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Dodgers keep pace in NL West with 4-2 win over Diamondbacks

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Dodgers keep pace in NL West with 4-2 win over Diamondbacks | FOX Sports


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With a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers kept up with the San Francisco Giants and remain one game back of the NL West lead.

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Forecast, Pitch Report, and Venue Records

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Rohit Sharma is eyeing a personal milestone. (BCCI Photo)

Rohit Sharma is eyeing a personal milestone. (BCCI Photo)

Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Weather, Pitch Report, RCB vs MI: Check the weather and pitch report for Saturday’s Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians.

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The upcoming match is a must-win encounter for Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. For Mumbai Indians, the batting needs to be much better as after the openers, the middle order has not contributed much in the last two matches. The defending champions have been missing the services of Hardik Pandya and as per reports, the all-rounder might not be fit enough to take part in the fixture against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

On the other hand, Virat Kohli’s RCB find themselves in another rut and the story for the side seems all too similar. While the batting fumbled in the first match against Kolkata Knight Riders, their bowlers were sloppy against Chennai Super Kings. Virat Kohli did find his form against CSK, but AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell need to step up and make their presence felt in this match.

The winner of this match will be much better placed as far as qualifying for the playoffs is concerned.

Ahead of this crucial match, let’s take a look at the pitch and weather report for the RCB vs MI match.

Pitch report:

In 2020 and in the first few matches, the pitch at the Dubai International Stadium has offered a lot of assistance to the fast bowlers and the new ball has proved to be challenging to the batters. However, once the batters have settled down, the pitch has also proved to be quite good for stroke-making and we could be in for a high-scoring contest between two explosive batting orders. Dew can play a key factor here and toss could well be decisive here.

Weather

Dubai is expected to be hot and humid and there are absolutely no chances of rain. The average temperature will be around 40 to 42 degrees Celsius.

Highest score at this venue: 211/3

Lowest score at the venue: 71/10

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Ansu Fati to Make Barcelona Return, Coach Ronald Koeman Confirms

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BARCELONA: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman confirmed that forward Ansu Fati will return to action for the first time in almost a year when his side take on Levante in LaLiga on Sunday.

Koeman will be hoping the 18-year-old, who last played on Nov. 7 2020 and had become a fixture in the Barca and Spain first teams, can help the Catalans recover from a stuttering start to the league season.

Back-to-back draws with lowly Granada and Cadiz mean Barca have nine points from five games, seven behind LaLiga leaders Real Madrid, who have played one more match.

“It’s a very important step,” Koeman told a news conference on Saturday.

“First of all for the player, and we’re following our plan in order to get the Ansu we know back. He’s in the squad and will play 15 minutes maximum.

“There’s a long way to go in order to get the player back to how he was. He needs time. He’ll bring us quality, but we need to go little by little.”

Fati’s return is a welcome boost for a forward line that is still missing the injured Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite and struggling for goals.

“(Absences) are tough because we’re talking about players who can play out wide, are good at one-on-ones and are quick,” Koeman added.

“We try and play our game but without our wingers it’s tough and we’re looking to do as best we can.”

Jordi Alba, Pedri and Alejandro Balde will all also miss the visit of Levante, who are seeking their first win of the campaign having picked up four points from six games.

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Pitch had a lot to offer but bowlers could not make use of it, says Kohli

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(MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli during the RCB vs CSk IPL match at Sharjah on Friday. (Photo: Courtesy RCB Facebook page) 

Sharjah: Ruing their missed chances against Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli said that earlier after getting a good start, they should have posted a good total and later the bowlers, too, failed to make use of the pitch, which had a lot to offer to the them.

CSK beat RCB by six wickets with 11 balls to spare.

Kohli said, “We could’ve got 175, that could’ve been a winning total. The pitch had a lot to offer but our bowlers could not make use. They got away with too many boundary opportunities. They bowled well in their back end and executed the yorkers when needed. It was difficult for us to get elevation, and only bad balls could be put away. We then gave too many boundary balls. We spoke of areas we didn’t want them to hit, but we couldn’t do that.”

“The X-Factor was missing in the first five overs with the ball. But it’s very important to execute balls during the crunch moments. Those few moments… that’s what we failed to capitalise on. We need to get on a winning run again. This game is more disappointing than the first one. We were on top and then gave it all away,” added Kohli.

Meanwhile, winning captain MS Dhoni said Jadeja’s spell was important with Padikkal batting from one end and therefater Bravo, Josh, Shardul, Deepak too were brilliant. “We were worried about the dew, so whenever there’s chances of dew we want to bat second. They got off to a good start but after ninth over wicket slowed down. You still had to bowl tight, and Jadeja’s spell was important with Padikkal batting from one end. After that Bravo, Josh, Shardul, Deepak were brilliant.”

“It’s always on the back of your mind on which bowler can be effective over here. I had told Moeen before drinks that he would be bowling soon, but then I decided Bravo should bowl. The more you delay Bravo, the more difficult it is since he will end up bowling four straight overs in these difficult conditions,” said Dhoni, adding that CSK players have worked hard and have understood their roles and responsibilities.

“Over here, the three grounds are different. This is slowest of all. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are different. So the players have been adapting. Looking at the wicket, I felt left-right combo was important. We bat deep, we have a lot of left-handers, so in the back of the head it’s there. And I feel all of them are good enough to play in any position. That’s why we went with the left-right combination, which may have pushed Raina and Rayudu down. Bravo has turned up fit – that’s a very good thing and he is executing well. I call him my brother. We always have fights over whether he should bowl the slower ball. But I told him that now everyone knows he bowls slower balls, so I told him to bowl six different balls in one over. Whenever he can, he takes up responsibilities,” said Dhoni.


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