Sports articles

Zvonareva shows no mercy at HK

Zvonareva shows no mercy at HK

HONG KONG – Russian tennis ace Vera Zvonareva threw down the gauntlet ahead of the Australian Open with an awe-inspiring demolition of world number one Caroline Wozniacki in Hong Kong on Saturday.
The 26-year-old took just 56 minutes and dropped just one game as she thrashed the Dane 6-1, 6-0 on the back of an equally ruthless straight-sets win over Venus Williams at the exhibition tournament.

PIA crush Karachi to reach Quaid trophy final

LAHORE – Habib Bank and PIA qualified for Division I Final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy after PIA beat Karachi Blues by an innings and 16 runs at Karachi’s National Stadium on day three of the four-day match on Saturday.
Karachi Blues made 146 runs in their first innings while PIA responded with 262 runs and later bowled out Karachi for 100 runs in the second innings. Aizaz-Bin Ilyas was the star of the match, taking 14 wickets, seven each in either innings for 65 and 45 runs

Federer clinches third Qatar Open

DOHA – Roger Federer hammered out his determination to hang on to his Australian Open title when he brushed aside Nikolay Davydenko to regain the Qatar Open crown on Saturday.
Last year the Russian beat the Swiss master on the way to the title.
This time world number two Federer overwhelmed the defending champion, who had put out top seed Rafael Nadal in Friday’s semi-finals, 6-3, 6-4 to complete the capture of the trophy without dropping a set. He was assertive,

A re-ordered cricketing universe

This definitely marks the passing of an era and the dawn of a fresh one. The sun has set on the decade of Aussie dominance. And it has been replaced with a resurgent, dogged, persevering and an awe-inspiringly balanced English Test team that has the skill-set and chutzpah to go out and conquer.
Resurgence always has an uplifting effect. This is even truer if it relates to a phenomenon that was once un-thinkable for the actors involved. For more than two decades, beginning in

Master Paints survive scare to reach final

LAHORE – Hissam Ali Hyder led Master Paints Whites to the final of the Toyota Cup Polo Tournament 2011 after a closely-contested match against The Bank of Punjab here on Saturday at the LPC ground.
Master Paints Whites scored six goals against BoP’s five and a half. Hissam produced four goals while one each came from Sufi Muhammad Haris and Lt. Col. Raja Nadeem. Rivals BoP remained at their heels throughout the four chukkers, with Shah Qubilai Alam, Hamza Mawaz Khan and Waseem

Kvitova downs Petkovic to claim Brisbane title

BRISBANE – Petra Kvitova stamped herself as an Australian Open contender after she overpowered Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-3 to claim the Brisbane International here Saturday. Although most people hardly gave her a chance of beating Petkovic, who had been in imperious form all week, the 2010 Wimbledon semi-finalist tore up the script as she demolished her German opponent in 71 minutes at the Pat Rafter Arena.
Petkovic’s groundstrokes, which dominated her opponents in the

Australia taught a lesson they must not forget

Peter Roebuck – Australia have been given a cricketing education. England appeared to be playing a different game on a different pitch. When they batted the track was as placid as celery. Between innings the curator moved the poles and the pitch had more kick than a cranky colt. Even the outfield seemed to slow down. Not that the Aussies reached it all that often. Of the two teams out there, only one is playing Test cricket.
Over the years the Aussies have given the basics of the

Of world cricket and Pakistan’s tragic story

Sports This Week – England brought the curtain down on the Ashes series with a dominating triumph over Australia in the fifth Test. The issue, as it happened, was never in doubt. Australia’s batting had no answer to the English pace attack of Anderson, Tremlett, and Bresnan, supported by the feisty off-spin of Swann.
Anderson is a master swing bowler, with the ability to bowl outswing as well as reverse swing. In Tremlett, England have a bowler who brings the ball down from a

spot-fixing scandal – Different statements may land trio in trouble

LAHORE – Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have submitted different statements over the bowling of no-balls at the ICC tribunal hearing the trio’s case in a spot-fixing scandal.
According to BBC, the explanation by each player widely differed from the other two when the tribunal asked them various questions.
Two players reportedly said that they did not know why the no-balls were bowled, while one said he did it by mistake.
“During this

Honours even on day one

HAMILTON – Pakistan’s Abdul Rehman produced a sustained, tight spell of left-arm spin bowling to take three wickets for 51 runs as New Zealand scrambled to 260 for seven at the close of play on the first day of the first Test at Seddon Park on Friday.
Kane Williamson was on 44 while pace bowler Tim Southee was on 56, his second Test half century, after the hosts had appeared to be in control on 78-1 at lunch only for Pakistan to seize the advantage in the middle session.

Pakistan stifle determined hosts

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first in Hamilton but Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision wasn’t justified.
After the early loss of Tim McIntosh, Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill batted well to take New Zealand to a respectable total of 78-1 at lunch. However, it was the post lunch session where Pakistanis clawed their way back due to some good bowling and irresponsible New Zealand batting.
McCullum played some good strokes before falling to Umar Gul for 56. From there on

Mccullum joins 400-fours club

Brendon McCullum became the fifth New Zealand batsman and 116th batsman overall to hit 400 or more fours in Test cricket. The right hand batsman reached this milestone by hitting fifth four off Younis Khan during his 56-run knock on the opening day of the first Test match against Pakistan at Seddon Park, Hamilton on Friday (January 7).
It was 94th innings of his 56th Test matches. The hard hitting batsman hit 213 fours and 22 sixes in 48 innings of 30 Test matches at home while

England crush Australia to complete Ashes triumph

SYDNEY – Dominant England claimed their first Ashes series in Australia for 24 years with their third innings victory over the home team in the final Sydney Test on Friday. England wrapped up an innings and 83-run victory early on the last day after victory was assured when they had Australia seven wickets down on Thursday’s close.
It was England’s first series victory Down Under since Mike Gatting’s team beat Australia 2-1 in 1986-87. The tourists posted their highest-ever score

Clarke quits, White comes as T20 skipper

SYDNEY – Cameron White was named as skipper of Australia’s team on Friday for next week’s two Twenty20 internationals with England after the sudden retirement of Michael Clarke.
Clarke announced he was quitting international T20 cricket immediately after Australia’s humiliating Ashes series loss to England on Friday, saying he wanted to improve his Test form.
Brad Haddin, Clarke’s vice-captain in the Sydney Test, was left out of the T20 team for younger wicketkeeper rival

England can only get better

SYDNEY – England’s Ashes series winners have yet to reach their peak, victorious captain Andrew Strauss said after his team’s thumping final Test victory over Australia on Friday. England’s emphatic innings and 83-run victory in the Sydney Test completed a 3-1 series rout of the sorry Australians for their third win in the past four Ashes series. Strauss and coach Andy Flower were the masterminds behind England’s powerful showing, which has raised hopes they will ultimately challenge

English savour taste of icing on the Ashes cake

LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed England’s series win in Australia on Friday as “the icing on the cake” after the team had already ensured they would retain the Ashes.
England’s first Ashes series triumph in Australia in nearly a quarter of a century and the dominant way in which they went about it was front and back page news in Britain’s newspapers with politicians and ex-players joining in the celebrations.
“I’ve spoken to (captain) Andrew Strauss

Retiring Colly a big loss for England

SYDNEY – Retiring Paul Collingwood has been a great servant for English cricket and epitomises the tight-knit nature of the team, Ashes-winning skipper Andrew Strauss said on Friday. Collingwood, 34, said on Thursday it was time to move on and give younger players an opportunity in announcing his retirement from Test cricket. England’s raucous Barmy Army supporters gave Collingwood an emotional farewell on the final day of the fifth Sydney Test as England wrapped up an emphatic 3-1