Batsmen complete job after the ‘delay’
I was confident: Sourav
Kaif replaces Yuvraj Singh
Bengal win after a wait
Suparna-Sumona wins state bridge
CBS, AGCS in last 8
East Bengal website launched
Calcutta Races/ Annatto outsmarts Astronomer
Calcutta Races
Mumbai Races/ Yukon may reproduce Derby form

New Delhi, Nov. 22: 
ZIMBABWE 422/9 decl. & 225
INDIA 458/4 decl. & 190/3
MOM: Srinath

India’s love affair with the Ferozeshah Kotla continues. Today, with skipper Sourav Ganguly tucking the ball away for the winning run, India recorded their fourth successive victory at the ground.

The winning streak started against Zimbabwe in March 1993, continued in October 1996 against Australia and against Pakistan in February 1999, before today’s seven-wicket success in the first Pepsi Test against Zimbabwe.

Victory came riding Jawagal Srinath’s record match-haul of nine and blistering knocks by the ‘Big Three’ of India’s batting, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

Overall, this was India’s 63rd win in 335 Test matches played so far and comes on the heels of their huge victory over debutants Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Sachin is the only player to have taken part in all four victories at the Kotla, while Sourav and Rahul played in three.

Man of the Match Srinath’s match haul of nine for 141 is the best by an Indian against Zimbabwe, overtaking Anil Kumble’s eight for 170 in that Delhi Test of 1993. Dravid was given a special award of Rs 25,000 for his consistent batting in the match. He had scores of 200 and 70 while remaining unbeaten in both innings.

The morning session produced an absorbing battle. The Zimbabwe gameplan was occupation of the crease, to ensure the hosts didn’t get a favourable runs-time balance when the chase began. India obviously wanted early wickets and hoped to dismiss the opposition before lunch time.

Fortunes fluctuated and it turned out to be a fascinating contest between bat and ball. Andy Flower’s solid defence and sound temperament was pitted against the guile of Sunil Joshi, the movement of Srinath and the reverse swing of Ajit Agarkar.

Resuming at 119 for five, Zimbabwe made India sweat for 30 minutes before Srinath got the breakthrough. He got the obdurate Brian Murphy nick an outswinger to wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya. Skipper Heath Streak and Andy Flower then plodded along and added 27 runs, and to India’s frustration, took all of 55 minutes to do it.

India’s bowling was losing its sting and the frustration evident in the body language of the fielders as Streak and Flower tackled both spin and pace with ease. It seemed the match was slipping out of India’s reach. Sourav opted for attacking field placements, which also led to a flurry of boundaries. At one stage in the pre-lunch session, Zimbabwe scored 78 runs off which 58 were in boundaries, including 13 fours and a six.

Two slightly dubious lbw decisions, one each by Venkatraghavan and John Hampshire, swung the match back India’s way.

The first of these verdicts came when a well-set Flower missed the line of an Agarkar delivery and was struck on the front foot. It did seem the ball was doing too much and may have missed the off-stump, but Venkatraghavan, in his 40th Test, upheld Agarkar’s excited appeal. Flower, who had scored, went off shaking his head in disbelief. He was again the top scorer for his team and this was his 19th half-century.

Minutes later, skipper Heath stretched forward to a sharp turner from Murali Karthik. The ball struck him on the front foot, when he was well forward.

However Hampshire raised the dreaded finger, and Zimbabwe, at 181 for eight, were slinking to their doom. In both cases, the batsmen could have been given the benefit of doubt.

Then brothers Bryan and Paul Strang resisted the Indian attack for 56 minutes, both batting within their limitations. Bryan did not look like getting out, till he lost his patience and he miscued a lofted pull of Joshi to be caught at mid-off by Sachin. Number 11 Henry Olonga, who batted better than he bowled, thwarted India for another 28 minutes. India’s fielding also grew ragged with Sourav dropping Olonga at first slip off a sharp turning delivery by Joshi and Dahiya flooring a snick off Srinath by Paul Strang.

Srinath again came to the rescue, trapping Olonga leg-before with a snorter of a yorker.

India needed 190 runs for victory in 32 overs plus 15 mandatory overs. The start was shaky with openers Ramesh and Shiv Sunder Das back in the pavilion early. India were 15 for two in just 2.5 overs. Skipper Heath went for the kill and opted for an aggressive field , but Sachin and Rahul batted like champions.

Sachin showed impeccable timing in twice dispatching Olonga to the fence. Heath was also cover-driven and square-cut for two successive fours in the next over. He hit Murphy for 26 runs in two overs

The crisis was over.

When Sachin departed, Sourav took over. He struck Paul Strang, Grant Flower and Brian Murphy for three towering sixes and his 110-run unfinished partnership with Dravid guided India to victory with 9.3 mandatory overs left.    

New Delhi, Nov. 22: 
Elated at his back-to-back Test victory, Sourav Ganguly today said: “We played according to the strength of our team, which is depth in batting.”

He added: “I was confident that we could chase 200 runs on the fifth day, even in just 40 overs if required, and hence I decided to declare and give our bowlers time to bowl the opposition out.”

Sourav refused to take credit for his decision to declare just 36 runs ahead in the 1st innings. He said that it was a team decision.

The Indian skipper praised Man of the Match Jawagal Srinath. “Srinath is a top class bowler, one of the best and always gives his best,” he said.

He also praised Ajit Agarkar (two for 137). “Ajit was beating the bat a number of times and was unlucky not to get more wickets,” he said. He, though, said the spinners could have done better.

Sourav said he had asked for a turner but was given a flat one. He said that even for the Nagpur Test he wanted a turning wicket.

Coach John Wright was relaxed after a win in his first match with the Indian team. He, however, hastened to add that too much should not be made of this victory. About the Indian team’s performance he said: “The top order batting was really good, but a lot of work needs to be done on the fielding and on close catching.”

Commenting on the marathon last-wicket stand between Henry Olonga and Andy Flower in Zimbabwe’s first innings, Wright said: “It is always tough to bowl at well set tailenders, but the Indian bowlers tried to do too much and did not maintain their discipline.”

About the composition of the team, Wright felt that ideally a Test side should have five frontline bowlers. However, he said that if no good all-rounder was available for the No. 6 spot, then batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav and V.V.S. Laxman should develop their bowling skills to give the team more options.

Zimbabwean coach Carl Rackemann listed two factors for his team’s defeat. He felt that his team’s batting in the second was inconsistent and lacked application. He also felt that his bowlers did not sustain pressure long enough on the Indian batsmen.    

New Delhi, Nov. 22: 
The national selectors today bypassed skipper Sourav Ganguly’s wish to have Harbhajan Singh in the squad for the second Test versus Zimbabwe in Nagpur from Saturday. The only change in the 14-man squad is the inclusion of Mohammed Kaif in place of Yuvraj Singh.

Coach John Wright had wanted Yuvraj to get match practise in Ranji Trophy, instead of staying among the reserves. Hence the entry of Kaif. Keeping in match practice is a must for Yuvraj since he is a certainty for one-dayers.

However, both Sourav and Wright expressed surprise at the choice of Kaif. They said they attended the meeting but were not informed about his inclusion.

Yuvraj will now play for Punjab against Delhi in a Ranji Trophy tie starting tomorrow.

In the morning, Wright watched off-spinners Harbhajan, Nikhil Chopra and left-arm medium-pacer Ashish Nehra at nets.

Some days back Wright had expressed a desire to see in action the second string Indian players. The skipper had asked for these players to attend nets today.

Sadagopan Ramesh was nearly jettisoned but he was given another chance because the selectors want regular openers for Tests. There was also some discussion about Vijay Dahiya’s wicketkeeping.

THE SQUAD: Sourav Ganguly, S.S. Das, Sadagopan Ramesh, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V. V. S. Laxman, Vijay Dahiya, Jawagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Sunil Joshi, Murali Karthik, Sarandeep Singh, Mohammed Kaif.    

Calcutta, Nov. 22: 
TRIPURA 170 & 154
BENGAL 458/4 dec.

It took Bengal 28.3 overs more to dislodge the remaining three Tripura wickets and complete an innings and 134-run victory in their opening East Zone Ranji Trophy match at the Eden today.

Tripura resumed at 124 for seven and the overnight pair of Gourpada Banik and Rajib Dutta frustrated the Bengal attack for 15.1 overs before Wrichik Mazumder dismissed the former, who recorded the visitors’ lone half-century of the match.

The leg-spinner struck again, Laxmi Ratan Shukla taking a fine catch at mid-off, to send back Dutta before Sujoy Parui castled R.S. Rawat to ensure eight points for Bengal.

The end could have come faster had Parui and Shib Shankar Pal — who bowled three overs each after the start — not lacked penetration and direction.

The former, a left-armer who bowls with an awkward action, generated good pace and even terrorised batsmen with some short-pitched stuff but went unrewarded because of his inability to make the batsmen play.

Kalyani may move

up Bengal’s next match is against Assam in Guwahati from Sunday. According to skipper Devang Gandhi, chances of changes in the playing XI hinge on the nature of the wicket there, though there is likely to be some changes in the batting order.

According to him, Srikant Kalyani, who batted at No. 6 against Tripura, will be promoted to No. 4 with Rohan Gavaskar and Syed Saba Karim taking the next two slots. Saba, whose performance behind the stumps was below-par yesterday, put up a decent show this morning.

Devang said medium-pacers Shukla, Parui and Pal are expected to be retained in the XI if he goes in with three seamers, which means Shabbir Ali will have to sit out.

The skipper added he was disappointed with the kind of pitch provided at the Eden and would ask the administrators for a more bouncy track in the future.    

Calcutta, Nov. 22: 
Suparna-Sumona, comprising Sudhir Ganguly, Alok Sadhu, Satya Brata Lahiri, A. Kundu, Bhabesh Saha and A B Chakraborty, won the 32nd state bridge championship Open Team title at the P. L. Roy Stadium here today.

In the 64-board final, they outplayed B. Todi’s IV, comprising Sekhar Nath Chunder, Bivas Todi, Gobinda Singha, Subir Majumdar and Arabinda Roy by 145 imps to 92.

Starting the match with a 7-imp carry-over by virtue of having won the direct quarter final league match by 21 imps, the eventual winners lost the first set by 26 imps to 28 but then took a commanding half-time lead of 40 imps with a 54-19 second session.

Thereafter, Suparna-Sumona never loosened their grip on the match, winning the last two quarters by 36-27 and 22-18, respectively, for a final winning margin of 53 imps.

With this win, Sudhir Ganguly, Alok Sadhu and Satya Brata Lahiri created a record by winning the state open team title four times in a row, having won the previous three years for Haldibari.

The Open Pairs final will be played tomorrow but some of the top players will be away due to clash of dates with an all-India pairs event in Kanpur from day after tomorrow.    

Calcutta, Nov. 22: 
Calcutta Boys’ School (CBS) and Assembly of God Church School (AGCS) survived some scares before reaching the quarter finals of the ongoing inter-school tennis tournament at SAI Eastern Centre today. Patha Bhavan and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, however, booked their berths in the last-eight stage quite comfortably.


Calcutta Boys’ School 2 vs St Mary’s High School 1 (Sabyasachi Bose bt Tayyab Alam 6-2, 6-1; Utsav Goswami lost to Farid Alam 1-6, 0-6; Sabyasachi & Utsav bt Tayyab & Farid 2-6, 6-4, 6-2). AGCH 2 Cartoucha School 1 (Adnan Khan bt Mohammed Imran Rafi 6-1, 6-1; Altamash Khan lost to Rupesh Roy 2-6, 1-6; Altamash Khan & Rohan Shaw bt Rupesh & Imran Rafi 6-2, 4-6, 7-5). Patha Bhavan 2 Harrow Hall 0 (Soumya Vikas Sen bt Vikas Khattry 6-0, 6-0; Bibaswan Deb bt Bharat Ladsaria 6-3, 6-0). Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan 2 Birla High School 0 (Avik Roy bt Gourav Poddar 6-0, 6-0; Siddharth Sigtia bt Shashank S. Jalan 6-1 (conceded).

Two seeds fall

Third seed Samriddh Burman and seventh seed D. Biswakarma were knocked out of the boys under-14 singles event in the Saturday Club floodlit tennis meet.    

Calcutta, Nov. 22: 
In a pioneering step, East Bengal Club went global today, launching its official website—

The glamour club enjoys the distinction of being the first outfit in the Maidan to have introduced its own website. The website, developed in association with LCC Infotech Limited, will have separate sections about the club’s history, news, players’ information and a fans’ forum. The site also will act as a communicative link between the officials and members and general fans of the club. Information about the club on the site will be periodically updated, officials said.

Indian Football Association’s joint secretary Ranjit Gupta and Mohun Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra were present on the occasion. Mitra later told reporters that East Bengal had shown the Maidan the way and his club was also seriously considering to have their own website.

Gupta, echoing Mitra’s voice, said the IFA website is likely to be launched by February next year.    

Calcutta, Nov 22: 
The city bookmakers got a respite, today, from the routine dominance of the favourites. Five of the six favourites, including the hot properties like Astronomer and Appeaer failed to re-produced their winning form.

Jockey B. Prakash, partnering Astronomer — a 3-10 hot-favourite in the 1,400m Darbhanga Cup — was out-smarted by Cristopher Alford on Annatto. Earlier in the day Prakash had won the hearts of the local turfites when he guided a lesser fancied Bird’s Empire to a Brilliant victory over Alygator in the Idolator Handicap.

Cristopher, too, failed to inspire a lazy galloper Appeaer, in the 1,600m Primrose Morn Cup, to do anything worthwhile as he trailed the big field of 14 runners for a major part of the journey. Alkido, the ownermate of the favourite, won the race.

Incidentally, the enquiry opened last Wednesday — into the running and riding of Sterling Prospect (Cristopher-up) — will now be conducted on Sunday. Likely to follow the B. Gurang course, the stewards’ decision but has helped Cristopher accept riding engagements even on Sunday — the 1,000 Guineas day.    

Calcutta, Nov. 22: 


1. Ethics Handicap 1,100m: (1-4-2-5) Work Order (Surender) 1; Magic Ring (Amjad) 2; Heaven’s Blessing (Islam) 3; Arizona Star (Upadhya) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 1-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-8.4). Tote: Win Rs 108; Place: 27; 38; Quinella: 688; Tanala: 2,811. Fav: Heaven’s Blessing (2). Winner trained by Mujeed R.

2. Scottish Law Handicap 1,200m: (6-1-4-5) Santillana (A. Imran) 1; Storm Trooper (Amjad) 2; Mountain Memory (Upadhya) 3; Double Dancer (M. Reuben) 4. Not run: Aileron (3). Won by: 6; 3-1/4; 1-3/4; (1-14.7). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 21; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 142. Fav: Santillana (6). Winner trained by Daniel D.

3. Idolator Handicap 1,200m: (3-1-4-2) Bird’s Empire (Prakash) 1; Alygator (C. Alford) 2; Diplomatic Gesture (Shanker) 3; Friendly Knight (Bird) 4. Won by: 1; 1/2; 1-1/4; (1-15.7). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 17; 12; Quinella: 21; Tanala: 94. Fav: Alygator (1). Winner trained by Daniel D.

4. Darbhanga Cup 1,400m: (6-4-5-2) Annatto (C. Alford) 1; Astronomer (Prakash) 2; Amarante (A. P. Singh) 3; Kansai (Rabani) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 8-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-26.6). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 12; 10; Quinella: 13; Tanala: 179. Fav: Astronomer (4). Winner trained by Vijay S.

5. Primrose Morn Cup 1,600m: (11-6-8-2) Alkido (Rabani) 1; Alborada (Prakash) 2; Supreme Desire (A. P. Singh) 3; Appeaer (C. Alford) 4. Won by: Nk; 2-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-42.3). Tote: Win Rs 53; Place: 17; 15; 114; Quinella: 104; Tanala: 5,872. Fav: Appeaer (2). Winner trained by Bharath S.

6. Fitzgrafton Handicap 1,100m: (3-7-8-4) Aznavour (Connorton) 1; Winning Hand (M. Reuben) 2; Sovereign Bullet (A. Imran) 3; Gambino (Prakash) 4. Won by: 3-1/4; SH; 2-1/4 (1-5.4). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 15; 19; 24; Quinella: 106; Tanala: 1,248. Fav: Gambino (4). Winner trained by J. Stephens.

Jackpot: Rs 5,194; (C) Rs 340.

Treble: (i) Rs 338; (ii) Rs 1,355.


Outer sand track

1,400m: Artwork (Khalander) in 1-42 2/5s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 28s. Easy.

800m: Daggers Drawn (Rabani) 55s; (400m) 28s. Moved well. Set Aside (Kh-alander) 57s; (400m) 30s. Easy. Acrosto (C. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

Sand track

1,400m: Code Word (A. Imran) in 1-43s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 27s. Fit.

1,000m: Ministerian (A. Imran) in 1-14s; (400m) 27s. Easy.

Breeze-up sales

The following horses were breezed-up for the sales on Friday:

1,100m: All Jade (Islam), Santa Monica (Rabani), Glass Slipper (M. Reuben), Raaz (Upadhya) and Flinders (Shanker) in 1-11s. Separated by 1; 3/4; 1/2; and 1.    

Mumbai, Nov. 22: 
A good second in the 2,000m Pune Derby, the Vinayak-trained three-year-old gelding Yukon may be hard to toss in the 1,600m Sir Rahimtoola Chinoy Trophy in Mumbai on Thursday. Malesh Narredu partners the Cristofori-Confiture son.


2 pm: Fushia 1. Arabian Commander 2. Super Cop 3.
2.30 pm: Consortium 1. Soviet Ace 2. Sanaga 3.
3 pm: Moment Of Truth 1. Sedona 2. Asprilla 3.
3.30 pm: Special Happening 1. Tiger Talk 2. My Oh My 3.
4 pm: Yukon 1. Star Shine 2. Storm Again 3.
4.30 pm: Rising Fire 1. Mein Kampf 2. Flossy 3.
5 pm: Imperial Falcon 1. Chittor 2. Dhama Dham 3.

Best: Moment Of Truth

Double: Consortium & Yukon

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