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Pune beat Mumbai by 20 runs to enter IPL final




Mumbai, May 17 : Rising Pune Supergiant rode on fine half-centuries from Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane and impressive off-spin bowling from teenager Washington Sundar (3/16) to defeat Mumbai Indians by 20 runs in the first qualifier and enter the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Tuesday.

Tiwary (58), Rahane (56) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (40 not out off 26) helped Pune post 162/4 in 20 overs. Sundar, 17, then ran through the Mumbai top-order as the hosts could only score 142/9 at the Wankhede Stadium. Medium pacer Shardul Thakur (3/37) created problems for Mumbai at the death overs.

Having finished the league stage in the top position, Mumbai on Friday will have another chance to enter the final as they will face the winner of the Eliminator match between Kolkata Knight Riders and defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad — who face-off on Wednesday.

Two-time champions Mumbai are too good a side to flounder the way they did against Pune. After asking Pune to bat, Mumbai had a near-perfect start, removing in-form Rahul Tripathi (0) and captain Steve Smith (1) in the opening two overs. New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan drew first blood for the hosts, cleaning up Tripathi for his first duck of the IPL, on the last ball of the opening over before a leading edge off Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga got skipper Smith walking , with Pune at 9/2.

With the visitors in desperate need of a partnership, Rahane and Manoj did the job for them, helping the odd ball to the boundary as Mumbai maintained a perfect line and length.

The right-handed pair went on to add 50 runs off 44 deliveries with Manoj playing the perfect second fiddle to the local boy Rahane, who got to his half-century off 39 balls.

Just when things began to fall in order for Pune, leg-spinner Karn Sharma jolted the visitors, by trapping Rahane, who by now had helped the ball to the boundary on five occasions and once over it.

The fall of Rahane brought in Dhoni who, along with Manoj, played out five overs inconsequentially before the Bengal batsman took the attack to the opposition.

Continuing his fine run with the willow, Manoj first slogged at a good length ball off McCleneghan to get to his half-century off 45 deliveries before taking the bowler to the cleaners. Dhoni too joined the party, clearing the Kiwi twice in the penultimate over.

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma threw the ball to his death-over specialist Jasprit Bumrah for the final over, but with Dhoni at his attacking best, young Bumrah was clobbered twice out of the park as the final two overs yielded 41 runs for Pune, who managed to post 162/4.

During the chase, opening batsman Parthiv Patel (52 off 40) held one fort as he executed his strokes perfectly from the start. However, Lendl Simmons’s wicket opened the floodgates for Mumbai. Patel’s straight drive off a slower delivery from medium pacer Shardul Thakur was finger-tipped by the bowler before the ball hit the stumps as Simmons was found to be short at the non-striker’s end, with Mumbai at 35/1 in 4.3 overs.

After the wicket, Sundar then had his impressive bowling spell. Rohit Sharma (1) was adjudged lbw as he went for the sweep shot and missed the ball which hit the pad, while Ambati Rayudu (0) pulled straight into the hands of Steven Smith at short midwicket. Smith got hold of another catch at the same position to send back Kieran Pollard (7) as Pune had Mumbai on the mat, with the scoreboard reading 51/4 in eight overs.

Parthiv, who was playing well, was then joined by Hardik Pandya (14) but the pair could only forge a 24-run stand for the fifth wicket as the latter hit a ball from medium pacer Lockie Ferguson straight into the hands of Daniel Christian at long-on, with Mumbai at 75/5 in 11.1 overs.

With Mumbai still behind the target by 88 runs, it was a huge task for the hosts. Under the pressure of mounting required run-rate, Hardik Pandya (15) and Parthiv fell in the 15th over bowled by Thakur. With Mumbai needing 60 runs off five overs, the task proved too much for the lower-order batsmen.


Tokyo Olympics to be held from July 23 to Aug 8 in 2021

The Summer Games had never been postponed in its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to war.



Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo, March 30 : The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now be held from July 23 to August 8 next year and the Para Olympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5.

The new dates of Tokyo Olympics, which had been scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 in the Japanese capital, were agreed Monday between the International Olympic Committee and local organizers, as per a report from Japan’s Kyodo News agency said and further confirmed by sources in the Indian Olympic Association.

A task force established by the Tokyo Games organizing committee charged with handling the delay opted for a similar time frame in 2021 in order to use existing plans for the games as much as possible, added the report.

Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori has warned international federations that it will be a “major challenge” on deciding who covers the additional costs arising from the postponement of the Olympic Games.

The announcement of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was made by the IOC and the organising committee last week after IOC president Thomas Bach’s telephonic conversation with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Summer Games had never been postponed in its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to war.

Nearly 725,000 people have been infected globally and at least 34,000 deaths have been reported till now because of coronavirus.

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Bhaichung offers building in Sikkim to help migrant workers

The direction came amid migration of labourers from cities to their villages in different states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced nationwide lockdown to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.




Bhaichung Bhutia

Kolkata, March 30 : Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Monday offered his building in Lumsey, Tadong, Sikkim to the migrant workers in the state at a time they are struggling to reach their homes amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are a lot of migrant workers who are stuck in Sikkim also. Sikkim does not have any cases of coronavirus as of now. So I decided to offer my building which is still unfinished to them,” Bhutia told IANS from Siliguri in West Bengal where he has been stuck since the first day of the 21-day lockdown.

“I was returning from Kolkata and due to this lockdown now I am here. So I am coordinating everything from here. The building can accommodate upto 100 people. It has five floors. Already 10 workers are staying there. We are providing them food. We have asked the local government to support us,” Bhutia said.

The iconic former striker said he and his team at United Sikkim FC (USFC) is also working on helping migrant workers in Bengal get ration.

“We are in talks with local authorities. Let’s see what can be done for them here in Bengal also. I feel strongly for the migrant workers who hope to reach their homes,” added the 43-year old.

The West Bengal government has come up with a series of measures to prevent movement of migrant labourers, directing district administrations to arrange for temporary shelters and provisions of food, and all employers to pay full wages on the due day to the workforce irrespective of whether their establishments are under closure during the lockdown period.

The Centre on Sunday directed the states to strictly follow the nationwide lockdown norms and stop the movement of people across the cities, advising them to arrange shelter, food and other facilities for migrant labourers at their workplace.

The direction came amid migration of labourers from cities to their villages in different states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced nationwide lockdown to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

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FC Barcelona seeks to cut players’ salaries by 70%: Report




FC Barcelona

Madrid, March 30 : Spanish La Liga club FC Barcelona wants the players to cut their salaries by 70 per cent until June 30 as a way of saving around 106 million euros (117 million dollars) due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Spanish Marca sport newspaper, the club will lose at least 100 million euros (110.7 million dollars). The amount is about 10 per cent of the club’s budget for the 2019/20 season.

The club’s board of directors is currently working to invoke the ERTE, or temporary employment measures, which will suspend the players’ labor contracts, reports Xinhua news agency.

The system will be in place in the coming days and will help the club compensate any financial losses.

Barcelona had decided to join hands with the Catalonia government in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak and will provide masks so that people can wear them and stay safe from the deadly virus. The masks are set to be supplied to nursing homes so that doctors and nurses can make use of them to treat the patients.

In a statement issued by the club, it said: “The club has put itself at the service of the health authorities to help to fulfill and enforce all its instructions, recommendations and orders to combat contagion of the virus and alleviate its effects as much as possible.”

Earlier, Barcelona became the first Spanish football club to officially announce a pay cut for players and club staff as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Sports in Spain has come to a standstill and Barcelona had to make the move so as to pay their support staff.

“Faced with this scenario, the Board of Directors has decided to implement a series of measures to mitigate its effects and reduce the economic effects of this crisis,” said the club in its statement.

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