Of drama, tension and success
Palmeiras in last eight
Ever-Ready out after a fight
33 get awards from President
Two more pullouts on final leg
FCI prevail in opener
Calcutta Racing/ Alamito trounces rivals
Pune Racing/ Iceberg may strike

Chennai, Sept. 29: 
Jagmohan Dalmiya�s big win over A.C. Muthiah, today, was preceded by much drama. The highlights, chronologically, were:

9.30 am: Taj Coromandel�s main lobby starts becoming the centre of activity.

9.50 am: Muthiah arrives, smartly attired as ever.

10 am: Some delegates start moving to the Clive Dupleix Room, in the lower lobby, venue of the AGM.

10.15 am: Escorted by Dalmiya, former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta arrives in the main lobby. His check-in, a while earlier, had largely gone unnoticed. This time, he attracted lensmen by the dozen. Around the same time, Muthiah also reaches the main lobby and somebody suggests a side door be taken for the area designated for the customary pre-AGM photograph.

10.20 am: Sharad Pawar, the former Maharashtra chief minister, arrives in the designated area and indicates to Mahanta that he wishes to say a few words. Their one-on-one is brief. Prabhu Chawla (representing the Punjab Cricket Association), too, appears to be wanting to speak to Mahanta.

10.25 am: Group picture is taken, and it seems both Dalmiya and Muthiah want the actual business to start at the earliest. Pawar and Mahanta sit side-by-side. Raj Singh Dungarpur appears to crack a joke, but nobody quite gets it.

10.37 am: AGM gets underway, with the lower lobby taken over by the Media. Also pacing up-and-down are Dalmiya�s trusted aides, Goutam Das Gupta and Chitrak Mitra.

10.40 am: In the main lobby can be seen a somewhat downcast Delhi�s Sunil Dev, who hasn�t ever been on the best of terms with Dalmiya. Apparently, he had a hand in �winning� over a top Assam Cricket Association official who, obviously, would have voted for Muthiah. Mahanta�s arrival, though, changed everything.

10.55 am: With so many around, the pastry outlet in the lower lobby begins to do roaring business.

11.05 am: A couple of delegates start heading for the toilet, in one corner of the lower lobby. Shivlal Yadav, Raj Singh, Rajya Sabha member Rajiv Shukla...

11.15 am: Next lot heads for the toilet. Purshottam Rungta, Kamal Morarka... Morarka is in high spirits and reveals he has suggested to Muthiah, who is in the chair, to conduct the AGM in a �civilised manner.� He informs the two Bihar parties are placing their arguments.

Noon: Out comes former BCCI vice-president A.N. Singh, who has come as the undivided Bihar Cricket Association�s representative (in place of Sanjay Singh). Says legal opinion will be taken and that the Baroda and Goa disputes are being heard.

12.15 pm: Word gets out that Chawla and Vidarbha�s Shashank Manohar have been spearheading the assault on Muthiah�s behalf, while Dalmiya, Gujarat�s Sudhir Nanavati and Brijesh Patel have been responding. Others as well.

12.30 pm: Delegates start trickling out, thanks to the adjournment for lunch. The AGM to resume at 2.00 pm. With the AGM yet to strictly begin, some delegates give vent to their frustration. One or two even point out that if courts and lawyers are to determine the course the BCCI will take, why have an AGM?

1.15 pm: Indications are that the Dalmiya group has re-drawn strategy, with the focus being on forcing Muthiah to put all contentious issues to vote. Jaywant Lele is distinctly down-cast.

1.40 pm: Laloo Prasad Yadav�s Cricket Association of Bihar representative Ajay Sharma buttonholes Nanavati, requesting support. Clearly trying to make an impression, Sharma says Laloo had just called asking him to �strongly defend Bihar�s interests.� A lawyer by profession, Nanavati turns diplomat.

2.05 pm: Raj Singh waits near the lift (lower lobby) for Muthiah to arrive. He does, with two typed/faxed sheets and is taken aside by Raj Singh. One only hears him saying: �... Yes, that�s it... No further discussion.� While walking to the AGM venue, Muthiah grins and tells The Telegraph: �Lots of drama...�

2.30 pm: Nalini Chidambaram seen having a late lunch.

2.45 pm: First batch of delegates again heads for the toilet. Some whisper about Muthiah�s ruling which, effectively, deprived Dalmiya of three votes. Das Gupta and Mitra, though, remain supremely confident.

3 pm: Goa�s representative comes out, mincing no words. �The president has been misleading the house... His actions amount to a contempt of court...� [The court ruling, specific to the association, reportedly was that the representative would be allowed to vote but the ballot sealed till the court�s (final) verdict.]

3.15 pm: The entire lower lobby is tense, more so as some delegates (heading for the toilet) declared �jhamela� was on.

3.30 pm: Word is out that voting for the president�s post would begin �any minute�. In the lower lobby can be seen Jharkhand�s Amitabh Choudhury, the Jamshedpur SP, and Ramesh Saxena. Both came to plead for affiliation.

4 pm: Tension mounts.

4.12 pm: There�s a scream that Dalmiya has won. The rush towards the Clive Dupleix Room is crushing.

4.17 pm: Dalmiya himself emerges and, mobbed, struggles to reach the lift. �Let me first talk to my family,� he pleads, overwhelmed.

4.25 pm: Dalmiya returns to the AGM venue, where voting for the secretaryship had begun.


Calcutta, Sept. 29: 
Palmeiras did put on show a good deal of talent, but despite enjoying overall dominance, they managed to come off with only a 1-1 draw versus Bhratri Sangha at the Salt Lake Stadium today. That, however, did not stop Palmeiras from topping group D in the 107th IFA Shield and Bhratri are now out of the meet.

Palmeiras take on group C runners-up Nam Dinh FC of Vietnam in the quarter finals Wednesday. With FC

Kochin managing just a 1-0 win over Ever-Ready in the other match today, there will be no meeting of local giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the quarter final stage. Kochin needed to beat Ever-Ready 3-0 for that to happen.

Moving out along with Bhratri, all finishing third in their respective groups, are Ever-Ready (Gr. B), India Under-19 (Gr. C) and Mohammedan Sporting (Gr. A).

A good start

It was a good start or Palmeiras, with their ball control and neat passing game. Their trapping was a treat to watch, and they did show a rather deceptive speed that takes the ball from one defence to the other pretty quickly. What they lacked in, however, was exceptional individual flamboyance.

When the defence is crowded over, and the general pace of the match is nothing noteworthy, it is good to have a solo adventurer shaking things up. And the Brazilians have practised their free-kicks rather well. Each has a flavour of its own, and the �wall� makes little sense mostly. Like in the fifth minute, when one cleared the �wall� and Bhratri goalkeeper Avijit Mondal had to dive to effect a save.

The dominance was translated into goal in the 19th minute when Gustavo Esteves floated one to the goalmouth and Hilton Mauro Moreira �Tom� jumped to head in.

Play degenerated to the midfield by late first half, with the occasional Bhratri forays, mostly through Iraqi A. A. Safaa and then Abdul Kalique up front. What came of those were long shots, mostly wayward. In the 43rd minute Palmeiras came back again, and Gustavo�s direct free-kick from the top of the box was fisted over by �keeper Mondal.

More such free-kick shots were effected, and most did penetrate, stopping only at the last line of defence. On the other side, the Palmeiras defence was also quietly effective. That was broken once, in the 18th minute of the second half, and it proved to be a bad judgement by the Palmeiras back-four.

A one-off attack saw Bhratri�s Babun Kar overlap and enter the rival box. A Safaa centre was loose enough for a time for Kar to pick up. Two defenders were taken care of with body feints and Kar suddenly let go a powerful 10-yard volley. The goalkeeper had no chance.


PALMEIRAS: Fernando Miranda, Robson Santos Barbosa, Douglas Martin dos Santos, Rogelio Cesar Posamal (Celio Claudio, 69), Dinho, Gustavo Esteves, Francis Jose da Silva, Antonio Marcos Cabe (Fabinho Francisco dos Santos, 46), Andre Fabiao Viapiana, Renaldo de Souza (Cezinha, 58), Hilton Mauro Moreira.

BHRATRI SANGHA: Avijit Mondal, Babun Kar, Nilanjan Guha, Arun Malhotra, Mamocha Singh, Bastab Roy (Nipendra K. Das, 57), Ifiany (Soumen Sarkar, 22), A.A. Safaa, Abdul Sadique (Sumir Sur, 76), Palash Karmakar, Abdul Khalique.

Referee: S.M. Balu


Calcutta, Sept. 29: 
FC Kochin today managed a slender victory over cluster qualifiers Ever-Ready Association in their IFA Shield group B league match at the Howrah Stadium.

That was not the real picture, though. While the Kerala team managed a distinct edge in the first half, in which they scored, they were pushed back to the wall in the second and barely came off by the skin of their teeth.

In the 21st minute Kochin�s Philip Karanga was into the rival defence, with Ever-Ready goalkeeper Gautam Sarkar having rushed out. Karanga got the better of Sarkar, but Debashis Hazra made a fine last-ditch save.

In the 41st minute Karanga was again pushing in, entering the rival box.

He was fouled by Zia-ur Rehman inside the penalty area and referee Manuel Pereira ordered the penalty which Josiah Seton converted with ease.

The second half was a nightmare for Kochin. Overall, the Kerala team survived eight Ever-Ready attacks, with Somnath Pramanik�s 76th minute 25-yard pile-driver, which the goalkeeper saved, being the closest.


FC KOCHIN: Best Bestman, Cinoy C. Chacko (Martin Mathew, 52), L. Suresh, P. Sajith, Md Shafeeq, Dilip Kumar, Niaz Rehman, V.P. Shaji (Jamshed Ghan, 82), K. Naushad, Philip Karanga (Anil Kumar, 55), Josiah Seton.

EVER-READY: Gautam Sarkar, Dibakar Roy, Indrajit Dey, Ashoke Das, Debashis Hazra (Hemendra Nath Dey, 55), Sumon Ghosh, Dhiman Singha, Saiful Islam, Zia-ur Rahman, Somnath Pramanik (Amjad Ali Khan, 68), Shyam Babu Routh.

Referee: Manuel Pereira


New Delhi, Sept. 29: 
The Arjuna awards function, delayed by a month due to President K.R. Narayanan�s illness and dogged by controversy over selection criteria, was held today.

Though 33 of the 37 awards recipients were present, the loudest applause was reserved for Kusum Jadhav, the widow of K.D. Jadhav.

Among the Arjuna awardees was Calcutta-born hockey player Baljit Singh Saini.

Pullela Gopichand was the 11th winner of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

A note of dissent was struck by veteran tennis coach Akhtar Ali. �Though I am happy to get the Arjuna, I feel I deserve the Dronacharya,� he said.

The absentees were Venkatesh Prasad, hockey goalkeeper Tingonleima Chanu and Milkha Singh, boycotted the awards.


Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (Rs 3 lakh): Pullela Gopi Chand;

Dronacharya award (Rs 2.5 lakh): Gurdial Singh Bhangu (hockey), Hansa Sharma (weightlfiting), Phadke Gopal Purshottam (kho-kho), S.M. Arif (badminton) and Bhupender Dhawan (powerlifting);

Arjuna award (cash prize Rs 1.5 lakh): K.M. Beenamol (athletics), George Thomas (badminton), S. Vijaylakshmi (chess), Baljeet Singh Saini (hockey), Anjali Vedpathak Bhagwat and Abhinav Bindra (shooting), Sebastian Xavier and J. Abhijith (swimming), Randhir Singh and Kripal Shanker Patel (wrestling) and Sanamacha Chanu (weightlfiting);

Arjuna award for lifetime contribution 1.5 lakh): Rachna Govil and Vijay Mala Bhanot (athletics), Kalpana Debnath (gymnastics), R.S. Bhola, Balkishen Singh, Jalaluddin and Madhu Yadav (hockey), Surender Singh Kanwasi (rowing), Gurbir Singh Sandhu (shooting), Akhtar Ali (tennis), P.V. Ramana (volleyball), late K.D. Jadhav and Naresh Kumar (wrestling);

Physically Challenged: Yadavendra Vashist and Joginder Singh Bedi (athletics), Vijay Bhalchandra Munshiwar (athletics and powerlifting).


Ranchi, Sept. 29: 
The Telegraph Maruti Esteem Monsoon Rally ended at the Gymkhana here with two more stars dropping out after the cars and motorcycles took off from Ranchi early this morning.

Twenty-one four-wheelers had taken off from Jamshedpur on the 224.16km route, but Prasanta Paul missed a turn and was out on time pressure, while veteran Bharat Parekh�s terra trip metre gave up, leaving him with no chance of rewheeling the route.

This rally being a light one, service cars have been stationed at fixed points to avoid the leakage of the tulip, and these metres are expensive stuff, not easily repairable en route. Parekh�s misfortune was near the first time control, 14.53km from the start at Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur.

There was no further loss of material en route, and 17 motorcycles made it to here through the picturesque landscape. One two-wheeler entry was received in Jamshedpur � Gurminder Singh Duggal and Navjit Singh Kesli � and they too finished this leg. The tabulation will be available in a day or two and the prize distribution will be in Calcutta.


Guwahati, Sept. 29: 
Food Corporation of India (FCI) beat City Police 3-2 in the opening match of the 50th Bordoloi Trophy at Nehru Stadium today.

FCI struck in the 25th minute through Rangjalu Brahma. Police striker Jayanta Das equalised in the 42nd minute.

City Police launched a series of attacks and missed three chances in quick succession. Mahendra Brahma gave Police the lead in the 61st minute.

FCI euqalised ten minutes later through medio Sing Rangchang. Bijen Gayary hit the winner ten minutes from time.


Calcutta, Sept. 29: 
Alamito, a three-year-old colt from trainer Bharath Singh�s yard fully justified his short-odds as he trounced his two rivals in today�s star event, the 2,000m Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes. Cristopher Alford partnered the Twist And Turn-Bailla Reus colt to a literally double-distance victory over Calculate while the second favourite Rescue Act finished way behind last.

A number of hot-favourites also come good in the day�s card but the running of Star of Italy Cup prompted the stewards to open an enquiry and hand a four-day harsh suspension to young apprentice Rutherford Alford, the rider of Sky Command. Nic Connorton on Arctic Fancy won the race.


1. Midensis Handicap 1,100m: (1-2-4-3) Lively Project (Dalpat) 1; Heaven�s Blessing (Shanker) 2; Calculus (Upadhya) 3; Aureate (Islam) 4. Won by: 2-1/2; 4-3/4; 4-1/2; (1-12.3). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 11; 14; Quinella: 17; Tanala: 25. Fav: Lively Project (1). Winner trained by Daniel D.

2. South Seas Handicap 1,800m: (1-3-4-2) Altiama (C. Alford) 1; Solo Act (Rutherford) 2; Flying Scot (Gowli) 3; Aflicker (Rabani) 4. Won by: 1-1/2; 2-1/2; 6-1/4; (2-2.9). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 11; 19; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 35. Fav: Altiama (1). Winner trained by Vijay S.

3. Mysore Race Club Cup 1,200m: (5-1-2-3) Bountiful Gesture (C. Alford) 1; Anolini (Surender) 2; Arendal (A. P. Singh) 3; Treasurer (Brij S.) 4. Won by: 5-3/4; 1; 1; (1-17.4). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 18; Quinella: 21; Tanala: 29. Fav: Bountiful Gesture (5). Winner trained by Vijay S.

4. Calcutta Derby Trial Stakes 2,000m: (1-2-3) Alamito (C. Alford) 1; Calculate (Shanker) 2; Rescue Act (Rabani) 3. Won by: Dist; Dist; (2-12.1). Tote: Win Rs 13; Quinella: 29. Fav: Alamito (1). Winner trained by Bharath S.

5. Star of Italy Cup 1,200m: (6-7-2-3) Arctic Fancy (Connorton) 1; Alsheim (C. Alford) 2; Gold Buck (Shanker) 3; Sky Command (Rutherford) 4. Won by: 3/4; Nk; 3/4; (1-17.9). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 16; 20; 16; Quinella: 85; Tanala: 553. Fav: Soviet Port (4). Winner trained by Daniel D. (Note: The winner survived an objection lodged by the rider of fourth placed horse).

6. Thrifty Allan Handicap 1,200m: (3-5-4-2) Anokato (Connorton) 1; Global Harmony (Islam) 2; Common Spirit (Yasin) 3; Constantine (Amjad K.) 4. Won by: 2; 8-1/2; Dist; (1-18.9). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 13; 11; Quinella: 14; Tanala: 82. Fav: Anokato (3). Winner trained by Daniel D.

Jackpot: Rs 116; (C) Rs 30.

Treble: (i) Rs 24; (ii) Rs 68.


Pune, Sept. 29: 
Iceberg, filly by Placerville out of Frost Queen, is fancied to win the Jimmy Umrigar Trophy, at the Pune races on Sunday. P. Kamlesh partners the Bezan Chenoy-trained ward.


1.15 pm: Holland Park 1. Miss Trump 2. Rare Orchid 3.

1.45 pm: Iceberg 1. Wild Eagle 2. Millenium Star 3.

2.15 pm: Fidillo 1. Blues Clues 2. Sanquirico 3.

2.45 pm: Final Verdict 1. Steroid 2. Sharpman 3.

3.15 pm: Big Bertha 1. Razana 2. Aylesfield 3.

3.45 pm: Alpine Star 1. Silent Deal 2. Happy Memonts 3.

4.30 pm: Thunder Clap 1. Bold Decision 2. Fast One 3.

Day�s Best: Final Verdict

Double: Iceberg & Alpine Star


1. Sea Sand Plate, Div-II: Discover (Rajendra) 1; Proud Moment 2; Rigged For Revenge 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 2-3/4; (1-17.9).(W) Rs 8; (P) 6; 7; 6; (F) 47; (Q) 30; (T) 45 & 24. Fav: Discover.

2. Her Majesty Trophy: Knighted (Rajendra) 1; Signal Tap 2; Table Dancing 3. Won by: 1-1/4; Dist; (2-34.9). (W) Rs 7; (P) 6; 10; (F) 18; (Q) 24; (T) 87 & 44. Fav: Knighted.

3. Midnight Cowboy Plate: Star Status (Merchant) 1; Bud Royale 2; Rosetta 3. Not run: Lez Leeann. Won by: 5; 3-3/4; (1-13.4). (W) Rs 9; (P) 6; 7; 10; (F) 40; (Q) 46; (T) 162 & 80. Fav: Star Status.

4. Sea Sand Plate, Div-I: Reprobate (Bernard) 1; Whispering Rock 2; Come Prima 3. Won by: Hd; 4-3/4; (1-28.1). (W) Rs 15; (P) 7; 10; 6; (F) 128; (Q) 149; (T) 319 & 74. Fav: Come Prima.

5. Ismail Khan Plate, Div-I: Blue Butterfly (Merchant) 1; Checkmate 2; Musical Melody 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-13.8). (W) Rs 12; (P) 5; 9; 12; (F) 199; (Q) 186; (T) 761 & 285. Fav: Cosmic Jazz.

6. Thunder Cloud Plate, Dv-I: Amber Wine (A. Imran) 1; Flirtatious 2; Smart Hunter 3. Won by: 3/4; 3/4; (1-13.8). (W) Rs 16; (P) 8; 26; 21; (F) 439; (Q) 546; (T) 2,670 & 1,417. Fav: Fly By Alibi.

7. Belle Epoque Plate: Pecan Pie (Kharadi) 1; Tonnerre 2; Sunglow 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 1-1/2; (59.5). (W) Rs 18; (P) 8; 12; 40; (F) 131; (Q) 64; (T) 1,936 & 1,117. Fav: Aspiring Star.

8. Ismail Khan Plate, Div-II: Reaching Out (Gallagher) 1; Change The Attitude 2; Midnight Star 3. Won by: 1/2; 3-1/2; (1-14.5). (W) Rs 30; (P) 7; 6; 7; (F) 102; (Q) 45; (T) 140 & 77. Fav: Midnight Star.

9. Pa Bear Plate: Al Humair (Rajendra) 1; Cool Water 2; Smart Warrior 3. Won by: 4; 1/2; (1-27.3). (W) Rs 10; (P) 5; 7; 11; (F) 249; (Q) 122; (T) 691 & 277. Fav: Al Humair.

10. Thunder Cloud Plate, Div-II: Zehera (Mann) 1; Fiercely Loyal 2; Hiccups 3. Won by: SH; 2; (1-13.3). (W) Rs 22; (P) 9; 10; 23; (F) 156; (Q) 82; (T) 1,593 & 872. Fav: Fiercely Loyal.

Jackpot: (i) Rs 1,435; (C) Rs 181; (ii) Rs 7,184; (C) Rs 495.

Treble: (i) Rs 158; (ii) Rs 270; (iii) Rs 778.


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