Kieron Pollard's sensational 83 helps Mumbai Indians script memorable win over Kings XI Punjab

Agencies
April 11,2019

Apr 11: Stand-in captain Kieron Pollard's sensational 83-run knock put KL Rahul's maiden IPL hundred in the shade as Mumbai Indians pulled off a thrilling last-ball three-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab, on Wednesday.

Rahul and Chris Gayle, who struck a 36-ball 63 powered Kings XI Punjab to an imposing 197 for four after being asked to bat.

Pollard single-handedly brought his side back in the game with his 31-ball knock punishing the Punjab bowlers with 10 sixes and three fours.

The burly West Indian was dismissed in the second ball of the last over with four needed for victory from final five balls.

Alzarri Joseph (15 not out), who added a crucial 54 runs in 23 balls with Pollard for the seventh wicket, and Rahul Chahar (1) managed to hold their nerves to take the side past the finish line.

The victory was the third in a row for MI and took their tally to eight from six games while Kings XI suffered their third defeat in seven games.

Pollard's knock stole the thunder from Kings XI openers KL Rahul who had carried his bat through with an unbeaten 100 in 64 balls with the help of six fours and as many sixes and his opening partner Chris Gayle who smashed 63 in 36 balls with seven sixes and three fours.

Pollard, standing in for Rohit Sharma, who missed out on the game due to a leg spasm injury, promoted himself up the order.

After 10 overs, MI needed 133 runs in 60 balls, still fancying their chances with the big-hitting Pollard at the crease and another fine finisher Hardik Pandya to follow.

Shami got rid of the Hardik and Krunal Pandya in the space of four balls.

The equation reduced down to 63 from 30 balls and then 15 off the last six balls after Pollard smacked Curran for two sixes and a four in the penultimate over before he was caught off Rajput in the last over.

Earlier, Gayle, who smashed seven towering sixes and also hit three fours, laid the platform for the big total with his opening partner Rahul.

The duo's 116-run stand in 77 balls took MI by storm. Gayle's dismissal in the 13th over slowed down the innings but Rahul punished Hardik Pandya by hitting three sixes and a four in the 19th over, which yielded them 25 runs.

Thirteen runs came off the final over to boost the total.

The flamboyant Gayle, who was circumspect initially, struck Australian pacer Jason Behrendorff for three huge sixes and one four to score 23 runs to begin the punishing act.

In the ninth over, Gayle struck two fours and another massive leg-side six as 17 came off Hardik Pandya's over to take Punjab to 86 without loss.

The left-hander also hit leggie Rahul Chahar and the Pandya brothers Krunal and Hardik for a six each. He reached his 50 in 31 balls and the team's 100 was raised in 10.2 overs.

Gayle's mayhem ended when he was caught at deep mid-wicket off Behrendorff to nip his opening partnership with Rahul.

The left-handed Gayle's departure slowed down the run-rate with Hardik sending back David Miller and Karun Nair cheaply and Bumrah accounting for Sam Curran between the 15th and 18th overs.

Rahul went on the offensive in the last two overs and in the process completed his century.

MI were without captain Rohit Sharma, who was rested as a precautionary measure due to a muscle spasm in his right leg.

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We have capability of making country proud at Tokyo Olympics: Rani Rampal

News Network
July 23,2020

New Delhi, Jul 23: With one year to go for the Olympic Games to begin in Tokyo on July 23, 2021, Indian women's hockey team skipper Rani Rampal on Thursday said the side has performed well against top teams in recent times and can do the same at the Olympics.

The Indian team has competed well against top teams in the recent past and has registered memorable victories at the FIH Series Finals and the FIH Olympic Qualifiers last year.

"We have competed against top teams in the recent past and we have shown that our team has the capability of winning a medal and making our country proud at the Olympics. We have a good group of experienced players, who are guiding the junior players very well. Our team has been getting better with each tournament we have played and we will definitely improve our game even further in the next one year," said the 25-year-old said in a statement.

Speaking about her participation at the Olympics, Rani said that the experience will help her make better decisions at the Tokyo Olympics.

"It was great to be a part of the Olympics in Rio. We made history by qualifying for the tournament after 36 years. It was a great feeling to be playing at the biggest of stages. Even though we didn't register the best of results, I have certainly learned a lot by playing the Olympic Games matches in 2016. I am sure all the players, who played in the 2016 Olympics, will make much better decisions on the pitch at the Tokyo Olympics, based on their experience in Rio," she said.

The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021, while the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5, 2021.  

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Lewis Hamilton wins record 7th British Grand Prix

Agencies
August 3,2020

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Silverstone, Aug 2: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on Sunday won his seventh British Grand Prix title after a dramatic last-lap at the Silverstone Circuit.

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas were at the first and second spot respectively until tyre drama struck.

Second-placed man Bottas was the first to suffer as his tyre deflated on lap 50, resulting in 11th place finish. Hamilton also suffered a similar issue before the final few seconds of the race.

However, with Max Verstappen having opted to pit a few laps from the end to try and claim the fastest lap, Hamilton had enough time in hand to just cross the line first, five seconds ahead of Verstappen and the third-placed Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

McLaren's Carlos Sainz had been set to finish fourth, but his own last lap tyre issue saw him eventually come home P13, allowing Renault's Daniel Ricciardo to claim fourth, following a late pass on the sister McLaren of Lando Norris.

Renault's Esteban Ocon finished sixth, having enjoyed a race-long battle with Lance Stroll's Racing Point, with Pierre Gasly having enjoyed a fine race to finish seventh for AlphaTauri.

Alex Albon finished eighth for Red Bull, having recovered from a lap 1 tussle with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen that saw him fall to last, while Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10, Vettel holding off a late charge form the recovering Mercedes of Bottas.

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BCCI going ahead with women's IPL on time: Sourav Ganguly

Agencies
August 2,2020

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New Delhi, Aug 2: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said the Women's IPL or the Challenger series, as it is better known, is "very much on", ending speculation about the parent body not having a plan for Harmanpreet Kaur and her team.

The men's IPL will be held between September 19 and November 8 or 10 (final date yet to be locked in) in the UAE due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in India. The women's IPL will also be fit in to the schedule, according to the BCCI chief.

"I can confirm to you that the women's IPL is very much on and we do have a plan in place for the national team also," Ganguly told PTI ahead of the IPL Governing Council meeting later on Sunday.

The BCCI president, who is awaiting a Supreme Court verdict on waiver of the cooling-off period to continue in the position, did not divulge details but another senior official privy to the development said that women's Challenger will be held during the last phase of IPL like last year.

"The women's Challenger series is likely to be held between November 1-10 and there could be a camp before that," the source said.

The former India captain also said that the centrally contracted women players will have a camp which has been delayed due to the prevailing situation in the country.

"We couldn't have exposed any of our cricketers -- be it male or female to health risk. It would have been dangerous," Ganguly said.

"The NCA also remained shut because of Covid-19. But we have a plan in place and we will have a camp for women, I can tell you that," he added.

The BCCI's cricket operations team is chalking up a schedule where Indian women are likely to have two full-fledged white-ball series against South Africa and the West Indies before playing the ODI World Cup in New Zealand. 

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