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Chennai Super Kings coast into their 10th IPL final

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Chennai Super Kings made it to their 10th IPL final with a 15-run win over Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1. Chasing 173, Gujarat folded for 157, the first time they were bowled out in the IPL. This was also CSK’s first win in four attempts against Hardik Pandya’s team, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 172-7 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 60, Devon Conway 40, Mohammed Shami 2-28, Mohit Sharma 2-31) beat Gujarat Titans 157 all-out in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 42, Rashid Khan 30, Ravindra Jadeja 2-18, Maheesh Theekshana 2-28) by 15 runs



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Putin peace terms slammed as Ukraine summit begins

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky [BBC]

The leaders of Italy and Germany have strongly rejected ceasefire terms laid out by Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine, as dozens of countries gathered at a summit in Switzerland to discuss ending the conflict.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called the Russian president’s plan “propaganda” which effectively suggested that Ukraine “must withdraw from Ukraine”.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz dismissed it as a “dictatorial peace”.

On Friday, Mr Putin claimed he would agree to a ceasefire if Ukraine withdrew troops from four regions which Russia partially occupies and claims to have annexed.

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, told the BBC at the Swiss summit that there would be “no compromise on independence, sovereignty or territorial integrity”.

Mr Putin revealed his terms ahead of the two-day Summit on Peace in Ukraine which is aimed at discussing the basic principals for ending the war.

More than 90 countries and global institutions are attending the event. It is the biggest gathering for Ukraine since the full-scale invasion.

But Russia was not invited, and China – a key ally of Russia – is not attending, so expectations of significant progress at this stage are low.

Commenting on Mr Putin’s proposal, Ms Meloni said: “It doesn’t seem particularly effective to me as a negotiation proposal to tell Ukraine that it must withdraw from Ukraine.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accused the Russian president of “spinning a phoney narrative about his willingness to negotiate”. He added that countries helping Russia with weapon supplies “are on the wrong side of history”.

Ukraine is already presenting the gathering at the secluded spot in Bürgenstock as a success, pointing to its global reach and the number of countries represented.

Mr Zelensky said Ukraine wanted to “give diplomacy a chance”, and show that “joint efforts” could stop wars. “I believe that we will witness history being made here at the summit. May a just peace be established as soon as possible,” he said.

His aide Mr Yermak – an influential figure in Ukrainian politics – brushed aside the absence of China, and suggested that when a joint plan for peace talks is ready it could be be presented to Russia.  “We think that can happen at the second summit at the level of leaders,” he said.

Mr Putin has already ruled out any kind of peace process on Ukraine’s terms. The four Ukrainian regions he wants Ukraine to withdraw from are only partially occupied by Russia, which claims to have annexed them in 2022. The voting process held then was denounced in Ukraine and the West as a sham.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said that “freezing the conflict today with foreign troops occupying Ukrainian land is not an answer”. “In fact, it is a recipe for future wars of aggression,” she said.

Mr Putin’s terms for a ceasefire were branded “offensive to common sense” by Ukraine.

[BBC]

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Harry Brook, Jonny Bairstow rescue act keeps England alive

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Harry Brook and Zane Green walk off as the rain returns [Cricinfo]

Watching rain fall doesn’t sound like a nail-biting pastime but for England the hours waiting to start their final group match of this T20 World Cup, against Namibia, were gripping. England’s eventual victory, by 41 runs in a match reduced to 10 overs per side in Antigua on Saturday, was pure relief for the defending champions.

No result other than a win would have kept England in contention for the Super Eight phase but they had to get on the park for that. After the toss was delayed by three hours – won by Namibia, who chose to bowl first – they finally had the chance to control their own destiny, to a point. The equation was simple. England had to beat Namibia and then wait to see whether Australia defeated Scotland to ensure they joined the Australians in progressing from Group B.

Showers before the scheduled start returned to Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in the form of a torrential downpour just as it looked like the covers would be lifted. England had to hold onto hope of a reduced-overs match despite the rain appearing to have set in. Eventually, play began at 4pm local time, reduced to 11 overs per side, which became 10 when rain intervened once more, albeit briefly, with England 82 for 3 after eight overs.

Harry Brook’s unbeaten 47 off 20 balls and Jonny Bairstow’s 31 off 18 steadied them from a perilous 13 for 2, the pair sharing a 56-run stand for the third wicket to help lift their side to 122 for 5. With Namibia chasing a DLS-adjusted target of 126, England’s bowlers didn’t allow them to score fast enough and secured a comfortable victory, after a torturous wait.

David Wiese conceded just a solitary run from the first over on an understandably tacky wicket, testing England openers Jos Buttler and Phil Salt by varying his lines and lengths. Then Ruben Trumpelmann removed Buttler for a four-ball duck with a wonderful inswinger that crashed into leg stump with the second ball of the next over in a dream start for Namibia. It wasn’t until 10 balls into the match that England scored their first boundary, which became two when Salt lofted wider deliveries from Trumpelmann for four down the ground and over deep third. When Wiese returned for a second over on the trot, he had Salt caught behind off an excellent knuckle ball, delivered slow outside off stump and finding a thick edge to put England in trouble at 13 for 2 inside three overs.

Left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz came into the attack in the fourth over and in for some Bairstow treatment, reverse-swept for four and muscled over long-on for six next ball. Bairstow skied Gerhard Erasmus’s third ball back over his head and, to England’s relief, the ball plugged in a gap between an advancing long-off, long-on and the bowler running back. He crashed the next through the leg side for four. Brook chimed in with a powerful six over deep midwicket off Jack Brassell and sent the next through point for four to bring up England’s fifty off 34 balls. When Erasmus returned, Bairstow immediately nailed a six over midwicket.

Bairstow survived a run-out chance on 31 and hadn’t added to his score when he top-edged an attempted cut off Scholtz towards short cover, where keeper Zane Green collected. Bairstow’s 18-ball knock was his first foray into double figures in three innings at this tournament and his highest score at a T20 World Cup, setting a solid platform after England’s shaky start before more rain arrived to halt play.

After such a long wait to learn whether they would get to play again, England’s innings was further reduced to 10 overs when rain caused another 10-minute stoppage, by which time Brook and Moeen Ali were left with twelve balls to set an imposing target. They took 19 runs off Brassell in the penultimate over, 18 of them to Brook, who finished with 4,6,4 to take England past the 100 mark. Moeen fell for 16 off six balls but Liam Livingstone blasted the first two balls he faced from Trumpelmann for six before he was run out on the last ball of the innings and left the field clutching his side in some discomfort. Ben Duckett’s appearance as substitute fielder in his place raised further concerns over Livingstone’s fitness.

Reece Topley conceded only two runs off the opening over of Namibia’s pursuit, one of them a front-foot no-ball on the first delivery of the innings. England’s bowlers were keeping a lid on Namibia’s scoring and, needing 83 more off the last four overs, Nikolaas Davin retired out on 18 off 16, the first player to do so at an ICC event, making way for the vastly experienced Wiese. He clubbed the first ball he faced – off Sam Curran, making his first appearance at this World Cup – for four through backward point. Wiese proceeded to smash back-to-back sixes off Adil Rashid over long-off and deep midwicket then pierced the covers for four.

But they needed 55 off the last two overs and Michael van Lingen holed out to Brook off Chris Jordan, brought into the side for Mark Wood on the strength of his death bowling, on the final ball of the ninth. When Jofra Archer removed Wiese, again via a Brook catch in the deep in the final over, the 39-year-old walked off amid handshakes from several England players, a fitting international farewell in his last game for Namibia, the nation he transferred his allegiance to in 2021 after 26 matches for South Africa.

Brief scores:
England 122 for 5 in 10 overs  (Harry Brook 47*, Jonny Bairstow 31; David Wiese 1-06, Ruben Trumpelmann 2-31, Bernard Scholtz 1-24) beat Namibia 84 for 3 in 10 overs  (Michael van Lingen 33, David Wiese 26; Jofra Archer 1-15, Chris Jordan 1-19) by 41 runs (DLS method)

[Cricinfo]

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India and Canada split points in damp Lauderhill

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No cricket, no cry - the Indians can still play football on the wet ground [ICC]

The T20 World Cuup 2024 game between India and Canada was called off due to wet outfield. There wasn’t a lot of rain on the day – a passing drizzle – but the ground at Lauderhill had taken enough water on Friday when USA and Ireland had to settle for a point each as well for it to still be unfit for play.

There were two inspections by the umpires and the groundstaff worked hard for over three hours but nothing could be done to convince the officials that the outfield was safe enough.

India turn their attention to the Super Eight stage of the tournament now where they will face Afghanistan on Thursday. Canada’s campaign, though, has come to an end, but it was a memorable one where they upset Ireland and can also look forward to an improved chance of making the 2026 T20 World Cup. Only one of the participating teams in the Americas regional qualifiers can go through to the World Cup. But now that USA are already through, Canada stand a stronger chance making it through the pathway.

Lauderhill is meant to host one more match at this T20 World Cup – Ireland vs Pakistan on Sunday. Both teams have already been eliminated from the tournament. There is forecast for rain in the morning which may once again affect the cricket.

[Cricinfo]

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