|Sunday, April 2, 2000,
Five-wicket haul by
not to play in Dhaka
Australia fight back
Indians get ready for
India win 4 gold in youth chess
Paes, Fazal to play singles:
Amanjot, Nandita in U-16 Asian
Serena may boycott South Carolina
CHENNAI, April 1 (PTI) Off-spinner Harbhajan Singhs five-wicket haul helped Punjab restrict Tamil Nadu to a total of 461 and the visitors were 127 for 2 in the second innings at close on the third day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here today.Start of play was delayed by 75 minutes this morning, but Harbhajan Singh quickly got his act together, claiming four victims in a row. In fact, he bowled on the trot from the pavilion end and had figures of 18-3-53-5.
Tamil Nadus T. Kumaran was the first to go, caught at square leg by Sarandeep Singh off Harbhajan Singh for 23 and then clean-bowled Mahesh for no score.
Harbhajans next victim was Tamil Nadu mainstay, Sriram, who tried to steer but was caught at point by Dinesh Mongia. Sriram made 165 (509 min, 278b, 20x4).
Rajat Bhatia offered some resistance, but fell prey to Harbhajan, snicking an easy catch to Vikram Rathore. He made 24. With this wicket, Harbhajan had claimed three wickets in the space of 15 balls for 9 runs.
Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma dimissed Reubal Paul, who was clean bowled for 32. Gokulakrishnan remained not out at 21.
In reply, Punjab openers, Reetinder Sodhi and Vikram Rathore were going strong but Sodhi who was more aggressive, was caught behind by Reuban Paul off Mahesh for 89 (10x4).
Rathore (37 and Pankaj Dharmani (0) were at the crease when stumps were drawn early due to bad light.
NEW DELHI, April 1 (PTI) Fast bowler Javagal Srinath is no longer keen on playing one-day cricket and coach Kapil Dev has said the player is likely to appear only in Tests in future.
Srinath, who has captured 252 wickets from 187 matches since making his one-day debut against Pakistan at Sharjah in 1991-92, indicated this during the just-ended Sharjah one-day cricket triseries, Kapil Dev told PTI here today.
He said the 30-year-old was too valuable and he will be used only in Tests to ensure his longevity in the game.
The indication given by the player was he was not too keen to play one-day cricket. I dont think he will play one-dayers in future. He is too important a player. In future he should be used only to play in Tests, he said.
Srinath has been rested from duty in one-dayers in the past also, but now could join the ranks of South African speedster Alan Donald as a purely Test bowler.
Blaming Indias never-ending series of fixtures for the teams continued poor performances, Kapil Dev called for stress on quality rather than quantity and a drastic cut in the teams commitments.
He wanted skipper Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble to reconsider their decision to play in the English counties and recharge their batteries by taking adequate rest.
The Indians were suffering due to overdose of cricket and not being physically as strong as the Australians or South Africans they were unable to take the load, he said.
So many matches are not going to help us in any way. Unless we reduce the quantity, we cannot improve the quality, he said on return from Sharjah.
Kapil Dev expressed serious concern over the teams plunging standards and lack of consistency in all departments of the game but said it was upto the cricket board to decide about reducing the number of engagements of the team.
The coach said he was against Ganguly, Dravid and Kumble signing up to play county cricket. I dont think it will help them in any way in terms of cricket, he said.
Kapil Dev said he had a frank discussion on the issue with the trio and made his views known to them. It would only burden them more though it might help them financially.
I feel after so much international cricket, they should not be playing county cricket. I also told them about my thinking. I didnt try to hide anything. So many Tests and one-dayers are being played. I dont think it will help them in any way in terms of cricket.
Maybe financially they may benefit, but that is a personal matter and I cant comment on that. But cricket-wise I would prefer they rest, he said.
Ganguly has signed up with Lancashire while Kumble, who had a highly successful stint with Northamptonshire in 1995, will turn out for Leicestershire and Rahul Dravid will play for Kent.
KANPUR, April 1 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh secured a vital 71-run first innings lead against Hyderabad and tightened their grip over the visitors in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match at the Green Park Stadium here today.
At close of the third days play, the visiting team were 72 for one in the second innings.
The hosts finished their first innings at 362 runs just before the tea break while Hyderabad had scored 291.
Opening the second innings after the tea break, Hyderabad batsmen Daniel Manohar and Nand Kishore played cautiously but debutant medium pacer Ratnesh Misra struck after 12 overs when he got Daniel Manohar caught out by Musi Raza at mid off with the team score reading 29.
Then Indian Test opener VVS Laxman took the guards and escorted the team to return to pavilion without further loss after adding unbeaten 43 runs for the second wicket. Laxman was batting on 20 and Nand Kishore on 35 runs when the bails were drawn for the day.
Resuming the innings from the overnight score of 206 runs for three, the hosts faced the first jolt in the third over when Mohammad Kaif fell victim to N.P. Singh without adding even a single run to his overnight score of 66 runs. In this way UP lost their fourth wicket at 213 runs.
Saurabh Shukla, who came to replace Kaif, played a few impressive strokes but could not stay at the crease for long and was caught by Riyaz Sheikh off a fine delivery from Vanka Pratap.
Meanwhile, host team
captain Gyanendra Pandey who once appeared stable at one
end went for quick runs but suddenly lost his
concentration and was clean bowled by Kanwaljit Singh
when the score board was reading 268 for six. During his
155 minute stay at the crease, Gyanendra faced 98
deliveries to score 47 runs with the help of seven
boundaries. The team went for lunch, adding 84 runs in
the overnight score during the two hours play.
KOPAVOGUR (Iceland), April 1 (PTI) Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand will look to recapture his formidable touch as he starts favourites along with worlds best player Garry Kasparov at the Iceland Rapid Chess Championship beginning here later tonight.
Anands disappointing run at Monte Carlo he failed to defend his rapid title has severely dented his reputation as the fastest chess player of the world.
However, its seems just a matter of time before the Indian maestro bounces back to silence his critics and this tournament offers a wonderful opportunity to him to re-establish his genius in the faster version of the game.
Apart from Anand and Kasparov, a likely title-clash here between whom has generated a lot of excitement in the chess circles, the 12-player field comprises Ivan Sokolov (Bosnia), 69-year-old Victor Korchnoi (Switzerland), Alezander Wojtkeiwicz (Poland), Jan Timman (Netherlands) and the top six GMs from Iceland.
Kasparov, who has had a mixed year so far tying for the first place in Linares but losing to Dutchman Jeroen Piket in the finals of the first Internet Chess Grand Prix will also try to reinforce his supremacy by winning this championship.
BRIDGETOWN, April 1 (AFP) Brian Lara will not appear in the limited-overs match between a World XI and an Asian XI in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday, April 9.
Nor is he giving any indication about when he will return to international cricket.
I think it all depends on how things work out, Lara told reporters in Barbados about his return to the West Indies for the series against Pakistan.
Lara is in Barbados participating in the three-day Pro-Am segment of the European Masters golf championship at the Royal Westmoreland course, where he shot a six-under-par 66 in the first two rounds.
Its a very ticklish situation. I am looking forward to getting back into the cricket in the best frame of mind, Lara said during a break in play at the golf championship which has attracted former West Indies greats Sir Garfield Sobers and Desmond Haynes along with former England footballer Gary Lineker.
Im off cricket at the present moment and enjoying my relaxation period. I have a bit of charity work to do in London and Im off to maybe New York afterwards.
When asked of his availability for Dhaka, Lara remarked that his correspondence would be handled by the West Indies Cricket Board.
Late Thursday, an official of the WICB reported they had received verbal confirmation from the double world record-holder that he would not be leading the World XI which includes a number of the games leading players.
HAMILTON, April 1 (AFP) Australia, in danger of being routed for their lowest ever score in New Zealand, roared back to take charge on the second day of the third and final cricket Test here today.
The Australians, bidding for their 10th straight Test victory, were teetering at 29 for five before two innings-saving partnerships centering around Damien Martyn eked out a 20-run innings lead.
Then Steve Waughs men applied the blowtorch late in the day to have the Kiwis on the back foot at 58 for three at stumps, effectively 38 for three, with three days play left.
At the close on a day where 306 runs were scored and 12 wickets fell, Craig Spearman was not out 29 with Nathan Astle one two.
Colin Miller was Australias hero in the Kiwi second innings with the wickets of Mathew Sinclair (24) and captain Stephen Fleming (2) along with his direct throw that ran out opener Matthew Horne for a duck.
But the Australians can thank the resolve of Martyn, who was stranded on his highest Test score as Australia counter-attacked aggressively to turn around a likely sizeable innings deficit into a small but pyschologically-important lead.
Australia fought back with a blistering 119-run sixth-wicket partnership in 91 minutes by Martyn and fellow West Australian Adam Gilchrist. Gilchrist crashed 16 fours in his rollicking 75 before he holed out to Horne off spinner Paul Wiseman. Martyn ran out of batting partners to remain unbeaten on 89 with Australia dismissed at tea for 252, a lead of 20 runs.
Martyn, who is in the Australian side for Ricky Ponting at home with an injured ankle, had hit his previous highest score of 78 in the second Test. Left-arm seamer Shayne OConnor finished with Test best figures of five for 51 off 15.5 overs and Chris Cairns took three for 80 off 22 overs.
It was a tremendous fightback by Australia, who were all at sea in the morning session as OConnor and Cairns dominated with lively movement off the pitch.
At one stage, Australia were staring at their lowest Test score in New Zealand of 103 in Auckland in 1985-86, before partnerships of 75 in 65 minutes between Martyn and Mark Waugh (28) and the century stand between Martyn and Gilchrist recovered the situation.
It was an outstanding morning for New Zealand bowlers with OConnor snaring the wickets of Michael Slater (2) and Shane Warne (10), both to dubious leg before wicket decisions given by Indian umpire A. Jayaprakash.
Cairns bowled Justin
Langer off his glove for four and got the priceless
wicket of captain Steve Waugh for three, edging to first
slip where Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming celebrated his
27th birthday with a great low two-handed catch.
get ready for revenge tie
NEW DELHI, April 1 With Leander Paes yet to arrive, the practice sessions of the Indian Davis Cup team have not gained proper momentum, though non-playing captain Ramesh Krishnan has been working hard with the boys to get them into top gear before the hosts take on South Korea in the Asian Zone Group I second round tie to be held at the R.K. Khanna stadium in Delhi from April 7 to 9.
Leander Paes, who went back to his base in Orlando in the USA for a weeks rest after losing his doubles match in the Masters Series in Miami last Sunday, will arrive in Delhi tonight, and will join the practice sessions from Sunday morning, at the grass courts of the National Sports Club of India (NSCI). However, Mahesh Bhupathi, recovering from a shoulder surgery, has decided not to travel to Delhi, even to watch the tie, as he had promised to Ramesh, as he wants to recuperate in New York.
According to information available with Ramesh, though Bhupathis right shoulder, which was operated upon by Dr Donald Rose, is stronger than before, and he has even started serving, he opted to skip the New Delhi trip, as his doctor wants to observe him for a few more days.
Though the absence of Bhupathi will weaken the Indian squad, Ramesh hopes to pull off a clean victory, as the tie is considered a revenge match, and Leander is determined to avenge the humiliation heaped on the Indians by the Koreans when the last time the two met at Chejus Island in South Korea, with India getting a 2-3 drubbing. But more than that defeat, what rankles the Indians most is the hiding the Koreans inflicted on India when they met at Bharuch in Gujarat a few years ago. Ramesh said Leander was all pumped up for the revenge tie, and though he would be joining the squad a bit late, he has been keeping himself match fit, after the Asian Zone Group I first round match against Lebanon at Lucknow early this year.
In the absence of Leander, Ramesh has been working hard on Prahlad Srinath, Syed Fazaluddin, Vishal Uppal, Saurav Panja and Vijay Kannan at the NSCI courts for the past five days. But Ramesh is careful enough to ensure that the players do not suffer burn out in the camp itself, before the actual competition begins.
Though Ramesh does not know much about the present set of Korean players, barring their coach Kim Bong-Soo, against whom he has played Davis Cup matches, he wants to leave nothing to chance. Ramesh is banking on the home conditions (like the grass court, weather, crowd support etc) and Leander to subdue the Koreans though he has a real headache to surmount, in finalising the doubles pair. He parried a question on the doubles pair, saying: We have time till Saturday to make up our mind, but the truth is that he does not have much of a choice here.
Assuming that Leander plays both in the singles and doubles, Ramesh still has to find a dependable partner for Leander to deliver the goods. Will it be Srinath or Fazaluddin? Fazaluddins performance against Lebanon left much to be desired, and his outing in the Futures Tournaments in Japan last month, also did not produce anything spectacular. Nevertheless, Ramesh is banking on the talented new national grass court champion to give solid support to Leander along with the experienced Srinath, to see India through to the World Group play-off. Ramesh says the immediate goal of his current assignment is to put India back into the World Group.
Mercifully, like India, the Koreans too do not have much flexibility as far as choosing their doubles combination is concerned as according to Ramesh, the Koreans will have to solely depend on their top two players Lee Hyung-Taik and Yoon Young II. With the Koreans slated to arrive only on April 3, their real potential will be known only after watching them in action. Ramesh too said as much,though he felt that considering the home conditions, and Leanders form, the hosts start as overwhelming favourites to sweep the tie. If India beat Korea, they will play in the World Group play-off tie, which is normally held in September, along with the semifinals. But this being the Olympic year, the tie may be preponed to July, felt Ramesh.
The only grass court at
the R.K. Khanna stadium is being readied for the contest,
though the Indian team will get a feel of the
court only next week. In the meanwhile, the NSCI have
thrown open their courts for the Davis Cup squad for
comfortable peaceful workouts.
TEHERAN, April 1 (PTI) Reigning Asian under-14 boys champion P. Harikrishna defended his title in style with a round to spare to lead Indias sweep of four gold medals while Tania Sachdev also kept herself in line for glory after the eighth round at the Asian Youth Chess championships here.
Former under 10 world champion Harikrishna, garnered 7 points establishing a clear lead in his age group while the 10-year-old child prodigies Abhinav Mekala and V.K. Sindhu, both on 7.5 points, also established unassailable leads despite drawing their eighth round games.
Abhijeet Gupta (7.5) outclassed Irans B. Abdi (4.5) in the ninth round this morning to engrave his name on the boys under-12 gold medal, the fourth yellow metal for India.
In a queens gambit
declined, Abhijeet, who solely led his age group going
into the final round and needed just a draw from the
game, beat Abdi in 28 moves. In the eighth round Abhijeet
downed another Iranian J. Maroofi (4.5) with black pience
in Sicilian defence.
MIAMI, April 1 (AFP) Second-ranked Pete Sampras and Brazils Gustavo Kuerten advanced to the Ericsson Open finals with triumphs here while world No 1 Andre Agassi struggled with an injured right leg.Sampras dumped rising Australian star Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 while Kuerten vanquished Agassi the US, Australian and French Open champion 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes to end a four-game skid against the American.
Its always nice to beat somebody who defeated you four times in a row, especially him, No 1 and perhaps the best player in the world, Kuerten said.
Try as he did, hurting Agassi was helpless against the swift South American.
I didnt stand a chance, Agassi said. You can hope for miracles, but I felt like there was nothing I could do that was going to make an impression on him. It was not a fun experience.
The injury leaves Agassi with a question mark for next weeks second-round Davis Cup tie between the US squad and the Czech Republic in Los Angeles.
I should be all right for that, Agassi said. It will probably take three or four days before I can really move a hundred per cent on it. Worst case, I may even have it taped when Im playing.
Kuerten, the 1997 French Open champion, captured the first set in only 22 minutes, twice breaking the American star. Between sets, Agassi had a bandage applied to his sore leg.
Agassi, who had 32 unforced errors in the match, offered a bit more resistance in the second set, but had trouble handling the speed of shots by Guga, notably second serves.
Kuerten captured his service break in the seventh game and went on to hold serve himself for a 5-3 edge. Agassi held but Kuerten won the final game without losing a point, concluding the match with his ninth ace of the day.
Agassis injury had its roots in a quarterfinal triumph over Britains Tim Henman.
I sprained my (ankle) ligament in the last game against Tim, Agassi said. The problem was that my leg was cramping, so I wasnt quite aware of the damage to the ligament.
Sampras needed one hour and 43 minutes to dispatch Hewitt after capturing the first set in 28 minutes
The first set and few games he was unbelievable, Hewitt said.
In the second set, Sampras surrendered two double-faults in the fourth and eighth games, losing the later to give Hewitt a 5-3 edge he converted into a second-set triumph.
I lost my game just for 10 minutes in the second set. You cant afford to do that against him, Sampras said. He has got a very good future in the game. Hes got all the intangibles to be a champion. Hes got the attitude, the game, the heart, he is very quick, one of the two or three fastest a round. He fights very hard. Seems to me hes going to get better and better the older he gets.
NEW DELHI, April 1 (UNI) Indian Davis Cup non-playing captain Ramesh Krishnan today said Leander Paes and Syed Fazaluddin would share the singles responsibility in the coming Davis Cup Asia-Oceana Zone second round tie against South Korea from April 7 to 9.
We would like to retain the same combination for the singles which had played Lebanon in Lucknow. However, a formal announcement can be made only by Wednesday Ramesh told UNI.
Paes and Fazaluddin had spearheaded the countrys challenge against Lebanon in February, which the hosts had won 3-2.
Fazaluddin won the national grasscourt champion last month when he defeated Vijay Kannan of Delhi in straight sets.
Asked about the doubles combination, Ramesh said it was still uncertain.
We have to decide about our doubles team as soon as Leander (Paes) arrives here. I have to see how he gels with others and choose the best possible combination.
Paes illustrious doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi is currently recovering in New York after a shoulder surgery. The Indian No 2, whose injury has dealt a severe blow to the countrys favourite status in doubles, is not expected even as a spectator for the New Delhi tie.
Apart from Paes and Fazaluddin, the Indian Davis Cup team members are Vishal Uppal and Prahlad Srinath with Vijay Kannan as the reserve.
India had lost to South Korea in the Davis Cup tie last year.
The Korean team is
spearheaded by Hyung-Taik Lee and Yong-Il Yoon who are
expected to share the singles and the doubles duty. Other
members are Hee-Sung Chung, Seung-Hoon Lee and Wong-Hong
Joo (non-playing captain).
NEW DELHI, April 1 (UNI) Chandigarhs Amanjot Singh and Tamil Nadus Nandita Chandrasekhar have been selected by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as members of its Asian under-16 team for playing tournaments in Europe from May 31 to July 9 .
The project is being financed by the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund.
The Asian team will be coached by Jacques Hervet,David Fontaine (France), and Kawaljeet Singh (India).
Schedule of the training
cum tournament for Indian players: June 1-4: training
camp, Turin (Italy); June 5: sporting international
tournament, Turin; June 12: Avvenire Memorial Tournament,
Milano, (Italy); June 19: Derby Cadets, France; June 26:
Le Pont Des Generations, France; July 3 to 8:
COLUMBIA, April 1 (AP) The father of reigning US Open tennis champion Serena Williams has said he is almost certain his daughter would honour a boycott of South Carolina and skip the Family Circle Cup tournament on the states Hilton Head Island in April.
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People has called for an economic boycott of the state as long as the Confederate flag, which it says is a symbol of slavery, flies over the Statehouse. Flag defenders say it represents Southern heritage.
Serena and I have had a discussion, and I believe that Serena is contemplating 100 per cent not playing in that tournament, Richard Williams said, adding that because she is 18 now, the ultimate decision is hers. Serena Williams, who is black, was not immediately available for comment.
Richard Williams said
his daughter, the first to commit to the $1 million
tournament, will take no further action to honour the
boycott, but he said he is thinking of participating in a
120-mile (193-kilometre) march from Charleston to
declared best lifter
The change in dates has
been made due to the ongoing Santosh Trophy National
Football Championship at Chelakudy (Thrissur). Several
prominent players who were supposed to play in the
tournament here are doing duty for their states in the
Santosh Trophy tournament.
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