It�s a long road ahead, but I�m not overawed: Shiv Sundar Das
Srinath likely to be available
Nandy hits 113
History beckons Mohun Bagan
Police champions
Entries cross a record 700
Bright beginning for Bangla
�New look� turf
Bangalore Races/ Savage Heart may come good
Calcutta Races/ Endless Surprise impresses

Dhaka, Nov. 10: 
Diminutive Shiv Sundar Das is, but the 23-year-old doesn�t look the type to get psyched out by even the tallest of bowlers. Confident body language, at the top of the order, is what India needed. Das, only the second player from Orissa to get a Test call-up, seems to fit the bill perfectly.

The Board�s Code of Conduct forbids one-to-one interviews, but The Telegraph secured permission for a �brief, profile-specific� chat, with the Nalco employee, last evening. Das, incidentally, figured in the National Cricket Academy�s (NCA�s) first batch.

Following are excerpts

On his background

My father is a retired schoolteacher and we�ve been based in Bhubaneshwar... In fact, it�s elder brother Satya Shankar, a district-level player, who encouraged me to take to cricket. A close friend of his, Bismaya Samal, was also a big inspiration. Specifically, he introduced me to people at the Pragati Club (in Bhubaneshwar), a move which eventually made all the difference.

On his innings at Pragati Club

Sharpened my game and, more important, got me to work with my current coach � Kishore Mania. I�m a regular in the club side.

On his idols

(Smiles) Just one: Mr Sunil Gavaskar.

On whether he has interacted with Gavaskar

Yes, at the NCA, when Mr Gavaskar came for a session with the trainees... I spoke to him for about half-an-hour. While he didn�t fault my technique, he did suggest I take a leg-stump instead of a middle guard. The reason being, in going across, I would leave leg-stump exposed... Of course, Mr Gavaskar offered batting tips and also explained how I should prepare for the big games.

On the mode of preparation prescribed by Gavaskar

That, on the eve of a match, I should soak in the atmosphere of the ground, study the wicket and basically draw a picture of everything, in my mind. Also, that I should assess the bowlers and make a note of both their strengths and weaknesses.

On the contemporary openers he admires

Michael Slater. He�s aggressive, goes for his shots rather than play percentage cricket... That�s my style, too.

On coming through the ranks and being picked for India

The opportunity I�ve been waiting for has come... Actually I was preparing for Orissa�s Ranji campaign, in Cuttack, when the call came. It�s up to me, really, to make the most of the break I�ve got.

On whether he is superstitious

Don�t think so.

On his hobbies

(Smiles again) Listening to songs from old Hindi films, it�s something which helps me relax. I also don�t mind picking up a book, at random, for a read.

Finally, on his thoughts on arrival in Dhaka

Very positive. I�ve done well on the domestic scene, for the past few years, and wish to maintain that at the highest level. I�m confident it won�t be difficult bridging the gulf between purely domestic and international cricket. It�s a long road ahead, but I�m not overawed.    

Dhaka, Nov. 10: 
Jawagal Srinath, whose last one-day appearance was in Sharjah earlier this year, is likely to make himself available for the five-match limited overs� series against Zimbabwe at home.

�I suppose, yes, I�ll be available,� Srinath told The Telegraph last evening. The series, from December 2-14, begins in Cuttack and will end in Rajkot.

Srinath, it may be recalled, wasn�t available for the May-June Asia Cup here, the mini-World Cup in Nairobi and the Sharjah tri-series. By his own admission, he would prefer focussing on Test cricket and playing the one-dayers selectively.    

Calcutta, Nov. 10: 
Ayan Nandy�s 113 helped Bengal reach 288 against Sikkim on the opening day of the under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy tie in Gangtok. According to information received here, Sikkim were 12 for one at close.

BRIEF SCORES: Bengal 288 (Amitava Chakraborty 33, Ayan Nandy 113, Arindam Das 46, Subhomoy Das 33). Sikkim 12/1.

Two changes in U-14

The selectors today made two changes in the under-14 squad for the November 14-16 tie against Bihar at ECDSC. Rana Das replaces Subhojyoti Basu while Joydeep Roy comes in for Suraj Gand.


Himadri Pal (captain), Arindam Ghosh, Rohan Banerjee, Samik Mukherjee, Adit Ostawal, Priyabrata Datta, Rana Das, Sarnendu Pal, Sk. Pearuddin, Abhishek Saha, Joydeep Roy, Prasenjit Roy, Ritam Porel, Abhishek Bhowmick.

Siliguri sub-jr meet

Sambaran Banerjee Cricket Academy beat Jalpaiguri�s S.P. Roy CCC by seven wickets in the semi-final of the Jagarani Sangha-organised sub-junior meet in Siliguri, according to information received here.    

New Delhi, Nov. 10: 
Mohun Bagan have always been synonymous with historic feats. They were the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield during the British Raj, way back in 1911.

The first National League of the new millennium was annexed by them. In the 20th century the Calcutta outfit annexed the Durand Cup, India�s oldest tournament, fifteen times, the maximum ever. Tomorrow if they overcome Mahindra United in the Allwyn Durand Cup final, they will make another bit of history. They will have won the first Durand Cup in the new millennium.

Overall it would be their 16th triumph in 25 entries into the final. Bagan last won the title in 1994, when they beat East Bengal 1-0, with Jo Paul Ancheri scoring. This is the first time that Bagan are playing a team from Mumbai, in the final. Both these teams clashed in the group 1 quarter final last week which ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Bagan has scored seven goals and conceded two goals so far. Mahindras, on the other hand, have scored nine goals and conceded three goals.

If Mohun Bagan annex the trophy, coach Subrata Bhattacharya will join the list of immortals who have won India�s oldest tournament both as player and coach. Subrata won the tournament seven times as a player, in 1974, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1985 and 1986 respectively. Bagan won the Durand also in 1984 but Subrata was away playing for India in the Asia Cup.

Others who have annexed the prestigious cup both as a coach and player are Arun Ghosh, Syed Nayeemuddin, Sukhwinder Singh and Shabbir Ali. However amongst this illustrious quartet none has won the Durand tournament as often as Subrata.

Since taking over as Bagan�s coach a year ago, Subrata has won four titles so far, the 1999 IFA Shield, the 1999-2000 National Football League, the recent Airlines Trophy and Governor�s Gold Cup in Sikkim. A win in the Durand will be Subrata�s fifth title in one year, a creditable record.

Mahindra United�s coach, Shabbir Ali is also on the threshold of history. If the Mumbai champions can lift the trophy, which will be their second, Shabbir will become the first coach ever to win back-to-back Durand titles with different clubs. In 1999, Shabbir coached Salgaocar (Goa) to their first-ever Durand title.

The outcome of the final will hinge on two factors. Mahindra miss two key defenders, international Tapan Ghosh and veteran left back Bernard Operanozie. It is to be seen how their back four copes with the speed and variety of Bagan�s attack, masterminded by the brilliant Brazilians, Joao Dos Santos and Jose Ramirez Barreto. The Mumbai league champions have conceded goals in the closing stages of the second half, against both East Bengal in the semi-finals and against Bagan in their league match.

It is to be seen how the over 30 years old Christopher, who won the Durand with Bagan in 1994, and Ramesh Rajak and Naushad Moosa in their late twenties cope with Bagan�s variety of attack.

It is also likely to be seen if Mahindra are restricted from scoring an early goal. In all the four matches they have played so far, they struck early, then absorbed pressure and used quick counter-attacks. Aqueel Ansari is their main playmaker and S. Venkatesh the midfield dynamo. Their attacking duo Manjit Singh, top scorer so far with five goals, and Abbas Ali Rizvi, are in good nick. Subrata said Bagan will not resort to man marking. He hopes that the creative flair and speed of his midfield trio Amouri, Basudeb Mondal and R.P. Singh will enable them dominate the match.

Bagan will make one change from the team of the previous match. Amitava Chanda comes in place of Dulal Biswas as right back. If Bagan�s back four can check Rizvi and Manjit from drifting into scoring positions early in the match, the Calcutta club can have the last laugh. The match will be shown live, on DD1 and DD Sports from 2.15 p.m.    

Calcutta, Nov. 10: 
Police emerged overall champions in the 55th national aquatic championships today garnering 245 points. Karnataka finished runners-up, eight points behind.

Local boy Akbar Ali Mir, of Railways (56 points), and Police�s Richa Mishra (88) were adjudged individual champions in swimming.

Akbar Ali had a haul of seven gold, three silver and two bronze medals while Richa finished with ten gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Richa has now bagged the individual title three times in a row.

Bengal men and women both finished fifth in swimming, totalling 22 and 36 points, respectively.

Bengal women clinched the waterpolo title edging out Maharashtra 5-4 in extra-time. Preeti Gupta and Pushpa Banik scored two points each for the winners.

On the concluding day of the championships at the Subhas Sarobar pool, Richa took the gold in 200m butterfly, covering the distance in 2:26.74. Karnataka�s Archana Bhushan (2:34.59) and Chitra K. (2:36.85) were second and third.

Richa, however, had to remain content with silver in the 100 freestyle. Karnataka�s Reshma Millet won the gold in 1:00.86.

Deepak Kumar sinks national mark

The final day saw a national record in the 200m men�s breaststroke. Police�s Deepak Kumar clocked 2:28.32, eclipsing the existing mark of 2:30.70 (set by Umesh Tokas in 1997). Karnatka�s Vinay B. also bettered the existing mark, clocking 2:29.64.

Services� T.A. Sujith, who emerged the fastest man of the meet earlier, once more upstaged Sebastian Xavier and Akbar Ali. in the 100 freestyle today. His winning time was 53.80.

Akbar Ali, the class XII student of Sukantanagar Vidyaniketan, wants to cut down on the number of events next time onwards. He participated in 11 this time, and felt it affected his overall performance.

According to Bengal Amateur Swimming Association secretary Ramanuj Mukhopadhyay, the Swimming Federation of India will recommend Akbar�s name to the central government for a Rs 5 lakh grant under the sports promotion scheme.

Four men from the state � Pradip Chowdhury, Dibyendu Das, Gautam Pal and Ramen Roy � have been selected in the Indian team for the Asian waterpolo championship in Tehran.


MEN � 200m butterfly: Amar Muralidharan (Pol, 2:10.77); Shreesh Reddy (Rlys, 2:11.74); Pankaj Das (Rlys, 2:12.47).

100m freestyle: T.A. Sujith (Ser, 53.80); Sebastian Xavier (Rlys, 54.58); Akbar Ali Mir (Rlys, 54.91).

200m breast stroke: Deepak Kumar (Pol, 2:28.32 NR); Vinay B. (Kar, 2:29.64); M. Premchand (Pol, 2:35.84).

Team champions: Police (139 pts)

Individual champion: Akbar Ali Mir (Rlys, 56 pts).

WOMEN � 200m butterfly: Richa Mishra (Pol, 2:26.74); Archana Bhushan (Kar, 2:34.59); Chitra K. (Kar, 2:36.85).

100m freestyle: Reshma Millet (Kar, 2:00.86); Richa Mishra (Pol, 1:02.95); Tejaswi Shetty (Mah, 1:03.70).

4x100m relay: Karnataka (Resha Millet, Ambica Iyengar, Shivanjani V., Chitra K., 4:53.99); Maharashtra (Shruti Reddy, Bhavna Sharma, Pooja Ghorepade, Tejaswi Shetty, 4:59.18); Kerala (V. Remya, Sumi Cyriac, M. Usha, S. Sumisha, 5:03.33).

Team champions: Karnataka (177 pts).

Individual champions Richa Mishra (Pol, 88 pts).

WATERPOLO: MEN � (Final) Rlys bt Services 8-7.

Best player: Binu Kumar (Rlys).

WOMEN � (Final) Bengal bt Maharashtra 5-4.

Best player: Biji Verghese (Ker).

DIVING: MEN � Team champions: Services (28 pts).

Best diver: Yogesh H. Watve (Ser, 14 pts).

WOMEN � Team champions: Railways (30 pts).

Best divers: Suparna Paul (Rlys, 16 ) & Mamoni Mondal (Ben, 16).    

Calcutta, Nov. 10: 
A record 700-plus entries have been received for the 15 events of the 36th Saturday Club floodlit tennis meet which gets underway Sunday.

One of the most popular dates in the city�s tennis calendar, the tournament will run till December 2 � culminating with the men�s open singles and doubles which begin November 27.

As per entries received so far, Saurav Panja will be the top draw in men�s singles. The organisers are expecting some more big names as the deadline (for men�s singles and doubles) is Nov. 23.    

Dhaka, Nov. 10: 

Dhaka, Nov. 10: The near-perfect touchdown by the paratrooper bearing the Bangladesh flag, ahead of the newest Test-playing nation�s 9.30 am date with history, at the National Stadium, set the trend for the day: That Bangladesh, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leading the cheering, would have much to be proud of.

In fact, there were moments when it appeared the Indians rather than Bangladesh, got carried away by the occasion. Forget ever having featured in a five-day game, the home team players are new to even regularly playing three-day matches.

Yet, by stumps on their first day of Test cricket, Naim-ur Rehman�s team had warmed the hearts of the 40,000-odd who made it a point to be part of history, in person, and millions outside the premier amphitheatre of these parts.

Two half-centuries, one packed with shots (by Habibul Bashar) and the other oozing discipline (from former captain Aminul Islam), two fifty-plus partnerships... And, more important, having survived all of 90 overs from a team with the collective experience of 233 Tests.

Even the most die-hard Bangladesh fans wouldn�t have expected such an encouraging start. Nor, frankly, would they have expected the Indians to offer so much width (and so consistently) when they did make the batsmen play.

In the afternoon, there was a stage when Bangladesh (after having opted to bat) were a solid 175 for three. That�s when Akram Khan, the 1997 ICC Trophy-winning captain, got out in soft manner, triggering a mild collapse. Had Akram kept cool, Bangladesh could have ended the day on absolute command.

As it turned out, taking guard afresh tomorrow will be Islam (70 not out, 295 minutes, 213 balls, 8x4) and Khaled Masud (unbeaten on three) and the Indians will need to quickly review strategy. The bowling, after all, again cut a sorry figure. That, too, against the minnows.

India forced on the defensive

So unimpressive were the bowlers, particularly midway in the afternoon when line and length were non-existent, that Sourav Ganguly slowed down the pace � the session between lunch and tea saw 26 overs, with only 12 being bowled in the fourth hour. It was a tribute to Bangladesh, even though the wicket was placid.

Actually, despite the presence of five specialist bowlers � in itself unusual where the Indians are concerned, Sourav had to fall back on Sachin Tendulkar as well. Worse, instead of pushing in more overs than the stipulated 90, within the scheduled hours of play, India went well beyond the regular (4.30 pm) close to meet that minimum requirement.

�Against a new team, which has strokemakers, idea should have been to keep things tight. That, in turn, would have frustrated Bangladesh�s batsmen... Instead, we allowed them to play their shots,� lamented coach Aunshuman Gaekwad.

Initially, specially, Jawagal Srinath and even Zaheer Khan hardly made the batsmen play which, in the circumstances, proved advantageous to the home team. �That allowed us to settle down,� acknowledged Bashar who, till the other day, wasn�t even in the original XIV.

It�s intriguing why Srinath didn�t dig a few in, early on, to try and set the agenda.

To return to Bashar, it�s largely pressure from the Media which made the selectors re-think and, today, the 28-year-old (credited with Bangladesh�s highest first-class score, 143 versus England A), proved how wrong the selectors initially were. For his part, though, Bashar refused to say he proved a point.

Nice attitude that.

Bashar�s vibrant 71 came in 115 minutes, off 112 deliveries with ten boundaries, most of whom were beautifully timed. He drove, pulled and square cut with panache and looked good to become the newest debutant-centurion till he miscued a pull off Zaheer, one of three Indian debutants.

Obviously, Bashar is disappointed at having missed out, but remarked the disappointment won�t linger if Bangladesh �get to 350�.

Bashar and Islam added 66 for the third-wicket and the momentum certainly wasn�t lost when his exit brought Akram to the middle. Bangladesh�s most experienced pair (taking ODIs as a yardstick), put on 65 with Islam again happy to drop anchor.

Akram, a cult figure here, loves playing his shots and the straightfield six (from the crease) off Sunil Joshi was worth going miles to see. Akram, however, has this knack of playing across and while that gets handsome dividends in one-dayers, such returns are far from guaranteed in Test cricket.

If only he had learnt from Islam�s approach � ideally suited to five-day action even if the terraces may not applaud every run. Islam, of course, opened out somewhat in the closing stages when it was apparent the bowlers were simply going through the motions.

Firsts for Zaheer, Saba

The first breakthrough, in the morning, was effected by Zaheer when he induced Mehrab Hossain to drive away from the body. Zaheer�s maiden wicket was also Syed Saba Karim�s first catch. Later, Saba Karim � handpicked by the captain � was very tardy. Clearly, he will need to raise his own game a notch or two.

Next out was Shahriar Hossain, beaten by the turn from Joshi. The next two wickets didn�t come easy, partly because the Indians themselves didn�t seem too keen to force the issue. To say one Anil Kumble was missed would be more than just an understatement.

After the dismissals of Bashar and Akram, Al-Shahriar Rokon (Bangladesh�s first first-class centurion, in New Zealand a few seasons ago) and Naim-ur are the ones who got out. Ajit Agarkar, who on the odd occasion looked threatening, got the former; Joshi, who should have done better, got the captain off pad-bat.

The beauty about Test cricket is that it allows individuals, and teams, to stage a comeback. India�s chance to make amends isn�t, thankfully, many hours away.    

Dhaka, Nov. 10: 
The National Stadium turf had a �new� look with two Coca-Cola strips on either side of the square. This, of course, in addition to the logo of the Test sponsors (Dutch-Bangla Bank) at both ends. Till late this evening, it couldn�t be confirmed whether the ICC has given one-off permission, or whether the Bangladesh Cricket Board has breached a general understanding. Coca-Cola are the sponsors of the Bangladesh team.    

Bangalore, Nov. 10: 
The 1,600m Linganamakki Cup, tomorrow�s main event for horses rated between 20 and 35, looks to be a very open affair. However, the three horses expected to fight for the top honour are Savage Heart, Placid Ark and Vision Of Gold.

Going by her last three runs, the demoted Savage Heart from trainer Z. Darashah�s yard gives the impression that she has regained her last winter�s form. Therefore, she gets the nod ahead of the other two in contention. Apprentice Md Shafiq guides the five-year-old mare by Metal Precieux out of Petite Image.


2.30 pm: Daiimio 1. Innerleithen 2. Forest Emperor 3.

3 pm: Classic Belle 1. Undoubted 2. Major Attraction 3.

3.30 pm: Mehvish 1. Narvar 2. Mum�s The Word 3.

4 pm: Savage Heart 1. Vision Of Gold 2. Placid Ark 3.

4.30 pm: Bold Chieftan 1. Thanks A Lot 2. Femme Fatale 3.

5 pm: Rusticana 1. Radcliff 2. Catch Word 3.

Day�s Best: Bold Chieftan

Double: Classic Belle & Mehvish    

Calcutta, Nov. 10: 
Endless Surprise, Eau Savage, Added Asset, Heaven�s Blessing, Abstract and Cool Tempo were impressive from among the following horses worked today.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Master Bold (C. Alford) and Alsheim (Surender) in 1-46s; (400m) 30 1/5. Former a length better. Actress (C. Alford) in 1-48s; (400m) 33s; Easy.

800m: 2yo Cool Tempo (Amil) and 2yo Emerald Orb (C. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Former far better. 2yo Anbo (A. P. Singh) and 2yo Thanksgiving (Surender) in 57s; (400m) 29s; Both level. 2yo Tamarisca (Surender) and 2yo Sanzzeenee (Amil) in 58s; (400m) 28 4/5s. Former better. 2yo Pass The Secret (A. P. Singh) and 2yo Amber Kris (C. Alford) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Former better. 2yo Pot Of Gold (Surender), 2yo Pretty Eyes (C. Alford), 2yo Alouette (A. P. Singh) and 2yo Promising (Amil) in 58s; (400m) 29 1/5s. They finished in the order named. Added Asset (Upadhya) in 56 4/5s; (400m) 30 2/5s. Fit. Falconaire (Rutherford) and Sapphire And Silk (P. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Former a length better. Illustrious Reign (A. Imran) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Coming up. Abstract (Brij) in 56s; (400m) 27. Good. Endless Surprise (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Good.

Sand track

800m: 2yo Bounce (Rb), 2yo Born To Dance (Rb) and 2yo Ann Arbour (K. Kumar) in 53s; (400m) 26s. They finished in a close order. Eau Savage (Shanker) and Diplomatic Gesture (G. Singh) in 52s; (400m) 26s. Former far better. Heaven�s Blessing (Shanker) and Golden Heart (Haroon) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Both level. Tequila Shot (Shanker) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Lovely Lucy (M. Reuben) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Blessed Spirit (Som S.) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Soldier�s Dream (Rb) in 59s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Ace Of Spades (K. Kumar) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Fit.

600m: Armila (Locke) in 41s; (400m) 26 2/5s.    


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