Baboor 2nd-best
Barreto brace keeps Bagan in the race
Court stops process
EB restrict CPT
Howrah Union rally to draw
Paes-Bhupathi in semis
Mumbai Racing/ Columbus may be hard to toss

New Delhi, April 20: 
India�s jinx in the men singles final of the Commonwealth table tennis championships continued with Chetan Baboor becoming the third Indian, after Mir Kasim Ali in 1971 and Kamlesh Mehta in 1991 to lose a closely contested final.

In the decisive fifth game, Baboor led 12-8 and 16-13 but squandered a game point when his forehand went out. The game was extended and the lead fluctuated seven times before England�s Mathew Syed won 21-7, 21-16, 11-21, 21-23, 27-25.

For Baboor, it was once again a case of so near and yet so far, as he lost his third final in the championships in 69 minutes. Earlier, Baboor clashed for the title unsuccessfully in the men�s team event and the men�s doubles. Thus India staging the meet for the third time, finished without a title.

Singapore won all the titles in the women�s section, with top seed Li Jia Wei having bagged a triple crown in individual events. Today she retained her women singles title beating yet another Chinese expatriate, second seed Li Chunli of New Zealand in four closely contested games.

In the men�s section, Nigeria won the team event. England bagged the men singles and doubles title.

Syed, the 30 year journalist-politician and an avid fan of England cricketer Graeme Hick, won his third successive Commonwealth singles title. He has thus emulated the feat of his countryman Trevor Taylor who annexed the singles title thrice in a row in 1971, 1973 and 1975.

The multifaceted champion, a graduate from Oxford, later admitted that he did not expect Baboor to bounce back so dramatically.

A distraught Baboor said: �Lapses in concentration and insufficient rest after the semi- final led to my loss.� Baboor�s semi-final clash with the Nigerian Teriola lasted nearly two hours, whilst Syed won his semi- final tie in less than thirty minutes.

In the opening game, Baboor lost five points on his service twice and could not cope with Syed�s deep chops and clever top spin. Syed led 8-2, and 16-4 to win the game in just nine minutes. Baboor started the second game disastrously, again losing all five points on service. However he rallied to 16-19 but lost 16-21.

The Indian No. 1 changed strategy from the third game onwards. He played drop shots and then struck deep forehand drives forcing Syed away from the table. The ploy clicked as Baboor led throughout in both the third and fourth games. But that was not enough for the Indian as Syed, ranked 52nd in the world kept his cool in the extended points and won the crown.


Men Singles: Final� Mathew Syed (Eng.) bt.Chetan Baboor (Ind) 21-7, 21-16, 11-21, 21-23, 27-25.

Semi-finals � Mathew Syed bt. Herbert Gareth (Eng.) 21-12, 21-18, 21-10; Chetan Baboor bt. Toriola Segun (Nig) 21-7, 19-21, 21-15, 13-21, 21-16.

Women Singles: Final �: Li Jia Wei (Sin) bt. Li Chunli (NZ) 23-21, 18-21,21-16, 21-19.

Semi-finals � Li Jia Wei (Sin) bt. Yao Ling Jing (Mal) 21-11, 21-13, 21-11; Li Chun Li (NZ) bt. Zhang Xue Ling (Sin) 21-8, 23-21, 19-21, 22-24, 21-19.

Mixed Doubles: Final � Duan Yong Jun and Li Jia Wei (Sin) bt. Cai Xiao Li and Zhang Xue Ling (Sin) 17-21, 23-21, 21-13.


Calcutta, April 20: 
Bagan 2 Salgaocar 1

Mohun Bagan are back in business, yet again. At the Salt Lake Stadium they broke the Salgaocar jinx and convincingly beat the Goan team 2-1.

The National League champions are now just a point behind leaders East Bengal (39 points off 20 matches, against 40 from the same number of matches), and wait for East Bengal�s crucial match versus FC Kochin Tuesday.

Jose Ramirez Barreto scored both goals for the winners, taking his personal tally to 14, keeping him atop the scorers� list. The Salgaocar reply was off an arguable penalty, converted by Climax Lawrence.

This was Mohun Bagan�s last match in the city this season. They play the last two matches of the league in Goa (versus Vasco) and in Bangalore (versus ITI).

Salgaocar are in fifth spot, with 26 points from 20 matches.

Mohun Bagan were into the lead from the start, the main push coming via the half-line which was mobile today with the return of Basudeb Mondal. Salgaocar�s strategy of short passes suited their slow play, not the occasion where a win was a must. Their defence never could group into anything cohesive.

In the fifth minute, off a mele on the top of the box, Mohun Bagan�s on-lien man (from Mohammedan Sporting) Abdul Khalique centred to the goalmouth from the right. Barreto collected, and as goalkeeper Juje Siddi charged out, lobbed in over him. There was some confusion on whether Barreto was off-side, but referee S. Suresh of Tamil Nadu, disregarded this.

A counter-attack immediately after showed how slow the Goan stars have become. Former national skipper Bruno Coutinho waddled to a perfect heading situation in the box, and was too late.

Barreto ran amok, sort of. In the 18th minute he was up the left and centred to the goalmouth. Debjit Ghosh had moved up, and had cut through the thin defence. He rushed to shoot an offer he could have take more time with. In the process, he handed it to Siddi.

The pace of the game was pathetic. Salgaocar, especially, looked a veterans� team. In the Bagan attack line, the elusive combination between Alfaz Ahmed and Barreto stayed that way. Hence much energy input from the half-line was wasted.

In the 38th minute the Goans got a couple of chances. In the first, a 25-yard Denis Cabral grounder was saved by Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Bivash Ghosh who squatted quickly, and in the second Bivas saved a weak rising shot from Bruno.

A minute to the break, Alfaz made a hash of a Barreto offering at the goalmouth. The Bangladeshi shot out from where it is difficult to.

In the ninth minute of the second half, James Singh reached the top of the box and passed to Khalique when challenged. Khalique sent a high lob to the goalmouth from where Barreto rose to send a fine header in.

Four minutes later, off a counter-attack that landed in the Mohun Bagan box, Dulal Biswas tried to take the ball off Denis Cabral who was going to trap a centre. Cabral fell, and referee Suresh, whose supervision left much to be desired today, pointed to the penalty spot. The push was unintentional, but the referee insisted and Climax converted easily.

Mohun Bagan could have gone ahead further but for more misses � another from Alfaz and a Khalique shot coming off the upright.


MOHUN BAGAN: Bivash Ghosh, Dulal Biswas, Amouri, Hussein Mustafi, Lolendra Singh, Abdul Khalique, Basudeb Mondal, Debjit Ghosh, James Singh, Jose Ramirez Barreto, Alfaz Ahmed (Jayanta Sen, 84).

SALGAOCAR: Juje Siddi, Augustine Rodrigues, Francis Coelho, Franky Barreto, Roque Pereira, Denis Cabral, Climax Lawrence (Domingos Vaz, 79), Christian Okoye, Dharamjit Singh, Bruno Coutinho (Adil Ansari, 84), Alex Ambross.

Referee: S Suresh.

Tolly meet JCT

JCT, facing relegation from the National League proper, meet Tollygunge Agragami tomorrow. Without their coach Sukhwinder Singh, now training the Indian side for the pre-World Cup matches, in Bangalore, the team from Phagwara, will find it difficult holding Tolly at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.

JCT are now in 11th position, just ahead of SBT, with 16 points from 19 matches. Tolly are placed seventh, with 23 points from 20 matches.


Calcutta, April 20: 
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court today halted efforts at the Mohun Bagan to elect a new executive committe. The bench, comprising Justice B. Panigrahi and Justice D. P. Sengupta, also restrained the managing committee of the club from issuing photo identity cards for the purpose.

This follows a petition challenging, on the basis of a previous court directive, the right of the present committee to hold elections.

Today�s order states that the money collected by the present committee from membership subscriptions will have to be deposited in a new and separate account.

Interestingly, the counsel for the UB Group, told the court that they wanted to intervene into the matter because the present committee had failed to furnish accounts for Rs 4.66 crore that the company had given the club.

However, with lawyers representing petitioners and respondents objecting, the division bench directed them to file affidavits by April 27 stating why the company could not be made a party to the case.

The company will have to file the reply by May 4 and the matter will come up for hearing on May 9.


Calcutta, April 20: 
Four-wicket hauls by spinners Sourashis Lahiri and Shivsagar Singh helped East Bengal dismiss CPT for 202 in the CAB League championship play-off semi-final at the Eden Gardens today.

Wicketkeeper Rahul Deb, with three catches and two stumpings, proved an ideal foil for the spinners.

In A.N. Ghosh Trophy, Kalighat recorded their fifth victory in six games to lead the round robin league with 22 points.


League Championship play-off

CPT 202 (Indranil Chakraborty 57, Uday Srivastava 53; Sourashis Lahiri 4/44, Shivsagar Singh 4/59). East Bengal 13/0.

A. N. Ghosh Trophy

Tollygunge Agragami 198/8 (Arindam Das 3/37, Avishek Jhunjhunwala 2/34). Wari 200/2 (Avishek Jhunjhunwala 100 n.o., Minakhsa Mondal 49 n.o.). Wari won by 8 wkts.

Eastern Railway 247/8 (Souvik Mukherjee 82 n.o., Diptendu Mahata 44, Manoj Srivastava 39). Kalighat 249/5 (Charanjit Singh 63 n.o., Safi Ahmed 51, Humza Ferozie 44). Kalighat won by 5 wkts.

Howrah DSA best

Howrah DSA emerged champions in the CAB inter-district under-19 meet. In the final at Krishnanagar Stadium yesterday, they defeated Hooghly DSA by 52 runs.

BRIEF SCORES: Howrah DSA 219 (Surajit Das 40, Pinaki Chakraborty 37, Amit Patel 38, Dibyendu Chakraborty 25; Anustup Majumder 3/34). Hooghly DSA 167 (Biswajit Sharma 53; Amit Patel 3/35). Howrah DSA won by 52 runs.

Sub-junior cricket

The final phase of the Ambar Roy memorial sub-junior cricket tournament will be held from May 17.

Table tennis meet

Medha Maitra of Siliguri will meet Bardhaman�s Gargi Nag in the final of the Kalyan Jayant memorial table tennis meet.

In the semi-finals today, Medha had it easy against Sreya Ghosh (NCZ) 21-18, 22-20. Gargi, on other hand, managed to get past Jayita Pushilal (NCZ) 23-21, 19-21, 21-17 in a keenly contested affair.


Calcutta, April 20: 
Howrah Union came back from behind to hold BSF South Bengal 2-2 in a group A match of the BHA League today.

Prakash Minz put BSF ahead in the 15th minute. P. Dung Dung added another to their tally five minutes after the breather.

But as the securitymen became a bit too complacent, Howrah Union struck through Kasif Reza in the 65th and 69th minutes to draw level.

In group B action, Calcutta Rangers rode Barry Saviel�s three goals, including a hattrick, to drub Belgachia United 8-0.

Alan Bell (2), Shaun Rozario, C. Khanna and Bradley Williams were the other scorers.

Inter-school soccer

A floodlit five-a-side inter-school soccer meet will be held at St James� School from Saturday to April 28. Thirty five teams will be split in seven groups for matches of 30 minutes each.    

Calcutta, April 20: 
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi fought their way into the quarter finals of the Monte Carlo Masters Series tournament last evening.

According to information received here, the unseeded Indians shut out French wild cards Arnaud Clement and Sebastien Grosjean 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 in the second round.

The Indians, after winning a close first set, lost the next eight to trail 0-2 in the decider. They then reeled off six games in a row to close out the match.

Paes and Bhupathi come up against fifth seeds Donald Johnson and Jared Palmer (US) in the semis.


Mumbai, April 20: 
A good second to Pleasures in his last start, Columbus may be hard to toss in the 1,400m Red Rufus Trophy at the Mumbai races on Saturday. Malesh Narredu partners the Arti Doctor-trained horse.


3 pm: Aylesfield 1. Classic Rock 2. Tiger Talk 3.
3.30 pm: Flirtatious 1. Sacred Fire 2. Magic Boy 3.
4 pm: Thunder Clap 1. Free Gold 2. Arctic Girl 3.
4.30 pm:Aprilia 1. Neomi 2. Scamster 3.
5 pm: Columbus 1. Final Authority 2. Intel 3.
5.30 pm: Rajput Prince 1. Heart Beat 2. Comment Allez Vous 3.
6 pm: Cruel Intention 1. Serena Pride 2. Femme Fatale 3.

Day�s Best: Aprilia

Double: Thunder Clap & Columbus

Note: The Mumbai race-meeting scheduled for April 25 has been advanced to April 24, according to a RWITC notification.


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