Knew Gilchrist was vulnerable on the ball pitched up, recalls Praveen Kumar - The Daily Guardian
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Knew Gilchrist was vulnerable on the ball pitched up, recalls Praveen Kumar

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Former India fast bowler Praveen Kumar, who helped India clinch the second Tri-series final in 2008 at Brisbane with an early three-wicket burst, says he used to catch the batsmen by watching their feet and body language.

India, having won the first of the best-of-three finals, had needed to win the second to seal the Tri-series for the first time in history.

They had set a target of 258, thanks to Sachin Tendulkar’s 91, and with the batting line-up that Australia had, it could have been insufficient.

But Praveen lopped off Australia’s cream – Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke to leave Aussies tottering at 32/3. They could never recover from there and India won the match by nine runs.

“Let me tell you, I could catch a batsman by watching his feet and body language. That moment (Brisbane, 2008) I was just putting on display the art that I have,” Praveen Kumar told IANS about his four for 46 haul that earned him the man of the match award and India a historic win that got them the Tri-series in Australia for the first time in history.

“You see most things about bowling are simple. I was not thinking about anything. My bowling style dictated the areas I have to pitch and I was watching the wicket and bowling,” he added.

Praveen says he had done his homework with the help of the support staff, having studied the batsmen.

“’Gilchrist paidal tha upar waali ball par’ (Gilchrist was vulnerable to the ball that used to be pitched up),” he explains the thought behind plotting the former Australian wicket-keeper who was playing his last and 287th ODI. Gilchrist poked at a delivery that moved away. Aussies were one down for two.

“Ponting, they used to say, he pulls the ball well. So I said, ‘isko pull par hi nikaalna hai’ (let us catch him on the pull),” he says before explaining the simple logic.

“Whatever is the strength of someone, can also be his weakness. I bowled short, he pulled and was caught at short mid-on (by Yuvraj). I have got Ponting out thrice, once in Nagpur – there before he could realise the ball had hit the pad and he was out. It is about catching the batsman, a person. You catch a batsman by how he is playing. You need brains for that. In Ponting’s case, I thought let me try a short one.”

Praveen was, however, a tad lucky with the third one � of Clarke.

“’Maine ball dabaai aur wo baith gayee’ (I pushed the ball on the pitch and it didn’t rise and went on at a very low trajectory). I got a bit lucky there. The pitch helped me on that one. But I am proud of the way I got Gilchrist. When a bowler uses his hands (art) and brain, he can bowl even if he has just gotten up from sleep. You will naturally catch the good length if you have it in you. By God’s grace, I had practiced so much that even if I could get up from my sleep, I could step out and bowl.”

That night at the Gabba, Praveen helped create history for India with his art and skills. 

IANS

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Road Safety World Series: Pietersen stars in England Legends’ win

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Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], March 7 (ANI): England Legends captain Kevin Pietersen stole the show in the low-scoring match as they got a maiden win in the Road Safety World Series T20 against Bangladesh Legends at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium in Raipur on Sunday.
Pietersen cracked a quickfire 17-ball 42 to help England chase down a 114-run target with 36 balls to spare. In his entertaining knock, Pietersen slammed seven boundaries and a six. Darren Mandy saw the team through to 117 in 14 overs with an unbeaten 32.
Earlier, England bowlers put up a strong show as they restricted Bangladesh to a low score of 113 for five in 20 overs. Captain Kevin Pietersen, who won the toss and elected to field first, used seven bowlers to put the opponents in check.
Of England bowlers, seamer Chris Tremlett was the most successful with two wickets for 10 runs while left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who opened the bowling, was the most economical of the lot.
Bangladesh, who lost their opening tie to India Legends, continued to struggle with the bat. Struggling for shots on a slow wicket, Bangladesh ended up throwing wickets one after another and were down to five wickets for 55 runs at one stage.
Opener Nazimuddin, who played a crucial role for Bangladesh against India with 40 runs, failed to put up a better show and was dismissed by left-arm pacer Ryan Sidebottom for 14-ball 12.
In search of a partnership, lower middle-order batsmen Khaled Mashud and Mushfiqur Rahman did the rescue act with a 56-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Both Mashud and Rahman kept a check on their shots and chose to rotate the strike to avoid another collapse.
In the end, Mashud had to return retired hurt after scoring 31 not out off 39 balls with three boundaries while Rahman got an unbeaten 30 from 26 balls and four hits to the fence.
Brief scores: Bangladesh Legends 113/5 (Khaled Mashud 31 retd hurt, Mushfiqur Rahman 30*; Chris Tremlett 2/10); England Legends 117/3 (Kevin Pietersen 42, Darren Maddy 32*, Phil Mustard 27, Mohammed Rafique 2/31). (ANI)

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PSL 6: Independent fact-finding panel named to review bio-secure protocols

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Lahore [Pakistan], March 7 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday named an independent fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols that were put in place during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 6.
PCB on Thursday had announced that the PSL season 6 will be postponed with immediate effect following a string of positive COVID-19 cases. PCB had said the decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on February 20.
“Distinguished infectious disease experts Dr Syed Faisal Mahmood and Dr Salma Muhammad Abbas have been appointed as independent members of the two-person fact-finding panel that will review the bio-secure protocols as well as the bylaws that were put in place during the Pakistan Super League 6,” PCB said in a statement.
The board said the independent panel will submit its findings and recommendations to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani by March 31.
“The independent panel has been tasked to carry out a holistic and detailed review of the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures for the Pakistan Super League 6, identify any gaps and advise as to the reasons why the bio-secure environment did not remain COVID-free,” the statement read.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, in a statement, said: “The PCB takes the health and safety of its players, player support personnel and match officials seriously. We have demonstrated our duty of care in the international series against Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as during the nine domestic events in which we successfully staged 220 matches. This included the 34-match National T20 Cup in Multan and Rawalpindi as well as the first and second elevens Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup in Karachi.
“The independent panel of two distinguished experts has been appointed with the sole purpose of an honest, constructive and objective review. The independent panel will speak with all the relevant stakeholders, including the event and hotel staff, medical and compliance officers, team players, and managements, so that we can get a better understanding how the cases occurred. The independent panel will make such recommendations as it considers appropriate,” he added. (ANI)

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Rangers win Scottish Premiership title after Celtic held to draw by Dundee United

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Glasgow [Scotland], March 7 (ANI): Rangers FC has won the Scottish Premiership title after Celtic FC were held to a goalless draw by Dundee United on Sunday.
Rangers on Saturday inched closer to sealing the title after a 3-0 win over St Mirren. With Celtic’s witnessing a draw, Rangers can mathematically no longer be caught with six matches still to play.
Steven Gerrard’s team has 88 points from 32 games while Celtic has 68 points from as many games.
It’s title number 55 for the club – the most of any football club in the world.
“There is little doubt today’s success can be put down to the unbelievable loyalty of the Rangers support – you stood by this club in its hour of need, and you deserve this success as much as every member of Steven Gerrard’s players and backroom staff, Ross Wilson, Douglas Park and the club’s board,” the club said in a statement.
The club has been simply outstanding this season and is still unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership. (ANI)

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England players will be staying for the whole of IPL: Silverwood

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): England coach Chris Silverwood has said that England players will be available for the whole of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The IPL Governing Council on Sunday announced the schedule for IPL 2021 to be held in India across six venues from April 9. England are scheduled to play a two-match Test series against New Zealand, starting June 2.
“We have not looked at selection for the Test matches yet. For me, playing for your country is a big thing. It is always difficult to change anything. So, they will be staying for the whole IPL as it stands at the moment,” Silverwood said during a virtual press conference.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai in the tournament opener.
“After nearly two years, the IPL extravaganza will return home with Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata hosting the marquee event,” the BCCI said in a statement on Sunday.
The final of the 14th edition of the tournament will be played on May 30 at Narendra Modi Stadium. Playoffs will also be played at the same venue.
“The World’s Largest Cricket Stadium – Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the Playoffs as well as the final on 30th May, 2021 which promises to be a visual spectacle. The newly-built stadium that hosted India’s second pink-ball fixture at home with great grandeur will host its first-ever IPL,” the release read.
The BCCI said that this IPL will be played “behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament”.
“The fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk,” it added.
Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host eight matches each.
One of the highlights of this edition of the IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues, no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at four out of six venues during the league stage.
There will be a total of 11 doubleheaders where 6 teams will play three afternoon matches and two teams will play two afternoon matches. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 PM IST start while the evening games will have a 7:30 PM IST start.
“After hosting the tournament safely and successfully in the UAE last year with all safety protocols in place, the BCCI is confident of hosting the IPL at home with health and safety of players and all people involved being paramount,” the release concluded. (ANI)

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BCCI invites bids for Turnkey Design Build Construction Services for upcoming NCA campus

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 7 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday invited bids for the Turnkey Design Build Construction Services for the upcoming campus of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) at Bengaluru, through a tender process.
“As a part of the tendering process, the winning bidder will be awarded the contract for providing the turnkey design-build construction services for the upcoming National Cricket Academy,” BCCI said in a statement.
“The Request for Proposal (RFP) document is available from March 5, 2021. The tender document will remain for purchase till March 20, 2021,” it added.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England.
Virat Kohli’s men, who defeated England in the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, will now face New Zealand in the WTC final slated to be played from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London.
India finished as the number one team with 72.2 percentage points in the WTC points table, the factor that determined the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the Covid-19 disruption.
The Black Caps were the first team to ensure a place in the final with 70 percentage points. Australia finished third with 69.2 percentage points while England ended with 61.4 percentage points at the fourth position. (ANI)

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Swiss Open: Carolina Marin defeats PV Sindhu to win women’s singles title

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Basel [Switzerland], March 7 (ANI): Indian shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday suffered a 12-21, 5-21 defeat at the hands of Carolina Marin in the final of the Swiss Open here.
Marin was at her best in the match and while Sindhu gave a bit of competition in the first game, the Spanish shuttler completely dominated her opponent in the second game to easily win the women’s singles title.
In the second game, Marin did not let Sindhu settle and took a massive 14-2 lead. The Indian shuttler had no answers to Marin’s aggressive gameplay and went on to lose the match that lasted for 35 minutes.
On Saturday, Sindhu had progressed to the final of the tournament after registering a straight games win over Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the semi-final. The Rio Olympics silver medalist had clinched the clash 22-20, 21-10 that lasted for 43 minutes.
While, Spanish badminton player, Marin, had beaten Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-15, 20-22, 21-19 in the semifinal to set up the summit clash with the India shuttler.
After the game on Saturday, Sindhu had admitted that the final won’t be an easy match.
“Am happy that I am through to the finals, it’s been a good win today for me, and playing against Mia was a kind of revenge because in Thailand I had lost against her so this win was very important for me,” Sindhu had said.
“Yeah really looking forward to the finals. Carolina is a good player so it won’t be an easy match, I have to play my 100 per cent,” she had added. (ANI)

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