Giroud's goal

Olivier Giroud’s goal powers AC Milan into Champions League semi-final

AC Milan seems to be on a roll. The 2021-22 Serie A winner has qualified for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. The Serie A defending champions drew against Napoli in the second leg of their quarter-final clash at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Napoli to complete a 2-1 aggregate victory over their fellow Italians.

The first leg which belonged to AC Milan saw them come at full throttle in the second leg. Their aggression combined with intelligent gameplay saw them take an early lead with Olivier Giroud scoring a stunning goal with just two minutes remaining on the clock. However, Napoli tried their level best to equal the scoreline but didn’t quite succeed.


Victor Osimhen scored in stoppage time but it was not enough for Napoli who are creaking as they come towards the end of what has been a phenomenal season.

Olivier Giroud, the goal-scorer for Milan, said, “I’m very proud of this team, with that spirit we can dream of anything.” He further added,” In the next round there will be another hard match whether it’s against Inter or Benfica, but if we keep this spirit we can go anywhere.”

AC Milan, who are currently third in Seria A, have qualified for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time after their iconic season in 2007. The Men in Red will face the winner of the match contested between Benfica and Inter Milan.

Australia announce WTC final squad; Marsh and Harris recalled into the team

Australia announce WTC final squad; Marsh and Harris recalled into the team

The current number one Test team; Australia have announced their squad for World Test Championship final against India and the first two Tests in the Ashes. The 17-member squad comprises Test regulars like David Warner, Steve Smith, and Marnus Lambuschagne with new additions including Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Harris, and Josh Inglis.

George Bailey, chairman of selectors said, “The UK is a very different assignment from our most recent tour of India and some of the changes are based upon the conditions we are anticipating.” He further added, “We see value in revisiting the squad following the second Ashes Test given the short turnaround between the WTC final and the first Ashes Test, along with the length of the tour.”

Bailey stated, “Marcus, Josh and Mitch return to the squad and will provide valuable depth and flexibility within their respective skill sets. We see value in revisiting the squad following the second Ashes Test given the short turnaround between the WTC Final and the first Ashes Test, along with the length of the tour.”

David Warner, who is having a torrid time in the IPL has held onto his place. While Cameron Bancroft, the top run-scorer in Sheffield Shield, and Michael Neser, the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament have not been included in the side. Additionally, Lance Morris, one of the fastest bowlers in Australia, has been ruled out through a back injury that requires at least six weeks of rest.

Australia, who will depart to the UK in late May, will trim their squad to 15 as per ICC rules for the WTC Final. That one-off marquee clash against India will be played at The Oval from June 7. The first Ashes Test will start at Edgbaston on June 20.

Updated squad for WTC final and Ashes: Pat Cummins (C), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (VC), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

Ben Stokes wins Wisden Cricketer of the Year - God of Sports

Ben Stokes awarded Wisden Cricketer of the Year

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been awarded the Wisden Cricketer of the Year for the third time in the last four years. The star cricketer was selected for his dynamic and aggressive captaincy of the Test team, as well as his match-winning performance in the World T20 final.

Since being appointed as Test captain at the start of last summer, the 31-year-old has overseen a dramatic shift in the team’s fortunes, inspiring them to 10 wins in 12. Wins against New Zealand, India, and South Africa, then successes on the tours of Pakistan – England became the first side to win 3-0 – and New Zealand put Stokes in exalted company. Not only did he achieve 10 wins quicker than any previous England captain – Michael Vaughan was the previous quickest to the mark, from 16 matches – but the feat equaled that of Australia’s Lindsay Hassett, who had previously stood alone with 10 from 12.

Announcing the awardees, Lawrence Booth, Wisden’s editor, said, “It’s hard to think of any other cricketer who could have transformed his team’s fortunes so suddenly as Ben Stokes. ”

He further added, “When he took over the Test captaincy, England had won one game in their previous 17. By the time they had become the first visiting side to win 3-0 in Pakistan, they had won nine out of ten, and were playing with unprecedented style and verve.”

Additionally, Stokes’ fellow teammate Jonny Bairstow, who was having an exceptional summer before getting injured, became the first recipient of the new Wisden Trophy for outstanding individual Test performance, by a man or woman.

Australia’s Beth Mooney was named the leading women’s cricketer in the world for the second time. Also, India’s Suryakumar Yadav was named the best Twenty20 cricketer in the world.

Venkatesh Iyer slams a stunning ton against Mumbai; becomes second-ever Knight Rider to do so

Venkatesh Iyer slams a stunning ton against Mumbai; becomes second-ever Knight Rider to do so

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Venkatesh Iyer slammed a magnificent hundred against Mumbai Indians in their group stage match held yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium. The left-hander smashed 104 runs off 51 balls at a strike rate of 203.92.

Opting to ball first, Mumbai Indians had a wonderful start with debutant Arjun Tendulkar and Cameron Green bowling in tandem. However, Venkatesh who came at one down had other plans. The Southpaw started attacking all the Mumbai bowlers. But, he didn’t get any support from the other end.

The left-hander’s innings were laced with 6 boundaries and 9 strikes that went over the boundary line. With this century, Venkatesh Iyer became the second-ever player to hit a century in the IPL from Kolkata Knight Riders. The first was Brendon McCullum’s iconic innings of 158* runs innings at the first-ever IPL match at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

Riding on Venkatesh Iyer’s century, the Kolkata-based franchisee posted 185 runs for the fall of 6 wickets on the board. However, the score wasn’t enough as Mumbai Indians chased the score comfortably winning the match by 5 wickets. The Mumbai-based franchisee’s innings saw an excellent half-century from Ishan Kishan and counter-attacking innings from Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Verma.

Kolkata Knight Riders who are currently 5th on the points table with 2 wins will face Delhi Capitals next at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on 20th April.

IPL 2023: R Ashwin fined 25% over breach of conduct vs CSK

IPL 2023: R Ashwin fined 25% over breach of conduct vs CSK

After ensuring his team’s victory over four-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, Ravichandran Ashwin has been fined 25 percent of his match fees for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during Match 17 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

Ashwin admitted to the Level 1 Offence under Article 2.7 of the IPL’s Code of Conduct. For Level 1 breaches of the Code of Conduct, the Match Referee’s decision is final and binding.  It is to be noted that Article 2.7 states, “Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in a Match or any Player, Team Official, Match Official or Team participating in any Match, irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made.”

Ashwin was charged for his comments in the post-match interview. The Rajasthan Royals spinner stated, “I’m quite surprised the umpires changed the ball for dew on their own. It’s never happened before and I’m quite surprised.”

He further added, “Some of the decisions in this year’s IPL on the field have left me a little flummoxed, to be honest. It left me flummoxed in a good or bad way because what you need is a little bit of balance. We’re going as a bowling team and we’re not asking for the ball to be changed. But the ball was changed on the umpire’s accord. What reason – I did ask the umpire but he said we can change it.”

Additionally, Rajasthan Royal skipper Sanju Samson was fined INR 12 lakhs after his side maintained a slow over-rate in the same match against Chennai Super Kings.

Pep Guardiola masterclass powers Manchester City to the finals of Champions League

Manchester City thump Bayern Munich in UEFA Champions League quarter-finals

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City has dismantled Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at City’s home ground Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City, who are on a nine-game winning streak, saw them attack the opposition from the word go. And the English club succeeded, with Rodri scoring a stunning goal in the 27th minute. Manchester City made a string of attacks on the opposition’s defense never to allow them to settle.

In the second half, Bayern improved their performance. The Bundesliga table-toppers made counter-attacks but to no avail. However, Manchester City showcased the loopholes in Bayern’s defense as they scored two quick goals thanks to Bernardo Silva and City’s magic man Erling Haaland.

In the post-match interview, Guardiola stated, “We made some changes and our pressing was more effective. With the ball we were better too, and I’m happy for the result.”

Man City might be feeling comfortable with the win but their manager Pep Guardiola has strictly told the team not to be complacent with the win. Manchester City next face Leicester City in the Premier League. However, their real test will be in the second leg of the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Nicholas Pooran hits the joint-second fastest fifty in IPL

Nicholas Pooran hits the joint-second fastest fifty in IPL

Nicholas Pooran went ballistic yesterday. The Lucknow Super Giants batter smashed the fastest fifty in IPL 2023. The left-hander reached the 50-run mark in just 15 balls – the joint second-fastest fifty in IPL ever.

Pooran, who came to bat in the 11th over with LSG at 99/4, smashed a huge six off Royal Challengers Bangalore spinner Karn Sharma on his second ball to get things started. He hit five more sixes to take his team to victory against RCB. Pooran adjudged the Man of the Match, seemed confident about his strikes. In the post-match ceremony, he stated, “I knew this was a nice wicket. We could chase even over 50 in the last four, it was about cashing in. The second ball I came in and smashed a six. It isn’t about getting a look in, if it is in my slot, then I will smash it for six.”

He further added, “Over the past couple of years, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to finish games. Today also I wanted to finish the game but got out in the end. I hope this is the season for me, in a good space and state of mind. Just want to enjoy my cricket, play with a smile and entertain, and win games for my team.”

The match being played at Bangalore’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium saw a flurry of fours and sixes. Batting first, RCB scored 212 runs for the fall of two wickets. Their top 3 i.e. Kohli, du Plessis, and Maxwell fired in unison, with each of them scoring half-centuries.

During the chase, Lucknow didn’t have the greatest of starts. The team saw three wickets falling for just 23 runs. However, a counter-attacking performance from Marcus Stoinis steadies their ship. And the duo of Pooran and Ayush Badoni did further damage to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Pooran’s fifty is the joint-second fastest fifty in the Indian Premier League. The other notable mentions in the list are Sunil Narine vs RCB (15 balls), Yusuf Pathan vs SRH (15 balls), Pat Cummins vs MI (15 balls), and KL Rahul vs DC (14 balls).

Indian shuttler Priyanshu Rajawat wins maiden BWF World Tour Super 300 title at Orleans Masters

Indian shuttler Priyanshu Rajawat wins maiden BWF World Tour Super 300 title at Orleans Masters

India’s shuttler Priyanshu Rajawat clinched his maiden BWF World Tour Super 300 title after defeating Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen in a thrilling finale to the Orleans Masters 2023. The Indian badminton player won 21-15, 19-21, 21-16 in a grueling 68-minute summit clash to claim the biggest win of his career.

Priyanshu, who was really ecstatic after the win, stated, “I am very happy with my performance this week. It is my first big title, and I’m extremely happy to win this.” Priyanshu, ranked 58th in the world, demonstrated flawless attack in all his matches. Priyanshu Rajawat, who faced Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in the semi-finals, had little trouble as the Indian shuttler won the game in two straight sets (21-12 and 21-9).

A trainee at Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad since 2010, Priyanshu Rajawat modeled his game along the lines of his senior peers like Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy. As a player, however, he is more influenced by Sameer Verma’s reflex defense. Against Nguyen, his idea to bring the Irish shuttler closer to the net benefited him by several counts, with Priyanshu stretching his body and plundering crucial points from attacking positions.

Priyanshu’s victory brought joy to the entire Indian badminton field. Sports Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia congratulated Priyanshu. “MP is making its strong presence felt at the international level almost in every game. He has made all of us proud,” said Scindia.

Priyanshu, who has long been touted as a promising talent in the national circuit, was part of India’s Thomas Cup-winning squad last year.

Mumbai Indians bring Riley Meredith in place of Jhye Richardson

Mumbai Indians bring Riley Meredith in place of Jhye Richardson

Five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians have announced Australian quick Riley Meredith in place of injured pace bowler Jhye Richardson. Meredith joins MI for a fee of INR 1.5 crore (USD 182,000 approx.).

Riley Meredith, who was a part of the Punjab Kings during the 2021 season, played eight games for the Men in Blue and Gold during the 2022 season. During his time in Mumbai Indians, Meredith took eight wickets in as many matches at an economy rate of 8.42 runs per over.

Meredith, a premier quick bowler for Hobart Hurricanes, was the joint fifth-highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps from 14 games. He was one of the main reasons behind Hobart’s 2022-23 BBL campaign. In total, Meredith has taken 100 wickets in just 77 T20s at 8.33 runs per over.

Mumbai Indians are without their most lethal pace bowling option, Jasprit Bumrah. Still, the champions have a plethora of pace bowlers who can do instant damage to any batting attack. Jofra Archer, who was missing last year, will be leading their pace bowling department. Besides Archer, the Men in Blue and Gold have Jason Behrendorff, Duan Jansen, and Cameron Green as other overseas seam bowling options.

Mumbai Indians, who faced a crushing defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore, will be seeking to overturn their fortune. The Men in Blue will next face Chennai Super Kings at their home ground, Wankhede Stadium.

Additionally, Royal Challengers Bangalore quick Reece Topley has been ruled out of the IPL 2023. The left-arm quick bowler sustained an injury to his left shoulder during their opening clash against Mumbai Indians. Sanjay Bangar, RCB’s head coach, confirmed that Reece Topley has been ruled out of IPL 2023. RCB announced David Willey as his replacement.

Aleksandar Mitrovic handed a 8-match ban following misconduct with referee

Aleksandar Mitrovic handed an 8-match ban following misconduct with referee

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has been handed an 8-match ban after pushing referee Chris Kavanagh during Fulham’s FA Cup defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford last month.

Mitrovic was subsequently charged with violent conduct, as well as with using “improper, abusive, insulting and threatening” language towards Kavanagh.

Following a hearing by an independent regulatory commission, it was revealed that Mitrovic would be banned for a total of eight matches, with the striker also receiving a £75,000 fine.

The Serbian striker served the first game of his suspension in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Bournemouth and will now miss Fulham’s next seven top-flight matches.

Fulham’s head coach Marco Silva was also shown a red card during the defeat to United, and he will serve a two-game touchline ban after being charged with improper conduct and using “abusive and insulting” language. A further £40,000 penalty was issued against Fulham for failing to control their players.

A spokesperson from Fulham informed that they will appeal the sanction. He further said, “We note the decision of the independent regulatory commission to sanction Aleksandar Mitrovic and Marco Silva. Our current intention is to appeal both sanctions, however we will await the written reasons before confirming our final position.”

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