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Monday, 31 March 2014
ICC World T20 2014:  Mohammad Hafeez ‘pleased’ at India’s entry into semi-finals

ICC World T20 2014: Mohammad Hafeez ‘pleased’ at India’s entry into semi-finals

Pakistani Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez has said that he is pleased that arch rivals India have made it into the semifinals of the World T20 tournament as it gives other teams a clear scenario of what is needed to join the 2007 champions in the next stage.

Pakistan lost to India by seven wickets but defeated Australia by 16 runs in a high-scoring game and now needs to beat both Bangladesh and the West Indies to advance, while India has won its first three games and is due to play Australia in the other game on Sunday.

According to The Dawn, ahead of Pakistan’s Group 2 match against Bangladesh, Hafeez said that as India has played good cricket in the tournament till now, it is good that they have advanced to the semi-finals, which will give a clearer picture to the other teams of what they it would take for them to advance.

Stating that they have to win every game in the Super-10 stage to enter the semi-finals, Hafeez also said that there is no excuse for making any mistakes, although he added that he feels the building up for the crucial stage of the tournament has gone off very well given their improved character and intensive training.

Hafeez said the 2009 champions were looking to win the tournament once again and confirmed that batsman Umar Akmal had recovered from a hamstring injury he suffered during the match against Australia.

Hafeez knows the tougher game will be against the West Indies on Tuesday, but refused to take Bangladesh lightly even though the hosts have lost both matches so far.
McCullum blitz seals six-wicket win for New Zealand  -World T20

McCullum blitz seals six-wicket win for New Zealand -World T20

Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has offered to quit as skipper of Chennai Super Kings following the controversy over conflict of interest. Dhoni, who has been leading the Chennai team since it came into existence, also offered to give up the vice-presidentship of India Cements Limited, a company headed by N. Srinivasan.    

The news comes a day after the Supreme Court on Friday appointed Sunil Gavaskar the interim president of the Indian cricket board in place of the tainted incumbent N. Srinivasan. Srinivasan gets sacked, Gavaskar to take charge as BCCI chief

An apex court bench headed by Justice A.K. Patnaik said Gavaskar would only be concerned with matters related to the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League.

The rest of the functions of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would be discharged by its senior-most vice-president Shivlal Yadav.

It is believed that Dhoni was upset over his name being dragged in the IPL spot-fixing. Gavaskar's appointment builds optimism in cricket fraternity

Harish Salve, the counsel for Bihar cricket association chief Aditya Verma, on Thursday had accused Dhoni of giving false statements to the Mudgal committee about the role of Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of N. Srinivasan, in Chennai Super Kings.

Salve, who appeared in Supreme Court for the petitioner Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar, said it was indeed a lie aimed at cover-up.

"He (Dhoni) said this on record. In one voice with Srinivasan he said that Meiyappan was only an enthusiast. I have no personal knowledge of it, it is the report that said. According to the report, Meiyappan used to sit in the players dug out and was also there in the players auction for the team (CSK). And Dhoni knew it. What was the need for the captain to say that. The definition of corruption includes cover-up,
World T20: McCullum blitz seals six-wicket win for New Zealand

World T20: McCullum blitz seals six-wicket win for New Zealand

Captain Brendon McCullum led from the front with a fine 65 as New Zealand scored a comfortable six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in a ICC World Twenty20 Super 10 match on Saturday.
The Kiwis chased down the target of 152 with one over to spare with Brendon McCullum anchoring the innings with a 45-ball knock that he made with the help of four boundaries and three sixes at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
New Zealand lost their opener Martin Guptill(9) cheaply in the fourth over but they were never in trouble as the inexperienced Dutch bowlers came up short.
Coming in at the crease when his side was 14 for one in the fourth over, McCullum, the world`s most prolific scorer in Twenty20 Internationals, ensured that the Kiwis did not face any problem in their run chase.
When he was out in the 17th over, after sharing a 46-run stand with Corey Anderson(20*) for the unbroken fifth wicket, New Zealand were just 18 runs away from victory from 19 balls with six wickets in hand. Anderson took New Zealand score past the target by reaching 152 for four in 19 overs.
For the Netherlands, Timm van der Gugten grabbed three wickets for 30 runs, while Logan van Beek got one.
With today's result, New Zealand are on four points from three matches with two wins and a defeat. The Netherlands are yet to open their account after playing three matches.
Earlier, Tom Cooper's unbeaten 40 off 23 balls lifted the Netherlands to 151 for four in their allotted 20 overs.
Copper, who hit four boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten knock, shared 60 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Peter Borren(49) after the Netherlands were put into bat.
The Netherlands were slow in their first 10 overs, scoring just 62 for two wickets, but accelerated in the second half of their innings. Openers Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart contributed 16 and 26 respectively.
For New Zealand, Kyle Mills, Trent Boult, Nathan McCullum and Mitchell McClenaghan took a wicket each.
Sunny side up! Gavaskar briefed on Indian Premier League 2014

Sunny side up! Gavaskar briefed on Indian Premier League 2014

BCCI's Interim President Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday met IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal who briefed the former Indian captain on "various aspects" related to the upcoming seventh edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 league.
"I had a meeting with Ranjib Biswal chairman, IPL, and the management staff, in Dubai, earlier today. They briefed me on the various aspects related to the Pepsi IPL 2014, and updated me on the current status of this year's season, which will commence on 16 April 2014 in the UAE," Gavsakar said in a statement.
Handed over the reins of BCCI for IPL 7 by the Supreme Court yesterday, Gavaskar is confident of hosting a successful event.
"I am confident that the upcoming season of the IPL 2014 will be a successful one," he said.
The BCCI already has a proper set-up in place for running the IPL and there had been speculation about what role Gavaskar would play during the league.
Gavaskar had earlier said he will "give it his best shot" while discharging duties during the T20 league.
The apex court yesterday gave charge to Gavaskar for functions concerning the IPL and did not bar the N Srinivasan-promoted Chennai Super kings and Rajasthan Royals from participating in the seventh edition of the tournament.
Taking the cricket board out of incumbent Srinivasan's hands, the Court directed that the senior most vice president of the Board, Shivlal Yadav, will look after all the affairs of BCCI except IPL.



MS Dhoni paid Rs.20 crore income tax in 2013-14

MS Dhoni paid Rs.20 crore income tax in 2013-14

Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has paid Rs.20 crore income tax in 2013-14 to retain his pole position as the highest individual tax payer in the Bihar and Jharkhand region, a senior Income Tax official said on Friday.

Dhoni has paid an income tax worth Rs.20 crore in 2013-14 to emerge as the highest tax payer in individual category in Bihar and Jharkhand region for sixth consecutive year, Principal Chief Commissioner, Patna, RK Rai told reporters.

On the dip in the I-T paid by Dhoni this fiscal as compared to Rs.22 crore he paid last year, Rai said that the drop may be due to reduction in the Team India captain's income from various sources.

Dhoni's income from advertisement sources might have come down this year, Rai said.




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West Indies' wild celebration aimed at chirpy James Faulkner

West Indies captain Darren Sammy got a rousing applause from members of the media as he entered the conference arena with his pads still on, before coming up with this retort: It feels better to hit a guy, who was talking a lot. Match Photos

This was in response to Australian James Faulkner's comment that he didn't like the West Indians. "Cricket is a game of action. It all happens in the field. It feels good to come good when it mattered. I believe this win would hurt them (Australians) and James Faulkner certainly wouldn't like the West Indians," Sammy said after his 13-ball-34 almost shut the door on the Australians in the ICC World T20.

Faulkner had said earlier that he does not like the West Indians and Sammy said that he didn't pay heed to what the all-rounder has to say. But today he was in a mood to talk. "It feels better to hit a guy, who was talking a lot," he said taking an obvious dig at Faulkner.

About playing two dot balls, he said, "I knew I had to hit sixes. But then we are known as a six-hitting team (referring to Suresh Raina's comments before India vs West Indies game). Happy to have crossed the line today as the match was important for both teams."

About Chris Gayle's angry 'Gangnam Dance', Sammy said, "Chris is the leader of our dancing group. We play with flair and love to celebrate our success." About Gayle's form, the skipper said, "I had said that Chris is hitting the ball well at the nets, we all know how dangerous he can be if he is there at the wicket."

His last shot was the typical 'Helicopter Shot' that is patented by Dhoni. Asked about it, Sammy replied, "I knew that he would be bowling fuller and I had moved towards off-stump. Probably, I would been out if I missed the line but it was one such day when it came off well. That's why I say that cricket is played in the field. As far as the 'Helicopter Shot' is concerned, it will remain Dhoni's shot and not mine."
Dhoni offers to quit as Chennai Super Kings skipper

Dhoni offers to quit as Chennai Super Kings skipper



Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has offered to quit as skipper of Chennai Super Kings following the controversy over conflict of interest. Dhoni, who has been leading the Chennai team since it came into existence, also offered to give up the vice-presidentship of India Cements Limited, a company headed by N. Srinivasan.     
The news comes a day after the Supreme Court on Friday appointed Sunil Gavaskar the interim president of the Indian cricket board in place of the tainted incumbent N. Srinivasan. Srinivasan gets sacked, Gavaskar to take charge as BCCI chief 

An apex court bench headed by Justice A.K. Patnaik said Gavaskar would only be concerned with matters related to the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League.

The rest of the functions of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would be discharged by its senior-most vice-president Shivlal Yadav.

It is believed that Dhoni was upset over his name being dragged in the IPL spot-fixing. Gavaskar's appointment builds optimism in cricket fraternity 

Harish Salve, the counsel for Bihar cricket association chief Aditya Verma, on Thursday had accused Dhoni of giving false statements to the Mudgal committee about the role of Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of N. Srinivasan, in Chennai Super Kings.

Salve, who appeared in Supreme Court for the petitioner Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar, said it was indeed a lie aimed at cover-up.

"He (Dhoni) said this on record. In one voice with Srinivasan he said that Meiyappan was only an enthusiast. I have no personal knowledge of it, it is the report that said. According to the report, Meiyappan used to sit in the players dug out and was also there in the players auction for the team (CSK). And Dhoni knew it. What was the need for the captain to say that. The definition of corruption includes cover-up," Salve said.


World T20: McCullum blitz seals six-wicket win for New Zealand

World T20: McCullum blitz seals six-wicket win for New Zealand





New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum played a match-winning knock of 65 runs against Netherlands
Captain Brendon McCullum led from the front with a fine 65 as New Zealand scored a comfortable six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in a ICC World Twenty20 Super 10 match on Saturday.

The Kiwis chased down the target of 152 with one over to spare with Brendon McCullum anchoring the innings with a 45-ball knock that he made with the help of four boundaries and three sixes at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

New Zealand lost their opener Martin Guptill(9) cheaply in the fourth over but they were never in trouble as the inexperienced Dutch bowlers came up short.

Coming in at the crease when his side was 14 for one in the fourth over, McCullum, the world`s most prolific scorer in Twenty20 Internationals, ensured that the Kiwis did not face any problem in their run chase.

When he was out in the 17th over, after sharing a 46-run stand with Corey Anderson(20*) for the unbroken fifth wicket, New Zealand were just 18 runs away from victory from 19 balls with six wickets in hand. Anderson took New Zealand score past the target by reaching 152 for four in 19 overs.

For the Netherlands, Timm van der Gugten grabbed three wickets for 30 runs, while Logan van Beek got one.

With today's result, New Zealand are on four points from three matches with two wins and a defeat. The Netherlands are yet to open their account after playing three matches.

Earlier, Tom Cooper's unbeaten 40 off 23 balls lifted the Netherlands to 151 for four in their allotted 20 overs.

Copper, who hit four boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten knock, shared 60 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Peter Borren(49) after the Netherlands were put into bat.

The Netherlands were slow in their first 10 overs, scoring just 62 for two wickets, but accelerated in the second half of their innings. Openers Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart contributed 16 and 26 respectively.

For New Zealand, Kyle Mills, Trent Boult, Nathan McCullum and Mitchell McClenaghan took a wicket each.
Sunny side up! Gavaskar briefed on Indian Premier League 2014

Sunny side up! Gavaskar briefed on Indian Premier League 2014

BCCI's Interim President Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday met IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal who briefed the former Indian captain on "various aspects" related to the upcoming seventh edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 league.

"I had a meeting with Ranjib Biswal chairman, IPL, and the management staff, in Dubai, earlier today. They briefed me on the various aspects related to the Pepsi IPL 2014, and updated me on the current status of this year's season, which will commence on 16 April 2014 in the UAE," Gavsakar said in a statement.

Handed over the reins of BCCI for IPL 7 by the Supreme Court yesterday, Gavaskar is confident of hosting a successful event.

"I am confident that the upcoming season of the IPL 2014 will be a successful one," he said.

The BCCI already has a proper set-up in place for running the IPL and there had been speculation about what role Gavaskar would play during the league.

Gavaskar had earlier said he will "give it his best shot" while discharging duties during the T20 league.

The apex court yesterday gave charge to Gavaskar for functions concerning the IPL and did not bar the N Srinivasan-promoted Chennai Super kings and Rajasthan Royals from participating in the seventh edition of the tournament.

Taking the cricket board out of incumbent Srinivasan's hands, the Court directed that the senior most vice president of the Board, Shivlal Yadav, will look after all the affairs of BCCI except IPL.


Thursday, 27 March 2014
Dhoni involved in cover-up to save Meiyappan: Harish Salve

Dhoni involved in cover-up to save Meiyappan: Harish Salve

While BCCI chief N Srinivasan has found himself caught in the middle of the sensational IPL fiasco, his IPL team captain MS Dhoni is not far from the heat for his alleged role in the controversy.
In the latest of allegations against the Indian skipper, counsel for the petitioner(Aditya Verma of Cricket Association of Bihar), Harish Salve, took to Twitter and alleged that the Dhoni was involved in a cover up to save Chennai Super Kings(CSK) official Gurunath Meiyappan - who was arrested in connection to the infamous IPL spot-fixing case.
Salve believes that Dhoni was "guilty of corrupt conduct." He also accused the CSK skipper of making a false statement before Justice Mukul Mudgal committee, a probe panel appointed by Supreme Court.
According to Salve, Dhoni blatantly lied before the inquiry committee saying that Meiyappan -- BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law -- was a "mere enthusiast" when in fact he was an official of the Chennai franchise in the IPL.
The Petitioner's lawyer also revealed that it was really "hard to believe" that the Chennai Super Kings captain didn't know Meiyappan's role in the team
Though Salve admires MS Dhoni's skills on the cricket field, he revealed that the alleged cover up to save Meiyappan is corruption as defined in the relevant regulations.
Dhoni has been part of the Chennai Super Kings for the past six years now. He has led the Chennai franchise - owned by Srinivasan's India Cements - to two IPL titles.
The Indian skipper, employed by India Cements as the vice-president, already faces charges of "conflict of interest."
Earlier, the Supreme Court advised that the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals should be barred from taking part in the upcoming season of the IPL while former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar should replace Srinivasan as the interim BCCI chief.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who as skipper of Chennai Super Kings and a vice-president of India Cements has direct connection with the fiasco, was conspicuous by his absence from the mandatory pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of India's clash against Bangladesh in the World T20.
WT20: Alex Hales ton guides England to six-wicket win over SL

WT20: Alex Hales ton guides England to six-wicket win over SL

Alex Hales cracked a career-best 116 not out as England ran down Sri Lanka by six wickets with four balls to spare in another gripping World Twenty20 match on Thursday.
Hales' 64-ball knock, the first century by an England player in T20s, also earned England's highest chase win in a T20 as they zoomed to 190-4 in response to Sri Lanka's daunting 189-4.
After Sri Lanka had England 0-2, Hales and Eoin Morgan combined for a record third-wicket stand of 152. Morgan made 57 off 38 balls.
Coming off a duck in his last outing in the loss to New Zealand, Hales struck 11 fours, and his sixth and last six legside off Angelo Mathews fittingly won the match.
England's first win of the tournament kept it in semifinal running, while Sri Lanka's first loss in three matches left it leading Group 1 on run difference over South Africa, which beat the Netherlands by six runs earlier.
Nuwan Kulasekara's double strike in the first over of the innings dented England's chase but Hales and Morgan revived the innings.
They picked on spinner Ajantha Mendis, who was largely rendered ineffective by the considerable amount of dew. Hales and Morgan scored 25 runs off his last over, the 15th of the innings, that tilted the match towards England. Hales hit three sixes and one four in that over.
Kulasekara returned and again picked up two wickets in an over, removing Morgan and Jos Buttler for 2. Morgan hit seven fours and two sixes.
But Hales was unstoppable. He struck consecutive sixes off Kulasekara, whom the England batsmen found tough to deal with, as England surpassed its previous best chase of 181-4 against India in 2012.
Kulasekara grabbed a career-best 4-32.
Earlier, Mahela Jayawardene hit 89 and Tillakaratne Dilshan made 55 for Sri Lanka.
Jayawardene and Dilshan added 145 for the second wicket, aided by the England fielders, who dropped several chances.
Jayawardene could have been out off the first ball he faced from Dernbach. Michael Lumb dived forward at full length to intercept it before it hit the turf. He claimed a catch but Jayawardene felt it bounced. The replay was inconclusive.
He was let off twice more on 21 and 80 off Tim Bresnan and Dernbach.
Dilshan was also put down on 21 as Bresnan failed to hold the catch off Stuart Broad. After being reprieved, he played scoop shots to further unsettle the England bowling attack.
Jayawardene played sweep shots at will until Chris Jordan produced a beauty to crash his wicket. Jayawardene smashed 11 fours and three sixes off 51 balls.
Dilshan hit four fours and two sixes in his 47-ball knock.
Jordan and Dernbach claimed two wickets apiece.
Yuvraj may get another chance India vs Bangladesh in World T20

Yuvraj may get another chance India vs Bangladesh in World T20

After a well-deserved two-day rest, the Indian team on Wednesday returned to the nets to prepare for their next World Twenty20 game against Bangladesh on Friday.

This was the first time the players had put on their training jersey since India's Supreme Court made some strong observations against BCCI president N. Srinivasan in an IPL betting-fixing case on Tuesday. A crucial hearing is scheduled in the apex court on Thursday, a day before Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team clashes with hosts Bangladesh. It remains to be seen what effect the Supreme Court ruling - if it is passed on Thursday - would eventually have on the players.

On Wednesday, at least, the players didn't look affected by the happenings in India; their body language or mood was no different from their several previous practice sessions.

They didn't seem perturbed either while playing a game of football or during the net session that followed. It was, in fact, business as usual for the players as masseur Ramesh Mane, popularly known as 'Mane Kaka', played Bollywood songs loudly, something he has been doing for years now.

The affable masseur also carries a tea pot and a variety of tea leaves to cater to the different tastes of the players in the team. The Indian players are not allowed to speak to the media, besides the routine press conferences. Even at the pressers, reporters are told to ask only tournament-related questions.

The players looked relaxed as they returned to the hotel after the three-hour practice session on Wednesday. Some of them had their headphones on while the others chatted with each other as they headed to their rooms. India have had a great start to the tournament. They won both their matches against Pakistan and the West Indies with ease. Except for Yuvraj Singh, and to a lesser extent Shikhar Dhawan, everyone has looked in form and have made meaningful contributions to the team's cause. Yuvraj has not been his usual self while fielding too, and has dropped catches.

He has so far scored 11 runs in the two games, 10 of which came in the second match against the West Indies. However, from the indications during Wednesday's net session, the talented left-hander might be given another opportunity, if not more than one, to regain form.

Ajinkya Rahane hasn't been tried as yet and he could get into the fray if Yuvraj fails once more. On Wednesday, Yuvraj batted in the second batch, after the two openers, and spent about 20 minutes polishing his strokes. This gives a fair indication that the Punjab batsman would continue to play. Also, the team would not like to disturb the winning combination.

To be fair to Yuvraj, he has won many matches for India and made crucial contributions when the team won the 2011 World Cup in India. He won the Man of the Tournament award. Navjot Singh Sidhu, for instance, feels that Yuvraj's key to success is his fitness. "He's a great player in the shorter version. If he gets his fitness back, he'll always be great.

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Can England disrupt Sri Lanka's

Match facts
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Start time 1930 local (1330 GMT)


    Stuart Broad and Ashley Giles at a training session, Chittagong, March 26, 2014
Can Stuart Broad and Ashley Giles come up with a plan to overcome Sri Lanka? © Getty Images
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Matches: England v Sri Lanka at Chittagong
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: England | Sri Lanka

Big Picture

A tense win sealed by Lasith Malinga, one merciless defeat of a weaker side, and significant contributions from various places in the XI; Sri Lanka's World T20 campaign so far bears the hallmarks of so many recent sprints to the knockout phase of a world event. In each of those tournaments, the result against England has prefigured their eventual destination. When they have won the England match, as they did in two World Cups, and two World T20s since 2007, they have played the final. If they defeat them again on Tuesday, they will take a significant step towards the semi-finals.

England face a far bleaker reality. They had lost five of six T20s this year, before the rain ruined them against New Zealand. The bowling appears short on penetration, and in the warm-up against India, the batting appeared frail against high-quality spin. Before England can consider a place in the knockouts, they must first overcome inertia.

The key for England may be to sound a charge early in their innings, to force an inexperienced Sri Lanka captain to alter his bowling plans. If they prevent Angelo Mathews from delivering cheap overs with the new ball, or avoid being shackled by Nuwan Kulasekara's swing, they may have Malinga in the attack sooner than Sri Lanka prefer, which in turn creates an opportunity at the death. Ajantha Mendis has not been at his best in the tournament, despite a good haul against clueless Netherlands batsmen, and his overs may be another chance for England to reclaim the kind of fearless cricket that won them the 2010 title.

Sri Lanka will merely seek to keep their T20 machinery well-oiled and efficient. Though a strong start to the tournament might spark fears of complacency among other teams, overconfidence is not Sri Lanka's style. An unbeaten run of 14 matches in Bangladesh this year has exposed few real weaknesses in the team, but there are vulnerabilities in their game, which England are capable of exploiting.

Form guide
(last five matches, most recent first)

Sri Lanka WWWWW
England LWLLL

In the spotlight

Ajantha Mendis has lately been as much of a mystery for the selectors as he has been to opposition batsmen. His T20 record is excellent, and as the match against Netherlands proved, batsmen who have never faced him find him exceedingly difficult to decipher. But he is also prone to dramatic failure when there is little turn to be had, and against batsmen who have worked him out. Against South Africa, he travelled for 11 runs an over. Laudable returns against England will help shore up his place in the team, but with Rangana Herath in the dugout, an expensive outing may also seal his omission for the following matches.

As bright a prospect as his batting is attractive, Moeen Ali has not yet brought his best to international cricket, but the 36 against New Zealand revealed glimpses of his ability. Equally comfortable flicking languidly to leg as he is sending the ball to the straight fence, Moeen had recently excelled in spin-friendly conditions, on an England Lions tour to Sri Lanka. That experience may aid him against Sri Lanka's slow-bowling phalanx, but he will also do well to set the innings off apace against the seamers.

Teams news

Sri Lanka have no cause to change their combination. Kusal Perera suffered a painful blow to the thumb against Netherlands, but that is not expected to affect his availability.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis

Ian Bell was absent from training on Wednesday due to an upset stomach, but he was unlikely to play in any case. England may consider bolstering their batting with Chris Woakes, or their spin bowling with Stephen Parry, at Jade Dernbach's expense.

England (probable) 1 Alex Hales, 2 Michael Lumb, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jos Buttler, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Chris Jordan, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 James Tredwell, 11 Jade Dernbach/ Chris Woakes/ Stephen Parry

Pitch and conditions

There has not been as much assistance for spinners as anticipated in Chittagong, and given the square has spent considerable time under covers in the 48 hours before the match, it appears that trend will continue. Further storms cannot be ruled out, so keep that D/L sheet handy.

Stats and trivia

    England have lost three T20s against Sri Lanka and won one - the 2010 World T20 semi-final

    Eoin Morgan needs six runs to score 1000 T20 runs - he would be the second England batsman to reach that milestone after Kevin Pietersen.

    Nuwan Kulasekara is the only seamer ranked among the top ten T20 bowlers

Quotes

"Winning against Sri Lanka would be a big thing for us, a big confidence boost and that's how we're looking at it."
Ravi Bopara

"In the second game we showed what our standard was. We know if we win one of our last two games we can make it to the semi-finals but we are looking forward to winning both."
Dinesh Chandimal
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The Yuvraj conundrum

 As Suresh Raina hit the winning run off Marlon Samuels, the Indian dug-out hugged and high-fived their successive win in the World T20.

There was celebratory joy, but there was also a hint of relief, for India had taken a simple chase to the final over. As MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli clasped hands, Yuvraj Singh walked out. He had just taken off his gear but still wore a part disenchanted, part blank look; his eyes distant, and in sharp contrast to the jubilation around him.

Yuvraj had walked in with 23 needed off 32, consumed 19 of those for his 10 runs and had fallen dabbing a turner straight to slip. One ball later Raina ended the match.

Against Pakistan, he missed a full delivery and was bowled second ball. In both matches, he put down what could have been costly misses - Chris Gayle and Mohammad Hafeez - but India created and converted more chances soon after. His solitary over in the tournament so far went for 13.

Cricket is a game that lends itself easily to analysis, and unfortunately, to over-analysis as well. India are only two games into their campaign in a format where often, any analysis can be over-analysis. It is readily possible to argue in Yuvraj's favour: Anyone can miss a full and straight one early in his innings, especially in the T20 format which requires heavy hitting.

Yuvraj might only have wanted some time in the middle, knowing that India had plenty of deliveries left to put West Indies away, and aware that such an opportunity rarely comes in T20s. Already, many other players have spilled high catches in Mirpur, and there could be a larger reason for it. The height and positioning of the floodlights is being talked about as a possible factor. And for all his deeds with the ball in the past, Yuvraj is and has always been a part-time bowler, and it was only one over anyway.

It is the sum of all these instances, though, that invites concern. This is already Yuvraj's third comeback (of sorts) since recovering from cancer. The first time he was rushed into the 2012 World T20 having played very little competitive cricket and seemed lacking in match fitness. The second comeback also started in the shortest format, with a much leaner Yuvraj carving a match-winning, unbeaten 77 off 35 against Australia in Rajkot in October last year, before struggling in the one-dayers. The third comeback is not strict in definition, for India didn't played any T20s between the Rajkot one and the World T20.

In both the previous phases, Yuvraj has lost his place in one format each. He hasn't played a Test since December 2012, and an ODI since December 2013, missing the tour of New Zealand and the Asia Cup.

             

The confidence does not seem to be there. It shows in the way he has looked forlorn on the boundary after those drops instead of showing some anger or disappointment.

       

At the moment, T20 is the only format he has to make his case and it can be misleading for watchers to take cues from. It can also be ruthless on the player, with everything happening so fast, leaving little time to gather your thoughts. Even more so, considering it is a world event.

With bat, ball, on the field, even in the nets, Yuvraj has just not looked comfortable. The confidence does not seem to be there. It shows in the way he has looked forlorn on the boundary after those drops instead of showing some anger or disappointment. He knows, and the world knows, there is so much riding for him on this World T20. Maybe it is the pressure of that knowledge, that this is all he has left for now, at the international stage at least, that is shackling him down.

As any captain would, MS Dhoni backed his senior player after the West Indies match. "Yuvraj is the best player in T20s. Right now he is not in that good a rhythm you can say. It is a bit tough, he has been dropped from ODIs and is coming back in T20s, there is a bit of pressure on the individual. You can say it is a short format and you can go in and express yourself, but when an individual comes into the team, there is some pressure on him.

"It takes one-two matches but we are only hoping if he gets a good flow, a good game, we all know the kind of match-winner he is and he can really turn the game around on his own," Dhoni said. "I am glad he got a bit of time because it will only settle his nerves. We all know how dangerous he can be once he gets going, he will give many more victories. If Yuvi comes back, if he bats really well, he is a good asset to have a No 4."

India can arguably afford to give Yuvraj one more match in the tournament. It should ideally help that their next one is against Bangladesh and not Australia. They will be relieved if Yuvraj comes good in that. If not, they will be in a quandary against Australia. They look good to make the semi-final, and would not want to go in with a short-on-confidence Yuvraj or a short-on-match-practice Ajinkya Rahane.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
ICC World T20: A glimpse of Team India we know

ICC World T20: A glimpse of Team India we know

No matter if it's the Friday omen or any other jinx, a 50-over clash or a T20 fiesta, Team India just cannot lose to Pakistan in World Cup ties. MS Dhoni brigade registered their fourth World T20 win and ninth in World Cup matches after an all-round performance producing a seven-wicket win over their arch-rivals in Mirpur yesterday. Statistical Highlights
Following the dismal performances over the past few tournaments, the Indian team was under immense pressure to prove a point early in their World T20 campaign and it couldn't have come against a better opposition than their traditional foes who had inflicted a painful last-over win in the recently concluded Asia Cup.
The return of MS Dhoni proved pivotal for India, not with the bat though, but surely with his influential leadership skills. The Indian skipper's decision to field three specialist spinners - Amit Mishra(2/22), Ravichandran Ashwin(0/23) and Ravindra Jadeja(1/18) - proved his ability to read the conditions well at hand.
The Indian spinners led by rejuvenated Amit Mishra ensured that the much-hyped Pakistani batting lineup could only muster a paltry 130 runs. Mishra's superlative performance of 2/22 in his four overs earned him a well-deserved Man of the Match award.
On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin - who has been a subject of immense criticism for his lackluster bowling - also played a crucial role for the Men in Blue. The offie bowled round the wickets with a disciplined line to cramp the Pakistani batsmen that in turn added to the pressure.
Despite restricting their opposition to a moderate total, the Indian batsmen faced a tricky task against the bowling might of Pakistan. But, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma unleashed clinical strokeplays to build a solid 54-run opening stand for India.
Regardless of a series of poor performances in the past, the two opening batsmen played positively and backed their natural instincts to play the shots to all parts of the ground. And despite losing both the openers in a quick span of time later in the game, India's in-form batsmen Virat Kohli(36*) and Suresh Raina(35*) eliminated any further hiccups for India.
Kohli's performance was always expected considering his emphatic record while chasing for India, but it was Raina's resounding performance that comes as a welcome news for Dhoni & co. The southpaw employed proper cricketing shots and looked comfortable on the backfoot for the first time in almost two years now.
The duo ensured Team India avoided a possible collapse following Yuvraj Singh's cheap dismissal and notched up the 130-run total at the loss of just three wickets and nine balls to spare against Pakistan.
The only matter of concern for MS Dhoni was the fielding in yesterday's game. The Indian team was a tad too sloppy in the field with two dropped catches - that didn't really affect the game. And even so, Dhoni would be wary of the mistakes considering no margin for error in a group also comprised of Australia and West Indies.
But nonetheless, a spectacular show with the ball and a thoroughly entertaining batting display, it was a glimpse of Team India that the fans have dearly missed in the recent past.
ICC World T20: A glimpse of Team India we know

ICC World T20: A glimpse of Team India we know

No matter if it's the Friday omen or any other jinx, a 50-over clash or a T20 fiesta, Team India just cannot lose to Pakistan in World Cup ties. MS Dhoni brigade registered their fourth World T20 win and ninth in World Cup matches after an all-round performance producing a seven-wicket win over their arch-rivals in Mirpur yesterday. Statistical Highlights
Following the dismal performances over the past few tournaments, the Indian team was under immense pressure to prove a point early in their World T20 campaign and it couldn't have come against a better opposition than their traditional foes who had inflicted a painful last-over win in the recently concluded Asia Cup.
The return of MS Dhoni proved pivotal for India, not with the bat though, but surely with his influential leadership skills. The Indian skipper's decision to field three specialist spinners - Amit Mishra(2/22), Ravichandran Ashwin(0/23) and Ravindra Jadeja(1/18) - proved his ability to read the conditions well at hand.
The Indian spinners led by rejuvenated Amit Mishra ensured that the much-hyped Pakistani batting lineup could only muster a paltry 130 runs. Mishra's superlative performance of 2/22 in his four overs earned him a well-deserved Man of the Match award.
On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin - who has been a subject of immense criticism for his lackluster bowling - also played a crucial role for the Men in Blue. The offie bowled round the wickets with a disciplined line to cramp the Pakistani batsmen that in turn added to the pressure.
Despite restricting their opposition to a moderate total, the Indian batsmen faced a tricky task against the bowling might of Pakistan. But, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma unleashed clinical strokeplays to build a solid 54-run opening stand for India.
Regardless of a series of poor performances in the past, the two opening batsmen played positively and backed their natural instincts to play the shots to all parts of the ground. And despite losing both the openers in a quick span of time later in the game, India's in-form batsmen Virat Kohli(36*) and Suresh Raina(35*) eliminated any further hiccups for India.
Kohli's performance was always expected considering his emphatic record while chasing for India, but it was Raina's resounding performance that comes as a welcome news for Dhoni & co. The southpaw employed proper cricketing shots and looked comfortable on the backfoot for the first time in almost two years now.
The duo ensured Team India avoided a possible collapse following Yuvraj Singh's cheap dismissal and notched up the 130-run total at the loss of just three wickets and nine balls to spare against Pakistan.
The only matter of concern for MS Dhoni was the fielding in yesterday's game. The Indian team was a tad too sloppy in the field with two dropped catches - that didn't really affect the game. And even so, Dhoni would be wary of the mistakes considering no margin for error in a group also comprised of Australia and West Indies.
But nonetheless, a spectacular show with the ball and a thoroughly entertaining batting display, it was a glimpse of Team India that the fans have dearly missed in the recent past.
Friday, 21 March 2014
Ind vs Pak preview: Battle of arch-rivals in World T20

Ind vs Pak preview: Battle of arch-rivals in World T20

After appetising 'starters' featuring the lower-rung teams and warm-up games, the 'main course' of the World Twenty20 begins here on Friday with a high-profile clash between India and Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla International Stadium.

Players of both teams have tried to downplay the encounter that fans all over the world look forward to, but they admit that a match between the traditional rivals is more intense than other games and that it brings out the best in them.

It is being said that it's going to be a clash between India's formidable batting line-up and Pakistan's potent and varied bowling attack. But taking into account all the factors, both teams would start on equal footing as there is little to separate them, except that the history heavily favours India. For instance, both teams won one warm-up game and lost one, going into the 'derby'. Crucially, India won their second game just two days before the Pakistan encounter and that too quite convincingly, against England on Wednesday. M.S. Dhoni's team had earlier lost to Sri Lanka in a close finish.

Pakistan, on the other hand, beat New Zealand with one ball to spare in their first warm-up tie, but lost badly to South Africa as their batting came apart, losing by eight wickets with 36 balls left to be bowled.

However, experts believe that these results wouldn't have much of a bearing when the first ball is bowled at 7.30 pm (Dhaka time) as players would forget the past and concentrate on the job at hand. For India, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina had a good outing against England and the half-centuries that they hammered would give them confidence in a game that the whole of India wants the team to win. Raina particularly looks in good nick as he scored in both warm-up games.

Yuvraj Singh scored in the first game, but interestingly wasn't given a bowl in either match. Still, the batting line-up looks settled, with the only question mark being against Ajinkya Rahane's selection as he failed to score against Sri Lanka and didn't get a chance to bat against England. Although Rahane has played seven T20 Internationals, crucially the last one came in December 2012.

Dhoni said on Thursday that Rahane was being considered, but the manner in which he said that was not convincing. On the bowling front, he admitted it was an area of concern.

India have an enviable record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments, including the first World T20 in 2007 when India beat Pakistan twice on their way to winning the title. But, quite interestingly, the two teams have played only five T20s since 2007, and India have won four of them - a nice, feel-good statistic that Dhoni and his teammates would like to see before the explosive clash.

Rameez expects a battle of nerves

Rameez Raja feels Ravindra Jadeja will play a crucial role.
It will be a battle between two equals when India and Pakistan clash in a World T20 match here on Friday, but the team that keeps its nerves would win, says former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja.

While Rameez picked Ravindra Jadeja as key to India's gameplan and Suresh Raina as a match-winner, he said that Yuvraj Singh would have to regain form quickly. "I think it's pretty even stevens. Pakistan's strength obviously is bowling, but after giving away two-three wickets they have the propensity to bounce back also - as a batting unit. And, it's obviously going to be a battle of nerves. That's a given," Rameez told MAIL TODAY.

"Also, Pakistan's form against India in the recent Asia Cup was good, even though that was 50-over format. So, they start this game with a slight advantage." Rameez, 51, is impressed with the way Raina batted in the two warm-up games. "Raina's form is critical and Virat Kohli doesn't seem to fail at all. Raina's form will warm the hearts of the Indian team management.

He can play T20 cricket like anybody else. He is a match-winner as he's got big shots and he can work the singles," the former opener from Lahore said.

"The only question mark is over Yuvraj's form. He didn't look too convincing against England." Rameez said Jadeja would be crucial to captain MS Dhoni's strategy. "If you compare India's bowling to their batting, it appears to be their weak link. And if Jadeja doesn't have a great day with the ball, India will struggle," he said.
India vs Pakistan LIVE SCORE: T20 World Cup - Group 2, Mirpur

India vs Pakistan LIVE SCORE: T20 World Cup - Group 2, Mirpur

 Scorecard

Team India achieved the moderate total of 130 runs at the loss of three wickets against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium. India have now won all of their four matches against Pakistan in World T20. It wasn't really a typical Indo-Pak duel as one would have expected considering Pakistan's average performance. Mohammad Hafeez's men were thoroughly beaten in all fields of the game, barring the sloppy fielding from both the teams. Pakistan rarely looked threatening with the bat especially after posting a paltry 130 runs after being asked to bat first by Dhoni. Their bowlers were reeling under pressure following the solid opening stand between Dhawan and Rohit. Saeed Ajmal was the only threat and the Indian batsmen were smart enough to save the blizkrieg for others. For India, the spinners produced a splendid performance in the first half with Amit Mishra at the helm of things. Dhawan and Rohit played the Pakistani bowlers really well to get India off to a solid start while Kohli and Raina stabilised the run-chase. Pakistan have a tough job at hand now as they face in-form Australia in their next game to keep their hopes of qualifying to the next round alive. On the other hand, today's win should help India in their clash against defending champions West Indies on Sunday


World Twenty20 2014: India thrash Pakistan in Group Two

World Twenty20 2014: India thrash Pakistan in Group Two



India began the Super 10 phase of the World Twenty20 with a commanding seven-wicket win over Pakistan in Mirpur.
Pakistan scored a modest 11 fours and two sixes in their 130-7, Umar Akmal top-scoring with 33 from 30 balls and Sohaib Maqsood adding 21 off 11.
India's openers hit six fours and two sixes, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma racing to 54-0 within eight overs.
Three quick wickets fell but Virat Kohli (36) and Suresh Raina (35) guided them home with nine balls remaining.

India v Pakistan T20 history

India 4 wins, Pakistan 1 win, 1 tie
Pakistan remain without a victory against India in nine World Cup and World T20 matches and will now seek a rapid improvement from their remaining Group Two matches against Australia, Bangladesh and West Indies, with only the top two teams progressing to the semi-finals.
England begin their campaign in Group One on Saturday against New Zealand, with Sri Lanka, South Africa and the big-hitting Netherlands to come.
The Pakistan innings began hesitantly after they were put in before a typically fervent crowd.
Kamran Akmal was run-out in the second over and more might have followed as the stuttering scoreboard created further anxiety.
When Amit Mishra had Ahmed Shehzad easily stumped in the ninth over with a prodigiously spinning leg-break and recorded that rarest of commodities in T20, the wicket maiden, it was 47-3 and only five boundaries had been scored.
Former skipper Shoaib Malik hit the first six in the 12th over with a glorious straight drive off Mishra, recording a half century stand in 42 balls with Umar as 26 runs came in two overs.

Analysis

"Convincing, professional, clinical. They looked the better side and finished in great style. Not enough runs on the board for Pakistan and if you don't pick up early wickets it's going to be very difficult."
But Shoaib was caught at long-off in the 16th over, bringing the dangerman Shahid Afridi to the crease, and Umar was another to find the fielder, caught off Mohammad Shami in the 18th over.
Captain Afridi could manage only one boundary before he was well caught diving forward at deep mid-wicket by Raina in the penultimate over.
Despite a late six and four from the robust Sohaib, their total was significantly down on the average score on the ground of 148.
That was quickly emphasised by Rohit, who stepped down the wicket to square drive Junaid Khan over point for six in the third over
And when the mercurial Saaed Ajmal, who tormented England with 24 wickets in the three-Test series in early 2012, was introduced in the next he was promptly dispatched for three vigorous leg-side boundaries by Dhawan.
But Dhawan hooked recklessly off balance to fine-leg, Rohit played on to Ajmal and when Yuvraj Singh's off-stump was rattled by bustling seamer Bilawal Bhatti's first ball, three wickets had fallen in 15 legitimate deliveries.
However, Kohli calmly took his team towards their target with some sweetly struck, wristy strokes and the pugnacious Raina played a no-nonsense innings, seizing on anything short.
Raina was dropped twice, on seven and 28, but remained undefeated in a decisive partnership of 66 in barely eight overs.
India captain Mahendra Dhoni said there was more to come from man-of-the-match Mishra, who took 2-22 in only his second T20 international.
"I think Mishra bowled 70-75% of what he can bowl," Dhoni said. "But we are not sure of playing three spinners every time. A lot will depend on whether there is evening dew or not."
Counterpart Mohammad Hafeez said: "We were at least 20 runs short. Then we dropped some catches, which we can't afford in games like these.
"But there is a long way to go in this tournament and we will try to make a strong comeback.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
 Gambhir  Says  I don't play IPL for making personal comeback

Gambhir Says I don't play IPL for making personal comeback

Determined to fight his way back into the national Cricket team, Gautam Gambhir Wednesday said he would be happy grinding it out in the domestic circuit for long rather than using the Indian Premier League as a "platform" to make a "personal comeback".
Once considered as Indian batting's mainstay, Gambhir now finds himself in cricketing wilderness owing to his indifferent form, but the out-of-favour opener has not lost hopes of returning to international cricket and would be happily plying his trade in the Deodhar Trophy for North Zone and Kolkata Knights Riders in the IPL.
"I will never use the IPL (as a platform). I will use the IPL as a platform to do well for my side KKR. What all matters to me is good showing for KKR. I don't play the IPL for my personal comebacks. I play IPL for my team and do well for them. Performing for KKR is all that is in back of my mind," Gambhir told PTI.
"It's (domestic cricket) the stepping stone for making it to the Indian team. Till the time love for the game is there, I don't mind playing at any platform, be it domestic, IPL or the international cricket. I love the game and that's what really matters to me," Gambhir said on the sidelines of a Red Bull event, Wings For Life, to spread the message of World run that aims to raise funds for spinal cord research, in the capital.
It's been more than a year since Gambhir last took guard in international game against England at Dharamsala in January 2013. Talking about Test cricket and T20s, it's been around 15 months for the southpaw.
The 31-year-old scored 578 runs in the Ranji Trophy this season with a top score of 153 against Haryana but failed to make the cut for the Test squad to South Africa.
He got unlucky for the second time too, missing out on a Test spot for the New Zealand tour despite other opener Shikhar Dhawan's poor outing with the bat in South Africa.
Gambhir again failed to win the hearts of national selectors when they ignored him for India's limited-overs campaign in the Asia Cup, where the team even failed to qualify for the final.
With India touring England in June followed by the 50-over World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, Gambhir still has opportunities to knock on the doors of national selectors.
But, at the moment, Gambhir is focusing on the domestic tournaments.
"Look, I don't predict what's there in future for me. I am looking that far (England tour and World Cup). It's a long time to go. The reality is that I have to play the Deodhar Trophy and the the IPL," he said.
Gambhir also refused to set any time frame like Virender Sehwag before thinking about quitting the game.
Sehwag had yesterday said that he still has 2-3 years of competitive cricket left in him before taking a decision on retirement.
"I don't know. I have not thought about it. I don't look at for how long I am going to play. The day I feel like I can't contribute to the team's success, that's the day I am going to call it quits," he said.
"The only thing on the back of my mind is to do well in Deodhar Trophy and IPL. If I am able to make a comeback, I'll definitely give my 100 per cent," he added.
Talking about India's chances in the ongoing World T20, Gambhir said India have the "firepower" to do well in the biennial event.
Virat Kohli slams 73 in Team India's 20-run win over England

Virat Kohli slams 73 in Team India's 20-run win over England

India gained the much-needed boost ahead of their ICC World T20 opener against Pakistan when they comfortably defeated England by 20 runs in their second and final warm-up game here on Wednesday. Key Players in ICC World T20

Riding on a cavalier unbeaten 73 off 47 balls from Virat Kohli and an equally entertaining 54 off 31 balls from Suresh Raina, India scored an imposing 178 for four in 20 overs. It was a good enough total for the bowlers to restrict the opposition to 158 for six.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni used seven bowlers in all and Ravichandran Ashwin was again the best bowler in the park as he returned with economical figures of one for 20 from four overs. Raina also impressed with the ball as he gave away only 23 runs in four overs getting a wicket in the process. Left-handed opener Michael Lumb, a T20 freelancer who has played in IPL and regularly features in Big Bash teams, took advantage of the Powerplay field restrictions as he repeatedly gave charge to Bhuvneshwar Kumar hitting him over the in-field.
He in fact came out lofting him over extra cover for a six. His partner Alex Hales was a bit subdued at the other end and was cleaned up by Bhuvneshwar when he tried a cross-batted heave.
Having scored a quickfire 36 with six fours and a six, Lumb`s luck finally ran out as he tried to give Raina the charge misreading the flight and subsequent turn. Dhoni effected the easiest of stumpings. Eoin Morgan (16) holed out in the deep while trying to clear Ashwin over long on fence.
Moeen was slow to begin with but did play some strokes once he got his eye in. The slog-swept six off Raina was the biggest of the match as it went deep into the mid-wicket stands. His partner Jos Butler was also in a mood to spank the spinners as he lofted Jadeja for a six over long on and then dug out a delivery in the blockhole by the left-arm spinner to the wide of long-on fielder.
The Moeen-Butler duo added 41 runs in only 3.4 overs before the former, trying to clear the fielder at the deep square-leg boundary, was caught by Ajinkya Rahane.
But Butler (30) kept on trying as he lifted Varun Aaron over mid-off and then moved towards off-stump to lift him over the short fine-leg fielder. However, he had too much to do in the end.
25 runs were needed off the last over and it was difficult to get away Ravindra Jadeja (2/23) who got Butler stumped by Dhoni. Earlier, Kohli played a smashing knock and was ably complemented by Raina as India overcame early jitters to post a commendable total. The Kohli-Raina duo added 81 runs in 8.5 overs after England left the 2007 champions tottering at 39 for three in the first six overs.
The turnaround happened when Kohli and Raina suddenly took off in the 13th over bowled by left-arm spinner Stephen Parry, and the 15th bowled by medium pacer Ravi Bopara, which yielded 17 and 19 runs, respectively.
India scored as many as 105 runs in the back-10 as Kohli and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (21 no) added 51 runs in only 5.1 overs. The final over bowled by Tim Bresnan produced 17 runs, with Kohli hitting him for three crisp boundaries. He hit eight in all.
Put into bat, Rohit Sharma (5) was out mistiming a pull shot as a delivery from Dernbach kept climbing on him and the skier was taken at deep fine leg boundary by Alex Hales.
Shikhar Dhawan (14) bisected the off-side field twice before a powerful but uppish drive was taken by James Tredwell diving to his right in the cover region. Yuvraj Singh (1) had a bad day in office as he got an under-edge trying to pull a back-of-the-length delivery from Chris Jordan to be taken by wicketkeeper Buttler.
In six Powerplay overs, India had lost three wickets for 39 runs when Kohli and Raina joined forces. Both punished the spinners using their feet to good effect while the seamers were dispatched to the boundary whenever the erred in length.
Dhoni moves Madras HC against TV channels on IPL scam new

Dhoni moves Madras HC against TV channels on IPL scam new

The Madras High Court on Tuesday restrained Zee News and News Nation channels from telecasting any news linking India cricket captain M.S. Dhoni with the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting/fixing scam.
The interim order, effective for two weeks, was passed by Justice S. Tamilvanan on a defamation suit filed by Dhoni claiming Rs.100 crore damages from the Zee Media Corporation for allegedly telecasting "malicious" news that he was involved in betting, spot and match fixing of IPL matches.
"I am of the view that there is a prima facie case and the balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiff. Hence interim injection granted for a period of two weeks," the judge said in his order after perusing Dhoni's affidavit.
He issued notice to defendants Zee Media Corporation Limited, Zee News Editor and Business Head Sudhir Chaudary, IPS officer G. Sampath Kumar (who initially probed the IPL betting scam) and News Nation network private limited.
Dhoni, in his suit, submitted that the defendants had been carrying highly defamatory, scandalous and libellous false reports and statements since February 11, 2014.
The first and second defendants Zee Media Corporation Limited (Zee News) and Sudhir Chaudary, Editor and Business Head of Zee News Channel, Essel Studios, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in collusion with the third defendant IPS officer G. Sampath Kumar have been telecasting and broadcasting and posting in their websites false reports insinuating that Dhoni was involved in illegal activities of betting, match fixing and spot fixing.
Similarly, defendant no.4, News Nation network private limited (News National channel) Noida, UP, joined the tirade against Dhoni and later on went to the extent of stating that Dhoni was summoned by the Tamil Nadu police, which was also utterly false, the affidavit stated.
He charged that actions were done with an intention to project Dhoni as an object of hate and ridicule to the general public. The general public, especially IPL fans of Chennai Super Kings in Chennai, have been negatively influenced by the malicious false reports, it claimed.
The sole agenda of the defendants was somehow to malign and destroy the reputation of the plaintiff in the eyes of the millions of his fans and cricket lovers all over the world.
Plaintiff has filed the suit because his fundamental right and personal rights had been breached by the telecast and broadcast of the malicious news.
He sought a permanent injunction restraining the defendants, their associations, sister concerns, agents, officers, correspondents, employees or any other person or entity in print or electronic media or via internet or otherwise from publishing/republishing or in any other manner circulating any news insinuating or denigrating his integrity and honesty as a cricketer except the publication of the news of the exact judicial order if any passed by the court.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014
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2015 Will Be My Last World Cup: Sangakkara

Having announced his retirement from T20 internationals, Kumar Sangakkara today said that he would like to call time on his ODI career after the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.     
The veteran Sri Lankan batsman termed it a "natural progression".     
"As far as ODI and Test cricket are concerned, it's hard to make a time frame. I am 36 years old now and will be 37 next year during the time of World Cup. By next World Cup, I will be 41 and I don’t hope that I am playing then. So 2015 World Cup will be my last. It's a a kind of natural progression," Sangakkara said during an interaction during the open session of Sri Lankan team today.     
"For Test cricket, form, fitness and enjoyment factors are there for you to continue. There is no denying I am in the twilight of my career," he said.     
With Mahela Jayawardene also announcing his retirement from T20 Internationals, the transition phase in Lankan cricket is about to start just like it happened in India a few years back. But Sangakkara felt that Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal are two players who will carry the Sanga-Mahela legacy.     
"I think it's going to be fine. If you look at Thirimanne and Chandimal, they are ready to play in any form of cricket. I think that if me and Mahela decide to quit today, tomorrow or whenever we do, it's not going to make a huge difference.     
"Angelo Mathews is maturing as the Test and ODI captain. Dinesh is also a young captain. Sri Lankan cricket is in very good hands," said the man who has played 122 Tests, 369 ODIs besides 50 T20 Internationals.     
According to Sangakkara, the key to success is to withstand the rigours of international cricket for long time.     
"The key is to refine the talent and make the players ready to withstand the pressures of international cricket. And it's not just for one or two years but for longer periods," he said.     
While Sangakkara is calling it quits as far as T20 Internationals are concerned, the veteran left-hander will continue playing franchisee based T20 cricket.
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India v Sri Lanka: ICC Twenty20 World Cup, watch live T20 cricket streaming

Sri Lankan coach Paul Farbrace beleives his side’s familiarity with conditions in Bangladesh will give them an added boost against India today and for the rest of the Twenty20 World Cup.
After winning in all three formats of the game against the hosts and then picking up the Asia Cup trophy against their rivals today, Farbrace says he thinks his side is in a good position to win.
The advantage we have is we play our four group matches in Chittagong, where we played our two T20 matches against Bangladesh,” Farbrace said.
“We know the conditions and we got good balance in our squad, that’s a great thing. We give ourselves a good chance if we are focussed and we practice properly.
“The key is we don’t get too overly carried away by the success we had on that Bangladesh tour. When we get back to Bangladesh we just need to make sure we are switched on and we are ready.
“We would have to say that we are one of the teams going there thinking that we have got a good chance of doing well in the competition. The belief within the squad is such that we can win games from any position.”
India captain MS Dhoni was confident that the experience gained by the players in the IPL was sufficient for them to compete as a unit, despite only playing five T20 internationals since the last World Cup.
“Most of the teams, if you see, don’t play a lot of T20s,” Dhoni said in Dhaka in his first press conference ahead of the tournament. “Especially with the kind of schedule we have, I don’t think we’ll be able to accommodate more than one or two T20s [per series]. That is something that I will always face.
“At the same time, we have got the IPL where we have played with the best players and the standard there is as high as international standards so that really amounts to the experience we need.”
Since winning the inaugural World T20 in 2007, India have failed to make the semi-finals in each of the next three editions. In 2012, despite losing just one out their five games, India failed to make the final four because they fell short on the net run rate.
Dhoni said their experience was an example of how no team can afford to lose even a single game, for it could affect their chances of qualifying. India are placed in a tough group, with Pakistan, Australia and West Indies.
“Our group is quite a competitive one so all the matches will be important,” Dhoni said. “Especially when you consider our performance in the last edition of the World T20 where we exited from the tournament after losing just one game. We have a couple of warm-up games before our first game so we’ll be looking towards using those warm-ups to sort out our team’s balance.”
It will be a Dhoni vs Pakistan contest, says former Pakistan captain

It will be a Dhoni vs Pakistan contest, says former Pakistan captain




Former Pakistan skipper and batting legend Zaheer Abbas said the World T20 match between India and Pakistan on March 21 will be a tough one and he did not want a boring one-sided contest between the arch-rivals.
The best thing to happen is Dhoni's return to the Indian side and I literally see the match between Pakistan and Dhoni,"  the 66-year-old cricket icon said in an exlusive interview to Headlines Today-Aaj Tak.
Abbas, popularly known as Asian Bradman, heaped praise on Dhoni's deputy and swashbuckling batsman Virat Kohli, saying he will shatter all records one day.
Virat has struggled a lot due to lack of experience but this will not happen now," he added.
He also said that the Indian senior players will find their old touch in the tournament.
Currently, the chief cricket consultant of the Pakistan cricket team, he said the team will get stronger with the comeback of dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
"Afridi is coming back and I want to see him spend a lot of time in the nets before taking guard in the middle."
Abbas feels that the present Pakistan squad is pretty balanced and the presence of sibling duo of Umar and Kamran Akmal will give additional advantage to the side.

5 things to know about India at World T20

5 things to know about India at World T20

KEEPING PACE: India's pace bowling has been their weak link in recent limited-overs games, particularly in the crucial last few overs. The seam attack now faces an uphill task in Bangladesh due to its inexperience. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the only paceman in the squad to have played T20 internationals, taking seven wickets from three games. Mohammad Shami, Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny and Ishwar Pandey will get their first taste of international T20 cricket.

Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers participate in a mock scene at a stadium in Dhaka. AP
Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers participate in a mock scene at a stadium in Dhaka. APSINGH ON SONG: Yuvraj Singh, who smashed six sixes in a single over off England paceman Stuart Broad during the inaugural World T20 in 2007, gets a chance to regain his place in the spotlight in Bangladesh. Without him, an Indian ODI squad failed to win a game on a recent five-match series in New Zealand and also failed to reach the final of the recent Asia Cup, losing to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Yuvraj was also India's player of the tournament during the 2011 World Cup with timely performances with both bat and ball.
AP

ICC World Twenty20 warm-up, India vs Sri Lanka highlight

ICC World Twenty20 warm-up, India vs Sri Lanka highlight


India lost to Sri Lanka by 5 runs in their first warm-up match of ICC World Twenty20. Follow all the highlights, as they happen. (Match Scorecard | Text Commentary | Match report)
Ind vs SL: Lasith Malinga takes 4 as Lanka seal 5-run win
Post-match quotes:

MS Dhoni: The reason I didn't bat today was due to a niggle I had suffered two days ago on my right hand. That helped me to give chances to other batsman. Today's positive was Varun Aaron's bowling.

Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Mahela Jayawardena were impressive today while Ravichandran Ashwin was excellent with the ball as well as with the bat. The difference between the two sides was that India failed to match up with Sri Lanka's run-tally in the death overs. Lasith Malinga did the damage in the death overs as well.

Excellent match comes to an end and Sri Lanka have come out on top. Both the teams tried out their permutations and combinations and eventually, the Lankans turned out victorious but not before the match reached till the last ball of the over.

22:13 (IST) OUT! Malinga strikes again and SRI LANKA WIN BY 5 RUNS! He hurls down a toe crusher and Amit Mishra has no answer to it. Handshakes all over and an exciting match has come to an end.

22:11 (IST) WICKET! The Slinga has done in Ashwin! A low full toss, Ashwin tries to go over mid-wicket but gets it off the toe-end of the bat, goes towards mid-wicket where Kulasekara takes the catch.

22:08 (IST) WICKET! Binny is run out at a crucial time! A full length delivery, sliding into the pads, Ashwin fails to flick it and it goes through. Binny tries to get in.

22:06 (IST) FOUR! Great execution! Malinga follows the batsman but with a juicy full toss, Ashwin tucks it away with a leg-glance to the fine leg fence.

22:00 (IST) SIX! Oh, what a shot! A full length delivery just outside off, Ashwin gets right underneath it and smashes it down the long on fence.

21:54 (IST) FOUR! Powerful! A flat ball around off, Binny gets down on one knee and nails it past Nigel Llong to the fence. India 121/7 (17 overs), chasing 154.

21:49 (IST) WICKET! Jadeja's gone! India's task is now even tougher! A flighted ball on middle, Jadeja slogs it high up in the air and Senanayake settles under it at the deep mid-wicket fence.

21:40 (IST) WICKET! Gone caught behind! A very full ball outside off, Yuvraj tries to repeat the shot but ends up nicking it behind for Sangakkara to take it. India's task keeps getting tougher. India 115/6 after 16 overs.

21:32 (IST) WICKET! Malinga has his revenge! A very full ball outside off, Kohli wants to drive it through point but only manages to chop it on. End of a short innings from Kohli, which usually, never ever happens. India 88/5 (12.2 overs), chasing 154.

21:30 (IST) FOUR! Kohli's flick! All elegance! Gets underneath a full length ball and whips it over the mid-wicket fielder. India 88/4

21:28 (IST) SIX! There is the biggie! What a shot! Yuvraj Singh uses his feet down the track and with the minimal of follow-through, eases it over the long on fence. India 84/4 after 12 overs.

21:26 (IST) SIX! Wallop! A flighted delivery on middle, Virat Kohli uses his feet and goes inside-out over covers with the confidence of a king.

21:23 (IST) SIX! Yuvraj dances down the track to Rangana Herath and heaves it powerfully over the mid-wicket fence. India 69/4 (11 overs), chasing 154.

21:18 (IST) WICKET! Chipped straight back! A slightly short ball, Rahane was pretty much early into the shot and punched it straight back. Senanayake went to his right and took a fine catch. India 60/4 (10 overs) chasing 154.

Live cricket score: Suresh Raina
21:14 (IST) WICKET! Raina's gone! Tries to take on the spinner yet again with a lofted shot but this time, he's picked out Rangana Herath at the long off fence. Raina made 41 and India lose their third for 54.

21:07 (IST) FOUR! Fine shot! A short ball on middle, Raina gets underneath that one from Thisara Perera and clears the fielder at the deep mid-wicket fence. India 39/2 after 7 overs.

21:02 (IST) DROPPED! Chandimal, the skipper puts it down! A flighted delivery, Raina charges down the track with a full-blown extra cover-drive, keeps it low and Chandimal flies to his right, only to put it down.

20:58 (IST) WICKET! Malinga has picked out his skipper, not his national side though! A full length delivery on middle, Rohit Sharma flicks it elegantly in the air but straight to deep square leg where Kusal Perera takes the catch. India 19/2 (4.2 overs)

20:55 (IST) SIX! Short balls are supposedly Raina's flaw but he's dealt with this well! A short ball on middle, Raina pulls it massively over mid-wicket.

20:50 (IST) FOUR! There is the Raina we know! A marginally full ball, Raina gets underneath it and lofts it sweetly, slightly inside-out over mid off.

20:45 (IST) WICKET! Kulasekara strikes with the new ball and that is not a surprise at all! A full length ball, wide outside off, Dhawan tries to take on mid off but ends up placing it straight into the hands of Thisara Perera. Suresh Raina is the new man in.

20:40 (IST) Rohit Sharma gets a chance to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan. Angelo Mathews to open the attack.

Kusal Perera started off well and so did Chandimal but they lost their wickets at the wrong time. Perera and Kulasekara added some blistering shots in the end to power Sri Lanka past 150. R Ashwin the best bowler for India with 3 for 22.

20:26 (IST) Sri Lanka post 153/6 in 20 overs. Last 5 overs cost 50 runs to India. 17 runs in the final over.

20:20 (IST) SIX! Nuwan Kulasekara goes for it and gets a six off Varun Aaron over long on! Sri Lanka 136/6 (19 overs).

20:12 (IST) WICKET! Excellent work from the skipper, Dhoni. Ashwin sees the batsman charging down and fires it down the leg side, Chandimal fails to get it away and Dhoni is quick to take the bails off. Chandimal out for 29 off 25.

20:08 (IST) SIX! Thisara Perera uses the long handle and hit Mishra for six over deep mid-wicket. Sri Lanka 117/5 (17 overs).

20:03 (IST) WICKET! Angelo Mathews is out caught brilliantly by Amit Mishra at short fine-leg off R Ashwin. Sri Lanka 103/5 after 15.4 overs. Mathews made 9 off 12. Out comes Thisara Perera.

19:58 (IST) SIX! Dinesh Chandimal goes for the big sweep and gets the maximum off Amit Mishra. Sri Lanka 102/4 (14.4 overs)

19:50 (IST) WICKET! Suresh Raina strikes with his first ball! Kumar Sangakkara (4 off 5b) goes for a aerial stroke but misses a straight ball, only to see his stumps shattered. Sri Lanka 77/4 (11.1 overs). Dinesh Chandimal joined by Angelo Mathews.

19:43 (IST) WICKET! A wicket next ball as Tilakaratne Dilshan is out LBW to R Ashwin. Returning from injury, Dilshan struggled in the middle with 9 runs off 20 balls. Ashwin bowled from round the stumps and Dilshan missed a flick shot. Sri Lanka 65/3 (9.1 overs)

19:40 (IST) WICKET! Mahela Jayawardene c&b Amit Mishra 30 (20b, 2x4s, 2x6s). Sri Lanka 65/2 (9 overs).

19:32 (IST) Mahela plays Jadeja well, employs the slog sweep and it goes over deep square-leg fence for the maximum. Sri Lanka 48/1 (7 overs).

19:23 (IST) Mahela Jayawardene shows his class. After getting a streaky four over wicket-keeper's head, he plays a delicate late cut off Mohd Shami for four through point. Sri Lanka 35/1 (5 overs).
Live cricket score: Varun Aaron
19:16 (IST) WICKET! Perera falls to a brilliant two-handed diveing catch by Mohd Shami at mid-off. Varun Aaron strikes in his first over as Perera falls for 21.

19:11 (IST) - Kusal Perera attacks Bhuvneshwar, hammers him for back-to-back fours through the off side. Sri Lanka 23/0 ( 3 overs)

19:07 (IST) First four - Kusal Perera thrashes Mohd Shami for a boundary past cover point. Sri Lanka 12/0 after 2 overs.

19:00 (IST) Players making their way out in the middle. Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl to left-hander Kusal Perera.

18:57 (IST) Kapil Dev on television says, "With the slight dew already, it won't affect any team as both innings the dew involvement will be fair".

18:50 (IST) Suresh Raina before start of match: "I had a good time playing domestic one-day games at home. I know this is a big tournament for me. If I do well here, it will be good for my future. A total of 160 could be good to defend, especially if you have good spin bowlers."

18:41 (IST) Dhoni says Mohit Sharma misses out today as all the other players will get a chance to play today. Out of the 15 in the squad, any 11 players can bat and any 11 can field.

18:34 (IST) Toss time: MS Dhoni wins the toss and elects to field vs Sri Lanka, who are led by Dinesh Chandimal.

Match Preview

Their confidence at its lowest ebb after continuous failures, a beleaguered India would look to pick up the pieces and make a fresh start when they take on an upbeat Sri Lanka in their first warm-up game of the ICC World Twenty20 in Mirpur on Monday.

While the tournament proper will begin for India on March 21 against arch-rivals Pakistan, the two warm-up ties will provide captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni with a chance to sort out his playing combination before the real action begins.

The warm-up tie gives the team a chance to try out all 15 players in the squad. Therefore while all the batsmen can expect to get a hit in match situation, the bowlers will also get an opportunity to prove their worth to the skipper.

Also, the fact that Indian players, smarting from disastrous tours of South Africa and New Zealand besides the failed Asia Cup campaign, will be playing competitive T20 after five months will also help them adapt quickly having last played a T20 international in October against Australia.

The result of the match is of little consequence as various combinations are expected to be tried out. The most interesting aspect will be the opening combination in this format. Sikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are a regular opening pair in ODIs. But Rohit's initial struggle against white kookaburra in the 50-over format is well documented. T20 would not give the Mumbaikar enough time to settle down.

Ajinkya Rahane, who has successfully opened for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, might just partner Dhawan in such a scenario.

If the last match of the Asia Cup against Afghanistan is an indicator, then Rahane has a bright chance of opening the batting for India. Yuvraj Singh, one of India's proven match-winners, will be making a comeback along with Suresh Raina, who is also returning to the national team after being dumped from the Asia Cup squad on grounds of indifferent form.

But Raina has been one among India's better T20 batsmen -- the only one from the country to score an international T20 century. Skipper Dhoni, having recovered from a side strain, would like a couple of good knocks under his belt while Virat Kohli would also aim to get into the groove before Pakistan come calling.

The warm up match against Sri Lanka will certainly give both the left-handers the much needed confidence they had lost due to string of poor scores in earlier international matches. The likes of Ambati Rayudu and Stuart Binny will aim to keep their captain interested for a place in the side.

A quickfire 50 off 30 balls from Rayudu or a couple of wickets and a cameo from Binny might prompt the team management to think differently although they haven't shown any inclination towards being flexible with team combination.

"We might not have played a lot of T20 internationals but the IPL exposure will certainly help us. We need to play as a unit in order to do well," team's premier batsman Virat Kohli told the mediapersons during an open session at the team hotel on Saturday.

India's bowling certainly is their problem area in the slam-bang version of the game. India do not have bowlers who have enough variations to keep the batsman guessing in the last 10 of a T20 game. Mohammed Shami is India's strike bowler but he has proved to be quite expensive in the death overs as far as ODIs are concerned.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma have also never been a problem for top-class international batsman. This brings the focus on Varun Aaron -- India's fastest bowler at the moment.

While there's no denying that Aaron has the pace, he is inconsistent and it has already been proved in the few IPL matches that he has played for the Delhi Daredevils

A lot will depend on how well Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowl on slowish tracks. With both being more than capable batsmen, they are an automatic choice in the playing XI. (Read full preview)

Teams (from):

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Shami, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh.

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardena, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne