ODI: 6.30 a.m.
North to take on East, South meet Zimbabwe
Re-work IPL dates: Home Ministry
IPL-II: 269 players for eight teams
India stun Pak 3-1, reach final
Sania advances at Indian Wells
Auckland, March 13
The Indians have already taken an invincible 3-0 lead in the five match series and will be keen to try out their reserve players for the inconsequential game at the Eden Park.
Sachin Tendulkar, who sat out of the last game because of an abdomen injury, is likely to be rested for the match so that he is fully fit for the Test series beginning March 18.
While things have gone favourably for the Indians, the Kiwis have only pride to play for as they desperately need to salvage a win to convince the home fans of their limited-overs potential, especially after recording six consecutive series wins at home.
However, India coach Gary Kirsten has already made it clear that he is no mood to take the game lightly and would like to carry forward the momentum of the ODI series to the three upcoming Tests.
India are set to make some changes in their playing eleven and in all probability left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and Irfan Pathan are likely to get a game before they return home alongwith Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar and Rohit Sharma on Sunday.
While Irfan played in the Twenty20 series, which India lost 0-2, Ojha so far has had little to do on this tour, other than roll his arm over at the nets.
And this will come as an ideal opportunity for Ojha to win the selectors' confidence. A poor show in the match would provide the leeway for Ravindra Jadeja, who has the making of a competitive all-rounder, to stake a claim for the second spinner's slot in India's ODI scheme of things.
The Indian team management is also likely to give Zaheer Khan, who did the bulk of the work in Ishant Sharma's injury-forced absence during the ODIs, a break before the Test series and draft in Irfan in his place.
It will be interesting to see how many balls disappear in tomorrow's day-night affair at the small but short Eden Park ground, whose square boundaries are a lot shorter than Christchurch, where a record number of sixes were blasted in the Twenty20 (24) and one-day (31) match of the series.
There is also a possibility of Sehwag, who has been in the form of his life, to score a double hundred, something that he spoke about after his 60-ball hundred in the last match.
The Kiwis would be eyeing a consolation win to boost their morale ahead of the Test series and skipper Daniel Vettori is determined to avoid a 4-0 drubbing in front of the home crowds.
But considering the form of Indian batsmen, Vettori's men will have to produce something extraordinary to stop the marauding Indian gladiators from completing a series rout. — PTI
Cuttack, March 13
In a Group B match at Ravenshaw University Ground, South Zone will be looking to make ammends for their pathetic loss. S Badrinath and Co, who were bundled out for 152 in pursuit of 224 against West, will take on visiting side Zimbabwe President's XI.
With 11 titles in the Zonal tournment, North Zone have already said they are playing for pride.
Today they showed their grit and determination, coming up with a solid batting display with openers Aakash Chopra and Rohit Dewan giving a flying start. It was just a formality as Kohli, skipper Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia combined together to thrash defending champions Central with 2.1 overs to spare.
"We had won this tournament two seasons ago when I was the captain... We hope to do achieve the same again. The tournament is very special for us as we have a record 11 number of titles to our kitty," Manhas told PTI.
New Delhi, March 13
This follows the position taken by eight states, where matches in the second edition of the highly successful tournament were to be held, that they may not be able to provide security in view of the general elections beginning April 16.
"MHA is advising the IPL organisers that it may not be feasible to hold the matches as per the revised schedule submitted by them on March seven, 2009.
"IPL organisers have been advised to accommodate the concerns of various state governments and draw up a revised schedule and submit the same to the MHA," the Union Home Ministry said in a two-page statement.
After weeks of suspense on the fate of the cash-rich Twenty20 event, the latest communication from the Ministry has put a question mark on the tournament although IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi has said they were willing to submit a new schedule.
Following hectic confabulations between senior officials of the eight states holding IPL matches and those of the Home Ministry, it said Delhi and Andhra Pradesh have expressed their inability to provide security during the election period.
Karnataka has also expressed inability to host two of the six matches being played at Bengaluru, while Tamil Nadu agreed to provide police protection as the match in the revised schedule was after the polls.
West Bengal and Punjab have agreed to provide security only if they are not required to release state police for poll duty as promised to the Election Commission and Home Ministry.
The statement said while West Bengal has sought 30 more companies of para-military forces (3,000 personnel), Punjab and Chandigarh have asked for 10 and five companies, respectively.
Rejecting their demands, the Home Ministry said "it is not possible to exempt any state from its promise to release state police personnel for election duties, because these have been taken into account in arriving at the overall availability of security personnel."
Maharashtra and Rajasthan have said that they would be able to provide security only if additional para-military forces were provided to them on the match days.
Ahead of the decision, the Union Home Ministry sought views of the Intelligence Bureau which had categorically opposed holding of the matches during the poll period as IPL matches could become soft target for terrorists. — PTI
IPL-II: 269 players for eight teams
New Delhi, March 13
Chairman and commissioner of DLF IPL Lalit Modi said with squads of each of the franchises ranging between 24 to 57 players, there are a total of 189 Indian players participating in the League The centrally-contracted India internationals aside, the second edition will see a host of additional national players who have been drafted into the teams by the respective franchises from their individual catchment areas, the talent available from the Under-19 and Under-22 squads and Ranji Trophy players, as per the statutory guidelines drawn up by the IPL.
Also featuring will be 80 international players representing countries such as the West Indies, Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and England.
"All the franchisees seem to have struck a fine balance with a mix of experience and the exuberance of youth, all of which will make for some amazing cricketing prospects ahead", Modi added.
The teams in the fray are:
Chennai Super Kings: M.S.Dhoni (Captain), Royal Challengers (Rahul Dravid), Delhi Daredevils (Virender Sehwag), Deccan Chargers (Adam Gilchrist, who has replaced VVS Laxman), Mumbai Indians (Sachin Tendulkar), Rajasthan Royals (Shane Warne), Kolkata Kinght Riders (Sourav Ganguly) and Kings XI Punjab (Yuvraj Singh).
The only change in captaincy is Gilchrist taking the place of Laxman at Deccan Chargers Hyderabad.
Royal Challengers Bangalore boast of some of the finest foreign recruits like Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Dale Steyn, Dillon Du Preez, Cameroon White, Nathan Bracken, Ross Taylor, Kevin Pietersen, Jesse Ryder and Roelof van der Merwe.
The foreign players of other teams are:
Chennai Super Kings: Muttiah Muralitharan, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Albie Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Jacob Oram, Stephen Fleming, Thilan Thushara, Andrew Flintoff and George Bailey.
Delhi Daredevils: Ab De Villiers, Daniel Vettori, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, David Warner, Andrew McDonald, Dirk Nannes, Glenn McGrath, Farveez Maharoof, Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Ryan Harris, Fidel Edwards, Dwyane Smith, Chamara Silva, Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa.
Mumbai Indians: Lasith Malinga, Jean Paul Duminy, Graham Napier, Ryan McLaren, Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Ashraful, Kyle Mills and Luke Ronchi.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne, Graeme Smith, Shane Watson, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Morne Morkel, Robert Quiney, Tyron Henderson, Shaun Tait, Shane Harwood and Lee Carseldine.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Gayle, Grendon McCullum, Bradley Hodge, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Angelo Mathews, Moises Henriques, Mark Cameron, Mashrafe Mortaza and Ajantha Mendis.
Kings XI Punjab: Brett Lee, James Hopes, Shaun Marsh,Luke Pomersbach, Simon Katich, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Burt Cockley, Ravi Bopara and Jerome Taylor.
Johor Bahru (Malaysia), March 13
Playing firebrand hockey right from the start, the Indians scored through Pramod Kumar (1st min), Diwakar Ram (14th min) and Danish Mujtaba (19th min) to lead 3-0 at breather.
Pakistan reduced the margin in the 51st minute with a penalty corner strike by Muhammad Attique.
The traditional rivals will feature in Sunday's summit clash at the same venue.
This was India's third convincing win in as many days.
Earlier they had outplayed hosts Malaysia and then demolished Singapore.
For Pakistan, it was their first defeat of the tournament.
India pressurised the Pakistan defence from the opening minute. Skipper Diwakar Ram's crisp hit on the right flank was relayed by Mandip Antil for wily striker Pramod Kumar to connect past rival goalkeeper Imran Butt and give India lead.
The Pakistan defence were caught on the wrong foot as India mounted their raids with crafty stick-work and ball skills by Danish Mujtaba and Victo Singh.
Midfielders Belsajar Horo, Manjeet Kullu and Vikas Sharma denied Pakistan space to orchestrate their attacks keeping their dangerous forwards Haseem Khan and Mohd Zubair at bay.
India were awarded a penalty corner in the 14th minute after defender Aamir Shahzad had blocked Pramod Kumar and Diwakar Ram flicked high on the top left to make it 2-0.
India followed this up with electrifying pace rattling their opponents as wingers Mandip Antil and Victo Singh made dangerous down the line forays.
Soon after Danish Mujtaba shot home a beauty with a forceful backhand from the edge of the circle after beating a host of defenders to consolidate the scoreline to 3-0.
Pakistan had a chance to pull one back just before the breather but Syed Adeel Hussain was unlucky to hit the post.
After half time, India slowed the pace, making rapid substitutions and displaying superior ball control and possession. They won two penalty corners but the attempts from Diwakar were foiled by Butt.
Pakistan eventually reduced the margin when Attique converted a penalty corner in the 51st minute after Vikas Sharma had committed a breach. — PTI
Sania advances at Indian Wells
Indian Wells, March 13 The 87th-ranked Indian wildcard Thursday struggled with her serve initially and was broken thrice by her 96th-ranked opponent in the first set. But 22-year-old Sania bounced back to win the other two sets and closed the match in 89 minutes. In the second round, Sania will face World No. 15 and 12th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, who had a bye in the first round. The two players have split their previous four meetings. This is Sania's third appearance here. She reached the third round on her debut in 2006 and made a quarter-final appearance last year.
Indian Wells, March 13
The 87th-ranked Indian wildcard Thursday struggled with her serve initially and was broken thrice by her 96th-ranked opponent in the first set. But 22-year-old Sania bounced back to win the other two sets and closed the match in 89 minutes.
In the second round, Sania will face World No. 15 and 12th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, who had a bye in the first round. The two players have split their previous four meetings.
This is Sania's third appearance here. She reached the third round on her debut in 2006 and made a quarter-final appearance last year. — IANS
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