Dravid blames collective failure for defeat
PCB for probe into Chappell’s comments on Shoaib
“Skippy” in for a roasting: Hayden
BCCI appoints panel for HP Ranji team
UP in sight of victory
JCT clash with East Bengal in NFL today
Kidambi holds Alexei Shirov
Pak crush India to clinch series
Karachi, February 1
Weighed down by a world record target of 607 runs for victory, India were bundled out for 265 in just about two sessions with a full day’s play left, despite a valiant 122 by Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj stood bravely amidst the ruins with his second Test ton but the visitors never really recovered from the early jolts to crash to a 341-run defeat, their second biggest defeat in terms of runs. Their biggest margin of defeat stands at 342 against Australia in Nagpur during the 2004 home series.
While the Pakistani batsmen plundered runs at will in their second innings on this track at the National Stadium thoroughly exposing the lack of variety and pace in the bowling attack, the Indians batsmen were dismissed in just 58.4 overs, which reflected their poor application.
It was Pakistan’s first series victory over India since 1987, making amends for their 1-2 defeat during India’s tour in 2004. Pakistan had drawn their return tour to India 1-1 in 2005.
Mohammad Asif (3/48) was clearly the bowling hero for the hosts, taking the prized scalps of Virender Sehwag (4), V.V.S Laxman (21) and Sachin Tendulkar (26) while Abdul Razzak (4/88) snapped up four wickets.
The Indian batsmen simply failed to rise up to the monumental task after losing their captain to the fifth ball of the innings.
But for Yuvraj Singh’s attacking innings of 122 in which he hit 19 fours and a six, and his 103-run fifth-wicket stand with Sourav Ganguly (37), there was nothing to write home about India’s performance. And to make matters worse, the main damage was not caused by Pakistan’s pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, who got only one wicket in Dravid, but by rookie seamer Asif who used the seam to good effect to leave India tottering at 74 for four before tea.
Razzaq, who had dismissed Laxman and Tendulkar in the Indian first innings, joined the wicket-taking act to grab the wickets of Ganguly, out to the first ball after the tea interval, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18) and Irfan Pathan (4), as India slid from 177 for four to 216 for 7.
Ganguly played across to a straight ball from Razzaq and was leg before while both Dhoni and Pathan were caught in the slip cordon, the former injudiciously trying to drive and the latter fending a lifter.
Amidst the mayhem, Yuvraj completed his second century in his 13th Test in 126 balls with 17 fours.
Yuvraj was the last batsman to be dismissed, caught behind while trying to pull Razzaq. His dismissal brought the big crowd on its feet even as the Pakistani players hugged each other, delirious with joy.
It was Pakistan’s fourth series victory over India and third on their own soil, and the margin of victory was their biggest in terms of runs.
Earlier India, started the arduous task of trying to bat out for more than five sessions after Pakistan, who led the visitors by seven runs in the first innings, declared their second innings at 599 for 7 after playing for about an hour in the morning session.
By lunch itself, the wheel had started to come off the Indian campaign to save the match. India’s top two batsmen, Dravid and his deputy Sehwag, were back in the pavilion by the lunch break.
India lost another two wickets, that of Laxman and Tendulkar, by the end of the second session of play.
Asif, who was the most impressive bowler in the first innings with a haul of 4 for 78, ripped the heart out of the tourists’ second innings by getting through the defence of three of India’s top batsmen with sharp incoming balls.
Asif, playing only his third Test after making his debut more than a year ago in Australia, cleaned bowled Sehwag, Laxman and Tendulkar, by beating all three batsmen with his pace and inward movement off the seam.
Pakistan (1st innings) 245
India (1st innings) 238
Pakistan (2nd innings)
Butt lbw Ganguly 53
Farhat c Tendulkar b Pathan 57
Younis lbw Kumble 77
Yousuf lbw Kumble 97
Iqbal c Tendulkar b Zaheer 139
Afridi c Tendulkar b R.P. Singh 60
Razzaq c Yuvraj b Kumble 90
Akmal not out 0
Extras (b 7, lb 7, w 1, nb 11) 26
Total (for 7 wickets decl.) 599
Fall of wickets: 1-109, 2-122, 3-280, 4-318, 5-402, 6-598, 7-599.
Bowling: Pathan 25-3-106-1, Zaheer 28-4-103-1, R.P. Singh 24-1-115-1, Kumble 37.1-3-151-3, Ganguly 16-1- 68-1, Sehwag 1-0-2-0, Tendulkar 9-0- 40-0.
India (2nd innings)
Sehwag b Asif 4
Dravid c Akmal b Akhtar 2
Laxman b Asif 21
Tendulkar b Asif 26
Ganguly lbw Razzaq 37
Yuvraj c Akmal b Razzaq 122
Dhoni c Farhat b Razzaq 18
Pathan c Iqbal b Razzaq 4
Kumble c Farhat b Kaneria 5
Zaheer b Kaneria 10
R.P. Singh not out 0
Extras (b-7, nb-4, w-5) 16
Total (all out, 58.4 overs) 265
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-8, 3-63, 4-74, 5-177, 6-208, 7-216, 8-231, 9-251.
Bowling: Akhtar 8-1-37-1, Asif 12-1-48-3, Razzaq 18.4-0-88-4, Kaneria 18-0-75-2, Afridi 2-0-10-0.
Man of the match: Kamran Akmal; Man of the series: Younis Khan. — PTI
Karachi, February 1
Dravid said India fielded the best team for the crucial tie but would now have to give a rethink taking into account the batting positions after the defeat by 341 runs in the series-decider.
The Indian skipper, who failed in both the innings, also said the new ball proved to be their undoing while defending the team’s strategy to go in with three left-arm seamers.
“We could have bowled better but should have batted better too after having dismissed them for 245 in the first innings,” Dravid said.
In the same vein, he said the Indian bowlers did not hit the deck like Pakistan’s Mohammed Asif, who picked crucial wickets in both the innings.
“Our bowlers probably needed to hit the deck a bit more to get more purchase from the wicket. But like I said we could have batted better too,” Dravid said.
“Asif used the conditions well. The quality of batsmen he got in both the innings showed how well he bowled. His wickets made the difference. He bowled in the right areas and was the best new ball bowler from either side.”
Dravid did not agree that the Indian seam attack, comprising three left-arm bowlers, lacked variety and could have included a right arm bowler in Ajit Agarkar. — PTI
PCB for probe into Chappell’s comments on Shoaib
Karachi, February 1 “We have written to the match referee asking him to find out if Chappell has made the comments attributed to him,” PCB director Abbas Zaidi told Reuters today. “We are taking this issue very seriously”. Earlier, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan confirmed the board was seeking clarification regarding Chappell’s views on the matter. “We have seen these reports and we are trying to find out whether he has said these things,” Khan said. “If he has implied anything about Shoaib’s action, it is a violation of the ICC (International Cricket Council) code of conduct.” A former Australian captain, Chappell was reported by an Indian television channel as saying that there was “something seriously different” about Shoaib’s action. The comments came after Indian batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble were both hit on the helmet by rising Shoaib delivery in the third and final Test between the sides taking place in Karachi this week. The Times Now channel claimed Chappell had told them he had seen a lot of people hit by Shoaib and that India could do without their players being hit like that.
Karachi, February 1
“We have written to the match referee asking him to find out if Chappell has made the comments attributed to him,” PCB director Abbas Zaidi told Reuters today. “We are taking this issue very seriously”.
Earlier, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan confirmed the board was seeking clarification regarding Chappell’s views on the matter.
“We have seen these reports and we are trying to find out whether he has said these things,” Khan said.
“If he has implied anything about Shoaib’s action, it is a violation of the ICC (International Cricket Council) code of conduct.”
A former Australian captain, Chappell was reported by an Indian television channel as saying that there was “something seriously different” about Shoaib’s action.
The comments came after Indian batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble were both hit on the helmet by rising Shoaib delivery in the third and final Test between the sides taking place in Karachi this week.
The Times Now channel claimed Chappell had told them he had seen a lot of people hit by Shoaib and that India could do without their players being hit like that. — Reuters
Melbourne, February 1
But Hayden, referring to the iconic kangaroo often used as an Australian mascot, said the Aussies would be unlikely to report any abuse to authorities, as the South African players had done during their current tour here.
“We’ll see Skippy hung up by the neck a couple of times and we’ll have a chuckle at it ourselves and that’s all part of it,” Hayden told reporters.
“I think the general nature of Australians is to just get on and play.
“We also acknowledge the fact that we are professional athletes and it’s ridiculous to get into anything that is too extravagant with regards to banter amongst the crowd and we’ll expect to cop it... and we’ll cop it sweet.” The International Cricket Council has announced that it will send India’s solicitor general Goolam Vahanvati to Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka from this month to compile a report on racism.
The move follows a formal complaint by the United Cricket Board of South Africa that some of their players had been racially abused by sections of the crowd during their current tour of Australia.
Cricket Australia has called for lifetime bans for supporters found guilty of racial abuse.
Veteran Australian players Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne said they expected a tough time from South African fans, but that was always the case and they had never had problems with racism there.
But all three said they hoped the racism would stop with the ICC’s investigation and agreed it had no place in sport or society.
“You expect to cop a bit wherever you go,” McGrath said.
“In the past there hasn’t been any racism or any racist comments that I’ve seen. I’m expecting a tough time, as we get everywhere we go, but racism hasn’t been a problem before.” Warne predicted South African fans would “nail us and rip into us” but Hayden said they would try not to let any taunts or remarks affect them.
“This (racism) is a criminal offence. It’s not something that’s part of a sporting arena,” he said.
The South Africans have threatened to boycott future tours of Australia if the racist comments do not stop and captain Graeme Smith has backed the ICC’s hardline approach to “keep the game clean.” — AFP
New Delhi, February 1
Former Test player Gursharan Singh has been named chairman of the committee which also includes Bhupender Singh (Sr.), who is also member of the Board’s Senior Selection Committee, and former Haryana cricketer Sarkar Talwar. — UNI
UP in sight of victory
Lucknow, February 1
UP captain Mohammad Kaif led from the front in the second innings as well, with a sparkling unbeaten 82 and giving him company at stumps were Suresh Raina (21) as the home side reached 183 for two in their second essay today.
Earlier, resuming their first innings on 349 for eight, Bengal could add 24 runs before bowled out for 373, 14-run shy of UP’s first innings total and that proved costly.
PU eves finish 2nd in handball
Chandigarh, February 1
The championship was contested by eight teams. From north-east zone, the teams were Panjab University, MDU Rohtak, Delhi University, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The teams from south-east zone included MGU Kottayam, Calicut University, Kerala University, and Anna Malai University.
MGU Kottayam and Panjab University finished first and second respectively. According to Panjab University’s SAI coach Narinder Singh, the final was keenly contested and the final score was 21-19 in favour of MGU. Earlier, PU defeated Delhi University, 15-11, Anna Malai University 23-6, and Calicut University 19-15.
JCT clash with East Bengal in NFL today
Chandigarh, February 1
Currently placed fifth with five points from one victory and two draws, JCT Mills are trailing East Bengal, who are at the fourth position with nine points from two victories and three draws. As the only team from north India, JCT Mills enjoy the unique distinction of having played in all editions of the league so far along with East Bengal, Salgaocar SC and Mahindra United. The mill men have been crowned champions only once while East Bengal have won the title thrice. Last year, East Bengal and JCT finished third and seventh with 43 and 28 points, respectively.
JCT have undergone a major overhaul this season and the team management has inducted new faces with emphasis on attack. Among the new recruits are dashing Brazilian striker Marcos Pereira, formerly of Churchill Brothers, Parveen Kumar from Punjab Police, Sunil Chhetri and Rennedy Singh from Mohun Bagan, and star goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey, formerly of Fransa Pax FC. Striker Johnson Banner and defender Julius Akepele, both Nigerians, are also indispensable members of the squad. Julius Akpele along with wing back Daljit Singh are quite reliable in the defence. JCT had also requisitioned the services of Brazilian trainer Robson to improve the team’s fitness.
JCT commenced the season on a rousing note and the first major success was the 2-1 defeat of East Bengal in the Durand Cup on December 13 with goals through Rennedy Singh and Parveen Kumar. Parveen also notched up a hat-trick against HAL in the Durand Cup. In the current league, Parveen has already demonstrated his prowess and is among the leading scorers with three goals. However, in what is being perceived as a major setback for JCT, Parveen Kumar will be missing tomorrow’s tie as he has already earned two yellow cards.
The Phagwara outfit have played five matches so far in the tenth NFL. Their first encounter against Fransa at Margao on January 11 ended in a goal-less draw. Subsequently they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting de Clube Goa but on January 25, the mill men shocked Mohun Bagan 2-0 at Kolkata. However, in their last two encounters against Mahindra United and Mohammedan Sporting at Mumbai and Kolkata, JCT suffered identical 1-2 defeats.
East Bengal, winners of three titles since 2000, have been in turmoil recently. Coa Subhas Bhowmick’s arrest by the CBI and his subsequent replacement by Phillipe de Ridder, a Belgian, caused ripples in Kolkata. In the current league, East Bengal have beaten Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 and Fransa 2-0. Star striker Baichung Bhutia and Nigerian Mike Okoro scored in both these matches. The red and gold brigade were held to a 1-1 draw by Salgaocar, and drew goal-less with Mohun Bagan and Air-India. Of the four goals scored so far, Baichung Bhutia has alone scored three, while Mike Okoro has scored one. However, East Bengal will sorely miss the services of Mike Okoro tomorrow as he has flown back to Poland to renew his residential permit. The team, according to manager Swapan Ball, is also plagued with injuries to key players like Dipankar Roy and Jatin Bisht. However, given the present composition and bench strength, East Bengal are as formidable as ever. Foreign recruits Endem A. Kiyeck and Evans G. Marshall, both from Cameroon, are the latest additions to the squad which includes among others, Indian captain Baichung Bhutia, Alvito D’Cunha, well-known goalkeeper Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, Covan Lawrence, winger Shylo Malsawmtluanga, prolific scorers Syed Rahim Nabi and RC Prakash, K. Kulothungan and Bernard Pires. Cameroon star Endem, incidentally, was adjudged man-of-the-match in the tie against Air-India at Kolkata on January 29. Coach Phillipe de Ridder, who took charge on December 15,has been trying different combinations and it remains to be seen how he makes up for the absence of Mike Okoro upfront.
Encounters between JCT and East Bengal have always been close affairs. Last year, JCT lost both home and away matches 0-1 and 0-2, respectively. This season, JCT beat East Bengal 2-1 in the Durand Cup. “We treat every match separately and are not overawed by the reputation of the Kolkata outfit,” said JCT coaches Sukhwinder Singh and Parminder Singh while talking to The Tribune on the eve of the crucial encounter. The kick-off is at 2 pm.
Gibraltar, February 1
On the top board, former world junior champion Kiril Georgiev of Bulgaria continued to make merry by defeating second seed Vladimir Akopian of Armenia to remain in sole lead on seven points.
Georgiev is followed by Sergey Volkov of Russia on 6.5 points while a pack of four players are right behind on six points. The Indian duo of Sandipan Chanda and Surya Shekhar Ganguly are in the next group of 5.5 points after both scored hard earned victories over Watu Kobese of South Africa and Anton Aaberg of Sweden, respectively.
It turned out to be a good day for Kidambi, who enjoyed advantage against Shirov for the major part of the game that started from a Grunfeld defence. Kidambi went for a topical variation with white and caused more than a few problems for Shirov, who struggled for some time before finally equalising. Kidambi drew in 38 moves. — PTI
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