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T20 World Cup: Optimistic India seeks to qualify for semifinals against a lively Zimbabwe

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Exactly two weeks after India opened their Men’s T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan in a thrilling four-wicket victory at a sold-out Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Rohit Sharma-led side will be back at the iconic venue to seal their semifinal berth in the final Group 2 match of Super 12s against a lively Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Though India have a 5-2 edge over Zimbabwe in T20Is with their last face-off happening in 2016, it will be the first time that these two teams will be meeting in a T20 World Cup game.

While India have survived scares against Pakistan and Bangladesh, they will be fully aware that Zimbabwe can’t be taken lightly. After all, the Chevrons, as Zimbabwe are called back home, did inflict an upset one-run win over Pakistan at Perth.

Known for going hard at power-play due to embracing ultra-attacking batting approach, India haven’t been able to get a solid opening partnership so far in the tournament. A look at their power-play scores suggests that the side have been suffering from opening blues: 31/3 against Pakistan (MCG), 32/1 against Netherlands (SCG), 33/2 against South Africa (Perth Stadium) and 37/1 against Bangladesh at Adelaide Oval. Their highest opening partnership is just 23, which doesn’t do justice to the prowess of Rohit and Rahul.

Though Rohit got a scratchy fifty against Netherlands and Rahul slammed a half-century against Bangladesh to end a string of low scores, India would like for the duo to have a good opening partnership before knockout arrive.

Virat Kohli has been explosive with the bat while Suryakumar Yadav has chipped in whenever India needed a move on in their momentum. India would also want for Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik to make a sizeable contribution with lower-order power-hitting.

The bowling has been great for India barring when South Africa chased down 134 or Litton Das was putting up a show with the bat in power-play. Young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh is admirably leading the charge with the new ball as well as in the death overs, with the other bowlers chipping in. After being sloppy in the field against the Proteas, India were excellent in this department in a rain-hit match against Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, will be aiming to finish the tournament on a high which has been a memorable one for them. In all-rounder Sikandar Raza, they have a shining sensation who has been a force behind them for sparking performances in the tournament.

They would like for captain Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere and Ryan Burl to get big runs with the bat as well as look for improvements in fielding. In the bowling department, tall fast-bowler Blessing Muzarabani has been among the wickets with Raza, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe supporting him.

Zimbabwe have had inflicted an upset on India, when they won by three runs during the ODI World Cup in England in 1999. They would like to do an encore of it in 2022, but India have other ideas as they seek to seal semifinals spot.

Squads

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammad Shami.

Zimbabwe: Craig Ervine (captain), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba and Sean Williams.

International

₹136 Crore Per Year To Luxury Suite At Training Ground: All About Kylian Mbappe’s Bumper Deal At Real Madrid

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In a move that has captivated football enthusiasts worldwide, Kylian Mbappe has officially transferred from Paris Saint-Germain to Real Madrid as of Tuesday.

This long-anticipated switch concludes months of speculation and excitement among fans.

Real Madrid’s Exciting Acquisition

Real Madrid announced on Monday that they had secured a deal with the French superstar for the next five seasons, merging one of football’s brightest talents with its most illustrious club.

This deal follows years of interest from Madrid, eager to bring in the player seen as the heir to Lionel Messi’s throne in the sport.

Financial Details of Mbappe’s Move

The 25-year-old Parisian will reportedly earn 15 million Euros net per season at Real Madrid, translating to over ₹136 crores annually. This figure breaks down to an impressive ₹2.6 crore per week.

While this is a significant reduction from the €75 million net per year he received at PSG, the shortfall will be offset by a massive signing bonus. The bonus, around €150 million, will be disbursed over the course of his contract.

Perks and Anticipated Debuts

Aside from his substantial salary, Mbappe will enjoy a private luxury suite at Real Madrid’s training facility and will sport the iconic No.9 jersey, previously worn by legendary striker Karim Benzema.

His anticipated debut for Real Madrid will occur during the preseason, with their first friendly against AC Milan at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 31.

His competitive debut is expected in the UEFA Super Cup, where Real Madrid will take on Europa League winners Atalanta in Warsaw, Poland, on August 14.

Mbappe’s Stellar PSG Legacy

Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco in 2017 for €180 million and has since become the club’s all-time leading scorer.

Throughout his seven-year tenure in Paris, he consistently demonstrated his scoring prowess, netting at least 30 goals in six of those seasons. His move to Real Madrid marks the next chapter in an already illustrious career, as he aims to further his legacy at one of the world’s most storied football clubs.

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ENG vs ESP, Euro 2024 Final: Spain Become The 1st Four-Time Champions Of Europe After Beating England 2-1 In Berlin

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Match Result:

Spain triumphed over England with a 2-1 victory in the Euro 2024 final, held in Berlin, becoming the first team to win the championship four times.

The match saw a tense first half ending goalless, but Spain took the lead shortly after the break. Williams Jr. netted the opener in the 47th minute, capitalizing on a defensive lapse by England.

England fought back, with Palmer leveling the score in the 73rd minute, igniting hopes for the Three Lions. However, Spain maintained their pressure, and in the 86th minute, Oyarzabal clinched the winner with a decisive strike.

This historic win cements Spain’s status as Europe’s most successful team, while England’s wait for a major international trophy continues. The final was a showcase of high-quality football and strategic mastery, ultimately seeing Spain emerge as deserved champions.

This historic win cements Spain’s status as Europe’s most successful team, while England’s wait for a major international trophy continues. The final was a showcase of high-quality football and strategic mastery, ultimately seeing Spain emerge as deserved champions.

Preview of Euro 2024 Cup final:

A strong Spanish outfit will meet a pesky England side in the final of Euro 2024 final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Spain battled France and defeated them by 2-1 in the semi-final, while England overcame the Netherlands by the same margin.

However, it wasn’t without a contentious penalty call that went in England’s favour. Despite not starting the contest as favourites, England’s ability to hang in there could work against Spain, who are seeking a 4th Euro title. By contrast, England are yet to lift the trophy.

A crucial stat which is in favour of England is the head to head battle, which the former lead by 13-10 against Spain in 27 outings.

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Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

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The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.

With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.

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