Missed chances compound English woes
‘In-house’ duo beefs up English security blanket
Srinath to play, if fit
When Denness was proved wrong
Dawson has a good future, feels Dilley
New-look Bengal team for East Zone one-dayers
Boost for Md. Sp. survival
Bagan off to breezy start
Calcutta Racing / Cristopher strikes four
Mumbai Racing/ Blushing Minstrel fancied

Mohali, Dec. 5: 
ENGLAND 238, 34/0

Survival will be the key to save this opening Test. That was the general feeling among Englishmen after managing to go through an agonising 84 minutes on the third day.

Still 197 in arrears, it will take a lot of courage and determination for them to last the distance. England haven’t done so in recent memory and if their performance in the first innings is any indication, the chances seem slim.

The pressures of having to battle alien conditions will weigh heavily on the players’ minds. Then there is the Harbhajan Singh factor. They prefer to play the off-spinner on reputation than on merit.

The extended session under lights today did little to downgrade India’s ratings. Mark Butcher and Marcus Trescothick endured 20 overs during which both looked hopelessly out of touch. The old SG ball, with a broader seam, will make life even more difficult for them.

The visitors’ batting and bowling lack direction, but fielding, too, will have to shoulder a lot of blame. If Deep Dasgupta and Rahul Dravid capitalised on dropped chances yesterday, it was Sourav Ganguly and Sanjay Bangar’s turn to profit today.

“If the chances created are not taken, you’ll have to be on the field for long,” said a pragmatic assistant coach Graham Dilley after the day’s play.

The attack, sans Andy Caddick and Darren Gough, was made to look silly. Yet, the Indians contributed to their own downfall with some irresponsible shots after settling down. Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar fell in their eighties while the Indian skipper was out three short of his half-century.

The result was debutant Richard Dawson finishing with a four-wicket haul and Matthew Hoggard scalping three.

Dravid (86 off 206 balls, 10x4) left early adding just eight to his overnight score and it was Sachin and Sourav’s turn to wade through the attack. Sachin (88 off 144 balls, 13x4), the more flamboyant of the two, was paricularly harsh on Hoggard. The Yorkshire medium pacer was hit for three boundaries in one over —two firmly executed on drives followed by a merciless pull to the square leg fence.

The aura that Sachin brings with him to the crease, the intimidation factor that plays a key role, were all evident during his 229-minute stay. The awe-struck Englishmen just seemed to stand back and watch his brilliance.

The Englishmen aimed to make optimum use of Sourav’s weakness against the rising ball. At the same time, they packed the off-side with seven men to block the onslaught.

But with the wicket having eased out somewhat, the bouncers were not effective. That they lacked direction too made Sourav’s task easier. He pulled Craig White with disdain when the medium-pacer tried to pitch one short.

Frustrated at failing to make a breakthrough, Andrew Flintoff tried to get into the verbal act with the Indian captain. The umpires intervened to cool tempers.

If the pacers posed even the slightest of problems, the arrival of Dawson made life easier for Sourav. He misread the flight as he jumped out to lift the off spinner but James Foster made a mockery of an easy stumping. Sourav finally departed six runs later when he sliced Hoggard into Thorpe’s hands at point.

Sachin had departed in the earlier Hoggard over, snicking an outgoing delivery. The fifth wicket stand put on 80 in 151 balls.

Vangipurappu Laxman’s essays are becoming predictable. A couple of good shots and then a wide slash outside the off stump to end it all. It was no different today and his concentration and application are bound to come under the scanner shortly, if he continues in this fashion.

The one bright spot for the Indians was the lower order making sensible contributions. Bangar, using a runner because of a hamstring strain, batted confidently showing no signs of nerves, except for a dropped chance at extra cover.

Iqbal Siddiqui wielded the long handle to good effect towards the end. It included a six off Dawson. A little control in his bowling, could develop the Aurangabad boy into a useful allrounder for one-dayers.


Chandigarh, Dec. 5: 
Two ‘officers’ from a London-based security agency (Olive Security) are accompanying Nasser Hussain’s team on the ongoing tour of India. The agency has been engaged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the ‘officers’ on round-the-clock duty are Douglas Dicks and Matt Kilbride. Besides controlling access to the players, the two “inspect” every parcel/hamper/packet meant for anybody in the tour party.

Last week, for instance, a cricket gear consignment from Meerut was first screened by local security personnel in Jaipur (during the India A game) and, then, by the duo. Only after that were the players ‘exposed’ to its contents. “It’s water-tight,” quipped Ranga Reddy, a former India manager who is the BCCI-appointed coordinator for the visitors.

Though Mark Taylor’s Aussies were ‘shadowed’ by sleuths belonging to a multinational agency with a sizeable operation in India during the 1996 World Cup and, earlier this year, Steve Waugh’s outfit had a “security consultant”, never before has a team actually landed with security ‘officers’.

A good many Englishmen, it may be recalled, initially had reservations about coming to India — included in this lot being the Chennai-born captain himself. Eventually, only Andrew Caddick and Robert Croft pulled out. Nevertheless, the misgivings obviously prompted the ECB to approach a private agency.

For the record, Hussain’s team has been around for three weeks and the tour has been incident-free. In nearby Mohali (venue of the first Test), however, absolutely no chances are being taken even though militancy in these parts is really a thing of the past.

Speaking exclusively, Punjab DGP Sarabjit Singh said: “Strictly in terms of numbers, the deployment of personnel is less this time. Yet, unlike in the past, we have been focussing on detecting explosives.”

Going by numbers — incidentally, never ever fully made public — the maximum deployment was during Pakistan’s trip in 1999, shortly before the World Cup.

Singh, who has personally overseen security at the PCA Stadium from 1993 (when the first match was staged) itself, explained the militants’ fondness for “destructive devices” not just in Punjab — Mohali is in the state’s Ropar district — but in neighbouring Jammu & Kashmir as well is what prompted “specific” screening for explosives.

One learns a crack Punjab Police team runs a daily check throughout the PCA Stadium, in the lead-up to gates being opened. That apart, numerous metal detectors are in place and frisking has been made mandatory.

“We are comfortable with what we’ve worked out and, one assumes, the visitors have no complaints either,” Singh remarked, with a smile.


Chandigarh, Dec. 5: 
Assuming spearhead Jawagal Srinath is fit, he will replace Sanjay Bangar in the India squad for the second Test, in Ahmedabad, from December 11. As of now, the selection is slated for tomorrow evening.

Bangar, laid low by a hamstring problem on debut itself, is expected to be out for “two-three weeks”. There has been no formal announcement, but this has been confirmed by members of the selection committee.

The allrounder’s non-availability, therefore, has come as a boon for another debutant — Iqbal Siddiqui. After all, had Bangar been fit, Siddiqui would have had to make way for Srinath.

Also out will be Jacob Martin who, in an unusual move, was added to the original XIV for the Mohali Test after the Board decided not to field Virender Sehwag. However, to keep intact Sehwag’s “morale”, he was asked to remain with the rest of the players.

Srinath, currently in Bangalore, will have the plaster on his left hand removed tomorrow morning and only then will his availability be known.

Contacted by The Telegraph on his cellphone, late this evening, Srinath said: “Once the plaster is out of the way, I’ll bat for a while and take some catches, too. If I’m comfortable, I’ll convey that to the Board...” Bowling, in any case, isn’t a problem.

Srinath, it may be recalled, was struck by Mornantau Hayward (left little finger region) in the first innings at Centurion. In fact, that resulted in a fracture at around the same place for the second time in a shade over three months. In mid-August, the damage was inflicted by Dilhara Fernando in Galle.

Just in case Srinath isn’t “comfortable,” Ashish Nehra will be recalled. Zaheer Khan will only come into the picture if Nehra is himself unfit. Apparently, there’s a slight question mark over his fitness.


Mohali, Dec. 5: 
Soccer’s hard ways of tackling tiffs between players can often lead to resolving the “odd chirp” on the cricket field. Umpire Steve Bucknor discovered it today at PCA Stadium.

It proved Mike Denness’ harsh ways of handling matters in Port Elizabeth were unjustified.

Andrew Flintoff tried to have an exchange of ‘pleasantries’ with Sourav Ganguly before lunch. But Bucknor and S. Venkatraghavan intervened along with Nasser Hussain to stop the situation from getting out of control.

Sourav — already serving a suspended ban for one Test and two one-day Internationals till January (the penalty is, however, set to be reviewed) — showed immense restraint during the whole episode.

“Everything went according to the rules. There was no untoward incident,” Match Referee Dennis Lindsay said after the end of the third day’s play. “You can’t have an odd chirp here and there. It was handled by the umpires with great efficiency on the field,” he explained.

Asked as to what he exactly meant by the “odd chirp”, Lindsay clarified: “The players can have it as long as it is not personal. You are not looking for a faceless game and the players are thorough professionals.”

Lindsay, however, did check with the umpires later on as to what had transpired between the two. “The umpires informed me that there was no animosity among the players. But I don’t exactly know what was said on the field.”

Bucknor later told The Telegraph: “Flintoff might have said something… just might have. But before the other player could react I intervened. There was no verbal duel. I have been an international soccer referee in my career and know best how to deal with such situations.”

England’s assistant coach Graham Dilley tried to downplay the incident between the two former Lancashire teammates. “All I saw was Flintoff trying to tell Sourav, ‘Hey! You played that shot at Old Trafford, why not try it here’”.

The former England fast bowler explained his views of having an “odd chirp”. “It’s very much upto the individuals provided they are focussed on their jobs. It is also okay as long as the Match Referee thinks it is fair.”


Mohali, Dec. 5: 
Graham Dilley feels Richard Dawson has a good future awaiting him if he can bowl to his potential. The England off-spinner was the most successful bowler claiming four for 134 in India’s first innings.

“The biggest plus point for Dawson is his temperament. He bowled with a great deal of control to world class players. It suggests a bright future for him,” England’s assistant coach said after the third day’s play.

Despite being a fast bowler, Dilley felt he had the abilities to guide the off-spinner. “As you gain experience, you pick up knowledge in other areas as well. The game is very simple.”

Dilley also praised Matthew Hoggard, who took three wickets, including the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar. “He bowled quick on a pitch which turns flat once the shine of the ball is off.”

He said they were drawing up plans to tackle Harbhajan Singh. “We shouldn’t let him take things as easy as in the first innings.”


Calcutta, Dec. 5: 
Soumen Singh and Shiv Sagar Singh found berths in the Bengal squad for the East Zone one-dayers to be played in Cuttack from Sunday. Rohan Gavaskar will lead the squad, which has another newcomer in batsman Subhamoy Das. Bengal’s matches are on December 9, 11, 13 and 15.

Former captain Devang Gandhi declared himself unavailable because of a disc injury. The former Test opener, who returned this morning after consulting Dr Anant Joshi in Mumbai, has been advised ten days’ rest. “I have to pace myself during this period and not rush things,” he said.

THE SQUAD — Rohan Gavaskar (captain), Nikhil Haldipur, Arindam Das, Saikat Mukherjee, Subhamoy Das, Humza Ferozie, Utpal Chatterjee, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Sourashish Lahiri, Soumen Singh, Shib Shankar Pal, Sanjib Sanyal, Sabbir Ali, Shiv Sagar Singh.

Under-16 squad retained

Bengal have retained the squad which beat Sikkim for the Vijay Merchant Trophy (under-16) tie against Assam beginning at the Eden on Friday.

THE SQUAD — Anirban Gupta (captain), Himadri Pal, Abdul Wali Khan, Sumit Nunia, Tomojit Ghosh, Prinan Dutta, Partha Sarathi Bhattacharya, Sougata Dutta, Soham Ghosh, Kirti Sarkar, Debabrata Pal, Sourav Dutta, Manoj Tewari, Samik Mukherjee.

Ties vs Bangladesh

The Bengal under-14 team will take on an under-15 selection from Bangladesh in a one-day match at CC&FC tomorrow.

THE SQUAD — Abhishek Bhowmik (captain), Rohan Banerjee, Aadit Osatwal, Apurva Bhatt, Srivats Goswami, B. Amit, Swarnendu Pal, Bablu Goswami, Sitabrata Biswas, Sumanta Sinha, Joydeep Roy, Tarak Mistry, Writam Porel, Sumanto Gupta, Sujoy Das.

Bengal well placed vs Bihar

Bihar were 286 for six after Day II of the under-22 tie against Bengal today. The hosts declared at 439 for six. Ratan Kumar was Bihar’s top scorer with 81. Wrichik Mazumder took four for 93 and captain Shiv Sagar Singh claimed two for 74.

Floodlit tennis

Karan Dhillon, Arup Mullick, Ranjan Prasad and Farid Alam reached the boys’ under-14 semis in the Floodlit tennis meet at Saturday Club today.


Boys’ U-14: Karan Dhillon bt Tauhid Alam 6-2, 6-1; Arup Mullick bt D. Biswakarma 6-3, 7-5; Ranjan Prasad bt Vaibhav Das 0-6, 6-2, 6-0; Farid Alam bt Mohammed Sohrab 6-3, 6-2.

Girls’ U-14: Tanuja Ahuja bt Moni Sewa 6-1, 6-1; Shivika Burman bt Devanjali Rajgarhia 6-1, 2-3 (conceded); Karina Ahuja bt Saba Ali 6-1, 6-2; Sharmishtha Chowdhury bt Richa Valechha 6-2, 6-0.

Hockey Olympian passes away

Pat Jansen, a member of India’s 1948 Olympic hockey gold-winning team, died in Perth on November 23. He played for Calcutta’s Dalhousie Club for several years.    

Calcutta, Dec. 5: 

A wily old fox called P. Manoharan came out of exile and scored two goals to boost Mohammedan Sporting’s survival chances in the Super Division League.

The erstwhile third power of Calcutta football beat FCI 2-0 at home today which took their relegation leg tally to seven points from three games. FCI stayed in the zone of uncertainty with three points.

In between the two goals, FCI had one disallowed for off-side, following which their players surrounded the assistant referee and pushed him to a corner. Play was held up for close to ten minutes and one yellow card was all the referee used to restore order.

With close to 1,000 committed fans egging them on, Mohammedan Sporting enjoyed a thin edge over their rivals, but got things mixed up after reaching the danger zone in the first half.

Manoharan, having represented all the big city clubs before going back to Karnataka, came in as substitute in the 66th minute and hit the first nine minutes later. It was floater from the left, which Lawrence headed down inside the box and Manoharan had all the time in the world to assure possession, take aim and plant a high left-footer into the roof of the net.

The second, five minutes from time, looked better as the winger curled in a right-footer to the far corner from just outside the right side of the box.

Coach problem

Mohammedan Sporting were sans coach Chibuzor Nwakanma with his deputy Syed Firoze doing the job. Club officials said there was a dispute over team selection during yesterday’s match against SAIL, after which the Nigerian decided against turning up today.

New club secretary Sultan Ahmed, however, said Chibuzor has not resigned and would join the team soon.


Calcutta, Dec. 5: 
Mohun Bagan started their CAB first division league campaign with a nine-wicket demolition of Shibpur Insitute at the Bata ground today. The two-day game ended on the opening day itself with Nazar Khan claiming five for 27. Utpal Chatterjee and Laxmi Ratan Shukla chipped in with two each, which helped Mohun Bagan bowl out their opponents for 123 in just 43 overs.


Shibpur Institute 123 (Nazar Khan 5/27, Utpal Chatterjee 2/33, Laxmi Ratan Shukla 2/29). Mohun Bagan 126/1 (Amitava Banerjee 65 n.o., Mainak Sengupta 42 n.o.). Mohun Bagan won by 9 wkts.

Suburban 344 (Saikat Sett 118, Jairam Oraon 108, Tapan Roy 4/86, Chandranath Sanyal 3/73) vs Aikya Sammilani.

Young Bengal 328/9 (Sanjib Das 115, Sudip Mitra 75, Anirban Chatterjee 3/100, Vikram Jaiswal 3/80) vs Shyambazar.

Wari 330/9 (Tirtha Roy 77 n.o., Aurijit Basu 42, Joydeep Mukherjee 5/64). Tapan Memorial 5/0.

Aryan 335 including 22 pen. runs (Arup Bhattacharya 120) vs Belgachia United.

George Telegraph 289 (Sheikh Sohail 53, T. Sajjad 50, Shahid Ali Khan 5/105, Pranab Prasad 4/82) vs Eastern Railway.

City AC 357 (Shantadeep Pal 108, Prasant Kamdar 83, Raja Banerjee 51, Subhankar Roy Chowdhury 4/42) vs Town Club.


Calcutta, Dec. 5: 
Favourites continued to strike to the bookmakers’ frustration and they literally had a field day in today’s card of seven events. Jockey Cristopher, as usual, damaged their cause booting home four of the six ‘ring’ favourites. Incidentally, it was third time during the season the jockey had recorded a quadruple of wins.

Acklins in the curtain raiser set the ball rolling for the champion jockey before he cruised home with the Vijay Singh-trainee Access All Areas in the feature event, the Maharajadhiraja Uday Chand Mehtab of Burdwan Memorial Cup over 2,000m. Alcalde and Aherlow followed suit for the in-form jockey in the closing events. Incidentally, Vijay, too, saddled three winners. Access All Areas apart, Acklins and Aherlow also hailed from his yard, while brother Bharath led-in Alcalde who was trounced by The Archer in his last start.


1. Metal Handicap 1,400m: (6-1-4-8) Acklins (C. Alford) 1; Flamebird (Gowli) 2; Tequila Shot (G. Singh) 3; Black Mane (Kujur) 4. Won by: 7-1/2; 6; 1; (1-28.8). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 12; 11; 35; Quinella: 15; Tanala: 98. Fav: Acklins (6). Winner trained by Vijay S.

2. Spook Handicap 1,200m: (5-9-4-7) Abandoned (Rajinder) 1; Calculus (Amil) 2; Fencai (F. Khan) 3; Noor Aliya (Gajender) 4. Won by: 6; 3/4; 2-1/4; (1-16.2). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 12; 41; 27; Quinella: 222; Tanala: 1,702. Fav: Abandoned (5). Winner trained by Jaiswal.

3. Canny Scot Handicap 1,200m: (3-6-4-7) Bul Bul (Engineer) 1; Glass Slipper (Gowli) 2; Santa Monica (Dalpat) 3; Brave Show (M. Maseyk) 4. Won by: SH; 2-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-15.9). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 14; 14; 27; Quinella: 45; Tanala: 506. Fav: Bul Bul (3). Winner trained by Javed K.

4. Maharajadhiraja Uday Chand Mahtab of Burdwan Memorial Cup 2,000m: (3-1-5-4) Access All Areas (C. Alford) 1; Anolini (Surender) 2; Splendid King (Abraham) 3; Arendal (Amil) 4. Won by: 4-1/4; 1-1/4; 2-1/2; (2-10.2). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 11; 46; Quinella: 55; Tanala: 105. Fav: Access All Areas (3). Winner trained by Vijay S.

5. Manasseh Memorial Cup, Div-I 1,100m: (7-5-3-6) Alcalde (C. Alford) 1; Arctic Fancy (Connorton) 2; Cup of Life (Gajender) 3; Illustrious Reign (Rajinder) 4. Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/4; 1-3/4; (1-6.6). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 13; 17; 28; Quinella: 36; Tanala: 206. Fav: Alcalde (7). Winner trained by Bharath S.

6. Manasseh Memorial Cup, Div-II 1,100m: (6-7-8-1) Sky Command (Rabani) 1; Ballet Master (Dalpat) 2; Anokato (Abraham) 3; Gold Buck (Shanker) 4. Won by: Nk; 2-3/4; 3-1/2; (1-6.5). Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 14; 70; 13; Quinella: 968; Tanala: 3,196. Fav: Anokato (8). Winner trained by Mujeeb R.

7. Red Bay Handicap 1,200m: (4-3-14-8) Aherlow (C. Alford) 1; Scarlet Raider (Connorton) 2; Countach (Rajinder) 3; Crucible (Gajender) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 3/4; 3/4; (1-14.4). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 13; 47; 18; Quinella: 281; Tanala: 1,074. Fav: Aherlow (4). Winner trained by Vijay S.

Jackpot: Rs 579; (C) Rs 60.

Treble: (i) Rs 52; (ii) Rs 200.

Mumbai, Dec. 5: 
The benefit of a good run is expected to see the Dallas Todywalla-trained two-year-old winning the Victorious Trophy at the Mumbai races on Thursday. B. Prakash partners the Don’t Forget Me-Beautiful Ballad colt.


1.30 pm: Deep Finesse 1. Maestro 2. Betsy 3.
2 pm: Blushing Minstrel 1. Combat Way 2. Limelite 3.
2.30 pm: Millennium King 1. Alice Charms 2. Furiously 3.
3 pm: Top Gun 1. Abbeydoran 2. L. A. Woman 3.
3.30 pm: Princess Gabriella 1. Silver Sand 2. Dendrobium 3.
4 pm: Adam’s Light 1. Loyal Rebel 2. Jayashree 3.
4.30 pm: Persian Lord 1. Star of Attention 2. Mein Kampf 3.
5 pm: Latest News 1. Multi Millionaire 2. Spirited Move 3.
5.30 pm: Safari Girl 1. Proud Moment 2. Double Up 3.

Day’s Best: Latest News

Double: Deep Finesse & Top Gun

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