Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

S P O R T S

Sloppy fielding helps England prosper
Ahmedabad, December 12
India missed several chances to help a batting resurgence by England who improved their performance by several notches to place themselves in a strong position in the second cricket Test here today.
India's Virendra Sehwag (B) assists bowler Harbhajan Singh (T) to stretch before he starts an over in the second day's play of the second Test against England at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

India’s decision ‘to hit Asian cricket hard’
Islamabad, December 12

The Asian Cricket Council will meet in Sharjah next month to decide on the relevance of its existence in the light of Indian Government’s decision not to play against Pakistan for political reasons, according to ACC Chairman Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia.



EARLIER STORIES
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
 

Lanka storm into final
Colombo, December 12
Sri Lanka booked themselves a berth in the final of the LG Abans triangular series after Zimbabwe were spun to a 59 run defeat here today. After claiming two wins and two useful bonus point Sri Lanka now have ten points, which guarantees their qualification even if they lose in Kandy at the weekend.

India beat defensive Japan
Kuala Lumpur, December 12
India beat an overly defensive Japan 3-0 to remain in the hunt for a place in the final of the Champions Challenge Hockey Tournament here today. Deepak Thakur (2) and Prabhjot Singh were the scorers as India took their tally to seven points. 
Fumihiro Matsui of Japan fights for the loose ball among the Indian players during the Champions Challenge hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. 
— Reuters photo

East Bengal overpower Punjab Police
Jalandhar, December 12
Defending champions East Bengal made a winning start in the sixth National Football League, overpowering debutants Punjab Police 3-1 in the inaugural tie at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here today.

Anand, Ivanchuk, split point
Moscow, December 12
Chess wizard Viswanathan Anand was one game away from entering his third successive world chess final today after a draw with Ukrainian grandmaster Vasily Ivanchuk in the third game.

Solitary goal win for Salgaocar
Margao, December 12
Salgaocar Sports Club Goa began their campaign in the sixty edition of the National Football League with a solitary goal win over F.C. Kochin at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda today.

Abhinav for European circuit
Chandigarh, December 12
Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra has been selected to represent India in the European shooting circuit 2002, starting in Luxemburg (RIAC Cup) from January 9, 2002. 

Mustafa upset by Vijay Kannan
New Delhi, December 12

Second seed Mustafa Ghouse’s victory run was halted by unseeded Vijay Kannan who toppled the Maharashtra player while top seed Rohan Bopanna knocked out Sunil Kumar as the men’s singles quarterfinal lineup was completed in the DSCL Open (National) Tennis Championship here today.

GND varsity lift hockey little
New Delhi, December 12

Despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Panjab University Chandigarh, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, won the S.G.T.B Khalsa College Golden Jubilee North-Zone Hockey Tournament here today.

Ajay Ratra is new Haryana skipper
Rohtak, December 12
One of the finest gloveman in the country — Ajay Ratra is Haryana’s new cricket captain.
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Sloppy fielding helps England prosper


A young India fan makes a victory sign during the second day's play of the second Test against England at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, on Wednesday. — Reuters photo

Ahmedabad, December 12
India missed several chances to help a batting resurgence by England who improved their performance by several notches to place themselves in a strong position in the second cricket Test here today.

Craig White survived the onslought of Anil Kumble, who finished with seven wickets, to score his maiden Test century and enable his team to reach a solid total of 407. Kumble, who had already completed a five-wicket haul yesterday, added two more to his kitty today to return figures of seven for 115.

By the end of the second day’s play, India had already lost both their openers while putting 71 runs on the board. Rahul Dravid (5) and Sachin Tendulkar (2) were batting with India trailing the England total by 336 runs.

It was a tale of missed opportunities for the Indians who could have dismissed White when he was on 44 early in the day. Instead, White went on to make 121, aided by some sloppy fielding by the Indians.

White held the England innings together after the visitors resumed at their overnight 277 for six, adding 105 runs for the seventh wicket with wicketkeeper James Foster, that was a new English record against India. He had useful little partnerships with Ashley Giles and Richard Dawson before being dismissed as the last wicket. He batted for 343 minutes and faced 265 balls, hitting 12 fours and two sixes off Harbhajan Singh.

Having allowed England to score more than 250 for the first time in the series, the Indians started cautiously. Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta batted for about one and a half hours, putting on 54 runs before both got out in quick succession.

Like the English batsmen before them, Das and Dasgupta too had a bit of luck going in their favour. Das was dropped by Mark Ramprakash at silly point when he was on 24 and the total 30. After hiting a classic square cut four off Dawson, Das was looking to work the next ball on the leg side but close the face of his bat a little too soon. The ball took the edge and went straight to Ramprakash who grassed the catch despite getting both hands to it.

In Dawson’s next over, Dasgupta missed an attempted sweep and the ball rose after hitting his gloves and armguard but fell short of Foster who dived full length besides the wicket in desperation.

However, neither of them allowed the pressure to disturb them and after being dropped Das played a beautiful on-drive in the same over that went past the ropes. He then square cut left-arm spinner Ashley Giles in the next over to pick up another boundary.

Dasgupta, who had scored his maiden century in the Mohali Test, was very slow initially but picked up later using the sweep shot to effective use. However, the same shot became his nemesis when he mistimed one off Giles and the edge went to leg slip where England captain Nasser Hussain was waiting for such an eventuality. Dasgupta made 17. PTI

SCOREBOARD

England (Ist innings):

Butcher c Dasgupta b Kumble 51

Trescothick c Dasgupta b Kumble 99

Hussain lbw b Kumble 1

Vaughan c Sehwag b Kumble 11

Ramprakash b Tendulkar 37

Flintoff c Laxman b Kumble 0

White b Harbhajan 121

Foster c Tendulkar b Kumble 40

Giles b Kumble 7

Dawson c Dasgupta b Srinath 9

Hoggard not out 4

Extras (b-6, lb-15, nb-5, w-1) 27

Total (all out, 144.3 overs) 407

FOW: 1-124, 2-144, 3-172, 4-176, 5-180, 6-239, 7-344, 8-360, 9-391

Bowling: Srinath 29-7-105-1, Yohannan 17-2-57-0, Harbhajan Singh 35.3-9-78-1, Kumble 51-13-115-7, Tendulkar 10-0-27-1, Sehwag 2-1-4-0.

India (Ist innings):

Das c Butcher b Flintoff 41

Dasgupta c Hussain b Giles 17

Dravid batting 5

Tendulkar batting 2

Extras (b-5, lb-1) 6

Total (for 2 wkts, 36 overs) 71

FOW: 1-54, 2-64.

Bowling: Hoggard 7-2-10-0, Flintoff 9-4-11-1, Giles15-6-22-1, Dawson 4-0-21-0, White 1-0-1-0.
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Our target was 350 runs: White

Ahmedabad, December 12
“It is an absolutely fantastic feeling to make a Test hundred and it has not yet sunk in,’’ said Craig White, who scored a stupendous ton on the second day of the second Test between India and England here today.

White said: “In the morning our target was 350 runs, but to get 400 runs is a great position to be in.’’

“Getting two Indian wickets by close is a boon and it will be interesting to see how they play under pressure,’’ White said adding there is a bit of turn in the wicket and in a couple of days there should be decent turn. “But we will have to bowl tight and put more pressure on the Indians.’’

About Foster’s contribution, White said that his mental attitude to batting was fantastic.

White also said that he knew about this being his lucky day as the Indians floored three catches of him. UNI
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India’s decision ‘to hit Asian cricket hard’

Islamabad, December 12
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will meet in Sharjah next month to decide on the relevance of its existence in the light of Indian Government’s decision not to play against Pakistan for political reasons, according to ACC Chairman Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia.

The Indian Government’s decision not to permit its team to play against its neighbour has affected Asian cricket seriously, said Zia, who is also President of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in an interview to PTI here.

He said it now appeared that India had decided not to play in the proposed triangular tournament with Pakistan in Bangladesh next month, citing security reasons.

“I do not buy it. India has to decide what it wants to do. You cannot stretch other nations to their limits. What if some other countries decide tomorrow that they will never play (against) India for political reasons, where are you? or in retaliation, they may say we are not going to play India any more, so what happens? Who is going to suffer?” he asked.

Pakistan visit Bangladesh next month to play two Tests and a triangular tournament also featuring India. Starved of funds, Bangladesh Cricket Board was keen on organising the series.

Zia said the proposed ACC meet has been primarily called to discuss and decide the relevance of the ACC as a body in view of India consistently avoiding playing Pakistan.

“Asian cricket can not flourish if the countries can not act together. Particularly, when India not playing Pakistan, it is not healthy for Asian Cricket, nor Indian or Pakistan cricket,” he said.

Zia said the two countries were not able to play even though the two cricket boards enjoyed the best of relations. In this regard, he referred to his full support to the BCCI in its recent stand off against the ICC over match referee Mike Denness’ rulings against six Indian players in one go.

Zia said the India-Pak differences were cleverly exploited by the interested parties in the ICC. “We are not playing. But the rest of the world would enjoy this. Together we are much stronger. We can rise to be the much stronger. But if we have two opinions in one house the other guys naturally take advantage and the Indian decision not to play Pakistan has affected Asian cricket seriously”.

Interestingly, it is BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya who has been asked by the ACC to come out with a firm structure of rules to decide on countries in the region which go back on their commitments and decline to play against other member-countries.

“So, he has to come up with proposals. That is the reason we are going to have an extended meeting of the ACC because we wanted to decide once for all. Let us finalise it,” he said adding that the ACC last year extended his tenure as its Chairman only to finalise the rules.

“ACC will decide about entire organisational structure specially the development plan. We will decide whether we are going to play each other or not. If we are not playing then let us not talk about Asian (Test) Championship and Asia Cup (one-dayers) and make farce of it. Why spend money on it?” he asked.

He said the ICC had indirectly been questioning the ACC about the India-Pak differences as Asian body was formed after the member-states forced the world body to part with 50 per cent of its funds to develop cricket in the region. As a result the ACC has got $6.5 million to embark on a plan to develop cricket in Asia.

“You make so much plan to raise funds and in the end we do not play each other. The ICC has started questioning. ‘The two of you threatened and got 50 per cent of the funds and you are not even utilising it,’ they said in a round about manner they want to get the money back if we are not playing,” the PCB chief said.

He said due to the Indian decision to pull out of the Asian Test championship match at the last minute, the PCB lost $7 million. The PCB was also forced to cancel a four-nation tournament involving India-Pakistan-West Indies and Zimbabwe early next year even though the BCCI earlier agreed to jointly host it. PTI
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Lanka storm into final

Colombo, December 12
Sri Lanka booked themselves a berth in the final of the LG Abans triangular series after Zimbabwe were spun to a 59 run defeat here today. After claiming two wins and two useful bonus point Sri Lanka now have ten points, which guarantees their qualification even if they lose in Kandy at the weekend.

Lanka won with some ease after a robust performance from their batsmen that saw them post a challenging 273 target, and a controlled effort from their medley of spinners, five of whom were employed on a wearing re-used surface.

The highest total successfully chased at Premadasa in its 47 game history is only 243 and Zimbabwe never looked likely winners, even after a spirited opening stand between Grant Flower and Dion Ebrahim. Ebrahim followed two consecutive golden ducks with an attractive 32 and Grant Flower scored an industrious 45 as the pair added 69 for the first wicket.

But the introduction of Muttiah Muralitharan in the 14th over of the innings swung the game towards Sri Lanka: Ebrahim was bowled third ball as he tried to hot-step down the wicket and Flower was controversially caught at slip (off his thigh) to leave Zimbabwe facing a steadily rising run rate in the middle overs.

SCOREBOARD

Sri Lanka

Jayasuriya c A Flower b Streak 0

Gunawardana c Carlisle b Streak 90

Atapattu c Olonga b Friend 4

Jayawardene lbw b Olonga 96

Arnold not out 34

Chandana b Friend 8

Sangakkara run out 1

Vaas c Marillier b Streak 15

Zoysa not out 2

Extras: (b-1 lb-10 nb-2 w-9) 22

Total: (for 7 wickets, 50 overs) 272

FoW: 1-0 2-25 3-191 4-215 5-230 6-231 7-258

Bowling: Streak 10-1-51-3, Friend 10-0-58-2, Olonga 10-0-44-1, Marillier 10-0-46-0, Nkala 2-0-17-0, G. Flower 8-0-45-0.

Zimbabwe

Ebrahim b Murali 32

G. Flower c Jayawardene b Murali 45

Carlisle c Chandana b Arnold 39

Flower lbw b Jayasuriya 11

Wishart c & b Arnold 14

Marillier c Zoysa b Chandana 20

Streak st Sangakkara b Murali 24

Taibu c Jayawardene b Murali 0

Nkala b Dharmasena 15

Friend st Sangakkara b Chandana 1

Olonga not out 1

Extras (b-1 lb-2 w-6 nb-2) 11

Total (47.2 overs) 213

FoW: 1-69, 2-88, 3-103, 4-145, 5-159, 6-189, 7-189, 8-203, 9-211

Bowling: Vaas 7-0-26-0, Zoysa 4-0-24-0, Dharmasena 8-0-35-1, Muralitharan 10-0-32-4, Jayasuriya 8-0-40-1, Chandana 8.2-0-41-2 , Arnold 2-0-12-2. AgenciesTop

 

India beat defensive Japan

Kuala Lumpur, December 12
India beat an overly defensive Japan 3-0 to remain in the hunt for a place in the final of the Champions Challenge Hockey Tournament here today.

Deepak Thakur (2) and Prabhjot Singh were the scorers as India took their tally to seven points. They now have to beat Argentina tomorrow to remain in the hunt for a place in the final.

Four teams — India, Malaysia, South Africa and Argentina -are still in the race to enter the final. It could go down to goal-difference and that is where India enjoy an advantage getting three goals against Japan. Happy with the team’s performance coach Cedric D’Souza said he was confident that India would beat Argentina tomorrow and reach the final.

“The first half was a bit scrappy but in the second half the boys came together and played a good game,” Cedric said.

Japan knew their chances were on counter-attacks and they defended with eight men keeping two upfront for the break. India tried their best to breach the Japanese wall but failed as Baljit Dhillon, Dhanraj Pillay, Gagan Ajit Singh and Deepak Thakur were thwarted by the Japanese.

India earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute but Jugraj’s strike was disallowed citing that ball wasn’t stopped cleanly on the push.

India got the lead in the 35th minute off the second penalty corner. Dhillon passed to Deepak, whose shot ballooned into the goal.

India were again in for a shock as umpire Antonio Bustos first signaled for another penalty corner but then saw the ball going in and allowed the goal much to their relief. At the break, India led 1-0.

Immediately on resumption, Arjun Halappa had a clear look at the goal but his shot was well saved by Japanese goalkeeper Jun Takahashi.

Three minutes later, India had another golden chance when Halappa’s cross was right on target, but both Dhanraj and Prabhjot failed to connect.

But in the 41st minute, Dhanraj and Prabhjot made up for the earlier mistake by scoring India’s second goal. From the midfield, Sukh scooped the ball for Dhanraj, who raced into the circle and sent a superb pass to Prabhjot Singh, who made no mistake.

Japan fought back towards the middle of the second half forcing two penalty corners but both were wasted with wayward attempts.

Following the break, after the second penalty corner, Baljit Dhillon sprinted all the way but his rasping shot on the run from inside the circle was well-saved by the goalkeeper.

With around five minutes left for the hooter, India opened up from the defence, sending long scoops to the forwards.

One such effort by Lazarus Barla found Deepak Thakur who raced in with Dhanraj overlapping. Thakur let off a firm drive which was deflected in by defender Atsushi Takehara who came to clear the danger. PTI
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East Bengal overpower Punjab Police
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 12
Defending champions East Bengal made a winning start in the sixth National Football League, overpowering debutants Punjab Police 3-1 in the inaugural tie at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here today.

The two teams were level 1-1 at the lemon break. Although Punjab Police provided the initial shock by forging ahead in the second minute through Parveen Kumar’s fine attempt after striker Sher Singh had done the spadework with a measured cross from the right corner, it seemed as if it was only a question of delaying the inevitable.

Boasting of a formidable line-up, which included several internationals, including IM Vijayan, Dipak Mondal, Bijen Singh, and Dipendu Biswas, besides foreign recruits like Suley Musah, Jackson, Isiaka Aowemy and Omolaja Olalekan, East Bengal’s territorial superiority was seldom in doubt. While the defence was effectively controlled by right back Suley Musah, left stopper Jackson and right stopper Dipak Mondal, international IM Vijayan, who switched over to East Bengal this season from FC Kochin, was outstanding in the midfield. Omolaja Olalekan, the highest scorer in the NFL last year, spearheaded the attack, ably assisted by Dipankar Roy and Bijen Singh, and in fact Dipankar had a role in two of the goals.

Punjab Police, who made their debut in the NFL after finishing runners-up in the second division, also made some close calls but ultimately surrendered to the Kolkata giants, who maintained their calm despite the setback early on.

The spectators had hardly settled in when a move on the right flank by Sher Singh of Punjab Police culminated in a stunning goal. Sher Singh’s cross parallel to the goal-line caught the East Bengal defence off-guard and Parveen Kumar standing close to the goal tapped the ball in, providing Punjab Police an early breakthrough (1-0).

However, East Bengal hardly betrayed signs of nervousness and the equaliser followed in the 20th minute when a Vijayan cross was followed up by Suley Musah’s powerful header and the ball sailed in, as Punjab Police custodian Satish Kumar lay sprawled on the ground with a head injury (1-1).

Punjab Police missed a good chance when a cross by wing back Kuldip went abegging as Parveen failed to tap the ball into the net. Another golden chance came the hosts’ way soon after when a pass by Gurpreet was wasted by Sher Singh, who shot past the far post with an open goal in front of him.

East Bengal also had a close miss, when deep defender Suley Musah’s curling right footer from 30 yards sailed over the bar. In the second half, the Punjab Police custodian added to the Kolkata outfit’s frustrations by making an excellent acrobatic save off a power-packed shot by Omolaja Olalekan. The Punjab cops also had a good chance midway through the second half when Parveen Kumar managed to get past the defence following a faulty header by a rival defender but with only the goalkeeper to beat, he failed to do the needful.

The second goal for East Bengal was the result of a move by Isiaka Aowemy, who played for Tollygunge Agragami sometime back. Isiaka’s powerful shot from top of the box was parried over by the goalkeeper at the cost of a corner and off Dipankar Roy’s flag kick, Suley Musah headed home (2-1). This followed after an unsuccessful attempt by Dipak Mondal, who missed an open goal a few minutes earlier. With hardly a few minutes remaining for the long whistle, East Bengal compounded the hosts’ misery following another flag kick by Dipankar Roy, who earlier played for JCT. International IM Vijayan’s glancing header caught the far corner of the net giving coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya’s team full points in the opening encounter.

Tomorrow, winners of the inaugural edition JCT Phagwara will take on Goa’s Churchill Brothers at Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Stadium. The kick-off is at 2 pm. 
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Anand, Ivanchuk, split point

Moscow, December 12
Chess wizard Viswanathan Anand was one game away from entering his third successive world chess final today after a draw with Ukrainian grandmaster Vasily Ivanchuk in the third game.

The Indian star, who turned 32 today, went back to his room to spend a quiet birthday on the conclusion of the third game of the semifinal of the FIDE World Chess Championships at the Kremlin Hall.

NIIT-sponsored Anand is tied 1.5-1.5 after three games in the semifinals.

Anand has qualified for the final of each of the three world championships he has played. In 1998-99 he lost the title match to Anatoly Karpov, who got a direct bye into the final, while Anand came through six rounds.

In 1999-2000 Anand skipped the meet in Las Vegas, when Alexander Khalifman won the title.

In 2000-2001 Anand emerged victorious beating Alexei Shirov in the title clash in Teheran, Iran. The preliminaries till semifinals were held in New Delhi.

Tomorrow is the final rest day for the players. On Thursday they return to the Kremlin Hall for the fourth and final game. If the scores are tied, they will come once more on Friday for the tie-breakers which will decide the men’s finalists and the women’s world champion.

Anand had an initial hiccup when he lost a game in the very first round. The passage into the semifinals has not been as smooth as last year in New Delhi.

Though the wizard was taken into the tie-breaker thrice-in the first, third and fourth rounds - he was not really been in any danger.

In the last two rounds, Anand has tried the Rubinstein variation with black in each of his last three games. The results have all been draws, but Anand is clearly working on a novelty to get his way around and get some advantage in the line even with dark pieces.

Russian grandmaster Peter Svidler is fighting a losing battle against Ukrainian Ruslan Ponmariov. The 18-year-old Ponmariov is attempting to remove Gary Kasparov’s name from the record books as the youngest world champion.

Ponmariov won the third game in an outstanding fashion after drawing the first two. He needs only a draw to complete the win and get ready to challenge for the title next month in Moscow from January 16.

The final will be an eight-game affair and the winner will get US $ 500,000 minus 20 per cent which goes to FIDE, the world’s governing body for chess.

In the women’s final, China’s Zhu Chen is a draw away from ensuring the title stays in China. UNI
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Solitary goal win for Salgaocar

Margao, December 12
Salgaocar Sports Club Goa began their campaign in the sixty edition of the National Football League with a solitary goal win over F.C. Kochin at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda today.

The all-important goal for Salgaocar came in the 47th minute through Nigerian striker Glader Zaire, who collected a fine cross from Bello Rasaq from the left flank and shot between the legs of Kochin goalkeeper Ali Abubakar for 1-0.

Salgaocar could have won by a much bigger margin had they utilised the chances before them, specially in the second half.

Salgaocar came near to scoring in the 10th minute through Alvito D’ Cunha, whose powerful shot sailed over the bar. In the 31st minute, Kochin’s E. Muhammed came with a dangerous move and cross to striker Josiah Seton, but his weak shot was wasted. UNI
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Abhinav for European circuit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra has been selected to represent India in the European shooting circuit 2002, starting in Luxemburg (RIAC Cup) from January 9, 2002. Then the circuit will move to Munich. Mompetitions will also be held at Den Haag (The Hague, Netherlands) and finally Denmark for the Baltic Cup.

Abhinav was declared the overall circuit champion for the year 2001 when he had won a historical six gold , four silver and two bronze medals and had also lifted the Den Haag Cup , RIAC Cup and the Nissan Cup 2001. The rest of the Indian team will also join the circuit from January 23, 2002.

Abhinav Bindra has returned after a successful intense training programme spread over 45 days, with the world-renowned coaches Uwe Riesterer, Gaby Buhimann and Heinz Reunkemeier.

Abhinav has also been selected as member of the all-German shooting league “Bundesliga”. This is the highest league where five shooters from each club form a shooting team and compete with other league clubs.

The standard and toughness of the competition is of Olympic standard and each club is entitled to field one foreign team member for pitching in a better results of the team. 
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Mustafa upset by Vijay Kannan

New Delhi, December 12
Second seed Mustafa Ghouse’s victory run was halted by unseeded Vijay Kannan who toppled the Maharashtra player while top seed Rohan Bopanna knocked out Sunil Kumar as the men’s singles quarterfinal lineup was completed in the DSCL Open (National) Tennis Championship here today.

In the women section, top four seeds made it to the last eight grade. Second seed Rohan Gajjar (Maharashtra) also failed to make it to the last eight in the boys U-18 singles event.

Tamil Nadu’s Vijay Kannan overcame a tough resistance from Ghouse before emerging winner 7-5, 6-4. Maharashtra’s Rohan Boppanna conceded five points before ousting Sunil Kumar (Chandigarh) 6-2, 6-3.

Other unseeded player making it to the quarters was Andhra’s Vishal Punna, who overcame first set deficit to account for Kedar Tembe (Mah) 5-7. 6-4, 6-1.

Third seed Nitin Kartane (Mah) routed (Akshay Vishal Rao (Dli) 6-0, 6-2, while fourth seed Vinod Sridhar (TN) made a short work of Anant Sitaram (AP) 6-3, 6-1.

The first four seeded women who made to the quarters are top seed Rushmi Chakravarthi, second seed Radhika Iulpule (Mah), third seed Sonal Phadke (Mah) and fourth seed Sheethal Goutham (Kar).

Rushmi trounced Nandini Permula (AP) 6-0, 6-3, Radhika (Mah) outlasted Lata Assudani (Mah) 6-3, 6-2. Sonal overpowered Ankita Bhambari (Dli) 6-2, 6-4 and Sheetal defeated Samrita Sekar (TN) 6-4, 6-3. UNI
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GND varsity lift hockey little

New Delhi, December 12
Despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Panjab University Chandigarh, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, won the S.G.T.B Khalsa College Golden Jubilee North-Zone Hockey Tournament here today.

The title came to the university as they topped the round-robin tournament with five points, Panjab University finished runners- up with four points.

Delhi edged out Punjabi University , Patiala 1-0 to take the third place.

All four teams have qualified for the All-India Inter University Championship to be hosted by Jiwaji University.

GND University took the lead in the 16th minute when Sarabjeet scored off a penalty corner. The Amritsar team earned two more penalty corners in the first half but failed to convert them.

Eight minutes into the second session Panjab University equalised through Maninder Singh (1-1).

In the second match, Delhi University dominated the proceedings in the first half but failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way.

Midway through the second half, skipper Prabhakar scored the all- important goal for Delhi.

Last year’s all-India winners Meerut and runners up Jamia Millia failed to qualify this year. UNI 
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Ajay Ratra is new Haryana skipper
Our Sports Reporter

Rohtak, December 12
One of the finest gloveman in the country — Ajay Ratra is Haryana’s new cricket captain. Ratra who also led the Indian colts against England last year will be the skipper of the state team in the forthcoming North Zone Ranji Trophy one day tournament to be held at different venues in Punjab from December 15 onwards. His appointment was confirmed by the Honorary Secretary of the Haryana Cricket Association, Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra, while talking to The Tribune on phone from Bhiwani.

In the Ranji Trophy league concluded recently, Ratra performed well on either side of the stumps. In seven innings he scored 244 runs with an average of 40.66 besides effecting four stumpings and taking eight catches. Ratra replaces Parinder Sharma who has been leading the state team for a couple of years now.

Mr Mahendra also disclosed the names of 14 cricketers who will represent Haryana in the Ranji one-dayers this season. The list does not include the names of Ishan Ganda and S. Vidut. A few new faces have been inducted. Lift-arm leg-spinner, Sonu Sharma, who is considered as a one-day specialist for Haryana and had lost his place to Tamil Nadu’s S. Vidhut, stages a comeback.

New captain and induction of new players look like result of the Haryana team’s dismal performance in the Ranji league phase and it’s failure to qualify for the knock-out stage this season.

The team: Ajay Ratra (Captain), Jitender Singh, Chetan Sharma, Shafiq Khan, Parinder Sharma, Sumit Narwal, Sunny, Gaurav Vashishta, Saurabh Virmani. Amit Mishra, Satish Ohlan, Sonu Sharma, Sandeep Kharab and Ashwani Katyal. Coach cum manager: Ashwani Kumar.
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 SPORTS BRIEFS

RAFTER TO MISS AUSTRALIAN OPEN
SYDNEY:
Pat Rafter’s break from tennis was made official on Wednesday when he was the only man in the ATP’s top 100 not confirmed for January’s Australian Open. The two-time US Open winner is taking an indefinite break from the sport while he recovers from a persistent shoulder injury which caused him to miss the deciding match of the Davis Cup final earlier in December. Rafter watched from the sidelines as last minute replacement Wayne Arthurs lost to Nicolas Escude in four sets. Rafter’s former Davis Cup team-mate Mark Philippoussis, who is returning from a knee injury, is a confirmed starter for the January 14 to 27 event in Melbourne. Reuters

WILDCARD FOR PETE
ADELAIDE:
Former world No1 Pete Sampras and Mark Philippoussis were confirmed as starters for the Australian Hardcourt Tennis Championships on Wednesday. Tournament Director Colin Stubs said Sampras, ranked 10th in the world, would play the event, which starts on new year’s eve, for the first time after accepting a wildcard entry. Former US Open finalist Philippoussis will also be given a wildcard entry to the tournament, Stubs said. But world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt has decided to skip his home town tournament, while defending champion Tommy Haas of Germany is also yet to decide whether to accept a wildcard. Sampras, who did not win a tournament this year to drop to his lowest ranking since 1989, last week took on a new coach, former US Davis Cup coach Tom Gullikson. AFP

NTINI’S SELECTION
ADELAIDE:
South African paceman Makhaya Ntini said on Wednesday he was unconcerned about the politics surrounding his likely selection for the first Test against Australia starting Friday. Team selectors are under political pressure to choose Ntini — the first black cricketer to play for South Africa — for the series opener here. Since the demise of apartheid, South African Government policy dictates at least one nonwhite player be selected in the national side. While opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs has been deemed of mixed race and therefore fulfills the requirement, the South Africans have conceded leaving Ntini out of the first Test would anger country’s Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour. But the 24-year-old fast bowler said he pays little attention to the political overtones. AP

GUPTA LEADS
MUMBAI:
Defending champion Harinder Gupta of Chandigarh carded a three over 73 to emerge joint leader with Delhi’s Karan Talwar on the opening day of the Western India Junior (under-17) Golf Tournament at the Bombay Presidency Golf Course here on Wednesday. Karan Vasudeva (Delhi-77), Fatehbir Dhalamal (Chandigarh-84) and Kanish Madan (Delhi-89) were the leaders in the U-14, U-12 and U-10 groups, respectively. UNI
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