Bopara gives Punjab first win
Flintoff returns home
Warne lavishes praise on Yusuf, Kamran
Davis Cup tie to stay in India
Sutil 7th quickest in Bahrain
Bopara gives Punjab first win
Durban, April 24
The England batsman batted with patience initially and and turned explosive after reaching his half-century.
Bopara shared two crucial partnerships - 52 for first wicket with Karan Goel and 66 for third wicket with Yuvraj Singh - to give Punjab a lease of life in the tournament.
Chasing 169 to win, Punjab overhauled the target with one over to spare with Yuvraj finishing it off with a six off Jacques Kallis.
Before coming to this clash, Punjab had lost both of their matches as bad weather dented their chances on both the occasions.
Earlier, Jacques Kallis rescued the Bangalore side with a splendid 62 to help them overcome a mini top-order collapse and post a competitive 168 for nine after sent in to bat.
Yusuf Abudulla was star performer for the Punjab side with his four-wicket haul while Irfan Pathan (3/35) took three wickets.
Bopara scored bulk of the runs by running hard between the wickets and it was only after the 15th over that he opened his arms and that too with great effect. Adjudged Man-of the Match, Bopara hit four fours and five sixes in his 59-ball knock.
When Bopara departed Punjab needed just 11 runs off 11 balls and Yuvraj (unbeaten 30) finished the game for his side in style.
The Punjab chase began on a cautious note as Goel (19) and Bopara relied more on singles and double rather than going berserk as the ball came slow off the track.
The first six came only in the first ball of the seventh over when Bopara lofted Kallis over the mid-wicket which also brought up the fifty-run partnership. However the pair frittered away the good start when Goel, who was dropped by Virat Kohli in the previous over, ran himself out.
They were comfortably placed at 52 for none at that stage and there was no need to take risk. Punjab could have been 59 for two had Rahul Dravid not dropped Kumar Sangakkara (26) off rival skipper Kevin Pietersen.
The Sri Lankan left-hander hit Pietsern for a four and six in the last over before the strategic break but failed cash in on the life he got as he perished while trying to hit one from Anil Kumble out of the park.
Punjab slowly moved towards the target and in the end registered a comfortable victory for them.
In the Bangalore innings, Kallis held one end together when wickets were tumbling from the other after Kevin Pietersen opted to bat.
Kallis revived Bangalore innings with his second IPL fifty, studded with five fours and two sixes, and found an able ally in Ross Taylor, who contributed valuable 35 runs.— PTI
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Kings XI Punjab:
Bopara c Ryder b Kallis 84
Flintoff returns home
Durban, April 24
Flintoff, who was bought for a record $ 1.55 million by the Super Kings, felt discomfort in his right knee during yesterday's IPL match against Delhi Daredevils.
The Chennai medical staff contacted the England and Wales Cricket Board medical officer Dr Nick Peirce following which a scan was carried out at a hospital here.
The scan revealed a slight medial meniscal tear in the knee and after going through the reports, Peirce felt Flintoff should return to England.
The 31-year-old will undergo a keyhole surgery early next week and is likely to recover within three to five weeks but that will force him to miss the IPL after playing just two matches.
"Clearly this is a huge disappointment for both the player and the IPL team. This sort of degenerative injury though is one that could have happened at any time anywhere," Peirce was quoted as saying on ECB's website.
"The procedures we put in place meant that the ECB medical staff were alerted about the problem immediately and we thank Chennai for their co-operation."
The 31-year-old Flintoff, who has been battling injury for some time now, is expected to be back for Ashes duty against Australia but is likely to miss the Test series against the West Indies.
Hugh Morris, England Cricket managing director, added: "Andrew has been extremely unlucky with injuries but if there is one saving grace it is that the injury has occurred now rather than on the eve of either the World Twenty20 or the Ashes.
"Having the surgery now means that Flintoff should be available for both those events although he is certain to miss the test series against West Indies."
England play two Tests and three one dayers against West Indies, starting on May 6.
This knee problem is the latest in a long line of injuries to dog Flintoff, 31, who had repeated operations after missing long periods of action with ankle problems.
He was forced out of England's test series in West Indies over the winter with a hip injury, although he returned to play in the one day internationals.
Despite the ECB's claim that the injury could have occurred at any time, the governing body is likely to come under renewed criticism for its decision to let Flintoff and other England players take part in the IPL weeks before the West Indies series.
England will announce their team for the first test at Lord's on April 29. The final 15 and captain for the Twenty20 World Cup as well as the squad for the one day internationals against West Indies will be announced on May 1. — Agencies
Durban, April 24
Reacting to leading players like Sachin Tendulkar's criticism of the seven-and-half minutes break at the end of every 10 overs, Modi said he would take the observations into consideration while reassessing the innovation after the event.
"I neither agree nor disagree - what I will do is repeat the point I started with: this is an innovation, an experiment we are trying this year," he said.
"And as with all innovations, there are probably good points to this, and also bad points, but there will be time to evaluate those," Modi wrote on his blog for the IPL's official website.
"When the league is over, the last ball has been bowled here in South Africa and a winner has been crowned, our real work will begin to fine tune the DLF Indian Premier League for improvements in Season 2010 next year.
"On the basis of an exhaustive review, we will be able to arrive at some conclusions on what has worked, what hasn't worked; we will be able to decide what needs to be changed, or fine-tuned, or scrapped altogether," he added.
Modi also dismissed the media criticism of 'strategy breaks' as "ill-informed", insisting those are not aimed at increasing advertising revenue. — PTI
Cape Town, April 24
With the scores tied at 150 yesterday, the match had to be decided on the tournament's first 'Super Over' where teenager Kamran stifled the hard-hitting Chris Gayle and gave away just 15 runs besides picking the wicket of the West Indian skipper.
Pathan, whose 21-ball 42 propped up the Royals during their innings, clobbered two sixes and a four off Ajantha Mendis in the 'Super Over' to seal the match.
"It was just great to see him walk out again and clobber those sixes," said Warne, talking about Pathan's knock.
Warne was equally effusive in his praise for Kamran, who had earlier picked up three wickets during the Knight Riders innings.
"Kamran had bowled well earlier and even though I thought of Pathan and myself as well, I finally decided to go ahead with him (in the Super Over) and he bowled such a superb over," he said.
Pathan, meanwhile, acknowledged his knock in the 'Super Over' as the most important in his career.
"I knew I can do the job in the 'Super Over' and I'm happy that I did it for my team," the all-rounder said," Pathan said.
"This is surely the most important knock of my career. I batted well in the first innings and then in Super Over and it gives me immense joy," said the towering Pathan, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his sterling role in the team's win over the Knight Riders.
Pathan also said he was ready to open the bowling for his side after Warne sprang a surprise last night and asked him to bowl first.
"It may have surprised all but Shane had told me before the match that I would have to open the ball and I am too happy to do well," he said.
Warne later said he wanted to open with Pathan to negate the stroke-making ability of Knight Riders' lethal opening pair of Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. — PTI
Dubai, April 24 Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz took 3-41, while pacemen James Hopes and Andrew Symonds chipped in with two wickets apiece as Pakistan's batsmen struggled on a slow paced pitch after captain Younus Khan won the toss and decided to bat. Pakistan leads the five-match one-day series 1-0 following their four-wicket win in the first match on Wednesday. Opener Salman Butt top-scored with a resolute 57 while Shahid Afridi hit a 40-ball 41 to anchor the innings after Hauritz removed the middle order with some accurate off-spin. Butt held one end intact after Pakistan lost debutant opener Ahmed Shahzad (4) in the third over. Younus (28) helped Butt add 53 for the second wicket before edging paceman Ben Laughlin to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin. Hauritz further derailed the Pakistan innings by dismissing Shoaib Malik (7) and Misbah-ul-Haq (12) in quick succession before removing a dangerous looking Butt in the 34th over. — AFP Scoreboard Pakistan: Butt c Symonds b Hauritz 57
Dubai, April 24
Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz took 3-41, while pacemen James Hopes and Andrew Symonds chipped in with two wickets apiece as Pakistan's batsmen struggled on a slow paced pitch after captain Younus Khan won the toss and decided to bat.
Pakistan leads the five-match one-day series 1-0 following their four-wicket win in the first match on Wednesday.
Opener Salman Butt top-scored with a resolute 57 while Shahid Afridi hit a 40-ball 41 to anchor the innings after Hauritz removed the middle order with some accurate off-spin.
Butt held one end intact after Pakistan lost debutant opener Ahmed Shahzad (4) in the third over. Younus (28) helped Butt add 53 for the second wicket before edging paceman Ben Laughlin to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
Hauritz further derailed the Pakistan innings by dismissing Shoaib Malik (7) and Misbah-ul-Haq (12) in quick succession before removing a dangerous looking Butt in the 34th over. — AFP
Butt c Symonds b Hauritz 57
Davis Cup tie to stay in India
New Delhi, April 24 "The ITF board of directors has upheld the decision of the Davis Cup committee regarding the Asia/Oceania zone Group I third round tie between India and Australia," the ruling body said in a statement on Friday. The May 8-10 tie will stay in Chennai, it said, adding: "The location and venue was previously approved by the Davis Cup committee following a positive report from the ITF's security consultants."
New Delhi, April 24
"The ITF board of directors has upheld the decision of the Davis Cup committee regarding the Asia/Oceania zone Group I third round tie between India and Australia," the ruling body said in a statement on Friday.
The May 8-10 tie will stay in Chennai, it said, adding: "The location and venue was previously approved by the Davis Cup committee following a positive report from the ITF's security consultants." — Reuters
Bahrain, April 24
With the VJM02 car running with an interim diffuser, new floor, revised front wing and reprofiled side-pods, Sutil posted 14th fastest time in the morning session before returning for an improved seventh place finish in the afternoon.
Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella too improved on his 16th position in the morning to post the 12th fastest time in the afternoon session at the Sakhir International Circuit.
Sutil and Fisichella completed a combined total of 87 laps and steadily improved their relative performance over the day and, in one of the closest-ever Fridays where all cars were covered by 1.4secs.
Sutil's 1:33.763 seconds in the afternoon was only four tenths from the fastest lap by Williams' Nico Rosberg (1:33.339).
"I think the update package has helped us," Sutil said.
"If I look at my position in the afternoon, I think it is the best position I have been in ever on a Friday. Although it's difficult to draw conclusions from this, the car feels good so let's see how we go tomorrow," said the German.
"It's quite good, balance-wise for a Friday but we can still tweak the general set-up. And we still have to look at the brakes as I'm not 100 per cent comfortable right now," Sutil added.
Fisichella too was happy with the way things went and said, "Today I am happier and more comfortable with the car.
It feels like we have made a step forward with the new updates.
"The car is more consistent and I think we have reduced the gap with the others, but let's see tomorrow. The team did a fantastic job to have this package here and I look forward to tomorrow to seeing where we are on the grid," said the veteran Italian.
Chief race engineer Dominic Harlow was highly impressed by the car's performance and said, "Today's practice sessions were two of the hottest we've run for quite some time.
"As expected the circuit grip was initially low but the drivers coped quite well and got to grips with their programmes. The updates to the car appear to be working as expected and we are hopeful for a stronger qualifying tomorrow," he said. — PTI
Indian challenge ends at US ATP Challenger
Karthikeyan hopes to shine at Brands Hatch
Cash-rich T20 vulnerable to corruption: ICC
Marsh out of Pak series, in doubt for World T20 C’ships
Puneet Bisht shines
ESIC earn full points