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IPL 2024: Superb shows by McGurk, Kuldeep help Delhi beat Lucknow by six wickets (Ld)

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Lucknow, April 13 (IANS) Riding on debutant Jake Fraser-McGurk’s stunning 55 after Kuldeep Yadav’s three-for, Delhi Capitals defeated Lucknow Super Giants by six wickets in Match 26 of the Indian Premier League and Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

Batting first on the central spongy pitch hosts Lucknow Super Giants set Delhi Capitals a target of 168 after Ayush Badoni smashed a fine half-century. Kuldeep Yadav bowled brilliantly to end with figures of 3-20 in four overs, claiming the big wickets of K.L. Rahul and Nicholas Pooran.

Chasing the target, McGurk slammed a 35-ball 55, studded with two boundaries and five maximums as he shared a 77-run partnership with skipper Rishabh Pant to help Delhi Capitals reach 170/4 in 18.1 overs.

With back-to-back boundaries in the second over bowled by Naveen-ul-Haq, the Capitals openers kicked off their chase of 168 runs. Prithvi Shaw needed some treatment in the first over after taking a blow on the hand but seemed to have shaken that off. Given width to cut, he sent his fourth ball to the fence and then crunched the next – one that was much tighter to the stumps – through extra cover.

Warner also found the boundary in the opening over bowled by Arshad Khan. Yash Thakur, who claimed a maiden five-for in his last outing against Gujarat Titans, yet again provided the first breakthrough for LSG. Warner needed help from the physio before the start of the over, having taken a blow on the hand when trying to scoop Naveen, and the same shot sent him back to the pavilion against Yash’s medium pace.

The ball skidded into his body, swung back sharply, and broke the bails before Warner could flick it away. Warner departed after scoring eight runs off nine deliveries.

In came Jake Fraser-McGurk at number three and straightaway sent the second ball of his debut for a six over deep mid-wicket off Yash’s delivery. The second last over of the Power-play bowled by Arshad Khan saw 15 runs courtesy of a boundary by Prithvi Shaw and a maximum and a boundary by McGurk.

Shaw was looking dangerous with his sweep shots against spinners before getting out in Ravi Bishnoi’s first over. The specialist googly bowler unleashed one of his rare leg-breaks and that does for Shaw, who walked back to the dressing room after scoring 32 off 22 deliveries. After the end of seven overs, the Capitals needed 105 from 78 balls with eight wickets in hand.

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A sliced drive at Naveen ended up in the hands of a deep third, and Fraser-McGurk walked off with 55 from 35 from his debut IPL innings. He became the third youngest overseas batter to score a half-century in the IPL, and it made the chase pretty comfortable for DC. The Super Giants adapted quickly to what their strength has been in this season and offered a new challenge for Capitals batters- Bishnoi with his wrist spin which can be hard to pick out of the hand and Naveen ul Haq with his slower balls.

McGurk who scored 16 off just eight deliveries scored just three in the next five deliveries. Rishabh Pant completed his 3000 IPL runs after breaking a boundary drought of 29 balls in the 11th over of Bishnoi. In the very next over of Marcus Stoinis, Bishnoi, guarding the cover, dropped a sitter off McGurk, who went on to smash his maiden IPL half-century in 31 deliveries. Krunal Pandya bowling the 13th over of the innings was taken apart by McGurk, who smashed a hat-trick of sixes to reach fifty.

McGurk became the third-youngster overseas batter after Sam Curran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz to smash a half-century in the IPL. It was the most expensive over of the inning by Pandya as both the batters raised the half-century of their stand in just 32 deliveries to take the visitors closer to victory.

A sliced drive off Naveen-ul-Haq ended up in the hands of a deep third, and Fraser-McGurk walked off with 55 from 35 from his debut IPL innings but the knock made the chase pretty comfortable for DC. Both the batters added 77 runs off 46 deliveries for the third wicket. Ravi Bishnoi in his last over of the spell cleaned up Pant of a googly, who scored 41 off 24 deliveries.

With the last four overs left in the match, Delhi needed 18 runs for the victory and Tristan Stubbs, with a maximum over deep midwicket of Arshad Khan, claimed victory for Delhi Capitals by six wickets with eleven balls remaining. For host Lucknow, Ravi Bishnoi claimed 2 for 25 and Naveen-ul-Haq claimed a wicket giving away 24 runs.

Earlier, batting first on the central spongy pitch, Lucknow Super Giants opener Quinton de Kock started and finished the first over from Khaleel Ahmed with a boundary. Khaleel has been Capitals’ best bowler so far this season but his first ball was short and wide, to be carved away over the leaping gully fielder. Though the bowler straightened up his line in response to the boundary, de Kock managed to find a thick inside edge for four more.

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De Kock missed a big swing across the line of Khaleel’s second over and the finger went up. The ball was heading toward the leg and de Kock went for the DRS – but ball-tracking had it shaving the leg stump. The DRS result came in for the umpire’s call, and de Kock departed after scoring 19 off 13 deliveries.

Delhi Capitals needed that breakthrough after a fast start by the LSG openers. With his eighth wicket in this IPL season, Khaleel became the joint fourth in the wicket-takers list.

Khaleel, bowling his third over of the Power-play, got the second wicket for Delhi as Devdutt Padikkal was pinned in front of middle and leg for his fifth consecutive single-figure score since joining LSG. He thought about reviewing the decision but there was much less doubt about this call, and in the end, he just headed to the dressing room. Super Giants were 42 for 2 in the fifth over.

Skipper KL Rahul, on the other end, showed intent after facing criticism for his approach in the previous matches. He looked in sparkling touch and his first boundary was a flat six off Khaleel, flayed over cover. He then greeted Mukesh Kumar’s arrival into the attack for the final over of the Power-play with back-to-back fours, the second a smooth on-the-walk drive through extra cover. LSG were 57/2 after six overs, ahead of the pace they set against Titans in their previous match. With 30 off 14 balls, this was Rahul’s joint-best Power-play score for the Super Giants.

Kuldeep Yadav missed the Capitals’ last three matches due to an injury, but he was back with a bang. The wrist-spinner picked up Marcus Stoinis (8) on his third ball, a wrong’un sliced tamely towards backward point, and then followed it up by removing Nicholas Pooran, LSG’s in-form batter, for zero with one that ripped back to uproot the off-stump. Not only did Kuldeep put the brakes on the home side’s run surge and quietened the crowd, he also completely nobbled the stump.

Rahul was batting beautifully on 39 from 21 when he attempted to cut one going across him and feathered an edge behind off Kuldeep. It wasn’t given out on the field, but Rishabh Pant quickly reviewed it and Rahul departed after scoring 39. LSG were 80/5 at the end of 10 overs, having brought Deepak Hooda in as their Impact Substitute replacing de Kock.

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Kuldeep Yadav ended his spell with figures of 3-20 in his four overs.

No boundaries came in almost the next five overs for the host as Ayush Badoni and Krunal Pandya rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking. LSG were six down after the fall of Pandya (3) off the final ball of the 13th over and the second over of Mukesh Kumar. Kuldeep started the rot with two in two balls and the home side since then lost 5 for 28 during the middle overs of their innings.

The only plus point that LSG had in their favour was they never lost when defending a target of 160-plus and Badoni was looking good with his bat. He had earlier smoked Mukesh Kumar for back-to-back boundaries in his second over.

With the spinners bowled out and Khaleel Ahmed returning for the 18th over, Badoni decided it was time to go after the bowling. The first ball of the over was short and smoked over midwicket for six. Arshad Khan then muscled four more down the ground and was dropped by Prithvi Shaw from the final delivery of the over – the most expensive of the innings, with 15 runs conceded.

Badoni, with a strike rate of 167.70 in death overs, turned the momentum in LSG’s favour after back-to-back boundaries — over sweeper cover and a ramp over deep fine leg — to take the hosts past 150. Badoni completed his half-century in 31 deliveries on the last ball of the 19th over.

He and Arshad Khan added 73 runs in 42 deliveries for the eighth wicket partnership, which propelled host Lucknow Super Giants to 167/7 at the end of 20 overs. It was the highest eighth-wicket partnership in IPL history.

It was the first time Lucknow Super Giants lost a match defending the target of 160-plus.

Brief scores:

Lucknow Super Giants 167/7 in 20 overs (Ayush Badoni 55 not out, KL Rahul 39; Kuldeep Yadav 3-20, Khaleel Ahmed 2-41) lost to Delhi Capitals 170/4 in 18.1 overs (Jake Fraser-McGurk 55, Rishabh Pant 41; Ravi Bishnoi 2-25, Naveen-ul-Haq 1-24) by six wickets

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Canada, Namibia, Oman win warm-up matches

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Dallas (USA), May 29 (IANS) Canada, Oman, and Namibia won their respective warm-up matches ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, gaining some advantage in their buildup to the mega event to be played in the USA and Caribbean. Canada defeated Nepal by 63 runs at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Dallas; Oman handed Papua New Guinea a 3-wicket win while Namibia got the better of fellow African side Uganda by five wickets at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba.

Electing to bat first, Canada rode on a half-century by Nicholas Kirton and a blazing unbeaten 41 off 17 balls as Canada posted 183/7 in 20 overs on Tuesday. Opener Navneet Dhaliwal gave them a decent start with 32 off 27 balls, hitting four boundaries while Kirton struck a 39-ball 52, studded with four boundaries and two sixes. Ravinderpal Singh hammered one four and four maximums as he contributed a vital 17-ball 41 to help Canada post a challenging total.

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In response, Nepal were bundled out for 120 runs in 19.3 overs with Dilon Heyliger claiming 4-20 in 2.3 overs. Jeremy Gordon and Saad Bin Zafar both claimed identical 2-25 each for Canada. For Nepal Kushal Malla scored a 30-ball 37 while Aasif Sheikh and Anil Sah contributed 22 and 24 runs respectively. Six Nepalese batters were out for single figures.

Electing to field first, Oman restricted Papua New Guinea (PNG) to 137/9 in 20 overs thanks to a three-fer by Aqib Ilyas (3-22) and 2-20 by Bilal Khan. Lega Siaka top-scored with 28 runs off 24 balls, hitting three boundaries.

Chasing 138, Oman rode on a 42-ball 45 by Zeeshan Maqsood, who blasted four boundaries and one six, while Khalid Kail (27 off 26 balls) as they reached 141/7 in 19.1 overs.

In another match played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, Uranda could manage only 134 in 20 overs despite a half-century by Roger Mukasa, who struck six boundaries and one six off 41 balls.

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Robinson Obuya scored 38 off 27 balls, hitting five boundaries and two sixes, and shared a 34-run partnership for the third wicket. Namibia rode on a 34-ball 54 by opener Nikolaas Davin, who struck three boundaries and five maximums to mount a successful chase. Davin added 85 runs for the second wicket partnership with Jean-Pierre Kotze (29 off 31 balls) as they virtually put Namibia on course to victory.

–IANS

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French Open: De Minaur, and Fritz advance to second round; Navone too wins first-round clash

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Paris, May 28 (IANS) Australian Alex de Minaur, American Taylor Fritz, Mariano Navone, and Jaume Munar won their respective men’s singles matches and reached the second round of the French Open 2024 in the French capital on Tuesday.

Alex de Minaur kick-started his Roland Garros campaign in style, despite a few hours of rain interruption which did not do anything to prevent him from advancing on Tuesday afternoon. After play finally got underway on Court Simonne-Mathieu in around afternoon, the 11th-seeded Australian raced past #NextGenATP Alex Michelsen 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 to seal his second-round spot at the clay-court major.

De Minaur converted eight of 13 break points he earned, according to Infosys Stats, to advance to face Jaume Munar or Roberto Bautista Agut. De Minaur saved two break points in the opening game of the match but barely looked back from then on, ultimately wrapping victory in just one hour and 48 minutes against Roland Garros debutant Michelsen.

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With his win, the No. 11 in the ATP Rankings avenged his loss to Michelsen in February in Los Cabos and tied the pair’s ATP head-to-head series at 1-1.

Taylor Fritz too reached the second round, taking the tally of Americans in the second round to six by rallying past Federico Coria 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. The 12th seed put together an impressive display full of clean baseline hitting to down Argentina’s Coria in two hours, and 28 minutes on Court 9.

Navone will take on Tomas Machac in the second round. The Geneva finalist overcame Nuno Borges 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-3 for his maiden Roland Garros win.

Spaniard Jaume Munar defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 while 28th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina fought back from defeat in the first set to beat Arthur Cazaux of France 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

–IANS

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German paddler Boll to retire from international stage after Paris Olympics

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Berlin (Germany), May 28 (IANS) As Timo Boll boarded the Air China flight CA932 this Monday evening, the 43-year-old might have started his trip to the WTT Champions tournament in Chongqing with mixed feelings. Shortly before his departure, the two-time Olympic silver medallist announced that the Paris Olympic Games, his seventh Olympics, would be his last international appearance.

“In the past, I often talked about being a little afraid of the decision to end my international career, despite it was inevitable that this day would come,” the former World No. 1 said. “Now the time has come for my farewell on the world stage of active sport.”

Boll also announced he will play another season for his club Borussia Dusseldorf in the national league and the Champions League. The veteran paddler is said to be around as an advisor for his German club after his last season, reports Xinhua. “Table tennis has been my life, and I will be around in whatever function,” he said.

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Boll noted that he will “pay special attention to China and its people. There are so many ideas of what to do. I am sure my life will stay active and thrilling.” Boll said he is thankful for his career. “But it seems enough now. My career has left its marks,” he stated, referring to various injuries over the years.

“You start to extend your recovery time, find ways to explore new treatment measures, you reduce your training times to be at a competitive level when in tournaments,” he told Xinhua in a recent interview. “I have reached an age that is affecting my performance. It has been a constant fight against the pain over the past years. That’s far from satisfying, and you are aware you more and more lose the fight against the pain.”

The first German paddler to become the world No. 1 in 2003, Boll has also clinched two silvers at Beijing 2008 and Tokyo 2020, and two bronzes at London 2012 and Rio 2016, all in the men’s team event. “To be here is like coming home, as China has become my second home over the years,” Boll said of his relationship with China. “I know many players and people have a big fan base. It’s always a pleasure for me to be here or play tournaments in China.”

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The prospect of attending his seventh Olympics made him continue despite “the past years hasn’t been overwhelmingly joyful.”

Before stepping down, one of his sport’s greatest is heading for a last big goal. “It would be a perfect farewell if we manage to win a team medal at the Olympics in Paris,” said the eight-times European Champion who has a 25-year career.

–IANS

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Football: Italian coach Maresca to leave Leicester City for Chelsea

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London, May 28 (IANS) Chelsea are set to name Enzo Maresca as their new first-team coach after the 44-year-old announced intentions to leave Leicester City on Tuesday. Maresca confirmed his departure from the club he led to promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt in a post on social media.

“It’s with great emotion that I write to you today to say goodbye. In less than a year at the club, I’m proud to say we archived exactly what was needed which is coming back to the Premier League,” wrote the Italian.

Maresca was a cultured central midfielder who represented a host of teams, including Juventus, Sevilla, Malaga, Fiorentina, and Sampdoria, before moving into coaching, reports Xinhua.

He picked up valuable experience in the Manchester City youth system and had a brief spell with Parma before spending a year as Pep Guardiola’s assistant.

Last season saw him appointed to Leicester City with the task of taking the recently relegated side back to the Premier League. Maresca did that at the first attempt, with the team finishing top of the Championship.

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Chelsea had asked Leicester for permission to speak to the coach about the vacancy after the departure of Mauricio Pochettino at the end of the season. The Italian is expected to sign a five-year contract.

–IANS

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MotoGP 2024: Joan Mir, Luca Marini bullish as Honda Team get straight back to work in Mugello

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Italy, May 28 (IANS) Team Honda riders Joan Mir and Luca Marini will get back into action soon after an intense burst of action with back-to-back races and a test as the 2024 MotoGP World Championship season gathers pace at the Gran Premio d’Italia in Mugello, Italy.

The first back-to-back weekend of the season sees the Honda Team travel from Barcelona to Mugello for another weekend of MotoGP action. A classic on the MotoGP calendar, the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello is known for its incredibly straight and fast, flowing corners. The layout of the circuit will give both teams and riders a great opportunity to continue collecting data and working towards the future.

Local hero Marini enters the weekend eager to embrace the boost from his home fans off the back of a weekend of progress in Barcelona. Recent upgrades and changes to the Honda RC213V have helped Marini to improve his feeling and close the distance to the other Honda riders, authoring a strong start to the Catalan GP where he challenged for top Honda honours.

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On the other side of the Honda Team garage, Mir is targeting a return to his early-year form. Despite taking points and fighting for top Honda honours in Barcelona, Mir is hungry for more around the Italian track. His best premier class result at the track came in 2021 when he finished third.

Marini said he is looking forward to his home grand prix.

“Your home GP is always something nice and I am really excited to go there as a factory Honda rider for the first time. I really want to enjoy the weekend with the Italian fans and enjoy their support. We made progress in Barcelona and I know that we can keep building on what we found during our private Mugello test for this coming weekend,” said Marini.

“It’s all about making this progress at each round and continuing to feel better and better. You can understand a lot about a bike around Mugello so the weekend, and post-race test, will be very useful for us,” he added.

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Mir said, “We have this race and a test before a bit of a break in the calendar. I want to extract the maximum possible from this weekend to recover from the tricky weekend we had in Barcelona. Everyone in the team and HRC are working hard to make improvements and continue development. We have some ideas already from the test we had here, so let’s keep on going and enjoy riding.”

–IANS

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