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KL Rahul batting at no. 4 biggest positive thing for Indian team: Virat Kohli


KL Rahul batting at no. 4 biggest positive thing for Indian team: Virat Kohli

Cardiff: India skipper Virat Kohli heaped praise on KL Rahul who struck a brilliant century against Bangladesh in the second warm-up game, saying his form was the “biggest positive” India would take into their first match of the World Cup against South Africa on June 5.

On Tuesday, Rahul scored 108 runs, which included 12 fours and 4 sixes during the course of his 99-ball inning, as India defeated Bangladesh by 95 runs at the Sophia Gardens. Although, BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad had nominated Vijay Shankar for the much-debated no. 4 spot, Kohli hinted that Rahul could take that position during the course of the showpiece event.

“The biggest positive to come out of this game was the way KL batted at four,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Kohli as saying after the match. “All the other people know their role pretty well, so it was important that KL gets runs because he is such a sound player. He can get the scoreboard ticking and you saw that — a great example of the skill-set that he has.”

Asked if he was ready to bat at the number four spot, Rahul, while being diplomatic, said he was flexible with any role the team gave him. “It is a team game and you need to be flexible and be ready to bat wherever, or as a player you need to be ready to take up whatever role is given to you,” the 27-year-old batter said. “Every batsman who has played at this level knows how to handle pressure and knows how to handle the roles and responsibilities given to him,” he added.




Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up: West Indies defeats New Zealand after scoring 421 run


Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up: West Indies defeats New Zealand after scoring 421 run

Bristol: West Indies defeated New Zealand by 91 runs in their final warm-up match at Bristol on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Chasing a mammoth score of 422, New Zealand lost early wickets and they were reduced to 33 for three. Martin Guptill (5), Henry Nicholls (15), and Ross Taylor (2) all failed to leave a mark.

Skipper Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell stitched a 120 run partnership, before Williamson (85) was run out by Fabian Allen in the 26th over with the team still requiring 287 runs for the win. James Neesham and Blundell put up a 69-run stand before Neesham’s (20) departure in the 34th over. Blundell brought up his century in 39th over.

Blundell (106) was dismissed immediately after completing his century. Despite, regular boundaries by the tailenders, the asking run-rate proved too much for the Kiwi batsmen and they finally lost the match by 91 runs.Earlier, century by Shai Hope and half-century by Andre Russell helped West Indies to score a mammoth total of 421 after being asked to bat first.

Openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis gave a solid start to the Windies innings as they stitched a 59 run-partnership before Gayle (36) was dismissed in the eighth over by Trent Boult. Shai Hope who came to bat at number three did not allow the momentum to slip away, and he along with Lewis built an 84 run stand. Lewis (50) was finally dismissed in the 18th over.

Hope was dismissed in the 36th over after playing a knock of 101 runs. Russell and skipper Jason Holder played quickfire knocks of 54 and 47 runs respectively to take Windies past the 350-run mark. In the end, Ashley Nurse scored 21 runs off just nine balls to take the Windies score above 400.

Trent Boult took the highest number wicket for the Blackcaps as he clinched four wickets. Medium pacer Matt Henry was taken to the cleaners by the Windies batsmen as he conceded 107 runs from his nine overs. New Zealand defeated India in their first warm-up match by six wickets whereas West Indies first warm-up fixture against South Africa got abandoned due to rain.

West Indies takes on Pakistan in their opening match of the World Cup on May 31 whereas New Zealand takes on Sri Lanka in their first match on June 1. Brief Scores: West Indies 421 all out (SD Hope 101, AD Russell 54, TA Boult 4-50) defeat New Zealand 330 all out (TA Blundell 106, Kane Williamson 85, CR Brathwaite 3-75 ) by 91 runs.




Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up: India beats Bangladesh by 95 runs


Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up: India beats Bangladesh by 95 runs

Cardiff : India thrashed Bangladesh by 95 runs in their final warm-up match at Cardiff on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Chasing a score of 360, Bangladesh got off to a steady start as their openers Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar stitched together a partnership of 49 runs. Jasprit Bumrah however, dismissed both Sarkar (25) and Shakib Al Hasan in successive deliveries to stage to allow India to gain the upper hand.

Das and Mushfiqur Rahim steadied the innings for Bangladesh and they put up a 120-run stand. Yuzvendra Chahal finally provided the much-needed breakthroughs to India as he dismissed Das (73) and Mohammad Mithun (0) in the 32nd over, with Bangladesh still requiring 191 runs for the win. Mahmudullah (9) failed to leave a mark as he was sent back to the pavilion by Kuldeep Yadav in the 36th over.

Rahim and Sabbir Rahman put up a brief stand of 25 runs but they couldn’t hold the fort much longer as Rahim (90) was clean bowled by Yadav. Rahim’s departure proved as the final nail in the coffin as Bangladesh lost their final four wickets in a hurry and they lost the match by 95 runs.

Earlier, centuries by KL Rahul and MS Dhoni helped India score 359 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted fifty overs after being put into bat. The Indian team started on a slow note. The opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were not able to register comprehensive scores and they departed cheaply. Dhawan and Sharma were just able to score 1 and 19 respectively.

The skipper Virat Kohli played a knock of 47 runs to steady the ship for the Men in Blue but his dismissal in the 19th over raised alarm bells in the Indian camp. Vijay Shankar (2) also failed to leave a mark and the team was reduced to 102 for four.
MS Dhoni and Rahul then took the responsibility on their shoulders and they stitched together a partnership of 164 runs to take the team to a safe total.

Both the batsmen registered centuries and their form orders well for the team going into the World Cup. Rahul played a knock of 108 runs whereas Dhoni scored 113 runs. Hardik Pandya played a 21-run cameo to take the team over the 350-run mark. For Bangladesh, Rubel Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan scalped two wickets each.

India lost their opening warm-up match against New Zealand by six wickets whereas Bangladesh’s first warm-up fixture was abandoned due to rain. Bangladesh will take on South Africa in their opening match of the World Cup on June 2 whereas India takes on South Africa in their opening match on June 5.

Brief Scores: India 359/7 (MS Dhoni 113, KL Rahul 108, Rubel Hossain 2-62) defeat Bangladesh 264 all out (Mushfiqur Rahim 90, Liton Das 73, Kuldeep Yadav 3-47) by 95 runs.




World Cup 2019: 4 Indian cricketers who are likely to play their last World Cup


World Cup 2019: 4 Indian cricketers who are likely to play their last World Cup

The Indian squad for World Cup 2019 has many cricketers who are playing their debut World Cup tournament. KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Jasprit Bumrah are some of them. Also, the team also has some senior players who have a lot of international experience and will be guiding these youngsters during the tournament.

Some of these seniors, unfortunately, may be possibly playing their last World Cup tournament as they may retire from international cricket before the next World Cup, scheduled to take place in 2023. While some of these may retire from international cricket due to their age, some others may lose out their spot to youngsters. Here we take a glance at four such Indian cricketers who are likely to play their last World Cup tournament in WC 2019.

MS Dhoni

Well, it will be tough to see MS Dhoni retiring from Indian cricket. The man who brought all the top level cricket laurels for India through his guidance, will be most probably playing his last World Cup tournament. The first reason is that Dhoni is 37 year-old now and till the time next World Cup arrives in 2023, he will be 41-year-old. Although he may be still fit enough to play, but it is highly unlikely that captain cool will keep his career going till that age.

He has made Kohli his successor as skipper, and till the next World Cup arrives, MS would have surely inducted some of his captaining skills in Kohli. Dhoni has surprised everyone with his retiring decision in the past from Tests and captaincy, so MS may give another such surprise to fans before WC 2023.

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan is just 33 years old at present and he will only be 37 during next World Cup. But Shikhar may lose out due to form to other youngsters who are well capable of taking the opening slot. KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, are examples of some. These players can replace Shikhar as opener in the future and as the latter is mostly capable of batting as an opener. He may have to pass on his place in the national team to others.

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja worked hard to make a comeback in the national team this time and his dedication worked out. He has made it back to the squad this time but whether he will be able to play in next edition of World Cup is a tough thing to say. Being an all-rounder, Jadeja has been an important player but with many other youngsters coming up in Indian cricket with all-round abilities, another World Cup call for Jadeja is less likely.

Dinesh Karthik

After making his debut ahead of MS Dhoni, Karthik has a lot experience with the Indian national team. Karthik entered the World Cup 2019 squad after a stiff competition from Rishabh Pant for secondary wicket-keeper, and was finally chosen because of his better abilities behind the stumps.  At 33 years old, Karthik is likely playing his last World Cup tournament and next time, he may lose out his place to some other aspiring young wicket-keeper batsman. Pant is one of the biggest competitors to Karthik.




Bollywood actress Akansha Ranjan Kapoor to cheer for KL Rahul at World Cup 2019?


Bollywood actress Akansha Ranjan Kapoor to cheer for KL Rahul at World Cup 2019?

Seems like a new actress-cricketer pair is going to create a buzz among cricket fans. Indian cricketer KL Rahul and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor are the new love birds who are spending a lot of time together. Some reports are also claiming that Akansha is going to visit England to cheer for KL Rahul. Rahul is part of Indian squad at World Cup 2019 and is currently in England. The 27-year-old cricketer is expected to take the 4th batting position in the India team.

Akansha is Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt’s best friend who appeared in Ankit Tiwari’s music video ‘Tere Do Naina’ opposite Aparshakti Khurana. Akansha is very popular on social media and has over one lakh followers on Instagram, along with 8000-plus followers on Twitter.

If the reports of Akansha going to England is true, Rahul will have a special person to cheer for him besides fans. Some media reports also claim that the couple is in a relationship. Many reports of both going out on movie dates and house parties have also come out. The right-handed batsman was also recently spotted visiting Mount Mary Church with Akansha when the cricketer was in Mumbai. Akansha had also shared a photo earlier on Instagram in which she was seen posing with Rahul.




IPL 2019: David Warner does it again, wins Orange Cap for 3rd time


IPL 2019: David Warner does it again, wins Orange Cap for 3rd time

New Delhi: Australian opener David Warner, who won the Orange Cap in the just concluded edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), became the first batsman to achieve the feat thrice in the tournament’s history.

Warner, who plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad, amassed a total of 692 runs in the 12 matches he played this season, which included eight 50s and a century. He had a tremendous average of 69.20 and strike rate of 143.86.  Before this edition, the left-handed batsman had won the Orange Cap in 2015 and 2017 when he scored 562 and 641 runs respectively. Apart from Warner, Chris Gayle has won the Orange Cap twice – in 2011 and 2012 when he scored 608 and 733 runs respectively.

When it comes to the highest run getters in IPL history, Warner is at the fourth spot. The 32-year-old has scored 4,706 runs in 126 matches he has played so far in the cash-rich league. The list is topped by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli, who has scored a total of 5,412 runs in 177 matches, followed by Suresh Raina (5,368 runs in 193 matches) and Rohit Sharma 4,898 (runs in 188 matches). Among the top four, Warner has the highest batting average in IPL history – 43.17. He has scored four centuries, 44 fifties, besides hitting a total of 181 sixes and 458 boundaries.




IPL to World Cup, takes Shikhar Dhawan a minute to change gears


IPL to World Cup, takes Shikhar Dhawan a minute to change gears

New Delhi: He is known as the India’s man for the ICC events. Every time the ‘Men in Blue’ play an ICC tournament, Shikhar Dhawan undoubtedly steals the show with some quality knocks at the top of the innings. And now, as India gear up to challenge the top teams across the world and lift the coveted 2019 World Cup, Dhawan’s role at the top of the order will be all the more crucial.

But then, would it be a deterrent that while he opens with Rohit Sharma in Indian colours, Dhawan has been opening with Prithvi Shaw over the past month and a half in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Capitals? For ‘Gabbar’, as he is fondly called, it doesn’t really matter. Asked if he has been in touch with his India opening partner Rohit as the World Cup challenge awaits, Dhawan laughs it off and says Rohit isn’t his wife that he needs to keep talking to him.

“Baatein karke kya hoga? Woh meri biwi thodi na hain! (Whata’s the point in discussing things? Rohit isn’t my wife) If you play with someone for years, you’ll know him inside out. With Rohit, there’s nothing special that we do. It’s just the mindset. Even if I bat with Prithvi, the game remains the same. If one person gets going, the other man plays a supporting role,” he told IANS. Asked if the pressure of having had a good run in ICC events can sometimes get to a player,Dhawan’s reply was just as crisp as his cover drive.

“Conscious about what? This is my daily job. I make sure my basics are taken care of and I have a clear mind. Sometimes you make runs, sometimes you don’t. But I always keep calm and look at the areas where I need to work on and then I go and give it my best shot. I don’t believe in worrying too much,” he explained.

He definitely doesn’t worry much as he managed to quietly hit 521 runs in 16 games for Delhi Capitals with five fifties at the top of the innings, one of the reasons behind DC’s success this season. And Dhawan feels the IPL form will keep him in a good stead for the showpiece event. He also feels that switching from the T20 format to the 50-over format will be no big task.

“It has been very positive because if you do well, you gain in momentum. Apart from the IPL, I also had a good series with Australia. There is no issue in changing the format as it is all about the mindset, and changing that takes a minute. We are ready for any challenge that comes our way in the World Cup,” he said. But this is the first time that the Indian bowlers are also being spoken about as many feel that this is the best bowling attack India have produced in a long time. And Dhawan feels that the praise is well deserved.

“We have a very strong bowling attack in Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. This apart, we also have a good bowler in Hardik Pandya. This is a balanced bowling unit and that will definitely help the team. Bumrah is the no.1 bowler at present and then we also have quality spinners. I feel that this team is very well balanced,” he said.

Dhawan also feels that the experience of the likes of Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni, Rohit and him will also help the team in crunch situations. “When you go into a big ticket tournament, along with talent you also need experience and I feel that this team has the perfect mix with Kohli, Dhoni, Rohit and me being there to guide the youngsters whenever required,” he said.




Tiger Woods sued after employee dies in car crash


Tiger Woods sued after employee dies in car crash

Washington: The family of a US man who was employed at a restaurant owned by Tiger Woods, has sued the ace golfer, his girlfriend and his company, saying they should have prevented him from drinking too much and driving to his death.

Nicholas Immesberger, 24, died on December 10, 2018 near the community of Port Salerno — about 20 miles from The Woods Jupiter restaurant and bar, reports CNN. The lawsuit filed on Monday blames Woods, who owns the restaurant where Immesberger worked as a bartender, and Erica Herman, who is listed in the complaint as the general manager of business and is Woods’ girlfriend, for wrongful death.

The suit, brought by the victim’s parents, said Immesberger finished his shift at 3 p.m., sat at the bar drinking and died in a single-car accident about 6 p.m. The civil complaint says Immesberger had a blood alcohol level of .256, three times the legal limit. A police report has said that he was driving an estimated 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. The suit alleges employees knew Immesberger attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and had another alcohol-related crash in November.

It also said that Woods and Herman knew of his addiction but were drinking with Immesberger a few nights before the fatal crash. Immesberger’s parents will speak to the media on Tuesday, CNN quoted a public relations firm as saying on Monday. Woods is playing in the PGA Championship, one of golf’s major events, this week and is scheduled to be part of a tournament news conference on Tuesday morning.




Hallmark of Mumbai Indians is that we don’t depend on few to win the game: Rohit Sharma


Hallmark of Mumbai Indians is that we don’t depend on few to win the game: Rohit Sharma

Mumbai: Not depending on specific individuals and handling the pressure situations with aplomb has been key to Mumbai Indians’ Play-off journey, an elated skipper Rohit Sharma said. Mumbai Indians sealed their place in the Play-offs with a Super Over win over Sunrisers Hyderabad. They still have a game in hand.

“It’s a good positive for us to qualify with one game to spare. In 2017, when we won the trophy, we qualified with two games in hand. As a team what we have done well is that we have handled the pressure situations well,” said Rohit. “A lot guys have put their hand up and taken the responsibility which is why we don’t have anyone, barring Quinton (de Kock), in the top five (of the highet run scorers). It’s not about one or two individuals.

“If you want to win the tournament everyone needs to do well. That’s the hallmark of this team, whether it is (leggie) Rahul Chahar or Quinton. We don’t believe in individuals to win the game on their own. We want everyone to chip in and take us over the line,” he elaborated.

Rohit said the eight overs of spin bowling done in tandem by left arm Krunal Pandya (2-22) and Chahar (0 for 21) did the trick in stopping SRH from winning the game. “They understand the conditions really well. Vijay (Shankar) and Manish Pandey were batting and they kept varying the length. Their eight overs were probably the turning point. They bowled really well with a wet ball, which is not easy,” he said.

On his decision to bat first, Sharma said that was dictated by how difficult it was to chase a modest score against Royal Challengers Bangalore. “This year the conditions here are such that the ball spins in the second half. We saw against RCB – we were chasing 170 (171) and we struggled to chase in spite of scoring 70 in the first six overs. The pitch has been up and done. We had decided that if it was an important match we will put up runs on the board and then defend.

Looking ahead, Sharma said the team’s batting order was flexible from positions 3-7 which gives them the option to send big-hitters Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard higher. “If you look at the whole tournament, they (Hardik and Pollard) have batted around the 14th or 15th overs and scored 70-80 runs the maximum number of times. Right from number 3-7 all our batsmen are flexible. They can bat anywhere at any given time which makes our job easier. “And Pollard and Hardik we have that option. Polly has done it a few times – if you remember he had done that against (Kings XI) Punjab (batted at no 4 and made 83 off 31 balls). We will keep our options open.”




On the football pitch, feminism flourishes in rural India


On the football pitch, feminism flourishes in rural India

Mumbai: Sumati Kumari had no great agenda in mind when she started playing football aged nine near her home in Lonora in Jharkhand. She just wanted to have fun.  Now 15, she is pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved by girls in a state notorious for human trafficking and child marriage. And with India to host, the 2020 FIFA under-17 Girls World Cup, things are looking bright for the girls from this part of the country. The general belief in the rural areas is that girls should fetch water, wash clothes, work in the fields, and collect firewood among other chores, but for these girls from the small village of Lonora in Karoundajor district in Jharkhand, it is football that sums up all the daily activities.

It is five in the morning, as the girls wake up and are rearing to go. In the next 30 minutes, they are on the field juggling with the football. These girls hail from the poorest state of the country (economically) but talent-wise they top their chart. And to prove they are one of the best women footballers, their recent campaign at the Junior National Championship makes it clear that they are among the best in the business.

These rural girls from Jharkhand are choosing their future through football.Although they finished runners-up in the Junior National championship which concluded in Kolhapur recently, Sumati Kumari raised the bar, to return as the highest ever goalscorer of the championship in the country. “Yes, I have scored 17 goals in nine matches. I am happy that we made it to the final,” says Sumati, an IX standard student from St Patrick’s School in Gumla. The only girls to do so in this version of the championship.

And to top it, six girls from the same state team have been shortlisted for the Indian Camp for the forthcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be held in India later next year. But there’s more to this than meets the eye. They are from poor families, mostly farmers, either they own a small piece of land or work for their living in the landlords’ field.”They are all farmers,” said their coach Dharmendra Singh, but they are proud to be called farmers.  “My parents (mother Saniyaro Devi and father Firu Oraon) are farmers and so were our grand and great-grandparents. We feel linked to that noble occupation and I would love to contribute,” says Sumati.

These girls are a part of the indigenous population of Jharkhand. Most importantly, they are all proud of Dhoni Bhai, the state’s best-known name, who has brought Jharkhand into the global arena.  “Yes, Dhoni Bhai is our mentor. Yes we are aware he plays cricket, and we football, but his message is very clear, play the game in true sportsperson spirit and every goal will be achieved,” shares Sumati.  The youngest in the family for six siblings, and for whom education and sports go hand in hand.”Yes, I will give my best shot and I want to don the Indian colours,” states Sumati as she packs her bag to board the bus to Panjim for the National camp, where she and her team-mates will look to further impress the coaches and seal their spots in the Indian team for the upcoming 2020 FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup to be held in India early next year.




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