Upbeat Bengal meet Bihar
Additional tie in Cuttack
Priyanka topples top seed
Three for Dola, Limba wins one
Meet tees off on January 1
Bangalore Racing/ Symphony of Fire set to strike
Bangalore Racing/ Easy win for Crystal Sky
Calcutta Racing/ Track trials

Jamshedpur, Dec 28: 
With two outright wins from as many outings, Bengal start as favourites tomorrow in their four-day East Zone Ranji Trophy league match against Bihar at the Keenan Stadium here.

A confident Bengal coach Woorkeri Raman said after nets today that his team would play for an outright victory. Bengal are on a high after wins against Assam and Tripura. The availability of national wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta and former India opener Devang Gandhi will also add strength to their batting.

Deep was busy doing national duty and Devang was out with a back injury and will be playing his first match of the season. With the likes of captain Rohan Gavaskar and Nikhil Haldipur back among the runs, the hosts are sure to face a tough task.

Middle-order batsman Subhamoy Das made 57 in his debut match against Tripura and will add power in that department.

Bengal�s bowling also shows enough teeth. Laxmi Ratan Shukla has been among the wickets and veteran Utpal Chatterjee is still doing the star-turn. The left-arm spinner has already picked up 21 wickets (eight versus Assam, 13 against Tripura) from two matches and it is likely that conditions here will favour him again.

In sharp contrast, the drubbing at the hands of Orissa last week has done the hosts� confidence no good. Curator Maheshwar Sahu says the wicket will turn from Day I which is not good news for Bihar.

Aiming to salvage some prestige, a jittery Bihar camp has included leggie Sujit Roy, who has been performing well in the junior matches. Roy is set to make his debut at the expense of Arun Pandey, the left-arm spinner who had a bad outing against Orissa.

Traditionally, the Keenan wicket aids spinners though it gives the seamers a bit of assistance early on. According to Bihar coach Randhir Singh, seamer S. S. Rao, an MRF Pace Foundation trainee, is likely to share the new ball with Mihir Diwakar. The spin attack will be led by Roy along with left-armer Shahid Khan. The duo will be complemented by Saurav Shukla with his quickish leg-breaks.

In the batting department, however, the hosts have lots to worry. Their batting is heavily dependent on southpaw Tariq-ur-Rehman and skipper Rajiv Kumar, both of whom have cracked centuries this season. Openers Nikhilesh Ranjan and Javed Khan along withSaurav Shukla and Sunil Kumar have not been particularly remarkable with the bat.

There have been occasional flashes of brilliance with Shukla scoring 120 in Bihar�s first match against Tripura while wicketkeeper Mahender Singh Dhoni scored 96 in the last game, against Orissa.


Bihar (from): Rajiv Kumar (captain), Tariq-ur-Rehman, Nikhilesh Ranjan, Javed Khan, M. S. Dhoni, Sumeet Panda, Shahid Khan, Arun Pandey, Shashi Ranjan, Sunil Kumar, Sujit Roy, Mihir Diwakar, Saurav Shukla, S. S. Rao.

Bengal (from): Rohan Gavaskar (captain), Deep Dasgupta, Devang Gandhi, L. R. Shukla, Utpal Chatterjee, Subhradeep Ganguly, Arindam Das, Sourashish Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, Sanjib Sanyal, Subhamoy Das, Nikhil Haldipur, Saikat Mukherjee.


Calcutta, Dec. 28: 
Cuttack will host the sixth one-day International between India and England on January 22. The opening tie of the six-match series will now be held on January 19 in the city. The rest of the itinerary, however, remains unchanged.

The changes in the itinerary were announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

According to the agreement signed between Dalmiya and Ian MacLaurin, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman, the Indian squad that will tour England in the summer of 2002 will play four Tests and a triangular series involving India and Sri Lanka besides the hosts.

In turn, the ECB has agreed to compensate the Indians for participating in the additional matches during the tour.

It has also been decided that England will play four Tests and five one-day Internationals during its tour of India in 2006 or three Tests and a triangular series that may feature seven one-dayers.


Jan. 19: Calcutta; Jan. 22: Cuttack; Jan. 25: Chennai; Jan. 28: Kanpur; Jan. 31: Delhi; Feb. 3: Mumbai.

Dravid to leave next month

Rahul Dravid will leave for South Africa in the first week of January to undergo treatment to his injured shoulder. The Board will meet the entire expense for his treatment, Dalmiya said.

The BCCI gave Dravid the go-ahead after Dr Anant Joshi diagnosed his injury as one which cannot be treated best in India. He will have to undergo isokinetic testing and training shoulder manipulative therapy and will be out of action for four to six weeks.

No ICC panel yet

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is yet to finalise the Referees� Commission, which (among other things) will review Mike Denness� disciplinary action on six Indian cricketers during the South Africa tour. Under the agreement, the BCCI will have to be consulted before the Commission is instituted.

�So far we have not been able to agree to the names. There has, however, been no breakdown in the talks,� Dalmiya said.

Sourav unlikely

Sourav Ganguly is unlikely to play the Ranji Trophy tie against Orissa in Baripada from January 5. The venue had been shifted from Cuttack after the centre was chosen to host the sixth one-dayer.

�Though it is mandatory to participate in domestic matches, we cannot force it upon players who have been playing non-stop cricket,� Dalmiya said.


Calcutta, Dec. 28: 
Priyanka Parekh upset top seed Lata Assudani 6-3, 6-3 in the girls under-16 semi-final of the Adhip Mukerjea memorial AITA junior tennis meet today.

Another top seed, Arka Mondal in the boys under-18 section, lost to J. Jayanth 2-6, 3-6 in the quarter finals. G. Arjun, N. Kiran Kumar and Rupesh Roy also made it to the semi-finals.

Ragini Vimal and Deepa Chakraborty made it to the semis in the girls under-18.

In the boys under-16 section, Rupesh Roy, Anshuman Dutta, Jitin Bishnoi and G. Arjun made the last-four stage.

Unified karate body

Nine senior karatekars have formed the West Bengal Karate Council, the unified state body for the sport. At a press conference today Shivaji Ganguly informed that �most senior karatekas� had come under the body�s roof and efforts were being made to rope in the rest.

The body will hold its first state meet in May/June.

Arijit hits 137

Arijit Mukherjee�s 137 and a hattrick by Sushanta Banik helped Behala CCC inflict a 166-run thrashing on FAC in the Ambar Roy sub-junior meet today.


Pankaj Gupta CCC 133 (Sougata en 58 n.o.). Shute Banerjee CCC 72 (Raja Adhikari 3/16, Animesh Biswas 3/14). Pankaj Gupta CCC won by 64 runs.

Behala CCC 253/3 (Arijit Mukherjee 137, Ayan Mukherjee 46 n.o.). FAC 87/9. Behala CCC won by 166 runs.

Ballygunj Sporting 120/8 (Soumyajit as 3/14). Khadim Ashok Malhotra Academy 123/2 (Arijit Roy 68 n.o., Binoy Basak 23). Khadim AMA won by 8 wkts.

Jadavpur S. Sandhya 164/5 (Arya Roy 56, Suresh Moriya 38). Pearabagan Milan Sangha 117 (Surajit Gayan 31). JSS won by 47 runs.


Calcutta, Dec. 28: 
Jharkhand�s Dola Banerjee picked up three golds on the opening day of the 22nd national archery championship at Cossipore Seven Tanks Estate today.

Ace archer Limba Ram of Rajasthan picking up the gold medal in the men�s 90m event.

Dola took the gold medal in the women�s 70m, 60m and 30m events while her statemate C. Swaro took the honours in the women�s 50m event.

All the four gold medals at stake in the women�s section went to Jharkhand while in the men�s section Uttar Pradesh picked up two gold medals, Rajasthan and Ordnance Factories one each. Bengal�s Sujata Das came thid in the 50m event with a score of 301.

Limba scored 304 points to take the honours in the men�s 90m.


MEN: 90 m: Limba Ram (Raj, 304), W Ranjan Singh (SSCB, 294), Kailash (UP, 293). 70 m: Shibnath Nagesia (UP, 325), Kailash (UP, 322), Satyadeo Prasad (UP, 322). 50 m: Kailash (UP, 324), M R Tirkey (SSCB, 323), Mangal Singh Champia (UP, 322). 30 m: Ved Kumar (OFSCB, 350), Gurpal Singh (Pun, 347), Rajesh Hansdak (Ori, 346).

WOMEN: 70 m: Dola Banerjee (Jha, 310), C Swaro (Jha, 309), Banasara Lindhar (Jha, 321). 60 m: Dola Banerjee (Jha, 328), C Swaro (Jha, 324), Banasara Lindhar (Jha, 321). 50 m: C Swaro (Jha, 317), Banasara Lindhar (Jha, 302), Sujata Das (Beng, 301). 30 m: Dola Banerjee (Jha, 346), Banasara Lindhar (Jha, 340), C Swaro (Jha, 338).


Calcutta, Dec. 28: 
A total of 110 players will take part in the Mayor all-India junior and sub-junior golf championships at the RCGC course from January 1- 4. The city is hosting the event after five years.

The participants have been divided into four age-groups for the four-round strokeplay event, informed RCGC Captain V.K. Singh.

Group A (15-17 years) has 40 entries, Group B (13-14 years) has 30, Group C (11-12 years) has 20 and Group D (under-10) has 20. Six-year-old Subham Bose from Noida will be the youngest golfer.

The entries include Harinder Gupta, Jaskirat Dullet, Deepak Kumar, Karan Talwar, Aditya Singh and Karan Vasudeva among others.

The RCGC, which has encouraged young golfers over the years, also plans to set up an academy for juniors.

Harinder in lead

Harinder Gupta of Delhi led the A category with 228 points in the East India junior golf championships today.

Sri Lanka�s Amrit J. Desoysa (233) led the B section while Raghav Wahi (261) and Rajesh Halder (180) were the leaders in the C and D categories, respectively.


Bangalore, Dec. 28: 
Z. Darashah�s ward Symphony of Fire who let down a host of supporters in her last start, is set to make amends in the Shantiniketan Cup, tomorrow, in the hands of K. P. Appu


2.30 pm: Nimitz 1. Dancing Beat 2. Coral Bird 3.

3 pm: Steinlen 1. Assumer 2. Grace And Faith 3.

3.30 pm: Odeon 1. Splendid Ally 2. Anzac 3.

4 pm: Symphony of Fire 1. Joe The Pro 2. Extreme Contact 3.

4.30 pm: Imperial Legend 1. Aveyron 2.

5 pm: Star Chieftan 1. Whatmore 2. Daggers Drawn 3.

5.30 pm: Genuine Article 1. Kilkemny 2. Anonyme 3.

Day�s Best: Symphony of Fire

Double: Imperial Legend & Star Chieftan


Bangalore, Dec. 28: 
Ridden by Harish, the Padmanabhan-trained six-year-old mare Crystal Sky had an easy measure of the favourite Augill Castle in the Ardent Knight Cup in Bangalore on Friday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Bharachukki Plate 1,200m: (6-10-2) Prince Valiant (Kader) 1; Red Mamma 2; Forest Prince 3. Won by: Dist; 1-1/4; (1-14.6). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 11; 62; 16; Quinella: 302; Tanala: 1,194. Fav: Prince Valiant (6).

2. Talkad Cup 2,000m: (7-2-1) Sheer Blossoms (Afsar) 1; Charente 2; Selena 3. Won by: SH; 3; (2-15.6). Tote: Win Rs 177; Place: 41; 16; 32; Quinella: 500; Tanala: 4,504. Fav: Skeena (6).

3. R. Subbanna Memorial Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (7-1-2) Just Do It (J. Shukla) 1; Jai Bharath 2; So Thrilled 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 3-1/4; (1-16.2). Tote: Win Rs 94; Place: 25; 20; 16; Quinella: 234; Tanala: 1,832. Fav: So Thrilled (2).

4. Ardent Knight Cup 1,600m: (6-3-1) Crystal Sky (Harish) 1; Augill Castle 2; Royal Satin 3. Not run: Desert Gold (5). Won by: 3-1/2; 4-3/4; (1-40.3). Tote: Win Rs 36; Place: 15; 20; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 295. Fav: Augill Castle (3).

5. Gandhi Bazar Plate 1,200m: (1-5-2) Star Festival (McCullagh) 1; Machrie Bay 2; Grisogono 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-15.4). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 13; 23; 26; Quinella: 71; Tanala: 714. Fav: Star Festival (1).

6. Silicon Valley Plate 1,400m: (4-1-3) National Tiger (A. Imran) 1; Indigenous 2; Rasna 3. Won by: 6-3/4; 1-3/4; (1-30.3). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 14; 22; 29; Quinella: 102; Tanala: 845. Fav: Rush (2).

7. R. Subbanna Memorial Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (5-3-10) Whitehall (Mrs Storai) 1; Psychedelic 2; Royal Caribbean 3. Won by: 3/4; 1-3/4; (1-16.5). Tote: Win Rs 47; Place: 19; 16; 33; Quinella: 91; Tanala: 2,123. Fav: Psychedelic (3).

Jackpot: Rs 24,096; (C) Rs 960.

Treble: (i) Rs 3,962; (ii) Rs 439.


Calcutta, Dec. 28: 
Artwork perfor-med well during the track trials today morning.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Pretty Boy Floyd (Rutherford) in 1-49s; (400m) 32s. Easy. Attune (Amil) and Abridge (C. Alford) in 1-46s; (400m) 28s. They were level. Arbello (Domingo) and Actuate (C. Alford) in 1-41s; (400m) 31s. Former far better, latter was pushed. Bountiful Gesture (C. Alford) in 1-39s; (400m) 28s. Moved well. Accrete (C. Alford) in 1-41s; (400m) 29s. Note. Artwork (C. Alford) in 1-37s; (400m) 28s. Good. Anatolia (C. Alford) and Affliction (Surender) in 1-42s; (400m) 32s. Former 2 ls better.

800m: Pearl Dragon (Upadhya) and Grecian Prince (Yasin) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s. Level.

600m: Arrayal (Som S.) and Adducer (Rb) in 47s; (400m) 31s. Level.

Gate practice (from 2000m to 800m): Auctioneer (Amil) and a 2yo Sir Bruce/Golden Horn (C. Alford) in 1-23s. (first 800m) in 52s. Both jumped out well. Former 4 ls better.


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