I stuck to my plan: Sachin
AIFF lines up stand-ins
St Xavier’s make it three in-a-row
Amandeep hogs limelight
Tendulkar, Dravid boost India to huge total
Shiv Sundar, Sodhi make the squad
Bengal fail to win under-16 tie
Altimara wins in smart timing

Nagpur, Nov. 26: 
Sachin Tendulkar was determined to a play an innings of rare character and temperament here. He had a gut feeling he was going to succeed and his unbeaten 201 bore the stamp of sheer class at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium today.

“I had decided to be solid rather than take chances. I had planned out my innings and things fell in place,” he said after the match.

“I do have to plan my innings sometimes. I felt I needed to play this sort of a knock at this point. I needed to be a little patient to achieve the goal.

“Sometimes I try different things out in the middle but I played according to my plan. I always had in my mind that I had to stay there till the end,” he explained.

While acknowledging that “it felt great” to have got a double hundred, he said: “Each innings is important. A century is a century. It doesn’t matter about the opposition attack. I don’t want to underestimate anyone.”

Then he went back in time.

“My first double hundred took a lot of time, more than a decade since my debut. I always kept trying but it just didn’t happen. I knew it would happen and just kept my fingers crossed and waited for the right opportunity,” he added.

On having lost the opportunity to get past Sunil Gavaskar’s 236, the highest individual score by an Indian in Tests, Sachin said: “It never crossed my mind. I was just out there to score runs. If it has to happen, it will happen some other day.”

Rahul Dravid, on the other hand, rued having missed out on the chance to score a second consecutive double-hundred. “Nevertheless, it’s been a satisfying series,” he said.

Sachin did not wish to compare this innings with the 217 he got against NewZealand in Ahmedabad. “I never compare innings. The wicket was different as the ball was coming onto the bat then. Here it was stopping and coming and so I had to be careful,” he said.

The former Indian skipper would always “like to continue with this form” since “this is what is required for the team”.

Sachin did not wish to dedicate this innings to anyone in particular. “Haven’t had the time to think of it,” he quipped before walking off to board the team bus to the hotel.    

New Delhi, Nov. 26: 
The game of chess between the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Indian Premier Football Association (IPFA) continues.

The AIFF executive committee met today and decided not to accept any of the IPFA demands. The fifth National Football League (NFL), however, was postponed once more.

The last date of confirming entries has been extended to December 4. The AIFF president said the new schedule will be released on December 6 and the League will start on December 10.

It was also said that replacement clubs have been asked to be ready if any of the leading clubs withdraw.

The five stand-bye teams are Border Security Force (BSF), Dempo Sports, Mohammedan Sporting, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Indian Bank.

Mohammedan Sporting, however, is a member of the IPFA and according to its vice-president Anjan Mitra, Dempo have already extended support to the newly-formed body. The IPFA office-bearers will meet again in Delhi on December 1, Mitra said.

When questioned, the AIFF president said this was Mohammedan Sporting’s chance to make it to the National League, a tournament they have never played.

There was some good news for the AIFF at last as Churchill Brothers and JCT representatives said they would take part in the National League.

The AIFF also decided that all clubs taking part in the NFL must send their entries through the respective state associations.

Regarding TV coverage, the AIFF chief said he does not want to terminate the five-year deal with Doordarshan because of the uncertainty of up-linking. He said it was difficult for any other TV company to get up-linking facilities immediately.

He, however, agreed with one IPFA demand that the NFL schedule should be extended to five months so that matches are spaced out and become TV and spectator friendly.

Talking to newsmen later, Mitra said that the IPFA clubs will take part in the NFL if a memorandum is signed.

They would even accept it if their demands are fulfilled in the next NFL. He, however, threatened there “will be no football if we do not participate”.    

Calcutta, Nov. 26: 
St Xavier’s Collegiate School scored a hattrick of titles in the fourth inter-school tennis championship of the Indian Tennis Academy, beating St James’ School 2-0.

In the final of the ITC-sponsored meet at the SAI Eastern Centre court, Saurav Sukul of St Xavier’s, the highest ranked player in the meet, easily beat Vaibhav Bajpai 6-0, 6-2 before Samrat Ghosh beat Subhoditya Nath 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Nath went on from his first set win to lead 4-3 in the second set, but Ghosh had by then settled down to a steady game and overcame Nath to settle the issue for St Xavier’s.

Don Bosco Park Circus finished third.    

Calcutta, Nov. 26: 
Amandeep Singh was the cynosure at the FEI world jumping challenge and FEI/ART children’s jumping competition at the Pat Williamson ground today. He won a gold, a silver and a bronze on his horses Tista and Not Out in the dressage sub-junior and dressage confined events.

Vishal Bishnoi was best in the dressage juniors astride Pronto, while the gold for dressage confined went to Ms Husna Tara Prakash, astride Boomerang.    

Nagpur, Nov. 26: 
India 609/6 Decl.
Zimbabwe 59/1

There was a quiet sense of satisfaction on Sachin Tendulkar’s face at close on the second day. He was not cribbing about having missed out on the opportunity to overtake the highest individual score by an Indian. Nor was he overjoyed at having achieved a half-century in terms of scoring hundreds in international matches. Or, that he is now fifth on the list of century-makers in Test cricket.

He was cool and composed while trying to bask in the glory of his innings.

His unbeaten 201 (392 minutes, 281 balls, 27x4) today, his second double century in Tests, along with Rahul Dravid’s 162 (402 minutes, 301 balls, 20x4, 1x6) has set the stage for an encore of the opening enounter in New Delhi. The Indians may be inconsistent in their performance but the Zimbabweans are turning out to be hugely predictable.

The visitors need another 351 runs to make India bat again and the opening session tomorrow may decide the fate of this Test.

“We need to take a couple of quick wickets in the morning to pile on the pressure,” skipper Sourav Ganguly said after the match.

The Indians could have had the second Zimbabwean wicket had Sadagopan Ramesh not floored a chance at second slip. Jawagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan did bowl with a lot of fire but the batsmen just managed to hang on. Guy Whittal, in his new opening role, survived the extended session.

The runs flowed thick and fast for the hosts in the morning. The first session produced 157 but thereafter, as the field spread out, it slowed down with only 21 coming of the first hour’s play after lunch. This could also be attributed to some negative tactics employed by the bowlers.

Dravid and Sachin made merry as the bowlers either overpitched or allowed the width to play square of the wicket. Bryan Murphy tried to make use of the footmarks by pitching the ball outside the leg stump but he is no Shane Warne and Sachin wasn’t troubled. With limited options at hand, Streak had no alternative but to remain a mute spectator to the mayhem.

Sachin and Dravid’s dominating 249-run partnership for the third wicket was achieved with scant respect being shown to the bowlers. The attack was carted all over the park and there were moments when it seemed the opposition was merely content with going through the motion.

The run machine in Sachin performed smoothly, never showing any signs of breaking down. The timing was perfect, the choice of strokes unmatchable, the determination and concentration supreme. There were no pre-determined shots and each ball was played on merit.

As the field spread out in the afternoon, he concentrated on the singles and the way he paced his innings was awesome. In the process, he overhauled his personal best here — 179 versus the West Indies in 1994.

Having lost his wicket through some injudicious strokes in previous innings, he decided to play in the traditional mode. The decision suits the side a lot more since it makes sense for him to occupy the crease for a longer time. There was hardly any attempt to dally with anything other than the loose balls and the basic tightness of his defence was on display.

Another aspect of his chanceless innings was the confidence Sachin instilled in his partner. Once Dravid got past his eighth century, sending Streak to the mid-wicket fence, he was not averse to stepping out to the spinners and pulling the short pitched ones. A huge six off Grant Flower was followed by two immaculately driven fours in the cover region.

Dravid snicked a tired looking pull to the wicketkeeper and Sourav Ganguly was expected to light the fireworks since Sachin was nearing his double hundred. But the Indian skipper struggled with the pace of the wicket as he tried too many things too early. He survived twice, but was finally caught at mid-wicket.

Agarkar hardly made any difference but the advent of Sunil Joshi stepped up the scoring rate. Four boundaries and one six flowed in the span of 18 balls. Murphy ended Joshi’s cameo with a stunning one-handed catch at mid-wicket.

Zimbabwe were resigned to their fate by then. Once Sachin got to the landmark by sweeping Murphy to fine-leg for a couple, the declaration came, 45 minutes after tea.

It will take one hell of an effort from Zimbabwe to save this Test, though the wicket has not shown any further signs of deterioration.    

Nagpur, Nov. 26: 
Orissa opener Shiv Sundar Das and Punjab allrounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi have been chosen in the 14-member squad for the first three one-dayers against Zimbabwe. Making a comeback is off-spinner Nikhil Chopra. Jawagal Srinath was not considered as he “opted out”, chairman of selectors, Chandu Borde said after a two-hour meeting.

Dropped from the Sharjah tri-series squad, India’s last one-day engagement have been Vinod Kambli and Robin Singh. According to The Telegraph’s sources, a lot of time was lost in debating over Robin’s exclusion. Das was an automatic choice but Sodhi was chosen after much deliberations. Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Virender Sehwag were also considered.

“We want to give the juniors a chance. The series versus Australia is coming up and we have to try various permutations and combinations to test the youngsters,” Borde said. The first one-dayer is in Cuttack on December 2.

THE SQUAD: Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Shiv Sundar Das, Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Vijay Dahiya, Sunil Joshi, Hemang Badani, S. Sriram, Nikhil Chopra, Venkatesh Prasad, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Yuvraj Singh.    

Calcutta, Nov. 26: 
Bengal had to settle for five points despite having Assam on the mat in the Vijay Merchant Trophy (under-16) match in Nagaon today. Assam got three points for conceding first-innings lead.

Having declared their first innings at 302 for nine yesterday, Bengal bowled out Assam for 103 in the first innings. Following on, the hosts made 67 for eight.

Medium-pacer Avik Chowdhury took five wickets in the first innings with Sujan Biswas taking two for four. Ajay Garai did maximum damage in the second innings, claiming seven for 26.

In Agartala, the tie between Tripura and Bihar ended in a tame draw today, adds UNI.

Resuming at their overnight 141 without loss, Tripura added 121 runs while losing four wickets by stumps. A brilliant 94 by Bappa Das and a 72 by his opening partner Biswajit Bhowmik was the highlight of the Tripura innings.


In Nagaon: Bengal 302/9 decl. Assam 103 (Dinesh Mahanta 24) & 67/8 (Ajay Garai 7/26). Match drawn.

In Agartala: Bihar 304/8 decl. Tripura 262/4 (Bappa Das 94, Biswajit Bhowmik 72).    

Calcutta, Nov 26: 
The 2-10 hot-favourite Altimara had an easy measure of her five rivals, today, in the Command Calcutta 1,000 Guineas, sponsored by the Command cell phone service provider. Trained by Darius Byramji, jockey Aslam Kader had the Deepak Khaitan-owned filly settled behind the leader, Alterezza, till top of the home-turn before shooting into the lead. Kader just had to keep pushing the Razeen-Treasure’s Nest daughter for a two and half-a-length victory over the owner-mate, Alvarada — the monsoon Derby winner. Altimara’s victory was more the creditable as she clocked a smart timing of 1 min. 38.6 secs over the 1,600m trip.


1. Sun Lion Plate 1,100m: (1-3-2-4) Astride (C. Alford) 1; Albright (Amil) 2; Automatic (A. P. Singh) 3; Alvernia (Rabani) 4. Won by: 4-1/4; 3-3/4; 4-1/4; (1-10). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 10; 16; Quinella: 20; Tanala: 73. Fav: Astride (1). Winner trained by Vijay S.

2. Beat The Distance Handicap 1,400m: (1-2-6-5) Cool Quest (Ruzaan) 1; Airs Image (A. Imran) 2; Tsaynen Blue (Gowli) 3; Crest Star (Yasin) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; Nk; 2-1/4; (1-28.2). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 11; 20; 12; Qui-nella: 88; Tanala: 210. Fav: Cool Quest (1). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

3. Indian Gold Vase 1,200m: (2-7-1-3) Ministerian (A. Imran) 1; Highland Flame (Kader) 2; Joe The Pro (Appu) 3; Mystic Hill (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 3/4; 2-1/4; (1-12.6). Tote: Win Rs 112; Place: 22; 12; 11; Quinella: 79; Tanala: 573. Fav: Highland Flame (7). Winner trained by Daniel D.

4. Command Calcutta 1,000 Guineas 1,600m: (2-3-5-6) Altimara (Kader) 1; Alvarada (C. Alford) 2; Set Aside (Gowli) 3; Silver Toy (Ruzaan) 4. Won by: 2-1/2; 2-1/4; 3-1/4; (1-38.6). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 18; Quinella: 20; Tanala: 124. Fav: Altimara (2). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

5. Sreepriya Cup 1,200m: (3-4-2-6) Ballet Master (A. Imran) 1; Chivalrous (A. P. Singh) 2; On The Bit (Connorton) 3; Calculus (Ruzaan) 4. Won by: 3-1/4; Nk; 1; (1-14.4). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 12; 21; 15; Quinella: 108; Tanala: 407. Fav: Ballet Master (3). Winner trained by Daniel D.

6. Cheviot Handicap 1,400m: (4-6-2-8) Earl Grey (Appu) 1; Lovely Pros-pect (A. Imran) 2; Sky Command (Haroon) 3; Abolisher (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 1/2; 4-3/4; Hd; (1-26.8). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 13; 13; 99; Quinella: 27; Tanala: 757. Fav: Earl Grey (4). Winner trained by Darashah.

Jackpot: Rs 1,535; (C) Rs 258.

Treble: (i) Rs 195; (ii) Rs 56.

track trials

Outer sand track

1,600m: Aloritz (Kader) and Fame Star (C. Alford) in 1-55s; (1,000m) 1-9s; (400m) 28s. Former was handy. Jeweller (C. Alford) and Arezzo (Kader) in 1-56s; (1,000m) 1-10s; (400m) 29s. Former one length better.

1,400m: Magnifico (C. Alford) and Alembic (Kader) in 1-42s; (800m) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Former better. Baffin Bay (C. Alford) and Ammeter (Rb) in 1-38s; (400m) 30s. Former far superior. Wandering Warrior (C. Alford) in 1-40s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

800m: 2yo Think Of Us and 2yo South Cove (Kader) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Former far better. 2ys Tejano/ Crown Treasure (Rabani) and 2yo Alamito (Kader) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Aracruz (Kader) in 54s; (400m) 27s.

600m: 2yo Angels (C.Alford) and 2yo Gold Discovery/Rose Of Sharon (Kader) in 43s; (400m) 27s. Former better. 2yo Calorescence (C. Alford) and 2yo Serious Spender/Arctic Theme (Kader) in 43s; (400m) 27s. Former far superior. 2yo Alnasr Alwasheek/Pass The Secret (Kader) and 2yo Arbello (C. Alford) in 43s; (400m) 27s. Former better.

400m: Annatto (Surender) in 28s.

Sand track

1,600m: Beau Bruno (Upadhya) 2-1s; (1,000m) 1-16s; (400m) 30s. Easy.    


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