Wednesday, November 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S
XXXI National Games, Punjab-2001

Services new hockey champs
Jalandhar, November 27
Services picked up gold in the men’s hockey in the 31st National Games, defeating Karnataka by a solitary goal scored in the first half at the Surjit Hockey Stadium here today. Earlier, Punjab, the gold medallists of the last Games, took the bronze medal. They defeated West Bengal 3-0.
Karnataka and Services players in action
Karnataka and Services players in action in the hockey final in the National Games at Jalandhar on Tuesday. Services beat Karnataka 1-0 to become the new champions. 
— Photo  Pandit

Punjab players who won the hockey bronze
Punjab players who won the hockey bronze in the National Games at Jalandhar on Tuesday. — Tribune photo



MEDAL TALLY


Cricket

India end tour with humiliating defeat


EARLIER STORIES

  GAMES DIARY
National Games too big, too unwieldy?
H
ave the National Games become too big and too unwieldy? Twentyseven disciplines at 21 venues in five different cities for more than 10,000 competitors and nearly 3,000 officials are the mere statistics that just give an idea how big are the 31st National Games. 



Punjab players, who won the basketball title beating Tamil Nadu 85-78 in the National Games in Ludhiana on Tuesday. 
— Tribune photo



The jubilant Haryana team after beating Maharashtra in the hockey final in the National Games at Ludhiana on Tuesday. Haryana won 2-0 to take gold medal. 
— Photo Rajesh Bhambi



Nitin Kirtane of Maharashtra in action against Vasudev Reddy of Andhra Pradesh in the semifinal in the National Games being held at CLTA Stadium, Sector-10, Chandigarh on Tuesday. Kirtane won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. 
— Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma.



The Kerala team participates in the kayak-4 qualifing event in the National Games at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. 
— Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma

Punjab men regain basketball title
Ludhiana, November 27
Punjab kept their cool in the crucial moments to carve out a hard-fought 85-78 victory against Tamil Nadu and regain the men’s basketball crown in the 31st National Games here today.

Punjab men, eves bag kabaddi gold
Patiala, November 27
Punjab kabaddi players had every reason to smile as both the men and women squads annexed titles in the circle style kabaddi competition that concluded here today.

BOXING
Punjab, Haryana eves excel
Patiala, November 27
Punjab eves won three gold and four silver medals in women boxing that concluded at the Polo Grounds late yesterday evening. 

Punjab continue victory march
Ludhiana, November 27
Punjab eves scored their consecutive victory on the second day of the handball event, in a one-sided match drubbing Chandigarh by 28-12, in the 31st National Games here on Tuesday.

Punjab judokas bag two gold
Anandpur Sahib, November 27
Punjab judokas won two gold on the first day of the judo events that started at Guru Gobind Singh Martial Arts Academy here today. 

Haryana eves clinch hockey crown
Ludhiana, November 27
It was a dream come true for the Haryana women’s hockey team, when the final whistle blew at the PAU Hockey Stadium with score board reading 2-0 in its favour.

Gurminder sets two records in w’lifting
Patiala, November 27

Gurminder Singh set two new meet records as Punjab maintained their dominance picking up two of the three gold medals on offer in the weightlifting event.

Maharashtra, Delhi in title clash
Chandigarh, November 27
The day belonged to strong title contenders Maharashtra. Spearheaded by Nitin Kirtane and Ajay Ramasway among men they blanked Andhra Pradesh 2-0 in the team event to set up title clash with Delhi at the CLTA courts here today.

Limba Ram ‘deserves a better deal’
Patiala, November 27
Once hailed as the modern-day Arjuna and a success story of the modern Special Area Games scheme under which talent was spotted from areas specific to the game, Limba Ram is today an example of the fate which awaits sportsmen who let themselves be taken in the protective arms of the government, only to be discarded once their prime is past them. 
Limba Ram tries to go for the bull’s eye in the qualifying rounds of the 70-metre Olympic round event in the National Games at Patiala on Tuesday. — Photo Subash Patialvi

Amardeep Rai shoots skeet gold
Chandigarh, November 27
Amardeep Singh Rai of Chhattisgarh today gave the first gold in shooting to his state in the skeet events finals.

Sandy Lehal returns a four-under
Chandigarh, November 27
A grand four-under card of 68 saw Sandy Lehal of Punjab take the lead on the opening day of the golf events. 





Deep Dasgupta drives the ball while wicketkeeper Mark Boucher looks on the last day of the India-South Africa unofficial Test match at Centurion Pretoria, South Africa, on Tuesday. 



A fan of the Boca Juniors soccer club cries in a Buenos Aires restaurant after watching her team lose to German club Bayern Munich in the World Club Cup played in Tokyo's National Stadium on Tuesday.  Bayern Munich won the cup 1-0 in overtime.
— Reuters photos

India end tour with humiliating defeat
Centurion Park, November 27
India’s controversy-ridden tour of South Africa came to a disastrous end today with the tourists suffering a humiliating innings defeat in the third and final cricket ‘Test’ here. After being bowled out for 232 in their first innings, the Indians were dismissed for 261 in their second essay nine minutes into the second session of the fifth and final day today. 

Kale rescues India ‘A’
Jaipur, November 27

A rescue act by Abhijit Kale (122) and Gagan Khoda (64) helped India ‘A’ declare their innings at 233 for nine after English spinners ran through the batting order on the first day of the three-day cricket match here today.

Himachal rout Services
Una, November 27
Himachal recorded a convincing 9-wicket win over Services on the final day of North-Zone Ranji tie against Services here as the visitors, trailing by 134 runs in the first innings were all out for 179 in the second innings shortly before tea.

Himachal hold on for draw
Chamba, November 27
Fine batting display by Shivinder and Rahul helped Himachal to draw their under 22 cricket match against Delhi on the last day. Himachal starting with their overnight score of 136 for four were all out for just 181, and were forced to follow on as they fell 27 runs short.
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Services new hockey champs

Jalandhar, November 27
Services picked up gold in the men’s hockey in the 31st National Games, defeating Karnataka by a solitary goal scored in the first half at the Surjit Hockey Stadium here today.

The all-important goal for the new national champions came in the 22nd minute of the game when Avtar Singh converted a penalty stroke. Karnataka could only retain the second position which they had managed in the Manipur National Games.

Earlier, Punjab, the gold medallists of the last Games, took the bronze medal. They defeated West Bengal 3-0.

The only real chance that the Services defence provided for Karnataka in the first half was in the 16th minute of play. Sandeep Somesh, after collecting the ball in the left flank, dashed towards the penalty area and after catching the rival goalkeeper Mahadhk off-guard, pushed towards the goal but Paramjit Singh came from behind to bring a fine save.

In the second half, Karnataka played an improved game and attacked the rival defence on a number of occasions. But each time their forwards were halted in their tracks through some fine interceptions by the rival defence and if they succeeded in entering the penalty zone, they muffed-up their chances of scoring the equaliser.

Both Services and Karnataka earned a penalty corner each in the second half but these were wasted due to poor trapping.

As the hooter signaling the end of the game sounded, the Services players and bench as well as the Army personnel present in the stadium raised their hands in joy.

A hockey gold in the National Games has always been considered prestigious and this was evident from the emotions of the Services players and officials, some of whom wept with joy.

Skipper Satbir and coach Avtar Singh called the victory as a joint effort of all the players. The team manager, while praising the performance of all team members singled out goal scorer Avtar, who had an out-standing match.

Earlier in the day, Punjab blanked West Bengal to collect bronze medal. The goal scorers for Punjab were Rajinder (2) and Jagbir (1). PTI
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GAMES DIARY
National Games too big, too unwieldy?
Prabhjot Singh

Have the National Games become too big and too unwieldy? Twentyseven disciplines at 21 venues in five different cities for more than 10,000 competitors and nearly 3,000 officials are the mere statistics that just give an idea how big are the 31st National Games.

There have been a mixed reaction to spreading the Games to five different cities. “Though administratively, it is a tough job to oversee all the events as each venue has some local and unforeseen problems. Otherwise, it was a rewarding experience as we could take the Games to the doorstep of the people. Many of them did not have to travel long distances to watch one event or the other. Had they been organised in one or two cities, the benefit would not have flown to that many people,” remarked Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, co-chairman of the Organising Committee of the National Games.

Mr Dhindsa maintains that there were more problems at the initial stages but once Games started, the problems started diminishing. “Coordinating and controlling such a massive event has been a Herculean task,” he says maintaining that never before the Games had such a large participation.

Since the size of the Games has been becoming bigger and bigger with every edition, many states are finding it difficult to keep their deadlines and hold the Games in time. Since 1987, the frequency of the Games has been changing rapidly. In 14 years, against seven editions, only six have been organised. When conceived in early 20s, these were to be held every two years.

“It is very difficult for any state to provide complete infrastructure for holding all the events in one city. It is rather impossible. It is time for the Indian Olympic Association to restructure the National Games and divided it into two parts,” says Dr Darshan Kumar Tandon, Chief Technical Director of the 31st National Games.

Some others interviewed by The Tribune support Dr Tandon’s viewpoint but differ in the concept of dividing the Games. Some hold the view that there should be winter and Summer Games and others feel that half the events should be conducted at one venue and the second half at another venue at different dates to facilitate organisers for making all arrangements.

Most of the old Indian cities, they feel, are too overcrowded and making provision for new stadia, parking, traffic and other arrangements is a Herculean task. And there are not many modern cities which could be picked as venues for such mega events.

Further, because of diverse geographical and climactic zones, holding of all events becomes nearly impossible. For example, the swimming and water polo events had to be cancelled this time because the NS NIS pool at Patiala had no heating facilities.

Similar problems may be experienced by other states. In certain tropical areas, too much heat may also not allow holding of certain events. As such those supporting the division of Games into two parts feel that this would not allow provision of infrastructure in more cities but also popularise the Games as it would become an annual event. Half the games should be organised in even years and the other half in odd-numbered years.

Further, it is the financial part which may be worrying future hosts of the states. With most of the states running into serious financial crisis, earmarking of substantial budgetary provisions for creation of sports infrastructure may not be without administrative and financial problems.

Though Andhra Pradesh, which plans to host the next edition of the Games in November next year, its chances of meeting the deadline are not certain as it also hopes to get a substantial chunk of financial grants from the Union Government. In the absence of the grants, the Games may be delayed.

Other reason has been the overcrowding of the sports calendar. With the introduction of SAF Games and the proposed Afro-Asian Games, the fitting of the National Games into the international calendar would be another tough thing. Fortunately for Punjab, the SAF Games and inaugural Afro Asian Games were postponed. Had these Games been held as per schedule, the 31st National Games would have been deprived of their glamour, prestige and participation by eminent sportsmen and women of the country. The ball is now in the court of the IOA.
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Punjab men regain basketball title
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 27
Punjab kept their cool in the crucial moments to carve out a hard-fought 85-78 victory against Tamil Nadu and regain the men’s basketball crown in the 31st National Games here today.

Punjab, who had lost to Bihar in the final in the last National Games, maintained their lead right through the contest with all their cagers showing good understanding and shooting ability.

Gagnesh Kumar was the pick of the Punjab players with 33 points while Parminder Singh jr (20), Parminder Singh sr (19) and Gurchanran Singh (8) were the other notable scorers.

For Tamil Nadu, Robinson was the top scorer with 35 while Shabbir Ahmed (8) and Shiv Shankar (10) were the other contributors.

Reigning champions Maharashtra in a well-contested match defeated Tamil Nadu to retain the basketball title in the women’s section.

With four internationals, captain Ivy Cherian, Arnika Gujar, Shanti Saldanha and Lincy Joseph in their ranks, Maharashtra faced a stiff challenge from their spirited opponents till midway through the second quarter (30-30) before gaining the lead.

Ivy Cherian and Manisha Kaprekar with 16 points each, combined well to shatter Tamil Nadu’s defence while Arnika Gujar contributed 14 points. For the losers, M. Meenalatha (24)and Renjini Jose (22) reduced the margin.

Earlier, in the matches to decide the third position, Andhra Pradesh emerged victorious in the men’s as well as in the women’s section. In the men’s section, Jharkhand went down fighting against Andhra Pradesh 63-66 and in the women’s section Andhra Pradesh prevailed over Kerala 59-40.

The match between Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh proved to be a see-saw battle as both the teams were neck-and-neck at 63-63. With just few seconds to go for the long hooter and the score reading 64-63 in favour of Andhra Pradesh, their star performer J.Pankaj , keeping his cool, netted two baskets to seal the fate of their rivals at 66-63.

The encounter to decide the bronze medal in the women’s section between Andhra Pradesh and Kerala turned out to be a dull and drab affair with former enjoying the upper hand through out the match. Top

 

Maharashtra eves retain b’ball title
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 27
Reigning champions Maharashtra in a well-contested match defeated Tamil Nadu to retain the basketball title in the women’s section in the 31st National Games here today.

Maharashtra eves who had become champions in the last edition of the Games at Imphal in 1999 pipping West Bengal in the final, played their hearts out to edge out Tamil Nadu.

With four internationals, captain Ivy Cherian, Arnika Gujar, Shanti Saldanha and Lincy Joseph in their ranks, Maharashtra faced a stiff challenge from their spirited opponents till midway through the second quarter (30-30) before gaining the lead.

Ivy Cherian and Manisha Kaprekar with 16 points each, combined well to shatter Tamil Nadu’s defence while Arnika Gujar contributed 14 points. For the losers, M. Meenalatha (24)and Renjini Jose (22) reduced the margin.

Earlier, in the matches to decide the third position, Andhra Pradesh emerged victorious in the men’s as well as in the women’s section. In the men’s section, Jharkhand went down fighting against Andhra Pradesh 63-66 and in the women’s section Andhra Pradesh prevailed over Kerala 59-40.

The match between Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh proved to be a see-saw battle as both the teams were neck-and-neck at 63-63. With just few seconds to go for the long hooter and the score reading 64-63 in favour of Andhra Pradesh, their star performer J.Pankaj , keeping his cool, netted two baskets to seal the fate of their rivals at 66-63.

J. Pankaj and Vishal Kumar scored 20 and 15 points, respectively, for the winners while for Jharkhand, Des Raj top scored with 18 points followed by their skipper Jaldep Dhaliwal (10) and Mohit Bhandari (15).

The encounter to decide the bronze medal in the women’s section between Andhra Pradesh and Kerala turned out to be a dull and drab affair with former enjoying the upper hand through out the match. Andhra eves established a 17-point lead (32-15) at the end of the second quarter .

Sofi Sam (22) and Sisily M.A. (15) excelled for the winners while the main scorers for Kerala were Liji George, Binu Cherian and Ambili P.K, contributing 9, 8 and 7 points, respectively.
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Punjab men, eves bag kabaddi gold
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, November 27
Punjab kabaddi players had every reason to smile as both the men and women squads annexed titles in the circle style kabaddi competition that concluded here today.

In the men’s section, Punjab managed to ward off a late resurgence by Chandigarh towards the end of the match. Trailing 20-33 at one stage, the hosts staged a tremendous fightback to beat Chandigarh 55-38. Haryana beat Delhi 46-30 to stand third.

On the distaff side, the Punjab eves did not have much to worry after they notched up a comfortable 15-point lead against Haryana and closed the match at 46-30. The third spot was bagged by the Chandigarh eves, who routed Manipur 20-5.

Delhi defeated Haryana 33-31 to annex the title in the mens section of national style event.

The final scoreline in itself reflects the closeness of the match which rose to the level of an intense contest once both the teams were tied 28-28 with just minutes to go before the final whistle.

Today, the team played with purpose and did not allow the Haryana team the upperhand once it got a decisive 30-28 lead. In the women’s section, a fighting Haryana went down to Maharashtra 35-37.

This encounter too had all the ingredients of a close match and the Maharashtra eves came back from behind at least on three occasions before finally winning with a narrow 2 point margin. In the men’s section, Services downed a beleaguered Rajasthan 44-17 to clinch the third spot.Top

 

Tension marks eves’ kabaddi final
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, November 27
Rough tackling by the Haryana circle kabaddi team in National Games today threatened to wash out the final game between Punjab and Haryana with the latter team threatening to withdraw from the competition in case the demand of Punjab and the Chandigarh team to expel one of its stoppers was accepted.

There was heightened tension in the Yadvindra Public School Stadium here today with both the Punjab and Chandigarh teams submitting written protests demanding expulsion of Haryana team stopper Geeta. The Haryana team Chef-de-Mission, however, threatened that his team would not participate in the final if Geeta was not allowed to play. Though the Haryana team was able to prevail on the issue, Geeta was severely warned before the start of play. Haryana will trounced 30-40 in the final which was played without any dangerous tackles which had been a rule in the past.

The dangerous play resorted to by the Haryana team saw two girls being seriously injured, one of whom has been paralysed from waist down. A dangerous tackle by Geeta had resulted in Jaspreet Kaur, of Punjab incurring a serious spinal injury.

Geeta also injured Jaskaran Laddi , of Chandigarh, who is in hospital. Her condition is reported to be stable. Besides this other players have also suffered minor injuries due to dangerous play by the Haryana girls. Punjab girls had alleged yesterday that the Haryana girls had threatened to cause physical damage to their star stopper . A protest had also been lodged with the Haryana team in this regard.

Meanwhile, experts feel that dangerous tackling techniques like Scissoring should be banned in circle kabbadi which is famous in Punjab and north India and has been included in the National Games for the first time. Top

 

Delhi, Maharashtra win kabaddi titles
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, November 27
The finale could not have been more exciting for Delhi and more excruciating for Haryana as the former prevailed over the later 33-31 to annex the title in the mens section of Kabaddi event (national style) that concluded at the YPS stadium here today.

The final scoreline in itself reflects the closeness of the match which rose to the level of an intense contest once both the teams were tied 28-28 with just minutes to go before the final whistle.

However, the Delhi teams play today was a revelation as in its earlier matches it played well only in patches and in fact Delhi went into the final as the underdogs.

Today, the team played with purpose and did not allow the Haryana team the upperhand once it got a decisive 30-28 lead. Amidts mounting excitement, Delhi closed the match at 33-31.

As if to rub more salt into its wounds, in the women’s section, a fighting Haryana went down to Maharashtra 35-37.

This encounter too had all the ingredients of a close match and the Maharashtra eves came back from behind at least on three occasions before finally winning with a narrow 2 point margin.

In the men’s section, Services downed a beleaguered Rajasthan 44-17 to clinch the third spot while on the distaff side Karanataka just about managed to pip to the post Manipur 17-15 to stand third.Top

 

BOXING
Punjab, Haryana eves excel
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, November 27
Punjab eves won three gold and four silver medals in women boxing that concluded at the Polo Grounds late yesterday evening.

Narinder Kaur, Karamjit Kaur and Rupinder Kaur won gold medals in the heavyweight, light middleweight and middleweight weight categories respectively.

Gurpreet Kaur, Rupinder Kaur, Monica and Prempreet Kaur won silver medals in the respective weight categories.

Haryana boxer Meena lifted gold in flyweight, while Preeti Beniwal (feather), Sharmila Yadav (bentam), Alpna Dahiya (light welter) and Kavita (light weight) the bronze.
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Fancied Harjeet falls to Rajbir
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, November 27
The form book finally went for a tumble as the hosts had the ignominy of watching Harjeet Singh, one of their finest bets in the middle weight category, going down to unheralded Rajbir Singh of Delhi in a near dramatic manner of the boxing event of the National Games held at Polo grounds here today. International Harjeet Singh, a sure medal contender and the crowd favourite, would rue for some time to come as he had his chances, before he blew them away in the last round.

In a tactical fight, the Punjab pugilist used his superior height and reach and picked his moments to attack. He kept on striking with his long range punches to his opponents head and then backed swiftly to keep his rival at a distance. For the first three rounds, Harjeet had his rival moving back to the ropes and on one occasion he also felled him with a withering left-right combination.

However, Rajbir recovered quickly and was on his feet before the referee finished his count. However, inexplicably, after dominating the exchanges for the larger part, Harjeet developed some stiffness in his body that led to his being sluggish and erratic throughout the fourth round. And this was the decisive moment the rejuvenated and reinvigorated Delhi pugilist was looking for, as he found a perfect opening to drive in a wedge when he finally felled a tired looking Harjeet with a power-packed left hook from where the Punjab star never recovered. Indeed, Harjeet floundered after a dream start and a hush fell over the hosts camp when the referee declared Rajbir the winner.

The only silver lining for the hosts was that four of their star boxers - Harpal, Hemant Kumar, Harpreet Singh and Balkar - booked semi final slots in their respective weight categories. Highly-fancied Harpal found himself in a somewhat embarrassing situation as he made the last four grade in the super heavyweight category without even having to throw a single punch. None of his opponents, fearing his awesome reputation, are stepping into the ring and today was no different when his rival S.K Jaimul Alam of West Bengal, all keyed up before the bout, cried off just in the nick of the team, to give a walk over to Harpal.

With today’s bouts the decks have been cleared for the semifinal stage and three more Services boxer, in addition to the five who qualified yesterday, have made the grade.

Results: (all q-finals): welterweight: A.Dullar Singh (SSCB) b S.K. Saiful Rahman (WB) RSC; Hemant Kumar (Pun) b Surinder Singh (Asm) 5-0; middleweight: Hardeep (SSCB) b Ravinder Kumar (Har), RSC; Lt heavyweight: J.Gaikwad (Mah) b Sumeet Kulve (Utr) 20-9; Raj Kumar (Man) b Vivek Kumar (Har) 19-12; superheavyweight: Dharamvir (Jha) b Vikram (Del) 20-16.
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Punjab continue victory march
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, November 27
Punjab eves scored their consecutive victory on the second day of the handball event, in a one-sided match drubbing Chandigarh by 28-12, in the 31st National Games here on Tuesday. The hosts dominated their opponents through out the match. At the lemon break Punjab led 14-5.

International Gurpreet Kaur demonstrated her power, strength and skill again by scoring maximum 12 goals while Sharnjit Kaur scored four. Harvinder Kaur and Baljit Kaur contributed three goals each while Karmjit, Harpreet and Harjit scored two goals each.

Defending champions, in the women’s section, Kerala thrashed Delhi 20-17 in another one-sided affair. The holders led 14-9 at half time. Usha Nandini netted nine goals for the champions while Sheeba scored five goals, Mini M.R and Sri Pria made three successful attempts each for the winners.

Manipur eves routed Haryana 23-9. The winners dominated the proceeding right from the beginning. In the first half Manipur maintained the lead by 11-5. Sandhya remained the top scorer by contributing eight goals for the winners while Surbala scored six where as Boby and Apabi increased the tally by three goals each.

Chhattisgarh eves trounced Maharashtra. In the men’s section Jammu and Kashmir outclassed Uttar Pardesh 21-17. While holders Services pipped Maharashtra by 25-13.

In a nail-biting match, Madya Pradesh beat Karnataka 20-17.Top

 

Punjab judokas bag two gold
Lalit Mohan

Anandpur Sahib, November 27
Punjab judokas won two gold on the first day of the judo events that started at Guru Gobind Singh Martial Arts Academy here today. The first gold for Punjab was won by Brij Lal from the Punjab Armed Police (PAP), who defeated Narinder Singh of Haryana in the 90kg category. In this category, Pradeep Kumar of Delhi and Brahan Pal Yadav of Uttar Pradesh won the bronze medal.

The second gold for Punjab was won by Jagjit Kaur in the 70kg category when she defeated Maya Rani of Uttar Pradesh. Seema Chohan of Haryana and Rina Sah of Chhattishgarh won the bronze in this category.

In the last event of the day below 78 kg section, Aarti Sharma took silver medal for the hoste. Tomorrow, competitions in the below 81 kg and 73 kg for men and below 44 kg and 63 kg category for women will be held.

The results of the other competition held today are: 100kg (men): Jatinder (Haryana) 1, Sobhnath Yadav (UP) 2, Davinder Ramawath (MP), Davinder Yadav (Punjab) 3; 78kg (women): O. Riza Channo (Manipur) 1, Arti Sharma (Punjab) 2 Seema Gill (Haryana) Kuljeet Kaur (J&K) 3.
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Haryana eves clinch hockey crown
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
It was a dream come true for the Haryana women’s hockey team, when the final whistle blew at the PAU Hockey Stadium with score board reading 2-0 in its favour. And it was a well deserved victory for the Haryana team with some exceptional performance by the team captain Pritam Siwatch, who had returned after 18 month break from the game owing to her delivery 11 months ago, Kamla Dalal and Surinder Kaur. Haryana had lost to Maharashtra in Manipur 1-0. In another match Punjab beat Chandigarh 4-2 to claim the bronze medal.

A spirited Haryana team backed by a strong capacity crowd support were playing a confident Maharashtra, who had not lost any match in the tournament and conceded not many goals either. However, the Haryana girls went on with an attacking game right from the beginning, which was supported by good coordination between the forward and the defending line. And here, the Maharashtra team lagged behind. For the first time in the entire tournament, Maharashtra girls felt under tremendous pressure right from the beginning.

The star attractions Mamta Kharab, Shangai Chanu and Suraj Lata were completely restricted today by the Haryana girls, who seemed to have concentrated their defence on these three. And they succeeded in their plan, containing them and not letting them much freedom, they enjoyed in earlier matches.

The attacking game played by Haryana started paying good dividends in the sixth minute, when Suman Bala converted a penalty corner into a goal on an accurate push from Gurpreet. This raised the morale of the Haryana girls who further strengthened their assault on a defensive Maharashtra.

For some time Haryana had to play with 10 players only as Surinder Kaur was shown yellow card by the umpire Asrita Lakra. While Haryana girls consistently maintained their dominance over the game amidst generous applause from the crowd, Maharashtra girls tried to make some desperate and aborted moves to take the ball into the Haryana half. They could not break the strong cordon. Again in the 27th minute, captain Pritam Siwatch converted a penalty corner into a goal giving her team an enviable lead of 2-0. At half time Haryana were leading 2-0.

In the second half, Maharashtra tried some beautiful but unsuccessful moves. However, luck did not favour them as none of the moves could lead to a goal. In the 55th minute Shangai Chanu made a brilliant attempt but could not score a goal as ball missed the post. Although both Shangai and Mamta tried their desperate best to come back into the game, they were not allowed to, by now confident Haryana.

For Haryana Kamla Dalal, Pritam Siwatch and Surinder Kaur played some best hockey. More than once Kamla took the ball into the Maharashtra half single handed in absence of any significant resistance. She also received good support from Surinder and Pritam. Their attacking game fetched Haryana good 8 penalty corners, against only one to Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra coach Satinder Walia was obviously upset. But he praised his girls for having displayed brilliant hockey all through the Games. “However, they could not maintain the same tempo today and the Haryana girls played the best”, he observed, while pointing out, “our girls were unable to bridge the gap between the defending line and the attacking line which was taken advantage of by Haryana girls”.

Haryana coach, Baldev Singh, who was happy for having won the National event for the first time, however, could not resist a comment on the umpiring. He said, “although we won, the umpiring was again not impartial”. He claimed that sending out Surinder Kaur for merely an appeal was dubious, “because Surinder is one of the dangerous forward players and they sent her out on flimsy grounds”.

Earlier, Punjab beat Chandigarh 4-2 to claim the bronze medal. Jyoti Kallu scored 3 goals, while fourth goal was scored by Amandeep Sr for Punjab. For Chandigarh both the goals were scored by Saba Anjum, who once again displayed a remarkable game.
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Gurminder sets two records in w’lifting

Patiala, November 27
Gurminder Singh set two new meet records as Punjab maintained their dominance picking up two of the three gold medals on offer in the weightlifting event of the 31st National Games here on Tuesday.

Gurminder Singh of Punjab stole the limelight by not only bagging the gold medal in the men’s 105kg category but also setting new meet records in clean-and-jerk and total.

He lifted a total of 330kg erasing the previous record of K.S. Muthu of Tamil Nadu, who had lifted 322.5kg in the last edition of National Games in Imphal.

Gurminder also broke Muthu’s jerk record of 180kg by lifting 185kg.

Muthu had to be content with silver this time with a total lift of 325kg while bronze was taken by Arwinder Singh of Services with an effort of 320kg.

Bharti Singh of Delhi also grabbed a gold medal in the women’s over 75kg category with a record-breaking effort of 222.5kg while the silver was taken by Seema Thapar of Uttar Pradesh, who managed a total lift of 162.5kg.

In the men’s over 105kg category, Dalbir Singh of Punjab gave his fellow lifters plenty to cheer about pocketing the gold with a total lift of 337.5kg. S Kishore Kumar of Andhra Pradesh (330kg) and Shamsher Singh of Maharashtra (327kg) won the silver and bronze medals, respectively. PTI
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Maharashtra, Delhi in title clash
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The day belonged to strong title contenders Maharashtra. Spearheaded by Nitin Kirtane and Ajay Ramasway among men they blanked Andhra Pradesh 2-0 in the team event to set up title clash with Delhi at the CLTA courts here today. In the other semifinal Delhi led by Shivang Mishra and Vishal Uppal whipped Tamil Nadu by a similar margin.

Among women Radhika Tulpule (Maharashtra) brushed aside Geetamanohar (Andhra) 6-1, 6-4, while Tulpule combined with Sonal Phadke in the doubles to get the better of Sania Mirza and Geetamanohar 7-6(3), 6-2 to ensure their entry into final. For the title they will face Tamil Nadu who defeated Karnataka 2-1

In men's singles Ajay Ramaswamy of Maharashtra got a walkover from Vasudeva Reddy of Andhra while Nitin Kirtane did not have to exert much against Shivang of Delhi 6-2, 6-2 to advance into the quarterfinals.

Punjab did not have a very fruitful day as Jasleen Randhawa and Kamalpreet Bhullar both bowed out in the pre-quarterfinals, while men had the same luck in store as Gursharan Singh and Tushar Sharma also made their exit. While Gursharan could not offer much resistance and went down tamely 2-6, 1-6, Tushar managed to snatch a set from his formidable opponent Nitin Kirtane before bowling out 2-6, 6-2, 2-6.

Men’s singles (pre-quarterfinal): Vinod Sewa (WB) b Sushant Bihani (Mah) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, Kamlesh Shukla (UP) b Tushar Gautam (Dli) Coneeded, Ajay Ramaswamy (Mah) W/o Vasudeva Reddy (AP), Harshit Sharma (WB) b S.K. Shivshankar (Kar) 6-4, 7-6 (4), Punna Vishal (AP) b Kaptan K (UP) 7-5, 6-3, Vinod Sridhar (TN) b Gursharan Singh (Pb) 6-2, 6-1, Manoj Mahadevan (TN) b Tushar Sharma (Pb) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, Nitin K. (Mah) b Shivang M. (Dli) 6-2, 6-2.
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Limba Ram ‘deserves a better deal’
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 27
Once hailed as the modern-day Arjuna and a success story of the modern Special Area Games scheme under which talent was spotted from areas specific to the game, Limba Ram is today an example of the fate which awaits sportsmen who let themselves be taken in the protective arms of the government, only to be discarded once their prime is past them.

Limba Ram, who equalled the world record in the Beijing Asian championship in 1992 in the 30 meters event to bag a gold medal and who brought the game into the limelight in the country, is without a job presently and in dire monetary straits.

Limba, who has not been given any land or large amounts of money for his achievements in the game except Rs 51,000 given by the Rajasthan Government when he set the world mark, and another Rs 51,000 by Rajasthan along with the Khel Ratna award, is moving around with his bio data hoping to be appointed a Sub Inspector in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

A proud man despite the humiliating treatment meted out to him, it is not easy to get him to lay blame on anyone for not recognising his worth. ‘’Archery mein paisa nahi hai’’, he says by way of explanation adding ‘’aap samajh sakte hain ki main dar dar bhatak raha hoon’’. ‘’Only few archers have got jobs’’, he adds for more details. Limba, who has earlier been employed by the Tatas, says if nothing else materialises he would like to be associated with coaching the Rajasthan team which he is representing in the nationals.

As of now Limba wants to make a comeback to the game. In the qualifying event today he showed glimpses of his old form to take the top position in the 70 meters Olympic round. Limba says he is trying to get his form back saying it is possible with perseverance to be among the best at an advanced stage of 30 years, as has been proved by archers worldwide.

However Limba is sad that the Special Area Games scheme started in 1984 which produced him and other tribal players including Sham Lal Meena, Dhul Chand Damor and Lalram Sangha, has died a natural death. He said his game had also suffered as Russian coach Alexander Nicoli who had trained him from 1988 to 1990 was sent back and he did not get the services of a regular foreign coach again. ‘’I also had to do without the latest equipment during this period which resulted in a slump in my performance’’, he added.

The tribal archer said the SAG scheme had also suffered in the past with it not getting any equipment for six years which severely hampered the growth of the game in the country. He said it was impossible in present times for under previleged boys and girls to take up the game as the equipment cost in nearly Rs one lakh per set of bow and arrows. He said the SAG was also not doing the primary task entrusted to it - that of spotting talent - and was only being run as a training institute for established archers.

Gymnastics officials attending the National Games said the end of prioritisation given to Archery from 1984 to 1994 had resulted in the SAG scheme lying dormant for the last four to five years. A jury member C.K. Das from West Bengal said the game had been put on the priority list again which could see the SAG scheme taking off again. As regards Limba, he said the boy deserved a good placement keeping in view his contribution to the game. ‘’Limba and his contempories raised the Indian standard in the game to a new height for which they needed to be recognised’’, adding it was now for the juniors to take their place.
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Amardeep Rai shoots skeet gold
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, November 27
Amardeep Singh Rai of Chhattisgarh today gave the first gold in shooting to his state in the skeet events finals of the 31st National Games which concluded today this evening at SAS Nagar. Rai shot 24.0 in the final shoot, out of 25 birds, while in the earlier round of 75 birds he shot 24, 22 and 24, totalling 70. Rahoul Rai of Delhi took the silver medal, shooting 23 birds in the final round while in the 75 birds shoot out, he shot 22, 23, 24, to total 69. The bronze medal went to H.S. Bedi, who led in the 75 bird shoot out with total score of 71 at 22, 24, 25. In the final 25 birds shootout, he shot a poor 21.

As many as 26 skeet shooters drawn from various parts of the country including top skeet shooters Rao Inderjeet Singh, Manavjit Singh, Zorawar Singh, Naveen Jindal, among others, took part. 
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Sandy Lehal returns a four-under
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
A grand four-under card of 68 saw Sandy Lehal of Punjab take the lead on the opening day of the golf events of the National Games. And trailing second in the individual scores was H.S.Kang of Punjab (71) followed by Girish Virk of Chandigarh (72). The tournament got underway at the Chandigarh Golf Club after Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob, Punjab Governor, cut the ribbon this morning.

Sandy scored six birdies, but he also lost two strokes for the four-under card.

Gurbaaz Mann of Punjab and Pritam Saikia (West Bengal) had identical one-over cards of 73.

At the end of the day the Punjab golfers were way ahead of their nearest rivals, Chandigarh and Delhi, by a big margin of 15 strokes. They are the favourites and sure to strike the gold. Punjab have been deprived of another gold as there were only two teams in the women's section and the competition in the ladies section had to be scrapped. With Irina Brar and Parnita Garewal in their ranks, Punjab were sure to reap that gold also.

Fifteen teams are participating in the tournament. The sixty players have been divided into 20 threesomes. Each has players from three different states.

General Jacob appreciated the preparations made by the Chandigarh Golf Club for the Nationals and congratulated the club president, Mr G.S. Sandhu,and his team.

Team results: Punjab 212, Chandigarh and Delhi 227, Maharashtra 230, UP 232, SSCB 236, West Bengal 237, Haryana 241, Karnataka and AP 249, Meghalaya 269, Himachal Pradesh 272, MP 279, Assam 282, Manipur 320,.

Individual scores: A.S. Lehal 68, H.S. Kang 71, Girish Virk 72, Pritam Saikia and Gurbaaz Mann 73, Saurabh Bahuguna 74, Simarjeet Singh and Patwardhan Jaideep 75 and Gagan Verma and Aditya Kanitkar 76.
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India end tour with humiliating defeat

Centurion Park, November 27
India’s controversy-ridden tour of South Africa came to a disastrous end today with the tourists suffering a humiliating innings defeat in the third and final cricket ‘Test’ here.

After being bowled out for 232 in their first innings, the Indians were dismissed for 261 in their second essay nine minutes into the second session of the fifth and final day today. They stopped 73 runs short of mammoth South African total of 566 for eight declared, which had given the hosts a 334-run first innings lead.

The Indians had lost the first Test at Bloemfontein by nine wickets while managing to salvage a draw in the second in Port Elizabeth, where match-referee Mike Denness raked up a huge controversy by handing down harsh punishments to six Indians.

That controversy continued to haunt the Indians for the rest of the tour with the International Cricket Council refusing to recognise this match as official though the Indian board insisted it was a full-fledged Test match.

The Indians looked to making an improvement in their performance when openers Shiv Sunder Das and Connor Williams put up a 92-run stand, the highest for India in the series, yesterday.

However, they were both dismissed yesterday and when India resumed at 118 for two this morning, it was the same old story of batsmen frittering away the advantage and failing to apply themselves to the task.

With the exception of Anil Kumble and Ashish Nehra, every single Indian batsmen got a start, reaching in excess of 20 but none could stay on to play a big innings.

Almost every South African batsmen had also got a start in their only innings in this match and in contrast to the Indians, produced two centuries apart from substantial contributions from Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs. And therein lay the difference between the two teams in this match.

Two of the Indian players, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad, were nursing injuries and did not come out to bat. The Indian innings folded in the 85th over.

Dravid, leading the side in the absence of Sourav Ganguly, started confidently today and hit Mornantu Hayward for three consecutive boundaries before the bowler uprooted his off-stumps with a gem of a delivery. The delivery straightened after pitching and Dravid, who batted for 71 minutes for his 23, was left totally clueless.

Laxman and Tendulkar then added 58 runs for the fourth wicket before both fell in quick succession. Tendulkar was bowled by Makhaya Ntini as the ball cut back and removed the bails. In his innings of 40 off 61 balls, Tendulkar hit six fours and a pulled six off Jacques Kallis. The master batsman was lucky to be dropped at gully by Kirsten off Kallis when on 16.

Laxman once again gave a simple catch to gully when he tried to steer Ntini after making 23. He was caught by Herschelle Gibbs. He hit four fours in his 56-ball knock.

SCOREBOARD

India (1st innings): 232

South Africa (1st innings): 566-8 declared

India (2nd innings):

Das b Pollock 48

Williams c Kallis b Klusener 42

Dravid b Hayward 23

Tendulkar b Ntini 40

Laxman c Gibbs b Ntini 23

Dasgupta lbw b Ntini 27

Kumble c Boje b Pollock 8

Harbhajan c Boucher b Hayward 30

Nehra not out 0

Srinath absent hurt

Prasad absent hurt

Extras (b-2, lb-11, nb-7) 20

Total (for 7 wkts) 261

Fall of wickets: 1-92, 2-116, 3-130, 4-188, 5-197, 6-221, 7-259.

Bowling: Pollock 14-2-40-2, Hayward 17-3-61-2, Ntini 18-6-27-2, Kallis 14.1-4-45-1, Klusener 12-6-30-1, Boje 7-2-34-0, Rudolph 2-0-11-0. PTI
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Kale rescues India ‘A’

Jaipur, November 27
A rescue act by Abhijit Kale (122) and Gagan Khoda (64) helped India ‘A’ declare their innings at 233 for nine after English spinners ran through the batting order on the first day of the three-day cricket match here today.

Braving the green top wicket and early inroads in the innings by English seamers Richard Johnson (3 for 56) and Andrew Flintoff (3 for 47), Kale and Khoda sent a timely reminder to the selectors before the start of the first Test at Mohali on December 3. When stumps were drawn the English side was 37 for no loss off 11 overs with Mark Butcher (32) and Mark Trescothick (5) at the crease.

Earlier, Johnson and Flintoff justified their skipper’s decision to bowl first and used the the morning conditions and dew to perfection to reduce the Indians to 4 for 8. Johnson, who used the opportunity to stage an impressive comeback after a back injury, worked out a good pace.

Scoreboard

India ‘A’ (1st innings):

Mane c Foster Johnson 0

Gambhir lbw b Johnson 5

Goud b Johnson 0

Khoda b Flintoff 64

Parida c Foster b Flintoff 0

Kale c Ramprakash b Dawson 122

Sodhi c Foster b Flintoff 2

Ratra c Foster b Giles 26

Joshi lbw b Dawson 0

Ganesh not out 0

Extras (b-3, lb-2, nb-9) 14

Total ( for 9 wkts decl) 233

FOW: 1-0, 2-0, 3-7, 4-8, 5-122, 6-134, 7-233, 8-233, 9-233.

Bowling: Richard Johnson 15-3-56-3, Andrew Flintoff 17-4-47-3, Craig White 14-3-32-0, Mark Butcher 1-0-3-0, Ashley Giles 17-4-48-1, Richard Dawson 11-1-38-2, Marcus Trescothick 2-1-4-0.

England XI (1st innings):

Butcher batting 32

Trescothick batting 5

Total (for no loss, 11 overs) 37

Bowling: Doda Ganesh 5-2-19-0, I Siddiqui 5-1-17-0, Sunil Joshi 1-0-1-0. PTI
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Himachal rout Services

Una, November 27
Himachal recorded a convincing 9-wicket win over Services on the final day of North-Zone Ranji tie against Services here as the visitors, trailing by 134 runs in the first innings were all out for 179 in the second innings shortly before tea.

Chasing the victory target of 46 runs Himachal scored 48 runs for the loss of one wicket. A deadly spell of five for 80 by Shakti Singh supported by penetrating spell of four for 40 by Vishal Bhatia send Services packing and the last five wickets fell for only 40 runs.

Resuming the play at overnight score of 25 for no loss, Services lost the first wicket at 28. The wickets continued falling at short intervals and visitors were 106 for five. Krishan Chawla was the highest scorer with 44 runs while Sachin Nadkarni remained not out at 17. C.D. Thomson scored 16 runs while Saravjeet Singh and Sukhakar contributed 13 runs each.

With the second win during the current Ranji championship, Himachal have for the first in 16 years qualified for the knock out stage.

Scoreboard

Services (Ist innings): 329

Himachal (Ist innings): 463 for five decl

Services (2nd innings): Reddy b Shakti 6, Krishan Chawla c Amit b Panta 44, Jasbir c Sangram b Shakti Singh 10, Yashpal lbw Bhatia 0, Sanjay c Amit b Shakti 0, Saravjit lbw Shakti 17, Thomson c Sangram b Vishal 16, Nadkarni n.o. 17, Ghag b Bhatia 13, Arun c Sangram b Vishal 4, Hari Prasad lbw Shakti 0. Extras 14.

Total (all out) 179 (in 54.3 overs)

Fall of wickets: 1/28, 2/48, 3/70, 4/71, 5/106, 6/139, 7/146, 8/170, 9/178, 10/179.

Bowling: Shakti Singh 26.3-6-80-4; Sandeep Sharma 6-1-21-0; Rahul Panta 7-2-23-1; Rajinder Thakur 1-0-4-0; Vishal Bhatia 13-2-40-4;

Himachal (2nd innings): Rahul Panta n.o. 17, Sandeep Sharma c Jasbir b Sachin 27, Rajiv Nayyar n.o. 0. Extras 4.

Total (for one wicket) 48.

Fall of wickets: 1/42.

Bowling: Sukhakar Ghag 2-0-24-0; Hari Prasad 2.3-0-12-0; Arun Sharma 3-3-0-1; Jasbir Singh 1-0-1-0; Yash Pal 1-0-3-0. PTI
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Himachal hold on for draw
Our Correspondent

Chamba, November 27
Fine batting display by Shivinder and Rahul helped Himachal to draw their under 22 cricket match against Delhi on the last day.

Himachal starting with their overnight score of 136 for four were all out for just 181, and were forced to follow on as they fell 27 runs short.

In the second innings, Himachal lost wickets at regular interval except Gursevak Singh, who scored 45 runs off 125 balls. However, Shivinder and wicketkeeper Rahul put up a match-saving partnership, holding on for a draw.

Delhi got five points due to first innings lead while Himachal got three points.

Brief scores: Delhi: 354 all-out.

Himachal: 181 and 165 for 6.

Hitesh 38, Grosbeak 45, Shivinder 18, Rahul 22. Raja Sharma 2 for 41, Puru Singh 2 for 22. Top

 

Medal Tally

State

G

S

B

T

Punjab

42

39

44

125

Services

24

16

22

62

Manipur

24

12

12

48

Delhi

19

18

16

53

UP

14

9

13

36

Kerala

13

16

15

44

Tamil Nadu

12

15

10

37

West Bengal

12

6

19

37

Karnataka

11

22

15

48

Haryana

11

15

17

43

Maharashtra

9

11

20

40

AP

9

11

10

30

MP

6

7

16

29

Rajasthan

3

7

7

17

Chandigarh

2

5

9

16

Assam

2

4

2

8

Orissa

2

3

6

11

J&K

2

3

3

8

Jharkhand

2

3

1

6

Andaman Nicobar

2

1

3

6

HP

2

1

3

6

Goa

1

0

2

3

Mizoram

0

3

2

5

Meghalaya

0

1

1

2

Gujarat

0

0

1

1

Uttranchal

0

0

1

1

Total

224

228

270

722

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 SPORTS BRIEFS

"UMPIRING DECISIONS COST THE MATCH"
COLOMBO:
West Indies cricket coach Roger Harper feels vehement appealing by all Sri Lankan fielders to gain a controversial decision against star batsman Brian Lara may have cost them the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy on Sunday. “The dismissal of Lara was the most pivotal moment of the game. I just have no explanation for it, I think all the Sri Lankans involved in the game contributed towards it,” Harper was quoted today by the Daily News as saying. The former Caribbean all-rounder was apparently referring to home umpire Gamini Silva ruling Lara out caught at forward short-leg by Hashan Tillekaratne off Niroshan Bandaratilake in the West Indies’ second innings. Television replays showed the ball may have hit the ground before it was taken by the fielder and Lara stood his ground. The wicket reduced the visitors to 110 for five immediately after tea. PTI

GOVT DEFENDS BOARD
NEW DELHI:
The South African government on Tuesday defended its cricket board’s decision on the controversial match referee issue and said money would not be a factor in the decisions. “We will stand by the truth and money will not matter to our decisions. Everybody knows what is the truth. South African board has taken the right decision”, High Commissioner of South Africa to India M.E. Nkoana Mashbane told reporters here. Her remarks came in the context of a reported statement by United Cricket Board of South Africa CEO Gerald Majola that he had told International Cricket Council that his board would back Mike Dennes issue if it would pay him 40 million rands as compensation in case India pulled out of the third and final Test at Johannesburg. PTI

TN IN CONTROL
BANGALORE:
Karnataka were struggling at 265 for seven in reply to Tamil Nadu’s first innings challenging score of 417 in the V. Pattabhiraman Trophy under-16 South Zone cricket tournament on the second day here on Tuesday. For Karnataka, Robin Uttappa top scored with 77 and Vijay Chavan and Pavan Gargi chipped in with 73 and 39, respectively. For Tamil Nadu right arm leg spinner L.K. Arun Prakash was the most successful bowler with four for 43. UNI
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