‘Hayward could be perfect foil for Shaun’
Sachin, Sehwag whip SA quicks
Deep debut by default
Bengal snatch victory
Shabbir plan for groundwork
Paes, Bhupathi battle into semi-finals
Arjun extends lead
Bangalore Racing / Snow Dew may be hard to beat
Bangalore Racing/ Easy win for Alylady
Track Trials / Allaying, Alcalde impress

 
 
‘HAYWARD COULD BE PERFECT FOIL FOR SHAUN’ 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Bloemfontein, Nov. 3: 
With over 550 wickets in international cricket, Allan Donald does know a thing or two about fast bowling. Last evening, he agreed to a request from The Telegraph to (alphabetically) assess the current crop of South African quicks.

Following are excerpts

Mornantau Hayward: If Hayward bowls well, as he is capable of doing, he will emerge the perfect foil for Shaun. If he bowls at 150 kmph and, at the same time, gives little away, he will be the perfect pressure-creating bowler... There was a period not too long ago when Hayward actually got fed up with cricket and even wanted to sell/give away his cricket gear. But, he has sorted himself out since, with much help from Kepler Wessels. He’s got stronger, has put on a few pounds and is bowling real quick off a shorter run-up.

Jacques Kallis: I regard him as a genuine allrounder. In other words, Kallis can either make the XI as a quick, or even purely as a batsman... He’s a world-class bowler but, if you ask me, I’m worried about the load on his shoulders. At the same time, Kallis himself has no problems with the workload. So...

Justin Kemp: My view is we will see a lot of him... In fact, he’s not just a quick, but a top allrounder in the making. As a bowler, he’s far quicker than he seems to be bowling. Clearly, Kemp has the ability to maintain pressure.

Lance Klusener: He can cut the ball and also bowl quick... I see him more as a bowler who can smash the ball a long way. I wouldn’t say he is a genuine allrounder in the Kallis mould.

Charl Langeveldt: I’ve only watched him a few times on the TV and, in the last couple of years, has come on a fair bit. His time will, I’m sure, come soon enough. It’s obvious the selectors are interested in him.

Andre Nel: Last season, he was adjudged the quickest in South Africa and, yes, did find opportunities coming his way... I think he did okay in Zimbabwe... Andre is aggressive, but I don’t think he’s got that extra yard of pace. At this point in time, it doesn’t appear as if he can blitz batsmen out. If I’ve understood right, the South African selectors are looking for somebody very quick in the air.

Mfuneko Ngam: A product of our Development Programme who has lots of potential. Only, this injury so early in his career suggests he isn’t strong enough. With proper guidance, will be more than just exciting.

Makhaya Ntini: A fitness fanatic who can keep bowling all day at the same pace. He’s come on so well and, really, it’s heartening that another product of our Development Programme continues to make such a fine impression. Even if hit for a four, Makhaya will come back the same way at the batsman. When the New Zealanders were last in South Africa, they were surprised by his enthusiasm and ability to go on and on. They even began complaining! Teams need somebody like Makhaya, specially when the going isn’t good.

Shaun Pollock: He’s quite a bit like Glenn McGrath... Gets very close to the stumps and bowls dead straight. Of course, McGrath is taller and, so, gets more bounce and is a bit more pacy... Shaun, too, was quick but the ankle operation has taken something out of him... Yet, he’s the sort who can keep nibbling away the whole day. What’s even more remarkable is his exceptional economy rate. Both in Tests and ODIs.

Finally, on the complete fast bowler

(Grins) At the moment, McGrath is on top of the tree. Is relentless bowling straight and, quite simply, just can’t be got away... Going back a few years, Sir Richard Hadlee was the complete quick. Actually, he’s the only one I came close to idolising... Watching his cassettes, I learnt much — specially his use of the crease.

   

 
 
SACHIN, SEHWAG WHIP SA QUICKS 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Bloemfontein, Nov. 3: 
India 372/7

With South Africa set to land the knockout punch, that too with the Test series not even one session old, Sachin Tendulkar counterattacked as only he can and, in doing so, authored a sublime innings.

Yet, by stumps on Day-I at the Goodyear Park, debutant Virender Sehwag also took centrestage, becoming the 11th Indian to score a hundred on debut. Till the other day, of course, he was a one-day specialist and only played here because of Harbhajan Singh’s non-availability.

Now, equations are bound to be different.

Well, that is something for the future. For the present, it’s time to raise a toast to the Sachin-Sehwag twosome. It would have been disastrous, for the entire three-Test series, had the South Africans been allowed to comfortably pocket the opening day’s honours. As it turned out, India posted their first 300-plus total in five Tests.

Great stuff, really.

Sachin and Sehwag came together at 68 for four, well before lunch, and were unseparated for the next 220 runs and 199 minutes. This record-erasing partnership ended with Sachin’s dismissal (via a pull off Makhaya Ntini). By then, it already was India’s day.

Sehwag, by the way, became India’s first Test centurion under floodlights.

Clearly, there is no dearth of batsmen in the big league. Some are gifted, others mere pretenders. There is only one Sachin, though. He required 15 balls to get off the mark but, once he took charge, he sent the South African bowlers to all corners of the Park. Sachin, making a comeback after missing the series in Sri Lanka, eventually fell for 155 (233 minutes, 184 deliveries, 23x4, 1x6).

Significantly, in reaching his 26th Test hundred, and third versus South Africa, Sachin joined the 7,000 club. In fact, he became the youngest entrant and surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s career-total of 6,996. Sachin won’t — well, nobody will — eclipse Sir Don’s phenomenal average, but with years to go, he is already past cricket’s No.1 icon.

Sachin, who declined to compare today’s hundred with any previous one, found a perfect ally in Sehwag. It was, in many ways, baptism by fire yet Sehwag didn’t flinch. The story could have been very different had Sehwag not helped in the superb repair work. The previous best for the fifth-wicket against South Africa was 87 at Kingsmead (1992-93), by Mohammed Azharuddin and Pravin Amre.

For Sehwag, his debut itself was a great moment and he made the most of it. That his idol, Sachin, was at the other end, helped him stay calm. He himself acknowledged as much: “Sachin asked me to take it easy and play my natural game. That’s what I did.”

While Sachin didn’t exactly get out to a wicket-taking ball, Sehwag exited to a beauty from Shaun Pollock. By then, however, Sehwag had joined a most exclusive bunch. His 105 came in 271 minutes off 173 deliveries (19x4).

“Great knocks, what else do I say?” remarked captain Sourav Ganguly, when a comment was sought by The Telegraph. He added: “Now that we’ve got this far, we must not let go the initiative.”

Indeed, after the early smiles and high-fives, the South Africans were forced to re-draw strategy well before tea (255 for four). After all, India were well on their way to dictating terms. Moreover, with Pollock having chosen to insert India, South Africa would have to bat last.

Though the move flopped, Pollock couldn’t have done otherwise. Having packed his XI with quicks and the wicket offering more grass than usual, it was a predictable decision. The wicket actually was pretty lively and there was movement in the air as well. Even late in the day, the ball swung.

It’s another matter that Sachin made the wicket look different. Also, the South Africans began to bowl short, allowing the pressure to ease.

If the first session (123 for four) wasn’t short on drama, there was plenty of it before the toss as well: Harbhajan’s non-availability got confirmed and, then, Samir Dighe pulled a back muscle. So, in came down to Sehwag and Deep Dasgupta. Two debutants when the team management had no plans (till even yesterday morning) to cap anybody!

Thankfully, the debutants didn’t disappoint. For his part, Deep was unbeaten on a courageous (and strokeful) 29 at stumps, surviving the second new ball. Anil Kumble, unfortunately, fell on the day’s last delivery.

The innings was launched by the makeshift pair of Shiv Sundar Das and Rahul Dravid and, with caution being the mood, the first run off the bat came in the fourth over. Not much later, Dravid left, surprised by the bounce from Pollock. He was well taken by Jacques Kallis.

Less than ten overs hence, after making a determined effort to drop anchor, Shiv Sundar played on (to Mornantau Hayward) and the Indians were quickly in trouble. That V. V. S. Laxman had begun to respond with pluck didn’t exactly help much. In any case, Laxman didn’t survive for long: His 45-minute and 30-delivery cameo ended when Mark Boucher took him off the gloves, on the leg-side.

Wicket No.2 for Hayward.

Sourav, realising the South African quicks had to be tackled head-on, went for his shots. However, he was dismissed in controversial manner (after a let-off on six). Kallis unleashed a snorter and Sourav couldn’t but make contact. The ball headed for the slips-gully cordon and a flying Gary Kirsten claimed a clean catch.

Dave Orchard referred the appeal to third-umpire Ian Howell who, after a series of TV replays, ruled against the Indian captain. It appeared, though, there was some doubt and the benefit ought to have gone to the batsman. Incidentally, Sourav crossed a personal milestone, going beyond 3,000 runs.

Sourav’s exit brought Sachin and Sehwag together, heralding the start of that outstanding partnership. It was Sachin who exploded, clubbing Ntini for three fours in his second over and, then, taking as many boundaries off Kallis. The Sachin fireworks propelled India to 123 for four at lunch.

The second session saw 132 being totalled, with Sachin himself moving from 43 to 132 and Sehwag adding 41 to his luncheon score of 11. Pollock kept persisting with his frontline quicks, without success, and the introduction of Lance Klusener didn’t help either.

Hayward did have his moments, like when Sachin ducked into a short one from him, but two balls later, it was Sachin who took another four off him. Sachin’s drives, especially, were ethereal as he collected runs on both sides of the wicket. In front and behind the timber as well.

While the purists would be hard pressed to choose Sachin’s shot of the day, the most outrageous surely had to be what can best be described as a very late cut off a Kallis flyer. It fetched six runs.

As natural light deteriorated in the final session, the floodlights were switched on. Should conditions so demand, their usage is now mandatory at venues which have the facility.

Task No.1, now, for India is to break the 400-barrier. Psychologically, it will hit the South Africans hard, and negate the ‘comeback’ they made in the last session this evening.

   

 
 
DEEP DEBUT BY DEFAULT 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Bloemfontein, Nov.3: 
Towards the end of the recent tri-series, Deep Dasgupta was dropped as he didn’t fit into the thinktank’s scheme. Today, young Deep made his Test debut. By default, yes, but it’s now up to him to make the most of this opportunity.

Deep’s debut actually came about in bizarre fashion, with first-choice wicketkeeper Samir Dighe pulling a back muscle, on the left side, just 15 minutes before the toss. Till then, all the attention was on Harbhajan Singh, who pulled out owing to an infection in a rather awkward region.

To a lesser extent, there were also some worries about Ashish Nehra (who slipped during yesterday’s nets), but he quickly dispelled doubts over his fitness. Centrestage, then, got taken by Dighe and Deep.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, it’s coach John Wright who has always been insisting on a second wickekeeper and, this morning, he stood vindicated. In fact, after this Dighe episode, the selectors would do well to pick a No.2 for every tour. The only exception could be trips specific to one-day tournaments, as Rahul Dravid will be around.

Harbhajan, meanwhile, is responding “well” to the course of antibiotics. He is expected to be fit in “three days.”

   

 
 
BENGAL SNATCH VICTORY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 3: 
Soujan Biswas was Bengal’s man of the day. His seven for 43 from 31.2 overs ensured his team a much-needed eight-wicket victory over Bihar in the Cooch Behar Trophy encounter at Eden Gardens today.

Bengal claimed eight points from this win, giving their tally a desperate boost to make it 16 after three matches.

Bihar, resuming on 65 for two, added just 100 more — setting Bengal a paltry target of 50 for victory. Bengal lost two wickets — Ajoy Garai for four and Manavendra Yadav for two. Opener Avishek Chakraborty and skipper Aranya Deb Sarkar saw Bengal through.

It was a hard-earned win since Bengal had been tottering on 64 for seven yesterday in reply to Bihar’s first-innings total of 142. Bowlers Sudip Palit and Samrat Guha had then put on a 135-run stand to snatch a healthy first-innings lead of 116.

There was no stopping Biswas today, and Bihar had no answer to the young spinner. Both the wickets lost by Bihar yesterday were his victims. Ravish Kumar top scored with a patient 72 from 170 balls. The next highest score was 26 by M.J. Prakash.

Bengal made two changes for the under-19 one-dayer against Bihar tomorrow, Anirban Chatterjee and Sourav Shukla replacing Subhankar Roy Chowdhury and Avishek Chakraborty.

BRIEF SCORES: Bihar 142 & 165 (Ravish Kumar 72; Soujan Biswas 7/43, S. Palit 2/11). Bengal 258 & 51/2. Bengal won by 8 wkts.

Orissa win

Orissa beat Assam by seven wickets on the third and final day of their Cooch Behar Trophy match in Cuttack, adds PTI. Orissa, who gained eight points with the win, now have 24 from three encounters, having defeated Sikkim and Tripura earlier.

Overnight 297 for eight, Orissa were all out for 343. Assam were bowled out for 79 in 27.1 overs to set Orissa a target of 16, which they achieved in 9.5 overs, but only after losing three wickets, all to Dhiraj Goswami. Girish Mall and Purna Moharana wrecked the Assam innings with four wickets each.

   

 
 
SHABBIR PLAN FOR GROUNDWORK 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 3: 
The Bengal squad for the Santosh Trophy, already underway in Mumbai, will leave the city on Monday but one of it’s coaches depart tomorrow afternoon.

Bengal play a strong Karnataka team in their first encounter on Wednesday. Coach Shabbir Ali will therefore reach just in time to assess the strength of their opposition. Karnataka will clash against Daman and Diu on Monday. Prasanta Banerjee will accompany the 20-member squad.

“For me every team is strong and it is not just because of Karnataka that I have taken this decision. If the first match would have been against Tamil Nadu I would have done just the same,” Shabbir said today.

Though Shabbir didn’t admit in so many words, the Bengal thinktank consider Karnataka — boasting of a number of TFA graduates — the main threat to their chances of advancing from the group.

Shabbir will be present at the morning practice session tomorrow with Prasanta before flying out.

Services in quarters

Down one zero at half time, Services today stormed back to defeat Rajasthan 5-2 and quarter finals from Cluster 1, reports PTI from Mumbai. Assam beat Madhya Pradesh 2-0 in a Cluster 2 tie.

Services were down by a 27th-minute goal from midfielder Dilip Singh. But they regrouped after the interval and forward Amar Thapa equalised in the 46th minute.Two minutes later, winger Preetam Bahadur increased the lead before linkman Irudaya Raj made it 3-1 in the 60th. Sajith Kumar finished it off with strikes in the 67th and 69th.

Rajasthan forward Ashfaq Qureshi got a consolation goal nine minutes from time.

Services had beaten Rajasthan 11-0 earlier and topped the three-team cluster with today’s win. They will be clubbed with Maharashtra and the winners of Cluster 3 — to be decided after tomorrow’s Railways-Andhra Pradesh clash.

The Assam-MP match turned out to be close though the first half remained scoreless with Assam making some dangerous moves.

   

 
 
PAES, BHUPATHI BATTLE INTO SEMI-FINALS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 3: 
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi moved a step closer to finishing the year on a high as they battled into the last four of the $2.95 million Paris Masters Series last evening.

According to information received here, the Indian Express — seeded fifth at the year’s last doubles event — came back from a set down to oust fourth seeds Todd Woodbridge and Joshua Eagle 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2.

What made the difference in the quarter-final clash was Paes-Bhupathi’s ability to tackle crisis situations better. While the Aussie duo failed to convert any of the nine break-point chances in the two-hour, 10-minute match, the Indians capitalised on all three that came their way.

Paes and Bhupathi, already assured of 45 points and $43,790, will meet seventh seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic. The Canadian-Yugoslav combine also rallied to topple top seeds Donald Johnson and Jared Palmer 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

The other semi-final will pit No. 6 seeds Wayne Black-Kevin Ullyett against Rick Leach-Ellis Ferreira.

   

 
 
ARJUN EXTENDS LEAD 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 3: 
Arjun Singh extended his lead to six strokes after the penultimate round of the Rs 30 lakh Honda-Siel PGA tournament at the par-72 Delhi Golf Club course today.

The 32-year-old Delhi pro shot the day’s best of five-under 67 to tally 16-under 200 for 54 holes. In second place at 10-under 206 was twice champion Uttam Singh Mundy, who returned four-under 68.

Mukesh Kumar, despite a triple bogey on the par-four 10th, finished with one-under 71 to be third at nine-under 207.

Daniel Chopra of Sweden and Harmeet Kahlon were tied for fourth at seven-under 209.

Arjun, Mundy and Mukesh displayed scintillating golf in the morning and all three hit brilliant tee shots. They reached the green in two before making birdies on the par-five hole.

Ashok Kumar took lead in the amateur section with a three-under 69, which took his aggregate to three-under 213.

Keshav Mishra was one stroke behind at two-under 214.

   

 
 
BANGALORE RACING / SNOW DEW MAY BE HARD TO BEAT 
 
 
FROM WILLIAM TELL
 
Bangalore, Nov. 3: 
Snow Dew, the Ganapathy- trained winner of the summer ‘Fillies’ and the Derby, may be hard to toss in the 1,600m Krishnaraja Trophy tomorrow. B. Prakash partners the Razeen-Snow daughter.

SELECTIONS

2 pm: Orient View 1. Grace And Faith 2. San Isidro 3.

2.30 pm: Amalgamate 1. Radcliff 2. Plain Truth 3.

3 pm: Snow Dew 1. Crystal Sky 2. Weapon Alpha 3.

3.30 pm: Si Senora 1. Starjo 2. Dover 3.

4 pm: Sacristia 1. Star Chieftan 2. Alluring Bay 3.

4.30 pm: Brave Russian 1. Ride With Pride 2. Forest Pegasus 3.

5 pm: Circus Maid 1. Royal Russian 2. Star Class 3.

Day’s Best: Snow Dew

Double: Sacristia & Brave Russian

   

 
 
BANGALORE RACING/ EASY WIN FOR ALYLADY 
 
 
BY TITAN BOY
 
Bangalore, Nov. 3: 
Ridden by Faisal Ismail, the inayathulla-trained Alylady easily claimed the Abbey Falls Cup, the main event in the opening-day card of the Bangalore races held on Saturday.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Inauguration Plate 1,400m: (1-7-3) Authentic Power (Ramesh) 1; Fantastic Fortune 2; Thrill of Success 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 1-1/2; (1-35.9). Tote: Win Rs 239; Place: 25; 32; 11; Quinella: 438; Tanala: 6,220. Fav: Thrill of Success (3).

2. Prince Ardent Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (7-8-3) Ashleen (Kader) 1; Aesthete 2; Indigenous 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-18.4). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 13; 15; 27; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 162. Fav: Ashleen (7).

3. Abbey Falls Cup 1,200m: (4-2-1) Alylady (F. Ismail) 1; Yewall 2; Symphony of Fire 3. Won by: 2-1/4; Hd; (1-16.9). Tote: Win Rs 52; Place: 16; 16; 29; Quinella: 66; Tanala: 1,003. Fav: Yewall (2).

4. M. M. Galstaun Memorial Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (7-5-4) Millennium Flame (Nagesh) 1; Annodomini 2; Renzino 3. Not run: Tresorie (3) & National Star (6). Won by: 1-1/4; 3; (1-32). Tote: Win Rs 141; Place: 28; 11; 13; Quinella: 136; Tanala: 1,122. Fav: Annodomini (5).

5. Rajyotsava Trophy 1,200m: (2-8-7) Winelight (Surjeet) 1; Screen Play 2; Financer 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-1/4; (1-18.1). Tote: Win Rs 172; Place: 29; 12; 41; Quinella: 151; Tanala: 5,937. Fav: Screen Play (8). (Note: The winner survived objections lodged by the second and the third placed horses).

6. M. M. Galstaun Memorial Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (8-1-2) Exstream (M. Suresh) 1; Crown Witness 2; Furia Rossa 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 3-1/2; (1-31.8). Tote: Win Rs 117; Place: 30; 17; 15; Quinella: 243; Tanala: 1,485. Fav: Furia Rossa (2).

7. Prince Ardent Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (2-8-5) Autobahn (Srinath) 1; Flying Tribute 2; Bin Tin Tin 3. Won by: 4; 1-1/2; (1-19.6). Tote: Win Rs 28; Place: 14; 14; 34; Quinella: 28; Tanala: 258. Fav: Autobahn (2).

Jackpot: Rs 1,30,585 (Carried over); (C) Rs 33,579.

Treble: (i) Rs 1,272; (ii) Rs 5,737.

   

 
 
TRACK TRIALS / ALLAYING, ALCALDE IMPRESS 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Nov. 3: 
Allaying and Alcalde were impressive when the following horses exercised today:

Outer sand track

1,400m: Allaying (Rabani) and Alcalde (C. Alford) in 1-42s; (400m) 28s. Former was a length better. Both moved well.

1,200m: Alkido (Islam) and Charlene (Rabani) in 1-26s; (400m) 30s. Former a half-a-length better. Amber Dancer (Connorton) in 1-32s; (400m) 31s. Easy.

Sand track

1,400m: Flinders (Rb) in 1-41s; (400m) 30s.

800m: Scarlet Raider (B. Gurang) and Santillana (Dalpat) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Former 4 ls better. Calculus (Som S.) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Starina (Tamang) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Tajik (P. Alford) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Good. Solo Act (P. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Bird’s Empire (Kujur) and Crimson King (Dalpat) in 1-0s; (400m) 30s. They were level. Splendid King (Yasin) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Anokato (Kujur) and Adeline (Dalpat) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Former was distance better.

   
 

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