Patel physio for UK tour
Debutant Philander shines on birthday
Bangladesh face Murali music
Randhawa finishes with a flourish
Afridi in dock over spat with manager
Anand draws with Leko
Baseball star found dead
Flu-hit India face SA today
Belfast, June 25
However, if the team management is in a quandary about finalising the playing XI for tomorrow’s first game of the three-match series, it ought to be more worried that the weather and the wicket could be quite friendly to quicker bowlers and, thus, favour the opposition. On the other hand, it could be awful enough to seriously impair proceedings.
Climate-wise, June in the British isles can be changeable, more so here in Northern Ireland. The forecast for the second match on Friday is better, but Sunday - the day of the third fixture - is as yet too distant to call. However, the weakening effect of fever intertwined with strong medicines is not ideal readiness for the physical demands of an ODI.
On paper, the Indian batting is experienced, but the bowling has a less impressive track record. The fielding - a crucial element of limited-overs cricket - is below average. The match against a club-level Ireland unit on Saturday was no indicator of India’s potential. There is no genuine paceman in the attack, though RP Singh looked promising at speeds topping 85 mph. And the wrist spin of 18-year-old Chawla is a stirring proposition, especially since the South Africans are traditionally uncertain against this art.
Having “rested” Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly for the ODIs in Bangladesh, the Indian selectors should have had the courage to persevere with this policy, thereby experimenting with new players and better fielders, who could be considered for next year’s Champions Trophy. Indeed, the recall of Agarkar, his ability to swing the ball notwithstanding, is a debatable step.
In contrast, South Africa are sans the services of skipper Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock. Jacques Kallis stands in for the former, while there is premature speculation about Vernon Philander, who took 4-12 against Ireland yesterday, being a clone of the latter. In Irish conditions, not dissimilar to northern England, South Africa’s bowling looks adequate, but their batting is a little vulnerable.
The united cricket authorities of Northern Ireland, which is a part of Britain, and the independent Republic of Ireland are a step ahead of the peace process in the region, in that they have adopted a unified identity for Ireland in the game. Indeed, the foliaged Civil Service ground in the vicinity of Stormont Castle, the nerve centre of political activity in the province, is a truly tranquil setting.
If only the sun shines and some decent cricket is exhibited, it will be a relief for the Irish Cricket Union, which has staked its financial future on the matches, and for the BCCI, which, after a very long time, had to sweat to find a sponsor and broadcaster for the series, ultimately conceding both at cut prices.
Patel physio for UK tour
Mumbai, June 25 Patel, who was associated with the Baroda Ranji Trophy team for three years before going to England for higher studies, replaces the injured John Gloster, who is out of action for between four and six weeks after breaking his hand. The new physio has done masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine from the University of Nottingham. “He has acquired experience by working closely with the national high-performance programme team to develop measures for injury prevention/pre-rehabilitation and rehabilitation,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said in a statement. Gloster will join the Indian team after undergoing surgery and will assist Patel, he added.
Mumbai, June 25
Patel, who was associated with the Baroda Ranji Trophy team for three years before going to England for higher studies, replaces the injured John Gloster, who is out of action for between four and six weeks after breaking his hand.
The new physio has done masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine from the University of Nottingham.
“He has acquired experience by working closely with the national high-performance programme team to develop measures for injury prevention/pre-rehabilitation and rehabilitation,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said in a statement.
Gloster will join the Indian team after undergoing surgery and will assist Patel, he added.
for Harbhajan The board has permitted off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to play for Surrey in English county cricket. Harbhajan was dropped from the Indian side for the five ODIs in Ireland and Scotland as well as for the three-match Test series commencing on July 19. The Punjab bowler is bidding to regain his place for the seven ODIs against England that follow the Test rubber.
The board has permitted off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to play for Surrey in English county cricket.
Harbhajan was dropped from the Indian side for the five ODIs in Ireland and Scotland as well as for the three-match Test series commencing on July 19.
The Punjab bowler is bidding to regain his place for the seven ODIs against England that follow the Test rubber. — PTI
Belfast, June 25
Put in to bat, South Africa scored 173 runs for the loss of four wickets and then bowled out Ireland for 131 runs with just a ball to spare, after the contest was reduced to 31 overs a side following rain delay of close to five hours.
Philander’s figures were the second best by a South African on ODI debut. Former fast bowler Allan Donald had returned figures of five for 29 against India at Kolkata in 1991-92.
Ireland lost the match but their players shone in patches not to allow a top cricketing side to trample on them and harm their post-World Cup reputation.
Besides Philander, another debutant who made his presence felt in the match was Ireland all-rounder Allan Cusack, who sparkled both with bat and ball.
Cusack claimed 3 for 15 in four overs before scoring a resolute 36 not out off 56 balls to steady the rocking boat of the hosts, who kept losing wickets at regular interval while chasing the stiff target of six runs per over.
Ireland’s openers William Porterfield (17) and Kenny Carroll (21) put on 45 runs but then were reduced to 4-56 as Philander and Steyn (2-30) took control of the proceedings.
South Africa 173
Porterfield c Boucher b Philander 17
Carroll ht wkt b Steyn 21
Fourie c Kemp b Steyn 1
Joyce c Boucher b Kallis 11
N. O’Brien b Philander 4
Cusack not out 36
K. O’Brien c Van Wyk
b Tshabalala 6
White c Ntini b Duminy 3
Johnston c Duminy b Ntini 9
McCallan c Boucher b Philander 10
Whelan b Philander 0
Extras (lb-7, w-6) 13
Total (all out, 30.5 overs) 131
Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-47,
Bowling: Ntini 6-0-23-1, Steyn 7-0-30-2, Philander 5.5-1-12-4, Kallis 6-0-21-1, Tshabalala 3-0-22-1, Duminy 3-0-16-1. — PTI
Colombo, June 25
Spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took five for 15 as Bangladesh were skittled out for 89 before Sri Lanka reached 227 for three at close of play.
Jayawardene was forced to retire hurt on 93 with a calf strain but not before he had passed Aravinda de Silva (6,365) to become the second most prolific Lankan Test batsman after Sanath Jayasuriya (6,791).
The home side had slumped to 14 for two after paceman Shahadat Hossain removed debutant Malinda Warnapura for a first-ball duck and Kumar Sangakkara for six in a fiery new-ball burst. But Jayawardene joined forces with opener Michael Vandort (87 not out) to repair the damage.
Vandort played the anchor role to perfection after winning a call-up in the absence of Marvan Atapattu and the injured Upul Tharanga.
The tall left-hander put on 170 with Jayawardene and another unbroken 40 with Tillakaratne Dilshan (27 not out).
Earlier, Muralitharan claimed his 58th haul of five or more in a innings to reach 679 wickets, just 30 away from surpassing retired Australian Shane Warne’s world record of 708.
Bangladesh, sent in to bat by Sri Lankan captain Jayawardene, folded up for their third lowest Test total in just 32.3 overs an hour after lunch at the Sinhalese Sport Club here.
Muralitharan, who claimed 50 wickets in six previous Tests against Bangladesh, once again ripped through the tourists’ line-up after the seamers did the early damage. Dilhara Fernando took 3-33, while Chaminda Vas and Lasith Malinga shared the remaining two.
Bangladesh were in danger of falling short of their lowest Test totals — 86 against Sri Lanka and 87 against the West Indies — when they further slumped to 69-8 early in the post-lunch session.
Bangladesh (1st innings)
Omar c P. Jayawardene b Vaas 8
Nafees c P. Jayawadene b Malinga 15
Saleh lbw Muralitharan 3
Bashar lbw Fernando 2
Ashraful c Warnapura b Fernando 7
Shakib lbw Muralitharan 16
Mashud not out 12
Hossain c Muralitharan b Fernando 1
Mortaza st P. Jayawardene b Muralitharan 1
Rafique lbw Muralitharan 11
Razzak st P. Jayawardene b Muralitharan 4
Extras (lb-2, nb-7) 9
Total (all out, 32.3 overs) 89
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-28, 3-32, 4-43, 5-50, 6-61, 7-64, 8-69, 9-85.
Bowling: Vaas 7-3-8-1, Malinga 7-0-31-1, Fernando 11-2-33-3, Muralitharan 7.3-3-15-5.
Sri Lanka (1st innings)
Vandort batting 87
Warnapura lbw Hossain 0
Sangakkara c Mashud b Hossain 6
M. Jayawardene retd hurt 93
Silva c Mortaza b Razzak 1
Dilshan batting 27
Extras (b-6, nb-5, w-2) 13
Total (3 wkts, 51 overs) 227
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-14, 3-187.
Bowling: Mortaza 6-0-27-0, Hossain 8-0-53-2, Razzak 14-1-47-1, Rafique 11-1-46-0, Hasan 5-0-19-0, Ashraful 7-0-29-0. — Reuters, AFP
India wary of Belgium
Boom, June 25
After losing their first match to New Zealand 0-2, coach Joaquim Carvalho would be relieved after India prevailed 3-2 over England after squandering the lead twice. India’s scorers were Rajpal Singh, Dilip Tirkey and Prabhjot Singh.
Belgium have shown improvement with each outing. The lowest-ranked team in the tournament at number 13 was distinctly unlucky to lose to Japan in the opener, but it seized opportunities to stun Argentina 3-2.
“Results so far have shown that just about anything is possible. Belgium will enjoy home advantage and crowd support. They play a typical European style and I expect a tough game,” Carvalho said.
India, Argentina, Japan and Belgium are tied with three points apiece behind New Zealand, the only unbeaten side after two matches each.
England, considered pre-tournament favourites, lost both their matches and languish at the bottom of the table.
India’s win against England has kept them in the hunt for a berth in the final. “I am glad that two of the toughest games, against New Zealand and England, are out of the way. We have not been able to play to our potential mainly due to the extremely wet weather, with rain soaking the pitch,” Carvalho said.
“We conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes to the Kiwis but bounced back well to beat England, and it was a relief,” he added.
The inability of their forwards to combine effectively, slackness in midfield and some crucial errors in deep defence made it touch-and-go in both games so far. — PTI
London, June 25
A decade from her 1997 title triumph, Hingis seemed to have forgotten her status as ninth seed and twice came within a point of losing to a woman who had won only two tour matches in her career.
In the end, British wildcard Naomi Cavaday possessed neither the self belief nor the energy to pull off the biggest win of her career and bowed out 6-7, 7-5, 6-0.
Hingis’s Swiss compatriot, defending men’s champion Roger Federer, chose a more straightforward route into the second round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili.
Third seed Andy Roddick cursed his luck when he was drawn in the same half as Federer but the American was in fine form on Monday when he took the first steps towards a possible semi-final showdown with the top seed. He fired 16 aces en route to a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 win over fellow American Justin Gimelstob.
Drizzle delayed the start of Federer’s match by almost two hours.
Once he managed to step on to a chilly and roofless Centre Court, he seemed to be in a rush to slip back into his stylish new cream blazer and trousers and ended Gabashvili’s Wimbledon debut in 93 clinical minutes.
Despite playing his first match on grass in 12 months, the world number one provided enough evidence to suggest he was on course to match Swede Bjorn Borg’s five successive titles this year.
Hingis’s chances of adding to her tally of five grand slam crowns looked rather bleak when she faced two match points against the 232-ranked Cavaday at 5-4 in the second set.
Cheered by a boisterous partisan crowd on court two, Cavaday’s nerves got the better of her when it mattered. She scooped the ball into the net on her first match point and was outclassed by a Hingis winner on the second.
Hingis initially appeared to be bemused by her great escape but then showed her ruthless streak, rolling over Cavaday in the decider.
Australian Open runner-up and fifth seed Fernando Gonzalez survived a first set hiccup to overcome Robby Ginepri 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-2. — Reuters
Munich, June 25
His compatriots Jeev Milkha Singh (71) and Shiv Kapur (68) finished tied 18th and 21st, respectively, as the Indians rounded off a fine week in Europe.
Niclas Fasth, fourth at the US Open last week, won the title by two shots over local hero Bernhard Langer (67) and Jose Filipe Lima (72) with a total of 13-under 275.
Arjun Atwal ends tied 29th
Cromwell (USA): Arjun Atwal played his best golf in recent times as the Indian carded a near-perfect six-under 64 to finish tied 29th at the Travellers Championship here.
— PTI, UNI
Cromwell (USA): Arjun Atwal played his best golf in recent times as the Indian carded a near-perfect six-under 64 to finish tied 29th at the Travellers Championship here. — PTI, UNI
Islamabad, June 25
A source in the board said the PCB has taken the matter seriously and is considering punishing Afridi, who has a history of violating discipline.
“He (Afridi) may be called to appear before the disciplinary committee to explain his position and the authorities will then decide about the punishment,” the source said. — ANI
Dortmund, June 25
It was his second draw in as many rounds in the elite event being contested by eight players at the Civic Theatre.
World champion Vladimir Kramnik shot into the lead by defeating Israel’s Boris Gelfand in a positional game. He shares the lead with Russian Grandmaster Evgeny Alekseev, who shocked Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the second round. — PTI
Sacramento (USA), June 25
rises to 44th Spikers win