Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cricket World Cup 2011: Afterthoughts on the India-Pakistan Semi-Final

The much awaited, much hyped, Mother Of All Games between the sub-continental giants—India and Pakistan—is finally behind us.
India won, Pakistan lost.
Indian fans will celebrate.
Pakistani fans will mourn.
Another Faboulous Victory Against Pakistan in 2nd Semi Final 2011
Another sub-continental giant—Sri Lanka—await the men in blue on Saturday, the 2nd of April, 2011 in Mumbai.
Despite it sounding like a cliché on a stuck record, can Team India do it for Sachin Tendulkar?
The Little Master had a terrible outing. Four lives, two appeals turned down and yet the Little Master could not cross the Rubicon of 100 tons.
As Suresh Menon of the DNA remarked in one of his recent columns, would it be a bad thing if Tendulkar never did?
Sir Donald Bradman was unable to score the requisite four runs in his final innings to average a perfect 100, instead out for a duck to end up on 99.94. Was that such a bad thing?
Even the best are not perfect. Maybe that’s the almighty’s way of saying, “Perfection is mine alone. You can only strive to attain it.”
Despite the opposition’s butter-fingers and a sterling bowling performance by young pace discovery, Wahab Riaz, Sach was crowned man-of-the-match.
Even he would admit that it was not his finest innings. Yet he ended up on the winning side. And that counts more in the eyes of the adjudicators.
Riaz deserved the award simply because a fifer specially in a one-dayer is a rarer occurrence and more than equivalent to a ton.
To put it into context,in all ODIs ever played, there are 201 players who have taken 5 wickets or more and 277 who have scored tons.
Occurrences are even rarer. 3147 ODIs have been played since 1971. 1137 hundreds have been scored in them with just 349 instances of 5 wickets or more.
It’s always funny how when a big match comes up, some big players fail to turn up. Umar Gul disappointed. It was left to Wahab Riaz to take up the slack and make inroads into the vaunted Indian batting line-up.
His bowling restricted India to a competitive total. Read More.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

India v Pakistan: Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final preview

Read a full match preview of the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali on Wednesday March 30, 2011.
World Cup semi-final
Start: Wednesday March 30, 2.30PM Mohali, India
TV: DD National, Star Sports, Star Cricket & Sky Sports 1

Key man: India's Sachin Tendulkar will carry the hopes of a nation against Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final

India Sachin Tendulkar appears to have destiny on his side. Ninety-nine international hundreds already, one more required to reach an unprecedented milestone in the game. If he gets there today, he will also reclaim his place as the leading runscorer in the tournament. Even if he doesn’t, and India lose, it has still been another remarkable tournament for a man many thought was in terminal decline a couple of years ago. Tendulkar already has 2,175 World Cup runs in total, well ahead of the next-highest tally, Ricky Ponting’s 1,743. It is hard to imagine anyone ever beating that.

Pakistan Shahid Afridi may have been born somewhere on the other side of the Khyber Pass, but he plays for Karachi — and his whole attitude mirrors the bustling, restless mood of Pakistan’s most populous city. Like his predecessor Imran Khan, Afridi is a Pathan — a descendent of the warlike hill tribes who hail from the Hindu Kush. Could he now follow Imran by lifting the World Cup? His own bowling — which leads the tournament with 21 scalps — has been a huge factor in Pakistan’s success. But one fancies they will need his batting today as well, and so far he hasn’t passed 20.
India Munaf Patel has decent enough figures in this tournament but every time he comes on, bowling that plodding medium pace, you think someone is going to plant a big front foot and swing him into the crowd. Surely there must be a better second seam bowler, out of a billion Indians, to support the excellent Zaheer Khan.
Pakistan It has to be Kamran Akmal, a master of the art of coarse wicketkeeping. During his match-losing performance against New Zealand, the commentator Ian Chappell pointed out that Akmal could bat like Bradman and still not recoup the number of runs he costs the team through his shambolic glovework.
When India bowl Zaheer’s reverse swing: unusually, he can use it just as well on a length ball as a yorker.
When Pakistan bowl Saeed Ajmal’s doosra is difficult to pick, even for an Indian batting line-up who play spin as well as anyone.

Friday, March 25, 2011

3rd Quater FInal: South Africa out of the contest! Bad Luck Still Catching Them

New Zealand have caused a huge upset by dumping South Africa out of the World Cup in a thrilling clash in Dhaka to set up a semi-final clash with the winner of Saturday's quarter-final between Sri Lanka and England.

The Proteas looked certain to progress after restricting the Black Caps to 221 all out, and they looked comfortable at 121-4 after 28 overs but there followed a complete collapse.
New Zealand eventually scuttled South Africa out for 172 to win by 49 runs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pakistan v West Indies: Cricket World Cup 2011 live

Knock Out Match Begins Pakistan Vs West Indies in 1st Quater Final
OVER 1: Pak 4/0. Gul to Smith, and first ball's a garbage half-tracker that Smith slaps past point for four. Pah. Thought the garbage teams had gone home? Nice start for Smith though. Big appeal from Gul as he finds a better line. Fairly straight but probably just pitched outside the left-handers leg stump. Review? Nope. Bit of nibble off the pitch, and bit of variable bounce-age. Dire crowd by the way. Good comeback from Gul.

08.29: Henry Gayle positively sprinting to the crease. By that I mean brisk walk of course. Predictions to me here please...has to be Pakistan for me, but the toss has certainly levelled things. Windes, remember, haven't won a proper ODI against a proper team since July 2009.

08.25: Blues skies in Mirpur. Anthem time...and you've to say Pakistan have edged that one. Largely because it is a national anthem rather than some please-all token effort designed not to annoy Jamaicans/Barbadians etc...

0819: Shahi Afridi: "Toss doesn't give any difference. We bowled first against Australia; we will carry on with the same attitude. All the boys know the importance of this competition. We are very positive and looking forward to this game."

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal†, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi*, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal.

West Indies: DS Smith, CH Gayle, RR Sarwan, DM Bravo, KA Pollard, DC Thomas†, DJG Sammy*, D Bishoo, R Rampaul, S Chanderpaul, KAJ Roach

08.10: West Indies have won the toss and will..........bat! Gayle, Chanderpaul and Roach in for Edwards, Benn and Andre Russell. Saeed Ajmal plays for Pakistan.

08.00: Wake up! Don't you know there's a bloody World Cup on!

So after 42 games and five weeks we are finally at what I like to call the 'quarter-finals'. Pakistan v West Indies today, should be a cracker. Teams to come.

Required reading, and listening, and emails...

MIchael Vaughan previews today's quarter-final.

Geoffrey Boycott on the utterly pointless but mildly diverting marathon of matches which got us to this point.

And if you STILL haven't signed up for the Cricket World Cup Email yet then there's probably not much point now, to be honest. But if you're still up for it, well, y'know, upto you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spice Mobile launches M-9000 Popkorn

Mobile News: Spice Mobile launches M-9000 Popkorn
Spice Mobile has just launched the Spice Mobile M-9000 Popkorn phone, with an inbuilt projector.

Spice has been one of the leaders in dual-sim phone sales in the entry-level mobile phone market.

The M-9000 also boasts of a dual-sim feature but its major draw is its inbuilt projector. You can use the projector to view videos as well as analogue TV from the phone.

The analogue TV feature functionality was first seen in devices like the Nokia N93 and N96. It catches free-to-air terrestrial networks like Doordarshan in India.

There are other phones in the same category that provide streaming television using 3G networks. Though there are a wider variety of channels available, they come at added data streaming cost.

Key Specifications

Pocket Projector
Multi SIM
Analog TV
Document Viewer
Videos on Demand
Quad band
6 cm,262K QVGA Screen
FM with recording
VideoPlayer 3gp, mp4, avi, flv, rm & rmvb
1200 mAh Battery
Stereo Bluetooth

Saturday, March 19, 2011

World Cup Preview: India vs West Indies

Drama, injury, close games, tears, backstabbing, wardrobe malfunctions, weave-pulls, wine chucked in faces, and superb dance moves. But enough about England, this is India v West Indies.
World Cup Preview: India vs West Indies
This game will be pretty much a dead rubber if Bangladesh doesn’t beat South Africa, because India is already through and it would take a very large defeat for the West Indies‘ NRR to fall below Bangladesh. So here’s hoping the Banglas win, to ensure that the Windies have something riding on that last game. It will also mean that my pre-WC prediction, that the Banglas qualify ahead of the Windies, has come true. That looks as likely as… something highly unlikely.
Expert analysis aside, India hasn’t beaten a Test side in the World Cup yet, apart from Bangladesh. This could and should be an easy win – if James Tredwell and Ravi Bopara can choke the Windies, just think of what Harbhajan and Ashwin could do! No seriously, I’m backing Harbhajan in this game to the extent of picking him in my Fantasy team with my one remaining transfer, and I intend to make him the captain too. As far as Ashwin goes, he could be as hittable as Chawla. Everyone wants him to play just because he hasn’t played and got thrashed yet, unlike the others. The cloak of mystery is probably why he should play. Proof - Imran Tahir, James Tredwell, Devendra Bishoo, Ajit Agarkar (find the odd one out). He still has to bowl well, though. Crap on a stick won’t get you wickets.
The game is being played in Chennai (another sign for Ashwin), a very good place for Sachin and spinners. It is going to be a fresh pitch apparently, so it could be another high-scoring game. It will be anyway if India bats first, but Gayle looked in a particularly rapish mood against England, so expect a close, exciting contest for about 15 overs. Brian Bravo has been underwhelming so far, as has the rest of the order – a good score will depend entirely on Pollard, IPL teammate of Harby and (formerly) Zaheer.
My picks for the game:  Harbhajan, Sachin, Ashwin, Yuvraj, Gayle, Bravo, Benn.
Ideal line-ups:
India: Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni (c)(wk), Harbhajan, Ashwin, Chawla, Zaheer, Nehra.
West Indies: Gayle, Chanderpaul, Bravo, Sarwan, Pollard, Sammy (c), Thomas (wk), Russell, Benn, Bishoo, Roach.
Official-looking prediction: India to win with ease. High-scoring game. There will be 4 celebrities in the crowd.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan nuclear crisis: US announces evacuation options

Japan nuclear crisis: US announces evacuation options
The US embassy in Tokyo has urged American citizens within 50 miles of the threatened plant to relocate and announced it would help US citizens evacuate the country by plane.
After reports that some spent fuel rods at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may now be completely dry, the US embassy on Thursday urged American citizens within 50 miles of the threatened plant to relocate and announced it would help US citizens evacuate the country by plane.
"The Department of State has authorized the voluntary departure, including relocation to safe areas within Japan, for family members and dependents of US Government officials who wish to leave northeast Japan. The US Government is also working to facilitate the departure of private American citizens from the affected areas – that is a 50-mile radius of the reactor," announced US Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy.
The more conservative US recommendations followed Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko’s Wednesday testimony to a congressional subcommittee, at which he warned that radiation levels were very high and said his organization believed that all the water in the spent-fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor likely had run dry, an extremely dangerous situation. Read More

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan tsunami touches New Zealand

Japan tsunami touches New Zealand
Tsunami waves triggered by Japan's Magnitude 9.0 quake touched all of New Zealand's coasts, scientists report.

A 86cm wave was recorded in the port of Lyttelton, the NZ township closest to the epicentre of the country's own catastrophic 6.3 tremor in February.

And a gauge at Scott Base, in Antarctica, even registered a 10cm wave, says the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

NZ is some 8,000km from Japan. The first waves arrived in about 12 hours.

The biggest were seen in Whitianga, in North Island, and Kaingaroa, on the Chatham Islands east of the NZ mainland, where heights (from crest to the trough) of 1.6m were measured.

At the majority of the 19 sea-level gauges monitored, the biggest waves did not arrive for many hours after the instruments started registering changes from normal tide readings.

In Timaru, on the eastern coast of South Island, the largest wave height (over a metre) did not occur until more than 40 hours after the first wave hit, the institute said.

This delay was probably due to waves bouncing off continental shelves all around the Pacific including South America and local coastal headlands and offshore ridges, it explained.

"It's important to understand that tsunami waves can continue for some time after the first few waves hit," added NIWA Principal Scientist, Dr Rob Bell.

"It's not safe to assume that once you have seen one wave, the risk subsides and all returns quickly to normal.

"We are still recording obvious wave heights at our sea-level gauges now, days after the earthquake, which are affecting currents in harbours and estuaries.

"The size and timing of the waves recorded by the sea-level gauges are very similar to those estimated in the response phase of this event.

"The accuracy of this information is vital for civil defence and emergency management when they are making decisions about tsunami warnings, to ensure the hazardous impacts of a tsunami event in New Zealand are minimised."

More than 160 people were killed in the M 6.3 quake that struck the Christchurch area on 22 February.

A national memorial day on 18 March will feature events planned in the city's Hagley Park. The UK's Prince William will also tour devastated areas.

Quake recovery efforts are expected to cost New Zealand at least NZ$15bn ($11bn; £7bn).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PM's doctor opposes healthcare tax

Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's proposal to impose 5% service tax on healthcare now faces stiff resistance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's surgeon Dr Ramakant Panda.

Dr Panda, who heads Asian Health Information institute in Mumbai and is one of India's best known cardio-vascular thoracic surgeon, has written a letter to Mukherjee, asking for a rollback of the proposal.

He said at present in India, 64 years after independence, the number of beds, nurses and doctors per 1,000 population is among the lowest in the world. According to Dr Panda, India is not even at par with sub-Saharan countries.

"We have 0.8 beds per 1,000 people. In in sub-Saharan countries, it is 1 per 1,000. In China, it is 3 per 1,000 and in the US it is 7 to 8 per 1,000. The hospital infrastructure, equipment, doctors and nurses that we have in this country is much less than what we need," he wrote.

He adds, "There is a huge demand-supply gap and we need to fill this gap. In the budget, you have proposed to levy a 10% service tax, with an abatement of 50%, on treatment carried out at hospitals with 25 or more beds with central air conditioning and diagnostic test services. This levy would have a negative impact across the healthcare spectrum. This comes at a time when the healthcare sector is already bearing the brunt of an inflationary spiral."

Dr Panda insists that air-conditioning in hospitals is an essential need, and not a luxury. The guidelines laid down by the National Accreditation Board for hospitals do not provide accreditation to hospitals without central air-conditioning as split or window air-conditioning increases the risk of infection in the hospital. "The service tax measure would deter hospitals from going in for central air-conditioning, leading to an increase in the already high infection rates in the hospitals," he added.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Earthquake rocks Japan

7.2-magnitude earthquake rocks in Japan
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan this afternoon has triggered a small tsunami, but with no reports of damage.

The quake hit at 1.54pm about 169 kilometres off the city of Sendai in northern Japan at a depth of 14 kilometres.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning of up to 50 centimetres for the east coast of the main Honshu island.

A 60-centimetre wave was first reported at Ofunato port half an hour after the quake without causing any damage.

"We have confirmed that small tsunami have come up on the shores, but we have no reports of damage at this point," said Shinobu Nagano, an emergency and disaster response official in Iwate prefecture.

"We are still trying to determine the impact of the quake."

Yoshiyuki Sato, an official at Kurihara City in Miyagi prefecture, about 300 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, told Reuters: "First I felt a jolt that pushed from underneath, then a big sideways tremor that lasted for about 20 seconds.

"The tremor was relatively big but things did not fall off the shelves in the city government building."

Australian James Hodges, who is based in Tokyo and has worked in Japan for two decades, said he was used to experiencing tremors.

"The only difference this time was that the tremor seemed to last a rather long time, without spiking to a greater intensity ... [T]here seem to be no major dramas here in western Tokyo at the moment."

Residents in the rural seaside areas where the quake was felt most strongly reported no immediate damage.

"It continued for about 30 seconds, but I don't see anything that looks different," said Yoshio Hoshi, a retired fisherman in Miyagi prefecture.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a local tsunami might be generated as a result of the undersea jolt, although "no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data".

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

Daniel Jaksa, senior duty seismologist at Geoscience Australia, said the earthquake would have been felt in Japan, "but it's not likely to cause any great distress".

"7.2 earthquakes are quite common in the northern part of the Honshu. They get one of these every couple of years."

An official at the National Police Agency
said there was no information on damage from the quake so far.

Tohoku Electric Power said its Onagawa nuclear plant was operating normally after the quake. Tokyo Electric Power also said there was no impact on its power plants in the region.

Bullet trains resumed running in north-eastern Japan after stopping briefly, Kyodo news agency reported.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

In 1933, about 3000 people were killed around Ofunato by an earthquake and tsunami that had a maximum wave height of 28.7 metres, the USGS said.

In 1896, a magnitude 8.5 earthquake generated a tsunami that killed 27,000 people in the area.

World Cup 2011: Cricket fans get lathis instead of tickets in Nagpur

In what could be termed as a shameful repeat, Cricket fans on Tuesday were lathicharged over ticket sale ahead of India South Africa match outside the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.

Twelve days after similar scenes were witnessed in Bangalore, stick-wielding police battered fans in front of the ticket counter at the World Cup Stadium, as chaos broke out among those waiting outside the arena since a day before to buy tickets. If you want to see videos Click here

Friday, March 4, 2011

India must be ready for Ireland challenge in World Cup 2011: Ganguly

India must be ready for Ireland challenge in World Cup 2011 - Ganguly said on press conference
On this week's ICC Cricket World Radio Show, former India captain Sourav Ganguly says India must be ready and up for the side's game against Ireland on March 6 in Bangalore.

"India are the better side when it comes to the two, but they must be ready and up for the challenge that Ireland will provide them with," says Ganguly.

"Ireland has some outstanding players, chasing down England's target with ease and Kevin O'Brien giving an outstanding performance so India will have to be up and ready for it.

"India will have the chance to review their bowling attack - as to whether they go with three fast bowlers or continue with two spinners and two seamers, which I don't think is the way forward. They need three fast bowlers and then have someone like Yusuf Pathan bowling his ten overs," he adds. (ANI)

SC issues notice to Advani, 21 others in Babri case

SC issues notice to Advani, 21 others in Babri case
The Supreme Court on Friday asked BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and others to spell out their stands on a CBI plea for restoration of charges of hatching a criminal conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid in 1992 against them. A bench of justice V S related stories

* Ansari to move SC in Ayodhya case
* 'Babri appeal ploy to divert attention'

Sirpurkar and justice T S Thakur sought to know their stands while issuing notices to them and asking them to file their replies within four weeks.

The apex court issued the notices after Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the CBI, questioned the legality of the Allahabad high court's order last May, upholding a special CBI judge's decision to quash the charges of criminal conspiracy against the leaders.

The CBI has moved the apex court challenging the High Court's May 20, 2010 order, dismissing the CBI plea for revival of criminal conspiracy charges against top BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders, which also included Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Rithambara and Mahant Avaidya Nath.

The other leaders were former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.

Challenging the high court order, the CBI has said in its petition that "it appears an artificial distinction was made by the trial court attempting to assign a role in respect of each of the accused persons and to see which offences were made out. The trial court erroneously came to the conclusion that 21 persons were not entitled to be tried in the case (pertaining to the demolition on December 6, 1992).

"The order passed by the high court results in serious miscarriage of justice, violates the principle of consolidated investigation, consolidated charge sheet and also disables an effective trial," the petition has said.

The May 2010 order of the high court had said there was no merit in the CBI's revision petition challenging the May 4, 2001 order of the special court which directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against them.

There are two sets of cases -- one against Advani and others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya in December 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished, while the other case was against lakhs of unknown 'karsevaks' who were in and around the disputed structure.

Upholding the 2001 order of the special CBI court, the high court had said, "Nothing is found against the correctness, legality, propriety or regularity in respect of any of the findings of the lower court."

The CBI had chargesheeted Advani and 20 others under sections 153A IPC (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace).

The judge had also said that the CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rai Bareli or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders, as was being submitted now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charlie Sheen surrenders twins to police

CHARLIE Sheen kissed his twin boys goodbye as police took them from his LA mansion.

Bob and Max, who turn two this month, said "Goodbye Dada" as he calmly strapped them into a car seat.

"Don't say goodbye, just say see you later," Sheen is heard saying on a videotape made by one of his entourage.

Sheen, 45, whose top-rating show Two and a Half Men was canned this week, was ordered to surrender his children after his ex-wife, Brooke Mueller, told a court she thought he was insane and had beaten her.

Mueller told an LA court that Sheen - who is in the middle of a very public meltdown - made references to having people killed and once used an anti-Semitic slur against his own manager, Mark Burg.

But Burg said he didn't believe Sheen was anti-Semitic, and Sheen dismissed the claims as lies.

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On NBC's Today Show he demanded to know the whereabouts of his sons, staring at the camera and saying: "Brooke, I am sorry you felt his had to be done in this way. This does not display any responsible parenting that I am familiar with."

Mueller, who has been in and out of rehab, had accompanied the actor and his two girlfriends, Bree Olson - also known as Rachel Oberlin - and Natalie Kenly, to the Bahamas last week.

Sheen gave Radar Online a photograph he claims was proof Mueller was using drugs again. It appears to show a homemade crack pipe, foil, spoons, drug residue and Mueller's driver's licence, which had been used to cut up lines of cocaine.

"I gotta believe a judge is going to frown on that," he said.

Mueller admitted "falling off the wagon last week".

On the removal of his children, Sheen said: "I did not push it as I am not into resisting the law, so I had to surrender to it knowing that this is now the challenge I claim to be looking for and I am more than willing to take on this task.

"I went upstairs with the nannies very calmly, we videotaped it all ... they did not have car seats so I provided them."

Sheen denied Mueller's claims he had threatened to cut off her head and send it in a box to her mother.

"It is very colourful but no, I did not," he said.

"It is a good one, I guess. If you spend enough time around me you can say things and make it sound like it comes from my mouth but then again you can do that from watching re-runs."