sports review (17-23, 2008)
Holders WAPDA NBP complete NFCC semis line-up:
National champions WAPDA and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) qualified for the semifinals after defeating their respective rivals Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and Pak PWD, in the quarter-finals of the National Football Challenge Cup, held here at different venues last week. At KMC Stadium, the hot favourites WAPDA edged out KESC 2-0 while NBP overpowered Pak PWD 3-1 at Peoples Stadium to join Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and Navy in the last four. Now, WAPDA will face KRL while NBP will take on Navy in the semifinals, which would be played on Tuesday (13.5.2008) . WAPDA, who have been very impressive so far, kept the KESC under tremendous pressure throughout. WAPDA’s frontline, featuring the leading two scorers of the Premier league — captain Arif Mahmood and Zulfiqar Ali Shah — tested the opposition’s goalie Sajid Hussain with incisive rallies. In the initial six minutes, WAPDA could have taken a splendid start but on both occasions Dilshad Ali’s headers went just over the goalpost. WAPDA were unlucky in the 30th minute, when Arif’s angular 30-yard drive hit the cross bar. Had he found the net, it would have been the classic goal of the tournament. In the second half, WAPDA’s experienced midfielder Jamshed Anwar tested goalkeeper Sajid Hussain with a dipping shot, but the latter gathered it acrobatically. It was only in the 51st minute, when Imran Niazi finished a combined rally generated by Arif Mahmood and Zulfiqar Shah with a goal, putting his side 1-0 ahead.
Karachi Professionals win National Seniors Cricket Tournment:
Karachi Professionals win National Seniors cricket
he prolific Aamer Hanif and former Test player Mansoor Akhtar helped Karachi Professionals Whites to lift the 10th National Senior Cricketers Championship, by beating Rawalpindi Greens by eight wickets here last week at the Diamond Cricket Ground. Aamer (114) and Mansoor (51) remained unseparated during a 166-run third wicket partnership and put to the sword all the star bowlers from Rawalpindi Greens. Hanif’s innings of 114 not out off just 74 balls was punctuated with 17 fours, as his colleague Mansoor Akhtar hit up a polished run-a-ball 51 with four fours. Chairman PCB Dr Nasim Ashraf, who was also playing for Rawalpindi Greens, distributed cash prizes of Rs 150,000 to the winners, Rs 75,000 to the runners-up and several individual prizes with cash awards. Put into bat first, Rawalpindi Greens hit up moderate 243 for eight in 35 overs, as Mansoob Mirza hit up his third consecutive ton (106) in the veterans cricket championship held throughout the country under the aegis of Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA). Mansoob scored his ton in 96 balls and hit up 12 fours and two sixes.
Football coach Nasir off to Iran:
The head coach of Pakistan Under-14 football team Nasir Ismail has left for Iran on Monday last to attend a workshop being organised on May 15 at Tehran. In the one-day workshop the head coaches of the eight countries, who are participating in the AFC Under-14 Festival of Football, will take part. In the Under-14 festival of football, around 176 players from Afghanistan, Maldives, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts Iran will show their worth. The matches in the festival would be held from May 18 to 23. The Pakistan team will leave for Iran on May 15 from Lahore. The festival is being organised by the Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation (IRIFF).
Glory Glory Manchester United:
Manchester United clinched their 17th English championship by beating Wigan 2-0 in a nail-biting finale to the most thrilling Premier League title battle in years. Pushed to the wire by Chelsea, United claimed the 10th title of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign by two points after their rivals were held to a 1-1 draw by Bolton in their final match. Cristiano Ronaldo, with a first-half penalty, and Ryan Giggs, on the day he equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of Manchester United appearances, were United’s match winners. The Red Devils had been given a huge pre-match boost by the return of Wayne Rooney to the starting line-up and the England forward was to have a decisive influence on the match. After winning the first-half penalty that enabled Ronaldo to claim his 41st goal of the season, Rooney played in Giggs for the 80th-minute strike that ended any doubt about the destiny of the title. Equally influential however was the fact that all the key decisions made by referee Steve Bennett went United’s way. The official denied Wigan an early penalty when Rio Ferdinand blocked a shot with his upper arm, awarded a debatable one to United and failed to issue a second yellow card to Paul Scholes for what was a blatant body check by the United midfielder on Wilson Palacios. Even if they had beaten Bolton, Chelsea would have lost out to United on goal difference. As it turned out, Kevin Davies’s last-minute equaliser earned Bolton a draw at Stamford Bridge after Andriy Shevchenko had kept their hopes alive with his first goal since December 26. At the other end of the table, Danny Murphy’s 75th-minute strike gave Fulham a 1-0 win at FA Cup finalists Portsmouth that secured the west London club’s top-flight status. Fulham’s survival came at the expense of Birmingham and Reading, who will both be playing Championship football next season, along with already-relegated Derby. Both Birmingham and Reading went down fighting, winning their final matches in convincing fashion. Birmingham beat Blackburn 4-1 while Reading were 4-0 winners at Derby.
India clinch fourth successive Asia Cup:
India, led by Asha Rawat’s 114-ball 97 which included 12 fours and a six, thrashed Sri Lanka by 177 runs here last week to clinch their fourth successive Women’s Asia Cup. Mithali Raj won the toss and chose to bat, but India had an early blip when Jaya Sharma was dismissed without scoring by Shiromala Weerakkody. But Rawat and Karu Jain added 71 runs for the second wicket to lay the platform for a big score. Jain, however, fell to the left-arm spin of Suwini de Alwis for a sedate 68-ball 28. Her dismissal did not deter Rawat, who went from strength to strength after making her third ODI fifty. Rawat and Raj put the Sri Lankan bowlers to the sword in the middle overs, combining to make 91 for the third wicket off 89 balls. Rawat though, missed out on her maiden ton when she was caught by Chamani Seneviratna off Shashikala Siriwardene. But the run-rate took an upward surge when Raj was joined by Rumeli Dhar, the pair amassing 82 off 60 balls.Sri Lanka were faced with an intimidating target, and they received a setback when Dedunu Silva was dismissed by seamer Amita Sharma. But Chamari Polgampola and Siriwardene, who scored 23 and 20 respectively, took Sri Lanka to 50 in the 13th over. But moments after, Siriwardene fell to Dhar, a dismissal which was the start of an abrupt collapse, as Sri Lanka lost nine wickets for 33 runs.