England scrape through
Pak start campaign against Kenya
Kallis: World Cup is war
India sweat it out ahead of England tie
Ponting ‘damages’ LCD screen, apologises
IPL will help: Bravo
34th National Games
Bill for reforming Indian sports
Nagpur, February 22
England were given a rousing start by their captain Andrew Strauss, who top-scored with 88 runs. Strauss and Pietersen put on 105 runs for the opening wicket.
Jonathan Trott played a crucial knock of 62 and some lusty hitting by Collingwood and Ravi Bopara saw England home in the 49th over.
Earlier, Ryan ten Doeschate played the innings of his life against England as his superb century helped the Netherlands reach a challenging 292 for six.
The first cricketer from an Associate Nation to get an IPL contract (for KKR), Ten Doeschate during his innings of 119 (110 balls, 9x4, 3x6) showed why he is quite a few notches above his colleagues in the Dutch team.
The ICC Associate Cricketer of Year was never in awe of the opposition bowlers. He showed special fascination for the region between mid-wicket and deep mid-wicket as most of his scoring shots were hit in that particular arc.
His three sixes (one each of Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann) at the VCA ground in Jamtha were a delight. Save a mistimed lofted shot on 47, the others were pure cricketing shots.
When Pietersen provided a juicy full toss, Ten Doeschate stepped out to hit him over deep mid wicket for a six. His best shot was a six over deep mid-wicket off Swann. He just stepped out and lifted the ball with minimum backlift. His third six off Collingwood was hit in the same region with minimum footwork.
Doeschate's third wicket partnership of 78 with Tom Cooper (47, 73 balls, 3x4) and 64 for the fifth wicket with Tom de Grooth (28) off 60 balls helped him take his team to a commanding position.
He provided the last surge during the batting Powerplays in company of skipper Peter Borren (35 not out, 24 balls, 4x4) adding 61 runs in only 5.2 overs.
The best ever cricketer to have played for the country, Doeschate, who had earlier hit two half centuries in the previous edition reached his fourth ODI century — first against a Test playing nation — due to five overthrows off 98 deliveries. When he was finally caught at mid-wicket boundary off Stuart Broad's bowling, his team had already reached a score of 274. The Dutch were also helped by the shoddy English fielding as they failed to stop the batsmen from running twos, misjudged catches and gave away at least 15 extra runs.
Save Swann (two for 35), the other frontline bowlers also failed to impress. — PTI
Kervezee c Prior b Bresnan 16
Barresi st Prior b Swann 29
Cooper c Anderson b C’wood 47
Doeschate c Bopara b Broad 119
Zuiderent c C’wood b Swann 1
Grooth b Broad 28
Borren not out 35
Bukhari not out 6
Extras: (b 3 lb 3 w 2 nb 3) 11
Bowling: Anderson 10-0-72-0, Broad 10-2-65-2, Bresnan 10-0-49-1, Swann 10-0-35-2, Collingwood 8-0-46-1, Pietersen 2-0-19-0
Strauss c Cooper b Bukhari 88
Pietersen c Borren b Seelaar 39
Trott st Barresi b Doeschate 62
Bell b Doeschate 33
Collingwood not out 30
Bopara not out 30
Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 11) 14
Bowling: Bukhari 9-0-54-1, Westdijk 7-0-41-0, Loots 9.4-0-74-0, Seelaar 10-0-54-1, Doeschate 10-0-47-2, Cooper 3-0-23-0.
Hambantota, February 22
Having suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Ireland, which eventually resulted in their first round ouster the 2007 edition, Pakistan would be wary of taking their opponents lightly this time around. In fact, captain Shahid Afridi has already warned his team to take every opponent seriously.
"There have been so many upsets in the World Cup in the past, like the one against Ireland four years ago. So we have that in mind and we will be on our toes in every match, be it Kenya or Sri Lanka," said Afridi.
Going into the match, Pakistan would take heart from their recent 3-2 one-day series victory over New Zealand in New Zealand just before the World Cup. And even though they had mixed fortunes in the their two warm-up games — a win against Bangladesh and a defeat against England, Pakistan are well aware that if they play as a unit, they have enough firepower to go a long distance in the tournament.
Pakistan's batting consisting of the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, former captain Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Akmal brothers — Kamran and Umar, has the reputation of creating quite a flutter in the opposition camp.
In the absence of their banned opener Salman Butt, Pakistan would be banking on Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad in the opening slot, followed by the more experienced middle-order.
Veteran Younis Khan is expected to bring in stability with all his experience of playing international cricket, followed by Test skipper and in-form Misbah and the two Akmals. And with captain Shahid Afridi and allrounder Abdul Razzaq coming down the order, Pakistan should not have any trouble blowing the Kenyans away in their inaugural match.
As far as bowling department is concerned, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul would be looking to go for the kill from the very first ball. This match will also give both the pacemen an opportunity to get back to their peak form.
Even Saeed Ajmal would get a chance to experiment with his doosra before his team face bigger names during the course of the tournament. Allrounder Afridi's fast-wrist spin is also expected to come in handy against the African nation. — PTI
Kallis: World Cup is war
New Delhi, February 22
South Africa seem ready for this war and Kallis thinks they have what it will take to do really well. “We have a relaxed lot of players and the two-and-a-half weeks spent here have really helped us in getting used to the conditions and planning our campaign. In terms of preparation, I don’t think we could have done any better.”
Kallis, who had to recover from injuries to be fit for the event, termed himself to be at 100 per cent. “The recovery has gone as per plan and I have been bowling for a week now. I am 100 per cent fit for this match and others. The rest of the side too is in good condition.
“We have a team for all conditions. We have covered all the bases. There are three spinners in the side plus part-time slow bowlers, and we are ready for all situations.”
About leg-spinner Imran Tahir, Kallis said: “Having a genuine wrist-spinner in the team gives us a different angle. We haven’t had a genuine wrist-spinner in the side since Paul Adams. Such bowlers always create doubts in batsmen’s minds. Imran has fit in really well and will be an asset.”
The tag of ‘chokers’ riles the South African great. “I think too much is made of this chokers business, especially by the media. Every time anyone loses, they become chokers. I think those using the word should look the meaning up in a dictionary.”
Asked if the West Indies were easy opponents, Kallis was quick to say no. “They are never an easy side to play. But we have done well against them recently so we will be favourites for the match.”
Bangalore, February 22
Sachin Tendulkar, who underwent a MRI scan at a private hospital last Sunday after feeling uneasiness on his knees during the Dhaka match against Bangladesh, had light weight training at the NCA gymnasium. Ashish Nehra, who did not play in Bangladesh due to back spasm, also did some weight training.
Both Tendulkar and Nehra did not take to batting or bowling today, though the former was seen coming out to the net session area from the gym twice in between his weight training sessions. Opening batsman Virender Sehwag, pacer S Sreeshanth and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also decided to stay back and did not join the team either at the Gym or at the net sessions.
Yuvraj Singh also did not bat but bowled for about 20 minutes before doing some stretching exercises. Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted for more than about 30 minutes each at the nets, while Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, who had a bit of bowling at the nets, also sharpened their batting skills by toiling at the nets longer than the regular batsmen.
Coach Gary Kristen was seen throwing the ball from a distance to both Zaheer and Harbhajan. At times, Kristen walked up to the batsmen to advise them on certain batting techniques. — PTI
Ahmedabad, February 22 Ponting reportedly damaged an LCD in the team's dressing room following his run out but team spokesman Lachy Patterson insisted that the incident was a mere accident. "I am very disappointed by the reporting this morning that Ponting smashed the TV because that is not the case. He threw his protector on the ground, it bounced and hit the back of the TV," Patterson said. "The screen did not smash, the TV did not leave the table. A small area of the screen had loss of picture. We apologised and went straight to the team manager and asked him the screen should be replaced which he immediately did. The issue is now closed," he added. The Gujarat Cricket Association is set to lodge a complaint with the BCCI and Ponting's reported behaviour also came under severe criticism from former cricketers. The incident took place immediately after Ponting was run out yesterday by a direct hit from the deep by Zimbabwe's Chris Mpofu in the Group A clash between the two teams. An agitated Ponting was seen talking angrily to himself as he walked back to the dressing room and, in a state of fury, threw his gear, which accidentally hit the LCD monitor. While Ponting is unlikely to face any disciplinary action if an ICC source is to be believed, his action didn't go down well with the cricketing fraternity. "The dressing room is supposed to be sacrosanct so I am a little bit disappointed. That sort of behaviour ... you don't want to hear about during a World Cup. You want to hear about Ricky Ponting making a 100, not messing up in the dressing room," said South Africa great Barry Richards. "But one thing is obvious that there is a lot of pressure on him to try and win the World Cup," added Richards.
Ponting reportedly damaged an LCD in the team's dressing room following his run out but team spokesman Lachy Patterson insisted that the incident was a mere accident.
"I am very disappointed by the reporting this morning that Ponting smashed the TV because that is not the case. He threw his protector on the ground, it bounced and hit the back of the TV," Patterson said.
"The screen did not smash, the TV did not leave the table. A small area of the screen had loss of picture. We apologised and went straight to the team manager and asked him the screen should be replaced which he immediately did. The issue is now closed," he added.
The Gujarat Cricket Association is set to lodge a complaint with the BCCI and Ponting's reported behaviour also came under severe criticism from former cricketers.
The incident took place immediately after Ponting was run out yesterday by a direct hit from the deep by Zimbabwe's Chris Mpofu in the Group A clash between the two teams.
An agitated Ponting was seen talking angrily to himself as he walked back to the dressing room and, in a state of fury, threw his gear, which accidentally hit the LCD monitor.
While Ponting is unlikely to face any disciplinary action if an ICC source is to be believed, his action didn't go down well with the cricketing fraternity.
"The dressing room is supposed to be sacrosanct so I am a little bit disappointed. That sort of behaviour ... you don't want to hear about during a World Cup. You want to hear about Ricky Ponting making a 100, not messing up in the dressing room," said South Africa great Barry Richards.
"But one thing is obvious that there is a lot of pressure on him to try and win the World Cup," added Richards. — PTI
New Delhi, February 22
The hard-hitting batsman said the IPL has helped members in his current World Cup squad get accustomed to the sub-continental conditions, especially the slow and bouncy nature of pitches.
"We have got 5-6 players in our current World Cup squad, who took part in the Indian Premier League and are still associated with it. They know the sub-continent conditions, so that exposure will come into play here in India. That has helped them to know how to play in the sub-continent," Bravo told reporters after his side's first practice session at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium here.
"The South Africans have also got players like captain Graeme Smith and J P Duminy, who have featured in IPL. So they also know about it (conditions). But in the end, it will all depend on how we execute things and prepare ourselves better for that particular day," Bravo said ahead of their Group B opener against the formidable Proteas on Thursday here.
Six of the West Indies World Cup squad members have the IPL experience behind them with Bravo (Chennai Super Kings) and hard-hitting Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians) still part of the T20 tournament for its fourth edition commencing April 8, six days after the World Cup final on April 2 in Mumbai.
Those who were earlier associated with the T20 league but not part of the IPL anymore include: Chris Gayle (Kolkata Knight Riders), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Kings XI Punjab), Shivnariane Chanderpaul (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Kemar Roach (Deccan Chargers).
Bravo said it would not be difficult for the West Indies team to get acclimatised to the pitch condition here in India. "We have got similar pitch conditions in the West Indies.
There also the wickets are slow and bouncy. We are aware of the pitches here in India and adjusting to the conditions will not be that difficult.
"We know each ground in India is different and each venue is going to be different. But the track will support spinners and slow bowlers in the middle," said the 27-year-old Bravo.
West Indies will have their task cut out against an in-form South African team brimming with quality batsmen and bowlers, and Bravo said the outcome of the match will heavily depend on a good start.
"South Africa is tough, well balanced and a professional team. It's the team which I look upto and love to play against. Lot of my good performances have come against South Africa. Our guys are looking forward to the match.
"A lot will depend on the kind of start we get. It's important to preserve wickets for the middle overs. South Africans have got a bad history as far as World Cup is concerned but still they are very good team. We can't take them lightly," said Bravo. — PTI
34th National Games
Jamshedpur, February 22
While the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) won the men's team championship, Assam clinched the gold in the men's individual event. K Prabhahini Devi of Manipur won three straight sets and gathered six points to claim the first place while host Jharkhand's Jayalaxmi Laguri finished second with four set points win.
She had to be satisfied with a silver medal. Th Ishembi Devi of Manipur bagged bronze. Manipur archers also won bronze medals in the men and women's individual as well as men's team championship.
The Manipur team — comprising Th Ishembi Devi, K Prabhahini Devi, M Sanjita Devi and S Nirmala Devi — scored a total 212 points to be first in the team championship while the Assam combination of Kamini Boro, Pallabi Boro, Anima Basumatary and Anjali Brahma scored 184 points to grab the silver. Jharkhand archers Tulsi Hembrom, Sukhmati Purty, Lakhi Mandal and Layalaxmi finished third.
In the men's team event, SSCB archers A Suraj Singh, Sunil Oraon, P G Mandal and Vikram Singh maintained the lead from the beginning before they wrapped up with 217 points to claim the gold medal. SSCB was followed by Tripura, who had total 207 points, and Manipur 206. — PTI
Punjab and TN win b’ball gold
Punjab men and Tamil Nadu women won the gold medals in their respective basketball final matches of the 34th National Games here today. Punjab outclassed Uttarkhand 97-57 while Tamilnadu defeated Chhatisgarh 79-48 to finish at the top of the podium. In the play-off matches for bronze medals, Services men defeated Tamilnadu 81-68, while Delhi girls beat Maharashtra 79-59.
Punjab men and Tamil Nadu women won the gold medals in their respective basketball final matches of the 34th National Games here today. Punjab outclassed Uttarkhand 97-57 while Tamilnadu defeated Chhatisgarh 79-48 to finish at the top of the podium. In the play-off matches for bronze medals, Services men defeated Tamilnadu 81-68, while Delhi girls beat Maharashtra 79-59. — PTI
Bill for reforming Indian sports
New Delhi, February 22
The preamble of the Bill states: "this Bill does not intend to transgress into the independence of the National Sports Federations and the National Olympic Committee", but with a rider that it "addresses the public concern of accountability of these sports bodies".
It seeks to recognize the sports federations as bodies performing public functions. It has also sought to address the issues of sexual harassment, age fraud, impediments to Right to Information, speedy resolution of disputes, anti-doping, transparency and good governance.
Maken said this kind of legislation was essential in the current scenario, since there exists a state of flux regarding sports in the country. "But the reach and effect of sport and working of sporting federations in India is felt worldwide", he added.
A salient feature in the Bill is to give a definite say to sportspersons in the running of the federations. "The voice and representation of an athlete/sportsperson has been missing in the top echelons of sports governance in India," the Bill states. Under Section 4 of the Bill, a move has been initiated to constitute a National Sports Development Council, to be headed by an athlete.