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When Royal Challengers mauled Lions & set new records!

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Bengaluru, May 14 : In a do-or-die match to keep their hopes alive in the Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) mauled Gujarat Lions (GL) by 144 runs, setting new records and sending frenzied fans into a tizzy with a double century partnership here on Saturday.

When Lions’ stand-in skipper Brendon McCullum opted to bowl despite winning the toss and getting RCB’s out-of-form opener Chris Gayle (6) in the fourth over with its score at 19, die-hard fans felt a sense of deja vu, as the West Indian and skipper Virat Kohli made a nervous start, scoring just 10 in the first three overs.

Though the fans missed Gayle’ storm once again and jeered and booed him when he walked back to the pavilion for letting them down badly in this edition, what followed was a bloodbath, as Kohli (109 in 55 balls) and in-form AB de Villiers (129 not out in 52) tamed the Lions’ bowlers by hitting them merrily all over the ground to set an awesome target of 249 in 20 overs in front of about 30,000 fans.

“What an incredible innings RCB played in a must-win game, with their backs to the wall. I thought it was all over when Gayle got out early and Kohli took time to settle. But it was pure joy and exciting to watch him and AB treat us with amazing batting and proving that IPL T-20 in IPL is all about hitting mighty sixes and fours,” said a spellbound Mohd Fakhruddin, a post-graduate student, in the pavilion.

As the South African de Villiers took the initiative to launch the frontal assault and accelerated the score, Kohli bid for his turn to join the party and unleash mayhem all over the ground to post a record 229-run second wicket partnership in 97 balls and the highest score (248) in this IPL season.

The previous highest score (227) in this IPL season was also made by RCB at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in their opening tie that they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 12.

Among the Lions’ seven bowlers McCullum deployed to break the record double century partnership, Dwayne Bravo and Kumar were taken to the cleaners, with de Villiers and Kohli hitting 30 runs in each of their overs by turn. They also did not spare Dhawal Kulkarni in whose third over, de Villiers hit 23 runs.

Moreover, Kohli became the first player in the history of IPL to score three hundreds in an edition.

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Australia suspends Olympic bid amid COVID-19 recovery

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Sydney, May 25 (IANS) Australia’s Queensland has suspended its bid to host the 2032 Olympics recently as the state government focuses on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the bid process had been paused, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It’s just on hold. I wouldn’t read too much into that,” Palaszczuk told reporters last weekend.

“We’re focused absolutely on the economic recovery at the moment.”

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it fully supported the Queensland government’s position in placing the Brisbane 2032 candidature on hold.

AOC President John Coates said in a recent statement that meetings of the Olympic Candidature Leadership Group (OCLG) scheduled earlier this year were deferred, allowing governments to focus on dealing with COVID-19.

Coates said he’d proposed to OCLG members that the meetings would not proceed while all three levels of governments dealt with the pandemic.

He also told the AOC Annual General Meeting on May 9 that discussions with the IOC on the candidature would resume when appropriate.

“We all understand there are pressing issues of public health and community wellbeing for governments to address,” Coates said.

“The candidature will have its role to play in terms of jobs and growth in the Queensland economy once we have seen our way through the current crisis.”

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‘Hockey has lost its brightest star’: Balbir Singh Sr passes away

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Hockey India has expressed condolences on the sad demise of legendary player Balbir Singh Sr who breathed his last on Monday morning in Mohali. The triple Olympic Champion and World Cup-winning team manager had been battling for life since May 8 when he was hospitalised.

“Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. While his achievements in post-independent era have been well-documented, Balbir Sr remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its brightest star and everyone at Hockey India is pained by this news,” said Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.

He further said: “Balbir Singh Sr’s exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the federation, I express my deepest condolences to his family.”

He was the most decorated athlete in Indian sports history with Olympic medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games. He coached the Indian team which won the bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup and was manager of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1975 World Cup.

He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India scored 38 goals and conceded none on its way to the gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Beating England 4-0 in their own backyard during the final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr’s ‘greatest moment’.

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Former Pak batsman Taufeeq Umar tests positive for COVID-19

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New Delhi, Former Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Umar featured in 44 Tests and 12 ODIs, amassing 2,963 and 504 runs respectively for Pakistan.

He played his last international match in 2014, a Test against New Zealand in Dubai.

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