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IPL 2019: In MS Dhoni's Absence, Chennai Super Kings Lose To SunRisers Hyderabad

Chennai Super Kings suffered only their second defeat of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday, going down to SunRisers Hyderabad by 6 wickets with 19 balls to spare. CSK, being led by Suresh Raina in MS Dhoni's absence, only managed to put up a score of 132/5 in 20 overs. SRH openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow put up a 50-run partnership within the first five overs, effectively deciding the tide of the match.

CSK remain at the top of the IPL table, their four-point lead intact. For SRH, who have leapfrogged Kolkata Knight Riders to go fifth on the table on the basis of net run rate after this result, these two points get them back into the race for the playoff spots.

MS Dhoni was missing the first match for CSK since 2010. Stand-in skipper Raina informed that he was being given a rest to recover from a back spasm he picked up in CSK's last match. As it turned out, the away team missed Dhoni's golden touch.

Shane Watson (31) and Faf du Plessis (45) had given CSK a good start, before both of them fell in quick succession, leaving CSK at 81/2 in the 11thover. After the openers' wickets, CSK failed to rebuild the innings.

Rashid Khan (2/17) piled on the pressure as wickets kept falling, with seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/21) and Khaleel Ahmed (1/22) keeping the lid on the scoring rate in the last few overs.

Chasing a modest target of 133, SRH openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow wasted no time in getting the chase started in earnest. Warner brought up his 41st half-century in quick time, and by the time CSK could prize out his wicket, SRH were 66/1 in the 6th over.

Imran Tahir (2/20) accounted for the wickets of Kane Williamson and Vijay Shankar to breathe some life into the match, but Bairstow (61*) stayed on till the end to see SRH home with more than three overs to spare.

England Announce 15-Member Preliminary World Cup 2019 Squad; Jofra Archer Misses Out

England announced the 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, starting on May 30 in the UK, on Wednesday. While most of the squad remained predictable, fast bowler Jofra Archer's omission and inclusion of Joe Denly came as a surprise. However, Archer, the 24-year-old Barbados-born bowler, earned himself a national team call-up for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, which precedes World Cup 2019. Archer, who has an English father and holds a British passport, completed a three-year qualification period on March 17 to be eligible for selection for the first time.

England World Cup squad:

Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England had played the same squad in the recently-concluded series against the Windies. The five-match ODI series had ended in a 2-2 draw with a match being abandoned due to rain.

"In line with ICC regulations, we have to name a preliminary squad of 15 for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup before April 23. However, all 17 players named in the Royal London ODI against Pakistan can stake a claim to be in the final 15-man squad, finalized at the end of that series," England selector Ed Smith said in a release.

"The selection panel has been impressed with Jofra Archer's performances in domestic and franchise cricket. He is a very talented and exciting cricketer," he added.

Along with Archer, all-rounder Chris Jordan made it to the 17-man squad for the ODI series against Pakistan. Jordan will join the ODI squad for the first time since September 2016 following impressive performances against Sri Lanka and West Indies in T20 International cricket.

"Chris Jordan, a regular in IT20 squads over the past few years, has continued to develop as a cricketer - as we saw in the IT20s in the West Indies. He fully deserves his return to the ODI squad," Smith stated further.

Hardik Pandya Admits Suspension "Setback" Allowed Him To Improve, Focus Better

Hardik Pandya has admitted that his omission from cricket was an incentive to improve his game and his mentality, leading to a prolific IPL season that so far has accrued 186 runs with a strike rate of around 191, including his 37 runs off 16 balls on Monday that led Mumbai Indians (MI) to victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Hardik was put under provisional suspension by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for his controversial comments on a popular TV talk show. The suspension was subsequently lifted and Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul recently appeared before the BCCI Ombudsman. As of now, both are back on the playing arena.

"It's okay, everyone has a setback and for me, I got some time for my body (working on fitness routines) as well. The time I was out is helping me right now because I am in a good mindset and everything is coming right," Pandya said after the win over RCB.

Hardik was happy to be striking the ball after his return to cricket through the IPL. The flamboyant all-rounder has been MI's designated finisher, a role that he relishes.

"I have been doing that for the last four years now. That's my role in any team I play for. I have been practicing at the nets the same thing. It is about the situation. You play according to the situation and if you are smart enough, you will more often get the result you desire," he added.

Pandya is expected to play an instrumental role in this year's World Cup 2019 campaign and IPL seems to be providing him a solid foundation.

"It is pretty important to always have the confidence behind you. The World Cup is a big stage. It is for the first time that I will be playing (a World Cup). It is important for me to keep hitting the ball well. I was away from the game for some time, so coming back it was important for me to hit well," he said

About the World Cup in the UK, Pandya said if the conditions were similar to those during the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, India will have an advantage.

"We have to see the conditions because the last time we went, a lot of people told me that it will be swinging, it will be nice and cold but eventually, I have never played on such a flat wicket before.

"It will depend on the situation and the conditions. If it's the same conditions that we encountered in the Champions Trophy, it will be a help for us".

Pandya insisted that he will always focus on the basics, regardless of the event.

"Cricket will always be the same. Be it the World Cup or IPL, the pressure will be the same. I will follow my basics. That's what has got success for me and I will keep backing myself that way."

India World Cup Team 2019 Announced

India announced their 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, to be played in the UK from May 30, 2019. Virat Kohli will lead the squad, which was announced in Mumbai on Monday. While there were no major surprises in the 15, the inclusion of Dinesh Karthik was the notable factor and Rishabh Pant was the surprise exclusion. The announcement had been awaited with great anticipation, especially since the date was declared a while ago, with most of the conjecture surrounding who would be India's crucial No. 4 batsman. The squad was announced by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Acting Honorary Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, with Chairman of Selectors MSK Prasad sharing the dais.

The squad:

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami

Veteran Dinesh Karthik pipped young Turk Rishabh Pant in the fight for the second wicket-keeper's slot.

There were no surprises as the MSK Prasad-headed selection committee maintained continuity in their choices with the only topic of discussion being the second wicketkeeper.

The 33-year-old Karthik got the nod ahead of the 21-year-old Pant despite an indifferent IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

"The second wicketkeeper comes into play only if Mahi (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) is injured. We went ahead with Karthik because of his experience in big matches," Prasad said while announcing the squad here. The side, expectedly led by Virat Kohli, comprises five specialist batsmen, two wicket-keepers, three fast bowlers, three all-rounders, and two specialist spinners.

Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar made it for his "three-dimensional" qualities.

MS Dhoni Fined For Charging Onto The Field During RR vs CSK IPL 2019 Match

MS Dhoni has been fined 50 percent of his match fees after the Chennai Super Kings captain charged onto the field to confront the umpires for not giving a no-ball in the last over of CSK's chase against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday night. The CSK captain admitted to the "Level 2 offense 2.20 of the IPL's Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction". The incident took place during the last over of the RR vs CSK IPL 2019 match, which the visitors went onto win in a thrilling last-ball finish.

"MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings captain, was fined 50 percent of his match fees for breaching the VIVO Indian Premier League's (IPL) Code of Conduct during his team's match against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur," an official IPL statement said.

"Mr. Dhoni admitted to the Level 2 offense 2.20 of the IPL's Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction."

MS Dhoni led from the front and scored a match-winning half-century as Chennai Super Kings outclassed Rajasthan Royals by four wickets.

With this victory, MS Dhoni became the first captain in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL) to win 100 matches. MS Dhoni has won 29 more matches than Gautam Gambhir, who is second on the list.

Mitchell Santner smashed Ben Stokes for a maximum off the final ball to help CSK seal a last-ball thriller.

But the clash witnessed a big controversy when Dhoni strode onto the field unhappy with the decision of the umpires to not award his team a no-ball.

Dhoni, who was standing right on the boundary ropes threw his hands up in the air after noticing that umpire Ulhas Gandhi put his arm up, only to be overruled by square leg umpire Bruce Oxenford.

Despite, Dhoni's long-drawn protest, the decision stood, which left CSK six off the last two balls.

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