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CWG 2022: Mandhana blasts 61 as India post 164 for 5 against England in semifinal

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BIRMINGHAM: Smriti Mandhana’s elegant yet brutal knock of 61 along with Jemimah Rodrigues’ useful 44 not out powered India to a healthy 164 for 5 against hosts England in the semifinal of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Mandhana’s 32-ball assault in the Powerplay laid the platform while Rodrigues, who is finally doing justice to her enormous potential, improvised well during his 31-ball unbeaten stay at the crease.
En route her knock, Mandhana also recorded the fastest T20 International fifty in women’s cricket off only 23 balls.
A new and improved Deepti Sharma chipped in with 22 off 20 balls but India might think they ended 15 runs short of the par-score after 64 runs came in the six Powerplay overs.
The next 14 overs yielded 100 runs as India lost the momentum when three wickets fell in quick succession during middle overs.
Rodrigues and Deepti added an invaluable 53 runs for the fourth wicket partnership.
Mandhana’s drives are the most picturesque thing in women’s cricket and one would rub his eyes in disbelief when the normally rampaging Shafali Verma (17 off 15 balls) was the silent partner in their opening stand of 76 in 7.5 overs.
There were cover drives off Katherine Brunt, pulled sixes off seamers Natt Sciver and Issy Wong and a lofted one of spinner Sarah Glenn’s bowling over long-on.
The half-century came in only 23 balls as England bowlers looked clueless during that phase.
Once Sciver got rid of Mandhana, who was trying to play the lap-scoop, the run-rate slowed down as skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, despite a couple of fours and a six, played few dot balls in her run-a-ball 20.
While Mandhana had eight fours and three sixes in her knock, Rodrigues had seven fours to her credit, mostly using the gaps in arc between point and extra-cover.

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Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

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Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

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Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

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However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

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EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

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