Chennai are Super Kings again
Nadal, Murray Advance
Vettel takes pole, Perez suffers crash
Kapil Invited For BCCI
Prasanna Puts Lanka
Classic on cards as Man-U face Barca
A Tribune Exclusive
Chennai are Super Kings again
Chennai, May 28
The fact that two Chennai boys - Murali Vijay and Ravichandran Ashwin - were the stars on the day, makes it an even more special win. RCB played well, but had they won the title today, cricket’s image as a team game would have definitely taken a hit. Chris Gayle, had to fail, and the team once again came up short, just proving what everyone had been saying.
The run chase started on a disastrous note for RCB as they lost the big man Chris Gayle on the third ball off the first over. Ashwin set it up with two off-spinners followed by a straighter one that skidded on. Dhoni did the rest by pouching a sharp catch. From there on, the ride for the Challengers was only downhill.
Ashwin and Jakati bowled particularly well, and RCB kept losing wickets at regular intervals, the match had started looking like a formality by the 12th over, with Bangalore tottering at 88 for 6.
The end saw Zaheer indulge in some lusty hitting, but the situation had gone so far bad that he couldn't have been expected to do what even Gayle, had he been there, would have struggled with.
Earlier, Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey broke the record for the biggest opening wicket partnership in the IPL as they tormented the Royal Challengers to post a massive 205 for 5. Vijay was particularly harsh on RCB and ended up scoring a 52-ball 95 with four 4s and six 6s. Hussey also played an equally effective knock of 63 off 45 balls.
After winning the toss, Chennai Super Kings elected to bat first. Zaheer opened the proceedings with an uneventful first over and youngster Sreenath Arvind bowled a brilliant first few deliveries, beating Mike Hussey on a couple of occasions. But Murali Vijay ensured that Chennai got a move on from there as he slammed Aravind for a massive six off the last ball.
With pace not looking threatening, Vettori brought on spin from both ends. But the two opening batsmen, without making too much of a fuss about it, kept nudging the ball away for singles and doubles.
Vettori also brought himself on and for a moment it looked like they had applied the brakes on the CSK charge, but then Vijay, in trademark fashion, tore into the RCB bowling. Huge sixes over the long on fence meant Vettori had to keep trying out different bowling options.
The standout feature in the Chennai Super Kings batting was not just the sixes, in fact the fluidity in run-scoring was majorly coming because of some terrific running between the wickets. Every time Hussey and Vijay saw that a fielder had a little ground to cover, they turned all ones into twos.
Hussey was the first to go and Vijay was joined by skipper MS Dhoni. As the two were looking to accelerate Vijay was dismissed by Aravind. Dhoni too followed on the very next ball bringing two new batsmen on the pitch. Raina and Albie Morkel hung around to see Chennai touch 199 in the 20th over, but then again, they lost two wickets off successive deliveries, this time off Chris Gayle.
It was left to another West Indian, CSK’s Dwayne Bravo, to ensure that his side ended on a high as he hit the last ball of the innings for a six, pushing his side’s score past 200.
Chennai Super Kings
Hussey c Mithun b Syed 63
Vijay c Vettori b Aravind 95
Dhoni c Kohli b Aravind 22
Raina b Gayle 8
Morkel c Kohli b Gayle 2
Badrinath not out 0
Bravo not out 6
Extras (lb 7, w 2) 9
Total: (5 wkts; 20 ovrs) 205
Bowling: Zaheer 4-0-30-0, Aravind 3-0-39-2, Gayle 4-0-34-2, Syed 3-0-39-1, Vettori 4-0-34-0, Mithun 2-0-22-0.
Agarwal b Ashwin 10
Gayle c Dhoni b Ashwin 0
Kohli lbw b Raina 35
Villiers lbw b Jakati 18
Pomersbach c & b Jakati 2
Tiwary not out 42
Vettori c & b Ashwin 0
Mithun c Bollinger b Bravo 11
Zaheer c Hussey b Bollinger 21
Syed not out 2
Extras (b 2, lb 2, w 1, nb 1) 6
Total: (8 wkts; 20 ovrs) 147
Bowling: Ashwin 4-0-16-3, Morkel 3-0-24-0, Bollinger 3-0-28-1, Jakati 4-0-21-2, Raina 4-0-39-1, Bravo 2-0-15-1.
Paris, May 28
The 24-year-old Scot had been coasting along at 6-2, 2-1 and deuce on German Michael Berrer's serve when he jarred his right ankle badly trying to run down a drop shot. Murray won the point, but he hopped about in agony and then collapsed onto his back in the red dirt of the Suzanne Lenglen showcourt.
After taking painkillers and having the ankle strapped at a medical time-out, Murray resumed to clinch the break and lead 3-1. But clearly still in some discomfort, he then dropped serve for the first time in the match and screamed out his frustrations at his coaching staff in the tribunes.
Limping between rallies and looking distraught, Murray somehow dug in to break the Berrer serve again and then held his own comfortably enough to lead 5-2. Murray took the set 6-3 to go two sets up, but he still looked in some discomfort and requested another medical time-out from the umpire at the next change of ends.
Another break in his favour gave him the perfect start to the third set and he then won the next three games to go 4-0 up. Murray duly wrapped up a third straight straight sets win, but there will be serious doubts about his fitness ahead of his fourth tie against Serbian Davis Cup hero Viktor Troicki on Monday.
The 15th seeded Troicki saw off Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam event for the first time.
Nadal made it through to the fourth round with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 win over Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic in a centre-court mismatch. It was the Spaniard's 41st win at Roland Garros against just the one defeat since he made his debut in 2005, but such was the paucity of the opposition that the win will answer few questions about his actual form.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi bowed out of the French Open men's doubles event with a straight-set defeat against unseeded Australian combination of Stephen Huss and Ashley Fisher here today. The formidable third seed Indian pair, who were the runners-up at Australian Open this year, lost 6-7 (7) 4-6 in the second round in a contest that last an hour and 32 minutes. Paes and Bhupathi had incidentally won their last Grand Slam title at this very venue in 2001. After that, they had split and played with different partners. They decided to join forces just ahead of the season and began the re-union by winning the Chennai Open and and then reaching the Australian Open final. It was a scintillating contest of tennis today as both the teams fought tooth and nail. There was only one breakpoint in the whole match, which Fisher and Huss converted in the second set to move to the next level.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi bowed out of the French Open men's doubles event with a straight-set defeat against unseeded Australian combination of Stephen Huss and Ashley Fisher here today.
The formidable third seed Indian pair, who were the runners-up at Australian Open this year, lost 6-7 (7) 4-6 in the second round in a contest that last an hour and 32 minutes. Paes and Bhupathi had incidentally won their last Grand Slam title at this very venue in 2001.
After that, they had split and played with different partners. They decided to join forces just ahead of the season and began the re-union by winning the Chennai Open and and then reaching the Australian Open final. It was a scintillating contest of tennis today as both the teams fought tooth and nail.
There was only one breakpoint in the whole match, which Fisher and Huss converted in the second set to move to the next level. — Agencies
Monte Carlo, May 28
The 23-year-year-old German, in his Red Bull car, clocked a fastest lap of one minute and 13.556 seconds shortly before Perez's shocking collision with the barriers left his rivals with barely three minutes to respond.
German Nico Rosberg, who escaped injury when he also suffered a big accident at almost the same place as Perez during the morning's final free practice session, was a bold, brave eighth in the second Mercedes.
Behind him rookie Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was ninth for Williams while 10th place on the grid was officially left for Perez, who had driven splendidly earlier to fight his way through to the top-ten shootout. The 21-year-old rookie lost control of his machine as he came out of the tunnel.
His car appeared to hit bumps in the surface of the circuit, lift to the left and then steer right into the barriers before slewing in a half-turn into a barrier at the chicane.
Perez hit the barrier side-on and the session was stopped immediately with a medical team and an ambulance going to the scene to attend to the driver. The barriers into which Perez finally came to a halt were the same barriers into which Austrian Karl Wenglinger collided in 1994 - leaving him in a coma for nearly three weeks - and also Britons Jenson Button and David Coulthard. Nicknamed 'Checo', Perez, from Guadalajara, is in his first season in Formula One and has established a reputation as one of the most talented, confident, and likeable, young drivers in the paddock. — AFP
Mumbai, May 28
Kapil and the BCCI have been at loggerheads since 2007 when he joined the rebel Indian Cricket League floated by the Essel Group Subash Chandra and engineered a mass exodus of some top domestic cricketers and former international players. The BCCI subsequently banned all the players and stopped their payments. — PTI
Cardiff, May 28
Sri Lanka then collected a prize scalp shortly before the close when England captain Andrew Strauss edged Suranga Lakmal, who might not have been playing but for injuries to first-choice seamers Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Pradeep, to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip for 20. At stumps, England were 47 for one - a deficit of 353.
Ashes hero Alastair Cook was 24 not out and nightwatchman James Anderson unbeaten on one in England's first Test since completing a 3-1 series win in Australia in January. — AFP
London, May 28
A worldwide television audience in the hundreds of millions is expected to tune in to Saturday's encounter at Wembley, where a capacity crowd of 90,000 will watch the English and Spanish giants collide.
Barcelona are bidding to seal their status as the finest team of their generation by claiming their second European crown in three years.
Standing in their way however are United, the newly crowned Premier League champions who are desperate to avenge their bitterly disappointing defeat to the Catalans in the Rome final two years ago.
United manager Ferguson stoked the sense of anticipation on Friday, saying the stage was set for one of the great European finals.
"It could be the best final of the decade. The attraction of two great teams with great history is obvious, and it's an appealing final in terms of what could happen in the game. Anything could happen," said Ferguson.
"There could be a lot of goals, there could be a lot of excitement, and there'll be a lot of good football I'm sure of that. So it's set up, the platform is there, and hopefully it turns out that way."
Ferguson has suggested he is leaning towards an attacking approach as he aims to secure the third European Cup crown of his 25-year reign at Old Trafford.
"We have players who can cause any team a lot of bother and hopefully those attacking players will give Barcelona the problems that everyone thinks they are going to give us," Ferguson said.
"It's not just about Barcelona, it's about us too. We have to work out what gives us the best chance of winning the match. It will be down to how we operate the attacking part."
But to prevail at Wembley they will have to come up with a gameplan that neutralises an attack led by Lionel Messi, operating in front of a midfield boasting the twin talents of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. Messi has been in magical form for Barcelona in Europe, contributing 11 goals and evoking tributes from some admirers that he already deserves to be ranked alongside the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona.
One more goal on Saturday will see Messi equal Ruud van Nistlerooy's record of 12 in a single Champions League campaign. Ferguson is confident however that Messi can be dealt with. — Agencies
A Tribune Exclusive
New Delhi, May 28
Yuvraj was in Delhi on May 20 on the eve of the Pune Warriors versus Delhi Daredevils Indian Premier League match and he went to inaugurate an imaging and sports centre for Kohli in South Delhi. The Pune Warriors captain, who had a day earlier led his team against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai, was accompanied by former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi and former medium-pacer Madan Lal. Yuvraj was suffering from “headache and mild cough” when he inaugurated the centre.
Kohli and his partner, acupuncture specialist Dr. Jatin Choudhary, who was earlier associated with Kings’ XI Punjab when Yuvraj was leading the team, observing Yuvraj’s persistent cough, asked the star player to get himself medically examined as his cough seemed to be serious. But Yuvraj felt that he was “fit and ready” for the West Indies tour, and told the doctors accordingly.
But the doctors insisted that he get himself thoroughly examined, and on doing that, it was found that the player was having “a small patch of pneumnitis” on his left lung. Kohli, who himself has been a top-level sportsman, having represented the country in polo, advised Yuvraj to take complete rest for two-three weeks, instead of aggravating the ailment. But Yuvraj was determined to make it to the Indian team for West Indies but he relented only when he was told about the seriousness of his ailment as “he definitely needed rest and proper treatment”.
Yuvraj then asked Kohli to inform the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary N. Srinivasan about the nature of his illness, and exclude him from the team for the West Indies tour.
The doctor e-mailed to Srinivasan that “Yuvraj Singh is under my medical care presently as he is suffering from upper respiratory infection with a small patch of pneumnitis in the left lung. He is advised complete rest for 2-3 weeks along with medical treatment”.
The BCCI secretary then advised Kohli to proceed with treatment for Yuvraj, who was examined yesterday also, as BCCI would bear all the expenses of his treatment.
Yuvraj’s ailment came not only as a shock to the player, but also to the BCCI officials and the national selectors, who had to per force keep him out of the ODI, T20 and Test teams for the West Indies tour. Yuvraj, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra are the top players who have missed out on the West Indies tour on account of fitness problems while Sachin Tendulkar opted out as he wanted to rest.
Kohli said Sachin would also be visiting his clinic soon. The Kohli and Choudhary’s sports medicine centre had earlier treated golfer Arjun Atwal and tennis ace Sania Mirza, besides curing the injuries of two international wrestlers.
“Being an international polo player myself, I have experienced sports injuries for the past three decades. Therefore, I felt the need to have the latest MRI and ultrasound sports equipment to diagnose and help the treating of sports injuries, which led to the setting up of the diagnostic centre,” Kohli informed.
He said but for his insistence, Yuvraj would not have bothered to get himself thoroughly examined and would a have aggravated his ailment had he undertaken the taxing tour without proper medication and rest.