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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ARAB TIMES, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2011
    SPORTS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                48

                                                                                                      Clarke not taking anything for granted


Australia eye series win over Sri Lanka in Pallekele
PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka, Sept 6, (AFP):               Australia’s emphatic win at Galle over       around the corner for the stylish right-        in the first Test was tailor-made for spin.     35 one-day internationals and five               Shane Watson, Philip Hughes, Michael
Michael Clarke will look to put his first       the lacklustre Sri Lankans suggests a sim-      hander.                                            Australia’s seamers, led by Ryan             Twenty20 games.                                  Hussey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh,
Test series as Australia’s captain beyond       ilar whitewash is a distinct possibility, but      Australia return to Pallekele for the        Harris with 5-62, picked up nine of the 10         Sri Lanka, meanwhile, may bring back          Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan
Sri Lanka’s reach when the second match         Clarke was not taking anything for grant-       second time on the current tour, having         Sri Lankan second-innings wickets.              unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis after
starts in Pallekele on Thursday.                ed.                                             lost two Twenty20 matches against Sri              Debutant off-spinner Nathan Lyon                                                              Harris, Trent Copeland, Nathan Lyon;
                                                                                                                                                                                                he was surprisingly excluded for the first
   The tourists won the first Test on a            “We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” he    Lanka there before winning the first one-       grabbed 5-34, including a wicket with his       Test.                                            12th man: Michael Beer
controversial dusty wicket in Galle by          said. “We didn’t come here to win one           day international by seven wickets.             first delivery, in the first innings.              Mendis could replace off-spinner Suraj          SRI LANKA (from): Tillakaratne
125 runs last week to take the lead in the      Test match, we’ve come to win three Test                                                           The tourists named debutant Shaun            Randiv, who claimed 2-76 in the first            Dilshan (capt), Tharanga Paranavitana,
three-match series, Australia’s first in Sri    matches. We have to be at our best                                                              Marsh in the playing XI, the only change        innings at Galle, but returned wicketless        Kumar         Sangakkara,      Mahela
Lanka since 2004.                               always.”                                                       CRICKET                          from the side that won in Galle.                in the second despite the helpful track.         Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera,
   The Sri Lankan board faces sanctions            Clarke has reason to be wary of what                                                            Marsh replaces Ponting, who returned            The hosts will aim to improve their
from the International Cricket Council,         lies ahead, especially in the second Test,                                                      home after the first Test to await the birth                                                     Prasanna Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews,
                                                                                                   The Pallekele International Stadium,                                                         batting after being shot out for 105 in the
which said on Monday that match referee         which has recently proved difficult for                                                         of his second child.                            first innings.                                   Suraj Randiv, Suranga Lakmal, Chanaka
                                                                                                near the hill city of Kandy, has hosted just
Chris Broad had expressed his “concerns         the team to win.                                one Test, against the West Indies in               “I just look forward to the challenge,”         They made 253 in the second on the            Welegedara, Lahiru Thirumanne, Ajantha
over the quality of the pitch” in his report.      Australia have lost five second Tests in     December, which was rained off without          said the 28-year-old Marsh. “It’s a dream       back of a classy century from Mahela             Mendis, Rangana Herath
   Clarke’s predecessor, Ricky Ponting,         their last 10 series, winning four and          an innings being completed.                     to play Test cricket because Test cricket is    Jayawardene and a 95 from young                    Umpires: Richard Kettleborough
also began his captaincy stint in Sri           drawing one.                                                                                    the pinnacle.”                                  Angelo Mathews.
Lanka with a 3-0 sweep seven years ago             Clarke himself has not made a Test              The Pallekele wicket is expected to             The left-hander, son of former                                                                (ENG) and Tony Hill (NZL)
— going on to become Test cricket’s             century over 21 innings, but his 23 and 60      play better than in Galle, although it mat-     Australian opener Geoff Marsh, is not a           Test Squads                                      TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)
most successful captain with 48 victories.      at Galle indicated a big knock could be         tered little to the tourists that the surface   novice to the big stage, having played in         AUSTRALIA: Michael Clarke (capt),                Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)



   ‘Good omen’ for Libya

  Players ‘return’
                                                                                                                                                                                   Haedo wins 16th
  home to fanfare
  BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 6,
  (AFP): Bursting with pride from
  their first win following the defeat
                                                                                                                                                                                   stage of Vuelta
  of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s
  national team were welcomed
  home to a fanfare by fans, who
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Cobo retains lead
  hailed it a “good omen” for
  Libya’s future.                                                                                                                                                                  HARO, Spain, Sept 6, (Agencies):                     Lotto)
     Dozens of highly excited fans                                                                                                                                                 Argentina’s Juan Jose Haedo of the                     5. Leigh Howard (Australia/HTC -
  on Monday night waited on the                                                                                                                                                                                                         Highroad) +2”
                                                                                                                                                                                   Saxo Bank team won the 16th stage                      6. Koen de Kort (Netherlands/Skil -
  tarmac of Benghazi’s small aiport                                                                                                                                                of the Tour of Spain Tuesday while
  to congratulate the players on                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shimano)
  their return from Cairo, where                                                                                                                                                   Spain’s Juan Jose Cobo of Geox                         7. Lloyd Mondory (France/AG2R)
                                                                                                                                                                                   retained the leader’s red jersey.                      8. Nikolas Maes (Belgium/Quick-Step)
  they defeated Mozambique 1-0 on                                                                                                                                                                                                         9. Chris Sutton (Australia/Team Sky)
  Saturday.                                                                                                                                                                          Haedo beat Italy’s Alessandro Petacchi
                                                                                                                                                                                   of Lampre to the line in a sprint finish after         10. Juan Jose Cobo (Spain/Geox)
     The joyful crowd lustily sang
  the new national anthem and                                                                                                                                                      a relatively flat 203.6-kilometre ride from                          Overall standings
  waved the ‘Free Libya’ flag that                                                                                                                                                 Villa Romana La Olmeda to Haro in north-               1. Juan Jose Cobo (Spain/Geox) 64hrs
  has replaced the Gaddafi-era                                                                                                                                                     ern Spain.                                           39mins 14secs
  green banner as the team walkeed                                                                                                                                                   Third was another Italian, Daniele Bennati of        2. Chris Froome (Britain/Team Sky) +22”
                                                                                                                                                                                   Leopard Trek.                                          3. Bradley Wiggins (Britain/Team Sky) +51”
  off the plane.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands/Rabobank)
     “Thank you Rabi al-Lafi, you                                                                                                                                                    Cobo, who finished 10th, 10 seconds behind
                                                                                                                                                                                   the stage winner, holds a 20-second lead over                           +1:41”
  made Gaddafi cry”, they chanted                                                                                                                                                  Britain’s Chris Froome of the Sky Team in the                              5. Maxime Monfort
  in reference to the only goal-scor-                                                                                                                                              overall standings.                                                      (Belgium/Leopard) +2:40”
  er in the 2012 Africa Cup of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6. Denis Menchov
  Nations qualifier.                                                                                                                                                                                 CYCLING                                               (Russia/Geox) +3:06”
     “Cry, Taib, cry, our revolution                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7. Jakob Fuglsang
  will overcome,” they chanted dis-                                                                                                                                                   Another Briton, Bradley Wiggins, also of Sky,                        (Denmark/Leopard)
  paragingly, referring to Tarek                                                                                                                                                   remains third overall, 51 seconds behind Cobo.                          +3:08”
  Taib, who was kicked out of the                                                                                                                                                     Froome and Wiggins finished 13th and 22nd                               8. Vincenzo Nibali
  squad for being considered pro-                                                                                                                                                  respectively on Tuesday.                                                (Italy/Liquigas) +3:49”
  Gaddafi.                                                                                                                                                                            Haedo admitted he was lucky in the last kilo-                           9. Jurgen Van den
     “How I feel is indescribable.                                                                                                                                                 metre.                                                                  Broeck (Belgium/Omega
                                                                                                                                                                                      The final sprint took the riders around a traf-         Cobo         Pharma-Lotto) +4:03”
  It’s as if my mother has just put                                                                                                                                                                                                                           10.     Wout      Poels
  me on this earth again,” enthused                                                                                                                                                fic circle, but some, such as Slovakia’s Peter
                                                                                                                                                                                   Sagan of Liquigas, ended up taking it in the         (Netherlands/Vacansoleil) +4:18”
  assistant coach Abdelhafidh
  Rbeich.                                                                                                                                                                          wrong direction.                                                  King of the Mountains
                                                                                                                                                                                      “Until today, I had very few chances to win a       1. David Moncoutie (France/Cofidis) 60
                                                                                                                                                                                   sprint,” said Haedo. “But today I managed it.        points
                SOCCER                                                                                                                                                                “The truth is that, in the course book, it was      2. Matteo Montaguti (Italy/AG2R) 38
                                                                                                                                                                                   not specified that you can only go round the           3. Daniel Moreno (Spain/Katusha) 32
                                                                                                                                                                                   traffic circle to the left. I was lucky.”              4. Juan Jose Cobo (Spain/Geox) 32
     There to congratulate players,                                                                                                                                                   The stage was marked by several crashes,            5. Rein Taaramaee (Estonia/Cofidis) 30
  Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice-presi-                                                                                                                                                   one of which involved Spain’s Joaquim                  6. Daniel Martin (Ireland/Garmin) 29
  dent of the National Transitional                                                                                                                                                Rodriguez of Katusha, who finished the stage           7. David De la Fuente (Spain/Geox) 24
  Council (NTC, the new Libyan                                                                                                                                                     11 minutes behind the leader and went immedi-          8. Chris Sorensen (Denmark/Saxo Bank) 19
  authorities), admitted to having                                                                                                                                                 ately to hospital for tests.                           9. Koen de Kort (Netherlands/Skil -
  cried when Lafi scored.                                                                                                                                                             Italy’s Alessandro Spezialetti of Lampre suf-     Shimano) 14
     “It’s the first victory since the                                                                                                                                             fered a fractured collarbone and withdrew.             10. Wout Poels (Netherlands/ Vacansoleil) 14
  Feb 17 revolution, the team has                                                                                                                                                     Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara of Leopard
                                                                                                                                                                                   Trek also announced he intended to withdraw                          Points standings
  honoured us. God willing, it is
  only the start of a long list of vic-                                                                                                                                            from the Tour, but to return home in order to          1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain/Katusha) 90
                                                                                                                                                                                   prepare for the World Championships in               points
  tories”, he told AFP, referring to                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands/Rabobank)
                                                Argentine cyclist Juan Jose Haedo (center), celebrates after winning the 203.6 kms (126 mile) 16th stage of                        Copenhagen.
  the uprising against Gaddafi that                                                                                                                                                   Three riders — 21-year-old Spaniard               85
  began in mid-February and saw                              the Spanish Vuelta cycling race that finished in Haro, northern Spain, Sept 6. (AP)
                                                                                                                                                                                   Antonio Cabello of AGC, his compatriot and             3. Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Liquigas) 75
  Gaddafi’s Tripoli headquarters                                                                                                                                                   teammate Jesus Rosendo and Frenchman Julien            4. Juan Jose Cobo (Spain/Geox) 72
  overrun on Aug 23.                                                                                                                                                               Fouchard of Cofidis — staged an early break-           5. Wout Poels (Netherlands/Vacansoleil) 71
     “I still can’t believe it, the new                       Ogier seeks to end Sebastien’s seven-year reign                                                                      away and together built up a lead of more than         6. Daniel Moreno (Spain/Katusha) 65
  flag that was hoisted, the new                                                                                                                                                   eight minutes.                                         7. Chris Froome (Britain/Team Sky) 63
  hymn that was sung there” for the                                                                                                                                                   But Cabello and Fouchard were caught with           8. Bradley Wiggins (Britain/Team Sky) 60
  first time at this match, said emo-
  tional 20-year-old fan Sherif
                                                Loeb aims to get title chase back on track                                                                                         some 15 kilometres from the finish and
                                                                                                                                                                                   Rosendo a few kilometres later.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9. Daniele Bennati (Italy/Leopard) 56
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10. Daniel Martin (Ireland/Garmin) 53
  Mosmar, branding this first victo-                                                                                                                                                  Wednesday’s 17th stage takes the riders 211                        Team standings
  ry a “good omen” for Libya.                   COFFS HARBOUR, Australia,                                                                                                          kilometres from Faustino V to Pena Cabarga, a
                                                                                                                                                                                   hilly route that ends by the coast in the northern         1. Geox (Spain) 193hrs 28mins 09secs
     The excitement was also palpa-             Sept 6, (AFP): Frenchman                                                                                                                                                                      2. Leopard (Luxembourg) +6:42”
  ble among Libyan journalists,                 Sebastien Loeb will be aiming to                Leopard, Radioshack merge for 2012                                                 region of Cantabria.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Euskaltel (Spain) +25:10”
  with a brand new local newspaper              get his campaign for an eighth con-                                                                                                              Result/Standings                             4. Movistar (Spain) +28:44”
  even sending seven young, highly              secutive world rally championship               PARIS, Sept 6, (RTRS): Tour             de France challenge. They fin-                1. Juan Jose Haedo (Argentina/Saxo Bank)                5. Katyusha (Russia) +34:36”
  charged reporters to cover the                back on track when the Rally of                 de France runner-up Andy                ished second and third                     4hrs 41mins 56secs                                         6. Rabobank (Netherlands) +39:48”
  team’s return.                                Australia begins here on Thursday.              Schleck’s team will merge               respectively behind Cadel                     2. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy/Lampre) same              7. AG2R (France) +41:22”
                                                   Citroen driver Loeb finished                 with the United States-based            Evans of Australia.                        time                                                       8. Astana (Kazakhstan) +45:01”
     This victory takes on even more                                                            Radioshack team, Lance                     No details were given on
  significance for the players and              second to fellow countryman and                                                                                                       3. Daniele Bennati (Italy/Leopard)                      9. Team Sky (Great Britain) +57:44”
                                                                                                Armstrong’s former outfit,              who would manage the team.                    4. Vicente Reynes (Spain/Omega Pharma -                 10. Liquigas (Italy) +58:34”
  NTC in uniting a highly region-               teammate Sebastien Ogier in last                Leopard-Trek       said      on         Radioshack were managed by
  alised Libya behind the national              month’s Rally of Germany after                  Monday.                                 Belgian Johan Bruyneel, who
  side.                                         Ogier defied team orders                           “Leopard announces that              masterminded      Armstrong’s
     In the NTC’s eastern stronghold            instructing him to let Loeb over-               RadioShack and Nissan are               seven Tour titles and helped
  Benghazi, the streets were desert-            take him.                                       joining    the   Leopard-Trek
                                                                                                World Tour Team as sponsors
                                                                                                                                        Spain’s Alberto Contador to
                                                                                                                                        win the race twice, in 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Best of the Rest
  ed during the match, while the                   Ogier, now 25 points behind
                                                Loeb with four of the 13 rounds                 for the 2012 and 2013 sea-              and 2010.
  capital Tripoli exploded with joy                                                             sons,” the Luxembourg team                 Leopard-Trek were man-
  at the win.                                   remaining, arrived in Australia
                                                                                                said in a statement.                    aged by Dane Brian Nygaard,
     “Our victory makes all the                 early to prepare for the rally and                 “Leopard will continue to            a former press officer for                     Goss joins GreenEdge: New Australian             months suspended for three years after being
  Libyan people happy and unites it             has not spoken to his teammate                  hold its existing UCI World             Team Sky and Saxo Bank.                        team GreenEdge on Tuesday announced the          found guilty of perjury.
                                                since the German race.                          Tour Licence. The team will be             A combined total of 44 rid-                 recruitment of Australian rider Matthew             The 2004 scandal, widely regarded as the
  behind the team,” Lafi told AFP.                                                                                                                                                                                                      biggest at an Olympics since Canadian Ben
     “Among us there are people                    He did not attend a press confer-            rebranded as RadioShack-                ers are under contract with                    Goss, who won Milan-Sanremo in March
                                                ence in Sydney earlier in the week,             Nissan-Trek       Professional          Leopard and Radioshack.                        while riding for HTC-Highroad.                   Johnson lost his 100 metres gold medal in
  from Misrata, Tripoli, Benghazi.                                                              Cycling Team as of next year.”          International Cycling Union                       The 24-year-old, who had to withdraw          Seoul in 1988 after a positive doping test,
                                                adding to speculation of a tense
  There is no difference between us.            relationship between the two                       Leopard-Trek were created            (UCI) rules state that an elite                from this year’s Tour of                         cast a huge cloud over the Athens Games for
  The difference is from another                                                                this year to help Schleck and           team can have only 28 riders                   Spain during the sec-                            the host country.
                                                Frenchmen.                                                                                                                             ond stage because of a                              The trial, which took years to start after
  era. The post-17 February Libya                  Loeb insisted he hadn’t asked for            his brother Frank in their Tour         under contract.
  is one of national unity, east to                                                                                                                                                    virus, is targeting a                            frequent postponements, began in January
                                                preferential treatment during the                                                                                                      strong performance in                            and suffered several delays due to the
  west”, added Ahmed Saad, one of               German rally.                                                                                                                                                                           absence of witnesses.
                                                                                                                                                                                       the road race at the
  Libyan football’s stars.                         “It was his (Ogier’s) problem            year reign.                                 title, I will continue to believe in           World Championships                                 Kenteris, the 200 metres gold medallist at
     “We dedicate this victory to the           with the team, it was not my prob-            “As long as there is a mathemat-          it,” he said.                                  in Copenhagen on Sept                            the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 100 metres
  martyrs and revolutionaries that              lem,” Loeb said this week.                  ical chance of winning the world               Ford’s Hirvonen is the only                 25.                                              silver medallist Thanou were acquitted of
  continue to fight, it’s the least that           “I didn’t ask for any orders, he                                                     other driver with any chance of                   The Tasmanian rider                           doping charges in a Greek athletics federa-
  we can offer the Libyan people.                                                                                                                                                      will line up for                                 tion probe in 2005.
                                                was just doing what he wanted.”                                                         taking the title but conceded he               GreenEdge alongside                                 The International Association of Athletics
  Let’s hope that this joy is crowned              Loeb said he was still unsure                                                        would have to make his move this
  with the (total) liberation of                                                                                                                                                       his compatriots Simon            Goss            Federations (IAAF) appealed the verdict at
                                                                                                                                        week.                                          Gerrans, Cameron                                 the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (RTRS)
  Libya,” he added.
     For goalkeeper Samir Abbud,                            RALLYING                                                                       “If I want to fight for the title I         Meyer and Stuart O’Grady.                                      ❑        ❑        ❑
                                                                                                                                        would need to win this one,” he                   GreenEdge are bidding to acquire a UCI
  the fact that Saadi, the football-                                                                                                                                                   ProTour licence in order to compete in the       Augsburg lose Ndjeng: German league
  mad son of Gaddafi, will never                                                                                                        said.                                          2012 season. (AFP)                               new-boys Augsburg will be without
                                                whether to go all out for victory or                                                       The last Rally Australia two
  play in the selection again is                                                                                                                                                                     ❑       ❑         ❑                Cameroon midfielder Marcel Ndjeng for the
                                                to do just enough to keep ahead of                                                      years ago was marred by protesters                                                              next five weeks as he needs minor surgery on
  another reason to rejoice.                    Ogier and third placed Mikko                                                                                                           Sprinters cleared of perjury: Former             his ankle, it was announced Tuesday.
     “I played with him. You felt               Hirvonen of Finland, who is 36                                                          who were upset the course went
                                                                                                                                        through their region of northern               Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina        The 29-year-old has played all four
  hampered. You were still with the             points off the lead.                                                                                                                   Thanou have won their appeals against sus-       German league matches so far this season,
  son of a head of state, you weren’t              “It’s not a massive lead, it’s                                                       New South Wales.                               pended jail sentences for perjury, court offi-   after Augsburg were promoted to the
  on an equal footing,” he                      always more important to score                                                             This year’s race is being held              cials said on Tuesday.                           Bundesliga for the first time in their history,
  explained, asserting that Saadi               points than to win, but still we have                                                   300 kms (190 miles) south of the                  A unanimous verdict of not guilty was         but he now needs an arthroscopy, a small
  could very well send off a player             to push,” Loeb said.                                                                    previous rally and organisers said             announced by the Greek Court of Appeal for       surgical procedure.
                                                                                                                                        they were not expecting any prob-              the Sydney 2000 Olympic medallists, who had         “I had some pain again,” Ndjeng said on
  who had not passed him the ball.                 “We’ll see — I’ll drive like I feel                                                                                                 in May been sentenced to 31 months in jail for
                                                and for sure if I can fight for the                                                     lems.                                                                                           Monday after training.
     “If God wills it, we will carry                                                                                                                                                   staging a motorcycle crash to avoid a doping        Augsburg already have cover for Ndjeng
  on winning,” said Lafi. “I hope               win I’ll try to do it.”                                                                    The route, to the west, south and           test before the 2004 Athens Olympics.            in Gambia midfielder Dawda Bah who
  that we will now see Libya in the                Following the German race,                                                           north of Coffs Harbour, will com-                 Their former coach, Christos Tzekos, had      signed from HJK Helsinki before the transfer
  World Cup qualifiers.”                        Ogier said he still believed he had a                                                   prise 26 competitive stages over               a original 33-month sentence cut to 12           window closed on Aug 31. (AFP)
                                                chance of ending Loeb’s seven-                        Sebastien Loeb                    369 kms.

				
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