Defeat stares India in the face
Lord’s security breached
1998 face-off with Allan Donald left me without energy: Atherton
New coach Constantine stresses on flexibility
Seven share lead after Round 5
In The City
Bangalore Racing/ Cristopher guides Network to upset victory in 'Million'
Calcutta Racing/8 for Wednesday’s Almanac Cup
Calcutta Racing/ Moon Quest shines

 
 
DEFEAT STARES INDIA IN THE FACE 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
London, July 28: 
Call it an inspired move or whatever, but Nasser Hussain’s decision to reintroduce Matthew Hoggard in the 41st over ensured that even if the Indians were bent on heroics, there would be none.

Sachin Tendulkar fell fourth ball, misreading and having the stumps disturbed via the front pad. On the next delivery, captain Sourav Ganguly was adjudged leg-before, by Rudi Koertzen, though the ball pitched outside leg. At 140 for four, in the final session of Day IV (Sunday), it was effectively all over for India.

Appalling decisions hurt. More so when the index finger reaches for the sky at quite the wrong time. Sourav, then, can’t be blamed for reacting as if struck by lightning.

But for that over, there was the ultra-thin chance of India — depending on the scenario at stumps — having a go at immortality. After all, they were already into that losing position and, so, had nothing more to lose.

For the record, England set a wider-than-the English Channel target of 568, with a minimum of 158 overs remaining in the first Test. By tea, India were 121 for two and while the Lord’s wicket had become dual-paced, by no means was it an unplayable surface.

Indeed, had both Sachin and the unflappable Rahul Dravid stayed till stumps, Monday could still have been fascinating. As it turned out, Dravid followed Sachin and his captain — his only false stroke proving fatal. Next back was Ajay Ratra, another Hoggard victim.

Dravid contributed 63 (154 minutes, 112 deliveries, 10x4). Wicket-to-wicket, Hoggard conceded only nine runs in 32 balls. Last winter’s success in India has not only whetted his appetite, but definitely upped the confidence level as well.

Unbeaten at stumps were V.V.S. Laxman and, in somewhat of a revelation, Ajit Agarkar. Had they not halted the procession, England would have claimed that extra half-hour in an attempt to make it 1-0 in four days itself. In any case, the game went well beyond the scheduled close.

Had the final session gone according to the Indians’ (tea-time) script then, by stumps, Hussain would have begun to regret not enforcing the follow-on and, equally significantly, declaring early. Historically, India is credited with having pulled off the highest Test-winning chase — 404 for six in 1975-76 in Port-of-Spain — and, in 1977-78, had reached 445 (requiring 493) in Adelaide.

Opening together for only the second innings, Wasim Jaffer and Virender Sehwag put on 61. Then, Jaffer and Dravid added 49 for the second wicket. While Sehwag came down late and was beaten by Simon Jones’ pace and movement, Jaffer lunged at an innocuous one from Michael Vaughan to become the part-time off-spinner’s maiden victim.

Both, however, had let-offs. Jaffer was dropped in the very first over (from Hoggard) by Ashley Giles; Sehwag got a reprieve courtesy Hussain.

Jaffer, of course, got his third Test fifty (after two in the West Indies). His 53 came in 123 minutes and off 79 deliveries. Included were seven boundaries.

Earlier, Hussain declared when John Crawley got his fourth Test hundred, around 30 minutes before lunch. Crawley, who made a fine 64 (at a difficult time) in the first innings, was unbeaten on exactly 100 (190 minutes, 132 balls, 8x4). One can’t ask for a better average than 164 in the opening Test of a series.

The other overnighter, Vaughan, too, completed his hundred (third, overall). Only, none of the Indians applauded as they were convinced Ratra had taken him clean off Ashish Nehra, on 86.

Umpire Russell Tiffin, though, wasn’t sure and even third umpire Peter Willey had doubts. That benefit went to Vaughan, who became the second Englishman to record a duck and a hundred in the same Test at Lord’s. Back in 1955, Peter May had done so against South Africa.

[Incidentally, Chris Lewis is the other Englishman to have posted a duck and a century in the same Test versus India — at the Chepauk in 1992-93.]

Vaughan, however, was dismissed immediately after the hundred (100 in 218 minutes, 141 deliveries, 11x4), Nehra finally getting him. While England scored at a fast clip — 117 in under 20 overs — two Vaughan shots stood out: A power-packed pull off Zaheer Khan and an exquisite off-drive off Anil Kumble.

Andrew Flintoff followed Vaughan, falling for a hook-pull to become Nehra’s second victim. The other wicket was that of Alec Stewart, drawn out and stumped by the Kumble-Ratra duo.

The declaration was minutes away.

   

 
 
LORD’S SECURITY BREACHED 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
London, July 28: 
The so-called “tight security” during the on-going India tour of England stood exposed at Lord’s Sunday afternoon when a young man hopped across from the pavilion area and ‘accompanied’ Sachin Tendulkar, who had just got out, off the field.

Intriguingly, neither did anybody from the security deployment react, nor did one of the MCC’s own stewards get into the act. Subsequently, one learnt that the offender is a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club, with which the MCC has a reciprocal arrangement.

The young man, though, has been “handed over” to the police.

Later, the India manager, Ranga Reddy, “hoped” there wouldn’t be a repeat anywhere. He termed the incident as “regrettable.”

Meanwhile, the MCC has started an “investigation.” Roger Knight, the secretary, himself acknowledged that the breach had been “potentially very serious.”

   

 
 
1998 FACE-OFF WITH ALLAN DONALD LEFT ME WITHOUT ENERGY: ATHERTON 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
London, July 28: 
Having scored almost 8,000 runs in Test cricket, a huge majority of them either at No.1 or 2, Michael Atherton is qualified to talk about opening. The former England captain, now a columnist and commentator, spoke to The Telegraph Sunday morning.

Following are excerpts

On what makes a quality opener

A top guy must have three things: Solid technique, a strong mind — because an opener could have more low scores than batsmen at other positions — and courage. The last-named because he has to face the quicks.

On whether he was a natural opener

I was happy batting in the first three. In any case, there’s not much of a difference between the openers and somebody at No.3. Mark Butcher, to give a current example, is happy to either open or come one-drop... Personally speaking, I regarded myself as a natural up-the-order batsman and, as it turned out, opened 90 per cent of the time.

On whether he himself idolised any opener

(Grins) No... In fact, I don’t recall watching too much professional cricket when I was growing up... Even otherwise, I don’t think it’s a good idea to model your own game on somebody. Rather, trust your instincts and, always, back yourself.

On his assessment of himself as opener

I had a half-decent technique, knew my limitations and also knew the shots that would get runs. It’s important to know where you stand.

On how he would psyche himself

An opener hardly gets any time... Either he’s out to bat soon after the toss or just gets that ten minutes between innings...

On makeshift openers

Well, you can make a confirmed middle-order batsman into an opener — Alec Stewart, to my mind, comes as an excellent example. However, once somebody has been moved up, he must be allowed to settle down. Now that the Indians have promoted Virender Sehwag, he should be given time to get used to opening in Test cricket. It isn’t, after all, an easy job.

On the mind-set of an opener

As he’s got to set the tone for those to follow, only the right signals should be emitted. If the very first ball is a loose one, well, it must be punished. There’s no point in not doing so and, thereby, sending a cautious signal. Equally, an opener must be respectful. A good ball has to be given its due.

On the (opener) contemporaries he admired most

I only saw the back-end of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, so I can’t really pick them... I’ll single out Michael Slater and Saeed Anwar, outstanding openers both. Indeed, they were aggressive and entertaining. Today, though, one is out of the team, while the other apparently has other priorities... Of course, I admired Graham Gooch too.

On whether he learnt opening with Gooch

Absolutely. Gooch was very brave and, even in the toughest of situations, could put his head down and get runs. Essentially, Gooch was ‘greedy’ — low scores wouldn’t suffice.

On Marcus Trescothick

Sooner rather than later, he will prove to be as good an opener as anybody else in international cricket. He’s got a sound technique, unflappable temperament and a good method. More important, he scores at a nice pace, giving his team options. Additionally, he fits into both the Test and one-day XIs.

Finally, on his epic face-off with Allan Donald in 1998, at Trent Bridge

(Grins again) We both wanted to win that battle within the larger war... Donald did bowl that fast and furious spell... I quite enjoyed it, because the situation was so challenging... I didn’t succumb, and England won the Test, but that encounter left me without energy. Physically and emotionally, I was gone...

   

 
 
NEW COACH CONSTANTINE STRESSES ON FLEXIBILITY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, July 28: 
The ‘good loser’ tag has been attached to the Indian football team for some time now, but new coach Stephen Constantine feels it’s time to change things. Speaking to mediamen Sunday afternoon, Constantine said: “I don’t believe in participating just for the sake of it. There’s no point in participating in the Asian Games if we do not believe that we can win it.”

As preparation for the September competition, the Indian team is leaving for Vietnam Tuesday to take part in the LG Cup. The coach knows there would be no easy matches. “Our aim will be to win as many matches as we can.” Constantine rued the fact that Indians don’t play international matches too often. “Before the Vietnam tour, we did not get too many matches. But that is history and we will have to get on with it.”

Another concern for Constantine has been fitness, rather the lack of it, of the players. “In our camp at Jamshedpur, we did our best to increase the fitness level and it has come up to a certain extent.” According to him, based on tests conducted at the camp, the fittest players in the team are Sameer Nayak, Rennedy Singh and Thomba Singh.

The coach is not too satisfied with the off-the-ball movements of the players in match situations. “This is a very important aspect which I had to address to during the practice sessions,” he added.

He clarified why players like Jules Alberto and Noel Wilson have been dropped from the squad for the Asian Games. “Noel Wilson was not present in the camp for most of the time. And with only three players to be chosen from the above-23 category, I had no option but to drop Jules Alberto.”

Asked about the possible combination the team might follow during the tour of Vietnam tour or the Asian Games, the coach said the team needs to be flexible in this regard. “We should be prepared to play both the 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 formations.”

However, he was quite categorical about the fact that none of the players will be released for the local leagues when they come back from Vietnam and go for a ten-day break. “They will be released for a bit of rest, and I have made it clear that they will not play for the clubs during that period.”

It was learnt that Alvito de Cunha, who had a good match for the IFA XI Saturday in South Africa and reportedly got an offer to play for Manning Rangers there, may be called for the camp.

Bhaichung Bhutia, the captain of the Indian team, feels it will be difficult to replace a player like I.M. Vijayan. “We cannot get a complete striker of the calibre of Vijayan overnight,” Bhaichung said. “But I had a talk to him and he said that he is practising hard. If he is back in form, we will love to have him back in the side.” Constantine also agreed to his captain’s view and said he does not have any problems to include an in-form Vijayan in the team.

Talking about the preparations of the Indian team, he said: “The boys need to realise that they are good players and play positively and aggressively.” He also felt that one positive aspect he had noticed among the boys is their will to learn. “Many of them are coming to me for advice and that is definitely a good sign,” the skipper said.

India to play Jamaica

The Indian team will play Jamaica as part of preparation for the Asian Games. According to Santo Mitra, the project-director for the Asian Games, the team will play two matches in England in late August against the Jamaican national team that failed to qualify for the World Cup. It was also informed that India will have a goalkeeping coach soon.

   

 
 
SEVEN SHARE LEAD AFTER ROUND 5 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
Jamshedpur, July 28: 
Seven players were leading the pack after the conclusion of the fifth round with cent per cent score in the Jamshedpur edition of The Telegraph Schools’ Chess competition being played at the J.R.D. Tata Sports Complex Sunday.

The leaders are Priya Ratnam (Saran Central School, Chapra), Akash Kusum (MNPS), Ramesh Kumar (Andhra Bhakta Sree Ram Mandiram School), Minki Sinha (Arya Girls High School, Patna), Satish Kumar (R.C. Singh HS), and Ved Prakash (Rajakiya Madhya Vidyalaya, Patna). They are closely followed by Gyanendra Singh (MNPS) on 4.5 points.

On the third board, Arin Kumar Biswas of SER Mixed English School, Chakradharpur, the winner of last year’s Best School trophy, displayed good endgame technique and beat Shalini Srivastava of the city’s Carmel Junior College.

Arin opted for the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defence and Shalini chose to exchange queens and a few minor pieces to reach an endgame, which seemed headed for a draw.

However, Shalini committed a silly mistake on the 19th move to lose a pawn and fought the lost battle up to the 54th move before losing.

Top seed Priya Ratnam justified her billing by exploiting Sourav Mukherjee’s (Loyola) premature development of the queen for attack in the game of Spanish Opening.

Sourav’s attack was not sound and his 18th move involving the king proved fatal as his knight got trapped. Priya wrapped up the game in 37 moves.

Himanshu Shekhar Sharma of Town School, Munger, proved no match for second seed Akash Kusum (MNPS). Akash followed the Petroff Defence from the black side and won without any resistance in only 25 moves.

Ved Prakash, playing black, continued his demolition of seeded players by defeating ninth seed Mayank Jaiswal (DBMS) in the Alapin Variation of Sicilian Defence in the longest game of the fifth round.

Earlier, he had defeated 12th seed Soumyadeep Sett of Loyola in the morning. In the morning session, Shovan Pramanik of SER Mixed English held Gyanendra Singh of Motilal Nehru Public School to a creditable draw in 41 moves.

Karan Kumar of MNPS defeated R. Sharda of DBMS, Somnath Mahato of DAV, Adityapur, defeated 19th seed Saurav Anand of Sun Shine Prep, Muzaffarpur, and Nikhil Sarathy of DBMS beat his schoolmate B. Sarath Nair.

LEADERS AFTER 5TH ROUND

5 points: Priya Ratnam, Akash Kusum, Ramesh Kumar, Minki Sinha, Satish Kumar, Arin Kumar Biswas and Ved Prakash. 4.5 points: Gyanendra Singh. 4 points: Sourav Mukherjee, Himanshu Shekhar Sharma, Shalini Srivastava, Ankit Kumar Singh, Mayank Jaiswal, Karan Kumar, Nikhil Sarathy, Somnath Mahato, Vikash Kumar Tiwary, C. Vijay Gopal, Manish Sharma, Soumyadeep Sett, Kaushik Das, R. Sharda, Saurav Anand, B. Sarath Nair, Anirban Pati, Subhanalya Dey, Divye Kapoor, S. Sruthi, Sandeep Singh, Sagar Mukhi, Sobhan K. Garnaik, Snehasish Giri, Ashish Kumar, Bishnu Priya Bala, Barsha Mukherjee, S. Girish, Sagar Mukherjee, Hitesh Deva, Sourodeep Biswas, Nakul Mittal, Akash Das, Manish Gupta, S. Sriraj and Rama Kumari.

   

 
 
IN THE CITY 
 
 
 
July 28: 

Dalmiya set to keep post

Jagmohan Dalmiya, the BCCI president, is set to be re-elected as CAB president in the state association AGM Monday. Dalmiya is facing an election for the president’s post for the first time with former CAB joint-secretary Debdas Banerjee being the contestant.

Bablu Koley and Sudhir Chakraborty are likely to remain joint-secretaries, though they also face opposition — from Samar Pal, who is contesting for this post for the fourth time. There will be no election for the post of assistant-secretaries with incumbents Prabir Chakraborty and Sujan Mukherjee retaining their posts.

Calcutta Cup

Future Hope and CCFC won their matches in the Calcutta Cup Rugby tournament at the CCFC ground Saturday. Future Hope beat Sergeants’ Institute 68-10, while CCFC defeated LMOB 26-5.

Cueists named

A 12-member Indian billiards and snooker team for the Asian Games was selected Sunday. The billiards team includes Geet Sethi, Devendra Joshi and Aloke Kumar. The snooker team consists of Yasin Merchant, Manan Chandra, Rafat Ali and Pankaj Advani.

ILSS best

Indian Life Saving Society won the South-West Rotary water-polo title, beating Paddapukur Young Men’s Association 12-3 in the final. Pranab Das was named Man-of-the-Match.

TODAY IN SPORT

SOCCER: Calcutta League, 1st div gr A: Milan Bithee vs Customs (E. Bengal), Police AC vs BNR (Howrah Stadium), Kidderpore vs Rajasthan (R. Sarobar); Gr B: Aikya Sammilani vs Garalgacha (Md Sp), Behala Youth vs Anushilani (Belghoria AC), United Student vs Cal Police (Tarun Sangha) Matches from 3:30 pm.    

 
 
BANGALORE RACING/CRISTOPHER GUIDES NETWORK TO UPSET VICTORY IN 'MILLION' 
 
 
BY TITAN BOY
 
Bangalore, July 28: 
Trained by Arjun Mangalorlar, Network posted an upset victory in the 1,600m Dashmesh And Hargobind Stud Bangalore Summer Million in Bangalore on Sunday. The Calcutta champion jockey Cristopher Alford guided the Twist And Turn-Net Net Net son to victory.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Cape Dance Plate 1,200m: (9-7-5) Southern Goddess (Srinath) 1; Raptures 2; Talented Lady 3. Won by: 4-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-13.9). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 21; 11; Quinella: 73; Shp: 61; Tanala: 276. Fav: Southern Goddess (9).

2. Batu Gantong Plate 1,400m: (5-10-9) Fantastic Fortune (Rajesh) 1; Franco Leone 2; Predecessor 3. Won by: SH; 2-1/2; (1-30.4). Tote: Win Rs 61; Place: 19; 18; 13; Quinella: 162; Shp: 48; Tanala: 939. Fav: Predecessor (9).

3. Allied Forces Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (8-1-4) Conquering Star (Appu) 1; Ankole 2; Silver Mist 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 4-1/4; (1-15.1). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 11; 20; 15; Quinella: 74; Shp: 54; Tanala: 188. Fav: Conquering Star (8).

4. Basque Plate 1,100m: (11-5-4) Crystal Beauty (D. Singh) 1; Three Coins 2; Dance Royale 3. Won by: 2; 2-1/2; (1-9.1). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 15; 19; 22; Quinella: 85; Shp: 60; Tanala: 318. Fav: Crystal Beauty (11).

5. Lt. Col. Gaunt Memorial Cup, Div-I 1,200m: (8-9-7) Star Successor (Prakash) 1; Cape Martin 2; Dare You Say 3. Not run: Premier Classe (1). Won by: 3; 3; (1-14.6). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 11; 12; 14; Quinella: 18; Shp: 24; Tanala: 46. Fav: Star Successor (8).

6. Dashmesh And Hargobind Stud Bangalore Summer Million 1,600m: (6-1-3) Network (C. Alford) 1; Name And Fame 2; Fabulous Star 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-39.7). Tote: Win Rs 198; Place: 38; 21; 11; Quinella: 670; Shp: 45; Tanala: 6,538. Fav: Fabulous Star (3). (Note: The winner survived an objection lodged by the rider of third placed horse).

7. Allied Forces Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (1-6-7) Rythm ‘N’ Blues (Appu) 1; Sushmitha 2; Moonlight Rays 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 1/2; (1-15.6). Tote: Win Rs 113; Place: 29; 13; 23; Quinella: 169; Shp: 55; Tanala: 3,107. Fav: Sushmitha (6).

8. Usha Stud Plate 1,400m: (9-7-2) Prince Valiant (C. Alford) 1; Just Brave 2; Brunswick 3. Won by: 2; 6; (1-27). Tote: Win Rs 28; Place: 13; 19; 33; Quinella: 69; Shp: 50; Tanala: 527. Fav: Prince Valiant (9).

9. Lt. Col. Gaunt Memorial Cup, Div-II 1,200m: (1-9-3) Buzz Lightyear (Rajinder) 1; Private Emotions 2; Amber Windsor 3. Won by: 4-1/4; SH; (1-14.9). Tote: Win Rs 55; Place: 17; 36; 12; Quinella: 351; Shp: 91; Tanala: 1,683. Fav: Amber Windsor (3).

Jackpot: Rs 1,91,077; (C) Rs 18,491.

Treble: (i) Rs 326; (ii) Rs 979; (iii) Rs 4,610.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/8 FOR WEDNESDAY’S ALMANAC CUP 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, July 28: 
There are six events in Wednesday’s race-card with an eight-horse strong Almanac Cup taking the top-spot. First race starts at 1.55 pm.

ACCEPTANCES

1. Ridicular Handicap 1,200m (Cl V; 3-y-o only Rt. 00-28) 1.55 pm: Musician 60; Mahika’s Pet 57; Primaticcio 57; Moon Quest 56.5; Cupola 55.5.

2. Sprightly Handicap 1,400m (Cl V; Rt. 00-28) 2.30 pm: Social Girl 61; Adeline 58.5; Darth Vader 58.5; Bay Dragon 56.5; Asprey 53; Scenic Song 49.

3. Almanac Cup 1,800m (Cl IV; Cl V eligible Rt. 00-50) 3 pm: Prince of Fashion 60; Ace of Spades 56; Giorgio 56; Black Mane 55; Blessed Spirit 55; Yukon 53.5; Midas Touch 49.5; Impressive Prince 47.5.

4. Audubon Cup 1,100m (Cl V; 5-y-o over Rt. 00-28) 3.30 pm: Brave Venture 61; Soviet Dance 60.5; Simply Dashing 58; Soliel 56.5; Castle Moon 54; Global Harmony 50.5; Heaven’s Blessing 47.5.

5. Vasto Handicap 1,200m (Cl III; 5-y-o & over Rt. 44-72) 4 pm: Cup of Life 60.5; Revolution 59.5; Sky Command 58; Arctic Fancy 56.5; Sovereign Bullet 53; Tajik 52.

6. Bachelor’s Wedding Handicap 1,000m (Cl IV; Rt. 22-50) 4.30 pm: Kargil Soldier 61; Lucifer 60.5; Declarationoflove 59.5; Wakamba Warrior 59.5; Calabash 56.5; Grecian Pricne 56.5; Starina 54.5; Simply Monarch 53.5.

Jackpot: 2; 3; 4; 5 & 6.

Treble: (i) 1; 2 & 3; (ii) 4; 5 & 6.

   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACING/ MOON QUEST SHINES 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, July 28: 
Moon Quest and Sec-ret Adversary worked well today:

Sand track

1,400m: Cupola (F. Khan) in 1-51s; (1000m) 1-19s; (400m) 29s. Kargil Soldier (F. Khan) in 1-48s; (1,000m) 1-15s; (400m) 26s. Fit. 1,200m: Ace of Spades (Yasin) in 1-38s; (400m) 28s.

800m: Amber Dancer (Yasin) and Sergeant Slipper (Asghar) in 58s; (400m) 28s. They were level.Software Classic (F. Khan) in 56s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Moon Quest (Yasin) and Arctic Fancy (Asghar) in 55s; (400m) 24s. Former a length better. Secret Adversary (Yasin) in 54s; (400m) 24. Fit. Social Girl (Asghar) in 56s; (400m) 25s. Moved well.

   
 

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