Dutch devastate world champs Italy
Spain crush Russia 4-1
Diktat on ICL players
Govt playing no role: official
Salary cap to stay: Modi
Register biggest win against arch-rivals
Dhaka, June 10
An all round performance ensured an Indian victory as their batsmen and bowlers fired in unison to stop Pakistan's march towards 13th consecutive win.
Indians, having elected to bat, piled up massive 330 for eight, thanks to a stupendous batting by the top-order. Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir hit sparkling half-centuries and shared an amazing 155-run partnership to lay a strong foundation for the big total.
Pakistan, in reply, were bundled out for 190 in just 35.4 overs, giving India its biggest win against them. Skipper Shoaib Malik waged a lone battle and did not find any able ally at the other end.
Praveen Kumar (4/53) spoiled Pakistan run-chase as he rocked Pakistan battling line up by claiming three quick wickets, including two on consecutive balls. Young spinner Piyush Chawla also returned with brilliant figures of four for forty.
Pakistan were tottering at 26 for three inside the first five overs after Kumar scalped Salman Butt , Younis Khan and Mohammed Yousuf.
However, Kumar was creamed for 17 runs in the ninth over of the innings when Kamran Akmal, who looked in sublime touch, and Misbah-ul-Haq reeled off four boundaries to take the Pakistan score to 58 for three.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat Half centuries by three top-order batsmen helped India to score a challenging 330 runs for eight wickets.
Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj scored 89, 62 and 55 runs to register their 25th, eighth and sixth ODI half centuries, respectively. — PTI
Gambhir c Akmal b Riaz 62
Sehwag c Akmal b Riaz 89
Yuvraj b Gul 55
Y. Pathan c Iftkhar b Afridi 3
Rohit b Afridi 9
Dhoni lbw Tanvir 24
Raina c Misbah b Gul 26
I. Pathan c Malik b Gul 18
Praveen not out 6
Extras: (b-5 lb-4 w-20 nb-9) 38
Total: (eight wickets, 50 overs) 330
FoW: 1-155, 2-174, 3-199, 4-231, 5-269, 6-271, 7-322, 8-324,
Bowling: Gul 10-0-61-3, Tanvir 9.4-0-57-1, Riaz 9.2-0-86-2, Iftkhar 10-0-63-0, Afridi 10-0-52-2, Younis 1-0-2-0
Butt c Rohit b Praveen Kumar 9
Akmal c Yusuf Pathan b Praveen 38
Younis c Dhoni b Praveen 0
Yousuf lbw Praveen 11
Misbah c Dhoni b Ishant 24
Malik c Rain b Chawla 53
Afridi st Dhoni b Chawla 23
Tanvir c and b Chawla 6
Gul c Ishant b Yuvraj 7
Iftkhar not out 16
Riaz lbw b Chawla 0
Extras: (lb-3) 3
Total: (all out, 35.4 overs) 190
FoW: 1-14 2-14 3-26 4-81 5-94 6-138 7-156 8-169 9-180 10-190
Bowling: Praveen 9-1-53-4, Ishant 6-0-28-1, I. Pathan 6-0-38-0, Chawla 8.4-0-40-4, Yuvraj 4-0-17-1, Y. Pathan 2-0-11-0
Berne, June 10
A controversial goal from Ruud van Nistelrooy, a superbly executed volley by birthday boy Wesley Sneijder and a breakaway third from the head of Giovanni van Bronckhorst late in the game produced the first major upset of this year's finals.
''To win 3-0 against Italy, a team with so much experience and quality in their team, we didn't expect that,'' said Netherlands coach Marco van Basten yesterday after the match.
''It was a truly good team performance from the whole team.'' The win was the first by the Dutch over Italy since the 1978 World Cup finals and put them top of Group C after France and Romania drew 0-0 in the day's first game in Zurich.
It was the biggest margin of victory by Netherlands over Italy as they consigned their devastated opponents to their worst loss at a European Championship finals.
Italy's shocked coach Roberto Donadoni, who had presided over their heaviest tournament defeat since the 4-1 loss to Brazil in the 1970 World Cup final, just wanted to look ahead.
''I don't want to say that it's the worst Italy performance of my time in charge,'' he said.
''We let in two goals by making mistakes. We haven't started well but we must look forward.''
The match in Berne turned in five dramatic minutes in the first half when Marco van Basten's side scored twice, although the first should not have been allowed to stand.
Striker Van Nistelrooy looked clearly offside when he turned in a shot from Sneijder, who was celebrating his 24th birthday, after 26 minutes.
Despite vehement Italian protests to the linesman, Swedish referee Peter Frojdfeldt ignored their calls to the delight of the vast swathes of orange-clad Dutch fans in the stadium.
Later there was confusion over whether Italy defender Christian Panucci played the Dutch striker onside after the fullback fell and went off the field of play behind the byline.
Austrian referees' commission chairman Gerhard Kapl was quoted on Web site www.sportal.at saying: ''The injured player behind the goal counts as a player on the field and therefore it was not offside''.
Donadoni took the decision calmly despite the controversy saying: ''There is no sense in thinking now whether it was offside or not. I accept it..''
The Dutch had more to cheer five minutes later when they doubled their lead with the best goal of the tournament so far.
It began when a corner by Andrea Pirlo at the other end of the field took a deflection off a Dutch player before being cleared off the line by Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
He then ran 50 metres to continue the move after Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart had taken it out of the Dutch defence.
Van Bronckhorst sent a huge cross-field pass to Dirk Kuyt who headed the ball back for Sneijder to volley home brilliantly between Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon and his near post.
Italy had chances and Luca Toni should have given them the lead after 12 minutes but headed wide, while Antonio Di Natale's shot was smothered by Edwin van der Sar before the break. They must now improve quickly if they are to reach the last eight. — Reuters
Innsbruck, June 10
The 26-year-old Villa added the second before halftime, stroking the ball home after being put through by Andres Iniesta, before making it 3-0 when he tucked in a low shot after jinking past a defender on 75 minutes.
Russia pulled one back with a header from Roman Pavlyuchenko before substitute Cesc Fabregas dived to nod Spain’s fourth goal from close range in injury time after more good work by the inspirational Villa.
“It was great to get three goals and it is a good start for the team,” Villa told reporters. It was important to win this one but we have to remember it is only the first of three (Group D) games”.
Spain, who beat Russia 1-0 in their opening match at Euro 2004, made a confident start to the tie under stormy skies at the Tivoli Neu stadium. They quickly settled into their patient short passing game and had a couple of early chances, Torres sending a shot skidding wide in the eighth minute and Villa scooping an effort
Russia also threatened with Yuri Zhirkov and Pavlyuchenko proving a handful for Spain's back four. Spain, however, broke the deadlock when Torres raced on to a 30-metre pass from Joan Capdevila.
The striker made the most of a lucky bounce as he tried to beat defender Denis Kolodin before setting up Villa. Russia almost equalised two minutes later when Konstantin Zyryanov fired a shot against the post. Torres had a couple of half chances to extend Spain's lead but it was live-wire Valencia marksman Villa who went on to steal the spotlight.
“I am happy but I think we were a bit fortunate in the first half,” said Spain coach Luis Aragones. “They pressed us hard but we got that first goal on the break. Villa is a brilliant player but so is Torres when he's got space.”
Russia’s coach Guus Hiddink said, “We were caught on the counter attack by our own mistakes. We were punished from very naive situations. That's a harsh lesson and I hope we
For the first time in the tournament no yellow cards were shown. — Reuters
Diktat on ICL players
London, June 9
In fact, Modi's warning that counties with ICL players face ouster from the 2.5 million pound has enraged the clubs here who have struck a belligerent pose, ready to miss out on the Twenty20 extravaganza starting late September.
A spokesman of Lancashire, which has ICL player Lou Vincent in the ranks, told 'The Times' that in absence of any clear instructions from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the position was quite unclear.
"If it is up to Cricket Australia to come up with rules and regs, then maybe they would like to get a wiggle on because this thing is about to start. Our priority is winning the Twenty20 Cup, which means picking our strongest team, including ICL players," he said.
"If we get to the final, it will be up to the tournament organisers whether we play in the Champions League. If they do not want to see Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson out there, that is up to them," he said rather sternly.
Of the counties, only Essex, Middlesex and Somerset don't have any ICL players in their ranks and Modi has already thundered that teams with 'rebel' cricketers would be ousted from the tournament and no exceptions would be made for anyone.
Modi's warning has created a dilemma in county cricket, which features more than 20 such rebel players, including Justin Kemp (Kent), Murray Goodwin (Sussex), Andre Adams (Nottinghamshire), Dale Benkenstein (Durham) and Stuart Law (Lancashire).
One county chief executive was quite upset with ECB not clearing the air. "You do not get guidance from the ECB, you get veiled threats in ambiguous statements," he grumbled.
ECB, meanwhile, maintained that Cricket Australia would draft the rules and regulations for the tournament and chairman Giles Clarke said counties should not have any dilemma about 'rebel' cricketers.
"It is entirely a matter for them how they pick their sides. We have explained things at length in a previous communique and there has been very clear correspondence from David Collier (the ECB chief executive)," he said.
Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell sounded in a bellicose mood and said, "I cannot believe that 15 counties will come to an agreement not to play ICL guys. We will pick our best team and get on with it."
Gus Mackay had similar views and the Sussex chief executive said, "Unless we hear otherwise we will go out there to win the tournament with our strongest team." Equally defiant was Durham chief executive David Harker. "Dale Benkenstein will be playing for us unless we are told explicitly that he must not. So far, we have not heard that," he asserted. — PTI
Neuchatel (Switzerland), June 10
Portugal is fresh of a solid 2-0 victory over Turkey, while the Czechs comes boosted by a difficult 1-0 win over co-host Switzerland. The winner at Stade de Geneve will move into good position to advance from Group A, which is currently led by Portugal on goal difference.
The Portuguese impressed more than the Czechs in the opener, with Cristiano Ronaldo and teammates pressuring the Turks from the beginning and staying in control throughout the match in Geneva.
A pre-tournament favourite, Portugal gained even more confidence with the victory, and its huge fan base in Switzerland is more optimistic than ever. Players are trying to be cautious, however.
"We have to prepare the same way. It's another extremely important match," midfielder Joao Moutinho said.
"We know it's a decisive match. If we get a good result it's almost certain we will advance from the group."
If Switzerland and Turkey draw their match in Basel, the winner of the Portugal-Czech Republic match will automatically secure a second-round berth.
"We don't underestimate the Czech Republic, we respect it a lot," midfielder Deco said. "We know it is going to be just as difficult, or even more, than against Turkey. The fact they had difficulties in the first match doesn't mean anything."
The Czech Republic, which reached the semifinals at Euro 2004, opened with an unimpressive 1-0 victory over Switzerland in Basel behind a Vaclav Sverkos' first international goal.
"Portugal is a different class than Switzerland," midfielder Libor Sionko said. "We have to improve a great deal."
Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner, who concedes Portugal is a favourite in Group A, will have all of his 23 players available or tomorrow's match after right back Zdenek Pospech recovered from a virus and resumed training Sunday.
The Czechs are hoping for a repeat of the 1996 European tournament, when they eliminated Portugal in the quarterfinals with a goal by Karel Poborsky in extra time. The Czechs eventually lost in the final to Germany 2-1, also in extra time, in the team's best finish in the competition so far.
In the last European tournament, the Czech Republic reached the semifinals by beating favourites Germany and the Netherlands. It lost to eventual champion Greece in extra time.
The Czechs are participating in the final phase of the European tournament for the fourth consecutive time, and seventh overall. They won the title in 1976 before their split from Slovakia. The squad was eliminated in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany
This year Bruckner is without star play-maker Tomas Rosicky, who was dropped from the Euro 2008 squad last month after undergoing an operation on his left knee.
Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari who led Portugal to the semifinals in Germany, is set to use the same starting 11 from the opener against the Turks. A spot is guaranteed for by Brazil-born defender Pepe, who scored the decisive goal in the 61st minute. Portugal, trying to win its first major tile, lost in the World Cup semifinals to France in 2006 and was runner-up to Greece four years ago on home soil. It is participating in the European final tournament for the fifth time. — AP
Vienna, June 10
The Manchester United striker was voted most beautiful player of the tournament, in a poll of 12,000 women carried out by electronics company LG.
French forward Thierry Henry came in second, ahead of injured Italian skipper Fabio Cannavaro and Freddie Ljungberg of Sweden who drew for third place.
Talent and his Latin good looks won Ronaldo the title, according to the survey.
His biggest fans were apparently Italian, German and Swedish women. — AFP
Govt playing no role: official
Karachi, June 10 Malik said the Pakistan Cricket Board had not approached the government to help them get Asif released from detention. Asif was detained at the Dubai airport on June 1 while returning to Pakistan from India after playing in the Indian Premier League and authorities recovered 0.24 gram of opium from his possession. Malik said the Pakistani government was not keen to get involved in the case as it involved drugs. "Unless we know the quantity of the drug and what are the charges against him we cannot get involved. If they charge him they will try him according to the law of their land," Malik said. Earlier, speculation had been rife that the Pakistan government was involved in the case after senior board officials met Malik in Islamabad yesterday.
Karachi, June 10
Malik said the Pakistan Cricket Board had not approached the government to help them get Asif released from detention.
Asif was detained at the Dubai airport on June 1 while returning to Pakistan from India after playing in the Indian Premier League and authorities recovered 0.24 gram of opium from his possession.
Malik said the Pakistani government was not keen to get involved in the case as it involved drugs.
"Unless we know the quantity of the drug and what are the charges against him we cannot get involved. If they charge him they will try him according to the law of their land," Malik said.
Earlier, speculation had been rife that the Pakistan government was involved in the case after senior board officials met Malik in Islamabad yesterday. — PTI
Salary cap to stay: Modi
Mumbai, June 10 Modi said in a statement that the players are legally bound by their three-year contract with their respective franchisees and they have to abide by that. "The three-year contractual clause was made public to both the franchisees and players prior to the auction and the player's participation. "All the parties will abide by the terms and conditions laid down by the governing council and it is only up to the franchisee to trade a player/players as and when the trading window opens next year," Modi said. Presently, each of the eight franchisees can spend a maximum of $ five million for its squad, and players like Ricky Ponting has already opposed such moved, fearing it would lead to uneven contests. The release said the players are bound by the contractual agreements signed with franchisees for a period of three years and new guidelines would be out soon before the transfer window opens early next year.
Mumbai, June 10
Modi said in a statement that the players are legally bound by their three-year contract with their respective franchisees and they have to abide by that.
"The three-year contractual clause was made public to both the franchisees and players prior to the auction and the player's participation.
"All the parties will abide by the terms and conditions laid down by the governing council and it is only up to the franchisee to trade a player/players as and when the trading window opens next year," Modi said.
Presently, each of the eight franchisees can spend a maximum of $ five million for its squad, and players like Ricky Ponting has already opposed such moved, fearing it would lead to uneven contests.
The release said the players are bound by the contractual agreements signed with franchisees for a period of three years and new guidelines would be out soon before the transfer window opens early next year. — PTI
Srinagar, June 10
Skipper Xavier Vijaykumar scored the only goal of the match from a counter-attack in the 53rd minute, outpacing Goa defenders before slotting home the ball from just inside the box.
Karnataka could have won it 2-0 but just after his first strike, Vijaykumar wasted an easy chance in the 58th minute when he hit the right post after being fed by Dadanabeel.
Stung by the reversal, Goa tried hard to push for an equaliser and made several raids at Karnataka goal but without any success.
Earlier, the first half ended goalless as both sides played a dull game which was more or less restricted to the midfield.
The best action of the opening half came in the 26th minute from Karnataka forward Dadanabeel whose powerful shot from a Vijaykumar cross was well saved by the airborne Goa custodian.
Goa, who needed a draw to qualify for the semifinals, too had a couple of chances to take the lead. In the 37th minute, Nicolau Borges messed up a chance from top of the Karnataka box with a weak left footer which was easily saved by Karnataka goalkeeper Gumpe Rime.
Runners up of the last edition, West Bengal also entered the semi-finals despite a 1-1 draw with Maharatshtra in their last quarter-final league match of Group B at the Bakshi Stadium here.
Maharashtra striker Soccor Velho gave his team the lead in the 42nd minute.
Earlier, Kailash Mhadev Patil of Maharashtra missed the target after the West Bengal defenders foiled his attempt.
Maharshtra got several chances to score in the second half.
However, West Bengal dominated in the second half.
It was West Bengal skipper Jayanta Sen who levelled the score in 13th minute of the second half.
West Bengal was the second team from Group B who qualified for the semi-finals with five points, while Karnataka won two quarter-final league matches to top the group with six points. Goa has four points and Mahrashtra one. — Agencies