A team effort: Streak
Kapoor, Sehwag make squad
Century by Ajay
Tollygunge urge
Crown for Irina Brar
Zimbabwe snatch victory, stay afloat
Bangalore Racing/ Chevalier set to score again
Calcutta Racing/ 10 for Sunday’s 2000 Guineas
Calcutta racing/ Track trials
Bangalore Racing/ Green Emperor triumphant

Jodhpur, Dec. 8: 
The buoyant mood in the Zimbabwe camp was tempered by a cold determination. Skipper Heath Streak was not willing to rest on laurels or, for that matter, let others do that.

“It’s not easy to beat India on their home soil, and we’re naturally very happy, but we have a lot of work to do. There are several departments where we can surely improve,” Streak told the Media soon after the one-wicket win that kept them in the one-day series.

“Yes, we bowled a lot better today, especially in the middle and end overs, barring that last one, and we hope to be able to do that through the 50 overs in our next games.”

As in Ahmedabad, the Zimbabweans were saddled with a huge target to achieve. So what went right today? “I think the most important thing today was that, even when we lost wickets, we didn’t let the asking rate to get out of hand. We always had this outside chance. And then we had that fantastic partnership between Andy and Grant. It was really a team effort from there.”

He then sounded the warning. “(Sourav) Ganguly, (Sachin) Tendulkar and (Rahul) Dravid are all great batsmen, so it’s not going to be easy, but we’ve got a start.”

Grant Flower was happy that he was out of his recent rut. “I had been taking one game at a time, and it’s great that some luck is running my way at last. It will be good to go in with more confidence from here.”

Sourav blames bowling

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly blamed poor bowling for the defeat, adds PTI. “After putting up a fairly big total and having them 52 for three, we thought it was our match. But we bowled pretty badly to hand over the initiative,” Sourav said after the match.


Jodhpur, Dec. 8: 
India’s squad for the last couple of one-dayers against Zimbabwe was named this evening. But for two forced changes, the selectors have stuck to the XIV that did duty in the first three.

As was on the cards, off-spinner Nikhil Chopra has made his way out and can only be back after BCCI commissioner on match-fixing, K. Madhavan, has cleared him. Tamil Nadu off-spinner Aashish Kapoor replaces him.

Also out of the XIV is Shiv Sundar Das, who pulled a hamstring this morning and was quickly despatched by coach John Wright to Andrew Leipus. The physio’s verdict was “not fit to play”. Das, like Chopra, didn’t play any of the three matches. Delhi’s Virender Sehwag comes in for him.

Murali Karthik and V.V.S. Lakhsman were also discussed as options. “Sehwag is a hard-hitting batsman and his off-spin could come in handy. He is also a player who gives 100 per cent to his fielding,” chairman of selectors Chandu Borde said.

Ironically, today’s dramatic loss has actually saved a few heads from rolling. “Yes, if the series had been wrapped up, we would have punished a few players for not performing over quite some time,” Borde said.

Borde then went on to confirm that Yuvraj Singh “was discussed at length”. The Punjab batsman, who made everybody sit up with his performance at the ICC KnockOut in Nairobi, has yet to produce another fifty after that.

THE SQUAD: Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Hemang Badani, S. Sriram, Virender Sehwag, R. S. Sodhi, Vijay Dahiya, Ajit Agarkar, Sunil Joshi, Zaheer Khan, Aashish Kapoor, Venkatesh Prasad.


Calcutta, Dec. 8: 
Sujon Biswas of Bengal struck twice after the hosts declared their first innings at 231 for three on the opening day of their three-day under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy tie at the ECDSC ground today. Ajay Garai scored 100 and Avik Chowdhury 66 before Bengal declared their innings after 67 overs.

BRIEF SCORES: Bengal 231/3 decl. in 67 ovs (Ajay Garai 100, Avik Chowdhury 66). Sikkim 60/2. Match to continue.

Tripura fight back

In Agartala, Orissa bowled out Tripura for 116 but limped to 75 for six on the opening day, reports UNI. B. Madhab was Tripura’s highest scorer with 47. Rakesh Mohanty took six for 21.

Bengal tie deferred

The Bengal-Orissa Ranji Trophy tie, which was to be held at Eden Gardens from December 14, has been deferred by a fortnight, since the dates were clashing with Deodhar Trophy matches.

The Ranji tie will now be held from December 28 to 31.


Calcutta, Dec. 8: 
Tollygunge Agragami secretary Mantoo Ghosh has expressed displeasure at the National Football League schedule and urged the All India Football Federation for a revision.

In a letter to the chairman of the NFL committee, Ghosh stated that his club would be up against East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the first two matches. If such schedule is meant to complete zonal matches at a stretch, Ghosh maintained, he had no objection.

But since this is not happening in case of the Goan outfits like Churchill Brothers and Salgaocar, Ghosh has asked for a change in schedule for his club.

Condolence meeting

East Bengal will hold a condolence meeting in the memory of Ram Bahadur Thapa at their club premises on December 12 at 5 pm.


Calcutta, Dec. 8: 
Irina Brar played to potential and transformed the lead she had been maintaining over the past couple of days into triumph in the final round of the Ladies East India Open golf meet at Tollygunge Club today.

Irina’s total after four rounds was 281, which proved to be too hot for others vying for the title. Parnita Grewal came second with a total score of 295 and Vandana Agarwal, with 297, settled for the third spot.

In the Rasoi Cup, Indumati and Manavi Halwasiya were initially tied at 271. But the former won on her last card.


Rasoi Cup: 1. Indumati, 2. Manavi Halwasiya, 3. (second runner-up) S. Ratia.

Open Scratch Trophy: 1. Tara Halwasiya, 2. Shoma Ray, 3. C. Dutt.

Burdwan Cup: 1. Tara Halwasiya, 2. T. Nakan0, 3. C. Dutt.

Thirties Trophy: 1. T. Tsuruta, 2. N. Jaidla.

Senior competition won by S. Ratia.

Copper Trophy won by Shruti Goenka.


Jodhpur, Dec. 8: 
india 283/8 (50 ovs)
zimbabwe 284/9 (49.5 ovs)
mom: grant Flower

Zimbabwe came back from the dead today at a packed Barkatullah Khan Stadium to register a memorable win, and keep alive the five-match one-day series. The one-wicket victory, achieved off the penultimate ball of the match after a huge chase, will have resurrected interest in the series which looked all lost for the better part of the game today.

Two-zero up when they came to the Sun City, India seemed to have all but wrapped it up when they set the visitors a 50-over target of 284. Sachin Tendulkar had hammered 146 (his 27th one-day hundred) in 153 deliveries and, in what looked the clincher, Zaheer Khan hoisted four sixes in the 27-run final over.

It hardly would have left Heath Streak and Co. in the right frame of mind as they began their reply saddled with the need to score at 5.7 runs an over. But, then, that turned out to be only the beginning of an exciting roller-coaster ride.

The first 15 overs, with the fielding restrictions in place, was always going to be crucial and Alistair Campbell made intentions clear with some aggressive yet delightfully orthodox shots. He raced along, but it was India who clearly scored the first punches by knocking back the wickets, till Zimbabwe looked dangerously depleted at 52 for three in the 10th over.

Campbell was gone — hitting 24 off 19 before he was surprised by one from Zaheer Khan that climbed from short of a good length — and so was his new opening partner Guy Whittal and Stuart Carlisle. It brought the Flower brothers, Andy and Man-of-the-Match Grant, together and a magnificent partnership began.

The 158 they put on in quick time is a new fourth-wicket record for Zimbabwe but, more importantly, it became the cornerstone of a great fightback. A fightback that was carried forward so gallantly by skipper Heath Streak and young Mluleki Nkala, playing his first match of this one-day series.

The Flowers began by plucking well-judged singles, but never forgetting to punish the loose deliveries when they came along and never quite letting the asking rate get out of hand. There were the calculated risks — the partnership surviving a couple of run-out scares and uppish shots eluding hands on a few others — but it was solid enough to be quietly chipping away at the Indian confidence. Skipper Sourav Ganguly realised he had a problem on his hand, and tried out a few things to break the partnership but the Flowers continued to blossom.

Till a disastrous period of two overs.

It started with a slower ball from Venkatesh Prasad, back early for his second spell in a bid to make the breakthrough. Grant Flower was already down the track before he realised he had been foxed. He checked his drive — but too late. The ball ballooned for Yuvraj Singh to make an easy catch running in from backward point. It was the last ball of the 40th over and Zimbabwe were 210 for four. Grant had made 70 (94 balls, four fours, one six).

On the second ball of the next over, a ‘yes-no’ situation between new man Gavin Rennie and Andy Flower saw the former run out without scoring. It left Andy so disgusted that he threw his bat to the ground. That dismissal claimed Andy too for, four balls later, he looked to have lost his concentration as he edged Tendulkar to Vijay Dahiya, the wicketkeeper latching on on the second attempt. Andy’s 77 came off 106 deliveries, with five fours and a six.

At 214 for six after 41 overs, with two new batsmen at the crease, Zimbabwe looked out of the match again. But Streak (23 off 17 balls with a boundary and a six) and, after he left, Nkala (36 off 27 balls with four fours and a six) had other ideas. The Indian bowling was suddenly looking woefully inadequate in the slog overs.

But just when Zimbabwe were coasting to a win, the inexperience in their ranks surfaced. It made for a dramatic final over, from which the visitors needed just three runs.

Brian Strang got the two runs needed for a tie from the very first ball. There was a needless wild swipe off the next ball that added to nothing. Then, off the third, he scampered for an impossible single and Nkala was run out from a Dahiya direct hit. It was 283 for eight. New man Travis Friend fell first ball, bowled through the gate by one that came back. It aws Agarkar’s 100th wicket in one-day Internationals.

It was now left to last man Henry Olongo, who must have been haunted by the prospect of two disastrous last overs for him in the same game. But he managed to keep the ball away and scamper through for the run that rekindled the series.

The morning began with Sourav winning the toss, and setting up a battle within the battle between Sachin and Friend, who had embarrassed him with a short rising delivery in Ahmedabad to claim his wicket. Today, Sachin won hands down.

The message was clear — you pitch short, I go after you. Friend learnt it early as the Little Master hooked him for a four off the very first over from the bowler. Sourav left early, playing the wrong line to a ball from Brian Strang that slanted in, but Sachin’s onslaught continued at the other end.

While Friend got the ball to bounce, it emerged quickly that this was not a wicket that would allow too much margin on the length — there was just no pace to accompany the bounce.

Sachin added 114 in 120 balls for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid, his domination of the partnership complete.

It was the advent of spin, in the form of Grant Flower, that stemmed the flow of runs somewhat. Sticking to a leg-stump line, Grant frustrated the batsmen. It welled up, to first claim Dravid, caught after top-edging while on a sweep.

The middle-order suffered a slump from there, with the Zimbabwean bowlers doing a pretty good job under the circumstances. The run-rate dropped and the wickets began disappearing with some regularity. A total of around even 250 looked threatened suddenly. But it all changed with Agarkar and Zaheer Khan hitting out in the final overs. Especially the last one.

If skipper Streak had hoped for a 1999 World Cup-like turnaround from Olonga, it didn’t happen. Zaheer hoisted him for four sixes to the on-side on consecutive deliveries but for the interruption of a wide ball.

If Olonga remembers the last over he bowled against India in England last summer, he’ll remember this one too — though for very different reasons.


Bangalore, Dec. 8: 
Chevalier, the Darius Byramji-trainee who came on his own in Mysore where he scored three bloodless wins — including in the Derby — looks good to bag the Harvins Bangalore 2,000m Guineas, here, tomorrow. Pesi Shroff partners the Placeville-Nauvka son.


1.30 pm: Arristo 1. Noble Opinion 2. Ankole 3.

2 pm: Dragon Fire 1. Gordon’s Pet 2. Royal Satsuma 3.

2.30 pm: Brave Russian 1. Catch Word 2. Mantles Pride 3.

3 pm: Priceless Ally 1. Royal Power 2. Alisa 3.

3.30 pm: Kylin 1. Poise 2. Scandal Sheet 3.

4 pm:Chevalier 1. Adamile 2. The Music Man 3.

4.30 pm: Akasaka 1. All Above 2. Chity Bang 3.

5 pm: Musselburgh 1. Forest Pegasus 2. Dior 3.

Day’s Best: Chevalie

Double: Arristo & Priceless Ally    

Calcutta, Dec. 8: 
There are two fillies in a 10-horse line-up for the second classic of the season, on Sunday, the 1,600m Calcutta 2,000 Guineas. First race starts at 12.40 pm


1. Pilot Handicap 1,100m (Cl III, 5-y-o & over, Rt. 44-72) 12.40 pm: Defiance 60; Abstract 59; Storm Centre 59; Winning Hand 58; Mr. Bombshell 57.5; Sovereign Bullet 56.5; Starina 56.

2. Maharajadhiraja Uday Chand Mahtab Of Burdwan Memorial Cup 2,000m (Cl I; Cl II eligible Rt. 66-94) 1.10 pm: Treasurer 62; Illustrious Reign 53.5; Tanganyika 53.5; Allosaki 53.5; Aldebro 47.

3. Flying Saucer Handicap 2,000m Cl IV; Cl V eligible Rt. 00-50) 1.50 pm: Hurricane Star 60; Scavenger’s Son 57.5; Alborada 57.5; Supreme Desire 55; Blessed Spirit 54.5; Soviet Port 53.5; Avionic 51.

4. Air Force Cup 1,400m (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 2.25 pm: Falconhead 61; Prince Obolensky 59; Giorgio 57.5; Baffin Bay 57; Fame Star 55.5; Kansai 53.5; Best In Show 52.5; Solo Act 51.5; Double Bull 50.5.

5. Nanoli Stud Juvenile Stakes 1,100m (Terms, 2-y-o only) 3 pm: Alcalde 55; Astride 55; Rescue Act 55; Sunset Down 55; The Archer 55; Andrada 53.5; Angeles 53.5; South Cove 53.5; Think Of Us 53.5.

6. Calcutta 2000 Guineas 1,600m (Terms, 3-y-o only) 3.35 pm: Aloritz 56; Alsheim 56; Andreyev 56; Arezzo 56; Astronomer 56; Daggers Drawn 56; Earl Grey 56; No Regrets 56; Altimara 54.5; Set Aside 54.5.

7. Winged Tiger Handicap 1,200m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 4.05 pm: Flinders 61; Bhuthnath 61; Aflicker 58.5; Aliqa 57.5; Magic Ring 57; Diplomatic Gesture 56.5; Abstone Queen 54.5.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.    

Calcutta, Dec. 8: 
Daggers Drawn, was impressive in today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Astronomer (A. Imran) in 1-44s; (400m) 30s. Easy. Illustrious Reign (Upadhya) and Alborada (A. Imran) in 1-45s; (400m) 30s. Both level. Blessed Spirit (A. Imran) in 1-43s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 29s. Moved well.

1,200m: Staffordshire (Gowli) and Remember Me (M. Reuben) in 1-24s; (400m) 30s. Former far better. Double Bull (Tamang) and Airs Image (Saran) in 1-29s; (400m) 32s. Former far better. Cool Quest (M. Reuben) and Calculus (Khalander) in 1-29s; (400m) 30s. Former much superior.

800m: Abstract (Brij) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Flinders (Khalander) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Daggers Drawn (Rabani) and Andreyev (Islam) in 54s; (400m) 28s. Former better.

Sand track

1,600m: Alterezza (Amil) and Alvarada (A. P. Singh) in 1-47s; (400m) 28s. Former better.

800m: Crimson King (A. Imran) in 54s; (400m) 24s. Good. Abstone Queen (A. Imran) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

On Thursday, Outer sand track

1,400m: Code Word (A. Imran) and Blessed Spirit (Saran) in 1-53s; (400m) 32s. Former better.

1,200m: No Regrets (Gowli) and Winning Hand (M. Reuben) in 1-29s; (400m) 28s. Former 2 ls better.

1,000m: Alsheim (Amil) and Arezzo (C. Alford) in 1-11s; (400m) 27s. Level.

800m: Treasurer (Surender) and Aldebro (Amil) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Former better. Bountiful Gesture (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Good. Fame Star (Amil) and Aloritz (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Baffin Bay (Khalander) and Altimara (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Allosaki (Amil) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Set Aside (Gowli) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Alembic (C. Alford) and Diplomatic Gesture (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Former better. Sovereign Bullet (A. Imran) in 56s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Fit.

Sand track

800m: India Divina (K. Gurang) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Peace Envoy (A. Imran) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Silver Raising (Rb) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Crimson King (A. Imran) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Note.

Gate practice, from 2,000m to 1,000m: Arbello (C. Alford), Airborne (Amil), Calamint (Surender) and Shareef Dancer/ Mafuta (Upadhya) in 1-13s. First three jumped out well. Think Of Us (M. Reuben) and South Cove (Khalander) in 1-12s. Both jumped out well.    

Bangalore, Dec. 8: 
Trained by V. V. Abdullah and ridden by Sathish Narredu, the seven-year-old gelding Green Emperor posted an upset victory in the Dariya Daulat Trophy at the Bangalore races held on Friday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Master Key Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (3-8-4) Acharya (Arun) 1; Top Socialite 2; Barassie 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 3; (1-18.4). Tote:Win Rs 230; Place: 28; 12; 16; Quinella: 88; Tanala: 2,449. Fav: Top Socialite (8).

2. Vedavathi Cup 1,200m: (2-6-5) Antequera (Kader) 1; Star Beauty 2; Amazon Gold 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1/2; (1-18.2).Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 13; 11; 56; Quinella: 34; Tanala: 738. Fav: Star Beauty (6).

3. Magadi Plate 1,400m: (4-1-12) Free World (Ruzaan) 1; Cape Fear 2; Silver Warakh 3. Won by: 2; 4-1/4; (1-32.6). Tote: Win Rs 28; Place: 15; 18; 80; Quinella: 66; Tanala: 1,380. Fav: Free World (4).

4. Master Key Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (2-1-8) Comedy Of Errors (Harish) 1; Trivia 2; Tina’s Turn 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-18). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 12; 116; 17; Quinella: 715; Tanala: 3,924. Fav: Comedy Of Errors (2).

5. P. Anthony Memorial Plate 1,600m: (9-8-3) Silvano (Mrs Storai) 1; Kingston Heath 2; Fantastic Belle 3. Not run: Gypsie’s Wish (5). Won by: 2-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-42.8). Tote: Win Rs 169; Place: 33; 36; 15; Quinella: 728; Tanala: 5,255. Fav: Butter Sponge (1).

6. Dariya Daulat Trophy 1,400m: (4-8-7) Green Emperor (S. Narredu) Estocade 2; Cruden Bay 3. Notr run: Cape Blanco (2) & Haynes Park (11). Won by: 1-1/2; 3/4; (1-30). Tote: Win Rs 218; Place: 34; 21; 14; Quinella: 667; Tanala: 5,416. Fav: Native Tactics (1).

7. Gandhi Bazar Plate 1,400m: (5-3-4) Fantasy Flight (Prakash) 1; Appeaser 2; Gullane 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-29.7). Tote: Win Rs 49; Place: 11; 13; 25; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 465. Fav: Appeaser (3).

8. Antaragange Plate 1,600m: (2-8-3) Burning Bright (Srinath) 1; Risk Me Now 2; Alluring Bay 3. Not run: Living Together (12). Won by: 1-1/4; 2; (1-45). Tote: Win Rs 49; Place: 16; 17; 29; Quinella: 66; Tanala; 890. Fav: Risk Me Now (8).

Jackpot: Rs 1,83,510 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 297; (ii) Rs 7,462.    


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