Germany issue final
It isn’t cold Turkey
Sania out; Maria’s ‘short’ stint over
Sehwag runs riot as India thump Pak
Mendis destroys UAE for easy Lanka win
Kapil & Co. dig into ‘83 pie
‘Kiri was never late to take catches’
Kiwis steal last-ball win
Houghton threatens to quit
Germany issue final a-Lahm
Basel, June 26
Turkey, who saved themselves with late goals in three previous matches, appeared to have repeated the feat when Semih Senturk equalised to make it 2-2 in the 86th minute and seemingly force extra time yesterday.
But Germany, who had been second best for most of the match against a side ravaged by suspensions and injury, took a leaf out of Turkey’s book and came back themselves in the final minute of normal time to snatch victory at St Jakob Park.
Defender Philipp Lahm, who had failed to stop the cross that led to Turkey’s equaliser, emerged as the match-winner after playing a one-two with Thomas Hitzlsperger and lashing the ball high into the net past goalkeeper Rustu Recber.
“It was one of most beautiful moments in my life, getting into the final,” Lahm said. “That’s always beautiful. We missed that at the 2006 World Cup. Today it worked out. We want to win the title,” he said.
Turkey took advantage of Germany's dangerously casual start and deservedly went ahead after 22 minutes through left-sided midfielder Ugur Boral.
He fired the ball through goalkeeper Jens Lehmann's legs after a looping effort from Kazim Kazim came back off the bar — the second time Kazim shot against the bar in an impressive 10-minute spell.
Germany, with captain Michael Ballack having a largely indifferent match in midfield, then equalised against the run of play after 26 minutes.
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger powered through the Turkey midfield, lost his markers and deftly flicked a cross from Lukas Podolski wide of Recber to make it 1-1.
Germany continued to be outplayed for long periods in the second half, though, as Turkey, inspired by Kazim and German-born Hamit Altintop, dominated them with a fearlessness of spirit and a precision in their passing that Germany rarely matched.
Yet it was Germany who stole into the lead 11 minutes from time when Miroslav Klose headed home a Lahm cross after Rustu came flying out of his goal but missed the clearance.
True to form, Semih levelled for Turkey seven minutes later with some near-post opportunism after Sabri Sarioglu got the better of Lahm.
Four minutes later, Lahm was rejoicing at the other end after scoring the winner and giving Germany a victory that for long periods had looked unlikely.
Germany’s delighted coach Joachim Loew said, “It was an insane battle, incredible tension up till the last second. That makes me obviously very happy.”
Turkey coach Fatih Terim congratulated Germany and added, “I am proud of my players and think their will to play well, and the technical support, all came together and they were able to show the world what a good team they were.”
“I think we are leaving as the most colourful team of the tournament. We can say we were almost there, but that is part of football as well.” — Reuters
It isn’t cold Turkey
Chandigarh, June 26
In the last three games played by Turkey, late goals, in some cases very late goals, had proved decisive. But at Basel, the Turks were on the receiving end.
Fatih Terim might move on and coach a club after his side’s defeat. So what did Turkey gain from their Euro experience?
Surely some applauds for the fighting spirit they displayed, the never-say-die attitude and the defiance by fielding a side with very little in the tank to spare against Germany.
But did they manage to gain something by losing in a semifinal that Greece couldn’t to get even after winning the trophy?
The last edition of the tournament was won by Greece and they didn’t display half the flair that Turkey did.
Greece had won by relying on their ability to defend rather than score. Not that the Greek defensive display doesn’t count, but the Turks really lit up the scene.
They were never favourites, not even the dark horses, but in terms of playing attacking football, they were second to none, not even the Netherlands.
Against Germany too, they dominated the mid-field. The Germans had the likes of Ballack and Schweinsteiger holding the crucial area of the field but the Turks didn’t give them an inch in the first half.
Even down the wings, Boral on the left, and right-back Sabri made extremely good runs to keep the Germans on their toes and Jens Lehman extremely busy. Kazim Kazim was another revelation along with the youngster Semih Senturk.
Turkey’s attacking display had the Germans baffled during the first half and Loew and his men did look short of answers.
The understanding between Hamit Altintop, Turan and Aurelio was there for all to see as they kept up the pace of mid-field play till the end.
Tuncay, who was a part of the long list of absentees against the Germans, had been instrumental in forcing the play forward from the mid-field.
Rustu, the hero of the penalty shootout against Croatia, is the most capped player in Turkish footballing history. But he definitely is not going to be a part of the scheme of things.
It is not just his age, but also the fact that he looked a few notches below the ordinary throughout. The Klose goal would not have been possible without him coming off his line.
But looking at the complete picture, one can say that the future looks promising for Turkey. On the whole, their squad was a very young one, and they definitely have time to build upon the brilliant showing at Euro.
Then, there are the likes of Emre who didn't feature in the tournament but can add the experience and quality of having played at the highest level.
The hero of the Czech Republic game, Nihat Kahveci, who missed out due to an injury is another player who can lift the tempo of Turkish game.
The future for Turkey is ‘red-hot’ and if they can maintain their style of play, so is the future of football.
London, June 26
Mirza, who had a wrist surgery in April, had been expected to defeat Martinez Sanchez as the Spaniard had never won a match at the grass-court Grand Slam until this week.
Maria Sharapova became the latest big-name casualty at Wimbledon today when she was humbled 6-2 6-4 in the second round by fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.
The 2004 champion never got going against her 20-year-old opponent and produced a performance littered with costly errors at crucial moments.
Sharapova struggled with her service throughout and was broken in the sixth and eighth games to lose the opening set.
She fell a break behind again in the second set and, although she battled back to 4-4, she served an eighth double fault to hand her opponent a match point. Kudryavtseva sealed a famous win with a crunching forehand.
Mirza the 32nd seed spraying shots all around the court, it was Martinez Sanchez who made a storming start, racing to a 6-0, 3-1 lead on a sun-baked Court 11.
Just when it looked as though the 21-year-old Indian would wilt in the heat, she reeled in the errors to steal the second set.
World number two Rafael Nadal was given a tough workout by Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis before prevailing 5-7 6-2 7-6 6-3 in an absorbing second round tie at Wimbledon on Thursday.
The Spaniard, runner-up in 2006 and 2007 and seeded to meet five-times champion Roger Federer in the final again, came through an attritional battle against the 19-year-old on Court One.
Defending champion Venus Williams scrambled past British number one Anne Keothavong on Thursday, winning a ragged match 7-5, 6-2 on Centre Court.
Meanwhile, former champion Lindsay Davenport, who has been struggling with a right knee injury, pulled out of Wimbledon on Thursday. The American had been due to face Argentina's Gisela Dulko in a second round match.
Jelena Jankovic romped into the third round at Wimbledon with a 6-1 6-3 win over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro on Thursday.
Jankovic made sure she avoided any drama and produced an efficient victory over the 19-year-old Wimbledon debutante. — Reuters
Karachi, June 26
Sehwag scored his ninth one-day hundred in a 198-run second wicket partnership with Suresh Raina (84) to guide India to 301 for four after 42.1 overs in reply to Pakistan's total of 299 for four.
The Pakistan score appeared imposing after
He hit 12 fours and five sixes after stand-in Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq had brought off a spectacular one handed catch at wide slip to get rid of Gautam Gambhir for nine. Misbah led the side after Malik had retired hurt with cramp.
Pakistan also lost their pacer Umar Gul to a side strain after he had bowled just 1.2 overs. Rao Iftikhar got Gambhir on his first ball.
After that it was all Sehwag as he played some breathtaking strokes to reach his first one-day hundred for India since the 2007 World Cup match against Bermuda.
The second wicket stand, made in just 149 balls, was also an Asia Cup record, breaking the previous best of 154 between Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly against Bangladesh in 2004.
Raina fell in the 28th over after he played a loose shot to Iftkhar and was caught at cover by Fawad Alam. Sehwag was caught at long on by Younis off Shahid Afridi after a 95-ball innings.
His dismissal didn't stop the flow of runs as Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh put on a further 63. Pakistan, despite posting a big total, didn't have the same tempo in their innings and could only score 80 runs in the final 10 overs losing three wickets.
Earlier, Shoaib Mailk produced a captain’s innings of 125 to guide Pakistan to an imposing 299 for four.
Malik, who opened the innings, recorded his first hundred as skipper and shared valuable stands of 90 with fellow opener, Salman Butt (35) and 133 with Younis Khan (59) to ensure Pakistan took full advantage of batting first in extremely hot and humid conditions.
Butt was the first to go during a mixed day in the field for India when he pulled leg-spinner, Chawla straight to Suresh Raina at mid-wicket after batting for 64 balls and hitting four boundaries.
Younis, who scored his 34th one-day half-century was the second man out, also caught by Raina who took a smart running catch at mid-wicket off Pathan.
After Malik retired hurt, Mohammad Yousuf picked up the pace by hitting five fours from 20 balls while Misbah-ul-Haq contributed an unbeaten 31 from 26 balls. Yousuf was run out in the 46th over while big hitting Afridi fell in the penultimate over.
A crowd of around 25,000 turned out to watch India play a match in Pakistan for the first time since February, 2006. India finish top of group B of the six-nation tournament and will play Bangladesh in the first match of the super four stage on June 28.
Salman Butt c Raina b Chawla 35
Malik retired hurt 125
Younis Khan c Raina b Y Pathan 59
Yousuf run out 30
Misbah not out 31
Afridi c Dhoni b RP Singh 9
Tanvir not out 3
Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-5) 7
Total (4 wkts, 50 overs) 299
Fall of wickets: 1-90, 2-223, 3-261, 4-290
Bowling: P. Kumar 10-0-56-0, RP Singh 10-2-44-1, I. Sharma 10-0-69-0, PP Chawla 7-0-52-1, Y. Pathan 9-0-52-1, Yuvraj Singh 4-0-24-0.
Gambhir c Misbah b Iftikhar 9
Sehwag c Younis b Afridi 119
Raina c Alam b Iftikhar 84
Yuvraj c Butt b Tanvir 48
Dhoni not out 26
Rohit not out 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-6, w-7, nb-1) 15
Total: (for 4 wickets, 42.1 overs) 301
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-210, 3-231, 4-294.
Bowling: Gul 1.2-0-6-0, Tanvir 9-0-55-1, Iftikhar 9.4-0-61-2, Afridi 10-0-64-1, Alam 7-0-64-0, Butt 1-0-13-0, Younis 4.1-0-31-0. — Reuters
Karachi, June 26
Mendis punished the inexperienced opponents as they lost their last six wickets for just 15 runs and were bowled out for 148, chasing a Sri Lankan total of 290 for nine.
Mendis bowled just 6.3 overs to take his flattering figures after Amjad Ali had made a knock of 77 from 79 balls that included 12 boundaries.
Sri Lanka rested Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas but did not miss the trio as Mahela Udawatte and captain Mahela Jayawardene scored half centuries to build a strong total.
The Emirate bowlers had restricted Sri Lanka to 209 for seven after 34 overs after Udawatte and Jayawardene had put on a second wicket total of 114 in 82 balls.
But fine late knocks of 40 from Weeraratne and 37 from Nuwan Kulusekara dampened an otherwise fine day for the UAE attack.
Alhashmi took his first wicket against a test-playing nation, off spinner Mohammad Tauqir was a constant danger and seamer Zahid Shah finished with 3 for 49 including the prized wicket of Sangakkara.
Left hander Sangakkara, who scored a match-winning century against Bangladesh on Wednesday, was trapped leg before in the first over of the day.
S’kkara lbw Z Shah 0
Udawatte c Tauqir b Alhashmi 67
M Jayawardene run out 61
Kapugedera c A Ali b Tauqir 11
Silva c B’rachchi b Tauqir 6
Dilshan c A Ali b Alhashmi 24
Weeraratne c B’rachchi b S Ali 40
Mirando c A Ali b Z Shah 10
Kulasekara c K Khan b Z Shah 37
Mendis not out 15
Fernando not out 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-7, w-11) 19
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 290
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-114, 3-131, 4-142, 5-180, 6-189, 7-209, 8-262, 9-286.
Bowling: Zahid Shah 10-1-49-3, Fahad Alhashmi 5-0-39-2, Aman Ali 2-0-22-0, Saqib Ali 7-0-44-1, Mohammad Tauqir 10-0-47-2, Khurram Khan 10-0-55-0, Arshad Ali 6-0-26-0.
Amjad c Weeraratne b Dilshan 77
Arshad Ali run out 6
B’rachchi c S’kkara b Mirando 14
S Ali lbw Mendis 19
K Khan c S’kkara b Mirando 2
M Tauqir lbw Fernando 9
N Fernandes st S’kkara b Mendis 5
A Shukri c Jayawardene b Mendis 1
Z Shah not out 6
F Alhashmi lbw Mendis 0
Aman Ali lbw Mendis 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-1, w-5, nb-2) 9
Total: (all out, 36.3 overs) 148
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-95, 3-107, 4-114, 5-133, 6-139, 7-141, 8-142, 9-148, 10-148.
Bowling: Kulasekera 5-2-25-0, Weeraratne 4-1-23-0, Fernando 7-0-40-1, Mendis 6.3-1-22-5, Dilshan 7-2-14-1, Mirando 7-0-22-2.
Man of the Match: Mendis (SL). — Reuters
Kapil & Co. dig into ‘83 pie
Lord’s (London), June 26
Uniformly dressed in grey prince coats, with broaches of the sponsors, the UB Group, pinned to their chests, a majority were accompanied by their wives.
Vijay Mallya, chairman of the UB Group, conspicuous in a designer black shirt with a dinner jacket of the same colour, made the most succinct speech.
His claim that the World Cup win is India’s greatest cricketing moment, though, was uncomfortable for the purists, who deem it sacrilegious to compare one-day cricket with Tests.
Sharad Pawar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), was tastefully attired in a grey pin striped suit.
He revealed the BCCI was completely isolated when opposing the staging of last year’s World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa.
Ironically, half-hearted participation resulted in the Indian side lifting the trophy to pave the way for the cash-cow of the Indian Premier League!
Kapil Dev Nikhanj, iconic skipper of the World Cup winning team, spoke by far longest, introducing team-mates with a blend of trademark earthiness and humour.
His company in the central table included Dr Farooq Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir.
But not Arun Jaitley of the BJP, who seemed to exit after earlier hovering around the photo op on the balcony of the pavilion, where Kapil was re-presented the Prudential World Cup as a re-enactment of the ceremony 25 years ago.
No other BCCI official was present among the 150 odd guests. Also mostly absent were UK’s many eminent and prominent NRIs and PIOs, not to mention the international cricketing fraternity.
Farokh Engineer, who commentated with yours truly in the ’83 tournament, apparently, did not receive an invitation.
Neither did Dilip Doshi, another local resident and erstwhile India player, though his name figured in the table plan.
Both Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were, reportedly, in the British capital, but not at the commemoration.
A gold embroidered and diamond studded bat, signed by the heroes of ’83, and a diamond ball will be publicly auctioned soon — the proceeds of which will be shared by Kapil and his squad.
Meanwhile, they were handed medium-sized silver replicas of the Prudential Cup.
To supplement the largesse, Nat Puri, a Nottingham-based businessman who was among the attendees, promised $5,000 to each member of the team.
Lord’s (London), June 26
Introducing Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Kapil praised him for knocking down the wicket of much feared Gordon Greenidge early in the final match against the West Indies.
"Later, when Malcolm Marshall bowled a bouncer at Sandhu, the normally quiet umpire Dicky Bird shouted at Marshal 'You can't bowl like that to a 11th batsman'," Kapil remembered.
He said Dilip Vengsarkar had scored three centuries in his three matches at the Lord's but he was not in the final because of an injury. "Otherwise, our score would have been 283."
"Kirti Azad and Mohinder Amarnath bowled 24 overs giving away 53 runs. How can England win if they could not face India's part-time bowlers," Kapil said of the heroics of Azad and Amarnath.
"Mohinder Amarnath was truly a champion alrounder, totally underestimated by a lot of batsmen."
Kapil described Roger Binny as a "lovable character" who would do anything for the captain while introducing Sandeep Patil as a great cricketer and entertainer.
The legendary all-rounder wondered how Yashpal Sharma proved himself a strong cricketer despite being a vegetarian.
As for wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani, Kapil said, "He (Kirmani) was always late but
He described Madan Lal as hardest and toughest cricketer and Krishnamachari Srikkanth a great character.
"With a little more talent, Ravi Shastri, cricketer of the cricketers, would have been one of the best cricketers in the world," was how Kapil described the Shastri.
But, the best accolade was reserved for Gavaskar, whom Kapil said he was not qualified to describe.
"He played for India when there were hardly any pace bowlers at home. But he went to the West Indies and pulverised their pacers, scoring hundreds after hundreds without wearing a helmet. He taught us how not to lose a match. We love and respect each other. He is the most straightforward cricketer I have known," Kapil said of the legendary opener.
"We may have differences of opinion. That does not mean I don't respect him. I respect him more than anybody else."
Kapil did not forget then manager Peter Mansingh whom he thanked for "all good and bad things" he had done and described him as one of the finest men.
"He looked after every need of every team member." — PTI
Kiwis steal last-ball win
London, June 26 With two runs required and one ball remaining, number 11 Mark Gillespie squeezed a full-pitched delivery from Luke Wright into the off-side. Graeme Swann's throw missed the stumps with nobody backing up and Gillespie and Kyle Mills scampered the winning runs yesterday. New Zealand finished on 246 for nine from 50 overs after dismissing England for 245 from 49.4
overs. England appeared to have the game won through a cruel piece of misfortune to New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott who was run out while lying on his back after a shuddering collision with bowler Ryan Sidebottom. New Zealand, beaten 2-0 in the three-test series, now take an unbeatable 2-1 lead into the final one-day match at Lord's on Saturday. The second game was declared a no-result. Earlier, man-of-the-match Scott Styris was dropped three times from chances of varying difficulty en route to New Zealand's top score of 69 while Jacob Oram, playing for the first time in the series, batted with a fluent authority. Styris, who now limits his energies solely to the one-day game, was dropped on nought, 27 and 28, unfurling some classic off-drives in the meantime. But after Oram was caught for 38 and Styris run out from an excellent piece of fielding by Swann, New Zealand faltered. Brief scores: England: 245 all out in 49.4 overs (Shah 63, Bopara 58, Bell 46, Southee 3-47) New Zealand: 246 for 9 in 50 overs (Styris 69, Oram 38, Swann 2-49, Sidebottom 2-55).
London, June 26
With two runs required and one ball remaining, number 11 Mark Gillespie squeezed a full-pitched delivery from Luke Wright into the off-side.
Graeme Swann's throw missed the stumps with nobody backing up and Gillespie and Kyle Mills scampered the winning runs yesterday.
New Zealand finished on 246 for nine from 50 overs after dismissing England for 245 from 49.4 overs.
England appeared to have the game won through a cruel piece of misfortune to New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott who was run out while lying on his back after a shuddering collision with bowler Ryan Sidebottom.
New Zealand, beaten 2-0 in the three-test series, now take an unbeatable 2-1 lead into the final one-day match at Lord's on Saturday. The second game was declared a no-result.
Earlier, man-of-the-match Scott Styris was dropped three times from chances of varying difficulty en route to New Zealand's top score of 69 while Jacob Oram, playing for the first time in the series, batted with a fluent authority.
Styris, who now limits his energies solely to the one-day game, was dropped on nought, 27 and 28, unfurling some classic off-drives in the meantime.
But after Oram was caught for 38 and Styris run out from an excellent piece of fielding by Swann, New Zealand faltered.
Brief scores: England: 245 all out in 49.4 overs (Shah 63, Bopara 58, Bell 46, Southee 3-47)
New Zealand: 246 for 9 in 50 overs (Styris 69, Oram 38, Swann 2-49, Sidebottom 2-55). — Reuters
Houghton threatens to quit
New Delhi, June 26 “If someone out there really suggests that I am not needed, I will not take much time to say ‘Thank you very much’ and part company,” Houghton said. “I have been doing my job with utmost dedication and passion. I am trying to help out Indian football in the best way I can. Only eight months are left out in my contract. Yet I have been constantly talking about youth development and what India should do to realise their 2018 World Cup dream. I will not be benefited from that. Still I am saying it because I want Indian football to progress,” he added. Houghton faced flak from several quarters after India lost the SAFF Cup final to Maldives on June 14. When asked about the reason for India’s SAFF Cup loss, Houghton replied, “In the Nehru Cup, the only player to get injured was Deepak (Mondal). In the SAFF Cup, too many players were injured - Ajayan, Surkumar, Manju, Steven Dias, Renedy Singh. It was a big setback. I sometimes ponder what the AFC is all about.”
New Delhi, June 26
“If someone out there really suggests that I am not needed, I will not take much time to say ‘Thank you very much’ and part company,” Houghton said.
“I have been doing my job with utmost dedication and passion. I am trying to help out Indian football in the best way I can. Only eight months are left out in my contract. Yet I have been constantly talking about youth development and what India should do to realise their 2018 World Cup dream. I will not be benefited from that. Still I am saying it because I want Indian football to progress,” he added.
Houghton faced flak from several quarters after India lost the SAFF Cup final to Maldives on June 14. When asked about the reason for India’s SAFF Cup loss, Houghton replied, “In the Nehru Cup, the only player to get injured was Deepak (Mondal). In the SAFF Cup, too many players were injured - Ajayan, Surkumar, Manju, Steven Dias, Renedy Singh. It was a big setback. I sometimes ponder what the AFC is all about.” — UNI