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Spotlight on 5 IPL Playoff Stars

Before the exciting IPL week begins, here are five players who will add glamour to the knockout matches…reports Asian Lite News

The months-long action-packed Indian Premier League (IPL) battle has reached its business end with four teams qualifying for the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs. After the caravan of 70 matches, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) have progressed to the knockout phase of the tournament.

In Qualifier 1, table toppers Kolkata will take on second-placed Hyderabad at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Tuesday while Rajasthan and Bengaluru will face off in the Eliminator on Wednesday at the same venue. The winner of Qualifier 1 will book their berth for the title clash in Chennai on May 6 while the loser will lock horns with the winner of the Eliminator to enter the finals.

Before the thrilling IPL week commences, let us take a look at the five players who will bring out the glamour to the knockout matches.

Virat Kohli

Star Indian batter has been on a purple patch since last year’s ODI World Cup, where he finished as the highest run-getter in the history of the tournament. The right-handed batter continued his form in the cash-rich league and is sitting on the top of the highest run-getters list with 708 runs in 14 matches including five half-centuries and a hundred. He remains the backbone of RCB’s batting department and played an instrumental role in his franchise’s journey to the playoffs.

Abhishek Sharma

The 23-year-old opener has shown the skills to become a crucial part of the Indian T20 team in the coming years. The left-handed batter has been firing all his cylinders at the top of the order and accumulated 467 runs in 13 games for Hyderabad. He also struck three fifties in the ongoing season and scored at a blistering strike rate of 209.41. In the final league match against Punjab Kings, his quickfire 66 off 28 balls helped the franchise to finish second on the points table. KKR will have to come up with a solid plan to get him early in the game.

Riyan Parag

Riyan is having his best IPL season since making his debut in 2019. The middle-order batter has amassed 531 runs in 13 matches for Rajasthan including four half-centuries. He has played vital knocks for the franchise throughout the season with consistent performances with the bat. His presence becomes more crucial for RR after losing Jos Buttler in the top order due to national commitments.

Sunil Narine

West Indies all-rounder Narine has once again proved that he can single-handedly change the balance on any team for which he is playing. The 35-year-old made the most of the season as he contributed 461 runs with the help of a century and three fifties while in the bowling department, he picked 15 wickets in 13 matches.

Pat Cummins

World Cup-winning captain Cummins carried forward his leadership skills in the IPL and guided SRH to playoffs in his debut season with the franchise. His on-field decisions and the right choice of bowlers in crucial moments saw them flourish in the tournament. In 13 matches, he has bagged 15 wickets and will surely make an impact in the playoffs.

ALSO READ: RCB Triumph Over CSK to Clinch Playoff Berth

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Manchester City Clinch Fourth Consecutive Premier League Title

With Sunday’s win over the Hammers, City finished with 91 points from 38 matches with 28 wins and seven draws…reports Asian Lite News

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City made history on Sunday by becoming the first English club to win four Premier League titles in a row with a 3-1 win over West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium here. Guardiola has masterminded an unprecedented era of dominance for the second club from Manchester, who have now lifted 17 major honours since the Spanish coach arrived in Manchester.

With Sunday’s win over the Hammers, City finished with 91 points from 38 matches with 28 wins and seven draws, ending two points ahead of Arsenal, who defeated Everton 2-1 at home. Liverpool won 2-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield to secure third place in the table.

At the start of the day, the focus was on City as everyone wanted to know whether this side had the can repeat the monumental achievement of winning the Big Five trophies in 2023.

Sealed on the final day of a gruelling campaign, Manchester City have now won 10 English league titles in total and six of those titles have come under their Catalan manager.

The 3-1 final-day victory over West Ham United was made possible by two goals by Phil Foden, who was named Premier League Player of the Season and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, and one by Rodrigo.

Foden took just 79 seconds to fire City into the lead before doubling their advantage when he turned in Jeremy Doku’s pinpoint cross in the 18th minute.

West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus pulled a goal back with a stunning overhead kick just before half-time. But Rodrigo put the result beyond doubt with an elegant finish as Guardiola’s side remained unbeaten at Etihad STadium throughout this season.

This latest Premier League title success is the third trophy City have won during the 2023/24 season, building on the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup victories earlier in the campaign.

City now have an opportunity to become the first side in English football history to win back-to-back Premier League and FA Cup doubles when they face cross-town rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 25.

Sunday’s historic achievement now sits alongside the 100 Premier League points that Manchester City achieved in 2017/18, their Fourmidables campaign of 2018/19, and their incredible Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup Treble of 2022-23 among the pantheon of hugely significant City milestones in recent seasons.

ALSO READ: RCB Triumph Over CSK to Clinch Playoff Berth

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RR Denied Top-Two Finish in IPL 2024 Due to Rain

The abandonment of IPL 2024’s last league game means table-toppers KKR will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 …reports Asian Lite News

Rajasthan Royals were denied a shot at a top-two finish in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 points table as their final league match against Kolkata Knight Riders was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of rain at the Barsapara Stadium here on Sunday.

The abandonment of IPL 2024’s last league game means table-toppers KKR will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 at Ahmedabad on Tuesday, while third-placed RR will take on the in-form Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Eliminator at the same venue on Wednesday. It’s also the first time that KKR have ended an IPL league stage as table-toppers.

Ahead of Sunday’s game, there had been an alert issued in Guwahati about rain, thunderstorms, and gusty winds affecting the clash between the top two teams on the points table. Just five minutes before the scheduled toss time, sudden rain forced the groundstaff to bring the covers on the playing square.

Soon, additional covers were brought in and the forecast was not looking promising with the drizzle varying between heavy and steady, keeping the teams as well as fans waiting. With the cut-off time for a five-over shootout set at 10.56 pm local time, the rain stopped at 10 pm and covers were pulled off, with super soppers working in full swing.

With the rain threat still looming, KKR chose to bowl first in a seven-overs-per-side shootout. But ahead of the start of the truncated game, rain returned to Guwahati, and the covers were back in place.

The inevitable happened at 10:49 pm when captains Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson shook hands to signal the abandonment of the match, with both RR and KKR receiving a point each.

ALSO READ: RCB Triumph Over CSK to Clinch Playoff Berth

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RCB Triumph Over CSK to Clinch Playoff Berth

It’s the fourth time RCB entered the IPL playoffs in the last five seasons and they will now play the Eliminator on May 23 …reports Asian Lite News

Left-arm pacer Yash Dayal starred with 2-42, including taking out MS Dhoni in a seven-run final over, as Royal Challengers Bengaluru held their nerve to enter the IPL 2024 playoffs with a stunning 27-run win over Chennai Super Kings in front of their faithful fans at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

After captain Faf du Plessis (54), Virat Kohli (47), Rajat Patidar (41), and Cameron Green (38 not out) excelled in a collective batting show to post a challenging 218/5, with a 40-minute rain interval in between, RCB then had CSK in trouble right from the start of the chase.

Though Rachin Ravindra made 61 which Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni shared a 61-run stand off 27 balls, it wasn’t enough as CSK were restricted to 191/7 to bow out of the competition, as RCB got their sixth consecutive win of the competition to grab the last remaining playoffs spot.

It’s the fourth time RCB entered the IPL playoffs in the last five seasons and they will now play the Eliminator on May 23 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. RCB have also become the first team to qualify for the playoffs with seven wins in a 10-team competition.

Kohli and du Plessis set the platform for the big total through the 78-run opening stand. It was followed by Patidar and Green having a 71-run association for the third wicket, with Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell firing in late cameos to get a massive total on board for RCB.

Tournament’s leading run-getter Kohli began in stunning fashion with a square drive off Shardul Thakur for four, before skipper Faf du Plessis drove the all-rounder for four more and thumped a six over the bowler’s head.

Kohli used his supple wrists to flick Tushar Deshpande for six, before pulling him for another maximum in the third over, while also completing 3000 runs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Just as Maheesh Theekshana was to bowl the fourth over, heavy showers lashed the venue and forced players as well as on-field umpires to get off the field, with covers quickly covering the field of play.

After 40 minutes of interruption, with moisture caused by rain seeping into the pitch, Theekshana and Mitchell Santner found turn, grip, and bounce. It meant RCB didn’t get many runs and ended their power-play at 42/0. Despite Kohli striking some lovely boundaries off Santner and Ravindra Jadeja, he fell three runs short of his fifty when he whipped uppishly to wide long-on off the former.

Du Plessis continued the attack by hitting Jadeja for four and back-to-back sixes in his third over before reaching his fifty. But his knock ended when Santner got a finger off a straight drive from Patidar before the ball hit the stumps at the bowler’s end, catching the batter short of the crease. After several replays, umpire Michael Gough confirmed du Plessis’ bat was in the air and adjudged him out for 54 off 39 balls.

Patidar and Green hit three boundaries collectively off Simarjeet Singh, before giving the same treatment to Shardul Thakur. Patidar then smashed Deshpande for a brace of sixes, before Green hit consecutive maximums off Thakur.

But Patidar fell for a 23-ball 41 after holing out to long-on off Thakur. Karthik and Maxwell hit quickfire boundaries in the last three overs of the innings as RCB slammed 80 runs in the last five overs to post their highest total against CSK in the IPL.

In reply, CSK were never in the hunt to chase down 219 from the word go. Captain Ruturaj Gaikwad fell for a golden duck after top-edging a short ball straight to short fine leg off Maxwell. Daryl Mitchell couldn’t do much, lasting just six balls before miscuing a loft to mid-off against Dayal.

Ravindra, with his cuts and pulls, along with Ajinkya Rahane steadied CSK’s ship after the early blows by hitting seven boundaries between themselves in a 66-run stand off 41 balls for the third wicket. But pressure built by RCB spinners meant Rahane looked to take on Lockie Ferguson’s first ball, but top-edged to wide mid-off to fall for 33 off 22 balls.

Ravindra marched forward to get a 31-ball fifty, his first in the IPL, by heaving Ferguson over deep mid-wicket for six. Luck was going CSK’s way when Siraj dropped Shivam Dube’s catch at long-on. But in the same over, a massive mix-up resulted in Ravindra being run out for 61 off 37 balls.

Though Jadeja was dropped by Karthik off Green, RCB continued to strike as Dube holed out to long-on off Ferguson, while du Plessis took a leaping one-handed catch at mid-off to dismiss Santner cheaply.

Jadeja and Dhoni hit nine stunning boundaries between themselves to valiantly take CSK close to 200, but once the latter fell to Dayal in the final over, the match turned in RCB’s favour.

CSK needed 10 runs to qualify off the last two balls, but Dayal got his redemption by not giving a single run to spark frenzied celebrations in the venue.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 218/5 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 54, Virat Kohli 47; Shardul Thakur 2-61, Mitchell Santner 1-23) beat Chennai Super Kings 191/7 in 20 overs (Rachin Ravindra 61, Ravindra Jadeja 42 not out; Yash Dayal 2-42, Cameron Green 1-18) by 27 runs

ALSO READ: Retiring As a Legend

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Retiring As a Legend

The iconic number nine of Indian football made his debut in 2005 for the national team scoring 94 goals for the country….reports Asian Lite News

It is truly a sad day for Indian football as Sunil Chhetri, one of the greatest players in Indian football, has announced his decision to retire following FIFA World Cup 2026 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6.

As the news spread, some of the biggest names in India have shared their views on the 39-year old’s retirement call.

Bhaichung Bhutia, who Chhetri admired most and under whom Chhetri grew up, told IANS that “he has contributed so much to Indian football. Indian football is going to miss a legendary footballer like him.”

“He has contributed so much to Indian football. Indian football is going to miss a legendary footballer like him. There will be a huge gap to fill now. Overall I think he was too professional and is one of the greatest examples to the generations to come. His focused dedication is exemplary,” Bhaichung added.

Chhetri played his 150th match against Afghanistan in March earlier this year. The iconic number nine of Indian football made his debut in 2005 for the national team scoring 94 goals for the country.

The skipper is India’s all-time top scorer and the most capped player for the national side. He is also the third highest scorer for the National team among active players only behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“There are few players without whom the sport is left poorer. Sunil Chhetri is one. We are lucky to have him play for India. it is not over yet. He still has to lead us against Kuwait and win it for us, to make the most fond farewell for Sunil and for Indian football. He is an icon, legend. For him Indian football has benefitted in many ways. Wish him the best,” said Kalyan Chaubey, president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

Chhetri’s one time teammate, one of the best goalkeepers the country has seen, Subrata Paul told IANS, “I respect Sunil’s decision to retire from international football. I understand it is a very tough call. We have been on the same side of the field numerous times, learning and pushing each other. He has been an inspiration and has set the standards exceptionally high. Good luck my friend for your life beyond the field. Looking forward to walking it together.”

Midfield general Mehtab Hussain, who played alongside Chhetri, in many matches recalled that he and Sunil used to play together for Mohun Bagan, the oldest club to still exist in India.

“We started together at the Mohun Bagan club. See, every player has to call it a day, sooner or later. He might have understood or felt that this is my last match. It varies from person to person. He played for a very long time and gave his services to the National and club teams. Hats off to him the way he has taken himself to such a height. I, as a friend, feel proud of him,” Mehtab said.

Tribute to Stellar Career

Following Sunil Chhetri’s official announcement in which the striker announced that he will be playing his last game for India against Kuwait on June 6, many boards, teams and players have come out pay tribute to the Indian captain’s stellar career.

The official handle for the FIFA World Cup has posted a tribute for Chhetri as well which included the iconic photo of him standing with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on a podium, which signifies the top three active international goal scorers.

The picture was coupled with a caption, “Retiring as a legend”.

“Sunil Chhetri, the world’s third-highest active international goalscorer, will play his final game for Indian Football in next month’s FIFA WorldCup qualifiers,” added the official account for the FIFA World Cup on X (formerly known as Twitter).

The 39-year old played his 150th game for his country against Afghanistan last month. He has scored 94 goals so far in his international career with fans hoping he finds the back of the net at least one more time in the blue tigers jersey during the game vs Kuwait at Salt Lake Stadium.

FIFA World Cup’s official account also posted a video of Chhetri’s previous interview in which he talked about the comparisons made between him, Messi and Ronaldo.

“Some of the fans go overboard and think about comparing (with Messi & Ronaldo) but there are footballing fans who understand there is no comparison between the kind of players that we are but I will definitely compete with them with all my might in terms of giving the best for your country. There I probably would not lose,” Chhetri had said to FIFA +

A Legacy of Dedication and Inspiration

The loss of Sunil Chhetri is not one that can be described in words. Following the announcement of his impending retirement, the sports fraternity has come alive to pay their tributes to one of the best to ever grace the pitch.

Chhetri, who is known for his calm, composure and maturity both on and off the pitch, features that another former Indian captain is well known for. Former India football captain IM Vijayan has compared the 39-year-old with ‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni.

“I consider Chhetri a great player, a terrific motivator, and an ideal captain. He is like MS Dhoni, who has excelled both as a player and a captain. The kind of discipline Chhetri maintained throughout his career has made him a role model.

“I tell youngsters like Sahal Abdul Samad and Ashique Kuruniyan to follow Chhetri’s lifestyle if they wish to prolong their careers. It will take some time before we get another footballer like Sunil Chhetri in India,” Vijayan was quoted as saying by AIFF.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah, too, lavished praise on Chhetri, stating, “@chetrisunil11, one of India’s most decorated footballers, has announced his retirement from international football. Your dedication and passion have been an inspiration to millions. As a pioneer of Indian football, you’ve not only achieved remarkable success but also elevated the sport in our country. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors!”

Chhetri will don the Blue Tigers jersey one final time as he walks out on the pitch at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata against Kuwait in a must win FIFA WC Joint Qualifier on June 6. The match is of great significance as the venue is the most iconic football ground in the country and holds a lot of history having seen the best of Indian footballing moments.

Meanwhile, AIFF acting general secretary M Satyanarayan, said, “It would be an understatement to say that Sunil Chhetri’s retirement will be a big loss for Indian Football. We have seen the dedication with which he has played for both club and country.

“Even at the age of 39, he is one of the fittest players on the pitch. Right now, the only thing that we can do is look back on his glorious career and celebrate it. We certainly hope that he will do the job for the nation one last time on June 6, but whatever the result may be, he will certainly go down as one of the legends of Indian Football. I would like to sincerely thank him for his massive contribution to Indian Football,” he added.

ALSO READ: RR’s Woes Deepen

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RR’s Woes Deepen

RR have lost their fourth match in a row and are second with eight wins and five losses, giving them 16 points. PBKS is in ninth spot with five wins, eight losses and 10 points…reports Asian Lite News

Despite qualifying for playoffs, Rajasthan Royals (RR) continued a downward spiral in momentum as a fine bowling performance by Punjab Kings (PBKS) and a fighting half-century by skipper Sam Curran handed them a five-wicket loss at Guwahati on Wednesday in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match.

RR have lost their fourth match in a row and are second with eight wins and five losses, giving them 16 points. PBKS is in ninth spot with five wins, eight losses and 10 points.

In the run-chase of 145 runs, Punjab Kings had a poor start as they lost Prabhsimran Singh for just six runs in four balls, with a top edge of his bat landing into the hands of Yuzvendra Chahal at short third man. Trent Boult got his first wicket. PBKS was 6/1 in 0.4 overs.

Riley Rossouw came to the crease and along with Jonny Bairstow, unleashed a brief attack on pacers. Rossouw smashed Boult for three fours in the third over and in the next over, Sandeep was hit for two boundaries by South Africa.

However, Rossouw sliced a delivery by Avesh Khan straight into the hands of Yashasvi Jaiswal at backward point, dismissed for 22 in 13 balls, with five fours. PBKS was 36/2 in 4.3 overs.

Two balls later, Avesh Khan trapped Shashank Singh’s leg-before-wicket for a duck. PBKS was 36/3 in 4.5 overs.

PBKS had a very disappointing powerplay, ending their six overs at 39/3, with Jonny Bairstow (9*) and Sam Curran (2*) unbeaten.

Chahal got his first wicket, removing a struggling Bairstow for just 14 in 22 balls, consisting of a four. PBKS was 48/4 in eight overs.

Skipper Sam Curran and Jitesh Sharma joined forces and built the innings run-by-run following these early wickets.

Halfway through the innings, PBKS was 63/4, with Jitesh (8*) and Curran (13*) unbeaten.

Punjab reached the 100-run mark in 14.4 overs thanks to a six from Curran.

At the end of 15 overs, PBKS was 103/4, with Jitesh (22*) and Curran (39*) unbeaten.

The 63-run partnership between the duo was over when a lofted shot from Jitesh landed into the hands of Riyan, giving Chahal his second wicket. Jitesh was gone for 22 in 20 balls, with two fours. PBKS was 111/5 in 15.4 overs.

Curran continued his fightback, reaching his second fifty in the tournament in 38 balls, with five fours and a six.

PBKS ended their run chase at 145/5 in 18.5 overs, with Curran (63* in 41 balls, with five fours and three sixes) and Ashutosh Sharma (17* in 11 balls, with a four and six) unbeaten.

Avesh Khan (2/28) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/31) were among the top bowlers for RR.

Earlier, Sam Curran and Rahul Chahar helped Punjab Kings (PBKS) to restrict Rajasthan Royals (RR) at 144/9 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Riyan Parag was the only standout batter for Rajasthan Royals after he scored the highest runs among his teammates in Guwahati.

After winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals decided to bat first in Guwahati, however, they did not get the start they wanted after Punjab Kings bowlers restricted the hosts’ run rate.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (4 runs from 4 balls, 1 four) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (18 runs from 23 balls, 2 fours and 1 six) opened for the Rajasthan-based franchise.

Jaiswal smashed a four after cracking a cover drive against Sam Curran in the first ball of the inning. But the Indian youngster struggled infront of the PBKS skipper as Curran dismissed him in the fourth ball of the first over. Curran gave only nine runs in his first over.

After the first dismissal, Kohler-Cadmore and Sanju Samson (18 runs from 15 balls, 3 fours) tried to build a partnership. But the RR skipper was removed by Nathan Ellis in the 7th over.

After the end of the first powerplay of the match, the Royals scored just 38 runs and lost one wicket. In IPL 2024, RR became the second franchise after Gujarat Titans (GT) to hit the least sixes in powerplay, Samson’s side smashed just 17 overhead boundaries in the ongoing T20 tournament.

Kohler-Cadmore struggled to get going in the game and Rahul Chahar was successful in dismissing him in the 8th over.

RR were at 58/3 after the end of the 10th over. PBKS bowlers kept the rate under control without any problem. The Royals registered the fifth lowest scores at the 10-over mark in the ongoing IPL 2024.

After failing to hit boundaries, Ravichandran Ashwin (28 runs from 19 balls, 3 fours and 1 six) came as a rescue in the 12th over after he slammed 2 fours and 1 six against Chahar. The PBKS bowler gave 17 runs in the 12th over.

In the 13th over, Arshdeep Singh removed Ashwin to get an upper hand on the match. RR failed to maintain momentum in the game, as in the 14th over, Sam Curran removed Dhruv Jurel for a golden duck.

The Rajasthan-based franchise crossed the 100-run mark in the 14th over. Just in the next over, Rovman Powell (4 runs from 5 balls, 1 four) was removed by Chahar in the 15th over.

It was not the beginning the Royals expected as they had a slow start, losing wickets and ending with a mediocre total at the halfway stage after the end of the 16th over when Samson’s side was at 113/6.

Harshal Patel bagged his first wicket of the game after he removed Donovan Ferreira (7 runs from 8 balls) in the 18th over.

In the last over of the first inning, Harshal removed Riyan Parag (48 runs from 34 balls, 6 fours). The Assamese cricketer only dealt with fours and failed to slam a single six against the Punjab bowlers.

In the last ball of the over, Boult tried to take two runs but Shashank Singh and Jonny Bairstow made no mistake in removing him by a run-out. The Royals ended their inning at 144/9.

Rahul Chahar, Sam Curran, and Harshal Patel led the Punjab bowling attack as the two bowlers picked up two wickets in their respective spells.

Brief score: Rajasthan Royals: 144/9 (Riyan Parag 48, Ravichandran Ashwin 28, Sanju Samson 18; Sam Curran 2/24) lost to Punjab Kings: 145/5 (Sam Curran 63*, Rilee Rossouw 22, Avesh Khan 2/26). (ANI)

ALSO READ: Weather Hands KKR Top Two Finish

ALSO READ: Team India Seeks Head Coach

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Weather Hands KKR Top Two Finish

With 19 points in the standings, Kolkata Knight Riders are assured a top-two spot while Gujarat Titans are officially out of the race for the playoffs with 11 points in 13 games…reports Asian Lite News

The match between Gujarat Titans (GT) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was abandoned due to rain without a single ball being bowled at Narendra Modi Stadium here on Monday night. Both the teams will share a point each.

Incessant lightning and bad weather first delayed the start of the match and then with continuous drizzle, the match was called off at 10:42 pm as both the captains Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill shook hands, exchanging the ribbons as part of the breast cancer awareness.

With 19 points in the standings, Kolkata Knight Riders are assured a top-two spot while Gujarat Titans are officially out of the race for the playoffs with 11 points in 13 games.

Gujarat Titans were only mathematically alive because they have the lowest net run rate of the season (-1.063), meaning that even two strong wins in their last two games may have left them short.

After 12 games, KKR’s dominant net run rate of 1.428 virtually guaranteed them a top-two finish: nevertheless. The 19 points in their tally always sealed the deal.

This is the first time that GT have not qualified for the IPL playoffs since they joined the competition for the 2022 season. They have a consolation game against Sunrisers Hyderabad next on May 16.

The next goal for KKR will be to end the league stage as the top team, something they have never done before. They would receive that if they beat Rajasthan Royals in their last league encounter on Sunday. In addition, they would guarantee the No. 1 spot should Rajasthan Royals lose their next two games, including the match against KKR.

They wouldn’t be too upset if Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t finish first. They were the IPL champions on the only two occasions they finished second in the points standings (2012) and 2014.

ALSO READ: RCB’s Triumphant Streak Continues

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Team India Seeks Head Coach

The Head Coach will lead a team of specialist coaches and support staff and will be responsible for defining their roles, their performance and ongoing development…reports Asian Lite News

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited applications for the position of Head Coach of the Senior Men’s national team. The BCCI on Monday invited applications for the position of Head Coach of the Senior Men’s Team. Applications for the position should be submitted by 6 PM IST on May 27, the release said.

“The selection process will include a thorough review of applications, followed by personal interviews and assessments of shortlisted candidates,” Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Monday.

The candidate should have played a minimum of 30 Test Matches or 50 ODI’s; or be Head Coach of a full member Test Playing Nation, for a minimum period of two years; or Head Coach of an Associate member/IPL Team or Equivalent International League/First Class Teams. National A teams, for a minimum period of 3 years; or should have BCCI Level 3 Certification or equivalent; and should be below 60 years of age, the BCCI informed.

According to the job description given by BCCI, the successful candidate will be responsible for developing a world-class Indian cricket team which delivers sustained success in all conditions and formats, inspiring current and future generations of cricketers and stakeholders with their approach to the game.

“The Head Coach will have overall responsibility for the performance and management of the India Men’s team in all three formats of the game,” the BCCI informed.

The Head Coach will lead a team of specialist coaches and support staff and will be responsible for defining their roles, their performance and ongoing development, the release said. The Head Coach will be responsible for reviewing, maintaining, and enforcing the disciplinary codes within the Indian Men’s team, it said.

Interestingly, the job description listed fans, broadcasters, media and national teams as external stakeholders with whom the Head Coach will have communication and working relations. The internal stakeholders with whom the Head Coach will have relations include BCCI office-bearers, CEO-BCCI and the men’s senior selection committee.

Saying that the appointee will have high accountability towards the performance of team India, it said that the successful candidate will be an accomplished strategist with clear and ambitious plans for how to develop and build success for Indian cricket moving forward. They will need to demonstrate that they can create a winning culture and world-leading teams in all forms of the game.

ALSO READ: RCB’s Triumphant Streak Continues

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RCB’s Triumphant Streak Continues

RCB secures fifth straight victory in IPL 2024, defeating Delhi Capitals by 47 runs to maintain playoff hopes at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium…reports Asian Lite News

An 88-run partnership off 53 balls for the third wicket between Rajat Patidar (52) and Will Jacks (41), along with Cameron Green’s 32 not out and left-arm pacer Yash Dayal’s 3-20 helped Royal Challengers Bengaluru beat Delhi Capitals by 47 runs to register their fifth successive win in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 and stay in contention for a Play-offs spot at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.

Pushed into batting first, DC dropped four catches as RCB stayed the course of playing attacking cricket. But the visitors came back strongly in the last five overs, giving away 49 runs while taking five wickets to keep RCB to 187/9, 13 runs below 200, which seemed to be a strong possibility at one point.

In reply, Dayal led a superb bowlers’ show on a slightly two-paced pitch to bowl out DC for 140. DC, playing without captain Rishabh Pant due to slow-over rate suspension, never recovered from the setback of losing four wickets in the Power-play. Stand-in skipper Axar Patel’s 57 off 39 balls kept DC in the hunt, but he found little support from other batters, as dropping four catches in the first innings came back to haunt them.

Moreover, DC were hurt by Jake Fraser-McGurk and Tristan Stubbs’ runouts in the chase of 188. Sunday’s result means both RCB and DC are on 12 points, but the former are not in fifth place in the points table with a positive net run rate, as compared to the latter now in sixth position with a negative net run rate.

DC got success early when Faf du Plessis sliced Mukesh Kumar to a deep point in the third over. Virat Kohli was solid in his base and timing to hit four and three sixes in his 13-ball 27, before giving a healthy edge behind off Ishant Sharma. Patidar hit the ground running by creaming Mukesh Kumar for three boundaries, before slogging Axar over deep mid-wicket for six in the last over of power-play.

Patidar and Jacks then exclusively dealt in sixes off Axar and Kuldeep, while getting a life each off the latter in the ninth over. Jacks and Patidar were again given lives in a matter of two overs off Khaleel and Rasikh respectively.

Patidar brought up his fifty off 29 balls, before miscuing to extra-cover off Rasikh in the 13th over. Jacks was next to fall, as he hit straight to cover off Kuldeep. Cameron Green and Mahipal Lomror hit four boundaries collectively before Khaleel took the latter and Dinesh Karthik out in quick succession.

From there, DC applied more brakes on RCB’s innings as Impact Player Swapnil Singh heaved to deep backward square-leg off Rasikh, followed by Karn Sharma and Mohammed Siraj’s run-out on the last two balls of the innings.

DC didn’t have an ideal start to their chase as a returning David Warner hit straight to long-on off Swapnil in the opening over. It turned for worse as Dayal bounced out Abishek Porel off his first ball, while Fraser-McGurk, after hitting four boundaries, was run-out from the non-striker’s end as Dayal, in his follow-through, got a finger on the straight drive from Shai Hope to catch him out of the crease.

When Kumar Kushagra was trapped plumb lbw by Mohammed Siraj, DC were reduced to 30/4 in 3.3 overs. Hope launched a fightback by creaming Dayal for three fours, while Axar hit two boundaries off Siraj as DC ended the Power-play at 54/4. Though Axar hit some boundaries, RCB were able to keep DC on a leash.

That pressure to get big runs resulted in Hope going for a slog off a Lockie Ferguson full-toss, but he could only toe-end it towards deep mid-wicket. A miscommunication between Axar and Stubbs resulted in the latter being run out by a direct hit from Green at the bowler’s end. Axar continued to keep DC in the hunt by slog-sweeping Karn Sharma once and Jacks twice, leading to him reaching his second fifty of the season in 30 balls.

But DC’s hopes of chasing were dashed when Rasikh toe-ended a chip to long-on off Green and Axar’s heave resulted in a top-edge caught by tumbling backward point off Green. Ferguson and Dayal took out the remaining two wickets to ensure RCB gave its faithful fans lots of cheers.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 187/9 in 20 overs (Rajat Patidar 52, Will Jacks 41; Rasikh Salam 2-23, Khaleel Ahmed 2-31) beat Delhi Capitals 140 all out in 19.1 overs (Axar Patel 57; Yash Dayal 3-20, Lockie Ferguson 2-23) by 47 runs.

ALSO READ: KKR Beats MI, Clinches Playoff Spot

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KKR Beats MI, Clinches Playoff Spot

With this victory, Kolkata Knight Riders have become the inaugural team to guarantee their Playoff berth, advancing to 18 points with nine wins out of 12 matches…reports Asian Lite News

Ishan Kishan struck a 22-ball 40 but Kolkata Knight Riders rode on a superb bowling effort spearheaded by spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Mumbai Indians by 18 runs in Match 60 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 which was curtailed to 16-overs-a side because of rain at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

With this win, Kolkata Knight Riders became the first team to secure their place in the Playoff, moving to 18 points from nine wins from 12 matches. This was their second win over MI this season, having beaten them at the Wankhede stadium a few days back.

Mumbai Indians were looking on course at 65 for no loss with Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma at the wicket. But the KKR bowlers pulled things back, bowled good lengths and varied the pace on a wicket on which the ball was gripping and bouncing a bit.

Chakravarthy (2-17), Harshit Rana (2-34) and Andre Russell (2-34) bowled brilliantly to check the Mumbai Indians progress and restricted them to 139/8 after a 21-ball 42 by Venkatesh Iyer and 23-ball 33 by Nitish Rana helped them recover from a precarious 40/3 after they were asked to bat first by Mumbai Indians. Andre Russell (14-ball 24) and Rinku Singh (20 off 12) struck some lusty blows towards the end as KKR reached a challenging 157/7.

KKR were again looking in trouble at the end of the Power-play with Ishan Kishan going strong before Sunil and Varun Chakravarthy applied the brakes. Chakkravarthy was their best bowler and he troubled the batters, not allowing the batters to get under the ball or hit horizontal bat shots.

This was Mumbai Indians’ ninth defeat in 13 matches this season and they will wrap up their campaign on May 17 at the Wankhede with a clash against Lucknow Super Giants.

Chasing a tough target of 158 in 16 overs, Mumbai made a fine start with Ishan Kishan slamming a 22-ball 40, studded with five boundaries and two sixes. Though Rohit Sharma, brought in as an Impact Substitute, struggled to get going, Kishan’s superb batting ensured that the five-time champions reached 59 for no loss in the five-over Power-play.

On a wicket on which the ball was gripping and rising a bit, Mumbai fettered away the good start as they lost their way around in the middle overs, failing to get the better of KKR spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.

Kishan, who struck successive fours off and followed that up with a six off the final ball of the fourth over bowled by Harshit Rana, switch-hit Sunil Narine for a boundary and a six off successive balls to round off the Power-play.

Narine got the breakthrough for KKR when he outfoxed Kishan with a faster carrom ball and the batter hit it straight to Ramandeep Singh.

Rohit Sharma struggled to 19 off 24 balls before he offered an easy catch to Narine off Chakravarthy. Suryakumar Yadav, who struck a brilliant unbeaten century at the Wankhede a few days back, was out cheaply, managing 11 off 15 balls before he tried to hit Andre Russell from way outside the off-stump to the leg side and was caught by Ramandeep near the boundary.

With 70 needed from 30 balls, Hardik Pandya fell for 2, caught by Vaibhav Arora off Varun Chaktrvarthy and when Tim David fell to Russell off the first ball of the 13th over, they seemed in deep trouble.

Tilak Varma hblasted Harshit Rana for a four and six off successive balls and then reverse-hit for another boundary. But Nehal Wadhera was run out going for a double off the last ball, leaving Mumbai needing 41 off 12 balls. Naman Dhir hammered Russell for two sixes and a four off four deliveries and when Phil Salt slipped a skier off the final ball of the over MI scored 18 runs off the 14th over.

They needed 22 off the last six balls, but Naman Dhir tried to hoist Rana out of the ground but mishit to deep midwicket where Rinku Singh picked an easy catch. Naman Dhir was out for 17 off six. A delivery later Rana got Varma with extra bounce as an attempted slap over point went behind to keeper Salt.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 157/7 in 16 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 42, Nitish Rana 33; Piyush Chawla 2-28, Jasprit Bumrah 2-39) beat Mumbai Indians 139/8 in 16 overs (Ishan Kishan 40, Tilak Varma 32; Varun Chakravarthy 2=17, Harshit Rana 2-34, Andre Russell 2-34) by 18 runs.

ALSO READ: RCB Revives Playoff Chances, PBKS Out