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

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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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IPL-Playoffs: Rashid dedicates performance to blast victims in Afghanistan

Rashid Khan’s virtuoso display with bat (10-ball 34) and ball (3/19) helped Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 13 runs to book their place in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where they will meet Chennai Super Kings on Sunday in Mumbai.

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Kolkata, May 25 : Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan on Friday dedicated his man of the match award to those who lost their lives in a blast during a cricket game in his hometown earlier this month.

Rashid Khan’s virtuoso display with bat (10-ball 34) and ball (3/19) helped Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 13 runs to book their place in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where they will meet Chennai Super Kings on Sunday in Mumbai.

“I want to dedicate this award to those who lost their lives in a blast during a cricket game in my hometown back home,” Rashid, 19, said at the post match presentation ceremony.

At least eight people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of blasts during a cricket match in eastern Afghanistan earlier this month.

Coming to the match, Rashid helped struggling Hyderabad post 174/7 by scoring bulk of the 50 runs in the last three overs which proved to be the difference at the end as he took three wickets which included the wickets of Chris Lynn (48), Robin Uthappa (2) and Andre Russell (3) to help his team cross the line.

“It was much-needed for me, wanted to give my 100 per cent in all departments,” Rashid said on his performance.

So far, Rashid has taken 21 wickets in 16 matches.

Rashid revealed he started his career as a batsman.

“Focus was to just believe in my skills. I was happy with the batting, it was needed in the end. I started my career as a batsman, I believe in my skills and wanted to finish off well.

“I just tried to pick the lengths, the focus was to play straight. That was the plan from the senior players. Fielding is one department where you can’t make excuses, compared to last year, I’ve worked really hard in my fielding.

“If I can’t contribute with bat or ball, I’m always looking forward to contribute on the field. Modern cricket demands that. I’m working hard on that,” he signed off.

An elated Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson said that Rashid will now be well rested so that he is in fine fettle for the all-important summit clash.

“Rashid was brilliant, but he’s got another game day after. We’ll keep him wrapped up,” Williamson said.

“Exciting, must-win game, great to go through to the final, important to move on. As a team we fight till the last ball, showed that today. Someone like Rashid is the perfect example of that. Outstanding talent, but a team effort. Lot of the guys chipped in, great team fighting effort which is the attitude we want to see.

“One thing we didn’t change was our balance, Saha was injured but he came back… was nice to have his experience. Every one of the guys have played a huge part, whether on or off the field,” he added.

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Injured Virat Kohli ruled out of Surrey county stint

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New Delhi, May 24: Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been ruled out of his much-anticipated first English county stint due to a neck injury.

Confirming the news, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in a press release, said the 29-year-old suffered the neck injury while fielding during his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Indian Premier League penultimate clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.

“Team India Captain Virat Kohli suffered a neck injury while fielding during Match 51 of the IPL between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad on 17th May 2018 at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru,” the release said.

“Kohli, who was scheduled to play for Surrey CCC in the month of June, has been ruled out from participating,” the release added.

“This decision was taken following assessments by the BCCI Medical team, subsequent scans, and a specialist visit.

The country’s cricket board further confirmed that Kohli would remain in India to undergo a period of rehabilitation before he would have a fitness test in Bengaluru on June 15 ahead of series against England.

“The BCCI Medical Team is confident that Kohli will regain full fitness ahead of India’s upcoming tours to Ireland and England,” the BCCI said.

The injury concerns were raised after Kohli visited Hinduja hospital on Wednesday afternoon to visit a leading orthopaedic.

Earlier this month, Kohli had signed a deal with top English county side Surrey ahead of England Test tour later this summer and was all set to miss his country’s inaugural Test match against Afghanistan, starting in Bengaluru on June 14.

Kohli had penned down the deal with Surrey in order to prepare himself for India’s blockbuster five-match Test series against England later this year, beginning at Edgbaston on August 1.

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PM Modi accepts Virat Kohli’s fitness challenge with a promise

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New Delhi, May 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accepted Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s fitness challenge and promised to share his own fitness video soon.

PM Modi took to Twitter to respond to Kohli’s challenge, writing, “Challenge accepted, Virat! I will be sharing my own #FitnessChallenge video soon. @imVkohli #HumFitTohIndiaFit”

Besides PM Modi, Virat Kohli had also tagged wife Anushka Sharma and former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni in the campaign started by Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore earlier this week.

Two days after Rajyavardhan Singh urged Indians to get fitter as part of #HumFitTohIndiaFit campaign, Virat took up the challenge and posted a fitness video of his own.

Sharing the video on twitter, Kohli is seen performing an exercise for the lower abdomen, calling it his “favourite core workout”.

Kohli’s video comes in response to Rathore’s earlier tweet, in which the Union Minister challenged the Indian captain, 2012 London Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal and Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan to join in.

Hrithik Roshan replied to Rajyavardhan Rathore with a video of him riding a bicycle and said that this was how he travelled to work every day. “This initiative makes me so proud! Bravo. #HumFitTohIndiaFit #FitnessChallenge this is how I commute to my office every day. Sitting static in a car is such a waste. Walk, cycle, jog, feel the earth, feel India get FIT!” tweeted Hrithik.

Kohli is not the first to answer the challenge. Rathore’s initiative has garnered the positive response from a plethora of Indian personalities, including Saina Nehwal, actor Manoj Tiwari, Salman Khan, Tiger Shroff, wrestler Babita Phogat, para-badminton player Manasi Joshi and many more, all of whom have shared their fitness videos on twitter.

The Fit India movement was initiated by PM Modi in March. He even talked about the movement in his Mann Ki Baat radio talk in April and released a 3D-animated video of himself depicting the ‘Trikonasana’ posture.

“Last month, I had urged people to participate in the Fit India Movement. I am glad with the overwhelming support for the movement. Many people have written to me about fitness, their experiences and what they do. I want to urge everyone to exercise for a healthy lifestyle,” he had said on the monthly programme.

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