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Wednesday,08-December-2021

International

IPL 2021: Kishan, Yadav shine as Mumbai bow out with a 42-run win over SRH

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 Mumbai Indians needed a lot of things to go their way in their final league match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Winning the toss and posting a big total, Mumbai were on track to do the unthinkable. But with Sunrisers Hyderabad making 70/1 in power-play meant that Mumbai missed the bus for the playoffs. But that didnt stop the defending champions from defeating the wooden spooners by 42 runs and bow out of IPL 2021 with a win at Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Friday.

Chasing a mammoth 235, Hyderabad raced to 70/1 in power-play with Jason Roy crunching six boundaries before falling to Trent Boult. In the next over, Abhishek Sharma made 33 off just 16 balls before holing out to deep mid-wicket off James Neesham. Manish Pandey, on his IPL captaincy debut, started off by slamming Krunal Pandya for two boundaries in the seventh over.

But Mumbai continued to make strikes with the ball as Piyush Chawla took out Mohammad Nabi with a googly in the next over. Abdul Samad fell cheaply in the ninth over, holing out to long-on off James Neesham. Pandey stitched a partnership of 56 runs with Priyam Garg before Bumrah took out Garg with a slower delivery in the 16th over.

Though Pandey notched up his half-century, Jason Holder holed out to long-on off Coulter-Nile in the next over. With Rashid Khan and Wriddhiman Saha falling cheaply, Hyd’rabad’s chase was as good as over. Pandey continued to be the lone ranger in a match whose fate was sealed in the first innings.

Earlier, opting to bat first, Mumbai came out all guns blazing, reaching their half-century in 3.4 overs followed by touching the hundred run-mark in 7.1 overs. Ishan Kishan made his intentions clear by slamming a six off Mohammad Nabi off the second ball of the innings. That set the ball rolling for Ishan Kishan as he hit four fours in as many balls against Siddarth Kaul while taking 18 runs in the second over.

Be it Mohammad Nabi, Jason Holder, or Umran Malik, all got some severe thrashing from Kishan. The’youngster’s fireworks continued as he raced to his second consecutive half-century in just 16 balls, the fastest fifty of the tournament. The blazing opening partnership of 80 runs was broken by Rashid Khan in the final over of power-play as Sharma top-edged a pull to a tumbling square leg.

After power-play ended at 83/1, Kishan continued with the carnage, hitting a four and six off Malik followed by slog-sweeping Rashid Khan in the next over. Hyderabad enforced a slowdown in the middle overs as Hardik Pandya holed out off Holder in the ninth over. In the next over, Malik put an e’d to Kishan’s astonishing knock, which looked like a video game panning out in real, nicking behind to the keeper. Three overs later, Abhishek Sharma picked wickets off successive deliveries as Kieron Pollard picked out the fielder in ‘etween the ‘V’, followed by James Neesham spooning a catch to cover.

In between, Yadav slammed boundaries all over the ground at will and with panache despite losing batters from the other end. Yadav reached his fifty with a loft straight down the ground off Kaul. He went on to slam boundaries against Kaul and Holder followed by a hat-trick of fours off Malik in the 19th over. Holder took out Piyush Chawla and Yadav in the final over to concede just five runs but the match by then had gone be’ond Hyderabad’s reach.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 235/9 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 84, Suryakumar Yadav 82, Jason Holder 4/52, Abhishek Sharma 2/4) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 193/8 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 69 not out, Jason Roy 34, James Neesham 2/28, Jasprit Bumrah 2/39) by 42 runs

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Djokovic confirmed for ATP Cup; drops hint he will compete at Australian Open

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Serbia’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has confirmed himself for January’s ATP Cup tournament in Sydney, dropping a hint that he could compete in the season-opening major, the Australian Open, commencing on January 17.

Djokovic — who finished year-end world No. 1 for the record-breaking seventh time, moving ahead of his idol, American legend Pete Sampras (six years) — has perhaps given the clearest hint that he will be there in Melbourne to defend his Australian Open title in January.

A total of 16 countries will compete in the third edition of the ATP Cup beginning January 1, 2022, with four groups announced at the official tournament draw on Tuesday, according to sen.com.au.

“18 of the top 20 tennis players in the world will feature in the tournament set to run from January 1-9 as the main ATP precursor to the Australian Open.”

Djokovic has so far kept the Australian Open organisers and his fans guessing about his Covid-19 vaccination status, adding to the uncertainty over whether he will compete in the major.

Djokovic’s father Srdjan recently said that Novak “probably won’t” play the Australian Open as the tournament organisers’ decision to not allow unvaccinated players — or players who don’t share their Covid-19 vaccination status — amounts to “blackmail”.

The Australian Open director Craig Tiley has stated that only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to compete in the tournament. Djokovic, the nine-time and defending Australian Open champion, has refused to divulge his vaccination status, or whether he intends to get vaccinated before the event.

Djokovic celebrated his 350th week atop the ATP Rankings on Tuesday, extending his record for the most weeks in the top spot, even as the Serbian set sights on Germany’s women’s tennis great Steffi Graf’s record of 377 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings.

Among the other top players who have confirmed their participation in the ATP Cup for their respective countries are, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.

The event will see four winning countries advance to the semifinals following the group stage.

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Anderson’s omission will cost England dear: Aussie opener Warner

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Australian opener David Warner has said that James Anderson’s omission from the England side for the opening Ashes Test at The Gabba, which began on Wednesday, will cost the tourists dear as the veteran pacer’s “line, length and control is always outstanding”.

Anderson was not included in the tourist’s 12-member squad on Tuesday as the England team management felt the workload of five Ashes Tests would be a bit too much for the 39-year-old.

There were speculations that Anderson was carrying an injury but an England spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday, that it wasn’t the case. Rather, the decision to leave out Anderson had to do with managing his workload in the high-octane series.

Warner felt that Anderson’s omission for the Brisbane Test could be a huge bonus for Australia.

“Having Jimmy out is a big thing for us,” Warner said on SEN 1170 Breakfast ahead of the start of the Test. “It’s not just his wicket-taking ability, but his line, length and control is always outstanding. As a batsman you can never get on top of him, so having him out is big.”

Warner, however, felt that Anderson’s replacement, Chris Woakes, would also be a potential threat to Australian batters.

“Someone like Chris Woakes could come in for him and he’s just as good as a bowler. He doesn’t have the wickets on the board but he’s a phenomenal bowler and he always hits those line and lengths. So, they do have good replacements for him.”

England were dismissed for 147 in 50.1 overs with Australia skipper Pat Cummins taking a five-for on the opening day of the Test.

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UEFA Champions League: Leipzig clinch 2-1 win over Manchester City

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Leipzig sealed the third place in Group A and booked its berth for the Europa League after goals from Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva helped the ‘Red Bulls’ edge Manchester City 2-1 in the final round of the Champions League’s group stage.

Both sides staged well-positioned defences from the kick-off hence goal-scoring opportunities were at a premium in the opening period on Tuesday night.

Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer and City’s Kevin De Bruyne produced the first half-chances before Jack Grealish pulled wide from a promising position to waste a good chance for the visitors in the 22nd minute.

The hosts showed a clinical chance conversion at the other end of the green, as Laimer’s perfectly-timed through ball was sent to Szoboszlai, who rounded goalkeeper Zackary Steffen before finishing the job into the empty goal with 24 minutes played, Xinhua reports. Leipzig almost doubled its advantage two minutes later, but Steffen was on guard and defused Emil Forsberg’s dangerous effort from 12 meters.

The hosts continued on the front foot and should have extended the lead, but Steffen was equal to Silva’s header in the 39th minute.

Manchester City sparked to life before the half time as Peter Gulacsi had to tip Phil Foden’s hammer to the post before the Leipzig goalkeeper neutralised De Bruyne’s free kick in the closing stages of the first half.

After the restart, City assumed control and dominated possession but for all that the visitors couldn’t do damage to Leipzig’s bulwark.

To make things worse for the visitors, Leipzig doubled its advantage against the flow of the game as Silva benefitted on a counterattack via Forsberg to beat Steffen with a well-placed low shot in the 71st minute.

It was a short-lived joy for the hosts though as the ‘Sky Blues’ halved the deficit after Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross fed Riyad Mahrez, whose diving header caught Gulacsi on the wrong foot in the 77th minute.

City’s comeback hopes suffered a heavy setback in the 83rd minute when Kyle Walker was sent off with a straight red card following a rude foul play on Silva.

The visitors pushed forward despite their numerical disadvantage, but Leipzig’s defence stood firm and secured all three points on home soil.

With the result, Manchester City top Group A with 12 points whereas Leipzig finish on the third spot to continue in the Europa League.

Dortmund crush Besiktas 5-0

A brace each by Marco Reus and Erling Haaland smoothed the way for Borussia Dortmund’s 5-0 victory over Besiktas at the last round of Champions League’s group stage on Tuesday. The “BVB” took the reins from the starting whistle and pressed Besiktas on the back foot.

Dortmund still needed some time to produce goal-scoring opportunities and had to wait until the 17th minute before Jude Bellingham pulled over the target from a promising position.

Besiktas posed no threat and failed to combine its ways through Dortmund’s well-positioned defence.

The hosts eventually broke the deadlock at the half hour mark when Bellingham had a lot of space following a counterattack and teed up for Donyell Malen, who slotted the ball past Besiktas goalie Ersin Destanoglu.

The visitors from Turkey had to swallow two more setbacks before the break as Welinton felled Mahmoud Dahoud inside the box. The defender received his marching orders and caused a penalty.

Reus stepped up and made no mistake to double the advantage from the spot.

Dortmund dominated the one-sided affair and made it three with eight minutes into the second half when Reus danced through Besiktas box before finishing off into the bottom left corner.

Haaland came in for Reus at the hour mark but didn’t need long to get his name on the scoreboards as the Norway international made it 4-0 after nodding home Nico Schulz pinpoint cross into the box in the 68th minute.

Haaland gained momentum and wasn’t done with the scoring as he wrapped up his brace after heading home Dahoud’s corner kick in the 81st minute.

Dortmund’s prolific striker had even the chance to clinch a hat trick but for all that Haaland couldn’t turn his two presentable chances into a tangible reward in the closing stages.

With the result, third-placed Borussia Dortmund will continue to play in the Europa League meanwhile Besiktas end its Champions League season on fourth place in Group C.

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