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IPL 2022: Hadn’t anticipated that wicket would play so well, says Shreyas Iyer

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When broadcaster Simon Doull had asked Shreyas Iyer after the match about assessing the bowling performance of his team, he uttered the word ‘clueless’ about his team’s inability to stop Prithvi Shaw from putting an opening partnership of 93 runs with David Warner in 8.3 overs.

“I had said clueless as they got a really good start after the first over. We hadn’t anticipated that the wicket would play so well. The surface was very hard but if you see, Prithvi Shaw is a batter who can change the power-play. When he plays good shots on good balls, then I don’t know as a captain on what kind of a field could be set. That’s why I said it that way,” explained Iyer in a post-match virtual press conference.

Shaw had teared into Kolkata’s bowling attack by punching Umesh Yadav through extra cover for four from the first ball of the innings. The right-hander took a liking for Yadav, hitting him for three more boundaries despite being hit on helmet. Shaw then hammered a pull over deep mid-wicket off Pat Cummins to bring up Delhi’s fifty in just four overs.

Iyer introduced spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine in power-play. But they weren’t able to stop Warner and Shaw as boundaries continued to flow.

“It was definitely based on the start they got. Prithvi is someone who doesn’t go really big at the spinners as I have played with him before. Since he got a really good start, I wanted to restrict the momentum that he had created at the start. I felt that Varun and Sunil both are really experienced bowlers. So, I really thought we could restrict him at that point of time and give us a really good hold.”

Out of options, Iyer brought in Andre Russell and Venkatesh Iyer. But Shaw slammed Venkatesh for a four and six on both sides of the wicket to reach his fifty in 27 balls. Though Chakravarthy ended Shaw’s stay at 51 when he castled him through the gate with a googly, Delhi’s task to set the base for the 44-run win was already done.

Kolkata did pull back things by taking four wickets as Delhi were 176/5 in 18 overs, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel dished out a finishing onslaught to take 39 runs off the last two overs to carry Delhi to 215/5. With Umesh leaking 23 runs and Cummins going for 16 in the 19th and 20th overs respectively, it reiterated that Kolkata’s death bowling has been their Achilles Heel in IPL 2022.

“It’s not a concern (death bowling); it’s definitely something we need to work as a team. Even when we practise, we need to see to it that we execute the yorkers rightly and bowl according to the plans that we have before the match,” stated Iyer.

“We’ve got an amazing bunch of bowling team; we’ve got amazing coaches as well. So it’s just that we back our strengths and see to it that we don’t think negatively at that point of time. Yes, we have been really okay in the previous games as well, at the death. But it’s something we can work on and come back really strong.”

In a massive chase of 216, Kolkata needed Delhi-like starts and contributions from all batters. But that didn’t happen as Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer fell in power-play. Iyer himself made 54 off 33 balls and had support from Nitish Rana’s 20-ball 30. But once the duo got out in successive overs, it was all over for Kolkata.

On his part, Iyer refused to indulge in blame-game but admitted that batters not converting starts into huge scores is an area of progress. “I am absolutely not worried about the starts we are getting. But when you are chasing 215, you need to get off to a really good start. You can’t think twice about what the bowlers are going to bowl. Because you have to have that attacking mindset right from ball one, and one mistake can get you out as a batsman. So I wouldn’t blame anyone in this particular chase.”

“But yes, we have this history in the last few games that we didn’t get a really good start. That is also something we need to work on. This is just the early stage of the tournament, so once when we start practising more and executing stuff really well on the field, I think things will be really taken care of pretty well.”

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

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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

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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

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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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