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Jadeja spin seals Chennai win over Sunrisers in IPL



(Last Updated On: April 22, 2023)

Ravindra Jadeja’s 3-22 led Chennai’s dominance in spin-friendly conditions at home for a smooth seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League Friday.

The visitors managed just 134-7 after being sent in to bat and Jadeja’s four-over spell for the Super Kings choked their innings before it could get going.

“It is a good track to bowl on for me,” Jadeja said. “The ball stops a bit here and I am able to trap the batsmen bowling straight.”

Opener Abhishek Sharma was the one bright spot for Hyderabad with 34 off 26 balls before the home town’s spinners applied the squeeze.

Harry Brook, who scored this IPL’s first century two innings ago, only managed 18 off 13 balls.

Apart from Sharma, only number three batter Rahul Tripathi crossed the 20-run mark for Hyderabad.

Skipper M.S. Dhoni put on a clinic behind the stumps, snapping up Aiden Markram before stumping Mayank Agarwal. Later he also ran out Washington Sundar, overcoming a troublesome knee injury.

The hosts eased to 138-3 in reply with eight balls to spare as opener Devon Conway scored his third consecutive tournament half-century.

Conway finished undefeated on 77 from 57 balls with 12 fours and a six although the capacity home crowd were a little disappointed at not getting to see Dhoni at the crease.

Speculation is rife that this tournament will be the beloved 41-year-old’s last, but Dhoni could return to his home ground next month with Chennai now third on the table.

The IPL finals schedule was announced before the match with the first qualifier and eliminator to be played in the city on May 23 and 24.

Ahmedabad, home ground of last year’s winners Gujarat Titans, will host the second qualifier and the 2023 final on May 26 and 28.


Historic team rankings favor India and Pakistan at World Cup



(Last Updated On: September 27, 2023)

India’s recent run of form in 50-over cricket means Rohit Sharma’s side will start this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as the No.1 ranked side on the MRF Tyres ODI Team Rankings.

India have lost just four of the 20 ODI matches they have contested in 2023 and as a result cannot be overtaken as the top-ranked side on the team rankings before the World Cup begins on October 5.

While Pakistan’s rating of 115 is just two rating points behind India’s, these two places are set in stone up until the start of the World Cup regardless of the outcome of any remaining fixtures between now and the commencement of the six-week tournament.

The warm-up fixtures that are scheduled to take place prior to the World Cup are not counted as official ODI matches and do not alter the team rankings.

An historical look at past World Cups shows this could be a good sign for both India and Pakistan, with every edition of the tournament since 1999 having been won by sides that have occupied the top two places on the ODI rankings at the start of the event.

Australia were ranked second when winning a second title in England in 1999 and then occupied top spot on the rankings when claiming the coveted World Cup trophy in South Africa in 2003 and in the West Indies in 2007.

Adam Gilchrist’s monstrous hundred helped Australia to victory over Sri Lanka in the 2007 World Cup Final.

Similarly, India held the No.2 ranking when victorious on home soil in 2011 and Australia (2015) and England (2019) were the No.1 ranked sides when they proved too strong in the two most recent editions of the 50-over showcase.

While the ICC applied their ratings system to results that dated back to 1981, there was not enough data available to apply these ratings to results prior to this year due to infrequency of matches and the small number of competing teams.

As a result, there are no rankings available for the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979.

Another good sign for India is the recent domination of host countries at the World Cup.

The three most recent World Cups have been won by countries that hosted the World Cup Final and India will get their chance to keep that trend going when the 2023 decider is held at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19.

And while all the pressure will be on India as the sole host of the World Cup this year and current holder of the premier ODI ranking, Rohit’s side can take further confidence in the performance of No.1 ranked sides at previous editions of the tournament.

Only once has the top-ranked team failed to make it through to the knockout stages of the event – Australia narrowly missed on qualifying for the semi-finals in 1992 – and the side with the No.1 ranking has made it through to the tournament decider on seven of the most recent 10 occasions.

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Asian Games 2023: Nepal make cricket history



(Last Updated On: September 27, 2023)

A rampant Nepal rewrote the T20 international cricket record books at the Asian Games on Wednesday while China’s Zhang Yufei laid down another marker for the Paris Olympics in the swimming pool.

Hosts China lead the medals table with 72 golds, far ahead of South Korea (16) and Japan (13), after adding titles in artistic gymnastics, chess, sailing, shooting, wushu and beach volleyball, AFP reported.

In some of the first action on day four in Hangzhou, Nepal smashed a series of records to open the men’s cricket competition in a 273-run thumping of bewildered part-timers Mongolia.

Nepal bludgeoned 314-3 in their 20 overs, beating the previous highest T20 men’s international innings of 278-3 by Afghanistan against Ireland in 2019.

Teenager Kushal Malla, batting number three, spearheaded the onslaught by crashing the fastest T20 international century off 34 balls.

Among the other records they racked up, Dipendra Singh Airee hit a scarcely believable eight sixes in an unbeaten 52 off 10 balls.

The powerful 23-year-old raced to his fifty off nine balls, another T20 world record and one that should stand in perpetuity because it is mathematically impossible to reach the landmark any quicker.

Nepal’s 26 sixes in the innings was also the best ever.

Mongolia, whose women’s team were bowled out for just 15 at the Asian Games last week, were dismissed for only 41 in 13.1 overs.

Much sterner tests await for Nepal, with India and Pakistan both in the draw.

In another gold rush for hosts China, they won the women’s and men’s street finals in skateboarding thanks to a couple of teenagers.

The 16-year-old Zhang Jie triumphed in the men’s and Cui Chenxi, just 13, won the women’s.

But China did not have it all their own way as Japan won all three golds on offer on the day on the cycling track ahead of the hosts.

Japan sped to victory in women’s and men’s team pursuit, and in women’s keirin.

Japan’s Naoki Kojima said he and his team-mates were celebrating well before they crossed the line in the men’s team pursuit.

“In the last three or four laps we knew that we’d win,” he said.

“I was behind my teammates and I was supposed to lead the last lap.

“I checked the other riders and I knew we had enough power to win.

“We were actually already celebrating during the last three or four laps.”

Zhang fires warning

Seven golds will be won later in the day in swimming, one of the most prestigious events at the Games and boasting some of the best swimmers in the world, AFP reported.

There is added intrigue with the 2024 Paris Olympics coming up fast, less than 10 months away.

The hosts have been particularly impressive, topping the podium in 15 of the 20 races at the halfway mark of the six-day swimming event.

Zhang Yufei roared into the 100m butterfly final on Wednesday morning with the year’s third-fastest time — she also owns the fastest — bolstering her case as hot favorite in Paris.

The 25-year-old, who has already claimed the 200m fly title in Hangzhou to go with her Olympic gold, surged to the wall in a Games-record 56.20sec.

A 100m butterfly silver medallist at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, behind Maggie Mac Neil, Zhang turned the tables at the world championships in July by edging the Canadian to win gold.

In other sports, Chinese table tennis legend Ma Long, 34, said he had almost certainly made his last Asian Games appearance after helping the hosts to men’s team gold.

Asked about the prospect of defending his Olympic title next year, Ma said: “Paris is still too early to say for me.”

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Day 2 Roundup: China’s medal momentum continues at Asian Games



(Last Updated On: September 26, 2023)

Hosts China continued to dominate at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou on Monday, securing an impressive haul of 19 gold medals, while the shooting range had three world records shattered.

The Chinese rowers once again made a significant impact along the Fuchun River, earning five more gold medals on the last day of rowing action, Xinhua reported.

On Sunday, Chinese rowers also won the Men’s and Women’s Quadruple Sculls, Women’s Pair, and Eight.

In total, China has taken 11 out of the 14 gold medals available in the sport, including the first gold of these events in the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls.

After a dominating performance in the pool on Sunday with seven gold medals, Chinese swimmers slightly slowed their momentum on Monday, clinching four out of the seven golds. Triple Breaststroke world champion Qin Haiyang won the 100m Breaststroke, setting a Games record of 57.76 seconds.

His compatriot Yan Zibei was second in 59.09 seconds, while Republic of Korea’s Choi Dongyeol placed third in 59.28.

Qin, flagbearer for the Chinese team at the opening ceremony, rose to stardom at the World Championships in Fukuoka in July, becoming the first man in history to win all three Breaststroke titles while also setting a world record in the 200m.

When asked about his plans to break the 50m Breaststroke world record, Qin said that he wouldn’t specifically prepare for it, as “it’s not an Olympic event.”

“I think I’ll need some luck to break the world record,” the 24-year-old added.

In the Women’s 200m Individual Medley final, a competitive duel unfolded between rising star Yu Yiting and London Olympic champion Ye Shiwen. Yu set a Games record of 2:07.75 to claim the title, with Ye finishing second in 2:10.34. Republic of Korea’s Kim Seoyeong was third with a time of 2:10.36.

China’s world champion Xu Jiayu secured the top spot in the Men’s 50m Backstroke with a time of 24.38 seconds, while Wang Xue’er narrowly outpaced teammate Wan Letian to win the Women’s 50m Backstroke in 27.35 seconds.

In a historic moment for Hong Kong, China, Siobhan Bernadette Haughey earned Hong Kong’s first-ever gold medal in Swimming at the Asian Games. Haughey, the Olympic silver medalist in the Women’s 100m Freestyle, cruised to victory in the 200m, beating defending champion Li Bingjie of China in a Games record of 1:54.12.

The shooting range also provided cause for celebration as China’s shooters claimed 3 gold medals, breaking 2 of the 3 world records on the day.

In other events, China’s women gymnasts extended their remarkable streak by winning their 13th consecutive team title at the Asian Games, scoring 161.896 points. Japan was second with 157.229 points, while DPR Korea placed third with 156.829 points.

China also claimed gold medals in Cycling, Taekwondo, Skateboarding, Fencing and Wushu to lead the medal table with 39 gold, 21 silver, and 9 bronze medals. The Republic of Korea was second with 10 golds and Japan third with 5.

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