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Nitish Rana powers KKR to victory

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In the 3rd match of IPL 2021, Kolkata Knight Riders were up against the Sunrises Hyderabad.

In a keenly contested match, KKR won the match by 10 runs after posting a score of 187. 

SRH won the toss and decided to bowl first.

Things looked favourable for David Warner’s side due to the home conditions.

Kolkata had a decent start but they soon lost young star Shubman Gill who was bowled by Rashid Khan for 15 off 13 balls.

That’s when the KKR innings picked up steam.

Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi got the better of bowlers. They both made half centuries with a superb partnership of 93 runs. This took KKR to 145-1 in 15 overs. 

Nitish Rana made a brilliant 80 runs with 4 sixes and 9 fours in just 56 balls.

Rahul Tripathi too scored a fantastic half century.

However, big names like Morgan and Russell failed to come good on a slow and difficult batting pitch.

Thankfully, Dinesh Karthik smashed 22 runs off 9 balls that took the former champions to 187-6 in their 20 overs.

The SRH bowlers made a nice comeback in the last few overs and managed to restrict KKR to under 200.

Afghanistan duo Nabi and Rashid Khan got 2 wickets each in their four overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Natarajan took 1 wicket each. 

SRH top order fails

The home sided needed to chase the target of 188 against the world class KKR bowling attack.

Captain Warner got a lifeline after he was dropped on Harbhajan Singh’s bowling.

However, he failed to make the most of it. Things went terribly wrong when Sunrisers Hyderabad lost their openers cheaply.

Warner left the crease after scoring only 3 runs and Saha scored 7 runs with 1 six.

Suddenly, Hyderabad was down 10 for 2 in the first 2 overs. 

Then, the English sensation Jonny Bairstow and Young Manish Pandey played brilliantly.

Both scored half centuries and the required run rate started to come down. Pandey made an unbeaten 61 off 44 balls with 3 sixes and 2 fours.

Jonny Bairstow made 55 off 40 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes.

At this point, SRH was on top and they were the favorites to win.

However, KKR bowlers stood up when it mattered. The slide started when Pat Cummins got rid of Bairstow in the 12th over. 

Mohammad Nabi managed to score only 14 runs with 2 fours.

Prasidh Krishna took 2 wickets in his 4 overs.

Pat Cummins, Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell all took 1 wicket each in their 4 overs.

In the end, KKR won the match with 10 runs and made a winning start to their 2021 IPL edition. 

Scorecard: 

Kolkata Knight Riders 187 for 6 (Rana 80, Tripathi 53, Rashid 2-24) defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad 177 for 5 (Pandey 61*, Bairstow 55, Krishna 2-35) by 10 runs

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MS Dhoni almost tried to ‘spoil’ Sachin Tendulkar’s significant milestone; Shocked? Check out how

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Sachin Tendulkar & MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is one of India’s most loved cricketers, thanks to his heroics as a wicketkeeper batter and captain over the years. The former India skipper has had the privilege of witnessing milestones created by his teammates from up close many times. Remember Dhoni at the non-striker’s end when Yuvraj Singh hit six sixes in an over against England’s Stuart Broad in the 2007 World Cup to score the fastest T20 half-century?

He was also at the other end when the legendary Sachin Tendulkar achieved a significant milestone in his 24-year cricket career. India vs South Africa, second ODI of the three-match series at Gwalior on 24 February 2010. Opting to bat first, the home team dominated right from the start despite losing Virender Sehwag in the fourth over.

India were 392/3 in 49.2 overs and Tendulkar was at the striker’s end with four balls remaining. The anticipation and excitement of the fans was not to see the team score break the barrier of 400 runs, but the Master Blaster was on 199. Yes, you read that right! He was on the verge of reaching a seemingly impossible milestone.

Finally, the moment came when Tendulkar hit the ball for a single. History was made at the Gwalior International Cricket Stadium. The batting maestro added yet another feather in his cap as he became the first player on the planet to score 200 in men’s ODIs.

MSD made Indian fans’ heart rate higher 

But now you might be thinking how Dhoni has played an antagonist role here. Believe it or not, Tendulkar was almost denied the opportunity to score a double century, not by his opposition, but by his own teammate. It was none other than the then captain of the team, who was standing at the non-striker’s end – ‘Captain Cool’ MSD.

When Tendulkar moved to 199, there were 14 balls left in India’s innings. But he never got a strike in the next 10 balls as Dhoni went berserk in an attempt to increase the team score. He scored 25 runs off those 10 balls, but he played with the patience of fans and his teammate at the other end. But with four balls left in the innings, Dhoni managed to give the strike to Tendulkar and the world witnessed the great man achieve the impossible.

Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 200 off 147 balls and Dhoni made a 35-ball 68 not out to take team total to 401/3. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 248 runs and India won by 153 runs to clinch the series 2-0 with one game to spare.

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No mercy from India! Jasprit Bumrah set to return for final Test against England in Dharamsala

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Jasprit Bumrah

Team India have pocked the five-match Test series against England with a five-wicket win in the fourth match. With a 3-1 lead in the series, they will head into the final Test in Dharamsala as a confident unit. While it is crucial for Ben Stokes and Co. to leave the touring nation on a positive note, the home side is likely to experiment with their playing XI for the low-key fixture.

According to reports, the Indian cricket management is considering resting a few players for the final Test due to the workload. India were without some key players due to withdrawal and injuries throughout the series. However, the youngsters stepped up and gave the desired result, gaining the confidence of the management.

Meanwhile, the Men in Blue are not going to make it easy for the visitors when the two teams clash at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium from March 7. As per Cricbuzz, elite pacer and the team’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah is set to be recalled. This shows that India will go hard in the upcoming match and aim to settle the series 4-1.

Bumrah was rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi as he played three matches on a trot. The 30-year-old has been carefully managed by management since his return from a back injury last year after a nearly year-long absence. He made his comeback in the T20I series against Ireland and after that, he played only in crucial fixtures like the Asia Cup, ODI World Cup, and Test matches. With the 2024 T20 World Cup also around the corner, it will be important for the team to manage Bumrah’s workload.

KL Rahul doubtful for Dharamsala Test 

KL Rahul, who was deemed 90% fit before the third Test in Rajkot, has not fully recovered and is unlikely to play in the final match. Rahul suffered a quadriceps strain in the series opener and missed the next two matches. The report states that the Karnataka cricketer has been sent overseas for treatment.

It remains to be seen whether the under-fire Rajat Patidar will get another chance to prove his mettle in Rahul’s absence. Patidar looked promising in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test, but then lost his rhythm and suffered a series of low scores, including two ducks.

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‘Ye toh Mohammad Kaif 2.0 nikla’ – Fans react as Brendon McCullum accepts series defeat against India and claim themselves to be better than they were in 2022

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Brendon McCullum has reacted to England’s performance in the ongoing series against India. The visiting side are currently trailing 1-3 in the series after the conclusion of the 4th Test in Ranchi. With the fifth Test set to happen in Dharamshala, England have lost the series by all means. They do have a chance to end the series on a high note by winning the last Test.

After the loss against India in the 4th Test, McCullum was in the press conference. He claimed that they are a better side than they were 18 months ago. Brendon acknowledged the fact that they lost the series against India and could not win in the Ashes. He felt that given the way England is playing, there is a good chance of them doing special things in the next 18 months in Test cricket.

“We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes, but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got an opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special shitz. I’m fizzing for it, to be honest,” said McCullum as he was hopeful of a bright future for England in Tests. It is true that England were not as competitive under Joe Root as they are under Ben Stokes.

Improved competitiveness of England

While Root’s tenure was good before the pandemic, the team struggled under his captaincy. 2021 and early 2020 were the years when England was demoralised. They lost in India 1-3 and trailed 1-2 at home against the same opponent. For the first time in over 20 years, NZ beat England in Tests in their own backyard. In 2022, England lost the Ashes 0-4 away from home.

They also lost to the West Indies 0-1 which acted as a final nail in the coffin of Root’s leadership. However, things have changed drastically under Stokes and McCullum. They won the series against New Zealand at home and clean-swept Pakistan in their own backyard. They drew the Ashes 2-2 and drew the series against NZ 1-1 before losing the series against India.

Here’s how the fans reacted to the statement of Brendon McCullum –

 

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