Monday, July 7, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 Runs Highlights - Asia Cup Final

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Preity Zinta upset over filmy gossips during IPL

preity-zinta Post IPL, Preity is Bollywoods busy bee
Bollywood actress Preity Zinta said that constant gossips about her during the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) were the only low point for her in the otherwise successful competition which saw her team, Kings XI Punjab, reaching the semi finals.

"I had left my image as a filmstar behind and donned a new role when the IPL began. I was never dressed as a filmstar. Since I was the only woman among the team owners, I wanted people to take me seriously. I am no barbie doll and such rumours which are normally the order of the day on a film set was very demeaning to me as a woman," Preity Zinta, co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab IPL team told reporters here.

Describing her experience in the IPL first season, Zinta said hers was a well chosen team which was the crux of its success.

The actress said she has invested hugely in the IPL as an individual. "I was not just a brand ambassador. I worked hard right from bidding, auction and throughout the team's journey, I was present," she added.

She said she was proud of her team's achievements. "The worst day was the semi-finals where we lost. We have a year to prepare for the second season," she said.

Responding to a question about IPL leading to commercialisation of cricket, the actress said more than commercialisation, passion was more important to her.

"We created an atmosphere of friendship among all the players," she added

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rajasthan Royals Won Final of IPL

Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings  by three wickets (and off the last ball) in the final of the inaugural Indian Premier League  at the D Y Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

Cricket, Game Recap

Chasing a target of 164, Rajasthan began on a disastrous note, losing three wickets inside seven overs with just 42 runs on the board.

Niraj Patel (2) was cleaned up by Manpreet Gony in the fourth over and Swapnil Asnodkar (29) and Kamran Akmal (6) were dismissed in the space of three balls (of an Albie Morkel over), the latter needlessly run-out.

However, the in-form duo of Shane Watson (28) and Yusuf Pathan (56) put on 65 runs in just 45 balls for the fourth wicket in a partnership that brought Rajasthan back in the game.

Watson was impressive in his 19-ball knock, which had three hits to the fence, before he was cleaned up by a beautiful delivery from Muralitharan.

The Sri Lankan also snapped up Mohammad Kaif (12) off his final delivery (the last ball of the 17th over) and Morkel dismissed Ravindra Jadeja (0) with the very next delivery to brighten Chennai's prospects.

Rajasthan were precariously placed at 139 for six, needing 25 runs with 17 balls left.

Then the worse happened. Pathan, who surived three chances to post his fourth half century of the tournament, saw his luck run out finally.

Pathan, whose 39-ball knock contained three hits to the fence and four huge ones over it, was run-out to a direct hit by Suresh Raina.

But Rajasthan captain Shane Warne  was not to be denied his moment of glory.

Rajasthan needed 18 runs off the last two overs and eight from the final over, bowled by Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Warne (9 not out) and Sohail Tanvir  (12 not out) took their team home, the latter hitting a boundary off the last ball.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals  used their bowling resources intelligently to restrict Chennai Super Kings to a modest 163 for five wickets.

Royals skipper Warne won the toss, asked the rival team to bat first and then captained the side imaginatively with his field placings and bowling changes, never allowing the Super Kings to settle down on a slow-pace track.

The Super Kings owed their score mainly to an enterprising 43 by in-form one-down batsman Suresh Raina, who faced only 30 balls while hitting two pulled sixes and a four.

The UP left-hander, back in the Indian one-day team, built on a decent start of 39 in 5.2 overs provided by Parthiv Patel (38 in 33 balls) and Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan (16 in 14 balls).

But his dismissal in the 17th over, when he threatened to cut loose, derailed Chennai's plans for a more healthy total. 

The most impressive bowler for the Royals was off-spinner Pathan, who grabbed three for 22 in two spells, while Watson accounted for the wicket of Raina.

The Super Kings, who had lost their two home and away ties earlier in the tournament against the same opposition, began their innings on a cautious note on a slow-paced track of low bounce on which the ball did not come on freely to the bat. 

Parthiv and Sivaramakrishnan played it safe against Tanvir, who had grabbed six for 14 against them on May 4 at Jaipur.

Seeing the mood of the two openers, Warne removed the Pakistani left-arm pacer, the most successful bowler in the tournament, after only one over.

The run-rate perked up when Vidyut played an inside-out cover drive off Watson and then was lucky when his top-edge flew over the third man fence for a six.

Parthiv, coming into the match on the back of an unbeaten 51 last night in the semifinal against Punjab King's XI, was content to see off Tanvir by facing five dot balls and then hitting his first four. He was also lucky to see his top edge off Munaf Patel  race to the fence.

Warne replaced Watson with Pathan after five overs, in which 39 runs were scored, and the move paid off immediately when Vidyut pulled a short ball for Jadeja to bring off a fine front-diving catch at mid-on.

Warne rung in quick bowling changes to unsettle the second wicket duo of Parthiv and fellow left-hander Raina, who had powered their team to a nine-wicket win over Punjab King's XI with an unbeaten century stand.

The 50 of the innings was raised in the seventh over and then Parthiv, after pulling off spinner Pathan for his fifth four, departed. He edged an attempted off-glide to wicket keeper Akmal who juggled with the ball before completing the catch.

In-form Raina, who made 54 not out against Deccan Chargers in his team's last preliminary phase tie and followed it up with 55 not out against Punjab, continued his good run by stroking the ball well. He was hardly troubled by the spinners and pulled the great Warne for a six.

Morkel (16) also pulled Warne disdainfully for a six into the stands in the 12th over after the first 10 had yielded 75 runs. The South African all-rounder also swung Pathan over mid-wicket for his second six before he got out in the same over, 13th of the innings.

In trying to repeat the shot he ballooned a catch to stumper Akmal who took a tumble over Mohd Kaif, who also went for the ball, while managing to hold on to the sphere to provide Pathan his third wicket.

The 100 came up in 80 balls after which Raina swung Siddharth Trivedi, bowling his second spell, for a six. Later skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni  (29 not out in 17 balls) lofted Warne, bowling his last over, over the straight field for another six to take Chennai Super Kings to 117 for three with five overs remaining.

Raina fell in trying to clear the long off area and was caught just inside the rope by Jadeja after which Dhoni and Chamara Kapugedara added 20 runs before the latter holed out to the deep off Tanvir in the last over.

Dhoni, who hit a straight second six in Tanvir's last over, and S Badrinath (6) remained unbeaten at the end of the innings.

Rajasthan were without opener Graeme Smith and made two changes to the side which won the semifinal against Delhi Daredevils while Chennai retained the side that won them the semi final against Punjab King's XI.

The win meant that Rajasthan Royals won a 1.2 million dollar cash prize, with Chennai getting 600 thousand dollars. The two teams have now qualified for the Champions T-20 which will be held tentatively in September with the top two teams in Australia and England (as of now) also participating in a Champions League format.

Man of the Match : Yusuf Pathan (Rajasthan Royals)

Player of the Tournament : Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals)

Under-19 player of the Tournament : Sreevats Goswami (RC Bangalore)

Fair Play Award : Chennai Super Kings

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Salman Khan in Ipl Final Show

Though Shah Rukh Khan was not there, fellow Bollywood actor Salman Khan danced with a bevy of starlets to popular chartbusters amid razzmatazz, setting the tempo before the start of the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) final between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

Salman, always a crowd puller, had the audience swaying as he performed to songs from his forthcoming TV Show with an entourage of 24 dancers in the background. Amrita Rao, Shamita Shetty, Dia Mirza and Sameera Reddy also shared the stage with him at the D. Y. Patil Stadium in Nerul.

They also danced to the theme songs of the eight teams that participated in the first edition of the IPL.

His performance was followed by those from four trampoline acrobats, eight German wheels and eight German spinning wheels.

The multi-million-dollar IPL opened in Bangalore April 18 with similar touches of glamour, leading to the 'cricketainment' that inaugurated the new chapter in the history of the game.

A laser show with 40 giant flames, followed by four para gliders and a fifth stunt man preceded the finale which had 16 dancers, all stunt artists.

Then it was the turn of the battery of IPL commentators, who made their presence felt in multi-coloured kurta-pyjamas.

Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar led the team of commentators, which also had Ravi Shastri, Arun Lal, Damien Fleming of Australia and Rameez Raja from Pakistan.

Once speeches from International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan, Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar and IPL chief Lalit Modi were over, it was time for folk dances.

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The Chennai Super Kings will play the Rajasthan Royals in the first Indian Premier League final in Mumbai on Sunday after overwhelming the Kings XI Punjab in a one-sided semifinal on Saturday.

The Super Kings, coached by Kepler Wessels, were inspired by a fiery new-ball performance by Makhaya Ntini, as they set up a showdown with the Jaipur franchise in today's multi-million dollar showpiece finale.

Ntini was outstanding, as he claimed the wickets of Punjab's Australian openers Shaun Marsh, the competition's leading run-scorer, and James Hopes in an aggressive four-over spell at the start.

Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh chose to bat at the toss, presumably trying to replicate Rajasthan's efforts in the previous evening's semifinal. However, Chennai's bowlers were magnificent, with Ntini showing his class from the beginning
The game was as good as won after 10 overs. By that stage, Punjab had slumped to 45/6 with the heart of their batting, comprising Yuvraj, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Irfan Pathan, all back in the dugout.

Marsh was the only member of the top order to show any fight, scoring 23 off 17 balls, but even his innings had a touch of good fortune about it, as Ntini could have had him twice, first when a top edge sailed over the keeper's head for six, and then when he got a thick inside edge past the stumps.

The second time he inside-edged the ball, though, it crashed into his stumps, and with Marsh's dismissal went Punjab's hopes of victory.

Ntini, who claimed 2/23 in four overs, was well supported by Manpreet Gony, who bowled tightly, finishing with figure of 2/14.

Chennai's openers Parthiv Patel and Vidyut Sivanamakrishnan started steadily and, though Vidyut got out, Parthiv and Suresh Raina made sure there was no dramatic ending. Both completed half- centuries as their side got home with 31 balls to spare.

Graeme Smith, the Rajasthan Royals opener, has been ruled out of today's final through injury

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kings XI Punjab is confident of beating Super Kings in 2nd semifinal Today

Despite losing both their previous IPL matches to Chennai Super Kings, King's XI Punjab were going into today's semi finals against the same opposition with a measure of confidence, team captain Yuvraj Singh and coach Tom Moody said today.

"It's a different ground (Wankhede Stadium) and circumstances are different. We are coming into the game with greater confidence and will be looking to do our best with ball, bat and on the field," the lanky Australia-born Moody said.

Captain Yuvraj said the team had learnt valuable lessons from their losses to Chennai at home and in the latter's backyard (Chidambaram Stadium) and were
keen not to commit the same mistakes.

"We will try not to make the same errors again and will see where the opposition falters and try and take advantage," the stylish left-handed batsman said.

"Our confidence is high with the way we are playing and if we execute our plans properly today, no doubt we can win," the King's XI skipper said.

About his own form with the bat, Yuvraj said the good run he had in their last game would stand him in good stead.

"I had some good form in the last game. It has come at the right time ahead of the semi finals," he said referring to his knock of 49 in 16 balls.

Yuvraj Singh backed his bowling attack by saying it had performed well barring the odd game.


"Our bowlers have bowled well. It's just that the wickets were flat. The attack might have faltered on one or two games, but our bowlers are doing a great job," Yuvraj said. Yuvraj praised the batting of Shaun Marsh, who has accumulated nearly 600 runs in only ten games.

"It's been great to watch him and he's an important member of the team. We hope he does well tomorrow also," he said about the Western Australian left-handed opener's superb show thus far.

Yuvraj also played down his earlier comments criticising the Mumbai crowd and said he was confident they would support his team in the semis.

"My comments have been blown out of proportion. I had only said (after the thrilling one-run win over Mumbai Indians team at this venue) that they should not criticize Indian players. The public here is good and I'm sure at least half of them will support us in our game".

Yuvraj sounded upbeat that many more youngsters would be working hard through domestic and international cricket to make it to the IPL.

"Lot of youngsters who could have come in had to go for international duty and I'm sure many would work harder to come in to the IPL next year," he explained.

Talking about the aspect of coaching in a T20 tournament, Moody said that it was not easy to improve the players' skills. "It's just about trying to get the players as close as possible to each other and getting them to play together. Most of the players have not even seen each other before and at times have seen them only on television. There's not enough time to up skills but you can only help with improving technique and innovation," the King's XI coach said.

Moody said it was not proper to judge a coach's worth after only one year of IPL.

"It's not about the coach but about the players. It's just about creating the right environment about the players. You can't judge a coach in the first year of the IPL," he said, adding it would be ideal to do so after a couple of years.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Rajasthan Royals in IPL Final

 Rajasthan Royals into the final of the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.

Watson plundered 52 from just 29 deliveries before wreaking havoc with the ball, taking a parsimonious 3 for 10 to thrash Glenn McGrath's Delhi Daredevils by 105 runs in Mumbai.

The Shane Warne-skippered Royals were sent in to bat after losing the toss, and raced a to monstrous 9 for 192 from their allotted 20 overs.

South African captain Graeme Smith (25) and Swapnil Asnodkar (39) laid the platform atop the Royals' order, before Watson and Yusuf Pathan (45 from 21) took to the Daredevils with reckless abandon.

McGrath was expensive, going for 38 runs without return from his four-over spell.

Delhi offered little in response in a one-sided semi-final, skittled for just 87 runs with 3.5 overs to spare.

Watson starred with the ball alongside Warne (2 for 21) and Munaf Patel (3 for 17), with Tillakaratne Dilshan's 33 from 22 posting the Daredevils' highest individual score.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


IPL Semi-finals Ms_dhoni

Batting first, the Chargers only managed 147, a target that was chased down with relative ease by the Kings. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni steering Chennai to victory with a 55-run stand, Raina top scored with 54 not out. 

Chennai will now face Kings XI Punjab in the semi-finals, while Shane Warne and Shane Watson's top of the table Rajasthan Royals will play Glenn McGrath's Delhi Daredevils in the first semi-final on Saturday.

Tomorrow's final round-robin match between Mumbai and Bangalore is a dead rubber.

Deccan Chargers v Chennai Super Kings

Deccan  8/147

Venugopal Rao (IND) - 46 (46)
Dwaraka Ravi Teja (IND) - 40 (28)
Scott Styris (NZL) - 20 (20)

Lakshmipathy Balaji (IND) - 2/34
Albie Morkel (RSA) - 2/37
Manpreet Gony (IND) - 1/21

Chennai  3/148

Suresh Raina (IND) - 54* (43)
MS Dhoni (IND) - 37 (25)
Parthiv Patel (IND) - 20 (27)

Pragyan Ojha (IND) - 1/28
PM Sarvesh Kumar (IND) - 1/18

Player of the match: Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings)

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 wickets (with 4 balls remaining

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kolkatta Beat Mohali, Sourav 86(53)

Sourav Ganguly to set Eden Gardens alight by smacking Irfan Pathan for 15 off the first four balls of the last over to take Kolkata Knight Riders to a thrilling, three-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab.

Ganguly made an unbeaten 86 off 53 balls (six sixes, six fours) to mastermind the Knight Riders' chase of Punjab's 174 for six and end what has been a disappointing campaign for them with a victory. Apart from Ganguly's innings, the other hero for Kolkata was Umar Gul, who slammed two sixes off his first and third deliveries to up the scoring rate at just the right time.

Kumar Sangakkara's 45-ball 64 (two sixes, seven fours) was the highlight of Punjab's innings.

In the day's first game, Bangalore Royal Challengers beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets to record their fourth win and assure themselves of seventh place. Chasing a modest 165, Bangalore scored 65 from the last four overs.

Balachandra Akhil was the hero of the hour, smiting 27 off seven balls (three sixes, two fours), which was some effort considering he had scored a total of?14 in his previous five innings. The result confirmed Deccan Chargers as wooden spoonists.

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Friday, May 16, 2008


The big fat IPL format has made the dull months of April and May boom time in Calcutta. With the shortest form of cricket gaining in popularity, cash tills are ringing all over — hotels, malls, restaurants and retail stores.

"Traditionally, April-May are lean months for the hospitality industry. Last year, there was 85 per cent room occupancy around this time, but this year we are full up," said a spokesperson for ITC Sonar Calcutta.

With the teams and celebrity guests pushing up the occupancy rates, the average room rate has gone up at the Bypass hotel, the spokesperson added.

The Park, hosting the commentators, has also witnessed a 15 to 20 per cent rise in occupancy in the past month and is expecting to improve on the performance once the Mohali team checks in later this month.

The benefits of excitement around T20 matches have trickled down below the star hotels.

If Sanjeev Bhargava of Trade Links is busy meeting the demand for luxury cars — he has supplied Shah Rukh Khan's Mercedes — the New Market hawker selling Kolkata Knight Riders T-shirts is finding it difficult to meet the demand. "The T-shirts are selling like hot cakes… People are buying them before going to Eden Gardens," said the middle-aged man selling the black-and-gold T-shirts at anything between Rs 75 and Rs 150.

The expensive variants — Reebok's KKR jerseys at Rs 1,699 — are also flying off the shelves. "Our biggest challenge now is to meet the demand. We are taking bookings in advance. Shah Rukh's No. 12 jersey is the biggest sell-out," says Reebok India managing director Subhinder Singh Prem.

With the home team bouncing back with two consecutive wins, the next leg of the IPL promises to be more exciting. To cash in on the craze, malls have put up giant screens and restaurants are coming up with attractive offers.

"At the lounge, we definitely see an upsurge the days the Calcutta team is playing. It is like a festival and the footfall increases by 35 per cent," said Ashim Mewar, the restaurant director of Red Kitchen and Lounge.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Kings XI Punjab beat Bangalore

It was Australia day in Mohali as two young West Australians, Shaun Marsh, 24 (son of Geoff) and 23-year-old Luke Pomersbach, shared an unbroken stand of 102 in 9.2 overs as Kings XI Punjab beat Bangalore by nine wickets. Marsh hit 74 off 51 balls and Pomersbach 34 off 24 balls as Kings XI overhauled Bangalore's 143 for eight in 15.4 overs to register their sixth win. Sachin Tendulkar will play his first IPL match when he appears for Mumbai Indians against Chennai tomorrow.

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Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings are quickly establishing themselves as title contenders of the inaugural Indian Premier League which took off spectacularly just under a month ago in Bangalore.

The Royals led by former Australian star, Shane Warne, re-grouped after their loss to the Super Kings late last week to get back to the top of the table after their comfortable three-wicket win over the Delhi Dare Devils in Jaipur on Sunday.

They have a two-point lead over the Super Kings, who experienced a bleak period last week where they lost three matches on the trot and who edged out the Kings XI Punjab in a thriller at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday evening
Both teams have played nine matches, the Rajasthan Royals have 14 points while the Super Kings have 12.

The Kolkata Knight Riders, who went five matches without a win, have also bounced back. They recorded two superb wins in the last two games, they beat the Royal Challengers by five runs just before the weekend and on Sunday they turned in one of their better performances when they beat the Deccan Chargers by 23 runs in Hyderabad to move into fifth place on the table.

Sourav Ganguly led from the front as he scored a blistering 57-ball 91 with five 6s and 11 4s to help his side to a match-winning 204-4 off 20 overs.

Australian David Hussey also got among the runs, scoring 57 off 29 balls with three 6s and four 4s to boost the total.


The Deccan Chargers, who seem to have lost the plot even through they have some talented players for this format of the game in Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs and Scott Styris, were restricted to 181-7 in their 20 overs.

Only Venugopal Rao, who blasted a 42-ball 71 with four 4s and two 6s at the bottom of their innings, and Rohit Sharma, who scored 33, were able to come to terms with the Knight Riders bowling.

Ashok Dinda was the stand-out in the Knight Riders attack with 3-33 while Ganguly, who was named the Man of the Match afterwards, bagged 2-25.

In the later game Warne's Rajasthan Royals were given a rude shock in the penultimate over, bowled by the Australian, when Farvez Maharoof slammed 27 off the over to take the Delhi Dare Devils from 122-6 to 149-7 in just six balls.

But in the end they overcame the 156-7 set by the Dare Devils and ended with 159-7 to sneak a three-wicket win and remain unbeaten at home in Jaipur.

Rao's strikes were just the boost that Dare Devils needed at the time as they looked doomed at that stage of the encounter.

Those mighty swings, he struck fours sixes off Warne's over, at least gave his side an outside chance of clinching a win.

But another Australian Shane Watson, who has earlier taken two vital wickets, scored 74 off 40 balls came to the party for the Rajasthan Royals at the crucial moment.

Graeme Smith and Watson were involved in a 71-runs stand which helped. Smith scored 24.

The Kings XI Punjab, who suffered a setback before the weekend when they were beaten by four wickets by the Super Kings, meet the struggling Royals Challengers in Chandigarh today.

They are favoured to win the game as the Royals Challengers have struggled all the way to find a good combination for this format even though they have some of the best players in the world in their squad.

Monday: Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers, Chandigarh. TV: 4.20pm on SS2 and CSN.

Tuesday: Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Dare Devils, Eden Gardens, Kolkata. TV: 4.20pm on SS2 and CSN.

Wednesday: Mumbai Indians Chennai Super Kings, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. TV: 4.20pm on SS2 and CSN.

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Having let Chennai amass the IPL's highest total in their first fixture, Punjab didn't do their chances of making it six wins in a row any good, as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side piled up an impressive 181-4 at the MA Chidambaram stadium here yesterday. However, Punjab staged a remarkable recovery as they conceded just 37 from their last five overs.
Powered by Suresh Raina's (26) early fireworks and some lusty hitting led by Dhoni (60 not out), Chennai have forced Mohali on the backfoot once again. But it was an imacculate 47-ball 64 from Subramaniam Badrinath that got them out of jail early on.
That Sreesanth remains an enigma in cricketing circles was vindicated during this game. The India speedster was innocuous in his first over, starting off with a couple of wides before Sivaramakrishnan Vidyut blasted him through the covers twice. But as has so often been the case, the bowler returned to get rid of the opener with a peach.
His second over was equally dramatic, with the bowler getting smashed on his toe by a firm shot from Suresh Raina on his follow-through. Limping by now, Sreesanth then bowled a wide that should have been penalised for two runs instead of one, but removed Stephen Fleming in the same over as Chennai lost both their openers who provided them a rollicking start to their run chase in Delhi two days back.
Suresh Raina and Badrinath, batting at No. 4 for the first time in the competition, stepped it up with remarkable urgency, pushing for the twos and picking the gaps in between, before Dhoni and Badrinath's 91-run stand lifted them to a commanding position.
Dhoni's susceptibility to spin bowling has been picked up by sides in the competition, as Shane Warne and Pragyan Ojha's success against him show. But the Indian One-day captain didn't let Piyush Chawla settle down, repeatedly stepping out and launching him into the stands

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Shoaib Akhtar Can Now Play In IPL

Shoaib Akhtar in action
Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's five-year ban was suspended for a month by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday.

A PCB tribunal accepted a plea from Shoaib that the ban should be suspended temporarily so that he can play in the Indian Premier League.

Justice Aftab Farrukh, who heads the tribunal, said the ban was delayed until the next hearing on June 4.

"Since it will take time to dispose of Shoaib's regular appeal against the ban the tribunal felt that preventing him from playing in the league would have been an additional penalty on him," Farrukh said.

"It would have been an additional penalty which has not even been prescribed by the disciplinary committee of the board which banned him from playing in or for Pakistan but not outside Pakistan."

Shoaib was banned for five years by the PCB last month for several incidents of indiscipline and violating the conditions of a two-year probation.

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IPL Funda

 Star power combined with sports: Preity Zinta, owner of Kings XI — the Mohali team — at the PCA stadium, Mohali, along with an enthusiastic crowd of cricket fans
Indian Premier League (IPL) has redefined the people's perception of Twenty20 cricket, both as a sporting pursuit and as a spectator spectacle. Purists may wince at the IPL Twenty20 Championship (18 April-1 June) as not being the "real thing". But the encouraging response generated by the event has proved that this instant form of cricket has been lapped up by the fans, and is here to stay.
The three-hour time frame in which the encapsulated thrills and spills unlimited give people their money's worth. No surprise, fans are willing to dig deep into their pockets to buy the steeply priced IPL tickets, though at many centres the ticket sales are yet to pick up momentum. Money, indeed, is the name of the game as the players, sponsors, franchisees, staging associations and the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) are all set to reap the riches.

The franchisees have sunk crores to own their teams, and no franchise is taking it as a charitable activity, claiming that they are here to promote cricket. They have invested crores to beget crores, and they are not apologetic about the nakedly commercial nature of the event. No expense is being spared, with cheer girls and all making the IPL an event to remember and cherish. The impressive lineup of players assembled from all the cricket-playing countries is indeed a major draw, ensuring quality cricket.

The BCCI is learnt to have netted Rs 7,000 crore, or thereabouts, from the sale of television rights alone, and six players were signed up for over a million dollars each. The IPL has turned out to be a cash cow for overseas players where cricket does not generate much income in the turnstile, like in India, nor are their cricket boards cash-rich.

The IPL has also shown how private players, with the support of the BCCI and the staging associations, could organise such events with taut efficiency, compared to the laid-back attitude of the State cricket associations who conduct traditional Test and ODI matches in a sloppy manner.

The cheerleaders may have faced flak but the IPL gave people a lot to cheer about

Mercifully, the IPL, as many feared, has not become a flip-flop show, as all those involved, including the top players—both Indian and foreign—hired at enormous cost, have shown true professionalism, despite playing for city-specific clubs with fancy names, and no national identity to boast of. The eclectic mix of players sharing the same dressing room, playing alongside or playing against each other, is a new experience, which will expand the mindset of the players, who can learn from each other's experience, and learn to nurture personal relationships (though the Harbhajan Singhs may prove to be an inglorious exception). Indian fans could never have seen on home grounds, and for such a long duration, a fine mix of celebrity players like Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Glen McGrath, A B de Villiers, Daniel Vettori, Muthiah Muralitharan, Matthew Hayden, Brendon Mc Cullum, Michael Hussey, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Sanath Jayasuriya, Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle and David Hussey but for the IPL. The eight teams will play each other twice on home and away basis and the top four teams will play the semi-finals. In all, there will be 59 matches spread over 44 days and the final will be played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on June 1.

And to think of it, the BCCI was the last cricket board to get on the Twenty20 bandwagon, after putting up stout resistance till the International Cricket Council (ICC) read out the riot act—shape up or ship out. The Indian Board really warmed upto the miniature cricket only after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's "boys" won the inaugural T20 World Championship in South Africa last year. But the BCCI's hands to organise the IPL was forced by the challenge posed by the Indian Cricket League (ICL), headed by Kapil Dev, and promoted by Zee TV's Subhash Chandra. Chandra is no Kerry Packer—the Australian television tycoon was the first to challenge the established cricket order in the 1970s when he floated the World Series Cricket Down Under with coloured clothings, white balls, skimply clad damsels etcetera entertaining the spectators— but was man enough to swim in untested waters. Whether the ICL will be able to pass muster in the coming months and years is a guessy game, but the way the IPL has taken off, the championship looks set for a long haul. And for the success of the IPL, a huge chunk of credit must go to the young and dynamic Lalit Modi for its imaginative conceptualisation.

Though the ICC is yet to allot the IPL a definite slot in its crowded Futures Tour Programme calendar, that may change when BCCI president Sharad Pawar takes over the reins of the ICC a few months from now. For the present, the IPL has drawn up a 10-year plan, though slotting the event in the cricket calendar seems to be a knotty problem. There are many reasons why the IPL will be a success. The first and foremost is the huge money involved in the event. The sponsors have shown their willingness to invest crores to own clubs, sponsor clubs and matches. Young and old players are getting a chance to prove their worth, and in this tough like a nail competition, only the fittest will survive. And the eight teams in the fray are also giving a chance to their captains to showcase their captaincy skills and leadership acumen to upstage each other. Tight bowling, fast scoring and electric fielding are some of the exciting features of the IPL which keep the spectators glued and entertained.

The scrap between Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth in Mohali the other day is proof enough that the competition is getting heated up, as the stakes are very high for the teams, captains, players, sponsors...

The BCCI and the IPL also deserve kudos for cracking the whip against Harbhajan—and possibly against Sreesanth—for his unacceptable behaviour, which shows that the players cannot trifle with the competition.

With a total purse of Rs 12 crore, and the winning team slated to pocket Rs 4.2 crore, the IPL is no child's play, though it is intended to showcase the youth power in cricket. The prize money is so huge that even the bottom-placed team will earn Rs 40 lakh, which is no petty cash. And the player of the tournament will be richer by Rs 10 lakh.

The IPL has also opened up a window of opportunity to the fringe players who would have otherwise struggled to get into even their state teams. The Under-19 and Under-21 players no more have to wait eternally in the shadows of their seniors for a call up to the national team. Now they have choices aplenty to display their talent, make their mark and make money too. Who would have thought that players like Manpreet Goni, Abhishek Nayar, Ashok Dandu, Abhishek Jadeja, Dinesh Salukhe, Karan Goel and Shikhar Dhawan would have received national spotlight but for the IPL?

In the long run, only youthful performers will survive, perhaps with the exception of a "genius" like Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin's "to-be or not-to-be" dilemma has not helped the cause of his Mumbai team, leaving stand-in captain Harbhajan Singh to face the music. (Remember, the Harbhajan-Sreesanth fracas occurred after the Mumbai team suffered their third straight defeat). If Sachin was not fit enough to play in the IPL, he should have opted out. He has blocked the place of a deserving player at the top by being just a titular "icon".

Many other senior players like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Virender Shewag, and younger lot like Mahendra Singh Dhoni (who was bought by Chennai for a whopping Rs 6 crore) and Gautam Gambhir have used the IPL as a springbaord to give their career a nice varnishing. Sehwag's swashbuckling unbeaten 94 against Deccan Chargers, with a "4-6-4-6-4-6" over off Andrew Symonds boot, proved that he could crack big scores, with big shots, in limited overs cricket too.

Those who howl that the IPL will kill Test and ODI cricket should also realise that it's time much innovation was brought into traditional cricket to bring back fans to the grounds, and for which the facilities need to be upgraded, competition tight and fast, and of course the home team's success rate, their ability to produce results. Otherwise Twenty20 will sweep every other form of cricket asunder


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

IPL Twenty20 Mumbai Indians Lose To Punjab Kings XI

Sangakkara's orthodox 94 set up a big win for Kings XI Punjab.

Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara scored a stylish 94 from 56 balls to help the Kings XI register a competitive 182 in match 10 of the IPL.

In reply Aussie speedster Brett Lee's opening burst put the Kings in the drivers seat, a position they never relinquished.

The Kings running out comprehensive 66 run winners and keeping the Mumbai Indians winless.

Mumbai join the Deccan Chargers as the only teams without a win in three matches.

Sangakkara's 94 makes him the leading run scorer in the tournament, ahead of New Zealander Brendan McCullum

Following the match Punjab bowler Sreesanth was spotted in tears after an incident with Harbhajan Singh.

It is alleged that stand-in Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh had struck Indian team-mate and IPL rival Sreesanth in the face.

Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians

Punjab 10/182

Kumar Sangakkara (SRI) - 94 (56)
Yuvraj Singh (IND) - 18 (9)
Karan Goel (IND) 18 (21)
Brett Lee (AUS) - 16* (8)

Harbhajan Singh (IND) - 3/32
Ashish Nehra (IND) - 2/22
Dhawal Kulkarni (IND) - 2/37

Mumbai 9/116

Dwayne Bravo (WI) - 23 (21)
Shaun Pollock (RSA) - 22 (21)
Robin Uthappa (IND) - 21 (18)
Luke Ronchi (AUS) - 11 (8)

Irfan Pathan (IND) - 2/19
Piyush Chawla (IND) - 2/16
Sreesanth (IND) - 2/31
Brett Lee (AUS) - 1/9

Player of the match: Kumar Sangakkara (Kings XI Punjab)

Kings XI Punjab won by 66 runs

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Harbhajan slaps Sreesanth after loss the match

Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh and Kings XI paceman S Sreesanth were on Friday involved in a bitter row, following which the fast bowler was seen crying bitterly on the ground at the end of their IPL match here.

Harbhajan allegedly slapped Sreesanth after the paceman said something to Harbhajan which offended the off-spinner.

The off-spinner however had a long chat with Sreesanth in the dressing room of the Punjab team and even believed to have apologised for his behaviour.

Harbhajan though did not speak on the issue when he came to address the post match conference.

"Can we have questions on just cricket," Harbhajan said when asked about what happened between him and Sreesanth.

The winning captain Yuvraj Singh was upset by the unsavoury incident and termed it "ugly".

"This is really an ugly incident. You do not want to see such things off the field specially after such a win. I am pretty upset at what has happened. This is totally unacceptable," he said apparently criticising Harbhajan Singh.

Yuvraj though said he did not know what actually transpired between the two.

"I do not know what exactly happened but one does not want to see such things happening."

Kings XI coach Tom Moody was also visibly upset by the incident and termed as "unacceptable" Harbhajan's behaviour.

"At the end of the day, players shake hands. But today saw more that from Harbhajan and Sreesanth. It is unacceptable behaviour and I am sure officials will take of note.

"The positive thing is that Harbhajan had a long chat with Sreesanth. But I am not sure what ramifications this incident will have," Moody said.

Upset after his team's third successive defeat, the turbanator also looked unhappy with his teammates.

"When you lose nothing seems to be okay. I won't bowl and bat for other people. They have to be captain of their own bowling and own bowling. I can not do other's job," he said angrily when asked if captaincy was tough.

"I don't like losing. When you lose, you don't feel happy."

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Friday, April 25, 2008

cheerGirls for IPL matches in Mumbai Ban

No cheerleaders for IPL matches in Mumbai
Notwithstanding the glamour quotient brought about in the ongoing IPL cricket matches by the cheerleaders, the Maharashtra government on Thursday said it will not allow the specially hired girls to go on with their "vulgar and obscene" performance during the April 27 league match at Navi Mumbai.

Talking to reporters here, Minister of State for Home Siddharam Mhetre described the cheerleaders and their dancing at the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches as "absolutely obscene".

"We live in India where womanhood is worshipped. How can anything obscene like this can be allowed?" he asked. Mhetyre wondered why the organisers require "semi- nude" women to entertain people at cricket matches.

"The organisers may have invested crores of rupees organising such matches. But this does not mean that they make semi-nude women dance in front of people," he said.

Mhetre suggested organisers can use animated characters when players hit boundaries and six or anybody gets out without scoring.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, however, did not find anything vulgar about cheerleaders.

"What's wrong with cheerleaders? I am also a family person, I do not see anything negative in it," the actor, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders, said.

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Match 9 Shane warne and Symond Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals

Shane Warne steered Rajasthan Royals to a remarkable win with one ball to spare in Hyderabad last night when he hit successive deliveries from his former Australian team-mate Andrew Symonds for four, six and six in the final over.

  • Chasing 215 to inflict a third-successive defeat on the Deccan Chargers, the Royals reached 186 for three before losing four for 10 in 10 balls, but Warne kept his head to spark jubilant scenes at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
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    It was tough luck on Symonds, who had earlier smashed an undefeated 117 off 53 balls. Yusuf Pathan and Graeme Smith replied by adding 98 for the Royals' second wicket in 44 balls and they were left needing 17 off the final over.

    Pankaj Singh took three off Symonds' first two balls before Warne did the rest.

    The Chargers' Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi had expressed his disquiet at the cheerleaders who have become a feature at IPL venues throughout India.

    "The girls in skimpy dresses should be removed from the ground as this is distracting the batsmen," he said.

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    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    Preety Zinta IPL CRICKET MOHALI TEAM VIDEO Kings XI Punjab

    Preety Zinta IPL CRICKET MOHALI TEAM VIDEO Kings XI Punjab

    Preety Zinta IPL CRICKET MOHALI TEAM VIDEO Kings XI Punjab , Dal - Funny video clips are a click away

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    IPL’s complete schedule:
    April 18: Bangalore v Kolkata at Bangalore
    April 19: Mohali v Chennai at Mohali and Delhi v Jaipur at Delhi
    April 20: Mumbai v Bangalore at Mumbai; Kolkata v Hyderabad at Kolkata
    April 21: Jaipur v Mohali at Jaipur
    April 22: Hyderabad v Delhi at Hyderabad
    April 23: Chennai v Mumbai at Chennai
    April 24: Hyderabad v Jaipur at Hyderabad
    April 25: Mohali v Mumbai at Mohali
    April 26: Bangalore v Jaipur at Bangalore; Chennai v Kolkata at Chennai
    April 27: Mumbai v Hyderabad at Mumbai; Mohali v Delhi at Mohali
    April 28: Bangalore v Chennai at Bangalore
    April 29: Kolkata v Mumbai at Kolkata
    April 30: Delhi v Bangalore at Delhi.
    May 1: Hyderabad v Mohali at Hyderabad; Jaipur v Kolkata at Jaipur
    May 2: Chennai v Delhi at Chennai.
    May 3: Hyderabad at Bangalore at Hyderabad; Mohali v Kolkata at Mohali
    May 4: Mumbai v Delhi at Mumbai; Jaipur v Chennai at Jaipur
    May 5: Bangalore v Mohali at Bangalore
    May 6: Chennai v Hyderabad at Chennai
    May 7: Mumbai v Jaipur at Mumbai
    May 8: Delhi v Chennai at Delhi; Kolkata v Bangalore at Kolkata
    May 9: Jaipur v Hyderabad at Jaipur
    May 10: Bangalore v Mumbai at Bangalore; Chennai v Mohali at Chennai
    May 11: Hyderabad v Kolkata at Hyderabad; Jaipur v Delhi at Jaipur
    May 12: Mohali v Bangalore at Mohali
    May 13: Kolkata v Delhi at Kolkata
    May 14: Mumbai v Chennai at Mumbai; Mohali v Jaipur at Mohali
    May 15: Delhi v Hyderabad at Delhi
    May 16: Mumbai v Kolkata at Mumbai
    May 17: Delhi v Mohali at Delhi; Jaipur v Bangalore at Jaipur
    May 18: Hyderabad v Mumbai at Hyderabad; Kolkata v Chenna at Kolkata
    May 19: Bangalore v Delhi at Bangalore
    May 20: Kolkata v Jaipur at Kolkata
    May 21: Mumbai v Mohali at Mumbai; Chennai v Bangalore at Chennai
    May 22: Delhi v Kolkata at Delhi
    May 23: Mohali v Hyderabad at Mohali.
    May 24: Delhi v Mumbai at Delhi; Chennai v Jaipur at Chennai
    May 25: Bangalore v Hyderabad at Bangalore; Kolkata v Mohali at Kolkata
    May 26: Jaipur v Mumbai at Jaipur
    May 27: Hyderabad v Chennai at Hyderabad
    May 28 and 29: Rest days
    May 30: First semi-final at Mumbai
    May 31: Second semi-final at Mumbai
    June 1: Final at Mumbai

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    Indian Premier League can inject fresh life into international cricket

    James Hopes is positive the Indian Premier League can inject fresh life into international cricket, even if he'd struggle to find his new team on a map.

    The Queensland and Australia all-rounder flew out this morning for his 44-day odyssey in the IPL, for which he will receive a sum of $324,000 or $7363 per day.

    Hopes will play for the Punjab Kings, based in Mohali, linking with fellow Australians Brett Lee, Simon Katich, Luke Pomersbach and Shaun Marsh in the controversial Twenty20 feast.

    Also in the sheds will be Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Kiwi quick Kyle Mills, Indian swing bowler Irfan Pathan and the team's captain Yuvraj Singh.

    While Hopes, known as "Catfish", was upbeat about the IPL's prospects of becoming a meaningful part of the cricketing calendar, he was less certain of the exact location of his new home for the next six weeks.

    "I think it is in the middle (of the country). Towards the top of the middle. It's not right up the top but it's in the top half," Hopes said.

    The devil may be in the detail for the likeable Hopes, but don't tell him he's just chasing the money with his IPL jaunt.

    The 29-year-old firmly believes the IPL can dramatically revamp a tired international schedule jammed with irrelevant one-day contests.

    But he cautioned the cricketing public against demanding too much too soon from the cashed-up spectacle, which has divided the cricketing world and threatens to replicate football's constant squabbling over club versus country.

    "It can work but I think the public are kidding themselves if they think it's all going to go flawlessly in the first couple of years," Hopes said.

    "It's something that has been thrown together, in a way, and it will be good. In the first year there will be teething problems. But that's the same of any tournament. And I think you will see the benefits of this within two or three years time."

    Hopes urged governing bodies to find a stand-alone slot for the tournament each year to ensure the IPL became a meaningful contributor to the game, rather than a source of friction between rival boards.

    "Everyone's talking about how it could damage international cricket - I think it could bring it back. You go over, you do this then you hook up with the national team again. It's not just another one-day series," Hopes said.

    "It could give international cricket a much-needed break in the schedule. You know you'll get six or eight weeks off where there is no international cricket and guys are going to be playing the Twenty20 tournament.

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