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The Royal Challengers left out Washington Sundar

Toss Royal Challengers Bangalore chose to bowl first vs Punjab Kings

Virat Kohli chose to bowl, as the Royal Challengers Bangalore sought to mark the halfway mark of their IPL campaign by vaulting to the top of the standings, against the Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad.

The Royal Challengers bounced back from their first defeat of the campaign, against the current table-toppers, the Chennai Super Kings last week, by edging out the Delhi Capitals by one run in their most recent fixture, in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

And, having been pushed so close after setting their target of 172 in that match, Kohli decided to do the chasing at the same venue this time, his decision also influenced by the short boundary on one side that Prithvi Shaw in particular took advantage of, in the Capitals’ seven-wicket romp last night.

The Royal Challengers made one change to their line-up, with the left-arm spin of Shahbaz Ahmed coming in for Washington Sundar’s offspinning all-round prowess, a decision that Kohli said was specific to their opponents’ combination.

For the Kings, Moises Henriques and Arshdeep Singh missed out, along with Mayank Agarwal, who suffered an injury in their last outing. The left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar came into the line-up, alongside Prabhsimran Singh and Riley Meredith, who came in for some heavy treatment in his most recent outing against the Capitals two weeks ago.

This contest is arguably more critical for the Kings, who were badly beaten by their fellow strugglers, the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, and are part of a mid-table scrap for points with the top three teams seemingly pulling away from the pack in the race for the playoff places.

A victory would draw the Kings level with the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, on six points (albeit from one game more), but a fifth loss in seven would leave them in danger of propping up the table, given that their fellow strugglers, the Rajasthan Royals and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, face one another on Sunday.

Punjab Kings: 1 KL Rahul (capt & wk), 2 Prabhsimran Singh, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Deepak Hooda, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Chris Jordan, 8 Harpreet Brar, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Riley Meredith

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Virat Kohli (capt), 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Shahbaz Ahmed, 7 Kyle Jamieson, 8 Daniel Sams, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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Australia in West Indies 2021

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The Australia captain said that performances on the upcoming tours will count for a lot in final selection

Australia’s planning for the 2021 T20 World Cup has been significantly disrupted by tour pullouts but captain Aaron Finch is maintaining his focus – in more ways than one.
Finch underwent surgery on his left eye after the tour of New Zealand in March – which was the last time he played – and is hopeful of seeing a positive impact on the upcoming trip to the West Indies and yet-to-be-confirmed assignment against Bangladesh.
Finch revealed that he had first suffered from blurred vision during last year’s IPL, where he started to suffer a lean run of form that continued through the BBL before he finished the series in New Zealand strongly, and when the use of contact lenses didn’t work opted for surgery from which he believes he has already felt the benefits.

“I’m seeing them pretty good,” he said in Brisbane ahead of the squad’s chartered flight to the Caribbean on Monday. “I’ve only been hitting indoors on hard wickets, so [I] think the big test will come in night matches, that’s when I noticed the biggest difference in my eyesight.



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Australians at the PSL: Usman Khawaja, Tim David and James Faulkner leave a mark

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For some it was their first experience of an overseas T20 league



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Recent Match Report – Gloucs vs Glamorgan South Group 2021

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NZ wicketkeeper-bat required just 41 balls to take game away from visitors

Gloucestershire 216 for 2 (Phillips 94*, Howell 53*) beat Glamorgan 182 for 8 (Lloyd 44, Higgins 2-27) by 34 runs

Glenn Phillips slammed an unbeaten 94 from just 41 balls to power Gloucestershire to victory by 34 runs over Glamorgan at Bristol, sending them top of the South Group.

Phillips’ fifth-highest score of his career, and first half-century in the Vitality Blast, powered Gloucestershire to 216 for 2 – their own fifth-highest T20 total. He struck nine fours and six sixes to overwhelm Glamorgan, who gave game chase for a while but could only reply with 182 for 8.

Phillips and Benny Howell, promoted to No. 3 in place of the injured Ian Cockbain, shared 130 for the third wicket in 64 balls – a record T20 partnership for Gloucestershire’s third wicket.

Phillips arrived after Miles Hammond and Chris Dent had given the innings a lively start after losing the toss, making 60 without loss. He cut Marnus Labuschagne through extra cover before lifting Dan Douthwaite over the sight screen. He blasted Prem Sisodiya twice straight back past his for four and swept him fine for another boundary in going to fifty in 26 balls.

He took 14 from the 17th over, clubbing Timm van der Gugten over long-off, before uppercutting Douthwaite for a third six. An extraordinary reverse-scoop flew over third man for six as 23 came from the 18th. In the final over, he launched van der Gugten over the longest boundary at midwicket, crashed him wide of deep cover for four and swung the final ball of the innings over deep-square.

Howell took his chance up at three to make an unbeaten 53 in 33 balls. He struck Callum Taylor for four through extra cover and wide of midwicket before a slug down the ground cleared long-off for six. He drove Weighell for four to raise a fifth T20 half-century.

Glamorgan needed their third-highest T20 total to win and stayed in the game for the first half of the chase. David Lloyd gave them a rattling start with 44 in 22 balls, striking four sixes, three of them short-arm jabs over midwicket and Glamorgan reached 101 for 4 at halfway. But Tom Smith then bowled an over for 9 followed by a wicket maiden to leave 15-an-over for the final five.

Labuschagne was, as ever, a crucial wicket and David Payne yorked him walking across his stumps. His 33 in 21 balls was well light of what Glamorgan needed.



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