Duleep trophy final today
Sri Lanka ‘A’ up against strong North Zone

KOLKATA - In their maiden appearance in one of India’s prestigious domestic cricket tournaments, the Duleep trophy, Sri Lanka ‘A’ will meet North Zone in the five-day final starting at the famous Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
Sri Lanka ‘A’ led by Test player Tilan Samaraweera came through the group stages unbeaten securing victories over West Zone by 195 runs and reigning champs South Zone by three wickets.
The match winners for them in these two encounters have been fast bowler Akalanka Ganegama, leg-spinner Upul Chandana and batsmen Chamara Silva and Malintha Warnapura.
Ganegama and Chandana starred in their win over West Zone taking match bags of seven and eight wickets respectively. Against South Zone Ganegama was once more among the wickets taking eight in the match while Chandana picked up two. But the highlight was the excellent fight back staged by young Malintha Warnapura, nephew of former Sri Lanka captain Bandula Warnapura.
Along with Kaushal Silva who made 65, the pair set up an improbable victory which saw Sri Lanka ‘A’ enter the final. They added a valuable 137 for the seventh wicket to enable Sri Lanka ‘A’ successfully chase a target of 273 after being reduced to 131-6. Warnapura went onto complete a match-winning century remaining 111 not out. Silva has been the other consistent run getter for Sri Lanka ‘A’ having notched up three fifties in four outings.
North Zone came through from the other group by virtue of leading their opponents on the first innings in both matches which ended in draws. North possesses a strong batting line up with Joginder Sharma being outstanding scoring back to back centuries against Central and East Zones. In their two group encounters North has rattled up impressive totals of 443 and 504 but failed to convert them into outright victories.


Zee stumps rivals with US$900m bid

MUMBAI - Zee TV has stunned the sports marketing and broadcast world with an astounding US$900m plus bid for all rights to the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cups and tournaments for the next eight years.
Zee’s bid is closely followed by that of ESPN-Star Sports at over $600m just for the rights to telecast matches in the Indian subcontinent. Ten Sports, which teamed up with German sports Infront, has submitted a bid worth $650-750m, while Singapore-based Nimbus Sports has bid $160-180m for only the international rights.

Hair was second best before sack

SYDNEY, (AFP) - The International Cricket Council rated Australian Darrell Hair the second-best umpire in the world before it sacked him for alleged incompetence, reports here said Saturday, citing secret documents.
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said it had uncovered a copy of the last annual personal performance appraisal that Hair received before the ICC’s board of directors sacked him with a 7-3 vote last weekend.


Rugby star gets 20 years

Grenoble, France AFP: Former French rugby captain Marc Cecillon was sentenced on Friday to 20 years in jail for the murder of his wife.
Cecillon, 47, shot his wife Chantal five times in front of guests at a barbecue two years ago.
The ex-international remained impassive when the verdict was read out. His 26-year-old daughter Angelique, who had pleaded with the jury to be lenient, broke down in tears. Her younger sister, Celine, stared at her feet.
“My client is thunderstruck,” Cecillon’s lawyer, Richard Zelmati, told reporters after the sentencing. “We have 10 days to damn the judges but we will make a decision before that.”
On Thursday Cecillon told the Court of Assises in the Isere department, southeastern France, that he had been consumed with resentment towards his wife -- with whom he no longer had sexual relations -- and was depressed by the emptiness of his life after leaving top-level rugby.
“My wife worked all day. She didn’t come home till late. I finished early, I had nothing to do, I was lonely, I needed human contact -- so I went to hang out in bars. I was enclosed in a bubble,” the former back-row forward said.
On the day of the murder in August 2004, Cecillon went in search of his wife to a party given by a friend in the town of Saint-Savin. In a drunken state he slapped the host’s wife and was asked to leave.
“I felt humiliated. I had the feeling no-one was listening to me. I was in despair,” he told the court.
Cecillon went home and dug out a Magnum revolver that he had brought back from a tour of South Africa. He then returned to the barbecue and shot Chantal five times. He was immediately overpowered by other guests.
“I wanted my wife to come back with me. I wanted the two of us to leave together. Why did I shoot? It is a question I shall ask myself all my life. I didn’t plan anything. I wish I could understand,” he said.


MTTA celebrates

At a press conference held on Wednesday at the Old Thomians Swimming Club board room Sarath Gunaratne, President of The Mercantile Table Tennis Association made a short address on the achievements of the association. To mark the occasion of their 50th anniversary an invitation table tennis tournament was held on Friday at the S. Thomas’ College Indoor Stadium, Mt. Lavinia.
The sponsor of this tournament was Ceylinco Grameen Automobiles, a member of the Ceylinco Grameen Group who are totally service oriented and operate on the lines of The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.


Malaysia dominates

Malaysian shuttlers dominated the third day’s play at the Sri Lanka International Satellite Badminton Championships at Royal College Sports Complex yesterday.
Hopes of Sri Lanka producing a winning pair vaporized into thin air when Thilini Jayasinghe and Gayanthi Nadeesha lost their way in the women’s doubles match to the Malaysia’s Haw Chiou Hwee and Lim Yin Loon (21/3, 21/9).
It was only the Indians who could match the powers of the Malaysians. India won the semi final matches in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles events to book berths in the finals.
Today is the final day of the tournament. (SKR)


Gul destroys West Indies

LAHORE- Fast bowler Umar Gul took five wickets and fellow paceman Shahid Nazir grabbed three to dismiss the West Indies for 206 on the first day of the opening Test at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on Saturday.
Gul returned figures of 5-65 and was ably supported by Nazir (3-42) after West Indies captain Brian Lara fought a lone battle with a pugnacious 61.


West Indies 1st innings
C. Gayle lbw b Nazir 34
D. Ganga c Younis b Gul 3
R. Sarwan c Younis b Na 3
B. Lara c Akmal b Gul 61
S. Chanderpaul lbw b Na 5
D. Bravo c Nazir b Kane 32
D. Ramdin c Hafeez b Kaia 12
D. Mohammed c Akmal b Gul 35
J. Taylor lbw b Gul 8
F. Edwards c Malik b Gul 2
C. Collymore not out 1
Extras: (lb8, nb2) 10
Total: 206
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-41, 3-46, 4-52, 5-96, 6-122, 7-174, 8-202, 9-203.
Bowling: Gul 15.1-2-65-5, Nazir 14-4-42-3, Razzaq 7-2-22-0, Kaneria 18-3-58-2, Malik 2-0-11-0
Overs: 56.1

Pakistan 1st innings
Mohammad Hafeez not out 11
Imran Farhat lbw b Taylor 9
Younis Khan not out 10
Extras: (b4, lb1, w4) 9
Total: (for one wkt) 39
Bowling: Edwards 5-1-13-0, Taylor 7-2-11-1, Collymore 2.5-0-10-0
Overs: 14.5