|Friday, January 28, 2000,
seek to level record with Pak
Hingis, Davenport in final
Anand needs perfect scores to win
India seek to level record with Pak
PERTH, Jan 27 (PTI) Their entry into the best-of-three finals only a remote possibility, India will seek to level the record against Pakistan when the arch rivals meet for the fourth time in the one-day triangular series here tomorrow.
Needing a huge win tomorrow and on January 30 against Australia to stay in the series, the Indians will be keen to put behind them the charges of ball tampering later dismissed as frivolous and baseless which marred their 48-run maiden victory of the series over Pakistan at Adelaide following two defeats to them.
The Indians then crashed to a 152-run defeat against Australia yesterday and will be playing more for pride against their rivals who are virtually assured of a finals berth.
Their batting and the poor form of skipper Sachin Tendulkar will be the Indians main worry.
India have been bowled out for less than 200 each time they have batted first, breaking the jinx only in the win against Pakistan in which Sourav Ganguly hit a fine 141, and are yet to chase a target successfully in the series.
Though Rahul Dravid appears to have found his touch, if his 63 off 82 balls against the Australian attack yesterday is any indication, Tendulkars erratic run with the bat seems to have a debilitating effect down the order,
The skipper, with knocks of 13, 12, 1, 93 and 41 in the five matches so far, will have to play to his huge potential to inspire a winning performance from his demoralised side.
The good news for India is the recovery of Ajit Agarkar from a hamstring injury he suffered during the January 12 match against Australia at Sydney.
The Mumbai medium-pacer is fit and had nets at Adelaide this morning before leaving for Perth, Tendulkar said.
The Indians can take consolation from the fact that Pakistan will be without in-form allrounder Abdur Razzaq, who has claimed Tendulkars wicket thrice in the series.
Razzaq, who has 201 runs and 14 wickets from seven matches so far, has pulled a thigh muscle and Pakistan are expected to play veteran paceman Waqar Younis in his place.
Azhar Mahmood, who suffered cramps in the later stages of Tuesdays match, will be fit for tomorrows game, Pakistani manager Intikhab Alam said.
Skipper Wasim Akram skipped nets today and Alam said he was just taking a break and would be playing tomorrow.
The Pakistanis are happy with the way their batting is shaping up. Ijaz Ahmed has hit three successive fifties and Azhar also was in full form in Adelaide, though Inzamam-ul-Haqs poor form is a cause for worry.
But with the fearsome pace of Shoaib Akhtar in their armoury and Akrams all-round skills, the Pakistanis are looking forward to tomorrows clash. Beating India is important. We all are geared up for the match, Alam said.
Pakistan: Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Ijaz Ahmed, Yousuf Youhana, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Azhar Mahmood, Moin Khan, Wasim Akram (capt), Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Malik, Wajahatullah Wasti, Mohammad Wasim.
India: Sourav Ganguly,
Sachin Tendulkar (capt), Rahul Dravid, Jacob Martin,
Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Samir Dighe, J. Srinath, Venkatesh
Prasad, Debashis Mohanty, Anil Kumble, Robin Singh, Ajit
Agarkar, Nikhil Chopra, Devang Gandhi and V.V.S. Laxman.
Pakistan drop Razzaq
PERTH, Jan 27 (PTI) A highly embarrassed Pakistan cricket team today backtracked from their allegation of ball-tampering against Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar and have apparently decided to drop star allrounder Abdur Razzaq from tomorrows crucial one-day match against India here.
The Pakistanis were busy doing damage control today in the wake of the ICC match referee Cammie Smith having contemptuously dismissed their allegations yesterday of ball-tampering against Tendulkar; abusive language against Venkatesh Prasad and standing outside the 30-yard circle against Debashish Mohanty.
Pakistan team manager
Brig Mohammad Nazir termed the episode as unfortunate and
said I just cannot quite convey how much regard I
have for Sachin Tendulkar, one of the best players in the
world and a model sportsman. I cannot think of he doing
anything to bring a bad name to the game.
S. Africa pull off one-run victory
CAPE TOWN, Jan 27 (Reuters) South Africa avenged Sundays emphatic loss to England with a one-run win over Nasser Hussains side.
England surged to victory by nine wickets in Bloemfontein on Sunday but yesterday at Newlands they feel tantalisingly short, reaching 203 for nine in reply to South Africas moderate total of 204 for seven.
The tourists seemed on their way to their second win of the triangular series, which also involves Zimbabwe, when Nick Knight and Graeme Hick shared a partnership of 68 off 104 balls for the second wicket.
However, Hick was trapped lbw for 25 by pace bowler and Man-of-the-Match Jacques Kallis in the 18th over with a ball that seemed to be missing leg stump.
Two balls later opener Knight was caught behind for 36 by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher off seamer Henry Williams when he drove at a wide delivery.
That reduced England to 72 for three but Chris Adams brought them back into the match with 42 off 69 balls. Adams was seventh out in the 43rd over and Englands required run rate promptly soared into double figures.
The penultimate over, bowled by paceman Shaun Pollock, yielded 16 runs as number nine Chris Read hit a four and a six and Mark Ealham a four before he was caught by Jonty Rhodes at backward point for 25.
That left England needing to score nine off the 50th over, bowled by Kallis, but they could manage just seven and lost Andy Caddick when he was yorked for a duck with the second ball.
England tied down South Africas batsmen for the second successive match as the home side batsmen threw away wickets at regular intervals in an innings of fits and starts.
Kirsten lbw b Gough 13
Gibbs c and b Gough 13
Kallis run out (Ealham) 43
Rhodes c Caddick b White 14
Cronje c Read b Gough 39
Klusener not out 42
Strydom b Caddick 2
Boucher c Ealham b Alleyne 15
Pollock not out 13
Extra (lb-3 w-7) 10
Total (for seven wickets) 204
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-32, 3-71, 4-109, 5-147, 6-153, 7-182.
Bowling: Gough 10-0-36-3 (w-4), Caddick 10-0-29-1 (w-2), White 10-0-36-1, Ealham 6-0-33-0, Alleyne 10-0-42-1, Hick 4-0-25-0 (w-1).
Hussain c Boucher b Hayward 1
Knight c Boucher b Willams 36
Hick lbw b Kallis 25
Solanki c Kallis b Klusener 7
Adams c Pollock b Klusener 42
Alleyne c Boucher b Hayward 12
White c Rhodes b Williams 6
Ealham c Rhodes b Pollock 25
Read not out 26
Caddick b Kallis 0
Gough not out 3
Extra (lb-5 nb-6 w-9) 20
Total: (for nine wickets) 203
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-72, 3-72, 4-86, 5-121, 6-138, 7-152, 8-191, 9-197.
Hingis, Davenport in final
MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (AFP) Defending champion Martina Hingis of Switzerland faces Lindsay Davenport in her fourth consecutive Australian Open tennis championship womens singles final on Saturday.
The top-seeded Swiss woman swept past Conchita Martinez of Spain 6-3, 6-2 in 61 minutes in todays semi-finals while reigning Wimbledon champion Davenport won a hard-fought match with fellow American Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) in one hour 22 minutes.
I started slow but as she let me into the game and I got into my rhythm I had few problems, said Hingis, 19, who is now unbeaten in 27 singles matches at Melbourne Park.
Looking ahead to Saturdays final, Hingis said: Lindsay is the top player out there with her solid groundstrokes. I lost to her three times last year so Ill be trying to give it a shot. Its (number) one versus (number) two.
Hingis won Wimbledon and the US Open in 1997 but has not won another grand slam apart from the Australian Open since then.
She was runner-up in the French Open in 1997 and 1999, and lost the US Open finals to Davenport in 1998 and Serena Williams last year.
But she did not drop a set on her way to her 10th grand slam final in six years.
Martinez, 27, won the 1994 Wimbledon and was beaten by Hingis in the 1998 final here.
Davenport, who gets the chance for her third grand slam title against Hingis, is unbeaten in her major finals. She beat Hingis at the 1998 US Open and downed seven-time champion Steffi Graf at last years Wimbledon.
The capacity centre court crowd warmed to Capriati who played to near exhaustion.
After a lopsided first set of just 23 minutes, Capriati lifted her game to take the match into a tie-break.
The breakthrough in the tiebreak came on the ninth point when a Capriati backhand found the net after another sensational rally and a late call out gave Davenport two match points.
It was a tired forehand into the net which spelled the end for Capriati and put Davenport into her first Australian Open final in eight attempts.
Very rarely do I feel like Im on the back foot and dont control points but I felt like that today. Some of the rallies were long and I was getting tired and was lucky to get through in two sets, Davenport said.
She paid tribute to Capriati her one-time idol.
She played great tennis and shell be around for many more years.
Capriati said she did not consider she was still on a comeback, saying at her press conference that she had achieved that last year.
I was giving it everything I had to break her serve and hopefully I will be better prepared next time, she said.
Agassi beats Sampras, enters final
MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (Reuters) Andre Agassi produced a majestic performance to beat Pete Sampras 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-1 in a nail-biting Australian Open semifinal today that underlined his billing as the worlds best player.
Top seed Agassi will now meet either Russian defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov or 12th-seeded Swede Magnus Norman in Sundays final.
Agassis win foiled Samprass bid to improve his record of 12 Grand Slam titles which he shares with Australian Roy Emerson.
The match, on a cold and windy night at Melbourne Park, had been billed as the final before the final, and it certainly lived up to the hype as Sampras, the worlds most potent server, faced off against the games best returner of the ball.
Sampras fired down 37 aces during the match, many on his second serve, but Agassi was always prepared to put pressure on the former number one.
The match was tight and explosive in its early stages, both players scrambling to hold serve, before Agassi 0-40 down on his own serve early on grabbed the only break of the first set in the fifth game.
Sampras grabbed an unexpected break in the following set to even up the score and looked increasingly confident as he came up to the net and moved Agassi around the court.
Neither player was able to break serve in the third set and Sampras, who had not lost a tie-break against Agassi since 1995, fired through the tie-break with a series of clean winners to win 7-0.
The next set saw successive breaks of serve and could have gone either way. When the tie-break finally arrived, Agassi was in no mood to throw it away, however, and scored a minibreak on the 12th point to capture it 7-5.
In 28 previous meetings, the pair had only ever fought through one five-setter, won by Sampras in the 1993 Wimbledon quarter-finals. Sampras had also never lost in eight career five-setters at Melbourne Park.
But Agassi imposed himself on the match and broke the Sampras serve with a stunning backhand passing shot in the second game to go 2-0 up. He never looked back.
That was a great moment of change, Agassi said of the break and Samprass dejected stance afterwards.
Grand Slam pioneer Budge dead
MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (Reuters) US tennis great Don Budge, the first man to win a coveted Grand Slam of the sports four major tournaments in the same year, has died, tennis officials said.
Budge died in Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania, yesterday at the age of 84, said a statement released by the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF).
The International Tennis Hall of Fame mourns the loss of one of the games greatest players, said the statement, which was released at the Australian Open in Melbourne today. Budge won the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Championships in 1938. The term Grand Slam was coined to describe his unprecedented achievement.
Only four players have since been able to match the achievement Maureen Connolly in 1953, Rod Laver in 1962 and 1969, Margaret Smith court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988.
Anand needs perfect scores to win title
WIJK ANN ZEE (Holland), Jan 27 (PTI) World number two grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, trailing chess wizard Gary Kasparov by one full point, needs perfect scores in the remaining four games to have any real chance of winning the Corus Chess tournament.
Anand, who has 5.5 points, is sharing the third spot with Hungarian wonderboy Peter Leko and has an excellent chance of staking his claim for the crown as he faces out-of-form players in the final phase.
Going by the standings so far, Anands opponents in the final four rounds have not had the best of results, and if the Indian cashes in on that, it would be an excellent start to the new millennium in this Super GM Category-18 event.
Anand plays Russias Alexander Morozevich, Nigel Short of England, Jeroen Piket of the Netherlands and Sambat Lputian (Armenia) in the final four rounds in that order.
Russias Kasparov (6.5), after nine rounds, has a distinct edge over other rivals with compatriot Vladimir Kramnik (6) following close behind.
World No 1 Kasparov, however, has still to play Kramnik, who has excellent record against his illustrious opponent. Should Kramnik-Kasparov game end in a truce, Anand has a good opportunity to take the advantage of the situation.
Standings after ninth
round: 1 Gary Kasparov (Rus) 6.5 points; 2 Vladimir
Kramnik (Rus) 6; 3-4 Viswanathan Anand (Ind), Peter Leko
(Hun) both 5.5; 5-7 Jeroen Piket (Ned), Michael Adams
(Eng), Alexander Morozevich (Rus) all 5; 8 Pedrag Nikolic
(Bih) 4.5; 9-10 Nigel Short (Eng), Jan Timman (Ned) both
4; 11 Sambat Lputian (Arm) 3.5; 12-13 Victor Korchnoi
(Swi), Judit Polgar (Hun) both 3; 14 Leok Van Wely (Ned)
Sunil, Parantap in title clash
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 (UNI) Parantap Chaturvedi continued his splendid run in the ongoing ITF Junior Circuit Tennis Tournament as he beat compatriot Vishal Punna 7-5, 6-1 today to set up a title clash with national hardcourt champion Sunil Kumar.
However, the Indian challenge in the girls section ended with second-seeded Liza Pereira and unseeded Samrita Sekhar going down to Chinese girls Yan Ze Xie and Shuai Peng respectively.
Liza was today upset by the unseeded Xie in straight sets, 5-7, 4-6 while Samrita was blanked by the top-seeded Peng 1-6, 1-6 in just 50 minutes.
Shuai and Xie meet in the all-Chinese affair tomorrow.
The eighth seed Sunil again had a comfortable day today, as he posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Uros Kuhar (Slo), a qualifier. Uros, who had yesterday ousted second seed Omar Behroozian of UAE in a tough three setter, today was not able to match the power of Sunil and was thrown out of reckoning in just under an hour.
In the first set only, Sunil broke him in all his serves and though the latter broke once, the Indian easily took the set (6-1).
In the second, though Kuhar got the initial breakthrough as he broke Sunil in the third, the Indian bounced back strongly taking the next five games to take the set (6-2) and a berth in the finals.
The Parantap/Punna match saw both players trading a break in the third and fourth games. After that both held serve until the tenth with the score tied at 5-5. However, in the next Parantap played some excellent shots as he broke Punna and then leading 6-5 served the set out (7-5).
In the next, however, he gave no chance to his opponent as he broke him thrice, holding his own, to take the set (6-1) and the match in 70 minutes.
Lizas upset loss against Xie, though having a straight set result, looked to be anybodys match till almost the end. In the first set, the two traded three breaks each. Tied at 5-5, the set seemed to be heading to a tiebreak, when Xie holding her serve in the eleventh, broke Liza in the next to clinch the set (7-5).
In the second, Liza took a lead as after breaking Xie in the third, she held her serve to lead 4-2. However, the Chinese girl put up a brave front and took the next four games to take the set (6-4).
The finals will be played tomorrow.
In late matches, the boys doubles title was clinched by top seeds Chandrasekhar Mohanty and Karan Doctor. The Indian pair prevailed over compatriots and second seeds Akshay Vishal Rao and Sunil Kumar 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Sirsa overpower Fatehabad
CHANDIGARH, Jan 27 Last years runner-up Sirsa beat Fatehabad 3-0 in a one-sided match in group B of the sub-Junior boys team championship in the Hero Honda 31st Haryana State Inter-District Table-Tennis Championship at DAV Public School, Sector 14, Gurgaon, today .
In the cadet girls section Bhiwani beat Yamunanagar 3-0.
In cadet boys Rohtak beat Fatehabad 3-0.
Earlier, Mr Rohtash Singh Kharab, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Gurgaon, and president, Gurgaon District Table Tennis Association inaugurated the championship.
Mr M.P. Singh, secretary, HTTA welcomed the chief guest.
Sub Jr. boys: Sirsa b Fatehabad 3-0 (Satish Kumar b Sumit Jain 21-1, 21-3, Rohit Verma b Arun Jain 21-5, 21-4; Mohit Verma b Tarun Goel 21-7, 21-7).
Rewari b Gurgaon B 3-1 (Parmod Yadav lost to Vinay 13-21, 18-21, 15-21, Saurabh b Mayank 21-10, 21-14, Sandeep b Kabir 21-9, 21-16 and Parmod Yadav b Mayank 21-4, 21-9).
Cadet boys: Rohtak b Fatehabad 3-0 (Rahul Dahiya b Nitin 21-16, 21-10, Sandeep Dangi b Karan 21-17, 21-9 and Satish Kumar b Tarun 21-7, 21-11).
Jeev Milkha tied at 13th position
NEW DELHI, Jan 27 (UNI) As some of the more famous names struggled, Jeev Milkha Singh, the lone Indian in the top-grade European PGA Tour, started the $ 1.1 million Hemeken Classic in a solid fashion when he shot a two-under 70 in the opening round today.
At the 7,101-yard, par-72 Vines Resort course in Perth, Jeev was tied for the 13th place along with nine others, including the reigning British Open champion and star attraction Paul Lawrie of Scotland.
The Hero Honda-sponsored pro, who was among the first to tee off, made a bogey on the par-46th, after parring his first five holes. That turned out to be his only mistake of the day. Thereafter, Jeev made birdies on the par-5, ninth, par-4 12th and the par-5 18th to be two-under for the day.
In the opening two tournaments of the season, Jeev did reasonably well, finishing tied 10th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship and 37th in the Mercedes Benz South African Open.
Leading the field were the Australian trio of Geoff Ogivly, Chris Gray and Wayne Smith, who returned first round cards of five-under 67s.
Lawrie, who won the British Open last year after Frenchman Jean Van Der Welde collapsed on the final hole, was two-over after 11 holes, but then recovered brilliantly. Lawrie shot three birdie in his final four holes.
Among the other margquee names who have entered the tournament, twice and reigning masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal had a disastrous start to his new season when he finished three-over 75 in the opening round and was tied for the 100th place. Greg Norman, who will host his own tournament next week, recovered to a one-over 73 and a tied 58th place after beginning with a double bogey. Twice US Open Champion Erine Els shot a level-par 72 to be tied for the 39th place.
Scores (after 18 holes):
67 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Chris Gray (Aus), 68
Michael Campbell (Nzi), Peter OMalley (Aus). Retief
Goosen (Rsa), Thomas Bjorn (Den) 69 Sven Struver
(Ger), John Bickerton (Eng), Patrik Sjoland (Swe),
Michael Clayton (Aus), Crig Party (Aus), Brad King (Aus),
Roger Chapman (Eng), David Smail (Nzl), Kyi Hla-Han
(Myr), Steve Webster (Aus).
Haryana XI win
LUDHIANA, Jan 27 Haryana XI prevailed over Dashmesh Academy, Ropar, 2-1 while Father Agnus School, Delhi, defeated Sports School Jalandhar 3-1 to record their first victories on the third day of first All-India Jagtar Singh Memorial Hockey Tournament for junior boys being organised by Aryan Hockey Club at the Astro Truf stadium of Punjab Agricultural University here today. Yesterday, Haryana XI had lost to Grewal Sports Academy Kila Raipur 1-2 whereas Father Agnus suffered a 0-2 defeat against SAI, Patiala.
Today, in a pool B match, Haryana XI went ahead in the 9th minute through Rajesh. Five minutes later, Jatin consolidated lead. Down by two goals, Dashmesh Academy, Ropar made determined attacks on their opponents territory which resulted in three penalty corners but they failed to capitalise on these chances.
In the second half, both
the teams exhibited fast hockey and weaved some good
moves but their forwards fumbled in the danger area. In
the 57th minute, the Ropar lads earned a penalty corner
and their full back Parlahd Singh sounded the board to
reduce the margin 2-1.
Aussie cricketers to visit India
MUMBAI, Jan 27 (PTI) India would get a chance to avenge their humiliating 0-3 Test series loss to Australia early next year with the latter scheduled for a visit in February-March, 2001 at the end of their domestic season.
India will host Sri Lanka in October-November this year prior to the scheduled visit by the Aussies, cricket board secretary Jaywant Lele said today.
The Indian cricketers will have a two-month break from the international grind after the May 27-June 4 Asia Cup in Dhaka with no engagements scheduled as yet till Septembers proposed Sahara Cup tournament.
Challenger Trophy teams on Feb 3
MUMBAI, Jan 27 (PTI) The national selectors will meet here on February 3 instead of on January 31 to choose the three teams for the Challenger Trophy limited overs tournament to be held at Ahmedabad from February 10 to 13.
The meeting has been rescheduled in order to enable them to watch the two last round Deodhar Trophy ties at Mumbai and Pune, cricket board secretary Jaywant Lele told PTI today.
Shooter Bindra corners glory
Chandigarh, Jan 27 Chandigarh-based Abhinav Bindra, national air rifle champion as also an ace international shooter, did India proud by claiming a bronze medal in the ninth Asian Shooting Championships at Langkawi, Malaysia. Abhinav won the medal after a nail biting competition by scoring 596/600 and 102.8 in the final shootout. Abhinav aggregated a total of 694.8 in the event, air rifle 10-metre ISSF:177 calibre Olympic event.
Abhinav surpassed the world junior record which stood at 694 by 0.8. He displayed nerves of steel as the youngest shooter he is just 17 in the championship competing among international senior shooters.
A student of the local
St Stephens School , Abhinav has been working very hard
over the past two years by participating in various world
cups and is a bronze medallist in the last Commonwealth
Shooting Championship held in Auckland, New Zealand. He
returned a similar score in the last National Shooting
Championships held in Phillaur where he equalled the
world junior record.
India to take on SA in Cup opener
MUMBAI, Jan 27 (PTI) India and South Africa will play in the triangular cup opener at Sharjah on March 22, three days after meeting each other in the fifth and final bilateral series tie at Nagpur on March 19.
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