Sunrisers Hyderabad are in danger of missing out on the final Indian Premier League play-off place after Shimron Hetmyer and Gurkeerat Singh Mann blasted half-centuries in a four-wicket win for Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

Explosive opener Chris Gayle has returned to the Jamaica Tallawahs for the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

This was revealed by Jefferson Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Tallawahs during the franchise's 2019 CPL season launch on Saturday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Miller said Gayle has been signed as "their marquee player and will captain the team."

Miller further added that "we are delighted to have Chris playing for his home team for the 2019 season. There is no bigger name in Twenty20 cricket, and we can’t wait for him to arrive and make the Jamaican fans proud. We are looking forward to Chris being a big part of our push for a third CPL title.”  

Gayle was with the Tallawahs from 2013 to 2016, winning the title with them twice in that time. Since then he has been with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots where he has captained them to the playoffs in successive years, making the final in 2017. 

The Tallawahs will be playing five home games in Jamaica during the 2019 season giving the fans at Sabina Park the chance to see Gayle in action on his home ground.

The leading T20 batsman of all time, Gayle is the only player with more than 10,000 runs in the format. He is the leading CPL run scorer with 2111 runs and has scored three CPL hundreds, all of those for the Tallawahs. 

The rest of the Tallawahs squad will be decided at the Hero CPL Players Draft which takes place on May 22. 

This year, the CPL will bowl off in September for the first time.

The move to push back the competition was to ensure the availability of all West Indian players as the Caribbean side is set to host India between during July and August.

Delhi Capitals duo Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma took three wickets apiece before Rishabh Pant's third half-century of the 2019 Indian Premier League ended Rajasthan Royals' play-off hopes. 

Rajasthan had to win if they were to have a chance of securing a top-four finish but Delhi, who had already qualified for the playoffs, chased down a modest target of 116 with 23 balls to spare to clinch a five-wicket victory.

The Royals were four down before the powerplay thanks to some excellent early bowling from Ishant (3-38) and Trent Boult (2-27) before Mishra (3-17) took wickets with back-to-back deliveries - a drop from Boult then denying him a hat-trick in the 12th over.

Riyan Parag (50) - twice out in the 40s earlier in the tournament - became the youngest half-centurion in IPL history at 17 years and 175 days to drag the Royals to a total of 115-9 that never looked like being enough.

Though the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer all fell cheaply in reply, Pant (53 not out) stuck around to see his team over the line, sealing victory with his fifth maximum.

 

BOULT AT FAULT AS MISHRA MISSES HAT-TRICK

There have been just 19 hat-tricks in IPL history, and Delhi leg-spinner Mishra has taken three of them.

A fourth personal treble and a 20th in tournament history was on the cards when the Capitals bowler had Shreyas Gopal stumped before Stuart Binny nicked behind.

New batsman Krishnappa Gowtham then mistimed a slog-sweep first up, but confusion in the field meant Boult was late in attempting to make the catch and he grassed the chance.

 

PANT'S ON FIRE SINCE WORLD CUP SNUB

Two men who missed out on places in India's Cricket World Cup squad - Ajinkya Rahane and Pant - were in action on Saturday but only one of those showed evidence the selectors may have made an error.

Rahane made a century the last time these two sides met but it came in a losing cause, with Pant's 78 not out guiding the Capitals to a six-wicket win.

This time around, Rajasthan captain Rahane was out for just two while Pant made his second unbeaten half-century since being overlooked for his country's World Cup party.

A modest target was hard work for Delhi until Pant stepped up, blasting 24 off the last six balls he faced to bring about the end in a hurry.

Sussex opening batsman Phil Salt has been drafted into the England squad for Sunday's Twenty20 against Pakistan in Cardiff after Dawid Malan withdrew through injury.

The uncapped Salt, 22, has been rewarded for his fine form in last year's T20 Blast, when he scored 355 runs during Sussex's run to the final, while he also made his maiden List A century in the One-Day Cup last month.

Salt, who has only played in 35 T20s, joins Sussex team-mates Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan in England's 13-man squad.

Malan will not be available for the one-off T20 against Pakistan having sustained a groin injury in the four-wicket ODI win over Ireland on Friday.

England marked Jofra Archer's international debut with an unconvincing ODI win over Ireland as Ben Foakes' half-century helped them avoid a shock defeat. 

Rain delayed the start of play at Malahide and saw the match reduced to 45 overs a side, but when proceedings did get underway it appeared poised to be a procession for the visitors. 

All-rounder Archer, left out of England's preliminary World Cup squad, stated his case to force his way in before May 23 with a maiden international wicket but was outshone by Liam Plunkett (4-35) and Tom Curran (3-35) with the ball. 

Their efforts saw Ireland bowled out for 198 and, although England at one point appeared in danger of a humiliating defeat at 66-5, Foakes (61 not out) and Curran (47 no) led the recovery and sealed a four-wicket win. 

William Porterfield and Paul Stirling initially coped well on a difficult pitch in overcast conditions but the latter's exit, which saw him chip Plunkett to a diving Archer at mid-on, opened the floodgates. 

The next three wickets fell for just 22 runs - Kevin O'Brien dismissed thanks to a superb diving catch from Joe Denly - with Andy Balbirnie cleverly stumped by Foakes after he and Gary Wilson steadied the ship. 

Mark Adair provided some resistance with 32 off 30 but became Archer's first international scalp to a scything yorker, the tail falling in short order thereafter. 

Yet some spectacular work in the field gave Ireland hope. George Dockrell's magnificent catch at midwicket saw the end of James Vince for 18 as Little shone, dismissing Eoin Morgan (0) and Dawid Malan (24) after Joe Root went to Tim Murtagh for seven. 

Denly toe-ended former England seamer Boyd Rankin to short midwicket to leave them in deep trouble and David Willey's exit gave Little a fourth wicket. 

However, Foakes and Curran ensured Ireland's hopes of an upset would be frustrated thanks to an unbeaten 98-run stand. 

ODI debutant Foakes began to gather steam in the 33rd over, in which he hit a six over fine leg and pierced the covers for four, but two overs later he was fortunate to survive an lbw appeal from Murtagh. 

Replays confirmed Foakes would have been out had Ireland reviewed – the ball shown to hitting the top of leg stump - but from there he and Curran were never in danger and steered England to victory with 18 balls to spare. 

Shubman Gill's classy unbeaten 65 guided the Kolkata Knight Riders to a crucial seven-wicket win in their top-four bid in the Indian Premier League, while simultaneously all but ending Kings XI Punjab's chances. 

A stunning finish from Sam Curran – who made an unbeaten 55 off 24 – guided Kings XI to an excellent score of 183-6 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. 

But the Knight Riders coasted in reply, Gill carrying his bat in partnerships of 62, 38, 50 and 35 with Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik to see them home with 12 balls remaining. 

It means the Knight Riders are fifth and level on points with fourth-place Sunrisers Hyderabad, with all teams having one regular-season fixture remaining, while Kings XI need results to go their way and overturn a vastly inferior net run-rate to the teams above them. 


KARTHIK LOSES HIS COOL

Kings XI rebounded from the early losses of Chris Gayle (14) and KL Rahul (2), with Sandeep Warrier (2-31) accounting for both wickets, as Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran put on 69 for the third wicket. 

A lackadaisical effort in the field saw captain Karthik lose his cool and give his team a public dressing down during a time-out after the 10th over. 

It seemingly had the desired effect as Pooran lamely picked out Warrier off Nitish Rana at midwicket and Agarwal was agonisingly run-out. 

The sight of Rinku Singh putting down a sitter off Curran at long on when on 17 did little to improve Karthik's mood, though, and the England all-rounder took full advantage with seven fours and two sixes in an electric 24-ball knock. 


GILL BREATHES FRESH HOPE INTO KKR'S PLAY-OFF CHANCES

Curran's heroics put Kings XI in a great position but Gill's neat effort made the chase look easy. 

Chris Lynn found his big-hitting form with a dazzling 22-ball 46, including five fours and three sixes, before knocking one back to Andrew Tye. 

Uthappa (22 off 14) and the in-form Russell (24 off 14) also contributed, but it was Gill's poise that really told when needed. 

He played through to the end, although it was captain Karthik who sealed the win – smashing Curran over square leg for six before whipping one to the fine boundary for a four and the victory. 

Kagiso Rabada has given South Africa a scare ahead of the Cricket World Cup, suffering a back injury that has ended his stint in the Indian Premier League.

Delhi Capitals paceman Rabada is the leading wicket-taker in the 2019 IPL, claiming 25 at an average of 14.72 to help his side secure a play-off place.

However, Rabada did not feature against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday due to a niggle and the 23-year-old will play no further part in the tournament.

"It is indeed very hard for me to leave the Delhi Capitals at this stage of the tournament," said Rabada, who will return to South Africa for further assessment.

"But with the World Cup just a month away, a collective decision has been made for me in this regard. It's been a tremendous season for me with the Delhi Capitals, both on and off the field, and I truly believe that our team can win the trophy."

The Proteas also have injury concerns over fellow pacemen Dale Steyn (shoulder), Lungi Ngidi (side strain) and Anrich Nortje (shoulder).

Faf du Plessis' side face tournament hosts England in the first game of the World Cup on May 30.

Australia coach Justin Langer backed Steve Smith and David Warner to deal with whatever is thrown at them at the Cricket World Cup and Ashes.

Smith and Warner were both named in Australia's 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup, which begins in England on May 30.

The duo are set to make their international returns after being handed 12-month bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

Though that incident is likely to ensure the pair are targeted by opposition supporters, Langer said Smith and Warner can handle the criticism.

"I think there's going to be plenty of spotlight on the whole team," he told a news conference on Friday.

"Obviously the boys, they're big boys now and they've worked through a really tough 12 months, they'll be thicker-skinned for it. There's no real remedy for it.

"We know what we're going to get, we'll be ready for it, there'll be some personal and collective strategies in place so together we're moving in the right direction and doing what we love doing which is playing cricket and, World Cup and Ashes cricket, it doesn't get much better than that."

Langer dismissed any suggestions there was "tension" within his squad after the returns of Smith and Warner.

He also had a message for the pair, particularly with Australia also in England for the Ashes, which begins in August, recalling his own memories of the 'Barmy Army' after a Boxing Day Test in 2002.

"The biggest lesson of my sporting career. I got 250 at the Boxing Day Test match and just before stumps they were calling Brett Lee for chucking, they were calling him [for a] no-ball and I just got 250," Langer said.

"So I walked in, I think I'm Viv Richards, feeling I've got the gold chain and the chest out and like I'm the king of the world, 250, Boxing Day Test against England.

"I made one comment about the Barmy Army cos I was sticking up for Brett Lee. Well, then they started signing the song about the Seven Dwarfs. So, you don't mess with the Barmy Army, I'm not messing with the Barmy Army!

"We'll be friends and we'll be bantering and we'll be having some fun but I'm never messing with the Barmy Army."

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes the coming tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh presents an opportunity for the young players to gain experience and for the World-Cup bound players to get some useful match practice.

Mitchell Starc insists the rest of the squad have no lingering issues with Steve Smith and David Warner as the pair prepare to play for Australia again at the Cricket World Cup.

Smith and Warner arrived separately from the Indian Premier League for a pre-tournament training camp in Brisbane, joining up with the rest of the 15-man party.

The batsmen were available for the final two one-day games of the series against Pakistan in March but did not feature, meaning they are yet to appear at international level since serving one-year ball-tampering suspensions in the wake of the third Test against South Africa in 2018.

The duo spent time with their team-mates in the United Arab Emirates and Starc, who was not involved against Pakistan due to injury, feels the group has moved on from the events that unfolded at Newlands.

"It's onwards, upwards and focused on the World Cup - it's all rosy," Starc told the media.

"We've all had our meetings and moved on. The meeting I was involved in, 95 per cent wasn't about Dave and Steve and the group.

"It was more about where the team was going."

Left-hander Warner has dazzled in this year's IPL ahead of his Australia comeback, hitting nine scores of 50 or more to amass 692 runs in 12 innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"He has been on fire over there, along with Steve, so that's great for him and great for the group," Starc said of the in-form Warner.

"He's a world-class player and we're excited to have him back."

Alex Hales' deselection from all England squads ahead of the World Cup came as a result of a "complete breakdown in trust", captain Eoin Morgan has said.

The opening batsman recently served a reported 21-day suspension for what his spokesman described as an "off-field incident".

On Monday he was withdrawn from England's preliminary World Cup squad, as well as the groups for the one-day international against Ireland on Friday and the ODI series and T20 against Pakistan, by director of England cricket Ashley Giles.

Ahead of the meeting with Ireland at Malahide, Morgan told BBC Sport: "Everybody in a senior players' meeting agreed that the best decision was for Alex to be deselected.

"We believe it is the right call, made considering everyone in the squad.

"We have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months to establish our culture and work towards values that everyone across all three formats could adhere to, respect and relate to.

"We have been at that stage for six or seven months. They are in place. There has been a complete disregard for those values.

"There has been a complete breakdown in trust between Alex and the team. Everybody in the senior players' meeting agreed that the best decision for the team and the culture moving forward was for Alex to be deselected.

"We don't make that final call. I communicated this to Ashley Giles and the decision was made. It's important now that Alex uses the support around him to try to turn things around."

Jofra Archer will make his England debut in Friday's ODI against Ireland in Dublin, Eoin Morgan has confirmed.

The Sussex all-rounder's international career has been the subject of intense speculation after he became eligible to play for England in March.

He was left out of their preliminary squad for this year's Cricket World Cup but could be called up before a deadline of May 23.

And, having also been selected for a five-match series with Pakistan, Archer will aim to make a strong first impression at Malahide.

"He obviously brings a lot of excitement, along with skill level," captain Morgan told Sky Sports News.

"He's been around for the last few years, I've played against him, he's bowled extremely well when I've played against him.

"He's delighted. I think his mum and dad are over [in Ireland]. Debuts are all about celebrating what's gone before and recognising the start of a new journey and for Jofra it's obviously really exciting."

 The Social Development Commission (SDC), Wray & Nephew National Community T20 Cricket Competition, endorsed by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), bowls off on Saturday, May 4, promising to bring communities closer together while sharing the spirit of Cricket.

Rain ended Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of progressing to the IPL play-offs as their contest with Rajasthan Royals ended in no result.

Inclement weather had led the match to be shortened to a five-over contest.

However, all 10 overs could not be completed before the rain returned again to put paid to RCB's challenge. They remain bottom on nine points, three adrift of fourth with a game to go. Rajasthan are fifth on 11 points and still in the hunt for now.

There was at least time for Shreyas Gopal to produce a superb performance as the spinner claimed a hat-trick to help restrict RCB to 62-7.

RCB captain Virat Kohli (25) and AB de Villiers (10) made a flying start as the former cleared the rope three times and the South African struck a pair of fours.

The skipper, who had hit Gopal for 12 runs off the first three deliveries of the second over, then watched the bowler produce a spectacular response.

A Kohli attempt to lift over long on saw him hole out to Liam Livingstone and De Villiers sliced to Riyan Parag before Marcus Stoinis became the hat-trick wicket as he presented Steve Smith with a dolly at mid-off.

RCB never recovered and the wickets continued to tumble amid their increasingly desperate and ultimately futile efforts to turn the tide. Sanju Samson (28) and Livingstone (11 not out) guided the Royals to 41-1 before the heavens opened once more with 10 balls left.

One of the West Indies’ biggest weapons heading into the ICC World Cup in England is undoubtedly their inspirational captain, Jason Holder.

Holder has led the team from the front with both bat and ball and in the field has inspired his teammates to achievements many in the region thought beyond them.

But now, with the World Cup a month away, Holder, and by extension, the West Indies may have a problem.

Playing in the London Royal Cup for Northhamptonshire last Wednesday, Holder struck 72, his third half-century in four innings, but was treated for an injury early in the knock.

Holder did not come out to field on account of the injury to his left leg and has since been replaced in the Northants line-up.

There has not been word on the seriousness of the injury just yet, but Holder is supposed to lead the West Indies in a Tri-nation series against Bangladesh and hosts Ireland from May 5-17.

On Friday, Holder’s Northants lost by 20 runs to Worcestershire without the all-rounder’s late-order batting.

The West Indies now have a nervous wait to see of their leader will shrug this one off.

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