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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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CBI raids Sports Authority of India office in Delhi over bribery charges

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CBI

New Delhi, Jan 17 : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday conducted a raid at the official premises of Sports Authority of India (SAI) in New Delhi in connection with bribery charges against some of its officials.

Sources told ANI that complaints had been received against a few SAI officers who were allegedly taking bribes for approving work. Based on the complaints, the SAI asked the CBI to investigate the issue, the sources said.

SAI Director General Neelam Kapoor said”There is zero tolerance for corruption in SAI. We will support any action against corruption.”

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Ronaldo leads Juventus to Italian super cup title

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Jan 17: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the lone goal in Juventus’ 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana, a win that gives the Portuguese superstar his first title with the Bianconeri.

Wednesday’s match at King Abdullah Sports City between seven-time defending Serie A champion Juve and 2017-2018 Coppa Italia runner-up Milan was mostly controlled by the Turin club, who nearly got on the board in the opening minutes on a left-footed blast by Douglas Costa and a cross-shot by Joao Cancelo (just back from injury) that grazed the far post, reports Efe news.

AC Milan tried unsuccessfully to get their attack going in the first half and dodged a bullet shortly before the intermission when an apparent goal by Blaise Matuidi was disallowed for offside and Ronaldo nearly scored off a cross by Costa.

The Rossoneri finally started pushing back against Juve at the start of the second half and had their best scoring chance of the contest in the 47th minute on a left-footed rocket from the area by Patrick Cutrone that ricocheted off the crossbar.

It took Juve a few minutes to get the momentum back, a stretch in which their defenders needed to stymie some potentially dangerous Milan counter-attacks.

But just after the one-hour mark Ronaldo once again emerged as the key difference maker when he headed home a perfectly placed pass into the area by Miralem Pjanic.

The former Real Madrid talisman’s goal in the 61st minute, his 16th of the season across all competitions, forced Milan to seek more offence and bring on Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain for Samu Castillejo 10 minutes later.

But Higuain, who is on loan from Juventus and could be headed soon for English Premier League (EPL) club Chelsea, was unable to make an impact against his parent team and did not have a single scoring opportunity during his 20 minutes of action.

Milan’s chances of mounting a comeback seemed slight after Franck Kessie was shown a direct red card for a hard foul on Emre Can, although despite playing with just 10 men the Coppa Italia runners-up came close to winning a late penalty.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system, however, reviewed the play and ruled that Can did not commit a foul in the area on Tiemoue Bakayoko.

With their victory, Juve now have a record eight Supercoppa Italiana titles.

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Ganguly defends Pandya and Rahul, says ‘People make mistakes’

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Sourav Ganguly (File Photo)

Mumbai, Jan 17: Former Indian cricket team skipper Sourav Ganguly has defended cricketers Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul over their “Koffee With Karan” episode controversy, saying people make mistakes but everyone should move on and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Ganguly spoke at the trailer launch of the Hindi film “22 Yards”, with the cast members Barun Sobti, Geetika Tyagi and Chaiti Ghoshal and director Mitali Ghoshal here on Wednesday.

Pandya and Rahul were slammed over their sexist comments on “Koffee with Karan”.

Koffee With Karan

Despite an apology to fans and their own teammates, Pandya and Rahul were suspended by the BCCI and ousted from a three-match ODI series against Australia in Sydney.

Asked if modern day cricketers should be responsible while giving statements on a public platform as a whole lot of youngsters look up to them, Ganguly said: “I haven’t watched that episode. I watch ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’. Jokes apart, I feel that you can’t generalise that only modern day cricketers should behave responsibly. People make mistakes. Let’s not get too far into that.

“I am sure whoever has done it will realise that and come out as a better person. We are all human beings. We are not machines that everything you put in comes out perfect. You have just got to live life and let others live. They are responsible people. They may be role models but they are under pressure all the time to perform. Certain things happen in life and as everyone, we should move on and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Does he feel modern day cricketers of India aren’t responsible in their behaviour as compared to the past generation of cricketers?

Ganguly said: “I feel modern day cricketers are also responsible, disciplined and obedient. In life, certain things happen and you make some mistakes so, let’s not get too far into that. Look at Virat Kohli, he is such a fantastic role model. India is a fortunate country. Every generation produces players who all of us cherish.”

He said India has produced great cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli over the years.

“There was Sunil Gavaskar and when he retired, people thought who is next, then Sachin Tendulkar came and when Tendulkar retired, people again asked who is next then people saw Virat Kohli. So, we are a very fortunate country in terms of sports and a lot of these cricketers are fantastic human beings because they come from very middle class backgrounds and fight their way up.”

Bollywood has made films on the life of sports personalities like Milkha Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and now Kabir Khan is making a film on the Indian cricket team’s World Cup victory in 1983.

IANS

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