Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli said they didn’t deserve to win against Kolkata Knight Riders and blamed the sloppy fielding for their six-wicket loss which has jeopardised their IPL campaign.
RCB slumped to their fifth defeat in seven games after failing to defend 176 against KKR last night. “If we look back, we didn’t deserve to win. I don’t think we’re trying hard enough, we need to be hard on ourselves. We don’t deserve to win if we field like that. We can’t afford to field like that and let singles go to boundaries. We were just not good enough tonight.”
If RCB lose their next match, they would put themselves in a precarious situation of winning all remaining games, out of which four are away games. Kohli said they need to consider every match as a virtual semi-final from now.
“I can’t pin point anything right now, we need to win six out of seven to qualify from here. We need to be in that mindset to take every match as as virtual semi-final from now,” he said. “There’s no room for lapses, complacency or hesitation. We need our guys stepping up and hopefully the guys can put up a better show.”
Brendon McCullum said it was a big blow for Royal Challengers Bangalore to miss the services of AB de Villiers in the crucial match against Kolkata Knight Riders yesterday. “We definitely missed AB de Villiers. He is probably the best player in the world and one of the best we have seen in the history of the game, so for him to be absent was a huge blow for us.
“He is a tough customer as well, so obviously he is pretty ill to not take the field today,” he told reporters in the post-match press conference. McCullum hoped that de villiers returns in the next match against Mumbai Indians after recovering from a viral infection. “He is desperate to get out there, so hopefully he will be back in the next game. He is such a key player for us, and such a good leader. A good man to have around,” he added.
Asked whether KKR were happy not to find de Villiers in the playing list, man-of-the-match Chris Lynn said: “Yeah, it is obviously a couple of smiles on the bowler’s faces. “We know AB, in the form he is, is always a dangerous batsman but we could not take the foot off the throat because Baz (Brendon McCullum) is such a good striker of the ball. [We had] a little half-smile but we knew we still had a job at hand,” Lynn said.
Punjab fall short again
Ludhiana: Services overcame hosts Punjab 1-0 in the final to win the 69th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.
Bikash Thapa’s 61st-minute strike proved the difference between the two sides as Services’ recent dominance in the tournament continued. Of Services’ six titles, five have come in the last eight years — in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019. Since losing to Punjab in the 2008 title match in Srinagar, Services have not lost in the final.
On the other hand, this was Punjab’s third defeat in the final since winning their last title in 2008. The eight-time champions had lost 2-1 to West Bengal in 2010. In their last final appearance, in 2015, they had lost to Services 5-4 on penalties at the same venue. This is the eighth time Punjab have finished as runners-up. This was the fourth time Punjab were playing hosts. In 1970 and 1974, they had emerged champions in Jalandhar.
Being the final, the match expectedly saw a slow start, with both teams playing a little cautiously. Punjab, however, were the faster off the blocks. They dominated possession and had greater depth in their attacks. The hosts created a few opportunites but couldn’t convert, with Sunny and Vikrant Singh shooting just over the bar.
However, as the match wore on, Services gained composure and got more control over the proceedings. They started building their attacks from the flanks and almost got the breakthrough just before the end of the first half.
After the changeover, Services came out with more intent and energy. They continued pushing up the flanks and the strategy paid off. Lallawmkima PC found himself on the edge of the Punjab box. He squared the ball to Thapa, who slotted it into the bottom corner. A shirtless celebration followed, for which Thapa received a yellow card.
Punjab could have restored parity in the dying minutes but Services goalkeeper Vishnu VK made some valiant saves to ensure his side won the coveted trophy after three years.
Services skipper N Suresh Meitei was adjudged the Player of the Match. The winners received a prize of Rs 5 lakh, while Punjab pocketed Rs 3.5 lakh.
Pakistan cricketer seeks Tendulkar’s advice before WC
Lahore: Picked in Pakistan’s World Cup squad, opener Abid Ali sought advice from Sachin Tendulkar ahead of the showpiece and said he wants to hug the Indian batting great.
The 31-year old has been in prolific form in Pakistan’s domestic cricket and broke into the national one-day squad for the World Cup after scoring a century on his debut against Australia in Dubai last month.
The immensely talented Abid bats in a manner similar to one of cricket’s all-time greats.
“It’s my wish and hope that I meet Sachin Tendulkar. Definitely, I would like to hug him and I am sure that just like all great players meet youngsters I am sure that he will not turn me down.
“I am sure that if I want to get any information on cricket from Sachin, he will give a positive reply,” Abid told a group of journalists.
Abid said meeting his idol would be a memorable moment.
“It will be the best day in my life when I meet him (Tendulkar) because he was one of the best batsmen.
“West Indian Viv Richards was also a great so I want to meet all the great players and learn from them,” said Abid.
MU suffer fifth straight defeat with 0-4 loss to Everton
London: A woeful Manchester United suffered their fifth straight away defeat, in all competitions, with a 4-0 Premier League hammering at the hands of a vibrant Everton at Goodison Park.
Brazilian Richarlison fired Everton ahead in the 13th minute with an acrobatic high volley after Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicked on a long throw.
Gylfi Sigurdsson made it 2-0 with a low drive from over 25 yards out that United keeper David De Gea was slow to react to.
Lucas Digne then blasted in the third in the 56th minute after De Gea punched out a corner to the French full-back as United struggled to get even a foot in the game.
Icelandic playmaker Sigurdsson then put substitute Theo Walcott through with a clever pass through the legs of Victor Lindelof which the former Arsenal striker confidently converted.
United, eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona on Tuesday, remain in sixth, outside the four qualification spots for next season`s campaign.