Shanes shame Devils
Kings or Super Kings?
Tri-Series, Asia Cup Squad
Centre acted against own guidelines: KPS
Serena loses, Nadal through
Jeev tied third in Wales Open
Smiling Sepp bathes in Congress sunshine
Barca president under pressure as fans revolt
Shanes shame Devils
Mumbai, May 30
Later, Watson ripped out the top-order of Delhi with a triple strike to account for the top three Delhi batsmen Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply to reduce them to 24 for three. Delhi never recovered from this early body blows and lost wickets at regular intervals while the asking rate kept climbing before they were shot out for a paltry 87 in 16.2 overs.
Rajasthan Royals now await the winners of the second semifinal, to be played at the same venue tomorrow between Punjab King's XI and Chennai Super Kings, in the final to be played at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on June 1. If Watson stole the major honours of the day, teammate Yusuf Pathan also played a key role and celebrated his Team India inclusion with a whirlwind 45 in 21 balls with four sixes and three fours.
The hard-hitting Pathan, named in the Indian 15 for next month's tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan earlier in the day, creamed the hapless Delhi attack, which included Glenn McGrath, to hit four sixes and three fours in his 21-ball knock. Both Watson and Pathan took ample advantage of the good half century start provided by pint-sized opener Swapnil Asnodkar (39 in 21 balls) and Graeme Smith, who made 25 in the same number of balls despite being hampered by a pulled leg muscle which required a runner. The efforts of Watson and Pathan helped Rajasthan Royals add 109 runs in the last 10 overs after the sound beginning provided by Smith and Asnodkar who put on 65 runs in 40 balls.
Delhi began the run-chase on a poor note when Sehwag (3) pulled a ball wide of the stumps from Watson and skied to deep mid-wicket in the second over. Gambhir (11) and left-handed Dhawan (5), both in good form in the tournament, perished in close succession after enabling Delhi to make a partial recovery.
Gambhir slashed Watson off back foot and was caught at cover point while Dhawan pulled the Aussie straight to short mid-wicket to leave Delhi gasping at 24 for three. Watson's first three-over spell read a superb three for 10 and if Delhi had hopes of staging a fight-back they were thwarted by the dismissal of Manoj Tiwary (0), four runs later, off Munaf Patel.
It was a regular procession of batsmen thereafter and Rajasthan emerged victorious in comprehensive fashion. Tillakratne Dilshan top-scored with 33 in 22 balls.
Smith c Dhawan b Maharoof 25
Asnodkar c Tiwary b Maharoof 39
Tanvir c Karthik b Maharoof 5
Watson st Karthik b Mishra 52
Kaif b Mishra 12
Y Pathan run out 45
Jadeja c Maharoof b Mahesh 7
Warne c Sehwag b Mahesh 0
Rawat c & b Mohammad Asif 2
M Patel not out 0
Trivedi not out 1
Extras: (lb-1, w-3) 4
Total: (9 wkts; 20 overs) 192
FOW: 1-65, 2-65, 3-76, 4-128, 5-155, 6-171, 7-172, 8-190, 9-191
Bowling: McGrath 4-0-38-0, Asif 4-0-32-1, Y Mahesh 4-0-50-2, Maharoof 4-0-34-3, Mishra 4-0-37-2
Gambhir c sub b Watson 11
Sehwag c Tanvir b Watson 3
Dhawan c Jadeja b Watson 5
M Tiwary c Asnodkar b Patel 0
Dilshan cTanvir b Warne 33
Karthik c Kaif b Trivedi 10
Maharoof c Pathan b Warne 6
Mishra b Patel 2
Y Mahesh c Rawat b Patel 3
Asif run out 3
McGrath not out 4
Extras: (lb-3, w-4) 7
Total: (all out; 16.1 overs) 87
FOW: 1-10, 2-23, 3-24, 4-28, 5-55, 6-75, 7-76, 8-77, 9-82, 10-87
Bowling: Tanvir 2-0-16-0, Watson 3-0-10-3, M Patel 4-0-17-3, Trivedi 3-0-20-1, Warne 4-0-21-2, Jadeja 0.1-0-0-0 — PTI
Mumbai, May 30
The left-handed opener from Western Australia stole the thunder from all others and has been a revelation for the fans of the game with his superb batting style and classical cricketing shots.
He appears as a major stumbling block in front of the Chennai side as he emerged as the highest run-getter (593 runs from 10 games) in the competition despite not playing in the initial part of the league.
The victors of this tie would take on the winners of the first semifinal between table toppers Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils in the June 1 summit clash of the 44-day Twenty20 event, which has been a huge hit in the country.
The strength of Punjab lies in the fantastic array of batsmen they have apart from Marsh who has been opening the innings, of late, with Australian all rounder James Hopes.
Among Sri Lankans, with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene the team possesses two of the finest talents in the world. Then there is Yuvraj, who has surprisingly underperformed in a format which he dominated thoroughly in the inaugural World Cup last September in South Africa and the dangerous Luke Pomersbach to add meat to the middle order.
The very strong Punjab batting is backed up by efficient bowling manned by Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, V.R.V. Singh and Piyush Chawla, giving the team a truly formidable look.
Chennai Super Kings, who finished third in the points table behind Rajasthan and Punjab do have the wherewithal to compete against their rivals, but man for man they seem to fall a bit short.
It’s in the top of the order where Chennai look weak as compared to Punjab while the middle order has Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dhoni and exciting South African all rounder Albie Morkel — a good line-up but clearly weaker than their rivals’.
Makhaya Ntini seems to have rediscovered some of his rhythm but Dhoni would be wary of his proclivity to go back to bowling loose balls. Morkel, Manpreet Gony, the fit-again Laxmipathy Balaji and spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan give the Chennai attack a healthy look and would need to be at their best to put shackles on the strong Punjab batting order. — PTI
Tri-Series, Asia Cup Squad
Mumbai, May 30
The national selectors also recalled talented Uttar Pradesh batsman Suresh Raina in the squad for both the tournaments, while ignoring senior pros Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, icon players in the ongoing IPL, for the second tri-series in succession. Sachin Tendulkar had already been ruled out of both the tournaments because of a groin injury.
The selectors have put a question mark on the ODI career of both former captains Dravid and Ganguly, who had earlier been dropped for the previous tri-series won by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side in Australia for the first time ever, by leaving them out of the limited overs loop again.
The thrust of the selectors seems clearly on youth with Yusuf, elder brother of Irfan, being 25 years of age and Ojha, 21. Raina, who has played 36 ODIs, is only 21.
Yusuf Pathan, the Baroda player can also bowl flat off breaks and has come into the squad for the utility value he brings to the side. Ojha is not very experienced even at the first class-level, having played only 30 matches, but the unavailability of the more experienced Murali Kartik. — PTI
Centre acted against own guidelines: KPS
Chandigarh, May 30
Gill has in a writ filed recently in the High Court at Delhi also demanded quashing the ad-hoc Selection Committee constituted by the IOA to select the national hockey team as well as manage the affairs of the IHF. The writ claims the formation of the committee was illegal and without authority of law.
Among the main arguments of the former super cop was the plea that persistent reports in the media about the poor performance of the national team without any proper evaluation of the steps taken to improve the state of Indian hockey had influenced the IOA. It said the whims and fancies of a few politicians or sensational media stories should not have formed the basis for taking decisions of national importance.
The writ claims that the sports ministry ignored its own “Revised Guidelines for Assistance to the National Sports Federations” by accepting the suspension of the recognition given to IHF without considering whether any such suspension was prima facie legal and valid. Under the revised guidelines the IOA did not have a representative in the Selection Committee or any role in the selection of national teams. It also claimed endorsement of the actions of the ad-hoc Committee by the IOA was illegal as guidelines clearly stated, “The Selection Committee will be constituted by the Federation”.
Paris, May 30
Srebotnik let two match points slip by at 40-15, but clinched it on the next one as Williams hit a looping forehand wide. It was the biggest win of Dubai-based Srebotnik's career taking her into the last 16 at Roland Garros for only the second time in 10 attempts.
World number two Ana Ivanovic recovered from an error-filled first set to beat Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-1 and book her place in the last 16 of the French Open on Friday. The Serb, who reached the final at Roland Garros last year, will meet unseeded Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic for a quarter-final spot.
Earlier, Lleyton Hewitt had given his sore hip yet another quick workout as he motored to a 6-4 6-3 6-2 second-round win over American Mardy Fish.
Three-times champion Rafael Nadal muscled his way into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-1 6-3 6-1 demolition of Finn Jarkko Nieminen on Friday. The Spaniard, bidding to emulate Bjorn Borg by winning a fourth consecutive title at Roland Garros, will face either Russian 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny or Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, seeded 22nd, for a place in the quarterfinals. — Agencies
Wales, May 30
Jeev’s bogey-free 65 was highlighted by six birdies. His first two birdies came on the third and ninth. He then looked unstoppable on the back nine as he sank a birdie on the 13th and followed that up with three back-to-back birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th.
However, the lead is currently held by Australian Scott Strange who shot eight under 63 in the opening round. Chowrasia had an uneven round of 72 as he strung together consecutive birdies from the fourth to the sixth and then stumbled due to bogeys on the eighth, ninth, 11th and a triple bogey on the par four 12th.
The Kolkata-based golfer then came back with consecutive birdies on the 14th and 15th. Meanwhile, Jyoti Randhawa also carded 72 in the first round. His round included birdies on the fourth, eighth, 11th and 18th and bogeys on the fifth, sixth, 13th, 15th and 16th. Another Indian in the fray, Shiv Kapur carded two over 73 and was placed tied 111th. — UNI
Sydney, May 30
“It was a sunny day this morning and inside the Congress today, we had sunshine”. Blatter’s 6+5 rule would limit the number of foreign players a club team could field at the start of a match to five and is central to his plans to create a more level playing field for soccer clubs and nations, globally.
The overwhelming 155-5 vote was a large hurdle for Blatter to clear but he remains firmly on a collision course with European lawmakers who consider the 6+5 rule would contravene its free movement of workers rules.
“It was an overwhelming majority, overwhelming support,” he smiled in a news conference. “I am sure it will be done... I am very confident about it. They are saying it is illegal. For what, for whom and when? And if there is a law... you know a law can be amended or altered”.
Earlier, FIFA reported a $49 million profit for 2007, despite settling a costly legal wrangle over sponsorship rights. FIFA paid MasterCard $90m in June 2007 as part of a settlement under which the credit card issuer dropped a legal fight to get sponsorship rights for the next two World Cups.
MasterCard had sued FIFA in April 2006, saying it had first refusal to the rights which eventually went to rival Visa International. The body gathered $882m in revenue against $833m costs. This compared with 2006 figures of $749m revenue against expenses of 500m dollar.
FIFA also formally signed the new World Anti-Doping code. Blatter jointly signed the agreement with WADA boss John Fahey. Soccer’s world governing body had previously been reluctant to sign the agreement because it was opposed to some of WADA’s rules, including uniform two-year bans for athletes caught using performance-enhancing drugs.
However, FIFA agreed to sign the accord after WADA proposed a revised set of rules that were endorsed by sporting bodies at a doping conference in Spain last year.
“The commitment of FIFA has been strong and I believe will be even stronger in the days ahead,” Fahey told the Congress. “Football is a giant in the universe of team sport and your example is of paramount importance”.
It will also define new standards relating to the 'whereabouts' rules, in which athletes have to inform anti-doping authorities of their location for potential testing. FIFA was one of the last Olympic sport federations to accept the WADA code, finally doing so at its 2004 Congress in Paris. Even then there were differences between the two bodies, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport telling FIFA in 2006 that its anti-doping regulations did not fully comply with those of WADA. FIFA has been particularly keen to maintain flexibility in the case of sanctions imposed on first time doping offenders, preferring to treat each offence on a case-by-case basis rather than implementing the mandatory two-year ban previously favoured by WADA. The new WADA code will allow for such flexibility -- enabling federations to hand down lesser punishments and even exonerations where there are mitigating circumstances.
Later, Blatter told a news conference that he wanted to fast-track the decision on where the 2022 World Cup will be played to 2011, triggering a likely frenzy of international bidding. Blatter is proposing that soccer's world governing body brings forward the 2022 announcement by four years to 2011, the same time it is due to decide the venue for 2018.
“I will be making a proposal that the (vote for the host of the) World Cup in 2018 and 2022 will be made together,” Blatter said. “We can offer two competitions, for eight years, and the economic result... for sponsors, would be better”. Blatter said he would encourage potential bidders to nominate for both events but said FIFA rules would prevent the two tournaments being staged in countries from the same continent. — Reuters
Madrid, May 30
If the Barcelona board validates the signatures, the club will be obliged to hold a referendum which is expected to take place in early July. Laporta’s opponents would need to have the support of over two-thirds of voters with a minimum turnout of 10 per cent of members entitled to vote if they are to force a presidential election.
“Even we are surprised by how many people have signed,” Giralt told reporters. “The number is exceptional. The president should reflect on the fact that the majority of members are asking him to leave. I honestly think that getting enough signatures for the vote to go ahead is more difficult that winning the actual vote,” Giralt added. Laporta tried the same technique 10 years ago when he led the “Elefant Blau” (Blue Elephant) group opposed to the administration of then president Josep Lluis Nunez, but he was unable to garner sufficient support to unseat his rival.
The Barcelona president has been heavily criticised for the way he has run the club in the past two seasons with fans staging several protests calling for his resignation after the team failed to win any silverware for a second year in succession.
The club has responded to the failures by sacking coach Frank Rijkaard and appointing ex-captain and Nou Camp favourite Pep Guardiola as his replacement. They have also signed former youth team player Gerard Pique from Manchester United and Mali midfielder Seydou Keita from Sevilla in an attempt to revitalise the squad, while a number of leading players such as Ronaldinho, Deco and possibly Samuel Eto’o are expected to leave in the close season. — Reuters
Srinagar, May 30
Despite Assam striking first in the 5th minute, they could not capitalize before the strong defence of Haryana, who equalized in the 40th minute by Abhishek. Both teams played more aggressively in the second half. Sanjeev of Haryana managed to hit the nets in 65th minute and a few minutes before the end Jatinder scored third goal for Haryana to keep his team on the winners' track.
In another match played at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu, Sikkim defeated Chandigarh 3-1. The match was levelled at 1-1 at half time, the scorers being Gopal Thapa of Chandigarh in the 7th minute and Dikash of Sikkim in the 19th minute of the game.
In the second half, Emphal scored for Sikkim and in the last minutes of the game, Dikash scored his second goal to end the game in favour of Sikkim.
At Kashmir University grounds, Delhi beat Tripura by 2-0 to keep its hopes alive from group-III.
Both goals came in the first half, when Parven Rawat and G. Kameh scored in the 10th and 33rd minute of the game. During the second half, Delhi played more aggressively but could not add to its tally.
Riyaz Punjabi, vice-chancellor of the Kashmir University, was the chief guest at the second match played between the Railways and Chhattisgarh at the same venue. Railways won the match 3-0 as Panraj Sura scored twice in the first half, one on the penalty in 14th minute and second in the 22nd minute. Leading 2-0 at the half time, Suresh Kumar scored a third goal for the team in 51st minute of the game.
The second match of the day at Polo Ground went in favour of Karnataka, as they outplayed Uttar Pradesh by three goals to nil. Rajendra Prasad scored in 30th minute and Pradeep in the 40th minute taking the tally to 2-0 at half time. Rajendra scored third for the team on a penalty.
The match at Science College ground in Jammu ended 2-2 draw as both the teams, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, struck in both halfs. The draw puts Tamil Nadu ahead in the group-I with by two wins and a draw. — IANS
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