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Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 1 run to win IPL 2019 title

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Hyderabad, May 13 (IANS) Lasith Malinga delivered the killer blow as Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated bitter rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by one run to lift a record fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title in a rip-roaring final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.

With two runs needed off the final delivery, Malinga executed a slower yorker to perfection, trapping Shardul Thakur (2) right in front to send his teammates, including skipper Rohit Sharma, into delirium as Shane Watson, whose breathtaking 80 went in vain, sunk in his seat in the Chennai dugout.

Chasing a modest 150 for victory, Watson, who was dropped on 56 by Rahul Chahar, carried Chennai’s hopes with a belligerent 80 off 59 balls, his innings laced with eight fours and four sixes.

But once he was run out in the fourth ball of the final over, it was Sri Lankan Malinga who showed his class to snatch the crown from the defending champions.

In the last five overs, Chennai needed 62 off 30 balls. Watson then hit Malinga for a hat-trick of fours to trim the equation to 42 off 24 balls.

There was no stopping the veteran Australian, who scored a hundred in the final to help Chennai win the IPL last year, as he clobbered Krunal Pandya for three back-to-back sixes in the 18th over which costed Mumbai 20 runs.

Mumbai’s best bowler Jasprit Bumrah (2/14) then bowled a brilliant penultimate over, sending Bravo (15) back in the hut after the latter gave Quinton de a simple catch behind the stumps. However, de Kock missed an easy gathering to gift Chennai four byes in the last ball of the over.

Earlier, Faf du Plessis (26) and Watson gave Chennai a steady start before Krunal got the former stumped by de Kock by luring him to come down the wicket.

With du Plessis gone for 26 off 13, Watson and Suresh Raina (8) shared a 37-run stand for the second wicket as Chennai looked to be cruising.

Rohit then gave the ball to Rahul Chahar (1/14) who started Chennai’s downfall by trapping Raina (8) in front. Ambati Rayudu (1) could not add much to the tally, getting caught behind off Bumrah.

The game-changing moment came in the 13th over when M.S. Dhoni (2) was caught short of the crease by Ishan Kishan, with replays showing it to be a close call.

Watson and Bravo then joined hands for a 51-run partnership for the fifth wicket which was finally broken by Bumrah. From there on, it was a see-saw battle which eventually saw Mumbai continue their dominance over Chennai in what was their fourth final meeting.

Earlier, Deepak Chahar (3/26) and Imran Tahir (2/23) starred with the ball as CSK restricted MI to 149/8, even as Kieron Pollard hit an unbeaten cameo (41* off 25) down the order.

Pollard, who was dropped on 25 by Suresh Raina, was the top-scorer for Mumbai as he hammered three fours and three sixes. For Chennai, Shardul Thakur also picked up two wickets for 23 runs.

But Pollard hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons in the last over when as a mark of protest against the umpire not calling a wide in the previous delivery, he walked across — even leaving the pitch — to face the fourth ball before Dwayne Bravo pulled out.

Opting to bat, Mumbai were off to a flying start riding on de Kock’s power hitting. The South African stumper-batsman took on in-form Deepak Chahar in the third over, smashing three sixes to take 20 runs off it.

de Kock looked to be in the mood as he slapped Shardul for a six in the fifth over. But the pacer had his revenge in the next ball when he cramped de Kock for room with a quick delivery that the batsman lobbed to Dhoni who took an easy catch. de Kock clobbered four sixes en route his 17-ball 29.

In the next over, Dhoni became the wicket-keeper with most dismissals in IPL history when he dived forward to take Rohit’s catch off Deepak Chahar who outfoxed the Mumbai captain with a knuckleball. Rohit’s patchy form in the IPL continued as he could only manage 15 off 14 balls, hitting one four and a six.

Mumbai, who suddenly seemed to be in some sort of trouble at 45/2 after the Powerplay, were dented further by Imran Tahir who accounted for Suryakumar Yadav (15), the star of Mumbai’s last game, and Ishan Kishan (23) as Krunal Pandya (7) was sent back in between by Shardul who took a brilliant catch off his own bowling.

With five overs remaining, Mumbai were 102/5 but Deepak Chahar’s brilliance restricted them to a score of below 150 despite Pollard smashing two fours off the last two deliveries.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians: 149/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41 not out, Quinton de Kock 29; Deepak Chahar 3/26, Imran Tahir 2/23); Chennai Super Kings: 148/7 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 80, Jasprit Bumrah 2/14)

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Tata Steel Chess: Anand draws with Jorden van Foreest

It was the 18th straight draw between him and Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the Classical time control.

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Viswanathan Anand

Wijk Aan Zee (The Netherlands), Jan 18 : Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand was on Saturday held to a draw by Dutch Jorden Van Foreest in the sixth round of Tata Steel Masters.

Veteran Anand faced the Four Knights opening in the sixth round as black and unleashed an attack in the centre early by sacrificing two pawns.

Anand tried to make inroads as White’s king was stuck around the centre for a long time and
it was a cautious move by both players especially after white lost back one pawn.

The draw was agreed upon once Anand picked the second pawn.

Anand remained in joint sixth spot after three points from six games.

Anand needs a powerful finish to be in with a chance of finishing on the podium with seven rounds still remaining.

Meanwhile, World champion Magnus Carlsen’s got a sixth draw on the trot as his search for an elusive win continued.

It was the 18th straight draw between him and Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the Classical time control.

Elsewhere, Anish Giri bounced back from his previous round loss to defeat Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus while Daniil Dubov thrashed his Russian compatriot Vladislav Artemiev.

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Sania scripts dream return, clinches doubles title in Hobart

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Hobart: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza along with Nadiia Kichenok came out with yet another brilliant performance as they defeated the China’s Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai in straight sets to win the women’s doubles title at Hobart International on Saturday.

Former doubles No.1 Mirza and Kichenok defeated the second-seeded Chinese duo 6-4, 6-4 in a rather one-sided contest which lasted one hour and 21 minutes.

The Indo-Ukrainian pair were the first to break in each set, but ultimately needed to wrap up the match by delivering the deciding breaks late. The unseeded duo won the last three games of the opener, and eight of the last 10 points to seal victory, having nearly seen a double-break advantage slip away.

Though the duo won six straight games from 3-4 in the opener to lead 6-4, 3-0, the 33-year-old Indian was the one who saw her serve broken twice as the Chinese eventually restored parity at 4-4.

Nonetheless, Mirza and Kichenok finished the match off in style with their fifth break of the match, before the Ukrainian served out the match and the victory for the team.

It is Mirza’s first WTA title in just over two years and 42nd of her storied doubles career, while Kichenok won her fifth, and first since partnering her twin sister, Lyudmyla, to win the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in 2018.

The Indian star last won a trophy alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Brisbane International in the first week of the 2017 season, one of three doubles finals she reached that year before announcing her pregnancy in April of 2018.

Three-time doubles Grand Slam winner Mirza was making a return to competition after a two-year hiatus away from tennis, initially due to injuries and then welcoming a son in October 2018.

The former world No.1 won the Australian Open doubles title in 2016 following a successful 2015 season in which she claimed the Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles, all paired with Martina Hingis.

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Rajkot ODI: India level series with 36-run win

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Rajkot, Jan 17 : India beat South Africa by 36 runs in the second ODI at the SCA stadium in Rajkot to level the three-match series between the two sides 1-1. Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli helped India post a total of 341 to chase. In response, Australia were all out for 304 despite Steve Smith scoring 98.

Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch, who posted a record 258-run stand to help Australia stroll to a win in the first ODI, could not do a repeat of their heroics with the former being dismissed in the fourth over. Smith came in at number three and put up 62 with Finch before the Australian captain fell to Ravindra Jadeja on account of a close stumping call in the 16th over.

Finch had attempted to hit Jadeja over extra cover but missed the delivery due to the turn. Finch dragged his backfoot marginally outside the crease and wicketkeeper Rahul whipped the bails off immediately. Replays made it a tough call for the umpire to make but the decision went India’s way in the end.

However, Marnus Labuschagne, playing his first ODI innings, stuck on with Smith and the pair gave Australia the upper hand in the middle overs. They put up 96 for the third wicket before Labuschagne holed out at mid-off off Jadeja on 46. Smith however looked settled and was cruising to his ninth ODI ton when a loose shot cost him his wicket.

Kuldeep Yadav, who was wicketless in the first eight overs, bowled the 38th over and got Carey when the latter sent the ball straight to Kohli at extra cover. It was Kuldeep’s 100th ODI wicket and two balls later, Smith played on and had to walk back two runs shy of his hundred.

Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins were dismissed off consecutive deliveries by Mohammed Shami in the 44th over. Both players were done in by pinpoint yorkers directed at the middle stump. Shami sent in a leg stump yorker for his hat-trick ball and hit Mitchell Starc on his pads but the umpire didn’t raise his finger with the ball clearly going down the leg side.

Navdeep Saini then got India closer in the 47th with the wickets of Ashton Agar and Starc off the first and third balls of the over. Kane Richardson then delayed the inevitable by smashing Mohammed Shami for three fours and a six in the penultimate over. Jasprit Bumrah ended the match by dismissing Adam Zampa off the first ball of the last over.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan scored his third straight fifty with a sublime 96 from 90 balls, his innings laced with 13 fours and a six as skipper Kohli smashed a 76-ball 78 (6×4). But it was Rahul, batting at No.5 who gave India the much-needed push in the last ten overs with his aggressive batting and range of shots. Rahul was run out in the final over for 80 off just 52 balls, his quickfire knock studded with six fours and three sixes.

For the Aussies, leg-spinner Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/50.

The decisive third ODI will be played on Sunday at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.

Brief scores: India: 340/6 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 96, KL Rahul 80, Virat Kohli 78; Adam Zampa 3/50) vs Australia 304 (Steve Smith 98, Marnus Labuschagne 46; Mohammed Shami 3/77)

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