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Mumbai Indians 208 for 5 (de Kock 67, Krunal 20, Rashid 1-22) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 174 for 7 (Warner 60, Boult 2-28, Pattinson 2-29) by 34 runs

There is life in the graveyard. Mumbai Indians conquered Sharjah and Sunrisers Hyderabad with a typically freakish bowling performance.

Trent Boult’s quality with the new ball continues to translate into early wickets – and this time he was good in the death too. James Pattinson is more than making up for the loss of Lasith Malinga. And Krunal Pandya – having thumped 20 runs off the final four balls of the innings to get the total up to 208 – afforded only 35 in return, even on such a tiny ground, to keep the pressure on the opposition.

Mumbai gave away no easy runs. They were ruthless about letting a partnership develop. They were worthy winners.

The match-up

Usually, when Sunrisers need early wickets, they just toss the ball to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But with him injured, they had to find another way to contain a very strong Mumbai line-up.

So in came Sandeep Sharma, a man with the skill to move the ball, which has perhaps contributed to his excellent head-to-head against Rohit Sharma. Before today, it read 29 runs in 33 balls and two dismissals. Now it’s 35 runs, 38 balls and three dismissals, as Rohit went chasing after a wide ball and nicked off. That wicket went a long way to keeping Mumbai to 48 for 2, the lowest Powerplay score this IPL in Sharjah.

The QdKO

There were signs that the pitch, unbelievably, offered the bowlers some grip. Not good news for batsmen who love hitting through the line. And for a while, Quinton de Kock tried to find creative solutions to this problem, attempting scoops and reverse sweeps and, well, failing to find runs. He was 25 off 20 in the eighth over. And then, like light at the end of the tunnel, came a half-volley and he launched it down the ground for six. This is where de Kock lives. A place where he can muscle cricket balls all day long. Once he got back in touch with his power game, making his 11th IPL fifty was just a matter of time.

A mouth-watering finish

Sunrisers tried to save Rashid Khan’s overs against Mumbai’s biggest hitters because they haven’t been able to hit him. Kieron Pollard’s IPL strike-rate against the ace legspiner is 76 and Hardik Pandya’s is only 57. But they realised the more immediate threat was de Kock and so Rashid was brought back in the 14th over and one of his googlies did the trick. Mumbai were 134 for 3. Rashid’s final over went for only two runs as Pollard and Pandya both chose to play him out. Then it happened.

Pandya began hitting short balls for sixes with a vertical bat. Pollard cleared the long-off boundary with a chip. Manish Pandey took a diving catch that will adorn IPL highlight reels for a long time. T Natarajan bowled like a dream in the most trying conditions, his yorkers negating Mumbai’s two biggest hitters. It was bare-knuckle cricket, neither team willing to give any quarter. But then came the final over – Siddharth Kaul hit the blockhole and made a mess of Hardik’s stumps, so in walked his brother Krunal and promptly dispatched the bowler for 6, 4, 4, 6.

The superstar

It’s no exaggeration to say Sunrisers’ batting relies mainly on one man. A huge part of that is because of how naturally he is able to adapt to that pressure. David Warner is not in prime form. A consequence of lockdown, perhaps. But he still runs like a demon between the wickets. He still doesn’t throw his wicket away. He still wants to fight. And that was on display here as he fought his way to a half-century. At the start, when he wasn’t in nick, he did his best not to eat up deliveries. Later, as he became more like his usual self, he was able to do amazing things, like cut Jasprit Bumrah’s first two balls to the point boundary. He got to 50 off 34 balls but the other end couldn’t be as careful as him, as determined as him and so the Sunrisers chase faltered.

Quality counts

Jonny Bairstow loves pace on the ball, so Boult took it off, watched him lose his shape and then his wicket. Williamson is the same way. Cue another Boult slower ball and bragging rights for life. Pandey was caught in the deep going for a six against the newly-brought back Pattinson when it was very clear Mumbai were looking for a wicket. Krunal was so ferociously switched on that after nailing a wide yorker against Warner and keeping it to just a dot, he punched the air as if that itself was victory. Boult, again, though he has a reputation of leaking runs in the death, was so precise with his yorkers that he gave away only four runs in the 18th over. Two balls later, there was a wicket. There was always a wicket.

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Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. push back on claims exhibition bout won’t be a ‘real fight’

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Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. were once tied together for a possible heavyweight showdown when both were active professional boxers. Now, with both men in their 50s, they are set to meet in an exhibition fight on Nov. 28.

The two men participated in a press conference Thursday in anticipation of the fight, with both men talking up the importance of the fight and addressing their preparation at their advanced age.

“I think he looks awesome,” Jones said of recent footage of Tyson training in the gym. “He looks very good. I was very proud to see him bounce back the way he did. Most guys, at 54, they start counting themselves out. Think about it, when I came along, at 32 years old, you were considered an old guy who couldn’t box no more. Seeing Mike hit the pads and the body bag the way he’s doing it, it’s phenomenal. But, we’re freaks. That’s why this is such a big thing.”

Tyson said that he has been sparring, and has gone as long as seven rounds. The fight is an eight-round affair, featuring two-minute rounds, which Tyson took issue with because “the women fight two minutes.”

“I look at film of Roy when he was at his best because that’s the guy I anticipate fighting,” Tyson said. “I’m in the best shape. I boxed seven rounds so far and it keeps improving. I’m boxing younger guys and hungry guys and it’s showing me that, from the looks of things, I’m doing really well.”

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California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster stated that the bout, which takes place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, should not be confused with a “fight-fight” and that the fighters have been instructed to not go beyond “hard sparring.” Foster also said referee Ray Corona will be enforcing that neither man is to actively look for a knockout and will keep the intensity of the bout in check.

Both Tyson and Jones took issue with that line of thinking when asked how they will approach the fight under these guidelines.

“Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about that it’s not a real fight,” Tyson said. “It’s Mike Tyson and Roy Jones and I’m coming to fight and I hope he’s coming to fight. That’s all you need to know.”

Jones doubled down on the thinking, stating, “First of all, if you think you’re going to get in the ring with Mike Tyson, the last guy to get an ‘exhibition’ with Mike got dropped in the first round. If you don’t know that, there’s something wrong with you. Who goes in the ring with the great, legendary Mike Tyson and thinks ‘Oh, this is an exhibition’? 12-ounce gloves? No headgear? Really? This is an exhibition? Come on, bro. Be real.”

The original plans with the CSAC included the fight not being scored. The fight has changed slightly, with the WBC entering the picture and implementing a remote scoring system while also putting up a “Frontline Championship” they created for the fight.

Asked why they would open up their exhibition to an “alphabet organization” like the WBC, especially in light of Floyd Mayweather’s recent comments that boxing is hurt by the number of belts in the sport, Jones became visibly upset.

“I don’t give a damn what nobody got to say. I do what I do, my business is my business,” Jones said. “I don’t care what [Mayweather] or nobody else says. It’s got nothing to do with him. This ain’t got nothing to do with him. He can stay in his lane and do what he’s got to do. Let me do what I do. Secondly, when I was fighting, I wasn’t like them. I went and got every belt possible in my weight class at the time. Mike did the same thing. We come from the old school. We want every belt you got, I don’t care what kind it is. It can be the Joe Petty Seafood belt. I want that. If you want to see me perform and you put a belt on the line? It’s like drugs, I can’t say no.

“It don’t mean nothing to him, maybe. But it means the world to me.”

Tyson didn’t have much to add, but did support Roy’s message, stating, “He said it all. It’s like drugs.”

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Australia v India, 2020-21 – Cameron Green’s runs defy Justin Langer’s first impression

About the time Cameron Green was getting into the 190s for Western Australia in Adelaide, a fourth century in his most recent nine Sheffield Sheld matches, a mea culpa message buzzed through to the phone of the former selector Greg Chappell. It was from Australia’s coach, Justin Langer, who was finally ready to concede his first impressions of Green had been overtaken.

In fairness to Langer, that first impression had taken the shape of a zingy, swinging spell of pace bowling from Green at Bellerive in early 2017, when he snapped up 5 for 24 on his Shield debut for the state while batting at No. 8. Chappell, though, had remained steadfast in his belief that Green would ultimately be more valuable to Australian cricket as a batsman than a bowler, with the risk of losing that opportunity through the injuries so often suffered by young speedsters.

ALSO READ: Warner, Smith, Cummins and Hazlewood likely to be rested before India Tests

So Langer, a few days before selecting Green in Australia’s limited-overs squad to face India without seeing him even bowl a single competitive ball this season, reached out magnanimously to Chappell. “I texted Greg Chappell a couple days ago,” Langer said, “and I said ‘GC, wasn’t it me that was telling you what a great batsman Cameron Green was’ and I had a whole lot of smiley emojis, because Greg Chappell’s been telling me for two years ‘Cameron Green is brilliant, he is the best young batting talent’.

“[Back then] I said ‘mate he’s six foot seven, I saw him bowl to George Bailey in his first over and he’ll never bowl a better over in his whole career than he did’. When I first saw him bowl I thought his action was like a young Shaun Pollock, because it was just so simple, but then he grew a lot.

“I know he’s working hard on his action to ensure he stays healthy, but if Greg Chappell’s telling me he’s the best young talent he’s seen for a long time, and I’ve seen how he bowls, he’s potentially in the future a great all-round package. At the moment his batting speaks for itself and he’s bowling a few overs. But it’ll be a pretty good package won’t it, if he stays fit and healthy.”

Leaving aside a low score on a grassy pitch in the Shield game against Tasmania that began on Friday, Green has won plaudits from opposing captains, bowlers and team-mates for offering a maturity of approach that does not always seem the way of a 21-year-old. No less a judge than the Test captain Tim Paine has spoken warmly of Green’s awareness of what bowlers and captains are trying to do, and of the unruffled countenance that has allowed him to put together many hours at the crease.

“He bats long periods,” Langer said. “I know George Bailey’s really big on this as one of our new selectors, he bats time. Allan Border used to say ‘there’s a lot more time than you think young fella’, so there’s a lot of time in Test cricket, there’s a bit more time in one-day cricket. Obviously there’s less time in T20 and he was batting down the order for the Scorchers last year, which is a tough spot for anyone let alone a kid, but he’s ticking a lot of boxes at the moment.

“I go back to the point, competition’s healthy, he is banging really hard on the door, like Moises [Henriques] has been doing, and he deserves an opportunity as a specific replacement for Mitch [Marsh]. So they’re banging on the door hard, which is a positive thing.

“When I used to go play county cricket all those years ago, all the English guys used to say ‘in Australia you’ve got this great youth policy, you always pick these young players’ and they talk about Damien Martyn or Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke. But what I kept saying was ‘it’s not a youth policy, you just pick the guys who are playing the best cricket’. Cameron Green’s got, albeit in Sheffield Shield cricket, four hundreds in his last six or seven Shield games, so he’s a terrific young player.”

Expectations of course are now sky high, not least after Chappell himself labelled Green the best young talent he had seen come through since Ricky Ponting. But Langer is hopeful that the same temperament Green has displayed in the middle will be applied to dead-bat the dangers of thinking too far ahead, or letting the ego chase deliveries that the mind and hands would prefer to leave well alone.

“It tends to happen doesn’t it, the new kid on the block comes in and there’s high praise and people get carried away,” Langer said. “How does he handle it? He watches the ball as closely as he is now, he stays fit and healthy and he gets on with his job.

“That’s the hardest part actually of playing international cricket, eliminating the distractions, but that’s what mental toughness is about, he’s not going to have it all at the moment, it’s going to be a journey for a long time for him as it is with any young player. But this is all part of it, people will say ‘he’s the next future captain, he’s the next Ben Stokes, he’s the next this and this’, that’s why I tell all of them not to listen to any of it. If he wants to keep watching the ball, that’s all he needs to do.”

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One additional Badgers player, two staff members test positive for COVID-19

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The COVID-19 outbreak in the Wisconsin Badgers football program continues to grow.

The athletic department announced Thursday that one additional Badgers player and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 16 active COVID-19 cases in the program, including 15 positive tests since Oct. 24.

On Wednesday, Wisconsin canceled its Oct. 31 game against Nebraska after 12 people — six student athletes and six staff members, including head coach Paul Chryst — tested positive for the coronavirus.

All football activities have been paused for at least one week, slotting the team’s earliest possible return date at Nov. 4. Wisconsin’s next game on the schedule is Nov. 7 against Purdue at home. Based on CDC and Big Ten protocols, Chryst can potentially return to the Badgers in person on Nov. 7 following a 10-day quarantine period.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez received his results Thursday and tested negative for COVID-19.

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