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    Showing posts with label cricket. Show all posts

    Suresh Raina misses first IPL match for Chennai Super Kings after 158 games

    Suresh Raina missed his first match for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday after featuring in 158 matches (including IPL and CPL). Raina joined the yellow brigade in 2008 and has played all the matches in every season until Sunday’s encounter against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). This was after he sustained a calf muscle injury against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Chepauk last week. However, Raina expressed hope that he will recover in time to feature in CSK’s next encounter on April 20th. Suresh Raina leads the charts of players with most consecutive Twenty20 games for a team with 158 matches. Virat Kohli follows him next with 144 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. MS Dhoni has played 124 for CSK.

    Reflecting on his injury, Raina spoke from the dugout during the match between KXIP and CSK and said, “There is still some soreness in my calf. Sometimes injuries happen. I missed one match for Gujarat Lions during the birth of my daughter. But I will work hard to get fit for the game on April 20.”

    Ruing the loss of Raina in CSK’s playing 11, coach Stephen Fleming had said that it was impossible to replace a player of Raina’s stature. “We can’t replace him (Raina), he’s one of the best performing players in the IPL and the highest run-scorer in the history (of the league). So we can’t replace him, we just got to find a way to minimise his loss,” Fleming said.

    “We’ve got good players in our set-up – Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay who’s played here last year. So there’s guys here with points to prove, with international experience, and if they get the chance they’ll do their best what Suresh Raina can do. (This is) an opportunity for someone else but you’d like to get someone like Suresh Raina back into your side as quick as possible,” cricbuzz quoted him saying.

    Aaron Finch Pays Glowing Tribute to 'Amazing' David Warner As SRH Down GL

    Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch said he and his teammates could only stand and appreciate the match-winning knock of David Warner, who single-handedly crushed their hopes and took Sunrisers Hyderabad to the Indian Premier League (IPL) summit clash with his majestic 93 in Qualifier 2 on Friday night.

    In the Qualifier 1 also, Lions were inches away from the final but for a gritty knock from AB de Villiers.

    After scoring 162 for seven , Lions had Hyderabad at 84 for five and then 117 for six but skipper Warner carried his bat and saw his side through to the final where his team will face the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    "Tonight, I think that we had a very competitive total, it was around par. 170 would have been nice as it turns out, but two (De Villiers and Warner) of the best players in the world have both got big scores against us in the last two games. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off and appreciate how good cricketers the two are. And say well played," Finch said at the post match press conference.

    The Australian was effusive in praise of his compatriot.

    "It was an amazing knock, wasn't it? The way that he controlled the innings and went right through and got them home was outstanding. We have been at the receiving end of a couple of great knocks in this tournament, and it is just that one batter in every couple of games seems to get us," Finch said.

    "AB (De Villiers) in the last game and Davey (Warner) tonight. We can hold our head up very high. We played some really great cricket throughout this tournament but unfortunately we just couldn't get the world-class players out when it counted right at the end there."

    Asked which Indian player impressed him the most in the entire Lions campaign in their debut season, Finch named spinner Shivil Kaushik.

    "I think we have seen an unusual spinner in this tournament in Shivil. He has been outstanding for us. Anyone who can bowl with an unusual action like that and who can spin the ball both ways is a huge asset, and he has been outstanding," Finch said.

    The attacking batsman also mentioned Kaushik's impact spell in last night's match, where he gave away only four runs in two overs and eventually 22 in four. His tight bowling in the middle overs put pressure on Hyderabad batsmen, keeping his side in the hunt.

    "It was beautiful the way that he bowled tonight. Under pressure in a big game, to come back into the team after a few games out just shows a real lot of character and someone who hasn't had cricket given to him easily. He has had to work very hard for what he has achieved. He was great all season and I think he can play a big part going forward," he said.

    AB de Villiers epitomises Royal Challengers Bangalore’s never-say-die spirit of IPL 2016

    Dhawal Kulkarni’s sensational opening burst of fast bowling rocked Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to their very core but somebody had obviously forgotten to inform AB de Villiers that Gujarat Lions (GL) were in control of the game.

    RCB had lost five wickets in five overs (5.3 overs to be precise) and had literally gone belly-up, but the unflappable ABD soaked up the pressure, carved up the attack and turned the tables magnificently to power his team into the final of the IPL with a four-wicket win.

    Earlier, the light drizzle at the innings change-over had sent RCB into a tizzy as they chased of a modest target of 159. “The skipper Virat Kohli was a bundle of energy at the break telling us how to overcome that and plan the chase. I told him ‘look Virat, you’re the thinker. Me, I’d just play it as it comes,” revealed ABD at the media briefing after the match.

    And how marvellously it came to him on a night when RCB had been literally brought to their knees. The home team were reeling at 29 for 5 and later 68 for 6 but, as GL’s Dwayne Smith summed up after the match, the visitors being in control was an illusion and “not while De Villiers was still at the wicket.”

    In a team flush with match-winners, what made ABD special, particularly in a match like this, was the ability to suss the situation and, more importantly, to be able to play accordingly.
    “I felt when we were bowling that 160 would be a difficult score to chase on this pitch. It was a peculiar one with the ball not really coming on to the bat,” he said.

    One such delivery accounted for the wicket of RCB’s prolific run-machine Kohli. The batsman, conscious of impending rains which had already hit a few parts of the city and hence wary of the Duckworth- Lewis Rain rule which would kick in after the completion of five overs, did not attempt to play himself in as he customarily does. He went after a widish delivery but succeeded in only dragging the ball onto his stumps. GL were ecstatic with the dismissal while the capacity crowd was stunned into silence. RCB’s hero who had amassed a mind-boggling 913 runs this season had been dismissed for a second-ball duck. They simply could not comprehend that.

    In Kulkarni’s next over Gayle was similarly dismissed, this time while playing a wild heave off the front foot. The consistent KL Rahul was prised out first ball by a peach of a delivery and with Shane Watson (1) and Sachin Baby (0) too sent packing, the wheels had literally come off RCB’s run chase.

    Or so we thought. All the while, and even when Stuart Binny (21, 15b, 2x4, 1x6) took the lead in a crucial 39-run sixth wicket partnership, ABD was biding his time and sizing up the pitch and bowlers.

    “As soon as Iqbal Abdullah came into bat and played out an over I realised that he was up to the task. Sometimes you get that feeling. The way his eyes lit up and the manner in which he shaped up, I knew I did not have to tell him anything. In fact he was counselling me. It was obvious that he had been in such tough situations before,” said ABD singing praises of RCB’s unexpected man of the hour who had shared that match-winning unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 91 runs in 8.4 overs.

    The South African master batsmen had kept RCB in the fight with the odd boundary even as he ran his singles and twos with gusto. The tiny left-handed Abdullah too had wasted no time in squeezing the ball into the gaps and giving the strike back to ABD.

    At the end of the 14th over with RCB at 96 for six and requiring to score at 11 runs per over, ABD said Kohli had sent word not to leave it to the end and that he feared it could rain any moment. This was just the trigger for the master blaster. The crowd simply went berserk and the bowlers withered as he went hammer and tongs at the attack as only he can. Lofted drives, pull shots off the front and back foot, reverse sweeps -- this was vintage ABD stamping his authority on the opposition in no uncertain terms. Abdullah too chipped in with a flurry of boundaries as RCB raced home in style.

    Virat Kohli - first to 4000 runs in IPL

     4002 Runs for Virat Kohli in his IPL career. In his innings of 113 against Kings XI Punjab, he became the first batsman to complete 4000 runs in the IPL, going past Suresh Raina's tally of 3985. Before the start of the season, Kohli was fourth on the list.

    4 Centuries for Kohli in this IPL - most by a player in a single T20 tournament. Michael Klinger had scored three centuries in the Natwest Blast T20 in 2015. Only one batsman has scored more centuries than Kohli in all IPLs - five by Chris Gayle. Incidentally, Kohli had not scored any centuries in his first 180 T20 innings before making four centuries in nine innings.

    14.06 Royal Challengers' run rate in this match - 211 runs from 15 overs - the highest for a team's innings of six or more overs in IPL. Their run rate when they scored 263, the highest total in T20s, against Pune Warriors was 13.15. On Thursday, they did not score more than six runs in any of the first three overs. But they scored at least 10 runs in each of the last 12 overs of the innings; 18 or more runs in eight of those.

    11 Scores of 75 or more for Kohli in T20s this year - most by a batsman in a calendar year. Gayle had 10 such scores in two years - 2011 and 2015. Kohli has converted 11 of his 16 50-plus scores into scores of 75 or more this year in just 25 innings.
    2042 Runs scored by Kohli in T20s at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. He became the first batsman to aggregate 2000 or more runs at a single venue in T20s.

    47 Balls in which Kohli got to his hundred, which is his fastest among his four centuries. His first century came off 63 balls against Gujarat Lions, second in 56 balls against Rising Pune Supergiants and third in 53 balls against Lions.

    13.36 Run rate of the 147-run opening stand between Gayle and Kohli - second-highest in a century stand for first wicket in IPL. Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith had scored 109 runs at 14.86 for Chennai Super Kings against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in IPL 2015. Gayle and Kohli also completed 2500 runs as a pair in T20s. They also have the most century stands - eight.

    4 Opening partnerships of 50 or more runs for Royal Challengers in their last six matches, including this match. In their first seven matches, they did not have even one such stand.

    226 Kohli's strike rate in this innings of 113 off 50 balls, his highest in a T20 innings of 20 or more balls. This is the first time he has had a strike rate of more than 200 in a T20 innings batting 20 or more balls.

    Centurion de Kock takes DD home in Bengaluru

    Quinton de Kock anchored the Delhi Daredevils' chase of RCB's 191 with an innings full of flair and strokeplay.

    We felt the Royal Challengers Bangalore were 20-odd runs short of what they would have needed on this wicket and the momentum they maintained for the most part of their innings. In the end, the Delhi batting line-up was not tested much, partly due to RCB's underperformance at the death and due to Quinton de Kock's scintillating shotmaking.

    Watson was a breath of fresh air, featuring in every department: bat, ball and in the field. On which note, do yourself a favour and watch this Christlike miracle one more time:

    But that moment of brilliance wasn't enough to thwart the Daredevils, who bowled some excellent overs at the death of RCB's innings (courtesy Chris Morris and Mohammad Shami), then maintained scoring momemtum really well despite the early wicket (courtesy Wiese-Watson), and then... de Kock happened.

    Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli says this loss is tough to swallow. Underscores how important it is for bowlers to believe they can get a wicket every ball, and that batsmen can sense hesitation on the bowler's part. An interesting insight every time Kohli speaks.

    Delhi Daredevils captain Zaheer Khan says his bad over helped him realise that his bowlers must bowl back of length. Hm, great example of self-effacing captaincy. He gives credit to Shami and Morris, but also questions the wisdom of having removed Gayle from the middle with such haste.

    Man of the Match Quinton de Kock says it was a good wicket where looking to hit good cricket shots and running the twos got them through. Most of these were done by him, just saying.

    DD 192/3 after 19.1 overs (JP Duminy 7 off 5 | K Nayar 54 off 42 || win by 7 wickets)

    Some comedy there at the very end with just the one to get. JP Duminy plays it back to the bowler Chahal, who flicks it back to the non-striker's stumps, misses, and the batsmen run the overthrow.

    DD 191/3 after 19 overs (JP Duminy 6 off 4 | K Nayar 54 off 42 || need 1 from 6 balls)

    De Kock (108 from 51) can't, sadly, stay to bring it home for his team after all the work. Watson has him caught behind off a riser. Duminy comes in and takes up from where his Saffer teammate left off, drilling a short wide one through the Covers for four. A leg bye and a two later, the over ends and DD are left with just 1 to get.

    DD 183/2 after 18 overs (de Kock 108 off 50 | K Nayar 53 off 41 || need 9 from 12 balls)

    De Kock, de Kock, de Kock! Centurion off 48 balls. Yet again with a sliced square-cut. Applause is sadly very limited for the away batsman despite a genuinely great innings. The crowd goes even quieter when he thick-edges a Wiese slower one through Third-man for four. And then a scorcher that scrapes the floor the whole time through the Covers.

    DD 171/2 after 17 overs (de Kock 99 off 47 | K Nayar 51 off 38 || need 21 from 18 balls)

    Nayar does get to his milestone first. A classy straight loft for six takes him closer, and he completes the formality with a single. Didn't think he was getting any runs, Nayar. Slowly and silently built his score. Meanwhile, de Kock reaches 99 with a four off the final ball of Harshal's over.

    DD 158/2 after 16 overs (de Kock 94 off 45 | K Nayar 43 off 44 || need 34 from 24 balls)

    Nayar nudges a four past the keeper to take the partnership past 100 runs. De Kock slashes the same bowler through Extra Cover for four to move into the 90s. Nayar closing in on his fifty. Who will get to their milestone first? Meanwhile, Daredevils looking comfortable to get this total, by all conservative estimates.

    DD 146/2 after 15 overs (de Kock 88 off 42 | K Nayar 37 off 31 || need 46 from 30 balls)

    Watson comes back in for his third over. Decidedly bowling into the body of the right-hander, towards middle and leg. Still gets struck on the up by the left-hander de Kock down the ground for four.

    Never seen such control over shots for a young talent: Watson heaps praise on RCB teammate Sarfaraz

    Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is mighty impressed with young Indian batsman Sarfaraz Khan, who he says is an incredible batsman with amazing control over his shots.

    Sarfaraz smashed 35 runs off just 10 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes, to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 200-plus total against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

    "He is an incredible young man and there is no doubt that he has worked extremely hard to get all kinds of shots right. The control over shots he has... Never seen before for a young talent like him. It shows he has practised hell of a lot, and we saw him this [against SRH]," he told reporters at the post-match press conference.

    Watson also said it is a pleasure to watch AB de Villiers bat. The South African batsman hammered Hyderabad bowlers around the park with a whirlwind knock of 82, that was laced with seven fours and six shots over the ropes.

    "What I saw tonight is as good as batting I have ever seen. He didn't look like taking risk at all in his entire innings. One shot he played off the backfoot for a six is an incredible shot to play, and he does it with so much of ease is really a pleasure to watch. He executes his shots incredibly well," he said.

    Replying to a query, Watson said there is no need for changing batting order of Chris Gale, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, as it gives a momentum to the team.

    "This I saw happening in the previous season when I was playing as a rival for Rajasthan Royals. So, why should one change the order when the top three are delivering. You need to take early wickets, otherwise you are in deep trouble, and that's what exactly happened tonight," he said.

    Watson did not read much into Chris Gayle's failure at the top.

    "It is not going to be everyone's day. Chris got out early, but we had depth in batting with likes of Kedar Jadhav, Sarfaraz, AB and Kohli in our side," he said.

    Watson also said that the way Kohli and De Villiers batted together in their magnificent 157-run partnership he felt he wouldn't get to bat.

    Watson eventually turned out to bat and contributed in his team's cause with a 19-run cameo that had three sixes.

    "More than anything else playing before your home crowd is a very nice feeling. We did not get to play that many matches in Jaipur - my previous home ground," he said.

    Asked about his improving relations with Gayle, Watson said it is amazing that a couple of commercials provided an opportunity for both to know each other better.

    "Relations with Gayle has been very good so far. We had couple of commercials as well which gave us a chance to know each other better after few run-ins in the past. Don't know how it works when I am playing alongside him in one team. This is the beauty of cricket," he said.

    Watson said he was happy to claim David Warner's wicket because he has the potential to turn the match on its head with his power hitting.

    India vs Australia, 1st Test: Fifties from Kohli, Vijay prop India

    India are battling hard on the fifth and final day of the opening Test in Adelaide on Saturday against a Nathan Lyon-led Australian bowling attack.

    Half-centuries from Murali Vijay and captain Virat Kohli have given India hope after opener Shikhar Dhawan was out for 9 and Cheteshwar Pujara for 21.

    Earlier, the hosts declared their second innings at 290/5, setting India a target of 364.

    India lost two wickets but were resisting Australia's bowlers well on the final day of the opening Adelaide Test on Saturday.

    Faced with an improbable 364 winning target off a minimum 98 overs after Australia declared on their overnight score of 290 for five, the tourists were 105 for two at lunch.

    Opener Murali Vijay was unbeaten on 47 with skipper Virat Kohli not out 25.

    In hot sunny conditions, the Indians lost the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara in the extended morning session, but Vijay and Kohli safely got their team through to lunch.
    India face an against-the-odds target with no team scoring more than 315 to win a Test match at the Adelaide Oval since Australia overhauled England at the ground in 1902.

    Dhawan appeared to get a bad call by umpire Ian Gould when he was given out caught behind off a Mitchell Johnson bouncer for nine in the day's fifth over.

    Replays indicated that the ball came off Dhawan's shoulder and not glove as wicketkeeper Brad Haddin took an athletic catch down the leg-side.

    Vijay survived a big shout on 24 for leg before wicket going back on his stumps off Lyon.

    Umpire Marais Erasmus turned down Lyon's vociferous appeal and replays showed the ball would have hit the stumps.

    Pujara was done by one that Lyon straightened and he edged to Haddin for 21 in the 20th over leaving the tourists at 57 for two.

    IPL Final Live Score: Saha, Vohra get Punjab to 82/2 in 12 overs vs Kolkata

    Wriddhiman Saha and Manan Vohra got Kings XI Punjab back on track after they lost early wickets, and got the team to 111/2 in 14 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 7 final at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Sunday.

    Virender Sehwag (7) was the first to fall when he tried to pull an Umesh Yadav delivery that was not short enough. He got a thick edge which was easily take by Gautam Gambhir at mid-off.

    One over later, George Bailey (1) departed when Gambhir brought on Sunil Naraine. Naraine struck with his first ball, when Bailey (1) missed a straight ball and got bowled behind his leg.

    Since then, Manan Vohra (50*) and Wriddhiman Saha (52*) have been at the crease. They have scored 81 runs off 53 balls so far and have been looking good. They have hit big shots and followed them up with cheeky singles.

    Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir said it was a good pitch and would be good to chase on. His opposite number George Bailey said it was a good toss to lose as he was in two minds.

    Kolkata named an unchanged side while Lakshmipathy Balaji came in for Sandeep Sharma for Punjab.

    ICC World Twenty20: India's Suresh Raina comes in for some stick from West Indies' Sammy

    A day after India vs Pakistan ICC World Twenty20 championship match ended, West Indies captain Darren Sammy took umbrage at the fact that a big-talking Suresh Raina, fresh off a smashing innings against arch rival neighbours, dubbed Windies batsmen as "six hitters".

    Sammy then threw an open challenge and dared the Indian bowlers to stop them from hitting the maximums when they clash in the ICC World Twenty20 here tomorrow.

    "We don't care much about what Suresh Raina thinks. If he thinks we are only six hitters, then stop us from hitting sixes," Sammy replied when asked about his batsmen inability to rotate strike against spinners.
    However, the usually affable West Indies skipper went back to his normal good natured mood as he answered questions with a bit of fun and some with a lot of seriousness.
    What's there on Chris Gayle's mind, asked a scribe. "I am not Jesus Christ! I don't know what's going on in his mind," he laughed and replied.
    Also read: ICC World Twenty20: Virat Kohli helps India maintain World Cup record against Pakistan
    Then he got serious. "But I know he (Gayle) is really pumped up to play here. Whenever he is playing for the West Indies, he is very pumped up. And tomorrow's game everyone will be pumped up."

    Will India be easy opponents, was what he was asked first up at the media conference.

    "You seriously ask that question? No, I don't think any team is an easy opponent. India started off on a winning note and most likely they will have a lot of confidence going into the game. We know what we are capable of doing and we have been playing some good T20 cricket and the guys are confident that we would come good once we play to our full potential."

    Virat Kohli reclaims top spot in ODI Batting Rankings

    Virat Kohli has reclaimed the No.1 position in the latest ICC rankings for One-Day International (ODI) batsmen released Sunday at the conclusion of the Asia Cup which was won by Sri Lanka.

    Kohli had entered the Asia Cup, trailing No.1 ranked AB de Villiers by two points. Kohli's tournament aggregate of 189 runs in three innings, with 136 against Bangladesh as his series best, earned him 12 points which has put him ahead of South Africa ODI captain by nine points.

    Following his knock of 136, Kohli had achieved his career high rating of 886 but finished with 881 points after scores of 48 (against Sri Lanka) and 5 (against Pakistan). Kohli didn't bat against Afghanistan.
    Kohli was last ranked No.1 just before the ODI series against New Zealand in January 2014.

    Other Indian batsmen to head in the right direction include Shikhar Dhawan in eighth (up by three places), Rohit Sharma in 22nd (up by one place) and Ravindra Jadeja in 50th (up by 12 places).
    Jadeja and Ravichandaran Ashwin are the biggest gainers in the top 20 of the bowlers rankings.

    Jadeja earned four places and is now in fifth position after claiming seven wickets in four matches while Ashwin's nine wickets in the series has given him a lift of seven places that has put him in 14th.
    Other big movers include Amit Mishra in 36th (up by five places).

    India have been guaranteed to retain their No.2 position in the team rankings at the April 1 cut-off date.
    India finished with 113 points, just one ahead of third-ranked Sri Lanka, to walk away with a prize of $75,000. There was no other change in the table with all sides retaining their positions.

    Australia were assured of the No.1 ranking in January after India lost their ODI series against New Zealand 0-4. They will receive the ODI shield as well as a cheque of  $175,000.

    Asia Cup 2014 : Lakmal strikes, Afghanistan lose Shahzad early in chase of 254

    Chasing a solid 254-run target, Afghanistan got off to bad start as they lost Mohammad Shahzad early in their Asia Cup tie at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

    Scorecard | Match in Pics

    Pacer Suranga Lakmal gave Sri Lanka the first breakthrough when the breached the defences of Shahzad (7) to get the better of his stumps.

    Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara continued his impressive run of form with a fine half-century before a late flourish powered Sri Lanka to a challenging 253 for six.

    Electing to bat, Sri Lanka wobbled initially as they were reduced to 83 for three in the
    21st century, but recovered to 157 for four in the 37th over courtesy a 74-run stand between wicketkeeper Sangakkara (76) and Dinesh Chandimal (26).
    The Afghan seamers struck back after choking the runs in the middle overs as Sri Lanka were reduced to 184 for six in the 42nd over after being 157 for three in the 37th over, thereby adding just 27 runs at the expense of four wickets in five overs.

    Captain Angelo Mathews then struck a 41-ball unbeaten 45 to take Sri Lanka past 250, their lowest total in the tournament. He shared crucial 69 runs with Thisara Perera (19 not out) for the seventh wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

    Afghanistan, who beat Bangladesh in their previous match two days ago in their best-ever result till date, used as many as eight bowlers and were initially able to restrict the Sri Lankan batsmen who have been in fine form in the tournament, having helped their side win both their earlier matches.

    Sangakkara continued with his fine form in the tournament, top-scoring with a 102-ball knock, which was studded with four sixes and one six. He had scored 67 (against Pakistan) and 103 (against India) in Sri Lanka's earlier two games.

    For Afghanistan, Mirwais Ashraf grabbed two wickets for 29 runs while his fellow pacers Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak took a wicket apiece. 

    Asia Cup 2014: Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq slams fifty to revive Pakistan chase

    Chasing a 297-run target, Pakistan got off to a bad start as they lost their top order cheaply against Sri Lanka in the first match of the Asia Cup in Fatullah.

    Scorecard | Match in Pics

    Pakistan tried to get its run chase back on track courtesy a steady stand between Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez.

    The Shehzad-Hafeez duo stitched a crucial 49-run partnership for the second wicket soon after losing opener Sharjeel Khan early.

    However, Chaturanga De Silva and skipper Angelo Mathews struck in consecutive overs to send Shehzad (28) and Hafeez (18) back to the pavilion.

    Spinner Sachithra Senanayake then joined the wicket taking party when he scalped Sohaib Maqsood (17) by getting him caught at deep mid-wicket.

    Pakistan lost their first wicket when Suranga Lakmal had Sharjeel (26) caught comfortably at mid-on by Mathews after the Pakistan opener mis-timed a short of length delivery.

    Earlier, opener Lahiru Thirimanne notched up his second ODI hundred to power Sri Lanka to a challenging 296 for six against Pakistan.

    Thirimanne hit 11 fours and a six in his 110-ball 102-run innings and starred in a 161-run stand with Kumar Sangakkara (67) for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a huge score at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.

    Pakistan tried to make a comeback in the middle overs as they picked up a few wickets, before skipper Angelo Matthews provided the late charge, cracking a 50-ball 55, to take Sri Lanka close to the 300-mark.

    For Pakistan, Umar Gul (38) and Shahid Afridi (56) picked up two wickets each, while Saeed Ajmal (1/50) took one.

    Electing to bat, Sri Lanka made a watchful start before opener Kusal Perera (14) edged an Umar Gul delivery straight to Umar Akmal behind the stumps in the eighth over to slip to 28 for one.

    However, Thirimanne continued his good run and notched up his fifty off 56 balls in the 20th over, his first half-century since last July.

    He and first-down batsman Sangakkara ensured Sri Lanka suffer no more damage as the two left-handed batsmen amassed runs at good pace and took Sri Lanka to the 100-mark in the 20th over.

    The duo then changed gears, piling up 68 runs in the next 10 overs. Sangakkara, who has been in red-hot form, brought up his 84th fifty in as many balls in the 27th over when he blasted Mohammad Hafeez for a boundary through the midwicket area.

    In the 31st over, Thirimanne picked up Hafeez for special treatment as he sent him over deep midwicket to bring up the first six of the match and move into the 90s. 

    Kallis goes past Dravid, becomes third highest Test run-scorer

    South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis on Sunday surpassed Rahul Dravid as the third highest run-getter in Test cricket after a 115-run knock against India in his farewell match in Durban.

    Kallis, who would be retiring from Tests at the end of the match, now has 13,289 runs in the longest format.

    That tally is one run more than Dravid, who retired last year after playing 164 Tests. Kallis, who is playing in his 166th Test, is now third behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921) and Ricky Ponting (13,378) in the all-time list.

    The South African, considered the best all-rounder in modern cricket, struck a fluent 115-run knock, which came off 316 balls and included nine fours, in his final Test.

    Kallis goes past Dravid
    “Hail King Kallis!Even his worst critic wudn’t begrudge JK farewell ton—truly fantastic feat V normally relate 2 dreams!!” tweeted former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi, paying tribute to the 38-year old.

    “Handsome is that handsome does!Is thr any1 more handsome than Kallis in his final test?No 1 took so much workload as JK in last 3/4 decades!” he added.

    Besides the mountain of runs he sits on, Kallis also has 292 wickets in Tests at an impressive average of 32.53, besides having 200 catches to his credit.

    “100 for #Kallis in his last test. One of the greats,” wrote New Zealand captain Ross Taylor.

    India Series will be a tough Assignment South African coach Russell Domingo

    Up against the number one side in ODIs, South African coach Russell Domingo today said that facing India in the three-match one-day series starting here tomorrow will be a "tough assignment" for the Proteas.

    "It's a big gauge for us. Look, we've won five of our last eight one-dayers, so we're heading in right direction, there is no doubt about it. But we know that India are going to be a tough assignment for us," Domingo said.

    "They are coming off outstanding performances, albeit in India and under Indian conditions, but we are really looking forward to it. We need to see where we are going," the coach was quoted as saying in the South African media.

    India are on a high having beaten Australia and the West Indies in their last two ODI series.

    "India are a quality side and a big attraction, and we would have liked to test ourselves against them, but that's the way it is and there's nothing we can do about it," he said.

    The South Africans' weakness against spin was exposed by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal in their last ODI series against Pakistan but Domingo thought otherwise.

    "I don't think it's spin bowlers, I think it's one or two spin bowlers. Saeed Ajmal is the number-one ranked (ODI) bowler right now. He's a world-class spinner, he has been for a period of time, and particularly when you play him under conditions like we had in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth as well. He's always going to be tough.

    "A lot of batters have struggled against him and a lot will still struggle against him. I don't think we've got a weakness against spin bowling, just that Saeed Ajmal is a world-class bowler and I'm glad he's back in Pakistan.

    Sachin Tendulkar takes a different path to old pal Vinod Kambli

    Tendulkar and his school friend Vinod Kambli burst onto the scene together but then went separate ways, writes Steve James.
    Sachin Tendulkar to the extreme left and Vinod Kambli to the extreme right with their childhood coach in the centre at an event in 2009.

    You would, wouldn't you? The best batsmen just want to bat and bat. And schoolboys are hardly known for their obedience. These two schoolboy batsmen were going rather well. So well in fact that they had both passed their double centuries. On the boundary's edge their assistant coach was waving his arms furiously. He was demanding their attention. It was time to declare. The team total had surpassed 500 after all.

    But the batsmen were having none of it. This was too much fun. They carried on batting. And batting a bit more. By lunch of what was the second day of this three-day Harris Shield semi-final in Mumbai in 1988, one had 349 not out and his friend 326 not out. But they knew they had disobeyed instructions.

    Their coach, Ramakant Achrekar, a man they both respected hugely, was not present, as he had to work that day. Instead it was his assistant, Laxman Chavan, whose instructions had been disregarded. At the interval Chavan told the pair of youngsters that they should phone Achrekar. Their coach asked the score. Over 700 came the reply. "Declare!" screamed Achrekar, according to Vaibhav Purandare, an Indian author.

    "Sir, I'm batting on 349," said the one young man by the name of Vinod Kambli, before the phone was passed to the other, the captain. Sachin Tendulkar was his name. You may have heard of him. "Sir, Vinod needs one run to complete his 350, we'll declare as soon as he gets out," he said. "Declare!" shouted Achrekar, and for once Tendulkar was in trouble. But he and Kambli had already put on an unbeaten 664 for the third wicket for Shardashram School against St Xavier's College, and two stars of Indian cricket had been born.

    A year later Tendulkar was playing Test cricket for India. "He took the elevator to the top," said Kambli, "whilst I took the stairs". But by 1993 they were on the top floor together in the Indian Test team, with Kambli at three and Tendulkar at four in a series at home to England. In the third Test in Mumbai, Kambli made 224, still the highest Test score by an Indian against England.

    In his next Test against Zimbabwe, the left-handed Kambli made 227. Tendulkar was not to score his first Test double-hundred for another six years. In his next two Tests against Sri Lanka Kambli made two centuries. But after another 10 Tests he was dropped. That was in 1995, and he was aged just 23.

    Despite averaging 54.2, he never played another Test. How different were the paths then taken by those schoolboy mates. Recently Tendulkar announced his retirement amid an avalanche of paeans; last week Kambli at the age of just 41 was rushed to hospital in Mumbai having suffered a heart attack. He is said to be in a stable condition. Tendulkar was always the model professional; Kambli was always the classic larrikin, with his golden earrings, funky haircuts (although the pate is now bald) and extravagant lifestyle. Maybe Kambli was before his time because he might have fitted in nicely in the indulgent excesses of the Indian Premier League now.

    But even though he was still playing international one-day cricket in 2000, and indeed Indian first-class cricket until 2004, it was his lax attitude, not a susceptibility to the short ball, that scuppered his career. So it is little surprise really that his friendship with Tendulkar did not remain strong. "I haven't heard Sachin's sound for a long time and it hurts me," said Kambli recently. "It's been seven long years and we haven't met with each other. In between we just shared a few text messages and that's all. It seems as if we have become enemies now."

    Shami reverse-swings India to fabulous win at Eden Gardens

    Pacer Mohammad Shami gave an awesome exhibition of reverse swing to cap a dream debut with five second innings wickets as India inflicted an innings defeat on a hapless West Indies inside three days in the first Test to mark a fabulous start to the Sachin Tendulkar farewell series on Friday.


    Shami followed up his 4-71 performance in the first innings with a 5-47 show in the second to claim an enviable match haul of 9-118 -- the best ever by an Indian pacer on debut.

    Shami's performance propelled India to an innings and 51-run victory in the first Test at the iconic Eden Gardens. Offie Ravichandran Ashwin followed up his exploits with the bat (124) with admirable figures of 3-46.

    Needing 219 runs to escape the ignominy of an innings upset, the West Indies collapsed like a pack of cards in the final session -- 98 minutes into the post tea session -- to be bundled out for 168. Veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul (31 not out; 101 b, 2x4) put up a gritty resistance, but in the end ran out of partners.

    In the morning, Ashwin struck his second Test ton (124) and extended his seventh wicket stand with Rohit Sharma (177) to a staggering 280 to enable the hosts finish at a mammoth 453. The visitors had notched up 234 in their first innings.

    Beginning their second knock in the post-lunch session, the West Indies raised the promise of a fightback by reaching 101/1, courtesy a 68-run second wicket stand between Darren Bravo (37; 78 b, 4X4) and Kieran Powell (36; 83 b, 5x4), but Ashwin began the Caribbean demolition by foxing Powell with a flighted delivery that hit the batsman on the pad plumb in front of the stumps.

    Shami - after a listless effort in his first spell - returned with a vengeance close to tea, and saw the back of Marlon Samuels (4) with one that reversed and got him leg before.

    In the second over after tea, Bravo tried to cut Ashwin, who had pitched outside the off stump, and the ball dipped into the hands of a diving Rohit Sharma at point. The West Indies were then 120/4.

    Shami then jagged one back after pitching on a length just outside the off stump, inducing an inside edge from Windies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin (1), which was lapped up by his Indian counterpart.

    With half the side gone, Chanderpaul (23) and skipper Darren Sammy (8) tried to put up resistance briefly, but they crumbled in Shami's 11th over - the 49th of the innings.

    The Bengal pacer again pitched on a length outside the off stump, and got the ball to reverse, uprooting Sammy's middle stump.

    Two deliveries later, Shane Shillingfored got a similar ball which unsettled the off stump by breaking through the gate.

    There was a further tragedy for the Caribbeans after the next delivery. Shami again extracted reverse swing, and Veerasammy Permaul (0) was struck on the pads. As the Indian fielders appealed, Permaul took a few steps out of the crease, but the alert Dhoni was quick to throw down the stumps to get a run out decision.

    Farewell celebrations will not affect Sachin Tendulkar: Richie Richardson

     As a Sachin Tendulkar mania sweeps Kolkata, West Indies operations manager and former skipper Richie Richardson says the little master deserves all the adulation, but that will not affect his focus once he enters the field.

    Describing Tendulkar, who plays the 199th and penultimate Test match of his career at Eden Gardens beginning Nov 6, Richardson said: "He has been a great ambassador of the game. He deserves every bit of adulation and celebrations surrounding him. But once he enters the field, the celebrations will not affect his focus."

    Tendulkar will be retiring after the second and the last Test - his 200th - at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, Nov 14-18.

    Richardson said Tendulkar was a great both as a sportsperson and a human being.

    "It is difficult to express in words Tendulkar's contribution to cricket and humanity. What I like most about him is he is humble despite his achievements, and always smiling," said Richardson after Windies' practice session at the Eden Gardens.

    "He is a great human being. You do often find somebody who is great at sports, but may be he is not equally great as a person. But Sachin is blessed to be both. People admire him forever," he said.

    Richardson said the Caribbeans were happy to be a party in the final two matches of Tendulkar's Test career. "But at the same time we are here to play, to compete and to win."

    He praised the Indian team, and said the visitors needed to work hard to make a mark in the two Test series.

    "India are playing very well at the moment. They have some very good players, and they will come hard at us. We will have to work hard, but we will be pretty competitive," he said.

    Sachin Tendulkar Never before, never again

    Introducing Sachin in our dna, a series leading up to Tendulkar's 200th Test at Wankhede.

    Four weeks remain before Sachin Tendulkar’s illustrious career comes to an end at his home ground, Wankhede Stadium, against the West Indies. I have known Sachin for a long time and have spent a lot of time with him on the tours of New Zealand (1990), England (1990) and Australia (1991-92). He is extremely passionate about the game and simply cannot live without cricket.

    For him, cricket is everything. I am sure his decision to retire must have been the toughest decision for him simply because he has been playing the game non-stop for 30 years. Right from his school days to now, he has been going to the gym, training hard and spending quality time in the nets. Even today, he is as motivated and as committed as he was when he started playing the game. That’s his level of passion. That he won’t be playing the game at the competitive level after the Mumbai Test (against the West Indies) would surely hurt him big time.

    Sachin has achieved what nobody in the history of cricket has achieved. I cannot think of anyone even coming close to achieving what Sachin has. It’s tough for a great player to hang up his boots simply because he has spent all his life, or say the best years of his life, doing what he knows best besides, of course, working hard to keep up the standards he has set for himself. Suddenly, he won’t have to wake up and go to the ground or play in a match. It will be tough, but I guess as time goes by, he will get used to it.

    There is so much media hype surrounding his retirement, but Sachin has seen it all many a time in his career. He is no rookie when it comes to big occasions and I feel he will handle it the way he has been handling tough, emotional situations all his life. Surely, this one will be different; people will expect him to score a century in his last Test match.

    There are always big expectations whenever Sachin goes in to bat. Such expectations come not just from within India but also from all over the world. I guess those who have watched Sir Don Bradman or Sir Garfield Sobers must have had the same feeling or expectations whenever and wherever they played.

    For all that Sachin has achieved, to me personally, he is a wonderful human being. He is one who always respects his elders and is ever so humble. He is loved by all. Even after achieving so much, be it fame or fortune, his feet are rooted firmly to the ground. He hasn’t changed much since I saw him first in 1988. He is always helpful to newcomers and tries his best to make them feel at home.

    When he first arrived on the international stage, he was extremely mature for his age. He was ready for big cricket. He had the head of a 24-year-old on his 16-year-old frame. Skill-wise, there is not much of a difference among most 15 or 16-year-olds, but those who are mentally tougher, play the game at the highest level earlier than those who are late bloomers.

    Sachin looked exceptional for a schoolboy cricketer. When I took him to the nets to face Kapil Dev and other India bowlers, he was not at all overawed by the presence of some of the great players of that era. Besides, he had a lot of time while playing the pacers.

    CLT20 Match 18: Rajasthan Royals vs Otago Volts LIVE SCORE

    Welcome to the LIVE coverage of Match 18 in the Champions League T20 Group Stage between Rajasthan Royals and Otago Volts from the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur. SCORECARD

    Sanju Samson comes to the crease for Rajasthan Royals.

    Nick Beard gets the BREAKTHROUGH for Otago Volts.

    6.4 overs: That's OUT!! Nick Beard has got Rahul Dravid out caught at point. Dravid reaches out and slices it to Nathan McCullum who takes a STUNNING catch diving backwards. Rahul Dravid departs after scoring 10 runs off 17 balls.

    6.2 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane skips down the track and lofts it over extra cover for a boundary.

    Jimmy Neesham comes into the attack for Otago Volts.

    TIDY start by Nick Beard, six runs off it!!

    First sign of spin, Nick Beard comes into the attack for Otago Volts.

    There's NO-STOPPING to Ajinkya Rahane here!!

    2.5 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane leans forward and smashes it towards deep extra cover for another boundary in the over.

    2.2 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya rahane gets on the frontfoot and creams the drive towards deep extra cover fence for a boundary.

    First change, Neil Wagner comes into the attack for Otago Volts.

    1.4 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane rocks back and tucks it past short fine leg for a boundary. Rahane looks in GOOD TOUCH here!!

    James McMillan will bowl from the other end for Otago Volts.

    FIFTEEN runs off the first over!!

    0.6 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane stays back and thumps it square of the wicket for another boundary in the over.

    0.3 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane picks the length early and punches it towards the sweeper cover fence for the first boundary in the innings. Rahane gets off the mark in STYLE!!

    Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane are out in the middle for Rajasthan Royals while Ian Butler will open the attack for Otago Volts.

    Otago Volts managed to score a moderate total of 139 runs at the loss of seven wickets against Rajasthan Royals. Otago will be reasonably happy with the score they have got. After the heroics by Rahul Shukla in his first over, Jimmy Neesham and Ryan ten Doeschate rescued the side with a fifty partnership. Ian Butler and Nathan McCullum scored briskly and got their side to a decent total. Considering that the pitch is very good for batting, Rajasthan should back themselves to chase this down.

    THIRTEEN RUNS off the last over!!

    19.4 overs: FOUR!! nathan McCullum walks forward and smashes it over the infield for another boundary. That went like a ROCKET!!

    19.2 overs: FOUR!! Nathan McCullum manages to flick the yorker towards deep backward square leg for a boundary.

    James Faulkner will bowl the FINAL OVER for Rajasthan Royals.

    Neil Wagner comes to the crease for Otago Volts.

    18.2 overs: That's OUT!! Kevon Cooper has bowled Ian Butler on a fuller delivery. Butler slogs across the line and gets an inside edge back onto the stumps. Ian Butler's blitzkrieg come to an end at 25 runs off 18 balls with two boundaries and two sixes.

    EIGHTEEN RUNS off the over!!

    16.6 overs: SIX!! Ian Buttler flays the lofted shot and sends it over the long-on fence for another maximum. This is turning out to be a GREAT HAND from Butler

    16.4 overs: FOUR!! Ian Butler picks the slower ball and whacks it towards the deep midwicket fence for a boundary.

    16.3 overs: SIX!! Ian Butler shimmies down the track and hammers it over the long-on fence for the maximum. That was HUGE from Buttler!!

    15.1 overs: FOUR!! Ian Buttler hangs back and creams the drive towards deep extra cover for a boundary. CRUCIAL runs for Otago Volts!!

    14.3 overs: FOUR!! Nathan McCullum picks the length early and lofts it over cover for a boundary.

    Ian Buttler comes to the crease for Otago Volts.

    Otago Volts are FALLING APART here!!

    13.3 overs: OUT!! Pravin Tambe has got Ryan ten Doeschate out LBW on a flatter delivery. Ten Doeschate tried to work it towards the on-side but missed it as the ball hits his pad in front of the stumps. Ryan ten Doeschate departs after scoring 26 runs off 27 balls with three boundaries.

    12.6 overs: FOUR!! Ryan ten Doeschate waits for it and steers it past short fine leg for a boundary.

    Nathan McCullum comes to the crease for Otago Volts.

    Pepsi IPL Schedule 2013

    IPL Schedule 2013 cricket Tournament will start on Apr 3, 2013 in India. The last match of the tournament will be held on May 26, 2013.

    The Indian Premier League, or as some would like to address it as the Cricket Carnival is back in the subcontinent and is in tremendous flow with a lot of new exciting surprises keeping viewers hooked to their TV sets. There was much ado about the Pepsico IPL schedule before the start of the event with critics complaining about too much of cricket being played which can fatigue players in the long run. The short version of the game has added a lot of color to cricket itself especially after the involvement of Bollywood superstars in the event. The Pepsi IPL fixture was declared back in the month of January after the auction held at Bangalore. The IPL time table is considered to be a lot more hyped than other tournament time tables owing to the fact that cricket crazy India always tends to promise a better turn out at the stadiums than any other countries in the world. The indian premier league schedule has been carefully designed to ensure optimum crowd turnout and the months of April-May are considered to be the time of the year when cricket in India is played at its best. Top four teams from IPL Points Table will enter playoff/semi final round.

    As to what a lot may oppose regarding the busy indian premier league fixtures that has kept the veterans in the hunt still going strong; it does not really spoil the game of cricket but also encourages a lot of talented youngsters to play with conviction. The indian premier league time table this year is hands down devoid of controversies though unlike that of the 4th edition of the league where the IPLT20 schedule was prepared and started just after 4 days from the last match of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

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