Reckless batting lets India down
Sourav: We failed to apply ourselves
ICC president seeks meeting with Dalmiya
Angry selectors defer picking squad to Windies
Tolly start underdogs vs Vasco
Indians chase 4th title in 5 years
East Bengal in semis
4-0 victory for BSF (N.Bengal)
Calcutta Racing/Outsiders rule, jackpot unsolved
Mumbai Racing/ Rambus may strike again

Kochi, March 13: 
INDIA 191 (48.3 ovs)
ZIMBABWE 197/4 (44.2 ovs)
MoM: Hondo

The inconsistencies of Indian batting came to the fore yet again at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here today. A mere 191 was not enough to prevent Zimbabwe from taking a 2-1 lead in the five-game series.

The visitors romped to a six-wicket victory without much difficulty and with 5.4 overs to spare.

Zimbabwe had an unlikely hero in Douglas Hondo. Playing his first match of the series, Hondo — who returned career-best figures of four for 37 — ripped through the Indian top-order with some disciplined bowling. The Indians failed to make optimum use of the conditions on winning the toss.

Utilising the uneven bounce in the wicket, Hondo removed Dinesh Mongia, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman in his first spell. With Rahul Dravid, too, failing to survive under pressure, the Indians were reduced to 51 for four in the first hour.

There was a mild recovery following a 86-run fifth wicket stand between Mohammed Kaif (56 off 78 balls)and Sanjay Bangar (36) but once Bangar left, the late-order just crumbled. Harbhajan Singh made a useful 24 but that was hardly sufficient for India’s cause.

In the absence of Anil Kumble, the Indian bowling did not have the ammunition to restrict the visitors. Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar had a decent opening spell but Zimbabwean batsmen showed conviction and application in reaching the target.

Alistair Campbell (71) and Grant Flower (49) put the match beyond India with their 105-run third-wicket partnership after losing the first two wickets for 39. Craig Wishart brought up the winning runs with a towering six off Mongia after the scores had been levelled.

The Indian batsmen did not help their cause by going for some indiscreet shots. Laxman chased a wild delivery and Sourav paid the penalty for coming down the track without reading the line of a Hondo delivery.

However, the Zimbabwe batsmen were quick to learn from the Indians’ mistakes and did not try anything flashy. The low asking rate ensured there was no panic. Playing without Andy Flower, Zimbabwe were never under any pressure with Campbell and Grant Flower batting comfortably throughout.

Campbell, who had a disappointing Test series, played with authority and was never troubled by the bowlers. He played into the gaps with ease.

Earlier, Kaif and Bangar helped India reach some respectability with a good partnership. Coach John Wright has been stressing the need for the youngsters to make a mark in this series and the pair did show application and concentration in stitching together the fifth wicket stand.

Bangar, who was out for nought in the first two games, lived dangerously surviving one easy catch and three close run-outs. But he stayed at the wicket to serve India’s cause.

Kaif, who impressed in the first match in Faridabad too, produced another fine knock. He played some fine shots on both sides of the wicket, a stunning pulled six off a Mbangwa delivery, being the pick of the lot.

One positive aspect of Kaif’s batting is the superb running between the wickets. The supremely fit Kaif was also impressive in the field, making at least a couple of brilliant stops square of the wicket.

The pair took the score to 137 in the 34th over when Bangar ran out of luck. He stepped out to Douglas Marillier only to receive a waist high full-toss which he smashed straight to Hondo at the deep mid-wicket fence.

Bangar’s dismissal sparked another collapse, Ratra (3), Agarkar (3), Kaif and Sarandeep (3), falling in quick succession.


Kochi, March 13: 
Sourav Ganguly today blamed “poor batting” for India’s six-wicket defeat in the third one-dayer.

“The batsmen didn’t bat well. They failed to apply themselves.

“One hundred ninety is no score at all. Everytime you cannot look at a 275-plus score and today it was difficult. The ball wasn’t coming onto the bat in the morning and we didn’t do well.

“The low total meant the bowlers could hardly defend it. Harbhajan bowled well. Sarandeep will take time to settle down. Zaheer and Agarkar could hardly do anything noteworthy if the score was 190.

“It is a do-or-die situation for us now. We will have to come back strongly in the remaining matches,” Sourav said.

’A team effort’

Zimbabwe skipper Stuart Carlisle attributed the win to “team effort” and said they just “kept things simple”.

He was all praise for Douglas Hondo. The medium-pacer also had a word of appreciation for the skipper.

“He kept pushing and telling me I was doing a good job. I stuck to a line and length and the batsmen found it hard to work it around.”

Alistair Campbell and Grant Flower also came in for special mention from Carlisle for their “great partnership” which took the game away from India after the fall of two early wickets.

“It was not an easy wicket to bat on and the boys did really well in sticking to their job.”


Calcutta, March 13: 
Aware, perhaps, that the numbers are against him in the Executive Board, ICC president Malcolm Gray has sought a meeting with BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya ahead of the Board’s deliberations in Cape Town.

The Board meeting, which will be attended by heads of all ten Test-playing nations plus the three Associate Member nominees, will span two days beginning Friday.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Gray faxed a “request” yesterday, asking (predecessor) Dalmiya whether the two could meet tomorrow, on the eve of the Board’s deliberations.

Dalmiya, who left for Cape Town (via Dubai and Johannesburg) this morning, wasn’t available for comment, but sources confirmed he will accede to this Gray request.

[That Dalmiya and Gray could have a closed-door session was reported in these columns today.]

Gray, it is learnt, specifically wishes to “discuss” the contentious ICC Referees’ Commission issue. However, it’s unlikely that Dalmiya will concede ground.

Really, being in a position of strength, Dalmiya doesn’t have to ‘compromise.’ As of now, then, India will insist on scrapping the arbitrarily-appointed Commission — a fall-out of the Port Elizabeth tamasha last November.

The Commission, which hasn’t begun functioning because of an aggressive move initiated by India, has three members: Justice Albie Sachs (South Africa), Majid Khan (Pakistan) and Andrew Hilditch (Australia). All, significantly, hand-picked by Gray.

Besides support of the other three Test-playing nations in Asia (Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), India is set to get the backing of South Africa, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

England and New Zealand aren’t going to support India but, in an interesting development, there’s a chance Australia may abstain should the Commission-issue be put to vote at the Board.

The backing of six Test-playing nations is mandatory for any proposal to be approved/disapproved by the Board.

Incidentally, the Commission-issue is No.5 on the Board’s agenda, which has ten items.


Calcutta, March 13: 
Furious at India’s six-wicket defeat in Kochi today, the national selectors have deferred naming the West Indies-bound squad till after the ongoing series versus Zimbabwe.

Picking the 16 players was slated for this evening.

According to BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, the selection will now be in Mumbai, on March 21 — two days after the last ODI, in Guwahati.

As per protocol, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, currently on a transit halt in Dubai, has been informed of this unprecedented change.

Well-placed sources of The Telegraph confirmed late tonight that the selectors “are cut up” with the seniors and just about everybody has been put on notice.

Sourav Ganguly, of course, has already been retained captain: He was reappointed this morning, much before the disastrous show at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Apparently, the selectors even had “a few things” to tell the 14 present in Kochi. It seems they had a closed-door session at the team hotel, soon after the match.

Squad for last two ODIs

Meanwhile, the selectors have recalled Yuvraj Singh, Murali Kartik and Vijay Bharadwaj for the last two ODIs. Out of the 14 are Shiv Sundar Das, Sarandeep Singh and the unfit Anil Kumble.


Calcutta, March 13: 
Tollygunge Agragami may be going in as the underdogs versus Vasco Sports Club of Goa in their Tata National Football League match at the Salt Lake Stadium tomorrow, but Vasco will start anything but the favourites, going by Tollygunge’s current form.

Fresh from performances versus ITI and HAL that virtually dislodged the two Bangalore teams from top slots, Tollygunge will be keeping their options open versus Vasco, the current NFL No. 2 (behind Mohun Bagan on goal difference).

“We will have to take advantage of a home ground match,” said coach Aloke Mukherjee, “but the frontline of Vasco is pretty formidable.”

Vasco coach Derek Perera said he was depending, yet again, on his in form import Rui Wanderley. “He has been the best foreign recruit by Vasco ever (Wanderley has been around for two years now), and it is him that we need to function tomorrow versus Tollygunge,” said Perera.

Perera has his eyes on Akim Abolanle of Tollygunge, and the coach is pretty open about the fact that he will be marking this player. “We will have to keep an eye on him,” said Perera. “It will be tough, but the idea is to get three points out of this encounter, and get a goal differential good enough to assure ourselves top slot as we slowly move into the home stretch of the NFL.”

Tollygunge will be missing Satish Bhuarti and Moses Owira, but that shouldn’t affect the never-say-die attitude of the young turks.

Salgaocar-Mahindra in draw

Salgaocar came from behind to hold Mahindra United 1-1, adds PTI from Margao. Mahindras, who dominated the first half, shot into the lead in the 32nd minute through Jules Alberto. Salgaocar restored parity in the 43rd minute, capitalising on a defensive lapse. Salgaocar have 28 points, Mahindra 24.

Punjab Police pip FCK

In Jalandhar, Punjab Police pipped FC Kochin 1-0. The goal came in the 86th minute through Gurinder Pal. Punjab Police now have eight points in their kitty, while FC Kochin have 11.


New Delhi, March 13: 
The Delhi Golf Club is all set to host the $300,000 Royal Challenge Indian Open from tomorrow. The champion, at the end of four days of action, will be richer by $ 50,000.

Indians have been difficult to beat under home conditions. That seven of the last eight Asian PGA events in this country have produced Indian winners is proof of that. Also, Indian golfers have triumphed in three of the last four Indian Open editions.

Harmeet Kahlon, who became the fourth Indian to win the $300,000 Hero Honda Masters, will spearhead the 40-strong Indian challenge. The consistent Arjun Singh and the dangerous Gaurav Ghei are others who will be tough to beat.

Feroz Ali, the 1998 winner, and Ali Sher, the only two-time Indian Open champion (1991 and 1993), are also in the fray. Add the name of Vivek Bhandari — who knows this course as well as anybody — and it makes for an impressive bunch.

The international field is studded with golfers who, between them, have more than 40 Asian PGA Tour titles. The latest to join them was 40-year-old Canadian Rick Gibson.

American Andrew Pitts, third last year on the APGA Order of Merit, will be looking to add another title to the Taiwan Open he won last year. Pitts was tied for ninth in both 1999 and 2001 at the Indian Open.

Thailand and India will once again be the focus, even though the number of participants from the US (19), Australia (15), South Korea (13) and Japan (11) is high.

Thailand has a strong contingent with five multiple winners on the APGA Tour. Thaworn Wiratchant and Sriroj Thammanoon are currently in the top-10 of the Asian PGA Order of merit and between them have won seven APGA Tour titles in the last five years.


Calcutta, March 13: 
East Bengal today moved into the semi-finals of the J.C. Mukherjee Trophy, beating Aryan by nine wickets at the Tala Park ground. East Bengal will meet the winners of the on-going Wari-Shyambazar quarter final in the last four. Mohun Bagan are already into the semi-finals.

After Sourashis Lahiri picked up five for 48 to dismiss Aryan for 231 in 51.2 overs, a quickfire unbeaten 121 by Nikhil Haldipur and an unbeaten 60 by Srikant Kalyani took East Bengal to 232 in just 24.5 overs.


Aryan 231 in 51.2 ovs (Arup Bhattacharya 67; Sourashis Lahiri 5/48, Dharmendra Singh 4/63, ). East Bengal 232/1 in 24.5 ovs (Nikhil Haldipur 121 n.o., Srikant Kalyani 60 n.o.; Alokendu Lahiri 40). EB won by 9 wkts.

Shyambazar 332 in 81.1 ovs (Aditya Sengupta 69, Rupak Banerjee 61 n.o., Amitava Roy 53; Ranadeb Bose 5/66, Prabir Mukherjee 3/98) vs Wari AC.

Kalighat 250 in 82.4ovs (Md Ziauddin 58, Sounak Das 41; Joydeep Mukherjee 3/80) vs Tapan Memorial.

N.C. Chatterjee meet

Howrah Union made the final of the N.C. Chatterjee Trophy meet today after beating Dalhousie Institute by six wickets, and will take on Calcutta Police for the title. The main thrust Howrah Union got was from Suresh Raina who hit 132 off 76 deliveries.

BRIEF SCORES: Dalhousie 218 in 45 ovs (Shyamal Roy 55; Syed Ali Siddiqi 4/56). Howrah Union 219/4 in 29.1 ovs (Suresh Raina 132). Howrah Union won by 6 wkts.


Calcutta, March 13: 
BSF North Bengal today swamped Howrah Union 4-0 in their BHA league first division group A match here. Beha Jojo scored a brace, while Ajit Kumar Dung Dung and P. Tirkey scored the others.

Calcutta Port Trust beat Khalsa Blues 2-1, Iqbal Singh and Junes Bara scoring for the winners, with L. Kujur reducing the margin. CC&FC beat BNR 1-0 on a Sunil Kumar strike. In group B Mohammedan Sporting beat Sporting Union 2-1, Bhim Kumar scoring twice and Ashok Dhal hitting one back for Union.


Calcutta, March 13: 
The thirteenth day of the month, once again, was lucky for both, Blessed Spirit and Zuhaak, as the two horses won their respective events today. They had also entered the winners’ enclosure on this day last month. For the ‘tote’ hunters, however, the afternoon proved to be a total disaster as favourites fell like nine pins leaving the total jackpot pool, amounting to Rs 2,58,890, unsolved after the third leg. The biggest damage was done by the visiting jockey Imran Chisty and his local counterpart Asghar who booted home two winners apiece in the six-event card.


1. Lumination Handicap 1,400m: (6-1-5-4) Sencai (Gowli) 1; Classic Pursuit (Islam) 2; Finders Keepers (I. Chisty) 3; Midas Touch (B. Gurang) 4. Not run: Adeline (2). Won by: 1/2; 2-3/4; 1/2; (1-27.1). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 13; 11; 17; Quinella: 20; Tanala: 120. Fav: Classic Pursuit (1). Winner trained by Javed K.

2. Astounding Handicap 1,400m: (8-7-6-5) Raring To Go (Asghar) 1; Cool Quest (P. Alford) 2; Attune (C. Alford) 3; Mr. Bombshell (Islam) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 1/2; 3/4; (1-26.5). Tote: Win Rs 84; Place: 26; 26; 14; Quinella: 665; Tanala: 3,308. Fav: Attune (6). Winner trained by Daniel D.

3. Cavalry Cup 1,600m: (5-3-6-1) Blessed Spirit (I. Chisty) 1; Tiger Talk (E. Smith) 2; Kyalami (Shanker) 3; Ever So Loyal (P. Alford) 4. Won by: SH; 2; 3/4; (1-41.9). Tote: Win Rs 150; Place: 38; 16; Quinella: 173; Tanala: 3,183. Fav: Archery (2). Winner trained by Jaiswal.

4. CROS Cup 1,100m: (3-2-1-7) Royal City (Asghar) 1; Sagittarian (Connorton) 2; Callisto (Domingo) 3; Royal Command (Yasin) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 1-3/4; 3/4; (1-6.3). Tote: Win Rs 133; Place: 25; 10; 15; Quinella: 77; Tanala: 488. Fav: Sagittarian (2). Winner trained by Daniel D.

5. Midnight Cowboy Cup 1,200m: (10-4-9-6) Illustrious Reign (I. Chisty) 1; Anokato (Upadhya) 2; Regency Times (Connorton) 3; Sky Command (Muthanna) 4. Won by: 1/2; 3/4; 1/2; (1-12.7). Tote: Win Rs 115; Place: 27; 96; 15; Quinella: 2,615; Tanala: 25,725. Fav: Regency Times (9). Winner trained by Jaiswal.

6. Thunderbolt Handicap 1,100m: (3-10-2-11) Zuhaak (Gowli) 1; Wakamba Warrior (Islam) 2; Pearl Dragon (V. Jaiswal) 3; Calabash (Amil) 4. Not run: Jungle Cat (8). Won by: 1-1/4; 3/4; 3/4; (1-5.9). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 14; 22; 287; Quinella: 84; Tanala: 7,133. Fav: Zuhaak (3). Winner trained by D. Karki.

Jackpot: Rs 2,58,890 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 5,496; (ii) Rs 6,453.

Mumbai, March 13: 
Rambus, a runaway winner in his last start, may cash in on his bright form and bag the Delhi Race Club Trophy in Mumbai on Thursday.


3 pm: Astaire 1. Tall Boy 2.
3.30 pm: Dazzling Gold 1. Natural Grace 2. Amorous Warrior 3.
4 pm: Forest Angel 1. Heart of Danger 2. Flames 3.
4.30 pm: Rambus 1. Meringue 2.
5 pm: Chamonix 1. Original 2. Speedster 3.
5.30 pm: Running Regal 1. Cool Water 2. Akiydath 3.
6 pm: Multimillionaire 1. Star Forever 2. Bearer Bond 3.
6.30 pm: Divine Protocol 1. Foreign Connection 2. Serena Pride 3.

Day’s Best: Rambus

Double: Dazzling Gold & Forest Angel.

Wednesday’s Mumbai results

1.Caspian Plate 1,600m: (3-4-7) Danger Zone (Shroff) 1; Over The Ocean 2; Royal Divine 3. Won by: 4; 1; (1-38.4). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 6; 9; Forecast: 36; Quinella: 22; Tanala: 74 & 52. Fav: Danger Zone (3).

2. W. Buckley Plate 1,800m: (2-5-6) Aureus (J. Chinoy) 1; Altazano 2; Criollo 3. Won by: 1-1/2; Nk; (1-54). Tote: Win Rs 8; Place: 6; 46; Forecast: 120; Quinella: 75; Tanala: 364 & 94. Fav: Aureus (2).

3. Loyal Prince Trophy 2,400m (3-1-2) Princess Maha (Bajrang) 1; Loving You 2; Bliss-Leavitt 3. Won by: Nk; 9; (2-38.7). Tote: Win Rs 27; Place: 16; 8; Forecast: 97; Quinella: 67; Tanala: 292 & 148. Fav: Loving You (1).

4. Jeanne D’Arc Trophy 1,100m: (7-3-1) Wordsworth (J. Chinoy) 1; Monte Carlo Magic 2; Right Moment 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-6.4). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 9; 7; Forecast: 55; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 103 & 68. Fav: Monte Carlo Magic (3).

5. Roman Dancer Plate 1,600m: (8-3-2) Star of Nature (Shroff) 1; Sky Raider 2; Palentino 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-40.4). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 8; 10; 5; Forecast: 304; Quinella: 130; Tanala: 398 & 107. Fav: Palentino (2).

6. Guiding Star Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (3-5-6) Silver Storm (S. Chavan) 1; Moraze 2; Betsy 3. Not run: Golden Dew (7). Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-14.4). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 7; 15; 8; Forecast: 296; Quinella: 267; Tanala: 842 & 451. Fav: Silver Storm (3).

7. Cassandra Plate 1,200m: (2-4-16) Arabian Fighter (Rajendra) 1; Prince Shazaan 3; Condor 3. Won by: 1/2; 1/2; (1-14.5). Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 11; 7; 12; 47; Forecast: 312; Quinella: 66; Tanala: 1,068 & 804. Fav: Prince Shazaan (4).

8. Guiding Star Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (8-2-3) Rodeo Romeo (Gallagher) 1; Winning Melody 2; Dras 3. Won by: 2; 3; (1-14.3). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 9; 7; 9; Forecast: 92; Quinella: 45; Tanala: 219 & 106. Fav: Winning Melody (2).

Jackpot: Rs 9,247; (C) Rs 543.

Treble: (i) Rs 394; (ii) Rs 842.

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