Defiant Clarke rescues Aussies
India to play 5 ODIs against SL: Report
‘IPL will lure players away from Tests’
ECB okays 15-day IPL window
B’desh may lose Test status
Sarwan, Ramdin guide WI home
CA defends Ponting, Hilditch
Bopanna advances in qualifiers
Sydney, January 3
At stumps, Clarke was still going strong and giving him company at the other end was Mitchell Johnson who was on 17 with four magnificent hits to the fence.
South Africa took the upper hand with some superb bowling to reduce the home team to 162 for five at one stage but Clarke added 75 runs with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (38) to do some repair work for the home team after Australia won the toss and elected to bat first.
Clarke had his share of luck and was dropped on 12 and 69 but was good enough to make most of the two lives, scoring 73 in close to four hours and included nine fours.
Just when things started looking better for Australia, Dale Steyn produced an almost unplayable outswinger which clipped off the batsman's off-stump.
Matthew Hayden's career continued to remain under threat as he once again failed to rediscover his form and was out on 31 when he dragged a full-length delivery from Steyn onto his stumps to leave Australia at 109 for three.
Opener Simon Katich started the day for Australia on a bright note and was looking to play an uncharacteristic innings by his standards as he raced to 47 off just 52 deliveries and with Hayden he added 62 runs for the opening wicket.
Jacques Kallis bowled an away-going delivery to Katich and the opener failed to keep his bat away from it as he edged it straight to AB de Villiers. Captain Ricky Ponting, who was in top form in the last Test at Melbourne, failed to get off the mark and made a first ball duck when he edged a Morne Morkel delivery to Mark Boucher.
Hayden was looking determined to quash all speculations about his form and retirements as he played a sedate 78-ball innings which had four boundaries but the timing was absent.
Michael Hussey was the next to go when he played a straight delivery from left-arm spinner Paul Harris to Jacques Kallis at slip for an individual score of 30.
Debutant Andrew McDonald had to see off some anxious moments at the crease as an edge flew from his bat just short of the second slip fielder and then Morkel followed it with a bouncer which knocked off the batsman's helmet.
McDonald could not survive the pressure from the visiting bowlers and finally succumbed after his 64-minute stay at the crease when he was caught behind for 15 off Makhaya Ntini.
For South Africa, who are leading the three-Test series 2-0, all the bowlers kept up the pressure on the home team and bowled a probing line throughout the day. Man-of-the-match at Melbourne, Steyn bagged a couple, while Kallis, Morkel, Ntini and Harris returned with a wicket each to their names. — UNI
Australia (1st innings):
Hayden b Steyn 31
Katich c de Villiers b Kallis 47
Ponting c Boucher b Morkel 0
M Hussey c Kallis b Harris 30
Clarke batting 73
A McDonald c Boucher b Ntini 15
Haddin b Steyn 38
Johnson batting 17
Extras (lb-7, w-2, nb-7): 16
Total (for 6 wickets in 88 overs): 267
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-63, 3-109, 4-130, 5-162, 6-237.
Bowling: D Steyn 21-4-71-2, M Ntini 19-5-53-1, M Morkel 17-3-49-1, J Kallis 15-4-43-1, P Harris 16-3-44-1.
New Delhi, January 3
Sri Lanka Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge told 'cricketnirvana' that his team will tour Pakistan in two phases - one in second half of January and another in late February, in order to accommodate an ODI series against India, most likely in first part of February.
Sri Lanka will first tour Pakistan for five ODIs and a Twenty20 international and then go back to Pakistan in late February to play three Tests.
"We will honour the Pakistan commitment. I have told Duleep Mendis (Sri Lanka Cricket CEO) to look at the option of touring Pakistan first for five ODIs and a Twenty20. The team will fly directly from Bangladesh (after January 16) and then return to Colombo to play a five-match ODI series with India.
“We will then return to Pakistan for three Tests," Lokuge said though without giving a detailed itinerary.
Pakistan has been anxiously waiting for confirmation of an itinerary after India cancelled their tour following Mumbai terror attacks.
Pakistan was kept waiting as Sri Lanka was also reportedly negotiating an ODI series with India after their tour of Bangladesh which ends on January 16.
The other problem was Pakistan was scheduled to tour Bangladesh for a five-match ODI series from March 3. But now SLC CEO Duleep Mendis has himself spoken to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to postpone the tour by a few days to March 6, according to the website. — PTI
Seeks extra Test during NZ tour
Christchurch: With the cancellation of India's tour to Pakistan, the BCCI has put in a request to the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to see if they can accommodate an extra Test match when the men in blue tour the country in March and April this year. India is scheduled to tour New Zealand on March 6 to play a Twenty20 international, five one-dayers and two Test matches. “We will have to wait till next week to discuss the matter and respond to the BCCI,” NZC’s chief operating officer Justin Vaughan told 'cricketnirvana.com'.
Christchurch: With the cancellation of India's tour to Pakistan, the BCCI has put in a request to the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to see if they can accommodate an extra Test match when the men in blue tour the country in March and April this year.
India is scheduled to tour New Zealand on March 6 to play a Twenty20 international, five one-dayers and two Test matches. “We will have to wait till next week to discuss the matter and respond to the BCCI,” NZC’s chief operating officer Justin Vaughan told 'cricketnirvana.com'. — UNI
London, January 3
"I think we have got to be slightly worried. Things like the IPL, we still don't know how it will pan out and it offers a lot of money. You can get 700,000 to 800,000 pounds for playing just six weeks in a year in the IPL", Trescothick said.
"This amount of money is unheard of... I mean it has been there in football but it's new for cricket," he said on BBC's 'Hardtalk' programme when asked whether money was killing the game.
Trescothick said if the choice comes down to IPL and a Test series for the England team, the players would probably opt for the Twenty20 format because of the money.
"It's inevitable that you are going to see people go away. I don't think you can deny them a chance to earn something like 500,000 pounds for six weeks of work. Playing Tests would get you just about 25,000 to 30,000 pounds per match," he pointed out.
"Hopefully, it gets to a point that they (the administrators) restructure the problem so that you can play IPL without missing Test matches," he added.
The retired opener is, however, among those who get enticed by the money on offer in IPL.
"For me it's not about the money. Probably two-three years ago, I would have knocked on their door but the thing now is I have to make a lot of sacrifices. I have no aspirations to play in the IPL," he declared.
Looking back at a career cut short by bouts of depression and anxiety, Trescothick, who headed home midway through the 2005 tour to India due to a mental breakdown, said he regrets pushing himself too hard even when his mind was telling him to stop.
"I wish I hadn't gone to India. I talk a lot about making sacrifices but the fact is I was selfish all through. I kept playing and saying to myself that go on when my mind was telling me to stop. That's one of the biggest regrets that I have, that I pushed myself too much. You can't keep doing that.
"On the tour of India, I knew it (the mental breakdown) was coming. I was struggling... I remember in Mumbai I had quarantined myself in the hotel room and it was bad. It just kept getting worse from there. It was eventually about when the bubble would burst," he said.
"I remember walking off the pitch after a match and feeling that this is it, I can't do this anymore," he recalled.
Asked what exactly went wrong, Trescothick said, "You probably call it a severe case of anxiety. A constant worry about what was happening. I was on the edge most of the times." — PTI
Chennai, January 3
Tendulkar and Zaheer's inclusion in the squad have tilted the balance totally in favour of Mumbai, but Saurashtra skipper Shah vowed that his team would give their heart and soul out in the field to ensure the all-important victory.
"We all know that Mumbai is a top side. We will definitely put up a good fight and try to avoid mistakes. We have a young side with quite a few talented players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, but in the end, it is the team effort that matters," Shah told a press gathering after the team's practice session here today.
"Obviously, their (Tendulkar and Zaheer's) presence makes Mumbai a stronger team. But we will concentrate hard and play our game rather than worry too much about our opponents. We will have to give our 200 per cent," he added.
Meanwhile, Mumbai captain Wasim Jaffer admitted that Tendulkar and Zaheer's inclusion will further strengthened the side which is in its quest for 38th Ranji title.
"We also have other experienced players and most of us had played in the previous final (2006-07). And so, in a match like this, experience will be a critical factor," he said.
He also termed Mumbai's poor showing earlier in the season against the same opponents, where they had to play out of their skin to save themselves from humiliation after following on, as a 'one off' match.
"Saurashtra have played seven of their matches at home. This is a chance for us to forget the earlier game and show that it was just a one-off match," Jaffer said.
On Saurashtra batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara's sterling performance with the bat this season, Jaffer said, "We all know that Pujara is in good form and scoring a lot of runs and so his wicket will be vital for us. But then, we also need to take the top six wickets." Mumbai coach Pravin Amre referred Tendulkar and Zaheer's availability as a dream for any coach.
"It is a dream for any coach to have somebody like Tendulkar in the team. His presence is vital for us and also that of Zaheer, he said. — PTI
Second semifinal: Tamil Nadu vs Uttar Pradesh
The roadblock to the participation of Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff and team-mates in second edition of Indian Premier League seems to have been removed after England and Wales Cricket Board and Professional Cricketers' Association agreed on a 15-day window for the players.
The duration agreed by the ECB and the PCA means players will be able to play in first few rounds of the IPL, starting in April, before returning for the first Test against the West Indies starting at Lord's on May 6.
"We think this is realistic and sensible," PCA chief executive Sean Morris was quoted as saying by 'The Times'.
"There was some pressure to get back for a four-day game before the Test. The guys understand that and I think they are happy. I would say we are now 99 per cent there," Morris added.
The final details involving compensation package remain to be sorted out as counties demand reimbursement for losing their players' service during the 15-day window.
However, there was optimism that the deal could be worked out before England leave for the West Indies on January 21.
If it does go through then Pietersen and Flintoff could earn up to 300,000 pounds for little more than a fortnight's work when the IPL auction is held on February 6.
B’desh may lose Test status
London, January 3 Bangladesh's overall record now stands at one win (against Zimbabwe) from 58 Test matches and the financial logic has also led the leading cricket powers to turn against them. With a growing number of Twenty20 tournaments competing for space in the calendar, teams like England and Australia are not prepared to play loss-making series against a team that has failed to improve since their inaugural Test in 2000. "There is no reason why a team should have to play Test matches just because it is a full member of the International Cricket Council," said ICC president David Morgan. "If a team is not gaining anything from the experience, then perhaps it might be better to settle for one-day international status," Morgan was quoted as saying by 'Daily Telegraph'.
London, January 3
Bangladesh's overall record now stands at one win (against Zimbabwe) from 58 Test matches and the financial logic has also led the leading cricket powers to turn against them.
With a growing number of Twenty20 tournaments competing for space in the calendar, teams like England and Australia are not prepared to play loss-making series against a team that has failed to improve since their inaugural Test in 2000.
"There is no reason why a team should have to play Test matches just because it is a full member of the International Cricket Council," said ICC president David Morgan.
"If a team is not gaining anything from the experience, then perhaps it might be better to settle for one-day international status," Morgan was quoted as saying by 'Daily Telegraph'. — PTI
Chennai, January 3
Schuttler, currently No 33 in ATP ranking, however, said he would not take it easy. “I have to play really well,” he said.
When former Indian ace Vijay, who presided over the draw ceremony, prompted him saying “you must have liked the draw,” Schuttler said “No, not really. I have been practising with him. I really have to play well.” However, Prakash Amritraj was not available for comment. Schuttler was the runner up in 1999 Chennai Open.
The other Indian wildcard entrant Somdev Dev Varman will be taking on Kevin Kim of USA who is No 117 on ATP ranking. Vijay said Somdev, who had a great season in 2008 coming closer to being the only Indian to be ranked in the 200 bracket after Leander Paes, had a good chance of beating the American and entering round two. Kim is unseeded in this edition of Chennai Open.
The seeded players, however, would have it easy at least on paper going by the draw. Top seeded Russian and World No 5 Nikolay Davydenko will take on Daniel Koeller who, however, could give him a good fight, according to Leander’s doubles partner Lukas Dlouhy.
Lukas is also in the singles draw as a wildcard pitted against Goe Soeda of Japan who has been making his presence felt on the ATP tour. The Japanese is ranked 114 and Lukas 184. Lukas said he is hoping to do well in the singles too apart from putting up a good show again with Leander in the doubles.
“We will take it match by match”, Leander, who was also present at the draw ceremony said adding his previous showing here of four doubles titles and the quarter final entry in 1998 would act as an inspiration for him this time. “Chennai Open is a good beginning for the players to freshen up for the first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, in the new season,” he averred.
Two-time champion in Chennai Open in 2004 and 2005, Spaniard Carlos Moya, seeded No 6 here and ranked No 40, also awaits a qualifier while second seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, will take on another qualifier. — UNI
Wellington, January 3
With the first match washed out, the victory gave West Indies a 1-0 lead in the series with the third ODI scheduled for January 7 in Wellington. — Reuters
Ryder c Chattergoon b Miller 32
McCullum c Ramdin b Edwards 1
How b Taylor 27
Taylor c Powell b Miller 13
Flynn c Ramdin b Taylor 4
Oram c Chattergoon b Edwards 25
Vettori b Edwards 0
Elliott not out 30
Mills c Miller b Gayle 6
Southee not out 6
Extras (lb 2, w 6): 8
Total (8 wickets): 152
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-59, 3-68, 4-76, 5-87, 6-114, 7-115, 8-135.
Bowling: Edwards 6-1-26-3 (1w), Powell 5-0-18-0, Taylor 6-0-26-2, Pollard 2-0-26-0 (2w), Miller 6-0-26-2 (2w), Gayle 3-0-28-1 (1w).
Gayle b Vettori 36
Chattergoon b Southee 6
Sarwan not out 67
Marshall b Oram 2
Nash v b Patel 15
Pollard c Taylor b Mills 3
Ramdin not out 28
Extras (lb 1): 1
Total (5 wickets): 158
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-61, 3-68, 4-96, 5-110
Bowling: Mills 6-0-27-1, Southee 5 5-1-38-1, Patel 5-0-39-1, Oram 5-0-25-1, Vettori 6-0-28-1.
Melbourne, January 3
Hilditch has been under fire for picking all-rounder Andrew Symonds in the first two Tests against South Africa despite a knee injury that required surgery.
Clarke chose to draw on Australia's past success as World Cup winners and Test cricket's top ranking in his attempt to defend Hilditch and Ponting, whose field settings and bowling tactics have been questioned.
''Both men have been crucial to the Australian team's success during this period and I believe that they have recently received unfair criticism,'' Clarke said in a statement released today.
''However this is not to say they, their team mates, their co-selectors or Cricket Australia should be immune from balanced criticism,'' he added.
Symonds bowled only three overs in the first Test at Perth and wasn't given a bowl by Ricky Ponting until the 125th over of South Africa's first innings in the second Test here at MCG, taking 0-14 off 11 overs with his off-spinners.
''When assessing the results of the Australian team, it should be noted that great players have retired over the past two years. Players of this calibre are not replaced overnight and in some cases ever.
''We have suffered two Test losses to a magnificent South African team and we congratulate them on their success. They now have a chance to leave their most important legacy in managing the current transition from the great team of the last 15 years to rebuilding the dynasty. “They deserve and have earned our respect,” Clarke said. — UNI
Bopanna advances in qualifiers
Chennai, January 3 Six Indians, out of 18 who figured in the qualifying draw of 32, made it to the second round. Apart from Bopanna, Rohan Gajjar, Ranjeet Murugesan, Sanam Singh, N Sriram Balaji and Vignesh Murugesan also won their first round matches. Bopanna, ranked 333rd in the world, lost the first set 6-7 due to some loose shots. He tightened his game in the next two sets but his sixth seeded opponent proved to be a hard nut to crack and Bopanna had to settle the issue in tie breaks.
Chennai, January 3
Six Indians, out of 18 who figured in the qualifying draw of 32, made it to the second round. Apart from Bopanna, Rohan Gajjar, Ranjeet Murugesan, Sanam Singh, N Sriram Balaji and Vignesh Murugesan also won their first round matches. Bopanna, ranked 333rd in the world, lost the first set 6-7 due to some loose shots. He tightened his game in the next two sets but his sixth seeded opponent proved to be a hard nut to crack and Bopanna had to settle the issue in tie breaks. — PTI
France rout Taiwan in Hopman Cup: A jetlagged Alize Cornet and Gilles Simon produced battling displays to hand France a 3-0 win over Taiwan in the opening Hopman Cup tie in Perth on Saturday. World number 16 Cornet struggled to focus on the task at hand in the Group B showdown but scrapped through to beat Hsieh Su-wei 6-4, 6-4. “It was tough because I just arrived on Friday in Australia. So I’m not really in the time zone and felt a bit sleepy because now it'’s three o’clock in the morning in France, so I’m playing in the night,” Cornet told reporters. “At the beginning I was really moving like a cow on the court. It was crazy but after it was better.” Simon found his groove in the nick of time to tame 64th-ranked Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 7-6. — Reuters
Karachi Mumbai Kolkata Kurukshetra