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And what emerged from the city-based duo�s t�te-�-t�te with mediamen was an interesting �revelation�: even if the Glenn McGrath delivery had been called no-ball, the Indian skipper would still have been been headed for the pavilion � run out.
Porel and Gomes have been in the eye of a storm ever since ruling Sourav out caught by Ricky Ponting off a McGrath bouncer which should have been called a no-ball. But it was, after all, a mistake which can happen to any human being. Why did they have to explain it to the media?
�It�s a very awkward situation... Everyone�s criticising us, articles are being published in the media, some people even came to my house to beat me up. We had to clear the air,� said Porel, who was at square-leg when the incident happened.
The former Bengal medium-pacer did realise, after watching the action later on television, that the McGrath delivery �was indeed a no-ball�. Tradition has it that such a call should be made by the square-leg umpire. The India skipper even looked that way, at Porel. But the man in question explained it was not his call that day.
�There�s no such rule the square-leg umpire will make that call. In fact, Francis (Gomes) and I had decided before the match that the umpire at the bowling end will rule the height-related no-balls and had conveyed this to Match Referee Cammie Smith as well,� Porel revealed, in a way absolving himself of the fault.
�Even if Francis had called a no-ball, Sourav would have been run out. Ponting hit the stumps immediately after completing the catch and Sourav was well out of his crease then,� Porel added.
His partner didn�t quite like the blame to have been thrust all on himself. �Yes, we had agreed the bowling-end umpire would make those no-ball calls, but I expected him (Porel) to make a signal at least,� Gomes defended. �There was no signal and I also couldn�t judge the height of the ball properly, so I didn�t call no-ball.�
The two had come to �clear the air.� Unfortunately, they only managed to add a new dimension to the �controversy�.
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It was CC&FC who struck first at the East Bengal ground, Samser Singh converting their second penalty corner in the 31st minute.
The visitors� joy lasted precisely three minutes as the goal-hungry Topno got into the act. It came off a penalty corner. The CC&FC defence failed to thwart an indirect attempt only to see the powerful full-back slam the ball home.
East Bengal went for broke in the second half and forced three short corners. The second one brought in the matchwinner. The CC&FC defence was again slow to react but would have still escaped, had not Topno reverse-flicked the ball with deadly accuracy.
In group B action, Subhashish Sarkar struck all four goals for Jagrihi. The team to suffer was Baranagore, who pulled just one back through Amit Sen.
Punjab SC beat Police AC 1-0 in another group B tie. Henry Ekka did the damage.
Malleswari CSJC�s best
Olympic bronze-medallist Karnam Malleswari has been adjudged Calcutta Sports Journalists Club�s (CSJC�s) Sportsperson of the Year. World age-group chess champion Deep Sengupta is the best junior sportsperson. All England champion Pullela Gopichand has been chosen for a special award. The trio, along with the best players of the state in different disciplines, will be felicitated on April 25 at the Ashutosh Hall.
BEST IN STATE
Football: Basudeb Mondal. Table tennis: Saurav Chakraborty. Swimming: Akbar Ali Mir. Athletics: Tarit Singha Roy (men), Soma Biswas (women). Volleyball: Sariful Haque. Basketball: P.N. Shanta Rao. Tennis: Ragini Vimal. Chess: Sandipan Chanda. Boxing: Ali Qamar. Waterpolo: Gautam Pal.Scholarships: Pradip Das (ahtletics); Pinky Das (volley); Manoj Shaw (hockey); Tapashi Haldar (kho-kho); Parab Das (swimming).
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At the Taltala ground, East Bengal scored at almost eight an over to pile up 325 for six in their A.N. Ghosh Trophy match. Veterans Srikant Kalyani and Gautam Shome got sixties. Tollygunge Agragami managed just 182.
BRIEF SCORES: East Bengal 325/6 (S. Kalyani 66, Gautam Shome 62). Tollygunge Agragami 182 (Jayanta Ghosh Dastidar 58; Shib Sagar Singh 2/18, Narendra Singh 2/21, Sumit Panda 2/32, Rohan Gavaskar 2/52). East Bengal won by 143 runs.
Arindam 206 n.o.Bengal under-19 player Arindam Das smashed an unbeaten 206 to guide Wari to 445 for nine on Day I of their J.C. Mukherjee Trophy quarter final tie against Shyambazar today. Arindam�s knock was studded with 25 boundaries and half-a-dozen sixes.
Kalighat also rattled up a 400-plus score in their quarter final clash with Eastern Railway, thanks to Safi Ahmed (113), Manoj Roy (87) and Sanjib Sanyal (71).
SUMMARISED SCORESWari 445/9 (Arindam Das 206 not out, Probal Dutta 51, Saikat Mukherjee 50) vs Shyambazar. Kalighat 412/7 (Safi Ahmed 113, Manoj Roy 87, Sanjib Sanyal 71, Humza Firozie 44; Manoj Srivastav 2/53) vs Eastern Railway.
Bengal in semisBengal beat Uttar Pradesh by 17 runs today to enter the semi-finals of the Indira Priyadarshini Champions Trophy meet. The hosts will face Air India who beat Mumbai by seven wickets today.
Andhra Pradesh made the last four after edging past Jharkhand by a single run. Andhra next come up against Railways.
SUMMARISED SCORESBengal 162/3 (Chandrabati Pal 76 not out, Bobby Datta 50). Uttar Pradesh 145/7 (Reena Singh 61 not out; Seema Bhowmick 2/23). Bengal won by 17 runs.
Andhra Pradesh 178 (Kusumlatha 52; Shabana Adil 2/23, Shamima Parveen 2/28). Jharkhand 177 (Monica Sumra 45, Asha Kumari 32; Monica Prithi 2/24). Andhra won by 1 run.
Mumbai 105 (Sonali Chandok 31; Jhulan Goswami 3/23, Mamta Kishan 2/13, Vidya Gopal 2/20). Air India 106/3 (Anjum Chopra 41 n.o.; Sumitra Paranjpe 2/11). Air India won by 7 wkts.
State chessBaisakhi Das and Paramita Ghosh won their respective third-round matches to be joint leaders in the state women�s chess meet.
In the junior boys� event, there is a five-way lead with Saptarshi Roy, Pradip Ghosh, Kumardip Chakraborty, Suman Basu and Punit Jaiswal having all garnered maximum points (3 each).
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The quarter finals and semi finals of the team events are slated for Monday and the finals on Tuesday.
Coaches Manjit Dua and Sunil Babras are concerned about the schedule of matches. They feel India have a tough draw Sunday.
With two teams from each group progressing to the quarters, India and England are favoured to qualify from Group D among women. Indian men are wary of New Zealand who hav some unknown expatriate Chinese players in their squad.
In the men�s team event, Dua feels England, Singapore and Nigeria are favourites for the title. Nigeria, who did not take part in the last meet, are seeded third on the aggregate points of its first three players. However their doubles combination of Segun Toriola and Nosiru Kazeem is formidable. They beat India�s ace pair of Chetan Baboor and S. Raman at the Sydney Olympics.
In the women�s team event, holders Singapore are overwhelming favourites. Their top four players Jing Jun Hong, Li Ja Wei, Zhang Xue Ling and Tan Paey Fern are ranked 13, 23, 52 and 86, respectively. New Zealand could be the dark horses with two Chinese players Li Chunli ranked 42 and Li Karen ranked 111.
India�s coaches feel that a semi final spot in both men and women�s team competition will be a creditable feat.
Meanwhile TTFI secretary Mool Chand Chowhan said that govwernment clearance has been obtained for the participation of Pakistan. The Pakistan men and women�s team are scheduled to arrive by bus from Lahore tomorrow.
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Season toppersThe following are the top three in their respective fields after the Calcutta winter racing season 2000-2001 concluded on Thursday: