Tough day at office for captain Kohli
Clueless India hammered black and blue
Kapur shoots stunning 64, qualifies for British Open
Gutsy Cavendish takes stage five
Smiling Pinki all set for Wimbledon
Unstoppable Novak powers on
McEnroe enjoys new role as comedy fall guy
AFI pulls out tainted shot putter Laxmi
Vettel still searching for elusive home win
Athletics: Mixed day for India
Tough day at office for captain Kohli
Kingston, July 3
Sent into bat, Sri Lanka first rode on Upul Tharanga's career-best unbeaten 174 and Mahela Jayawardene's 107 to pile up a mammoth 348 for one, and then shot out the Indians for 187 in 44.5 overs.
“It was a tough day at the office. We were not up to the mark with the ball. The Sri Lankans batted really well, and we did not. To chase down 349, you need a quick start, we were not able to do that, that did not give us momentum,” Kohli said at the end of the match.
Asked about the necessity of sending in a pinch-hitter early while chasing such a big total, Kohli said, “The way we have been batting, I don't think we needed to consider that option. It didn't happen today. It was a reality check for us, we have to analyse what we did wrong. We have two more games to go. This is going to hurt the guys a little bit.”
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews praised the opening duo of Tharanga and Jayawardene for setting the platform for the victory with the 213-run opening stand.
“We needed that, especially after losing the toss… We were on the back foot. Mahela showed his class. Upul struggled a bit initially but batted through and was brilliant later,” he said. “We needed to get that 250, bowlers never let us down if we score 250. Hats off to Mahela and Upul. I am doing my bit the way I can.”
Man of the Match Tharanga said he and Jayawardene played sensibly initially to ensure a good start for Sri Lanka. “We needed to get a start because we lost the toss on a sticky wicket,” he said. “The first 10 overs were crucial. They (India) bowled well upfront. So we had to ride that, and then we put the pressure back on them.”
Sri Lanka Extras: (b 1, lb 6, w 16) 23 Bowling: Ahmed 10-0-68-0 India Extras: (lb 4, w 12) 16 Bowling:
Kulasekara 9-0-37-1 — Agencies
Extras: (b 1, lb 6, w 16) 23
Bowling: Ahmed 10-0-68-0
Extras: (lb 4, w 12) 16
Kingston, July 3
Sent in to bat, Sri Lanka first rode on Tharanga’s 174 and Mahela Jayawardene’s 107 to pile up a mammoth 348 for one and then shot out the Indians for a paltry 187 in 44.5 overs.
The Indians looked a pale shadow of themselves with Ravindra Jadeja top-scoring with an unbeaten 49 followed by Suresh Raina (33), Murali Vijay (30), Shikhar Dhawan (24) and Dinesh Karthik (22).
Chasing the imposing total, India piled up pressure on themselves by scoring just 28 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first 10 overs. Rohit Sharma was the first to depart. With a mountain to climb, the Indians found boundaries hard to come by as they dealt mostly in singles and twos.
The ever-climbing asking rate took a toll as they lost Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli in successive overs. While trying to break the shackles, Dhawan was caught by Tharanga at deep midwicket off Rangana Herath (3/37), and Kohli hooked a Mathews delivery straight to Lasith Malinga at fine-leg in the next over. Malinga then went through Vijay's defence two overs later as India slumped to 70 for four after the end of 19 overs.
Wicketkeeper Karthik and Raina added 53 runs off 63 balls for the fifth wicket before the former perished. Raina tried hard to get India back on track with a run-a-ball 33 but fell victim of a run out.
Thereafter, the Indian innings fell apart as no other batsman managed doubled digit scores, with only Jadeja showing some teeth. — PTI
Danbur, July 3
He then went all out on the back nine and nailed four birdies for a flawless 64 and finished the 36-hole qualifiers at seven-under 133. His birdies came on the fourth, ninth, 11th, 13th, 14th, and most crucially on the closing 18th. In the morning, he played the first round with an eagle on par-5 second and a birdie on 15th and bogeys on sixth and 13th.
Finishing one shot ahead of Kapur was local amateur Grant Forrest who shot 67 and 65 for an 8-under-par aggregate. The third berth from Dunbar went to a 45-year-old Melbourne club professional John Wade, who took a holiday to play the qualifier (70-63).”I wanted to try to qualify on a links course because I think that¿s the proper way to do it.
It was the first time I had played a links course since this time last year, so it was all a bit strange to start with, but I soon got the hang of things again. I played beautifully this afternoon,” Kapur said.
Shiv Kapur's last and only appearance at a Major came at Royal Liverpool in 2006, a year after he had a sensational Rookie year on Asian Tour. He had won the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia and was adjudged Rookie of the year for 2005.
“Basically the reason you play golf is to compete in the Majors against the best and there is no greater tournament than the Open Championship with all its history. “It feels great and to shoot on a tough rainy afternoon and basically play my round of the summer when it matter most is a great feeling.
“I am really looking forward to Muirfield and it was one of my goals this year to get back to the Majors,” added Kapur, who this year won the Gujarat Kensville Challenge on European Challenge Tour this year and also finished tied 10th at Lyoness Open. — PTI
Marseille, July 3
“We are very happy, we had targeted this stage. A lot of good sprinters won in Marseille and Mark, who loves the history of cycling, wanted to have his name associated with Marseille,” said Omega team manager Patrick Lefevere. Cavendish is now 10 shy of Eddy Merckx's record of 34 Tour de France stage wins.
“I’m super happy,” said Manxman Cavendish. “Now the pressure's kind of off and hopefully it has started the ball rolling.” said Simon Gerrans who retained the yellow jersey by finishing in the main bunch, which was thrown into chaos when France's Nacer Bouhanni crashed in the final metres.
New Delhi, July 3
Pinki, who underwent a successful cleft repair surgery, which was later captured in the Oscar-winning documentary Smile Pinki, has been bestowed with the honour of flipping the coin before the start of the men’s singles final at Wimbledon.
“Mujhe Wimbledon nahin maloon hai, lekin wahan coin ucchalne ja rahi hoon (I have never heard of Wimbledon but I know I’m going there to toss a coin),” a beaming Pinki said during a send-off organised by the British High Commission in association with charity organisation ‘Smile Train’.
But talk to her about the giant London Eye and her grin widens. “Waisa gol, gol ghumne wala jhoola mere school mein hai, chhota wala. (We have a whirling ‘jhoola’ ride in our school, small one),” she said.
“I like English, Hindi, mathematics, drawing and sports also. But I want to become a teacher when I grow up,” said Pinki, who wore a lovely red and black polka dotted dress.
“She is going to see London and I cannot think of a better place right now than the Centre Court at Wimbledon where she’ll flip the coin. All people smile in the same language and I think Pinki’s smile will light up London,” the High Commissioner said on the occasion.
“But more than that I think Pinki’s smile will also bring luck for us, as in the last 62-odd years no Englishman has won the professional gentlemen’s singles title… But this year Pinki just might bring luck for us,” Bevan added.
Speaking further on the life and journey of Pinki, Bevan hailed her as “the ambassador for cleft lip patients around the world”.
“It’s a privilege to help a charity that endeavours to put a smile back on people’s faces. And, as Pinki goes out from here, she’ll go out as the ambassador for all the cleft lip patients around the world apart from seeing and learning about a new country. She likes English language and sports and she’ll enjoy and learn about England and its sporting culture through Wimbledon and through glimpses of the Olympics we’d hosted last year,” he added.
The 11-year-old Pinki, who hails from a small village in Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh, was one of the patients of Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft lip and palate non-profit organisation headquartered in New York, which has been chosen this year as the charity partner for Wimbledon.
Plastic surgeon Subodh Kumar Singh, who performed the surgery and is now accompanying her to London along with her father, says the transformation in Pinki is “extraordinary”. — PTI
Unstoppable Novak powers on
London, July 3
The Serbian world number one performed the splits and pulled off lunging volleys as Berdych tried to throw him off balance by bombarding the 2011 champion’s half of the court with an onslaught of winners.
However, Djokovic kept his wits about him even when he trailed by two breaks and was 3-0 down in the second set. Berdych surrendered the set when he slapped an easy forehand into the net and from then there was only one winner. Djokovic sealed the win when the Czech seventh seed smacked a forehand into the net.
Murray survives scare
Andy Murray put the home fans through the wringer as he came back from two sets down to book a place in the semifinals with an edgy 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5 win over unseeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
The 54th-ranked Verdasco put pressure on Murray's vulnerable second serve and came up with a series of rasping winners to force him deeper behind the baseline.
Murray muscled his way back into the encounter, taking the third and fourth sets as Verdasco's level dropped and then grabbed a decisive break in the 11th game of the fifth. He wrapped up the match after three hours and 27 minutes when Verdasco sent a forehand long.
Argentine Juan Martin del Potro recovered from a horrible first-game fall to overpower David Ferrer 6-2 6-4 7-6(5) and reach the semifinals for the first time.
Jerzy Janowicz became the first Polish man to reach a grand slam singles semifinal after overpowering compatriot Lukasz Kubot 7-5 6-4 6-4.
Good day for Indians
India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek entered the men’s doubles semifinals after beating Nenad Zimonjic and Julian Benneteau 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4, while the duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Julian Knowle lost to Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (4). In the mixed doubles, Rohan Bopanna and partner Jie Zheng became entered the quarterfinals beating Johan Brunstrom and Katalin Marosi 7-6(4) 3-6 6-1, while, Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau posted a comfortable 6-1 7-5 win over Eric Butorac and Alize Cornet to seal a place in the last eight.
India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek entered the men’s doubles semifinals after beating Nenad Zimonjic and Julian Benneteau 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4, while the duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Julian Knowle lost to Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (4).
In the mixed doubles, Rohan Bopanna and partner Jie Zheng became entered the quarterfinals beating Johan Brunstrom and Katalin Marosi 7-6(4) 3-6 6-1, while, Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau posted a comfortable 6-1 7-5 win over Eric Butorac and Alize Cornet to seal a place in the last eight.
Men’s Singles QF
Men’s doubles QF Mixed doubles QF — Agencies
Men’s Singles QF
Men’s doubles QF
Mixed doubles QF
London, July 3
The 54-year-old silver fox had a new role on Thursday as comedy fall guy to Iranian Mansour Bahrami in the gentlemen’s senior invitation doubles on a packed outside court.
The crowd whooped and cheered and the score — John and his brother Patrick beat Mansour and Frenchman Henri Leconte 6-1 6-4 — was irrelevant. Even with a few creaking limbs, the quartet demonstrated all their silky skills of old and the fans lapped it up.
Bahrami, who delights in playing to the gallery, even shouted out “You cannot be serious” in mocking tones to McEnroe. The Iranian earned by far the biggest cheer of the day when he rushed to the back of the court, played a glorious trick shot between his legs and left the McEnroe brothers flummoxed and flat-footed at the net.
John McEnroe’s elegant serve is unchanged. He still can fire them down at over 100 miles an hour and for the grand slam winner turned television commentator, the competitive fires are clearly still burning.
But he too knows how to play to the gallery. After hitting one particularly wayward double fault that landed beyond the tramlines, he jokingly shouted out “Are you sure?” to the umpire.
Another McEnroe double fault provoked a yell of delight from Bahrami who taunted him, shouting “Yes, come on.”
In the first two rounds, Wimbledon crowds have got to see McEnroe having a great time. None of the sulking, none of the sound and fury, just tennis as pure fun.
Temper tantrums were just a memory. In the first round on Wednesday, the brothers beat the Australians Peter McNamara and Paul McNamee in a match that had more Macs than a fast food restaurant.
When someone shouted out “C’mon Mac,” John McEnroe was quick to shout back “Which one?” — Reuters
Pune, July 3
Laxmi tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine in a test conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on her ‘A’ sample taken during last month’s National Inter-State Championships in Chennai.
AFI Secretary C K Valson said that 39-year-old Laxmi has been ruled out of the Championships. “We have got the intimation from NADA about the adverse analytical finding and we have pulled her out from the Championships,” Valson said.
Laxmi, who will now be put under suspension, faces the prospect of being banned for life — this being her second dope offence.
Valson said there would be no replacement for Laxmi. “The entries have been freezed now and we cannot make any replacement ,” he said. — PTI
Nuerburgring, July 3
The exploding Pirellis from the British Grand Prix have Formula One drivers on edge but talk of a boycott in Germany has been played down with the Italian firm saying rear tyres will be made stronger in the short turnaround from Silverstone. While five drivers including pole sitter Lewis Hamilton suffered blowouts last Sunday, championship leader Vettel’s retirement was due to a gearbox problem in the usually reliable Red Bull.
Adding to the pressure at the Nuerburgring for the 26-year-old, celebrating his birthday on Wednesday, is Mercedes’ strong performance at Silverstone with Nico Rosberg taking victory and eager to impress again on his and his team’s home race.
Despite the odds seemingly being against him, Vettel is excited to be returning home.
“I’ve always had a lot of fun on this track. In 2009, I made it to the podium for the first time (at the Nuerburgring) in Formula 1 and it was a fantastic experience thanks to the German fans,” he said.
“I don’t pay much attention to figures and statistics. It may be nice to look at statistics sometimes, but they only show what has happened in the past, not what is still to come.”
Vettel, champion the last three years, leads in the driver standings on 132 points from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on 111 and Kimi Raikkonen on 98 in the Lotus. Mercedes have moved up to second in the constructors’ championship, 48 points behind Red Bull after eight of 19 races.
The last race at the Nuerburgring, which alternates with Hockenheim, was in 2011 when Hamilton took the chequered flag and Vettel came fourth. The German can at least take solace from the fact Red Bull team mate Mark Webber sealed pole at the track two years ago.
Australian Webber will be racing in his final German Grand Prix before quitting F1 at the end of the season and he nearly never had the chance to race the Nuerburgring again with the track in serious financial difficulty.
The race was almost handed to Hockenheim before F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone stepped in to make sure the it would take place. Drivers thought last Sunday’s British Grand Prix was too dangerous with bits of exploding tyres narrowly missing their heads. — Reuters
Pune, July 3
Star discus thrower Krishna Poonia finished a disappointing fourth, while another medal prospect and reigning Asian Games gold medallist Preeja Shreedharan also was fourth in women`s 10,000m on a day that saw intermittent rain, affecting the performance of athletes. — Reuters
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