CSK beat Warriors by 13 runs
Australia retain Frank Worrell Trophy
Djokovic dreams big in Olympic year
Randhir Singh is ANOC deputy
Gaylestorm flattens Punjab hopes
New Delhi, April 20
Daredevils have climbed to the top of the table with eight points from five matches, with two home and as many away wins, but the failure of the top batting order to fire, particularly by captain Virender Sehwag, and the expensive spells sent down by pacers Ajit Agarkar and Umesh Yadav, are matters of serious concern for the hosts.
Pune Warriors, led by the shrewd Sourav Ganguly, would not give them much lee-way, as he would use his batting and bowling resources judiciously to give a tough run to Daredevils on their home ground. Even Irfan Pathan, deemed to be Daredevils' star all-rounder, is yet to deliver a solid performance, barring his 42-run knock against Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata, though they can take heart that a young player like Yogesh Nagar came good, when the situation demanded, to hold up the other end, when Pietersen was going hammer and tongs against the Chargers' bowlers.
On paper, Daredevils have a formidable team, but the chinks in their armour were exposed by Chargers, and even Pietersen was lucky to get a couple of reprieves, before he could cement his knock with some lusty hits, particularly against spinners Amit Mishra and Duminy, and guide Daredevils home to a comfortable five-wicket victory. Seamer Morne Morkel and spinner Shahbaz Nadeem have been consistent performers, holding out hope for Daredevils yet again, as they square up against Pune Warriors.
Warriors come to Delhi after suffering a 13-run defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings in Chennai, and having suffered three defeats in six matches, they are certainly not up in the clouds, though not down in the dumps, either. With Sourav Ganguly marshalling their forces, who is any day a better bet in the captaincy stake than Delhi Daredevils' Virender Sehwag, it is a question of winning a game or two before they get back on the road to success.
But the Warriors' bowling is rather weak, as the likes of Delhi man Ashish Nehra, Marlon Samuels and Mathews may not pose much trouble for the formidable Daredevils' batting line, provided of course that the hosts stay on course, and not throw away their wickets to careless shots, and put themselves in trouble. Samuels' bowling action coming under the scanner has also dealt a blow to Warriors, as they struggle to get their act together.
The Ferozeshah Kotla ground has been lucky for the hosts so far, and they hope to keep the winning record intact when they clash against Pune Warriors at 8 pm tomorrow.
But if a victory comes about in Daredevils' own backyard, there would be nothing like that for Warriors, though Daredevils pack a punch too many, and it would take quite an effort to tame them on their home turf. For, Delhi Daredevils have depth in both batting and bowling, provided they play to their strengths, instead of cracking up easily.
An interesting contest is on the cards tomorrow night, as Daredevils cannot afford to be complacent, if they want to hold onto their dominant status, while it's essential for Warriors to arrest the losing trend to be back on track.
Chennai, April 20
Setting a target of 165, the Super Kings struck early and removed Pune openers, Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa early. They further cemented their grip on the game as despite putting up some vigil, Ganguly and Manish Pandey also departed without causing much of a bother to the CSK bowlers. Marlon Samuels kept chipping away some runs from the required target, but when he was dismissed by Ashwin, Pune’s hopes also went flat, despite some late fightback by Steve Smith and Angelo Matthews.
Earlier, Subramaniam Badrinath and Faf du Plessis struck a half century each as Chennai Super Kings posted a challenging 164 for five. Badrinath (57) and du Plessis (58) shared IPL five's highest opening stand of 116 runs from 15.3 overs after Chennai were put into bat at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here.
Chennai seemed to have lost the advantage of a strong start before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 not out) gave the home fans something to cheer with some lusty hits towards the end.
But for the last over which yielded 18 runs, the Chennai score would have been lower as they took just 49 runs from the last five overs with all the wickets at their hands at that time.
For Pune, Marlon Samuels took three for 39 from his four overs while Ashish Nehra claiming two wickets for 23. The Chennai opening duo scored almost at the same pace, taking 48 balls each in their knocks with du Plessis hitting four fours and two sixes while Badrinath, who was promoted up the order in the absence of Murali Vijay, smashed eight fours in his innings.
After a slow start, Chennai picked up the tempo with Badrinath hitting two fours off Samuels in the fourth over and his fellow opener du Plessis joining in with a six and a four of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Two more fours by Badrinath off Angelo Mathews brought Chennai's fifty in the eighth over and the home side were heading for a big score. Most of Pune bowlers were going for runs except for Nehra whose first spell of two overs yielded just six runs as Chennai raced to 68 for no loss at the halfway stage. — Agencies
Chennai Super Kings
Plessis c Mathews b Samuels 58
Badri c Mathews b Samuels 57
Raina c Kartik b Nehra 0
Dhoni not out 28
Dwayne c Mathews b Nehra 12
Jadeja c Rahul b Samuels 7
Extras: (lb-1, nb-1) 2
Total: (5 wkts, 20 ovrs) 164
Fall of wickets: 1/116 2/116 3/119 4/142 5/164.
Bowling: Kartik 4-0-24-0, Nehra 4-0-23-2, Bhuvneshwar 3-0-37-0, Samuels 4-0-39-3, Rahul 4-0-28-0, Mathews 1-0-12-0.
Uthappa c Ashwin b K’skara 8
Ryder c Bravo b K’skara 9
Ganguly c K’skara b Jakati 24
Pandey c Badri b Bravo 13
Samuels c K’skara b Ashwin 26
Smith c Plessis b Bollinger 23
Mathews b Bravo 27
Bhuvneshwar not out 2
Kartik not out 4
Extras (b 1, lb 6, w 7, nb 1) 15
Total (7 wkts; 20 ovrs) 151
Fall of wickets 1-13, 2-26, 3-53, 4-64, 5-97, 6-141, 7-144.
Bowling: Bollinger 3-0-30-1, Kulasekara 2-0-10-2, Ashwin 4-0-35-1, Dwayne 4-0-28-2, Jakati 3-0-20-1, Jadeja 4-0-21-0.
Chennai, April 20
With six points from as many games against Rajasthan's eight from six, the Super Kings would be pleased as punch at the manner in which they cantered to win against the Pune Warriors while showcasing their all-round strength.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni spoke about the need to sustain the winning momentum if the Super Kings hope to remain on course for a berth in the play-offs, but Rahul Dravid's Rajasthan Royals may not be as easy picks as the Warriors were.
Since taking charge from the retired Shane Warne, Dravid, who recently quit international and first-class cricket, has proven to be an able leader as the Royals promise to go all the way in the tournament if their early form is anything to go by.
As for Super Kings, it has been a typical run thus far with a series of defeats marking their early outings before they got their campaign back on track with a few solid wins that underlined the team's collective potential.
The South African duo of opener Francois du Plessis and seamer Albie Morkel have been the key figures in the Super Kings ranks with Dhoni himself living up to his reputation of a clinical finisher with the bat.
On Thursday, the Super Kings were without Morkel who was away in South Africa attending a friend's funeral, but the team covered up nicely for the all-rounder's absence. However, Dhoni would be happier with a bit more discipline in the bowling backed by some sharp fielding.
As for Royals, Dravid has been the critical figure around whom the team has performed admirably so far. As well as Dravid batted at the top of the order, it has been Ajinkya Rahane who has been a revelation this season with a series of high scores, including a century while totalling 304 runs from six games.
Also lending steel to the line-up are middle-order batsman Owais Shah and all-rounder Brad Hodge, both of whom have displayed good form while providing the side with so many more options. On paper, the game appears to be a contest between equals, but the Super Kings, given their home record, should be fancying their chances. — IANS
Port-of-Spain, April 20
Any hopes of a decisive result on the fifth day were ruined by a storm that forced an early end to proceedings at Queen's Park Oval.
The Australians, who won last week's first Test in Barbados in a final day thriller, set West Indies a target of 215 runs from 61 overs to win after declaring their second innings closed at 160 for eight after lunch.
West Indies lost both openers cheaply but recovered to reach 53-2 when play was halted by bad light, then rain.
"I think if there was no rain you would have seen a result which was great for the game. I think either the West Indies or Australia would have won," Australia captain Michael Clarke said.
All five days of the match were interrupted by foul weather and the signs were ominous on Thursday morning when the start was delayed by 45 minutes because of damp patches in the outfield from Wednesday's downpour.
But both teams tried to salvage something from the last day although the weather forecast was not good. "We were trying to get the runs. The guys were positive in the dressing room," West Indies captain Darren Sammy said.
"The Australians made a cautious start, adding just 50 runs from the first 25 overs before lunch after losing the wickets of Ricky Ponting for 41 and Clarke for 15.
They raised the tempo after the resumption with Mike Hussey belting the first delivery for six and for a brief period, the runs started to flow and the wickets tumbled.
"Unfortunately the rain's cost both teams, I think it would have been a really good finish to a tough test match." Kemar Roach, named man of the match, dismissed Hussey and Ben Hilfenhaus in the same over to finish with 5-41 and complete his first 10-wicket haul at Test level. The 23-year-old became the first West Indian in seven years to take 10 wickets in a test and the first since Curtly Ambrose in 1993 to do so against Australia.
Hilfenhaus briefly gave the Australians a glimmer of hope when he dismissed both West Indian openers, in his first two overs, before Sammy (30 not out) and Darren Bravo (8 not out) steadied the ship and increased the run-rate with some powerful hitting. — Reuters
The Frank Worrell Trophy is awarded for the winner of the West Indies-Australia Test series. The trophy is named after the former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell and was first awarded at the end of the 1960-61 series. The trophy was to be presented to the winning captain of each Test series between Australia and the West Indies. SCOREBOARD Australia (1st innings) 311 West Indies (1st innings) 257 Australia (2nd innings) 160/8 dec West Indies (2nd innings) Barath c Clarke b Hilfenhaus 5 Powell lbw b Hilfenhaus 4 Sammy batting 30 Bravo batting 8 Extras (b-6) 6 Total (2 wkts, 11 overs) 53 Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-13. Bowling: Beer 4-1-10-0, Hilfenhaus 4-0-22-2, Watson 3-1-15-0.
The Frank Worrell Trophy is awarded for the winner of the West Indies-Australia Test series. The trophy is named after the former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell and was first awarded at the end of the 1960-61 series. The trophy was to be presented to the winning captain of each Test series between Australia and the West Indies.
Australia (1st innings) 311
West Indies (1st innings) 257
Australia (2nd innings) 160/8 dec
West Indies (2nd innings)
Barath c Clarke b Hilfenhaus 5
Powell lbw b Hilfenhaus 4
Sammy batting 30
Bravo batting 8
Extras (b-6) 6
Total (2 wkts, 11 overs) 53
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-13.
Bowling: Beer 4-1-10-0, Hilfenhaus 4-0-22-2, Watson 3-1-15-0.
Belgrade, April 20
The Serbian said he has set his sights on the French Open, the only Grand Slam title he lacks, and the Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games, Xinhua reported.
Asked to choose between the two, Djokovic responded, "Why not both? Everything is possible."
The year 2011 saw a surging Djokovic winning the Australian open, Wimbledon and US Open Grand Slams, and hence grabbing the World No. 1 crown from Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Looking forward to the London Olympics, Djokovic said due to the short schedule of tennis event in Beijing, he couldn't watch other sports. But he wishes to see athletics and swimming events this time around at London.
Czech Tomas Berdych overpowered world number four Andy Murray in their Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final on Friday to set up a clash with top seed Novak Djokovic in the season's first big claycourt event. Berdych, the sixth seed, made the Briton dizzy as he relied on his powerful forehand to prevail 6-7 6-2 6-3 in two hours and 48 minutes. — Agencies
Randhir Singh is ANOC deputy
New Delhi, April 20
Randhir Singh, who is also the secretary-general of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), has been nominated as the vice-president of the ANOC from the Asian continent. Randhir Singh's appointment was made at the 18th General Assembly of the ANOC held in Moscow last week in which Shiekh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al- Sabah was elected president.
IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra today hailed the appointment of Randhir Singh. He said: "It is yet another recognition of India's growing sporting prowess in the comity of nations".
"In October last year Randhir Singh was re-elected unanimously as the OCA secretary-general for a record sixth term, and now he has been appointed ANOC's vice president goes to shows that not only the OCA but also the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to make full use of his experience as a sports administrator", Prof Malhotra added.
Gaylestorm flattens Punjab hopes
Mohali, April 20
The two, who are known for their batting prowess, and contrasting styles all over the world, stitched together a massive partnership, both in terms of runs scored as well as importance to the outcome of the game. While Gayle scored a sensational 87, before being caught brilliantly by David Hussey to complete Awana's four-wicket haul, de Villiers contributed with an equally impressive52 before being dismissed by Piyush Chawla.
But the RCB chase did not start on the best note as Parwinder Awana got rid of Mayank Aggarwal off the very second ball of his over. And then with the last ball of the over he got rid of Virat Kohli as well. But Gayle had dropped anchor at the other end and tried building a platform for the chase at hand along with Saurabh Tiwary. But Awana struck again and removed Tiwary to bring out de Villiers.
From there on, it was all about the experience of the two taking over as they meticulously kept chipping away from the target and Andrew McDonald finished it off with a four from the 20th over's third bowled, that was bowled by Azhar Mahmood.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab were boosted immensely by the inclusion of all-rounder Azhar Mahmood in their ranks as they reached 163 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs. Playing without their captain and usual opening hand Adam Gilchrist, Kings started the proceedings with Nitin Saini and Paul Valthaty. While Valthaty was unusually slow off the blocks, Saini played some exciting strokes, before he played on a delivery from Zaheer. Valthaty's painfully dull innings came to an end as he was removed by Zaheer too.
Shaun Marsh was then joined by stand-in skipper David Hussey and the two started to build up a partnership with caution. Marsh once again batted well for his 26, which included three fours and a six, before he was cleaned up by Andrew McDonald. That brought David Miller out in the middle, and also brought the best out of David Hussey.
Kings XI Punjab