|S P O R T||
Friday, June 11, 1999
eighth to carry bat through
has talent to win Cup: Gaekwad
suspends Lankan cricket board
miss proves costly
Ntini to get salary
board ropes in Botham
coming into their own: Waugh
Becker lose at Queen's
Fazaluddin to clash in final
SA beat Kiwis, enter semis
EDGBASTON, June 11 (PTI) South Africa were the first to qualify for the World Cup semifinals with a superb all-round display that ensured a thumping 74-run win against New Zealand in a Super Six match here yesterday.
Opting to bat, the Cup favourites amassed 287 for five in 50 overs thanks to a superb 176-run opening stand between Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs and then restricted the Kiwis to 213 for eight to take their points tally six and move into the last four stage with one more match to go.
Kirsten (82) and Gibbs (91) put on the tournaments first century stand in the opening wicket to give a solid base for Jacques Kallis (53 not out) and skipper Hansie Cronje (39) to build up an imposing total before their five-prong pace attack snuffed out the challenge of New Zealand, who badly needed a win to improve their three-point tally to be in the reckoning.
The South African win kept alive Indias slender chances of making it to the semifinals as they take on New Zealand in their last match on Saturday at Trent Bridge. India can hope to qualify if they beat the Kiwis and Zimbabwe put it across Pakistan tomorrow.
New Zealand began their run chase on a shaky note with Jacques Kallis dismissing openers Matthew Horne and Nathan Astle cheaply to reduce them to 34 for two before Cronje scalped rival skipper Stephen Fleming (42 - 64b) and Craig Mcmillan (23) to dash any hopes of a fightback.
Klusener also chipped in with a brace, including the wicket of gritty Roger Twose (35), to formally seal the match in South Africas favour.
The only consolation for New Zealand was left-arm seamer Geoff Allott becoming the highest wicket-taker in a single World Cup when he yorked Gibbs to claim his 19th victim and go one wicket ahead of the record held jointly by Indian Roger Binny, Pakistans Wasim Akram and Aussie Craig McDermott.
Earlier South Africa got off to an electrifying start with Kirsten and Gibbs totally dominating the Kiwi attack before being separated 10 runs short of the World Cup record set by Kirsten and Andrew Hudson against Holland in 1996.
The Proteas looked well set to go beyond the 300-run mark but lost quick wickets to slip from 176 for none to 229 for four before Kallis (53 - 36b, 4x6, 1x4) and captain Hansie Cronje (39-22b, 2x6, 2x4) put on 54 runs for the fifth wicket.
Kallis smote two sixes and a four off Chris Harris to realise 19 runs from the 43rd over as the Kiwi allrounder conceded 59 runs in 10 overs.
Cronje hoisted Cairns (7-0-55-1) to two successive sixes in the 49th over before Kallis smacked another as 24 runs came from the penultimate over.
Allrounder Klusener, meanwhile, ended his unbeaten streak, after 10 matches including six in the World Cup, dismissed for four by Gavin Larsen after the left-hander was sent in as a pinch-hitter at number three.
In reply, the Kiwis were
all at sea against a disciplined attack as Kallis (2/15),
Cronje (2/37) and Klusener (2/46), the second highest
wicket-taker in this World Cup behind Allott, never gave
the batsmen any liberty to score.
Injury-hit Pak in must-win situation
THE OVAL, June 10 (PTI) With fans baying for their blood after their stunning defeat to arch-rivals India, demoralised Pakistan take on a confident Zimbabwe in a do-or-die last Super Six tie they have to win tomorrow if they are to make the World Cup semifinals.
Two straight defeats against South Africa and India has completely nullified the advantage Pakistan enjoyed coming into the Super Six with four points and the African side would be no pushovers.
India would be praying for an unlikely Zimbabwe win to keep alive their hopes for a last four berth. Zimbabwe have already made the grade with five points but showed motivation and strength chasing Australias 303 yesterday before going down by 44 runs.
After comprehensive wins in their first four league ties, the 1992 winners unbelievably slumped to defeat against debutantes Bangladesh and have never recovered since.
Pakistans brittle batting has become their major worry and they are suddenly looking vulnerable as the formidable bowling is also beginning to reveal many cracks.
Overconfidence has also played a role with skipper Wasim Akram roundly criticised for calling the tie against India a "practice game" only to be beaten by 47 runs at Old Trafford.
The unexpected no result in Super Six has proved a lucky escape for Zimbabwe as the Kiwis, at 70 for 3 in 15 overs chasing 176 for victory, looked coasting to victory.
All-rounder Neil Johnson, who smashed a gallant unbeaten 132 against Australia, has led his teams brilliant efforts at this World Cup.
Pakistan are grappling with severe injury problems going into the crunch tie. Young batsman Yousuf Youhana looks to be out of the tournament after aggravating a right hamstring injury batting against South Africa and Akram reportedly has sought youngster Mohammad Wasim, who is playing league cricket in England, as a replacement.
Teenaged all-rounder Abdul Razzaq suffered a similar problem against India, while wicketkeeper and batting mainstay Moin Khan (broken little finger), Inzamam-ul Haq (cut left forefinger) and Saeed Anwar (left ankle) have all been nursing injuries with Akram himself not in the best of health.
Added to this is the woeful lack of form of the main batsmen. Both openers Shahid Afridi and Wajahatullah Wasti have failed miserably and Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik too are yet to produce anything special. Only Haq and Moin Khan have been able to provide some solidity to the batting.
Zimbabwe, who lost to Pakistan by 53 runs in their only World Cup meeting with Pakistan in the 1992 league stage, however will not be overawed by Pakistans reputation.
Having beaten them 1-0 in a Test series and gone down a close 1-2 in one-dayers in Pakistan last November, the African teams worries have been lack of consistency in bowling and a shaky lower order.
The 29-year-old Neil Johnson has led Zimbabwe from the front with brilliant all-round performances. The South African trained player struck an unbeaten 132 not out against the Aussies which has taken his World Cup tally to a massive 313.
A century and two fifties in seven innings has given him a superb average of 52.16 and he has also captured 12 wickets, including four for 42 against Kenya and 3 for 27 against South Africa.
With opener Grant Flower, Murray Goodwin and Andy Flower also in fairly good nick, Zimbabwe would fancy their chances against the Pakistan attack.
Zimbabwe emerge from the shadows
LONDON, June 10 (PTI) Heroic losers for long, Zimbabwe have set the seventh World Cup on fire with stirring deeds and the set of happy-go-lucky cricketers who have almost sealed a semifinal berth could well be the dark horses for the title.
The Africans, who upset India and did the unthinkable -topple big brother and hot favourites South Africa - to carry full four points into the Super Six suddenly find themselves in the limelight after years on the fringes.
A lucky point after their tie with New Zealand was washed out has placed them on the verge of the semifinals and sent pre-tournament calculations awry as teams like India and Australia now wait with bated breath.
Happy to just get to play tough rivals, Zimbabwe have shown they have the calibre to beat them as well and the recognition that has followed is rich reward for an unassuming bunch of farmers and businessmen among toughened pros.
The history of World Cup is littered with grand deeds by Zimbabwe, but they have time and again stopped short of converting them into meaningful victories.
On their debut in 1983, Zimbabwe shocked Australia and then left India at a pathetic 17 for 5 before Kapil Devs heroic 175 not out saved the day for the eventual champions.
In 1987, current coach Dave Houghton hit a magnificent 141 to propel his team towards a major upset over New Zealand, till an outstanding running catch by Martin Crowe ended the knock and gave the Kiwis victory.
This time around, Zimbabwe have refused to distribute any such largesse, seizing every opportunity that came their way and helped by individual brilliance.
Allrounder Neil Johnson top-scored with 76 and took 27 for three in their 48-run win over South Africa. Paceman Henry Olongas sensational three-wicket haul in one over enabled his team pull off a nail-biting three-run win against India.
"They played like school children," Houghton slammed his players after defeats to Sri Lanka and England, but it was only seen as a reverse psychology.
Motivated they were by the harsh words as they pulled off the astounding win against South Africa.
The confidence was again in full evidence as they chased a massive 304 for victory against Australia at the Lords and Johnson almost helped the underdogs pull it off with 132 not out to follow his two for 43 bowling effort that fetched him a rare man of the match award for a losing team member.
Johnson smashed Shane Warne for four fours in an over to leave the leg spin wizard with embarrassing figures of one for 55 off nine overs.
The South Africa-bred Johnson and the Australia-trained Murray Goodwin have added the cutting edge to a side which had always brimmed with talent but lacked the professionalism needed to finish the job.
The performance here is no flash in the pan for a side that made its Cup debut only in 1983 and has come after hard work by Alistair Campbell and his men in the last few years.
Granted full test status in 1992 but considered for few tours, the Africans carved a niche for themselves with a 1-0 away Test series win over Pakistan last November.
English coach David Lloyd became a butt of ridicule after drawing a test in Zimbabwe last year with scores level-England unable to score the winning run at the end - when he said his team ran the rivals aground and "they know it."
Lloyd was left embarrassed as a determined Zimbabwe humbled his side in the one-day series with the crowd chanting Lloyds own uncharitable comment at the visitors.
A victory in the one-off test against India at home last year only showed the team had come of age.
Zimbabwe owe much to their fielding brilliance, an area where they have always been superb much before teams like South Africa and Australia went "scientific" to sharpen the skills.
The frail John Traicos, captain of the 1987 side, had crowds in the sub-continent thrilled with his breathtaking stops and catching despite being over 40 years of age.
Zimbabwes performances have dramatically lifted their profile from smiling losers to dangerous rivals.
Johnson eighth to carry bat through
NEW DELHI, June 10 (UNI) Zimbabwe all-rounder Neil Jonhnson has become the eighth player and second Zimbabwean to carry his bat through the innings in the World Cup.
Johnson scored a valiant 132 in a terrific run chase against Australia, who eventually won by 44 runs at the Lords yesterday, and remained unbeaten. He is the second player in this years edition to carry the bat after Ridley Jacobs of the West Indies against Australia in the preliminary league phase.
One of the Flower brothers, Andy, is the other Zimbabwean to carry his bat through when he scored 115 not out against Sri Lanka in the 1992 edition at Plymouth, New Zealand.
Johnson, who opens both bowling and batting, is the seventh player to score a century in this edition, after Mark Waugh (104) became the first non-Indian to achieve the triple-figure mark earlier in the day which helped Australia post a mammoth 303 for four in 50 overs.
Incidentally, Mark Waugh, who scored his fourth century, also became the highest century maker in World Cup.
Neil Johnson became the third century maker for Zimbabwe in the World Cup and it was the second best performance. David Houhgton, present coach of the team, scored 141 against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1987 and Andy Flower had 115.
Fiftyeight centuries had been recorded in the seven editions of the World Cup, with India, whose batsmen scored five centuries this year, Australia and West Indies sharing the top spot with 10 centuries each, followed by Pakistan (nine), New Zealand and England (six each), Zimbabwe (three) and South Africa and Sri Lanka (two each).
List of the players who
have carried the bat : Sunil Gavaskar (Ind) 36 not
out vs England at Lords, 1975; Glenn Turner (NZ)
171 not out vs East Africa at Edgbaston, 1975; Geoff
Marsh (Aus) 126 not out vs New Zealand at
Chandigarh, 1987; Andy Flower (Zim) 115 not out vs
Sri Lanka at Plymouth, 1992; Rameez Raja (Pak) 102
not out vs West Indies at Melbourne,1992; Gary Kirsten
(SA) 188 not out vs UAE at Rawalpindi, 1996;
Ridley Jacobs (WI) 49 not out vs Australia at Old
Trafford, 1999; Neil Johnson (Zim) 132 not out vs
Australia at the Lords, 1999.
"If you win the toss, think
hard and then bat first"
LONDON, June 10 The biggest dilemma of one-day cricket lies in deciding what to do on winning the toss.
The word "chase" has more meaning in an English horses and hounds setting than in cricket, but the chase is becoming something of a pain in the World Cup.
An examination of the results of World Cup 99 makes one thing clear. The only team to have chased 250 and won are South Africa. But then they have in Lance Klusener, a Zulu warrior, who should know a thing or two about chasing after growing up on a farm in Natal.
At the start of the event it did seem that the simplest thing to do was to put the opposition in and bowl them out in conditions made ideal for bowling by a moist pitch and a cloud cover. Such a move generally meant the side chasing a target was batting in the warmth of the afternoon against a manageable target.
The older while Duke ball is not lending itself to being struck with a nice sense of timing alone. Klusener has specialised in sending it soaring around the grounds of England. Like a golfer on the driving range, he practises his big hits for an hour or two each day. Other batsmen who rely more on their timing and the sweet spots of their favourite willows are not so assiduous.
The chase has been hazardous with the getting of simple targets itself proving a bit awkward. The English summer now promises more hours of bright sunshine in a day and with all matches being played at the Test grounds rather than county venues, the chase is bound to be more rewarding if only batsmen found their touch to make a successful chase possible.
The statistics of one-day international show an even split between success for teams batting first and chasing. The same is true of this World Cup too with 17 wins for teams batting first and 16 for the chasers after the first 34 matches (one no result). But the trick in chasing successfully has lain more often in getting the opponents out for a low score than in defying a big run chase.
The cricketing point about batting first has more to do with the pressures of a do-or-die situation that the chasers face. Nothing proves the efficacy of putting the score on the board and daring the rivals to make it than the results on big occasions like Cup finals in which the team batting first have invariably had the edge.
The first five World Cup finals went to teams batting first and only in the sixth did Sri Lanka defy the pattern by chasing 242 and winning in a canter. But that World Cup was held on the sub-continent where results of one-day internationals are more even when it comes to the batters versus the chasers.
When a sides batting is in peak form, it hardly matters what the skipper wishes to do after the toss. But when the batting is not on the boil, chasing becomes too chancy as the Pakistanis found out at Old Trafford, as did England at Edbagston as they came a cropper against Indian bowling.
The pattern may change in the remaining matches if the better prepared Test pitches start firm and last well for a better part of a day which is likely to be the norm because groundsmen have been facilitated by drier weather over the last few days.
It was the thunderstorm in Manchester that may have denied Peter Marron the opportunity to prepare a better pitch for the match that became famous as the grand Asian Derby and a mini World Cup within a World Cup. As it transpired, asking Pakistan to chase suited India to the hilt because the bowlers hit the straps on a slowing pitch.
The three results of the long weekend beginning on Friday will have a definite bearing on who the four-semi-finalists will be. Pakistans chances of beating Zimbabwe to ensure qualification probably lie more with how the physiotherapist Dan Kiesel fares in mending a long line of broken down players that makes the team the royal infirmary.
Pakistan are off the boil somewhat. They had a dream run in the months from February to May when they won virtually everything unless a rival bowler came up with a ten-wicket performance as Anil Kumble did in the Delhi Test. They pocketed two one-day trophies in that time and seemed a formidable combination when coming into the World Cup for which they were firm favourites for a while.
They have now lost three matches in a row and unless they wake up to the reality of a very shaky batting order, they could be facing the threat of being evicted. Bounce will be their ally at the Oval where they play Zimbabwe on Friday. The hard and fast pitch there will have plenty for Pakistans fast bowlers who can dominate the Zimbabwe batting if they get first use of the pitch.
Choosing to bowl first will bring about the same hazards as the Pakistanis faced in two of their three defeats. So they might have to fall back on the older theme of batting first and doing so safely until the end overs which have been most productive for them save in the match against India.
Wasim Akram will have a tricky choice to make if the coin lands in his favour on Friday morning.
It does appear captains are happier losing the toss and so leave the dilemma to their counterparts. Alec Stewart opted to put India in and paid the price, so too Azhar when he gave Australia first strike.
The same advice that still holds good even in the different context of limited-overs cricket may have come from the good doctor himself. Dr. W.G. Grace always said that if you win the toss, think hard and then bat first.
Team has talent to win Cup: Gaekwad
TRENT BRIDGE, June 10 (PTI) The riddle of a semifinal berth is no closer to solution but the Indian team is hoping luck will favour its talent and pull it through.
"To my mind, this side has the talent to win the World Cup," said coach Anshuman Gaekwad.
The Indian team reached here yesterday and since then has learnt of Australia beating Zimbabwe comfortably. New Zealand is playing South Africa today and it would reach Nottingham only in the morning of Friday.
India would be hoping that Zimbabwe puts it across Pakistan and that the Kiwis not only lose to South Africa but also to it when they clash here on Saturday.
Still, it is a flickering hope and a near-miracle alone will propel India into the semifinals.
The Indians do appear battle-weary now. They have had a relentless grind over the last season. Saurav Ganguly, who earlier lit up this tournament with his astounding form, watched the match against Pakistan from the bench due to a stiff knee after twisting it during the nets two days before the all-important clash with next door neighbours. But, he should be alright for Saturdays important game.
Gangulys absence was purely on health grounds and there is no basis in the reports that he had wanted to avoid confrontation with Shoaib Akhtar. The Rawalpindi Express had resorted to short-pitched deliveries aimed at Gangulys body and done so with some success.
Since a check up on Ganguly did not show anything wrong, the rumour had gained ground that he had chickened out of a confrontation with young Akhtar. The Calcutta left-hander has the best record among all Indians against Pakistan. So such charges are absurd.
But the Indians do seem to have a problem in the wicket-keeping department with Nayan Mongia hurting his left hand once again. During the Pakistan innings, he appeared to be in serious pain while collecting the ball. A catch by Inzamam was also grassed by him.
However, Mongia appeared upbeat. When contacted, he said: "There is no serious problem as such. I should be alright for Satudays game".
One would like to take Mongias word for that.
There were also various reports about the crowds behaviour after the India-Pakistan match. No one condones some of the horrid things the Pakistani fans did. But that only shows their sense of frustration after losing to India.
There was also the
example of when the Indian team left in its coach. The
crowd at the gate, in which the Pakistanis outnumbered
the Indians six to one, cheered the Indian squad and
abused Akram and his men when they left.
Court suspends Lankan cricket board
COLOMBO, June 10 (PTI) Sri Lankan cricket, already in turmoil after a disastrous World Cup campaign, was plunged into fresh crisis today with a Colombo court reimposing the order suspending the functioning of the entire board.
Colombo district court Judge A.S. Salam issued the orders on a petition challenging the re-election of board president Thilanga Sumathipala and others in a controversial election in March.
The court issued the stay at the request of petitioner Clifford Ratwatte, uncle of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who had lost the battle for presidentship to Mr Sumathipala by a 79-11 margin.
Ratwatte walked out of the meeting with his supporters and alleged that gun-toting intruders had prevented free and fair voting and moved the court against the board.
The court issued a stay on April 7, but lifted it three weeks later following a submission by board officials that the restraint left the board unable to even pay the visa fees for players leaving for England.
With the team failing to defend their title and returning home early, the court reimposed the order after Mr Ratwatte filed a fresh petition contending that there was no urgency in continuing with the board which was constituted following a questionable election.
Flower's miss proves costly
LONDON, June 10 (AFP) Catches win matches, they tell school kids. And dropped ones presumably lose them.
Zimbabwean Grant Flower's missed chance against Australia here yesterday was one that proved more expensive than most.
Had he caught it, Flower would have been in line to pick up the catch of the tournament award.
Standing at backward point, he found a full-blooded Mark Waugh cut heading his way at high velocity. He jumped and got his hand to the ball, only for it to bounce up and behind him.
Flower swivelled round, but the ball had already bounced behind him.
Waugh had scored seven at the time. Australia were 25 for one in the eighth over of their innings at the start of the World Cup Super Six encounter at the Lord's.
Waugh went on to make 104 off 120 balls, setting up Australia's huge total of 303 for four.
Later, Flower was pressed into service as an emergency bowler in an attempt to help stem the Australian charge, only for his occasional left-arm spin to go for 20 off three overs, putting him further into the red.
Convicted Ntini to get salary
JOHANNESBURG, June 10 (PTI) Makhaya Ntini, the black South African fast bowler who was omitted from the World Cup squad after he was convicted of rape will continue to receive his monthly salary of 19,000 rands (Rs 1.33 lakh) until his appeal hearing in two months time.
Ntini was convicted in April of rape and subsequently sentenced to six years jail but has appealed against the conviction.
Former South African wicketkeeper Dave Richardson said the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) had agreed to stand by Ntini until his appeal was heard.
"Ntini is still being paid according to his existing contract, one that was finalised before he was found guilty," said Richardson, who described himself as the appointed commercial representative of the South African cricketers.
He, however, denied reports that the UCBSA has renewed a contract with Ntini.
"The players contracts run from May 1 to April 30 each year, and even though Ntini was being tried in court, he was still innocent at the time of contract negotiation and was treated as such," Richardson said.
England board ropes in Botham
LONDON, June 9 (UNI) The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has requisitioned the services of legendary all-rounder Ian Botham to assist in selecting the England team for this summer after its disgraceful elimination from the World Cup.
Botham is to be the observer assisting the selectors for the Test series against New Zealand starting next month.
Botham, the former England captain, now a TV commentator and Leicestershire coach Jack Brikenshaw will report back to the three national selectors David Graveney, Mike Gatting and Graham Gooch.
Chairman of the selection committee David Graveney said Botham and Brikenshaw have vast cricketing knowledge and experience, a proven record and see a lot of cricket. "It makes sense to formalise our arrangements" he said. Though ECB did not exactly give him a job in the committee but made him a part of the selection process. Botham and Brikenshaw will be paid the expenses, it was announced.
The ECB in the process effectively ruled Brikenshaw out of the job as Englands new coach. South Africas Bob Woolmer is still in the running even though he has said that he wants some rest and will not be available till next year.
The ECB may change his mind with a massive financial package and he may then take England to South Africa this winter. Zimbabwes Duncan Fletcher is also in the race for the post of coach. An appointment is likely within a fortnight because ECB wants the new coach to have a say on the selection of the captain.
Meanwhile ECB thanked the India-Pakistan supporters for maintaining calm during the match yesterday at Old Trafford.
The Organisers were delighted with the success of the biggest security operation ever mounted for a cricket match in England. An army of stewards, backed by specially employed security men and a heavy police presence failed to spoil the "carnival of cricket" atmosphere.
There were three arrests
for public order offences inside the ground, with nine
fans ejected from the crowd of 25,000. "We would
like to congratulate the fans on their all round good
behaviour. We are very pleased the way the day went"
the organisers said.
Batsmen coming into their own: Waugh
LONDON, June 10 (AFP) The balance of power at the 1999 cricket World Cup has shifted dramatically in the last few days from bowlers to batsmen.
The switch, brought on by better pitches and drier weather, was confirmed at Lords yesterday when Mark Waugh and Neil Johnson both hit centuries.
Australian skipper Steve Waugh said after his sides Lords victory: "The batters are coming into their own."
For most of the tournament, opening batsmen have had to fight for survival in moist, seamer-friendly morning conditions.
The white ball being used for the event also amplified the swing available, making top-order collapses almost routine and putting the onus on all-rounders like Lance Klusener 210 not out in the world cup so far to salvage their teams as conditions eased up later.
In 34 games before Australias 44-run win over Zimbabwe, only four batsmen had made it to three figures.
Steve Waugh said the quality of the pitches was also having an effect.
First-round matches were staged right across the country but, he pointed out, from the Super Six second-phase onwards games are being played solely at Test venues.
"The Lords wicket is the best in the world," he added.
Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga must be cursing that the change did not come earlier.
His defending champions were eliminated after the first round as their top-order batsmen, world beaters on the Indian sub-continent in 1996, failed to come to terms with the English conditions.
"You can get a lot of good balls over here," he had said. " If youre on the sub-continent or in Australia, you can get a bowler who just does a little bit and catches the edge at times ... Over here, its every ball.
He had added: "Obviously the bowlers are right on top in this World Cup, but hopefully thatll change in the Super Six and the batters will get their turn."
Ranatunga was right. But by then his team had already flown home.
The only people who did not hear that the first phase of the World Cup was a bowlers paradise were the Indian batsmen.
While the rest of the world played and missed, looking as comfortable at shoe-less men dancing in a snake-pit, Indias batsmen cracked four centuries. The fifth, at the start of the Super Six phase, also fell to them.
Rahul Dravid claimed two and Saurav Ganguly scored 183, the highest score of the tournament. Sachin Tendulkars 140 against Kenya was the fastest.
Stoichkov hangs up boots for Bulgaria
SOFIA, June 10 (Reuters) An era ended when Hristo Stoichkov was substituted to a heros farewell 16 minutes from the end of Bulgarias European qualifying match against England.
Stoichkov (33) raised his arms in triumph and blew a farewell kiss to the crowd to mark his 83rd and final appearance in the green and red Bulgarian strip yesterday.
After 17 years and 37 goals for his country, Stoichkov has announced his retirement from the international arena, although he intends to play on at club level. He is currently with Kashiwa Reysol in Japan.
But the brilliantly gifted, if volatile player did not leave without making his mark.
He created Bulgarias goal with a superbly taken left-foot freekick after 18 minutes, which Georgi Markov superbly headed home.
His former Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff, who arrived in Sofia yesterday for the farewell game, gave him flowers and hugged him before the kickoff. CSKA Sofia coach and ex-Bulgarian head coach Dimitar Penev, whom Stoichkov largely admires, also greeted him.
Stoichkov started his international career in September 1987 at the same stadium where he bade farewell yesterday.
Fearless and totally committed, he remained the driving force of the Bulgarian team even after the best years of his career were over.
The highlights came in 1992 when he helped Barcelona win the European Cup and in 1994 when he inspired Bulgaria to the semifinals of the World Cup for the first time. Together with Oleg Salenko of Russia, he finished joint top scorer with six goals.
Later that year he was voted European footballer of the year.
He had made local history in 1990 when he was transferred from then champions CSKA Sofia to Barcelona for almost, then, an unheard of sum in post-communist eastern Europe.
Despite his wonderful gifts on the field, trouble was never far behind. Stoichkov left Barcelona under a cloud in March last year after eight years and his career has been peppered by frequent rows, disciplinary problems and sendings-off.
Kafelnikov, Becker lose at Queen's
LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) World number one Yevgeny Kafelnikov was sent skidding out of the Queen's Club Championship by 74th-ranked Armenian Sargis Sargsian yesterday.
The6-3, 3-6, 3-6, second-round defeat means the Russian will lose his top spot to either Pete Sampras or Pat Rafter when the new ATP rankings are announced on Monday.
Sampras, who is playing at the Queens, and Pat Rafter, who was top seed at Halle in Germany, are battling for the top spot.
Sampras beat Australian doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 to move into the third round in London but world No 2 Rafter lost 19-17 in a third-set tie-break to Dutchman Jan Siemerink in the third round at Halle.
Under the complex points system, Sampras must win at least one more match to reclaim the No 1 spot. In the next round the American meets another Australian, qualifier Wayne Arthurs: It Arthurs wins, his compatriot Rafter will move to No 1 for the first time in his career.
Sampras, though, was not thinking of rankings. "Its certainly nice to be back on grass," the five-times Wimbledon champion said.
Tim Henman, seeded three and at a career-high No 6 in the world, overcame a lapse of concentration to beat American Cecil Mamiit 6-3, 7-6.
The British crowd favourite made life hard for himself after cruising through the first set and getting an early break in the second, by allowing himself to be broken back by the world No 81.
He did enough in the tie-break, though, to take it 8-6 and book a third-round clash with Zimbabwean 13th-seed Byron Black. Black beat Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-3.
Fellow Briton Greg Rusedski also won. The seventh seed beat American Paul Goldstein 6-3, 6-4 but German favourite Boris Becker failed to advance, going out 6-7, 3-6 to defending champion and 15th seed Scott Draper.
Kafelnikov, who had a bye into the second round, played the first match on centre court and looked unsteady on the lush grass, struggling to find his balance and slipping frequently while chasing balls.
He held on to win the opening set and was a break up in the second but the tide slowly turned and Sargsian began to take control. The Armenian cracked Kafelnikov and put a string of games together to level matters before racing into the lead in the decider.
Kafelnikov saved one match point with Sargsian serving, thumping a volley firmly into the forehand corner, but was broken to love as his fragile serve finally collapsed.
Croatian eighth seed and last years Wimbledon finalist Goran Ivanisevic beat Bulgarian Orlin Stanoytchev 6-4, 6-4, French 11th seed and 1997 Wimbledon finalist Cedric Pioline beat Mark Woodforde 6-4, 7-5 and 12th-seeded Australian Jason Stoltenberg beat British Hopeful Martin Lee 7-6, 6-1.
BRISBANE, June 10 (AP) South Korean striker Song Seung-Tae scored a hat-trick to sink England 3-2 in the opening match of the Champions Trophy field hockey tournament today.
Song gave the favoured South Korean men a strong start with a goal on three minutes but England fought back to level through Mark Pearn by halftime.
Song added goals on 57 and 63 minutes before Englands penalty corner expert Calum Giles converted a chance after the final siren.
"Im very happy with my players because they are mostly young, said South Korean coach Kim Sang-Ryul. Song got three goals but our midfielders played very, very well.
England captain William Waugh said South Korea deserved its win.
"In a tournament of this quality you dont want to start off with a loss, Waugh said. We fancied our chances against the Koreans because we had a good record against them in the past.
The match was the first of four on the opening day of the 11-day tournament which features mens and womens Champions Trophy competitions at the same venue for the first time.
The top six mens and womens teams play round-robin with the top two sides in each progressing to the finals.
A rule change has freed up play, with fewer stoppages when the ball hits a players foot. The result was a quicker match and continues hockeys efforts to make its sport more attractive, following the abolition of the offside rule and specialist penalty corner experts in recent years.
"Sometimes we were confused with the new rules today, Kim said. But well get better.
Waugh said the rule changes had the desired effect.
Srinath, Fazaluddin to clash in final
NEW DELHI, June 10 (PTI) Syed Fazaluddin fired over a dozen aces and kept his concentration intact to overpower Russian Artem Derepasko to cruise into the final of ITF Satellite Masters Tennis Tournament here today.
Third-seeded Fazaluddin scored a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over the second-seeded Russian to set up the summit clash against compatriot Prahlad Srinath in a replay of last week's final of the third circuit event at Delhi. Srinath won it in straight sets for his second title after winning the Bangalore leg.
Top-seeded Srinath quelled the spirited challenge of promising Harsh Mankad to win the second semifinal 7-6, (7/3), 6-2 and keep his hopes alive for grabbing the overall circuit winner prize besides the Masters title.
The day, however, belonged to Fazaluddin who battled the Moscovite and sweltering conditions at the DLTA courts to emerge winner in two hours and 15 minutes.
The Indian wasted three break points early in the first set as Derepasko struggled to hold his serve in the third game. Fazaluddin grabbed initiative in the seventh game as he broke the second seed to earn two break points and then came up with a double-fisted passing winner to take a crucial 4-3 lead.
Fazaluddin held his serve in the eighth game after being stretched to deuce when Derepasko's return found the net.
He quickly went up 40-0 on the Russian's serve, earning three set points and after Derepasko closed the gap 30-40, Fazaluddin came up with a backhand crosscourt volley to win the first set 6-3.
The 19-year-old Derepasko, who won the Mumbai leg beating Fazaluddin, raised his game in the second set and quickly earned a break in the third game and then raced to a 4-2 lead but not before a marathon sixth game on his serve.
Fazaluddin wasted seven break points as the sixth game went into deuce 10 times before Derepasko came up with a winner on his fifth gamepoint.
Fazaluddin had all the chances to return the break but failed at crucial moments and almost gave up the second set.
Davis Cupper and India number four, Fazaluddin fought the humid conditions and with a break up, raced to 5-3 lead in the decider. Derepasko threatened to foil Fazaluddin's party by earning break point at 30-40, but the Indian had enough armoury in store to take the game to deuce.
He earned his first matchpoint with a forehand return and emerged deserving winner when Derepasko netted a return.
The Prahlad Srinath-Harsh Mankad duel was an interesting one, in which Mankad have enough glimpses of his talent before going down.
Mankad's court coverage was fantastic and his agility won over Srinath in the eighth game of the first set when he broke the top seed at love. Fourth-seeded Mankad held his own to go 5-4 up on serve but after the set went into tie-breaker, Srinath was unstoppable.
According to Mr Rajiv Tuli, a coach, the camp will help the boys to play and get the right exposure.
The players are being provided coaching in three phases.
Boxing squad for
The team: Dingko Singh, Suresh Singh, Mohammad Ali Qamar, Dalbir Singh, Rama Anand, C.A. Kuttappa, Bhushan Saini, Jitendera Kumar and Gurcharan Singh.
Mr G.S. Sandhu will be the chief coach of the team and will be assisted by Ibomcha Singh.
Scores: (Ludhiana) (1st
innings): 351 for 6. (Patiala) (1st innings): 351 all out
(P. Dharmani 144, Munish Bali 102, Lakhbir Singh 28,
Bharat Bhushan 4 for 79, Mithun Gupta 2 for 31, Bharti
Vij 1 for 65).
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