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IPL 2017 Final: Mumbai Indians break the ‘jinx of table-toppers’

first_imgMumbai Indians bossed IPL 2017 for the better part of the season and finished top of the table, thanks to 10 victories in 14 league matches. They were brushed aside by Rising Pune Supergiant in the first qualifier but took the hard route to the summit clash, after decimating Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier in Bengaluru.On Sunday, MI were chasing a record third IPL title. They were up against RPS, who were playing their final IPL match after a fabled two-year journey. Not that the odds were stacked heavily in favour of MI, who had lost their three previous matches to their Maharashtra rivals this year but something about Rohit Sharma’s team tells you they are superb at acing finals.Mumbai Indians are used to winning T20 finals. And the core of their team – Rohit, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Ambati Rayudu have been around for a long time. They were up against a team which had had a nightmarish season in 2016 but rose to the occasion this year, thanks to two great statesmen – MS Dhoni and Steve Smith – and a combination of youthful vigour and international class.But MI were just abysmal with the bat on the big night. They were done in by Jaydev Unadkat, whose double blow to remove openers Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons proved to be telling. Mumbai could never recover from those early jolts and only a gritty 47 by Krunal Pandya ensured the two-time champions escaped the embarrassment of posting the lowest-ever score in an IPL final.advertisementMumbai were restricted to 129/8, the lowest-ever total by a team batting first in IPL finals.It was a bizarre performance from a team which is possibly the most balanced in recent IPL history. Their batsmen have been superb this year Patel has given them brilliant stars, Simmons replaced Jos Buttler and played some scintillating knocks while Rohit recovered from a bout of poor form while Pollard was always at hand to deliver significant runs. Rayudu, who by the players’ own admission, also flopped.Mumbai were left tottering for most of the innings and only Krunal’s late blitz gave them some hope. There was more than a ray of hope when Rahul Tripathi fell to Jasprit Bumrah early in Pune’s innings. But Krunal dropped an easy chance of Ajinkya Rahane when he mistimed a Mitchell Johnson delivery. Thereafter, Rahane and skipper Steve Smith looked like steering RPS home with some classy shots.Rahane and Smith were classy alright but they were not really blazing away at any stage. There might have been a few frayed nerves in the MI dressing room as Rahane departed in the 12th over but MS Dhoni’s presence in the middle with Smith could have soothed them. However, the latter never got going and fell after the required rate kept soaring up. And once Dhoni departed, it all kept going south for Pune. Smith tried valiantly but 10-runs-an-over for the last three overs against Lasith Malinga, Bumrah and Mitchell Johnson turned out to be too much.Johnson had 11 to defend in the final over with Manoj Tiwary and Smith at the crease. He removed both those men and got rid of Dan Christian with four needed off the final ball of the season. Rohit said they deserved to be in the final after a fine show throughout the league stages. One might even suggest they deserved to win the IPL after such dominant performances. Coach Mahela Jayawardene lauded MI’s character for pulling off a thriller – the champions eventually won by one run.Since 2008, only Rajasthan Royals had won the IPL after topping the league stages. On Sunday, Mumbai joined a rather ‘elite list’Meanwhile, RPS missed out on glory which would have been in line with recent trends. Teams finishing second have won the IPL five times since 2011.Here’s a look at the winners and table-toppers in 10 years of the IPL. WINNERSTABLE TOPPERS2008: Rajasthan RoyalsRajasthan Royals2009: Deccan ChargersDelhi Daredevils2010: Chennai Super KingsMumbai Indians2011: Chennai Super KingsRoyal Challengers Bangalore2012: Kolkata Knight RidersDelhi Daredevils2013: Mumbai IndiansChennai Super Kings 2014: Kolkata Knight RidersKings XI Punjab2015: Mumbai IndiansChennai Super Kings2016: Sunrisers HyderabadGujarat Lions2017: Mumbai IndiansMumbai Indianslast_img read more

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Meet Pandit Rahul Gandhi, descendant of Parashurama. Amethi poster greets all with Hindutva undertone

first_imgAs the long time Congress throne heir apparent Rahul Gandhi formally takes charge today from his mother Sonia Gandhi, enthusiasm in his constituency Amethi has hit the ball out of the park.Reinstating that the 47-year-old leader is a devout Hindu, party workers have erected posters in Amethi, calling Rahul Gandhi a descendant of Parashurama and a Lord Shiva devotee (shivbhakt).For the uninitiated, Parashurama was the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu in the realms of Hinduism.PANDIT, WHO?Beckoning the controversy that erupted over his religion after the Somnath Temple visit in Gujarat, the poster finds Rahul Gandhi’s name prefixed with Pandit.Having interned under his mother for the past four years as the Congress’ number 2, Rahul Gandhi looks ready to take over the mantle along-with a few changes in the party’s political outlook to stump BJP.Not only Rahul Gandhi is Hindu, he is a *Janeu Dhari Hindu*. Few photos as proof … Those wanted evidence pic.twitter.com/7Ot1lvNeQY- Supriya Bhardwaj (@Supriya23bh) November 29, 2017This also comes in tow after Congress was humbled by BJP in its family bastion of Amethi in the recently concluded civic polls, losing by over a 1,000 votes.RAHUL AT THE DEFENSIVE Congress’ darling, as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh fondly called the Nehru-Gandhi scion, has been playing on the front-foot when it came to defending his alleged image makeover.From temple visits to Congress releasing his pictures sporting a Brahminical thread (Janeu), Rahul Gandhi has only quashed reports on his new campaigning ways.advertisementRecently in Gujarat, when asked to comment on his alleged use of the Hindutva card to maneuver votes, he said, “There was no makeover. BJP workers used money to distort the reality of Rahul Gandhi… a lot of money was put into this.”When prodded over his hiked temple visits in the state, he quipped, “Is there a ban on visiting temples? I go to temples as I like to go there.”Political observers have long noted the gradual shift in Congress’ political canvas by adopting the soft Hindutva card, but will it help revive the downtrodden Grand Old Party is to be seen.Watch video: Rahul Raj: Political journey of Rahul Gandhi from a reluctant price to Congress’ foremanlast_img read more

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Platini era ends as UEFA elects little-known Ceferin as head

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP) — Michel Platini reluctantly handed over the reins of power in European soccer to Aleksander Ceferin, a little-known Slovenian lawyer who won the UEFA presidential election by a landslide on Wednesday.Ceferin will complete Platini’s four-year term through 2019 while the disgraced former France captain returns to his FIFA-imposed exile to continue serving a four-year ban over an improper payment.Before Ceferin beat UEFA vice president Michael van Praag 42-13 in the secret ballot, Platini was given special dispensation by FIFA’s ethics judge to bid farewell to European soccer leaders. Platini assured UEFA delegates he has a “clear conscience” over the legitimacy of the 2 million Swiss francs ($2 million) he received from FIFA in 2011 that led to his downfall four years later.After Platini was initially suspended last October by FIFA, a political vacuum opened up in European soccer that was capitalized on by the elite clubs to influence the future of the Champions League. Ceferin’s immediate challenge is to heal the rifts created by the secret deal, which he opposes, to increase guaranteed Champions League places for clubs from the powerful leagues of England, Spain, Germany, and Italy.“The most important thing is to give that leadership back to UEFA that clearly we have not had since Michel Platini had to step down last year,” UEFA vice president David Gill said.With only 2 1/2 years until having to renew his mandate, Ceferin will have little time to waste to convince UEFA’s members it was right to entrust someone with only five years of experience around the governing body with its top job.“Some people may have said that I am not a leader, that I am too young and too inexperienced to become the next UEFA president,” said Ceferin, a father-of three from Ljubljana. “It’s not because you repeat again and again, loud and clear ‘I am a leader’ that you are a leader. If you have to do it you are probably not a leader.”Ceferin, aged 48, said combining running a law firm in the former Yugoslav republic of Slovenia with leading the country’s soccer federation since 2011 required him to be “creative, strong and inspiring.”“You can say that I am young and experienced but I honestly think it disrespectful for all small and medium-sized federations who, 365 days a year, have to do more with less,” Ceferin said.Reinhard Grindel, the German federation president, viewed Ceferin’s election as a vote against the UEFA establishment, including Van Praag of the Netherlands.“This big majority shows that a lot of FAs … have a wish to get a new dynamic in UEFA from outside the executive committee,” Grindel said. “Michael van Praag had seven years the chance to give a lot of reform ideas in his work in the executive committee and he did not.“So a lot of my colleagues think, focusing on his speech today, that it is a problem to say now ‘Let’s start very new at zero’ after being part of the executive committee for seven years.”Ceferin is the seventh president in the 62-year history of UEFA, which every four years organizes the European Championship — the wealthiest competition between national teams after the World Cup. He said he speaks five languages, is a black belt in karate, and has crossed the Sahara Desert five times, four by car and once on motorbike.He will take charge at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, after a campaign clouded by accusations that he was being assisted by Gianni Infantino, the organization’s general secretary before being elected FIFA president in February.Ceferin’s campaign emerged in May, shortly after Infantino traveled to Slovenia to open a national soccer center. Weeks later, FIFA appointed Tomaz Vesel as an independent auditor overseeing its billion-dollar annual income — and Infantino’s salary and bonuses. Vesel is also from Slovenia and plays on a veterans’ soccer team with Ceferin.Infantino said it was a “pity” critics suggested he influenced the election of one of soccer’s six regional confederations that sit under FIFA.“This is an insult on the intelligence of all the national associations and those who are voting,” Infantino said after the vote. “You have seen there was a democratic process.”Infantino was separated on the front row from Platini, whose self-proclaimed destiny he assumed by becoming FIFA president.Despite being banned from holding any position of power or involvement in soccer, Platini was allowed by FIFA’s ethics judge to address UEFA delegates on Wednesday as a “gesture of humanity.”“Be assured that I have a clear conscience, that I’m convinced I did not make the slightest mistake, and that I’m continuing the legal battle,” Platini said. “I want to thank everyone in this room who had the courage and loyalty to support me during the past months.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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