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Ten years on from the inspired gamble that won the World Cup for India



A decade on from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, relive the showpiece final of the incredible tournament.

MS Dhoni steered India to World Cup glory with a majestic innings, smashing the winning runs with a huge six over long-on.

The winning moment was a fitting finale for a spectacular roller-coaster of a match between the tournament joint-hosts, with a packed crowd in Mumbai put through the emotional ringer before the celebrations could truly get underway.

The First Innings: Sri Lanka recover to 274/6

Zaheer Khan’s remarkable opening five overs put Sri Lanka in trouble early on, with the Indian seamer going for just six runs in the spell and taking the scalp of opener Upul Tharanga – who fell for two runs off a painful 20 deliveries.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) and Kumar Sangakkara (48) got the innings going, but their dismissals put huge pressure on Mahela Jayawardene to deliver a potentially match-winning score from No. 4. But deliver is exactly what he did, finishing with an unbeaten 103* and putting on 63 from the last five overs alongside the power-hitting Thisara Perera (22*).

Khan was on the receiving end of much of the late damage, coming back from his impressive opening five overs to concede an eye-watering 54 off his remaining five to spoil what could have been special figures.

The Second Innings: Gambhir and Dhoni shine in India’s reply

Some supporters even left the ground as a brilliant opening spell from Lasith Malinga had India reeling at 31/2. The Sri Lankan strike bowler removed Virender Sehwag (0) with just the second delivery of the chase, and the Wankhede Stadium was reduced to pin-dropping silence when he had hometown hero Sachin Tendulkar caught behind for just 18.

Gautam Gambhir dug in to rebuild the innings, and was joined by captain MS Dhoni at the crease when Virat Kohli fell to leave the score 114/3 with 28.2 overs remaining.

There was some surprise to see that Dhoni had taken the brave gamble to promote himself above the in-form Yuvraj Singh in the batting order. But the decision – based on Dhoni having a better chance to bat through Muttiah Muralitharan’s remaining overs – paid off, with the skipper and Gambhir putting on a partnership worth 109 runs to give India a real chance.

There was still plenty of work to do when Gambhir fell to Perera just three runs shy of his century, but Yuvraj played a steady 21* from 24 balls at one end while his captain let fly at the other to guide India to victory.

The fact India reached their target with ten deliveries remaining makes the final overs look comfortable in hindsight, but it was Dhoni who removed that pressure, with the wicketkeeper-batsman smoking 20 runs off his last seven balls to avoid facing a potentially tricky final over against Malinga.

How the Captains Reacted

Sangakkara: “I’m very proud of everyone, especially Mahela who rose to the occasion and put up a great hundred. Both Sri Lanka and India will be proud with the way they have played, but India deserved this title, the way they played in front of a great crowd. The only way to stop India is to get at least seven wickets. Gautam was outstanding and Dhoni stepped up and performed. Congrats India, you were the better side today.”

Dhoni: “I took a quite few decisions tonight, if we hadn’t won I would have been asked quite a few questions: Why no Ashwin? Why Sreesanth? Why no Yuvraj, why did I bat ahead?! That pushed me and motivated to do well. I had a point to prove to myself. Virat and Gautam batted brilliantly; lots of singles. Then with the help of bit of dew we put pressure on the spinners. I would have liked Gautam to go on and get that big hundred.”

Tendulkar’s Crowning Glory

India’s greatest ever batsman was carried around his home stadium on the shoulders of his team-mates after winning the World Cup in his own city – a special moment for a special player.

A score of just 18 runs in the final wasn’t what the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium had been hoping for. But Tendulkar had already produced a tournament-defining performance to get the team to the final, picking up the Player of the Match award against Pakistan, and his teammate Kohli summed up the overriding sentiment when he said:

“Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders.” (ICC)




IPL 2023 rule change: teams will name their playing XI after the toss



IPL captains this year will walk out to the toss with two XIs handy

Captains in IPL 2023 will walk in with two different team sheets before handing in their final XI after the toss. That is one of the significant tweaks from the last season in the IPL’s playing conditions, which will soon be shared with the teams. The change, the IPL said in an internal note listing the various changes to playing conditions, would allow franchises to pick their best XIs based on whether they end up batting or bowling, the appropriate impact player included.

“Currently the captains have to exchange the teams before the toss,” the note, seen by ESPNcricinfo, said. “This has been changed to exchange of teams immediately post the toss, to enable teams to choose the best XI depending on whether they are batting or bowling first. It will also assist the teams to plan for the impact player.”

The IPL thus becomes the second T20 franchise tournament after the SA20 to allow teams to announce their XI post the toss. In the SA20, which recently staged its inaugural season, teams put 13 names on the team sheet initially before announcing their final XI after the toss. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, the SA20’s tournament director, had also said then that the move was designed to “lessen the impact of the toss” and allow a level-playing playing field based on the conditions.

The IPL has adopted a similar thought process now, with another key factor being neutralising the effect of dew, which has traditionally had a big impact at some venues in India, with teams bowling second adversely impacted.

While the toss will still matter, it should not be a case of “win toss, win match” in certain conditions with the new rule. For example, if a team that wanted to bat and then defend a total on a slow track in turning conditions is forced to bowl first, it can play an extra spinner in the starting XI, and then replace a specialist bowler with a batter in the second innings to help with the run-chase.

Other IPL playing conditions tweaks

Over rate penalty of only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle for every over not completed in the allocated time. Unfair movement of the wicketkeeper will result in a dead ball and 5 penalty runs. Unfair movement by a fielder will result in a dead ball and 5 penalty runs.


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Litton, Tamim make light work of small chase after Mahmud’s maiden five-for



Tamim Iqbal and Litton Das never gave Ireland a chance

Openers Litton Das and Tamim Iqbal made light work of a 102-run target as Bangladesh beat Ireland by ten wickets in the third ODI in Sylhet and completed a 2-0 series win. The visitors were bowled out for 101 in 28.1 overs after the Bangladesh fast bowlers took all ten wickets in an innings for the first time in the format.

The short chase was enlivened by Tamim and Litton, who put on an exhibition of strokeplay, finishing the game in just 13.1 overs, Bangladesh’s second-shortest chase in ODIs. After Bangladesh beat Ireland by a record margin of runs in the first ODI, this was also their first ten-wicket win in ODIs.

A small crowd turned up at the picturesque Sylhet venue on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan starting, and went home shortly after sunset. Ireland’s 101 broke a sequence of five successive 300-plus totals by the side batting first on this ground.

Hasan Mahmud’s maiden five-wicket haul, Taskin Ahmed’s three-wicket burst and Ebadot Hossain’s two-for summed up the absolute dominance by the Bangladesh fast bowlers. The spinners were needed for only four overs in all with Shakib Al Hasan not getting a chance to bowl for only the third time in his ODI career. It was a day out for the quicks on the hard and bouncy Sylhet surface, a rarity among grounds in Bangladesh. The conditions prompted the team management to pick six bowlers including the three seamers.

Mahmud removed openers Stephen Doheny and Paul Stirling in a disciplined opening burst. Doheny was caught behind for 8 after scratching around for 20 balls before Stirling, dropped on 5, got to 7 before Mahmud trapped him lbw in the ninth over. The skiddy fast bowler soon picked up his third when he trapped Harry Tector lbw later in the same over. Taskin got captain Andy Balbirnie caught at first slip for just 6 as Ireland collapsed to 26 for 4 before the first powerplay was up.

Then came their only partnership of note. Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher added 42 runs for the fifth wicket, which effectively helped Ireland reach the three-figure mark. Campher top-scored with 36, while Tucker made 28, the only two double-figure scores in the innings.

But it was soon over. Ebadot’s in-dipper had Tucker lbw. Next ball, Ebadot clean-bowled George Dockrell for a golden duck as Ireland slipped to 68 for 6.Taskin then took a brace in his seventh over, first getting Andy McBrine to top-edge a quick bouncer before Adair inside-edged his second ball onto the stumps.

Campher was the ninth wicket that fell, top-edging Mahmud towards fine leg. Taskin took a comfortable catch, celebrating the younger team-mate’s first four-wicket haul. It soon became five when Mahmud trapped Graham Hume lbw for 3.

Tamim started the chase with a slashed four over point, before pasting the Ireland fast bowlers for boundaries through cover and square-leg. Most of Litton’s boundaries came through the covers, including a back-foot punch that looked scrumptious from every angle. Left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys then went for two expensive overs, before the Bangladesh opening pair calmed down briefly.

Tamim lofted Humphreys for a straight six in his third over, before Litton drove Campher through the covers. Then he struck two fours off Humphreys to reach his ninth ODI fifty, before Tamim hit the winning runs.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 102 for 0 (Litton Das 50*, Tamim Iqbal 41*) beat Ireland 101 (Curtis Campher 36, Lorcan Tucker 28, Hasan Mahmud 5-32, Taskin Ahmed 3-26, Ebadot Hossain 2-29) by ten wickets


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AA Sponsors 68th National Billiard Championship



President AAC Dhammika Attygalle hands over the sponsorship to the Secretary of the B & SASL Kumar Lanerolle in the presence of P.H. Liyanage – Billiard Chairman AAC, Lasitha Gunaratne – Exco Member - AAC and Member of the National Sports Council, Devapriya Hettiarachchi – Secretary AAC and Anton Kandiah – Treasurer of the B & SASL and Billiard Secretary of the AAC.

The Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) will sponsor the 68th National Billiard Championship, conducted by the Billiards and Snooker Association of Sri Lanka (B & SASL) this year.

The Automobile Association of Ceylon established in 1904 is the oldest Motoring Organization in Sri Lanka,and is afiliated to the Federation Internationale De L’ Automobile, world largest Mobility Organization in Geneva, which has 150 countries under its umbrella. AAC’s prime object is to make all Road users safe.

AAC conducts annual Billiard and Snooker Tournaments for its members and also takes part in the inter-club tournaments in order to promote the cue sports. In the past, AAC members have excelled in several National Billiard and Snooker Tournaments and brought glory to the association.

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