Pak crowned T20 champions Monday, Jun 22 2009 

Shahid Afridi struck an exuberant unbeaten 54 to take Pakistan to an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 World Cup final at Lord’s on Sunday (June 21). Afridi, the man at the heart of Pakistan’s revival with bat and ball after they lost their opening game to England, stood and saluted the thousands of elated Pakistani supporters after hitting two sixes and two fours.

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Fighting fit? Dhoni, coach disagree over T20 exit Wednesday, Jun 17 2009 

Nottingham: The discord in the Indian camp over the reasons for the shocking exit from Twenty20 World Cup continued with Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insisting that fatigue was not a factor for the debacle. While coach Gary Kirsten had blamed an overdose of cricket and Indian Premier League IPL as the cause for the World Cup fiasco, Dhoni continued to differ with his coach on IPL issue though he admitted some of his players were not 100 per cent fit.

Kirsten had on Tuesday asserted that too much of cricket by his team and the timing of IPL were the main reasons behind India’s failure to defend their title. “We were not as energetic as we were in New Zealand. We were relatively tired when we arrived here. We have been on the road since end of January. A lot of our cricketers also carried niggles in this tournament. We picked up niggles in the IPL and lost contact with them,” Kirsten had said.

Dhoni & co fail to save face Wednesday, Jun 17 2009 

Dhoni and his boys failed to save face at the ICC world T20 with yet another defeat. This time with 12 run loss to the Proteas in their final super 8-match. Team India failed to chase a target of 131 runs after having restricted South Africa to the paltry total. India’s defeat meant that they have lost all their super 8-matches — a shameful performance from team India, who were pipped as the favourites before the tournament began.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said poor form of the key batsmen, including himself, resulted in the team’s morale-shattering defeat against South Africa in the Twenty20 World Cup on Tuesday (June 16).
The defending champions cut a sorry figure last night when their much-vaunted batting order failed to chase a modest victory target of 131 runs and sunk to their third straight defeat in the tournament.

Dhoni held the mis-firing batsmen responsible for tonight’s defeat. “I don’t think condition was the issue here. Form of some of the players, including me, was the major factor (behind the defeat,” a dejected Dhoni said after the match. “We played with six frontline batsmen and the seventh is an all-rounder. When three of them don’t click in a match like this, it becomes really very hard. Throughout the tournament I think we bowled well, wherever we played but we lacked a few things when it comes with the batting,” he added.

“Batting wise we were really not up to the mark and unfortunately, throughout the tournament it happened. When we come back in nine months time, hopefully we will be a better prepared side,” Dhoni said, referring to the next Twenty20 World Cup. In a clear sign that his popularity has taken a beating after India’s disastrous show in the tournament, Dhoni was booed after the match.

Asked about the crowd support, Dhoni said,”The kind of support we get when we play in England. But we have to win games, else we will get booed at the end of the game.” Dhoni was not ready to believe that the Indian team had turned bad overnight and felt they just could not click on those particular days.

“In this format, it’s not about what kind of side you are but what you do on that particular day. in all three department. It’s a game where you have to be there throughout the 40 overs,” Dhoni explained. His South African counterpart Graeme Smith was happy with the way his team defended a modest total.

“It was a good total. It wasn’t a great wicket and the way we defended was great. It showed how far we have come in thinking and the options we have,” Smith said. “The slow bowlers bowled really well. They did a great job today and were well supported in the field. We are excited for the semi-finals. We have adapted to every surface we have played. We will play Pakistan on Thursday and we are very excited,” Smith said.

Teammate AB de Villiers, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his brisk half-century, said it was not easy scoring on Trent Bridge’s sluggish track. “I don’t think it was the fanciest knock of my life. The trick is to be solid in the first 20 balls and then you can start expressing yourself. It was important to take singles and twos. Later on in t innings, you can look for the big shots,” he said.

Womens T20 World Cup:India Qualify For Semi Final Tuesday, Jun 16 2009 

India sealed a semi-final spot after defeating Sri Lanka by five wickets in a rain-affected match at Taunton. Mithali Raj and Poonam Raut took India past a modest target, but Sri Lanka stayed in the contest by picking up wickets regularly.

Sri Lanka batted first after the match was reduced to an 18-over contest, but never really got going against a tight Indian bowling unit. Deepika Rasangika top scored for Sri Lanka with 24, as her team mustered a modest total of 94 in its allotted 18 overs.

Medium pacer Rumeli Dhar led the Indian attack with miserly figures of 2 for 4 in four overs, supported by left-arm spinner Gouher Sultana, who also picked up two wickets.India did not have the best of starts in their reply, finding themselves in a spot of bother at 33 for 3. Opening batsman Poonam Raut made a cautious yet vital 30 from 41 balls before being dismissed, but Mithali Raj at the other end was more aggressive, scoring an unbeaten 32 from just 22 balls. The duo ensured the required rate hovered around at the 6-per-over mark, before Raj finished the match in the 17th over.

England play Pakistan in the final Group B league match, which will decide who tops the group. England are already through to the semi-finals, but a Pakistan win could affect England’s net run-rate, giving India an opportunity to finish in first place.

T20 WC: India set to face ‘Gayle storm’ Friday, Jun 12 2009 

Its a big day for the men in blue at the T20 world cup. It just gets tougher from here as they face the Calypso Kings West Indies in their first match of the Super 8 stage at Lord’s on Friday (June 12).
Despite the controversies off the field, Dhoni’s boys have been in great form out in the middle, so far, but the big Test starts today.

KJ Coetzer’s Catch – Scotland Vs South Africa Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

‘Evasive’ Mahi snaps at media over Viru Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

High drama was witnessed at a press conference addressed by Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who faced a hostile media after news filtered in that his deputy Virender Sehwag will be out of the Twenty20 World Cup. Asked about Sehwag’s injury and why there was no update from the team management, he curtly said, “Whatever related to fitness, you will get it from the BCCI.

Asked why a captain should not provide the update, an irritated-looking Dhoni said, I’m not going to say anything on that.” On whether he was aware of Sehwag’s injury, Dhonis cryptic reply was “yes, I am.” His comment ignited the fuse in a jam-packed room as the media persons strained to hear from official sources whether Sehwag was really out of the tournament.

Tendulkar backs India to retain World T20 crown Friday, May 29 2009 

msdhoni

Chennai: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar believes India will retain the Twenty20 World Cup next month, saying skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team is the world’s best in the most explosive form of the game.  “India is the most balanced side in the world and there is no doubt we can defend the title,” Tendulkar told the DNA newspaper on Thursday.

“We have very good cricketers in our side and we have proved that this combination is the deadliest,” added the record-breaking batsman, who does not play in Twenty20 internationals.