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Rajasthan

Asaram Bapu convicted in minor rape case

Five years after charges of rape were levelled against Asaram Bapu, the Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court on Wednesday convicted the self-styled godman and four others in a 2013 rape case.
File photo of Asaram Bapu. (Photo: IANS)
File photo of Asaram Bapu. (Photo: IANS)
Five years after charges of rape were levelled against Asaram Bapu, the Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court on Wednesday convicted the self-styled godman and four others in a 2013 rape case.
 
Asaram was convicted under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) act and Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.
 
The judgement was pronounced by Judge Madhusudan inside the Jodhpur Central Jail, where Asaram is lodged.
 
Asaram Bapu was arrested in 2013 on the complaint filed by a teenage girl from Uttar Pradesh's Shahajahanpur. She had accused him of raping her at his Jodhpur ashram in August. The victim was a Class 12 student at his Chhindwara Ashram in Madhya Pradesh.
 
The 77-year-old godman is facing trial in two other sexual assault cases: one in Rajasthan here and the other in Gujarat. 
 
He was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He has been in judicial custody since September 2, 2013. 
 
He also faces multiple charges, including wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy and sexual harassment.
 
The chargesheet named Asaram and four others -- Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya.
 
The quantum of punishment will be announced later.
 
IANS
 
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Salman gets bail against personal bond of Rs 50,000

After spending two nights in a Jodhpur jail, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was granted bail on Saturday in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 by District and Sessions Court Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi.
 
Salman Khan convicted in black buck poaching case
 
 
After spending two nights in a local jail, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was granted bail on Saturday in the 1998 blackbuck poaching case on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 by District and Sessions Court Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi.
 
Arguments on the actor's bail application, which had been taken up yesterday, continued this morning before the judge reserved his order for the post-lunch session.
 
While granting him bail, the judge asked Salman, 52, to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 and two sureties of Rs. 25,000 each with guarantees that he will adhere to all the bail conditions.
 
The court said Salman would have to secure special permission from it to travel abroad.
 
He is expected to be released by this evening after completion of various legal procedures, sources said.
 
Salman had spent a second night in the Central Jail here last night because the arguments on his bail plea could not be completed yesterday.
 
The superstar was convicted by a local court on Thursday and was sentenced to five years imprisonment in the two-decade-old case.
 
Salman and other Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam allegedly went hunting on October 1-2 in 1998 outside a forest reserve near Kankani village in Jodhpur while shooting for "Hum Saath Saath Hain" in 1998. 
 
While Salman was found guilty, the four co-stars and a local, Dushyant Singh, were acquitted.
 
Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri convicted Salman under Section 9/51 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
 
(With  inputs from IANS)
 
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15 dead, 31 injured as high-tension wire falls on bus in Rajasthan

At least 15 people were electrocuted and 31 others suffered injuries when the bus they were travelling in came in contact with a high-tension electricity wire in the Tonk district of Rajasthan on Friday afternoon, official sources said.
 
At least 15 dead as high-tension wire falls on bus in Rajasthan
At least 15 people were electrocuted and 31 others suffered injuries when the bus they were travelling in came in contact with a high-tension electricity wire in the Tonk district of Rajasthan this afternoon, official sources said.
 
Police officials in Tonk told NetIndian over the telephone that the injured were initially taken to nearby hospitals from where they were referred to a hospital in Jaipur.
 
All the victims were men and were going to attend a marriage when the mishap occurred in the Malpura area of the district around 3 pm.
 
Senior district admininstration and police officials rushed to the spot to oversee the rescue and relief efforts, the sources said.
 
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje condoled the loss of lives in the incident and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the next-of-kin of those killed.
 
She also asked State Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria and other senior ministers and officials to rush to the spot and ensure the best possible medical care for the injured.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the incident. 
 
"The bus incident at Tonk, Rajasthan is very heart-rending. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
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Denied LS ticket by BJP, Jaswant Singh says will file nomination on Monday

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who is upset at being denied a ticket by the party to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from his home town of Barmer, confirmed on Sunday that he would file his nomination from there on Monday, presumably as an independent candidate.
Not furniture that BJP can adjust me: Jaswant
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh, who is upset at being denied a party ticket to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from his home town of Barmer in Rajasthan, today confirmed that he would file his nomination from there tomorrow, presumably as an independent candidate.
 
At the same time, he ruled out joining the Congress or any other party, saying it was insulting to him for any party to even think on such lines.
 
Reacting to media reports that the Congress might try and rope him in, Mr Singh, 76, told newspersons in his village that he had spent his entire political life in the BJP and had never thought of joining any other party.
 
"If the Congress is thinking along those lines, it is a waste of their time," he said.
 
But, despite repeated queries, he refused to confirm or deny whether the Congress had, in fact, made any overtures to him or not.
 
To another question, Mr Singh said he would go to Barmer tomorrow and file his nominations. "I will go to Barmer, will discuss the issue with others and act accordingly," he said.
 
Asked if he would resign from the party before filing his nomination, he said these things would be known tomorrow.
 
Mr Singh was particularly unhappy with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley's statement that the party could not "adjust" Mr Singh in its list of candidates and that it would find other ways of using his abilities.
 
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"I saw on television a party leader saying that the could not 'adjust' me. The choice of words shows their way of thinking and their arrogant nature. It is insulting to me. I am not a piece of furniture, a chair or a table, which can be moved to some other part of the room if it does not fit in one place.
 
"I don't want to be 'adjusted'," he said. "All my life, I have worked for the party, in its best interests, to the best of my ability," he said.
 
About Barmer, he said it was the place where he was born and where he had grown. "All that I know today, I learnt from here," he said.
 
Asked about the caste equations in the area, Mr Singh regretted that the social fabric of the region was being torn by such considerations. He said he had never practised such politics. "You cannot divide society and people in this manner. If we persist in doing so, the state will end up as a second-rate UP, a third-rate Bihar," he said.
 
The BJP had, on Friday, announced that its candidate from Barmer would be Col Sonaram Chaudhary, a former MLA, who had recently joined it after resigning from the Congress, ignoring Mr Singh's claims and his wish that he be allowed to contest what could possibly be his last election from his home turf.
 
Reacting to the move, Mr Singh had hit out at the party yesterday, saying that it had been encroached upon by "outsiders", an obvious reference to the fact that it had given tickets to several people who had joined it in recent weeks, ignoring the claims of party loyalists.
 
He also made it clear to journalists at Jodhpur on his way to barmer that he would not indulge in any kid of bargaining with the party for post-election positions or any other officers from it.
 
"My sense of honour is not subject to trading," he said, even as Mr Jaitley and BJP President Rajnath Singh said that the party would utilise Mr Singh's abilities in some other way.
 
Mr Rajnath Singh said the importance that the BJP acccorded to Mr Singh could not be judged on the basis of an election ticket alone. "He is far above that," he said.
 
"The challenge today is between the real BJP and the fake BJP," Mr Singh said. "Only the people can decide on the difference between the two," he said.
 
He said he had lived and struggled all these years to uphold the principles on which the BJP was founded and it was important that he continued to do so.
 
He said it was for the BJP to realise what would add value to the party, to India and to the people of India.
 
The BJP's decision to deny the ticket to Mr Singh is being seen as yet another indication that the old order in the party is being forced to yield place to the new.
 
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According to media reports, Mr Singh had conveyed to the BJP leadership that he would contest the election from Barmer as an independent candidate if the party decided against nominating him.
 
He has never contested from Barmer, having been elected to the Lok Sabha from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan in 1991 and 1996, and from Darjeeling in West Bengal in the last general elections in 2009.
 
According to sources, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had pushed for a ticket for Col Choudhary, a Jat leader, after he joined the BJP some time ago.
 
Col Choudhary had lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Barmer to Mr Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh, who now represents Sheo - a part of the Barmer Parliamentary constituency - in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.
 
The move to deny Mr Singh a ticket has also upset a section of BJP workers in Barmer, who staged protests and tore party posters to express their anger.
 
The denial of the party nomination to Mr Singh came just a day after the BJP had, on Thursday, managed to mollify its veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani into accepting the party's decision to field him from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, though he had expressed his wish to shift to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
 
Earlier, another party veteran, Murli Manohar Joshi, was reportedly upset after he had to make way for BJP Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who wanted to contest the Lok Sabha elections from his constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He was persuaded finally to move to Kanpur.
 
Another senior leader, Lalji Tandon, had to give up his claim over Lucknow, the seat held by him, to accommodate Mr Rajnath Singh, who decided against contesting from Ghaziabad, the seat he had won the last time.
 
In Punjab, three-time MP and former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu had to make way in Amritsar for senior leader Arun Jaitley.
 
Yesterday, the BJP denied renomination to seven-time MP Harin Pathak from Ahmedabad East and fielded well-known actor Paresh Rawal as its candidate from the constituency. Mr Pathak is known to be close to Mr Advani and was reportedly not on very good terms with Mr Modi.
 
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Rahul meets Alwar gangrape victim, assures justice

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference  after meeting the Alwar gang-rape victim, in Jaipur on May 16, 2019. Also seen are Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. (Photo: IANS)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference after meeting the Alwar gang-rape victim, in Jaipur on May 16, 2019. Also seen are Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. (Photo: IANS)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met the Alwar gang-rape victim, and assured her and the family of justice.
 
Speaking to the media after the meeting in Thanagaazi, Gandhi said that this was an emotional issue for him and not a political one.
 
"The victim will definitely get justice. Strict action will be taken against the accused. I have come here to meet the family and not to play any kind of politics. I will take action on whatever I have said here," he said.
 
"We can't tolerate such things. As soon as I heard about the case, I called (Chief Minister Ashok) Gehlot. We want to give a strong message not only to the people of Rajasthan but to the entire nation so that such heinous incidents are not repeated anywhere."
 
Gandhi was accompanied by Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, party state in-charge Avinash Pandey and Alwar Congress candidate, Jitendra Bhanwar Singh.
 
Gandhi was slated to visit Alwar on Wednesday but the trip was cancelled due to bad weather.
 
Before Gandhi's visit, the family said that they would raise a demand for a job for the couple so that the victim and her husband can be sent to a place where no one identifies them.
 
IANS
 

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Aabhishek extends his lease over Desert Storm title, Adrian wins Moto title

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Dominating each leg of the grueling Desert Storm, defending champion Aabhishek Mishra extended his lease over the  title for the fourth year in a row in Jaisalmer on Saturday.
 
In the process, the 30-year-old from Jaipur became only the third driver to defend the Storm, an FMSCI-approved event, (besides six-time winner Sunny Sidhu and Suresh Rana). With co-driver Srikanth Gowda by his side, he conquered the heat, the desert and one of the strongest fields ever in 9 hours 21 minutes and 45 seconds for a commendable victory.
 
In the Moto Category, Adrian Metge of Team TVS Racing was equally commanding, winning the country’s longest motorbike rally with a cumulative time of 6 hours 13 minutes and 25 seconds. Ankur Chauhan (and co-driver Prakash M) was the other big winner, taking the Endure Category.
 
C S Santosh breathed fire down Adrian Metge’s neck in each of the stages, surpassing him a few times too, to finish second in the Moto Category. 
 
The Hero Motorsports front man will rue the second day which handed Metge a huge lead and proved to be impossible to bridge in the final analysis. TVS Racing’s Abdul Wahid Tanveer, who clocked a cumulative timing of 06:35:28, took the other place on the podium.  
 
“This is an incredibly special win for us,” Aabhishek Mishra, who drove  his Maruti Vitara smartly, said, after his victory. “I have won the title in the four-wheel category four times and once in the motorbike category. But this year was the toughest due to the conditions as also because of the competition, which attracted all the top drivers, teams and manufacturers in the country,” he added.
 
Driving a Toyota Fortuner for the first time in a rally, Chandigarh’s Samrat Yadav (and co-driver Kunal Kashyap) grabbed the second position in 09:41:34 by showing remarkable poise and consistency over the scorching four days. Arunachal Pradesh’s Lakhpa Tsering (co-driver V Venu Rameshkumar) overcame a slow start to corner the third position in his Polaris RZR 1000.
 
The Army Team, returning to competitive rally after a long hiatus, will be proud of their show in the Thar Desert. Capt AVS Gill (co-driver Diwakar Kalia) claimed the fourth place in the Extreme Category while Aman Katoch (Siddhartha Nandal), Parth Bharadwaj (Mohit Bisht) and Sanjay Jadon (Sahil Dua) took the third, fourth and fifth places in the Endure Category.
 
Aabhishek Mishra and co-driver Srikanth Gowda from Team Sparky’s Garage have emerged as the ultimate champions of Xtreme Category (cross country rally for cars) at Rally Desert Storm 2019 with cumulative time of 9 hours 21 minutes 45 seconds. 
 
The three champions -- Mishra, Metge and Chauhan – and other podium finishers, category winners and special award winners, were felicitated at a glittering prize distribution ceremony at the Jaisalmer Marriott Resorts & Spa late in the evening.
 
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Velocity post 121/6 against Supernovas in T20

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Some disciplined bowling by Supernovas restricted Velocity to 121/6 in the final of the Womens T20 Challenge 2019 even as Sushma Verma (40 unbeaten) and Amelia Kerr (36 off 38) chipped in with valuable contributions.
 
Lea Tahuhu picked two wickets for Supernovas, conceding 21 runs from her four overs, while Anuja Patil, Sophie Devine, Natalie Sciver and Poonam Yadav bagged one wicket each.
 
Asked to bat first, Velocity were off to a poor start as Tahuhu struck in the very second delivery of the match to dismiss opener Hayley Matthews, who failed to open her account.
 
Anuja then jolted Velocity as she packed back incoming batswoman Danielle Wyatt (0) in the next over. Things worsened for Velocity as Tahuhu struck again to send back opener Shafali Verma (11), leaving the side reeling at 14/3.
 
Mithali Raj (12) and Veda Krishnamurthy (8) then tried to stabilise the ship, adding 23 runs for the fourth wicket before Devine also joined the Supernovas party by claiming the wicket of Krishnamurthy. Sciver then claimed the wicket of Mithali, putting Velocity in deep trouble as the scorecard read 37/5 in 7.3 overs.
 
Sushma and Amelia then anchored the Velocity innings and added 71 runs in the next 10.5 overs to take their side past the three-digit mark in 17 overs. Amelia became a victim of Poonam in the 18th over and Sushma then added 13 runs in the remaining deliveries to help Velocity reach a fighting total.
 
Brief scores: Velocity 121/6 in 20 overs (Sushma Verma 40 not out, Amelia Kerr 36; Lea Tahuhu 2/21) vs Supernovas.
 
IANS
 

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Aabhishek, Adrian consolidate their lead, Gill down to eighth place

Braving extreme hot conditions, Team Sparky Garage’s Aabhishek Mishra (Maruti Suzuki Vitara) kept his cool and the lead after SS6 of the Desert Storm even as Samrat Yadav (Toyota Fortuner) and Lhapka Tsering (Polaris ATV) moved up the leaderboard to the second and fourth positions in Jaisalmer on Friday.
 
In the Moto category, TVS Racing’s Adrian Metge and Honda Motorsports’ C S Santosh continued to battle for supremacy, with the former maintaining his lead and the latter improving his time to narrow the gap.
 
With temperatures flying past 50 degrees, eight more bikers and four drivers in Extreme category fell by the wayside, exactly doubling the tally after two and a half days of acute racing.
 
Defending champion Mishra continued to show his class, taking the least time (02:49:49) to conquer the stage and stay ahead of the field. His Sparky teammate Capt A V S Gill,  too, was in top form, moving up one place to be in the third position.
 
Samrat (with co-driver Kunal Kashyap; 03:00:44) and Tsering (co-driver Venu Rameshkumar; 02:53:46) recorded some of the best timings of the morning in the Extreme Category to be snapping on Mishra’s heels. 
 
They left APRC champion and strong contender Gaurav Gill of Team Mahindra in the shade, who slipped from his overnight second position to languish in the eighth position. Gaurav had a rough day, taking as much as 04:09:26 to complete the morning stage.
 
France’s Metge was not at his fastest, needing 02:46:40 to complete SS6 on his bike, but it was good enough to keep him ahead of the pack. Santosh recorded the morning’s fastest time (02:44:30) while another TVS stalwart Abdul Wahid Tanvir ran the stage in 02:45:56 to be in the third position.
 
“This is my first race after the Dakar so I was a bit rusty on the first day. I’ve finally started to enjoy being back and racing here in Rajasthan. Today was a better day for me; I rode really well,” Santosh said.
 
“Medge is an incredible rider. But I’m trying my best and I feel I’m pretty much there. I’ve lost the Desert Storm in the last three years while being on the top of the table. So, I know anything can happen here. Tomorrow is a long day because it starts with a 190 km stage; I’m looking forward to perform my best in that stage,” he said.
 
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'Suspicious' Georgian aircraft forced by IAF to land in Jaipur

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A Georgian An-12 cargo aircraft was forced by Indian Air Force (IAF) jets to land at Jaipur airport on Friday after it created alarm by entering Indian air space from an unscheduled point in north Gujarat, official sources said.
 
The aircraft, belonging to Ukrainian company MotorSich, was heading for Delhi from Karachi when it deviated from its scheduled flight path and did not respond to radio from Indian controllers and security agencies.
 
Since air routes in the area were closed due to the geopolitical situation between India and Pakistan, the aircraft's entry from an unscheduled point led to the IAF scrambling its air defence interceptors and they approached towards the unknown aircraft for investigation.
 
On visual contact, the aircraft was identified as Georgian An-12 flying at 27,000 feet, but it neither responded on the international distress frequency nor to visual signals. However, when challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non-scheduled flight that left Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi.
 
However, it was escorted to Jaipur by the Indian Air Force and after it landed, its two pilots were being questioned by security agencies. 
 
IANS
 

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Alwar gang-rape: All 6 accused arrested, BJP holds protests

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The prime accused in the Alwar gangrape case was picked up from Uttar Pradesh's Mathura on Thursday and one more accused later in the day even as BJP held protests accusing the government of "deliberately suppressing" the case in view of the Lok Sabha elections.
 
Hours after fourth accused Mahesh was arrested from Shahpura late on Wednesday, the prime accused Hansraj was arrested from Mathura on Thursday morning, police said. The remaining accused Chhotelal was apprehended later in the day. 
 
Ashok Gujjar, Inderaj Gujjar and Mukesh were arrested earlier.
 
According to the FIR filed by the victim, the incident took place on April 26 when the five accused allegedly waylaid her and her husband, took them to an isolated place and gang-raped her in front of her husband. The accused also recorded the crime and uploaded the video on social media, which went viral.
 
Director General of Police Kapil Garg said that the charge sheet will be presented in the court at the earliest and all efforts made for the most harsh punishment to the criminals. Five of the six were held for the crime while the sixth has been arrested for making the video viral, he added.
 
"This was a heinous crime which is unacceptable in society. I had no pressure in this case but was stressed that such a crime has been reported here," he said.
 
The crime sparked off controversy after the victim's husband on Wednesday accused police of delaying action, allegedly in the wake of the second round of Lok Sabha elections in the state on May 6.
 
Soon after his allegations came out, there were protests with people from all sections demanding justice for the couple and accusing the state government of intentionally delaying action in the case for political gain.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party had staged a march to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's residence on Wednesday but were stopped on the way by police. 
 
On Thursday, the BJP held a protest at the collectorate with Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and BJP state President Madan Lal Saini also present. 
 
Rathore demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into police "inaction" in the case, while Saini said that BJP had held similar protests all across the state.
 
BJP's Rajya Sabha member Kirorilal Meena, who reached Alwar on Thursday, appealed to the authorities to take strict action against Superintendent of Police Rajeev Pachar and SHO Sardar Singh under The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, for intentionally keeping the case on hold and depriving the Dalit victim and her husband of justice. 
 
He said suspending the inspector, disciplinary action against other personnel of the Thanagaazi police station and departmental action against the SP was not enough and they should be sent behind bars.
 
IANS
 

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Aabishek Mishra, France’s Adrian Metge in lead in Desert Storm

Chandigarh's Sunny Sidhu along with co-driver Ashwin Naik in action during Day 2 of the Desert Storm in Bikaner on May 9, 2019
Chandigarh's Sunny Sidhu along with co-driver Ashwin Naik in action during Day 2 of the Desert Storm in Bikaner on May 9, 2019
Defending champion Aabhishek Mishra rode the tough terrains and blazing conditions with ease to surge into the lead after SS4 on Day 2 of the Desert Storm in Bikaner on Thursday evening.
 
France’s Adrian Metge of TVS Racing was the unquestioned leader in the Moto Category, with a total time of 02:03:34 hours after SS 1 and 2 on Wednesday and SS4 on Thursday. Chasing him was India’s star biker CS Santosh of Hero Motosports (02:11:20) and Abdul Wahid Tanveer, also of TVS Racing.
 
As many as eight participants in the Moto and 4 in the Xtreme category bowed down before the fury of the desert, failing to complete the stages on Day One.  
 
Strong contender Sanjay Agarwal (co-driver Smitha N), in fact, saw his Maruti Vitara go up in flames not too far from the start, due to heating and electrical issues.
 
“This year the heat has been extreme but I enjoyed Day 1. Stage 1 was a little more challenging than 2 but both were equally fast. I had a couple of falls but it was all fun and thankfully no major injury,” said Aishwarya Pissay from Team TVS Racing, who is in the 23rd position in the Moto Category.
 
The 41-km SS 1 for Moto and Extreme categories started from Noorsar village in Bikaner district while the 46-km SS 2 took off from Rajasar village. The Extreme drivers even took part in the night stage, a 41-km stretch starting from Kelan village.
 
The Team Sparky’s Garage star, with Srikanth Gowda as co-driver, made the most of overnight leader Sunny Sidhu’s misfortune in the Extreme Category to wrest back the initiative with a total time of 03:22:46 hours after the morning stage.
 
Team Mahindra Adventure’s Sidhu (with Ashwin Naik) had looked in fine fettle on Day 1 but the heat got to him and his car, throwing him to the middle of the pack after SS4.
 
His teammate Gaurav Gill (and Musa Sherif), who was trailing in the fourth position after Day 1, however, made up for his struggles, making his move in the morning and jumping to the second position.
 
He recorded a remarkable timing of 01:10:11 in SS4 for a cumulative tally of 03:25:46, just three minutes off the leader. Samrat Yadav ((co-driver Kunal Kashyap) held on to his third position.
 
In the Ndure Category, Ankur Chauhan (co-driver Prakash M) was in the lead with a cumulative leg penalty of just 13 minutes 38 seconds after 8 sections. He was followed by Deepak Sachdeva (co-driver Japjyot Singh Dhingra) and Capt Abhilash Singh (co-driver Aashish Agarwal).
 
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Smriti helps Trailblazers post 140/5 vs Supernovas

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Skipper Smriti Mandhana's brilliant knock of 90, backed by Harleen Deol's 36, helped Trailblazers post 140/5 against the Supernovas in the first match of the Women's T20 Challenge at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Monday.
 
Smriti, who repaired the early damage, faced 67 balls and her knock was laced with 10 boundaries and three hits into the stands.
 
Put in to to bat first, Trailblazers lost opener Suzie Bates (1 off 4) early with just 11 runs on the board after 1.3 overs. Anuja Patil accounted for the wicket of the opener.
 
The Supernovas, however, failed to make any further inroads soon as the Trailblazers duo of Smriti and Harleen put up 50 runs for the second wicket in 9.4 overs. The duo then helped their side touch the three-figure mark in style as Smriti smashed leggie Poonam Yadav for a six over extra cover in the 16th over.
 
Pacer Sophie Devine finally came up with the much-needed breakthrough as she dismissed Harleen in the 19th over before Radha Yadav also jolted Trailblazers by sending back a wel- settled Smriti in the final over.
 
Dayalan Hemalatha (2*) and Stafanie Taylor (2*) could then only manage to add three runs to the team tally.
 
Brief scores: Trailblazers: 140/5 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 90, Harleen Deol 36; Radha Yadav 2/28) vs Supernovas
 
IANS
 

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Pant, Mishra shine as DC beat RR by 5 wickets

 
Delhi Capitals (DC) ended their group stage campaign in the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.
 
The win ensured that they finished with 18 points from 14 games with 9 wins. Unless Mumbai Indians win their last game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, Delhi will finish in the top two on the points table.
 
It was only poetic justice that Rishabh Pant (53*; 38b, 4x2, 6x5) finished the game with a six for DC after being pulled up for throwing away his wicket towards the end of a few games this season. 
 
With figures of 3/26, Ish Sodhi was the pick of the bowlers for RR.
 
Chasing 116 for victory, it wasn't a walk in the park for the DC batsmen as the Rajasthan bowlers stuck to the task of picking up wickets at regular intervals. It started with Sodhi dismissing Shikhar Dhawan (16) and Prithvi Shaw (8) off successive deliveries in the fourth over.
 
Skipper Shreyas Iyer and Pant then tried to strike a partnership, but just when it looked like they would take DC home, Shreyas Gopal sent back Iyer (15) to break the 33-run stand with the scoreboard reading 61/3 in the 8th over.
 
Coling Ingram too failed to provide the required support to Pant as Sodhi had him caught by Ajinkya Rahane for a 23-ball 12. It was quite a struggle for the South Africa batsman as RR spinners spun a web around him on a low and slow Kotla wicket.
 
But Pant kept his calm and ensured that he held one end up as Delhi reached the target with 23 balls to spare.
 
Earlier, it was Delhi Capitals all the way at the Feroz Shah Kotla after Rajasthan Royals won the toss and decided to bat first. 
 
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Needing a victory to keep their chances of cementing a top-two finish alive, the Delhi bowlers did their job to the core as they restricted RR to 115/9 in their 20 overs.
 
Riyan Parag's (50; 48 balls, 4x4, 6x2) knock was the only silver lining in the Rajasthan innings as the youngster helped the visitors amass 45 runs in the last five overs. 
 
For Delhi, while Amit Mishra finished with figures of 3/17, Ishant Sharma played the senior pacer's role to perfection in Kagiso Rabada's absence, finishing with figures of 3/38.
 
Rajasthan's joy ended soon after the toss as reinstated skipper Ajinkya Rahane failed to rise to the captain's role as he mistimed a flick to be caught by Shikhar Dhawan off Ishant Sharma for 2. The score read 11/1 in the second over.
 
But Ishant wasn't done yet as he returned in the next over to dismiss Liam Livingstone (14) as the opener failed to read a slower ball which disturbed the timber. The score read 20/2 in the fourth over. But this was just the beginning of Rajasthan's horror as Sanju Samson was next run out by Prithvi Shaw for 5 as the score read 26/3.
 
Ishant then came back to dismiss Mahipal Lomror for 8. After that it was the Amit Mishra show as he sent back Shreyas Gopal (12) and Stuart Binny (0) off successive balls. 
 
A hat-trick was on the cards, but Trent Boult dropped a sitter off K. Gowtham's bat. However, Mishra had his man caught by Ishant for 6 in his next over. With the scoreboard reading 65/7 in the 12th over, it was all about playing the full quota of overs after that.
 
Brief scores
 
Rajasthan Royals: 115/9 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 50; Amit Mishra 3/17, Ishant Sharma 3/38) lost to Delhi Capitals: 121/5 in 16.1 overs (Rishabh Pant 53*; Ish Sodhi 3/26) by 5 wickets.
 
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Mishra, Ishant shine as DC restrict RR to 115/9

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It was Delhi Capitals (DC) all the way at the Feroz Shah Kotla here after Rajasthan Royals (RR) won the toss and decided to bat first in a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture on Saturday.
 
Needing a victory to keep their chances of cementing a top-two finish alive, the Delhi bowlers did their job to the core as they restricted RR to 115/9 in their 20 overs.
 
Riyan Parag's (50; 48 balls, 4x4, 6x2) knock was the only silver lining in the Rajasthan innings as the youngster helped the visitors amass 45 runs in the last five overs. 
 
For Delhi, while Amit Mishra finished with figures of 3/17, Ishant Sharma played the senior pacer's role to perfection in Kagiso Rabada's absence, finishing with figures of 3/38.
 
Rajasthan's joy ended soon after the toss as reinstated skipper Ajinkya Rahane failed to rise to the captain's role as he mistimed a flick to be caught by Shikhar Dhawan off Ishant Sharma for 2. The score read 11/1 in the second over.
 
But Ishant wasn't done yet as he returned in the next over to dismiss Liam Livingstone (14) as the opener failed to read a slower ball which disturbed the timber. The score read 20/2 in the fourth over. But this was just the beginning of Rajasthan's horror as Sanju Samson was next run out by Prithvi Shaw for 5 as the score read 26/3.
 
Ishant then came back to dismiss Mahipal Lomror for 8. After that it was the Amit Mishra show as he sent back Shreyas Gopal (12) and Stuart Binny (0) off successive balls. 
 
A hat-trick was on the cards, but Trent Boult dropped a sitter off K. Gowtham's bat. However, Mishra had his man caught by Ishant for 6 in his next over. With the scoreboard reading 65/7 in the 12th over, it was all about playing the full quota of overs after that.
 
Brief scores
 
Rajasthan Royals: 115/9 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 50; Amit Mishra 3/17, Ishant Sharma 3/38) vs Delhi Capitals
 
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Rain washes out thriller, RCB knocked out

 
Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) last hope of making it to the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs finally ended on Tuesday after their contest with Rajasthan Royals was abandoned at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here due to continuous rain.
 
With the result, both the teams were awarded a point each.
 
Chasing a 63-run target in a rain-hit contest, which was reduced to five overs per side, the visitors were at 41/1 in 3.2 overs when rains washed out the match. 
 
Opener Liam Livingstone was unbeaten on 11 runs while Sanju Samson smashed a 13-ball 28 to keep his side in the hunt before falling to Yuzvendra Chahal (1/0) in the fourth over.
 
Earlier, despite a flying start, Bangalore could only manage to put up 62/7 in the allotted five overs.
 
Shreyas Gopal was the star for the visitors after he claimed the second hat-trick of this year's edition. The leg-spinner accounted for the wicket of RCB skipper Virat Kohli (25 off 7), AB de Villers (10 off 4) and Marcus Stoinis (0) in the second over to apply brakes on a fine start by Bangalore.
 
With the match being reduced to five overs per side affair, Kohli and de Villers started the Bangalore innings on a high as they clobbered Varun Aaron for 23 runs in the first over. The Bangalore skipper then hammered Gopal for 12 runs in his first three balls before becoming a victim of the leggie.
 
While trying to clear the fence, Kohli handed a catch to Livingstone at long-on. Gopal then went on to add more sorrows in the Bangalore camp as he scalped de Villiers and Stoinis in the next two deliveries to put the hosts in deep trouble, leaving them reeling at 35/3.
 
Just as Bangalore could add another nine runs, Riyan Parag packed back Gurkeerat Singh Mann (6 off 3), who was followed by Parthiv Patel (8 off 5). While trying to go for the maximum, Heinrich Klaasen (6) and Pawan Negi (4) also fell soon, leaving Bangalore at 61/7 in five overs.
 
While Oshane Thomas (2/6) accounted for the wicket of Klaasen and Negi, Jaydev Unadkat (1/9) picked up Parthiv in the fourth over.
 
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 62/7 in 5 overs (Virat Kohli 25, AB de Villiers 10; Shreyas Gopal 3/12) vs Rajasthan Royals 41/1 in 3.2 overs (Sanju Samson, Liam Livingstone 11; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/0) Match abandoned due to rain
 
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IPL: Rajasthan win toss, ask Bangalore to bat

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Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bowl against Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Tuesday.
 
For the visitors, Mahipal Lomror replaced Ashton Turner in the playing eleven, while Pawan Negi and Kulwant Khejroliya came in for Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar in the Bangalore team.
 
Playing XI:
 
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Liam Livingstone, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Steven Smith (Captain), Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas
 
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), Virat Kohli (Captain), AB de Villiers, Heinrich Klaasen, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Marcus Stoinis, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Yuzvendra Chahal
 
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IPL: All-round effort guides Rajasthan to 7-wicket win over Hyderabad

 
A good bowling effort followed by some valuable top-order contribution with the bat helped Rajasthan Royals seal a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Saturday.
 
Ajinkya Rahane (39), Liam Livingstone (44 off 26) and Sanju Samson (48 unbeaten off 32) contributed effectively while Steven Smith also chipped in with 22 runs to help their side cross the line with five balls to spare.
 
For Hyderabad, Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan and Khaleel Ahmed picked a wicket each.
 
Chasing a modest 161-run target, Rajasthan openers Rahane and Livingstone took their side to a great start as they added 40 runs in the first five overs before their valiant effort saw their team touching the 50-run mark in the next four deliveirs.
 
With everything going Rajasthan's way, Rashid brought some respite for his side as his leg-break turned away from off to take an inside edge of Livingstone, which was smartly picked by stumper Wriddhiman Saha, leaving Hyderabad at 78/1 in 9.1 overs.
 
Rahane also departed soon as Shakib sent him back in the 12th over, reducing the home side to 93/2.
 
However, Samson and skipper Smith denied the visitors any further inroads into the Rajasthan camp, adding a crucial 55 runs for the third wicket to propel their side close to the 150-run mark.
 
Khaleel sent back Smith in the 17th over. But it was too late by then as the home side was just 13 runs away from tasting victory with seven wickets in hand and 20 balls left.
 
Samson and Ashton Turner (3 unbeaten off 7) then comfortably performed the last rites to register a victory with ease for their side, helping Rajasthan move a place above in the points table to be at the sixth spot and keep their play-offs hopes alive.
 
Earlier, some disciplined bowling by Rajasthan had helped them restrict Hyderabad to 160/8 in their 20 overs.
 
Despite a valiant 75-run stand between opener David Warner (37 off 32) and Manish Pandey (61 off 36), no other Hyderabad batsman could rise to the occasion as Rajasthan bowlers jolted visitors at regular intervals after the duo's departure.
 
Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron and Oshane Thomas picked two wickets each for the home side.
 
Put to bat, Hyderabad openers Kane Williamson (13 off 14) and Warner started cautiously adding 27 runs in the initial three overs. Two runs later, Gopal came up with the first blow as he clean bowled Williamson in the fourth over.
 
The Hyderabad skipper's fall saw Manish joining hands with Warner in the middle and the duo perfectly repaired the early damage, steering their side to the 50-run mark in 5.5 overs. Both the batters continued to attack the hosts' bowlers and kept the scoreboard ticking as the visitors touched the three-digit mark in 11.3 overs.
 
Thomas came with a much-needed breakthrough in the 13th over as he packed back the well-set Warner, leaving Hyderabad at 103/2. Warner's fall saw the visiting team's middle-order collapse and they lost five wickets with the addition of just 34 runs in quick succession.
 
After Warner, Manish also departed soon and Vijay Shankar (8), Shakib Al Hasan (9), Deepak Hooda (0) and Wriddhiman Saha (5) failed to click, leaving Hyderabad at 137/7. Unbeaten Rashid Khan chipped in with 17 runs off eight balls down the order, one four and one six, as visitors reached a respectable total.
 
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 161/3 in 19.1 overs (Sanju Samson 48 not out; Liam Livingstone 44; Shakib Al Hasan 1/26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 160/8 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 61; David Warner 36; Jaydev Unadkat 2/26) by 7 wickets.
 
IANS
 

IPL: Rajasthan restricts Hyderabad at 160/8

 
Some disciplined bowling by Rajasthan Royals helped them restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad at 160/8 in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Saturday.
 
Despite a valiant 75-run stand between opener David Warner (37 off 32) and Manish Pandey (61 off 36), no other Hyderabad batsman could rise to the occasion as Rajasthan bowlers jolted the visitors at regular intervals after the duo's departure.
 
Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron and Oshane Thomas picked two wickets each for the home side.
 
Put in to bat first, Hyderabad openers Kane Williamson (13 off 14) and Warner started cautiously adding 27 runs in the initial three overs. Two runs later, Gopal came with the first blow as he clean bowled Williamson in the fourth over.
 
The Hyderabad skipper's fall saw Manish joining hands with Warner in the middle and the duo perfectly repaired the early damage, steering their side to 50-run mark in 5.5 overs. Both the batters continued to attack hosts' bowlers and kept the scoreboard ticking as visitors touched the three-digit mark in 11.3 overs.
 
Thomas came with a much-needed breakthrough in the 13th over as he packed back a good-looking Warner, leaving Hyderabad at 103/2. Warner's fall saw the visiting team's middle-order collapse and they lost five wickets with the addition of just 34 runs in quick succession.
 
After Warner, Manish also departed soon and Vijay Shankar (8), Shakib Al Hasan (9), Deepak Hooda (0) and Wriddhiman Saha (5) failed to click, leaving Hyderabad at 137/7. Unbeaten Rashid Khan chipped in with 17 runs off eight balls down the order, one four and one six, as visitors reached a respectable total.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 130/8 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 61, David Warner 36; Jaydev Unadkat 2/26) vs Rajasthan Royals.
 
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IPL: Rajasthan ask Hyderabad to bat first

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Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to field first against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Saturday.
 
While Liam Livingston and Ashton Turner came in for Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer in the Rajasthan team, Kane Williamson, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddarth Kaul replaced Jonny Bairstow, Yusuf Pathan and Sandeep Sharma in the Hyderabad playing eleven.
 
Playing XI:
 
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Kane Williamson (Captain), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, K Khaleel Ahmed
 
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Steven Smith (Captain), Riyan Parag, Ashton Turner, Liam Livingstone, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas
 
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Parag, Aaron keep RR afloat with clinical win over KKR

 
Rajasthan Royals rode teenager Riyan Parag's heroics to keep their hopes of a playoffs berth alive by pulling off a dramatic three-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who were pushed to the brink of elimination, in a thrilling Indian Premier League clash here on Thursday.
 
Dinesh Karthik silenced his critics with a career-best 97 not out as KKR posted 175/6 in their 20 overs after being asked to bat first. 
 
Karthik promoted himself to No. 4 and smashed nine sixes and seven fours in his 50-ball unbeaten knock, as KKR hit top gear in the back end of the innings, scoring 126 from the last 10 overs. 
 
In reply, the visitors were down in the dumps at 98/5 after 13 overs before 17-year old Parag -- who was dropped on a duck by Sunil Narine (2/25) off his own bowling -- came of age with a 31-ball 47 (5x4, 2x6). 
 
Jofra Archer also smacked a 12-ball 27 (2x4; 2x6) not out to hit the winning runs by smashing a four and a six off Prasidh Krishna in the first two balls of the final over in which nine was required. Royals put up 177/7 in 19.2 overs and won with four balls to spare. 
 
Parag got out hit wicket in the 19th over off Andre Russell's bowling when nine was needed off seven balls. But Archer did the job in the end with Jaydev Unadkat (0 not out) at the other end. Parag and Archer shared a 24-ball 44 run seventh wicket partnership which in the end proved to be the match winner. 
 
The result saw KKR succumb to their sixth consecutive defeat as Royals moved to seventh spot with eight points from 11 matches. 
 
Royals raced to 55/1 in six overs with Sanju Samson (22) looking good for a big one after sharing a 53-run opening wicket stand with Ajinkya Rahane (34) who was dismissed, trapped in front by Sunil Narine in the sixth over. 
 
But with skipper Smith joining Samson at the crease, there was hope but only for a while. 
 
Samson was castled by Piyush Chawla in the seventh over and Smith too departed for just two runs, playing all around a Narine delivery to lose his stumps. 
 
Out-of-form Ben Stokes (11) holed out to Russell who took a brilliant catch at long-on off Chawla but just when it looked like it was all over for the inaugural champions, Parag did the unthinkable. 
 
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Earlier, World Cup-bound Karthik recovered from a slow start -- he was 3 off 10 balls -- to pace his innings to perfection as he sent the likes of Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Shreyas Gopal to the cleaners. 
 
Karthik changed gears in the 11th over when he hit Shreyas Gopal for a six followed by three boundaries in an over that yielded 25 runs. 
 
Karthik completed his fifty from 35 balls and smashed Archer for successive sixes in the penultimate over before bettering his previous best of 86 when he went berserk against Unadkat by hitting him for two sixes and one four in the final over. 
 
On a day impact player Andre Russell fell short in his run-a-ball 14, in which he was dropped twice, Karthik helped the two-time champions recover from a jittery start to post a competitive total. 
 
Varun Aaron (2/20), playing only his second game this season, had a brilliant new ball spell of 3-1-10-2 in which he clean-bowled Chris Lynn (0) and Shubman Gill (14) cheaply. 
 
Archer capped a superb Powerplay for Royals with another maiden as KKR found themselves going nowhere before Karthik intervened. 
 
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 175/6 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 97, Varun Aaron 2/20); Rajasthan Royals: 177/7 in 19.2 overs (Riyan Parag 47; Sunil Narine 2/25, Piyush Chawla 3/20) 
 
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Captain Karthik hits 97 as KKR post 175/6 against RR

 
Under-fire skipper Dinesh Karthik sent a strong message to his critics with an unbeaten 97 as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) posted a challenging 175/6 in 20 overs against Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) game here on Thursday.
 
Facing flak for not returning to the city after their fifth straight defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad and going to Mumbai, Karthik, who hasn't been among the runs, remained unbeaten, with his score of 50 balls including seven fours and nine sixes.
 
This is Karthik's highest score in the IPL, with his previous best being 86.
 
On a day Andre Russell (14) failed after a string of good performances, KKR made up for their sloppy start to score 126 runs in the last ten overs after being 49/3 at the half-way stage.
 
Karthik pushed himself up the order at No. 4 to recover from a slow start -- he was 3 off 10 balls initially -- to pace his innings to perfection as he sent the likes of Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Shreyas Gopal to the cleaners.
 
The hosts were jolted early by the returning Varun Aaron (2/20) who bowled a dream first spell (3-1-10-2) to clean up Chris Lynn (0) who chopped a superfast delivery back onto his stumps in the first over of the match which was a wicket maiden as KKR's first runs came off four leg-byes.
 
The 29-year old injury-prone pacer then got rid of Shubman Gill (14) with a beauty, pitching well outside off stump to swing sharply back in as Gill came down on it with an angled bat, getting a slight inside edge onto his stumps.
 
Gopal sent Nitish Rana (21) back with a googly which the southpaw slapped to Aaron at cover point trying to cut to bring Karthik to the crease.
 
At the halfway stage, KKR were struggling to score when Karthik decided to up the ante by taking on Gopal.
 
The under-fire stumper batsman clubbed the first six of the innings in the 11th over, and then went on to hit a hattrick of fours and a six in the last ball as Gopal leaked 25 runs.
 
Karthik showed exceptional timing to flick Archer off his hips in the next over, but at the other end some poor running from Sunil Narine (11) cost him as Russell came out to bat.
 
The big-hitting West Indies allrounder, who has been their main player till now, could not reproduce the magic despite being dropped twice, as he mistimed a pull to Ryan Parag at deep midwicket off Oshane Thomas.
 
The day, though, belonged to Karthik as he put behind a series of poor shows to roar back to form.
 
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 175/6 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 97, Varun Aaron 2/20)
 
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Rajasthan win toss, elect to field first against KKR

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Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith won the toss and elected to field first against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
 
KKR, who have lost five games in a row, made two changes to the side that lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad, bringing in Prasidh Krishna in place of KC Cariappa while Carlos Brathwaite replaced Harry Gurney.
 
Bottom-placed Royals, who lost to Delhi Capitals in their last encounter, drafted in Oshane Thomas in place of Ashton Turner with Dhawal Kulkarni making way for Varun Aaron.
 
Speaking at the toss, Dinesh Karthik said: "It's got a lot of grass cover on it and it'll be a great batting wicket. One of the things is to keep right people in the right space. It's very important that we get the best out of the players who are doing well. Prasidh comes in for KC Cariappa. Brathwaite comes in for Gurney."
 
Steve Smith said: "We are gonna bowl first. It (pitch) looks nice. Bit of grass coverage. A bit of a welcome change from what we are playing in Jaipur. Some positive signs, you want your batters in the top four to score runs. We got two changes. Big Oshane Thomas makes his IPL debut. He comes in for Ashton Turner. Dhawal Kulkarni is out and Varun Aaron replaces him."
 
Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Piyush Chawla, Yarra Prithviraj, Prasidh Krishna
 
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson(w), Steven Smith(c), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Oshane Thomas, Varun Aaron
 
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Congress will solve farmers' loan woes, says Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said no farmer in the country will ever go to jail over non-repayment of loans if his party is voted to power.
 
Focusing on the farmers and the poor, Gandhi made a promise during his poll rally here in Rajasthan that the poor people would start getting Rs 72,000 soon after the elections.
 
Continuing his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues, he asked the crowd if any of them received Rs 15 lakh as promised by the Prime Minister.
 
"I met the Congress Think Tank and asked for a decent figure we can promise to the country's poorest segment. They suggested a figure of Rs 72,000. The Congress has made up its mind of depositing the amount in the account of the woman member of the family," he said.
 
"There is no dearth of money. It depends on the wish and will of the 'watchman'. PM Modi is cunning... he can deposit Rs 45 crore in the bank account of Anil Ambani but not a single penny in your bank account," he finished his sentence with the word "Chowkidar" and the people uttered "Chor hai" after him.
 
"I will take out money from all those accounts filled up by Modi, and deposit it for the NYAY (scheme)," he added.
 
Speaking at another rally in Jalore-Sirohi on Thursday, he said the NYAY scheme will infuse life into the Indian economy and will not put any additional burden on the country's budget.
 
"The economy shall gain speed with NYAY. Gabbar Singh Tax (referring to the Goods and Services Tax) and demonetisation impacted the economy badly... Many people lost their job. The unemployment rate became highest in 45 years," the Congress leader said.
 
"Now, when 5 crore families of the country will get Rs 72,000 a year, their purchasing power shall go up which will boost the economy," he added. 
 
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Pant's heroics help Delhi beat Rajasthan, become IPL table-toppers

 
Rishabh Pant's quickfire cameo (78 unbeaten off 36) along with valuable contributions by openers Shikhar Dhawan (54) and Prithvi Shaw (42) helped Delhi Capitals overhaul Rajasthan Royals' 192-run target with four balls to spare in their Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Monday.
 
Pant, who smashed six boundaries and four sixes, forged a crucial 84-run partnership with Shaw besides anchoring the Delhi innings after two successive blows.
 
Chasing the target, Delhi were off to a flying start as the openers added 45 runs in just the first five overs. Shreyas Gopal finally applied brakes on the 72-run opening partnership as he packed back a well-settled Dhawan in the eighth over before Riyan Parag also jolted the visitors. Parag sent back incoming batsman and Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer (4) cheaply as Delhi could only manage to add five runs after the fall of Dhawan.
 
Shaw was then joined by Pant and the young duo denied Rajasthan any further inroads in Delhi's batting line-up as they sensibly steered their side past the three-digit mark in 11.3 overs. Pant meanwhile, also notched up his half-century as he smashed Jofra Archer over the deep square leg for a maximum.
 
Gopal came with another breakthrough in 17th over as Shaw wanted to dispatch his delivery over the fence but ended up giving a catch to Parag at long-on. However, it was too late for Rajasthan as the visitors were just 28 runs away from victory.
 
Dhawal Kulkarni then picked Sherfane Rutherford in the 18th over but an unstoppable Pant kept the runs flowing and finally smashed Jaydev Unadkat for a six to help his side register a comfortable victory.
 
With this win, Delhi now lead the points table with 14 points while Rajasthan lie at the seventh spot.
 
For Rajasthan, Gopal scalped two for 47 while Kulkarni and Parag bagged one wicket each.
 
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Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane's brilliant century (106 not out) followed by skipper Steve Smith's 50 propelled Rajasthan to a fighting 191/6.
 
Put in to bat first, the hosts lost opener Sanju Samson (0) with just 5 runs on the board. However, Rahane and Smith stitched a 130-run partnership for the second wicket. They took just 10.3 overs to help Rajasthan touch the three-digit mark. Rahane and Smith were batting at 70 and 35, respectively, at that time.
 
With everything going Rajasthan's way, it was Axar Patel who made a much-needed breakthrough for Delhi by sending the well-settled Smith to the hut with Rajasthan's scorecard reading 135 in the 14th over. 
 
South African Chris Morris then cut short all-rounder and incoming batsman Ben Stokes' stay in the middle by dismissing him in the 16th over. Stokes while trying to clear the fence handed a catch to Iyer at long-on.
 
Soon after his departure, Ashton Turner (0), Stuart Binny (19) and Parag (4) also fell cheaply. But Rahane kept the scorers working and also notched up his ton to take his side to a comfortable total. His innings was laced with 11 boundaries and three sixes.
 
Kagiso Rabada accounted for the wickets of Binny and Parag.
 
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 193/4 in 19.2 overs (Rishabh Pant 78 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 54; Shreyas Gopal 2/47) beat Rajasthan Royals 191/6 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 105 not out, Steve Smith 50; Kasigo Rabada 2/37) by 6 wickets
 
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IPL: Rahane's ton propels Rajasthan to 191/6 vs Delhi

 
Ajinkya Rahane's brilliant century (106 not out) followed by skipper Steve Smith's 50 propelled Rajasthan Royals to a fighting 191/6 against Delhi Capitals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Monday.
 
Put in to bat first, the hosts lost opener Sanju Samson (0) with just 5 runs on the board. However, Rahane and Smith stitched a 130-run partnership for the second wicket. They took just 10.3 overs to help Rajasthan touch the three-digit mark. Rahane and Smith were batting at 70 and 35, respectively, at that time.
 
With everything going Rajasthan's way, it was Axar Patel who made a much-needed breakthrough for Delhi by sending the well-settled Smith to the hut with Rajasthan's score card reading 135 in the 14th over. 
 
South African Chris Morris then cut short all-rounder and incoming batsman Ben Stokes' stay in the middle by dismissing him in the 16th over. Stokes while trying to clear the fence handed a catch to Shreyas Iyer at long-on.
 
Soon after his departure, Ashton Turner (0), Stuart Binny (19) and Riyan Parag (4) also fell cheaply. But Rahane kept the scorers working and also notched up his ton to take his side to a comfortable total. Rahane's innings was laced with 11 boundaries and three sixes.
 
Kagiso Rabada accounted for the wickets of Binny and Parag.
 
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 191/6 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 105 not out, Steve Smith 50; Kasigo Rabada 2/37) vs Delhi Capitals.
 
IANS
 

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