Indians snatch 5-run victory
HI slaps two-year bans on Sardar, Sandeep
Learnt the lesson of concentration from Dravid, says Shane Watson
Barcelona win Super Cup
Vettel defies doubters
Webber signs new Red Bull deal
Bolt wows fans in first worlds outing
Serena, Sharapova favourites
Canterbury, August 27
Chasing India's competitive 164 for six, Denly turned out to be the lone warrior for Kent with the bat as he anchored the hosts innings with a 68-ball 100.
Martin van Jaarsveld and Darren Stevens tried hard to give Denly support from the other end with an identical 17 but once the centurion departed Kent's chase fell apart and the home team could only manage 159 runs for the loss of five wickets in 20 overs.
Left-arm seamer RP Singh shone with the ball for India picking up two wickets for 36 runs while Munaf Patel (1/22) and R Ashwin (1/30) scalped a wicket each.
Earlier, sent into bat Virat Kohli slammed a quickfire 78 to help India post a competitive 164 for six. Kohli started from where he left against Sussex on Thursday, and notched up his second half century of the tour in just 52 balls with the help of seven boundaries and three towering sixes.
India's other half centurion against Sussex, Rohit Sharma gave Kohli good support from the other end with a run-a-ball 30.
The duo shared 69 runs for the fourth wicket off just 48 deliveries to lay the foundation for India's score, especially after the visitors lost both the openers - Parthiv Patel (1) and Rahul Dravid (15) - cheaply.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin played a good hand down the order with a 12-ball 23, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina once again failed with the bat.
It was the Doni's first-ball duck which sent tongues wagging at a packed St Lawrence ground. Dhoni had just arrived at 132 for four in the 17th over when he slammed his first ball from spinner James Tredwell hard but uppishly at mid-on to take the wind out of Indian innings.
A ball before, Kohli was run out after he was pushed for a non-existent second run by Raina, whose poor form continued as he could score just four before being bowled by Tredwell.
Torrential rains had earlier forced the 50-over-a-side match to be reduced to a Twenty20 fixture. Sent into bat, India lost openers Parthiv and Dravid with the scoreboard reading 53.
While Parthiv edged one to wicket-keeper Geraint Jones, Dravid offered a difficult catch to Tredwell at mid-on off left-arm pacer Adam Ball.
For Kent, Tredwell turned out to be the pick of the bowlers picking up two wickets for 18 runs. — PTI
Parthiv c Jones b Balcombe 1
Dravid c Tredwell b Ball 15
Kohli run out 78
Rohit b Riley 30
Raina b Tredwell 4
Dhoni c Stevens b Tredwell 0
Ashwin not out 23
Mishra not out 5
Extras (w 7, nb 1) 8
Total: (6 wkts; 20 ovrs) 164
Bowling: Balcombe 3-0-23-1, Coles 4-0-35-0, Ball 3-0-20-1, Stevens 4-0-34-0, Riley 3-0-34-1, Tredwell 3-0-18-2.
Denly b Singh 100
DJ Bell b Singh 11
Jaarsveld c Dravid b Ashwin 17
Stevens b Munaf 17
Northeast run out 2
Jones not out 0
Extras (lb 5, w 6, nb 1) 12
Total: (5 wkts; 20 ovrs) 159
Bowling: Singh 4-0-36-2, Vinay 4-0-29-0, Munaf 4-0-22-1, Mishra 4-0-37-0, Ashwin 4-0-30-1.
HI slaps two-year bans on Sardar, Sandeep
New Delhi, August 27
The HI disciplinary committee, headed by Pargat Singh, met both the players and the entire coaching staff here today, to get their versions of the players’ action. In the end, it was decided that strong action was required to maintain discipline in the team. Hence the decision to ban both the players for two years from playing in any approved national and international tournaments.
HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said the players will be informed about the ban tomorrow and will be given a month’s time to appeal against the decision. So, the ban will take effect only after their appeal has been considered by a five-member committee, comprising of one representative each from the Sports Authority of India and the Indian Olympic Association, two from HI and a players’ representative.
Batra said both the players were given a chance to come out with the truth, but they stuck to their earlier stand that they had taken permission from chief coach Michael Nobbs before leaving the camp on the morning of August 23, for family reasons. It now transpires that they informed the coach about their decision to leave the camp at 11 p.m. the previous night after their tickets had been booked for their travel to China. Nobbs and other coaching staff, however, repudiated the players’ assertion in front of the committee, which called their bluff.
The committee, composed of Pargat Singh, Government observer Harbinder Singh, players’ representatives Mukesh Kumar and Rajnish Mishra, selection committee chairman Balbir Singh (jr.) and selectors B.P. Govinda and A.B. Subbiah, had a lengthy interaction with the two accused and the coaching staff, including Nobbs, coaches S.S. Grewal, Mohd Riaz, Clarence Lobo and Jugraj Singh, before concluding that the players were not telling the truth, and strong action was needed.
“Sandeep first said his son was not well and then added his wife and parents were not well too, for the past one month. If they were not well for a month and he wanted leave, he should have communicated this to the selectors before the team for the Asian Champions Trophy was selected,” Batra noted. He said Sardar also cited family problems as the reason for quitting the camp, though they both said they were available for the next camp.
This was the third time in three months that Sardar and Sandeep had left the national camp without taking proper permission. They had earlier quit the camp before the Azlan Shah tournament to play in the Belgian league and then to attend a press conference convened in Mumbai to announce the World Hockey Series.
“Indiscipline cannot be tolerated,” stressed Batra. “Both are very good players, but the notion that they are indispensable cannot be accepted.” Batra, flanked by former Olympian and national selector Balbir Singh (jr.) and Harbinder Singh, with HI director Anupam Gulati also present, said though Sardar and Sandeep admitted that they did not communicate with captain Rajpal Singh outside the field, they had no on-field problem with him. Batra said the coaches had also disclosed that during practice matches, Sardar and Sandeep passed the ball to each other without relaying it to other players, affecting the team game plan and morale. But after their exit, other players combined well to play as a team, without indulging in individualistic play.
Balbir Singh said the hockey teams have been dogged by indiscipline ever since two captains were fielded in the 1968 Mexico Olympics and it was time strong action was taken to stem the rot from becoming contagious. Batra said the World Hockey Series (to be held under the aegis of the rival Indian Hockey Federation), was an event unsanctioned by the FIH and the international body can take action against the players if they play in events not sanctioned either by the national or the international body.
He said the Indian team will leave for a tour of Australia in October and the national camp, in preparation for the Olympic qualifying tournament in February, will be held from December 20.
Melbourne, august 27
Watson, only Australian named among 17 nominees for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award, is not happy himself since he has squandered many a good starts.
"To get bigger scores is a burning ambition for me. It's something that I really want to be able to get right before the end of my career and being able to capitalise on the good days," said Watson as he prepares for Test series against Sri Lanka.
The burly opener has 15 Test half-centuries and two hundreds in 27 Tests with the highest being 126 against India in Mohali last October. "I've talked to different people about it because there's no doubt that I need to learn and get better at it. In the end, it really just comes down to my concentration and being able to block out anything that's going around. It's about getting back to what's the most important thing for all batsmen, which is watching the ball.
"I've talked to Ricky Ponting a bit but during the IPL I talked to Rahul Dravid. He was at Rajasthan with me. I had a few really good chats with him about what his processes that he goes through to be able to bat for a long period of time," Watson was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"I've got to be mentally tougher to make sure I do get through those periods where your concentration starts to lapse," he added. — PTI
Barcelona win Super Cup
Monaco, August 27
Lionel Messi had put Barcelona ahead in the 39th minute as the Spanish giants added the European Super Cup to their domestic Super Cup triumph of last week. Porto, the Europa League winners of last season, ended the match with nine men after Jorge Rolando and Fredy Guarin were red-carded in the closing stages.
Fabregas's goal was a strike to remember, as was the build-up. Messi chipped the ball over a line of defenders into the path of Fabregas who calmly controlled it on his chest before volleying coolly past Helton in the Porto goal. It was Fabregas's first goal since he scored for Arsenal against Huddersfield in the FA Cup back in January. — AFP
Spa-Francorchamps, Aug 27
Briton Hamilton, the 2008 champion, suffered damage to his McLaren car when he was smashed into deliberately by Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado's Williams at the end of Q2 and German Michael Schumacher, the seven-time champion, was eliminated in the opening seconds when he suffered a mechanical failure on his Mercedes.
For seven-time champion Schumacher this was no way to celebrate the 20th anniversary since he made his Formula One debut.
Hamilton, with the side-pod of his car held by heavy black tape, wound up second by four-tenths of a second but a full second clear of third-placed Australian Mark Webber in the second Red Bull. — AFP
Spa-Francorchamps, Aug 27
"My motivation to achieve the best results possible both for myself and the team is still very high. Over the past five years, we have worked hard and proved that we can design and build a competitive and championship-winning car, and I'm looking forward to putting the car and myself on the limit again each and every race weekend in 2012."
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said agreeing Webber's new deal had been "very straightforward". "When we sat down and started talking about 2012, it was immediately obvious that Mark and the team wanted to continue our successful relationship. Mark knows the team well, having been with us since 2007.” — AFP
Daegu, August 27
The world record holder and defending champion, the most marketable sportsman on the globe, cruised to victory in his heat in 10.10sec in front of an ecstatic crowd in Daegu, qualifying fastest for the next round.
Bolt, who won the 100-200m sprint double both at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 Berlin worlds, is an even hotter favourite for the 100m after the withdrawal of his three biggest rivals on the world stage.
Compatriot Powell, the fastest man this season over the short sprint, was forced to pull out of the blue riband event on Thursday after failing to recover from a niggling groin injury.
Also missing from the Korean showdown are injured American Tyson Gay, the second fastest man in the world this year, and Jamaican Steve Mullings, the third quickest, who misses the worlds after a failed drugs test.
"I feel great. I did well. People are going to say what they want but I'll focus on what I want. Nobody has broken my world record," said Bolt.
"I've worked during the season. I've worked it out so that's why it looked so easy — focus and exercise. I was really happy because I worked hard all season. I finally got it right."
Bolt himself, who is well down the list of the world's fastest times this year with 9.88sec, has played down expectations that he will be in world record-breaking form, saying he is battling back to his best.
After storming to the 100m and 200m sprint double in then-world record times at the 2008 Olympics, Bolt repeated the trick a year later, setting new marks of 9.58 and 19.19sec. He also won the 4x100m relay at both events.
But an injury lay-off looks to have ended hopes to go even faster at the worlds in South Korea. — AFP
New York, August 27
The former world number ones are favourites to win the last Grand Slam of the year, partly because they rediscovered their touch at the right time but mostly because it is a period when the women's game has never been more open.
Unlike the men's game, which has long been at the mercy of an elite group, there are few certainties about women's tennis right now and the world rankings offer few reliable guidelines to finding the winner.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki has still not won a grand slam and the Dane has played in just one final, at the US Open two years ago.
The world number two, Russia's Vera Zvonareva, is also chasing her first Grand Slam title after making the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open last year. — Reuters
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