|Wednesday, February 16, 2000,
Indian eves thrash Sri Lanka
Punjab spikers face tough
Indian eves thrash Sri Lanka
NEW DELHI, Feb 15 (PTI) India thrashed Sri Lanka in final league match to top their group and storm into the super league with a clean slate in the womens world team badminton championship for the Uber Cup, while Thailand and Singapore made the grade in Thomas Cup in the Asian zonal qualifiers here today.
India, who registered comfortable 4-1 and 5-0 victories against Singapore and Australia in their first two preliminary round matches, today blanked Sri Lanka 5-0 in an inconsequential tie at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, to join top seeded Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong in the tough super league group X.
Singapore, who defeated Sri Lanka yesterday, finished second by virtue of their 4-1 victory over Australia in the morning session and will join Group Y also including second seed Japan, Korea and Thailand.
In the mens section, Thailand and Singapore clinched the two berths into the super league with contrasting victories against Mauritius and Australia, respectively.
While Thailand registered their third clean sweep, today after blanking Nepal and Sri Lanka in Group A, Singapore beat Australia 3-2 in Group B, which was reduced to a three-team affair after the disqualification of Zambia for not reaching 24 hours ahead of their first match.
The Indian women did not face any problems against Sri Lanka.
Having already reached the super league yesterday by beating Singapore and Australia, the match was of only academic interest, but the hosts maintained their clean slate ahead of a tough encounter with Indonesia tomorrow, which would give a big boost for them.
Commonwealth Games womens singles silver medallist Aparna Popat did not face much problem in blitzing past Renu Chandrika Hettiarachc 11-4, 11-3 while B.R. Meenakshi registered another impressive win, beating D. Dilhani de Silva 11-1, 11-4.
In the third singles,
Manjusha Kanwar gave D.A. Pameesha Dishanthi a number of
chances in the first game but the Sri Lankan failed to
capitalise on them and lost 11-4, after leading 4-3 at
one stage. The 28-year-old former Indian National
champion picked up her game and won it 11-2.
JCT struggle to down BSF
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 An overcautious JCT Phagwara struggled to down debutants Border Security Force, Jalandhar, by a solitary goal in the second phase of the National Football League at Guru Nanak stadium here today. The all-important goal came at the fag end when medio Ram Pal set up a move for sharp shooter Hardip Gill, whose powerful shot sailed past goalkeeper Bibhas Saha, who otherwise gave a good account of himself under the bar in regulation period.
With todays victory, JCTs tally has gone up to 24 points from six victories and six draws while BSF remain anchored at the last position with six points.
Having suffered a humiliating 0-3 defeat at the hand of Mahindra and Mahindra here a few days back, JCT seemed to be over-cautious from the start but what really surprised the spectators was the decision of the coach to rest the promising Jaswinder, the livewire of the JCT attack, in the first half. It was only when Jaswinder was brought in on commencement of the second session that JCTs attacks became thrustful. For a change, JCT rested the off colour Harjinder and included Harinder in the starting line-up. Star Hardip Sangha also made a brief appearance in the first half but had to be replaced by Jaswant as he is yet to recover from his injury. JCTs attacks in the first half were spearheaded by Hardip Gill and Sukhjit but the latter could not be of much help upfront and it was left to Hardip Gill to carry out some forays. The opening session also saw BSF making a couple of close calls but as on earlier occasions, poor finishing let them down.
The first serious attempt by JCT came in the 13th minute when, following Daljit Singhs throw-in Hardip Gill despatched a lob which beat Saha but off the rebound, medio Ram Pal only managed to float the ball high over the bar.
BSF went on the offensive thereafter and forced a flag kick and Sane Lamas curving shot saw defender Tapan Bhattacharjee attempting a well directed header but a rival defender managed to head the ball away from the goal-line.
In the 30th minute, BSF had a golden chance to take the lead when defender Raghbir Singhs centre for striker Gujit Atwal from the left saw the latter shooting over the bar with only JCT goalie Baljit Singh at mercy.
A few minutes before lemon time, JCTs Hardip Gill and Jaswant tested Bibhas Saha with power-packed shots but the BSF custodian stood his ground.
The second half witnessed a JCT resurgence as Sukhjit made way for Jaswinder upfront and the attacks became purposeful. In the 53rd minute the BSF goal had a narrow escape as striker Hardip Gills angular shot sailed over Bibhas Saha before striking the horizontal and bouncing back into flay. Laborious midfielder Hardip Saints through pass for Jaswinder was followed by the latters well directed right footer which the BSF custodian just about managed to parry away.
Midway through the second half, BSF coach Shyam Kumar introduced veteran Avtar Singh and Gauranga Paul in place of Harbinder and DS Negi, respectively.
The move had some impact upfront and on one occasion Avtars powerful shot from a difficult angle missed the right corner of the goal-post following Raghbir Singhs stinging right-footer which was flicked away by a rival defender.
With hardly three
minutes to go for the long whistle, JCT struck the match
winner in dramatic fashion. Medio Ram Pal, who had
latched on to the ball on the left, raced in but instead
of taking a direct shot, preferred to give a minus pass
to the onrushing Hardip Gills power-packed shot
gave Bibhas Saha absolutely no chance and the ball sailed
into the net providing some relief to the JCT camp.
Lanka confident of winning series
LAHORE, Feb 15 (AFP) Sri Lankan cricket coach Dave Whatmore said today his boys were confident of achieving sweet success against Pakistan in the one-day series.
We have beaten a tough team like Australia at home but if we clinch the limited-overs series against Pakistan in their den it would be a sweet success, Whatmore said.
Sri Lanka, 1-0 up in the three-match series after their 29-run win in Karachi, take on Pakistan in Gujranwala tomorrow.
Both teams had morning nets in Lahore today.
The 1996 world champions, Sri Lanka are on the crest of a wave after lifting the tri-series cup against Australia and India at home and beating Zimbabwe 4-1 in the away one-day series.
After a dismal show in the 1999 World Cup where they failed to come out of the first stage, Sri Lanka have won six of their last seven one-day matches.
We would definitely like to go 2-0 up but are mindful of the fact that Pakistan are really tough opponents, Whatmore said.
Pakistan failed in their effort to chase the 275-run target set by the visitors in the first match.
Whatmore said his sides fielding was the difference between the two teams in the first match.
Its a fact that everybody doesnt get a chance to bat and bowl, but all of the 11 have to field and if they do it well they make a difference.
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam agreed his team lost due to poor fielding.
We didnt lose in batting nor in bowling but they downed us in fielding. Now its time we go for the kill in the second match.
Pakistan have recalled pacer Shoaib Akhtar, suspended for the first match on disciplinary grounds, and all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.
Teenage all-rounder Yasir Arafat and pacer Zahid Saeed have been left out of the 15-man squad.
Our concern is off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and batsman Yousuf Youhanna, both are not performing as per expectations, Alam said.
The opposition have worked on Saqlains ball that drifts away and now we are working on how he can regain his effectiveness, he said.
Sri Lanka is likely to bring in pacer Nuwan Zoysa for Pramodya Wickremasinghe.
Paes, Uppal enter pre-quarterfinals
CALCUTTA, Feb 15 (PTI) Top seed Leander Paes of India scored a facile straight-sets victory over his first-round opponent while wild card entrant Vishal Uppal also won to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the singles event in the ATP tour challenger tennis meet here today.
Playing in front of his home crowd, Paes seemed to be a trifle off-colour in the first set before regaining his touch to carve out a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Uzbekistans Dmitri Tomashevich on a day which saw second-seeded Oleg Ogorodov bite the dust.
The highly talented Vishal Uppal made good use of the opportunity granted to him to record a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Italys Steffano Cobolli to move into the pre-quarterfinals of the tournament which gives the players a chance to secure valuable ATP points.
South Africas Damien Roberts pulled off a major upset on the second day by stunning second seed Oleg Ogorodov of Uzbekistan 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) to cruise into the pre-quarterfinals.
Paes, desperate to gain a few ATP points to improve upon his singles ranking, was a little erratic in the first set, committing a few unforced errors to allow his rival to hold serve in the initial stages.
The score was levelled at 4-4 when the local hero swung the game in his favour by holding serve in the ninth game and breaking Tomashevich in the 10th game to wrap up the first set 6-4 in 36 minutes.
The first set win served as a tonic for Paes, who suddenly seemed to find his rhythm again and unleashed a few aces and crisp baseline returns to unsettle his Uzbek opponent.
Paes raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set by breaking his challenger in the second and fourth games much to the delight of his supporters who watched the proceedings on the centre court.
Tomashevich fired an ace to hold serve in the sixth game but a charged-up Paes had no difficulty in holding serve in the seventh game to pocket the second set 6-1 in about 25 minutes.
Paes has set up a pre-quarterfinal clash with Israels Lior Dahan, who struggled hard before suppressing Tomas Anzari (Cze) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in an exciting contest.
Vishal Uppal was the other Indian success story on the second day as he relied on a serve and volley game to oust Italys Stefano Cobolli, who seemed quite uncomfortable on grass. Uppal will take on Pakistans Aisam Qureshi in the next round.
Uppal managed to break his opponent in the fourth game but failed to hold serve in the fifth and seventh games to concede the first set 4-6 in about 40 minutes.
But the Italian could
not maintain his tempo as Uppal bounced back brilliantly,
capitalising on a series of unforced errors committed by
his rival, who joined the tournament as a last-minute
substitute for Koreas Hyung-Taik Lee.
Norman, Henman advance
ROTTERDAM, Feb 15 (AP) Third-seeded Swede Magnus Norman came off worst in a second-set tie-breaker with Dutchman Sjeng Schalken, but came out a 6-2, 6-7 (7-4), 6-3 first-round winner at the $ 750,000 ABN AMRO indoor tennis tournament.
It turned into an even better day for Sweden yesterday when qualifier Jonas Bjorkman upset fourth seed Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in the days final match.
The afternoon session saw Tim Henman in a gentle first-round workout. The British fifth seed disposed of Spaniard Alberto Martin in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
On the Ahoy Arenas hardcourt bright and early on the first morning, French eighth seed Cedric Pioline dropped only one game more in downing Romanian Adrian Voinea 6-2, 6-3.
Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty came back from a set down to best Russian talent Marat Safin in a tense final-set tie-breaker, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) and Dutchman Peter Wessels downed Romanian Andrej Pavel 6-4, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4.
Rotterdams star-studded draw also includes world No 2 and losing Australian Open finalist Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Greg Rusedski, the Briton returning from an extended injury layoff.
MEMPHIS (USA): Australian doubles specialist Mark Woodforde has earned a meeting against American Davis Cup hero Chris Woodruff.
Woodforde defeated Julian Alonso of Spain 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round of the $ 800,000 Kroger St. Jude Indoor tennis tournament on Monday. The victory sends Woodforde into a second-round match against Woodruff, who won the decisive fifth match earlier this month to give the USA a first-round Davis Cup victory over Zimbabwe.
The fourth-seeded Woodruff received a first-round bye, as did defending champion Tommy Haas of Germany, who is seeded second.
Haas first opponent will be American Jeff Salzenstein, who defeated Fredrik Jonsson 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
No seeded players saw action yesterday.
Top-seeded Mark Philippoussis, the tournaments 1998 winner, is expected to play on Wednesday, while third-seeded Vincent Spadea will play Brazils Andre Sa.
Sa advanced by beating Ronald Agenor of Haiti 6-4, 6-1 in the first round.
In another first-round match, Orlin Stanoytchev of Bulgaria defeated Canadian Sebastien Lareau 7-6 (12/10), 3-6, 7-6 (7/5).
HANOVER (Reuters): Sixth-seeded Ruxandra Dragomir moved into the second round of the Hanover Grand Prix on Monday with a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 win over Slovakias Karina Habsudova.
Romanian Dragomir, the highest seed in action on the opening day of the $ 530,000 indoor event, was pushed to a tie-break in the second set, but she closed it out safely 7-5.
American Venus Williams, still suffering from the wrist injury which forced her to miss last months Australian Open, has pulled out of the tournament.
Her withdrawal means her younger sister, US Open champion Serena, enters the event as the No 1 seed.
Serena Williams might not be 100 per cent fit as she picked up a knee injury in her defeat to Frances Nathalie Tauziat in the final of the Paris Open on Sunday.
Punjab spikers face tough challenge
CHENNAI, Feb 15 (PTI) Holders Tamil Nadu will have to work hard to defend their mens title in the absence of two key players while star-studded Railways start as favourites in the womens section of the National Super League Volleyball Championship for the Nutrine Trophy beginning here tomorrow.
Tamil Nadu will be without star spiker Joby Joseph, who left for home mid-way through the Salem nationals, while captain Sayeekrishnan looks a doubtful starter due to an ankle injury suffered in the Surat leg, which Tamil Nadu topped.
The hosts, who won their maiden title at Triprayar last year, will have to raise their game, particularly in the defence, to ward off any threat from the other contenders.
But Tamil Nadu can draw some comfort from the fact that Punjab, who should be the favourites having won the national title at Salem last month thrashing the hosts, will also be hit by the absence of star spikers Amir Singh and Jagbir Singh, besides Surjit Singh, who did not play at Salem also.
Kerala and Services, who came good in the Payyanur leg each stunning Punjab once to emerge group winners and runners-up, respectively, have the wherewithal to cause an upset.
In the womens section, Railways, who yet again proved that they were far superior to any other team in the country by winning the nationals for the 14th successive year at Salem, will be aiming for their fourth straight title here.
Though Railways, virtually the Indian team, were stretched by Kerala in a league match at Payyanur, their experience should see them through.
Kerala women, who recovered well in the National League after their semifinal exit at Salem, are the only team who can pose a serious challenge to Railways. Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are the other two teams in the fray.
Tamil Nadu men, who surrendered meekly to Punjab in the nationals final, will rely on internationals Harun Khan and Anand Kurup in the attack along with setter Thulsi Reddy, likely to lead the side in the absence of Sayeekrishnan.
We will miss Joby (Joseph) and Sayeekrishnan. Our first goal should be to get to the final, Reddy said.
But the hosts should make amends to their weak showing in defence, led by centre blocker M.S. Rajesh, at Salem.
Punjab, pushed to third spot last year, would look to regain the title they last won in 1998. The national champions, who just managed to scrape through to the Super League, taking the third spot, will depend on India libero Manoj Kumar, who played as an attacker at Salem, and setter Suraj Prakash.
Mahindras, Tollygunge split points
MUMBAI, Feb 15 (UNI) Manjeet Singhs terrific header and Kajal Bhattacharjees half volley hit ended the return match between Mahindras and Tollygunge Aggragrami in a 1-1 draw in the Coca Cola National League.
After a stray dog had delayed the match and Jayanta Sen had missed a split-second chance to tap home off an angular pass at the goal mouth from Sasthi Duley, Manjeet Singh stunned the goodly Bengalee crowd and Tolly bench with 18-yard header. It came in the 38th minute. Samshi Raza gave a cross which dipped just near the box line. Goalie Bivash Ghosh, following the flight of the ball, had rushed out but as he stretched his hands to hold it Manjeet rose high and slammed his head on the ball. It went in with the speed of a bullet.
Kajals goal came when the game was 18 minutes old in the second half. Captain Chandan Das booted a dipping flag kick and Kajal reached it first before defender Christopher realised that goalie Virender had blundered by leaving the post for the ball which was not his. But in a flash Kajal dived and scooped the ball in.
Tollys Isiaka Awoyemi was given the job to police Jordanian Bassam Khatib but the latter time and again managed to break in. However, he has still not gauged the anticipation and speed of his co-forwards and many times the ball went in vacant places. In the 35th minute he sold a dummy to Isiaka but brought the ball on his wrong foot for a hit at the goal. In 38th minute his shot was parried by Ghosh.
The second half almost saw Tolly dashing ahead but Abdul Serekis goal was declared off-side.
In the dying minutes Satish Minz torpedoed a 20-yard shot and Ghosh despite the awkward bounce in front of him blocked it.
Japanese wary of Gopichand
NEW DELHI, Feb 15 (PTI) Japanese mens badminton coach Hideo Abe sees ace Indian shuttler Pulella Gopichand as the biggest threat to his teams chances when the two countries meet in the first match of the Thomas Cup Super League here tomorrow.
Both Gopichand and Japans top player Keita Masuda are of the same calibre and either can win. Though Masuda is ranked a little higher at 27, their style is similar. Gopichand is a strong player and has also played for more years, said the 46-year-old coach as his players practised at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here today.
But Abe said rankings did matter in Thomas Cup and his team had the ability to clinch one of the three qualifying spots for the finals in Kuala Lumpur.
Abe said his players were in good form and had adopted well to the conditions here. The Indians will have a slight advantage as they will be playing in home conditions, but that will be minor.
Japan will be depending on their strength in doubles, in which Masuda, who will play the first singles, will take the court alongside Tadashi Ohtsuka, with whom he makes up the 43rd ranked pair in the world.
Japan will draw on the experience of Masuda, who has been playing in the international circuit for five years, and the traditional Japanese strong points of good defence and agility on the court to win, Abe said.
This match is important as Korea are the strongest team in the group and have very high-ranked players in their side, and will give us the toughest match in the group, Abe said.
But the hosts, directly seeded into group Y, go into tomorrows match a confident lot, aware they have a tough but not impossible task on their hands.
There is no pressure. To be frank, some of their players are ranked higher than ours but I think we have a good chance of winning the match. Gopi is in good form and I am hopeful he will come up with his best tomorrow, coach Mohammed Arif said today.
Arif is banking on Gopichands knowledge of the conditions at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, the drift and his adjustment to it against top Japanese singles player Keita Masuda, just five spots ahead of the 32nd ranked ace Indian in the latest world rankings.
An upset win by Gopichand would really strengthen Indias chances as it will give the hosts a 50-50 chance in the remaining ties.
Even assuming Nikhil Kanetkar and the top Indian pair of Jaseel P. Ismail and Vincent Lobo lose their matches to Hidetaka Yamada (37) and the duo of Tadashi Ohtsuka and Shimaya Ohtsuka, who are ranked much higher than the Indian pair, the Indians can hope to win through Abhinn Shyam Gupta and the second doubles pair.
Gupta, the third singles player for the hosts, at 85 is ranked ahead of Japans Kazuhiro Shimogami (92) and Fumihiko Machida (121).
That will leave the Indian coaches the option of using Gopichands services in the second doubles, a strategy they have been talking about since the three-week camp at Bangalore.
Though Arif refused to reveal the combination for the second doubles, he had earlier said the India No 1 can be a good doubles player because of his superior court coverage and agility. The Indian coaches have also been pairing Gopichand with other players during the camp in search of an effective combination.
Arif said the Indians was working on various options. Yes, our options are open. They will be working out their strategies, but we definitely have a good chance of winning.
All said and done, the
Indians have the potential to rise to the expectations,
particularly with Gopichand, who has the rare distinction
of claiming three titles last year alone, raring to go.
And with this performance the top-ranked Indian can also
lift the morale of the team, as did the legendary Prakash
Padukone 12 years ago at the same venue.
Racism returns to haunt Italian soccer
MILAN, Feb 15 (AFP) Black footballers have once again become the target of racist abuse in the Serie A, with Lazio fans demonstrating that years of anti-racist initiatives in Italy have come to nothing.
Lazio are heading for more trouble from soccer officials this week after ultras at the north end of the Olympic stadium booed whenever one of Parmas black players touched the ball in Sunday nights 0-0 draw.
Frenchmen Lilian Thuram and Ousmane Dabo, along with Ivory Coast-born Saliou Lassissi were the targets just two days after Lazio were fined $ 2,500 for the same abuse handed out to Venezias black French defender Bruno NGotty in an Italian Cup Semifinal last week.
Club President and owner Sergio Cragnotti warned the troublemakers yesterday that he would keep the stadium gates closed rather than allow racists to peddle their politics.
Fingers were being pointed at the hard-core Lazio supporters, known as the Irriducibili (unshakeables).
The same fans caused a storm in Italy recently by unravelling a banner in praise of murdered Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, better known as Arkan, leader of a feared militia, the Tigers.
Arkan was wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at the time of his death.
Then slogan Honour to the tiger Arkan unshakeable like us led to a ban, enforced by police at the entrances to football grounds, on any flag or banner with a racist message.
However, that success has now been offset by the more difficult problem of taunts and abuse being shouted by fans at one end of a stadium that can hold up to 80,000 people.
And although the problem has been brought to a head by Lazio fans, they are not alone.
Just hours after Thuram and his team-mates were taken to task, the same treatment was meted out to another black French player, Perugias Ibrahim Ba, taunted by Roma fans in a 2-2 draw.
As in other European countries, the link between racism at soccer grounds and the extreme right in politics is a short one.
Far from being a closet organisation, the Irriducibili have their own official website and a guided virtual tour of their headquarters.
Among the flags adorning the walls are those with the Celtic-styled cross, a symbol associated with neo-Fascists in Italy since the 1970s.
Such flags, along with swastikas, have not been uncommon sights at the Olympic stadium in recent seasons particularly during Derby matches.
Lazios official name is SS Lazio, standing for Societa Sportiva, and in games against AS Roma, whose supporters include a section of the capitals Jewish community, the initials are used by some Lazio fans in the typeface as the Nazi SS.
Thuram and Ba may be the latest to suffer, but they are not the first and are unlikely to be the last.
Former England captain Paul Ince was an occasional target when he played for Inter Milan, as was Frances Marcel Desailly, now at Chelsea but previously at AC Milan.
Soccer officials have responded in the past with T-shirt campaigns, along the lines of Lets kick racism out of football, though their effects have usually been temporary.
Another aspect is that some people deny there is a problem in the first place.
National coach and 1982 World Cup winner Dino Zoff, one of the most respected men in the Italian game, poured water on the issue last Friday when asked to comment about NGottys treatment.
I dont know whether you could really call this racism, he told state television. I think it could just be a question of people making fun of someone.
Its something that happens at football stadiums fans pick on a particular player because hes short, or because hes tall or because hes got grey hair, said Zoff, a former Lazio President.
Underlining the issue yesterday, the Corriere della Sera condemned not only the racism, but also the superficiality of Zoffs position.
Indian Universities, BSF score wins
NEW DELHI, Feb 15 (UNI) Indian Universities staged a fine comeback to surprise fancied Punjab and Sind Bank 4-2 while Border Security Force (BSF) downed India (juniors) by a solitary first-half goal in the first Ayur Gold Cup hockey tournament here today. Indian Universities XI,who had lost their first match to Air India yesterday,displayed better game this morning and despite being in arrears twice managed to overpower their experienced rivals to claim full three points.
The winners trailed 1-2 at breather.
The bank men shot into the lead in the eighth minute through former Olympian Sanjeev Kumar.The university boys equalised 13 minutes later when forward Hamza Mujtaba scored a fine goal (1-1).
Two minutes before the half time,the bank men from Jalandhar again took the lead, this time off a third penalty corner veteran Ram Saran sent the ball home (2-1).
Universities boys drew parity again in the fourth minute of the second half when Yadvinder Singh capitalised on a defensive lapse in the circle to send the ball into the cage (2-2).
After equalising,the university boys went on the offensive and scored two more goals in the space of eight minutes. Both the goals were scored by Gabbar Singh in the 46th and 54th minutes.
In the second match of the day, India juniors, who shared points with Australian Universities yesterday suffered defeat as they went down to BSF 0-1.
BSF forced seven penalty corners as against two by the juniors.The securitymen could convert only one in the 28th minute which turned out to be the winner.
Haryana favourite against
ROHTAK, Feb 15 Hosts Haryana start favourite against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy Super League cricket tie commencing at Vishwakarma Stadium here tomorrow. The match is of great importance for both Haryana as well as Saurashtra as the Super League openers did not prove productive for either of the teams. Saurashtra were handed an innings defeat by Tamil Nadu at Chennai and Haryana had to remain content with three points in the rain-curtailed match against Uttar Pradesh.
Haryana appears to have an edge over their rivals as they are playing their third Ranji Trophy match at the Stadium are quite familiar with the wicket. Earlier this season, Haryana routed Himachal Pradesh in a league encounter here. Moreover, Haryana team would have a psychological advantage as their opponents have yet to recover from the shock of the humiliating defeat. Haryana coach Rajinder Amarnath said today his team will try for an outright victory in the match to gain full eight points.
On the other hand Saurashtra skipper Sitanshu Kotak said the first aim of his team would be to gain a first innings lead and five points. He conceded that a complete batting failure in both the innings was the cause of Saurashtras defeat in the opening encounter at Chennai.
Haryana will be missing the services of Amarjeet Kaypee A major cog in Haryanas run machine who is reported unwell and his name does not figure in the list of 13 players for tomorrows match. Both the teams have decided to name their final 11 just before the match.
Haryana: Parinder Sharma (captain), Jitender Singh, Jasvir Singh, Rajesh Puri, Ajaya Ratra, Sanjay Dalal, Satish Ohlan, Feroze Ghyas, Vineet Jain, Manish Shakhalkar, Pradeep Jain, Sonu Sharma and Pankaj Thakur, coach Rajinder Amarnath.
Saurashtra: Sitanshu Kotak (captain), Prakash Bhatt, Bimal Jadeja, Rajesh Garsondia, Altaf Merchant, Vasant Kumar, Prateek Mehta, Feroze Bambhania, Neeraj Odedra, Hitesh Prasanna, Dharmendera Chudasama, Rakesh Dhruv, Narender Rana and Kamal Chavda, coach cum manager Mahesh Chauhan.
Ludhiana bundled out for 155
PATIALA, Feb 15 After Amritsar medium pacer R.P. Singh provided the initial breakthrough, Ranji Trophy spinners Sarandeep Singh and Sandeep Sanwal wrecked Ludhiana innings as Ludhiana, chasing their rivals first innings total of 296, were bundled out for 155, in the process giving Amritsar a massive 141 run lead in the Katoch Shield inter-district cricket match played at the Dhruv Pandove Stadium here today.
The Ludhiana batsmen, batting on a wicket tailor-made for batsmen, simply failed to face the guiles of the rival spinners, Sarandeep Singh and Sandeep Sanwal, the latter who flighted the ball intelligently while Sarandeep kept the batsmen guessing, mixing the flighted deliveries with the odd ball which left the batsman after pitching.
In their second essay Amritsar were batting at 150 for four at the draw of stumps, extending their lead to 291 runs with six wickets still left.
Brief scores: (Amritsar 1st innings): 296 all out.
(Ludhiana 1st innings): 155 all out (Varun Gupta 26, Rajan Singh 25, Sarandeep Singh 3 for 30, Sandeep Sanwal 3 for 47, R.P. Singh 2 for 42).
Baboor, Raman lead charge
SINGAPORE, Feb 15 (AP) National champion Subramanium Raman and ace paddler Chetan Baboor led the charge as India had a spectacular day with all five men winning their opening round singles matches in the Commonwealth Table Tennis championships here today.
World top 100 ranked Baboor defeated Englands Andrew Baggaley 23-21 21-11 23-21 in a needle-clash to score Indias first win of the day.
S. Raman who upstaged Baboor from the four-year reign as national champion, recorded a comfortable 21-15 21-15 21-8 win over New Zealands Aaron Winborn and moved into the second round.
The other two Indian paddlers in action also did not disappoint the team management as they scored impressive wins while Indika Prasad moved into the round of 32 when Sao Ayemojuba of Nigeria gave him a walkover.
Arjun Dutta cruised to a straight-game win over host player Leng Chih Cheng 21-11 21-17 21-10 but Arup Basak had to toil and rally hard to beat Nigerian Peter Akinlabi 11-21, 21-12, 21-19, 21-9.
SA cricket team reaches today
MUMBAI, Feb 15 (UNI) The South African cricket team will arrive here tomorrow evening for a two-Test and five one-day international series, the BCCI said today.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed here today that the South African team will be arriving at 8.40 p.m. tomorrow.
The South Africans led by Hansie Cronje will begin their tour with a three-day match against the Board Presidents XI in Mumbai from February 19 to 21. The first Test will be played from February 24 to 28 at Mumbai, while the second Test is scheduled to be played in Bangalore from March 2 to 6.
The five one-day internationals will be played at Cochin, Vishakapatnam, Jamshedpur, Baroda and Nagpur beginning from March 9 to March 19.
South African Test team: Hansie Cronje (capt), Shaun Pollock (vice-captain), Daryll Cullinan, Boeta Dippenaar, Allan Donald, Clive Eksteen, Herchelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Pieter Strydon, Lance Klusener, Mark Boucher, Nicky Boje and Mornantau Hayward.
One-day team: Hansie Cronje (capt), Shaun Pollock (vice-captain), Herchelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Pieter Strydon, Lance Klusener, Mark Boucher, Nicky Boje, Mornantau Hayward, Derek Crookes, Dale Benkensteinm, Neil Mckenzie, Steve Elworthy and Henry Williams.
Ossius hat-tricks as E Bengal win
CALCUTTA, Feb 15 (PTI) Brazilian striker Ossius struck a hattrick as East Bengal blanked State Bank of Travancore 3-0 in a National Football League encounter here today.
Stung by three successive defeats against Salgaocar, Mahindra and Mahindra and lowly Dempo, a desperate East Bengal finally got their act together to put up a decent performance at the Salt Lake Stadium here.
The East Bengal front line swung into action early as Ossius outwitted a couple of the SBT defenders and then unleashed a power-packed left-footer from just outside the box which went into the net in the third minute.
The local team consolidated their margin in the 20th minute following a sudden attack against the run of play. The SBT custodian Feroze Sharief failed to properly collect a Sheikh Sanjib long-ranger and an onrushing Ossius tried to slot home, but Sharief managed a clumsy clearance with his foot.
Maradona may pen autobiography
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 15 (AFP) Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona, currently in a detoxification clinic in Cuba after a cocaine overdose last month, is considering writing his autobiography, his agent Guillermo Coppola has revealed.
Diego wants to record his time in Argentine football and different European clubs (in Spain and Italy), with the agreement of his doctors, Coppola told Argentine radio yesterday.
Mongia slams ton
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 Punjab Ranji Trophy player Dinesh Mongia slammed 116 enabling Chandigarh to amass 384 for the loss of eight wickets against Jalandhar in the stipulated 90 overs in the Katoch Shield semifinal match at the PCA Stadium here today. Prabhjot batted very well to remain undefeated on 92.
Umpires decided that it will be a 90-over-a-side affair after first days play was washed out.
Sports festival from Feb 24
CHANDIGARH, Feb 15 (TNS) The 19th annual sports festival to be organised by the Singh Sports Youth Services Association at Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Sports Complex, Ghungrali Rajputan, Ludhiana, has been postponed from February 17 to February 24, according to the organising secretary of the meet. Football (open) Kabaddi (open village) kabaddi (62 kg, 57 kg), cycle race, dog race, track and field events (men and women) will be conducted as announced earlier. Athletics events for school boys and girls will also be held.
Winners of football (open) kabaddi (open village) will be given cash prizes of Rs 10,000 and Rs 8,000, respectively, in addition to Fulwinder Silver Cup for football and Harbans Singh Mehma Sarja Silver Cup for kabaddi.
Talwar wins title
BATHINDA, Feb 15 (TNS) H.S.Talwar of State Bank of Patiala, Zira, won the badminton singles title defeating Sunil Jain of Mukatsar 15-2, 15-7, 11-15 in the sixth annual zonal sports meet of the bank which concluded here yesterday.
Talwar along with Udesh Kumar won the doubles title defeating Tarsem Garg and Dinesh Sharma 15-9 and 15-8.
In the table tennis singles Rajinder Garg defeated Dhiraj Dabra 21-13, 21-19. In the doubles Garg and Kishore Kumar beat Dhiraj Dabra and Bharat Bhushan 21-12, 21-11.
In the carrom singles, Ashwani Demra defeated Kulbhusan Bansal 2-1 and in the doubles Demra and Prem Garg defeated Ajay Makkar and Paramjit Singh 2-1.
In womens category, Trishla Jain defeated Vandna 2-1 in the carrom singles event.
LUDHIANA, Feb 15 (TNS) The Ludhiana District Basketball Championship for men and women will be held here from February 17 to 19, according to Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary of the association.
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