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IPL 2018, SRH vs KKR: Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal is SK Turning Point of the match

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Kolkata knght riders

The Kolkata Knight Riders booked their place in the playoffs in a convincing fashion, after securing a five-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday (May 19).

It was an imperative batting performance by the visitors, as they chased down a total of 173 against a strong bowling lineup in a fairly easy manner.

They are now the third team to qualify for the playoffs, joining SRH and Chennai Super Kings in the knockout stage.

It was Kane Williamson who won the toss and decided to bat first on a surface where his team has defended numerous low totals.

Considering those incredible achievements, a target of 172 for KKR seemed a lot of effort for Dinesh Karthik and his men and gave a tiny room of error to the SRH bowling lineup.

However, the visitors stepped up in a brilliant fashion, taking home the two points with some imperative batting display on the day.

Ultimately, the runs put up on the board were not enough for the home side, as they crumbled under the onslaught from the KKR batsmen.

At one point in the match, SRH looked set to reach a total in excess of 200. Shikhar Dhawan was at the crease for the most part of the innings and at one point in the game, the hosts were cruising at 141-2 after 15 overs.

The left-handed batsman looked well settled and it seemed as if SRH were in for a massive finish in the last five overs.

However, Prasidh Krishna dismissed Dhawan off the very first delivery of the 16th over, and ultimately, that wicket proved to be the SK Turning Point of the match.

SRH just fell apart thereafter, losing six wickets in the final four overs of the game and scoring just 26 runs in 24 deliveries.

That is where Kolkata came right back into the game, and the initiation of their comeback was in the dismissal affected by Krishna in the 16th over of the game.

“We were on target for more runs, wicket played really well. We should have scored around the 200-run mark but credit goes to KKR for dragging us back.

A lot of credit goes to the boys in the field,” said Williamson after the game, understanding the importance of the 20-30 runs that they could never get in the final overs of the first innings.

His team will end up in the top two spots of the points table, which means that they will have two shots at making their second final in the Indian Premier League.

However, as was displayed in this match, they have some primary issues to solve before going into the playoffs. KKR, on the other hand, have momentum on their side, riding on the back of two convincing run chases in their last two games.

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Uruguay bank on experience as Saudis cling to World Cup dream

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FIFA World cup

Rostov-on-Don (Russia), June 20: Experience will be the key when Uruguay look to seal their place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup against Saudi Arabia here on Wednesday.

Uruguay’s 1-0 win against Egypt in their opening match means beating Saudi Arabia would leave Uruguay with six points and allow them to book their place in the knockout phase as long as Egypt does not beat Russia on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Uruguay disappointed against a rugged Egypt side in their first game, needing a late header from Jose Gimenez to seal the win and veteran coach Oscar Tavarez is expected to make changes with Carlos Sanchez and ‘Cebolla’ Rodriguez expected to start.

Rodriguez is an excellent provider, while Sanchez is a box-to-box midfielder with a habit of getting into the rival penalty area at the right time, and the pair should give more punch to a side which struggled to create chances against Egypt as Luis Suarez looked heavy and off the pace.

As well as boosting his options in front of goal, Tavarez’s changes mean he will have seven players aged 30 or more in his starting 11 ( Fernando Muslera (32), Diego Godin (32), Martin Caceres (31), Carlos Sanchez (33), Cristian Rodriguez (32), Luis Suarez (31) y Edinson Cavani (31)); and in theory Uruguay should be too strong for Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia landed here after a frightening journey in which one of the engines on the aircraft which flew them in from Saint Petersburg caught fire.

The Saudi players were strongly criticised for their performance in their 0-5 defeat to Russia in their opening match in the World Cup, with one top official accusing them of making “just 5 percent effort.”

Saudi Arabia enjoyed 60 percent possession against Russia but failed to have a single shot on target and were pulled apart on the break. It remains to be seen whether this was due to ‘stage fright’ caused by meeting the pumped-up hosts (and their fervent fans) in the first game of the tournament, or from a lack of quality and concentration.

Coach Pizzi now has the task of ensuring his players focus on a game where anything other than a win will mean they suffer the ignominy of being one of the first teams to be knocked out of the tournament. And after becoming Saudi Arabia’s third first team coach in a three-month spell when he was appointed in November last year, he also knows what the price of failure is likely to be.

IANS

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Ronaldo’s Portugal look to continue momentum against lowly Morocco

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Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo fifa 2018
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Moscow, June 20: Smarting after a last-gasp defeat to Iran, Morocco will have to deal with the peerless might of Portugal, spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, who will attempt to follow up his World Cup opening game heroics when the two sides meet for a Group B clash here on Wednesday.

Five-time World Player of the Year Ronaldo grabbed a hat-rick as European champions Portugal snatched a 3-3 draw against Spain in a heavyweight showdown in Sochi.

It was Ronaldo’s 51st career treble, and the 51st in the tournament’s history, as the Real Madrid superstar became just the fourth player to score in four World Cups.

In hot form, Ronaldo will once again look to continue his magic at the Luzhniki Stadium and haul Portugal into the last 16.

“I am very happy, it’s a nice personal record to have, one more in my career,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying.

“For me the most important thing is to emphasise what the team did against one of the favourites to win this World Cup.”

Portugal are not widely regarded as one of the contenders despite their unlikely European success two years back.

Portugal were less than impressive against Spain in the first game save Ronaldo who was the difference between the two sides.

A world class free kick two minutes from full time sparked wild celebrations from the former Manchester United marksman and his team.

Coming to Morocco, they did not concede a single goal in the final qualifying round as they sealed a return to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years.

Not expected to make the knockouts, their slim hopes were dented when a 95th-minute own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz gifted Iran three points.

Herve Renard’s men face a monumental challenge, with games to come against Portugal and Spain.

In defence, they have Medhi Benatia and Achraf Hakimi who will be wary of the threat Ronaldo possesses.

Further forward, winger Nordin Amrabat has been ruled out of the clash after a clash of heads with Iran’s Vahid Amiri in St Petersburg on Friday.

Morocco will rely on Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who is the fulcrum of their attacking play.b Amine Harit had a very good game against Iran and he will be optimistic that his creativity will combine well with Ayoub El Kaabi.

It will be just the second meeting between the two countries, after Morocco beat Portugal 3-1 in the group stage at the 1986 finals.

IANS

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ICC World Test Championship: India to face West Indies in July 2019

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Indian test cricket team

New Delhi, June 20: International Cricket Council (ICC) released its Future Tours Programme (FTP) from 2018 to 2023, on Wednesday.

Check out the ICC’s release here:

The schedule incorporates all three formats of the game for the men’s teams across the period of five years. It also includes the schedule for the inaugural ICC World Test championship and the 13-team One-Day league.

The Indian cricket team will make its debut in the World Test Championship in July 2019, against West Indies in the Caribbean, and then mark its campaign in the 13-team ODI League versus Sri Lanka (away) in June 2020.

As per the ICC, the nine top-ranked Test teams will participate in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, which will run from July 15, 2019 to April 30, 2021.

“The sides will play six series in the two-year cycle on a home and away basis against opponents they have mutually selected. The two top-ranked sides will then progress to the June 2021 final to decide the World Test champions,” said an ICC release on Wednesday.

In addition, the 12 Test playing nations and the Netherlands, will participate in the 13-team ODI League, which will run from 1 May 2020 to 31 March 2022 and all the sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home and away basis against mutually agreed opponents.”

The ODI League, stated the ICC, will serve as a qualification pathway for the 2023 World Cup to be hosted by India. As hosts, India and the next seven highest-ranked teams in the ODI league as of March 31, 2022 will qualify directly for the World Cup while the bottom five sides will get a second chance to qualify through the ICC World Cup Qualifier.

The structure of the men’s FTP (2018-23) includes:

· ICC Cricket World Cup – 2019 and 2023

· ICC World T20 – 2020 and 2021

· World Test Championship

. Cycle 1 – 2019-2021 (final 2021)

. Cycle 2 – 2021-2023 (final 2023)

· All bilateral Tests, ODIs and T20Is outside of the above competitions

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