Dhoni shepherds CSK chase
Uber Cup: Jwala, Ponnappa ready to play their part
Top players to come armed with racquets having sensors
Yuvi hits Daredevils hard
It’s Hyderabad’s turn to face Maxwell music
Pistorius’ mental health in question
They need to aim higher: Ajit Pal
Djokovic makes victorious return from injury
Told Messi that Argentina can’t win
Terry signs new Chelsea contract
Januzaj named in
Belgium World Cup squad
Dhoni shepherds CSK chase
RANCHI, may 13
Dhoni’s unbeaten 26 came off 16 balls with a four and a six after the in-form Dwayne Smith (44) and Faf du Plessis (38) set up the chase. Ravindra Jadeja’s 11 off 6 balls also was important in the final context of the match. Jadeja also helped to restrict the Royals to a below par score with brilliant figures of two for 18 in four overs.
CSK now are on top of the eight-team table having 16 points from 10 games, while Kings XI Punjab with 14 from nine games are a notch below. Despite the loss, Royals, on 12 points from 10 games, also remain firmly in contention for a play-off berth as they hold on to their third place.
While Smith batted in his customary attacking fashion, hitting five fours and two sixes off 35 balls, Brendon McCullum (6) and Suresh Raina (2) were out playing poor shots to left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma. Smith hit a couple of straight sixes off Faulkner and was involved in a 35-run partnership with Du Plessis, who was having problems with running between the wickets.
While Smith mistimed a pull-shot off Kevon Cooper to be caught by Dishant Yagnik, Ravichandran Ashwin (14) was done in by a slower delivery from Rajat Bhatia.
However CSK’s batting depth again came to the fore with Dhoni anchoring the chase in the death overs with his typical calm and composure.
Earlier, Royals skipper Shane Watson came up with his best score of the season - a fiery 51 - but his team lost momentum midway through the innings to score a below par 148 for eight. Watson’s decision to promote himself to the opening slot paid dividends as he emerged top scorer for his side with a 36-ball knock, which featured four sixes and three boundaries. They were going steady and strong, reaching 84 for one at the half-way mark, but lost wickets in a heap after that as the batsmen tried to step up the gas.
Except for a 60-run stand between Watson and his young opening partner Ankit Sharma (30), RR failed to put up partnerships. Paceman Mohit Sharma (3/31) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/18) shared five wickets between them. —PTI
Chennai Super Kings:
New Delhi, may 13
The 2011 World Championship bronze medallists sounded confident of playing their part when the tournament kicks off at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on May 18.
“As a team, we are playing well. Recently we won a medal at the Asian Badminton Championship. There are a lot of expectations from doubles as well. We will give our best to clinch victory for India,” said Jwala, who made her Team India debut in the Uber Cup qualifiers back in 2000 at the age of 16.
Jwala and Ashwini helped India win the team silver in the 2010 Commonwealth Games at this venue. The experienced shuttler insisted that it was the charm of the team events that made them punch above their weight. “The whole idea of playing for a team is so different from playing individually. I am a team player and like to play as a team. We all have one aim, represent India and win medals for the country,” said Jwala.
Ashwini insisted that the combination was getting better with every tournament. “When we started out after the break, it was tough. But then we worked hard and things sort of fell into place in the Asian Badminton Championships, and we are happy now with the way things are going for us,” said Ashwini.
“In the individual events, we play for ourselves. Even if we play for the country, there is no one relying on us. But when we play for the team, it is different. When we play team championships, we ensure that whatever we do, the end result should reflect that the team has done well. We have to think as a team and not just about our own performances alone,” she added.
The hosts have been drawn along with Thailand, Hong Kong and Canada in Group C of the World Women’s Team Championship. Each Uber Cup tie consists of three singles and two doubles matches. — PTI
London, may 13
Without identifying the players who would be first to wield the hi-tech weapons, Eric Babolat confirmed “connected racquets”, with sensors feeding back information on the players’ forehands, backhands and much more besides, would be swung in anger for the first time, after a decade in development. “It could be any week. We have a lot of players testing. It is going to happen very soon,” Babolat told Reuters in an interview at Britain’s National Tennis Centre in south-west London.
“It is a question of days, not months.”
Declared legal by the guardians of the sport, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), who adopted a new rule covering the technology at the start of the year, selected Babolat racquets will feature data-collecting sensors in their handles, “Quite simply, this is information like we have never been able to get before,” smiled Babolat, scion of the French tennis manufacturing empire built out of a 19th century family business making sausage skins, surgical sutures and piano strings from animal gut. “It is information direct from the racquet, from the string bed, and it tells us exactly what is happening, not just a feeling from the player.
‘Incredible to Imagine’
“For me it was incredible, that you can take the number one tennis player in the world (Rafa Nadal) and see that he doesn’t really know anything about what is happening in his racquet, apart from his feel. He has no data about anything, and it is incredible to imagine.
“It is like you are a Formula One driver and you don’t know how fast you are driving and you don’t know...” Babolat trailed off, shaking his head. “It is a bit unbelievable, but it is like that.
“No longer”, the CEO and chairman of the French business said.
In essence, the technology-loaded racquets collect data such as shot power and ball impact location along with the number of strokes, the level of spin imparted, total play time, endurance, technique, consistency, energy and rallies.
The information is transmitted through bluetooth to smartphones or tablets where players and coaches can analyze and share their data with other analysts and online communities.
Ex-pro and former coach of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Mark Petchey says the new technology has “limitless potential”.
“It has the potential to change the way we think about coaching,” Petchey told Reuters. — Reuters
Bangalore, May 13 Earlier, Yuvraj (68 not out) set the Chinnaswamy Stadium on fire as he hit nine sixes and a four from just 29 balls in his unbeaten knock to single-handedly take his side to a formidable total after being put into bat. Yuvraj, who had scored a brilliant 83 against Rajasthan Royals in their last game, shared a 79-run partnership with Sachin Rana (15 not out) for the unconquered fifth wicket as Bangalore scored 79 runs in the last five overs to end their innings with a flourish. AB de Villiers contributed a useful 33 off just 17 balls. Coming out at the 15th over after the fall of Parthiv Patel (29), Yuvraj hit sixes almost at will towards the end of his side's innings. Yuvraj began with three sixes off successive balls off South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir to gather 21 runs in the 17th over and then smashed a maximum each in the next two overs bowled by Mohammed Shami and Siddarth Kaul. The star batsman saved the best for the last as he hammered Rahul Shukla for 27 runs in the final over, belting four consecutive sixes. Earlier, the Bangalore innings was off to a decent start after Chris Gayle made 22 off 23 balls, smashing two sixes and and a four during his knock. The big-built West Indian, who is yet to get a big score under his belt in this IPL, got out off pacer Rahul Shukla as he tried to smash the ball on the legside only to get an inside edge that uprooted the stumps. — PTI
Earlier, Yuvraj (68 not out) set the Chinnaswamy Stadium on fire as he hit nine sixes and a four from just 29 balls in his unbeaten knock to single-handedly take his side to a formidable total after being put into bat.
Yuvraj, who had scored a brilliant 83 against Rajasthan Royals in their last game, shared a 79-run partnership with Sachin Rana (15 not out) for the unconquered fifth wicket as Bangalore scored 79 runs in the last five overs to end their innings with a flourish. AB de Villiers contributed a useful 33 off just 17 balls.
Coming out at the 15th over after the fall of Parthiv Patel (29), Yuvraj hit sixes almost at will towards the end of his side's innings. Yuvraj began with three sixes off successive balls off South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir to gather 21 runs in the 17th over and then smashed a maximum each in the next two overs bowled by Mohammed Shami and Siddarth Kaul. The star batsman saved the best for the last as he hammered Rahul Shukla for 27 runs in the final over, belting four consecutive sixes.
Earlier, the Bangalore innings was off to a decent start after Chris Gayle made 22 off 23 balls, smashing two sixes and and a four during his knock. The big-built West Indian, who is yet to get a big score under his belt in this IPL, got out off pacer Rahul Shukla as he tried to smash the ball on the legside only to get an inside edge that uprooted the stumps. — PTI
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Delhi Daredevils: Bowling: MoM: Yuvraj Singh
MoM: Yuvraj Singh
Hyderabad, May 13
The Kings XI Punjab have had a rampaging campaign in this edition of the IPL before the Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of them in a match on May 11 at Cuttack.
Having suffered a sudden setback, the Punjab side would be keen to come all guns blazing against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who cannot afford to lose any more matches in order to stay in contention for a place in the semi-finals.
Punjab’s star duo of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller have been in scintillating form and the team’s old warhorse Virender Sehwag has also, of late, been reminding about his batting prowess. While batting has been the mainstay of Punjab, the bowling department is no less potent with the presence of pacer Sandeep Sharma, one of the top wicket-takers this season and Australian import Mitchell Johnson, who slowly gathered some momentum after a rather indifferent start. The Punjab side also boasts of the seasoned Thisara Perera, who played for Sunrisers last year, Cheteshwhar Pujara, Shaun Marsh, Murali Kartik and L Balaji.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have had a decent track record on home turf though the seven-wicket defeat against Mumbai Indians came as a big setback. — PTI
Pretoria, May 13
Under cross-examination today, defence psychiatrist Meryll Vorster told the court that Pistorius’s anxiety would have given him a heightened fear of crime.
During two months of trial, Pistorius’s lawyers have sought to portray the world-famous athlete as almost manically obsessed with safety after a difficult childhood and in the face of high crime levels in South Africa.
The defence wants to show that contributed to Pistorius’s reaction when on Valentine’s Day last year he allegedly believed his girlfriend to be an intruder and shot her dead through a locked toilet door. Vorster testified that Pistorius had a “general anxiety disorder” that had an impact on his personal and sexual relationships. “Did he function socially, yes, one would say he did,” she said, “but not optimally.” He took on new friends “in order perhaps to avoid being lonely,” said Vorster, “he was simply in their company as to not feel alone.” — PTI
They need to aim higher: Ajit Pal
New Delhi, May 13
The same event will also serve as a send-off ceremony for the team led by Sardar Singh and coached by Terry Walsh. The legends will be expecting the young brigade to finish on the podium among 12 teams.
A send-off ceremony would generally be described as an occasion to wish all the best to the medal hopefuls and inspire them to bring home the cup.
But wait. Are we seriously one of the medal contenders? Can we count ourselves among the best teams in the world?
Walsh is, himself, looking at a “top-8” finish, which, according to him, would be a great result for Indian hockey. “Anything higher than that will be a big bonus,” he had said. Even skipper Sardar Singh has set a “realistic” target of a top-6 finish. “The challenge would be to guide a relatively young team to a top-6 finish.”
But Ajit Pal Singh, who captained the team to victory in 1975, feels the team needs to change its attitude.
“When we used to play, the target was always to bring home the cup, to win the gold medal. We never settled for anything less than that. But, look at our current team; they have set top-8 finish as their target. If your mindset is such that you are going there as mere participants, then sorry, nothing can be achieved,” Ajit Pal told The Tribune.
“Until you start thinking big, you can’t achieve success. India are placed 10th in the world rankings, this itself reflects the poor state of Indian hockey. The current management and players should start targeting for gold medals. We also thought the same way during our playing days. The boys need to work hard and think big to reach the top level,” added Ajit Pal, who was also part of two Olympic Games in 1968 (bronze) and 1972 (bronze).
Once considered a superpower in men’s hockey, winning eight Olympic gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals, the national team’s fortunes have declined since 1980.
“We were always there on the top. Every nation considered us as serious title contenders. Today we are mere pushovers. European nations don’t take us seriously. We are just down and out and this has all changed in the last 30-35 years. This is very disappointing and it hurts a lot,” he said.
Ajit Pal reckoned that India have few world class players. “We lack world class players. A competent player should be able to play against any opposition, in any condition,” he said.
Ajit Pal said his message to the team would be to play with self-confidence and self-belief. “Play with a strong mind and have that self-belief to succeed. Do well for the country. We will be watching your matches eagerly. Best of luck.”
Rome, May 13
With both new coach Boris Becker and long-time adviser Marian Vajda on hand, Djokovic showed no signs of pain after withdrawing from last week's Madrid Open.
The second-ranked Serb's only trouble came as he attempted to close the match out, dropping his serve twice late in the second set before eventually finishing it off.
Djokovic, a two-time Rome champion, committed just nine unforced errors to Stepanek's 27.
In first-round women's play, Italian wild-card entry Camila Giorgi upset ninth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 7-6(2) and 10th-seeded Sara Errani of Italy eliminated Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 7-5 6-3.
Samantha Stosur beat Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-3 6-3 yesterday to enter the second round.
Venus Williams cruised past Annika Beck of Germany 6-3 6-1 and local favourite Francesca Schiavone of Italy eliminated 17th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 6-2.
Ana Ivanovic defeated Italian wildcard entry Karin Knapp 6-1 6-1, while 12th-seeded Flavia Pennetta got past Yvonne Meusburger of Austria 6-2 6-3 and 16th-seeded American Sloane Stephens rallied past Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 3-6 6-3 6-3. — Agencies
SAO PAULO, May 13
The 22-year-old will have a late fitness test before the game, one that Barcelona have to win to take the La Liga title for the fifth time in six seasons.
Neymar also said he would be back to full fitness for Brazil’s World Cup campaign, which begins next month. “I am in the home straight in terms of recovery and I’ll see if I am able to play (Saturday),” Neymar told fans. “I am back training.”
Neymar has struggled with injuries this year. He pulled a muscle that kept him out for several weeks in January and February and then injured the fourth metatarsal of his left foot in the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid in April. However, he said the worst was over and promised to be 100 percent fit for the World Cup, the first to be held in Brazil since 1950.
“I was a bit anxious over the call-up but after it happened I was really happy,” he said of last week’s squad announcement. “The penny hasn’t dropped yet, that will only happen once we’re there. There’s no reason for me to be nervous or feel pressure, you’re in your own country, with your family.”
Neymar, who is thinking about getting a new hairstyle for the World Cup and plans to rehearse goal celebrations with his team mates, said he had told Barca team mate Lionel Messi that Argentina can forget about winning the World Cup in Brazil.
“I told him: ‘There’s no way you’re going to do that in Brazil,’” Neymar said. “Our fans alone make it 1-0 to us.”
Brazil play the opening game of the tournament on June 12 against Croatia in Sao Paulo. Rio hosts the final on July 13. — Reuters
London, May 13
The 33-year-old central defender has played more than 500 games for Chelsea, who he joined as a 14-year-old in 1991.
He has won the Champions League and Europa League, three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two League Cups.
“I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my contract with Chelsea taking me into my 20th year with the club,” he said. — Reuters
London, May 13
Coach Marc Wilmots had been expected to name a preliminary group of 26 ahead of the tournament beginning in Brazil next month, but surprisingly made a final selection.
Januzaj, born and brought up in Brussels by a family with Balkan origins, only opted to play for Belgium three weeks ago. — Reuters
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