Sanga century flattens India
BCCI to earn $600m in 2015-23, says Sanjay
Warne factor big as Oz seek answers
Ashwin losing originality, says Maninder
Pak vs SA in U-19 World Cup final
‘SRT unhappy when asked to bat at No 4’
Berdych zooms into final
Blade Runner to stand in Pretoria dock on Monday
Punjab cagers in quarters
EME Jalandhar, BSF enter semis
Delay in visa leave players stranded
185 skiers for jr nationals
Sanga century flattens India
Fatullah, February 28
The Lankan batman's knock was a lesson in how an innings should be constructed and paced while chasing a fighting total on a rather sluggish wicket.
Sri Lanka, chasing 264, were off fine start with the openers putting on 80 runs on the board. The Lankans lost their way in the middle overs but Sangakkara stood firm, keeping the scoreboard moving with singles when the goings got a little tough.
He, however, changed gears effortlessly when the asking run rate began to climb. He brought out the big shots, and the Sri Lanka were back in the hunt. He departed immediately after completing is hundred, but by then he had already put his team on the threshold of victory.
Earlier, opener Shikhar Dhawan missed out on a century by six runs as spinner Ajantha Mendis returned to haunt India by restricting them to 264 for nine.
Sent into bat, Dhawan (94) and captain Virat Kohli (48) led India's recovery in a 97-run second-wicket partnership, before Mendis, more than three years after his mystery was decoded by the Indian batsmen, came back to trouble them with figures of 4/60 at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.
Mendis castled Kohli and Dhawan with his carrom ball while offspinner Sachitra Senanayake scalped 3/41 as India's new-look middle order sorely missed Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Thanks to the duo's exploits, India slipped after being comfortably placed at 175 for two in the 36th over.
Ajinkya Rahane (22), Ambati Rayudu (18) and Dinesh Karthik (4) looked good but could not covert their starts, while Stuart Binny did not trouble the scorers after being out for a zero.
Having come into the limelight with his career-best 6/13 against India in Karachi in 2008, Mendis got a reality check after the currently out-of-favour Vireder Sehwag unleashed his fury on him the next year. But that was then and on this day Mendis, who was included in place of medium pacer Suranga Kamal, did not let the Lankans down.
The pitch behaved differently with the ball staying low right from the very first over. It was the perfect condition to test the openers who were in the middle of a prolonged lean patch.
Sharma, particularly, struggled against the odd ball as Sri Lanka, who were playing with three specialist spinners, brought on offie Senanayake in the sixth over.
Lanka seemed in perfect control, conceding only 37 runs in the first power play which also yielded Sharma's wicket. After all his struggle, Sharma'a anxious stay finally came to an end when he got to out to a dubious decision. Umpire Nigel Llong ruled the batsman out despite being long way down the track. — PTI
Rohit lbw b Senanayake 13
Dhawan b Mendis 94
Kohli b Mendis 48
Rahane c Thirimanne b S’nayake 22
Rayudu c Perera b de Silva 18
Karthik c de Silva b Mendis 4
Jadeja not out 22
Binny lbw b Senanayake 0
Ashwin b Malinga 18
Bhuvneshwar st S’kara b Mendis 0
Shami not out 14
Extras (b 4, lb 1, w 6) 11
Total (9 wickets; 50 overs) 264
Fall of wickets: 1-33 2-130 3-175
de Silva 10-0-51-1
Perera c Karthik b Ashwin 64
Thirimanne lbw b Ashwin 38
Sangakkara c Ashwin b Shami 103
Jayawardene c Sharma b Jadeja 9
Chandimal b Jadeja 0
Mathews lbw b Shami 6
Senanayake c Sharma b Shami 12
de Silva lbw b Jadeja 9
T Perera not out 11
Mendis not out 5
Extras (lb 7, w 1) 8
Total (8 wickets; 49.2 overs) 265
Fall of wickets: 1-80 2-134 3-148 4-148 5-165 6-183 7-216, 8-258
Bhubaneswar, February 28
“According to my estimate, within this period (2015 to 2023) of eight years we (BCCI) will get around USD 600 million,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told a local news channel yesterday. Patel was here in connection with the BCCI Working Committee meeting in the city today. Incidentally, during this 2015-23 period, India would be a permanent member of the three major committees of the ICC.
On the substantial increase in the BCCI's revenue sharing with the ICC, he said, “Since past so many years BCCI has become one of the biggest contributors towards ICC's earnings.” BCCI is contributing about 68 per cent of the revenue and getting only four per cent in return, he said. “I am pleased to announce instead of four per cent share, BCCI will now get 21 per cent. During 2015-23, BCCI's expected gross revenue will be close to 2.75 to three billion dollars,” he said. Under the existing provisions, 75 per cent of the ICC's earnings are divided equally among the 10 full member countries and the rest goes to its associate members. “Again out of the remainder, India will get another four per cent,” Patel added.
Keen to have a representation in the ICC's Elite panel of Umpires, the BCCI is all set to set up a National Umpires Academy in the country to improve the standard of officials.
The decision was taken at the BCCI's umpires sub-committee, which is headed by Board Treasurer Ravi Sawant. “There would be a National Umpires Academy in the country. There would also be academies at the zonal level because the standard of umpiring in India needs to be improved,” Sawant said after the meeting here.
The BCCI said that it has begun taking steps to make the IPL corruption-free, including education of players and franchises on how to avoid mixing up with certain people during matches in the the T20 event. “Both the players and franchises are being educated on how to avoid match-fixing,” IPL Chairman Ranjib Biswal said.
“We have already identified some persons who need to be avoided in order to make IPL matches transparent,” Biswal said. — Agencies
Strategy to hold IPL-7 in India Bhubaneswar: The BCCI Working Committee devised a strategy by which they can at least hold a substantial part of IPL-7 in India as per the wishes of the franchises if the countings of the general elections end by May 15. The IPL will only be held in South Africa if the T20 event is organised there in its entirety. Or else, Bangladesh or UAE will hold three to five rounds till the end of the entire election process. “The members are of the opinion that it will be held in South Africa only if the entire election process with the countings and everything is not completed till the end of May. It will not be partly held in South Africa,” a senior working committee member said. He also said that BCCI is keeping its fingers crossed and hoping that the counting finishes by May 15.”Our vice-president Rajeev Shukla informed the committee that election dates will be announced by March 5. If the entire electoral process ends by May 15, then we can have the first few rounds in UAE and Bangladesh, which also won't be a logistical nightmare,” the senior official added.
Bhubaneswar: The BCCI Working Committee devised a strategy by which they can at least hold a substantial part of IPL-7 in India as per the wishes of the franchises if the countings of the general elections end by May 15. The IPL will only be held in South Africa if the T20 event is organised there in its entirety. Or else, Bangladesh or UAE will hold three to five rounds till the end of the entire election process. “The members are of the opinion that it will be held in South Africa only if the entire election process with the countings and everything is not completed till the end of May. It will not be partly held in South Africa,” a senior working committee member said. He also said that BCCI is keeping its fingers crossed and hoping that the counting finishes by May 15.”Our vice-president Rajeev Shukla informed the committee that election dates will be announced by March 5. If the entire electoral process ends by May 15, then we can have the first few rounds in UAE and Bangladesh, which also won't be a logistical nightmare,” the senior official added.
Manchester, February 28
Captain Michael Clarke says the veteran of 145 Test matches and arguably the greatest leg-spinner of all time has played a leading role in mentoring the team in his role as a consultant.
Clarke believes Warne's cricketing brain and infectious personality will help lift the squad after the demoralising 231-run loss in the second Test in Port Elizabeth last Sunday.
“It's been fantastic having him around and great for me personally,” Clarke told reporters on Friday. “I have a wonderful relationship with Warney and it's always nice to have him around, especially for those players that have not spent a lot of time with him, they have had their eyes opened.
“The spinners really enjoyed the work he did with them yesterday (Thursday). He will do whatever it takes to get the players to bring the best out of themselves.
“I have said for a long time he is probably the best captain I have played under and his knowledge is like no other, He played 145 Test matches and knows the game very well.”
Clarke admits he is at a loss to explain why his bowlers failed to get the same reverse-swing as South Africa in the second test and expects it to be a factor again in Cape Town.
After claiming a 281-run win in the first Test, Australia were on track for success in the second before paceman Dale Steyn took advantage of the conditions to fire his side to victory. — Reuters
New Delhi, February 28
Ashwin, who has been struggling for a while, unveiled a new action in the ongoing Asia Cup, raising quite a few eyebrows for bowling full-sleeved.
“He has been trying so many variations. It generally happens that when you try too many things then you lose your originality and that is what is happening, and that is the worry for me,” said Maninder told a cricket website.
“For me, Ashwin is a match-winner. He can win you matches whether they are Test matches or ODIs or T20s. But everything has gone haywire with him. I don't know what the bowling coach has been doing with him, and what the main coach and captain have been doing with him. If I was around, I would not have allowed (his bowling to slip) that so far that he had to change his action,” he added.
Ashwin, the fastest bowler to claim 100 Test wickets in the last 80 years which won him the Polly Umrigar Award last year, was ineffective during India's recent horror tours to South Africa and New Zealand. “Someone has got to tell him that you were picked in the Indian side because you showed that intent that you wanted to get wickets in the IPL, in 20-overs games,” he said.
“Then you come into a Test match and after the Australia series (last year), I read somewhere, he said 'my role was to restrict'. Now who has given him that idea? It's the captain,” Maninder opined.
“So I think he is not being handled properly. Somebody who came into the Indian side because he had the capability and the urge to take wickets, he was eager to take wickets in 20-overs cricket, becomes defensive in Test cricket where you are supposed to take wickets...Something is going wrong somewhere, someone is giving him the wrong advice,” he added. — Agencies
Dubai, February 28
South Africa, runners-up in 2002 and 2008, take on a confident Pakistan, who won the title in 2004 and 2006 and reached the final in 1988 and 2010. The two sides have met only once in the history of this competition when South Africa defeated Pakistan by 98 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis Method in Kuala Lumpur in 2008.
South Africa remain the only unbeaten outfit in the tournament this time around and are coming into the final after an emphatic 80-run win over Australia in the semifinals. Pakistan have benefited from their dominant openers, captain Sami Aslam and Imam-ul-Haq, who have featured in three century partnerships to date. The two left-handers, who also played in the 2012 tournament in Australia, have hit one century and five half-centuries between them. Imam is the tournament's second leading run-getter with 370 runs while Sami sits in 11th position with 242. “Imam and I may have done bulk of the scoring at the top of the order, but the middle and lower middle-order fired in the crucial match against England and got us home. I think everything is coming together,” Sami said. — Agencies
New Delhi, February 28
Ganguly, who captained the recently-retired Tendulkar in 143 of the 341 international matches they played together, recalled that the Mumbaikar was brought back as opener during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
“You say, please, do it for a short while; of course you'll be back up, let's see how long it goes. Once he settled down to the idea and saw it work, it was fine. When things went a bit wobbly at the 2003 World Cup, he was back up straight away,” Ganguly said.
In an article featured in ESPNcricinfo's new anthology 'Sachin Tendulkar: The Man Cricket Loved Back', Ganguly said that Tendulkar's record as captain was better than people made out to be.
“He led on some very tough tours - South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Australia - and it must be said he didn't lose eight in a row. This when he didn't have a very good team around him. The older players were fading and the newcomers were too raw.” “When it came to being Sachin's captain, it was about giving him due respect: treating him like a team-mate but also as the special player he was. He was central to the side doing well. He had to feel relaxed and comfortable.” Former teammates such as Rahul Dravid, V V S Laxman and Yuvraj Singh also paid tributes to Tendulkar in the book. Dravid, who made a record 6920 Test runs with Tendulkar, said, “One sure indicator that (Tendulkar) was in good touch was when he played the flick to the leg side. Cricket is a game where you naturally have more fielders on the off side, and especially in limited-overs cricket, bowlers like to bowl tight lines.
“(Tendulkar) would be on his toes, on top of the bounce, and would often beat midwicket to the fielder's right. Sometimes he even beat square leg to his right with that flick, not to the full ball but the ones pitched short of a length. That made you marvel from the other end.” — PTI
Berdych zooms into final
Dubai, February 28
“I’m really pleased with the way I handled today because it was tough,” Berdych said in a courtside interview.
“I just need to focus on myself, because I need to bring my best tennis tomorrow,” added the world number six after reaching a second successive Dubai final.
Kohlschreiber served for the first set at 5-4 but Berdych then upped his game. Federer meets Djokovic later on Friday.
Murray survives a Simon scare, in semis
Acapulco: Andy Murray rallied from a set and a break down against Gilles Simon to advance to his first semi-final since he won last year’s Wimbledon title while top seed David Ferrer retired with a thigh strain at the Acapulco International on Thursday. Second seed Murray twice fell behind in the second set but recovered both breaks immediately to eke out a 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory and stretch a winning streak against his French opponent to 12 matches. “In all the matches so far this week, I have not started very well,” said the world No 7, conceding he did not know what was to blame for his tardy openings. “I lost my first service game in every match and that has not helped because my opponents have gained confidence and played very good tennis. “It’s not easy starting every match from behind. I managed to turn the game at the end of the second set, started to play a little bit better. I was making sure I was not making so many unforced errors,” the Scot added. “I found a way to win the match even though I was feeling I was not playing my best tennis. I’m glad that I managed to do that. “Maybe I just try and warm-up better, maybe practice a little bit closer to the matches.” — Agencies
Acapulco: Andy Murray rallied from a set and a break down against Gilles Simon to advance to his first semi-final since he won last year’s Wimbledon title while top seed David Ferrer retired with a thigh strain at the Acapulco International on Thursday.
Second seed Murray twice fell behind in the second set but recovered both breaks immediately to eke out a 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory and stretch a winning streak against his French opponent to 12 matches.
“In all the matches so far this week, I have not started very well,” said the world No 7, conceding he did not know what was to blame for his tardy openings. “I lost my first service game in every match and that has not helped because my opponents have gained confidence and played very good tennis.
“It’s not easy starting every match from behind. I managed to turn the game at the end of the second set, started to play a little bit better. I was making sure I was not making so many unforced errors,” the Scot added.
“I found a way to win the match even though I was feeling I was not playing my best tennis. I’m glad that I managed to do that.
“Maybe I just try and warm-up better, maybe practice a little bit closer to the matches.” — Agencies
Pretoria, February 28
Barring a last-minute change of heart, the 27-year-old South African will enter a plea of “not guilty”, repeating his bail hearing assertions that he killed model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 after tragically mistaking her for an intruder hiding in the toilet.
He has already admitted to culpable homicide, equivalent to manslaughter, a crime that could see him put away for 15 years.
Or he could leave the Pretoria High Court a free man, with no more than a slap on the wrist and a suspended sentence. Prosecutors will seek to prove that Pistorius - known as “Blade Runner” after his carbon-fibre running prosthetics - fired four rounds from a 9 mm pistol through the door of the toilet adjoining the bedroom of his luxury Pretoria home in a deliberate attempt to kill whoever was lurking behind it.
Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate, women’s rights campaigner and regular on South Africa’s celebrity party scene, was hit three times, in the head, arm and hip. She was declared dead on the scene.
If the state succeeds in convincing Judge Thokozile Masipa of intent to kill, Pistorius will go down for life, in all likelihood a minimum of 25 years behind bars. The trial before Masipa — juries were abolished by the apartheid government in the 1960s — is set to last a minimum of three weeks but with as many as 107 witnesses waiting to be called by either side it is almost certain to last far longer. — Reuters
New Delhi, February 28
Punjab, who were trailing 19-24 after the first quarter, came back strongly with a power-packed play to register their third consecutive win of the championship.
Palpreet Singh was the architect of Punjab’s win with 31 points; Ranbir Singh to made a significant contribution with 23 points.
Ajeeth Sugunan and Basil Philips scored 20 points each for Kerala, while Albin Baby added 11. Tamil Nadu, who shocked defending champions Uttarakhand on Thursday, continued their good run in the tournament as they trounced Chhattisgarh 71-42.
Both the teams matched each other initially, and were tied at 34 points apiece at the half time. Tamil Nadu, however, surged ahead after the break. They collected 22 points in the third quarter and conceded just two in what was a perfect blend of attack and defence. — PTI
EME Jalandhar, BSF enter semis
Ropar, February 28
EME Jalandhar beat Punjab Police and BSF Jalandhar CISF by identical scorelines of 3-2.
The EME team will face Punjab State Power Supply Corporation, Patiala, while BSF will take on All India Air Force (Delhi) in the semifinals tomorrow. The final will be played on Sunday.
In the match between EME and Punjab Police, EME took an early lead through a field goal by Biju Singh in the sixth minute of the match. Punjab Police scored an own goal in the 10th minute and the two teams went into the break with EME leading 2-0.
In the second half, EME consolidated their lead through a brilliant field goal by Avtar Singh to make it 3-0.
Punjab Police opened their account through a field goal in the 60th minute by Satvinder Singh. Satvinder scored again eight minutes later off a penalty-corner to reduce the margin to 2-3. Punjab Police got an opportunity to equalise in the dying minutes of the match but failed to convert a penalty-corner.
In second match, BSF got into the lead in the 19th minute when Jojo converted a penalty-corner. BSF consolidated their lead when Ranjit Singh scored two minutes later.
CISF were able to score their first field goal in the 24th minute. But five minutes later, Sanjeeb Kumar scored for BSF for a 3-1 lead.
In second half, BSF scored an own goal in the 53rd minute but still lead 3-2, and that remained the final scoreline.
Delay in visa leave players stranded
Jalandhar, February 28
“These players were expected to leave India by Saturday morning through Wagah Border. But till now, we have not received any information about their visas. With the next two days being holidays, the visas could not be issued to them. And that may jeopardise their chances to participate in the Games,” confirmed Rakesh Kaushal, District Sports officer, Jalandhar, on late Friday evening.
These players were to participate in wrestling, weightlifting, body building, tug of war and the kabaddi tournament. Pakistan High Commission officials could not be contacted.
185 skiers for jr nationals
Dehradun, February 28
Eleven teams and over 185 participants from across the country are taking part in the three-day championship. The events in two categories — Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing competition — will begin from Saturday.
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