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PSL: Musa, Asif Ali put Islamabad on top



Islamabad United have dethroned Lahore Qalandars as the table-toppers following a 28-run victory in Dubai.

Lahore have now slipped to the second spot.

Both teams have 10 points in hand, but United have the edge owing to the best net run rate (+0.956) in the league.

For a side that was 47/5 at one stage in the first inning, this win is an instance of how well a deep batting line can help a team recover.

Asif Ali to the rescue

United hard-hitter Asif Ali put on a stellar performance against Lahore Qalandars at a time when most of the Islamabad batsmen were unable to prolong their stay at the crease.

His 75 off 43 propelled United to 152/7, a decent total that turned out to be just enough for Shadab Khan’s troops.

The right-handed slogger was middling the ball sweeter than ever.

He even creamed Rashid Khan for boundaries which most batters around the world find extremely hard to do.

Middle-order woes continue for Lahore

Fakhar Zaman and captain Sohail Akhter gave a solid start at the top, but the middle-order failed to carry on.

Muhammad Hafeez and Ben Dunk, who have been the Qalandars’ backbone in batting, haven’t yet turned up with their A-game in the Dubai leg of the PSL.

They have lost only two of their last games this season and the sooner the Hafeez-Dunk duo returns to form, the better.

Musa shines with three scalps

Musa Khan delivered the goods when Muhammad Wasim failed.

The right-arm pacer picked three wickets for 18 runs in his quota to dismantle the Lahore batting line-up.

Fakhar Zaman, who looked dangerous for his 44, was sent packing by the 20-year-old.

His other two victims were two game-changers as well: Ben Dunk and Hafeez.

Islamabad United 152 for 7 (Asif 75, Iftikhar 49, Faulkner 3-19) beat Lahore Qalandars 124 (Zaman 44, Musa 3-18, Shadab 2-14) by 28 runs.

Match preview: Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings

Defending PSL champions Karachi Kings will look to improve their position in the points table when they take on first-placed Islamabad United in Dubai on Monday.

Probable best performer

Babar Azam

Pakistan captain and Kings opener, Babar Azam, is well known for his consistency in white-ball cricket.

While Sharjeel sees off the new ball with cracking hits, it’s Babar Azam whose stay is most significant to Karachi’s cause.

He is this season’s highest scorer (343 runs) and averages just over 114.

The Pakistan skipper is expected to hammer United bowlers on Monday.

Match Prediction

After spanking Lahore Qalandars in the last outing, United are brimming with confidence.

Their sublime form is likely to help them overcome the Karachi showdown.

Kings have been inconsistent in the tournament, which is why they now languish at the fourth spot.

They have won thrice and lost many despite having one of the best batting attacks in the world.

They have Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan and now Martin Guptill up their sleeves.

A familiar pattern has been seen in Karachi’s losses this season – Sharjeel tries to hit one too many shots and gets dismissed.

Azam then has to prolong his stay with wickets tumbling from the other end. This results in a mediocre total for Imad Wasim’s men.

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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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