Mahata shines
Roy statue
Spurs likely to do a relief tour
Top seeds in finals
Sunil to keep off senior circuit now
Dibyendu shares lead
Eden pitch inspected
Calcutta Races/ Star cast for a charity show
Calcutta Races/ Track trials
Bangalore Races/ Alameda for CM’s Trophy

Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
Diptendu Mahata’s unbeaten 208 helped Eastern Railways pile up 389 for three on the opening day of a CAB senior division league match against Taltala Institute today. Sanjay Bhattacharya remained not out on 100.

BRIEF SCORES: Eastern Railway 389/3 (Diptendu Mahata 208 n.o., Sanjay Bhattacharya 100 n.o.) vs Taltala Institute.

Schools basketball

St. Xavier’s and Don Bosco are in the semi-finals of the Xaverian inter-school basketball meet. In a group league match today, the hosts beat Don Bosco 58-55. Semi-finalists from the other group are yet to identified.    

Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
The state government has decided to instal in the city a statue of cricketer Pankaj Roy, who passed away Sunday, anounced state sports ministewr Subhas Chakraborty here today.    

Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
With memories of the Sahara Cup misadventure fresh in the mind, there is now talk of another international soccer show in India.

This time, it is learnt, plans are on to bring English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs to India for a couple of exhibition matches, proceeds from which will go to the Gujarat earthquake relief fund. The team may include some players of the English national team.

The plan has been floated apparently by event management company Leisure Sports Management, and Mohun Bagan, it seems, are willing to play the matches against the English club.

According to a club official, UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya is interested in funding the matches. If the matches do take place, Goa and Calcutta are likely to be the venues. It could not be confirmed when the matches will be held though there are claims that they will be played during the National League.


Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
There were no upsets in the singles semi-finals of the Double Diamond ITF junior tennis championship at DKS today as the top seeds secured berths in the final along with two players from the city.

Boys’ top seed Sunil Kumar didn’t quite perform at his best, but still, faced little difficulty in beating No. 7 Nishank Mishra 6-3, 6-0. Girls’ No. 1 Sania Mirza overcame a tough opening set against Indonesia’s Sandy Gumulya before prevailing 7-6 (8-6), 6-0.

The city-based Reedhina Parekh continued her dream run, beating the unseeded Yamini Thukkainidi 6-1, 6-3. This was the unseeded player’s maiden entry into the final of a tournament of this stature.

Sewa, the second seed, was ruthless in his 6-0, 6-4 demolition of No. 3 Amanjyot Singh. The Calcutta boy was extremely aggressive in the first set but committed a few errors in the second.

Reedhina, having eliminated the fourth and sixth seeds earlier, didn’t face much difficulty in today’s match and won in under an hour. “My strategy was to keep the ball on court and let her make the mistakes,” she said later. She faces an uphill task in tomorrow’s final against Sania who has beaten her in their only previous encounter.

Sania played some strong and deep groundstrokes to take a 4-2 lead in the opener before dropping serve. She trailed 2-5 in the tie-break but there were no signs of nervousness as she kept playing her shots.

The Indonesian was a baseliner, quite like Sania, but the Hyderabad girl’s strokes were more penetrating which made the difference between the players. Sania simply whipped her in the second set.

“Her groundstrokes were good but she needs to work on her service and move up more often,” observed Naresh Kumar.

Kumar, the left-handed former senior national hardcourt champion, gained substantially from the numerous errors Mishra committed and broke his serve in the second game of the first set. Kumar’s serving was not up to the mark and he double faulted twice from 40-15 in the third game but managed to hold serve.

Kumar broke Mishra again in the sixth and was serving for the set at 5-1 when he was broken for the only time in the match. Mishra, unlike his form today, played a delightful lob to force the break. He held serve but Kumar won the ninth game at love and pocketed the set with an ace.

Mishra’s only chance to fight back in the second set came in the second game but he wasted four break points after which he was never in the match. Kumar finished it off with another ace. Though he won, he would certainly like to improve his game in the final and volleying may well be an area of extra care.

Sewa, with a better built than Singh, made good use of this advantage and belted some strong shots from the baseline. He mixed it up with some well-timed drop shots and the volleys also fetched him some points.

Working extremely hard, Sewa did little wrong in the first set and his court coverage and retrieving compounded Singh’s woes. Already frustrated with his own bad form, Singh could just watch in disbelief as whatever he hurled kept coming back in the first set.

Singh held serve in the opening game of the second before the players traded serve for the next four games. Another break in the ninth gave Sewa the match. Sewa, unlike the first set, made a few mistakes in the second but his opponent was in no shape to capitalise on them and force a third set.


BOYS: Singles semi-finals: Sunil Kumar (Ind) bt Nishank Mishra (Ind) 6-3, 6-0; Vinod Sewa (Ind) bt Amanjyot Singh 6-0, 6-4. Doubles semi-finals: Kumar/Sewa (Ind) bt Rohan Gajjar/Vikrant Sane (Ind) 6-2, 7-5; Manoj Sewa/Dhruv Kumar (Ind) bt Jaco Matthew/S. Varman (Ind) 6-4, 6-4.

GIRLS: Singles semi-finals: Sania Mirza (Ind) bt Sandy Gumulya (Ina) 7-6 (8-6), 6-0; Reedhina Parekh (Ind) bt Yamini Thukkaindi (Ind) 6-1, 6-3. Doubles final: Gumulya/N.S. Yutami (Ina) bt Sania/Rosa Maya (Ind) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.


Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
To catch them young is a job just begun. What lies ahead is the task of grooming and guiding the players for the tougher tests in the increasingly demanding international tennis circuit.

In a country not famous for doing that, a process is on to prepare a few youngsters for the international tennis arena. At the centre of attention are local boy Vinod Sewa and Chandigarh’s Sunil Kumar and Amanjyot Singh.

Kumar and Singh are under a project jointly undertaken by Paes En Sport and the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association while Sewa is being looked after solely by the city-based company.

“We’ve decided to keep Kumar away from the senior circuit for the whole year as this is his last year as a junior,” said Dr Vece Paes, managing director of Paes En Sport.

It may appear unusual, as Kumar shot into the limelight by winning the senior national hardcourt title in 1999, when he was just 16. He was a non-playing member of the Indian Davis Cup squad for the tie against Lebanon in Lucknow last year, apart from getting a wild card at last year’s Gold Flake Open in Chennai.

“People may have expected him to be a regular at the senior circuit but we think he should spend some more time among juniors to learn certain things indispensable on the bigger stage,” Dr Paes explained.

Kumar has been a regular on the ITF junior circuit since last March and won three titles in Sri Lanka, Delhi and Bangladesh.

“Playing well in these events will improve his world ranking and we aim to help him break into juniors’ top 20. You’ll find that most top juniors make it big when they become seniors,” Dr Paes said.

“Winning the senior national title brought Kumar to the fore but also raised expectations. We felt he would burn out soon if he became a regular there,” he said.

Dr Paes cited the example of Vijay Kannan, a promising junior who could not live up to the demands of seniors’ tennis.

“Staying at the junior circuit will help Kumar develop a strong base, technically and physically. He will also get to play more matches which would improve his ranking,” felt Dr Paes.

Currently, Kumar is ranked in the seventies but he has to be ranked below 50 to get direct entries at junior Grand Slam events.

“I lost some points recently but will play a lot of tournaments now which should help me recover,” said Kumar. He got a direct entry to this year’s junior Australian Open where he lost in the first round.

Staying at the junior level will also help Kumar to get recognition and sponsors if he does well at the junior Grand Slams.

Dr Paes is hopeful that Kumar will get a direct entry to the French Open and Wimbledon along with Singh and Sewa.

Sewa is now ranked in the eighties and Singh is currently over 100 but both have chances to improve since they will play a lot more events now. Sewa has so far won two ITF junior titles in Canada and Brunei, while Singh has the Chandigarh and Colombo crowns under his belt.

The players are sent to meets where their chances of collecting points are higher. “Playing wherever you can doesn’t make sense and you have to keep in mind things like the surface that suits you and the kind of opposition since collecting points is the most crucial thing,” opined Naresh Kumar, who welcomes the move to keep Kumar at the junior level.


Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
On a day of upsets, N. Sanjay of India gave top seed, Andrei Kharlov of Russia a few anxious moments before settling for a draw while Dibyendu Barua forged into the lead along with two others at Alekhine Chess Club today.

In other major upsets, Arghyadip Das of Goodricke National Chess Academy beat IM Surya Sekhar Ganguly while Asian under-12 boys champion Abhijit Gupta outwitted WGM Julia Galianina-Ryjanova of Russia and Koneru Humpy held GM Alexie Barsov of Uzbekistan.

The much-hyped game between P. Harikrishna and Nassir Wajih ended in a draw, despite Harikrishna’s efforts to squeeze out a win from a sterile position.

Three players — GM Barua, Maxim Sorokin of Argentina and Buenavent Villamayor — shared the lead with 3.5 points.

Sanjay, who is rated nearly 275 Elo points below his illustrous opponent, had Kharlov in dire straits as he obtained a clearly superior position from the opening. Sanjay won a pawn in the middle game by a neat tactical trick, which caught Kharlov unawares. He allowed the Russian to escape with a draw by going into a Queen and pawn ending as Kharlov started giving perpetual checks with his Queen.

Harikrishna of Wipro, playing white, against Wajih of Railways, won the exchange of rook for knight in the middle game but Wajih defended tenaciously to thwart all his attempts to force a win. Both players finally settled for truce after a battle in a double rook-rook and knight ending.

Barua, playing white opted for the closed structure of the Guico Piano against Chandra Sekher Gokhale and soon obtained a good position by a pawn sacrifice. Gokhale tried to complicate the game by a piece sacrifice, which gave him three pawns.

The elder brother of Chandra Sekher, Jayant Gokhale won a pawn against the Filipino National champion GM Buenavent Villamayor early in the game in a Reti Opening. For most part of the game Jayant held the upper hand, but under time pressure blundered a piece and lost.

Ganguly, playing with the black pieces, made an unsound rook sacrifice early in the game against Arghyadip but the latter defended well to pocket full point.

Asian under-12 boys champion Abhijit destroyed WGM Ryjanova’s defence in 33 moves in a Trompkovsky Opening.

Koneru Humpy, playing her usual brand of solid position chess gave little room to Uzbekistan GM Alexie Borosov to try and create any counter-play and drew her game in 30 moves.

National champion GM Abhijit Kunte gave up a pawn in the Botvinnik variation of the Caro Kan defence against double GM norm holder G.B. Prakash. Kunte had good compensation for the pawn as Prakash’s King was out in the centre. Kunte went on to win the game in 41moves.

RESULTS (Round 4)

Lanka Ravi (3) drew Evegeny Vladimirov (3); Jayant Gokhale (2.5) lost to Buenavent Villamayor (3.5); Maxim Sorokin (3.5) bt Abdulla Al-Rakib (2.5); P. Harikrishna (3) drew Nassir Wajih (3); Dibyendu Barua (3.5) bt C. S. Gokhale (2.5); N. Sanjay (2.5) drew Andrei Kharlov (2.5); Abhijit Kunte (3) bt G.B. Prakash (2); Igor Rausis (2.5) drew Gurpreetpal Singh (2.5); Joanna Dworakowska (2) lost to Josheph J Gallaghar (3); PDS Girinath (2) lost to Eshan Ghayem Maghami (3); Koneru Humpy (2.5) drew Alexie Barsov (2.5); Datu Idelfanso (2) drew Tomasz Markowski (2); Dimitri Komarov (2.5) bt B.T. Muralikrishnan (1.5); Dinesh Sharma (2) drew with Dimitri Reinderman (2); Vishal Sareen (2) drew Normund Miezis (2); Rahul Shetty (1.5) lost to R.B. Ramesh (2.5); Ziaur Rahaman (2.5) bt Deep Sengupta (1.5); S. Vijayalakshmi (1.5) drew Anup Deshmukh (1.5); Oleg Boricsev (1) lost to Alexie Khamatagaleev (2); Sriram Jha (2) bt S. Meenakshi (1); P. Konguvel (1.5) drew Tejas Bakre (1.5); K. Murugan (1.5) drew Harkamal Singh Sandhu (1.5); T.S. Ravi (2) bt Anoori Shah (1); Chito Garma (1.5) bt Pankaj Joshi (0.5); Nelson Marian (1) drew Christian Brauer (1); Abhijit Gupta (1.5) bt Galianina Ryjanova (0.5).


Victor Mikhalevski (3) bt Saheli Dhar Barua (2); Argyhadip Das (2.5) bt Surya Sekhar Ganguly (1.5); Sandipan Chanda (2.5) bt Saptarshi Roy (1.5); Lungu Malupande (2) drew Neelotpal Das (2); Shanker Roy (1.5) bt Amon Simutowe (0.5); S. Satyapragyan (1) bt Saheli Nath (0.5).    

Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
Representatives of the BCCI pitches committee — C. Kasturirangan and Dheeraj Parsana — inspected the Eden Gardens turf today in the wake of the coming second Test (March 11) between India and Australia. CAB officials said the inspectors were satisfied with the ground condition and termed it as the best of what they have seen so far. They said there was no instruction on specific tuning of the pitch.    

Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
The Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) has long been associated with charities, and the race course has always been the favourite hunting ground for cine stars. Some of them will be there tomorrow for the noble cause: raise funds for Gujarat’s earthquake victims. The star guest during the afternoon will be Raima Sen Dev Varma, who will not only present the H. H. Jagaddipendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur of Cooch Behar Memorial Cup — instituted in memory of her ancestral — but the young sensation will also join mother, Munmun, choreographer Tanushree Shankar and others to raise funds. Nevertheless, the 2,000 Guineas winner Aloritz, from trainer Vijay Singh’s yard, could be banked upon to win trophy in the hands of jockey Cristopher Alford.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

1st Race at 12.45 pm.

Stand Off Handicap 1,100m (Cl V —Rated 18 & below) —Indian jockeys only
1 0043 Go With The Wind [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 60.0 4
2 2410 Private Lives [Bath] Md Islam 58.0 2
3 4003 Armila [P. Locke] Md Yasin 56.0 3
4 0300 Adeline [Daniel] C. Alford 53.0 1
5 4030 Three Good [Bath] M. Reuben 50.0 5
1. Go With The Wind (1) 2. Private Lives (2) 3. Armila (3)
Go With The Wind: Knocking at the door. May strike. Private Lives: Ignore her last run. May make best use of her apprentice allowance. Armila: Upset, if any.

2nd Race at 1.15 pm.

H. H. Maharaja Of Cooch Behar Memorial Cup 1,600m (Cl 1; Cl II eligible 66-94)
1 - - 40 Freedom Dancer [Vijay S.] A. P. Singh 62.0 2
2 3130 Illustrious Reign [Daneil] A. Imran K. 61.0 4
3 - 111 Aloritz [Vijay] C. Alford 56.5 3
4 1114 Anolini [Vijay] Md Amil 51.5 1
1. Aloritz (3) 2. Anolini (4) 3. Illustrious Reign (2)
Aloritz: Beat Altimara , who won the Derby — in the Guineas. May be hard to toss. Anolini: Spells danger with 5-kg pull at the weights. Illustrious Reign: May place.

3rd Race at 2.00 pm.

Fair Haven Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV,Cl V eligible,3-y-o only Rt.00-50)
1 - - 2 Blue Gardenia [Darashah] N. Connorton 60.0 7
2 - - - - Aberdan [Daniel] Md Amil 54.5 5
3 - - - - Alicyclic [Vijay] C. Alford 54.5 2
4 - - - - Grecian Prince [Daniel] B. Gurang 54.5 4
5 - - - - Secret Adversary [Daniel] R. Gowli 54.5 1
6 - - - 0 Regency Times [Daniel] A. Imran K. 53.5 9
7 - - - 4 Victoria Rose [Bath] M. Reuben 52.5 6
8 - - 30 Lamborghini [P. Locke] N. Engineer 52.0 3
9 - - 44 Maid To Measure [Daniel] Som S. 50.5 8
1. Alicyclic (3) 2. Blue Gardenia (1) 3.Lamborghini (8)
Alicyclic: Tested against good sprinters in the yard. May make a winning debut. Blue Gardenia: May find it hard to give 7-kg to a good baby. Lamborghini: May place.

4th Race at 2.35 pm

Ardiles Cup 1,100m (Cl II —Rt. 66-94)
1 0400 No Surrender [Javed] M. Reuben 60.0 2
2 1220 Annella [Vijay] C. Alford 57.5 8
3 0034 Quickdraw McGraw [Karki] P. Kujur 57.5 3
4 1002 Princelene [Asfand] A. Imran K. 54.5 7
5 1230 Mameena [Stephens] N. Connorton 54.0 4
6 4300 Kansai [Bath] Md Islam 52.0 5
7 3410 Staffordshire [Javed] R. Gowli 51.0 1
8 2000 Serenader [Vijay] Surender S. 49.5 6
1. Quickdraw Mcgraw (3) 2. Annella (2) 3. Princelene (4)
Quickdraw McGraw: Has been given the kind of preparations he needs. May surprise. Annella: Ignore her HSBC run. May do better. Princelene: May place.

5th Race at 3.10 pm.

Port Desire Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV —Rt. 22-50) —Indian jockeys only
1 0004 Just Kidding [R. Alford] P. Alford 60.0 6
2 2034 Constantine [Karki] P. Kujur 59.0 5
3 - 000 Nash Tiger [Daniel] B. Gurang 58.0 1
4 1242 Queen’s Logic [Bath] C. Alford 58.0 3
5 - 000 Googy Gangster [Rodrigues] Brij S. 57.0 2
6 0000 Storm Centre [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 57.0 4
7 0330 Red Trident [R. Alford] R. Yadav 56.0 7
8 4200 Airs Image [Daniel] A. Imran K. 49.5 8
1. queen’s Logic (4) 2. Just Kidding (1) 3. Red Trident (7)
Queen’s Logic: Lost narrowly. May cheer up her mentor, Bharath Singh, with a welcome gift. Just Kidding: May repay losses for last failure. Red Trident: May place.

6th Race at 3.50 pm.

Mysore Race Club Cup 1,600m (Cl III, Cl IV —Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only
1 1000 Santa Monica [Daniel] Md Islam 60.0 2
2 2404 Beau Bruno [Daniel] S. Paswan 59.5 3
3 2120 Alborada [Daniel] R. Gowli 58.0 1
4 - - 00 Little Too Much [Daniel] Som S. 58.0 8
5 0402 Silver Toy [D. Byramji] M. Reuben 58.0 4
6 0000 Aragrove [Daniel] G. Upadhya 56.5 6
7 4004 Gambino [Daniel] A. Imran K. 56.0 11
8 0440 High Life [Jaiswal] E. Smith 56.0 5
9 3100 Ace Of Spades [Daniel] S. Tamang 55.0 7
10 2100 Crucible[Vijay] C. Alford 54.0 10
11 3200 Black Mane [Karki] P. Kujur 53.0 9
1. Crucible (10) 2. Silver Toy (5) 3. Gambino (7)
Crucible: A good fifth behind Lockers Park, No Regrets and Lovely Peospect. May win. Silver Toy: Arithmetic of weights favours Crucible. Gambino: Upset, if any.

7th Race at 4.25 pm.

Turf Hawk Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV —Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only
1 - 132 Cool Quest [D. Byramji] M. Reuben 60.5 9
2 - - 32 Melodeon [Vijay] C. Alford 60.5 8
3 0002 Super Smile [Bath] Md Islam 59.5 5
4 0003 Spanish Drum’s [Daniel] A. Imran K. 59.0 7
5 3303 Bul Bul [P. Locke] D. Locke 58.5 3
6 4434 Persuasion [Bath] S. Shanker 53.0 10
7 1400 Royal Ruler [R. Alford] K. Gurang 52.5 4
8 4012 Friendly Knight [Jaiswal] K. Kumar 52.0 1
9 0000 Stella Blue [Mujeeb] Md Amil 48.0 2
10 0000 Pneumatic Power [Daniel] S. Tamang 47.0 6
1. Melodeon (2) 2. Spanish Drum’s (4) 3. Super Smile (3)
Melodeon: Showed good turn of foot yet lost a 1,100m race. May be hard to down over 1,400m. Spanish Drum’s: Last run good. May do better.Super Smile: May place.
Day’s Best: Melodeon
Double: Aloritz & Crucible    

Calcutta, Feb. 9: 
Andreyev was impressive in today’s work outs

Outer sand track

2,200m: Andreyev (C. Alford) and Classic Pursuit (Islam) in 2-47s; (1,000m) 1-12s; (400m) 27s. They were level. Later join at 1,400m.

1,600m: Flinders (Khalander) in 2-4s; (400m) 31s. Easy.

1,400m: Albright (C. Alford) and Automatic (Amil) in 1-38s; (400m) 29s. Former far better. Calorescence (C. Alford) and Astride (Amil) in 1-43s; (400m) 28s. They were level. Accrete (Amil) and Ansbach (C. Alford) in 1-40s; (400m) 28s. Former was urged to finish ahead.

1,200m: Tsaynen Blue (Gowli) and The Stud (Upadhya) in 1-28s; (400m) 28s. They were level. Appeaer (Khalander) in 1-23s; (400m) 28s. Good.

1,000m: The Archer (Rutherford) in 1-9s; (400m) 27s. Moved well. Starry Flag (Islam) and Gentle Priest (Sure-nder) in 1-11s; (400m) 30s. Former was a length better. Tsavo (Khalander) in 1-9s; (400m) 275s. Pushed. Santillana (Tamang) in 1-11s; (400m) 29s.

800m: Breakfast At Tiffany (Islam) and Sunset Down (Surender) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Both level.

600m: Fibonacci (Smith) and Go India Go (V. Jaiswal) in 41s; (400m) 28s. Former 6 ls better.

Sand track

1,600m: Jeweller (A. P. Singh) and Alvarada (C. Alford) in 1-57s; (400m) 32s. Former 2 ls better.

800m: Almond Rock (Rb) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Handy.


Bangalore, Feb. 9: 
Alameda, on board in both his starts, looks best to lift the 2,400m Chief Minister’s Trophy, tomorrow’s feature. The Darius Byramji-trainee with Aslam Kader in the saddle, may, however, have to beat Pas De Memories and Il Diablo. The cynosure of all eyes will be jockey Satish Narredu who is two winners short of the magic figure of 1,000.


2.30 pm: Autobahn 1. Brora 2. Astrid 3.

3 pm: Old Meldrum 1. Star Splendour 2. Crystal Ocean 3.

3.30 pm: Poise 1. Nobody’s Angel 2. Squeeze 3.

4 pm: Alameda 1. Il Diablo 2. Pas De Memories 3.

4.30 pm: Silver Hope 1. Bank Of Promise 2. Musselburgh 3.

5 pm: Mambo 1. Gordon’s Pet 2. Royal Satsuma 3.

5.30 pm: Odeon 1. Forestry 2. Believe 3.

Day’s Best: Alamed

Double: Silver Hope & Mambo


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