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'Might be last chance': England manager Southgate's huge claim ahead of Euros 2024

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New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Ahead of the upcoming 2024 European Championship, Gareth Southgate has revealed that he “probably won’t be” the English National team manager if the side fails to win the trophy this summer.

The English international was appointed at the helm of the Three Lions’ side in 2016 and has led the team to the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals, quarterfinal in 2022 and the 2020 Euros finals but failed to secure the country’s first major trophy since 1966.

“If we don’t win, I probably won’t be here anymore. It might be the last chance. I think about half of the national coaches leave after a tournament – that’s the nature of international football,” said Southgate to German newspaper BILD.

“I’ve been here for almost eight years now and we’ve come close so I know that you can’t keep standing in front of the public and saying ‘please do a little more’, because at some point, people will lose faith in your message.If we want to be a big team and I want to be a top coach, then you have to deliver in the big moments,” concluded the Three Lions head coach.

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The 53-year old recently announced the squad that has traveled to Germany and the exclusion of big stars in the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and even Harry Maguire has led to a lot of criticism for Gareth.

England fans are hungry and desperate for a major title and the Euros would be an even sweeter feather in the cap as the country has never won the tournament before.

The team is drawn into Group C alongside Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia for the highly awaited tournament.

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: South Africa's Miller reprimanded for showing dissent at umpire's decision

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St Lucia, June 23 (IANS) South Africa player David Miller has been handed an official reprimand for showing dissent towards an umpire’s decision during a Super Eight stage Group 2 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 against England at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Friday.

Miller was pulled up for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct after the match officials made a complaint with the match referee. Miller was found to have breached Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “showing dissent at an Umpire’s decision during an International Match.”

In addition to this, one demerit point has been added to Miller’s disciplinary record, for whom it was the first offence in 24 months, the ICC informed in a release on Saturday.

The incident occurred in the 19th over of South Africa’s innings. Miller played a full toss from Sam Curran and expected it to be called a ‘no ball’ for height. When it was not declared a ‘no ball’, he showed dissent at the umpire’s decision by signaling to review the decision when it could not have been reviewed.

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Miller admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

On-field umpires Chris Brown and Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid, third umpire Joel Wilson and fourth umpire Chris Gaffaney levelled the charge.

Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 percent of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.

–IANS

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Euro 2024: Portugal seal spot in knockouts with a match to spare

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Dortmund, June 23 (IANS) Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes were on target as Portugal sealed their place in the knockout stages of the UEFA Euro 2024 with a match to spare at the BVB Stadion Dortmund on Saturday. Silva and Fernandes scored a goal each while Samet Akaydin contributed an own goal as former winner Portugal defeated Turkiye 3-0 in a key match in Dortmund that wrapped up the top spot in Group F.

Portugal did it the hard way against the Czech Republic on Matchday 1, but on Saturday, they quickly took a firm grip on the proceedings. With Vitinha pulling the strings, they set about dictating the tempo and on 21 minutes they were ahead when Nuno Mendes’ deflected cut-back was coolly dispatched by Bernardo Silva.

One soon became two, in the most unfortunate manner from a Turkiye point of view. Joao Palhinha’s attempted through ball sounded few alarm bells but, with goalkeeper Altay Bayındır advancing unsighted, Samet Akaydin’s back pass activated the warning klaxon -– too late, despite a desperate scramble.

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Altay Bayındır, one of four Turkiye changes from the Georgia win, picked the ball out of his net 11 minutes into the second half as Cristiano Ronaldo sprung the offside trap and unselfishly squared for Bruno Fernandes. The Crescent-Stars battled on, but the game was up.

So Turkiye followed up their first opening day win at a Euro with a defeat that equals their heaviest in the competition. A point on Wednesday against the Czech Republic will nonetheless advance to the knockout stages alongside Portugal, the win preserving their 100% record at getting out of groups.

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Hardik, Kuldeep star as India thrash Bangladesh by 50 runs, inch closer to semis (ld)

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North Sound (Antigua), June 22 (IANS) Vice-captain Hardik Pandya top-scored with an unbeaten 27-ball fifty and took 1-32 in a top all-round performance, while wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav bowled a stellar spell of 3-19 as India thrashed Bangladesh by 50 runs to claim their second Super Eight stage win in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday.

On a fresh pitch, Pandya smashed four boundaries and three sixes in his undefeated knock, which was key in India amassing 62 runs off the last five overs. Coupled with attacking 30s from Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Shivam Dube, India posted a commanding 196/5 in their 20 overs, their highest total in the competition.

In reply, Kuldeep bowled a wonderful spell, helped by bounce and a bit of grip to leave Bangladesh in disarray. The rest of the bowlers produced another outstanding show, and the fielders backed them up very well to restrict Bangladesh to 146/8 and inch closer to the semifinals. India will confirm their semifinal spot if Afghanistan fail to beat Australia at St Vincent.

India dominated from the word go with immaculate ease, as every batter looked to attack, resulting in four batters having strike-rate above 150. It resulted in them posting the highest T20I score at the venue and also hitting 13 sixes -– the most number of maximums they have hit in a T20 World Cup game.

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Pushed into batting first, with cross wind blowing, Rohit Sharma didn’t let the spinners settle by sweeping Mahedi Hasan for four, followed by repeating the same shot against Shakib Al Hasan for a similar result.

Kohli joined in taking the attack to the spinners by smacking Shakib for a clean six over long-on, followed by using his bottom hand strongly in flicking Tanzim Hasan Sakib for four.

Rohit danced down the pitch to hit Shakib for a big six, before slicing him past backward point for four more in the fourth over. Shakib eventually had the last laugh as Rohit got a top-edge on slog and was caught by a backward point to fall for a rapid 23.

Kohli used his bottom hand well in swinging Mustafizur Rahman for six, followed by slamming leg-spinner Rishad Hossain down the ground for another maximum. But in the ninth over, Tanzim’s clever change in pace got Bangladesh back in the game –- getting a slower off-cutter which kept straight to castle Kohli for 37.

Though Suryakumar Yadav swiped him for a six, Tanzim got extra bounce on a length delivery outside off-stump to take Suryakumar’s glove edge behind to keeper. Pant, who was at 12 off 15 balls, greeted Rahman with a drive through the gap between cover and mid-off for four.

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He was quick to heave a slower ball from him high over mid-wicket for six and flicked a full toss in the gap between square leg and fine leg for four more to take 14 runs off the 11th over. Hossain was next in the firing line, as Pant smashed him with the spin over long-on for six and then swept him behind for four more. But Hossain bounced back as Pant reverse-swept straight to short third man, falling for 36.

Pandya and Dube dealt in singles before the former cut loose by hammering Mahedi with the wind through extra cover for six and four respectively. Dube hammered three quick sixes before being castled by a slower googly from Hossain for 34. Pandya continued to be at his free-flowing best – slamming two sixes, before hitting three fours in the final over off Rahman to take India past 190 and get his fifty on the last ball of the innings.

Chasing 197 was always going to be an uphill task for a middling Bangladesh batting line-up. Despite the stiff target, Tanzid Hasan began strongly by hitting four boundaries, followed by Litton Das smashing two boundaries. Pandya got the breakthrough when Das couldn’t control his pull on a wide delivery and was caught at deep mid-wicket.

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Tanzid was dropped on 24 by Pant off Bumrah but was trapped lbw on the back leg by a stunning googly from Kuldeep. Towhid Hridoy was next to fall as Kuldeep got a leg-break delivery to turn in slightly and go past an attempted slog-sweep to trap him plumb lbw.

More success followed India as Kuldeep had Shakib mistime a loft to cover, followed by Bumrah deceiving Najmul Hossain Shanto with an off-cutter which he sliced to a short third man, and Arshdeep bowling a similar delivery to take out Jaker Ali.

Hossain impressed with his hitting abilities by smashing a four and three sixes, before giving a top edge on pull to extra cover off Bumrah, who finished with an economy rate of just 3.2 in another comprehensive win for India and maintained their unbeaten run in the competition.

Brief scores:

India 196/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 50 not out, Virat Kohli 37; Tanzim Hasan Sakib 2-32, Rishad Hossain 2-43) beat Bangladesh 146/8 in 20 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 40, Tanzid Hasan 29; Kuldeep Yadav 3-19, Jasprit Bumrah 2-13) by 50 runs.

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Kuldeep picks 3-19 as India thrash Bangladesh by 50 runs, inch closer to semi-finals

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North Sound (Antigua), June 22 (IANS) Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav shined with a game-changing spell of 3-19, while fast-bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh picked two wickets each as India thrashed Bangladesh by 50 runs to claim their second Super Eight stage win in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here on Saturday.

After vice-captain Hardik Pandya top-scored with an unbeaten 27-ball fifty and smashed four boundaries and three sixes in India making 196/5, their highest total in the competition, Kuldeep bowled a wonderful spell on a pitch having bounce and a bit of grip to leave Bangladesh in disarray.

The rest of the bowlers produced another outstanding show, and the fielders backed them up very well to restrict Bangladesh to 146/8 and inch closer to the semi-finals. India will confirm their semifinal spot if Afghanistan fail to beat Australia at St Vincent. Chasing 197 was always going to be an uphill task for a middling Bangladesh batting line-up.

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Despite the stiff target, Tanzid Hasan began strongly by hitting four boundaries, followed by Litton Das smashing two boundaries. Pandya got the breakthrough for India when Litton couldn’t control a pull shot on a wide outside off delivery and was caught at deep mid-wicket.

Tanzid was dropped on 24 by Rishabh Pant off Bumrah but was trapped lbw on the back leg by a stunning googly from Kuldeep. Towhid Hridoy was next to fall as Kuldeep got a leg-break delivery to turn in slightly and go past the attempted slog-sweep to trap him plumb lbw.

Though Najmul Hassan Shanto and Shakib Al Hasan hit some boundaries, Kuldeep took out the latter by forcing him to mistime a loft to cover. More success followed India as Bumrah deceived Shanto with an off-cutter sliced to short third man, followed by Arshdeep bowling a similar delivery to take out Jaker Ali.

Rishad Hossain impressed onlookers with his hitting abilities by smashing a four and three sixes, before giving a top edge on pull to extra cover off Bumrah, who finished with an economy rate of just 3.2 in another comprehensive win for India.

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Brief scores:

India 196/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 50 not out, Virat Kohli 37; Tanzim Hasan Sakib 2-32, Rishad Hossain 2-43) beat Bangladesh 146/8 in 20 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 40, Tanzid Hasan 29; Kuldeep Yadav 3-19, Jasprit Bumrah 2-13) by 50 runs

–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Keshav Maharaj credits 'small moments' behind unbeaten campaign

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Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 22 (IANS) South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj feels that the team has found ways to win “small moments” in the game that has helped them to stay unbeaten in the T20 World Cup so far. South Africa are cruising in the showpiece tournament with a six-match winning streak. Proteas have kept calm during the crunch situations and prevailed over their opponents in four close matches including the one-run win over Nepal in the group stage.

“If you look at previous World Cups, the small moments, we haven’t really won. It’s good to see that all the games have come really close and we’ve found a way, so it’s building the character within the team. And it prepares us for certain opportunities that we could get and cross over the line in those small moments, [these] are things that we’ve never done before. So, it’s good to see us getting into that,” Maharaj said.

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The left-arm spinner went on to say that South Africa have made every effort to get past the “hurt” caused by the 2023 ODI World Cup semi-final exit in India.

“This team believes that we can be really great as a unit. Obviously, with the last World Cup, bowing out in the semi-finals, it’s both the character and there’s a lot of hurt. So, we just take it one game at a time and focus on trying to get the results to go our way and not looking at the negatives, just trying to highlight the positives as much as possible,” Maharaj said.

South Africa’s next match against West Indies in Antigua on Sunday will feature a showdown between the teams’ left-arm spinners. South Africa boasts Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi while West Indies relies on Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, who have been their standout bowlers in the tournament with Hosein claiming nine wickets and Motie eight in six matches.

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Maharaj acknowledged the spin battle, stating, “It’s always a battle of the spinners. I’m just going about my business. They’ve bowled exceptionally well in the tournament. I’ve watched quite a few spells of them, so obviously they’re quite a dominant force as well. They [West Indies] have got a very strong batting line-up, but [I will] just try to stick true to my processes and my principles.”

“It’s more a case of focusing on each and every game, not getting too ahead of ourselves. We’ve been very focused on our processes and trying to win each and every game and letting the rest take care of itself,” he added.

–IANS

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