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CHANDIGARH

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India look to regain rhythm against Bangladesh
Colombo, July 20
India go into the Super League stage of the Asia Cup with a match against minnows Bangladesh here tomorrow with their struggling top order batsmen trying to fall into groove before it is too late.

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly fine tunes his catching skills during a practice session in Colombo Mohammad Kaif prepares to catch a ball as others look on during a training session in Colombo on Tuesday
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly fine tunes his catching skills during a practice session in Colombo on Tuesday. Mohammad Kaif (center) prepares to catch a ball as others look on during a training session in Colombo on Tuesday.
— AP/PTI photos

Injured Zaheer ruled out
Colombo, July 20
India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of tomorrow's match against Bangladesh due to a thigh injury, but the speedster is still in with a chance of playing in the later stages of the Asia Cup, coach John Wright said here today.

Lankan bowlers were very accurate
T
he culmination of the first phase of the Asia Cup ended in a dramatic win by hosts Sri Lanka over favourites India. Watching it I thought that India were well out of the game.

Lanka keen to have Jayasuriya in team
Colombo, July 20
Pakistan will look to record a confidence-boosting win when they clash with Sri Lanka in their opening Super League match of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here tomorrow.


 

US Postal rider Lance Armstrong clenches his fists as he crosses the finishing line to win the 180.5-km 15th stage of the Tour de France
US Postal rider Lance Armstrong clenches his fists as he crosses the finishing line to win the 180.5-km 15th stage of the Tour de France between Valreas and Villard-de-Lans on Tuesday. — Reuters


EARLIER STORIES
 
Yuvraj Singh speaks to mediapersons after a practice session in Colombo In graphic:
Phase II battlefield






Yuvraj Singh speaks to mediapersons after a practice session in Colombo Tuesday. —AP/PTI 

Atapattu, Vaas down with fever
Colombo, July 20
Three leading Sri Lankan cricketers — captain Marvan Atapattu, speedster Chaminda Vaas and T. Dilshan — have been affected by viral fever but will play against holders Pakistan in the day-night encounter in the Asia Cup at Premadasa Stadium here tomorrow.

Ehsan Mani and Malcom Speed, president and CEO of the ICC, respectively, unveil the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 at a news conference in Mumbai
Ehsan Mani (right) and Malcom Speed, president and CEO of the ICC, respectively, unveil the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 at a news conference in Mumbai on Tuesday. — Reuters
In video (28k, 56k)

Without ‘doosra’, Murali “a snake without venom”
Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 20
Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is embroiled in a controversy over his bowling action, ‘’seems to be like a snake without venom’’ sans ‘doosra’, a daily observed today. "Without the ‘doosra’, Muralitharan seems to be like a snake without venom.

Umpires to be wired to stump microphones
Mumbai, July 20
Aiming to aid umpires in arriving at more accurate decisions, the International Cricket Council today announced that umpires at this year’s Champions Trophy tournament in England would be helped by stump microphones wired to their ears. 

Pargat Singh Stop humiliating coaches: Pargat
New Delhi, July 20
Two-time Olympic captain Pargat Singh today described the sacking of the national coach as a “cruel joke” and asked the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to stop humiliating coaches. The IHF seems to derive some vicarious pleasure by humiliating coaches he said and cautioned that “such attitude will ultimately destroy the game in the country.”

Rajinder refuses to comment
New Delhi, July 20
Rajinder Singh Coach Rajinder Singh today refused to comment on being unceremoniously sacked by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), saying he would decide on his future in a few days. Rajinder, who was replaced by German expert Gerhard Rach yesterday, returned here from Germany this evening. ''I will decide my future course of action after taking a couple of days break. I am looking to spend some time with my family,'' Rajinder said after returning. — UNI


Jordan hold South Korea
Jinan (China), July 20
World Cup semifinalist South Korea was held to a 0-0 draw by first-timer Jordan at the Asian Cup, while former champion Kuwait scored three goals in the first half and beat Gulf rivals the United Arab Emirates 3-1.

Oman captain Mohamed Al Noobi (right) attempts to stop Japan's Yasuhito Endo from taking a kick during their Asian Cup match at the Olympic stadium in Chongqing, southwestern China, on Tuesday. Japan beat Oman 1-0.
— Reuters photo
Oman captain Mohamed Al Noobi attempts to stop Japan's Yasuhito Endo from taking a kick during their Asian Cup match at the Olympic stadium in Chongqing

Shuttler Kanetkar qualifies for Olympics
Bangalore, July 20
Indian ace shuttler of international fame Nikhil Kanetkar has qualified for the up coming Athens Olympics. According to reports received here, Nikhil, who was on the reserved list, became qualified when Baby Milroi and Andrew Debak of Canada withdrew, according to a letter from International Badminton Federation to the Badminton Association of India.

Sasikiran makes winning start
Biel (Switzerland), July 20
Krishnan Sasikiran came up with some strong positional chess to humble Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland in the first round of the grandmasters section of the 27th Biel Chess Festival here today.

Southern Railway lead
Patiala, July 20
With seven points to their credit, Southern Railway (SR) led the points table in the team championship event on the second day of the 17th all-India inter-Railway chess tournament played at the Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DMW) here on Tuesday.

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India look to regain rhythm against Bangladesh

Sachin Tendulkar gestures as he talks to team-mates during a practice session in Colombo on Tuesday
Sachin Tendulkar gestures as he talks to team-mates during a practice session in Colombo on Tuesday. — AP/PTI photo

Colombo, July 20
India go into the Super League stage of the Asia Cup with a match against minnows Bangladesh here tomorrow with their struggling top order batsmen trying to fall into groove before it is too late.

Barring Rahul Dravid, none of the batsmen in the famed line-up looked in good nick after the three-month break and will be keen to find some form against their lowly opponents to gear up for the tougher challenges ahead.

The narrow defeat against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on Sunday could serve as a wake-up call for Sourav Ganguly and his men who have not shown the same class that saw them script some memorable wins in the past season.

Though Bangladesh may not pose much of a threat, the Indians will look to plug their batting and bowling loopholes before facing stronger teams like arch-rivals Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their remaining matches.

The injury to pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has also come as a big blow to the Indians who were looking up to the left-arm paceman to deliver the goods in the six-nation tournament. But the Baroda paceman has more often than not broken down during tours since the past season, raising a big question mark on his fitness.

Zaheer’s absence should mark the return of Ashish Nehra in the side who has a better possibility of playing in the eleven than Harbhajan Singh, the off-spinner who has returned to the national side after seven months.

India captain Sourav Ganguly admitted that his team had not lived up to expectations against Sri Lanka but was optimistic of a better show in the Super League.

“We still have an opportunity. The points system is such that we start all over again and hence we will have the opportunity to make amends,” Ganguly said.

“I thought we gave lot of runs in the last 10 overs and lost too many wickets in the first 15 overs. We then did well to reach 270, but I thought we lost too many wickets in the first 15 overs,” he said, analysing the loss to the hosts.

Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel’s induction into the team against Sri Lanka provided more questions than answers. He opened the innings and Virender Sehwag slid to number three for the first time in almost two years. The move to promote Patel completely backfired and it remains to be seen whether the team management would tamper with the batting order again. — PTI


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Injured Zaheer ruled out

Colombo, July 20
India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of tomorrow's match against Bangladesh due to a thigh injury, but the speedster is still in with a chance of playing in the later stages of the Asia Cup, coach John Wright said here today.

Zaheer bowled nine overs against Sri Lanka on Sunday before retiring to the dressing room and when the Indians chased 282 under lights, he came out with a runner.

"He's not fit for tomorrow and we have got to look at the whole situation regarding the two remaining games," Wright said.

"Andrew Leipus (physio) is very happy with the progress he has made in the last 36 hours. From what Andrew has intimated me is that he has made very good progress. — PTI

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Lankan bowlers were very accurate
Bob Woolmer

The culmination of the first phase of the Asia Cup ended in a dramatic win by hosts Sri Lanka over favourites India. Watching it I thought that India were well out of the game. Indeed, at one stage India were 96-4, but the form of Rahul Dravid is quite awesome at the moment and the batting line-up of India can never be underestimated.

Particularly impressive, however, were the accuracy levels of the Sri Lankan bowlers led by Chaminda Vaas, who bowled extremely accurately, inspiring his younger bowlers especially Maharoof, the under-19 World Cup captain and fast bowler, who I thought bowled excellently.

Impressive, too, was their running between the wickets as they were very fast and the fielding was also quite good. These are the areas that all teams need to improve on and Sri Lanka won in my opinion because they were better in these areas. Modern one-day cricket ensures that coaches have to spend attention to these details and especially extras, as no-balls and wides can easily cost a team the game. “Our slogan that one run can make a difference” is based on that infamous game at Edgbaston in 1999!

These are the areas where I will be looking for major improvement with the Pakistan team. However, like most areas of cricket, this will come in time. Following my experiences with the ICC high performance role, it was really nice to see Hong Kong and UAE being given a chance to play in this competition. This is in line with the ICC’s globalisation policy and trying to improve the next level of cricket below the Test playing nations.

It is becoming increasingly clear that there need to be three tiers of cricket — eight in 1st tier, six each in 2nd and 3rd tiers with a four-year cycle of promotion and relegation between the top and bottom nations of various tiers.

The difference in the top Test playing nations and the minnows is in the batting and the teams that only have one-day cricket as their base cricket are at a disadvantage to those that have a first-class multi-day structure.

One of the biggest up-and-coming games will be UAE versus Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur where the former have to win outright to get in to the semifinals of the Inter-continental Cup. However, I digress from the Asia Cup, which for mainly political reasons has not happened for four years but thank goodness now is back on the international calendar.

The second phase will be starting on Wednesday. Pakistan versus Sri Lanka will be a big game. Talking from our (Pakistan) perspective, all our batsmen have had time at the crease and the bowlers, too, have had a good workout.

Much has been discussed about shortening of run-ups and this has been overstated by the media unfortunately. Shoaib and I have discussed this at length and we are in the beginning of an experiment, which may well elongate his career and allow him not to feel quite so fatigued following practice. Interestingly, the critics as usual are unable to see the positive sides of this move, which of course is a pity and therefore puts both Shoaib and myself under pressure as we work towards a more streamlined Shoaib Akthar.

I think it is important for all those sceptics to know that Allan Donald and Sir Richard Hadlee had extreme success from a shortened run-up not losing any pace and being able to bowl with more control and for longer spells than before. In reality, however, if it does not work for Shoaib he always has what he knows to fall back on and as long as we work together during this phase, I am sure that we will find exactly what suits Shoaib.

The second phase of the tournament will for me highlight just how much work is needed with the Pakistan team to bring it up to the highest level and that the process is still in its infancy stage. For me in particular, this is the reason why we coach. It is the anticipation, expectation, excitement and the constant learning curve that are all part of the job all the time. — Gameplan 

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Lanka keen to have Jayasuriya in team

Colombo, July 20
Pakistan will look to record a confidence-boosting win when they clash with Sri Lanka in their opening Super League match of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here tomorrow.

Though Pakistan emerged as champions in Group A, the day-night encounter against the hosts will be their first big match after the humiliating loss to traditional rivals India in March and captain Inzamam-ul Haq is keen to maintain their winning run in the six-nation tournament.

The frontline Pakistani batsmen seemed to be in good touch in the first two matches against Bangladesh and Hong Kong but their real test will come tomorrow when they face the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.

Inzamam is aware that the real test for his team begins now and wants his boys to keep the momentum going.

“The first match in the Super League is important. If we win, our confidence will soar for the game against India”, he said.

The hosts, who missed the services of former captain Sanath Jayasuriya against India, are eagerly looking for the dashing left-hander to return to the side.

Jayasuriya missed the match due to a side strain and captain Marvan Atapattu was hopeful that his most experienced batsman would be able to take the field.

“We hope Sanath will be fit. We want him in the side as soon as possible. We have many options when he plays,” Atapattu said.

Most of the Sri Lankan top-order batsmen have been among the runs while the bowlers have been able to exploit the home conditions well.

Muralitharan, despite the ban on his “doosra”, a ball that turns away from the right hander, has been effective on the slow tracks and it remains to be seen how the Pakistani batsmen tackle the spin wizard. — PTI

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Atapattu, Vaas down with fever

Colombo, July 20
Three leading Sri Lankan cricketers — captain Marvan Atapattu, speedster Chaminda Vaas and T. Dilshan — have been affected by viral fever but will play against holders Pakistan in the day-night encounter in the Asia Cup at Premadasa Stadium here tomorrow.

“Yes, three of our players were affected by viral fever and are recovering. They will definitely play in tomorrow’s match,” Sri Lankan media manager Ray Ilangakoon said.

They were affected while they were in Dambulla for the first phase of the championship from July 16 to 18.

Both Atapattu and Vaas had opted out of the first match against United Arab Emirates, while the former had left the field midway through the Indian innings on July 18. Atapattu had made a decent 50 in 76 balls before getting run out. Vaas had taken the crucial wicket of Yuvraj Singh when Indians were chasing 283. — UNI

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Without ‘doosra’, Murali “a snake without venom”

Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 20
Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is embroiled in a controversy over his bowling action, ‘’seems to be like a snake without venom’’ sans ‘doosra’, a daily observed today.

“Without the ‘doosra’, Muralitharan seems to be like a snake without venom. Cricket fans are hoping that the ICC would soon give him the green light to continue with the mystery ball, so that he can spit venom at all the opposition batsmen and continue to add to his amazing bag of wickets”, commentator Elmo Rodrugopulle observed in his comments in the government-owned newspaper, Daily News.

“His former wicket taking delivery, that vicious off spinner, does not seem to be working that threateningly. Batsmen seem to be playing them with ease and that must be a worrying the bowler”, he noted. “He too seems to be lacking in confidence at the moment. But things would soon fall right for him”, he hoped.

He pointed out “all eyes were focused on Muttaiah Muralitharan when he came to bowl. What was of more than ordinary interest, was to watch how he would go, now that he has been stripped off his main wicket taking delivery, the ‘doosra’.”

Recently, Murali had said that he would not be bowling ‘doosra’ as he has not been permitted by the ICC. However, he would bowl his other three deliveries and indicated that he would go for 900 Test wickets as he had another six to seven years of cricket left in him. The commentator, in the largest circulated daily, also pointed that Sri Lankan camp must be worried about the side pull of former captain Sanath Jayasuriya, which forced the batsmen to sit out of match against India, which the hosts won by 13 runs in a thrilling fashion.

“What must be worrying to the Sri Lankan camp is the injury to Sanath Jayasuriya. He must be nursed to full fitness before allowing him into the team. He is a must as an allrounder. At the moment, he seems to be lacking in confidence, One good knock should see him firing again,” he added.

On Lasith Malinga, he said the bowler who looked “so much like West Indian Fidel Edwards in action and Mohammed Sami of Pakistan in his hair style is showing that with more games he would be more than a threat to all opponents”.

Lasit Malinga, who was dropped for match against India, had taken one for 39 against UAE. The commentator observed “as for (Upul) Chandana what has brought about a transformation in his game is that the selectors have continued to show confidence in him and have given him the all important continuity. For far too long he was ignored,” he added. — UNI

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Umpires to be wired to stump microphones

Mumbai, July 20
Aiming to aid umpires in arriving at more accurate decisions, the International Cricket Council today announced that umpires at this year’s Champions Trophy tournament in England would be helped by stump microphones wired to their ears.

The high-profile tournament, featuring all Test playing nations plus two qualifiers at England in September, would also be used to conduct research into all slow bowlers on view in order to solve the problem of “illegal bowling actions”, ICC President Ehsan Mani and Chief Executive Malcolm Speed told a press conference today.

The two ICC bigwigs were speaking to reporters after officially launching the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy and unveiling the glittering trophy today.

“We want to give the umpires a better opportunity to arrive at correct decisions through hearing the sounds emanating at the batsmen’s end. That’s why they will be wired to the stump microphones. We hope this will help in improving the number of correct decisions (that they give),” he said. — PTI

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Stop humiliating coaches: Pargat

New Delhi, July 20
Two-time Olympic captain Pargat Singh today described the sacking of the national coach as a “cruel joke” and asked the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to stop humiliating coaches.

The IHF seems to derive some vicarious pleasure by humiliating coaches he said and cautioned that “such attitude will ultimately destroy the game in the country.”

“The way Rajinder has been sacked shows that the IHF has no respect for the coaches,” Pargat said adding that this was no way to prepare the team for Olympic campaign.

The ace defender, who led India in 1992 and 1996 Olympics, said: “Till recently Rajinder was being hailed as good coach, who has rebuild the team but suddenly he has been dismissed that too in a foreign land.”

“I don’t know why the IHF took such a drastic step, because last year Rajinder produced excellent results, but just because Indian team fared poorly in Amsterdam early this month and finished fourth in the Champions Trophy are no reasons for dropping a coach,” he said.

Talking to UNI over telephone Pargat said: “No coach, however, great he may be can produce a team which will always win.”

Pargat further wanted to know why Rajinder was taken to Germany if the IHF was not satisfied with his functioning he said.

“If foreign coaches are the solution than why not hand over the IHF to the foreigners that will solve all the problems,” he said.

The former coach said he had strong doubts if the IHF had any planning. “The coaches are appointed and sacked at the whims and fancy of some people, is this the a way to run the federation.”

“One does not remember how many coaches have been appointed and then dropped in recent years, on one pretext or the other,” Pargat said.

Asked why coaches tend to accept the assignment when they know that their predecessors have been treated shabbily. Pargat replied, “IHF’s divide and rule policy has been very effective so far. Every new coach is promised heaven while his predecessor is condemned. The coach starts promisingly but the IHF soon gets tired of him and he is shown the door. This is going on for years and will continue until somebody put his footdown.” — UNI

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Jordan hold South Korea 

Jinan (China), July 20
World Cup semifinalist South Korea was held to a 0-0 draw by first-timer Jordan at the Asian Cup, while former champion Kuwait scored three goals in the first half and beat Gulf rivals the United Arab Emirates 3-1. Yesterday’s victory put Kuwait, the 1980 champion, atop Group B heading into their game against Jordan on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Chongqing, Peter Vellapan apologised for comments a day earlier that criticised Chinese fans, who jeered the Asian Football Confederation general secretary and FIFA president Sepp Blatter when the pair addressed the crowd at Saturday’s opening game.

Vellapan implied China was unfit to host the 2008 Olympics because of its manners, but yesterday said he was sorry to the Chinese, “If I hurt your feelings.”

On the field, goalkeeper Amer Shai was the hero for Jordan, earning player of the match honours for denying several South Korean scoring chances.

South Korea, a two-time Asian Cup champion, had the majority of possession and created the majority of opportunities, forcing Shafi off his line and into diving saves.

“We had many chances in the first and second half, and the Jordanian) goalkeeper was not only good, but also lucky,” South Korea’s Dutch-born coach Jo Bonfrere said.

Jordan created the first chance when Hassouneh Qasem’s cross was a just out of the reach of Badran Shagran in the Korean penalty area.

But South Korea took over quickly with Ahn Jung-hwan pouncing on a loose ball in the 30th minute, rushing through the Jordanian defence and unleashing a powerful low drive which Shafi blocked with a diving save.

Seven minutes later, Seol Ki-hyeon beat two defenders on the right edge of the area, lofting a pass to an unmarked Chung Kyung-ho whose header sailed over the crossbar. With one minute left before the break, Seol almost connected at the edge of the six-yard box with Ahn low drive from the right.

In the late game, Bashar Abdulaziz and Bader Al Mutawa scored 14 minutes apart in the first half to lead Kuwait, which was aided by an own goal by Emirate defender Basheer Saeed Al Hamadi just before half time.

Both sides opted for a fast-paced attacking game, to the delight of the 20,000-strong crowd at Jinan’s Shandong Stadium. The Emirates dominated the first 20 minutes of the match and carved out several dangerous scoring chances.

But it was Abdulaziz who gave Kuwait the lead in the 24th minute, striking a low shot from the edge of the penalty box that wrongfooted goalkeeper Juma Rashed. Al Mutawa made it 2-0 in the 39th minute when he converted a penalty that Rashid Abdulrahman had needlessly conceded by tripping Mesaed Al Enzi.

Just seconds before the break, Nawaaf Al-Mutairi struck a loose ball just inside the area, which caromed off Al Hamadi into the corner of the net. — AP

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Shuttler Kanetkar qualifies for Olympics

Bangalore, July 20
Indian ace shuttler of international fame Nikhil Kanetkar has qualified for the up coming Athens Olympics.
According to reports received here, Nikhil, who was on the reserved list, became qualified when Baby Milroi and Andrew Debak of Canada withdrew, according to a letter from International Badminton Federation to the Badminton Association of India.

Expressing happiness over his selection, Nikhil, ranked 49 in the world ranking, said “I will put my best efforts in the Athens.”

Twenty four-year-old Nikhil was the third Indian to get qualified for the Olympics as Aparna Popat and Abhinn Shyam Gupta have already made it to the big event.

All the three of the Indian badminton squad are undergoing training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) South Centre in the outskirts of the city. Nikhil, working with Indian Oil Corporation, was coached by Ganguly Prasad. — UNI

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Sasikiran makes winning start

Biel (Switzerland), July 20
Krishnan Sasikiran came up with some strong positional chess to humble Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland in the first round of the grandmasters section of the 27th Biel Chess Festival here today.

Top seed and defending champion Alexader Morozevich of Russia played his trademark uncompromising chess and crushed Luke McShane of England in his first round game in this category-18 event played on a double round-robin basis between six players.

The third game of the day turned out to be a tame affair as Etienne Bacrot of France decided to play it safe despite having white pieces against former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine.

After the first round, Sasikiran and Morozevich share the lead while Bacrot and Ponomariov follow them a half point behind.

In the Master’s section being organized simultaneously, GM norm holders P Konguvel and P Magesh Chandran scored facile victories over Yahya Mohamed Saleh of UAE and Montayon Gerard of Switerland, respectively.

Eleven-year old Parimarjan Negi went down fighting against fourth seed GM Boris Avrukh of Israel. The only other Indian in the fray, R R Vasudevan drew with Polina Malysheva of Russia.

Sasikiran was all charged up for his opening game in this high category event and put it across Pellitier in a positional battle arising out of a Slav Defence. — PTI 

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Southern Railway lead
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, July 20
With seven points to their credit, Southern Railway (SR) led the points table in the team championship event on the second day of the 17th all-India inter-Railway chess tournament played at the Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DMW) here on Tuesday.

Southern Railway were followed by Eastern Railway (ER) with 6.5 points while Northern Railway (NR) were placed third with six points.

In Tuesday’s matches, Western Railway blanked DLW, Varanasi, 4-0, SR downed Railway Board 3.5-0.5, ER thrashed CLW, Chittaranjan, 4-0, ICF, Chennai, downed hosts DMW, Patiala, 4-0, South Central Railway defeated Central Railway, Allahabad, 4-0, while NR scraped past North-Western Railway 3.5-0.5. 

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 BRIEFLY

Port sealed for Olympic security
ATHENS:
Officials sealed off Athens’ main port of Pireaus for over two hours on Tuesday as divers installed underwater fibre optic cables needed for the Olympics security plan.
The port is among the main areas of high security zones during the August 13-29 Olympics as it will host the world’s largest concentration of passenger ships. — DPA

Biswas qualifies
Chennai:
Heptathlete Soma Biswas qualified for the Athens Olympics with a whopping 6162 points on the third and concluding day of the 44th Inter-state National Athletics Championship here today. Biswas collected 2652 points in her last three events (long jump 934 pts), javelin (800 pts) and 800 metre run (98 pts), thereby finishing first in all her seven events. — PTI

Baros determined
LONDON:
Czech striker Milan Baros, the top scorer at Euro 2004, says he wants to stay at Liverpool and fight for a place in the English club’s starting line-up.
Baros scored five goals in Portugal but has struggled to establish himself alongside England striker Michael Owen in the Liverpool team since joining the club in December, 2001. Baros told Liverpool’s website on Tuesday: “I have heard the rumours about Real Madrid and Barcelona supposedly being interested in me and of course it’s nice to see clubs like that wanting you. — Reuters

National Karate Championship from July 22
Ambala:
The eighth National Karate Championship-2004 will be held at Kumari Rukmani Devi Hall in Ambala Cantonment from July 22 to 25. TNS

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