Bagan clinch thriller
No breaking away from ICC: Dalmiya
Rajib emerges sole leader
Forces may lift main event
Ridge strikes
Track trials

Calcutta, July 8 
Mohun Bagan today set up the first clash of the season with arch rivals East Bengal, when they overcame a spirited challenge from Mohammedan Sporting in the second semi-final of the McDowell Cup at Salt Lake Stadium.

In a match where excitement ran high, so much so that the stadium authorities had to appeal to the public to maintain order, the National League champions made it to the final by virtue of a Jose Ramirez Barreto �golden goal�, the final score reading 4-3.

Najimul Haque scored a hattrick for Mohammedan Sporting, the sixth in �big� matches. Barreto struck thrice and R.C. Prakash scored once for the winners.

The action started early, with Barreto striking in the 12th minute. Joao Dos Santos� pass found Barreto at the right side inside the box. The Brazilian�s angular right-footer struck the far post and bulged the net, giving goalkeeper Gopal Das no chance. Das was later injured and replaced at half time.

Mohun Bagan consolidated the lead through R. C. Prakash midway through the first half. The move was initiated by the hardworking Dulal Biswas, who overlapped to send a good cross from the right to Santos. But Santos� shot struck the bar, and off the rebound Dulal volleyed to find Prakash who made a spectacular finish.

With a 2-0 lead, Mohun Bagan started taking things a little easy, and the pressure was slightly lifted from the opponent�s penalty area. Off a counter attack, in the 45th minute, Mohammedan Sporting were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the box. Abdul Khaleque pushed the ball from the left, setting it up for Najimul to shoot home.

The goal, against the run of play, jolted Mohun Bagan and they struck back in the dying minutes of the first half. Lolendra Singh�s centre from left found Barreto inside the box, and the Brazilian cunningly headed the ball hard into the ground, catching Das off guard. The ball bounced into the net, giving Mohun Bagan what looked like a comfortable 3-1 lead.

But what came next was an unbelievable fight back by the black-and-white brigade that perhaps reminded their fans of the days when they were really the third force in the Maidan.

As Mohun Bagan fans sat shell shocked in the stands, Najimul scored in quick succession. Najimul�s second came in the 50th minute, when he struck home a Bastab Roy centre from right. And the equaliser came a couple of minutes later, with Najimul converting a penalty. The spot kick was awarded after Bastab was brought down.

As extra time approached, the fans was gearing up for more action. But Barreto soon relieved fans with a quick strike, hardly a minute into extra time. Prakash received the ball from Barreto, ran down left and passed it back to the Brazilian. Barreto burst ahead and placed the ball into the far post.    

Calcutta, July 8 
The emergence of the Asian Cricket Foundation (ACF) is not step No. 1 towards Asia breaking away from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

�Suggestions to that effect are wholly out of place. The ACF � indeed, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) itself � will supplement and complement the ICC�s activities,� observed Jagmohan Dalmiya, ACF chairman and a former ICC president.

Speaking to The Telegraph this afternoon, Dalmiya added: �Of course it�s a fact that Asia, as a region, wasn�t getting its due (from the ICC�s development fund). Now, however, Asia will get 50 per cent of profits from the biennial mini World Cups.

�In actual terms that could translate to around ten times the current ICC pay-out (to the region) of � 300, 000. To an extent, then, things are being rectified. In any case, as I�ve said, we�re going to work with the ICC.�

Dalmiya, who ended his three-year tenure less than a fortnight ago, insisted motives ought not to be attributed to his spurning the offer to head the proposed ICC Foundation (now, apparently a non-starter) and the organising committee of the mini World Cup in Nairobi (October 3-15).

But, yes, Dalmiya is hurt that not everybody within the ICC strongly vouched for his integrity when the inaugural mini World Cup (1998, Dhaka) telecast rights� controversy broke � as it turned out, just weeks after the Hansie Cronje scandal.

That anguish comes through in Dalmiya�s thank-you letter to Lord Ian MacLaurin, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman and one generally seen as a Dalmiya-baiter.

The relevant portion reads: �We are all committed to the basic principles of eradicating corruption from the game of cricket and it must be achieved for the sake of survival of the glorious game.

�There is, however, a vital point that should not be missed out. While we are committed to stamp out the evil and punish the culprits, it is equally important to protect the image of the innocent...�

Dalmiya was responding to a brief but warm note from Lord MacLaurin wherein he thanked Dalmiya �for the excellent way� he presided over ICC matters.

Though his ICC innings has ended, Dalmiya hasn�t actually taken fresh guard at the ACF. �I need a few weeks to settle down, to chalk out programmes...�

It shouldn�t surprise if the Zee top brass, still peeved with the ICC, are among the first to formally call on the ACF chairman.

Meanwhile, Dalmiya clarified the ICC will investigate two 1999 World Cup matches (Pakistan versus Bangladesh and India versus Pakistan) �only as a consequence of the allegations made by Dr Ali Bacher.�

Deposing before the King Commission last month, Dr Bacher, the United Cricket Board of South Africa managing director, claimed the two games were rigged.

Dalmiya�s clarification couldn�t have come at a better time: The impression, after all, has been the ICC itself believes the matches were fixed.

Also, according to Dalmiya, the probe is to be handled by the ICC�s Code of Conduct Commission, headed by Lord Hugh Griffiths, not the Anti-Corruption Unit (with Sir Paul Condon in the chair).

�This decision was taken at the Executive Board meeting, in Paris, and can be re-confirmed when the minutes are circulated. Sir Paul, in fact, was appointed after the Paris meeting,� Dalmiya pointed out.

While Dalmiya declined to comment, it is understood Dr Bacher will have to appear before Lord Griffiths even though, voluntarily, he has already met Sir Paul.

When he does, Dr Bacher is set to be grilled on another front: His self-confessed links with an Indian bookie, thus far only identified as Mr �R�.

Incidentally, Dalmiya indicated there was a move to appoint Allan Border as head of the high-profile Cricket Committee (Playing). Eventually, the chairmanship went to our very own Sunil Gavaskar.

Border may have eclipsed Gavaskar�s record of 10,122 but, on a slightly different pitch, the Little Master held his own.    

Guwahati, July 8 
Rajib Dhar (6.5 points) of Netaji Vidyapith Railway HS School, Maligaon, today staved off Lairengjam Mahesh Singh of Adimjati Little English School, Imphal, to emerge sole leader at the end of the seventh round of The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship.

Close on his heels were four players from Imphal � Moiranthem Shanta Singh, Yambem Dhanavir Singh, Gurmayum Inao Sharma and Irengbem Sanajaoba Singh (6).

Playing white, Rajib, as well as his opponent, Lairengjam, strayed from the standard openings of a Pirc set-up. On the 14th move, white captured black�s knight with his pawn. Black then took white�s knight with his pawn, but white collected black�s pawn with his bishop in the following move.

Rajib, preoccupied with storming black�s kingside, was caught unawares by Lairengjam, who picked up the central passer.

Rajib, however, made good the pawn loss two moves later and went on to play a flawless ending and clinch the game in 45 moves.

With white pieces, Khumukcham Bhubon Singh chose the little known Larsen Opening against Gurumayum. Black�s pair of knights chased away Khumukcham�s king and won a piece on the 27th move. The former resigned on the 32nd.


1. Rajib Dhar (6.5) bt Irengjam Mahesh Sing (5.5); 2. Moiranthem Shanta Singh (6) drew with Yambem Dhanavir Singh (6); 3. Khumukcham Bhubon Singh (5) lost to Gurumayum Inao Sharma (6); 4. Irengbem Sanajaoba Singh (6) bt Rustom Roktim Dutta (5); 5. Abhinov Barua (5) drew with Potshanbam Sanjoy (5); 6. Chiranjit Saha (4.5) lost to Sashanka Singh(5.5); 7. Raju Loukrakpam (4.5) lost to Meghnath Rabha (5.5); 8. Sibananda Singh (4.5) lost to Nabajyoti Boro (5.5); 9. Swaraj Buragohain (4.5) lost to Nandan Buragohain (5.5).    

Bangalore, July 8 
A The 2,200m Maharaja�s Cup, tomorrow, is likely to be a closely fought affair. However, the one who holds a razor thin advantage is the sparingly raced Darius Byramji-ward Allied Forces who will be partnered by Ryan Marshall.


1.30 pm: Cool Quest 1. Kool Kookie 2. Keep Secret 3.

2 pm: Royal Debut1. Major Attraction 2. Zouk 3.

2.30 pm: Adorer 1. Chilling 2. Tippler 3.

3 pm: Dynamic Gamble 1. Predominate 2. Lovely Lips 3.

3.30 pm: Peace Desire 1. State Treasure 2. Brave Deeds 3.

4 pm: Allied Forces 1. Bonzer 2. Running Flame 3.

4.30 pm: Musky Bird 1. Skye 2. Aznu 3.

5 pm: Sans Eagle 1. Sterling Fantasy 2. La Unique 3.

5.30 pm: Red Quartz 1. Star Blitz 2. Three Coins 3.

Day�s Best: Sans Eagle Double: Cool Quest & Royal Debut.    

B. Prakash guided the Jim Foley-trained Barrier Ridge to victory in the H.B.Gundappa Gowda Mem-orial Cup in Bangalore on Saturday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Chantille Plate 1,600m: (5-2-6) Living Together (Amit) 1; Mum�s The Word 2; Treat 3. Won by: 7; 1/2; (1-46.1). Tote: Win Rs 125; Place: 33; 31; 23; Quinella: 540; Tanala: 11,976. Fav: Swift (10).

2. Royal Tern Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (7-10-9) King�s Common (Bernard) 1; Winning Charm 2; Silver Touch 3. Won by: 3/4; 2; (1-19.1). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 16; 24; 58; Quinella; 58; Tanala: 2,071. Fav: King�s Common (7).

3. Camino Plate 1,400m: (4-6-3) Shearwalk (Shroff) 1; Projection 2; Harry The Horse 3. Won by: Dist; 1/2; (1-30.6). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 20; 61; Quinella: 51; Tanala: 701. Fav: Shearwalk (4).

4. Noble Princess Plate 1,800m: (3-1-6) Autarky (C. Alford) 1; Sinister Minister 2; Northern Frontier 3. Won by: Dist; 1/2; (1-59.2). Tote: Win Rs 64; Place: 31; 22; 15; Quinella: 285; Tanala: 1,636. Fav: Northern Frontier (6).

5. H. B. Gundappa Gowda Memorial Cup 1,200m: (2-1-8) Barrier Ridge (Prakash) 1; Joe The Pro 2; Admiral 3. Won by: 2; 1-3/4; (1-16.4). Tote: Win Rs 53; Place: 20; 29; 39; Quinella: 219; Tanala: 7,527. Fav: Golden Fisher (9).

6. Kumararajah M. A. M. Muthiah Cup 2,000m: (6-5-3) Mayfair (Rajesh) 1; Royal Garter 2; Large And Incharge 3. Won by: 6; 3/4; (2-12). Tote: Win Rs 79; Place: 29; 85; Quinella: 580; Tanala: 11,920. Fav: Daggers Drawn (1).

7. Royal Tern Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (7-2-4) Good Win (I. Chisty) 1; Forest Pegasus 2; Narvar 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 2; (1-19.3). Tote: Win Rs 86; Place: 25; 17; 11; Quinella: 108; Tanala: 789. Fav: Narvar (4).

8. Manitou Plate 1,600m: (4-6-2) Hello Brother (Rakesh) 1; Melodeon 2; Great Eastern 3. Won by: 2-3/4; Nk; (1-45.4). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 15; 14; 18; Quinella: 31; Tanala: 171. Fav: Hello Brother (4).

Jackpot: Rs 98,885; (C) Rs 12,361.

Treble: (i) Rs 265; (ii) Rs 1,425.    

Calcutta, July 8 
The following track work was noted here today:

Outer sand track

800m: Swash Buckler (Upadhya) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Sheerness (A.P. Singh) in 58s; (400m) 27s. Ste-rling Prospect (Amil) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Arendal (A. P. Singh) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Remember Me (Rb) in 1-1s; (400m) 28s.

600m: Chicarica (Rb) and Swingtime (Bird) in 41s; (400m) 26s. Both level. Char Bahar (Akhtar) in 48s; (400m) 29s. Consul�s Secret (Bird) in 42s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Relative Shade (Yadav), American (Rutherford) and Royal Ruler (P. Alford) in 47s; (400m) 28s. First named much better. Fame Star (Amil) in 46s; (400m) 28s.

Sand track

800m: Bul Bul (Engineer) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Silver Raising (Rb) in 53s; (400m) 23s. Fit. Eau Savage (Shanker) in 57s; (400m) 24s. Easy. Work Order (Sher) in 55s; (400m) 24 2/5s. Fit. Aliqa (Akhtar) in 55s; (400m) 24s. Moved well. Rule With Honour (M. Reuben) in 53s; (400m) 23s. Good. Classy Twist (M. Reuben) in 57s; (400m) 25s. Easy. Comeback Kid (Afzal) in 1-0s; (400m) 25s. Easy. Almond Rock (Yadav) and Remember The Day (P. Alford) in 53s; (400m) 23 3/5s. Both level. Rising Chorus (Rutherford) and Rock Falcon (Gowli) in 59s; (400m) 25s. Former too good.

600m: Crest Star (Yacoob) in 40; (400m) 25s. Moved well. Lovely Lucy (Rb) in 44s; (400m) 25s. Optimum Choice (K. Kumar) in 42s; (400m) 28s. Abstract (Rb) in 42s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Adeline (Tam-ang) in 48s; (400m) 28 2/5s.

Noted on Friday

Outer Sand track

800m: Royal Ruler (Gurang), American (Rutherford) and Relative Shade (Yadav) in 1-1s; (400m) 28s. Three Good (Rb) and Slice Of Life (Islam) in 1-0s; (400m) 30s.

Sand track

800m: Exclusive Girl (Tamang) in 58s; (400m) 27s. 600m: Almond Rock (Yadav) 41s; (400m) 26s. Moved well. Piece Of Cake (Tam-ang) in 39s; (400m) 23s. Good.

400m: Adeline (Tamang) in 26s. Fit. Rising Chorus (Rutherford) in 29s.    


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