Evolved Chopra shows Delhi the way
(by Arjun Sen in New Delhi)
MORE OFTEN than not, a successful sportsman is one who has the ability and aptitude to keep up with change. Everything evolves - the sport, the way it is played and how it ought to be played. And only those survive who can evolve themselves too.
The way cricket is played and perceived is all set to change with the advent of the Indian Premier League. There are a number of concepts that will be changed, perhaps forever, with the IPL. One such idea is the building of an innings.
Aakash Chopra is arguably the best example of how to build an innings. The Delhi opener has shown this season that when it comes to patiently constructing an innings, he is the man. That is the way Chopra plays his cricket, he has always played like that, and with good effect too.
On Tuesday, however, Chopra evolved. He evolved into a batsman who many would have never thought he could. Opening the batting, Chopra smashed an unbeaten 101 off just 89 balls to lead Delhi to a comprehensive nine wicket win over Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in their opening Ranji one-dayer.
Delhi, chasing a paltry 168, wrapped the game up in just 27.5 overs, losing Shikhar Dhawan (31) along the way. Though Chopra's all action approach got Delhi past the finish line with ridiculous ease, the foundation of the win was laid by a great bowling effort.
Delhi's new-ball duo of Amit Bhandari (2/27) and Sumit Narwal (2/37) ran through the J&K top-order to reduce the visitors to 30/4 in just 10 overs. It was looking desperately gloomy for J&K under the Delhi sun, and with the last pair of specialist batsmen at the crease, it could only get worse. But that's not quite how it turned out, though. Two tyros, playing their first domestic season, decided to give it back as good as they got.
The reason why the Delhi players had heard of Ian Dev Singh before this game was the fact that he is Delhi skipper Mithun Manhas's cousin. After an unbeaten knock of 90 later, however, it is pretty certain they'll remember him for much more.
Singh, who was J&K's u-19 skipper last season, displayed maturity much beyond his years to hold his team's innings together and lend a touch of respectability to their total. Along with Ram Dayal (19), Singh added an invaluable 45 runs for the fifth wicket. Singh hardly, if at all, looked troubled during his knock, comfortably negotiating everything the Delhi bowlers threw at him. The youngster thoroughly deserved a ton, but fell short by 10 runs. A target of 168 was never supposed to challenge the formidable Delhi batting, and it didn't either.
If Singh played the role of a sheet anchor earlier in the day, Chopra donned the mantle of a swashbuckler in Delhi's innings. Almost every other ball was cannoning off the sweet spot of his bat and crashing into the boundary. He seemed in the zone, if indeed there is one, right from the first ball. Chopra played some breathtaking shots, none more so than the straight drives he caressed early in his innings. He reached his century with a boundary over square-leg. Delhi needed just two runs to win after that, runs which Manhas scored.
Delhi have had the perfect start to this tournament, gleaning a bonus point as well, and should be ready for sterner tests that lie ahead. This was always supposed to be an easy game.
J&K: Adil Reshi c Dhawan b Bhandari 6, Javed Ahmed lbw b Bhandari 1, Ian Dev Singh not out 90, Hilal Ahmed c Bisht b Narwal 14, Inderjeet Singh lbw Narwal 0, Ram Dayal run out (Jain) 19, Obaid Ahmed b Nanda 0, Sami-Ullah Baig lbw Sharma 0, Vijay Sharma lbw Sharma 12, Sameer Khajuria lbw Awana 13, Sameer Ali not out 7
Extras (lb-2, b-1, w-2) 5, Total: 167 for 9wkts in 50 overs.
Fall of wkts: 3/1, 10/2, 30/3, 30/4, 75/5, 78/6, 79/7, 101/8, 140/9
Bowling: A.Bhandari 8-2-27-2, S.Narwal 8-0-37-2, P.Awana 8-0-37-1, R.Bhatia 5-0-14-0, C.Nanda 10-0-25-1, M.Sharma 9-1-17-2, M.Manhas 2-0-7-0
Delhi: A. Chopra not out 101, S. Dhawan lbw Khajuria 31, M. Manhas not out 30
Extras (lb-2, nb-3, w-3) 8, Total: 170 for 1 wkt in 27.5 overs
Fall of wkts: 100/1
Bowling: V.Sharma 5-0-29-0, S Baig 6-0-44-0, S.Ali 6.5-0-47-0-3-1, S.Khajuria 5-0-29-1-1, Ram dayal 4-0-14-0-0-1, I.Singh 1-0-05
Empty Harbhaksh a mute witness to Goel's grit
(by Anand Vasu in New Delhi)
THE HARBHAKSH stadium is a universe away from the IPL and its millions but when Punjab took on Haryana in their opening match of the Ranji one-dayers, you could see just where this shiny new Twenty20 league sprang up from. India's premier domestic limited overs competition was under way and there wasn't a spectator in sight. Three India cricketers were on display and still no-one seemed to care. Some doomsday prophets have been warning that Twenty20 will be the death of the 50-over game, and from the evidence, in domestic cricket at least, there might be serious cause for concern. For the record, Punjab easily brushed aside Haryana in what was the big match of the day in North Zone.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is now so enamoured and busy with the IPL it seems there's little time for anything else. At the Harbaksh stadium, a sorry sight in itself, the towers needed to mount television cameras - these matches are being recorded by the rights holders, even if they are not telecast live - were not in place even as the first match for under way. Of course, there wasn't a usable bathroom in sight, and the players were in dressing-rooms that were little better than cattle sheds with tin roofs. Messrs Rawat, Jamwal, Dubey and Rajwade - whoever they are - have stands named after them, no doubt in their honour, but empty stands do no-one proud.
But, such is the lot of domestic cricketers, and they seem to accept this with the softest of grumbles and get on with the game. It was Karan Goel, one of Mohali's latest IPL signings, who cashed in, when Punjab won the toss and chose to bat, clattering his way to 122. Goel, slim yet capable of dispatching the ball with surprising force, settled into a rhythm early on and with the pitch offering little or no lateral movement, was unstoppable.
Goel was well supported by Ravinder Singh and his skipper Pankaj Dharmani and shared in successive partnerships of 95 and 98 that laid a solid base for Punjab. At 235 for 2 when the last 10 overs began, with wickets in hand, the runs flowed easily. Ravneet Ricky chimed in with an unbeaten 24 and Punjab had 298 in the bank.
Haryana briefly threatened to make something of a challenge to the total, with Amit Mishra, the captain opening the batting himself in order to push the scoring rate. But the pace of VRV Singh and the discipline of Gagandeep Singh blew away the top order. VRV was genuinely quick, and with some bounce in the pitch, had the ball flying well above waist high to the keeper. One such screamer went of Amardeep Sonkar's outside edge for Ravinder to hold a blinder at gully. Gagandeep then flattened Mishra's off stump and Punjab were on their way.
A bad situation at 29 for 2 turned dire as the third, fourth and fifth wickets all fell with the score on 86. While VRV provided all the pace, it was Gagandeep's canny cutters that did the most damage as he returned 3 for 42 from his 10 overs. When the 6th wicket fell with less than 100 on the board, the game was all but over. Sumit Sharma was the stand-out Haryana batsman, scoring 54, and a spirited 47-run partnership for the last wicket delayed the inevitable. One just hopes IPL has not inadvertently ushered in a similar end for domestic 50-over cricket.
It's like that only in domestic cricket. This is nothing new. The IPL is an exciting development and cricket is changing in leaps and bounds. But that said the BCCI has come a long way in promoting domestic cricket. We're now playing in coloured clothing with white Kookaburra balls, matches are being telecast. All this did not happen a few years ago.
Punjab: S Sohal c Sandeep b Budhwar 24, K Goel lbw b Prateek 122, Ravinder Singh st Sandeep b Hooda 31,
P Dharmani c Sandeep b Sonkar 40, U Kaul b Sonkar 26, R Ricky not out 24, Manpreet Singh lbw b Sonkar 0,
A Kakkar c Lavasa b Mishra 1, VRV Singh st Sandeep b Mishra 0, S Ladda not out 2
Extras: (lb 4, nb 2, w 21) 27
Total: (8 wkts, 50 overs) 270
Fall of wkts: 1/42, 2/137, 3/235, 4/249, 5/279, 6/279, 7/280, 8/281
Bowling: Budhwar 5-0-28-1 (6w), Billa 5-0-41-0 (2nb), Rana 3-0-24-0, Sonkar 10-0-63-3 (3w), Prateek 7-0-42-1 (2w), Mishra 10-0-41-2 (3w), Hooda 10-0-54-1 (2w)
Haryana: A Sonkar c Ravinder b VRV Singh 3, A Mishra b Gagandeep 12, Sunny Singh c Kakkar b Gagandeep 42,
S Rana b Manpreet 20, A Lavasya b Gagandeep 0, S Sharma b Ladda 54, P Prateek lbw Ladda 6, P Hooda run out (Ladda/Dharmani) 7, Sandeep Singh lbw b Kakkar 1, Billa lbw b Kakkar 0, Budhwar not out 17
Extras (b 3, lb 2, w 7) 12
Total (all out, 44.3 overs) 174
Fall of wkts: 1/3, 2/29, 3/86, 4/86, 5/86, 6/99, 7/124, 8/127, 9/127
Bowling: Gagandeep 10-2-42-3, VRV Singh 8-0-39-1 (4w), Manpreet 5-0-16-1 (1w), Ladda 8.3-0-34-2 (2w), Kakkar 9-2-29-2, Karan Goel 4-1-9-0.
Depleted UP bite the dust
(by Sharad Deep in Kanpur)
A DEPLETED Uttar Pradesh slipped in their very first match as they lost to Rajasthan by seven wickets in the Central Zone domestic one-day tournament that began here on Monday.
Absence of star bowlers, Rudra Pratap Singh, Praveen Kumar and Piyush Chawla had a huge impact on the team as the hosts showed little resilience in going down without a fight to the runners-up of the last year's competition.
UP must have fancied their chances after putiing up a competitive 259 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs, but to their disappointment their bowlers, let them down badly, letting Rajasthan muster the runs with three balls to spare.
With only the experience of Sudeep Tyagi and Praveen Gupta to show off in their bowling department, young Rohit Sharma made merry smashing an unbeaten 147 to make a mockery of the chase.
The right-hand batsman Sharma didn't show any mercy to the rival bowlers and hit them all around the ground. His 147-run knock came off 165 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes.
Fellow opener Manish Sharma gave a staunch support to Rohit, hitting 73 in 91 balls with the help of seven fours. The duo added 171 runs for the opening wicket. And even after Manish gave a simple catch to Parminder Singh in deep mid-wicket area off part-timer Anshul Kapoor in the 36th over, Rohit let his bat do the talking. Vineet Saxena remained unbeaten at 29 with three fours, and added 80 runs with Rohit for the fourth-wicket.
Earlier, things began on the wrong note for UP as they were reduced to 101/5 after Rajasthan skipper Pankaj Jhalani put them into bat after winning the toss. They had just six runs in the first five overs.
But debutant Eklavya Dwivedi (31, 4x4) showed his grit and along with experienced Shivakant Shukla (24, 5x4) the duo added 50 runs for the opening wicket. But it was seamer Shailendra Gehlot who made the difference for UP, sending back Shivakant and skipper Mohd Kaif (0) on consecutive balls in the 14th over of the innings. Gehlot took 3/31.
Praveen Gupta (21) and Ravikant Shukla (13) too went cheaply, and an early collapse was looming large. But Pankaj Singh came to the rescue and hit an unbeaten 64 to push the score beyond 250.
UP: E Dwivedi c R Sharma b S Mathur 31, S Shukla c R Jhalani b SS Gehlot 24, M Kaif lbw b SS Gehlot 0, P Gupta b S Mathur 21, A Kapoor c R Sharma b S Singh 69, R Shukla c R Jhalani b SS Gehlot 13, P Singh not out 64, R Elahi c V Saxena b P Singh 15, B Kumar not out 9. Extras (lb2, w6) 8. Total (for 7 wkts; 50 overs) 259. Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-50, 3-71, 4-84, 5-101, 6-205, 7-232. Bowling: P Singh 10-1-47-1, SS Gehlot 10-2-31-3, S Mathur 9-2-46-2, R Bishnoi 5-129-0, S Singh 9-0-59-1, S Khatri 5-0-31-0, R Sharma 2-0-14-0.
Rajasthan: M Sharma C P Singh b A Kapoor 73, R Sharma not out 147, R Bishnoi b B Kumar 4, V Saxena not out 29. Extras (lb6, w5) 11. Total (for 2 wkts; 49.3 overs) 264. Fall of wickets; 1-171, 2-184. Bowling: I Ahmed 7-0-41-0, S Tyagi 8.3-0-61-0, B Kumar 10-0-53-0, P Gupta 10-1-32-0, P Singh 4-0-20-0, M Kaif 9-0-48-0, A Kapoor 1-0-3-1.
Railways lose, Kartik in a soup
(by Sharad Deep in Kanpur)
FOR MADHYA Pradesh, there was nothing to lose in the match, but were determined to make an upset even before the toss took place.
Skipper Rajesh Pandey had a close look of the pitch, at the Kamla Club Ground before going for the toss, and an expected smile was very much on his face while coming back to pavilion to dress up for the battle.
His assumption proved right at the end as a young Madhya Pradesh side notched up a facile 65-run to collect full five points, including bonus in the Central Zone Ranji Trophy League here on Tuesday.
Deepak Yadav (57, 72b, 8x4), Amit Pagnis (38,62b, 6x4) and Kulamani Parida (20, 35b, 2x4) remained the only Railway batsmen, who could reach the double figure mark as the side collapsed for paltry 152 in 43.2 overs while chasing 218 to win.
Murtuza Ali turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief with 3/31, while Sunil Dholpure and Ashutosh Jadhav shared four wickets between them.
Earlier, Naman Ojha played according to the condition after MP chose to bat. Though wickets kept falling on regular intervals from the par end, young Ojha continued to stroke the ball nicely all around the ground. Though he took 117 balls to score 75 with five fours and six, his innings was enough to see MP crossing the 200-run mark.
Shadab Khan too came up with a fine knock of 42 in 36 balls with four fours and two sixes before being bowled by Murali Kartik. Himalaya Sagar (28, 27b, 6x4), Murtuza Ali (25, 49b, 2x4) and Jatin Saxena (23, 39b, 3x4) impressed with willow.
Mushafir Khote, Sanjay Bangar and Murali Kartik shared six wickets between them for Railways, which conceded minus one point in the match.
Now, Railways take on host Uttar Pradesh at the same ground on Wednesday, while Vidarbha open their campaign against MP, at the Green Park Stadium.
MP: N Ojha run out (Joshi) 75, H Sagar c M Rawat b M Khote 28, J Saxena c M Rawat b M Khote 23, R Bakshi b K Parida 2, M Ali st M Rawat b K Sharma 25, S Khan b M Kartik 42, J Saxena run out (Joshi) 1, A Jadhav c M Khote b S Bangar 4, S Dholpure lbw b M Kartik 3, S Pandey not out 3, S Pitre lbw S Bangar 1. Extras (lb3, w7) 10. Total (all out; 50 overs) 217. Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-78, 3-90, 4-134, 5-195, 6-197, 7-207, 8-211, 9-212, 10-217. Bowling: H Singh 6-0-48-0, M Khote 7-1-21-2, S Bangar 10-2-30-2, M Kartik 10-1-33-2, K Parida 10-0-36-1, K Sharma 7-0-46-1.
Railways: S Joshi c M Ali b S Pitre 4, A Pagnis c R Bakshi b M Ali 38, S Bangar b S Dholpure 0, H Rawle b M Ali 10, M Rawat b S Dholpure 0, D Yadav not out 57, K Sharma c S Pandey b A Jadhav 0, M Khote lbw M Ali 2, M Kartik c&b A Jadhav 3, H Singh c N Ojha b S Pandey 0, K Parida c N Ojha b J Saxena 20. Extras (b2, lb2, nb1, w13) 18. Total (all out; 43.2 overs) 152. Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-42, 3-51, 4-56, 5-80, 6-81, 7-88, 8-96, 9-97, 10-152. Bowling: S Pandey 9-0-26-1, S Pitre 9-1-34-1, S Dholpure 7-1-16-2, M Ali 8-0-31-3, A Jadhav 8-0-28-2, J Saxena 2.2-0-13-1.
Murali may lose match fee!
RAILWAYS SKIPPER and Team India star Murali Kartik may lose his match fee for his alleged misconduct during the MP-Railways Central Zone Ranji Trophy One-day Tournament here on Tuesday.
Murali couldn't be contacted for his version despite repeated efforts, but sources confirmed that after a one-hour post match meeting of both the team officials with match referee Sunil Chaturvedi, Kartik was found guilty of committing Level 2 offence in the match.
The Railways team was batting and on a boundary issue Kartik reportedly said something objectionable to MP fielder, which was objected by their coach Amit Vijay Vargia. Eyewitness say that Karti then said further objectionable to coach also, the situation become tense. But, before the things could blow out of propionate, some UPCA officials and others present there managed to pacify both the parties.
"All this happened in front of the match referee and both the teams officials, including Kartik was present at the meeting after the match," said a source, adding, "Action would certainly be taken as there were enough indications from match referee."
Chipli soars as spectators snore
(by G Krishnan in Chennai)
A GROUP of villagers venturing into the mega city found the Central Polytechnic-India Pistons ground a good place to rest, rather than get caught in activities on the opening day's action of the Subbiah Pillai Trophy here.
Even as defending champions Karnataka made a winning start against a young and disjointed Andhra side, a gentleman from that group snored his way to glory at the open ground that is surrounded by trees.
That Andhra made only 227 for nine in 50 overs was courtesy the depth in Karnataka bowling and casual running between the wickets.
The villager, in his late-30s, and his friends were not much excited even as Karnataka's Sunil Joshi, who at 37 is the oldest in this event, put on a solid performance.
The group was long gone by the time Karnataka met the target by six wickets, courtesy a good unbeaten 109 off 141 balls by opener Bharath Chipli.
At CPT-IP ground: Andhra 227/9 in 50 overs (AG Pradeep 49, KA Fayaz Ahmed 47; R Vinay Kumar 2-42, NC Aiyappa 2-34, C Raghu 2-39) lost to Karnataka 228/4 in 45.1 overs (Bharath Chipli 109 n.o, R Vinay Kumar 32; P Vijayakumar 2-42, Hemal Watekar 2-38). Karnataka: 4 pts; Andhra: 0.
At MAC stadium: Goa 198 all out in 49.3 overs (J Arun Kumar 57, Rohit Asnodkar 59; C Ganapathy 3-34) lost to Tamil Nadu 202/5 in 37.4 overs (Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan 120 n.o,). TN 5 pts; Goa: minus-1.
At SRMC: Kerala 237 all out in 49.5 overs (KJ Rakesh 43, PV Manikantan 30, S Anish 33; Sarvesh Kumar 5-47) bt Hyderabad: 230/8 in 50 overs (Abhinav Kumar 85, Amol Shinde 33; T Yohannan 3-29, KJ Rakesh 3-32). Kerala: 4 pts; Hyderabad: 0.