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Monday,27-June-2022

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IPL 2022: Two big hits in the middle overs could have got Lucknow over the line, says KL Rahul

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Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul conceded that the result of the IPL 2022 Eliminator match against Royal Challengers Bangalore could have been in their favour if they had ‘”two big hits’ in the middle overs. Chasing 208, Lucknow had Rahul (79 off 58 balls) and Deepak Hooda (45 off 26 balls) partnering for a 96-run stand for the second wicket.

But Bangalore came back hard, on the back of excellent bowling in the backend from Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel, to win the match by 14 runs and set up a Qualifier 2 clash with Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on Friday. Though Lucknow had 81/1 in their middle overs, many felt that the acceleration coming with the last seven overs in the match was too late.

“This season has been like every other season – a good learning. As a team, it has been a challenging season, a good season. We learnt a lot. Now looking back, yes, it is just about two big hits in the middle overs and that could have gotten us over the line,” said Rahul in the post-match virtual press conference.

“It’s not that we didn’t try to hit those fours or sixes, we were trying but I think in the middle they bowled really well. Harshal Patel’s two overs pushed us back a little. He gave away just seven or eight runs, he really changed his pace well. He bowled to the field and that pushed us back a little bit,” added Rahul.

Dropping three catches in four overs, of Dinesh Karthik on four, and of Rajat Patidar on 72 and 93 proved to be fatal for Lucknow as Bangalore smacked a whopping 84 runs off the last five overs, with Patidar racing to a sensational 49-ball century. Rahul admitted that the dropped chances by Lucknow in a match of fine margins came back to hit them hard.

“It is hard to pinpoint one thing. Skills-wise, you can have a bad day and can go wrong with your execution with bat and ball. Something that has let us down badly in this game is our fielding. We dropped some easy catches. I dropped DK (Dinesh Karthik) when he was batting, probably in single digits”

“(Rajat) Patidar was dropped when he was batting on 60 or 70. Dropping them cost us that extra 30-40 runs. We fought really hard and tried our best to chase down the target. But we were just two hits away and had we gotten those in the middle overs, probably we would have won this game.”

In IPL 2022, Rahul’s average while batting first was 85 while his average while batting second was just 27.28 (pushed after 79 in Eliminator). Rahul acknowledged that doing better in the second innings with the bat will be a point of improvement for Lucknow in the 2023 IPL.

“I did focus on my stats that this season I didn’t score many runs in the second innings. But this was a big game and when you come to a big game, you forget whatever you did in the last 14 games. You try to play this game as a fresh game and you try to give your best. I tried the same even today.”

“I didn’t score too many runs in the second innings this season but in other seasons I have really done well, and I enjoy chasing. Sometimes you are not as successful. But it’s a team game and the team has really stepped up even when we were chasing. We won a few games but generally overall in this season, we didn’t do well while chasing, so it’s something we need to learn.”

International

India U-17 girls go down to Chile 1-3

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 The India U-17 women’s team suffered a 1-3 loss to Chile U-17 in a friendly game at the Aquileia, Italy.

The match started on Friday night at a relatively slow pace compared to the previous game against Italy. The first real chance came in the 10th minute when Naketa took a free-kick from long range but her shot missed the target. India were struck with a blow right after that as Chile scored in the 11th minute via Katerine Ramos.

India tried to bounce back from the setback, and on the 15th minute mark, Shubhangi crossed the ball and Lynda was able to take a shot but it was saved by the Chilean goalkeeper. Chile though secured a two-goal lead in the 19th minute, when Danlela whipped in a cross and Maitte put the ball into the back of the net with a header.

India did not give up though and kept attacking. In the 21st minute, Lynda attempted a shot from Astam’s cross but the former missed the target by a whisker. The pace of the game slowed down a bit after Chile’s second goal.

In the 26th minute, Chile’s Yennifer Pasten got injured and had to be substituted as Ambar Rolino came in for her. Chile got a corner in the 34th minute which was easily cleared by the Indian defence. India went into the break with a mountain to climb in the second half.

India started the second half on the front foot as Anita made a run down the right and took a shot but it was collected by the goalkeeper. Chile also kept attacking, this time through Ambar in the 43rd minute as her dangerous free-kick was cleared by the Indian defenders.

Coach Thomas Dennerby made a double substitution in the 51st minute as Kajol and Nitu Linda came on for Lynda Kom and Babina. This change had an immediate impact as India scored on the 55th minute mark. A cross from Neha landed at the feet of Kajol who tucked the ball away into the back of the net from a header.

However, India’s hopes came crashing down when Ambar scored the third goal for Chile and restored their two-goal advantage in the 67th minute.

India: Monalisha Devi, Naketa, Astam Oraon (Captain), Neha (Misha 68′), Lynda Kom (Kajol 51′), Anita Kumari (Sudha 78′), Purnima Kumari, Shubhangi Singh, Pinku Devi (Shelia 68′), Babina Devi (Nitu Linda 51′), Kajal (Rejiya 78′).

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International

Aussie skipper Finch overwhelmed by response from Sri Lankan fans during fifth ODI

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Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has been overwhelmed by the response his team has received during the limited-over series, comprising three T20I and five ODIs, which concluded at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Friday night.

While Australia won the T20I series 2-1, Sri Lanka clinched the ODI series 3-2. The limited-overs series will now be followed by a two-Test series beginning at Galle on June 29.

Speaking about the hardships the Sri Lankans have faced over the last few months in the wake of a severe economic crisis, Finch said, “We’re very grateful that we’ve been able to tour here. We know the difficulties that Sri Lanka has faced in recent times. Hopefully over these eight white-ball games we’ve been able to provide some joy to people in the country.”

Despite the recent problems faced by the country, including long hours of power cuts, the Sri Lanka team showed the world their extraordinary spirit, winning their first series at home against Australia in 30 years.

Finch, the captain of the side on its first tour of the country since 2016, added that the support provided by the people of the island nation was “second to none”.

Thousands of people in Australia’s traditional colours descended on the R. Premadasa Stadium for the final ODI in a show of solidarity for the visiting team, and Finch said it was simply wonderful.

“It was outstanding, the Sri Lankan people are wonderful people. The support that they provide is second to none. They are great cricket supporters, it’s not just constant noise; they ride the emotions of the game. When Sri Lanka are up and about, that’s as loud as anywhere you’ll visit in the world,” Finch was quoted as saying by ICC.

In a video shared by cricket.com.au, Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell said, “That was pretty extraordinary. I was just saying to the boys that was one of the most special feelings. Being able to walk around the ground and have a foreign country cheer for you.

“A lot of times when Australia tours we are generally the enemy and there’s not too many Australian fans in the stands. But to have the support and fans that are here at the moment is truly extraordinary.

“Everyone’s wearing yellow. They’ve got all the Australian flags all over the place. It’s extremely special and it’s a credit to everyone that’s been able to get out here. It’s been such a tough time obviously for the locals. For them to come out and support us, hopefully, both teams can entertain them and they’ve had a really good time during the one-day series.”

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Maxwell banking on ability to tackle good spin bowling in tough conditions after Test recall

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On the verge of making his first Test appearance after almost five years, Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is banking upon his ability to tackle good spin bowling in tough Sri Lanka conditions ahead of the series opener at Galle on Wednesday.

Maxwell last played a Test match against Bangladesh in 2017 at Chattogram, the same year where he got his only Test century against India in Ranchi and was rushed to the squad in Johannesburg amid the ball-tampering saga in 2018. With left-handed batter Travis Head recovering from a hamstring injury, Maxwell was handed a return to the Test squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka.

“I think I bring a lot of experience in these sorts of conditions and being able to tackle good spin bowling in tough conditions. It’s something I pride myself on, having quick feet and being able to find a way through adversity in tough conditions. Looking back to 2017, being able to get a Test hundred in India is something I’m extremely proud and to be one of only a couple of people in the last decade to do that is something I’m hoping holds me in good stead for this as well.”

“My game plan probably isn’t going to change a whole lot, probably just going to be a little more time consuming, being able to spend more time at the wicket, without any run-rate pressure on and I’m certainly looking forward to that opportunity to bat long periods of time,” Maxwell was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo after the end of ODI series.

The surprise return to the Test side also means that Maxwell might get a new Baggy Green as his original one has deteriorated and hadn’t been in his kit bag before leaving for Sri Lanka. “I didn’t want to be presumptuous and it turns out I’m glad I didn’t bring it because it’s completely disintegrated. So I’m going to have to get a new one for this Test tour. I’ll look like a first-gamer out there.”

“My last Test was a win in Bangladesh and (the cap) is full of all sorts of different things. It’s stayed in the little bag that we get. I took it out last year and had a look at it and it was deteriorating, thought that’s not a good sign. My wife took it out yesterday and said ‘I don’t think I can bring this’, it looked terrible, so think when I get home I’ll see if I can get it fixed up but it’s not looking great at the moment.”

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