India dismiss Kenya, book Aussie date
Rangadih HS confident
Woolmer open to India job
Paes-Bhupathi’s poor run continues
Calcutta Races/ Alvarada best

Nairobi, Oct. 3: 
Kenya: 208/9 (50 overs)
India: 209/2 (42.3 overs
MoM: Anil Kumble
Better safe than sorry. That seemed India’s guiding mantra as Kenya’s modest total in the ICC KnockOut Kenya 2000-opener was overhauled this evening. India are now in the quarter finals, where they face Australia Saturday.

The Kenyans were largely looking for exposure and the Indians wanted full points. Both, then, weren’t disappointed on a benign centre-wicket at the Nairobi Gymkhana.

The winning runs came from vice-captain Rahul Dravid, off a square-cut. Also unbeaten was Vinod Kambli, whose last India appearance was over a year ago (Toronto). Dravid remained unbeaten on 68 (87 balls, 7x4), while Kambli had 39 (33 balls, 7x4).

Having been off competitive cricket for four months was probably one reason why India didn’t look to effecting a real early finish. Just as well: Australia will be an entirely different proposition and there’s no better way to shake off any rust than middling the ball out in the middle.

The last high-profile India versus Kenya game, in Bristol, saw the Kenyans receive a singeing lesson from Sachin Tendulkar (and Dravid). Today, that mostly came from India captain Sourav Ganguly. 

It wasn’t exactly a repeat if one matches the degree of aggression, but Sourav was stumped for 66 (101 balls, 7x4, 2x6) when it appeared he would roar to his 14th ODI hundred.

By then, Sourav and Dravid had added 88 for the second wicket, after the captain and Sachin put on 47 for the first. Sachin was adjudged leg-before to Tony Suji by Dave Orchard. Later, Dravid and Kambli collaborated that unseparated 74 for the third wicket.

But while the batsmen made it look so easy, catching the eye in a big way was debutant left-arm quick Zaheer Khan (three for 48). He was sharp and fast though, as Sourav pointed out, initially bowled a bit short. His action, by the way, is neat.

If anything, Zaheer can only learn and is a fantastic investment. “I would advise him to study Wasim Akram closely, that’s all,” remarked Colin Croft, one of the all-time great quicks, while speaking to The Telegraph.

In time, Zaheer’s body-language alone should ‘claim’ a few victims.

In the morning, the Kenyan innings revolved around one solid partnership (81 for the fourth wicket between Ravindu Shah and Maurice Odumbe) and one superb solo in the overs of death — an unbeaten 35 off 34 deliveries (3x4, 1x6) by Thomas Odoyo. But for Odoyo’s burst, the Kenyans wouldn’t have crossed the psychologically comforting 200-barrier.

Kennedy Otieno’s early loss pushed Kenya on the backfoot quicker than they would have liked and, really, they were reduced to only seeking to stay competitive. That, too, just about. Otieno and the now-retired Dipak Chudasma, it may be recalled, briefly held the world record for the highest first-wicket partnership (225 against Bangladesh, in late 1997).

Though Otieno fell to Ajit Agarkar, the very first over, from Zaheer, saw him being struck dangerously close to the heart. Zaheer didn’t get Otieno, but did make a point rarely made by Indian quicks. Basically, that even they have josh.

Jimmy Kamande and Steve Tikolo were the next to go, while Ravindu remained anchored at one end. It was Tikolo’s departure which brought captain Odumbe and Ravindu together. Much of their partnership saw percentage cricket but, at the same time, scoring opportunities weren’t missed.

Of course, it didn’t help Kenya that in the possible overs of acceleration, MoM Anil Kumble was as mingy as ever. Even Yuvraj Singh, another debutant, made a decent impression.

Kenya’s top partnership ended when Venkatesh Prasad trapped Odumbe leg-before (54 in 87 balls, 3x4). Ravindu, who is emerging the Kenya player to watch, also fell after getting past his sixth fifty (60 off 93 deliveries, 6x4, 1x6). That six was off Prasad, to celebrate the milestone.

The Kenyans’ inexperience showed — and this, surely, is no fault of theirs — as six wickets crashed for a shade over 60 runs. Still, the fans’ enthusiasm never quite dimmed.

Incidentally, both half-centurions for Kenya will collect Kenyan Shillings 25,000 each, an incentive-offering from an insurance brokers’ firm.

Besides the Odoyo effort, the second half of the Kenyan innings found Zaheer collect three wickets — two in his third spell, both via yorkers, and one in his fourth and last. Barring Zaheer’s opening four-over spell, the subsequent ones were all of two overs each.

The captain obviously had a gameplan. 

New Delhi, Oct. 3: 
Rangadih High School of Purulia is standing on the threshold of a remarkable feat when they will take on Danapur’s Army Boys Company in the final of the Subroto Cup football tournament tomorrow. 

The Purulia school has reached the final only in their second appearance in the tournament. Last year, they were eliminated in the preliminary group league phase. 

Incidentally, their rivals, Army Boys Company, regular participants since 1995, will also clash for the title for the first time.

Much of Rangadih’s success will depend on an organised defence and able custodian Subashish Roy Chowdhury. In the semis, Subashish’s two excellent saves in the penalty shoot out enabled his side overcome Govt. Boys High School, Mizoram, 4-3. 

Nairobi, Oct. 3: 
Bob Woolmer, acknowledged as the most innovative cricket coach, will “consider” any offer from India to take charge of the national side. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already announced it is scouting for a coach from overseas.

“I haven’t been approached by anybody but, should an offer come, I’ll certainly listen to what is said. I’m not one to turn down things without giving a patient hearing,” Woolmer told The Telegraph this morning.

In fact, the former England allrounder, who will be doing radio commentary for TopSport during the KnockOut meet here, quipped: “Having been born in Kanpur, I need not exactly be considered as somebody from overseas... Even otherwise, then, I could qualify.”

The ball, clearly, is in the BCCI’s court and little will be lost in initiating a one-to-one with Woolmer, who transformed the South Africans into world-beaters. Well, almost. In the BCCI’s scheme of things, at the moment, New Zealand’s John Wright and Australian Geoff Marsh are frontrunners. Also in contention are Andy Roberts of the West Indies and another Australian, Dean Jones.

Aunshuman Gaekwad, the present Indian coach, is only fulfilling a stop-gap role — the vacancy having been created by Kapil Dev’s resignation last month.

Of course, Woolmer is on contract with Warwickshire till 2002, but he indicated that wouldn’t be a major hurdle if any negotiation with the BCCI actually is fruitful. This is significant, to say the least.

“Look, people shouldn’t assume I will say yes. Frankly, I’m not even sure to what extent I would like to return to continuous travelling but, as I’ve said, I’ll listen to what may be offered. After that...” Woolmer remarked.

Woolmer’s tenure as South Africa’s coach, which began in late 1994, ended with the 1999 World Cup. In time to come, coaches may improve on the Woolmer innovations, but he will always be remembered as the first to make full use of technology.

Using the lap-top, from the 1996 World Cup, was only step No. 1 in conveying to the world that the mindset of coaches (and players, too) had to change. 

Calcutta, Oct. 3: 
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi’s second stint just refuses to take off. In the latest debacle, last year’s world No. 1 team tripped at the first hurdle of the $375,000 Hong Kong ATP Tour meet. According to information received here, the Indian duo lost 6-7 (2-7), 4-6 to third seeds Jonas Bjorkman and Brent Haygarth yesterday.

This is the third time Paes and Bhupathi have fallen early in four starts since their reunion in August. They began with a semi-final showing at the Hamlet Cup in Long Island, before losing in Round I of the US Open and Round II of the Olympics.

Both Paes and Bhupathi tried their luck in the singles qualifiers at Hong Kong, but bowed out in the first round. While Paes suffered a disappointing 3-6, 1-6 defeat to little-known Frenchman Paul-Henry Mathieu, Bhupathi had a trifle more respectable exit when he lost 6-7 (6-7), 4-6 to Zimbabwe’s Wayne Black. 

The next stop for the two Indians is Tokyo where they are expected to enter both singles (qualifiers) and doubles of the $800,000 event.

Legends for Bangalore

A Correspondent in New Delhi adds: A clutch of former greats have confirmed for the Bangalore Legends meet to be held from December 9-11, as a build-up to the ATP Tour World Doubles Championship (beginning two days later).

Besides five-time Wimbledon and six-time French Open champion Bjorn Borg, also in view will be 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, former Argentine star Guillermo Vilas, talented Frenchman Henri Leconte, Aussie Ross Case, Iranian Mansoor Baharami and the Amritraj brothers. 

Anand and Case will feature only in doubles.

This is the first time India is hosting an event featuring ex-greats. 

Calcutta, Oct. 3: 
Alvarada is the lone filly in the five-horse Derby line-up, tomorrow. The 2,000m race, re-christened this year as the Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes, has already undergone changes twice since its inception — from the Royal Challenge Calcutta Monsoon Derby to just Calcutta Monsoon Derby.

The race, however, promises to be an exciting one as all the five runners are the home based. Nevertheless, the filly gets the first call as the Vijay Singh-trainee is not only a Razeen foal, the Enfin Seule daughter is also the best performed horse in the field. She has to her credit two runaway wins, including the one over the Derby trip.

The Fillies’ Trial run of Alvarada over a seven-furlong trip is best ignored. In that race, she had met with a check in the closing stages of the race. Cristopher Alford partners her.

Note: An amount of Rs 2,61,982, being 50 per cent of an unsolved jackpot pool on April 4, will be added to the day’s jackpot collections.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

1st Race Prawn Curry Handicap(1.30 pm) 2,000m (Cl V—Rated 00-28) — Indian jockeys only

1 - - 00 Classic Knight [Bharath] Md Ami 60.0 1
2 - - 04 Hot [Vijay] A. P. Singh 58.5 3
3 0004 Crest Star [Goenka] Md Yasin 57.5 4
4 3020 Atacada [Bharath] Md Islam 56.0 2
5 0030 Ballard Lady [R. Alford] R. Gowli 53.5 5
6 0403 Three Good [Bharath] S. Rabani 53.5 6
1. Hot (2) 2. Ballard Lady (5) 3. Three Good (6)
Hot: Finished on purposefully in previous start. May win this time. Ballard Lady: On her bloodlines likely to stay the trip comfortably. Three Good: May upset.

2nd Race Almanac Cup(2.15 pm) 1,200m (Cl IV —Rt. 22-50)

1 0201 Scarlet Raider [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 61.0 3
2 0004 Kargil Soldier [Stephens] N. Connorton 60.5 7
3 4311 Endless Surprise [D. David] C. Alford 58.0 1
4 0001 Global Harmony [Mujeeb] Som S. 55.0 2
5 2400 Go With The Wind [R. Alford] K. Gurang 54.5 6
6 4123 Bernadine [Vijay] Md Amil 52.0 4
7 0023 Friendly Knight [Jaiswal] M. Reuben 51.0 5
1. Endless Surprise (3) 2. Scarlet Raider (1) 3.Kargil Soldier (2)
Endless Surprise: Won comfortably despite light preparations. Working well now. Scarlet Raider: A fluent winner in last start. May do the trick again. Kargil Soldier: Came from way back with a flying finish. Capable of upsetting.

3rd Eace Tokaido Express Cup (2.45 pm)1,200m (Terms, 4-y-o & over)

1 2343 Starry Flag [Bharath] S. Rabani 52.0 3
2 0410Falconhead [Vijay] Ravinder S. 50.0 4
3 0110 Mystic Hill [Vijay] Md Amil 2 50.0 2
4 - 024 Treasurer [Vijay] C. Alford 50.0 1
1. Starry Flag (1) 2. Treasurer (4) 3.Falconhead (2)
Starry Flag: A fighting third in spite of poor form. Expected to do better now. Treasurer: May try his usual run away tactics. Falconhead: May place.

4th Race Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes(3.15 pm) 2,000m (Terms, 3-y-o only)

1 1140 Alborada [R. Alford] R. Gowli 56.0 5
2 2222 Ashbury [D. David] Ravinder S. 56.0 1
3 0422 Magnifico [Vijay] N. Connorton 56.0 3
4 1331 No Regrets [Javed] Manohar S. 56.0 4
5 3131 Alvarada [Vijay] C. Alford 54.5 2
1. Alvarada (5) 2. No Regrets (4) 3. Ashbury (2)
Alvarada: In devastating form since her unlucky run in the Fillies’ Trial. May take some beating. No Regrets: Improving with each run. Ashbury: May place.

5th Race Gurkirpal Cup (3.45 pm) 1,400m (Cl II—Rt. 66-94)— Indian jockeys only 

1 1233 Kansai [Bharath] S. Rabani 60.0 4
2 1444 Amarante [Vijay] Md Amil 56.0 1
3 - 041 Aznavour [Stephens] Rutherford A. 54.5 7
4 4302 Citadel [Bharath] M. Reuben 53.0 2
5 3242 HighLife [Bharath] Md Islam 52.5 6
6 2212 Aloritz [Vijay] C. Alford 51.5 5
7 2001 Acadameus [D. David] A. P. Singh 50.0 3
1. Aloritz (6) 2. High Life (5) 3. Kansai (1)
Aloritz: Carrying an identical weight lost a Class III race by a neck recently in Bangalore. May strike. High Life: May vie for the second slot. Kansai: May place.

6th Race Aureole Time Handicap (4.15 pm) 1,100m (Cl III—Rt.44-72) — Indian jockeys only

1 3032 Sky Command [Mujeeb] Manohar S. 61.0 7
2 2411 Ardon [R. Alford] R. Gowli 57.5 23
3 0002 Staffordshire [Javed] M. Reuben 55.5 4
4 4313 Analyzer [D. David] Ravinder S. 55.0 5
5 4314 Black Mane [Karki] Som S. 52.5 1
6 - - -0 Special Sovereign [Vijay] Surender S. 52.0 6
7 3001 Constantine [Karki] Md Yacoob 50.5 3
1. Ardon (2) 2. Sky Command (1) 3. analyzer (4)
Ardon: In great heart. May notch up her third straight win. Sky Command: Good at the weights. May extend the winner. Analyzer: May place.
Day’s Best: Aloritz Double: Alvarada & Ardon


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