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La Liga: Asensio, Benzema star as Real beat Mallorca 6-1



Madrid, Sep 23: Marco Asensio scored a hat-trick and Karim Benzema struck a brace of goals as Real Madrid soared on their goal-scoring prowess to thrash Mallorca 6-1 and rose to the top of the table in the Spanish La Liga.

Asensio scored in the 24th, 29th, and 55th minute while Benzema struck in the third and 78th minute as Real Madrid produced another goal-fest for the Santiago Bernabeu faithful. Isco scored the sixth goal in the 82nd minute while Lee Kang-In got the lone goal for Mallorca in the 25th minute.

The game was a lively affair and was played at a high intensity throughout. The Real got off to an electrifying start when Benzema latched onto a missed controlled ball by Gaya and fired it past goalkeeper Manolo Reina to net his seventh goal of the league campaign after with just three minutes on the clock. In the 7th minute, the hosts almost doubled their lead when Marco Asensio’s in-swinging corner kick was cleared off the line by the defence.

The visiting goalkeeper Reina was once again beaten in the 229th minute. Rodrygo picked up the ball inside the box with his back to goal, turned, and crossed. The ball deflected off both Valjant and Reina falling kindly for Asensio who slammed in the rebound for his first goal of the evening.

Mallorca’s response was immediate, as Lee Kang-In produced a fine piece of individual skills before curling the ball superbly past Thibaut Courtois.

Real took control after Mallorca reduced the margin. The game was an end-to-end affair, Benzema linked up with Asensio after 29 minutes, his superb control and finish saw him dispatch the ball expertly past Reina. The Balearic midfielder doubled his tally and could have made it three seven minutes later. Vinicius Jr. delivered to the far post, Benzema got on the end of it and headed towards the penalty spot where Valjant was on hand to clear Asensio’s effort off the line as the team went for half-time with Real leading 3-1.

The intensity did not let up after the break and Real Madrid came close to the fourth goal on two separate occasions. Firstly, Benzema played the ball into the path of Vinicius Jr but his spectacular left-footed cut-back to his marker in the 48th minute was kept out by Reina. Rodrygo then picked up the ball in his own half, raced past Battaglia, and delivered a perfect ball for Benzema to head home. However, the goal was ruled out by the referee after he spotted a foul by the striker.

Real could not be denied for long and the Los Blancos’ fourth goal came in the 55th minute courtesy of a superb effort by Asensio, who received the ball on the edge of the area before firing in a left-footed shot that Reina could do nothing about.

The multiple-time former champions got their fifth goal in the 78th minute as Benzema brought down a long ball from David Alaba with his back and finished with a shot across the face of the goal. It was the eighth goal in the competition for the Frenchman, putting him ahead of the rest as the top scorer.

But Real Madrid were not done yet as in the 84th minute, Isco added the finishing touches after a pass from Vinicius Jr to make it 6-1 for the Los Blancos.

It was Real Madrid’s fifth win in six matches played so far. They are unbeaten so far with five wins and one draw and have 16 points from six matches, two ahead of cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.

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You will see me in yellow but not sure as player, says Dhoni on playing for CSK in 2022



Dubai, Oct 7: Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni on Thursday said that fans will see him in ‘yellow in IPL 2022, but he doesn’t know if he will be part of the franchise as a player or in some other role.

Dhoni, who has been CSK’s captain since the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, highlighted that there is a ‘lot of uncertainty’ because of the two new teams coming in and the mega auction, next year.

“Well, you can see me in yellow next year. But whether I will be playing for CSK? There are a lot of uncertainties around it for a simple reason that we have two new teams coming up. We don’t know the retention policy. We don’t know how many foreigners, Indian players we can retain, the money cap that every player will be cutting from the kitty,” said 40-year-old at the toss ahead of CSK’s match against Punjab Kings in Dubai.

“So there are a lot of uncertainties. Unless the rules are in place you can’t really decide that. So we will wait for it to happen and hopefully it will be good for everyone,” he added.

The former India captain also mentioned that it has been difficult to maintain fitness this season due to back to back matches in the UAE leg of the 2021 IPL.

“It’s tough to maintain fitness. Once the IPL was postponed, it meant there will be back-to-back games (whenever the tournament resumes). We had that sort of a stretch but, looks good, no concern with fitness,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni, who has led CSK to three IPL titles, earlier indicated that he will be playing his farewell game in Chennai.

The 40-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman in an event celebrating 75 years of India Cements, earlier had said that he hopes to play his last IPL match in Chennai.

“When it comes to farewell, you can still come and see me play for CSK and that can be my farewell game. So, you will still get that opportunity to bid me farewell. Hopefully, we will come to Chennai and play my last game over there and we can meet the fans there,” Dhoni said while interacting with fans during the virtual event on Tuesday.

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Du Plessis’ fifty takes CSK to 134/6 against Punjab Kings



Dubai, Oct 7: A hard-earned fifty by Faf du Plessis (76 off 55) took Chennai Super Kings to 134/6 against Punjab Kings in the 53rd match of the IPL 2021 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Thursday.

Put in to bat first, CSK were off to a poor start as they lost the wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad (12) and Moeen Ali (0) inside the powerplay.

Arshdeep Singh provided Punjab Kings the first breakthrough as he dismissed Gaikwad. The in-form opener tried to take on the short-pitch delivery bowled by Arshdeep but got a top edge and Shahrukh Khan completed the catch. Faf du Plessis was then joined by Moeen Ali, who didn’t trouble scorers and was dismissed for a duck.

Du Plessis looked in fine touch and hit back-to-back boundaries. But, he didn’t get the required support from the other end as Robin Uthappa (2), Ambati Rayudu (4) got out cheaply. Both Uthappa and Rayudu were dismissed by Chris Jordan, who is playing this game in place of Nicholas Pooran.

MS Dhoni, who came to bat next, hit a few boundaries before getting playing-on to his stumps a googly bowled by Ravi Bishnoi, leaving CSK struggling at 61-5 after 11.6 overs. From there on, Du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja batted sensibly and rebuilt the CSK innings.

The Proteas cricketer took calculated risks and completed his fifth fifty of IPL 2021 in 46 balls and kept Chennai Super Kings alive in the match. Jadeja, on the other hand, gave him the much-needed support by rotating the strike regularly.

In the final overs, Du Plessis batted freely and hit a few lusty boundaries to give impetus to CSK innings. His fine innings came to an end for 76 in the last over of the innings and he added 67 runs for the sixth wicket with Jadeja.

In the last few balls, Dwayne Bravo hit a four and helped CSK post a total of 134-6 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:
Chennai Super Kings Innings – 134-6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis (76 off 55, Chris Jordan 2/20, Arshdeep Singh 2/35) against Punjab Kings

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Sports gears of Olympians in highest demand in auctioning



New Delhi: Sports gears of Olympians have received the highest bids with just one day left for the e-auction of the Prime Minister’s mementos to end, historical items and religious artefacts seem to have drawn more interest. The javelin used by Neeraj Chopra, which brought him the gold medal, received the highest bid of Rs 10 crore on the opening day, it was later cancelled on the suspicion that it could be a fake bid.

The auction opened on September 17 and since then all eyes are focusing on the sporting gear of Olympians and Paralympians. Weeks later, a javelin used by a Paralympic gold medallist remains at the top with a bid of Rs 1,00,50,000. However, till now it has received only two bids, according to the latest bid details on the PM”s memento’s site

In comparison, a metal mace whose base price was Rs 2,500 has received 54 bids, with the highest at Rs 5 lakh. The javelin used by Paralympic gold medallist Sumit Antil, with a base price of Rs 1 crore, received a bid of Rs 1,00,05,000 from one bidder, while a wooden model of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya saw 24 bids come in. The mandir’s base value was Rs 2,50,000.

A badminton racquet autographed by Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games gold medallist Krishna Nagar received a highest bid of Rs 80.15 lakh but there were only three bidders who showed interest in it. On the other hand, a small metallic figurine showing Lord Rama, Hanuman, Laxman and Goddess Sita, titled Bhagwan Ram Parivar, received 44 bids,

With the highest being Rs 1.35 lakh. Its base price was only Rs 10,000. Apart from religious items, a large-scale three-dimensional replica model of a DRDO tank placed inside a glass box has received 23 bids, with the highest being Rs 5 lakh. Its base price was Rs 75,000.

Another item, a memento of the Pune metro line with a sculpture of Chattrapati Shivajji on a horse and the metro line within the cityscape, received 24 bids, with the highest being Rs 43,000, while its base price was only Rs 3,000.

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