Rookies crumble to hand India victory
BCB to name Barlow successor by January
Sahani wins
Rallying over the rough as Jamshedpur opens up again
Brilliant first leg sees Mitil home
Pepped-up Indians put Bangla in place
Calcutta Races/ Daniel has a lesson to learn
Calcutta Races/ 7 for Wednesday’s Mayfowl cup

Dhaka, Nov. 13: 
INDIA 429, 64/1
MoM: Joshi

It came an innings late, but when India turned on the heat, the Bangladesh batsmen went scampering like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof. While their handsome first-innings show won’t ever be erased, Bangladesh have quickly learnt nothing counts more than consistency.

Aminul Islam alone batted for 533 minutes, in innings No. 1, yet today Bangladesh’s second innings lasted only 203 minutes: The Indian first innings ended seven minutes before lunch and Bangladesh’s second around half-an-hour before the scheduled close.

It was capitulation with a capital C as Day IV saw 14 wickets crashing.

In effect, India required a mere 63 to win overseas for the first time since August 1993. As per the pre-Test understanding, the National Stadium floodlights were switched on, in the closing stages, but India didn’t need an over beyond the 15 required to complete the day’s quota.

Of course, unlike at the SSC in Colombo, there wasn’t as much show of emotion among the Indians. Partly because of the opposition and, perhaps, because the win still hadn’t sunk in. Captain Sourav Ganguly himself confessed he never expected a finish in four days.

Incidentally, only Sachin Tendulkar and Jawagal Srinath figured in that 1993 XI as well.

An Indian victory was taken for granted, even though Bangladesh triggered unpleasant wake-up calls on the first three days, and so it was India who had everything to lose. As for Bangladesh, they have not been disgraced with Islam and captain Naim-ur Rehman’s (the most successful bowler in the debut innings of his country) feats being etched in history.

For India, the winning runs came from debutant Shiv Sundar Das, though the boundaries (and a six) really flowed from vice-captain Rahul Dravid’s bat. Das at least, was somewhat overwhelmed. “Feels great... What else do I say?” he asked.

The only wicket lost was of Sadagopan Ramesh — playing-on for the second time in the match. These soft dismissals hurt.

Having conceded a lead of only 29, despite fielding just four specialist bowlers, Bangladesh should have applied themselves as a Test side. Instead, they got rattled by the fusillade of bouncers. They also forgot Test cricket was a two-innings affair, with only two batsmen getting into double digits.

Leading the assault was Srinath — indeed, the story may have been very different had he been aggression-personified in the first innings. Srinath made a huge difference this afternoon.

After Zaheer Khan (who was set to be informally cautioned by Match Referee Raman Subba Row) sent back Mehrab Hossain, Srinath found a ‘victim’ in the other opener, Shahriar Hossain, who took a lifter on his left shoulder. Shahriar retired hurt and though he did return, the initial damage itself was permanent.

Srinath actually got the wickets in spell No. 2 (6-2-12-3), as the batsmen either fended blindly or were tentative with the bat.

Ajit Agarkar, too, was in overdrive when it came to pushing the batsmen on the backfoot. He got the big wickets of top-scorer Habibul Bashar, who is high on promise, and Islam. That cricket is the biggest leveller around must have now been realised by the first-innings centurion.

Man-of-the-Match Sunil Joshi added three wickets to his first innings’ five, ensuring he would also be adjudged the Most Valuable Player. In his opinion, the wicket had “more bounce and carry” today and Sourav’s advice that he “hit the deck” proved beneficial.

Besides thanking God, Joshi thanked the captain, too. And not only for the hit-the-deck suggestion. “Even when I’ve not been playing, Sourav has kept my morale up...” Joshi, who has ripped off the good-for-ODIs only label, pointed out.

Ever uncompromising on standards, Sourav complimented Joshi, but did remark: “I expect him to do better against the better teams.”

If that was blunt, this is what Sourav said when asked about the target he would have thought daunting, considering India were batting last: “Frankly, with this (Bangladesh) bowling, I didn’t even give that a thought.”

Well, confident more than cocky.

But, why was it that India struggled to win overseas? Sourav replied: “Because our batsmen don’t get enough runs and because we struggle with a quality third seamer. This side has four and I would love to play overseas with this combination.”

Joshi misses century

Earlier in the day, Joshi fell eight short of his maiden century, driving Mohammed Rafique without really getting to the ball at the perfect time. Al-Shahriar Rokon, at mid-off, brought off a smart catch.

His 92 came in 243 minutes, off 180 deliveries, with nine boundaries. Joshi, though, wasn’t as free-flowing as he was yesterday. Clearly, nearing his century had begun to weigh on him.

Joshi’s exit was quickly followed by Srinath and Agarkar’s —- the latter’s dismissal closing the innings. Bangladesh did well to concede a nominal lead, but their bowlers’ encouraging work came unstuck in the afternoon.    

Dhaka, Nov. 13: 
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) does not intend appointing somebody high-profile as full-time national coach. The wheelchair-bound Eddie Barlow’s successor should be in place by January.

“The modalities will soon be worked out but, whatever steps we take, Eddie will be kept informed,” BCB president Saber Hossain Chowdhury told The Telegraph this morning. A formal advertisement in the international Media, calling for applications, isn’t ruled out.

Though Barlow’s designation is director of development, his top job was to coach the national team. For much of this year, however, that’s not been possible after the one-time South African allrounder suffered a stroke.

Former player Sarwer Imran has been functioning as stand-in coach.

Barlow’s two-year contract ends next August, but he may be given a golden handshake when his successor is decided upon. Or, Barlow could be offered another job, which won’t place physical demands.

“Basically, we’ll be looking for a motivator par excellence. That’s going to be the No. 1 criteria. Beyond that, at the moment, it’s difficult saying anything else. But, yes, we won’t sign somebody as high-profile as Gordon Greenidge (who was coach till the last World Cup),” Chowdhury pointed out.

Greenidge, who is here as an invitee of the BCB by virtue of having served as national coach, has been invited by the government (which honoured him with Bangladeshi citizenship in 1997) to head the cricket section of the Sports Council-run BKSP, on the outskirts of Dhaka. That, though, shouldn’t be seen as his possible return as Bangladesh’s coach.

The BCB, after all, is still very upset with Greenidge’s remark, last year, that Bangladesh wasn’t ready for Test cricket. Though it didn’t push back the granting of Test status, this year, the comment caused acute embarrassment. Greenidge was coach when he made that remark.

That, more than anything else, hurt real hard.

It is learnt the BCB’s negotiations with former Sri Lankan coach Roy Dias fell through as he asked for an “exorbitant fee.” There were discussions with former Lankan captain Roshan Mahanama as well, but he is more keen on serving as consultant.

That won’t suit the BCB which, in any case, has begun looking to the 2003 World Cup, in South Africa.

New stadium

Meanwhile, there’s every chance Test cricket may no longer be played at the National Stadium which, basically, is a multi-purpose facility. According to the BCB president, a cricket-specific amphitheatre is being constructed in Narainganj, an adjoining district.

The stadium there will be ready within two years. The National Stadium should, of course, continue to stage ODIs.    

Calcutta, Nov. 13: 
Srikant Sahani, the son of a mali of East Bengal club, yesterday won the men’s 30km cycling road race. The race was held in front of Nicco Park, by Ramkrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan, under the ageis of the West Bengal Cycling Association. Barnali Pal Chowdhury was the women’s 10km champion.

RESULTS: Men’s 30km road race: 1. Srikant Sahani; 2. Sanjay Kundu; 3. Rabindranath Pal (Nadia). Boys’ 6km: 1. Sanjay Kundu; 2. Tarak Nath Kundu; 3. Pradip Bhuian (N 24 Pgs). Women’s 10km: 1. Barnali Pal Chowdhury; 2. Puja Jaiswal; 3. B. Oraon (N 24 Pgs). Girls’ 6km: 1. Puja Jaiswal; 2. Barnai pal Chowdhury; 3. Anita Shaw (N 24 Pgs).    

Calcutta, Nov. 13: 
The atmosphere is, probably, what counts. The adrenaline, the bonhomie, the spirit of competition, and overall, the ‘great outdoors.’

A motor rally is much more than car, fittings, rules, terrain and driver. It is an extension of the definition of pure satisfaction. When the Calcutta-Jamshedpur was given back to the city after six years, one relieved veteran went on record remembering the fine hours of those evenings at the Beldih Club, and how there was so much to discuss with warming drinks to accompany.

The Telegraph-WagonR rally has returned these precious little memories to the rallying enthusiast, as well as providing the groundwork for a new breed to move in, apart from having more cars literally on the run.

The spirit of the run was evident in Papiya Mukherjee and Sumana Fadikar’s (navigator) unit, a Maruti Zen. In the outward leg, nearing a jungle route, a wheel slipped on the edge “and we were on the sid