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Rutherford and bowlers take West Indies to Super Eight; New Zealand’s campaign in trouble

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Gudakesh Motie is on cloud nine after dismissing Kane Williamson [ICC]

A sensational rescue effort from Sherfane Rutherford set up a third win on the trot for West Indies in the T20 World Cup 2024 while putting New Zealand on the verge of elimination at the Brian Lara stadium in Tarouba. With the win, the co-hosts have also secured a spot in the Super Eight.

New Zealand’s fast bowlers dictated proceedings in the powerplay to have West Indies four down in the first innings. Rutherford found little support as they slid to 112 for 9 after 18 overs, but he plundered 37 runs off the last two overs to take West Indies to 149 before the bowlers stepped up during their defense.

Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie and Akeal Hosein were the stars with the ball, as New Zealand slumped to two defeats in as many games.

Rutherford found himself in unfamiliar territory thanks to West Indies’ top-order collapse, coming in to bat in the sixth over. Only for the second time in his T20I career, he faced a ball in the powerplay. But he vied his time in his partnerships with Hosein, Andre Russell and Romario Shepherd. For long, his only two boundary shots were two sixes off drag downs from Santner and Neesham before he finally let loose in the last two overs.

New Zealand took a gambit in using up their best frontline bowlers early and ended up giving Daryl Mitchell the penultimate over and Santner the last.

The plan nearly paid off, with West Indies having just one wicket in hand after the 18th over. But Rutherford resisted as he first tore into Mitchell, hitting him for back-to-back sixes down the V’ before depositing the ball over the fine-leg fence for a third six in the over.

He then hit Santner for two fours and a majestic six slog-swept from wide of off over wide long-on, on the way to a 33-ball half-century. The 37 runs off the last two overs helped take West Indies to 149, a score that seemed unattainable for almost all of their innings.

Brief scores:
West Indies 149 for 9 in 20 overs  (Sherfane Rutherford 68*; Trent Boult 3-16, Tim Southee 2-21, Lockie Ferguson 2-27, James Neesham 1-27, Mitchell Santner 1-27) beat  New Zealand 136 for 9 in 20 overs (Finn Allen 26, Glenn Phillips 40, Mitchell Santner 21*; Akeal Hossein 1-21, Andre Rusell 1-30, Alzarri Joseph 4-19, Gudakesh Motie 3-25) by 13 runs



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Djokovic sets up Alcaraz rematch in Wimbledon final

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Novak Djokovic is trying to match Roger Federer's total of eight Wimbledon titles [BBC]

Novak Djokovic outclassed Italian underdog Lorenzo Musetti to reach the Wimbledon final and set up a showdown with reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in a repeat of last year’s final.

The 37-year-old impressed as he stayed on course for a record-equalling eighth men’s singles title at Wimbledon with a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory on Centre Court.

Musetti, 22, had one chance to get the break back in the final set but sent a forehand into the net and crouched down with his head in his hands, knowing the end was near.  Djokovic made sure his opponent did not get another opportunity.

Under pressure, Musetti sent a shot long before Djokovic walked to the net, knowing he had reached his 37th Grand Slam final and 10th at Wimbledon.

The Serb then moved his racquet over his shoulder and imitated playing a violin, in a gesture aimed at his six-year-old daughter Tara, with television cameras showing her grinning along.

Some fans, however, started booing, thinking Djokovic, who produced the same celebration following his win over Holger Rune in the last 16, was being disrespectful.

Alcaraz beat Djokovic in last year’s showpiece, winning 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 in a five-set epic, which lasted four hours 42 minutes and is regarded one of the best matches in the tournament’s history.

The pair meet again on Sunday in what could be another amazing chapter in Wimbledon folklore.

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Top ICC official Chris Tetley and Claire Furlong resign

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There was a lot of scrutiny of the matches in the US leg of the World Cup, particularly the games held in New York

A couple of senior officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC), who were closely involved in organizing the Twenty20 World Cup in the US and the West Indies, have resigned. On Friday, it came to light that Chris Tetley, the ICC’s Head of Events, and Claire Furlong, the General Manager of Marketing and Communications, have announced their departures from the organization.

The resignations, coming as they did immediately after the conclusion of the World Cup and just about a week ahead of the ICC’s annual conference in Colombo, are believed to be related to the conduct of the championship. However, ICC insiders say the resignations are several months old.

One particular source has claimed that both Tetley and Furlong decided to leave the world body at the end of the last commercial cycle itself but stayed on in view of the Twenty20 World Cup in the US. The source went on to add that the two quit quite some time back but will continue to be with the ICC for a few more months ‘to ensure smooth transition of charge in a crowded event cycle.’ They will also attend the Annual Conference in Colombo from July 19 to 22.

The World Cup in the US, and particularly in New York, was a major project of the ICC and the two officials were closely involved in it. Many members of the ICC were priming to raise the issue of the New York games, which were low-scoring affairs due to the ‘up and down’ nature of the drop-in pitches at the NY stadium, at the Colombo conclave. A key member of the ICC board is learnt to have raised the issue through a letter to the members.

The number of fours and sixes, which are generally expected to be high in numbers in the Twenty20 games, was significantly low in the New York games. The Indian team, the eventual champions, however, did not comment on the nature of the pitches, stating that the conditions were equal for all the participating teams.

The matches in the US were conducted by an entity called T20 World Cup Inc which had built a modular stadium in the Nassau County of New York’s Long Island in record time. The stadium was dismantled immediately after the NY leg of the championship. NY hosted eight of the 16 games allotted to the US.

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US space agency NASA releases Webb telescope photos of entwined galaxies

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In this photo provided by NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute, two interacting galaxies are captured by the Webb Space Telescope in the infrared. Scientists say the neighnouring galaxies, nicknamed Penguin, right, and the Egg, left, have been tangled up for tens of millions of years

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released photos from the James Webb Space Telescope showing a pair of entangled galaxies.

The space agency released a photo of the two galaxies — one named Penguin and the other Egg — on Friday, marking the two-year anniversary of Webb’s activities capturing images of space.

“In just two years, Webb has transformed our view of the universe, enabling the kind of world-class science that drove NASA to make this mission a reality,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA, said in a news release.

“Webb is providing insights into longstanding mysteries about the early universe and ushering in a new era of studying distant worlds, while returning images that inspire people around the world and posing exciting new questions to answer. It has never been more possible to explore every facet of the universe.”

NASA says that the two galaxies — about 326 million light-years away — have been wrapped up with each other for tens of millions of years. One light year, a reference to distance rather than time, is about 5.8 trillion miles.

The Webb Telescope, which specialises in capturing infrared light, is considered the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope and has helped bring about a series of discoveries and ae-inspiring images from space over the last two years.

The cosmic dance between the two galaxies was set in motion between 25 and 75 million years ago, according to a news release from NASA.

“They will go on to shimmy and sway, completing several additional loops before merging into a single galaxy hundreds of millions of years from now,” it reads.

[Aljazeera]

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