EB to go all out vs FCK
Wari stun Bagan in semi-finals
Dipankar, Nandita clinch crowns
Tax relief for Mohun Bagan
Mumbai Racing/ Top Gun may win main event

Calcutta, April 23: 
East Bengal’s journey to glory seems never ending. Tomorrow, as they take to the field versus FC Kochin here, doubts will remain as to whether the Calcutta giants’ arsenal is up to the task.

The fifth National Football League title hangs in the balance still, because East Bengal lost a couple of rather important points with the finish line in sight, and now are just a point ahead of arch rivals Mohun Bagan (40 from 20 matches, against Bagan’s 39 off the same number of matches).

Mohun Bagan sure do have a couple of tricky away matches (versus Vasco and ITI) to handle, but for East Bengal, tomorrow’s hurdle might suddenly turn out to be one too high before they take on a relatively safer bet in State Bank of Travancore.

Hence there was caution in the East Bengal camp. The tense atmosphere seemed to have eased a bit after two hours of practice this morning, mostly because coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya made it clear that pressure is a part and parcel of big team affairs.

“When they sign for clubs like East Bengal or Mohun Bagan they know what pressures accompany such assignments,” said the coach. “They must learn to cope.”

East Bengal have lost players to the national team for the pre-World Cup matches, but for tomorrow three players who were booked out — Sangram Mukherjee, Awoyemi Isiaka and Carlton Chapman — will be back.

The added advantage for East Bengal will be the local inter-club transfers which started today. Players like Dipendu Biswas are scared of their plumetting stock and these late matches offer an opportunity to push prices up.

The coach today reiterated that there was no point talking of the pressures that be. “We will take tomorrow’s match as seriously as any other match and we are thinking of three points, nothing else,” he said.

FC Kochin coach A.M. Sreedharan said he was being practical. “The top slot seems way out of grasp,” he said. “We are fighting for the second slot, and that is why a victory tomorrow is important for us.”

The runners-up slot also looks distant. Kochin have 34 points from 20 matches, and it is a steep climb from here with not may matches to go. Their key striker I.M. Vijayan remains unavailable (travelling now to the UAE with the Indian pre-World Cup team), but Sreedharan has discovered the goodness of having Sunday Seah as attacker for the entire duration of the match.

He has been scoring regularly — too good for a goalkeeper — but that has also meant a rather big gap in the last line of defence. Shibu Shanmugam has not really been able to measure up to the standard maintained by Seah, and with a suspect defence line, this lacuna could blow up in the face of the Kochi team. Neither team has any injury problem (except a minor leg injury to Srinkanta Dutta in the East Bengal outfit) and a good tussle is on the cards, the summer heat permitting.


Calcutta, April 23: 
Wari AC today shocked reigning champions Mohun Bagan to book a date with East Bengal in the final of CAB senior division League championship play-off final.

In the semi-final at Eden Gardens, Aurijit Basu (90) and Saikat Mukherjee (78) guided Wari to a comfortable five-wicket victory. In reply to Mohun Bagan’s 305, Wari made 307 for five in 72 overs.

Aurijit’s knock was laced with one overboundary and ten hits to the fence, while Saikat’s stormy innings came off just 77 balls and included 11 fours and one six.

BRIEF SCORES: SMohun Bagan 305. Wari AC 307/5 in 72 ovs (Aurijit Basu 90, Saikat Mukherjee 78, Arindam Das 49; Utpal Chatterjee 3/76, Arindam Sarkar 2/55). Wari AC won by 5 wkts.

Inter-school meet

A total of 24 schools will participate in the second Milo under-16 inter-school cricket meet to be held in various grounds in the city from April 25 to May 1 .

The meet to be played on a knockout basis, will be of 25 overs till the semi-finals. The final will be a 30-over affair.

Jadavpur HS wins

Jadavpur High School beat M.H. Memorial High School by 168 runs in the CAB inter-school meet (under-19) at Deshbandhu Park today.


Jadavpur HS 339/3 in 40 ovs (Soumen Roy 133, Rudra Das 81, Partha Sarkar 57 n.o.). M.H. Memorial 171/9 in 40 ovs (Avinash Agarwal 36,; Avinash Guha 3/16, Asif Iqbal 2/27). Jadavpur HS won by 168 runs.

Nava Nalanda HS 220/9 in 40 ovs (Abhishek Dutta 59; Soumya Roy 3/40, Soumya Paul 2/36). National High School (Boys) 221/1 in 27 ovs (Subhojit Paul 81 n.o., Aloke Khetry 44). NHS won by 9 wkt.

N.C. Kolay meet

Bulan Cricket Academy and Officer’s Choice won in close contests against St Paul’s CCC and P. Sen Memorial CCC in the N.C. Kolay junior meet today.


Bulan CA 148 (Ambarish Yadav 31; Kingsuk Haldar 2/23). St Paul’s CCC 133 (Moinak Mukherjee 48; Ambarish Yadav 3/25). Bulan CA won by 15 runs.

Officer’s Choice 145 (Firoz Iqbal 3/17, R. Banerjee 3/27). P. Sen 127/9 (A. Sen 3/12). Officer’s Choice won by 18 runs.

Chandranath CCC 205/2 (Avik Mullick 106, Ayan Mukherjee 48 n.o.). ICI 148/8 (Arnab Sarkar 61). Chandranath CCC won by 57 runs.

BHA League

Neither of the two BHA league first division group A matches of the day was held. The first, between East Bengal and CESC, was put off because East Bengal had written a letter to the BHA stating “internal” reasons for not being able to place their team today. In the other match, Aryan failed to turn up and BSF South Bengal got a walkover.

In the only group B match of the day Baranagore SC and Belgachia United ended goalless.


Calcutta, April 23: 
Dipankar Adhikary of North Central Zone and Nandita Saha of Siliguri took the men’s and women’s titles in the Kalyan Jayant Memorial table tennis championships at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra today.

Dipankar, who was national cadet runners-up in 1990, was stretched by Amit Das of the same zone, before winning 21-9, 13-21, 21-8, 12-21, 21-18.

Sixteen-year-old Nandita, who was girls’ semi-finalist in the last national meet, beat Sumana Bose (also of Siliguri) in the final, 21-14, 21-19, 21-19.

Dipankar and Nandita both earned purses of Rs 2,500 each, while the runners-up got Rs 1,500 each.

The boys’ and girls’ titles went to Subhadip Das of North 24 parganas and Anushree saha of central calcutta, respectively.

Results (All finals)

Men’s singles: Dipankar Adhikary bt Amit Das (both NCZ) 21-9, 13-21, 21-8, 12-21, 21-18. Women’s singles: Nandita Saha bt Sumana Bose (both Siliguri) 21-14, 21-19, 21-19. Boys’ singles: Subhadip Das (N24Pgs) bt Sourav Pradhan (NCZ) 21-19, 21-17, 21-16. Girls’ singles: Anushree Saha (CCZ) bt Runa Roy (NCZ) 21-17, 13-21, 21-19, 21-11. Sub-jr boys’ singles: Soumyajit Sarkar (HG) bt Amarnath Das (N24Pgs) 21-15, 21-12, 21-6. Sub-jr girls’ singles: Salankara Mahalanabis (Siliguri) bt Pallavi Kundu (N24Pgs) 21-15, 24-22, 21-17. Cadet boys’ singles: Santa Sabuj Chakraborty (N24Pgs) bt Arijit Nandy (Siliguri) 18-21, 21-14, 21-13. Cadet girls’ singles: Arjama Ghosh (SCZ) bt Sabana Parveen (HW) 26-24, 16-21, 26-24. Nursery boys’ singles: Souvik Kar (NCZ) bt Anish Bharadwaj (NCZ) 21-16, 21-15. Nursery girls’ singles: Medha Moitra (Siliguri) bt Gargi Nag (BD) 23-21, 21-12.    

Calcutta, April 23: 
In a “great relief” to the Mohun Bagan club, ridden with financial crises, the Income Tax department has waived the club’s dues of over Rs 20 lakh as interest for holding two exhibition matches in the late 80s.

Mohun Bagan organised two exhibition matches in the city with Crooktown Club of England in 1976 and Cosmos Club next year, in which legendary Pele had participated.

The club, due to public demand, had to sell tickets — a move for which the IT had asked the club to pay taxes at that time.

Announcing this, club secretary Anjan Mitra said today that the original tax demand was Rs 15,84,086 and the interest over the years was totalled to Rs 20,43,794.

“We paid back the original tax demand through prize money earned from National League and Federation Cup between 1997 and 1999. And now the news of waiving the interest is a great relief to us,” Mitra said.

Local transfers begin

Altogether 230 players took part in the local inter-club transfers in all five divisions of the IFA league, which officially started today. Kabir Sarkar signed for Mohammedan Sporting and 12 players for FCI in the IFA Super Division on the opening day.    

Mumbai, April 23: 
A good second in his debut run, the Sunderji-trained Top Gun takes on a well-prepared Pure Cream in the 1,000m Noor-E-Shiraz Trophy at the Mumbai races on Tuesday. However, the outing benefit may work to the advantage of the Alhijaz-Intimate son who will be partnered by C. Rajendra.


2.30 pm: Dreadnought 1. Absolute Hit 2.
3 pm: Money Madness 1. Arabian Commander 2. Silver Line 3
3.30 pm: Blusheon 1. Mumbo King 2. Smart Hunter 3.
4 pm: Femme Fatale 1. Cats Concert 2. Zeta Jones 3.
4.30 pm: Laktara 1. Scandalise 2. Zehera 3.
5 pm: Top Gun 1. Pure Cream 2. Freedom Of Speech 3.
5.30 pm: Arctic Girl 1. Airkraft 2. Intensity 3.
6 pm: Supreme Authority 1. Queen’s Wisdom 2. Jodhpur Lad 3.

Day’s Best: Dreadnought

Double:Laktara & Top Gun.

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