McGrath, Warne wreck India
Cricket world mourns ‘end of an era’
Wills Indian Open
from March 15
Rusedski attempts to rejoin tennis
Churchill favourites against
Big victory for
Akhtar may play in
McGrath, Warne wreck India
Mumbai, February 27
Hayden with 25 runs and Justin Langer with 10 runs were at the crease.
The weakness of Indian batsmen while playing on wickets with little bit or bounce and turn was once again exposed with Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne running through the Indian innings after Steve Waugh put them in to bat.
Only Sachin Tendulkar with a defiant 76 stood up to the Australian bowlers but unluckily there was no support forthcoming from the other end.
Glenn McGrath bowled a nagging line and length, getting good carry through to the keeper. He troubled both the Indian openers before striking in his third over as Ramesh went to hook a short one which climbed on him to take his glove through to keeper Adam Gilchrist.
Skipper Waugh kept changing his three pacemen around bringing back Damien Fleming for his second spell in place of McGrath and he struck immediately with a peach of a ball which left Dravid taking the edge to keeper Gilchrist. Dravid made nine.
Das was also soon to follow slashing one from Jason Gillespie straight to Hayden at third slip. India were 31 for three at this stage with Das gone for 14.
Ganguly and Tendulkar then tried to steady the innings. However Ganguly after hitting two fours fell to Warne, pushing forward for the edge, which came as a diving catch to Hayden at first slip.
Laxman then joined Tendulkar, and the two, with some resolute batting, frustrated the Australian bowlers with a stand of 75 for the fifth wicket.
Tendulkar was in prime touch playing in the ‘V’ with his straight drives which were a treat to watch.
He took on Fleming hitting him for three consecutive fours, two of them superb straight drives and third a square cut.
Tendulkar also treated Warne with disdain pulling him to the midwicket ropes.
Laxman at the other end was looking good, but just after having essayed a superb hook off McGrath, pushed at a ball outside the off-stump from the same bowler, to get a thick outside edge to Ricky Ponting at second slip. He made 20 and India were 130 for five at that stage.
This was the beginning of the end for India as Sachin soon followed Laxman at for 76, caught by keeper Gilchrist of McGrath.
Shane Warne, then got into the act getting rid of the tail to end with a four-wicket haul as Mongia remained not out on 26. McGrath took three, including the all important wicket of Tendulkar, while Gillispie got two and Fleming one.
The Australian opening batsmen survived some anxious moments before Micheal Slater was bowled by Ajit Agarkar as he went to play an expansive off drive.
Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, however, saw that there were no further damages.
India (1st innings):
Das c Hayden b Gilllespie 14
Ramesh c Gilchrist b McGrath 2
Dravid c Gilchrist b Fleming 9
Tendulkar c Gilchrist b McGrath 76
Ganguly c Hayden b Warne 8
Laxman c Ponting b McGrath 20
Mongia not out 26
Agarkar c and b Warne 0
Srinath c M. Waugh b Warne 12
H. Singh c S. Waugh b Warne 0
Sanghvi c Gilchrist b Gillespie 2
Extras: (b-4, lb-1, nb-1, w-1) 7
Total: (all out in 71.3 overs) 176
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-25, 3-31, 4-55, 5-130, 6-139, 7-140, 8-165, 9-166.
Bowling: McGrath 19-13-19-3, Fleming 15-3-55-1, Gillespie 15.3-4-50-2, Warne 22-7-47-4.
Australia (Ist innings):
Slater b Agarkar 10
Hayden batting 25
Langer batting 10
Extras: (3b 1nb) 4
Total: 49 for one in 16 overs
We stuck to our
plan: Warne Mumbai, February 27 Warne told reporters “we had plan for every Indian batsman and it worked against all of them except Sachin (Tendulkar) who hit us all over the ground. “Winning the toss and electing to field was a bit different as Steve (Waugh) perhaps thought with three fast bowlers we could put pressure on the Indian batsmen and that is what happened,” the blonde haired bamboozler said. “When I came on to bowl, I was surprised to see the ball turn and bounce a lot and I think the wicket was a perfect beauty as lots of good shots were played by the Indians and at the same time 11 wickets fell on day one,” Warne added. A minute’s silence was observed before the start of the Test this morning in memory of Sri Donald Bradman, who died on Sunday.
Mumbai, February 27
Warne told reporters “we had plan for every Indian batsman and it worked against all of them except Sachin (Tendulkar) who hit us all over the ground.
“Winning the toss and electing to field was a bit different as Steve (Waugh) perhaps thought with three fast bowlers we could put pressure on the Indian batsmen and that is what happened,” the blonde haired bamboozler said.
“When I came on to bowl, I was surprised to see the ball turn and bounce a lot and I think the wicket was a perfect beauty as lots of good shots were played by the Indians and at the same time 11 wickets fell on day one,” Warne added.
A minute’s silence was observed before the start of the Test this morning in memory of Sri Donald Bradman, who died on Sunday.
Cricket world mourns ‘end of an era’
Sydney, February 27
From Bowral to Mumbai and London to Lahore, cricketers and cricket fans the world over were grieving the death of the sport’s greatest player, who died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Adelaide.
Nowhere was his death more deeply felt than in Australia, where Bradman was revered as an immortal.
The television networks interrupted their scheduled programming when news of Bradman’s passing broke on Monday morning to screen documentaries and tributes to “The Don.”
And today, the country’s metropolitan newspapers, all produced supplementary liftouts commemorating the achievements of a man universally proclaimed as the greatest cricketer in history and the greatest Australian of the 20th century.
The Australian newspaper summed up the national mood when it described Bradman’s death as the end of an era.
“The death of Sir Donald Bradman at the age of 92 marks the end of an era in Australian history, which, like the road to federation, forged a part of our unique national character,” the paper said.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote: “Sir Donald Bradman’s place in the Australian pantheon is assured by his marvellous cricketing abilities and, flowing from that, his central role in Australia’s development of an independent way of thinking.
“His larger achievements will live on. For there is something enduring, and perhaps endearing, about a country that has chosen a sportsman as personifying the best ideals of national identity.” The reaction was similar in other major cricket-playing nations around the world.
The news cast a sombre shadow over the start of Australia’s three-Test series in India where Steve Waugh’s team is looking to cement its standing as the best side since Bradman’s 1948 Invincibles.
The Australian and Indian teams observed two minutes silence before the start of first Test and more black arm bands.
The Australian squad has also signed a letter of condolence sent to Bradman’s family.
In England, the scene of so many of Bradman’s greatest achievements, the mood was the same.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen was to send a message of condolence to his family and the House of Commons also paid tribute to the legendary batsman, whose records have stood unchallenged since he retired more than half a century ago.
Flags were lowered to half mast at Lord’s, the traditional home of English cricket, and the International Cricket Council said it was considering naming the new world Test championship trophy after the greatest player to ever play the game. Reuters
Melbourne, February 27
The Australian, who died on Sunday aged 92, was an unorthodox player whose secrets are still being unravelled more than half a century after he tucked his bat under his arm and walked off the field for the last time.
Regarded as the world’s greatest player, Bradman can be seen on grainy film thrashing the ball through the off-side field with his front foot nowhere near the pitch of the ball.
A flowing on-drive crashes into the fence despite the fact that Bradman’s nimble front foot is pointing towards mid-off, not mid-on as specified in the coaching manuals.
“He must have had wonderful eyesight to pick up the line and length so quickly and get into position,’’ former England fast bowling great Fred Trueman observed.
Yet Bradman’s eyesight was faulty and led to him being invalided out of the Australian Army during the Second World War.
He succeeded, coaches said, thanks to superior concentration, foot speed and sheer talent, despite his self-taught technique.
Bradman’s unorthodox backlift, straying from the accepted model of resting the bat behind the back foot then drawing it straight back toward the stumps, was expected to be his undoing on his first Ashes tour of England in 1930.
But he made a series record of 974 runs with four centuries, averaging a colossal 139.14.
Bradman raised his bat towards gully from its resting place between his feet, at a angle close to 45 degrees.
Observers say this gave Bradman a better balance through the whole of his backswing. He averaged an unrivalled 99.94 in 52 Tests, scoring 6,996 runs between 1928 and 1948, including 29 centuries.
English university professor Adrian Lees studied Bradman’s technique last year. He used two batsmen, 16 electronic sensors and six cameras to produce three-dimensional computer images of a cricket stroke played either conventionally or with the unorthodox backlift.
The Bradman method was found to have two advantages.
London, February 27
A brutal, albeit successful, strategy to curb his prodigious scoring during the infamous England bodyline tour of 1932-33 briefly threatened diplomatic relations between Australia and their imperial masters.
Bradman, who died in Adelaide on Sunday aged 92, averaged 99.94 in Test cricket, nearly 40 more than his nearest rival.
During the English summer of 1930 he scored 974 Test runs at an average of 139.14, including 254 in his first innings at Lord’s.
It was, wrote Neville Cardus: “precise and shattering; an innings which was beautiful and yet somehow cruel in its excessive mastery.”
Yet as the English bowlers despaired against his relentless excellence one man thought he detected a weakness.
Douglas Jardine, educated at Winchester and Oxford and captain of the 1932-33 side, suspected Bradman was uneasy against the short-pitched ball.
During a highly-charged series he ordered his professional fast bowlers Harold Larwood and Bill Voce to hurl a succession of short-pitched deliveries at the batsmen’s bodies, supported by a semi-circle of predatory fielders.
The effects were dramatic.
England regained the Ashes. Bradman was reduced temporarily to the ranks of the mortals with an average of 56.57. And Australian crowds came close to rioting after several batsmen were hit by the frighteningly swift Larwood.
An intemperate telegram from the Australia Cricket Board to London led to hasty negotiations between Whitehall and Canberra to avert a possible diplomatic crisis.
The bodyline tour began as the great depression worsened in the uneasy years after the 1929 Wall Street crash with relations between Australia and England increasingly strained.
The London bankers were reluctant to extend credit to the dominion as the terms of trade worsened and unemployment eventually affected one in three Australian familes.
To Australians in the bush and in the cities, Bradman represented the hopes and dreams of a young nation.
Jardine, who openly despised Australia and Australians, represented for them the hard, unfeeling face of the British establishment and the London bankers.
Bradman, whose health suffered under the strain, was keenly aware of how much he meant to the Australian nation and he was determined to take revenge.
He recovered from the trauma and went on to record further unparalleled scoring feats. But he did not forgive or forget.
In 1948, his final series, he let Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller loose on the England batsmen and watched impassively as they took evasive action.
Although bodyline was relegated to the history books its influence still lingers.
Sport was already an integral part of Australian nationalism but the determination to win, especially against England, became an obsession.
The result has been decades of sporting excellence, culminating in the triumphal 2000 Sydney Olympics while the current Australia side is the most successful in cricket history.
Bradman was elevated to the ranks of folk hero, the boy who emerged from the Australian bush to conquer the world.
He became a successful selector, an enlightened administrator and by the time of his death was revered as the epitome of the archetypal Australian — tough, laconic and a master in his chosen field. Reuters
Bradman Mumbai, February 27 President of the Mumbai Cricket Association Sharad Pawar, speaking on the occasion, said, “On behalf of the Indian and Australian teams, the Indian cricket board and the MCA, I express my deep condolences to the family of Sir Donald Bradman.’’
Mumbai, February 27
President of the Mumbai Cricket Association Sharad Pawar, speaking on the occasion, said, “On behalf of the Indian and Australian teams, the Indian cricket board and the MCA, I express my deep condolences to the family of Sir Donald Bradman.’’ UNI
Wills Indian Open
from March 15 New Delhi, February 27 The IGU said the championship would offer a total prize money of $300,000 (about Rs 1.4 crore), with the winner getting Rs 22 lakh, to make it the richest golf championship in South Asia. The Wills Open is the flagship event of Indian golf, which has been running continuously for the last 37 years, after its debut in 1964. The field will comprise 90 foreign players and 50 Indian professionals.IGU council member Prakash Bhandari said the championship will afford an excellent opportunity for players like Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, who had brought glory to Indian sport by finishing the year 2000 at the second and fifth positions, respectively on the Asian PGA Tour’s final Order of Merit, to consolidate their position. Jyoti had tasted victory at the Wills Indian Open and Singapore Open, while Atwal had won the Hero Honda Masters and the Hong Kong Open in successive weeks. Jeev Milkha Singh had two top 10 finishes on the European PGA Tour before sitting out with a wrist injury for most of last season.
New Delhi, February 27
The IGU said the championship would offer a total prize money of $300,000 (about Rs 1.4 crore), with the winner getting Rs 22 lakh, to make it the richest golf championship in South Asia. The Wills Open is the flagship event of Indian golf, which has been running continuously for the last 37 years, after its debut in 1964.
The field will comprise 90 foreign players and 50 Indian professionals.IGU council member Prakash Bhandari said the championship will afford an excellent opportunity for players like Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, who had brought glory to Indian sport by finishing the year 2000 at the second and fifth positions, respectively on the Asian PGA Tour’s final Order of Merit, to consolidate their position.
Jyoti had tasted victory at the Wills Indian Open and Singapore Open, while Atwal had won the Hero Honda Masters and the Hong Kong Open in successive weeks. Jeev Milkha Singh had two top 10 finishes on the European PGA Tour before sitting out with a wrist injury for most of last season.
Kafelnikov survives early pressure
Doha, February 27
But eighth seed Cedric Pioline was beaten 7-6 (10/8) 7-5 by Max Mirnyi.
Kafelnikov lost the first four games as Dosedel served and volleyed superbly to surprise the third seeded Russian, but he was unable to maintain the momentum.
From 4-0 down, Kafelnikov dropped only two points in the next three games as he staged a comeback, but it took him 39 minutes to take his first lead in the match at 6-5.
Dosedel held off a set point in the next game with a service winner, but Kafelnikov dominated the tiebreak before falling behind again in the second set.
Dosedel led 2-0 and held two points to lead 3-0, but this time his lead was short-lived. Kafelnikov broke back, and Dosedel then lost his next two service games on double-faults to leave Kafelnikov serving for the match at 5-2.
“I played him last week in Rotterdam and beat him pretty easily, 6-2 6-2 but today I felt I played a new man,” said Kafelnikov. “Maybe I was a little bit slow myself and gave him a chance to play his game at the beginning.”
“Also I was playing my first match outdoors and I was having trouble adjusting to the wind. But at 4-0 down I found my rhythm again and basically took control back.”
“Any time you get through a match like that it’s a big relief, and I’m sure I’ll play my next match better than I did today.”
Pioline also squandered an early lead on his way to a surprise defeat. He led 3-0, and held a set point in the tiebreak at 8-7 before Mirnyi edged through. In the second set there were no break points for either player until the final game, when Pioline dropped his serve.
There was disappointment for 1999 champion Jerome Golmard, who was forced to retire with the recurrence of a back injury after dropping the first set 6-3 to Bohdan Ulihrach. The Frenchman immediately returned to Paris for treatment.
Rusedski attempts to rejoin tennis elite
San Jose, February 27
The lanky Briton is so intent on climbing to the top that he has hired four Australians to help him fine-tune his sometimes erratic game and injury-plagued body.
“I want it real bad,’’ Rusedski told Reuters ahead of his opening match against Israeli Harel Levy on Monday night in the Sybase Open in San Jose.
“I wouldn’t have hired all these guys if I didn’t have the hunger and really want to get to the top. This is the biggest entourage I ever had. I see 2001 as my last chance to pull out all stops and go for it.’’
Behind a wicked left-handed serve and a precision net attack, Rusedski reached the final at the 1997 US Open and reached a career high No 4 ranking.
But over the last three years, the Canadian-born British emigre has been hit by injuries, including a bad foot ailment last year that prevented him from competing at a high level. He finished the year ranked No 64.
In November, he hired former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash as his new coach.
Cash, who also had an injury-plagued career, convinced Rusedski to hire a team of top-notch Australian trainers, including biomechanics expert Brad Langevet. In a radical move for a veteran player, Rusedski has changed some of his techniques, notably his footwork and the way he turns into the ball.
“It’s very difficult for someone of my age to change techniques but it was the only way I could get healthy,’’ said Rusedski. “I feel the best I have in a long time. I know I’m improving every day.’’
Rusedski has already enjoyed the fruits of his labour.
In January, he upset No 1 ranked Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil at the Australian Open and reached the round of 16. Earlier this month, he beat 2000 US Open champion Marat Safin in Milan on his way to the semifinals.
“The way I see it, if you are still playing elite tennis once you hit your 30s you’re very lucky,’’ Rusedski said. “Andre Agassi won the Australian Open at age 30, but he’s built much differently than I am. He plays efficiently and is built low to the ground. I’m a serve-and-volleyer who puts a lot of stress on my back and arm.’’
Rusedski, who spent nearly three years in the top 10 before beginning his slide in 1998, said that his confidence only suffers when he isn’t 100 per cent healthy.
Now he believes he has added a few new elements to his game that will enable him to keep up with the game’s best.
“I’m really improving my return of serve and groundstrokes,’’ he said. “Before, I used to blow guys off the court with my serve. Now I feel like I can build points effectively enough from the backcourt so as to be able to wait for my chance to come in.’’
A resident of London, it is Rusedski’s dream to hold up the winner’s trophy at Wimbledon this year. But he realises that seven-time champion Pete Sampras is still king of the All-England Club.
“Pete’s still the man to beat,’’ he said. “But I get the feeling this year will be different. Pete has gotten off to a slow start this year and I feel there are five to 10 guys who can win Wimbledon this time, including myself.
“But once the grasscourt season starts, Pete seems to come back and shut us all up.’’
Rusedski said he may not end up winning Wimbledon or reaching the winner’s circle at a Grand Slam, but he will lay it all on the line to get there.
“There are so many factors that go into winning a Grand Slam: good health, some luck, your draw, stepping up to the occasion,’’ he said. “I know that if I win one I’ll go down in history and that’s a dream of mine.
Churchill favourites against ITI
Margao, February 27
ITI, who have lost four matches, are placed ninth with seven points while Zee Churchill are placed sixth with 11 points.
ITI's hope for a better show will depend on their foreign recruits medio Hameed and strikers Kenneth Ugwo and George Ekeh. The return of Oman Yosuf Mohammed will add more stability in the midfield.
Ekeh, who has threatened the rival defence with his individual skill in the last drawn match against Vasco, will be the dangerman for the rival team who will have to closely monitor him.
The defence will be weakened in the absence of stopper Iraqi recruit Majid Amodaa, who got red card in the last match and it will be left for Shafeeq, Firoz, Rishi Kapoor and Dhanesh to keep the rival forwards at bay.
On the other hand, Zee Churchill who put up their best performance to beat Bagan (2-0), will be missing their medios Jose Colaco due to injury and Noel Wilson on account of two yellow cards.
Somatai Shaiza, who could not get a chance in the playing eleven, is likely to replace Jose and Ajay Singh for Noel. Striker Francis Solveira, who has been going through a lean patch, is likely to be replaced by Kaustav Ghosh.
Medio Andre Requena, who has combined well along with Roque Bareto, will once again have to lead the attack from the back.
Osumanu Husseini along with Mahesh Gawali will be leading the defence. The goal will be manned by the ever reliable Edward Ansah.
Big victory for
Chennai Chandigarh, February 27 Sivaramakrishnan’s century was studded with 14 fours and a six during which he faced 92 deliveries. He was also supported by B. Ramprakash who contributed 55 runs as the team amassed an impressive 290 for four in the stipulated 35 overs. R.K. Lobo ( 18 n.o.) and Murali Galani (16) were the only batsmen from the losing side who could enter the double figures as West Zone were bundled out for a meagre 77 runs in 22.2 overs. S Krishnan and B. Ramprakash were the most successful bowlers for the Chennai team taking three wickets each. In the second match at DAV College, Mumbai defeated South Central Zone by eight wickets. Batting first South Central Zone scored 103 before being all out in 28.3 overs. BSV Ramalinga Sastry scored 22 runs, while Uday Deshpande and Sunil Pokler claimed two wickets each. Mumbai overtook this target losing just two wickets. Manoj Deshpande batted well for the winners to remain unbeaten on 52 runs, while Sunil Pokle chipped in with unbeaten 23.
Chandigarh, February 27
Sivaramakrishnan’s century was studded with 14 fours and a six during which he faced 92 deliveries. He was also supported by B. Ramprakash who contributed 55 runs as the team amassed an impressive 290 for four in the stipulated 35 overs.
R.K. Lobo ( 18 n.o.) and Murali Galani (16) were the only batsmen from the losing side who could enter the double figures as West Zone were bundled out for a meagre 77 runs in 22.2 overs. S Krishnan and B. Ramprakash were the most successful bowlers for the Chennai team taking three wickets each.
In the second match at DAV College, Mumbai defeated South Central Zone by eight wickets. Batting first South Central Zone scored 103 before being all out in 28.3 overs. BSV Ramalinga Sastry scored 22 runs, while Uday Deshpande and Sunil Pokler claimed two wickets each.
Mumbai overtook this target losing just two wickets. Manoj Deshpande batted well for the winners to remain unbeaten on 52 runs, while Sunil Pokle chipped in with unbeaten 23.
Akhtar may play in decider
Dunedin, February 27
But the news is not so good for batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is still troubled by groin and calf strains suffered in the last match in Christchurch.
“Inzy is struggling but Shoaib is 99 per cent certain to play,’’ Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said at the team practice at Carisbrook today.
Akhtar injured his left thigh in the second match of the series and has not played since.
“When he saw the wicket he said he wanted to play,’’ Miandad said. “It’s hard and fast and seems perfect for him, so he’ll play. He’s really the only one who can make the decision and he says he feels fine.’’
Miandad admitted his frustration with a team which has won handsomely in two matches and been totally outplayed in the other two, nominating the home side’s fielding as a crucial difference. “We have a very good team on paper,’’ he said. “We are better than we have been playing. We have got a stronger team than New Zealand, but they perform well and outclassed us in the last game.’’
New Zealand are not expected to make any changes to the side that won in Christchurch, leaving big-hitting Andre Adams still waiting to make his international debut.
Pakistan play a New Zealand A side in a three-day game next week as a warm up for the three match Test series, and Miandad said he expected Inzamam to be ready to play in that match.
Putin gets belt
Bindra to be back on March 6
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