Windies a tOUR
Kraigg Brathwaite kept the Indian bowlers at bay with a patient 82-run knock on Day One . — PTI
In time of crisis, spirit of game crucial: Dravid
India favourites against Australia, says Laxman
Sachin puts his money on India for 2015 World Cup
BKC scam: The ‘indoor school’ that became swanky club
Sachin Tendulkar interacts with the Indian women’s team at the MCA’s BKC Centre. Photo courtesy: MCA
Rohit smashed a quickfire half-century to help Mumbai Indians win the game with the required run rate . — PTI
Trinidad and Tobago thrash CSK, top the group
T20 helps me take good care of my family: Pollard
Vettel can expect a quieter crowd in Korean Grand Prix
Delhi uncertain to host CWG Baton Relay
Shimoga, October 2
Brathwaite along with middle-order batsman Asad Fudadin (63) added 117 runs for the fourth wicket to ensure a position of safety for the visitors at the Jawaharlal Nehru College of Engineering ground.
Fudadin joined Brathwaite in the post lunch session with Windies in a none too comfortable position at 98 for three.
While Brathwaite faced 202 deliveries, hitting 13 boundaries, Fudadin faced 107 balls, hitting seven fours in the process. Both were dismissed in quick succession that saw the Caribbeans reduced to 215 for five before Leon Johnson (36) along with Chadwick Walton (30) scripted another recovery act with a crucial 68-run partnership for sixth wicket.
It was pacer Mohammed Shami who got rid off Walton when he nicked one to wicket-keeper Uday Kaul.
For India, left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt (3/76) was the most successful bowler while Zaheer (1/44), Shami (1/59) and Parvez Rasool (1/71) got a wicket apiece.
It was a mixed day in office for the Indian bowlers as they got a few wickets in quick succession but also had toil hard during partnership. Brathwaite was more intent on defending most of the times although he did hit a few boundaries. He found an able ally in Fudadin as they trudged along at a decent pace.
He played the new ball well enjoying crucial first wicket partnership of 55 runs with his partner Kieran Powell (33) but skipper Kirk Edwards and Narasingh Deonarine squandered their chance of scoring some runs on a good strip.
Edwards, who missed a century in the previous Test, was stumped for 18 in the first over after lunch off left-arm orthodox spinner Bharghav Bhatt. Zaheer, who has been out of the Indian team since last year, got his only wicket in his second spell. He got one to dart in to left-hander Deonarine, trapping him leg before wicket.
As Brathwaite watched his captain and Deonaraine get back to dressing room, he settled down and steadied the innings along with the gutsy Fudadin at the other end.
It was Bhatt who dismissed Fudadin, trapping him leg before but the batsman didn't seem too happy with umpire Suresh Shastri's decision.
Off-spinner Rasool, who had a match-haul of seven wickets in the previous match, got rid of Brathwaite in the next over, caught behind by Kaul.
The Indian bowlers tried hard to make early inroads but Zaheer and Shami did precious little with the new ball. West Indies lost only one wicket before lunch in their bid to give a solid platform for the later batsmen to capitalise on and put a big total as they did in the Mysore 'Test'. — PTI
West Indies A (1st Innings) 283/6 in 90 overs (Brathwaite 82, Fudadin 63; Bhatt 3/76, Zaheer 1/44)
Jaipur, October 2
One of the most disciplined statesmen of modern-day cricket, Dravid said, “In times like these when the game is facing big challenges and some of the players get involved (corruption) the spirit of the game becomes more relevant and important.
“It is important that you play within rules and in spirit of the game. Selections should be consequence of what you are doing but not the goal. Winning and succeeding is not important if you play foul.” Dravid's former Rajasthan Royals and India team-mate S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan were recently handed life bans by the BCCI for involvement in spot-fixing, a few months after spending time in jail.
A verdict on another accused cricketer Ajit Chandila, who was also a part of Rajasthan Royals, is awaited. Dravid spoke highly of the initiative undertaken by two former England captains.
“In the late 1990s, two distinguished MCC members (and ex-England captains), Ted Dexter and Lord (Colin) Cowdrey, sought to enshrine the 'Spirit of Cricket' in the game's Laws. Their initiative proved successful when the current Code of Laws was introduced in 2000,” said the Royals’ skipper. — PTI
New Delhi, October 2
“There are lot of talented cricketers in the Indian side who are eager to perform. The upcoming Australia series at home will be a good test for them. I think India are favourites to win the series. They have the fire power to do it,” Laxman told reporters at an award function here last night.
India will be playing Australia in a seven-match ODI series preceded by a T20 encounter at Rajkot on October 10.
Laxman, who retired from international cricket last year, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Illustrated India's annual sports award ceremony yesterday. On the return of Yuvraj Singh to the national team, the Hyderabadi said the stylish left-hander's comeback was just a matter of time.
“Yuvraj's return was expected. He is such a class player. You can't keep him out for long. He has lot to contribute to the team. He worked hard on his fitness and reaped benefits during the India 'A' series and the Challenger Trophy,” Laxman said.
“I am sure India will gain with his presence in the Australia series,” he added. — PTI
Dubai, October 2
With exactly 500 days to go before the first ball is bowled in the World Cup 2015 on February 14, Tendulkar hoped that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side will successfully defended the title and make India only the third country after West Indies and Australia to win back-to-back titles.
“Along with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also good sides. I am partial towards India and want them to do well. That would be really exciting. It will give so much happiness to the entire nation,” he said.
“That is something I would want, along with a billion plus people who will also be expecting the same thing to happen,” added Tendulkar, who along with Pakistan's Javed Miandad is the only player in the history of the game to play in six World Cups.
Tendulkar, who is also the highest run-getter in the history of ICC Cricket World Cup with 2,278 runs from 45 matches, hoped India players will quickly adjust to the conditions in Australia and New Zealand.
“Well I think most of our guys have been to Australia. They know what to expect, (as) they have played there already,” said the 40-year-old, who was part of the squad that toured Australia in 2011-12.
In the lead up to the World Cup 2015, India will again be in Australia for a four-Test series. This will be followed by a tri-series also featuring England, apart from the host. — PTI
BKC scam: The ‘indoor school’ that became swanky club
Chandigarh, October 2
It is a tastefully constructed facility with an elegant clubhouse and has excellent cricket facilities. It is the jewel in the MCA’s crown. But, according to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), it also is a monument to the corruption of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.
Revealing the details of the MCA-BKC “scam” today, AAP’s Anjali Damania today said that the land used for the Recreation Centre had been acquired for an “indoor school”. She said that in 2001, Pawar wrote to then Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, seeking a plot of land at BKC to set up an “indoor school”, saying that the land was to be used for “academic purpose(s)”.
Instead, what came up at the MCA-BKC was an exclusive club, the membership for which comes at a price of Rs 15 lakh.
When the Recreation Centre was inaugurated in December 2007, Deshmukh presided over the ceremony, while Tendulkar and former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar were also present.
Damania also alleged that the MCA, despite being flush with funds, involved a construction company and gave it 80% of the money received from the first 3000 memberships and 50% from the last 3000. Damningly, this construction company is owned by a family close to Pawar, according to Damania.
Due to this commercial venture by the MCA, the association lost its status of a “charitable organisation” last year. In August 2012, a Mumbai bench of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) ruled that the MCA had set up a high-class club for “higher echelons of the society” and had violated land allotment terms of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
A MCA insider aware of the whole process of the development of the Recreation Centre told The Tribune that there is merit in the allegations by the AAP, except the AAP got the name of Pawar’s aide wrong.
If these allegations are true, the case explains why politicians and businessmen love to be part of the cash-rich cricket associations, across all states of the country.
The BKC Recreation Centre has excellent facilities for cricket, including MCA’s indoor cricket academy. The temperature at the academy can be controlled in the 14°-40° C region, and has seven pitches, bowling machines, gymnasium and other facilities. The centre is spread over around 14 acres and covers a construction area of about 90,000 sq-ft.
The MCA-BKC website boasts of its “strategic prime location”, and adding that the centre would “remind you of a bygone era of old world hospitality and warm service matched with all the luxuries of contemporary living”. Hardly the words which could be used for an “indoor school” meant for “academic purposes”.
The website calls Pawar the “visionary chief” of the Recreation Centre and adds: “The great vision and outstanding organisational skills of Hon. Mr. Sharad Pawar has helped to create world class indoor cricket facilities and shape-up this unique Recreation Centre. He has completed three consecutive terms in office as President of Mumbai Cricket Association.”
AAP contends that MCA was allotted this land by MMRDA without competitive bidding. If Pawar can help MCA acquire prime land such as this one, as alleged by Damania, he’s likely to be elected by the MCA members for yet another term when the elections take place in the coming days.
Rohit takes Mumbai into semis
New Delhi, October 2
The left-handed Smith smacked Simon Beer for 11 runs in the first over with a six and four to set the tone and tenor of the fireworks to follow, and thanks to his belligerent batting, Mumbai Indians kept ahead of the asking rate of 7.45 runs to finally win the contest with 6.4 overs to spare. Beer conceded 34 runs in four overs as Scorchers bit the dust, though they were already out of the semifinal race. Mumbai Indians posted 152 four in 13.2 overs, in reply to Scorchers’ total of 149 for 6.
Smith cracked a 25-ball 48 with three sixes and five overs, though strangely, he fell to Brad Hogg, playing his first match of the Champions League, offering a catch at the edge of the boundary. Though MI were quite a distance away from victory at 73 for 3 in 6.3 overs, Smith had done the deed to ease the path for Rohit Sharma, who did the rest, in the company of Kieron Pollard, to win the man of the match award. When Smith left, MI need to score 10 runs per over, and Rohit Sharma and Pollard rose to the challenge with crackling stroke play, to make light of the early exit of Sachin Tendulkar for nought and Glen Maxwell for 10. Rohit scored an unbeaten 51 (24b, 3x4, 4x6) while Pollard’s 18-ball 23 (4x2, 6x1) was equally precious.
Perth Scorchers, put into bat on a belter of a wicket, made a slow start with spinner Harbhajan Singh bowling a tight first over with the new ball. But some missed stumping chances and loose fielding helped them regain ground, and two half-century partnerships helped the visitors post 150 in the stipulated 20 overs. If Ashton Agar was the aggressor in the opening-wicket stand with captain Simon Katich, as they put on 55 before they both fell in the space of four balls to left-arm spinner Prgyan Ojha, then Sam Whiteman’s 51 off 32 balls was vital too, as he also caught the scalp of Sachin Tendulkar. But their efforts went in vain, in the face of the batting assaults by Smith and Rohit.
Perth Scorchers: 149/6 (Whiteman 51*; Coulter-Nile 3/19); Mumbai Indians: 152/4 in 13.2 overs (Rohit 51*, Smith 48; Brad Hogg 2/26)
Trinidad and Tobago thrash CSK, top the group
New Delhi, October 2
In the first semi-final on October 4, Group A toppers Rajasthan Royals will clash against CSK at Jaipur while Mumbai Indians will clash against T &T in Delhi on October 5.
CSK, already assured of a semis berth, looked not too intent for a win as they managed only 118. And T&T overcame the target without any fuss, with openers Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis putting on a 79-run stand.
When Lewis fell, new man Darren Bravo and Simmons ensured that they hit the winning post without much hiccup.
Brief scores: CSK: 118 all out Raina 38; Rayad Emrit 3/21); T&T: 119 for 2 (Simmons 63, Lewis 38).
New Delhi, October 2
“You make decisions in life. The point when I started playing top-level cricket to this day, T20 is the cricket that I have made my name in. I don’t have any regrets having played only 24 first-class matches till date. It is a business as well and I have to look after my family and live as well,” said the towering West Indian.
Apart from being a star performer for MI in IPL, Pollard has played for Somerset in England, Big Bash in Australia, Bangladesh Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.
But does the tag of T20 freelancer hurts him, Pollard gave a pointed reply, “If people want to call me T20 freelancer, that’s their opinion. I can’t do anything about it. If I try to change everything, I will be trying to change the whole world. For me, it’s just a matter of what I am supposed to do and that is playing whatever format I get to play.” — PTI
London, October 2
Borussia Dortmund's Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice in s 3-0 demolition of Olympique Marseille as did Chelsea's Brazilian Ramires to get their campaign up and running in a 4-0 win at Steaua Bucharest after a shock opening home defeat by Basel.
Atletico Madrid maintained their superb start to the season with their Turkey midfielder Arda Turan netting an 86th minute winner in a 2-1 victory at Porto.
There was also late drama in Amsterdam with Stefano Denswil heading Ajax ahead in the last minute, only for Mario Balotelli to level with a penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give AC Milan a 1-1 draw.
Ozil has quickly impressed for Arsenal since his big-money move from Real Madrid and he opened his account for the London club with a sweet strike against Napoli after eight minutes. He then set up Oliver Giroud for a second soon after in a dominant Arsenal display that gave them a maximum six points in Group F. Barca, who lost to Celtic at Parkhead in the group stage last season and on Tuesday were without injured World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, had to work hard for victory in Glasgow.
The task was made easier when Celtic captain Scott Brown was sent off just before the hour for hauling down Neymar and then appearing to catch the striker with his boot. Fabregas's header after 76 minutes made it two wins from two for Barca in Group H. A stunning Julian Draxler strike just after the break gave Schalke 04 a 1-0 win at Basel.
Ajax and AC Milan saved their goals for the final minutes to end their match at 1-1.
Ajax dominated the first half against a lacklustre AC Milan. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson was the first to test the Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati. Viktor Fischer also came close, but his shot went just wide, while a free-kick by Lerin Duarte was saved by Abbiati.
Mario Balotelli was quiet for most of the first half, but the Italian striker showed himself in the second. He first got booked for a challenge on Ricardo van Rhijn, but he was close to the opening goal in the 63rd minute when he curled the ball from outside the penalty-box towards the top corner, but his powerful shot was turned onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
In a totally different second half, Milan had most of the ball possession. Ajax defender Niklas Moisander limped off injured in the 77th minute and was replaced by Mike van der Hoorn. With the match wearing on, Balotelli looked stronger and stronger. Five minutes from time Cillessen denied him again.
In the final minutes, Ajax regained some control. A shot by substitute Lasse Schone was saved by Abbiati, but on the rebound Siem de Jong scored. However referee Jonas Eriksson had whistled for a handball by Schone.
Ajax scored in the 90th minute after Denswil headed in a corner-kick by Schone. The Ajax defender seemed to have scored the match winner, but Milan were awarded a penalty four minutes in injury time after Balotelli was brought down by Van der Hoorn. — Agencies
Kuwait City, October 2
For Kuwait SC, Issam Jemaa struck twice in the 18th and 33rd minutes, while Waleed Ali Jumah and Chedi Hammami scored a goal each in the 31st and 48th minutes respectively.
Uga Okpara and Lalrindika Ralte scored for East Bengal in the 66th and 87th minutes respectively at the Kuwait SC Stadium.
East Bengal were staring at an embarrassing defeat when Hammami struck just two minutes into the second half to make it 4-0 for the three-time winners. The visitors, however, sprung back to life after coach Marcos Falopa introduced Lalrindika Ralte and Cavin Lobo in the midfield.
Ralte was immediately in the thick of things as he fired a warning shot that just cleared the crossbar.
The substitute midfielder had a hand in East Bengal`s first goal, floating in a corner from the left that Okpara headed into the back of the net.
Lobo came close with a low shot from the top of the box that flew just wide before Dika crafted a fine second for his side. Taking down the ball on the left of the box, he cut inside Al Sanea before lashing a fierce right-footed shot past Al Kanderi.
After being at the receiving end of the opposition`s onslaught in the first half, it suddenly looked like East Bengal were calling the shots after the lemon break.
Falopa said the opposition dominated the match but was not too happy with refereeing.
"Kuwait team dominated the first half but we were done in by two bad decisions from the referee and the linesman which resulted in the first two goals from offside positions.”
"We came back strongly in the second half and put up a much better show. The substitutes changed the complexion of the game completely. Though we'll miss Uga in the second leg, we hope to win our match at Kolkata and enter the final," Falopa said.
In their return match at the Salt Lake Stadium, East Bengal will need to win by at least a two-goal margin without conceding a goal. — PTI
Seoul, October 2
The Yeongam circuit, reached after a three hour journey south from Seoul on the country's fastest train, is near a remote port more on the map for shipbuilding than tourism or a passion for motorsport.
"The atmosphere at the track isn't great because there aren't many spectators, but the track's got some challenging sections and some good corners," commented Vettel's Red Bull team mate Mark Webber.
The Australian started on pole position last year but it is Vettel who has won the race for the past two seasons and is favourite for the hat-trick, even if that does not sit well with Ferrari fans and others yearning for a closer battle.
The champion's fourth successive title looks a foregone conclusion and could be won by the end of the month but until then the 26-year-old is putting into practice the old German saying that all good things come in threes.
Since the end of the August break, Vettel has chalked up his third Italian win, his third Singapore GP victory in a row and his third successive win this season.
Only Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the man who is now his closest rival in the championship even if there is a 60 point gap with six races remaining, have ever won the Korean race since it first appeared on the calendar in 2010. — Reuters
New Delhi, October 2
The Queen`s Baton Relay, to be launched on October 9 at Buckingham Palace, London, where Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II will place Her message to the Commonwealth into the baton, was to be held here on October 12 and 13 as Delhi was to be the first stop for the Baton as the host of the previous Games. But fearing that the security for the QBR will not be enough due to Durga Puja festivals, the IOA acting chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra has written to 2014 Glasgow organisers to defer the event to a later date. But the Glasgow authorities are yet to reply on Malhotra`s letter.
"October 13 is Vijaya Dashmi and so it will difficult to make large scale security arrangements on October 12 and 13 for the Queen`s Baton Relay. Most of the security apparatus will be deployed for the Durga Puja festivals," Malhotra said. "We need tight security arrangements for such an important event like Queen`s Baton Relay and our country`s name is at stake if we don`t provide enough security for that. It is also the view of the government and Delhi Police. So I had written a letter to 2014 Glasgow organisers to defer the event to another date but I have not got a reply till now." — PTI
Beijing, October 2
The home crowd favourite dumped out her German opponent 7-5, 6-4 in a cool-headed display of efficiency at a packed National Tennis Centre in Beijing. The world number five drew loud applause within the first five minutes after she broke Lisicki's serve with the first game of the match.
Lisicki broke back to level the scores at 5-5, but Li powered ahead and took the decisive final two games, with her coach Carlos Rodriguez signalling at her from the stands to maintain her mental strength. A Mexican wave began as Li won the set. When she broke Lisicki's serve on the fifth game of the second set, the result never looked in doubt as the 2011 French Open winner closed in on victory.
In the quarterfinals the fourth seed will face Czech Petra Kvitova, who defeated Italian Sara Errani 6-4, 6-7(7/3), 6-3 in their third-round match.
World number four Agnieszka Radwanska had earlier powered through to the third round with a convincing victory over American teenager Madison Keys. The Polish third seed took one hour and 15 minutes to claim a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the 18-year-old, who is being tipped as one of the rising stars of women's tennis.
Radwanska, a previous winner in Beijing in 2011, had defeated Keys at Wimbledon in the summer, and praised her opponent after their meeting.
Elsewhere, Andrea Petkovic continued her stunning form at the tournament by dumping out former Roland Garros winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in her second-round match. The German, who is ranked 43 in the world, took just over two hours to claim victory over the 25th-ranked Russian, a previous winner in Beijing in 2006 and 2009.
In the men's tournament, eighth-seed American John Isner beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, and Australia's former world number one Lleyton Hewitt suffered a crushing 6-0, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Fabio Fognini.
Sania, Paes win
Sania Mirza and Cara Black beat Lucie Safarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-2 to enter the quarterfinals.
Top-seeds Leander Paes and Daniel Nestor also had a good day as they beat the American pair of John Isner and Sam Querry 6-2 6-2 in their opening round match. — Agencies
Deepika in Rd of 32, India eye bronze in mixed team
Rani congratulated on
getting yet another award
South Zone take on West in Duleep quarters
Ajmal apologised for his remarks: Whatmore
Wanted to be a soldier, became cricketer: Dhoni
Decision on Sachin's 200th Test venue delayed
Punjab State Games for women from today
Japan Open: Del Potro enters quarterfinals
“I played a lot better than yesterday,” del Potro said. — Agencies