SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S



Greece stun Czechs, enter final
Porto, July 1
Greece will face hosts Portugal in the final of Euro 2004 after the rank outsiders beat the Czech Republic 1-0 with a silver goal from defender Traianos Dellas in extra time on Thursday.

Angelos Charisteas of Greece heads the ball past Tomas Galasek of the Czech Republic during the Euro 2004 semifinal match in Porto, Portugal Angelos Charisteas of Greece (right) heads the ball past Tomas Galasek of the Czech Republic during their Euro 2004 semifinal match in Porto on Thursday.
— AP/PTI photo

Luis Figo Figo back as national hero
Lisbon, July 1
Six days ago Luis Figo turned his back on his team mates and coach after being substituted during the quarter-final against England.

Scolari to stay for two more years
Lisbon, July 1
After the Euro 2004 opening loss to Greece, many wanted him fired. That all changed after yesterday’s 2-1 victory over the Netherlands to lift Portugal into its first major final.

Portugal fans party from China to Azores
Portuguese supporters celebrate their team's entry to the final of the Euro 2004 at Lisbon's Marques de Pombal square
Portuguese supporters celebrate their team's entry to the final of the Euro 2004 at Lisbon's Marques de Pombal square on Wednesday. Portugal defeated Holland 2-1 in the semifinal. — AP/PTI photo
In video: An erstwhile Portugal colony root for their team in Euro Cup final. (28k, 56k)


 

 


Frank de Boer of the Netherlands, who did not play because on an injury, applauds his supporters
Frank de Boer of the Netherlands, who did not play because on an injury, applauds his supporters after Portugal defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in the Euro 2004 semifinal match on Wednesday. — AP/PTI

 

EURO 2004

FINAL

Portugal vs Greece
(July 4)

 

 

EARLIER STORIES
 

Nistelrooy unhappy with referee
Lisbon, July 1
Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was unhappy with the performance of Swedish referee Anders Frisk after his team lost 2-1 to hosts Portugal in their Euro 2004 semi-final yesterday.




Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy (right) argues with referee Anders Frisk of Sweden after his goal was disallowed during the Euro 2004 semifinal match between Portugal and the Netherlands in Lisbon on Wednesday.
— AP/PTI photo
Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy argues with referee Anders Frisk of Sweden

Dutch veterans to call it a day
Lisbon July 1
The Dutch dream of winning a second European Championship ended on a hot summer night in the Portuguese capital yesterday, bringing down the curtain on the international careers of six long-serving players.

Advocaat likely to step down
LISBON:
Taking a team to the semifinals of the European Championship two years after they failed even to qualify for the World Cup would be a cause for celebration in most countries, but not in the Netherlands.

Four pacers likely for Asia Cup, says Ganguly
Chennai, July 1
Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly said here today that the preparatory camp here would provide a big opportunity for the probables to get into shape. Ganguly arrived here this morning after being bestowed with the Padma Shri award by President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam yesterday. The preparatory camp for the Asia Cup will begin on July 3 and continue till July 8. He said he expected that fitness would be the bottomline in the camp.

In video (28k, 56k)


Sachin Tendulkar at a Press conference in Chennai on Thursday. — PTI photo
Sachin Tendulkar at a press conference in Chennai

India favourite for Asia Cup: Waqar
Hyderabad, July 1
Pakistani fast bowling great Waqar Younis today tagged India as favourites to win the Asia Cup cricket tournament while saying his team would have to “struggle hard” to wriggle out of poor form.


Global cricketers eyeing Indian megabucks.(28k,56k)

India ‘A’ tour
MUMBAI:
The Indian ‘A’ team is expected play three four-day matches in Zimbabwe this July-August on its way back from the triangular series in Nairobi, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Joint Secretary Prof Ratnakar Shetty told UNI.

Vaas restricts Aussies to 207
Darwin, Australia, July 1
Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas took five for 31 to skittle Australia for 207 on the opening day of the first Test today. The world champions, however, hit back to reduce the touring side to 43 for three by the close on a day marked by indifferent batting and questionable umpiring rather than a suspect pitch.

No more Tests for Zimbabwe in 2004: ICC
London, July 1
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Zimbabwe will not take part in Test cricket for the remainder of 2004 after a bitter row between officials and players. ICC president Ehsan Mani told a news conference at Lord’s today: ‘’They will continue to play one-day cricket as a pathway for the players.

Jagmohan DalmiyaDalmiya ACC chief
London, July 1
Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has taken over the top post of the Asian Cricket Council at its annual general body meeting here. Dalmiya took over the president’s post from Mohammed Ali Asghar, president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, yesterday. Asghar had completed his two-year term.


Russia's Maria Sharapova blows a kiss to the crowd Serena Williams, Sharapova to clash in final








Russia's Maria Sharapova blows a kiss to the crowd after winning her semifinal match against Lindsay Davenport of the US at the Wimbledon tennis championship in London on Thursday. Sharapova won 2-6, 7-6, 6-1. — Reuters photo

Underdogs aim to spoil glamour title showdown
London, July 1
Underdogs Sebastien Grosjean and Mario Ancic plan to shatter the golden vision of a glamour title showdown between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick when the Wimbledon men's singles semi-finals take place tomorrow.

Aqeel beats Ramaswamy, enters final
New Delhi, July 1
It will be an all-foreign final in the ITF Men’s Satellite Tennis Masters Tournament when top-seeded Norikazu Sugiyama of Japan clashes with fifth-seeded Aqeel Khan of Pakistan at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association court here tomorrow.

Germany trounce India 4-0
Amsterdam, July 1
Germany's Bjorn Michel scored a hat-trick as India crashed to their third successive defeat in the four-nation Rabobank hockey tournament here today. Michel's goals in a 10-minute blitzkreig helped his side emerge 4-0 winners and win a place in the final against Holland on Sunday.

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Greece stun Czechs, enter final

Porto, July 1
Greece will face hosts Portugal in the final of Euro 2004 after the rank outsiders beat the Czech Republic 1-0 with a silver goal from defender Traianos Dellas in extra time on Thursday.

It is the first major final for Greece who had never won a game at a major tournament before coming to Portugal and were quoted at odds of 80-1 to win the title before it began.

However, they had stunned the hosts by beating them in the opening match and will now have a chance to repeat that feat at the Luz stadium in Lisbon on Sunday.

Greece battled for victory in the semi-final as they harried and harassed the Czechs throughout the match though the tactics led to a game based more on perspiration than inspiration.

The Czechs played the more flowing and attractive soccer -- even after losing skipper Pavel Nedved in the 40th minute when he was accidentally injured in a clash with Costas Katsouranis.

Nedved, on a yellow card and in danger of missing the final if the Czechs won, limped on for a few minutes and went down the tunnel at halftime with an ice pack on his knee.

Although having the better of the territorial play, the Czechs could not break down a Greek defence that regularly surrounded any Czech player on the ball with five or six men.

Greece attempted to break up the Czechs' more flowing moves with a series of body checks and shirt-pulling around their own penalty area and, although there was a passionate atmosphere in the stadium, too much of the play was fragmented.

Pierluigi Collina, the world's top referee, officiating in his last international before retiring, booked six players -- but failed to award Jan Koller a penalty when he appeared to be pulled down by the shirt in the box early in the second half.

Koller should have got his revenge for that by scoring in the 80th minute after a quick one-two with Tomas Rosicky, but fired wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The Czechs, buoyed by four successive wins, made the brighter start and went close to opening the scoring after only three minutes when a powerful volley by midfielder Tomas Rosicky rattled the bar after Koller headed on a free kick.

Otherwise, there were few chances in a tense opening period in which Greece attempted to shackle Koller and five-goal Milan Baros, the tournament's top scorer.

Traianos Dellas played as a sweeper while Michalis Kapsis attempted a marking job on Koller and Yourkas Seitaridis was detailed to do the same on Baros.

The tactics worked because chances were restricted and gradually Greece began to exert some pressure of their own in the Czech half.

However, they only had one chance of note in the opening period after 29 minutes when striker Zisis Vryzas just failed to connect with a cross from Takis Fyssas four metres out.

Karel Poborsky flighted the ball just over the Greek bar after 69 minutes before Koller came close and then Baros fired just wide of the post with his left foot from 16 metres.

Greece midfielder Giorgos Karagounis was booked for a foul on substitute Vladimir Smicer in the 88th minute and will miss the final through suspension.

After the match finished goalless at the end of normal time Baros found himself booked in the extra period for a foul on Takis Fyssas before Greece defender Dellas scored the winner after 105 minutes to put them in the final. — Reuters

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Figo back as national hero

Lisbon, July 1
Six days ago Luis Figo turned his back on his team mates and coach after being substituted during the quarter-final against England.
Yesterday the captain was back on his pedestal as national hero after a barnstorming performance in Portugal’s 2-1 Euro 2004 win over the Netherlands took the hosts into their first major final.

The 31-year-old came into the tournament as the soccer icon of the host nation but found himself regularly substituted by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in a personally frustrating period.

When it happened again after 75 minutes against England the winger marched straight down the tunnel and was markedly absent as the squad linked arms during the penalty shoot-out.

Figo spent the week defending himself and said on Tuesday: “I don’t feel I have to prove anything. People know me very well now and I just have to give my best in the next game.”

Which is exactly what he did in one of the finest performances of his 109-match international career just when his country needed him most.

That total equalled Fernando Couto’s record until the defender reclaimed it when he appeared as a late substitute, and rarely can Figo have been such an inspiration.

With the game tied up in nervous tension in the opening 10 minutes, Figo created the first opening with a fizzing right wing cross just beyond the reach of Cristiano Ronaldo.

He then delivered another, this time from the left, which Pauleta was also agonisingly close to.

Another surging left wing run and cross needed a desperate interception by Dutch defender Wilfred Bouma in the 25th minute, leading to the Deco corner from which Ronaldo headed the opening goal.

Four minutes before halftime Figo expertly pulled down a 30-metre pass on his chest before curling a great shot against the post with Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar beaten.

His performance brought back memories of Euro 2000, when he was at the peak of his game but saw his efforts fall short as Portugal went out in the semi-finals.

This time the 2001 World Player of the Year was not to be denied and Scolari, knowing that the winger was playing on adrenalin, did not dare consider bringing him off again.

As the clock ticked down and Portugal fought desperately to hang on to their 2-1 lead in the face of a Dutch barrage, Figo showed a side of his game not often seen as he chased, harassed, and tackled for the national cause.

This time when the whistle went he was where he belonged, in the middle of the pitch, shirt stained with sweat, surrounded by his celebrating team mates.

“It’s difficult to explain in one word the emotion I feel right now,” Figo said, after a huge cheer had welcomed the announcement that he had been voted man of the match.

“We’ve suffered a lot to reach the final in our own country. We cannot wish for anything more than this.”

Just one more thing - victory in the final would be the perfect end to a memorable career. — Reuters

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Scolari to stay for two more years

Lisbon, July 1
After the Euro 2004 opening loss to Greece, many wanted him fired.
That all changed after yesterday’s 2-1 victory over the Netherlands to lift Portugal into its first major final. Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari capped off the night by announcing that he will stay for two more years to guide Portugal to the World Cup finals in Germany.

Addressing the head of the Portuguese Soccer Federation, Gilberto Madail, who was not present, Scolari said: “Here is the ring. We can be married for another two years.”

Scolari won the World Cup two years ago for Brazil. Now he’s trying to do it for Portugal.

“The feelings are different,” he said. “Brazil won the World Cup four times before I arrived, and they had nothing to do with me.”

“Portugal has never reached a final, so in terms of my CV and of personal satisfaction, this is even more important.”

Yesterday’s victory came on the same day two years ago that Scolari won the World Cup with Brazil. It also came on the same day 13 years ago when Portugal won the world under-21 title.

“I want to offer my congratulations to that team from 13 years ago and to all fans who have given us such warmth during this campaign,” he said. — AP 

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Portugal fans party from China to Azores

Lisbon, July 1
Ecstatic Portugal fans partied from China to the Azores to celebrate the 2-1 win over the Netherlands that put their team in the Euro 2004 final.
Screaming fans draped in the national colours of green and red poured into Lisbon’s wide Liberty Avenue.

Daredevils clambered high up the base of the capital’s signature statue of statesman Marques de Pombal to wave flags, shouting, “Portugal! Portugal!’’

“I was suffering a lot, especially right at the end, but it was worth it,’’ said overjoyed Fernando Tavares, a national flag wrapped around his neck.

“Right now, I’m going to party and I’m going to skip work tomorrow. Since I’m a public employee I can justify not going in, because Portugal won.’’

Caravans of honking cars jammed with fans shut down traffic in the whitewashed centres of towns in the rolling Alentejo, Portugal’s main agricultural region.

Flags were waved from balconies over cobblestoned streets filled with cheering fans on the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the remote Azores, radio stations reported.

Portugal Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, named to head the European Commission this week, told the Lusa news agency, “The final? As I’ve said before, the sky’s the limit.’’

On the other side of the world, thousands of cheering supporters thronged streets in Dili, the capital of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, just before dawn today, the Lusa news agency reported.

Hundreds of sleepless Portuguese defied high winds and rain kicked up by Typhoon Mindulle to crowd bars in Macau, a one-time Portuguese enclave on China’s coast, to watch the win on TV and celebrate, Lusa said.

“There is no argument about our win. Only Portugal scored goals,’’ said Fernando Silva, a computer technician, as he strode up Lisbon’s Liberty Avenue.

“I’m more and more certain that Portugal are going to be European champions.’’ he said. — Reuters 

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Nistelrooy unhappy with referee

Lisbon, July 1
Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was unhappy with the performance of Swedish referee Anders Frisk after his team lost 2-1 to hosts Portugal in their Euro 2004 semi-final yesterday.

“It’s unbelievable how the referee ruled everything in favour of Portugal. He was a real home whistler,” said the frustrated Van Nistelrooy. “Every 50-50 situation was for them but we cannot do anything about it.”

Van Nistelrooy said Portugal deserved to be ahead at halftime through a Cristiano Ronaldo header after 26 minutes.

“The 1-0 was deserved because we hardly showed our strength in attack. It was hard to get chances. It was hard to get into the game... I’m shattered.

Maniche put the hosts 2-0 in front just before the hour mark with a brilliant curling drive into the top corner but Portugal defender Jorge Andrade scored an own goal five minutes later.

“We fought back to 2-1 but it didn’t work out the way we wanted,” said Van Nistelrooy. “They had the better chances. it’s tough losing like this but we had problems playing our own game.

“In the second half we played for all or nothing.”

Asked whether Portugal had outclassed the Dutch, Van Nistelrooy said: “It’s hard to say. We gave everything and our supporters here and at home were great... It’s a bitter pill.”

“I’m really down but maybe we have to say that Portugal just played better in this match. All of us gave everything for the fans over here and at home. (Reaching) the semi-final is a good achievement but we came to reach the final.” — Reuters

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Dutch veterans to call it a day

Lisbon July 1
The Dutch dream of winning a second European Championship ended on a hot summer night in the Portuguese capital yesterday, bringing down the curtain on the international careers of six long-serving players.

Skipper Frank De Boer, keeper Edwin van der Sar, defender Jaap Stam, winger Marc Overmars and midfielder Paul Bosvelt had announced they would quit the team after the Euro 2004 campaign, brought to a close by Portugal’s 2-1 semi-final win.

Striker Pierre van Hooijdonk, who is now 34 and the oldest member of the squad, is almost certain to call it a day.

De Boer knew he had almost certainly played his last international against Sweden in the quarterfinal when he came off after 35 minutes with an ankle injury and failed to recover.

Frank joins his twin brother Ronald on the sidelines after 14 years in the orange jersey. His international peak came in 1998 as captain of the terrific side that reached the World Cup semifinals.

Van der Sar said after they won that match 5-4 in a penalty shootout that if the Dutch had lost, it would have been his last game for the national team.

The 33-year-old is second on his country’s all-time list of international appearances with 89 caps behind De Boer’s 112.

Van der Sar has been first choice for the Netherlands since Guus Hiddink sang his praises after he won the Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam in 1995.

The tallest player in the Dutch squad, he has played in four major tournaments and his team has been eliminated three times in a shootout.

Stam, who turns 32 on July 17, said before the tournament he wanted to focus on his new team AC Milan and his family.

The defender made his debut in 1996 and played 67 matches for the Dutch, playing in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

Overmars, 31, has played for his country since 1993 and despite missing a number of matches through injury, has 86 caps.

Overmars said before Euro 2004 that it was time for the older players to make way for the country’s talented youngsters.

Reserve midfielder Bosvelt, who joined the squad after Mark van Bommel dropped out with an Achilles tendon injury, also made it clear that this tournament would be his last after 24 caps.

Van Hooijdonk has played 41 matches for the Dutch team and scored 12 goals. The tall striker has been the ideal man to bring off the bench and also a natural leader off the pitch. — Reuters

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Advocaat likely to step down

LISBON: Taking a team to the semifinals of the European Championship two years after they failed even to qualify for the World Cup would be a cause for celebration in most countries, but not in the Netherlands.

Consequently, coach Dick Advocaat is likely to stand down after the 1-2 defeat by Portugal even though he has a contract that runs to the 2006 World Cup.

The vastly experienced 56-year-old has run out of patience with the bitter criticism of his tactics, some of it of an unpleasantly personal nature, from a country where expectations outrun reality and everyone is an expert. — Reuters

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Four pacers likely for Asia Cup, says Ganguly
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 1
Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly said here today that the preparatory camp here would provide a big opportunity for the probables to get into shape.
Ganguly arrived here this morning after being bestowed with the Padma Shri award by President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam yesterday.

The preparatory camp for the Asia Cup will begin on July 3 and continue till July 8. He said he expected that fitness would be the bottomline in the camp.

“It will be a big opportunity for the probables to get into shape. Of the five medium pacers in the camp, three or four are likely to make it to the final composition. We will strive our best to bring the cup which matters,” he said.

Meanwhile, cricket star Sachin Tendulkar here today launched Maruti Baleno as tyre manufacturer MRF’s rally car for the 2004 Motorsports Association of India (MAI) Indian national rally championship.

Team MRF will consist of four Maruti Baleno cars to be driven by four of the best rally drivers in the country – reigning Indian national rally champion V. Naren Kumar, Arjun Balu, Karandip Singh and Vikram Mathias.

Addressing a press conference, Tendulkar said, “It is a fresh season and the camp at Bangalore was nice. We understand our responsibility and it is important to get back into action with a bang.”

He said the Indian team’s physio made the cricketers play kho kho to keep them in shape.

“It was great fun. We never knew kho kho could keep us so fit. During the next camp in Chennai, we are expecting plenty of kho kho,” he said.

Regarding the Asia Cup tournament to be held in Sri Lanka from July 16, he said, “The tracks in Sri Lanka are good but they keep changing. We have some kind of idea of what to expect in Sri Lanka.” “We are all excited and looking forward to the Asia Cup,” he added. 

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India favourite for Asia Cup: Waqar

Hyderabad, July 1
Pakistani fast bowling great Waqar Younis today tagged India as favourites to win the Asia Cup cricket tournament while saying his team would have to “struggle hard” to wriggle out of poor form.

Waqar, here for a promotional campaign for broadcasters ESPN-Star Sports, said India had performed well in Australia and Pakistan and if they carried the same form to Sri Lanka, the venue for Asia Cup competition beginning on July 16, they would be simply unstoppable.

“India are favourites to win the Asia Cup. They played well in Australia and Pakistan. If they play like that in Sri Lanka, there is no way to beat them,” he told reporters.

On the prospects of Pakistan, he said, “at present they are a relatively new side. I can’t say about their prospects. Only if they do well they will have any chance. They would have to struggle hard.”

Asked to name his favourite Indian cricketer, he said, “all of them are good but Rahul Dravid’s defence is superb. Defence makes a big difference.”

Waqar, whose toe-crushing yorkers were feared worldwide by batsmen, disagreed that one-day cricket was not helpful to bowlers.

“I did not get any help from the pitches in one-dayers for the 15 years that I played. Pitches are made for batsmen because people like to see fours and sixes.”

Asked whether he was open to offers to coach Indian bowlers, he said: “I have not really thought about it. We will see if they ask.”

Welcoming Younis to the sports commentary team of ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, which has exclusive world rights for Asia Cup telecast, company’s associate director (corporate communications) Himanshu Verma said “his experience will add a lot of value in providing a bowler’s perspective in the commentary box.” — PTI

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India ‘A’ tour

MUMBAI: The Indian ‘A’ team is expected play three four-day matches in Zimbabwe this July-August on its way back from the triangular series in Nairobi, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Joint Secretary Prof Ratnakar Shetty told UNI.

The Nairobi tournament will also feature Pakistan ‘A’ and hosts Kenya.

With the Zimbabwean team currently weakened by internal politics and the departure of experienced white players, the Indian ‘A’ side is expected to provide strong opposition to it is in a state of rebuilding, in which front the matches against India ‘A’ are crucial.

The India A itinerary is as follows:

July 22-25 v Zimbabwe XI at Harare Sports Club, July 29-August 1 v Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club, August 5-8 v Zimbabwe at CFX Cricket Academy. — UNI

Dravid meets CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh felicitates Rahul Dravid

BANGALORE: Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid called on Karnataka Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh on Thursday. The Chief Minister’s Secretariat described the visit as a courtesy call.

Meanwhile, in Chennai, Indian pace bowler L. Balaji and left-hand batsman Hemang Badani called on Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and “shared their experiences of the recent Pakistan cricket tour” with her. — UNI

Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh felicitates Rahul Dravid in Bangalore on Thursday.
— PTI photo

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Vaas restricts Aussies to 207

Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas celebrates after dismissing Australia's Glenn McGrath for a duck
Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas celebrates after dismissing Australia's Glenn McGrath for a duck on the opening day of the first Test in Darwin on Thursday. — Reuters photo

Darwin, Australia, July 1
Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas took five for 31 to skittle Australia for 207 on the opening day of the first Test today.
The world champions, however, hit back to reduce the touring side to 43 for three by the close on a day marked by indifferent batting and questionable umpiring rather than a suspect pitch.

It was Australia’s lowest first-innings total on home soil since 1992-93. Left-armer Vaas was cheered from the field at Darwin’s Marrara Oval as the tourists made light of the absence of key spinner Muttiah Muralitharan after Australia collapsed from 72 without loss.

Muralitharan, so often Sri Lanka’s matchwinner, withdrew from the tour after being upset by Australian criticism of his bowling action.

Sent in by Marvan Atapattu, the home side lost their last seven wickets for 30 runs in an innings lasting 71.3 overs.

All of the top order, except for Matthew Elliott, standing in for the absent Ricky Ponting following a family bereavement, had made starts.

Darren Lehmann top-scored with 57 from 108 balls, including seven boundaries, before debutant paceman Lasith Malinga (two for 50) removed him and Adam Gilchrist in one explosive over.

Lehmann put on 97 for the fourth wicket with Damien Martyn, who scored 47.

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer shared an opening stand of 72 before three wickets fell for eight runs either side of lunch.

Australia (first innings)

Langer c Chandana b Samaraweera 30

Hayden c Jayasuriya b Vaas 37

Elliott c Arnold b Vaas 1

Martyn c Arnold b Jayasuriya 47

Lehmann lbw b Malinga 57

Katich c Sangakkara b Vaas 9

Gilchrist c Sangakkara b Malinga 0

Warne run out 2

Gillespie lbw b Vaas 4

Kasprowicz not out 2

McGrath c Samaraweera b Vaas 0

Extras (b-2 lb-6 nb-8 w-2) 18

Total (all out) 207

Fall of wickets: 1-72 2-73 3-80 4-177 5-189 6-189 7-201 8-202 9-207

Bowling: Vaas 18.3-6-31-5 (nb-1), Malinga 14-3-50-2 (nb-6, w-1), Zoysa 13-4-24-0 (w-1, nb-1), Samaraweera 9-1-43-1, Chandana 6-0-30-0, Jayasuriya 11-4-21-1

Sri Lanka (first innings)

Atapattu b McGrath 4

Jayasuriya lbw b McGrath 8

Sangakkara lbw b Gillespie 2

Jayawardene n.o. 12

Zoysa not out 8

Extras (lb-5 nb-4) 9

Total (3 wkts, 16 overs) 43

FoW: 1-10 2-20 3-33.

Bowling: McGrath 7-1-28-2 (nb-4) Gillespie 6-4-8-1, Kasprowicz 2-1-1-0, Warne 1-0-1-0. — Reuters

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No more Tests for Zimbabwe in 2004: ICC

London, July 1
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Zimbabwe will not take part in Test cricket for the remainder of 2004 after a bitter row between officials and players.
ICC president Ehsan Mani told a news conference at Lord’s today: ‘’They will continue to play one-day cricket as a pathway for the players.

“The dispute between the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) and the players is a worrying issue. It should have been resolved in Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe agreed to postpone their remaining 2004 tests earlier this month after the ZCU became embroiled in a dispute with 15 of the country’s leading white players over team selection.

The players, angry over Heath Streak’s departure as captain, made themselves unavailable for selection and were then sacked, leaving Zimbabwe with a side unable to compete at the top level.

Mani said the plan was for Zimbabwe to resume Test cricket in 2005 with a visit to Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe are next due to play in the ICC Champions Trophy in England in September, followed by a one-day series in Pakistan in October. — Reuters

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Dalmiya ACC chief

London, July 1
Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, has taken over the top post of the Asian Cricket Council at its annual general body meeting here.

Dalmiya took over the president’s post from Mohammed Ali Asghar, president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, yesterday. Asghar had completed his two-year term.

“Yes I have taken over as the ACC president,” Dalmiya told PTI.

As per the rotation policy for the post, it was the turn of India. Dalmiya will hold the post for two years. In September, Dalmiya will complete a three-year term as the president of the BCCI. — PTI

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Serena Williams, Sharapova to clash in final

London, July 1
Serena Williams kept alive her hopes of a third straight Wimbledon crown when she fought back from a set down to beat France's Amelie Mauresmo 6-7 7-5 6-4 in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The 22-year-old American, who beat her sister Venus to win the last two finals, will face Russian teenager Maria Sharapova in Saturday's title match.

Top seed Serena dropped her first set of this year's tournament to Mauresmo but the 24-year-old fourth seed failed to hold her nerve.

Serena battled to win the second set, during which Mauresmo had treatment for a back injury, and sealed victory in the third when Mauresmo sailed a forehand long.

Earlier, Russian teenager Maria Sharapova became the second youngest woman in the Open era to reach the Wimbledon final today when she launched a stunning fightback to defeat former champion Lindsay Davenport of the United States 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.

The 17-year-old, playing her first Grand Slam semi-final, recovered from a set and 3-1 down to pull off a spectacular win to set up a Saturday final showdown against either two-time defending champion Serena Williams of the United States or French fourth seed Amelie Mauresmo.

She is only the second Russian woman to make the final here after Olga Morozova lost to Chris Evert in 1974.

"It's unbelievable, crazy and I think I am going to cry," said the photogenic blonde.

"I was a set down but I just kept believing in myself."

It was a memorable fightback by the Russian girl who was completely outplayed by the 1999 champion in the first set and a half and had the rain not forced the players off Centre Court with the 28-year-old Davenport leading 2-1 in the second set, Sharapova may well have quickly capitulated.

But under bright sunshine, the 13th seed sparked her miracle comeback to move into the final, the second youngest ever to do so behind Martina Hingis who achieved the feat on her way to the title in 1997.

The Russian blonde's early nerves were not helped by having to come off Centre Court after just two points of the first set of the semi-final because of rain and when the players returned, the tone of the match was set.

Davenport, who beat Steffi Graf in 1999 to take the title and was playing her 15th Grand Slam semi-final, dominated from the outset breaking her 13th seeded opponent in the first game and again in the seventh before wrapping up the first set in just 25 minutes.

The American's success was based on a consistently successful first serve and trademark swooping groundstrokes which allowed her to control the pace of the tie.

In the opener, she gave up just six points on her service. It was more of the same in the second set with Davenport, playing in her 45th career Grand Slam tournament, breaking for the early advantage. — AFP

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Underdogs aim to spoil glamour title showdown 

London, July 1
Underdogs Sebastien Grosjean and Mario Ancic plan to shatter the golden vision of a glamour title showdown between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick when the Wimbledon men's singles semi-finals take place tomorrow.

Unseeded Croatian Ancic and Grosjean, the 10th seeded Frenchman, stand in the way of a Sunday final between the two top seeds and both men know they have nothing to lose.

"Roger is the best player on the tour, especially on grass," said Grosjean who faces defending champion and top seed Federer in his semi-final.

"He didn't lose a match on the surface last year but I have nothing to lose against him. In the semi-finals, anything can happen.

"I have to try and be aggressive and enjoy it." Grosjean has a 2-1 career record against the top seed, but they haven't met since 2001 in the days before Federer blasted off into a different orbit to his rivals.

The Swiss 22-year-old stretched his grasscourt winning streak to 22 matches with his battling quarter-final win over Lleyton Hewitt but the Australian, at least, found a few chinks in the Federer armour.

Although he was beaten, Hewitt still managed to become the first man to break the Federer serve since the 2003 quarter-finals and the first to pinch a set since Mardy Fish who took a set off the champion in the third round last year. — AFP

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Aqeel beats Ramaswamy, enters final
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, July 1
It will be an all-foreign final in the ITF Men’s Satellite Tennis Masters Tournament when top-seeded Norikazu Sugiyama of Japan clashes with fifth-seeded Aqeel Khan of Pakistan at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association court here tomorrow.

In the semifinals today, Sugiyama defeated Joshua Goodwall of Britain 6-2, 6-4 while Aqeel Khan disposed of Ajay Ramaswamy 6-4, 6-4.

The masters contests should have been keen affairs but the unbearable heat made it difficult for the players. Most of the players conceded their matches at different stages of the tournament due to sheer fatigue.

Ajay Ramaswamy’s opponents in the second and third rounds, fourth-seeded Sunil Kumar Sipaeya and eighth-seeded Prahlad Srinath, respectively, had thrown in the towel after trailing in their face-offs.

Delhi has been hosting the satellite tennis tour matches for the past three weeks, but the purpose seems to have been defeated with the players unable to bear the heat-wave conditions.

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Germany trounce India 4-0

Amsterdam, July 1
Germany's Bjorn Michel scored a hat-trick as India crashed to their third successive defeat in the four-nation Rabobank hockey tournament here today.
Michel's goals in a 10-minute blitzkreig helped his side emerge 4-0 winners and win a place in the final against Holland on Sunday.

India would now play for the 3-4 places against arch-rivals Pakistan, who would take on Holland in the final league match later today. Even a win may not help Pakistan since they lost the league match against Germany.

After managing to put up a fight in the first half, during which they conceded a goal scored by Christopher Bechmann, the Indians hardly offered any resistance after the break as Michel went berserk converting three penalty corners.

This was India's third defeat in a row following their 0-2 defeat to Holland and 1-6 humiliation by Pakistan.

India rested veteran strikers Dhanraj Pillay and Baljit Singh Dhillon, who both failed to impress in the first two games. But the move failed to yield any positives as rookies Hari Prasad, Inderjit Singh and Sunil Yadav failed to trouble the German defenders.

Even their famed forwards -- Gagan Ajit Singh and Prabhjot Singh -- failed to do anything noteworthy to stem the rot.

India, who played some organised hockey in the first half, came close to open their account as early as in the seventh minute but Gagan missed a sitter much to the disgust of his teammates.

Gagan Ajit Singh took a long time to take aim at the German post after getting a perfect cross from captain Dilip Tirkey from inside the Indian half.

In the absence of Pillay and Dhillon, coach Rajinder Singh made full use of the rolling substitutions in the first half in a desperate attempt to score a goal.

Even though the Indians were pressing hard for a goal, it was Germany who took the lead in the 14th minute when a good move through the right flank ended with a searing hit by Bechmann that beat goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan all ends up.

India were lucky not to concede anymore goals before the end of the first half despite Germany getting three penalty corners including one a few seconds before the half-time hooter.

Captain Florian Kunz hit wide twice while the third was smartly palmed away by Chauhan. The second half saw a dramatic change in the script as the Germans increased their pace, making several forays into the Indian circle testing the defence. — PTI

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