Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2014 Contents INDIAN WELLS---Lleyton Hewitt
scratched out a 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3 victory
over fellow Australian Matthew Ebden
late Thursday in the first round of the
BNP Paribas Open to move within one
of joining the ATP Tour's 600-win club.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are
the only active players to have reached
the milestone. The 33-year-old Hewitt
will face 17th-seeded Kevin Anderson
in the second round.
"I've always been pretty successful,"
said Hewitt, who won his 29th career
title this year by beating Federer in the
final at Brisbane, Australia.
Hewitt won the 29th title of his ca-
reer by beating Federer in the final at
Brisbane this year and said his most
valuable asset in his 15-plus years on
the tour is "that never-say-die atti-
tude; hang in there and fight for every
With all seeded players receiving a
bye through to the second round, most
interest centered on who would win
through to meet the key players.
Czech veteran Radek Stepanek won
through to a second-round clash with
top seed Rafael Nadal by beating
Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-1, 3-6, 6-
1, while another Czech, Lukas Rosol,
set up a meeting with Andy Murray by
edging Serb qualifier Dusan Lajovic 6-7
(2), 7-5, 6-4. (AP)
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Hewitt wins at Indian Wells, closes on 600 wins
MIRPUR---Defending champion Pak-
istan is hoping big-hitting allrounder
Shahid Afridi will be fit in time to play
in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka
Afridi, who helped pull off two dra-
matic last-over wins with an 18-ball 34
against India and a 25-ball 59 against
Bangladesh, has a hip strain that caused
him to miss training yesterday.
"He has responded well to the treat-
ment," Pakistan manager Zakir Khan
said. "We re all analysing and assessing
the situation and will take a decision
before the start of the match."
Though the fitness of batsmen Ahmed
Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan and pace bowler
Umar Gul also needed to be ascertained
after niggles, captain Misbah-ul-Haq
said he was not bothered about the
"Considering the scenario, we re pre-
pared to face any situation, and have
our plans ready for the final," Misbah
said. "The morale of the team is high
with the way we have won the last two
matches. We hope to continue playing
positive and good cricket. If you play
good cricket, results go your way."
Misbah, though, hoped Afridi, who is
also one of the main bowlers with his
legspin, will take the field against the
"At the moment, he s really playing
well. The kind of impact he s having on
the opposition and his own team, he
should play," Misbah said. "It s really
good to win from these crunch situations.
It ll really help us in the future."
But the captain conceded that Sri
Lanka, which started with a 12-run win
over Pakistan and remained undefeated
in the round robin, would not be easy
to beat with the likes of pace bowler
Lasith Malinga, experienced batsman
Kumar Sangakkara and spin bowler Ajan-
tha Mendis all proven match-winners.
Mendis has a tournament-leading nine
wickets at an average of 14, Malinga took
5-52 against Pakistan, and Sangakkara
has a tournament-high 248 runs with
a best of 103 against India and half-cen-
turies against Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"Sri Lanka are tough, especially in the
final, because they do their basics right
and always fight," he said. "We really
have to play good cricket.
"You have plans against the main play-
ers and others who are contributing for
the team. It depends on the day, how
you execute those plans."
Misbah said he was unable to predict
the nature of the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium
pitch as it looked good for a 300-plus
score on one day and not even good for
200 on another. (AP)
Pakistan: Fawad Alam, Ahmed Shehzad,
Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq
(captain), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal,
Shahid Afridi, Abdul Rehman, Umar Gul,
Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Anwar Ali,
Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Sharjeel Khan.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne,
Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene,
Dinesh Chandimal, Ashan Priyanjan, Angelo
Mathews (captain), Chaturanga de Silva,
Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Sachitra
Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith
Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika
PRETORIA---A neighbour of Oscar Pistorius testifying in
his murder trial said yesterday that the bangs he heard
after a woman s screams on the night of Reeva Steenkamp s
shooting were likely too quick to be the sounds of a cricket
bat on a door, as the star athlete s defense team claims.
Johan Stipp, a radiologist and one of the first responders
to the incident, testified that he earlier heard a woman s
screams and a man s shouts before a second grouping of
sounds that he said were gunshots on the night Pistorius
killed girlfriend Steenkamp.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked him if bangs he heard after
the woman s screams could have been Pistorius swinging
a bat at the toilet cubicle door to get to a mortally wounded
Steenkamp, but Stipp said the noises came in too quick of
a succession to be bat swings.
The argument over the sequence of events in the early
hours of Valentine s Day last year is a critical part of the
case against Pistorius, a double-amputee runner who com-
peted at the Olympics in 2012 and became a globally recog-
He is charged with premeditated murder in Steenkamp s
Pistorius says he screamed before he shot Steenkamp,
thinking he was telling a dangerous intruder in his home
to get out. He also says he screamed for help after, but
Steenkamp was silent throughout.
Stipp, who lived in a house behind and across the road
from Pistorius villa, also repeatedly used the word "inter-
mingled" to describe the sounds of a man shouting and a
woman screaming, saying he believed two people were
yelling at the time.
That s also a central part of the prosecution s case, insisting
the couple had an argument before Pistorius intentionally
shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door in his home.
Stipp also said he saw a bathroom light on in Pistorius
house before the sound of the woman s screams. The defense
says it will show that only Pistorius screamed during the
shooting and his voice may have been mistaken for
Steenkamp because they say it is high-pitched when he is
Continuing his cross-examination of Stipp, Pistorius
defense lawyer Barry Roux said audio tests conducted after
the shooting would show that Stipp couldn t have heard
a woman screaming from the toilet cubicle as Pistorius
shot through the door.
Roux also asked Stipp if he heard the emotion in the
woman s screams that night, the "blood-curdling" yells
that other witnesses who lived further away from the ath-
lete s villa have testified to.
"Not at that moment. No, I didn t," Stipp said.
Stipp described in his testimony Thursday how he was
one of the first to the scene of the shooting and found Pis-
torius knelt next to a fatally injured Steenkamp. Stipp said
Pistorius then told him that he had shot Steenkamp thinking
she was a burglar.
Roux said yesterday: "I ve asked him (Pistorius) about
that. He s told me he has no memory of that. He s not
saying it was not so. He has no memory." (AP)
quick to be bat
Pakistan hopes Afridi
is fit for Asia Cup final
Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, left, and Ahmed Umar Gul stretch during a team practice session in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.
Pakistan will face Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final match today. AP PHOTO
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