Only two Indians in top 10
WR clinch hockey title
Rana breaks 10-yr-old record
Proteas earn big win after skittling out India for 91
Durban, November 22
Jacques Kallis’ first century in two years, a chanceless 119 not out, anchored South Africa’s 248 for eight which they scored after winning the toss and choosing to bat.
In reply, India were dismissed for 91 in 29.1 overs to hand the home side victory by 157 runs.
Fast bowler Andre Nel bowled with pace and aggression to take a career-best four for 13 from eight overs.
South Africa's win stole the thunder from India’s Sachin Tendulkar, who played his 371st one-day international, a world record.
The South African batting all-rounder almost carried his bat through the innings, walking to the crease in the second over and staying till the close to score an unbeaten 119, his 14th one-day century, from 160 balls with 15 fours.
Kallis received valuable support from AB de Villiers (41) with whom he put on 78 runs for the fourth wicket and there was a brief assistance from Mark Boucher (23) but otherwise it was Kallis all the way.
The Indians though gave a good account of themselves with the limited bowling options they had, the bowlers bowling outside to a packed offside field and the part-time trundlers rising to the occasion.
The home team made its usual stutter at the start of the innings with three wickets gone for 63 by the 16th over before its middle order did the expected recovery.
India had chosen the treacherous option of going into the game with four frontline bowlers on a wicket which everyone believed would have a fair lift for the faster men.
In the event, the bowlers stuck to their task gamely, none better than old warhorse Zaheer Khan who marked his return to international cricket with two early wickets.
Sachin Tendulkar tested his shoulder productively, bowling his nine overs for only 33 runs.
Zaheer struck off only his second delivery when Graeme Smith (1) played the wrong line to be leg before wicket and later Loots Bosman (22) fell in similar manner in trying to work the ball on to the onside.
Herschelle Gibbs in the middle overs was out of sorts in making two runs from 14 balls before chasing a Munaf Patel outswinger into the hands of wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Kallis was completely unaffected by the turbulence at the other end and went about stroking the ball in the cover region with impunity and authority. — Agencies
South Africa Extras (lb-1, w-9) 10 India Extras (nb-2, w-1) 3
Extras (lb-1, w-9) 10
Extras (nb-2, w-1) 3
Dubai, November 22
The Indian captain (882 points) occupied the third spot behind his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting (931) and Pakistan’s prolific middle order batsman Mohammad Yousuf (901).
In fact, in the top 20 list, there was just one another batsman from India — opener Virender Sehwag.
Kumble (736 points) was sixth in the bowlers’ list while left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan was at 14th spot. Sri Lanka offie Muttiah Muralitharan (908) was heading the charts folllowed by South African speedster Makhaya Ntini (830) and Australian great Shane Warne (813) at second and third spots.
In team rankings, the focus has shifted to Ashes.
Andrew Flintoff and his teammates have an added incentive of winning the Ashes. If they win by three clear Tests, England will overtake Australia at the top of the LG ICC Test Championship table.
England’s series win over Pakistan in August has left it 11 rating points adrift of Ricky Ponting's table-topping side but the gap will disappear if England secures a comprehensive win in the five-match series.
Success by three Tests — 3-0 or 4-1 — will lift England to 124 rating points and, at the same time, drop Australia to 123 points, meaning the leadership of the LG ICC Test Championship table would change for the first time since early 2003 when Stephen Waugh’s side regained top spot from South Africa.
That, however, will be easier said than done for England as Australia has not lost a series at home since 1992/93 when the West Indies won 2-1. And the last time England won a series Down Under by three clear Tests was way back in 1978/79 when it triumphed 5-1.
England’s success against Pakistan meant it overtook Inzamam-ul-Haq’s side in the LG ICC Test Championship table and Pakistan, now in third position, is just one rating point clear of India.
But Pakistan won the first Test of its ongoing home series against the West Indies and looks determined to keep the pressure on England should it struggle in Australia.
India were lying at fourth (111) after Australia (130), England (119) and Pakistan (112). — PTI
Multan, November 22
Farhat (70 not out) shared substantial partnerships with Younis (56) and Yousuf (56 not out) to steer Pakistan to a comfortable 213 for two at the close on the fourth day, just 21 runs short of making West Indies bat again.
West Indies, enjoying a big first innings lead of 234 thanks to Lara’s brilliant 216, dismissed Mohammad Hafeez for 18 in the second session and removed the dangerous Younis in the second over after tea. While Hafeez was bowled middle stump by Jerome Taylor, Younis was caught behind off spinner Dave Mohammed after a 100 runs stand from 149 balls with Farhat.
The left-handed Farhat, dropped in the next over on 45 by Shivnarine Chanderpaul at short mid-off off Dwayne Bravo, combined with the in-form Yousuf to put on an undefeated 89 runs for the third wicket to keep the visitors at bay.
Yousuf was in splendid form scoring his 27th half century from 66 balls with seven fours and Farhat his 10th from 139 balls and six boundaries.
Younis also completed his 17th half century from 66 balls with six shots to the fence and 4000 runs in his 49th match with a streaky shot down to fine leg.
All three batsmen also got half centuries in the first innings total of 357 to which West Indies replied with 591.
Gayle lbw Kaneria 93
Powell lbw Razzaq 9
Extras (b-9, lb-18, nb-7) 34
Pakistan (2nd innings)
Hafeez b Taylor 18
(2 wkts, 66 overs) 213
Brisbane, November 22
Interest in the Ashes was beginning to decline when Australia racked up seven straight series wins between 1989 and 2003 but England’s epic 2-1 victory at home last year instantly revitalised the rivalry.
Thousands of English fans have arrived here for the series opener, while tickets for each of the five Tests were sold out within hours of being released.
Australia will start as short-priced favourites to regain the Ashes on account of their imposing record on home soil and their outstanding form over the past 12 months.
The team has not lost a series at home to anyone in 14 years and have won 11 and drawn one of the 12 Tests they have played since their loss last year.
“We’re happy with the way we’re going, there’s a good mood in the team, but it all starts again tomorrow,” Australia captain Ricky Ponting told a press conference today.
“It doesn’t matter who the bookmakers think will win, the only thing that matters is what happens on the field and we’re expecting a tough series,” he said.
While Australia quickly rebounded from the disappointment of losing last year to re-establish themselves as the world’s best team, England have struggled to reach those dizzy heights again.
Crippled by injuries, including the loss of their Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan and key fast bowler Simon Jones, England have won just five of their last 13 Tests and have had a troubled start to their Australian tour.
They were beaten in their first game then lost experienced opener Marcus Trescothick a week before the Test when he walked out on the team and flew home because of depression.
Strike bowler Steve Harmison threw a scare into the camp when he missed the last practice session with a side strain then in-form batsman Ian Bell injured his wrist in the nets at Brisbane.
Harmison and Bell are both still expected to play but the troubles have left captain Andrew Flintoff under no illusions about the difficulties facing his side.
“This could be the biggest Test series ever... 2005 was a huge achievement for us but the opportunity to defend them in Australia is going to be even bigger,” Flintoff said.
“We want to back it up with a good performance... the one thing we’re desperate to do is to back up that performance from 2005 with a good one out here.”
Despite the odds being stacked against his team, all-rounder Flintoff said he was still confident England would retain the Ashes.
While previous England teams have crumbled in Australia, Flintoff said his young team were not scarred by past defeats and were better now than when they beat the Aussies last time.
“We played well in 2005 but I don’t think we’ve peaked,” he said.
“Some of the lads who played in that last Test series hadn’t played a lot of Test cricket but have played more now. With the side being as young as it is I’d say it’d be dangerous to say it’s peaked, it’s a side that’s gaining more experience and getting better.”
Australia suffered a setback this week when all-rounder Shane Watson was ruled out with a hamstring injury and replaced by middle-order batsman Michael Clarke.
Watson’s loss leaves the Australians likely to attack England with just four specialist bowlers — leg-spinner Shane Warne, pacemen Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and either Stuart Clark or Mitchell Johnson.
With Warne and McGrath both in their late 30s and temperatures of 32 °C forecast for the match, concerns have been raised about the age of Australia’s bowlers but Ponting said they were jumping out of their skins to play.
“The excitement is starting to overflow on everybody,” he said. “The guys will be nice and fresh and raring to go.” — Reuters
Tribune News Service
Mohali, November 22
Going by the previous record of the matches, played between the two teams, the Punjab team definitely has an edge over Bengal. Out of the four matches, Punjab has won three matches and one ended in draw.
But the last first class season tells another story. Where Bengal was the finalist of last Ranji matches of Elite group, Punjab could not even qualify for the knockout round and perished in the league round of the tournament.
The other factor which goes in favour of Bengal is having experienced players like skipper Sourav Ganguly, ace batsmen Rohan Gavaskar and Deep Das Gupta and pacer SS Paul.
On the other hand, the Punjab side, led by skipper Pankaj Dharmani, has home ground advantage. Having players like VRV Singh, Reetinder Sodhi and Gagandeep Singh, the team will miss the experience of Dinesh Mongia.
Being the first match of the first class season, the match is crucial for both the teams on account of team’s performance as well as individual performances. Besides, Sourav Ganguly, young cricketers like VRV Singh, SS Paul, Gagandeep Singh, Rajesh Sharma and Ritender Singh Sodhi would be fighting to attract the selectors’ attention.
The match will start at 9:15 am and finish at 4:15 pm.
WR clinch hockey title
Ludhiana, November 22 Shangai Chau put WR into the lead through a field goal in the 17th minute and three minutes later Anu Sonkar converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0. WR players added another goal in the 49th minute which came off R Mallick’s stick. CR managed to score the face saving goal in the 56th minute when Sangeetha converted a penalty corner. In the match to decide the third position, last year’s champions, Northern Railway, Delhi, got the better of South Eastern Railway, Kolkata, 8-7 to redeem some prestige. The issue was resolved in the sudden death period. Chan Chan Devi of Western Railway was adjudged the best player of the tournament. Reena and Parvashni, both of SAI, Chandigarh, shared the highest scorer prize while SAI, Chandigarh, was declared the most disciplined team.
Ludhiana, November 22
Shangai Chau put WR into the lead through a field goal in the 17th minute and three minutes later Anu Sonkar converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0.
WR players added another goal in the 49th minute which came off R Mallick’s stick. CR managed to score the face saving goal in the 56th minute when Sangeetha converted a penalty corner.
In the match to decide the third position, last year’s champions, Northern Railway, Delhi, got the better of South Eastern Railway, Kolkata, 8-7 to redeem some prestige. The issue was resolved in the sudden death period.
Chan Chan Devi of Western Railway was adjudged the best player of the tournament. Reena and Parvashni, both of SAI, Chandigarh, shared the highest scorer prize while SAI, Chandigarh, was declared the most disciplined team.
Chandigarh, November 22
Anirban virtually conquered the greens on the return nine when he chipped in from 50 yards to sink an eagle on the 16th hole. This eagle came soon after he had shot two birdies on the 10th and 13th holes. This fine display came after the No1 amateur golfer had conceded two bogeys in the first nine. But the overall two-under in today’s card gave him a four-stroke lead over the joint second-placed Gaganjeet Bhullar and Jasjeet Singh.
Anirban said: “The course was playing long in the first half due to damp conditions. It was difficult to control the iron shots and the soft greens did not help my putting”.
The overnight leader, 18-year-old Gaganjeet Bhullar of Kapurthala, was a victim of the damp conditions. He conceded bogeys in the first two holes. Another two bogeys in the return nine and a consolation birdie on the 16th hole saw him finish the second round with a three-over card of 75. But his two-under first-round card saw him bracket with Jasjeet Singh of Noida in the second spot.
Jasjeet started well with birdies on the fifth and sixth holes. But then his tee shot on the seventh hole saw the ball landing out of bounds — two strokes gone. He bogeyed again and again in the next two holes to finish the first nine two-over. But he made some amends in the return nine as he birdied the 12th to finish the day at one-over for a two-day score of 145, the same as Gaganjeet.
Simarjeet Singh fired a round of three-over 75 to share the fourth place with Balpreet Singh Ghuman at 146. Joseph Chakola and Saurabh Bahuguna returned an identical card of par 72 to share the sixth spot at 150. Karan Vasudeva had a card of two-over 74 to be placed eighth at 152, while Raj Randhawa and Moin Malak were in joint ninth place at 153.
The cut was applied at 23-over 167, with only 40 players plus ties proceeding to the deciding rounds.
Scores (after 36 holes): Anirban Lahiri 71+70=141; Gaganjeet Bhullar 70+75=145, Jasjeet Singh 72+73=145; Simarjeet Singh 71+75=146, Balpreet Singh Ghuman 72+74=146; Joseph Chakola 78+72=150, Saurabh Bahuguna 78+72=150; Karan Vasudeva 78+74=152; Raj Randhawa 77+76=153, Moin Malak 74+79=153.
Our Sports Reporter
New Delhi, November 22
The three boxers who fell at the quarter-final hurdles were Chhotu Loura, Aruna Mishra and Renu.
World champion MC Mary Kom began India’s winning spree, in the very first bout of the semi-finals, when she outpunched Jong Ok of DPR Korea at 20-8 in the 46kg.
However, Chhotu Loura could not sustain the aggression and defence she displayed in the first round against World No 3 Hasibe Erkoc of Turkey to lose her 50kg bout by 8-17.
But Sarita Devi, silver medallist in the 2004 World Championship in Norway, and Asian champion in 2003 and 2005, brought back the smiles on the faces of the Indian fans when she tormented Samiha Ali Hassan of Egypt to win the 52kg bout which forced the referee to stop the bout in the second round when the Egyptian took two counts in the same round (20-7).
Usha made light of the reputation of the world champion to lead 4-3 and 7-5 in the first two rounds before getting into her aggressive best in the last round to corner the world champion onto the ropes and pummell her with a flurry of punches to win at 15-10.
Jenny RL smashed her way into the 63kg final when she made a remarkable fight back to beat Katie Dunn of Canada 25-19.
Aruna Mishra’s defeat in the 66kg at the hands of World No 3 O Kozlan of Ukraine was a setback, but Lekha KC made up for that when she won the 70kg bout against Anita Ducza, the world No 2, at 24-6.
However, in the last bout, Renu put up a good fight against C Hemingway of the United States in the 80kg, but her best was not enough to tame her rival, and lost at 7-10.
New Delhi, November 22
After 20 minutes of highly unimaginative football, JCT grabbed the lead against East Bengal with a soft goal.
Ambrose scored the second goal while Adebayo Tokunbo struck the third goal in the 81st minute.
The fourth goal was the result of a comedy of errors on part of the East Bengal defence that saw M Suresh’s back pass resulting in an own goal as Rajat was left to curse his luck.
Earlier, substitute Joachim Abranche’s late strike helped Dempo conquer a gritty Army XI 2-1 in another pre-quarterfinal league match. — UNI
Kurukshetra, November 22
Bhiwani bagged eight gold, six silver and three bronze medals while district Hisar were declared runners-up. Hisar won six gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Among the men’s section, Surender from Hisar was declared the best athlete while among women, Annu from Sonipat was declared the best athlete.
The 21st Haryana State Games were organised by the Haryana Olympic Association and about 5000 players drawn from different districts participated in the games.
Surender of Hisar equalized 100m record race in 10.5 sec while Annu set a meet record in 100m in a time of 12.1 sec.
Among the organiszations, the best performer was Haryana Police, who bagged 2 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze.
Results: men’s section: Archery (90m): 1. Tahir (Gurgaon) 194 points, 2. Amit (Gurgaon) 178 points 3. Pankaj (Narnaul) 144 points. 70m: 1. Tahir (Gurgaon) 255 points, 2. Vijender (Narnaul) 233 points. 50m: 1. Tahir (Gurgaon) 278 points, 2. Amit (Narnaul). 30 m: All the three positions won by Narnaul guys taking (Pankaj, Amit and Vijender). Overall best all-rounder in this game was Tahir (Gurgaon) taking 772 points and Amit (Gurgaon) 711 points. Best team performance in this competition was by Gurgaon team (Tahir, Amit, Arjuna and Satya Parkash) and the 1st runner up was Narnaul Team (Pankaj, Vijender, Amit and Arvind). Cycling 40 km individual time trial: 1. Subhash (Hisar) 52.56 Sec, 2. Nirmal (Kurukshetra) 54.30 sec, 3. Gurbaj (Karnal). 12 km massed start (OC): 1. Jatinder (Karnal), 2. Parveen (Kurukshetra).
Women’s Section: Archery (70m): 1. Kalpana (Fardiabad) 192 points, 2. Kamlesh (Faridabad) 184 Points, 2. Poonam (Naranul) 158 point. 60m: 1. Kamlesh (Faridabad) 274 point, 2. Kalpana (Faridbad) 265 points. 50m: 1. Kalpana (Faridabad) 206 points, 2. Durga (Faridabad) 191 points. 30m: 1. Kalpana (Faridabad) 145 points, 2. Kamlesh (Faridabad) 141 points. In this competition, best archer award: 1. Kalpana (Faridabad) 712 points, 2. Kamlesh 697 points, 3. Poonam (Narnaul) 569 point. The team section: Faridabad (Kalpana, Kamlesh, Durga and Jyoti), 2. Narnaul (Poonam, Renu, Arti, Rekha), 3. Sirsa. Cycling 60km massed start: 1. Rocky (Rohtak), 2. Rajini. 25 km individual time trial: 1. Ritu (Karnal) 50:10.17 sec, 2. Rajni (Yamunanagar) 51.09:79 sec. 30km individual time Trial: 1. Yamunanagar, 2. Rohtak.
Rana breaks 10-yr-old record
Patiala, November 22
Rana, a BA final year student of National College, Bhikhi, near Mansa, rewrote the inter-varsity record set by Punjabi University rider Hitraj Singh ten years back at the same venue. Facing inclement weather, including a stiff breeze blowing across the velodrome, Rana won the event by clocking a time of 1.12.99 seconds in the process lowering Hitraj’s record of 1.13:19 seconds.
Rana, a protege of Punjabi University coach Mittarpal Singh, made a strong start and kept up the momentum during the entire race to beat the experienced Shishpal Jatt of Bikaner University, who took the second place in a time of 1.16.91. The third place was taken by Amandeep Singh of Panjab University, Chandigarh, who clocked 1.19.91.
Speaking on his superb performance, an elated Mittarpal Singh, who has been grooming Abhishek Rana for the past several years, said, “Rana is one of the best things to have happened to Indian cycling in recent years.
On the women’s side, Panjab University cyclists Gurpreet Kaur and Kulwinder Kaur made it a one-two for their team in the 500m time trial event. Gurpreet Kaur clocked 41.97 second to stand first while Kulwinder Kaur had a timing of 42.89 seconds to finish second. The third spot was taken by Mehita Mohan of Kerala University who clocked 43.66 seconds for her effort.
However, the biggest disappointment of the day proved to be Punjabi University rider Anita Rani who had to rest contend with a fourth place finish.