Morning, Alex Broun here with all you need to know in sport today.
The dark Knights rise
The Rajasthan Royals got the boiling frog treatment from the Kolkata Knight Riders last night.
The Royals were perfectly placed at 1 for 109 after 14 overs with the target of 170 looking very achievable but then KKR slowly turned up the heat and like the poor little frog in the pot RR were slowly boiled alive – not knowing they were done for till it was too late.
Here are our takeaways from the match.
KKR now go on to face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2 on Friday night, which (luckily for the Knight Riders) will also be played at the fabled Eden Gardens in Kolkata where they don’t lose much.
In other cricket news legend and all round good guy AB De Villiers has announced his shock retirement from international cricket, an announcement that has been met with much consternation across the cricketing world.
The biggest club show on earth – the Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool – is just two days away in Kyiv and we have the full spectrum of coverage.
From the Reds side captain Jordan Henderson reveals how an inspirational speech from Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool lost the Europa League final in 2016 sowed the seeds to reach this year’s main event.
Meanwhile in Los Blancos corner the Real Madrid players are full of praise for their coach Zinedine Zidane who is on the cusp of his third consecutive Champions League title.
Stay close to Sport360.com where you’ll get all the best lead up to the big day through our quality collection of Football gurus.
In other Football news former PSG and Sevilla boss Unai Emery is settling into his new role at Arsenal but who else was on the shortlist for the role?
Dominant through the group stages, F3 ‘A’ were in sizzling form on Tuesday night as they defeated Spinneys in a thrilling semis to book a title-clash against their stablemates, F3, in the 6th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament Volleyball Championship.
Meanwhile Dubai-born racer Ed Jones endured tough qualifying, but is ready for his Indianapolis 500 return.
Our tennis correspondent Reem Abuleil, currently en route to Paris for the French Open, gives a fascinating insight into how Jelena Ostapenko’s new Australian coach David Taylor is bringing out the best in the fiery French Open champion.
45-year-old Taylor, who previously worked with Sam Stosur and Ana Ivanovic, also reveals how he is amused by this younger generation of tennis players.
“Absolutely no respect for anyone in terms of tennis ability,” says Taylor. “People used to be scared and now that’s completely gone. It’s a striking difference in the generation.”
Read the full story here.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP
Can’t help but be a little sad - not because we lost tonight, but because I leave this champion group of people tomorrow. Have had some of the best times of my life with all my brothers. @rajasthanroyals lives upto the #royalfamily tag. Thanks for accepting me as one of your own! pic.twitter.com/f8rvie0BJK— Ish Sodhi (@ish_sodhi) May 23, 2018
CRICKET: England v Pakistan, First Test live from Lords – 13.30
NBA: Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors, 05:00 (Friday)
TENNIS: Internationaux de Strasbourg – 13:00
Less than 48 hours after putting Rajasthan Royals to the sword in the IPL Eliminator clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders will take the field once again at the same venue as they take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second Qualifier on Friday for a spot in the finals against Chennai Super Kings.
Playing on their home ground, the Knight Riders were mighty impressive in their 25-run win over Rajasthan on Tuesday despite looking down and out at one point.
Dinesh Karthik’s men now have the winning momentum under their belt with four consecutive victories on the trot.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were looking unstoppable at one point in the IPL as they embarked on a run of five consecutive victories. The league leaders were the first side to book their place in the playoffs but have been in a free-fall ever since.
Kane Williamson’s men limped their way to the first Qualifier on the back of three consecutive defeats in the league as the wheels started to come off from their campaign.
Against Chennai Super Kings, the Sunrisers looked to be on top before a Faf du Plessis special consigned them to a fourth consecutive defeat. Hence, the two teams will come into the clash with contrasting momentum.
PLAYERS IN FOCUS
In the Eliminator on Tuesday, spinners from both sides shone with Kolkata’s Kuldeep Yadav putting in an inspired performance. With the wicket expected to be similar on Friday, Sunrisers’ Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan will fancy himself to shine.
The 19-year-old has picked up 18 wickets in the tournament so far and will be Sunrisers’ trump card on the slow surface at Eden Gardens.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c, wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Piyush Chawla
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Singh.
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10:00pm – Kolkata Knight Riders end Rajasthan Royals’ IPL campaign
In the Eliminator clash of the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders have beaten Rajasthan Royals by 25 runs at the Eden Gardens. Batting first, the Knight Riders put up 169-7 on the boards before they restricted the Royals to just 144-4 in their 20 overs. Read more about how this thrilling clash panned out in our talking points.
7:00pm – Afghan spinners could pose big headache for India in historic Test
In the ongoing IPL, Afghanistan spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman have been bamboozling some of the best batsmen in the worlds including Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and MS Dhoni. With India set to take on Afghanistan in a one-off Test in June at Bengaluru, the warning bells must be ringing for the hosts. Read more about how the two Afghan teenagers have fared against the world’s best in the IPL here.
6:30pm – Gautam Gambhir contradicts Delhi Daredevils coach Ricky Ponting’s statement
Gautam Gambhir and Delhi Daredevils coach seem to have conflicting views on the former’s decision to stand down as the skipper. Ponting suggested that Gambhir had also made way for other batsmen while stepping down as skipper. Gambhir has now clarified that he never stepped down as a player. Read more on this interesting story here.
6:00pm – Dominic Bess to make England debut in Test against Pakistan
England are set to give a Test debut to another young spinner with Somerset’s Dominic Bess set to play in the first Test against Pakistan. The 20-year-old will undergo his Test baptism in the home of cricket at Lord’s.
5:00pm – Three key battles to watch out for in the first Test between England and Pakistan
England and Pakistan go head-to-head in the first Test at Lord’s on Thursday. Sport360’s Stuart Appleby looks at the three key battles which could decide the outcome of the mouthwatering Test. Mohammad Amir against Alastair Cook will be one of the three key battles.
4:00pm – AB de Villiers announces immediate retirement from international cricket
This is a bombshell from AB de Villiers! The South African stalwart has called time on all forms of international cricket effective immediately just days after completing his IPL assignment with Royal Challengers Bangalore. Read more about this developing story on the South African’s retirement here.
2: 45 pm – Don’t write Pakistan off
Pakistan are not being seen as favourites to win the two-Test series against England which starts on Thursday.
But they are a dangerous outfit and have a few things going for them on the eve of the short series.
Here are three reasons why Pakistan can beat England.
2:00 pm – Advantage Kolkata
The Kolkata Knight Riders hold the upper hand as they hosts Rajasthan Royals in the IPL Eliminator on Wednesday.
Weather is likely to be a concern with rain ruining practice on Tuesday. On the field, the Knight Riders have the advantage as they won both the league games against Rajasthan.
Read the preview here.
12:00pm – Australia sign new sponsorship deal
Australian cricket brushed off any concerns about any financial impact of the ball-tampering scandal as the board signed a new shirt sponsorship deal.
Cricket Australia penned a four-year deal with Alinta Energy which covers all domestic matches.
Read the full story here.