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Jos Buttler guides Rajasthan to seven-wicket victory over Mumbai

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Mumbai, May 14: English batsman Jos Buttler continued his red-hot form with a 94 not out as Rajasthan Royals thumped Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here on Sunday to boost their chance of qualifying for the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs.

After Mumbai posted 168/6, thanks to opening batsmen Suryakumar Yadav (60) and Evin Lewis, Buttler registered his fifth consecutive fifty, which contained five sixes and nine fours, to guide his team to seven-wicket victory with two overs to spare.

The loss left three-time champions Mumbai stranded at 10 points from 12 games, while Rajasthan took their tally to 12 after 12 games.

The Jaipur-based outfit needs to win its remaining two games to qualify for the play-offs, while Mumbai’s fate is not in their hands and will have to depend on the performances of other teams.

The result at the Wankhede Stadium was decisive since the winner not only bagged two valuable points, but also derail the loser’s challenge for the race to the knockouts.

Asked to bat first, Mumbai were off to a steady start with Evin Lewis and Suryakumar coming up with an opening partnership of 87 runs off 64 balls.

Lewis, who narrowly survived being caught by Stuart Binny in the third over, made good use of the reprieve to blast his way to 60 runs off 42 deliveries. His quick-fire knock included four boundaries and as many sixes.

Suryakumar, who also got an early let-off, being dropped by Krishna Gowtham off Dhawal Kulkarni early in the second over, went on to post a steady 38 off 31 deliveries.

Although the opening duo gave the hosts a strong platform for a big total, the rest of the Mumbai batsmen failed to capitalise.

Rajasthan bowlers did well to bag five wickets over the next six overs to make a strong comeback. Jofra Archer was the most impressive of the bunch, giving away a mere 16 runs in his four overs while claiming the crucial wickets of Suryakumar and Rohit Sharma.

Fellow pacer Ben Stokes bowled well in the late stages to return figures of 2/26. Indian pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni also got a wicket each as Mumbai seemed in real danger of failing to cross the 150-run mark.

However, Hardik Pandya helped the hosts to a competitive total with a late charge, scoring 36 runs off 21 balls before holing out to Stokes in the penultimate ball of the innings.

During the chase, Rajasthan had a poor start, losing D’Arcy Short (4) to paceman Jasprit Bumrah in the first over.

However, Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 36) stitched together a 95-run stand for the second wicket to keep the visitors in the hunt.

It was a perfect partnership as Rahane played a run-a-ball knock, Buttler dealt in with fours and sixes to get the things going.

The stand was broken after Rahane failed to clear Suryakumar at mid-off boundary off a ball from Hardik Pandya in the first delivery of the 14th over, with Rajasthan’s score at 104.

Later, Buttler continued his good work and found good support from Sanju Samson, who played a quickfire knock of 26 off 14 balls. Samson hit Hardik for two sixes in the 18th over as Rajasthan romped to victory.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians: 168/6 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 60, Suryakumar Yadav 38, Hardik Pandya 36; Jofra Archer 2/16, Ben Stokes 2/26) vs Rajasthan Royals: 171/3 in 18 overs (Jos Buttler 94 not out, Ajinkya Rahane 37; Hardik Pandya 2/52).

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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