The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

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The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

India and Sri Lanka eye second title in all-Asian final

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 06:08 PM PDT

Sri Lanka's cricket fans pray during a special religious ceremony to bless the Sri Lankan cricket team, at Kelaniya temple, about 14 km from Colombo. — Reuters pic

MUMBAI, April 2 — Co-hosts India and Sri Lanka will be gunning for their second World Cup title when they clash in the all-Asian final at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium today. 

The showdown will also be the last on-field duel between Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Muralitharan — the best batsman and the most successful bowler of the era. 

While Tendulkar, 37, has not yet indicated when he plans to retire, Muralitharan, who will turn 39 later this month, will play his last international match today. 

Muralitharan, the only survivor from Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup winning team, is determined to take the field despite battling hamstring and knee injuries. 

It will be Tendulkar's sixth and last shot at adding the only major trophy missing from his glittering cabinet and this time he has the backing of his home crowd at Wankhede Stadium. 

More than a billion Indians will hope that the master batsman gets to his hundredth ton and end the country's 28-year wait for a second 50-over crown. 

Led by two stumper-batsmen in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara, both the neighbours have lost only one match in their campaign so far. 

For today's match, India are almost certain to miss seamer Ashish Nehra because of a fractured finger while Sri Lanka lost all-rounder Angelo Mathews to a thigh strain. 

If India beat Sri Lanka, they would have beaten all past world champions on their path to victory — West Indies in their last group stage match, Australia in the quarter-finals and Pakistan in the semi-finals. — Reuters

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Nadal crushes Federer to reach Miami final

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 05:59 PM PDT

Roger Federer of Switzerland (left) and Rafael Nadal of Spain smile at each during a photo prior to their semi-final match at the tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida. — Reuters pic

MIAMI, April 2 — World number one Rafa Nadal crushed long standing rival Roger Federer 6-3 6-2 today to reach the final of the Sony Ericsson Open where he will face Serbian Novak Djokovic. 

Nadal, who now has a 15-8 record in meetings between the two, dominated from the outset and was superior in all elements of the game. 

The Spaniard was devastating with his serve, particularly in the first set and took full advantage of some unusually loose returns from the Swiss world number three. 

"I made few mistakes but he made more mistakes than usual I think," said Nadal. 

Nadal is searching for his first title in this Masters 1000 Series event at Key Biscayne. — Reuters

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