Friday, January 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Demoralised Indians hope for turnaround
SYDNEY, Jan 13 — Their self-belief in tatters and in danger of making an early exit after playing purposeless cricket so far, India will hope skipper Sachin Tendulkar’s return as opener will mark a turnaround when they take on Australia in a crucial one-day triseries cricket tie here tomorrow.

Tendulkar flays itinerary
SYDNEY, Jan 13 — Already under tremendous pressure to end his team’s losing streak, Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar has hit out at the crowded schedule drawn up for the ongoing triangular one-day cricket series tournament.

Inter's Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf, right, challenges for the ball with A.C. Milan's Andres Guglielminpietro of Argentina during Italy cup, first leg, quarter final match at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy on Wednesday
MILAN : Inter's Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf, right, challenges for the ball with A.C. Milan's Andres Guglielminpietro of Argentina during Italy cup, first leg, quarter final match at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy on Wednesday — AP/PTI

Gagan Ajit fashions win over Canada
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 — Young forward Gagan Ajit Singh slammed a fine hattrick as India defeated a fighting Canada 3-2 in their one-off men’s hockey Test match at Barcelona.


EARLIER STORIES
  South Africa tour itinerary
MUMBAI, Jan 13 — South Africa will play their first one-day international against India on March 9 at Cochin, instead of Baroda, according to the final itinerary released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today.

Salgaocar hold East Bengal
CALCUTTA, Jan 13 — East Bengal’s title hopes received a further jolt as they were held to a goal less draw by defending champions Salgaocar while new force Tollygunge Agragami and Dempo also played out a barren draw in the fourth National Football League here today.

Uncertainty dogs Tyson’s Jan 29 fight
LONDON, Jan 13 — Promoter Frank Warren says Mike Tyson’s January 29 fight against Julius Francis in Manchester, is still on. But the former world champion may not learn if he can enter the country because of a 1992 rape conviction until he gets off the Concorde on Sunday at Heathrow Airport and walks to the immigration desk.

Maradona must ‘stay off drugs’
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 13 — Argentine doctors blamed a mixture of cocaine and alcohol for the massive damage to Diego Maradona’s heart, but said the soccer star could play sports again one day — if he stays off the drugs and drink.

Swedish tennis greats, (from left) Mats Wilander, Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg pose for a photo prior to training matches at Stockholm's Allmanna Lawn Tennis Klubb in Sweden on Wednesday. They will meet in a round-robin tournament in Stockholm on Thursday
STOCKHOLM : Swedish tennis greats, (from left) Mats Wilander, Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg pose for a photo prior to training matches at Stockholm's Allmanna Lawn Tennis Klubb in Sweden on Wednesday. They will meet in a round-robin tournament in Stockholm on Thursday. — AP/PTI
West Indies crush England
COLOMBO, Jan 13 — West Indies crushed holders England while hosts Sri Lanka and Australia also kept their title hopes alive scoring their second successive victories in the preliminary league matches in the under-19 World Cup Cricket Tournament here today.

Chowrasia shoots into lead
NOIDA, Jan 13 — S.S.P. Chowrasia peaked early on to occupy the top spot with a two-under 70 at the ONGC-NGC Open Golf Championship played at the par-72,6,915-yard Noida Golf Course here today. Two strokes behind at joint second spot were Jyoti Randhawa and Dinesh Kuar at level-par 70.

Panjab University, PAU move up
LUDHIANA, Jan 13 — Hosts Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, scraped past west zone runners-up Barkatullah University, Bhopal, 2-0 and north zone losing finalists.

Ronaldo eager to play in England
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 13 — Brazil striker Ronaldo has told Manchester United boss Sir Alek Ferguson he would like to play for an English club, according to local press reports.

Agassi enters final
MELBOURNE, Jan 13 — Andre Agassi set up the prospect of a pre-Australian Open clash with great rival Pete Sampras when he beat Swede Thomas Enqvist in three sets to advance to the final of a Melbourne warm-up event today.

Bihar in q-finals; Punjab win
JABALPUR, Jan 13 — Bihar today entered the quarter-finals of the 15th Women’s National Hockey Tournament here by trouncing Bhopal 9-0 in a pool b match.

Baboor, Montu Ghosh skippers
LUCKNOW, Jan 13 — Chetan Baboor will lead the men’s team and Montu Ghosh women’s team in the forthcoming Commonwealth and World Table Tennis Championships to be held at Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, respectively.

Jain upsets Tarish
JALANDHAR, Jan 13 — The fourth day of the C.R. Arora Memorial Punjab State Snooker Championship currently underway at the local Lilly Resorts proved to be a day of upsets in the junior version.

REGIONAL SPORT BRIEFS
  • Hockey trials
  • Inter-district badminton

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Demoralised Indians hope for turnaround

SYDNEY, Jan 13 (PTI) — Their self-belief in tatters and in danger of making an early exit after playing purposeless cricket so far, India will hope skipper Sachin Tendulkar’s return as opener will mark a turnaround when they take on Australia in a crucial one-day triseries cricket tie here tomorrow.

After his total failure at number four, in a desperate attempt to make up for a listless top-order in the first two matches, Tendulkar looks all set to partner in-form Saurav Ganguly at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Indian team has resembled a rag-tag outfit and two demoralising defeats have left them under tremendous pressure to beat the formidable hosts to stay alive in the series.

After letting arch-rivals Pakistan recover from a hopeless position to snatch a last ball victory, India were hardly in control of a stiff chase yesterday to meekly go down by 28 runs to Australia at Melbourne.

The Indian skipper has been criticised for his negative approach which critics believe influenced the team’s 0-3 Test series whitewash by huge margins and has led to defeats in the limited overs tournament also.

Pakistan sit pretty having won both their opening ties while Australia have won one. India will have to regain the psychological edge they had squandered by Tendulkar dropping down the order, and the shielding of regular number three Rahul Dravid, who batted at number five in a bid to regain his form.

Tendulkar fell for 13 and 12 in Brisbane and Melbourne attempting to lift the sagging innings that only gave the rivals a clear upperhand.

While Indian bowlers have been unable to cash in on early breakthroughs, the batsmen have been criticised for their inadequate approach.

Ganguly followed his first match 61 by cracking his 10th one-day hundred but ran himself out like a novice after failing to ground his bat, drawing sharp criticism from team coach Kapil Dev.

Under pressure after allegations that they influenced team selection, both the captain and coach have come under fire for pushing wicketkeeper Samir Dighe, playing only his second one-dayer, at number three last night.

The 30-year-old Dighe wasted 25 balls to make just three runs as India lost initiative chasing a stiff target of 270.

India are likely to play Dravid, who made a confidence boosting 60 yesterday, at number three and could include off-spinner Nikhil Chopra for newcomer Jacob Martin.

While India have looked too predictable, both Australia, with their brilliant fielding making a huge difference, and the mentally strong Pakistan have reaped rich dividends for their positive approach.

Australia are likely to play leg spinner Stuart MacGill, who has been included in the place of an injured Shane Warne, though the traditionally spinner-friendly SCG track helped the fast bowlers during the third Test against India.

Australian skipper Steve Waugh feels that the Indian batsmen by and large have been too bothered with the bounce of the Australian pitches on this tour, barring Tendulkar who made a superb 116 at the Melbourne Test and Laxman who came good in the third Test cracking 167.

India (from) Sachin Tendulkar (capt), Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Robin Singh, Jacob Martin, Nikhil Chopra, Samir Dighe, Ajit Agarkar, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Venkatesh Prasad, Debasish Mohanty.

Australia (from) Steve Waugh (capt), Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Damien Martyn, Damien Fleming, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath, Shane Lee, Adam Dale.

Hours of play (IST): 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.; 1.15 p.m. to 4.45 p.m.
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Tendulkar flays itinerary

SYDNEY, Jan 13 (PTI) — Already under tremendous pressure to end his team’s losing streak, Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar has hit out at the crowded schedule drawn up for the ongoing triangular one-day cricket series tournament.

"We have had little break in recent days," said an exasperated Tendulkar on arriving at Sydney this afternoon for India’s third tie to be played tomorrow.

"It is not only matches, but travelling which is taking its toll," he said.

India’s first three matches have been scheduled in the space of five days and they have travelled long distances, from Brisbane to Melbourne and to Sydney which has left the dejected players a totally fatigued lot.

India have a similar schedule at the end of the league phase of the tournament. Their last four games are bunched together in the space of six days and the travel also involves flying across the continent from Adelaide — where they play on January 25 and 26 — to Perth (on January 28 and 30) which is a good four-hour flight.

Visiting teams in India have always complained about the tiring itinerary and this time also the Indian cricket board (BCCI) seems to have messed it up by agreeing to the schedule drawn up by their Australian counterparts.

"The going has been tough not only for me, but for all the boys," Tendulkar said adding "one doesn’t mind if there are back-to-back matches at one venue but here there is travelling — it is not as if we are relaxing in our hotel rooms".

The Indians have been unhappy with the scheduling from the start. The last first class game before the back-to-back Test at Melbourne and Sydney was played on a featherbed of a wicket in Hobart, Tasmania while the Tests were held on bouncy tracks.

There have also been large stretches with little activity as it was between December 21 and 25 last year.

Even in this triseries, India play no matches between January 14 and 21, but play the last four in six days.
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Gagan Ajit fashions win over Canada

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (PTI) — Young forward Gagan Ajit Singh slammed a fine hattrick as India defeated a fighting Canada 3-2 in their one-off men’s hockey Test match at Barcelona.

The Indians also gained a 1-0 lead in their three-match series against Belgium, beating their European rivals 2-0 in the first encounter on January 9 before being held 1-1 in the second Test held yesterday.

Gagan Ajit, fast emerging as the key striker as India prepare for the Sydney Olympics later this year, stole the show as India overcame Canada after staving off a spirited fightback from the Pan American champions in the second half.

India, who beat Canada 1-0 in finishing third in the four-nation event held in Barcelona last week, took a 2-0 first half lead as Gagan Ajit gave the finishing touches to fine field moves with mercurial forward Dhanraj Pillay providing the final passes.

India took the lead after halfback Mohd Riaz did the spadework and passed to Pillay who laid on the ball for his strike partner. Pillay then relayed a Thirumalvalavan pass for Gagan Ajit to find his second goal.

Canada retorted with two penalty corner goals from Bird and Jagdev Singh to make it 1-2 first and then 2-3 but India held on for the win. In between Gagan Ajit enhanced the leeway with another field conversion, chief coach Vasudevan Baskaran told PTI from Barcelona when contacted over phone.

India, who began their four Test series with the match against Belgium, proved superior to their rivals as Gagan Ajit once again figured among scorers.

Emerging defender Anuraj Raghuvanshi provided the lead with a penalty corner conversion as India led 1-0 at halftime before Gagan Ajit consolidated the scoreline on change of ends.

But India faced stiff fight in the second Test against Belgium played yesterday. Anurag Raghuvanshi gave the lead only for their rivals to find the equaliser off a melee late in the match.
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South Africa tour itinerary

MUMBAI, Jan 13 (UNI) — South Africa will play their first one-day international against India on March 9 at Cochin, instead of Baroda, according to the final itinerary released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today.

In a fax from the BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele’s office, it was stated that the two Test matches will be played as scheduled from February 24 to 28 in Mumbai and March 2 to 6 in Bangalore.

The South African team will arrive in Mumbai on February 16 and will begin their tour with a three-day warm up game against the Board President’s XI at the Brabourne Stadium from February 19 to 21.

The other four one-day internationals will be played at Jamshedpur on March 12, Faridabad on March 15, Baroda on March 17 and Nagpur on March 19.

Following is the full itinerary:

February 16: South African team arrival in Mumbai.

February 19 to 21: Three-day match against Board President’s XI at CCI, Mumbai.

February 24-28: First Test at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

March 2 to 6: Second Test match at Bangalore.

March 9: First one-day international at Cochin.

March 12: Second one-day international at Jamshedpur.

March 15: Third one-day international at Faridabad.

March 17: Fourth one-day international at Baroda.

March 19: Fifth one-day international at Nagpur.

March 20: Departure to Sharjah from Mumbai.
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Donald not to tour India

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Jan 13 (Reuters) — South African fast bowler Allan Donald is expected to make an announcement on his international future following the fifth Test against England which begins in Centurion today.

The 33-year-old, south Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test history, is torn between the calls of county and country.

Donald has been offered a lucrative one-year contract by his former English county Warwickshire where he would link up once more with ex-South African coach Bob Woolmer.

But cricket authorities in the republic are eager for Donald to be available for a series of one-day internationals against world champions Australia scheduled to take place in April and August. Warwickshire are not prepared to release the player for the matches.

Donald has already said he will not be going on South Africa’s two Test tour of India at the end of next month even though he may be within touching distance of the landmark of 300 test wickets. He currently has 290.

“The 300 landmark is very important to me — it would be more than just nice, a real achievement, the 14th member of a great club,” he told Reuters. “There’s no doubt that anyone who takes 300 Test wickets is up there amongst the best.
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Salgaocar hold East Bengal

CALCUTTA, Jan 13 (PTI) — East Bengal’s title hopes received a further jolt as they were held to a goal less draw by defending champions Salgaocar while new force Tollygunge Agragami and Dempo also played out a barren draw in the fourth National Football League here today.

East Bengal, desperately needing a victory to stay afloat in the high-profile league, squandered the home advantage as they failed to break the goal-less deadlock much to the disappointment of their supporters at the Salt Lake Stadium.

In another insipid encounter, Tollygunge Agragami maintained their dominance for most part of the contest but failed to pierce the packed defence of their Goan rivals at the near-empty Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.

Weighed down by their indifferent performance in their last few matches, East Bengal could not raise their game against their strong rivals who have now climbed to the top of the points table along with Churchill Brothers.

Holders Salgaocar have logged 15 points from seven ties while East Bengal jeopardised their position further having managed just nine points from as many matches.

Tollygunge Agragami, who began the league with a flourish with a string of victories, have 11 points to their credit from seven matches while Dempo have just four points from as many outings.

East Bengal were a pale shadow of themselves and never really looked like penetrating the solid Salgaocar defence.

With a number of key players unable to take the field due to injury, the local giants failed to make much of an impact against their opponents who have been quite consistent in their performance so far.

Spurred on by a vociferous home crowd, East Bengal began with a flourish with a flurry of raids from both the flanks but could not sustain the tempo after some time, allowing their rivals to launch speedy counter-attacks.

The home team got an opportunity to forge ahead in the tenth minute of the contest but medio Ranjan Dey failed to control the ball inside the box after breaking through the defence with only the custodian Juje Siddi at his mercy.

East Bengal saw another chance go abegging late in the opening session when the hard-working Sanatan Singh was dispossessed close to the goalmouth much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

With the score locked goal-less at the interval, the home team made a valiant effort to fetch the match winner by accelerating the pace of the game but the Salgaocar defenders were equal to the task.

Salgaocar, who have neither lost a match nor conceded a single goal in the league so far, made a few forays into East Bengal territory but could not create an opportunity to test custodian Gopal Das.

Salgaocar badly missed the services of their main striker Bruno Coutinho as their Brazilian striker Joao Dos Santos could not produce the expected Samba magic.

East Bengal could not put their opponents under pressure as they played too many square passes in the opening session, delaying the moves in the process.

The other encounter of the day was mostly confined to midfield in the first session, and though Tollygunge upped the ante in the later stages, their forwards were vastly outnumbered once inside the rival box, with the Goans at times employing six men in the defence.

Tollygunge missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the dying minutes of the first half, when their skipper Chandan Das fed an unmarked Srikanta Dutta near the box. With ample time at his disposal, Dutta had only to beat rival custodian Vikrant Sharma, but he dithered and Sharma rushed to his feet and collected the ball.

A little earlier, Tollygunge had another chance, as Das, who had a good day, essayed a cross which was headed down by Nigerian Abdul Latif Seriki, but Abayomi Felix failed to unleash a timely punch and the ball was cleared by a defender.

Dempo, who played with short passes, failed to create a single positive chance in the match.

The city team came close to scoring towards the close, but Seriki’s header went straight to goalkeeper Sharma.
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Uncertainty dogs Tyson’s Jan 29 fight

LONDON, Jan 13 (AP) — Promoter Frank Warren says Mike Tyson’s January 29 fight against Julius Francis in Manchester, is still on.

But the former world champion may not learn if he can enter the country because of a 1992 rape conviction until he gets off the Concorde on Sunday at Heathrow Airport and walks to the immigration desk.

The Tyson debate erupted on Tuesday when several lawmakers asked he be barred from Britain. Yesterday, the issue reached Prime Minister Tony Blair in Parliament with supporters and opponents weighing in.

Under British law, anyone convicted of a crime that would carry a 12-month jail sentence in Britain is deemed unfit to enter the country unless they can show “compassionate reasons.” American citizens do not need a visa to enter Britain.

Warren said the 21,000 sellout was “absolutely” going ahead with Tyson arriving on Sunday. Warren said he’ll lose about 600,000 (approx Rs 4.32 crore) if the bout is called off.

“There is no insurance for this. We are absolutely in trouble,” he said.

“We announced this fight back in early December. It seems to me people are jumping on a bandwagon here and trying to cause problems two weeks before the fight.

“Nearly every hotel in Manchester is booked. Over 20,000 people have bought tickets. ...All this should have been taken into consideration. ...it’s been handled very, very badly.

British Immigration Service officials faxed Warren a letter on Tuesday asking for “compassionate reasons” why Tyson should be allowed to enter.

Officials said Tyson could apply for admission at a British embassy or consulate, but said in practice he would only learn his fate when he faces an immigration officer at Heathrow.

Asked what comprised “compassionate reasons,” the spokesman replied: “It’s not really defined and each case is dealt with individually on its merits.

“The ball is in his (Tyson’s) court,” he added.

A cartoon in the London Evening Standard shows Tyson walking up the immigration desk with one official saying to the other: “No, you tell him.”

Warren pointed out that other convicted felons like Don King have been allowed to enter. Frank Maloney, who manages Francis and world champion Lennox Lewis, was furious that his payday — and a once-in-a-lifetime payday for journeyman Francis — was being threatened.

Former Oscar winning actress Glenda Jackson, a member of Parliament and a London mayoral candidate, has been among several lawmakers speaking out against Tyson.

The debate reached the floor of Parliament yesterday with Prime Minister Blair smiling as a member of Parliament rose to say the well-muscled, tattooed Tyson was being used as a “political whipping boy” by some British politicians.

“I think anyone would be ill advised to use him as a whipping boy,” Blair quipped. “This is being dealt with by the immigration service. They have to deal with it according to their rules in the normal way.”

Tom Pendry, both a member of Parliament and the British Boxing Board of Control, urged “compassion” for Francis and the promoters — but not for Tyson.

“I do feel so sad for the boxer who is going to lose out on his one big chance in life,” Pendry said. “There’s no compassionate cause for Tyson ...But a lot of compassion for the promoter and the boxer himself who is fighting Tyson ...and the people of Manchester.

Meanwhile, German officials sounded out the possibility of moving Tyson’s European debut to that country with others suggesting it was too late to make the change.
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Maradona must ‘stay off drugs’

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 13 (Reuters) — Argentine doctors blamed a mixture of cocaine and alcohol for the massive damage to Diego Maradona’s heart, but said the soccer star could play sports again one day — if he stays off the drugs and drink.

“This is an example for young people of what happens to them when they take cocaine and think it’s so fantastic,” said the 39-year-old footballer’s cardiologist, Carlos Alvarez. “This is the result.”

The specialist said that when Maradona was taken ill at a swank Uruguayan beach resort last week, drugs and drink had left only 38 per cent of his heart tissue in working order. But medication has now helped it recover more than 90 per cent.

“We’re going to forbid him alcohol and cocaine. If he stays off that sort of drugs, his heart will recover,” said Dr Alvarez. “This is not an illness to be taken lightly because it damaged an organ which is the most important in the human body.”

Maradona, one of the all-time soccer greats, was taken ill in Punta Del Este and rushed to hospital, where doctors said he was suffering from hypertension and an irregular heartbeat.

Local police later said the overweight athlete, a confessed cocaine addict, had traces of the drug in his blood and urine. His manager Guillermo Coppola, and a publicist who hosted a party they attended, are being investigated for supplying him.

Dr Alvarez told reporters in Buenos Aires, where Maradona was brought this weekend, that his heart could recover 98 per cent — if he cleans up his act.

“Within the severity of the condition, our prognosis could be encouraging if he gives up the habit totally,” said the doctor.

“If the heart muscle recovers completely, Maradona will able to take part in sports again.”
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West Indies crush England

COLOMBO, Jan 13 (PTI) — West Indies crushed holders England while hosts Sri Lanka and Australia also kept their title hopes alive scoring their second successive victories in the preliminary league matches in the under-19 World Cup Cricket Tournament here today.

While Sri Lanka scored an easy 7-wicket win over lowly Namibia, Australia also did not have to sweat much in beating minnows Ireland by 63 runs.

In another match today, Zimbabwe, who lost to West Indies on the opening day, opened their account by downing Americans by eight wickets.

In the best match of the day at Sinhalese Sports Club ground here, batting first West Indies were bundled out for 196 in 48.3 overs despite a valiant 69 by Ryan Hinds and 44 runs from N. Deonarine. Murtagh claimed the bowling honours for England with four wickets for 26 runs.

But the Caribbean colts, in total contrast to their seniors, came roaring back to skittle out England for a paltry 98 in 36 overs with J. Lawson and Sukhlal claiming two wickets each for 23 and 11 runs respectively.

This was England’s first defeat.

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Panjab University, PAU move up
From Our Sports Reporter

LUDHIANA, Jan 13 — Hosts Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, scraped past west zone runners-up Barkatullah University, Bhopal, 2-0 and north zone losing finalists. Panjab University, Chandigarh, defeated University of Kerala 3-1 to register their second straight win in the All-India Inter-Varsity (inter-zone) Hockey Tournament for met at PAU here today.

In a pool ‘C’ match, Kerala’s forward Praveen put his team one up in the 12th minute. Stung by this reverse, Panjab varsity boys went all out for the kill and got the equaliser six minutes later through a penalty corner conversion by Manmohan Singh. In the 20th minute, Gurpreet Singh of Panjab University weaved a good move with Navdeep who dribbled past Kerala’s defenders, gave the ball back to Gurpreet who neatly placed the ball into the net (2-1). Gurpreet struck again with the game two minutes into the second session. PU forced 11 penalty corners in the second half but were unable to score.

In a pool ‘B’ match, forward Yadwinder Singh excelled with a brace as the hosts, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, beat B.U. Bhopal 2-0.

PAU boys, holding a clear edge right through the 70-minute contest went into the lead five minutes before the interval. Trailing by one goal, Bhopal boys exerted pressure in the second session and tried valiantly to score the equaliser but their forwards fumbled near the danger zone. They saved their skin till the 52nd minute when Yadwinder sounded the board to increase the lead 2-0.

Kuruksheta University in a pool ‘D’ match scored a stunning 6-2 victory over west zone winners, Jiwaji University, Gwalior. The KU boys, who lost their opening match to MGKV University, Varanasi, yesterday gave a polished display today. MGKV surged ahead in the third minute through a penalty corner conversion by Nafeesh . Kurukshetra varsity restored parity in the 11th minute through Rashpal Singh. Three minutes later, Paramdeep Singh made it 2-1 in favour of Kurukshetra.

After changing ends, Kurukshetra University boys scored goals (36th minute-Prabhdeep Singh, 57th minute-Jarnail Singh, 68th minute-Prabhdeep Singh and 69th minute-Parveen Arya) while Varanasi reduced the margin in the 59th minute through Nisar (6-2).

In pool ‘C’, Jodhpur University suffered another setback losing tamely 1-11 to east zone winners Sambalpur University. Yesterday, Jodhpur University lost to University of Kerala 0-2. In another pool ‘D’ match south zone runners-up, Bangalore University began their campaign on a rousing note with an emphatic 5-2 win over Jawaji University, Gwalior. All the goals were scored in the second half.
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Chowrasia shoots into lead
From Our Sports Reporter

NOIDA, Jan 13 — S.S.P. Chowrasia peaked early on to occupy the top spot with a two-under 70 at the ONGC-NGC Open Golf Championship played at the par-72,6,915-yard Noida Golf Course here today.

Two strokes behind at joint second spot were Jyoti Randhawa and Dinesh Kuar at level-par 70.

Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia had a great start with a birdie on the Ist, where a driver, 3-Wood combination saw him chip-in from 25 feet. A bogey on the 6th, preceded a birdie on the 8th as the Calcutta based pro finished his front-nine at one-under. On the par-3 10th, Chowrasia’s 6-Iron shot hit the flag and rebounded off the green. Duffing his chip, the ‘99 joint Indian Open runner-up dropped a shot on the hole. Regaining his composure admirably thereafter, the small built golfer sank a fine 20 footer for birdie on the 14th, following it up with birdie on the 15th, to finish the day at two-under 70. “My putting and driving are not up to the mark, but if I play the way I did today, I will win” said a smiling Chowrasia.

Jyoti Randhawa, who teed off from the 10th tee, had a shock early on, with his visit to the water hazard on the 11th, contributing substantially to his carding a triple bogey on the hole. Birdies on the 15th and 17th sandwiched a bogey on the 16th, positioned the Gurgaon based pro at a front-nine score of two-over. Despite bogeying the 3rd, after three-putting from 8 feet the two-time Hero Honda Masters champion holed a 15 footer for birdie on the 5th, following it up with back-to-back birdies on the 7th and 8th, to settle at level-par 72 for the day. “I am playing patchy golf. Either very good or very bad” said Dinesh Kumar, the Delhi-based pro, birdied the 11th and 14th holes on his outward journey to sit pretty at two under at the lemon break. However a semi-disastrous return journey, where a birdie on the 3th, stood like a fish out of water amid bogeys on the 2nd 3rd, placed him at level par 72 for the day. “I had a good chance to take lead, but that was not to be” said a dejected Dinesh. Defending champion Vijay Kumar turned in a poor show, carding five-over 77. Feroz Ali was placed at joint 12th with Gaurav Ghei, each card three-over 75.

India’s No 1 ranked amateur Ashok Kumar brought in a level-par 72 card to take lead among the amateurs.

Scores: 70 Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia, 72 Jyoti Randhawa, Dinesh Kumar; 73 Ali Sher.
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Ronaldo eager to play in England

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 13 (AFP)—Brazil striker Ronaldo has told Manchester United boss Sir Alek Ferguson he would like to play for an English club, according to local press reports.

Ronaldo had a private meal in Rio de Janeiro with Sir Alek and reportedly claimed that he was attracted to the attacking style of football played in England and was hoping to negotiate a move to the country in the future, local media said yesterday.

Ronaldo is currently honouring a four-year deal with crack Italian outfit Inter Milan but reportedly told Ferguson that he was studying English to prepare for the future.
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Agassi enters final

MELBOURNE, Jan 13 (Reuters) — Andre Agassi set up the prospect of a pre-Australian Open clash with great rival Pete Sampras when he beat Swede Thomas Enqvist in three sets to advance to the final of a Melbourne warm-up event today.

Agassi, who ended last year as the world’s number one ranked player, will face the winner of a duel between Sampras and local big-hitter Mark Philippoussis in Saturday’s final at the Colonial Classic Exhibition Tournament at Kooyong.

Sampras and Philippoussis are scheduled to meet tomorrow in the second semifinal of the eight-man event.

“It was a great opportunity for me to take a step forward today in my preparation,’’ Agassi said.
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Bihar in q-finals; Punjab win

JABALPUR, Jan 13 (PTI) — Bihar today entered the quarter-finals of the 15th Women’s National Hockey Tournament here by trouncing Bhopal 9-0 in a pool b match.

The other team to reach the last stage today were Orissa who were lucky to get a walk-over in a pool A fixture from Rajasthan whose team failed to arrive here.

The highlight of today’s matches was a hat-trick by Amandeep Kaur of Punjab in her team’s 8-2 win over Mahakoshal in pool E.

The other scorers for Punjab were Harmanpreet Kaur, Armaan Kaur, Sarbjeet Kaur and Kanwaljeet all of whom contributed a goal each.

In other matches, Air-India defeated Kerala 5-0 (ht 2-0) in pool F and Himachal Pradesh held Delhi to a goal-less draw in a pool G encounter.
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Baboor, Montu Ghosh skippers

LUCKNOW, Jan 13 (UNI)—Chetan Baboor will lead the men’s team and Montu Ghosh women’s team in the forthcoming Commonwealth and World Table Tennis Championships to be held at Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, respectively.

Announcing the team for the championships, Mr M.C. Chauhan, secretary, Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), said that besides Baboor, other players are S. Raman, Aroop Basak, Arjuna Dutta and Somyadeep Roy for Commonwealth Games while Shivaji Dutta will replace Arjuna Dutta for world championship.

Commonwealth championship is slated to be held from February 11 to 17 at Singapore while world championship will be held at Kuala Lumpur from February 19 to 26.

For women’s team, Montu Ghosh has been selected as captain, who will be assisted by Poulomi Ghatak, N.R. Indu, Mouma Das and Anandita Chakraborty.
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Jain upsets Tarish
From Our Sports Reporter

JALANDHAR, Jan 13 — The fourth day of the C.R. Arora Memorial Punjab State Snooker Championship currently underway at the local Lilly Resorts proved to be a day of upsets in the junior version.

Unseeded Pankaj Jain of Patiala defeated top seed Tarish in a close encounter. In a well-fought contest Pankaj kept his nerves and won the game by 3-2, and entered the semifinal league of the championship. The semifinalists are Rajan Sehgal of Jalandhar who defeated the third seed Gaurav Mahindru of Ludhiana by 3-0, fourth seed Nitin Gupta of Ludhiana who beat Bunny Johal of Jalandhar and second seed Dhuruv Verma of Ludhiana who defeated Rajan Sehgal of Jalandhar.

Pankaj Jain pulled off a surprise victory over top seed Tarish whom he defeated in five frames out of which he lost two frames. In the first frame Pankaj got his rhythm right in the middle of the game. On the other hand Tarish was totally out of form today. In the first frame Pankaj earned 46 points against Tarish’s 35. Pankaj lost the second frame 35-45. In the third game the score was 58-28 in favour of Pankaj Jain. In the fourth game Tarish beat Pankaj 61-31. In the fifth and final game Pankaj beat Tarish 58-39, and entered the semifinals.

Results: Junior group — Rajan Sehgal b Gaurav Mahindru 3-0 (70-32, 65-26, 54-31), Nitin Gupta b Bunny Johal 3-1 (45-58, 64-40, 49-62, 53-39, Dhuruv Verma b Rajan Sehgal 3-1 (27-77, 64-38, 44-55, 36-59).
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Hockey trials

JALANDHAR, Jan 13 (FOSR) — Trials to select the subjunior Punjab state hockey team will be conducted at the Burlton Park stadium on January 17 at 12 noon for the 9th Subjunior National Hockey Championship, according to Mr Kuldip Singh, joint secretary of the Punjab Hockey Association.

Players born on or after January 1, 1984, are eligible to take part in the trials. Interested players may report with their date of birth certificates at the venue.

CHANDIGARH, Jan 13 (BOSR) — The Haryana Hockey Association will hold trials to select the state subjunior team on January 16 at 11 a.m. at CRZ School, Sonepat, according to Mr M.S. Malik, president of the association.

The selected team will take part in the Subjunior National Hockey Championship to be held at Hyderabad at the end of this month. The eligible players may report to Mr B.S. Nandal secretary of the association. Meanwhile, Mr K.S. Chauhan has been nominated as vice-president of the association.

Inter-district badminton

SANGRUR, Jan 13 (FOSR) — Punjab state junior inter-district badminton championships for boys and girls will be held at Sangrur on January 19 and 20, according to Anirudh Tewari, president, District Badminton Association.
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