India blown away in late Marillier storm
Marillier magic ruins India�s day
Sourav hurts right knee
CESC held
Mohun Bagan in knockout title-round
Fifa Cup�s city trip deferred
M.N. Dastur, Citibank win
Bangalore Racing/ Iflookscouldkill best on form
Mumbai Racing/ Southern Star upsets

Faridabad, March 7: 
INDIA 274/6 (50 ovs)
ZIMBABWE 277/9 (49.4 ovs)
MoM: Marillier

Geoff Marsh always stresses on proper cricketing shots. At nets, Douglas Marillier is not allowed to experiment with his improvised hitting. That, however, did not prevent the youngster today from snatching a dramatic win with some rare shots that bore the signature of his attitude.

It was this out-of-the-ordinary repertoire of strokes that earned Marsh�s side its maiden victory on this tour. A one-wicket win, when all hopes seemed lost.

Marillier�s unbeaten 56 off 24 balls was in a way a confirmation of his temperament and his ability to keep stay calm till the very end. When he walked in to bat at No. 10, Zimbabwe were reeling at 210 for eight in the 45th over. Things were loaded in favour of India and there was no escape route.

However, Marillier had other ideas. He started off by taking 21 and 11, respectively, off Zaheer Khan�s last two overs. Till then, the medium-pacer was responsible for the visitors� plight and it took enormous courage from Marillier to rattle his figures.

As Zaheer tried to bounce at him or pitch the ball on the leg stump, Marillier repeatedly scooped it behind the wicketkeeper to the vacant boundary. It was a shot that defied logic and the Indians stood dazed. The 30-minute innings included 10 fours and a six off Zaheer.

He raced to his half-century in 21 balls, the joint fifth-best in the world. Initially, he had Tatenda Taibu for company but once he left after adding 43 in 22 balls, it was left to Gary Brent to hang on. He did that by intelligently rotating the strike.

Zimbabwe needed nine runs from the last over off Anil Kumble and Marillier cover drove the first ball for a boundary. The next two yielded singles. No runs came off the fourth ball. The fifth was a no-ball and as Marillier attempted the scoop behind the wicketkeeper, the top edge sailed over slip for the winning boundary.

�It is very, very disappointing. Full credit to Marillier. I haven�t seen such an innings in my seven years of international cricket,� said a visibly dejected Sourav Ganguly.

It�s true that the bowlers were unable to contain Marillier who was making merry on some completely unconventional tactics. But none tried to bowl into his body to cramp him for room. Rather, the bowlers seemed lost in the face of the onslaught and even forgot the basics of line and length.

�You�ve got to bowl straight at a fuller length... Basically reduce the gap,� was John Wright�s prescription. But it came too late in the day.

The Indian skipper disagreed, but there was a bit of complacency that had crept into their ranks that was also partly responsible.

The 1-0 lead in the series would never have been achieved had Alistair Campbell (84 off 113 balls, 13x4) and Andy Flower (71 off 72 balls, 8x4, 2x6) not stitched together a 111-run partnership for the third wicket. This was after Zaheer had rocked the top-order with an inspired spell of fast bowling. The pace and bounce he generated on this docile track was awesome.

Campbell and Andy played to a plan. They were harping on the singles and concentrated on achieving just the odd boundary in an over. Zaheer again came back to rock the middle-order once Kumble removed Andy.

But all that faded into oblivion once the late-order struck. The Marillier storm just blew India off its feet. The Indians had failed to capitalise on the start after winning the toss this morning. The middle-order crumbled and it was left to Ajit Agarkar to launch the late onslaught.

His 19-ball blitz yielded an unbeaten 40 (6x4, 1x6) and provided the much-needed thrust to the innings. Agarkar, along with Mohammed Kaif, added 63 in 38 balls in an unfinished seventh-wicket partnership. Eighty-one runs came off the final ten overs and highlighted the dominance the batsmen enjoyed.

The visitors were looking to restrict the hosts below 250 when Agarkar struck in superb fashion. Kaif also prospered in his company as he kept rotating the strike. A predominantly on-side player, he needs to work on his ability to pick the gaps on the off as well.

The start was good, as Sourav in the company of new partner Dinesh Mongia, got going smoothly. As the skipper found his silken touch, Mongia looked in control.

Sourav was quite daring and did not hesitate to come down the track and lift Heath Streak and Travis Friend over square leg. There was this straight six off Streak and once Mongia departed, there was no stopping the captain. Vangipurappu Laxman was out to prove a point or two. The omission from the squad has only hardened his resolve and determination. Not a step was wrong in his approach until the unfortunate run out.

Sourav and Laxman added 77 in 88 balls for the second wicket. There was no use of force in their style of operation, only the stamp of class of two gifted batsmen.

Rahul Dravid, however, found the going tough, often failing to find the gaps. The timing and placement went awry very often and the pressure to perform seemed to tell on him.

The Indians showed no signs of improvement in running between the wickets. Only Kaif looked agile, while the others hardly made an effort to convert the singles into twos. Kaif was also the one who stood out in the field. He seemed to set new standards and his electric presence often forced the opposition to think before attempting a sharp single.

The brilliance of a few can hardly prove worthy in the long run. It�s a team game after all.


Faridabad, March 7: 
Soon after India�s tour of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union asked Douglas Marillier to take a break and play �lower level matches�.

The 24-year-old then played for two second division clubs in the Birmingham league. He gained immensely and the results are just showing.

A daring approach saw him make an unbeaten 56 off 24 balls and fashioned the thrilling one-wicket victory in the first one-dayer against India today.

�At eight down for 210 it was time to merry around and, if possible, win the game,� said Marillier on his thoughts while walking out to bat.

More than the 1-0 lead that he helped Zimbabwe achieve, it was his unconventional scoop behind the wicketkeeper which was the talking point. �I�m known for such hitting in the later stages. I don�t make hundreds. My job is to score quick runs.

�The last time I played this shot was in against Glenn McGrath in Perth in February, 2001. You can call it something between a leg-cut and a leg-glance. The advantage about this shot is that it is generally hit where there are no fielders,� said Marillier, who once spent a couple of months in hospital after a car crash.

Marillier, who idolises Andy Flower, wants to dedicate this innings to his brother. �We will have a few drinks and see what the evening has in store.�

Marillier said he wanted to ensure that the team didn�t lose when nine runs were needed off the last over. �The game was beyond any messages from the dressing room. Gary (Brent) and I had a chat and agreed that we would aim for a boundary and then run the singles. Our first thoughts were to have a tie.�


Faridabad, March 7: 
Sourav Ganguly injured his right knee while trying to make a diving stop during the Zimbabwe innings at the Nahar Singh Stadium today.

Though he did not wish to give much importance to the injury, the Indian skipper was limping and had an ice bag strapped around the area after the match.

The Indians leave for Mohali tomorrow for the second game of the series to be played on Sunday.


Calcutta, March 7: 
CESC kicked off their BHA league first division group A title defence on a faulty note this afternoon. Stung by a controversial goal late in the second half, CESC managed the equaliser in the nick of time to share points with Khalsa Blues.

East Bengal launched their campaign in style, routing Howrah Union 4-0. The goals were shared by Chittaranjan Singh (20th and 31st minutes) and Harish Timomi (28th and 36th). CC&FC rode a Sunil Kumar strike to full points over BSF North Bengal.

In group B Muslim Institute beat Behala SA 2-0, Shimadri Yadav and Vikram Minz scoring.

At the Mohun Bagan ground, the first 35 minutes produced little action with CESC looking a pale shadow of the high-flying team last year.

Changing ends, both teams showed more urgency. CESC forced eight penalty corners while Khalsa Blues looked threatening on the counter-attacks.

Controversial goal

The underdogs struck in the 22nd minute. A Dipak Beg free-hit from outside the dee crashed onto the boards, but umpire R.P. Sharma took a few seconds to blow for goal. CESC players rushed towards Sharma and claimed the ball hadn�t touched any Khalsa Blues player�s stick.

Mounted policemen rushed to push back the angry players. The CESC team left the pitch but resumed after 10 minutes and CESC restored parity soon after.

While the umpire mentioned H. Singh as the scorer, the Khalsa Blues camp claimed Sanjay Tete had got the crucial touch.


Calcutta, March 7: 
Mohun Bagan cruised into the final of the CAB knockout meet thrashing Netaji Subhas Institute (NSI) by 89 runs.

Devang Gandhi, batting at No. 3, struck an unbeaten 98 to power Mohun Bagan to 277 for five. NSI managed 188 for seven in their quota of 45 overs. Mohun Bagan will meet the winners of the East Bengal-Wari semi-final.

In CAB league championship play-off action, Eastern Railway beat Town by eight wickets to move into the last eight.


Knockout semi-final

Mohun Bagan 277/5 in 45 ovs (D. Gandhi 98 n.o., Utpal Chatterjee 42). NSI 188/7 in 45 ovs (N.V. Prakash 83 n.o.). MB won by 89 runs.

League championship play-off

Town 247/8. Eastern Railway 250/2 (Souvik Mukherjee 124 n.o., Asif Murtaza 63, Diptendu Mahata 40 n.o.). E. Rly won by 8 wkts.

League relegation play-off

Sporting Union 279. Mohunlal 280/9 (Sandip Ghosal 99 n.o.; Sandeep Ganguly 5/130, Sudipta Mukherjee 4/90). Mohunlal won by 1 wkt.

Rangers 446/9. Milan Samity 457/9 with 21 penalty runs (Siddhartha Lahiri 192, Arghya Maitra 43, Sanjay Das 43; Soumitra Mukherjee 4/99). Milan Samity won by 1 wkt.

Jadavpur HS in final

The allround skills of Subhajit Pal (3/38 and 76) carried National HS past Jadavpur HS and into the final of the CAB under-19 school meet. Naktala HS moved into the last four, beating St James�.


Jadavpur HS 172 (Tapan Saha 43; Subhajit Pal 3/38) lost to National HS 175/1 (Subhajit Pal 76, Jaspinder Singh Raipur 58 n.o.)

St James� 209/8 (Shouradeep Nag 47, Sourav Mondal 46; Pritam Sarkar 3/41) lost to Naktala HS 210/5 (Debjit Basu 61 n.o., Subrata Chakrabarty 53).

Bank cricket

The Eastern Zone inter-bank cricket meet will be held in Puri from Saturday through March 17. The Central Bank-organised meet will feature six teams.


Calcutta, March 7: 
The Fifa World Cup champions� trophy will be on display in the city on April 26, and not March 15.

The change was necessitated by a revision in the Fifa World Cup trophy schedule. This is according to a press release by Gillette India, who are organising the programme in the city.

Mukesh leads

Mukesh Kumar, the No. 1 player on the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour, took the lead at the end of the third round in the Rs 6 lakh DHL Open, being played at the par-70 Bombay Presidency Golf Club today. According to information received here, he had a round of 70 for a two-stroke lead over Jumman.

Mukesh�s tally is two-over 212 and Jumman has 214. Devendra Patel shot the day�s best of two-under 68 and was in tied third place with Ashok Kumar at five-over 215.

E. Railway athletics

Asansol Division tallied 53 points to emerge men�s champions in the inter-divisional athletics meet of Eastern Railway at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium today. The Headquarters team topped the women�s event with 62 points. A total of 10 men�s and five women�s teams took part.

College football

Alipurduar College, Pinglathana and Bankura Christian College reached the quarter finals of the third non-government college football meet today.


Calcutta, March 7: 
M.N. Dastur and Citibank made the Losers� Plate final with hard-fought 2-1 victories in The Telegraph Merchants� Cup badminton tournament at Saturday Club today.

M.N. Dastur won the first match 15-13, 15-11 over Hindustan Times before losing the second 9-15, 6-15. In the decider, they prevailed 15-9, 11-15, 15-3.

Citibank opened against J. Thomas with a 15-2, 15-5 win. J. Thomas claimed the second match 15-6, 15-9 but lost the third 7-15, 15-8, 11-15.


Bangalore, March 7: 
Going by his run in the Derby, the Rashid Byramji-ward Iflookscouldkill seems to be the best form-horse to win the the Bull Temple Cup, over a mile, Harish partners the Don�t Forget Me-Keep Looking four-year-old.


2.30 pm: Sound Reasoning 1. All For You 2. Goldsmith 3.
3 pm: Dance At Nine 1. Royal Heights 2. Power Extreme 3.
3.30 pm: Shining Conquest 1. Sunny Spice 2. Pristine Beauty 3.
4 pm: Iflookscouldkill 1. Whatmore 2. Concur 3.
4.30 pm: River Nile 1. Chippo 2. Auric 3.
5 pm: Star Chieftan 1. Magic Mantra 2. Financer 3.
5.30 pm: Kingley 1. Astigmatic 2. Good Life 3.

Day�s Best: Iflookscouldkiil

Double: River Nile & Star Chieftan

Mumbai, March 7: 
Trained by Arti Doctor, jockey P. Chauhan partnered Southern Star to an upset victory in the Mysore Race Club Trophy at the Mumbai races on Thursday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Air Wolf Plate 1,600m: (2-4-3) Mach Two (T. Jodha) 1; Sugar Daddy 2; Picasso 3. Won by: Hd; Nk; (1-41.3). Tote: Win Rs 56; Place: 25; 28; 16; Quinella: 398; Tanala: 2,083. Fav: Picasso (3).

2. Own Opinion Trophy 1,200m: (1-6-2) Dark Victor (Rajendra) 1; Verzzano 2; Oriental Ace 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 2; (1-13.5). Tote: Win Rs 45; Place: 21; 13; Quinella: 40; Tanala: 452. Fav: Verzzano (6).

3. P. B. Avasia Plate 1,400m: (6-5-1) Astor Place (Shroff) 1; Tap On Power 2; Idaho 3. Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (1-25.2). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 11; 18; 19; Quinella: 41; Tanala: 137. Fav: Astor Place (6).

4. Mysore Race Club Trophy 1,400m: (3-1-2) Southern Star (Chauhan) 1; Columbus 2; Run For Glory 3. Won by: 3/4; Hd; (1-25.5). Tote: Win Rs 53; Place: 18; 34; 61; Quienlla: 475; Tanala: 7,053. Fav: Affability (5).

5. V. Jayaram Plate 1,600m: (6-11-2) Quick Decision (J. Chinoy) 1; Courtesan 2; Twist Afleet 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 1-3/4; (1-39.3). Tote: Win Rs 34; Place: 15; 22; 29; Quinella: 75; Tanala: 592. Fav: Quick Decision (6).

6. Mount Everest Plate 1,200m: (5-2-4) Track Emotions (Rajendra) 1; Latest News 2; Thundering Grey 3. Not run: Napoleon The Great (7). Won by: 1-3/4; 6-1/2; (1-13.2). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 15; 18; 62; Quinella: 74; Tanala: 2,339. Fav: Harry Potter (12).

7. Time Queen Plate 1,200m: (13-1-6) Big Bang (Chauhan) 1; High Voltage 2; Betsy 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1-1/4; (1-14.3). Tote: Win Rs 126; Place: 49; 39; 39; Quinella: 982; Tanala: 10,335. Fav: Kilmore Quay (11).

Jackpot: Rs 4,799; (C) Rs 134.

Treble: (i) Rs 249; (ii) Rs 1,078.

Mumbai racing fixture advanced

The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) stewards have decided to prepone the March 29 Mumbai racing fixture to March 28, according to a Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) notification.

Thursday�s Calcutta track trials

Outer sand track

1,400m: Silver Toy (P. Alford) in 1-39s; (400m) 27s. Note. Calculate (Shanker) in 1-40s; (400m) 31s. Fit.

1,200m: Blushing Brave (Kujur) in 1-33s; (400m) 32s. Gallant Romeo (Yasin) and Midas Touch (V. Jaiswal) in 1-32s; (400m) 29s. They were level.

1,000m: Callisto (C. Alford) and Anacott (Domingo) in 1-19s; (400m) 31s. Former 3 ls better. Social Girl (A. P. Singh) and Simply Monarch (B. Gurang) in 1-13s; (400m) 29s. Level.

800m: Cool Quest (P. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 27s. Fit. Software Classic (Rutherford) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Coming up. Cupola (K. Kumar) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Fit. Assertive Dancer (Upadhya) and Crowned Prince (V. Jaiswal) in 1-3s; (400m) 29s. Level.

600m: Alborada (B. Gurang) in 43s; (400m) 28s. Blessed Spirit (I. Chisty) and Flinders (A. P. Singh) in 42s; (400m) 29s. Former 4 ls better. Winning Glory (I. Chisty) and Illustrious Reign (Brij S.) in 41s; (400m) 28s. Level. Earl Grey (Rutherford) in 46s; (400m) 31s. Grecian Prince (V. Jaiswal) in 456s; (400m) 30s.

400m: Moon Quest (Asghar) and Simply Dashing (Rb) in 28s.Level.

Sand track

1,200m: Castlel Moon (Tamang) in 1-23s; (400m) 31s.

800m: Jayaashva (I. Chisty) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Regency Times (Connorton) in 1-1s; (400m) 28s. Flamebird (Som S.) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Fit. Winning Hand (Som S.) in 52s; (400m) 26s. Fit.

400m: Arian (Rb) and Forest Fire/ Gold Souk (Brij S.) 25s. They were level. Both are 3 year olds.    


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