Kohli slams ton in India’s win
Kohli’s shot selection was good: Gambhir
Kochi escapes IPL expulsion again
Strauss, Cook lead England fightback
Johnson needs urgent correction to technique
Warne’s new look talk of the town
Kaymer joins European greats
Fletcher to help New Zealand
Man United beat Blackburn 7-1
Guwahati, November 28
Chasing India's challenging score of 277 at the Nehru Stadium here, New Zealand were short on experience with skipper Daniel Vettori and explosive opener Brendon McCullum missing out due to back injuries as the visitors were all out for 236 in 45.2 overs.
Stand-in skipper Ross Taylor top-scored for the Kiwis with a fighting 66 from 69 balls studded with three sixes and three boundaries.
At 169 for eight, New Zealand looked to give up easily but Nathan McCullum (35 from 35 balls, 4x4) and Kyle Mills (32 from 28 balls, 2x4, 2x6) produced a 67-run ninth wicket stand to give India some tough time in the middle.
But Sreesanth (three for 67) broke the partnership dismissing Nathan and Mills with te former being brilliantly caught by skipper Gambhir as India won the match with 28 balls to spare.
Under intense scrutiny, Yuvraj Singh failed with the bat but he was really effective with his bowling claiming three for 43 from his full quota of 10 overs, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took a career-best three for 50 to help India take the series lead.
Thanks to a compact 105 by in-form Kohli, the new look Indian side under Gautam Gambhir put on 276 as they were bowled out in 49 overs after the hosts were sent in to bat.
Fresh from his back-to-back centuries in Ranji Trophy, the Delhi lad played a neat and chanceless knock from 104 balls with 10 boundaries for his second consecutive and fourth overall one-day century.
But Kohli's dismissal brought in a stunning Indian collapse as the lower-order managed 26 runs from last six overs something that exposed the new look side's inexperience at this level.
At 250/4 in the 44th over, with Kohli going great guns, a total in excess of 300 looked within easy reach but it was not the case after the centurion's dismissal by Andy McKay.
But New Zealand fought back with a planned and calculated bowling in the fag-end especially by left-arm seamer McKay who returned with a career-best figures of 10-1-62-4.
New ball bowlers Kyle Mills and Daryl Tuffey claimed three for 42 and two for 56 respectively.
With no McCullum, the New Zealand openers of Jamie How and Martin Guptill lacked the firepower as the visitors were slow and cautious to start with.
Nehra broke the opening stand for 32 scalping How (9) as his partner Guptill, after being dropped twice by Murali Vijay, did not last long departing for 30.
Stand-in skipper Taylor held the fort even as wickets kept falling in at the other end with Yuvraj doing a great job for India with his slow left-arm orthodox spin.
Taylor and Kane Williamson (19) looked good during their 67-run third wicket stand but Yuvraj did not let the partneship going.
Just when Taylor was beginning to look dangerous with his towering sixes, Ashwin gave the crucial breakthrough as New Zealand were reduced to 154 for seven after 33.3 overs.
Earlier Kiwi new ball bowlers, Mills and Tuffey, extracted some fine seam movements early on as openers Vijay (29 from 32 balls, 5x4) and Gambhir (38 from 38 balls, 6x4) survived some anxious moments in the early morning start.
The Indian duo however did not look under any pressure in absence of Virender Sehwag as they stitched 44 for the opening wicket before Vijay was done in by Tuffey with wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins taking a brilliant catch running backwards.
Kohli settled soon his second-wicket partnership of 48 did not last long with Gambhir falling in a soft dismissal to McKay.
Due for a big knock, Yuvraj was slow and watchful to start that saw India scoring just 17 in the five overs in the bowling powerplay from 10-15 overs. — PTI
Gambhir c How b McKay 38
Kohli c How b McKay 105
Yuvraj c Hopkins b Tuffey 42
Raina c How b Mills 13
Pathan c Taylor b Mills 29
Saha c Hopkins b McKay 4
Ashwin c&b McKay 0
Nehra run out 0
Sreesanth c How b Mills 4
Munaf not out 1
Total: (all out, 49 overs) 276
Bowling: Kyle Mills 10-0-42-3, Darryl Tuffey 8-0-56-2, Andy McKay 10-1-62-4, Grant Elliott 5-0-24-0, Nathan McCullum 9-0-53-0, Scottt Styris 6-0-26-0, Kane Williamson 1-0-11-0.
How c Vijay b Nehra 9
Williamson c Saha b Yuvraj 25
Taylor c Patel b Ashwin 66
Styris c Pathan b Yuvraj 10
Elliot c Pathan b Sreesanth 5
Tuffey c Raina b Yuvraj 4
Hopkins c Pathan b Ashwin 16
N McCullum c Gambhir b Sreesanth 35
Mills c Saha b Sreesanth 32
McKay not out 0
Total (all out in 45.2 overs) 236
Bowling: Ashish Nehra 9-0-44-1, S Sreesanth 5.2-0-30-3, R Ashwin 10-1-50-3, Munaf Patel 8-0-39-0, Yuvraj Singh 10-0-43-3, Irfan Pathan 2-0-24-0, Suresh Raina 1-0-5-0.
Guwahati, November 28
"Virat batted exceptionally well today. After losing the toss, our plan was that someone needs to go and get a hundred and he did exactly the same. He was good with his shot selection. Overall, I am satisfied with the performance of the team," said Gambhir, who also scored a quickfire 38 at the top to give the team a sound start.
"Both batsmen and bowlers chipped in with useful contributions. R Ashwin bowled brilliantly, pacers Nehra and Sreesanth were equally good. Virat, Yuvraj and other batsmen were also good. We hope to continue the momentum in the fixtures ahead," said the dashing opener. — PTI
Nagpur, November 28
At a meeting of the IPL's Governing Council here, the BCCI put off the decision on the franchise for a third time after the expiry of a month-long deadline given to it for sorting out its internal bickering.
"They have disclosed their ownership pattern. Our legal experts will study the papers. There was no discussion with the investors because we are not legal experts. BCCI will take a decision on December 5 in Mumbai," BCCI President Shashank Manohar told reporters after the meeting.
"The Governing Council of the IPL has received all the documents from the Kochi team yesterday before the expiry of the deadline for them to submit their final say on the disputes," he added.
Barely seven months after becoming the second most costliest team in the Indian Premier League, Kochi was on the verge of being thrown out of the event due to the shareholding dispute between the consortium's investors.
But the owners of the franchise made a last-ditch attempt to save the outfit by reaching a compromise yesterday.
The investors -- Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave — hold 74 per cent of the equity.
The remaining 26 per cent lies with the Gaikwad family -- Shailendra, his brother Ravi and their parents all part of Rendezvous Sports World -- as free equity for services rendered while bidding.
It is this 26 per cent which became a bone of contention among the stakeholders as the investors were in no mood to give free equity to the Gaikwad family.
The Gaikwads, on their part, initially refused to part with the equity but have now agreed to forego at least 15 per cent of it to put an end to the squabbling which threatened the very existence of the team.
However, before this settlement was worked out, the investors of the franchise, which was bought for a staggering sum of Rs 1533.33 crore, had written to the BCCI informing them of their intention to withdraw from the IPL.
That letter was sent after the BCCI, which had on October 10 expelled Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals for allegedly violating contractual agreements, gave a termination notice of 30 days to the franchise to sort out internal disputes regarding the shareholding pattern.
Kings XI and Rajasthan have since dragged BCCI to court over their expulsion and Manohar said it is this legal battle which made BCCI a bit wary of deciding Kochi's fate today itself.
"We had no time to examine it. All of you are aware that everyday we are in court in a legal battle and hence we would like to have the opinion of our legal experts before we take any decision," he said.
The BCCI has made it clear that eight teams will take part in the fourth edition of the league scheduled from April 8, just six days after the World Cup. — PTI
Brisbane, November 28
England came into the day 202 runs behind Australia, but enters the final day leading by 88 with Cook unbeaten on 132 and Jonathan Trott on 54.
Strauss and Cook shared a 188-run opening stand to produce England's best ever partnership at the Gabba ground before the England captain was dismissed for 110, stumped by Brad Haddin off Marcus North.
Cook needs seven more runs to record England's best score at the Gabba and surpass Ian Botham's innings in 1986-87.
The opening partnership surpassed the stand of 160 by Graeme Hick and Graham Thorpe in 1994, and more notably Jack Hobbs' and Herbert Sutcliffe's mark of 3,249 to become England's most prolific opening partnership.
"Those records come because the two of you are able to stay in the side," Strauss said. "You need a certain resilience to do that. It's one of Cookie's greatest strengths." Strauss was dominant in the morning session, being particularly severe on Shane Watson who he hit for four boundaries in five overs. He brought up his first century in Australia with a superb late cut off Xavier Doherty.
Strauss said the failure of his first innings, when he was caught for a duck off his third ball, drove him to succeed today.
"It was pretty much the worst I've felt on a cricket pitch," Strauss said. "But that is the wonderful game of cricket. It reminds you you have to respect the game." Strauss also admitted to a bout of nerves after the first ball of the second innings, when he narrowly avoided an lbw decision to Ben Hilfenhaus.
"I thought it was a very good leave," Strauss said. "My heart was definitely in my mouth. I thought it was a bit high and thankfully that was the case." Strauss seemed to lose his rhythm after reaching his century, scoring just 10 from his next 40 deliveries before a rash cross-batted shot caused his demise.
Cook looked less assured, but ground his way to his second century against Australia. — AFP
Sydney, November 28
"I think there is something wrong with his technique, but it's no different to two years ago. If it's not going to change now, I don't know if it ever will. It only takes a drop of 10 per cent for things to start going wrong," News.com.au quoted Fleming, as saying.
"Mitch has some technical issues and it can't be changed from Test to Test. I think he needs a good couple of months of remedial work and making sure he gets into a position to release the ball with a stable seam. Where he is now, I think that's miles away," he added. — ANI
Melbourne, November 28
Warne's appearance on the Ashes coverage and the first episode of his own chat show 'Warnie' last week revealed plenty of action behind the scenes.
His teeth are whiter than piano keys, and look even brighter against his tandoori tan and the blond tips in the hair positively sparkle under the studio lights and he's slim enough to inspire jokes about raiding his mum's medicine cabinet again.
Plastic surgeons said there was no sign of any nips and tucks but do rule not rule out the possibility of little Botox at some places.
"There's no sign of recent surgery, that's not to say he's never had anything done. He's had his teeth whitened which would most likely have been done through laser whitening or he's had veneers put on," News.com.au quoted a plastic surgeon from Bondi, Robert Drielsma, as saying.
Other surgeons delivered a frank assessment on Warnie's looks.
"He's not a masterpiece but he's got a nice face. His teeth are too shiny - they're overdone. You put some black bits in there and he'd look like a piano," said Sydney plastic surgeon Howard Torres. — ANI
Dubai, November 28
The German, still out on the course, was guaranteed to land the prize of $1.5 million for topping the Race to Dubai when his only rival for the title, Briton Graeme McDowell, finished down the field at the Greg Norman-designed Earth course in the Gulf.
Briton McDowell needed a top-three result to overhaul the German at the summit of the money list but could manage only a closing 68 for a six-under-par tally of 282.
Kaymer follows in the footsteps of heavyweights such as Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomerie by ending the season as European number one. — AFP
Wellington, November 28
Though New Zealand Cricket officials could not be reached for comment, but a spokesperson confirmed "use of a specialist consultant" would be made public in the coming days while the side is competing in a five-match one-day series against India.
The identity of that "specialist consultant" is still confidential, although the Sunday Star-Times understands it to be former Zimbabwean international Fletcher, who coached England between 1999 and 2007.
The recruitment of Fletcher as a cricket consultant represents a major coup for the Black Caps just three months out from the world cup.
Interestingly, it was only in November last year that Fletcher's name was linked with the vacant Black Caps' coaching job after Andy Moles stood down from the role.
Sources suggest the relationship between New Zealand Cricket and the former England coach began during that period and has flourished, leading to the current opportunity.
Talks between the organisation and the Zimbabwean have been taking place for some time about a short-term role.
But Mark Greatbatch's position in charge of the Black Caps unit is not thought to be in jeopardy.
Cricket insiders believe that Fletcher, given his experience, could be just the tonic to help the Black Caps as they set about trying to win their first world cup. — ANI
London, November 28
Berbatov took just two minutes to end a 10-match goal drought yesterday stretching back to September.
"I have scored that many before but it was a long time ago back home in Bulgaria," Berbatov said. "The first goal was the most important. It gives you the confidence to play. As a striker, people do tend only to look at the goals you score. I am more concerned with how I play but today was all about goals for me." But while Nani and Park Ji-sung also found the net against Blackburn, Wayne Rooney couldn't find his first goal from open play since March for United.
Arsenal climbed up to second - two points behind United - after withstanding a second-half Villa fightback to end a two-match losing streak in all competitions.
But champion Chelsea will return to the top if it wins at Newcastle on Sunday.
Manchester City stayed fourth despite being held 1-1 at Stoke - a third draw in four for the league's biggest spenders. There were wins for the bottom teams, with West Ham beating Wigan 3-1 and Wolverhampton defeating Sunderland 3-2.
In Saturday's other matches, Bolton fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Blackpool, West Browmich won 4-1 at Everton and Birmingham drew 1-1 at Fulham.
Manchester United's emphatic victory helped to set a Premier League record for the number of goals scored on a single day - 36 - according to Sky Sports.
The first came after 72 seconds when poor Blackburn defending allowed Nani to cross from the left, Rooney to flick on with a header and Berbatov to convert from six meters (yards).
Rooney also had a hand in the second goal, setting up Park before Berbatov capitalized on Pascal Chimbonda's poor back pass five minutes later.
Berbatov's third came two minutes into the second half after Nani cut in from the right and sent the ball back from the byline.
Nani quickly made it 5-0 after latching onto Anderson's pass. Berbatov swept in his fourth before Anderson set him up for a fifth.
Blackburn's consolation came in the 83rd when Christopher Samba rose to head in Josh Morris's cross from six meters.
"The rhythm and tempo were not good enough in the last few weeks, but it was today," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "It was a fantastic achievement by Berbatov and in my time I've only seen Andy Cole achieve that here. It was important he got off the mark early because he hadn't scored in 10 games. He combined with Wayne well and they interchanged brilliantly." — AFP
Bhupathi-Mirnyi in title clash
Lahiri ends tied 21st
ICC to discus new FTP
Flower undergoes skin surgery
Asiad winners honoured