EB jump into lead
Spectator �alert� from CAB
Fica to work on India formula
Vijay keeps lead
Irina Brar claims title
Chanda, Prakash for Dhaka meet
Calcutta Races/ Colonial shocks younger rivals
Mumbai Races/ Top Mover for Eclipse Stakes
Bangalore Races/ Antequera wins

Calcutta, Feb. 17: 

East Bengal leapfrogged to the top of the National Football League table. And Mohun Bagan did everything apart from scoring even after creating several chances to suffer a 0-1 defeat against their biggest rivals at Salt Lake Stadium today.

East Bengal are now on top of the table with 16 points from seven games. Mohun Bagan have 14, also from seven outings.

The all-important goal came in the 47th minute when Omolaja Olalekan scored after a blunder from Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Kalyan Chowbey left him with no other option.

It happened at the very beginning of the second half. A Dipankar Roy lob from the deep, on the way deflected first by Dipendu Biswas and then by Mohun Bagan�s M. Suresh, fell into Omolaja�s way.

The goalkeeper came out of his line to collect the ball with sufficient help from defender Amouri da Silva, who shielded it from Omolaja till he was sure that the goalkeeper had things under control. Even Chowbey seemed to be sure of himself and yet let it slip out of his grip. The Nigerian, as if embarrassed by Chowbey�s error, shyly tapped the ball in with his right foot.

Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya made a few unexpected changes in his team. Unfortunately, none of them worked. The decision to play Chowbey, with Bivas Ghosh and Rajat Ghosh Dastidar available, was baffling. This move proved to be fatal and Chowbey, who last played against Tollygunge Agragami on December 18, did not rise to the occasion.

The coach at the end of the match justified his decision. �I chose him because his outings are good,� he reasoned. It�s a different matter altogether, that Chowbey�s �outing� proved to be his and his team�s downfall.

Bagan also started with Amitava Chanda playing as right-back. Chanda, not really a regular in the team, could not get into the rhythm of the game and had to be replaced by James Singh as early as in the 24th minute. Dulal Biswas, starting in midfield, fell back. The tactical decision taken by Subrata to start with two defensive midfielders, when Bagan�s strength is their attacking midfield could not be however justified. Basudeb Mondal�s presence from the beginning may have made a difference.

The first half was a sedate affair, with both sides creating few chances. In the 17th minute, East Bengal�s Ghanaian recruit Suley Musah took the first shot of the match. A stinging right-footer had Chowbey stretch for probably the only vital save he made today.

Mohun Bagan�s defence was also not totally in control of the game. In the 33rd minute, Dipendu and Dipankar were left unmarked in front of the opponent�s citadel. But fortunately for Mohun Bagan, the East Bengal marksmen could not take advantage.

Chances galore

After scoring the goal, East Bengal completely lost their composure for sometime and Mohun Bagan made repeated attacks, but only till the goalmouth. In the 51st minute, two consecutive shots from well inside the penalty box, first by James and then by Dulal Biswas, were both hit at goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee.

Again in the 59th, a header from Jose Ramirez Barreto found James in front with only the goalkeeper to beat. But before James could take his shot properly, Sangram came charging and the ball went wide of the target. James should have scored from the position he was in but then the miss summarised Mohun Bagan�s inability to convert their chances today.

Barreto, who was not very effective in the first half, was in his elements in the second. However, there was never adequate support from his teammates. Mohun Bagan did put the ball into the net in the 78th minute but only after the whistle had been blown for an infringement on the goalkeeper by Barreto.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Ratan Singh; Carlton Chapman (Sur Kumar Singh, 37th), Anit Ghosh (Ranjan Dey, 79th), Chandan Das; Dipankar Roy, Dipendu Biswas (Bijen Singh, 60th), Omolaja Olalekan.

MOHUN BAGAN: Kalyan Chowbey; Amitava Chanda (James Singh 24th, Amar Ganguly, 62nd), Amouri Da Silva, M. Suresh, Lolendra Singh; Dulal Biswas, R.P. Singh, Debjit Ghosh, Rennedy Singh (Basudeb Mondal, 52nd); Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash.

Referee: S.M. Balu.


Calcutta, Feb 17: 
The ICC is sure to punish the staging centre if there is recurrence of violence at the Eden Gardens, warned former ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya today.

Dalmiya, also the president of CAB, which hosts the March 11-15 second Test against the Aussies, was speaking in the light of crowd disturbances at the Eden at a 1996 World Cup match and then during the Pakistan Test exactly two years ago.

While the World Cup semi-final was abandoned, and awarded to Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Test was completed before empty terraces. Dalmiya informed he had already had a meeting with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on enforcing discipline.


Calcutta, Feb. 17: 
It wasn�t intentional, but the International Cricket Council (ICC) brass� interaction with the Test captains, in Melbourne Monday, took longer than expected and �hit� the Federation of International Cricketers� Association (Fica).

Fica, the first-ever cricketers� body worldwide, had an unannounced launch not many months ago. Barry Richards is president and Courtney Walsh vice-president.

As was reported in these columns, the ICC had allowed Fica joint chief executive Tim May to make a �presentation� at the captains� summit, where eight (of the ten) Test-playing nations were represented.

However, according to Richards, the �extended� ICC-captains� meeting meant that Pakistan�s Moin Khan and New Zealand�s Stephen Fleming had to straightaway leave for the airport (a good 45-50 minute drive from the city centre) for their flight to Auckland.

[The New Zealand-Pakistan series got underway there today.]

Then, thanks to the delay, a couple of the other captains had commitments which couldn�t be put off. Also, Naimur Rahman slipped out unnoticed. Eventually, May only spoke to Steve Waugh, Sanath Jayasuriya and Heath Streak.

India�s Sourav Ganguly and Nasser Hussain didn�t attend the summit, edition No. 1 of which was held here on the eve of the 1996 World Cup. While Sourav was tied down in Chennai, Hussain preferred to acclimatise himself in Sri Lanka.

Speaking to The Telegraph from Perth, Richards said: �May�s own interaction went off very well and the captains informed him of some of their concerns placed before the ICC. Players� security is certainly one and Fica will lend all the support it can.�

Richards revealed �some players� are apprehensive about the declaration-of-honesty introduced by many of the Boards and remarked Fica was in sympathy with the players� feelings.

He put it thus: �The point is: Who all will have access to the declarations? The declarations should remain confidential, but will they?�

Fica, though, can only play a larger role once it gets formal ICC recognition. For that, Fica must first have representatives from all Test-playing nations.

While Pakistan and Sri Lanka, according to Richards, have nominated their representatives (Majid Khan and Duleep Mendis, respectively), there is nobody from India though a couple of �senior players� have been personally briefed by the Fica president.

As the Establishment in India is bound to be wary (going by experience) of any players� body, Fica will �work out a formula� whereby there�s agreement between the Board and the players on who should represent India.

�This may take some time, but we aren�t in a desperate hurry. After all, Fica isn�t for confrontation,� Richards pointed out.

Before that, however, Fica will be looking to bolster finances. �Ideally, we intend meeting thrice a year, where representatives of each Test-playing nation can place their views. That, of course, won�t be possible right now,� Richards conceded.

The Fica president confirmed that Richard Bevan, commercial manager of the England-specific Professional Cricketers� Association is on Fica�s four-member executive body. The others are Richards himself, May and the other joint chief executive � David Graveney.

It�s been a low-key start for Fica but, in time to come, it won�t be a body that can be ignored.


Patna, Feb. 17: 
Vijay Kumar maintained a five-stroke margin on the top of the leaderboard as he shot a two under 68 to take his lead to 11 under on Day III of the inaugural Pro Golf 2001 East India Open at the Patna Golf Club today.

Rafiq Ali today carded in a stunning round of seven under 63. Rafiq is in second position with six-under 201 where he was joined by Mukesh Kumar, who shot a two-under 68, and Shiv Prakash.

Two strokes behind at third position with a four-under 206 are Feroz Ali and Rohtas Singh while local pro Raju Ali is in fourth spot.


Calcutta, Feb. 17: 
Irina Brar of Chandigarh won the title at the 84th all-India ladies amateur golf championship at the RCGC today. Having cornered the coveted Billoo Sethi Trophy earlier in the week, and some more of the silver, she thus stamped her class on the meet.


Convenor�s Prize: Manabi Halwasiya. Mahtab�s Prize: Guneet Reikhy. Eileen Mandal Trophy: Winner: T. Nakano Baba. Runner: Sunita Goenka. Mahindra Trophy: Winners: Tollygunge Club (Sunit Goenka & Lidia Posch). Runners: Delhi (S. Khanna & A. Laipo). P.A. Robinson Trophy silver zonal: Winners: East Zone (R. Punwani & Manabi Halwasiya). Leslie Sawney inter-zonal salver: Winners: North Zone (Irina Brar & Parnita Garewal). A.V.M. Trophy: Winner: R. Punwani. Runner: Manabi Halwasiya. D.T. Salver Trophy: Winner: Divya Kapoor. Runner: S. Vakharia. London Pilsner Trophy (50-plus): Winner (gross): R. Philip. Winner (nett): S.C. Mahtab. VST Juniors (20 and below): Winner (gross): Irina Brar. Runner: Guneet Reikhy. Winner (nett): Divya Kapoor. Ujwal Trophy: Winner: Irina Brar. Anjani Desai Challenge Salver (for best gross of any one day): Parnita Garewal. Billoo Sethi Challenge Trophy: Winner: Irina Brar. Runner: Parnita Garewal. Third: Vandana Agarwal. Fourth: A. Chopra. D.T. Challenge Salver: Winner: S.K. Mehra. Runner: T. Tsuruta. Semi-finalists: S.N. Jaidka & M. Mohty. Vikramaditya Trophy: Winner: T. Nakano Baba. Runner: C. Sanyal. Semi-finalists: K. Ajmera & G.S. Bindra. All-India championship: Winner: Irina Brar. Runner: Priyanaka Dey. Third: Parnita Garewal. Fourth: Guneet Raikhy.

BHA League

BSF (North Bengal) thrashed Calcutta Parsee 5-1 in a first division (group B) match of the BHA league today. S. Horo scored a brace while E. Lakra, N. Murum and M. Khandolna got one each. Raymond Jeejeebhoy scored the lone consolation goal for the losers.

In another match, Belgachia United and Muslim Institute played out a 1-1 draw. Amal Das scored for Belgachia and Nitish Barman for their opponents.

The second division matches scheduled for today at the Mohammedan Sporting ground were cancelled as there were no goalposts.


Calcutta, Feb. 17: 
City IM Sandipan Chanda will take part in a 13-round closed tournament in Dhaka beginning Monday. G.B. Prakash is the other Indian in the fray.

Chanda, who earned his second GM norm in the Goodricke International Open here, gets a good chance to collect his final norm. It has been learnt that the Dhaka meet will be a Category 10 event with an average Elo rating of 2476.

Prakash, after completing his third GM norm in the Goodricke meet, will get a chance to push his rating beyond the 2500 mark which he needs to seal the GM title.

Estonian GM Jan Ehlvest is the top player in Dhaka alongside GMs Niyaz Murshed (Bangladesh), Alexander Volzhin (Russia), Igor Rausis and Miezis Normunds (both Latvia).

Nisha draws

In Palakkad, Kerala, Bengal�s Nisha Mohota drew her match against Swati Mohota in the second round of the national women�s B chess today, reports UNI. Top seed Swathi Ghate won her respective match, as did 10 others, to lead the table with two points each.


Calcutta, Feb. 17: 
Overcoming his weight disadvantage, the Asfand-trained six-year-old gelding, Colonial, handed weight and beating to his younger rivals in the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Cup over a gruelling trip of 2,800m. Robert Gowli was seen at his enterprising best on the winner, and in the historical race -event sponsored by Eveready Industry.

On a day upsets the trainer-jockey duo reeled off four winner at lucrative odds. As a result of this, the jackpot pool was carried over.


1. Veritas Handicap 1,400m: (3-5-4-2) Blessed Spirit (A. Imran) 1; Crest Star (Yasin) 2; Heaven�s Blessing (G. singh) 3; Global Harmony (Gowli) 4. Won by: 1; 2-3/4; 3/4; (1-27.2). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 14; 16; Quinella: 45; Tanala: 422. Fav: Global Harmony (2). Winner trained by Daniel D.

2. Necessity Handciap 1,100m: (5-6-1-3) Pneumatic Power (A. Imran) 1; Tsaynen Blue (Gowli) 2; Finders Keepers (Islam) 3; Stella Blue (Gajender) 4. Won by: 3/4; 6-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-6.6). Tote: Win Rs 199; Place: 35; 12; 16; Quinella: 115; Tanala: 1,264. Fav: Tsaynen Blue (6). winner trained by Daniel D.

3. Cros Cup 1,400m: (2-4-1-3) Accrete (Kader) 1; Anokato (Som S.) 2; Andrada (Surender) 3; Alamito (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 8-1/2; 1; 3/4; (1-25.5). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 38; 20; Quinella: 152; Tanala: 721. Fav: Accrete (2). Winner trained by Mujeeb R.

4. Elusive Pimpernel Cup 1,400m: (3-8-5-6) Stately Don (A. Imran) 1; Clarice Cliff (Rabani) 2; Alyssum (Kader) 3; Highland Flame (C. Alford) 4. Won by: SH; Nk; 5-3/4; (1-25.4). Tote: Win Rs 115; Place: 26; 17; 13; QuinellaL: 341;Tanala: 1,959. Fav: Alyssum (5). Winner trained by Daniel D.

5. Queen elizabeth II Cup 2,800m: (1-4-5-3) Colonial (Gowli) 1; Andreyev (Kader) 2; Surfside (M. Reuben) 3; Alvarada (C. Alford) 4. Won by: 3/4; 2-1/4; 1-1/4; (3-2.4). Tote: Win Rs 189; Place: 52; 13; Quinella: 112; Tanala: 1,200. Fav: Andreyev (4). Winner trained by Asfand.

6. Hyderabad Race Club Cup 1,400m: (11-3-2-5) Mr. Bombshell (A. Imran) 1; Soviet Port (Rabani) 2; Charlene (M. Reuben) 3; Andestine (C. Alford) 4. Won by: Nk; SH; 1-3/4; (1-27.3). Tote: Win Rs 181; Place: 38; 15; 53; Quinella: 261; Tanala: 13,234. Fav: Andestine (5). Winner trained by Daniel D.

7. Gudarz Handicap 1,400m: (13-3-8-2) The Stud (Gowli) 1; Black Mane (Kujur) 2; Aflicker (M. Reuben) 3; Appeaer (C. Alford) 4. Not run: Russian Czar (9) & Stately Honour (11). Won by: 2; 1-1/4; 1-1/2; (1-26.4). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 15; 36; 25; Quinella: 242; Tanala: 2,411. Fav: The Stud (13). Winner trained by Javed K.

Jackpot: Rs 4,90,318 (Carried over); (C) Rs 1,26,082.

Treble: (i) Rs 5,331; (ii) Rs 39,175.


Mumbai, Feb. 17: 
A close fourth in his last start the Imtiaz Sait-trained five-year-old Top Mover is expected to win the 2,000m Nanoli Stud Eclipse Stakes of India in Mumbai on Sunday. C. Rajednra partners the Topanoora-Sweet Mover son.


2.30 pm: Romanza 1. Witchcraft 2. Blades Of Fury 3

3 pm: Magic Arrow 1. Fluency 2. Criollo 3.

3.30 pm: Auditor 1. Campanero 2. Thunderlite 3.

4 pm: Meringue 1. Oh So Qauick 2. Maltese Falcon 3.

4.30 pm: Royal Secret 1. Arctic Girl 2. History 3.

5 pm: Top Mover 1. Mount Rose 2. Star Fortune 3.

5.30 pm: Runaway Queen 1. Bonjour Tristesse 2. Knoxville 3.

6 pm: Pecan Pie 1. Winning Warrior 2. amber Eyes 3.

Day�s Best: Runaway Quee

Double: Meringue & Pecan Pie


Bangalore, Feb. 17: 
Ridden by Pesi Shroff, the Darius Byramji-trained three-year-old colt Antequera had an easy measure of Pettalumma in the A. V. Thomas Trophy, at the Bangalore races on Saturday.


1. Mudabidri Plate, Div-II 1,600m: (6-1-4) Lake Baikal (Shafiq) 1; Young Lust 2; Solo Spirit 3. Won by: SH; 1-3/4; (1-44.2). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 16; 22; 22; Forecast: 133; Quinella: 56; Tanala: 269 & 149. Fav: Lake Baika (6).

2. Glass House Cup 1,100m: (1-10-5) Magic Stride (Hughes) 1; Fiesba 2; Angie 3. Not run: Tal (4). Won by: 5-1/12; 3-1/4; 91-8.8). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 12; 61; 21; Forecast: 499; Quienlla: 423; Tanala: 8,171 & 579. Fav: Magic Stride (1).

3. Mudabidri Plate, Div-I 1,600m: (5-7-8) St. Chris (C. Krishnan) 1; Dusty Street 2; Dictate 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1/2; (1-43.7). Tote: Win Rs 81; Place: 23; 22; 27; Forecast: 555; Quinella: 186; Tanala: 3,361 & 2,880. Fav: Classic Liason (2).

4. Vibrant Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (2-8-1) Royal Crichton (Md Shafiq) 1; Gracious Rohit 2; Chippo 3. Won by: 4; 1/2; (1-16.6). Tote: Win Rs 84; Place: 29; 35; 68; Forecast: 1,312; Quienlla: 722; Tanala: 20,974 & 5,993. Fav: Winning Charm (8).

5. A. V. Thomas Trophy 1,400m: (2-7-3) Antequera (Shroff) 1; Pettalumma 2; Star Beauty 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 1-3/4; (1-27.8). Tote: Win Rs 29; Place: 16; 19; Forecast: 58; Quinella: 34; Tanala: 68 & 19. Fav: Antequera (2).

6. Kentucky Plate 1,600m: (6-10-11) Kingston Heath (Marshall) 1; Always Dancing 2; Alassio 3. Won by: Hd; 2-3/4; (1-40.1). Tote: Win Rs 135; Place: 37; 40; 54; Forecast: 1,541; Quinella: 815; Tanala: 8,699 & 7.456. Fav: Soviet Dance (9).

7. Nagarahole Cup 1,200m: (4-7-2) Sensational News (Shobhan) 1; Alylady 2; Acute 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 2; (1-14.5). Tote: Win Rs 70; Place: 28; 14; Forecast: 107; Quinella: 34; Tanala: 190 & 94. Fav: Alylady (7).

8. Vibrant Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (6-7-1) Scandal Sheet (Harish) 1; Beauty Castle 2; Pharoah 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 1/2; (1-16.7. Tote: Win Rs 57; Place: 23; 18; 30; Forecast: 436; Quinella: 127; Tanala: 1,083 & 428. Fav; Royal Birkdale (5).

Jackpot: Rs 91,080; (C) Rs 7,229.

Mini jackpot: Rs 4,693.


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