Friday, October 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Indians need to click as a unit
Durban, October 25

Will they be ninth time lucky - that is the question confronting the Indians as they go into the final of the triangular one-day series here tomorrow against hosts South Africa. India have lost the last eight final matches they have featured in - a dubious record indeed. That jinx has returned to haunt the Indians as they seek to do away with the tag of chokers in tomorrow’s match.

Saurav Ganguly writes
We were determined to do well
T
HE win at Paarl was just what the doctor ordered for us ahead of the finals. We were really geared up for the game since the loss against Kenya last time round really hurt us. We were determined to put the record straight because we knew that an inferior side had defeated us. After winning the toss, we decided that it would be wise to preserve our wickets for the first five-six overs before playing our shots.

Deepak arrives to warm welcome
Patiala, October 25
The star of the junior World Cup-winning squad Deepak Thakur was given a tumultuous reception by Patialavis on his arrival here late yesterday night. Deepak was hugged by his beaming coach Mr Inderjit Singh Gill. Hailing from Una (HP), Deepak is a product of SAI Centre of Excellence being run at the NIS here.

Flowers key to Zimbabwe’s fortunes
Sharjah, October 25
Zimbabwe’s newly appointed skipper Brian Andrew Murphy said the wicket will favour batsmen rather than bowlers at the triangular one-day series starting here tomorrow. Murphy, who was offered the captaincy by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union on Tuesday after Heath Streak stepped down, said the strength of his team would be (Andy) Flower and his in-form brother Grant.



Muslim girls from Britain, waving the British flag
Muslim girls from Britain, waving the British flag, participate in the opening ceremony of the Third Muslim Women Games in Tehran on  Wednesday. The organizers say the games are aimed at promoting women's role while preserving their Islamic identity. 
— AP/PTI


EARLIER STORIES
 


Chinese national soccer coach Bora Milutinovic is surrounded by adoring Chinese children during a song and dance extravaganza in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on Wednesday to celebrate the team's first ever berth in the World Cup finals. A senior Chinese Football Association official said this week Milutinovic would "definitely" remain with China through next year's Cup finals. 


Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil returns the ball in his first round match against Frenchman Julien Boutter at the Swiss Indoors ATP tournament on Wednesday. Kuerten lost 6-7 (3-7), 2-6.
Reuter photos
 

Delhi boys defeat Punjab in sub-jr cricket
New Delhi, October 25

Off-spinner Naman Khanna, who ripped through the batting line-up claiming five wickets for 26, and a fine half century by Neeraj Bansal enabled Delhi defeat Punjab by 65 runs to win the 47th National School Sub-junior(U-14) Cricket Trophy here today.

Freeman to end break from athletics
Melbourne, October 25
Australia’s Olympic 400 metres champion Cathy Freeman will next week end a one-year break from athletics by starting her training for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, she said today. 

Vidyut likely to rejoin camp soon
Rohtak, October 25
Left-arm spinner S. Vidyut, who had opted to play for Haryana this year in Ranji Trophy and had left the prepatory camp being conducted here by Haryana Cricket Association midway for treatment of his groin injury, is likely to rejoin the Haryana team in the next couple of days, according to HCA secretary Ranbir Singh.

Seven records at inter-school meet
Badal, October 25
Seven new meet records were set in the All-India Kumar Surendra Singh Inter-School Shooting Championship which concluded here last evening. 

DAV school win kho-kho meet
Jalandhar, October 25
Police DAV Public School, Jalandhar Cantt, bagged both the boys and girls titles on the concluding day of the CBSE Clusters Kho-Kho Tournament held at PAP Campus here today.

Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga Colombo: Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga speaks to the media in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday. 
Ranatunga, who captained the national cricket team to victory in the 1996 World Cup, announced that he will be contesting the upcoming Parliamentary elections as a candidate for the ruling People's Alliance Party. 
The elections were made necessary after President Chandrika Kumaratunga lost Parliamentary majority. 
She dissolved the legislature on October 11, following nine government lawmakers defecting to Opposition ranks. AP/PTI

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Indians need to click as a unit


Reetinder Sodhi collides with Kenyan captain, Maurice Odumbe during their one-day cricket match in Paarl on Wednesday. — AP/PTI

Durban, October 25
Will they be ninth time lucky - that is the question confronting the Indians as they go into the final of the triangular one-day series here tomorrow against hosts South Africa.

India have lost the last eight final matches they have featured in - a dubious record indeed. That jinx has returned to haunt the Indians as they seek to do away with the tag of chokers in tomorrow’s match.

Their road to the final has been one of ups and downs, though the win that actually got them into the final was pretty emphatic - a 186-run routing of Kenya in the last league match last night at Paarl.

But more than their form and performance, it would be their nerves and the ability to leave the past behind that would really be the key to India’s fate in tomorrow’s game.

Ganguly reflected the mood of his team when he said they were in a position to win all the three games against South Africa in the league stage of the tournament.

“In all the three games against South Africa, we were in a position to win. We beat them at Centurion and then in the other two matches (at Wanderers and East London) we were in a position we could have won,” said Ganguly.

Almost all the vital players have looked in excellent touch in this tournament. Even though they had a 50-50 record in the six league matches, the Indians stood out for their individual brilliance. And now, more than ever before, they need to click as a unit.

India need to strike out a balance in their team. They have been trying too many things in this tournament, not with too much success. The idea of asking Rahul Dravid to keep wickets while keeping out the regular wicketkeeper so that an an extra specialist batsman can be included is very strange.

It proved to be harmless against Kenya but the same move can backfire severely and prove suicidal against a top-class side like South Africa. Wicket-keeping is a specialist job it is better that specialists do it. Hopefully, rookie stumper Deep Dasgupta would once again find himself behind the stumps tomorrow, even if that means a few runs less to the Indian total.

Dravid had a mixed game against Kenya yesterday when he effected two stumpings and a run-out but was also guilty of conceding 11 byes. His keeping, particularly against his state mate Anil Kumble, was not upto the scratch.

Though Ganguly didn’t commit himself on the continuation of Dravid as a wicketkeeper in the final, it is more or less certain Dravid would be providing the dual role on Friday.

As it is, even with the inclusion of the wicketkeeper, the Indian batting order is a formidable one. It defies logic why a batting order boasting the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman — and now Virendra Sehwag — needs extra cushioning.

Ganguly and Tendulkar are in top form, having scored two hundreds each and raised three century partnerships in the tournament so far. They are fresh from a world record opening wicket stand of 258 against Kenya yesterday. They would be required to play something similar tomorrow if India hope to score a big total.

Both Ganguly and Tendulkar have cleverly mixed caution with aggression. They haven’t gone after every ball, neither have they let a bad delivery go unpunished even if it came from a Shaun Pollock. In fact, India have had far better opening wicket stands against South Africa than against Kenya in this tournament.

That partnership would once again be vital. Either of the two, if not both, would have to try for another big hundred.

“It is good to score runs but then those games are past and in the next game you start again from zero,” said Ganguly.

However, the major problem lies after these two have batted. Except for yesterday’s game against Kenya, India’s record in the last 10 overs hasn’t been great.

That is one area the Indians need to improve considerably. Sehwag did an excellent job yesterday, smashing 55 off 23 balls, but he needs to be a bit more consistent and selective with his shots.

It would be interesting to see who comes out to bat at the crucial number three position. Both Laxman and Dravid can stay at the wicket for a long time and play a big innings but Laxman is probably capable of hitting the big ones more often than Dravid.

Yuvraj Singh and Reetinder Singh Sodhi haven’t exactly been able to justify the opportunities provided to them. They need to put a much higher price tag on their wickets. Tomorrow is a big game and a great opportunity to make an impression.

It remains to be seen how the batting performs at Kingsmead which has the reputation of being the fastest track in South Africa.

India have limited choices in the bowling department with Javagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh almost certain to play. A lot would depend on the initial overs by the medium-pacers. If they can keep a check on the scoring rate and also take one or two wickets, it would be an ideal scenario for Kumble and Harbhajan to weave their magic.

To a very large extent, Sehwag has solved Ganguly’s concerns of a fifth bowler and he again would have a crucial role to perform with the ball tomorrow.

There is no dearth of talent in the Indian side but, as said earlier, they need to click as a team against a formidable opposition like the South Africans who are enjoying a nice time in international cricket.

The hosts are an extremely formidable side with quite a few cricketers able to perform the dual role with the bat and ball.

Except for one loss against India, the South Africans have had a smooth ride to the final and clearly have been the best of the three teams on display.

“Our intensity has picked up quite a bit,” said Pollock. “It’s a big occasion and there is a motivation to do well.” South Africa had appeared in irresistable form in their last league game of the series against Kenya at Newlands where they amassed 354 for three on way to a record 208-run win.

Pollock was banking on his rediscovered fast bowler Mornantau Hayward who bowled with genuine speed against the Kenyans. “He bowled with good control and good speed (against Kenyans). He is an important part of our set-up. It is something we need.”

Pollock said he was expecting Hayward to provide the early lift for his side. “When a fast bowler is bowling quick and hitting the splice, and the deliveries are thudding into wicketkeeper’s gloves, it lifts the entire side up and get the guys started.”

But Ganguly, whose right index finger was bruised by Hayward in the tour opener against Nicky Oppenheimer’s XI early this month, said he wasn’t intimidated by the fast bowler. “We would see how it goes,” he said.

Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Justin Kemp are all capable of making a significant contribution with both bat and ball.

The side is well served by openers Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten, followed by the dash of Kallis and Neil McKenzie and the experience of Jonty Rhodes.

Kirsten, like Tendulkar and Ganguly, has hit two centuries in the competition and looked in terrific touch at Newlands the other day. McKenzie too with a century in that game, seems to have hit his straps.

South African fielding too has picked up remarkably over the last few matches and they effected three run-outs when they clashed last with India.

The hosts are also looking to Nicky Boje to deliver the goods and and skipper Pollock said the left-arm spinner could play tomorrow’s game.

“Whenever we have played at Durban in the recent past Boje has always been part of the team,” he said. “But we would rather wait and then decide on Boje.”

India could expect a huge support from the sold-out stands since the coastal town boasts of the largest number of expatriate Indians. PTI
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Saurav Ganguly writes
We were determined to do well

THE win at Paarl was just what the doctor ordered for us ahead of the finals. We were really geared up for the game since the loss against Kenya last time round really hurt us. We were determined to put the record straight because we knew that an inferior side had defeated us. After winning the toss, we decided that it would be wise to preserve our wickets for the first five-six overs before playing our shots. The wickets in South Africa are good for strokeplay since they are hard and bouncy, and the strip in Paarl was indeed a pleasure to bat on.

There are few pleasures in sport that can compare with that of bettering your own record. Sachin and I enjoyed that moment yesterday. It’s the hunger for runs that makes our partnership tick. We have now been playing with each other for five years, and know each other’s game thoroughly — that’s what that makes our partnership so special.

We also plan a lot in the middle and decide who will go after which bowler and who should go for his shots. I don’t think there has ever been any “healthy competition” as far as scoring and out-scoring each other is concerned. We know we need to contribute for the team, and the team’s interest is always paramount.

Yesterday’s game was important for Laxman since he got an opportunity to get a feel of the pitches in this part of the world. He was a bit jet-lagged, but since it was his first exposure to these conditions we played him in the team.

Coming to tomorrow’s all-important finals, there is a question mark over it since there have been heavy rains in Durban for the last three days. We just arrived here and puddles of water were visible on the roads. In fact, it’s raining even as I am writing. Talk of the reserve day coming into the picture has already cropped up, and the team management has asked whether we would prefer a day match or a day-night match, if the weather does not let up tomorrow. We have not yet decided since we are yet to see the ground.

The weather will have some bearing on the match, and some moisture in the air will help our seamers. While Kingsmead is known to assist pacers, we will play to our strengths by opting for two spinners. Both Harbhajan and Kumble have been having success against the South Africans and there is no need to upset our team composition.

I don’t think the batsmen will find conditions too different from Centurion, and the bounce and carry should be helpful for strokeplay if the batsmen play themselves in.

The team for the Tests was announced earlier this week. There are always dissenting opinions aired when a team is announced. However, Connor Williams was an automatic choice after his performance in the Irani Trophy, especially since Sadagoppan Ramesh was on the injury list. Williams has to be prepared for the conditions here and this is his big opportunity. It is great to see Virendra Sehwag in the team, and the way he batted yesterday was evidence of the confidence a Test call has instilled in him. His hurricane 50 proves that a player can only blossom if he is sure of his place in the side. It’s also a good chance for Samir Dighe to establish his place as a wicketkeeper. He did not have a good tour of Sri Lanka, but I believe he is a team man and an able performer. Gameplan
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Deepak arrives to warm welcome
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, October 25
The star of the junior World Cup-winning squad Deepak Thakur was given a tumultuous reception by Patialavis on his arrival here late yesterday night.

As Deepak disembarked at the railway station from the Inter-City Express, that reached 20 minutes behind schedule, there was not even an inch of empty space on the platform as tricolour-waving schoolchildren, officials of the district administration, coaches of the Punjab Sports Department and officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) jostled with each other in an attempt to embrace their hero.

Deepak was hugged by his beaming coach Mr Inderjit Singh Gill. Hailing from Una (HP), Deepak is a product of SAI Centre of Excellence being run at the NIS here.

The youngster said the players listened to their coach Rajinder Singh who was also receptive to their ideas. He agreed that the turning point was when Argentina got past Australia enabling Indian to make the last four grade. “ That was a big morale booster for us and from then onwards we maintained a very high confidence level,” quipped Deepak.

Recalling the semi-final match against Germany, the Sydney Olympian said: “We were a bit apprehensive against Germany which are a very good team. However, when we took a convincing 2-0 lead, we were asked by the team management to maintain it till the breather. We were in for a big surprise when the Germans fired in two goals before we ultimately managed to win by a 3-2 margin.”
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Kanwalpreet, Tejbir, Yuvraj promoted

Chandigarh, October 25
Junior hockey players Kanwalpreet Singh Chahal, Tejbir Singh and Yuvraj Singh, who had joined Punjab Police three months back as ASI have been promoted to the posts of Sub-Inspectors, according to Mr M.S. Bhullar, DGP, Punjab. All three players were part of the Indian team which lifted the World Cup at Hobart, Australia, on Sunday. India had defeated Argentina in a one-sided final by 6-1 to win the World Cup for the first time.
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Flowers key to Zimbabwe’s fortunes

Sharjah, October 25
Zimbabwe’s newly appointed skipper Brian Andrew Murphy said the wicket will favour batsmen rather than bowlers at the triangular one-day series starting here tomorrow.

Murphy, who was offered the captaincy by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union on Tuesday after Heath Streak stepped down, said the strength of his team would be (Andy) Flower and his in-form brother Grant.

Zimbabwe is determined to give a good show, after a recent 0:5 white-wash at the hands of England, when they open their account against Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Khaleej Times Trophy 2001 tomorrow. Pakistan is the third team in contention.

Murphy, who is a leg-spinner, said the Flower brothers would go up the order against Sri Lanka tomorrow. Alistair Campbell’s absence is, however, expected to weaken the batting, but Murphy is confident that the youngsters would deliver.

“Generally speaking the side is very strong and we are looking forward to putting up a good show,’’ the 24-year old skipper was quoted as saying in local newspapers.

Geoff Marsh, former Australian batting legend and Zimbabwe coach, said the players are a bit disappointed with their performances in the last couple of series against England and South Africa.

“With a good series in Sharjah we hope to move to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, where we will be engaged in a three-Test series and a triangular with the West Indies. We are looking for ward to the next three months.”

Marsh said the present combination in the team is quite impressive.

Murphy does not think that the matches will be going to be a two-horse race. “Conditions are certainly different here. It was a long flight from home but the team is in spirits and I do not think any of the other two teams can take us lightly,’’ said Murphy, who made his Test debut against the West Indies at Port of Spain in 1999-2000.

Marsh, the man widely seen as the architect of Australia’s rise to cricket’s superpower status, is confident that a good performance at Sharjah triangular against Pakistan and Sri Lanka will turn the things around for his team. “I am happy to coach Zimbabwe and I am sure a good performance here will bring back the combination and strengths of the team,’’ he said.

Team manager Mohammed Meman said, “We have a point to prove after a recent run of losses and bad form. Though we have got some quality opposition, the team is determined to perform well here.’’

There are no injury worries for us at the moment and we are here to play some positive cricket,’’ said Meman, who hails from Gujarat. UNI
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Delhi boys defeat Punjab in sub-jr cricket

New Delhi, October 25
Off-spinner Naman Khanna, who ripped through the batting line-up claiming five wickets for 26, and a fine half century by Neeraj Bansal enabled Delhi defeat Punjab by 65 runs to win the 47th National School Sub-junior(U-14) Cricket Trophy here today.

Batting first, Delhi scored 171 for eight in the allotted 40 overs. In reply Punjab were all out for 106 runs in 33.1 overs.

Openers Love Sehrawat and Tarun Sharma gave Delhi a good start, putting up 48 runs for the first wicket. Neeraj Bansal contributed 50 runs while Tarun Choudhary chipped in with 22 runs.

For Punjab Pavitar Singh, Anmol,Daman Veer Singh took two wickets each. Rajiv Sharma top scored for the loses with 35 runs.

Gujarat beat Haryana by 18 runs to claim the third place.

Love Sehrawat was declared the best batsman and Neeraj Bansal the best bowler of the tournament.

Scores:

Delhi 171 for 8 (Neeraj Bansal 50,Love Sehrawat 31)

Punjab 106 all out (Rajiv Sharma 36; Naman Khanna 5/26, Puneet Anand 3/16).

Gujarat 142 all out (Virat Vaghela 37, Ridhim Chopra 3/25) Haryana 124 all out (Parikshit 59; Mohini Kumar 5/17). UNI
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Freeman to end break from athletics

Melbourne, October 25
Australia’s Olympic 400 metres champion Cathy Freeman will next week end a one-year break from athletics by starting her training for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, she said today.

The 28-year-old became one of the world’s best-known athletes when she lit the flame at the opening ceremony for last year’s Sydney Olympics before going on to win the gold medal.

“I can’t neglect this opportunity,” Freeman was quoted as saying in The Age newspaper today.

“I’m very competitive and I back myself every time I am on the track.

“I want to train very hard; the spirit of my late sister (Anne-Marie, who had cerebral palsy and died in 1990) drives me every day.

“She died a few days after the Auckland Commonwealth Games and this is why so much sentiment is attached to these Games.”

Freeman said she was not particularly concerned about the threats posed by her main rivals for next year’s event, although she added Jamaican world silver medallist Lorraine Fenton was one to watch.

“I take a little bit of interest in the girls I’m running against,” Freeman said.

“But at the end of the day my toughest competitor is my time and what’s in my head ... my calmness, my balance and staying happy.”

Freeman said with the Commonwealth Games only nine months away, she was keen to continue to achieve in athletics.

“For the first 15 years in my life I was not interested in making much of myself,” Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal sportswoman said. “I was from that environment of not aspiring to a hell of a lot.” ReutersTop

 

Vidyut likely to rejoin camp soon
Our Sports Reporter

Rohtak, October 25
Left-arm spinner S. Vidyut, who had opted to play for Haryana this year in Ranji Trophy and had left the prepatory camp being conducted here by Haryana Cricket Association (HCA) midway for treatment of his groin injury, is likely to rejoin the Haryana team in the next couple of days, according to HCA secretary Ranbir Singh.

Meanwhile, the ongoing prepatory camp here gained momentum, with the coach, physiotherapist and physical trainer combining their efforts to implement a demanding daily schedule for the Haryana Ranji probables attending the camp which began on October 9 and will continue till October 29. Haryana are scheduled to play its first Ranji match in the North Zone league against Jammu and Kashmir at Rohtak on the Haryana Day.

The camp is running at two different venues — Rohtak Cricket Academy and Sat Priya Coaching Centre. The boys undertake physical training in the morning session at Sat Priya Coaching Centre under the watchful eyes of K.B. Dogra. His tough ways of training are being considered useful by Haryana cricketers attending the camp. The torrid physical fitness routine is also linked with the running between wickets practice and yoga exercises to enhance the level of concentration. The practice for catching and throwing is also undertaken in the morning session.

In the Rohtak Cricket Academy the afternoon session is denoted to nets. The coach Ashwani Kumar told The Tribune that after the day-long activities in the field, the physiotherapist Gaurav Arora imparts tips.

Mr Arora, a physiotherapist with the Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, revealed that cricketers are maintaining expected level of fitness.

The cricketers are also shown video tapes received from Australian Cricket Board through Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The Haryana team has undergone a major revamp this year. A crop of young cricketers has been inducted into the list of Ranji probables. Sumit Narwal, Ajay Sikka, Saurav Virmani, Joginder Sharma and Gaurav Vashishta are the new entrants. Some of the cricketers not named in the announced list of probables were seen at the nets. Batsmen Jitender Singh and Shafiq Khan, who appeared for Haryana in the Ranji Trophy previously off-spinner and middle order batsman Sohail Sharma, who represented Delhi in the junior cricket last year, were also present. On being asked about their unexpected presence at the nets Mr Mahendra clarified that they have been allowed to join the camp keeping in view the needs that may arise due to any unseen circumstances.
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Seven records at inter-school meet
Our Correspondent

Badal, October 25
Seven new meet records were set in the All-India Kumar Surendra Singh Inter-School Shooting Championship which concluded here last evening.

The over-all trophy in the girls section was bagged by Dashmesh Girls Senior Secondary School, Badal, while in the boys section the trophy was bagged by shooters from Bishop Cotton School, Shimla.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, who announced a cash award of Rs 25,000 each to the shooters who established or had equaled old meet records, during the competition. The National Rifle Association also announced a cash price of Rs 11,000 for each of these shooters.

The results: Peep sight air rifle (Boys): Sandeep Tarate 9, Ravi Kumar Tandon 2, Ganesh D.Gwali, 3.

Girls: Navdeep Kaur Dhillon 1, Navpreet 2, Chetan Preet Kaur 3.

Open sight air rifle (boys): Inderpreet Singh 1, Rahul Mehta 2, Jaswant Dass 3.

Girls: Neha Aggarwal 1, Pragyia Aggarwal 2, Mansi Ramindra 3.

Air Pistol (boys): Bhrigu Dutt 1, Mohhamd Aarif 2, Dilber Singh 3.

Girls: Neha Sharma 1, Ankita Chowdhary 2, Lakhvir Kaur 3.

Those who set new meet records were: Sandeep Tarate with 587 points in the peepsight air rifle (ISSF) championship, 10 metre junior boys, Navdeep Kaur Dhillon, 382 points, peepsight air rifle (ISSF) championship, 10 metre junior girls, Sandeep Rana 320 points, opensight air rifle (NR), 10 metre Sub-junior boys, Neha Aggarwal, 328 points, open sight air rifle (NR), 10 metre sub-junior girls, Shweta Chaudhary, 375 points, air pistol (ISSF), 10 metre junior girls, Bhrigu Dutt, 364 points, air pistol (NR) 10 metre junior boys, Amanpreet Singh, 376 points, air pistol (NR), 10 metre, sub-junior boys, Neha Sharma, 368 points, air pistol (NR) 10 metre, junior girls, Shefali Tomar, 361 points, air pistol (NR), 10 metre, sub-junior girls.
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DAV school win kho-kho meet
Our Sports Reporter

Jalandhar, October 25
Police DAV Public School, Jalandhar Cantt, bagged both the boys and girls titles on the concluding day of the CBSE Clusters Kho-Kho Tournament held at PAP Campus here today.

Police DAV Public School defeated DRV DAV Public School, Phillaur, by two points in the boys section while in the girls section they demolished Sant Ishar Singh Memorial Public School, Rara Sahib, by nine points. DAV girls secured 12 points in both the innings to win the trophy. Hasandeep Kaur and Gagandeep Singh, both of the DAV Police Public School, were adjudged the best players in the girls and boys sections, respectively.
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 SPORTS BRIEFS



Inspired by the grand success of the junior hockey team, the senior team is gearing up for the World Cup in February next. Dhanraj Pillay is seen practising at the national hockey camp in Jalandhar on Thursday. — PTI

‘NO SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR LARA’
KINGSTOWN:
Brian Lara is not being given special treatment in an attempt to get him to tour Sri Lanka, according to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Chairman of selectors Mike Findlay, dismissing media reports that Lara was being pampered, said: “Brian still has a future in the West Indies cricket and he can still make a significant contribution to the West Indies’ cricket. “Therefore, we, as selectors, try to explore all the possibilities for his participation,” he told Caribbean news agency CANA. “We are not bending backwards for him but if he had certain concerns, we try to work them out.” Lara has been named in the West Indies’ 16-man squad to tour Sri Lanka in November and December despite concerns that he has not fully recovered from a long-term hamstring injury. Reuters

TAEKWONDO TEAM
MUMBAI:
Shiv Kumar of Delhi in bantam weight and Mohammed Irfan of Karnataka (fin weight) are among the six-member Indian men’s team for the 15th World Taekwondo Championship to be held at Jeju in Korea from November 1 to 7. Other members of the men’s team are Surender Bhandari of Uttaranchal (fly weight) and three from CISF — Sanjeev Kumar (feather), Prabhan Saikia (Welter) and Sanjeev Kaushal (middle), a Taekwondo Association of Maharashtra (TAM) release said here on Thursday. Teams: Women: Krupali Borse, Saba Chanu, Priyanka and Ranibala Devi. PTI

GOLF TITLE FOR MISRA
NEW DELHI:
India’s Kesav Misra has won the Hong Kong Open Golf Amateur Championship defeating Eddie Lee of New Zealand by eight strokes. Misra’s compatriot Ashok Kumar finished third. According to information received here, Misra fired eight-under to create a new course record in the third round and followed it with a five-under in the final round for a total of eight-under-265. Lee ended with a total card of 273 the same as Ashok Kumar, but won the second spot on count-back. The other Indians who performed commendably were Shiv Kapur (6th), Jaideep Patwardhan (14th) and Amitya Chand (26th). In the team event, India finished second to New Zealand. PTI

CRICKET TRIALS
CHANDIGARH:
The trials to select Haryana team for the Vijay Merchant Trophy (under-16) will be conducted at Sat Priya Coaching Centre, Rohtak, on October 28. Mr Ranbir Singh, secretary, Haryana Cricket Association, said that players born on or after September 2, 1985, are eligible for the trials. TNS
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