Knock dedicated to Sourav: Yuvraj
Outside chance for a second wicketkeeper
Baboor, Poulami exit
Khel Ratna likely for Gopi
Howrah Union beat Coalfield
EB in pursuit of third win
Chetan Baboor displeased
Bangalore Racing / Arrakis looks good for encore
Mysore Racing / Vivid Dreams wins main event

Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
The official agenda for tomorrow’s selection meeting, in Mumbai, is to pick the Test squad for the three-match series in Sri Lanka.

Unofficially, most of the selectors were also positioning themselves for a bit of Sourav Ganguly-bashing. And all because of the captain’s so-called soft corner for 19-year-old allrounder Yuvraj Singh.

Well, that unofficial agenda must now change: In Colombo, after all, Yuvraj today played the innings of his life (98 not out off 110 balls, 6x4, 1x6) to help India beat Sri Lanka for the second time in as many games.

More important India’s last tri-series match, against New Zealand (tomorrow), is now effectively the semi-final with the winner meeting Sri Lanka in Sunday’s final.

Given as he is to not mincing words, Sourav appealed to Man-of-the-Match Yuvraj’s detractors to now let him be. “He has been under pressure and should be left alone... I’ve always had faith in him and always regarded him a matchwinner,” Sourav remarked in his matter-of-fact manner, after the game.

Later, speaking to The Telegraph from his Taj Samudra room, Yuvraj dedicated his career-best effort (an improvement on 84 versus Australia in the ICC KnockOut last October, his maiden one-day innings which fetched him his first MoM award) to Sourav.

“This innings is for Sourav... For his trust and confidence in me... For always being so supportive. But for Sourav, I don’t think I would have been in Colombo today. He must have seen something in me to back my selection. Kuch to unhonne mujhme zaroor dekha ho ga,” declared Yuvraj emotionally.

Asked whether he had been under more pressure than ever before, because of the team’s inconsistency and his own failures, Yuvraj replied: “Look, a certain amount of pressure is always there... Did the criticism back home hurt? I’ll only say log to baat karte hi rahenge. That, perhaps, is their job. If that is so, my job is to prove those very people wrong...”

At the Sinhalese Sports Club, Yuvraj did just that. The innings, though, took its toll — the humidity-induced cramps ensured Yuvraj was off the field for much of the Sri Lankan innings. For Sourav, that meant one bowling option less. Thankfully, it didn’t hit his overall strategy for a six.

Yuvraj, however, insisted he will be fit for tomorrow’s ‘semi-final’. “Yes, I was on the drip for an hour, because of the awful cramps in both legs, but I’ve recovered and am fighting fit for the New Zealand match.”

Was he disappointed at missing, by a whisker, what would have been his first one-day hundred?

“Oh, no... I may have been around for less than a year (in international cricket), but I’ve quickly learnt that it’s the team performance which counts most... I would surely have been disappointed had we not won today. That we did, and so handsomely (46 runs), leaves no room for regrets.”

Incidentally, though Yuvraj got 50-plus in his maiden one-day knock, he had to wait 16 innings for his second fifty. By Yuvraj’s own admission, the wait was pretty heartbreaking.

“It’s not that I wasn’t focussed enough... I wanted to do well, didn’t want to let my captain and India down, but runs nahin bane...Indeed, I’ve come off a difficult period. Yet, my job isn’t over. There’s work to do both tomorrow and on Sunday,” Yuvraj signed off, with the confidence that was on view in Colombo today.

For the record, Yuvraj wasn’t picked for the tri-series in Zimbabwe despite a request from Sourav and coach John Wright. So, he actually has lots to prove.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
With the Sri Lankans confirming their willingness to host a 16-strong Indian squad during the three-Test series, there’s an outside chance that a second wicketkeeper could be picked.

Initially, the national selectors were only slated to choose 15. In fact, that was the Board’s wish. Now, it’s different.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, “nothing concrete” has as yet been discussed, but if the issue comes up during tomorrow’s selection meeting (in Mumbai), Bengal’s Deep Dasgupta will stand a handsome chance.

Meanwhile, set for a comeback are Mohammed Kaif and Harvinder Singh. Possibly, even Venkatesh Prasad. In contention, too, is Sairaj Bahutule. Jawagal Srinath will, of course, be back. As also Shiv Sundar Das and Sadagopan Ramesh.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
It was a day of upsets at the Servo national ranking (East) table tennis championships with stars like Chetan P. Baboor, Mouma Das and Poulami Ghatak falling before the finals.

At the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, Baboor was one of the early casualties, moving out in the quarter finals of the men’s singles event. Technically it cannot be called an ‘upset’ because Baboor (PSCB) was seeded sixth here and he lost in seven sets to fifth seed Ranabir Das of Railways, but that was because Olympian Baboor does not really do the domestic circuit and has not been able to pick up enough points to push his national ranking.

Another Olympian, second seed Poulami (also PSCB), went down in the girls’ singles quarter final to T. Pradeepa, the ninth seed from Tamil Nadu in seven sets.

Then unseeded Nandita Saha, the reigning state women’s champion from Siliguri (representing Bengal in the women’s singles in this meet), got the better of fourth seed Mouma Das of PSCB in the semi-final. Nandita has been having a great run in these championships. Earlier Nandita, a class XII student, had beaten top seed N.R. Indu of PSCB and then got the better of eighth seed Kasturi Chakraborty of Bengal.

Pradeepa’s run was halted at this stage, going down to M.S. Mythili of PSCB in the semi-final.

Ranabir, too, was finally stumped, in straight sets, by second seed Subhajit Saha of PSCB in the semi-final.

In the men’s final, top seed Soumyadeep Roy of PSCB takes on Subhajit. In the women’s final Mythili meets Nandita.

Soumyadip Sarkar of Bengal and Pallavi Kundu, also of Bengal, emerged champions in the sub-junior boys’ and girls’ sections, respectively. Soumyadip beat Soumya Nandi (also of Bengal) and Pallavi beat Neha Agarwal of Delhi.

The final of the boys’ singles will be between Arunava Ganguly of PSCB and Subhadip Das of Bengal. The girls’ singles final will be between Sushmita Roy of Bengal and Mousumi Paul, also of Bengal. The finals come off tomorrow.


MEN’S SINGLES, quarter finals: Soumyadeep Roy (PSCB) bt Arjun Dutta (PSCB) 11-4, 11-5, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8; Shibaji Dutta (PSCB) bt A Sarath Kamal (TN) 17-15, 14-12, 19-17, 10-12, 11-8, 14-12, 11-9; Ranabir Das (Rly) bt Chetan Baboor (PSCB) 11-9, 11-13, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7; Subhajit Saha (PSCB) bt Sourav Chakraborty (Rly) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. Semi-finals: Soumyadeep bt Shibaji 12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 17-15, 11-7, 11-2; Subhajit bt Ranabir 11-7, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6. WOMEN’S SINGLES, quarter finals: Nandita Saha (Ben) bt Kasturi Chakraborty (Ben) 6-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-5; Mouma Das (PSCB) bt Sushmita Roy (Rly) 11-3, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7; MS Mythili (PSCB) bt Mousumi Paul (Ben) 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7; T Pradeepa (TN) bt Poulami Ghatak (PSCB) 11-9, 12-14, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8.Semi-finals: Nandita bt Mouma 5-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9; Mythili bt Pradeepa 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11. BOYS’ SINGLES, semi-finals: Arunava Ganguly (PSCB) bt Soumyajit Sarkar (Ben) 11-, 14-16, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9; Suubhadip Das (Ben) bt Nilay Basak (Ben) 11-8, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6. GIRLS’ SINGLES, semi-finals: Sushmita Roy (Ben) bt Anushree Saha (Ben) 12-10, 11-9, 13-11, 11-3; Mousumi Paul (Ben) bt S Sangeetha (TN) 11-5, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5. SUB-JR BOYS’ SINGLES, final: Soumyadeep Sarkar (Ben) bt Soumya Nandi (Ben) 11-6, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8. SUB-JR GIRLS’ SINGLES, final: Pallavi Kundu (Ben) bt Neha Agarwal (Del) 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-9. J.M. BANERJEE MEmorial veterans’ meet, finals: Over 60: Anjan Dhar bt Samarendra Chowdhury 2-0. Over 50: Sadan Dutta bt Dilip Mukherjee 2-0. Over 40: Shyamal Das bt Sunil Dutta 2-1.


New Delhi, Aug. 1: 
The eight-member committee for deciding the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards could not release the final list today even after an intensive meeting. There have been a huge number of nominations this time around — over a hundred for the Arjuna and about fifty for the Dronacharya. The list is expected to be released tomorrow.

Sources reveal Pullela Gopichand has been nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, for outstanding performance by an Indian sportsperson last year. Calcutta-based Akhtar Ali is almost a certainty for the Dronacharya.

Milkha Singh is now being honoured for lifetime achievement. Baljit Singh Saini may get the Arjuna Award with R.S. Bhola tipped for lifetime achievement.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
Howrah Union today beat Eastern Coalfield 1-0, via a Subhendu Bodok goal in their Calcutta Footbal League first division group A league match at the Howrah stadium. The match between Kidderpore and CFC ended goalless.

In group B, Police AC beat Bowbazar YMU 2-0, while the Aikya Sammelani-Barisha match could not start because of “unplayable conditions” caused by rain.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
East Bengal will be under little pressure when they take on Mohammedan Sporting in a Super Division fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium here tomorrow.

Mohammedan Sporting are at a historic low, having lost four matches consecutively and languishing at ninth position with three points from five matches so far. East Bengal are now fifth (eight points from four matches so far) and tomorrow they look forward to their third win.

East Bengal coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya is boosting the strike line, with Dipendu Biswas likely to take the field alongside Omolaja Olalekan — who has now signed up.

Whatever the condition of the team, Bhattacharya is giving importance to the name Mohammedan Sporting. The defence will probably see Ranjan Dey make way for Anit Ghosh or Satyabrata Bhowmick. The case for Ghosh is that he can move up as withdrawn medio too whenever needed.

Mohammedan Sporting has acquired the services of a Nigerian striker, Lawrence Enyilord, and coach Chandu Roy Chowdhury is eager to test him out tomorrow.

Goalkeeper Imran Khan has been retained too, it seems, for another match (away from the junior camp), but the team will be missing players like Aslam Pervez and Ohidul Islam (both away playing for Railways), Md Rafiq (gone to Under-19 camp) and Lusku Murmu (down with hepatitis).

It will be a miracle if Mohammedan Sporting can make a match of tomorrow’s fixture.


Calcutta, Aug. 1: 
Chetan P. Baboor of Petroleum Sports Control Board, who lost to Railways’ Ranabir Das in the men’s singles quarter finals of the Servo national ranking (East) table tennis championships here today, blamed the condition of the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, the venue, more than the new rules that now govern the game.

“Yes, this system of 11 points to the game and just two serves at a go is definitely making the game more prone to upsets and even a three-point difference seems a steep grind,” he said, “but at least give us good conditions to play in.

“Look at the surface here,” he said. “It’s so slippery, and the net cords are all wrong. As it is all the better players are anxious to keep their leads and these things do tend to distract. All together it’s a very sad situation. “You might as well toss and get the game over with it.”

Nandita Saha of Bengal, who earned her third star scalp when she beat Mouma Das in the women’s singles semi-final, also said that the class-difference is less stark now. “I feel jittery playing a lower-rated player and more comfortable with one higher up.”

A new great-leveller rule, these.


Bangalore, Aug. 1: 
Arrakis, an easy winner in his last start, looks good for an encore when the Rashid Byramji-ward takes on his 11 rivals in the 1,400m K. N. Chennabasappa Memorial Cup tomorrow. Aslam Kader partners the Steinbeck-Run For The Crown gelding.


11 am: Dance At Nine 1. Rebel With A Cause 2. Arzillo 3.

11.30 am: Old Order 1. Silver Falcon 2. Vertigo 3.

12 Noon: Ambermatic 1. Secret Halo 2. Psychedelic 3.

12.30 pm: Supermax 1. Dancing Phantom 2. Rush 3.

1 pm: Aveyron 1. Dream Supreme 2. Win Ameen 3.

1.30 pm: Cape Fear 1. Briscay 2. Royal Satsuma 3.

2.30 pm: If Looks Could Kill 1. Minstrel Star 2. Arristo 3.

3 pm: Priceless Coral 1. Attune 2. Mind Your Choice 3.

3.30 pm: Flash First 1. Al Habib 2. Grisogono 3.

4 pm: Arrakis 1. Resist The Force 2. Avocation 3.

4.30 pm: vBlue Gardenia 1. Street Smart 2. Misty Charms 3.

5 pm: Purple Princess 1. Calorescence 2. Allassio 3.

5.30 pm: Southern Host 1. Predominate 2. Silver Touch 3.

Day’s Best: Arrakis Double: Flash First & Blue Gardenia


Mysore, Aug. 1: 


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Mudigere Plate, Div-II: Storm On The Run (Mahinder) 1; Young Gentleman 2; Silver Eyes 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1-3/4; (1-42.3). Tote: Win Rs 874; Place: 101; 56; 25; Quinella: 2,647; Tanala: 33,740 (C.o). Fav: Red Dash. 2. S. V. Subramaniam Memorial Gold Cup, Div-III: Sound Profit (Shukla) 1; Rare Jewel 2; Selected Star 3. Not run: Prince Zorro. Won by: Nk; 2-1/4; (1-29.4). Tote: Win Rs 96; Place: 29; 18; 107; Quinella: 299; Tanala: 41,303. Fav: Theondrice. 3. Mudigere Plate, Div-I: My Goodness (I. Chsity) 1; Bessie 2; Amazing Force 3. Won by: Nk; 1/2; (1-42.5). Tote: Win Rs 66; Place: 17; 28; 11; Quinella: 248; Tanala: 1,546. Fav: Amazing Force. 4. S. V. Subramaniam Memorial Gold Cup, Div-II Anneex (I. Chisty) 1; Sand Lord 2; Galleon de Espania 3. Not run: Treasure Island. Won by: 4-1/4; Dist; (1-31.9). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 18; 41; 25; Quinella: 282; Tanala: 1,709. Fav: Anneex. 5. Whitefield Plate: Vivid Dreams (Rakesh) 1; Sun Reality 2; Royal Triumph 3. Won by: 4-3/4; 1/2; (1-30.7). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 13; 21; 28; Quinella: 63; Tanala: 512. Fav: Vivid Dreams. 6. S. V. Subramaniam Memorial Gold Cup, Div-I: Golden Bell (S. Narredu) 1; Poise 2; On The Post 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 4; (1-32.7). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 11; 37; 20; Quinella: 128; Tanala: 758. Fav: Golden Bell. 7. Bugle Rock Plate: Grey Bull (Rakesh) 1; Love And Honor 2; Royale Incarnate 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1-1/2; (1-46.9). Tote: Win Rs 158; Place: 45; 58; 13; Quinella: 2,298; Tanala: 11,901. Fav: Royal Incarnatie. 8. Shivajinagar Plate Austin Jennings (Arun R.) 1; Sandy’s Choice 2; Careless Beauty 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1/2; (1-17.8). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 17; 42; 73; Quinella: 299; Tanala: 6,748. Fav: Surge of Power.
Jackpot: Rs 2,911; (C) Rs 287.
Treble: (i) Rs 4,786; (ii) Rs 1,257.

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