Mumbai crash out
Sehwag blames batsmen for defeat
Ganguly picks KKR as favourites to win IPL
Gupta secures a draw for India
Ankle injury dents Lee’s London bid
Journey of sports icons to come alive on celluloid
Mumbai crash out
Bangalore, May 23
It was a sweet revenge for CSK for their two defeats to MI in the league phase, and they had barely made it to the eliminator here, after Deccan Chargers knocked out Royal Challengers Bangalore.
CSK will meet Delhi Daredevils in the second qualifier in their home ground in Chennai on May 25. Daredevils earned a second lifeline after they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in the first qualifier in Pune yesterday.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pulled themselves back from an improbable situation to post a challenging 187 for 5 in 20 overs, thanks to two life-saving partnerships. Dhoni (51, 20b, 6x4, 2x6) and Dwayne Bravo (33, 14b, 3x4,2x6) put on an unbroken 73-run sixth-wicket partnership, after S. Badrinath and Michael Hussey raised a 94-run third-wicket stand, to take CSK out of deep waters. Dhoni later played his part behind the wickets as well, as he featured in the run out of Sachin Tendulkar, and in the catches of Dinesh Kaarthick, off Albie Morkel's very first ball in the ninth over, and Rohit Sharma, in Morkel's second over.
Chennai had set a steep asking rate of 9.4 runs for Mumbai to make 198 for victory, but it proved to be beyond their reach, despite Dwayne Smith giving them a rollicking start. Sachin Tendulkar, though, had a tough time, getting stuck on six runs for a while, before being run out for 11. Mumbai lost the first wicket for 47 in 4.6 overs, and after the addition of eight more runs, Smith was also back in the dug-out after making 38 (5x4,2x6). Dinesh Kaarthick and Rohit Sharma followed suit, and thereafter, it was a downhill slide for Mumbai Indians, as finally, the law of averages caught up with them, vis-à-vis CSK.
CSK's fate, though, would have been different, but for Dhoni and Bravo's late charge like men possessed. CSK would not have been able to put on such a high score, as the situation became grim when Badrinath and Hussey departed within the space of 11 runs. Dhoni, who opened his account with a four off Kieron Pollard, to raise CSK's 100, took Harbhajan Singh to the cleaners as the Mumbai captain was hit for 26 runs when he came for his second spell, after his first two overs cost only a single run. Dhoni's trade-mark "helicopter" shot six off Harbhajan rose and rose before crashing into the straight stands, to make it perhaps the best six of the match. And his three consecutive fours off Dhawal Kulkarni, after the bowler had claimed his third victim in Ravindra Jadeja, opened up the gates for a fast run flow.
Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to field, and surprisingly, skipper Harbhajan Singh opened the bowling with his right-arm spin, and had a brilliant over, bowling five dot balls, making the life of Murali Vijay tough. But it was Dhawal Kulkarni, with his gentle medium pace, who created a sensation when he took two wickets off his first two balls for one run, as Chennai Super Kings fell for 2 for 1. Murali Vijay edged into the hands of Rohit Sharma at slip while Suresh Raina got no clue as the ball sneaked past him to uproot the bails. Kulkarni ended the over with figures of 1-0-0-3-2. Harbhajan had another dream over-a maiden-and after three overs, CSK could get only four runs for two wickets. But CSK loosened up in the fourth over, when Badrinath hit Kulkarni for two consecutive fours and a single, and off the fourth ball, Michale Hussey ran a cheeky single to open his account, after facing nine balls.
Hussey got going when he slammed two boundaries off R.P.Singh. After hoisting the 50 of the innings, Badrinath cracked Pollard for three sixes in the 10th over, to keep the score-card ticking faster than before, and later this scoring momentum was maintained by Dhoni and Bravo to take CSK to a much-deserving victory route.
Pune, May 23
Chasing 163 for a win, Daredevils could manage just 144 for eight with all the big guns failing to contribute much.
"We did not bat well, 160 was chase-able. The required batting effort was just not there. We lost two early wickets and failed to make it in the last few overs," Sehwag after the match.
He defended team selection when asked if presence of spinner Shahbaz Nadeem could have made some difference.
"Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav have bowled brilliantly for me. I cannot sit them out. It was a tough choice but we thought that the grass might help the pace bowlers," he said.
He said his side has the wherewithal to qualify for the final by winning the Qualifier two. "We have another chance to get there, we cannot relax, need to go all out. We can make it to the final," said Sehwag.
Winning skipper Gautam Gambhir said they were confident of defending the total. "We always felt that it was a 140-145 wicket, but when we got 160, we thought it was an above par score," he said.
Asked if Jaques Kallis' bowling along with his batting has proved crucial, Gambhir said each and every bowler has contributed in their good run so far.
"Not only about Kallis, all of them have bowled have bowled very well, lot of credit to all the bowlers including Balaji, Abdulla, Narine and others," Gambhir said.
Paceman Laxmipati Balai had looked in some discomfort during the match but Gambhir said he will recover in time before Sunday's final. "We have four days for Balaji to recover from the injury," he said.
Yusuf Pathan, who smashed a brilliant 21-ball 40 to help his side reach a challenging total, said he was pleased to have lived up to the expectations of the team.
Yusuf had a poor run of form before this match and had coped a lot of criticism. "There are always big hopes from me. I had not performed well in the previous games, but I know that I can get going in a big match," he said after receiving man-of-the-match award. Yusuf said having enough overs to settle down on the pitch helped him get his touch back.
"I had a lot of time to get in and adjust myself to the track today. Now We are waiting for the big game. We will relax and await for it eagerly," he said. KKR bowling consultant Wasim Akram said Gambhir's leadership has made a huge impact on team's fortunes this season.
"I am happy to be associated with KKR. It's a great bunch of boys, love to stick around with each other. Long story what's changed from the first four years, but to cut it short, its all because of a very good captain and an enthusiastic owner," the Pakistani bowling legend said.
Akram was happy that the team strategy worked in the match. "We read the wicket well, we played four spinners, they played only one, had they got in another spinner or two, it could have gotten lot closer," he said. — PTI
Ganguly picks KKR as favourites to win IPL
Kolkata, May 23 A consistent Knight Riders put up yet another clinical show yesterday by notching an 18-run win over Delhi Daredevils to storm into the final of IPL for the first time in five years. "My sixth sense says that KKR will win IPL this time. In sport there are several winning moments, I see them with KKR. Luck, it seems, is also with the KKR," Ganguly said referring to the toss won by Gambhir on last two occasions in Pune. "KKR, however, would look to avoid facing Chennai in the final. Otherwise, they look to be the best team to win the IPL this time," he said. — PTI
Kolkata, May 23
A consistent Knight Riders put up yet another clinical show yesterday by notching an 18-run win over Delhi Daredevils to storm into the final of IPL for the first time in five years.
"My sixth sense says that KKR will win IPL this time. In sport there are several winning moments, I see them with KKR.
Luck, it seems, is also with the KKR," Ganguly said referring to the toss won by Gambhir on last two occasions in Pune. "KKR, however, would look to avoid facing Chennai in the final. Otherwise, they look to be the best team to win the IPL this time," he said. — PTI
New Delhi, May 23
"They are the boss. Let them do whatever they want to do. What is the point about talking on this matter?" Kapil said.
The 1983-World Cup winning captain was not invited by the BCCI for the functions at the four IPL venues where it is set to honour former cricketers with cheques for their services to the Indian cricket. Kapil played 131 Tests and 225 One-day internationals for India and is rated among one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game. He is entitled to get 1.5 crore from the BCCI as per the scheme.
"I am a contented person and these things will not bother me. I enjoyed playing for India and that is it. I do not have to do anything more. I do not feel comfortable in talking negative. I am a very positive person and I do not have to talk about negatives."
It is believed that Kapil was ignored by the BCCI as he had not accepted the amnesty offered by the board following his involvement in the Indian Cricket League, the now-defunct Twenty20 league. While a senior BCCI official insisted that Kapil's name figures in the list of beneficiaries, some other officials said he was ignored.
"I wish them (BCCI) all the best. They will not come to me (as) they are the Board. Let them do whatever they want to do. What is the problem in that? Try to understand that if they want to do something let them do."
Kapil said he was happy that the BCCI has made an effort to look after his former colleagues. "I am a positive man... I take my life positively. I played my cricket in positive manner throughout my career. I am only happy that so many colleagues of mine are being looked after by Board. That is it." — PTI
Zaozhuang (China) May 23
Top rated Krishnan Sasikiran struggled for form and lost to Zhao Jianchao on the top board and the situation was looking grim for the Indians but Gupta drew a rabbit out of hat and swindled Yiping out of the blue.
Expectedly, the second and third board games were drawn by P Harikrishna and Parimarjan Negi, giving the team a 2-2 draw from what looked like a certain defeat.
China-1, meanwhile, shot to the sole lead on 11 match points, defeating Iran by a 3-1 margin. It was a clinical approach by the Chinese Grandmasters as they drew on board one and three where they played black and won the other games with white to register an easy victory in the end.
With China in front, the Indian men are now in sole second spot a full point behind while China-2 is not too far away on eight points along with Kazakhstan in this nine round event.
With just three rounds remaining, the Indians will know have to tread carefully as a bad result can put them out of medal contention.
In the women's championship the Indian eves remained on course for a podium finish defeating Iran by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin. It turned out to be a good outing for top Indian Harika against Atousa Pourkashiyan as the former played some emphatic manoeuvres to give her team an early lead.
On the second board, Eesha Karavade did not have to do much as black and she settled for a draw with Khademalsharieh Sarasadat.
Tania Sachdev had a slightly better position that she played safely to sign peace with Ghader Pour Shayesteh while on the fourth, Padmini Rout survived some anxious moments before achieving the same result against Mitra Hejazipour.
Meanwhile China-1 eves continued to demolish opposition and romped home with a clean 4-0 triumph over Singapore. With the victory China-1 continued atop the tables with 12 points from six matches and Indians are still following them two points behind. China-2&3 share the third spot on eight points each and the next nearest contender for a medal is three points behind.
It seems that out of the three medals at stake, China is poised to take two and one should come India's way in this section.
The day, however, belonged to Gupta who made his presence felt on board four yet again. Just a week back, Gupta was going through rough weathers at Asian continental won by team-mate Negi but coming here he has put that result behind.
For the records, Gupta is the best performing Indian here with 4.5 points from the five games he has played.
Importantly, apart from doing well for his team, Gupta is also recovering lost ground in terms of rating points here. It was a Queen pawn game of fluctuating fortunes wherein Gupta was better after the opening and made progress in the middle game.
However an oversight cost him dearly as he lost control of the position and the tide turned in favour of Yiping. As the game progressed there was little hope for the Indian till he set up a brilliant trap to which Yiping had no answers. The pieces got exchanged in a hurry and Gupta reached a winning queen and pawn endgame after a perfect swindle.
Indian results: (Men): Zhou Jianchao beat K Sasikiran; P Harikrishna drew with Zhao Jun; Wen Yang drew with Parimarjan Negi; Abhijeet Gupta beat Lou Yiping.
Women: China-1 (12) beat Singapore (2) 4-0; India (10) beat Iran (5) 2.5-1.5; China-3 (8) drew with Indonesia (5) 2-2; China-2 (8) beat Mongolia (3) 3.5-0.5; Kazakhstan (3) drew with Vietnam (4) 2-2. — PTI
Wuhan (China), May 23
The 29-year old Malaysian hobbled off court in tears after suffering an awkward twist just five minutes in to a Thomas Cup match against Denmark's Peter Gade in Wuhan, China, on Tuesday.
Lee, the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallist, was later taken to a hospital, accompanied by coach Tey Seu Bock, where an MRI confirmed a tendon tear. "The doctor said that it would take three to four weeks for the injury to heal," Seu Bock told reporters, adding that the shuttler will be sent back home on Wednesday.
"We will conduct another MRI back home and get a second opinion on the seriousness of his injury."
The coach said Lee was devastated with the timing of the injury with barely two months left for the London Games, starting July 27, which will be the Malaysian's last Olympics.
"He felt bad that he could not contribute a point for the team. He was also worried about the Olympic Games and wondered why it had happened so close to the Games," he said.
Lee, who lost to arch-rival Lin Dan of China in the Beijing Olympics final, has had an injury-plagued season. — Reuters
Journey of sports icons to come alive on celluloid
Mumbai, May 23
"It is a very unique concept and I conceptualised it in April 2010. I wanted to show the behind-the-scene life of a sportsman," former model Bikram Saluja told reporters here last night, adding that all the concerned sports' governing bodies supported the documentary.
Bhupathi, who was the first athlete Saluja approached for the series, said, "I am eagerly waiting for the series because they shot my part in August 2010. I thought it was intriguing.
People normally associate with the glamour of sport and I wanted them to see what happens behind the scene." Concurring with Bhupathi, Advani said, "Initially I was a bit apprehensive about it as snooker is not a physical sport and we tend to keep pretty much to ourselves." Advani also said that he found it difficult to adjust with the TV crew following him.
Admitting that it was disappointing not to feature the Olympic bronze medal winning boxer Vijender Singh in the documentary, Saluja said "the international boxing federation (AIBA) did not permit them to shoot in Azerbaijan". — PTI
Chennai, May 23
Joshna dropped a game before beating Nouran Ahmed Gohar of Egypt 11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7 while Anaka got the better of Zulhijah Binti Azan (Malaysia) 4-11, 11-0, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8 in 45 minutes.
However, the three Indian qualifiers including the current national junior Champion Harshit Kaur of Delhi bowed out of the tournament after suffering defeats.
Harshit fought hard but the Malaysian girls experience helped her to close win. — PTI