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IND v SA: Played my game as ball was coming on to the bat really well, says Gaikwad

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After scores of 23 and 1 in the first two T20Is against South Africa, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad bounced back in the third match at Visakhapatnam, top-scoring with 57 off 35 deliveries. Gaikwad’s stand of 97 with fellow opener Ishan Kishan set the base for India making 179/5, which proved enough for a 48-run win to keep themselves alive in the five-match series.

Gaikwad had got India off to a flier when he hammered Anrich Nortje for 20 runs in the fifth over of the innings, thanks to four boundaries sandwiched on either side of him being hit on helmet grille to escape an unplayable short ball from the tearaway quick.

He revealed that with the ball coming nicely on the bat helped him play his shots very well.

“Coming into the series, the first two wickets I felt were slightly on the tacky side. It was stopping a bit batting first in the last two games but here the wicket was good, ball was coming into the bat, so I played my game. I changed nothing, my thought process, everything was the same,” said Gaikwad after the match.

Asked if there were some nerves due to not making his chances count in the last two matches, Gaikwad remarked, “Not really on the edge. It is just part and parcel of the sport. Last year I had a really good year, so people come with a lot of expectations when you have a great year even in IPL and domestic. In the IPL, the wicket was slightly bowler-friendly. There were no flat wickets, it was two-paced, the ball was turning, and there was some swing.

“So, three-four games in IPL, I got out to good balls, where in some dismissals, some good shots went to the fielder’s hand, it is just especially part of T20 cricket. You will have off days, weeks, months or year, and really bad days. It is a matter of staying consistent mentally, trusting your process.”

In all three matches, India’s batting template has been about going for the big hits consistently, yielding scores of 211, 148 and 179. Despite the losses in first two matches, India were unfazed about moving away from the template set for this series in absence of many regulars.

“The conversation was about staying positive. We played really well in both the games. There were just some crunch moments where they played really well and overtook us. They made sure they won those moments against us. So, it was just that they batted really well in both games, but they had a batting collapse.

“Coming here, we just wanted to stick to what we did in the last two games and look to improve as a team and group. Bowling-wise, we were slightly more aware of the game, there was more awareness in this game and that worked well for us,” elaborated Gaikwad.

Gaikwad, 25, felt that India’s aggressive intent with the bat and going relentlessly after the bowlers works in different ways for batters in the side.

“Going after (the bowlers) is not about being reckless or playing rash shots out of nowhere. I think we as a batting unit have certain amounts of strength, certain shots we play as individuals. It is just about backing ourselves and putting pressure on the bowlers. That is what the team was going after: putting pressure on the bowlers.

“Just making sure that you are showing the intent, no matter if you are playing first ball or second ball, or you are set. Even if you are batting at 30-40, just need to keep going. If it is there in your area, in your strength, just have to go for it, that is what the thinking is about.”

International

₹136 Crore Per Year To Luxury Suite At Training Ground: All About Kylian Mbappe’s Bumper Deal At Real Madrid

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In a move that has captivated football enthusiasts worldwide, Kylian Mbappe has officially transferred from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid as of Tuesday.

This long-anticipated switch concludes months of speculation and excitement among fans.

Real Madrid’s Exciting Acquisition

Real Madrid announced on Monday that they had secured a deal with the French superstar for the next five seasons, merging one of football’s brightest talents with its most illustrious club.

This deal follows years of interest from Madrid, eager to bring in the player seen as the heir to Lionel Messi’s throne in the sport.

Financial Details of Mbappe’s Move

The 25-year-old Parisian will reportedly earn 15 million Euros net per season at Real Madrid, translating to over ₹136 crores annually. This figure breaks down to an impressive ₹2.6 crore per week.

While this is a significant reduction from the €75 million net per year he received at PSG, the shortfall will be offset by a massive signing bonus. The bonus, around €150 million, will be disbursed over the course of his contract.

Perks and Anticipated Debuts

Aside from his substantial salary, Mbappe will enjoy a private luxury suite at Real Madrid’s training facility and will sport the iconic No.9 jersey, previously worn by legendary striker Karim Benzema.

His anticipated debut for Real Madrid will occur during the preseason, with their first friendly against AC Milan at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 31.

His competitive debut is expected in the UEFA Super Cup, where Real Madrid will take on Europa League winners Atalanta in Warsaw, Poland, on August 14.

Mbappe’s Stellar PSG Legacy

Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco in 2017 for €180 million and has since become the club’s all-time leading scorer.

Throughout his seven-year tenure in Paris, he consistently demonstrated his scoring prowess, netting at least 30 goals in six of those seasons. His move to Real Madrid marks the next chapter in an already illustrious career, as he aims to further his legacy at one of the world’s most storied football clubs.

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ENG vs ESP, Euro 2024 Final: Spain Become The 1st Four-Time Champions Of Europe After Beating England 2-1 In Berlin

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Match Result:

Spain triumphed over England with a 2-1 victory in the Euro 2024 final, held in Berlin, becoming the first team to win the championship four times.

The match saw a tense first half ending goalless, but Spain took the lead shortly after the break. Williams Jr. netted the opener in the 47th minute, capitalizing on a defensive lapse by England.

England fought back, with Palmer leveling the score in the 73rd minute, igniting hopes for the Three Lions. However, Spain maintained their pressure, and in the 86th minute, Oyarzabal clinched the winner with a decisive strike.

This historic win cements Spain’s status as Europe’s most successful team, while England’s wait for a major international trophy continues. The final was a showcase of high-quality football and strategic mastery, ultimately seeing Spain emerge as deserved champions.

This historic win cements Spain’s status as Europe’s most successful team, while England’s wait for a major international trophy continues. The final was a showcase of high-quality football and strategic mastery, ultimately seeing Spain emerge as deserved champions.

Preview of Euro 2024 Cup final:

A strong Spanish outfit will meet a pesky England side in the final of Euro 2024 final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Spain battled France and defeated them by 2-1 in the semi-final, while England overcame the Netherlands by the same margin.

However, it wasn’t without a contentious penalty call that went in England’s favour. Despite not starting the contest as favourites, England’s ability to hang in there could work against Spain, who are seeking a 4th Euro title. By contrast, England are yet to lift the trophy.

A crucial stat which is in favour of England is the head to head battle, which the former lead by 13-10 against Spain in 27 outings.

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International

Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.

With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.

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