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Serena bows out in first round of Miami Open



Serena Williams

Miami (US), March 22: Japan’s Naomi Osaka, fresh from winning the biggest title of her career this month at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, defeated an out-of-sorts Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Miami Open.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who was born to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother and grew up in the United States, broke the 23-time Grand Slam champion in the seventh game and then finished off the first set with yet another break of serve here on Wednesday, reports Efe news agency.

Osaka, who broke Williams’ serve on two more occasions in the second set, was clearly the sharper of the two players considering that Serena was playing just her fourth WTA match in the past 12 months.

But the 22nd-ranked Osaka also showed she could match her opponent in the power department and most notably on the serve, ending the match with more aces (seven to three) and winning a higher percentage of first-serve points (78 percent to 76 percent).

She faced just two break points in the match and saved both of them.

Williams’ rust was apparent whenever she had to put in a second serve and enter a baseline rally, as was reflected in her 31 percent winning percentage on second-serve points.

The American went from bad to worse during the one-hour, 17-minute contest and appeared to be shocked at the routine shots she missed to lose her serve in the final game, including a wild forehand well over the baseline on match point.

Next up in the second round of this hard-court event for Osaka, who is unseeded at the Miami Open because she was ranked outside of the top 40 until her strong result in Indian Wells, will be fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.



IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore to renew rivalry



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Bengaluru, April 25: Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings will renew their intense rivalry after two years when they face-off in the Indian Premier League at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

With CSK not playing in the previous two seasons, fans on either side were robbed of IPL’s most celebrated rivalry.Though Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK lead RCB 13-7 in the overall head-to-head record, both teams have won three games each out of the seven played at the high-scoring Chinnaswamy Stadium with one producing a no-result.

Dhoni’s team have been much better than RCB in their comeback season, winning four out of the five games they have played so far. The Virat Kohli-captained RCB have won two out of their five matches and would be eager to maintain momentum after the win against Delhi Daredevils at home last week.

So, flying high on confidence, CSK will be eyeing to keep their winning momentum flowing when they face RCB today.

With the likes of in-form Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and the skipper himself, CSK has the ability to put a massive total on board or chase any challenging target.

In the bowling department, young Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have been impressive with each bagging six wickets from five and four games respectively.

While Chahar has an economy rate of 7.60, Thakur has been a bit expensive with 9.50 runs per over.

Also, all-rounder Watson has six wickets to his name with an economy of under eight.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo and leggie Karn Sharma have also came with breakthroughs for CSK at crucial times.

On the other hand, RCB, led by Virat Kohli are placed six in the points-table with just a couple of wins from five games.

Despite having stars like AB De Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum, Bangalore’s batting has been inconsistent, except for Kohli.

The RCB skipper has accumulated 231 runs from five games, averaging 57.75.

If De Villiers, who blasted an unbeaten 90 off 39 balls in RCB’s last game against Delhi Daredevils, repeats the show, life would be difficult for Chennai.

Bangalore however, has failed to find the perfect opening partnerships, which could be a major cause of concern.

In the bowling department, the spin duo of Yuzuvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, who have bagged five and four wickets respectively, will again be eager to put a better show as CSK have struggled against spin this season.

All-rounder Chris Woakes has been outstanding so far, picking up 8 wickets, while pacer Umesh Yadav also been equally good with eight wickets.

Overall, an exciting contest will be on cards when the two sides resume their intense rivalry after two years at the batting-friendly Chinnaswamy wicket.


Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Quinton de Kock(WK), Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/WK), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, K.M. Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.


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IPL 2018: Sunrisers Hyderabad edge out Mumbai Indians by 31 runs



sunrisers hyderabad srh ipl

Mumbai, April 25: Sunrisers Hyderabad produced a superb bowling performance to outwit Mumbai Indians by 31 runs in a tricky low-scoring encounter here on Tuesday to condemn the defending champions to their fifth loss in six games in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

On a day for bowlers, Mumbai bowled out Hyderabad for 118 in 18.4 overs but the hosts were then bundled out for 87 in 18.5 overs at the Wankhede. Hyderabad ended their two-match losing run and are third in the points table with eight points from six matches.

Hyderabad bowlers hunted in pack, with medium pacer Siddharth Kaul picking three wickets, while leg-spinner Rashid Khan and pacer Basil Thampi picking took two wickets each. Sandeep Sharma, Mohammed Nabi and Shakib Al Hasan picked a wicket each.

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Earlier in the first innings, put in to bat, the Sunrisers failed to recover from the dreadful start, of being reduced to 46/4 inside the powerplay, with Shikhar Dhawan (5), Wriddhiman Saha (0), Manish Pandey (16) and Shakib Al Hasan (2) all back in the hut inside the first six overs.

Skipper Kane Williamson waged a lone battle with a fighting 21-ball 29, laced with five hits to the fence before veteran Baroda batsman Yusuf Pathan (29 off 33 balls; 4×2, 6×1) took on the mantle, despite losing his partners at regular intervals.

Dhawan, who returned to the playing XI after missing the previous game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), looked uncomfortable after being hit on his thigh and was bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan the very next ball.

One ball later, Saha perished for nought after being caught behind by Ishan Kishan off McClenaghan.

With the team struggling at 20/2, Manish joined Williamson for a brief 24-run third wicket stand before Hardik ended Manish’s stay with a wide delivery, comfortably caught by skipper Rohit Sharma at cover.

Mumbai could not have asked for a better start, with Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib falling prey to confusion, and Suryakumar Yadav’s direct throw at the stumps was enough to reduce the visitors to 46/4.

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Pathan then joined Williamson, who looked fluent with his strokes but lost concentration on the very first ball after the strategic time-out to be caught behind by Kishan off Hardik Pandya.

With Williamson back in the dug-out, Mohammed Nabi (14) joined Pathan for a brief 23-run sixth-wicket stand before leg-spinner Mayank Markande’s googly clipped the top of middle and leg of the Afghanistan all-rounder.

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah then came back to jolt the visitors with the wicket of the other Afghan Rashid Khan (6) caught behind before Markande knocked off the off-stump of Basil Thampi (3) to reduce the Sunrisers to 106/8.

Sunrisers fell prey to yet another confusion in the middle, this time losing the wicket of tail ender Siddharth Kaul (2), comfortably run out by Hardik.

With Sandeep Sharma (0 not out) in company, Pathan’s ploy of playing the waiting game only resulted in a monstrous six off Mustafizur Rahman, but the Bangladeshi came back in style to pack back the right-hander the next ball, and restrict Sunrisers for a meagre 118.

During the chase, Mumbai too began on a horrendous note. Ervin Lewis (5), Ishan Kishan (0) and Rohit Sharma (2) fell soon as the hosts were reduced to 21/3 in 5.2 overs.

Suryakumar and Krunal Pandya then shared a handy 40-run partnership to keep Mumbai on track.

Legs-spinner Rashid Khan got a LBW decision against Krunal to break the partnership, with Mumbai needing 58 from 8.2 overs.

Rashid struck again to dismiss Kieron Pollard (9) in the first delivery of the 14th over to increase the visitors’s hopes – which grew further when Suryakumar was caught by Rashid off Thampi in the following over. At this juncture, Mumbai were 77/6, still needing 42 off 5.1 overs.

In the following over, medium pacer Siddharth Kaul got two LBW decisions against Mitchell McClenaghan (0) and Mayank Markande (1) as Mumbai tottered at 80/8 at the end of 17 overs.

Amidst all this, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya had scored just three runs off 16 deliveries and was Mumbai’s sole hope. But Kaul made him his third wicket when he was caught by Thampi at third man in the fourth delivery of the 18th over.

Thamp then had Mustafizur Rahman (1) caught by Deepak Hooda at midwicket to complete Mumbai’s annihilation.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 118 in 18.4 overs (Kane Williamson 29, Yusuf Pathan 29; Mayank Markande 2/15, Hardik Pandya 2/20, Mitchell McClenaghan 2/22) vs Mumbai Indians: 87 all out in 18.5 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 34; Siddharth Kaul 3/23, Basil Thampi 2/4, Rashid Khan 2/11).


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Happy B’day Sachin: 10 interesting facts you should know about Master Blaster



Sachin tendulkar

New Delhi, April 24: Sachin Tendulkar, the god of Indian cricket, is celebrating his 45th birthday today (April 24). 

Over a career spanning 24 years, 200 Test matches, 100 centuries, Sachin Tendulkar went from a being a 16-year-old debutant on the international pitch to the God of cricket.

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While he came on the pitch with a reputation of having once hit 326 not out as a schoolboy, little did the world know what was in store from the little master.

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Known as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, the former Indian international cricketer is the highest run scorer of all time in international cricket.

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Additionally, Tendulkar is also known for taking a stand on social and civic issues and is a role model looked up to by many, not just in India, but across the world. Which is why it did not come as surprising to see every second person referring to Tendulkar as the ‘legend of cricket’ and somebody who has ‘changes their lives’.

After giving us some of the best cricket moments of our lives, Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs in 2012 and later retired from Twenty20 cricket in October 2013.

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Tendulkar received the Arjuna Award in 1994 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1997, India’s highest sporting honour, and the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards in 1999 and 2008, respectively, India’s fourth and second highest civilian awards.

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After a few hours of his final match on 16 November 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He is the youngest recipient to date and the first ever sportsperson to receive the award.

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At the Legend’s 45th birthday, we bring you some interesting facts about the cricket genius you should know.

1. Sunil Gavaskar gifted the 14-year-old Sachin a pair of his own ultra-light pads. Those pads were later stolen while Sachin was at the under-15 national camp.

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2. The only Test-playing nation where Sachin has never scored a Test century is Zimbabwe.

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3. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (5) before turning 20.

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4. Sachin Tendulkar met Anjali for the first time at Mumbai airport in 1990. He was returning from the tour of England at the age of 17.

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5. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar married Anjali at the age of 22.

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6. Sachin’s daughter ‘Sara’ is named after the first tournament Sachin won as a captain – ‘Sahara’ Cup in 1997. 

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7. In 2007, Virgin Comics created a new superhero called ‘Master Blaster’ based on Sachin to launch a new series of comic books.

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8. Sachin Tendulkar carries India’s national flag in his cricket bag and also sports it on his helmet.

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9. This one is very interesting!! In the Kotla Test against Pakistan where Kumble took a perfect 10, whenever Tendulkar handed Kumble’s sweater and cap to the umpire at the start of an over, Kumble took a wicket. So he continued doing that until Kumble took all ten.

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10. Sachin Tendulkar went to watch the movie Roja in 1995 with a beard and disguise. It all went wrong when his glasses fell off and the crowd in the cinema hall recognized him.

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Here’s wishing the ”God of Cricket” a very Happy Birthday!!


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