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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pakistunned! India lift Twenty 20 World Cup

A youthful Indian cricket team, full of vigour and determination, made history here Monday by beating Pakistan by five runs to clinch the Twenty20 World Championship when all seemed lost.

India kept their nerves to clinch the win with three balls to spare and sent the New Wanderers Stadium, packed with Indian supporters, into wild celebrations. There were also millions of Indian across the globe who rejoiced the sweet triumph.

Off the last over, bowled by pacer Joginder Sharma, Pakistan required 13 runs to win with the last wicket remaining - and all seemed lost for India. But Joginder, the man with the golden arm - he had also bowled the crucial final over in the semi-finals upset of Australia - castled Misbah-ul-Haq to help script an epoch-making win with and signal wild celebrations at the New Wanderers Stadium.

Scores: India 157 for five in 20 overs after winning the toss and Pakistan 152 all out in 19.2 overs.

While Joginder successfully bowled the final over, it was left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan who captured three crucial wickets in an excellent spell to tilt the tide in India's favour. His final bowling analysis of 4-0-16-3 fetched him the Man of the Match award and helped India win the maiden edition of the newest version of the game.

On a day when the Indian batsmen - barring Gautam Gambhir's resolute and enterprising 75 off 54 balls (8x4s, 2x6s) and Rohit Sharma's unbeaten 30 off 16 balls (2x4s, 1x6) - failed, the bowlers did the trick again.

Left-armer Rudra Pratap Singh also bowled superbly to start Pakistan's downfall and also ended up with three wickets. Joginder took two wickets.

Their efforts meant that Misbah's 38-ball 43 (4x6s) - the top score for Pakistan - as well as Imran Nazir's 33 (14 balls, 4x4s, 2x6) went in vain.

The only consolation for Pakistan was that Shahid Afridi, who failed to score a run and take a wicket, was adjudged the Man of the Series.

The win wiped out bad memories of the World Cup five months ago, when India - as also Pakistan - had crashed out in the first round, leading to prolonged national mourning and criticism.

The win - achieved without Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, who all had opted out - also kept India's slate clean against Pakistan in cricket's global competitions. India have never lost to Pakistan in the ODI World Cup - and now in Twenty20 too.

It was India's second win over Pakistan in the 12-nation tournament, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's boys won both. In the Super Eights, India had won the 'bowl out' tiebreaker 3-0 after their scores were tied after the regulation period.

India and Pakistan were playing for the first time in the final of a world-level tournament - if the 1985 World Championship of Cricket is not taken into account - and Dhoni's team gave much to shout about at the end of it.

India had also beaten Pakistan in the final of the World Championship of Cricket in Melbourne. Although all the Test-playing nations had taken part in that competition, it was a one-off venture organised by Victoria.

Wild celebrations erupted when Sreesanth caught a lofty shot from Misbah when the game could have gone either way.

As a despondent Haq sank to his knees while Indian players went crazy with joy, it was jubilation time for Indians.

Good bowling from Pakistan restricted the Indian batsmen, but an admirable and determined counter-attack led to Pakistan's collapse.

Chasing India's total, Pakistan got a shock early on in their innings when R.P. Singh, who is going through a purple patch, struck off the fifth ball of his first over.

As opener Mohammed Hafeez tried to guide the ball over the slips, he managed to give Robin Uthappa an easy catch at first slip. Pakistan: two for one.

With the addition of 24 runs, R.P. Singh struck again, castling an experienced wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal for nought. Pakistan: 26 for two.

Imran Nazir, who looked in ominous form, and Younis Khan then tried to steady the ship, but after adding only 26 for the third wicket Nazir (33, 14 balls, 4x4s, 2x6) became the target of Uthappa's direct throw after he reacted late to Younis's call for a run off Sreesanth.

Younis made 24 in as many balls and hit four boundaries but Joginder in the ninth removed him as he mistimed a fuller length delivery, giving Yusuf the catch at mid-on.

Soon, Malik and Afridi were also back in the pavilion. Misbah and Yasir Arafat (15) added 27 for the seventh wicket to keep Pakistan in the hunt.

Then Misbah and Sohail Tanvir added 34 crucial runs for the eighth wicket. But once Sreesanth got rid of Tanvir, all the responsibility fell on Misbah's shoulders in the company of Umar Gul and Mohammed Asif.

Eventually, Misbah also caved in under the pressure as he tried to play the scoop shot over fine leg off Joginder only to hole out into the hands of Sreesanth - and signal India's win.

Earlier in the day, Dhoni won the toss but the Indian batting failed to live up to expectations after Virender Sehwag was ruled out of the match with injury.

Even the total of 157 would not have been possible but for Gambhir's knock of 75 and young Rohit's cameo towards the end of the innings.

Yuvraj Singh, who has been in fabulous form in this competition, failed to click and managed only 14 off 19 balls (1x4) as the Pakistan bowlers and fielders looked sharp and purposeful.

Debutant Yusuf Pathan, Irfan's elder brother, had a sensational start to his international career by hitting pacer Mohammed Asif for a six as his first scoring stroke. But he scored 15 (8 balls, 1x4, 1x6) before getting out.

Pacer Umar Gul was the pick of the bowlers as he took three wickets for 28 in four overs.

Earlier, India got a scare off the very first ball of the match when non-striker Yusuf barely avoided being run out after hesitating to take a single called by Gambhir.

Undaunted, Yusuf hit the fourth ball of Asif's opening over for a huge six. He hit another boundary off a wide ball from the same bowler in the third over. But off the next ball Asif took his revenge.

Asif had the tall Vadodara batsman caught off a miscued pull shot. As Pathan tried to pull the short delivery over midwicket he mistimed it and captain Shoaib Malik at mid-on ran back to grab the catch.

As Uthappa attempted to hit over the infielders off left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir he mistimed the shot and Shahid Afridi at extra cover took a comfortable catch.

A 63-run third-wicket partnership between Gambhir, who looked in fine touch, and Yuvraj saved the innings from total collapse and India from complete embarrassment.

However, Yuvraj failed to reproduce his form Monday and was out, top edging a forceful pull shot. Gul easily took the catch off his own bowling.

After that partnership, there was not much fight seemed to have left in the Indian camp, though young Rohit came up with another gutsy knock.

'Padma' Award Proposal For P Susheela

P Susheela is the legendary singer in Telugu film industry. She sang more than 40,000 songs so far. Padmabhushan Vara Prasad Reddy of Shanta Bio-techniques said, "It is really a surprise to underline that Susheela hasn't given Padma award till now. But there is no loss for her if she didn't get that. That loss is ours and our own Telugu film industry".

That is a really a right note. P Susheela, the senior most playback singer was not given right recognition that was given to her other colleagues.

Grapevine also says that some recommendations are moving on to consider Susheela for Padma award in the coming slot of award announcement. Susheela sang with two generation of male singers, Ghantasala and SP Balasubrahmanyam.

Ashwini Dutt Recalls SV Krishna Reddy's Help

Ashwini Dutt had dug into nostalgia and shared his past. He said that he started his career as producer at a very tender age of 19 and has seen many ups and downs in the business. He said that he lost 3-4 films in series and almost got bankrupted. Then SV Krishna Reddy saved him, he recalled.

"I cannot forget SV Krishna Reddy. He directed the film 'Subhalagnam' and made that a very big hit. That film cleared many of my problems. In the same way, another film that brought me big happiness is Pelli Sandadi. I was confined to make films with big stars till then. But, to do some variety I planned films with new actors. The success of Pelli Sandadi had wet into my head. Then I planned for Paradesi with all new faces that was flopped miserably", he shared.

"Coming to the films like Subhash Chandrabose and Govinda Govinda, my reading habit pushed me to make those films. I like fiction and hence out of passion I made then without making calculations", he added.

What Is The Strength Of This 'Creative Star'?

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The new unknown actor Kiran Tej could make it news with his first film 'Brahma' stating that it was ran for 150 days. That was really a wonder even for the trade experts, how the film could run for 150 days despite no collections after first week. Then he announced 'Rudra' and the shooting is going on now. Interestingly, his third film was also announced with the title 'Vaadusthaadu'.

How could he hit the tinsel town like this like a child's play? He has no big following and no recognition at all for that matter. But he is making everything happen like that happens to be a big hero's son of nephew.

What is his strength? Many say that his sole strength is money and his passion to stand as hero on silver screen added fuel to that. Then who can stop him? After all, film industry is a self employment scheme. There is no boss here for the man who has big money.

Will This Tamil 'Yamadonga' Materialize?

Grapevine says that 'Yamadonga' is going to be remade into Tamil with Vijay in lead. Vijay always eyes on hit films in Telugu and wishes to make them in Tamil. He is now thinking to do Yamadonga in Tamil. The concept of yama is not that popular in Tamil but the audience would certainly relish it there, says the sources. If everything goes well Vijay may do the film in the first half of 2008.

It is also said that Mamata Mohandas will be retained in the same role in Tamil as well. Well, why to leave Priyamani? Even she is a known Tamil actress who ruled the screen with the film 'Paruthi Veeran' there.

Let us wait and see how far it will materialize.

Shah Rukh Khan helps India 'Chak De'

Johannesburg, Sep 25 (IANS) The surprise attendance of actor Shah Rukh Khan in the stands and the numerous 'Chak De! India' being waved with gay abandon spurred India to victory in the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship at the Wanderers here.

With spectacular performances by both India and Pakistan, the game had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats as the pendulum violently swung either way.

In terms of crowd support, India clearly had an edge over Pakistan, with the tricolour hugely outnumbering the Pakistan flags.

Clapping vigorously from the VIP area, Hindi film icon Shah Rukh blew kisses to the crowd when they cheered him as loudly as the teams each time his face appeared on the giant TV screens at the 'bullring' as the Wanderers is fondly referred to by the locals for being the hub of Johannesburg's sporting activity for almost 75 years.

Sporting a velvet shirt to promote his forthcoming movie "Om Shanti Om", Shah Rukh occasionally lifted his 10-year-old son Aryan and was clearly enjoying the game thoroughly.

At one stage he was shown taking pictures with a Nikon camera, with local host Jagdish Parekh of Sahara Computers trying to teach him a few tricks of the trade.

Current promotions of 'Om Shanti Om' are making a great fuss about Shah Rukh taking off his shirt in the film to show his newly acquired six-pack, and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni seemed to emulate him briefly. Dhoni took off his shirt and put it on a young lad who was brought in by a TV commentator to meet him, walking off bare-chested.

Regular refrains of "India! India!" from the crowd drowned out any chance of the Pakistani supporters getting much opportunity to spur on their side. These supporters included some English fans, complete with punk hairstyles in support of their T-shirts reading 'Punkistan'.

As Misbah-ul Haq brought Pakistan to within one shot of victory, a member of the Pakistani support team muttered desperate prayers with folded hands in the dug-out, alas to no avail.

Team India will take home not just the trophy, but also a cash booty of $490,000, which pales in comparison to the $2 million reward announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Hyderabad Buzz: City celebrates Twenty20 victory

Hyderabad: The city erupted in joy and celebrated India’s win over Pakistan in the final of the first Twenty20 World Cup with fireworks, motorcycle rallies and silent prayers late on Monday night.

Sending a message that India will not be cowed down by terrorism exported from across the border, several youth took the celebrations to the sites of the August 25 twin blasts — Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat, Koti.

During the final few overs, the city roads were virtually empty, bringing back memories of the curfew. And minutes after the match-deciding catch was taken by speedster Sreesanth, the city kicked off a night-long party with major celebrations at Banjara Hills, Necklace Road, Tank Bund, Koti, Abids, Charminar and Secunderabad.

When Pak’s Misbahul-Haq tried to hit Joginder Sharma over wicketkeeper Dhoni for a six, a million hearts missed a beat, but the Kerala speedster latched on to the catch in the short fine leg, giving India victory and sweet revenge over arch rivals Pakistan.

Several hundred youth took to the streets for a double treat, Ganesh immersion and India’s victory. At least 300 motorcycle-borne youth, carrying the tricolour, did rounds of Koti, while a motley crowd descended on Nagarjuna Circle in Punjagutta shouting ‘Jeetgaya bhai jeetgaya, India jeetgaya’ in praise of Dhoni’s men in blue.

On Road No. 13 Banjara Hills, about 10 boys burst crackers, while on Necklace Road speeding youth were seen holding aloft the national flag whistling, blowing trumpets and shouting merrily.

At Chaitanyapuri in Dilsukhnagar, Nalgonda crossroads and Malakpet it was Diwali on the roads with several hundred youth, some of them even shirtless mimicking Dhoni, danced in gay abandon and bursting crackers. Police had a tough time controlling them as they were obstructing free flow of traffic, but the men in khaki too were in a celebratory mood so allowed them to indulge in the festivities for some time.

Riding on their two-wheeler with the national tri-colour aloft at Madhapur, Jagadish and his friend could not stop their anxiety. “I was supposed to attend evening shift, but I bunked office just to watch the match,” Jagadish, an employee of HP Technologies, told media.

Well, some others celebrated by distributing sweets and cutting cakes. Several residential apartments and complexes were abuzz with celebrations as the residents greeted and danced.


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