Indian colts leading lights of Asia
Bangladesh to remain Asia Cup host
Pak salvage a draw vs Lanka
Wawrinka,Vasselin to clash in final
Serena triumphs, Federer sets up Hewitt showdown
England staring at whitewash down under
Camera on Schumi’s ski helmet inspected
Indian colts leading lights of Asia
Sharjah, January 4
While Zol’s knock came off 120 balls laced with seven fours and two sixes, Samson took just 87 deliveries for his ton that included eight boundaries and four sixes, to help India reach 314/8 in their allotted 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan could reach 274/9, despite a fighting ton from Kamran Ghulam (102 not out; 89b, 12X4s).
Put in to bat, India got off to a solid start with openers — Ankush Bains (47) and Akhil Herwadkar (12) — putting on 65 runs in 6.4 overs for the opening wicket. It was medium pacer Zia-ul-Haq who got the first breakthrough for Pakistan by removing Herwadkar, while leg-spinner Karamat Ali dismissed Bains to reduce India to 85/2.
However, Zol and Samson joined hands to share a massive 180-run partnership for the third wicket to give India the upperhand.
The two batsmen kept on rotating the strike well by taking singles, but punished loose deliveries that came their way to frustrate the Pakistani bowlers.
Karamat finally broke the partnership when he saw off Zol, who mistimed a shot and lofted it to Zafar Gohar at mid-on. But Samson took the revenge by hitting Karamat for two consecutive sixes in the next two deliveries. He, however, failed to sustain for long and got out a couple of overs later. But by the time Samson departed, India were comfortably placed at 286 for four in 44.1 overs.
For Pakistan, Zafar Gohar (2/52), Zia-ul-Haq (2/56) and Karamat (2/78) took two wickets each, while Kamran Ghulam chipped in with one.
Chasing a massive target, Pakistan faltered from the very beginning, losing Mohammad Umair (17), Imam-ul-Haq (18), Hasan Raza (1) and Saifullah Khan (3) cheaply, to be reeling at 88 for four. But opener Sami Aslam played a sensible knock and held on to his ground even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
Leading from the front, skipper Aslam finally found an able support in Kamran Ghulam and the two put on a solid 93-run stand together for the fifth wicket to keep Pakistan’s chances alive.
Aamir Gani managed to break the dangerous partnership by dismissing Aslam for a well-made 87 off 96 balls, studded with 10 boundaries.
Ghulam, however, showed a lot of character as he continued to play aggressively, scoring at better than a run-a-ball.
Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of bowlers with figures of three for 72, while Deepak Hooda (2/37), Gani (2/39) and Chama Milind (2/44) claimed two wickets each. — PTI
Bains st Saifullah b Karamat 47
Herwadkar c Umair b Zia-ul-Haq 12
Zol c Gohar b Karamat 100
Samson c Umair b Gohar 100
Khan run out (Zia-ul-Haq) 5
Hooda c sub (Afridi) b Ghulam 13
Bhui c sub (Afridi) b Gohar 6
Gani c Gohar b Zia-ul-Haq 5
Yadav not out 2
Avesh not out 1
Extras (lb 4, w 17, nb 2) 23
Total (8 wickets; 50 overs) 314
Fall of wickets: 1-65, 2-85, 3-265, 4-286, 5-286, 6-297, 7-309, 8-311
Bowling: Zia-ul-Haq 10-0-56-2
Aslam c & b Gani 87
Umair c & b Milind 17
Imam-ul-Haq c Khan b Kuldeep 18
Raza st Bains b Gani 1
Saifullah lbw b Kuldeep 3
Ghulam not out 102
Shakeel c Herwadkar b Kuldeep 8
Gohar b Milind 18
Karamat c Khan b Hooda 2
Zia-ul-Haq c Gani b Hooda 5
Saeed not out 0
Extras (b 1, lb 2, w 9, nb 1) 13
Total (9 wickets; 50 overs) 274
Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-77, 3-84, 4-88, 5-181, 6-211, 7-246, 8-249, 9-269
Bowling: Milind 10-0-44-2
Colombo, January 4
Some observers had expected officials to move the tournament out of Bangladesh following an outbreak of violent protests and strikes in the capital Dhaka ahead of elections Sunday. “The tournament will go ahead as scheduled in Bangladesh from February 25 to March 7,” Asian Cricket Council chief executive Ashraful Huq said.
“Everything is in place for the tournament, no one raised any issue about safety,” Huq said, adding the Bangladesh Cricket Board had made a detailed security presentation at the meeting.
All 11 matches in the tournament will take place in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka as planned, despite the violence that has plagued the city in the build-up to Sunday's general elections.
Election-related violence in Bangladesh has claimed more than 140 lives since late October, with opposition parties boycotting the polls and organising a series of blockades across the country. Afghanistan will join Asia's four Test nations — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — in the 50-over tournament, Huq added.
The fast-improving Afghanistan team, which has qualified for their maiden appearance in the 50-over World Cup, have also made it to their third successive World Twenty20. “This is a big step forward for Afghanistan,” Huq said.
“Their participation in the Asia Cup will encourage them for the bigger Tests ahead.” Bangladesh is also due to host the World Twenty20 tournament from March 16 to April 6. — Agencies
Abu Dhabi, January 4
Hafeez (80 not out) and debutant Shehzad (55) added 101 runs for the second wicket to take their team to safety after Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal dismissed opener Khurram Manzoor (eight) early.
Pakistan reached 158 for two wickets when both teams agreed to a draw with first-innings centurion Younus Khan (13 not out) the other unbeaten batsman at the crease. Lakmal troubled Manzoor on numerous occasions with his outswingers before finding his edge for wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene to complete the catch as Pakistan chased 302 for an improbable victory in just over two sessions.
Shehzad was out leg before to Rangana Herath at the start of the final session and his attempt to overturn the umpire's decision through a review also proved unsuccessful.
But the dismissal came a bit too late for Sri Lanka as both their spinners and fast bowlers failed to make any significant impact on a docile pitch. Earlier, Sri Lanka declared their second innings on 480 for five wickets after batting for 90 minutes in the morning session to add 60 runs to their overnight score. Captain Angelo Mathews remained unbeaten on 157, his highest Test score. — Reuters
* Sri Lanka: 204 & 480-5 dec (Mathews 157*, Chandimal 89, Kaushal 81, Prasanna 63*, Sangakkara 55; Junaid 3-93); Pakistan: 383 & 158-2 (Hafeez 80*, Shehzad 55)
Chennai, January 4
Swiss top seed Wawrinka was pushed to the wall by his fifth seed opponent Vasek Pospisil before the Canadian retired in the second set with scores at five all. World No.8 Wawrinka had won the opening set 6-4 and was locked at 5-5 in the next when Pospisil conceded his semifinal.
In the other semifinal, Roger-Vasselin staved off a stiff challenge from Spain’s Marcel Granollers to book his maiden final appearance.
Vasselin clawed his way back into the match after losing the second set to emerge victorious against the sixth seeded Granollers 6-2 4-6 6-3 at the centre court of the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium. The Frenchman broke his opponent in the sixth game of the first set and then held on to his serve in the seventh.
The second set was a different story as Granollers made a spirited comeback and improved his service accuracy and forehand strokes as the game went on. But the success was short-lived as Vasselin fought back in impressive style.
Granollers was unable to catch Vasselin, who went on to secure a 6-3 final set victory and a place in his first final in 2014.
At the post match briefing, Granollers said, “It was a tough match. I had a chance to win but lost it in the end. I was a little tired from yesterday as my match finished late. However, Vasselin played better than me. He was very aggressive from the start."
World No. 52 Vasselin expressed his happiness on beginning the new season with a win. “Yes, definitely I am happy. One more match to go," he said. "It's absolutely difficult to play big matches. The going has been good for me.” — PTI
Brisbane, January 4
The American won the battle between the world's top two players to pick up her 58th career title.
In the men's draw, Roger Federer will be chasing a 19th win over home favourite Lleyton Hewitt when the two 32-year-olds renew their friendly rivalry in Sunday's final.
Both players needed three sets to reach the final with top seed Federer beating Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 and Hewitt downing Japan's Kei Nishikori 5-7 6-4 6-3 in stifling conditions. The women's final lacked the intensity of Williams' victory over Maria Sharapova. — Agencies
Sydney, January 4
Chris Rogers, who had made 73 not out, and George Bailey, unbeaten on 20, will resume on day three looking to further inflate the lead before Australia unleash their pace attack on the hapless tourists.
England's bowlers made inroads into the Australian batting order in the final session to contribute to the 13 wickets to fall at the Sydney Cricket Ground but the day was defined by a first hour that left the tourists reeling at 23-5. While a dispirited England had once again contributed to their own batting downfall, Mitchell Johnson (3-33), Ryan Harris (3-36) and Peter Siddle (3-23) played decisive roles with another display of top quality pace bowling. “It's obviously not a done thing yet, we've got to make sure we bat well in the morning and get some more and bowl like we did today to bowl them out again,” Harris told reporters. “We sort of figure they are going to fire at some stage, we hope they don't but... I don't think the wicket's getting any easier. If we bowl like we did today, I think we'll go alright.”
Australia had made 326 in their first innings before reducing England to 8-1 overnight and drove home their advantage by ripping through England's top order in the early blitz.
It was Harris who started the carnage with the second ball of the day, when England captain Alastair Cook inexplicably padded up to an inswinger and was trapped leg before for seven.
Harris could have had a second wicket with his next delivery when Ian Bell edged the ball behind, only for Shane Watson to fluff a reasonably simple catch in the slips. Nightwatchman James Anderson braved a couple of overs of short bowling before departing, also for seven, after finding the edge with a stab at a Johnson delivery, which Clarke leapt to claim in the cordon. —Reuters
Australia Ist innings 326
England Ist innings (overnight 8/1)
Cook lbw Harris 7
Carberry c Lyon b Johnson 0
Anderson c Clarke b Johnson 7
Bell c Haddin b Siddle 2
Pietersen c Watson b Harris 3
Ballance c Haddin b Lyon 18
Stokes b Siddle 47
Bairstow c Bailey b Siddle 18
Borthwick c Smith b Harris 1
Broad not out 30
Rankin b Johnson 13
Extras (lb-1, w-5, nb-3) 9
Total (all out, 58.5 ovs) 155
Fall of wickets: 1-6 2-8 3-14 4-17 5-23 6-62 7-111 8-112 9-125
Bowling: Harris 14-5-36-3
Australia IInd innings
Rogers not out 73
Warner lbw Anderson 16
Watson c Bairstow b Anderson 9
Clarke c Bairstow b Broad 6
Smith c Cook b Stokes 7
Bailey not out 20
Extras (lb-9) 9
Total (4 wkts, 30 ovs) 140
Fall of wickets: 1-27 2-47 3-72 4-91
Bowling: Anderson 10-4-36-2
Grenoble, January 4
A source close to French authorities handling the investigation disclosed the existence of the camera late on Friday. The source said it had been taken to see if it can yield any clues as to the circumstances of the accident. Schumacher's 14-year-old son Mick, who was skiing with his father at the time, was also being questioned by investigators, the source said, confirming information reported by the French newspaper Dauphine Libere. The developments in the probe came the day Schumacher turned 45 while still in an induced coma in a hospital in the French Alpine city of Grenoble after his December 29 accident. — Agencies
Host Punjabi University won six medals, including a gold, on the third day of the 6th All India Inter University Fencing Championship at Punjabi University on Saturday. Kawish Bawa won the only gold of the day for the host university in men’s Foil. In the final, Kawish Bawa beat Thinakara Anand of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, 15-8, while his team mate Ajankya Dudhare beat Dushyant of Jammu University by a very close margin of 14-13 for the bronze. In the women’s Sabre category, Komalpreet Shukla of Punjabi University missed out on gold, losing 15-14 to Bhavani Devi of Kannur University in the final, while Cherish Devi of Manipur University won bronze.
An integrated 25 and 50m shooting range was inaugurated at the Ranjitgarh Rifle Club, Phillaur. The newly established shooting range will host district, state and national level competitions and camps. The range, set up at a cost Rs 75lakhs, is equipped with latest gadgets and is one of the best shooting ranges in the country. Ranjitgarh Rifle Club, Phillaur was established in the year 1996.
Veteran Indian tennis star Leander Paes will not be seen on national duty this year after getting the AITA's nod to take a break for spending more time with his family.The decision means that the 40-year-old player will not be available for the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Chinese Taipei later this month, the ties after that and the Asian Games.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has rescinded a blanket ban on demonstrations in and around the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi.An order published on the Kremlin’s website Saturday says that meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, marches and picketing that is not connected with the games may be held in places or along routes approved by the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the country’s police. Putin last year ordered a ban on any demonstrations in Sochi not connected with the games from January 7 to March 21. The move was criticised by human rights organisations. — Agencies