India likely to field Sehwag, Kapoor
Jarman escapes mob fury
Dismissing Sachin and still attending school
Mohanty wrecks Bengal
Das to lead East Zone
Subir Dey scalps 8
Jain, Sandhu corner glory
Calcutta 2000 guineas/ Aloritz upstages Altimara

Kanpur, Dec. 10: 
As you would expect, there was a spring in the Zimbabwean steps as the team toiled in a tune-up for tomorrow’s one-day International at the Green Park here. There was a sense of purpose, from being suddenly flooded with self-belief.

There was also a tightening of the jaws, from a cold realisation that it will need another Herculean effort to keep the joys of Jodhpur alive. A realisation that, despite that victory, they go in tomorrow as the underdogs. India are again firm favourites to win and wrap up the series at 3-1.

“We expect the Indians to bounce back here,” skipper Heath Streak said after nets. “Such a good side won’t take it lying down. They will have analysed what went wrong in Jodhpur and come back with vengeance.”

Streak’s Indian counterpart has no doubt about what went wrong. “We bowled badly. If their lower order could get all those runs under pressure, then there was definitely something wrong with the way we bowled,” he said.

He then went on to say he has underbowled himself because “it was a captain’s job to see all his bowlers got a bowl”. At least one who did duty at Jodhpur, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, will sit out tomorrow.

With Sourav saying that “both newcomers (Virender Sehwag and Aashish Kapoor) will play” and that he intends going in with three medium-pacers, the two left-arm spinners, Sunil Joshi and Sridharan Sriram, may have to join Sodhi in the dressing room.

While Sehwag, the hard-hitting Delhi allrounder, will play his second one-day International, off-spinner Kapoor will make a comeback after the 1996-97 Titan Cup. His last international appearance was in a Test against South Africa, in December 1996.

If Kapoor does get to play, it will be a very crucial match for him as the onus will be on him to prove that this resurrection of his international career was worth the effort. With a number of left-handers in the opposition ranks, he has a good chance. Incidentally, Sehwag, who made a century on Ranji debut, is a decent off-spinner too.

Yuvraj Singh will also be under some extra pressure to perform. The Punjab youngster, who made a sensational start to his international career at the ICC KnockOut in Kenya, has not played any innings of substance of late, often gifting his wicket away to indiscretion. While his skipper gave him a vote of confidence with a “he’s too good a player” to drop, he must have also told the southpaw to be a little more careful in his shot selection.

India will, of course, be depending heavily on their ‘Big Three’ — Sourav, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid — to deliver with the bat.

It again looks an ideal wicket for a one-dayer, loaded heavily in favour of the batsman and one on which bowlers will have to show great discipline, both in line and length. There will be very little room for error. There is unlikely to be a great deal of bounce, and very little lateral movement — unless the morning dew, so heavy in these parts, plays a little role in the first hour or so. Those more familiar with the ground suggest there may be something in it for the spinners in the second half.

It will be a good toss to win.

Essentially, it is likely to be another battle between the batsmen. While the Indians are surely ahead on paper in this department, there are some very talented batsmen in the Zimbabwe top-order.

They will, however, be hoping that Andy Flower again plays a big part. The southpaw, who loves a challenge, has been the calming force every time their innings has been in a turmoil and it’s no coincidence that his performances have been the cornerstone of almost all great Zimbabwe wins. He’s proved time and again during this series that he is Zimbabwe’s best bat.

But the tour is taking its toll on the 32-year-old as well. Soon after today’s workout, team physio Amato Machikido had put his left knee and right shin in ice-packs. “Only a little wear and tear” was how the wicketkeeper-batsman shrugged it off.

Dirk Viljoen, who missed the Jodhpur match with a groin strain, hasn’t recovered. Streak suggested they’ll field the winning combination “with maybe one change”. Leg-spinner Brian Murphy may well be the one coming in.

They go in with a cautious confidence, wondering whether they’ll be able to carry this series further. Wondering whether lightening will strike twice?


INDIA (from): Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Hemang Badani, Virender Sehwag, Vijay Dahiya, Aashish Kapoor, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi, Sridharan Sriram.

ZIMBABWE (from): Alistair Campbell, Guy Whittall, Stuart Carlisle, Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Heath Streak, Brian Murphy, Mluleki Nkala, Bryan Strang, Travis Friend, Henry Olonga, Gavin Rennie, Douglas Marillier, Trevor Madondo.


Kanpur, Dec. 10: 
Barry Jarman, ICC Match Referee for the ongoing India-Zimbabwe series, had a narrow escape today when the car in which he and his wife were travelling was attacked by a stone-throwing mob.

Some 100 people were in the midst of a confrontation with the police over unavailability of tickets near the Green Park Stadium, venue of tomorrow’s one-day International here, when the Jarmans arrived and were caught in the crossfire. The irate mob turned their attention to the car and it was damaged. Though the window panes were shattered, the Jarmans escaped unhurt, rescued by the lathi-charging police. The police made several arrests.

A bus carrying Channel Nine crew was also attacked. Channel Nine is producing the pictures for Doordarshan.

Trouble had started when fans, in a long queue for tickets, had their hopes shattered when the counter at the Sports Hostel closed. Fans alleged that the distribution was not proper and tickets were removed behind their back.

Barry Jarman managed a laugh: “They were kicking my car like a football, you know,” he said, before adding that he had never been confronted by a similar situation. His wife, though, was pretty shaken. “Kanpur is so different (from the other places where matches were held),” she managed to say.

Ironically, it was at the Green Park, during the 1959-60 series, that the wicketkeeper made his Test debut with first choice Wally Grout unwell. The Test is remembered for being India’s first win over the Aussies, thanks to Jesu Patel’s 14 wickets in the match (nine in the first and five in the second).

The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) is under tremendous pressure because of the demand for tickets for the match. Last night, the residence of its secretary Jyoti Bajpai was attacked by frustrated fans.

The UPCA’s problems have spilled to beyond tickets. Yesterday, when the teams arrived, their kits didn’t from Lucknow Airport (Kanpur doesn’t have a airport for commercial flights).

The Zimbabweans hadn’t got their till after today’s practice, and had to share each other’s gear. If skipper Heath Streak was annoyed that such a mess-up should take place before a crucial game, he didn’t show it. But he left for the team hotel with a tongue-in-cheek “surely it’s not intentional”.


Kanpur, Dec. 10: 
If 19-year-old Mluleki Nkala still has his feet on the ground after playing a big role in Zimbabwe’s escape to victory in Jodhpur in the third one-dayer versus India, put it on his exceptional maturity. And, probably, on lessons he has had to learn early in his career.

For how many get to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar on debut and then have to attend school? “Falcon College, where I was studying, is a very strict place, so I had to get back and join the class,” Nkala explains. “In fact, my dad’s a very academic person, and the reason I joined that college was my academics.”

It was the 1998-99 season, and several players were on the injury list when Nkala was given his senior cap during the second one-day International in Bulawayo. He was the youngest ever to debut for his country, and without having played a first-class match till then.

“It was my hometown, and the first time my parents were watching me play cricket. My schoolmates were there as well,” remembers Nkala. “They were back-to-back matches and Tendulkar had got his 22nd century in the first, and my mother told me ‘you have to get this guy tomorrow’. I said ‘no way’. I came on first change and the first ball was blocked back by Tendulkar. (Skipper) Alistair Campbell came to me and said, ‘Hey Psycho’, give it all you have or else it’s no use. My next ball was a long hop way outside off. Tendulkar hit it hard, but Craig Wishart came up with a brilliant catch. I got his wicket with one of the worst balls I’ve ever bowled.”

Nkala, who is already the first Black to lead Zimbabwe at any level (he’s been the skipper of the country’s under-15 and under-19 sides), is being projected by many as the first Black who’ll lead the country’s senior team as well.

Nkala was initiated into the game after his brothers “brought it home from school”.

“We’d most be playing soccer till then, but the new game caught our imagination and we played with whatever we found. A dustbin did for wickets and pieces of wood for bats,” he says.

He played through primary school, representing Zimbabwe at the under-13 level, before the Zimbabwe Cricket Union picked him up for a scholarship that landed him at Falcon College, which has a strong cricket culture and from where many national players (the Whittalls, Strangs and Heath Streak to name a few) graduated. He has also had a short stint at the Australian Cricket Academy under Dennis Lillee.

So what was he thinking when he walked in at Jodhpur with Zimbabwe facing a near-impossible task? “I knew I had to take singles and give strike to Heath (Streak), but once he left, I told myself the bowler (Sunil Joshi) wouldn’t be expecting me to come down the track, and I jumped out,” he says. Joshi was hit over his head for a six, and the chase resumed.

Nkala’s bowling has suffered of late because of a nasty ankle injury from which he hasn’t quite recovered. “I’ve lost both pace and accuracy,” he says, and hopes it’ll all fall into place one he gets some rest.


Calcutta, Dec. 10: 
Debashish Mohanty and Ajay Barik wrecked havoc in the morning session and handed the hosts one of their worst defeats in recent times to ensure Orissa’s entry into the Wills Trophy for next season.

Mohanty took five for 22 and Barik two for 15 as Bengal were dismissed for just 103 — their lowest total in the Wills Trophy — at Eden Gardens today. Orissa took 27 overs to reach the target, losing a couple of wickets.

Orissa ended the qualifying round with an all-win record while this was the first defeat for Bengal in four matches.

On winning the toss, Bengal skipper Devang Gandhi opted to bat first — a decision which outrageously backfired within as early as the second ball of the day. A Mohanty delivery pitched in line and took a treacherous deviation, catching Nikhil Haldipur completely offguard.

Within seven overs, Bengal were nine for five and four overs later, with further departures of Utpal Chatterjee and Sanjib Sanyal, all hopes of a fightback vanished. Wrichik Mazumder (37) and Srikant Kalyani (21) made desperate attempts to hold back the predictable, but the result, by that time, had become a foregone conclusion.

Although Mohanty earned lion’s share of the Bengal wickets, Barik was the pick of the Orissa bowlers with his excellent use of the conditions.

Barring some initial jolts, Pradip Das (39) and Sanjay Raul (42) put on an unseparated third-wicket partnership of 78 to guide Orissa to victory.

“No excuse, we played badly, pretty badly,” Devang told reporters after the match.

Mohanty, on the other hand, described his performance in the match as “my best so far in domestic cricket.” “I was looking for such a show in big matches.”

Assam beat Bihar

Assam beat Bihar by five wickets in another tie at CC & FC with Javed Zaman taking four for 15.

BRIEF SCORES Bihar 134 (Mihir Diwakar 30, Javed Zaman 4/15). Assam 140/5 (J. Zuffri 39, Rajesh Bora 38 n.o.; Diwakar 4/33). Assam won by 5 wkts.


Calcutta, Dec. 10: 
India’s new Test opener Shiv Sundar Das will lead East Zone against South Zone in the Deodhar Trophy match, to be played in Kanpur on Thursday.

Bengal skipper Devang Gandhi has been appointed vice-captain. Bihar’s pacer Mihir Diwakar and wicketkeeper M.S. Dhoni are the surprise names in the 15-member squad, announced here today.

Bengal allrounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla has been named stand-bye.


Shiv Sundar Das (capt), Pravanjan Mallick, Rashmi Ranjan Parida, Sanjay Raul, P. Jaychandra, Debashish Mohanty, Sanjay Satpathy, (all from Orissa), Devang Gandhi (vice capt), Nikhil Haldipur, Rohan Gavaskar, Utpal Chatterjee (all from Bengal), Rajiv Kumar, Mihir Diwakar, M.S. Dhoni (Bihar), and Chetan Sachdev (Tripura).    

Calcutta, Dec. 10: 
Subir Dey took eight for 51 to script East Bengal’s 176-run victory over Ananda Bazar Patrika Sports Club in their CAB two-day league encounter today. Kalighat, Paikpara Sporting and Sporting Union also registered huge wins.


East Bengal 360/7 decl. Ananda Bazar Patrika Sports Club 184 (Minmoy Majumder 64 n.o.; Subir Dey 8/51). East Bengal won by 176 runs.

Shyambazar Club 269. Belgachhia United Club 270/5 (Subhodeep Mukherjee 101, Sagnik Banerjee 80, Arpan Hazar 47; Bikram Jayasaria 2/88). Belgachhia won by 5 wkts.

Aikkya Sammilini 270/8. Burnpur Cricket Club 275/4 (Sumanta Dey Maity 112 n.o., Puspal Roy 80). Burnpur won by 6 wkts.

Monoharpukur Milan Samity 399/7 decl. Rajasthan Club 235/6 (Sandip Chatterjee 63, Afzal Siddiqui 57; Arghya Maitra 3/34). Match drawn.

City AC 186. Sporting Union 190/3 (Prasanta Sinha Roy 81 n.o., Satrajit Lahiri 33). Sporting Union won by 7 wkts.

Kalighat 329/9. Shibpur Institute 141 (Dilshad Akhtar 38 n.o.,Murtaza Lodhgar 5/34). Kalighat won by 188 runs.

Calcutta Rangers Club 237. Paikpara Sporting Club 242/2 (Subrata Narayan Saha 114 n.o., Anirban Chatterjee 73 n.o.). Paikpara won by 8 wkts.

BASKETBALL: BBYS and CPT will meet in the men’s final of the state meet, while Eastern Railway will play Rakhi Sangha in the final in women’s section, to be played Monday. In the semi-finals Sunday, BBYS beat Barisha AC 54-35 and CPT defeated Eastern Railway 64-59. In the women’s section, Eastern Railway trounced BBYS 72-7 and Rakhi Sangha edged past Blue Jays 39-31.


Calcutta, Dec. 10: 
Goutam Jain and N. Sandhu were declared the Best Performer of the Show and Best Rider of the Show, respectively, as The Telegraph-sponsored Eastern India Equestrian championship came to an end at Tollygunge Club today.

Eleven-year old Biren Dey of Tollygunge Club was adjudged the best child rider of the meet which attracted the largest contingent of riders and horses this year.

Governor Viren Shah gave away the prizes.


Calcutta, Dec. 10: 
Aloritz, a fashionably bred colt by Razeen out of Allesca proved a shade superior to the hot-favourite filly Altimara in the Calcutta 2,000 Guineas today. Trained by Vijay Singh, Cristopher Alford partnered the Deepak Khaitan-property to a neck victory over the ownermate, vying for the a classic-double having already bagged the 1,000 Guineas last month.

Lying a close third and fourth behind the leader Alsheim who cut a hot-pace, the winner and the favourite, up in the final-stretch, were quick to take matter in their own hands.But a length’s lead established by the colt spelt doom for the Aslam Kader-ride. Daggers Drawn was a faraway third.


1. Pilot Handicap 1,100m: (4-7-5-6) Winning Hand (Gowli) 1; Starina (Rutherford) 2; Mr. Bombshell (A. Imran) 3; Sovereign Bullet (Upadhya) 4. Won by: 3/4; hd; 1-1/2; (1-7.9). Tote:Win Rs 43; Place: 14; 28; 11; Quinella: 295; Tanala: 1,012. Fav: Mr. Bombshell (5). Winner trained by Javed K.

2. Maharajadhiraja Uday Chand Mahtab Of Burdwan Memorial Cup 2,000m: (2-4-3-1) Illustrious Reign (Hughes) 1; Allosaki (C. Alford) 2; Tanganyika (M. Reuben) 3; Treasurer (Surender) 4. Won by: 3-3/4; 5-3/4; 9-1/4; (2-6.1). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 18; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 71. Fav: Illustrious Reign (2). Winner trained by Daniel D.

3. Flying Saucer Handicap 2,000m: (3-7-4-1) Alborada (Hughes) 1; Avionic (Islam) 2; Supreme Desire (C. Alford) 3; Hurricane Star (Connorton) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; Nk; 2-3/4; (2-13.6). Tote: Win Rs 41; Place: 14; 49; 13; Quinella: 493; Tanala: 2,901. Fav: Soviet Port (4). Winner trained by Daniel D.

4. Air Force Cup 1,400m: (5-9-6-7) Fame Star (C. Alford) 1; Double Bull (M. Reuben) 2; Kansai (Rabani) 3; Best In Show (A. Imran) 4. Not run: Baffin Bay (4). Won by: 6; SH; 1/2; (1-26.2). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 26; 26; Quinella: 72; Tanala: 476. Fav: Fame Star (5). Winner trained by Vijay S.

5. Nanoli Stud Juvenile Stakes 1,100m: (2-1-7-9) Astride (Shanker) 1; Alcalde (Rajesh) 2; Angeles (Kader) 3; Think Of Us (R. Marshall) 4. Won by: Hd; 3/4; Nk; (1-7.4). Tote: Win Rs 142; Place: 26; 51; 14; Quinella: 1,451; Tanala: 10,681. Fav: Angeles (7). Winner trained by Vijay S.

6. Calcutta 2000 Guineas 1,600m: (1-9-6-3) Aloritz (C. Alford) 1; Altimara (Kader) 2; Daggers Drawn (F. Lynch) 3; Andreyev (Rajesh) 4. Won by: Nk; 4-1/4; 3-3/4; (1-38). Tote: Win Rs 60; Place: 18; 12; 27; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 864. Fav: Altimara (9). Winner trained by Vijay S.

7. Winged Tiger Handicap 1,200m: (6-3-7-4) Diplomatic Gesture (Shanker) 1; Aflicker (Islam) 2; Abstone Queen (A. Imran) 3; Aliqa (M. Reuben) 4. Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/2; SH; (1-15). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 12; 31; 11; Quinella: 225; Tanala: 639. Fav: Abstone Queen (7). Winner trained by Bath.

Jackpot: Rs 10,988; (C) Rs 1,099.

Treble: (i) Rs 67; (ii) Rs 1,784.

Mock race after the last race

1,100m: Soviet Song (Ruzaan), 2yo Ansach (A. P. Singh), 2yo Alegria (C. Alford), 2yo Calorescence (Surender), Accrete (Amil) and Friendly Knight (V. Jaiswal) in 1-6s. They were separated by 8 ls; 4; ls 4 ls; & 6 ls. Note the first three named horses.


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