SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Pak crush India to clinch series
Karachi, February 1
India capitulated to one of their biggest defeats ever after a spineless display by their famed batting line-up allowed Pakistan to clinch the three-match Test series 1-0 here today.




Inzamam-ul-Haq holds the winner’s trophy after clinching the Test series 1-0 in Karachi on Wednesday. — AFP photo

Inzamam-ul-Haq holds the winner’s trophy after clinching the Test series 1-0 in Karachi on Wednesday.

Dravid blames collective failure for defeat
Karachi, February 1
Indian captain Rahul Dravid today blamed India’s humiliating defeat in the third cricket Test to arch-rivals Pakistan to a collective failure but promised an improved show in the one-dayers.



EARLIER STORIES
 

PCB for probe into Chappell’s comments on Shoaib
Karachi, February 1
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked match referee Ranjan Madugalle to look into alleged comments made by India coach Greg Chappell that stated he was concerned with paceman Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling action.

“Skippy” in for a roasting: Hayden
Melbourne, February 1
Australia's cricketers are bracing for a hostile reception when their tour of South Africa begins later this month, with opener Matthew Hayden predicting today they would see “Skippy hung up by the neck” before the trip was over.

BCCI appoints panel for HP Ranji team
New Delhi, February 1
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed a three-member selection committee to pick the team that would represent Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy one day matches.

UP in sight of victory
Lucknow, February 1
With no outright result in sight on the penultimate day of the four-day match, Uttar Pradesh — thanks to their crucial 14 runs first innings lead against Bengal — is all set to lay fingers on their maiden Ranji Trophy title at home.

PU eves finish 2nd in handball
Chandigarh, February 1
Panjab University finished runners-up in the All-India Women’s Inter University Handball Championship that concluded at Anna Malai University in Tamil Nadu on Saturday.


The Panjab University women’s handball team, who finished runners-up in the All-India Inter-University Handball Championship which concluded at Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu on Saturday. 
The Panjab University women’s handball team, who finished runners-up in the All-India Inter-University Handball Championship which concluded at Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu on Saturday.

JCT clash with East Bengal in NFL today
Chandigarh, February 1
Twin setbacks at Mumbai and Kolkata notwithstanding, Punjab’s JCT Mills, Phagwara, will seek to capitalise on home advantage when they take on glamour outfit East Bengal in the high-profile tenth National Football League at Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Stadium tomorrow.

Kidambi holds Alexei Shirov
Gibraltar, February 1
In hunt for his second GM-norm, International Master S. Kidambi added to the woes of top seed Grandmaster Alexei Shirov of Spain by holding the highly regarded veteran to a draw in the eighth round of Gibtele.com Masters Chess Tournament at Caleta hotel here.



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Pak crush India to clinch series
S.S. Ramaswamy

Younis Khan waves his hand as he holds the man of the series award during a presentation ceremony in Karachi on Wednesday.
Younis Khan waves his hand as he holds the man of the series award during a presentation ceremony in Karachi on Wednesday. — AFP

Karachi, February 1
India capitulated to one of their biggest defeats ever after a spineless display by their famed batting line-up allowed Pakistan to clinch the three-match Test series 1-0 here today.

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.

Scoreboard

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

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Dravid blames collective failure for defeat

Karachi, February 1
Indian captain Rahul Dravid today blamed India’s humiliating defeat in the third cricket Test to arch-rivals Pakistan to a collective failure but promised an improved show in the one-dayers.

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

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PCB for probe into Chappell’s comments on Shoaib

Karachi, February 1
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked match referee Ranjan Madugalle to look into alleged comments made by India coach Greg Chappell that stated he was concerned with paceman Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling action.

“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

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“Skippy” in for a roasting: Hayden

Melbourne, February 1
Australia's cricketers are bracing for a hostile reception when their tour of South Africa begins later this month, with opener Matthew Hayden predicting today they would see “Skippy hung up by the neck” before the trip was over.

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

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BCCI appoints panel for HP Ranji team

New Delhi, February 1
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed a three-member selection committee to pick the team that would represent Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy one day matches.

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

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UP in sight of victory

Lucknow, February 1
With no outright result in sight on the penultimate day of the four-day match, Uttar Pradesh — thanks to their crucial 14 runs first innings lead against Bengal — is all set to lay fingers on their maiden Ranji Trophy title at home.

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.

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PU eves finish 2nd in handball
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Panjab University finished runners-up in the All-India Women’s Inter University Handball Championship that concluded at Anna Malai University in Tamil Nadu on Saturday.

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.

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JCT clash with East Bengal in NFL today
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 1
Twin setbacks at Mumbai and Kolkata notwithstanding, Punjab’s JCT Mills, Phagwara, will seek to capitalise on home advantage when they take on glamour outfit East Bengal in the high-profile tenth National Football League at Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Stadium tomorrow.

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.

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Kidambi holds Alexei Shirov

Gibraltar, February 1
In hunt for his second GM-norm, International Master S. Kidambi added to the woes of top seed Grandmaster Alexei Shirov of Spain by holding the highly regarded veteran to a draw in the eighth round of Gibtele.com Masters Chess Tournament at Caleta hotel here. With only two more rounds to go, Shirov was left tottering on just five points for his second low in recent times after the former world championship finalist had finished last in a recent rapid event.

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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 BRIEFLY

Winter Olympics
NEW DELHI: Shiva Keshavan will lead a four-member Indian team in next month’s Winter Olympic Games at Torino, Italy, with the only realistic target of making a mark in the sporting extravaganza.
National champion in luge, Keshavan is already in Italy to acclimatise to the conditions, while three other members of the contingent, Neha Ahuja (alpine ski), Hira Lal (alpine ski) and Gupta Bahadur Gurung (cross-country ski), are leaving on Thursday along with four coaches and an official. — UNI

Half marathon
CHANDIGARH: The Haryana Department of Sports and Youth Affairs will organise a half marathon for men and a rural sports festival at Sir Bhhotu Ram Stadium in Rohtak on February 4 and 5, Sports Director V.S. Kundu said on Wednesday.
The winner of the half marathon will receive a cash award of Rs 21,000 and the runner-up will get Rs 15,000. — UNI

Gymnastics meet
AMRITSAR: Guru Nanak Dev University will host the All-India Inter-University Gymnastics (men and women), Rhythmic Gymnastics (women) and Malkhamb (men and women) Championships at its Indoor Multipurpose Gymnasium from February 7 to 11 here. — OSR

Heena shines
Patiala
: Patiala skater Heena Bharti, an MBBS student of the local Medical College, has once again done her city proud by winning the overall trophy in the individual events in the speed skating category (seniors) in the 43rd National roller skating championship which concluded at Kolkata recently.
Heena won two gold and one bronze medals. The Patiala medico was a part of the Punjab teams which won the 3000 metre road race and the Rink race-1 (300 metre). Heena was also a member of the Punjab squad that won a bronze medal in the roller hockey event. — OSR

Baseball meet
ROHTAK: Hosts MD University (MDU) were on a winning spree in the league phase of the All-India Inter-University Baseball Championship here on Wednesday.
In men’s section, MDU defeated Kurukshetra University 11-1 while in women’s section MDU registered beat Punjabi University, Patiala, 11-7. Results: men: Delhi University b Panjab University 9-3; Panjab University b Kurukshetra University 23-2; MDU b Kurukshetra University 11-1.Women: Panjab University b Delhi University 12-0, Panjab University b Punjabi University 12-2; MDU b Punjabi University 11-7. — OC

PWA meeting
Sangrur:
The general body meeting of the Punjab Wrestling Association (PWA) will be held at the PAP Golf Club, Jalandhar, on Saturday at 11 am. Sports promoters from India and abroad will also be honoured on the occasion.
A meeting of the Punjab Kickboxing Association will also be held at the same venue on Saturday at 1.30 pm to finalise the arrangements for the forthcoming national championship being held at Jalandhar in May. — OSR

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