Gujarat Titans consolidated their lead at the top of the Indian Premier League standings by seeing off Kolkata Knight Riders, recovering from a poor display with the bat to record an eight-run victory.

Despite Hardik Pandya (67) racking up another half-century for the leaders, Andre Russell's (4-5) superb late display wrecked the Titans' bottom-order to limit them to just 156-9.

However, Kolkata's attempts to chase down that seemingly achievable target were left in disarray after early exits for Sam Billings (4), Sunil Narine (5), and Nitish Rana (2).

Russell (48) fell just short of a half-century with the bat as he attempted to single-handedly drive his side to victory, but Lockie Ferguson's excellent catch sent him packing in the 19th over and sealed a hard-earned victory for the Titans.

Titans skipper Hardik elected to bat after winning the toss, going on to hit 67 in another outstanding knock as his side targeted a third consecutive IPL win.

Shubman Gill was removed for just seven runs early on, but Hardik's excellent showing led the Titans to 83 before Wriddhiman Saha (25) was dismissed by Umesh Yadav.

David Miller (27) supported Hardik well, but after the duo were caught in the 16th and 17th innings respectively, the wickets fell in rapid fashion as Russell took charge. 

He dismissed Rahul Tewatia (17), Abhinav Manohar (2), Ferguson (0) and Yash Dayal (nought) to bag four wickets in a remarkable final over, but a nightmare start to the Knight Riders' own innings saw their hopes of a first win in four IPL matches dissipate. 

Billings, Narine and Rana all fell for single figures as the Knight Riders toiled to 16-3, although Rinku Singh's knock of 35 then dragged them back into the contest.

The outstanding Russell then hit 48 off 25 balls to set up tense finale, but was caught by Ferguson two balls into the final over as the Knight Riders fell to a demoralising fourth consecutive loss.

Russell runs riot with the ball, and goes close with the bat

Russell was incredibly unlucky to finish on the losing side, registering a terrific performance with the ball and then almost dragging his team-mates to victory after taking up the bat, only to be felled just two runs short of his half-century.

Hardik show proves vital

Hardik's 67 looked to be in vain for much of the contest, but the skipper's performance eventually proved crucial, accounting for over a third of his team's score before the Kolkata top-order collapsed.

Recently retired West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has faced his fair share of critics but ends his international career with one of the highest win percentages of any captain to lead the One Day International (ODI) team in the last 20 years.

The 34-year-old, who took charge of the ODI team in September 2019, called time on an international career that spanned some 16 years and a three-year spell in charge of two regional teams.  In ODI’s, Pollard led the team for 24 games, winning 13, losing 11, and drawing none for a win percentage of 54.17.

 Alone that would not seem so impressive, turns out that’s not so bad, as far as West Indies captains go.  Pollard’s win percentage puts him ahead of Dwayne Bravo (44.44), Darren Sammy (36.00), and Jason Holder (27.91).  The big-hitters win percentage also puts him above the like of legends Brian Lara, who won 47.20 percent of his games, and Chris Gayle who had a 32.08 win ratio.

His success rate for T20s has been much less than the ODI’s.  Pollard’s 33.33-win ratio puts him well behind Sammy at 59.57, Bravo at 50 percent, Gayle at 41.18 percent, and Carlos Braithwaite at 36.67.

An unbeaten half century from Jamaica Scorpions opener Leroy Lugg and a hat-trick from Scorpions teammate Nicholson Gordon helped the Surrey Royals secure a nine-wicket win over the Middlesex Titans in the Dream11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park in Kingston on Friday.

After the Royals won the toss and decided to bowl first, they had the Titans in a tough spot on 29-3 off 5.1 overs before all-rounder Jamie Merchant rescued the innings brilliantly with a 15-ball 41 including five fours and three sixes.

He was dismissed in the ninth over to leave the score 84-4 before Nicholson Gordon bagged a hat-trick in the last over with the wickets of Errol Thomas (17), Sherdon Allen (2) and Jamaine Morgan (0).

Opener Wayne Davis earlier contributed 18 for the Titans.

Gordon finished with 3-21 off his two overs while off-spinner Peat Salmon contributed 2-5 from his two.

The Royals then cruised to their target, getting to 98-1 off 8.3 overs despite a short rain delay during the fourth over of their reply.

Lugg combined with West Indies batsman Nkrumah Bonner to form a match-winning second wicket partnership of 96 after fellow opener Romaine Morris was dismissed in the first over for a duck by former West Indies pacer Krishmar Santokie.

Lugg finished 50 not out off just 24 balls including four fours and three sixes, his second half-century of the tournament, while Bonner ended up 46 not out off 25 balls including two fours and four sixes.

 

Jos Buttler blazed a third century of his remarkable season to help Rajasthan Royals get the better of Delhi Capitals in Mumbai.

The English opener cracked 116 from 65 balls in Rajasthan's 222-2, making his highest score of the IPL campaign so far and emphasising his position as the leading run-scorer in the 2022 competition. Despite a late rally, Delhi fell short by making 207-8 in reply, sliding to a 15-run defeat, with the Royals going top of the table.

This was game seven for the Royals and Buttler, and he came up trumps once more, sharing in a first-wicket partnership of 155 with Devdutt Padikkal (54) before captain Sanju Samson (46no) came out firing for the final overs.

Delhi were up against it from the off but had a sniff of a chance when Rishabh Pant began finding all corners of the Wankhede Stadium; however, Pant's departure for 44 from 24 balls in the 12th over meant there was only tenuous hope left.

Prithvi Shaw (37) and David Warner (28) had given Delhi a reasonable enough start but failed to stick around.

Yuzvendra Chahal at deep fine leg dropped Pant early in the 12th over, misreading the flight of the ball, but the batsman fell two deliveries later. Pant got a top edge when looking to pull into the leg side, and Padikkal watched the ball soar high into the night sky before it fell to allow him to take a fine catch.

Lalit Yadav and Rovman Powell showed fight to leave Delhi needing 36 from the final two overs, but Prasidh Krishna (3-22) then had Yadav caught behind in a remarkable wicket maiden. Three sixes by Powell at the start of the 20th over raised hopes of a miracle finale, but Delhi's protests over a possible no-ball killed their own momentum.

Buttler serves up another ton of treats

Man-of-the-moment Buttler came into this season with one century in 65 IPL matches, spread across six years. Now he has four in 72, and on this occasion it took him 36 balls to reach 50 and only 21 more to advance to three figures.

Buttler made a ton against Mumbai Indians in his second game of the season, and followed that knock of exactly 100 with an impressive 103 in his sixth outing, against Kolkata Knight Riders. There were nine fours and nine sixes in this masterpiece by the 31-year-old, and he has 491 runs for the season, 226 more than the next highest scorer in the competition (KL Rahul – 265).

Surreal McCoy

Royals paceman Obed McCoy cost his team 26 runs with a dreadful over that included nine runs given away in extras, five of which came from a wild and head-high no ball that raced away to the boundary. It was probably the worst delivery that will be bowled in this year's IPL, sailing way outside off stump after slipping out of McCoy's hand and landing several yards wide of wicketkeeper Samson.

When McCoy conceded three sixes from the first three balls of the final over, Delhi needed three more maximums for victory, but the paceman avoided further embarrassment.

Cornwall Warriors captain Michael Frew produced an excellent spell of bowling to lead his team to victory over the Middlesex United Stars in the Dream11 Jamaica T10 tournament at Sabina Park in Kingston on Friday.

Asking the Stars to bat first after winning the toss, the Warriors had early success after removing West Indies opener John Campbell for 14.

Sashane Anderson (22) and Suwayne Wilson (12) were the only other Stars batsmen to reach double figures as Frew, a member of the West Indies U-19 World Cup winning squad in 2016, ripped through the batting line-up to finish with figures of 4-16 from his two overs.

In the end, the Stars were restricted to a modest 81-7 off their 10 overs.

The Warriors made light work of the chase, reaching 83-3 off 8.4 overs to get their second win of the competition.

They got home thanks to some indiscipline from the Stars bowlers and solid showings from Ockeeno Farqharson (21), Jevoy Spence (15) and Andre McCarthy (13 not out).

West Indies U-19 representative Andel Gordon took 2-11 off his two overs.

 

Eoin Morgan believes "brilliant leader" Ben Stokes would find it difficult to turn down the England Test captaincy. 

Vice-captain Stokes is a leading contender to take over as skipper in the longest format after Joe Root stepped down last week.

England white-ball captain Morgan says the all-rounder has all the right credentials to step up and succeed Root.

He told Sky Sports: "Obviously Ben is a fantastic player, a brilliant leader, though he doesn't need to have the captain's armband on to lead like he does.

"The experience of the World Cup final here [at Lord's] really showed his true colours in the way that he led from start to finish – and throughout the whole tournament as well. He'd certainly be a candidate.

"I think it would be hard to turn down the captaincy. It's a privileged position to be in. Obviously circumstances have to be right, but most people who want to take red-ball cricket forward would like to take it on."

Morgan played his last Test for England a decade ago and has not featured in a first-class match for Middlesex since 2019, so he has no interest in replacing Root.

Asked if he would be interested in the role, the 35-year-old batter said: "Absolutely not, no.

"I'm very happy with the role that I play within the white-ball team and English cricket at the moment. It has been the part of my career that I'm most proud of.

"My career is firmly focused on World Cups, and hopefully sustaining what we've built over the last six years is probably going to be the most important part of what I leave behind eventually.

"I haven't played red-ball cricket for a long time. I wouldn't have any interest in the job. I would be no good at it."

John Campbell scored 82 and Michael Thompson took three wickets as United Stars defeated Surrey Risers by 68 runs in the Dream 11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park in Kingston on Thursday.

In his 37-ball innings, the West Indies opener smashed seven fours and six sixes before he was dismissed off the last ball of the innings as United Stars made 155-3. Campbell put on 84 for the second wicket with Alwyn Williams who hit three fours and four sixes in his 18-ball 45.

Oshane Thomas was the best of the bowlers, taking 2-30 from his two overs.

In reply, Surrey Risers could only manage 87-6 as Thompson 3-15 and Tyrone Daley 2-17 combined to tear through the line-up. Only opener Chadwick Walton, who scored 36 and Delbert Gayle (24) managed double figures.

In the second match on the day, Man of the Match Jermaine Blackwood scored 46 and Kennar Lewis 27 as Surrey Kings defeated Surrey Royals by eight wickets.

Batting first, Surrey Royals scored 90-8 from their 10 overs. Javelle Glen, 23, and Pete Salmon, 20, were the leading scorers against the bowling attack led by Andre Dennis 1-12 and Oraine Williams 1-14.

Lewis and Blackwood made light work of the chase, getting to 95-2 from just 5.2 overs.

Everton Oharo 1-8 and Pete Salmon 1-18 were the wicket-takers for the Royals whose attack wilted under the onslaught of Blackwood, whose 46 came from just 17 balls and included five fours and four sixes.

Lewis remained unbeaten after smashing four sixes from the 14 balls he faced.

 

MS Dhoni was the final-over hero as Chennai Super Kings kept Mumbai Indians waiting for a first Indian Premier League win with a dramatic three-wicket victory.

CSK needed 17 off the last over from Jaydev Unadkat in the battle of the bottom two to win only their second match and Dhoni delivered, hitting the four he needed off the last ball to leave the Indians shellshocked.

Mukesh Choudhary (3-19) dismissed Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan for first-over ducks after Mumbai were put in by Ravindra Jadeja at a raucous DY Patil Stadium on Thursday, but they recovered to 155-7.

Teenager Tilak Varma top scored with 51 not out off 43 balls, while Suryakumar Yadav (32) and debutant Hrithik Shokeen (25) also chipped in.

CSK dropped four catches, including Varma being given a life by Dwayne Bravo when he had scored only two, in a sloppy display in the field following such a great start.

All-rounder Bravo took 2-36 before Unadkat added a brisk unbeaten 19 and Daniel Sams dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad with the first ball of the run chase.

Sams (4-30) also saw the back of Mitchell Santner, Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu, with Mumbai favourites when Chennai were 106-6 in the 16th over following Jadeja's departure for only three.

Dwaine Pretorius made 22 and the ice-cool Dhoni stepped up when CSK needed him, making 28 not out off 13 balls to leave the Indians rooted to the bottom of the table after losing all seven games.

Choudhary gives CSK dream start

Left-arm seamer Choudhary rocked Mumbai by removing both openers in the first over, with Rohit taken by Santner at mid-on off the second ball and Kishan losing his off stump.

Dewald Brevis became Choudhary's third victim off the final ball of the third over, reducing the Indians to 32-3.

CSK's fielding did not match the standard of their early bowling, captain Jadeja guilty of two of their dropped catches as they let Mumbai off the hook to an extent.

Dhoni still leading by example

He may have handed the captaincy over to Jadeja, but Dhoni showed he will always be a leader as he steered the holders home.

They needed 28 off two overs and 16 from deliveries after Unadkat trapped Pretorius leg before. 

Step forward the 40-year-old Dhoni, who clattered the left-armer for a straight six and struck the next ball for four, then scampered through for two before dispatching the last delivery into the leg side for a match-winning boundary.

Former West Indies fast bowler Corey Collymore has been appointed head coach of the Barbados Women Cricket team that will represent the West Indies at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8.

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has announced his retirement from international cricket.

The all-rounder, who turns 35 next month, revealed in a video posted on social media he has called time on his 15-year Windies career.

His decision to no longer play for his country comes in a year that will see West Indies attempt to regain the T20 World Cup title in Australia.

Pollard, who is currently playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, feels it is the right time to "make room for those who will carry the game forward in West Indian colours".

"After careful deliberation, I have today decided to retire from international cricket," Pollard said. "It was a dream of mine to represent the West Indies team from the time I was a boy of 10 years and I am proud to have represented West Indies cricket for over 15 years in both the T20I and ODI forms of the game.

"Wearing those maroon colours and playing alongside such greats has been a privilege that I never took lightly, giving my heart and soul in every facet of the game – whether bowling, batting or fielding

"As with many sports, there are highs and lows, but throughout it all I have always felt the unwavering support and love of the fans of West Indies cricket who understand the importance of this great sport to the people of the Caribbean.

"As I move on and make room for those who will carry the game forward in West Indian colours, know that I will always be supporting in whatever way I can.

"It is with profound gratitude for living my dream that I now raise my bat in salute to all that is West Indies cricket."

Pollard led West Indies to series wins over Australia and England after being appointed ODI and T20I skipper in 2019.

The clean-striking right-hander played in 123 ODIs, scoring 2,706 runs and taking 55 wickets in the 50-over format.

He took 42 T20I wickets and made 1,569 runs, winning the T20 World Cup in 2012 but missing the 2016 triumph due to injury.

One of the great entertainers when in full flow with the bat, Pollard last year became only the third man to hit six sixes in an over during an international match, taking Sri Lanka's Akila Dananjaya apart.

Cricket West Indies has thanked Kieron Pollard for his service to the West Indies Men’s Team for the past fifteen years, including as captain of the One Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) teams since September 2019.

Delhi Capitals restricted Punjab Kings to the lowest total of the 2022 Indian Premier League as they coasted to an easy nine-wicket win.

The Kings were put into bat by the Capitals and that decision paid off in a substantial way as their attack thrived in Mumbai.

Axar Patel (2-10) and Lalit Yadav (2-11) were the pick of the bunch as the Kings were bowled out for 115.

Captain Mayank Agarwal (24) and Jitesh Sharma (32) were the only batters to score more than 20 for the Kings.

Prithvi Shaw (41) and David Warner (60 not out) put on the highest powerplay score of the season as the Capitals raced to 81-0.

There was never any way back for the Kings from there, Warner finishing things off with a boundary to seal Delhi's third win of the season.

Kings fade after steady start

The Kings put on an opening stand of 33 but then lost four wickets in the space of three overs for 21 runs as the Delhi attack seized control.

Jitesh provided hope during his 23-ball stay at the crease, but the tail was unable to repair the damage after he was removed by Axar.

Warner finishes with a flourish

Warner's half-century was his 53rd in IPL cricket and made it three in a row for the Australia opener. He wrapped up the win with 57 balls to spare with a fine pull shot to the midwicket boundary.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has confirmed that Saint Lucia will host matches during the 2022 season. Saint Lucia will be one of four countries to host Hero CPL matches in 2022 with the matches set to be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Beausejour.  

The 2020 and 2021 seasons of the Hero CPL took place in Trinidad & Tobago and St Kitts & Nevis respectively with the COVID-19 pandemic meaning the tournament needed to be played in one country. For the 2022 season, the plan is to move around the region once again with three venues being used for the group stages and another selected for the finals. 

 The tournament will take place from August 30 to September 30 with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots looking to defend the title they won in 2021. 

 Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s CEO said: “We are very pleased to confirm that we will be back in Saint Lucia in 2022 and we are grateful to the government for working with us to make this happen. Saint Lucia has been such a huge part of the Hero CPL story and as we enter our 10th season it is great to be back at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground this year.” 

 Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority commented: “We are delighted to be one of the venues for CPL this year. The pandemic limited major sporting events across the world so to be able to welcome back a prestigious tournament such as this means a lot to us. This event is full of opportunities. It’s a chance to enjoy the brilliant sportsmanship that you see on the cricket field and it’s an opportunity to come together and enjoy our Saint Lucian hospitality. We look forward to welcoming spectators and visitors this September.”

The Indian Premier League clash between Delhi and Punjab Kings was cleared to go ahead as scheduled on Wednesday despite a sixth coronavirus case in the Capitals camp.

New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert became the latest Capitals player to return a positive test on the day of the match at Brabourne – CC.

Delhi had on Monday revealed that Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had contracted COVID-19.

Tournament organisers gave the green light for the game against the Kings to be staged after the second round of tests all came back as negative.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also announced that the Capitals' showdown with Rajasthan Royals on Friday has been moved from MCA Stadium in Pune to Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

That decision was made as a precautionary measure following Seifert's positive test.

Faf du Plessis and Josh Hazlewood powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to their fifth win in seven Indian Premier League games as they eased past Lucknow Super Giants.

The foundation for an 18-run win was laid as Du Plessis came four runs short of a century, his blistering 96 ensuring RCB reached 181-6 despite losing captain Virat Kohli for a duck.

Lucknow got a series of starts, including from skipper KL Rahul (30) and Krunal Pandya (42), but they could not put a match-winning partnership together.

A contributing factor to that failure was the brilliance of Hazlewood, whom RCB bought at this year's auction.

After his excellent performance against Delhi Capitals, Hazlewood provided further vindication of that decision by taking 4-25.

His last scalp, that of Australian compatriot Marcus Stoinis (24), effectively ended any hope Lucknow had of victory, with Jason Holder unable to recover the situation for the Super Giants in the final 10 balls.

RCB are level on 10 points with Gujarat Titans at the top of the table. Gujarat have the edge because of their superior net run rate.

No Faffing about

Having seen the top order crumble around him, with Dusmantha Chameera claiming the wickets of Anuj Rawat and Kohli in successive deliveries in the opening over and Glenn Maxwell departing for 23, Du Plessis took it upon himself to hold the RCB innings together.

He did so by hammering 11 fours and two sixes to record his joint-highest IPL score and his second half-century of the season.

Hazlewood's hot streak

The Super Giants must have known their luck was out when an initially ambitious looking review revealed Rahul had edged a leg-side delivery from Harshal Patel behind to the keeper.

Krunal gave them hope thereafter but eventually fell to Maxwell before Hazlewood removed Ayush Badoni and Stoinis to round off a superb display from the former Chennai Super Kings quick, who now has eight wickets in three games after taking 3-28 against Delhi. 

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