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IPL: Mumbai Indians storm into final after easy six-wicket win over KKR

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Mumbai Indians

Bengaluru, May 19 : Krunal Pandya’s unbeaten 30-ball 45 helped Mumbai Indians record a facile six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) second qualifier clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.

Mumbai, who finished on 111/4 in 14.3 overs, will now take on Steve Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant in the final on Sunday.

Chasing just 108, Krunal joined hands with skipper Rohit Sharma for a 54-run fourth wicket stand to steady Mumbai’s ship after early hiccups which left them on 34/3 at one stage.

Rohit (26) gave away his wicket cheaply, picking out Ankit Rajpoot at deep square leg off Nathan Coulter-Nile’s delivery.

KKR caused a flutter among Mumbai ranks scalping three wickets inside the first six overs.

Piyush Chawla (2/34) was at the forefront of the early demolition, sending the dangerous Lendl Simmons (3) and Ambati Rayudu (6) back in the hut with a googly and a peach of a delivery respectively which beat Rayudu all ends up.

At the end of Powerplay, Mumbai were in a spot of bother at 36/3. But once Rohit and Krunal saw off the initial few overs, it was Mumbai all the way as the latter played the role of aggressor with deft fours and lusty sixes to inflict a 16th defeat on their rivals in the two sides’ 21st meeting.

Krunal’s innings was laced with eight fours and no six. With him at the crease was Keiron Pollard (not out 9) when Krunal hit the winning runs.

Earlier, Mumbai leg-spinner Karn Sharma took four wickets to bowl out KKR for a paltry 107 in 18.5 overs.

Karn (4/16) was brilliant on the night taking the wickets of Sunil Narine (10), Gautam Gambhir (12), Colin de Grandhomme (0) and Ishank Jaggi (28) to derail KKR’s innings.

Suryakumar Yadav (31) and Jaggi put a semblance of a fight with a 56-run association for the sixth wicket but could not script a turnaround as the former fell in the 18th over looking to accelerate.

Umesh Yadav (2) was not out as Rajpoot (4) was the last man to be dismissed.

Opener Chris Lynn (4) was sent back early by medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah (3/7) with a fullish delivery which the explosive Australian tried to loft over mid-on but was picked up by Pollard.

The men in purple, who usually score at a brisk pace in the Powerplay overs, struggled to get going with the ball not coming on to the bat even as Gambhir continued his good form hitting the first four of the innings in the third over off Mitchell Johnson, playing in place of Mitchell McClenaghan.

Narine, kept quiet by Bumrah, Mitchell Johnson (2/28) and Lasith Malinga (1/24), cut loose with an uppish shot over deep midwicket for the first six of the innings before Karn outfoxed the West Indian spinner with a googly that saw Parthiv Patel effect an easy stumping.

Robin Uthappa (1) did not last long, being trapped plumb by Bumrah, while trying to flick across the line.

After six overs, KKR could muster just 25/3, and captain Gambhir lost his wicket five balls into the seventh over. The southpaw was looked good before playing against the turn off Karn for Hardik Pandya to pouch the ball at deep midwicket.

Keeping veteran tweaker Harbhajan Singh on the bench, Karn vindicated his captain’s faith in him by taking the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme in the next delivery, pinging the New Zealander on his backfoot for an easy leg before decision.

After 10 overs, KKR were tottering at 43/5. In the next four overs, Suryakumar and Jaggi sought to stem the rout, scoring 40 runs before their stand was broken by the excellent Karn, taking the prized scalp of Jaggi.

Chawla departed adding just two to the total and Coulter-Nile tonked Johnson for a six to bring up KKR’s 100 in the 17th over before getting out.

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IND vs SA: India aim bright start against S.Africa in 1st T20I

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Johannesburg, Feb 17: Following a historic One-Day International (ODI) series victory, ruthless India will aim to continue their form in the cricket’s shortest format when they face South Africa in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday.

With a short interval for preparation after the ODI series that ended on Friday, the Virat Kohli-led India will aim to repeat similar performance as they did in the 2006 one-off T20I series here against South Africa.

The last time both the teams met here for a bilateral series, India clinched a six-wicket victory over South Africa under Virender Sehwag.

Bolstered by terrific all-round performances led by skipper Kohli, who was adjudged the Man of the Series in the recently concluded ODI series, India will hope to thrash the hosts in the three-match series.

Alongside the skipper, batsmen Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhwawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya will look to make the most of their capabilities in the shortest format.

Batsman Suresh Raina, who has made a comeback in the T20Is will act as an vital cog in the middle-order and will look to prove his mettle.

The bowling department, which looked lethal with wrist-spinning duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will try to make a mark in the shortest format.

Pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will only add depth to the formidable Indian bowling line-up.

However, the Proteas led by Jean-Pau Duminy in the absence of Faf du Plessis, will look to hit back at India in the shortest format of the game, under the likes of hard-hitting batsmen consisting the skipper himself, AB de Villiers, David Miller and Chris Morris, who can score some vital runs in the lower order.

The bowling department, led by Andile Phehlukwayo, Morris along with chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi will have to come out with something special in order to get rid of the flamboyant Indian batsmen.

Meanwhile, the three new faces inculded for the shortest format — batsman Christiaan Jonker, pacer Junior Dala and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen will be aiming to put up a show for the home team,

Squads: 

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain) Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.

South Africa: Jean-Paul Duminy (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.

IANS

 

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Roger Federer, 36, becomes oldest World No. 1 in ATP rankings history

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Roger Federer celebrates after victory over Robin Haase in Rotterdam. (PC- Reuters)

Rotterdam, Feb 17: Roger Federer added another highlight to his age-defying career resurgence by returning to the top of the world rankings on Friday after more than five years and becoming the oldest No. 1 at 36.

On Friday a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam guaranteed the Swiss would rise to number one for the fourth time in his career.

With return to World No 1, Federer sets multiple records. At 36 years and 195 days, he overtakes Andre Agassi as the oldest number 1 by three years. Agassi was 33 years and 4 months when he held the top spot in September, 2003. Federer would be back as World No 1 after a gap of over five years – the longest gap between stints as World No 1. During this period, Federer won three Grand Slams (two Australian Opens in 2017 and recently in January and Wimbledon last year) and was forced into skipping Grand Slams in 2016 due to injury for the first time since 1999.

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IND vs SA, 6th ODI : Unstoppable Virat Kohli leads India To 5-1 series win over S.Africa

Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

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Centurion, Feb 16: Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

This is the first ever bilateral series win by India on South African soil. Put into bat by India, South Africa were bowled out for a meagre 204 in the dead rubber. Chasing the target, India romped home in just 32.1 overs. Kohli remained unbeaten on 129, an innings studded with 19 boundaries and two sixes.

Kohli was in a punishing mood as he personally anchored Proteas’ biggest humiliation in a bilateral series at home in last 17 years. The last time South Africa lost 1-5 was back in 2001-02 season against a champion Australian side.

Kohli also became the fastest to 9500 ODI runs completing the feat in only 200 innings — 17 less than AB de Villiers.

Such has been Kohli’s dominance in the series, that after his aggregate of 558 runs, the next best is Shikhar Dhawan (323), who is more than 200 runs behind his skipper.

Earlier, playing his first match of the series, young pacer Shardul Thakur claimed four wickets to skittle South Africa for 204. For South Africa, all-rounder Khaya Zondo top-scored with a 74-ball 54, laced with three boundaries and two sixes on a good batting track, where most of the other batsmen failed against a disciplined Indian bowling.

Apart from Thakur, the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal (2/38) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/51) shared three wickets between them. Jasprit Bumrah also gave good support by taking two wickets.

For his brilliant form in the series, captain Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

Kohli took 82 balls to reach his 35th century with the help of 17 boundaries that saw him break a plethora of records.

Sachin Tendulkar, who is on top of the list with 49 centuries, had taken 309 innings to reach 35 centuries. Kohli got there in his 200th innings.

Kohli also became the first Indian batsman to score three centuries in a bilateral series.

Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have scored three centuries but not in a bilateral series. Ganguly scored three centuries during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, while Laxman slammed three tons during the 2004 VB Series in Australia.

Not just that, he also became the first man to score 500 runs or more in a bilateral ODI series.

The record was previously held by his team-mate Rohit Sharma, who scored 491 runs in the six-match series against Australia.

The record of most runs as captain in a bilateral series now also belong to Kohli. Australia’s George Bailey is second in the list with 478 runs against India in 2013-14. The Australian is followed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who achieved the feat twice – 367 runs vs Pakistan in 2012-13 and 358 runs vs India in 2015-16.

In the process, Kohli has now most runs in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa, a record previously held by England’s Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen had scored 454 runs in a six-match series in 2005.

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