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Chennai face do-or-die scenario against NSW

It is high time for Chennai to live up to their reputation of being one of the strongest and well-balanced teams in the tournament and convincingly outplay NSW tomorrow to have any chance of defending their title.

Languishing at the bottom of the table, defending champions Chennai Super Kings require victory by a big margin to keep their hopes of making the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 alive when they take on New South Wales here tomorrow.

Despite being placed at the bottom of Group A, the Super Kings still have a chance to proceed to the next stage as their pool heads into its final round of matches with no team still assured of a semifinal berth.

Topping the group are Mumbai Indians, who have overcome a debilitating injury situation to be at the forefront with five points. However, because of their poor run rate in the series so far, even they are yet to be assured of a place in the last four berths.

Next in the list is the Australian outfit NSW with four points, followed by Cape Cobras with three.

Trinidad and Tobago, who managed to get the better of the Super Kings last night, are in the fourth place with two points.

The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK, also on two points, bring up the rear by virtue of an inferior net run rate.

Now, a defeat tomorrow to either Cobras or NSW, will ensure Mumbai’s progression to the semifinal, while forming a three-way tie among NSW, CSK and T&T – all with four points each – meaning the calculation will come down to run rate.

NSW though could progress to the semifinals as group winners with six points if they manage to win in their crucial match against CSK tomorrow.

It is high time for Chennai to live up to their reputation of being one of the strongest and well-balanced teams in the tournament and convincingly outplay NSW tomorrow to have any chance of defending their title.

With only one win from three games, CSK have the sword to their throat and they would need to play out of their skins to counter NSW, who are tough customers, having a perfectly balanced unit.

Simon Katich’s side would look to take advantage of the fact that CSK are yet to find their usual rhythm and except for opener Michael Hussey, the other batsmen still look good only on paper.

The bowlers, including Ravichandran Ashwin, are yet to get into their rhythm.

Last night, the bowlers failed to arrest Kevon Cooper’s aggressive scoring of 28 runs from just 10 balls in their match against T&T and another such patchy show would mean that the doors would be shut on them.

On the other hand, NSW with two wins from three games, have put up good performances and have worked as a team despite losing to Cobras in their opening game.

In their second match, NSW made a sensational fightback by smashing 16 runs in the final over before defeating T&T via the Super Over Eliminator in a dramatic game. They then went on to register a victory against Mumbai Indians after being 28 for five, chasing 101.

A repeat of those performances would put the hosts under tremendous pressure.

The Teams (from):

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Doug Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, Michael Hussey, Shadab Jakati, Albie Morkel, Suresh Raina, Suraj Randiv, Wriddhiman Saha, S Anirudha, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, M Vijay.

New South Wales: Simon Katich (C), Stuart Clark, Pat Cummins, Nathan Hauritz, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Nic Maddinson, Steve O’Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Daniel Smith, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner and Shane Watson.


Tendulkar moves into new ‘dream’ home

Sachin Tendulkar, center, receives flowers from school children who arrived to greet him after he moved to his new house in Bandra in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday fulfilled his long cherished dream of living in a house of his own, as he moved into a sprawling bungalow at Perry Cross Road in suburban Bandra here.

Tendulkar has shifted his residence from La Mer Housing Society, also in Bandra west, to the spacious villa that is spread over 6,000 square feet.

“Everyone has a dream of owning a house. I, too, had this dream. I am happy that I was able to fulfil it. The flat where I earlier used to live, I had received it under the sports quota. I have now vacated that place, so that some other sportsman can live there,” he told reporters outside his villa here on Wednesday.

“We had done the ‘gruha shanti’ and ‘vastu—puja’ on June 11, before I left for England. I could not visit Mumbai after that, but now that I am in the city, today I brought my mother to show the place,” the senior cricketer said.

“I have also lived here after the puja. But I have not been able to bring the children here yet,” he said.

The batting maestro’s new home has been reconstructed on a plot that earlier housed a dilapidated bungalow, which Sachin had bought for Rs 39 crore in 2007.

The villa has been secured with high—walled fencing to avoid curious onlookers. CCTV cameras and sensors have also been installed.

Tendulkar is currently out of action as he is suffering from an inflammation on his toe. He missed the five ODIs against England and he is not playing in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 tournament. He’s likely to miss at least the first two ODIs against the visiting England side next month.

Asked about the status of his injuries, Tendulkar refused to comment.

Meanwhile, chaos prevailed just before Tendulkar spoke to the media, after a big crowd, including school children between the age group of five and eight years, had gathered outside the new villa to catch a glimpse of him.

With the waiting mediamen and the fans getting impatient, a commotion occurred which resulted to a few children suffering minor injuries.

Earlier in the morning, members of the Awami Welfare Association Maharashtra, got into an argument with the members of the housing society, opposite Tendulkar’s villa, over displaying a welcome banner for the champion cricketer.

However, the matter was soon resolved and the banner was finally put up.

MI scrambles to victory

Rayudu prevents T&T from pulling off a miracle

The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium bore witness to yet another last-ball finish as Mumbai Indians notched up the narrowest of victories for a second time in the Champions League T20.

The side may have been granted special dispensation to field five foreigners in the competition, but it was Andhra’s Ambati Rayudu who is owed a large part of the credit for the one-wicket win over Trinidad & Tobago; his unruffled 36 (47b, 3×4) averted an otherwise certain defeat. Ravi Rampaul’s fiery bowling effort (4-0-17-3) which earned him the Man-of-the Match award and Samuel Badree’s parsimony (4-0-14-1) nearly helped their side pull off a remarkable win but the night was to end in heartbreak for the islanders.

After a half-decent start, Trinidad & Tobago had lurched to 98 after losing eight wickets for 41 runs in a space of 9.3 overs.

In pursuit, 11 runs were required off Sherwin Ganga’s final over with Lasith Malinga and Rayudu at the crease; the former’s six off the second ball was sandwiched by two singles. Both batsmen were, however, run out off the next two balls, Rayudu dismissed attempting a second run off the penultimate delivery. With two needed off the final ball, all three results appeared likely but the field had been pushed back and Yuzvendra Chahal managed two knocking the ball to the legside — he could still have been run out, but Adrian Barath’s throw was not perfect and Denesh Ramdin could not hit the stumps.

T. Suman opened for Mumbai in place of Davy Jacobs — the South African having been ruled out of the competition after being struck on the hip in the ‘nets’ on Sunday — but he and Aiden Blizzard had returned to the dugout inside four overs. James Franklin, Jacobs’s replacement, was Rampaul’s second victim after Suman, edging a rising delivery to first slip. Rampaul thundered in next ball, uprooting Andrew Symonds’s off-stump with a yorker.

Kieron Pollard was nearly run out off the first ball he faced. He did not last too long however, bowled by Sunil Narine after the ball ricocheted off his front leg.

Rayudu and R. Sathish then set about working on the recovery: from 33 for five in 8.3 overs, they helped the score to 65 in seven more overs — a period that included 28 balls without a boundary — before the latter was dismissed. Harbhajan Singh lightened Mumbai’s fears with a six off Sherwin Ganga but was run out with 24 needed off 17 balls. Fifteen were needed off the final two overs, but Rampaul conceded only four runs. Neither side was clear favourite at that point; the result did nothing to set them apart either.

When T&T batted, though Barath fell early, Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo appeared completely unfettered at the crease.

At 41 for one in the fifth over, things appeared to be going swimmingly well but calamity was round the corner. Simmons failed to ground either bat or foot over the line attempting a run.

Darren Ganga and Denesh Ramdin came and went, and Jason Mohammed emerged highest scorer, mustering 23 off 27 balls, with those at the other end showing little inclination to linger. T&T could not have imagined how close it would get to victory.

The scores:

Trinidad & Tobago: L. Simmons run out 21 (18b, 2×4, 1×6), A. Barath b Malinga 11 (8b, 2×4), D. Bravo b Harbhajan 18 (15b, 2×6), D. Ganga c Sathish b Franklin 5 (8b), D. Ramdin c & b Harbhajan 0 (1b), J. Mohammed c Rayudu b Pollard 23 (27b, 1×4, 1×6), S. Ganga lbw b Harbhajan 2 (5b), K. Cooper lbw b Malinga 0 (4b), R. Rampaul run out 0 (1b), S. Narine c Chahal b Abu Nechim 11 (9b, 1×4), S. Badree (not out) 0 (2b), Extras (w-7) 7; Total (in 16.2 overs) 98.

Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-41, 3-57, 4-57, 5-64, 6-78, 7-83, 8-83, 9-95.

Mumbai Indians bowling: Malinga 4-0-22-2, Nechim 2.2-0-17-1, Chahal 1-0-13-0, Harbhajan 4-0-22-3, Franklin 3-0-15-1, Pollard 2-0-9-1.

Mumbai Indians: T. Suman c S. Ganga b Rampaul 10 (13b, 1×4), A. Blizzard c Simmons b Badree 2 (7b), A. Rayudu run out 36 (47b, 3×4), J. Franklin c Badree b Rampaul 0 (2b), A. Symonds b Rampaul 0 (1b), K. Pollard b Narine 9 (10b, 1×4), R. Sathish c Simmons b Narine 14 (25b, 1×4), Harbhajan Singh run out 9 (7b, 1×6), L. Malinga run out 15 (8b, 1×4, 1×6), Abu Nechim (not out) 0 (0b), Y. Chahal (not out) 2 (1b), Extras (w-1, nb-1) 2; Total (for nine wickets in 20 overs) 99.

Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-13, 3-14, 4-16, 5-33, 6-65, 7-75, 8-96, 9-97.

Trinidad & Tobago bowling: Badree 4-0-14-1, Rampaul 4-0-17-3, Cooper 4-0-27-0, Narine 4-0-10-2, S. Ganga 4-0-31-0.

Mumbai Indians look to continue winning run

Mumbai Indians' players celebrating after win the Champions league T20-2011 match against Chennai Super Kings at MAC Stadium in Chennai on Saturday

Having clinched a nail-biting victory over Chennai Super Kings, the Harbhajan Singh-led Mumbai Indians will be hoping to continue their winning run in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament when they take on Trinidad and Tobago here tomorrow.

Mumbai Indians looked pale for most part of the game against Chennai yesterday, but Lasith Malinga’s heroics saved them the blushes.

The Sri Lankan was the star of the night as he claimed three wickets and scored a quick-fire 18-ball 37 in the death overs.

Malinga’s cameo helped Mumbai Indians snatch a thrilling three-wicket victory in what could be a morale booster of sorts for the depleted outfit, handicapped by the absence of Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma.

For Trinidad and Tobago, Malinga will be the man to watch out for as the maverick Lankan import will be hoping for an encore of sorts.

However, Darren Ganga’s men cannot be taken lightly as they have the ability to spring a surprise, having come through the qualifying matches with a clean slate, winning both their games impressively.

This time around, T&T, the 2009 finalist, will be aiming to go one better and lift the trophy. Trinidad and Tobago have the players who can deliver in the shortest version of the game.

Kieron Pollard, who opted to play for Mumbai Indians despite being part of the Trinidad side, will look to pull off all his tricks to upset his Caribbean mates. Interestingly, Pollard led T&T to the final of the CL T20 tournament two years ago in India.

Mumbai Indians will be largely depending on openers Davy Jacobs and Aiden Blizzard for a solid start so that big hitters like Kieron Pollard and Andrew Symonds can continue the carnage.

However, Pollard will be waiting to prove his big-hitting prowess in his bid to make up for his dismal showing in this summer’s Indian Premier League.

T&T have a rich mix of youth and experience. They have explosive openers in Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath. Both have been in good nick of late.

The middle order consists of Darren Bravo, skipper Ganga, his younger brother Sherwin.

Leading the pace bowling battery will be Ravi Rampaul who has the ability to pick up wickets with his slower variations.

Spinners Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine have the ability to complement their pace ace.

Dramatic victory for Warriors

PRINCELY KNOCK: Ashwell Prince laid the foundation with a 55-ball 74 as Warriors pulled off a thrilling win against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Prince and skipper Botha do the trick for the visitors

Warriors snatched a dramatic, valiant last-ball victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening game of the Champions League T20 here on Friday. The target was 173 and seven runs were needed off the final over; S. Arvind nearly swung the result the home side’s way.

Johan Botha, who had, until then played remarkably well, could not score off the first two balls and holed out to long-on off the third ball. Nicky Boje picked up a single off the next before number nine Wayne Parnell finished things off with a four to mid-wicket and a desperately run two.

Man-of-the-Match Ashwell Prince produced an innings that emphatically demolished his contrasting stereotype. His 74 (55b, 6×4, 3×6) and the 73-run stand for the fifth wicket (39 balls) with Botha (42, 24b, 2×4, 3×6) dragged Warriors out of the bog it had gotten into.

The visitors motored from 82 for four in the 12th over to a position of superiority, needing 36 runs off the final three overs.

Costly over

Chris Gayle, RCB’s giant hope with the bat, went for 17 runs in the 18th over, leaving those after him with too much to do. Though Mithun dismissed Prince and Craig Thyssen thereafter, the six he conceded to Boje off the last ball of the 19th disadvantaged his side enormously.

Daniel Vettori emerged with the most credit among RCB’s bowlers, returning figures of two for 26 off his four overs, on a night when the two sides’ fielding contrasted starkly. Prince and Colin Ingram both benefited from reprieves; RCB’s hopes of a trophy have suffered a setback.

Put in, RCB lost Mayank Agarwal in the opening over but Gayle started blazing away at the other end almost immediately, utterly belying his four-month break from competitive cricket. The Jamaican bludgeoned sixes off Juan Theron and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, overs two and three yielding 34 runs in total. Wayne Parnell was then introduced, and to great effect. The left-armer had Gayle caught by a back-pedalling Botha at mid-on for 23, having attempted a slap over the onside from shoulder height. Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers knuckled down to work, running their ones and twos hard, the former even surviving the narrowest of run-out appeals.

de Villiers raised the team’s fifty in the sixth over, with a delightfully driven boundary to mid-wicket off Parnell. Botha and Boje came on, tying RCB down; their collective four-over spell costing just 25 runs.

Kohli fell just after the third-wicket partnership had crossed 50, pulling Theron to mid-wicket.

It was 86 for three at that point and Saurabh Tiwary had time to scratch around and still slog his way to a significant score, but did himself no favours.

Mohammad Kaif remained the last recognised batsman after Tiwary and de Villiers were dismissed, and helped RCB to 172, with 47 runs coming in the last five overs.

The scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: C. Gayle c Botha b Parnell 23 (14b, 2×4, 2×6), M. Agarwal c Ingram b Tsotsobe 0 (2b), V. Kohli c Parnell b Theron 34 (29b, 4×4), A.B. de Villiers c Tsotsobe b Botha 31 (25b, 1×4, 2×6), S. Tiwary c Kreusch b Boje 28 (15b, 2×4, 2×6), Mohd. Kaif c Parnell b Theron 26 (20b, 1×4, 2×6), D. Vettori c Prince b Theron 8 (6b, 1×4), A. Mithun c Tsotsobe b Theron 4 (3b, 1×4), Syed Mohammed (not out) 6 (4b), S. Arvind (not out) 1 (2b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-8): 11; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 172.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-34, 3-86, 4-113, 5-130, 6-158, 7-160, 8-164.

Warriors bowling: Tsotsobe 3-0-31-1, Theron 3-0-29-4, Parnell 4-0-32-1, Botha 4-0-36-1, Boje 4-0-25-1, Smuts 2-0-16-0.

Warriors: J.J. Smuts c Kohli b Arvind 12 (14b, 1×6), A. Prince c Nannes b Mithun 74 (55b, 6×4, 3×6), C. Ingram c Mithun b Vettori 15 (8b, 2×4, 1×6), M. Boucher lbw b Syed 1 (3b), J. Kreusch c Arvind b Vettori 6 (10b), J. Botha c Kohli b Arvind 42 (24b, 2×4, 3×6), C. Thyssen c de Villiers b Mithun 4 (2b, 1×4), N. Boje (not out) 7 (2b, 1×6), W. Parnell (not out) 6 (2b, 1×4); Extras (lb-1, w-5): 6; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 173.

Fall of wickets: 1-38, 2-57, 3-59, 4-82, 5-155, 6-160, 7-166.

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Gayle 4-0-43-0, Arvind 4-0-32-2, Nannes 4-0-31-0, Vettori 4-0-26-2, Syed 2-0-15-1, Mithun 2-0-25-2.

‘Tiger’ Pataudi, 70, is no more

A prince among cricketers and an inspiring leader, he transformed Indian cricket

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, one of India’s greatest cricket captains ever and whose flair and acumen inspired a generation of cricke t players, passed away here on Thursday after battling a lung infection for the last few months.

The 70-year-old cricketer, one of India’s early superstars and who was known as ‘Tiger’ in the cricket fraternity, was suffering from interstitial lung disease, a condition in which the passage of oxygen to the two lungs is less than normal.

He is survived by his wife Sharmila Tagore, actor son Saif Ali Khan and two daughters Soha and Saba Ali Khan.

His entire family was at his bedside when the end came at 5.55 p.m.

“He passed away around 5.55 p.m. His condition had deteriorated since yesterday. He was suffering from interstitial lung disease (interstitial pneumonitis) which worsens rapidly in spite of the best treatment available,” Dr. S.P. Byotra, Department of Medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said.

“He was unable to maintain his oxygen level in spite of maximal treatment. He continued to remain in the ICU for nearly a month. He had this disease which had been static for the last three months and worsened very acutely over the last four weeks,” the doctor said.

Pataudi was given leadership of the Test team in his fourth Test, when he was only 21, in Barbados in 1962, because the captain Nari Contractor was in hospital after getting hit on the head by Charlie Griffith.

Pataudi, who was also known for his amazing sense of humour, was the youngest Test captain, a record that stood until 2004. He led India in 40 Tests and had a successful career despite impaired vision in the right eye, which was damaged in a car accident. He also captained Sussex and Oxford University.

He scored 2,793 runs in 46 Tests at an average of just under 35 and made six centuries, the biggest of which was an unbeaten 203 against England in Delhi in 1964.

However, many experts rate his 75 against Australia in Melbourne in 1967-68 as his finest since he played that knock with an injured leg. Pataudi retired in 1975 after West Indies’ tour of India. After retirement, Pataudi served as a match referee between 1993 and 1996, officiating in two Tests and ten ODIs, but largely stayed away from cricket administration. Under Pataudi’s captaincy, India won nine Tests. It was he who instilled the belief in the team that it could win international matches. India achieved its first overseas Test victory under him, against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1968. India then went on to record its first overseas series win by beating New Zealand 3-1.

Pataudi was the ninth and last Nawab of Pataudi until 1971, when the Indian government abolished royal entitlements through the 26th Amendment to the Constitution.

Since 2007, bilateral Test series between India and England have been contested for the Pataudi Trophy, named after his family for their contribution to Anglo-Indian cricket.

Pataudi’s father, Iftikhar Ali Khan, represented both England and India in Tests. Pataudi had taken ill since his return from England this summer after presenting the Pataudi Trophy to Andrew Strauss at the end of the four-Test series.

He was also a part of the first IPL governing council but refused to continue in the role in October 2010, when the BCCI made significant changes to the league following the sacking of Lalit Modi as its chairman.

Interests of Kochi players will be protected, says Shukla

If the Kochi players are re-auctioned for some other franchise, and if they are paid less in the new franchise, we will compensate them: IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla

Interest of the players contracted with terminated IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala will be protected, assured the league’s new boss Rajiv Shukla who also promised to make the cash—rich event more attractive by bringing in “new ideas and elements.”

Mr. Shukla said protecting the players affected by Kochi’s ouster is the primary concern for the IPL authorities, and that the Governing Council will meet in the second week of October to discuss all issues related to the termination.

“Our prime concern will be the players’ interest, their interest is not hampered in terms of financial loses, and also in terms of their participation in the tournament,” Mr. Shukla told PTI in an interview here.

“If these players are re—auctioned for some other franchise, and if they are paid less in the new franchise, we will compensate them,” he explained.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala, a team introduced only last year, that constantly hit the headlines for its ownership dispute, was terminated from the IPL after failing to pay its annual bank guarantee.

The termination leaves players contracted with the franchise such as Mahela Jayawardene, Indian pacer S Sreesanth and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan without a team and an uncertain future.

“The status is that on the issue of non—payment, Kochi has been terminated as per the agreement between the franchise and the BCCI. They were supposed to pay the bank guarantee… they have gone to the court, and the court didn’t give them any relief, and the BCCI is entitled to encash the bank guarantee,” Mr. Shukla said.

“We have to protect the interest of the players also. So after the termination of this franchise, now nine teams are left. The whole matter will go to the Governing Council, and they will take a view if we should go for one more team or if we should stick to nine teams. I am okay with both the plans, and whatever the council decides, we will go by that. We have a plan for each situation,” Mr. Shukla added.

Mr. Shukla, however, ruled out any immediate possibility of a new owner coming in to take over Kochi.

“No, now if any decision is taken, it has to be on the basis of a new bid,” he said.

Mr. Shukla, also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, is looking forward to the new job of running a league that has redefined Indian cricket.

Talking about the enormity of running an event, which has of late been at the centre of financial rows, Mr. Shukla said, “The IPL has been facing various challenges, and that is how it has come up and now talked about all over world. This is one tournament which is recognised, so such things will always be surrounded with challenges.”

“Since the responsibility has been assigned to me, I have always taken up such challenges, and I would like to bring new elements to it. By next month, there should be a road map and we would add further elements and make it more attractive. But at the same time, the whole idea is not to sacrifice the sanctity of the game. It is going to be an interesting tournament,” he said.

Mr. Shukla said a new plan is being prepared to jazz up the league, which was the brainchild of its now sacked Commissioner Lalit Modi.

“The idea is to add new elements, without disturbing the current set-up. We will be talking with the franchises also. We are going to have close interaction with the franchises, and there ideas will also be solicited,” Mr. Shukla revealed.

“We will be consulting with some other experts also, and after that some value addition will be done,” he said.

With accusations of financial bunglings, and now the termination of a franchise for defaulting on payments, Brand IPL is not in the best of times, but Mr. Shukla insisted that the damage is not big.

“I don’t think (all this has affected brand IPL) because the whole thing is transparent, and the decisions are being taken by the governing council. If you find anything not according to our rules and regulations or according to our contracts, we will take action. So we are neither meting out any injustice to anyone nor are we compromising with the provisions of IPL,” he said.

Asked whether having 10 teams, now reduced to nine, makes the tournament a tad too long, Mr. Shukla said, “Eight team tournament was also doing well, but at the same time the BCCI working committee felt two teams should be added. Keeping that in mind, two teams were added and after that it worked well, so let’s see what impact it has now that there are nine teams.”

Mr. Shukla said as IPL chairman he would keep a low profile like his predecessor Chirayu Amin.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi passes away

Former Indian cricket captain M.A.K. Pataudi passed away in a hospital in New Delhi on Thursday.

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, one of the greatest cricket captains India has produced, died on Thursday after battling with a lung infection which was diagnosed about three months back. He was 70.

“He passed away around 6.30 p.m. His condition had deteriorated since Wednesday. He was suffering from interstitial lung disease (interstitial pneumonitis) which worsens rapidly in spite of the best treatment available,” Dr S.P. Byotra, Department of medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where Mr. Pataudi was admitted, said.

Mr. Pataudi was admitted to the hospital last month.

After investigations, he was found to be suffering from interstitial lung disease, a condition in which the passage of oxygen to the two lungs is less than normal.

“He was unable to maintain his oxygen level in spite of maximal treatment. He continued to remain in the ICU for nearly a month. He had this disease which had been static since the last three months and worsened very acutely over the last four weeks.

“The possibility of lung transplant was discussed very early as soon as his condition worsened but he was not a suitable candidate for it,” the doctor said.

He was being treated by a by a team of pulmonologists and critical care specialists here.

Mr. Pataudi, regarded as one of the finest Indian captains, played 46 Tests for the country, scoring 2793 runs for an average of 34.91 with an unbeaten 203 being his highest score.

In all, he smashed six centuries and 16 fifties in his career.

G. Viswanath adds

Sachin Tendulkar regarded Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi as a hero and respected him. “It’s a terrible loss to the cricketing world. I had the privilege of meeting him on a few occasions. World cricket will miss a hero like him. I really respected him,’’ said Tendulkar.

Dravid backs Tendulkar’s suggestion on new ODI format

Rahul Dravid.

It might have been rejected by the ICC but Sachin Tendulkar’s suggestion to revamp the ODIs by splitting the format into four innings of 25 overs each has got the backing of his Test teammate Rahul Dravid. “It is interesting (suggestion). I don’t know why the ICC has rejected it, but it’s a good idea that Sachin has given and is worth experimenting,” said India’s batting mainstay of the England tour on the sidelines of a promotional event in Mumbai last night. “It has been tried out in Australia (in domestic cricket) and the plus and minus points should be looked into,” he added. Tendulkar had written a letter to the ICC to change the format of the ODIs from two innings of 50 overs to four of 25 overs like a Test match but the world council’s Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat rejected it. “There is no need to change the format,” Mr. Lorgat told reporters in Colombo on Wednesday.

It was a rare and timeless thriller

MOMENT FROZEN IN HISTORY: Vikramraju adjudging India’s Maninder Singh leg-before to Australian Greg Matthews (left) saw M.A. Chidambaram Stadium enter the record books in 1986 for being only the second ground to host a Tie in Test cricket. The others in the picture are (from left) Allan Border, Tim Zoehrer, Geoff Marsh and Ravi Shastri. Photo: Mala Mukerjee/The Hindu Archives

Lead players look back on the 25th anniversary of the second Tied Test

On September 22, 1986, the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk was an enthralling arena. Hot and energy-sapping but so very close to every true cricket lover’s heart as India and Australia — two pleasingly positive and fiercely competitive teams — produced a classic, timeless thriller that followed a taut script that was unique in many ways.

Credit to captains

All credit to skippers Kapil Dev and Allan Border, who enacted crucial roles while orchestrating a rare finish — a tie, only the second after the Australia and West Indies epic at Brisbane in 1960.

Australia made two declarations and yet came excruciatingly close to losing. India stood on the threshold of a victory that was not to be.

Batsmen thrived, bowlers shone and the umpires stood out under intense pressure. It was an acid test of endurance and concentration for every participant, including the spectators.

“The one thing that comes to my mind was that there were around 10,000 people at the start of play and after tea, (with India sensing a victory), the stands were jam-packed. The full house made it look as though a one-day match was on,” recalls Ravi Shastri, who was there at the end.

Differing views

“What a phenomenal day of cricket it was! In the final over, I wondered ‘do I take a chance with a six?’ I thought if I took a single, I would shut Australia out of the game. I told Maninder (Singh) to tackle the (fourth and fifth) balls carefully and (if it came to it) whack the last one.

“We could have won it; we could have lost it. At the end, it was a fair result,” says Shastri, who stood devastated as last man Maninder Singh fell leg-before to Greg Matthews. Though both the Indians still believe that there was nick, umpire V. Vikramraju thinks otherwise.

“Most courageous umpire to give that decision,” 10-wicket hero Matthews had commented then. He was right, but Vikramraju never officiated another Test.

Earlier, a diligently-crafted double century by Dean Jones, who battled hostile weather and overcame dehydration, was matched by a scintillating hundred by Kapil as India avoided a follow-on. “It was one of those days when you connect well,” reflects Kapil.

“What comes to my mind is the brilliant innings that Kapil played and the effort of Jones in conditions that were unfamiliar to him. Twenty-five years have flown and it is still the second Tied Test in the history of cricket,” notes Sunil Gavaskar, one of the key actors in that celebrated drama.

Gavaskar, playing his 100th Test in a row, missed a century by 10 runs on the final day when India, following an overnight declaration, pursued 348 to win in minimum 87 overs.

Gavaskar remembers: “There were mixed feelings in the dressing room after the match because we thought we should have won. There was no relief about not having lost the match. It was more about disappointment at not winning. It was a historical game. A win or a loss would have been just another win or a loss in the books…”

Writes Border in his autobiography: “It remains one of my great disappointments that the game has never achieved the same recognition as did the first Tied Test.”

For Australian coach Bob Simpson, the result was doubly special as he had played in the first tied Test.

Feast for fans

For many fans, who were at the MAC on that unforgettable evening, it remains a rare treat. T.K. Balaji, now a successful professional with an MNC, vividly remembers the last over. “We were all praying for an Indian win. When the fateful lbw was given, I was bewildered for an instant but then realised I had become part of cricketing history.” The counterfoil of the ticket for Test match No. 1,052 is a cherished souvenir for the die-hard fan.

The scores: Australia 574 for seven decl. (Dean Jones 210, David Boon 122, Allan Border 106, Shivlal Yadav four for 142) and 170 for five decl. (David Boon 49, Maninder Singh three for 60) tied with India 397 (Kapil Dev 119, Ravi Shastri 62, K. Srikkanth 53, Mohd Azharuddin 50, Greg Matthews five for 103) and 347 (Sunil Gavaskar 90, Mohinder Amarnath 51, Ravi Shastri 48 not out, Greg Matthews five for 146, Ray Bright five for 94).

Players of the match: Jones and Kapil.

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