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LPL 2021 | Ravi Bopara guides Kandy Warriors to their first win of the season

The Kandy Warriors finally got their first win in the Lanka premier League 2021 in their fourth attempt. The downed Galle Gladiators in a comprehensive manner by five wickets with eight balls to spare. 

Kamindu Mendis was the star for the Warriors as he picked three wickets and did not allow the Galle batters to build a big score for his team to chase. With the bat, it was the experienced Englishman Ravi Bopara who made sure that the first victory for the Warriors was achieved. 

Warriors were given a target of 128 and although lost their first wicket in the first over itself and were soon 40-3 in the first six overs, their English imports Bopara and Tom Moores made sure that they stayed in the chase. The duo had a 50 run partnership and took the Warriors from 56-4 to 106 before Moores lost his wicket for a quickfire 28 off 21 balls. 

Bopara though utilised all 20 years of his experience and stretched the game forward and won it for his team after an unbeaten 22 run stand with Minod Bhanuka. 

Earlier in the day, after winning the toss, and deciding to bat first, the Gladiators couldn't utilise the advantage and apart from Kusal Mendis, no other top-order batter was able to play to its potential. Thanks to Mendis' 44 and Samit Patel's late onslaught in which he scored unbeaten 36 off 32 balls, the team in purple was able to reach 127-7 in their 20 overs. 

Kamindu was the pick of the bowlers for the Warriors as he removed Ben Dunk, Dhananjaya Lakshan and Galle skipper Bhanuka Rajapaksa cheaply.

This is now Galle’s second loss in five games having won two matches and one match being washed out. They are placed second in the points table with five points from five games. With this win, the Warriors have registered their first points on the board and are now in the fourth position, ahead of the Colombo Stars on the basis of the net run rate.

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Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22: Gaikwad's ton goes in vain, Iyer produces another all-round show

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Ashes 2021-22 | A little bit sore: Pat Cummins updates on Hazlewood and Warner’s injuries

Australian captain Pat Cummins said that things are fine and with fast bowler, Josh Hazlewood and he is just a little bit sore and expected him to get better by the time of the Adelaide Test which begins on December 16. "He's a little bit sore. He came out today and was able to bowl, got through a really good spell,” Cummins said in the post-match press conference in Brisbane. “We just managed him, it's a five-Test summer and he's key for us so don't want to blow him out of the water on day three,” the skipper added while explaining why Hazlewood bowled only eight overs on Day three. Talking about Warner, who scored 94 in the first innings but didn’t come out to bat in the second innings, Cummins said, "Nothing too serious but didn't want it to turn into a huge injury. The key is we don't want to put him in jeopardy for the whole series. We'll take our time. Think he had a hit earlier and got through.” "Still pretty sore but should be right for Adelaide. We'll monitor him but think he'll be fine,” added the 28-year-old who won his first Test as Australia Test captain and also picked a five-wicket haul in the same game. Assuming that Warner is not available for the Adelaide Test, Usman Khawaja, who is in the side, can be asked to open as he has done that in five games in his 44 matches long Test career so far. Usually a middle-order batter, the 34-year-old has performed phenomenally at the top spot having also hit a century in a day/ night Test against South Africa in Adelaide. Khawaja’s average as an opener is 96.80.