India hope to sign off in style
India-Lanka ODI series
Filling Champions Trophy gap
Venus, Safina reach third round
Bhupinder Singh Memorial Football Tournament
The final match between Sanawar XI and Sherwood XI in progress at the football ground, Lawrence School, Sanawar,
Monika: SAI action condemnable
JCT trounce Sporting Clube
Colombo, August 28
With yesterday's 46-run victory fetching India an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series - ensuring their first-ever bilateral ODI series triumph against Sri Lanka - the team is upbeat, hoping to sign off in style.
The lone worry stems from the poor form of Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma and the team hopes they too would join the party tomorrow.
Though an inconsequential match allows the think-tank to tinker with the team combination, the off-colour players are expected to figure in the playing XI in an effort to help them wriggle out of their bad patch.
There, however, is no such worry with the bowlers who did an excellent job in the series. Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh once again rose to the occasion yesterday and helped in containing the hosts with their intelligent bowling.
Another redeeming feature of last night's match was the smart fielding by the Indians after messing it up in the previous ODI.
Experts here feel the toss was also in important aspect of the strategy and that the visitors benefited out of it.
"The Sri Lankans also have a good batting line up. They could have scored more runs but for playing under the lights," an official remarked after last night's match.
In fact, Dhoni himself admitted that the toss played a crucial role in the win as it assisted the Indian spinners in the later part of the game.
"It was a good toss to win, there was something in the wicket for the spinners and they got a lot of turn. Even the pacers did well," Dhoni said.
Last night, India could make up for an additional batsmen as Yuvraj played a pivotalrole as the second spinner, getting two important wickets.
Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene said the spinners were getting more turn in the end of the innings.
Though only three Indian batsmen - Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Dhoni - came up with worthwhile contributions, the vital partnerships kept the Indians going. Even the first Indian wicket partnership yielded 44 runs.
Dhoni was of the view that unfortunately Sri Lankans were bereft of any long partnerships that could have cost them the game.
"The toss proved crucial, it put the Indians in an advantageous position but I should say we made too many mistakes along the way. There was lack of consistent partnership from the batters and that did not help the team at all," Jayawardene rued.
Teams (from): India: M S Dhoni (c), S Badrinath, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, R P Singh and Parthiv Patel.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (c), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Mahela Udawatte, Dilhara Fernando, Jehan Mubarak and Malinda Warnapura. — PTI
New Delhi, August 28
The board, in its recent Working Committee meeting in Mumbai, has decided to retain the five-member selection committee but, according to top sources, it will no longer be mandatory for the BCCI president to accept the nominees put up by the respective zones at the Annual General Meeting.
"The age-old system of the zonal representatives holding meetings on the eve of the board's AGM to decide the name of selector from their respective zones has been done away with.”
“From the coming AGM, the final decision on the appointment of national selectors will wrest with the BCCI president," a top source told PTI.
"The zonal representatives have the liberty to suggest names but the president of the board has the authority to accept or veto their decisions since the selectors become employees of the board," the source said.
This was done to make national senior and junior selectors more accountable in the selection of players that should reflect the positive results as India is co-hosting the 2011 World Cup.
Hitherto, a member of the zone usually proposes a name and it is seconded by another member from the zone to become a selector.
"From this year, the selectors (for senior and junior men and women) will not be elected at the AGM but they will be appointees of the board. This will make them more accountable in the selection process," the source said.
Sources also confirmed that the final of 2011 World Cup has been proposed to be held outside India and the four boards have agreed Pakistan as the venue for the summit match. — PTI
India-Lanka ODI series
India wrapped up the one-day series in style with a comfortable win in the fourth game, which gives them an unassailable lead in the series. This was due to some fine individual performances with bat and ball, but mainly due to the inspirational captaincy by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
This was clearly evident during his long partnership with young Suresh Raina. Not only did he guide the youngster who can sometimes let impetuosity get the better of common sense; by playing smart cricket himself, but also by the example he set in running between the wickets.
There was an occasion when both were past their individual half-centuries, and where having taken a few runs in the early part of the over he went down on his haunches to regain his breath.
If the Lankans took that as a sign that the famous humidity had taken its toll, they would have been zapped by what happened next ball.
Raina tried to glance a ball but it went off his leg-guards to deep fine-leg and Dhoni seeing that the fielder was squarer and would take time to get to the ball took off like Usain Bolt would have and ran three when most would have ambled a comfortable two. Those were not his runs nor were they Raina's runs, but they were team India's runs.
When the skipper sets such an example on a demanding occasion then the rest are bound to follow, and those that don't can be easily hauled up by the skipper without worrying about a comeback line from the offending player.
Curbing their natural attacking game in favour of building a partnership was the need of the hour after India frittered away a good start by losing three wickets in quick succession.
Virat Kohli showed he is a good learner by not looking to play too many shots too soon and throwing his wicket away in the process. A.B. de Villiers was one of those who used to try and break the ball by hitting it as hard as he could. All that happened was the ball didn't break, but he kept losing his wicket after attractive twenties and thirties.
His recent consistency in Tests as well as one-dayers shows that he has learnt that runs can be scored by delicate placements as well, and that no matter how softly or hard the ball is hit as long as it crosses the boundary, it is still four runs.
Kohli seems to have learnt that and that is a good sign. He looked a bit tired when he got out as his foot did not move across to the pitch of the ball, and it is an aspect he needs to look at.
Raina was all elegance and power combined and it was his batting that gave Dhoni the opportunity to try something different when Ajantha Mendis came along, by stepping out to the off-side and playing the sweep shot.
Once a team sets the opposition an asking rate of over 5 runs an over, the pressure to maintain the run rate takes its toll. Sri Lanka was hoping that Sanath Jayasuriya, who hasn't quite fired in the series so far, would do so for that was their only chance.
The veteran did give it a shot but it was too much in the end as Harbhajan foxed him. The 'offie' also picked up the dangerous Dilshan and Kulasekara to end with three wickets.
India's bowling was tight and the fielding a vast improvement on the previous game. Munaf once again rattled with two crucial wickets and Yuvraj who had failed to score relished the chance to make a contribution with the ball and picked up two wickets. Here again the captaincy of Dhoni was seen as he switched his bowlers ensuring that no bowler was over-bowled in the heat.
If they don't relax and win the last one-dayer too, then Dhoni and his men will have exacted revenge for the loss in the Test series earlier in the month. — PMG
Filling Champions Trophy gap
Karachi, August 28
Sources in the Pakistan board confirmed that Sri Lanka has given its consent to play in the tri-series while India has expressed its inability to be involved in a one-day tournament.
"Pakistan had approached some countries including India to support the board in organising a triangular or quadrangular tournament in South Africa to fill in the gap left open in Pakistan's cricket calender with the postponement of the Champions Trophy," one source said.
He said while India had expressed its regrets as it was already due to visit Pakistan for a full series in early January, Sri Lanka agreed to a one-day tournament.
"Now the modalities including venues and dates for the tri-series is being worked out but tentatively it should start from September 12," the source stated.
Former cricketers had lashed out at PCB for trying to hold the series in South Africa which refused to send its team to Pakistan leading to postponement of Champions Trophy.
But senior Board official Shafqat Naghmi said Pakistan could not afford to ignore or boycott the countries which refused to send teams to Pakistan.
"We are not going to adopt a tit-for-tat policy because the decision to postpone Champions Trophy was in the end unanimous. People don't realise that Pakistan has still got the hosting rights and it was because of strong stand taken by some boards that the tournament was not relocated to Sri Lanka," Naghmi said. — PTI
New York, August 28 However, Safina averted the danger by outclassing Vinci with her powerful serves and searing groundstrokes. The Russian, who has a 17-1 win-loss record since Wimbledon, will next face Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky. Venus Williams eased into the third round by demolishing Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguay 6-0 6-3 despite a lacklustre performance sprinkled with unforced errors. Williams, the U.S. Open winner in 2000 and 2001, did not get much of a workout in the 59-minute match against the 113-ranked De Los Rios, 32, who has never gone beyond the second round at Flushing Meadows. The 28-year-old seventh seed, who won her fifth Wimbledon singles title in July, made 17 unforced errors and squandered four match points on her serve at 5-3 up before finally claiming victory on the fifth. In the third round, Williams will meet Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine, the 27th seed who defeated Sabine Lisicki of Germany in three sets. — Reuters
However, Safina averted the danger by outclassing Vinci with her powerful serves and searing groundstrokes. The Russian, who has a 17-1 win-loss record since Wimbledon, will next face Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky.
Venus Williams eased into the third round by demolishing Rossana De Los Rios of Paraguay 6-0 6-3 despite a lacklustre performance sprinkled with unforced errors. Williams, the U.S. Open winner in 2000 and 2001, did not get much of a workout in the 59-minute match against the 113-ranked De Los Rios, 32, who has never gone beyond the second round at Flushing Meadows.
The 28-year-old seventh seed, who won her fifth Wimbledon singles title in July, made 17 unforced errors and squandered four match points on her serve at 5-3 up before finally claiming victory on the fifth. In the third round, Williams will meet Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine, the 27th seed who defeated Sabine Lisicki of Germany in three sets. — Reuters
Bhupinder Singh Memorial Football Tournament
Sanawar, August 28
The opening exchanges saw Sanawar press for a goal and they were able to keep the Sherwood defence more than busy. Some brilliant dribbling by Huidroum saw Sanawar go really close in the fifth minute but his move was thwarted by an equally good save by Sherwood’s goalkeeper Satyam Bhatia.
Sanawar pressed forward again in the 25th minute but some tough challenges by the Sherwood defence tamed their forward line. It took the Sherwood team a little while to find their feet but they soon started dominating the midfield with some good use of the high ball. The Sanawarian team were found wanting against this tactic as none of their players could match the tall and lanky Sherwood outfit.
But what they were missing in height, the Sanawarians made up with one-touch play. They struck almost after the 40th minute but a scramble in the box was again dealt with by some alert goalkeeping and defensive work by Sherwood. The Sherwood forward line of centre forward D. Khetwal, right winger D. Jolly, and Shantanu Lala made a last ditch effort before half time by combining in some fabulous link-up play but eventually ended shooting wide twice to ensure that the first half ended in a stalemate.
The second half was a classic case of déjà vu as the Sanawarians began from where they had left. The forwards Talib and Huidroum were involved in some intricate one-touch passing and came very close to scoring the opening goal. Sherwood defenders Rohan and Ruchir Singh came to their team’s rescue with brilliant man marking to ensure that there was no fruit to Sanawar’s attempts. Some brilliant dead ball situations, used to good effect by Sanawar kept the Sherwood defence on their toes, but somehow the deadlock could not be broken.
The match had to wait for the opening goal till the 70th minute when a beautiful link-up between the Sanawar forwards resulted in a goal with a clinical finish by Huidroum. But Sherwood struck right back with Akshay Narang getting the equalizer with a fabulous solo effort in the 75th minute.
The match got very tense in the closing stages with both teams pressing forward in search of a winner. Ultimately the home team, egged on once again by chants of “ Go Sanawar” proved their technical finesse when Penjo played the ball through for Huidroum, who took his time to apply a cool finish and helped his team defend their title successfully.
New Delhi, August 28
In a petition submitted to former chief election commissioner T S Krishna Murthy, appointed by the Sports Ministry to inquire into the scandal, she blamed the Sports Authority of India for the whole controversy which led to her withdrawal from the Indian Olympic contingent just hours before her scheduled departure to Beijing.
"If the report (dope test) was at all positive, why did the SAI not inform the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) 48-72 hours prior to the departure as required under the provisions of WADA?" she questioned.
Monika said the SAI ought to have acted reasonably and fairly and the sports body's "ill treatment" to her was "highly condemnable". "The actions of SAI were unreasonable, malafide as a result of which my reputation and career had been damaged,” she said. — PTI
JCT trounce Sporting Clube
New Delhi, August 28 A goalkeeping error from Karanjit Singh saw Lavino Fernandes place the ball into an empty net in the 12th minute as the Goan side surged ahead. In the 75th minute, Baldeep latched on to a cross from Escobar to provide JCT's third goal. This was after Baljit Sahni had equalised in the 23rd minute. Cutting inside from the left flank, Sahni fired a right-footer to the far corner. Brazilian import Escobar was provider for the second goal six minutes later. This time it was Pawan Kumar who was in the right place and at the right time to finish the job. —
New Delhi, August 28
A goalkeeping error from Karanjit Singh saw Lavino Fernandes place the ball into an empty net in the 12th minute as the Goan side surged ahead.
In the 75th minute, Baldeep latched on to a cross from Escobar to provide JCT's third goal. This was after Baljit Sahni had equalised in the 23rd minute. Cutting inside from the left flank, Sahni fired a right-footer to the far corner.
Brazilian import Escobar was provider for the second goal six minutes later. This time it was Pawan Kumar who was in the right place and at the right time to finish the job. — PTI
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