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IPL 2024: Fifties from Klaasen, Abhishek and Head set up SRH’s 31-run win over MI in six-hitting run fest (ld)

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Hyderabad, March 27 (IANS) Sizzling half-centuries from Heinrich Klassen, Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head helped Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Mumbai Indians by 31 runs in a six-hitting run-fest match eight of IPL 2024 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.

The SRH batters unleashing an absolute batting massacre on MI’s bowlers meant they set a new record for the highest-ever total in the IPL via a mammoth 277/3 and broke the record of Royal Challengers Bengaluru who made 263/5 against Pune Warriors India in 2013.

Their 277/3 is also the third-highest total in all men’s T20 games. Head began the blitzkrieg by reaching his fifty in 18 balls to eventually make 62, before Abhishek brought out his onslaught to get the fastest half-century of the ongoing competition in 16 deliveries.

Though Klassen got his fifty in 23 balls, he unleashed big hits to further entertain the capacity crowd by remaining unbeaten on 80 off 34 balls, proving why he’s one of the best batters in T20 cricket.

For MI, their bowlers bowled too many short balls and their bowling changes didn’t make for the smartest moves in the face of a never-ending onslaught from the trio of Head, Abhishek and Klassen. Moreover, they conceded a lot of extras and fielding wasn’t up to the mark in what is already turning out to be a forgettable match for them.

MI looked to get the chase done thanks to heroics of Tilak Varma, who made a stunning 64 off 34 balls at his home ground, and other batters like Ishan Kishan and Tim David chipping in. But SRH’s bowlers shined by giving no pace and keeping the scoring rate in check in the middle overs to keep MI to 246/5.

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With this being MI’s second defeat in a game where many records tumbled in front of 35,080 fans, questions will be asked of their listless bowling and changes made in the line-up, as well as of captain Hardik Pandya’s performance and decision making.

Electing to bat first, SRH lost Mayank Agarwal when he top-edged a pull to mid-on off Hardik. But Head was stirring up carnage from the other end – getting off the mark with a cracking drive off the teenaged debutant pacer Kwena Maphaka and being dropped by David on five at mid-off.

Head turned the heat on Maphaka in a 22-run third over, smacking two sixes and two overs, with a 98m clubbed six over deep mid-wicket being the standout. Head then teared into Hardik by hitting three stunning fours to take 13 runs off the over.

After Jasprit Bumrah gave away only five runs in his first over, Head hit two fours – second of which got him his 18-ball fifty and as many sixes after Abhishek hit a maximum to take 23 runs off Gerald Coetzee, as SRH made 81/1 in six overs, the best-ever power-play score for the franchise in their history of IPL.

Thanks to Head’s 62 off 24 balls, before being dismissed while trying to upper cut off Coetzee, SRH brought up their 100 in just the seventh over. If MI felt they would some respite, they were mistaken as Abhishek stepped up to continue raining boundaries at the Uppal.

Abhishek carted Piyush Chawla for three humungous sixes, before taking back-to-back boundaries off Coetzee. He added more misery to Maphaka’s tough night by two fours and as many sixes to get his fifty off just 16 deliveries – overtaking his team-mate Head’s record of the fastest-ever fifty of the competition and by an SRH batter set 20 deliveries ago.

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Chawla was carted for another six, before the leg-spinner took Abhishek out with a short ball which he pulled straight to deep mid-wicket. Klassen joined the powerful boundary-hitting party by launching a six each off Hardik, Bumrah and Shams Mulani.

He then took a four and six off Maphaka, who finished with 0/66 in four overs, the most expensive spell by a debutant in the IPL, before launching Coetzee for a six over long-off fence and then take a brace to get his fifty in 23 balls.

Klassen brought up SRH’s 250 by smacking a Bumrah full-toss over the non-striker for four and drove the pacer for another boundary. He went on to smash a four and two sixes off Mulani in the final over to set a new record for the highest-ever score in the IPL.

Chasing a mammoth 278, Rohit Sharma and Kishan were off the mark from the word go. Rohit hit Unadkat for two leg-side sixes in the second over, while Kishan smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a four and three maximums in the third over as MI reached 50/0.

But Shahbaz Ahmed struck with his second ball in the fourth over to have Kishan slog-sweeping to deep mid-wicket and fall for a 13-ball 34. Rohit was dropped by Abdul Samad at mid-on, but couldn’t make much of the reprieve as his top-edge on the pull was caught by backward square leg off Pat Cummins.

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Naman Dhir and Tilak began to deal in hitting sixes regularly off SRH’s bowlers to keep MI in the hunt of a massive chase. The standout point came when Tilak scooped, switch-hit and swept Shahbaz for three sixes in the tenth over, before slamming a four off Jaydev Unadkat through extra cover to get his fifty in 24 balls.

The 84-run stand off 37 balls for the third wicket ended when Dhir slashed straight to extra cover off Unadkat. Tilak and Hardik hit three boundaries between themselves, before the former was tricked by a slower delivery from Cummins and was caught at long-on, after the strategic timeout.

MI went 20 balls without a boundary, before David flicked, slashed and smashed Bhuvneshwar for a four and two sixes. David would hit Unadkat for a six and four each, before the pacer bounced back by having Hardik top-edge a pull to keeper behind.

Impact Player Romario Shepherd hit a six and two fours in the final over, but it wasn’t enough to deny SRH a win in an absolute run-fest of a match which had the most runs scored collectively (523) and most sixes ever hit in a T20 game (38).

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 277/3 in 20 overs (Heinrich Klassen 80 not out, Abhishek Sharma 63; Piyush Chawla 1-34, Hardik Pandya 1-46) beat Mumbai Indians 246/5 in 20 overs (Tilak Varma 64, Tim David 42 not out; Pat Cummins 2-35, Jaydev Unadkat 2-47) by 31 runs

–IANS

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Ratnagiri Jets thump Nashik Titans to defend MPL crown

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Pune, June 23 (IANS) Ratnagiri Jets thumped Eagle Nashik Titans by 24 runs to defend their Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) title at the MCA International Stadium.

The first innings saw a below-par score of 160 and it looked like an easy task for the Titans but a clinical bowling performance won the Ratnagiri Jets their second title in a row.

In 2023, they were declared winners after their final against PBG Kolhapur Tuskers was abandoned due to inclement weather.

“We are very happy to able to achieve this historic feat of winning the MPL twice in a row. Everyone has really played their part well and taken responsibility that has steered the Ratnagiri Jets to victory. We have consistently played good cricket and winning this trophy again feels great,” said Azim Kazi, Captain, Ratnagiri Jets

Left-arm spinners choked Nashik with Satyajeet Bachhav’s (4-1-31-4), also winning the purple cap with 26 wickets. He found a formidable bowling partner in fellow left-arm spinner Kunal Thorat (4-0-19-2) as Ratnagiri overpowered Nashik.

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Three of Bachhav’s four scalps – Kaushal Tambe, Atharva Kale, and Mukesh Chaudhary – were bowled while Ranjit Nikam (3, 6b) holed out to Divyang Hinganekar. From the other end, Thorat dismissed Arshin Kulkarni and dangerous Dhanraj Shinde (3, 6b) to leave Nashik tottering 79 for 7.

At the end of the power play, Nashik were 31 for 2. India U-19 star Arshin Kulkarni (9, 13b, 1×4), who was struggling with an injury and former India U-19 player Kaushal Tambe (9, 17b, 2x4s) could not rotate the strike nor could they clear the ropes and paid the price for it.

Earlier, a 44-run partnership for the fifth wicket between two youngsters – Kiran Chormale (35, 23b, 3x4s, 2×6) and Abhishek Pawar (28, 22b, 3x6s) helped Ratnagiri recover from 56 for 4.

Former KKR player Nikhil Naik (36, 25b, 3x4s, 1×6) once again played a cameo to guide Ratnagiri to 160 for 8, a score which in turn proved more than enough.

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“We are so proud of what this team has achieved. History has repeated itself and it is testament to the plans set in motion over the year, long before the tournament started. This result is a true reflection of the hard work, dedication and the sheer superior grassroot Maharashtra talent that will shape the future of cricket not only in the state but the country and the world.

“We will continue to invest in building the grassroots and producing many cricketing superstars in the future,” Rajan Navani, Owner, Ratnagiri Jets said.

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: What changes Afghanistan's epic win over Australia brings to SF scenarios

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Kingstown, June 23 (IANS) Afghanistan’s epic 21-run victory against Australia has thrown Group 1 of Super Eight stage of the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup wide open. With just four games left in closing out Super Eights stage of the tournament, IANS looks at what teams need to do to be in contention to enter the semifinals.

In Group 1, India are seated on top of the table with four points and net run rate of 2.425, which makes them prime contenders to enter the semifinals. A win against Australia at St Lucia on Monday will help India retain top spot in Group 1.

But a loss, especially heavier, could see them being overtaken by Australia and even by Afghanistan if they win with a huge margin over Bangladesh at St Vincent. If India do qualify for the semis they will play their semifinal game in Guyana on June 27.

For Australia, things are dire after being at two points and their net run rate going down to +0.223 after a shock defeat to Afghanistan. A win against India will likely see Australia qualify for the semi-finals, while a loss to the Rohit Sharmaled side will leave a chance for either Afghanistan or Bangladesh to qualify for the semifinals.

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Meanwhile, Afghanistan can qualify for the semifinals with another win against Bangladesh in their final Super Eights match. Their task can become easier if India beat Australia earlier in the day, which will help them know by what margin they need to beat Bangladesh to claim their semifinals spot.

Despite defeats to India and Australia, Bangladesh are also in the mix and need to win by at least 30 runs to sneak ahead of Afghanistan and would require for Australia to lose heavily to India if they are to enter the semifinals.

In Group 2, things are still interesting ahead of the business end of Super Eights. South Africa, unbeaten in the competition so far, need to win big against tournament co-hosts West Indies to ensure they top their group and setup a semifinal clash with the second-placed side in Group 1.

West Indies need to defeat South Africa to reach the semifinals. If they lose, they would have to rely on USA defeating England at Barbados and ensure their net run rate doesn’t suffer a huge dent.

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Defending champions England need a victory over the USA in their final Super Eight contest to reach the semifinals, coupled with a South Africa win over West Indies. Even if a washout happens in Barbados, England would need for South Africa to emerge victorious.

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Viv Richards presents best fielding medal to SKY after India beat Bangladesh

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North Sound (Antigua), June 23 (IANS) After India’s 50-run win over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup Super Eight match, West Indies great Sir Vivian Richards presented the fielder of the match medal to Suryakumar Yadav.

Suryakumar despite the windy conditions in Antigua took a running catch to dismiss Litton Das.

Team India’s fielding coach T Dilip announced that the award will be presented by the West Indies great, after whom the Vivian Richards Stadium is named.

“Today we have a true legend, whose name is synonymours with fearless play and unmatched charizma on the field. The game0changer in every sense, who showed that in every sense; what it means striving for greatness. Its none other than Sir Vivian Richards,” said Dilip in the video shared by BCCI on social media.

After presenting Suryakumar best fielder medal, Richards said, “I can only say that if they guys in Maroon doesn’t get it done, I will be back in your room,” he laughed.

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Richards also hailed Rishabh Pant for his comeback after the accident and said, “Pant its great to see you back man after what you have been through. We would have missed the great talent and exactly what you have to offer in the future.”

The Windies great concluded with hailing the India’s performance in the tournament so far.

–IANS

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Euros and Copa America fever spreads in football-mad pockets of cricket-crazy India

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Euro 2024 and Copa America are both underway as the hype and excitement to watch, the biggest stars of world football representing their respective countries, has already begun to spread throughout India like wildfire.

A country that has historically adopted cricket as its main sport is not that far behind in football when it comes to passion. Fans are regularly seen at screenings in hotspots in various major cities while repping their favourite team’s jersey. Here’s a deeper dive into the rooted fixations that fans from all over the country have for their favourite players.

“In Kolkata, people are traditionally more of a FIFA World Cup and South American football fans. People are majorly neutral about European nations unless it’s Brazil, Argentina, or other South American powerhouses,” told a passionate football lover from Kolkata to IANS.

If one has to look for football fans in our country, then one would have to look no further than Kolkata, the city that breathes football. The fans went on to talk about the love the people have because of their roots and historical connection to such countries.

“With that said, there are parts of Kolkata where people are mad about England because of the colonial regime. There is a place called Bow Barracks where Anglo-Indians support the English, Dutch, and Scots because of their European roots. If you look on the outskirts of Kolkata, you will find your actual goldmine in Euro Football.

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“There is a place called Chandannagar in Hooghly district, the locals support France because the locality was under French rule until the independence of India. The Churches, Chapels, and a French diaspora help it to boost the French connections there,” added the die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter.

In previous editions of the Euros, Copa Americas, and the World Cups, social media has heavily highlighted the unreal passion that is on display by fans from Kerala. The 40-foot cutouts of Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar went viral not just in India but across the globe as FIFA also applauded the dedication and passion of the home fans.

“Here in Kerala, the fan bases for European teams are quite fragmented. This contrasts with the Copa America, where there’s a clear and intense rivalry between fans of Brazil and Argentina. That being said, Spain’s national team has significant support in Kerala, particularly due to their era of dominance and the magical style of play characterised by players like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and David Villa.

“Their brand of technical, possession-based football (tiki-taka) has created a lasting affection for the team. I would say that the love for La Liga, especially for teams like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona has contributed to the support for the Spanish national side. The Portugal team also enjoys a massive following among the mallu youth, mainly because of their love for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been the poster boy for the Portuguese side for quite a few years,” a football fan hailing from Kerala told IANS.

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When it comes to recent times, the focal point of the sports events in the country has slowly transitioned from places like Kolkata and Mumbai to Ahmedabad. The city is filled with passionate football fans and one spoke fondly about the love that the city has for Ronaldo.

“I remember back in the day, we used to have a CR7 club in Ahmedabad. And I vividly remember how they took to the streets after Portugal won in 2016. 2021 was the year of COVID but I can guarantee you this year, places like TopSpin (club) will be packed especially when Portugal play. And given this is Ronaldo’s last Euros, who knows if he goes on to win it then the underground community of CR7 lovers will definitely have a little stroll past the Sabarmati Riverfront at night,” a Real Madrid fan and resident of Ahmedabad told IANS.

Messi and Ronaldo have been the epicentre of world football for the past two decades. The ongoing Euros have been a stepping stone that has displayed amazing talent from youngsters in the likes of Yamine Lamal and Jamal Musiala. One particular fan discussed his bond with the hosts of the 2024 Euros and how he watches the games despite being away from his home as he is currently studying in Punjab.

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“I have been a huge admirer of German football since 2010, and watching them go from Schweinsteiger and Muller to now Musiala and Wirtz has been nothing short of a crazy experience. The good part is that I am not alone, people here in Punjab are mad about football too. The excitement during the Euros is very visible here, with match screenings being set up in every possible corner of the town. It felt like an occasion during the 2022 World Cup when artists came to perform on screenings before the semifinals or the final, and I expect nothing less during the Euros.

“The local grounds are booked to capacity with a screen set up right in the middle of the ground, which makes sure the vibes are immaculate, and I expect nothing less. The arrangements plus the ample space in front of it make it the place to be during a match. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that it is very similar to the famous Boxpark in London,” said the admirer of German football to IANS.

Indian football fans over the years have grown accustomed to foreign fans trolling and questioning their dedication to international football but despite having to watch matches at ungodly hours and living in a country where cricket dominates all sporting discussions, the footballing fraternity has built a strong and unbreakable community to express their love for the beautiful game.

–IANS

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Football: Euro and Copa America fever spreads like wildfire through cricket crazy India

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Euro 2024 and Copa America are both underway as the hype and excitement to watch, the biggest stars of world football representing their respective countries, has already begun to spread throughout India like wildfire.

A country that has historically adopted cricket as its main sport is not that far behind in football when it comes to passion. Fans are regularly seen at screenings in hotspots in various major cities while repping their favourite team’s jersey. Here’s a deeper dive into the rooted fixations that fans from all over the country have for their favourite players.

“In Kolkata, people are traditionally more of a FIFA World Cup and South American football fans. People are majorly neutral about European nations unless it’s Brazil, Argentina, or other South American powerhouses,” told a passionate football lover from Kolkata to IANS.

If one has to look for football fans in our country, then one would have to look no further than Kolkata, the city that breathes football. The fans went on to talk about the love the people have because of their roots and historical connection to such countries.

“With that said, there are parts of Kolkata where people are mad about England because of the colonial regime. There is a place called Bow Barracks where Anglo-Indians support the English, Dutch, and Scots because of their European roots. If you look on the outskirts of Kolkata, you will find your actual goldmine in Euro Football.

ALSO READ:  Indian archers celebrate Bronze medal finish in Men's Recurve

“There is a place called Chandannagar in Hooghly district, the locals support France because the locality was under French rule until the independence of India. The Churches, Chapels, and a French diaspora help it to boost the French connections there,” added the die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter.

In previous editions of the Euros, Copa Americas, and the World Cups, social media has heavily highlighted the unreal passion that is on display by fans from Kerala. The 40-foot cutouts of Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar went viral not just in India but across the globe as FIFA also applauded the dedication and passion of the home fans.

“Here in Kerala, the fan bases for European teams are quite fragmented. This contrasts with the Copa America, where there’s a clear and intense rivalry between fans of Brazil and Argentina. That being said, Spain’s national team has significant support in Kerala, particularly due to their era of dominance and the magical style of play characterised by players like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and David Villa.

“Their brand of technical, possession-based football (tiki-taka) has created a lasting affection for the team. I would say that the love for La Liga, especially for teams like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona has contributed to the support for the Spanish national side. The Portugal team also enjoys a massive following among the mallu youth, mainly because of their love for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been the poster boy for the Portuguese side for quite a few years,” a football fan hailing from Kerala told IANS.

ALSO READ:  National Women's Hockey League: Haryana and Bengal win on Day 5

When it comes to recent times, the focal point of the sports events in the country has slowly transitioned from places like Kolkata and Mumbai to Ahmedabad. The city is filled with passionate football fans and one spoke fondly about the love that the city has for Ronaldo.

“I remember back in the day, we used to have a CR7 club in Ahmedabad. And I vividly remember how they took to the streets after Portugal won in 2016. 2021 was the year of COVID but I can guarantee you this year, places like TopSpin (club) will be packed especially when Portugal play. And given this is Ronaldo’s last Euros, who knows if he goes on to win it then the underground community of CR7 lovers will definitely have a little stroll past the Sabarmati Riverfront at night,” a Real Madrid fan and resident of Ahmedabad told IANS.

Messi and Ronaldo have been the epicentre of world football for the past two decades. The ongoing Euros have been a stepping stone that has displayed amazing talent from youngsters in the likes of Yamine Lamal and Jamal Musiala. One particular fan discussed his bond with the hosts of the 2024 Euros and how he watches the games despite being away from his home as he is currently studying in Punjab.

ALSO READ:  'Don't think there's any great concern...', says McDonald on Labuschagne's form

“I have been a huge admirer of German football since 2010, and watching them go from Schweinsteiger and Muller to now Musiala and Wirtz has been nothing short of a crazy experience. The good part is that I am not alone, people here in Punjab are mad about football too. The excitement during the Euros is very visible here, with match screenings being set up in every possible corner of the town. It felt like an occasion during the 2022 World Cup when artists came to perform on screenings before the semifinals or the final, and I expect nothing less during the Euros.

“The local grounds are booked to capacity with a screen set up right in the middle of the ground, which makes sure the vibes are immaculate, and I expect nothing less. The arrangements plus the ample space in front of it make it the place to be during a match. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that it is very similar to the famous Boxpark in London,” said the admirer of German football to IANS.

Indian football fans over the years have grown accustomed to foreign fans trolling and questioning their dedication to international football but despite having to watch matches at ungodly hours and living in a country where cricket dominates all sporting discussions, the footballing fraternity has built a strong and unbreakable community to express their love for the beautiful game.

–IANS

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