Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stars shine down

Today, IPL has started its auction for the players to share among the 8 teams. Chennai Super Kings nabbed Dhoni for a whopping 6 crore rupees. Gilchrist got the next highest bid of 2.8 crores from Hyderabad. Muralitharan joined Chennai for a sum of 2.4 crores. Mohali got Jayawardene for 1.8 crores. Shane Warne chipped in for Jaipur for 1.8 crores. SRK roped in Shoaib Akthar for $425,000 for his Kolkota team. Sangakara joined Mohali for USD 700,000.

NZ Vs England

This is really unbelievable. England set a target of 340 to win the fourth ODI for the NZ. But the result stunned everyone. It got tied. Ya, NZ managed to score same 340 runs but for the loss of 5 wickets. This means NZ are leading the series by 2 - 1 with the final ODI yet to be played. One question will remain for the readers, 'How was it possible to chase that mammoth target?'. The answer lies within. It because of 'How'. How managed to score 139 runs of 116 balls to give NZ a sight of victory but they squandered the opportunity at the slog overs. This match holds the record for highest total to be tied.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Manchester United thrash Arsenal

Manchester United ended Arsenal's FA Cup hopes with an astonishing salvo that saw the league leaders fall apart at the seams as last year's finalists glittered. Two goals from Darren Fletcher and one each from Wayne Rooney and Nani secured their place in the quarter-final. Arsenal's cause was not helped after Emmanuel Eboue was sent off in the 49th minute for a reckless challenge on Patrice Evra. Both United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger made five changes with vital Champions League matches ahead next week.

It was Ferguson, however, who was left smiling after this rout of their title rivals. United were the first to show and won a free-kick in the third minute when Fletcher was obstructed by Alexander Hleb. Anderson swung in the free-kick from the right but Rooney was unable to get any power or direction on his header. Nemanja Vidic then tried to pick out Rooney with a long ball, only for William Gallas to make a crucial interception.

United had started brightly and Anderson cracked in a volley in the ninth minute that Jens Lehmann did well to take cleanly. Arsenal again found themselves on the back foot in the 13th minute when Fletcher found space on the right. He delivered the ball into the area but it just skidded away from Park, who was in a good position. United made the breakthrough in the 16th minute following a corner from Nani.

Anderson flicked the ball on and Rooney headed it beyond Lehmann for his 11th goal of the season. Three minutes later United made it 2-0 after good work by Nani on the left. He chipped the ball into the area and Fletcher marked his first start in two months by heading home, although his effort seemed to take a deflection off Gallas. It was all United at this stage with Arsenal looking lethargic and out of sorts.

Nani and Anderson were showing good skill while Rooney was bright after missing the derby defeat by Manchester City through suspension. He latched on to a pass from Evra in the 32nd minute only to clip his effort wide of the post. Fletcher then picked out Rooney two minutes later but he failed to test Lehmann from inside the area.

However, Arsenal boss Wenger must have been alarmed at the amount of room Rooney was being given. And United made it 3-0 in the 38th minute following a pinpoint pass from Carrick from deep. Nani was alert and skipped goal-side of Hoyte to score with a low drive into the corner. It was becoming a rout with United making Arsenal pay for overtaking them at the top of the league last Monday.

Wenger was shifting uneasily in the technical area after seeing his side being ripped apart in the first half. However he had the option of bringing Adebayor on in the second half in what appeared already to be a damage-limitation exercise.

United started the second half where they had left off in the first with Rooney testing Lehmann in the 47th minute. A minute later the Arsenal goalkeeper had to look alert as a free-kick from Rooney spun off Fletcher. Arsenal's problems increased in the 49th minute when they were reduced to 10 men. Eboue was dismissed by referee Alan Wiley after a clumsy challenge left Evra on the floor.

Eboue refused to accept the decision and questioned the decision before being led away down the touchline. United were spraying the ball around, particularly Carrick, and Arsenal were being constantly stretched. Evra then picked out Nani inside the six-yard box after 58 minutes but his effort was safely taken by Lehmann.

While Lehmann was being kept busy, his opposite number Edwin van der Sar was having little to do. Rooney could have extended United's lead in the space of a couple of minutes but each time his finish was wasteful. Arsenal launched a rare counter-attack in the 64th minute but Eduardo da Silva headed over the top following a cross from Cesc Fabregas. Anderson then found himself in acres of space, only to toe-poke his effort wide of the target. Arsenal striker Adebayor was introduced in the 71st minute but three minutes later United made it 4-0. Fletcher scored his second goal of the game with a header at the far post following a cross from the irrepressible Nani.

The Portuguese star was beginning to showboat - much to the delight of the home fans. However he took exception to the way he was being marked and squared up to Gallas. United could have added to their tally but this was a super show nonetheless and secured their place in the quarter-finals. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson felt the FA Cup drubbing of Arsenal was the perfect response to last week's Manchester derby defeat.

Courtesy : Espn-star

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Raul and Casillas for Real Madrid throughout their life

Real Madrid striker Raul and goalkeeper Iker Casillas have signed contract extensions that will keep them at the Primera Liga club for the rest of their playing careers.

Spain's first-choice goalkeeper Casillas, 26, has tied himself to Real until 2017 while club captain Raul, 30, extended his deal by one year to 2011.

Both agreements will automatically roll over beyond the contracted periods if the players complete 30 official matches in the previous season.

"Iker Casillas and Raul have both agreed to stay with the club for the rest of their sporting lives," Real president Ramon Calderon told a news conference on Thursday.

"On this day, which is Valentine's day, Iker, Raul and Real can say they love each other, they need each other, and complement each other and will commit for life.

"I am not going to speak about money but I can say they will earn less than they deserve because the example they set for the young and the enthusiasm they transmit to the fans isn't quantifiable and you cannot put a value on it."

Both players entered Real's first team from the youth ranks, Raul in 1994 and Casillas in 1999, and have gone on to become stalwarts in the side.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Srilanka registers their first win

SrioLankans won a rain ridden 5th ODI against India to register their first win in this tri-series. Sreeshanth's quick fire 48 off just 18 balls helped Srilanks to gain an easy 8 wicket victory over the Indians, as he scored his runs during his bowling. He gave away 23 runs in a single over to boost up the run rate. The Indian batting clicked this time to score a whopping 195 runs in just 29 overs but that was not enough to stop Lankans especially Jayasurya who was in a punishing mood. He scored 27 runs in just 13 balls to up the ante early in the game. Tilakaratne Dilshan managed to stay till the end and become the man of the match for his fine knock of 62 in 59 balls. Mahela was the other batsman at the crease with 36 runs off 35 balls. Ishanth and Bhajji shared a piece each and the other bowlers were smashed all over the park. For India Rohit made 70 runs and remained unbeaten.

Arsenal Vs Blackburn

Arsenal beat Blackburn Rovers 2 - 0 to gain all three points from their home game. This ensured that Arsenal stayed on top of the premier league and are now five points clear of the second placed Manchester United. Senderos struck early for Arsenal. But after that Arsenal were made to sweat their heart out to maintain their lead. Adebayor ensured at the final moments that victory is sealed for the Gunners by scoring a stunning goal off Hleb's pass.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Man City wins

You've got the title right. Yes! It was victory for Manchester City and celebrations for Arsenal fans as they witnessed a stunning performance from City that brought down United by 2 - 1 at the Old Trafford. Man City dominated for most part of the first half and they took a deserving lead at the 24th minute. This time goal was scored by Vassel after a mad scramble in the box. Edwin saved twice but failed to hold the ball on both the occasions. This meant that Vassel was in with an easy chance and he made no mistakes in firing a left footed drive past the goal keeper. Later, just before half time, Benjani made it out of reach for Man U by slotting in a corner from Petrov. Man U pulled one back in the second half injury time. But it was too little too late. Now Arsenal are two points clear and also have a match in hand. If they win their home match against Blackburn, then it will almost clear the road for Arsenal. Wait here for the updates of Chelsea Vs Liverpool.

India win

India beat Australia by five wickets to win their third match in the survivor series. India moved to the top spot while Australians were pushed to second in the league table. This win can be contributed to the spirited bowling performance by the Indian Pace factory. Ishanth Sharma picked up four wickets and the rest of the pacers shared two wickets each. Regarding batting, Sachin got out after making 43 runs. Rest of the wickets fell cheaply. Dhoni and Rohit managed to stay at the crease till the end to guide India to a historic five wicket win.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Should Sachin follow Gilchrist's footsteps?

This is the poll conducted by Yahoo. Gilchrist has retired at the right time. He has retired when he is still in peak of his career, that too after breaking the world record for most number of dismissals by a wicket-keeper. Critics felt that Sachin should do the same. But what people felt is entirely different. Only 17% of the people felt that Sachin should follow Gilchrist. Nearly 70% felt that Sachin should continue and play his cricket. That's my wish too..

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chelsea Vs Liverpool

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has all but ruled Fernando Torres out of Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Chelsea, despite the player's belief he would be fit to play. The 23-year-old lasted just 23 minutes of Spain's 1-0 friendly victory over France last night, asking to be substituted after suffering a hamstring problem. Benitez said on the club's official website, "The news we have on Torres is that it is a hamstring injury. I need to talk to the doctor but I think he will miss this game. Normally it is a week when a player goes off like this. It is a big problem for us."

Torres revealed he had requested to be substituted last night and he had been confident of being fit for the trip to Stamford Bridge. "I preferred not to risk it. I demanded the change," he said. "I will have medical tests but I intend to play on Sunday against Chelsea." The loss of the club's top scorer would be a major blow for Benitez, who is already without Daniel Agger, Andriy Voronin, Alvaro Arbeloa, Fabio Aurelio and the suspended Xabi Alonso. On top of this, Javier Mascherano will not arrive back at Melwood until tomorrow, with Argentina playing a friendly against Guatemala later today.

Benitez said: "We have lost Torres and Mascherano is not back until tomorrow.

"I don't think it (the international friendly situation) is fair. I think Mascherano will be okay for Sunday but we will have to see."

IPL stars

Now that we know who owns the IPL teams, it is time to find out just who will grab the big name players and how much of a hole will the big names burn in the pockets of their franchise owners.

The tournament runs for a month and a half and CNN-IBN has learnt that the teams will have to fork out quite a handy sum to get these big name players.

Iconic players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahuld Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly will cost at least 400,000 US dollars each, that's about 1.6 crore rupees for each year. MS Dhoni will cost about the same.

Anil Kumble may not play the shorter version of the game for India anymore but whoever snaps him up will have to pay a neat 250,000 dollars. Harbhajan Singh will cost the same. Irfan Pathan will be cheaper but only by 75,000 dollars.

Surprisingly, Kumble may be more expensive for a team to acquire than the stars of India's Twenty20 world cup winning team.

Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag will cost at least 200,000 dollars each, that's about 80 lakh rupees.

But that still leaves one question unanswered. While some players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Yuvraj have to play for their home franchises, who wants the others?

M S Dhoni, sources say, is being wooed by both Shah Rukh Khan for his Kolkata team and Mukesh Ambani for his Mumbai team. Robin Uthappa is on the radar of Vijay Mallaya's Bangalore team and Deccan Chronicle's Hyderabad team. And Preity Zinta is keen on getting Sreesanth to play for Mohali. Not surprisingly, the franchise owners aren't revealing their plans.

Vijay Rekhi, MD, United Spirits says: "We have already made a tentative list which has been about broadly. But that's a wish list, you know. Ultimately we have to decide after the availability of the players is known to us. "

Teams will have about 3.3 million dollars each to buy these players. The auction will take place sometime in the third week of February.

Courtesy : Yahoo news

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rain plays spoilsport

The second one day international between India and Sri Lanka was washed out due to incessant rains. The play ended at the half way mark with Srilankans yet to bat. Earlier in the day Indians had a solid start, courtesy Viru and Sachin. But when both of them fell in quick succession, Indians were reeling at 84 for 4. Yuvi failed yet again. He managed to score only 2 runs and got out in the first over of Murali. Rohit Sharma was declared out by Rudi Koertzen. I still dunno the reason behind that. Sharma was fined some percent of his match fee for showing dissent. The Indian skipper stepped in and steadied the ship along with Gautham Gambhir. They fend off the pressure and started scoring at ease in the slog overs. They amassed 184 runs for the fifth wicket partnership. Gambhir completed his third ODI ton and Dhoni was unbeaten on 88 runs, India ended at 267 for 4 in 50 overs. There was yet another milestone waiting for the little master and he crossed it in style. This time he became the first man to cross 16000 runs in ODIs. No one is anywhere near him. Jayasurya, the second highest run getter is still 4000 runs behind. Undoubtedly, he is a master class.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sania opts out of Bangalore open

Sania Mirza announced that she will not be participating in the upcoming Bangalore open. She told the reporters that she has decided to quit because of the controversies surrounding her. She added that if she participated in this open, she will be introduced to some controversies or other, so she opted out of it. She made a stunning revelation that she even considered quitting tennis due to these controversies but decided against that.

Arsenal on regains top spot

Manchester United salvaged a draw against TottenHam Hotspurs. A late goal by Carlos Tevez saved Man U from a grim defeat. Spurs were in a sublime form and were all set to win. They opened the scoring at the early first half with a strike from Berbatov. Tottenham also missed several chances to extend their lead. Carlos Tevez tapped in a free kick at 93rd minute to give one point for United. In some other game Chelsea were held to a one all draw by Pompey. Liverpool won 3 - 0 against Sunderland. Arsenal is now two points ahead of Man U with 60 points. Chelsea are 6 points behind the title leaders with 54 points.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Arsenal secures a win

Arsenal proved that they are the best side in the EPL by being the first tam to win at Eastlands at this season. They beat Man City 3 - 1 to snatch a temporary lead. Manchester United was supposed to start well but they were down 0 - 1 within few minutes of the start. Arsenal's win was due to Adebayor's brace and Edurado's scissors kick. Arsenal led 2 - 1 at the half time and they were the dominating team throughout the match. Even though Man City managed to put some pressure, Arsenal did fend off by their natural game play. Eventually the better team won in the end