Sharapova making rare Fed Cup appearance

Sharapova making rare Fed Cup appearance

PARIS – Maria Sharapova hopes her first Fed Cup outing in three years will help erase the misery of her latest Grand Slam blow-out. The three-time major winner, and former world number one who has struggled to rediscover her best form since a 2008 shoulder injury, suffered a tame fourth round defeat at the Australian Open.
Her straight sets defeat to Germany’s Andrea Petkovic in the heat of Melbourne has now given way to the chilly streets of Moscow where Russia open their 2011

Junior Squash Championship reaches quarters

LAHORE – The Punjab National Junior Squash Championship 2011 reached the quarter-final stage here on Friday. The event will have its finals played on February 7 at the Punjab Squash Complex. On Friday, the main round matches started, with President Punjab Squash Association Malik Amjad Ali Noon opening the round. The day started with some of the first round matches.
Another 46 matches were decided in under-11 to 19 different age categories of boys and girls.

Lahore win National Blind Cricket title

LAHORE – Lahore won the PBCC National Blind Cricket T20 Cup by eight wickets here at the New Campus ground of the Punjab University. Lahore and Okara played the final and the hosts had an easy sailing. Put into bat, Okara scored 220 runs for the loss of three wickets in stipulated 20 overs. Iftikhar Tiger was the top scorer with 100 not out while Muhammad Ashraf scored 76 runs.
Lahore in reply, reached the target of 221 in 18 overs for the loss of two wickets. Arslan Javeed

CM Sports Competitions’ intermediate level begins

LAHORE – The 2nd Chief Minister’s Sports Competitions at Intermediate Level rolled into action here at different venues of the city. The opening ceremony was held at the National Hockey Stadium on Friday.
The event was inaugurated by Director General Sports Punjab Salman Ijaz, after which different competitions were held at the Punjab Stadium and some other venues. The nine divisional teams from all over Punjab are participating in the girls athletics, badminton, volleyball and

5th Infotech Invitational Golf tees off today

LAHORE – The fifth Infotech Invitational Golf Tournament has attracted skilled golf amateurs from all the golf clubs of Lahore and Karachi and the 18 holes stroke play competition today(Saturday), at the par 72 Royal Palm Golf Course will be an event of significance.
The tournament is likely to produce fireworks worthy of praise and out of a field of 90 participants, at least 30 are regular winners and can be considered front runners with at least 40 more, out to challenge them

Shehzad’s century seals series for Pakistan

HAMILTON – A maiden century by teenage opener Ahmed Shehzad inspired Pakistan to a 41-run win over New Zealand Thursday to wrap up the six-match one-day series with a game to spare. The 19-year-old cracked 115 off 109 deliveries in a masterful innings in Hamilton as Pakistan posted 268-9 after being sent into bat first in the fifth ODI.
New Zealand, who are on a rotten run of form, made the worst possible start to their reply, losing a wicket on the first ball when Jesse Ryder

Salman, Asif likely to bear the brunt

LAHORE – Two of the three Pakistani cricketers suspended on spot-fixing charges face life bans as the date for the announcement of International Cricket Council’s spot-fixing tribunal’s verdict nears. Michael Beloff, the head of the tribunal, is scheduled to announce the verdict on the spot-fixing allegations against the three suspended players on Saturday at a press conference.
According to reliable sources, former captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Asif are likely to be handed

Tharanga guides Sri Lanka home with ton

COLOMBO – Upul Tharanga cracked an unbeaten 101 to steer Sri Lanka to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over the West Indies in the second one-day international on Thursday. The left-handed opener hit seven fours in his ninth one-day century as Sri Lanka achieved a rain-revised target of 197 with more than four overs to spare for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The opening game of the series was abandoned due to rain on Monday. The final match will be played on Sunday.

Players, ICC hold breath as fixing verdict looms

NEW DELHI – Much more will be at stake on Saturday than just three careers when lawyer Michael Beloff reads the verdict of an independent anti-corruption tribunal in Doha on cheating allegations facing three Pakistan cricketers.
The three-member tribunal heard the case against Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif last month for more than 45 hours spread over six days, poring over oral and written testimonies, watching video recordings and listening to tapes and forensic

Asian Winter Games – Kazakhstan dominate proceedings

ALMATY – Hosts’ Kazakhstan dominated the day’s action at the Asian Winter Games on Thursday adding four gold medals to their impressive collection to stay on top with 17 golds and 46 medals overall. South Korea failed to add to their gold haul, but remain in second place with 10 gold and 24 medals overall.
Meanwhile, Japan stayed in the race for the lead in the medal table with their skiers winning two gold medals to lift their country into third position with eight golds.

Goosen resists strong winds to grab lead in Doha

DOHA – Birthday boy Retief Goosen shot a three under-par 69 to take a one shot clubhouse lead midway through the first round of the 2.5 million dollar Qatar Masters here on Thursday. Goosen, the 2007 champion in Doha, overshadowed World No.1 Lee Westwood at the Doha Golf Club where most golfers struggled to settle into a rhythm with strong winds adding to their problems on an already difficult course where the thick rough had been a talking point before the tournament began.

Massa’s new Ferrari too hot to handle

LONDON – Felipe Massa found his new Ferrari Formula One car too hot to handle on Thursday when it caught fire afterhe had completed only a few laps of the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain. The Brazilian was testing for the first time this year after Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso had spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the F150.
The Italian team said on their website ( that Massa pulled over when the car suffered an oil leak caused by a broken clamp. “Unfortunately

Michel agrees to stay as Pakistan coach

LAHORE – The Pakistan Hockey Federation has succeeded in its efforts to convince Michel Van Den Heuvel to continue as head coach of the national team, with added remuneration and authority of selection till the 2012 Olympics.
The coach will now be given $10,000 per month and will be paid on quarterly basis, while private security will also be provided to the Dutch after he expressed his concern following the murder of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. Nothing has been finalized on

Pentangular Cup schedule announced

LAHORE – The Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday announced the schedule of the Faysal Bank-sponsored Pentangular Cup (first class) Tournament. The tournament will start from February 13 and the final will be played from March 15-19. In all, five teams (Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber PK and Federal Areas) will participate in the tournament. Top two teams will play the final. The umpires and referee for the final will be announced later.
The Schedule is as follows (date, teams,

Aitchison Staff, XI register wins

LAHORE – Aitchison Staff and Doctors XI won their matches in the 1st Lahore Cricket League here on Thursday. Aitchison Staff beat Chairman Foam by 70 runs at the former’s ground. Aitchison made 225 for eight in 30 overs. Hammad 69, Maqsood 44, Amir 29 and M Riaz 24 were the main scorers.
Talha got four for 51 and Asif two for 26. Chairman Form made 155 runs in 25 overs. Dawood 32, Asif Abbas 23 and Fahad 22. Maqsood, Amir Razzaq, Aneeb shared two wickets each. In the other match,

Clijsters to play on for maximum 2 years

ANTWERP – Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters plans to play on for a maximum two years following her remarkable run of success since returning to the tour in 2009 after taking time out to have a baby. Clijsters, 27, has proved unstoppable force at the majors after a 2-1/2 year maternity break, winning three of her four grand slam titles after the birth of her daughter Jada.
While many now hold her up as a torchbearer for working mothers — at the 2009 US Open she became the

NBP notch win in National One-Day Cup

LAHORE – National Bank defeated ZTBL by eight wickets in the Faysal Bank One-Day National Cup Division-I match here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday. NBP bowlers Mohamamd Talha and Wasim Khan allowed ZTBL to post 222 runs in 44.1 overs. Baber Azam and Haris Sohail with half-centuries provided stability to the innings with solid contribution coming from Imran Nazir.
But the total was not enough and NBP openers provided sound footing and later Nasir Jamshed, Naumanullah and Fawad