Mahela ton lifts Sri Lankan total
An opener must dominate: Barry Richards
Khalsa High lift crown
Sonali Shibir beat Kalighat
Bury go down to Sheffield
Ranjit leads, Randhawa 2nd
Calcutta Racing/ Cristopher strikes three
Mysore Racing/ Hope And Faith for Gold Cup

 
 
MAHELA TON LIFTS SRI LANKAN TOTAL 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Kandy, Aug. 22: 
SRI LANKA 274/9

But for Chaminda Vaas’ power-packed solo late in the day, India could have taken absolute comfort in the one adage which has stood the test of time: a job well begun is already half done.

Of course, the Indians have regained some of the pride hoiked into the sea off Galle, last week, but Vaas’ unbeaten 42 (108 minutes, 61 deliveries, 7x4) took Sri Lanka to a competitive score by the delayed stumps on Day I of the second Test at the Asgiriya.

More incisive bowling and fewer four-balls would have changed equations dramatically.

Sourav Ganguly called correctly and, with the wicket having a fair amount of moisture, the decision to field was predictable. More so as showers were expected and, in any case, overall conditions seemed tailor-made for quicks. For quite a while, the cherry seamed like never before in recent times, in these parts.

The decision to field stood vindicated by lunch itself, as Lanka were three down for 82 in a session where 12 minutes were lost owing to light rain. The first to go was home team captain Sanath Jayasuriya, run out within five overs. For the Indians, who were at the receiving end of his flashing blade in the first Test, it was a very welcome bonus.

Sourav would surely have given his left hand for it.

Actually, Jayasuriya must saddle himself with most of the blame for, though, a second run (off Zaheer Khan) was on, there obviously was no ‘calling’ between him and non-striker Maravan Atapattu. As a result, Atapattu’s eyes were fixed on the fielder (Harvinder Singh), while Jayasuriya had darted for the second run.

Harvinder threw to Samir Dighe and, even as Jayasuriya tried to avert disaster, the wicketkeeper flung the ball to the non-striker’s end where Venkatesh Prasad didn’t err. The Lankan captain’s body language suggested he would hang himself. In Test cricket, after all, there is no bigger crime than getting run out.

The second session (which continued for an extra half-hour) began 18 minutes behind schedule, thanks to rain during lunch, but if Lanka were looking for a major recovery, that didn’t materialise.

However, the highly-rated Mahela Jayawardene authored a classy 104 (234 minutes, 149 deliveries, 17x4, and 1x5) and his two decent partnerships (with Suresh Perera and Vaas) at least put Lanka on the road to respectability. Later, Vaas consolidated when, ideally, the Indians ought to have only been bowling yorker-length balls.

Jayawardene, who had 101 in the last Test here (versus England in March), acknowledged that “conditions were tough”. Also, that the wicket never quite gave batsmen “complete security”. As he put it: “You can never feel that you are totally in... It’s a wicket where you can be easily dismissed, even after being set.”

A sizeable chunk of Jayawardene’s runs came via savage pulls and punishing square-cuts. There were drives, too, as also the odd flick. Initially, he did have moments of anxiety but, in the afternoon, was like a General in total command. It would be an understatement to say Jayawardene deserved his sixth Test century. His innings ended with a jab at Prasad.

The centurion himself felt his effort today wasn’t his best, but accepted it will be remembered as a “significant innings”. For the record, Jayawardene had taken a career-best 242 off India, during the Asian Test Championship game in Colombo, 30 months ago.

To talk of the Indian attack, the skipper bowled as many as 17 overs — in four spells, the first of which (10-4-25-1) had Lanka in knots. Rarely has Sourav bowled this much in the big-league. Only, he has already been warned twice about following-through in the danger area. One more warning and he can’t bowl during the innings.

About the only consistently stand-out bowler was Zaheer, whose second spell (7-3-9-2) was wowing. He got the length right and struck a superb line. Besides, Zaheer got movement both in the air and off the wicket. If that first spell from Sourav teased Lanka, Zaheer’s second tormented the home team.

Clearly indisciplined with his length, specially, was Harvinder. True, he was playing his first Test in 41 months but, then, that alone should have been an excellent reason to make the most of helpful conditions and record a handsome comeback.

[Prasad, who went off towards the close with cramps, is fine.]

“Can’t say I’m satisfied... Having pushed Lanka to 138 for five, we really should have finished off their innings well within 250,” remarked Sourav, in a chat with The Telegraph at the team hotel. He added: “Now, there is one more reason for us to have a solid start.”

Definitely relieved was Dav Whatmore, the Lankan coach. Speaking exclusively, he said (candidly as usual): “To begin with, we shot ourselves in the foot... Later, though, we did come back strongly. My feelings, then, are mixed.”

In the morning, Jayasuriya was followed by Kumar Sangakkara, after which vice-captain Atapattu and the No. 3 batsman added 60 in reasonable time for the second-wicket. The scorecard shows Sangakkara to be a Sourav victim, but all credit to gully fieldsman Sadagopan Ramesh who pulled off a spectacular catch.

Atapattu went next, deceived by a beauty of a nip-backer from Zaheer. The Lankan wanted to avoid any contact but, as it turned out, the timber got disturbed via an inside edge.

Russell Arnold and the terribly out-of-form Hashan Tillekaratne departed in fairly quick succession, even as Jayawardene made batting look so easy. Even Suresh, who will be the cynosure should he be called upon to bowl, helped himself to a few runs before leaving the stage for Vaas. Jayawardene and Kandyan Muttiah Muralidharan were the others to be dismissed.

Vaas, who drove, pulled and hooked with panache, ensured the last session saw the addition of a very handy 104 runs. He was, of course, helped by the Indians who pitched short and offered enough width to make merry.

   

 
 
AN OPENER MUST DOMINATE: BARRY RICHARDS 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Kandy, Aug. 22: 
Reasons which had nothing to do with cricket ensured that Barry Richards only played four Tests. Yet, so awesome was his performance (508 runs, two centuries) in that 1969-70 home series against Australia, that the world of cricket was left asking for more.

As it turned out, outside South Africa, the legend could only enthral legions of admirers while either doing duty on the County circuit or in the Sheffield Shield. It’s no surprise that the late Sir Don Bradman named him as one of the openers in his Dream Team, made public last week.

Barry, on the commentary panel in the on-going series, spoke to The Telegraph last evening. For our readers, he even exclusively picked his Dream Team.

The following are excerpts

On being named in Sir Don’s Dream Team

Absolutely delighted. Sir Don will remain the ultimate peer in the game and being selected by him, to an extent, compensates my not having played enough Test cricket. I’ve been honoured.

On the selection throwing up a controversy

Anticipating this, perhaps, Sir Don only wanted the team made public after his death. Even if he had picked Dream Team II or III or IV, there would still be some controversy. He obviously didn’t wish to justify any selection.

On his impressions of the Dream Team

Look, it’s difficult to form a judgement, largely because the team is from somebody else’s perspective and, in any case, Sir Don saw a lot more cricket than I did. Any team creates a controversy... It could be the Indian XI, the South African XI or... But, yes, my Dream Team will have Viv Richards and Graeme Pollock. I know a lot of people are talking about Shane Warne’s exclusion. All I’ll say is that Bill O’Reilly and Clarrie Grimmet must have been exceptional bowlers to have got the nod ahead of Warne.

On who would he have picked as his opening partner

(Smiles) Well, Sir Don has chosen Arthur Morris and, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t see him play. So, I can only talk of the late Sixties onwards, when I started watching and playing cricket... (After a pause)... There will be many contenders... Gordon Greenidge, Sunil Gavaskar... Oh, quite a few.

On the qualities he would look for in an opener

I was myself an aesthetic player and, really, haven’t ever been influenced by averages. I mean, somebody could get a double century in a game of no consequence, but somebody else could win a match with an 80-odd on a wicket with something for the bowlers... I’ll obviously vote for the guy with the 80-odd. The top quality I’ll be looking for is the ability to dominate, to play shots. I wouldn’t go for a stereotyped opener. Indeed, a lot of openers believe it’s their job to blunt the attack for the batsmen to follow. Only, I’ve always seen it differently: You’ve got to start taking the game away from the very first ball. In other words, dominate. The other quality, for me, is mental toughness...

The ability to get out of tough situations without being flustered.

On Sachin Tendulkar being the only current player shortlisted by Sir Don

Not surprised at all. He’s aggressive, takes the fight into the opposition camp. He dominates good bowling, not just the mediocre attacks. He’s got a good technique, a quick eye and uses his feet well... A wonderful player and I love watching Sachin. He’s the sort I would go and watch if I heard he was batting down the road. Yet, there are many players I wouldn’t even draw the curtains for if I heard they were outside my window.

Finally, on his Dream Team

(Smiles again) Very tough... Moreover, I can only attempt to pick from the late Sixties onwards and, I’m sure, I’m bound to miss some great names. The only absolute certainties will be: Viv, Pollock, Sachin, Gary Sobers and Dennis Lillee. For the other positions, it’s much more than a tussle.

   

 
 
KHALSA HIGH LIFT CROWN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 22: 
Khalsa High School today annexed the Pankaj Gupta Memorial inter-school hockey Challenge Cup, thrashing Belgachia Manohar Academy 6-0.

Khalsa again proved their traditional supremacy at this level when they rode brace of strikes from Hardeep Singh and Baljinder Singh. Two more goals were added by Shakti Singh and Jagat Singh in a totally one-sided final.

President’s Cup

Meanwhile, Biswalakshmi Sports Academy and Behala SA have moved into the semis of the President’s Cup. In the quarters today Biswalakshmi beat Julien Day (Elgin Road) via goals from Sarique Islam and Rahul Burman. Behala SA whipped Baranagore AC 5-0. The scorers were Dipendu Das (2), Manoj Shah, Shewbhusan Tewari and Bappa Kayal.    

 
 
SONALI SHIBIR BEAT KALIGHAT 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 22: 
Sonali Shibir today beat Kalighat Club 2-0 in their first division group A match at the East Bengal ground.

In group B, Bowbazar YMU went down to Sporting Union 0-2 at the Mohammedan Sporting ground, while Victoria beat Bengal United 2-0 at the Mohun Bagan ground. In the Nursery League championship play-off quarter final Howrah friends beat Sodepur Club 1-0.

Inter-school meet

The Eveready inter-school football meet for hill schools in West Bengal and Sikkim will be organised by Namchi Public School in South Sikkim at the Bhaichung Bhutia Stadium from Saturday to September 7. Thirty schools from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Sikkim will vie for honours.

Veterans’ table tennis

Shyamal Das won the over-40 category in the championship of the Bengal Veteran Table Tennis Players’ Association today wen he beat Amar Ray 5-11, 11-4, 11-9. The over-50 and over-60 categories were won by Dipak Chatterjee and Probir Mitra, beating Promode Narayan (11-7, 8-11, 12-10) and Ratin Bose (11-4, 1-8), respectively.    

 
 
BURY GO DOWN TO SHEFFIELD 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 22: 
Bury FC’s campaign in the FA League Cup ended in a 1-3 first-round defeat at home against first division outfit Sheffield Wednesday yesterday.

Bhaichung Bhutia, injured in Saturday’s second division league match, did not play. According to the club website, coach Andy Preece had to come in as a second-half replacement. Paul McLaren (two) and Efan Ekoku scored for Sheffield, while Bury pulled one back through Paul Reid.

Bhutia may need surgery.

   

 
 
RANJIT LEADS, RANDHAWA 2ND 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 22: 
Chandigarh’s Ranjit Singh grabbed Day I honours with a five-under 67 at the Hero Honda Open today.

Jyoti Randhawa had to settle for second spot, two strokes behind, despite returning a three-under 69, according to information received here.

Tied third at two-under 70, were a host of golfers including Rahul Ganapathy, S.S.P. Chowrasia, Shamim Khan, Prakash Kubde, Mohammed Noorul Islam Ghani and Asgar Ali.

Mukesh Kumar and Shiv Prakash, were four strokes behind the leader, tied-ninth at one-under 71 with leading Asian Tour golfer Vivek Bhandari and Yusuf Ali.

Defending champion Indrajit Bhalotia and Vijay Kumar were tied 13th with three others at par 72.

One of the most promising youngsters on Tour, Vinod Kumar, carded a hole-in-one on the 210-yard, par-three 13th hole.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ CRISTOPHER STRIKES THREE 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 22: 
Jockey Cristopher Alford was in his elements winning three of the four races he was declared to ride in today’s card of six event. Wandering Warrior, the horse who failed the champion jockey narrow in the opener, the Pourboire Handicap, is, however, hardly known to be a genuine galloper. The race was won by the lesser fancied Ardon from trainer Daniel David’s yard.

Cristopher opened his account in the very next race, the Birthday Girl Handicap which was an easy picking for a fancied Aracruz, a Bharath Singh-trainee. The jockey had an armchair-ride in the next event, the Best of All Cup which saw Ascoril doing justice to her short odds after her poor run in the ‘Fillies.’. Another hot-favourite Calculate, in the last event, the Record Reign Handicap,completed Cristopher’s day’s tally of three.

RESULTS

1. Pourboire Handicap 1,200m: (1-2-5-3) Ardon (F. Khan) 1; Wandering Warrior (C. Alford) 2; Global Harmony (Amil) 3; Pneumatic Power (Kujur) 4. Won by: Nk; Dist; 5-3/4; (1-18.8). Tote: Win Rs 63; Place: 21; 16; Quinella: 40; Tanala: 162. Fav: Wandering Warrior (2). Winner trained by Daniel D.

2. Birthday Girl Handicap 1,000m: (6-7-2-5) Aracruz (C. Alford) 1; Almond Rock (Connorton) 2; Endless Surprise (Surender) 3; Starina (Rutherford) 4. Won by: 2-3/4; 1/2; 1-1/4; (1.4.6). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 16; 19; 30; Quinella: 47; Tanala: 654. Fav: Aracruz (6). Winner trained by Bharath S.

3. Best of All Cup 2,000m: (2-4-3-1) Ascoril (C. Alford) 1; Keep The Faith (Bhagwat) 2; Ballard Lady (Kujur) 3; Scavenger’s Son (Connorton) 4. Won by: Dist; Dist; Dist; (2-13.9). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 13; 19; Quinella: 25; Tanala: 88. Fav: Ascoril (2). Winner trained by Vijay S.

4. Flower Dust Cup 1,000m: (9-5-1-7) Lively Project (Yasin) 1; Lovely Duchess (Rutherford) 2; Tsaynen Blue (Islam) 3; Heaven’s Blessing (A. P. Singh) 4. Won by: 3/4; 2-3/4; 2-3/4; (1-6.5). Tote: Win Rs 107; Place: 25; 14; 22; Quinella: 88; Tanala: 1,161. Fav: Adorer (2). Winner trained by Daniel D.

5. Whispering Grass Handicap 1,200m: (2-8-4-5)Sky Command (Rutherford) 1; Kargil Soldier (Gowli) 2; Crimson King (Connorton) 3; Aflicker (Islam) 4. Won by: 2-1/4; 3/4; SH; (1-19.2). Tote: Win Rs 81; Place: 18; 12; 20; Quinella: 63; Tanala: 644. Fav: Kargil Soldier (8). Winner trained by Mujeeb R.

6. Record Reign Handicap 1,400m: (1-3-6/8) Calculate (C. Alford) 1; Fencai (F. Khan) 2; Abandoned (Asghar) & Maltayar (Kujur) 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 3-1/4; D-H; (1-33). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 19; 63 (on Abandoned); 7 (on Maltayar); Quinella: 43; Tanala: 108. Fav: Calculate (1). Winner trained by Vijay S.

Jackpot: Rs 4,855; (C) Rs 1,189.

Treble: (i) Rs 294; (ii) Rs 1,289.
   

 
 
MYSORE RACING/ HOPE AND FAITH FOR GOLD CUP 
 
 
FROM WILLIAM TELL
 
Mysore, Aug. 22: 
The Darashah-ward Hope And Faith, twice winner, and also runner-up in the Bangalore summer Fillies classic, looks best to lift the 1,600m H. H. Sri Narasimharaja Wadiyar Memorial Gold Cup, tomorrow’s main event. The Broto-Maman Zimbie filly will be partnered by K. P. Appu.

SELECTIONS

2.15 pm: Oscar 1. His Heirness 2. Bacardi Star 3.
2.45 pm: Sun Court 1. Sunny Spice 2. Starry Splendour 3.
3.15 pm: Hello Baby 1. Tasman 2. Bountiful Star 3.
3.45 pm: Weapon Alpha 1. Donna Mia 2. Sun Reality 3.
4.15 pm: Hope And Faith 1. Aerobee 2. Master Weaver 3.
4.45 pm: Ronson 1. Renzino 2. Silent Honour 3.
5.15 pm: Treasure Island 1. Discuss 2. Persian Goddess 3.

Day’s Best: Hope And Faith

Double: Hello Baby & Ronson
   
 

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