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Wednesday,23-June-2021

National

IPL table: CSK back on top, SRH rooted to bottom

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Chennai-Super-Kings

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) got back to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table after their seven-wicket win over SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH). This was their fifth consecutive win this season while for SRH the defeat meant that they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

With 10 points from six games, CSK are level on points with second-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and lead third-placed Delhi Capitals by two points. They, however, have a far superior net run rate (NRR) than RCB. MS Dhoni’s team boast an NRR of +1.475, the best in the league, while Virat Kohli’s side are on +0.089.

SRH have just two points in six matches, courtesy their dominant nine-wicket win over Punjab Kings last week. They can, however, take solace from the fact that their NRR of -0.264 is higher than the three teams placed above them. SRH also still trail fourth-placed Mumbai Indians (MI) by only two points, although that could change if MI beat Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.

National

Will need solid plan to bundle out NZ on reserve day: Mohammed Shami

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Mohammed-Shami

Pace bowler Mohammed Shami said that his team would need to score as many runs as possible on the reserve day and have some solid plan in place to bundle out New Zealand if India are to win the World Test Championship final at Hampshire Bowl here on Wednesday.

Persistent rain and bad light have forced the match into the reserve day with India going to stumps on Day 5 at 64/2 on Tuesday with a lead of 32 runs.

Openers Shubman Gill (8 off 33 balls) and Rohit Sharma (30 off 81 balls) were both dismissed by New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee. Skipper Virat Kohli (8 off 12 balls) and Cheteshwar Pujara (12 off 55 balls) were unbeaten at the draw of stumps.

Shami, who took four wickets to reduce New Zealand to 249 all out in their first innings, said during a virtual press conference that, “We have to score as many as possible and then see how much time is left to put them in and decide accordingly. In conditions like England, anything can happen, but we simply can’t have a pre-plan in mind that we can get them out in this many overs. You need time to get 10 wickets and some solid plans in place. But first, we need to score enough back-up runs.”

Shami, who picked up the wickets of Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, and Kyle Jamieson, added that bowling “tight lines” on Tuesday helped India bowlers restrict New Zealand to 249.

“Obviously as you play the Test match, you can’t stick to one plan for five days. You need to be flexible and set up lines as per the track. We needed to bowl those tight lines which benefit the team in order to restrict New Zealand to as little as possible. So, the pressure created momentum and we got wickets in clutches,” he said.

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National

Exciting finish expected but bundling out Kiwis difficult: Sunil Gavaskar

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Sunil-Gavaskar

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar expects an exciting finish to the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand on the reserve day on Wednesday but is sceptical about the bowlers being able to bundle out the opposition with just one full day of play remaining.

Persistent rain and bad light have forced the match into the reserve day with India going to stumps on Day 5 at 64/2 on Tuesday with a lead of 32 runs.

Openers Shubman Gill (8) and Rohit Sharma (30) were both dismissed by New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee. Skipper Virat Kohli (8) and Cheteshwar Pujara (12) were unbeaten at the draw of stumps.

The weather department has predicted a bright and sunny day, which might be conducive for batting.

“India will be looking to score freely and put some runs on the board and maybe try to bowl New Zealand out in the fourth innings. An exciting finish for the first-ever WTC final,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“They (India) have earned the opportunity (an outside chance to go for win) but now the pitch seems to be playing a lot better because of the weather that is different, there is a little bit of sun out now. It has dried up the surface,” said Gavaskar.

The cricketer-turned-commentator felt that even with a bit of grass on the pitch, batting would be much easier on the reserve day compared to when the Test had started.

“Even if there is a little bit of grass on the pitch, it won’t have that much carry that was there in the earlier days. So that means batting has become a lot easier. India will probably not be able to bowl New Zealand out in the second innings. They have to bowl exceptionally well to get New Zealand out,” Gavaskar said.

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National

‘There must be a formula to pick WTC final winner in case of a draw’

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Sunil-Gavaskar

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is clearly not happy with the way things are panning out in the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand here after two days were lost to rain.

The cricketer-turned-commentator wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to come up with a formula to determine the winner if the final ends in a draw.

The first and fourth days of the Test here were a washout. In reply to India’s first-innings total of 217, New Zealand are 101/2 in 49 overs.

The ICC, while announcing the playing conditions of the WTC final, had said that in the event of a draw or a tie, the trophy would be shared.

“There must be a formula to pick a winner in case of a drawn World Test Championship final. ICC’s cricket committee should think and then take a decision,” Gavaskar told a news channel.

A total of 141.1 overs have been possible in the WTC final so far and with just two days remaining, including the reserved day, it would be impossible to bowl the remaining 308.5 overs.

“It seems that the WTC final will end up as a draw and the trophy will be shared. This will be the first time that the trophy will be shared in a final. To complete three innings in two days would be really difficult. Yes, if both teams bat really badly, the three innings could be completed,” Gavaskar added.

He asked ICC to look at other sport, such as football or tennis, to find a way to decide the winner.

“In football, they have a penalty shootout or they have some other method to decide a winner. In tennis, there are five sets and there is a tie-breaker,” he said.

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