SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Narang clinches gold
Melbourne, March 24
Samresh Jung let go his chance of winning a record seven gold as he allowed his mind to waver in the 25m centre fire pistol tie-breaker and settled for bronze while Gagan Narang and Abhinav Bindra added to India’s bounty with a thrilling 1-2 finish in the 50m rifle 3 position of the Commonwealth Games shooting competition here today.

Gagan Narang and Abhinav Bindra at the medal ceremony of the men’s 50m rifle 3 position event in Melbourne on Friday Gagan Narang (right) and Abhinav Bindra at the medal ceremony of the men’s 50m rifle 3 position event in Melbourne on Friday. Gagan won the gold, while Abhinav got the silver. — PTI photo









EARLIER STORIES
  India may get four-year ban in weightlifting 
Melbourne, March 24
India faced a ban upto four years in weightlifting competitions after it was confirmed today that two of their lifters tested positive for a banned steroid stanozonol in the 18th Commonwealth Games here.

Kiwis rub salt into India’s wounds
Melbourne, March 24
A disoriented India’s cup of misery was full to the brim as they frittered away the lead and lost to New Zealand 1-2 by a Golden Goal to finish sixth in the men’s hockey competition of the Commonwealth Games here today. India led 1-0 at half time. The two teams were playing against each other after a 18-month gap. The last time they faced each other was at the Athens Olympics where India lost in an acrimonious tie.



Ben Collier of New Zealand takes the ball past India’s Vikram Pillay during the men’s hockey playoff in Melbourne on Friday. — AFP
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Ben Collier of New Zealand takes the ball past India’s Vikram Pillay during the men’s hockey playoff in Melbourne on Friday

Aussies, Pak to clash in final
Melbourne, March 24
Olympic champions Australia will clash with Pakistan in the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey final after dramatic semifinal wins here today. The Aussies brushed aside Malaysia 6-0 with three goals coming through penalty strokes as the Malaysian defenders battled hard to contain the rampaging Australian forwards.

Edward sways to bhangra music
Melbourne, March 24
Prince Edward swayed to bhangra music at a star-studded India Night at the Commonwealth Games, the likes of which is rarely seen outside the country. Over 400 local dancers trained for the past five weeks combined Bollywood’s glitzy musicals numbers and Indian fashion beautifully to produce a night to remember yesterday. It was also a night when Prince Edward swayed to electrifying bhangra, and Melbourne’s first Mayor of Chinese origin, John So, tucked into some spicy vindaloo.


Prince Edward arrives for the India Night in Melbourne on Thursday night. — AFP
photo

Prince Edward arrives for the India Night in Melbourne on Thursday night

Chetan loses in semis
Melbourne, March 24
Fourth seeded Chetan Anand waged a grim battle against world number nine Choong Wong of Malaysia before going down in the semifinals of the men’s open Badminton competition of the Commonwealth Games here today.

Sharath enters semis
Melbourne, March 24 Achanta Sharath Kamal kept India’s medal hopes alive as he edged past Singapore’s Li Xiao Cai 11-3, 13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7 to move into the semifinals of the men’s open table tennis competition of the Commonwealth Games here today. Sharath Kamal is the lone Indian left in the field after his compatriots fell by the wayside as the semifinal line up was completed. Hyderabad-based Sharath Kamal overpowered a spirited challenge from fancied Li Xiao Cai in a tough quarterfinal match.

India’s Achanta Sharath Kamal returns the ball to Singapore’s Li Xiao Cai during their men’s singles table tennis quarterfinal at the Commonwealth Games on Friday. — AFP
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India’s Achanta Sharath Kamal returns the ball to Singapore’s Li Xiao Cai during their men’s singles table tennis quarterfinal at the Commonwealth Games on Friday

Anju finishes poor sixth
Melbourne, March 24
Anju Bobby George’s hopes of a second successive medal in the Commonwealth Games were buried in the sands of the long jump pit at the historic MCG Stadium as the lanky Indian finished a poor sixth here tonight.

Cash reward for Jitender
Chandigarh, March 24
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today announced a cash reward of Rs 3 lakh for Jitender Kumar who won a bronze medal in boxing at the Commonwealth Games. Announcing this in the Haryana Assembly, Mr Hooda applauded the outstanding performance of athletes from Haryana in the games. The Chief Minister has already announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for Seema Antil who had won a silver in athletics. — UNI

India’s events today
Medals tally

Sachin slips to lowest ranking in 13 years 

Dubai, March 24
Sachin Tendulkar has dropped to his lowest Test ranking in 13 years, while England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is closing in on the number one spot in the all-rounder’s table following India’s Mumbai Test drubbing this week.
The latest LG ICC player rankings for Test cricket saw Tendulkar drop four places to 16th following his lacklustre show in the drawn three-Test series against England.



Sachin Tendulkar receives a gold-plated bat from Lata Mangeshkar during a felicitation function in Mumbai on Thursday. — PTI
photo

Sachin Tendulkar receives a gold-plated bat from Lata Mangeshkar during a felicitation function in Mumbai on Thursday

‘Sporting’ wicket for Kotla match
New Delhi, March 24
The Delhi and District Cricket Association has prepared a sporting wicket which will equally aid the batsmen and the bowlers for the first One-Day International match between India and England to be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on March 28.

Ponting props up Aussies
Durban, March 24
Captain Ricky Ponting’s flawed half century earned Australia the advantage on the first day of the second Test against South Africa today. Australia, who won the toss and chose to bat, were 138 for two at tea. Ponting was 73 not out with Damien Martyn on 20.

Sania crashes out
Miami, March 24
Sania Mirza’s joy after being adjudged the WTA Newcomer of the Year 2005 was cut short as the Indian waged a two-hour, 39-minute marathon battle before going down to Georgian teenager Anna Tatishvili in the first round of the Miami Open.

Grischuk shocks Anand

Ajeetesh in Asia-Pacific golf team
Chandigarh, March 24
Ajeetesh Sandhu of Chandigarh has been selected in the Asia-Pacific team for their match against the European Golf Association in New Zealand.

Mohindra College gets trophy
Patiala, March 24
Government Mohindra College received the overall general trophy in the men’s section at the annual sports prize distribution function of Punjabi University held at the arts auditorium here today.

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Narang clinches gold
Samresh Jung misses record

Melbourne, March 24
Samresh Jung let go his chance of winning a record seven gold as he allowed his mind to waver in the 25m centre fire pistol tie-breaker and settled for bronze while Gagan Narang and Abhinav Bindra added to India’s bounty with a thrilling 1-2 finish in the 50m rifle 3 position of the Commonwealth Games shooting competition here today.

Jung, who was the leading Indian competitor with five gold going into the event, was in peak form in the precision and rapid round to tally 578 points, which tied him with Singapore’s Shaw Ming On and Gregory Yelavich of New Zealand.

The 35-year old Indian had 290 in the precision rounds, which the best among the three. On and Yelavich made up for the deficit with 289 and 290 in the rapid fire where Jung had 288.

In the shoot-out, however, the Indian could muster only 44 — he dropped out of the first phase — while On produced a masterly 144 and Yelavich had an equally impressive 141. It gave Singapore its first gold at the games.

Another Indian in the fray, Jaspal Rana, who also holds Games record of 583, ended up fourth with 577.

Jung said he let the thought of record medal tally affect him in the final round.

“It came to my mind, maybe I put additional pressure on myself,” he said.

Jung has won gold in the 50m and 10m air pistol individual events and three more in the 25m standard, 25m centre fire and 25m rapid fire pistol pairs events.

The Delhi shooter still has 25m standard pistol individual event to go and finishig at the top there would see him equal the Games record of six gold currently held by Australian swimmers Ian Thorpe and Susie O' Neill.

Narang, who already has the men’s 10m air rifle pairs gold with Bindra, won with a Games final record of 1261.4 points. His aggregate of 1163 in the qualification round was also a Games record.

The Hyderabad-based shooter tallied 394, 389 and 380 points in prone, standing and kneeling positions in the qualification rounds, which was also his personal best tally.

The previous games record of 1157 by Canadian Mart Kleep had stood since 1990.

Bindra aggregated 1248.6 (1151+97.6) to claim second spot.

Australian Ben Burges got the bronze medal with a total of 1238.2 (1150+88.2).

This was India’s 16th gold in shooting at Melbourne out of the 20 yellow medals it has claimed so far.

Meanwhile, Arti Singh Rao finished sixth in the women’s skeet event. Andri Eleftheriou of Cyprus won the gold while Lauryn Mark of Australia bagged the silver. Pinky Le Grelle of England claimed the bronze. — PTI

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India may get four-year ban in weightlifting 

Melbourne, March 24
India faced a ban upto four years in weightlifting competitions after it was confirmed today that two of their lifters tested positive for a banned steroid stanozonol in the 18th Commonwealth Games here.

Making the official announcement, Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell merely said that two Indian athletes had tested positive in a pre-event test, but the Indian officials had named the athletes — Tejinder Singh and Edwin Raju — on condition of anonymity yesterday.

The CGF chief said both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples of the two athletes had returned positive and the matter has been referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is a procedure as per the protocols governing dope cases of the Commonwealth Games.

Fennell said the protocols also did not allow for naming of athletes till CAS gave its ruling.

The CAS hearing is to be held tomorrow and the verdict is expected on Sunday.

Tejinder Singh pulled out of the 85-kg category competition at the last minute citing illness while Edwin Raju finished fourth in the 56-kg category.

Woman weightlifter Shailaja Pujari had tested positive in an out of competition tests conducted by WADA at a training camp in India prior to the contingent’s departure to Melbourne.

Under section (16.3.2.1) of International Weightlifting Federation’s rulebook: “If three or more violations of these Anti-Doping Rules are committed ... by Athletes or other Persons affiliated with a National Federation within a 12-month period in testing conducted by the IWF or Anti-Doping Organizations other than the National Federation or its National Anti-Doping Organization, then the IWF may suspend that National Federation’s membership for a period of up to four years.” India are competing in its first international event after serving a one-year ban in 2004.

India’s Chef de Mission H J Dora, who is also the head of Indian Weightlifting Federation, stressed that any athlete found guilty of doping would be banned for life as per the bylaws of IWF.

However, Dora expressed surprise at the positive dope tests since the athletes underwent dope tests before they left India.

“We are determined to ensure that the testing process is fully scrutinised as the athletes in question have been subjected to three rounds of dope testing in the past month which have all been negative,” Dora said.

“The last test on these two athletes by WADA was on March 1 and the weightlifters arrived in Melbourne on March 10.” — PTI

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Kiwis rub salt into India’s wounds

Melbourne, March 24
A disoriented India’s cup of misery was full to the brim as they frittered away the lead and lost to New Zealand 1-2 by a Golden Goal to finish sixth in the men’s hockey competition of the Commonwealth Games here today. India led 1-0 at half time.

The two teams were playing against each other after a 18-month gap. The last time they faced each other was at the Athens Olympics where India lost in an acrimonious tie.

For the Indians, Sandeep Singh scored the goal in the 24th minute off a second penalty corner and New Zealand equalised through Bevan Hari in the 40th minute and as the teams were levelled 1-1.

The extra time was played in which Phillips Burrows scored the Golden Goal in the second minute .

The Indians played well in the first half in which they earned two penalty corners and managed to convert one and also had an easy chance to increase the lead but once again Deepak Thakur muffed up the sitter.

In the competition, Thakur missed some of the easiest possible chances and his side had to pay the price and today was no exception.

The Kiwis also made some good counter moves but Simon Child, Bradley Shaw and Beaven Hari could not convert the openings into goals.

They also wasted two penalty corners in this session once Hayden Shaw’s shot was cleared by a defender and his next shot was wide off the target.

The Indian midfielders — Ignance Tirkey, Vikram Pillay and Prabodh Tirkey — gave a good account of themselves in this session but the forwards could not utilise the opening made by them.

There was a sudden slump in India’s performance in the second session as the Kiwis suddenly took over control of the proceedings.

The flurry of attacks from the flanks and counter-thrusts from the centre created panic among the Indians who seemed to be clueless of the happening around.

Capitalising on the situation, the Kiwis launched lightning counter-moves and drew parity through Bevan Hari who shot home following a defensive lapse (1-1).

The 70 minutes play ended at 1-1 and to end the deadlock, extra time was played. But it lasted barely two minutes as Philips Burrows ripped through the unsettled Indian defence to shot home the winner that comlpeted India's agony in this competition. — UNI

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Aussies, Pak to clash in final

Melbourne, March 24
Olympic champions Australia will clash with Pakistan in the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey final after dramatic semifinal wins here today. The Aussies brushed aside Malaysia 6-0 with three goals coming through penalty strokes as the Malaysian defenders battled hard to contain the rampaging Australian forwards.

Pakistan beat England 2-1 through Shakeel Abbasi’s golden goal three minutes into extra-time after both teams played out a high-class 1-1 draw in the regulation period.

Abbasi gave Pakistan the lead in the 54th minute which Matthew Daly equalised two minutes from the final whistle through England’s fourth penalty corner in the last quarter.

Abbasi then swooped on a defence-breaking pass from Rehan Butt and beat English goalkeeper Jonathan Ebsworth with a hard push to secure victory for Pakistan.

The sold-out final on Sunday at the State Hockey Centre will feature the only two unbeaten teams in the 10-nation tournament who topped their respective league groups.

Australia are seeking a hat-trick of gold medals at the Commonwealth Games after winning the title in both the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games and in Manchester four years ago without losing a game. — AFP

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Edward sways to bhangra music

Melbourne, March 24
Prince Edward swayed to bhangra music at a star-studded India Night at the Commonwealth Games, the likes of which is rarely seen outside the country.
Over 400 local dancers trained for the past five weeks combined Bollywood’s glitzy musicals numbers and Indian fashion beautifully to produce a night to remember yesterday.

It was also a night when Prince Edward swayed to electrifying bhangra, and Melbourne’s first Mayor of Chinese origin, John So, tucked into some spicy vindaloo.

Amid all this, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit promised a show as good if not better than Melbourne’s when the Commonwealth Games comes to the Capital in 2010.

Then there was the dancer-choreographer Shiamak Davar, who had put together a performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year.

His dance numbers from the super-hit “Bunty aur Babli” had the whole audience up and about, with even the sprightly 77-year-old Milkha Singh, the legendary Flying Sikh, getting onto the dance stage.

Ritu Beri’s fashion segment and Meenakshi Sheshadri’s dancer numbers added to the glitter as thousands jostled outside the Town Hall to catch a glimpse of the Bollywood and sports stars.

Adding to the sporting touch was Sunil Gavaskar who, after a rather low-toned speech, rounded off with the fervent wish that India beat Australia in the 2007 World Cup final, much to the glee of the Indians in the gathering.

The India Night also featured P.T. Usha, Michael Ferreira, Olympic silver medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore, Nafisa Ali and Pooja Bedi, among others.

The function hosted by the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee had in attendance representatives of all 71 Commonwealth nations, besides officials of the Australian and Indian governments as well as of the Melbourne games.

They all got a taste of what to expect during the Indian handover ceremony on Sunday, when there will more Indian stuff.

Suresh Kalmadi, IOA President, beaming from ear to ear with the roaring success of the night, did the job of a part-time master of ceremonies. With him sat Prince Edward, Lord Sebastian Coe, John Harnden, CEO of Melbourne 2006, Justin Madden, the minister for Commonwealth Games, and a few others.

“We will gave all a glimpse of India’s rich culture and heritage in the 11 minutes allotted to us (at the closing ceremony) and invite athletes of the Commonwealth to attend the best ever games in 2010,” said Kalmadi, chairman of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

The 11-minute ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground promises to light up the sky.

Key performers in the segment included Saif Ali Khan, who shot an entire film, “Salaam Namaste” in Melbourne, film stars Aishwarya Rai, Lara Dutta and Rani Mukherjee. — IANS

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Chetan loses in semis

Melbourne, March 24
Fourth seeded Chetan Anand waged a grim battle against world number nine Choong Wong of Malaysia before going down in the semifinals of the men’s open Badminton competition of the Commonwealth Games here today.

In another blow to Indian shuttlers, women’s doubles pair of Trupti Murgunde and Saina Nehawal also lost their semifinal match against top seed Malaysian duo of Hui Eei Chin and Tty Pei Wong rather tamely.

Chetan-Wong match was a gruelling 57-minute affair with both the players sharing the first two sets, but in the decider the Malaysian held on to his nerves while the Indian conceded a couple of negative points and committed unforced errors. Chetan lost 11-21, 21-17, 13-21.

In the women’s doubles semifinals, Trupti and Saina threw in the towel without offering a fight to the high profile duo of Tty Pei Wong and Hui Eei Chin. The Malaysians justified their rankings as they humbled the rivals 21-8, 21-3 in 16 minutes reducing the tie to no contest.

Earlier, national champion Anup Sridhar put up a tough resistance against top seed and world number two Wei Chong Lee of Malaysia in the quarter-finals before losing 15-21, 18-21.

Olympian Aparna Popat also lost her quarter finals to unheralded Alice Elizabeth Cann of Jersey in straight sets 13-21, 15-21 in just 28 minutes. — UNI

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Sharath enters semis

Melbourne, March 24
Achanta Sharath Kamal kept India’s medal hopes alive as he edged past Singapore’s Li Xiao Cai 11-3, 13-11, 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7 to move into the semifinals of the men’s open table tennis competition of the Commonwealth Games here today.

Sharath Kamal is the lone Indian left in the field after his compatriots fell by the wayside as the semifinal line up was completed. Hyderabad-based Sharath Kamal overpowered a spirited challenge from fancied Li Xiao Cai in a tough quarterfinal match.

Sharath displayed fighting quality to take a 3-0 lead against Cai but then sudden lapse in his concentration allowed his rival to fight back, winning the next two games to make it 2-3. The Indian rallied superbly in the sixth game to win it.

Earlier, in women doubles quarterfinals, Mouma Das and Polumi Ghatak went down fighting to New Zealand’s Karen Li and Annie Yang 11-9, 13-15, 10-12, 13-11, 10-12.

In the men’s doubles quarterfinals also, the Indian pair of Sharath Kamal and Soumyadeep Roy went down to English pair of Andrew Baggaley and Andrew Rushton 8-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 4-11. — UNI

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Anju finishes poor sixth

India’s Anju Bobby George competes in the women’s long jump final at the Commonwealth Games on Friday
India’s Anju Bobby George competes in the women’s long jump final at the Commonwealth Games on Friday. — Reuters photo

 

Melbourne, March 24
Anju Bobby George’s hopes of a second successive medal in the Commonwealth Games were buried in the sands of the long jump pit at the historic MCG Stadium as the lanky Indian finished a poor sixth here tonight.

The 29-year-old Chennai-based Custom officer cleared 6.54m in her third attempt to finish sixth in the field of 12 jumpers and failed to retain the bronze which she had won at Manchester Games in 2002.

Australian Bronwyn Thompson won the gold with a new Games record of 6.97, which she cleared in her second attempt. The earlier Games record of 6.78 was set by Australia’s Shonel Ferguson in 1982.

Kerrie Taurima, also of Australia took silver in 6.57 while Seychelles’s Celina Laporte took the bronze with 6.57.

Eighteen months ago, Anju had finished sixth at the Athens Olympics but had the satisfaction of achieving a national record of 6.83 metres in the Greek capital. But today it was simply a disaster for her. — UNI

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India’s events today

(all timings IST)

ATHLETICS: women’s 4x400m relay 3.45 pm.

BADMINTON: (men’s singles) Chetan Anand v Aamir Ghaffar for bronze medal 11 am.

BOXING: (final) Harpreet Singh v Michael Bradley Pitt (Aus) 91 kg 11 am; Akhil Kumar v Richard Louis Julie (Mri) 54 kg 1.45 pm; Vijender v Bongani Mwelase (SAF) 69 kg 3.45 pm.

HOCKEY: (women’s final) India v Australia 7.30 am.

SHOOTING: Samaresh Jung and Ronak Pandit 25m standard 3.30 am; Amit Sanghi and Baba P S Bedi skeet 4.30 am.

TABLE TENNIS: (men’s singles semifinals) A Sharath Kamal v Segun Toriola 11.50 am. — UNI

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Sachin slips to lowest ranking in 13 years 

Dubai, March 24
Sachin Tendulkar has dropped to his lowest Test ranking in 13 years, while England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is closing in on the number one spot in the all-rounder’s table following India’s Mumbai Test drubbing this week.

The latest LG ICC player rankings for Test cricket saw Tendulkar drop four places to 16th following his lacklustre show in the drawn three-Test series against England.

Two Indian batsman were ahead of him in the rankings — captain Rahul Dravid (5th) and Virender Sehwag (10th).

The defeat in Mumbai, however, made it a forgettable 100th Test for Dravid as he dropped one place in the list.

Lata presents gold-plated bat

Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar was presented with a gold-plated bat by legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar at a function here on Thursday evening. The function was held to commemorate Tendulkar’s feat of becoming India’s leading Test-playing cricketer.

I need some luck: Tendulkar

NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar’s cup of woes may be brimming over but the little champion is ready to fight the odds.

In an interview with Outlook Magazine, Tendulkar says his reflexes have not slowed down and he needs some luck to turn things around. — PTI, TNS

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‘Sporting’ wicket for Kotla match
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, March 24
The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has prepared a sporting wicket which will equally aid the batsmen and the bowlers for the first One-Day International match between India and England to be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on March 28.

With a lush-green outfield and enhanced seating capacity, the Ferozeshah Kotla ground sports a different look, though out of the 41,000 seats on offer, nearly half the number will be offered as complimentaries. According to DDCA officials, only 20,000 tickets have been put on sale through the branches of Dena Bank. But the DDCA hopes to mint a profit of Rs 5 crore from the match.

DDCA senior vice-president C K Khanna said the seating capacity of the stadium has been enhanced, which was only 28,000 during the Test match between India and Sri Lanka a few months ago.

Yet, the stadium would not be fully ready as it would take many more months for all the work to be completed.

But the unfinished stands, which were jutting out as sore thumps in the Test against Sri Lanka, have been given the finishing touches to give the stadium almost a finished look.

A new type of grass imported from Georgia has been planted at the Kotla ground which gives the ground an evem feel, like a billiards top.

Meanwhile, Doordarshan has announced that it will telecast live all the seven ODI matches in its national network. All the matches will start at 9 am.

Match schedule: March 28: Delhi; March 31: Faridabad; April 3: Panaji; April 6: Kochi; April 9: Guwahati; April 12: Jamshedpur; April 15: Indore.

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Ponting props up Aussies

Durban, March 24
Captain Ricky Ponting’s flawed half century earned Australia the advantage on the first day of the second Test against South Africa today. Australia, who won the toss and chose to bat, were 138 for two at tea. Ponting was 73 not out with Damien Martyn on 20.

Ponting took guard just nine balls into the match and without a run on the board when Matthew Hayden drove expansively at a wide delivery from fast bowler Makhaya Ntini and edged a catch to AB de Villiers at third slip.

Langer and Ponting rode out the rest of a first hour in which the ball often deviated off the seam and they began to score more freely as lunch approached.

Langer and Ponting were finally separated in the 10th over lunch when Langer, who scored 35, drove limply at a delivery from fast bowler Jacques Kallis and fell to a low, rolling catch by Boucher to end a stand of 97.

Ponting and Martyn have scored comfortably, though not fluently, on a steadily flattening pitch. — Reuters 

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Sania crashes out

Miami, March 24
Sania Mirza’s joy after being adjudged the WTA Newcomer of the Year 2005 was cut short as the Indian waged a two-hour, 39-minute marathon battle before going down to Georgian teenager Anna Tatishvili in the first round of the Miami Open.

It was a see-saw match with Sania and the 16-year-old Georgian wild card at the $ 3,450,000 Tier I event and in the end, the younger of two ranked 1,144, had the last laugh with a 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-6 (8) win. — UNI

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Grischuk shocks Anand

Monaco, March 24 
Viswanathan Anand suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Russian Alexander Grischuk in the fifth round of the 15th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament here. The 0.5-1.5 loss proved quite costly for the defending champion yesterday as the Indian not only lost the joint lead in the combined standings but also slid down in his blindfold standings. — PTI

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Ajeetesh in Asia-Pacific golf team

Chandigarh, March 24
Ajeetesh Sandhu of Chandigarh has been selected in the Asia-Pacific team for their match against the European Golf Association in New Zealand. In a letter to the Indian Golf Union, the Honorary Secretary of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation has requested Ajeetesh to reach Auckland by April 22. The golf match will be played from April 26 to 28.

Ajeetesh has also been listed among the probables for the Indian team for the Eisenhower Cup. Another player form the region figuring among the probables is Gaganjeet Bhullar from Kapurthala.The selection trials for the probables will be held at Golden Greens Golf Resort, Gurgaon, from May 3 to 6, and at Jaypee Greens Golf Resort, Greater Noida, from May 9 to 12. — TNS

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Mohindra College gets trophy
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, March 24
Government Mohindra College received the overall general trophy in the men’s section at the annual sports prize distribution function of Punjabi University held at the arts auditorium here today.

Mohindra College Principal D.I. S. Brar received the trophy from the chief guest, Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor S.S. Boparai in the presence of former Olympian and university sports adviser Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, Director (Sports) Dr Raj Kumar Sharma, a host of coaches and principals of all affiliated colleges.

In the women’s section, the overall general trophy, which was won by Prof Gursewak Singh Physical Education College, was received by the Principal, Mrs Prabhsharan Kaur, from the chief guest.

Senior football coach Dalbir Singh, who coached the Punjabi University team to a historic title win in the All-India Inter-University Football Tournament held at Srinagar (Garhwal) in January this year, was also honoured. Punjabi University had won the title for the first time since its inception in 1963.

Prominent among the players who were honoured were Abhishek Rana (cycling), Harpreet Singh (cycling), Ravinder Singh (cycling), Ravneet Kaur (kayaking), Asha Rani (kayaking), Jashandeep Kaur (gymnastics), Yadvinder Singh (basketball) and Talwinder Singh (basketball),

On the occasion, Dr Raj Kumar Sharma highlighted the progress made by the university in various sports disciplines. Mr Boparai said from now on students who could not take their annual examinations due to participation for the university in various tournaments would be allowed to take their examinations as special cases. The vote of thanks was proposed by Principal Inder Singh Tiwana, President of the Sports Council.

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