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Stokes, Unadkat star in Pune’s 12-run win over Hyderabad

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RPS
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Hyderabad, May 6: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) rode on an all-round effort from Ben Stokes and a hat-trick from left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Saturday.

With the win, the Steve Smith-led Supergiant vaulted to the second spot in the IPL standings, and almost booked their place for the IPL play-offs while the Sunrisers remained fourth after their second successive loss.

Unadkat returned with figures of 5/30 from his four overs, including the hat-trick in the final over, which saw the dismissals of Bipul Sharma, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The left-armer also accounted for the wickets of the in-form Yuvraj Singh and stumper Naman Ojha to get to his five wicket haul.

The left-armer was complimented well by Stokes, who first helped Pune reach 148/8 with a 25-ball 39, before taking three wickets to dent the hopes of the hosts.

Stokes struck with the wickets of the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (19) off his first delivery before packing New Zealander Kane Williamson (4) one ball later as the Sunrisers lost their first match on home soil this season.

Skipper David Warner (40 from 34 balls) did well to get to 500 runs in this edition of the IPL, striking four fours, including three off tweaker Washington Sundar besides clobbering Imran Tahir for a massive six.

Read more…IPL: Hyderabad restrict Pune to 148/8

The Australian added 54 runs for the third wicket with Yuvraj (47 from 43) before Stokes returned to see Warner’s back with a short ball to be caught by Shardul Thakur at sweeper cover.

Tahir then jolted the hosts with the wicket of Moises Henriques (4) with a googly, which the batsman tried to cut but instead crashed onto the stumps.

With the asking rate mounting, Yuvraj, who got a life on 32 belted a few boundaries and sixes to step up the gas and add 21 runs with Ojha (9), before slicing a short and wide ball from Unadkat only to land in Rahul Tripathi’s hands.

Unadkat once again struck on the last ball of his over to pack back Ojha, who repeated the same mistake as Yuvraj did to slice a wide ball for Stokes to take a brilliant running catch.

Requiring 13 off the final over from Unadkat, left-hander Sharma (8) failed to connect the first ball before holing out the second to Stokes at deep midwicket.

The third delivery cost the hosts the wicket of Rashid (3) off a simple caught and bowled chance before Bhuvneshwar (0) gave Unadkat the hat-trick and his 100th IPL wicket on the fourth ball.

Earlier, Hyderabad kept it tight at the beginning as Pune got off to a poor start. In-form opener Rahul Tripathi (1) was run out by a direct throw from Bipul Sharma from short fine-leg after he flicked a delivery from left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra in the fifth delivery of the second over and decided to run but was sent back by Ajinkya Rahane.

Stokes took his time to settle in before deciding to tear into the home bowling attack as Smith opted to anchor the innings as he got two lives after being dropped at his personal scores of five and 22 by Bipul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively.

Bipul was carted for another six towards long-on in his next over as Stokes made his intentions clear. It took a faster delivery from leg-spinner Rashid Khan to break the dangerous looking partnership as the ball ran through Stokes’ defence, with Pune at 99/3 in 14.3 overs.

Medium pacer Siddharth Kaul dealt two big blows to the visitors by getting rid of Smith and Daniel Christian (4). While Smith was caught by Bipul at short third man, Christian was holed out at long-on by Rashid.

Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni showed flashes of his old devastating self as he bludgeoned medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two sixes and a four in the 19th over. He bagged another four against Kaul in the final over.

(IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Tony Kroos fives Germany win over Sweden

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Sochi, June 24 : Tony Kroos produced a last gasp winner as Germany revived their campaign with a 2-1 win over Sweden in a Group F match of the FIFA World Cup here.

Ola Toivonen gave Sweden the lead with a superb finish in the 32nd minute during the match on Saturday.

Germany displayed large doses of their famed fighting spirit as they staged a strong comeback in the second half.

Marco Reus (48th minute) got the equaliser early in the second half.

Germany left everything to the last minute, scoring in the 95th minute, avoiding what could have been an embarrassing elimination from the World Cup in the group stage.

The Germans felt disaster coming when Ola Toinoven scored the first goal in the 32nd minute, giving Sweden a 1-0 lead by half time, Efe news reports.

To Germany’s relief, Marco Reus scored three minutes into the second half off a cross from the left by Timo Werner, giving his teammates the jolt of energy and confidence they needed.

Germany soon took control of the match, achieving nearly 80 per cent possession of the ball and finding several clear chances to score, although the Swedish defence held the line.

Even though Jerome Boateng received a red card in the 83rd minute, the Germans continued to play as one would expect from the former World Cup champions.

In the 89th minute, Germany’s Mario Gomez was close to scoring with a superb header that was deflected by keeper Robin Olsen.

It wasn’t until the 95th minute that Germany sealed their 2-1 victory with a free kick by Toni Kroos from the left of the box, beautifully curling the ball into the far corner of the net.

The rest of the game saw the Germans dominate as they created and wasted a hatful of chances.

The Swedish defence also did well, holding the defending champions at bay with some last ditch defending.

Kroos finally found the winner five minutes into second half added time when he curled in a free-kick at the far post.

Sweden and Germany are now tied in Group F with three points each, while Mexico is in first place with six points and South Korea is last with zero point.

Germany have three points from two matches and will face South Korea in their final group engagement.

Sweden, who had beaten the Koreans in their first match, remained on three points as well.

They will take on Mexico in their third and final group match.

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World Cup 2018: Germany face must-win against Sweden

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Sochi, June 23: Holders Germany will have to beat Sweden in order to avoid an early exit from the FIFA World Cup when the two sides meet in a crunch Group F clash at the Fisht Stadium here on Saturday.

Blessed with a strong squad brimming with talented players, Germany were hot contenders to become the first team in 56 years to retain the World Cup.

But after a shock 0-1 defeat to Mexico, the jolted four-time winners will have their task cut out against Sweden. A reversal will all but end their campaign.

“Everyone is aware that this is our first ‘final’, it’s annoying that it comes so early, but it’s self-inflicted,” team director Oliver Bierhoff was quoted as saying.

Germany were all over the place in the first half against Mexico and their heroics in Brazil four years ago seemed distant.

After the defeat, there have been catcalls to drop under-performing players like Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

Sweden, meanwhile, will believe they can cause another upset after their confidence lifting 1-0 win over Korea Republic. This was their first win in the competition since hosting the tournament in 1958.

The Swedes are no strangers to upsetting the odds, beating France during qualification and getting past Italy in the play-offs, so an under-performing German side will hold no fears for Janne Anderson’s men.

IANS

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FIFA WC 2018: Confident Mexico up against under-pressure Koreans

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Mexico FIFA 2018

Rostov-on-Don (Russia), June 23: A confident Mexico will be eyeing their second win to seal a pre-quarterfinal berth when they take on South Korea in a Group F match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Rostov Arena here on Saturday.

The South Americans were impressive during their 1-0 win over defending champions Germany in their campaign opener where they put on one of the best team performances.

Meanwhile, the Asian side will be under pressure after going down 0-1 to Sweden on Monday and are facing the prospect of being eliminated at the group stage in a second consecutive World Cup.

Korea head coach Shin Tae-yong will certainly be wanting something special from his side to keep themselves alive in the mega event.

The Koreans played well in their first match, but found the going tough against the tall, physically strong Swedes.

While the Koreans did well in the midfield, the well-organised Sweden defence coupled with the Europeans’ physical advantage proved too much for them.

While most of the Mexican players do not have too much of a physical presence, their superior skills and tactical ability will present a different sort of challenge for the Koreans.

Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio will be hoping for a repeat show from his side and despite being known for reshuffling his lineup, he is not expected to make much changes against the Koreans.

Hirving Lozano, star for Mexico against Germany, scored the only game of the match and will be eager to go against South Korea to find the back of the net again.

However, despite having a great start to their campaign and being favourites in Saturday’s clash, Mexico midfielder Marco Fabian believes his side has to still do a lot.

“We reached our first target and have beaten Germany, but we can’t sit back,” Fabian told the media.

“Some consider us to be group favourites now, and that’s a compliment – but it’s one we shouldn’t believe. There are no favourites in this World Cup,” he added.

On the other hand, Koreans after suffering a defeat by Sweden, would have to reconsider their 4-3-3 formation which handed space to their opponents in the first game.

South Korea midfielder Koo Ja-cheol said his teammates were preparing to tackle Mexico and had found striker Javier Hernandezas as one of the major threat.

“Of course we are not ready to give up. Everyone put in so much effort to get here,” Koo said.

“What we want is to turn fans’ disappointment into joy,” he added.

Overall, it will be a herculean task for the Asian outfit to pull off a victory against the Mexicans on Saturday.

IANS

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