Nehra for India Sr
Dibyendu Barua dismisses Vladimirov
Mohun Bagan top group B
Ladies’ golf from today
Bengal-TN final
Mumbai Races/ Simply Noble sprints to victory
Calcutta Races/ Aiberni, Rescue Act shine

Chennai, Feb. 11: 
Delhi left-arm quick Ashish Nehra, who made quite an impression in phase I of the conditioning camp which ended today, is set to be added to the India Senior squad for the four-day Hero Honda Challenger beginning tomorrow.

The Challenger opener pits India Senior (led by Sourav Ganguly) against Rahul Dravid’s India A.

Nehra, who earned his first (and surprising) India call-up for the Asian Test Championship fixture in Colombo two years ago, wasn’t picked in any of the three Challenger teams (India Senior, India A and India B), but the powers-that-be have had a re-think.

A member of the national selection committee told The Telegraph: “Jawagal Srinath will probably rest after one match and, then, his place (in the XI) will be taken by Nehra. Of course, this has to be formally cleared by the Board.”

Among others, Nehra has impressed captain Sourav and coach John Wright. Clearly, he’s breathing down Zaheer Khan’s neck like nobody else. In other words, Zaheer’s selection as third seamer (after Srinath and Ajit Agarkar) is far from guaranteed.

The Challenger will be the cynosure for the next few days, but the Board’s wisdom in scheduling a one-day tournament just days before what will be a most demanding Test series, against world champions Australia, is baffling. Even outstanding performances in a series of one-day games shouldn’t influence Test selection. Why, then, have the Challenger now?

Surely the Board, which is weighed down by any number of committees, must give more thought to such strictly cricket matters. In any case, we don’t require a consultant from overseas to highlight such anomalies.

Phase II of camp

Meanwhile, the Board has agreed to Wright’s suggestion that the conditioning camp continue “for three days” after the Challenger ends, on February 15. Of course, absent (from among the probables’ pool of 25) will be 12 who have been picked for the India A match (versus Australia) in Nagpur.

However, one learns ‘fresh’ probables can be added. Young Sridharan Sriram, for one, is sure to figure in phase II.


Calcutta, Feb. 11: 
Overnight leader Buenavent Villamayor of the Philippines and Joseph Gallagher of Switzerland emerged joint leaders after Day VI of the Goodricke International Open Chess tournament at Alekhine Chess Club today.

Villamayor, playing Black, against Victor Mikhalevski of Israel in a Trompovsky Opening, forced a draw after giving perpetual checks.

“I was surprised by the choice of his opening and was totally taken aback. I had come prepared for a fight, but the game went along solid positional lines. I was in time pressure, and took the safe way out by giving perpetual checks,” Villamayor told The Telgraph after the game.

On the second board, Gallagher had little difficulty in overcoming the challenge of Nassir Wajih in a Benoni defence.

Dibyendu Barua, displayed his legendary endgame prowess against GM Evgeny Vladimirov of Kazakhstan in a Bishop versus Knight ending. He employed his favourite Guico Piano Opening and split Vladimirov pawn structure to go into a favourable ending. He then played the ending like a book to pocket full points.

This was Barua’s first win against Vladimirov in four encounters. He lost both games to Vladimirov in the world championship in New Delhi and had lost in the Pentamedia GM tourney last year.

“I had specially prepared this line against him for the World Championship but did not get an opportunity to employ it. I had a clear advantage after my 12th move Nb3. He offered me a draw on the 23rd move which I rejected. I should have won in the middle game itself but I misplayed and the game extended to the endgame,” Barua said later.

IM Lanka Ravi squandered excellent winning chances as he failed to evaluate the position correctly and offered a draw to top seed Andrei Kharlov of Russia from a winning position. Kharlov promptly grabbed the offer and signed peace treaty.

A dejected Ravi, who is unbeaten so far, said: “I am angry with myself for missing such a simple continuation. I offered a draw in a winning position. Had I won, I would have had, excellent chances of a getting a GM norm.”

After an insipid start, IM Sandipan Chanda of GNCA bounced back into reckoning for a GM norm with a fluent victory over IM Esham Ghaem Maghami of Iran.

World under-12 boys’ champion Deep Sengupta of Chakradharpur upset IM Shankar Roy of Railways. In the Pelikan variation of the Sicilian defence, Deep sarificed a piece for attack which caught Shankar unawares. He promoted a pawn to Queen and effectively utilised his pieces to weave a mating net around Shankar’s King.

N. Sanjay, drew with yet another Grandmaster to hold Tomasz Markowski of Poland in the King’s Indian defence. Sanjay obtained advantage from the opening, but then, allowed Markowski to escape with a draw under time pressure. Sanjay had drawn against top seed, Andrei Kharlov of Russia in the 4th round.

Double GM norm holders, P. Harikrishna of Wipro and Zia-ur Rahaman of Bangladesh drew their game after 30 moves when neither player could make any progress due to the closed nature of the position.

R.B. Ramesh held GM Igor Rausis of Latvia played the Moscow variation of the Semi-Slav defence. Ramesh had a cramped position from the opening but he sacrificed the exchange and forced a draw by giving perpetual checks with his Queen.


Victor Mikhalevski (4.5) drew with Buenavent Villamayor (5); Joseph Gallagher (5) bt Nassir Wajih (4); Lanka Ravi (4) drew with Andrei Kharlov (4); Dibyendu Barua (4.5) bt Evgeny Vladimirov (3.5); Maxim Sorokin (4.5) bt Alexie Barsov (3.5); Igor Rausis (4) drew with R. B. Ramesh (4); P. Harikrishna (4) drew with Zia-ur Rahaman (4); Sandipan Chanda (4.5) bt Eshan Ghaem Maghami (3.5); Abhijit Kunte (4) bt Anup Deshmukh (3); P.D.S. Girinath (3.5) drew with T. S. Ravi (3.5); Lungu Malupande (3) lost to C. S. Gokhale (4).


Dinesh Kr Sharma (3.5) bt Neelotpal Das (2.5); Arghyadip Das (2.5) lost to Tejas Bakre (3.5); Datu Idelfanso (3.5) bt Saheli Dhar Barua (2.5); Pankaj Joshi (1.5) lost to Surya Sekhar Ganguly (2.5); Chito Garma (2.5) bt Saptarshi Roy (1.5); Deep Sengupta (2.5) bt Shankar Roy (1.5); J. Galianina-Ryanova (1.5) bt Saheli Nath (0.5).


Calcutta, Feb. 11: 
Mohun Bagan defeated YMCA (College Street) by six wickets to emerge champions in group B of the CAB first division league today. Goutam Chakraborty and Laxmi Ratan Shukla with unbeaten knocks of 67 and 33 respectively, guided Mohun Bagan past the 178-run target in 41.2 overs.

In another match, Siddhartha Mukherjee (158) and Rajib Maharana (142 n.o.) scored a century apiece to help Paikpara Sporting draw with Kumartuli Institute.


YMCA (College Street) 178. Mohun Bagan 179/4 (Goutam Chakraborty 67 n.o., Laxmi Ratan Shukla 33 n.o.). Mohun Bagan won by 6 wkts.

Netaji Subhas Institute 330. Rangers Club 315 (Sheik Sabir 63; Debashish Mukherjee 5/66, Rathindranath Dutta 3/70). NSI won by 15 runs.

Kumartuli Institute 452/3. Paikpara Sporting 360/6 (Siddhartha Mukherjee 158, Rajib Maharana 142 n.o.; Utpal Chatterjee 3/28). Match drawn.

Rajasthan 246. Tapan Memorial 250/8 (Ranabir Nath 86, Jaydeep Mukherjee 40; Amit Jaiswal 3/34). Tapan Memorial won by 2 wkts.

Ballygunge United Club 210. Manoharpukur Milan Samity 215/7 (Debabrata Banik 80 n.o., Rakesh Nagar 47; Javed Akhtar 3/11). Manoharpukur won by 3 wkts.

SBCA Red best

Sambaran Banerjee Cricket Academy (SBCA) ‘Red’ lifted the under-12 Kartik Bose Memorial Trophy, beating Chetla Agrani Sangha by seven wickets in the final at Kalighat Park today.

BRIEF SCORES:Chetla Agrani Sangha 189/3 (Pallab Mondal 47, Akshik Das 49) lost to SBCA ‘Red’ 190/3 (Tamajit Karmakar 66 n.o., Abhirup Gupta 57, Prasant Yadav 32 n.o.).


Calcutta, Feb. 11: 
The RCGC will host the 84th all-India ladies amateur championship, organised by the Calcutta Ladies Golf Club from tomorrow to Saturday.

Eighty participants are expected to register, of which 30 will be from outside the city. There are entries from overseas as well, including Sri Lanka and Japan. Defending champion Tushalini Silvaratnam from Sri Lanka will, however, be missed this time around.

The meet will also boast of India’s top amateur women golfers. Irina Brar, Parnita Grewal, Shruti Khanna and Vandana Agarwal have all confirmed participation.

The first two days of the meet will see the medal round being played followed by the match-play and then knockout. The winner of the gold division in the match-play will receive the all-India Trophy. This meet also serves as the selection ground for the national team.

Chowrasia’s first title

S.S.P. Chowrasia won his maiden title on the Wills Sport Golf Tour, at the Rs 6 lakh Sir Padampat Singhania Open golf meet at the Army Golf Club Course in New Delhi today.

According to information received here, Chowrasia shot a 3-under 69 today to total one-under 287. Arjun Atwal was second, three strokes behind after shooting a one-over 73 (two-over 290). Dinesh Raghuvanshi of Pune was third (293), while Shiv Prakash and Akbar Ali were joint fourth (294).


Calcutta, Feb. 11: 
Bengal beat Karnataka 2-0 in the semi-final of 14th all-India postal football meet today. Pallab Majumdar and Kaushik Dey scored for the winners.

Bengal will clash with Tamil Nadu who beat Kerala 5-4 via tie-breaker in the other semi-final.

Ranking badminton

Piyal Das trounced Dibyendu Paul 15-1, 15-0 in junior boys singles section of the Lalit Mitra Memorial state-ranking badminton meet today.

RESULTS (all singles) — Junior boys: Piyal Das bt Dibyendu Paul 15-1, 15-0.

Sub-junior boys: Anibesh Mondal bt S. Ghosh 15-0, 15-1; Piyal Das bt Subhanjan Dasgupta 15-1, 15-1.

Sub-junior girls: D. Halder bt A. Dutta 11-0, 11-0; Paushali Dutta bt Joyita Sarkar 11-7, 13-12; Payel Banerjee bt Samprikta Singh 11-0, 11-2; Soumi Dutta bt Tithi Ghosh 11-0, 11-0.

U-11 boys & girls: Amit Dey bt Soumyotatha Kar 15-1, 15-4; Souvik Kar bt Sourav Chatterjee 15-3, 15-13.

Mini boys: Subhajit Kundu bt Amal Singh 15-5, 15-4.

Mini girls: Moharmala Mukherjee bt Tapasi Lal 11-1, 11-3; Sarmistha Debnath bt Ruma Ghosh 13-12, 6-11, 11-5.


Mumbai9, Feb. 11: 
Known to be more comfortable over a mile, the Dallas Todywalla-trained Simply Noble made it a pillar-to-post victory in the 1,200m Dr. S. C. Jain Sprinters’ Trophy in Mumbai on Sunday. Richard Hughes partnered the Placerville-Lap Of Luxury four-year-old to half-a-length victory over Strength To Strength.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Atomic Prince Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (2-8-1) Amorous Warrior (Shroff) 1; Sleepyhead 2; Shanillo 3. Won by: Nk; 1/2; (1-29.4). Tote: Win Rs 27; Place: 14; 30; 37; Quinella: 157; Tanala: 1,610. Fav: Amorous Warrior (2).

2. General Obaidullah Khan Trophy 2,400m: (4-5-2) Great Pasha (Rajendra) 1; Inimitable 2; Yukon 3. Won by: 4-1/4; 1-1/4; (2-40.5).Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 21; 13; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 234. Fav: Inimitable (5).

3. Rusi Patel Trophy 1,600m: (5-7-4) Astor Place (Shroff) 1; Sunstreak 2; Judge Jules 3. Won by: 3; 3-1/2; (1-40.5). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 13; 13; 11; Quinella: 58; Tanala: 122. Fav: Judge Jules (4).

4. Atomic Prince Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (1-10-7) Forest Hunter (Ikram K.) 1; White Lie 2; Top’m All 3. Won by: 2-3/4; Hd; (1-29.4). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 16; 38; 64; Quinella: 441; Tanala: 8,569. Fav: Aerodynamic (2).

5. HSBC Salver 1,600m: (3-4-7) Run For Glory (M. Narredu) Signal Tap 2; Pleasures 3. Won by: Hd; 1-3/4; (1-39.7). Tote: Win Rs 91; Place: 20; 13; 12; Quinella: 130; Tanala: 605. Fav: Pleasures (7).

6. Dr. S. C. Jain Sprinter’s Trophy 1,200m: (8-4-3) Simply Noble (Hughes) 1; Strength To Strength 2; Prince Nicholas 3. Won by: 1/2; 6; (1-12.3). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 23; 184; Quinella: 61; Tanala: 3,613. Fav: Simply Noble (8).

7. Rock Concert Plate 1,400m: (13-2-1) Shirley Valentine (Z. Sayyed) 1; Amazing Dream 2; Venus 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 2; (1-27). Tote: Win Rs 1,101; Place: 93; 15; 20; Quinella: 819; Tanala: 20,428. Fav: Amazing Dream (2).

8. Rising Flame Plate 1,200m: (4-3-2) Shooting Mercury (N. M. Khan) 1; Bound By Honour 2; Bearer Bond 3. Won by: 3; 3/4; (1-14.9). Tote: Win Rs 205; Place: 35; 14; 34; Quinella: 307; Tanala: 5,312. Fav: Midnight Escape (5).

9. Ancient Warrior Plate 1,600m: (1-6-8) Anthology (Shroff) 1; As A Rule 2; Ever So Loyal 3. Won by: 1; 3-3/4; (1-41.2). Tote: Win Rs 38; Place: 18; 25; 18; Quinella: 144; Tanala: 722. Fav: Ever So Loyal (8).

Jackpot: Rs 7,34,680 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 677; (ii) Rs 1,071; (iii) 1,05,190 (Carried over).


Calcutta, Feb. 11: 
Aiberni, Rescue Act, Starina and Lovely Prospect were impressive from among the following horses worked yesterday.

Outer sand track

1,200m: Ancheta (Amil) and Alterezza (Surender) in 1-26s; (400m) 28s. Former length better. Annalee (A. P. Singh) in 1-26s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Aiberni (M. Reuben) and Rescue Act (Islam) in 1-25s; (400m) 30s. Both level.

1,000m: Pistol Star (G. Singh) and Jeypore (Shanker) in 1-16s; (400m) 30s. Former far better.

800m: Remember Me (M. Reuben) and Double Dancer (Rb) in 57s; (400m) 28s. Former too good. Gold Buck (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 27s. Good. Winning Hand (Rb) and Flying Scot (M. Reuben) in 57s; (400m) 28s. Former far superior. Heaven’s Blessing (G. Singh) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Set Aside (Khalander) in 57s; (400m) 28s. Starina (Rutherford) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Good. Madame X (Rb) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Finders Keepers (Khalander) in 59s; (400m) 31s. Easy. Flinders (Khalander) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

600m: Consul’s Secret (V. Jaiswal) in 40s; (400m) 27s. Good.

Sand track

1,400m: Falconaire (Rb) in 1-46s; (400m) 31s.

1,200m: Lovely Prospect (A. Imran) and Best In Show (Tamang) in 1-18s; (400m) 26s. Former too good. Almond Rock (Gurang) in 1-25s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Double Bull (A. Imran) in 1-19s; (400m) 24s. Good.

1,000m: Ballard Lady (Gurang) in 1-12s; (400m) 27s. Sovereign Bullet (A. Imran) in 1-9s; (400m) 30s. Fit.

800m: Ballet Master (A. Imran) in 49s; (400m) 23s. Moved well. Peace Envoy (Brij) in 59s; (400m) 31s. Scarlet Raider (A. Imran) and Ardon (Tamang) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Former 2 ls better. Abstone Queen (A. Imran) and Bird’s Empire (Som S.) in 50s; (400m) 25s. Both level. Global Harmony (G. Singh) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Addab (Sher S.) and Sky Hawk (Amil) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Former 3 ls better. Rule With Honour (Rb) in 52s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Solo Act (Rutherford) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Good. Floral Path (G. Singh) and Diplomatic Gesture (Shanker) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Former better. A 3-y-o Be Fresh/Misty Eyes (Rb) 58s; (400m) 29s. Pure Energy (K. Gurang) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Russian Czar (Rutherford) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Pushed. All Jade (Locke) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Handy. Blessed Spirit (A. Imran) and Scavenger’s Son (Tamang) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Former too good. Peppy Mistress (M. Reuben) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Pure Passion (P. Alford) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Sadaf (Gurang) in 56s; (400m) 27s.


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