Draw with George puts Tolly in a spot
CPT hold BNR 3-3
EB favourites versus JCT
Open title set for Europe
Indian cricket needs no one else but God as coach
Adamile may be hard to toss
Admiral upsets
Track trials

Calcutta, Sept. 7: 

As group B minnows, George Telegraph had an uncomplicated goal going into their IFA Shield campaign � to show the soccer fraternity they had it in them to compete with their �big brothers� in the National League.

Well, coach Raghu Nandy must be a happy man now. After the 1-1 tie with State Bank of Travancore (SBT) the other day, his men shared points with another �heavyweght� today. The drab, goalless draw with Tollygunge Agragami did keep their semi-final hopes alive, though their last group-league opponents are none other than Mohun Bagan.

For Tollygunge Agragami, it was a depressing result � not only because they were the favourites but, more importantly, because it pushes them into a must-win situation in Thursday�s game against SBT.

Having resembled a stingless bee for much of the season under the guidance of Shankar Moitra, last year�s IFA Shield runners-up were no different today even without the coach (he�s out of station on official assignment). The back-four of Reazul Mustafa, Partha Sarathi Dey, Satish Bharti and Napoleon Singh looked safe, but there wasn�t much cohesion upfront.

The likes of Felix, Bhabani Mohanty, Sandip Dey and Seriki did have a marginal edge in midfield, but lost their way as they approached the George penalty area. The George tactic was simple: crowd their territory with eight to nine men, block the path of Tollygunge raiders and launch the odd counter-attack.

Tollygunge still had three openings which should have been converted. Fourteen minutes into the match, a Sashthi Duley cross found Mohanty at the top of the box. His header, with none to challenge him, flew miles above target.

Minutes before half-time, Felix set up Seriki with an exquisite through ball. The tall Nigerian went a trifle too wide and blasted his right-footer straight at George custodian Hassan Shahabuddin Molla.

A Felix left-footer was well saved by Molla early in the second session, while a 25-yard Seriki free-kick cleared the crosspiece by no more than a couple of feet 10 minutes from full time. In between there was a lot purposeless running and dozens of infringements resulting from needless rough play. The only time George looked threatening was early in the match when Swarup Chatterjee failed to do justice to an inviting Dipankar Chatterjee pass, delaying his effort to unleash a volley and getting dispossessed.


TOLLYGUNGE AGRAGAMI: Amit Singha Roy, Reazul Mustafa, Partha Sarathi Dey, Satish Bharti, Napoleon Singh, Bhabani Mohanty (Ranjan Chowdhury, 64), Felix, Sandip Dey, Sashthi Duley (Jagrata Sarkar, 75), Samson Singh (Sumit Sur, 83), Seriki.

GEORGE TELEGRAPH: Hassan Sahabuddin Molla, Sukumar Mallick, Rajesh Passi, Sujit Neogi, Kutubuddin Sepai, Gourab Datta, S. Rudra, Swarup Chatterjee, Arunava Sarkar (Azad Ali Mallick, 73), Dipankar Chatterjee (Dibyendu Pal Chowdhury, 89), Pratap Senapati (Lalvulaiya, 40).

Referee: S.M. Balu.    

Calcutta, Sept. 7: 
BNR flirted with opportunities before settling for a 3-3 draw with Calcutta Port Trust in a IFA Shield tie at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium today.

Down by a goal within 17 minutes, BNR took the lead twice in the match. But their joy was shortlived as some awful defensive lapses helped CPT come up with equalisers, each time in style.

CPT, the last-minute replacement for Mohammedan Sporting in the tournament, went ahead through Pradip Indu�s header in the 17th minute. But within three minutes, BNR�s Kamal Ghosh was tripped inside the opponents� penalty box. The resultant spot kick was successfully converted by Jayanta Ghosh.

Subhashis Chakraborty put BNR ahead when an advancing Santanu Bassel failed to stop his left-footed grounder from about 25 yards. But Indu again came to CPT�s rescue when he pushed the ball in from of a melee on the stroke of halftime. BNR changed tactics in the second half and started developing frequent sorties in the attacking third, using Kamal Ghosh in the flanks.

All this culminated in Robin Chowdhury�s 56-minute goal and a host of chances, which went a-begging. Just when it seemed that BNR were about to carry the day, the going again took a reverse turn. In the 83rd minute, Sujit Dey�s 20-yard right footer dashed BNR�s hopes.


CPT: Santanu Bassel; Pinaki Dutta, Rabindra Karmakar, Samarjit Bose, Simanta Das, Sanjit Saha (Amit Roy, 53), Koushik Prosad, Sudip Mallik, Sujit Dey, Pradip K. Indu, Sandip Ghosh (Santanu Chakraborty, 76).

BNR: Sumit Chowdhury; Partha Saha, Robin Chowdhury, Sandipan Das, Raja Guha Thakurta, Partha Mitra, Bappa Naskar, Sudip Mondal, Kamal Ghosh, Subhashis Chakraborty (Swapan Das, 46), P. Tulsi Rao (Mohammed Sahabuddin, 82).

Referee: Gopinath Pyne    

Calcutta, Sept. 7: 
On the face of it, JCT should be starting tomorrow�s group A IFA Shield tie against East Bengal as clear underdogs. Not only is this the Phagwara millmen�s first match of the season, East Bengal are in slick form having just completed a hattrick of Super Division league titles.

JCT coach Sukhwinder Singh, though, is not perturbed. He agrees East Bengal are in better condition, but mentions in the same breath that his team is ready for the city giants.

East Bengal coach Syed Nayeemuddin will be looking to ex-JCT man Dipak Mondal to thwart the likes of Hardeep Sangha and Hardeep Gill. He will also be hoping that Jackson Egygpong recovers from poor form in the Mohun Bagan match. Dipendu Biswas should be back in action after missing the BNR game.    

Europe ensured the Open title at the 11th World Teams Bridge Olympiad at Maastricht on Wednesday, as did North America the Women�s.

The Open final will be between two previous winners, Italy and Poland, while the Women�s title-clash pits the United States against Canada.

In the 96-board Open semi-finals, Italy, starting the day down 6 imps against England with 64 boards to go, lost little time in taking over the driver�s seat. On an early board of the morning set, they picked up a swing to take the lead for good.

Italy won the first session of the day, the third of the match, at 27-6 to go ahead by 15 imps (103 to 88). They added 5, 38 and 27 more in the last three sets to ultimately win by 85 imps (241 to 156).

The other match turned out to be a damp squib. Starting the day with a 33-imp lead, Poland added 12 in the first set of the day, 29 in the second and 30 in the third to lead by 205 imps to 101. Faced with an insurmountable deficit of 104 imps with only 16 boards left, USA conceded.

There was a one-sided match involving USA in the Women�s series too, though the boot was on the other foot in this case. USA, starting the day plus-68, added 20 more in the morning session to lead by 88 imps at the halfway stage.

Norway nibbled at this margin over the next two sets but with one set to go, still trailed by 77 imps (200.5 to 123.5). The Americans won the sixth by 46 for a winning margin of 123 imps (256.5 to 133.5).

The other Women�s semi-final was more interesting. Germany started the day with a 1-imp lead and was ahead by 17 at the halfway mark, having won the morning set by 27 imps to 11.

In the second set of the day, the fourth of the match, Canada took the lead with a 36-imp (54 to 18) win, largely due to three slam gains � the German ladies missed a grand slam and a small slam and when they did bid one, it did not make. After dropping one imp in the fifth session, the North Americans were still up by 18 when the last session started after dinner. European hopes were dashed when Canada won the last set 30-12 to win by 44 imps (177 to 133).

In the Transnational Mixed Teams, Volina led the 68-team field with 119 VP out of 150 from six matches, followed closely by e-Bridge and Hackett on 117. After eight more sessions of Swiss, the top four will qualify for the semi-finals.

Semi-final scores in imp

Open: Italy bt England 241-156; Poland bt USA 205-101.

Women�s: Canada bt Germany 177-133; USA bt Norway 256.5-133.5.

Mixed Teams scores

(VP out of 150 in 6 matches)

1. Volina 119; 2-3. e-Bridge and Hackett 117; 4. de Lange 111; 5. Senior 109.    

What was unthinkable till last year may well happen by the time you read this. England may well have won its first series against the West Indies in more than 30 years. So dominant have the West Indies been, especially against England, that a victory over them will be one to savour for the English.

In the 1980s the Windies inflicted a �blackwash� by beating England 5-0 in two consecutive series and the England team then had some top quality players unlike the present side. Mind you, the present West Indies team is no patch on the team of the 80s or even those of the early 90s but still it was always felt that they had more ammunition to help them win the battles.

It turns out that apart from Ambrose and Walsh the rest of the ammunition is blank. So utterly blank is the temperament of this current West Indian side that even the pride of being one of the best team in the world is lacking. There is simply no reserve bench worth mentioning and when that happens the players in the side feel complacent knowing that even with ordinary performances they cannot be dropped.

Come to think of it, apart from Australia the other teams do not have a reserve bench that will have their national selectors jumping up and down with joy. It perhaps explains why Australia are the world champs in both forms of the game and can call on any player and he will make a contribution to the winning effort. Nobody there can take his place for granted and there are no emotional considerations other than cricketing for a player to be selected.

Thus Ian Healy who was just short of being the first Australian wicketkeeper to play 100 Tests was told after a disappointing performance in Sri Lanka last year that his place in the team was not guaranteed. To Healy�s private query to the selectors whether he could play the first Test at Brisbane, his home ground and then quit, he was told that it would be unfair to his successor to come in when the series had already started and so Healy retired gracefully making no nasty comments about the selectors.

It is this communication that is so important for it tells the players exactly what is expected of them and it builds a healthy rapport between the players and the selectors. The players then do not have to keep looking over their shoulders for they know that such and such is expected of them and if it is not delivered they will be out.

Talking of selectors communication with players it was laughable to read that Robert Croft, the Glamorgan straight bowler, complained after not finding his name in the England touring party for the winter that he should have been called by the selectors and informed about it. A man who takes one wicket in two Test matches and that too on pitches where there is turn and again bowling to plenty of left-handers feeling upset is a bit of a joke. The only variety that Croft has is stopping occasionally before delivering the ball.

So upset was Lara with this in the Manchester Test that he went down the pitch the next ball and smashed it over the bowler�s head for a six. It made Croft�s eyebrows curl up even more and it is only in the eyebrows department that Croft gets more curl and turn. What was even more laughable is his claim that players like Gough, Caddick and Stewart are cemented in the England squad no matter what they do.

Gough, Caddick and Stewart have played major roles in getting England to the position they are in the current series and have served England with distinction over the last many seasons. Unfortunately the British media�s hype about the �new� Croft made him believe he was better than Muralidharan and Saqlain Mushtaq. It explains the extent of their knowledge of the game of cricket and which is why it is surprising that we have taken their comments about Sourav Ganguly seriously.

We still nurse the colonial hangover, so anybody with an English sounding name has got to be reproduced as if it were the Gospel. One could understand if it was an Arlott or Woodcock or even the pompous Swanton talking in this manner about Ganguly�s approach and attitude to County cricket. But to take the current lot seriously means a serious examination of heads is required.

To try and lay the blame for Lancashire�s misfortunes at Ganguly�s door is very convenient when it should be the coach Bobby Simpson who should be queried as to why Lancs aren�t doing well. But then Simpson is an Aussie, so why not put the blame on someone who will not join the rest in pub hopping and drinking till well past normal sleeping hours. In fact Simpson�s performance as coach of Leicestershire some seasons back and now at Lancashire are pretty lacklustre, thus bringing into sharp focus that a coach just like the captain needs a good team.

If the team is poor no matter how good a coach or captain is the results are going to be disappointing.

The Indian team today is one of the also-rans of international cricket, especially in Tests. They have no opening batsmen to speak of, bowlers who can consistently take five wickets in an innings and the less said about the fielding the better. There�s some talk about having a new coach but even that is hardly likely to improve matters. What Indian cricket needs as a coach is God. No one else.


Mysore, Sept. 7: 
It is hard to look beyond Adamile in the Karnataka Racehorse Owners Association Mysore 1,000 Guineas tomorrow. Coming from way behind the Razeen-Climbing High filly had won the Nanoli Stud Million. Aslam Kader partners the Darius Byramji-trainee.


1.15 pm: Niveditha 1. Dunhill Star 2. River Dale 3.

1.45 pm: Emerald Forest 1. Lucerne 2. Candalita 3.

2.15 pm: Venture Adventure 1. Starry Splendour 2. Swiss Knife 3.

2.45 pm: Athabasca 1. Earl Grey 2. Gypsie�s Wish 3.

3.15 pm: Machrie Bay 1. Gold Crest 2. First Principle 3.

3.45 pm: Great Estate 1. Raaz 2. Ornate Crown 3.

4.15 pm: Adamile 1. Bountiful Gesture 2. Sea Farer 3.

4.45 pm: Queen�s Ransom 1. X-Pac 2. Royal Debut 3.

5.15 pm: Clevland 1. Ispahan 2. Saffron Finch 3.

Day�s Best: Adamile Double: Athabasca & Queen�s Ransom

The Inayathulla-trained Admiral posted an upset victory in the H. H. Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar Memorial Gold Cup in Mysore on Thursday.


(With inter-state dividends) 1. Hemavathi Plate 1,800m: (6-1-4) Questionable (Arun) 1; Daiimio 2; Expensive Search 3. Won by: 1/2; 3/4; (1-55.9). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 17; 13; 50; Quinella: 66; Tanala: 1,133. Fav: Questionable (6).

2. Balagunda Estate Gold Cup 1,400m: (4-8-3) Resist The Force (Prakash) 1; Annatto 2; Al Habib 3.Won by: 2; 1-3/4; (1-24.9). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 10; 11; 15; Quinella: 22; Tanala: 60. Fav: Resist The Force (4).

3. Thundering Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (3-2-6) Soviet Song (Shroff) 1; Psychedelic 2; Whitehall 3. Won by: 5-3/4; 6; (1-12.4�Record). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 11; 20; 16; Quinella: 47; Tanala: 124. Fav: Soviet Song (3).

4. Hassan Plate 1,400m: (5-2-11) Accelerating Star (Prakash) 1; One So Wonderful 2; Burning Bright 3. Won by: 1/2; 3-3/4; (1-26.1) Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 12; 17; 20; Quinella: 65; Tanala: 277. Fav: Accelerating Star (5).

5. Thundering Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (1-4-8) Carnival Craze (Arun) 1; Set Aside 2; Resplendent Star 3. Won by: 1-1/4; Hd; (1-12.4). Tote: Win Rs 183; Place: 25; 11; 16; Quinella: 67; Tanala: 1,985. Fav: Set Aside (4).

6. H. H. Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar Memorial Gold Cup 1,200m: (8-7-5)Admiral (Harish) 1; Own Legacy 2; Holy Heights 3. Won by: 1/2; SH; (1-12.5). Tote: Win Rs 83; Place: 23; 14; 47; Quinella: 95; Tanala: 2,400. Fav: Own Legacy (7).

7. Topmost Plate 1,200m: (9-13-8) Own Evita (Shakti) 1; Winning Charm 2; Speedy Simon 3. Won by: 4; 3; (1-17.3). Tote: Win Rs 27; Place: 14; 21; 86; Quinella: 68; Tanala: 3,268. Fav: Own Evita (9).

8. Palace Plate 1,400m: (4-10/15) Glass Slipper (R. Marshall) 1; Laugh It Off & Polish Power 2. Won by: Nk; D-H; (1-32). Tote: Win Rs 89; Place: 37; 43 (no. 10); 29 (no. 15); Quinella: 565 (on 4 & 10); 208 (on 4 & 15); Tanala: 5,706. Fav: Royal Castle (6).

Jackpot: Rs 1,21,690 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 45; (ii) Rs 3,853.    

Calcutta, Sept. 7: 
Chivalrous, Iron Warrior and Starry Flag were impressive in today�s work outs.

Outer sand track

800m: Dominate (P. Alford) in 1-3s; (400m) 28 3/5s. Double Dancer (Rb) and No Regrets (Akhtar) in 1-2s; (400m) 28s. Both level.

Monsoon track

1,200m: Chivalrous (C. Alford) and Iron Warrior (Rb) in 1-24s; (800m) 53s; (400m) 25s. Both level. Sharp Sensation (C. Alford) and Abstract (Rb) in 1-25s; (800m) 54s; (400m) 24s. Former too good.

1,000m: Starry Flag (Rabani) and Citadel (Islam) in 1-9s; (400m) 26s. Latter was pushed to finish a neck behind. Aileron (Rabani) and Alkido (C. Alford) in 1-9s; (400m) 26s. Former a length better.

800m: Endless Surprise (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 24s. Pushed. Friendly Kn-ight (Bird) in 1-0s; (400m) 25s. Easy.

Sand track

1,600m: Alvarada (C. Alford) and Jeweller (Amil) in 1-59s; (800m) 57s; (400m) 25 3/5s. Former a length better.

800m: Global Harmony (Som S.) in 58 2/5s; (400m) 28 2/5s.

400m: Ring Dancer (Yadav) in 25s.

On Wednesday, Outer sand track

800m: Acquest (C. Alford) in 57 3/5s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Mystic Hill (Amil) in 1-0s; (400m) 27s. Gul (Engineer) in 1-1s; (400m) 28 3/5s.

Sand track

400m: Ring Dancer (K. Gurang) in 24 1/5s.

Barrier trial after the last race

1,200m: Swingtime (Smith) and Consul�s Secret (Som S.) in 1-22 3/5s; (400m) 26 2/5. Former a length better. Both moved well.    

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