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IPL 2022 | RCB sign Afghanistan leggie Izharulhaq Naveed as net bowler

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have added uncapped teenage Afghanistan leg-spinner Izharulhaq Naveed as net bowler for the upcoming 15th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The talented 18-year-old leg-spinner, who represented his country in the U19 World Cup held in the West Indies earlier this year, revealed the development by posting a selfie in an RCB jersey in one of his Instagram stories.

Naveed impressed one and all with his guile and control during the U19 World Cup campaign in the Caribbean islands.

He went at just over 3.5 runs per over (3.63) in six outings, besides claiming four wickets.

This will be a great opportunity for the young lad to hone his skills and also develop his all-round game by spending time in the nets with the who's who of world cricket.

Meanwhile, former RCB skipper Virat Kohli is looking forward to the 15th season with 'renewed energy' after having been relieved of leadership duties.

The upcoming season will usher a new era for the Royal Challengers Bangalore as they get ready to play under a new skipper.

Faf du Plessis, who played a stellar role in Chennai Super Kings claiming their 4th title last season, has been appointed as the successor of Virat, who stepped down from the leadership position at the end of the last season.

RCB have managed to make it to the playoffs in the last two seasons but the obvious gaps in their set-up continues to elude the 2016 runners-up.

They have bolstered their pace bowling department by Josh Hazlewood. The Australian pacer has been a revelation in T20 cricket in the last couple of years and his pairing with Mohammad Siraj will be the one to watch out for. Harshal Patel will play the role of a middle-death over enforcer.

With Yuzvendra Chahal no longer a part of their set-up, the Challengers have opted for leg-spinning all-rounder in Wanindu Hasaranga. Dinesh Karthik and Finn Allen have been roped in for the finishing duties but it's their middle-order that still remains a point of contention.

The likes of Mahipal Lomror and Anuj Rawat will be crucial to their fortunes, as will be the opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Kohli.

Both Kohli and Du Plessis have struggled against spin in the middle overs (7-15) and it will be interesting to see how they go about their business this season.

RCB will kickstart a new era under the leadership of Du Plessis when they take on Punjab Kings at Dr. D.Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, March 27.

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ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 | India move to third spot in league table; strengthen position for semis

India routed Bangladesh on Tuesday, 22 March, in the ICC Women’s World Cup making a turnaround from their 2-game losing streak. Indian bowlers paved the way for a huge victory of 110 runs, making sure that India had a strong net run rate (NRR) in case they needed it in these late stages of the competition. The Women in Blue were offered a chance by Pakistan, after they shocked the league table with their first win in the World Cup in 13 years, defeating West Indies by 8 wickets in a rain-marred game. This provided out of form India with a great chance to capitalise, and capitalise they did, sneaking into the third position in the points table. As it stands, India have six points after playing six matches and hold a huge NRR advantage over West Indies who they dethroned from the third spot. In all likelihood, India and England will make it to the semi-finals of the 2022 edition of the premier tournament alongside South Africa and Australia. This, of course, depends on the assumption that India win their match against South Africa and England win their final two games against Pakistan and Bangladesh. Coming to the game. This was a must win game for India and they played like one. Defending a slightly below par 229 runs, India bowled virtually no loose balls to Bangladesh batters. Tight lines built pressure and left the openers frustrated in their chase of 230 runs. Off spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad brought the first breakthrough for India with an away turner against right hander Sharmin Akhtar. Outfoxed by the turn and bounce, Akhtar presented her outside edge, which ricocheted off keeper Richa Ghosh’s gloves and went to first slip. From there on it was just sheer agony for Bangla Tigers as they failed to find gaps in the field against some attacking bowling and fielding strategised by captain Mithali Raj. Another wicket came three overs later, with Pooja Vastrakar catching Fargana Hoque plumb in front of the stumps, but it was not given out by the on field umpire. DRS checked two possible incidents of run out and LBW in the same delivery and ruled it in favour of the bowler. Bangladesh were not given many scoring opportunities from there and a spirited spell of bowling from Sneh Rana did the rest. In her three spells of bowling, Rana took four wickets for 30 runs, breaking the back of the Bangladeshi batting order. India capped the opposition off in 40.3 overs for just 119 runs, securing a huge victory that boosted their NRR. Earlier in the day, Bangladesh bowlers did fairly well to keep India in check. Stuttering in the first few overs, India got back into groove with Shafali Verma starting to find her range. The golden period did not last long as Bangladesh hit back with three wickets in quick succession, reducing India from 73/0 to 74/3 in no time. India began a patient rebuild from the 16th over, with Yastika Bhatiya anchoring the innings and scoring 50 off 80 balls. Three very important lower order contributions helped India reach 229 runs, something that they could not hope for in the middle phase of the game. Richa Ghosh (26 off 36), Pooja Vastrakar (30 off 33) and Sneh Rana (27 off 23) proved to be the most important contributors for the game. As it would turn out, India would come clutch in the key moments of the defence and come out with a huge win steading their position in the points table. India have only South Africa left in their group phase and if they can manage to defeat them, will confirm their position in the semi final of the Women’s World Cup.