Job has just begun, says Sourav
Bagan hot favourites
Akhmedov not to train seniors now
Radhika-Janaki takes doubles
Allocated looks to be outstanding
Inglenook wins

Calcutta, March 10 
The euphoria of yesterday’s thrilling win over, Sourav Ganguly has shifted focus to the second encounter of the five-match series, coming up in Jamshedpur on Sunday. Well begun is just half the job done and the Indian skipper admits that a new challenge awaits them in the Steel City.

The Indian and South African teams landed in the city airport this evening and players of both sides appeared to be in fine mood, acknowledging cheers from about a hundred die-hards.

The Indian skipper, who was received by the senior Ganguly at the airport, headed homewards and said later that is just the start. “The most important thing was to get back to winning ways. Obviously, a terrific feeling that we’ve gone one up but, really, the job has just begun.”

Sourav said the famous win will lift the morale of the team, battered in the recent Test series and in Australia before that. “Obviously, the fact that we won in Kochi yesterday is going to give us a boost for the Jamshedpur game but we should all remember that Sunday will be the start of an absolutely fresh game. Though we have won the first match that really is history. We will have to take guard afresh (in Jamshedpur).”

The skipper, mobbed as soon as he left the airport, said the affection of the Calcutta crowd was never in doubt. That, in fact, he said was an inspiration. “It reminds you of your duties.” Sourav added there would be no special get together at home in the evening or not even a family reunion since his travel schedule is quite hectic and there is an early morning flight to catch.

Meanwhile, there was a moderate crowd waiting for the teams — that too dispersed as soon as the news spread that Sourav Ganguly had not accompanied the rest of the team to the hotel and had instead gone to his residence.

Mohammed Azharuddin was the man in demand at a city hotel as Sachin Tendulkar quickly slipped off.

The former skipper said it was great to be back in the Indian team but was noncommittal when asked about the captaincy issue. What did he think of Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy — Azharuddin said “it’s great.”

Hansie Cronje looked pensive even though he smiled at everyone on his way up.    

Calcutta, March 10 
Mohun Bagan, at sniffing distance of their second National Football League title victory, will be taking on a lowly State Bank of Travancore (SBT) in Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow.

Mohun Bagan are way ahead of the field, with 41 points from 19 matches, with 12 victories, five draws and a couple of defeats. They have scored 28 goals and conceded 14.

SBT, who are now at ninth spot, with 20 points from 19 matches, have conceded 27 goals, having being able to score only 15.

SBT, who came back strongly in the second leg of the League, with a stunning victory over Churchill Brothers of Goa, fell back yet again, and after being thrashed by a resurgent East Bengal, have not been able to keep the momentum up.

The starts in the Mohun Bagan side could prove to be more than a handful for SBT.

Strikers Igor Skhvirin and Brazilian Jose Ramirez Barreto have set a scorching pace in the frontline, while even the suspect defence line has been holding up of late, with Samuel Omollo slowly getting back to form.

That apart, there is no dearth of adrenalin in the Calcutta team. If complacency does not interfere with the efficiency levels, SBT should be dispatched easily.

The SBT mainstays, Jiju Jacob and Martin C.Mathew, will be stretched too far, and the forward line does not look strong enough to take off the pressure.    

New Delhi, March 10 
Thirty-nine year old Islam Akhmedov of Uzbekistan will train the junior Indian football teams and not the senior team as declared by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) three days earlier.

Akhmedov is currently in Bangalore with Rushtom Akhramov to chalk out plans for training the under-16 and under-19 teams. The probables for these teams will be announced soon.

There have obviously been some changes to the AIFF plans as Akhmedov was supposed to coach the senior team only with Akhramov in charge of the juniors.

Now, it has been said that Akhramov will be the technical director and also look after the youth development programme.

AIFF officials said that since the senior team will not take part in any international tournament at least till July (when the senior team visits England for some matches), the coach will be named later.

The 39-year-old Akhmedov is India’s sixth foreign coach in the last two decades. He has coached three super division clubs of Uzbekistan — Pakhtakor, Nurafshon and Horzem. He was also a player with Pakhtakor.    

Calcutta, March 10 
Maharashtra teenager Radhika Tulpule, partnering Janaki Krishnamoorthy, won the ladies’ doubles title in the senior national grasscourt tennis championships here today.

Tulpule also kept herself on course for a double crown, breeezing into the singles final.

The third-seeded Tulpule-Krishnamoorthy combine carved out a straight-sets victory over the top-seeded Sai Jayalakshmi- Rushmi Chakravarthy pair 6-3, 6-1 in a 55-minute final at the CC&FC. They won a price purse Rs 12,600 and 25 points.

Earlier, Tulpule, seeded sixth in the singles, continued her fine form. Yesterday she upset second seed Chakravarthy, and today she beat third-seeded Archana Venkataraman 6-0, 6-3 in a one-sided semi-final to set up a title clash with top-seeded Jayalakshmi.

Jayalakshmi stormed past Arthi Venkataraman 6-1, 6-1.

In the men’s singles, local boy Syed Fazaluddin justified his top billing to move into the summit round getting the better of fifth seeded Vishal Uppal of Delhi in one hour and 50 minutes. He overcame a set deficit to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Uppal broke Fazal in the second game and kept the lead to take the set at 6-3. Serving for the set, Uppal sent down two double-faults but managed to scrape through with the help of some unforced errors by Fazal- uddin.

The first set loss shook Fazal wide awake and his serve and volleying improved, breaking Uppal in the fourth and sixth games to win with ease.

In the first game Uppal was broken in the first gam at love. Fazal hung on to the lead till the seventh gam. In the eighth Uppal broke back, only to be blanked out in the ninth.

Fazal had no trouble thereafter.

The lanky Davis Cupper will be involved in a title-clash with sixth-seeded Vijay Kannan of Delhi who needed only 37 minutes to prevail over an injured eighth seed Sourav Panja of thecity 6-3, 6-1.

Panja sustained an ankle injury yesterday while playing Kirtane.    

Bangalore, March 10 
An impressive debutant, it is hard to look beyond Allocated in the rich Nanoli Stud Bangalore Juvenile Million. Pesi Shroff partners the Placerville-Arctic Theme gelding from maestro Rashid Byramji’s yard.


2.30 pm: At My Command 1. Deep In The Jungle 2. Interface 3.

3 pm: Saturn Star 1. Scenic 2. Acharya 3.

3.30 pm: Cassini 1. Our Paradise 2. Young Lust 3.

4 pm: Allocated 1. Montjeu Star 2. Il Diablo 3.

4.30 pm: Native Tactics 1. Amalgamate 2. Al Bashir 3.

5 pm: Savage Heart 1. Astounding Bay 2. Bledfa Jed 3.

5.30 pm: Crown Ivory 1. Formal Gold 2. Stormy 3.

Day’s Best: Allocated Double: Native Tactics & Crown Ivory    

Partnered by Aslam Kader, Ingle-nook won the Arundhati Cup in Bangalore on Friday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Holenarsipur Plate 1,100m: (4-5-6) Spirito (Gallagher) 1; Soviet Bay 2; Star Wings 3. Not run: Lali (11). Won by: Nk; 10; (1-9.3). Tote: Win Rs 79; Place: 17; 10; 19; Quinella: 45; Tanala: 392. Fav: Soviet Bay (5).

2. Longchamp Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (1-3-6) Renzino (Mrs. Storai) 1; Chanel 2; Al Dente 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-1/2; (1-29.3). Tote: Win Rs 61; Place: 16; 12; 16; Quinella: 60; Tanala: 287. Fav: Al Dente (6).

3. B. P. Shivan Memorial Plate 1,200m: (5-3-7) Reigning Sword (Amit) 1; Gallant Monarch 2; Royal Castle 3. Won by: NK; 1-1/4; (1-16). Tote: Win Rs 461; Place: 71; 26; 35; Quinella: 963; Tanala: 24,846. Fav: Beat The Dust (8).

4. Arundhati Cup 1,600m: (1-7-5) Inglenook (Kader) 1; Astronautics 2; Summer Mood 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 2-1/4; (1-39.3). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 13; 12; 30; Quinella: 25; Tanala: 206. Fav: Inglenook (1).

5. Dharmastala Plate 1,200m: (6-3-1) Sir Winmor (Srinath) 1; Nooreen 2; Class Conscious 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-16.1). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 17; 29; 24; Quinella: 109; Tanala: 1,324. Fav: Zeke (7).

6. Subashnagar Cup 1,600m: (5-2-8) Innerleithen (Shafiq) 1; Power Extreme 2; Predominate 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 2-1/4; (1-44.4). Tote: Win Rs 117; Place: 31; 22; 24; Quinella: 286; Tanala: 2,457. Fav: Power Extreme (2).

7. Longchamp Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (6-1-2) Persian Sky (Amit) Mayfair 2; Fly Past 3. Won by: SH; 3/4; (1-30.6). Tote: Win Rs 151; Place: 39; 16; 24; Quinella: 219; Tanala: 4,645. Fav: Cape Fear (8).

Jackpot: Rs 1,04,720 (Carried over); (C) Rs 6,732.

Treble: (i) Rs 6,850; (ii) Rs 9,308.


Outer sand track

2,200m: Milano (C. Alford) in 2-52; (1,200m) 1-33s; (400m) 32s. Good.

1,000m: Lockers Park (Islam) and Slice Of Life (Rabani) in 1-14s; (400m) 26 4/5s. Former 3 ls ahead.

800m: Emadeous (Rabani) and High Life (Islam) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Both fit. Armed Alram (Islam) and Consolidate (Rabani) in 56s; (400m) 26 3/5s. Both easy. Kargil Soldier (Saran) in 1-3s; (400m) 31s.

600m: Alsadena (Islam) in 43s; (400m) 28s.

Sand track

800m: Silver Raising (Rb) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Aliqa (Akhtar) in 1-2 2/5s; (400m) 30s.

600m: Arroway (Rb) in 42s; (400m) 27s.

Noted on Thursday, Outer sand track

1,400m: Aquaria (Amil) in 1-56 1/5s; (400m) 34s. Amarante (C. Alford) in 1-56 3/5s; (400m) 34 1/5s.

1,200m: Single Dawn (Merchant),

Dominate (Gurang) and American (Gowli) in 1-25s; (400m) 28 2/5s. They were separated by a length and distance. Classic Leader (Gurang), Time Of Times ( Gowli) and Ballot Lady (Merchant) in 1-29 3/5s; (400m) 28 1/5s. Separated by a length and a distance.

800m: Double Crown (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Abstone Queen (Gurang) and Ballot Master (Merchant) in 58s; (400m) 27s. Former half-a length better. Head Hunter (Gowli) in 57 2/5s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Birds Empire (Gurang) and Alborada (Merchant) in 58s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Quickdraw McGraw (Gowli) and Desert Force (Rutherford) in 55s; (400m) 27 3/5s. Former a head better. Both were handy. Defiance (Gowli) and Rock Falcon (Merchant) in 57 2/5s; (400m) 26 3/5s. Both level and moved well. Bold Invader (Rabani) and Kansai (Islam) in 55s; (400m) 27 3/5s. Both level. Santillana (Salim) and Ardon (Rutherford) in 56s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Former neck better. Master Charlie (Rb) in 1-0s; (400m) 27 4/5s.

600m: Swash Buckler (Rb) in 41 3/5s; (400m) 27s. Easy. As You Please (Rb) in 43s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Mountain Memory (Gurang) in 44 1/5s; (400m) 29 1/5s. Tribal Warlord (Rb) in 42 2/5s; (400m) 27s. The Stud (Shanker) in 42 2/5s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Consul’s Secret (Bird) in 44s; (400m) 29s.

Sand track

800m: Oriental Star (Rutherford) and Royal Ruler (Salim) in 58 3/5s; (400m) 26s. Both level. Alceste (Rb) and Adeline (M. Reuben) in 1-0s; (400m) 27s. Former 4 ls better.    


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