India ‘a’ tour of South Africa
Beleaguered Beats take on formidable Hotshots
Sindhu stuns Schenk as Warriors thrash Pistons
Intrigue, comedy — it’s all happening at HPCA
England cap Ashes triumph with a pee party
Acid test for Vijender in World Championship trials
Scott wins Barclays title in tight finish
New boys Cardiff hand Man City a lesson
Nadal looking to make up for lost time at US Open
Sanawar boys beat Mann Public School
Jeev, SSP look for better results
Ipoh, August 26
India’s arch-rivals Pakistan have already made it to the last four stage from Pool A after beating hosts Malaysia 4-1.
The Indians put up an inspired performance and scored a goal in each half through V R Raghunath (6th minute) and Mandeep Singh (65th) to pick up their second win in the eight-nation event.
India, who need to win the tournament to qualify for next year’s World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands, had thumped minnows Oman 8-0 in their tournament opener.
The Indians started brightly and dominated the early exchanges. In the first half India played possession hockey and utilised both the flanks to build up their attacks.
The Indians need to thank their goalkeeper Sreejesh as he made as many as six-seven clear saves to keep a clean slate for his team. He also earned the man-of-the-match award.
The Indians stunned Korea early in the match taking the lead through Raghunath. The well built defender converted India’s first penalty corner with a powerful low dragflick to the right corner of the Korean goal past, beating goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho.
But thereafter, the Indians should consider themselves lucky not to have conceded a goal as Korea put the Indian defence under continuous pressure with repeated raids.
The Koreans earned as many five penalty corners in the opening half but failed to convert a single one.
While an onrushing Gurmail Singh blocked the Nam Hyun Woo’s flick, an outstretched Sreejesh made one of his few brilliant saves from Korea’s second short corner a few minutes later. Five minutes from the break, India had a golden chance to double their lead but an unmarked Malak Singh shot wide from close range.
Towards the end of the opening half, the Indians unnecessarily invited pressure, conceding three more penalty corners. But a brilliant Sreejesh under the goal once again came to India’s rescue to deny the Koreans. After the change of ends, the Koreans continued in the same vein and consistently put the Indian defence under pressure.
But Sreejesh stood like rock between Korea and goal as he made an acrobatic save in the 51st minute to deny Kang Moon Kweon. If not for Sreejesh’s efforts, India could have very well lost the match. The lanky custodian denied the Koreans on two to three occasions in the final 10 minutes to keep India afloat.
Towards the end, it was India’s turn to exert some pressure on the Korean defence and came very close to doubling their lead, but an unmarked Malak shot wide with only the onrushing Korean goalkeeper Lee to beat. But young Mandeep took the game away from Korea scoring India’s second goal — his fourth of the tournament — just five minutes from the hooter.
Mandeep slotted home with a powerful shot from top of the circle after snatching the ball from a Korean defender, who was unable to control Chinglensana Singh’s cross.
India will play Bangladesh next on Wednesday. — PTI
There is only one man-of-the-match and I am happy that Sreejesh got it. But for me there is only one hero and that's my team. We don't have individuals, we are a team and we work as a team. We compete as a team and try to give our best performance as a team
Pretoria, August 26
At stumps today, India A were three for one from the four overs they faced in their second innings, needing 304 more runs to win the 'Test' with nine wickets in hand.
Captain Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on two while nightwatchman Shahbaz Nadeem was yet to open his account. Opener Murali Vijay failed for the second time in the match as he was out for a duck off the bowling of Beuran Hendricks in the second over. He had scored just four in the first innings. It will not be an easy task for the Indians, who have rested the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma, to score the remaining runs tomorrow.
India A, who had won the first Test of the two-match series by an innings, struggled to get the wickets of South Africa A batsmen who batted without taking much risk in the 63 overs they faced in their second innings at the LC de Villiers Oval here.
Shahbaz Nadeem took three wickets for 56 runs while off-spinner Parvez Rasool and pacer Ishwar Pandey got a wicket apiece. — PTI
S. Africa A 1st innings: 341
India A 1st innings:
S. Africa A 2nd innings:
India A 2nd innings
Hyderabad, August 26
While it will be an opportinuity for Hotshorts to consolidate their position, the visitors would look to play for pride. After their 1-4 loss to Krrish Delhi Smashers last night, the Bangalore side now has just nine points from one win and three losses in four ties.
Banga Beats boast of a balanced line-up, including icon player Parupalli Kashyap, world number 8 Hun Yu and rising star Tai Tzu Ying. But the men's singles players have not been consistent and it has proved to be their bane.
The presence of stars like Saina, veteran Taufik Hidayat and the young Ajay Jayaram in the rival camp will only make things difficult for the visitors.
Also, doubles specialists V Shem Goh, Khim Wah Lim, Tarun Kona and Pradnya Gadre in the opposition may prove to be too much for the Banga Beats.
While Saina is representing her city, another home-grown star, Kashyap, playing for Bangalore, would also look to make use of the local support. — PTI
Hyderabad, August 26 The Warriors got to a perfect start when K Srikanth beat Saurabh Verma of Pune Pistons 21-18, 21-16 in first men's singles to take a 1-0 lead. Sindhu's win gave them 2-0 lead and then Marcis Kido and Mathias Boe thrashed Pune Pistons pair of Arun Vishnu and Sanave Thomas 21-15, 21-16 in men’s doubles to give Warriors a decisive 3-0 lead in the contest. “I have played against Schenk twice but this is the first time I won the game and am feeling really happy. Also I am thrilled and touched to see my college friends and teachers who have come here to support me,” said Sindhu.
The Warriors got to a perfect start when K Srikanth beat Saurabh Verma of Pune Pistons 21-18, 21-16 in first men's singles to take a 1-0 lead.
Sindhu's win gave them 2-0 lead and then Marcis Kido and Mathias Boe thrashed Pune Pistons pair of Arun Vishnu and Sanave Thomas 21-15, 21-16 in men’s doubles to give Warriors a decisive 3-0 lead in the contest.
“I have played against Schenk twice but this is the first time I won the game and am feeling really happy. Also I am thrilled and touched to see my college friends and teachers who have come here to support me,” said Sindhu.
Intrigue, comedy — it’s all happening at HPCA
Chandigarh, August 26
Meetings are being called without serving the agenda, and then cancelled at the last minute without any reasons for cancellation.
“This is nothing new. Apart from the Annual General Body meeting, the agenda of every meeting is a closely guarded secret. It is only at the venue that the agenda is served. We received a mail recently, informing that the meeting will be held at a hotel in Hamirpur on August 26 and the agenda will be served there only,” said a governing body member on the condition of anonymity. The meeting was then cancelled.
A couple of district presidents and secretaries are wary of taking any names, lest their conversations are being recorded. The vigilance probe certainly is weighing heavy on everybody's mind these days. Sources also say that there is a growing concern among top officials that some of the office-bearers are passing on the inside information to the investigating agencies. It is learnt that the cancelled meeting too was to dwell on its repercussions.
A few district presidents and secretaries said they had absolutely no idea what is going on in the association. “Maybe president Anurag Thakur has some prior commitments in New Delhi. When he comes here, he is always surrounded by BJP's Yuva Mandal. Do you really think he has the time to listen to district units?” asked a district secretary, claiming complete ignorance about the next date of the meeting.
Intrigue may be the main concern of HPCA officials these days, but comedy too is not far away from this messy affair. In the corridors of the HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala, three of the top executive body members have become a butt of joke. Cowering at the thought of arrests, they had applied for anticipatory bail even though the sleuths categorically stated that they do not intend to arrest anybody at this stage. HPCA senior vice-president RS Kapoor refused to divulge details of the probe, saying,” The matter is in court. It would not be appropriate to talk about it.”
However, their detractors are not letting this delicious opportunity go without taking a swipe. “If they have done no wrong, then why are they seeking bail?” asked a former governing body official.
It has been a couple of months since the Vigilance Bureau, propped by the Congress chargesheet, swung into action aggressively. But of late, the probe agency has been beating about the bush, without having anything substantial to prove a financial fraud.
All they have revealed — a society and a company running simultaneously with dubious names and an alleged fake address, far away from the actual ground of operation — points to a malafide intention, nothing more. “It does not establish fraud. That means they can just harass the officials but can't go beyond that,” said an official who had access to the original documents of the association.
As long as the probing agency does not detect a fraud, this is going to be a long-drawn game of political upmanship. And cricket is going to lose in the end.
This is nothing new. Apart from the Annual General Body meeting, the agenda of every meeting is a closely guarded secret. It is only at the venue that the agenda is served. We received a mail recently, informing the meeting will be at
London, August 26
The allegations, which originated from Australian journalists who were at the press box as darkness enveloped the ground, involved Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Jimmy Anderson who had all made significant contributions to England's 3-0 triumph in the series.
The players are alleged to have taken turns to urinate on the pitch after they sat on the ground with their post-match drinks, according to an Australian journalist.
The three players relieved themselves on the pitch to the cheers of teammates as the England players celebrated the victory.
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior tweeted a picture of the players drinking beer on the Oval pitch in darkness, calling it the "best moment of the Ashes". Britain's Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said that the allegations will be examined but England coach Andy Flower refused to comment.
Robertson said, "If it happened it is not good behaviour". According to media reports, about five hours after the last Test was stopped due to bad light with England close to victory, the players gathered near the pitch to continue their celebrations.
While the centre of the ground was quite dark, lights were on in the grandstands with people still cleaning up after a late finish, which saw the game go beyond usual time. The incident has for sure taken some sheen away from England's win over arch-rivals Australia who failed to rise to the occasion.
Curator Cam Sutherland said that it was not a "good look" and called it unfortunate.The final Test match of the series ended in a dramatic draw on Sunday after umpires took the players off for bad light, with England needing 21 to win in four overs. There was controversy surrounding the ending and the umpires, Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena, and Australian skipper Michael Clarke were booed by the home crowd.
However, the result did not seem to dampen English euphoria as the players celebrated in the most unusual manner. — Agencies
controversies that rocked the ashes
DRS controversy Broad staying put Lehmann loses it Monty the urinator
Broad staying put
Lehmann loses it
Monty the urinator
New Delhi, August 26
“I had taken a short leave and my coaches and seniors knew of it. I had informed all the concerned authorities before leaving. There were some personal issues that I had to attend to and I am back in Patiala now,” Vijender said. “I don`t understand how this speculation started but I would certainly be giving the trials tomorrow and hopefully manage a place in the side,” quipped the former world number one in middleweight (75kg) category.
The former Olympic and World Championship bronze-medal winner`s return to the ring is being closely watched after the sabbatical he was forced into due to a drug scandal earlier this year.
So much so that the leave he took last week led to speculation over whether he would fight it out on Tuesday or not.
But the weight category in which Vijender will compete remains a mystery as the boxer refused to divulge whether it would be 75kg or a division above at 81kg for the three-day trails starting Tuesday. “I have made up my mind on that but I don`t want to say anything about it right now,” he said. — PTI
New Jersey, Aug 26
Early finisher Scott posted a five-under-par 66 at Liberty National for an 11-under-par total of 273 that stood up as Tiger Woods (69), Justin Rose (68), Graham DeLaet (65) and Gary Woodland (73) all finished one stroke back.
Scott began the day six strokes behind overnight co-leader Woodland and played eight groups behind the final pair. He finished his round about 90 minutes before the last putt was sunk. “I played a good round of golf but I didn't think it was good enough. But the closing holes threw up a challenge on these guys and luck was definitely on my side today," Scott said.
It was Scott's first victory since his rousing playoff win over Argentina's Angel Cabrera at Augusta, and a frustrating loss for his pursuers, particularly Woods.
Woods, who complained of a sore back this week after sleeping on a soft hotel bed, collapsed to his knees after striking his second shot on the par-five 13th hole and grabbed at his back.
The shot sailed left and into the water beyond the tee box at an adjacent hole. Woods went on to bogey the hole and the 15th as well before bouncing back with birdies at 16 and 17. He left his last birdie try two revolutions short of the cup.
"It (the pain) actually started the hole before, my little tee shot there started it," Woods said of his tee shot at the 12th hole. "Thirteen just kind of accentuated it." — Reuters
New boys Cardiff hand Man City a lesson
Cardiff, August 26
There was no such joy for fellow Welsh side Swansea City who were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane as the north London team kept up their perfect start to the season thanks to a second Roberto Soldado penalty in as many games.
In Cardiff, Edin Dzeko had given the big-spending and ambitious visitors the lead on 52 minutes but Aron Gunnarsson levelled for the Premier League newcomers eight minutes later when following up a Joe Hart block.
Despite struggling to get the ball, Cardiff went ahead in the 79th minute when Hart failed to clear a corner, allowing Campbell to nod the ball home and he repeated the feat from another corner on 87 minutes.
Alvaro Negredo pulled one back for Manchester City in stoppage time, but despite a couple of half-chances they were unable to snatch a point at the death.
"I spoke to my players about how proud they should be, because they deserve to be here and deserve to be playing against those top, top players," Cardiff manager Malky Mackay said. "It wasn't so much passion but discipline, discipline to do your job, to be organised, to do your job for the guy next to you.”
Cardiff lost their first ever Premier League match against West Ham United last Saturday but appeared determined from the outset to get a result in front of their home fans.
They showed few nerves against a City side who had brushed aside Newcastle United 4-0 in their opening game and who have spent around 90 million pounds ($140.34 million) on attacking talent in the close season as they seek to reclaim the league title they lost to Manchester United last season.
Campbell had a chance within 30 seconds but went down instead of getting in a shot, and was later crowded out by the makeshift centre back pairing of Javi Garcia and Joleon Lescott.
The visitors, who were without injured captain and centre back Vincent Kompany, appeared comfortable on the ball, but lacked a cutting edge in attack, registering just one shot on goal in the first half.
Despite starting strongly, Cardiff went a goal down after the restart, when Dzeko, who was profligate in front of goal against Newcastle, rocketed in a deflected shot from 25 metres out following a deft flick by Sergio Aguero.
Despite the setback, Cardiff continued to press, drawing level on the hour mark after the lively Kim Bo-kyung surged into the box and crossed for Campbell, whose shot was blocked by Hart before Iceland international Gunnarsson followed up well. — Reuters
New York, August 26
A knee injury forced Nadal to miss the last grand slam of 2012, spoiling his chances of reaching the final for a third straight year.
With Nadal absent, Britain's Andy Murray went on to win his maiden grand slam title, beating Novak Djokovic in a five-set thriller.
"When I was in that period of time outside of the tour I didn't follow the tour every week, because at the end I was focused on my recovery," Nadal told reporters at Flushing Meadows ahead of Monday's opening play.
"But a few matches you cannot miss, and for sure I watched all the final. It was a great final."
This time Nadal is back, fully fit and at the top of his game, having won back-to-back Masters events at Montreal and Cincinnati.
Nadal also missed this year's Australian Open but has been in great form since making his comeback, winning a record eighth French Open in June.
Because of his knee problems, Nadal has had to adjust his game for the North American hardcourt season, playing more aggressively to reduce the pounding on his legs, and he seems to have found the perfect balance.
"I think you can play aggressive when you are playing well. That's the first and important thing," the left-hander said. "It's true I'm trying to take the ball a little bit early and that I worked on my game to be a little bit more aggressive."
Nadal's absence from last year's US Open could have another positive effect, helping him regain the number one ranking from Djokovic because he has no points to defend.
Nadal, currently ranked second, can overtake the Serbian if he wins the U.S. Open and Djokovic fails to reach the final. "This tournament will make the difference. It's true that I am having a great season. I am in a positive position," said Nadal, who has won nine titles in 2013.
"I'm gonna try...but being number one is not my goal. My goal is be healthy, have the chance to be competitive, and finish the year with a good feeling and having the chance to play well. If I am number one, it will be amazing, amazing season for me."
Easy first round ties for Indians
The Indian contingent at the US Open have a comfortable first round outing with all of them playing unseeded opponents. Top-ranked Indian doubles player Leander Paes and his partner Radek Stepanek, seeded fourth, open their campaign against the unseeded team of Jarkko Nieminen and Dmitry Tursunov. Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin face unseeded American pair Bradley Klahn and Sam Querrey. Mahesh Bhupathi and Philipp Petzschner have a tricky draw as they play Canadian combine of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil. In the men's singles first round, Somdev Devvarman will take on unseeded Slovak Lukas Lacko. In women's doubles, Sania Mirza and her Chinese partner Jie Zhenghave have been seeded 10th and their opening match is against Germany's Annika Beck and Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. — Agencies
The Indian contingent at the US Open have a comfortable first round outing with all of them playing unseeded opponents. Top-ranked Indian doubles player Leander Paes and his partner Radek Stepanek, seeded fourth, open their campaign against the unseeded team of Jarkko Nieminen and Dmitry Tursunov.
Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin face unseeded American pair Bradley Klahn and Sam Querrey.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Philipp Petzschner have a tricky draw as they play Canadian combine of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.
In the men's singles first round, Somdev Devvarman will take on unseeded Slovak Lukas Lacko. In women's doubles, Sania Mirza and her Chinese partner Jie Zhenghave have been seeded 10th and their opening match is against Germany's Annika Beck and Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. — Agencies
Sanawar boys beat Mann Public School
Chandigarh, August 26
For Sanawar, Arman Nutt, Arpit Singh and Jagrit Verma scored. This victory pushed Sanawar Red into the semifinals of the tourney.
In another match played, Bishop Cotton School Shimla beat Army Public School, Dagshai 2-1.
Jeev, SSP look for better results
Chandigarh, August 26
Jeev carded level par, 72 followed by a three-over par, 75 on the second day to miss the cut which was applied at three-under-par. Scoring was tight and Chowrasia was level par for the tournament after 36 holes yet missed the cut by three strokes.
"I came back after taking a few weeks off and my game wasn’t sharp enough. I made some mental errors and paid the price. But I am playing well now and am looking forward to next week," said Jeev.
Chowrasia also suffered due to minor faults. "I played well in the first round as I made a lot of putts. In the second round I found it tougher on the greens and just one stray shot on the 17th hole made me to miss the cut."
The European Tour action now heads to Wales for the Wales Open and the two Indians in the field will be joined by Shiv Kapur, who will also tee it up at The Celtic Manor Resort.
Gaganjeet Bhullar, who was awarded the Arjuna Award, will join the action in Switzerland in September. "I am enjoying some time off and am busy working on my game. I have been on top of my game over the last one year, focusing hard. I hope to continue doing well and aim to win my first event on the European Tour,” said Bhullar, who wants to eventually qualify to play on the PGA Tour.
The Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India have been giving the players some time off but local golfers have a treat in store as the tour will get busy next month.
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