|Monday, January 17, 2000,
Agassi, Hingis chase tennis
Sampras will surpass
Yuvraj scripts Indias win
GND University, PAU in title clash
Punjab powerlifters reign supreme
Jan Timman holds Anand
Punjab in semis
MELBOURNE, Jan 16 (PTI) Skipper Steve Waugh led the way with an unbeaten 81 as Australia handed Pakistan their first defeat in three matches by an emphatic six wickets to go atop the points table in a rain-curtailed one-day triangular cricket series tie here today.
The hosts played like true World Cup champions as they scored their third straight win and avenged the defeat by Pakistan in a similar low-scoring affair in the inaugural tie at Brisbane after morning showers curtailed the game to 41 overs a side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
After a 90-minute delay in start, Waugh won the toss and put in Pakistan and their pace battery led by Glenn McGrath (2/48) and Shane Lee (3/24) once again ripped through the shaky top order to peg Pakistan to 176 for nine in 41 overs.
Australia had some early setbacks to be 92 for four at one stage, but Waugh steadied the innings and his unbeaten 85-run fifth wicket stand with Damien Martyn enabled the hosts coast to 177 for four wickets in 38.5 overs.
The win lifted the hosts to six points from four matches while Pakistan have four points from three matches with India yet to open their account after three defeats.
The 34-year-old Steve Waugh again lived up to his tag as the crisis man as he dashed Pakistans hopes for a repeat of their 45-run win at Brisbane defending 184 runs.
Waugh smashed six fours and one six in a 92-ball knock as he and Martyn (39) guided their team to an eventually easy victory after two strikes by controversial paceman Shoaib Akhtar (2/32) raised Pakistan hopes.
Akhtar struck twice in an over by trapping opener Adam Gilchrist leg before for a racy 21 off 13 balls and forcing Ricky Ponting to edge to second slip Wajahatullah Wasti.
The out-of-form Mark Waugh reached double figures for the first time in the series, but was run out to a direct hit by Yousuf Youhana for 12.
Ricky Ponting went without scoring for the second straight game and Youhana accounted for one-day specialist Michael Bevan with a rare run out after he had made 15.
But Steve Waugh, adjudged man of the match, and Bevan raised a crucial 54-run stand for the fourth wicket to pull the side out of deep trouble from 38 for three.
The Australian skipper, who cracked his 38th one-day fifty, then settled with Damien Martyn to guide the side to victory with 13 balls to spare.
Pakistans final chance for victory evaporated when Waugh, on 60, was dropped by wicketkeeper Moin Khan off the bowling of off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq with the total on 133.
Earlier, Pakistans batting frailties were exposed as Shane Lee proved to be the chief wrecker with three wickets, including that of Youhana (20) and skipper Wasim Akram (0) in the same over. Andrew Symonds (2/27) also chipped in with wickets.
Left-handed opener Saeed Anwar hit a strokeful 49, but Pakistan owed it to emerging all-rounder Abdur Razzaqs unbeaten 51 (54 b, 4 x 4) for reaching the modest total.
Wasti, who replaced Shahid Afridi as opener, was caught behind edging pace spearhead McGraths rearing ball to the wicketkeeper while Ijaz Ahmed (0) and Inzamam-ul Haq (8) continued their poor run with the bat.
Waugh made up for his mistake in having the usually sharp Bevan run out, shocking the latter with a late call for a quick single only to be beaten by Youhanas underarm throw.
Bevan completed 4,000 runs in one-day cricket in his 126th match during the course of his innings.
Pakistan had their chance since the score after 25 overs was only 106 runs and the ball had started to reverse swing prodigiously. But Waugh gave nothing away and raised his half century from 56 balls and once Moin Khan let-off Steve Waugh, it was Australia all the way.
In Saqlain Mushtaqs fourth over, Waugh edged a cut and the ball hit Moin Khan on his chest and sat up for what looked an easy catch. Moin snatched at the ball only to drop it.
Earlier, Razzaq, in association with Saqlain Mushtaq (11) and Waqar Younis (8), produced 70 runs from the last 10 overs after Pakistan were gasping at 106 for seven at one stage.
Pakistan had wasted a good 42-run fourth wicket stand between Anwar and Youhana and lost four quick wickets in the middle overs.
MELBOURNE, Jan 16 (PTI) Australian skipper Steve Waugh, pleased with his form and the first win over Pakistan in the limited overs cricket tri-series today, predicted the series could be decided by the middle order of the three teams.Given the way the bowlers have performed in this series, it is a fair bet the middle-order of the three teams will decide who ends up winner, said Waugh, who struck a masterly unbeaten 81 to rescue his team from a precarious 38-3 to a six-wicket victory at the MCG here.
The best bowlers of the world are taking part in this competition and the white ball, with its hardness and extra seam movement is tough on all top order batsmen, he said.
It will be the middle order who could end up calling the shots.
It was important for me to make some runs afterall I am in the team first because I am a batsman and then as captain, said Waugh, who added a decisive 85 runs with Damien Martyn (39 n.o) for the unfinished fifth wicket, said.
Waugh said he was worried with his teams bowling in the slog overs. Im not happy with that. We are too loose in those final 10 overs. It is one area we need to work on quite seriously.
He was happy with the support he received from Martyn and Michael Bevan (15) in the middle but said I would really like to pick up Shane Lee and Andrew Symonds from this win because they bowled their quota of overs quite superbly.
A disappointed Pakistan captain Wasim Akram endorsed his Australian counterparts views and said once the white ball got old here, there was not much in it for bowlers.
Once the seam flattens out, it becomes easy besides it was a good batting track.
Thats why I had asked Shoaib to be ready for a 3-4 over spell at the start of the innings because of the new white ball, said Akram. He gave us a great start by picking up those two wickets and we were in the game till we had them four down for 90-odd.
Though the Pakistani top-order blues continued today, Akram said he was not worried.
I am not worried. You saw Saeed Anwar coming back to form today. About others they are our best players. They are the chosen ones and proven ones. Sooner or later they are going to come good. I have to back them and I will since I have faith in them, said Akram.
Akram singled out young all-rounder Abdur Razzaq, who struck a breezy unbeaten 51, for special praise. The youngster has done quite well in the last two years and will be among the next generation of Pakistan cricket, he said.
Akram said he did not mind the umpires changing the ball with 38 runs remaining in Australias chase. The ball had lost colour and thats why the umpires changed it, he said.
MELBOURNE, Jan 16 (AFP) Resurgent Andre Agassi has already joined a select group in attaining tennis immortality. The Australian Open offers him the chance for more glory. His great rival Pete Sampras may have been a constant force in dominating tennis in the 1990s with 12 grand slam titles and six No.1 finishes, but Agassi has his claims to greatness too.
The charismatic Americans fortunes may have gyrated between humdrum and supreme, but heading into the years opening grand slam tournament Agassis star is firmly on the ascent.
Agassi is only one of five players to have captured all four grand slam crowns Sampras hasnt achieved that and should he reach the Australian Open final on January 30 he will become the first since Rod Laver to string together four consecutive slam finals.
The Las Vegan deprived Sampras of seven straight No.1 year -end finishes in 1999 and approaching 30 he remains a box-office draw and an adversary for Sampras.
Yet should they meet at the Australian Open it will be, for most, one match too early in the semifinals, with Sampras seeded three and being drawn in Agassis top half of the mens singles draw.
So a Agassi-Sampras decider is out, but both will have their work cut out negotiating the minefield of a top-heavy half of the draw, populated by Australian Mark Philippoussis, big-serving former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, last years finalist Thomas Enqvist and journeyman Todd Martin.
In contrast, defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikovs opposite half of the draw looks devoid of genuine title contenders, except for German fourth seed Nicolas Kiefer, last years semifinalist Tommy Haas and unseeded Australian Lleyton Hewitt, fuelled by a 10-match unconquered leadup run.
Faster court conditions aligned with a lighter speedier ball is tilting the advantage toward big servers this year, particularly if Melbourne Park bakes under high temperatures, which have reached 42 Celsius in the past.
That puts Philippoussis and Krajicek in with enhanced chances, although Philippoussis is likely to bump into Agassi, and Krajicek may have a similar date with Sampras.
Martina Hingis is chasing history in the womens singles, a win here will give her four straight Australian titles, the most in the Opens post-1969 era.
Hingis, who is the youngest to have won the Australian title at 16 years three months in her first triumph in 1997, is the top seed and is expected to have to fight off firstly US Open champion Serena Williams in the semifinals and rankings rival Lindsay Davenport in the final.
Second seed Davenport heads the bottom half Frances Amelie Mauresmo, beat both to Hingis and Davenport to win the leadup Sydney title.
Russian glamour girl Anna Kournikova, the 11th seed, will play in Davenports half of the draw and has yet to land a tournament in 97 attempts. Yet such is her overpowering crowd-pulling allure that she will get a prime-time television match on Monday night against Austrian Patricia Wartusch.
The awesome African-American Serena is sitting at a career-high world No.4 and apart from sister Venus, whos out of the tournament with tendonitis of the left wrist, no other player came close to matching Hings in strength, confidence and skill last year.
But by opting to miss warm-ups in Hong Kong, the Gold Coast and Sydney, she may lack match practice.
Davenport, beaten in the semis by Mauresmo last year, said every player was different but warned Williams may find it hard to adapt.
If its really windy, if its really, really hot some of those factors can wear on you if you are not used to them, whereas if you have been down here (in Australia) a little longer you are a bit more prepared, she said.
With Steffi Graf retired, serve-and-volley specialist Jana Novotna bowing out and Monica Seles, a four-time Open champion, injured, the field appears wide open.
Davenport, who says shes in better shape than ever, puts Hingis and Williams as her main threats and singled out Pierce as in the second tier of challengers.
I really think Martina, the Williams sisters and myself this last year have kind of been the ones and Steffi but shes retired that won the big tournaments and came through at the end, she said in Sydney.
MELBOURNE, Jan 16 (AFP) Australian tennis great Roy Emerson says his record of 12 Grand Slam titles will be far surpassed by Pete Sampras.
Sampras had a hit with his boyhood idol Emerson on the eve of the Australian Open here today in a promotion to bring together the sports two greatest Grand Slam champions.
The greatest contemporary player goes into the years opening major tournament with 12 Grand Slams, the same as 63-year-old Emerson.
Sampras, still relatively young at 28, is expected to pass Emersons tally sometime this year, if not here then he has a strong possibility of achieving it in July at Wimbledon where he has annexed six All-England Championships.
If Petes in good health and fit, theres no reason why he cant be number one for a number of years, said grey-haired emerson.
Good-naturedly, Sampras, sitting alongside him at a press conference, turned and said: Ive already done it for a number of years. Give me a break.
To which, Emerson continued: But, youre only just beginning with your game, you know, I think you can play many, many years and at top-class tennis.
And with my record of 12 Grand Slams I think if you show good form and play well and keep in good shape, youll leave that well behind.
Emerson, who won six Australian, two French, two Wimbledon and two US crowns, said Sampras had a great opportunity to surpass his record at the Australian Open.
Records are to be broken and obviously youd like a record to last forever, but its going to happen and I think Petes got a great opportunity here and I couldnt think of anyone better to do it, he said.
Sampras is steeped in the traditions of tennis and recounts Emerson, along with Australian legends, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, as his childhood inspirations.
They were the players I looked up to as a kid, said Sampras, who recounted how he once hit some balls with Rod Laver when he was 11.
I saw some tapes of Roy and Rod in Davis Cup matches and Ive always admired their games.
There were players that had a lot of class on and off the court and Roy is certainly someone Ive always looked up to as a person and a player.
COLOMBO, Jan 16 (PTI) Powered by an excellent all-round performance by Yuvraj Singh, India downed New Zealand by 28 runs to storm into the super league of the cricket World Cup (U-19) topping Group B with an all-win record today.
Batting first after skipper Mohd Kaif won the toss, India were all out for 199 in 49.1 overs, but struck back to bowl out the Kiwi colts for 171 in 49.3 overs.
Yuvraj Singh came up with a splendid effort as he first hammered 68 off only 62 balls with 12 fours to top score and lift a floundering innings and returned to capture a decisive four for 36 in 9.3 overs.
India, who beat Holland in their opening tie and then split points with Bangladesh after their match was washed out, finished their league engagements with five points. New Zealand made it as the second team by edging out Bangladesh on net run rate after both tallied three points.
But the biggest upset was the elimination of strong South Africa, who were done in by the complicated Duckworth Lewis system to finish third in Group C after all three of their ties were washed out.
While the South Africans (3) rued their luck, minnows Nepal (4) sneaked through behind Pakistan (4) with the Himalayan nations 14-run win over Kenya proving decisive.
CALCUTTA, Jan 16 (UNI) Defending champions Salgaokar were today held 0-0 by local outfit Tollygunge Agragami in the crucial 4th Coca Cola National Football League at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium here today. With todays result, Goa outfit now have 16 points in eight matches while Tollygunge secured 12 points also in last eight encounters. After a tiresome first half as both the teams were on a defensive mood, the game took some interesting point in the fag end as the visitors were went all out for a win. But watchful eyes and alertness of Bivas Ghosh under the Tollys post prevented Salgaokar to have full points of the match.
The absence of Bruno Coutinho was felt time and again with Goas frontline as the Indian veteran striker could not accompany the team due to injury. Salgaokar drew both the matches they played in Calcutta. Earlier, the Goanese drew a goalless match with Calcutta giants East Bengal.
On the other hand Tollygunge, who had successfully opted for ultra defensive game, had two good scoring chances today in the second half. But a brilliant save by custodian Siddi deprived the local team to leave the ground with only one point.
A powerful shot by captain Chandan Das was magnificiently saved by Goa golie and another chance, also in the second half, was wasted by Srikanta Dutta. Tolly also drew both the home matches earlier against Dempo Sports Club (1-1), also from Goa.
MARGAO: Star-studded Churchill Brothers (Goa) today routed Calcutta giant East Bengal 3-0 to add three valuable points to their tally to maintain their lead in the fourth National Football League match played at Nehru Stadium Fatorda here today.
Striker Andriy Malchensky in the 5th minute, medio Rockey Barreto in the 65th minute and Somatai Shaiza in the 88th minute scored for Churchill Brothers. With this win Churchill Brothers kept their top position in tact with 18 points from eight outings with six wins and two losses while East Bengal remained on the same nine points from equal number of outings.
Davis Cup squad
CHANDIGARH, Jan 16 Sixteen-year-old Sunil Kumar, a promising local tennis player, has found a berth as a playing member in Davis Cup squad.
Sunil is a product of Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association. Other members of the team are ace player Leander Paes, Prahlad Srinath and Syed Fazaluddin. The reserve player is Mustafa Ghouse. India will play with Lebanon at Lucknow from February 4 to 6.
It was for the first time that any Chandigarh player figured among playing members of the Davis Cup squad. Vikrant Chadha was able to make it to the squad. He, however, was kept in reserves.
Another Chandigarh boy and current national under-16 champion Amanjot Singh has been included in the Indian team for the World Youth Cup Zonal Tennis Tournament to be held at Hiroshima (Japan) in April this year.
Tushar Liberhan also of Chandigarh has been shortlisted for International Youth Cup Under-14 Zonal Group Tennis Tournament to be held at Jakarta ( Indonesia) in May this year.
Mr Rajan Kashyap, Chairman CLTA, and the brain behind the Chandigarh Academy for Rural Tennis, recalled that Sunil, a native of Himachal Pradesh and the son of a Railway Coach Factory Kapurthala employee, was spotted during rural talent hunt scheme, 1992 and could become a role model for other junior players.
Sunil has got numerous offers from the various sponsors and at present he is in Colombo, He will play the ITF junior tournaments in Delhi, Calcutta. He, however, will not be able to play in Chandigarh in the ITF juniors meet from January 31, due to clash of dates with the Davis Cup.
MELBOURNE, Jan 16 (PTI) Indian Davis Cup star Leander Paes will take on Australian wildcard Dejan Petrovic in the opening round of the mens singles in the Australian Open tennis championship that begins here tomorrow. The 26-year-old Paes, who fought his way through the qualifiers and scored a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) win over South African Marcus Ondruska in the final qualifying round yesterday, will aim to end his hoodoo of first round exits at the Melbourne Park in the past.
The worlds top doubles player has been lodged in the star-packed top half, but will be determined to continue his good work and at least move up to the second round.
If Paes, aiming to improve his singles ranking, gets past Petrovic, he will play the winner of the clash between Hernan Gumy of Argentina and Andreas Vinciguerra of Sweden.
In mens doubles, Paes will team up with Canadian Sebastian Laureau as his regular partner Mahesh Bhupathi is recuperating after undergoing a shoulder surgery last month.
The top Indian player and Bhupathi had fought a thrilling final last year that went the full distance before bowing out to Aussie Pat Rafter and Swede Jonas Bjorkman. The Indian duo went on to win the French and Wimbledon titles.
Indias top woman
player Nirupama Vaidyanathans hopes of making it to
the main draw, however, were dashed when she conceded the
final womens singles qualifying match against
Australias Kerry-Ann Guse at 6-3, 0-6, 1-0.
Nirupama became the first Indian women to win a Grand
Slam main draw tie when she reached the second round in
University, PAU in title clash
LUDHIANA, Jan 16 As expected holders Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, defeated Panjab University, Chandigarh, 4-2 while hosts Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, managed to get past Kurukshetra University 1-0 to set up a title clash on the penultimate day of the All India Inter-University (inter-zonal) Hockey Tournament for men at the astro-turf stadium of the PAU here today.
The first semifinal began on a fast pace with Punjab University boys weaving some fine moves which resulted in their getting a penalty corner in the 2nd minute of the game. Full back Manmohan Singhs powerful shot sounded the board 1-0. Stung by this reverse, defending champions launched a fierce attack and got the equaliser in the next minute through a penalty corner conversion by Mandeep Singh.
Exhibiting great mobility and depth in their attack, GND varsity boys continued to threaten PU goal. They took the lead in the 18th minute when Gabbar Singh gave a parallel pass to Lakhwinder Singh who successfully put the ball into the net (2-1).
Just four minutes before the lemon break Sharanjit Singh of GND varsity converted a penalty corner to consolidate the lead (3-1).
After changing ends, PU lads played like a well-knit unit and gave some anxious moments to their rivals. They made repeated attacks into GND varsity citadel. These pressure tactics paid dividends in the 49th minute when Manvir Singh struck to narrow down the margin 3-2.
In the next 10 minutes of play, PU boys forced five penalty corners but failed to convert any GND varsity pumped in another goal in the 65th minute through a penalty corner rebound by Tejbir Singh (4-2).
The second semifinal between PAU and Kurukshetra University proved to be a dull affair.
Despite maintaining pressure initially, PAU could not produce the desired results. Both the teams muffed up some easy scoring chances in the first 25 minutes of play.
PAU opened their account
at the stroke of the half time through an indirect
penalty corner hit taken by Jagroop Singh (1-0). Trailing
by one goal, Kurukshetra University started making forays
into the rival goal area but fumbled near the goal mouth.
In the 44th minute, PAU were awarded a penalty stroke but
they failed to increase the lead as the hit taken by
Jagroop Singh went wide off the mark.
powerlifters reign supreme
PATIALA, Jan 16 Punjab won team championships in both men and women categories in the Junior National Powerlifting Championships which concluded at Durgapur (W. Bengal) recently.
In the mens section, Punjab emerged winners garnering 66 points. They won four gold, five silver and one bronze medal in 10 out of the 11 weight categories.
On the distaff side, the Punjab eves won team title with 58 points to their credit. They won three golds, as many silver and one bronze medal in seven out of 11 weight categories.
Punjab also reigned supreme by winning the overall championships with a total of 124 points. Punjab powerlifters were followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh who were credited with 111 and 98 points to come second and third, respectively.
Mandeep Kaur of Punjab, who participated in the 52-kg class, won Strong women title Manoj Gupta of Bihar was adjudged the Strong man, while Ashok Kumar of PSEB was declared the second runners-up.
A few national records were also set by the Punjab powerlifters. Ashok Kumar (67.5 kg) lifted 160.5 kgs to break his own record set in the previous edition of the championships and Surjeet Singh Samra (125 kgs plus) shattered Susheel Kumars record by lifting 330 kgs. In the womens section, Mandeep Kaur (52 kgs) broke Raja Rajeshwaris record of 372.5 kgs by lifting a total of 380 kgs. Similarly, another Punjab girl Babita Rani competing in the 75 kgs class put to shadow the previous record of 350 kg set by Rakhi of Maharashtra by lifting 335 kgs.
The other Punjab
powerlifters who won gold medals were Ashok Kumar (67.5
kgs), Neeraj Giri Goswami (75 kgs), Gurinder Singh (82.5
kgs), S.S. Samra (125 kgs plus), Mandeep Kaur (52 kgs),
Babita Rani (75 kgs) and Rupinder Kaur (82.5 kgs).
CENTURION PARK (South Africa), Jan 16 (AFP) Play was abandoned for a second successive day without a ball being bowled on the third day of the fifth and final cricket Test between South Africa and England here today.
Play was abandoned at 2.15 p.m. (1745 IST) when rain swept in over the ground after there had been hope for much of the day that some play might be possible as waterlogged bowlers run-ups dried out slowly on a mostly fine day.
WIJK AAN ZEE (Holland), Jan 16 (UNI) Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand of India was held to a draw by Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman while world No. 1 Garry Kasparov scored a fighting win over veteran Victor Korchnoy on the very first day of Corus International Grandmaster Chess Tournament being played here today.
Grandmasters Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and local hero Jeron Piket are leading the field after the first round. Anand will have white pieces against grandmaster Predrag Nikolic of Bosnia while Garry Kasparov will take on Piket in the second round.
Anand defended accurately against former world championship challenger Timman from the black side of Nimzo Indian defence. Timman offered a draw on 42nd move after missing a promising continuation earlier.
Kasparov was well
prepared to meet Korchnoy in grunfeld defence. Unwisely
Korchnoy rushed with his own favourite line and Garry
Kasparov obtained a commanding position with his 15th
move. Korchnoy resigned after putting up a brave
resistance for 54 moves.
JABALPUR, Jan 16 (PTI) Punjab and Haryana today joined Railways and Mumbai in the semi-finals of the 15th Senior National Womens Hockey Tournament with victories over Uttar Pradesh and Air India, respectively.
In the quarter-final matches at the Ravi Shanker Shukla Stadium here, Punjab edged out UP 3-2 via tie-breaker after the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time and extra time, and runners-up Haryana defeated Air India 2-0, both the goals coming in the second half.
In the first match, UP took the lead in the very first minute through an excellent field goal by Seema and held on to the advantage till the 41st minute, when Harminder Kaur found the equaliser for Punjab.
Both teams were locked 1-1 at the end of regulation time and the 15-minute extra time.
In the tie-breaker, Punjab scored through Surjit Kaur and Harminder, while only Annu Chaudhari found the target for UP.
Yet again, all the teams failed to convert penalty corners. Uttar Prdadesh missed six, Punjab three, Haryana 10 and Air-India four.
LUDHIANA, Jan 16 Trials to select the Ludhiana hockey team (boys U-19) will be conducted here at the astro turf stadium of Punjab Agricultural University on January 18 at 11 a.m., according to Mr Kuldeep Singh, president, District Hockey Association.
(under 19 years) along with their age-proof certificates
should report at the venue. The selected players will
represent Ludhiana in the Punjab State Hockey
Championship scheduled to be held at Jalandhar from
January 19 to 22.
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