Chris Gayle’s stint for Kings XI Punjab so far in IPL 2018 can be neatly divided into two halves.In the first half, he was unstoppable. After sitting out the first two matches, Gayle blasted 63 against Chennai Super Kings before hammering a barely believable 104 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who boast of the best bowling line-up in the tournament.Gayle, who almost went unsold in the player auction after not being retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore, said he was playing for respect. KXIP had only paid base price for Gayle but the West Indian superstar, ageing and sore, continued to battle.In the next game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Gayle smashed an unbeaten 62 to power yet another KXIP victory.Two days later, against Delhi Daredevils, Gayle had to sit out due to a sore back. He returned since to play three more matches and scored 23 (vs SRH), 50 (vs Mumbai Indians) and 8 (vs Rajasthan Royals).The 40-ball 50 against MI had met with a bit of criticism from experts. He was slow to start off with and avoided playing those risky shots? Was Gayle scared of taking risks? But why? Wasn’t he in India to earn some respect?The other school of thought was that he was probably getting ready for a late assault. In the past, he has set himself up for several big knocks by starting slowly.Whatever that was, Gayle’s fifty went in vain and he has increasingly started to look a little edgy again. Bowlers have figured Gayle out again – there has been little width offered. Pacers have kept away from the Gayle zone and captains have encouraged their bowlers to bowl close to the body.advertisementKXIP came back from a two-match losing streak to win against Royals but that was only thanks to a KL Rahul special. KXIP’s batting has now looked increasingly dependent on him with the middle order failing to fire.Yuvraj Singh has been far from his best while all that shuffling down the order has left the others confused.Gayle needs to rediscover the mojo that made him so dangerous in the first half. And if he does, then KXIP will be a different team once again.Can that change come about against the Royals tonight as the two teams clash for the second time in three days?
Tehran: President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ruled out holding any bilateral talks with the United States and threatened to further cut Iran’s commitments to a nuclear deal within days. In an address to parliament, Rouhani said any dialogue with the US would have to fall within the framework of the group of major powers that agreed a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2015. Rouhani also said Iran was ready to further reduce its commitments to the accord “in the coming days” if current negotiations with European nations yield no results by Thursday. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USTehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began reimposing crippling sanctions. The arch-foes were on the cusp of confrontation in June when Iran downed a US drone and Trump ordered retaliatory strikes before cancelling them at the last minute. France has been leading efforts to calm the situation, with President Emmanuel Macron expressing hope during G7 talks in late August of organising a meeting between Rouhani and Trump. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Maybe there has been a misunderstanding. We’ve said it several times and we repeat it — there has been no decision to hold bilateral talks with the US,” said Rouhani. “In principle, we don’t want bilateral talks with the United States,” he was quoted as saying on the official government website. “If the United States lifts all sanctions, it would be possible to talk (to them) during 5+1 meetings as in the past,” he said, referring to the powers involved in negotiating the 2015 deal. “We have received several proposals (to have talks with the United States) and our answer has always been negative.” Iran has hit back with countermeasures in response to the US withdrawal from the deal, which gave it the promise of relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. It has already increased its uranium enrichment and stockpiles, and Rouhani said Tuesday a “third step will be enacted in the coming days” unless the remaining parties to the deal honour their own commitments. “If by Thursday these negotiations yield no results, we will announce the third step of the reduction of our commitments,” he said. But the president stressed the Iranian countermeasures were reversible. “Our steps have been taken in such a way that it doesn’t take much time to get back to the starting point,” he said. Rouhani voiced regret over the failure of European nations to fulfil pledges they made during negotiations. “Unfortunately after the US betrayal… the Europeans haven’t acted on their commitments or couldn’t… in some cases they cold have acted but did not,” he said. “What we are asking of the other countries is that they continue to buy our oil. “We can continue negotiations even after the third step,” he added. Rouhani has had a series of phone calls with Macron in recent weeks aimed at salvaging the nuclear deal. The French president has been trying to convince the United States to offer Iran some sort of relief from sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic republic since pulling out of the deal. A conservative Iranian lawmaker said Macron had proposed offering Iran a 15-billion credit line on condition it returns to the fold. Meanwhile, an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the US turned off its tracking beacon, leading to renewed speculation on Tuesday that it will head to Syria.
VANCOUVER – With just over a week left in British Columbia’s election campaign, the leaders spent Sunday out on the hustings trying to shore up votes.Campaigning in the Kootenays, B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark repeated her party’s promise to protect jobs in resource industries like forestry and mining.Last week, the U.S. introduced tariffs of up to 24 per cent on Canadian lumber, and Clark said her party is the only one that can stand up for B.C. workers in the face of rising protectionism.“The NDP can’t do it. The Greens won’t do it. Not when they have opposed so many of the jobs we already have in British Columbia,” she said during a campaign stop at a hardware store in Invermere, B.C.Clark’s party also reiterated a promise Sunday to bring ride-sharing to B.C. by December 2017, saying in a release that new legislation would be tabled in the first session following the election.The Liberals also announced a car-sharing tax credit at an annual cost of $1.5 million.Meanwhile, New Democrat Leader John Horgan campaigned around the Lower Mainland, repeating his party’s pledge to make life more affordable for British Columbians.The message is striking a chord with people who have consistently seen their cost of living rise under the Liberal government, he said.“The Liberals are saying ‘This is as good as it gets.’ And the public’s saying ‘We can do better than this.’ And a better B.C. is nine days away.”Horgan said his campaign is building momentum, and there’s an energy and excitement in the air that he hasn’t seen for a “long, long time.”“The Liberals want desperately to hold on to power for the wealthy and the well-connected, and the people are desperate for a government that works for them,” he said.The message has resonated with at least one young supporter.Eleven-year-old Charlie Gatley was in the crowd at a campaign stop in Burnaby, B.C., on Sunday and he told The Canadian Press how he rallied his friends to donate to the NDP campaign. He said the group came up with $70.Gatley called the donation “a worthy cause” and said he likes the party’s stance on improving public health care.“I really like that, because if I get an injury, I want to know that I can be treated well and that my injuries get cured,” said the Grade 5 student.A man at an NDP event in Vancouver on Sunday wasn’t as impressed with the party’s promises. The man heckled Horgan as he spoke to media, saying the leader’s endless promises will bankrupt the province.Horgan responded by saying the New Democrats’ platform is fully costed and that he would be happy to speak with the man about his concerns after the event.
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