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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