Knights take charge
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Rajat Bhatia celebrates after dismissing Deccan Chargers’ Kumara Sangakara (right) in Kolkata on Monday. Knight Riders won by 9 runs. — PTI
Mumbai Indians face a Royal challenge
Afridi: Not against Indians, Hindus
Demolished Delhi aim for revival against Rajasthan
Bopara skips IPL for Tests
Watson hits record 15 sixes as Aus beat Bangladesh
Sania-Vesnina lift WTA title
Maken to turn NIS into National Institute of Importance
Sports Minister Ajay Maken meets boxers at the NIS in Patiala on Monday. Tribune Photo: Rajesh Sachar
Police meet begins today
Sonnet record big win
Knights take charge
Kolkata, April 11
Chasing a formidable 164 for victory, the Chargers did not make a very good start and lost early wickets. But a mini-fightback by Dan Christian, Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra meant that they were in the game till the last over. Although Mishra ended the game with a six, it was all too late for the Hyderabad outfit, who have now lost both their opening games.
Earlier, Jacques Kallis produced a fluent half-century to set the platform for middle-order to take charge and help Kolkata Knight Riders post a challenging 163 for four. Opting to bat, Kallis (53 off 45) and Manvinder Bisla (19) gave a solid start to the Knight Riders innings with a 51-run opening partnership.
Kallis was at his destructive best as he hit seven fours and a lone six to notch up his second fifty in as many matches in the tournament.
After Kallis' show, Manoj Tiwary played a special unbeaten knock of 30 from 21 balls during which struck two boundaries and as many sixes.
Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir (29 off 18) also played a good hand while Yusuf Pathan produced a nice 15-ball 22-run cameo towards the end to provide the late surge for the hosts, who piled up 45 runs in the last five overs.
For Deccan leg-spinner Amit Mishra impressed with figures of four for 19, including the prized scalp of Gambhir. Playing their first home match without former India captain and local hero Sourav Ganguly, the Knight Riders started the proceedings in an attacking manner in front of a half-filled Eden Gardens.
Kallis clobbered his South African teammate Dale Steyn for two fours in the very first over of the innings.
To add to Deccan's misery, Bisla was dropped on five by Ishant Sharma at third man from Steyn's bowling.
While bowling Ishant was expensive today, giving away 27 runs from his spell of three overs as Knight Riders raced to 34 for no loss in five overs. Introduction of spin from the sixth over brought down the run rate as Mishra was successful in breaking the opening partnership, trapping Bisla for 19. Mishra gave away three runs from his first over, while Ojha too was tidy as the duo managed to stem the Knight Riders run flow. — PTI
Kallis c Dhawan b Duminy 53
Bisla lbw b Mishra 19
Gambhir b Mishra 29
Tiwary not out 30
Yusuf c Jaggi b Steyn 22
Jaggi b Abdulla 3
Chipli c Kallis b Bhatia 48
S’kkara c Kallis b Bhatia 16
Duminy c Kallis b Abdulla 6
Christian c Doeschate
b Abdulla 25
Teja c Kallis b Unadkat 15
Steyn b Unadkat 13
Mishra not out 12
Sharma not out 1
Extras: (b 2, lb 2, w 4) 8
Bangalore, April 11
Although Mumbai's bowling armory is trifle weak, they have a destructive bowler in Malinga who decimated Delhi Daredevil's batting might yesterday at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The Lankan pace-bowling spearhead returned with inspiring figures of 5 for 13, which was instrumental in bowling out Virender Sehwag's outfit for a niggardly 95.
Malinga's fiery, toe-crushing yorkers would be something that the Royal Challengers (RCB) think-tank, chaired by Anil Kumble, would have discussed in detail during the team meeting. If Malinga's yorkers could be dealt with, RCB could look to score their second successive win in the fourth edition of the tournament here at the M Chinnaswamy stadium tomorrow.
They had defeated Kochi Tuskers Kerala by six wickets last weekend in their opening match. And it is expected to be an interesting battle tomorrow between Sachin Tendulkar and pacer Zaheer Khan. They are good buddies and are fierce competitors, always striving to get on top of their opponents.
It will interesting to see how Zaheer, who has the uncanny ability to produce wickets when his team desperately needs a breakthrough, braces up against Tendulkar batting prowess. We often see them plot the demise of an opponent batsman together, the iconic batsman sauntering across to the bowlers' run-up and having a quick work with the wily left-arm seamer.
Wonder who will get the better of each other tomorrow. Compared to Mumbai Indians, RCB have a balanced side with Zaheer, skipper Daniel Vettori and Dirk Nannes providing teeth and experience to the bowling.
AB de Villiers, who has been in sublime form since the World Cup, Tillakaratne Dilshan, a maverick who can turn the match on its head when in the mood, Virat Kohli, arguably one of the most talented young batsmen in world cricket, Saurabh Tiwary and young Mayank Agarwal lend depth to RCB's batting. — PTI
Karachi, April 11
"I am not a born captain and I also make mistakes. I made mistakes in the World Cup particularly in the semi-final at Mohali. I should have gone up the order like Mahendra Singh Dhoni did against Sri Lanka in the final at Mumbai," Afridi said on a show on 'Geo News'.
"The move by Dhoni in the final to come up himself worked and it could have also worked for us but we all make mistakes it was my mistake," he said.
He pointed out that India had one of the strongest and best batting line-ups in the world and when Pakistan bowled them out for 260, there was total silence at the innings break in the stadium.
"I am learning every day as captain because it is a big learning process."
Afridi refused to to comment on Indo-Pak relations but reiterated that there were some elements in the Indian media who were negative about ties.
"About that I am convinced there are negative elements. And if both countries want to move forward this mindset has to change. I am not against India or Indian people or Hindus. There are Hindus living in Pakistan just like Muslims in India and since this is a very sensitive issue I have decided that from now on I will not speak on it,” Afridi said. — PTI
Jaipur, April 11
Led by wily spin legend Shane Warne, Rajasthan, who were the inaugural IPL champions, have made a good start to their campaign beating Deccan Chargers in their opening match. All set for their first home game of the event at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Rajasthan would undoubtedly be on a high after the comprehensive seven-wicket win in their tournament-opener.
From the inaugural edition itself, Rajasthan have never quite had the star-power to be rated among the favourites but in Warne, they have the master strategist to get the most out of the limited talent at their disposal.
This time, Rajasthan also have the experience of veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid, who may not be the most sought after of Twenty20 players, but lends the line-up the kind of stability that is essential in the face of any sudden collapse.
Not to mention, his experience of having captained the Indian national team makes Dravid the ideal go-to man for Warne when things get too difficult to handle for the Aussie. In New Zealand swashbuckler Ross Taylor, Rajasthan have the game-changer, who at his destructive best, can simply bat the opposition out of the match.
Imposing Kiwi all-rounder Jacob Oram is another player, who has the ability the turn the game on, its head both with the bat and ball, not to forget the athleticism he brings to the team's ground fielding. South African Johan Botha adds more weight to their batting, making Rajasthan a team to be feared given how Warne manages to get the best out of the domestic talent that he has.
On the bowling front, Warne himself remains quite a force despite being out of international cricket for quite some time now. The fast bowling attack may not seem too impressive but Siddharth Trivedi and Amit Singh's medium pace came in handy in the match against Deccan in which they shared five wickets between them.
Delhi, on the other hand, crashed rather badly in their opening match against Mumbai Indians. Without the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Paul Collingwood this season, Delhi's batting relies heavily on skipper Virender Sehwag and the destructive-but-inconsistent Aussie David Warner.
Both of them flopped in the opening match and the result was a collapse with just 95 on the board after their 20 overs. Sehwag and Warner will have to strike form quickly as no other name in the Delhi line-up can be expected to cause much fear in the opposition camp.
Their bowling too has been left depleted without the leg-spin of experienced campaigner Daniel Vettori and the pace of Dirk Nannes. Irfan Pathan, for whom this IPL is perhaps the final shot at making an impact for a national comeback, hardly looked threatening in the opening match but would be expected to come good in the coming games.
In-form South African pacer Morne Morkel needs the back-up to make an impact and it has to come from Pathan, who was bought for an astronomical USD 1.9 million by the franchise.
A man-to-man comparison makes Rajasthan favourites and it would be quite a task for Sehwag to out-maneuver the smart-thinking Warne. Teams: Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne (c), Amit Singh, Swapnil Asnodkar, Stuart Binny, Johan Botha, Deepak Chahar, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Aditya Dole, Nayan Doshi, Rahul Dravid, Samad Fallah, Faiz Fazal, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Jacob Oram, Pankaj Singh, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Raut, Dinesh Salunkhe, Pinal Shah, Shaun Tait, Ross Taylor, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Harendra Yagnik.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (c), Varun Aaron, Ajit Agarkar, Travis Birt, Robin Bist, Unmukt Chand, Ajit Chandila, Ashok Dinda, Aaron Finch, Robert Frylinck, James Hopes, Colin Ingram, Andrew McDonald, Morne Morkel, Shahbaz Nadeem, Yogesh Nagar, Prashant Naik, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Rajesh Pawar, Aavishkar Salvi, Sridharan Sriram, Roelof van der Merwe, Venugopal Rao, Vikas Mishra, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Tejashwi Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Vivek Yadav. — PTI
Bopara skips IPL for Tests
London, April 11 Graham Gooch, batting coach for England and Essex, was delighted to offer wise counsel when Bopara discussed Rajasthan's approach with him. The Guardian quoted Gooch as saying, "I think he has made the right decision. He is very motivated to achieve and if he wants to make his mark on the Test side, he will only do that with championship runs. He can't further his cause in the IPL, however many runs he gets." — ANI
London, April 11
Graham Gooch, batting coach for England and Essex, was delighted to offer wise counsel when Bopara discussed Rajasthan's approach with him. The Guardian quoted Gooch as saying, "I think he has made the right decision. He is very motivated to achieve and if he wants to make his mark on the Test side, he will only do that with championship runs. He can't further his cause in the IPL, however many runs he gets." — ANI
Dhaka, April 11
The explosive opener gave a superb display of power-hitting as he also cracked 15 fours in his 96-ball knock to help Australia achieve a 230-run target with 24 overs to spare for an unbeatable 2-0 lead.
West Indies' Xavier Marshall was the previous record-holder with 12 sixes against Canada in 2008. Watson's knock was also the highest by an Australian in One-day Internationals, the previous best being 181 not out by Matthew Hayden.
He completed his sixth one-day hundred off just 69 balls, the third-fastest by an Australia after Hayden (66 balls) and Gilchrist (67 balls). The final one-dayer will be played in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Watson looked in excellent touch from the beginning, hammering three fours in the opening over bowled by Shafiul Islam. He raced to his half-century off just 26 balls with the help of four sixes and five boundaries. He then reduced Bangladesh's bowlers and fielders to a state of helplessness with his onslaught, once hitting four sixes in an over from left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo. — AFP
Charleston, April 11
The unseeded Indo-Russian pair beat the fourth seeds 6-4 6-4 in what was a repeat of the Indian Wells final three weeks ago in which Sania and Vesnina had come out victors.
Sania and Vesnina held off late surges from the Americans, managing to grab the first set after letting a 5-1 lead close to 5-4. The second set followed a similar script as Sania and Vesnina let a 4-0 lead close to 4-4.
But Vesnina fired a forehand winner to seal it for the pair. This was Sania and Vesnina's fifth event together. They began with back-to-back quarterfinals at Dubai and Doha before winning the Indian Wells but fell early in Miami.
In Charleston, Sania won her 11th WTA doubles title, while Vesnina lifted her fifth. "It helps we get along so well. If either one of us isn't playing well, you don't get angry at your friends. We've known each other for really long. We play better every day and understand each other's games better. When the other one isn't playing as well, the other picks it up," Sania said.
"I think Sania has the best forehand on the tour. I see the eyes of the net player who's guarding the ball from her forehand. They're thinking, 'Oh my God, no, the Mirza forehand!'" added Vesnina.
Sania was also lavish in her praise for the Russian, who lost the singles final to Caroline Wozniacki. "Elena has a lethal backhand and the forehand is my strong shot. Opponents run out of ideas what to do, considering they have only half the court to play in," Sania said.
"I think we've improved our volleys and are more confident too. With confidence you start to poach more and do stuff normal doubles players do. And since we're so heavy off the ground, it's easier for the player at net," she added.
With this this win, Sania has jumped 17 places to 73rd position in the latest WTA singles rankings issued today. in this tournament, she has earned enough points to total 882 and earn the rank of 73. — PTI
Maken to turn NIS into National Institute of Importance
Patiala, April 11
Earlier, in a major embarrassment that speaks volumes about the seriousness of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) towards the premiere institution of sports in the country, the minister was invited to NIS to inaugurate sporting infrastructure, which was actually constructed to prepare for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, 2010.
The minister, evidently not happy, left the venue without inaugurating the infrastructure. While Maken left the inauguration stone under a veil, he met sportspersons and had a closed door meeting with the NIS top brass, directing them to pull up their socks. Maken was invited to unveil an additional synthetic track and training halls for wrestling, weightlifting, boxing and table tennis.
The minister accepted that there were many delays before the Commonwealth Games, but now the works would be put on a fast track. “We have formed a steering committee and an apex committee to monitor the action plan for the London Olympics,” he added.
Maken later announced that the Sports Ministry has decided to turn NIS Patiala into National Institute of Importance through a special act of the Parliament, which would give due importance to the institute as it prepares for the 2012 London Olympics. “This was one of the major recommendations of the Mool Chand Sharma Committee in 2007,” he added.
Maken said that the Government has filtered 16 disciplines out of 26 for the Olympics, and a meeting of officials and former Olympians will be held on April 15 in New Delhi to chalk out further strategy for the upcoming Games.
Police meet begins today
New Delhi, April 11
Swimmers from 16 State Polices and six Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will be participating in the aquatic championship. Swimming, diving and water polo would be conducted at the Rustamji Swimming Pool, BSF Chhawla Camp, whereas the cross-country race will be conducted at BSF RTC Bhondsi, Gurgaon.
International swimmers and water polo players from various police organisations will take part in the events. On the opening day, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle events would be held. Sports Minister Ajay Maken will be the Chief Guest in the opening ceremony.