Resurgent RCB play steady Gujarat in quest for final berth

first_imgRoyal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul, Sachin Baby, Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, Sreenath Aravind, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, Travis Head, Iqbal Abdullah, Kedar Jadhav, Chris Jordan, David Wiese, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfaraz Khan, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, Parveez Rasool, Harshal Patel, Kane Richardson, Tabraiz Shamshi, Vikas Tokas, Praveen Dubey. Powered by an in-form Virat Kohli’s inspirational leadership, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would look to inch closer to a maiden IPL title triumph when they take on table-toppers Gujarat Lions in the Qualifier I, here tomorrow.RCB were in a real spot of bother as they needed to win their last four games to make it to the play-offs. The Bangalore outfit showed great fighting spirit, with Kohli leading from the front, to record four consecutive wins to finish the league engagements at the second spot.RCB finished the preliminary round with 16 points from 14 games, just behind leaders Gujarat Lions, who garnered 18 from 14 matches.RCB seem to have struck form at just the right time and after a not-so-impressive start to the season, the Kohli-led side has dished out four clinical performances to beat the Lions (by 144 runs), Kolkata Knight Riders (by 9 wickets), Kings XI Punjab (by 82 runs D/L method) and Delhi Daredevils (by 6 wickets) to seal their top-four place.In the do-or-die battle against Daredevils last night, RCB first restricted their opponents to 138 for eight and then chased down the target with consummate ease — Kohli again hogging the limelight with an unbeaten 54.RCB would be desperate to continue their winning momentum for two more matches and ensure that they improve on their runners-up finish from the 2009 and 2011 season.The last time RCB squared up against Gujarat here, they recorded the biggest ever (144-run) victory in the history of IPL. AB de Villiers (129 not out) and Virat Kohli (109) went on a rampage in that game and scored magnificent centuries.And come tomorrow, the Bangalore outfit will once again fancy their chances on home turf.The biggest hero for RCB this season has been skipper Kohli, who is perhaps enjoying the best phase of his batting career.Kohli has so far amassed a record 919 runs in the ongoing IPL with four centuries and six fifties at a staggering average of 91.90.Kohli has also been an impressive captain and infused confidence in the team after a disappointing start. At one point of time, qualifying for the play-offs looked a distant dream, but the captain made it possible with his glorious batting and leadership qualities.In the company of Kohli, de Villiers and Chris Gayle also dished out some sizzling batting performances. The trio has been nothing short of a nightmare for the team’s opponents.While de Villiers has 603 runs under his belt with one century and five half-centuries, Gayle indicated his return to form in the last few games.Credit for the turnaround should also go to RCB’s not-so-experienced bowling attack, which was under fire for a major part of the tournament.RCB’s turnaround in bowling was made possible by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who is the leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps from 11 games.The late entry of Chris Jordon also helped RCB in containing their rivals in the death overs.Australian Shane Watson too has served the team well with the ball, picking up 16 wickets so far in this season.Debutantes Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, were the first team to qualify for the play-offs by destroying the hopes of title-holders Mumbai Indians.Gujarat defeated RCB by six wickets in their opening meeting this season before suffering the 144-run loss in the next tie.And the Suresh Raina-led side will be eyeing sweet revenge for the embarrassing defeat to head straight into the final of their maiden IPL appearance.In contrast to RCB, Gujarat made a rampaging start to the season before facing a late slump.In Aaron Finch (339 runs from 11 games), Brendon McCullum (321 from 14), Dwayne Smith (250 from 10), Raina (397 from 13), Dinesh Karthik (283) and Darren Bravo, Gujarat too have a formidable batting line-up.In the bowling department, Gujarat have depended on the pace duo of Bravo and Dhawal Kulkarni. While Bravo has 15 wickets against his name, Kulkarni has managed 14 scalps so far.The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Pravin Tambe, who did not have the best of IPL so far, too would like to come to the party.Even though the losing side tomorrow will have another chance to make it to the final by locking horns against the winner of the Eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, both RCB and Gujarat will be hoping for a direct berth in Sunday’s final.Teams: Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. SHARE SHARE EMAIL Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (C), Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Dale Steyn, James Faulkner, Ishan Kishan, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik, Dwayne Bravo, Sarabjit Ladda, Amit Mishra, Akashdeep Nath, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, Shadab Jakati, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma, Pravin Tambe, Andrew Tye.Match starts at 8pm. Gujarat Lions captain Suresh Raina and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. Debutantes Gujarat Lions were the first team to qualify for the play-offs by destroying the hopes of title-holders Mumbai Indians. cricket SHARE Published on May 23, 2016 × IPL 2016 COMMENTS COMMENTlast_img read more

Report: Hamburg 0 Dortmund 3

first_imgHamburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Bosz’s men cruise back to Bundesliga summit Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 04:29 21/9/2017 aubameyang-cropped Bongarts Borussia Dortmund eased to a 3-0 win over Hamburg at Volksparkstadion on Wednesday with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang among the scorers. Shinji Kagawa, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic grabbed the goals as Borussia Dortmund crushed Hamburg 3-0 to move back to the top of the Bundesliga.Peter Bosz’s men have started the season impressively and continued their fine form on Wednesday, as they kept a fifth successive clean sheet, a feat they have never managed at the beginning of a Bundesliga campaign before.Dortmund were particularly good in the first half and, after wasting a couple of fine chances, deservedly took the lead through Kagawa – the Japan international making the most of his first Bundesliga start of the season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Dortmund sat back after the break, inviting pressure, and that tactic worked like a charm, as Aubameyang finished off a swift break just after the hour to continue his tormenting of Hamburg with what was his ninth goal in as many games against them.9 – @Aubameyang7 ( @BVB ) scored 9 goals in 9 #Bundesliga games against HSV – more than against any other BL team. Scorer. #HSVBVB — OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) September 20, 2017 The lively Pulisic then wrapped things up with 10 minutes to go, rounding off a well-worked move as Hamburg were left on the end of a comprehensive defeat in their own stadium.It took Dortmund’s attack seven minutes to create the first opening, Aubameyang and Pulisic dazzling the Hamburg defence, before the American sent a controlled effort just wide of the bottom-left corner.Andriy Yarmolenko then got involved, cutting inside and crossing for Aubameyang to send a glancing header on to the right-hand post.Dortmund’s dominant start eventually bore fruit in the 24th minute.Yarmolenko’s free-kick found Omer Toprak, who nodded it down for Kagawa and he kept his cool before smashing past Christian Mathenia.That goal seemed to spark Hamburg into life and they almost equalised just after the half-hour mark – Andre Hahn forcing Roman Burki into a smart save after good work from Lewis Holtby.But they rode their luck again twice in quick succession shortly after, as Pulisic tested Mathenia inside the area, before the goalkeeper saved Mergim Mavraj from an embarrassing own-goal by tipping his header over following another wicked Yarmolenko delivery.#läuft. #hsvbvb 0-3 pic.twitter.com/K8G4kBKehG— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) September 20, 2017Hamburg looked a little more positive early in the second half and they almost levelled in the 54th minute, but Mavraj blasted his effort into the side-netting from eight yards after Dortmund failed to clear a corner.The home side’s switch to a more attack-minded approach ultimately proved their undoing in the 63rd minute, however.Dortmund caught Hamburg on the counter and Yarmolenko’s eventual shot was scuffed into the path of Aubameyang, who tapped it in from close range.The match was put completely beyond Hamburg in the 79th minute, as Pulisic collected Mahmoud Dahoud’s cut-back, strode past a challenge and confidently swept home to round off an impressive Dortmund performance.Key Opta stats:- Dortmund’s Peter Bosz became the first manager in Bundesliga history to see his side keep a clean sheet in each of his first five games in charge.- That run of five clean sheets in a row equals the longest in Dortmund’s BL history – the last time they managed this was in 1994.- Christian Pulisic’s goal was the 3000th goal in Dortmund’s BL history. read morelast_img read more