Glenn wrath singes Pakistan as Aussies go one-up
Sourav chose the best County, says Akram
Skippers heap praise on Glenn McGrath
CitiBank beat Magors 2-1
CAB foundation day function on ICC TV show
Abdul Latif passes away
‘Speed’ in classic mould
No takers for the new track
Alkanet shines

 
 
GLENN WRATH SINGES PAKISTAN AS AUSSIES GO ONE-UP 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Melbourne, Feb. 2 
PAKISTAN 154 (47.2 overs) AUSTRALIA 155/4 (42.4 overs) MoM: Glenn McGrath

Just seven Glenn McGrath deliveries in the opening minutes of the first game, and the remainder of the Carlton and United Series finals appears to have been rendered irrelevant.

McGrath’s lethal opening spell (which fetched three wickets) set up Australia’s handsome six-wicket win at the MCG tonight. With Pakistan suffering from an Australia-specific phobia, it’s unlikely they will get their act right Friday, in final No. 2 at the SCG.

The tournament’s latest edition, therefore, has almost been sealed by Steve Waugh’s team — one which must rank among the all-time great sides. Today’s victory makes it eight in a row, and while that isn’t a record, it still is phenomenal.

Of course, the game was anything but gripping and, frankly, all the dhamaka was seen some 15 minutes after Steve authored the winning hit, during the special fireworks show. But full points for Australia — that’s the bottomline which matters.

To talk of McGrath, well, he has been the toast of Australia twice in three nights — Monday, on being awarded the first Allan Border Medal, and tonight.

“Batting first on an excellent wicket, after winning the toss, Pakistan should have got around 250 to stretch our batting. In the event, we weren’t pressed... Obviously, we can chase any target, but the smaller the better...I doubt if our bowlers, Glenn specially, could have done a more perfect job,” remarked Steve.

In less than 100 overs of competition, Steve has already achieved 50 per cent of his goal: To wrap up the Series 2-0, allowing for a few extra off days before emplaning for New Zealand.

Not content with battering Pakistan, Steve turned on the heat even more: “I would like the opposition to get intimidated... Would like the opposition not wanting to play us.”

Coming from Steve, the words don’t have that hollow ring.

Wasim Akram, for his part, looked (and sounded) a beaten captain. “We are struggling to see off the new ball... Yes, perhaps, there’s a psychological problem with the boys... I can only keep telling them to treat Australia like any other opposition,” he said wearily.

One can only sympathise with Akram. The finals has been billed as a revenge outing for Pakistan — revenge for the humiliation heaped in last June’s World Cup final. Yet, throughout the afternoon and evening, there was a near repeat of the Lord’s fiasco.

“Yes, it did remind me of the World Cup (final)... Quite a few situations were alike,” acknowledged Steve, perfectly happy with that undercurrent of deja vu, across the MCG. And Australia.

Though let down again by his top-order batsmen, Akram chose not to be too critical. He reasoned: “All these players have been match-winners... Suddenly, I can’t kick them out... They continue to have my backing.”

Saqlain Mushtaq, too, has proved a flop. But Akram refused to run him down either. He still has immense faith in the off-spinner. Only, time is running out for Pakistan.

After McGrath and Brett Lee landed the dizzying punches, Michael Bevan (54 in 102 balls, 5x4) and Ricky Ponting (50 in 75 deliveries, 3x4) delivered the knockout blows.

Set such a comfortable ask, Australia could only have landed themselves in trouble. They did lose early wickets — Adam Gilchrist, out hooking, and Mark Waugh, plumb leg-before, but the Ponting-Bevan partnership (77 for the third wicket) neutralised the early pressure.

Both Gilchrist and Mark were claimed by Shoaib Akhtar, who turned in an aggressive first spell (5-1-15-2). He extracted bounce, quite like McGrath, and gave little width. But once he was off, it was back to unhurried stuff for the Australians.

Neither Ponting, who went for his shots, nor the dour Bevan was around at the finish, but both had adequately done their bit. For much of their partnership, it was percentage cricket. And, yes, very focussed.

Bevan, by the way, has now become the tournament’s most prolific run-getter, surpassing Sourav Ganguly’s 356. Bevan is currently at 385, with Ponting not too far behind (326).

Abdul Razzaq, who was rested in Perth (versus India), has had a recurrence of the right thigh muscle problem and may not play at the SCG.

Earlier, with three ducks in succession, Pakistan it seemed were more intent on launching a livestock business, rather than trying to wrest the initiative.

Shahid Afridi got done in by a nasty one from McGrath — it took off, and Afridi was far from prepared for such a welcome.

Ijaz Ahmed, Pakistan’s in-form batsman, then chose to play a rank bad shot and the out-of-form Inzamam-ul-Haq played the wrong line.

Such has been Inzamam’s appalling run that despite nine innings, his tally remains three short of 100.

All three wickets went to McGrath, who unleashed grenades, and at two for three (within three overs), the first final was as good as over. Wicket-to-wicket, McGrath required a mere seven balls.

Saeed Anwar, who saw the makings of a disaster from such close quarters, himself was fourth out, to Brett. For the slips cordon, Shane Warne in particular, it was catching practice in a ‘live’ game.

Thereafter, though, a string of brief partnerships emerged, helping Pakistan first past 100 and then 132 (the World Cup final total).

All this while, every Steve move clicked: He introduced Bevan and, hey presto, a wicket was claimed in the opening over itself. Next, he brought back Brett and tough cookie Razzaq cracked.

Razzaq was smartly taken by Steve, his 100th catch and yet one more feather in his already overcrowded baggy green.

Damien Martyn and Mark did put down a catch each but, otherwise, Australia could do no wrong.

For Pakistan, the ninth-wicket pair (Moin Khan and Saqlain) put on the most productive — in the circumstances, that is — partnership of 39.

Moin was very much the senior partner, cracking 47 off 48 deliver-ies (3x4, 2x6), his highest of the Series. Both overboundaries, incidentally, were superbly struck — off Shane Lee and Warne. Yet, uncharacteristically, he got carried away after the second six.

However, Akram didn’t nail his deputy. “It’s too much to expect Moin alone to keep pulling Pakistan out of trouble. It can’t be done over and over again.”

Briefly, Akram himself had looked like leading from the front, this time with the bat, but Andrew Symonds’ yorker proved the spoilsport.

While McGrath returned the best figures, a close second was Brett, preferred over Damien Fleming with the extra kilometres proving decisive. Now, Fleming will also probably have to sit out at the SCG.

Brett does believe in grabbing opportunities — whether in Tests or one-dayers — with all 10 fingers.    


 
 
SOURAV CHOSE THE BEST COUNTY, SAYS AKRAM 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Melbourne, Feb. 2 
“Soak in everything, have fun... You’ll return a tougher, better professional,” is Wasim Akram’s message for Sourav Ganguly, who has signed up with the Pakistan captain’s old County, Lancashire.

Akram, a legend at Old Trafford (Lancashire’s HQ), quit the County in 1998, after a decade-long association. That was also Akram’s Benefit Year and, predictably, was a mega-hit.

Muttiah Muralidharan replaced Akram last year, and now the Indian vice-captain is committed to two summers at Old Trafford and Manchester.

“I’ve always recommended at least one County season for those who wish to get better... Sourav, I’m sure, will be a much-improved pro after one summer alone... He couldn’t have chosen a better County,” Akram told The Telegraph this morning.

Speaking shortly before leaving for the MCG, Akram added: “Besides a culture which encourages sharpening of skills, Lancashire have a tradition of looking after players. As for the facilities, you’ve yourself seen how good they are.”

Akram credits Lancashire for his development not only as a player, but as a person as well. “Your learning isn’t limited to cricket. Because of the culture there, you learn so much off the field, too. Like interacting with fans, the Media... Indeed, Lancashire changed me.”

Neil Fairbrother, an old Lancashire pro, had a hand in Akram’s recruitment (1988), while the County’s current chief executive, Dave Edmundson, directly handled negotiations with Sourav. However, it’s more than likely that Bobby Simpson, who will be coaching Lancashire this summer, made a strong case for Sourav.

Simpson and Sourav get along exceedingly well: Simpson respects Sourav’s ability; Sourav admires Simpson as a technical guru. Indeed, they worked closely when Simpson was India’s consultant.

But doesn’t Sourav, who has signed a two-year contract, risk a burn-out?

Akram was quick to answer: “Look he’s 27, about the right age to put in an extended effort (April till September)... It could have been different had Sourav been older. But, yes, he’ll have a heavy workload as Lancashire will be utilising him both as batsman and bowler.”

So, what should Sourav do? “Like I’ve said, he’s got to have fun and enjoy himself. That way, he won’t feel the pressure... It will be fine as long as he sees the exposure as part of his learning process,” Akram responded.

He added: “While Lancashire haven’t won the Championship for many years, they are recognised as one-day kings... It’s a happy coincidence Sourav himself is an outstanding one-day cricketer.”

Akram, whose second home is Manchester (after Lahore), pointed out Sourav will “feel at home” as fans of Indian origin abound. “I, for one, was even more comfortable because of the many supporters with roots in Pakistan...”

Of course, we could also have the unusual scenario of Akram cheering Sourav. After all, if there’s a game at Old Trafford and Akram is in Manchester, he’s got to drop by. Old habits do die hard.    


 
 
SKIPPERS HEAP PRAISE ON GLENN MCGRATH 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Melbourne, Feb.2 
Pakistan captain Wasim Akram today paid Glenn McGrath a most handsome compliment: “Yes, I would love to have him in my team... He’s so consistent, bowls such a good line... He’s among the top three quicks of my time...”

McGrath, MoM in the first Carlton and United Series finals, said he would be “happy” if he maintained current form and stayed fit. He added: “The Pakistan batsmen had got the better of me in the last few games and, so, I was more determined to get at them today...”

McGrath did, and in exceptional manner. His captain, Steve Waugh, saluted him thus: “When the team has guys like Glenn, I’m confident of us achieving anything... Absolutely nothing comes as a surprise, not even reducing Pakistan to 28 for five.”    


 
 
CITIBANK BEAT MAGORS 2-1 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 2 
CitiBank beat Williamson Magor 2-1 in The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup badminton championship today.

Magors lost their other match of the evening, too, by an identical margin to Calcutta Chemicals.

In other matches, The Telegraph blanked Assam Co. 3-0 while ITC edged past Tisco 2-1.    


 
 
CAB FOUNDATION DAY FUNCTION ON ICC TV SHOW 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 2 
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will include the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) foundation day function tomorrow in its television programme for the ICC Cricket Week from April 2 to 9, ICC and CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya said today.

Dalmiya said the Cricket Week, aimed at augmenting ICC’s development projects, will feature 30 hours of television programme to be telecast worldwide through major channels.

The television coverage will have a section on how cricket and cricketers have extended their service to mankind. Three capsules, including excerpts of the CAB foundation day programme, will be shown.

The CAB president said the main function on the association’s foundation day, observed as the Frank Worrell Day, will be a voluntary blood donation camp. The donors will be awarded a certificate signed by Sir Garfield Sobers.

The other two television capsules will feature former England allrounder Ian Botham’s walk from north to south of England, to raise funds for AIDS sufferers, and the Shukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital built by former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan.

As reported by The Telegraph, plans for the Cricket Week also include a match between Asia XI and Rest of the World on April 8 and a world quiz contest on cricket.

Several TV channels like Australia-based Fox Sports and Channel Seven, Britain’s Sky Sports and Channel Four and the US-based Sound Vision and Fox Sports International have already confirmed coverage of the Cricket Week programmes to be produced by TWI.

Discussions are underway with Channel Nine (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand), South Africa-based M-Net and South Africa Broadcasting Corporation and CBU (in the Carribean islands).

In India, a number of channels, including Doordarshan, have agreed to show the programmes.

Dalmiya term

The CAB working committee today approved a change in the constitution that will help extend president Dalmiya’s term by another four years. The ammendment will now have to be ratified by the general body at a special meeting.    


 
 
ABDUL LATIF PASSES AWAY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 2 
Abdul Latif, a member of the 1951 Asian Games gold-medal winning Indian football squad and a name to reckon with in the Calcutta Maidan, passed away in the city today after a brief illness. He was 76 and a widower.

He is survived by his adopted son.

He also represented the country at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.

Born in Bihar’s Purnea district, Latif came to Calcutta in 1940 and joined Sporting Union. He played for Mohammedan Sporting from 1947-48 to 1959-60.

Latif was cremated at the Gobra burial ground with several renowned footballers of yesteryears, including M.A. Sattar, Sahu Mewalal and Sailen Manna attending.

In his condolence message All India Football Federation president Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi described Latif as one of the best midfielders of his time.    


 
 
‘SPEED’ IN CLASSIC MOULD 
 
 
FROM PRAVESH GUPTA
 
Mumbai Feb. 2 
Racing, tomorrow, will be held on the main track thus one may look forward to a large attendance and a competitive sport. Fields are packed in the 11 event-card featuring the 1,200m Y. M. Chaudhry Memorial Million, a terms race for three-year-old horses.

There are eight babies in the line-up but the race may turn out to be a two-horse affair. The two smart youngsters in contention are the Zadmal Singh-trained Running Star and the Six Speed from Darius Byramji’s yard. Both being are easy winners in their debut runs.

Although Running Star enjoys the home turf advantage, Six Speed’s six-length victory in Bangalore was a great effort. The well-bred Mallay filly has been cynosure of all eyes even since she landed in Mahalaxmi. She has been maintaining her brilliant form and her jockey Pesi Shroff feels that the Placerville-Haunting Beauty daughter is in classic mould though she may need more racing experience.

SELECTIONS

1 pm: Chelsea 1. Queen Alicia 2. Phalaenpsis 3.

1.30 pm: Eastern Command 1. Noble One 2. Fortune Favours 3.

2 pm: Thundering Bay 1. Party Whip 2. Pickpocket 3.

2.30 pm: Picasso 1. Double Impact 2. Along All 3.

3 pm: Kargil 1. Flattery 2. Winnington 3.

3.30 pm: Josh King 1. Loaded Dice 2. Majesty Of Law 3.

4 pm: Lumiere 1. Partner Perfect 2. Big Wish 3.

4.30 pm: Park Royal 1. Classic Chic 2. Time To Gamble 3.

5 pm: Six Speed 1. Running Star 2. Anthology 3.

5.30 pm: Millie Fiori 1. Raring To Go 2. Skukuza 3.

6 pm: Celestial Light 1. Fortune Cookie 2. Beat The Blues 3.

Day’s Best: Eastern Command Double: Picasso & Six Speed.    


 
 
NO TAKERS FOR THE NEW TRACK 
 
 
FROM HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, Feb. 2 
The attendance and popularity of the Mahalaxmi racing seems to be declining. The public stands and the bookmakers’ ring bore empty look. However, it could be the one off day as the racing was held on the newly laid ‘all weather track’ which is hardly popular with racing public leave alone the race professionals and the local scribes. Horses up-front were normally enjoy advantage while strong finishers could be seen toiling at the wrong-end.

The Sandeep Mangalorkar-trainee, El Cid was no exception in the main draw of the afternoon, the 1,600m Naval Glory Plate. The four-year-old was well in touch of with leader before shooting in to a winning lead at the home turn. C. Rajendra partnered the winner.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. V. Jayaram Plate 1,600m: (2-4-5) Dressed For Dinner (McCullagh) 1; Natural Gift 2; Short N Sweet 3. Won by: 3/4; 5 1/2; (1-44.6). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 12; 38; 20; Quinella: 325; Tanala: 1,637. Fav: Dressed For Dinner (2).

2. Klairon Gold Plate 1,000m: (1-2-4) Foreign Connection (Kharadi) 1; Laktara 2; Safarando 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 2; (1-2.5). Tote: Win Rs 41; Place: 14; 15; 11; Quinella: 100; Tanala: 286. Fav: Safarando (4).

3. Wiggles Plate 1,400m: (5-7-1) Damroo’s Gift (Baria) 1; Monkey Tricks 2; Thundering Grey 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1/2; (1-31). Tote: Win Rs 191; Place: 32; 18; 20; Quinella: 311; Tanala: 5,250. Fav: Monkey Tricks (7).

4. Track Flame Plate 1,200m: (5-2-3) Innara (Prakash) 1; Superbo 2; Numero Uno 3. Not run: Fabulous Fiorella (8). Won by: 1-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-17.1). Tote: Win Rs 111; Place: 28; 59; 15; Quinella: 1,382; Tanala: 15,741. Fav: Very Beautiful (1).

5. Naval Glory Plate 1,600m: (5-4-6) El Cid (Rajendra) 1; Shaandaari 2; I’m Honoured 3. Won by: 1-3/4; Nk; (1-43.6). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 13; 35; 20; Quinella: 154; Tanala: 1680. Fav: El Cid (5).

6. Osman Chotani Plate 1,400m: (2-1-6) Falconaire (Z. Sayyed) 1; Proper Pride 2; Rumaan 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 5-1/2; (1-31.3). Tote: Win Rs 68; Place: 20; 22; 23; Quinella: 198; Tanala: 2,004. Fav: Rock Venture (10).

7. Radio Man Plate 1,000m: (4-5-3) Yewall (Mansoor) 1; Impatiens 2; Mischievous Times 3. Won by: 1-3/4; Nk; (1-3.5). Tote: Win Rs 61; Place: 25; 97; 37; Quinella: 901; Tanala: 7,156. Fav: Yewall (4).

Jackpot: Rs 68,385; (C) Rs 8,548.

Treble: (i) Rs 7,356; (ii) Rs 542.    


 
 
ALKANET SHINES 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Feb. 2 
Alkanet, Prince Obolensky and Acquest were impressive when the following track-out was recorded this morning:

Outer sand track

2,200m: Audible (C. Alford) in 2-45 4/5s; (400m) 29 3/5s. Easy. Super Surnise (Rb) and Assyrian (Surender) in 2-52 3/5s; (400m) 30s. Both easy. Allodium (Rabani), Alternator (M. Reuben) and Charlene (Rb) in 2-56s; (400m) 33 4/5s. First two named easy.

1,600m: Legal Steps (Amil) and Arendal (Rb) in 1-59 2/5s; (400m) 28 2/5s. Former head better.

1,200m: Tejeni (C. Alford) in 1-31 3/5s; (400m) 28 3/5s. Easy. Lovely Lucky (M. Reuben) in 1-34 2/5s; (400m) 31 2/5s.

1,000m: Bird Empire (Merchant) and Relative Shade (Gowli) in 1-17 4/5s; (400m) 29 3/5s. Both easy. Cup Of Life (C. Alford) in 1-8 2/5s; (400m) 25 3/5s. Handy. Endless Surprise (C. Alford) and Attire (Rb) in 1-10 4/5s; (400m) 25 4/5. Both moved well. Acadameus (C. Alford) in 1-10s; (400m) 27s. Good.

800m: Ironstone (M. Reuben) and Volcano Top (Manohar) in 54 2/5s; (400m) 26 3/5s. Former 2 ls better. Actress (C. Alford) in 53 2/5s; (400m) 25 2/5s. Fit. Abstone Queen (Merchant) and Light Reflections (Rutherford) in 55 1/5s; (400m) 26 1/5s. Both very easy. Acquest (C. Alford) in 52 1/5s; (400m) 26 1/5s. Moved attractively. Mystic Hill (A. P. Singh) in 53 2/5s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Easy. The Stud (Shanker) and Little Boy Blue (Brij) in 54 4/5s; (400m) 26 3/5s. Both moved well. Alkanet (C. Alford) in 52 2/5s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Impressed.

600m: Gul (Engineer) and Answerable (Locke) 42 2/5s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Former easy. Hurricane Star (Kujur) and The Cigar (Smith) in 42s; (400m) 28s. Both pushed.

Sand track

1,200m: Prince Obolensky (Connorton) in 1-15 3/5s; (400m) 23s. Note. Tequila Shot (Shanker) and Zingari (Som) in 1-16 3/5s; (400m) 24 1/5s. Note both. Arlington (M. Reuben) in 1-20 3/5s; (400m) 26 1/5s. Fit.

1,000m: Amerrico (Yasin) in 1-4s; (400m) 23 3/5. Good.

800m: Internal Affair (P. Alford) and Media Star (Gurang) in 52 2/5s; (400m) 25 1/5s. Both easy. Highland Ridge (Rutherford) and Lucky Sovereign (P. Alford) 54s; (400m) 26s. Former head better. Time Of Times (Rutherford) and Classic Leader (P. Alford) in 50s; (400m) 23s. Former 4 ls better. Diplomatic Gesture (Yasin) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Soft Ware (Yasin) and Golden Heart (Rb) in 53 2/5s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Former head better. Act Of Kindness (Rb) and Ingleside (Akhtar) in 51 4/5s; (400m) 24 4/5s. Former too good. The Epicurean (Akhtar) and Mameena (Connorton) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Former 6 ls better. Strictly Royal (Rb) in 58 1/5s; (400m) 27 1/5s.    

 

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