Dhoni, Gambhir guide India home
Fernando Verdasco is all charged up during his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday. Verdasco won 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. — AFP
A perfect day for Indians
Miandad quits PCB post
Pbi varsity archer shines
Jayasuriya becomes the oldest centurion in one-day internationals and goes past the 13,000-run mark, but his valiant efforts go in vain as India overhaul the 247-run target losing four wickets
Dambulla, January 28
Set 247 to win after Sanath Jayasuriya had scored 107 for the home side, opener Gautam Gambhir laid the foundations with 62 and added 113 for the second wicket with Suresh Raina (54).
Earlier, the 39-year-old Jayasuriya became the oldest centurion in one-day internationals and went past the 13,000-run mark after cracking 10 fours and one six. All-rounder Farveez Maharoof, promoted up the order, also chipped in with 35.
Dhoni had won the toss and chose to bowl first in the hope of exploiting early seam movement. Tillakaratne Dilshan was run out for a duck in the first over but Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara negotiated the initial threat of the new ball with intelligent batting.
Jayasuriya put on 118 for the second wicket with fellow left-hander Sangakkara (44).
Sri Lanka looked poised for a large total but India pegged them back in the latter stages of the innings.
Thilina Kandamby (17) spooned a catch to mid off and Jayasuriya skied another catch to mid off, reducing the hosts to 171 for four.
Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene's low-scoring run continued as he top-edged a sweep and was out for 11.
Paceman Ishant Sharma was the most successful of the Indian bowlers, claiming three for 52.
India's reply started badly when Sachin Tendulkar (5) was unfortunate to be judged lbw to an inswinger from Thilina Thushara that pitched outside leg-stump.
That was counter-balanced by a reprieve for Gambhir who was lucky to get the benefit of the doubt after a caught and bowled decision was referred to the TV umpire. Sri Lanka were also guilty of poor fielding as Dilshan grassed a simple chance at backward point when Raina had made six.
The home side clawed their way back into the game when Gambhir was caught in the deep and Raina was run out, leaving India 137 for three. Dhoni, however, took command by adding 44 with Yuvraj Singh (23) and an unbroken 66-run stand with Rohit Sharma (25 not out). The second game in the five-match series is in Colombo on Saturday. — Reuters
Dilshan run out 0
Jayasuriya c Patel b Zaheer 107
Sangakkara c Raina b Ohja 44
Kandamby c Zaheer b Ishant 17
Maharoof b Ishant 35
Jayawardene c Rohit b Ishant 11
Kapugedera run out 15
Thushara not out 12
Kulasekera not out 0
Extras (w-3 nb-2): 5
Total (for 7, 50 overs): 246
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-118, 3-169, 4-171, 5-204, 6-222, 7-245.
Bowling: Zaheer 10-2-40-1, Munaf 5-0-32-0, Ishant 10-1-52-3, P Ohja 10-0-52-1, Irfan 7-0-32-0, Raina 4-0-16-0, Rohit 4-1-22-0.
Gambhir c Kandamby b Murali 62
Tendulkar lbw b Thushara 5
Raina run out 54
Yuvraj c Murali b Maharoof 23
Dhoni not out 61
Rohit not out 25
Extras (8-lb, 8-w, 1-nb): 17
Total (for 4, 48.1 overs): 247
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-126, 3-137, 4-181.
Bowling: N Kulasekara 7-0-32-0, T Thushara 8-0-44-1, F Maharoof 8-0-35-1, A Mendis 10-0-47-0, M Muralitharan 10-0-52-1, T Dilshan 5.1-0-29-0.
Rajkot, January 28
South Zone had ensured a berth in semifinal by taking thin but valuable three runs first innings lead over Central Zone in quarterfinal played at Bangalore.
Along with former Indian stumper Dinesh Karthik, Robin Utthappa and skipper S Badrinath, Dravid will be the mainstay in batting for the South Zone.
Dravid had scored 103 runs in quarter final against Central Zone while Karthik had made back-to-back century in both innings in the match.
On the other side, North Zone have no such big names and its skipper Akash Chopra also admitted that opposition was a better side. "South has a better side on paper than us, but our players are looking forward to do well in the match," Chopra told mediapersons here.
South Zone: S Badrinath (capt), Abhinav Mukund, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Dravid, Dinesh Karthik (wk), R Ashwin, Shadab Jakati, Laxmipathy Balaji, S Sreesanth, Vinay Kumar, Saurav Babdekar, M, Suresyh and Anoop Pai.
North Zone: Akash Chopra (cap), Amit Mishra, Shikhar Dhavan, Sangram Singh, Sunny Sohail, R Dewan, Ankur Kakkar, Uday Kaul, Sarandeep Singh, Manpreet Gony, V S Malik, Parvinder Awana, Rajat Bhatia and S Beigh.
East take on high-flying West
Mumbai: A confident and strong West Zone are to cross swords with weak-on-paper East Zone in the four-day Duleep Trophy semifinals at the Brabourne Stadium from Thursday. Led by Mumbai's Ranji Trophy winning captain Wasim Jaffer, West are carrying too many guns for the comfort of East Zone, led by India discard Shiv Sunder Das of Orissa. It would need a Herculean effort from the easterners to upset the apple-cart of the high-flying West possessing an array of batsmen and bowlers who have done extremely well in Ranji Trophy. Jaffer has amassed over 1200 runs in Ranji Trophy this season with a triple hundred to boot while his Mumbai teammate Ajinkya Rahane has also scored over 1000 runs.
Mumbai: A confident and strong West Zone are to cross swords with weak-on-paper East Zone in the four-day Duleep Trophy semifinals at the Brabourne Stadium from Thursday.
Led by Mumbai's Ranji Trophy winning captain Wasim Jaffer, West are carrying too many guns for the comfort of East Zone, led by India discard Shiv Sunder Das of Orissa.
It would need a Herculean effort from the easterners to upset the apple-cart of the high-flying West possessing an array of batsmen and bowlers who have done extremely well in Ranji Trophy.
Jaffer has amassed over 1200 runs in Ranji Trophy this season with a triple hundred to boot while his Mumbai teammate Ajinkya Rahane has also scored over 1000 runs. — PTI
Melbourne, January 28
Nadal, however, was in no mood to hang around longer than necessary and took the match in two hours, 27 minutes. “Today was tough because playing against Simon is always difficult,” Nadal told reporters.
Spain’s Fernando Verdasco benefited from the cooler conditions created by the closed roof and rolled men’s fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The 14th seed showed no ill-effects from his gruelling five-set victory over Britain’s Andy Murray in his previous match as he overwhelmed Tsonga in a little under three hours.
Nadal’s meeting with Verdasco on Friday will be the first time two Spanish men have met in the semi-finals at the Australian Open since the tournament opened its doors to professionals in 1969.
Serena Williams survived the onset of a once-in-a-century heatwave and endured an out-of-body experience on Wednesday to oust Svetlana Kuznetsova and join a trio of Muscovites in the semifinals. Only the American’s refusal to buckle and the organisers’ decision to close the roof as the mercury soared, prevented a Russian sweep of the quarter-finals after Elena Dementieva had earlier endured the brutal conditions to advance.
Dementieva beat unseeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 6-2. The fourth seed’s compatriots Vera Zvonareva and Dinara Safina booked their semifinal berths on Tuesday. “Me against the Russians now, I guess,” Williams quipped after her 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 victory. — Reuters
Indian players rounded off a brilliant day at the Australian Open amid soaring temperatures with Leander Paes advancing to the men's doubles semifinal and Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza making the last-four stage of the mixed doubles event here today.
Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy, seeded fourth, quelled a late challenge from unseeded Italians Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi 6-1 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals.
Earlier, Sania and Mahesh rallied to beat Canadians Aleksandra Wozniak and Daniel Nestor to seal a semifinal berth in the mixed doubles event.
The unseeded Indian pair overcame a first-set lapse to carve out a 3-6 6-4 10-5 win in one hour and 15 minutes.
Sania and Bhupathi, the runners-up here last year, dropped their serve twice in the first set and wasted one break point to hand the opener to their opponents.
In the super-tie breaker, the Indians held their nerves to emerge winners. They next face the Czech pair of Iveta Benesova and Lukas Dlouhy.
Among the juniors, top seed Yuki Bhambri extended his winning run to quarterfinals after defeating 13th seed Croat Dino Marcan 6-3 6-1 in the pre-quarterfinals of the boys singles competition. Yuki, along with Liang-Chi Huang of Taipei, was also scheduled to compete in the boys' doubles quarterfinals but the match was cancelled due to excruciating heat. — PTI
Karachi, January 28
Miandad, a former Pakistan captain and coach, cited disagreement with the Board on terms of his contract as prime reason for his resignation.
"I have taken this decision since I am not satisfied with the terms of the contract given to me, in particular my areas of responsibility which is limited.
"I have no hard feelings towards anyone but a cricketer of my stature cannot be happy with the responsibilities they are giving me," Miandad told PTI.
Miandad's resignation comes less than 24 hours after PCB sacked captain Shoaib Malik from the post and appointed senior batsman Younis Khan in his place.
PCB had held emergency meetings with former and current players before removing Malik in the wake of the recent ODI series defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.
Miandad, who has been the coach of the team thrice in the past, though admitted he had opposed the immediate removal of Malik as captain.
"I just felt the captain deserved better treatment because if team loses and batting fails, all players are responsible and even the coach who made tactical mistakes in the last two games.
"But the reason I resigned is that the authority and responsibilities promised to me are not part of the contract offered to me," he said. — PTI
Pbi varsity archer shines
Patiala, January 28
In the men’s compound category, Amarinder Singh, a student of Punjabi University, Patiala, who recently won a silver medal at the 1st Asian Open Compound Championship that was held at Yangon, Myanmar, won a silver medal in the 30 m distance. He set a new national record jointly at this distance by scoring 359/360 points. Amarinder along with Surinder Singh, Jiwanjot Singh and Navdeep Brar also qualified for the next National Games.
On being questioned about his performance, a delighted Amarinder was all praises for his coach Jiwanjot Singh. He gave his coach a lot of credit for his performance. He said, “I worked day and night for this tournament as this was the biggest event of the year and my coach also had been with me throughout to help me attain this level. I am glad I could fulfill my coach’s dream.”
In the women’s category, a team comprising Gagandeep Kaur, Manveer Kaur, Gaganjot Kaur and Rajbir Kaur won a silver medal in the compound championship and thus also qualified for the National Games.
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