Stage set for final show
Lindsay�s �probe� clears Gough
WI pace will rise again: Hall
Ghei champion
CCI fetes Borde, Eduljee
Suburban crush Taltala
Mumbai Racing/ Ansbach deserves another chance
Mumbai Racing/ Professionals� point of view
Mumbai Racing/ Enjoying the best of two worlds
Bangalore Racing/ Yewall wins main event

Mumbai, Feb. 2: 
Initially reluctant to play six ODIs, it�s the numbers� re-think by England that has given them the chance to possibly square the series. Otherwise, Sourav Ganguly�s India would already have won yet another set of home engagements, by a 3-2 margin.

But if England still have an opportunity, it�s also a chance for India to force a handsome 4-2 scoreline instead of being compelled to share honours. If it actually does come to the second, it will be seen as England�s victory.

Clearly, nothing will displease Sourav more. With the captaincy-renewal not many days away, one more series win will make his CV look better. In any case, Sourav is aware that only the most emphatic victories stand out.

For instance, few care to remember the Test series was won (1-0) by India. What still gets talked about, instead, is the fightback plotted by Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher. To argue that India can�t lose the series even if they lose tomorrow�s potential humdinger, at the Wankhede, wouldn�t quite be placing things in perspective.

Once again, in effect, India are in that too-much-to-lose situation. Tactically, or otherwise, it�s one move, which could make that world of a difference. Many, then, may keep fingers crossed overnight...

�It�s a big game, yes, but not quite a final... The team has realised the series ought to have been won on Thursday itself (Kotla) and, so, I expect all 11 of us to be fired up,� Sourav, relaxed despite the unprecedented security cover, told The Telegraph.

But did he himself expect the series to be close? The captain paused and answered: �I did, yes... After all, the margin for error is even less in the ODIs and, then, England took to this series with a better side (vis-a-vis the Tests)... Also, in the ODIs, the lottery-element is ever present...�

Hussain didn�t interact with the Media, but coach Fletcher did. �Plenty of positives are already visible but, ultimately, it�s winning that matters. Will it be a morale-booster if we make it 3-3? More than anything else, it will be the team�s answer to all the criticism (back home) about having come with an inexperienced side,� is what Fletcher said rather emphatically.

And, when somebody mentioned the excellent team spirit bit, as is evident from England�s comeback as also the enthusiasm with which even non-regulars participate in workouts, the headmaster-like Fletcher grinned (for a change) and responded: �It�s about Team England... Personally, I�ve always believed more matches are won in the dressing room than out in the middle.�

Man-to-man, India can outstrip England but consistency � or, rather, the lack of it � has been a top worry. Till the other day, much depended on the Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav twosome to fire on all cylinders. Now, it�s the Sachin-Virender Sehwag duo which is expected to get the team off to a flier.

Sachin remains the common factor. That itself is pressure-creating. Add to that an appearance on home turf. For all his experience and 24-carat achievements, the morrow will mark yet another test of character.

As expected, Sachin and Sehwag will open with Sourav at No. 3. Not disturbing an in-form combination has definitely been a leading consideration. That the captain lends solidity to an otherwise short-on-experience middle-order is a factor too. Only, few choose to talk about it.

While Fletcher declined to place �any cards� on the table � he didn�t even comment on Graham Thorpe being wasted at No. 6 � the Indians will make one change: Harbhajan Singh returning after a one-game break, with Sarandeep Singh going out.

It�s hard to drop somebody after just one match (debut appearance at that), but with India in that must-win mode, the best XI must be fielded. Sarandeep, right now, doesn�t find a place.

The best XI, however, must play like one. And, irrespective of what else England may throw, Ashley Giles� round-the-wicket �attack� has to be countered. His first spell at the Kotla was anything but memorable; the second won him the Man of the Match award and England the game.

Hussain had surprised some by his �I-expect-the-spinners-to-have-a-role� remark on the eve of the team�s arrival in India. But, then, he knew what he was talking about. Indeed, Fletcher had Giles in mind when he observed: �You do have a plan in place, but there must be an alternative. Otherwise, in one-day cricket, you can simply get stuck.�

While it�s essential to anticipate moves by the opposition, it�s equally important to be sure of the team�s own strategy. �We�ve got to play to a pattern,� is what coach John Wright has been dwelling upon. Hopefully, not being able to chase in Cuttack and Delhi � and making things difficult in Chennai � is something that has been �probed�.

Generally, it�s better to set a target. Given a choice before a packed amphitheatre, the Indians should be doing just that.

By the way, believe it or not, the nasha in this cricket-centric city has smashed all �records� � so much so that hundreds were outside the Wankhede gates as late as 10.30 pm, hoping somebody would act the messiah.

For the statistically inclined, India and England have met just once (in ODIs) in Mumbai. That was back in 1987, during the World Cup semi-finals, when the broad bat of Graham Gooch swept India out of the tournament. The last ODI here was during the tri-series in the summer of 1998, when India crushed Bangladesh.

Incidentally, it�s going to be a big Sunday for Mumbaikars: The Indian Derby at Mahalaxmi and an explosive day-nighter at the Wankhede. Ansbach is being tipped at the racecourse, while India start favourites this side of the city.


INDIA: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Dinesh Mongia, Mohammed Kaif, Hemang Badani, Ajay Ratra, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Jawagal Srinath.

ENGLAND (likely): Marcus Trescothick, Nick Knight, Nasser Hussain, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Graham Thorpe, Michael Vaughan, James Foster, Ashley Giles, Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick.

UMPIRES: S.C. Gupta, M.S. Mahal


Mumbai, Feb. 2: 
There has been no official confirmation, but Match Referee Denis Lindsay is understood to have �probed� comments attributed to Darren Gough, ahead of the fifth ODI at the Kotla.

Lindsay, one learns, gave a �clean chit� only after being �convinced� the Englishman was quoted out of context.

According to well-placed sources of The Telegraph, Lindsay was �disturbed� by remarks, which centred around Sachin Tendulkar not being given out caught-behind in Kanpur (ODI No. 4). He went on to smash an unbeaten 87 and become the first to break the 11,000-run barrier.

On reading the comments in Wednesday�s papers, Lindsay apparently immediately got in touch with the England team management and asked for Gough�s Media conference tape to be made available. As is the practice, the team�s Media manager himself records the interaction.

Had Lindsay deemed otherwise, Gough would have faced action for violating the ICC�s Code of Conduct. Behind-the-scenes, then, Lindsay continues to be active.

Obviously, making a show of just about everything isn�t this former South African wicketkeeper�s manner of operating.


Calcutta, Feb. 2: 
Former West Indian great Wesley Hall feels �fast bowling is a natural art and the human body is not designed for it�.

In the city for tomorrow�s CAB Foundation Day, observed as Frank Worrell Day, Hall said: �It causes a lot of pain and one has to battle through injuries to be a fast bowler. It is 50 percent inspiration and 50 percent perspiration.�

Asked to comment on the lack of fast bowlers in the current West Indian side after Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, the West Indies board president, who will turn 65 this September said he hoped that the current dearth would soon be over. �We have been producing fast bowlers from 1930. At the moment, we are going through a transition period. Our youngsters bowl fast at the junior level but seem to get bored when they reach a later stage.

�The theory that you should bowl very fast when you are young is not correct. You tend to over-bowl and it is not good physically. The grooming has to be done in the right way. There is no point bowling at full speed for 20 overs to win a match and shortening your career to a great extent. They (fast bowlers) should be able to play for a longer time.

�Ambrose did not bowl fast till he was 26. I started fast bowling at 19.

�When a fast bowler talks to a former great in his field he always learns more. Mentoring is an important aspect of learning. They have to talk to the right person, and it really helps as I have myself learnt as Board president. I will approach former stalwarts to give off their best. I can assure you we will again rise from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix,� he said.

Talking about his long run-up that would begin from near the sight screen, Hall said: It was not all style. One cannot get into real speed unless one is at his fastest at the point of delivery. Moreover, my follow through took me to striking distance of the batsmen and it helped me to exchange a stare.�

He said West Indies cricket was going through a �reconstruction phase�. �We�ve had a close look at our structure. We are the under-15 world champions and have reached the semis at the under-19 level. It means we are getting it right till that stage. The problem lies in the transition from here to the senior level. We are looking into our coaching programmes. Cricket is a mind game. It may be easy in theory but practically it�s difficult.�

Hall did not agree that the new Code of Conduct had curbed the aggression of fast bowlers. �Aggression is not determined by what you say. What matters is how long you can sustain your hostility as a bowler�.

He said the aggression of fast bowlers could have been curbed if the rules had restricted the use of bouncers. �The bouncer is an effective weapon for a fast bowler. As long they are allowed to bowl it, its okay.�

On the Mike Denness controversy and the subsequent stand-off between the ICC and the BCCI, Hall said: �It will not be prudent for me to say anything. I do not want to escalate the tension. It will be discussed in the coming ICC meeting in March in Cape Town.�

�Honoured to be here� Hall described Worrell as his �mentor, advisor and father of West Indies cricket�. He also said Worrell had showed the importance of �man management in captaincy�.


Calcutta, Feb. 2: 
Gaurav Ghei pipped Uttam Singh Mundy after a superb back-nine charge to win the inaugural Rs 10 lakh The Telegraph Open after a tense final round at RCGC today.

Ghei fired a three-under 69 to finish with three-under 285 for his first title of the season and also bagged the winner�s cheque for Rs 1,62000. Ghei�s effort made him the 11th winner in the Hero Honda Golf Tour�s 2001-02 season after the end of the 18th leg.

The Indian PGA Tour is witnessing its longest season and officials are expecting at least ten more events with another in city towards the end of February. The total amount of prize money has already exceeded the previous high of 2.01 crore and is expected to touch 2.45.

Overnight joint-leader Mundy paid for a double bogey on the penultimate hole to settle for the second spot, which made him richer by Rs 1,12000. His final day�s card was two-over 74 and he tallied an overall one-under 287. He was tied with Ghei till the 16th hole.

Digvijay Singh came third at one-over 289 after today�s four-over 76 and Delhi youngster Shamim Khan secured fourth place at six-over 294. Local favourite Firoz Ali and Inderjit Bhalotia were tied for fifth with 295. Ali Sher, Shiv Prakash, Rafiq Ali and Mukesh Kumar finished tied eighth at eight-over 296.

It was not a good-scoring day and, the only below-par score of three-under, was registered by Ghei. The next best of one-over came from Ali Sher. Ghei�s remarkable win was strikingly similar to Bhalotia�s effort in the Tour event at Tollygunge Club in December when he beat Mukesh and Firoz after a tight finish.

�I am ecstatic,� said Ghei. �This win has returned all my confidence. I feel I played an allround game today, especially on the back-nine,� added the player who was out of action for a while after a surgery last year. He is set to take part in some Asian PGA events in the near future.

Ghei got off to a good start with a par followed by a birdie on the second. A bogey on the next, where he missed a five-foot return putt, pegged him back a bit but he made up for that with a birdie from the tank on the eighth.

The turning point

�I feel the turning point was my putt on the 14th. That brought me on par with Uttam,� said Ghei about his superb 25-foot left to right birdie putt. A birdie on the 15th followed but Ghei faced some problem on the 16th. However, an excellent five-iron shot helped him par the hole and Mundy�s 17th-hole blunder turned things his way.

Mundy literally bounced out of the woods with a brilliant four-iron through a ten-foot gap but a chip carried him over the green, finally resulting in a double bogey. �Gaurav was just brilliant. I feel the 14th hole was the turning point. Digvijay slipped early in the round and I knew Gaurav was the remaining threat, � said Mundy.

Mundy final day�s effort included birdies on the fourth and 15th and bogeys on the sixth and 14th apart from the double bogey on the 17th.

Khaitan best amateur

Aditya Khaitan returned a final-round score of five-over 77 to register a 21-stroke win in the amateur category. His tournament aggregate was 314. Karan Sidhu and Anshuman Fogla finished tied second at 335 apiece.


285: Gaurav Ghei (74,69,73,69); 287: Uttam Singh Mundy (72,70,71,74); 289: Digvijay Singh (73,70,70,76); 294: Shamim Khan (78,71,71,74); 295: Firoz Ali (69,75,77,74), Vijay Kumar (76,76,68,75), Inderjit Bhalotia (71,75,73,76); 296: Ali Sher (77,78,68,73), Shiv Prakash (71,75,76,74), Rafiq Ali (75,73,73,75), Mukesh Kumar (73,73,75,75); 297: S.S.P. Chowrasia (76,70,75,76); 298: Basad Ali (78,71,74,75); 299: Rahul Ganapathy (75,78,69,77).


Mumbai, Feb. 2: 
It�s not known whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has formally congratulated former captain and current chief selector Chandu Borde for being awarded the Padma Bhushan, but the Cricket Club of India (CCI) did felicitate him last evening.

�I�m overwhelmed,� is how Borde put it, in a chat with The Telegraph at the CCI�s Cooch Behar Room, where the function was hosted.

In fact, at president Raj Singh Dungarpur�s initiative, the CCI also felicitated Diana Eduljee, who has been honoured with the Padma Shri. A special invitee was Denis Lindsay, Match Referee in the on-going India versus England series.

Borde apart, four former India captains were present � Polly Umrigar, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar and Diana � as also Bapu Nadkarni and Dilip Sardesai. John Wright too was there, attired in the India shirt and tie. Among officials, one noticed Board secretary Niranjan Shah.

Understandably emotional, Borde recalled having made his India debut at the CCI�s Brabourne Stadium (in 1958-59) and drew cheers when he expressed the �hope� that Test cricket would return to the �Mecca of the sport in India�.

It�s a shame, of course, that the Brabourne has been off the (Test) circuit for close to three decades.

Diana, now a selector, called for the merger of women�s cricket with the men�s body. �The merger has been achieved in quite a few countries. Why not in India?� Well, this question has been doing the rounds for some years.


Calcutta, Feb. 2: 
Arup Tripathi�s six-wicket haul and an unbeaten 83 by Saikat Sett spurred Suburban to an eight-wicket victory over Taltala Institute on the opening day of a two-day CAB senior division league tie today.


Wari 373/6 (Nilanjan Majumder 103, Avishek Jhunjhunwala 77, Tirtha Roy 76, Saikat Mukherjee 42). Young Bengal SA 22/1.

Shyambazar 298/8 (Aniruddha Roy 148 n.o., Anirban Chatterjee 45) vs Mohammedan Sporting.

Rajasthan 395 (Soumya Dey 117 n.o., Afzal Siddiqui 82, Nilasish Ghosh 56; Avijit Pal 3/64, Aloke Pandey 3/49) vs High Court.

Kumartuli 340/7 (Gaurav Kapoor 78, Avishek Ghosh 75, Kamal Hassan Mondal 41) vs Paikpara Sporting.

Taltala Institute 149 (Amit Nandi 33; Arup Tripathi 6/55, Sanjay Ranjan 3/72). Suburban 150/2 (Saikat Sett 83 n.o.). Suburban won by 8 wkts.

Ballygunge United 322/9 (Manoj Singh 142, Subrata Narayan Saha 58) vs Tollygunge Agrgami.

Tapan Memorial 279 (Satyen Bhattacharya 98; Nasim Ali 7/108) vs Calcutta Rangers.

East Bengal 362/7 (Alokendu Lahiri 81, Nikhil Haldipur 65, Ajay Verma 56, Shiv Sagar Singh 58 n.o.) vs George Telegraph.


Mumbai, Feb. 2: 
There are one too many aspiring for the honours in the 18-strong McDowell Indian Derby field set to be flagged off at 4.45 pm tomorrow. However, a microscopic analysis of the frontline contenders has whittled the Derby hopefuls down to four � Ansbach, The Pelican, El Campeador and Wild Eagle.Whatever bookmakers and his hoard of followers think, Wild Eagle is definitely a lesser contender than the other three. A winner of seven races from his eight career start, the Don�t Forget Me-Tsar Maiden gelding is yet to prove his credentials over the Derby Circuit. Yes, the Pelican has improved and has claimed the 2,000m Ruia Cup in great style but the achievements of Ansbach and El Campeador need to be measured by the same yardstick.

El Campeador is on the up, though trainer Vinayak feels the Serious Spender-Abi�dance son is more at home over trips beyond the Derby�s. His career record of four wins from as many starts does put him in a special bracket. More importantly because, in a 2,000m race, he had beaten the Oaks winner, Pleasure Hunt, when at a 3-1/2 kg weight disadvantage.

Ansbach, on the other hand, is a champion classic horse. Overlook his Guineas� defeat, the Alnasar Alwasheek-Pas The Secret colt bounces back into the picture. The South India Classic record of the Vijay Singh-trainee is envious. He had won two Guineas and a Derby there before going down to Wild Eagle here in the shorter classic and over a new racetrack. He and his jockey Aslam Kader certainly deserve another chance.


1 pm: Rosehill Garden 1. Newyearseve 2. Tio Pepe 3.

1.30 pm: Touch Wood 1. Timbavati 2. Dotcom 3.2 pm:

2 pm: Royal Divine 1. Saphire Princess 2. Mia Senora 3.

2.30 pm: Aprilia 1. Blue Butterfly 2. Terrestrial 3.

3 pm: Music Prospector 1. Khartoum 2. Free Radical 3.

3.45 pm: Ice Magic 1. Noble Executive 2. Bernstein 3.

4.15 pm: Afilado 1. Southern Star 2. Crowning Moment 3.

4.45 pm: Ansbach 1. The Pelican 2. El Campeador 3.

5.30 pm: Senor Pele 1. Star Wish 2. Maratha Princess 3.

6 pm: Cajun King 1. Resist 2. Indian Native 3.

Day�s Best: Cajun King

Double: Ice Magic & Senor Pele


Mumbai, Feb. 2: 
Summing up from their views a conclusion can be drawn that it is a very open Derby. The following are the opinions some of jockeys and trainers:


Vijay Singh: We have worked very hard with Ansbach. We are also fully satisfied with his 2,000 Guineas performance and now we expect the result.

Vinayak Gaekwad: El Campeador is hell of a stayer, in fact, a St. Leger horse. A little fast pace early in the race, will work to our advantage.

Arti Doctor: My horse Wild Eagle is the Derby favourite and she in with a good winning chance.

Imtiaz Sait: I think, my Pleasure Hunt can win the Derby.

Maniar K. Yadhav: The Pelican has improved considerably still the horse needs luck of the running.

Arjun Mangalorekar: I am pinning my hopes on The Liberator. The mile and half circuit is the ideal trip for him he is a strong finisher.

Dallas Todywalla: Starsky will run a good race.


Aslam Kader: The horse has worked brilliantly and I hope he stays the extra two furlongs.

Mark Gallagher: Wild Eagle will stay the trip comfortably.

Malesh Narredu: El Campeador is no mean a stayer. Slow pace or fast, he will be right there at the busy end.

Francis Norton: Royal Liberator is in with a chance.    

Mumbai, Feb. 2: 
Nobody is talking about the political gimmicks that the winds of change are blowing against the BJP-controlled civic body which is going to the polls next Sunday. The elite circles of the Congress-led state of Maharashtra are totally focussed on and have been left to choose between the two major sporting events which take centre-stage tomorrow � the India-England final ODI or the clash of giants in the Indian Derby. However, some of them said they were going to enjoy the best of two worlds.

Excitement is on the cards in each of the two events. Both events will be a sellout, feels trainer H. S. Bath who is here to replenish his livestock. The advance sales of the Derby tickets plus the huge demands for complimentary badges is sending encouraging signals to the RWITC official circles. M. Mallya, PRO of the club said; �The crowd figure for the 4.45 pm Mahalaxmi event may compare favourably against the Wankhede fare set to kick off at 2.15 pm.� Four of the 10 Derby patrons may head towards the stadium for the late evening bonanza.� Don�t be surprised if a good number of the 37,000 odd sports lovers fill the Wankhede stands after the Derby is through.� RWITC is expecting a crowd of over 25,000.

The UB Group bigwigs were also of the opinion that it is different timing, different game and the two events have different patronage, as well. Bookmakers, too, echoed their sentiments. Afzal Bhai, the licenced RWITC bookie who keeps his eyes wide open and ears to the ground said: �Thrills of the ODI can still be enjoyed even if you make it to the ground in the night part of the innings.�

An owner of Derby runner with a chance will never barter for a cricket match how much ever important and exciting the match was going to be;� said Mohan Kumar, a horseowner.


Bangalore, Feb. 2: 
The A. Mangalorkar-trained seven -year-old Yewall claimed the Bangalore Turf Club Trophy, the main event at the Bnagalore races on Saturday. F. Norton Partnered the Sir Bordeaux-La Petite son to victory.


(With inter -state dividends)

1. Amazing Grey Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (5-6-1) Francophone (Shobhan) 1; Afaza 2; Soldire of Fortune 3. Won by: 3/4; 2-1/2; (1-30.9). Tote: Win Rs 73; Place: 24; 48; 15; Quinella: 906; Tanala: 10,909. Fav: Abhimanyu (5).

2. Kumta Plate 1,800m: (1-4-5) Daiimio (Srinath) 1; Sheer Blossoms 2; Rusticana 3. Won by: 1-1/4; SH; (1-59.4). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 14; 28; 20; Quinella: 112; Tanala: 672. Fav: Daiimio (1).

3. Sangam Cup 1,400m: (8-3-4) Zurbaran (M. Narredu) 1; Noble Nancy 2; Ideal Cut 3. Won by: 5; 9-1/2; (1-27.7). Tote: Win Rs 47; Place: 14; 11; 19; Quinella: 26; Tanala: 264. Fav: Noble Nancy (3).

4. Amazing Grey Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (4-2-1) Krugar Park (Srinath) 1; Step In Time 2; Stormsky 3. Won by: 1/2; 2-1/4; (1-30.6). Tote: Win Rs 96; Place: 23; 29; 15; Quinella: 355; Tanala: 2,484. Fav: Stormsky (1).

5. Bangalore Turf Club Trophy 1,200m: (4-1-9) Yewall (Norton) 1; Symphony of Fire 2; Extreme Contact 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 3/4; (1-14.6). Tote: Win Rs 98; Place: 31; 16; 17; Quinella: 177; Tanala: 3,189. Fav: Blue Hare (2).

6. Juggy Stud Stakes 1,200m: (5-7-8) Swinging Conquest (Shukla) 1; Brora 2; Forest Pegasus 3. Won by: 3/4; 7-1/2; (1-15.8). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 13; 15; 38; Quinella: 46; Tanala: 503. Fav: Swinging Conquest (5).

7. C. Krishnaswamy Naidu Memorial Plate 1,400m: (2-11-1) Red Sand (Mr Storai) 1; Anchor 2; Fantasy Bay 3. Not run: National Tiger (4). Won by: 3-1/4; 1-3/4; (1-30.3). Tote: Win Rs 70; Place: 20; 18; 19; Quinella: 154; Tanala: 973. Fav: Aveste (6).

8. Classic Story Plate 1,600m: (2-3-6) South Cove (Prakash) 1; Win Ameen 2; Stingaroo 3. Won by: 5; 1-1/2; 2-3/4; (1-44.42). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 13; 44; 20; Quinella: 155; Tanala: 864. Fav: South Cove (2).

Jackpot: Rs 26,275; (C) Rs 6,158.

Treble: (i) Rs 954; (ii) Rs 7862; (iiI) Rs 305.


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