna dismissed Dhawan off the very first delivery of the 16th over, and ultimately, that wicket proved to be the SK Turning Point of the match.

SRH just fell apart thereafter, losing six wickets in the final four overs of the game and scoring just 26 runs in 24 deliveries.

That is where Kolkata came right back into the game, and the initiation of their comeback was in the dismissal affected by Krishna in the 16th over of the game.

“We were on target for more runs, wicket played really well. We should have scored around the 200-run mark but credit goes to KKR for dragging us back.

A lot of credit goes to the boys in the field,” said Williamson after the game, understanding the importance of the 20-30 runs that they could never get in the final overs of the first innings.

His team will end up in the top two spots of the points table, which means that they will have two shots at making their second final in the Indian Premier League.

However, as was displayed in this match, they have some primary issues to solve before going into the playoffs. KKR, on the other hand, have momentum on their side, riding on the back of two convincing run chases in their last two games.

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IPL 2018: RCB need 165 runs to win against Rajasthan

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Jaipur, May 19: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) need 165 runs to win against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Saturday.

O[ting to bat first, Rajasthan Royals received an early blow after they opted to bat first against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Hoping to replace Jos Buttler at the top, RR promoted Jos Buttler.

The experiment did not work and Umesh Yadav dismissed him for duck in his first over. Rahul Tripathi and skipper Ajinkya Rahane settled the side and took the total over 100 runs in 13 overs.

Umesh Yadav returned to bowl his final over and dismissed Rahane and Sanju Samson in consecutive deliveries to put RCB back into the game. Heinrich Klaasen fired 32 runs in 21 balls. K Gowtham and Tripathi added 15 runs in the final ball to take RR’s total to 164/5 in 20 overs.

In the must-win game for both the sides, the hosts have made three changes in their playing XI as Ben Laughlin, Heinrich Klaasen and Shreyas Gopal comes in for Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Anureet Singh.

On the other hand, the visitors remain unchanged.

Teams:

Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane(captain), Sanju Samson, Heinrich Klaasen (wicketkeeper), Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli(captain), AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

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IPL 2018: Bowlers shine as Delhi Daredevils beat CSK by 34 runs

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New Delhi, May 19: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) march to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table was halted by bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils, who romped home by 34 runs at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Friday.

Having already qualified for the play-offs, second-placed Chennai had a chance to rise to the top of the table but a disciplined Delhi applied the brakes to notch their fourth consolidatory win in front of their home crowd.

Chasing 163, the tourists were off to a decent 46-run start by Ambati Rayudu (50 from 29 balls; 4×4, 6×4)and Shane Watson (14) before leg-spinner Amit Mishra applied the brakes with the wicket of the veteran Australian.

Mishra could have struck off the very next ball with the wicket of new man Suresh Raina (15), has stumper Rishabh Pant latched on to a simple edge.

Rayudu, however, continued his glorious run with the willow, meting out special treatment to pacer Avesh Khan in the final over of the powerplay which saw the right-hander belting three sixes and a four.

With Raina playing the perfect second fiddle, Rayudu continued to send the Delhi bowlers to the leather hunt and eventually brought up yet another half century off 28 balls.

But the joy was short-lived as Rayudu perished off the very next ball, when he mistimed a short pitched delivery off medium pacer Harshal Patel to the safe hands of Glenn Mawell at deep mid-wicket.

While the jampacked Kotla crowd painted in yellow, celebrated Rayudu’s dismissal, it was the arrival of the Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (17), that they rejoiced by switching on mobile flashlights.

The former India skipper started in his customary style by rotating the strike with Raina, who didn’t last long, perishing to Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane caught by Shankar at deep mid-wicket.

Mishra then came back to see the back of new man Sam Billings (1), caught by Abhishek Sharma at short fine leg before Ravindra Jadeja (27 not out) joined his captain in the middle.

Jadeja started off by clobbering the Nepalese leggie for a massive six and kept the rising run rate under control by converting the singles to twos and threes, thanks to Delhi’s poor ground fielding.

But Chennai’s hopes were dashed soon after Delhi’s strike bowler Trent Boult was brought back and the New Zealander responded in style with the wicket of the dangerman Dhoni, caught by his opposite number Shreyas Iyer at long on.

With two overs remaining and the asking rate mounting, Jadeja and new man Dwayne Bravo (1) could do little as Boult once again struck in the final over with the wicket of the West Indian to restrict the visitors to 128/6.

Earlier, Delhi rode on late order blitzkriegs from Vijay Shankar and Harshal Patel to post a healthy 162/5 after being put in to bat.

Shankar (36 not out from 28 balls; 4×2, 6×2) and Patel (36 not out from 16; 4×1, 6×4) milked 26 runs off the final over from Bravo to forge a 65-run sixth wicket stand — the highest of Delhi’s innings — and rescue the hosts from a troubled start.

Shankar and Patel capitalised well on the platform set by the in-form duo of skipper Shreyas Iyer (19 from 22; 4×3) and Rishabh Pant (38 from 26; 4×3, 6×2), who produced 54 runs for the second wicket after losing opener Prithi Shaw to a run-a-ball 17.

Delhi’s innings, however, experienced a slump in the middle overs after South African pacer Lungi Ngidi struck twice to remove both Iyer and Pant in a span of four deliveries before Maxwell (5) and Abhishek (2) too perished cheaply.

Shankar and Patel, however ensure the hosts finished with a fighting total with their later order fireworks.

Brief Scores: Delhi Daredevils 162/5 (Rishabh Pant 38, Vijay Shankar 36 not out, Harshal Patel 36 not out; Lungi Ngidi 2/14) beat Chennai Super Kings 128/6 (Ambati Rayudu 50, Ravindra Jadeja 27 not out; Trent Boult 2/20, Amit Mishra 2/20) by 34 runs.

IANS

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