Pacers likely to call shots in Mohali
Team arrival: A ritual fans crave for
Punjab’s campaign Ends
Ranji: Services make Mumbai task tough
Sydney ODI abandoned due to rain, wet outfield
‘IOA issue may be resolved in 2 months’
Djokovic’s dream alive after Wawrinka test
Chelsea beat Arsenal
Pacers likely to call shots in Mohali
Mohali, January 20
It rained heavily in Mohali and other parts of Punjab in the last few days and though the weather has been dry since yesterday, the temperature has dropped slightly and there is chill in the air.
The officials at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), which is hosting the January 23 ODI in Mohali, were working with all modern equipments at their disposal to give finishing touches to the ground after the heavy downpour.
Both the teams, who arrived here today by an afternoon flight, will have their practice sessions tomorrow starting with England in the afternoon followed by the Indians in the evening.
A PCA official said they are hoping the weather remains clear, but also seem confident of preparing the ground incase there are further rains.
"We have the best drainage system and modern equipment at our disposal to dry out things in minimum possible time in case of more rains. But we hope that weather holds good and there is plenty of sunshine during the next three days," the official said.
The Chandigarh MeT Department's forecast for the area valid till Wednesday says "days will be mainly sunny with fog or mist during night and morning". The maximum temperature in Mohali these days settles in the range of 16-18 degrees Celsius as against 13-15 Celsius in Dharamsala while the minimum temperatures have been hovering in the range of 6-9 Celsius as against 3-5 Celsius for Dharamsala.
The official said that traditionally Mohali is known to offer pace and bounce to fast bowlers, but under the present cold conditions, the seamers should get extra movement.
With a day-night encounter pacers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Steve Finn and Jade Dernbach would enjoy bowling on the Mohali track.
While in Dharamsala, the mighty Dhauladhar mountain range has received heavy snowfall during the past few days and the conditions will be cold and to the liking of the pace bowlers. However, a senior official overseeing the preparations at Dharamsala felt that the cold conditions would not be of a consequence in the day-game.
"There should not be much of a problem. When India played against Pakistan in Delhi recently, the weather conditions were really cold. The conditions in Dharamsala will not be worse," the official said. Earlier, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the team had found a "perfect" bowling all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja, who once again produced a spirited show to help the hosts comfortably beat England by seven wickets in the third ODI. Dhoni said India were struggling for a bowling all-rounder with the only option being Irfan Pathan, but in Jadeja the team had found a suitable answer.
Meanwhile, England captain Alastair Cook on Saturday rued the absence of Decision Review System (DRS) in the ongoing tour of India after Kevin Pietersen fell to an umpiring blunder in the third cricket ODI in Ranchi, which the visitors lost by seven wickets. A poor umpiring decision by Indian official S Ravi gave India the prized scalp of Kevin Pietersen, who was wrongly adjudged caught behind off Ishant Sharma's bowling. "It is frustrating when decisions don't go your way but that happens in all forms of cricket, especially without DRS," he said of the decision as India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Cook also said that it was a good toss to win for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"It was a good toss to win. We found it hard to judge what a good score was, but all our top six got double figures, so we all got starts," he said. Defending a paltry 156 was never an easy job and Cook said it would have been a "freak" result had they won.
Team arrival: A ritual fans crave for
Chandigarh, January 20
But for fans, it becomes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, of getting up close and personal with their sporting heroes. For the officials too, who consider themselves lucky to have got this break, welcoming the teams gives is an opportunity to add some action to their lives. For the rest, however, it’s just a job that has to be done — the more uneventful, the better.
When India and England teams arrived at Chandigarh airport on Sunday, there was neither the hint of indulgence, nor hordes of fans. Biting gusts of wind may well be a reason behind the cold welcome.
It looked a rather mundane affair — a very uncharacteristic arrival for Team India, especially after going one up against a fancied team.
But airport officials, surely enough, added some spice to it. Rather than orchestrating orderly exits, they let the two teams come out of the terminal simultaneously, letting them mingle on their way to their respective team buses.
While English skipper Alastair Cook and teammate Bell chose to walk down alone, spectators expected Kevin Pietersen to exchange pleasantries — and not SMSs — with India's Virat Kohli. Once partners in crime, the two Daredevils warmed up to each other till they moved on to their own teams. And that gave enough talking fodder to some mischievous souls.
That was it about this team arrival here in Chandigarh, before ‘pie-chucker’ and Chandigarh’s own Yuvraj Singh broke the monotony as he emerged out of the airport terminal. A handful of spectators greeted him with the loudest of cheers and unending chants of ‘Yuvi, Yuvi’. The homeboy found a spring in his feet and putting a cheery face on, acknowledged his fans, mingled with old-time buddies and felt like home. Until a PCA official tried to give him a guided tour of his birthplace and gain his own bit of attention. Once the business is finished, one more arrival awaits them in Dharamshala where the caravan will make a stop to mark a new beginning for the venue.
Punjab’s campaign Ends
Rajkot, January 20
Saurashtra scored 477 in the first innings and took a vital 178-run lead over Punjab by dismissing them for 299. In the second essay, the hosts were dismissed for 170, setting Punjab a victory target of 349 to win the semi-final match. However, the visitors were skittled out for 119. Saurashtra took just 21 overs to clean up the eight remaining wickets on the fifth and final day this morning. Joshi, who scalped four wickets in the first innings, again proved to be the wrecker-in-chief, taking five wickets conceding only 43 runs. He was ably supported by Dharmendra Jadeja (3 for 25) and Jaydev Unadkat (2 for 30) Resuming the day at 45 for 2, Punjab batsmen failed to negotiate Joshi and left-arm legspinner Jadeja. The visitors surrendered meekly and the entire team was bundled out for a paltry 119 off 40 overs.
Overnight batsmen Mandeep Singh was the first man to be dismissed, outclassed by a beauty from Joshi, and then the rest of the batting order collapsed like a house of cards. Joshi and Jadeja were simply unplayable on a track that started assisting bowlers from the final session of the fourth day. Mandeep (33) was the highest scorer for his team in the second essay as half a dozen Punjab batsmen failed to even reach the double-digit mark.
Ravi Inder Singh contributed 25 runs. Joshi, who finished the match with 9 for 102 runs, was declared Man of the Match. Saurashtra's earlier avatars Navanagar and WISCA (Western India State Cricket Association) have played in the final of the prestigious domestic tournament. In 2006, Saurashtra had won the Ranji Plate division title by beating the Ajay Jadeja-led Rajasthan here.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 477 and 170 beat Punjab by 229 runs. Punjab 299 and 119 (Mandeep Singh 33, Ravi Inder Singh 25; Vishal Joshi 5 for 43, Dharmendra Jadeja 3 for 25 and Jaydev Unadkat 2 for 30). — PTI
Ranji: Services make Mumbai task tough
New Delhi, January 20
The rain-ravaged match started late on Sunday too, after washing out the last two days’ play, but the day witnessed the addition of 238 runs. The play started only at 12.10 p.m—over two and a half hours late—and Mumbai declared their first innings at 454 for 8 after 660 minutes of batting off 152 overs. They added 74 runs from nine overs in 41 minutes today with captain Ajit Agarkar posting 145. With no decisive result at close on the scheduled five-day match, the tie will spill over to the sixth day, and will end only when either team take the first innings lead. If there is no first innings result, then the winners will be decided by the toss of a coin. This is the first Ranji match, after the new rules came into application, to enter the sixth day.
Agarkar knocked up some quick runs to make 145. Resuming at 113, he rattle up a few quick-silver boundaries and a huge six, while Aditya Tare, who resumed at 108, could add only 12 more before he edged pacer Shadab Nazar into the gloves of keeper Sarabjit Singh after adding 35 runs to the total with Agarkar. When he left, he and Agarkar had put on 246 runs for the sixth wicket. Agarkar gathered runs at a fast clip in the company of Dhawal Kulkarni runs, and when Agarkar fell to Avishek Sinha after his marathon knock of 145 (259b, 359m, 17x4, 1x6), Mumbai were comfortably placed at 435. They applied the closure after crossing the 450-run mark. Tare had made 120 with 17 boundaries.
If Mumbai thought they could wrap up the match today itself when they had Services struggling at 2 for 22, they were in for disappointment. Captain Soumyaranjan Manguli Swain and Yashpal Singh stonewalled the Mumbai bid to make further inroads after the loss of the third wicket at 72, to remain unbeaten at close. Swain was 64 not out (122b, 7x4, 171 minutes) and Yashpal Singh unbeaten on 43 (69b, 6x4, 112) at stumps, with the match going beyond the stipulated time, to accommodate the lagged-over spells.
Both the left-handers indulged in pleasing stroke play as Mumbai desperately tried to break the partnership. But for Dhawal Kulkarni trapping Nakul Verma for 13, Ankit Chawan bowling Prateek Desai for 4, and later Shardul Thakur forcing Anshul Gupta to snick a simple catch to Kaustabh Pawar at slip, Services deftly tackled the Mumbai bowling, with judicious strokes. Swain executed a few classic boundaries, including cover drives, and Yashpal followed suit. Mumbai, goaded by Sachin Tendulkar, who was on the field most of the time, tried all the tricks in their command, but Services did not lose any more wickets.
Yashpal Singh too played impressively, punishing the Mumbai bowlers when they erred in line and length, to irritate the visitors no end, including Sachin Tendulkar. If the twosome keep up the same batting momentum, then Mumbai will have more than a fight on hands.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 454/8 decl (Ajit Agarkar 145, Aditya Tare 120, Shadab Nazar 3/142); Services 164/3 (S R Swain 63 batting, Yashpal Singh 43 batting, D Kulkarni 1/18). — PTI
Sydney, January 20 Bowled out for 74 runs inside 27 overs in Friday's match at Brisbane, Australia wobbled again before reaching 222-9 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Mitchell Starc hit a career-best 52 not out off 37 balls from number nine as Australia had to rally from 130-6 and Sri Lanka were 14 for no wicket from 3.2 overs before rain forced the umpires to take the players off. The match was abandoned two hours later because of a wet outfield, leaving the home side unable to win the five-match series. Sri Lanka head to Hobart for Wednesday's final match with a 2-1 lead. "We have to take the umpires' judgment," Australia captain Michael Clarke said. "Everybody's disappointed it wasn't a full game but it means Hobart's going to be a challenge and we'll be trying to level the series." Sri Lanka might even have clinched the series on Sunday had it not been for opener David Warner, who top-scored with 60 to take Australia through some early wobbles. Nuwan Kulasekara was the pick of the bowlers with 3-30 off his 10 overs. Clarke said his team needed to figure out how to combat the seamer, who was also man-of-the-match in Brisbane. "He's bringing the ball back in to the right-handers and away from the left-handers," Clarke said. — Reuters
Bowled out for 74 runs inside 27 overs in Friday's match at Brisbane, Australia wobbled again before reaching 222-9 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Mitchell Starc hit a career-best 52 not out off 37 balls from number nine as Australia had to rally from 130-6 and Sri Lanka were 14 for no wicket from 3.2 overs before rain forced the umpires to take the players off. The match was abandoned two hours later because of a wet outfield, leaving the home side unable to win the five-match series. Sri Lanka head to Hobart for Wednesday's final match with a 2-1 lead.
"We have to take the umpires' judgment," Australia captain Michael Clarke said. "Everybody's disappointed it wasn't a full game but it means Hobart's going to be a challenge and we'll be trying to level the series." Sri Lanka might even have clinched the series on Sunday had it not been for opener David Warner, who top-scored with 60 to take Australia through some early wobbles.
Nuwan Kulasekara was the pick of the bowlers with 3-30 off his 10 overs. Clarke said his team needed to figure out how to combat the seamer, who was also man-of-the-match in Brisbane. "He's bringing the ball back in to the right-handers and away from the left-handers," Clarke said. — Reuters
Australia Warner lbw b Perera 60 Hughes c Chandimal b K’ekara 1 Clarke lbw b Kulasekara 20 Hussey c Thirimanne b Malinga 1 Bailey c Perera b Herath 22 Wade c Kulasekara b Perera 31 Henriques lbw b Herath 3 Johnson lbw b Malinga 10 Starc not out 52 McKay b Kulasekara 2 Doherty not out 10 Extras: 10 Total (9 wkts; 50 ov) 222 Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-50, 3-53, 4-93, 5-125, 6-130,7-145, 8-166, 9-182 Bowling: Mathews 10-1-50-0,Kulasekara 10-2-30-3, Malinga 10-2-33-2, Perera 10-0-64-2, Herath 10-0-37-2 Sri Lanka Jayawardene not out 4 Dilshan not out 9 Extras: 1 Total (0 wkts; 3.2 ov) 14 Bowling: McKay 2-0-13-0, Starc 1.2-0-1-0
Warner lbw b Perera 60
Hughes c Chandimal b K’ekara 1
Clarke lbw b Kulasekara 20
Hussey c Thirimanne b Malinga 1
Bailey c Perera b Herath 22
Wade c Kulasekara b Perera 31
Henriques lbw b Herath 3
Johnson lbw b Malinga 10
Starc not out 52
McKay b Kulasekara 2
Doherty not out 10
Total (9 wkts; 50 ov) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-50, 3-53, 4-93, 5-125, 6-130,7-145, 8-166, 9-182
Bowling: Mathews 10-1-50-0,Kulasekara 10-2-30-3, Malinga 10-2-33-2, Perera 10-0-64-2, Herath 10-0-37-2
Jayawardene not out 4
Dilshan not out 9
Total (0 wkts; 3.2 ov) 14
Bowling: McKay 2-0-13-0, Starc 1.2-0-1-0
Bhopal, January 20
Last month, the IOC had suspended the IOA for failing to comply with the Olympic Charter in its election process, thereby putting a bar on the country's participation in the Olympic Games.
"IOA was not responsible even for one per cent on the issue of suspension by IOC as it was following the High Court and the government's sports code while conducting elections under the supervision of three-member retired High Court judges," Chautala told reporters after inaugurating the National Taekwando Championship here.
"The issue is likely to be resolved within two months.
IOA will soon get an appointment from IOC," he said, adding that the IOA will soon seek time for a meeting from the IOC.
Responding to a query on the election of Lalit Bhanot as the IOA Secretary General, Chautala said he was not yet proven guilty by the court.
"In India, as per law no one can be prevented from contesting any election merely on the ground that he or she is tainted, unless it is proved by a court of law," he said.
Allaying fears of Indian sportspersons not being able to take part in Commonwealth, Asian Games or 2016 Olympics under Indian flag, he said the issue would be resolved soon and that even now there is no ban on players taking part in international events.
"We are bound by High Court directives and cannot ignore the government rules and court orders on the issue," he said. — PTI
Djokovic’s dream alive after Wawrinka test
Melbourne, January 20
For the first 50 minutes of the contest, Wawrinka played as if possessed by his compatriot Roger Federer and confounded the world number one with brilliant backhands and ferocious forehands to notch up five straight breaks of serve. Even when Djokovic had weathered the worst of the storm and clawed his way back from 6-1 4-1 down to win the second and third sets, the world number 17 made the Serbian earn every point and forced a decider after a dramatic tiebreak. The Swiss blew four precious break points in the ninth game of the fifth set and Djokovic converted his third match point with a brilliant backhand winner to seal a 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 12-10 win.
In a conscious echo of his win over Rafa Nadal in last year's nearly six-hour final on Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic ripped off his shirt and roared in delight at a victory which kept alive his hopes of a third successive title at Melbourne Park. "We are only halfway through the tournament but it felt like a final to me," said Djokovic, who will meet fifth seed Tomas Berdych in the next round.
"He deserved equally to be a winner of this match. Tonight he showed his qualities. He was the aggressor on the court and I was just hanging in there trying to fight.
"I always believed I could win the match and I am absolutely thrilled to be in the next round. It certainly brings back memories of last year with Rafa."
Wawrinka, who left the court with tears in his eyes, was distraught after coming up short despite playing the match of his life.
"I think it's the best match I've ever played," he said. "At the end I was really close and I was really sad to lose, it was a great disappointment for sure."
In the women's draw it was business as usual as Maria Sharapova progressed with brutal efficiency to reach the last eight having lost just five games all week - an Australian Open record.
Agnieszka Radwanska continued her perfect start to the year with her 13th successive victory to set up a quarter-final with Li Na, while David Ferrer eased further into the gap in the draw left by his injured compatriot Nadal.
Injury-hampered fifth seed Angelique Kerber crashed out, however, and she was joined at the exit by men's eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic, who retired from his tie with a foot problem after spending more than 11 hours on court in his four matches.
Sharapova has achieved her four wins in just 249, earning more than $1,000 a minute given the $250,000 purse for quarter-finalists.
The second seed was held up briefly when her serve deserted her in the first set but she still hammered Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-0 6-1 to set up a repeat of last year's last eight clash with compatriot Ekaterina Makarova, who upset Kerber 7-5 6-4.
"I didn't start the match really great (but) then I started really getting under the ball and being aggressive and just had a little bit more energy," Sharapova said.
Ferrer has reached the quarter-finals for the third straight year with much less hoopla than Sharapova but with almost as much efficiency.
On Sunday, he prowled the baseline of the Rod Laver Arena to great effect and ended the challenge of error-prone Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-1 6-4.
"It's very important to get to the second week not feeling too tired and in good physical condition," said Ferrer, who will face Nicolas Almagro in an all-Spanish quarter-final.
Fifth seed Berdych had said playing big-serving South African Kevin Anderson would be like facing himself but the contest only really came to life in an epic third-set tiebreak, which the Czech won 15-13 to claim a 6-3 6-2 7-6 win. Radwanska made four unforced errors to 34 for Ana Ivanovic in their fourth round tie and sealed a 6-2 6-4 rout of the former world number one with her seventh ace. — Reuters
UP WIZARDS BEAT
UP Wizards struck twice in the second half to score a 2-0 victory over Ranchi Rhinos in a Hockey India League match. A superb reverse hit by Jeroen Hertzberger and a penalty corner conversion by skipper VR Raghunath was good enough to earn Wizards full points. — PTI live on star Sports:
Mumbai vs Delhi 8 PM
UP Wizards struck twice in the second half to score a 2-0 victory over Ranchi Rhinos in a Hockey India League match. A superb reverse hit by Jeroen Hertzberger and a penalty corner conversion by skipper VR Raghunath was good enough to earn Wizards full points. — PTI
live on star Sports: Mumbai vs Delhi 8 PM
Mumbai, January 20
The tenth edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon saw Jackson Kiprop of Uganda win the men's event clocking 2:09:32 hours, a new record for the event. Following close behind him were Jacob Cheshari of Ethiopia clocking 2:09:43s and Elijah Kemboi (Kenya) at 2:10:03s.
Behind them were Ahrabam Girma (Ethiopia) and Laban Moibenn (Kenya) followed by five Ethiopians bringing the rear: Abay Tadesse,
Dese Endris, Ashenafi Ketema, Desta Gebrehiwet and Argachew Tola.
Kiprop, 26, who was running his first marathon faced tough challengers including defending champion defending champion and current favourite Laban Moiben of Kenya. "This is my first marathon," Kiprop said after
emerging the winner. He worked for the Mumbai event as a training partner with Stephen Kiprotich, the London Olympics men's marathon champion. "I trained with Stephen Kiprotich for three months," Kiprop who started by running half marathons in 2005 said. He took home US $ 40,000. In the women's event, Kenya's Velentine Kipketer won the gold clocking 2:24:33 hrs, setting another record for the Mumbai Marathon. Following on her heels were an entire Ethiopian brigade: Dinknesh Mekash, Aberu Mekuria, Fantu Jimma, Yeshimebet Tadesse and Zeytuna Arba.
Among Indians, Binning Lynkhoi won the men's event clocking 2:21:51 hrs and taking the fourth place overall. He was followed by by Ashish Singh, Elam Singh, Karan Singh and Angad Kumar. Lalita Babbar, with a timing 2:53:42 hrs, won the gold in the Indian event emerging 12th overall. She was followed by Vijaymala, Rohini, M. Sudha and Jyoti. In half marathon, Indians Nitender, Sachin and Atwa bagged the top three slots.
London, January 20
Arsenal staged a second-half revival with Theo Walcott halving the deficit at a snowy Stamford Bridge but Chelsea hung on for only their second win in six home league games since Rafa Benitez was hired as interim manager. Victory lifted third-placed Chelsea to 45 points from 23 games, 10 behind leaders Manchester United whose game at Tottenham Hotspur will go ahead later. — Reuters