Sports articles

Ton-up Smith anchors SA in first Test

Ton-up Smith anchors SA in first Test

DUBAI: Graeme Smith struck a fighting century to put South Africa on track for a big total against a hapless Pakistan attack on the opening day of the first Test here on Friday.
Smith hit eight boundaries in his 152-ball 100 and shared a 153-run opening stand with Alviro Petersen (67) before Hashim Amla (80) built on the good work to help South Africa, who won the toss and batted, reached 311-3 at close.
Jacques Kallis, who shared a 117-run third wicket stand with Amla, was

Tribunal formed to decide trio’s fate

LAHORE: The International Cricket Council has constituted a three-member tribunal to hear the alleged spot-fixing charges against three suspended Pakistani players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir.
Reports attributing from the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed that the head of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, Michael Beloff QC would head the tribunal that also includes LB Siege of South Africa and Sharad Rao of Kenya.
The hearing of the tribunal would be

Haider says he rejected ‘big media money’

LAHORE: Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has claimed to turn down lucrative offers from the media to give details of his decision to desert his team in Dubai midway through an ODI series and flee to London after receiving death threats for refusing to fix matches.
The 24-year-old wrote on his Facebook account that the News of the World tabloid had offered him lots of money for an interview but he spoke to them without taking a penny.
“They offered me lots of money

Asian Games open with China set to dominate

GUANGZHOU: The Asian Games opened with a spectacular water-themed gala ceremony on Friday, culminating years of planning for an event that is set to reinforce China’s regional sporting dominance.
The extravaganza heralds the most ambitious Asiad so far with some 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and territories vying for gold in 42 sports.
The Games run until November 27, with hosts China heavily favoured to top the medal table, and South Korea and Japan battling for second

Hamilton sets the pace in practice

ABU DHABI: Briton Lewis Hamilton topped the times for McLaren in Friday’s second free practice session for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 2008 world champion outpaced his three rivals in this weekend’s championship showdown by more than two-tenths of a second.
Hamilton, 25, who claimed pole position and then led last year’s race for 19 laps until forced to retire with a braking problem, clocked a day’s best of one minute and 40.888 seconds. It was a bold statement of intent

Ton-up McIntosh boosts New Zealand

HYDERABAD: Opener Tim McIntosh struck a fine 102 to steer New Zealand to 258-4 on the first day of the second Test against India on Friday.
The left-hander hit 10 fours and a six during his nearly seven-hour innings before being bowled by Zaheer Khan in the penultimate over of the day at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, hosting its first Test.
McIntosh added 147 runs with Martin Guptill (85) for the second wicket and 55 for the third with Ross Taylor (24) to steady the New Zealand


High-flying Villarreal unafraid of Barcelona

MADRID: Nilmar has vowed that Villarreal will go out and attack Barcelona when they meet on Sunday, as they seek to confirm their place in the fight for the championship.
There were complaints last season that the Spanish top flight had become a two-horse race between eventual champions Barca and runners-up Real Madrid, but so far this season Villarreal have managed to keep in touch.
Barcelona will be without the suspended Gerard Pique in the heart of defence but they have a

‘Boring’ City look to bounce back against Blues

LONDON: Manchester City assistant manager David Platt has urged his players to bounce back with victory over Birmingham after their goal-less Premier League stalemate in the Manchester derby.
City’s tactics against arch-rivals Manchester United on Wednesday have been widely criticised as negative following 90 minutes of risk-free football where neither goalkeeper was seriously tested.
Yet Platt has shrugged off criticism of the performance, noting that City remain in

Federer continues hot streak as London cast decided

PARIS: Roger Federer continued his current hot streak as the Swiss claimed a place in the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters as the final lineup for the eight-man year-end championships in London was settled Thursday.
The top seed, who is bidding for a third consecutive trophy after winning Stockholm and Basel, dispatched Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, firing 11 aces, saving two break points and winning his tenth match from 12 against the Czech.
The win was a re-run of a

Woods struggles to stay in touch

MELBOURNE: Bogeys outnumbered birdies as Tiger Woods struggled to keep in touch with the lead halfway through the Australian Masters on a trying day at Melbourne’s Victoria Golf Club on Friday.
The 14-time Major winner laboured to a one-over 72 to concede 36-hole pacesetter Adam Bland a widening nine strokes in blustery conditions with the weather forecast to further deteriorate for Saturday’s third round. Woods has the job ahead as he searches for his breakthrough tournament

Akram hits out at PCB over Haider issue

LAHORE: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board for its handling of the Zulqarnain Haider issue.
“It’s the inability of the board that has left the players insecure and vulnerable. I feel that the PCB is not capable of handling Pakistan cricket. It has failed to strike a bond of trust with the players which has left players insecure and vulnerable. There is a lack of direction and leadership in the PCB and the controversies have been a

Zulqarnain offers to help ICC eradicate ‘fixing’

LAHORE: Pakistan wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider has offered to work with the International Cricket Council to eradicate the menace of match-fixing from the game. Haider said that any player involved in match-fixing should be banned for life and offered his complete help to end the corruption from cricket.
“If the International Cricket Council wants to eradicate corruption from the game, it should start tapping the telephonic conversations of suspected players and monitor their

Several players likely to be axed for WC’11

LAHORE: More than half a dozen current Pakistani cricket players are likely to be dumped for the forthcoming World Cup due to their involvement in the alleged match-fixing saga.
Chances are that beleaguered Pakistan wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider would be among the cricketers that also involve wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, leg-spiner Danish Kaneria and Yasir Hameed apart from the tainted trio of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir.
It has been learnt that the PCB

Smith, Misbah ready for spin battle in first Test

DUBAI: Rival captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Graeme Smith geared up for a spin battle in the first Test starting here from Friday, as Pakistan seek their first series win in four years.
Pakistan’s last Test series win was against the West Indies at home in 2006 and since then they have lost six and drawn the remaining three, but newly inducted captain Misbah hopes his team makes a fresh start at Test cricket’s newest venue.
“We are focusing only on cricket and will play to our

The Zulqarnain saga continues along its ambiguous path

LAHORE: At a time when the International Cricket Council has offered help to Zulqarnain Haider, the Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended his stipend contract and formed a fact-finding committee.
An official of the PCB said: “He has violated terms and conditions of the contract. “A fact-finding committee has been formulated to establish the truth surrounding the incident of Haider’s disappearance from the Team Hotel,” he added.
The committee includes Subhan Ahmad (PCB),

ICC wants urgent solution on suspended Pakistan trio

DUBAI: The chief executive of cricket’s governing body on Wednesday said an urgent solution would be sought in resolving the case of three Pakistani players who have been suspended for suspected spot-fixing.
Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last month following spot-fixing allegations. The suspensions, handed down by the Pakistan Cricket Board, followed allegations in the

Zulqarnain exit is shameful for Pakistan: Imran

KARACHI/DUBAI: Former captain Imran Khan has called for a clean-up of Pakistan cricket and said wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider’s sudden exit to Britain to seek asylum was a “shameful’ incident.
“Sadly this incident only gives credence to the feeling our players are linked with bookmakers or are controlled by them. The recent spot-fixing allegations have not been helpful at all for Pakistan cricket,” the former captain said.
Zulqarnain fled the team’s hotel in Dubai on