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England out of T20 World Cup after Semi-Final defeat to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

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Credit: England Cricket Instagram

The Black Caps won by 5 wickets as they chased a tough 167 on a slow pitch in the UAE. 

When considering game changers before the match, names like Kane Williamson and Martin Guptil may have come to mind. 

But no. Up step Daryl Mitchell. He accelerated sharply in the final stages, racing to 72 from 47 deliveries to lead his side to an unlikely victory. 

Credit: Daryl Mitchell Instagram

Chris Woakes took 2 wickets in the Powerplay as England restricted their opponents to 36-2 – victory unlikely at that stage for the team in black.

At the mid-way stage, the game was England’s to lose as New Zealand needed over 10 runs an-over on a two-paced, sluggish pitch. However, in need of some acceleration, New Zealand’s batsmen smashed Chris Jordan’s penultimate over for 23 to turn the equation and game on its head. 

The Black Caps required 34 runs from 18 balls and at that stage the game was in the balance. However,  they went on to score the runs in the next two overs as Jimmy Neesham took centre stage. 

He whacked 27 from just 11 deliveries before being dismissed in the 18th over – the damage already done?

In step Daryl Mitchell who smashed a number of sixes in the final overs to reach an impressive 68 in quick time, securing the win for the Black Caps.

The semi-final took place at the Abu Dhabi Stadium and was a repeat of the 2019 ICC 50-over World Cup with viewers hoping for half as much drama as that magnificent game of cricket 2 years ago – England winning on the final ball of a super-over.

The English went into the fixture as favourites despite the injury to Jason Roy in the previous game against South Africa. 

Bairstow moved up the order as Sam Billings replaced the sidelined Roy. Having lost the toss and being put in to bat the odds were very even. 

New Zealand named a strong bowling line-up as they restricted England to 40-1 from the first six overs of Powerplay. There was some early swing for Boult and Southee as England struggled to their lowest Powerplay score in the tournament. Both opening bowlers showed off their skills by taking pace off the ball.

Boundaries were difficult to come by for the England upper order who usually score freely in the opening overs. They reached 67-2 at the mid-way stage in the innings with Dawid Malan on 15.

Runs came swiftly in the 11th over as the batting side added some much-needed impetus – they had fallen below 7 RPO.

England continued to accelerate through the middle overs. Malan produced a typically calm innings which contained a number of exquisite cover drives. He was later dismissed by veteran Tim Southee for 41.

At the other end, fan-favourite Moeen Ali upped the tempo. However, with the players left in the shed there was added pressure for the batsmen at the crease to “get on with it.” 

Ali top scored with 51 from just 38 balls as his side managed 166 from their 20 overs after 99 runs came in second half of the innings – a defendable total. 

Credit: England Cricket Instagram

In walked the Black Cap openers.

It was a perfect start to the New Zealand innings for England as Woakes dismissed danger man Martin Guptil for 4 after he spooned one into the air straight to Moeen Ali at mid-on. 

The batting side battled to 36-2 from the first six overs of Powerplay after the loss of two quick wickets. 

There was a short period of consolidation for the batsmen but they found themselves falling further behind the required rate. This consolidation continued as New Zealand reached 58/2 at the half-way stage, needing over 10 runs per over from the final 10. 

In the middle overs, Conway scored 26 from 23 and Mitchell 23 from 22 as their partnership gave their side an outside chance of victory, At the same stage England were 67-2.

Mark Wood went for 15 runs in his 3rd over as the opposition found themselves 73-2 from 11 and had added some much needed acceleration. They added another 12 runs from the 12th over which was bowled by Rashid.

As New Zealand gained control of the game, all-rounder Liam Livingstone took the massive wicket of Devon Conway for 46. The batsman walked passed a straight one and was stumped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

With 5 overs to go, the chasing side needed 60 runs at a rate of 12 per-over. It was getting tense. New Zealand found themselves 107-3 – just 3 runs behind England at the same stage.

Livingstone struck again in the 16th over as Glenn Phillips looked to go straight over long-off but ended up clothing it to mid-on – a game changing over?

In desperate need of a big over, the batsmen smashed Chris Jordan’s penultimate over for 23 to turn the equation and game on its head.

Captain Morgan recognised the importance of the penultimate over and turned to the reliable paceman Chris Woakes who had already taken 2 wickets for 16 from his previous 3. 

However, the Black Caps had different ideas. They chased down their target in the second last over to book a place in the Final – redemption after their World Cup Final pain in 2019.

The final takes place in Dubai at 14:00pm on Sunday and the Black Caps will be eager to find out who their opponents will be.

All eyes now turn to tomorrow when Australia take on Pakistan in the second semi-final. 

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Meet the British Woman Hoping to End F1’s 46-year Wait For a Female Driver

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The modern sports industry remains a very male dominated field. Historically motorsport especially being one of the most inaccessible to women.

In its entire 72-year history, only two women have ever driven in a Formula 1 grand prix. The last was the pioneer Lella Lombardi, the Italian who competed in 12 races between 1974 and 1976 for teams including Williams.

Now, Britain’s Jamie Chadwick is aiming to end the 46-year wait for a woman to sit behind the wheel of a car on the starting grid at the very top level of racing.

The 23-year-old from Bath, is the most prominent woman in world the world of motorsport thanks to the strong results she has earned in the early stages of her career across multiple categories.

Chadwick is about to embark on her third season in W Series, an all-female racing championship launched in 2019 which aims to ensure more women are able to make professional careers out of motor racing.

The aim means that, in conjunction with the heated rivalry that understandably comes with battling for the championship on track, the athletes competing in W Series feel they share a common goal to help one another improve and make overall progress for women in motorsport too. Chadwick has won the title in both of W Series’ first two campaigns.

Speaking to Metro she said:  ‘Everyone expects us not to get on [because we are rivals] but we really, genuinely do. The big reason in my opinion is that we’ve all been through such a similar experience in the sport individually. We can share those experiences with each other and push each other to bring one another on, and hopefully leave the sport in a better place for the next generation coming through.’

Do you think she stands a chance of making it?

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Newcastle co-owner says Chelsea’s Abramovich having to sell isn’t fair

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Credit: Chelsea FC Instagram

Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley “doesnt think its particularly fair” that Roman Abramovich is selling following the Russia-Ukraine war.

The businessman announced he had made the “incredibly difficult decision” in a statement on the Premier League club’s website.

There has been calls for Abramovich to be sanctioned, as Chris Bryant alleges leaked Home Office document from 2019 shows he had links to Russian state as well as to “corrupt activity and practices” – the Guardian reports.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, Staveley said: “We’re always going to have geopolitical issues.

I’m really sad that someone is going to have a football club taken away because of a relationship he may have with someone.

“I don’t think that’s particularly fair to be honest. But I also think that we have to hold all of our relationships to account.”

In his statement, Abramovich said: “I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart.

“In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.

“The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process.”

Abramovich has said that he won’t be asking for loans to be repaid.

He added: “I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”

The businessman bought Chelsea back in 2003 for £140m, and has since loaned the club over £1.5bn.

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has told Swiss newspaper Blick that he has the chance to buy Chelsea.

However he says that at the moment Abramovich is “asking far too much.”

What are your thoughts?

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Russia’s captain Aleksandr Golovin speaks out on Russian invasion

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Credit: Aleksandr Golovin Instagram

Russia’s football captain Aleksandr Golovin has spoke out about the Russia-Ukraine war.

In a post uploaded to Instagram on Wednesday, the footballer said he hadn’t before now because he wasn’t an expert in politics.

However, he said he would now express his opinion, because he has been drawn to this topic from “all sides.”

It follows furious backlash from Ukrainian players Vitalii Mykolenko and Andriy Yarmolenko about Russian players staying quiet about the invasion of Ukraine.

The captain wrote: “War is a frightful thing. But I am shocked by human aggression and hatred, which every day acquires some sort of unprecedented scale.

“I am against discrimination based on nationality. I’m not ashamed that I’m Russian. I am proud to be Russian. And I don’t understand why athletes should suffer now.”

He continued he was “against double standards.”

Golovin added: “Why is it that one can do everything, but all the dogs are hanged on us. Why has everyone always shouted about sports outside of politics, but at the first opportunity, when it comes to Russia, this principle is completely forgotten?”

He expressed that “anger, dirt and bile” is being poured on Russian people, “regardless of their position and profession.”

The Zenit St Petersburg forward concluded: “P.S. And to some colleagues in the workshop who sit on their ass in mansions in England and say nasty things: it cannot offend us, we understand everything! Peace and goodness to everybody!”

On Tuesday in an Instagram post, Everton’s Mykolenko criticised Russia’s international players for remaining silent whilst “peaceful civilians are being killed in Ukraine.”

The 22-year-old wrote: “You will be locked in your dungeon for the rest of your life and most importantly the lives of your kids. And I’m glad.”

West Ham’s Yarmolenko also hit out at Russian players on Tuesday.

In a video uploaded to Instagram, he said: “Guys, why are you sitting like shitheads and not saying anything? In my country they’re killing people, killing wives, killing our children. But you’re saying nothing, you’ve given no comments.”

Russia has been suspended from all competition, Fifa and Uefa have ruled.

 

 

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