‘Level with India going into Tests’
Kiwi media flays BCCI’s ICL stand
Colts lose to Pak in final
We want to do it again: United’s Ronaldo
Eves hockey tourney postponed
Auckland, March 15
India were leading the five-match ODI series 3-0 but the home team put up a brilliant performance to win the fifth and final ODI by eight wickets yesterday.
Moles said his team would look to carry the momentum ahead in the Test series, which begins from March 18. ''Cricket is a momentum game,'' Moles said.
''It was a good win last night. Of course the Indians will say that they won the series. That's fine. Our answer is there have been six games of cricket, they have won three, and we have won three. So we are level going into the (Test) series. They outplayed us in the one-dayers, but we are looking forward to the Test series,'' he added.
He admitted that India was good team in all forms of the game but said there was no way that his wards would get bogged down by the visitors' reputation.
''We know that India are a fine side. We respect that, but we are not scared of them. And last night it showed. We got early wickets and put them under pressure. They make mistakes like everybody else,'' he said.
More than the win, New Zealand will draw confidence out of the fact that they bowled India out in 36.3 overs. And also that India seemed to not adjust to a pitch that offered seam movement and good bounce.
New Zealand are not getting ahead of themselves with it, though, because India will have more time to adjust to such pitches in the Test series, and also because they will get better difficult-pitch batsmen in Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
''The pitch had bounce so they were not able to play with freedom,'' he said adding, ''But Tests are different. They have a different set of batsmen and they will be looking to carrying on the success they have enjoyed in the last 18 months.'' — UNI
Hamilton, March 15
''India- great team, shame about the board they are representing,'' a headline in a leading daily 'New Zealand Herald' reads.
The daily also described Shah, who is Indian team's administrative manager, as a
''The BCCI's travelling goon, Niranjan Shah, managed to keep a straight face when he told TV3: 'As far as we are concerned any commentator or somebody involved with an unauthorised tournament declared by the BCCI, our people will not take part in it','' the daily added.
It further pointed out on the Indian Board flexing its muscles to remove former Kiwi batsman Craig McMillan from the commentary box for his links with the rebel ICL.
McMillan was called to comment on the fifth and final ODI between India and New Zealand, in absence of Ravi Shastri.
The daily reported that the BCCI took this stand in fear of McMillan and Shastri accidentally exchanging their views, which could influence most of the right-thinking people in the cricketing world.
''It's one thing to pull two players out of a festival match in case they're contaminated by ex-ICL bacterium Hamish Marshall.
''It's two things to have New Zealand Cricket general manager of cricket Geoff Allott ring ICL virus Daryl Tuffey to ask him to withdraw from a State Championship match.
''But it's a truly absurd thing to flex their muscles in the commentary box for fear that Ravi Shastri (IPL) and Craig McMillan (ICL) might accidentally exchange bodily fluids that could eventually infect all the right-thinking people of the cricketing world,'' it added. — UNI
New Delhi, March 15
The Home Ministry will make its message clear during a meeting with the IPL organisers tomorrow, sources said.
Though the ministry was officially tight-lipped about the entire issue, it was surprised by replies from various states expressing their inability to host the mega event even with the revised schedule, the sources said.
Before submitting the revised schedule, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi had said at a media briefing that before chalking out the new fixtures, all states concerned had been taken into confidence.
Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta along with Special Secretary (Internal Security) Raman Shrivastava will hold a meeting with IPL organisers tomorrow during which it was likely to be indicated to them that they should be holding proper consultations with the states where they wanted to hold the cricket tournament, the sources said.
West Bengal may be taken off from the schedule as the state was demanding deployment of 30 companies (over 3,000 personnel) of central para-military forces, they said. — PTI
Johor Bahru (Malaysia), March 15
In a high-voltage encounter at the Taman Daya Stadium here, Pakistan skipper Haseem Abdul Khan fired home the golden goal in the 73rd minute -- three minutes into extra time, much to the disappointment of Indian fans.
Haseem, who was at his best for Pakistan, accounted for two goals and Muhammad Zubair found the net once, while for India Mandip Antil scored both the goals.
Pakistan should have taken the lead within the first five minutes of the match after Indian goalkeeper Mrinal Chaubey was beaten by Zubair but captain Diwakar Ram, who was adjudged the 'Player of the Tournament', came to India's rescue and brought off a timely save.
Pakistan forwards missed a few deflections in the circle as their mid-fielders constantly sent long passes which pressed panic buttons in the Indian defence.
However, it was the Indians who struck the opening blood from their their first penalty corner in the 22nd minute when striker Pramod Kumar was brought down by Pakistan defender Mohd Irfan.
Diwakar flicked home in characteristic style past custodian Imran Shah, but the Pakistanis protested saying they were not ready.
After a consultation between the umpires the penalty corner was ordered to be retaken and this time Mandip deflected in an indirect shot to give India the lead.
It was all the opening half produced as India colts went into the breather with a 1-0 lead. After the change of ends, Pakistan applied pressure for the equaliser and they were soon rewarded when Haseem broke past Innocent Kullu and shot past Chaubey to draw parity in the 37th minute.
India again took the lead against the run of the play in the 48th minute from their third penalty corner after Jay Karan was fouled. The Indians repeated the indirect drill with Mandip once again getting the magic touch.
Zubair intercepted a Belsajar Horo clearance inside India's 23 meter area and after dodging past Kullu and Diwakar found the target in the 67th minute to take the match into extra time.
Hassem then broke the Indians' heart when he found the net just three minutes into the extra time to register a thrilling victory for his side. — PTI
We want to do it again: United’s Ronaldo
Two dramatic nights of Champions' League football last week confirmed that all four Premier League representatives will continue to carry the flag George or, as Fifa's Sepp Blatter would prefer, the Premier League pennant - "I don't know if it's English football," he said of the leading clubs in Manchester on Wednesday - is not the issue under discussion here.
What was interesting was the impression, after spending those two nights at Anfield and then Old Trafford, that further domination of Europe's leading club competition by Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will convince an increasing number of players that England is the country in which their bread is best buttered.
United's Cristiano Ronaldo, for instance, emerging from the holders' dressing-room after a comfortable victory over Internazionale, did not look or sound like a man desperate to be associated with the Real Madrid team humbled so comprehensively by Liverpool the previous night.
Doubtless there will be another Ronaldo-for-Madrid saga to come, especially with potential new presidents of the club having to make wild promises about whom they will sign, but the World Player of the Year did seem genuine in his appreciation of United and of English football, as well as his own good fortune.
He should have had a word on the way out with Patrick Vieira - surprisingly selected for Inter, then replaced at half-time after a wretched 45 minutes - about the wisdom of leaving the Premier League.
Having sought confirmation that Vieira's former club Arsenal had won their penalty shoot-out in Rome, Ronaldo said in his improving English: "It's really fantastic to see four English teams in the quarter-finals again. The Premier League is in my opinion the best league in the world and the most competitive."
As for the prospect of becoming the first side in 19 years to become champions of Europe for two seasons running: "We need to take it game by game, we have a long way to go. But the team's more experienced, more mature, we are the holders of the Champions' League and we want to win it again. To be honest, I don't care who we have to play against."
"They will all be tough. In my opinion Manchester United is still the best team in Europe, but we have to play good to win the competition because the others are good and you have to respect the opponents."
It was unrealistic to expect a season as sensational as the last one from the Portuguese, when his extraordinary total of 42 goals helped bring about a League and European double, plus a clutch of individual awards.
Yet the firm header that sealed victory over Inter took him to 17, still ahead of those other prolific non-strikers Frank Lampard (who also decided to stay in England when he might have been in Jose Mourinho's Inter team) and Steven Gerrard.
It was the latest performance to confirm that he, like United, is also benefiting from experience and maturity.
And his personal contribution? "I feel very good, I'm 100 per cent. The tough thing is from now, the big games and the big decisions are coming and Cristiano Ronaldo is ready. I'm happy, it's the most competitive league and I feel happy here."
It was even possible to forgive the lapse into speaking about himself in the third person. The night before, Gerrard had been less concerned about who Liverpool might draw next than avoiding having to play the second leg on Wednesday 15 April, the 20th anniversary of Hillsborough.
The Liverpool captain lost a 10-year-old cousin in that tragedy and would like Uefa to show some understanding in arranging quarter-final dates. — By arrangement with The Independent
Eves hockey tourney postponed
Patiala, March 15 The Director of the Punjab Sports Department Pargat Singh confirmed the development. The department was to be the main organiser of the tournament which was to feature New Zealand, Malaysia and Canada, besides the hosts India. An Indian Women’s Hockey Federation (IWHF) source disclosed that the tourney has been put on the back burner due to elections in Punjab on May 7, the last day of the tournament. However, an IWHF office-bearer revealed that the tournament had been postponed citing security concerns. "Hockey New Zealand", the body which governs the game in that country, had asked the IWHF about the security which was to be provided to the New Zealand team at Jalandhar and other places. After hectic deliberations within the IWHF, it was finally decided to postpone the tournament till September.
Patiala, March 15
The Director of the Punjab Sports Department Pargat Singh confirmed the development. The department was to be the main organiser of the tournament which was to feature New Zealand, Malaysia and Canada, besides the hosts India.
An Indian Women’s Hockey Federation (IWHF) source disclosed that the tourney has been put on the back burner due to elections in Punjab on May 7, the last day of the tournament.
However, an IWHF office-bearer revealed that the tournament had been postponed citing security concerns.
"Hockey New Zealand", the body which governs the game in that country, had asked the IWHF about the security which was to be provided to the New Zealand team at Jalandhar and other places.
After hectic deliberations within the IWHF, it was finally decided to postpone the tournament till September.
Paes cruises into 2nd round; Sania bows out
Federer says fatherhood will
not hit playing career
Switzerland's Roger Federer takes a break next to his girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec, during a tennis practice session ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in this August 7, 2008 file photo. Federer is to become a father for the first time, the world number two announced on Thursday. The 27-year-old Swiss revealed on his website that his girlfriend Mirka is pregnant. — Reuters photo
Anand 1-1 with Leko
in Amber tourney
Jeev tied third at World Golf C'ships
Pak may participate in Moscow hockey tournament
Churchill jumps to top with
3-2 win over Mumbai FC