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S P O R T S


BCCI puts its weight behind Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar Mumbai, April 28
The Board of Control for Cricket in India today hit back at its Pakistani counterpart and said the PCB’s reservations over Sunil Gavaskar’s functioning as ICC Cricket Committee Chairman were unwarranted.


Pakistan board rubbishes reports

VRV Singh stars in India A win
Abu Dhabi, April 28
India A outplayed Pakistan A in all departments of the game for a 34-run victory in the Eurasia Series cricket tournament here tonight.

Narrow win for Sri Lanka A

Fleming puts Kiwis on top
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming celebrates on completing his double century on the second day of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Friday Cape Town, April 28
Stephen Fleming’s batting records piled up as New Zealand reached 427 for seven at tea on the second day of the second Test against South Africa today.





New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming celebrates on completing his double century on the second day of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Friday. — Reuters photo



In video:
Australia to send best team for ICC Champions Trophy.
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EARLIER STORIES

 

Aussies sweep ODI series
Fatullah, April 28
Mark Cosgrove hammered 74 off 69 balls on his ODI debut today to power Australia to a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the third and final limited-overs cricket international.

Pension scheme to encompass Ranji cricketers
Mumbai, April 28
The Indian cricket board is all set to extend its pension scheme for Test and international cricketers to encompass those who have played a minimum of 10 Ranji Trophy matches.

Army to import horses for Olympics
A Hanoverian horse is taken out for its regular morning trot at the Chandigarh Horse Show in Chandigarh on Friday Chandigarh, April 28
The Army has decided to import horses for participating in the Olympics. Under its Mission Olympics project, it would be procuring about 10 horses of the type preferred by international riders.



A Hanoverian horse is taken out for its regular morning trot at the Chandigarh Horse Show in Chandigarh on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Tejaswini misses bronze by whisker
New Delhi, April 28
Tejeswani Sawant missed the bronze by a whisker and compatriot Avneet Kaur Sidhu finished sixth in the women’s section while World No.1 Gagan Narang slumped to a lowly 16th position in the men’s section of the 10 m air rifle event at the World Cup shooting tournament in Resende, Brazil.

Men lose to Bulgaria in world TT
Bremen, April 28
Indian men put up a feeble show as they lost their last league match 1-3 to Bulgaria in the second division of the world table tennis championship here today.

China blank India
Sendai (Japan), April 28
Chetan Anand’s brave fight against the world number one was the only highlight for India who were thrashed 0-5 by defending champions China in their first league match of Thomas Cup badminton finals here today.

Mahindra United win 1-0
Panaji, April 28
Mahindra United scored a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sporting Clube de Goa at Nehru Stadium here today to move to the top of the table in the ONGC National Football League.

PPS lad rides to victory
Chandigarh, April 28
Vikramjit Singh of Punjab Public School, Nabha, bagged the first position in Junior Show Jumping Top Score, which was the only event for children held at the Chandigarh Horse Show today.
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BCCI puts its weight behind Gavaskar

Mumbai, April 28
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today hit back at its Pakistani counterpart and said the PCB’s reservations over Sunil Gavaskar’s functioning as ICC Cricket Committee Chairman were unwarranted.

Putting its weight behind the former captain, the BCCI said it had not made an issue when two Pakistanis were named in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, which does not include any Indian.

“If the Pakistan board has some reservations over the appointment of an Indian (Javagal Srinath) on the match referee’s panel, what about the presence of two Pakistani umpires on the ICC Elite Panel which does not have an Indian in it,” BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters.

“We are of the same opinion as the ICC on the issue. Gavaskar has done very well as chairman of the committee and has worked very hard,” Shah said.

Dismissing the criticism as unwarranted, the ICC had said the decisions taken by cricket’s world governing body were always taken without bias.

“Also, Gavaskar is not the only man on the committee. The decision is not his alone as the committee comprises Malcolm Speed (ICC Chief Executive) and others too,” Shah pointed out.

Pakistan board rubbishes reports

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday termed as “rubbish and baseless” the media reports that it was unhappy with Sunil Gavaskar and was planning to challenge the former Indian captain’s role as head of the ICC’s Cricket Committee.

“These are rubbish and baseless reports. We are neither making any report nor intend to make any report against Gavaskar. We respect and accept his decisions,” PCB’s Director, Board Operations, Abbas Zaidi, told PTI from Lahore.

The Pakistani media reported yesterday that the PCB was very unhappy with the influence Gavaskar had over decisions, and this week’s appointment of Javagal Srinath as an ICC match referee ahead of any of the four individuals it nominated appears to have been the final straw.

Pakistan’s rejected nominees were Col Naushad Ali (retd), Talat Ali, Pervez Sajjad and Hasan Jameel. — PTI

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VRV Singh stars in India A win

Abu Dhabi, April 28
India A outplayed Pakistan A in all departments of the game for a 34-run victory in the Eurasia Series cricket tournament here tonight.

After producing a powerful batting performance to post a challenging 269 for 6, the Indians dismissed the arch-rivals for 235 in the day-night encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Bazid Khan top-scored for Pakistan A with 87, while VRV Singh was the pick of the India A bowlers with figures of 3-33 from 10 overs.

Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss, India A were off to a flying start with last-match centurions Robin Uthappa and Shikhar Dhawan stamping their authority against Pakistani bowlers and racing to a 100-run partnership from 17 overs for the opening wicket. Both openers notched up half centuries.

Scoreboard

India A

Uthappa lbw Amjad 52

Dhawan st Haider b Hafeez 52

Rao c Raza b Hafeez 45

Rohit Sharma c Irshad b Gul 62

Kaarthick c Hameed b Amjad 33

Sodhi not out 3

Badrinath c Misbah b Gul 1

R. Jadeja not out 5

Extras 16

Total (6 wickets, 50 overs) 269

Bowling: Umar Gul 10-1-51-2, Mohammad Irshad 4-0-27-0, Yasir Arafat 10-0-57-0, Mohammad Hafeez 10-0-53-2, Mansoor Amjad 10-0-49-2, Taufeeq Umar 6-0-29-0.

Pakistan A

Hameed lbw VRV Singh 1

Taufeeq b R. Jadeja 51

Hafeez b RP Singh 13

Amjad b VRV Singh 4

Bazid c Dhawan b R. Jadeja 87

Raza st Kaarthick b Chawla 11

Misbah c R. Sharma b Sodhi 17

Arafat b VRV Singh 0

Haider c R. Sharma b Sodhi 1

Gul b RP Singh 5

Irshad not out 6

Extras 39

Total (all out, 49.1 overs) 235

Bowling: RP Singh 9-0-39-2, VRV Singh 10-1-33-3, Sodhi 6-0-34-2, Chawla 10-0-46-1, Rao 2-0-10-0, Ravinder Jadeja 9.1-2-28-2, Badrinath 3-0-21-0. — Agencies

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Narrow win for Sri Lanka A

Abu Dhabi, April 28
Sri Lanka A survived a scare against lowly United Arab Emirates to manage a narrow two-wicket victory with just one ball to spare in the Eurasia Cup cricket tournament here.

Chasing a target of 259 runs, Lankan skipper Avishka Gunawardene scored a valuable 94 at the top of the order and his team was cruising to victory before a middle order collapse saw them lose six wickets in the space of 30 runs.

Sri Lanka were comfortably placed at 228 for 2 in the 43rd over but the middle order inexplicably caved in after the fall of Jayan Kaushal Silva, who contributed 79 runs.

Medium pacer Arshad Ali (three for 35 in eight overs) and left-arm spinner Khurram Khan (2-42) turned the game on its head as the hosts bounced back from nowhere at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium yesterday.

Ali broke the 116-run partnership between Silva and Gunawardene, whose 105-ball knock included 13 boundaries, and when Mohammed Taqir got rid of Jayan Silva and Malinda Warnapura, there was a procession of wickets.

But with just 28 runs required from 43 balls at one stage, the tailenders did not need to take any risks and somehow managed to get over the line.

Earlier, Khurram Khan’s unbeaten 108 helped UAE overcome a top order collapse. — PTI

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Fleming puts Kiwis on top

Cape Town, April 28
Stephen Fleming’s batting records piled up as New Zealand reached 427 for seven at tea on the second day of the second Test against South Africa today. Fleming was 207 not out with James Franklin on 46 in a stand of 148 for the unbroken eighth wicket, a record for New Zealand against South Africa.

Their previous eighth wicket best of 113 was made by Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori in Hamilton in 2003-04.

Captain Fleming became the first New Zealander to score three double centuries in Tests and his score was also the highest by a Kiwi against South Africa, surpassing the 170 Scott Styris scored in Auckland in 2003-04.

South Africa wasted a chance to dismiss Fleming for 136 with the fifth ball after lunch when he edged a delivery from fast bowler Dale Steyn to first slip, where Boeta Dippenaar dropped a simple catch.

New Zealand had resumed at their overnight score of 265 for six, and South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini struck with the third delivery with the new ball when Vettori (11) mistimed a drive and scooped a catch to Andre Nel at mid-on.

But the rest of a truncated morning session, due to play being delayed for 90 minutes because of fog, belonged to the New Zealanders, who scored 45 runs in the 12 overs bowled before lunch.

Franklin offered a difficult chance on 28 when he edged a ball from Ntini to Jacques Kallis at second slip but the latter failed to latch on to it.

Before play resumed this morning, groundstaff used a hovercraft to try and remove dew from the outfield. A blowtorch was used to dry repairs made to footholes on the pitch.

Scoreboard

New Zealand (1st innings)

Papps b Nel 22

Fulton c Boucher b Steyn 36

Fleming not out 207

Styris c Dippenaar b Ntini 11

Astle lbw Ntini 50

Oram run out 13

McCullum lbw Ntini 5

Vettori c Nel b Ntini 11

Franklin not out 46

Extras (b-1, lb-13, nb-11, w-1) 26

Total (7 wickets, 126 overs) 427

Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-62, 3-82, 4-188, 5-237, 6-259, 7-279.

Bowling: Ntini 29-2-106-4, Steyn 21-3-68-1, Nel 25-3-85-1, Kallis 15-4-45-0, Boje 22-4-66-0, Smith 13-2-39-0, Amla 1-0-4-0. — Reuters

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Aussies sweep ODI series

Fatullah, April 28
Mark Cosgrove hammered 74 off 69 balls on his ODI debut today to power Australia to a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the third and final limited-overs cricket international.

Cosgrove smashed seven boundaries and two sixes, while Simon Katich contributed an unbeaten 42 off 69 balls, including five boundaries, to lead Australia to a 3-0 series sweep.

Cosgrove was attempting to hit the winning runs when he was bowled by spinner Abdur Razzak and became the host’s only wicket of the match. When the left-handed batsman departed, Australia was on 123 in the 23rd over, chasing a victory target of 125.

Bradley Hogg, who earlier grabbed three wickets for 17 runs, hit a boundary to take Australia to its victory target.

Mitchell Johnson and Daniel Cullen earlier claimed two wickets each as Australia’s youthful bowling attack skittled Bangladesh for 124 runs. Brett Dorey, James Hopes and Michael Clarke snared one wicket each.

Scoreboard

Bangladesh

Nafees lbw Johnson 0

Saleh b Clarke 37

Ahmed c Gilchrist b Dorey 1

Ashraful C Cullen b Hopes 13

Bashar st Gilchrist b Hogg 33

Kapali c Katich b Hogg 5

Mashud st Gilchrist b Cullen 11

Rafique b Johnson 0

Mortaza c Symonds b Cullen 2

Razzak c Symonds b Hogg 1

Hossain not out 2

Extras (w-14, nb-5) 19

Total (all out, 42.3 overs) 124

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-8, 3-41, 4-80, 5-85, 6-107, 7-117, 8-118, 9-122.

Bowling: Johnson 8-1-24-2, Dorey 4-1-12-1, Hopes 5-3-8-1, Hussey 5-1-13-0, Cullen 7.3-1-25-2, Cosgrove 4-0-12-0, Clarke 3-0-13-1, Hogg 6-0-17-3.

Australia

Cosgrove b Razzak 74

Katich not out 42

Hogg not out 4

Extras (w-4, nb-3) 7

Total (1 wicket, 22.4 overs) 127

Fall of wickets: 1-123.

Bowling: Mortaza 4-1-17-0, Hossain 5-0-32-0, Razzak 6.4-1-35-1, Rafique 6-1-28-0, Saleh 1-0-15-0. — AP

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Pension scheme to encompass Ranji cricketers

Mumbai, April 28
The Indian cricket board is all set to extend its pension scheme for Test and international cricketers to encompass those who have played a minimum of 10 Ranji Trophy matches.

The BCCI’s finance committee, which met here today, has recommended that the pension scheme be extended to Ranji Trophy cricketers too and the suggestion would be taken up at the next Working Committee meeting of the board, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters here today.

“As per the recommendations, all those cricketers, who have played more than 75 Ranji Trophy ties before 2003-04 season, would get Rs 15,000, those who have played between 50-75 matches, would receive Rs 10,000 and those who have played 10 matches before the league system was introduced in 1958-59 would also get Rs 10,000 per month,” Shah said.

Shah said no concrete decisions were taken at the meeting of the constitution review committee, also held today, and the discussions would continue for some more days. — PTI

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Army to import horses for Olympics
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Army has decided to import horses for participating in the Olympics. Under its Mission Olympics project, it would be procuring about 10 horses of the type preferred by international riders. The Army would import horses for the first time after 1997, when it had introduced a German breed.

According to Lieut-Col S.S. Ahlawat, an ace rider who has represented India in several international events, the Army is looking at European and Irish horses, which are suitable for show jumping, dressage and cross-country jumping.

Colonel Ahlawat, who is also associated with Mission Olympics, said the Army was also scouting for good coaches and may also hire the services of foreign coaches if the need be. Great stress is being laid on coaching, he added.

Equestrian events are among the seven sports identified by the Army in which India can win a medal at the Olympics. Under its Mission Olympics, the Army is scouting for talent and training probables to bring them up to international standards.

During 1997-98, the Army also introduced Hanoverian horses, natives of Germany, in order to improve the standards of horsemanship here. It had imported 26 horses o which seven were studs and the rest mares.

A breeding farm was set up at Babugarh in Uttar Pradesh and the strength of Hanoverian horses in the country is now about 400. “These are warm blooded horses, heavier and more powerful than native Indian horses,” Col N.S. Rajpurohit, event manager at the Chandigarh Horse Show, said. “These are excellent for power sports like jumping,” he said.

The average height of Hanoverian horses is 160-170 cm, where as Indian breeds reach up to 155 cm only. This gives the European steeds advantage in the arena. The Hanoverian, Colonel Rajpurohit said, is a very successful top-dressage and show jumping breed, whose characteristics are power, willingness to work, calmness and good manners. The Hanoverian warmbloods are the result of the interest of the Kings of England and Hanover in the horses of the region and the breed has been around for several centuries.

According to riders, Indian breeds Kathiawari, Marwari, Manipuri and Spiti are also good, but these are not available to ride upon when they go abroad for participating in international events. Hence it is better to be used to the type of horses on which they would be competing.

The Indian record in jumping is 140 cm, where as the Grand Prix is 150 cm. “If we aim for this, we will be able to meet our aspirations for an equestrian medal in the Asian games, an officer said. “For Olympics, we need to cross 160 cm,” he added.

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Tejaswini misses bronze by whisker

New Delhi, April 28
Tejeswani Sawant missed the bronze by a whisker and compatriot Avneet Kaur Sidhu finished sixth in the women’s section while World No.1 Gagan Narang slumped to a lowly 16th position in the men’s section of the 10 m air rifle event at the World Cup shooting tournament in Resende, Brazil.

It was heartbreak for the Commonwealth gold medallist Tejaswini who missed a podium finish by just 0.2 points. She shot a score of 499.7 to finish fourth behind Sylwia Bogacka of Poland who shot 499.9.

Katerina Karkova of Czech Republic claimed the gold with a score of 501.6 (399+102.6) while the silver went to fellow Pavla Kalna with 500.3 (397+103.3), according to the information received here today.

Tejaswini shot 396 (98,99,100,99) in the qualifying as against 397 by the Pole. The Indian’s final score of 103.7 was better than Sylwia’s (102.9) but that proved insufficient in the end.

Fellow Avneet Sidhu also shot 396 (99,99,98,100), same as Tejaswini’s, but in the finals scored 102.5 to tally 498.5 (396+102.5) and finished sixth.

Another Indian in the fray, Soudaminee Gavankar shot 389 (98,96,98,97) to finish 35th. In the minimum qualifying score (MQS) section, seasoned Anjali Bhagwat shot 397 (99,100,99,99), the highest qualification score among all the five Indians, while Suma Shirur shot 392 (95,97,100,100).

Meanwhile in men’s 10m air rifle, Gagan Narang, who was participating in the MQS as he has already qualified for 2008 Beijing Olympics, shot a sub-standard 593 with a series of 98,98,100,100,97,100 to finish 16th.

This was four points less than what he shot at the World Cup in China last month where he won the gold with a score of 700.2 (597+103.2).

Gagan, who won four gold medals in Melbourne Commonwealth Games last month, will also compete in the 50m three Position Rifle event.

The other Indian in the event, Sanjeev Rajput, failed to qualify for the finals with a below par score of 585 (98,98,96,99,97,97). He finished 36th.

The gold in this event was won by Austrian Christian Planer with an aggregate of 699.6 (599+100.6). The silver went to Are Hansen of Norway with a score of 697.5 (595+102.5) while Serguei Kruglov of Russia won the bronze with a score of 697.4 (595+102.4). — UNI

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Men lose to Bulgaria in world TT

Bremen, April 28
Indian men put up a feeble show as they lost their last league match 1-3 to Bulgaria in the second division of the world table tennis championship here today.

India had already entered the pre-quarterfinals, with eight points in their kitty from a 3-2 win-loss record.

As the East Europeans were seeded 11th in the second division, just three spots above the Indians, Sharath and co were expected to put up a stronger fight in the tie.

Commonwealth Games champion Achanta Sharath Kamal continued his fine run and was the only Indian to score a victory in the tie, thrashing Konstantin Parapanov 3-0, while Shubhajit Saha lost a gruelling battle to Kessov Todor.

Soumyadeep Roy went down meekly to world No. 50 Zhe Feng 5-11, 6-11, 3-11 in the opening match. Sharath Kamal levelled the tie with an 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 win over Parapanov.

Saha took Todor to the wire but lost 11-7, 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11.

Sharath Kamal, however, failed to deliver in the fourth match going down 11-2, 11-3, 11-8 against the higher ranked Zhe Feng.

The Indian women’s team, which has lost all their ties in the championship division, would take on Italy, seeded 11th, in play-off matches. — PTI

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Thomas Cup
China blank India

Sendai (Japan), April 28
Chetan Anand’s brave fight against the world number one was the only highlight for India who were thrashed 0-5 by defending champions China in their first league match of Thomas Cup badminton finals here today.

Anand, ranked 24, gave a scare to Lin Dan as he snatched the second game but the champion finally emerged unscathed 21-8, 23-21, 21-11 to win the first match.

From thereafter, it was a one-sided affair as China gave no further room to lowly India and stamped their supremacy, routing other players in straight games.

The doubles combination of Rupesh Kumar and V. Diju went down 5-21, 16-21 to Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun in the second match.

World No. 9 Jin Chen got the better of national champion Anup Sridhar 21-14, 21-10 to seal the tie in China’s favour.

The scratch doubles combine of Thomas Kurien and Jaseel Ismail lost 6-21, 10-21 to Bo Zhang and Guo Zhendeng.

Arvind Bhat went down 15-21, 10-21 in the last singles to Xia Xuanze. — PTI

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Mahindra United win 1-0

Panaji, April 28
Mahindra United scored a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sporting Clube de Goa at Nehru Stadium here today to move to the top of the table in the ONGC National Football League.

S Venkatesh scored the match-winner in the stoppage time of the first half.

With this win, Mahindra United took their total to 29 points from 13 matches, displacing from the top East Bengal, who have 28 points from 14 matches, while Sporting Clube de Goa remained on the fifth place with 19 points from 12 matches.

The man of the match was defender Mahesh Gawli. — PTI

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PPS lad rides to victory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Vikramjit Singh of Punjab Public School, Nabha, bagged the first position in Junior Show Jumping Top Score, which was the only event for children held at the Chandigarh Horse Show today. Nawab Singh from RVC School and Depot, Saharanpur, and Anant Rajpurohit from Shivalik Riding and Pony Club came second and third, respectively.

The results of other events, in order of merit: Preliminary Jumping Top Score – Lt Col G S Gill (EFI); Ct Virendra Singh (Delhi Police); LD Harsimranjit Singh (PBG).

Novice Jumping Top Score – Maj A.S. Baath (61 Cav); Nb Ris Sajjan Kumar (PBG); Nb Ris Gulab Singh (SRPC).

Open Challenging Jump – Lt Col Deep Alhawat (RVC); LD Harsimranjit Singh (PBG); Nb Ris Gulab Singh (SRPC).

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 BRIEFLY

Mukesh wins Noida Open
Noida:
Mukesh Kumar fired a final round 68 to win the Rs 10 lakh ONGC Noida Open 2006 by five shots here on Friday. The Mhow golfer’s tournament tally of 16-under 272 earned him the winner’s cheque of Rs 1,58,200. This was Mukesh’s fifth win of the 2005-06 Amby Valley PGAI Tour season. Kolkata’s Uttam Singh Mundy, who began the day tied for the lead with Mukesh, shot a one-over 73 for an aggregate of 11-under 277 and pocketed Rs 1,08,700 for finishing second. — PTI

Ramesh tied 5th
Dubai:
Grandmaster R.B. Ramesh outclassed IM norm aspirant D. Sai Srinivas in the fifth round of 8th Dubai International Open Chess Championship at Dubai Chess and Culture Club here on Friday. The victory helped Ramesh to joint fifth position in the standing list. Women International Master Kruttika Nadig remained in contention for her maiden Women Grandmaster norm despite being held by Taleb Moussa in the fifth round. Parimarjan Negi’s hopes of a final Grandmaster norm suffered a decisive setback after the UAE’s Abdul Majeed Mohamad held him to a draw. — PTI

Archery meet
AMRITSAR:
The five-day National Ranking Archery Circuit Tournament, in which top archers of the country like Tarundeep Rai, Dola Banerjee and Sumangala would be seen in action, started at Guru Nanak Stadium here on Friday. Prof Darbari Lal, MLA, declared the event open. Mr K.S. Kang, president, Punjab Archery Association, said the championship would be conducted in the recurve and compound categories.
OSR

Basketball trials
Patiala:
Trials to select the Patiala basketball teams for both boys and girls (under-19) will be held at the local Polo ground on Saturday at 5 pm. Mr G.S Biru, secretary of the Patiala District Basketball Association (PDBA), said the selected teams would take part in the Punjab State Basketball Championship slated to be held at Nawanshahr from May 5 to 7. Only those players who have been born on or after January 1, 1988 are eligible for the trials. — OSR

Cricket tourney
NEW DELHI:
An all-round display by Punjab player Amardeep Sonker (43 and 6 for 20) enabled Sonnet Club to defeat Pelicans by 86 runs to enter the quarterfinal of the 16th All-India Om Nath Sood Cricket Tournament for the Sperry Trophy at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce ground here on Friday. Brief scores: Sonnet Club: 260 for 9 (Naman Sharma 68, Sonu Vaid 45, Amardeep Sonker 43). Pelicans: 174 (Dinesh Dalal 43, Akash Gehlot 39; Amardeep Sonker 6 for 20, Sonu Vaid 2 for 33). — OSR

Hockey academy
AMRITSAR:
Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, gave a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to the Amritsar Hockey Club being run by Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy. — OSR
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