Kings XI look to bounce back
Ganguly confident ahead of Kings clash
Pollard shines as Mumbai overpower Rajasthan
Chennai looks to rediscover consistency
Harris and Hilfenhaus swing Test back
Shiva is youngest Indian boxer to qualify for Olympics
Kings XI look to bounce back
Mohali, April 11
For Kings XI Punjab, their home ground, the PCA Stadium at Mohali, has been a happy hunting ground. They won most of their matches at home and that is exactly the statistic Adam Glichrist and his boys will be eyeing as they take on a charged up Pune Warriors team in their Indian Premier League match here tomorrow.
The two teams could not have had more contrasting starts to the season. Pune, without their skipper from last year, Yuvraj Singh, are being led by Sourav Ganguly. It is common knowledge that it was Ganguly, who infused a streak of attitude into the Indian team during his captaincy days. He turned a usually beaten side into potential world beaters. And he has surely rubbed the same spirit onto this Pune side as well. From being rank outsiders, they are suddenly looking more than just the dark horses of this season. But Ganguly has been quick to admit that it is too soon to read too much into the situation, and there is still a long way to go.
The Kings will be surely hoping that is just the case. They have lost both their opening matches, rather convincingly. Chasing both times, they fell short. While against Rajasthan Royals, the bowling was slaughtered, against Pune in the last away game, the batting fell way short. Gilchrist himself admitted that the top-three batsmen were not doing enough. “The top order hasn’t delivered a big total. We got to 160 against Rajasthan and even against Pune we were not bundled out, so there is a little positive in there. But yes, the top batsmen have to provide the foundation.”
Gilchrist also was concerned with the non-availability of all-rounder Azhar Mehmood. “That (Azhar coming to India), is upto the government. We bought the player as we were told he would be available all through the tournament, but three games on, and we still don’t. It is not in our hands anymore.” Gilchrist also hinted that the batting order might see a little change as David Hussey can be asked to bat up the order.
There is a definite need for the Kings XI to get things moving as losing can become a rather consistent habit in the shortest format. They restricted Pune in the last game and have had the time to sit back and analyse the anomalies from that game.
There is definite scope for making room for an additional bowler in the side as Mohali is known to be one of the more bowler-friendly tracks. All in all, they have their task cut out, the crowd backing them, and their ‘priety’ owner throwing freebies all around. Now the only thing they need is a win to make sure that they are right back in the mix.
Ganguly confident ahead of Kings clash
Mohali, April 11
“So far, the team has given their best in all fields, however, it’s early to predict anything about the tournament but for tomorrow’s match, hopefully our batsmen will trouble their bowlers” said Ganguly. Adding further, “The bowlers had played their role in the previous matches but this format needs a lot of mind presence and quick reactions, so I hope they will continue to bring smiles to our fans” said Ganguly.
On other hand, Ganguly also hinted to field Angelo Mathews against Kings XI, as according to him, he was fit to bowl. “To choose a playing eleven is really a tough task. In this format, a captain has many choices but with limitations, Mathews is fit to give his best on field and I feel he will be available as the main all-rounder for the team against the Kings” said Sourav.
When asked, about the performance of some of the junior players in the team, he said “They are suggested to play in a natural flow, this version needs swinging all the time and the youngsters are full of talent and enthusiasm, which helps us to encourage the team as a unit, They are the future and they should be capable of taking the pressure” added Ganguly.
He also wished his ex-teammate Yuvraj Singh a speedy recovery. “Well, cricket is a side thing , when it comes to Yuvi. He went through a bad phase but he is capable of making a comeback. We all know him and I hope that he will recover soon and join us back to add strength to the team. His presence really matters” said Ganguly.
Mumbai, April 11
But not one to take the result lying down, Owais Shah played a super innings of 76 off just 42 balls as he kept the Royals very much in the hunt.
Though the total and the run-rate were still daunting enough, but Shah kept at it and put almost all the Mumbai bowlers to the sword.
Just when it was looking that Rajasthan Royals would give Mumbai a run for their money, the ever-dangerous Lasith Malinga struck to remove Shah. The England batsman made room for himself by moving to the leg-side, but was then unable to dig out a yorker from Malinga. The ball crashed into middle and off stumps, and so did the hopes of the Royals.
Earlier, Kieron Pollard cracked a whirlwind 64 off just 33 balls to power Mumbai Indians to a formidable 197 for six.
The big-built Trinidadian came to the crease when the home team had slumped to 68 for three in the ninth over and smashed the ball around in his inimitable style to hit four sixes and six fours to give the innings the boost it needed.
Pollard hammered off-spinner Johan Botha for 22 runs in one over and then carted left-arm slow bowler Ankeet Chavan for a couple of fours and a six before holing out to long on fielder Ajinkya Rahane off the last ball of the 17th over.
The giant West Indian added 96 runs in a blazing fourth wicket stand off just 52 balls with Ambati Rayudu (47 not out in 32 balls) to help MI finish with a tall total on a wicket that helped slow bowlers.
Rayudu was the ideal foil for the big-made Pollard but also played some handsome shots to remain unconquered after striking three sixes and a four as MI surged to the highest total of the IPL season, bettering the 193 made by holders Chennai Super Kings against Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad.
Earlier, MI got off to a decent start through Richard Levi (29) and Rohit Sharma, who looked in sublime form with a well-made 13-ball 21, before both were snapped up by IPL debutant Brad Hogg with beautiful deliveries in successive overs. Mumbai Indians, put in to bat by Royals skipper Rahul Dravid, made a quiet start before carting left arm spinner Chavan, who opened the attack, for 21 runs in the third over.
T Suman started the mayhem by stepping out to Chavan's first ball in his second over and hoisting it over the straight field for the first six of the game. Richard Levi, who looked a bit circumspect against the Mumbai Ranji Trophy bowler in the first over, took the cue from his Indian partner and slammed the bowler for a six and two fours in that over. — PTI
Chennai, April 11
They bounced back to outplay Deccan Chargers only to meekly surrender to Delhi Daredevils last night with another dismal batting display highlighted by continuing poor running between the wickets.
The Royal Challengers, led by Daniel Vettori, are also coming into the match with a defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders last evening in Bangalore after an impressive victory over Delhi Daredevils in their first fixture.
The hosts have looked anything but champions with their famed batting line up consisting the likes of F Du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni, coming a cropper so far.
In the matches against Mumbai and Delhi, the Super Kings have barely managed to cross the 100-mark and lost both by an identical eight wickets and playing before the home fans, Chennai would surely be under pressure.
After overcoming the rusty start with an impressive 74 runs victory over 2009 edition winners Deccan Chargers last week, Chennai dished out another below par show posting their second lowest IPL total of 110 against Delhi yesterday.
The match saw four of their batsmen getting run out after horrible mix-ups and Dhoni, who is also having a poor form, admitted they were not playing good cricket.
Chennai should strive to get full points in their second home tie tomorrow as this time they have better knowledge about the new turf at Chepauk, lack of which proved costly during their loss to Mumbai. — PTI
Bridgetown, April 11
Earlier captain Michael Clarke declared Australia's first innings at 406 for nine with his side still trailing by 43 runs. It was an aggressive move allowing his bowlers to attack the West Indian batsmen either side of tea and Hilfenhaus took advantage in the 25 minutes leading up to the break removing the top three.
Harris - who had earlier hit an unbeaten 68 - added the important scalp of Shivnarine Chanderpaul shortly after tea. It was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes as the Australians had at one point been 199 runs behind with only three first innings wickets remaining. It looked as though the West Indies would have a commanding first innings lead when, just as they had on the third day, they broke through early on.
In the fourth over Mike Hussey drove at a ball from Kemar Roach that found the edge and Carlton Baugh dived across in front of first slip to claim the key wicket.
Peter Siddle started to duck the second ball that he received from Fidel Edwards but it didn't climb as high as he'd anticipated.
West Indies 449 for 9 dec and 71 for 5 (Hilfenhaus 3-17) lead Australia 406 for 9 dec (Clarke 73, Harris 68*, Roach 3-72) by 114 runs.
New Delhi, April 11
"It was a superb performance. He was down a point in the first round due to overt aggression but did not panic and played from medium range in the next two rounds to win and win big," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI from Astana.
"Most of his points came through right straight punches," he added.
A 19-year-old L Devendro Singh had booked his London berth in the last year's World Championships, tying with Debendra Singh (1996 Atlanta) as the youngest Indian boxer to make the Olympics. But the 1993-born Shiva has broken this record. The Assam teenager, playing only his second senior international event (he won a gold in the maiden), was down 6-7 in the opening round.
But he turned the tables in the second round, taking a massive 15-6 lead. The final three minutes followed a similar script as Shiva clinched it with ease.
However, Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg), who is already assured of a London ticket, lost to Asian and Youth Olympics bronze-medallist Nursaat Pazziyev 10-7.
Vijender trailed 2-3 in the opening round as Pazziyev came up better on the accuracy graph with his combination punches. The 19-year-old was happy to guard and counter-attack, waiting for his 26-year-old Indian rival to make the first move and he managed to widen the lead to 6-4 at the end of the second round with this tactic.
Vijender seemed determined in the last three minutes but the sheer accuracy of Pazziyev was hard to deal with for the former world number one as he settled for a bronze and an Olympic berth at the event.
Four Indian boxers — L Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) — booked their Olympic berths in last year's World Championship.
In another disappointing result for India, Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) failed to qualify for the Olympics after losing 13-6 in the semifinals to Iran's Ali Mazaheri. Manpreet needed to win a gold to make the London cut.
The 23-year-old was ahead 3-2 in the opening round but lost the second round 2-5. Mazaheri was spot on with his placement of jabs that penetrated Manpreet's defence. In the final three minutes, the Iranian became more aggressive and outpunched Manpreet 6-1 to make the final. — PTI
Tribune News Service
Patiala, April 11
This is the first time that a case of Indian athletes has been put before the CAS after the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) came into existence in India.
This virtually means that these four runners, in addition to the other two international-level athletes, will not be able to participate in any Olympic qualifier till the CAS gives them a clean chit.
With the last chance to qualify scheduled for June, the six athletes, currently training at SAI centres, stand little chance to make it to London.
Highly placed sources in the IAAF confirmed to The Tribune that four athletes, all women 400m runners — Ashwini AC, Sini Jose, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas — were suspended for one year each for steroid violations by a disciplinary panel last December.
“However, their (these four) cases have been sent to CAS to be clubbed with the already pending cases of Indian international-level athletes Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu pending before CAS,” they said.
These developments mean that all six athletes will not be able to participate in any recognised event till they are either cleared by CAS or their cases are dropped.
The suspensions were upheld some time back by the NADA appeals panel which took up appeals from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the four accused athletes.
The NADA, headed by former judge CK Mahajan, had also given some reprieve to these athletes by backdating their suspensions from the date of their tests — to open doors for these athletes to compete in the London Olympic qualifiers.
Mandeep and Juana, two international-level athletes, were tested in May 2011 under IAAF regulations. The IAAF has appealed against the disciplinary panel’s decision.
In the case of the other four, the appeal is against the verdict of the NADA appeals panel.
While IAAF is stressing on the fact that the athletes took ginseng supplements without any content verification, the NADA panel says that the athletes trusted their federation-appointed coach.
“We understand that now there are very dim chances as the case will come up for hearing in CAS. Till then, none of us will be able to participate anywhere and prove our worth,” said athlete Mandeep Kaur. “We will surely fight our case to get a clean chit,” she added.
A spokesperson of IAAF said that the cases of the four athletes were filed last week in CAS and according to our rules, these athletes will not be allowed to participate in any event till cleared.
“If the CAS case lingers on after their suspension period that ends in a month’s time, these six would be placed under provisional suspension till a final verdict,” he told The Tribune over the phone from the IAAF headquarters.
Director, Athletics Federation of India, ML Dogra confirmed that the IAAF had filed a case in CAS. “According to rules, all the six athletes cannot participate in any event, but they can continue training.”Athletes’ body files appeal
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has filed an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against their suspension