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IPL 2020: Leaving Natasha, Agastya was toughest thing to do, says Hardik Pandya | Cricket News

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ABU DHABI (UAE): Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya said that leaving his fiance Natasha Stankovic and newborn son Agastya to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) was the toughest decision of his life.
On July 30, Hardik had shared the news of his fiance Stankovic and him becoming proud parents following the birth of their first child. The couple got engaged in Dubai on January 1.

“It is been just a fantastic time for me to spend even 15 days before I left for UAE with my child and Natasha. It is one of the toughest things that is why I told Natasha as well that if it is going to pain this much I will make it worth it,” Pandya said in a video posted by the franchise on their official Twitter handle.
“Lot of things have changed from my back surgery to getting my life partner, to having my child. I cannot express the feeling but I can tell you one thing, this has taught me lots of things in my life. I have realised lots of things in my life,” he added.
According to Hardik, he is now in a better space after becoming the father.
“I think I’m in a much better space. Now I’m a father. It has given me immense pleasure and at the same point of time I think I have realised that the love for the family has increased a lot,” the all-rounder said.
“Yes, I always loved my family but now the importance in my life is my family. I think because of that I have changed as a person. It has given me motivation as well and now everything is going to be for Agastya and for my family. I think I come in that list last now,” he added.
Hardik has played eight games so far for Mumbai Indians in the tournament and scored 156 runs. He is yet to bowl an over in this season of the IPL.
“When I was leaving, it was one of the most difficult things for me. I have never felt this emotional before any series or any tournament. This was the time when I was coming to the UAE it was proper pain emotion wise. In the end, I had to tell myself and my partner that don’t worry this will be worth it,” Hardik concluded.
Rohit Sharma-led side is at the top spot of the points table with 12 points in eight games. Mumbai Indians will face Kings XI Punjab at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, October 18.


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Chris Gayle becomes first to hit 1,000 sixes in T20 cricket

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Chris Gayle on Friday became the first batsman to get to 1,000 sixes in T20 cricket history when he smashed the seventh of his eight sixes during his belligerent 99 against Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match here.

“Oh 1,000 sixes! I do not know the record [of 1,000 sixes]. Still have to be hitting it well at the age of 41. Got to give thanks for that,” said Gayle when told about his milestone.

Gayle, 41, is way ahead of his nearest competitor, fellow West Indian and a Mumbai Indians‘ player Kieron Pollard, who has hit 690 sixes in T20 format and is 311 adrift of Gayle’s 1,001.

The left-handed batsman, who was benched in the initial part of the tournament, has got starts in all the innings since his comeback to the XI. He had a highest score of 53 this season before Friday’s knock. This was his third 50-plus score in six matches in this IPL.

Gayle hit eight sixes and six fours, scoring 72 of his 99 in boundaries. In the remaining 27 runs he ran between the wickets, he also took a very cheeky couple once.

The Jamaican was disappointed when he was bowled for 99 by Jofra Archer in the last over and threw his bat away in disappointment. However, he regained his composure soon after and went on to shake hands with Archer, who too was born in the West Indies but now plays for England.

“Getting out on 99 is unfortunate. These things will happen but it was a good ball; still feeling good. To be honest, it is all about the mental aspect of my game and that is what keeps me going. I am enjoying the cricket the same way. I would love to have the IPL trophy under my belt,” Gayle said after his innings.

“The hard work and the dedication over the years have paid off. To the guys, who I promised to get a century, I missed out today but in my mind, it is a century.”



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Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Afridi leads Pakistan’s victory despite Taylor’s hundred | Cricket News

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RAWALPINDI (Pakistan): Shaheen Shah Afridi grabbed five wickets and Wahab Riaz took four as Pakistan thwarted a fighting Zimbabwe to win the first one-day international by 26 runs in Rawalpindi on Friday.
Afridi finished with 5-49 while Riaz had figures of 4-41 as Pakistan survived a brilliant knock of 112 by Brendan Taylor, who put Zimbabwe briefly on course for an upset as they chased a daunting 282-run target.
The experienced Taylor lifted Zimbabwe from a struggling 115-4 with a solid partnership of 119 for the fifth wicket with newcomer Wesley Madhevere, who finished with a career-best 55.
Taylor knocked 11 boundaries and three well-timed sixes in his 117-ball knock, but holed out to Afridi at mid-off in the 47th over, leaving Pakistan to wrap up the last four wickets for just 15 runs.
The win gives Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the remaining matches at the same venue on Sunday and Tuesday.
They also claim 10 points in the World Cup One-Day Super League, which determines qualifiers for the next World Cup in 2023.
Afridi had given Pakistan two early breakthroughs by bowling Brian Chari (two) and skipper Chamu Chibhabha (13) by the fifth over.
Taylor steadied the innings with a 71-run stand with Craig Ervine (41) for the third wicket before Ervine and Sean Williams (four) fell quickly.
Taylor completed his 11th one-day century with a sharp single on overthrow, raising his bat to the standing ovation from his team’s dressing room.
Haris Sohail scored an attractive 71 from 82 balls while Imam made 58 in Pakistan’s 281-8 after the hosts won the toss and opted to bat on a slow pitch.
Once opener Abid Ali departed for 21, Pakistan had high hopes with new captain Babar Azam, regarded as one of the world’s best batsmen in limited-overs cricket.
But his debut as ODI skipper ended early after a clumsy-looking shot off pacer Blessing Muzarabani for 19.
Imam and Sohail took Pakistan past 100 and looked set for a big partnership until they were both got out at the same end while taking a sharp single.
Imam’s knock had six hits to the boundary. Sohail, who hit two sixes and six boundaries, pulled a leg muscle and needed treatment on the ground.
Imad Wasim (34 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (23) added a quickfire 42 in their late partnership and Pakistan made 48 in the last five overs.
Zimbabwe’s spinners controlled the pace, with left-arm slow bowler Tendai Chisoro taking 2-31.
With this match, Pakistan’s Aleem Dar equalled South African umpire Rudi Koertzen’s record of officiating the most ODIs, with 209.


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Chris Gayle misses hundred by one run but takes KXIP to 185/4

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ABU DHABI: Chris Gayle continued his menacing form, smashing a 63-ball 99 to steer Kings XI Punjab to 185 for 4 in their Indian Premier League match against Rajasthan Royals here on Friday.

Gayle and captain KL Rahul (46) took the RR bowlers to the cleaners, stitching 120 runs for the second wicket in 13.4 overs to help KXIP post a challenging total after being put in to bat.

Nicholas Pooran played a late cameo of 22 off just 10 deliveries with the help of three sixes.

Gayle, who had four boundaries and eight sixes in his explosive innings, was out just two balls before the end of the innings and he showed his disappointment of missing out on a hundred by throwing down his bat.

During his knock, Gayle took his tally of sixes to 1001 in his glittering T20 career.

KXIP lost their first wicket in the opening over itself when Mandeep Singh got dismissed for a first-ball duck with Ben Stokes taking a brilliant diving catch off an equally superb delivery by Archer.

But Gayle and Rahul maintained a high scoring rate, reaching 53 for 1 at the end of powerplay. The self-styled ‘Universe Boss‘ smacked two fours and six in consecutive deliveries off pacer Kartik Tyagi.

Gayle reached his third fifty in six matches in this IPL in style, hitting a six off Rahul Tewati in the 11th over as KXIP cruised along to reach the 100-run mark in the 13th over.

Stokes finally got the breakthrough by getting rid of tournament’s top run-getter Rahul in the 15th over to put brakes on KXIP innings.

Rahul, who was playing second fiddle to Gayle, could not clear the ropes as Tewatia took the catch near the boundary.



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