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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Compiled by SDNP

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Bangladesh, Pakistan to seal academic finish of Asia Cup today

The Bangladesh Observer, Sikder N Hoque

COLOMBO, July 28:- The caged tigers of Bangladesh will take on the unlucky holders of the Asia Cup, Pakistan, tomorrow (Thursday) for academic finish participation.

Bangladesh were eliminated from the coveted cricket event in Asia after losing to hosts Sri Lanka and Cup contenders India. They will complete academic finish playing with Pakistan.

The unlucky holders' last scope of defending the Cup was tormented on Tuesday when India earned a nerve-wrecking four-run win over hosts Sri Lanka in their last super four match to set the final with Sri Lanka, who well-ahead qualified for the August 1 final.

Pakistan's failure to deprive India of a vital bonus point in the Super League match has cost them a place in the final, a huge blow for a team hoping to defend their title.

Inzamam-ul Haq and his men, who once again proved that they are an unpredictable team, will be ruing their dismal performance in their opening Super League encounter on Wednesday when the hosts humiliated them and collected the maximum six points.

Had they managed to deny the bonus points to Sri Lanka and India they could have hoped to thrash lowly Bangladesh to ensure a place in the final.

But now all that the new Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer can do is to inspire his boys to end the tournament on a winning note.

After failing to deny India the crucial bonus point on Sunday night, Woolmer knew that Pakistan was in trouble and wasted no time in expressing his displeasure over the bonus points system in One-Day International tournaments and found it "flawed".

"The issue of bonus points should be decided within the difference of 20-30 runs only. It is not fair when a side wins by 60 runs but is still not good enough for a bonus point," he said.

But looking back at his team's performance in their first tournament after the debacle to India in the historic series in April-May, captain Inzamam-ul-Haq can draw comfort from the superb performance of young Shoaib Malik.

The 22-year-old all-rounder, who came into the tournament in the shadows of his more famous compatriots, was the find of the tournament for Pakistan after slamming two centuries including a career-best 143 against India.

Coming in at No 3, Malik lived up to the faith of his captain to record his second hundred in the competition following his 118 against Hong Kong in the league stage.
Pakistan has also been benefited by the tactical shrewdness of new coach Woolmer as they successfully checked the famed Indian batting line-up with innovative field placings and controlled aggression.

Woolmer would be looking for more experiments against Bangladesh on Thursday as the defending champions wind up their Asia Cup campaign.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, will be playing for pride and will be more than satisfied if they can put up a tough challenge against their more famed opponents.
Although they have shown some improvement in recent times, they still lack the quality to be able to put it across stronger teams.

Coach Dav Whatmore showed his displeasure over the team's performance and said, "Despite all odds, the boys are ready to face the Pakistanis with strong moral strength."

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Premier Division Kabaddi result

The Bangladesh Observer

Bangladesh Rifles and Bangladesh Army made auspicious start in the four-team super league of the 9th Metropolis Premier Division Kabaddi beating their respective rivals at the Outer Stadium kabbadi court on Wednesday, reports UNB.

In the day’s first match, Bangladesh Rifles earned comfortable 70-27 points victory over Sonali Bank SRC with five creditable ‘lona’ after leading the first half 19-16 in the afternoon.

In the other match, Bangladesh Army managed a 32-29 points win against Bangladesh Police in a keenly contested match. The Army team, which earned one lona, dominated the first session 13-12.

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Handball Super Four phase today

The Bangladesh Observer

Mansoor Sporting Club take on Surjodoy Krira Chakra while Orient Sporting Club meet Satirtha Club in the opening day’s fixture of the Tibet First Division Handball League at Paltan Handball Ground here today, reports BSS.

Eight teams, split into two groups, took part in the first phase of the league that began on July 20.

Four teams, two each from both groups, are playing in the Super Four stage.

The teams will play afresh on league basis in the Super Four stage, which is the final phase of the meet.

The champions and runners of the competition will be promoted to the next year’s Premier Division Handball League.

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Carrom team off to Delhi

The Bangladesh Observer

An eight-member Bangladesh team left here today to take part in the 8th SAARC Carrom Championship which begins on July 31 in New Delhi, India.

Seven teams—Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, India A, India B—are taking part in the four-day


Bangladesh team: KG Humayun Kabir, Hafizur Rahman, Mohammad Ali Robin, Syeda Naima Haider, Sabina Yasmin, Farzana Banu Shilpi, SM Shahjahan (team manager), Al-Fateheen (official).

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