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Mumbai Indians beat CSK by 6 wickets, cruise into fifth IPL final

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Chennai, May 8: Mumbai Indians sailed into their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) final as they defeated arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.

Suryakumar top-scored for Mumbai with a crafty 71 off 54 balls not out, his innings was studded with 10 fours.

Suryakumar, who was dropped twice, brought up his seventh IPL fifty, and second this season, in 37 balls as Mumbai coasted to 132/4 in 18.3 overs.

For Chennai, Imran Tahir returned best figures of 2/33.

Mumbai, led by Rohit Sharma, will now play the final on Sunday at Hyderabad.

Chasing 132 for victory on a typically slow wicket which is not easy to bat on, Mumbai were reduced to 21/2 in the first four overs.

Skipper Rohit was removed in the second ball of the innings after hitting a four, with Deepak Chahar trapping the star India batsman in front.

In-form Quinton de Kock (8) also did not last long, scooping a Harbhajan Singh delivery to his national team captain Faf du Plessis at wide long off.

From there on, there was no looking back for the visitors despite Tahir taking two wickets in two deliveries in the 14th over to dismiss Ishan Kishan (28) and Krunal Pandya (0) as Suryakumar hit the winning runs by smashing Deepak Chahar for a four.

Hardik Pandya was not out at the other end on 13 off 11 balls as Mumbai won with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, an unbeaten 66-run stand between M.S. Dhoni (37 not out off 29) and Ambati Rayudu (42 off 37) helped CSK post 131/4.

Despite losing their top order for just 65 runs, it was Dhoni and Rayudu who anchored the Chennai innings.

For Mumbai, Rahul Chahar starred with the ball with figures of 2/14 from his four overs while Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav bagged a wicket each.

Opting to bat first, the defending champions got off to a slow start with just 6 runs on the scorecard in the first two overs before Rahul came up with the first breakthrough, dismissing Faf du Plessis (6 off 11) in the first ball of the third over.

Suresh Raina couldn’t do much as he also departed cheaply after being caught and bowled by Jayant Yadav.

Things worsened for the home side when Krunal packed back Shane Watson (10 off 13), with Chennai reeling at 32/3 in 6 overs.

Murali Vijay (26 off 26) and Rayudu then tried to put things back in order as they added 33 runs for the fourth wicket before the former became a victim of Chahar in the 13th over.

Dhoni then joined Rayudu and the duo denied Mumbai any further inroads as they shared a 66-run partnership to take Chennai to 131, thanks to the Chennai skipper’s couple of lusty blows off Lasith Malinga in the second last over.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 131/4 (Ambati Rayudu 42 not out, M.S. Dhoni 37 not out, Rahul Chahar 2/14); Mumbai Indians 132/4 in 18.3 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 71, Imran Tahir 2/33)

IANS

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My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

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New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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