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IPL 2018: KKR edge closer to playoffs with easy win against Rajasthan

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IPL KKR vs RR rajasthan

Kolkata, May 16: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) sharpened their chances of a playoff berth with a convincing six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (4/20) starred for the two-time champions as Royals were bowled out for 142 in 19 overs despite an early blitz from the visiting team openers. Chasing a modest target, KKR rode Chris Lynn’s 45 (42b; 5×4, 1×6) and captain Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 41 (31b, 4×5, 1×6) to ease past the line by posting 145/4 with two overs to spare.

The men in purple, thus, stretched their winning run to two games while Royals lost for the first time in four matches.

KKR (14 points from 13 games), who moved to the third spot, will now need to win their last engagement with already-qualified Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 19 to secure a knockout slot.

Royals (fourth spot, 12 points from 13 games), meanwhile, will have to depend on other results and triumph against resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore led by Virat Kohli the same day.

KKR showed their intent from the word go with Sunil Narine (7b; 21, 2×4, 2×6) taking off-spinner K. Gowtham for 21 runs that included 6-4-6-4 in the first four balls.

The mystery spinner-turned opener was dismissed by Royals’ best bowler Ben Stokes (3/15) in the next over but that hardly made a difference.

Lynn first joined hands with Nitish Rana (17b; 21, 2×4, 1×6)) for a 33-run third wicket stand and combined with Karthik for a 48-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Stokes got his back.

Karthik, in the company of Andre Russell 11 not out), finished the job with minimum fuss.

Earlier, in-form English wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler (22 balls; 39, 5×4, 2×6) and Maharashtra’s Rahul Tripathi (15b; 27, 4×4, 1×6) toyed with the KKR pacers to race to 49/0 after three overs before Russell (2/13) got the wicket of Tripathi and it was all downhill from there on.

Kuldeep (4/20) saw off skipper Ajinkya Rahane (11), Buttler, Stuart Binny (1), and Ben Stokes (11) to rack up his best figures of the season as Royals’ batters paid the price for poor shot selection.

The visitors got off to a dream start with Tripathi and Buttler taking Prasidh Krishna (2/35) and Shivam Mavi (1/44) to the cleaners.

While Tripathi hit Krishna for a six and a hat-trick of fours, Buttler smashed Mavi to plunder 28 runs in the third over.

Tripathi was dropped off the first ball of the match by Rana at wide slip-off Mavi, who leaked only two runs in the opening over.

Mavi’s second over over was the season’s joint-most expensive one, with the U-19 World Cup winning pacer conceding 28 against Shreyas Iyer versus Delhi Daredevils as well.

KKR bled 46 runs in 10 balls as the pair brought up their 50-run stand in 20 balls.

Tripathi fell to Russell in the West Indian’s first over and the match’s fifth, stitching together a 63-run opening wicket partnership off 29 deliveries.

After six overs, Royals were 68/1 with 58 runs coming in boundaries (10 fours and three sixes). But once Kuldeep castled out-of-form visiting skipper Rahane, Royals could never recover.

Brief scores: AKolkata Knight Riders 145/4 in 18 overs (Chris Lynn 45; Dinesh Karthik 41 not out; Ben Stokes 3/15) beat Rajasthan Royals 142 all out in 19 overs (Jos Buttler 39; Kuldeep Yadav 4/20; Andre Russell 2/13; Prasidh Krishna 2/35) by six wickets.

IANS

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BCCI, cricket team join nation in condoling Vajpayee’s death

Several former and current India cricketers also took to Twitter to condole the demise of the former Prime Minister.

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

New Delhi, Aug 16 : The Indian cricket team and the BCCI joined the nation in mourning the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on Thursday after battling ill health. He was 93.

“The Indian cricket team and BCCI condoles the sad demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atalji dedicated his life in service of the nation,” the BCCI said in a statement.

Vajpayee, the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in office, died here on Thursday after a prolonged illness.

Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble wrote: “A sad day for the country, as we lose one of our greatest leaders. #AtalBihariVajpayee contributed so much for the betterment of the country. May his soul rest in peace.”

“It’s been a sad week, the demise of one of India’s finest leaders “Mr. Vajpayee” is heartbreaking,” India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wrote.

India opener Shikhar Dhawan wrote: “My deepest condolences on the passing of our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. One of the few politicians I always respected for his honesty and devotion to the national cause. May his soul rest in peace.”

India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in his message wrote: “Deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. His values and ideologies will be remembered forever.”

Vajpayee, who was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 2014, was undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

His condition worsened on Wednesday evening with leaders from across the political spectrum thronging the hospital and enquiring about his health.

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Vengsarkar calls for Pant’s inclusion in 3rd India-England Test

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Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

London, Aug 16: Former BCCI chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has backed the inclusion of rookie wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in India’s playing XI for the third cricket Test against England, starting at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Already in the backfoot after losing the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, India find themselves in a must-win situation in the five-match Test rubber with all eyes on the non-performing batting order with the exception of skipper Virat Kohli.

Vengsarkar, who was the chairman of selectors when Kohli made his debut, has now called for the inclusion of the explosive southpaw in the playing XI.

“Rishabh Pant should get in. Apart from Kohli, nobody has shown that they could score runs here. Whether it’s English or Australian conditions, you have to adapt quickly. You have to apply yourself and get runs,” Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by BBC Radio.

“You have to give respect to the bowlers,” he added.

If Pant gets his maiden Test cap in Nottingham, that means Dinesh Karthik will be shown the door. Karthik, with scores of 0, 20, 1 and 0 in the four innings so far, has failed to justify his inclusion in the side.

Earlier, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had also backed the inclusion of Pant for the third Test.

IANS

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Former India captain Ajit Wadekar passes away

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Ajit Wadekar

Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passed away here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 77.

Wadekar, who played 37 Tests, led India to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England in the 1970s.

Under him, India won five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s before beating England in a three-match series.

Wadekar, who scored 2,113 Test runs with 14 half centuries and a century, led India to a third successive series victory, beating England once again in 1972-73.

He also appeared in two One-day Internationals.

An aggressive left-handed batsman, Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67.

After his retirement, he also served as the Manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s.

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