‘Colourful’ Challenger Series begins today
Inzamam not to sue
Mayo girls win cricket title
Uttar Pradesh thrash Sialkot
Raid de Himalaya flagged off
Missing fencer seeks asylum in UK
Gangjee maintains lead
Chennai, September 30
The four-day day-night event does not have much at stake as the Indian team has already been selected for the Champions Trophy. India Blue take on India Red tomorrow and India Green on Monday. India Green face India Red on Tuesday. The final will be held on Wednesday.
It would be crucial for players like Sourav, VVS Laxman and medium pacer Zaheer Khan for whom the tournament would provide an ideal chance to impress the new Selection Committee headed by Dilip Vengsarkar and entertain their hopes of making it to the national side for the quadrennial event in the West Indies next year.
As a parting gift, outgoing Chairman of the Selection Committee Kiran More rekindled the hopes of a few cricketers who have been left out in the cold.
The focus would be on Sourav. But it was a pleasant surprise for Wasim Jaffer, basically considered a Test player, to be named in the Rahul Dravid-led team to give him a chance to prepare himself for the tour to South Africa.
Battle-scarred veterans Sourav and Laxman will be playing under Mohammad Kaif for India Green.
Medium pacer Laxmipathy Balaji will be playing after a long layoff.
India Blue’s Sachin Tendulkar, who has completely recovered from his shoulder surgery, would be missing the first match against India Red. He will play against India Green and in the final if his team qualifies.
The teams: India Blue: Rahul Dravid (capt), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia, Wasim Jaffer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Munaf Patel, Rudra Pratap Singh and Ravindra Jadeja. Coach: Ian Frazer.
India Red: Y Venugopala Rao (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Kaarthick, TP Singh, VRV Singh, S Sreesanth, Ramesh Powar, Zaheer Khan, Murali Kartik, C Raghu. Coach: Lalchand Rajput.
India Green: Mohammad Kaif (capt), Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Hemang Badani, Suresh Raina, Tanmay Srivastava, Piyush Chawla, Parthiv Patel, Sourashish Lahiri, Ashish Nehra, Laxmipathy Balaji, Praveen Kumar, Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Coach: Robin Singh. — UNI
Islamabad, September 30
Inzamam, who returned here from London to a warm welcome, said he was a religious man and believed in forgiving and forgetting.
“I will not be pursuing any legal action against anyone although some people have advised me to do so. I want to end this matter and move on. I want to see the team doing well in the Champions Trophy and concentrate on cricket,” he said on his arrival here.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan had said that the board may consider initiating legal action against Hair for “bringing the game into disrepute”, the same charge for which Inzamam was banned for four ODIs.
However, Inzamam said he was keen to bury the episode. — PTI
Mayo girls win cricket title
Dharampur, September 30
Ashoka Hall won the toss and decided to field. Mayo openers provided a good start with Akta scoring 30 runs and Zara getting 27. Skipper Pragati made 24 and Mehak chipped in with 25 runs off 16 deliveries. For Ashoka Hall, Shweta, Ambika and Sonal took one wicket each.
Ashoka Hall eves started the run chase on a dismal note, losing opener Aishwarya very cheaply. Jyoti Khetwal (31) and skipper Sonal (33) put up some resistance. However, their efforts went in vain. Mayo bowlers, supported by the fielders, restricted Ashoka Hall to 117 for 7 wickets in 20 overs.
Mehak of Mayo College was adjudged the player of the final for her all-round performance (25 runs off 16 balls and 1 wicket for 14 runs in 3.3 overs)
Aishwarya Singh of Ashoka Hall, who claimed a total of 11 wickets, was declared the best bowler of the tournament. Paridhi Garg of MGD, Jaipur, with 105 runs, bagged the best batswoman award, while Sonal Mallik of Ashoka Hall got the best fielder award.
Mr Gyaneshwar Singh, SP, Solan, who was the chief guest during the closing ceremony, presented the awards.
Uttar Pradesh thrash Sialkot
Dharamsala, September 30
On the fourth and final day of the match, the visitors’ second innings folded up at 112. Playing without captain Imran Nazir, pace bowler Mohammad Asif and wicketkeeper Hafiz Khalid, Sialkot were reduced to an eight-man team today.
Chasing a mammoth target of 429 runs, Sialkot lost early wickets and were reduced to 14 for 2 in the eighth over. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and Sialkot were bundled out in 35.5 overs. For Uttar Pradesh, R.P. Singh took four wickets for 26 runs, including the prized scalps of Shoaib Malik and Abdul Rehman.
Rizwan Shamshad was declared the man of the match for his knocks of 84 and 88. Imran Nazir was named the batsman of the match for his 123 in the first innings and R.P. Singh won the bowler of the match award for his haul of six wickets. The winning team’s stand-in captain Suresh Raina was presented the Mohammad Nisar Trophy by former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P.K.Dhumal and Waqar Nisar, son of the legendary bowler to whom the trophy is dedicated.
Imran Nazir, who had to sit out today due to a wrist injury, said it would have been difficult for any team to fight back with several players unavailable due to injuries. R.P.Singh said he would try to maintain the momentum in the forthcoming Champions Trophy.
Earlier, resuming from their overnight score of 361 for 7, Uttar Pradesh declared their innings at 373. Jyoti Yadav remained unbeaten on 53.
Uttar Pradesh (1st innings) 316
Sialkot (1st innings) 261
Uttar Pradesh (2nd innings)
Rohit c Yousuf b Majid 34
Shivakant c Yousuf b Mughal 36
Raina b Rehman 55
Ravikant c Majid b Mughal 64
Rizwan c Satvinder b Amjad 88
Jyoti not out 53
Praveen c Rehman b Mughal 1
Piyush c and b Majid 8
Amir not out 6
Extras (b-12, lb-2, nb-14) 28
Total (7 wkts, 100.2 overs) 373
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-95, 3-165, 4-238, 5-328, 6-337, 7-361.
Bowling: Asif 4-1-7-0, Sarfaraz 22-4-68-0, Mughal 23.2-3-103-3, Majid 10-1-31-2, Rehman 27-1-108-1, Shoaib Malik 7-1-23-0, Amjad 5-0-16-1, Shehzad Malik 2-0-3-0.
Sialkot (2nd innings)
Shahid lbw Praveen 5
Majid c Amir b Srivastava 27
Amjad c Shamshadb R.P. Singh 0
Rehman c Amir b R.P. Singh 7
Shehzad Malik not out 31
Mughal c R.P. Singhb Srivastava 24
Shoaib Malik c Amirb R.P. Singh 11
Sarfaraz b R.P. Singh 0
Khalid retd out
Nazir retd out
Asif retd out
Extras (b-4, lb-3) 7
Total (all out, 35.5 overs) 112
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-14, 3-36, 4-43, 5-89, 6-112, 7-112.
Bowling: R. P. Singh 9.5-2-26-4, Praveen 9-3-35-1, Piyush 6-2-13-0, Srivastava 9-3-25-2, Raina 2-0-6-0.
Raid de Himalaya flagged off
Shimla, September 30
The event, being organised by Himalayan Motor Sports Association in collaboration with the Himachal Youth Services and Sports Department, figures in the calendar of international off-road motor rallies.
The rally will run in two independent races formats concurrently. The sheer speed version will be called the X-treme category, while the time speed and distance version is known as the reliability trial.
The routes for both versions traverse through Lahaul and Spiti and Ladakh and the seven-day rally will conclude at Manali on October 6.
Twentynine cars and 32 motor cycles in the X-treme category and 31 vehicles in the reliability trial were able to fulfil the stringent safety and mechanical requirements of the pre-event scrutiny. The Raid is being held under the auspices of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, Geneva. It will be conducted as per the international sporting code and the general prescriptions of the Motorsports Association of India and the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India. Of the 36 motor cycles reporting, only 32 were cleared for flag-off.
At the completion of stage one at Thailla, the rugged terrain and tough competition had already begun to take its toll. The vehicle of former champion Aier of Nagaland experienced mechanical failure and he had to drop out of the Raid. Mandeep Singh, a first-timer in the X-treme category found the going a lot tougher than the relatively sedate pace of the reliability trial and rolled his Gypsy while trying to mix it up with the big boys. However, showing the right spirit, he valiantly carried on after getting back on track. He is still in contention.
Last year’s winner Ashish Moudgill (bike 71) is leading the X-treme bikes category, followed by Yogesh Lakhani (bike 72) and Gagandeep (bike 73). Mudassar Khatri (bike 86), retired halfway through stage one as he had been running fever since yesterday.
Missing fencer seeks asylum in UK
Patiala, September 30
Rupaiya went missing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she along with 17 other members of the Indian contingent went to participate in the fencing meet.
Mr Arun Vij, Secretary-General of the Fencing Federation of India (FFI), said he had received a message in this connection from his contact in the UK. He added that though the British police was absolutely sure that she was in the UK, her exact location could not be pinpointed so far. He said he hoped that Rupaiya, who had cheated the country and the federation, will be arrested shortly.
Rupaiya Devi (26) was missing from her hotel room on September 17 when she did not have any event.
The federation officials were expecting that she might come back to India with other participants but their hopes were dashed when they found that only 17 members of Indian team returned after the championship was over.
Mr Vij said he had informed the police in Patiala about the latest development. He added that now the local police would be able to initiate action against Rupaiya as she was a resident of this city.
Mr Vij said Rupaiya would be debarred from participating in any national or international event. He added that action against Balshewar Singh, a coach who had accompanied the Indian contingent, would also be taken. He said the coach would be barred from accompanying any team and he would be disallowed to hold any training camp.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 30
While Namdhari XI edged out Punjab Police by a solitary first-half goal, Indian Oil Corporation with several internationals in their ranks made mincemeat of Ropar Hawks, trouncing them 8-0 after leading by 3-0 at half time.
Both Punjab Police and Namdhari XI, bereft of stars unlike earlier occasions, took the field with new faces. But the Namdharis, with a strong pool of upcoming players, hardly missed stars like Indian defender Harpal Singh, who recently donned national colours at the World Cup in Germany. Players like Deedar Singh and Sardara Singh, who have joined IOC, and Ajmer Singh and Joga Singh, who have signed for Air-India, have made way for promising newcomers. According to former Olympian Didar Singh, team manager, the Namdharis have almost 35 players in each age group, including the under-19, under-15, and under-12 age groups. Hence the consistency in performance.
Punjab Police, on the other hand, also comprised new faces except for skipper Jugraj Singh. With former Olympian Baljit Singh Dhillon assuming the role of team manager here, and his brother Daljit Singh Dhillon having hung up his boots, newcomers like Amit Singh, with good speed and skill, are trying to fill the void.
Namdhari XI maintained a steady pace throughout the tie and the all-important goal came in the 16th minute off a short corner. Off the push, Gurpreet Singh found the roof of the net without difficulty (1-0).
Punjab Police also had a good chance when off a counter attack, Gurjant Singh stretched his stick to connect a cross but the ball went over the bar. Punjab Police, who were awarded four penalty corners, relied heavily on Jugraj. However, Jugraj’s lethal drag flicks failed to inflict any damage today unlike the previous occasion when he scored a hat-trick against RCF.
The last quarter-final turned out to be hopelessly one-sided with Indian Oil Corporation racing to a 3-0 lead at the interval. The opening goal came in the 10th minute off a short corner when Bikramjit’s drag flick brooked no resistance. Bharat Kumar scored a field goal to make it 2-0 in the 29th minute while Chandigarh product Inderjit Chadha capitalised on a cross from the left to slam in the third goal, two minutes before the breather.
On resumption, international Prabhjot Singh made it 4-0 with a field goal which was followed by another field goal by Kamlesh Kumar (5-0). Another field goal by Roshan Minz in the 56th minute took the score to 6-0 and five minutes later Humza boosted the tally to 7-0 in similar fashion. A penalty stroke converted by Bikramjit six minutes from close compounded the misery of the Ropar outfit, who did give a good account of themselves in the previous ties.
Sunday’s fixtures: (semifinals): Namdhari XI v BPCL at 4.15 pm; PSB v IOC at 6 pm.
Taipei, September 30
The Indian is now eight-under and one shot ahead of local man Liang Wen Hong, who sizzled the course with an eight-under 64 on third day.
The seasoned Gaurav Ghei shot a fine three-under 69 to leap from tied 21st overnight to tied sixth at four-under.
Also moving up was Shiv Kapur (71) from tied 28th to tied 15th alongside Amandeep Johl ((72). They were both one-under.
Shizuoka: Jeev Milkha Singh shot a four-over 75 in difficult scoring conditions to be tied 12th at the end of three rounds in the 120 million yen Coca Cola Tokai Classic Tournament. Jeev was now three-over 216 for 54 holes.
Hertfordshire (UK): Jyoti Randhawa missed several birdie putts in his even-par round of 71 to be tied 15th at the midway stage of the $ 7.5 million WGC-American Express Golf Championship at the Grove.
Randhawa, who was overnight tied sixth, was five-under 139 for two rounds and a full 10 shots behind leader Tiger Woods, who continued his march to a sixth title in succession on PGA Tour.
Madison (USA): Daniel Chopra fired a four-under 68 to climb up to the tied 10th but Arjun Atwal played an error-filled round of 76 to barely make the cut at the $ 3 million Southern Farm Bureau Classic Golf Championship. — PTI