Vaughan queers pitch for India
Youíve got to be your fiercest critic: Dravid
A team effort, says Bhutia
Sandip strike halts Bagan home run
Tolly slam FCI 4-0
2-match ban on Basudeb
Vijay Kumar lifts title
11 from Bengal for seminar
Pune Racing/ Marmalade may lift ĎMillioní
Pune Racing/ Alustar wins main event

 
 
VAUGHAN QUEERS PITCH FOR INDIA 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Nottingham, Aug. 10: 
India357
England 341/5

One isnít sure whether Michael Vaughan is settling scores for having been given out handled the ball, in Bangalore last winter, but he is definitely making life miserable for the Indians.

Not satisfied with exactly 100 in innings No.2 at Lordís, which effectively ended Indiaís chance of a comeback in that first Test, the classy opener crafted a 24-carat 197 (356 minutes, 258 deliveries, 23x4) at Trent Bridge Saturday to again queer the pitch for India.

Riding the 27-year-old Vaughanís class act, England raced to within 16 of Indiaís first innings and, if the weather doesnít interfere on the last two days, this second Test may still see some excitement. The wicket, by the way, is on the slower side.

Significantly, Vaughanís career best knock is the highest in an India-England Test here ó the previous best was Sachin Tendulkarís 177 in 1996. ďNever before have I hit so well... It was one of those days when everything just went off the middle,Ē is how Vaughan summed up his innings.

Vaughan was set for well beyond a double hundred when the late movement from Ajit Agarkar, six minutes before delayed stumps (a full hour after the scheduled close), saw him being caught by Parthiv Patel. The edge must have been thin, which is why Vaughan briefly stood ground.

The standing ovation Vaughan received from a packed turnout will ring in his ears for years to come. He also wonít forget Indian captain Sourav Gangulyís congratulatory pat as he was walking back.

By tea itself (201 for one), Vaughan had reached a handsomely-paced 130. Mark Butcher was then on 43.

Fluent while driving on both sides and firm while pulling, Vaughan alone has ensured England donít feel Marcus Trescothickís absence. Indeed, with 582 runs already under his belt this summer, Vaughan has emerged from the injured Trescothickís shadow.

Vaughan began with 64 and 115 against Sri Lanka at Lordís and the sequence since reads: 46 (Edgbaston), 36 and 24 not out (Old Trafford), 0 and 100 (Lordís, versus India) plus Saturdayís sterling effort.

While England quickly recovered from the shock of Harbhajan Singhís whirlwind knock (54 in 51 minutes, 37 balls, 10x4), the Indian bowlers ó barring clever Harbhajan ó failed to make an impression. Agarkar was the top culprit, his first six overs costing 30, while Souravís move to introduce himself backfired.

Worse, Zaheer Khan received two official warnings. He wasnít exactly noticed otherwise.

An early breakthrough is what Sourav wanted, but that first wicket (debutant Robert Key) came in the 16th over. By then, England had reached 56 and, more important, the cloud cover disappeared.

In trying to pull Nehra, who ought really to have been varying his line, Key played-on. Next man Butcher could have left early, on 7 itself, but Harbhajan failed to hold a difficult return catch. Having flopped at Lordís, Butcher appeared determined to make amends.

After tea, however, Butcher misread Harbhajan and guided one which spun across his bat to Rahul Dravid. Butcherís 53 came in 155 minutes and off 115 deliveries (8x4). His partnership with Vaughan was worth 165 ó that, too, at more than a run a minute.

Butcher was followed by captain Nasser Hussain, gloving an attempted sweep off Harbhajan, and John Crawley. The latter, though, wasnít happy with Russell Tiffinís decision. Only, the records will show him as a Zaheer victim. Last out was Vaughan.

Vaughan, incidentally, had two escapes. On 30 (and in Harbhajanís first over), Patel couldnít snare one down leg. Then, on 97, Wasim Jaffer (at gully) almost had him off the captain.

Many, however, will argue Vaughan deserves all the luck.

Earlier, the Indian innings took up the first 48 minutes, with as many as 55 being scored. Predictably, the fireworks were ignited by Harbhajan, who recorded the second fifty of his career.

In fact, in smashing his way before falling to a fullish length ball from Stephen Harmison, Harbhajan totalled more than he had in his last seven innings (51). His highest remains 66 in the first innings of last yearís Bulawayo Test.

Itís another matter that the England bowlers kept either bowling short or giving Harbhajan width. He was, after all, himself determined on quick runs.

In adding 61 for the ninth-wicket, Harbhajan and Zaheer reminded the fraternity that while Hussain is an extraordinary captain, he does have failings. Actually, Hussain didnít have many ideas ó quite like the fifth afternoon at Lordís when Agarkar and Nehra batted like top-order performers.

While Matthew Hoggard returned the best figures, this low-profile but hugely effective quick again fell short of five wickets ó four for 105.

Postscript: Meanwhile, thereís an ECB rule that wicketkeepers under 18 must wear helmets standing-up. The joke doing the rounds was that Match Referee Clive Lloyd should compel 17-year-old Patel to comply...

   

 
 
YOUíVE GOT TO BE YOUR FIERCEST CRITIC: DRAVID 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Nottingham, Aug. 10: 
Few contemporary cricketers actually donít need an introduction ó the India vice-captain, Rahul Dravid, is one such.

Easily among the most articulate, Dravid spoke to The Telegraph on the eve of the ongoing Trent Bridge Test. At his request, questions on the current series werenít asked during the half-hour interaction.

The following are excerpts

On the six years between his first Test series (England) and now

Iíve had some successes, Iíve had some disappointments... Overall, Iíve enjoyed this journey... If youíre expecting an assessment, Iíll be better placed doing that six years down the line. At this point in time, Iíd rather leave the assessment to others. Moreover, Iím the type to look ahead.

On the pluses

I wouldnít like to draw a balance sheet, so to say... And, even if Iíve got to, will prefer doing it privately and use that as a guide to where I need to go... Where I need to improve.

On his emotions when he took guard for the first time in last monthís Lordís Test

Didnít really have a very special feeling, though itís a fact that I love playing at Lordís. The history, atmosphere... That does appeal and, really, Iím fortunate my Test debut was there.

On all the attention being on Sourav Gangulyís 131 (on debut) with few caring to remember he got 95

(Laughs) Thatís the nature of things. Sourav got to three figures and, so, probably deserves the attention. Actually, then, I was happy with the 95. I may, of course, feel differently when the time comes to quit. In any case, itís nice to be positive and look ahead. The fact that there still were pluses from that innings canít be cancelled. So, why look at the disappointment?

On the devastated look each time he gets out

Iím more disappointed if Iíve played a poor shot or if I wasnít concentrating well enough when I got out... The recovery-time is less if Iím convinced Iíd prepared well and that I gave it my best shot. After a while, youíve got to put the dismissal behind and move on. Youíve got to look at the future, plan for the next innings.

On whether he is his own fiercest critic

Youíve got to be your own fiercest critic, yes, but you must also be your own fiercest backer. Having said that, itís not necessary for the individual to either criticise or praise himself in public. (After a pause) Iím quite tough on myself, set high standards... If I donít achieve what I set out to, then I donít brood... The impression could be different, but Iím quite comfortable being the person I am.

On whether he seeks advice when the ball doesnít roll his way

At various stages, Iíve spoken to different people... Itís important to try and learn all the time, by interacting or reading books or... Yet, itís more important to analyse what is offered and see what will work best. Every single piece of advice, after all, may not be relevant... Personally, Iíve always looked forward to meeting former cricketers.

On what allows him to stay so calm

(Laughs again) Comes naturally... I suppose my upbringing has played a part... Then, the experience factor is there. I perform at my best when relaxed and, so, Iíve been conscious about staying calm. While I do wish to succeed, bottomline is that Iím still playing only a game. I donít lose sight of that.

On whether he is conscious of having that ďgood boy imageĒ

Look, I donít make a conscious effort to live up to any image. Thereís pressure if one does seek to do that. More than what others may think, itís important for me to have integrity, have values and have my own expectations. Iíve never tried to be someone Iím not.

On whether the degree of psyching himself varies from team to team

No. I believe every Test is important, every one-dayer is important. I wouldnít be a pro if the preparation-level was to vary.

On what satisfies him

Having prepared myself to the fullest, having given my best... I follow the principle of giving my best and not worrying about how the cards will fall.

On whether he sets goals

I do... Goals for a series... Short-term, long-term... What if I donít achieve a target? Like Iíve said, Iím not the brooding sort... So, I look ahead, look at realising the next target. Itís not a crime to set goals, nor is it a crime to not realise targets. Rather, itís criminal not to have a goal or to set a low target. Indeed, I get disappointed when I see some of the younger cricketers aiming so low.

On whether he actually gets time to switch off cricket

With experience, Iíve begun to do that better... Switching off is important... I enjoy reading and, so, thatís one avenue of getting away from the game. Reading helps me relax. Then, back in Bangalore, Iíve got friends who arenít connected with cricket ó interacting with them also allows me to be in that switched-off mode. Itís good that Iíve got interests outside the game. Actually helps my cric-ket.

On his outstanding record overseas

Itís nice to score everywhere but, yes, itís probably more satisfying when the runs come away from home... Away from familiar surroundings.

Finally, whether he is enjoying Ďkeeping in the ODIs

(Smiles) Iím learning, Iím improving. Physically, yes, itís very challenging and demanding... Iíll definitely be enjoying this double role as long as we are winning. Coming out tops is the fun part.

   

 
 
A TEAM EFFORT, SAYS BHUTIA 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 10: 
An elated Bhaichung Bhutia, who scored twice in Indiaís 3-2 win over Vietnam in the final of the six-nation meet on Saturday, said the success was a result of team effort.

ďCredit should go to all the players and the coach (Stephen Constantine). We played as a team,Ē Bhaichung said when contacted by The Telegraph in Ho Chi Minh City this evening.

The India captain, however, described his Man-of-the-Match performance in the final as a confidence-booster for him. ďIím happy with my showing. The important thing is that Iím regaining peak fitness. That I played a part in the win has given me a lot of confidence,Ē he quipped.

ďWe knew Vietnam would be a tough hurdle to cross because they were playing at home. But we were doing well in the 3-5-2 formation and got our chances to come back. We fought till the end and itís a deserving win,Ē he added.

   

 
 
SANDIP STRIKE HALTS BAGAN HOME RUN 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 10: 
The sense of foreboding that was always there finally turned into a reality on Saturday when Mohun Bagan, playing at home, crashed to their first defeat of the season against Port Trust in their third CFL Super Division match.

With the scrappy football they have been playing of late, that they didnít trip up earlier is, indeed, surprising.

Incidentally, this was a first of sorts for Bagan. Since 1999, when coach Subrata Bhattacharya took charge, Bagan havenít even drawn a match at home, let alone lose one.

On Saturday too, the green-and-maroon outfit put up an atrocious performance and it was an absolutely fitting result. Bagan started at a disadvantage, not being able to start with Barreto, down with a stomach upset. When, in desperation, the coach did field him in the 60th minute, the Brazilian did not get enough support from his mates.

However, what Mohun Baganís fans missed by way of football was made up for by some humorous moments. Their Nigerian stopper Yakubu made laughing stock. Whatever he did was wrong. His trapping, shooting, heading ó nothing was correct, but such is the quality of his reserve bench, that Bhattacharya could not take him off. The abject display led the club secretary to acknowledge, after the match, that the club had gone wrong in selecting the Nigerian. He, however, did not explain why the player was chosen without even a trial.

However, to lay the blame at Yakubuís doorsteps alone would absolve the likes of Lolendra Singh, Sheikh Sanjeeb, Umesh Sharma, Gourav Dutta , Sumit Sengupta. Their performance should not allow them a place on even the reserve bench. Only Basudeb Mondal and Sunil Chettry earned some redemption, tried their best within their limitations, but obviously, it was not enough.

The Port Trust team on the other hand looked supremely fit and adopted the wait and watch policy. Sandip Ghosh, lurking in the wings was absolutely outstanding and his piercing runs made a mockery of the Bagan defence. The goal, scored in the 71st minute, was an absolute beauty. A clearance from the back-line was met by Koushik Prasad towards the left-wing. His outstanding through found Sandip in position who tapped the ball in past an onrushing Amit Singha Roy.

Despite Bhattacharyaís claim before the league that he would stick to the 3-5-2 formation, notwithstanding the result, the match saw Bagan reverting to the 4-3-3. However, even after conceding the goal, Bagan could not increase the men in attack and never looked in a position to neutralise the lead.

After the match, Ghosh the goalscorer, who also had an outstanding tour of South Africa with the IFA XI said, ďI come from a poor family and cannot afford the risk to play in a bigger club. They are not even ready to give the amount which I earn from my office.Ē One can only hope the Bagan officials are listening.

Teams

Calcutta Port Trust: Sandip Guha; Kajol Das, Rabi Karmakar, Bijoy Paul, Srimanta Das; Koushik Prasad, Sanchit Saha, Amit Roy, Pradip Indu; Supratik Aindh, Sandip Ghosh.

Mohun Bagan: Amit Singha Roy; Dulal Biswas, Lolendra Singh, Yakubu, Kajol Bhattacharya; Basudeb Mondal, Gourav Dutta, Sheikh Sanjeeb (Sumit Sengupta, 62), Uday Konar (Barreto, 60); Sunil Chettry, Umesh Sharma (Santosh Singh, 72).

Referee: Partha Rout Roy.

   

 
 
TOLLY SLAM FCI 4-0 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 10: 
Tollygunge Agragami trounced FCI 4-0 in a super Division match at the Rabindra Sarobar ground on Saturday. Akeem Abolanle scored a brace while Sandip Das and Sujoy Dutta scored one each.

Tollygunge had complete control over the match and went ahead in the 22nd minute when, receiving a centre from the left by Akeem, Das headed the ball in. Thirteen minutes later, Tollygunge doubled the lead when Akeem converted a spot-kick after Isiaka Awoyemi was brought down, inside the box, by Ujjal Majhi.

Then, in the 62nd minute, Tollygunge conceded a spot-kick when Abhijit Khotel felled FCIís Biplab Dhar inside the box. However, Sujoy Das struck it wide from the spot. Tollygunge scored their third goal in the 75th minute when Akeem neatly placed the ball into the net after receiving a pass from Ashim Biswas.

They slammed in a fourth in the 89th minute when the FCI defenders made a hash of a clearance and Sujoy Dutta, lurking nearby, put the ball in.

TEAMS

Tollygunge Agragami: Gopal Das; Kabijit Khotel, Debkumar Shashmol, Sujit Niyogi, Dipayan Majumdar (Manas Das, 75); Mehtab Hossain (Biswaroop Bishu, 70), Sujoy Dutta, Sandip Das, Isiaka Awoyemi (Uttam Debnath, 46); Ashim Biswas, Akeem Abolanle.

FCI: Shibram Dey; Dipendu Roy, Ashim Ganguly, Tapan Giri, Swapan Sardar, Sanjib Pal (Saikat Pal, 50); Biplab Dhar, Sheikh Hedayetullah (Sanjoy Das, 31), Ujjal Majhi (Bidyut Dey Biswas, 46); Sanjib Mishra, Pushpinder Dhandiyal.

Referee: Chittadas Majumdar.

Match swept away

In a bizarre incident, a CFL fifth division match between Orient Club and Saradacharan SC had to be abandoned after the High Court ground was flooded by the high tide.

Meanwhile, the Super Division match between Ever Ready and SAIL ended goalless. Milan Bithee and Sonali Shibir were locked in a 1-1 draw, Aksar Ali and Bobby Debnath being the respective scorers.

In another Group A match, Railway FC edged out WB Police 1-0.

   

 
 
2-MATCH BAN ON BASUDEB 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 10: 
The IFA has imposed a two-match suspension on Basudeb Mondal for playing in Mohun Baganís Super League opener against Bhratri Sangha without securing an International Transfer Certificate. However, a payment of Rs 10000 as fine will allow the medio to play for his club.

No points will be deducted from Mohun Bagan because the IFA authorities claimed that the Bhratri protest was not legal.

Debjit issue

AIFF almost paved the way for Debjit Ghosh to play for Mohun Bagan when they cancelled his inter-state transfer form. They have also decided to show-cause Ghosh for signing the inter-state certificate without procuring the International Transfer Certificate.

Debjit had signed the inter-state transfer form for Mahindra, but later back-tracked saying that he did not have the ITC while signing.

Seriki in trouble

Mohammedan Sporting may discontinue with the services of their star striker Abdulateef Seriki. Club officials reportedly have taken umbrage at the Nigerian striker for concealing a thigh injury before signing.

However, he will be under observation for a couple of more matches before the final decision will be taken. Mohammedan may sign Christian, who was with Bhratri Sangha last season, if Seriki fails to recover in time.

   

 
 
VIJAY KUMAR LIFTS TITLE 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 10: 
Lucknowís Vijay Kumar grabbed his first title of the year when he won the Hero Honda Open South 2002 on Saturday.

Vijay collected a winnerís cheque of Rs 1,62,000 while Gaurav Ghei and Jyoti Randhawa tied for second place, taking home Rs 87,500 each, a.

Earlier, Randhawa, eight-under at the eighth tee, looked set to win. Then came the par-3 eighth hole, where he went into the water twice. He came out with a quadruple bogey and those four dropped strokes handed the advantage to Vijay who did not fritter away the opportunity.

Before that, Calcuttaís Yusuf Ali, in the second group, too dropped a stroke on the 18th and finished at five-under.

Jeev slips to 17th

Meanwhile, on a day of low scores, Jeev Milkha Singhís two under 70 third round card wasnít good enough, as the Indian ace slipped to joint 17th in the 120 million yen Sun Chlorella Classic at the Sapporo Bay Golf Club in Hokkaido.

According to information reaching here, the Hero Honda sponsored Jeev aggregated nineunder 207 after 54 holes. American Christian Pena shot his third successive round in the 60s, a sixunder 66, to lead the tournament on the Japanese PGA Tour. Pena had rounds of 67 each on the opening two days and was 16 under 200 for the tournament.

   

 
 
11 FROM BENGAL FOR SEMINAR 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 10: 
Eleven BCCI panel umpires will represent Bengal in the annual umpiresí seminar to be held at New Delhi on September 7 and 8. The umpires from Bengal are Aloke Bhattacharya, Subrata Banerjee, Dr Sekhar Chowdhury, Francis Gomes, Subrata Porel, Aniruddha Banerjee, Sushanta Pathak, S.P. Biswas, Aveek Mitra, S.R. Guha and Sukanta Pathak.

Top Indian umpires A.V. Jaiprakash, Hariharan and V.K. Ramaswamy will be present. However, Srinivas Venkataraghavan will be away on international duty during the seminar.

Patterson table tennis

Jyotsnamoyee Girls High School and Barrackpore Girls High School moved into the final of the Patterson Memorial table tennis championships at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra Saturday. The Jyotsnamoyee team swamped St Xaviersí Institute 3-0 while the Barrackpore team beat Thomas Church School 3-1 in the girlsí semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Dr Sheethal Prasad Ghosh Adarsha Shikshalaya, Bantra MSPC and Ramkrishna Shikshalaya made the boysí semi-finals.

   

 
 
PUNE RACING/ MARMALADE MAY LIFT ĎMILLIONí 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Pune, Aug. 10: 
Fresh from the recently concluded Bangalore summer season, the speedy Imtiaz Sait-trained three-year-old filly Marmalade is fancied to claim the 1,200m Nanoli Stud Colts And Fillies Million, the main event at the Pune races on Sunday. Pesi Shroff partners the Placerville-Silver Academy daughter.

SELECTIONS

1.15 pm: Indifference 1. Bigshow 2. Sweet Revenge 3.

1.45 pm: Ocean Stream 1. Star Talent 2. Dras 3.

2.15 pm: Special Selection 1. Serena Pride 2. Anjolie 3.

2.45 pm: Aphaia 1. Aureus 2. Star Magic 3.

3.15 pm: Marmalade 1. Aerospace 2. Algeciras 3.

3.45 pm: Royal Amaretto 1. Ice Touch 2. Saytarra 3.

4.15 pm: Synergize 1. Stimulated 2. Queen Helen 3.

4.45 pm: Viking Victor 1. Star Status 2. Femme Fatale 3.

Dayís Best: Ocean Stream

Double: Aphaia & Royal Amaretto

   

 
 
PUNE RACING/ ALUSTAR WINS MAIN EVENT 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Pune, Aug. 10: 
Trained by Dallas Todywalla and ridden by B. Pra-kash, Alustar lifted the 1,400m Imperial Heritage Plate at the Pune races held on Saturday.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Poliche Plate, Div-II 1,800m: (4-3-6) Instant Alliance (Prakash) 1; Stilleto Xpress 2; Stage Secret 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 5; (1-57.9). Tote: Win Rs 74; Place: 22; 17; 18; Quinella: 121; Shp: 50; Tanala: 954. Fav: Stilleto Xpress (3).

2. Neolight Trophy, Div-II 1,000m: (1-4-8) Imperioso (Hamir) 1; With Tradition 2; Stride Away 3. Not run: Chalice (6). Won by: SH; Nk; (1-2.9). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 10; 10; 19; Quinella: 18; Shp: 26; Tanala: 76. Fav: With Tradition (4).

3. Fetchmefortune Plate 1,400m: (9-10-11) Princess Sultana (Chauhan) 1; Sonic Symphony 2; Temple Tune 3. Won by: 3/4; 3/4; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 210; Place: 36; 20; 21; Quinella: 328; Shp: 50; Tanala: 5,668. Fav: Jukebox (8). (Note There was a stewards inquiry in the race).

4. Poliche Plate, Div-I 1,800m: (2-9-1) Secret Obsession (M. Narredu) 1; Diplomat Rose 2; Zongrilla 3. Won by: 1; 1; (1-58.7). Tote: Win Rs 45; Place: 16; 25; 19; Quinella: 196; Shp: 92; Tanala: 1,636. Fav: Smart Ale (3).

5. Orange Flower Plate, Div-II 1,100m: (1-2-9) Arabian Fighter (Sandeep) 1; Speculative 2; Draculla 3. Won by: 5; 3/4 (1-8.7). Tote: Win Rs 40; Place: 19; 20; 18; Quinella: 68; Shp: 48; Tanala: 329. Fav: Arabian Fighter (1).

6. Neolight Trophy, Div-I 1,000m: (7-4-9) Rich Treat (Chauhan) 1; Litolier Glamour 2; Your The Lady 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 3-3/4; (1-2.5). Tote: Win Rs 48; Place: 17; 12; 11; Quinella: 45; Shp: 32; Tanala: 198. Fav: Litolier Glamour (4).

7. Ruksh Plate 1,400m: (1-6-3) Palentino (Prakash) 1; Harry Potter 2; Ride The Lightning 3. Won by: 3/4; 2-1/4; (1-29.6). Tote: Win Rs 23; Place: 13; 23; 57; Quinella: 89; Shp: 73; Tanala: 1,943. Fav: Palentino (1).

8.Imperial Heritage Plate 1,400m: (8-9-11) Alustar (Prakash) 1; Prabhuti 2; Discman 3. Won by: 1; 1-3/4; (1-27.8). Tote: Win Rs 90; Place: 20; 19; 16; Quinella: 341; Shp: 45; Tanala: 1,873. Fav: Discman (11).

9. Orange Flower Plate, Div-I 1,100m: (10-4-3/6) Stay With Me (Shelar) 1; Rosehill Gardens 2; Jaannisar & High Voltage 3. Not run: Persian Lord (1). Won by: Dist; 3/4; D-H; (1-8.8). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 14; 26; (8 on Jaannisar); (24 on High Voltage); Quinella: 226; Shp: 85; Tanala: 906. Fav: Stay With Me (10).

Jackpot: Rs 17,849; (C) Rs 1,120.

Treble: (i) Rs 7,166; (ii) Rs 694; (iii) Rs 880.

   
 

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