Navarra self-destructs, puts Andy Ram in final vs
Delhi aim to restrict Bengal points haul on final
India to meet China
Rs 1.5 lakh up for grabs
Allosaki set for a repeat win
�Contender� good

Calcutta, Feb. 18 
Andy Ram kept his cool, stuck to basics and watched the volatile Mose Navarra self-destruct at the Indian Oil-Servo ATP Challenger this afternoon.

Ninety-five minutes into the first semi-final � delayed for two-and-a-half hours by dampness on court caused by heavy showers last evening � the unseeded Israeli was celebrating his maiden entry into a Challenger singles final. While the 19-year-old Ram deserves credit for the 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory, he should be grateful for the fourth-seeded Italian�s �help�.

Aisam Qureshi, the other unseeded semi-finalist, had no such luck. Twenty-four hours after scalping Leander Paes, the Pakistani teenager was brought down to earth by Tuomas Ketola. The third seed from Vammala, Finland, played an error-free match to sail through 6-2, 6-4 in less than an hour.

Despite finishing on the wrong end of the scoreline, left-handed Navarra was the talk of South Club. Not as much for his tennis as for his theatrics on court.

A gifted strokemaker with a strong serve, the bulky 25-year-old chose to let his mind go for a walk. The dual bounce irked him, the occasional cell-phone ring put him off and the march of schoolkids into the empty stands disturbed him as well. Consequently, his tennis suffered.

Warned by Belgian chair umpire Jeanlup Reynartz for nearly hitting his opponent after dropping serve in the second game of the final set, Navarra was docked a penalty point for audible obscenity five games later. Not impressed one bit, he congratulated the chair umpire telling him: �Bravo, bravo�.

Navarra�s fragile temper let him down in the first set, too. He lost his second service-game double-faulting on break-point. Navarra managed to break back straightaway, but again dropped serve with a double-fault.

Ram, a doubles finalist at the �98 junior Wimbledon, has been a regular on the Indian circuit along with a horde of fellow-Israelis. And he seems to be relishing the experience of playing different tournaments week after week in this country.

Having qualified for the Gold Flake Open early last month, Ram clinched a double crown at the Chennai Futures meet a fortnight later. Now, he has a chance of repeating that double show at South Club tomorrow.

Serving efficiently and mixing his shots cleverly, Ram added to Navarra�s confusion.

The Italian showed signs of calming down in the second set, as he stayed on serve and then managed a break courtesy two Ram errors. At one set all, Navarra should have got the wake-up call.

It didn�t take Navarra long in the final set to let the audience know his mood still hadn�t changed. The fits of rage continued and the point penalty came almost inevitably. With Ram staying focussed, there could have been only one winner.

Unlike Navarra, Ketola stamped his superiority on a lesser-ranked player from the outset. His controlled serving (11 aces) and solid returning denied Qureshi the chance to exert any pressure.

The Pakistani wasn�t helped by the loss of bite on his first serves which had troubled Paes so much yesterday. So much so that Qureshi won just 50 per cent of his first-serve points.

Ketola�s fitness was the other deciding factor. The man who had half a mind of conceding his semi-final yesterday as he was running a temperature, was fit as a fiddle today. �I was lucky to win (in three sets versus Nir Welgreen) yesterday. Today I felt much better and moved well,� Ketola said.

Fazal-Kauffmann out

Syed Fazaluddin cut a sorry figure in the doubles semi-final today as he and French partner Cedric Kauffmann lost 4-6, 1-6 to French duo Gregory Carraz and Guillaume Marx.

Fazal dropped serve in the seventh game to give Carraz and Marx the first set. In the second, the Indian Davis Cupper was broken in the opening game and his partner in the third to complete the rout.    

Calcutta, Feb. 18 
DELHI 236, 30/0 - BENGAL 374/8 dec.

Over the years Delhi have lost their indomitable reputation. Bengal once more underlined their superiority by almost ensuring a five-point advantage at the Eden Gardens today.

Facing a deficit of 138 runs after Bengal declared 44 minutes after tea, the Delhi openers saw off the 12 overs without any loss.

The visitors are still 108 runs behind and it will need loads of patience and application from their batsmen to see off the final day.

Thankfully, the rain gods did not intervene further, making play possible only after lunch. Against some ordinary Delhi attack, Bengal batsmen made merry with the late-order�s attacking display offering the motley gathering something to cheer about.

But all that was possible only because of the stoic resistance from Srikant Kalyani (90). He held one end up, displaying immense concentration and application in his 282-minute effort. His 200-ball innings included only six boundaries.

The veteran has been in fine nick and there seems to be no dearth of motivation in his game. He, in fact, has developed to be the mainstay of the Bengal middle-order this season. In contrast to several youngsters waiting in the wings, Kalyani�s hunger for runs seems to be insatiable.

After Kalyani and Syed Saba Karim helped the hosts take the first innings lead in a 70-run fifth-wicket partnership, Utpal Chatterjee�s (24) cameo suggested that Bengal were planning an early declaration.

Utpal was severe on the spinners, Nikhil Chopra and Rahul Sanghvi. Using his feet, he often lifted them over the top, including a huge six over mid-wicket off the left-arm spinner.

Wrichik Majumder, promoted ahead of Laxmi Ratan Shukla, did justice with a polished knock. He has the potential to develop into an useful allrounder.

Apart from solid defence, he also has the ability to hit cleanly. Nikhil Chopra experienced the youngster�s prowess as the India off spinner was disdainfully struck over long-on for a six.

Wrichik tried to repeat the stroke in the same over but the ball fell short by a few yards. The Wrichik-Kalyani association for the seventh wicket put on 59 in 84 balls, with the leg spinner scoring most of the runs. Shukla also contributed a breezy innings towards the end.

With Bengal contemplating on making Delhi bat a few overs towards the end, Kalyani semed to be in a hurry to complete his century and brought about his dismissal.

Had 104 minutes not been lost on the third day, inspite of an extended final session, Bengal could have made Delhi�s task tougher by gaining a bigger lead.

Robin Singh was the only bowler who managed to create some impact on the Bengal batsmen with his pace and movement.

State XIV retained

The Bengal selectors today retained the 14 players for the next tie against Rajasthan from Thursday. Utpal will lead in Sourav Ganguly�s absence.

Meanwhile, Rohan Gavaskar is running high temperature and did not join the team at the ground today.    

New Delhi, Feb. 18 
India chalked up an emphatic 5-0 win over minnows Singapore to qualify for the semi-final knockout stage of Thomas Cup qualifying rounds here today. A victory for India was on the cards but the ease with which it was achieved did surprise many. The semi-final will be versus four-time champions China tomorrow. In the other semi-final South Korea meet Thailand.

Singapore surrendered the initiative before the start of the match. They rested their No. 1 player Ronald Sisilo, replacing him with Kenrick Lee. Thus it was easy picking for Pullela Gopichand, who coasted to a 15-12, 15-8 win in just 30 minutes.

Lanky Nikhil Kanetkar was back in form today and his deceptive drops and jump smashes worked to perfection. He outclassed a lacklustre Kenny Quek 15-2, 15-3. Siddarth Jain played the third singles today as Abhin Shyam Gupta was fatigued after his marathon win yesterday. The Indore based Siddarth aslso strolled to a straight games win.

Today India�s best pair, Vincent Lobo and Jaseel P. Ismail, clicked effectively to beat Patrick Lau and Aman Santosa in straight games in 30 minutes. Later Markose Bristow combined well with portly Vijaydeep Singh to trounce Faris Mawardi and Teck Khoo 15-1, 15-11.

For the semi final the Indian thinktank is uncertain whether to play Gopichand in both the singles and doubles. China are not at full strength as 1999 World Championship winner Sun Jun is not being played because of an injury and their second singles player Dong Jong has not come to Delhi.

Easy for Indian women

In the Uber Cup, Hong Kong rsted their two key players Wang Ting Ling and Chen Wang. This enabled India to notch up a comfortable 4-1 win. Aparna Popat, B.R. Meenakshi and Manjusha Kanwar won their singles matches easily. The teenaged prodigies Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian strolled to victory in the doubles. only veterans Madhumita Bisht and P.V.V. Lakshmi lost but by hen India had wrapped up the match. In the Uber Cup semi finals , Korea play Indonesia and Hong Kong meet Japan.    

Calcutta, Feb. 18 
The first-ever Calcutta Marathon, organised by the Central Excise Athletic Club, offers total prize-money worth Rs 1.5 lakh. The men�s champion will get Rs 40,000 while the topper in the women�s race (over half the distance, that is 21 km) will earn Rs 30,000. Both winners will also receive the Anandabazar Trophy.

Among notable participants for Sunday�s race are Mumbai�s Rupesh Bhosle, Bihar Police duo Deb Kumar Jadav, Amar Jadav and Services� Jahangir Ali. Bengal�s top trio Sanjay Bera, Ganesh Paswan and Prasanta Das are also in the fray.

The participants will be examined by Dr Sunil Thakur and a panel of doctors at 3 pm tomorrow.

Cross-country squad

The Amateur Athletic Association, West Bengal (AAAWB) has chosen a 10-member team to represent the state at the Federation Cup cross-country championship in Ooty on February 27.    

Calcutta, Feb. 18 
There is hardly anything to look beyond Allosaki in the 1,600m Police Commisioner�s Cup, tomorrow�s feature event. The Steinbeck-Alessandrina four-year-old filly was an authoritative winner in last start prompting the handicapper to promote her to the highest class. The Darius Byramji-trainee will be partnered by the champion jockey Cristopher Alford. An easy winner on Wednesday, the in-form Prince Obolensky may follow Allosaki home.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

Police Commissioner�s Cup 1,600m (Cl I�Rt. 88 & over; lower class eligible)

1 - - 00 Treasurer [Vijay] Surender S. 60.0 1

2 0100 Dominate [R. Alford] A. Merchant 59.5 2

3 0211 Prince Obolensky [Stephens] N. Connorton 57.5 6

4 0240 Falconhead [Vijay] Md Amil 56.5 7

5 3114 Giorgio [D. Byramji] Dalpat S. 55.5 3

6 1301 Allosaki [D. Byramji] C. Alford 53.0 5

7 4300 Kansai [Bharath] M. Reuben 51.0 4

1. allosaki (6) 2. prince obolensky (3) 3. kansai (7)

Allosaki: A fluent winner in the lower class. Set to repeat. Prince Obolensky: In great heart. May upset. Kansai: Coming right and may do something worthwhile.


12.40 pm: Accentor 1. Knight Charmer 2. Swingtime 3.

1.15 pm: Artifact 1. Amerrico 2. Prince Of War 3.

1.55 pm: Dramatic Turn 1. Heaven�s Blessing 2. Silver Raising 3.

2.30 pm: Media Star 1. Rheinheart 2. Armila 3.

3.05 pm: Allosaki 1. Prince Obolensky 2. Kansai 3.

3.40 pm: Compliance 1. Magnifico 2. Arctic Fancy 3.

4.15 pm: Ocean Sunset 1. Remember The Day 2. Kargil Soldier 3.

Day�s Best: Artifact Double: Media Star & Allosaki    

Bonzer, Aquaria, Analogy, Acceptor and So Royal were impressive

Outer sand track

1,400m: Aquaria (Amil) and Athletico (C. Alford) in 1-37s; (800m) 58s; (400m) 30s. Former was far superior.

1,200m: Analogy (Amil) and Fame Star (C. Alford) in 1-22s; (400m) 28s. Former 6 ls better. Acquest (Amil) and Auctioneer (C. Alford) in 1-22s; (400m) 26 2/5s. Latter pushed to level.

800m: Actress (C. Alford) Aloritz (Amil) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Former was too good.

600m: A Million Memories (Bird) in 41s; (400m) 27s.

Sand track

2,000m: Bonzer (Kasbekar) 2-26 2/5s; (1,400m) 1-33 (600m) 38 3/5s; (400m) 24s. Moved well. Saddle Up (Kasbekar) in 2-35s; (1,400m) 1-46s; (800m) 1-0 1/5s; (400m) 29s. Easy.

1,400m: Amazing Win (M. Reuben) in 1-45 3/5s; (400m) 31s. Easy. Regal Equity (C. Alford) in 1-47 2/5s; (800m) 1-1 3/5s; (400m) 29 4/5s. Easy.

1,200m: Artwork (C. Alford) in 1-16 2/5s; (800m) 50s; (400m) 24 2/5s. Handy. Super Smile (C. Alford) and Aflicker (M. Reuben) in 1-17s; (800m) 52s; (400m) 25 2/5s. Former a length better. Silver City (Rb) in 1-18 2/5s; (800m) 51 1/5s; (400m) 24 1/5s. Good. Acceptor (C. Alford) and Silver Toy (M. Reuben) in 1-19s; (800m) 50s; (400m) 23 1/5s. Former was far superior. Alternator (C. Alford) in 1-31 3/5s; (400m) 28s. Easy.

1,000m: So Royal (Kasbekar) in 1-1s; (600m) 35 1/5s; (400m) 22s. Moved very well. Note.

800m: Merano (Dalpat) in 49s; (400m) 23 3/5s. Good. Bountiful Treasure (C. Alford) in 49s; (400m) 23 3/5s. Fit.    

Bangalore, Feb. 18 
An easly winner in his debut run, Royal Contender may repeat the winning performnace Governor�s Cup here tomorrow.


2 pm: Almost Heaven 1. Altenburg 2. Andestine 3. 2.30 pm: Divisional 1. Emmenbrucke 2. Selected Princess 3. 3 pm: Royal Caribbean 1. Allocated 2. Step In Time 3. 3.30 pm: Abbattis 1. Sniper Fire 2. Cliff Side 3. 4 pm: Royal Contender 1. Melodeon 2. Il Diablo 3. 4.30 pm: Sensational News 1. Tempt Me Not 2. Devonlock 3. 5 pm: Desert Lord 1. Sterling Prospect 2. Atavism 3. 5.30 pm: Like A Princess 1. Royal Birkdale 2. Sir Winmor 3.

Day�s Best: Royal Contender Double: Sensational News & Desert Lord.

Friday�s Bangalore results

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Madhavanagar Plate 1,200m: (2-8-5) Machrie Bay (Marshall) 1; Star Wings 2; Sendawar 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-17.1). Tote: Win Rs 34; Place: 12; 24; 141; Quinella: 148; Tanala: 17,145. Fav: Concur (3).

2. Ullal Beach Plate 1,400m: (11-8-14) Power Extreme (Srinath) 1; Red Bird 2; Hilly Billy Dancer 3. Not run: Alaska Warrior (16). Won by: 2-1/2; 1/2; (1-32.2). Tote: Win Rs 48; Place: 18; 15; 95; Quinella: 87; Tanala: 10,077. Fav: Red Bird (8).

3. Air Cdr. R. H. D. Singh Memorial Plate 1,200m: (7-3-2) Haynes Park (Smith) 1; King�s Star 2; Ronson 3. Not run: Royal Power (5). Won by: 2-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-16.3). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 13; 12; 21; Quinella: 34; Tanala: 287. Fav: Haynes Park (7).

4. Kollegal Plate 1,400m: (10-8-13) Winning Memories (Smith) 1; Renzino 2; Silk Petals 3. Won by: 3; 1-1/4; (1-29.9). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 17; 18; 38; Quinella: 416; Tanala: 6,246. Fav: Winning Memories (10).

5. Ashwapriya Cup 1,600m: (5-9-3) Colonial (Shoban) 1; Menlo Park 2; Estocade 3. Not run: Star Sunrise (6). Won by: 3/4; 3/4; (1-41.2). Tote: Win Rs 213; Place: 33; 60; 26; Quinella: 2,886; Tanala: 57,699. Fav: Anguilla (10).

6. H. Devereux Memorial Plate 1,400m: (2-8-11) Predicament (Srinath) 1; Turn My Luck 2; Class Conscious 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 3-1/4; (1-28.8). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 15; 30; 72; Quinella: 220; Tanala: 7,074. Fav: Predicament (2).

7. Gumbaz Cup 1,600m: (2-10-5) Auric (Shakti) 1; Squeeze 2; London Bells 3. Won by: Nk; 1-3/4; (1-43.6). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 20; 51; 22; Quinella: 403; Tanala: 2,111. Fav: Auric (2).

8. Yediyur Plate 1,600m: (11-5-2) Regal Wind (I. Chisty) 1; Savage Heart 2; Alto Miss 3. Won by: 1-1/4; SH; (1-43). Tote: Win Rs 311; Place: 53; 74; 41; Quinella: 2,888; Tanala: 29,106. Fav: Key Witness (9).

Jackpot: Rs 1,89,525 (Carried over); (C) Rs 3,749.

Treble: (i) Rs 109; (ii) Rs 2,820.    


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