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IPL: CSK overhelm RCB to go to top

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Kohli Andy Dhoni, File Photo

Chennai, (IANS)Chennai Super Kings (CSK) made a heavy weather of a small total before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni did his famous finishing act to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by six wickets and virtually seal their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs here on Saturday, needing just one more win in five matches.

RCB, on the other hand, are virtually out of the race for the play-offs. They are currently on six points and have to win all their five remaining matches, which is a big ask for the off-colour unit.

The Chennai are sitting pretty on top of the table with 14 points from 10 matches. They have won seven of those matches while losing three.

The Chennai team, which has a reputed batting line-up, were expected to acomplish the job quite easily. But the team put themselves under pressure in the slog overs before skipper Dhoni smashed three sixes off RCB’s star spinner Yuzvendra Chahal to take his side across the line in the 18th over.

Having elected to field first on winning the toss, CSK restricted the visitors to 127/9 in their 20 overs.

CSK were boosted by an excellent display by the hitherto off-colour Ravindra Jadeja who roared back to form with figures of 3/18.

Ambati Rayudu laid the foundation of a successful chase with 32 runs off 25 balls after the other opener Shane Watson was bowled by Umesh Yadav in the third over.

Rayudu and Suresh Raina tried to bring the chase back on track with a 44-run stand before Yadav struck again, removing Raina in the ninth over.

Rayudu fell a couple of overs later when he attempted an expansive shot off Murugan Ashwin, only to hand an easy top edge to Mohammed Siraj at short third man. Colin de Grandhomme then removed Dhruv Shorey, who made his IPL debut, in the next over to put the hosts under pressure.

However, Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo batted slowly but sensibly to ensure victory for the hosts without any further loss of wickets.

Earlier, disciplined bowling by CSK and a few reckless shots by the RCB batsmen saw the visitors being restricted to a low total.

The highlight of the RCB batting effort was a half-century from opener Parthiv Patel, who was their highest scorer with 53 runs off 41 balls.

The only other RCB batsman to reach double figures was tailender Tim Southee who remained unbeaten on 36 off 26 balls.

Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi struck the first blow for CSK early on when he dismissed RCB opener Brendan McCullum in the second over.

McCullum had gone for a big shot but was fooled by the lack of pace as the ball skied up after finding the toe end of the bat for an easy catch to Shardul Thakur at mid-on.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli made a bold move by promoting himself up the order coming out to bat at the one-down slot.

But his move did not pay off as Ravindra Jadeja struck a big blow with his first ball of the match when he bowled the RCB skipper with a delivery that turned in sharply after pitching.

CSK struck another big blow in the very next over when the dangerous AB De Villiers was stumped off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling. Jadeja got his second wicket when Mandeep Singh miscued a slog sweep, only to find David Willey at deep backward square leg.

Patel however, continued to battle on at the other end bringing up his half-century with a single off Harbhajan in the 12th over.

However, he too fell victim to the resurgent Jadeja when a mistimed flick handed an easy return catch to the CSK all-rounder.

RCB continued to lose wickets at regular intervals as CSK restricted them to a low total.

Brief scores:

CSK: 128/4 in 18 overs (Ambati Rayudu 32, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 31 not out) vs RCB: 127/9 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 53; Tim Southee 36 not out; Ravindra Jadeja 3/18).

IANS

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Rayudu, du Plessis 50s give CSK winning start in IPL

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Abu Dhabi, Sep 20 : Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu’s master class helped three-time champions Chennai Super Kings beat arch-rivals and reigning champions Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Saturday.

South African du Plessis (58 not out) and Rayudu (71) were involved in a 115-run partnership for the third wicket that ensured ‘Yellow Brigade’ registered an easy win over the Rohit Sharma-led side. Chennai bowlers Lungi Ngidi (3/38), Deepak Chahar (2/32), and Ravindra Jadeja’s 2/42) helped restrict the Mumbai Indians to 162 or nine wickets in 20 overs.

CSK overhauled the target with four balls to spare, finishing at 166 for five in 19.2 overs.

Chasing the 163-run target, Chennai were off to a poor start as both of their openers — Shane Watson (4) and Murali Vijay (1) were back in the dug-out in the first couple of overs. While James Pattinson (1/27) accounted for the wicket of Vijay, Watson was trapped before the wicket by Trent Boult (1/23). With just six runs on the scorecard, the Chennai team looked in deep trouble, but Rayudu and du Plessis steadied the ship.

Without much hiccup, the two helped their team touch the three-digit mark in 13.1 overs. With nothing seemed to going Mumbai’s way, Rahul Chahar gave his side some relief as he picked Rayudu in the 16th over. But it was too late as the CSK had already reached 121 runs. Incoming batsman Ravindra Jadeja fell cheaply, thanks to Krunal Pandya who trapped him leg before the wicket.

South African du Plessis, however, kept the scoreboard ticking and was joined by Sam Curran, who played a cameo of six-ball 18 before departing off a Jasprit Bumrah delivery in the 19th over. Du Plessis hammered Boult for two consecutive boundaries off the first two deliveries of the final over to help his side cross the line with ease.

Earlier, asked to bat first, Mumbai Indians were off to a decent start with openers Rohit Sharma (12) and Quinton de Kock (33) sharing a solid 46-run partnership for the first wicket. However, just when everything was going fine for Mumbai, leggie Piyush Chawla (1/21) drew the first blood for Chennai as he pegged back Rohit in the fifth over.

England’s Curran further jolted Mumbai as dismissed a well-settled de Kock, who tried to hit the ball straight down the throat of Shane Watson at midwicket. Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Surya Kumar Yadav (17) kept the scorers busy for the next five overs. The duo shared a 44-run partnership for the third wicket.

Chennai pacer Deepak Chahar, however, gave his side some respite as he accounted for the wicket of Yadav in the 11th over. Tiwary was then joined by Hardik Pandya (14) but the Jharkhand batsman, who was approaching his half-century, was sent back in the 15th over by Jadeja. He made things more difficult for Mumbai after picking Hardik too, in the same over. Lungi Ngidi (3/38) then joined the party and scalped three wickets in quick succession to leave the opponents reeling at 156/8 in 18.5 overs.

Mumbai tailenders could manage only six runs in the final over as the side posted a moderate 162/9 off 20 overs in front of empty stands as spectators are not allowed inside due to Covid-19 protocols in the UAE.

Brief scores:

CSK 166/5 in 19.2 overs (Ambati Rayudu71, Faf du Plessis 58 not out; Trent Boult 1/23) beat MI 162/9 (Saurabh Tiwary 42, Quinton de Kock 33; Lungi Ngidi 3/38) by 5 wickets

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Great Learning ropes in Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

Earlier this month, Great Learning had announced a collaboration with Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in the US to launch online ‘Master of Science in Data Science Programme’ in India.

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New Delhi, Sep 14 : Ed-tech company Great Learning on Monday announced the appointment of Virat Kohli, as its brand ambassador.

The captain of the Indian cricket team, who also topped a recent ranking of India’s most powerful celebrities, will now be the face of the Great Learning brand, the company said.

He will lead the brand’s latest ‘Power Ahead’ campaign, which underlines the importance of lifelong learning and showcases how high-quality learning at the right time can help professionals and students power ahead in their career.

“Kohli is the obvious choice to be our brand ambassador because he best embodies the great learning ethos of excellence and continuous learning,” Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and CEO, Great Learning, said in a statement.

“We are looking forward to this association with Kohli through which we wish to spread the message that now, through the high quality online learning offered by Great Learning, anyone can grow and succeed,” Lakhamraju added.

The company is also launching a multi-film campaign with Kohli during the upcoming Dream 11 IPL, where the brand is Associate Sponsor on Disney + Hotstar.

The films showcase Kohli reflecting on the brands philosophy of continuous learning being a necessity for sustained career growth, something he embodies only too well in his game.

“Great Learning is a leader in the professional learning space and has built a reputation for delivering high quality education and career transformations,” said Kohli.

“I also share the same passion for excellence that Great Learning does and am excited about our association,” Kohli added.

Earlier this month, Great Learning had announced a collaboration with Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in the US to launch online ‘Master of Science in Data Science Programme’ in India.

The fully online, 18-months-long Master’s programme offers an opportunity to earn a world-class master’s degree from a global top-30 ranked university for graduates and working professionals in the country.

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Naomi Osaka beats Victoria Azarenka to win US Open

The victory is Osaka’s third Grand Slam singles title.

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Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka returned to the fore in women’s tennis by coming back to defeat Victoria Azarenka and win her second United States Open on Saturday.

Osaka’s 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory capped a run of powerful play and political activism in New York. She wore seven different masks with different names for each of her matches to honor Black victims of violence. She walked on court Saturday with a mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy shot and killed in Cleveland by a white police officer in 2014.

Osaka’s victory on Saturday came in radically different conditions than her first title run in New York in 2018.

In that final, she defeated Serena Williams in a tumultuous straight-set match that turned ugly when Williams clashed in Arthur Ashe Stadium with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who called three code-of-conduct violations against Williams.

The crowd, unclear on the rules and upset at the treatment of Williams, booed during the awards ceremony, leaving Osaka in tears shortly after her first Grand Slam singles title.

But Ashe Stadium was nearly empty on Saturday, as it has been throughout this unusual U.S. Open where fans were not permitted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The crowd, unclear on the rules and upset at the treatment of Williams, booed during the awards ceremony, leaving Osaka in tears shortly after her first Grand Slam singles title.

But Ashe Stadium was nearly empty on Saturday, as it has been throughout this unusual U.S. Open where fans were not permitted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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