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TIMES CELEBRATION THE TIMES OF INDIA, MUMBAI | THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011

Sachin Tendulkar was the match’s highest scorer with 85. He has played

Wahab Riaz took 5 for 46, the best by a Pakistani against India in a World Cup game. Umar Gul’s economy rate of 8.6 worst for any Pak bowler against India in Cup match

Ashish Nehra (L) and Harbhajan Singh (R) took 2 wickets each. So did Zaheer, Yuvraj and Munaf as the Indian bowlers hunted in a pack to bowl out Pak.

in all 5 India-Pak World Cup encounters and been declared Man of the Match in 3 — 1992, 2003 and on Wednesday. Sachin, a critic of the review system, benefited from it after the TV umpire overturned an LBW decision against him when he was on 23. He was also dropped 4 times but battled on. He now has 464 runs in this Cup, just 3 behind leading rungetter T Dilshan (467)

Pak Drop The Cup With Awful Catching. India Defend Sub-Par Score With Inspired Bowling & Fielding

Now, Beat The Sanga Parivar India On Song, Pak’s Riaz Just Not Enough Vikas Singh | TNN

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wenty-eight long years after that magical Indian summer in England, the Men in Blue are one victory away from proving that India is truly cricket’s superpower, not just commercially but also on the field. One victory away from being world No.1 in ODIs, in addition to Tests. One victory away from giving the ultimate thank you gift to the greatest cricketer since Don

FULL COVERAGE: P 3-5, 7, 11, 13, 15, 21, 23-26 Bradman, and a fitting farewell to a coach who has contributed so much to their rise. And one victory away from giving millions of young Indians born after 1983—including several members of the present team—the joy of knowing what it actually feels like to have your squad lift the Cup that counts before your jubilant eyes. Kumar Sangakkara—Sanga to millions of fans—is waiting with his formidable Lankans. But so is the opportunity of a lifetime for Dhoni’s Daredevils. India went into the semifinal against Pakistan as oddson favourites, and for once the bookies had it right. The quality of cricket didn’t really live up to the occasion but the ebb and flow of emotions—from

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exuberance to unease to disappointment to hope to excitement to sheer mad exultation—more than compensated. Wednesday’s win extends India’s record against Pakistan at the World Cup to 5-0. Some day, the law of averages will catch up, but not with history beckoning so alluringly. It was supposed to be India’s batting vs Pakistan’s bowling but as often happens in cricket, things didn’t go according to script. The Indian innings got off to an explosive start, powered by Virender Sehwag, stuttered midway and finally lurched to a total—260 —that could at best be described as fighting. Man of the match Sachin Tendulkar produced one of the patchiest innings of his stunning career, but its value became more and more apparent as the Pakistani innings steadily went into terminal decline. The bowling, though, was a revelation. Defending 260 meant there was no scope for even a single bowler to have an off-day. No one did, with Zaheer, Munaf, Nehra, Harbhajan and Yuvraj all taking two wickets each. Incredibly, the first extra, a wide, came as late as the 37th over. Dhoni attacked throughout, the Men in Blue fielded with tigerish resolve and the bowlers never eased the pressure, even when Pakistan appeared to be cruising. At the end of India’s innings, Pakistan would have fancied their chances. After a blistering start from Virender Sehwag that briefly raised visions of India crossing 350, Afridi’s men had succeeded in reining in India for 260 — a total that most pundits felt was at least 20 runs below par, given the small ground and fast outfield.

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: IT’S BLUE VERSUS BLUE IN MUMBAI

‘Spirit of Mohali’ gives new push to dialogue Sachin Parashar & Diptosh Majumdar | TNN

WHAT A DAY! Suresh Raina (L), Yuvraj Singh and Munaf Patel rush to bowler Zaheer Khan who dismissed the last Pakistani batsman, Misbah-ul Haq, to seal India’s victory in the tense semifinal on Wednesday. With 19 wickets, Zaheer now holds the Indian record for most wickets in a World Cup, beating the 18 of Roger Binny (1983) and Zaheer himself (2003). Before the match, Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Gilani greeted the crowd while Sonia and Rahul Gandhi cheered the Indian team

TWISTS AND TURNS Sehwag Fires | Viru Sehwag gives early impetus by blasting 38 off 25 balls, including 21 in Gul’s 2nd over

Sachin’s Many Lives | Let off 4 times—on 27, 45, 70 and 81—as he scores 85. Pak end up losing by 29 runs

Riaz Strikes | Takes out Kohli (9) and

Raina Chips In | Suresh Raina hits 36

Yuvraj (0) off successive balls in 26th over to push India on to backfoot

and India score 43/1 in batting Powerplay to finish at 260/9

Hafeez Self-Destructs | With Pak cruising at 70/1, Mohd Hafeez tries paddle sweeping Munaf and is caught behind. The chase starts to derail

Bhajji Comes Good | Harbhajan bowls danger man Umar Akmal to put India firmly on top. Also gets rid of Pak skipper Shahid Afridi

Yuvi Stings | Dismissed for 0, Yuvraj bounces back with ball. Gets rid of Asad Shafiq and veteran Younis Khan to turn match India’s way

Misbah Messes Up | Misbah-ulHaq’s crawl (56 off 76 balls) ensures that asking rate kept rising, leaving too much to do at end. Pak all out for 231

3rd time lucky: Cricket diplomacy jinx broken

Who will ‘keep’ the Cup, Dhoni or Sangakkara?

Rahul, Sonia shift to aam admi stands

wo jinxes were shattered on Wednesday. India had played Pakistan twice before at Mohali, and lost each time. And cricket diplomacy had proved rather unlucky for India — Zia ul-Haq’s visit on Rajiv Gandhi’s invitation in 1987 saw the Test in Jaipur end in a boring draw, though the hosts eventually lost the fiveTest series 0-1. In 2005, when Pervez Musharraf came to Delhi to watch an ODI, India were routed by 159 runs. Fortunately, India reversed the trend this time, or PM Manmohan Singh’s peace initiative may have been denounced by many irate cricket fans.

rior to this World Cup, no team led by a wicketkeeper had ever played in a Cup final. That’s changed, and how. Saturday’s final will see two teams led by keepers (Dhoni & Sangakkara) clash for the title. That’s not the only common factor. Both India and Sri Lanka will be playing their third finals. Each has won the first final they played (1983 and 1996, respectively) and lost the second (2003 and 2007), incidentally both to Australia. So, for whom will it be third time lucky? Which of the co-hosts will keep the Cup at home? The bookies are betting it will be India.

or a small bunch of spectators in Mohali stadium’s Northern Pavilion, the highlight of the day came as first Rahul and then Sonia Gandhi slipped into the general stands, triggering a wave of mobile phones raised and switched on camera and video mode and tentative girls seeking autographs. Girish Kopper, a software engineer from Bangalore, went further, pleading with Rahul to speak to his wife on his cell phone. ‘‘It’s a question of saving my marriage,’’ he joked. Rahul smiled back but before he could consider, the SPG put its foot down. P 11

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Mohali: As the Men in Blue ripped out stumps to celebrate a hard-fought victory over Pakistan on Wednesday, the prime ministers of the two countries cheered what diplomats referred to as the ‘‘spirit of Mohali’’ which would restart India-Pakistan dialogue that was stalled by the Mumbai terror attack. Ahead of the semifinal, Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gilani, who had flown in from Islamabad earlier in the day, shook hands amid hopes that cricket diplomacy would pay off. According to a source close to Singh, the Indian prime minister said the message from Mohali was that people from both countries wanted peace and amity and both prime ministers would work towards it. ‘‘The meeting was held against the backdrop of a sporting contact which epitomizes people-to-people exchanges and the spirit of a good and constructive game. The meeting was truly cricket in nature,’’ said foreign secretary Nirupama Rao. Terrorism was among the issues discussed, she said. A beaming Singh looked in complete control as he stepped out in the company of Gilani to be introduced to the two teams before the game. As the match picked up pace, the two were seen in the VVIP box, chatting and even applauding the odd boundary. Gilani has invited Singh to Pakistan, but there’s no word whether the invite has been accepted yet. Although they left in the afternoon, the two prime ministers reassembled for dinner at the stadium around 7.30pm for more of what diplomats called ‘‘conversations’’ on several topics, including cricket. P 13

Actor Shiney gets 7 yrs RI for rape Govt isolated as SC agrees with CAG’s 2G loss report

Uma Kadam

Rebecca Samervel | TNN

Mumbai: Shiney Ahuja, the 38-year-old award-winning Hazaare Khwaishen Aisi actor, was sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment on Wednesday after being held guilty of raping his young maid in his Oshiwara flat on June 14, 2009. FULL COVERAGE, P 2

A fast-track court in Sewri relied on the FIR filed by Ahuja’s 18-year-old maid after the incident to convict him although she had later backtracked and denied the rape during the trial. However, it acquitted Ahuja of the char-

FORENSIC EDGE

Abhishek Kasliwal is cleared in rape case

Maid had alleged rape in June 2009, retracted in August 2010

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Court goes by circumstantial evidence—DNA tests, semen on quilt and curtains and victim’s scratch marks on Shiney's hand Shiney convicted of rape, acquitted of criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement ges of illegal confinement and criminal intimidation which the victim had alleged in her complaint. The actor and his wife Anupam walked into court together, but he left with the police es-

corting him to jail. The actor, who was out on bail since October 2009, remained silent after hearing the verdict. He hugged his mother as his wife Anupam maintained that he was innocent. Shiney had de-

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN

iting lack of evidence, a city sessions court on Wednesday acquitted industrialist Ambuj Kasliwal’s son Abhishek of the charges of raping a 52-year-old woman at the Shree Ram Mills compound in Worli on the night of March 11, 2006. P 2

New Delhi: The UPA-2 government had challenged the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report that blew the lid off the 2G scam and its estimated loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. However, the

nied the charge against him, but forensic experts corroborated the case against him. Public prosecutor K V Dighe said the clinching factors in the case were a positive DNA test and strong medical evidence.

Supreme Court has virtually endorsed the auditor’s findings, saying they tally with those of the CBI. Presenting details of the CBI’s investigation to a bench comprising Justices G S

SC prod on lawyer, P 15

CAG Gets SC Pat SC virtually endorses CAG findings, saying they tally with the CBI probe The bench said, “This (CBI status report) is virtually all which was found out by CAG.” Vindication of CAG findings will undercut government’s claim that losses were vastly exaggerated Singhvi and A K Ganguly on Tuesday, senior advocate K K Venugopal animatedly read

out how former telecom minister A Raja had brushed aside concerns raised by PM Manmohan Singh. Venugopal said Raja had paid no heed to the PM’s letter on spectrum and read out from the CBI’s probe status report similar objections raised by other ministries. “None of the objections and concerns was looked into,” he said. After Venugopal took the court through a major portion of the CBI’s status report, the bench said, “This is virtually all which was found out by the CAG.”

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Times of India epaper March 31 2011