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Women’s World Cup: Hayley Matthews shines as West Indies defeat New Zealand in thriller



A superb all-round display from West Indies’s dependable player Hayley Matthews — 119 off 128 balls and 2/41 — helped the side score a nerve-wracking three-run victory over hosts New Zealand in the opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup at the Bay Oval here on Friday.

The top-order batter first helped her side score a fighting 259/9 in the allotted 50 overs and then returned to take the prized wicket of Amelia Kerr and Brooke Halliday to emerge the ‘Player of the Match’.

New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine’s sensational century kept the hosts’ chase on track for the most part but West Indies fought back brilliantly towards the end to put the first points on the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup table.

Katey Martin and Jess Kerr’s quick-fire 40-run partnership brought it down to run-a-ball for the last over but Deandra Dottin’s dramatic over changed the fortunes in no time. Dottin, bowling her first over of the game, held her nerve to pick two wickets and effect a run-out as West Indies emerged victorious.

The White Ferns were unlucky to lose a wicket early in their chase — Suzie Bates was run-out at the non-striker’s end after a deflection off the outstretched fingers of Chinelle Henry. Amelia Kerr and skipper Devine got the team through to the end of Powerplay without further harm.

However, Matthews was effective with the ball as well, trapping the in-form Amelia Kerr in front of the stumps off just her second ball to break the 33-run stand. Still 213 runs away from victory at that point, New Zealand had to adopt a cautious approach. Amy Satterthwaite and Devine kept the scoreboard ticking with good running between the wickets.

Devine soon brought up her half-century, and at the halfway point, New Zealand were in a competitive position. West Indies, meanwhile, had some fitness concerns with Shamilia Connell having to walk off the field after injuring her fingers while fielding.

Just when the pair started to look comfortable at the crease, needing under six runs per over in the last 25, spinner Anisa Mohammed turned the game on its head with two quick scalps. She trapped Satterthwaite leg-before wicket for 31 and then bowled Lea Tahuhu through the gate in her next over.

Devine continued to grind but kept losing partners at the other end — Maddy Green and Brooke Halliday walked back in quick succession without troubling the scorers too much before Katey Martin took the pressure off her skipper with a few boundaries.

West Indies were guilty of dropping several chances and Devine made full use of those reprieves en route to her sixth ODI hundred (108 off 127 balls). It took a moment of brilliance to dismiss the New Zealand captain as Chinelle Henry took a stunning return catch to bring an end to a great innings.

At the fall of the wicket, New Zealand still needed 45 from 35 balls. Jess Kerr took the attack to the bowlers and together with Martin, brought the equation down to six runs in the last over.

Bowling her first over in a crunch situation, Dottin delivered the goods as she trapped Martin lbw off the second ball of the over and then snared Kerr two balls later to bring it down to four off two.

Hannah Rowe missed the penultimate delivery and Fran Jonas, in an attempt to sneak a bye, was run-out at the non-striker’s end to spark celebrations from the West Indies team.

Brief scores: West Indies 259/9 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 119, Chedean Nation 36, Stafanie Taylor 30; Lea Tahuhu 3/57, Jess Kerr 2/43) beat New Zealand 256 in 49.5 overs (Sophie Devine 108, Amy Satterthwaite 31, Katey Martin 44; Hayley Matthews 2/41, Anisa Mohammed 2/60, Deandra Dottin 2/2) by three runs.


‘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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