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Women’s World Cup: Dean, Knight lead England to 4-wicket win over India



On the back of Charlie Dean’s career-best figures of four for 23 and captain Heather Knight’s unbeaten 53, England ended their winless run in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup with a four-wicket victory over India at Bay Oval on Wednesday.

After bowling out India for a paltry 134 in 36.2 overs, England chased down the target with 112 balls remaining.

The pursuit of 135 began on a shaky note as Meghna Singh and Jhulan Goswami struck in quick succession in the first three overs. Danni Wyatt pushed hard but found Sneh Rana diving full-length to her right at slip while Tammy Beaumont was trapped lbw in pad first on forward defence, giving Goswami her 250th wicket in ODIs.

Knight and her deputy Nat Sciver joined forces to get England’s innings back on track. While Knight got off the mark with a drive through cover point off Meghna, Sciver hammered Goswami for two boundaries and was lucky in the bails not falling off despite ball hitting the stumps.

Sciver then welcomed Rajeshwari Gayakwad by taking nine runs off her first over, including two boundaries via sweep. The duo indulged in risk-free play and got boundaries with precision to keep England on course of chasing the target.

The 65-run partnership for the third wicket ended as Sciver was foxed by a short ball from Pooja Vastrakar and leading edge on pull flew to mid-on.

Knight, sedate till then, began to dispatch anything full to the boundary rope with drive, steer and reverse-sweep through the off-side. Amy Jones hit a delightful six down the ground off Gayakwad but two balls later, the right-hander tried to repeat the loft but was caught by a backtracking Harmanpreet, who timed her jump to perfection.

After timing an extra cover drive for four off Meghna, Knight brought her 23rd ODI fifty in 66 balls. She was ably supported by Sophia Dunkley, who fetched three boundaries in her first 14 balls with a fierce upper-cut over point being the standout shot.

Dunkley’s cameo ended as she nicked behind to ‘keeper Richa Ghosh off Meghna for a low, dipping catch.

One brought two for India as Meghna bounced out Katherine Brunt with Ghosh taking the catch off top-edge.

Sophie Ecclestone finished off the chase with a pulled four through deep mid-wicket off Meghna, giving England their first two points in the tournament.

Earlier, pushed into batting first, India never got going as Anya Shrubsole, followed by Dean and a tight fielding display by the defending champions never let them get any breathing space.

Shrubsole provided the first breakthrough as Yastika Bhatia pushed away from her body to a full inswinger and saw the ball take an inner edge to stumps. Bhatia thus became Shrubsole’s 100th wicket in the format.

Smriti Mandhana picked boundaries off a free-flowing drive and a quick short-arm jab. But England, with plan to bowl fuller lines, succeeded in making inroads into India’s batting order.

Mithali Raj’s lean run continued as she sliced straight to cover-point, giving Shrubsole her second wicket in power-play.

The pressure of dot balls preventing Deepti Sharma to get off the mark resulted in her running for a non-existent single by driving straight to mid-off.

But Kate Cross, at mid-off, inflicted a direct hit, catching Sharma short of crease for a ten-ball duck. Mandhana and Harmanpreet restored normalcy for India with a 33-run partnership off 50 balls for fourth wicket.

But Dean’s entry in the 17th over changed the situation as the off-spinner got rid of Harmanpreet and Rana in a double wicket maiden over.

While Harmanpreet tried playing for the turn from a flighted delivery outside off-stump, the ball held its line and took an outer edge to Jones. Rana’s promotion backfired as she went for an expansive drive, only to nick the ball behind to Jones.

Mandhana tried to hold one end for India but she missed a sweep off Ecclestone and was trapped lbw in front of off-stump. Dean soon picked up her third wicket as Vastrakar missed the sweep completely and was trapped plumb lbw after surviving a same call before in the over.

Richa Ghosh hit delightful boundaries on front foot and back foot against Dean, Ecclestone and Cross. She got support from Goswami, who made good use of the long handle in hammering Dean and Cross for boundaries.

Just as the 37-run partnership looked set to go big, Ghosh was run-out by Sciver’s direct hit from mid-wicket despite making a good dive as replays showed her bat was centimeters above in air when the bails were disturbed.

Goswami sliced straight to backward point off Cross and Dean ended India’s misery by clean bowling Meghna to take four wickets.

Brief Scores: India 134 all out in 36.2 overs (Smriti Mandhana 35, Richa Ghosh 33; Charlie Dean 4/23, Anya Shrubsole 2/20) lost to England 136/6 in 31.2 overs (Heather Knight 53 not out, Nat Sciver 45; Meghna Singh 3/26, Jhulan Goswami 1/21) by four wickets


‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League




Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.

Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.

In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:

“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”

Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:

Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:

“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”

With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.

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Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier




Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.

PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.

Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Messi’s envious record

In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.

The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.

No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.

“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.

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Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram




In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.

Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.

Striking gold, but in a different arena

  • The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
  • The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
  • His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.

Competitive or short tempered?

  • The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
  • On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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