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IPL 2024: Mitchell Starc’s three-fer, Phil Salt’s 89 not out propel KKR’s eight-wicket thrashing of LSG

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Kolkata, April 14 (IANS) Mitchell Starc picked a brilliant three-fer while Phil Salt smashed an incredible 89 not out as Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Lucknow Super Giants by eight wickets at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Starc was the pick of KKR bowlers with his spell of 3/28, his best figures of the ongoing season. An impressive Sunil Narine, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell also bagged a wicket each to keep LSG to a below-par 161/7.

In the chase, Salt blazed away from the power-play to hit 14 fours and three sixes in his 47-ball unbeaten 89 to complete KKR’s chase with 26 balls to spare, also giving the side their first-ever win over LSG in the IPL.

He was also supported by captain Shreyas Iyer making run-a-ball 38 not out as the duo shared a match-winning 120-run stand off 76 balls for the third wicket. The comprehensive victory coming on the Bengali New Year day in front of their faithful supporters means KKR maintain their second place in the points table by moving to eight points.

For LSG, where they looked out of sorts, including conceding 22 extras, they had to contend with Nicholas Pooran’s late burst of 45 off 32 balls and a returning Mohsin Khan picking 2-29 in his four overs being the positives for them.

Chasing 162, West Indies fast-bowling sensation Shamar Joseph leaked 22 runs in the opening over. While Narine and Salt hit him for four and six respectively, Joseph bowled a lot of extras, including six wides and two no-balls. Narine didn’t last long as he miscued a slice off a slower ball from Mohsin Khan to be caught at point.

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Salt was nonchalant and ruthless at the same time in smashing Krunal Pandya for a hat-trick of boundaries in the third over to give KKR some momentum, even as Mohsin came back to force Angkrish Raghuvanshi in playing at an angled across delivery, which he could only nick behind.

Mohsin and Joseph caused problems for Shreyas, even as Salt kept going with his attacking tempo by flaying Yash Thakur for two off-side boundaries as KKR closed the power-play at 58/2. After that, Iyer survived a caught-behind decision against Joseph on review, before Salt played a nice pick-up shot going for six, as deep square leg dropped the tough chance.

After Salt got a lucky four via an inside edge off Arshad Khan, Shreyas began to find some momentum by smashing him for two fours, apart from pulling Ravi Bishnoi for another boundary. Salt took another four off Arshad via an inside edge and reached his fifty in 26 balls by flaying a short ball off him through backward point for a boundary yet again.

Despite some mix-ups between Salt and Shreyas, KKR remained in control as the former fiercely pulled Mohsin for four, followed by the latter pulling and cutting off Mohsin for a brace of boundaries. Salt made full use of Thakur’s wayward bowling by hitting three fours, before walloping Mohsin for a four and six respectively.

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He finished off the chase in style by pulling Bishnoi for four to seal a comprehensive win for KKR in starting their stretch of five consecutive matches at home, while handing LSG their second consecutive defeat in the tournament. Previously, LSG stumbled a lot and never gave the feeling of momentum being firmly in their hands, as Starc, Narine and Chakaravarthy didn’t let them break free.

It took Pooran’s 45 off 32 balls, laced with two fours and four sixes, to take LSG past 160. After making 21 runs in his first 21 balls, Pooran collected 24 runs off his next 11 balls to lend some respectability to the visitors’ total.

Pushed into batting first, Quinton de Kock got going with back-to-back driven fours off Starc. Arora began the second over with a wide and no ball, before being lofted for six by KL Rahul. But the pacer bounced back by angling the delivery away from de Kock, whose drive on the up was caught by short third man.

Rahul then smashed Starc for fours via pull and drive, even as Deepak Hooda was being troubled by away-going balls and fended a bouncer awkwardly from the fast-bowler. Starc finally took him out in his third over of power-play by forcing Hooda to go hard at a wide delivery, and Ramandeep Singh dived full length to take a stunning catch at backward point.

Rahul and Ayush Badoni took a four each off Harshit Rana in the last over of power-play as LSG ended the six-over phase with 42/2. After that KKR kept things tight to force a slowdown till Badoni picked a four off Chakravarthy, while Rahul upper-cut Russell for six.

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But KKR bounced back as Rahul pulled straight to deep mid-wicket off Russell. Marcus Stoinis pulled him for a brace of fours, but didn’t last long as he inside-edged to his pads off Chakravarthy and Salt took an excellent one-handed catch. Badoni perished in a bid to go big against Narine, top-edging a sweep to deep backward square leg.

Pooran began his onslaught by heaving Harshit for six, before pulling twice off Arora for a brace of maximums in the 18th over. He had luck on his side in the 19th over when top-edge flew over short third man for four, while another top-edge beat diving square leg to fetch him two fours.

But Starc ensured there were no more fireworks from Pooran in the final over by having him caught behind while trying to hit off a wide delivery. Impact player Arshad Khan hit a four, before his stumps were left in an almighty mess by Starc, who conceded just six runs in the final over.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 161/7 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 45, KL Rahul; Mitchell Starc 3-28, Andre Russell 1-16) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 162/2 in 15.4 overs (Phil Salt 89 not out, Shreyas Iyer 38 not out; Mohsin Khan 2-29) by eight wickets

–IANS

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Colombia must be at best to beat Argentina: Lorenzo

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New Jersey, July 14 (IANS) Colombia will need to be at their best to have any chance of beating Argentina in the Copa America final, Cafeteros manager Nestor Lorenzo said.

Argentina, the reigning Copa America and World Cup champions, occupy top spot in FIFA’s latest world rankings and, according to Lorenzo, are favorites going into Sunday’s duel at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Colombia – who are seeking their second Copa America title and first since 2001 – are 12th in the rankings, despite a 28-game unbeaten run dating back to early 2022.

“We need to be the best version of Colombia to defeat the champions of everything,” Lorenzo said, who also alluded to Argentina’s victory over Italy in the 2022 CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions.

“If we had not performed well we would not be here. But to beat Argentina you have to have the best version of each player and multiply it.”

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Colombia reached the final by defeating Uruguay 1-0 in their last match, despite playing for more than 45 minutes with only 10 men. Argentina advanced by overcoming Canada 2-0 in the other semifinal.

While conceding that Argentina were formidable rivals, Lorenzo was quietly confident that his team could cause an upset.

“The reason is because we are not satisfied,” he said. “The group is hungry. I said that we have to play at our best level to beat Argentina, but we are confident that we can do it.”

Lorenzo also paid tribute to Colombian fans and expressed hope that his team would bring them joy on Sunday afternoon.

“There is no more joyful and fanatical fan,” Lorenzo said. “We would like to be able to reach finals of big tournaments regularly and not make our fans wait for so long.”

“But staying at the top is not easy. This group has a bright a future. I hope this [run of success] continues and that in the future it won’t be such a surprise to see Colombia in a final,” he added.

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–IANS

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India beat Pakistan to clinch World Championship of Legends title

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Edgbaston, July 14 (IANS) India Champions crowned the World Championship of Legends winners after beating Pakistan five wickets in a pulsating finale.

The Yuvraj Singh-led side showcased their dominance in the competition and secured the coveted title in a match that went down to the wire as two teams fought hard.

Pakistan Champions, opting to bat first after winning the toss, posted a competitive total of 156/6 in 20 overs.

Kamran Akmal (24 off 19) and Maqsood (21 off 12) gave the team a solid start, but regular wickets kept the scoring in check.

The standout performer was Shoaib Malik, who scored a crucial 41 off 36 balls, anchoring the innings. Captain Younis Khan failed to make a mark as he was clean bowled by Irfan Pathan for 7. The middle-order collapsed and Misbah-ul-Haq was retired hurt after a brisk 18, late contributions from Sohail Tanvir (19* off 9) ensured Pakistan posted a respectable score.

Indian bowlers, led by Anureet Singh who claimed three wickets with support from Vinay Kumar, Pawan Negi and Irfan Pathan (one wicket each) were instrumental in containing Pakistan’s batting lineup.

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In response, India Champions started their run chase with intent. Despite losing Robin Uthappa (10) early, Ambati Rayudu’s explosive 50 off 30 balls set the foundation for the chase for the Men in Blue.

Suresh Raina too departed cheaply for 4 in the same over, helping Pakistan make a comeback. But a strong partnership between Rayudu and Gurkeerat Singh Maan (34 off 33) kept India on track.

Rayudu and Mann also departed in a space of 10 runs but the momentum stayed firmly in India’s favour with Yusuf Pathan’s blistering 30 off 16 balls before the latter was dismissed in the penultimate over.

With captain Yuvraj Singh (15*) and Irfan Pathan (5*) at the crease, India sealed the win, finishing at 159 for 5 in 19.1 overs.

Pakistan’s bowlers, despite their best efforts, couldn’t halt India’s march towards the target. Aamer Yamin was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-0-29-2, supported by Sohail Tanvir and Sohail Khan, who took one wicket each.

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Brief Scores: India Champions: 159/5 in 19.1 overs (Ambati Rayudu 50, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 34, Yusuf Pathan 30; Aamer Yamin 2/29) beat Pakistan Champions: 156/6 in 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 41, Kamran Akmal 24; Anureet Singh 2/43) by 5 wickets.

–IANS

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Sonam Kapoor exudes grace at the Wimbledon Women's Final in London

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Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, recently seen in the streaming movie ‘Blind’, attended the Wimbledon Women’s Final in London.

Making a fashion statement, the actress exuded elegance and style. She donned an outfit designed by Bottega Veneta. For the occasion, she chose a sophisticated striking long yellow, blue, and black dress layered with the Optical Crinkle Cotton Check ensemble from the Pre-Fall 24 collection.

The outfit featured a long-sleeved white, blue, and black shirt and a matching long skirt. She accessorised her look with a pair of sleek Tex Mule shoes in black, also from the Pre-Fall 24 collection.

Adding a touch of exclusivity, Sonam carried the Liberta bag in black from the Winter 24 special preview, making a chic and timeless fashion statement at the prestigious event.

Sonam, who is known as a fashion icon in the Hindi film industry, has long been celebrated for her impeccable fashion sense. Her consistently brilliant sartorial choices have made her a favourite among top fashion brands worldwide.

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As she gears up for her comeback after her pregnancy, Sonam has two major projects lined up, including ‘Battle for Bittora’, with details of the second tentpole project being kept under wraps.

The actress and her husband Anand Ahuja welcomed their son, Vayu Kapoor Ahuja, in August 2022.

–IANS

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Tour de France: Jasper Philipsen edges Wout Van Aert in chaotic Stage 13 Sprint as big crash mars finale

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Paris, July 13 (IANS) A wild day at the Tour de France, the most prominent cycling race in the world, ended on Saturday with Jasper Philipsen taking his second win. Visma-Lease a Bike were tested after Adam Yates, the teammate of race leader Tadej Pogacar, managed to get in the break, prompting a fierce chase in crosswinds. After the race came back together, Biniam Girmay set his team to work in pursuit of a fourth win, but ultimately it was Philipsen who won the day.

A crash-strewn finish after crosswind chaos in south-west France resulted in a second sprint win for Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) over his Belgian rival Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) in Pau. Philipsen came from deep to show his class and hold off Van Aert and the German Pascal Ackermann (Israel-Premier Tech) after a crash on the home straight dashed the hopes of Belgian champion Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Dstny) and a handful of other outsiders.

The in-form green jersey Biniam Girmay (Intermarche-Wanty) could only finish a distant fourth after his hopes of a famous fourth win did not materialise after a stage that felt more like a hilly spring classic than a sprint stage of the Tour de France. The sight of the yellow jersey Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) taking ninth place in the bunch gallop only emphasised the bonkers nature of the 165.3km ride from Agen, which was animated from the get-go as blustery winds twice tore through the peloton and caused dangerous splits and some serious soul-searching.

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Pogacar retained his 1 minute 06 seconds lead over Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) ahead of a decisive weekend in the Pyrenees, with defending champion Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) lurking in third place a further eight seconds back.

All three riders found themselves in a split off the front of the peloton in the opening hour after winds on exposed roads saw six Visma riders and half a dozen others go clear in pursuit of a select breakaway that included the world champion Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin–Deceuninck) and Pogacar’s UAE team-mate, Adam Yates.

After this select group returned to the peloton, a second wave of echelons occurred around 60km from the finish with the peloton splitting in three. The first two groups came back together after swallowing up the breakaway – but the final group on the road, which included sprinters Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) and Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), would never see the front of the race again.

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The attacks rained down on the lumpy approach to Pau but the main field eventually came back together in time for the finale, which was marred by a crash that saw a handful of riders hit the deck after Belgium’s Maxim van Gils – bringing up his Lotto Dstny team-mate De Lie – violently clipped the shoulders of a retreating Amaury Capiot of Arkea B&B Hotels.

The incident occurred on the opposite side of the road as the battleground occupied by Philipsen, Van Aert and Ackermann, who put on a show to finish in that order after a fast and unforgiving three-and-a-half hours in the saddle.

The mountains that loomed on the metaphorical horizon served as no deterrent to a group of 22 riders that went clear shortly after the start of a day with no shortage of contenders for the combativity prize.

Joining Van der Poel was one of his rainbow predecessors in Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers), the Slovenian Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), De Lie and his Lotto Dstny team-mate Brent Van Moer, and the polka dot jersey of Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility).

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The breakaway had not been clear for long before the first gusts of wind began to wreak havoc. An acceleration from Vingegaard’s Visma team was expertly covered by Pogacar and Evenepoel as a dozen zipped clear for a brief foray ahead of the pack. If they were soon pegged back, it was a precursor to what was still in store.

With Yates threatening the general classification places of riders from Visma-Lease a Bike, Soudal Quick-Step, and Ineos Grenadiers, an alliance soon formed on the front to keep the gap no bigger than a minute.

The upshot of the fast pace and early drama also involved the UAE team of the race leader, with Spain’s Juan Ayuso – struggling with illness for a few days – forced to become the 17th rider to abandon after losing touch with the peloton. The climbing lieutenant’s presence in the mountains could well prove to be a huge loss for Pogacar in his bid to win a third Tour and complete a famous Giro-Tour double.

–IANS

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Copa America 2024: Argentina legend Messi hails 'dynamic' Colombia ahead of final

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Buenos Aires (Argentina), July 13 (IANS) Argentina captain Lionel Messi noted that Colombia will pose a formidable test when the two teams meet in the Copa America final at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in the USA on Sunday. Colombia is unbeaten in the past 28 matches and earned a place in the final by defeating Uruguay 1-0 in the semifinal, despite playing for more than half the match with only 10 men.

“We were able to watch the Uruguay-Colombia match,” Messi said. “We knew that either one of the teams [Uruguay or Colombia] was going to be very difficult.”

“There’s a reason Colombia hasn’t lost for so long. It’s a team that has very good players. They are very intense, with fast and dynamic players in attack,” the Argentina star was quoted as saying.

Argentina are vying to become the first team in history to successfully defend their Copa America crown while holding the World Cup title, reports Xinhua.

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Sunday’s duel at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium also added meaning for the Albiceleste given it will be the last international appearance of winger Angel Di Maria.

“Finals are something else, but we’re feeling good and calm, as we have been throughout the whole tournament,” Messi said. “We’re enjoying everything that is happening and focusing on the final.”

–IANS

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