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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

TN X (SSLC) results announced ~ SYMA boys do well 2018


Old timers will recall that the First Public Examination for the students used to be at Class XI – those who passed would join PUC in College and those days, the State First used to secure a little over 400 out of 500 -  a time when securing more than 80% was considered the ultimate !! ..  recall that in 1977, MK Raman of our school (The Hindu High School, Big Street, Triplicane)  secured 407/500 and was State 4th – photo of him with a beaming smile appeared in newspapers .. .. Those were the times when Newspapers would roll out special editions containing the Roll No. of those Candidates who passed the Examination.  It was ‘all numbers’ and those Special Supplements would sell like hot cakes…….. students, parents, near and dear would be elated to see their Registration No. appearing on the newspaper – it was a time to celebrate and so they would buy toffees and distribute ! – simple life …

            The Tamil Nadu Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) or Class 10th exam results were declared today, May 23, 2018. The pass percentage of this year is 94.5 %.  A total of 10,01,140 students appeared for the exam this year which is a drop from last year's 10.25 lakh students who took up the exam last year. Sivaganga, Erode and Virudhunagar districts have topped with pass % of 98.5; 98.38 & 98.29 respectively.  It is reported that 96.4 per cent girls qualified the exam; while it was 92.5 per cent boys passing out. 

I have been posting about our full-time tuition centre SYMA Growth providing quality tuition free to under-privileged children.    SYMA Growth students hand-picked from lower strata of society  have done well.  In Engligh  Medium 22 students passed - out of 24 ;  3 of them secured more than 400 marks. B.Manikandan 450 is our centre first. 13 students got above 300.  In    Tamil medium 18 students passed of 20. 300 to 400 - 9 students.

As you may know now, there is no State level ranking !!! -  State-level ranks will not be released this year as well to ensure that students don’t get disheartened by an unhealthy competition. “We have done away with the ranking system as even one mark will cause serious distress,” said School Education Minster KA Sengottaiyan. Students, who have not done well in the exams, should not get too stressed, Sengottaiyan said, adding that those in need of counselling or help can use the 14417 helpline. He said that parents, who notice unusual behaviour or sadness in their wards, should use the helpline immediately.  But is that not a disincentive to those who perform well .. .. .. because DD / KX1 / MI / RCB failed to qualify should we not speak of champions CSK ? 

At our SYMA Growth, a couple of years – all   21 students of Tamil medium passed; in English medium 29 out of 31 passed; unfortunately the two who failed – failed in Tamil language.  Growth topper secured 490 – toppers of NKT Boys High School and National Girls High School were from our Growth ~ that way, there is lot of scope for improvement.

We rededicate ourselves and would start functioning in the 11th year of operations of SYMA Growth ~ the quality tuition centre for poor and downtrodden. Applications have already been issued and the last date for returning the completed forms is drawing to a close in a couple of days.  We will scrutinize the applications, conduct a private interview and select the deserving candidates. Welcome you all to visit our Educational centre and provide us suggestions and support.  

No words can describe our gratitude to the management of NKT Boys Higher School.  We thank the NKT Management for providing us the infrastructure and all the support.  We thank  the Head master of the School Mr S Venkatadri.  We pray to Almighty for continued success of this project and look forward to continued support of you all.  The success is due to the blessings of Lord Parthasarathi who guides us in all our steps.  We must place on record our thanks and gratitude to those teachers who taught these students with great dedication, commitment and devotion.  Our Coordinator Mrs Thara and the team who assisted her also deserve special appreciation. .  A Big Thank you to all of you  who have been supporting us in all our endeavours.

Together We will strive to make the society better place for all of us. ~ and very very special thanks to M/s  Manpower Inc for their sponsorship.  Gratitude is due to  Mr PV Venkatesan of Manpower.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd May 2018

Faf innings .. and how did CSK win ???


They kept saying in IPL T20, no target is safe ! ~ yet at Wankhede seemingly small target was daunting – best of CSK fans would have thought of switching off and going to bed ~ yet the result was to their liking. 

In IPL, no side had   lost a wicket off the very first ball of a playoff match before today. Sunrisers Hyderabad provided the first such instance with Shikhar Dhawan getting dismissed by Deepak Chahar.  ~ and Harbhajan Singh bowled none  in the match – only the second time he did not bowl a single over even though the opposition innings lasted for full 20 overs. The  other such instance for him came while playing for Mumbai Indians against Rajasthan Royals in 2010 when he got injured while batting and was thus unable to bowl.

Chennai Super Kings grabbed a win by 2 wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a nail-biting finish in Mumbai on Tuesday and made their way into the finals. Chasing a target of 140 in 20 overs, CSK were in complete trouble  after being reduced to 62/6 in the 13th  over but senior pro Faf du Plessis anchored his side to their seventh final in the Indian premier league. CSK  needed 23 runs in the last two overs,  Shardul Thakur who came in at number 10 dominated Siddarth Kaul. Kaul gave away 17 runs in this over while Thakur struck 15* eventually. That makes CSK’s 7th entry into IPL final. No other side has reached the final more than four times.

Faf du Plessis, playing only his fifth match of the season, repaid his captain's faith by playing an innings MS Dhoni himself will be proud of. Chasing 140 CSK were in all sorts of troubles due to  excellent bowling, but du Plessis took the game deep, induced a few errors from the opposition captain, and capitalised on small mistakes here and there. Carlos Brathwaite bowled the 18th  over, with 43 to get, ahead of Sandeep Sharma and Shakib Al Hasan. Du Plessis hit that over for four, six and four to give an excellent match its final momentum shift.

Earlier, CSK bowled to plan and pinned Sunrisers down to 139. Incidentally, it was Brathwaite whose hitting in the final few overs - 43 off 29 - gave Sunrisers something to bowl at.  Du Plessis faced just six balls in the Powerplay. He looked inconspicuous during the collapse. Even as Bravo and Jadeja and Chahar fell to make it 92 for 7 after 15 overs, du Plessis kept knocking it around. In between, he hit Shakib for a four and a six in the 14th  over to stay in touch with the game.

Questions had been  raised when Chennai Super Kings used their right-to-match card on Faf du Plessis and let go of a gun death bowler in Andrew Tye. And then, du Plessis played only four games before Tuesday. Come the playoffs,  MS Dhoni needed more experience and turned to the South Africa captain. And du Plessis answered all the questions with a vintage 67* that had most of the traits of a Dhoni special: manoeuvring the middle overs, taking the match deep even as wickets tumbled at the other end, and sealing it with a six.

In the first eight overs of CSK's chase of 140, du Plessis faced just nine balls for five runs. He watched fellow opener Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni fall around him in that period. After Siddarth Kaul had removed Raina and Rayudu off successive balls, Rashid Khan stormed through the gate of Dhoni with a ripping wrong'un. Rashid proceeded to have Dwayne Bravo nicking behind with a sharp legbreak. When Deepak Chahar joined du Plessis, CSK were 92 for 7 with the asking rate reading 9.60. By then, du Plessis had moved to 38 off 31 balls. Rashid and Bhuvneshwar had one over each left, while Kaul had two. Williamson was left to choose among Shakib Al Hasan, Sandeep Sharma and Carlos Brathwaite for the other over.

Du Plessis survived an lbw call off Rashid after a successful review and helped bring down the equation to 43 off 18 balls. Williamson took a punt on Brathwaite and du Plessis launched a calculated assault on him, hitting him for four boundaries in the 18th  over. He anticipated slower balls from Brathwaite, maintained a stable base, and unleashed smooth swings. Du Plessis hit 27 off 11 balls from Brathwaite at a strike-rate of 245.45. After Shardul Thakur squirted a brace of edged boundaries and loft off Kaul in the 19th over, CSK needed six off the last. Du Plessis was up against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, one of the best death bowlers in the IPL. He read the slower ball from Bhuvneshwar and nailed it over his head to lead CSK into their seventh IPL final with five balls and two wickets to spare.

After steering Chennai Super Kings into their seventh IPL final with an unbeaten 67 off 42 balls, Faf du Plessis said the key to his innings was seeing off Rashid Khan's spell.  "It's nice to contribute since I haven't played much," du Plessis said at the post-match presentation. "Yesterday, I was just reflecting on my past games, and took some confidence from that mentally. I just entered the changing room now, and asked the boys, 'how did we win this, guys?'

~ and that is the Q most would be asking !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd May 2018.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Nadal comes back to win at Rome ~ temperament of Pliskova


There were days when Triplicanites could easily identify every league Cricketer playing at Marina ground ! ~ and tell history of them too .. .. those days we were fascinated to see a Singh playing at Marina – and my neighbour coolly added – it was Satwender Singh whose brothers Kripal Singh & Milkha too played at a higher level and their Ram Singh was one of the leading all rounders of his time, playing 2 unofficial tests !!!

Tennis followers might well know the twins Bob & Mike Ryan – and the attractive Pliskova sisters -  Karolina Pliskova and her  identical twin sister Kristyna.  For easy identification,  we have the tattoos,” Karolina said.  Karolina sports two tattoos – on her left thigh and left arm – while her sister has one. “She is a lefty and I am right-handed, and we have different hair.  Karolina was in news for wrong reasons !!

How  to explain what transpired in the third set of Rafa’s 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 win over Alexander Zverev in Rome on Sunday?   With Rafa down 1-3 in the third set and seemingly out of answers against Zverev, a storm conveniently swept across the Foro Italico, forcing a prolonged delay in play. When that delay was over, Nadal had answers again. He charged through the last five games for his eighth title in Rome, and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the process.  Zverev had a real chance at victory, up an early break in the third set, before rain threw a curveball into the match, allowing Nadal to reset and win the final five games. It was a high-quality final, with several long, grueling rallies bringing the Italian crowd to their feet in appreciation of the effort and impressive shot-making of both players. There were 24 rallies that went at least double digits (10 shots), totaling 313 shots in the court by both players.  Perhaps what made Rafa win was his temperament and firm belief that he could win though he was almost out of the match ~ and he remained cool !


Rafael Nadal may have stumbled in his bid to sweep all four “Big Titles” on clay, a feat he accomplished in 2010 when he won the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Mutua Madrid Open, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and Roland Garros. Nadal fell to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarter-finals earlier this month. But the 31-year-old Spaniard has still added two more Big Titles – a combination of Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Nitto ATP Finals crowns – to his haul as the European clay-court season enters its final three weeks.  Nadal came out on top in a matchup of this year's top two clay-court players Sunday, beating defending champion Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 Sunday to win a record-extending eighth Italian Open title. Coming a week after a loss in the Madrid Open quarterfinals to Dominic Thiem, Nadal has his confidence back entering the year's second Grand Slam in Paris, which starts next Sunday.

"It's been an amazing week," Nadal said. "It was tough losing in Madrid so to come back and win the trophy here is great." Perhaps the question heading into next week's French Open should be: "Who can take a set off Rafael Nadal?" instead of "Who can beat Nadal?'" The Spaniard, dubbed the "King of Clay," is the white-hot favorite to land a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros. Take this stunning statistic: Nadal owns a 79-2 win-loss record at the French Open, where the best-of-five set format makes the 31-year-old even harder to defeat. He's only lost to Sweden's Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal in 2015.

But if there is to be a monumental upset at the French Open, who might be on the other side of the net?  There could be a sudden blackhorse, which doesn't include the absent Roger Federer.  As great athletes age, the first thing we look for is evidence of physical decline. The cliche is to talk about the “half-step” that has been lost, rather than inquiring about their psychological state. Yet even sporting legends can be worn down mentally by the accretion of small failures over the years, and the fear that certain opportunities may never come around again. Grey matter is as susceptible to the march of time as muscle fibre.

 “It is not a question of tennis,” Nadal said once after his  defeat by his compatriot Fernando Verdasco in Miami. “The thing is the question of being relaxed enough to play well.  Recently, World No 5 Karolina Pliskova lost her cool over a line call and bashed a hole into the umpire’s chair with her racket after suffering a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 defeat by Maria Sakkari in the Italian Open second round.

Pliskova had argued heatedly with umpire Marta Mrozinska after her smash was called out when serving at 30-30 and 5-5 in the final set, and her Greek opponent won the game before serving out the match.  The Czech exchanged a brief word with Sakkari at the net before approaching Mrozinska with an outstretched hand before withdrawing it and repeatedly smashing the chair with her racket.

Pliskova’s twin sister Kristyna, who also ranks in the world’s top 100, slammed Mrozinska on social media. “The worst i have ever seen @wta and i hope this lady Marta Mrozinska will never ever judge any match of me or Karolina again #blacklistforever,” the 26-year-old wrote on Twitter.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd May 2018.

Monday, May 21, 2018

commemorating 150 years of aboriginal tour ~ Pataudi lecture controversy !!!


In the last league match of IPL 2018, that solid defence stroke on 18.5 may be a talking point.  CSK required 23 off 12 – and they had the most unconventional batting line-up yesterday.  Suresh Raina not exactly middling the ball, tore Andrew Tye for 22 runs and the last ball, played a forward defence ! ~ then Mohit Sharma tried bouncer, only to see it vanishing into the crowds at long leg – MS Dhoni as emotionless as ever !!! .. .. 

Cricinfo reports of a Q in a recent promotional event, MS Dhoni was asked: "[Erwin] Rommel, the legendary German general, said no plan survives contact. How do you relate that to cricket?" "After the first ball is bowled, it's only chaos," Dhoni replied. "What you are trying to do is you're trying to manage the chaos. It's not like a script that happens. My coach Stephen Fleming often comes and does that. He says 'mate, Lungi [Ngidi] can bowl the first over, then somebody else second' and so on. Yes, I know who are the bowlers and they will bowl at some point of time. But it does not work like that. It's about adaptability."  T20 cricket is all about managing chaos.

Former England batsman James Taylor has shown an unflattering light on sharing a dressing room with Kevin Pietersen, saying he has "no respect" for England's fifth all-time leading run scorer, calling him "embarrassing". Pietersen has long been one of the most divisive figures in England cricket, his undoubted talent and ability often clouded by personality conflicts that have been dotted throughout his career. However, back 2012, Taylor, who stands just 170cm tall, recalls how the 193cm Pietersen took immediate issue with diminutive batsman being around the England team.

Down under the  commemorations to celebrate the 150th  anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured the UK continue, with Australia Post releasing  a special stamp to mark the event. The stamp is the latest in a series of events to honour the milestone tour, with men's and women's Aboriginal XI squads to travel to England in June to mark the anniversary of the first international tour by an Australian team in any sport. The First Cricket Tour: 150 Years stamp released on May 1  features 10 Aboriginal members of the original 1868 playing squad, as well as captain Charles Lawrence, an English professional who coached and mentored the Aboriginal players, and team manager W Shepherd. The stamp design, by Phil Ellett of Creative Ethos, incorporates player portraits from one of the few remaining photos of the Aboriginal XI taken while on tour in 1868, from the collection of the National Library of Australia.

Cricket Australia has announced the squads, schedule, community activities and uniform for an historic tour of the UK for the nation’s best Indigenous players including a match against the MCC.  Women’s and men’s squads will tour the UK for the first two weeks of June, with both to play under the banner of the ‘2018 Aboriginal XI.’ The event will commemorate 150 years since an Aboriginal cricket team became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.  The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Exeter is lending Aboriginal artefacts, newly identified from the 1868 cricket tour to the UK, for display at Lord’s throughout the 2018 season.

Speaking on the squads, Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said: “We have assembled two strong squads for this tour that include four players who currently or have previously represented Australia – Christian, Gardner, D’Arcy Short and Scott Boland - and a further six players on WBBL, BBL or State contracts last season.  To recall some history, in 1868, a cricket team composed of Australian Aborigines toured England between May and October of that year, thus becoming the first organised group of Australian sportspeople to travel overseas. It would be another ten years before an Australian cricket team classed as representative would leave the country.

The concept of an Aboriginal cricket team can be traced to cattle stations in the Western District of Victoria, where, in the mid-1860s, European pastoralists introduced Aboriginal station hands to the sport. An Aboriginal XI was created with the assistance of Tom Wills—captain of the Victoria cricket team and founder of Australian rules football—who acted as the side's captain-coach in the lead-up to and during an 1866–67 tour of Victoria and New South Wales. Several members of this team joined what would become the Aboriginal XI that toured England under the captaincy of Englishman Charles Lawrence. International sporting contact was rare in this era. Previously, only three cricket teams had travelled abroad, all English: to the United States and Canada in 1859, and to Australia in 1861–62 and 1863–64.

Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner has been named captain of the women’s 2018 Aboriginal XI that will compete in an historic tour of the United Kingdom. Gardner, who is one of Australia’s most promising young cricketers having already played 26 matches for her country, will lead a squad of 13. The squad is a relatively inexperienced one, with Gardner the only member with international experience. “I think all the girls are really excited to (represent their culture), she said. It will be the second time Gardner captains an Indigenous XI, as she was tasked with leading the inaugural women’s Indigenous team which toured India in 2016. The team will play four matches, with a marquee match against Surrey to be played at The Kia Oval, one of the venues where the 1868 team played.

Both the female and male squads will also wear uniforms designed for them by Aunty Fiona Clarke, who is the great-great grand-daughter of Grongarrong (Mosquito), one of the stars of the 1868 team. The design is based off the commemorative artwork titled ‘Walkabout Wickets’ which tells the story of the 1866 Boxing Day match and the 1868 tour.

Back home,  BCCI members and the CoA are once again at loggerheads, this time over the latter's decision to pick Kevin Pietersen as the speaker for the Pataudi Memorial Lecture, to be held in Bengaluru next month.  After acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary questioned the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators’ decision to pick Kumar Sangakkara as the choice to speak in this year’s Pataudi Memorial Lecture, CoA chief Vinod Rai had said that the Board should look at Chaudhary’s suggestions of getting a former India player (who played alongside Pataudi) if Sangakkara wasn’t available for the lecture. But now the CoA has gone ahead and picked Kevin Pietersen for the occasion after Sangakkara made his unavailability known and Chaudhary is not happy at the turn of events.

In another mail to Rai, in possession with CricketNext, the secretary has written: “The expression of happiness on it (General Manager Saba Karim’s mail that Kevin Pietersen has agreed to address the lecture) had left me wondering whether the Memorial Lecture was indeed MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture or Sir Len Hutton Lecture or for that matter Sir Frank Woolley lecture. Board members feel that former Indian cricketers who played alongside the man famously called Tiger Pataudi would bring more value to the occasion and feel someone among Nari Contractor, Chandu Borde, Erapalli Prasanna and Abbas Ali Baig should be invited as the speaker.

GM cricket operation Saba Karim had sent the mail to the CoA and the BCCI members asking them for the suggestion as the lecture is set to be held on June 12 in Bengaluru before the Afghanistan Test. The names of the speakers suggested by Saba were Sourav Ganguly, Kumar Sangakara, Kevin Peterson and Nasser Hussain.The topics were: A) Peace and sustainability through Cricket - Relevent since Afghanistan is a wonderful story. B) Behaviour and conduct of international players in the modern age - Players perspective. C) Cricket as an Olympic Sport - Way forward.

Diana Edulji was the one who suggested Sangakkara’s name and Rai seconded it and asked Saba to speak to the former Sri Lanka cricketer. The Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture was started by the BCCI on February 6, 2013. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Sunil Gavaskar in 2013. But what remains etched in everyone’s memory is the beautiful fun-filled lecture from Farokh Engineer in Mar 2017.

So on a day when there is no IPL ~ you have a lot on Cricket to read !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st May 2018.