Delhi Capitals resumed their quest to win the Indian Premier League title with an eight-wicket thrashing of Sunrisers Hyderabad to go top of the table.

The Capitals were at the summit when the tournament was halted in May due to the coronavirus pandemic and returned to the top by making a statement at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Third-placed Sunrisers were rocked by a positive COVID-19 test for bowler T Natarajan ahead of the match, resulting in Vijay Shankar being among a further six members of the franchise to be forced into isolation.

Their day did not get any better in the first game for the two sides since the IPL resumed, with Sunrisers only posting 134-9 as Anrich Nortje (2-12), Axar Patel (2-21) and Kagiso Rabada (3-37) did most of the damage.

Delhi coasted to victory, Shikhar Dhawan - the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 - making 42 off 37 balls at the top of the order to lay the foundations.

The fit-again Shreyas Iyer top scored with 47 from 41 deliveries in his 150th IPL game and captain Rishabh Pant struck an unbeaten 35 off 21 balls as the Capitals moved two points clear of a Chennai Super Kings side who have a game in hand.

PROTEAS PACEMEN FIRE

Nortje was recruited by the Capitals after England all-rounder Chris Woakes opted against taking part in the remainder of the tournament.

The South Africa paceman made an instant impact, getting rid of David Warner for a duck with the third ball of the match before trapping Kedar Jadhav lbw.

Nortje bowled 14 dot balls and although his South Africa team-mate Rabada was much more expensive, he removed Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad. Axar was also outstanding in an impressive display with the ball from Delhi.

 

DHAWAN DELIVERS AGAIN, IYER UP AND RUNNING

Dhawan is on a mission not only to claim the title but also win the purple cap and he leads KL Rahul (380) with 422 runs from nine matches after a blistering knock, striking a six and finding the rope six times.

Delhi suffered a blow when all-rounder Marcus Stoinis sustained a hamstring problem in the field, but Iyer gave the Capitals a big boost in his first game of the tournament and a landmark match.

A shoulder injury meant the batsman was unable to play any part before the tournament was halted on home soil and he teamed up with Pant, who succeeded him as captain, in a stand of 67 off 46 deliveries to seal an emphatic win.

A Sunrisers Hyderabad player has tested positive for COVID-19 and six close contacts are isolating, but their Indian Premier League clash with Delhi Capitals will go ahead.

An IPL statement confirmed on Wednesday that India bowler Thangarasu Natarajan had returned a positive PCR test result and had isolated himself from the rest of the Sunrisers squad.

While Natarajan was asymptomatic, six close contacts were identified by the team's medical staff, including India international Vijay Shankar, team manager Vijay Kumar, a physiotherapist, a team doctor, the logistics manager and net bowler Periyasamy Ganesan.

However, further PCR tests conducted on the rest of the squad and staff early on Wednesday all returned negative results, meaning the match against the Capitals will go ahead in Dubai.

The IPL has restarted this week after it was brought to a halt in May due to a rise in COVID-19 cases across India, with the tournament subsequently suspended and relocated to the United Arab Emirates for the rest of the 2021 season.

Arshdeep Singh and Mayank Agarwal starred but Rajasthan Royals sneaked to a two-run win against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

Singh shone with his maiden IPL five-wicket haul to bowl Rajasthan out for 185 with the final ball before Agarwal smashed 67 from 43 balls but that proved in vain due to Kartik Tyagi's magical final over to push the Royals to victory.

Evin Lewis (36) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (49) shared a 54-run opening stand as the Royals started rapidly, with Liam Livingstone (25) and Mahipal Lomror's 17-ball 43 providing further impetus.

However, Singh (5-32) and Mohammed Shami (3-21) pegged their opponents back with some superb death bowling to carry momentum forward to their innings.

KL Rahul (49), who was dropped three times, and Agarwal then put on 120 in 11.4 overs to propel Punjab Kings towards the target before Chetan Sakariya and Rahul Tewatia removed the respective openers.

Nicholas Pooran (32) and Aiden Markram (26 not out) steadied the ship to edge their side towards victory but, with just six required off the last over, Tyagi struck twice and conceded only four runs to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

Poor fielding does not cost Rajasthan

Rahul could have been dismissed three times, with drops coming on two, 29 and 31 by Lewis, Riyan Parag and Sakariya, and then it would have been a completely different game.

Rajasthan failed to take their chances, gifting the openers the opportunity to build a match-winning stand,

Horrific Hooda

Deepak Hooda conceded 37 runs in two overs as Rahul's middle-overs gamble failed to pay off with the off-spinner carted around the ground before his two-ball duck at the end of Punjab's innings.

Indeed, Hooda only managed two dot balls in his 12-ball spell, with Lomror running riot in the 15th over as he launched 24 runs to push the Royals to a competitive total, which proved to just be enough.

Playing in his 100th match for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Dwayne Bravo scored a crucial 23 and took three wickets to lead the team to a 20-run victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians as action resumed in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Dubai on Sunday.

Virat Kohli has announced he will step down as captain of Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore after the 2021 season is finished.

After a coronavirus-enforced suspension, the IPL restarted on Sunday, with Chennai Super Kings taking on Mumbai Indians in the United Arab Emirates.

However, ahead of Bangalore's clash with Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, Kohli confirmed he will soon be bringing his time as captain to an end.

Kohli's announcement comes just three days after he confirmed he will step down as India's T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The highest scorer in T20Is, Kohli revealed the news in a video shared to RCB's official Twitter account.

"To the whole RCB family, the fans, the amazing fans of Bangalore and to everyone who has been a supporter of RCB for so many years, I have an announcement to make," he said.

"Before the second leg of the tournament starts, to inform everyone that this is going to be my last leg in the IPL as captain of RCB.

"I've spoken to the management, it's something that has been on my mind for a while, as I recently announced stepping down from T20 captaincy as well to manage my workload, which has been immense over the past few years.

"I want to continue to be committed to the responsibilities fully, and I felt I needed the space to refresh, regroup and be absolutely clear in how I want to move forward."

However, Kohli – who was signed by RCB in 2008 and was made captain in 2013 – insisted he has no plans to cut his time with the franchise short, despite his step back from leadership duties.

"Also understanding that RCB is going to go through a transitional phase, with a big auction coming next year, I made it clear to the management that I can't think of me being at any other team than RCB," Kohli continued.

"That has been my commitment since day one. I will continue to be an RCB player until my last game in the IPL.

"It's been a great journey of joy, frustration, moments of happiness and sadness, and I just want to thank all of you for believing in me and supporting me, relentlessly and unconditionally.

"I will continue to be committed to playing for this franchise until the last day of IPL, for you guys, the fans, because of what you have done for me and made me feel over the past so many years. It has meant so much.

"So, thank you so much; this is just a little halt, it is not the end of the journey, the journey will continue and it will continue the same way that it has for so many years."

Kohli accumulated 198 runs across the first seven games of the 2021 IPL season. In total, he has played 199 matches in the competition, averaging 37.97 with a high score of 113.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians will be looking to make a statement against the Chennai Super Kings when the Indian Premier League resumes this weekend. 

Four months after the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament restarts at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. 

Mumbai, eyeing a third successive title, had won back-to-back games to move up to fourth place when the decision was made to halt the IPL and will be out to pick up where they left off against second-placed CSK. 

With India unable to stage the competition, the remainder of the action over the next month will be staged in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. 

Delhi Capitals are the franchise to catch at the top of the table, although the Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore are only two points behind them with a game in hand. 

Stats Perform take a look at the state of play ahead of the resumption. 

 

What is the schedule and where will the games take place?

There will be 31 matches contested in the space of 27 days and fans will be allowed in to watch, starting with the showdown between two of the top four. 

Dubai will stage 13 games, including the final on October 15, with 10 contests taking place in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi. 

The first qualifier of the post-season will be played in Dubai on October 10, with the eliminator and second qualifier taking place in Sharjah on October 11 and 13 respectively. 

 

Pant continues to captain leaders Delhi

Delhi lost to Mumbai in the final last year but responded impressively, winning six of eight matches to top the table this season. 

They return to action against bottom side Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Wednesday with Rishabh Pant retaining captaincy duties. 

The Capitals revealed Pant will continue to lead the side despite Shreyas Iyer's return from a shoulder injury. 

Pant had extra time to rest his legs after he was among the India Test players who flew to the UAE earlier than expected, with the final match at Old Trafford dramatically called off due to concerns over a COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp. 

Star men absent

While there will be an array of star quality on show, there will also be a number of notable absentees. 

England World Cup winners Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes will not feature, and the same goes for Dawid Malan. 

Australia paceman Pat Cummins will also be absent, while India all-rounder Washington Sundar was ruled out due to injury. 

 

Ground to make up

Sunrisers will be desperate to salvage some pride, having won only one of seven matches. 

Second-bottom Kolkata Knight Riders, who have signed Tim Southee with Cummins unavailable, also have a lot of work to do. 

Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals are two points behind fourth-placed Mumbai. 

Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The death bowling specialist had already retired from Test cricket in 2011 and subsequently from 50-over internationals in 2019 as well, but the 38-year-old has now confirmed he will no longer play T20Is either.

The paceman, who took 546 wickets across all formats for his country, captained his side to the T20 World Cup title in 2014 and flourished in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Mumbai Indians.

Malinga, who is the only player to take three ODI hat-tricks, managed 107 wickets in 84 internationals in the T20I format and his last appearance for Sri Lanka came against West Indies in March 2020.

"I've had many experiences throughout my career, and I want to share all of my experience in the future, especially with young cricketers," said Malinga in a post on Twitter.

He added on his YouTube channel: "I will be continuously supporting the younger generations who strive to uplift the spirit of the game and I will always be there with all who love the game.

"I want to thank each and everyone who supported me throughout my T20 journey. I want to thank the Sri Lankan cricket board and team members. And Mumbai Indians cricket team, especially the team owners and officials."

Jos Buttler will not be joining up with Rajasthan Royals to complete the 2021 Indian Premier League season in the United Arab Emirates.

This year's tournament was suspended indefinitely back on May 4 amid a rise in COVID-19 cases within the bio-secure bubbles set up for the teams in India.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India have since announced the final 31 games will be staged in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi instead, starting with Chennai Super Kings against Mumbai Indians on September 19.

While the Royals sit just outside the top four ahead of the resumption overseas, they have been dealt a blow following confirmation Buttler will miss the rest of the campaign.

The England wicketkeeper-batsman is expecting a second child with his partner and will not be part of the Rajasthan squad, as confirmed by the team on social media on Saturday.

New Zealander Glenn Phillips has been signed as a replacement for Buttler, who scored 254 runs an at an average of 36.28 in his seven appearances earlier this year, including making 124 – his maiden T20 hundred – against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Buttler is currently part of England's Test squad taking on India in a five-match series on home soil, which will be followed by a busy winter schedule.

The rearranged T20 World Cup takes place in October and November, while the following month sees the start of the Ashes series in Australia.

The Indian Premier League will resume with a showdown between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in Dubai on September 19.

Four months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the season will finally resume in the United Arab Emirates.

There are 31 matches still to be contested over the space of 27 days, 13 taking place in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi.

The first qualifier of the post-season will be played in Dubai on October 10, with the eliminator and second qualifier taking place in Sharjah on October 11 and 13 respectively.

Dubai will stage the final on October 15, according to the fixture programme released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The campaign will restart with Delhi Capitals at the top of the table with 12 points from eight matches.

The Indian Premier League season will be completed in the United Arab Emirates during September and October this year.

A statement released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday outlined the planned resumption of a campaign that was suspended in early May amid the worsening coronavirus crisis within the country.

The 2021 edition of the Twenty20 tournament was halted following positive cases within the IPL bubble, forcing fixtures to be rearranged.

However, the BCCI's media release said the switch in location had been made to avoid clashing with the monsoon season in India, which usually begins in late May or early June and continues through into October.

Last year's tournament was staged entirely in the UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Mumbai Indians winning a fifth title by beating Delhi Capitals in the final.

As well as announcing a new venue for the IPL, the BCCI revealed they will "seek an extension" from the International Cricket Council over a decision on the T20 World Cup, which India is due to stage in October and November.

"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year," the BCCI statement read.

"The decision was taken at a special general meeting (SGM) held virtually, where members unanimously agreed to resume IPL.

"The BCCI SGM further authorised the office bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021."

The fifth and final Test of India's series in England begins at Old Trafford on September 10.

A rescheduled Indian Premier League looks highly unlikely to take place with any centrally contracted England players involved.

The IPL was postponed last week due to rising coronavirus cases in India.

It is up in the air as to where and when the tournament can be completed, but dates in September or November - either side of the T20 World Cup - have been talked of as options.

England players were permitted to miss the Test series against New Zealand next month to play in the IPL before it was cut short, but a rearranged event would be likely to clash with Future Tours Programme (FTP) commitments.

Ashley Giles, England's director of cricket, does not see how the players will be able play any further part in the IPL in what is such a busy year.

"We're planning on the involvement of England players in England matches," Giles said.

"We've got a full FTP schedule. So if those tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh [in September and October] are going ahead, I'd expect the players to be there.

"The New Zealand scenario was very different. Those Test matches were formalised at the end of January, by which time all those contracts and NOCs [no objection certificates] were signed for full involvement in the IPL.

"None of us knows what a rearranged IPL looks like at the moment; where it's going to be or when. But from when we start this summer against New Zealand, our programme is incredibly busy.

"We've got a lot of important, high-profile cricket including the T20 World Cup and the Ashes. And we're going to have to look after our players."

New Zealand paceman Trent Boult could miss both Tests against England after being cleared to visit his family following the postponement of the Indian Premier League.

Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner and physio Tommy Simsek will stay in the IPL New Delhi mini-bubble before departing for England on May 11.

Boult, who had been playing for the Mumbai Indians before the IPL season was postponed due to rising coronavirus cases in India, has been allowed to return to his homeland before heading to England.

He will join up with the Test squad early next month, so will not feature in the first Test at Lord's - which starts on June 2.

Boult may be back in contention for the second Test at Edgbaston and will definitely be available for the ICC World Test Championship final against India, which gets under way at the Ageas Bowl on June 18.

Black Caps trainer Chris Donaldson, who has been working with the Kolkata Knight Riders, will also return home briefly to see his family before joining the Test squad.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said: "We're completely supportive of Chris and Trent taking the opportunity to see their families before heading to the UK.

"They've always been the consummate professionals and we're more than happy to accommodate these arrangements.

"We've worked closely with the BCCI and the IPL franchises on the various departure strategies and we're very appreciative of their support during what is, clearly, a very challenging time.

"Were also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of the Test squad currently in India."

Eight of England's 11 players involved in the Indian Premier League have returned home following the indefinite suspension of the tournament.

The decision to call a halt to this year's competition was taken on Tuesday amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in India.

After two cases were confirmed among the Kolkata Knight Riders, Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed. A Sunrisers Hyderabad player then also tested positive ahead of their fixture with Mumbai Indians.

Focus is now on seeing participants leave the country safely, with fears players would need to self-isolate in India and also return a negative coronavirus test before attempting to get a flight.

However, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy all boarded a flight that landed at Heathrow on Wednesday.

They will have to quarantine in government-approved hotels for the next 10 days.

The remaining three England players who were on duty - Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan - are expected to leave India within the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley has confirmed the contingent of Australian IPL players will be moved to the Maldives or Sri Lanka in the coming days.

The Australian government has blocked citizens returning home within 14 days of being in India, meaning they will first have to isolate elsewhere.

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Indian Premier League Governing Council confirmed the news in a joint statement on Tuesday after reports of COVID cases in three teams.

Kolkata Knight Riders duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive, forcing Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to be rescheduled.

Reports also suggest Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive, leading to the whole team having to isolate, while there were two reported cases in the Chennai Super Kings team.

"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," a statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."

India has seen a sharp rise in COVID numbers in the country in recent weeks, with the total number in excess of 20 million since the start of the global pandemic.

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Indian Premier League Governing Council confirmed the news in a joint statement on Tuesday after reports of COVID cases in three teams.

Kolkata Knight Riders duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive, forcing Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to be rescheduled.

Reports also suggest Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive, leading to the whole team having to isolate, while there were two reported cases in the Chennai Super Kings team.

"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," a statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."

India has seen a sharp rise in COVID numbers in the country in recent weeks, with the total number in excess of 20 million since the start of the global pandemic.

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