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MS Dhoni No.1 wicketkeeper-batsman we have ever seen, says Ben Dunk

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Australia cricketer Ben Dunk believes former India captain MS Dhoni is “probably the number one wicketkeeper-batsman” the world cricket has even seen.

“I think MS Dhoni is probably the number one wicketkeeper-batsman that we have ever seen. The way that he has played over a long period of time is amazing. His legacy and record and everything speak for himself,” Dunk, who has played five T20Is for Australia, said.

“He has got ice that runs through his veins, he takes the game to a place where it’s almost unwinnable and seems to somehow win them all the time. If I could play 5 or 10 percent as good as MS, I would be very happy,” he added.

Dunk, who will turn up for Qalandars in the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament beginning Thursday, said he is looking forward to playing with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

“Shahid Afridi is an amazing cricketer and he’ll have an amazing legacy. I have grown up watching Shahid Afridi. He just keeps going and going. And he’s still playing cricket as well as he ever has. I am really looking forward to him. I have watched him for a long period, so I am looking forward to seeing him up close and watch how he goes about it,” said the 33-year-old.

Dunk added that he was also looking forward to playing with English players Chris Jordan and Tom Banton.

“Chris Jordan is a wonderful bowler, who has played all over the world and he has taken the most wickets in T20Is for England so I am looking forward to playing with him. Tom Banton is a young guy, who is making his mark on the game. We have got a host of players, who have performed well in T20 cricket,” said Dunk.

International

In victory, Pep concedes the amount of pressure exerted by Liverpool

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola conceded the amount of pressure exerted by Liverpool on the team’s Premier League hopes, saying that he had never seen a more competitive side like Jurgen Klopp’s team in his life, and that four PL titles in five years “is probably the best achievements we have done in our careers”.

Ilkay Gundogan contributed a brace as City staged another incredible final day fightback on Sunday, scoring three goals in five second-half minutes to dramatically beat Aston Villa 3-2 and retain the Premier League title at Etihad.

City beat Liverpool to the title by just one point — Guardiola’s side had 93 points, while Liverpool had 92.

Describing the immense pressure put by Liverpool during the season, Guardiola said post-match that, “I’ve never seen a team like Liverpool in my life. I know it’s tough, but they helped us become a better team season by season.”

City now have six titles in the last 11 campaigns, with the bulk of the current squad having stuck together since Guardiola’s arrival in Manchester in 2016. The City manager insisted his players and coaches will never be forgotten.

“We are legends. When you win four in five then it’s because these guys are so special. We will be remembered. We won with 100 points, second one at Brighton, winning at home with our people is the best. Four Premier Leagues in five years is probably the best achievements we have done in our careers,” Guardiola told mancity.com.

Guardiola was in praise of his players after they rallied from 0-2 deficit to seal the win and the title.

“The last game is always special, a lot of emotions. The moment we scored the (winning) goal it changed everything. I told them it is normal, but you have to handle it. Oleks gave us a lot in the second half. We scored the goal and got the momentum and our fans did the rest.

“We want to win. I have the feeling that the rivals are tough and they will be more tough next season. Today I have no energy to think about next season. We are champions again! We will defend our crown again and again.”

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Archery World Cup: Indian men’s compound team cliches gold after beating France

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The Indian mens compound team of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini defeated France to win the gold medal at the Archery World Cup 2022 stage 2, here on Saturday.

India came back from behind to outscore the French team of Quentin Baraer, Jean Phillipe Boulch and Adrien Gontier 232-230 for the gold medal.

This was the Indian trio’s second straight World Cup gold after clinching the top spot in Stage 1 in Antalya, Turkey. Interestingly, France were on the losing side then as well.

Meanwhile, former Asian champion Abhishek Verma also won the compound mixed team bronze with Avneet Kaur. The Indian pair beat Turkey’s Emircan Haney and Ayse Suzer 156-155 in the third-place play-off.

India had the opportunity to add another gold to their tally but Mohan Bhardwaj fell short in the individual men’s compound final, going down to top seed Mike Schloesser. Mohan, who was 42nd after the qualification round, lost 141-149 in the decider.

The three medals on Saturday took India’s final tally at the stage 2 of the Archery World Cup 2022 to five.

Earlier, women’s compound team comprising Avneet Kaur, Muskan Kirar and Priya Gurjar and the women’s recurve team of Ridhi, Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat had won a bronze each.

However, India’s individual recurve archers failed to get on the podium. Jayanta Talukdar was the only one to reach the top eight in the men’s recurve.

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Thailand Open: P.V Sindhu loses to Chen Yu Fei in semi-finals

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Ace Indian shuttler P.V Sindhu crashed out of the Thailand Open 2022 after losing to Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Chen Yu Fei of China in the women’s singles semi-final, here on Saturday.

Double Olympic medallist Sindhu, who had defeated the world No 1 Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter-finals of the BWF Super 500 event on Friday, lost the final-four match 17-21, 16-21 at the Impact Arena. Heading into the match, the Indian had won six of the 10 head-to-head meetings against the Chinese shuttler.

The match got off to an edgy start with both players committing multiple unforced errors but it was Chen Yu Fei who recovered first and went on to take an 11-7 lead.

Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, tried to mount a comeback after the restart and even cut down the gap to 17-15 but the fourth-ranked Chinese player continued to trouble the Indian at the backcourt and sealed the first game.

Trying to draw back level, Sindhu raced off the blocks in the second game and took an 11-8 lead at the interval but Chen Yu Fei pegged the Indian back after the resumption of play and took a 15-12 lead of her own.

Former world champion Sindhu tried desperately to claw her way back into the match but the Chinese shuttler was clinical and wrapped the match up in 43 minutes. Chen Yu Fei will face either Tai Tzu Ying or Ratchanok Intanon in the final on Sunday.

Sindhu’s defeat brings to an end India’s campaign at the Thailand Open 2022. Saina Nehwal and H.S Prannoy crashed out from the earlier rounds while Kidambi Srikanth pulled out at the round of 16 stage.

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