Wright set to introduce Little Master tips
Martin replaces first-choice Dinesh Mongia for Mohali
Rohan, Humza lead Bengal reply
Bengal win with a day to spare
Rakhi Sangha, E. Rly in semis
Mumbai Racing / The Proletarian may triumph
Bangalore Racing / Vivid Dreams wins close finish
Calcutta Racing / Access All Areas impresses

Calcutta, Dec. 1: 
Twice this week, John Wright got the opportunity to interact at some length with Sunil Gavaskar. And, both times, the Little Master gladly offered suggestions which the national coach is likely to implement from the England series, beginning Monday.

The first arose at Indian high commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee�s dinner in Johannesburg on Tuesday � among the invitees was dapper Omar Abdullah, minister of state for external affairs. Opportunity No.2 came during the seemingly-endless (nine-hour) flight from Jo�Burg to Mumbai on Thursday.

More than the long-term impact, the interaction certainly lifted Wright�s spirits. The coach, after all, had been devastated by India�s performance in South Africa.

At the dinner, the Gavaskar-initiated discussion was general till he began talking of the �little things� which make a �big difference.� The next 20-odd minutes were fascinating. On board the South African Airways� Boeing 767, it was Wright who set the ball rolling by asking if Gavaskar had closely watched Shiv Sundar Das� stance.

Among the �little things,� Gavaskar spoke of introducing internal fines on a daily basis, constantly encouraging every single player to contribute at team meetings, allowing only the 12th man to step out during drinks intervals and, significantly, requesting the Board to pick 12 and not 14 regulars for matches at home.

Barring the last suggestion (a �policy decision� from the Board is required), Wright plans to �quickly� introduce the rest. �In fact, we could make a start in the first Test itself,� Wright told The Telegraph in Mumbai yesterday, before setting out for Mohali.

According to Gavaskar, the fines should help end untidy work on the field. �Fine somebody who doesn�t back up properly and someone who allows easy runs... Perhaps, even bowlers who send down no balls,� he suggested. Gavaskar added the fines could go towards �sponsoring� team dinners.

The quantum, by the way, is to be �democratically� decided. As Wright nodded, a smiling Gavaskar declared his �best day� would be when absolutely nobody was booked.

Regarding team meetings, Gavaskar felt �more the involvement, greater the player�s enthusiasm.� Wright, of course, is already �working� on this front. Only, now, it should be mandatory for rookies, too, to actively participate.

The bit about allowing the 12th man alone to step out was particularly interesting. In Gavaskar�s opinion, there invariably is gup-shup whenever all three reserves accompany the drinks cart. As he put it: �Because of gup-shup, there�s always the fear of a bowler getting distracted and batsmen losing concentration... In any case, why should three players go? Is it because the TV cameras will �catch� them?�

At the last comment, everybody present at the table couldn�t stop laughing. However, it�s no laughing matter for the legend.

On 12 (not 14) being officially picked for matches at home � something which met with ready approval from Wright � Gavaskar maintained it would be far better if berths No.13 and 14 went to �the most promising cricketers of the zone where the match is being played.�

He explained: �Instead of players with experience doing nothing for all five days of a Test, they should be made to play domestic cricket and their places given to youngsters who are bound to learn much merely by watching Sachin, Sourav and Dravid from such close quarters...�

When reminded that the South African selectors had even released the original 12th man for the Bloemfontein Test � Charl Langeveldt � for provincial duty, Gavaskar responded with: �That�s it... Even we should be doing that.� Langeveldt was replaced by Free State�s most promising youngster, quick Dewald Pretorious.

Incidentally, on the Shiv Sundar-specific query, Gavaskar suggested Wright monitor the opener more closely than he usually does (at nets) and, perhaps, modify his standing position. �Watch Shiv Sundar from where point would be stationed, though...�

Wright assumed charge a shade over a year ago and, then itself, was candid about �learning� from Indian greats. He meant it.


Calcutta, Dec. 1: 
Baroda batsman Jacob Martin was today included in the Indian squad for the first Test against England beginning in Mohali Monday.

Martin replaces Virender Sehwag, who has to sit out because of a one-match suspension slapped by Match Referee Mike Denness.

The national selectors, it was learnt, had initially picked Punjab�s Dinesh Mongia after also considering Martin and Abhijit Kale of Maharashtra.

However, Mongia was later omitted since he is playing for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy game against Delhi in Amritsar. The match started yesterday and ends only on Monday � the day the Mohali Test gets underway.

Martin, incidentally, is also playing a Ranji Trophy game � against Mumbai in Vadodara � but that match ends tomorrow.

Martin becomes the 14th member of the squad, ahead of Sehwag who can�t play. The Delhi batsman, who hit a hundred on debut against South Africa recently, will be with the rest of the squad in Mohali.

Fletcher prediction

England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher today predicted that leg-spinner Anil Kumble would be the most successful bowler in the coming three-Test series between India and England starting here tomorrow, adds PTI from Mohali.

�Kumble could be the most successful bowler in this series under home conditions,� Fletcher predicted here during his team�s practice session. �The wicket is hard and bouncy. It will be an interesting encounter�, the English coach said.

Commenting on the strong India batting line-up, Fletcher said Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are the danger men. �Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is respected by everyone and Rahul Dravid is also a very good batsman,� he said, adding the depth in batting could come handy for India.

On the new-look Indian pace battery, Fletcher said it was a good opportunity for the new faces in the squad to prove themselves in front of home crowds and in familiar conditions. Fletcher also expressed confidence that the English youngsters would also do well and said they had worked out a gameplan to tackle the Indians.

Admitting that there were shortcomings in the English batting line-up, he said the youngsters had performed well in County matches and were capable of springing a surprise.

Fletcher said the team would certainly miss the services of pace bowlers Darren Gough and Andy Caddick.


Calcutta, Dec.1: 
Assam 249
Bengal 205/4

Bengal skipper Rohan Gavaskar with a swashbuckling 86 and Humza Ferozie with a patient 76 led Bengal�s riposte to Assam�s first innings total of 249 on the second day of their East Zone Ranji Trophy league match at the Eden Gardens today.

At close of play, Bengal were at 205 with six wickets intact and in with a good chance of opening up a decent first innings lead.

Earlier, the Assam tail, which had started drooping last evening itself, failed to wag much and their innings ended in less than an hour. The last three wickets managed to add just 35 runs as the Assam batsmen decided to commit hara-kiri with two run outs.

Sourashish Lahiri picked up his third wicket when he had Sukhvinder Singh caught behind for four.

The new Bengal opening pair of Arindam Das and Humza Ferozie started steadily and put on 30 runs in ten overs before the former was caught by Nisanta Bordoloi off Parag Das for ten.

Das� departure brought Nikhil Haldipur to the crease. The left-hander, however, did not look too comfortable against off-spinner Ganesh Kumar and was bowled after making a laborious 14.

As expected, the tempo picked up with the arrival of Gavaskar, who put together a 118-run stand with Ferozie for the third wicket. Gavaskar not only hit some crisp boundaries but also kept the strike rotating and the partnership was marked by some hard running between the wickets.

As the duo, with Ferozie anchoring one end, dug in the Assam skipper tried a number of bowling changes. However, even as Ganesh Kumar, bowling from the High Court end, was able to restrict the batsmen, medium-pacers Utpal Medhi and Pabitra Dutta were unable to keep up the pressure.

With the medium-pacers failing, Subhrajit Saikia introduced left-arm spinner Sukhvinder from the Club House end. After tea, Singh, bowling from the other end, gave Assam the breakthrough when he had Gavaskar caught at mid-off by Saikia.

A disappointed hush fell on the sparse crowd as the home team skipper missed out on what would have been the first century of the match. He hit 11 fours and a six en route to his 86.

Safi Ahmed came in after Gavaskar�s dismissal but left without opening his account. He was Singh�s second victim, caught by Manoj Joglekar.

Even as the two quick dismissals rocked Bengal�s boat slightly, Ferozie, who more than made up for the two catches he dropped yesterday, was there to steady things. Although overshadowed by Gavaskar�s pyrotechnics, he played the role of the quintessential sheet-anchor, working the ball around the wicket and hitting the odd loose ball to the fence.

He was at 58 when his captain fell and the onus of giving Bengal a tidy lead now lies on his shoulders.

As the shadows lengthened at the Eden, Ferozie was batting with Saikat Mukherjee on seven when the umpires decided to call off play 12 minutes early with eight overs yet to be bowled.


Calcutta, Dec. 1: 
Bengal today trounced Sikkim by an innings and 77 runs with a day to spare in a Vijay Merchant Trophy (under-16) tie at ECDSC.

Resuming at 59 for two after bowling out the visitors for 141 on the opening day, Bengal declared at 318 for six.

The hosts bowled out Sikkim for 100 to collect eight points, which took their tally to 13 after two matches.

Binan Dutta top scored with an unbeaten 67, while Samik Mukherjee made 65. Anirban Gupta (59), Manoj Tewari (47) and Soham Ghosh (34) were the other notable scorers.

Sourav Dutta then took four for 23 to help Bengal finish the match inside two days.

Orissa vs Tripura

In Cuttack, Orissa made 214 for eight in reply to Tripura�s 146 after Day II, adds PTI. Medium-pacer Bappa Das took five for 50.


In Calcutta: Sikkim 141 & 100 (Sourav Dutta 4/23, Abdul Wali Khan 2/44, Kirti Sarkar 2/1). Bengal 318/6 decl. (Binan Dutta 67 n.o., Samik Mukherjee 65, Anirban Gupta 59, Manoj Tewari 47). Bengal won by an innings and 77 runs.

In Cuttack: Tripura 146. Orissa 214/8 (Raj Kumar Rath 66, P. Debashish 56, Bappa Das 5/50).

Inter-university soccer

Tripura University, Guru Ghasidas University and Vishwabharati University won their matches in the East Zone inter-university men�s football tournament today.

RESULTS: Tripura Univ. bt T.M. Bhagalpur Univ. 3-1, B.C.K.V. vs Jaiprakash (both teams absent), Vishwabharati Univ. bt Sambalpur Univ. 4-0, Guru Ghasidas Univ. bt B.E. College 7-1, Kalyani Univ. vs B.I.T. Mesra (B.I.T. Messra absent)


Calcutta, Dec. 1: 
Eastern Railway, Rakhi Sangha and Blue Jays entered the semi-finals in the women�s section of the Eveready 21st state senior basketball meet at the Rakhi Sangha courts today.

RESULTS: Men�s � Barisha A.C. bt Burdwan Distt. 57-51, Chhatra Samity bt Chetla Park A.C. 55-49, C.P.S.T.C. bt Hooghly Distt. 89-57, B.B.Y.S. bt Chhatra Samity 68-51; Women�s � Eastern Railway bt Burdwan Distt. 99-32, Blue Jays bt Barisha A.C. 67-31, Rakhi Sangha bt South 24 Pgs 41-30, Calcutta Good Counsel bt Burdwan Distt. 41-16.

State volleyball

Naihati A.C., Santoshpur Unnayan Samity, Academy for Sports and Games and Bijoyee Sangha won their matches in the senior state volleyball meet (women�s) at the WBVA courts today.

RESULTS: Naihati A.C. bt K.D.B.S. 3-2; Santoshpur Unnayan Samity bt Natunpukur Assocn. 3-0; Academy for Sports and Games bt Panpur Milan Sangha 3-0; Bijoyee Sangha bt Salkia A.C. 3-0.

Veteran�s football

Chuni Goswami�s team along with Balaram�s and Dipu Das� teams won their matches in the veterans football meet organised by the Association of Veteran Footballers.

Floodlit tennis

Soumya Sur and Farid Alam (under-14) and Arup Mallick, Md Aquib, Prannoy Valechha and Bapi Halder (under-18) moved into the boy�s singles third round in the floodlit tennis tournament at the Saturday Club today.


Mumbai, Dec. 1: 
Although the slated mile trip is a wee bit sharp to his liking, the in-form Imtiaz Sait-trainee The Proletarian, in the hands of Rajinder, may just about have the measure of his 16 rivals to win the A. C. Ardeshir Trophy in Mumbai on Sunday.


1 pm: Centenary 1. Crown Dream 2. Loretta 3.

1.30 pm: Mia Senora 1. Charismatic 2. Danger Zone 3.

2 pm: Forest Angel 1. Divine Honey 2. Thunderball 3.

2.30 pm: Habit 1. Monte Carlo Magic 2. Crisscross 3.

3 pm: Catch Me If You Can 1. Divine Protocal 2. Cristina 3.

3.30 pm: Money magic 1. Royal Standard 2. Berliet 3.

4 pm: The Proletarian 1. Machrihanish 2. Great Investment 3.

4.30 pm: Altazano 1. Bryce Canyon 2. Initiate 3.

5 pm: Bud Royale 1. King Raamses 2. Terrificco 3.

Day�s Best: Centenary

Double: Mia Senora & Bud Royale


Bangalore, Dec. 1: 
Trained by Michael Eshwer, Vivid Dreams scored a narrow victory over a friendless Allabreva in the Sprinters Trial Stakes at the Bangalore races on Saturday. Aslam Kader partnered the Classic Sport-Escada filly to victory.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. December Plate 1,100m: (2-4-7) Portman Square (Shroff) 1; Flowington 2; Grace And Faith 3. Won by: 5-3/4; 4-3/4; (1-19.1). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 15; 14; Quinella: 20; Tanala: 48. Fav: Portman Square (2).

2. Banavasi Plate 1,800m: (2-3-6) Cashflo (F. Ismail) 1; Daiimio 2; Seat of The Master 3. Won by: 6; 3/4; (2-0.1). Tote: Win Rs 238; Place: 58; 16; 17; Quinella: 408; Tanala: 9,508. Fav: Power Extreme (1).

3. Udipi Cup, Div-II 1,400m: (6-1-4) Radcliff (Shukla) 1; Sensational Lover 2; Anzac 3. Won by: 4; 3-1/2; (1-30.2). Tote: Win Rs 82; Place: 18; 16; 11; Quinella: 186; Tanala: 744. Fav: Anzac (4).

4. Kehlan Stud Plate 1,200m: (1-4-7) Al Habib (Appu) 1; Star Festival 2; Machrie Bay 3. Won by: 1/2; 5-1/2; (1-14.9). Tote: Win Rs 72; Place: 31; 18; 27; Quinella: 269; Tanala: 2,669. Fav: Star Festival (4).

5. Dr. S. K. Pillay Memorial Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (7-2-3) Hero Worship (Harish) 1; Jai Bharath 2; Common Wealth 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-15.1). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 12; 36; 36; Quinella: 184; Tanala: 2,201. Fav: Hero Worship (7).

6. Sprinters Trial Stakes 1,200m: (8-6-3) Vivid Dreams (Kader) 1; Allabreva 2; Alylady 3. Won by: Nk; 3; (1-14.4). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 15; 48; 31; Quinella: 386; Tanala: 3,538. Fav: Vivid Dreams (8).

7. Udipi Cup, Div-I 1,400m: (4-7-1) Barassie (Appu) 1; Silk Petals 2; Step In Time 3. Won by: 8-1/4; Nk; (1-30.8). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 13; 23; 12; Quinella: 84; Tanala: 274. Fav: Barassie (4).

8. Dr. S. K. Pillay Memorial Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (3-5-7) Swinging Conquest (Shroff) 1; Big And Blonde 2; Private Emotions 3. Won by: 4-1/4; Hd; (1-16.5). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 12; 17; 31; Quinella: 36; Tanala: 240. Fav: Swinging Conquest (3).

Jackpot: Rs 1,330; (C) Rs 318.

Treble: (i) Rs 17,653; (ii) Rs 91.


Calcutta, Dec. 1: 
Access All Areas, Arterial and Anokato.were impressive from among the following horses exercised today morning:

Outer sand track

1,600m: Access All Areas (C. Alford) and Arendal (Amil) in 1-50s; (400m) 28s. Former far better. Note. former.

1,400m: Arterial (Bird) in 1-39s; (400m) 27s. Good.

800m: Leading Conquest (Som S.) and Silver Victress (Bird) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Former 2 ls better. Desert Force (Amjad) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Moved well. Abroach (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Easy. Antolia (Surender) and Callisto (C. Alford) in 1-1s; (400m) 33s. They were level and were easy. Splendid King (Dalpat) in 58s; (400m) 30s. Own Legacy (Rb) and Assertive Dancer (Asghar) in 57s; (400m) 29s. They were level. Rich Dominion (Connorton) and Impressive Prince (Yasin) in 56s; (400m) 29s. They were level. Carbon Steel (F. Khan) and Saladin (Rutherford) in 56s; (400m) 29s. They finished level. Arbello (Rb) in 59s; (400m) 29s.

Sand track

1,000m: Star Selection (Connorton) and Regency Times (Upadhya) in 1-7s; (400m) 24. They finished together.

800m: Bird�s Empire (Connorton) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Moved easy. On The Bit (K.Kumar) in 58s; (400m) 32s. Easy. Common Spirit (B. Gurang) and Arctic Fancy (Connorton) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Former a length better.

600m: Anokato (Connorton) and Secret Adversary (B. Gurang) in 36s; (400m) 24s. Former a length better.

Gate practice, from 2,000m to 1,400m: Star of Ring (Upadhya) and Social Girl (Ashgar) in 44s. Former who jumped out well was far better.


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