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WTC: Tim Southee strikes vital blows



The final day of the World Test Championship awaits a thrilling contest between India and New Zealand after days of interrupted play due to rainfall and bad light.

There were several key performers for each side including Shami, Southee and Williamson.

Shami dismantles Kiwis

Mohammad Shami, whose selection was dubious for the inaugural WTC, has delivered the goods when captain Virat Kohli needed someone from the pace cartel to stand tall.

The right-arm pacer claimed four wickets on Day 5 to break partnership after partnership and hamper New Zealand’s batting in the first innings.

After Kane Williamson put up 49, Shami did not let any NZ batsman extend his stay at the crease.

On the other hand, Ishant Sharma’s three wickets also helped India pull back the game on their side.

NZ seemed to be cruising away in the WTC final until the Shami-Sharma duo let the ball do the talking.

At the end of Day 5, India are 64/2 with Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Kohli at the crease.

They somehow played out the tricky last 15 minutes but knew they had serious work to do on the final morning, the reserve day.

India started the innings against NZ trailing by 32 runs and are now leading by 32 runs.

Southee’s late shockwaves

Tim Southee has been the man in great form for Kane Williamson.

He was only able to pick one wicket in the first innings but excelled with with the bat.

The pacer chipped in a fiery 30 runs thanks to two towering sixes.

The NZ quick is usually known for his swing bowling, but he seems to be in fine knock in every department.

Just before Day 5 ended, Southee sent the Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, back to the hut before much damage could have been done.

While the Indian team prepared for the Trent Boult test, Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee have seemed to come out of the syllabus.

Kohli’s game awareness

Don’t let Virat Kohli’s Punjabi dance steps, shushes, send-offs and celebrations put you off guard.

Apart from being pure box office gold, the Indian captain showed why he is the right choice to lead India.

The quick fall of Kiwi wickets had a lot to do with bowling changes that Kohli brought about.

The three times he changed the bowlers, a wicket went down in the first over of the spell.

When it came to India’s second innings, he decided to come out himself following Rohit Sharma’s late departure instead of sending in a night watchman.

Sending anyone in the Indian pace cartel would have been like sending a pig for slaughter considering the sore legs they must have after gruesome sessions in the biggest game of Test cricket ever played.

What to expect on the final day?

 Kohli is set to steer India to a whirlwind reserve day of the game.

His wicket will be the key to determine which side has the edge on Day 6.

Unbeaten on 8 in 12 balls, the Indian skipper can accelerate if the need be.

If he’s able to put runs in a jiffy on the board, India will attain a solid lead to threaten the Williamson-led troops.

If the final day doesn’t face any rain delay, the game can go down to the wire.

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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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