Gibbs in racial row
CA for six Ashes Tests
Sania begins campaign today
Aussies rally to beat Germany
Anand held, Negi wins
Kila Raipur, Khusropur lads in semis
Centurion, January 15
South Africa, who were chasing 199 to win, reached 199 for three with 40 minutes to go before the scheduled tea interval on the fifth day.
Pakistan were dismissed for 313 in their first innings, to which South Africa replied with 417.
Pakistan were bowled out for 302 in their second innings.
Amla was 64 not out with Kallis on 60 in a stand of 119 for the unbroken fourth wicket.
The partnership was a record for South Africa's fourth wicket against Pakistan, surpassing the 108 that Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs shared in Faisalabad in 2003-04.
South Africa resumed on 69 for two after morning rain delayed the start of play by 45 minutes.
Nightwatchman Paul Harris, who scored seven, was the only casualty of the final day's play.
Harris was dismissed in the sixth over of the day when he drove a delivery from fast bowler Mohammad Asif into the hands of Faisal Iqbal in the covers.
Amla and Kallis batted cautiously but they scored steadily to take South Africa to a convincing victory.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said in a statement that Herschelle Gibbs would appear at a CSA disciplinary hearing on Tuesday over an incident during the fourth day's play on Sunday.
Gibbs was recorded on the stump microphones making derogatory comments about Pakistanis.
The comments generated a flood of e-mails to the broadcasters, Supersport, and the Pakistan Cricket Board has lodged a complaint with International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad.
Pakistan (1st innings) 313
Smith lbw Hafeez 32
Extras (b-8, lb-4, nb-12) 24
Gibbs in racial row
Durban, January 15
Cricket South Africa’s media manager Gordon Templeton said Gibbs had told them that he had reacted to the harassment that one of his team-mates had been subjected to by some Pakistani supporters.
“Gibbs will appear before a disciplinary commissioner,” Templeton said today. “After the disciplinary hearing, the committee will decide on any action to be taken. We regard any racist statements in serious light,” he said.
Gibbs was caught on the stump microphone saying Pakistani supporters were behaving “like bloody animals” and something should be done about the “f****** Pakistanis”.
The player had reacted after rookie spin bowler Paul Harris was allegedly abused when fielding near the ropes by some Pakistani supporters, seven of whom were later ejected from the stadium by police.
The obscenities were broadcast live on television during the fourth day’s play yesterday following which the Pakistan Cricket Board lodged a complaint with match referee Chris Broad.
CSA Chief Executive Gerald Majola said Gibbs’s comments were “directed in general terms” at that section of the crowd that had abused Harris.
“The CSA has investigated the matter and we have heard the remarks made by Herschelle Gibbs in response to verbal abuse directed by a number of Pakistan supporters at Paul Harris while he was fielding on the boundary.
“Herschelle says these remarks were for the ears only of his team-mates in his proximity, and were directed in general terms at that section of the crowd that had verbally abused Paul Harris. He has apologised if he has caused offence to anyone.”
However, Majola said the CSA regarded this whole matter in a most serious light and Gibbs would appear before CSA’s disciplinary commissioner at the earliest opportunity.
Gibbs is no stranger to controversy, having admitted taking money from Indian bookmakers in exchange of match information. After skipping two tours of India, he toured the country last year and was interrogated by the Delhi Police.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s Director of Cricket Operations Saleem Altaf said sledging was acceptable as long as it was not spiked with racist taunts.
“Sledging is acceptable but if it is tainted with racist comments it is unacceptable. Anyone making racist taunts is liable to be punished under the International Cricket Council Code of Conduct,” Altaf said.
South African coach Mickey Arthur said he did not like the idea of having stump mikes.
“I believe what is said on the field should stay on the field and should not be broadcast to everyone in their television lounges,” he told the Afrikaans Beeld newspaper.
“It was something that was said to other players between overs and should not have been heard across the whole world.” Arthur also complained about the manner in which certain sections of spectators had behaved during the series against India and now during the current Test against Pakistan.
The coach said South African players had been made to feel that they were playing away from home.
“One can understand it if you have to deal with remarks from spectators in Australia, but in your own country it’s not pleasant,” Arthur said.
During the just-completed India series, the host team is believed to have complained that South Africans of Indian origin were not supporting them.
South Africa have themselves been at the receiving end of racist abuses with their last trip to Australia witnessing incidents of spectator abuse.
The incident prompted the ICC to frame anti-racism policy statement binding on all its member countries. — PTI
CA for six Ashes Tests
Melbourne, January 15 A sixth Test could be played in Hobart city on the southern island of Tasmania when Australia next host the series, a spokesman for the sport’s governing body here said. A host of attendance records were broken during the recent Ashes. The large crowds built on the incredible interest in the oldest rivalry in cricket generated by the 2005 series, which England won at home. “Cricket Australia is keen in principal to have six Test matches the next time we have an Ashes series in four years,” CA public affairs manager Peter Young said.
Melbourne, January 15
A sixth Test could be played in Hobart city on the southern island of Tasmania when Australia next host the series, a spokesman for the sport’s governing body here said.
A host of attendance records were broken during the recent Ashes.
The large crowds built on the incredible interest in the oldest rivalry in cricket generated by the 2005 series, which England won at home.
“Cricket Australia is keen in principal to have six Test matches the next time we have an Ashes series in four years,” CA public affairs manager Peter Young said.
Melbourne, January 15
Backed by her success at Doha Asian Games, Sania started the New Year on a positive note to make it to the semifinals of Hobart International tournament and improve her ranking to 53rd in the second week of the season.
Going by her form, unseeded Sania should not find it difficult to get past 102-ranked Olga and improve upon her last year’s performance when she bowed out after the second round.
When the Hyderabadi locks horns with Olga at court No. 2 (5.30 am IST) at the Rebound Ace, she would count on her experience of playing in two previous editions of the season opening Grand Slam.
In 2005, Sania had burst on to the international stage after reaching the third round here but disappointed last year with her early exit.
On the other hand, Olga had reached the third round in her debut Australian Open last year.
If Sania beats the Ukrainian in the first round, she will face the winner of the match between 32nd seeded Eleni Danilidou of Greece and Aiko Nakamura of Japan in the next encounter.
In the doubles, Sania has paired with Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain. The 10th seeded Indo-Spanish duo will take on Sandra Kloesel of Germany and Aravane Rezai of France. — PTI
Melbourne, January 15
Fighting flared for the first time at a Grand Slam event after spectators exchanged insults during the match between Croatian Mario Ancic and Japan’s Go Soeda. The police said no arrests were made.
“They were mostly Serbians ejected as they were upsetting the Croatians,” Victoria state police spokeswoman Katherine Jess said. “The police are now meeting with Tennis Australia officials to work out the next move.”
The clashes failed to overshadow the on court action on the opening day of the Open, with Croatian fourth seed Ivan Ljubicic becoming the most notable casualty. Ljubicic’s 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 battering by Mardy Fish was his second successive opening-round flop in Grand Slams.
Mauresmo was the first to take centrestage in her defence of the women’s crown, brandishing winners from all angles to consign American Shenay Perry to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat.
Men’s champion Federer overcame a wobbly first set before gliding to a 7-5, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Bjorn Phau as he began his pursuit of a 10th Grand Slam title.
They were joined in the last 64 by former winners Serena Williams and Thomas Johansson, with 2005 champion Marat Safin completing the party.
A tortured and tormented Andy Roddick provided the early drama. The American staggered into round two after dousing the fireworks produced by little-known Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who had barely registered on the tennis radar until his trip to Melbourne Park.
So low is his ranking, that he does not even merit an entry in the ATP handbook. But he penned his name into tennis folklore when he won a marathon first-set tiebreak 20-18, equaling the record for the longest breaker in the tournament’s history.
However, the 212th-ranked wildcard was unable to sustain his heroics and despite being a set and 5-2 up he went down fighting 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3, much to the relief of the sixth-seeded American.
Roddick was reduced to swatting the ball on bended knees during the first set tiebreak, which eclipsed the 18-16 tussle between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final.
The American cannot afford such lapses again as he is heading for a third-round collision with Safin. The moody Russian, sulked, screamed, smashed a racket and then finally kissed the net en-route to a thrilling 5-7, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Open debutant Benjamin Becker in an electric late-night bout. — Reuters
Melbourne, January 15
One by one, male or female, an array of loud outfits have been unveiled by the players at this year’s tournament, leading the purists to reach for their sunglasses.
First Shenay Perry chose to blind women’s champion Amelie Mauresmo with her choice of wardrobe for Monday’s first-round match. The American flew around court sporting a white shirt with green trimmings over her short lime skirt.
Mauresmo could have been forgiven if she blamed her lapse in concentration in the second set, when she lost three successive games from 5-1 up, on the floating fluorescent vision before her.
While the world No. 3 gathered her wits in the nick of time to secure a 6-3, 6-4 win, the same cannot be said of Serena Williams’s opponent Mara Santangelo.
Serena’s one-piece dress glowed brightly in the floodlit Rod Laver Arena and Santangelo could only muster three games under the glare.
The 2003 and 2005 champion was quick to defend her choice of costume. “A lot of people now are wearing a similar colour to this,” Serena said following the 6-2, 6-1 win.
“I wouldn’t worry if someone wore that colour against me. It wouldn’t affect me, and that’s the attitude I take.”
Not to be outdone, 2005 men’s champion Marat Safin followed Serena on court wearing a shirt virtually the same colour.
Martina Hingis’s fiance Radek Stepanek’s fashion sense also bordered on the bizarre as he is playing his matches in attire that would not look out of place on a battle front.
“The clothes are from the company I’m using, because I’m doing my own design on the shirts,” he said referring to his army-style uniform.
“While I was six months out from the tour, they have been thinking of what I should wear this year, and they said, ‘You are coming back to the war, so you have to wear the camouflage’.” — Reuters
Quilmes, January 15
Trailing 0-1 at the breather after Tina Schutze scored a surprise goal for Germany at the stroke of half time, Madonna Blyth restored parity in the 39th minute before Rebecca Sanders slammed the winner five minutes from the hooter to give Australia their second successive win. The Hockeyroos had earlier beaten Japan 3-0 in their opening match.
Earlier, world champions the Netherlands hardly broke a sweat to brush aside debutants Japan 3-0 to maintain their clean slate and confirm their tournament favourite status. They had earlier beaten Spain 3-1.
Maartje Paumen (28th minute), Kim Lammers (35th) and Fatima Moreira de Melo (43rd) sounded the board for the Dutch.
In the last match of the second day, hosts Argentina scored an emphatic 4-1 victory over Spain to record their second straight win. They had earlier beaten Germany 2-0.
Daniela Maloberti (5th minute), Noel Barrionuevo (13th and 56th) and Carla Rebecchi (32nd) scored for the world cup bronze medallists while Esther Termens reduced the margin for Spain in the 37th minute. — UNI
Anand held, Negi wins
Wijk Aan Zee, January 15 After a fine victory with black pieces against GM Alexander Motylev of Russia in the previous round, the Indian ace could not do much with his first white pieces in the tournament as Aronian sought comfort in his first love, Marshall Gambit, and got an easy half point after 32 moves. However, there was good news for India in the ‘C’ group with world’s youngest GM Parimarjan Negi beating local International Master Thomas
Willemze. — PTI
Wijk Aan Zee, January 15
After a fine victory with black pieces against GM Alexander Motylev of Russia in the previous round, the Indian ace could not do much with his first white pieces in the tournament as Aronian sought comfort in his first love, Marshall Gambit, and got an easy half point after 32 moves.
However, there was good news for India in the ‘C’ group with world’s youngest GM Parimarjan Negi beating local International Master Thomas Willemze. — PTI
Fiorano (Italy), January 15
Ferrari unveiled its latest Formula One racer yesterday, the F-2007, the team’s 53rd single-seater model. The covers came off at Ferrari’s test track as it bids to regain supremacy after two years without winning either the driver’s or constructor’s championship.
Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and newly signed Kimi Raikkonen, who replaced Michael Schumacher, attended the ceremony.
“I saw the car in the wind tunnel before Christmas and I’ve seen it again today. The car is very beautiful and has many more extra details than the one from 2006. I’m really motivated to drive the car,” Massa said.
Aldo Costa, who heads up Ferrari’s chassis department, said that the aerodynamics had been completely remodeled and that the F-2007 was ‘excellent in terms of safety’.
“The chassis has been modified to accommodate a new front suspension,” Costa said.
The air inlets on the main body and the rear axle are tighter and more tapered, taking advantage of the more sculpted shape of the gearbox housing.
The car also has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor.
Following more stringent safety regulations introduced by governing body FIA, the new car’s cockpit has been reinforced to improve driver protection, leading to a weight increase of almost 10 kilograms.
When loaded with water, lubricant and either Massa or Raikkonen, the car weighs about 600 kg.
The position of the rear view mirrors, the exhaust system and the basic engine structure remain unchanged from the 2006 car.
“It will be really exciting to see the car run on the track tomorrow. I don’t know when I’ll drive the new car, but we’ll know more tomorrow at the end of the shakedown,” Raikkonen said. — AP
Kila Raipur, Khusropur lads in semis
Ludhiana, January 15 Grewal Academy overwhelmed Gurkul Academy, Doraha, 8-0 while Khusropur Academy, Jalandhar scored an easy 4-0 win over Khambran Academy, Jalandhar. In other matches played today, Ferozepore XI beat Mithapur Academy, Jalandhar, 4-0 and Khaira Academy, Samrala, outplayed Sahib Dass Academy, Sangrur, 4-0. In the semifinals slated for tomorrow, Mata Sahib Kaur Academy, Jarkhar, will take on Khusropur Academy at 1 pm and Amloh Academy will clash with Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur, at 3 pm.
Ludhiana, January 15
Grewal Academy overwhelmed Gurkul Academy, Doraha, 8-0 while Khusropur Academy, Jalandhar scored an easy 4-0 win over Khambran Academy, Jalandhar.
In other matches played today, Ferozepore XI beat Mithapur Academy, Jalandhar, 4-0 and Khaira Academy, Samrala, outplayed Sahib Dass Academy, Sangrur, 4-0.
In the semifinals slated for tomorrow, Mata Sahib Kaur Academy, Jarkhar, will take on Khusropur Academy at 1 pm and Amloh Academy will clash with Grewal Academy, Kila Raipur, at 3 pm.
Darrell Hair returns
Chopra tied 28th