Lanka likely to retain squad of XVI
England’s win inspired us: Sourav
Bengal recover from 28/7 to win
Arpita, Shabana reach final
Pune Races/ Strength To Strength upsets
Calcutta Races/ Only 2 for Wednesday’s Colts Trial

 
 
LANKA LIKELY TO RETAIN SQUAD OF XVI 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Colombo, Aug. 26: 
Despite Sri Lanka’s big defeat in the second Test (Kandy), the selectors may retain the XVI for the third and final game, at the SSC from Wednesday. In fact, the XVI, picked ahead of the first Test in Galle, has remained unchanged.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, there is a debate over veteran Hashan Tillekaratne’s continuation, more so as he failed in both Tests, but indications are he will probably be retained. Not just in the squad, but in the XI as well. About the only point in Tillekaratne’s favour, though, is that he was out of Test cricket for well over two years and, so, needs time to get back to being a big-league performer.

The Indian XI will remain unchanged unless, of course, the SSC wicket is devoid of grass. In that eventuality, Harvinder Singh will have to make way for either Sairaj Bahutule or Rahul Sanghvi.

Incidentally, being talked about strongly is the capping of Michael van Dort who, if he does play, could bat at No. 3 with Kumar Sangakkara pushed down the order. It’s likely that Van Dort, who took a century off India in the only three-day match of the tour, will replace Suresh Perera in the XI.

The selectors will meet tomorrow.

No Agarkar

Meanwhile, the Board back home has done a volte-face where Ajit Agarkar is concerned. Yesterday, coach John Wright’s fresh request that Agarkar be belatedly sent as Jawagal Srinath’s replacement — that, too, after the initial “no” last Sunday itself — was accepted by Board secretary Jaywant Lele.

Today, however, Lele is understood to have called Wright and informed that Agarkar wouldn’t be coming. Obviously, this won’t go down well with the thinktank.

   

 
 
ENGLAND’S WIN INSPIRED US: SOURAV 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Colombo, Aug. 26: 
A champagne bottle with the compliments of Pepsi, a jumbo chocolate cake from the Taj... Calls and messages from well-wishers... Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is back to having his hands full, off the field.

Not that Sourav had much time to himself earlier, but with the runs not flowing, the ‘pace’ wasn’t exactly hectic. That has changed after his Man-of-the-Match award winning unbeaten 98, and India’s seven-wicket triumph over Sri Lanka, in Kandy yesterday.

Still exhausted (though the Test ended within four days), Sourav and the team had a day off — in part also because they reached here around lunchtime. Tomorrow, too, could be a break if local bowlers can’t be arranged for nets.

In between, unpacking at his Taj Samudra suite, Sourav looked back on the past 10-12 days and also looked ahead to the final Test, as he spoke to The Telegraph.

The following are excerpts

On the morning after an excellent victory

Of course, it felt different.. Felt nice... Getting 264 in the last innings isn’t always easy. That we were positive is what, eventually, made it so. Whether it is the sub-continent or outside, it’s great to win a Test away from home.

On whether he is relieved, too

That I ended the drought of runs? Yes, you may say that. I did go through a testing period and, because I came good when the team needed the runs most, the satisfaction is more than what it probably would otherwise have been... Actually, I’m also relieved that we did stage a comeback after, admittedly, a poor show in Galle (first Test).

On the flood of congratulatory messages

(Smiles) That goes with success... Our chief minister (Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) called. Then, the Board president (Dr A.C. Muthiah)... Even Raj Singh Dungarpur.

On, frankly, just how optimistic is he of taking to the third and final Test (at the SSC, from Wednesday) with a 1-1 scoreline

I am hopeful, largely because this Lanka side has chinks. For instance, even in Galle, they collapsed on that third morning... Then, England’s stunning six-wicket victory at Headingley (315 for four), with Mark Butcher smashing an unbeaten 173, was an inspiration. That Test finished 36 hours before our game and, at different times, we did speak about England’s phenomenal recovery. It was an eye-opener. That we ourselves had made an extraordinary comeback, against Australia, also served to inspire.

On the No.1 turning point in Kandy

It’s tough picking one contribution... If you look back, it was a team effort but, yes, the Harbhajan-Dighe partnership (64 for the seventh wicket) in the first innings made a difference. Also, Prasad’s brilliant spell (four wickets) after lunch on the third afternoon. Then, our batting in the second innings.

On what made the Lankans crack

I would say we played above our potential. We raised our game consistently and the cornerstone of our effort was discipline. We were definitely disciplined with the ball. With the bat as well. In Galle, it’s not that the Lankans were extraordinary, it’s just that we were very ordinary.

On whether, as captain, he has got used to the highs and lows

(Smiles again) I don’t have a choice do I? Two things need to be remembered: That one defeat shouldn’t knock a team down. Secondly, that every single individual must play to potential. Rather than worry about losing, one should worry about playing good cricket. As long as one isn’t found wanting, the results will take care of themselves.

On whose (sensible) idea it was to promote Rahul Dravid to No. 3 and himself to No. 4 — something not seen in Galle

Well, the coach (John Wright) and I had a discussion.. Look, when a move clicks, it’s good. But, when it doesn’t, it’s branded as bad. People have talked about Kaif being made to bat at No. 3, in Galle, but even I can turn around and ask what was I doing at No. 3 on debut (Lord’s, 1996), on a wicket which had life? Even I can argue that either Azhar or Sachin, who had the experience, should have gone at that position... As it turned out, I got a century (131).

On whether, after Kandy, the expectations will double the pressure

We will play positively and, well, it’s possible we can do a repeat (of the Australia series).

On the ideal strategy

Playing at least to potential will make a difference. In any case, we’ve proved that this Sanath-led team isn’t unbeatable. (Adds after a pause) I’ll be happy if they leave some grass on the (SSC) wicket. It will help Zaheer and Prasad, besides ensuring that Murali won’t get exceptional turn. What will I be telling the boys? Simple: Keep the momentum going.

Finally, on Geoffrey Boycott’s words of advice when he spoke to his strongest backer (outside India) the other day

That I shouldn’t be conscious about trying to hit the ball, that my instincts would send the right signals... He also asked me to watch deliveries closely and to treat every ball as the first of the innings. That, automatically, will get my feet moving.

   

 
 
BENGAL RECOVER FROM 28/7 TO WIN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 26: 
Utpal Chatterjee and Sanjib Sanyal bailed Bengal out of a precarious situation to help their team reach the final of the Buchi Babu Memorial cricket tournament in Chennai today.

The duo put up a commendable 87-run partnership for the eighth wicket and lifted Bengal from 28 for seven to a total of 133. Bengal then bowled their opponents, Jolly Rovers, out for a paltry 96 to post a 125-run victory in the semi-final at the Chepauk.

Starting on an overnight seven for two, Bengal lost wickets in quick succession. Rohan Gavaskar (0), Pradipto Majumdar (0), Shubhomoy Das (1), Souvik Mukherjee (1), Saikat Mukherjee (8) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (8) — all returned to the pavilion in the morning session itself to leave Bengal struggling on 28 for seven.

Utpal (50) and Sanjib (44) then got into the rescue act to take Bengal to victory. The duo had also contributed handsomely to Bengal’s first essay with unbeaten 60 and 59, respectively.

“Hats off to Utpal and Sanjib who batted brilliantly under pressure,” said Dipen Rudra, Bengal’s manager, from Chennai this evening.

After setting Rovers a victory target of 222 runs in 39 overs, Bengal bowlers rose to the occasion to skittle out Rovers for 96. Divakar Vasu of Rovers did not bat because of injury.

Off-spinner Sourashish Lahiri, who took five for 68 in the first innings, claimed two wickets for 23 in the second innings. Other wicket-takers were Shib Shankar Pal (2/22), Rohan (1/3) and Utpal (1/24).

Bengal and New Zealand A will clash in the final from Tuesday.

New Zealand A in final

New Zealand A posted an exciting 23-run win over Railways in the other semi-final. New Zealand medium-pacer Shane Bond ripped through the Railways batting order, claiming seven for 45. Railways were all out for 145 in the second innings.

The visitors, 216 for six overnight, declared at 318 for eight. Lou Vincent made 102 . For Railways Sanjay Satpathy took three for 125 and Kulamani Parida three for 78.

SUMMARISED SCORES

Bengal 281 & 133 (Utpal Chatterjee 50, Sanjib Sanyal 44). Jolly Rovers 193 & 96 (Shib Shankar Pal 2/22, Sourashish Lahiri 2/23). Bengal won by 125 runs.

New Zealand A 129 & 318/8 decl (Lou Vincent 102; Sanjay Satpathy 3/125, Kulamani Parida 3/78). Railways 279 & 145 (Shane Bond 7/45). New Zealand A won by 23 runs.

   

 
 
ARPITA, SHABANA REACH FINAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 26: 
Shabana Parveen beat Ahana Pal 8-11, 10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8 in the sub-junior girls’ semi-final of the Ballygunge Institute table tennis championships today. In the final, Shabana will meet Arpita Banerjee who beat Soumi Mondal 11-9, 11-7, 11-13, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8.

OTHER RESULTS (semi-finals)

Cadet girls: Arjuma Ghosh bt Gatha Bhawal 11-5, 11-8, 11-7; Tulika Roy bt Madhurima Das 10-12, 3-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6.

State taekwondo squads

Fourteen from the state will take part in the Federation Cup taekwondo championships in Salem from Sepetmber 7 to 9.

THE SQUADS — MEN: Dibyendu Sinha (fin), Sushanto Haldar (fly), Samulya Banerjee (Bantam), Saunak Das (feather), Munna Prasad (light), Navin Saha (middle) and Pankaj Sil (heavy).

WOMEN: Arpita Kundu (fin), Rina Gurung (fly), Juin Mukherjee (bantam), Sunita Singh (feather), Sarmitha Singha (light), Supriya Keora (welter).

   

 
 
PUNE RACES/ STRENGTH TO STRENGTH UPSETS 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Pune, Aug. 26: 
Trained by Rehenullah Khan Strength To Strength posted an upset victory in the 1,400m Turf Club Trophy, the main event at the Pune races held on Sunday. P. Kamlesh partnered the Farajullah-Powerglide six-year-old to victory.

RESULTS

1 (With inter-state dividends)

1. Handsel Plate 1,000m: (9-7-4) Chittor (Chauhan) 1; Imperial Falcon 2; Spur of The Moment 3. Won by: 3; SH; (1-1.6). Tote: Win Rs 67; Place: 23; 15; 41; Quinella: 127; Tanala: 2,592. Fav: Imperial Falcon (7).

2. Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy, Div-II 1,200m: (6-3-8) Candescent (H. Moses) 1; Crown Affair 2; Fast One 3. Not run: Adam’s Touch (5). Won by: SH; 2; (1-13.5). Tote: Win Rs 535; Place: 34; 12; 44; Quinella: 609; Tanala: 31,249. Fav: Shahandeh (2).

3. Hilal Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (1-7-9) Kahini (S. Chinoy) 1; My Opinion 2; Smart Hunter 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-1/4; (1-28.2). Tote: Win Rs 41; Place: 18; 14; 21; Quinella: 57; Tanala: 488. Fav: My Opinion (7).

4. Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy, Div-I 1,200m: (4-1-6) Killarney (M. Narredu) 1; Alice Charms 2; Eminent 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 1/2; (1-13.3).Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 10; 16; 19; Quinella: 31; Tanala: 89. Fav: Killarney (4).

5. Edgar Desylva Trophy 1,400m: (3-10-7) True Thriller (Rajesh) 1; Running Royal 2; Criollo 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-26.2). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 17; 106; 15; Quinella: 757; Tanala: 4,479. Fav: Criollo (7). (Note: There was a stewards’ inquiry into the running of the race).

6. Turf Club Trophy 1,400m: (10-4-14) Strength To Strength (Kamlesh) 1; The Proletarian 2; Pleasures 3. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/2; (1-24.3 – record). Tote: Win Rs 118; Place: 34; 28; 22; Quinella: 581; Tanala: 3,354. Fav: Adamile (1).

7. P. K. Sardeshmukh Maharaj Trophy 1,000m: (4-13-7) Pecan Pie (M. Kharadi) 1;Thunder Clap 2; Furiously 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 2-1/2; (1-0.3). Tote: Win Rs 28; Place: 17; 21; 66; Quinella: 58; Tanala: 1,591. Fav: Pecan Pie (4). (Note: The winner survived objection from the rider of the second horse).

8. Hilal Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (3-4-6) Seville Star (Rajinder) 1; Speedster 2; Dance With Me 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 1; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 34; Place: 15; 30; 12; Quinella: 98; Tanala: 282. Fav: Seville Star (3).

Jackpot: Rs 2,514; (C) Rs 252.

Treble: (i) Rs 3,060; (ii) Rs 958.
   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACES/ ONLY 2 FOR WEDNESDAY’S COLTS TRIAL 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Aug. 26: 
It is a sheer coincidence that the Wednesday’s star attraction, the Colts Trial Stakes, like the fillies’ classic, also has two runners.— Alcalde and Alamito.First race starts at 1.35 pm:

ACCEPTANCES

1. Prince Blossom Cup 1,400m (Terms, 4-y-o & over) 1.35 pm: Alyssum 60; Clarice Cliff 58; Treasurer 58.

2. Subianca Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 2.15 pm: Flying Power 61; Lively Project 57.5; Armila 55.5; Don Vittorio 55; Lady Shirley 54.5; Alumnus 51; Rich Dominion 50.5.

3. Calcutta Colts Trial Stakes 1,400m (Terms, 3-y-o colts and gelding only) 2.45 pm: Alcalde 56; Alamito 52.5.

4. Rontgen Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 3.15 pm: Constantine 60.5; Storm Trooper 55; Regency Times 54; The Stud 54; Crest Star 53; Tequila Shot 51.5; Reactor 49.5.

5. Mica Empress Cup 1,100 (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 3.50 pm: Illustrious Reign 60; Gold Buck 58.5; Desert Force 57; Sky Command 55; Arctic Fancy 54; Added Asset 53; Staffordshire 53; Annella 52.5; Ispahan 52; Giorgio 50; Winning Hand 49.5; Carbon Copy 49.

6. Buchanan Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 3.25 pm: Double Bull 61; Alborada 60.5; Beau Bruno 60.5; Adeline 54.5; Iron Warrior 54.5; Black Mane 54; Pneumatic Power 52.5; Freedom Warrior 48.

Jackpot: 2; 3; 4; 5 & 6.

Treble: (i) 1; 2 & 3; (ii) 4; 5 & 6.
   
 

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