SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

England moral victors in drawn Test
England opener Alistair Cook celebrates his double century in Brisbane on Monday. Brisbane, November 29
England head to this week's second Adelaide Test with all the momentum after dominating Australia over the final two days of the Ashes opener which ended in a draw at the Gabba today.England ensured they would not be beaten in the first match of their Ashes defence after conceding a 221-run innings deficit when Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott shared in England's highest partnership in Australia of 329 runs.

England opener Alistair Cook celebrates his double century in Brisbane on Monday. ó PTI

England have belief to win: Strauss
England's comeback to draw the Gabba Ashes opener has given the team the belief it can go and win the series with Australia, skipper Andrew Strauss said today.



EARLIER STORIES

Kohli slams ton in Indiaís win
November
29, 2010
India underlines rising sporting prowess
November
28, 2010
India end on golden track
November
27, 2010
Golden Day on the field
November
26, 2010
Silver lining
November
25, 2010
Some more cheer
November
24, 2010
monday is somís day
November
23, 2010
Sania settles for Bronze
November
22, 2010
Singh on Song
November
21, 2010

Federer turns the tables on Nadal
Roger Federer holds his trophy after beating Rafael Nadal in London on Sunday London, November 29
Rafael Nadal will end the year as the world No 1 and holder of three Grand Slam titles, but if the Spaniard needed any reminder that his greatest World Tour Finals. Roger Federer had lost six of his previous seven matches against Nadal but got the better of him in an enthralling final, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 after an hour and 37 minutes.


Roger Federer holds his trophy after beating Rafael Nadal in London on Sunday ó PTI

Luck was on my side at Asiad: Vijender
New Delhi, November 29
Handicapped by a dislocated thumb and up against a two-time world champion, Indian boxer Vijender Singh today said he still managed to pull off the Asian Games gold medal as "luck was back" on his side a month after deserting him at the Commonwealth Games.

Indian cricket teamís practice imperfect
Chandigarh, November 29
Hereís the single and indispensable fact about team selections and decisions: If it works, it works. Thatís all. Everything else is static.Now this one seems like a curious move. Eight senior Indian players (plus the coach) flying off to South Africa ahead of the rest of the team in a bid to get used to the challenging conditions that they are likely to encounter in those parts.

Indian captain MS Dhoni  alongwith some senior players will leave for South Africa early. Will that prove to be helpful?

Jeev to miss Indian Open
New Delhi, November 29
The star cast for the Hero Honda Indian Open, scheduled to begin at the Delhi Golf Club here on December 2, received a jolt as Chandigarh pro Jeev Milkha Singh, always one of the big names in the sport in India, opted to pull out of the event due to a recurring back injury.

Namdhari hold ONGC
New Delhi, November 29
Namdhari XI held the star-studded Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to a 3-3 draw in the 21st Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament at the National Stadium here today. Namdharis, who opened the account through Malak

 


Top


 

 

 


England moral victors in drawn Test

Brisbane, November 29
England head to this week's second Adelaide Test with all the momentum after dominating Australia over the final two days of the Ashes opener which ended in a draw at the Gabba today.

England ensured they would not be beaten in the first match of their Ashes defence after conceding a 221-run innings deficit when Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott shared in England's highest partnership in Australia of 329 runs.

Cook became only the fourth Englishman to score a Test double-century in Australia with his unconquered 235, while Trott hit 135 not out before skipper Andrew Strauss called a halt at 517 for one, 40 minutes before tea.

Australia tried to avoid further collateral damage in their 26 overs to the close and were 107 for one when the match finished in a draw.

Ricky Ponting scored his 56th Test half-century to be 51 not out and Shane Watson was on 41.

Records and personal bests kept tumbling for England on the anti-climactic last day as Cook and Trott pummelled the Australian bowlers.

Cook joined Wally Hammond (3), Reg Foster and Paul Collingwood as double centurions with his 625-minute epic off 428 balls in the highest score by either team in 19 Ashes Tests at the Gabba.

Their unbroken partnership surpassed the previous highest stand by England in this country of 323 held by Jack Hobbs and Wilfred Rhodes at Melbourne in 1911-1912.

When Trott's 100 came up it was the first time three English players have scored a century in an innings of a Test match since 1924.

On that occasion the top three batsmen -- Jack Hobbs (211), Herbert Sutcliffe (122) and Frank Woolley (134 no) -- all scored hundreds against South Africa at Lord's.

Cook surpassed his previous highest Test score of 173 and also passed Ian Botham's 138 as the highest English run scorer at the Brisbane ground, set back in 1986.

It was also only the second match in Test match history to feature two 300-plus partnerships following Mike Hussey-Brad Haddin's 307-run stand in Australia's first innings 481.

The other was the drawn Pakistan v India first Test in Lahore in 2006.

England landed psychological blows on the Australians as Cook and Trott had frolicked before a small last-day crowd dominated by England's taunting Barmy Army fans, which made it more like a Test at Lord's.

More salt was rubbed into Australia's wounds with two more embarrassing dropped catches, making a total of five for the match.

Vice-captain Michael Clarke put down a regulation chance off Trott (75) at slip off Shane Watson's bowling and Ponting dropped Cook (222) in the slips.

It only got worse when Simon Katich was caught at first slip by Strauss off Stuart Broad for four in the sixth over of Australia's second innings.

Australia will have plenty to ponder ahead of Friday's second Test at the Adelaide Oval after England came away from the Gabba without losing for the first time since the drawn Test in 1998.

Over the course of the five days only 22 wickets fell, and just seven over the last three days on the bat-friendly flat Gabba pitch. AFP

Top

 

England have belief to win: Strauss

England's comeback to draw the Gabba Ashes opener has given the team the belief it can go and win the series with Australia, skipper Andrew Strauss said today.England came out of the high-scoring draw as moral victors after overturning a huge 221-run innings deficit to avoid defeat and fatigue Ricky Ponting's team with over 10 hours in the field ahead of Friday's second Test in Adelaide.

Alastair Cook was the hero with an unbeaten 235 as England's top three batsmen all scored centuries, something that England have not achieved in Tests since 1924.

"There was a lot of self-belief at the start of the series, but everyone talks about the Brisbane Test and how important it is," Strauss said. "At the end of day three it wasn't looking good for us.

To come back in the match and draw it, we've got a belief we can go on and win this series from here." The series now moves to Adelaide with just a three-day turnaround before the teams take to the field again, putting a strain on recovery time from the physical demands of spending long stints in the field for both teams in Brisbane. "There'll be a spring in our step going to Adelaide. But you've got to transfer that onto the pitch," Strauss said.

"It's all very well strutting around a hotel lobby feeling good about yourself, you need to make sure that turns into runs and wickets." Strauss said his team showed the same resilience England demonstrated to hold on for fighting draws against Australia in last year's first Cardiff Test and against South Africa in Cape Town last January. ó AFP

Top

 

Federer turns the tables on Nadal

London, November 29
Rafael Nadal will end the year as the world No 1 and holder of three Grand Slam titles, but if the Spaniard needed any reminder that his greatest World Tour Finals. Roger Federer had lost six of his previous seven matches against Nadal but got the better of him in an enthralling final, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 after an hour and 37 minutes.

Victory came with a first prize of $1.63m (about (pounds sterling)1.04m) and 1,500 rankings points but the restorative psychological boost it could deliver Federer may be more significant. Nadal has regularly stolen Federer's thunder over the last three years, but this was proof that the former world No 1 intends to hang around for a while yet.

Nadal has still won 14 of his 22 matches against Federer, but that head-to-head record is distorted by the fact that he has won 10 of their 12 meetings on clay. On faster surfaces, Federer retains the edge. Indeed, Nadal has only ever won one indoor tournament, in Madrid five years ago. Federer won with a superb display of attacking tennis.

Nadal, playing in the final of these year-ending championships for the first time, may have paid the price for his exertions in his semi-final 24 hours earlier. Andy Murray had detained him for more than three hours, while Federer took less than half that time to beat Novak Djokovic.

The game's top two players have shared the world No 1 ranking for the last seven years and won 21 of the last 23 Grand Slam titles.

The last time they met in Britain was at Wimbledon two years ago, when Nadal won what many regard as the greatest match in history. Tournament organisers could hardly have wished for a better finale, even if the home audience had been disappointed to see Murray lose in Saturday's semi.

This was the first time for 24 years that the world's two top-ranked men had contested the final and the first since 1993 that the two finalists had won all their group matches. Federer had gone into the final without even dropping a set.

The O2 Arena's eighth capacity crowd of the week - for the second straight year, more than 250,000 people have attended the tournament - included a host of celebrities. Diego Maradona, who attended every single day, was there again and was joined by, among others, Ronnie Wood, Kevin Spacey, Thierry Henry and Boris Johnson.

If the crowd's support seemed to have been equally split between Nadal and Murray 24 hours earlier, it was Federer who drew the biggest cheers on this occasion. ó AFP

Top

 

Luck was on my side at Asiad: Vijender

New Delhi, November 29
Handicapped by a dislocated thumb and up against a two-time world champion, Indian boxer Vijender Singh today said he still managed to pull off the Asian Games gold medal as "luck was back" on his side a month after deserting him at the Commonwealth Games.

World number one Vijender blanked Uzbekistan's two-time world champion Abbos Atoev in the Asian Games final despite dislocating his thumb in the opening three minutes of the bout.

Recalling the tense moments, the 25-year-old, whose hand is currently heavily bandaged, said a power-packed left hook led to the dislocation and leaving him to fight practically with one hand.

"My hand was in a terrible state even before the Asian Games but it completely broke at the worst possible time.

It was in the closing stages of the first round. I got the score for that left hook but I knew my hand was gone. I immediately told my coach that I cannot move it," Vijender said upon his return to the country from Guangzhou today.

"I asked the coach what the scoreline was, he told me it was 2-0. I thought I will give it a shot and continued. In the second round, I was not using my left hand at all. I was just swaying it once in a while to scare off Atoev, who thankfully didn't get an idea as to what had happened," he said.

"When I took a 5-0 lead in the second round, I knew the bout was mine from here. I kept praying to almighty and I think that also helped. In the end, I guess I got lucky, god was with me," he added.

The Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist had settled for a rather disappointing bronze at the CWG here after losing in the semifinals due to a couple of warnings for clinching. And Vijender said the Asiad gold has finally wiped off the disappointment. ó PTI

Top

 

Indian cricket teamís practice imperfect
Sunil Narula
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Hereís the single and indispensable fact about team selections and decisions: If it works, it works. Thatís all. Everything else is static.Now this one seems like a curious move. Eight senior Indian players (plus the coach) flying off to South Africa ahead of the rest of the team in a bid to get used to the challenging conditions that they are likely to encounter in those parts.

So, how many extra practice sessions are these eight senior players going to get in SA? Maybe three. Perhaps four. Nothing more than that. (These players will be flying on December 6 and the rest of the players will be leaving on December 11). In three extra net sessions, the seniors will attempt to get a measure of the African conditions and be battle-ready when the real contest begins on December 16. Sounds pretty thin and unconvincing. But if it works, it works.

Coach Gary Kirsten will get some extra days at home (in Cape Town). In fact, these senior players will be practicing at Kirstenís academy there. The first Test of the series will be played in Centurion, the second in Durban but the players will practice in Cape Town. Sounds unreasonable. But again, if it works, it works.

The whole idea of team sport is the TEAM. You canít have some members going early and the rest going a few days later. Agreed, the rest of the players are playing in the ODI series against New Zealand. But this is something the BCCI should have worked out earlier.

This is going to be the series between the number one and the number two Test teams in the world. Itís already being referred to as the ĎFinal Frontierí for the Indian Test side. So the BCCI should have chalked out the itinerary with a little more thought and imagination.

Even when it comes to team composition for this crucial Test series, the Indian selectors (and captain) have chosen to ignore Yuvraj Singh, opting for Suresh Raina instead. Even a cursory glance at Rainaís technique against short-pitched bowling in the recent Nagpur Test told a different story -- he will struggle is SA. But if it works, it works.

Sources say that the reason why Yuvraj finds himself out of the Test team is not bad form. It is bad choice of friends. When all hell broke loose against Lalit Modi a few months ago, Yuvraj was the first one to post him a friendly message of support on Twitter. Top BCCI officials (we all know who) have not liked Yuvrajís open show of friendship towards Modi. So, Yuvi has no place in the Test team.

Agreed, Yuvraj will not be the panacea of all ills in SA. But in Tests, at No. 6, he still remains the best bet. And, a lot more experienced than Raina. (Yuvraj has played 34 Tests with an average of 36, while Raina has played seven Tests and averages 40).

The number one Test spot in the world will be at stake in SA. The BCCI should forget about personal likes and dislikes and put the best team on the playing field. Both, this idea of breaking the team into two groups while departing for this tour and dropping Yuvraj for Raina for the Tests, seem like wrong choices. But if it works, it works.

Top

 

Jeev to miss Indian Open
Tribune News Service

Jeev Milkha Singh
Jeev Milkha Singh

New Delhi, November 29
The star cast for the Hero Honda Indian Open, scheduled to begin at the Delhi Golf Club here on December 2, received a jolt as Chandigarh pro Jeev Milkha Singh, always one of the big names in the sport in India, opted to pull out of the event due to a recurring back injury.

Jeev has been frequently plagued by injuries over his playing days and off late these seem to be cropping up with disturbing frequency.

In fact, Jeev also had to pull out of the Casio Open, played in Kochi, Japan, last week.

He played the first two rounds there but was forced to withdraw due to a shoulder injury.

Top

 

Namdhari hold ONGC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
Namdhari XI held the star-studded Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to a 3-3 draw in the 21st Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament at the National Stadium here today. Namdharis, who opened the account through Malak

Singh in the third minute, consolidated the lead when Gurmeet Singh found the mark 15 minutes later. But ONGC made two quick strikes through Divakar Ram and Bikas Toppo

to catch up, and though Malak Singh scored again to restore the lead for Namdharis, it was shortlived as Jagwant equalised for the Oilmen. In another match, Army XI defeated South Central Railway 4-1. Eliazer Lakra (2),

Senthil Mundu and Mansid Bhengra scored for the Armymen while Niyaz Raheem pulled one back for Railways.

Top

 
 BRIEFLY


Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff gives tips to a young player in Mumbai on Monday.
Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff gives tips to a young player in Mumbai on Monday. ó PTI

Medical support gave confidence for Asiad: Manpreet
New Delhi
: A first-round defeat in the Commonwealth Games hit him so badly that Indian boxer Manpreet Singh lost the will to continue before psychatric sessions at NIS Patiala revived his confidence and "guided" him to a silver medal at the just-concluded Asian Games. The imposing heavyweight 91kg boxer, who returned from Guangzhou with the rest of the team last night, lost in the very first round of the CWG after being handed a couple of warnings and so shattering was the setback, that it took a psychatrist to lift him. "I was so disappointed that I did not stop crying for days. My confidence had been shaken to such an extent that I could only think negative. Then my coaches took me to the NIS psychatrist, who first took a test in which all my negativity came out. It was a cleansing experience," the 23-year-old said. ó PTI

T-20 tourney kicks off
Dharamsala
: The Jaypee T-20 tournament has been inaugurated by president Anurag Thakur here today. The tournament was inaugurated in four different places which were Kalpa (Kinnaur), Kullu, Dharamsala and Nadaun. The president himself inaugurated the tourney at all the four places himself. The motive of the tournament is to bring out the upcoming talent in Himachal Pradesh. The tournament, being held at 75 different venues on a knockout basis, has managed to take the sport to even the remotest parts of the hilly state. While the primary idea behind hosting a tournament at this scale is to get mass participation, the HPCA, at the same time, feels it could help them unearth some serious talent, which will help the state grow as a cricketing power said Sanjay Sharma, PRO, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA). He also informed that 1400 teams have been participating at the tourney and an amount of Rs 90 lakh has been spent in organizing the tourney. ó TNS
Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest jumps into the arms of team-mate Kobe Bryant after scoring the game-winning basket against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Western Conference final playoffs in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest jumps into the arms of team-mate Kobe Bryant after scoring the game-winning basket against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Western Conference final playoffs in Los Angeles. ó Reuters

Sammy to lead Windies
Pallekele
: The West Indies cricket selectors today named all-rounder Darren Sammy as captain for next month's one-day series and a Twenty20 international in Sri Lanka. Batsman Kirk Edwards and paceman Andre Russell were the newcomers in the 15-man squad, according to a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) press release. Edwards is one of the four players who will join the squad currently playing in the three-Test series in Sri Lanka. The Test series is tied 0-0, with the final match set to be played in Pallekele on Wednesday. All-rounder Kieron Pollard, spinner Nikita Miller, paceman Ravi Rampaul and Edwards will replace Brendan Nash, wicket-keeper Devon Thomas, paceman Nelon Pascal and spinner Shane Shillingford. "This will be a very important series for us as we look ahead to the World Cup, which will be played in the sub-continent in a few months," said Courtney Browne, the WICB selector on tour. ó PTI

India lift Polo Cup
NEW DELHI
: India downed South Africa 9-6 to lift the Miele Delhi Polo Season Trophy at the Jaipur Polo Ground here. In an action-packed thriller, played in front of a packed stadium, India, powered by Maj. Vishal Chauhan, Maj. Ravi Rathore, Samir Suhag and Col. Tarun Sirohi, got the better of the visitors comfortably. The hosts dominated the match to such an extent that they led by 7-4, thanks to the striking prowess of Suhag,in the penultimate chukker. They struck two more, and conceded as many, in the last chukker to emerge triumphant. Suhag eventually ended with seven goals. ó TNS

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |