India close in on historic win
WC: Indian trio clinch recurve gold
Azlan Shah Cup
‘Hadlee compliment a rare honour’
Dravid surpasses Mark Waugh
Double delight for Akhtar
India close in on historic win
Wellington, April 6
Set a near-impossible target of 617, the hosts were struggling at 167 for four before bad light brought an early end of the fourth day's play.
The Indians first declared their second innings at 434 for 7 in the morning session by adding 85 quick runs to their overnight tally and then had the Kiwis on the mat to put themselves on the threshold of a 2-0 series triumph. With one more day left, the Kiwis have to bat out three more sessions to save the game on a Basin Reserve pitch which has not shown any signs of drastic deterioration.
Taylor and Franklin led New Zealand's fightback in the post-tea session to keep India at bay at the wind-swept Basin Reserve on an eventful day when Rahul Dravid created a world record for most catches by a fielder.
Dravid, who gobbled up Tim McIntosh at third slip off Zaheer in the morning session to go ahead of Mark Waugh (181 catches, 128 Tests), later took his catch tally to 183, snaring Jesse Ryder at first slip off Harbhajan.
It was Zaheer who had raised hopes of an Indian win with a day to spare when he ejected Tim McIntosh (4) and Daniel Flynn (10) early in the second innings.
When Martin Guptill, who showed flashes of brilliance during his 93-ball 49, and Jesse Ryder (0) fell to Harbhajan's guile in the space of three balls, the Kiwis were virtually lost in their own backyard, where they had trounced the visitors on three successive tours.
But Taylor and Franklin mixed aggression with caution to stop the marauding Indians in their tracks, batting out 24.2 overs even as Dhoni's legion searched for another wicket to complete a possible series drubbing.
India (1st Innings): 379
New Zealand (1st Innings): 197
India (2nd Innings):
(Overnight 349 for 5):
Gambhir lbw O'Brien 167
Sehwag c Taylor b Martin 12
Dravid c McCullum b Vettori 60
Tendulkar c Taylor b Vettori 9
Laxman b O'Brien 61
Yuvraj c Taylor b Martin 40
Dhoni not out 56
Harbhajan c Southee b Martin 0
Zaheer not out 18
Extras: (lb-5, w-1, nb-5): 11
Total: (For 7 wkts dec in 116 overs): 434
Fall of wickets: 1/14, 2/184, 3/208, 4/314, 5/319, 6/397, 7/397.
Bowling: Tim Southee 12-2-58-0, Chris Martin 22-7-70-3, Iain O'Brien 25-6-100-2, James Franklin 16-3-72-0, Jesse Ryder 6-1- 21-0, Daniel Vettori 35-5-108-2.
New Zealand (2nd innings):
McIntosh c Dravid b Zaheer 4
Guptill lbw b Harbhajan 49
Flynn b Zaheer 10
Taylor batting 69
Ryder c Dravid b Harbhajan 0
Franklin batting 26
Extras (b-6, nb-3): 9
Total (For 4 wickets in 56 overs): 167
Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-54, 3-84, 4-84.
Bowling: Zaheer 15-4-50-2; Munaf 11-4-18-0; Ishant 6-1-33-0; Harbhajan 17-5-36-2; Yuvraj 1-0-4-0; Sehwag 6-0-20-0. — PTI
Kolkata, April 6
The trio had, in the last year's World Cup, earned India the first-ever gold by triumphing in the Meteksan World Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
On the concluding day yesterday, Dola Banerjee settled for a third place finish in the women's recurve, while women's compound team of Jhano Hansdah, Bheigyabati Chanu and Manjudha Soy also finished second runners-up.
The top-seeded Indian men's recurve team of Champia, Talukdar and Banerjee quelled the challenge from Great Britain 221-215 en route to the yellow metal.
The second seeded Britain team, comprised 1992 Olympic silver medallist Simon Terry, two-time Olympian Laurence Godfrey and World Games silver medallist Alan Wills.
With a six in the first end, the Englishmen were trailing by two after six arrows 53-55. However, they fought back to tie the score at the half-way mark 108-108.
With three 10s in the third end, the Indians took back the lead by one point (164-163). Two eights by Terry and Godfrey and a seven by Wills in the last end shattered their hopes as the trio of Champia, Talukdar and Banerjee bagged their second consecutive World Cup gold.
India had earlier got past Turkey 222-203, the US 219-215 on their way to the summit clash. Great Britain first beat Poland (225-203) and then Mexico (219-217) to set up a final showdown with India.
US settled for the bronze medal, beating Mexico 222-220.
Winner of World Cup finals in Dubai (2007), Dola downed her compatriot Reena after an intense battle in the individual recurve bronze medal play-off.
The duo were locked 102-102 after the 12-arrow contest.
However, in the tie-breaker, Reena shot a seven while Dola bettered with an eight to take the bronze.
In the team bronze medal play-off in the women's compund section, Hansdah, Chanu and Soy who were seeded fourth stunned the second seeded Venezuela trio of Bosch, Guedez and Montes 219-208.
The next leg of the World Cup, Stage 2, will be held in Porec (Croatia) in May while Antalya and Shanghai (China) will host the third and fourth stages of the meet in June and August respectively.
The World Cup final will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in September. — PTI
Azlan Shah Cup
Ipoh (Malaysia), April 6
With back-to-back defeats, Pakistan are now out of the running for a place in the April 12 final after hosts Malaysia beat them in identical scoreline yesterday.
Meanwhile, in the other match of the day, Malaysia registered their second successive win in the five-nation event, outplaying debutants Egypt 4-1.
With this victory, the hosts are now one step closer towards the title clash.
The encounter between New Zealand and Pakistan was a closely fought battle as the match went to the wire with the Black Sticks sealing the victory just two minutes from the hooter through a penalty stroke. — PTI
Wellington, April 6
Hadlee recently rated Tendulkar even higher than Don Bradman, considering the Indian's staggering success in both the long and short formats of the game.
Tendulkar said it was a rare honour, especially coming from Hadlee, one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game ever.
"Nobody has ever said like that before. I am happy and satisfied," an elated Tendulkar said.
"This comes as a pleasant surprise and it comes from a personality whose credentials cannot be questioned. I am happy that I played with him on my first tour to New Zealand in 1989," the Indian told www.espnstar.com.
Hadlee had earlier pointed to Tendulkar's mind-boggling achievements while rating him the greatest batsman ever.
"Sir Donald Bradman has been regarded as the greatest player ever. He played just Test cricket. He hasn't played any other forms of the game. Clearly that is understandable.
"But to see Sachin and other players actually adjust to different forms of the game and different conditions all around the world, even though the average is fractionally more than half of the Don's is in itself incredible. You got to respect it," Hadlee had said.
Tendulkar recalled his first encounter with the star Kiwi player and said, "I also cherish that memory. I still remember one moment after the Napier Test. He was giving an interview in a television in which I found he made his debut in 1973. I was born in the same year, which means when he made his debut in Tests, I was just born. Yet I got the opportunity to play against him."
Even the ongoing tour, in which India won the ODI series and is on the verge of clinching the Test rubber as well, has been memorable for him, said Tendulkar.
"This is really a memorable tour for me. We won the series and got an excellent accolade from Sir Richard Hadlee," he added.
Tendulkar had no doubt that the squad under Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a "special" side which was winning regularly abroad.
"No doubt, it's a special team. The most important factor of the team is that we are winning matches regularly in foreign countries", he said.
"Previously we won only at home. Now we have started winning in Australia, West Indies, England, South Africa, Pakistan, almost in every country", Tendulkar said.
"We did not win a Test series in New Zealand in the last 41 years and the whole team had one ambition before coming here. We are happy that we are going back as winners," he said. — PTI
Wellington, April 6
He dived to his left to take a low catch of Tim McIntosh off Zaheer Khan for his record.
Dravid's record came in his 134th Test. Waugh's tally of 181 catches came from 128 Tests in a career spanning 11 years (1991-2002). Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is the third on the list with 171 catches in 111 matches.
V.V.S Laxman is the second Indian in all-time catching list at 18th place with 111 catches in 105 matches. Sunil Gavaskar has 108 catches in 125 matches while one of India's best slip fielders Mohammed Azharuddin held on to 105 catches in 99 matches.
By the end of the day's play Monday, Dravid added another to his tally as he removed Jesse Ryder and took his average to .74 catches per innings compared to Waugh's .73.
Dravid, who caught up with Waugh when he snapped up Martin in the New Zealand first innings of the first Test at Hamilton, had opportunities to break the record but dropped a couple of difficult catches in the subsequent innings.
The 36-year-old has shown good anticipation and quick reflexes over the years to etch his name among the best close-in fielders of the world.
Many like Waugh believe that Dravid is not a natural catcher, but has got immense concentration, one of the most important qualities of a good close-in fielder.
"You might only get one ball in the field all day and you've got to catch it an inch off the ground. That's a concentration thing, switching on and off between deliveries," Waugh had said when Dravid equalled his record in the first Test at Hamilton.
"Dravid is good but he's got a funny style. He's not a natural catcher but he's got great concentration and he's in the right place at the right time," Waugh said.
Dravid will keep the record for some years as his nearest competitors Ricky Ponting (148 catches in 131 Tests), Jacques Kallis (147 in 131) and Mahela Jayawerdene (142 in 102) are still at some distance to catch up with him. — IANS
Karachi, April 6
Apart from his selection in the squad to face Australia, Akhtar was also named in Pakistan's 30 probables for this year's Twenty20 World Cup in England.
Justifying the maverick pacer's selection in the squad, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Abdul Qadir said Akhtar was included in the team after PCB medical panel, consisting of team trainer David Dwyer and Dr Sohail Saleem, gave a green signal about his fitness.
"He did well in the fitness tests conducted by the board and appears match fit. He is an experienced bowler and he is a big boost for the team," Qadir said while announcing the squad.
The fast bowler has played a handful of matches since early 2006 due to fitness and disciplinary problems.
Akhtar recently made a comeback to the national ODI team during the home series against Sri Lanka in January but a disappointing show in the first two matches ensured his ouster for the final match. — PTI
Bond may revive international career
McGrath scoffs at Buchanan's multiple captain theory
Murray beats Djokovic to clinch Miami Masters title
Viva on course with second win on the trot
28 teams for Under-21 soccer
Neeraj Chawla shines