|Thursday, February 24, 2000,
Chance for India to bounce back
Mohun Bagan surge ahead
Haryana take on Tamil Nadu today
Chance for India to bounce back
MUMBAI, Feb 23 (UNI) Indians have a chance to bounce back and regain their confidence after a disastrous Australian tour when they take on South Africa in the first Test match of the series tomorrow at the Wankhede Stadium here.
The wicket for this important match looks good and is likely to offer some bounce though the spin bowlers will be better equipped to exploit the conditions.
In recent times, the Wankhede wicket, with a nice coating of grass on it, had proved helpful to the seam bowlers.
However, after the debacle of the Indian team in Australia and the way the Board Presidents XI batsmen handled the South African bowlers at the Brabourne Stadium in their three-day match, the grass has been removed from the wicket.
Both the captains felt that the wicket had been good. Hansie Cronje, the South African captain, felt that the pitch would play the same as the one at the Brabourne Stadium, only this one will have some more bounce in it.
The Indian coach Kapil Dev when asked about the morale of the Indian team after the disastrous Australian tour, replied that it was a new series and was totally different from the Australian tour. We are playing in our own backyard, though we will have to work harder.
The Indian captain when asked about the recent controversies surrounding the selection and the subsequent events, turned philosophical saying let bygones be bygones, we must think and look at the future. Let us enjoy ourselves.
On the decision of Sachin to quit captaincy after the two Test series against South Africa, Kapil only said no comments.
The South African captain felt that the preparation of his team had been good. Our batsmen got good practice in the three-day match, he said. Cronje who himself was short of runs coming into this series, scored two half centuries in the warm-up three-day game to get into some sort of rhythm. Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis and Hercshelle Gibbs also belted half centuries in that match to fine tune themselves before the first Test.
Cronje felt that it is never easy coming back after Australia, where India got a walloping as they are a very good side. When asked whether all the controversies that Indian cricket had found itself in leading up to the first Test would help them, he replied they may work in our favour.
On his teams strengths, Cronje said it was a more experienced and mature side then what we were on the last tour of India in 1996. On the Indian players, Cronje said we are familiar with most of them having played Agarkar, Chopra in the Nairobi one-day quadrangular series and the three newcomers Murali Kartik, Wasim Jaffer and Mohammad Kaif in the three-day match leading up to this Test.
India: (from) Sachin Tendulkar (capt), VVS Laxman, Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, Ajay Jadeja, Nayan Mongia (wk), Javagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Nikhil Chopra, T. Kumaran, Mohd Kaif.
South Africa: (from) 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 (wk), Nicky Boje and Mornantau Hayward.
Umpires: S. Venkatraghavan (India), David Shepperd (England).
Australia equal victory record
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, Feb 23 (Reuters) Australia equalled the record of 11 one-day international victories in a row held by West Indies and England when they beat New Zealand by 50 runs today. Steve Waughs Australians piled up 310 for five in their 50 overs and dismissed New Zealand for 260 in exactly 45 overs in the day-night game. Australia lead 2-0 in the series with three games to play, the rain-hit opening fixture having been abandoned without a result.Openers Adam Gilchrist (77) and Mark Waugh (75) gave the Australians an ideal base by putting on 114. Michael Bevan (52), Steve Waugh, who made 43 before retiring hurt, and Andrew Symonds (34 not out) consolidated effectively.
Nathan Astle (81) and Roger Twose (62) lifted New Zealand hopes with a 121-run third wicket stand, but Australia struck telling blows between the 25th and 32nd overs.
Damien Martyn removed Twose and Chris Cairns and Shane Warne snapped up Astle and Craig McMillan, leaving pace pair Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath to mop up the tail.
Gilchrist c Cairns b Vettori 77
M. Waugh b Cairns 75
Hayden c Cairns b Harris 20
Bevan c Harris b Cairns 52
S. Waugh retired hurt 43
Symonds not out 34
Martyn not out 1
Extras (lb-2 nb-5 w-1) 8
Total (for 4 wickets 50 overs) 310
Fall of wickets: 1-114, 2-166, 3-185 4-291.
Bowling: Vettori 10-0-49-1, Harris 10-0-37-1 (nb-1), Cairns 10-0-61-2 (nb-2, w-1), Wisneski 8-0-58-0 (nb-2), Styris 6-0-56-0, Astle 6-0-48-0.
Spearman lbw b Fleming 2
Astle b Warne 81
Fleming c Hayden b Fleming 24
Twose lbw b Martyn 62
Cairns c Gilchrist b Martyn 13
McMillan c Harvey (sub) b Warne 1
Harris not out 25
Parore hit wicket b Lee 8
Styris c Symonds b Lee 19
Vettori c Symonds b McGrath 0
Wisneski c M. Waugh b McGrath 6
Extras (b-4 lb-5 nb-8 w-2) 19
Total (all out 45 overs) 260
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-48, 3-169, 4-187, 5-197, 6-199, 7-223, 8-246, 9-247, 10-260.
Pak beat Germany, enter final
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (PTI) Holders Pakistan thrashed struggling European champions Germany 4-2 to storm into the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament against South Korea here today.
Playing their best game of the tournament at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Pakistan rallied from an early reverse to equalise and then snuffed out the challenge of a German side looking less than fully fit into the second half.
Germany went ahead in the seventh minute through a penalty corner goal by Florian Kunz, but Kamran Ashraf equalised in the 15th minute and substitute Kashif Javaid gave the lead through a 29th minute field conversion as Pakistan led 2-1 at halftime.
The European side, stunned earlier by Malaysia, fought back when Phillip Crone converted a penalty corner soon after resumption, but Pakistan quickly took charge and went ahead through an Imram Yousuf penalty corner conversion two minutes later and rounded it off with a 59th minute strike by Atif Bashir.
The result left both Pakistan and Korea, who had played out an exciting 1-all draw in the league, at the top of the table with 13 points apiece after an unbeaten run with one more league game left.
India have a game left against New Zealand and if they win they will play for the third place against Malaysia.
Germany ended their disappointing show with two wins, three defeats and a draw for seven points from six games.
Pakistan, looking to rebuild in their quest for a berth in the Sydney Olympics later this year have done a fine job in this prestigious event. South Korea have a match against Malaysia and are assured of a final spot even if they lose.
Though it was Germany who opened the account, Pakistan came back strongly with Muhammad Sarwar absolutely brilliant in the midfield. Upfront Atif Bashir, Muhammed Anis and Kamran Ashraf ran rings around the German defence.
For Germany, their control on the game was only in sporadic bursts. Oliver Domke received little support from the midfield and was mostly hemmed in by three defenders whenever he had the ball.
Germany went ahead when Florian Kunz flicked in past a diving custodian Ahmed Alam in the Pakistan goal.
Stunned by the early goal, Pakistan took their time in settling down and came up with the equaliser when Kamran Ashraf scored a field attempt after working his way up with Atif Bashir.
Entire Lankan board resigns
COLOMBO, Feb 22 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Cricket Board today plunged into fresh crisis as the entire interim committee headed by Rinzie Wijayathilake resigned following differences with the Sports Minister.
The new crisis engulfed the board after Sports Minister S. B. Dissanayake, under whose authority it functioned, postponed the elections and ordered an official inquiry into allegations of financial irregularities under a previous board.
Board sources said that fresh differences between Mr Wijayathilake and the Sports Minister resulted in the board chief tendering his resignation today.
After learning about it, other office bearers too sent in their resignations, they said.
For over a year, the board was being managed by an interim committee appointed by Mr Dissanayake after a court stayed the elections of office-bearers last year. Former board President Thilaga Sumathipala, elected in the controversial election marred by fisty cuffs and allegations of criminal trespass, was barred from functioning.
The elections for the new committee too were postponed after the interim panel alleged irregularities in cash transactions by earlier committees. Following this the Sports Minister postponed the elections and appointed a three-member committee to scrutinise the accounts.
Under Sri Lankan law the Sports Minister has absolute power over sports body and can veto any decision.
Mohun Bagan surge ahead
CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 Calcutta giants Mohun Bagan edged past Churchill Brothers, Goa, to occupy the top position in the National Football League on the conclusion of the 16th round at Calcutta yesterday.
The 1-0 win over Dempo gave Subrata Bhattacharyas team a slender one-point advantage at the end of the 16th round which witnessed several upsets.
The most stunning victory in this round was registered by Border Security Force, Jalandhar, who shocked Mahindra and Mahindra by two goals to nil at Ludhiana on February 19. The hero of this win was medio J.Oseph, a havaldar in the paramilitary outfit, who scored both goals.
Another upset in this round was recorded at Calcutta on February 21 when leaders of the previous round Churchill Brothers were shocked by East Bengal 2-1. This victory gave a big boost to the struggling red and gold brigade, who now have 20 points, from five wins and five draws.
Salgaocar and Tollygunge split points with a 1-1 draw while FC Kochin triumphed over ITI by a solitary goal at Thrissur, the new venue for their home ties.
Winners of the inaugural edition JCT Phagwara got the better of State Bank of Travancore by two goals without reply at Ludhiana. This victory propelled the millmen to the third spot ahead of Mahindras.
The 17th round is due to commence on February 25.
The following are the latest standings of the teams at the end of the 16th round yesterday (read under teams, matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, and points):-
IHF likely to rope in foreign coach
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (PTI) The Indian Hockey Federation looks all set to rope in a foreign coach with the IHF Secretary K. Jothikumaran saying that was the best solution and was needed if India are to put in a medal winning display in the Sydney Olympics in September.
Jothikumaran said there was a likelihood that the foreign coach may be told to handle specific areas like penalty corner conversions, a weak area for the eight-time Olympic champions.
He said the only thing left to be discussed was in what way the foreign coach should be involved in with the side.
I know some people think we are dragging our feet on the foreign coach issue. It is not a new idea and many people have voiced this opinion at home. I think we will have to act now if we want to give a medal winning display at the Sydney Games, Jothikumaran told PTI during the ongoing Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament here.
But Jothikumaran, who said a final decision will be taken after a review at the end of this tournament, refused to say who were the coaches shortlisted.
He said the IHF will look only for top level coaches who can complement the work of Indian coaches. I do not know if we can accept a foreign coach as overall incharge. It could even be that, but for the moment our options are open, he said.
India won a direct Olympic berth by winning the 1998 Asian Games gold medal in Bangkok, but their build up has been hardly inspiring with performance rarely consistent despite talent in the ranks.
It is clear we need expert help. In fact, all the feedback we have received on the team indicates this is the best solution, Jothikumaran said.
He said even coaches of other teams felt India had the potential to form a medal winning side (in Sydney). But they point out there are some areas we are lacking in and penalty corners is one of them, he said.
In the five matches played here so far, India have won two and lost three matches. They have had ample chances in the striking circle, but frittered them away. Against Pakistan they forced 11 penalty corners but could score off only one.
For all their dominance, they have failed to win and the IHF was very much concerned about this, Jothikumaran said adding that these weaknesses have to be seriously analysed.
The IHF has been pursuing the idea of bringing in a foreign coach for the past couple of years. Among those they tried for a contract are Germanys Paul Lissek and Australias Ric Charlesworth and Richard Agiss.
After the failure at the 1998 Utercht World Cup, India wanted to bring in Dutch penalty corner expert Floris Bovelander but that move failed to materialise.
Jothikumaran was not too sure whether a foreign coach can be brought in as overall incharge. But he felt the foreign coach could help India just as Dutchman Hans Jorritsma had helped Pakistan in the 1993 Champions Trophy and the 1994 World Cup as consultant.
Confident Baroda meet Punjab
SAS NAGAR, Feb 23 Weathergods, for a change, seem to have relented as far as their pursuit of the super league matches slated to be played at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium is concerned. Most of the previous matches played at the venue have been disrupted by rain. Situation, however, looks different this time. The sun has been shining in its full glory for the past couple of days, raising visions of a good contest when the four-day Ranji Trophy match between Punjab and Baroda gets under way tomorrow.
Punjab will have to be wary of the visitors on a high after registering a resounding victory over Bihar in the last match at Baroda. Bolstered by skipper Tushar Arothes superb 125 and new ball bowler Zaheer Khans 10-wicket haul in the match Baroda snatched an innings and 114-run victory inside three days.
Baroda have a sound batting line-up. Jacob Martin, Connor Williams, R.A. Swaroop, Atul Badade, skipper Tushar Arothe and Himanshu Jadhav will be expected to test Punjab bowling attack and put enough runs on the board. Martin and Badade, former India one-day player, can be dangerous if the track, as is the likelyhood, favours the batsmen.
Baroda will, however, sorely miss the services of proven stumper Nayan Mongia, who is all set to make a comeback to the national squad in the first Test against South Africa scheduled to commence in Mumbai tomorrow. Mongia, who sustained an injury in his hand during the last World Cup held in England, had been in the wilderness ever since.
Punjab are expected to play two seamers and three specialist spinners, Bhupinder Singh (Sr) said here in the afternoon. He said the new ball bowler Sandeep Sharma was likely to be replaced by R.P. Singh, former Haryana player. He said off-spinner Sarandeep Singh has been blooded into the squad, who will bowl in tandem with Harbhajan Singh and Navdeep Singh.
The home side, who failed to force a victory against Hyderabad in their last match at the same venue, should only be too keen to do this time to brighten up their chances of qualification to the next stage. The hosts have the batting to put up a decent total on the board. Their spin department looks formidable enough. But whether the pace attack is potent enough to achieve breakthroughs at the right time is the only moot point.
The match is a benefit tie for Mr MP Pandove, honorary secretary, PCA.
Punjab: Vikram Rathore(captain), Pankaj Dharmani, Ravneet Ricky, Dinesh Mongia, Reetinder Sodhi, Yuveraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, R P Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Sarandeep Singh, Navdeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma and Harminder Jugnu.
Baroda: Tushar Arothe (skipper), Connor Williams, Martin Jacob, R.A. Swaroop, Atul Badade, Himanshu Jadhav, Valmick Buch, Shekhar Joshi, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Bhohite, Ifran Pathan, Umang Patel, Rakesh Patel and Milap Mewada.
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Feb 23 The 53rd Punjab Senior State Football Championship began at ITI Bassi Pathan today. Mr V.K. Janjua Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the tournament and the teams from all districts are participating.
In the opening match DFA, Fatehgarh Sahib beat DFA Sangrur 4-2 in the tie breaker.
Harinder Singh of DFA Fatehgarh Sahib scored in the 5th minute and it was equalised by Sahid of Sangrur in the 35th minute.
In the second half Sangrur took the lead through Parwinder Singh in 65th minute and the Fatehgarh Sahib boys equalised in the 85th minute through Jaswinder.
In the second match DFA Hoshiarpur beat DFA Muktsar 3-1. The first goal for Hoshiarpur was scored by Randhawa in the eighth minute, but the Muktsar boys mounted pressure and equalised in the 43rd minute through Zora Singh. But the Hoshiarpur boys dominated and took the lead in the 55th minute as Randhawa scored the second goal. Jasraj Singh consolidated the lead in 73rd minute.
Kapil has dig at selectors
NEW DELHI, Feb 23 Indian cricket coach Kapil Dev today appeared to be taking a dig at the national selectors suggesting they should have been at nets before finalising the playing eleven.
Commenting on Star News, on the eve of the first Test match against the visiting South African team at Mumbais Wankhede Stadium, Kapil Dev said the national selectors should have been at nets much before the team got there, apparently suggesting they should first watch the players before picking the final team.
Kapil Dev said if the selectors were to make an informed decision as to who should be in the playing 11, they should watch the net practice.
Haryana take on Tamil Nadu today
GURGAON, Feb 23 Haryana will meet Tamil Nadu in the four-day Ranji Trophy super league cricket tie scheduled to begin at Nehru Stadium here tomorrow. The encounter is being considered a bit tough from Haryanas point of view as the hosts enter the fray only three points from two super league matches so far and they badly need an outright victory against the visitors.
In fact, Tamil Nadu are a more balanced side having proved their strength in the super league opener at Chennai where they chalked out an innings and 26 run victory over Saurashtra after raising a total of 471 in the first innings and dismissing their opponents twice within this total. Their batsmen Ashish Kapoor, Hemang Badani and S. Sharath have been scoring runs. The bowling department includes Robin Singh, Ashish Kapoor, Gukulakrishnan and S. Mahesh. However, Tamil Nadu will miss the presence of T. Kumaran who has been included in the national squad for the first Test against South Africa also beginning from tomorrow.
On the other hand, Haryana, prior to this match, drew their tie against Uttar Pradesh at Rohtak where rain played spoilsport and they were defeated by Saurashtra at the same venue conceding 8 points. In tomorrows mach Haryana will be keen to garner maximum points but the strength of their opponents is not to be underestimated.
In the previous two
matches Haryana missed the services of stalwart Amarjeet
Kaypee due to his illness. He is not likely to join the
team at Gurgaon. Haryana will have to rely mainly on the
experience of Rajesh Puri who has regained his form this
season and is on a scoring spree in Ranji Trophy. His
centuries against Punjab in the Ranji league encounter at
this very venue earlier and in Haryanas previous
match against Saurasthra at Rohtak were quite impressive.
Besides, Haryana would expect longer innings from openers
Jitender Singh and Parinder Sharma. Some support from
middle order batsmen like Jasvir Singh and Sanjay Dalal
is also needed. Haryana may field another spinner for
tomorrows match keeping in view the state of the
wicket. Haryana also need to ensure that they dont
concede too many extras which they did at Rohtak in the
match against Saurasthra. The fielding also needs to be
Godrej CC win by 54 runs
CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 Fine allround performance by Himachal Ranji player Richie Kapoor (81 and 2 for 35) enabled Godrej Cricket Club, Chandigarh, to rout Vishal Cricket Club, Jammu, by 54 runs and enter the semifinals of the Pathankot Challenge Cup League Cricket Tournament at Pathankot today.
Batting first, Godrej Cricket Club lost the wicket of Gurinder Saini, who was consumed by North Zone fast bowler Surinder Singh. Rahul Panta played a hurricane innings of 29 runs of 18 balls which included two sixes and three boundaries.
After the fall of this wicket, Richie Kapoor joined M.P. Singh. Both of them were involved in a partnership of 118 runs. Whereas M.P. Singh played a sedate knock of 48 runs, Richie Kapoor smashed 81 runs off just 49 balls which included six fours and five towering sixes.
It was largely due to Kapoors knock that Godrej Cricket Club scored a huge total of 230 runs in 30 overs.
Chasing the target, the Jammu team lost the vital wicket of Rajesh Gill cheaply as he was run out by a direct throw by Madan Lal. Amrit Pal Singh, who had scored a century against Delhi playing for Jammu and Kashmir this year, played cautiously to score 32 runs off 47 balls. Left arm spinners Vinod Binta (3 for 24) and Madan Lal (2 for 31) bowled well in tandem to reduce the team to 150 runs for the loss of 7 wickets after 25 overs.
Scores:- Godrej Cricket Club:- 230 for 7 in 30 overs (Richie Kapoor 81, M.P. Singh 41, R.P. Singh 39, Rahul Panta 29, Vivek Sharma 2 for 41, Surinder 2 for 42.
Aussie juniors triumph
JALANDHAR, Feb 23 Australia juniors scored an authoritative 1-0 verdict over India juniors in the second Test of the series here today.
The Australian side had the upper hand and remained in the rival territory throughout. The Indian team lacked proper planning.
The Australians surged ahead in the 21st minute when Michal Mechann scored a fine field goal with a solo effort.
After changing over the Australians did not reduce the pressure and continued their attack from the left flank.
Bihar XI beat WR
LUDHIANA, Feb 23 Bihar XI edged out last years runners-up Western Railway, Mumbai 5-2 and Air-India, Mumbai, trounced Orissa 3-2 to enter the semifinals on the third day of the fourth All-India Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal Memorial Hockey Tournament for women being played at the Astro Turf stadium of Punjab Agricultural University here today.
Both the matches were decided through tie breakers.
In the first match, Bihar XI went one up in the 17th minute through Jasmani Tiru. Poonam succeeded in restoring parity in the 27th minute by placing the ball in the left corner of the net.
Bihar eves went into the lead in the very next minute through Parmila Ekka.
The railway eves maintained the pressure and they got the much-needed goal in the 69th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Silvania Toppo (2-2).
In the tie-breaker Bihar XI emerged victorious 5-2.
Haryana dominate in hockey
ANANDPUR SAHIB, Feb 23 Haryana dominated the proceedings by winning hockey matches in the under-17 boys and girls sections on the third day of the 45th National School Games here today.
In the under-17 boys section hockey match, Haryana defeated Chandigarh 4-1 while in the girls section Haryana trounced Maharashtra 7-0.
In the under-17 (boys section) handball match, Punjab defeated Chandigarh 32-25 while Delhi defeated Andhra Pradesh 22-21. In another match, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh played a draw 16-16.
In the under-17 (girls section) handball match, Maharashtra routed MP 15-06.
Somveer to lead
CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 Somveer of Jhajjar will lead the Haryana team to participate in the third North India Yoga Championship being held at Chhatrasal Stadium, Model Town, Delhi, on February 26 and 27.
According to Mr M.L. Vairagi, general secretary, Haryana State Yoga Association, the other members of the team are:
Sub junior (girls): Jyoti Tommer (Rohtak), Ruchi Godara (Fatehbad), Bhagwati (Faridabad). Boys: Rakesh, Rakesh Jakkar (both Faridabad), Jai Dev (Narnaul).
Jr. (Girls): Yashoda (Jind), Laxmi (Rohtak), Nisha Yadav (Narnaul). Boys: Dharam Dev (Jhajjar), Sukhveer (Faridabad), Raj Kumar (Jind).
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