Mumbai Indians qualified for the playoffs of IPL 2019 after winning a humdinger of a match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.
Choosing to bat first, Mumbai Indians scored 162/5 in their 20 overs, and then saw SRH end their innings at the exact same score, which resulted in a super over. Hyderabad managed only eight runs from their super over, and Hardik Pandya hammered Rashid Khan for a six on the first ball of Mumbai’s super over. Kieran Pollard then closed out the match with three balls to spare.
Earlier, Quinton De Kock’s unbeaten 69 took hosts Mumbai to a respectable total on a difficult pitch. De Kock hammered 6 fours and 2 sixes in his 58 ball-knock but received no support from the other end. Fortunately for Mumbai Indians, a late cameo from Krunal Pandya, who made 9 runs from 3 balls, ensured Mumbai crossed the 160-run mark.
Rashid Khan was the best of Hyderabad’s bowlers, giving away just 21 runs in his 4 overs while Khaleel Ahmed took 3/42.
Hyderabad’s chase began with Wriddhiman Saha, who made 25 from 15 balls, and Martin Guptill adding 40 runs for the first wicket. Jasprit Bumrah was in great form on Thursday, removing first Saha, then Guptill. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya dismissed SRH skipper Kane Williamson to leave the visitors reeling at 65/3. Manish Pandey, who has rediscovered his form in the last week, made a terrific 71 runs from 47 balls to keep SRH in the chase, and was supported by Mohammad Nabi, who made a useful 31 from 20 balls. Hyderabad needed seven runs off the last ball and Pandey carted the final delivery from Hardik Pandya over the long-on boundary for a six to level the scores level and force a Super Over, the first time it was played at the Wankhede Stadium.Jasprit Bumrah then took two wickets in the one-over eliminator to help Mumbai win a thrilling contest.
After last night’s win, Mumbai Indians have 16 points from 13 games, with their last match on Sunday against Kolkata Knight Riders. Sunrisers Hyderabad are placed fourth with 12 points.
Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi’s age has been the subject of more than one debate, and the butt of many jokes and memes. Three years after he last played for Pakistan, the irrepressible former all-rounder has kicked off a storm once again. The cricketer who has written and rewritten history in the sport has been caught off guard after writing his own story and revealing his actual age. Or maybe not?
As per an ESPNcricinfo report, in one of the chapters of his book where he writes about getting a call-up from selectors for the first time, Afridi has mentioned 1975 as his birth year. It is to be noted that as per the ICC’s official record, Afridi was born in 1980. If the age in his autobiography is to be believed, then Afridi is currently 44 years old and not 39, which is his official age according to the ICC.
Importantly, it also means Afridi was not 16 years old when he smashed that famous 37-ball 100 during the second ODI of the tri-series tournament against Sri Lanka in 1996, an innings which has been celebrated all over the world, considering the fact that it was played by a 16-year-old. That success was the starting point of Shahid Afridi’s “legend”, as it were. Afridi has complicated matters further ahead in the book by stating that he was 19 years old when he hit 37-ball 100. However, considering that Afridi stated earlier in the book that he was born in 1975 that would mean he was neither 16 nor 19, but 21 years old in 1996.
An official statement is awaited from Afridi after the news broke out on the mystery behind his age or should we say, unlocking of mystery behind his age.
In wrestling news, World No 1 Bajrang Punia on Thursday bagged his second title in two weeks after defeating Viktor Rassadin in the finals of the men’s 65kg freestyle in the Ali Aliyev wrestling tournament in Kaspiisk, Russia.
It was a remarkable victory for Bajrang. He bested the local favourite 13-8 in his final bout after being down 0-5 at one stage. The two wrestlers last met in 2017 at the Dan Kolov where Bajrang won, and finished as runner-up to Boris Novachkov of Bulgaria.
The win was Bajrang’s second moment of glory in as many weeks. The 25-year-old grappler won a gold medal last week at the Asian Championships in Xi’an, China.
In badminton news from the New Zealand Open, India’s HS Prannoy stunned Tommy Sugiarto in straight games to sail into the men’s singles quarterfinals even as compatriot B Sai Praneeth crashed out in the second round on Thursday.
Prannoy, unseeded in the tournament, shocked second seed Sugiarto 21-14, 21-12 in just 37 minutes to book his place in the last-eight round, where he will face off against fifth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan.
This was World No. 26 Prannoy’s first encounter against World No. 13 Sugiarto. He seized the initiative early on and took a 7-3 lead, then extending it to 11-4. Prannoy maintained his lead all throughout and closed the game 21-14. It was neck and neck between the two shuttlers in the first few points of the second game. Sugiarto took the initial lead at 4-2 but Prannoy came back strongly to level the scores and then surge ahead with four consecutive winners to take an 8-4 lead. Once Prannoy took the lead, there was no looking back. He maintained a gap to seal the contest 21-12 in his favour.
Earlier on Thursday, Sai Praneeth suffered a straight-game 12-21, 12-21 loss to the legendary Lin Dan of China. Seventh seed Lin Dan progressed to the quarterfinals where he will be up against top seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.
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