E. Bengal sweep into semis
26 Asia toppers on roster
Chandhok gets a feel of Formula 3
Bagan defeated by Kalighat
India B lead on Day I
Mumbai Racing/ Palazzio romps home

New Delhi, Feb. 10: 
East Bengal 2
Salgaocar 1
Mohun Bagan 1

East Bengal’s win drought is, finally, over and Subhas Bhowmick’s spirited side majestically strode into the semi-finals of the 114th edition of the Durand Cup with a 2-1 win over Salgaocar Sports Club. However, for Mohun Bagan, it was too-near-yet-too far as they faltered to Bangalore’s ITI, by an identical margin.

This is for the first time since 1993 that the sixteen-time champions Mohun Bagan have not progressed to the last four stage of the meet.

After six matches without a win, East Bengal triumphed today because of their sheer commitment to get out of the hole. East Bengal dominated the first half with sublime passing and clever running.

In the 15th minute. Chandan Das swivelled around and crossed to the far post where Dipendu Biswas knocked the ball into the path of an onrushing Suley Musah who made no mistake.

East Bengal duly extended the lead in the 39th minute through Jose Carlos D’Silva. The Brazilian headed Chandan’s measured free kick into the net to score his maiden goal for East Bengal.

East Bengal suddenly wrapped themselves up into defensive mould and seemed lethargic in launching even counter-attacks. This allowed the Goan outfit to regroup themselves and take control of the midfield. Salgaocar’s attacks started developing and the shock was too sudden to be anticipated.

The referee S. Bharat Mani awarded a penalty kick to Salgaocar following Jackson’s Egygpong’s tackle from behind on Sunday Seah in the 49th minute and Ambrose converted it.

There was, however, one spot of bother in East Bengal’s win, as referee booked Musah, Chandan, Anit Ghosh, Bijen and Dipendu, in the match.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee, Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Ratan Singh, Chandan Das, Anit Ghosh, Dipanker Roy (Isiaka Awoyemi 53), Bijen Singh (Jiten Rai 68), Dipendu Biswas and Jose Carlos D’Silva.

SALGAOCAR: Juje Siddi, Roberto Fernandez, Covam Lawrence, Franky Barreto, Jos Esteves, Denis Cabral (Oscar G. Zaire 81), Eugene Gray, Majek Bolaji, Alvito D’Cunha, Sunday Seah and Alex Ambrose (Bruno Coutinho 80).

Referee: S. Bharat Mani (Karnataka)

Fall from grace

Needing just a draw to qualify, Mohun Bagan fell from grace. Disjointed, erroneous and listless, particularly in the second half, they had only themselves to blame as ITI cashed in on opportunities to carry the day. The Bangalore outfit has entered the Durand semi-finals for the time since 1985.

The winning goal came in the 86th minute, when ITI’s striker George Ekeh’s header found Mohammed Salisu into the box with enough space. With Mohun Bagan rearguard reacting slowly, Salisu spun around and bulged the net with a rising left footer.

Some substitutions made by coach Subrata Bhattacharya also were questionable. His replacement of R.P. Singh, playing in the unusual role of defensive midfielder, by Hussain Mustafi midway through the second half, meant Bagan’s midfield lacked speed.

Earlier, Mike Okoro put ITI ahead in the 19th minute.

The Calcutta team then exerted pressure and equalised in the 35th minute with a glorious free kick. Rishi Kapoor feigned to shoot and ITI’s goalkeeper N. Balaji moved to his left. However Jose Ramirez Barreto stepped in and his majestic shot curled into the net to the right of a stranded Balaji.


ITI: N. Balaji, Jitesh, A.S. Firoze, John Ugwa, Syed Hussain, Amandeep Singh, Dakshina Murthy (Zaheer Abbas 37), Mohd. Salisu, T. Raghui Singh, George Ekeh and Mike Okoro.

MOHUN BAGAN: Prasanta Dora, Dulal Biswas, Debjit Ghosh, Amauri da Silva, Rishi Kapoor, R.C. Prakash (Amar Ganguly 34), R.P. Singh (Hussein Mustafi 61, Sumit Sengupta 74), Basudeb Mondal, Rennedy Singh, Jose Ramirez Bareto and Abdulateef Seriki.

Referee: Benjamin D’Silva (Goa).


Calcutta, Feb. 10: 
This year’s Hero Honda Masters golf, over the Arnold Palmer-designed DLF Golf and Country Club course from Wednesday will see as many as 26 winners on the Asian PGA Davidoff Tour.

According to information reaching here, heading that list is American Gerry Norquist, who has five titles under his belt. Among the four-time winners on the Tour who will vie for the top prize of $ 48,450 in this $-300,000 event, are Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa (both India), Bunchoo Ruangkit, Prayad Marksaeng and Thammanoon Sriroj (all Thailand). Defending champion Arjun Atwal of India and the resurgent Thai golfer Thaworn Wiratchant have won three titles each.

As per the latest entry list, a full quota of 129 players from the Asian PGA Tour, including 12 Indians, and top 15 players from the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour will comprise the field along with select amateurs.

“I have always loved playing in India and have done well,” said Norquist, who will be playing his fourth Hero Honda Masters. His best finish thus far is a third place in 1998. “The last two years after winning the Malaysian Open (a joint-sanctioned event of Asian and European PGA Tour), I haven’t really had any satisfying finish and am looking forward to this,” he added. Norquist’s other wins were 1998 Volvo Asian Matchplay, 1997 DFS Galleria Guam Open, 1996 Omega PGA Championship and Royal Perak Classic in 1995.

Randhawa, who won the Hero Honda Masters in 1998 and 1999 and the Indian Open in 2000, will be among the pre-tournament favourites. His other victory came at the 2000 Singapore Open. Jeev, who is also sponsored by Hero Honda, last won in 1999 Lexus International.

While his best finish was second in 1998, his other Asian PGA Tour victories include the 1996 Philip Morris Asia Cup (where he scored 26-under par which still is the best four-round aggregate on the Asian PGA Tour), and the Philippine Classic and Asian Matchplay Championship in 1995.

All five Indian winners on the Asian PGA Tour – Gaurav Ghei (1995 Gadgil Western Masters) and Firoz Ali (1998 Indian Open), apart from Jeev, Randhawa and Atwal – will be seen in action. Ali Sher, who won the Indian Open twice, will also participate, but the events were part of the erstwhile Asian Tour when Ali Sher won them in 1991 and 1993.

Another Indian, at least as far as origin and honing his skills is concerned, Daniel Chopra of Sweden, will also play the tournament. Chopra, slowly gaining the form of yore, won the Mercuries Masters in Taiwan last year. Vivek Bhandari and Arjun Singh finished second and third in the same event.


Calcutta, Feb. 10: 
India’s new race track sensation Karun Chandhok started his pre-tests for an F3 career in Pembrey (Wales) Wednesday, and weather and tyre condition notwithstanding, did a fine job in completing the 70 laps of the 1.5-mile circuit.

According to information received here, the reigning Asia Formula 2000 champion was with his new team this year, T-SPORT The Junior Carlin Team. Also new to him was the weather — cold and windy against the 35 degrees he is used to in India — but did end the day with a time of 52.4 seconds on old tyres.

His teammate Clivio Piccione from Monaco set a laptime of 52.0 seconds on old tyres before switching to new ones later in the day. Karun didn’t get a chance to do a run on new tyres due to a braking problem which limited progress towards the end of the day.

He also experienced his first F3 spin, going off and damaging the floor of the car, a mistake that was largely due to the fact that this was his first test in a new car — the Dallara F300. As Chandhok put it later: “This year is going to be a steep learning curve and right now I’m right at the beginning of it.” His next test is Wednesday at the ultra fast Thruxton circuit in the south-west of England.


Calcutta, Feb. 10: 
Mohun Bagan suffered their second successive defeat in the CAB senior division league today, going down by four wickets to Kalighat.

The local powerhouse had bowed to YMCA (College) in the previous match.

Chasing a moderate 232 to win, Kalighat resumed at 47 for three and owed their win mostly to Charanjeet Singh, who remained unbeaten on 93, with 19 fours and a six. Safi Ahmed contributed 60.

East Bengal, Town Club, Eastern Railways and Aryan also posted victories.


Mohun Bagan 231. Kalighat 233/6 (Charanjeet Singh 93 n.o., Safi Ahmed 60, Shib Shankar Paul 3/45). Kalighat won by 6 wkts.

East Bengal 292. Customs 170 (Subir Dey 4/30). EB won by 122 runs.

Town Club 299/8. Shibpur Institute 208 (Kirti Sarkar 5/25). Town won by 91 runs.

Netaji Subhas Institute 247. Eastern Railways 249/3 (Souvik Mukherjee 108 n.o., Kanchan Maity 54 n.o.). Eastern Railways won by 7 wkts.

Barisha 314. Aryan 315/5 (Soutam Mitra 99, Deepak Singh 57, Abhijit Sikdar 61 n.o.). Aryan won by 5 wkts.

Ananda Bazar Patrika Sports Club 328. YMCA College 250/8 (Vikash Mansatta 57, Sayan Bhattacharya 53 n.o., Altaf Hassan 4/72). Match drawn.

City AC 273. Belgachia United 261/9 (Krishnendu Banerjee 83, Subhodip Bose 5/53). Match drawn.


Calcutta, Feb. 10: 
The India B team comprising Gagan Verma and Manav Das was leading the field with a total of 143 at the end of the first day of the international team championship in the East India amateur golf championship at RCGC today.

Verma had a good round of two-under 70, while Das played a decent one-over. The meet ends tomorrow.

Sri Lanka A was second at 147 with Anura Rohanna carding three-under 69 and Lalith Kumara recording a six-over 78.

India C including Jaideep Patwardhan and Simarjeet Singh was third with 148. The South African duo of Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen was fourth at 149.

Keshav Mishra and Gurbaaz Mann of India A were behind the South Africans at 151. Ireland had 157 and Sri Lanka B 172.


Mumbai, Feb. 10: 
The Bezan Chenoy-trained five-year-old Palazzio claimed the Dr. S. C. Jain Sprinters’ Trophy, the main event at the Mumbai races on Sunday. N. G. McCullagh partnered the Placer- ville-Stately Home maire to victory.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Barood Plate 1,100m: (1-4-3) Flirtatious (Farooq) 1; Land Lady 2; Swift Silver 3. Not run: Sea Nymph (2) & Baba’s Gift (6). Won by: Nk; Dist; (1-10.3). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 13; 10; Quinella: 15. Fav: Flirtatious (1).

2. Rising Flame Plate 1,600m: (7-1-3) Tactful (Chauhan) 1; Kraft 2; Twist Afleet 3. Won by: 1-3/4; Hd; (1-41.1). Tote: Win Rs 77; Place: 17; 13; 21; Quinella: 51; Tanala: 885. Fav: Kraft (1). (Note: The winner survived an objection lodged by the rider of third placed horse).

3. General Obaidullah Khan Trophy 2,400m: (2-5-4) Self Styled (Gallagher) 1; Bookie’s Delight 2; Altazano 3. Won by: 1; 6-1/2; (2-35.1). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 16; 12; Quinella: 22; Tanala: 194. Fav: Self Styled (2).

4. Brave Hunter Plate 1,200m: (3-4-7) Line of Control (Bernard) 1; Track Emotions 2; Frontier Flame 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-14). Tote: Win Rs 128; Place: 26; 17; 14; Quinella: 233; Tanala: 1,742. Fav: Frontier Flame (7). (Note: There was a stewards’ inquiry into the running of the race).

5. Bertolli & Barilla Trophy 1,400m: (5-15-1) Noble Eagle (Lemaire) 1; Singita 2; Accessory 3. Won by: 2; 2-1/2; (1-27.1). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 18; 48; 36; Quinella: 315; Tanala: 4,471. Fav: Noble Eagle (5).

6. Dr. S. C. Jain Sprinters’ Trophy 1,200m: (8-3-10) Palazzio (McCullagh) 1; Strength To Strength 2; Rambus 3. Won by: 2; 1-1/2; (1-11.8). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 12; 24; 20; Quinella: 60; Tanala: 311. Fav: Palazzio (8).

7. Exclusive Virtue Plate 1,400m: (3-4-6) Al Humair (Rajendra) 1; Dazzling Gold 2; Reconquista 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 2-1/4; (1-26.1). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 11; 16; 14; Qui nella: 32; Tanala: 98. Fav: Al Humair (3).

8. Ancient Warrior Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (6-1-10) Pure Cream (Lemaire) 1; Most Attractive 2; Rodeo Romeo 3. Won by: 2-1/2; SH; (1-27.5). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 16; 15; 30; Quinella: 41; Tanala: 389. Fav: Pure Cream (6). (Note: The winner survived an objection lodged by the rider of second placed horse).

9. Ancient Warrior Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (4-1-9) Lisianski (M. Narredu) 1; Nothing Better 2; Exhilarating 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 1/2; (1-28). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 13; 20; 38; Quinella: 53; Tanala: 743. Fav: Lisianski (4).

Jackpot: Rs 434; (C) Rs 72.

Treble: (i) Rs 2,044; (ii) Rs 1,134; (iii) Rs 128.


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