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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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Lionel Messi named best La Liga player in September

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Messi

Madrid, Oct 17:  Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi on Wednesday was named the best player in the Spanish football league for the month of September, La Liga said in a statement.

Messi is to receive the award in Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sevilla, reports Efe.

“Leo Messi, the FC Barcelona forward, has been named the La Liga Santander Player of the Month for September,” La Liga said via their website.

“The Argentine scoops the first prize of the 2018/2019 season after an impressive start to the campaign which saw his side go to the top of the standings,” the statement added.

Messi scored three La Liga goals last month, one against Girona and a brace against Huesca, as well as collecting four assists.

Barcelona holds the second spot in the Spanish league table with 15 points, one point behind Sevilla.

IANS

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Wrestlers Bajrang, Sakshi to lead Indian challenge at World C’ships

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Bajrang Punia Sakshi Malik

New Delhi, Oct 16 : Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia will spearhead the 30-member Indian contingent at the World Wrestling Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungary from October 20 to 28.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has selected 10 members each in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling categories.

The burden of India’s medal hunt at the worlds will mostly be on the shoulders of Bajrang (65kg) and Sandeep Tomar (57kg) in the men’s freestyle category.

In the women’s section, Sakshi (62kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg) and Ritu Phogat (50kg) are expected to be strong medal contenders in their respective weight categories.

Ritu is the only Phogat sister to feature in the squad as Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh was ruled out because of an elbow injury during the trials.

Four wrestlers — Bajrang, Kuldeep, Gurpreet and Harpreet — have been training in Hungary for more than a fortnight while the rest of the squad joined a week back.

The squads:

Freestyle: Sandeep Tomar (57kg), Sonba Tanaji Gongane (61kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Pankaj Rana (70kg), Jitender (74kg), Sachin Rathi (79kg), Pawan Kumar (86kg), Deepak (92kg) Mausam Khatri (97kg), Sumit (125kg), Jagminder Singh (chief coach).

Women: Ritu Phogat (50kg), Pinki (53kg), Seema (55kg), Pooja Dhanda (57kg), Sangeeta (59kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg), Ritu (65kg), Navjot Kaur (68kg), Rajini (72kg), Kiran (76kg), Kuldeep Malik (chief coach).

Greco Roman: Vijay (55kg), Gyanender (60kg), Gaurav Sharma (63kg), Manish (67kg), Kuldeep Malik (72kg), Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Manjeet (82kg), Harpreet Singh (87kg), Hardeep (97kg), Naveen (130kg), Kuldeep Singh (chief coach).

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Saina survives, Sindhu ousted from Denmark Open

Saina, who lost to Cheung in their sole previous meeting two years ago, came back from a game down before eventually holding her nerve to advance to the next round.

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P.V. Sindhu And Saina Nehwal

Odense (Denmark), Oct 16 (IANS) Star shuttler Saina Nehwal survived a scare before progressing to the second round of the Denmark Open but it was heartbreak for Rio silver medallist P.V. Sindhu, who crashed out after being stunned by unseeded American Beiwen Zhang in the opening round of the womens singles event here on Tuesday.

Saina overcame stiff resistance from Hong Kong’s Ngan Yi Cheung before eventually pocketing the match 20-22, 21-17, 24-22 in 81 minutes. However, third seed Sindhu lost 17-21, 21-16, 18-21 to Zhang in another tough opening encounter that lasted 56 minutes.

Saina, who lost to Cheung in their sole previous meeting two years ago, came back from a game down before eventually holding her nerve to advance to the next round.

The match went down to the wire with both the shuttlers going for the kill. But the London Olympics bronze medallist finally managed to keep her cool and save two match points at 21-20 and 22-21 in the decider which helped her pocket the pulsating tie.

Earlier, Sindhu succumbed to her third consecutive loss to American Zhang, who also beat the Hyderabadi at the Indian Open in February this year.

After meekly losing the opening game 17-21, the 23-year-old Sindhu came back strongly in the second and did not allow the American to move ahead before finally winning it 21-16.

In the decider, the American bounced back in style to first take a 12-8 lead before Sindhu hit back to make it 14-13 in her favour.

From thereon, both the shuttlers went neck and neck before the match ended in Zhang’s favour with the scoreline reading a close 21-18.

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