Dull draw in Derby keeps East Bengal on top
Rival coaches remain cautious
Kapoor’s 133 in big Barisha total
Bengal record 73-run victory
Seeded players have it easy
Mumbai Races/ L. A. Woman for Charon Trophy
Calcutta Races/ Big fields in last meet on Thursday
Calcutta Races/ Global Harmony impresses

Calcutta, April 10: 
M. Bagan 0
E. Bengal 0

The frontrunners in the fifth National Football League stay that way, the lead remaining at three points. Twice champions Mohun Bagan, barring a miracle, will have to concentrate on securing the runners-up slot.

That was the outcome of the insipid, goalless tussle that the two premier teams of the country engaged in at the Salt Lake Stadium this afternoon.

Nobody in the 50,000-odd turnout expected good football. They did not get any. However, on a hot, humid afternoon East Bengal spent a great deal of energy in early attacks, and though they fell back a good deal in the second half, a lack of feed and understanding in the Bagan attack line prevented the holders from wresting the initiative.

Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya had probably not made calculations for the surge of East Bengal attacks that came off the kick-off. He had probably expected a more tentative start, a decent option in any of these tension-prone ‘big’ matches.

Dipendu Biswas probably tried to dispel the general fear of his loss of form with some unusual exuberance, so to say. Had such initiatives been accompanied by some activity of the grey cells, things would have been better for the red-gold title aspirants.

Early worries were in the Bagan defence being breached too often. It was not just that the defence was under pressure, it was the cascading effect of the absence of any player of the calibre of Basudeb Mondal in the half line that allowed infiltrators through. Basudeb sat the match out with two bookings, and the Bagan half line looked creaky weak.

The first real danger came in the eighth minute when a 25-yard pile-driver off Chandan Das came off the Bagan crosspiece. Five minutes later, Suley Musah pushed into the Bagan box, dribbled past two defenders, but failed to keep his head in the end and let go a weak grounder that ’keeper Bivash Ghosh collected easily.

What was happening with the Bagan attack? The generally dependable Brazilian, Jose Ramierz Barreto, was feeling lonely, if not for the company of three-four East Bengal defenders always on his back. There was little feed towards this striker, and less towards Bangladeshi Alfaz Ahmed. Alfaz himself was instrumental in a couple of breakthroughs, but enjoyed no understanding with Barreto.

James Singh did advance to help out, and that was the only source of balls for the two upfront.

The policing on Barreto was a foregone conclusion. What the Bagan coach surely should have done was decide on a dummy alternative that could have taken the policemen off Barreto or decide on an alternative source of attack altogether.

The first proper Bagan move came in the 25th minute when Alfaz moved up the left and into the box. He let go an excellent centre across the goalmouth, an offering that needed one touch from any boot. There was, however, no takers from Bagan.

The refereeing was as mediocre as the match. In the 36th minute Bivash stretched to collect off an East Bengal offensive, but Dipendu, following up, slided into him. That was definitely a card-worthy foul that referee K. Sankar of Tamil Nadu decided to ignore.

By the second half, East Bengal’s enthusiasm, with its energy level, had subsided to acceptable levels. That was when Bagan managed to lope into the rival defensive third with some wingplay via James. In the 47th minute a James shot from inside the box was tipped over by Sangram Mukherjee who had a good day under the bar.

At the other end Lolendra Singh failed to outpace Dipendu, but the latter shot out in haste. But the heat and humidity was getting to the players and the pace was slackening. There was a lapse in concentration too.

That resulted in a near goal in the 57th minute when Lolendra, off a Naushad Pari pass on the left, shot at goal. The ball took a sudden deflection off Chanchal Bhattacharya’s legs and headed straight to goal. Sangram dived at the last moment to effect a fine save.

By that time, East Bengal had decided it would be a draw and were playing for it. More men were pressed into defence, with counterattacks being kept the vehicle for releasing the rising pressure.

In the midst, the refereeing fiasco again came to the fore when Bivash was collecting off an East Bengal attack. The ’keeper had bent down to collect and did not notice Dipankar Roy charging in. The latter put spike on Bivash’s back and climbed, before going down on the other side, pulling down the ’keeper with him. Again, there was no booking.

Much scrappy action signed off the match, keeping Mohun Bagan groping still.


MOHUN BAGAN: Bivash Ghosh; Dulal Biswas, Amouri, Hussein Mustafi, Lolendra Singh; James Singh, Jayanta Sen, Debjit Ghosh, M. Suresh (Naushad Pari, 56); Alfaz Ahmed, Jose Ramirez Barreto.

EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygopong, Chanchal Bhattacharya (Ranjan Dey, 68), Falguni Dutta; Carlton Chapman (Hamza Zaheer Abbas, 61), Isiaka Awoyemi, Chandan Das, Dipankar Roy; Dipendu Biswas, Omolaja Olalekan (Bijen Singh, 76).

Referee: K. Sankar (Tamil Nadu).


Calcutta, April 10: 
Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya believes his “broken” team has been able to put up a good enough performance versus a “full compliment” East Bengal today.

He promised that he would fight “till the end” and that until the last match was played, there would be no way East Bengal coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya would be allowed a good night’s sleep.

Manoranjan agreed that it was a “big hurdle” that his team took care of at the Salt Lake Stadium today but said: “This is no reason to relax. The National League has not been won yet, and that is the big responsibility that remains.”

Manoranjan’s big worry is over three of his key players — Isiaka Awoyemi, goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee and medio Carlton Chapman. All received their second bookings today, and will be absent from the team in the next match versus Vasco in Goa on April 18.

“That will be a problem,” he agreed. “These are the small things that I mean when I say the league isn’t over yet.”

East Bengal have also to play State Bank of Travancore and FC Kochin.

He said his worry was to keep the Bagan midfield in a straightjacket. He believed that it was the Bagan strength, despite the absence of Basudeb Mondal. “I did manage that,” he said.

“The way my players performed today, I am happy. There is no question of any moral victory. It was a strategic game, and we treated it as such.”

He said he took a chance in fielding Chanchal Bhattacharya because “he has developed a good understanding with Jackson Egygopong and has big match experience”.

Subrata said he is going to wait. He said he has liked the way Bangladeshi recruit Alfaz Ahmed has performed and that there was enough scope yet to catch up and beat their rivals.

“Last time we had won with a number of matches to go. It will not happen this time. That’s it,” said the optimist.

He said that his boys could have got the issue sealed today itself had they been able to translate their second half domination into goals.

“You must consider the fact that we fought well with a broken team versus a near full strength East Bengal. That’s a good outcome.”

Mohun Bagan have a tough match, versus Salgaocar of Goa in Calcutta on April 20, and Subrata is diverting his attention to this now.

He has another Bangladeshi, Md Nakib, waiting in the wings.


Calcutta, April 10: 
Barisha Sporting Club made 313 in the allotted 85 overs against Mohun Bagan on Day I of the CAB league championship play-off quarter finals at Eden Gardens today.

Shome Kapoor notched up 133 while Subhradeep Ganguly scored 63 to help Barisha finish the day with a decent total. Laxmi Ratan Shukla (three for 39) was the most successful bowler for Mohun Bagan.

BRIEF SCORES: Barisha 313 in 85 ovs (Shome Kapoor 133, Subhradeep Ganguly 63; Laxmi Ratan Shukla 3/39) vs Mohun Bagan. Match to continue.

SGF on England tour

Sunil Gavaskar Foundation (SGF) will take part in a cricket meet in England in July. The meet, to be organised by Taunton School in Somerset, will also feature teams from South Africa and Australia.

Besides the Taunton meet, the 18-member SGF team will play another 15 matches in Somerset. The team comprises six players from Bengal, eight from Assam, two from Tamil Nadu and one each from Delhi and Gujarat in the age between 18 and 24.

Raju Mukherjee will accompany the team as its manager-cum-coach while legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar will be present during a few matches.

The SGF team will leave the city on July 5 and return after 22 days.    

Calcutta, April 10: 
Fine bowling performance by Seema Bhowmick (six for 14) helped Bengal beat Andhra Pradesh by 73 runs in Indira Priyadarshini Champions Trophy for women at White Border Club ground today.

On winning the toss, Bengal decided to bat first and made 141 all out in 47.1 overs.

In reply, Andhra women were caught in the web of Seema’s spin as the visitors were skittled out for just 68 runs in 25.3 overs.

In other matches, Jharkhand and Indian Railway prevailed over Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai respectively by identical margin of nine wickets.

An unbeaten second wicket century stand between Nitu Singh and Soma Sisodia saw Jharkhand get past Uttar Pradesh’s 124 runs in just 21.2 overs while Rajni Venugopal (70) guided the railway team home after Mumbai were all out for 122 runs.


At White Border Club: Bengal 141 in 47.1 overs (Pratima Chakraborty 24, Rituparna Roy 23; Kusum Latha 3/22, Monica 3/21). Andhra Pradesh 68 in 25.3 ovs (Seema Bhowmick 6/14). Bengal won by 73 runs.

At Vivekananda Park: Uttar Pradesh 124 in 31.4 ovs (Rahul Singh 31; Shamima Parvin 4/22, Saswati Mukherjee 3/34). Jharkhand 125/1 in 21.2 ovs (Nitu Singh 65 n.o., Soma Sisodia 48 n.o.). won by 9 wkts.

At ERSA: Mumbai 122 in 49.5 ovs (Sulakshana Naik 51, Arati Vaidya 22; Dipa Kulkarni 3/13, Nitu David 2/35). Indian Railway 125/1 in 40.3 ovs (Rajni Venugopal 70 n.o., Vanita Voila 27; Sunetra Paranjpe 1/15). Indian Railway won by 9 wkts.


Calcutta, April 10: 
All seeded players including Asian under-12 boys runner-up Sayantan Dutta in sub-junior section and Baisakhi Das in the women’s section had it easy to win their respective state chess Round I matches at Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra today.

First four players each from the 27th state women’s, 29th state junior and 24th state sub-junior meets, which commenced here today, will qualify for the nationals in their repective groups.


Mumbai, April 10: 
Coming back from a training setback, L. A. Woman looks fit now to win the 1,600m Charon Trophy in Mumbai on Wednesday. The last run of the S. Kolse-ward is best ignored. Earlier in a race, she had placed a good second over an identical trip. C. Rajendra partners the filly.


3.30 pm: Dressed For Dinner 1. Adam’s Delight 2. Queen’s Wisdom 3.
4 pm: Taipan 1. Chiliandrina 2. Al Humair 3.
4.30 pm: Blazing Flame 1. Hispaniola 2. Champion Reef 3.
5 pm: L. A. Woman 1. Running Royal 2. Lion Of Judah 3.
5.30 pm: Omerta 1. Waleshan 2. Style Counsel 3.
6 pm: Shahandeh 1. Star Alone 2. Silent Deal 3.
6.30 pm: Soliel 1. Smart Hunter 2. Loyal Rebel 3.
Day’s Best: Shahandeh
Double: Taipan & L. A. Woman

Calcutta, April 10: 
There are 17 runners in the Queen’s Court Cup, the feature event in the concluding race-meeting of the season on Thursday. Fields are massive in the seven-event card and the first race starts at 1.25 pm.


1. Polish Handicap 1,100m (Cl V; Rt. 00-28) 1.25 pm: Finders Keepers 60.5; Eau Savage 60; Consul’s Secret 59; Double Dancer 59; Lovely Duchess 59; Armila 58.5; Flying Power 57; Stella Blue 57; Floral Path 56.5; Neelanjana 53.5; Magic ring 47; Arizona Star 47.
2. Favorite Handicap 1,400m (Cl V; Rt. 00-28) 2 pm: Pure Passion 61; Ballard Lady 60.5; Crest Star 60; Nearco Prince 60; Calculus 59.5; Friendly Knight 59; Special Sovereign 58; Animator 56; Freedom Warrior 56; Jayaashva 54; Pistol Star 50.5; Ghunghat 49; Fencai 48.5.
3. Platonic Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV; 22-50) 2.40 pm: Constantine 60; Ardon 59.5; On The Bit 59.5; Pneumatic Power 59.5; Wandering Warrior 58.5; Storm Centre 58; Reactor 55; Software 55; Adeline 52.5; Stately Honour 52.5; Global Harmony 51.5.
4. Magnanimous Cup, Div-I 1,400m: (Cl III; Rt. 44-72) 3.15 pm: Cup Of Life 60; Almond Rock 58.5; Aracruz 58; Santillana 57; Solo Act 56.5; Double Bull 55; Crucible 54.5; Kansai 54.5; Spanish Drum’s 54.5; Alborada 53.5; Magnifico 53.5; Cavala 52.5; Bold Apparel 51.5; Super Smile 51; Raaz 50.
5. Magnanimous Cup, Div-II 1,400m: (Cl III; Rt. 44-72) 3.50 pm: Classic Pursuit 60; Ace Of Spades 59; Master Bold 58; Ashbury 57.5; Santa Monica 56.5; High Life 56; Mr. Bombshell 56; Peace Envoy 55.5; Andestine 55; Ballet Master 54.5; Queen’s Logic 54; Bird’s Empire 52.5; Russian Czar 52; Smokey Bear 51.5.
6. Queen’s Court Cup 1,400m (Cl II; Rt. 66-94) 4.25 pm: Tanganyika 60; Prince Obolensky 59; Alsheim 57.5; Quickdraw McGraw 56.5; No Regrets 56; Aldebro 55.5; Best In Show 54.5; Lovely Prospect 53.5; Splendid Star 53; Crimson King 52.5; Endless Surprise 52.5; Sovereign Bullet 52.5; Alkido 51.5; Lockers Park 51.5; Arctic Fancy 50.5; Sadaf 50; Added Asset 49.5.
7. Loch Cleveden Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV; Rt. 22-50) 5 pm: Beau Bruno 60.5; Just Kidding 59; Diplomatic Gesture 58; Scavenger’s Son 57; Aflicker 56; Athletico 55.5; Black Mane 55; Iron Warrior 53.5; Flying Scot 52.5; Sup-reme Desire 52.5; Aragrove 52; Rheinheart 52; Royal Ruler 51; Blessed spirit 50.5; Tequila Shot 49.5.
Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.
Treble: i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.

Calcutta, April 10: 
Global Harmony, No Regrets and Raaz were impressive in today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

800m: Global Harmony (C. Alford) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Moved well. Arizona Star (Yasin) and Neelanjana (Amjad) in 53s; (400m) 28s.They were level. Both were pushed. No Regrets (M. Reuben) and Raaz (Haroon) in 52s; (400m) 26s. Former was a length better. Flying Scot (M. Reuben) in 52s; (400m) 26s. Note. Scavenger’s Son (Engineer) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Calculate (Khalander) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Moved easy. Prince Obolensky (F. A. Khan) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Fit. Arctic Fancy (M. Reuben) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Best In Show (M. Reuben) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Fit.
600m: Cavala (Khalander) in 44s. (400m) 27s.

Sand track

800m: Crest Star (Amjad) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Moved well. Ghunghat (Yasin) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Stella Blue (P. Kumar) in 53s; (400m) 23s. Good. Fencai (M. Reuben) in 51s; (400m) 25s. Ignore last run. Alborada (Som S.) and Bold Apparel (Khalander) in 50s;(400m) 23s. Former was 4ls better. Endless Surprise (P. Kumar) in 49s; (400m) 25s. Moved attractively. Santillana (Upadhya) 50s; (400m) 23s. Impressed. Solo Act (Engineer) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Good. Jayaashva (E. Smith) in 49s; (400m) 23s. Very fit.Lovely Prospect (Som Singh) and Ballet Master (B. Gurang) in 51s; (400m) 23s. Former was a length better. Note both. Mr. Bombshell (Upadhya) and Sadaf (Khalander) in 51s; (400m) 24s. They were level. Cup Of Life (P. Kumar) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Ace Of Spades (Upadhya) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Ballard Lady (Tamang) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Very easy. Peace Envoy (Som S.) and Blessed Spirt (B. Gurang) in 53s; (400m) 25s. They were level. Note both. Ashbury (P. Kumar) in 49s; (400m) 23s. Impressed. Almond Rock (Upadhya) and Aragrove (Som S.) in 50s; (400m) 23s. Former was a length better and moved attractively. Bird’s Empire (Engineer) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Good Added Asset (B. Gurang) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Fit.

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