India-SL-NZ Tri Series
10 ka dum
Man who lived and breathed cricket
India-SL-NZ Tri Series
Colombo, September 14
While the champion batsman anchored the innings brilliantly, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid were the other notable scorers for the Indians. The Lankans have now been left with a stiff asking rate of 6.40 runs per over to win the Compaq Cup while the Indians are determined to make amends for their embarassing defeat in the last match which saw them slip from the number one spot in the ODI rankings.
With Dinesh Karthik failing in both the matches, India opted for a new opening pair of Tendulkar and Dravid for the summit showdown and the experienced duo gave the team a flying start. Both Tendulkar and Dravid scored the runs at a brisk pace with the Sri Lanka pacers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara not being able to make much of an impact in the early overs.
Dravid set the tempo by cracking Kulasekara to the point boundary in the very second ball of the innings while Tendulkar also picked up the bowler for some special treatment by smacking him to the cover boundary. Tendulkar showed his class when he despatched a slightly fuller length delivery off Kulasekara through the covers to the fence.
A few balls later, he picked up a Kulasekara ball from the off stump line and whipped it superbly through midwicket for another boundary. The two experienced batsmen found the runs easy to come by as they took the total to 50 by the end of the 10th over and sought to accelerate the pace of scoring from then on.
Dravid got a reprieve when he was on 24 with Tillakaratne Dilshan dropping a fairly simple catch at gully, Thushara being the unlucky bowler. Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakarra introduced Lasith Malinga in the 13th over and Tendulkar greeted him with a glorious backfoot punch to the fence.
Dravid then lifted spinner Ajantha Mendis, who was brought into the attack in the 15th over, for a six but his aggression was shortlived as he was dismissed in the very next over. The wily Sanath Jayasuriya accounted for Dravid’s rather soft dismissal, being caught by Dilshan at the cover region.
His knock of 39 contained two boundaries and a six. Captain Dhoni promoted himself to the number three slot and got into the act almost immediately with a flurry of strokes. The two batsmen kept up the pace of scoring without taking too many risks as they brought about the 100-run partnership to pile up the agony on the hosts.
Tendulkar took a single by cutting Mendis to the sweeper cover to notch up his 44th ODI century. After completing the milestone, he raised his arms and looked up to the skies. Tendulkar has scored nine international centuries since May 2007, and has been dismissed seven times in the 90s.
The hosts finally broke the partnership when Dhoni mistimed his pull shot and Kamdamby took a well-judged catch at the midwicket region, Malinga being the successful bowler. A tired Tendulkar, who called in a runner after suffering from cramps, was dismissed in the fag end of the innings, being trapped leg before wicket by Mendis. His sublime knock of 138 came off just 133 balls and was laced with ten boundaries and a six. — PTI
Tendulkar lbw b Mendis 138 (133)
Dhoni c Kandamby b Malinga 56 (62)
Yuvraj not out 56 (41)
Yusuf c Kapugedera b Thushara 0 (1)
Raina c Kulasekara b Thushara 8 (6)
Kohli not out 2 (2)
Extras (b-1, w-18, nb-1) 20
Total (For 5 wickets in 50 overs) 319
Fall of wickets: 1-95, 2-205, 3-276, 4-277.
Bowling: Kulasekara 8-0-38-0, Thushara 10-0-71-2, Malinga 10-0-81-1, Mendis 10-0-70-1, Jayasuriya 9-0-43-1, Mathews 3-0-15-0.
Jayasuriya c Nehra b Yusuf 36 (29)
Jayawardene c & b Harbhajan 1(5)
Sangakkara hit wicket b RP 33 (37)
Thushara b Ishant 15 (14)
Mathews c Raina b Yuvraj 14 (11)
Kandamby b Harbhajan 66 (94)
Kapugedera c Dhoni b Raina 35 (42)
Kulasekara not out 9 (9)
Malinga c & b Harbhajan 0 (1)
Mendis st Dhoni b Harbhajan 7 (10)
Extras (lb-3, w-11, nb-1) 15
Total (all out; 46.4 overs) 273
Fall of wickets: 1-64, 2-76, 3-85, 4-108, 5-131, 6-182, 7-252, 8-264, 9-264.
Bowling: Nehra 7-0-43-0, Ishant 7-0-51-1, RP 5-0-34-1, Harbhajan 9.4-0-56-5, Yusuf 4-0-36-1, Yuvraj 6-0-24-1, Raina 8-0-26-1.
10 ka dum
Leander Paes claimed his 10th Grand Slam title when he and Czech Republic’s Lukas Dlouhy staged a remarkable turnaround to beat compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the US Open men’s doubles final here. The 36-year-old Paes, who lost the mixed doubles final partnering Zimbabwean Cara Black, had hurt his elbow earlier in the tournament and was nursing a sore shoulder, arm and triceps Sunday.
“I’m a little numb at the moment because it’s just been a mammoth effort over the past two weeks,” Paes said. “Every time I touched the ball there was so much pain that I did not believe that I could actually go through the match and finish. This is the best year I’ve ever had on tour,” said the Indian, who now has six men’s doubles titles.
Paes and Dlouhy were beaten by Bryan twins Bob and Mike in the title clash here in 2008, but they avenged their defeat in the semi-finals this year. This was the first time Paes was meeting his former longtime partner Bhupathi in a Grand Slam final. The two were facing each other for the 19th time since splitting up in 2000, with Paes leading 10-9 in the head-to-head record. — Agencies
New York, Sept 14
The win came just five weeks after she returned from a 27-month retirement and it left her on her knees and in tears after smashing home the winner at the net. “I don’t have words for this,” Clijsters said yesterday. “I am just glad I could come back and defend my title from 2005. I just wanted to start these three tournaments to get back into the rhythm of tennis so I have to thank the USTA (United States Tennis Association) for giving me a wildcard to come back here.”
The 26-year-old Clijsters won her only Grand Slam title here in 2005 after losing four finals, three to compatriot Justine Henin and one to Jennifer Capriati of the United States. She was unable to defend the title the following year as she was injured and then in May, 2007, she rocked the tennis world by retiring, saying that she had had enough of injuries and the tennis lifestyle.
In her time away from the sport, she married and had a baby daughter and it was only at the start of the year that she started to consider a comeback. That came in Cincinnati in early August, and Flushing Meadows was just her third tournament since she returned.
In the Men’s semifinal, Roger Federer punctuated his victory with a shot he described, quite simply, the greatest of his life - a between-the-legs, back-to-the-net, crosscourt winner from the baseline. A point later, with the crowd in hysterics and opponent Novak Djokovic still in shock, the world’s top-ranked player closed out the victory, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5, to move one win from his sixth straight US Open title. — Agencies
Man who lived and breathed cricket
A familiar face sharing an elegant antique bench on the upper tier of the pavilion at Lord’s cricket ground, London will now forever be missing. For decades, Raj Singh Dungarpur would cross the road from a flat he occupied opposite the home of the flannelled sport to make this spot his own.
Season after season, he would occupy this spot watching Test cricket, sometimes a one-day international, sporting the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) tie and a blue blazer. Fellow members who knew him well and enjoyed his company, will feel an emptiness around them.
Raj was a quintessentially engaging person, an almost unparalleled devotee of cricket. He admired and assimilated all that was virtuous about cricket in various parts of the world, especially England, Australia and the West Indies, and transported these to the Cricket Club of India, which he transformed magically during his extended term as president.
Raj was endowed with an appreciation of history. The year 1982 represented the golden jubilee of India in tests. When on behalf of Indian Journalists’ Association in Europe, I proposed a banquet at the British capital’s Connaught Rooms to celebrate the milestone, he unhesitatingly confirmed that the entire Indian squad would attend. They did; and both he and Gavaskar delivered stylish speeches on the occasion.
Four years later, with Kapil Dev Nikhanj as the skipper, Raj was again in-charge. India performed in England with an unprecedented and unrepeated ascendancy, eclipsing the hosts at Lord’s, Headingley and Leeds, before being denied by the weather in the final clash at Edgbaston, Birmingham. It was amazing how brilliantly the Indian quicker bowlers, spearheaded by Kapil, exploited the heavy conditions-tailor-made for English swing and seam bowlers-in the 2nd Test!
Raj was a teetotaller but he was not one to save his, pre-economic boom hard currency entertainment allowance for personal shopping. On the night before an anticipated series-clinching Indian victory, his hotel room became the scene of a tete-a-tete as we raised toasts over fine cognac!
On the day of the 1983 World Cup final at Lord’s, he restlessly flitted between his favourite seat on the balcony and the MCC president’s box. Participating in my documentary with Century TV last year to mark 25 years of India’s singular triumph, he sentimentally surmised, “Except for India’s independence, I can’t remember anything that brought so much joy, so much of confidence in (Indian) people; and also they realised what the game of cricket meant to this country (India)”.
What remained unstated was that he and the then Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Pushkar Johari walked to the pitch after the match to touch, if not kiss, what had suddenly become sacred soil for Indian cricket! A couple of years earlier, India under Gavaskar won a Test for the first time in Australia against full strength opposition at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, thereby drawing the series 1-1.
As a national selector, Raj will probably be best remembered for audaciously picking Sachin Tendulkar at the tender age of 16. Lately, he insisted India’s great cricketers have emanated from small towns. He would cite Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev and Mahendra Dhoni. This may be historically inaccurate; but his forecast that future Indian stars would emerge not from the metros and perhaps even from villages could well materialise.
The connoisseur in Raj found Twenty20 revolting. The best respect India can pay to this selfless servant of the game is to restore to Test cricket its rightful popularity.
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