SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Butt powers Pak to 3-1 win
Chandigarh, February 18
Maintaining their dominance, Pakistan defeated India 3-1 in the second Test of the six-match series for the Airtel Cup at the Hockey Stadium, Sector 42, here today.
India’s Kanwalpreet Singh tries to stop Shakeel Abbasi of Pakistan during the second Test of the series at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium in Chandigarh on Saturday India’s Kanwalpreet Singh tries to stop Shakeel Abbasi of Pakistan during the second Test of the series at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium in Chandigarh on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

India to test bench strength
Karachi, February 18
India will use tomorrow’s inconsequential fifth one-dayer to try out players in “different situations” as part of the ongoing process to develop the team for next year’s World Cup.
Skipper Rahul Dravid said the aim was help the youngsters develop different kinds of skills and see how they respond under pressure.
Rahul Dravid laughs during a training session in Karachi on Saturday. The fifth and final Indo-Pak one-dayer will be played in Karachi on Sunday. — Reuters photo
Rahul Dravid laughs during a training session in Karachi on Saturday. The fifth and final Indo-Pak one-dayer will be played in Karachi on Sunday












EARLIER STORIES
 

Kiwis thump West Indies
Sydney, February 18
New Zealand thrashed the West Indies by 81 runs in their opening one-day international at Wellington today. New Zealand’s top three batsmen all made half centuries as the Kiwis piled on 288 for nine from their 50 overs before the tourists collapsed to be all out for 207 in reply. Nathan Astle was the top scorer for New Zealand with 90, while fellow opener Jamie How made 66 and skipper Stephen Fleming hit a brisk 55.



Nathan Astle of New Zealand plays a shot during the first one-dayer against the West Indies at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday. — AFP
photo

Nathan Astle of New Zealand plays a shot during the first one-dayer against the West Indies at Westpac Stadium

CCI restrict England to 299
Mumbai, February 18
The young attack of CCI President’s XI proved more than a handful for England as the visitors were restricted to 299 all out on the opening day of their warm-up cricket match at the Brabourne Stadium here today.


England gear up for Test series in India.
(28k, 56k)

Cricket to link British, Indian schools
New Delhi, February 18
A UK project aims at regenerating competitive cricket in state schools is looking to India to widen its scope. The ‘Chance to Shine Appeal’ campaign will create a link between 100 British and 100 Indian schools for exchange of schools cricket teams for generating closer cricketing and bilateral ties.

Mongia stars in Punjab victory
New Delhi, February 18
Skipper Dinesh Mongia’s fabulous all-round performance helped Punjab emerge North Zone Ranji Trophy one-day tournament champions with a thumping eight wicket win over Himachal Pradesh in the last league match here today.

Day of the daredevils
Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
Feats of daredevilry, bullock carts races and athletics competitions enthralled spectators today during the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival at the Grewal Stadium in Kila Raipur, near here. Mr Mani Shankar Ayyer, Union Minister for Sports, graced the occasion and encouraged the sportspersons performing in a packed stadium.
A villager performs a balancing act during the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari
A villager performs a balancing act during the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival on Saturday

Sania-Huber enter final
Bangalore, February 18 
Sania Mirza and her South African partner Liezel Huber defeated Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine and Shahar Peer of Israel 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 to enter the doubles final of the WTA $ 175,000 Bangalore Open here today. Jelena Kostanic of Croatia today powered her way into the singles final, quelling a late challenge by Melinda Czink (Hungary) to triumph 6-0, 7-6 (7-2). —PTI

Korea rout India in badminton
Jaipur, February 18
The Koreans, ranked second in the world, stormed into the Thomas Cup Asian Zone badminton final blanking hosts India 3-0 here today. Starting as overwhelming favorites, the Korean men showed little mercy on the hosts. World number six Lee Hyun II took only 23 minutes to rout Chetan Anand 21-13, 21-10. In doubles, Lee Jae Jin and Han Sang Hoon made light work of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, trouncing them 21-17, 21-12.

India hold Hong Kong
Hong Kong, February 18
India staged a fine rally to hold Hong Kong to a 2-2 draw in a FIFA international friendly football match at the Hong Kong Stadium here today. The hosts went into an early lead but India bounced back in the second half through strikes from Sayed Rahim Nabi and skipper Bhaichung Bhutia to draw level.

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Butt powers Pak to 3-1 win
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 18
Maintaining their dominance, Pakistan defeated India 3-1 in the second Test of the six-match series for the Airtel Cup at the Hockey Stadium, Sector 42, here today.
Pakistan’s brilliant striker Rehan Butt proved instrumental in the win as he struck two beautiful field goals. Players of both teams put up a great show but the Indians gave up in the dying minutes after missing many golden chances.

Earlier, the match began at a fast pace as the Indian forwards entered the ‘D’ in the very first minute. The first penalty corner was awarded to India in the third minute which went abegging as the hit from Kanwalpreet Singh was padded out by the visitors’ alert custodian Salman Akbar.

Pakistani forwards Mudassar Ali Khan, Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi, too, adopted attacking tactics and made many brilliant moves but the alert Indian defence line thwarted their designs.

In the 11th minute of the game, Prabodh Tirkey squandered a golden chance after collecting a good pass off Didar Singh on the top of the striking circle.

Bharat Chhetri, the Indian custodian, thwarted many attempts made by Pakistani forwards and at half time the score was 0-0.

Pakistan earned a penalty corner in the 37th minute but to no avail. They drew first blood in the 41st minute through Rehan Butt. The successful move was designed by Mudassar Ali Khan, who gave a fine pass to Butt, whose shot was bang on the target.

After conceding the goal, the Indian forwards kept together and waded their way into the ‘D’ area of the rivals and earned a penalty corner in 44th minute. Sandeep Singh made no mistake to restore parity (1-1).

The goal charged the Indian team as they attacked several times through Sardara Singh, Rajpal Singh, Didar Singh and Hari Prasad, showing good coordination and stick work. But their failure in trapping the ball in the striking circle once again cost the Indians dear.

Tariq Aziz increased the tally to 2-1 in the 60th minute after deflecting a free hit from Dilawar Hussain. The goal put the Indians under pressure. Capitalising on the chance, Shakeel Abbasi deceived the defenders in his solo effort and passed the ball to Butt, who put his team 3-1 ahead in the dying minutes by pumping in the third goal.

The Pakistani coach, Asif Bajwa, expressed happiness over the win but cautioned his boys not to be complacent after the win as India could bounce back anytime to turn the tables on them.

The last match of the first leg will be held at Jalandhar on Monday.

Camp for senior players

Mr K. Jyothikumaran, General Secretary of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), told reporters here today that a special camp would be conducted for the senior players who had not been included in the 20-member squad. The camp would be held soon after February 20 in preparation for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. 

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India to test bench strength
S. S. Ramaswamy

Karachi, February 18
India will use tomorrow’s inconsequential fifth one-dayer to try out players in “different situations” as part of the ongoing process to develop the team for next year’s World Cup.

Skipper Rahul Dravid said the aim was help the youngsters develop different kinds of skills and see how they respond under pressure.

“We want the players to develop different kinds of skills and adapt to different situations in the ongoing process of developing the team. Trying to be too careful with youngsters may not be too helpful in their growth. You have to put people under pressure and see how they respond,” he said on the eve of the match.

However, he made it clear that the strategies would not be implemented at the cost of win which will see them wrap-up the series 4-1 in their favour.

“We would definitely want to win the match for a 4-1 margin of victory in the series as we approach each game with the aim of winning it. But we also see tomorrow’s game as an opportunity to give chances to some our batsmen and bowlers to play in different situations,” he said.

Asked what brought about the team’s transformation, especially in the bowlers after they had been mauled in the Test series earlier by the Pakistan batsmen, the Indian skipper said the entire team worked hard after the loss in the final Test here.

“We had not lost confidence after the Test series loss as we knew if we played good cricket, we would get the result. We worked hard after the Tests and the bowlers responded well. The support staff also did their job. We showed determination to come back in the ODIs,” Dravid said.

Dravid said the one-day game gave more chances for trying out different strategies than Tests.

Pak to go all out for win: Inzamam

Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq today said his team will go all out to win the last one-dayer against India and regain the confidence which had been dented severely by three defeats on the trot to their arch-rivals.

Inzamam conceded that India had played better cricket in the one-dayers and outscored them in bowling and fielding.

Asked whether the Indian thinktank had functioned better than the home team’s, Inzamam gave a wry smile and said, “After the Karachi Test loss it was said that ours’ was the better one.” Inzamam also had a dig at former Pakistan players who have criticised the team for its batting order changes.

“There are a lot of experts saying a lot of things in different TV channels. It’s difficult to listen to all of them. We have won in the past with the same batting order.” Former captain Imran Khan has been on the forefront of the criticism levelled at the team for its batting order changes which saw vice-captain Younis Khan bat lower in the order after batting at number three in Tests. Asked why the team could not bat well in the matches so far, Inzamam said the credit should go to the Indian team for the way it has bowled and fielded.

“The main difference in the two teams has been in fielding. In these high-scoring conditions, the team which fields better and takes catches wins. Out fielding was not as good,” he rued. — PTI

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Kiwis thump West Indies

Sydney, February 18
New Zealand thrashed the West Indies by 81 runs in their opening one-day international at Wellington today. New Zealand’s top three batsmen all made half centuries as the Kiwis piled on 288 for nine from their 50 overs before the tourists collapsed to be all out for 207 in reply.

Nathan Astle was the top scorer for New Zealand with 90, while fellow opener Jamie How made 66 and skipper Stephen Fleming hit a brisk 55.

Ramnaresh Sarwan (56) and Daren Ganga (54) both made half centuries while Dwayne Smith chipped in with a lusty 38 but the visitors were unable to mount a series challenge, crumbling to be all out in the 48th over.

Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori bowled superbly to finish with tidy figures of 2-29 from his 10 overs, while super sub Jeetan Patel and paceman Michael Mason also bagged two wickets each.

Astle and How put on 136 for the opening wicket, setting a New Zealand record against the West Indies, before Fleming raised the run-rate with his aggressive strokeplay.

How, playing in only his fifth ODI, reached his second half century off 76 balls while Astle posted his 39th ODI fifty off 58 deliveries.

How struck nine boundaries before he was bowled by Chris Gayle, while Astle hit seven fours before he fell to Smith.

Fleming slammed six fours and a pulled six off Rawl Lewis to reach his 42nd half century off 43 balls before he holed out to his West Indian counterpart Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on.

The West Indies captured 5-35 to put the brakes on New Zealand’s scoring but Scott Styris contributed a quick 36 off 34 deliveries to push the total near 300.

The West Indies, who have now lost 14 of their last 16 ODIs, made a disastrous start to their reply when opener Hinds departed for six then number three batsman Runako Morton was bowled by James Franklin for a golden duck.

Sarwan and Ganga steadied the innings with an 88-run partnership for the third wicket but their departures triggered another collapse. — Reuters

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CCI restrict England to 299

Mumbai, February 18
The young attack of CCI President’s XI proved more than a handful for England as the visitors were restricted to 299 all out on the opening day of their warm-up cricket match at the Brabourne Stadium here today.

Middle-order batsman Ian Bell top-scored with 78, while skipper Michael Vaughan (54), opener Andrew Strauss (51) and Paul Collingwood (47 not out) were also among the runs on a lively wicket at the Cricket Club of India ground.

Right-arm seamer Kshemal Waingankar, who played for the Mumbai under-22 team and was in the Ranji squad this season, grabbed three for 53 in 15 overs, while Rajesh Verma (1-18) and Abid Nabi (1-17) also impressed with their medium pace.

The Englishmen might have been surprised, or a bit nonplussed, to play on a bouncy track which even sported a tinge of grass but they would have reasons to be disappointed at some of their batsmen’s dismissals.

Vaughan was caught behind as he tried to cut a rising delivery on the off but Ashes hero Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were out in tame fashion. — PTI 

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Cricket to link British, Indian schools

New Delhi, February 18
A UK project aims at regenerating competitive cricket in state schools is looking to India to widen its scope. The ‘Chance to Shine Appeal’ campaign will create a link between 100 British and 100 Indian schools for exchange of schools cricket teams for generating closer cricketing and bilateral ties.

Addressing an interactive meeting about the “Role of Sports Education and Professional Life”, organised by FICCI in association with the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Trust here today, Prof Mervyn Allister King, president of “Chance to Shine Appeal” said, “Team work, trust and a sense of fairplay are the qualities that cricket builds in the youth and when applied to business, they spell success”.

He said the project aimed to put competitive cricket back in half of state schools in the UK. He said the project had selected 100 clubs to work with about six schools each. In the next 10 years, the project will reach out to 5,200 primary and 1,500 secondary schools.

The meeting was also addressed by Jawaharhal Nehru Sports Trust patron Gautam Kaul. — OSR

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Mongia stars in Punjab victory

New Delhi, February 18
Skipper Dinesh Mongia’s fabulous all-round performance helped Punjab emerge North Zone Ranji Trophy one-day tournament champions with a thumping eight wicket win over Himachal Pradesh in the last league match here today.

Mongia sparkled first with the ball claiming five wickets and then slammed an unbeaten quickfire 120 as Punjab thrashed Himachal with 10.5 overs to spare.

Himachal were all out for 213 runs in 50 overs and Punjab, spearheaded by Mongia, made light of the target making 214 for two in 39.1 overs to earn five points, including a bonus, and top the zonal league with 18 points. Himachal finished with 13 points.

Himachal won the toss and skipper Nischal Gaur along with Sandeep Sharma gave his side a sound start putting on 103 runs for the first wicket. But once Gaur, who topscored with 77 (8x4,106b) departed, the Himachal batting collapsed.

Mongia ran through the Himachal batting with his shrewd spin bowling as he scalped five wickets in his 10-over spell conceding 44 runs. Amit Uniyal gave him good support from the other end, claiming three wickets for just 19 runs.

Punjab started poorly, losing opener Ravneet Ricky (13) when the score was 27, but Mongia and other opener Udey Kaul put on 87 runs for the second wicket before the latter was caught by super sub Vijay Kumar off his own bowling.

Mongia was then joined by Pankaj Dharmani and the two sent the bowlers on a leather hunt, hitting them all over the ground. They added unbeaten 105 runs for the third wicket in 19.1 overs to race to victory with utmost ease.

Haryana qualify

An undefeated 194-run opening-wicket partnership between Sumeet Sharma (103) and Mahesh Rawat (83) enabled Haryana to crush Jammu and Kashmir by 10 wickets to finish second in the North Zone Ranji one-day tournament and qualify for the knockout stage here today.

Electing to bat, Jammu and Kashmir made 191 for 7 in the allotted 50 overs. Rakesh Koul top scored with 39.

Haryana openers Sumeet Sharma and Mahesh Rawat made the target look too small and insignificant as they scored 194 without getting seperated in 32.5 overs. — UNI

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Day of the daredevils
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
Feats of daredevilry, bullock carts races and athletics competitions enthralled spectators today during the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival at the Grewal Stadium in Kila Raipur, near here. Mr Mani Shankar Ayyer, Union Minister for Sports, graced the occasion and encouraged the sportspersons performing in a packed stadium.

Several hair-raising feats, including lifting of a plough with the teeth, and pulling a Maruti car and a tractor with hair were performed. A youth, Naresh Kumar, flew more than 200 kites simultaneously.

In junior hockey, Faridkot Academy defeated PAU Ludhiana 6-0 and Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur, held Sahib Singh Academy 0-0. In senior hockey, Patiala Tigers beat Friends Club 2-1 and Guru Gobind Singh Club, Kukkar Pind, defeated Khalsa Jalandhar by a narrow margin.

In kabaddi, Lohgarh and Dehlon teams defeated Fatt and Phallewal teams, respectively. Lohgarh eves defeated Phallewal village.

Black Prince, a dog owned by Gurdeep Singh of Paddi Jagir Singh, and Drakis Kala, belonging to Honey of Kila Raipur, stood first and second, respectively, in the dog race. Stakki, owned by Gurbachan Singh of Ghikhian village and Tobo Chitra, belonging to Gurman Simran Singh of Sarod village secured the next two positions.

Bullock carts of Hakam Singh of Kalsian, Dilbagh Singh of Jand, Karnail Singh of Maksudra, Surjit Singh of Alamgir, Karamjit Singh, Jodh Singh of Kalsian, Vicky of Sayan and Pal Singh of Uchi Mangli retained first positions in their respective heats.

Other results: 400 m (Girls): Rattandeep Kaur (Sunam) 1, Deepti (Sangrur) 2, Rajbir Kaur (Sangrur) 3.

800 m (Men): Vishawjit Singh (Kotla) 1, Ravideep Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib) 2, Harnek Singh (Bathinda) 3.

800 m (Women) Kiranjit Kaur (Bathinda) 1, Baljit Kaur (Sunam) 2, Deepti Rani (Sunam) 3.

1500 m (Men): Satnam Singh (Jalandhar) 1, Jasbir Singh (PSEB) 2, Parveen Kumar (PP) 3.

Cycle race: Iqbal Singh (Ludhiana) 1, Sandeep Singh (Shahpur) 2, Shankar Singh (Khanna) 3.

Cycle race (2 miles): Ajit Singh (Speed Fund Academy, Ludhiana) 1, Iqbal Singh (Shahpur) 2, Kuldeep Singh 3.

Long jump (Men): Shamsher Singh (Patiala) 1, Satish Kumar (BSF) 2, Bhupinder Singh (BSF) 3.

Long jump (Women): Rattandeep Kaur (Sunam) 1, Sapinder Kaur (PAP) 2, Kulwinder Kaur (PAP) 3.

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Korea rout India in badminton

Jaipur, February 18
The Koreans, ranked second in the world, stormed into the Thomas Cup Asian Zone badminton final blanking hosts India 3-0 here today.
Starting as overwhelming favorites, the Korean men showed little mercy on the hosts. World number six Lee Hyun II took only 23 minutes to rout Chetan Anand 21-13, 21-10. In doubles, Lee Jae Jin and Han Sang Hoon made light work of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, trouncing them 21-17, 21-12.

India’s Anup Shridhar, ranked 61st, tried to put up a fight against world No. 13 Shon Seung Mo but lost 24-22, 25-27,10-21 to the Korean.

Meanwhile, following Aparna Popat’s last-moment withdrawal, Indian eves went down 2-3 to Malaysia to finish sixth in the Asian Zone Uber Cup qualifiers here at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

The women, who have already missed the bus, were playing for the fifth place.

Coach Vimal Kumar, who appeared annoyed, said Popat withdrew citing tiredness and the nine-time national champion was replaced by youngster Krishna Dekaraja, who could not hold her nerves properly in the decider.

“I don’t like this type of attitude. She should have played. India could have finished fifth. These rankings could matter when seedings in future tournaments are played. Saying ‘I am tired’ is no reason to withdraw,” Vimal said.

In the first singles, Trupti Murugande beat Wong Mew Choo 21-17, 21-19, but Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian lost to world number six pair of Wong Peitty and Shin Eei Hui in the doubles.

Saina Nehwal took the command in her hands to get the better of Wong Julia Pei Xian 21-17, 21-10 to put India back in the lead (2-1).

The Malaysian pair of Fong Chew Yen and Mooi Hing Yau subdued Meenakshi B R and Aparna Balan 17-21, 21-12, 21-17 to level the scores at 2-2.

In the decider, Dekaraja playing her first international match made some erratic judgements and in the battle of nerves and lost to Baharum Norshailiza 20-22, 19-21. — UNI, PTI

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India hold Hong Kong

Hong Kong, February 18
India staged a fine rally to hold Hong Kong to a 2-2 draw in a FIFA international friendly football match at the Hong Kong Stadium here today.
The hosts went into an early lead but India bounced back in the second half through strikes from Sayed Rahim Nabi and skipper Bhaichung Bhutia to draw level.

Hong Kong drew first blood when Gerard Ambassa Guy scored a splendid goal in the third minute. The buoyed home side struck again in the 17th minute to increase their lead through Law Chun Bong.

India scored in the 61st minute when Sayed Rahim Nabi scored off a superb shot to reduce the margin to 2-1.

Minutes after the visitors’ first success in the match, Bhutia converted a penalty in the 67th minute.

However, with none of the two teams being able to break the deadlock, the match meandered into a draw. — PTI

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 BRIEFLY

Kalmadi quits as AFI President
New Delhi:
Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday announced his resignation as President of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to devote more time to his post in the Asian Athletic body.
Kalmadi, who was elected as President of the Asian Athletics Association Council for the second term in Incheon, Korea, on August 30 last year, said he wanted to concentrate on the Asian athletics scene and was therefore relinquishing his post from the national body. — PTI

Hussain in Pak
Karachi:
Eminent Indian painter and film-maker Maqbool Fida Hussain is here to add to the colours of friendship and peace generated by the ongoing Indo-Pak cricket series by drawing sketches of the fifth and final ODI to be played here on Sunday.
The 91-year-old, who enjoys multifarious interests and passions, will undertake his work at the National Stadium as the two teams vie to win the last game. So far no celebrity from India has shown up for the tour unlike in 2003-04. — PTI

Noble gesture
Karachi:
The Pakistani cricket team has decided to come together and help out hockey star Mohammed Qasim who is fighting for his life after being diagnosed with cancer.
Inzamam-ul Haq’s men have decided to pool in Rs 10,000 per month towards the treatment of the young goalkeeper. Qasim, who has represented the country in the Olympics, was hit on the ribs during a practice session leading to a series of tests which revealed that he was suffering from cancer. — PTI

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