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IPL 2021: All-round Bangalore cruise to seven-wicket win over Rajasthan

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An all-round performance by Royal Challengers Bangalore helped them cruise to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in Match 43 of IPL 2021 at Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday. Chasing a modest score of 150, Bangalore hunted down the target with 17 balls to spare. The win now strengthens Bangalore’s chances of making it to the playoffs.

Bangalore were off to a flying start as Virat Kohli slammed Chris Morris for three boundaries in the opening over. Devdutt Padikkal crunched Kartik Tyagi for two boundaries in the second over before slamming Mustafizur Rahman for a brace of boundaries in the next over.

Bangalore were 48 for no loss in five overs before Padikkal, dropped at six, swung across the line, only for Rahman to disturb the stumps. In the next over, Kohli tried to sneak a run on a misfield by Riyan Parag at backward point. But a direct hit from Parag caught Kohli short of the crease at non-striker’s end.

KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell stitched a stand of 69 runs for the third wicket. The duo smashed boundaries while rotating the strike, which kept the asking rate under check. Bharat was more impressive of the two, slog-sweeping Chris Morris for a big six before playing a gentle reverse sweep off Rahul Tewatia.

Rahman broke the partnership in the 16th over as Bharat pulled to fine leg. After Bharat’s dismissal, Maxwell whipped Morris for a six over mid-wicket followed by three fours, the last of which brought up his fifty in 30 balls. AB de Villiers finished off the chase with a sweep through square leg off Parag to seal an easy win.

Earlier, Rajasthan suffered a spectacular batting meltdown to end at a below-par score of 149/9 in 20 overs. From 100/1 in eleven overs, they lost next eight wickets for 49 runs in the last nine overs to squander hopes of a big total.

Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal slammed seven boundaries between each other to take Rajasthan to 56/0 in power-play. Five of those boundaries belonged to Lewis, who was the more aggressive of the two.

Lewis smacked debutant George Garton for two pulled sixes on either side of a cut through backward point in the fourth over. Lewis picked Harshal Patel for a four and six in the fifth over to bring the half-century of the partnership.

Post power-play, Jaiswal went after Dan Christian, slamming him for two fours in the seventh over. Jaiswal started the ninth over by whacking Christian for a six over extra cover. But the all-rounder had the last laugh as Jaiswal mistimed to mid-off on the next ball, ending the opening stand at 77.

Lewis reached his half-century in 31 balls with a pull through square leg. Garton had his first wicket of the IPL in the 12th over with Lewis top-edging a pull to keeper KS Bharat. Mahipal Lomror’s promotion to four ended cheaply with Yuzvendra Chahal getting him stumped.

Wickets continued to tumble for Rajasthan as Samson holed to deep cover off Shahbaz Ahmed. Five balls later, Ahmed had his second wicket of the over as Rahul Tewatia top-edged a sweep to deep backward square leg.
Chahal has his second wicket of the match as Liam Livingstone holed out to long-on in the 17th over. Patel came back in the final over to take out Riyan Parag and Chris Morris on consecutive deliveries before dismissing Chetan Sakariya on the final ball to complete a Rajasthan implosion.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 149/9 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 58, Yashasvi Jaiswal 31, Harshal Patel 3/34, Shahbaz Ahmed 2/10) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 153/3 in 17.1 overs (Glenn Maxwell 50 not out, KS Bharat 44, Mustafizur Rahman 2/20) by seven wickets.

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In victory, Pep concedes the amount of pressure exerted by Liverpool

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola conceded the amount of pressure exerted by Liverpool on the team’s Premier League hopes, saying that he had never seen a more competitive side like Jurgen Klopp’s team in his life, and that four PL titles in five years “is probably the best achievements we have done in our careers”.

Ilkay Gundogan contributed a brace as City staged another incredible final day fightback on Sunday, scoring three goals in five second-half minutes to dramatically beat Aston Villa 3-2 and retain the Premier League title at Etihad.

City beat Liverpool to the title by just one point — Guardiola’s side had 93 points, while Liverpool had 92.

Describing the immense pressure put by Liverpool during the season, Guardiola said post-match that, “I’ve never seen a team like Liverpool in my life. I know it’s tough, but they helped us become a better team season by season.”

City now have six titles in the last 11 campaigns, with the bulk of the current squad having stuck together since Guardiola’s arrival in Manchester in 2016. The City manager insisted his players and coaches will never be forgotten.

“We are legends. When you win four in five then it’s because these guys are so special. We will be remembered. We won with 100 points, second one at Brighton, winning at home with our people is the best. Four Premier Leagues in five years is probably the best achievements we have done in our careers,” Guardiola told mancity.com.

Guardiola was in praise of his players after they rallied from 0-2 deficit to seal the win and the title.

“The last game is always special, a lot of emotions. The moment we scored the (winning) goal it changed everything. I told them it is normal, but you have to handle it. Oleks gave us a lot in the second half. We scored the goal and got the momentum and our fans did the rest.

“We want to win. I have the feeling that the rivals are tough and they will be more tough next season. Today I have no energy to think about next season. We are champions again! We will defend our crown again and again.”

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Archery World Cup: Indian men’s compound team cliches gold after beating France

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The Indian mens compound team of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini defeated France to win the gold medal at the Archery World Cup 2022 stage 2, here on Saturday.

India came back from behind to outscore the French team of Quentin Baraer, Jean Phillipe Boulch and Adrien Gontier 232-230 for the gold medal.

This was the Indian trio’s second straight World Cup gold after clinching the top spot in Stage 1 in Antalya, Turkey. Interestingly, France were on the losing side then as well.

Meanwhile, former Asian champion Abhishek Verma also won the compound mixed team bronze with Avneet Kaur. The Indian pair beat Turkey’s Emircan Haney and Ayse Suzer 156-155 in the third-place play-off.

India had the opportunity to add another gold to their tally but Mohan Bhardwaj fell short in the individual men’s compound final, going down to top seed Mike Schloesser. Mohan, who was 42nd after the qualification round, lost 141-149 in the decider.

The three medals on Saturday took India’s final tally at the stage 2 of the Archery World Cup 2022 to five.

Earlier, women’s compound team comprising Avneet Kaur, Muskan Kirar and Priya Gurjar and the women’s recurve team of Ridhi, Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat had won a bronze each.

However, India’s individual recurve archers failed to get on the podium. Jayanta Talukdar was the only one to reach the top eight in the men’s recurve.

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Thailand Open: P.V Sindhu loses to Chen Yu Fei in semi-finals

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Ace Indian shuttler P.V Sindhu crashed out of the Thailand Open 2022 after losing to Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Chen Yu Fei of China in the women’s singles semi-final, here on Saturday.

Double Olympic medallist Sindhu, who had defeated the world No 1 Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter-finals of the BWF Super 500 event on Friday, lost the final-four match 17-21, 16-21 at the Impact Arena. Heading into the match, the Indian had won six of the 10 head-to-head meetings against the Chinese shuttler.

The match got off to an edgy start with both players committing multiple unforced errors but it was Chen Yu Fei who recovered first and went on to take an 11-7 lead.

Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, tried to mount a comeback after the restart and even cut down the gap to 17-15 but the fourth-ranked Chinese player continued to trouble the Indian at the backcourt and sealed the first game.

Trying to draw back level, Sindhu raced off the blocks in the second game and took an 11-8 lead at the interval but Chen Yu Fei pegged the Indian back after the resumption of play and took a 15-12 lead of her own.

Former world champion Sindhu tried desperately to claw her way back into the match but the Chinese shuttler was clinical and wrapped the match up in 43 minutes. Chen Yu Fei will face either Tai Tzu Ying or Ratchanok Intanon in the final on Sunday.

Sindhu’s defeat brings to an end India’s campaign at the Thailand Open 2022. Saina Nehwal and H.S Prannoy crashed out from the earlier rounds while Kidambi Srikanth pulled out at the round of 16 stage.

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