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IPL 2017: Kings XI Punjab beat Gujarat Lions by 26 runs.

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Kings IX Punjab

Kings XI Punjab have won their first game in five outings in the 2017 Indian Premier League. The Glenn Maxwell-led side defeated Gujarat Lions by 26 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.

Opening batsman Hashim Amla played a crucial knock of 65 as Punjab posted a challenging total of 188/7 in 20 overs. In reply, Gujarat could muster only 162/7, driven largely by Dinesh Karthik (58 not out) as the eighth-placed team succumbed to its fifth loss in seven matches.

Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma (2/40) and the spin pair of K.C. Cariappa (2/24) and Axar Patel (2/36) impressed for the visitors, who now have six points and are fourth on the points table.

Punjab, who were coming into the match with four consecutive defeats, had to be thankful to Amla (65; 40b; 9×4, 2×6), who shared a 70-run stand for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh (30 off 24 balls) at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.

The partnership came after Manan Vohra (2) edged a Nathu Singh delivery to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik in the second over. Both Amla and Marsh played aggressive cricket to put the pressure on the Gujarat Lions.

While Amla utilised his strong off-side stroke-making to good effect, Marsh decided to take more risk, hitting over the infield. By the end of the Powerplay overs, they reached 50/1, with Amla leading the charge.

The partnership was broken in the 10th over when a slow delivery from medium pacer Andrew Tye saw Marsh mistime and giving an easy catch to Suresh Raina at midwicket, with Punjab at 81/2 in 9.2 overs.

The same over saw Amla complete his fifty in 30 deliveries and the stage was set for Punjab’s power hitters. Amla was joined by Glenn Maxwell and the pair went on the offensive from the word go.

Maxwell took only 18 deliveries to score 31 before being dismissed lbw against left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the 14th over. Amla fell an over before him, driving one straight back at leg-spinner Shubham agarwal.

However, the fireworks from Punjab didn’t stop as Axar Patel batted with disdain, playing a quickfire 34 off 17 deliveries, of which three went for fours and two were deposited in the stands against Dwayne Smith as Punjab ended at 188/7.

Punjab then got about their job of defending the total very strongly, removing openers Brendon McCullum (6) and Aaron Finch (13) with the batsmen falling to medium pacers Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma respectively.

Suresh Raina (32) and Karthik showed some resilience but the former was caught at deep midwicket by Maxwell off a delivery from Axar Patel, as the hosts lost were reduced to 70/3 in nine overs.

Later, leg-spinner Cariappa stole the show with two quick wickets. First, he caught Ravindra Jadeja (9) of his own bowling in the final ball of the 12th over and then getting rid of Akshdeep Nath (0) in the first ball of the 14th over. In the 13th over, Dwayne Smith (4) had given Axar his second wicket and following Akshdeep’s wicket, Gujarat were looking down the barrel at 102/6, with 87 required of 6.5 overs.

However, Karthik, who had dragged Gujarat till then with occasional fours and ones and twos, got a good partner in Andrew Tye to give some hopes to the hosts.

Tye played a useful cameo of 22 from 12 deliveries as Sandeep bowled him to further dent the chase of Gujarat, who were at 137/7 in 16.4 overs. Punjab then had no trouble in getting a 26-run victory.

 

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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ATP Finals: Thiem beats Djokovic to reach 2nd successive final

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Dominic Thiem

London: Dominic Thiem outlasted world no.1 Novak Djokovic in a gripping last-four clash to reach his second successive final at the ATP Finals in the O2 Arena in London. Thiem, ranked third behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, won the match 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5).

Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace. Djokovic, however, grinded his way to victory in the second set, denying Thiem the win despite the Austrian getting four chances to seal the game.

The third game was also pushed to a tiebreaker, which was started by Thiem but he went on to lose the next three points. He however roared back to win the next six points and while Djokovic saved a fifth match point, Thiem got the job done at the next opportunity.

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Even our reserves are quick, you don’t see this kind of attack: Shami

The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment.

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mohammed-shami

New Delhi, Nov 21: The depth in the fast bowling department and the camaraderie that the players share between them are among the biggest reasons why India’s pace battery is rated as one of the best in the world, according to leading pacer Mohammed Shami.

Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are considered the core of a plethora of fast bowlers who have been integral to India’s success in Test cricket in recent years.

“Our fast bowling group can bowl at 140 kmph plus and you need that kind of pace in Australia,” Shami said in an interview on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official website.

“Even our reserves are quick, you don’t get to see that kind of an attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We have variety in our spin bowling attack too. We can bowl fast but we are all different, our skills are different. India have quality batsmen and we bowl at them in the nets. We don’t look at names, we focus on our skills. You can be a world-class batsman, but one good ball will still get you out,” Shami said.

India will be banking on Shami and Co. during their upcoming tour of Australia. The 30-year-old pacer comes into the series after a successfull Indian Premier League in which he took 20 wickets in 14 matches.

“My performances for Kings XI Punjab in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew that IPL would take place sooner or later and I was preparing myself for it,” he said.

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