Finally, a night of the Knights
Chargers come a cropper again
Middle-order saw us through: Sehwag
Mumbai need win to stay on course
Aussies collapse after Chanderpaul ton
India will regain lost glory: Pillay
Djokovic scrapes through Nalbandian, Ivanovic also win
Hamilton wins Monaco GP
Kahn happy to be in Kolkata
Injured Tsonga pulls out
Finally, a night of the Knights
Kolkata, May 25
Replying to the Kings XI’s competitive score of 174 for 6, the Knight Riders reached their winning target of 175 losing seven wickets in 19.4 overs in a nail-biting finish before a crowd of 30,000 at the Eden Gardens.
Man of the match Umar Gul (24; 11 balls, 1x4, 3x6), who also shone with the ball with figures of 4/23, turned the game upside down during a hurricane 49-run seventh wicket stand with Ganguly after the Knight Riders seemed heading towards yet another defeat at 106 for 6.
As Irfan Pathan set out to bowl the last over, the hosts needed 15 runs, but Ganguly finished off the proceedings in a destructive manner, with a six, two, six and one to hand out the Kings XI their fourth defeat. The Punjab side, already in the semifinals, remained on 18 points after 13 games.
Ganguly played a well-paced knock, plundering half a dozen boundaries and an equal number of sixes during a 53-ball innings as the Knight Riders - already out of the tournament -- chalked out their sixth victory to wrap up their engagements with 12 points.
The Knight Riders had a rare sound start, with the India-Pakistan left hand combination of skipper Ganguly and Salman Butt putting on 45 runs in only 5.2 overs. Ganguly made his aggressive intentions clear from the word go, as he pulled and cover-drove Irfan Pathan for two successive fours in the opening over that produced 10 runs.
As Kings XI skipper Yuvraj introduced spin in the form of Ramesh Powar in the fifth over, Ganguly danced down the track and hoisted him for a straight six. But S. Sreesanth, who became the highest wicket taker in the IPL with a double wicket haul in today’s match, changed the complexion of the game in the next over.
Sreesanth first forced Butt to play straight into the hands of short mid on with a slower delivery, and was on a hat-trick as he got Debabrata Das (0) leg before on the next ball, as the Knight Riders were reduced to 45 for 2.
David Hussey (12) did not last long, as he was foxed by a Piyush Chawla googly, and when Laxmi Ratan Shukla (5) found his leg stump sent cart-wheeling by V.R.V. Singh, the Knight Riders seemed to be staring down the barrel at 70 for 4 in 9.5 overs.
Earlier, Kings XI rode on rollicking knocks by Kumar Sangakkara and Shaun Marsh to pile up an imposing 174 for 6. Coming together after the early loss of James Hopes, the Aussie Marsh (40; 31b, 3x4, 2x6) and Sangakkara (64; 45 b, 7x4, 2x6) added a brisk 83 runs of only 57 deliveries to put their side in the drivers’ seat.
Sangakkara was especially brilliant, letting loose several delicate shots all over the park. Marsh, one of the prolific scorers of the tourney, executed some power-packed shots before holing out to long off, giving Sri Lankan off spinner Ajantha Mendis his first wicket in IPL on his debut.
Gul (4/23), the pick of the Knight Riders’ bowlers, finally got rid of Sangakkara, as the Sri Lankan played across the line to a delivery that pitched on the good length spot and came further in and rapped the willower on the pad, as the visitors were reduced to 133 for 3.
Gul conceded only four runs and also was on a hat-trick, as he picked up Irfan Pathan (7) and Piyush Chawla (0) of back-to-back deliveries. It was left to Tanmay Srivastava to thwart Gul’s feat.
Kings XI Punjab:
Marsh c Chopra b Mendis 40
Hopes lbw b Gul 13
Sangakkara lbw b Gul 64
Yuvraj run out 27
Jayawardene not out 11
I Pathan b Gul 7
Chawla b Gul 0
Srivastava not out 1
Extras: (LB-1, W-10) 11
Total: (For 6 wkts in 20 overs) 174
FOW: 1-24, 2-107, 3-133, 4-164, 5-173, 6-173.
Bowling: Gul 4-0-23-4, Ishant 4-0-49-0, Mendis 4-0-24-1, Dinda 2-0-18-0, Hussey 4-0-36-0, Shukla 2-0-23-0.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Ganguly not out 86
Butt c Srivastava b Sreesanth 24
Das lbw b Sreesanth 0
Hussey b Chawla 12
Shukla b Singh 5
Saha c Pathan b Chawla 13
Chopra c Sangakkara b Hopes 2
Gul c Powar b Singh 24
Ishant not out 0
Extras: (LB-5, W-4) 9
Total: (For 7 wkts in 19.4 overs) 175
FOW: 1-45, 2-45, 3-62, 4-70, 5-102, 6-106, 7-155
Bowling: I Pathan 3.4-0-36-0, Sreesanth 4-0-33-2, Powar 2-0-14-0, V.R.V. Singh 4-0-28-2, Chawla 4-0-36-2, Hopes 2-0- 23-1. — PTI
Hyderabad, May 25
With this win, the Bangalore side avoided the ignominy of finishing last in the IPL, while the Deccan Chargers could not avoid the wooden spoon. Chasing 166 to win, Jacques Kallis (31), Misbah-ul-Haq (34), Dravid (31), Cameron White (31 not out) and B Akhil (27 not out) came up with timely cameos as the side reached 171 for five in 19 overs.
Akhil smashed three sixes in the 19th over, bowled by Chamara Silva, en route to his unbeaten 27 off just seven balls to seal the issue.
Earlier, Herschelle Gibbs (47) and Adam Gilchrist (47) gave a rollicking start but Deccan Chargers lost the plot towards the end and folded for 165 in exactly 20 overs.
Bangalore's reply got off to a poor start as Wasim Jaffer (5) fell early but Kallis and Misbah stemmed the rot, scoring at a lively rate. Misbah was more impressive of the two but like Kallis, who was run out, the Pakistani too could not convert the start and fell to Ravi Teja after a 28-ball 34 that included four boundaries and a six.
Next man in Dravid too looked in good nick as he went after the hosts bowlers and by the time he fell to Sanjay Bangar, the Bangalore captain had contributed 31 off 21 balls that kept the side right on course.
Earlier, deciding to bat first, the Gilchrist-Gibbs duo overcame a subdued start and came down hard on the Bangalore attack. But once they departed in a space of seven balls, the home team witnessed a batting collapse with only Y Venugopal Rao (26) and Rohit Sharma (17) managing double figures.
Dravid sprang a surprise by opening the attack with Anil Kumble and the leggie didn't disappoint either, as he kept it tight, while Dale Steyn too proved a miser.
But once they were taken off, Gilchrist and Gibbs imposed them on the visitors. On his return, Kumble drew first blood when Sreevats Goswami stumped Gibbs and in the next over, Gilchrist fell to Vinay Kumar to join his opening partner in the hut.
Wickets kept tumbling and Rohit's exit further complicated things for the Deccan Chargers. Venugopal hit Kumble for two sixes and a boundary in his last over before Vinay Kumar cut short his stay. The Deccan Chargers in fact lost their last nine wickets for just 56 runs in less than eight overs.
Gilchrist c Akhil b Vinay 46
Gibbs st Goswami b Kumble 47
Rohit c Steyn b Vinay 17
C Silva c Goswami b Kohli 0
Venugopal c Jaffer b Vinay 26
Ravi Teja b Kohli 7
Yadav c sub b Steyn 8
Bangar run out 0
Vaas run out 0
RP Singh b Steyn 1
Vijaykumar not out 0
Extras (lb 3, w 8, nb 2): 13
Total (all out; 20 overs): 165
Fall of wickets: 1-101, 2-109, 3-109, 4-123, 5-151, 6-164, 7-164, 8-164, 9-165, 10-165
Bowling: A Kumble 4-0-33-1, D Steyn 4-0-19-2, J Kallis 1.2-0-19-0, V Kohli 3.4-0-25-2, Vinay Kumar 4-0-27-3, B Akhil 3-0-39-0
Bangalore Royal Challengers:
Kallis run out 31
Jaffer run out 5
Misbah c Silva b Teja 34
Dravid c Gilchrist b Bangar 31
White not out 31
Kohli c Teja b Vaas 9
Akhil not out 27
Extras (lb 3): 3
Total (5 wickets; 19 overs): 171
Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-46, 3-79, 4-119, 5-141
Bowling: C Vaas 4-0-36-1, RP Singh 3-0-15-0, S Bangar 4-0-30-1, Vijaykumar 4-0-29-0, Venugopal Rao 1-0-18-0, Ravi Teja 2-0-19-1, C Silva 1-0-21-0
Player of the match: R Vinay Kumar (Royal Challengers)— PTI
New Delhi, May 25
Addressing mediapersons Sehwag said yesterday, ''We have done our job and can only pray from here on so that we get a semi-final spot. But for the moment I am happy with our performance and let's see what happens tomorrow.''
He also expressed satisfaction the way the middle-order played as a lot was said about the Daredevils' batting line-up which was considered top heavy.
''Finally, our middle-order did come good and eventually took us through.
''A lot was said about our middle-order but I think it has silenced its critics,'' Sehwag said.
In the recent past Delhi has lost some close encounters but Sehwag said with this win his team's fortunes will see a great turn around.
Dinesh Karthick, who scored a match-winning 56 off 32 balls, was well praised for his effort in the crucial encounter against Mumbai Indians.
''Karthick has been doing really well and he won us an important match here.
''I thought till the time he was there we had every chance to win and he not only is an asset to our batting but helps me set the field as well,'' he added.
Man of the match Karthick, too, was satisfied with his effort and said the luck also played part in his innings.
''I think I got away with a lot of runs and I am pleased with the way I played tonight,'' Karthick said.
Mumbai Indians' Robin Uthappa stated that it was Karthick's majestic innings that took the game away from the visitors.
''I believe it was Karthick who made the difference. When somebody plays the way he did, there is very little that you can do,'' Uthappa said. — UNI
Mumbai need win to stay on course
Jaipur, May 25 The narrow defeat to Delhi Daredevils yesterday may have dented their smooth progress to the last-four stage, but the Mumbai team will be encouraged by the fact that earlier they have beaten the Royals in their own backyard. Besides, the fact that Graeme Smith, centurion in the match against Chennai Super Kings yesterday, is a doubtful starter will also brighten up the Mumbai Indians' eyes as they would apply every trick in the book to halt the Rajasthan Royals' juggernaut. The Mumbai outfit is in a do-or-die situation as they have 12 points in their kitty from as many matches and two more victories will take them to a maximum of 16 points to ensure a berth in the semis. But, any result other than the wins will make Mumbai's entry to the knock-out phase doubtful as Chennai, 14 points from 13 matches, and Delhi, 15 from 14 matches, are giving a close chase to Tendulkar-led side for semifinal berths.
— PTI Start of play: 8 pm
Jaipur, May 25
The narrow defeat to Delhi Daredevils yesterday may have dented their smooth progress to the last-four stage, but the Mumbai team will be encouraged by the fact that earlier they have beaten the Royals in their own backyard.
Besides, the fact that Graeme Smith, centurion in the match against Chennai Super Kings yesterday, is a doubtful starter will also brighten up the Mumbai Indians' eyes as they would apply every trick in the book to halt the Rajasthan Royals' juggernaut.
The Mumbai outfit is in a do-or-die situation as they have 12 points in their kitty from as many matches and two more victories will take them to a maximum of 16 points to ensure a berth in the semis.
But, any result other than the wins will make Mumbai's entry to the knock-out phase doubtful as Chennai, 14 points from 13 matches, and Delhi, 15 from 14 matches, are giving a close chase to Tendulkar-led side for semifinal berths. — PTI
Start of play: 8 pm
Kingston (Jamaica), May 25
Australia, leading by 119 runs from the first innings, fell to 17 for four in their second innings when bad light stopped play nine overs early on the third day at Sabina Park.
Fidel Edwards put the skids on the visitors with two wickets for 11 runs from four overs, and Daren Powell gave admirable support with two for five from five overs.
This followed another epic innings of 118 from Chanderpaul which lifted West Indies to 312, in reply to Australia's first innings total of 431.
Stuart Clark was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with three wickets for 63 runs, Brett Lee captured three for 59, Mitchell Johnson took two for 63, and Stuart MacGill two for 100.
Australia (1st Innings): 431
West Indies (1st Innings): 312
Australia (2nd Innings):
Jaques c Ramdin b Edwards 4
Katich lbw b Edwards 1
Ponting c Bravo b Powell 5
M. Hussey b Powell 1
Johnson batting 4
Hodge batting 0
Extras (lb1, nb1): 2
Total (4 wkts, 10 overs): 17
Fall of wickets: 1-5 2-10 3-12 4-12
Bowling: Powell 5-4-4-2 Edwards 5-1-12-2. — AFP
India will regain lost glory: Pillay
Doha, May 25 ''I'm sure I can do justice to this job. Everybody knows how passionately Dhanraj has played his hockey. All I can say is I won't allow injustice to happen to any player with potential,'' the mercurial striker was quoted as saying by 'Gulf Times'. ''There won't be a quota system and I will fight for the best player. I have been straight when I played hockey for India and I will continue to be that way.'' Pillay said, ''I think (KPS) Gill should have himself left gracefully but he didn't do that. We performed poorly in the World Cup, then we missed the Asian Games semis for the first time and the Olympics qualifiers failure was disheartening. After all this, he should have left respectably. Stressing that talent has to spotted and developed early on, the 39-year-old was confident that India will eventually regain its lost glory in world hockey. ''Yes, we can, but it will take time. So many good players like Deepak Thakur, Gagan Ajit Singh, Viren Rasquinha, Vinod Pillai are already out in dejection after being repeatedly dropped. You will find talent in small towns. So we have to spot them early and give them maximum exposure,'' Pillay stated.
Doha, May 25
''I'm sure I can do justice to this job. Everybody knows how passionately Dhanraj has played his hockey. All I can say is I won't allow injustice to happen to any player with potential,'' the mercurial striker was quoted as saying by 'Gulf Times'.
''There won't be a quota system and I will fight for the best player. I have been straight when I played hockey for India and I will continue to be that way.''
Pillay said, ''I think (KPS) Gill should have himself left gracefully but he didn't do that. We performed poorly in the World Cup, then we missed the Asian Games semis for the first time and the Olympics qualifiers failure was disheartening. After all this, he should have left respectably.
Stressing that talent has to spotted and developed early on, the 39-year-old was confident that India will eventually regain its lost glory in world hockey.
''Yes, we can, but it will take time. So many good players like Deepak Thakur, Gagan Ajit Singh, Viren Rasquinha, Vinod Pillai are already out in dejection after being repeatedly dropped. You will find talent in small towns. So we have to spot them early and give them maximum exposure,'' Pillay stated. — UNI
Paris, May 25
Gremelmayr, a semifinalist in Barcelona this month, raced to a 4-0 lead and despite a Djokovic rally, and two nervy double faults in the decisive 10th game, he served out for the first set in 34 minutes.
Djokovic saved two break points in the opening game of the second before breaking in the eight and then levelling the match.
The Serbian world number three allowed a 5-2 lead to slip in the third as his opponent broke twice to level but Djokovic broke back in the 11th game and served out for the set before clinching the third with ease. He will play Spanish qualifier Miguel Angel Lopez Jaen in round two.
Meanwhile, sixth seed David Nalbandian crushed Argentine compatriot Carlos Berlocq 6-2 6-4 6-1 to book a place in the second round of the French Open on Sunday. Nalbandian, who has never lost in the first round in seven visits to Roland Garros, made a shaky start, losing his second service game before reeling off four straight games to take the opening set in 30 minutes.
A single break in game three was enough for the 2002 Wimbledon finalist to clinch the second set and an immediate break in the third shattered Berlocq’s resolve and Nalbandian wrapped up victory in an hour and 53 minutes. The two-times French Open semifinalist will face French wildcard Jeremy Chardy in the second round.
Last year’s runner-up Ana Ivanovic reached the second round of the French Open with a 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Swede Sofia Arvidsson on Sunday. The 20-year-old, second-seeded Serbian next plays Czech Lucie Safarova, who crushed German Sandra Kloesel 6-1 6-1. Ivanovic broke in the fourth and sixth games and, despite dropping serve in the seventh, bagged the first set on her opponent’s serve after 39 minutes. The 24-year-old Swede, however, rebelled to avoid a repeat of last year’s 6-2 6-0 first-round drubbing at the hands of Ivanovic.
The Australian Open runner-up fell a break behind early in the second set but clawed her way back to wrap it up with a forehand winner after 95 minutes on her first match point. “I let my intensity go down a bit and she used it and she started playing much better,” Ivanovic told reporters. “But towards the end I’m happy that I found my game back and managed to break her back and win the second set”. — Reuters
Monaco, May 25
“Even if I win here again, which I plan on doing, this is the best one...It was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race,” he added. The Briton’s sixth win in 23 starts, and second of the season, catapulted the 23-year-old to the top of the standings -- three points clear of Ferrari’s world champion Kimi Raikkonen who took ninth place after a wet and crash-strewn race.
Poland’s Robert Kubica was second for BMW Sauber, 3.0 seconds behind, with Ferrari’s Brazilian Felipe Massa in third after starting on pole position. The race, glamour highlight of the Formula One season, was ended after the two hour mark was reached with 76 of the 78 scheduled laps completed.
“Great guys, fantastic job as always,” the jubilant Hamilton told his pit crew over the radio as he took the chequered flag. “I apologise for hitting the barriers but we made up for it. Now let’s go and party tonight”. Hamilton made a great start, taking Raikkonen for second place into the first corner, but had to pit on lap seven with a deflated right rear tyre after a brush with the barriers at the harbour-side Tabac corner.
The Briton rejoined in fifth but still with everything to play for on a circuit where the slightest mistake carries a heavy penalty. Ironically, the early pit stop played into Hamilton’s hands as others literally slipped up, with Massa sliding off at the Ste Devote corner and handing the lead to Kubica for a long stretch before the pitstops. — Reuters
Kolkata, May 25
“I am happy to be in Kolkata. I’m looking forward to the match on Tuesday. I’ve been told there will be 1.20 lakh people. I’m very excited,” Kahn told newspersons a little after landing in the city as part of the Bayern squad.
The golden ball winner of the 2002 World Cup said he had no knowledge of Indian football and had never heard of its greatest contemporary icon Baichung Bhutia. “But I’m eagerly waiting for Tuesday when I hope to get some idea about Indian football,” he said.
Asked about his post-retirement plans, Kahn said he would be working as an expert for German television channel Set F on international matches involving his national side. “But at the same time, I need to be at a distance from soccer, after being involved with the game for 20 years as a professional. I need to take a break, and then let’s see what happens,” said the custodian, who would turn 40 next month.
He mentioned the Champions League final match between Bayern and Spain’s Valencia as a glorious moment in his career. Bayern won the title 5-4 on penalties after Kahn brought off marvellous saves during the tie-breaker. — PTI
Paris, May 25
“Since then it was a test to see whether it would hold up,” said Tsonga, who pulled out of his semifinal match at a clay-court warm up in Casablanca, Morocco, yesterday. “I reached the critical time when I needed an operation before it’s too late”. Nicolas Kiefer of Germany and Fabio Fognini of Italy also pulled out a day before the French Open began.
Tsonga, who was seeded 14th at the clay-court major, has been bothered by his knee for about a month. He said he would need three to four months to recover. “After long discussions with my doctors and knee specialist, I made the decision not to play the French Open and to have surgery next week,” said Tsonga, who will be replaced in the draw by Luis Horna of Peru.
Tsonga surprisingly reached the Australian Open final this year, beating Rafael Nadal in the semifinal, before losing to Novak Djokovic. “It’s enormously frustrating,” the Frenchman said. “To play very well in any Grand Slam is super, but to play well at Roland Garros would have been magic” he added. — AFP
Srinagar, May 25
Playing like a well-oiled machine, the hosts attacked the Pudducherry defence from the word go. Waseem Feroze drew first blood for Jammu and Kashmir in the 19th minute. Thirteen minutes later, Bilal Ahmad consolidated the lead scoring through a penalty shoot.
Pudducherry received several chances to send the ball in the net but failed to take advantage and ended on the losing side. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad declared the 62nd Santosh Trophy opened, which was being held in the state after 30 years. — UNI
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