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Max Verstappen Seeks To Restore Order At Imola As F1 Remembers Ayrton Senna



Max Verstappen will aim to recover and put his friend Lando Norris back in his place among the chasing pack this weekend as Formula One returns to Europe for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The three-time world champion, who leads this year’s title race for Red Bull, knows however that after suffering two defeats in six season-opening races he may be vulnerable and McLaren’s Norris will be armed with upgrades as he seeks to add to his popular maiden triumph in Miami. 

Most if not all teams will bring revised cars for the seventh race of the season with Ferrari and Mercedes both hoping to reduce Verstappen’s advantage at the cramped and atmospheric circuit set in the rolling vineyards of Ferrari’s Italian heartland.

Three decades after the blackest F1 weekend in modern times, when Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna were killed on successive days at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the sport will also pay tributes and remember that bleak May weekend. 

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly will wear a race helmet repainted in yellow to remember Senna while retired four-time champion Sebastian Vettel is set to drive the Brazilian’s 1993 McLaren MP4/8 car at the track on Sunday morning. 

Verstappen, however, will keep it all simple as he seeks to repeat Red Bull’s success at Imola in 2022 when he led team-mate Sergio Perez home in a convincing one-two triumph. 

The race was called off last year due to flooding, but in kinder weather it is expected to launch a run of six races in eight weeks as the 24-race championship enters a key period. 

“Imola is an iconic track to race at and we are excited to be back after last year’s race was cancelled,” said Verstappen, who leads the title race with 136 points ahead of Perez on 103.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has 98 points with Norris on 83 level with Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari. 

“We have had some great team results here and it’s always interesting to race at a really old-school track like this – very technical, with complex combinations and breaking zones. 

“The team has been working hard and I’ve been at the factory to work in the simulator. Were looking forward to this.”

‘Man of compassion’

Red Bull may be wary of the threat from several rival teams after a difficult opening period of the year beset by controversies including the recent confirmation that technical chief Adrian Newey is to leave. 

Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff however stressed that despite a major upgrade package his team, who are without a podium finish this season, are not yet ready to threaten the leaders.

“We’re a quarter of the way through the season,” he said. 

“The first six races have not been straightforward for us, but we do have a clear understanding of where we need to improve. 

“It will be several races before we see this bear fruit, but everyone is working hard to bring the improvements as soon as is possible.”

For Mercedes’ seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, this weekend will mark his first racing appearance in Italy since Ferrari announced they had signed him for 2025. 

As an adopted Brazilian and a fan of Senna — and Ferrari — since childhood, Hamilton is one of the few drivers old enough to remember watching Senna and is sure to experience an emotional weekend.

Vettel, another of the older generation prompted to make a brief comeback, said: “Ayrton Senna was not only a driver who I valued highly for being one of the best racing has ever seen, but also a man of great compassion.

“It’s been 30 years since his accident and I want to pay tribute to Ayrton.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Boxing World Qualifiers: Ankushita Boro, Nishant Dev And Arundhati Choudhary Reach Quarterfinals




File photo of Indian boxer Nishant Dev.© BFI

Former world youth champion Ankushita Boro (60kg) and Nishant Dev (71kg) registered comfortable victories to reach quarterfinals of the second Boxing World Olympic Qualifiers on Wednesday. National champion Arundhati Choudhary (66kg) also registered a convincing win to advance to the pre-quarterfinals. Boro was up against Asian champion Rimma Volossenko of Kazakhstan. But the Indian wasn’t bothered by the stature of her opponent as she went for her punches from Round 1 and never really looked in trouble throughout the bout to earn a 4-1 verdict.

World championships bronze medallist Nishant was clinical in his 5-0 demolition of Thailand’s Peerapat Yeasungnoen to reach the last eight stage.

Earlier in the day, Choudhary began her 66 kg campaign with a clinical round 1 against Stephanie Pieneiro of Puerto Rico.

She was slightly conservative in round 2, consolidating her position before dominating the next round to get an unanimous 5-0 verdict in her favour.

Narender Berwal ( 92kg) also put up a strong fight against Ecuador’s Gerlon Gilmar Congo Chala but it wasn’t enough to advance to the next round.

The 2022 Asian Games bronze winner started slow in round 1 and was then forced to catch up. He did well to impress three of the five judges with his punches in the second and third round of the round of 32 bout.

However, his efforts were not enough to overturn the overall deficit.

On Thursday, Sachin Siwach (57kg) will look to seal his quarterfinal berth against Batuhan Ciftci of Turkey.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (51kg), Sanjeet (92kg) and Jaismine (women’s 57kg) will start their campaign after having received a bye in the opening round. PTI ATK UNG

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India Hold Top Spot In ICC Rankings Heading Into T20 World Cup 2024




Inaugural T20 World Cup winners India held the top spot in the men’s T20I team rankings ahead of the upcoming edition of the tournament, which the West Indies and USA are co-hosting from June 1-29. India have 264 rating points. Two-time champions West Indies have moved up to fourth position, their players showing some great form ahead of the T20 showpiece. The winners of the 2012 and 2016 editions of the tournament are ahead of New Zealand and South Africa after their 3-0 win over South Africa, who were pushed down to seventh position in the list led by India.

2021 champions Australia are second with 257 points, defending champions England third with 254 points and the West Indies two points behind them on 252.

New Zealand are on 250 while Pakistan and South Africa are both on 244 points with Pakistan slightly ahead on decimal points.

The West Indies players too have reaped the benefits of their superb performances in the home series not long before their tournament opener against Papua New Guinea in Guyana on June 2.

Opening batter Brandon King is up five places to eighth position after topping the series aggregate with 159 runs and Johnson Charles, who hammered 69 off 26 balls to be named Player of the Match in the third T20I, is up 17 places to 20th.

Kyle Mayers is another batter to move up, gaining 12 places to reach 31st position with an aggregate of 102 runs while left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie has advanced a whopping 84 places to 27th after finishing with eight wickets in the series.

In the latest weekly update that also considers performances in the last two matches of the Bangladesh-USA series and the ongoing series between England and Pakistan, England captain Jos Buttler has inched up to seventh position, Jonny Bairstow is up eight places to 36th while Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has advanced from 57th to 51st.

In the bowling rankings, Shaheen Afridi is up three places to 11th while Imad Wasim is another Pakistan player to gain, up 14 places to 38th.

For the USA, Steven Taylor has made big gains, progressing 28 places to 109 in the batting rankings while for Bangladesh, Rishad Hussain has moved up 38 places to 52nd in the bowling rankings.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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England vs Pakistan, 4th T20I: Match Preview, Fantasy Picks, Pitch And Weather Reports




England and Pakistan have played 1 match in the series, with England winning that game. The pitch at the Kennington Oval, London will allow for good stroke play and the batters will find it easy to bat on the surface. It will only allow a little assistance to the bowlers and wicket-taking is going to take a lot of work. The average 1st innings score at this venue in the last 20 matches is 164 runs. The pitch at the Kennington Oval, London is a sporting one with decent assistance for both batters and bowlers on offer. Depending on today’s ground conditions, the team winning the toss may decide to bat or bowl.

Weather Report

Temperature will hover around 15.18 degree C and humidity is expected to be around 69%. Winds at a speed of 3.91 m/s are expected. Cloudy weather is expected during the match, this may help pacers with movement.

Pace or Spin?

The pacers have taken 80% of the total wickets at this venue. Hence picking up pacers for your fantasy team should be a good idea. Based on the stats available, Fantasy gully experts predict that the pitch will continue to assist the pacers.

ENG vs PAK, Head to Head

In the 30 matches played between these 2 teams, the all-rounders of both teams have earned the most fantasy points for their respective teams so far.

ENG vs PAK, Fantasy XI Top Captain and Vice-Captain Picks

Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi is a bowler with an average of 87 match fantasy points in the last 10 games, a fantasy rating of 9.1 and is a very consistent player in terms of fantasy points. Shaheen Afridi is a left-arm fast bowler and in the recently played 4 matches, he has taken 3, 3, 3, 1 wickets.

Babar Azam

Babar Azam is a good-to-have player for your Fantasy XI Team. This player has an average of 55 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 8.9. Babar Azam is a top order opening right-handed batter. In the recently played 5 matches he has scored 233 runs at an average of 46.6 per match.

Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan is an all-rounder with an average of 51 match fantasy points in the last 10 games, a fantasy rating of 8.7 and is a fairly consistent player in terms of fantasy points. This player is a right-handed batter. In the recently played 3 matches Shadab Khan has scored 3, 0, 15 runs averaging 9 per match.

Sam Curran

Sam Curran is an all-rounder with an average of 61 match fantasy points in the last 10 games, a fantasy rating of 8.7 and is a safe bet for your Dream11 Fantasy Team. This player is a batter, who bats left-handed. In his recently played 3 T20I matches Sam Curran has scored 75 runs. He also bowls decently, bowling left-arm medium fast and in the recent matches has taken 1, 2, 2, 1, 0 wickets.

Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan is a good-to-have player for your Fantasy XI Team. This player has an average of 52 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 8.5. Mohammad Rizwan is a top order opening batter, who bats right-handed and also keeps wickets. In the last 5 matches he has scored 154 runs at an average of 51.3 per match.

Will Jacks

Will Jacks can be a differential pick for your Fantasy XI Team. He has an average of 51 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 7.8. This player is a top order batter, who bats right-handed. In his last 3 T20I matches, Will Jacks has scored 68 runs.

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan can be a good safe pick for your Fantasy XI Team. Chris Jordan has an average of 50 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 7.2. He bowls right-arm fast medium and in the recent 3 T20 matches this player has taken 3 wickets at an average of 29. Chris Jordan has been very successful against this team, taking 1, 2, 0, 0, 2 wickets in the recent matches.

Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler can be a good pick for your Fantasy XI Team. Jos Buttler has an average of 62 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 7.6. He is a top-order opening batter, who bats right-handed and also keeps wickets. In the recently played 5 T20 matches, this player has scored 84, 21, 19, 0, 34 runs at an average of 31.6 per match.

ENG vs PAK Fantasy XI Team

Wicket-Keepers: Mohammad Rizwan and Phil Salt

Batters: Babar Azam, Saim Ayub and Harry Brook

All-Rounders: Sam Curran, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim

Bowlers: Shaheen Afridi, Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid

Captain: Jos Buttler

Vice-Captain: Mohammad Rizwan

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