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Women’s Hockey WC: India lose to Ireland in quarters



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London, Aug 3 (IANS) Reigning Asian champions India lost to lower-ranked Ireland 1-3 (0-0) via penalty shootout here on Thursday as the European side extended its dream run into the semi-finals of the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup.

For India, Reena Khokhar was the lone goal-scorer, while Roisin Upton, Alison Meeke, Chloe Watkins remained calm to beat Savita during the shootout after 60 minutes of regulation play yielded no goals.

World No.16 Ireland had defeated No.10 India in the pool stage and both teams on Thursday approached the match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre with emphasis on defence.

After a lull first period, both teams intensified their attacks in the second quarter, with India using full-press to keep the pressure up. India remained effective yet calm in their attack, rotated the ball patiently to find the right opportunity in the circle but a real chance on goal continued to elude them.

For the Irish though, Anna O’Flannagan remained the cynosure of their attack when she cleverly positioned herself to find a deflection off a cross that sliced through their striking circle from the right. But India’s goalkeeper Savita made a diving effort to deny Anna a goal.

With a little over 30 seconds remaining for the half-time, India’s striker Rani Rampal made an aggressive dribble to enter the circle but a good tackle on Ireland’s part ensured both teams went into the ten-minute break at a 0-0 deadlock.

Ireland came up with an improvised game plan after the half-time break which saw them make positive impact in their attack and also made crucial interceptions to disrupt India’s structure.

But India continued to hold their nerve and ensured good defensive structure to not concede.

The fourth and final quarter was tense with both teams upping the ante. India found a great opportunity to score when they won a crucial penalty corner in the 49th minute. Though Lilima Minz’s injection lacked the pace, Rani picked up a powerful shot but only to send it straight to the Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran.

India lost the video referral with a little over five minutes to go for the final hooter as Vandana asked for a deliberate infringement by Irish defender.

India’s chances were further dented when they were down to ten players with Udita getting a green card in the 57th minute.

With time racing away, Ireland took a final chance in their attack but the match when into a shootout during which Rani, Monika and Navjot Kaur flopped in India’s first three attempts.

Nicola Daly and Anna wasted Ireland’s first two attempts but Roisin, Alison and Chloe converted the next three to pocket the win.

Following the win, Ireland will meet Spain in the semi-finals on Saturday.

In the other semi-final, The Netherlands, who defeated hosts and 2016 Olympic champions England 2-0 on Thursday, will meet Australia.


Preity Zinta demands new IPL rules after narrow KXIP loss




Actress and co-owner of Kings XI Punjab team Preity Zinta has expressed her disappointment over certain cricketing rules at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

The decision irked several people, including KXIP co-owner Preity.

On Sunday, Kings XI Punjab lost to Delhi Capitals in the super exciting second match of the season. However, there was controversy at the very end. During the 19th over of KXIP’s innings, when Mayank Agarwal and Chris Jordan were batting, the square leg umpire decided a second run taken by Jordan was not complete. However, replays showed Jordan’s bat had crossed the line.

The decision irked several people, including KXIP co-owner Preity.

“I travelled enthusiastically during a pandemic, did 6 days of Quarantine and 5 covid tests with a smile but that one Short Run hit me hard. What’s the point of technology if it cannot be used? It’s time @BCCI introduces new rules. This cannot happen every year.

I’ve always believed in being graceful in a win or loss and in the spirit of the game but it’s also important to ask for policy changes that improve the game in the future for everyone. The past has happened and it’s imp to move on. So Looking ahead and being positive as always,” Preity tweeted.

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Rayudu, du Plessis 50s give CSK winning start in IPL




Abu Dhabi, Sep 20 : Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu’s master class helped three-time champions Chennai Super Kings beat arch-rivals and reigning champions Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Saturday.

South African du Plessis (58 not out) and Rayudu (71) were involved in a 115-run partnership for the third wicket that ensured ‘Yellow Brigade’ registered an easy win over the Rohit Sharma-led side. Chennai bowlers Lungi Ngidi (3/38), Deepak Chahar (2/32), and Ravindra Jadeja’s 2/42) helped restrict the Mumbai Indians to 162 or nine wickets in 20 overs.

CSK overhauled the target with four balls to spare, finishing at 166 for five in 19.2 overs.

Chasing the 163-run target, Chennai were off to a poor start as both of their openers — Shane Watson (4) and Murali Vijay (1) were back in the dug-out in the first couple of overs. While James Pattinson (1/27) accounted for the wicket of Vijay, Watson was trapped before the wicket by Trent Boult (1/23). With just six runs on the scorecard, the Chennai team looked in deep trouble, but Rayudu and du Plessis steadied the ship.

Without much hiccup, the two helped their team touch the three-digit mark in 13.1 overs. With nothing seemed to going Mumbai’s way, Rahul Chahar gave his side some relief as he picked Rayudu in the 16th over. But it was too late as the CSK had already reached 121 runs. Incoming batsman Ravindra Jadeja fell cheaply, thanks to Krunal Pandya who trapped him leg before the wicket.

South African du Plessis, however, kept the scoreboard ticking and was joined by Sam Curran, who played a cameo of six-ball 18 before departing off a Jasprit Bumrah delivery in the 19th over. Du Plessis hammered Boult for two consecutive boundaries off the first two deliveries of the final over to help his side cross the line with ease.

Earlier, asked to bat first, Mumbai Indians were off to a decent start with openers Rohit Sharma (12) and Quinton de Kock (33) sharing a solid 46-run partnership for the first wicket. However, just when everything was going fine for Mumbai, leggie Piyush Chawla (1/21) drew the first blood for Chennai as he pegged back Rohit in the fifth over.

England’s Curran further jolted Mumbai as dismissed a well-settled de Kock, who tried to hit the ball straight down the throat of Shane Watson at midwicket. Saurabh Tiwary (42) and Surya Kumar Yadav (17) kept the scorers busy for the next five overs. The duo shared a 44-run partnership for the third wicket.

Chennai pacer Deepak Chahar, however, gave his side some respite as he accounted for the wicket of Yadav in the 11th over. Tiwary was then joined by Hardik Pandya (14) but the Jharkhand batsman, who was approaching his half-century, was sent back in the 15th over by Jadeja. He made things more difficult for Mumbai after picking Hardik too, in the same over. Lungi Ngidi (3/38) then joined the party and scalped three wickets in quick succession to leave the opponents reeling at 156/8 in 18.5 overs.

Mumbai tailenders could manage only six runs in the final over as the side posted a moderate 162/9 off 20 overs in front of empty stands as spectators are not allowed inside due to Covid-19 protocols in the UAE.

Brief scores:

CSK 166/5 in 19.2 overs (Ambati Rayudu71, Faf du Plessis 58 not out; Trent Boult 1/23) beat MI 162/9 (Saurabh Tiwary 42, Quinton de Kock 33; Lungi Ngidi 3/38) by 5 wickets

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Great Learning ropes in Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

Earlier this month, Great Learning had announced a collaboration with Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in the US to launch online ‘Master of Science in Data Science Programme’ in India.




Virat Kohli

New Delhi, Sep 14 : Ed-tech company Great Learning on Monday announced the appointment of Virat Kohli, as its brand ambassador.

The captain of the Indian cricket team, who also topped a recent ranking of India’s most powerful celebrities, will now be the face of the Great Learning brand, the company said.

He will lead the brand’s latest ‘Power Ahead’ campaign, which underlines the importance of lifelong learning and showcases how high-quality learning at the right time can help professionals and students power ahead in their career.

“Kohli is the obvious choice to be our brand ambassador because he best embodies the great learning ethos of excellence and continuous learning,” Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and CEO, Great Learning, said in a statement.

“We are looking forward to this association with Kohli through which we wish to spread the message that now, through the high quality online learning offered by Great Learning, anyone can grow and succeed,” Lakhamraju added.

The company is also launching a multi-film campaign with Kohli during the upcoming Dream 11 IPL, where the brand is Associate Sponsor on Disney + Hotstar.

The films showcase Kohli reflecting on the brands philosophy of continuous learning being a necessity for sustained career growth, something he embodies only too well in his game.

“Great Learning is a leader in the professional learning space and has built a reputation for delivering high quality education and career transformations,” said Kohli.

“I also share the same passion for excellence that Great Learning does and am excited about our association,” Kohli added.

Earlier this month, Great Learning had announced a collaboration with Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in the US to launch online ‘Master of Science in Data Science Programme’ in India.

The fully online, 18-months-long Master’s programme offers an opportunity to earn a world-class master’s degree from a global top-30 ranked university for graduates and working professionals in the country.

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