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IND v SA: Foolish to change batting approach after Visakhapatnam loss, says Bavuma



After emphatic wins in New Delhi and Cuttack, South Africa had to face a 48-run loss to India in the third T20I at Visakhapatnam.

Set 180 to win on a pitch which had something for the slower bowlers, South Africa had a slow start as they could manage only 38/2 in power-play.

With skipper Rishabh Pant introducing the spinners early and giving all his five bowlers an over in power-play, South Africa never looked settled in pursuit of 180. Yuzvendra Chahal (3/20), Harshal Patel (4/25) and Axar Patel (1/28) halted their chase in the middle overs, eventually bowling out the visitors for just 131 in 19.1 overs.

But skipper Temba Bavuma feels that the Proteas won’t change their batting approach after suffering just the first loss of the ongoing five-match series.

“First two overs we always have a look and then we try to get some momentum going into the innings and set it up for our big power players. That is a strategy that has worked for us and I would be a bit foolish to change our approach after just one loss,” said Bavuma after the match.

Bavuma further appreciated the Indian spin duo of Chahal and Axar for applying the brakes on South Africa’s chase and making use of the slowness in the pitch. “I think their spinners put us under pressure and we were not able to absorb and put back the pressure as we did in the first two games. The conditions suited their spinners and the pacers who took the pace off. Kudos to their spinners for exploiting the conditions to their favour.”

Bavuma admitted that introducing the spinners early in the innings was a trick he missed, which Rishabh Pant didn’t let go of. “They bowled quite well, their captain got their spinners early into the game which I think made a big difference versus us. Our spinners came later on and that is a trick we missed out there on the field. With the batting, we were not able to get any partnership going, or any momentum going. In the first two games, we batted really well but today it was an off day for the batters.”

Ahead of the start of the series, Bavuma had asserted that solidity of the top-order was something he had aimed to achieve. But with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock recovering from injury and Bavuma as well as Reeza Hendricks taking time to get going, that solidity has been missing from the top-order when middle-order doesn’t step up to the occasion, something which happened with the Proteas at Visakhapatnam.

“Look, Quinton is a big player at the top of the order but unfortunately we don’t have him at our disposal, he is injured. We have got Reeza (Hendricks) as a backup option. He is getting opportunities and we have full faith in backing Reeza. That’s squad we have built over the last one-two years. When a team loses, there are many areas that we can point out.”

“Like I said at the start of the innings, we are looking to get stability at the top. But with Quinton not available, we are not able to get that stability. I am a guy who partners up with Quinton at the top. I think the guys understand my role within the team.”

“There are a lot of powerful players and players play around me. They need someone to keep tight at the other end, which is my role. That is not going to change, I feel it has been successful for us and we will get going with it,” concluded Bavuma.


‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League




Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.

Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.

In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:

“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”

Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:

Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:

“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”

With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.

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




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




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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