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KXIP face Chris Gayle and Tendulkar’s ire



Chris Gayle.

Former India batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar questioned Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)’s decision to bench Chris Gayle in earlier games after the Jamaican led KXIP to a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore with a half-century in their Indian Premier League encounter on Thursday.

Playing his first match of this season after having missed the earlier seven games, Gayle hit five sixes in the 45-ball 53-run innings.

“Good to see @henrygayle back and scoring a wonderful 53. Wonder what @lionsdenkxip were thinking by leaving him out all this while,” tweeted Tendulkar.

As if to emphasise that, Gayle pointed to the sticker on the bat which had ‘The Boss’ written on it. The only problem with it was that it was upside down when Gayle pointed it to the camera.

When commentator and former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar mentioned this to him during the post-match chat, an embarrassed Gayle asked, “It was?!!!”

He then said, “You got the picture, right? All I was saying is just put some respect on the name. That’s all.”

Gayle has hit the most number of sixes not just in IPL, but in all of T20 cricket. He has hit 983 sixes in his T20 career, 298 more than his nearest rival and fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard who has 685 sixes against his name.

In IPL too, he leads the charts of six-hitters with 331. AB de Villiers is next with 225.

Gayle is also No. 8 in IPL’s all-time run-getters’ list with 4537 runs. No one in KXIP camp has these many runs.


KKR’s Nitish Rana pays tribute to late father-in-law during his 81




Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana on Saturday paid tribute to his father-in-law after scoring his half-century against Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Left-hander Rana, 26, then held up a KKR jersey with the name ‘Surinder’ and the number 63 emblazoned on its back. “A heart-warming tribute from @NitishRana_27 to his father-in-law, who passed away yesterday. Surinder Marwah. Rest in peace sir,” said KKR in a tweet shortly after.

KKR were left reeling at 42/3 wickest in the eighth over by DC fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Sunil Narine, playing his first match since he was pulled up for suspect bowling action, was sent in ahead of captain Eoin Morgan. Narine rediscovered his batting form and ended up putting up 115 runs for the fourth wicket with Rana.

The partnership was broken in the 17th over when Narine fell to Rabada on 64 off 32 balls. Rana went on to score 81 off 53 balls (13x4s, 1×6), at a strike rate of 152.83, that helped KKR post 194 for six wickests in 20 overs.

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KKR owe big win to Varun Chakravarthy, Rana and Narine




Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy’s five-wicket haul and superb half-centuries from Nitish Rana and off-spinner Sunil Narine combined to guide Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a crucial 59-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC) that kept the team in contention for the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs.

The win took KKR to 12 points from 11 matches, though they remain at the fourth place in the eight-team competition. And despite the defeat, DC remain static at the second spot, behind Mumbai Indians. Both DC and MI, as well as Royal Challengers Bangalore have 14 points each.

Four top teams qualify for the playoffs. Overall, the race for the fourth qualifying spot, if not for other potions above it, is still wide open, with even the wooden spooners Chennai Super Kings still in the fray, though mathematically and not on form.

KKR, who were asked to bat by DC captain Shreyas Iyer, recovered from early jolts to put a respectable 194/6 wickets on board, thanks to Rana’s scintillating knock (81, 53 balls, 13x4s, 1×6). Later, Chakravarthy (4-0-20-5) ripped apart the KKR batting line-up as the spinner claimed the first five-wicket haul of the current tournament to restrict DC to 135 for nine wickets in 20 overs.

Chasing the target, Delhi never looked in control, barring a 63-run partnership between Iyer (47) and Rishabh Pant (27).

DC lost openers Ajinkya Rahane, who failed to open his account, and in-form Shikhar Dhawan (6) with just 13 runs on board before Iyer and Pant stabilised the innings. Both DC openers were claimed by Pat Cummins (3/17), who looked quite impressive after some lacklustre performance in the recent past.

Chakravarthy, however, didn’t let the partnership develop as he cut short Pant’s stay in the 12th over, leaving DC at 76/3.

It was an absolute carnage by the KKR’s Chakravarthy as he went on to pick the wickets of Shimron Hetmyer (10), Iyer, Marcus Stoinis (6) and Axar Patel (9) in quick succession to leave DC at 112/7 wickets in 15.5 overs.

Kagiso Rabada chipped in with nine runs before becoming a victim of Cummins while Ravichandran Ashwin remained unbeaten on 14 as DC failed to cross the line by huge margin.

It was DC’s fourth defeat of the season.

Earlier, Rana (81) and Sunil Narine (64)rescued KKR from early blows, helping their side post a challenging 194/6 in the allotted 20 overs.

Anrich Nortje (2/27) struck twice to pack up Shubman Gill (9) and Rahul Tripathi (13) while Kagiso Rabada (2/33) dismissed Dinesh Karthik (3) to leave KKR tottering at 42/3 in 7.2 overs.

However, Rana and Narine anchored the innings with a crucial 115-run partnership and in the process also notched up their respective half-centuries.

Rabada struck again in the 17th over to send back Narine, whose innings contained six boundaries and four sixes. His fall saw KKR skipper Eoin Morgan (17) joining Rana in the middle and the duo were involved in a brief 37-run stand.

While trying to improve the run-rate, Rana and Morgan fell on the final two balls of the final over of the innings. However, it hardly affected KKR, which had already managed to put a decent total on board.

Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders: 194/6 wkts in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 81, Sunil Narine 64; Anrich Nortje 2/27) beat Delhi Capitals: 135/9 wkts in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 47, Rishabh Pant 27; Varun Chakravarthy 5/20) by 59 runs

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SRH win toss, choose to bowl against KXIP




SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) won the toss and chose to bowl against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Saturday at the Dubai International Stadium. Both sides are looking for a big win as the race for the final top four spot heats up.

Both teams have enjoyed big wins in their previous matches with SRH beating Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets and KXIP beating Delhi Capitals by five wickets.

Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): KL Rahul(wicketkeeper/captain), Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

SunRisers Hyderabad (Playing XI): David Warner(captain), Jonny Bairstow(wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan

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