|S P O R T||
Wednesday, January 6, 1999
|Kiwi batsmen dent Indias
HAMILTON, Jan 5 India let go their iron grip in the face of gritty middle order resistance as New Zealand superbly recovered to reach 323 for six in their second innings to virtually shut out Indian victory hopes on the penultimate day of the third and final cricket Test here today.
of shocks in Hopman Cup
on brink of a huge defeat
Kiwi batsmen dent Indias victory hopes
HAMILTON, Jan 5 (PTI) India let go their iron grip in the face of gritty middle order resistance as New Zealand superbly recovered to reach 323 for six in their second innings to virtually shut out Indian victory hopes on the penultimate day of the third and final cricket Test here today.
India looked on their way to a win to square the series when their bowlers, led by the crafty Sachin Tendulkar, had the Kiwis reeling at 89 for four at lunch, but they failed to force the issue and the hosts, resuming at the overnight score of 45 for no loss, had carved out a healthy 273-run lead to more or less eliminate chances of a defeat.
All-rounder Chris Cairns (52 no) and Dion Nash (46 no) yet to be dismissed in four innings added a crucial 98 runs for the unfinished seventh wicket after Craig McMillan (84) and Adam Parore sparkled with a record 140-run fifth wicket stand to rescue the innings from 85 for four.
India struck two more blows in the space of seven balls immediately after tea was taken at 216 for four to reduce the hosts to 225 for six, but Cairns and Nash denied the Indians any more success in the final session.
McMillan again revealed class following upon his first innings 92 before falling within sight of his century (84 - 153 m, 102 b, 13 x 4) after Javagal Srinath dropped at first slip when he was on 79. But McMillan and Parore eclipsed the 119-run stand for the wicket between Graham Dowling and Keith Thompson achieved at Christchurch in 1967-68.
India seemed to have the match in their grasp as they removed opener Matt Horne (26), captain Stephen Fleming (18), first innings tormentor Roger Twose (4) and other opener Matthew Bell (25) in the productive morning session.
But New Zealand, who added just 44 runs in the morning, fought back with McMillan and Parore adding a rapid 127 runs to pull their team ahead by 166 runs at tea break.
Paceman Srinath and Prasad made the early inroads. Horne was caught behind off an absolute beauty from Srinath which left the batsman late while Fleming inside-edged onto his stumps trying to take his bat off the line against Prasad.
Tendulkar again proved a master with the ball, trapping both Twose and Bell leg before with legbreaks in a three-over spell costing 12 runs. Twose, who had hit the previous ball for four, was beaten by the mild break to be struck low on his back pad while Bell missed a pull off a full toss.
After McMillan and Parore (50 147m, 120b, 6x4) had held centrestage in the afternoon, India removed both minutes into the final session. McMillan was caught behind off Robin Singh (Jr) and leg-spinner Anil Kumble pitched one on the rough coming round the wicket and Robin Singh took a good running catch at squareleg as Parore top-edged the pull.
But Cairns and Nash denied them, the former playing some crashing off-drives to bring his fifty off just 62 balls with a pulled six off paceman Srinath. Nash, who has made 89, 4, 18 and 46 without being dismissed mixed up lucky edges with authentic shots in the stand which has lasted two hours.
The bowlers tired towards close and new ball taken after 88.3 overs had no impact. It was shared by Robin Singh and Saurav Ganguly with Kumble bowling the last over.
New Zealand added as many as 234 runs in the last two sessions as their middle order batsmen played their strokes under pressure to enable them to wipe out their deficit at the start to be 273 ahead with four wickets still in hand.
Fleming had promised to "outbat" India yesterday, but it failed when Horne, unbeaten on 25 overnight, added one run before edging Srinath to Mongia. Bell and Fleming added 23 runs before Prasad provided the breakthrough.
Fleming was too late shaping to leave the outswinger to play on to end a poor series where he made only 77 from four innings for a poor series average of 19.22.
Bell took 75 minutes and 51 balls to progress from his overnight 18, a bottom-edged cut off Kumble racing to the third man fence.
Twose took his time before leaving the crease after Kiwi umpire Doug Cowie deliberated for a moment before ruling him leg before to Tendulkar after the ball, pitching a shade outside the offstump came in to the left-hander and struck him low on his left pad.
McMillan, New Zealands batting hero in this series, was again a picture of confidence and stroked freely to reach his fifty in only 53 balls with five fours. Parore played shots more judiciously as the two added 100 runs in 109 minutes.
New Zealand (1st innings): 366
India (1st innings): 416
New Zealand (2nd innings):
Horne c Mongia b Srinath 26
Bell lbw b Tendulkar 25
Fleming b Prasad 18
Twose lbw b Tendulkar 4
McMillan c Mongia b R. Singh 84
Parore c R. Singh b Kumble 50
Cairns batting 52
Nash batting 46
Extras: (B-8, LB-6, NB-3, W-1) 18
Total: (for six wkts, 106 overs) 323
Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-69, 3-76, 4-85, 5-225, 6-225.
Bowling: Venkatesh Prasad 27-8-55-1, Robin Singh Jr 15-2-77-1, Javagal Srinath 20-6-62-1, Anil Kumble 34-10-82-1, Sachin Tendulkar 7-0-30-2, Saurav Ganguly 3-1-3-0.
Gaekwad sees a slim ray of hope
HAMILTON, Jan 5 (PTI) Despite New Zealands formidable reply in the second innings, Indian coach Anshuman Gaekwad still saw a "slim ray of hope" for the visitors to win the third and final Test and square the series.
"I am optimistic, If we can bundle out the remaining batsmen quickly tomorrow and have something to chase in the region of four an-over, we would prefer to give it a go," and added humorously: "And anyway, it would be good preparation for one-day series to come."
India, who are already down 0-1 after losing the second Test, are looking to go all out for victory in the Hamilton Test.
"It makes no difference if you lose the series 0-1 or 0-2. It is better to go all out in quest for victory and level the tour," said Gaekwad.
The Indian coach said his team made the same mistakes they have been making in the series "bowling on either side of the wicket with no thought to field placements."
After putting Kiwis in a tight spot with 89 for four by lunch, "we conceded too many runs in the second session and lost the initiative," he said.
"If we had kept the scoring down as we did in the first session, batsmen would have been under pressure," he said.
New Zealand regrouped at 89 for four by putting on 140 runs for the fifth wicket. "Once that partnership was settled, I think we went through the motions. It was not good".
India has had problems with the New Zealand battings bottom half throughout the series and it was Craig McMillan who always stood in the way of the Indian bowlers, Gaekwad said.
"We have struggled to get through the bottom half of the innings throughout the series and I offer no excuses. But whom can you blame the balls have kept beating the edges and we also dropped catches," he said referring to Srinath dropping McMillan at first slips just before lunch.
The coach offered no reason to why skipper Mohd Azharuddin was not fielding in the slips. "Difficult to say. I have not talked to him, but may be he might have found it difficult to concentrate standing in the slips."
He said Sachin Tendulkar was also carrying a slight injury on the small finger of his left hand from the first Test and that has prevented him from fielding in the slips.
"It is nothing serious but it is unwanted if he stands in the slips and injures it seriously," he said.
Gaekwad expressed surprise over the way the wicket has behaved. "The wicket has not crumbled as I thought it would. It is still playing true and there is a good bounce in the strip and that has kept my hopes (of a win) alive."
For New Zealand, Parore, who came up with a half-century after a long lean period said todays knock made him feel comfortable.
"I needed to make some adjustments in my mind about the way I have been moving and it worked well. I knew if I stayed in the middle for long, I would score," he said.
Day of shocks in Hopman Cup
PERTH, Jan 5 (AFP) Sweden scored an upset win over the Lindsay Davenport-led United States and Frances Sandrine Testud beat Spanish star Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in a day of shocks at the Hopman Cup yesterday.
Davenport and Jan-Michael Gambill, the second seeds in the $ 550,000 mixed team competition, were beaten by the unseeded Jonas Bjorkman and Asa Carlsson.
Bjorkman and Carlsson won the decisive mixed doubles 7-6, (7/2), 6-4 after the singles honours had been shared.
Davenport, the world number one, blitzed Carlsson 6-2, 6-0 in 52 minutes in the womens singles. But Bjorkman revived Swedish hopes when he beat Gambill 6-2, 6-4.
Bjorkman battled through with a troublesome right hamstring which could handicap him in the rest of the nine-nation tournament.
Davenport said the defeat was obviously a setback to US hopes, but they were not out of the competition. Gambill said there were controversial calls for both teams in the doubles.
"One call in the first set tiebreaker was the worst I have ever seen in my short career. It is just one point, but its hard for you to get it out of your head."
The United States must now win their next two matches, against Switzerlands Ivo Heuberger and Martina Hingis and third-seeded reigning Slovak champions.
Sandrine Testud romped to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Sanchez as unseeded France made a marvellous start to their tie with the favourites Spain.
But Spain fought back when world number five Carlos Moya overcame influenza to defeat Guillame Raoux to win a two-hour thriller 7-6, (7/3), 2-6, 6-3.
It was Testuds third successive win against Sanchez, following victories at Key Biscayne and San Diego in 1997. Before that, the Spaniard had won three consecutive matches against Testud.
Testud, ranked 14th in the world, 10 places below her opponent, powerfully broke the Spaniards service in the fourth and sixth games. Sanchez picked up her game in the second set, breaking Testud twice to take a 3-1 lead before the French player rallied to break back in the fifth, seventh and ninth games.
FIFA suspends Cameroon
ZURICH (Switzerland), Jan 5 (AP) FIFA yesterday suspended Cameroons Soccer Federation for an indefinite period, excluding the national team and the countrys clubs from international competitions and friendly matches.
The decision, which takes effect immediately, was made after the West African countrys Sports Ministry sent a fax to FIFA last week with reservations about previously agreed to plans for the federation, FIFA said in a statement.
"FIFA greatly regrets that, in spite of its numerous efforts and the patience it has shown in its handling of Cameroons case, it has been forced to take such a decision," according to the statement.
The suspension also means Fecafoot, the Cameroon federation, loses its voting rights at the FIFA congress.
FIFA dissolved the federation in November due to a series of financial problems and appointed an interim executive to run the organisation for nine months.
In late November, Cameroon sports officials and FIFA President Sepp Blatter met in an attempt to resolve the problems that led to FIFA dissolving the ruling body.
India to clash with SA in World Cup opener
MUMBAI, Jan 5 (PTI) India, champions in 1983, will clash with favourites South Africa in a group-A league tie at Hove on May 15 in the cricket World Cup, to be played in England from May 14 to June 20.
On the same day, Zimbabwe will take on Kenya in a group-A tie at Taunton, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a release here today.
The cup opener will figure world champions Sri Lanka and England in a group-A match at Lords on May 14 while former champions Pakistan will play ex-winners West Indies at Bristol on May 16. Australia will play new entrants Scotland in a group-B match at Worcester on the same day.
New Zealand will take on Bangladesh in the last group-A league match at Chelmsford on May 17.
After the league stage, the top three teams from each group will enter the super-six stage where they play the teams from the rival group on league basis before the four semi-finalists are spotted, the release said.
The semi-finals are slated for June 16 and 17 at Old Trafford and Headingley, respectively, while the final would be played at the Lords on June 20.
Following are the groupings:
Group-A: Sri Lanka, India, England, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Group-B: Australia, Scotland, West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh.
The following is the schedule:
May 14: England vs Sri Lanka at Lords.
May 15: India vs South Africa at Hove and Zimbabwe vs Kenya at Taunton.
May 16: Australia vs Scotland at Worcester and West Indies vs Pakistan at Bristol.
May 17: New Zealand vs Bangladesh at Chelmsford.
May 18: England vs Kenya at Canterbury.
May 19: Sri Lanka vs South Africa at Northampton and India vs Zimbabwe at Leicester.
May 20: Australia vs New Zealand at Cardiff and Pakistan vs Scotland at Chester-le-Street.
May 21: West Indies vs Bangladesh at Ireland (TBA).
May 22: England vs South Africa at the Oval and Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka at Worcester.
May 23: Kenya vs India at Bristol and Australia vs Pakistan at Headingley.
May 24: West Indies vs New Zealand at Southampton and Scotland vs Bangladesh at Edinburgh.
May 25: England vs Zimbabwe at Trent Bridge.
May 26: Sri Lanka vs India at Taunton and South Africa vs Kenya at Amstelveen.
May 27: West Indies vs Scotland at Leicester and Australia vs Bangladesh at Chester-le-Street.
May 28: New Zealand vs Pakistan at Derby.
May 29: England vs India at Edgbaston and Zimbabwe vs South Africa at Chelmsford.
May 30: Sri Lanka vs Kenya at Southampton and West Indies vs Australia at Old Trafford.
May 31: Scotland vs New Zealand at Edinburgh and Pakistan vs Bangladesh at Northampton.
Super six stage: June 4: group-A 2nd team vs group-B 2nd team at the Oval.
June 5: group-A 1st vs group-B 1st at Trent Bridge.
June 6: group-A 3rd vs group-B 3rd at Headingley.
June 8: group-A 2nd vs group-B 1st at Old Trafford.
June 9: group-A 3rd vs group-B 2nd at Lords.
June 10: group-A 1st vs group-B 3rd at Edgbaston.
June 11: group-A 3rd vs group-B 1st at the Oval.
June 12: group-A 2nd vs group-B 3rd at Trent Bridge.
June 13: group-A 1st vs group-B 2nd at Headingley.
June 16: first semi-final (team 1 vs team 4) at Old Trafford.
June 17: second semi-finals (team 2 vs team 3) at Edgbaston.
June 20: final at Lords.
Australia win by 98 runs
SYDNEY, Jan 5 (Reuters) Australia won the fifth and final Ashes Cricket Test against England today to complete a record sixth successive series win against their oldest rivals.
Australia won the match by 98 runs at the Sydney cricket ground to take the series 3-1 after dismissing England for 188 in their second innings.
Chasing 287 for victory, England lost their last eight wickets for 84 runs to be all out 23 minutes after lunch. They had started the fourth day on 104 for two.
Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill took career-best figures of seven for 50 to finish the game with 12 wickets and the man of the match award.
"This is the highlight of my career, if not my life," a delighted MacGill told the crowd.
Australian batsman Steve Waugh was named player of the series after scoring 409 runs at an average of 83.
England had been looking to win the match and square the series at 2-2 after winning last weeks fourth Test in Melbourne but their hopes disappeared early on the fourth day.
The tourists lost five for 71 in the morning session to reach 175 for seven at lunch and then lost their last three wickets for 13 after the interval.
Mark Ramprakash failed to add to his overnight score of seven when he edged a ball from paceman Glenn McGrath to Mark Taylor at first slip, giving the Australian captain a world record 157th Test catch.
But the next seven English wickets all went to spin, with MacGill taking six of them on a wicket so receptive to spin that his deliveries almost turned sideways.
MacGill bowled Graeme Hick around his legs for seven and had Warren Hegg (3) caught behind by wicketkeeper Ian Healy before lunch. He then cleaned up Alex Tudor (3), Dean Headley (16) and Peter Such (2) after the resumption.
Fittingly, he took the last wicket when he caught and bowled such after the Englishmans stroke richocheted off Michael Slater at silly-point.
"Its been my pleasure to captain Australia in this series," Taylor said. "Not just because we won, but also because of the spirit it was played in."
"This just goes to show you what Ashes cricket is all about."
Windies on brink of a huge defeat
CAPE TOWN, Jan 5 (Reuters) The West Indies were 93 for six in their second innings set 421 to win at the close of the fourth day of the fourth Test against South Africa today.
West Indies, chasing a record 421 to win the fourth Test, earlier slumped to 18 for three in their second innings.
Jacques Kallis turned in a superb all-round performance by taking two quick wickets to follow up an 88 (n.o) in South Africas second innings which was declared at 226 for seven.
He also scored 110 in the first innings. West Indies are already 3-0 down in the series.
Philo Wallace was caught off a top-edged attempted pull off Shaun Pollock for a duck.
Kallis, taking the new ball in the place of injured Allan Donald, followed in the next over with the wicket of Junior Murray as he attempted a pull. Two overs later Kallis found the edge of Shivnarine Chanderpauls bat but it took a stunning catch from Daryll Cullinan to complete the wicket.
Cullinan, at first slip, scooped the ball up with his left hand as he threw himself full length.
Earlier South Africa declared with Kallis 12 runs short of becoming countrys second batsman since re-admission in 1991 to record centuries in each innings of a Test match.
Kallis was on 75 at lunch but could add only 13 in the hour before skipper Hansie Cronjes mid-afternoon declaration.
In all Kallis faced 257 balls and batted nine minutes short of five hours but became becalmed in sight of joining Gary Kirsten who made 102 and 133 against India at Eden Gardens in 1996-97 in the record books.
Kirsten c Murray b McLean 5
Gibbs c Jacobs b Dillon 25
Kallis not out 88
Cullinan lbw b McLean 0
Cronje c Hooper b Dillon 54
Rhodes lbw Hooper 23
Pollock c Lara b Chanderpaul 3
Boucher c and b McLean 22
Donald not out 0
Extras (lb-4, w-1, nb-1) 6
Total (7 wickets dec, 87.4 overs) 226
Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-31, 3-31, 4-125, 5-174, 6-190, 7-222.
Bowling: McLean 16-1-53-3, Gibson 14.4-2-51-0, Dillon 17-2-37-2, Hooper 28-2-52-1, Chanderpaul 12-1-29-1.
West Indies (2nd innings):
Wallace c Gibbs b Pollock 0
Murray lbw b Kallis 7
Chanderpaul c Cullinan b Kallis 5
Lara c and b Adams 33
Hooper b Kallis 20
Ganga lbw b Pollock 16
Jacobs not out 0
Gibson not out 6
Extras (lb-2, nb-4) 6
Total (six wickets, 40 overs) 93
Fall: 1-2, 2-7, 3-15, 4-47, 5-87, 6-87.
Bowling: Pollock 12-3-21-2, Kallis 12-4-27-3, Cronje 1-1-0-0, Terbrugge 7-3-11-0, Adams 8-2-32-1.
AIFF likely to get Irish coach
NEW DELHI, Jan 5 (UNI) Fiftyone-year-old Roy Miller of Ireland is likely to be the new national football coach of India.
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi told mediapersons here yesterday that negotiation with Roy Miller was at final stages.
He said the world football body (FIFA) had recommended his name to AIFF saying that he was a very competent coach.
Miller at present is paid technical director of the Irish Football Federation, drawing $ 7500 per month.
Mr Dasmunshi said Miller had asked for $ 10,000 per month for coaching in India. "We are negotiating with him and FIFA is helping us", he said.
Asked how AIFF would pay such a huge amount to Miller, Mr Dasmunshi said after the World Cup in July, FIFA had announced $ 1 million annual help to its members to develop and promote the game.
"We told FIFA that we do not need this money. You keep it with you but provide us a very good coach and take care of our teams foreign travels and developmental programmes with this money" the AIFF chief said.
According to Mr Dasmunshi, FIFA appreciated this proposal and that was why they recommended Millers name.
He again asserted that Syed Nayeemuddin was neither sacked nor his service terminated. The fact was that Nayeemuddins contract with the AIFF was till the Asian Games. "So after the games we have not extended the contract and that is all. There is no other meaning in it," he added.
"The AIFF is looking for a good foreign coach and Miller has all the credentials, he was involved in Irelands campaign for the World Cup" Mr Dasmunshi said.
The AIFF chief said Indian coaches would be involved with Miller in the developmental programme.
However, the first major assignment of Miller would be to prepare the team for the pre-Olympic matches, he said.
PTI adds: The AIFF had made it mandatory for clubs to take the apex bodys advise before recruiting foreign players in an effort to clamp down on sub-standard players crowding the domestic scene at the cost of hampering development of home talent.
Launching the third National League christened the Coca Cola League 1999 on the eve of its kick-off in the capital, Mr Dasmunshi said any foreign player registered during the course of the league could begin playing only after a week.
This was to discourage clubs from roping in players from abroad to serve them during the crucial stages of the league, he said, adding that each club could, however, continue to register five foreign players and field four for each match.
Dasmunshi announced that Coca Cola had brought in a total sponsorship of Rs 1.3 crore and the prize money structure would remain the same as last year though negotiations were on to provide for "man of the match" awards.
The AIFF President defended enlarging the league to 12 teams this year with relegated sides Mahindra and Mahindra, Mumbai, and Churchil Brothers, Goa, both retained and said "experimentation" would continue with perhaps more teams for the next couple of years till things stabilised.
The winners would pocket Rs 40 lakh, the runners up Rs 25 lakh, with Rs 15 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh given to those finishing behind in that order.
The AIFF had also introduced a rule that all the national league clubs must have under-19 sides to qualify for next years edition. Clubs were ready to comply, he said.
Defending the new format which provides for a second tier of competition on a home and away basis for six teams making the grade from the two preliminary groups, Dasmunshi said it had to be done to reduce the number of matches and duration of the league.
"Now 90 matches will be completed in time for the March 15 start of the Santosh Trophy National Championship. Had it been a single group, the 132 matches would have given little rest for the players," he said.
He attributed delay in the start of the league to taking part in the Asian Games and delay in a firm commitment from the sponsors, who could allot money only from fresh budget.
Dasmunshi said both Mahindras and Churchill were kept in the league since their standard was considered better than the other teams in the second division.
Shruti storms into quarterfinals
NEW DELHI, Jan 5 (PTI) Top seed Shruti Dhawan of Delhi blanked Chandigarhs Tarminder Kaur 6-0 6-0 to storm into the quarterfinals as all other seeded players also stood true to their billing to advance in the All India Delhi Open Womens Tennis Tournament at DLTA Courts here today.
Dhawan, playing near-flawless tennis after her pre-quarterfinal showing in the Calcutta ITF Futures event in the season opener last month, gave no chance to Tarminder Kaur and booked a last-eight berth against fifth-seed Nikita Bhardwaj (Gujarat).
Bhardwaj beat Kameshwari Vadali of Andhra Pradesh 6-0 6-3 in another match in the top half of the draw.
Third seed Shalini Thakur of Delhi, who received first round bye, set up a quarterfinal clash against Maharashtras Stuti Smit. Thakur defeated Saumya Rana (Del) 6-2 6-3 while Smit had a relatively easy 6-2 6-0 workout against Delhis Nikhila Natrajan.
In the bottom half of the draw second seed Karishma Patel (Guj) faced hardly any challenge from Delhis Utkalika Badu as she fetched a quarterfinal place against seventh seed Nandini Perumal (AP) with a 6-0 6-1 verdict. The Andhra girl beat M Padma Pritam (TN) 6-3 6-1.
The last quarterfinal tie will be between fourth seed Harsimran Kaur (Chd) and her compatriot sixth seed Simmi Rani.
Simmi Rani demolished Pragya Yadav (UP) 6-1 6-1 while Harsimran Kaur carved out a 6-0 6-3 win over M Pritam (TN).
In the doubles event, the pairs of Utkalika/Itishree Badu, Rani/Natrajan, M.V. Preetam/ M.P. Preetam, R.Kaur/ G.Sharma, S.Smit/K.Vadali reached the last eight.
The results (prefix number denotes seedings):
Singles (second round):
1-Shruti Dhawan (Del) b Tarminder Kaur (Chd) 6-0 6-0; 5-Nikita Bhardwaj (Guj) b Kameshwari Vadali (AP) 6-0 6-3; 3-Shalini Thakur (Del) b Saumya Rana (Del) 6-2 6-3; 8-Stuti Smit (Mah) b Nikhila Natrajan (Del) 6-2 6-0; 6-Simmi Rani (Chd) b Pragya Yadav (UP) 6-1 6-1; 4-Harsimran Kaur (Chd) b M.Vishnu Pritam (TN) 6-0 6-3; 7-Nandini Perumal (AP) b M.Padma Pritam (TN) 6-3 6-1; 2-Karishma Patel (Guj) b Utkalika Poddar (Del) 6-0 6-1.
Doubles (first round):
U.Badu/I.Badu b J.Bhakhuni/V.Chhetri 6-4 6-3; 4-S.Rani/N.Natrajan b P.Yadav/N.Yadav 6-1 6-2; M.V.Preetam/M.P.Preetam b S.Rao/S.Rao (walkover); K.Rewar/B.Kaur b R.Kaur/G.Sharma 6-2 6-3; S.Smit/K.Vadali b T.Grover/M.Goel 6-2 6-2.
Spirited JCT hold Mohun Bagan
NEW DELHI, Jan 5 (PTI) Goalkeeper Virender Singh saved a penalty as spirited JCT, Phagwara, held holders Mohun Bagan to a goalless draw despite playing with 10 men throughout the second half in an exciting inaugural group A clash of the third National Football League at the Ambedkar Stadium here today.
The Punjab side, winners of the inaugural edition, shook the star-studded Calcutta side with a series of speedy raids and then played their hearts out after defender Deepak Mandal was sent off at the stroke of halftime for handling a goalward header from Bagans Nigerian striker Chima Okerie.
Referee Krishan Avtar awarded a penalty for Mandals action of tipping the ball over the bar, but former India custodian Virender Singh dived to his right to save Okeries firm kick to cap his brilliant showing under the bar.
Clear underdogs as an inexperienced team, JCT came away with flying colours as the Bagan side boasting of several top names put up a disjointed show against their gritty rivals.
Bagan forwards I M Vijayan and Okerie with Iraqi Bassim Yonan and Jo Paul Ancheri overlapping from either flanks came close to scoring only late in the first half, but otherwise looked ordinary despite JCTs second half disadvantage.
In fact, JCTs bustling young forwards Hardip Gill and Hardip Sangha beat the Bagan defence many times after coming close to scoring twice in the first 10 minutes. But Kenyan stopper Sammy Omollos assurance and sure goalkeeping by V.N. Dinesh, playing in place of injured first choice Hemanta Dora, saved the blushes for the crack outfit.
Bagan next meet Air India at home on January 10 and JCT travel to play Dempo, Goa on January 9.
Bagan were expected to dominate the clash as JCT was shorn of any stars, but the Calcutta side were left defending as JCT went on the offensive from the word go.
The JCT trio of former Punjab electricity board forward Hardip Sangha, and youngsters Surjit Singh and Hardip Gill, rattled the Bagan post in the early minutes.
First Sangha made Dinesh hurry with a rasping left-footer and then Surjit Singh and Hardip Gill combined to cause confusion in the rival box but the former shot across the goalmouth.
The left-footed Sangha proved a thorn in the flesh for Bagan defence, beating right wingback Biswanath Mondal many times. JCTs best chance came in the 32nd minute when off a throw-in from left, defender Daljit Singh moved up and took a dipping volley which beat Dinesh, but came off the underside of the bar before Hardip Singh Saini sent the ball ballooning over the bar from close range.
Bagan forays slowly gathered momentum, but Okerie was the lone man upfront after Vijayan played much deep. In the 35th minute, a Bassim Yonan corner from right came to Okerie via first time relays by medio Satyajit Chatterjee and Debjit Ghosh, but Virender Singh plucked Okeries header from close.
Off a Satyajit corner from left Adebayo hooked the ball and Okerie headed from close. Virender was beaten but Mandal rose beside him to punch the ball over. The send-off and penalty drew protests from JCT players and the large crowd, but Okeries kick proved unproductive.
North Zone team for Deodhar
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 As many as six players from Punjab and seven players from Delhi have been included in the North Zone team for the Deodhar Trophy scheduled to be played in various venues in east zone later this month. North Zone will take on Central Zone in their first match at Guwahati on January 19.While Delhi had topped the North Zone Ranji Trophy league, Punjab were placed second.
The North Zone selection committee which met at Nalagarh, in Himachal Pradesh, today under the chairmanship of national selector Madan Lal nominated former India player Punjab's Vikram Rathore as captain of the team.
Interestingly, no player from Haryana, who finished third in the North Zone Ranji Trophy league, has found a place in the squad. Similarly, no player from Services has been included in the team. Services had been placed fourth in the North Zone league. However, Rajeev Nayyar from Himachal Pradesh and Kanwaljit Singh from Jammu and Kashmir have found a place in the squad. Both Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have been placed at the bottom of the North Zone league table.
With the Indian team on duty in New Zealand North Zone will miss the services of players like Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra. However, their absence will be more than made up by players like Navjot Sidhu, Robin Singh Jr and Harbhajan Singh who will return to India after the completion of the third Test between India and New Zealand.
The following is the North Zone team: Vikram Rathore (captain), Navjot Sidhu, Pankaj Dharmani, Reetinder Sodhi, Harbhajan Singh and Harvinder Singh (all from Punjab), Ashu Dani, Virender Sehwag, Ajay Sharma, Vijay Dhaiya, Rahul Sanghvi, Robin Singh Jr and Amit Bhandari (all from Delhi), Rajeev Nayyar (Himachal Pradesh) and Kanwaljit Singh (Jammu and Kashmir).
Anil Sen from Himachal Pradesh will be the manager of the squad.
Football meet postponed
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 The 20th Sub-Junior National School Games in football, slated to be held from January 12 to 17 at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman islands, have been postponed due to non-receipt of entries from the states and programme of special ships from Calcutta and Chennai, according to the Secretary-General of the School Games Federation of India, Mr B.D. Gandhi.
The revised dates for holding the tournament would be intimated as and when received from Port Blair, he said.
The championship had been arranged at Andaman and Nicobar islands so as to enable the young budding footballers to witness the part of the country and interact with the people of that area as the motto of the federation is to have national integration, Mr Gandhi added.
POA meetings postponed
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 The Punjab Olympic Association (POA) today announced that meetings of its Executive Committee and General Council, scheduled to be held here on January 8, have been postponed.
According to the President of the POA, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, the meeting of the Executive Committee will now be held here on January 23 to finalise arrangements for the participation of the POA contingent at the National Games at Imphal from February 14 this year.
Top players for ONGC golf
NOIDA, Jan 5 Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Prakash, Vijay Kumar, Ali Sher and Rohtas Singh were among 90 professionals who will be seen in action in the ONGC-Noinda Open Golf Championship here from Thursday, January 7. The pro-am will be played a day earlier.
Uttam Singh Mundy (Calcutta), twice Honda-Siel-PGA champion is also expected to take part in the competition which carries prize money of Rs 5 lakh. The winner will get Rs 83,300 and the runner-up Rs 55,550.
The 6,915 yard, par 72 Noida course is considered very challenging. There are water bodies, hazards and bunkers which make the course all the more difficult. Nine re-laid greens, will make the players "think" befor they address the ball.
Lt-Gen Satish Nambiar (Noinda Club) was of the view that exciting golf was on the cards. His views were endorsed by Wg Cdr Anoop Singh (secretary).
50 entries for civil services
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 More than 50 officers of the state civil services and the IAS and allied services will fight it out for the individual and team titles in the first Civil Services Golf Tournament to be held at the Chandigarh Golf Club on January 10.
The Chandigarh Golf Association, which is hosting the tournament, will make the event an annual feature. Participants will be from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and the Union Territory.
Talking to newsmen here today, the President and General Secretary of the CGA, Mr Desh Prem Azad and Mr CSR Reddy, respectively, said the last date of entry for the tournament had been extended till January 7. Entries may be sent to either of them at the Chandigarh Golf Club.
Mr Reddy said golf had so far remained a neglected game as far as civil service participation was concerned. With the introduction of this annual feature this long felt need would be fulfilled.
The competition would be in two categories handicap of one to nine and handicap of 10 and above.
Mrs Surinderpal Kaur, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, would tee off the tournament on January 10 morning and Mr IS Bindra , president of the Punjab Cricket Association and former President of the Cricket Control Board, would give away the prizes in the evening.
MM School lift gymnastics crown
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 (BOSR) Manav Mangal School, Sector 11, Panchkula, won Panchkula District Inter School Gymnastics Championship for boys and girls which concluded today. In floor exercises all the six positions in boys and girls category were won by the Manav School players, while in vaulting horse four out of six positions were bagged by Manav Mangal School. Anveer Singh among boys and Gurleen Kaur among girls were declared the best gymnasts.
Floor exercises Boys-Anveer 1, Amit Gupta 2, and Ajay Singh 3, (all MM School), Girls Gurleen Kaur 1, Meenakshi Chopra 2, and Shruti Kamboj 3, (all MM School). Vaulting horse: Boys- Himanshu (Hansraj Public School), Karan Arora 2, and Himanshu Bahmani 3, (both MM School). Girls- Poonam (Blue Bird School) 1, Jenis Aggarwal (MM School) 2, Bhawna Mhahajan (MM School) 3.
PU inter-college judo results
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 (BOSR) SGGS College, Chandigarh, and GN Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana emerged victorious in the men and women sections of the Panjab University Inter-College Judo Championship which concluded at the PU gymnasium hall here today. SD College Hoshiarpur and DAV College, Hoshiarpur, secured second and third positions in men's section, respectively, while GGD SD College, Chandigarh, and SD College Hoshiarpur got second and third positions respectively, in the women's section.
Open weight-Munish Sharma, SGGSC Chd 1, Hitesh Bhalla, Pec Chd 2.
Women:- Upto 61 kg Rupinder Deep Kaur, PEC, Chd 1, Gursewak Kaur, GC, Hpr 2. Upto 66 kg Reenu Deepak, GN Kh (W), Ldh 1, Monika Sharma, PUC, Chd 2.
Open Weight: Manpreet Kaur, GN Kh (W), Ldh 1, Harpreet Kaur, GGSC (W), Chd.
W.Rly scrape past SAIL
JALANDHAR, Jan 5 (FOSR) Western Railway, Mumbai, played much below expected form but managed to beat SAIL by a lone goal in the last league match of the third Surjit Singh Memorial Women Hockey Tournament here today.
On the fourth day on the tournament two matches were played in the women's section in pool B Air India, Mumbai, beat Indo-Cal Hockey Club California (USA XI) by 3-0.
The match was a lacklustre affair with score sheet remaining blank till the lemon break. Western Railway failed to impress in the last league encounter. Most of their moves displayed poor coordination. The match started on a dull note and the play was mostly restricted to the midfield. Though Western Railway got five penalty corners in the first half they failed to convert any.
Punjab TT team
JALANDHAR, Jan 5 (FOSR) The following players have been selected by the Punjab Table Tennis Association for participation in the 60th Senior National and Inter-state Table Tennis Championships to be held from January 6 to 13 at Chennai.
Men Deepak Thukral (captain), Vaneet Chopra, Vikas Mahajan, Ramakant, Pankaj Sharma, Vikas Sharma, Dheeraj Arora and Janakraj.
Women Meenu Dhawan (captain), Shikha Ghai, Shally Dhawan, Rajni Gupta, Kuldeep Kaur, Parminder Kaur, Sneh and Nancy.
Managers Mr Raj Dhanda and Sandeepani.
NRI sport festival
JALANDHAR, Jan 5 (TNS) The first non-resident Indians (NRI) sport festival is being held here at PAP grounds from January 6 to 8 at the initiative of the NRI Sabha, Punjab.
The vice-chairman of the Organising Committee of the NRI sports, Dr G.S. Aujla, Zonal Inspector-General of Police, said here that teams from England, the USA, Canada and India would be participating in this unique kind sport festival.
The events will include kabaddi, tug of war, wrestling and weightlifting. Mr Sukhdev Singhl Dhindsa, MP, will be inaugurate the festival at 11 a.m. on January 6, while the Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal will give away the prizes on January 10 at Guru Nanak Stadium.
GND University in final
AMRITSAR, Jan 5 (FOSR) The hosts Guru Nanak Dev University reach the final of All-India Inter-Varsity Women Football Tournament here today by defeating Goa University by 2-1.
| Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir |
| Chandigarh | Editorial | Business |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | World | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |