Dhoni shines for IndiaINDORE, India (AP):Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni produced a courageous knock under pressure and Axar Patel came up with some timely strikes as India completed a gritty 22-run victory over South Africa in the second one-day international yesterday.Dhoni gave a superb exhibition of batting in the company of lower-order batsmen, with his unbeaten 92 helping India to level the five-game series 1-1. Left-arm spinner Patel extracted enough turn from the pitch to grab 3-39 as India bowled out South Africa for 225 in 43.4 overs in reply to the hosts’ 247-9.Dhoni smashed four sixes and seven fours as India fought back after being reduced to 104-5 in the 24th over.”It was not an easy game as a lot of people wait with open swords and want you to make mistakes,” Dhoni said in reference to his below-par spell with the bat. “As a complete batting unit we didn’t perform well, but we bounced back well.”Pakistan takecontrolABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP):A double century by Shoaib Malik and his 248-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Asad Shafiq yesterday gave Pakistan the upper hand at the end of the second day of the first Test against England. Chasing a massive Pakistan first innings total of 523-8 declared, England’s openers made an assured start and were 56 without loss at close of play. Captain Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 39, while his new opening partner Moeen Ali was on 15.Pakistan’s innings was built around Malik’s 245 runs in his first Test match in more than five years, and an eighth Test century by Shafiq (107).”Both Malik and me had planned to be patient and try not to lose our wickets. We knew we will get the runs if we stuck around,” Shafiq said.Malik’s innings lasted more than 10 hours and he faced 420 balls for his 245. He came in at the fall of the first wicket with the score on 5 in the third over and he was seventh to go in the 150th over. Captain Misbah-ul Haq then declared the innings a couple of overs later when Zulfiqar Babar became the fourth victim of Ben Stokes, the most successful England bowler with 4-57.
STANFORD — Several weeks ago, few would have believed Stanford would be able to take a two-game lead over Arizona State in the Pac-10 standings with a victory over the Sun Devils today. Of course, even fewer would have believed rebuilding Stanford would be 3-0 on the road and 0-2 at home and that the Cardinal could be 4-1 if it hadn’t lost to Division I-AA UC Davis. So not much has gone according to plan for either school this fall but the fall isn’t over yet. Arizona State seemed headed for a landmark season after starting 3-1, but consecutive home losses to USC and Oregon sank the Sun Devils’ championship hopes. After a bye week, they’re hoping to get back on track for a good bowl game against the Cardinal (3-2, 2-1) at Stanford Stadium. Quarterback Sam Keller, a San Francisco Bay area native, will start despite a sprained thumb on his throwing hand, as well as a shoulder problem. Arizona State’s offense was a powerhouse until scoring just 17 points against Oregon two weeks ago, but Keller still leads the conference with 344.5 yards passing per game. Koetter hopes Arizona State’s confidence isn’t gone. “We won’t know that until we get tested again,’ Koetter said. “I feel like we’re still a good football team, but we have to prove it on Saturday. We weren’t that same football team against Oregon. We just have to get back out on the field. We can’t worry about what’s going to happen four or five games from now. We have to worry about just this game.’ Stanford has done the same, focusing its preparation on earning its first home win under Harris. With a strong finish, the Cardinal could make their first bowl game since coach Tyrone Willingham’s tenure but with six games still to play, that finish must start at home. “I love playing at Stanford Stadium,’ Alston said. “It’s the only place I’ve every wanted to play. (We want) to come here and have the opportunity to say thank you to the fans, try to show them that we do care and that we want to win for them. We have two big home games coming up, and we need to put our stake in the ground at Stanford Stadium and say, ‘This is our house.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter hopes his club will reclaim some of its lost poise in the final games of the regular season. Koetter also is among those impressed by Stanford’s poise and potency under new coach Walt Harris. “They are playing a very straightforward brand of football right now,’ Koetter said. “They’re not doing anything tricky. They’re just lining up and beating people.’ While Arizona State (3-3, 1-2) has struggled in close games this season, the Cardinal’s three wins all were narrow. Stanford won two conference road games in the last two weeks, holding off Washington State and Arizona by a combined seven points. “We prepare for the fourth quarter,’ Stanford linebacker Jon Alston said. “We’re five games into the season. Five games tell you a little about the season, but they don’t tell you everything. We’ll know a little bit more about ourselves by the end of the year. Hopefully, we’ll continue to put ourselves in position to win close games.’ But Koetter spent the Sun Devils’ bye week getting his own team prepared for the same thing. Spending only part of each practice worrying about Stanford, Koetter instead took his team back to basics with fundamental drills and workouts.