SA build up daunting 372 -run lead
I would have dropped Kumble: Graeme Pollock
Sachin: I know what�s right and what�s wrong
Jubbal, Fazal qualify
Cullinan set to be recalled
Bengal finish on winning note
Sunil in fray
Bengal women emerge best

Port Elizabeth, Nov. 18: 
SOUTH AFRICA 362 & 211/5

After yet another demanding day, a chunky slice of pizza and a soft drink pro vided welcome relief to Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. Feeling better, he headed towards mentor Geoffrey Boycott.

Ever obliging, Boycott said something simple, yet put the sec ond Test in perspective: .Remem ber two things . that most match es are lost by bad batting. Second ly, when at the wicket, apply your mind. Think... Think....

The South Africans had already given Sourav and India much to think about. Now, Boycott has made the Indian captain think even more.With so much to do, Sourav promptly cancelled a dinner outing with a confidant.

At the end of Day III at St George�s Park, South Africa were ahead by 372 and have five wickets in hand . including that of Jacq ues .Messiah. Kallis. That, then, is the bottomline. Even though the floodlights were put to use, play was called off 14 overs premature ly and, to make good some lost time, Day IV gets underway half an hour earlier (1.30 pm IST).

It did surprise when Kallis and captain Shaun Pollock accepted the offer of light, but the captain had his explanation. According to him, the .shadows.don.t matter in the ODIs, where white balls are used. It�s different with the red ball.

Pollock, of course, declined to be specific about the declara tion, assuming he can exercise that option, but did say he would prefer .time in hand. to bowl India out a second time. It�s sig nificant that the highest score by a team batting fourth and win ning, at this rather romantic ampitheatre, is 271 for eight (Australia, 1996 97).

Incidentally, the highest ever fourth innings total at St George�s Park is 273. It�s credited to South Africa, back in 1961 62 against New Zealand.

Asked by The Telegraph abo ut India�s prospects, Sourav didn.t say anything. Instead, looking up, he pointed to the clouds. It was ov ercast throughout today and the re�s some chance of rain tomor row. Yet, cricket actually is a fun ny game and, so, absolutely noth ing ought to be ruled out.

Resuming South Africa�s mar ch towards clinching the series in Port Elizabeth itself will be Kallis (84 in 270 minutes, 201 balls, 6x4, 1x6) and Pollock (38 in 51 minutes, 67 deliveries, 4x4, 1x6). They have already added 72 for the sixth wicket, staying unseparated in the truncated final session.

In the morning, however, the Indians did have their moments . a period which would have been particularly embarrassing for Raj Singh Dungarpur. Come to think of it, the ongoing season hasn.t been memorable for him. First, he backed the losing candidate for the Board�s presidentship. Then, he suggested Jawagal Srinath be extended the golden handshake.

Yet, this morning, Srinath pro duced one of the most effective spells (8 6 4 2) by an Indian quick overseas to allow the team a brief toehold. Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten began innings No. 2 with the comfortable cushion of a 161 run lead but, within eight overs, both were back in the war mer comfort of the dressing room.

Backed by conducive condi tions, including the wicket�s dual pace, Srinath opened up Kirsten and V.V.S.Laxman held exceeding ly well despite Virender Sehwag�s effort at being a .spoiler.. Then, Ajit Agarkar unleashed a nip backer to send back Gibbs. The law of averages finally tripped this bold and beautiful opener.

South Africa were in for more shock as Srinath quickly evicted Neil McKenzie as well. Striking the perfect length, a yard or there abouts closer to the bat than his average delivery, Srinath induced McKenzie to edge and Deep Das gupta held smartly. The batsman didn.t wait for the umpire�s index finger to go up.

With South Africa on 26 for thr ee, the Indian comeback was quite incredible, with the architect being 32 year old Srinath. Just the other day, he had spoken of being ambitious .in his own way..What ever his goal for this three Test se ries, Srinath has been superb.

Another couple of wickets and the Test would have been wide open. But in their hour of crisis, South Africa found a saviour in Kallis. In fact, they couldn.t have hoped for more reliable shoulders. And, much to everyone�s surprise, an ally of sorts was Boeta Dippe naar, battling to retain his place.

The pair remained unseparat ed not only till lunch (47 for three), but for almost an hour after that. Dippenaar, though, can consider himself unlucky at being adjudg ed caught off Harbhajan Singh. Ian Howell, for one, isn.t going to be very popular in the South African dressing room.

Dippenaar�s 28 came in 97 min utes and off 74 balls (4x4). The partnership was worth 65. Dippe naar�s exit introduced Lance Klus ener and, typically, he launched into the bowling. Klusener�s depa rture, too, was controversial with Howell again being in the thick of things. By then, however, Klusen er had helped himself to 29 off 32 deliveries (3x4, 2x6).

[Howell pulled one back, so to say, when he ruled in Pollock�s favour after tea. The bowler was Harbhajan.]

Described by many as God�s gift to South African cricket, Kallis to ok 78 minutes and 49 balls to crack his first boundary. This restraint should alone convey the manner he discharged responsibility. Hav ing opened his boundary account, Kallis hooked Agarkar for six.

Kallis was dropped on 51 (by Laxman off Agarkar), yet rema ined unflustered. By tea, he had moved to 58 with South Africa on 147 for five . ahead overall by 308. Pollock was on one. The final ses sion saw India�s agony increase.

Not for the first time in the match, Sourav missed a third specialist quick. Inexplicably, though, Srinath�s second spell wasn.t right after lunch. Indeed, he was reintroduced as late as the 11th over after the break. This delay took much of the pressure off South Africa.

Anil Kumble, by the way, was brought on in the 51st over. He isn.t used to this kind of treat ment and, frankly, this lack of con fidence on the captain�s part does n.t quite send the right signals. Kumble�s late utilisation did con firm, however, that the Indian at tack should have had three quicks.

Earlier, the Indian innings en ded 28 minutes into the day. Laxm an fell for 89 (182 minutes, 121 deli veries, 12x4) . his first score of over fifty after that sensational 500 plus aggregate versus Austral ia. The Indian top scorer�s wicket gave Pollock his 14th haul of five or more wickets in an innings. Kumble was last out.

Day III began 18 minutes early to make good the 4.3 overs bowled short last evening.

Indians cautioned

Meanwhile, late in the day, um pire Russell Tiffin .cautioned. the Indians over appealing when it�s .obvious. no dismissal can be ef fected. It�s intriguing why no um pire has had a word with Pollock...    

Port Elizabeth, Nov. 18: 
The legendary Graeme Pollock is currently a South African selector but, if he had a role in picking the Indian XI for the on going second Test, he would have dropped Anil Kumble and cho sen Venkatesh Prasad.

.My attack would have been Jawagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, Prasad and Harbhajan Singh. Given the conditions in which the Test began, as also the fact that Sourav Ganguly would have inserted South Africa . something he did, on winning the toss . the XI simply had to have three quicks,. Pollock told The Telegraph last evening.

Smiling, Pollock added: .Actually, the guys in our team can.t believe Prasad isn.t playing. He has that nice high arm action, hits the seam well... The Indians should have looked to playing bowlers who can pick 20 wickets... Kumble isn.t quite the bowler he was and, in any case, our guys have been playing him for close to a decade. I don.t wish to criticise your tour selectors but, really, I would have in cluded Prasad..

Prasad, with 96 wick ets in 33 Tests, wasn.t even in the XII . the th ird quick in line for sele ction was Ashish Nehra.

Talking about India�s awful batting perform ance on Day II, Pollock said: .I.m a South African selector, fine, but if you ask me only Shaun (Pollock) was threatening. The others, I.m sorry to admit,were ordinary. Therefore, I can.t understand how India crashed to 119 for eight and were on the verge of following on.

.Indeed, I.m amazed they can.t get their act going... Yes, I do feel Rahul Dravid�s failure to contribute in the manner he usually does, is making a difference. It�s possible that getting him to open in Bloem fontein put him under pressure mentally... If you look at it, a No.3 may be out in the middle as early as the second ball of the match/innings. But, psychologically, there�s a difference between opening and being as signed the No.3 slot. Dravid is an established No.3..

Vice captain Dravid,who began the series with an average of 53.77 in 48 Tests, has had scores of 2, 11 (first Test) and 2.

Pollock remarked getting wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta to open (with regular Shiv Sundar Das) .wasn.t a bad move.. As he put it: .The guy wasn.t all at sea, he didn.t look out of depth facing the new ball. So, given the combination the Indians have, it would be wise to continue with the new pair. I definitely wouldn.t open with Sourav. And, as indicated, not with Dravid either..

According to Pollock, with the .highly promising.Virender Sehwag at No. 7, India do have a .formidable. line up. .In my book, it�s a crime to get out after reaching the 30s and 40s... I have nothing against somebody losing his wicket early on, without settling down. Yet, once somebody has gauged conditions and the bowling, he must consolidate....

He added: .Sachin Tendulkar,whom I regard as the world�s No. 1, was unlucky to have pulled straight to (Lance) Klusener... It happens. But, Sourav,who was stroking so nicely, shouldn.t have been dismissed in the 40s... got to take it session by session and build from there...And,w hen the opportunity com es, try and alter the c ourse of the match in one of those sessions. A q uality batsman will do it..

Pollock felt a change in nature of wickets, ba ck in India, will improve the team�s performance overseas. .The adminis trators should think about it, must give their players the best chance of doing well both at home and overseas. Only teams which can compete (and win) in different conditions are counted as the real good ones..

Speaking about nephew Shaun,who joined the 250 Test wickets. club yesterday,Pollock proudly observed: .He has been inspired by Curtley Am brose... Bowls from close to the wicket and doesn.t give anything away... Shaun�s straight and can keep landing in that corridor of uncertainty over and over again. He�s not the quickest, but has surely proved speed doesn.t guarantee wickets....

Smiling again,Pollock signed off by saying .keep watching for Shaun..


Port Elizabeth, Nov. 18: 
Sachin Tendulkar responded typically . saying little but conveying much . to .talk. that a local TV net work had .forwarded. footage to Match Referee Mike Denness, re portedly to .assess. whether the Indian star had tampered with the ball during session No.1 today.

.After having played interna tional cricket for 12 years, I do know what is right and what is wrong,. Sachin told The Tele graph late tonight. He added: .Neither the Match Referee nor anyone else has told me any thing. Like you, heard thin gs are being talked about....

It�s intriguing as to what prompted the TV network in ques tion . its identity couldn.t be con firmed . to take such an initia tive. In any case, neither the um pires (Ian Howell and Russell Tif fin) nor the South Africans are understood to have com plained to Smith.

The Match Referee is ex pected to issue a statement to morrow.

Pollock salutes Srinath

South African captain Shaun Pollock today saluted Jawagal Sri nath whose superb first spell in the morning had given India some hope in the second Test

. .Javvy is a world class bowler and always respected him... The Indians do rely on him and Javvy puts his best foot forward,. Pollock remarked after stumps on Day III.

Incidentally, Srinath was a re cipient of the Milestone Award in stituted by the United Cricket Board of South Africa. At the tea break, he was presented with a gold medal for having joined the 200 Test wicket club.

Captain Sourav Ganguly (3,000 Test runs), Sachin Tendulkar (7,000 Test runs) and vice captain Rahul Dravid (50th Test appear ance, St George�s Park) were also presented with similar medals.

Meanwhile, looking ahead, Pollock felt it was .difficult. to talk of a .safe. target that could be set for India. .I.ll ha ve a better idea in the morning..


Calcutta, Nov. 18: 
Mohinder Jub bal and Fazal Khan will be the two representatives to the New Delhi finals from the Calcutta (sixth) leg of the JK Tyre National Go Kart ing Championships.

While Jubbal topped with ease (0 points) at the Kartica course this evening, Fazal, Mazdayar Vatcha and Neil M. Bahel each fin ished on 5 points. The best lap tim ings of their qualifying rounds had to be consulted to break the tie and Bahel was left out in the cold.

Vatcha will also be travelling to Delhi as the third finisher, to try and race with all other third place finishers for two slots in the finals.

Interestingly, Jubbal, Khan and Vatcha are all over 65kg rac ers. Bahel was a 55 65kg racer.

In the pre finals, that threw up the nine finalists, Sidharth Saraf had emerged champion in the under 55kg category, followed by Sayantan Bhattacharya and Rajat Mitra, in that order. That was the exact same grid positions they started with.

Group B (55 65 kg category) saw a neater race, with the chick en necks, especially the tricky first one, being handled better. The skid was being handled better, and the take off was smoother off the turns. This skid did not really agree with the concept of Go Kart ing. Even though this track is being claimed to be the fastest in the country, its marble like sheen makes for handling problems.

Asif Nazir, the first national champion in Go Karting, and re cently the Formula Asia champi on as well . here for the Calcutta leg . said the Mumbai track pro vides better grip and that this track will not make for good tim ings if time is lost at the turnings.

The flip side of that, of course, is that tarmac will .eat at the tyres faster and that means the overall cost will be up.. He also said the engines need to produce at least 10bhp (instead of the 6.5 here) for a good rally.

The group B pre final toppers followed their original grid posi tions, Neil M. Bahel topping, fol lowed by M. Preetham. It was only some good driving by Ashok N. Jadhav,who climbed to third from his original fifth.

The over 65 kg race saw some excellent tussle. Veteran rallyist Valmiki Biswas, into karting now, took off from his sixth place start to lead the pack for nearly two la ps. Then the turns got the better of him, crashing into the tyre walls and wasting time in the back.

Fazal Khan, fifth place starter, topped through the chaos, pole sta rter Mahinder Jubbal managed se cond spot, and second place starter Mazdayar Vatcha retained his po sition. Yogesh Mullick, another ve teran rallying into the karting sc ene, finished off placings as well.


Port Elizabeth, Nov. 18: 
Senior pro Daryll Cullinan appears set to be recalled for the third and final Test against India, in Cen turion, from November 23.

Cullinan hasn.t played for South Africa after the trip to the West Indies, earlier this year.

According to The Telegraph�s sources, Cullinan should replace Boeta Dippenaar, who has look ed very ordinary thus far in this series.

Cullinan is also in the run ning for the trip to Australia, just days after the Centurion Test.


Calcutta, Nov. 18: 
Bengal today finished on a high note with a nine wicket win over Sikkim in the one day inter state (U 19) meet. The architect of the Bengal victo ry was Suvojit Paul(115 not out).

In Jamshedpur, Orissa troun ced Bihar by 54 runs to move into the knock out round.


At Eden Gardens: Sikkim 186 in 48.2 ovs (Gourav Majumdar 42; Sourav Shukla 5/32). Bengal 190/1 in 45.2 ovs (Suvojit Paul 115 n.o.; Ajoy Garai 52 retired out). Bengal won by 9 wickets.

In Jamshedpur: Orissa 194 (N.Behra 56, A. Nayak 32, S Baliari Singh 28; A. Iqbal 3/29). Bihar 140 (M. VardHan 47, I H Khan 17). Orissa won by 54 runs.


Calcutta, Nov. 18: 
Sunil Kumar, the No. 1 junior in the country, will be the principal attraction at the city leg of the Tata Futures meet for under 18 boys.

Also in fray at the five day meet, beginning at DKS tomorrow, will be Vinod Sewa, C.S. Mohanty, Harshit Sharma, Dhrub Kumar and Manoj Sewa, it was announced at a press conference this evening.

The singles event will feature a field of 32, while doubles will be a draw of 16. The singles winner wi ll receive a scholarship of Rs 5100, the doubles champions Rs 5000.


Calcutta, Nov. 18: 
Bengal women today emerged champions in the All India wrestling championship organised by Burabazar Byam Samity with two gold and three silver medals. Delhi came second and Punjab third.

Delhi came first in the men�s section, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bengal.

Sukhwinder Kaur of Delhi was named Mahila Bharat Kesari.

BENGAL�S MEDAL WINNERS Women � Gold: Piyali Das (45kg), Tanusree Jathi (58kg). Silver: Suparna Das (45kg), Soma Das (52kg) and Pampa Das (57kg). Men � Gold: Rajesh Pal (69kg). Silver: Ashwini Kumar (76kg), Binodlal (97kg).


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