Rain spoils India’s party
No joy in being an Indian selector
Harris bowls Aus to win
Sharapova out of Open
Dominant Bolt wins world 200m crown
Germany leads Euro giants
Chester-Le-Street, September 3
Chasing 275 for a win, England were 27 for two in 7.2 overs with Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell batting on 14 and two respectively before the rain interruption.
Earlier, opening batsman Parthiv Patel struck a fluent 95 to steer India to a competitive 274 for seven. The left-hander, who was a last minute inclusion in the team due to an injury to Sachin Tendulkar, missed out on what could have been his maiden ODI century by five runs after the visitors were put into bat in overcast conditions.
Patel, whose 95 today was his highest ODI score, shared two productive stands of 82 and 103 runs for the first and second wickets with ODI debutant and opener Ajinkya Rahane (40) and Virat Kohli (55).
Patel manipulated the field cleverly and showed a penchant for pulling anything short as England toiled to make any effect on a featherbed of a wicket at Riverside Park. But for a dropped chance at point off Tim Bresnan when on eight, Patel batted without nerves, facing 107 deliveries and hitting 12 fours, most of them on the onside.
The Indians began slowly with 22 runs from the first six overs but once they had their eyes in, the two openers unfurled some attractive strokes. Rahane cracked 40 off 44 balls with six fours. — PTI
No joy in being an Indian selector
Chandigarh, September 3
Most of the big experts of the game, who sit in the commentary box, want the BCCI to appoint a set of selectors who have the courage to take tough calls. But surely these experts can’t be serious.
Does the BCCI really want selectors who might want to take tough calls? Or, does the Board want men who are only too willing to toe their line? We all know the answer. Actually, these aren’t even questions. The more important part is, what do these experts mean by ‘someone who will take tough calls’?
The thing is these top commentators (and TV experts), who have been big cricketers in their own time, do not want to become selectors themselves.
Being a national selector is not such a glamorous job (as being on TV is). You are expected to travel to remote parts, watch low-profile domestic games and are also expected to know most of the players who ply their trade in the Ranji Trophy. Of course, it’s not a glamorous job. And, when the team performs badly, you are also unable to criticise on TV and in newspaper columns.
It is a fairly open secret that the BCCI wants the chief selector to be someone who has played the game at a high level and who is also willing to go along with them and pick the players they want. The rest of the four selectors (who assist the chief) are mostly there to make up the numbers.
For instance the likes of Raja Venkat and Surinder Bhave on the present selection panel will obviously not have that much of a say in team selection as Kris Srikkanth. It’s not their fault, it’s how the system works.
Top ex-players, who have huge TV contracts, do not want to become selectors. So, we are left with the second rung of former players, who do not have lucrative TV deals and are willing to settle for the next best thing.
Now (coming to the other part) what tough calls do these experts want the selectors to take?
For instance, can any chairman of selectors in India have the temerity to suggest to someone like Sachin Tendulkar that perhaps it’s about time he thought about retirement?
When these big former players cannot even remotely think about mentioning such a thing on TV, what chance does the chairman of selectors have?
Tough decisions in our part of the world mean dropping Raina and Yuvraj. Or, bringing in Ajinkya Rahane or Abhinav Mukund. But, in reality, these are not tough calls at all. The tough ones are about the future of Indian cricket.
If India has the best batting line-up in the world (replete with senior heavyweights) and still goes down 4-nil in the Test series, isn’t it a better idea to lose by a similar scoreline but with a set of young players?
But who wants to be the one to take such real tough calls? The BCCI, the chairman of selectors or the experts on TV?
The answer is: No One.
Galle, September 3
Sri Lanka, who resumed the fourth day at 120-5 chasing an improbable victory target of 379, were dismissed for 253 in their second innings midway through the afternoon session.
Mahela Jayawardene hit a classy 105 and Angelo Mathews made 93 to hold off Australia, but the rest of the batting caved in. It was Michael Clarke's first Test win as Australian captain, having lost to England by an innings in Sydney in January when he stood in for the injured Ricky Ponting.
The emphatic win in Galle helped Ponting set a new benchmark of becoming the first cricketer to have been part of 100 Test victories. The 36-year-old, the team's frontline batsman, was already Test cricket's most successful captain with 48 wins when he stepped down in April to make way for Clarke.
Jayawardene and Mathews, who came together on Friday afternoon with Sri Lanka tottering on 68-5, put on 142 for the sixth wicket in a courageous fightback. The pair batted through the entire morning session, defying the Australian bowlers on the dusty, crumbling wicket that made strokeplay difficult.
The classy Jayawardene, 34, Sri Lanka's highest run-getter in Test cricket, notched up his 29th century with the help of 15 boundaries and a six.
Mathews, 10 years Jayawardene's junior, showed why he is regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in the modern game even though he narrowly missed his maiden Test century.
The partnership made some amends for the home team's poor batting earlier in the match, when Sri Lanka were shot out for 105 in the first innings and reduced to 68-5 in the second.
The stand was broken in the seventh over with the second new ball when Jayawardene inside-edged a delivery from Harris on to his stumps after lunch.
Mitchell Johnson had Suraj Randiv fending a catch to second slip, while Mathews was ninth out, bowled by Shane Watson attempting a big hit.
Sri Lanka had added six runs to their overnight score of 120-5 when heavy rain interrupted play for an hour.
But the weather cleared soon and the umpires delayed the lunch break by 30 minutes to make up for lost time.
Clarke rotated his four frontline bowlers in a bid to break the stand as Jayawardene and Mathews dug in to keep the scoreboard moving.
Mathews reached his third half-century with two consecutive boundaries off Johnson, guiding the left-arm seamer through third man before pulling him to the mid-wicket fence.
A confident Jayawardene lofted off-spinner Nathan Lyon for six and then played an audacious scoop shot off the same bowler over the wicket-keeper's head, a stroke made famous by his captain Tillakaratne Dilshan.
The second match in Australia's first Test series in Sri Lanka since 2004 will be played in Pallekele from September 8 and the third at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo from Sept 16. AFP
Asian Champions Trophy
Ordos, September 3
In the first half, India led 2-0 with goals from Gurwinder Singh Chandi (5th) and Yuvraj Walmiki (21st).
In the second half, India scored through Rupinder Pal Singh (41st), Rajpal Singh (43rd) and V Raghunath (62nd).
In an earlier match, the opener of the tournament, South Korea beat Japan 3-2 in a hard-fought contest. It was a slow start for both the teams with China looking handicapped due to the absence of four of their best players missing the tournament with injuries.
They were defensive and the Indian forwards took advantage to score an early fifth-minute goal. It was a loose ball that Gurwinder Singh Chandi got hold of and slotted it past the bemused Chinese goalkeeper.
China surprisingly didn't go on the attack. They pulled back players and played with a lone forward upfront. India did have the space and advantage in numbers but were erratic and not building up to the striking circle.
Rajpal and Sarwanjit had a good chance in the 15th minute but couldn't connect inside the circle. China tried to build through the middle but Rupinder Pal Singh was terrific in defence.
In the 19th minute, China almost got through but Rupinder in a super-sliding tackle took out the ball and while falling on the turf also cleared it away to the midfield.
India had their fourth goal scoring opportunity in the 21st minute and came good though the Chinese goalkeeper Xu Rui thwarted two shots but the third rebound off his pads went to Yuvraj Walmiki who had the space in the striking circle to fire in India's second goal for a 2-0 lead. — PTI
New York, September 3
Pennetta, a 29-year-old Italian ranked 25th in the world, stunned an out-of-sorts Sharapova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.
Pennetta, a two-time US Open quarter-finalist, took full advantge of the third-seeded Russian's 60 unforced errors and 12 double-faults, holding her own after Sharapova's second-set fight-back led to a tense third set and claiming what she called one of the biggest wins of her career.
"It was a great win for me," said Pennetta, who will take on China's Peng Shuai for a quarter-final spot.
"I think in the third set I was a little bit nervous when I started to think too much about closing the match, so I'm really proud of my game today."
Leander Paes entered the mixed doubles quarterfinals while Rohan Bopanna was through to the men's doubles third round on a reasonably good day for the Indians in the US Open. Paes and his Russian partner Elena Vesnina, seeded seventh, defeated the Taipei-Polish pair of Yung-Jan Chan and Mariusz Fyrstenberg 6-2 6-7 (7) 1-0 (4).
Leander Paes entered the mixed doubles quarterfinals while Rohan Bopanna was through to the men's doubles third round on a reasonably good day for the Indians in the US Open.
Paes and his Russian partner Elena Vesnina, seeded seventh, defeated the Taipei-Polish pair of Yung-Jan Chan and Mariusz Fyrstenberg 6-2 6-7 (7) 1-0 (4). — Agencies
Daegu, September 3
Bolt was slowest out of the blocks but quickly opened up a commanding lead, casting a single look at silver medallist Walter Dix on his outside as he came out of the bend before he drove for home.
Teeth clenched and eyes on the clock, Bolt flew down the home stretch, desperate to prove his doubters wrong and underline his position as the greatest sprinter on the planet. He clocked a world lead of 19.40sec.
Only Bolt, twice, and American track legend Michael Johnson have run faster. Dix crossed the line in 19.70sec with European champion Christophe Lemaitre of France timing 19.80 as a fourth runner, Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, also went under 20sec.
"I feel great. I'm still the best," said Bolt, who wrapped himself in the Jamaican flag after his win, blowing kisses to the crowd and soaking up the praise.
"There wasn't really a point to prove," added the 25-year-old. "I came here and did what I had to do. There wasn't really big pressure at the start. I was a bit nervous but I always am. All I had to do was sit and wait at the start. — AFP
Paris, September 3
A 6-2 hammering of neighbours Austria yesterday means Joachim Loew's Germany side have now taken their tally in Group A to an unassailable 24 points after winning all of their eight games to date.
France edged closer to qualification but had to survive a scare in Tirana before running out 2-1 winners against Albania. — AFP
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