SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Aussie ‘Pawar play’ draws flak
Mumbai, November 6
The nudging of BCCI President Sharad Pawar by the Australians during the Champions Trophy prize distribution ceremony evoked sharp criticism today from Sachin Tendulkar and former cricketer Kiran More who described the gesture as “unpleasant”.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting signalled BCCI President Sharad Pawar IMPOLITE GESTURE: Australian captain Ricky Ponting signalled BCCI President Sharad Pawar to leave the stage at the presentation ceremony of the ICC Champions Trophy in Mumbai on Sunday. — PTI photo

Aussies’ self-belief did the trick
November 5 in the United Kingdom is fireworks day as we pretend to remember the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when an attempt to blow up Parliament was thwarted by the security forces of the day, and vivid displays up and down the country light up the night skies.



EARLIER STORIES




Top honour for Chris Gayle
Mumbai, November 6
Though the West Indies lost the ICC Champions Trophy final to Australia last night, their dashing opener Chris Gayle was named the man of the tournament. The 27-year-old Jamaican was the tournament’s highest run scorer with 474 at an average of 79, including three hundreds, and a strike rate of 92.94.





Sunil Gavaskar presents the “man of the tournament” trophy to Chris Gayle of the West Indies after the ICC Champions Trophy final in Mumbai on Sunday. — PTI photo

Sunil Gavaskar presents the “man of the tournament” trophy to Chris Gayle of the West Indies after the ICC Champions Trophy final in Mumbai on Sunday.



Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko holds the trophy after winning the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Stadium on Sunday. In the final, Davydenko defeated Slovakia’s Dominik Hrbaty 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. — AP/PTI photo

Hair mulls legal action against ICC
Melbourne, November 6
Sacked Australian umpire Darrell Hair has not ruled out taking legal action against the International Cricket Council (ICC), which banned him for his role in the ball-tampering issue involving Pakistan at the Oval.

Sachin among Ranji Trophy probables
Mumbai, November 6
Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer, Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Powar have been named in a 31-strong Mumbai Ranji Trophy probables’ list for the current season.

Jayawardene retained captain for World Cup
Colombo, November 6
Mahela Jayawardene will lead Sri Lanka at the World Cup in the Caribbean next March-April, chairman of selectors Asantha de Mel told AFP today.

Daljit Singh to coach Punjab cricket team
Mohali, November 6
Cricketer-turned-curator Daljit Singh has been appointed coach of the Punjab cricket team for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season.

Duleep Trophy
Ganguly slams unbeaten ton

Guwahati, November 6
A leaner, fitter Sourav Ganguly slammed an unbeaten 118 to help East Zone reach 215 for four at stumps on day three of the Duleep Trophy tie against North Zone here today.

Strong start by Indian shuttlers
New Delhi, November 6
India made a strong start in the individual events of the Asian Junior Badminton Championship today with all but one of them advancing to the third round of the singles competition in Incheon, South Korea.

Surjit Hockey
Pepsu 3, RCF 1
Jalandhar, November 5
Sports Authority of India (SAI), New Delhi, defeated Corps of Signals 2-0 in the inaugural match of the 23rd Indian Oil Surjit Hockey Tournament here today.

Players battle for the ball during the match between Pepsu XI and RCF on the opening day of the 23rd Surjit Hockey Tournament at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium in Jalandhar on Monday. Pepsu won 3-1. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma 

Players battle for the ball during the match between Pepsu XI and RCF on the opening day of the 23rd Surjit Hockey Tournament at the Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium in Jalandhar on Monday. Pepsu won 3-1.

AFC Youth Football
Koreans canter into semis
Kolkata, November 6
Two-time champions Korea Republic entered the semifinals of AFC Youth Championships, defeating Australia 2-1 in a quarterfinal here today.

Durand Cup
Shastri FC humiliated
New Delhi, November 6
Dipen Thapa struck a hat-trick as Madras Engineering Group, Bangalore, thrashed local outfit Shastri FC 6-1 on the opening day of the 119th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium here today.

District b’minton tourney ends
Ropar, November 6
Mahip, Deepak, Rupinder and Vishal emerged winners in the District Badminton Championship that concluded at the Service Club here today.


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Aussie ‘Pawar play’ draws flak

Mumbai, November 6
The nudging of BCCI President Sharad Pawar by the Australians during the Champions Trophy prize distribution ceremony evoked sharp criticism today from Sachin Tendulkar and former cricketer Kiran More who described the gesture as “unpleasant”.

Eager to take hold of the trophy and pose for the cameras with his team-mates, Australian captain Ricky Ponting was seen tapping Pawar on the shoulder as a gesture to leave the stage.

Tendulkar, saying that he had heard about the incident from others as he did not himself watch it because he was travelling, termed it an unpleasant experience and an “uncalled for” behaviour against a person who was dear to all cricketers.

“I wasn’t watching the proceedings because I was travelling, but from what I heard (from others) it was an unpleasant experience which was uncalled for,” the ace batsman told reporters today.

“Firstly, it should not have happened. It’s important to show respect to the person who is so dear to the cricketers and is involved with cricket. So it’s good that we avoid such incidents,” he said in response to a specific query.

Kiran More, former India wicketkeeper and selector, said the Aussies owed an apology to the BCCI and Pawar.

“I think they should apologise for it... It is very important how you treat the dignatories. Pawar is the BCCI President and also a Cabinet minister,” More, who recently stepped down as Chairman of Selectors, told a news channel.

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah described the incident as “unintentional”. “I also saw it last night but after watching the video footage today, I feel it was unintentional. Anyway you know how players are on the cricket field. They seem to leave good sense behind,” he said.

ICC pats BCCI on the back

Now that the bickering with the BCCI on the MPA and other issues is a thing of the past, International Cricket Council (ICC) President Percy Sonn today thanked India for hosting an “outstanding” Champions Trophy.

“On behalf of the ICC, I would like to thank the BCCI for hosting an outstanding tournament,”' Mr Sonn said in a statement here.

“I think we leave India with a host of new friends and a new sense of unity of purpose between the BCCI and the ICC and that has to be great for both parties and the sport in general.

“We also leave safe in the knowledge that the Indian Government is behind the game. Its agreement to grant us a tax exemption is clear proof of that fact, as was the warm welcome I was given when I met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alongside BCCI President Sharad Pawar,” he said.

Reflecting on 21 matches involving the top 10 ODI sides and spread over four centres, the ICC chief said, “Although world champions Australia came through to take the spoils, this was still a tournament that, more than any other in recent memory, illustrated the unpredictability of our great game.”

“The format will be further adjusted for the next ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan in 2008 when only eight teams will take part and that should increase the intensity and excitement still further,” he said. — PTI, UNI

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Aussies’ self-belief did the trick
David Gower

November 5 in the United Kingdom is fireworks day as we pretend to remember the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when an attempt to blow up Parliament was thwarted by the security forces of the day, and vivid displays up and down the country light up the night skies. It seemed that the same day would see fireworks of a different kind in Mumbai as the West Indies threatened a dazzling display of their own, racing as they did to 80 off 10 overs.

At that stage the rockets turned to damp squibs and the dream of a second successive Champions Trophy drifted away as quickly as smoke in a gale. It was the crucial wicket of Chris Gayle that turned the game and even Brian Lara could do nothing to stop the rot as the West Indies batting collapsed in the face of some brilliant Australian bowling and fielding.

Lara and his men can be suitably proud of their work throughout this tournament even if it was not quite enough to see them win it. The last year or so has seen a real resurgence in cricket in the Caribbean and it is a real inspiration to any team that feels itself struggling to realise how things can be turned around by mixing talent and hard work.

For the West Indies to be coming back in this fashion is what they call “good for world cricket”, a phrase I heard too often when England were finding international success hard to come by in the nineties and those prospering above them at the time were saying that it would be “good for world cricket” when they regained their strength.

Clichéd though it might be there is truth within the phrase, as we that no longer play but enjoy watching and commentating on the game would love to see the major nations competing on largely level terms.

The Australians, it seems, have other ideas. The longevity of their pre-eminence in both Test and one-day international cricket has been extraordinary and one has to admire them for it. From a potentially terminally damaging situation in that first hour of this Champions Trophy final they were able to resuscitate their own fading ambitions so effectively that the margin of victory was typically emphatic. It is that self belief and character that makes them so hard to beat and which will quietly be worrying England now that the next item on the menu is the first Test of the Ashes series in Brisbane in 16 days’ time.

So, for the Australians this whole Champions Trophy has been most worthwhile and so too for the West Indians. For the Asian nations it has been a disappointment and something of a blow. For England, well they were always going to have to put this behind them but even they could have done with a more impressive showing if they were really going to be looking for those ever present “positives” as a boost before the Ashes.

One thing I really like about the Champions Trophy as an event is that it does not take over long to complete. We are at near saturation point with international cricket apparently available around the globe most days of the year and if I have one fear about the next major one day event, next year’s World Cup, it is that it will seem interminable, taking as it will two months or so to complete.

I have read with interest the stories about how much revenue ICC could or should be making from such an event. But I don’t see a World Cup as just a revenue-making tool for ICC or anyone; it should be about quality one-day cricket, which for me does not involve the minor nations, and it should capture and keep the interest of the cricket watching public around the globe.

Instead of 50 odd matches a competition of around 30 matches would still be big enough to appeal to the major sponsors and compact enough to allow people to remain interested throughout. The danger is, and I am obviously aware of India’s ambitions in this field, that the future hosts of the World Cup will want to continue making it bigger, pretending this will make it better. Let me recommend the dictum “less is more” to anyone planning future events for the ICC. — PMG

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Top honour for Chris Gayle

Mumbai, November 6
Though the West Indies lost the ICC Champions Trophy final to Australia last night, their dashing opener Chris Gayle was named the man of the tournament.

The 27-year-old Jamaican was the tournament’s highest run scorer with 474 at an average of 79, including three hundreds, and a strike rate of 92.94.

Top run scorers

Chris Gayle 474 (79)*

Upul Tharanga 320 (53.33)

Damien Martyn 241 (80.33)

S. Chanderpaul 222 (55.50)

Top wicket-takers

Jerome Taylor 13 (22.07)

Farveez Maharoof 12 (15.83)

Lasith Malinga 11 (19.09)

Kyle Mills 10 (11.80)

Nathan Bracken 10 (19.40)

Glenn McGrath 10 (15.80)

*Averages in brackets

Gayle also took eight wickets with his off-spin, a mark only bettered by Jerome Taylor (13 wickets) among his team-mates.

The award was decided by the ICC match referees at each match with the officials electing their top three players. Three points went to the man of the match, two to the second best player and one to the third. The man of the tournament was decided by adding the points.

Gayle beat Sri Lankan Upul Tharanga and Australian Damien Martyn by five points. Tharanga was second to Gayle in the run-scoring charts with 320 runs from six matches, including hundreds against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Martyn was his side’s top run-getter with 241 runs from five matches.

The trophy was presented to Gayle by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar at the presentation ceremony. — UNI

 

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Hair mulls legal action against ICC

Melbourne, November 6
Sacked Australian umpire Darrell Hair has not ruled out taking legal action against the International Cricket Council (ICC), which banned him for his role in the ball-tampering issue involving Pakistan at the Oval.

Hair said he was not yet prepared to make a public statement on the recent developments and did not know what would be his future course of action.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m not going to make any comment at this stage,” Hair said when asked if he would consider taking legal action against the ICC.

On whether he would speak publicly about his sacking in the near future, Hair told Sydney Morning Herald that “all depends on what develops in the next few days.”

Hair, who was involved in a string of controversies with subcontinental cricketers — the latest being Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq during the Oval Test fiasco, had been banned from officiating in international matches after he was voted out at an ICC Executive Board meeting in Mumbai last week.

Media speculation has suggested Hair might sue the ICC for sacking him — 17 months before the end of his contract — for making a decision he felt was right.

However, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said they were on a firm legal footing.

“The ICC has a number of lawyers on staff. We’re well aware of our legal position,” Speed said.

“It’s correct that Hair is contracted until March, 2008. We need to have some further discussions with him before we get ahead of ourselves.”

Speed also said he had telephoned Hair with the news of his sacking on Friday and claimed that Hair was “very disappointed”.

While Cricket Australia is ready to accommodate Hair in its domestic circuit, Speed doubted on the possibility.

The 54-year-old Hair’s controversial career appears all but over after 76 Tests and 124 one-day internationals, though it remains to be seen whether he will accept the ICC’s decision.

CA wants ICC’s explanation

Cricket Australia on Monday demanded an explanation from the ICC for sacking Darrell Hair as a member of the ICC Elite Panel, while asking it to review its management of umpires.

CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said public confidence in the objectivity of umpiring, and in the ability of umpires to make professional decisions without fear or favour, was one of the key issues underpinning cricket’s ambition to become a credible world sport.

“We don’t agree with the ICC’s decision and are concerned about the implications which could see international umpires concerned about off- field consequences of calling decisions as they see them,” Sutherland said in a statement.

He said CA believed Hair was still one of the best umpires in the world but more important was that appropriate processes should be followed should there be performance concerns about umpires.

“World cricket needs champion cricketers, but it also needs world-class umpires who are equivalently skilled at what they do.

“To aspire to these heights, those umpires need to have confidence in the system — that they are supported by best-practice administration and processes,” he said.

ECB keen to have Hair

London: Darrell Hair may have found another avenue to pursue his umpiring career.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the only member to support Hair at the recent ICC meeting, was contemplating appointing the Australian to its panel of first-class umpires, a report said on Monday.

“There is no doubt about his quality as an umpire or his ability to do the job,” Chris Kelly, ECB umpire and match operations manager, was quoted as saying in The Times.

The England possibility comes in the wake of the impending retirement of David Constant.

Hair now lives in Lincoln and has stood in English county matches before. — PTI

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Sachin among Ranji Trophy probables

Mumbai, November 6
Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer, Ajit Agarkar and Ramesh Powar have been named in a 31-strong Mumbai Ranji Trophy probables’ list for the current season.

Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, who switched over to Mumbai from Baroda last month, has also been picked in the list. But Tendulkar’s long-time friend Vinod Kambli has been given a cold shoulder by the selectors.

Probables: Wasim Jaffer, Sahul Kukreja, Sushant Marathe, Vinayak Mane, Sachin Tendulkar, Amol Muzumdar, Rohit Sharma, Vinit Indulkar, Nishit Shetty, Bhavin Thakkar, Prashant Naik, Prafull Waghela, Hiken Shah, Omkar Khanwilkar, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Avishkar Salvi, Rajesh Verma, Usman Malvi, Swapnil Hazare, Kshemal Waingarkar, Mundeep Mungela, Abhishek Nair, Wilkin Mota, Vinayak Samant, Omkar Gurav, Abhijit Shetye, Nilesh Kulkarni, Ramesh Powar, Iqbal Abdulla and Aniket Redkar. — PTI

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Jayawardene retained captain for World Cup

Colombo, November 6
Mahela Jayawardene will lead Sri Lanka at the World Cup in the Caribbean next March-April, chairman of selectors Asantha de Mel told AFP today.

“Mahela has done a decent job since taking over from Marvan Atapattu and he will continue till the World Cup,” De Mel said.

“We’ve been working towards the World Cup and we want to make sure that Mahela feels comfortable ahead of the tournament which is not too far away.”

De Mel said the decision to reappoint Jayawardene was made before he was named the Captain of the Year at the International Cricket Council’s awards ceremony in Mumbai last week.

Jayawardene, 29, beat other high-profile nominees like Ricky Ponting of Australia and Rahul Dravid of India for the prestigious award. — AFP

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Daljit Singh to coach Punjab cricket team

Mohali, November 6
Cricketer-turned-curator Daljit Singh has been appointed coach of the Punjab cricket team for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season.

Daljit, who was in charge of preparing the PCA stadium pitch for the Champions Trophy, will replace former Pakistani skipper Intikhab Alam who coached the team for the past two years.

“I am still preparing for it. As you know, till a few days back I was involved with the Champions Trophy matches, but let us see how things work out. The good thing is that first three games are in Mohali, which should be good for us,” Daljit told PTI today.

Aware that Punjab’s performance has not been really up to the mark in the last session, the new coach says he would like his team stick to the basics. — PTI

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Duleep Trophy
Ganguly slams unbeaten ton

Guwahati, November 6
A leaner, fitter Sourav Ganguly slammed an unbeaten 118 to help East Zone reach 215 for four at stumps on day three of the Duleep Trophy tie against North Zone here today.

Undaunted by last night’s twin blasts in the city, which almost brought the curtain down on the tie, skipper Ganguly lived up to the expectations and showed tremendous application even though his side still needs 89 runs to avoid follow-on after their rivals had scored 504 in their first essay.

Team India discard Deep Dasgupta was batting with Ganguly at 22.

Ashish Nehra, also trying to make a comeback to the national team, did his bit to trouble Ganguly with couple of rising deliveries but Ganguly was soon in his element, displaying his vintage form.

After the first drinks break, it was Ganguly versus North as East were trying to avoid the follow-on.

The day’s play started 45 minutes late amid high drama, with Ganguly raising security concerns after yesterday’s twin blasts in the city.

Ganguly sought additional security forces in the stadium, and agreed to play after the local organisers assured him of foolproof security.

Resuming at 22-2, the two not-out batsmen Ganguly and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala played aggressively and remained unseparated till lunch, with East Zone moving up to 100-2.

Jhunjhunwala (32) departed soon after lunch after the duo had put on 82 for the third wicket, but Ganguly seemed to be going from strength to strength and reached his three-figure mark of 191 balls close to the tea break.

Dasgupta, who came in after LR Shukla (15) became the fourth batsman to get out, was involved in a 68-run unbroken fifth-wicket partnership with Ganguly as East ended the day’s play 289 runs behind the North Zone total.

Ganguly played several elegant strokes, including his trademark off -drives, and has so far hit 12 fours and three sixes facing 239 balls.

For North, Nehra took two wickets, while Gagandeep Singh and Rajesh Sharma chipped in with one apiece.

Sniffer dogs were at hand, metal detectors were erected and the stadium was sanitised, while two galleries on both side of the pavilion were kept empty as a security measure, ACA secretary Bikash Barua said.

Before the start, both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of those killed in the ULFA-triggered blasts.

Uthappa props up South Zone

Kolkata: Riding on a fine century by Robin Uthappa (141), South Zone reached a commanding 333 for four against Sri Lanka A on the third day of the Duleep Trophy tie here on Monday.

After conceding a vital 61-run lead, South Zone fought back in style with Uthappa and Dinesh Kaarthick sharing a 167-run first-wicket partnership to demoralise the visitors. Uthappa’s 141 came off 191 balls with 14 boundaries and one six and Kaarthick made a composed 95 with 11 hits to the fence, making a mockery of the Sri Lankan attack, though Akalanka Ganegama looked impressive in short spells.

After Dinesh got out, Uthappa was involved in another fruitful 125-run second wicket partnership with captain VVS Laxman, who scored 45 runs.

Late in the day, Rayadu fell for 17 runs to give Sri Lanka A the fourth wicket.

All wickets were claimed by Ganegama, whose spell read 21-2-82-4. — UNI, PTI

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Strong start by Indian shuttlers

New Delhi, November 6
India made a strong start in the individual events of the Asian Junior Badminton Championship today with all but one of them advancing to the third round of the singles competition in Incheon, South Korea.

Saina Nehwal and Arundhati Pantawane advanced in the girls’ singles while Jishnu Sanyal, Akshay Dewalkar, Srujan Nadaluri and Ratikanta Saha also reached the third round after winning both their games on day one of the individual events.

Saina quelled a strong challenge from Sylviana Kurniawan of Indonesia 21-14, 18-21, 21-16 in 46 minutes to advance to the third round. Sixteen-year-old Saina, ranked 32 in world, got a bye in the first round and would face Shalini Sugumaran of Malaysia in the third round.

Arundhati defeated Amanda Hogstrom of Sweden 21-15, 21-19. The Indian got a walk over from Basheer Palwasha of Pakistan in her earlier round. She will next face Porntip Burnaprasertsuk of Thailand.

Ashwini Ponappa, however, bowed out after going down 14-21, 16-21 to Eriko Tamaki of Japan in the first round.

Nadaluri pulled off a surprise victory against Wong Shu Ki of Hong Kong 21-14, 22-20 in 40 minutes. Nandaluri, who overcame Henrik Fahlstrom of Sweden 21-14, 21-17 in the first round, will meet P Tang Fai of Macau next.

Jishnu Sanyal bounced back after losing the first game to hand over a 19-21, 21-15, 21-7 loss to Boon Seong Thng of Singapore in the second round. Sanyal, who went past Antonio De Vinatea of Peru 21-13, 21-15, will meet Cheol Baek of Korea next.

Ratikanta Saha also reached the third round after a 21-13, 21-17 win over Saliya Gunaratne of Australia. Saha, who beat Dennery Minturi of New Zealand 21-18, 21-4 in his opener, will face Lim Fang Yang of Malaysia in the third round.

Akshay Diwalkar crossed the second round hurdle with a 21-17, 21-15 win over Goksel Kundakci of Turkey and set up a clash with Ji Hoon Hong of Korea. Diwalkar had defeated Ilian Krastev of Bulgaria 21-11, 21-9 in his opening match.. — PTI

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Surjit Hockey
Pepsu 3, RCF 1

Jalandhar, November 5
Sports Authority of India (SAI), New Delhi, defeated Corps of Signals 2-0 in the inaugural match of the 23rd Indian Oil Surjit Hockey Tournament here today.

In the women’s section, Pepsu XI downed Rail Coach Factory(RCF) 3-1.

The match between SAI and Corps of Signal started on a aggressive note, with the former dominating the proceedings. SAI struck in the 25th minute through Shashi Kant who after intercepting a pass from Yudhvir Singh on the right flank, beat the rival custodian with an angular push. In the 34th and 35th minutes Corps of Signals wasted two chances of securing the equaliser.

In the second half, the Delhi boys once again mounted pressure and earned a penalty corner. Again, it was Shashi Kant who sounded the board with a powerful hit( 2-0). After that, Signals earned two penalty corners in 68th and 69th minutes but could not convert.

In the women’s league match, Pepsu beat RCF 3-1. After a goal-less first half, RCF took the lead in the 38th minute when Charanjit Kaur converted a penalty corner.

In the 43d minute, Pepsu got their first goal through Niti to make it 1-1. In the 52nd minute, Amandeep Kaur put Pepsu ahead with a fine solo effort. In the 61st minute, Niti once again scored for Pepsu from an Amandeep Kaur pass (3-1). — UNI

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AFC Youth Football
Koreans canter into semis

Kolkata, November 6
Two-time champions Korea Republic entered the semifinals of AFC Youth Championships, defeating Australia 2-1 in a quarterfinal here today.

The Koreans looked well set for a hat-trick with no team so far matching their class or skill. Nor did Australia. The Aussies appearing for the first major tournament after joining the AFC found it tough to match the skill and verve of their Asian counterparts.

They merely kept up one consistency, when Sebestian Ryall got a red card for a foul on Jong Jin Park in the injury time.

Jin Hyung Song emerged as the top scorer from this leg with five goals, one more than Young Rok Shin. If till this match the Koreans gave a feast of field goals, today they showed how to booby-trap the opposition from dead ball situations.

The cymbals, drums and percussions never stopped from the motley Korean supporters, nor did the attacks of the rampaging Koreans.

Korea shot into lead 10 minutes into the match from a gem of a direct free kick 10 yards outside the box. Always dangerous outside the opposition box, Korean midfielder Jin Hyung Song let go a right footer that saw the ball curl around the wall and enter the top corner of the net with Aussie goalie Tando Velapi hardly having a chance.

Australia restored parity eight minutes later with a blockbuster from the top of the box. Capitalising on a faulty clearance from Chul Soon Choi, Christopher Grossman let go a pile driver from 22 yards that left Su Huk Jo high and dry.

Korea stamped their supremacy from the dead ball situation with the second of the match from a direct free kick close to the left flank just outside the box. Jin Hyung Song once again let go a wickedly curving volley into the rival box that foxed everyone, including goalkeeper Tando who hopelessly misread the flight to see the ball enter the netting on first bounce.

Japan in last four

Bangalore: A superb left footed goal by substitute Kota Aoki, with just three minutes to go for full time, helped Japan defeat Saudi Arabia 2-1 and book their semifinal berth in the AFC Asian Youth Football Championship here today.

Japan, despite holding the edge throughout and leading by a goal at half time, were stretched in the latter half by fighting Saudi Arabian lads, but Aoki, who replaced Kazuhlsa Kawahara in the second half, sealed their fate.

With their entry into the semifinals, Japan qualified for the World Youth Cup Championships, to be held in Canada next year.

The speedy Japanese boys, who pressed attacking button from the word go, shot into the lead in the very seventh minute with mercurial striker Kawahara heading home a measured free kick taken by Yosuka Kashiwagi just outside the rival penalty area on the right.

After some persistent efforts, Saudi Arabia equalised in the 81st minute through a penalty. Referee Abdulla Al Hilali showed the dreaded spot when Morishima was pulled up for holding Saudi’s highest scorer Jufain All Albishi. Jufain shot home the equaliser despite Japanese keeper getting a touch to the ball. This was Jufain’s fifth goal in the championship, the highest by any player in the Bangalore leg.

With Saudis fighting back strongly and the Japanese boys getting tired, it looked as though the game would extend to extra time, but Aoki, who performed brilliantly as a substitute, changed the course of the match that was played in testing conditions after a heavy downpour at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. — UNI

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Durand Cup
Shastri FC humiliated

New Delhi, November 6
Dipen Thapa struck a hat-trick as Madras Engineering Group, Bangalore, thrashed local outfit Shastri FC 6-1 on the opening day of the 119th Durand Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium here today.

In the other match of the day, J & K Bank, Srinagar, edged past Army Ordnance Core, Secunderabad, 2-1 to advance to the next round of the knockout qualifying competition in the third oldest football tournament in the world.

The Delhi outfit paid heavily for its rustiness as it conceded goals at regular intervals. Apart from Thapa, who struck in the 8th, 32nd and 72nd minutes, Nigilraj scored in the 18th and 27th, while Jiten Meitei was on target in the 44th minute.

Obed Kumat was the only goalscorer for Shastri FC, finding the net in the 19th minute.

J & K Bank struck in the 38th minute through Amrit Paul Singh and doubled the lead in the 57th when Mohammad Moazzam scored. D K Mahto reduced the margin in the 69th minute. — PTI

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District b’minton tourney ends

Ropar, November 6
Mahip, Deepak, Rupinder and Vishal emerged winners in the District Badminton Championship that concluded at the Service Club here today.

According to the Secretary of the District Badminton Association S.K Bhatia, Mahip won four titles (men’s singles and doubles, junior boys singles and doubles), Deepak won won the u-16 singles title, Rupinder won the u-13 singles and doubles and Vishal won the u-10 singles and doubles.

Shruti Bansal and Harmandeep won the women and junior girls titles, respectively. — TNS

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 BRIEFLY

Sania slips again
New Delhi:
After a week of stability, Sania Mirza again plummeted two rungs on the rankings ladder to be placed 69th on the latest WTA Tour chart.
The Indian tennis sensation, who was out of action for around a month, has 382 singles points. In the doubles, Sania was steady at 25th with 1070 points. Among the men, Paes slipped out of the top-10 list. He lost two places to be 12th while Mahesh Bhupathi was lying constant at 31st on the ATP computer. — PTI

Marion Bartoli of France lifts the trophy after defeating Russia’s Olga Poutchkova
Marion Bartoli of France lifts the trophy after defeating Russia’s Olga Poutchkova 6-0, 6-0 in the final of the Challenge Bell tennis tournament in Quebec on Sunday. — Reuters

Hameed recalled
KARACHI: Pakistan have recalled opener Yasir Hameed for the first two Tests against West Indies and have included rookie fast bowler Samiullah Niazi in their side. The Caribbean tourists will play three tests and five one-dayers. Squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Capt), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Samiullah Niazi, Umar Gul, Shahid Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, Abdul Rehman and Danish Kaneria. — Reuters

Basketball meet
Chandigarh:
SGGS College, Sector 26, Chandigarh, outclassed MMD DAV College, Gidderbaha 87-43 on the second day of the Panjab University Inter-College Basketball (Men) A Division tournament held at Panjab University, here, on Monday.
In the second match, SCD Government College, Ludhiana, defeated SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, 75-50. In the last match of the day, DAV, Chandigarh, boys beat Government College, Sector 11, Chandigarh, 56-20. — TNS

Nehru Hockey
NEW DELHI: Government Model School, Chandigarh, maintained their winning spree when they trounced Sainik School, Bijapur, 12-0 in the 35th Nehru Junior Hockey Tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here on Monday.
In another lop-sided match, Union Academy School, Delhi, crushed G.V. Raja Sports School, Trivandrum 9-0. Gurgaon Senior Secondary School beat Guru Gobind Singh Sports College, Lucknow, 2-1 while Guru Harkrishan Public School, Delhi beat CRZ School, Sonepat, 3-1 in other matches. — OSR

Hockey camp
Rourkela
: The second phase of the coaching camp for 22 Indian hockey probables ahead of the Doha Asian Games commenced here on Monday. Nineteen of the 22 players short listed for the Asiad squad had assembled here and the training had commenced under the supervision of chief coach V. Baskaran and assistant coach Harendra Singh, IHF sources said. — PTI

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