It’s advantage England after third day
Scoring a ton always feels great: Sachin
Hard-earned win for Bagan
Panja, Sewa cruise into semi-finals
India Blues in lead
Attack not to affect tour
Calcutta Racing/ Vijay, Cristopher hold aces
Calcutta Racing/ Calorescence catches eye
Bangalore Racing/ Joe The Pro stands tall
Mumbai Racing/ Special Happening strikes

Ahmedabad, Dec. 13: 
England 407 & 15/0
India 291

No fear, no trepidation was evident. Just a quiet sense of determination on Nasser Hussain’s face, at the end of the day. None gave them a chance, but sheer self-belief has made possible the near turnaround in this series.

There was no Darren Gough, no Andy Caddick and the Indians had enough chance to breathe easy. Still the Matthew Hoggards, the Andrew Flintoffs and the Ashley Giles are proving to be increasingly threatening for the Sourav Gangulys and the Rahul Dravids.

The wicket is not showing any signs of turning big, merely the wear and tear of three days of cricket. Surviving was not a problem at the Motera. England played to a plan of utilising a couple of spots and keeping the batsmen tied to their crease by disciplined bowling today. That was enough as India conceded a lead of 116 in the first innings and were in arrears by 131 at close.

“It’s still a good track, though, there’s a bit of turn,” said Sachin Tendulkar.

Sourav Ganguly had dismissed the suggestion that the toss would be a vital factor in deciding the course of the game. The events since should have proved him wrong and it would take a heroic effort from his batsmen to get anything beyond 250 in the fourth innings.

Only Sachin stood between the visitors and their enforcing the follow-on after India were down to 93 for four in the first session. The Indian star endured the challenge with his 27th hundred, equalling Steve Waugh and Allan Border at the third spot of Test centurions. Only Don Bardman (29) and Sunil Gavaskar (34) stay ahead.

V.V.S. Laxman’s effort towards the end found little support as Giles ran through the lower-order with a five-wicket haul. The last five Indian batsmen could add just 28 runs. But the 118-run fifth wicket stand had ensured the hosts crossed 207.

Giles, in his comeback match after a persistent Achilles tendon injury sliced through the tail to take the last four wickets.

Two early wickets had given the impression that England might dominate but as Sachin stood tall, their hopes evaporated into the hot and dry air. The initial crisis over, Sachin departed, in the fifth over with the second new ball, once Hussain fumbled but held onto his lazy shot at mid-on.

The clenched fist and pumping of the air on reaching his hundred said it all. Perhaps it was aimed at those who doubted Sachin’s abilities to deliver when it does matter.

Sachin (103 off 197 balls, 12x4, 1x6) overcame some testing moments today as Flintoff tempted him with a predominantly off stump line and packed off-side field. He, though, never attempted a risky stroke and played the role of a senior pro, controlling his emotions and relying on precision and judgement.

His teammates never showed such measured attributes. Dravid, after wasting 60 balls, decided to snick behind. Sourav then became a Flintoff victim.

A war of words with his former Lancashire teammate was followed by the Indian skipper deciding to plot his dismissal by standing at silly point in the first Test. It was Flintoff’s turn to exact revenge today. The angular delivery brushed Sourav’s bat on way to second slip.

Sachin watched quietly as England threatened to gain a firm foothold. He played in a lower gear than usual, did not chance his arm or lift the ball or step down the pitch or in any other way respond to the demands of an excited crowd.

From this description of restraint it might be supposed that Sachin scored slowly. Nothing could be further from the truth. After lunch he sent the score rattling with a stream of superbly crafted strokes, immaculate timing being the hallmark of such shots.

Hoggard and Dawson were the worst sufferers. It included a huge six off Dawson over mid-wicket. A pulled four off Hoggard over square-leg later brought about his hundred.

It was a different Laxman (75 off 192 balls, 9x4) on display this afternoon. As Sachin reached his century, he crawled to 26. He watched in awe as Sachin enjoyed the upperhand.

Laxman has of late found some unfortunate ways to get out. His temperament and application was becoming a topic of discussion among the selectors. He did manage to come out unscathed playing a controlled innings.

The Hyderabad batsman opened up once Sachin departed. The trademark whip off his legs and flowing drives were followed by some solid pulls and hooks. As he ran out of partners, he threw his bat around at about everything towards the end. In the process, a well deserved century was missed as he became the last man out.


Ahmedabad, Dec.13: 
The elation on reaching his 27th Test hundred was evident at the end of the day. Sachin Tendulkar looked relaxed after catching up with Steve Waugh and Allan Border in the list of centuries.

“Scoring a hundred is always a great feeling. Today it was under slightly different circumstances,” said Sachin.

“We had a lost a few early wickets and they had set a big target. Something around 400 plus is always tough. We wanted to get as close as possible. In trying to do that I got a hundred.”

He did not wish to set any targets for himself when someone asked if he was aiming for something around 40 centuries. “I always try my best out there. I have never thought about it and don’t wish to,” he said.

Sachin had no complaints about England setting eight men on the off, which has often been construed as a negative strategy. “That’s what Test cricket is all about. Every day and every innings you are not going to get the ball where you want. Sometimes the opposition works on your patience. There are times you have to take calculated risks.

“It is a bit of a disappointment that we made only 291. We would have loved to get closer to their total. We have to pull up our socks and put up a better show,” said Sachin.

He identified lack of partnerships as the reason for India’s poor showing. “Except for my partnership with Laxman, we didn’t have any big stand. Partnerships are so important. England managed to put one together after being 180 for five,” he felt.

He was all praise for Ashley Giles who scalped five wickets but didn’t rule out the possibility of an Indian fightback. “Cricket’s a funny old game. You never know what is going to come up next. All we can do is try hard. England have played better than us so far and it is up to us to try and match them. We have to ry harder and hope it clicks for us.”

Giles, too, was all praise for the Indian. “Sachin is just awesome. There aren’t many players of his calibre right now.” He said at no stage was he “overtly frustrated” at not being able to stop Sachin. “Part of my plan was to bowl to a line so that he couldn’t easily tuck them away.”


Calcutta, Dec. 13: 
Mohun Bagan 2
Tollygunge 0

The scoreline could well have been the other way round. Having let go two difficult-to-miss chances in the first half, Tollygunge Agragami started their National Football League campaign on a sad note today, conceding two quick, fatal goals to Mohun Bagan in the second half.

The scorers for Mohun Bagan were Abdulateef Seriki and James Singh, both goals being set up by Brazilian Jose Ramirez Barreto.

The first half sort of laid bare the apology of a defence that Mohun Bagan have. It was a shame to watch the former champions sport a back four that believe in no work and all pay. Or, possibly, they were never really upto it. It is time one looked into the composition at this line and decided if the money was well spent.

Khemtang Paite moved through in the eighth minute and there was little by way of challenge at the Mohun Bagan goalmouth that could have prevented him from the sharp, rising volley that he was able to take. The crosspiece had more sense, sending the offering back, pronto.

Bagan did try to fluff fur and look rather menacing, and ran around in circles, looking busy too. Nothing helped. In the 31st minute Akeem Abolanle was up the right and into the box as the Bagan defence, as usual, watched. Goalkeeper Rajat Ghosh Dastidar fumbled in parrying what Akeem had to shoot, but Moses Owira shot over the rebound from close. Two minutes later Akeem was again into the rival box, from the left, but instead of taking on the goalkeeper, alone at goalmouth, Akeem shot across it.

Bagan’s first positive chance came in the 36th minute when Seriki headed one down, in the box, to R.C. Prakash, but the latter missed from close.

It was interesting to see that the Tollygunge forward line was not affected in the absence of Sasthi Duley in the starting XI. There was less midfield work, hence less feed to the attackers and solo runs were the order of the day. Bagan were using their half-line to advantage, pushing up the middle and right, with the forwards ready with set-pieces.

The tables turned in the second half, Barreto shooting over in the first minute before James moved up the left two minutes later. Barreto took charge quickly and sent a high lob to the goalmouth. Seriki jumped to head in.

That stopped Tollygunge’s adventurism. Three minutes later Barreto was again into the rival defensive third and was playing a ‘wall’ with James. Into the box James pulled away to the right to give the challengers the slip and, as Barreto set him up, sent home a fine grounder.

That was a goal that could have paid for the few entry tickets sold at the Salt Lake Stadium today. It was also a goal that could help Bagan detect their strengths and weaknesses before the crucial match versus East Bengal Sunday.

A few more chances came either way, but the basic fibre of the game had already been woven into boredom, by then.


MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar, Dulal Biswas, Amouri da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Lolendra Singh, James Singh, Badudeb Mondal (RP Singh, 46), Debjit Ghosh, RC Prakash (Ajoy Singh, 73), Jose Ramires Barreto (Uday Konar, 52), Abdulateef Seriki.

TOLLYGUNGE AGRAGAMI: Sandip Nandy, Reajul Mustafa, Subhasis Roy Chowdhury, Satish Bharti, Amitava Chanda, Mehtab Hossain (Ashim Biswas, 58), Sandip das, Adeala Adeyani, Akeem Abolanlee, Khemtang Paite (Srikrishna Ghosh, 78), Moses Owira (Sasthi Duley, 69).

Referee: BK Singh (Bihar).


Calcutta, Dec. 13: 
Top seed Sourav Panja and third seed Vinod K. Sewa today easily moved into the semi-finals of the Saturday Club floodlit tennis championship.

While Panja defeated Prateek Chowbey 6-1, 6-0, Sewa beat Tapan Haldar 6-1, 6-1.

The others into the last four stage were fourth seed Siddharth Verma, who got the better of Sourav Sukul 6-3, 6-1, and Samrat Ghosh, who beat Ramnath Roy 7-6 (7-4), 2-1 (conceded).

In the men’s handicap singles, Farid Alam beat Jagjit Gandhi 6-3, -6, 6-3.

Relegation leg soccer

In the first round of the IFA Super Division relegation leg soccer meet play-off matches today, FCI and BNR failed to score, and neither could SAIL and George Telegraph. That leaves the relegation issue hanging free, till Saturday when the teams meet again. The winners stay safe, the losers go down.

Drag race

The Calcutta Motor sports Club will, after a long time, hold another motoring event, Sunday. This will be a drag race at the Barrackpore Army cantonment’s metalled surface.

There is also an autocross of sorts appended, and cars will be in four categories (according to engine displacement capacity). There will also be an open category, says a press release issued by the club.

Schools table tennis

The Bengal Lions inter-school table tennis championships will be held at the Burrabaazar Yubak Sabha from Saturday to Monday. The meet is being organised by the Lions Club International, district 322B2.

University Table Tennis

Calcutta University men have emerged best in the East Zone all–India inter-university table tennis championships which concluded recently, says a release from the university. In the final, Calcutta beat Osmania 3-2. Ravishankar were third, beating Punjab to the position with a 3-1 verdict. Calcutta women, though, finished fourth, losing 0-3 to Delhi. The title was won by Madras women, beating North Bengal 3-2 in the final.

University soccer

Calcutta University beat JNV Jodhpur 3-0 in the soccer event of the East Zone inter-university championship.

In other matches, Burdwan drew with Goa 1-1, Calicut beat Delhi 4-0, LNIPE trounced BRA Bihar 6-0, Kerala defeated MD Rhotak 2-0 and MG Kottyam beat Punjab 2-0 at the SAI grounds.

Mavalankar shooting

Bengal have won 14 medals from the XI Mavalankar shooting championships which concluded yesterday in Asansol. Of these, the Serampore Rifle Club has bagged 10 medals, says a release from the club.

The club’s haul, says the release, was five golds, two silvers and three bronze. Partha Ghosh set two meet records in winning golds in the meet, says the release.


Calcutta, Dec. 13: 
India Blues emerged leaders after Round 9 in the main team event for the Ruia Gold Cup in the 43rd Winter Bridge Nationals today.

The team comprising Ashok Ruia, J.M. Shah, Debashish Roy, K.V. Krishnamurthy, Ashok Bhand and Dr Paranjpe has 163.12 VPs including carry over.

Kalpana Mishra’s Four was in second spot with 160.44, followed by Formidables (158.86), Haldibari (158) and Monotona (158). Dhampur Sugar was tenth at 142.

The tournament has been disrupted in the wake of the Prime Minister’s proposed trip to the city and matches shifted from Netaji Indoor Stadium to Eden Gardens today. Tomorrow, Khudiram Anushilan Kendra will be the venue.

Tomorrow’s action will begin at 9.15 am and there will two sessions of elimination in Holkar Open Pairs. There will also be a session of board-a-match team event apart from the Ruia Cup quarter finals.


Ahmedabad, Dec. 13: 
The terrorist attack on the parliament will have no bearing on England’s current tour, according to David Clarke, media relations manager.

Clarke said the incident would have no bearing on the tour as it “did not concern” them.

However, according to sources, the ECB might have considered their stand on the tour if a terrorist outfit like Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida had claimed responsibility for the attack.

They could also have had a rethink if the attack had led to the death of any prominent political leader, creating serious law and order problems in the country.

But, under the present circumstances, the tour will continue unhindered.


Calcutta, Dec. 13: 
Not only fields that are packed in tomorrow’s frame, there are trophies aplenty — six, to be precise, in a seven event card. The afternoon is, however, expected to be ruled by the trainer-jockey combinations of Vijay Singh and Cristopher Alford as they hold aces in most of the events. Their runners; Anatolia, Abashed, Ancheta, Andrada and with luck even some more appear to be ready to strike in their respective events.

Race card and selections

1. Winged Tiger Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 12.35 pm: Fly By Alibi 61 Rutherford 6; Albright 60 C. Alford 1; Heaven,s Blessing 58.5 Shanker 9; Wild Is The Wind 55 Amil 4; Lovely Duchess 54.5 P. Alford 10; Sparkling Diamond 54.5 Surender 5; Gul 51.5 Smith 3; Noor Aliya 51 Gajender 2; Aureate 50 Rabani 8; Piece of Cake 48.5 Dalpat 7.

1. Fly By Alibi (1) 2. Albright (2) 3. Aureate (9)

2. Breeders’ Cup 1,100m (Terms, 2-y-o only) 1.05 pm: Announcer 57 Amil 4; Carbon Steel 57 Gowli 3; Musician 57 Rabani 6; Royal Command 57 Upadhya 2; Sagittarian 57 Rutherford 5; Anatolia 55.5 C. Alford 1; Romantic Notes 55.5 Shanker 8; Star of Ring 55.5 Connorton 7.

1. Anatolia (6) 2. Sagittarian (5) 3. Carbon Steel (2)

3. Mauritius Belle Cup 1,200m (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 1.45 pm: Tsavo 61 Amjad 1; Soviet Ride 59 Locke 10; Gold Buck 58.5 Shanker 5; Regal Rocket 57.5 R. Ahmed 2; Silver Patriarch 57 A. P. Singh 12; Arctic Fancy 56 Connorton 9; Accelerating Star 55 B. Gurang 11; Alkido 54 Islam 4; Ancheta 54 C. Alford 6; Illustrious Reign 51 Dalpat 7; Ornate Crown 48 Amil 3; Raring To Go 47 Yasin 8.

1. Ancheta (9) 2. Gold Buck (3) 3. Arctic Fancy (6)

4. INS Hooghly Cup 1,200m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 2.20 pm: Abashed 60 C. Alford 3; Flying Scot 59 Gowli 5; April Ace 57 Saran 1; Red Trident 56.5 Brij S. 2; Rheinheart 56.5 Shanker 7; Alborada 54.5 R. Ahmed 8; Lively Project 53.5 A. P. Singh 4; Sergeant Slipper 53 (withdrawn); Tiger Talk 51 Som 6.

1. Abashed (1) 2. Rheinheart (5) 3. Lively Project (7)

5. Bangalore Turf Club Cup 1,200m (Cl I, Rt. 88 & over) 2.50 pm: Annalee 60 C. Alford 6; Amusing 56 Upadhya 2; Secret Blessing’s 54.5 B. Gurang 4; Beneficent 52 Connorton 5; Clarice Cliff 50.5 Islam 1; Reine Beau 50.5 Kujur 3; Thunder Struck 50.5 Yasin 7.

1. Beneficent (4) 2. Annalee (1) 3. Clarice Cliff (5)

6. T. N. Banerjea Cup, Div-I 1,100m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 3.25 pm: Sovereign Bullet 60 Dalpat 6; Aracruz 59 Rabani 8; Immaculate 58 Asghar 7; Grand Lodge 57.5 Upadhya 12; Dancing Dreams 57 P. Alford 1; Gallant Romeo 56 B. Gurang 5; On The Bit 54.5 Rutherford 2; Best In Show 54 Islam 10; Schumacher 53.5 R. Ahmed 11; Lawyer’s Love 52.5 Tamang 3; Simply Monarch 52.5 Yasin 4; Alegria 51 S. Domingo 9.

1. On The Bit (7) 2. Alegria (12) 3. Aracruz (2)

7. T. N. Banerjea Cup, Div-II 1,100m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 4 pm: Anokato 60 A. P. Singh 10; Winning Hand 60 Engineer 2; Endless Surprise 59 M. Maseyk 5; Ardon 58 Asghar 8; Silver Toy 57 Gowli 11; Kargil Soldier 56.5 K. Kumar 6; Tajik 56 Rutherford 12; Andrada 54.5 C. Alford 1; Excellent Striker 53.5 B. Gurang 7; Starina 53.5 Tamang 3; Midas Touch 53 Yasin 4; Crowned Prince 50.5 Kujur 9.

1. Andrada (8) 2. Endless Surprise (3) 3. Silver Toy (5)

Day’s Best: Andrada.

Double: Ancheta & Beneficent.


Calcutta, Dec. 13: 
Calorescence was impressive in today’s workouts..

Outer sand track

1,800m: Calorescence (C. Alford) and Abroach (Amil) in 2-9s; (400m) 28s. Former was far better. Ace of Spades (Upadhya) and Touch of Silver (Connorton) in 2-18s; (400m) 28s. Former was a length better.

1,400m: Actress (Amil) and Anagram (C. Alford) in 1-43s; (400m) 29s. Former was far better. Fame Star (Shanker) and Annatto (C. Alford) in 1-41s; (400m) 30s. Former was a length better. Harry The Horse (Rutherford).in 1-46s; (400m) 30s.

1,200m: Giorgio (Dalpat) and Pretty Boy Floyd (Upadhya) in 1-28s; (400m) 30s. They were level.

800m: Don Vittorio (Shanker) 1-1s; (400m) 31s.

Sand track

1,400m: Soviet Song (Gowli) in 1-28s; (400m) 26s. Good. Flinders (Som S.) in 1-40s; (400m) 33s. Eased up. Assertive Dancer (R. Ahmed) and Primaticco (Rb) in 1-46s; (400m) 29s. They were level.

Gate practice, from 2000m to 400m: Sanctified Star (Upadhya), Silver Victress (Rb), Artwork (Bird) and Amusing (Asghar) in 44s. All four jumped out well.


Bangalore, Dec. 13: 
On his sheer class the one who stands out most to lift the 1,200m Royal Calcutta Turf Club Cup, tomorrow in a frame of seven, is the Z. Darashah-ward Joe The Pro,partnered by K. P. Appu.


2 pm: Steinlen 1. Bernstein 2. God’s Gift 3.

2.30 pm: Lyric Fantasy 1. Lake Baikal 2. Nice And Noble 3.

3 pm: Flash First 1. Ma Baker 2. Gullane 3.

3.30 pm: Aveyron 1. Barroness Orczy 2. Southern Host 3.

4 pm: Joe The Pro 1. Golden Collection 2. Winelight 3.

4.30 pm: Sunchaser 1. Different Ballgame 2. Count My Stride 3.

5 pm: Whattagirl 1. Screen Play 2. What a Pleasure 3.

Day’s Best: Joe The Pro

Double: Lyric Fantasy & Aveyron


Mumbai, Dec. 13: 
Trained by Imtiaz Sait, Special Happening easily won the Star Supreme Trophy at the Mumbai races held on Thursday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Happy Time Plate 1,600m: (4-1-2) Northern Frontier (Kamlesh) 1; Pink Floyd 2; Waleshan 3. Won by: 4; 3-3/4; (1-41.5). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 11; 20; 17; Quinella: 61; Tanala: 233. Fav: Northern Frontier (4).

2. D. W. Reid Plate 1,400m: (4-7-2) Flyme To The Moon (Berry) 1; Senora Jade 2; Sarena Pride 3. Won by: Dist; 3-3/4; (1-25.9). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 20; 13; Quinella: 53; Tanala: 165. Fav: Flyme To The Moon (4).

3. Star Supreme Trophy 1,000m: (5-1-7) Special Happening (M. Narredu) 1; Days of Glory 2; Speed of Light 3. Not run: Zeisha (3). Won by: 3-1/2; 4-3/4; (59.9). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 11; 20; Quinella: 23; Tanala: 50. Fav: Special Happening (5).

4. H. C. Clifton Plate 1,400m: (2-1-4) Big Bertha (Kharadi) 1; Anthology 2; Special Selection 3. Won by: SH; 3-3/4; (1-27.1). Tote: Win Rs 48; Place: 15; 21; 19; Quinella: 140; Tanala: 843. Fav: Bound By Honour (6).

5. Florescence Plate 1,000m: (1-7-5) Shubhangini (Rupesh) 1; Tio Pepe 2; Partner Perfect 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-1.9). Tote: Win Rs 206; Place: 66; 15; 33; Quinella: 373; Tanala: 13,582. Fav: Tio Pepe (7).

6. A. Hoyt Plate 1,200m: (4-1-8) Romanza (McCullagh) 1; The Gladiator 2; King Crimson 3. Won by: 5; 3/4; (1-15). Tote: Win Rs 65; Place: 26; 14; 22; Quinella: 71; Tanala: 602. Fav: The Gladiator (1).

Jackpot: Rs 15,091; (C) Rs 724.

Treble: (i) Rs 65; (ii) Rs 15,975.


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