SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

SAFARI: 3rd One-dayer
Will the phoenix rise for India
Munaf Patel ruled out; Virender Sehwag doubtful starter

Cape Town, November 25
Rattled by the Durban debacle and the stinging criticism by angry fans back home, a beleaguered India go into the third one-dayer against South Africa here tomorrow unsure of the team composition and the batting order which can deliver the goods on bouncy tracks.



Rahul Dravid in action during a training session at the Newlands cricket stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. — AFP
photo
Rahul Dravid in action during a training session at the Newlands cricket stadium in Cape Town on Saturday

Vengsarkar visit
MUMBAI: BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty said here today Selection Committee Chairman Dilip Vengsarkar will leave for South Africa only after November 30, the day the Indian squad would be picked for the three-Test series that follows the ongoing limited over series. — PTI

England on the ropes
Brisbane, November 25
Australia were digging a massive hole for a beleaguered England to escape from, as the tourists faced a demoralising defeat in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba here today.

Bengal beat Punjab
Mohali, November 25
A five-wicket haul by Ashok Dinda helped Bengal register a 14-run win over Punjab in a closely contested Ranji Trophy match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, here today. With this win, Bengal got four points.

Punjab to recruit 169 coaches 
Chandigarh, November 25
International players with a diploma from the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports stand a chance of getting a coach’s job in the Punjab Sports Department. The appointment will be on an annual contract.


 


India’s Rohan Bopanna plays a return to Japan’s Yuichi Sugita during a men’s singles match of the Asian Hopman Cup at the SAAP Tennis Complex in Hyderabad on Saturday
India’s Rohan Bopanna plays a return to Japan’s Yuichi Sugita during a men’s singles match of the Asian Hopman Cup at the SAAP Tennis Complex in Hyderabad on Saturday. Rohan won 7-6, 6-3 as India clinched the tie 3-0. — PTI

EARLIER STORIES




Jeev in joint lead
Kochi (Japan), November 25
Jeev Milkha Singh displayed fine iron play and carded a bogey-free three-under 69 to get back into shared lead after the third round of the $ 1.19 million Casio World Open golf championship here today.

JCT, Dempo enter final
New Delhi, November 25
An extra-time strike by Chidi Edeh ensured JCT, Phagwara, beat Sporting Clube de Goa 1-0 and set up a title clash against Dempo in the 119th Osian’s Durand Cup football tournament here today. Nigerian Chidi scored in the 115th minute to secure JCT’s first final appearance since 1996.


JCT’s Adebayo Tokunbo (left) and Sporting Clube de Goa’s Bello Rasaq fight for the ball during a semifinal of the 119th Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. — PTI

JCT’s Adebayo Tokunbo (left) and Sporting Clube de Goa’s Bello Rasaq fight for the ball during a semifinal of the 119th Durand Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday

Oil’s well that ends well
New Delhi, November 25
Olympian Deepak Thakur’s golden goal just one minute into extra time helped star-studded Indian Oil defeat Namdhari XI 2-1 and regain the title in the 43rd edition of the Nehru Hockey Tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here today.

Kang clinches Am-Am title
Chandigarh, November 25
H.S. Kang displayed good putting as he carded an impressive round of two-under 70 to clinch the Am-Am event of the Royal Challenge Samarvir Sahi Amateur Golf Championship at the Chandigarh Golf Club here today.

Punjabi varsity riders shine
Patiala, November 25
After dominating the track events, Punjabi University, Patiala, continued to assert their supremacy in the road races by annexing two gold medals in the All-India Inter- University Cycling Championship (road) held near the university campus here today.

Karate contest begins
Ambala, November 25
The 12th district Karate competition began at Mind Tree school, Ambala City today. The school principal Mrs Sudha Mathur said that 220 students from 20 schools of Ambala district participated in the karate competition. The competition is being coordinated by Mr Hemant Sharma.

Gurbaj replaces Rasquinha

 

 


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SAFARI: 3rd One-dayer
Will the phoenix rise for India
Munaf Patel ruled out; Virender Sehwag doubtful starter
Ashish Shukla

Cape Town, November 25
Rattled by the Durban debacle and the stinging criticism by angry fans back home, a beleaguered India go into the third one-dayer against South Africa here tomorrow unsure of the team composition and the batting order which can deliver the goods on bouncy tracks.

New-ball bowler Munaf Patel has been ruled out of the tie with a sore left ankle. His unavailability has thrown India’s team composition for the game into further disarray as it was still not known whether opener Virender Sehwag would be fit enough to take the field.

Sehwag sat out of India’s previous game in Durban which the visitors lost by a whopping 157-run margin to start their South African safari on a disastrous note, the first match having been washed out without a ball being bowled.

Skipper Rahul Dravid said he could not confirm Sehwag’s availability for the crucial tie, a defeat in which would mean India can at best draw the series from thereon.

“We are hopeful that Sehwag would be alright. But you can never say how a player pulls up on the morning of a match,” Dravid said.

He refused to react to the furore back home following the Durban debacle.

“I can’t be worried about things I can’t control. We know our country is one of extreme emotions and reactions and I can’t really stop people from making statements. As they are entitled to their opinions so am I entitled not to react,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s criticism which motivates cricketers into doing well. If the team did well in 2003 World Cup, it was because they played well, not because there was criticism back home,” he said.

It will be a real test of character for the batsmen against the battery of South African pacemen and another slip-up will only lead to a fresh uproar among fans and parliamentarians, many of whom have called for the sacking of coach Greg Chappell.

Although Dravid has always claimed that his batsmen have the capability to counter these fast and bouncy tracks, it was high time that they showed the skills as another defeat would leave the Indians completely on the rack.

Moreover, the urgency showed by the BCCI in asking Chairman of Selection Committee Dilip Vengsarkar to proceed to South Africa on a damage-control mission has piled up the pressure on the cricketers.

However, after seeing the grassless pitch at the Newlands here, the visitors must be hoping to put the big defeat behind and gain some confidence for the remaining part of the series.

The Indians would be looking to send a solid batsman in the crucial number three slot. After trying out all-rounder Irfan Pathan for a while, the Indians promoted Mohammad Kaif to that position in the last game, but it did not fetch the desired results.

Indeed the whispers from the Indian quarters suggest that Dravid wanted to bat at number three, but Chappell’s suggestion for him to be at number four prevailed in the second one-dayer in Kingsmead.

There would be inevitable changes in the line-up as Pathan was likely to be drafted in as a fire-fighting measure.

A recovering Sehwag would be deemed a better option than Wasim Jaffer, for whom one-day cricket is absolutely a new, untried diet.

Pathan would be required for conditions in Cape Town which may not allow Tendulkar to bowl 10 overs. The Baroda all-rounder could replace either Dinesh Mongia or Suresh Raina, most likely the latter as the Punjab batsman has some experience of these conditions.

Mongia was part of India’s squad in the 2003 World Cup and given his vast experience of county conditions in England, not to forget his left-arm spin, he could find himself in the playing eleven.

For the South Africans, the challenge is of a completely different kind. Captain Graeme Smith is keen that the top batsmen recover their poise and he is looking for his side to improve its performance by 20 to 30 per cent.

It would not surprise anyone if pace gun Dale Steyn, who rattled the Indians in the tour opener, is drafted late into the squad.

However, the hosts are a little worked up over the absence of any form on the part of usually reliable Herschelle Gibbs. The Western Province player would be hoping to recover his touch in conditions which have been home for him for long. — PTI 

Teams (from): India: Rahul Dravid (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Mongia, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Suresh Raina, Wasim Jaffer and Anil Kumble.

South Africa: Graeme Smith, Loots Bosman, Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Justin Kemp, Shaun Pollock, Andre Nel, Charles Langeveldt, Robin Peterson and Makhaya Ntini.

Hours of play (IST): 1.30 pm to 5 pm; 5.40 till close of play.

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England on the ropes

Brisbane, November 25
Australia were digging a massive hole for a beleaguered England to escape from, as the tourists faced a demoralising defeat in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba here today.

Merciless skipper Ricky Ponting refused to enforce the follow-on after Australia dismissed the Ashes holders for just 157 to seize a massive 445-run innings lead. The Australians swelled their advantage to 626 runs, cruising to 181 for one by stumps on the third day.

Scoreboard

Australia (1st innings) 602 for 9 dec

England (1st innings)

Strauss c Hussey b McGrath 12

Cook c Warne b McGrath 11

Bell c Ponting b Clark 50

Collingwood c Gilchrist b Clark 5

Pietersen lbw McGrath 16

Flintoff c Gilchrist b Lee 0

Jones lbw b McGrath 19

Giles c Hayden b McGrath 24

Hoggard c Gilchrist b Clark 0

Harmison c Gilchrist b McGrath 0

Anderson not out 2

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

Total (all out, 61.1 overs) 157

Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-28, 3-42, 4-78, 5-79, 6-126, 7-149, 8-153, 9-154.

Bowling: Lee 15-3-51-1, McGrath 23.1-8-50-6, Clark 14-5-21-3, Warne 9-0-25-0.

Australia (2nd innings)

Langer batting 88

Hayden run out 37

Ponting batting 51

Extras (lb-4, nb-1) 5

Total (1 wkt, 40 overs) 181

Fall of wicket: 1-68.

Bowling: Hoggard 8-1-31-0, Anderson 9-1-54-0, Flintoff 5-2-11-0, Harmison 10-1-45-0, Giles 5-0-22-0, Pietersen 3-0-14-0. — AFP

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Bengal beat Punjab
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 25
A five-wicket haul by Ashok Dinda helped Bengal register a 14-run win over Punjab in a closely contested Ranji Trophy match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, here today. With this win, Bengal got four points.

Chasing a modest target of 148 runs, Punjab were skittled out for 133 runs in 59.3 overs.

Earlier, Bengal could add only 36 runs to their overnight score.

Deep Dasgupta, who was batting on 18 at the start of play today, could add only three runs to his total while Jhunjhunwala made 46 before being caught at second slip by Gaurav Gupta off Gagandeep.

The last five wickets fell for just 11 runs. VRV Singh took four wickets for 53 runs in 14 overs.

In reply, the Punjab batting line could not rise to the occasion losing wickets at regular intervals.

Openers Ravneet Ricky and Karan Goel threw away their wickets on the score of 17. The only player who held his nerves was Gaurav Gupta, who played a resolute 41-run knock. The other notable contributor was Reetinder Sodhi, who made 23. Besides Dinda, Ganguly and Ranadeb Bose claimed two wickets each for 31 and 35 runs, respectively.

Now, Punjab will take on Gujarat at Mohali while Bengal will face Mumbai at Mumbai on December 1.

Brief scores: Bengal (Ist innings):156; Punjab (Ist innings):157; Bengal (IInd innings):148 (Ganguly 43, Jhunjhunwala 46; VRV 4 for 53, Loveabhilish 3 for 21). Punjab (IInd innings):133 (Gaurav Gupta 41, Reetinder Sodhi 23; Dinda 5 for 57, Ganguly 2 for 31).

Joginder Sharma wrecks AP

Rohtak (UNI): The newly built Ch Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium witnessed the first hat-trick on Saturday when Joginder Sharma came up with a magnificent seven-wicket haul to bowl out Andhra Pradesh for 168 in their second innings of the Ranji Trophy match against Haryana.

Chasing a victory target of 242, Haryana were 92 for three in their second essay and the hosts require another 150 runs to win the match with seven wickets in hand.

The day clearly belonged to Joginder who had the Andhra batsmen running for cover.

After he ran through the top order, removing four frontline batsmen, the medium pacer removed three wickets on the last three balls of the 57th over.

He first castled RVC Prasad in the fourth ball of the over, trapped D Kalyankrishna on the next delivery and signed off by bowling YL Kishore to complete his hat-trick which also ended AP’s second innings.

Joginder’s second-innings bowling figures read 22-8-41-7 and he thus completed an 11-wicket haul in the match.

Chasing a victory target of 242, Haryana, however, lost three early wickets — including opener Sumit Sharma and Sunny Singh — to reach 92 in 50 overs.

Brief scores: AP (1st innings) 202; Haryana (1st innings) 129; AP (2nd innings) 168; Haryana (2nd innings) 92 for 3. — UNI 

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Punjab to recruit 169 coaches 
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
International players with a diploma from the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports stand a chance of getting a coach’s job in the Punjab Sports Department. The appointment will be on an annual contract.

The department has been given the go-ahead by the Finance Department to employ 169 coaches in various disciplines. Coaches were last recruited in 1980. Since then their strength has been decreasing year by year because of superannuations.

At present, there are 64 directly recruited coaches, besides 85 outstanding sportspersons of yesteryear who are on functional deputation from the Punjab Police to the Sports Department. After the induction of 169 new coaches, the total strength will go past the 300-mark.

Mr Pargat Singh, Director, Sports, told The Tribune that the process to recruit new coaches would start soon. “We want the appointments to be completed in December so that all coaching centres are activated this year. There are 40 rural stadia without coaches. Depending upon the requirement of the area, new coaches will be posted at these rural centres on priority,” adds Pargat.

The Sports Department will have four categories to make fresh appointments. International players with diploma from the NIS will be in the first category. The second will comprise players who are either international players or have two years’ experience after doing diploma in sports from NIS.

The third category will comprise players who had been national champions or gold medallists in All-India Police Games, All-India Services sports meets or all-India Railways sports tournaments.

The fourth category will be of sportspersons who are gold medallists in the All-India Inter-University championships.

Though there will be no upper age limit for employment, the department will give preference to those who have just retired from active sports.

Sources reveal that preference will be given to coaches in accordance with popularity of various disciplines in the state. Hockey, athletics, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, football, basketball, badminton, table tennis and volleyball are some of the disciplines in which the state has a good track record.

As the number of districts has risen to 20, the department plans to post between 10 and 20 coaches in each district depending upon the availability of infrastructure. “Initial priority will be to appoint coaches at coaching centres and rural stadia which are without a coach,” adds Pargat.

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Jeev in joint lead

Kochi (Japan), November 25
Jeev Milkha Singh displayed fine iron play and carded a bogey-free three-under 69 to get back into shared lead after the third round of the $ 1.19 million Casio World Open golf championship here today.

Jeev’s 69 put him at 12-under 204 and in joint lead with Tetsuya Har Aguchi (70), who played with Jeev in the lead group and matched the Indian shot for shot.

The leaders were two clear of the next pack of three players at 10-under 206.

Jeev and Haraguchi shared the first round honours before the Japanese moved one shot ahead at the midway stage.

The 34-year-old Jeev, seeking his maiden title in Japan, has been in amazing form having 10-top finishes in 15 starts in Japan this season. He has also won twice this season at the Volvo China Open, a joint-sanctioned event on Asian and Japan Tours, and then the Volvo Masters of Europe in Valderrama, Spain.

Jeev’s score did not do justice to the golf he played.

He struck the ball beautifully and reached the greens in regulation on 89 per cent of the occasions and missed just two all day.

But his putting was not in consonance as he needed 32 putts, as compared to 29 and 31 on first two days.

“I have been playing well all season and this could be a good chance to make a bid for my first title in Japan,” said Jeev, who has finished second at least five times in Japan in the last five years.

“As I keep telling myself, as long as I am in contention, I am always in with a chance and it will ultimately come.”

That was the kind of confidence that helped him break a seven-year-long title drought when he won the Volvo China Open in April this year. — PTI

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JCT, Dempo enter final

New Delhi, November 25
An extra-time strike by Chidi Edeh ensured JCT, Phagwara, beat Sporting Clube de Goa 1-0 and set up a title clash against Dempo in the 119th Osian’s Durand Cup football tournament here today.

Nigerian Chidi scored in the 115th minute to secure JCT’s first final appearance since 1996.

Earlier, Dempo Sports Club Goa made it to their first Durand Cup final appearance with a 2-0 victory over 16-time champions Mohun Bagan in the other semi-final through goals from Brazillian Roberto Silva (20th minute) and Anthony Perreira (74th).

Just as the match was heading for penalty shoot out after a goalless regulation period and first half of extra time, substitute Sukhjinder Singh got hold of the ball from a goalkick and sent a through pass to Parveen Kumar who in turn fed Chidi inside the penalty box and the Nigerian made a first time right footed volley which crashed into the net.

Both the sides shared honours in a fast-paced first half which saw quick attack and counter attacks to the cheers of a sizeable crowd at the Ambedkar Stadium.

The Punjab side were denied by the woodwork in the 12th minute when a Parveen volley, following a deflection from a tussle between Chidi and rival defender Phillip Gomes, hit the crosspiece and the rebound was shot wide by Chidi.

Sporting evened out the scoring chance five minutes later when a Dudu shot from the top of box towards the empty goal, after the goalkeeper ran out but missed a Rajesh Meetei pass, was saved by JCT defender Baldeep Singh in front of goal.

Following a couple of Goan side’s moves then saw Earnest Jeremiah missing the target from close range. — UNI 

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Oil’s well that ends well
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, November 25
Olympian Deepak Thakur’s golden goal just one minute into extra time helped star-studded Indian Oil defeat Namdhari XI 2-1 and regain the title in the 43rd edition of the Nehru Hockey Tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here today.

In an engrossing final, captain Thakur had put Indian Oil in the lead in the 15th minute of the first half but the fighting Namdhari boys turned the tables on them on resumption when Gurpreet Singh pushed the ball past a sprawling Indian Oil custodian Devesh Chauhan following a penalty-corner melee to fetch the equaliser in the 14th minute.

But Thakur’s golden goal stunned the Namdhari boys as their goal fell before they could get into their proper stride in extended play. Indian Oil, coached by former Olympian Joachim Carvalho, collected a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, while Namdhari XI, making their maiden entry into the Nehru hockey final, earned Rs 1 lakh. Indian Oil had last won the title in 2000 when they defeated Bharat Petroleum in the title clash.

Though Indian Oil were packed with a number of internationals, and took an early lead when Prabhjot Singh’s pass was relayed to Thakur who hit the target from a narrow angle, they found it difficult to keep pace with the fast-moving Namdhari boys. Indian Oil resorted to long hits and scoops to beat the rival defence as it was impossible for them to dribble past the bubbly Namdharis who played with verve and panache.

Indian Oil defence managed to repulse the rival attacks in the first half, but they slipped on their own slick on resumption as the Namdharis attacked in waves to punch holes in their fortress to penetrate and after a few close calls, they eventually struck in the 14th minute. Gurvinder Singh latched onto the ball on top of the ‘D’ and moved in menacingly to make the kill, but the shot was padded away by Indian Oil custodian Devesh Chauhan.

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Kang clinches Am-Am title
Donald Banerjee

H.S. Kang
H.S. Kang 

Chandigarh, November 25
H.S. Kang displayed good putting as he carded an impressive round of two-under 70 to clinch the Am-Am event of the Royal Challenge Samarvir Sahi Amateur Golf Championship at the Chandigarh Golf Club here today.

The Chandigarh golfer, who had returned a two-under card yesterday also on the last day of the main championship, was in good form with the greens also playing true. He started with a bang, shooting birdies on the first two holes.He missed a stroke on the third but putted a birdie on the sixth to be two-under at that stage. Another bogey on the ninth saw him take the turn at one-under.

The return nine saw Kang shoot another birdie on the 12th hole. He missed easy putts on the 16th and 17th, thus throwing away the chance of returning a four-under.

Kang, who also finished with a peoria net score of 68, said: “I played badly on the first day of the main championship because of a late tee-off. Also, on the 10th hole, there was a hold-up for 45 minutes. Such incidents spoil concentration. I played better on the last two days. And today, I would have got a four-under card had I not missed out birdie chances on the 13th, 16th and 17th holes.”

The Am-Am event brought down the curtains on the championship.

In the individual nine and above handicap category, T.L. Verma emerged the winner with a peoria net score of 73, while Kulwant Singh Bhullar finished just one stroke behind.

In the 0-9 handicap category, I.P.S. Mann clinched the title with a peoria net score of 73. Kaushik also returned the same score, but Mann was declared the winner because of his better back-nine score.

The tournament was played on an individual double peoria format.

The prizes were given away by Mr Sandeep Sandhu, Captain of the Chandigarh Golf Club, and Mr S.S. Lehal, vice-president of the Golf Club. 

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Punjabi varsity riders shine

Patiala, November 25
After dominating the track events, Punjabi University, Patiala, continued to assert their supremacy in the road races by annexing two gold medals in the All-India Inter- University Cycling Championship (road) held near the university campus here today.

The hosts won the gruelling 50 km road team trial event for men in style, with the foursome of Abhishek Rana, Manish Sahni, Sarpreet Singh and Gursharandeep Singh jelling well to win the race.

Punjabi University eves dominated the 25 km road mass start event for women as Suman Rani and Anita Rani made it a one-two for the hosts. — OSR

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Karate contest begins
Tribune News Service

Ambala, November 25
The 12th district Karate competition began at Mind Tree school, Ambala City today.
The school principal Mrs Sudha Mathur said that 220 students from 20 schools of Ambala district participated in the karate competition. The competition is being coordinated by Mr Hemant Sharma.

In the age group of three to five years, boys, 20-25 kg, Utkarsh Das won the gold medal, Aryan got silver medal, Aryan Khanna got bronze medal while Hardik Gupta stood fourth. In 15-20 kg, Vinayak got gold medal, Sukhmanjit got silver medal, Sahil got bronze medal while Aditya stood fourth. In 10-15 kg, Dipin got gold medal, Ayush Singh got silver medal while Ansh got bronze medal.

In age group of 5-7 years, boys, 15-20 kg, Vishwas got gold medal, Harit got silver medal, Ishaan got bronze medal while Saurabh was fourth. In 20-25 kg, Aryan Rathore got gold medal, Shubham got silver medal, Manoj got bronze medal while Aditya stood fourth.

In age group 3-5 years, girls, 10-15 kg, Prabhleen got gold, Radhika got silver, Adrika got bronze while Aastha stood fourth.

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Gurbaj replaces Rasquinha

New Delhi, November 25
Midfielder Gurbaj Singh has been included at the last minute in place of Viren Rasquinha in the 16-member Indian Hockey team for the forthcoming Doha Asian Games. — UNI

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