Wednesday 30 March 2011
Ponting steps down as Australia captain
Ricky Ponting of Australia prepares his note before a press conference in Sydney, Australia on March 29. Ponting announced he was stepping down as captain of Australia’s One Day International team and the Test team. (AP Photo)
SYDNEY, MARCH 29 (REUTERS): Ricky Ponting, the most successful captain in 134 years of Test cricket, resigned as the Australian Test and oneday skipper on Tuesday but will continue as a batsman with the team. The 36-yearold, who has led Australia in one-day internationals since 2002 and Tests since 2004, has been under in-
creasing pressure after an Ashes defeat to England and a quarterfinal exit as defending champions at the World Cup. “Today I’ve decided to stand down as captain of the Test team and the one-day team as of now,” he told a news conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). “The main reason for me is I think it’s the right
time ... I wanted to make sure that I gave the next captain every opportunity I possibly could to make sure he has as much experience going forward in the next couple of big events that we will play.” “I will continue to play and am available for both the one-day and Test teams,” he said earlier in a statement. While Ponting’s batting record brooks no argument, his captaincy has often been criticised as Australia has declined as a force in world cricket, with three Ashes series defeats to England in particular damaging his reputation. Australia went to the World Cup as double defending champions but returned home after defeat to India in the last eight, their unbeaten run of matches in the tournament having been ended at 34 by Pakistan in the group stage. On his return to Australia at the weekend, Ponting acknowledged the pressure on him and said he would consider his position before the squad to tour Bangladesh was announced on Wednesday. Ponting bucked a poor run of form to hit a defiant century in the quarterfinal defeat to India in Ahmedabad, which will only have increased his determination to continue playing international cricket. Michael Clarke, who stood in for the injured Ponting in the final Ashes Test and for the one-day series against England that followed it, is expected to replace his mentor as skipper. Australia will play three one-dayers in Bangladesh next month with trips to Sri Lanka and South Africa scheduled for later in the southern hemisphere winter.
Federer holds off Monaco in Miami Petkovic stuns Wozniacki in Miami, Sharapova hammers Stosur
MIAMI, MARCH 29 (AFP):Roger Federer fought through a tough first set and turned it on in the second to beat Juan Monaco 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 as the Swiss clocked his 20th win of the season to advance at the Miami ATP Masters 1000. The third seed who won the event at Crandon Park twice, improved his record on the season to 20-3 in a campaign dominated so far by the 20-match win streak of second-seeded Serb rival Novak Djokovic. Federer’s clean and clinical third-round victory on Monday in one and three-quarters hours over the Argentine, improved his Miami mark to 38-10. “It was tough not having played him very often,” said the Swiss. “This is as slow as it gets out on the hard court. It’s a bit of clay almost except that you can’t slide. “I thought he played well in the later stages of the first set and then also in the second. I had a return game which worked well, and was able to serve it out. So it was a good finish for me.” Federer will next play longtime friend Olivier Rochus, a winner over Russian Mikhail Youzhny 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Seventh-seeded Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych beat Argentine Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (10/8), 7-5. Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia beat German Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-3 in their third-round contest. Germany’s Florian Mayer stopped Spanish 11th seed Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. In women’s play, Caroline Wozniacki’s dream of a coast-to-coast title double hit the wall as the top seed was upset 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 by Germany’s colourful Andrea Petkovic. The winner, already an internet, YouTube and Twitter personality thanks
to her prodigious use of social media, performed a snippet of her jiggy “Petko” victory dance after the upset in just under two and a half hours. “It was not like I played unbelievable,” said the German. “It was more that I was able to stick to my game plan and I was playing clever. That was the key to the match.” Petkovic, ranked 23rd and who made a quarter-final at the Australian Open, needed an hour to win the opening set against Wozniacki, who claimed the Indian Wells Masters in California eight days ago and had been bidding to repeat on the East coast in Florida. Petkovic went up 4-2 in the third set on a break and three games later was into the quarter-finals after firing her third ace of the afternoon on match point. She faced 17 break points but saved 12 of them against the world number one Dane. Russian 16th seed Maria Sharapova also took out a leading seed as she beat Australia’s French Open finalist Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-1. The Australian who lost the Roland Garros final last year to Francesca Schiavone suffered with five double-faults and no aces in a contest lasting 81 minutes. “I have a good record against her, but it’s not something that you typically look at going into the match,” said Sharapova, who missed months over the past few seasons with a shoulder injury which eventually required surgery. “I know that she’s a very tough player. Sharapova produced her best result so far this year at Indian Wells this month as she played her first semi-final since last August. Romanian Al- Andrea Petkovic of Germany dances after defeating defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denexandra Dulgheru beat mark 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., China’s Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-4. Monday, March 28. (AP Photo)
Gareth Barry will captain Knicks Finally Get a England against Ghana Win, Beat Magic, LONDON, MARCH 29 (AGENCIES): Fabio Capello will make at least seven changes for England’s friendly against Ghana on Tuesday and has named Gareth Barry as stand-in skipper for the Wembley match. Newly re-instated captain John Terry was one of five players released from the squad following the 2-0 Euro 2012 Group G qualifying win over Wales at Cardiff, and with Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard out injured, Barry will take the armband against the World Cup quarter-finalists. Barry, who has won most of his 45 caps under Capello, did not play against Wales and was not among the substitutes either. “He is a good player, he has played most matches for me and is a good captain, he is also the one with most caps,” the Italian told reporters after training at a sunny Wembley. Capello was quoted on Saturday as saying he would make 11 changes for the game, but on Monday said he would probably make seven. He has allowed Terry, Frank Lampard and
Ashley Cole of Chelsea, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Michael Dawson of Tottenham Hotspur to return to their clubs ahead of next week’s Champions League matches. “For them to play four matches in 10 days would be too much,” he explained. He confirmed goalkeeper Joe Hart would start but that Robert Green, who has not played for England since his blunder against the United States in the World Cup, could appear later. He also said that Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines and Andy Carroll would start the match as would Scott Parker if he was fit. Teenager Jack Wilshere, who had a fine game partnering Parker in the centre of midfield against Wales will also probably play with Capello continuing to experiment with a 4-3-3 shape rather than his traditional 4-4-2. “It will be three in the midfield,” he said, adding he would not finalise the rest of his lineup until Tuesday. “If Parker is fit he will play,” he said. “He’s got some little problem but I hope he will be fit.”
Bopanna-Qureshi in quarterfinals of Miami Masters
113-106 in Overtime NEW YORK, MARCH 29 (AGENCIES): It took overtime, and some questionable officiating, but the New York Knicks snapped their six-game losing streak, and ended the Magic’s five-game winning streak, with a 113-106 victory at Madison Square Garden Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 39 points, and contributed a team-high 10 rebounds in the hard-fought victory. It was fitting that the game would go to overtime considering neither team was able to build a lead larger than seven. The Magic came undone on a questionable loose-ball foul by Dwight Howard that was the All-Star’s sixth to foul him out of the game. That also led to a technical foul from Howard who voiced his displeasure with the call. Chauncey Billups hit the subsequent free throw. Moments later, Jason Richardson, who sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer, got tangled up with Anthony on the floor. After Anthony appeared to shove him, Richardson was whistled for a foul for tripping Anthony as the Knick forward made his way up the court. The Knicks were able to escape thanks to taking a four-point lead after an Anthony foul shot in the closing seconds. Billups’s technical foul shot and the following four-for-six free throws the Knicks converted in the final minute sealed the victory for New York. The Magic were led by Howard’s 29 points, and 18 rebounds. Orlando also got a 24-point performance by Richardson. Knicks’ big man Amare Stoudemire scored 20 points and added nine rebounds.
MIAMI,MARCH29(PTI):RohanBopannaandhisPakistanipartnerAisam-ul-haqQureshiekedoutahardearned winoverMichaelMertinakofSlovakiaandDickNormanof Belgiumtobookaplaceinthequarter-finalsoftheSonyEricsson Open on Tuesday. The seventh-seed Indo-Pak pair defeated their unseeded rivals 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-8 in the second round of the hard court event. They will lock horn with giant-killers Oliver Marach of Austria and Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic, who shocked top seeds and local favourites Bob andMikeBryan7-5,6-4intheirpre-quarterfinalround.The Indian pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, seeded third, is up against Spanish pair of Marc Lopez and David Marrero in their second round. Somdev Devvarman had losttoDavidFerrertobowoutofthemen’ssingleseventearlier. Sania Mirza had lost to Maria Kirilenko in the women’s singlesevent,beingplayedsimultaneouslyhere.
Mohun Bagan face Churchill in IFA Shield final
New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, right, runs into Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard as he goes up with the ball during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on March 28 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Anthony led all scorers with 39 points as the Knicks won 113-106 in overtime. (AP Photo)
6th HASSU Football Running Trophy
DIMAPUR, MARCH 29 (MExN): The 6th Highway Area Sumi Students Union (HASSU) Football Running Trophy begun Tuesday, March 29 at Chekiye village, Dimapur. Sixteen teams from the various units of the union are participating in the tournament. Former chairman of the Dimapur Municipal Council, Khekaho Assumi graced the opening ceremony as the chief guest. Speaking on the occasionAssumicalledforcamaraderie and unity among the youths for a progressive and better tomorrow. Youths are the leaders of tomorrow, hence build relationships towards that end, he said. As youths, the objective must not only be to secure good marks in studies. “To overcome social evils and fulfill the wishes of our par-
The teams line up during the inaugural on Tuesday, March 29 at the Chekiye village ground. (INSET) Khekaho Assumi.
ents”, are equally important, he asserted. Thus, he held that the first and foremost thing to keep in mind for the youths is to try and strive for anything that is good for everyone in terms of personality development or making a positive contribution to the
society. “We all have dreams but we must also realise the reality in which we live.” “If you have the determination you can change the circumstances”, he quoted pioneer industrialist while adding: “Bottomline is, if there is will there is a way.”
The Morung Express
Parliamentary Secretary for Industries & Commerce Dr. KC Nihoshe, was to attend the inaugural as the chief guest could not make it owing to some unavoidable circumstances. Dr. Nihoshe donated Rs. one lakh towards the union.
The tournament will conclude on April 2. Chief Engineer of PEP, Er. Vetokhu Yepthomi will be the chief guest at the closing function.
ed Padumpukhri 2-0 Match 2 – Diphupar beat East Dimapur 2-1 Match 3 – K. Hollohon defeated Kushiabill 6-0 Wednesday’s Matches Chumukedima Vs. Sugarmill; Today’s Matches Match 1 - Defending cham- Lhomithi Vs. DEE; Thilixu Vs. pions Diphupar ‘B’ defeat- Ikishe; Mishikito Vs. Toluvi
KOLKATA, MARCH 29 (PTI): Mohun Bagan scripted a superb comeback to defeat local challengers Southern Samity 2-1 and set up a summit clash against holders Churchill Brothers in the 115th IFA Shield at Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Monday. In the first semi-final, Israil Gurung scored twice as Churchill Brothers defeated Shillong Lajong FC 2-0. A stunning ninth minute freekick by Edmilson gave Southern Samity a ninth minute lead but Bagan struck twice through Edeh Chidi (43rd) and Ashim Biswas (80th) to snatch a win for a repeat of last year’s final. Churchill had beaten Mohun Bagan 2-0 to win their maiden IFA Shield in the previous edition. Brazilian striker Edmilson’s right-footer from five yards outside the penalty box sailed into the Bagan net as Sangram Mukherjee had no chance. But Mohun Bagan’s Nigerian striker Chidi equalised in the 43rd minute with a clinical header from Biswajit Saha cross. Southern Samity’s hopes were dashed when their custodian Amit Singha Roy had a costly error when the ball slipped from his hands as an alert Biswas brought on the match-winner in the 80th minute. Earlier, Churchill took the lead when Gurung’s ninth minute header went into the net from a Charan Rai corner. Churchill held the 1-0 lead in the first half and in the second session completed the tally with Gurung again finding the net.
Arunachal Olympic Association wants funds ahead of NE games
ITANAGAR, MARCH 29 (PTI): The Arunachal Olympic Association (AOA) has pleaded the state government to allocate sufficient fund to the sports and youth affairs department for development and renovation of the required infrastructure ahead of the start of the 24th edition of the North East Games slated from April 25 at Dirang in West Kameng district.The association, in a letter to Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, said that most of the venues for the six-day sporting extravaganza need urgent renovation and development otherwise it would be a great setback and a prestige issue for the state, official sources informed.A team of office bearers of AOA led by its president Padi Richo and secretary general G Doke had a discussion with the officials concerned during their recent visit to Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy at Chimpu near here, where an intensive training cum coaching for the state’s athletes is going on to prepare them for the NE Games.TheAOA,meanwhile,urgedthestategovernment to accord top priority to sports and youth affairs sector by allocating sufficient funds for further promotion of the sector and development of various sports infrastructure in the state, the sources added.