SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Anybody’s game
Proteas 111 for 3 at stumps, need 192 runs to win
VVS Laxman runs between the wickets during his knock of 96 on the third day of the second Test in Durban on Tuesday Durban, December 28
The low-scoring second cricket Test was tantalisingly poised after the third day's play with South Africa needing 192 more runs to win and India also fancying their chances of a remarkable series-levelling victory here today.

VVS Laxman runs between the wickets during his knock of 96 on the third day of the second Test in Durban on Tuesday. — AFP

Two in fray for NRAI president’s post
Patiala, December 28
Two contenders would slug it out for the post of president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), with the elections scheduled on December 29.

Parade College shine in National Korfball
Jammu, December 28
Deepanti Sharma, Astha Sharma, Diksha Gupta and Sonia Sharma, the students of Government College for Women, Parade, have brought laurels to the College by wining Silver Medal in National Korfball Championship.


EARLIER STORIES

Bowlers give india edge
December
28, 2010
New test,old failings
December
27, 2010
Series, pride at stake for India
December
26, 2010
Tame Amla or go down 2-0: Smith
December
25, 2010
Curator promises fair pitch
December
24, 2010
India looking for answers
December
23, 2010
Sachin back in ODI & T20 team
December
22, 2010
India fall flat on the face
December
21, 2010
Master BlaSTER Sachin
December
20, 2010
Strong reply by Indian openers
December
19, 2010

Fernandes new manager of Indian soccer team
New Delhi, December 28
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed a new manager, Raul Carmo Fernandes, for the Indian soccer team, presently training in Dubai, in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup, to be held in Qatar from January 7, 2011.

Yearender 2: indian shooters excel
On target, for most of the year
The shooting range has been a story of several successes, some failures and also some controversies in 2010. Happily enough the success stories are more, though signing off on a high note at the Guangzhou Asian Games would have been desirable.

Tim Bresnan (L) celebrates dismissing Mike Hussey in Melbourne on Tuesday. England on brink of win
Melbourne, December 28
Paceman Tim Bresnan claimed three early wickets to scuttle Australia's unlikely second-innings run-chase and leave England on the brink of an Ashes-winning victory in the fourth Test today. Australia ended the third day at 169-6 after Bresnan claimed the crucial wickets of Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey shortly after tea.




Tim Bresnan (L) celebrates dismissing Mike Hussey in Melbourne on Tuesday. — AFP

Gurdaspur women gymnasts do city proud
Gurdaspur, December 28
They are two 18-year-olds brimming with the youthful exuberance one normally associates with starry eyed youngsters of their age. Sarabjeet and the pony-tailed Kanica Sharma have ample reason to rejoice, as they have done their institute and this nondescript township proud by winning medals in the prestigious 36th National Sports Festival for Women, which concluded at Rajnandgaon (Chattisgarh) recently.

The Year In Quotes

 


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Anybody’s game
Proteas 111 for 3 at stumps, need 192 runs to win

MS Dhoni catches out South African captain Graeme Smith off the bowling of S Sreesanth during South Africa's 2nd innings at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Tuesday
MS Dhoni catches out South African captain Graeme Smith off the bowling of S Sreesanth during South Africa's 2nd innings at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Tuesday. — AFP

Durban, December 28
The low-scoring second cricket Test was tantalisingly poised after the third day's play with South Africa needing 192 more runs to win and India also fancying their chances of a remarkable series-levelling victory here today.

Chasing a target of 303 for victory after India scored 228 in their second innings, South Africa were 111 for three when bad light brought an early end to an eventful third day's play which saw VVS Laxman miss his century by just four runs.

After three days of see-saw battle, the game is now heading for a nail-biting finish with both teams in a position to tilt the balance in its favour on a Kingsmead track which has shown signs of easing out.

With two full days left, India's hopes of levelling the series will largely depend on how well pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and spinner Harbhajan Singh, the chief wreckers in South Africa's first innings, bowl tomorrow.

The experienced Jacques Kallis (12) and AB de Villiers (17) were at the crease when stumps were drawn on the third day. South Africa's push for taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series will largely depend on this pair. If the second day's play saw as many as 18 wickets fall, nine wickets tumbled on the third day today to set the stage for an engrossing climax.

Laxman's sparkling 96 and his vital 70-run partnership with Zaheer for the eighth wicket was largely responsible for India to gain an overall lead of 302.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 92 for four, Cheteshwar Pujara (10) was the first wicket to fall this morning when he failed to negotiate the extra bit of bounce from Morne Morkel and was bowled out.

Morne pitched the ball around off stump as Pujara looked to ride it but it bounced higher than he expected and after hitting his bat, trickled onto the stumps.

Captain Dhoni, who joined the action after Pujara's dismissal, eased the pressure as he drove past Morkel for a boundary in the 34th over, before picking up two more fours off Dale Steyn at square leg and backward point in consecutive deliveries.

Laxman also dealt in boundaries as he steered one off Morkel over slips to the fence.

But Tsotsobe broke the partnership in the 42nd over, dismissing Dhoni when he induced an edge off the Indian skipper with an out-swinger as India slipped to 141 for six. Harbhajan Singh also didn't last long and was sent back to the pavilion by Morkel in the first delivery of the 45th over.

Morkel's away going delivery cramped Harbhajan, kissed the outside edge of his blade and landed safely in the hands of Jacques Kallis at second slip as India further slumped to 148 for seven.

At the other end, Zaheer Khan lived dangerously and was lucky to survive two confident LBW appeals -- one of Steyn and the other of Paul Harris.

Laxman, in company of Zaheer, continued his good work and picked up two more boundaries off Paul Harris . He also picked up a boundary off Steyn when his inside edge got past a diving Boucher.

The Indians lost Zaheer Khan (27) immediately after the break with spinner Paul Harris breaking the vital 70-run partnership for the eighth partnership.

Harris got the ball to bounce sharply around off stump and Zaheer was a little late in playing the stroke and edged it to AB de Villiers at second slip.

Ishant Sharma, who joined the action after Zaheer's dismissal, hung around for 16 balls before falling prey to a short-pitched ball from Jacques Kallis.

Ishant tried to fend off the short-pitched ball but only succeeded in lobbing up in the air for Amla to take a simple catch at forward short leg. Ishant hung around for a moment as umpire Davis checked whether it was a no-ball, but it was not.

Running out of parters, Laxman went for his strokes in a bid to complete his century and swept Harris to the fine leg boundary. — PTI

Scoreboard

India 1st innings 205

South Africa 1st innings 131

India 2nd innings

(Overnight 92/4)

Laxman c Boucher b Steyn 96

Pujara b Morkel 10

Dhoni c Boucher b Tsotsobe 21

Harbhajan c Kallis b Morkel 4

Zaheer c de Villiers b Harris 27

Ishant c Amla b Kallis 0

Sreesanth not out 0

Extras (B-8, LB-4, WD-9) 21

Total (all out in 70.5 overs) 228

Bowling Steyn 15.5-1-60-2, Morkel 15-1-47-3, Tsotsobe 13-3-43-3, Kallis 13-2-30-1, Harris 14-2-36-1.

South Africa 2nd Innings

Smith c Dhoni b Sreesanth 37

Petersen c Pujara b Harbhajan 26

Amla c Dhoni b Sreesanth 16

Kallis batting 12

AB de Villiers batting 17

Extras (NB-3) 3

Total (For 3 wkts in 27 overs) 111

Bowling Zaheer 6-2-25-0, Ishant 5-0-21-0, Sreesanth 7-0-30-2, Harbhajan 8-0-29-1, Tendulkar 1-0-6-0.

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Two in fray for NRAI president’s post
Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 28
Two contenders would slug it out for the post of president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), with the elections scheduled on December 29. Punjab’s, Raninder Singh, son of Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, and Uttar Pradesh’s Shyam Singh Yadav, a Civil Services officer, are the two heavyweights trying to woo the members of the governing body. While Raninder has been officiating as NRAI vice-president, Yadav is the treasurer of the body since March 30, 2009.

Sources in NRAI confirmed that as the elections are being held only for the post of the president. Out of the total 30 members, 25 are expected to cast their vote at the NRAI headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday. “Though earlier 26 members were to vote, due to a pending court case, 25 members would take part in the voting,” they said.

Talking to The Tribune, NRAI, (interim), Chief Avtar Singh Sethi confirmed that the elections are being held only to select the president and not the entire general body. “As the post fell vacant after the late Digvijay Singh had stepped down following a Supreme Court directive just before the Commonwealth Shooting Championship in February 2010, the presidential elections were inevitable for the smooth functioning of the body,” he said.

Insiders say that the new president would continue in office till March, 2013 after which the entire general body would be reconstituted where all eligible voting members of NRAI would vote. “Tomorrow’s elections only have the governing body members voting as only a single post is vacant,” he pointed out.

The Sports Ministry would conduct the elections under the supervision of its Special Observer who would oversee the arrangements. “The voting is expected to be over by the afternoon and the results would be announced almost an hour after the process,” said Sethi.

Expressing satisfaction at the entire election process Raninder Singh expressed confidence that they would win.

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Parade College shine in National Korfball
Sunaina Kaul
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 28
Deepanti Sharma, Astha Sharma, Diksha Gupta and Sonia Sharma, the students of Government College for Women, Parade, have brought laurels to the College by wining Silver Medal in National Korfball Championship.

According to a statement issued here, the National Korfball Championship was held at Indore from December 22 to 24. While expressing happiness, the Principal of the college, Dr. Kiran Bakshi and the Physical Director of the college, Suman Lata said that they are proud on the students of the college for this victory. They congratulated the students for their outstanding performance in National Championship. The Principal as well as the Physical Director wished them success in their future endeavors also. 

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Fernandes new manager of Indian soccer team
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed a new manager, Raul Carmo Fernandes, for the Indian soccer team, presently training in Dubai, in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup, to be held in Qatar from January 7, 2011.

The appointment of Fernandes was necessitated as Pradip Choudhury, the original choice for the post of manager, returned from Dubai, where the Indian soccer team have been training. According to the AIFF, Pradip Choudhary returned home from Dubai due to "personal and health reasons" and will not be going back.

Raul Fernandes has been working with the team on various operational fronts for the last couple of years and more specificially, in the last two months, during the camp in Dubai.

AIFF vice-president Subrata Dutta will join the Indian team for the Asian Cup as the chef-de-mission. Larsing L Sawayan will remain as the head of the delegation for the Asian Cup.

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Yearender 2: indian shooters excel
On target, for most of the year
Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

The shooting range has been a story of several successes, some failures and also some controversies in 2010. Happily enough the success stories are more, though signing off on a high note at the Guangzhou Asian Games would have been desirable.

Many new names and faces came to the fore. Be it the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, or individual performances on different stages, Indian shooters made their presence felt in the international arena. Several shooters have proved that the battle for supremacy at the top is up for grabs.

But one of the biggest stories of the year was of the exit of Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Rathore from the shooting team. Fighting for form, Rathore made a comeback during the end of the shooting season, but by that time the damage had been done.
Asian Games gold medal winner Ronjan Sodhi
Asian Games gold medal winner Ronjan Sodhi

The new shooting selection policy adopted by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) which had different sets of rules for shotgun shooters and rifle and pistol exponents made things difficult for the former. While the rifle and pistol shooters were given the advantage of being judged ob basis of the the last trial events, these were not considered for the shotgun shooters, who were asked to prove their merit the one trial held in New Delhi for Asian Clay or the Commonwealth Championship.

Rathore raised questions on the selection policy which according to him did not leave a gap for the top shooters to take a break, “as one bad performance could ruin a shooter”, the NRAI differed. It not only said that the new policy was absolutely transparent but also stated that it gave a fair chance to everyone and provides a level playing field to emerging talent.

In another controversy, the Indian shooters were allegedly harassed during the ISSF World Cup in Dorset (UK). According to the complaint, lodged by team manager T Padmanabhan, the transport department officials at the event misbehaved with the Indian shooters including Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manavjit Singh Sandhu and two female shooters. The operators demanded part of the fees that the team had to pay in cash and when the team manager went to a bank to encash travellers’ cheques, the shooters were asked to get off the bus. The matter was put to rest following a written apology to the shooters

But the sport had many more better things to offer than controversies. Indian shooters bagged 30 medals at the Commonwealth Games, though they had to be satisfied with with only eight medals in Guangzhou.

At the Commonwealth Games, ace shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang led the race, bagging gold in the 10-metre air rifle even. Other shooters including Hina Sidhu, Omkar Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Anisa Sayed proved their mettle in the CWG 2010. However from an impressive tally of 30 medals that included 14 gold, 11 silver and five bronze, at the CWG, the shooters fell to just one gold, three silver and just four bronze in the Asiad. It was thanks to a gold from Ronjan Sodhi that saved India’s face in the continental tournament.

Narang and Sodhi both had a wonderful year, though Narang sneaked a little ahead, given his consistency throughout the year. He bagged four gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and two silver in the Asian Games. He was also named the number one shooter by the Asian Shooting Confederation. Sodhi, apart from his gold in the Asiad, won the ISSF World Cup in Turkey.

Hyderabad-born Indian shooter Asher Noria continued his rise to fame when he bagged the junior double trap gold at the World Championships in Munich. Noria scored 146/150 to equal Maltese William Chetkuti's six-year-old record.

Tejaswini Sawant won the World Championship in Munich and became the first woman shooter from India to win the event.

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England on brink of win

Melbourne, December 28
Paceman Tim Bresnan claimed three early wickets to scuttle Australia's unlikely second-innings run-chase and leave England on the brink of an Ashes-winning victory in the fourth Test today. Australia ended the third day at 169-6 after Bresnan claimed the crucial wickets of Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey shortly after tea.

The home side still trails by 246, after England was out for 513 at lunch. England dismissed Australia for a paltry 98 on the first day. Bresnan, who replaced Steven Finn in England's bowling attack for the fourth Test, ended the day with figures of 3-26 off 15 overs with seven maidens.

Brad Haddin will resume the fourth day on 11 with Mitchell Johnson on 6. With just four wickets remaining and two days still to play, a loss appears inescapable. With a win, England will take a 2-1 lead into the final match starting on Sunday at Sydney, but as Ashes-holder needs only to draw the series to retain the urn. England hasn't defended the Ashes on Australian soil since the 1986/1987 series.

The Australian openers made a bright start to the second innings and scored confidently in a 53-run partnership until Phillip Hughes was run out in the 12th over after Watson hesitated between the wickets while looking for a single. Watson was trapped lbw for 54 straight after tea when tempted by a swinging Bresnan delivery. Australia captain Ponting, who made just 10 runs in Australia's disastrous first innings, was unable to make amends and managed 20 in the second before being bowled by Bresnan.

Brief Scores:

Australia 98 & 169/6

England 513

Australia trail by 246 runs with 4 wickets left.

Ponting apologises

Australia captain Ricky Ponting today apologised for "overstepping the mark" in his prolonged arguments with on-field umpire following the rejected referral appeal for caught behind against Kevin Pietersen during the fourth Ashes Test against England. Ponting was fined 40 per cent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council yesterday, for his finger-pointing argument with umpires Aleem Dar and Tony Hill after video umpire Marais Erasmus gave Pietersen not out following a referral appeal. "Yesterday was me overstepping the mark and obviously I apologise for the way that looked, it's certainly not the way I want to be looked upon as a captain," the 36-year-old was quoted as saying by the Australian media. 

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Gurdaspur women gymnasts do city proud
Ravi Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, December 28
They are two 18-year-olds brimming with the youthful exuberance one normally associates with starry eyed youngsters of their age. Sarabjeet and the pony-tailed Kanica Sharma have ample reason to rejoice, as they have done their institute and this nondescript township proud by winning medals in the prestigious 36th National Sports Festival for Women, which concluded at Rajnandgaon (Chattisgarh) recently.

Kanica, a BA Part 2 student of the local Pt Mohan Lal S.D College for Women, was part of the Punjab team which won the team championship securing 196.55 points in the tourney, organised jointly by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare, Chattisgarh.

Fresh from her exploits in Patiala early this month, where defying all odds, she won a bronze for Guru Nanak Dev University in the All-India Inter-University Championship, a confident Kanica did not look back as she picked up gold in the team championship.

Sarabjeet, who came close to making it into the Indian team for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, complimented Kanica’s feat by winning silver in the floor exercise at Rajnandgaon. Like Kanica, she too is a BA Part 2 student of the same institute and both are trainees of Punjab Sports Department coach Jagtar Singh and international gymnast Samita Sharma, who incidentally was the athlete who brought Gurdaspur on the international map by winning a gold medal in the SAARC Gymnastic Championship held at Allahabad in 1999. So elated was the college principal Neelam Sethi that she honoured both the girls when they arrived in the city yesterday. 

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