Pakistan on edge in Davis Cup

Islamabad - Pakistan is at the brink of losing Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group-II tie against Philippines, as green shirts lost both their opening day singles and gave hosts 25-0 lead. Talking to The Nation Friday, Pakistan No 1 Aqeel Khan said: “It was a very close match and it could have gone either way. Having shoulder injury, I was not 100 percent fit for the last one month or so, even then I stretched my opponent to the limit before going down. I am making no lame excuses about injury, but it is a fact. I played last two events through pain-barrier.” “I also offered the PTF to drop me from the tie, but I just played because of sheer love for the country and the federation believed in my abilities,” he added. “It was a very close affair in the first set, before I went down 7-5. The second set started in the same fashion, as Patrick John Tierro and I fought for each and every point, but he, once again, managed to take the set 6-4. In the third set, I managed to hold on to my serve before losing the set 6-4. I will work harder for the must-win doubles partnering Aisam,” Aqeel claimed. “In the second and last singles match of the day, Samir Iftikhar, who was especially brought from US to strengthen the team, was no match to the brilliance of Ruben Gonzales, who brushed aside Samir with utmost ease and comfort. Samir did manage to play first set quite well and lost it 6-4. He was all over in the second set and lost it 6-3, but in the third set, Ruben completely outclassed Samir and won it 6-1, thus gave hosts comfortable 2-0 lead in the tie,” he asserted. “Now Pakistan’s winning hope depends upon winning the doubles match. If we want to stay in the hunt, we have to win the doubles tie, otherwise, it will be over,” Pakistan No 1 stated.  “I will play out my heart and try to give Pakistan much-needed victory in the doubles which will be do-or-die match for us. We will leave no stone unturned in winning the tie,” Aqeel concluded. –Staff Reporter

National Basketball C’ship in full swing

ISLAMABAD – HEC had to struggle hard to overcome Railways 70-53 on the fourth day of the 53rd National Basketball Championship 2014 for the Chairman POF Gold Cup held at POF Sports Complex on Friday. In the first match, HEC although maintained slim lead in all the four quarters, but they faced stiff resistance, before finally winning the match 70-53. It was HEC pace and young legs which helped them score victory. In the second match, Army thrashed Sindh 83-12. Sindh had no clue to power and aggression of Army boys. In the third match of the day, KPK made the biggest upset, as they beat Punjab 63-54. KPK managed to hold on to slight lead in all quarters and register major upset in the event, while in the fourth and last match of the day, Wapda beat Islamabad by 83-45.–Staff Reporter

PCB Talent Hunt U-16 Programme trials

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Talent Hunt U-16 Programme 2014 trials will be held on April 7 and 8 here at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. After the trials, Rawalpindi District Under-16 team will be selected and all the interested players are advised to report at the venue at 9am sharp on April 7. Rawalpindi Region Interim Committee chairman Col (r) Naushad Ali presided over a meeting on Friday. He urged all the players to appear in white kit along with their kit bags and also bring their Nadra B form and other documentary proofs of their respective age group. It was also decided to name Rawalpindi Region head coach Sabih Azhar as selection committee chairman while Mansoob Elahi, Mujahid Hameed are the other members and Zaheer Ahmad is coordinator.–Staff Reporter

Inter-media Cricket starts today

ISLAMABAD - The PTCL Inter-media Cricket Tournament starts from today (Saturday) at Embassy Cricket Ground Islamabad. National Press Club (NPC) is organizing the event. PTCL is the title sponsor of the event while Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Brighto Paints and Capital Development Authority (CDA) are also lending a helping hand in conducting the mega event in befitting manner. According to the organising committee, all the arrangements were finalised. NPC president Shahryar Khan, for smooth conduct of the event, formed the organising committee headed by interim committee Rawalpindi Region member Mohsin Ali while Afzal Javed, Gabrial De Souza, Faheem Anwar, Rana Tanveer, Nasir Naqvi, Zulfiqar Baig, Nasir Hashmi, Akhtar Ali and Waseem Khan are members of the committee.–Staff Reporter