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IPL: Kolkata beat Delhi to keep alive play-off hopes



Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Capitals by three wickets on a two-paced Sharjah track on Monday.

Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine were the two standout performers among Eoin Morgan’s men.

The way Kolkata began their season, no one could have predicted that they will thrash the season favourites in the UAE.

First, KKR restricted Delhi to 127/9, then chased down the total with 10 balls in hand.

Narine replaces Russell to perfection

The target was not as easy as it looked.

Low-scoring totals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadiums are often defended and with one of the best pace cartels in the league, Rishabh Pant and co were very much in the game.

Had it not been for Sunil Narine’s 21-run cameo where he smacked Kagiso Rabada around the park for consecutive boundaries, DC may have gotten away with a cheeky victory like Punjab Kings did it against Sunrisers Hyderabad two days back.

The Caribbean star, who was played in place of Andre Russell, bagged Player of the Match award for his 2/18 and 21.

Narine had a few words of appreciation for KKR bowling coach Kyle Mills in the post-game interview.

“Need to give credit to bowling coach, that’s a plus and that’s been key for me to come back,” he said.

“Batting in the middle-order is challenging. It’s pleasing to see hard work paying off after a long time.”

Nitish Rana holds on

KKR has undergone a few tactical changes since coming over to the UAE.

One of these changes saw Nitish Rana being removed as an opener.

This has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the left-hander.

He is being deployed in the middle-order where he switches position with skipper Eoin Morgan.

At No. 4 in today’s game, the handy all-rounder carried his bat till the end.

His 36* not out meant an easy finish for the KKR after the game went down to the wire.

With eight wickets down and the required number of runs down to a single figure, his shot-making was superb.

On the flip side, Venkatesh Iyer, who replaced Rana as the new KKR opener, has proved why his addition in the playing XI was necessary.

The 26-year-old has a knack for turning up with his A-game either with the bat or ball. After he failed to impress with the bat, he bowled well to end with 2/29.

His yorkers in the death over barred Rishabh Pant from hitting boundaries.

“Felt good with the ball. Always had the confidence that I can deliver with the ball,” Iyer said after the game I do practice the yorker a lot. I practice with my bowling coach Anand Rajan. For me, it’s about accuracy and bowling to my field.”

Morgan finally cheers

Eoin Morgan hasn’t had a lot to be happy about this season until now.

He is taking pride in leading the side to the third victory in the last four games.

Although, his batting form is a serious concern for the Knight Riders.

“On a hot day, things can boil over. Thankfully it didn’t. We all played in the right spirit,” he said as he referred to his on-field spat with Ravi Ashwin.

“And it’s a tough contest against Delhi Capitals. Full credit has to go to our coach Brendon McCullum. It’s his ethos, his mindset, and the boys have bought into that.”

Kolkata Knight Riders 130 for 7 (Rana 36*, Gill 30, Avesh 3-13) beat Delhi Capitals 127 for 9 (Pant 39, Smith 39, Ferguson 2-10, Narine 2-18, V Iyer 2-29) by three wickets.

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Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry star in RCB women’s comeback win against UP Warriorz in WPL 2024




Smriti Mandhana and Alyssa Healy (Source - X)

RCB women overcame UP Warriorz by 23 runs to clinch their third win of the season. The home side outperformed Warriorz in all the facets of the game and emerged victorious. A collective team effort, particularly with the bat, helped RCB women to beat Warriorz for the second time in the season. They now have three wins in their five matches in the WPL 2024.

Alyssa Healy won the toss and opted to field first. Given how things have panned out in the league so far, it needed a great batting performance from RCB to challenge the chasing side. The home side did exactly that. They were full of intent which was lacking in the last few games. Right from the start, S Meghana and Smriti Mandhana smashed the bowlers.

It was the night of the RCB skipper. The Southpaw scored 80(50) in her stay. S Meghana perished after a valuable 28(21). Ellyse Perry batted well and registered her first fifty of the WPL 2024. She was aided well towards the end by Richa Ghosh whose 21(10) propelled RCB to a score of 198 on the board. It was the highest team total in the WPL 2024.

Alyssa Healy’s efforts go in vain

Chasing the daunting total, UP Warriorz were off to a flier. The opening duo of Healy and Kiran Navgire gave a fiery start to the visiting side. When the two were batting in the PP overs, it seemed like the Warriorz could pull off an insane chase. However, Sophie Devine brought RCB back into the game with crucial wickets. At Bengaluru, the home crowd was literally behind the RCB women.

It helped the home side to stay calm and do their job with ease. Sophie Molineux and Asha Sobhana were the pick of the bowlers, who claimed 2/29 each in their spell of four overs. While Healy scored a fifty and Deepti tried her best in the death overs, ten daunting targets could not be chased down. Despite the early hiccups, RCB managed to restrict UP Warriorz to a score of 175 and won by 23 runs.

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WATCH: Ellyse Perry in disbelief as her six breaks car’s window




Ellyse Perry smashed a six in the match against UP Warriorz in the WPL 2024. It was an interesting six as the ball travelled towards the boundary ropes and fell exactly on the window of the car. As a result, the glass of the window was broken. The car is set to be provided as a reward for the player of the tournament.

It was the over of Deepti Sharma towards the last few moments of RCB’s innings. Before Perry struck, the home side was in a great position in the match, thanks to a great start provided by Smriti Mandhana. The star batter scored 80 (50) and shined in front of the home crowd. Her form helped RCB to have a good momentum towards the death overs.

Watch the viral video here –

Perry, who was struggling till that point, opened up and smashed the bowlers for fun. She went hard against the spinners like Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma who were asked to bowl at the death. The right-handed batter smashed back-to-back sixes in the over of Sharma. One of those travelled towards the mid-wicket region where the car was stationed. The video of her shot has gone viral on X.

RCB teammates laugh, Ellyse Perry in disbelief

As the ball fell on the car and damaged the window, the fans erupted. There was no end to the joy of the fans who started chanting “Perry.. Perry..” and lit the atmosphere of the stadium. However, Perry was in disbelief. As she saw the impact of the ball damaging the car’s window, the Australian batter could not believe her eyes and thought about what she had just done.

On the other hand, the RCB teammates of Perry were in awe of the shot. They looked at the replays and appreciated the shot of Perry. At the same time, players like Sophie Molineux and Sophie Devine had a laugh about the car’s window getting damaged. Ellyse scored a fifty and helped her team score 198 runs with her batting in front of the home crowd.

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Praveen Kumar addresses Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s negligence of taking part in Ranji Trophy




Praveen Kumar

Praveen Kumar has given his opinion on the preferences of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer in recent times. The duo did not take part in the Ranji Trophy matches for their respective teams despite being fit. It did not go well with the Indian Cricket Board which landed the duo without a ventral contract which was announced a few days back.

Praveen Kumar has reacted to the issue recently. The former India pacer claimed that he has been of an opinion on the issue for a long time. Praveen felt that one should definitely earn money but not at the cost of neglecting to play for domestic and national teams. The right-arm pacer felt that players today are having a certain mentality which is not good.

The former pacer claimed that the players have a mindset that they can rest for a month before taking part in the IPL, thereby bypassing playing for their national team or the domestic teams. Praveen felt that the players could not resist letting go of money which they could earn by taking part in the IPL and other T20 leagues (For foreign players).

‘Ye mentally hota hai, ki mai itne paise kaise chodun’ – Praveen Kumar

“This thing is now firmly in the mind of players. Mai ek mahine pehle rest kar lunga, fir IPL khel lunga. Ye mentally hota hai, ki mai itne paise kaise chodun,” said Praveen in the interview. He claimed that youngsters these days are spoilt and are behind money. The former RCB pacer felt that it is not fair on the part of the young players to neglect the country over the IPL.

Kumar felt that a player needs to maintain a balance between playing for the IPL team and for the country. He felt that money is an important factor, but not at the cost of playing for the national team. “But this is not fair at all. A player needs to balance things. Money is important, but this (giving franchise cricket the priority) is wrong,” said the former Indian bowler in the interview.

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