Gujarat make slow progress
Priyanka floors top seed
JCT hold ITI, 1-0 win for Salgaocar
Mukesh leads in Dhaka
Rohan to lead East Zone
Shib Sagar wrecks NSI
Bihar emerge champions
Track Trials/ Star Selection shines

Calcutta, Feb. 6: 

Once the selection committee and the CAB bosses decided to keep faith on Rohan Gavaskar�s leadership qualities for the Ranji Trophy quarter-final tie, Ashok Malhotra had said, �you always know who is in charge when Sourav Ganguly is around�.

The chief selector was there at the Eden Gardens today to see his words come true. The Indian skipper made life easier for Rohan when it became increasingly difficult for the Bengal bowlers to make a breakthrough on this flat wicket.

Sourav was always at hand, even initiating bowling and fielding changes, as the Gujarat batsmen decided to stay put. The visitors did not try anything extravagant, knowing fully well that survival was the key to their chances in this game.

The perfect teamman that he is, Sourav almost took charge after tea. There was the odd encouragement for a good fielding display and the bowlers were provided with valuable tips. Besides piling on the pressure with a more attacking field, he rotated himself between first slip and silly-point, egging his teammates on.

The positive body language of the Bengal players and the various mind-games that were being played out in the middle made things difficult for the batsmen but they managed to hang on.

Had Bengal capitalised on the two chances that came their way in the last hour, Gujarat would have been struggling. They are still 192 runs adrift and the first hour on the third day will prove crucial.

Sabbir Ali failed to judge a miscued Kirat Damani sweep at deep fine-leg while a missed run-out chance brought about Hem Joshipura�s fifty. Sourashish Lahiri failed to gather a Utpal Chatterjee throw from mid-wicket at the non-striker�s end with no batsman in sight. The resultant overthrow was misfielded by Devang Gandhi with Joshipura still out of place.

The Gujarat run rate has been slow � 161 in 62 overs. That, however, doesn�t bother coach Anil Patel. �We�ll go about the task according to the situation. Runs will come if we can stay at the wicket. It would have been better had we managed to restrict Bengal to 325,� he said.

Despite the two missed chances, Bengal�s ground fielding has been good. There was hardly a misfield and the enthusiasm always showed on the field. Subhomoy Das� injury � struck near the knee by a Damani hit at silly-point � was reported to be �not serious�. He will take the field tomorrow.

The bowling, too, was disciplined. Sanjib Sanyal impressed with the ball. The spinners, though, got very little help from the wicket. Sourav bowled four overs with a shorter run-up.

Nilesh Modi brought about his dismissal flashing wildly at Sabbir while Mukund Parmar fell to a fine catch by Deep Dasgupta to his left.

Joshipura (63 batting off 188 balls, 7x4) was lucky to survive a confident caught-behind appeal. Damani (50 batting off 126 balls, 7x4), too, lived dangerously outside the off-stump on quite a few occasions.

The Bengal innings today lasted 110 minutes with Laxmi Ratan Shukla holding centrestage. The allrounder hit an unbeaten 52 (104 balls, 5x4, 2x6) to help the hosts cross the 350 mark.

After Sanjib�s early departure � he could add only 14 runs to his overnight score � Shukla took charge. He shielded his partners in a calculated manner while often hitting cleanly. The Bengal innings could have progressed further had the allrounder not ran out of partners.

Bhavin Mehta dismissed Sanjib and Sabbir to finish with a four-wicket haul.


Calcutta, Feb. 6: 
On a day of upsets, local wild card Priyanka Parekh showed top seed Megha Vakharia the door in girls� singles, while local lad and another wild card, Rupesh Roy continued his giant-killing run in the Bharat Petroleum ITF junior meet at DKS today.

Priyanka tamed Megha in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 and Rupesh got the better of Chatwinder Singh, finalist in the meet�s Chandigarh leg, 6-4, 6-2, to move into the quarter finals. Boys� top seed, Amanjot Singh, however, cruised to the last-eight stage, routing China�s Guo Jie 6-0, 6-1.

In another upset, local qualifier Ragini Vimal eliminated sixth seed Krushmi Chedda 6-4, 6-3. No. 5 Nandita Chandrasekhar lost to Chinese opponent Sun Sheng-Nan 6-0, 6-4.

Pitted against the favourite, Priyanka closed the first set in 28 minutes, serving three aces against Megha�s two. Megha was broken in the second, fourth and sixth games and Priyanka dropped serve in the third. The second set went with the serves till Megha was broken in the seventh game. Priyanka held on to her serve in the next game to clinch the set and the match.

Among boys, India�s Divji Sharan and Tushar Liberhan, sixth and eighth seed, respectively, lost to Israel�s Amit Inbar and Indian qualifier V.M. Ranjeet.

Rupesh opened up a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Chatwinder broke the local player in the seventh game and then held serve to level the score at four-all. Rupesh, however, managed to break his opponent in the tenth game to claim the first set. In the second set, the Chandigarh lad was broken in the fourth and eighth games, as Rupesh held his serve to win the match in an hour and 15 minutes.

RESULTS (Pre-quarter finals)

Boys� singles � Amanjot Singh (Ind) bt Guo Jie (Chn) 6-0, 6-1; Amit Inbar (Isr) bt Divij Sharan (Ind) 6-3, 6-1; Dor Werteimer (Isr) bt Sabyasachi Bose (Ind) 6-1, 6-0; Rupesh Roy (Ind) bt Chatwinder Singh (Ind) 6-4, 6-2; V.M. Ranjeet bt Tushar Liberhan (Ind) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; Rishi Behl (Ind) bt Imanuel Prakoso (Ina) 6-2, 7-5; Somdev K. Dev Varman (Ind) bt Dhrub Kumar (Ind) 6-0, 6-2; Jaco T. mathew (Ind) bt Boris Kurtovic 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Girls� singles � Priyanka Parekh (Ind) bt Megha Vakharia (Ind) 6-1, 6-4; Du Rui (Chn) bt Reenu Jaykumar (Ind) 6-2, 6-1; Ragini Vimal bt Krushmi Chheda (Ind) 6-2, 6-1; Sun Sheng-Nan (Chn) bt Nandita Chandrasekhara (Ind) 6-0, 6-4; Yan-Hung Chen (Chn) bt Ariana Stefanie Maya Rosa (Ina) 6-4, 6-3; Hsuan Hwang (Tpe) bt Swetha Devraj (Ind) 6-2, 6-3; Isha Lakhani (Ind) bt Win-Shin Hsu (Tpe).


New Delhi, Feb. 6: 
A dearth of goals and drab football marked the opening day of the 12-team quarter final league phase of the 114th Allwyn Durand Cup today.

In the two matches played, the group A encounter between National Football League joint-leaders ITI Bangalore and JCT Phagwara, second from last in the League, ended in a goalless draw. Earlier, in a group B game, 1999 Durand champions Salgaocar, Goa ousted Punjab Police 1-0, with a 77th minute goal by junior international Alex Ambrose.

The other teams in group A and B are Mohun Bagan and East Bengal respectively. The four outfits on view today seemed to be treating their matches as preparatory games for the crucial last rounds of the NFL resuming from February 20.

Injured players K.V. Dhanesh, Sheikh Sanjib and Andrew Louis of ITI and Prabhjot Singh of JCT were rested and newcomers tried out. Canada-based Shaminder Singh made his debut with JCT up front. Shaminder, whose father, Shamsher Singh, had played for Border Security Force in the 70s, impressed with his first touch and shielding.

While in the NFL, ITI had beaten JCT 1-0 courtesy Ghanain midfielder Mohammed Salisu, in today�s clash, JCT were dominant because of the surging midfield runs of Hardip Saini on either flank. JCT had eight chances at the goal as compared to ITI�s three. It was only because of goalkeeper N. Balaji that the Bangalore outfit was able to split points.

Against Punjab Police, Salgaocar�s striker Ambrose scored the match-winner in the 77th minute. Midfielder Jos Esteves fed Ambrose finding him unmarked in the box. Ambrose�s prompt low right footer did not miss the net.

Big Two in Capital

Depleted by injuries and players� office commitments, holders Mohun Bagan and fourteen-time champions East Bengal arrived in the capital by the Rajdhani Express today.

The four-foreigners rule has created problems for both teams. Bhowmick, for example, wants to give Brazilian striker Jose Carlos D�Silva an extended run and is likely to drop either Isiaka or Omolaja Olalekan.

However Mohun Bagan are in a quandary. With their new recruit Jatvpong Thongsukh of Thailand expected in the capital tonight, they will have five overseas players on their rolls and one will have to be dropped. Coach Subrata said that he will try Jatvpong, an attacking midfielder in practice tomorrow before deciding. In case the Thai is considered match-fit, Nigerian Abdul Saliu is likely to sit out.


Calcutta, Feb. 6: 
Mukesh Kumar grabbed the lead on the opening day of the Dutch Bangla Bank Bangladesh Open in Dhaka today. According to information received here, Mukesh hit a four-under 68.

Calcutta�s Firoz Ali was tied for second spot at three-under with Digvijay Singh, Jaiveer Virk and Ranjit Singh. This is the 19th leg of the Hero Honda India Tour.

Babu Ahmed was the star performer of the day among the Bangladeshi contingent. The 32-year old pro returned a two-under 70 to tie sixth with Chini Ali, Devendra Patel and Sanjay Kumar.

SCORE (after 18 holes): 68: Mukesh Kumar; 69: Firoz Ali, Digvijay Singh, Ranjit Singh, Jaiveer Virk; 70: Babu Ahmed, Chini Ali, Devendra Patel, Sanjay Kumar; 71: Ali Sher, Indrajit Bhalotia, Rafiq Ali, Shamim Khan, Yusuf Ali.

28 Indians in Masters

Twenty-eight Indian pros will be in action in the Hero Honda Masters, to be played at the DLF Golf and Country Club from February 13 to 17. According to Asian PGA rule, the host country�s PGA gets 15 spots, which are filled as per the money list on the domestic Tour, while the rest get their entries through Asian PGA Tour.


Calcutta, Feb. 6: 
Bengal skipper Rohan Gavaskar will lead East Zone against North Zone in a Deodhar Trophy tie from February 20. North is hosting the meet.

The 15-member squad, announced here today, includes five from Bengal and four from Orissa. Former Tripura skipper Timir Chanda is the lone representative of his state.

There are two wicketkeepers, Deep Dasgupta and Zakaria Zuffri, and in case the former gets a national call-up, the Assam player will do duty behind the wickets.


Rohan Gavaskar (captain), Devang Gandhi, Deep Dasgupta (wk), Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Utpal Chatterjee (Bengal); Sanjay Raul, Prabhanjan Mullick, Debashish Mohanty, Rashmi Ranjan Parida (Orissa), Parag Das, Zakaria Zuffri (wk), Sukhwinder Singh (Assam), Sumit Panda, Mihir Diwakar (Bihar) and Timir Chanda (Tripura).


Calcutta, Feb. 6: 
Shib Sagar Singh (five for 48) helped bowl out Netaji Subhas Institute for 214 and give East Bengal the upper hand on the opening day of a CAB league tie today. In reply, East Bengal were 51 for one.


Netaji Subhas Institute 214 (Mayonka Chakraborty 73; Shib Sagar Singh 5/48, Dharmendra Singh 2/22). East Bengal 51/1 (Nikhil Haldipur 32 batting).

Ballygunge United 392/7 (Khurshid Ahmed Khan 157, Sourav Bhalia 117 n.o.) vs Rajasthan Club.

Calcutta Customs 400/8 (Amit Sharma 102, Prasenjit Ganguly 100, Avik Chowdhury 63; Rakesh Joshi 3/77) vs Tollygunge Agragami.

Sporting Union 276 (Rajiv Sen 88 n.o., Sandip Ganguly 56; Khagen Patra 5/60) vs George Telegraph.

All matches to continue.


Calcutta, Feb. 6: 
The under-14 match between Bengal and Orissa ended in a draw at ECDSC today. Bengal got five points by virtue of their first innings lead, but that was enough to prevent Bihar from emerging champions in the East Zone.

Bihar ended with 27 points, pipping Bengal by a point.

BRIEF SCORES: Bengal 345/8 decl. Orissa 132 & 389/7 (Atiesh Jena 109 n.o., Sandip Mulia 88; Sarnendu Paul 3/108). Match drawn.


Calcutta, Feb. 6: 
Star Selection was impressive during today�s workouts.

Outer sand track

2,200m: Arterial (Upadhya) in 1-39; (400m) 29s. Was pushed.

1,400m: Sovereign Bullet (Dalpat) in 1-44s; (400m) 29s.

1,000m: Acceptor (C. Alford) in 1-9s; (400m) 30s.Easy.

800m: Touch of Silver (Connorton) and Ace of Spades (Yasin) I n 1-1s; (400m) 30s. They were level. Grand Lodge (Som S.) and Laurels (Engineer) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Former was a length better. Dancing Dreams (Rutherford) and Declarationoflove (Brij S.) in 54s; (400m) 27s. They were level. Cup of Life (Amil) and Romantic Notes (C. Alford) in 53s; (400m) 26s. Former was 6 ls better.

Sand track

1400m: Jungle Cat (Som) in 1-36s; (400m) 25s. Moved well.

1,200m: Star Selection (Connorton) and Assertive Dancer (Yasin) in1-21s; (400m) 24s. Former was 2 ls better.

1,000m: Regency Times (Kujur) and Excellent Striker (A. P. Singh) in 1-6s; (400m) 27s. Former was far better.

Arctic Fancy (Upadhya) in 1-10s; (400m) 27s. Easy. Russian Czar (Rutherford) in 1-5s; (400m) 24s. Fit.

800m: Fly By Alibi (Brij S.) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Note. Schumacher (Kujur) in 50s; (400m) 24s. Moved easy.

Yukon (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Bold Apparel (Rb) in 56s; (400m) 28s.

600m: Colonial (Rb) in 41s; (400m) 27s.

Gate Practice

2000m: Scavenger�s Son (Amil), Best In Show (Rabani), Cape Blanco (Gajender), Acute (Maseyk), Gold Discovery/So Proud (Islam) in 2-27s; (400m) 31s. First three jumped out well and finished in the order named.

1,000m (from 2000m to 1000m): Tsavo (Rutherford) and Revolution (Amil) in 1-9s. Both jumped out well. Former was 2 ls better.

On Tuesday, outer sand track

1,400m: Assailer (Domingo) and Altigraph (C. Alford) in 1-44s; (400m) 30s. They were level. Secret Way (Rabani) and Annotate (C. Alford) in 1-43s; (400m) 29s. Former was 2 ls better. Former was 4 ls better.

1,200m: Ispahan (Rutherford) in 1-28s; (400m) 27s. Fit.

Fly By Alibi (Brij S.) in 1-29s; (400m) 27s. Easy.

800m: Annella (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Moved easy. Glass Slipper (K. Kumar) in 56; (400m) 28s. Easy. Alicyclic (Domingo) and Alsheim (C. Alfrod) in 51s; (400m) 26s. Former was 2 ls better.Rich Dominion (Upadhya) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Assertive Dancer (Asghar) and Star Selection (Connorton) in 1-1s; (400m) 30s. Blushing Brave (Amil) in 1-1; (400m) 31s. Reine Beau (Saran) and Alborada (Yasin) in 56s; (400m) 28s. Former was a length better.

600m: Anokato (Yasin) in 45s; (400m) 28s.

Sand track

1,200m: Flinders (Rb) in 1-26s; (400m) 29s.    


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