Sourav counts series profits
City AC thrash Bata
Bengal dismiss Sikkim for 209
Mumbai Racing/ Tobler set to strike
Track Trials/ Star Cavalier shines

Johannesburg, Nov. 28: 
The Indians must scratch real deep to look for positives from either the tri-series or the Tests, against South Africa, but captain Sourav Ganguly had little hesitation in picking the much-in-news Virender Sehwag and Deep Dasgupta for special mention.

Speaking to The Telegraph at the Sandton Sun Intercontinental this morning, on the eve of the team’s departure for home, Sourav said: “Not that he is a newcomer, but besides Jawagal Srinath’s bowling, the only plus coming out of the Tests was the performance of Deep and Sehwag...”

Both Sehwag and Deep made their debut in Bloemfontein, and in unusual circumstances. Indeed, had Harbhajan Singh and Samir Dighe been fit, neither would have played. As it turned out, Sehwag authored a hundred (105) on debut, while Deep had an ordinary game.

Deep, though, got excellent marks in the second Test (Port Elizabeth): As opener, he scored a courageous 63 in the second innings, when India were struggling to save the match, and improved behind the wickets as well. As for Sehwag, he batted in only the first innings.

Thanks to Mike Denness, Sehwag was kept out of the Centurion game, while Deep didn’t do his growing stature any harm. As of now, however, it remains a mere first-class fixture, not a Test.

“It’s not easy making one’s debut overseas... So many factors come into play. Yet, both came off so well... What sets Sehwag apart is the pace at which he gets runs... He’s so positive. As for Deep, he has lots of character and, now, we have the option of either opening with him or sending him down the order... It’s such a welcome development,” Sourav pointed out.

Distant history, by the way, is the fact that Deep wasn’t found good enough to keep his place in the last two tri-series matches. As they say, that is water under the bridge. The captain himself responded thus: “Did I expect Deep to deliver in this manner? Well, I’ll just say I’m very happy he has...”

Sourav, of course, accepted “the best possible” squad had been selected, but the performance was dismal. “It’s been said a number of times, but bottomline is we still lost to a better team... It’s a pity we are neither consistent with the bat nor can we bowl sides out twice. Explaining this, I must confess, is difficult.”

[A few hours after our conversation came news that the selectors had dropped all quicks —Srinath being unfit — currently in South Africa. It’s understood the team management, though, wasn’t exactly in favour of such a drastic overhaul. The selectors, then, have gambled all on their own.]

Looking to the England series, beginning Monday, Sourav remarked: “At home, we will be the favoured team. At the same time, if we are to actually win, we must play good cricket...For my part, I never underestimate any opponent.”

Given that suspended sentences were hanging over six players, including himself, would the Indian ‘approach’ be any different? “No... Moreover, can appealing be stopped in Test cricket?” was Sourav’s absolutely firm riposte.

Sourav, by the way, was in much less pain today and is “hopeful” of being fit for Mohali. “A few days remain, so let’s see,” he signed off. The captain reaches home Friday and, within 24 hours, will have to leave for New Delhi, en route to Mohali. Some of the players won’t even be able to go home for that one day.

The scheduling has been crazy and somebody in the Board has to be held accountable.


Calcutta, Nov. 28: 
City AC thrashed Bata SC 4-1 in a CFL first division group A match today. Samiran Ghosh, Jai Pandit, Shakil Ahmed and Himing Chung Nanga scored for City, while Tapas Das pulled one back.

In other matches, Kalighat beat Eastern Coalfield 2-1, Sonali Shibir shared four goals with Customs while Ever-Ready played goalless with CFC.

Veterans’ meets

A galaxy of former football stars will take part in the Association of Veteran Footballers (AVF)-organised annual five-a-side meet from Saturday, it was announced at a press conference this evening. The likes of Shyam Thapa, Jamshed Nassiri, Sudip Chatterjee, Prasanta Banerjee, Krishanu Dey, Tarun Dey and Bidesh Bose will be divided into six teams which will play each other at the Avenue Sammilani ground near Rabindra Sarovar Stadium. The final will come off on December 23.

To commemorate its tenth year, the AVF is also introducing double-wicket cricket and hockey events. Four five-a-side teams will take part in hockey, while five teams will compete in cricket.

Firoz grabs sole lead

Riding five successive birdies on his closing holes, Firoz Ali claimed a two-stroke lead over the field at eight-under 132 in the eleventh leg of the Hero Honda golf tour at Tollygunge Club course today.

The former Indian Open champion’s feat helped etch his name as the joint-course record holder with Indrajit Bhalotia in the meet.

Overnight leaders Indrajit Bhalotia and Mukesh Kumar slipped to tied-second position at six-under 134 apiece. One stroke behind at fourth spot and four-under 136, lurked Vijay Kumar of Lucknow while Uttam Singh Mundy occupied the fifth position at three-under 137.

State volleyball

West Bengal Police, Naihati AC and Howrah Union registered identical 3-0 wins in the senior state volleyball championships at WBVA courts today. The police team beat Chetla Central Club 25-20, 25-17, 25-20 while Naihati AC defeated Bayam samity (Darjeepara) 25-20, 25-17, 25-20. Howrah Union got the better of Simla Bayam Samity 25-22, 31-29, 25-19.    

Calcutta, Nov. 28: 
Bengal’s Shib Sagar Singh led from the front to dismiss Sikkim for 209, helping his team take a huge 196-run lead in their three-day under-22 tie at Burnpur today.

According to information received here, Shib Sagar took four for 33 as no Sikkim batsmen excepting Ashutosh Pintoo (71) and Bikash Mansatta (60) could stand up to Bengal attack. Samad Akhtar (three for 39) and Gourav Sharma (two for 26) were the other successful bowlers for Bengal

BRIEF SCORES: Bengal 405/8 decl. Sikkim 209 (Ashutosh Pintoo 71, Bikash Mansatta 60; Shib Sagar Singh 4/33, Samad Akhtar 3/39, Gourab Sharma 2/26). Match to continue.


Tobler, the Pune Derby winner, is set to win the 1,600m Sir Rahimatoola Chinoy Trophy in Mumbai on Thursday. Malesh Narredu partners the Vinayak-trained three-year-old by Rebounding Thrill out of Hot Chocolate.


2 pm: Fluency 1. Emblaze 2. Overtures 3.
2.30 pm: Super Sword 1. Magic Honey 2. Khim 3.
3 pm: Iceberg 1. Aphaia 2. Anthology 3.
3.30 pm: Super Cop 1. Capri Classic 2. Charging Bullet 3.
4 pm:Tobler 1. Soviet Ace 2. National Velvet 3.
4.30 pm: Opener 1. Celtic Son 2. Over The Ocean 3.
5 pm: Kazakh 1. Mystic Lady 2. Devasva 3.
5.30 pm: Chiliandrina 1. Iron Mask 2. Winning Warrior 3.

Day’s Best: Opener

Double: Iceberg & Tobler

Calcutta, Nov. 28: 
Star Cavalier was impressive in today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Star Cavalier (Connorton) and Soviet Dance (Yasin) in 1-45s; (400m) 27s. They were level. Argolis (R. Ahemd) and Splendid King (Connorton) in 1-48s; (400m) 31s. Level.

800m: Azurica (Som S.) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Sencai (Som S.) in 1-0s; (400m) 31s. Rheinheart (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Fit. Gold Buck (Shanker) in 54s; (400m) 28s. Good. Lucifer (Dalpat) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Software Classic (Rutherford) and Carbon Steel (F. Khan) in 58s; (400m) 29s. Level.

Sand track

1,200m: Addab (Brij S.) in 1-30s; (400m) 32s.

800m: Fargo (Gajender) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Moved well. Fencai (Yacoob) in 55s; (400m) 30s.

600m: Sagittarian (Rutherford) and Beau Bruno (F. Khan) in 38s; (400m) 27s. Former far better.

On Tuesday, outer sand track

1,400m: Acklins (Rb) and Aherlow (C. Alford) in 1-42s; (400m) 30s. Former a length better. Annella (C. Alford) and Alsheim (Surender S.) in 1-40s; (400m) 31s. Former a length better. Flamebird (Gowli) in 1-55s; (400m) 32s.

1,200m: Arendal (Surender) Attune (C. Alford) in 1-31s; (400m) 31s. Level.

1,000m: Splendid King (Connorton) in 1-17s; (400m) 32s.

800m:Soviet Dance (Kujur) and Star Cavalier (Connorton) in 58s; (400m) 31s. Former a length better. Archery (C. Alford) and Arezzo (Rb) in 59s; (400m) 30s. Former far better. Aerobatic (B. Gurang) and Immaculate (Saran) in 58s; (600m) (400m) 29s. Level. Tequila Shot (Shanker) in 1-2s; (400m) 30s.Sea Royale (Surender) and Romantic Notes (C. Alford) in 1-3s; (400m) 32s. Level. Actable (Surender) and Announcer (C. Alford) in 1-3s; (400m) 32s. Level. Among Men (Gowli) and The Stud (Som S.) in 54s; (400m) 29s. Level. Software Classic (Gowli) and Saladin (Rutherford) in 1-3s; (400m) 32s. Level.

400m: Aliquant (Rb) and Altigraph (C. Alford) in 31s. Level.

Sand track

1,400m: Spanish Drums (Dalpat) in 1-46s; (400m) 32s. Added Asset (Connorton) in 1-35s; (400m) 30s. Fit. Sagittarian (Rutherford) in 1-40s. (400m) 27s. Moved well;

1,000m: Soviet Ride (Connorton) and Beneficient (Yasin) in 1-2s; (400m) 24s. Former far better. Note Merano (Rb) in 1-3s; (400m) 25s. Good.

800m: Bul Bul (Engineer) in 53s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Gul (Gowli) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Peppy Mistress (Smith) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Harry The Horse (F. Khan) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Anokato (Yasin) and Secret Adversary (Connorton) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Former was a length better. Sun Princess (Rb) in 54s; (400m) 28s.Cupola (K. Kumar) and Cupid’s Arrow (F. Khan) in 53s; (400m) 27s. Level. Crowned Prince (Saran) and Ballet Master (Kujur) in 57s; (400m) 31s. Level.

On Monday, outer sand track

1,600m: Antequera (Kader) in 1-58s; (400m) 30s. Moved well.

1,400m: Arterial (Engineer) in 1-45s; (400m) 29s. Easy.

800m: Aklovic (Bird) and Altenburg (Kader) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Level. Silver Victress (Kader) and Leading Conquest (Bird) in 1-2s; (400m) 32s.Level.    


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