MS Dhoni drives Chennai to five-wicket win over Bangalore in IPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler Yuzvendra Chahal, left, reacts after bowling a delivery as Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, right, and Ambati Rayudu run between the wickets during the VIVO IPL Twenty20 cricket match in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 April 2018

MS Dhoni drives Chennai to five-wicket win over Bangalore in IPL

BANGALORE: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni bludgeoned an unbeaten 70 off 34 balls and led Chennai Super Kings to the top of Indian Premier League points table with a five-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.
Dhoni smashed seven sixes and a four and featured in a match-winning century stand with Ambati Rayudu (82) as Chennai reached 207-5 with two balls to spare.
Earlier, AB de Villiers (68) and Quinton de Kock (53) had lifted Bangalore to 205-8 with their 103-run second wicket stand after Dhoni won the toss and opted to field first.
“You will win some, you’ll lose some but the job of the finisher is to finish the job and help others,” Dhoni said.
Rayudu and Dhoni put Chennai back in the hunt with some brilliant display of power hitting after Chennai struggled at 74-4 in nine overs.
Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2-26) and seamer Umesh Yadav (1-23) bowled economical spells upfront before Rayudu, who hit eight sixes and three fours, and Dhoni took charge by clearing the short boundaries.
“Rayudu is important in this line-up because he keeps the scoreboard moving, and small grounds are ideal for him,” Dhoni said.
Both batsmen targeted seamers Corey Anderson (0-58) and Mohammad Siraj (0-48) in the latter part of the innings which left Bangalore captain Virat Kohli disappointed.
“The way we bowled was just not acceptable, giving that many runs in the end was criminal,” Kohli said.
“Dhoni is looking in really good touch, he’s hitting the ball really well in this IPL but not great to see it against us.”
Rayudu got a life on 61 when Yadav dropped a sitter but made amends when he ran him out of a direct throw in the 18th over.
Needing 16 off the last over, Dwayne Bravo (14 not out) hit Anderson for a four and six off the first two deliveries to ease out pressure. And Dhoni finished off the game by lofting the New Zealand seamer over the long-on boundary for a winning six.
“What’s important in a chase is to know which bowler has how many (overs) left and who the captain will bowl when, and you play accordingly,” Dhoni said.
De Villiers’ blistering knock off 30 balls included eight sixes and two fours as he put on 103 runs with de Kock off just 53 balls.
But Bangalore lost three wickets for four runs as Bravo (2-33) took a smart return catch to dismiss de Kock and de Villiers got a leading edge off legspinner Imran Tahir (2-35).
Mandeep Singh survived a first ball missed stumping by Dhoni before played a little cameo of 32 runs off 17 balls which carried Bangalore beyond the 200-run mark.
Chennai now has 10 points from five wins in six matches while Bangalore is at No. 6 with four points from just two victories.

Vardy hits double in Leicester’s 8th straight victory

Updated 09 December 2019

Vardy hits double in Leicester’s 8th straight victory

  • Leicester takes the second-place team within eight points of Liverpool

BIRMINGHAM: Jamie Vardy scored for an eighth straight game for Premier League high-flyer Leicester on Sunday with a double in a 4-1 dismantling of Aston Villa.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans also scored to help Leicester set a new club record of eight consecutive top-flight wins and take the second-place team within eight points of Liverpool.

Jack Grealish did make it 2-1 just before the break but the Foxes were rarely in danger.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are 14 points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United in the pursuit of Champions League qualification.

“We are up there, we are challenging and playing well,” Evans told broadcaster Sky Sports. “Probably now, today, I think people are starting to talk more about that.

“Coming away from Villa with a really good performance, I think that’s the best Villa team we have played against for quite a while and we had to grind it out and it shows we are capable of getting good results.”

By contrast, Villa is only out of the relegation zone on goal difference after slipping to a fifth defeat in seven games.

Villa was wide open and Leicester should have taken the lead after 10 minutes.

Caglar Soyuncu knocked James Maddison’s deep free-kick back for Evans, who could only shoot straight at goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

Immediately, Villa broke to spurn their own golden chance when Matt Targett crossed for Anwar El Ghazi to hit the bar from six yards. With the chance went Villa’s early hopes and they swiftly lost any grip of the game when Vardy continued his scoring streak in the 20th minute.

Wesley lost the ball and the lively Iheanacho slipped the striker in to race clear and round Heaton. Vardy miscued his kick when preparing to shoot but recovered to tap in, despite Konsa’s efforts on the line.

Vardy is now just three games away from equalling his own Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive games.

Villa’s problems were partly of their own making with center back Tyrone Mings unable to cover having already suffered a hamstring injury and the defender was immediately replaced by Bjorn Engels.

Villa could not handle Vardy’s pace and Iheanacho’s movement.

There was a touch of fortune but Leicester deserved to double its lead in the 41st when Maddison crossed and Iheanacho diverted in at the near post.

The Foxes were cruising but Grealish pulled a goal back in first-half injury time when he curled in from 16 yards after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Leicester, though, wasted no time in restoring their two-goal lead four minutes after the break.