Leander, Stepanek advance

Tokyo: Top seeded pair of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek had to work hard to down unseeded rivals in Filip Polasek and Julian Knowle 6-4, 6-4 in the opening round of the ATP Japan Open, on Thursday. They will meet the British brother pair of Andy and Jamie Murray, who rallied to beat Eric Butorac and Jarko Nieminen 5-7, 6-3, 10-4 in their next round.

Beijing: Sania Mirza and Nuria Llagostera Vives progressed to the China Open semi-finals after coming from behind to pip Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 4-6, 6-4, 16-14, on Thursday. Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have reached the quarter finals after scoring a dominating 6-3, 6-0 win over Mao-Xin Gong and Zhang Ze.

Yokohama: Jeev Milkha Singh shot a four-under 68 that placed him fourth after the first round of the Canon Open. Jeev had as many as six birdies, but his closing bogey, only the second one in the round, spoilt what was otherwise a fine round.

Calcutta: Smriti Mehra will carry a two-shot lead into the third and final round of the seventh leg of the Hero-WGAI Women's Pro Tour. She leads the field with a 36-hole total of 146.

Calcutta: Three Fifa referees ' Pratap Singh, CR Srikrishna and MB Santosh Kumar ' on Thursday signed a seven-month professional contract with AIFF under which they will get monthly salary from the national body.

Calcutta: Pankaj Advani of ONGC defeated teammate Sourav Kothari 52-100, 100-0, 102-0, 104-0, 100-02 to win the billiards final of the PSPB championship on Thursday. In the snooker final, Manan Chandra of BPCL edged past teammate Devendra Joshi 57-22, 85-9, 33-68, 68-72, 71-20, 77-0.

Calcutta: Karnataka men and Maharashtra women created national records in their respective 100m freestyle relays, while Virdhawal Khade and Richa Mishra continued to make waves on the fourth and penultimate day of the Senior National Aquatic Championships here on Thursday.

New Delhi: Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday denied his involvement with the proposed Pakistan Premier League, saying nothing of this sort was on the table when he had a meeting with PCB chief Zaka Ashraf in Colombo.

Lincoln: India A consolidated their position in the second four-day match as they scored a mammoth 554 for eight and then reduced New Zealand A to 198 for five on the second day of the match here on Thursday.

Brief scores: India A 554 for 8 wkts decl. (M. Singh 193,A. Menaria 173). New Zealand A 198 for 5 wkts (H. Rutherford 99).