It’s important I know where I stand: Sachin
Worcester’s Pakistan connection
Okoro shines on debut
Bhratri hold Tolly goalless
Nabi sets up Md. Sp. victory
Soumya, Mousumi win
Qamar: I was confident of winning
Pune Racing/ Premier Possession may strike
Pune Racing/ Outsiders to the fore
Calcutta Racing/ Alsheim, Actuate work well

Worcester, Aug. 3: 
Just a few days ago, Worcestershire captain Graeme Hick spoke of the excitement in his team at the very prospect of playing against Sachin Tendulkar. Yesterday, Sachin gave a never-to-be-forgotten lesson.

Like the majestic 1,000-year-old Worcester Cathedral, on the fringe of delightful New Road, Sachin’s innings has become part of the ground’s already rich history. Like the feats of Basil D’Oliveira — now a recluse after being afflicted by Parkinson’s — and Hick, it will be recounted many times over.

From 63 at tea on Day-III (actually the ‘opening’ day), Sachin smashed his way to 169 before falling to Ben Smith soon before the delayed stumps. In fact, he required only 43 balls to rocket from 100 (his maiden first class hundred on tour) to 150. Drives on either side of the wicket, pulls, smart placements... It was super stuff, driven entirely by timing.

The 169 came in 304 minutes, off 246 deliveries and was topped with 30 boundaries.

Later, Sachin acknowledged that his comparatively sedate start — he was in the 30s for quite some time — had much to do with wanting to “spend time at the wicket.” As he put it: “I wasn’t looking at scoring X number of runs but, yes, was determined to stay in the middle.”

Sachin didn’t play the opening first class game (versus West Indies A, Arundel) and scored 3 in the only innings he batted against Hampshire. Then, at Lord’s, he managed 16 and 12.

“Had I been worried about what people said was a lack of form? No. In any case, I got two hundreds in the tri-series (versus England and Sri Lanka) and, more than what people may feel or read, it’s important I myself know where I stand... All I did want to do, Friday, was to keep batting,” Sachin pointed out.

The maestro certainly made his admirers’ day and, while he was struggling to get past fans from the pavilion to the team bus last evening, a salwar kameez-clad admirer shook his hand with an emotional “thank you.” For that one moment, Sachin stopped and smiled.

Both won’t forget each other’s gesture.

With the ball seaming about, batting wasn’t exactly easy. Yet, Sachin turned on his class act, bewitching the XI on the field as well as the around 1,500 in the stands and marquees.

Among those bowled over was Worcestershire spearhead Alamgir Sheriyar. Speaking to The Telegraph, the left-armer reverentially remarked: “It’s only when you bowl to Sachin you realise how good he is. We kept discussing that in our dressing room... For me, yesterday was an education...”

Sheriyar, 28, is a former England A player.

Incidentally, Sachin didn’t agree that the Everest-high expectation was affecting him. “Expectations rise after what people read and listen to, not otherwise. Where I’m concerned, my priority is to do my job to the best of my ability. That matters most, not the high expectation bit...”

Given Sachin’s body language here, only the very brave will bet against his getting a hundred at Trent Bridge. The second Test (Sachin’s 98th) begins there Thursday.


Worcester, Aug. 3: 
Lucky that New Delhi has only barred one-to-one contacts with Pakistan’s national cricket team, or else there could have been a ‘problem’ during the four-day match against Worcestershire which ended today.

After all, the County’s two first XI players — quick Alamgir Sheriyar and allrounder of sorts Kabir Ali — have close ties with Pakistan. While the 28-year-old Sheriyar’s grandparents are in Karachi, Ali (21) has roots in Kashmir (POK). Both, however, are Birmingham-born.

In fact, as a kid, Ali spent a few years in Dudyal village (near Mirpur) and, so, has a bigger attachment to that region. “I don’t quite understand the politics of the whole thing, though,” Ali told The Telegraph smiling.

Echoing much the same sentiments, affable Sheriyar quipped: “I prefer leaving politics to the politicians...” He added: “In any case, how can you not like such a nice bunch of guys (Sourav Ganguly’s team)? In England, we are far removed from the problems there (sub-continent)...”

Significantly, two Indian-born players are also regulars in Worcestershire’s first XI: Vikram Solanki, who has done duty for England in the ODIs, and Anurag Singh, a former Cambridge captain. Solanki is Udaipur-born; Singh’s roots are in Kanpur.

Hussain No. 2

Meanwhile, in a Channel 4 poll, Chennai-born England captain Nasser Hussain has been voted the second-most admired Asian by Indians in England. The Indian Hot List, as it is called, has the ravishing Aishwarya Rai at No.1.


Calcutta, Aug. 3: 
East Bengal 2
Port Trust 0

East Bengal beat Calcutta Port Trust 2-0 in their opening match of the Calcutta Football League’s Super Division at home Saturday.

That’s not surprising. What is surprising is the manner in which this was achieved, and how one can now expect Mike Okoro to be the new star this season. He scored both goals of the day, and could have scored more had the slithery and squashy ground conditions not been so.

East Bengal were into the attack from the start, mostly up the right, with the left being kept moving only by Okoro. The way Okoro could manage a reasonable level of ball-pay on this soggy ground meant he will be a problem for any defence when the turf is dry.

The attacks bore quick fruit, with Okoro heading goalwards a Chandan Das free-kick. Port goalkeeper Sandip Guha came in the way, though.

The first goal came in the 30th minute of the match as an Alvito De Cunha free-kick from the right reached the goalmouth. Okoro headed in quickly.

The Port defence, of course, was non-existent. There was no effort to show even a semblance of strategy in defence — though some, involving Bastab Roy in the main, was visible in the attack, especially in the second half.

In the 40th minute a quick left-footed Okoro tap, from near the goal, came off the near post. Malsawmtluanga landed a shot from close into the lap of Port ‘keeper Guha in the 62nd minute, before Okoro volleyed one out from close. The second half was a drudgery. No planning and little half-line play.

In the 80th minute Alvito, who seems to have slowed down a bit, passed one to the right where Malsawmtluanga waited. His volley, though, was tardy and came off the lower edge of the bar. Goalkeeper Guha had advanced, and Okoro had no trouble guiding the ball home.


East Bengal: Sandip Nandy, Surya Vikas Chakraborty, Anit Ghosh, M. Suresh, Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, Raju Singh, Malsawmtluanga, Chandan Das, Alvito De Cunha, Mike Okoro, Kulathungan (Dipankar Roy, 60).

Port Trust: Sandip Guha, Kajal Das, Robi Karmakar, Srimanta Das (Bijoy Pal, 46), Soumen Sarkar, Sanjit Saha, Koushik Prasad, Pranit Dey (Amar Pyne, 46; Soumen Sardar, 88), Bastab Roy, Sandip Ghosh, Supratip Aind.

Referee: Gautam Sadhukhan.


Calcutta, Aug. 3: 
Tollygunge Agragami and Bhratri Sangha played out a goalless draw in their first leg Super Division clash on Saturday.

A heavy morning shower rendered the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium turf slushy which prevented decent football. No wonder, there were very genuine attempts at goal from either team.

Still, thanks to Akeem Abolanle’s tenacity, Tollygunge Agragami came close to the target twice only to be frustrated by Bhratri Sangha goalkeeper Rajnarayan Mukherjee.

Deep into the second half, Tollygunge medio Sandip Das set up an incisive through for the Nigerian. The Tollygunge forward collected it inside the box with the entire rival backline standing back for an unsuccessful off-side trap. Akkem hesitated and tried to dodge past the goalkeeper, though he could have easily placed the ball on either side of the post. This allowed Rajnarayan enough time and space to avert danger.

Five minutes from time, Rajnarayan again rose to the occasion, thwarting a Akeem header off a Biswarup Bishu centre.

In between, Sandip hit the side-netting and Mehtab Hossain failed to properly follow a right-flank cross from favourable positions.

Bhratri, too, had their chances to test Tollygunge defence. Moments from the final whistle, Dipankar Biswas made a solo run down the right flank and cut in, catching the defence unawares. But Bengal’s Santosh Trophy captain took a hurried shot and was off-target from close range. There wasn’t much else of note during the muddle in the middle. Bhratri had a slight edge but that was that.

Players pushed and shoved each other a lot — some had to be cautioned as well. That was hardly the approach to overcome such difficult conditions.

Tollygunge have four points from three games. Bhratri have as many from four matches.


Tollygunge Agragami: Gopal Das, Kabijit Khotel, Isiaka Awoyemi, Debkumar Sasmal, Dipayan Majumdar; Mehtab Hossain, Niladri Chakraborty (Srikanta Dutta, 45), Sandip Das, Biswarup Bishu; Akeem Abolanle, Ashim Biswas.

Bhratri Sangha: Rajnarayan Mukherjee; Babun Kar, Shankar Das, Mohammed Ryadh, Goutam Debnath, Prakash Kolay (Prasenjit Das, 58), Ranjan Dey (Brajadulal Jana, 80), Palash Karmakar, Dipankar Biswas, Shyambabu Raut (Madhab Das, 85), Amechi.

Referee: Minanshu Bhattacharjee.


Calcutta, Aug. 3: 
Young sensation Syed Rahim Nabi scored one and set up another as Mohammedan Sporting scripted a 2-0 win over SAIL in their CFL Super Division match at Salt Lake Stadium Saturday.

Mohammedan created a move down the flank at an advanced stage of the first half, which culminated in a penalty. Nabi met a cross from the left flank but was shoved aside by SAIL custodian Sudip Sarkar inside the box.

Referee Subrata Sarkar rightly pointed towards the spot and Reazul Mustafa made no mistake in putting the black and white outfit ahead.

Deep into the second half, the Tata Football Academy graduate again stole the show. Fed on an Abdulateef Seriki pass, Nabi surged ahead and chipped the ball in over an approaching goalkeeper.

Mohammedan goalkeeper Prasanta Dora thwarted a Lawrence attempt in the second half.


Mohammedan Sporting: Prasanta Dora; Reazul Mustafa, Insan Ali, Hussain Mustafi, Biswanath Mondal (Amandeep Singh); Arunava Sarkar (Nazimul Haq), Amit Das, Habeeb Adekunle, Khemtang Paite; Syed Rahim Nabi, Abdulateef Seriki.

SAIL: Sudip Sarkar; Qutubuddin Sepai, Rasmohan Mallick, Chanchal Bhattacharya, Binod Mal, Dipak Das (Bijesh Kumar), Mridul Haldar, Sandip Saha, Ranajit Haldar, Lawrence, Mustaqin Molla (Supriya Dasgupta).

Referee: Subrata Sarkar.


Calcutta, Aug. 3: 
Soumyajit Sarkar and Mousumi Pal won the boys and girls singles, respectively, of the Kalyan Jayant Memorial table tennis meet at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra Saturday.

Results (finals): Sub-jr boys singles: Subham Kundu bt Kankojit Mondal 11-9, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6; Sub-jr girls singles: Sukanya Bose bt Triparna Biswas 11-8, 11-3, 9-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-8. Boys singles: Soumyajit Sircar bt Niloy Basak 11-8, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4. Girls singles: Mousumi Paul bt Pallabi Kundu 7-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7.

Garden Reach walk out

The CFL third division match between Subhasdwip and Garden Reach SE was abandoned midway when the latter, protesting a goal, refused to continue the match. A decision will be taken after the referee submits his report.

Meanwhile, in a first division group B tie, Samir Sen and Mohammed Farid Ali Molla scored twice as Aryan defeated Aikya Sammilani 2-0 Saturday. In another match, United Students and Muslim Institute drew goalless.


Calcutta, Aug. 3: 
City boy Mohammed Ali Qamar punched his way to glory when he gave India their first ever boxing gold in the Commonwealth Games.

Contacted by The Telegraph in Manchester soon after he returned from the mandatory dope test, the soft-spoken Qamar said: “I am extremely happy. Mujhe yakeen tha ki main jeetunga.”

The Railways boxer, who incidentally had beaten the Briton 21-9 in the Tammer Cup in Finland last October, said he was confident of beating him again but was also a bit apprehensive because “this time he was representing the host nation.”

When asked where he would rate this achievement, Qamar’s answer came in a jiffy — “right at the very top”. He added that his next ‘golden goal’ would be the Pusan Asian Games.

The 22-year-old, who has been sanctioned a reward of £100 by the Indian boxing federation, said he had no immediate plans to rejoice. No celebratory lunch or dinner was on the cards as the “restaurants are very expensive here... I’d rather use the money to buy something for my family”.

Humble even after a historic triumph, Qamar dedicated his success to coach N.R. Chowdhary, elder brother Khalid, and sister Rehana.


Pune, Aug. 3: 
Presently enjoying 9kg weight advantage after placing a close fifth to Indian Gold last winter, the Imtiaz Sait-trained filly Premier Possession may be hard to toss in the 1,400m August Handicap in Pune on Sunday. C. Rajendra partners the Alnasr Alwasheek-filly.


12.45 pm: Free Gold 1. Silver Line 2. Jayashree 3.

1.15 pm: Reconquista 1. Dark Victor 3. Mein Kampf 3.

1.45 pm: Think of Us 1. Las Mareas 2. Fluency 3.

2.15 pm: Route To Gold 1. Accademia 2. Austral 3.

2.45 pm: Premier Possession 1. Courbette 2. Singita 3.

3.15 pm: Palazzio 1. Iceberg 2. Rambus 3.

3.45 pm: Punta Quilla 1. Premier Collection 2. Tuglak 3.

4.15 pm: Sky Bound 1. Oriah 2. Sakshi 3.

4.45 pm: Raziya 1. Jaannisar 2. Crimson Rage 3.

Day’s Best: Premier Possession

Double: Think of Us & Raziya


Pune, Aug. 3: 
Lesser fancied horses dominated the Pune race-card on Saturday. However, P. Kamlesh guided the favourite, Flyme To Themoon to victory in the main event, the Eminence Plate


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Mossa M. Hoosein Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (2-8-3) Lek (Bhagwan) 1; Condor 2; Moment Of Pleasure 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 4; (1-27.9). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 13; 20; 12; Quinella: 175; Shp: 53; Tanala: 473. Fav: Moment Of Pleasure (3).

2. Mossa M. Hoosein Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (3-4-7) Opener (Chau-han) 1; Dahana 2; Anchors Aweight 3. Won by: 4-1/4; 5-1/2; (1-28). Tote: Win Rs 67; Place: 16; 16; 57; Quinella: 163; Shp: 36; Tan-ala: 6,972. Fav: Sea Legend (2).

3. Replican Plate 1,100m: (3-1-2) Avaleur (Srinath) 1; Speed Of Light 2; Khim 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 7-1/2; (1-7.7). Tote: Win Rs 18; Pla-ce: 11; 12; 20; Quinella: 26; Shp: 31; Tanala: 98. Fav: Avaleur (3).

4. War Cry Plate 1,100m: (2-11-5) Montana (Kamlesh) 1; Divyakiran 2; Yannis 3. Won by: 1; 1/2; (1-9). Tote: Win Rs 355; Place: 46; 15; 12; Quinella: 595; Shp: 49; Tanala: 6,317. Fav: Yannis (5).

5. Eminence Plate 1,400m: (9-4-8) Flyme To Themoon (Kamlesh) 1; Idaho 2; Big Blaze 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-26.6). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 14; 15; 21; Quinella: 42; Shp: 38; Tanala: 157. Fav: Flyme To Themoon (9).

6. Prize Fighter Plate 2,000m: (9-1-8) Fidillo (Kamlesh) 1; Noble Appeal 2; A-La-Ridge 3. Not run: Princess Maha (4). Won by: Hd; 8-1/2; (2-9.8). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 14; 14; 33; Quinella: 31; Shp: 45; Tanala: 616. Fav: Noble Appeal (1).

7. Martial Air Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (13-1-10) Turf Star (Z. Sayyed) 1; Spirited Move 2; Big Bang 3. Not run: Rumaan (5). Won by: 1/2; 3-1/4; (1-13.1). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 15; 16; 72; Quinella: 77; Shp: 44; Tanala: 2,958. Fav: Open Season (9).

8. Martial Air Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (14-8-4) Deep Finesse (Z. Sayyed) 1; Sharpman 2; Come Prima 3. Won by: 3/4; 1-1/2; (1-13.7). Tote: Win Rs 333; Place: 130; 126; 18; Quinella: 5,205; Shp: 290; Tanala: 66,036. Fav: Come Prima (4).

Jackpot: Rs 1,38,264 (Carried over); (C) Rs 8,888.

Treble: (i) Rs 4,768; (ii) Rs 16,104.


Calcutta, Aug. 3: 
Alsheim, Actuate, The Archer, Calcuttan, Calamint and Magnifico were impressive from among the following horses worked today:

Outer sand track

1,400m: Alsheim (Shanker) and Acklins (Rb) in 1-48s; (600m) 45s; (400m) 29s. Former was far better. Abridge (Shanker) and Archery (Rb) in 1-47s; (600m) 45s; (400m) 30s. Former was a length better. Both were easy.

1,200m: Actuate (Shanker) and Andrada (Rb) in 1-32s; (400m) 32s. Former was easily a distance better. Abashed (Shanker) and Actable (Surender) in 1-36s; (400m) 29s. They galloped easy and levelled.

1,000m: Among Men (Gowli) in 1-16s; (400m) 28s. Moved well.

800m: Rheinheart (Shanker) and Dancing Rhythm (G. Singh) in 58s; (400m) 29s. They were level and moved well. Estocade (F. Khan) in and Mack The Knife (Rutherford) in 57s; (400m) 27s. They were easy as they levelled. Almond Rock (Surjeet) and Iron Warrior (Dalpat) in 1-0s; (400m) 29s. They were easy as they levelled. Harry The Horse (Rutherford) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Was easy. Glass Slipper (F. Khan) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Fit. The Archer (Rutherford) in 58s; (400m) 26s. Fit. Calculus (F. Khan) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Good. Calculate (Shanker) and Midnight Escape (Rb) in 1-0s; (400m) 29s. They were easy as they levelled. Calcuttan (Shanker) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Note. Calamint (Rb) and Magnifico (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 28s. They were easy as they levelled. Adams Dream (Amjad) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

600m: Royal City (Gurang) and Smart Ruler (Asghar) in 48s; (400m) 30s. Former a length better. Blushing Brave (Amjad) in 50s; (400m) 32s.

400m: Laurels (Rb) in 31s. Anacott (Shanker) and Assailer (Rb) in 31s. Former was a length better.

Monsoon track

1,400m: Positive Thinker (G. Singh) in 1-56s; (600m) 49s; (400m) 30s. Easy. My Opinion (Amjad) in 1-37s; (600m) 42s; (400m) 27s. Was handy. Amber Dancer (A. P. Singh) Immaculate (Gurang) in 1-50s; (600m) 42s; (400m) 26s. They easy as they levelled.

1,200m: Flamebird (Saran) in 1-28s; (400m) 26s. No Regrets (Gowli) and Grand Lodge (Som) in 1-22s; (400m) 27s. Both moved attractively as they levelled. Tsavo (Amjad) and Zuhaak (G. Singh) in 1-24s; (400m) 28s. Both moved well as they levelled.

1,000m: Adducer (Islam) and Arrayal (Rabani) in 1-11s; (400m) 27s. Former was half-a-length better. Both are fit.

800m: Allodium (Rabani) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Moved easy. Auctioneer (K. Kumar) in 55s; (400m) 24s. Good. Rare Gold (Haroon) in 56s; (400m) 25s. Looks ready for the fray. Sencai (Gowli) in 58s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Winning Hand (Smith) and Tiger Talk (Som) in 52s; (400m) 24s. Former moved attractively as he levelled. Discomatic (Yasin) and Touch of Silver (A. P. Singh) in 56s; (400m) 26s. They easy as they levelled. Uprising (Bird) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Moved in impressive manner. Adams Thunder (Surjeet) and Flying Scot (Dalpat) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Note former who was 4 ls better. Regency Times (R. Ahmed) and Peace Envoy (Yasin) in 55s; (400m) 24s. The were level and moved well. Beneficent (Gurang) in 56s; (400m) 27s. Easy.

600m: Alcalde (Rabani) in 40s; (400m) 25s. Maintains good form. Queen’s Logic (Islam) in 43s; (400m) 27s.

400m: Schumacher (Yacoob) and Soviet Ride (Salam) in 27s. Level.

Sand track

1,000m: Flying Power (Amjad) in 1-12s; (400m) 29s. Easy.

800m: Gul (Smith) in 59s; (400m) 30s. Khublei (Engineer) in 1-1s; (400m) 27s. Star Music (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Easy.

600m: Bul Bul (Engineer) in 43s; (400m) 28s. Kyalami (Brij S.) in 40s; (400m) 25s. Moved well. Dancing Dream (Tamang) in 45; (400m) 27ss. Comedy of Errors (Brij S.) in 28s. Aldridge (Haroon) in 46s; (400m) 30s.


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