Lanka pip Aussies in beating Ireland
PCB appoints paid selectors
Lanka accused of cheating
Sydney, April 18
Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding has accused Sri Lanka of manipulating the Super Eight match against Australia by resting three key bowlers and said the format of the World Cup has opened the game to corruption.
Sarwan tipped for captaincy
We deserved to be booed: Vaughan
England messed up toss
Cricket may return to Sharjah
Money, Mani cost us the bid: Kalmadi
TN rout Haryana
St George’s, April 18
Lanka romped to an eight-wicket victory over Ireland in their final Super Eight match today after dismissing their opponents for the lowest score of the tournament.
Ireland made only 77 from their 27.4 overs, one fewer than Bermuda managed against the same opponents in the group stages, after reaching 28 without loss.
Paceman Farveez Maharoof, who took three wickets in four balls in his opening over, and off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who captured two from his first four deliveries, finished with four for 25 and four for 19, respectively.
Maharoof started the rout for the 1996 champions, who have already qualified for the semifinals, when he came on in the eighth over.
After conceding two fours from his first two balls to opener Jeremy Bray he switched to bowling around the wicket and the left-hander was caught for 20 at short-cover by Russel Arnold. Andre Botha defended the next ball but then edged a straight-forward catch to wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.
Eoin Morgan followed next ball to an acrobatic effort from Sangakkara, who changed direction to fling himself to his left and take the ball one-handed.
Maharoof missed an opportunity to take a fourth wicket with the first ball of his fifth over when he dropped a caught-and-bowled chance off Niall O'Brien on two.
In his next over opener William Porterfield, who had scored 17 from 51 deliveries, lofted a simple catch to Sanath Jayasuriya at mid-on.
Muralitharan, coming on to bowl in the 19th over, dismissed O’Brien caught behind for four then bowled Kenny Carroll, playing his first game of the tournament, for a second-ball duck.
Maharoof ran out Ireland captain Trent Johnston (0) with a brilliant piece of fielding in the next over. Johnston moved out of his crease as he pushed the ball back to the bowler who threw down the stumps at the batsman's end with a one-handed pickup and throw.
Kevin O'Brien (2) fell to a second catch by Jayasuriya from the first ball of Muralitharan's next over before Dave Langford-Smith brought up the 50 with a bold clump over mid-on for four.
Langford-Smith was given a life in Muralitharan's next over when Maharoof dropped a catch running in from square-leg. The batsmen crossed for one and Kyle McCallan was lbw next ball for a duck padding up.
A hooked six by Langford-Smith off Maharoof followed and Boyd Rankin drove Muralitharan for a four in a breezy last-wicket partnership before Chaminda Vaas returned to dismiss Langford-Smith lbw for 18 with a low full-toss.
Sri Lanka lost Upul Tharanga for a duck and Sangakkara caught for 10 but Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was in no mood to delay the finish.
He scored an unbeaten 39 from 27 balls with six fours and a six to seal victory after 10 overs and little more than three hours' play.
Bray c Arnold b Maharoof 20
Porterfield c Jayasuriyab Maharoof 17
Botha c Sangakkara b Maharoof 0
Morgan c Sangakkara b Maharoof 0
N. O'Brien c Sangakkara b Murali 4
K. O'Brien c Jayasuriya b Murali 2
Carroll b Murali 0
Johnston run out 0
McCallan lbw Murali 0
Langford-Smith lbw Vaas 18
Rankin not out 7
Extras (lb-5, w-2, nb-2) 9
Total (all out, 27.4 overs) 77
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-28, 3-28, 4-46, 5-48, 6-48, 7-49, 8-49, 9-54.
Bowling: Vaas 5.4-1-18-1; Kulasekara 7-3-10-0; Maharoof 10-3-25-4; Muralitharan 5-0-19-4.
Tharanga c Porterfield b Rankin 0
Jayasuriya not out 24
Sangakkara c Carrollb Langford-Smith 10
Jayawardene not out 39
Extras (w-5, nb-3) 8
Total (2 wkts, 10 overs) 81
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-25.
Bowling: Rankin 4-0-36-1, Langford-Smith 3-0-29-1, Botha 1-0-4-0, K.O'Brien 1-0-4-0, Carroll 1-0-8-0. — Reuters
Mahela upbeat after win
St George’s, April 18 Drawing
satisfaction over the comprehensive Super Eight victory against Ireland,
Mahela Jayawardene hoped that his side would give the best shot in the
semifinal in Jamaica on April 24. “The boys played well. The attitude
and body language was good. Now, we will give our best in the
semifinals... there is no looking back,” he said. On the cracking
form of paceman Maharoof, who picked up four top Irish wickets, the Sri
Lankan captain said: “It’s a good headache to have (to select from a
host of seamers).” Ireland captain Trent Johnston said his side
started well in today’s game, but lost the plot later. “We started
well, but later gave it up,” he said. Johnston, however, was
satisfied that his side had proved it the world that they could play
cricket at the top level and drew inspiration from their win over
Pakistan in the first round. Johnston thanked retiring coach of his
team Adrian Birrel for his contribution to lift the standards of the
Irish side. — PTI
Drawing satisfaction over the comprehensive Super Eight victory against Ireland, Mahela Jayawardene hoped that his side would give the best shot in the semifinal in Jamaica on April 24.
“The boys played well. The attitude and body language was good. Now, we will give our best in the semifinals... there is no looking back,” he said.
On the cracking form of paceman Maharoof, who picked up four top Irish wickets, the Sri Lankan captain said: “It’s a good headache to have (to select from a host of seamers).”
Ireland captain Trent Johnston said his side started well in today’s game, but lost the plot later. “We started well, but later gave it up,” he said.
Johnston, however, was satisfied that his side had proved it the world that they could play cricket at the top level and drew inspiration from their win over Pakistan in the first round.
Johnston thanked retiring coach of his team Adrian Birrel for his contribution to lift the standards of the Irish side. — PTI
Karachi, April 18
Besides Salahuddin, the new committee also consists of Saleem Jaffer and Shafqat Rana, both former players.
The appointment of a paid selection committee comes a day after the Board's decision to sack 80 employees.
The previous committee, which was led by Wasim Bari, resigned after the team's first round exit from the World Cup.
Salahuddin, who has served as a national selector on 12 different occasions previously, said that a huge challenge lay ahead for the Pakistan team.
Meanwhile, the board has also come out with a new selection policy which invests additional power with the selectors in deciding the playing eleven.
Accordingly, for home matches, the selection committee will pick the final eleven after consulting the captain.
For away tours, the national selection committee will pick the squad after consulting the captain and the playing XI for each match will be done by a tour selection committee comprising the captain, the vice-captain, the tour manager and the coach. — PTI
Lanka accused of cheating
Sydney, April 18 Sri Lanka omitted star bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas from the seven-wicket defeat at Grenada’s National Stadium while strike bowler Lasith Malinga was not named in the playing XI citing an injury. Holding said by losing the match the Lankans wanted to avoid the same opponents in the semi-finals. Had Sri Lanka won the game and New Zealand beat Australia on Friday, Australia and Sri Lanka could have met in a semi-final, Sri Lanka’s least preferred option. In that case, New Zealand would have finished first while second and third positions would have gone to either Australia or Sri Lanka as it was certain before the Lanka-Australia match that South Africa would finish fourth even if they beat England which they eventually did. By losing by seven wickets, the Lankans assured themselves of finishing second or third and playing New Zealand in the semi-final in Jamaica, while Australia finished first to take on the Proteas in the other semi-final. “I think what it does is allow people who know what is happening to get a head start if they are gambling,” Holding was quoted as saying by ‘The Australian’. “I have an account with Betfair and I watch a lot of different markets. Before the game started, Australia was 2-1 on. As soon as the toss went to air, when they (Betfair) found out, Australia went to 5-1 on because Muralitharan wasn’t playing, Malinga wasn’t playing, Vaas wasn’t playing,” the former paceman said. Holding said the only way to stop teams from manipulating results would be to shorten the Super Eight phase, which consists of six matches per team. He wanted knockout games, which currently comprise just the semi-finals and final, to begin earlier. “The way the World Cup is structured, you are going to have people trying to manipulate it,” he said. “I remember Australia doing the same thing in England at Old Trafford (in 1999) to try to get the West Indies to qualify. “You can’t do anything about it at the moment. What you can do is change the format and make the knockout games start earlier,” he said.
Sydney, April 18
Sri Lanka omitted star bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas from the seven-wicket defeat at Grenada’s National Stadium while strike bowler Lasith Malinga was not named in the playing XI citing an injury.
Holding said by losing the match the Lankans wanted to avoid the same opponents in the semi-finals.
Had Sri Lanka won the game and New Zealand beat Australia on Friday, Australia and Sri Lanka could have met in a semi-final, Sri Lanka’s least preferred option.
In that case, New Zealand would have finished first while second and third positions would have gone to either Australia or Sri Lanka as it was certain before the Lanka-Australia match that South Africa would finish fourth even if they beat England which they eventually did.
By losing by seven wickets, the Lankans assured themselves of finishing second or third and playing New Zealand in the semi-final in Jamaica, while Australia finished first to take on the Proteas in the other semi-final.
“I think what it does is allow people who know what is happening to get a head start if they are gambling,” Holding was quoted as saying by ‘The Australian’.
“I have an account with Betfair and I watch a lot of different markets.
Before the game started, Australia was 2-1 on. As soon as the toss went to air, when they (Betfair) found out, Australia went to 5-1 on because Muralitharan wasn’t playing, Malinga wasn’t playing, Vaas wasn’t playing,” the former paceman said.
Holding said the only way to stop teams from manipulating results would be to shorten the Super Eight phase, which consists of six matches per team.
He wanted knockout games, which currently comprise just the semi-finals and final, to begin earlier.
“The way the World Cup is structured, you are going to have people trying to manipulate it,” he said. “I remember Australia doing the same thing in England at Old Trafford (in 1999) to try to get the West Indies to qualify.
“You can’t do anything about it at the moment. What you can do is change the format and make the knockout games start earlier,” he said. — UNI
Bridgetown, April 18
Brian Lara's side is already out of semi-final contention after losing all four Super Eight matches they played so far and they will be looking to seal off their seemingly 'forgetable' World Cup campaign with some respectability. the Caribbean coach Bennett King is optimistic that his team has the potential to the achieve that.
''It has been disappointing. We have got to turn those disappointing results around and hope to bring some of the pride back into the team and into West Indies cricket,'' said King.
The former Australian Academy coach who took over charge of the Caribbean team in 2004, however, believes win in the last two games would definitely have an impact on the future of the island nation's cricket.
''I don't think pride is missing. We must get behind the players and support them and look for some structures to be put in place for the future,'' King said.
''We still have to win the games and it's important for us to finish the competition on a good note and have the momentum for the next tournament,'' the 42-year-old coach added.
Meanwhile, after witnessing their team's devastating run in the home turf, not many Caribbean fans are in a mood to shell out their hard earned money to go and support the their team. But the only magnetic force which will force them to throng the stadium in these two matches is the emotional bond with their genius-son Brian Lara.
The 37-year-old charismatic left-handed batsman will be playing last two matches of his ODI career as he has already announced his retirement from the shorter version of the game after the mega event and would geared up to end the most precious innings of his life on a high note.
''It was all well till the group stages but we goofed up later and could not recover when we needed most. I too played badly in the crunch games,'' an emotional Lara said hoping that his admirers would assemble in large numbers for the last hurrah.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh, despite occasional brilliance, when they defeated India and South Africa, are push-overs and England is so demoralised that it would be surprising if they can play some exciting cricket in their last match.
However, Bangladesh after a dream run in the tournament would not like to go down as number eight team and victory against West Indies would exactly do wonders for them before the tough home series against India next month.
''I was frustrated in the last match. We played so badly. I did not want to stand at number eight after doing so well,'' a dejected Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar said, urging his players to play one last good match for the country.
''In fact we are capable and we can beat them,'' he added.
A victory in the last two matches for the Lara's men will provide them the required motivation for a tough England tour next month where they play four Tests, two Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals. — UNI
Bridgetown, April 18
Lara has announced his retirement from one-day cricket after the men from the Caribbean failed to progress beyond the Super Eights stage at the World Cup and his departure from the longer form of the game is also not far away.
“The two names that are on the lips of everybody are Ramnaresh Sarwan and Daren Ganga.... Sarwan should probably be frontrunner because he has been frontrunner. These are the only two names that would be in the running at the moment,” Lloyd was quoted as saying by the ‘Nation News’.
Former fast bowler Colin Croft had also come out in favour of Sarwan taking over the mantle.
“Sarwan must be given the job. I would also like to think that Denesh Ramdin must be groomed for future,” he said.
South Africa’s defeat of England meant the West Indies’ matches against Bangladesh and England will have no bearing on the tournament.
A distraught Lloyd admitted that the West Indies had a lot of catching up to do and at present “we’re scraping the barrel.”
“We are scraping the barrel here. When you look at the other countries, they are way ahead of us in everything, technology, play . . . just about everything,” the Caribbean legend said.
“We are all disappointed (with World Cup results) and we can only hope that the team gets better as time goes on.
“I have only been with the team for a few months and we have tried to get some things right and we know we can get a few right, but it will take some time. Technology is the way to go and the board will have to take these things on board as we move forward,” the Super Cat said.
He said the West Indies had not embraced several developments in the modern game which put the team at a disadvantage when it took the field.
The current $ 15 million debt owed by the West Indies Cricket Board meant there was a drastic need for funding. — PTI
Bridgetown, April 18
"I would like to think so. It has been a tough tournament and the guys have stood up, regrouped and played out of their lungs," Smith said after the Super Eights encounter at the Kensington Oval.
The win saw South Africa grab the last semi-final berth on offer and knocked England out of the reckoning.
South Africa seemed to lose their way after the defeats to Bangladesh and New Zealand which also saw them lose their recently earned world no. 1 ranking.
Adding fuel to the furore were reports that some of the players misbehaved in public a day after the loss to the Kiwis.
Smith said that provided the spark for his players.
"It's always a motivation. We know what kind of cricket we can play and we showed it today," said Smith, who slammed an imperious 89 as South Africa overhauled a meagre England target of 155 with more than 30 overs to spare.
Smith, however, gave credit to the bowlers for today's win.
"The bowlers led from the front. To bowl England out for 154 was a great effort," he said.
Losing captain Michael Vaughan was a dejected man.
"It was a pretty average performance. We let a lot of people down," he said.
He was evasive to a question about his decision to bat on a lively track and claimed that did not have a bearing on the outcome.
"It was tricky decision. We had to get runs on the board.
A score of 220, 240 could have helped us put pressure on South Africa," he said.
Smith said his team would love to play in the final which is to be held at the same venue on April 28.
"It's changed so much. The pitch has got good pace and bounce, it would suit our kind of bowling," he said.
All-rounder Andrew Hall, man of the match for his 5-18, said he had the confidence going into the tournament.
"I had a good series back home (against Pakistan), so I have been very confident right from the start," he said.
"I just wanted to play my natural game. It was a very good wicket with a lot of pace and bounce." — PTI
Bridgetown, April 18
Vaughan, 32, said he would not be retiring from one-day internationals but that others would decide if he kept the captaincy. He also said he was unaware if coach Duncan Fletcher was considering quitting.
"It is a very sad day for English cricket. It's a horrible feeling to have walked off the park in Barbados and get booed by a lot of England supporters and rightfully so from the performance we've put in," Vaughan told a news conference after the defeat in the Super Eights match.
"I fully understand why they have given us that sort of reception. We have to hold our hands up and accept all the criticism that comes our way." South Africa medium pacer Andrew Hall took five wickets to help dismiss England for 154 before Graeme Smith hit an unbeaten 89 to lead his side to victory in just 19.2 overs.
England have struggled all tournament with Bangladesh the only test team they beat. The side arrived in the Caribbean on the back of a 5-0 mauling by Australia in the Ashes test series.
"There needs to be a lot of honesty. We as an England team have had a very disappointing six months. I firmly believed we'd do a lot better than we have," added Vaughan, who has been in poor batting form.
"I won't be retiring from one-day cricket. But I'm not stupid to think it's not going to be an area of concern.
"The most important thing is that we have to get English cricket back on track. We need a strategy to move forward. Since 1992 England haven't produced any good one-day cricket. We need to know why."
After contesting the 1992 final, in which they were beaten by Pakistan, England have failed to reach the semis in any of the four subsequent World Cups.
Coach Fletcher, who with Vaughan led England to a 2-1 Ashes win in 2005 before results fell away, will come under huge media pressure to resign.
‘Axe Vaughan, Fletcher’
London: Former England legends Bob Willis and Ian Botham had unanimously demanded the sacking of skipper Michael Vaughan, coach Duncan Fletcher and chief selector David Graveney following the poms disastrous World Cup campaign. ''One-day cricket has been way down the list of priorities. Heads will roll and those heads should be Graveney, Fletcher and Vaughan. They've all got to go,'' Willis told the 'Sun' newspaper. Meanwhile, another former skipper Ian Botham has also called for a major shake up in order to sort out the present crisis.
London: Former England legends Bob Willis and Ian Botham had unanimously demanded the sacking of skipper Michael Vaughan, coach Duncan Fletcher and chief selector David Graveney following the poms disastrous World Cup campaign.
''One-day cricket has been way down the list of priorities. Heads will roll and those heads should be Graveney, Fletcher and Vaughan. They've all got to go,'' Willis told the 'Sun' newspaper.
Meanwhile, another former skipper Ian Botham has also called for a major shake up in order to sort out the present crisis. — Agencies
England messed up toss
It was like watching the England of 20 years ago. There was little change in their attitude towards limited overs cricket and it seemed it had reconciled itself to a defeat even as Michael Vaughan made a mess of the toss by deciding to bat.
England's decision to take the first strike was incomprehensible.
The wicket at Barbados is known to help the bowlers initially and it proved an unwise move as South Africa grabbed the opportunity and struck early blows.
It was disappointing to see England succumb without a fight in a match that was supposed to decide the course of its future in the tournament.
There was something missing as far as England was concerned and it was certainly a reflection on their attitude and ability to fight.
There was hardly an attempt to improve.
How can a team depend on just one or two individuals in a situation where the effort has to be collective. England has not changed its approach at all and looks like a team out of place when comes to competing with the big guns of international cricket.
At no stage did England appear to be looking at making South Africa earn a place in the next round. Three maiden overs cannot be an encouraging sign and it only led to creating more pressure as England struggled to come to terms with the challenge. South Africa was allowed to establish their dominance early and the course of the contest became quite predictable.
England's problems multiplied in the Super Eights. Andrew Flintoff was off-colour and Vaughan was not able to motivate the team. It can be very difficult to defend a target of 155 in such a crucial match and England learnt their lesson the hard way. South Africa was quick to plug their loopholes and they were not averse to take the field without Makhaya Ntini, one of the their trusted performers. The idea was to enter the arena with men best qualified to snuff England out and the team grew under the leadership of Graeme Smith in this match.
The victory was a proof of South Africa's ability to handle pressure. The same could not be said of England. The one-day talent of England is mediocre indeed and the team can actually boast of only three quality cricketers in Vaughan, Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen.
The English have to seriously think of getting the best combination because someone like Paul Collingwood needs conditions to thrive. He is not the kind of batsman I would think twice before bowling at, but Pietersen and Flintoff belong to a special category. England was not in the game at all and the comfortable victory for South Africa was well earned.
South Africa gained a lot by adopting positive tactics. It was clear that the team wanted to win. They used the conditions to their advantage and it was some brilliant work by Andrew Hall that set up the platform for such a convincing victory for South Africa. — UNI
Grenada, April 18
“This team is considered to have the first genuine opportunity to win the World Cup. If we hadn’t made the semi-finals, it would have been a failure.
Styris said the team is aiming at nothing less than lifting the World Cup.
“If we win the semi-final and final, it would mean we deserved the estimation of this being the best New Zealand one-day side ever. If we don’t it would be a huge disappointment.”
The middle-order bat is pretty impressed with his personal form as well.
“It’s been the form of my life. I am pretty happy the way I am hitting the ball. I have planned and done well with good scores on these wickets,” said Styris who, with 435 runs, is among the top five scorers in the competition so far.
Only Jacques Kallis (480), Matthew Hayden (477) and Graeme Smith (441) are ahead of him.
Styris admitted he had not experted such a turnaround after getting injured in the Champions Trophy in India and had resigned himself to a long haul to fitness.
“It was a dark moment after injury in the Champions Trophy. If you wait for your turn for months, it can wear you down. But as (coach) John Bracewell said, ‘don’t worry, take your time’ and I made sure I was alright.”
New Zealand are set to play their last Super Eight match against trans-Tasman rivals Australia on Friday but Styris is not the one to devalue the contest even though both teams have qualified for the semifinals.
“Anytime you play Australia you want to beat them. It’s a great feeling, I promise you.
“I am sure they would be smarting a bit from their three-nil result in New Zealand before the World Cup. They would come hard and come after us which they do anyway. But particularly now after the result of last few games.
“But we don’t feel intimidated by Australia. We have played them often enough. They bring the best out of New Zealand,” Styris claimed.
The strength of both attacks has been their fast bowlers and Styris does not think the lack of pace in Caribbean surfaces was a disadvantage for the likes of Shaun Tait and Shane Bond.
“Somebody like Shaun Tait doesn’t need a quick surface, he is as it is quick through the air. He doesn’t need the pitch to be fast. He seems to take wickets in the middle overs which is a harder thing to do.
“As for Shane Bond, he is probably bowling as quick as he has done in his career. Teams now have to be smarter against Bond for he is using his brains, he is outfoxing opponents and it’s not with just sheer speed,” Styris said. — PTI
Cricket may return to Sharjah
Karachi, April 18 A Pakistan Cricket Board official confirmed that the series with Sri Lanka had fallen into doldrums after the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council conveyed to both cricket boards it was facing financial problems meeting the expenses of the series. “Now we have an offer from the Abdul Rehman Bukhatir led CBFS who say they can host the matches at a short notice and meet all financial guarantees,” the official said.
Karachi, April 18
A Pakistan Cricket Board official confirmed that the series with Sri Lanka had fallen into doldrums after the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council conveyed to both cricket boards it was facing financial problems meeting the expenses of the series.
“Now we have an offer from the Abdul Rehman Bukhatir led CBFS who say they can host the matches at a short notice and meet all financial guarantees,” the official said. — PTI
JCT ground Air-India 3-0
Ludhiana, April 18
In a fast paced encounter, Nigerian striker Edeh Chidi struck twice while Sunil Chhetri added the third goal late into the second session to give JCT full points. The victory not only boosted the mill men's tally to 21 points but also elevated them to the fourth position in the NFL. Sunil Chhetri, who played a pivotal role upfront, was later adjudged 'man-of-the-match.
Playing to a plan, JCT kept the rivals under sustained pressure through well-orchestrated moves. Air-India sorely missed the services of prolific scorer Samson Singh, who is nursing an injury, and overlapping medio Noel Fernandes, who missed action following two yellow card bookings along with Hringsolal Thomte. The Mumbai outfit's attack lacked the sting although foreign recruit Bashiru Abbas, international Narendra Meetei, and Paresh Shivalkar did try to strike an effective combination. Former East Bengal star Suleh Musah and medio Hirohito E. Langbam worked tirelessly but could do little in the face of relentless onslaught.
The match was hardly 15 minutes old when JCT struck the first blow. A snap shot by Sunil Chhetri saw Air-India custodian Raju Ekka making a vain bid to collect but off the rebound, Edeh Chidi standing closeby, booted the ball home (1-0).
Thereafter, JCT remained on the offensive for long spells with overlapping wing back Baldeep Singh posing constant threat from the flanks. On one occasion, Baldeep centred for Sukhjinder from the right but the latter's header was off the mark.
A few minutes from the breather, Edeh Chidi of JCT earned the referee's wrath for a sliding tackle on Air-India defender AK Martins and was shown the yellow card.
The second half again witnessed a strong JCT onslaught following the induction of Jaswinder and Shivraj. But on the run of play, Air-India had a good opportunity off a counter attack when Bashiru Abbas raced in menacingly following a move engineered by Sanju Pradhan and had only the goalkeeper at his mercy. Sensing danger, JCT custodian Karanjit Singh rushed out of charge to make a hasty collection.
In the 64th minute, Air-India suffered the second setback when JCT striker Edeh Chidi beat rival goalie Raju Ekka with a deft placement after Sunil Chhetri had done the spadework near the right corner. Chhetri's back pass to Chidi was utilised to the hilt by the latter who booted the ball home without much difficulty (2-0).
JCT's sustained pressure once again bore fruit in the 72nd minute. The laborious Chhetri, having controlled the ball on the edge of the box, unleashed a curling left footer which beat the Air-India goalkeeper hands down. As the ball dipped into the far corner of the net with deep defender Suleh Musah looking on helplessly, Chhetri gestured triumphantly before making way for substitute Parveen Kumar.
In the dying minutes, Sukhjinder's twin attempts failed as his powerful shot was first parried over by the goalkeeper for a corner and then his acrobatic back volley went off the mark.
Cardiff, April 18
The Poland and Ukraine bid received eight votes to Italy's four.
Croatia and Hungary got none. It is the first time either country has been chosen to host a major tournament.
The European championship finals, held every four years, are second only to the World Cup in importance in the world of soccer.
Greece are the current European champions after pulling off a surprise victory in Portugal in 2004.
Austria and Switzerland are co-hosting Euro 2008.
''There are 8.5 crore people now waiting for this big football event,'' Polish FA chairman Michal Listkiewicz said after UEFA president Michel Platini had revealed the winner.
''The friendship between our nations has a very long history. This big tournament will be an important milestone in the history of our two Slavic nations.'' His comments were echoed by Ukrainian soccer federation president Hryhory Surkis.
''This is a decisive day for our country. It will provide new opportunities for our country as it strives to integrate with Europe,'' he told Ukrainian television in Cardiff.
The decision of UEFA's Executive Committee to choose the Ukraine and Poland bid dashed the hopes of Italy, who had been slight favourites to be named host nation for a third time.
Poland and Ukraine's bid appeared to have been undermined on two fronts.
FIFA had threatened to ban Poland from international competition after its government removed the country's football association from power in January after a scandal involving corrupt referees.
The unstable political climate in Ukraine where a presidential decree dissolved parliament and called for a new election next month, also raised doubts.
In a statement, Ukraine president Viktor Yushchenko said that the decision offered a great opportunity to both countries to host an ''extraordinary'' sporting event.
''Holding the 2012 European championship will be a wonderful opportunity for Ukrainians and Poles to welcome the best representatives of Europe's soccer family and produce an extraordinary sporting event,'' he said.
The projected Polish venues for the 2012 tournament include Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw while the Ukrainian cities of Kiev, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv would stage games. — Reuters
Christchurch, April 18
After Shikha Uberoi's 6-7 (5/7), 3-6 loss to local favourite Sacha Jones in the opening match, Sunitha kept alive India's chances with her impressive 6-4, 6-2 win over New Zealand's top player Leanne Baker in the second singles.
The US-based 21-year-old, who got the chance to represent India only after Sania Mirza was sidelined with a knee injury, later teamed up with Shikha to clinch a tough doubles match against Leanne and Dianne Hollands 2-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-1.
The hard fought rubber was India's toughest in the tournament so far as they had earlier blanked Kazakhstan and Jordan with consummate ease.
In the first singles, Shikha started well, racing to a 4-0 lead before things went horribly wrong for her and Sacha managed to stretch it to tie-breaker before running away with the set.
Shikha was even more disappointing in the second set and her erratic display allowed the Kiwi to win the set and put her side one up in the tie.
Fortunately for India, Sunitha restored parity with her comfortable win over Leanne. After winning the first set 6-4, Sunitha put up an even more improved show in the second and dropped two games before wrapping up the match.
With the doubles becoming the decider for them, the pressure began to show on Shikha and Sunitha as they lost 2-6 in the opening set.
But to their credit, they scripted a remarkable comeback after the initial jolt and kept their cool to clinch the second set tie-breaker to stay afloat.
In the third set, the Shikha-Sunitha pair looked in irresistible form and their Kiwi opponents could manage just one game in the decider.
India will next take on Chinese Taipei in their final pool 'B' encounter tomorrow, which would also decide the qualifier for the group finals to be played on April 21.
Both the teams are unbeaten in the tournament, the winner of which would be elevated to the world group II play-off to be played in July.
The final pool 'B' rubber will be India's toughest test going by Chinese Taipei's form. — PTI
New Delhi, April 18
Kalmadi, still recovering from the shock of India losing its bid to host the 2014 Asian Games at Delhi, said while the Koreans had the financial backing from their government, it was not the same case with India.
"The Koreans spent $20 million on their bid. In the last two years, they were going to all member countries canvassing their case while we were given only $1.5 million," Kalmadi said.
"Had our government committed more money, we could have got the Games. But with such an attitude, we cannot think of holding any Games in the future." The big question that Delhi's defeat to Incheon of South Korea has thrown is how much impact did the feud between Kalmadi and Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar have on the outcome of the bid.
Kalmadi denied any personality clash between him and the sports minister but reiterated his earlier statement that Aiyar's public comments - to the effect that holding of big Games made no difference to the poor - did a lot of damage.
"Both the 'manis' were prime factors, Money and Mani," he said.
"Aiyar's comments were shown by the Koreans at the OCA which showed that the Indian government is at the loggerheads with the IOA.
"They asked why your Sports Minister is not here, and they thought we would not be able to host the Games in the manner in which Incheon can," Kalmadi said.
Aiyar was also reported to have opposed India's bid when the matter came up before the Union Cabinet.
"The IOA had talked to the Sports Minister (prior to planning the bid strategy) and whatever was asked was not agreed to by the minister," Kalmadi said.
"One man is not party. Cabinet had already cleared us but how could he have taken the matter with the Cabinet with just a week to go for presenting the bid? "We were all surprised, We have missed a big opportunity to make Delhi a global city." Kalmadi said that sporting events were looked at as business revenue models and any city had only to gain from hosting such events.
"Organising the Games doesn't cost anything to the government because after investing on infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games in 2010, we were required to build only three more stadiums for the Asian Games.
"The whole money comes through sponsors and hosting the Games is actually a profitable thing for the city." — PTI
TN rout Haryana
Ahmedabad, April 18 Tamil Nadu skipper Dinesh Karthik led from the front and starred with both the bat and gloves. Karthik, after winning the toss and opting to bat, top scored for his team scoring 37 runs from 27 balls, which included one six and 5 fours. His team amassed a healthy 162 all out in 20 overs. When Haryana stepped out to bat Karthik effected five dismissals, which included four stumpings. Haryana were never in the chase as they lost quick wickets and were all out for 111 in 19.4 overs. — PTI
Tamil Nadu skipper Dinesh Karthik led from the front and starred with both the bat and gloves. Karthik, after winning the toss and opting to bat, top scored for his team scoring 37 runs from 27 balls, which included one six and 5 fours. His team amassed a healthy 162 all out in 20 overs.
When Haryana stepped out to bat Karthik effected five dismissals, which included four stumpings.
Haryana were never in the chase as they lost quick wickets and were all out for 111 in 19.4 overs. — PTI