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How Gujarat Titans choked Chennai Super Kings run flow in the slog overs



 Chennai Super Kings were cruising along at 109 for 2 after 15 overs in the game against Gujarat Titans, and looking to unleash their batting might in the slog over at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. But just then the Hardik Pandya-led side applied the skids on Mahandra Singh Dhoni’s side, choking them and restricting the four-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions to just 133 runs.

Even though CSK are out of reckoning for a playoffs berth, they were looking to make a match out of it by scoring at a fast clip and set a target in the vicinity of 165-170. But meticulous bowling plans and clinical execution — with GT bowlers not conceding a single boundary in the last five overs — resulted in CSK returning another poor score.

With Ruturaj Gaikwad batting on 51 (45 balls), and Dhoni and Shivam Dube waiting to bat, it caught the CSK fans by surprise that their team couldn’t hit a single boundary in the last five overs, with only 24 runs scored and three wickets lost.

Call it the death-overs master-class by the newbies or their perfect execution, it rendered CSK batters toothless on Sunday.

“Our bowling plans have been really specific,” said Gary Kirsten, Gujarat Titans’ batting coach-cum-mentor.

“Ashish (Nehra), I think, has done a great job in making sure he’s put together a really strong bowling unit, with good experience in it. But also Yash Dayal is an incredibly talented young player, and I think to have a left-armer in your bowling attack that can bowl across the 20 overs, is really, really important,” opined the former South African opener, who was also in contention for the England Test coaching job before the role went to KKR head coach Brendon McCullum.

“So this was a great opportunity for us to use him (Dayal) in the 19th over, where there is a little bit of pressure. He’s done it before for us in the tournament. It was a long boundary on one side of the field so he could take advantage of that. And he bowled a great over, went for eight. So that’s real confidence for him.”

It was then left to India pace bowling stalwart Mohd Shami to finish things off. He had already started brilliantly in powerplay, and needed to ensure there was no last-over surge by CSK. And he did the job to perfection.

The only blemish in Gujarat’s bowling on Sunday was when spinner Rashid Khan came in to bowl the final powerplay over and was clouted for two sixes. But despite the 17-run over, skipper Pandya didn’t lose faith in his slow bowler, who bowled two out of the last five overs — the 16th and 18th. He conceded a total of seven runs in those two overs and also took a wicket, while West Indian pacer Alzarri Joseph was brought in to bowl the 17th over. Joseph bounced out Shivam Dube, and allowed only two scoring shots, for a single and a two.


England beat Germany after extra time to win UEFA women’s Euro




England beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in a packed Wembley Stadium in London, bringing home the trophy of the UEFA women’s Euro for the first time.

Germany suffered a heavy blow minutes ahead of the final on Sunday evening as their captain Alex Popp had to pull out after picking up an injury during the warm-up.

The 31-year-old forward had scored in all five previous matches in this tournament and scored twice in Germany’s 2-1 win against France in Wednesday’s semifinal, reports Xinhua. England, reaching the Euro’s final for the third time, couldn’t break the deadlock until Ella Toone came off the bench to score the opener in the 62nd minute.

But midfielder Lina Magull helped Germany equalise in the 79th minute.

The 1-1 scoreline was held until the 110th minute while substitute Chloe Kelly prodded in her first goal for the England team.

“What we’ve done is incredible. I knew we had England behind us- we saw that coming to the stadium,” said England head coach Sarina Wiegman in front of 87,192 fans in Wembley.

“But the whole tournament we’ve had so much support from our fans. I’m so proud of the team.”

The 52-year-old Dutchwoman, who also guided the Netherlands to win the women’s Euro trophy in 2017, is the first coach to lead two different teams to the title.

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Ravi Shastri calls for reduction in number of T20Is played to counter scheduling issues




Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has called for a reduction in the number of T20Is played to counter the raging issue of scheduling in international cricket. The month of July 2022 has seen the issue of hectic scheduling in cricket and prioritisation of franchise T20 leagues being reignited.

South Africa chose to pull out of a three-match ODI series against Australia in January 2023 to ensure their players would be available for the upcoming new domestic T20 competition in the country.

Earlier this week, England’s Test skipper and all-rounder Ben Stokes announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the first match against South Africa at the age of 31, citing the “unsustainable” workload by playing in all three formats.

With speculations coming that the upcoming Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the 2023-27 cycle will have more of T20I action, Shastri, currently in United Kingdom as a member of the Sky Sports commentary team, feels that bilateral T20Is should be reduced by a huge amount to free up the hectic international calendar.

“I would be a little careful of the number of bilateral splits, especially in T20 cricket. There’s a lot of franchise cricket which can be encouraged, whichever country it’s in – India, West Indies, or Pakistan. You play less bilaterals and then you get together for the World Cups. So, the emphasis on ICC World Cup events becomes paramount. Then people look forward to them,” said Shastri in an episode of the Vaughany and Tuffers podcast.

Shastri, a former India all-rounder and member of the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning team, further asked for creation of two divisions in Test cricket in a bid to safeguard the future of the longest format of the game.

“I think two tiers are needed, otherwise Test cricket will die in 10 years time. You need six teams at the top, and then six teams in the second and then you qualify. And those top six play against each other more often because of the corridor you open up by having less bilateral T20 cricket and just franchise cricket. That’s the way all formats of the game can survive.”

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Pakistan Cricket Board wants ICC to form strategy on growth of franchise T20 leagues




Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday that it has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form a strategy on controlling the growth of lucrative franchise T20 leagues with rising concerns about its impact on the international cricket calendar.

Earlier this week, South Africa pulled out of a three-match bilateral ODI against Australia in January as it clashes with their new domestic T20 competition, the third time they will be attempting to have a successful franchise T20 League.

The next cycle of the Future Tours Programme (FTP), for 2024-31, which shows the schedule of teams playing bilateral series against each other and at what venues, is set to be confirmed in the upcoming week during the annual conference of the ICC at Birmingham.

“Growth of franchise cricket is impacting the already crammed international cricket calendar. The PCB is concerned about this development and wants the ICC to formulate a strategy on this issue,” said PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain in a statement.

“We have sent a proposal to the ICC, which they have added to their meeting agenda. Two other boards have also conveyed their apprehensions to the ICC on this matter and urged the ICC to create a working group to debate on the expansion of franchise-based T20 leagues,” added Hasnain.

Talking about the confirmation of the FTP, in the context of Pakistan recently starting to host international cricket at home, Hasnain remarked, “Finalising the Future Tours Programme (FTP) is very important for us.

“This will give us certainty about which teams will be visiting us and which countries we will be touring. 80 per cent of the FTP has already been agreed upon and the remaining 20 per cent will be completed in the upcoming meeting.”

The upcoming ICC Annual Conference in Birmingham also marks the first time the meeting will happen after a Covid-19 pandemic caused a stoppage. “The annual conference presents a unique opportunity for networking with representatives of the world cricket.

“We are planning several initiatives that involve fellow members and meetings have already been set up on the sidelines with other boards to collectively enhance our common interest,” concluded Hasnain.

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