Vital innings lead for Bengal
No-ball fines working well
EB eye turnaround
Inbrar stuns Amanjot
Smitadeep, Isali best
Test series proves Sharjah is clean: Asif
YMCA upset Mohun Bagan
Calcutta Racing/ Historic call takes city boy to international meet
Calcutta Racing/ Six for Saturday’s Acorn Stakes
Calcutta Racing/ Calorescence shines

 
 
VITAL INNINGS LEAD FOR BENGAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
BENGAL 353, 2/0
GUJARAT 320

A day of gripping cricket finally culminated in Bengal taking a 33-run first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy quarter final tie. With two more days left, the hosts, however, are not leaving anything to chance on their way to the semi-finals.

Caution, in fact, seemed to be the buzzword in the team dressing room this evening. There was no celebration, just a steely resolve to make it to the last-four stage in what will be their first entry since 1993-94.

The CAB bosses, including president Jagmohan Dalmiya, were there in full strength amid the excitement as Bengal took the lead in the last session of play. Sourashish Lahiri did the star turn, his six for 73 clinching the issue for Bengal.

Sourav Ganguly’s aggression last evening seemed to have rubbed off on his teammates. The willingness to do something positive was always evident in the players’ approach.

The Indian skipper, though, decided to turn up only before tea, high fever keeping him away. He left once the lead was achieved.

The excessive appealing and intimidation continued from yesterday, and it even forced Tejas Varsani to have an exchange of words with Rohan Gavaskar. According to Gujarat coach Anil Patel, Tejas later asked the umpires to stop the “sledging” that was on.

Patel, however, agreed it was part of the game. The Match Referee said nothing had been reported to him by the umpires. He, too, had not sought an explanation from any of the players.

The beginning did signal hope for Bengal as Hem Joshipura fell in the second over of the day. But Kirat Damani and Niraj Patel hung on. Their 69-run stand for the fourth wicket was the only worthwhile partnership Gujarat managed to stitch together today.

Damani (118 off 259 balls, 18x4) showed lot of responsibility, immense concentration and determination in recording his maiden century. The 23-year-old law student played each ball on merit, never trying anything extravagant. There were some cleanly struck boundaries on both sides of the wicket.

However, it was Sourashish who turned out to be the ultimate hero. The former National Cricket Academy trainee showed superb control and variation in bowling on this wicket, which offered very little help.

The off spinner was bang on target, using the rough patches on the wicket to good effect. The flight, too, proved disturbing for the batsmen. It was his third five-wicket haul in first class cricket and he considers this as his best showing. He was used for only six overs yesterday but today he bowled 34. He got the vital breaks never allowing pressure to affect his performance.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla also looked good in spells. He was getting the ball to move away from the righthander and the pace he generated from the wicket made the batsmen’s job difficult.

Despite a couple of dropped chances by Subhomoy Das, the close catching was impressive. Subhomoy’s diving effort in front of the wicket to dismiss Pallav Vora was the best display today. Deep Dasgupta finished with four catches and a brilliant stumping, that got rid of the last batsman, in the innings. Except for a spilled chance, the collection was neat.

The umpiring in this game has not been of the desired standard. The Gujarat coach feels Varsani was given out when the ball had bounced off the ground.

   

 
 
NO-BALL FINES WORKING WELL 
 
 
BY LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
With India losing yet another ODI they should have won, in Mumbai, few noticed Jawagal Srinath & Co. didn’t bowl a single no ball.

Such discipline is rare among the Indians and it probably has much to do with coach John Wright’s welcome decision (agreed upon by the team) to fine ‘offenders’. The implementation began with the January 19 ODI, against England, at the Eden here.

That Wright introduce a fine was, in fact, suggested by Sunil Gavaskar during an informal interaction (reported in these columns on December 2) in Johannesburg on the last day of the South Africa tour.

“The idea, basically, is to make the bowlers more responsible… To make them realise no balls are such a huge waste in the ODIs,” Wright told The Telegraph during a chat in Mumbai.

According to Wright, the team “unanimously” agreed to slap a Rs 500 fine for every no ball.

However, if the ‘offender’ happens to make amends somewhat by bowling a maiden (in the same game), he will only be fined Rs 250.

For instance, Anil Kumble bowled a no ball in both the Calcutta and Chennai ODIs, but he also recorded a maiden in both matches. Therefore, he will be fined Rs 500 and not Rs 1,000.

Wright is himself keeping a record and, at the end of the season, the ‘collection’ will be donated to a charity of the team’s choice. An excellent idea, really.

As of now, Srinath has to cough up the highest — Rs 4,500 (nine no balls) — while Kumble, captain Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Sarandeep Singh have to pay Rs 500 each. Ajit Agarkar is to be poorer by Rs 250.

Talking about ‘offender’ No. 1 Srinath, Wright quipped: “Well, old habits die hard… I’m sure, though, Sri will set things right…”

Incidentally, speaking exclusively here this evening, Sourav strongly endorsed the Wright-initiated move. “Yes, it’s a good step… After all, the fewer the no balls in ODIs, the better.”

It’s to be seen how the team will react should Wright suggest a penalty for irresponsible shots. Wright must actually give this some thought.

NO BALLS & MAIDENS

1st ODI in Calcutta: One no ball each by Jawagal Srinath and Anil Kumble; one maiden by Kumble.

2nd ODI in Cuttack: Three no balls by Srinath, one each by Ajit Agarkar, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar; one maiden by Agarkar.

3rd ODI in Chennai: Three no balls by Srinath, one by Kumble; one maiden each by Harbhajan Singh and Kumble.

4th ODI in Kanpur: One no ball by Srinath; not a single maiden.

5th ODI in Delhi: One no ball each by Srinath and Sarandeep Singh; not a single maiden.

6th ODI in Mumbai: Not a single no ball; one maiden by Harbhajan.

   

 
 
EB EYE TURNAROUND 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Feb. 7: 
East Bengal coach Subhash Bhowmick hopes that his team can emulate Manchester United and overcome their mid-season slump when they place Punjab Police in the 114th Allwyn Durand Cup tomorrow.

Bhowmick admitted he was using the Durand as a preparatory for the next round of the National Football League. In his second tenure with East Bengal, Bhowmick said he only expects minor improvements in each match and is not pressuring his players to win the tournament.

For East Bengal, the good news is the return of Deepak Mondal, arguably India’s finest defender at present. Bhowmick is expected to play Mondal, discarding his three back system for a back four to keep out Punjab Police’s attacking thrusts. Mondal, for whom tomorrow’s match will be the first since the game against Mohun Bagan on December 9 in which he was injured, practised with a knee cap today.

Though East Bengal’s injury worries seem to be on the decline with medio Dipanker Roy and Jo Paul Ancheri also on the mend, striker Omolaja Olalekan, with a minor back injury, is being omitted . Bhowmick is intent on trying out Brazilian striker Jose Carlos da Silva whose style of play resembles the legendary Shyam Thapa.

With Mondal fit, Falguni Dutta may be rested tomorrow. Vijayan is expected to be played as a withdrawn forward.

Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan’s new Thai recruit, Jatvpong Thongsukh impressed in practice today. The 23-year-old Thai is likely to start in the group A quarter final league match against JCT tomorrow, either as an attacking midfielder in place of the unavailable James Singh or upfront with Abdulateef Seriki.

In case the latter option is exercised, Jose Ramirez Barreto will play as a withdrawn forward and Basudeb Mondal may be rested.

Coach Subrata Bhattacharya heaved a sigh of relief on hearing that Prasanta Dora would be joining the squad after completing his office matches in Jammu. The other goalkeeper, Surojit Chatterjee looked rusty in practice.

Mohun Bagan are likely to drop Abdul Saliu as their fifth foreigner, but a final decision will be taken tomorrow. Dulal Biswas, Hussein Mustafi, Amauri Da Silva and Rishi Kapoor will be the back four.

Churchill overcome Army XI

A twenty-eight-year-old Iranian striker Mousavi Syed Amin, playing his first match for Churchill Brothers enlivened the Durand tournament here today, scoring a brace to oust

Army XI 2-1 in a group D quarter final match. In a group C match FC Kochin and Border Security Force played out a goalless draw.

In the Churchill Brothers versus Army XI clash, Amin picked up a loose ball in the 25th minute near the centre line and dribbled past stopper back S. Ignatius to place the ball in the net. He scored again in the 70th minute crisply heading in a corner kick by Yusif Yakubu.

Army XI reduced the margin in the 73rd minute, when striker Lalsangliana flicked in a left flank cross by diminutive left winger Prasanta Debnath.

The BSF-FC Kochin game was a drab, slow-paced affair with limited scoring attempts by both sides.

   

 
 
INBRAR STUNS AMANJOT 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
Upsets continued to take centrestage in the Bharat Petroleum ITF junior meet with boys’ top seed Amanjot Singh being the biggest casualty in today’s action.

An erroneous Amanjot was tamed by Israel’s Amit Inbrar 3-6, 3-6 in an hour and fifteen minutes in the quarter finals.

Another Israeli, Dor Werteimer, put a brake on Rupesh Roy’s giantkilling run. The local lad, though, put up a fight before going down 3-6, 7-5, 1-6.

In the girls’ singles quarters, wild card Priyanka Parekh, who stunned top seed Megha Vakharia yesterday, failed to match Chinese Rui Du. The city girl surrendering 1-6, 3-6.

The day’s other upsets included the defeat of boys’ doubles top seeds Jaco T. Mathew and S.K. Dev Varman, who lost 4-6, 3-6 to Saurabh Kohli and Rishi.

Amanjot got off to a flying start, racing to a 3-0 lead in the first set after breaking Inbrar in the first and third games. But the Israeli, once settled down, never looked back and took the next six games in a row to grab the set.

In the second set, Inbrar again broke Amanjot in the seventh and nine games to finish off the match.

RESULTS

BOYS SINGLES (quarter finals) — Amit Inbrar (Isr) bt Amanjot Singh 6-3, 6-3; Dor Werteimer (Isr) bt Rupesh Roy (Ind) 6-3, 5-7, 6-1; V.M. Ranjeet (Ind) bt Rishi Behl (Ind) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0; Somdev K. Dev Varman (Ind) bt Jaco T. Mathew 4-6, 7-5, 6-0.

GIRLS SINGLES (quarter finals) — Rui Du (Chn) bt Priyanka Parekh (Ind) 6-1, 6-3; Sanna Bhambri (Ind) bt Ragini Vimal (Ind) 6-2, 6-1; Sheng-Nan Sun (Chn) bt Yan-Hung Chen (Chn) 6-0, 6-2; Isha Lakhani (Ind) bt I-Hsuan Hwang (Tpe) 6-1, 6-1.

BOYS DOUBLES (semi-finals) — Saurabh Kohli and Rishi Behl (Ind) bt Jaco T. Mathew and S.K. Somedev Varman 6-4, 6-3; Amanjot Singh and Vikram A. menon (Ind) bt Divji Sharan and Tushar Liberhan 6-3, 6-3.

GIRLS DOUBLES (semi-finals) —Rui Du and S. Nan Sun (Chn) bt A.S. Maya Rosa (Ina) and Bhambri Sanna 6-4, 6-1.

   

 
 
SMITADEEP, ISALI BEST 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
Smitadeep Das of Jalpaiguri and Isali Das of North 24 Parganas won the all around individual title for boys and girls, respectively, in the seventh nursery state gymnastics championships, held recently at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra.

Smitadeep also won the pommel horse event while Debashish Sarkar (South 24 Parganas) and Arnab Ghosh (Srirampur) finished first in floor exercise and vaulting horse events, respectively.

Among girls, Ishali also won balancing beam event. A record number of 210 gymnasts took part in the meet.

Meanwhile, in the WBGA Cup meet, Manoj Bera of Bowbazar BS and Rakhi Debnath of Baishnabghata Bayam Samity won all round individual titles among men and women, respectively.

State gymnastics squad

Bengal will send a strong field for the junior national gymnastics championships, to be held in Ajmer from February 9 to 13.

SQUAD: BOYS — Manoj Bera, Raja Roy, Kaushik Ojha, Sukanta Chaudhury, Pujan Karmakar, Hassan Khan, Surajit Paul; Coach: Uttam Karmakar. GIRLS — Rupali haldar, Sona Mondal, Anushila Chatterjee, Soumita Dey, Amrita Mondal, Suparna Das, Jhumpa Neogi; Coach: Pampa Ghosh. RHYTHMIC — Sucharita Ojha, Ipsika Bardhan and Mandira Laha.

Port Trust shocked

Title contenders Calcutta Port Trust were shocked by Bejoyee Sangha 25-21, 24-26, 18-25, 19-25 in the first division volleyball league. In other matches, Chhatra Samity beat Naihati Athletic Club 25-21, 25-16, 27-29, 25-17, while CPAC defeated Eastern Railway SA 25-27, 25-21, 32-34, 25-9, 15-12.

Firoz, Sanjay in joint lead

Calcutta’s Firoz Ali today displaced Mukesh Kumar from the lead with a second-round two-under 70 to move atop the leaderboard with Sanjay Kumar at Dutch-Bangla Bank Bangladesh Open 2002, being played at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka.

According to information received here, the leaders tally five-under 139 mid-way the 19th leg of the season’s Hero Honda Golf Tour.

Mukesh Kumar’s second-round effort of level-par 72 was good enough to tie him at third position with fellow Mhow golfer Devendra Patel, Calcutta’s Rafiq Ali and Yusuf Ali and Delhi’s Jaiveer Virk at a score of four-under 140.

   

 
 
TEST SERIES PROVES SHARJAH IS CLEAN: ASIF 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
Ex-Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal feels the ICC decision to stage the Pakistan-West Indies Test series in Sharjah will dispel all doubts about match-fixing and betting activities associated with the venue.

“It will put to rest all personal jealousies and allegations. If everything was not okay, the ICC would never have granted permission for the Test series to get underway there,” he said after a private visit to the city. He called on Jagmohan Dalmiya before visiting the Eden this afternoon.

No more associated with the CBFS in Sharjah, Asif does not want to take any credit for the fact that they have graduated to a Test centre from being a one-day venue. But the achievement remains special to him. “The CBFS is close to my heart,” he says.

He feels Pakistan can win the next World Cup. “They have been an unpredictable side and anything is possible,” he said.

   

 
 
YMCA UPSET MOHUN BAGAN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
Propelled by centuries from Vikash Mansatta (124) and Pradip Nag (112), YMCA (College) stunned Mohun Bagan in the CAB senior division league today. YMCA overhauled Bagan’s 347 for six declared losing as many wickets themselves. In another match, East Bengal crushed Netaji Subhas Institute by seven wickets.

SUMMARISED SCORES

Netaji Subhas Institute 214. East Bengal 215/3 (Ajay Verma 83 n.o., Naushad Akhtar 52). East Bengal won by 7 wkts

Mohun Bagan 347/6 decl. (Sanjib Goel 83, Mainak Sengupta 83). YMCA (College) 353/6 (Vikash Mansatta 124, Pradip Nag 112; Madhusudan Acharya 3/100). YMCA won by 4 wkts

Calcutta Customs 400/8. Tollygunge Agragami 321/4 (Kaustav Ganguly 91, Abakash Khatua 76 n.o.). Match drawn

Sporting Union 276. George Telegraph 277/8 (Krishnendu Paul 109 n.o.; Sudipta Mukherjee 5/85). George Telegraph won by 2 wkts

BNR Rec. Club 245 (Abhijit Bhattacharya 55; Pranab Prasad 6/74). Eastern Railway SA 198/6 (O.P. Tewari 55 n.o.; Arindam Bhattacharya 4/83). Match drawn

Ballygunge United 392/7. Rajasthan 396/7 (Sanjay Agarwal 136, Nilashish Ghosh 68). Rajasthan won by 3 wkts

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ HISTORIC CALL TAKES CITY BOY TO INTERNATIONAL MEET 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
Apprentice jockey Rutherford Alford is in the process of making history. The 18 year-old city aspirant will be the sole representative from the country at the Apprentice Jockeys Invitational races, a virtual Asiad for the apprentice jockeys, to be held in Macau on May 12. He is set to take a flight to China in the first week of May.

It is the first time that a city apprentice jockey will will be displaying his skills at an international meet. There will be two events marked for them — a sprint race and followed it by an 1,800m long distance event.

Needless to say, Rutherford was excited when the news was broken to him by his father, Richard, a trainer, early this week. “First the news came as a surprise and I didn’t believe it. I’m excited now and looking forward to the meet;” said Rutherford, a St James’ School student set to appear for his Class XI finals next month.

Having got into the saddle in November 1999, Rutherford’s strike rate has always been high. Asked about secret, the young jockey was prompt in his reply: “I try to keep a cool head.”

Equally excited was Vineet Verma, CEO & secretary RCTC and also the stewards of the turf club. “Expectations are high from Rutherford. He is a smart and ambitious boy. Stewards feel he can bring honour to the country;” said Verma.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ SIX FOR SATURDAY’S ACORN STAKES 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
The Acorn Stakes for three-year-olds which is the second leg of the fillies’ “Triple Tiara,” in the championship series, takes the centre stage in Saturday’s race-card. Six fillies will vie for honours. First race starts at 12.50 pm. .

ACCEPTANCES

1. Picnic Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 18 below) 12.50 pm: Lovely Duchess 60; Orchestra 60; Lady Shirley 59.5; Blushing Brave 58.5; Heaven’s Blessing 58.5; Wild Is The Wind 57; Jayaashva 54.5.

2. Baqlava Cup 2,000m (Cl III; Cl IV eligible Rt. 22-72) 1.20 pm: Regal Rocket 61; Argolis 56.5; Ace of Spades 51.5; Laurels 51.5; Flying Scot 50.5.

3. Philosopher Handicap 1,400m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 2 pm: Brave Venture 61; Rich Dominion 58.5; Master Bold 57.5; Tequila Shot 55; Royal Philosopher 54.5; Freedom Warrior 54; Ody-ssey 53.5; Brave Show 52; Dictate 51; Lucifer 51; Darth Vader 47.5.

4. Madras Race Club Cup 1,600m (Cl I; Cl II eligible Rt. 66-94) 2.35 pm: Acceptor 60; Colonial 56.5; Clarice Cliff 55; Cape Blanco 54; Amusing 53.5; Lockers Park 53.5; Earl Grey 53; Thunder Struck 49.5; Estocade 47.

5. Acorn Stakes 1,400m (Terms, 3-y-o only) 3.05 pm: Star Selection 57; Abyssinia 53; Assertive Dancer 53; River Melody 53; Romantic Notes 53; Sweet Paintedlady 53.

6. Mossy Bear Cup 1,100m (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 3.40 pm: Tsavo 61; Silver Patriarch 57; Gold Buck 56.5; Reine Beau 55.5; Scarlet Raider 54; Arctic Fancy 53.5; Sky Command 53; Endless Surprise 52; Dancing Dreams 51; Lawyer’s Love 51; Alkido 50.5; Pearl Dragon 50; Gra-Lemor 49.

7. Victo Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 4.15 pm: Montjeu Star 60.5; Declarationoflvoe 60; Excellent Striker 59.5; Cosmic Flash 58.5; Midas Touch 58; Asprey 56.5; Red Trident 55.5; Simply Dashing 54.5; Bold Apparel 54; Royal Ruler 51; Global Harmony 50.5; Ever So Loyal 50; Flying Power 50; Albright 48.5; Floral Path 48.

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

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

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ CALORESCENCE SHINES 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Feb. 7: 
Calorescence was impressive from among the following horses worked today:

Outer sand track

2,200m: Calorescence (C. Alford) and Anagram (Gajender) in 2-44s; (400m) 30s. Former 6 ls better.

1,400m: Calamint (Gajender) in 1-46s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Aherlow (C. Alford) in 1-41s; (400m) 31s. Fit.

1,200m: Callisto (C. Alford) and Actable (Shanker) in 1-26s; (400m) 30s. Former was a distance better. Cool Quest (Gowli) in 1-22s; (400m) 28s. Handy.

1,000m: Midnight Escape (C. Alford) and Freedom Warrior (Shanker) in 1-9s; (400m) 27s. Former was a distance better.Carbon Steel (K. Kumar) and Saladin (Rutherford) in 1-16s; (400m) 29s. They were level.

800m: Ancheta (Shanker) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Moved well.Albright (Domingo) and Master Bold (Surrender) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Former was a length better. Both were urged.

Sand track

2,200m: Touch of Silver (Asghar) in 2-46s; (400m) 27s. Easy.

1,600m: Yukon (Som S.) in 1-47s; (400m) 26s. Good.

1,200m: Silver Toy (Rb) in 1-21s; (400m) 24s. Was pushed Angeles (Surender) in 1-29s; (400m) 29s.

800m: Smart Ruler (A. P. Singh) in 54s; (400m) 25s. Moved well.

Gate practice: (from 2,000m to 1,200m): Giorgio (A. P. Singh) and Sweet Painted Lady (Upadhya) in 52s. Both jumped out smartly. Fornmer was a length better.

   
 

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