Indians dismiss themselves for 221
Speed not enough, control the key: Holding
Still not at my best: Bhutia
Malo’s hattrick
Strong billiards team likely
Vikash stunned
Bangalore Racing/ Castle Park has the edge
Bangalore Racing/ Refresher upsets
Calcutta Racing/ Archery, Calamint shine

 
 
INDIANS DISMISS THEMSELVES FOR 221 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
London, July 27: 
It’s not known how many of the Indian cricketers ever interacted with Krishan Kant, but the Vice-President’s death obviously affected Sourav Ganguly’s team in a big way. ‘Appropriately’, then, India’s performance on Day-III of the first Test was quite in keeping with the half-mast flags at Lord’s.

Confronted with England’s imposing 487, India dismissed themselves for a mere 221, allowing Nasser Hussain the option of enforcing the follow-on. Drawing a lesson, perhaps, from Steve Waugh’s experience in Calcutta 16 months ago, Hussain chose to bat a second time.

[Later, coach Duncan Fletcher explained that the bowlers’ condition — “physically and in the mind” — influenced England’s decision.]

Only, given India’s appalling body language and diffidence, Hussain could have made India follow-on. In that event, the possibility of a rout inside four days would have been real. Now, India will actually get the chance to lift their batting manifold and at least reclaim some pride.

If they don’t, the ECB’s marketing wing will have to quickly alter this four-Test series’ promo line — Indian Summer.

At stumps, a good 50 minutes beyond the scheduled close, England had forced an overall lead of 450. Michael Vaughan is on 81 (193 minutes, 123 balls, 8x4), to John Crawley’s 56 (102 minutes, 85 deliveries, 3x4). With two days remaining, it is to be seen what target Hussain sets.

In any case, 450 already is taller than the Everest.

Batting the second time, England lost Mark Butcher (again to Anil Kumble), Hussain (cramped-up by Ajit Agarkar) and Graham Thorpe, who indifferently cut a Kumble leg-break straight to Sourav. A fortnight ago, Thorpe announced retirement from the ODIs. Now, some may question whether he remains keen about the longer version as well.

Unlucky, however, was the-steaming-in Ashish Nehra. Had Wasim Jaffer caught Crawley and Ajay Ratra held on to Vaughan, he would have had two wickets for all the sweat. Moreover, the bottomline would have been distinctly different.

Earlier, the Indian first innings ended around 25 minutes before tea and the break was taken early. In the extended final session, England had to face 45 overs, thanks wholly to their own poor overrate.

For India, the day began at 130 for three and much of the attention was on Sachin Tendulkar, who took guard first ball. With the terraces packed and the Long Room unable to accommodate more, the setting was perfect for Sachin to confirm credentials as the modern day Bradman. Equally, the sheer pressure could prove too much.

Sachin choked.

Though Sachin fell for 16 (96 minutes, 61 deliveries, 2x4), he had let-offs as early as nought and on 10 — both times off debutant Simon Jones.

Leaving the ball late, Sachin found it brush his right elbow, drop next to the stumps and lob over. That, of course, was even before he had opened account. Then, on 10, Jones’ reverse-swing deceived him but Thorpe, at first slip, was sluggish.

Even lesser mortals would have made the most. Sachin, however, only looked a terribly pale shadow of his self. Clearly, Andrew Flintoff and Jones bowled to a plan, which had no place for width. And, instead of receiving half-volleys, Sachin had to repeatedly protect the rib-cage. That, too, with a packed leg-side.

Bottled, it was a matter of time before frustration would get the better of Sachin. That moment arrived in hour No. 2, after vice-captain Rahul Dravid’s dismissal. Dravid (46 in 239 minutes, 162 deliveries, 6x4) was done in by a quicker one from Matthew Hoggard, which bounced more too; Sachin slashed at Craig White.

England reacted as if the Ashes had been regained.

Sourav and V.V.S.Laxman prevented more damage before lunch (176 for five), but the captain set an awful example on the fourth ball after resumption. The manner of his soft exit will hurt Sourav. What will rankle more is that while Hussain led from the front, in the first innings, he himself failed.

Though England’s bowlers were supremely disciplined and had surely seen enough footage of the Indians, in the build-up, the visiting batsmen did keep throwing wickets. Ratra didn’t learn from Sachin and Sourav. Nor, for that matter, Agarkar. Towards the end, Laxman was left playing a lone hand — 43 not out (117 minutes, 68 deliveries, 5x4).

Hoggard returned the best figures, but Flintoff was the truly stand-out bowler. Jones wasn’t far behind. If anything, England didn’t miss top gun Darren Gough and the wily Andrew Caddick.

Rose Bowl wicket

Meanwhile, Hampshire have been docked eight points by the ECB’s Pitch Panel for offering a “poor wicket” during their County match against Lancashire. Not many days ago, the same Rose Bowl had hosted the India game on an absolutely atrocious wicket. Belatedly, ‘justice’ has been done.

   

 
 
SPEED NOT ENOUGH, CONTROL THE KEY: HOLDING 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
London, July 27: 
Even years after retirement, the legend of Michael ‘Whispering Death’ Holding lives on. Indeed, he will remain one of cricket’s immortals. In town on a TV assignment, Holding took time off and spoke to The Telegraph this morning.

The following are excerpts

On current Indian spearheads Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra

Both are quality fast bowlers, can swing the ball both ways and, because they are left-handers, will always enjoy an advantage. Bringing the ball back into the right-handers is, after all, a nice asset to possess. In any case, not too many batsmen are accustomed to left-arm quicks. I hope your selectors will be patient and give both a reasonable run.

On Zaheer

At the moment, has more control than Nehra and, if I may add, control is everything. When I first saw him in the West Indies, he hardly had that. Yet, as that series progressed, he was a much improved bowler. Obviously, he worked hard at the nets. Here, of course, I find his control has been remarkable... Control, though, isn’t a quality you can sit back and ask a fairy to deliver.

On his advice for Zaheer

He isn’t doing anything wrong, so I don’t have to specifically say something. Only, he must keep working hard and not lose the control. With experience, he will be an even better bowler.

On Nehra

He is quicker than Zaheer and can swing the ball more. However, he doesn’t have Zaheer’s control. Clearly, he’s got to work hard. In the mind, he’s got to constantly think of controlling the swing, not begin that thought process when the captain throws the ball at him.

On his advice for Nehra

He already has the ability to force batsmen on the back foot. Now, he must get that control by spending hours and hours at nets. He could soon be a dangerous quick.

On Ajit Agarkar being the third seamer

Look, Agarkar isn’t the ideal guy but, having said that, I can appreciate why Sourav Ganguly picked him. My understanding is that your captain must have been worried by Zaheer and Nehra’s inexperience (24 Tests collectively before Lord’s). What if one of them went for runs very early? Surely, Sourav couldn’t have brought himself into the attack. If anybody thinks your captain can be the third seamer in a Test match, then that person definitely needs his head examined.

On the ideal attack for India

The two left-armers plus Jawagal Srinath — only, Srinath isn’t available for Tests.

On Srinath quitting Test cricket

That disappointed me but, then, it appears he wasn’t enjoying it any more. I remember speaking to him in Jamaica, the morning after he got a couple of wickets but still showed no emotion. Sri’s explanation was that he wasn’t enjoying Test cricket. Well, it’s a personal decision and, really, there’s nothing anybody can do.

On Tinu Yohannan

I’ve seen much too little to form an opinion. It’s clear, though, that he needs to work very hard.

On whether the Indians sought his advice during that long (April-June) tour of the West Indies

The bowlers, who seem quite shy, didn’t. However, Sourav did ask me if I could spend time at nets in Antigua (before the Test). I said fine, just give me a call. As it turned out, the day I could have spent time was the day the Indians chose to have a break and freak out on the beach... I’m not blaming them — they needed to have time off. It’s only that my session with them didn’t work out.

On the one quick on whose shoulders the West Indies can ride for some years

(Grins) Frankly, there’s nobody who stands out... Things work in cycles and, I suppose, we just have to wait for Mr Right to emerge.

On whether the West Indies establishment has involved him in any project specific to fast bowlers

No, because I hardly spend much time in the Caribbean...

On contemporary cricket’s fastest quicks — Shoaib Akhtar and Brett Lee

Shoaib is quicker and has been better control... With his control and speed, Shoaib can bowl out any opposition twice... Do I have a comment on his action? No, I’ve already told the ICC whatever I had to say... Incidentally, I’m keen to watch New Zealand’s Bond, keen to personally see how fast and sharp he is.

On whether he was himself ever conscious of speed

I would become conscious watching the batsman’s reaction, otherwise no. Moreover, I’ve consistently maintained speed alone can’t be enough. Control is the key.

Finally, his advice to up-and-coming quicks

Work very hard, make your body — especially the shoulders — stronger. Remember, the harder you work off the field, the easier it becomes on it.

   

 
 
STILL NOT AT MY BEST: BHUTIA 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
India’s star forward Bhaichung Bhutia feels he has regained 80 per cent of his form and believes has some way to go before hitting the form he is identified with in the Maidan. He says it wasn’t his fitness that was bothering him, but a lack of proper match practice.

Bhaichung will be the kingpin of the Indian under-23 team in the making for the ensuing Pusan Asian Games. Before that, though, the team will be travelling to Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam (on Wednesday) to play in the L.G. Cup, a tournament involving six teams, with India, Vietnam-A and Thailand being in one group.

“The coach (Stephen Constantine) has been giving us some pretty good training,” said Bhaichung, “and we are the better for it, but I guess we, and especially I, do need much more match practice.”

Having arrived at the CC&FC a little before the Indian team (the team came in from Jamshedpur, and will play a match versus a local team before departure) and coach did, he was enjoying a Coke while meeting up with old friends. The sort of quarantine that coach Constantine has put the team in, vis-à-vis the media, is somewhat amusing, and the fleeting inclinations of the players and even officials more so. Explained why Bhaichung did have hesitation in speaking the simplest of things.

What does he think about the team, and how’s the experience of England helping? “Look, the practice is hard… I practise thrice a day. I do a good deal of gym and then the coach takes over. It has been good for me, and the team, and we’ve won a couple of practice matches in Jamshedpur and I have been among goals, that’s good, but there’s way to go.” Wins over Tata Football Academy isn’t what Bhaichung wants to put down as an achievement.

The practice at the CC&FC was getting to be a trifle strange. Television cameras were forced to be switched off (no sensible reason given), and there was even a debate as to whether to allow still photographers. No, the Brazil team wasn’t around, neither was Luiz Felipe Scolari. One was left guessing.

   

 
 
MALO’S HATTRICK 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
Salkia Friends’ Sujit Malo scored a hattrick as they were held to a 3-3 draw in their first division group B match against Aryan today. For Aryan, Kishore Mullick scored a brace while Narayan Goswami netted one.

In another match, Victoria beat Calcutta Police 4-2 with Ratan Das, Surojit Chakraborty, R. Malik and Pervez Ahmed scoring for Victoria. Ajoy Das and Biswajit Chakraborty struck for the policemen.

Milan Samity drubbed Barisha 3-1 with Aminur Rehman scoring twice and Rathin Sarkar once. Raghunath Pandit pulled one back for Barisha. Garalgachha thrashed Bally Protiva 4-0.

In a group A match, Customs held WB Police 1-1.

Function postponed

The CAB postponed its annual prize distribution ceremony Saturday as a mark of respect for Vice-President Krishan Kant, who died earlier in the day.

Hole-in-one

R. V. Patodia holed out in one stroke on the 182-yard 13th at the RCGC Wednesday, according to a press release issued by the club.

IFA XI go down 0-4

The IFA XI lost 0-4 to South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal XI at Pietermaritzburg today, according to information reaching here.

   

 
 
STRONG BILLIARDS TEAM LIKELY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
India will be going in for a full quota of billiards golds again, from the Pusan Asian Games, what with the team likely to have the cream of country’s cueists like Geet Sethi, Devendra Joshi and Aloke Kumar.

While the combination of play is yet to be decided (which doubles pairing), the general agreement on the team will be through by Sunday. India are gold prospects in the singles and in the doubles (one doubles event has been reduced this year).

The selection committee, which met here on Saturday, postponed its final decision on the combinations and neither was the snooker competition line-up complete. However, it is likely that Kumar will be common to both squads. The others in the snooker are likely to be (changes may be effected) Yasin Merchant, Manan Chandra and Rafat Ali. The snooker competition will have two singles, a doubles and a team gold.

According to former world champion Manoj Kothari, India should be assured of two golds from the billiards event (from the Bangkok Games India won two golds a silver and a bronze). However, Kothari feels that the opportunity may not be that bright in the snooker event.

   

 
 
VIKASH STUNNED 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
Jamshedpur, July 27: 
Hitesh Deva of the city’s Loyola School stunned citymate Vikash Tiwary of DBMS Career Academy in the third round of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess Championship’s Jamshedpur leg on Saturday.

Playing white, fourth seed Tiwary, employed four Knight’s Opening in reply to Deva’s Petroff Defence. Tiwary enjoyed the advantage but in the endgame played carelessly to allow Deva a lot of counter play, who invaded the seventh rank of Tiwary with rook and combined his bishop well to create pressure. Tiwary succumbed and lost the knight to lose in 57 moves. In another upset, fifth seed C. Vijay Gopal of DBMS English went down to Tiyas Moitra of SER Mixed English Medium with white side of Queens Gambit Declined. Top seed Priya Ratnam of Saran Central School, Chhapra, who finished fourth last year, exploited the opening inaccuracy of Bishnupriya Bala of SER Mixed English Medium, Chakradharpur by opening the centre and keeping her king there in the Spanish Opening game. Ratnam won a knight on the 11th move but had to toil for 51 moves to win.

On the second board, seasoned campaigner Akash Kusum of Motilal Nehru Public School, Jamshedpur, playing black, easily outclassed Barshe Mukherjee of SER Mixed English Medium, Chakradharpur in 53 moves. Shalini Srivastava, the third seed beat S. Girish in 27 moves after a tough encounter.

   

 
 
BANGALORE RACING/ CASTLE PARK HAS THE EDGE 
 
 
FROM WILLIAM TELL
 
Bangalore, July 27: 
Castle Park and Fabulous Star may fight out the finish of the 1,600m Dashmesh And Hargobind Stud Bangalore Summer Million, tomorrow’s star attraction. However, Castle Park appears to have a marginal edge over the Star and Pesi Shroff may guide the R. Byramji-ward to victory.

SELECTIONS

1.30 pm: Talented Lady 1. Southern Goddess 2. Star Above 3.

2 pm: Nice And Noble 1. Alto 2. Predecessor 3.

2.30 pm: Conquering Star 1. Silver Mist 2. Persian Goddess 3.

3 pm: Dance Royale 1. Three Coins 2. Springtide 3.

3.30 pm: Cape Martin 1. Star Successor 2. Dare You Say 3.

4 pm: Castle Park 1. Fabulous Star 2. Cut Time 3.

4.30 pm: Scarlet Runner 1. Autobahn 2. Ek Ek Ek 3.

5 pm: Just Brave 1. Prince Valiant 2. Astrocharm 3.

5.30 pm: Amber Windsor 1. Astigmatic 2. Smart Charmer 3.

Day’s Best: Cape Martin

Double: Scarlet Runner & Amber Windsor

   

 
 
BANGALORE RACING/ REFRESHER UPSETS 
 
 
BY TITAN BOY
 
Bangalore, July 27: 
Trained by Arshad, Refresher posted an upset victory in the J. B. Mallaradhya Memorial Cup in Bangalore on Saturday. A Imran Khan partnered the Be Fresh-Sat-inetta five-year-old.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Squanderer Plate 1,100m: (11-4-3) Wikhed Idea (M. Narredu) 1; Pelf 2; Saoirse 3. Won by: 5; 1/2; (1-8.1). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 14; 28; Quinella: 19; Shp: 23; Tanala: 76. Fav: Wikhed Idea (11).

2. Col. Rajkumar C. Desraj Urs Memorial Cup, Div-II 1,400m: (9-6-4) Strombolix ( Mr Storai) 1; Cool Jazz 2; My Star Girl 3. Won by: Nk; 2-1/4; (1-27.9). Tote: Win Rs 65; Place: 17; 13; 14; Quinella: 62; Shp: 34; Tanala: 442. Fav: Cool Jazz (6).

3. Tokyo Plate 1,200m: (3-5-1) Adventurous World (Warren) 1; Royal Tarlair 2; Fantasy World 3. Won by: 4; 2-1/4; (1-16.4). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 11; 22; 23; Quinella: 66; Shp: 57; Tanala: 347. Fav: Adventurous World (3).

4. Brave Dancer Plate 1,400m: (4-1-11) Slovania (M. Narredu) 1; Dancing Clear 2; Royal Prose 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 7-1/4; (1-28.4). Tote: Win Rs 30; Place: 14; 16; 21; Quinella: 58; Shp: 39; Tanala: 573. Fav: Slovania (4).

5. J. B. Mallaradhya Memorial Cup 1,600m: (8-4-6) Refresher (A. Imran) 1; Whatmore 2; Self Styled 3. Won by: Hd; 3-1/2; (1-39.5). Tote: Win Rs 56; Place: 17; 16; 20; Quinella: 86; Shp: 51; Tanala: 748. Fav: Iflookscouldkill (3).

6. Col. Rajkumar C. Desraj Urs Memorial Cup, Div-I 1,400m: (4-6-7) Amber Regent (Prakash) 1; Eau De Vie 2; Sky Rocket 3. Won by: Hd; 1-3/4; (1-28.3). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 12; 14; 12; Quinella: 56; Shp: 63; Tanala: 190. Fav: Amber Regent (4).

7. Maj. E. Fownes Memorial Plate 1,800m: (8-7-9) Royal Mission (Gallagher) 1; Crepusculaire 2; Pretty Move 3. Won by: Nk; 1/2; (1-54.1). Tote: Win Rs 484; Place: 83; 13; 33; Quinella: 495; Shp: 50; Tanala: 8,972. Fav: Crepusculaire (7).

8.Santorini Star Plate 1,400m: (3-7-1) The Promethean (Rajinder) 1; Gisele 2; Ideal Cut 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-3/4; (1-28.1). Tote: Win Rs 142; Place: 29; 15; 12; Quinella: 287; Shp: 42; Tanala: 2,566. Fav: Gisele (7).

Jackpot: Rs 1,75,770 (Carried over); (C) Rs 15,066.

Treble: (i) Rs 505; (ii) Rs 28,175.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ ARCHERY, CALAMINT SHINE 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, July 27: 
Archery, Cala-mint and Cup of Life pleased when the following horses were tried out this morning:

Outer sand track

1,400m: Archery (Amil) and Abridge (Shanker) in 1-44s; (1,000m) 1-16s; (400m) 30s. Former was a distance better. Note former. Secret Blessing’s (Rb) in 1-51s; (400m) 29s.

1,200m: Assailer (Amil) and Actable (Shanker) in 1-35s; (400m) 31s. Former was a length better.Calamint (Amil) and Artiness (Shanker) in 1-33s; (400m) 32s. Former far better. Calcuttan (Amil) and Anacott (Surender) in 1-36s; (400m) 32s. Former far better. Castle Moon (Kujur) in 1-35s; (400m) 31s. Easy.

1,000m: Laurels (Som S.) and No Regrets (Gowli) in 1-20s; (400m) 31s. Level. Adam’s Thunder (Upadhya) Positive Thinker (G. Singh) in 1-20s; (400m) 31s. Level. Magnifico (Amil) and Actress (Shanker) in 1-18s; (400m) 30s. Level. Kainat (Som S.) and Winning Hand (Gowli) in 1-16s; (400m) 31s. Former a length better. Smart Ruler (Asghar) and Touch of Silver (Yasin) in 1-22s; (400m) 30s.Former 4 ls better.

800m: Timbavati (Som) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Note. Midnight Escape (Rb) and Callisto (Surender) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s. Level. Lucifer (Upadhya) in 1-2s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Sencai (Smith) and Tiger Talk (Som) in 59s; (400m) 31s. Former a length better. Yukon (Surjeet) and Giorgio (Upadhya) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Level. Revolution (Kujur) and Soliel (Bird) in 1-1s; (400m) 30s. Former was 2 ls better. River Melody (A. P. Singh) and Social Girl (Rb) 1-2s; (400m) 31s. Level. Royal City (Yasin) and Peace Envoy (Asghar) in 1-1s; (400m) 30s. Level. Moon Quest (Yasin) and Primaticcio (Asghar) in 1-2s; (400m) 28s. Level. Cup of Life (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Good. Global Harmony (Jayaprakash) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Rare Gold (Amil) and Tsavo (Bird) in 1-0s; (400m) 29s. Level. Adeline (Engineer) and Asprey (Upadhya) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Former was 6 ls better. Arrayal (Rabani) in 1-2s; (400m) 31s.

600m: Calabash (Shanker) in 47s. (400m) 32s. Don Vittorio (Shanker) in 49s.(400m) 32s. Accredit (Amil) and Calculate (Shanker) in 47s. (400m) 29s. Level. Sovereign Bullet (Surjeet) in 47s; (400m) 28s. Andrada (Rb) and Calibrate (Rb) in 49s. (400m) 31s. Level. Uprising (Engineer) in 48s. (400m) 31s. Easy.

400m: Blushing Brave (Bird) in 30s.

Sand track

1,400m: Soviet Dance (Yacoob) in 1-56s; (400m) 32s. Flossy (Smith) in 1-43s; (400m) 30s.

1,200m: Ace of Spades (Yasin) in 1-28s; (400m) 29s. Easy.

1,000m: Moon Mission (Yasin) in 1-20s; (400m) 30s. Scarlet Raider (Kujur) in 1-19s; (400m) 32s

800m: Regency Times (Rb) in 1-2s; (400m) 27s. Wokamba Warrior (Jayaprakash) and Auctioneer (K. Kumar) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Level. Scenic Song (K.Kumar) in 58s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Bul Bul (Engineer) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Aldridge (Amil) in 1-1s; (400m) 28s.

600m: April Ace (Yasin) in 47s. (400m) 27s. Simply Dashing (Asghar) in 46s; (400m) 28s. Sky Command (Jayaprakash) in 39s; (400m) 24s. Moved well.

400m: Common Spirit (Yacoob) in 29. Gallant Romeo (Rb) in 30s. Ardon (A. P. Singh) in 27s.

   
 

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