SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates, (CMC):Not even a sensational beaver-trick by former Jamaica and West Indies left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie could prevent Gemini Arabians from pulling off a 12-run victory over Sagittarius Strikers in the Masters Champions League here yesterday.The 31-year-old, who played the last of his 12 Twenty20 Internationals two years ago, grabbed four consecutive wickets off the first four balls of the final over to help restrict a rampant Arabians to 224 for seven off their 20 overs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.Opting to bat first, Arabians were propelled by Indian opener Virender Sehwag who belted 134 off 63 balls, with ten fours and 11 sixes.He put on 86 for the first wicket with South African Jacques Rudolph who hit 27 and a further 135 for the second wicket with Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara who scored 51 from 33 deliveries.Recently retired West Indies left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul was unbeaten on one from two deliveries at the end.SUPERB OVERSSantokie, who had taken one wicket in an earlier spell, finished with five for 30 in a superb four-over spell to be the leading bowler for Strikers.He bowled Sangakkara with the first ball of the over and then proceeded to remove Brad Hodge, Justin Kemp and Naved-ul-Hasan all without scoring, while conceding just one run from the final over of the innings.In reply, Imran Farhat stroked 52 from 32 deliveries, Yasir Hameed, 41 from 22 balls with a four and four sixes and Yasir Arafat a 16-ball 32 with four sixes, but Strikers still slumped to 177 for nine in the 18th over.However, Santokie arrived to smash an unbeaten 23 from nine balls with three sixes in a 35-run, last wicket stand with Shane Bond who got 12 not out, as Strikers came up short in the end.
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Running in tough conditions, Budd-Pieterse completed her longest race distance so far, the Two Oceans Marathon. Budd-Pieterse has enjoyed success onthe senior circuit in the US, where shecurrently lives.(Images: The Unlimited) Early in the morning of 3 June, she’llset off on her first Comrades Marathon,sharing the road with thousands of other runners.(Image: Comrades Marathon) MEDIA CONTACTS • Terez Taylor PR, The Unlimited +27 31 716 9665 or +27 83 273 3015 RELATED ARTICLES • Running into the history books • Getting Africa’s youngsters moving • Mutola’s girl Caster off to London • Living on in the Comrades spirit • How’s your Friday looking?Janine ErasmusZola Budd-Pieterse is no longer the naïve young darling of South African athletics, but the 46-year-old still has what it takes. She finished her first ultramarathon in April 2012, running a cold and rainy Two Oceans in Cape Town in under 4 and a half hours.At 56km, the Two Oceans was the longest race Budd-Pieterse had run in her entire career.“If you can do this race in these conditions, you’ve really accomplished something,” she said afterwards.With a successful first shot at the 50km Loskop Marathon also under her belt, the petite athlete tackled the daunting Comrades Marathon – at around 90km, one of the world’s toughest races – in June, and finished in a respectable time.Her sponsor for these events is insurance and financial services provider The Unlimited, which runs a comprehensive wellness programme for its employees.Running into the record booksBudd-Pieterse, a 5 000m specialist, set many running records in the 1980s. She broke the world record in this event in 1983 and 1985, running in her famous barefoot style which, she has said, only applied to grass and track events. On the road she always wore shoes.Her popularity was such that even today her name is used informally to describe minibus taxis, and the late singer Brenda Fassie had a big hit with her single “Zola Budd”, an ode to the super-fast township taxi which took you anywhere you wanted to go.In 1984 Budd-Pieterse was granted British citizenship through her grandfather, in order to compete in that year’s Olympic Games in Los Angeles, as her home country was banned from all international competition because of its apartheid policies. She was just 18 years old at the time.Running in front of a hostile crowd in the women’s 3 000m final, she collided with the American Mary Decker, who fell and was unable to finish. Budd-Pieterse came in seventh and in her 1989 autobiography admitted that she deliberately slowed down to avoid the possibility of having to collect a medal to the noise of boos and jeers.An inquiry afterwards found her not guilty of causing the incident and years later, Decker attributed it to the fact that she, Decker, was inexperienced in running in tight groups.Never far away from AfricaAlthough she won the world cross country championships in 1985 and 1986, representing her adopted country, Budd-Pieterse’s UK career didn’t last much longer and she came back to South Africa in 1988.She announced her retirement from international competition shortly afterwards, but returned to the track to represent South Africa at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics – the country’s first Summer Games since its banishment in 1960.Currently she and her family live in California, where she has competed successfully in the senior racing circuit since 2008. Although the drive to compete and achieve is still there, she said in a 2008 interview with the New York Times, it’s not as all-encompassing at it used to be, and now she runs for enjoyment and not because there are records to be broken.Even in the few years since her relocation, she said, the demographics of running in South Africa have changed.“There are a lot more women running, which I am very thankful for, so yes there is an upliftment in running. You can see it in the figures that ran Two Oceans; there were more women running, which I am very proud of.”The family plans to return to South Africa as soon as possible.“We moved to the US about four years ago, only to live there temporarily for two years and then it went on for four years,” she said. “Our business is still in South Africa and our home and everything, so South Africa is still our home. It depends on my kids, when they finish high school, and when we are going to move back.”It’s not IF, asserted Budd-Pieterse – It’s more a question of WHEN.Asked how she’d react if one of her own children developed Olympic ambitions, she said straight away that she wouldn’t volunteer to be the coach.“My first advice would be to get a good coach for my kid,” she laughed. “I would be really proud of them but first of all I would make sure it’s something they really want to do and they are passionate about, and that’s more important for me than anything else. And then I would support them as much as possible.”And there’s no question of where the allegiance would lie – “We are all still South Africans, definitely.”Tackling new challengesThe feisty mother of three is far from done with her running career. On 7 April 2012 she completed the Two Oceans in unfavourable weather in a time of four hours, 29 minutes and 51 seconds, and successfully completed her first Comrades.This year on 3 June the entrants took on the 89km down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, the final third of which is said to be tougher than any other stage, whether up or down.Her preparations were helped along by none other than nine-time Comrades winner Bruce Fordyce, who was present in the stadium to witness that doomed 1984 Olympic final. Fordyce said in a newspaper column before the race that he felt Budd-Pieterse was quite capable of getting a silver medal by coming in between six hours and seven hours 30 minutes.But she didn’t set herself any unrealistic target for the big race, and said she’d be happy if she finishes in a time of around eight hours. She was almost right on the mark with her final time of eight hours, six minutes and nine seconds although it was, she said later, the hardest race of her life.“Although my preparations for the race have gone smoothly, I am a bit concerned because I did not do enough mileage, as I hear other people have done,” she said beforehand, “but for what I want to achieve I think it was good enough. Bruce has really been great, advising me when to do my hard runs, how to taper and all of that.”Budd-Pieterse has also secured the agency for Newton athletics gear and running shoes in South Africa. Operating out of her home city of Bloemfontein, she’s busily promoting the gear, the running shoes of which are said to be almost as good as running barefoot.
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Spiritual leader and educationist Dada J.P. Vaswani — the moral force behind the Sadhu Vaswani Mission and a tireless promoter of vegetarianism and animal rights — passed away on Thursday, aged 99, days short of his centenary.Sources at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission said he had been admitted to a private hospital in the city for the past a few days and was discharged on Wednesday night. Dada Vaswani died on the mission premises on Thursday.Born Jashan Pahlajrai Vaswani on August 2, 1918 in the city of Hyderabad in Sindh province (present-day Pakistan), he was a brilliant student in his youth, who matriculated at the tender age of 13 and graduated at 17.His M.Sc. Thesis on the ‘Scattering of X-Rays by solids’ was examined by Nobel Laureate C.V Raman.Acclaimed as a humanitarian and non-sectarian leader, he later gave up a promising academic career to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Sadhu T.L Vaswani – the legendary Indian educationist who started the Mira Movement in education.In order to propagate Sadhu Vaswani’s ideas and vision, he edited three monthly journals – the Excelsior (which became a popular journal), the India Digest and the East and West series.He also served as one of the earliest Principals of the St. Mira’s College for Girls. Regarded as a philosopher and a modern-day saint by the Sindhi diaspora, he was also an inspiring orator who often exchanged ideas with world spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama. He was also a prolific author, writing several hundred books on spirituality and communal harmony which have seen translations in a number of world languages. In keeping with his shibboleth that “forgiveness is the golden key to peace,” his birthday on August 2 is celebrated as ‘Global Forgiveness Day’.“Dada J.P. Vaswani lived for society and served the poor and needy with compassion. Blessed with immense wisdom, he was passionate about educating the girl child, cleanliness and furthering peace as well as brotherhood,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding that Dada Vaswani had been his “guiding light.”His mortal remains were kept at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission for people to pay their last respects. The final rites will be performed on Friday.