SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Lankans keep themselves in reckoning
Mumbai, October 20
Sri Lanka relied on a combined effort to record a comfortable seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in a group-B league match and keep themselves in reckoning for a berth in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy here today.
Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan bowls as umpire Aleem Dar looks on during a ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand in Mumbai on Friday Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan bowls as umpire Aleem Dar looks on during a ICC Champions Trophy match against New Zealand in Mumbai on Friday. — Reuters photo

Its make or break game today
David GowerMonumental contest or damp squib? What are we going to get from the two teams for whom the winter will largely centre around the “clash for the ash” but for whom this next match is make or break as far as the Champions Trophy is concerned? Whatever the answer one thing we can be sure of is that someone somewhere will automatically claim that the first step towards Ashes victory has been taken.










EARLIER STORIES




Andrew Flintoff Andrew Flintoff regrets taking off shirt
Jaipur, October 20
England skipper Andrew Flintoff today regretted taking his shirt off in the one-day series against India in 2001-02 and said he will never do that again. “They were 10 seconds of madness. The whole series was hinged on that last match,” Flintoff said at a pre-match press conference ahead of their Champions Trophy match against Australia here tomorrow.

Duleep Trophy
East Zone in command
Gwalior, October 20
Sourav Ganguly failed with the bat yet again scoring just 25 runs but marshalled his bowlers well and himself chipped in with two wickets to restrict Central Zone for a paltry 130 as East Zone took a commanding 314-run lead at the close of second day’s play in the Duleep Trophy match here today.

NATIONAL hockey ‘06
Punjab, Mumbai record big wins
Jalandhar, October 20

Cancellation of the Chief Minister’s visit at the last minute and intermittent showers notwithstanding, the 62nd National Hockey Championship for Rangaswamy Cup got off to a colourful start with the hosts recording an impressive 8-0 win over Chhattisgarh at Surjit Hockey Stadium here today.
Olympian Baljit Singh Dhillon of Punjab scores a goal against Chhattisgarh on the opening day of 62nd Senior National Hockey Championship in Jalandhar on Friday
Olympian Baljit Singh Dhillon of Punjab scores a goal against Chhattisgarh on the opening day of 62nd Senior National Hockey Championship in Jalandhar on Friday. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Services prevail over Mizoram
Ludhiana, October 20
Services survived many anxious moments before romping home victorious 5-3 against Mizoram in the 62nd Senior National Hockey Championship for men at Prithipal Singh Astroturf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University here today. The winners were trailing 1-2 at half-time.

J&K hold UP
Bhaini Sahib, October 20
The Pool E and G matches of the of the 62 National Senior Hockey Championship got underway at the Satguru Pratap Singh stadium here today. The most exciting and well fought contest was between Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh which ended in a 3-3 draw. J&K opened their account through Onkar Singh. In a swift counterattack, Dhavinder Dwiwedi from UP scored the equalizer in the fifth minute. Asieeb Hussain in the 30th minute and Abhishek (33rd minute) were the other scorers for UP. At half time, UP were leading 3-2.

Performance should decide panels of sports bodies: Virk
Jalandhar, October 20
“If you have to rid sports of politics, let performance be the sole criteria for deciding the office-bearers of the National Sports Federations, says Mr S. S. Virk, President of the Punjab Hockey Association (PHA).

Jahangir is overall champ
Chandigarh, October 20

With a combined score of 309, Hav Jahangir of the Shivalik Golf Course lifted the overall championship trophy in the 2nd All-India Mid-Amateur Golf Championships 2006-07, which concluded at Chandimandir today.
Winners of various categories in the 2nd All-India Mid-Amateur Golf Championships and the 35th Seniors Amateur Golf Championships, pose with their spoils of victory in Chandimandir on Friday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan
Winners of various categories in the 2nd All-India Mid-Amateur Golf Championships and the 35th Seniors Amateur Golf Championships, pose with their spoils of victory in Chandimandir on Friday

Chowrasia, Vijay in joint lead
New Delhi, October 20
S.S.P. Chowrasia returned the day’s best card of five-under 65 as he jumped to the joint lead with overnight leader Vijay Kumar (68) in the second round of the $400,000 Hero Honda Indian Open here today.

Punjabi varsity win soccer title
Chandigarh, October 20
Punjabi University, Patiala, won the North Zone Inter-University Football Tournament which concluded at Khalsa College, Mahilpur, yesterday. In their last round-robin league match, though Punjabi University was held to a goalless draw by Guru Nanak Dev University, it managed to retain the title it won last year on the basis of its overall standing.

Rlys, Hyderabad score convincing wins
Amritsar, October 20
Divali festivities and heavy downpour failed to dampen the spirits of hockey players on the opening day of the 62nd Senior Hockey Championship which began at the Guru Nanak Dev University hockey stadium here today.

 

 


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Lankans keep themselves in reckoning 
S.S. Ramaswamy

Mumbai, October 20
Sri Lanka relied on a combined effort to record a comfortable seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in a group-B league match and keep themselves in reckoning for a berth in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy here today.

After spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan (4/23) played a key role in bundling out the Kiwis for a modest 165, opener Upul Tharanga slammed his fourth ODI half century to steer his team to victory with 14 overs to spare in a floodlit encounter at the Brabourne Stadium.

The islanders, who desperately needed to win the match to keep themselves afloat in the high-profile tournament, had the game in control right from the beginning with their experienced spinners exploiting the slow track to the hilt.

While Muralitharan did the bulk of the damage, Sanath Jayasuriya (2/26) and pacer Lasith Malinga (2/22) chipped in with two wickets apiece as Daniel Vettori (46 not out) and Nathan Astle (42) were the only two batsmen who could manage to get decent scores for the New Zealanders.

The New Zealand innings could have folded up much earlier but for a defiant 49-run last wicket partnership between Vettori and Jeetan Patel which made the total look a trifle more respectable.

Their crucial stand for the last wicket fell short by one run to equal the tournament’s best stand for the same wicket, held by New Zealand’s Kyle Mills and Shane Bond.

Stephen Fleming, who played a match winning knock of 89 against South Africa, won an important toss in his record-equalling 193rd ODI appearance as captain but thereafter it was all Sri Lanka.

Required to score at a rate of 3.32 runs per over, the Lankans got off to a flier with the dangerous Jayasuriya smashing a 15-ball 20 but his aggression was shortlived as he fell to Kyle Mills with the score on 45.

Tharanga (56) and Jayawardene (48) then mixed caution with aggression to put the Sri Lankans on the path to victory by taking the score beyond the 100-mark.

But both of them perished in quick succession with spinner Jeetan Patel plotting their dismissal.

From a comfortable 134 for one, the islanders slipped to 135 for three raising hopes of a spirited fightback by the Kiwis who had pulled off an upset win over South Africa in their opening match.

The experienced Kumar Sangakkara and former captain Marvan Atapattu ensured that there were no further setbacks as they played cautiously to guide the team to victory.

Scoreboard

New Zealand

Vincent b Maharoof 13

Fleming lbw Vaas 0

Astle c Malinga b Muralitharan 42

Marshall c Dilshan b Malinga 4

Styris c Sangakkara b Jayasuriya 3

Oram b Muralitharan 6

McCullum c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 9

Vettori not out 46

Mills lbw b Muralitharan 6

Bond c Sangakkara b Jayasuriya 1

Patel c Jayawardene b Malinga 10

Extras (lb-8, nb-7, w-10) 25

Total (all out, 49.2 overs) 165

Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-37, 3-56, 4-66, 5-82, 6-87, 7-101, 8-115, 9-118.

Bowling: Vaas 10-1-41-1, Malinga 9.2-1-22-2, Maharoof 8-0-34-1, Jayasuriya 10-0-26-2, Muralitharan 10-1-23-4, Dilshan 2-0-11-0.

Sri Lanka

Tharanga st McCullum b Patel 56

Jayasuriya c McCullum b Mills 20

Jayawardene c Vettori b Patel 48

Sangakkara not out 19

Atapattu not out 10

Extras (lb-1, w-4, nb-8) 13 Total (3 wkts, 36 overs) 166

Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-134, 3-135.

Bowling: Mills 5-0-24-1, Bond 7-0-46-0, Oram 4-0-14-0, Vettori 10-0-45-0, Patel 9-0-32-2, Astle 1-0-4-0. — PTI

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Its make or break game today
David Gower

Monumental contest or damp squib? What are we going to get from the two teams for whom the winter will largely centre around the “clash for the ash” but for whom this next match is make or break as far as the Champions Trophy is concerned? Whatever the answer one thing we can be sure of is that someone somewhere will automatically claim that the first step towards Ashes victory has been taken.

Realistically, though both teams would dearly love to come out on top, the result in Jaipur will have only the most modest effect on what follows in Australia over the next couple of months. I can say that all too easily, even if it might be interpreted as an Englishman getting his defence in early, as an Englishman who has too often watched the England team do its “headless chicken” act in one day internationals while still producing cricket of the highest quality when playing Test matches. Seldom can an international team made up of largely the same players have performed in such contrasting manner for so long.

That record alone suggests that Australia start in Jaipur as favourites. Just look at the way both teams managed to lose their respective first matches and even in defeat there was a palpable difference. While England faltered from the beginning, losing early wickets, then gifting India runs at the start of the chase and were always coming second in their match, the Australians, even though they themselves faltered under the pressure applied by some admirably straight bowling towards the close of a much closer contest against the West Indies, gave the impression that it would not happen in the same way again. For them a loss is the exception that proves the rule; for England sadly it tends to be the odd victory that is their exception.

England will take some little heart from the feeling that it cannot be that bad again. A better start would be encouraging and once again one has to say that with players of the class of Flintoff and Pietersen, to name the two big men of this England team, one can never completely discount them. At the same time Ponting and one or two others up the order in that line up failed to fire either, a failing that, despite two high quality innings from Gilchrist and Clarke, respectively, was compounded by the rare inability of the likes of Michael Hussey to finish things off.

The odds are in Australia’s favour for this game and it would come as a pleasant shock to me if England were to overturn those odds.

As for the next big match in the same group, India versus the West Indies, here the odds are much more even. Even though the West Indies at home earlier this year were able to give the visiting Indians a lesson or two in one day cricket, the positions are now reversed and I think that will even the contest up.

Having said that, the way the West Indies as a team kept its collective nerve against Australia would have been a tremendous psychological boost to them, especially after the abject way in which they had lost to Sri Lanka in the qualifying round. Based on that result you would not have backed West Indies to beat Papua New Guinea but it is results like this that make punditry a tricky business.My crystal ball is giving me only hazy images as I try and predict the outcome of this one. The batting of both teams is unpredictable at this time but I just have the gut feeling that the Indians have just the upper hand in this key department. It is almost too easy to look forward to the obvious comparison as Tendulkar lines up against Lara. It always diminishes the roles of the many other important players just as capable in this form of the game of swinging a match but let’s face it, the chance to see these two legends of the game head to head will not be there for much longer and if it is that contest within a contest that might decide this match then I just feel that this time the day might be Tendulkar’s. — PMG

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Andrew Flintoff regrets taking off shirt

Jaipur, October 20
England skipper Andrew Flintoff today regretted taking his shirt off in the one-day series against India in 2001-02 and said he will never do that again. “They were 10 seconds of madness. The whole series was hinged on that last match,” Flintoff said at a pre-match press conference ahead of their Champions Trophy match against Australia here tomorrow.

“I regret that and it is not something I can look forward to do now,” he said and quipped, “I’ll do that in the dressing room. Not because I don’t want to show off my body but because of the fat tyres around my belly.” Flintoff said he was looking forward to lead his side, for the first time, against the arch rivals Australia tomorrow.

“I always feel proud to whenever I’ve to lead England. I did it against India and Sri Lanka and now I’ll doing that against the Aussies. Certainly I’m looking forward to that.” On whether tomorrow’s game would be seen as a prelude to the Ashes series next month, Freddie said he was more concerned about the present, of winning the next two games and keep England’s Champions Trophy hopes alive.

“No, I’m not looking that far. It’s a big game. We’ve already lost one match and are up against the world’s best team — Australia. It’s gonna be very tough task and we’ve to play a very competitive game tomorrow and that's what I’m currently focusing on.” Flintoff didn’t attach too much importance to the dew factor and said the players should stick to the basics.

“Some day the dew is more and another day it’s less. However, the basics remain the same. Whether the ball is wet or not, you have to bowl at the good areas and that’s the key,” Freddie said, although he admitted that his team had a fielding practice last evening to address the dew factor.

Flintoff also lamented on the poor pitch conditions and felt the spectators, who wanted to see the big-scoring games, met with disappointment so far in the series.

“People want to see runs. That’s what they come for. They have been disappointed so far in the tournament. It may be because the pitches are not that good as they generally are in the sub-continent. Hopefully, we gonna see some big scoring games in the rest of the competition,” he said. — UNI

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Duleep Trophy
East Zone in command

Gwalior, October 20
Sourav Ganguly failed with the bat yet again scoring just 25 runs but marshalled his bowlers well and himself chipped in with two wickets to restrict Central Zone for a paltry 130 as East Zone took a commanding 314-run lead at the close of second day’s play in the Duleep Trophy match here today.

Ganguly snared P. Kumar and Piyush Chawla lbw after A Dinda, who took two wickets yesterday, ran through Central Zone middle order.

Resuming at 40 for three, Central Zone were all out for 130 with Dinda adding four more wickets to emerge with figures of six for 52.

In reply, first innings centurion Rohan Gavaskar continued his good form as he remained not out at 79 with East Zone placed comfortably at 204 for four with six second innings wickets in hand at the draw of stumps on the second day of the four-day match. P. Kumar and Chawla shared two wickets each for Central Zone. — UNI

South take lead

Indore: Anil Kumble claimed five wickets to help South Zone scuttle West Zone for 180 in the first innings to take a crucial lead of 111 runs on the second day of the Duleep Trophy encounter at the Usha Raje Cricket Ground here today.Replying to a first innings total of 291, the West were bundled out at 180 for nine.At stumps, South were 65 for two with captain V.V.S Laxman (12) and Y. Venugopal Rao (26) at the crease. — UNI

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NATIONAL hockey ‘06
Punjab, Mumbai record big wins
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 20
Cancellation of the Chief Minister’s visit at the last minute and intermittent showers notwithstanding, the 62nd National Hockey Championship for Rangaswamy Cup got off to a colourful start with the hosts recording an impressive 8-0 win over Chhattisgarh at Surjit Hockey Stadium here today.

In other games, Universities managed to split points with fancied Maharashtra holding them to a 3-3 draw and Mumbai ran to a flattering 6-0 win over Vidarbha. In the last game of the day, Karnataka beat Madhya Pradesh 5-2.

A sizeable and knowledgeable crowd turned up to witness the return of the national hockey to the city after a gap of 25 years. Though at times, showers forced spectators to run for shelter, yet participating teams had enough supporters in stands to cheer their good moves.

A cultural programme, which was to coincide with the opening ceremony, had to be curtailed because of inclement weather. The Finance and Family Welfare Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, represented the Chief Minister at the ceremony. He announced a grant of Rs 15 lakh to the organisers of the tournament and also promised to get the Surjit Hockey Stadium floodlit soon.

The hosts had a lot to cheer about with their opening day’s performance with their drag-flicker Jugraj returning to national hockey made his presence felt with three goals against a dogged Chhattisgarh defence. The cynosure of all eyes, besides Jugraj was former Indian skipper Baljit Dhillon, who with his immaculate ball control, pumped in the second goal to remind the national selectors that he was still in reckoning for the Doha Asian Games.

Punjab had also every reason to be pleased with the performance of 19-year-old Ranjodh Singh, a promising forward, who opened the scoring for the hosts after Chhattisgarh foiled all attempts by former national champions, including three penalty corners taken in turn by both skipper Kamalpreet and Jugraj. But once Ranjodh opened the gates with a brilliant solo in the 15th minute, the hosts ran up an impressive 5-0 lead in next 20 minutes. Ranjodh also accounted for the last and the eighth goal.

Kuljit Singh and Avtar Singh senior were other scorers for Punjab.

Earlier, the Universities came from behind to clear off 1-3 deficits to hold fancied Maharashtra to a 3-3 draw in the opening game of the tournament. Sunder Singh and a brace by fullback Yadwinder Singh in the second half helped the University boys to split points with Maharsahtra after conceding 2-3 lead at the breather.

For Mumbai, it was a cakewalk with A. Yesur opening their account in the fifth minute with a penalty corner conversion. A Yesur pelted in his second goal, the fourth by his team, in the 31st minute by converting a stroke. Stanley Fernandes, Manish Sahi, Jayesh Jadhav, and Rajesh Thakhar were other scores for Mumbai in the game.

In the last game of the day, Karnataka also had a little trouble in disposing off the challenge of Madhya Pradesh 5-2 to earn full points.

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Services prevail over Mizoram
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 20
Services survived many anxious moments before romping home victorious 5-3 against Mizoram in the 62nd Senior National Hockey Championship for men at Prithipal Singh Astroturf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University here today. The winners were trailing 1-2 at half-time.

The encounter got off to a brisk start with the Services players weaving some good moves. They went into an early lead when A.K. Mazhi scored a fine field goal in the second minute of the match. However, Mizoram leveled the score in the 13th minute through Lal Rinnunga.

Buoyed at this, Mizoram players went all out and made repeated attacks over their rivals territory. The pressure tactics bore fruit in the 23rd minute as they forced a penalty stroke and M.S. Dawnglina made no mistake (2-1).

After changing ends, Services re-organised themselves and raided Mizoram citadel time and again but the success eluded them. In the 41st minute, Sunil Ekka and A.K. Mazhi weaved a move, managed to pierce through opponents’ defence and the former sounded the board to restore parity. Five minutes later, Mazhi added another goal to make it 3-2. Rajesh Lakra converted a penalty corner into a goal to read it 4-2.

Trailing by two goals, Mizoram players made concerted attempts to reduce the margin. Eventually, they succeeded in their endeavour. With two minutes to go for the long whistle, M.S. Dawnglina scored a field goal (3-4).

Eliazer Lakra of Services scored an opportunistic goal in the 70th minute to help his side to wrap up the issue 5-3.

In a pool H match, Haryana outplayed Kerala 3-1. Kerala drew the first blood in the 31st minute when R. Girish Kumar found the target. Haryana men scored the equaliser in the 38th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Ajit Singh.

Two minutes later, Haryana surged ahead through Rajiv Panchal who converted a penalty corner and Sandeep pumped in one to complete the rout (3-1).

The pool H match played between Tamil Nadu and Gujarat proved to be a mismatch as the former came out triumphant without being challenged. They won the verdict 15-0.

The fourth match was slated between Bengal and Bhopal but the later failed to turn up and Bengal got walkover and earned three points.

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J&K hold UP
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Bhaini Sahib, October 20
The Pool E and G matches of the of the 62 National Senior Hockey Championship got underway at the Satguru Pratap Singh stadium here today.
The most exciting and well fought contest was between Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh which ended in a 3-3 draw. J&K opened their account through Onkar Singh. In a swift counterattack, Dhavinder Dwiwedi from UP scored the equalizer in the fifth minute. Asieeb Hussain in the 30th minute and Abhishek (33rd minute) were the other scorers for UP. At half time, UP were leading 3-2.

J&K rallied in the dying minutes of the match and earned a penalty corner just as the hooter sounded the end of the game. Gurjit Singh hit the target to earn his team a well deserved draw.

In another match, a strong Delhi side trounced a hapless Tripura 18-2. It was a virtual walkover for the winners as they scored at will.

Indian Airlines were awarded a walkover as the Nagaland team did not turn up.

In Pool E, Jharkhand beat Himachal Pradesh 4-0. The scorers were Thomas (39 min), Jeremis (68 min), Sudhir Bengra (69 min) and Ajit Ekka (70 min).

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Performance should decide panels of sports bodies: Virk
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 20
“If you have to rid sports of politics, let performance be the sole criteria for deciding the office-bearers of the National Sports Federations, says Mr S. S. Virk, President of the Punjab Hockey Association (PHA).

Mr Virk, who is also the Director-General of Punjab Police, says that a representative of the state which figures nowhere in national championship, should not be allowed to be either the President or the Secretary of an NSF.

“It is not only for hockey but should be applicable on all NSFs,” suggests Mr Virk.

“Instead, it should be performance-related. A representative of the national champion should also automatically become the President of the NSF of the sport concerned. He or she should hold the office till the next championship is held,” argues Mr Virk saying that this is the only way to “eliminate use of money or muscle power to buy or influence units at the time of annual general meetings where elections are held.”

“I agree that one year will be too short a term for a national sports federation to show any result or improve the standard of the sport in the country, modalities can be worked out to link national championships with election of office-bearers. In a sport like hockey, the National Championship can be divided into two phases. Zonal and Inter-Zonal championship should be held on alternate years so as to give the representative of the champion team two-year term in the office.

“In case certain states or units argue that they do not stand to climb to the top, they should be allowed to employ or register best of players in their respective states or units. Registration of players should be made mandatory and player once registered should not be allowed to switch over to other state or unit till the completion of the next national championship. 

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Jahangir is overall champ
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
With a combined score of 309, Hav Jahangir of the Shivalik Golf Course lifted the overall championship trophy in the 2nd All-India Mid-Amateur Golf Championships 2006-07, which concluded at Chandimandir today.

He finished ahead of H. S. Kang of the Chandigarh Golf Club, who notched a score of 311. A. N. Gopal of the Godavari Golf Club (Andhra Pradesh), who had a score of 324, finished third.

In the 35th Seniors Amateur Golf Championships, which also concluded today, the overall championship trophy was bagged by Lt Gen H. S. Kanwar from the Army Golf Club, Delhi, with Col R. S. Grewal from the Shivalik Golf Club, Chandimandir, finishing runners-up.

In the 55-59 years category, Col R. S. Grewal stood first with a score of 239, followed by Maj Gen T. P. S. Bakhshi, also from Shivalik, with a score of 242, finishing second. Lt Gen H. S. Kanwar topped in the 60-64 years category with a score of 236, trailed by Col A.S. Sandhu (Shivalik) in the second spot with 246 strokes.

The category for 65 years and above saw J. M. Khanna from the Delhi Golf Club in the top slot with 261 strokes, followed by Col G. S. Brar from Shivalik with a score of 265.

Giving away prizes to the winners, Lt Gen Daljeet Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, said the Army would like to host important tournaments at its golf courses and efforts are being made to improve several existing courses to cater to a large number of serving personnel and ex-servicemen who have a liking for the sport. 

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Chowrasia, Vijay in joint lead

New Delhi, October 20
S.S.P. Chowrasia returned the day’s best card of five-under 65 as he jumped to the joint lead with overnight leader Vijay Kumar (68) in the second round of the $400,000 Hero Honda Indian Open here today.

Chowrasia shared the day’s honours with Australian Unho Park, who also carded a 65 before darkness led to suspension of play.

Chowrasia and Vijay have a total of 10-under 134 and are followed a shot behind by Park. Chowrasia, who was tied for the 12th spot yesterday, had a blemish-free outing and sank in five birdies and a first-hole eagle to make the leap.

Vijay also put up a bogey-free performance and fired four birdies to stay at the top.

Hot favourite Symon Dyson of England was at the tied third spot with a total of nine-under 135 after two rounds. — UNI

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Punjabi varsity win soccer title
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 20
Punjabi University, Patiala, won the North Zone Inter-University Football Tournament which concluded at Khalsa College, Mahilpur, yesterday.
In their last round-robin league match, though Punjabi University was held to a goalless draw by Guru Nanak Dev University, it managed to retain the title it won last year on the basis of its overall standing.

Panjab University finished runners-up by aggregating six points against seven by Patiala boys.Panjab beat Kurukshetra in the last league encounter. Guru Nanak dev University finished third with four points while Kurukshetra took the fourth spot.

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Rlys, Hyderabad score convincing wins
Ashok Sethi & Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, October 20
Divali festivities and heavy downpour failed to dampen the spirits of hockey players on the opening day of the 62nd Senior Hockey Championship which began at the Guru Nanak Dev University hockey stadium here today.

Even as the first match between Chandigarh and Uttarakhand was cancelled due to heavy showers and will be held on Sunday, the match between Railways and Pondicherry was a one-sided affair, the former winning 3-0.

The first goal came in the 12th minute through the stick of Sham Alam. Harish Kumar extended the lead through another field goal. At half time Railways led 2-0. The second half saw Pondicherry defending stoutly but Rajnish Chaturvedi scored the third goal in the 53rd minute.

In the second match of the day, Hyderabad crushed Madhya Bharat 7-1.

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