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KXIP finally find a way to win after Gayle and Rahul’s six-hitting competition

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SHARJAH: K L Rahul played a captain’s knock and Chris Gayle fired in his first game since January as Kings XI Punjab finally ended their five-match losing streak with an eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL match here on Thursday.

Chasing 172 in a must-win game, the in-form opening pair of Rahul (61 not off 49) and Mayank Agarwal (45 off 25) got off to a flying start before Gayle (53 off 45) joined his skipper in the middle to get KXIP close to the finishing line.

Needing seven off the final two overs with nine wickets in hand, KXIP somehow managed to take the game to the last ball with Nicholas Pooran finally hitting the winning six.

Both Rahul and Gayle smashed five sixes each, rendering the opposition attack helpless.

Batting first, skipper Virat Kohli top-scored with 48 off 39 balls in his 200th game for RCB before Chris Morris’ 25 off 8 in the death overs took the team to 171 for six.

It was a rare all-round effort from KXIP who had failed to close out games earlier in the competition.

Mohammad Shami (2/45) conceded 24 runs in the final over that spoiled his figures after he got rid of Kohli and AB de Villiers but overall it was a much improved bowling effort by KXIP especially in the death overs.

Leg spinner M Ashwin struck twice and pacer Chris Jordan took his first wicket of the tournament.

The run chase was supposed to be straightforward after Agarwal took the opposition to the cleaners in the powerplay before Rahul took over. As usual, the 41-year-old Gayle, batting at three, took his time early on before going ballistic.

Earlier, KXIP conceded only 25 runs from over 16-19 before Morris and Isuru Udana hammered Shami for three sixes.

Rahul experimented by opening the bowling with Glenn Maxwell (0/28 in 4 overs). He was slog swept by his Australian teammate and close friend Aaron Finch on the final ball.

Other opener Devdutt Padikkal (18) also went for his shots with his best hit of the night being the whip off Shami that went for a six over deep square leg.

However, both Padikkal and Finch could not build on their starts. Padikkal was foxed by a slower one from left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh to be caught at cover, while Finch missed a fast leg-break from M Ashwin, leaving RCB at 62 for two in the seventh over.

With Kohli looking good at the other end, AB de Villiers was expected to come in at his usual number four spot but with two leg-spinners in operation, left-handed batsman Washington Sundar was sent ahead of the South African.

The move did not work as he struggled to 13 off 14 balls.

KXIP, whose bowling has been the weakest link, did rather well from 11-14 overs conceding just 20 runs to put pressure on the opposition.

RCB needed to move on and southpaw Shivam Dube provided the timely strike, dispatching Ravi Bishnoi to consecutive sixes to amass 19 runs from the over.

Following Dube’s dismissal in the 15th over, De Villiers finally joined Kohli for the late assault, which was eventually provided by Morris.



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Jasprit Bumrah completes 100 wickets in IPL | Cricket News

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ABU DHABI: Mumbai Indians pacer Jaspreet Bumrah became the 16th cricketer to scalp 100 wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.
The speedster achieved the feat against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Bumrah picked RCB skipper Virat Kohli in the 12th over and reached the milestone mark. Incidentally, Kohli was also Bumrah’s first IPL wicket. Bumrah also became the third-youngest to the mark having reached the feat at the age of 26 and 372 days. Piyush Chawla is the fastest having reached the milestone at the age of 26 and 117 days.
Bumrah’s three-wicket haul helped Mumbai Indians restrict RCB to 164/6 in the allotted 20 overs.

Sent into bat first, RCB got off to a good start as openers Joshua Philippe and Devdutt Padikkal put on 54 runs inside the first six overs. Both batsmen eventually put up an opening stand of 71 runs.
The partnership was finally broken by Rahul Chahar in the eighth over as he had Philippe (33). Kohli then joined Padikkal in the middle and the duo stitched together a brief 24-run stand. In search of a wicket, Kieron Pollard brought Bumrah into the attack and the pacer did not disappoint as he bounced out Kohli (9), reducing RCB to 95/2 in the 12th over.
AB de Villiers then joined Padikkal in the middle and both batsmen changed the tempo of the innings by playing big shots consistently. Both batsmen put together 36 runs for the third wicket, but Pollard provided the crucial breakthrough of de Villiers (15), reducing RCB to 131/3 in the 16th over.
In the very next over, Bumrah sent Shivam Dube (2) and the set batsman Padikkal (74) back to the pavilion, and this put RCB’s innings in a spot of bother at 134/5 in the 17th over. In the final overs, RCB kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and as a result, the side was restricted to under the 165-run mark.
For Mumbai, Bumrah scalped three wickets while Trent Boult, Deepak Chahar, and Pollard took one wicket each.



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Ronaldo left out of Juventus squad for Barcelona game | Football News

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the Juventus squad for the Champions League match at home to Barcelona later on Wednesday, two weeks after first testing positive for COVID-19.
The Portuguese had been hoping to return in time for Wednesday’s match and, although there was no official comment on his condition, he was not included in the squad announced by Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo.
Ronaldo himself posted a picture of himself on Instagram with the message: “Feeling good and healthy.”
The match would have been the first time he faced his personal rival Lionel Messi since Ronaldo left Real Madrid in 2018.


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Lakshya pulls out of SaarLorLux Open after coach tests positive | Badminton News

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BENGALURU: Defending champion and second seed Lakshya Sen was forced to pull out of the SaarLorLux Open Super 100 badminton tournament in Saarbrucken (Germany) after his coach and father DK Sen tested positive for the coronavirus.
World No. 27 Lakshya, who received a first-round bye, was set to face Howard Shu of USA for a berth in the pre-quarterfinals on Wednesday. The shuttler and his support staff will now spend the next few days in quarantine at the hotel, it is learnt.
Lakshya, who had recovered well from a lower back problem to play a match in the Danish league last weekend, was among the first players to reach Saarbrucken from Copenhagen on Sunday.
With the organisers making no arrangements for Covid tests, Lakshya, his father Sen and physio Abhishek Wagh were asked to go to the Frankfurt airport to get themselves tested.
“In the tests, I and my physio Abhishek have been found negative. Unfortunately, my coach has tested positive, even though he has no symptoms. I feel that being in close contact with my coach who has tested positive, I should also isolate myself,” Lakshya said in a mail to the organisers.
“I am the defending champion of this event and I am very disappointed and sad with this development. Under the circumstances, I do not want to jeopardize the safety of other players and hamper the functioning of the tournament,” Lakshya added, while informing the organisers that he would like to withdraw from the tournament.
It was an anti-climactic end to Lakshya’s European sojourn, which had comprised of two tournaments and training sessions at the Peter Gade academy and the national training centre in Copenhagen as well as a Danish League match for the Hvidovre Club.
“I am surprised and disappointed that the organisers did not set up a testing centre at the venue. It is a low-budget tournament, no doubt, but they could have arranged for the tests to be done locally instead of asking players to travel to Frankfurt airport, which is around 200km away,” Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy director U Vimal Kumar said.
Results: Men’s singles (Round 2): Howard Shu (US) w/o 2-Lakshya Sen.
Women’s singles:Malvika Bansod lost to Kristin Kuuba (Est) 12-21, 19-21.


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