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Determined Gujarat Titans beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets to win maiden IPL title

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A determined Gujarat Titans made their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) season an unforgettable one by lifting the 2022 title with a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in front of a roaring home crowd of 1,04,859 at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.

By finishing off a chase of 131 with 11 balls remaining and defeating Rajasthan for the third time in IPL 2022 after losing the toss, Gujarat have capped off a season where they exceeded everyone’s pre-tournament expectations to become champions in their debut season of the competition.

Chasing 131 wasn’t going to be easy for Gujarat on a slow, dry pitch with variable bounce, where Hardik Pandya had taken a fantastic 3/17 in the first innings. But with a below-par total to chase down, Gujarat paced their chase in a clinical manner to clinch the trophy.

Wriddhiman Saha was clean bowled by a quick inswinger from Prasidh Krishna while Matthew Wade flicked straight to mid-wicket off Trent Boult. After Gujarat could amass just 31/2 from power-play, Rajasthan’s bowling continued to be incisive from both ends as Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya struggled to break free despite some boundaries here and there.

Gill, who was dropped on fourth ball of the innings, earned another reprieve in the eighth over when a hoick down the pitch wasn’t caught by a diving extra cover. But the introduction of Ravichandran Ashwin brought Pandya the chance to find his groove, taking the off-spinner for a four with a thick outer edge past the keeper and followed it up with a six over wide long-on.

The 63-run stand off 53 balls between Pandya and Gill ended when Yuzvendra Chahal took out the former with the one turning away and taking the outer edge, giving a catch to slip. It seemed like Pandya’s dismissal would leave Gujarat in a spot of bother.

David Miller, one of their key players in the season, began by driving Obed McCoy through extra cover for a boundary and then dispatched an overpitched ball from Ashwin over long-on to make the equation 22 runs off the last four overs.

The left-hander took two boundaries off Krishna’s final over, a pull swivelled over fine leg followed by a thick edge through third man. Gill finished off the innings in style with a swivelled six off McCoy over deep square leg to make Gujarat IPL 2022 champions.

Earlier, Pandya recorded his best IPL bowling figures to restrict Rajasthan to a low total in the title clash. With the crowd firmly behind him, Pandya took out Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler and Shimron Hetmyer in a tight bowling display by the bowling unit.

Yashasvi Jaiswal began by playing seven dots before clearing Mohammed Shami over mid-off for a boundary, followed by an emphatic lofted drive over cover for six. He went on to hook Yash Dayal for a six over long leg, but the left-arm pacer struck on the very next ball, cramping the left-hander for room and miscuing the pull to deep square leg.

Despite the Jaiswal blitz, Gujarat kept Rajasthan on a tight leash in power-play, with Lockie Ferguson bowling the fastest ball of the tournament with a wide yorker going past a circumspect Buttler’s bat. After Rashid Khan didn’t leak any boundary in his first two overs, including getting turn from his googly, Buttler made full use of the width from Ferguson to smash back-to-back boundaries.

Samson tried to up the ante but miscued the pull off the outer edge to backward point off Pandya. He was nailing his hard lengths against Devdutt Padikkal, which eventually forced the left-hander to end his misery by cutting to short third man off Khan. Pandya’s seam up delivery on back of the length worked again when Buttler nicked behind to Saha.

Hetmyer carted Pandya for boundaries through off-side in the 15th over. But the Gujarat skipper had the last laugh when the left-hander defended too early on a back of the length ball and popped a simple return catch back to the bowler, effectively breaking the back of Rajasthan’s innings.

With R Sai Kishore taking out Ravichandran Ashwin and Trent Boult, Riyan Parag and Obed McCoy produced a boundary each to take Rajasthan to 130 before being dismissed in the final over, paving the way for Gujarat to take the trophy.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 130/9 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 39, Yashasvi Jaiswal 22; Hardik Pandya 3/17, R Sai Kishore 2/20) lost to Gujarat Titans 133/3 in 18.1 overs (Shubman Gill 45 not out, Hardik Pandya 34; Trent Boult 1/14, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/20) by seven wickets

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Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier

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Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.

PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.

Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Messi’s envious record

In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.

The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.

No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.

“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.

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Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram

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In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.

Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.

Striking gold, but in a different arena

  • The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
  • The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
  • His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.

Competitive or short tempered?

  • The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
  • On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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Al Hilal swoop in with bumper €400 million per year salary deal amid reports of Lionel Messi leaving PSG

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Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi is reportedly planning to cut short his time at FC Barcelona and eventually join Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. This comes after Messi was suspended for two weeks for travelling to the Kingdom without PSG’s Qatari owners’ permission.

End of Project Messi

Messi had hoped to stay at PSG beyond the end of the current season. However, with recent events, the situation has changed drastically. Given his incredible record with FC Barcelona and PSG, Messi’s potential move to Al-Hilal would undoubtedly shake the football world.

While Messi’s priority remains to play in Europe, transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano reported that Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal has offered the Argentine superstar a bumper contract with a record-breaking salary worth €400 million per year. The potential deal will lead to Messi surpassing his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns €223 million per year at Al Nassr.

Hindrance to Messi’s Barcelona return

There is strong speculation that Messi may return to his former club, FC Barcelona. However, the club is facing difficulties in shedding the €200 million ($220 million) required from their wage bill to make the deal viable. Despite this challenge, Barcelona is trying to convince La Liga that they have a workable plan to make the numbers work for a potential deal with Messi.

Consequences of Messi’s Suspension

Messi’s suspension was imposed because he went to fulfill his duties as a tourism ambassador. The Argentine will also be docked two weeks’ pay, which Forbes’ recently-published list of the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2023 estimated to be around $2.5 million. As a result, Messi will miss games against Troyes and Ajaccio.

In addition, PSG has reportedly cancelled a contract renewal offer to Messi, whose current agreement at the Parc des Princes expires on June 30. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be free to negotiate with other clubs starting in January 2023.

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