Deccan knock Rajasthan out of play-offs
KKR aim to end league campaign with win
Kings look for a miracle against Delhi
Mary Kom qualifies for Olympics
At London, all that glitters won’t be gold
Sixth draw for Anand
asian nations chess
Aditya Mehta in final of snooker event
Bhupathi-Bopanna in quarters
Hyderabad, May 18
Earlier, disciplined bowling on a helpful track helped Deccan Chargers restrict Rajasthan Royals to a modest 126 for eight.
The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium had something for both the spinners and the pacers and the hosts made full use of the opportunity to snap their six-match losing streak.
Rajasthan kept losing wickets at regular intervals and that dented their chances of putting up a good total in a game which they need to win to remain in play-offs contention.
Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid top-scored for them with his 36-ball 39 with the help of five boundaries while Owais Shah made a useful 28. Ashok Menaria contributed 20.
Leg-break bowler Amit Mishra (2/20) got vicious turn from the pitch and he along with pacers Dale Steyn (2/16) and Veer Pratap Singh (2/31) took two wickets each.
Rajasthan never got the desired going in the crunch game with their prolific scorer Ajinkya Rahane (6) failing to make a significant contribution.
After being dropped by Parthiv Patel on the first ball he faced from JP Duminy, he was dismissed by Steyn, who bowled a very hostile two-over spell.
Manpreet Gony could have got two wickets in two balls but the butter-fingered fielders denied him those scalps. First, Shikhar Dhawan dropped Dravid and then a chance off Watson (13) was grassed on the next ball. Dravid was on individual score of eight then in the fifth over.
Despite poor fielding, Rajasthan batsmen struggled to score as they managed just 31 off the first five overs. In came spinner Amit Mishra and he cleaned up Watson with his first delivery.
The leg-spinner returned and this time he castled Stuart Binny (7) to leave the visitors reeling at 61 for three at half-way mark.
There was a big responsibility on the shoulders of Dravid and Shah to steer the team to a competitive total but the skipper started his walk back to the dug-out when he slashed one hard off Gony only to find Chris Lynn at the rope.
Runs came in through singles and doubles after that and boundaries were far and few. — PTI
Rahul Dravid c Lynn b Gony 39
A Rahane c Dhawan b Steyn 6
Shane Watson b Mishra 13
Stuart Binny b Mishra 7
Owais Shah run out 28
A Menaria c Dhawan b Pratap 20
Johan Botha c & b Steyn 3
Sreevats Goswami b Pratap 3
Ajit Chandila not out 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-2, w-3, nb-1) 7
Total: (8 wkts; 20 overs) 126
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-41, 3-54, 4-73, 5-108, 6-118, 7-126, 8-126
Bowling: Duminy 2-0-13-0, Steyn 4-0-16-2, Gony 4-0-26-1, Pratap Singh 4-0-31-2, Mishra 4-0 -20-2, Ashish Reddy 2-0-17-0.
A Reddy c Shah b Trivedi 42
S Dhawan c Chandila b Botha 26
JP Duminy c Shah b Binny 24
CL White c & b Chandila 1
CA Lynn c Watson b Trivedi 6
PA Patel not out 10
A Ashish Reddy not out 10
Extras: (lb-1, w-8) 9
Total: (5 wkts; 18.4 overs) 128
Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-83, 3-88, 4-102, 5-118
Bowling: A Chandila 4-0-20-1, SR Watson 2-0-14-0, SW Tait 3.4-0-35-0, J Botha 4-0-30-1, SK Trivedi 4-0-20-2, STR Binny 1-0-8-1
Man of the Match: Dale Steyn
Pune, May 18
Gautam Gambhir’s KKR are currently second on the table with 19 points from 15 matches and have been among the most consistent performers in the IPL, having won nine of their 15 league games so far.
The side has a power-packed batting line-up boasting of an in-form Gambhir, the unpredictably explosive Brendon McCullum, the ever-reliable Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary in the top half.
Their bowling attack too looks intimidating with a fine mix of pace and spin. In their last match against Mumbai Indians, mystery spinner Sunil Narine single-handedly won them the game with an outstanding effort of 4/15 in 3.1 overs.
Pace spearhead Brett Lee missed the previous game but is expected to be back even though Laxmipathy Balaji didn't do badly, conceding just 11 runs in his four overs that fetched him a couple of wickets as well.
Pune, on the other hand, are a team in disarray. The second-from-bottom side was handed a sound thrashing by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous match.
The team, which is being led by Steve Smith after an out-of-form Sourav Ganguly was 'rested', has been struggling to click as a unit.
The batting line-up is brittle and even Australian captain Michael Clarke's entry has failed to lift the spirits.
Barring Angelo Matthews, Pune also don't have a bowler worth talking about with most of them leaking runs and failing to grab any wickets.
KKR are expected to sail through tomorrow but Pune would aim to prove the naysayers wrong. — PTI
Kings look for a miracle against Delhi
Dharamsala, May 18
But as we all know, life is not simple, and the Kings are still looking to sneak into the play-offs.
So when they take on the powerhouse team of this year — Delhi Daredevils — at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala tomorrow, they will be keen to keep at least their end of the deal simple. Win and stay in with a chance.
But one look at the Delhi batting and you realise that the task at hand will be as tricky as some of the narrow lanes in this otherwise sleepy area.
Sehwag, Warner, Jayawardene are some of the international stars whose prowess will be on display out here, but as the last few games have shown, there are domestic players as well who can turn game-changers.
Delhi play brisk and aggressive cricket, are the team to beat in this edition. And for the Kings, they are the team they must beat.
Even the Daredevils bowling has enough firepower to cause Kings some serious concern as Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are more than ample on a seaming wicket here.
The Kings though will take heart with the return of inspirational skipper Adam Gilchrist. He outplayed Chennai and was crucial to the entire team lifting their game a couple of notches.
The top order will need to fire through and Mandeep will be crucial to playing a steady innings. He looked a tad careless against the Super Kings but there is no dearth of talent in the young man and he needs to put that on show tomorrow.
Shaun Marsh has another chance of proving his worth, as do the likes of David Hussey and Nitin Saini. Azhar Mahmood has been the man for them and he will play an extremely pivotal role with both the bat and ball.
The bowling will be headed by Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana. The two have been influential in getting early wickets and that will be the key to restricting this Daredevils lineup as well.
All in all, the stage is set for a very close fight at this picturesque stadium. The slightly overcast conditions will add some more spice to the contest and it will be won by the team that can digest it all better.
Mary Kom qualifies for Olympics
Patiala, May 18
Though Mary Kom managed to get an Olympic berth as a result of her English opponent Nicola Adams reaching the final after defeating her Russian opponent Elena Savelyena (11-6), the news has certainly brought cheer to the Indian camp.
The other Asian player who has made it to the Olympics in her weight category is Cancan Ren from China who has entered the final.
With this qualification, Mary Kom’s name will be etched in history as she is the first Indian woman pugilist who will participate in the sport during its debut in London Olympics.
Ever since the beginning of World Women Boxing Championship in 2001, this is the first time that Mary is returning without a medal. She lost in the quarterfinal this time.
“I am elated. I was just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for Nicola Adam’s victory because nothing was in my hands. Now that I have made it to the Olympics, I will give everything that I have in me to make a podium finish because this is a dream I have cherished throughout my life,” she said.
Meanwhile, lady luck today failed Asian Champion Sarita Devi as Natasha Jonas from England lost to Sofya Ochigava from Russia by eight points (10-18) in the semifinal bout of the 60kg weight category.
Natasha’s exit has finally closed the door for Sarita Devi’s entry into the London Olympics as her hopes of getting an Olympic berth were riding on a gold medal for the English girl.
There were only two berths for Asian players in her weight category. One was bagged by Chorieva Mavzuna from Tajikistan.
The other will be decided after the final between Ireland and Russia. If Russia wins gold, then Cheng Don from China will get the other berth. In case, the gold is pocketed by Ireland, then Saida Khassenova from Kazakistan will make the Olympic cut.
Kavita wins bronze
Heavyweight boxer (+81kg weight category) Kavita Chahal had to be content with a bronze after she lost to Yuldus Mamatkulova from Kazakhstan 15-9. With this, she has become the sole Indian boxer to win a medal during the event. She was not in her rhythm and started trailing from the very first round. Though she continued her struggle till the end, her opponent did not give her any chance to bounce back.
Heavyweight boxer (+81kg weight category) Kavita Chahal had to be content with a bronze after she lost to Yuldus Mamatkulova from Kazakhstan 15-9.
With this, she has become the sole Indian boxer to win a medal during the event.
She was not in her rhythm and started trailing from the very first round.
Though she continued her struggle till the end, her opponent did not give her any chance to bounce back.
At London, all that glitters won’t be gold
Gurdaspur/Patiala, May 18
The Stockholm Olympics in 1912 were the last Games where the gold medals awarded were made entirely of gold.
However, exactly 100 years down the line, the gold content has dwindled to a mere 1.5 per cent of the total weight.
The silver content in a gold medal will be 92.5 per cent while copper will make up the rest.
An IOA official said that the worth of silver in a gold medal will be more than that of the yellow metal in it.
Despite the fact that the medal will contain a miniscule amount of gold, it will be the heaviest and biggest in comparison to all previous editions of the Games.
“The medal will weigh 400 gm and will be 17 times heavier than the gold medals given at the 1912 Olympics. Medals are, of course, worth far more than their weight in gold.
“In March, Wladimir Klitschko, a Ukrainian world heavyweight boxing champion, raised $1 million for charity by auctioning his 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold medal,” the official said.
To 1.5% in 100 yrs
Moscow, May 18
Anand did well to get an easy draw as black and the impasse continued. The scoreline at the halfway stage now reads 3-3.
Gelfand could not break the ice for the third time in a row as white and Anand's preparation in the Semi Slav defense came handy yet again as another insipid draw surfaced soon after the players arrived at the endgame.
Anand went for one of the old lines this time and showcased another pieces of excellent preparation by sacrificing a pawn on the 14th move which turned out to be a novelty as well.
Gelfand had little choice other than to grab the pawn but this allowed Anand's pieces a free hand as white's lost a couple of moves.
Development of pieces compensated for the pawn a great deal. Gelfand sank in to a deep think soon after and came up with a return sacrifice that ensured him a minimal advantage that was hardly enough to look for more.
There were just a few important details to note for Anand and he found all the right moves. First a pair of rooks changed hands, then the queens were traded and finally Gelfand's prized Bishop, which was controlling and playing a defending task as well, went off the board almost in a hurry.
"Anand is excellent in neutralizing small advantages for his opponent," said former world champion Garry Kasparov in the commentary room while the game was still in progress.
The reigning champion did precisely that with exchanges at regular intervals that ensured a just drawn rook and pawns endgame. The game was drawn in just 29 moves and Anand still had 30 minutes more than his Israeli counterpart. — PTI
asian nations chess
Zhaozhuang (China), May 18
On a day when Krishnan Sasikiran settled for an early draw and P Harikrishna could make no headway, Negi, who is fresh from his victory in the Asian continental, showed some fine technique to beat Yi Ren Daniel Chan to ensure that India win.
Later, from a seemingly drawn position, G N Gopal swindled Peng Kong Chan to make the victory margin look healthier.
China-1 scored a comprehensive 3.5-0.5 victory over Kazakhstan to share the lead with India on four match points after two rounds.
With seven rounds still to come in the nine-round Swiss, the Indians will hope for a good show when they take on China in the third round.
Meanwhile, the Indian eves also recovered to post a minimal 2.5-1.5 victory over Kazakhstan.
Surprisingly, the think-tank decided to rest in form Mary Ann Gomes, who was the lone winner on a dismal opening day for the Indians when all the other three had lost.
The trio of D Harika, Eesha Karavade and Tania Sachdev mustered just 1.5 points on the top three boards. However, Padmini Rout won on the fourth board against Dinara Saduakassova to save the blushes.
The China-1 team beat Indonesia 3.5-0.5 to remain the table toppers along with Iran that continued to impress with a 2.5-1.5 victory against Mongolia.
With two points in their kitty out of a possible four, the Indian eves stand joint third along with Kazakhstan, China-2&3 and Vietnam.
Seven rounds remain here too but the women's champion is being played on a round robin basis among ten teams.
Parimarjan Negi was most impressive with his white pieces. Coming in the team in place of Abhijeet Gupta who was rested, Negi opened with his pet King pawn and got a small advantage in the middle game after a not-so-regular Ruy Lopez by his opponent.
Going for opposite side castling Negi went for an attack through the center and cashed in when Chan could not find the right path to safety. The game lasted 37 moves.
Gopal got lucky in mutual time scramble when his opponent blundered a pawn.
The remaining technicalities were handled with precision.
In other games for the Indians, P Harikrishna conceded a draw to Wei Ming Kevin Goh, while Krishnan Sasikiran signed peace with Zhang Zhong.
Indian results (men): Krishnan Sasikiran drew with Zhang Zhong; Wei Ming Kevin Goh drew with P Harikrishna; Parimarjan Negi beat Yi Ren Daniel Chan; Peng Kong Chan lost to G N Gopal.
Indian results (women): D Harika drew with Flyura Khasanova; Gulmira Dauletova beat Eesha Karavade; Tania Sachdev beat Madina Davletbayeva; Dinara Saduakassova lost to Padmini Rout. — PTI
Vadodara, May 18
Aditya (IOC) of Mumbai faced initial hurdles as his opponent Ashok Shandilya (Railways) from Mumbai broke by pocketing first frame on black-ball game. But he played some vital shots for grabbing next two games.
In the fourth game again Shandilya shown his potting skills but that was the only frame he could win. After that Aditya did not allow any him recovery time and went on to win the next two frames for a 4-2 victory.
In the final Aditya will take on Alok Kumar (ONGC) of Punjab who knocked out current India No. 2, Kamal Chawla 4-1.
Alok made his intentions clear from the first frame as he made an initial break of 52 points to win it.
Though Kamal bounced back in the next frame but Alok once again managed his lead by winning the next.
It was appeared that Kamal will level again but black ball win in fourth frame was enough to place Alok into comfort zone. Thereafter he won the next frame to register his name for finale.— PTI
Rome, May 18
The Indians took just 37 minutes to get the better of their opponents.
Bhupathi and Bopanna saved all five breakpoints, while they managed to convert four out of five they earned.
They will next take on the top seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, who entered the quarterfinals after beating Italian combo of Gianluca Naso and Filippo Volandri, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7. — PTI