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IPL 2024: Delhi Capitals win toss, elect to bowl as SKY returns for MI

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Mumbai, April 7 (IANS) In a clash of bottom-dwellers, Delhi Capitals won the toss and elected to bowl first against Mumbai Indians in Match 20 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.

Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant said it was possible to chase any target at the Wankhede. Delhi Capitals will be missing Mitchell Marsh as he is injured. Jhye Richardson is set to make his debut for Delhi Capitals.

They made another change, bringing in Lalit Yadav for Rashik Salam.

“Here you can chase any target and we would like to see that. We have to stick together as a team, and if we can do that we can come out winners. Happy to be back,” Pant said during the toss.

“Every match gives me immense confidence and as a cricketer, I am improving. In cricket, it is hard for the bowlers, but this is the job they chose. (Mitchell) Marsh is injured, (Jhye) Richardson is in and Lalit comes in for Rasikh,” he added.

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Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya said the pitch looked good to bat as it is much drier than the one on which they played against Rajasthan Royals and were bowled out for 125.

“This (pitch) looks much drier and it will be good to bat. The track looks fantastic and properly rolled. The moisture will be less and it will be good to bat. Not getting a win has put pressure on us. One win will bring in more,” he said.

MI made three changes in the squad, with Suryakumar Yadav coming in for Naman Dhir, Romario Shephard for Kwena Maphaka and Mohammed Nabi replacing Dewald Brevis in the playing XI.

“Good to see almost 18000 young hearts. This game is special for us. Surya comes back in place of Naman, Romario comes in for Maphaka and Nabi comes in place of Brevis,” said Pandya.

The two teams are placed at the bottom of the points table with Mumbai Indians yet to score a point and dead last.

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Mumbai Indians are coming into their second home game after three successive defeats while Delhi Capitals have won one match out of the four they have played so far.

Playing XIs:

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya (c), Tim David, Mohammad Nabi, Romario Shepherd, Piyush Chawla, Gerald Coetzee, Jasprit Bumrah

Impact Substitutes: Akash Madhwal, Maphaka, Naman Dhir, Nehal Wadhera, Shams Mulani

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Abishek Porel, Rishabh Pant (wk, c), Tristan Stubbs, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Jhye Richardson, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed.

Impact Substitutes: Kumar Kushagra, Yash Dhull, Fraser-McGurk, Sumit Kumar, Shubhman Dubey.

–IANS

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1st ODI: Mandhana's fantastic 117 helps India post 265/8 against South Africa

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Bengaluru, June 16 (IANS) Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana slammed a fantastic 117 off 121 balls, her sixth century in ODIs, as India posted 265/8 against South Africa in the series opener at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

On a slightly sluggish pitch which offered variable bounce, seam movement and spin, India were reduced to 99/5 at one stage after electing to bat first. But Smriti stood tall, played her shots all over the park and even kept cramps at bay to keep India’s innings together with utmost discipline, control and remarkable composure.

In the process of bailing India out of trouble, Smriti brought up her first ODI century at home, laced with 12 fours and a six, to enthrall an enthusiastic Sunday crowd. She was also well-supported by knocks from Deepti Sharma (37) and Pooja Vastrakar (31) as India crossed 250-mark.

For South Africa, pacer Ayabonga Khaka took 3-47 while Masabata Klass starred with 2-51 in a bowling attack which didn’t have Marizanne Kapp, who is playing as a specialist batter in the game due to workload management following a minor back injury.

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Smriti started off the proceedings with back-to-back beautiful drives off Masabata, but saw Shafali Verma being lured into an expansive drive off Ayabonga and nicked behind to a diving Sinalo Jafta. Dayalan Hemalatha’s promotion to number three didn’t last long as she miscued to mid-off against Nonkululeko Mlaba.

Though Smriti nailed her pulls off debutante Annerie Dercksen, India continued to lose wickets as captain Harmanpreet Kaur chipped to extra cover and give the seamer her maiden international wicket. It was followed by a returning Jemimah Rodrigues slog-sweeping to mid-wicket off Nondumiso Shangase and Richa Ghosh nicking behind off Ayabonga.

Smriti got a good applause from the crowd when she reached her fifty in 61 balls and brought up the fifty of her partnership with Deepti through a well-timed pull going for four. Deepti began nailing her sweeps off Nondumiso from the other end, followed by Smriti lofting and sweeping her for boundaries to keep India in the hunt for posting a competitive total.

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But against the run of play, Deepti chopped on to her stumps off Ayabonga. Smriti, though, was undeterred, swiping and lofting to get a four and six off Masabata, before reaching the three-figure mark in 116 balls with a gentle flick going for a single.

She hit two more boundaries off Ayabonga, before holing out to deep square leg off a slower ball from Masabata, and fall for 117, with the crowd giving her a standing ovation on scoring her seventh ton in women’s international cricket.

Apart from being the second India women’s batter to cross the landmark of 7000 international runs, Smriti also overtook Mithali Raj’s 109 against West Indies in 2011 to claim the new record for the highest ODI score by an Indian batter in women’s ODIs.

Pooja smashed three boundaries in her unbeaten knock and along with debutante Asha Sobhana hitting a four, she ensured India posted a fairly good total and challenge South Africa’s batters in chasing it down.

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Brief Scores: India 265/8 in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 117, Deepti Sharma 37; Ayabonga Khaka 3-47, Masabata Klass 2-51) against South Africa

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Jaffer backs Rohit, Kohli to continue opening for India in Super 8

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has voiced his support for maintaining India’s opening batting pair of Virat Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma in the Super Eight stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Despite their lacklustre start in the tournament, Jaffer believes that the experienced duo will regain their form in the Super 8 fixtures, starting with their crucial match against Afghanistan in Barbados on June 20.

Jaffer’s remarks come at a time when Kohli and Rohit have struggled to find their footing in the tournament. Kohli, who entered the World Cup riding high on his scintillating form in the IPL 2024, has managed only five runs across three innings. His highest score was a mere four runs against Pakistan. Similarly, Rohit has amassed just 68 runs in his three outings, with a single notable knock of 52 against Ireland.

Speaking to Star Sports, Jaffer underscored the importance of sticking with the seasoned pair despite their recent struggles. “Now that you are stuck with both of them, I don’t think it’s gonna make sense because you’re gonna split both of them up,” Jaffer explained.

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“You might probably think of playing Yashasvi Jaiswal. That’s probably what you’re thinking, and then Rishabh Pant, who has done so well at number three, he has to bat even lower down the order, probably at number four. Then where does Suryakumar Yadav bat? So it’s going to mess up the whole batting order, so I think they’ll probably stick with that.”

Jaffer emphasised that reshuffling the batting order could lead to further complications, disrupting the roles of key players like Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav. Pant, who has been effective at number three, and Yadav, who thrives higher up the order, could find their contributions hampered by such changes.

“Rishabh has done well at number three. Suryakumar, you don’t want to bat him any lower than that, so I think they’ll stick with that. But yeah, they have to go really hard in the powerplay. We’ve seen when Australia have done that against England, they were so ahead in the powerplay, getting that 74 runs. That’s where you can make a mark. So Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the way they are batting, you could see that happen in the powerplay in West Indies.”

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India’s qualification to the Super Eight was sealed with a convincing seven-wicket win against co-hosts USA. As they prepare to face an in-form Afghanistan in their first match in the Caribbean, Men in Blue’s confidence in Kohli and Sharma’s ability to bounce back will be a crucial factor in their strategy.

–IANS

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Mandhana becomes second Indian woman to score 7000 international runs

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Bengaluru, June 16 (IANS) In a significant milestone, India opener Smriti Mandhana crossed the 7000-run mark in international cricket during the first ODI against South Africa at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Mandhana’s achievement placed her in elite company, making her the second Indian woman to surpass 7000 runs including all formats. She followed in the footsteps of former captain Mithali Raj, who amassed a remarkable 10,868 runs in her illustrious career.

Close on Mandhana’s heels is current captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who has accumulated 6,870 runs, underscoring the strength and depth of India’s batting lineup.

Mandhana played a knock of 117 runs off 127 balls including 12 fours and a six to post her first ODI hundred on home soil and second against South Africa. During her sixth ODI century, she also build crucial partnerships with Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vatrakar to take India over 200-run mark.

Meanwhile, Deepti also completed 2000 ODI runs during her 37-run knock in 200th international match.

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Earlier, Harmanpreet won the toss and opted to bat first in the opening match of the three-game ODI series.

–IANS

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T20 World Cup:There's a reason why I've played for so long, and be in the team, says Bairstow

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North Sound (Antigua), June 16 (IANS) After England secured a 41-run win over Namibia in a truncated affair and seeing Australia beat Scotland to enter the Super Eight stage, wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow hit back at the critics for questioning his place in the side, saying there’s a reason behind him playing international cricket for a long time.

Under pressure due to scoring just 64 runs in his last four T20Is, Bairstow smashed 31 off 18 balls while sharing a 56-run stand with Harry Brook for the third wicket as England made 122/5 in their ten overs, which was enough for the defending champions to get an important win over Namibia.

“Look, people are allowed to have opinions, and yeah, look, it’s part and parcel of it. It’s not the first time that people have had a go at me, is it? So yeah, you take it on the chin, and you crack on.

“But look, at the end of the day, there’s a reason why I’ve played for so long, and there’s a reason why I’m in the team. So maybe sometimes the opinions and the views that come through certain people’s eyes are incorrect and maybe need to look at themselves,” said Bairstow in the post-match press conference.

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Bairstow is still one of the few players who plays all three formats of international cricket and he’s admitted it’s a tough juggling act for him this year, but is still proud of himself to maintain that balance.

“I’d like to be keeping wicket and batting in the Tests. That’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do. I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. The games have been coming thick and fast. I think I’ve had about five nights at home since January 11th, when we left.

“So, it’s something that you just keep playing, you keep trying to learn, you keep enjoying the experiences and the challenges that get put in front of you, and I think that that’s the important bit.

“When you are on tour and when you’re fortunate enough to play in the different formats and the different countries that you have around the world, the willingness and the enjoyment and the challenges you’ve got to accept and sometimes overcome them and look at times it does get difficult.

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“At times, it is hard to adapt from format to format, and it does take a little bit of change, but look, it’s something that I’ve done for all my career, and I wouldn’t change anything of it to be quite honest with you because to be fortunate enough to play in all three formats for England it’s something that I’m very, very proud of,” he elaborated.

Asked if he’s okay with being moved up and down the batting order as per demands of the situation, Bairstow remarked, “Look I’m not sure that’s going to be a permanent thing I don’t know what’s going on with that. Here, that was the decision that was made.

“You go out there and you perform in the positions that you’re asked to do so. That partnership in the middle there, like I said, after losing two early on was an imperative partnership and something that, look, if Harry and I can bat for a period of time through the middle, there’s going to be some decent scores.”

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–IANS

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UTT 2024: Sharath, Manika among top Indian stars to be retained by franchises

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The experienced duo of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra were among the five Indian paddlers who were retained by their respective franchises ahead of the upcoming Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) 2024, which will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai from August 22 to September 7.

Last season’s runners-up Chennai Lions retained the services of legend Sharath Kamal, while Bengaluru Smashers opted to continue with the highest-ranked Indian, Batra, as the franchises preferred to stick with their top paddlers for the upcoming season.

It will be an eight-team league for the first time, providing a platform for young Indian paddlers to exhibit their talent alongside the world’s elite players. This significant expansion aims to elevate the standard of competition and foster the growth of emerging talent within the sport.

Defending champions Goa Challengers have retained Harmeet Desai, who played a pivotal role in their success last season, while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will continue with Dabang Delhi TTC. U Mumba TT have also extended their association with talented youngster Manav Thakkar for yet another season.

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“Over the years, the franchises have not only looked to win titles but also focused on building the core of their team around their star player who can lead the team. The same thought process is visible in the player retention for UTT 2024 as we see the five franchises sticking to their star performers for yet another season,” UTT promoters Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani said in a joint statement.

According to the rules of the league, the six existing franchises were allowed to retain one Indian player. Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, who have decided not to retain any player, and new entrants Jaipur Patriots and Ahmedabad SG Pipers will select a player of their choice in the first round of the player draft. The first round will have only three picks.

The countdown for the new season began with all eight franchises picking up one foreigner and one Indian coach from the Coach Draft and will now look to build a six-player squad that will include four Indians and two foreigners (one male and one female).

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The new season will also see a change in the tournament format due to the inclusion of two more teams. The eight teams will now be divided into two groups of four teams each. Each franchise will play five ties during the league stage, facing the other three teams within their respective group and two randomly selected teams from the other group once.

The top two teams from each group will then qualify for the semi-finals.

Retained Players:

Chennai Lions: Sharath Kamal

Dabang Delhi TTC: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Goa Challengers: Harmeet Desai

PBG Bengaluru Smashers: Manika Batra

U Mumbai TT: Manav Thakkar

–IANS

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