India’s climb steep after early blows
White comes of age
BCCI says no to Dhaka meet
Railways eliminated
Bagan, Tolly cautious
E. Rly pile up 564
Supratik 142 in Bengal’s 397
Mumbai Racing/ Special Happening may score
Calcutta Races/ 6 Trophy events in Friday’s card
Track trials

 
 
INDIA’S CLIMB STEEP AFTER EARLY BLOWS 
 
 
FROM INDRANIL MAJUMDAR
 
Ahmedabad, Dec. 12: 
ENGLAND 407
INDIA 71/2

Carig White had blacked out mysteriously while shopping in his native Scarborough in May last year. He recovered full fitness five weeks later and, has since become England’s fulcrum at No. 7.

At the Motera today, it was the Indians who almost suffered a similar blackout as the Yorkshire all-rounder took the chances and rode his luck to a maiden hundred in his 23rd Test.

His use of feet and handling of spinners against Pakistan and Sri Lanka had earned him high accolades last winter. The experience came in handy as White gave the Barmy Army, the band of supporters that accompanies the side, something to cheer about on this tour.

Nasser Hussain had aimed to reach a score of around 400 to exert pressure on the Indians and White saw to it that the last four wickets added 168 after the collapse yesterday, his own contribution being 121. More than the runs it was the psychological edge that the visitors managed to gain after the thrashing in Mohali.

It showed in their approach on the field as the Indian openers fell to well laid-out plans. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar survived for the day, but it will require a lot of application from the batsmen to see to it that the initiative gained in the first Test is not surrendered in a hurry.

“The ball did turn a little bit today. The surface has started to get a bit rusty and there are a few spots. There should be some decent turn in the next couple of days,” said White later.

It would not be unwise to suggest that Deep Dasgupta deserved a ‘thank you’ note from White as he rode a combination of adventure and fortune to his hundred. Deep’s role behind the stumps has been in sharp focus since he made his debut in South Africa. He fumbled an easy stumping off Harbhajan Singh in the fourth over of the day and followed it up with dropping a regulation chance off Jawagal Srinath.

In between, the bails stayed intact after the ball had rolled back into the stumps from a defensive jab to the surprise and relief of White. As if that was not enough, when a hook made its way to fine leg, Anil Kumble failed to hold on with a diving effort. The bowler to suffer was Srinath on both occasions.

The escapes were miraculous. White never looked back but Deep’s confidence took a severe beating.

His keeping to Kumble on the slow and low tracks will certainly be a topic of discussion for the national selectors, though, he may survive the series. His collection has been tardy and he seems to leave his position a bit too early against the spinners.

In such circumstances his batting was bound to suffer. Keeping wickets for more than one and-a-half days in sultry conditions was also going to have its impact and he survived just 67 balls for his scrappy 17. Hussain had positioned himself at short fine leg and as Deep miscued the sweep, the top edge landed in the England’s captain’s hands.

Das battled for dear life before snicking to second slip. He looked tentative and did not time his shots to perfection very often.

That the right temperament could yield runs on this wicket was exhibited by White (265 balls, 12x4, 2x6) and James Foster (40 off 119 balls, 4x4). Their belligerent approach helped England add 105 runs for the seventh wicket.

White clenched his fist as he tickled Kumble round the corner for his century, a reward for his ability to survive in these alien conditions.

It was Kumble who initiated Foster to drive without getting to the pitch and Sachin made a difficult chance look easy at widish mid on. The breakthrough had been finally achieved after 111 minutes of play in the morning. Ashley Giles misread a googly which bowled him through the gate to give Kumble his seventh victim for the innings and 15th of the series. The leg spinner is now four short of his 300th wicket.

White was last man out, bowled by Harbhajan, attempting to repeat his shot of two balls earlier when he hoisted the off spinner for a six over

   

 
 
WHITE COMES OF AGE 
 
 
FROM INDRANIL MAJUMDAR
 
Ahmedabad, Dec. 12: 
As Craig White walked out to the middle on the second day, Nasser Hussain had reminded him that the aim was to reach 350. Anything thereafter would be considered a bonus.

“A score of 350 should be our short term goal. Be positive and try and get as many as possible thereafter,” was the England captain’s message.

At the end of the day White was a contended man, having reached his maiden hundred in his 37th Test innings and taken England to a decent total. The sense of satisfaction and relief was palpable.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to make a Test hundred at last. It hasn’t really sunk in as yet. When that run went down to fine leg, it was a big relief,” he admitted later. “I always knew I could make a Test hundred. I got so close in Lahore last year but unfortunately fell short,” recalled White who made 93 against Pakistan. “That was the biggest disappointment of my life. I was not sure when the next opportunity would come my way.”

He did not hide being tentative in the nineties. “Even though I went through the nineties in singles, I was still confident of doing it. I never felt the need to go for a big risky shot. I was seeing the ball quite well and made sure I got it today,” a sense of contentment came through as he spoke.

A knee surgery has forced him to concentrate more on his batting. He realises he may not ever bowl the yorker that dismissed Brian Lara for a first ball duck, a moment etched in his memory.

“I realise I’m not the strike bowler that I used to be a year ago. Hopefully the pace will come back, maybe it won’t. I’m probably working a bit harder at my batting now. If I can bat at seven and make useful runs and get 12 or 15 overs out of the way, I’m sure Nasser will be happy with that,” he said.

“I enjoy playing against world-class spinners. I treat it as a massive challenge, a way to test yourself against these world class bowlers. I just try to be positive as much as I can, without being reckless. In the past I’ve tried to do so and failed. I think the most important thing is deciding when to make the big shot.”

“It’s our third tour to the subcontinent as a team and we’ve been through a lot of tough times. The boys have helped me through both the good times and the bad,” said White who kissed the badge of the three lions on his helmet and spent a moment gesturing to the dressing room on reaching his hundred.

“My Test career has had its ups and downs. It’s only in the past two years that I’ve realised what I can achieve as a batsman. I’ve shown that I can make Test hundreds and hopefully there’s another one not too far away,” said White, who is just four days shy of his 32nd birthday.

   

 
 
BCCI SAYS NO TO DHAKA MEET 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
India, battered by a hectic international schedule, will not take part in the triangular, scheduled to be held in Dhaka from January 3 to 13, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said today.

According to Dalmiya, heavy pressure of international calendar and non-availability of some players for the tournament had prompted the Board to take the decision. The BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah also told reporters in Ahmedabad that some players’ eagerness for a break influenced the Board’s decision.

[That the BCCI was unlikely to field a team in Dhaka was reported by The Telegraph on Sunday. In fact, had it gone ahead, some of the top players — with good reasons — would have made themselves unavailable. Belatedly, the BCCI realised that the players do need a break.]

The triangular series involving India, Pakistan and Bangladesh had been planned in view of the long gap between the Test series and five one-dayers between India and England.

Dalmiya had already sent a letter to the Bangladesh Cricket Board expressing India’s reluctance to participate in the tournament. He said the matter was discussed at the Board’s working committee meeting in New Delhi and it was felt that instead of sending a second-string team to Bangladesh, the Board will send the Indian team at the next available opportunity after the 2003 World Cup.

   

 
 
RAILWAYS ELIMINATED 
 
 
BY ARIJIT GUHA
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
Haldibari and overnight leaders Dhampur Sugar, group-toppers both, led 22 teams into the team duplicate event pre-quarters at the 43rd winter national bridge championship today.

Dhampur logged 328 VPs to push Kalpana Mishra (321) to second spot in group A after the 17-round qualifying Swiss league at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

Haldibari stayed on course in their group B dominance, finishing as impressively as ever, to finish with 329 VPs. They stayed ahead of C V Rao-A (309) and Just Four (300).

However, biggest upset was in group B where the powerful Indian Railways—A team was eliminated.

With the initial stages getting over, the 24 teams will now be divided into two equal groups.

The teams will play each other in a round-robin format before the top four from each make it to the quarter final stage.

   

 
 
BAGAN, TOLLY CAUTIOUS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
Mohun Bagan and Tollygunge Agragami would rather err on the side of caution than commit themselves to an attacking show in their opening encounter of the National Football League at the Salt lake Stdaium tomorow.

Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya said his team is in good nick, but rejected any “favourites” tag. “Tollygunge have a good fighting spirit, but that will hardly affect our strategy. We’ll maintain a cautious approach to a gruelling, long league,” he this morning.

Tollygunge coach Amal Dutta, also hinted a draw would be a fair result, though not forgetting to mention Bagan’s weakness in defence.

Bhattacharya’s key man Jose Ramirez Barreto could be back as withdrawn forward, behind R.C. Prakash and Abdulateef Seriki.

Tollygunge, however, will suffer the absence of Sasthi Duley, Partha Sarathi Dey (fracture) and Biswanath Mondal (post-marital blues). Dutta, however, kept open the option of fielding Duley, yet to recover fully from his collar-bone dislocation, under emergency in the match.

   

 
 
E. RLY PILE UP 564 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
Riding centuries from Souvik Mukherjee (157) and Amal Das (106), Eastern Railway posted a massive total of 564 for four against High Court Club in the CAB two-day first division league today.

Rajasthan Club’s Sayan Dey (115) and Sanjay Agarwal (110) also helped their team make 409 for five against Calcutta Customs.

SUMMARISED SCORES

DKS 278/9 (Probal Dutta 130 n.o; Khagan Patra 3/74, Subhranil Som 3/61) vs George Telegraph.

Rajasthan Club 409/5 (Sayan Dey 115, Sanjay Agarwal 110) vs Customs.

Eastern Railway 564/4 (Souvik Mukherjee 157, Amal Kumar Das 106) vs High Court Club.

Tollygunge Agragami 332/9 (Koushik Burman 88; Tapas Paul 4/91) vs Mohanlal Club.

Tapan Memorial 369/6 (Rajib Dutta 72; Md. Javed 3/111). Md Sporting 6/0.

All matches to continue.

Sujay Das shines

The Bengal under-14 team today scored 241 for four against the Bangladesh under-15 outfit in a friendly three-day tie at Eden Gardens. Sujay Das top-scored with an unbeaten 94 while Writam Porel made 56.

BRIEF SCORES: Bengal 241/4 in 87 ovs (Sujay Das 94 batting, Writam Porel 56, Abhishek Bhowmick 33) vs Bangladesh. Match to continue.

   

 
 
SUPRATIK 142 IN BENGAL’S 397 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
Propelled by Supratik Ganguly’s 142, Bengal made 397 for nine on the second day as the three-day under-22 tie against hosts Assam near Guwahati is heading for a draw.

Ritesh Jaiswal (67) and Wrichik Majumdar (43) also chipped in with noteworthy contributions, while Mayur Bora claimed three for 50 for the hosts, according to information reaching here.

Bengal were disappointed because Day I action of the match was started well after tea because the organisers made no attempt to cover the pitch. This may well affect the match verdict.

BRIEF SCORES: Bengal 397/9 (Supratik Ganguly 142, Ritesh Jaiswal 67, Wrichik Majumdar 43; Mayur Bora 3/50, Pankaj Tamali 2/50) vs Assam. Match to continue.

   

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ SPECIAL HAPPENING MAY SCORE 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, Dec. 12: 
The Imtiaz Sait-trained Special Happening, a speedy customer, may win the Star Supreme Trophy in the hands of M. Narredu at the Mumbai races on Thursday.

SELECTIONS

3 pm: Northern Frontier 1. Waleshan 2. Afro 3.
3.30 pm: Cosmic Jazz 1. Sarena Pride 2. Mambo King 3.
4 pm: Special Happening 1. Speed of Light 2. Zeisha 3.
4.30 pm: Big Bertha 1. Anthology 2. Lightning Arrow 3.
5 pm: Spring Snow 1. Multi Millionaire 2. Shubhangini 3.
5.30 pm: The Gladiator 1. Terrificco 2. King Crimson 3.

Day’s Best: Big Bertha

Double: Cosmic Jazz & The Gladiator
   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACES/ 6 TROPHY EVENTS IN FRIDAY’S CARD 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
Fields continue to be packed even for a weekday racing. Once again, there will be seven-events on offer in Friday’s card that has six trophy events, including Class I, Bangalore Turf Club Cup. First race starts at 12.35 pm.

ACCEPTANCES

1. Winged Tiger Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 12.35 pm: Fly By Alibi 61; Albright 60; Heaven,s Blessing 58.5; Wild Is The Wind 55; Lovely Duchess 54.5; Sparkling Diamond 54.5; Gul 51.5; Noor Aliya 51; Aureate 50; Piece of Cake 48.5.

2. Breeders’ Cup 1,100m (Terms, 2-y-o only) 1.05 pm: Announcer 57; Carbon Steel 57; Musician 57; Royal Command 57; Sagittarian 57; Anatolia 55.5; Romantic Notes 55.5; Star of Ring 55.5.

3. Mauritius Belle Cup 1,200m (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 1.45 pm: Tsavo 61; Soviet Ride 59; Gold Buck 58.5; Regal Rocket 57.5; Silver Patriarch 57; Arctic Fancy 56; Accelerating Star 55; Alkido 54; Ancheta 54; Illustrious Reign 51; Ornate Crown 48; Raring To Go 47.

4. INS Hooghly Cup 1,200m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 2.20 pm: Abashed 60; Flying Scot 59; April Ace 57; Red Trident 56.5; Rheinheart 56.5; Alborada 54.5; Lively Project 53.5; Sergeant Slipper 53; Tiger Talk 51.

5. Bangalore Turf Club Cup 1,200m (Cl I, Rt. 88 & over) 2.50 pm: Annalee 60; Amusing 56; Secret Blessing’s 54.5; Beneficent 52; Clarice Cliff 50.5; Reine Beau 50.5; Thunder Struck 50.5.

6. T. N. Banerjea Cup, Div-I 1,100m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 3.25 pm: Sovereign Bullet 60; Aracruz 59; Immaculate 58; Grand Lodge 57.5; Dancing Dreams 57; Gallant Romeo 56; On The Bit 54.5; Best In Show 54; Schumacher 53.5; Lawyer’s Love 52.5; Simply Monarch 52.5; Alegria 51.

7. T. N. Banerjea Cup, Div-II 1,100m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 4 pm: Anokato 60; Winning Hand 60; Endless Surprise 59; Ardon 58; Silver Toy 57; Kargil Soldier 56.5; Tajik 56; Andrada 54.5; Exc-ellent Striker 53.5; Starina 53.5; Mid-as Touch 53; Crowned Prince 50.5.

Jackpot: 3; 4; 5; 6 & 7.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 5; 6 & 7.
   

 
 
TRACK TRIALS 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Dec. 12: 
The following track work was noted today:

Outer sand track

2,000m: Abroach (Amil) in 2-4s; (400m) 32s.

1,200m: Soviet Port (Rabani) and Super Smile (Islam) in 1-24s; (400m) 30s. Former a length better. Touch of Silver (Connorton) and Ace of Spades (Upadhya) in 1-30s; (400m) 30s. Former length better.

800m: Accelerating Star (A. P. Singh) and Pearl Dragon (Rabani) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Level. Pehelvan (Rabani) and Annotate (Islam) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Former 6 ls better. Auctioneer (Rb) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Pushed. Ornate Crown (Amil) and Peter Pepper (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Former 2 ls better.

Sand track

1,000m: Smart Ruler (Connorton) and Royal Command (Yasin) in 1-8s; (400m) 25s. Level.

800m: Lovely Project (Yasin) and Grecian Prince (B. Gurang) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Former 3 ls better. Heaven’s Blessing (Shanker) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Easy.

Gate practice: (From 2,000m to 1,000m) :Classic Pursuit (Rabani), Alligraph (C. Alford), Actable (Amil) and Secret Way (Islam) in 1-11s. First two named jumped out well.

On Monday, outer sand track

1,600m: Abroach (Rb) and Calorescence (C. Alford) in 2-4s; (400m) 28s. Former 6 ls better.

1,400m: Grecian Prince (Connorton) and Immaculate (A. P. Singh) in 1-53s; (400m) 31s. Level.

1,200m: Royal Command (Connorton) and Smart Ruler (Upadhya) in 1-32s; (400m) 30s. Level.Charlene (Rabani) in 1-28s; (400m) 29s. Fit. Cool Quest (Gowli) in 1-26s; (400m) 30s.

1,000m: Automatic (Surender) and Andrada (C. Alford) in 1-15s; (400m) 29s. Former better. Annella (Surender) and Ancheta (C. Alford) in 1-11s; (400m) 27s. Former 3 ls better.

800m: Ascoril (Rb) and Albright (C. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Former a length better. Romantic Notes (C. Alford) and Announcer (Amil) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Former better. Ispahan (Gowli) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Alegria (Amil) and Annalee (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Former better. Fame Star (Shanker) in 58s; (400m) 31s. Midnight Escape (C. Alford) and Victory Waltz (Amil) in 54s; (400m) 27. Note former. Kargil Soldier (Rutherford) and Carbon Steel (Gowli) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Level. Beneficent (Connorton) and Thunder Storm (Upadhya) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Former 2 ls better. Sea Royale (C. Alford) and Afflutter (Amil) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Former 4 ls better

Sand track

1,400m: Flinders (Som S.) in 1-39s; (400m) 31s.

1,000m: Cupola (K. Kumar) in 1-14s; (400m) 27s.

800m: Anokato (Upadhya) in 56s; (400m) 27s. Kyalami (Rutherford) and Red Trident (Tamang) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Former better. Cupid’s Arrow (F. Khan) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Harry The Horse (Rutherford) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Easy.    

 

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