The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel has named 30 players for an estimated month-long West Indies Women’s high-performance camp to be held in Antigua starting on May 2.

This will be the second such month-long camp in 2021 assembled under the guidance of Head Coach Courtney Walsh and his support team.

With the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers now rescheduled for December, Coach Walsh has devised a programme to maximize team preparations ahead of international cricket and the qualifiers later in the year.

“The purpose of this camp is to work on consistency and game awareness. The last camp was more observational, and we got a pretty good idea of where the ladies are at. There are 30 players coming in and a few of them are coming in nursing injuries, so the coaching staff and medical team are ready to work with all of them,” he said.

“We are going to use this camp to see as much of the players as possible. I am most excited to see the younger ones coming into the camp because we’re trying to build the pool of players available. So, I think it’ll be a great opportunity for these youngsters and the other new players to grasp the chance before them.”

Among the 30 players called up for the camp are eight (8) uncapped players including teenagers Zaida James from St. Lucia and Jannillea Glasgow from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. James is a left-arm medium-pacer while Glasgow is a right-arm medium pacer.

The other uncapped players are Rashada Williams, Caneisha Isaac, Shanika Bruce, Mandy Mangru and Rachel Vincent. Making a return to the camp is left-handed wicket-keeper/batter Kycia Knight.

CWI’s Lead Selector for Women’s cricket, Ann Browne-John was excited by the bigger pool of players for this camp.

 “It is very important to have the West Indies players back in a training camp as the coaches can continue to help them hone their skills as we prepare for our next series. Most of the top international teams have now restarted playing and it is critical for the WI team to prepare as we anticipate more international cricket coming up this summer,” she said while indicating that the camp will also focus on specific areas for development.

“In an effort to continue to unearth talent, eight players have been included who were not in the January camp. It serves as an opportunity for the coaches and selectors to look at some of the young up and coming players. Due to the pandemic, a regional tournament has not been held yet, so the players haven’t had the opportunity to impress the selectors in competitive matches.

“Heavy emphasis has been placed on batters including first-timers Rachel Vincent, an opening batter from Trinidad and Tobago, and Mandy Mangru, a young player from Guyana who has been impressive in the Under-19 tournament. The camp also includes two young teenage medium pacers, Zaida James and Jannillea Glasgow.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree on the safety protocols for the camp after the successful hosting of the first Women’s high-performance camp, the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the West Indies Men’s International Home Series against Sri Lanka. All players and support staff were tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival in Antigua. The players and support staff will train and live in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of the camp.

Full squad: Aaliyah Alleyne, Reniece Boyce, Shanika Bruce, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Caneisha Isaac, Zaida James, Japhina Joseph, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Steffi Soogrim, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Vincent and Rashada Williams.

The team-management unit comprises Courtney Walsh - Head Coach; Sheena Gooding - Team Manager; Ryan Austin - Assistant Coach; Corey Collymore - Assistant Coach; Steve Liburd - Assistant Coach; Samantha Lynch - Assistant Coach; Robert Samuels - Assistant Coach; Neil Barry – Physiotherapist; Shayne Cooper - Strength & Conditioning

Quinton de Kock guided Mumbai Indians back to winning ways as his dazzling innings helped last season's champions beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets.

Rajasthan made 171-4 but were lacking an outstanding contribution with the bat, which is what De Kock gave Mumbai as his unbeaten 70 from 50 balls proved telling, halting a two-game slide.

Chris Morris took two of the three Mumbai wickets to fall, but the Indian Premier League's most expensive player also saw his first delivery swatted for six by De Kock and could not win that contest.

Jasprit Bumrah had earlier played a key role with the ball in restricting the flow of runs late in Rajasthan's innings, and Mumbai reached their target with nine balls to spare, finishing on 172-3.

At Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, Rajasthan's top four all made useful scores, with Jos Buttler having three fours and three sixes in making 41 from 32 deliveries and fellow opener Yashasvi Jaiswal also clearing the ropes twice in a rapid 32 from 20 balls.

Both fell to Rahul Chahar (2-33), with Sanju Samson top-scoring with 42 from 27 balls before being cleaned up by a Trent Boult yorker. Shivam Dube (35) was caught and bowled by Bumrah, who snagged his reward for a dazzling performance, finishing with 1-15 from four overs.

Mumbai began their reply in solid fashion and De Kock welcomed fellow South African Morris into the attack with a brutal pull over the ropes.

Morris conceded four leg byes from the next delivery too, but from the final ball of the over he coaxed Rohit Sharma to chip to Chetan Sakariya at mid-on for the first breakthrough of the innings, with 49 on the board.

De Kock kept the runs flowing but lost second-wicket partner Suryakumar Yadav for just 16, flicking Morris to Buttler at mid-wicket, and almost departed himself when he was dropped on 58 by Jaiswal off Sakariya. It would have been a stunning catch and Jaiswal, dashing backwards in the field, got hands to the ball but could not cling on.

Krunal Pandya cracked two sixes in making 39 from 26 balls, edging a delivery from Mustafizur Rahman into his stumps to perish before the winning line, but De Kock and Kieron Pollard (16no), who also struck a maximum off Morris, soon made sure.

Bumrah gets it right

Bumrah may not have the wickets to show for it yet this season, but few batsmen will have relished facing his pace and skill. Here he delivered 12 dot balls, conceded just one boundary, and picked up a wicket from his penultimate delivery, which was probably one of the worst balls he bowled. Stifling the Royals batsmen late in the innings proved so valuable in the end.

De Kock makes his mark

With three failures from his first four IPL innings this season, De Kock knew the team were due a score from him, and here it was. After going 2, 40, 2, 3 in Mumbai's previous matches, opener De Kock stepped up and made all the difference in this clash. His six off Morris was a highlight and De Kock twice went over the ropes, also cracking six fours while proving both sturdy and ever-dangerous. Mumbai had won just two of their opening five games, but this third win was a dominant one, largely thanks to their powerful left-hander.

English rugby and cricket will follow football in a social media boycott aimed at combatting the ongoing problem of online abuse.

Last Sunday, it was announced that teams from the top men's and women's leagues in England would not post to their social media accounts from Friday until next Monday, with players expected to follow suit.

A joint statement from governing bodies including the FA, the Premier League, the Women's Super League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), confirmed the action was aimed at demonstrating "that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight".

On Wednesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed all 18 first-class county sides, as well as regional women's teams and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) "will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the football community" by taking part in the blackout.

PCA chief executive Rob Lynch said: "Social media companies have to do more. Our members are often victims of horrific online abuse with little or no punishment for the perpetrators and this has to change.

"A unified silence from players and the wider game is a powerful stance to show that our members will not allow social media companies, which have brought so much benefit to the game, to continue to ignore and fail to prioritise the need for appropriate legislation in protecting people against online discriminatory behaviour."

On Thursday, England Rugby announced that all social media channels run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) would also join the boycott, along with leading clubs.

Sarah Hunter, who this month captained England to a third successive Women's Six Nations title, said: "No professional sportsperson should have to suffer abuse, racism or harassment on social media.

"We've all seen how social media can help bring fans and players closer together but this does not mean abuse should be ignored.

"While we have an important Test match in France on Friday, we understand there are bigger and more important issues and hopefully this is an important statement that online hate will not be tolerated."

Jamaicans Andre Russell and Fabian Allen are among five West Indies players who were picked up yesterday’s Pakistan Super League Replacement Draft that is expected to resume. However, one player is on the way out.

Chennai Super Kings once again got the better of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, recording a seventh win in nine meetings by easily chasing down a target of 172.

Ruturaj Gaikwad made 75 - his highest IPL score - and the in-form Faf du Plessis contributed 56 as Chennai triumphed with seven wickets and nine balls to spare at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Rashid Khan (3-36) was the only successful Hyderabad bowler, though even the leg-spinner was not spared from punishment. With a fifth successive win, the Super Kings move above Royal Challengers Bangalore to top of the table.

Hyderabad, in contrast, prop up the rest in the standings; winning the toss was about the only thing that went right for them.

Captain David Warner laboured to 57 from 55 balls and Manish Pandey finished as his team's leading scorer with 61, helping add 106 in combination with his skipper for the second wicket.

However, after Lungi Ngidi (2-35) removed both well-set batsmen, Kane Williamson finally provided some much-needed impetus in the closing overs.

The New Zealand captain hit 26 from the 10 deliveries he faced, raising the question as to why he did not come in earlier in the innings. Kedar Jadhav (12 not out) also contributed a late cameo, though a final score of 171-3 always appeared below par.


Warner signs not good

Warner now has 193 runs at an average of 32.16 in the tournament this year, while the left-hander reached the notable personal milestone of 10,000 in his first-class career in the shortest format.

Still, his strike-rate of 110.28 runs per 100 deliveries in 2021 is well below his IPL career mark of 140.13. The skipper's frustration was obvious in this innings, as he struggled to pierce the field, albeit he did manage three fours and a pair of sixes.

Openers dominate in chase

Having seen Hyderabad struggle for momentum, Chennai made sure they did not have similar issues in their reply. Gaikwad recorded his fifth IPL half-century thanks to 12 boundaries and Du Plessis played his part in an opening stand worth 129 to take over as the leading run-scorer in the tournament.

While Rashid dismissed the pair – as well as getting Moeen Ali caught for 15 in the deep – Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, who finished unbeaten on seven and 17 respectively, made sure their team cruised over the line in the penultimate over.

Former Sri Lanka paceman Nuwan Zoysa has been hit with a six-year ban from all cricket after being found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

The 42-year-old's suspension has been backdated to October 31, 2018 – the date when he was provisionally banned during his employment as Sri Lanka's bowling coach

An ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found Zoysa guilty of "being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect(s) of an international match".

He was also found guilty of "directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach Code Article 2.1". 

Zoya's third guilty charge was for "failing to disclose to the ACU [ICC Anti-Corruption Unit] full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the code".

"Mr Zoysa has also been charged by the ICC on behalf of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) with breaching four counts of the ECB Anti-Corruption Code for participants for the T10 League and those proceedings are ongoing," an ICC statement added.

The quick played 95 ODIs and 30 Tests for Sri Lanka, with his last international appearance coming in 2007.

Alex Marshall, ICC general manager – Integrity Unit, said: "Nuwan played 125 matches for Sri Lanka, attending a number of anti-corruption sessions during a decade-long international career.

"In his role as a national coach, he should have acted as a role model. Instead, he became involved with a corrupter and attempted to corrupt others.

"Contriving to fix a game betrays the basis of sporting principles. It will not be tolerated in our sport."

 

Former Indian cricketer, Pragyan Ojha, believes the Punjab Kings XI are heaping unnecessary pressure onto batsmen Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran, due to the team's approach to structuring its innings.

Pooran has struggled to make an impact in six matches so far this season, managing just a high score of 19 and failing to score on three occasions.  Gayle has had more of a mixed performance, scoring 40 plus on two occasions but also had a series of low scores, including a golden duck in the team’s last encounter against Kolkata Knightriders.

Ojha, however, believes that the team’s top two KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal might be thinking about scoring too quickly and posting too big a target too early in the innings.

"They should think about 160-170 at first. But if you start thinking from the beginning that we have a very good batting line-up with Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran and we should aim 180-190 then you are putting undue pressure on (them),” Ojha told Cricbuzz.

"You can only think about a big score once you have got a good start. So you have to change your plans accordingly. You can't think that you have big names and they will always score runs. You have the look at the kind of form they are in too. Can't plan based on past glory," Ojha added.

The upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) set to be held entirely on the island of St Kitts & Nevis and bowls off on August 28.

Due to the threat posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the entire 2020 edition of the tournament was held in Trinidad and Tobago, under strict COVID-19 protocols.

In several respects, the tournament was a success with the event successfully being delivered to a record audience of over 500 million.  The Trinbago Knightriders were eventually crowned champions on their own patch.

St Kitts and Nevis’ Warner Park has been the scene of some of the most iconic matches in Hero CPL history.  Fans were treated to Chris Gayle’s brilliant hundred against the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2019 and Andre Russell’s even more explosive century against the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2016. There have also been some amazing matches, not least the game that went to a Super Over finish between St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the Knight Riders in 2019.

This year’s tournament takes on extra significance with it taking place in the lead up to the ICC T20 World Cup and both West Indies and overseas players will be using the opportunity to push for selection for their international teams.

 “We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be having the Hero CPL in St Kitts & Nevis in 2021 and we would like to thank those involved in welcoming the tournament to this wonderful country,” Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s COO, said.

“As was demonstrated during the 2020 tournament the CPL is a massive boost for the host country with US$51.5million delivered in sponsorship value for Trinidad & Tobago. We are really looking forward to giving St Kitts & Nevis the exposure they deserve.”

 

Kolkata Knight Riders ended their four-match IPL slump with a comfortable five-wicket victory over Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad.

KKR had lost each game since winning their tournament opener but were quickly on top on Monday, given a straightforward chase - led by captain Eoin Morgan (47 not out) and Rahul Tripathi (41) - after limiting the Kings to 123-9.

That total could easily have been far lower as Punjab failed to fire, with Mayank Agarwal their top scorer on an underwhelming 31 off 34.

By the time he departed to Sunil Narine in the 12th over, the Kings had just 60 runs on the board and had already lost three prior wickets - including Chris Gayle, who had previously averaged 47 against the Knight Riders but went for a duck.

Wickets continued to fall apace, but Chris Jordan ensured his side made three figures and then kept going, 30 off 18 keeping Punjab's slim hopes alive.

Those hopes grew when Kolkata made a similarly shaky start, losing three wickets in the first three overs.

But Tripathi survived and a partnership of 66 with Morgan set the stage for a stress-free finale, even with Andre Russell run out for 10.

A 13-run 16th over, including back-to-back Morgan boundaries, brought the finish line into view, with Dinesh Karthik's four then completing the job at 126-5 with 20 balls to spare.

Narine celebrations soon subside

The Knight Riders had not previously had much to savour this season, but Sunil Narine always enjoys himself against the Kings and figures of 2-22 took him to 30 Punjab wickets, the most of any bowler in the IPL.

His quota was finished by the time Jordan threatened a fightback, though, and then the West Indies all-rounder was unable to contribute with the bat as Ravi Bishnoi's outstanding diving catch ended his innings after four balls and no runs.

Morgan makes sure of no momentum swing

This has been a tough tournament for the Knight Riders and they might have feared another difficult outing against the Kings, who had been eight-wicket victors in their previous meeting in October.

But skipper Morgan was a typically steady presence throughout the chase before accelerating late on to pass 7,000 Twenty20 runs and ensure Kolkata retain the upper hand against a side they have now beaten in 13 of their past 16 outings.

Australia internationals Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa are returning home from the Indian Premier League, while Ravichandran Ashwin has announced he is taking a break from the tournament.

Fast bowler Richardson played once in the 2021 edition, taking 1-29 from three overs in Bangalore's 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on April 22.

Leg-spinner Zampa, however, did not feature for the Royal Challengers, who confirmed the departure of the duo for personal reasons.

"Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson are returning to Australia for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of #IPL2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore management respects their decision and offers them complete support," a statement on Twitter read.

Andrew Tye had become the first Australian to depart the IPL bubble on Sunday, a decision made by the Rajasthan Royals fast bowler over concerns about flights home amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in India.

The country has been setting global records for daily figures, with over 17million confirmed cases in total during the pandemic.

"I just thought I should try and get on the front foot and get home before I got locked out of the country," Tye told radio station SEN while in Doha awaiting to complete his journey to Australia.

"There's definitely concerns. A lot of guys have been in touch once they've realised I was leaving. Some of the guys are very interested in what route I took home and how I approached it."

A three-day snap lockdown was placed on the Perth and Peel areas of Western Australia last week amid concerns over coronavirus spreading within communities.

Ashwin, meanwhile, is leaving the Delhi Capitals squad to focus on helping his family during the coronavirus crisis.

"I would be taking a break from this year's IPL from tomorrow," he tweeted on Sunday. "My family and extended family are putting up a fight against COVID-19 and I want to support them during these tough times. I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you."

Ashwin has taken one wicket and posted an economy rate of 7.73 runs per over in his five outings for the Capitals, who defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday to make it four wins in five outings.

Axar Patel hit the ground running as Delhi Capitals claimed a dramatic Super Over victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

The Capitals posted 159-4 on a slow pitch at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Prithvi Shaw top-scoring with 53 from 39 balls and Rishabh Pant (37) and Steve Smith (34) both adding handy contributions.

Sunrisers looked beaten when Axar took two wickets in as many balls to reduce them to 117-6 in the 17th over, but Kane Williamson's unbeaten 66 from 51 deliveries kept them in the hunt.

They needed 16 to win off the last over from Kagiso Rabada and forced the Super Over after a boundary from Williamson and Jagadeesha Suchith's huge six over midwicket.

Williamson and David Warner were then restricted to just seven runs by Axar, who was handed the ball for the Super Over in his first match of the tournament after recovering from coronavirus.

Sunrisers were deducted a run as Warner's bat did not cross the line as he scampered back for a second off the final ball of Axar's over.

Shikhar Dhawan struck a boundary before he and Pant went through for a third leg bye of Rashid Khan's decisive over to secure a fourth victory from five matches for second-placed Delhi, who are level on points with leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Williamson did not deserve to be on the losing side after making an excellent half-century following Jonny Bairstow's blistering 38 from 18 balls, which included four sixes. Avesh Khan claimed 3-34 for the Daredevils.

 

Shaw steps up at the top of the order

The first three balls of the match sent down by Khaleel Ahmed were dispatched for four by Shaw and the Capitals had 26 on the board after two overs.

Shaw reached his half-century off 35 balls, with Dhawan bowled by Rashid Khan for 28 to end an opening stand of 81 in the 11th over.

Pant and Smith struck a six apiece after Shaw was run out, putting on 58 for the third wicket on a slow track with runs not easy to come by.

Axar makes up for lost time

Spinner Axar was stuck in quarantine as the Capitals made a promising start to the season following a positive COVID-19 test that brought him back down to earth after an outstanding Test series against England.

Avesh Khan removed Bairstow immediately after the England wicketkeeper-batsman hit him for six, after Warner had been run out for six, and the same bowler also saw the back of Virat Singh.

Axar was on a hat-trick after trapping Abhishek Sharma and Rashid Khan in the 17th over, and he bowled a tight Super Over to ensure Williamson's brilliant knock was in vain.

Ravindra Jadeja produced an utterly remarkable all-round performance as Chennai Super Kings extinguished Royal Challengers Bangalore's 100 per cent record with a thumping 69-run Indian Premier League victory.

Bangalore's attack combined to shackle Chennai to reasonable effect until Jadeja – dropped on nought by Dan Christian – laid waste to the final over of the innings from Harshal Patel (3-51), taking advantage of a no ball to bludgeon 37 and finish on 62 not out in a total of 191-4.

The Royal Challengers will still have harboured high hopes after Devdutt Padikkal and skipper Virat Kohli chased down 178 without loss against Rajasthan Royals last time out, but there was to be no repeat of those heroics as they staggered to 122-9, Jadeja starring with 3-13 and a run out.

Faf du Plessis scored 50 for Chennai and combined in an opening stand of 74 with Ruturaj Gaikwad (33) to lay a solid foundation, although Kohli cajoled his attack in typical fashion to keep the Super Kings on a leash, with Harshal to the fore.

The right-armer's outing unravelled in spectacular fashion, though, seeing a length ball and a missed yorker disappear before over-stepping as Jadeja smoked him over midwicket.

The additional delivery was similarly dispatched by the India all-rounder to bring up a 25-ball fifty, before a drop at extra cover allowed Jadeja to swipe a full toss beyond long-on and score four more through square leg to complete the humiliation.

Buoyed by his majestic century last time out, Padikkal went briskly about his work, although he pulled Shardul Thakur to Suresh Raina to depart for 34.

Kohli had already edged Sam Curran behind by that point and Jadeja ensured there was no way back for RCB. He had Washington Sundar caught at long-on from the second ball of his spell, while running out Christian in between bowling Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers showed everything the slow left-armer touched turned to gold.

Veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir took 2-16 and ran out Kyle Jamieson for 16 as Bangalore fell well short and Chennai went top of the table.

Record-equalling Ravi enjoys a performance to savour

Jadeja's merciless flogging of Harshal equalled the record for runs scored in a single IPL over – Chris Gayle having taken Prasanth Parameswaran of the now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala for 37 when in RCB colours back in 2011. Scott Styris' 38 at James Fuller's expense for Sussex against Gloucestershire in 2012 remains the all-time T20 record.

Harsh on Harshal

If ever anyone had due cause to lament T20 as a batsman's game, it was poor old Harshal. For three overs, he bowled beautifully and approached that fateful final set of six with figures of 3-14. Raina and Du Plessis departed in successive balls to leave him on a hat-trick, Harshal's off-cutters proving a tough code to crack until Jadeja explosively intervened.

Babar Azam became the fastest player to reach 2,000 Twenty20 runs in international cricket as he helped Pakistan secure a series-clinching victory over Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Captain Babar made 52 but it was Mohammad Rizwan's unbeaten 91 that powered Pakistan to 165-3 in the third and final game at the Harare Sports Club.

That total proved beyond Zimbabwe, though Wesley Madhevere (59) had the hosts in contention. They were 102-1 at one stage in reply, only to lose three wickets for eight runs to scupper their hopes.

Tadiwanashe Marumani departed for 35 to trigger the mini collapse and, despite 20 from Brendan Taylor, the innings fell away in the closing stages, finishing up at 141-7 to lose by 24 runs.

Hasan Ali was the star performer for Pakistan with the ball, taking career-best figures of 4-18, as the tourists bounced back after a first ever loss to Zimbabwe in the format on Friday.

With his side bowled out for 99 when chasing in the previous game, Babar opted to bat first after winning the toss. Sharjeel Khan fell for 18 in the powerplay but the skipper combined with opener Rizwan to put on a crucial second-wicket stand worth 126.

The partnership eventually came to an end when Babar was caught in the deep in the final over, with Fakhar Zaman then falling immediately in similar fashion as he registered a first-ball duck.

Luke Jongwe benefited from the late double to finish with figures of 3-37, giving him nine wickets in the series at an average of 8.77. He had claimed 4-18 in his team's victory but the hosts were unable to pull off a repeat result.

The two nations now switch their focus to Test cricket. A two-match series begins in Harare on Thursday.


Rizwan gets maximum rewards

As was the case in the opening fixture, the home team appeared in a strong position in a run chase, only to falter as the finishing line drew into sight. Madhevere hit seven of his team's 16 fours, yet they did not manage a solitary six between them.

Indeed, Rizwan was the only player to clear the boundary rope in the match, doing so three times as he registered a fourth unbeaten half-century in his past seven T20 games.

Captain fantastic in fine form

The ever-consistent Babar has now managed 50 or more on 11 occasions in T20 cricket for Pakistan since the start of 2019, a fine run of form that has helped him reach a notable personal milestone.

He made it to the 2,000-run mark in 52 innings - four fewer than India skipper Virat Kohli. His career average in the format now stands at a hugely impressive 47.32.

 West Indies Indies T20 star, Chris Gayle, insists he is feeling fit and at the top of his game after a decisive performance for Punjab Kings XI, in a win against defending champions Mumbai Indians, in the Indian Premier Leauge (IPL) on Friday.

Gayle made a steady 43 from 35 deliveries, and along with KL Rahul, who added 60 from 52, anchored Kings XI to an 8-wicket win. 

The batsman’s innings was, however, uncharacteristically devoid of massive slogs over the boundary as he hit only two sixes.  The 41-year-old did gather quite a few runs darting for quick singles, which has not been a part of his game in recent years.

The veteran batsman had come under criticism in recent days following a string of low scores and a 1-3 start for Punjab.  Gayle, however, insists he is feeling in excellent shape and was happy for the result.

"I am feeling very good, a bit relieved. We wanted this win badly, playing against the defending champions was always going to be tough. They played four games, to actually get this win is fantastic for the team and the Universe Boss as well.

“I was looking pretty good, running between the wickets, I am feeling fit and good about myself. I am enjoying it, I am looking after my body, getting a lot of massages so I can move freely, humidity here in Chennai also kind of lets the blood flow so I am on top of my game," Gayle told the official IPL website.

Rajasthan Royals lifted themselves off the foot of the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a bottom-of-the-table encounter.

Dismantled by Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game, the Royals got the response they needed on Saturday.

Chris Morris was the star with the ball for Rajasthan, his 4-23 helping limit Kolkata to 133-9 at the Wankhede Stadium, while the South African also ran out Eoin Morgan.

Jos Buttler was struck in the grille early on by Pat Cummins, but the Royals did not allow that incident to shake them, captain Sanju Samson (42 not out) guiding them to an important victory.

Put into bat by Samson, KKR looked set to reach the end of the first powerplay with their full complement of wickets intact, only for Buttler to send Shubman Gill packing with a direct hit.

Gill had been dropped early on by Yashasvi Jaiswal, but the teenager atoned with a fine take to dismiss Sunil Narine.

Morgan was walking back to the sidelines without facing a ball when a mix-up with Rahul Tripathi resulted in a run-out.

Tripathi (36) made amends with a pair of sixes, yet he soon picked out Mustafizur Rahman at deep midwicket, and Morris subsequently took centre stage with four wickets in the space of two overs.

With an achievable target in Rajasthan's sites, Buttler took a nasty blow in the second over, but was passed fit to continue, only to be pinned leg before wicket by Varun Chakravarthy.

An impressive flurry from Jaiswal (22) was cut short in the next over, though Samson and Shivam Dube steadied the ship, picking their moments to punish any slack deliveries.

A googly from Varun did for Dube, with Rahul Tewatia succumbing in the 14th over. 

KKR appeared to have the bit between their teeth when David Miller was given out lbw, but a review proved the ball had pitched outside leg and, after surviving a run-out scare, Samson clipped away the winning run with seven balls to spare.

Morgan gets it wrong

It was a poor performance all-round for Morgan – who had averaged 81 runs across his five previous knocks against the Royals – and his side. Tripathi was their top scorer with the bat, while Cummins (0-36) was particularly expensive with the ball, and Russell was not even called upon. 

"The batting was the let down and we lacked a lot of intent throughout the whole innings," Morgan said. "We were behind the eight ball right from the get-go. Possibly, we were 40 short which is a lot in a T20 game. The bowlers had too much to do. It's a stark contrast to the last game."

More Mumbai misery for KKR

Kolkata had beaten the Royals in six of their last seven IPL encounters before Saturday's meeting, but that streak ended with a whimper.

Indeed, the Wankhede Stadium has been an unhappy hunting ground for KKR, who have now lost each of their last eight IPL games at the ground.

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