West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell appeared to have suffered a hamstring injury during the Kolkata Knight Riders’ two-wicket loss to the Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Glenn Maxwell starred with bat and ball and Harshal Patel took a hat-trick as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Mumbai Indians by 54 runs in Sunday's Indian Premier League clash.

RCB's captain Virat Kohil, who is set to stand down at the end of the season, laid the foundations with 51 before Srikar Bharat (32) and Maxwell (56) led their side to 165 from their 20 overs.

It could have been far more, however, if it was not for death-bowling pair Jasprit Bumrah (3-36) and Trent Boult (1-17), who combined well to limit Kohli's side to what seemed like a par score before Bangalore's bowlers fought back excellently.

Rohit Sharma (43) and Quinton de Kock (24) looked to have continued the momentum by putting on 56 inside the powerplay, but the latter fell to Yuzendra Chahal (3-11) before the India opener was removed by Maxwell.

Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya quickly followed to the same spinning pair, leaving Mumbai 93-4 with seven overs to go.

Patel inflicted further misery as he ran through the middle and lower-order batters, removing Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar to secure a memorable hat-trick as Mumbai were bowled out for just 111 with 11 balls remaining.

Brilliant Bumrah and Boult

Bumrah removed two of Bangalore's dangermen in Maxwell and AB de Villiers in the space of two balls to kick-start a miserly death-bowling spell, which ultimately proved in vain.

The India quick would eventually finish with an economy of nine as he managed dot balls with a third of his deliveries, while Boult produced four more dots and finished impressively with an economy of just over four.

King Kohli's captaincy decisions pay off

Kohli seemed to get every decision right. Mohammed Siraj ran straight to Kohli following his dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav, suggesting a plan between the pair had come off before another bowling change paid off as well.

Dan Christian, despite his first over going for 15, was brought back by Kohli and his following set of six went for just a run a ball as every decision Kohli made seemed to turn to gold, with RCB limiting Mumbai throughout the middle overs to coast to a comfortable win.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

Ravindra Jadeja was the hero as Chennai Super Kings pinched a dramatic two-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

Kolkata mustered 171-6 from their 20-over allocation and looked heavy favourites, with MS Dhoni's Super Kings needing 24 off the final 10 balls.

However, Jadeja (22) smashed 20 off Prasidh Krishna's final four balls in the penultimate over, with number 10 Deepak Chahar (one not out) then holding his nerve to hit the winning run off the final ball of the match.

Shardul Thakur and Josh Hazlewood took two wickets apiece, and Jadeja picked up 1-21, but Eoin Morgan's Knight Riders still posted a handy total, with Rahul Tripathi (45) and Nitish Rana (37) providing much of the impetus.

Dinesh Karthik played an important hand with a late 26 from just 11 deliveries, but that did not seem to matter as Chennai made a dashing start to their reply, openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad making 43 and 40 respectively.

Once they both fell, Sunil Narine and the Knight Riders attack began to make an impact with the ball as the Super Kings collapsed from 102-1 to 142-6, despite Moeen Ali making 32.

Yet Jadeja then came up with the late intervention that earned him man-of-the-match honours, launching two sixes before immediately adding a pair of fours in the 19th-over burst.

Jadeja fell to the penultimate ball of the contest in Abu Dhabi, pinned lbw by Narine, but Chahar came up with the single required to give Chennai the win.

Nervy Narine

Narine's first two overs were blasted for 25, but the off-spinner led the Knight Riders' recovery as he removed Ambati Rayudu, Sam Curran and Jadeja.

He kept his team in the match all the way to the final ball, after Super Kings' top three earlier piled on the runs, but Jadeja's big-hitting had made it too much of a tall order.

More needed from Morgan?

Morgan struggled for fluidity with the bat, and he may feel his slow scoring ultimately cost his side as they were pipped on the final ball.

The England captain failed to capitalise on Tripathi's top-order impetus as he limped to just eight off 14 balls before being removed by Hazlewood in the ninth over with the score at 70-3.

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Ricky Skerritt, is calling on West Indies cricket fans everywhere, to throw their full support behind the West Indies team when they defend the ICC T20 World Cup title next month.

Punjab Kings propelled themselves back into Indian Premier League play-off contention by beating bottom side Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs on Saturday.

In a low-scoring match between the IPL's bottom two sides, Jason Holder's 47 not out was not enough for the Sunrisers to claim just a second win of the season.

Aiden Markram (27) top scored for Punjab, with captain KL Rahul (21) the only other player to knock off over 20 runs.

Holder was crucial to keeping Punjab to 125-7, as he took three wickets for 19 runs from his four overs, yet Mohammed Shami took the huge wickets of David Warner and Kane Williamson in his first two overs to deal the Sunrisers a blow.

The Sunrisers were reduced to just 20 runs in the powerplay, the lowest total in their IPL history, and despite Holder's unbeaten stand, which included five sixes, they did not have enough to get over the line.

Punjab's win takes them onto eight points, level with three other teams all hunting a play-off spot.

Holder's heroics not enough

There was no doubting who the star of the show was on Saturday, with West Indies international Holder brilliant with both the bat and ball. Yet his efforts proved fruitless, with Nathan Ellis managing to keep him at bay in the final over. 

"It is a tough loss. We left a little bit too much in the back end to do. That's how the game plays. We were behind the eight ball. I just wanted to give myself a chance and strike well," said Holder.

Shami and Bishnoi strike

The Sunrisers' confidence was knocked early by Shami (2-14), as he dismissed Warner (2) and Williamson (1) to stifle the chase before it had even got started.

Ravi Bishnoi then added three wickets for just 24 runs to apply further pressure, skittling through Hyderabad's middle order.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has commenced its first-ever locally planned and delivered High-Performance Coach Development Programme.

Dwayne Bravo and Ruturaj Gaikwad starred as Chennai Super Kings returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket defeat of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

RCB slumped to a nine-wicket loss at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders after they were bowled out for only 92 on Monday in their first game since the tournament resumed.

They looked set to post an imposing total at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday after Devdutt Padikkal (70 off 50 balls) and captain Virat Kohli (53 from 41) put on 111 for the first wicket, but could only finish with 156-6.

Bravo (3-24) and Shardul Thakur (2-29) put the brakes on as Kohli's third-placed side lost their way after the start had been delayed due to a sandstorm.

An opening stand of 71 from 8.2 overs between the in-form Gaikwad (38 off 26) and Faf du Plessis (31 from 26) set CSK on their way to a seventh win in nine matches.

Ambati Rayudu (32) and Moeen Ali (23) also chipped in before vastly experienced duo Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni got the Super Kings home with 11 balls to spare, moving them above Delhi Capitals on net run-rate.

 

OPENERS LAY RCB FOUNDATIONS

The dangerous Padikkal and Kohli got RCB off to a great start after they were put in by MS Dhoni, taking 55 off the powerplay.

Padikkal was the first to raise his bat, bringing up his sixth IPL half-century by dispatching Deepak Chahar for four, and Kohli struck Ravindra Jadeja to the boundary to reach his fifty soon after.

RCB lost their way after Kohli was removed by Bravo in the 14th over, with Padikkal - who struck three sixes - falling straight after Shardul Thakur got rid of AB de Villiers in the South Africa legend's 150th match for just 12.

 

GAIKWAD IN GREAT NICK

Gaikwad made a brilliant unbeaten 88 in CSK's victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians and the opener maintained his form five days later.

The 24-year-old and Du Plessis got the Super Kings ahead of the rate in a great start to the run chase, the South Africa batsman clearing the ropes twice and Gaikwad hitting one six.

Both batsman fell in consecutive overs, but CSK kept wickets in hand and stayed ahead of the rate, with Raina and Dhoni finished off the job.

In-form T20 batsman Sherfane Rutherford has returned home to his native Guyana from the IPL following the death of his father, the Sunrisers Hyderabad Indian Premier League franchise announced on Thursday.

Orin Rutherford, 58, died Thursday, after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus on September 5. He was being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Liliendaal Hospital in Georgetown. He was reportedly unvaccinated.

"The SRH family conveys its heartfelt condolences to Sherfane Rutherford and his family on the passing away of his father. Sherfane will be leaving the IPL bio-bubble to be with his family in this difficult hour," SRH posted on Twitter.

Following a successful season with newly-crowned Caribbean Premier League champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Rutherford was looking forward to his maiden season with SRH.

It always feels good to come to a new franchise. It’s always good coming to something new. I look to learn, gather as much information as I can to work on my game and in the best way I can to help the team,” he said shortly after his arrival in India.

Rutherford, who almost inexplicably missed on being selected to represent the West Indies at next month’s ICC T20 World Cup, was called up by SRH to replace England’s Jonny Bairstow.

He last played in the IPL for Delhi Capitals in 2019.

West Indies Women’s coach Courtney Walsh admits the team’s inability to properly rotate the strike was a disappointment during the recent series against South Africa, as it had been a key area of focus ahead of the games.

The regional team just managed to avoid being on the wrong end of a sweep, after winning the final game of the series in a super over.  The 4-1 scoreline was, however, an accurate reflection of the fact that the West Indies Women had struggled to keep pace with the South Africans for the great majority of the One Day Internationals.

One of those key areas was putting runs on the board, with the Windies Women on many occasions looking bogged down by South Africa’s bowling, before being dismissed after ill-advised shots.  On four occasions the team struggled to get to one 150, a target that seemed an easy reach for South Africa.

 “It’s a concern, the rotation of the strike, it’s something we’ve been talking about since the start of the camp but it was highlighted much more against South Africa,” Walsh told members of the media.

“In terms of just hitting the fielders and not being able to find gaps, not being able to play with soft hands and we have identified that,” he added.

“It has been an ongoing discussion before the series and it was one area I was disappointed in that we did not try to show that (strike rotation) because leading up to the series we had been practicing it, but match-day when we get out in the middle it wasn’t done.  We just kept picking out the fielders.  It’s the sort of the thing you have to do in 50 over games if you want to really compete and it has to be addressed.”

 

Former wicketkeeper batsman, Deryck Murray, believes the Windies World Cup squad has been picked for maximum fireworks even if they do not go on to win the tournament.

The selection of the final team for the upcoming tournament has caused a torrent of discontent around the Caribbean, with strong opinions regarding which players should have be included or left out making the rounds.

Despite agreeing that leaving Holder out of the squad was a mistake, he believes the majority of the team was determined over the last three months and has been selected along the lines of a certain philosophy.

“You saw the team in various matches around and the Caribbean and you could see the pattern of players.  So, it was obvious that what the team has agreed to is what I call a very high-octane policy,” Murray told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“West Indies are undoubtedly going to be the best team to watch, I’m not sure if they’ll be the best team to support, but every moment of every game they play is going to be exciting,” he added.

“Every player is put in there to play a little cameo of some sort, batting bowling or whatever and it is going to be thrilling, people or going to be on the edge of their seats. To me what they’ve decided is these players are going to give us winner take all.”

The West Indies have been placed in a difficult group alongside Australia, England and South Africa.

 

Kolkata Knight Riders recorded only their second win in the past 14 Indian Premier League meetings with Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Eoin Morgan's side swept to an impressive seven-wicket victory after Mumbai had made a strong start through Rohit Sharma (33) and Quinton de Kock (55), having been put in to bat.

The Knight Riders made the challenge of chasing 156 look all too easy, Rahul Tripathi (74) leading the way as they reached 159-3 with 29 balls to spare.

An opening stand of 78 was finally broken when Sunil Narine (1-20) accounted for Rohit before Suryakumar Yadav went for the loss of just five runs.

De Kock's solid 55 ended when he mishit the ball straight to Narine as Prasidh Krishna got his second wicket.

Kieron Pollard (21) and Krunal Pandya (12) helped to stretch the Indians' score to 155-6, and Kolkata's chase looked in a little danger after Shubman Gill was skittled for 13 by Jasprit Bumrah (2-35).

It proved a mere blip during an impeccable innings, though, as Venkatesh Iyer and Tripathi each reached stunning half-centuries while Morgan managed seven off eight balls before being caught by Trent Boult at the ropes.

A commanding victory was secured in style, Nitish Rana reverse sweeping for four as the Knight Riders reached their target with almost five full overs left.

TRIPATHI LEADS MASTERCLASS

It would be easy to blame the Mumbai attack for the ease with which their score was hunted down, Kolkata managing 22 boundaries including eight maximums from only 15.1 overs.

However, praise has to go to the batsmen – and Tripathi in particular – for some immaculate strokes as they finished with a run rate of 10.48.

KNIGHT RIDERS GALLOPING TO PLAY-OFFS

Kolkata are into fourth in the table after managing just a seventh win over the Indians in 29 IPL matches.

With three victories from four, they look to be finding form at a critical moment in the competition.

Former member of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) selection panel, Roland Butcher, believes it could be critical for the West Indies to find a capable replacement for retired batsman Marlon Samuels if the team is to have a chance of retaining the T20 World Cup.

The mercurial Samuels played a key role on both occasions the team won the title, managing to put together innings that balanced an abundance of caution at the crease, with scoring aggression when needed.

In 2012, Samuels average a solid 38.33, with a strike rate of 132 en route to the team’s triumph but more importantly top-scored in the final, with 78 from 56 deliveries, giving the West Indies a comfortable win over Sri Lanka.

In 2016, it was Carlos Brathwaite that got the accolades in a thrilling, brutal final-over onslaught in the final against England but it was Samuels who once again top-scored at the other end, his 85 from 66 balls proving just as crucial in the team’s title triumph.  For that tournament, Samuels averaged 36.20 with a strike rate of 112.42.

“West Indies will play their brand of cricket, which is all guns blazing, but let us remember in those two World Cups that they won there was a certain Marlon Samuels who was the glue,” Butcher told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Among all of those stars there was someone who could hold the team together and, when needed, up the scoring rate.  What they need to do is to find someone to play that role and play it successfully,” he added.

Among the candidate to do so for the upcoming tournament will be Roston Chase whose performance during the recently concluded CPL saw him force himself into the thoughts of the selectors.  For the finalists, St Lucia Kings this season, Chase averaged an impressive 49.55, with a strike rate of 144.33.

“The question will be whether Roston Chase can perform that role to that level on the international stage.  This is the international level with the best teams, it’s not the CPL.  Marlon Samuels proved, not just on those two occasions, that when things were tough, he was the go-to man.”

England's travelling party for the Ashes will not benefit from any "special deals" regarding quarantine rules when they arrive in Australia, according to the country's prime minister Scott Morrison.

The first Test of England's tour of Australia begins on December 8, though it has been reported that a host of players are considering withdrawing from travelling.

This would be due to the strict COVID-19 protocols in place for travellers arriving in Australia, with new arrivals having to undergo a mandatory isolation period in a hotel.

Earlier this year, tennis stars such as Novak Djokovic had to spend up to two weeks in their hotel rooms prior to taking part in the Australian Open.

Australia do plan to ease those restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers, but only once 80 per cent of the nation's adult population have received both doses.

Prime minister Morrison says that figure will hit 50 per cent this week, while he discussed the matter with United Kingdom counterpart Boris Johnson in Washington D.C.

However, he insisted England's squad would have no special arrangements made for them.

"I would love to see the Ashes go ahead, as I shared with Boris last night," Morrison said, as reported by BBC Sport.

"But there's no special deals there, because what we're looking to have is vaccinated people being able to travel.

"I don't see a great deal of difference in skilled workers or students who will be able to come to Australia when you reach those vaccination rates.

"Those who are coming for that purpose when it comes to their profession, which is playing cricket, I don't see the difference between that and someone who's coming as a skilled, qualified engineer or someone who's coming to be ready for study."

Cricket Australia is set to provide details around the travel and quarantine arrangements for the tour to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) this week. 

England players will then be able to make decisions on whether they wish to be included in. the squad, which will be announced in early October. 

Prime minister Johnson said: "I raised it and he said he was going to do his best for the families. He merely undertook to come back and see if he could find a solution."

Delhi Capitals resumed their quest to win the Indian Premier League title with an eight-wicket thrashing of Sunrisers Hyderabad to go top of the table.

The Capitals were at the summit when the tournament was halted in May due to the coronavirus pandemic and returned to the top by making a statement at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Third-placed Sunrisers were rocked by a positive COVID-19 test for bowler T Natarajan ahead of the match, resulting in Vijay Shankar being among a further six members of the franchise to be forced into isolation.

Their day did not get any better in the first game for the two sides since the IPL resumed, with Sunrisers only posting 134-9 as Anrich Nortje (2-12), Axar Patel (2-21) and Kagiso Rabada (3-37) did most of the damage.

Delhi coasted to victory, Shikhar Dhawan - the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 - making 42 off 37 balls at the top of the order to lay the foundations.

The fit-again Shreyas Iyer top scored with 47 from 41 deliveries in his 150th IPL game and captain Rishabh Pant struck an unbeaten 35 off 21 balls as the Capitals moved two points clear of a Chennai Super Kings side who have a game in hand.

PROTEAS PACEMEN FIRE

Nortje was recruited by the Capitals after England all-rounder Chris Woakes opted against taking part in the remainder of the tournament.

The South Africa paceman made an instant impact, getting rid of David Warner for a duck with the third ball of the match before trapping Kedar Jadhav lbw.

Nortje bowled 14 dot balls and although his South Africa team-mate Rabada was much more expensive, he removed Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad. Axar was also outstanding in an impressive display with the ball from Delhi.

 

DHAWAN DELIVERS AGAIN, IYER UP AND RUNNING

Dhawan is on a mission not only to claim the title but also win the purple cap and he leads KL Rahul (380) with 422 runs from nine matches after a blistering knock, striking a six and finding the rope six times.

Delhi suffered a blow when all-rounder Marcus Stoinis sustained a hamstring problem in the field, but Iyer gave the Capitals a big boost in his first game of the tournament and a landmark match.

A shoulder injury meant the batsman was unable to play any part before the tournament was halted on home soil and he teamed up with Pant, who succeeded him as captain, in a stand of 67 off 46 deliveries to seal an emphatic win.

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