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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

World Cup: England beat Netherlands by six wickets

England's batsman Andrew Strauss
The Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate's brilliant all-round effort went in vain as England huffed and puffed their way to a six-wicket win in a group B encounter of the World Cup here today.
Chasing a stiff target of 293, England batsman were made to work hard by a determined Dutchmen who were finally done in due to lack of big match temperament as Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara added a crucial 55 runs for the fifth wicket to win the match with eight balls to spare.
But no one can take the credit away from Ten Doeschate (119 and two for 47) who almost single-handedly threatened to take the game away from the Englishmen at the VCA ground in Jamtha here.
After their bowlers faltered, England openers started the chase in right earnest as Andrew Strauss (88, 83 balls, 9x4) played an out of character innings while Kevin Pietersen (39, 61 balls, 5x4) looked scratchy in between some good shots. It
was Strauss who made full use of the fielding restrictions as England scored 100 runs in 17 overs. The England captain scored his 27th ODI half century off ony 34 balls with the help of nine boundaries.
Pietersen was the first to depart when he drove uppishly off left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar to skipper Peter Borren at short cover.
Strauss and Jonathan Trott (62, 65 balls, 4x4) then consolidated the innings for the second wicket adding 61 runs. Strauss who looked good for sixth ODI century then mistimed a pull shot off Mudassar Bukhari's bowling to Tom Cooper
stationed at square leg.
holland's all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate
Trott and Ian Bell (33) didn't take too many risks in the middle overs as they were more intent on taking the singles and twos hitting the odd boundaries in between. They added 58 runs in 10.5 overs.
Ten Doeschate once again came to the rescue of his team as he struck at the start of the batting Powerplays with Wesley Barresi effecting a brilliant stumping to send back Trott.
If that wasn't enough, he cleaned up Bell in the 43rd over to get his second victim. But Bopara and Collingwood then ensured there was no further collapse and helped England script the third successful runchase in World Cup history.
Earlier, Ten Doeschate played the innings of his life as his superb century helped the Netherlands reach a challenging score of 292 for six in 50 overs.
The first cricketer from an Associate Nation to get an IPL contract (for KKR), Ten Doeschate during his innings of 119 (110 balls, 9x4, 3x6) showed why he is a quite a few notches above his colleagues in the Dutch team.
The ICC Associate Cricketer of Year was never in awe of opposition bowlers. He showed special fascination for the region between mid-wicket and deep mid-wicket as most of his scoring shots were hit in that particular arc. The three sixes (one each of Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann) were a delight.
Save a mistimed lofted shot on 47, the others were pure cricketing shots. When Pietersen provided a juicy full toss, Ten Doeschate stepped out to hit him over deep mid wicket for a six.
His best shot was a six over deep mid-wicket off Swann. He just stepped out and lifted the ball with minimum backlift. His third six off Collingwood was hit in the same region with minimum footwork.
His third wicket partnership of 78 with Tom Cooper (47, 73 balls, 3x4) and 64 for the fifth wicket with Tom de Grooth (28) off 60 balls helped him take his team to a commanding position.
However, the last surge was provided during the batting Powerplays when Ten Doeschate in company of skipper Peter Borren (35 not out, 24 balls, 4x4) added 61 runs in only 5.2 overs.
The best ever cricketer to have played for the country, Ten Doeschate, who had earlier hit two half centuries in the previous edition (vs SA and Scotland) reached his fourth ODI century and first against a Test playing nation due to five overthrows off 98 deliveries.
When he was finally caught at mid-wicket boundary off Stuart Broad's bowling, his team had already reached a score of 274.
The sloppy fielding of the English fielders also helped the Dutch as they failed to stop the rival batsmen from running twos, misjudged catches and gave away atleast 15 extra runs.
Save Swann (two for 35), the other frontline bowlers also failed to impress. Even pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad went for 73 and 65 runs from their 10 overs respectively.

NASA begins countdown for Discovery's final ride

After a four-month grounding of the space shuttle fleet, NASA's countdown clocks started ticking again for Discovery's final ride into orbit.
Discovery is scheduled to blast off Thursday afternoon to the International Space Station. Forecasters put the odds of good weather at 80 per cent.
When NASA tried to launch Discovery in early November with supplies and a humanoid robot for the space station, the countdown never got past the fuelling phase. A hydrogen gas leak halted everything, then a more insidious problem cropped up: cracks in the external fuel tank.
The shuttle team went into overdrive to fix all the cracks in the metal struts, located on the central portion of the tank, and to reinforce the rest of the area. The problem increased the risk of broken insulating foam, the very issue that doomed Columbia in 2003.
"Discovery has been a really remarkable vehicle for us," NASA test director Jeff Spaulding told reporters yesterday.
"She still has a few more miles to go before she sleeps, though. She's taken us on many amazing journeys throughout the years, and we expect this flight to be no different than any of those."
Commander Steven Lindsey and his crew expressed gratitude for the unprecedented repairs. After arriving at Kennedy Space Centre over the weekend, Lindsey called the cracking problem "probably one of the most difficult, technical challenges we've faced in recent years."
The other challenge for the six-person crew, he noted, was the loss of the mission's lead spacewalker. Astronaut Timothy Kopra was replaced last month after he was hurt in a bicycle crash. Stephen Bowen, an experienced spacewalker, took over. "I've got big shoes to fill," Bowen said Sunday.
Because of the delay, Discovery has spent more time awaiting liftoff in the Vehicle Assembly Building and at the pad than all but one other shuttle mission.Columbia set the record at 183 days in 1990. If Discovery soars Thursday, it will come in at 170 days.

Major earthquake hits New Zealand, 65 dead

At least 65 people died in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch Tuesday, Prime Minister John Key said, adding "we may be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day".
Key said the death toll was likely to rise after the lunchtime tremor in the city in the South Island's Canterbury region, which is still recovering from a 7.0 quake in September last year.
"The death toll I have at the moment is 65 and that may rise. So it's an absolute tragedy for this city, for New Zealand, for the people that we care so much about," Key told TVNZ. "It's a terrifying time for the people of Canterbury."
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said as many as 200 people could still be trapped inside buildings.
Key travelled to Christchurch hours after the quake and said the city was "a scene of utter devastation".
"People are just sitting on the side of the road, their heads in their hands. This is a community that is absolutely in agony," he said
He said the destruction was much worse than last year's September 4 quake, which caused widespread damage but resulted in no deaths.
"This is the central city at a very, very busy time where you've had a massive earthquake and seen violent shaking on what was already probably weakened infrastructure," he said.
He said the city would recover from the tragedy.
"We will get through this, New Zealand will regroup and Christchurch will regroup but at the moment it's a very, very dark day," he said.

Godhra train burning case: Court blames 31 for S-6 fire, says no evidence

Ahmadabad :
A special court on Tuesday held 31 people guilty of burning the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002, killing 59 passengers, mainly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya.
Additional sessions judge P R Patel acquitted 63 of the 94 accused for lack of evidence in Gujarat`s first and biggest case under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) where 134 accused were booked under terror laws. The court upheld the conspiracy theory but freed Maulvi Hussain Umarji, a 63-year-old the police had accused of plotting the killings. Of those acquitted, 13 were already out on bail; the rest would be free after nearly nine years in prison.
The court convicted 31 people for murder and conspiracy and would announce sentences on Friday. It described the motive of the attack as the accused`s anger against kar sevaks.
Those acquitted cried out of joy while the convicts anxiously listened to the judge who took some 30 minutes to read out the judgment after walking into the courtroom.
The Godhra train burning had sparked off riots across the state in 2002 in which nearly 1,200 people, mostly Muslims, were killed. The riots were seen as revenge for the killing of kar sevaks at Godhra.
The 815-page judgment convicts the accused mainly on the basis of confessions before the magistrate, including those who retracted. Forensic evidence combined with 50 eye-witness accounts helped the court conclude that a group forced open the vestibule to get inside the coach, poured petrol and set it ablaze. Haji Bilal, Razak Kurkur, Salim Zarda, Hasan Charkha, Mehboob Latika, Jabir Behra, Irfan Bhobho and Shaukat Pataliya, who lived in Signal Falia of Godhra, were among those convicted based on statements by witnesses and accused under Section 164 of CrPC.
With Pota dropped, the court also held them guilty of rioting, arson, damaging public property and violating other railway laws. The original case had five accused below 18 years of age who were sent to a juvenile court. Five accused died during trial.
Judge Patel appeared to have agreed with the larger part of the version given by investigating officer Noel Parmar who was member of the first special investigation team (SIT) set up by the Gujarat government. One of the main reasons for the acquittals, say lawyers, were the conflicting versions of police investigations and the fact that the police randomly picked up at least 70 people while combing Godhra on the night of February 27, 2002 and later booked them under Pota. Among them was former president of Godhra municipality Mohammed Hussain Kalota who is now free. The conviction was based on investigations by the Supreme Court appointed special investigation team headed by ex-CBI chief RK Raghavan.

Maoist's release key to Malkangiri breakthrough

MALKANGIRI (odissa):
The release of Malkangiri district collector R Vineel Krishna and engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi was confirmed by a senior officer of Andhra's Greyhounds. They were expected to reach Malkangiri late on Tuesday.
The breakthrough came after Gunti Prasadam, a key Maoist, was brought to the Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar, with whom Prof H Haragopal, Prof R Someswara Rao and Dandapani Mohanty talked and all demands were met.
Meanwhile, Krishna's father, Ram Babu, came out and thanked the media and the people of Malkangiri for the overwhelming support. "People stood by my son that helped secure his release. In Kandhamal he did a good job connecting with the people and he continued the good work here."
Among their 14 demands were calling for a halt to anti-Maoist operations by security forces, release of political prisoners and scrapping of accords with MNCs for land transfer and projects.