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Thursday, June 28, 2001

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Bangladesh upsets Pakistan

SANGHINAGAR, JUNE 27. The loss to India in the second match seemed to have spurred minnows, Bangladesh, into action as it swept aside all opposition from the third match in the Sanghi second Asia and Middle East junior bridge championship being held here today.

On the second day, Bangladesh was on a song. In the first match of the second round-robin, it took on the challenge of Pakistan. All seemed going right for Pakistan as it collected 11 IMPs on the first three boards.

Its expectation was shortlived as Bangldesh bounced back, sneaking a 3NT game to the unbelievable 1H making 5 by Pakistan on Board 5 recovering 9 IMPs and capitalising on a pre- emptive part game double of 2S by the Pakistan pair of another 12 IMPs.

From then on it was Bangladesh all the way. Deal 12 saw it add another 12 IMPs when Pakistan was set in 3NT which added 100 points to the 4S made by its pair in the Closed Room.

All was sober till the 12th board. Another 4H doubled made by the Bangladesh pair saw it gain seven IMPs. That rashness seldom pays was evident to the Pakistan pair on the next board. Probably in an attempt to get back into the match, it overshot to 6H only to go down one while Bangladesh quietly brought home 11 tricks in 4H. Undeterred, Pakistan continued its aggressive ways and this time the gamble paid. A Grand Slam in hearts could be matched only by a game by its opponent and this fetched them 14 IMPs. But that was all that it could do so.

It was restricted to only one IMP over the last six deals on which Bangladesh added 27 IMPs to finally tally 81 to Pakistan's 30 IMPs and the VP score line was 25-5 for Bangladesh.

If it was smooth sailing for India on the first day, it was in for a rude awakening today. Sri Lanka got a measure of its opponent which had inflicted a humiliating defeat on it in the very first match. It was sort of a warm up on the first eight boards when the IMP scores read 14-11 in Sri Lanka's favour.

Then came hat-trick of disasters for India when it lost 37 IMPs. A game was allowed on Deal 9; an overbid on the next and a phantom sacrifice on Board 1. On Deal 13, an adjusted score given by the tournament director, later adjudicated by the Appeals Committee, saw India recoup 26 IMPs and then 23-7 result was corrected to 18-11 VPs (67-53) after imposing a three IMP procedural penalty on the Indian pair. India also paid the penalty for missing a Grand Slam on Deal 14.

The out-of-form Sri Lankans again ran into trouble against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka went down in all game contracts made by Bangladesh, either by being in a wrong one or going down due to bad defense strategy. The Deal 3 cost them one IMP, deal 6 another one IMP and Deal 12 - 12 IMPs. They could never recover from this and ended up losing 25-62 IMPs which gave a 23-7 VP win over Bangladesh.

Pakistan outplayed India in the return match which was also the second of the day. India had a nightmarish session in which it could not match the wits of the Pakistan team. They were outdone in all the deals and their 10 IMPs were nowhere near the 59 gained by Pakistan. The final result was 25-5 VP.

The total scores at the end of the fifth match were: Bangladesh 94 VPs, India 80 VPs, Pakistan 76 VPs and Sri Lanka 50 VPs.

In a late evening match on Tuesday, it was a wash out for Sri Lanka as it got a 25-5 drubbing at the hands of Bangladesh.

For Pakistan also it was a bad outing. Lapse in concentration of their experienced pair also made them miss two slams. And their inconsistency cost it the match as India wrapped up a 17-13 VP win.

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