India go down to Malaysia
Jaiswal, Ghosh emerge best
I’m living by my principles: Paes
Narrow win for Baghajatin
Berger Paints triumph 8-0

Kuala Lumpur, May 14 
Malaysia expectedly dropped Ong Ewe Hock, who lost his singles match against Korea, when the hosts clashed with India in group A in the Thomas Cup today.

Malaysia beat India 4-1. Sidharth Jain got the only win for India when Roslin Hashim conceded the match in the third game of the final rubber. Jain won 15-10, 5-15, 8-4.

Pulella Gopichand gave one of his better performances against Malaysian number 1 Wong Choon Hanin. Gopichand bowed out 14-17, 17-14, 2-15 after a 82- minute thriller. Gopichand even had two gamepoint serves at 14-13 in the first game and had he converted those , the story could well have been different.

Gopichand was far too tired in the third game, something even the five minute mandatory rest could not help out in. But it was brilliant tactics applied by the Indian ace. He caressed the shuttle to do his bidding, dribbling nicely on the net and using his wrist to great deception. World No. 4 Wong Choon was not allowed any time to settle down in the first two games. Gopichand played a lovely mix of smashes with angled dropshots and had the left-handed Malaysian guessing all the time.

The Indian doubles pair of Vijay Deep Singh and Marcose Bristow also played well in the first game to stun world number five Lee Wan Wah and Chhong Fan Took 15-7, but thereafter crashed out 2-15, 1-15.

In the second singles Nikhil Kanetkar served at game point (14-12) in the second game, three times. But he, served out twice at this stage and gifted the game to Yong Hock Kin 14-17. Kanetkar had lost the first game 9-15. India lost the second doubles tie too. George Thomas and Jaseel P. Ismail went down 6-15, 3-15 to Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock.

Meanwhile, South Korea edged out Denmark 3-2 to become the first team in group A to reach the semi-finals.    

Calcutta, May 14 
When the Bengal Motor Sports Club (BMSC) officials floated the idea of launching the Servo Kaviguru Rally three years back, it surprised quite a few. Motor sports, in this part of the country after all, rarely sells. Three years down the road, with assistance from Indian Oil and National Insurance Corporation, the BMSC enthusiasts can boast that the venture has been quite a success.

The third edition of the meet, a 315-km grind from the south gate of Victoria Memorial to Shantiniketan under Saturday’s torturous sun, saw 22 cars and 25 motorcycles take on the challenge. The two-wheeler category included the former national champion K. Prasad of Bangalore.

Not all could complete the race, though. The number of competitors who successfully completed the stretch was 19 among cars and 18 motorcyclists.

Somewhat predictably, Prasad and navigator Sunil Shetty emerged supreme in the two-wheeler section while Jogendra Jaiswal and Basudeb Ghosh edged Prasanta Paul and Sumit Mukherjee by a mere four points to grab the honour in the four-wheeler category.

Rupa Ganguly and navigator Bharat Aurora suffered a technical setback at the sixth Time Control but completed the race and stood 12th.

The growing popularity of the event was evident not just by the participation of the actress. There were other women contestants as well, including an all-women car team, one husband-wife combination with the latter behind the wheel and a lady navigator in the two-wheeler section.

“It certainly wasn’t the case a few years back, but the scene now looks good,” said Prasad, the 1997 national champion. He was the first runner-up for the next two years.

“The good thing about this rally is that it allows us a chance to gear up for the national season beginning in July,” Kumar, an Escort employee, explained. He does not think the time-speed-distance format, which is not followed on the national circuit, can discourage participants.

“The course here was interesting and the dirt part of it challenging,” he said, adding that the navigator had a big role to play. Organisers felt the involvement of ‘professionals’ such as Prasad can only enhance the stature and quality of the event.

But the participants unanimously said this was not the ideal climatic condition to stage such a rally. One competitor, Tapas Ghosh, collapsed from dehydration. Food for thought, BMSC?

THE TOP FIVE (driver & navigator)

CARS: Jogendra Jaiswal & Basudeb Ghosh; Prasanta Paul & Sumit Mukherjee; Biswajit Chowdhury & Tamal Sarkar; Vijay Goenka & Sudip Gupta; Anirban Burman & Animesh Saha. Best novice: Surjendu Ganguly (16th). Best ladies team: Papia Mukherjee & Sumona Fadikar.

MOTOR CYCLES: K. Prasad & Sunil Shetty; Somdeev Chanda & Dipankar Dhar; Mukesh Thakkar & Rajdip Fadikar; Rana Dey & Joydev Chowdhury; Gupi Bakuli & Prasenjit Roy. Best novice: Manoj Kumar Thakur.    

Calcutta, May 14 
It wasn’t an easy decision to make for Leander Paes. The issue, after all, was as serious as dumping his partner Mahesh Bhupathi for the rest of the year.

But the Olympic bronze-medallist finally opted for the break-up option as the “healthy environment” necessary to perform day in and out together on the Tour couldn’t be guaranteed by his partner.

The main issue, Paes confirmed, was Bhupathi’s coach Enrico Piperno. “By bad-mouthing about me to Mahesh, my sponsors, friends and fellow-players, Piperno had created an atmosphere of mistrust,” Paes told The Telegraph from Orlando in his first interview to the print media since the break up. “It’s been building up over the last two years and eventually got to us.”

Paes said he was aware that Bhupathi is now trying to put the blame on him. “I don’t have to defend myself... I’m living by my principles. At 27, I have a limited number of years left in me, so I have to be as professional as possible to ensure that I fulfil the goals I’ve still not achieved.”

Bhupathi, Paes felt, had not been very consistent with his views on this issue. “He seemed to have understood my problem and last year agreed to share Bob (Carmichael) as coach. But then he went back on his word and wanted Piperno to travel with him again,” Paes said.

The co-owner of 15 Tour titles with Bhupathi, including two Grand Slams, Paes feels saddened to have been forced to take such a cruel decision. “Considering the amazing amount of hard work we put in to be where we ultimately reached and also the fact that we should have been chasing Grand Slam history, I feel very sad now that we’re not playing together. But I have to preserve my self-respect and I can’t do that under the present circumstances.”

Both Paes and Bhupathi have said they’ll be playing together in Davis Cup and the Olympics, but will they actually gell for those three-four weeks? “To be honest, problems may arise. But, then, we have to overcome them as we only have put ourselves in such a situation,” Paes admitted. On the possibility of a future revival of their once successful partnership, Paes said he wouldn’t rule out anything. “I’ll take things as they come, but as a pro I know anything can happen. I’ll definitely keep my options open for the future,” Paes signed off on an optimistic note.    

Calcutta, May 14 
Baghajatin Tarun Sangha earned a two-run victory over Shilpashree CCC in their Ambar Roy Memorial sub-junior cricket meet today.

Baghajatin made 129 for six in their 25 overs, but Shilpashree, despite four wickets in hand, managed two less in 25 overs.

In another match Piarabagan Milan Sangha were bundled out for 92 in 24.4 overs. Debjit Singha took three for 32, while Rajashree Mitra got three for just two runs.


Baghajatin Tarun Sangha 129/6 in 25 overs (Som Subhra Ghosh 38 n.o., Shyamal Nandy 35; Somnath Mondal 3/25). Shilpashree CCC 127/6 in 25 ovs (Somnath Mondal 44). Baghajatin won by two runs/B>.

Taltala Ekata 74 in 23.3 overs. North Howrah 77/1 in 11.4 ovs (Ajay Tewary 34 n.o.). N. Howrah won by 9 wkts.

Piarabagan Milan Sangha 92 in 24.4 ovs (Debjit Singha 3/32, Rajashree Mitra 3/2). Calcutta CCC 93/3 in 19.5 ovs (S. Chowdhury 33). Calcutta CCC won by 7 wkts.

Russa United CCC 31 in 9.1 ovs (Suraj Paul 5 wkts). Bhadrakali Kotrong Yuva Sangha 32/1 in 5.3 ovs (Shambhu Banerjee 21 n.o.). Bhadrakali won by 3 wkts.

(Match truncated due to overnight rain) Bournvita CA 102/9 in 15 ovs (Prosenjit Das 34). Union AC Chinsurah 100/6 in 15 ovs (Manoj Majumder 37, Prosenjit Das 3/27). Bournvita won by 2 runs.

(Match truncated due to overnight rain) BNR SCC&PC 135/2 in 15 ovs (Abhijit Das 61) Benrec CCC 61/7 in 15 ovs. BNR won by 74 runs.

Throwball meet

In an all-Bengal throwball meet held at the Khelar Mela at Rabindra Sarovar stadium, the women’s semi-final line-up was finalised. Ashok Sangha will take on Belgharia DC, while Midnapore District will take on North 24 Parganas. In the men’s section Surya Sarathi entered the final with a 15-13, 15-8 victory over North 24 Parganas.    

Calcutta, May 14 
Berger Paints today whipped Goodricke 8-0 in their Telegraph Merchants’ Cup five-a-side soccer meet at the CC&FC, while Magors trounced IBM 10-0.


J Thomas bt Blue Star 5-1; HCL bt McCan Erickson2-0; Assam Co bt ITC B 1-0; Berger Paints bt Goodricke 8-0; Euro RSCG bt Sony India 2-0; Tata Tea B bt Haldia Petro 1-0; Leisure Sports drew Tisco B 0-0; Magors bt IBM 10-0; Selvel B bt ABN Amro 2-1; ITC A drew BOC India 0-0; TCT A bt Deutsche Bank 6-0; Selvel A bt Jet Airways 2-0; Rediffusion bt Infar India 7-0; Madhya Bharat bt PriceWaterhouse 2-1; Bata India bt CESC 2-0; Usha Martin bt Caltiger.Com 3-0; Modi Xerox bt Mcnally Bharat 1-0; Britannia bt Arena Multimedia 2-1; J Thomas bt Indal 7-3; Magma Leasing bt TIL 3-0; Pepsico bt Carrits 2-0; Tata Tea A bt Aptech 4-1; Iisco bt HTA 5-1; Taj Bengal bt Microwave Comm 2-1.    


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