Saturday, March 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T


Neil Scott Walker (left) of the United States , receives a hug from teammate Lenny Krayzelburg after winning the 50m backstroke final of the 5th World Swimming Championships (25m) in Athens on Thursday. Walker set a world record in the 50m backstroke heat and semi final earlier in the day
ATHENS : Neil Scott Walker (left) of the United States , receives a hug from teammate Lenny Krayzelburg after winning the 50m backstroke final of the 5th World Swimming Championships (25m) in Athens on Thursday. Walker set a world record in the 50m backstroke heat and semifinal earlier in the day.— AP/PTI photo

India win, clinch series
BARODA, March 17 — India lived through agonising final moments despite a clinically-executed 25th one-day hundred by Sachin Tendulkar to carry off an absolutely heart-stopping chase and defeat South Africa by four wickets with one ball left to win the fourth one-day cricket tie and clinch the series 3-1 with a game left here today.

Anand placed joint second
MONACO, March 17 — Viswanathan Anand of India started off in style with a win in the blindfold section of the annual Amber Chess tournament here. The Indian, who went through an agonising tournament in Linares earlier this month, was grouped together with five others in the second position after the first round of the tournament.


EARLIER STORIES
 
Windies flounder on rain-hit day
PORT OF SPAIN (Trinidad), March 17 — Zimbabwe began their inaugural Test against the West Indies in promising fashion yesterday as they reduced the home side to 79 for three by the end of rain-hit opening day.

Pritam Rani dropped; Chanu to lead
NEW DELHI, March 17 — Ace forward Pritam Rani Thakran and centre half Sita Gussain do not figure in the 16-member Indian women’s hockey team led by Tingonleima Chanu for the Olympic qualifying tournament to be held at Milton Keynes, England from March 24 to April 2.
Chris Gayle of the West Indies is run out for 33 off the bowling of Mpumelelo Mbangwa of Zimbabwe during the first day of the first test match at the Queen's Park Oval cricket club in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on Thursday
Chris Gayle of the West Indies is run out for 33 off the bowling of Mpumelelo Mbangwa of Zimbabwe during the first day of the first test match at the Queen's Park Oval cricket club in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on Thursday. — AP/PTI photo

European swimmers dominate on opening day
ATHENS, March 17 — European swimmers dominated the gold medals on the opening day of the world short-course swimming championships here, as five world records were set.

Chandigarh, MP win titles
CHANDIGARH, March 17 — Chandigarh eves and Madhya Pradesh men clinched titles at the 14th Senior National Baseball Championship which concluded here today at Panjab University grounds.

2 meet records established
LUCKNOW, March 17 — Two more new meet records were set at the Guru Govind Singh Sports College here on the concluding day of the 6th National Federation Cup Athletics Championship today.

Easy victory for Davenport
INDIANA WELLS (California), March 17 — Women’s second seed Lindsay Davenport crushed Russian teenager Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-1 to reach the final of the $ 4.95-million Tennis Masters Series last night.

Warne can snare 500 Test wickets: Waugh
SYDNEY, March 17 — Skipper Steve Waugh praised Shane Warne for becoming the nation’s all-time leading Test bowler when his 356th wicket propelled Australia to a 62-run win over New Zealand. But he wasted no time setting his vice-captain a new target.

BSF, PSB in final
LUCKNOW, March 17 — Holders Border Security Force (BSF), Jalandhar and Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB), Jalandhar will meet in the final of the 20th All-India K.D. Singh “Babu” Prize Money Invitation Hockey Tournament here tomorrow.

Railways kabaddi from today
JALANDHAR, March 17 — Top 12 outfits of the Railways, will vie for top honours in the men’s section of the 49th All-India Inter-Railways Kabaddi Championship starting at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Stadium on March 18.

Premiership race nears exciting end
LONDON, March 17 — With just 10 matches left to play and games coming thick and fast, there is very little room for error as the Premiership soccer race draws to an exciting climax.

Tyson to fight Savarese
MILAN, March 17 — Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will meet fellow American Lou Savarese on May 20 in Milan, the Mediapartners agency told Italian news agency ANSA.

REGIONAL SPORT BRIEFS
  • Narinder scores hat-trick
  • Prize distribution function
  • Wrestling team
  • Manjit football from April 2

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India win, clinch series

BARODA, March 17 (PTI) — India lived through agonising final moments despite a clinically-executed 25th one-day hundred by Sachin Tendulkar to carry off an absolutely heart-stopping chase and defeat South Africa by four wickets with one ball left to win the fourth one-day cricket tie and clinch the series 3-1 with a game left here today.

Master batsman Tendulkar (122) slammed a neatly paced hundred to build on skipper Saurav Ganguly’s electrifying 87 before the late drama as India reached 283 for six wickets in 49.5 overs to complete their third successful chase in the series after South Africa compiled an imposing 282 for five wickets on choosing to bat first.

In a thrilling game that produced excitement off every delivery in the last few overs, the hosts survived a sudden slump to be left needing six runs off the final over and the indefatigable Robin Singh kept his cool to guide them to an exhilarating victory at the IPCL ground.

Tendulkar displayed a new dimension to his batsmanship as he complemented Ganguly in their 153-run opening stand before his 90-run third wicket stand with Mohd Azharuddin (39).

But both Tendulkar and Azharuddin fell to paceman Jacques Kallis in the bowler’s successive overs to leave India needing 15 runs off 12 deliveries.

Fast bowler Shaun Pollock bowled both Jadeja and Sunil Joshi in the 49th over, but it went for nine runs and Robin Singh thrived on a dropped catch by a jittery Lance Klusener with four runs needed off as many balls before completing the win with a brace.

Ganguly once again went after the South African attack with Tendulkar content with rotating the strike as the two set a fine pace in the challenging chase.

The left-hander, who struck his second successive fifty after his unbeaten match-winning hundred in Jamshedpur, was going great guns and well ahead of his partner when he lofted left-arm spinner Pieter Strydom straight to Shaun Pollock at long on to fall short of a deserved 13th one-day hundred.

Ganguly’s 87 came off only 84 balls and was studded with 12 fours, many of them audacious shots either side of the pitch, besides two sixes off Kallis and Strydom. Man of the match Tendulkar, who faced 138 balls and hit 12 fours in his knock, along with Azharuddin kept gathering just over five runs an over to maintain perfect momentum with the latter too playing some fine wristy shots.

The 26-year-old, whose last century came against New Zealand in the home one-day series in November last year, registered the highest innings by an Indian against the Proteas surpassing his own record of 114 (Titan Cup final -1996) jointly held with W.V. Raman (Centurion Park - 1991-92).

India, at 256 for two off 45 overs and needing 27 runs in the last five overs, were poised to complete an easy win when things suddenly began going awry.

Tendulkar hit a Kallis full toss straight to Steve Elworthy at mid-on off the first ball of the 46th over and the bowler, who reverse swung the old ball with control, had Azhar brilliantly caught and bowled off another full toss in his next over to suddenly pile on the pressure.

Elworthy then showed splendid sportsmanship by not running out Robin Singh after the non-striker collided with Kallis who was fielding on his followthrough. Both went down in a heap, but Elworthy did not remove the bails.

The sensational penultimate over by Pollock saw Robin Singh (10 not out off seven balls) smash a four through point and take a single, but Jadeja was bowled neck and crop trying to cart a full toss out of the ground.

Sunil Joshi hit the first ball he faced to the squareleg fence, but was yorked the next delivery to leave it for Robin Singh and an equally seasoned Saba Karim to complete the job.

With four needed off as many balls, South Africa almost had the game won when Robin Singh swung Kallis down the throat of Klusener at long on.

But the allrounder, still not fully recovered from an ankle strain and known to crumble under pressure, dropped the sitter to the chagrin of his team-mates and skipper Hansie Cronje before Robin Singh brought off the winning runs.

South Africa

G. Kirsten run out 72

H. Gibbs lbw b Joshi 37

J. Kallis not out 81

H. Cronje c Agarkar b Joshi 26

N. Boje c Joshi b Kumble 9

D. Benkenstein b Srinath 27

L. Klusener not out 14

Extras (lb-5 w-7 nb-4) 16

Total (for five wickets, 50 overs) 282

Fall of wickets: 1-99 2-136 3-181 4-205 5-256

Bowling: Srinath 9-0-60-1 (w-1 nb-4), Agarkar 10-0-61-0 (w-6), Kumble 9-0-32-1, Joshi 10-0-69-2, Singh 3-0-12-0, Tendulkar 9-1-43-0.

India

S. Ganguly c Pollock b Strydom 87

S. Tendulkar c Elworthy b Kallis 122

R. Dravid c Cronje b Boje 3

M. Azharuddin c & b Kallis 39

A. Jadeja b Pollock 5

R. Singh not out 10

S. Joshi b Pollock 4

S. Karim not out 2

Extras (lb-3 w-5 nb-3) 11

Total (for six wickets, 49.5 overs) 283

Fall of wickets: 1-153 2-176 3-256 4-267 5-273 6-277

Bowling: Pollock 9-0-54-2 (nb-1 w-1), Elworthy 7-0-52-0 (nb-2 w-3), Kallis 8.5-0-50-2 (w-1), Cronje 6-0-33-0, Boje 10-0-43-1, Strydom 9-0-48-1.


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Ganguly elated with win

BARODA, March 17 (PTI) — Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly was elated by India’s heart-stopping victory over South Africa to clinch the five-game one-day series, but was displeased by the sudden loss of wickets that almost messed up a comfortable chase at the fag end.

"I am happy with the series win, but not at all happy with the way we messed up things in the end," Ganguly told reporters after India won the penultimate game by four wickets with a ball to spare to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series with a game left.

Praising Sachin Tendulkar, who cracked a superbly paced 122 for his 25th century but fell with victory well in sight, Ganguly said "he batted very well, but I thought he would complete the innings," explaining the tense final moments.

India, coasting at 256 for two after 45 overs on being set 283 for victory, lost four quick wickets, including that of the well-set Tendulkar and Azharuddin, before Robin Singh thrived on a dropped catch to pull it off.

"I thought we gave away 20-25 runs extra," he said, but added Indian bowlers, leg spinner Anil Kumble and Tendulkar in particular, bowled very well to contain the opposing batsmen in the middle overs.

Man of the match Tendulkar, who shook off a relatively quiet period to hammer his 25th one-day hundred justified his sheet-anchor’s role: "If someone bats as well as Saurav did, it is important to hang around and give him support," he said.

Tendulkar said three dismissals, including his own, came on full tosses and hoped it did not happen again.


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Anand placed joint second

MONACO, March 17 (UNI) — Viswanathan Anand of India started off in style with a win in the blindfold section of the annual Amber Chess tournament here. The Indian, who went through an agonising tournament in Linares earlier this month, was grouped together with five others in the second position after the first round of the tournament.

The sole leader was Vladimir Kramnik, the defending champion, and winner of the Linares event jointly with Garry Kasparov, who is not here. The only player to post a double win result was Kramnik, who defeated Dutchman Jeroen Piket 2-0.

This is a 12- player tournament in which every player meets the others once over a set of two games. They play one game each in rapid and blindfold sections.

Though not conventional classical chess, this tournament attracts a lot of interest and a terrific field. Often top players blunder in blindfold section, where they have no assistance of a board but the spectators can see it all.

Games are played with 25 minutes a player and players get 10 seconds added to their clocks each time they make a move. There are two sessions each of rapid blindfold games each day.

In this tournament there are prizes for rapid, blindfold and overall standings. Anand, who has twice won this event in its nine-year history, was up against Yugoslav Ljubomir Ljubojeive, who now lives in Spain. He drew the rapid game, but won the blindfold. The result gave Anand a 1.5-0.5 score.

Ljubojevic played the Sicilian Najdorf against Anand in the blindfold. Anand attacked with gusto and landed the Yugoslav in tremendous pressure and won comfortably.

In the rapid section, Ljubojeivic and Anand drew in just 26 moves and just short of a quarter of an hour Anand adopted the Grunfeld defence against the queen pawn. After exchange of pieces, the game became a rooks and bishop ending and then drew after 26 moves.

Of the six wins to be registered on the opening day, four came in blindfold section and two in rapid. Apart from Kramnik, Boris Gelfand, who plays for Israel, against Bosnia-Herzogovina’s Predrag Nikolic, achieved the other rapid victory.

In the blindfold, the wins were secured by Karmnik against Piket, former world champion Anatoly Karpov over Loek Van Wely, Alexi Shirov over Frenchman Joel Lautier and Anand over Ljubojevic.

Former world champion Karpov who was not invited for the Linares tournament, made an appearance here. He beat Loek Van Wely in 52 moves of the blindfold game, but drew the rapid game.

Kramnik beat Piket’s Slav defence in 30 moves getting two rooks for two minor piece.

Results (first round):

Rapid games: L. Van Wely drew with A. Karpov: J. Lautier drew with A. Shirov, L. Ljubojevie drew with V. Anand J. Piket lost to V. Kramnik B. Gelfand beat P. Nikolic V. Ivanchuk drew with V. Topalov.

Blindfold games: A. Karpov b L. Van Wely: A. Shirov b J. Lautier V. Anand b L. Ljubojevic, V. Kramnik b J. Piket, P. Nikolic drew with B. Gelfand, V. Topalov b V. Ivanchuk.
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Windies flounder on rain-hit day

PORT OF SPAIN (Trinidad), March 17 (Reuters) — Zimbabwe began their inaugural Test against the West Indies in promising fashion yesterday as they reduced the home side to 79 for three by the end of rain-hit opening day.

The African nation could hardly have wanted a better start. After winning the toss and asking their hosts to bat, fast bowler Heath Streak trapped opener Adrian Griffith leg before for a duck in the first over.

The West Indies suffered another blow when debutant Chris Gayle, the only batsman to show any aggression, was run out for 33 to leave them struggling at 57 for two at lunch.

Rain wiped out much of the remainder of the day’s play but there was time enough for paceman Henry Olonga to have Shivnarine Chanderpaul caught by wicketkeeper Andy Flower for 12.

At the end of play, opener Sherwin Campbell, evidently taking his new responsibilities as vice-captain seriously, was still at the crease after compiling a laborious 20 runs from 121 deliveries and hitting just one boundary.

At the other end, nightwatchman Curtly Ambrose, who is probably more interested in bowling than batting on this grassy pitch, was unbeaten on five.

The only bright spot for the West Indies was the innings of 20-year-old left-hander Gayle, who spoiled an encouraging Test debut when he was run out after misjudging a second run just before lunch.

Gayle deservedly gained his selection by being the top run scorer in the Busta Cup regional tournament with two hundreds and three half-centuries in an aggregate of 623 runs.

Scoreboard:

West Indies (Ist innings):

Griffith lbw b Streak 0

Campbell not out 20

Gayle run out 33

Chanderpaul c A.Flower b

Olonga 12

Ambrose not out 5

Extras (nb-7 lb-1 b-1): 9

Total (for 3 wkts 40 overs): 79

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-48

Bowling: Streak 13-5-29-1, Olonga 8-4-11-1, Mbangwa 10-3-21-0, Johnson 4-1-10-0, Murphy 3-3-0-0, G. Flower 2-0-6-0.
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European swimmers dominate on opening day

ATHENS, March 17 (AFP) — European swimmers dominated the gold medals on the opening day of the world short-course swimming championships here, as five world records were set.

The Europeans captured seven of the nine titles although the USA came through with the most medals, seven, and the best individual performance with Neil Scott Walker twice breaking the men’s 50 metres backstroke world record.

The 23-year-old Walker was clocked in 23.42 seconds, coming in first in the second heat ahead of team-mate Lenny Krayzelburg who finished in 24.21.

Earlier in the day Walker clipped the previous world record of 24.11, set earlier this year by Australia’s Matthew Welsh, with his 24.04 clocking in the preliminary heat.

The American did not do as well in the final clocking in 23.99, but nevertheless finished ahead of his team-mate Krayzelburg, who once again took the silver medal with a 24.24 performance.

Lars Frolander of Sweden set a world record of 50.59 seconds in the semifinals of the men’s 100 metres butterfly as he won his semifinal heat with ease as German Thomas Rupprath came in second far behind in 52.37.

He was also a member of the Swedish world record setting 4x100 metres freestyle relay team.

The Swedish 4x100 metres men’s freestyle relay team set a world record of three minutes, 09.57 seconds breaking the old mark that was held by a Brazilian team set in Rio on December 19, 1998 with a time of 3:10.45.

Sweden’s record setting team consisted of Frolander, Johan Nystrom, Mattias Ohlin and Stefan Nystrand.

The British 4x200 metres women’s freestyle relay team set a world record of seven minutes 49.11 seconds, clipping the old mark of 7:51.70 held by a Swedish team set in Hong Kong at last year’s competition.

Great Britain’s record-setting team consisted of Claire Huddart, Nicola Jackson, Karen Legg and Karen Pickering.

Besides the British and Swedish relay victories, also winning gold medals for Europe were German Mark Warnecke in the men’s 50 metres breatstroke, Mette Jacobsen of Sweden in the woman’s 200 metres butterfly, Jani Sievinen of Finland in the men’s 400 metres individual medley, Bela Szabados of Hungary in the men’s 200 metres freestyle and Yana Klochkova of the Ukraine in the women’s 400 metres medley.

Walker was joined by non-European Sarah Poewe of South Africa in other gold medal victories with her 30.66 second timing in the women’s 50 metres breaststroke which was a new meet record.

The USA picked up three silver medals and two bronze to lead the pack, followed by Germany, which garnered two silver medals and one bronze.

Powerhouse China, which along with Australia brought an inexperienced team to Athens, came away on the first day with only one silver medal and one bronze. Australia did not get any medals.

Meanwhile, following a statement by John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee, a statement by the FINA released at the championships said the FINA has approved the new technology on bodysuits in accordance with the FINA rules.
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Pritam Rani dropped; Chanu to lead

NEW DELHI, March 17 (UNI) — Ace forward Pritam Rani Thakran and centre half Sita Gussain do not figure in the 16-member Indian women’s hockey team led by Tingonleima Chanu for the Olympic qualifying tournament to be held at Milton Keynes, England from March 24 to April 2.

Mamta Kharab, Kanti Baa and Manorama Goswami, members of the junior squad, are the new faces in the team.

Pritam Rani was the captain of the Indian team which finished runners up in the Asia Cup held here in December last.

In the 10-nation tournament, Indian team is placed in a strong pool-A and will open their campaign with a match against Spain.

Team: Goalkeepers: Tingonleima Chanu (captain), Helen Mary. Full backs: Amandeep Kaur, Marystella Tirkey, Kanti Baa. Halves: Sunita Dalal, Suraj Lata, Sumrai Tete, Neha Singh, Kamla Dalal, Jyoti Kullu, Ferdina Ekka. Forwards: Mamta Kharab, Surinder Kaur, Papki Devi, Manorama Goswami.

The Indian Women Hockey Federation (IWHF) secretary Amrit Bose said Pritam Rani and Sita Gussain did not attend the coaching camp citing domestic reasons.

She did not agree with the view that absence of these two star players will have any adverse effect on the team’s performance. “We have picked up the best possible team and I am sure that team will perform well .

First five teams of this tournament will qualify for the Sydney Olympics.

Pool-A: India, Spain, Germany, USA and Ireland.

Pool-B: China, Britain, Japan, Russia and New Zealand.

The fixture of the tournament: March 24: India v Spain, Germany v USA, Russia v China, New Zealand v Japan; March 25: India v Ireland, Spain v Germany, Britain v Russia, China v New Zealand; March 26: USA v Ireland, Japan v Britain; March 27: India v Germany, Russia v New Zealand; March 28: Spain v USA, Germany v Ireland, China v Japan, New Zealand v Britain; March 29: India v USA, Ireland v Spain, Japan v Russia, Britain v China; March 31: classification matches: 3rd pool A v 4th pool B, 4th pool A v 3rd pool B; 2nd pool A v 3rd pool B, Ist pool A v 2nd pool B April 1: 9th/10th place play-off, 7th/8th place play-off, 5th/6th place play-off. April 2: 3rd/4th place play-off final.
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Chandigarh, MP win titles
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, March 17 — Chandigarh eves and Madhya Pradesh men clinched titles at the 14th Senior National Baseball Championship which concluded here today at Panjab University grounds. It was home advantage victory for the city women who outplayed Goa narrowly 23-22 while MP men with seven international players proved to be too good for Punjab overpowering them 13-3. The five-day meet was organised by a special organising committee made by the Amateur Baseball Federation of India.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, Dhindsa, Union sports minister, who was the chief guest, gave away the prizes. He also announced that baseball would get all possible assistance from the Department of Sports. He also said a new national sports policy was in the offing and will be formulated soon after taking the respective national sports federations into confidence.

Mr Ramakant, MP, who is also the President of the Goa State Baseball Association, disclosed that Goa will hold the next senior nationals.

The match between Chandigarh and Goa was fiercely contested which saw Goa women taking a 15-6 lead in the second round. The city women played well grabbing six scores to close at 14-15. Till end, it was see saw affair.

The home crowd finally cheered Chandigarh eves to a fine 23-22 victory.

Results:

Women (final): Chandigarh b Goa 23-22 (Chd-Nidhi 4, Sangeeta 5, Shammi 4, Navdeep 3, Sneh Lata 3, Nirmal 1, Mandeep 3, Goa —Prathana 4, Vidhya 3, Claudia 3, Concy 3, Vishanti 2, Vithi 2, Suprabha 1, Kavita 3)

Men (final): Madhya Pradesh b Punjab 13-3, Mp — Om Prakash 3, Vijay, Hemant, Rana & Gulshan—all one each, Rajesh & Nitin-two each, Punjab — Gurdeep, Jasmeet and Jaswinder-one each.
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2 meet records established

LUCKNOW, March 17 (UNI) — Two more new meet records were set at the Guru Govind Singh Sports College here on the concluding day of the 6th National Federation Cup Athletics Championship today.

Sunita Rani of Punjab, whose national as well as meet record was scrapped off yesterday on technical grounds, created another meet record in 10,000 metres women’s race while the second one was registered in the name of K. Jubeshwari Devi of West Bengal in hammer throw.

Gulab Chand of Uttar Pradesh did the state proud by lifting gold for his superb performance in 1500 and 5000 metres race during the championship. He was also declared the best athlete of the championship while Sunita Rani retained her best woman athlete of the championship award.

Sunita took 35:05.18 minutes for running the distance of 10000 metres which fetched her a gold leaving Shastri Devi (UP - 38:55.62) silver and Ranju (Dli - 40:54.62) bronze medals respectively far behind.

Another meet record was set by K. Jubeshwari Devi of West Bengal threw the hammer to 56.36 metres bettering her previous record of 55.62 metres in August ’99. Surender Jeet Singh of Punjab Police won the silver and Hardeep Kaur of Punjab lifted bronze.

Gulab Chand won the gold medal in 5000 metre race clocking 14:15.89 minutes. He took the lead at the early stage and maintained it till the end while his main challenger Bahadur Prasad, also from Uttar Pradesh, reached the finish line after 14.40 seconds. Bronze medallist N. Gojen Singh of BSF completed it in 14:41.20 minutes.

The 20 km walk for women was neck and neck between Jasmin Kaur (Pun) and Roni Bala Devi (Mah) while the bronze medallist was far behind. Jasmin reached home in 1:47.11 minutes and after 27 seconds Roni also touched the target. Roni bagged the silver medal. The bronze went to Ravina of Haryana (2:03.30).


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Easy victory for Davenport

INDIANA WELLS (California), March 17 (DPA) — Women’s second seed Lindsay Davenport crushed Russian teenager Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-1 to reach the final of the $ 4.95-million Tennis Masters Series last night.

Davenport, the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion maintained her near-perfect mark of only losing one set since Sydney in January. It was her 18th consecutive win.

The Californian needed just 24 minutes to sweep up the first set against the inexperienced Demantieva, who has grown up in the shadow of high-profile, contemporary Anna Kournikova.

Davenport broke to start the second set and finished her job on court in 47 quick minutes and 16 games.

“I’m really happy to be in the finals here again,’’ said the winner. “Last year I lost in the first round. I’ve been playing really well the last two months.’’

Davenport will await a winner from semifinal between top seed and hot rival Martina Hingis and Frenchwoman Mary Pierce.

Her only defeat this season came in early January in Sydney.

“This was her first really big match,’’ she said of the 59th-ranked Dementieva. “I’m sure she was nervous, but I’m sure she’ll continue to improve.’’


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Warne can snare 500 Test wickets: Waugh

SYDNEY, March 17 (AP) — Skipper Steve Waugh praised Shane Warne for becoming the nation’s all-time leading Test bowler when his 356th wicket propelled Australia to a 62-run win over New Zealand. But he wasted no time setting his vice-captain a new target.

Waugh said the leg-spinner could overhaul the world record of 434 wickets, held by India’s Kapil Dev, and go ahead to become the first bowler to snare 500 Test wickets.

“It’s up to (Warne) now, but he could take 500 test wickets if he has the motivation and he keeps up the fitness levels,” said Waugh after triumph at Eden Park.

After surpassing Dennis Lillee as Australian No 1 by claiming the wicket of tailender Paul Wiseman, Warne predicted he could keep playing another three or four years.

He’s now ranked No 9 in the international Test bowling standings behind Kapil Dev, New Zealander Sir Richard Hadlee, current West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh and Pakistan’s Wasim Akram.

Lillee, who took 355 wickets in 70 Tests between 1971-84, said Warne was “the best bowler I’ve seen.”

“He’s a long way from finished yet and I have no doubt he can become the first cricketer to crack the once unimaginable target of 500 victims,” he said.

“There is no sadness about seeing the benchmark change hands because it couldn’t have gone to a more worthy bloke,” Lillee wrote in a syndicated newspaper column.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor, a former teammate, said Warne had “changed the face of cricket the world over.”

“I believe his contribution to cricket is greater than any other player in the past 20 years,” he added.

It was an historic dismissal, triggering huge celebrations within the Australian team and throughout Australia.

The Australians matched a national record of eight successive Test wins set by Warwick Armstrong’s team of 1920-21 and registered their first win at Eden Park in 23 years.

The fact that Warne had struggled with his bowling and Wiseman - a No. 11 not renowned for his skill with the bat -gloved a simple catch to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist didn’t ruin the moment for the 30-year-old spinner.

“As I said before, I’d take the record any way,” he said. “On a long hop or a full bunger, any way.”

Warne, who made his debut by taking 1-50 against India in 1992, said a telephone call from Lillee had helped him refocus on his bowling.

“He said ‘just go out there and do it, mate, you deserve it’,” Warne said.

“He said he gets a lot of pleasure out of watching me bowl and, for me personally, I idolised him growing up as a kid and it’s great to be up there with him ... I feel very proud.”

The Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper described Warne as the “Wicket Wizard” in Thursday’s headline, plastering pictures of the golden-haired spinner on front and back pages.

Warne’s record made the front page of The Australian, the wide-circulation national newspaper. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph published a wall poster containing a picture of a jubilant Warne surrounded by the names of his 356 victims.

The celebrations also reverberated through the Australian Parliament.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard was among the first to send a fax of congratulations to Warne.

“The fact that you broke the record by taking the last wicket to clinch yet another fighting win for the Australian test team, would, no doubt, have made your great achievement all the more memorable,” Howard wrote.


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BSF, PSB in final

LUCKNOW, March 17 (UNI) — Holders Border Security Force (BSF), Jalandhar and Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB), Jalandhar will meet in the final of the 20th All-India K.D. Singh “Babu” Prize Money Invitation Hockey Tournament here tomorrow.

Both the semifinals were decided in sudden death of the tie breaker.

In the first match PSB defeated Indian Airlines, by 5-4. The match ended in a goal-less draw despite fifteen minutes extra time. In the tie breaker both the teams scored 4 goals each. In sudden death Parabhdeep Singh scored the winning goal while Altaf-ur-Rehman missed in the sudden death.

In the second match both the teams scored four goals each to make it 5-5. In sudden death S. Hezen and Sushil Kumar scored for BSF while Baljeet S. Bhullar scored for Punjab Police and Harpreet Singh wasted the hit to lose the match 6-7.
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Railways kabaddi from today
From Our Sports Reporter

JALANDHAR, March 17 — Top 12 outfits of the Railways, will vie for top honours in the men’s section of the 49th All-India Inter-Railways Kabaddi Championship starting at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Stadium on March 18. In the women’s section, seven teams of the Railways will participate.

Northern Railway, Delhi, has been grouped in pool-A, along with Eastern Railways, Calcutta, and Railway Board, New Delhi. The pool-B consists of ICF, Central Railway, Mumbai, and North-East Railway.

South-Central Railway, Secunderabad have been grouped in pool-C along with South-Eastern Railway and DCW. The pool-D consists of Southern Railway, Western Railway and W and AP, Bangalore. In the women’s section the participant teams are Eastern Railway. Calcutta, Central Railway, Mumbai, Southern Railway, North-East Railway, South-East Railway, Western Railway and South-Central Railway.

The championship will be inaugurated by Mr P.V. Vasudevan, Financial Commissioner, Railway Board, New Delhi, and the inaugural match will be played between Eastern Railway and Central Railway in the women’s section.
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Premiership race nears exciting end

LONDON, March 17 (AFP) — With just 10 matches left to play and games coming thick and fast, there is very little room for error as the Premiership soccer race draws to an exciting climax.

Manchester United, once again, find themselves in pole position on 61 points — four ahead of second-placed Leeds and 11 clear of both Liverpool and Chelsea, in third and fourth respectively.

Four of the top five teams are still in the hunt for European silverware, and these players will need to call upon all their reserves — both mental and physical — if they are not to end up empty-handed when the curtain falls on the 1999/2000 campaign.

United are in fine fettle. Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble winners served up their best display of the season on Wednesday night, recovering from going a goal down to Italian giants Fiorentina, to win 3-1 at Old Trafford and secure a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

Welsh wizardry — reminiscent of a young Sir Stanley Matthews in his heyday — was seen on the left wing in the shape of Ryan Giggs.

Fiorentina full-back Moreno Torricelli suffered a torturous evening — mostly in reverse gear — with Giggs running at the former Juventus stopper with pace and power at every opportunity. A bad omen for premiership defences.

Chelsea also join Europe’s elite after outclassing Dutch champions Feyenoord 3-1 in Rotterdam, with goal-shy strikers Gianfranco Zola and Tore Andre Flo finding the net once again after a barren spell.

United, the reigning champions, travel to League Cup final winners Leicester with only one defeat in their last eight visits to Filbert Street.

Leicester began life without striker Emile Heskey last Saturday against strugglers Wimbledon and the England international was sorely missed as Martin O’Neill’s men went down 1-2.

O’Neill has not spent a penny of the 11 million ($17.5 million) Liverpool paid Leicester for the burly forward and for now seems content to pair veteran Tony Cottee and misfit Stan Collymore in attack.

United are red-hot 4-5 favourites with British bookmakers Ladbrokes while the hosts are on offer at 3-1 to upset the title holders.

Leeds, who ran out convincing 3-0 winners over Czech side Slavia Prague in yesterday’s UEFA cup quarterfinal first leg match, should overcome Egil Olsen’s Wimbledon at Elland Road tomorrow.

The ‘crazy gang’ have notched just one victory away from Selhurst Park all season.

Leeds manager David O’Leary refuses to bow to public pressure and said he will continue to select midfielder Lee Bowyer, who ended a seven match scoring drought by netting against Slavia Prague, and central defender Jonathan Woodgate, despite both players being charged with grievous bodily harm yesterday over their alleged part in an attack on an Asian youth.

The Football Association (FA), however, have said Bowyer and Woodgate will not be considered for England duty — at senior or under-21 level — until the courts have dealt with the charges.

Liverpool have drawn their last three matches but with Michael Owen returning from injury in midweek, Gerard Houllier’s team are strong contenders for a Champions League place.

But should the Merseysiders be awarded a penalty, Owen is unlikely to take it.

The ‘pocket-rocket’ could have given Liverpool all three points on Wednesday, but he missed the spot-kick and Aston Villa left Anfield with a point in a 0-0 draw.

Chelsea travel to east London to face West Ham at Upton Park determined to ensure their domestic form does not suffer as a result of their European encounters.

Coach Gianluca Vialli is likely to rotate his squad to allow some of his battle-weary players a well-earned rest, but with a top-three slot at stake, the affable Italian cannot afford to leave too much quality on the bench.

Fifth-placed Arsenal, who like Leeds took a giant step towards the UEFA Cup semifinals with a 2-0 home win over Werder Bremen yesterday, host Spurs in the north London derby tomorrow, struggling to find consistency with a win, draw and a defeat in their last three games.

Spurs, meanwhile, have taken seven points out of their last nine and their improvement has been largely due to the form of Norwegian hitman Steffen Iversen and much-maligned striker Chris Armstrong.
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Tyson to fight Savarese

MILAN, March 17 (AFP) — Former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will meet fellow American Lou Savarese on May 20 in Milan, the Mediapartners agency told Italian news agency ANSA.

The fight will take place at midnight local time to allow for American television channels to transmit the fight with an extensive undercard probably featuring IBF super lightweight and WBO light heavyweight title fights.

It would represent another European venture for Tyson, who defeated Briton Julius Francis in a one-sided two round contest in Manchester, England in January after knocking his unheralded opponent to the canvas five times.

Tyson is something of a pariah in his homeland after serving prison terms for rape and a road rage offence and his notorious biting of the ears of Evander Holyfield during his second defeat at the hands of the Atlanta fighter. All the details of the bill will be revealed at a press conference in Milan today.

Tyson is targeting an eventual crack at the world title currently held by Britain’s Lennox Lewis.
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Narinder scores hat-trick

LUDHIANA, March 17 (FOSR) — Dr Khera team and Dr Sukhdev Singh team registered victories in the inaugurl Harpal Singh Memorial six-a-side league hockey tournament which began at the astro turf hockey stadium of the Punjab Agricultral University here today.

In the first match Dr Khera team outplaying Dr Khem Singh team 3-2 via sudden death. Sanjeev, Harinder and Yadwinder scored for the winners while Harpal Bhullar and Jatinder Pal struck for Dr Khem Singh team.

In the second encounter, Dr Sukhdev Singh team defeated Dr Kalkat team 3-2 in the stipulated time. For Dr Sukhdev Singh team, Narinder scored a hat-trick and Sukhdev and Subhjit scored one goal each for the losers.

Prize distribution function

AMRITSAR, March 17 (FOSR) — Guru Nanak Dev University will hold the 30th annual sports prize distribution function for 1999-2000 on March 27 at the university campus. About 200 outstanding players of the university will be honoured by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs.

Wrestling team

JALANDHAR, March 17 (FOSR) — A 10-member squad has been selected to represent Jalandhar in the Junior Punjab Wrestling Championship to be held at Anandpur Sahib from March 19 to 21.

Team: Santokh Singh (50 kg), Rajinder Singh (54 kg), Sarup Singh (58 kg), Bhupinder Thakur (63 kg), Gurbinder Singh (69 kg), Bhupinder Singh (76 kg), Parveen and Prembir (both 85 kg), Harinder Singh (97 kg), and Dilbagh Singh (above 97 kg).

The coaches and manager are Mr Bhajan Singh, Mr Gurbinder Singh Sangha and Mr Pawan Kumar, respectively.

Manjit football from April 2

PATIALA, March 17 (FOSR) — The second Manjit Memorial Football Tournament will be held at the local polo grounds from April 4 to 8, according to Mr Dalbir Singh Randhawa, secretary of the organising committee of the tournament.

The tournament, which will be played on a knock-out basis, will see some top teams of the country, including JCT, Phagwara, PSEB, BSF, Punjab Police, Ludhiana Police, RCF, Kapurthala, Hero’s Club, Ambala, and holders Manjit Sports, vying for top honours in the five-day tournament.

Mr Randhawa disclosed that on the concluding day some of the top footballer of the country will be honoured, prominent among them Inder Singh, Jarnail Singh, Gurdev Singh, all Arjuna Awardees, chief coach of the present Indian squad Sukhwinder Singh and former Indian captain Parminder Singh.
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