Big bucks Mitchell Starc, Phil Salt help Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Lucknow Super Giants in IPL

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Phil Salt dives to catch Lucknow Super Giants’ Marcus Stoinis out during the IPL matchhbetween Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants in Kolkata. (AP)
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Phil Salt dives to catch Lucknow Super Giants’ Marcus Stoinis out during the IPL matchhbetween Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants in Kolkata. (AP)
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Updated 14 April 2024
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Big bucks Mitchell Starc, Phil Salt help Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Lucknow Super Giants in IPL

Big bucks Mitchell Starc, Phil Salt help Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Lucknow Super Giants in IPL
  • Starc's 3-28 kept Lucknow down to 161-7 at Kolkata's Eden Gardens

KOLKATA: Phil Salt's rapid 89 and three wickets for Mitchell Starc helped Kolkata Knight Riders race to a crushing eight-wicket win over Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday.
Starc's 3-28 kept Lucknow down to 161-7 at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, with the other Knight Riders' bowlers putting in disciplined performances after their side elected to field first.
The Australian left-arm quick became the most expensive buy in IPL history after Kolkata shelled out $2.98 million for his services.
Opener Salt then steered the two-time IPL winners to their target in 15.4 overs for their fourth victory in five matches this season.
It was the English wicketkeeper-batsman's second half-century in the current IPL edition after he scored 54 in his team's opening win last month.
Salt held the chase together despite Kolkata losing two wickets including opener Sunil Narine for six.
He put on 120 runs with skipper Shreyas Iyer, who made 38, smashing 14 fours and three sixes in his 47-ball knock.
Players have been jostling to impress their national selectors ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup starting June 1 in the West Indies and the United States.
Starc started slowly, leaking 10 runs in his first over, but came back strongly and sent back Deepak Hooda in his third with the help of a diving catch at backward point from Ramandeep Singh.
Mystery spinner Narine choked the flow of runs and returned figures of 1-17 before Starc bowled the 20th over for just six runs and two wickets.
He got the dangerous Nicholas Pooran on the first ball, caught behind for 45, and finished with a yorker to bowl Arshad Khan.


India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup
Updated 16 sec ago
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India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup
  • Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls
  • Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes
NORTH SOUND, Antigua: Hardik Pandya blasted Bangladesh with a 27-ball half-century and Kuldeep Yadav’s three wickets finished off India’s win at the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday.
Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5.
Yadav then took 3-19 in four overs to limit Bangladesh to 146-8.
India moved to the top of Group 1 in the Super Eight with two wins from two matches. Bangladesh was winless.
Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls. Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes. The duo put on 39 off 22 balls for India’s best opening stand in the tournament.
Sharma was caught in the fourth over off Shakib al Hasan, while Kohli put on another 32 off 27 balls with Rishabh Pant for the second wicket.
Tanzim Hasan Sakib struck twice in the ninth over, getting Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav for 6 as India slumped to 77-3.
But Rishabh Pant anchored one end with 36 off 24, including four fours and two sixes, putting on 31 off 19 balls with Shivam Dube.
Despite Pant’s dismissal in the 12th over, Dube’s prowess against spin came in handy — he hit three sixes, scoring 34 off 24 balls.
But it was Pandya who took charge in the death overs. India scored 62 runs in the last five overs.
Pandya was named player of the match.
“We have played some really good cricket (to win five straight games),” he said. “We have executed our plans well, but as a group we can still improve. We sometimes lose wickets in a bunch, but apart from that things are looking good.”
Bangladesh’s reply made a steady start. Openers Litton Das (13) and Tanzid Hasan (29) added 35 off 27 until Pandya got the breakthrough in the fifth over.
The Tigers were at 66-2 in the 10th over and scoring slower. The chase unraveled when Yadav came on to bowl. He trapped Hasan lbw, and dismissed Towhid Hridoy for 4 and claimed the big wicket of Shakib for 11.
Bangladesh lost three wickets for 32 runs across 24 balls and didn’t recover.
Pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah (2-13) and Arshdeep Singh (2-30) helped to seal India’s fifth win over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup.

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
Updated 5 min 58 sec ago
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Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
  • Gulbadin Naib was Afghanistan’s man with the golden arm, bowling his team to tense 21-run victory over unbeaten Australia 
  • Both teams are on two points after two games, with Australia facing Group One leaders India in their final match

Arnos Vale, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Gulbadin Naib was Afghanistan’s man with the golden arm, bowling his team to a tense 21-run victory over previously unbeaten Australia in a Group One Super Eight encounter of the T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St. Vincent on Saturday.
Set a target of 149, Glenn Maxwell (59 off 41 balls, six fours, three sixes) kept the Test and One-Day champions on course until he became Gulbadin’s third wicket in the 15th over, opening the door to a result which keeps the duel for semifinal spots alive going into the final two fixtures in the group on Monday.
Gulbadin finished with four for 20 from his four overs of medium pace to turn the match as Australia suffered their first-ever defeat to the Afghans in a senior international encounter, being dismissed for 127 with four balls left in the match.
Earlier, Pat Cummins claimed his second hat-trick in as many matches as Afghanistan lost momentum after another century opening stand from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, settling for a total of 148 for six after being put in.
Both teams are on two points after two games — with Australia facing Group One leaders India in their final match while Afghanistan play Bangladesh, who have lost both their Super Eights games.


Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
Updated 7 min 13 sec ago
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Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win

Afghanistan stun Australia with 21-run T20 World Cup win
  • Afghanistan made 148-6 and then bowled out their opponents for 127 in 19.2 overs for their first ever victory over the Australians

ARNOS VALE, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Gulbadin Naib was Afghanistan’s man with the golden arm, bowling his team to a surprise 21-run victory over previously unbeaten Australia in their Group One Super Eight encounter in the T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Saturday.

Set a target of 149, Glenn Maxwell (59 off 41 balls, six fours, three sixes) had the Test and One-Day champions on course until he became Gulbadin’s third wicket in the 15th over, opening the door to a result which keeps the duel for semifinal spots alive going into the final two fixtures in the group on Monday.

Gulbadin finished with four for 20 from his four overs of medium pace to turn the match as Australia suffered their first-ever defeat to the Afghans in a senior international encounter, being dismissed for 127 with four balls left in the match.

“It is a great moment for me, my nation, my people,” said an exultant Gulbadin on receiving the Man of the Match award. “I learned a lot about the pitch from when we batted and I am glad that (captain) Rashid (Khan) had faith in me.”

Earlier, Pat Cummins claimed his second hat-trick in as many matches as Afghanistan lost momentum after another century opening stand from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, settling for a total of 148 for six having been put in.

A top score of 60 off 49 balls (four fours, four sixes) by Gurbaz and 51 off 48 balls (six fours) from Zadran gave the Afghans an excellent platform of 118 — their third century partnership of the tournament — by the 16th over.

But having ridden their luck via half-chances and misfields in gaining the ascendancy, four wickets for eight runs put the innings back in the balance. Marcus Stoinis made the breakthrough and leg-spinner Adam Zampa applied the brakes with two wickets.

Yet it was Cummins, who claimed a hat-trick against Bangladesh against in Antigua on Thursday, who essentially switched off the Afghanistan innings with the wicket of Rashid Khan at the end of the 18th over before adding Karim Janat and eventual hero Gulbadin at the start of the 20th over.

“It was an off night for us in the field and we own that,” conceded Australian captain Mitchell Marsh. “We knew it was a difficult wicket but both teams bowled on it, both teams batted on it and we were simply outplayed by a better team on the night.”

In reflecting on a historic night for his team, Rashid acknowledged the reward of returning to the opening pair of Gurbaz and Zadran.

“It was important to return to the previous playing eleven after we tried a few different things in the last match against India,” he explained. “We had in our minds that 140 was a good total on this wicket. The belief was there and as a captain, having so many bowling options like Gulbadin makes the job easier.”

With two teams from the group advancing to the semifinals, Australia will now have to win their final match against unbeaten leaders India in St. Lucia on Monday to be assured of a place in the last four.

Afghanistan, also on two points like Australia, will stay in St. Vincent where they face Bangladesh later on Monday by which time they will know what is required to qualify for the semifinals for the first time.


Tom Kim clings to a 1-shot lead over Scheffler and Bhatia in rain-delayed Travelers

Tom Kim clings to a 1-shot lead over Scheffler and Bhatia in rain-delayed Travelers
Updated 46 min 13 sec ago
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Tom Kim clings to a 1-shot lead over Scheffler and Bhatia in rain-delayed Travelers

Tom Kim clings to a 1-shot lead over Scheffler and Bhatia in rain-delayed Travelers
  • Kim was at 18-under 192 going into the final round in which 10 players were within five shots of the lead
  • Cameron Young shot 59, the 13th sub-60 round on the PGA Tour and first in nearly four years

CROMWELL, Connecticut: Tom Kim made enough birdies on a soft, vulnerable course to stay in front Saturday in the rain-delayed Travelers Championship, getting up-and-down for par on the last hole in near darkness for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Scottie Scheffler and Akshay Bhatia.

The tone of this pitch-and-putt day at the TPC River Highlands was set long before thunderstorms halted play for nearly three hours. Cameron Young shot 59, the 13th sub-60 round on the PGA Tour and first in nearly four years.

And then the rain made it even softer, and the wind subsided late in the evening as Kim, Scheffler and Xander Schauffele raced to beat darkness.

Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 player coming off a rare pedestrian performance at the US Open, was slowed by a pair of soft bogeys — his putter from fringe on No. 11, a bad drive into mangled weeds on No. 14 — and answered with four straight birdies.

“I was pretty frustrated after that bogey on 14, felt like I was putting myself out of the tournament,” Scheffler said. “So it was nice to bounce back and finish it the way I did.”

His wedge on the 18th rolled back within an inch of the cup, which he tapped in for 64. He played with Bhatia, who has two PGA Tour titles in the last 12 months. He poured in a 25-foot birdie putt to match Scheffler at 64.

Schauffele played bogey-free until the final hole when his 3-foot par putt horseshoed around the cup and left him with a 64. He was two shots back along with Sungjae Im, who made a birdie putt from some 40 feet on the final hole.

Kim, who turned 22 on Friday, is still leading a large cast of All-Stars. He was at 18-under 192 going into the final round in which 10 players were within five shots of the lead.

“It’s a stacked leaderboard,” Kim said. “Out here, a five-, six-shot lead is not safe at all. So I’ve got to go out tomorrow and do the same game plan and execute.”

The group within five shots includes Young, who was tied for 43rd when he arrived at the course in the morning. He was 5 under through four holes — he holed out with a wedge from 142 yards on No. 3 — made another eagle on the 280-yard 15th hole with a 3-iron to 4 feet and got to 11 under with a 5-foot birdie on the 17th.

He was tied when he walked off the course and still in the mix when the round finally ended. Young didn’t see this kind of round coming.

“Did exactly what I do every day coming to the golf course — get a coffee, ate, saw the physio, and went out there, warmed up,” he said. “Didn’t feel particularly awesome. I chunked a few less on the range than I did yesterday. Then, yeah, came out and just was very comfortable and things just started coming down close to the hole.”

Tee times for Sunday have been moved forward because of more storms in the forecast, meaning the course isn’t likely to get any tougher. Preferred lies were in effect for the second consecutive round.

“Feels like more than ever you’re going to have to keep your head down,” Schauffele said. “It’s kind of been my motto — ‘Stay in my lane’ — for quite some time, and I think tomorrow it’s going to hold pretty true. You can get on a run at any point on this golf course.

“(You) definitely have to earn your birdies,” he said. “But I think they’re going to be coming in bunches tomorrow.”

Five players had at least a share of the lead at some point, some of that made possible by Kim’s lone mistake. He three-putted from 10 feet on the fourth hole, his 3-foot par putt not even touching the hole. But he bounced back with three birdies on the par 3s and a tough chip across the 15th green to set up an easy birdie.

He went from the fairway bunker to short of the 18th green, and his pitched rolled out to a short range for his final par to stay in front.

The final signature event of the PGA Tour season certainly looks like one with quality of players chasing — from Scheffler and Schauffele, down to Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry, Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas.

“You’re not going to separate yourself. Someone is going to play one shot better than anyone else,” Bhatia said. “We’ll see what tomorrow entails. It’s just going to be a good challenge.”


Dressel, Ledecky line up title defenses at Paris Olympics with US swimming trials victories

Dressel, Ledecky line up title defenses at Paris Olympics with US swimming trials victories
Updated 56 min 57 sec ago
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Dressel, Ledecky line up title defenses at Paris Olympics with US swimming trials victories

Dressel, Ledecky line up title defenses at Paris Olympics with US swimming trials victories
  • Dressel wrapped up his emotional return to the US trials, following up his 50m freestyle victory with another win after his lengthy break from the sport
  • In Paris Ledecky will be the favorite to become the first woman in any sport to win Olympic gold in the same event four times

LOS ANGELES: Caeleb Dressel powered to victory in the 100m butterfly at the US Olympic swimming trials to line up another title defense in Paris, where Katie Ledecky will go for a historic fourth straight 800m freestyle gold.

Dressel wrapped up his emotional return to the US trials on Saturday, following up his 50m free victory on Friday with another win after his lengthy break from the sport.

Dressel seized control with his trademark explosive start, led at the wall and won in 50.19sec, with 17-year-old Thomas Heilman second in 50.80.

Heilman had already won the 200m butterfly to become the youngest US male swimmer to book an Olympic berth since 15-year-old Michael Phelps and 17-year-old Aaron Piersol competed at the 2000 Sydney Games.

He flew home in the outside lane one to edge 21-year-old Dare Rose by four-hundredths of a second.

“This is truly the hardest part,” Dressel said of the pressure-cooker US trials, where only the top two finishers in each event can secure an individual Olympic berth.

“It’s tough to make the team here, and that’s how it should be,” said Dressel, who won five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics to confirm his superstar status but abruptly stepped away from the sport in 2022.

“I think I’ve felt every emotion that I’m capable of,” Dressel said of the rollercoaster nine-day trials, held this year in the stunning, potentially intimidating atmosphere of Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

“It’s tough. So really the motto is one stroke at a time. You’ve got to turn the dial on, then turn it off and just when you can go to bed. So I’m happy to be done,” said Dressel, who has been cheered on this week by his wife, Meghan, with their four-month-old son, August, along for the ride.

Ledecky’s fourth victory of the week, in the 800m freestyle, takes her back to where her Olympic journey began, with an upset triumph at the age of 15 in the 2012 London Games.

Ledecky, the world record-holder who owns the top 16 times ever in the event, clocked 8min 14.12sec. As in the 400m free, Paige Madden was second to Ledecky, shattering her personal best with a time of 8:20.71.

In Paris Ledecky will be the favorite to become the first woman in any sport to win Olympic gold in the same event four times.

Michael Phelps the only swimmer to win the same event at four straight Games, the 200m individual medley in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Kate Douglass added an impressive victory in the 200m individual medley in 2min 06.79sec to her 100m free and 200m breaststroke wins this week.

Alex Walsh was second in 2:07.86 and the pair head to Paris aiming to improve on their performances at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games, where Walsh took silver and Douglass earned bronze behind Japanese gold medallist Yui Ohashi.

“I feel like the goal coming into this meet was to try and win all three events, but you know, I didn’t really think I was going to be able to achieve that,” Douglass said. “So I’m really happy I did.”

Walsh finally secured her Paris berth on the penultimate night of the trials, joining her sister Gretchen who clocked a world record in the semifinals on the way to winning the 100m fly.

“I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Paris after she made it,” said Alex Walsh, who competed in Tokyo as Gretchen missed out. “This is a dream we’ve been dreaming for so long.”