India bounce back with win over Pak
Subhas flies to Kochi today
Umpires to go ahead with walkie-talkies
Pay hikes await S. Africa players
Sourav for double-wicket meet in Siliguri on April
AI to meet Railways in final
Another academy
A new May fair in city
Savage Heart may do the trick
Mumbai results

Sharjah, March 23 
PAKISTAN 146 (45.3 overs) INDIA 149/5 (43.3 overs) MoM: Azhar

Just two wins in the Eighties; three in the Nineties. The third decade of India-Pakistan rivalry, in this cricket-driven Emirate has, for India, begun on an absolute high.

After packing off Pakistan for a moderate 146, India got the required runs with much to spare. A quicker finish would have helped the net run-rate, but it’s not the moment to be critical.

After struggling to hide his irritation in the opening Coca-Cola Cup 2000 game last night, versus South Africa, smiling came easy for Sourav Ganguly. After all, the ones versus Pakistan do get recounted over and over again.

“Yesterday’s outcome upset us... We had to fall back on our self-belief and we did so... We could have finished it off quicker, but bowled and fielded superbly. Yesterday, we lacked discipline. Today, we didn’t repeat that mistake,” Sourav remarked.

The Indian captain would probably have given his left hand to get the winning runs himself, but a sight screen-induced distration forced an early exit. By then, though, Sourav had ensured the first-session’s momentum wasn’t lost.

Sachin Tendulkar, too, left pretty early. Actually, his dismissal (leg-before to Shoaib Akhtar) ought really to be credited to umpire Peter Manuel. Not only would the ball have missed leg, there appeared to have been contact with the bat as well.

The former captain returned devastated, still seeking answers as to why he continues to be a victim of dubious umpiring.

Sachin’s departure (12th over) did, for the only time, put India under some pressure but Man of the Match Mohammed Azharuddin (54 in 89 deliveries, 7x4) and Rahul Dravid added 70 for the third-wicket to remind everybody there could only be one result.

Wasim Akram, Akhtar and Waqar Younis had excellent first spells, but 146 was hardly a competitive total.

Dravid drooled over his 28 (70 balls, 3x4), but there are times when even dropping anchor is accepted, if not applauded. Tonight was one such occasion. Like Sourav, however, Dravid fell to a near wide.

Soon enough, even the fluent Azhar went, as did Robin Singh (run out), and it was left to Ajay Jadeja and Syed Saba Karim to make the ensuing two-day break enjoyable.

Azhar, who specially picked on Abdul Razzaq, did more than take the lead in ensuring full points — he has now forced many to revise opinion over his ‘inability’ to get runs against Pakistan, in Sharjah. For the record his only other fifty was exactly ten years ago.

In an informal chat yesterday, the paan-chewing Javed Miandad had scoffed at India’s bowling. “Back in Pakistan, no less than 50 of the calibre of your bowlers are in queue to make the big league... Aap samjhe?”

This afternoon, coach Miandad not only stopped chewing paan, he presented the glum face of 2000. The change, of course, all being brought about by the Indian bowlers.

Despite enjoying best use of the wicket, Pakistan crashed with four-and-half overs remaining. In more ways than one, their performance was a replica of India’s yesterday.

Having quickly regained the psychological initiative, lost on Day-I of the tournament, India could only have beaten themselves.

With three regulars — Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq and Azhar Mehmood — out through injury, and senior pro Ijaz Ahmed dropped, Pakistan in any case took to the meet without the customary intimidating look. Now, ‘establishing’ themselves will be even more of an uphill trek.

Having won the toss, Moin Khan would have been hoping for a blitz-like start, more so as India had to omit the injured Jawagal Srinath (left hip muscle-groin problem).

Instead, with the hit-or-miss Shahid Afridi falling in the innings’ seventh delivery itself, trouble came all too soon.

In fact, the innings saw only two partnerships of value: 57 for the third-wicket between very impressive youngster Imran Nazir (43 in 53 balls, 5x4, 1x6) and Inzamam-ul Haq (41 in 77 deliveries, 3x4) and 46 for the fourth between Inzamam and Yousuf Youhana.

Pinch-hitter Razzaq, too, failed to come off. Committed early into a cover-drive, he was claimed by Ajit Agarkar.

Razzaq’s commitment, though, has to be lauded — he lost his father just the other day. In a nice gesture, by the way, Sachin (who himself was bereaved in the last World Cup) quietly offered his condolences before play began.

To get back to the match, Robin’s sensational first over (the innings’ 29th) will be marked as the proverbial turning point. It saw a bizarre run out (Youhana’s) and, next ball, Inzamam went. Rarely have both batsmen been found short of the crease, at the same end, but this afternoon’s script unfolded exactly that way.

Youhana played Robin on the off-side and took wings. Simultaneously, Saba Karim showed enterprise which is rare among Indians and his ferocious throw was on target. With both Youhana and Inzamam short, high drama ensued, even as Inzamam made a belated dash for the striker’s end.

For starters, Manuel was reluctant to call third-umpire Darryl Harper into play, but with Sourav insisting and on-field colleague John Hampshire suggesting the same, Manuel did.

Then, Harper took ages before ruling somebody had to go. It was left to Manuel to send Youhana back. The umpire was guided by Law 38.3 which reads: “If the batsmen have crossed in running, he who runs for the wicket which is put down, shall be out. If they have not crossed, he who has left the wicket which is put down, shall be out...”

Clearly, any compilation of run outs featuring Inzamam will be real lengthy.

To say that episode unsettled Inzamam would probably be an understatement — he was gone the very next ball, managing a faint edge which Saba Karim accepted.

Four balls later it was the turn of Younis Khan, a Test centurion on debut, to confirm another Pakistani collapse. Not much later, Akram inside-edged a Venkatesh Prasad leg-cutter and Waqar Younis slipped to be run out. Coincidentally, in Robin’s second spell.

Moin, who could have taken charge, was flummoxed by the stunning turn of events and couldn’t even have the strike rotated to his benefit. He was the last out.

Sourav marshalled his bowlers well but, more important, was aggresssive with his body-language. More than the others, the captain himself set the agenda for the day. Thereafter, the rank and file didn’t miss a step.    

Calcutta, March 23 
East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick will be joining the team in Kochi for their last National Football League encounter, with FC Kochin, despite announcing yesterday that he will be quitting after salvaging some pride for the red-and-gold brigade. They thrashed arch-rivals Mohun Bagan 3-1 yesterday. Bhowmick today said that club assistant secretary Dipak Das requested him to carry on at least till the end of the League, and so he will be flying to Kochi tomorrow.

He added that as far as the next season was concerned, he would decide as and when an offer comes. Meanwhile, East Bengal have sounded out T. K. Chathunni for the post.

In the other camp, the National League title notwithstanding, Mohun Bagan’s pride was shattered yesterday. The defeat and the subsequent mayhem have so demoralised the club authorities that they have decided to cancel the proposed celebrations that were to take place at the club tent on April 2.

Club secretary Anjan Mitra today said that showcause notices have been served to Basudeb Mondal and Dulal Biswas, who played truant yesterday for their commitments to the East Zone bank football meet in Jamshedpur.

He, however, added that the club was yet to decide on any bonus to be granted to the players for winning the League.    

Sharjah, March 23 
Despite a suggestion from Match Referee Raman Subba Row that walkie-talkies be done away with, umpires officiating in the Coca-Cola Cup 2000 have opted to continue with them.

The suggestion was made at yesterday’s customary pre-tournament meeting between team managements and the officials.

While Subba Row had a point about the high noise levels rendering their use irrelevant, the umpires (John Hampshire, Darryl Harper and Peter Manuel) maintained the “problem” wouldn’t be as pronounced here as it was in India during the just-ended series where, too, Subba Row was Match Referee.

Meanwhile, as it was in India, an agreement has been reached (for the first three matches, after which it will be reviewed) to replace the ball after 35 overs, if it hasn’t already been changed.

Discolouring, Subba Row explained, is the reason.    

Sharjah, March 23 
A tidy increase of 10 per cent awaits the 21 South African players on contract with the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA).

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the players have been clubbed in three categories and, irrespective of whether they will be picked or not, are assured a monthly salary of between rands 21,330 (around Rs 1,49,310) and 23,725 (about Rs 1,66,075).

Incidentally, the ten category C players have a higher contract fee (vis-a-vis category B) as they are unlikely to be as regularly selected.

Of course, the players’ match fees are independent of what is assured in the contract. At the moment, the players get rands 12,000 (around Rs 84,000) for each Test and rands 5,000 (about Rs 35,000) for every ODI.

Additionally, the UCBSA provides for a very comprehensive insurance cover. Include paying for the wives’ travel — only for series/tournaments mutually agreed upon — and everything possible is done to help players wholly concentrate on cricket.

Clearly, much of South Africa’s stupendous success has everything to do with a system which is not just ‘open’, but realistic and highly accommodating. For instance, because of extra responsibilities, the captain gets an additional rands 5,000 every month. It’s more than just a thoughtful gesture.

The contracts are renewed at the end of each season, in April, after “negotiations” between UCBSA managing director Dr Ali Bacher and former wicketkeeper Dave Richardson, who represents the players.

It is understood that while Herschelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher could be promoted to category A, at next month’s negotiations, Nicky Boje may move up to category B.

The following are currently on contract:

Category A (rands 23,725): Hansie Cronje, Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald, Gary Kirsten, Daryll Cullinan, Jonty Rhodes, Lance Klusener and Jacques Kallis.

Category B (rands 21,330): Herschelle Gibbs, Mark Boucher and Paul Adams.

Category C (rands 22,046): Nicky Boje, Derek Crookes, Steve Elworthy, Mornantau Hayward, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Beknenstein, Adam Bacher, Alan Dawson, Hendrik Dippenaar and David Terbrugge.    

Calcutta, March 23 
Sourav Ganguly will take part in a double-wicket tournament in Siliguri on April 7, along with some of his India teammates.

Announcing this at a press onference today, urban development minister Ashok Bhattacharya said that the tournament will be held to raise funds for the construction of an indoor stadium in Siliguri.

The others players who are likely to take part include Mohammed Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid, Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi, Nikhil Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, S. Sriram, Debashish Mohanty, Syed Saba Karim and Kapil Dev.    

Jorhat, March 23 
Air India lived up to their favourites billing by storming into final of the 24th national women’s cricket championship with an emphatic eight-wicket win over Bihar today. They will meet Indian Railways in the final.

After a rather forgettable show yesterday, when they allowed Bihar to pile up a respectable 246, Air India batswomen fired on all cylinders and reached the target in 72.1 overs.

Openers Anju Jain (140 n.o.) scored her maiden hundred in the national championship and put on 196 runs for the first wicket with Anjum Chopra (84).

Anjum was caught and bowled brilliantly by left-arm spinner Gargi De. Her 165-ball knock included 11 fours. Smita Harekrishna (6) fell with the score on 219 but Anjum took her team home in the company of Mamata Maben. Anjum’s flawless 196-ball innings was studded with 16 fours.

Yesterday, Bihar took full advantage of some sloppy fielding to score 246. Geeta Samantrai (88), Seema Desai (49), Neetu Singh (37) and Babusha Singh (31) were the main scorers. Air India skipper Purnima Rau and Usha took three wickets each.    

Calcutta, March 23 
Calcutta will soon see another effort to help budding enthusiasts develop into skilled footballers, and this time with the backing of a Union minister.

The Vivekananda Sports Foundation has been launched with Tapan Sikdar, minister of state for communications, as chairman and a host of former footballers as active members.

The foundation will start its activities with soccer training camps but may later branch out into other sports.

Training camps for boys in the age-group of 12 to 16 will be held at four grounds in the Dum Dum area, with 30 boys in each camp. And if the effort proves to be successful, the project may develop into a residential training centre after a year, Sikdar informed.

He added that Rs 40 lakh per year will go into the project, specially for developing grounds and other facilities, from his area development fund, and has assured that finance will never be a problem for the camps.

Aloke Mukherjee, Sandip Munshi, Bikash Panji, Mohidul Islam and Krishanu Dey will be involved and Sikdar added that other former footballers will also be invited to be part of the project.    

Calcutta, March 23 
Its good news for the mela-hopping Calcuttans. Fed on a yearly dose of bookfairs, expos, lexpos, techno fairs and the lot, they can now add one more to the menu — a sports fair titled ‘Khelar Mela 2000’. Organised by the South Calcutta Sports Development Committee, this festival will be held at Rabindra Sarovar Stadium from May 6 to 19.

In an effort to increase participation and to make people more aware of lesser known sports, there will be demonstrations of nearly 30 disciplines. Exhibitions, films and addas will be part of the show. Stalls selling sports equipment will be set up.

And to add to the festive atmosphere, sports personalities will mingle freely with the crowd. Among them will be stalwarts like Sailen Manna, Leslie Claudius, Chuni Goswami, Sahu Mewalal, Gurbux Singh, Balaram and Jyotirmoyee Sikdar.

The fair will be open from 4.30 to 8.30pm and there will be a cultural show everyday as an added attraction. The organisers have invited nearly 200 sportspersons to the venue on Monday, when they will finalise the last-minute detalis of the event.    

The Z. Darashah-trained Savage Heart is expected to lift the 1,400m Rohini Cup, the main attraction in Friday’s Bangalore race-card. K. P. G. Appu partners the five-year-old mare by Metal Precieux out of Petite Image.


2 pm: Finders Keepers 1. Ambermatic 2. Cotton Mary 3.

2.30 pm: Lali 1. Soviet Bay 2. Just Do It 3.

3 pm: Cormac 1. No Argument 2. My Goodness 3.

3.30 pm: Like A Princess 1. Liberty Hall 2. Sir Winmore 3.

4 pm: Savage Heart 1. Lady Chesterford 2. Key Witness 3.

4.30 pm: Optical Illusion 1. Whatt A Girl 2. Forest Pegasus 3.

5 pm: Divisional 1. Emmenbrucke 2. Grandson 3.

5.30 pm: Way To The Stars 1. Scenic 2. Winelight 3.

Day’s Best: Cormac Double: Savage Heart & Way To The Stars    

Ridden by C. Rajendra, the I.Sait-trained filly Mosaic won the Astronomic Trophy in Mumbai on Thursday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Alcyone Plate 1,800m: (1-4-5) Sampagio (Shroff) 1; Kargil 2; Winnington 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-56.7). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 27; 22; Quinella: 106; Tanala: 282. Fav: Winnington (5).

2. Mac Bruce Plate 1,600m: (1-5-3) Conduction (Shroff) 1; Deux Amours 2; Pure Pearl 3. Won by: 4; 5; (1-41). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 12; 14; 36; Quinella: 39; Tanala: 350. Fav: Conduction (1).

3. Rao Saheb D. K. Parker Stakes 1,200m: (2-4-1) Aries Rocket (Prakash) 1; Family Fortune 2; Revolution 3. Won by: 7; 2-1/4; (1-13.4). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 10; 16; 20; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 127. Fav: Aries Rocket (2).

4. Rock Blade Plate 1,200m: (4-5-6) Fantasy Royal (Naik) 1; Star Trader 2; Gagan Glory 3. Won by: 3/4; 1/2; (1-16.2). Tote: Win Rs 101; Place: 32; 21; 43; Quinella: 198; Tanala: 3,034. Fav: Boundless Thrill (3).

5. Astronomic Trophy 1,400m: (7-3-9) Mosaic (Rajendra) 1; Millenium Star 2; Silver Sea 3. Not run: Flamebird (1). Won by: 4-1/4; 2; (1-28.5). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 13; 18; 14; Quinella: 51; Tanala: 128. Fav: Mosaic (7).

6. Pickwick Plate 1,800m: (7-4-3) Supreme Authority (Chavan) 1; Astaire 2; Classy Missy 3. Won by: 6; 4-1/2; (1-56.2). Tote: Win Rs 72; Place: 23; 15; 13; Quinella: 111; Tanala: 540. Fav: Classy Missy (3).

7. Give The Word Plate 1,000m: (10-1-8) Midnight Escape (Rajendra) 1; Crowning Moment 2; Fantasy 3. Won by: Nk; 1-3/4; (1-1.9). Tote: Win Rs 27; Place: 14; 105; 25; Quinella: 473; Tanala: 6,007. Fav: Midnight Escape (10).

8. Loyal Lady Plate 1,400m: (5-1-2) Adam’s Blessings (Chauhan) 1; Checkmate 2; Judgement Call 3. Won by: 2-3/4; Nk; (1-28.4). Tote: Win Rs 61; Place: 25; 44; 11; Quinella: 947; Tanala: 2,273. Fav: Judgement Call (2).

Jackpot: Rs 13,519; (C) Rs 961.

Treble: (i) Rs 216; (ii) Rs 795.


Outer sand track

1,400m: Athletico (C. Alford) and

All Heart (Surender) in 1-40s; (400m) 29 3/5s. Former 4 ls better. Armetta (C. Alford) in 1-33s; (400m) 31s.

1,200m: Alvarada (A. P. Singh) and Deep Star (C. Alford) in 1-25s; (400m) 29s. Flying Power (Rb) and Scimitar (Sher) in 1-29s; (400m) 29s.

1,000m: Annalee (C. Alford) and

Astrotet (Rb) in 1-12s; (400m) 30s. 800m: No Regrets (Akhtar) and

Prizren (M. Reuben) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Tejeni (Rb) and Acadameus (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Jayaashva (Razzak) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Dominate (Merchant) and Chief Of Staff (Gurang) in 1-0s; (400m) 29s. Remember Me (M. Reuben) and Volcano Top (Rb) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Former better. Fame Star (Rb) and Alyssum (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Former a length better. Ballot Master (Merchant), Santillana (Rutherford) and

Rock Falcon (Gowli) in 55s; (400m) 27 4/5s. Garden Of Heaven (Amjad K.) in 55s; (400m)27 2/5s. Fit. Friendly Knight (Bird) in 59s; (400m) 29 1/5s.

600m: Rising Chorus (Merchant) and Abstone Queen (Rutherford) in 43s; (400m) 27 4/5s. Former head better.

Sand track

1,000m: Aristotemus (P. Alford) in 1-9s; (400m) 25s.

Barrier trial on Wednesday

1,200m: Consul’s Secret (Bird), Go India Go (Amjad K.), Infierno (Afzal K.), Ingleside (Rabani) and Minelta (Shanker) in 1-15 1/5s; (400m) 25 2/5s. They were separated by1-1/2; 6; 3; 5.    


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