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K.Srikanth beats Hong Kong’s Wing Ki Vincent Wong in three sets to enter the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur. Saina Nehwal also enter the quarter-finals for a clash against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.        

Priyanshu Singh extends lead to four shots in round three of Final Qualifying Stage

Kensville Golf & Country Club, Ahmedabad, January 16, 2019: Gurugram’s Priyanshu Singh extended his lead to four shots in round three of the PGTI’s Final Qualifying Stage for the 2019 season being held at the Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.

The 22-year-old Priyanshu (72-70-70), the overnight leader by three shots, further built on his lead with a second successive round of two-under-70 that moved his total to four-under-212.

Delhi’s Wasim Khan (74-71-71), last year’s PGTI Qualifying School champion, was placed second at even-par-216.

Priyanshu came up with a flawless round and his two birdies on the seven and 15th came as a result of conversions from a range of 16 to 20 feet. The professional from the DLF Golf & Country Club, the only player in the field to have not shot a single over-par round so far, also made two brilliant par-saves on the 14th and 17th where he recovered well from the trees and hazard respectively.

Priyanshu, who won the Pre Qualifying II last week, said, “I struck the ball much better today as I hit some decent low shots off the tee. However, my putting was not as good as the previous rounds. I missed some short putts. But the two par-saves on the 14th and 17th kept the momentum going for me. I’ll now look to sign off with another solid effort in the final round.”

Wasim Khan marginally improved from overnight tied second to sole second thanks to his 71 on Wednesday.

Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane (72) occupied third position at two-over-218.

At the end of round four on Thursday, the top 41 players will earn full cards for the 2019 PGTI season.

 

Priyanshu Singh moves into three-shot lead at Final Qualifying Stage

Eighty players make the halfway cut

Kensville Golf & Country Club, Ahmedabad, January 15, 2019: Gurugram-based Priyanshu Singh moved into a three-shot lead in round two of the PGTI’s Final Qualifying Stage for the 2019 season being held at the Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.

The 22-year-old Priyanshu (72-70), who won the Pre Qualifying II last week, followed up his opening round of even-par-72 with a valiant two-under-70 on day two of the Final Stage to total two-under-142.

Chandigarh teenager Aadil Bedi (73), Ludhiana’s Pukhraj Singh Gill (71) and Delhi’s Wasim Khan (71), last year’s PGTI Q School champion, were in tied second with matching totals of one-over-145.

The halfway cut fell at 15-over-159. The top eighty players made the cut.

Priyanshu Singh, who was overnight tied third and one off the lead, staged a fight-back after a double-bogey on the fourth hole on Tuesday. He added four birdies to his card between the ninth and the 17th thanks to some splendid putting and long conversions.

Priyanshu, who played college golf in the United States before turning professional in November last year, is now the only player in the field to have not shot an over-par round in tough scoring conditions this week.  

Priyanshu said, “While I haven’t struck it well so far this week, my putting has been the best highlight of my game. I was well supported by my caddie who helped me read the greens that finally contributed to my good score. I’m now really excited about the next two rounds and the prospect of earning my PGTI card in my first attempt at Q School.”

Amateur Karan Pratap Singh of Gurugram and Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane were tied for fifth at two-over-146.

At the end of round four on Saturday, the top 41 players will earn full cards for the 2019 PGTI season.

 

Md Dulal Hossain, Rishi Kumar take opening round honours at Final Qualifying Stage

Kensville Golf & Country Club, Ahmedabad, January 14, 2019: Bangladesh’s Md Dulal Hossain and Lucknow’s Rishi Kumar took the opening round honours at the PGTI’s Final Qualifying Stage for the 2019 season as both golfers shot scores of one-under-71 for the joint lead at the Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.

While Md Dulal Hossain sank three birdies at the cost of two bogeys, Rishi Kumar produced two birdies in exchange for one bogey on an extremely windy day.

Dulal’s three birdies came as a result of conversions from a range of five to nine feet.

Dulal said, “I struck the ball really well despite the tough conditions. My putting was also decent but I need to further improve on it. I didn’t have a great season on the PGTI last year as I missed a lot of cuts. But I feel my game is now on the upswing and a good performance this week will help me start the season with a new lease of confidence.”

Chandigarh teenager Aadil Bedi, who recently qualified for the Asian Tour, was placed tied third at even-par-72. He shared third place with two other Chandigarh golfers, Gurbaaz Mann and Rajinder, as well as Lucknow’s Vijay Kumar and Gurugram’s Priyanshu Singh.

The top 80 players (+ ties) will make the cut after round two of the Final Qualifying Stage. At the end of round four, the top 41 players will earn their full cards for the 2019 PGTI season.

Constantine : India didn’t deserve to go out

Sharjah, January 15: India missed out on the knockout spot by a whisker and eventually finished at the bottom of the Group A standings after a 0-1 defeat to Bahrain on Monday evening at the Al-Sharjah Stadium, UAE.

The Blue Tigers started off their Asian Cup campaign in style with a 4-1 thrashing of Thailand before they went down to UAE 0-2 in a game which they dominated the proceedings. However, they needed a point going into the final game but a late penalty in the 90th minute ended their hopes of a historic progression into the knockout stages of the continental competition.

“I am bitterly disappointed to go out in the 90th minute with a penalty. The boys are sick as you can imagine. I am just disappointed for them as they gave everything in the last few games. We perhaps didn’t create enough chances as we did in the first two games. That’s it. We go home,” said coach Stephen Constantine, who resigned from the position after the game.

The 56-year-old pointed that had India converted the chances that came their way against UAE or if the boys would have held for the final five minutes on Monday, they would have surely made the cut for the round of 16.

“It’s a stark reality. We didn’t deserve to go out. We came here to try and qualify from the group. Overall, it is more than what people expected. Nobody had even expected us to qualify for the Asian Cup in 2015 in first place. The boys have exceeded expectations. Unlucky we did not score three of four chances against UAE and in front of Bahrain, we could not hold out last three or four minutes. That’s football,” he exclaimed.

Constantine clarified that India didn’t go into the game in order to clinch a point. He reasoned that lack of experience did them in as they conceded a cheap penalty in the dying embers of the game.

“We didn’t intentionally sit out for a draw. Bahrain were full of energy and looking to get the goal. We were defending deeper and deeper and were finally punished. But I think we were a bit unlucky. To defend well for 90 something minutes and then get beat by a penalty is harsh.

Commenting on his resignation as head coach coming immediately after India’s exit from Asian Cup, the former Rwanda coach explained, “I have been here for four years. My objective from day one was to qualify for the Asian Cup and we have done that. I am exceptionally proud of the players for everything that they have given. I think my cycle is finished. I did what I was asked. It is time for me to move on.

“I was there in India from 2002-2005. I left the country in a better place than it was in 2002. In my tenure from 2015-19, they are in a much better place than they were in 2015. We have a crop of young players who have a bright future. They need to qualify for these tournaments on a regular basis. They have the talent pool to do that,” he mentioned.

“I don’t think it is the saddest day in my coaching career. It is not a great day for sure. These things happen in football. I think we didn’t do enough today to win this game. And obviously, I will be sad to leave the boys because they were fantastic to me. And it is time to move on,” he signed off.

 

India lost to Bahrain 1 (Jamal Rashed 90+1’)

SHARJAH, UAE: The Indian National Team lost by a solitary goal against Bahrain at the Sharjah Stadium in UAE today (January 14, 2019) to finish bottom of Group A with three points, crashing out of the AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Jamal Rashed’s 91st-minute penalty broke Indian hearts as the opponents ran out eventual winners, after a solid defensive performance from Constantine’s men.

In a nervous start for the Blue Tigers, Anas succumbed to injury in the opening minutes and was replaced by Salam Ranjan Singh. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s goal was threatened and he was called into action as early as the 5th minute when he pulled off an uncanny save off Komail’s shot from outside the box.

With Bahrain literally keeping possession for the first ten minutes, India’s first chance came in the 13th when Pritam Kotal released a cross for Ashique Kuruniyan, whose header was blocked by the opposition defence. Halicharan Nazary’s 22ndminute shot added to India’s shot tally but hit the side-netting.

The 28th minute saw some exquisite passing by India in Bahrain’s box. Pronay Halder found Halicharan on the wings, who dribbled in and laid one for Sunil Chhetri lurking in the box. Last ditch tackle from Bahrain’s defence blanked Chhetri as he was attempting to shoot on goal from less than 10 yards.

With Bahrain having the lion’s share of possession, the Blue Tigers defended with their lives, with Sandesh Jhingan marshalling the backline. The Indian midfield, compact, came back to help the backline, hence allowing Bahrain shots from distance.

Though Bahrain penetrated into the Indian box, the opponents did not create any serious trouble that Sandesh and his line could not deal with. Even skipper Pronay Halder made a goalline clearance in the dying embers of the first half to keep Bahrain at bay.

Coach Constantine added more spark in the attack with the introduction of Jeje Lalpekhlua at the half-way point, replacing Ashique Kuruniyan. But it still was the defensive performances of Pronay Halder and Sandesh Jhingan that provided the forwards cover and thwarted the opposition attacks.

In the 60th minute, Sandesh Jhingan made a sliding tackle to deny an open goal tap-in to Bahrain forwards after a cross from the Indian right flank went unchecked.

A few minutes later, Udanta Singh got into the thick of defensive action and made a sensational tackle in the Indian box to rob the opponents of possession. Minutes before, he was brought down around the Bahrain box and the resulting free-kick was sent over the bar by Sunil Chhetri.

In the 73rd minute, Bahrain got an indirect free-kick inside the box after Gurpreet had collected a back pass but the Indian defence line saw out the free-kick, flinging bodies to keep the ball out of the goal.

The India custodian pulled off a world-class save in the 83rd minute to deny Bahrain from a close-range header, following a corner kick, and Pritam Kotal blocked the resulting shot.

Jamal Rashed scored from the spot in the dying embers of the game to hand Bahrain a last gasp win after Pronay Halder brought Hamad Al Shamsan down in the box.

INDIA: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika (4’ – Salam Ranjan Singh), Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose; Udanta Singh, Pronay Halder (C), Rowllin Borges, Halicharan Narzary (79’ – Anirudh Thapa), Ashique Kuruniyan (45’ – Jeje Lalpekhlua), Sunil Chhetri.

 

Defending champions Hyderabad Hunters to take on two-time finalists Mumbai Rockets in the race to the Vodafone PBL4 finals

– Sindhu lead Hunters have lost only one trump this season
– Mumbai spearheaded by Sameer Verma is ready to make amends for their missed opportunities

Bangalore, January 11: The Vodafone Premier Badminton league, after an enthralling league stage which witnessed some power-packed action has narrowed down the top 4 teams who will be battling it out in the semis for a finals berth and to get a step closer to the coveted trophy. While the first semi-final will be played between table toppers Awadhe Warriors and the home team Bengaluru Raptors, defending champions Hyderabad Hunters will take on Mumbai Rockets in a bid to repeat last year’s success at the city’s Kanteerava stadium tomorrow.

The Hunters have carried forth their sublime form from the last time around, garnering 24 points to finish second at the table. Led by the exquisite PV Sindhu from the front, the Hyderabad team has lost only one trump match in the season so far, winning 5 of their 6 trumps used and will be keen to extend it further.

Speaking on the eve of their semis clash, Hunters skipper PV Sindhu said, “We are really excited to have made to the semi finals. Though the stakes are higher but as a team we are playing well and we will be giving everything to keep outselves in the title hunt.”

With the likes of Anders Antonsen and Sameer Verma, on the other hand, spearheading the Mumbai attack alongside the experinced Lee Yong Dae, the Rockets cannot be tread lightly either. Their lineup boasts of some serious firepower and the Hunters will have a task cut out for themselves when they face Mumbai Rockets on court.

Mumbai, which finished fourth in the table with 19 points have enjoyed a very consistent season and will once again seek to strike the chord right and seal their place in the grand finale.

Runners up in the first and second edition of the PBL, the Rocket’s will thus be extra-charged to make amends for their missed opportunity and give themselves a promising chance in their run to earn their maiden PBL title.

“This is a good opportunity for us; Hyderabad Hunters are the defending champions and we’d like to beat the best to be the best. We have a good chance and the team looks extremely confident. We have been training really hard  am sure Bengaluru will be up for a great contest,” said Mumbai’s icon player, Lee Yong Dae.

 

UAE beats India 2-0

India 0 lost to UAE 2 (40’ Khalfan Alhamsi, 88′ Ali Mabkhout)

AIFF Media Team

ABU DHABI: Aiming for qualification from the group stages, the Indian National Team ended up on the losing side going down 0-2 to hosts United Arab Emirates in their second Group stage match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The Blue Tigers next play Bahrain in their last match on January 14. India are presently on three points from 2 matches, the same as Thailand, with UAE currently topping the group with 4 points from 2 matches.

It was a day when the Indians hit the post twice in the second half and muffed two in the first-half. Alhamsi’s 40th-minute strike much against the run of play, and then Ali Mabkhout’s 80th-minute goal played villain on a night where the Blue Tigers gave the hosts the scare of their lives from the first minute itself.

It just seemed like fate did not allow India to score.

In the first half, India could have almost sealed it. The Blue Tigers started with an attacking intensity, and although lacked possession, chances came in bright and plenty.

India could have surged into the lead as early as the 8th minute when Sandesh Jhingan got a free-header off a corner kick but headed it wide.

Three minutes later, the Arab custodian Khalid Bilal pulled out a world class save to break Indian hearts and deny Ashique Kuruniyan’s shot from close range after Sunil Chhetri had put him through.

If that wasn’t enough of a goal scoring chance, skipper Chhetri was handed a golden opportunity in the 23rd minute. Chhetri was found in the box by Anirudh Thapa but his header went straight to the rival Goalkeeper.

Had India taken these chances, the Blue Tigers would have been up 3-0 in less than thirty minutes — such was the intensity of their counter-attacks which was promoted through the defensive solidity at the back.

With India unable to take their chances, UAE scored against the run of play in the 40th minute. Khalfan Alhamsi took advantage of a slight miscommunication in the Indian defence and found the back of the net through a chip from a tight angle.

India had another chance to open their goalscoring tally after the UAE defence fluffed a routine clearance providing Sunil Chhetri with a tight angle to score. Chhetri’s placement went inches past the goal as India failed to capitalize and went trailing into the breather.

Changing over, the chances kept coming for India. In the 53rd minute, Jeje Lalpekhlua, who was brought on as a substitute for Halicharan Narzay, tried to slyly chip past the goalkeeper from range after a failed clearance fell to his chest. His shot, however, went past the goal and the UAE goalkeeper.

In the 55th minute, the Blue Tigers rattled the crossbar after Udanta Singh’s shot kissed the bar and went away, following a one-two with Sunil Chhetri inside the box.

In the 73rd minute, however, UAE skipper’s Alhammadi’s shot rattled the left post.

But they had the last laugh when in the 88th minute, Ali Mabkhout breached India’s defence and found the back of the net to take it beyond India’s reach.

A desperate India went all out and UAE had another close shave when Sandesh Jhingan’s header off a Rowllin Borges’ free-kick bounced back off the bar.

INDIA: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose; Udanta Singh (79’ – Jackichand Singh), Pronay Halder, Anirudh Thapa (70’ – Rowllin Borges), Halicharan Narzary (45’ – Jeje Lalpekhlua), Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri (C).

 

We are still in the running: Chhetri

AIFF Media Team

ABU DHABI: The morning after the Blue Tigers went down to hosts United Arab Emirates in their second Group league match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Head Coach Stephen Constantine expressed that the team now “needs to get ready for the next game” against Bahrain.

“We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next game. We need to aim for a win and get something from that game. Hopefully, we can get the result to qualify,” Constantine stated.

India next plays Bahrain on January 14 and a victory will ensure the Blue Tigers a spot in the Round of 16.

Talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri also echoed Constantine’s words. “We are still in the running. We are ready to face Bahrain. As a team, we are united. We are ready to fight. That’s our game plan against Bahrain,” Chhetri maintained.

Against India, the Indians muffed some gifted opportunities, hit the bar twice and eventually went down 0-2.

Referring back to the match, Constantine explained: “I said to the boys you did not lose this game. You have shown what you are capable of. Even they (UAE players) were surprised and did not believe that we were this good.”

“We are only going to get better with this kind of games. The team has an average age of 25. The players will get only better from here. We had four clear chances to score but UAE scored with the half chance they had,” he maintained.

Skipper Chhetri added: “It was a tight game. If we could have taken our chances it could have been different. UAE are a good side, and they converted their chances.”

 

India must be wary of wounded UAE

Abu Dhabi, January 9: India’s 4-1 victory over Thailand in the opening match of the Asian Cup 2019 was phenomenal, but now Stephen Constantine’s boys have an even bigger task on hand. Their next opponents are hosts UAE at the Zayed Sports City on Thursday where they will hope for a repeat.

Coach Constantine will be pleased with how the second half against Thailand turned out. India not only managed to shut down a lethal Thai attack after being tied 1-1 at the break, but also threatened at the other end through quick transitions in attack.

That stupendous show earned India three valuable points, a place on top of the group and a goal average of plus three.

“We have a very young side here and they are excited. Of course, hosts UAE will be a different game. They are a very good side but they are just another team standing in our way,” said Constantine.

India grabbed their chances against Thailand with the strikers clinical upfront. Sunil Chhetri scored a brace, while Jeje Lalpekhlua and Anirudh Thapa scored the other two goals.

Although he was not among the goals, the player who caught everyone’s eye was Ashique Kuruniyan. Chhetri and the FC Pune City winger had their eyes on goal whenever they were on the ball and the direct running of the latter and the technique and finishing prowess of the former left the opposition’s defence helpless. More of the same will be expected against a superior opponent in UAE.

With a FIFA ranking of 79, UAE are the highest-ranked team in Group A and poses a difficult challenge for India. The Whites will look to boss the midfield where Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder will come up against a tightly-knit three-man midfield.

India will also be required to be vigilant at the back as the likes of Ali Mabkhout and 2015 Asian Player of the Year Ahmed Khalil are goal-scorers with predatory instincts in the attacking third. Mabkhout is seven goals shy of becoming UAE’s all-time top scorer. The defensive pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika will be kept busy at the back.

UAE will miss the services of the injured Omar Abdulrahman who is regarded as one of Asia’s best players, but Alberto Zaccheroni’s men have enough firepower to test Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in India’s goal.

UAE were held by Bahrain in their opening match and, in front of their home crowd, they will be eager to make amends.

“What we lacked on the pitch was the fighting qualities from the players. We will address this when we are preparing for the next game against India and we’ll come with a different attitude,” said Zaccheroni.

 


ICC announces amnesty

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced a 15-day amnesty to participants who have previously failed to report any information concerning corrupt conduct in Sri Lankan cricket. The amnesty, which will run from 16-31 January, will apply to all participants under both the ICC and Sri Lankan Cricket Anti-Corruption codes.

Under these codes, both domestic and international participants are obliged to report, without delay, full details of any approaches, incident or information that they receive to engage in corrupt conduct. Failure to do so is a serious offence and can result in a ban from cricket of up to five years. However, under the amnesty, any information reported by a participant will not attract a charge for their failure to report previously.

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Anti-Corruption, said: “This is the first time the ICC has held an amnesty and it is in response to the very specific challenges we face in Sri Lanka. Allowing retrospective reporting of alleged approaches to engage in corrupt conduct will assist in our ongoing and wide-ranging investigations, as well as enabling us to continue to develop a comprehensive picture of the situation there.

“If any player or participant has any information concerning corrupt conduct they should come forward and share it with us now without fear of any repercussions.

“We would urge any participant with any information that may demonstrate corrupt conduct affecting cricket in Sri Lanka to come forward in the strictest of confidence.”

Reports can be made 24 hours a day in a number of ways:

 

Never in my wildest dreams, did i think i would play so many games for India: Sunil Chhetri

By Shoubhik Mukhopadhyay,
AIFF Media Team

ABU DHABI: In today’s dynamic world of football, it’s not easy to go out and perform day in and day out, especially when your performance is being scrutinized from every possible angle. Amidst all of the analysis by all of India’s opponents, Sunil Chhetri has made it look so easy, no matter whichever team he faces.

A day after the talismanic striker surpassed Lionel Messi in the highest scoring active player’s list, courtesy his brace against Thailand in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 opener, Chhetri spoke at a length about the victory, the team, his fitness mantra, debut, getting past Messi and much more.

EXCERPTS:

Did you foresee this day on your debut against Pakistan in 2005?

Never. Not even in my wildest fantasies, I thought that this would happen to me. Playing for my country the very first time was so enjoyable, memorable and nothing less than a great honour. But, I never thought that I would go on to play so many games and score goals for India.

What’s the secret behind your sublime goal-scoring form?

There is no secret behind these results. I am blessed to have played the game with the best of the teammates — both for all my clubs and Country. Both in Bengaluru FC and India, everyone helps me out. They support me and that is very important. I just try to continue doing the best for the team and the result follows.

You have redefined the fitness of late. How do you maintain it?

There is absolutely no secret. You have to just work hard and make sure you train well. Most importantly you need to eat and sleep well. The fact that I love playing Football, and playing for my country drives me to push further. I think I am undergoing the phase when I’m the fastest, fittest in my life. I don’t think age is a barrier for me.

Has the win sunk in already? How did you guys enjoy the victory?

We did nothing to enjoy.  It’s just about sticking to the routine. We had the recovery sessions, and now the gym. It’s not done yet and nothing has been achieved so far. It was a decent win but just one win, no more or no less.

What’s the plan ahead?

We have to focus for the 10th, the match against hosts UAE. It will be a very difficult game. If you ask me — without taking anything from Thailand, the least difficult one among the three matches was against Thailand.

The most difficult game one will be against the UAE and lest we forget, Bahrain will be equally tough for us. We are concentrating on the next one now and we need to give a good account of ourselves.

Ashique was deployed in a new role yesterday. How do you analyse his performance?

Pretty good, I must say. It was a new position for him as he generally does not play as a striker. But he worked really hard. Jeje is the talisman for us. He is probably one of the main reasons why we have reached the Asian Cup finals. So it was quite a task for him to fill in Jeje’s shoes.

Before the Asian Cup, you told that defenders have a tough task to cut out. How did our boys fare last night?

It was a top-notch performance by everyone. Right from Gurpreet, Subhasish, Anas, Sandesh, Pritam — everyone was so good. At times, the whole team dig deep to defend, but these four guys have been really solid at the back.

Personally, you have ticked many a box for the National team. What next for you?

I don’t think anything about personal achievements at the moment. It’s all about the team and we need to focus on keeping a clean sheet against UAE.

You have surpassed Messi in the highest scoring active player’s list. Isn’t this particular record a special one for you?

No record for me now. After 10 years, probably, when we’ll sit with a drink in our hand will talk about records. (laughs).

 


USA cricket announced as the ICC 105th member

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today welcomed USA Cricket as its 105th Member, in what is a historical milestone for the governing body established in 2017 to unify and develop the cricket community in the United States following the expulsion of USACA.

USA Cricket’s application to become the 93rd Associate Member in accordance with the ICC Constitution was approved by ICC Members following the Membership Committee’s recommendation to the ICC Board late last year and is implemented with immediate effect.

As a Member of the ICC, USA Cricket is now eligible to receive funding in accordance with the ICC Development Funding Policy and can sanction domestic and international cricket in the United States.

A transition plan has been agreed for the governing body, which has, to date, been managed by the ICC Americas regional support programme. This will see all governing body obligations transferred to USA Cricket under the auspices of the USA Cricket Board of Directors this month. The recruitment of a Chief Executive and key management roles will begin in due course as the immediate priorities of the new Member.

ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson said: “This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and I would like to congratulate the Chair of USA Cricket, Paraag Marathe, and the Board, on this important milestone and wish them all the very best for the future.

USA Cricket Board Chair, Paraag Marathe said: “USA Cricket was established to bring together the cricket community in the United States, develop the game and unlock the sport’s undoubted potential for growth. Today’s confirmation that it is the ICC’s newest Member is a significant staging post on that journey.

“As David mentioned, this recognition is not just the work of our Board but is a result of thousands of volunteer hours over the last 18 months and USA Cricket appreciates the time, effort and sacrifice of all those involved.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire U.S. cricket community, I also want to thank the ICC and the other 104-member countries for your faith in us to deliver on the nearly limitless potential for cricket in the United States. We do not take this responsibility lightly and pledge to lead this great game with the integrity, passion and tireless work ethic that is a foundation for global cricket.”

 

Pro Volleyball League adds six more international players for the inaugural edition

Each franchisee gets one player through a draft process

New Delhi, 7th January, 2018: As the Inaugural edition of the Pro Volleyball League draws closer, the league added six more International players for the first season. With this, each team filled their quota of 2 foreign players in the squad of 12 and are all set for the first edition of the league starting 2nd February. The newest franchise based sports league of India is an initiative of Baseline Ventures and Volleyball Federation of India and will see six teams from six cities vying for the title in the first season.

In the second draft of the Pro Volleyball League, Russia’s Victor Sysoev was picked by Ahmedabad Defenders,  Slovakian Adrej Patuc by Kochi Blue Spikers, Canada’s Nicholas Del Bianco by U Mumba Volley, Latvian Ruskans Sorokins by Chennai Spartans, Canada’s Alex Bader by Black Hawks Hyderabad and Republic of Congo’s Illouni Ngampourou by Calicut Heroes.

In a career spanning 14 years across Romania, Switzerland and Russia, Sysoev started with Lokomotiv Novosibirsk. The 34-year old Patuc, who will represent Kochi franchise, has 15 years of experience that started at Slovakian club VKP Bratislava in 2003. Canada’s Del Bianco started playing club volleyball with the Trinity Western Spartans. The 26-year old was also a member of the National team from 2014-2017 and went onto play in countries like Switzerland, France and Germany.

Sorokins is one of the most experienced pro joining the league with Chennai Spartans. The 36-year old Latvian has over 21 years of playing experience in both court and beach volleyball and also has represented Latvia in the 2012 London Olympics and has played in countries like Kazakhstan, Slovakia, France and  Belgium among others.

Bader, another Canadian international in the league will play for Black Hawks Hyderabad, started his volleyball career in 2014 with his home club Calgary. Ngampourou from the Republic Of Congo who will play for the Calicut heroes, will be the first African player to be a part of the Pro Volleyball League. Ngampourou, who plays as a middle blocker, is known for his defensive prowess.

Talking about the new set of International players joining the league, Tuhin Mishra, MD and Co-founder of Baseline Ventures, said, “We have added some fantastic international players to the league. These names have years of playing experience across the globe and carry tremendous repute with their respective teams. With the second set of International player draft completed, all the teams have full-fledged and balanced squads with a specialist player in every position.”

The first draft of the International players took place during the players auction in New Delhi last month. Carson Clarke was picked by Black Hawks Hyderabad, Paul Lotman by Calicut Heroes, Rudy Verheoff by Chennai Spartans, Tomislav Coskovic by U-Mumba Volley,  David Lee by Kochi Blue Spikers and Novica Bjielica by Ahmedabad Defenders.  

The inaugural edition of the league will see six franchises vying for the title. Ahmedabad Defenders is owned by Bonhomie Sports Event Mgmt. Ltd., Kerala’s Calicut Heroes is owned by Beacon Sports while the Chennai Spartans is owned by Chennai Spartans Pvt. Ltd. U Mumba Volley is owned by U Sports, who also own a team in the Kabaddi league while Black Hawks Hyderabad is owned by Agile Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Thomas Muthoot owns the Kochi franchise called the Kochi Blue Spikers.

Pro Volleyball League’s first season will be held in two volleyball hotbeds of India i.e. Kochi (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium) and Chennai (Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium). Each of the six teams will have 12 players including two foreign players and two Indian U-21 players. The league will be played over a total of 18 matches with each team playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. All the matches will be broadcasted live on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3 and will be streamed live on Sony LIV.

About the Pro Volleyball league

An initiative of Baseline Ventures India Pvt. Ltd and Volleyball Federation of India, Pro Volleyball League aims to transform the sporting landscape of the country by elevating the world’s fifth most popular sport to the league of the most followed sports in the coming times. Packaged in the brightest of colours, the first edition of the highly anticipated tournament is set to provide high octane Volleyball action to fans of the sport across the country in the month of February 2019.

 

India beat Thailand 4-1 in AFC Asian Cup

Thailand 1 (33’ Teerasil Dangda) lost to India 4 (27’, 47’ Sunil Chhetri, 68’ Anirudh Thapa, 80’ Jeje Lalpekhlua)

ABU DHABI: Back in the AFC Asian Cup after an eight-year wait, the Blue Tigers kicked-off their campaign in Asia’ elite footballing tournament in style with a 4-1 win over Thailand.

A brace from talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri and a goal each from Anirudh Thapa and a sublime finish by Jeje Lalpekhlua rounded India’s first victory in the Asian Cup since 1964.

The superb performance in the second half sealed it for India. Some tacky play in the attacking third, non-stop pressing and some no-nonsense defending stayed the highlights.

With the pairing of Sandesh Jhingan and Anas commanding the backline, the Blue Tigers’ defensive compactness in the early minutes proved to be stubborn.

India closed down quicker in the midfield, not allowing their players time on the ball. It only provided the time for the likes of Ashique Kuruniyan and Anirudh Thapa to dictate play in an attacking stance. And although Thailand dominated possession, India had the better of the chances and showed bright signs around the opponent’s 18-yard box.

Ashique Kuruniyan’s pace and tackiness down the left wing gave India an opportunity to score as early as the 3rd minute, but his cross, flashed in front of goal, with no Indian bodies able to make contact.

India surged into the lead in the 27th minute. A quick throw-in by Sunil Chhetri on the left flank released Ashique on the flanks and the latter burst through the Thai defence to earn a penalty kick, courtesy a handball by Thailand’s’ Theerathon. Chhetri, as composed as ever, converted from the spot.

But the Tigers could not hold to the lead for long. In the 33rd minute, Thailand equalized after Teerasil Dangda’s header crashed into the Indian net from a free-kick.

Changing over, India regained their lead, a brilliant strike from Chhetri doing the trick for them. Chhetri banged it in from the top box off an Ashique back-heel after Udanta Singh’s run had done the damage.

Chhetri almost scored his hat-trick in the 63rd minute when Thailand’s goalkeeper Bootprom muffed a cross from Udanta, only an onrushing Chhetri’s effort was saved for a corner.

By then it was all India in the midfield. The combination for the third one in the 68th minute was a marvel to watch. Following an exquisite defence-splitting pass from Chhetri, Udanta teed-off Anirudh Thapa in the box for the latter to chip into the net over two helpless Thai defenders and the goalkeeper.

Substitute Jeje’s strike in the 80th minute sealed the fate for India. He received it from Halicharan on the top of the box, turned in a flash and placed it with the edge of his boot.

India next play face hosts UAE in their second match of the tournament on January 10.

INDIA: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK) (C); Subhashish Bose, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathokida, Pritam Kotal; Ashique Kuruniyan (78’- Jeje Lalpekhlua), Pronay Halder (87’ – Germanpreet Singh), Anirudh Thapa (78’ – Rowllin Borges), Udanta Singh, Halicharan Narzary, Sunil Chhetri.

 

Air quality device installed in Australia as part of the IAAF’s Global Programme to monitor and share air quality data

The IAAF has today launched its first air quality monitor in the Southern Hemisphere, at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre in Australia, as part of a pilot programme to measure air quality at stadiums around the world.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe, accompanied by Athletics Australia President Mark Arbib, switched on the device, the third installed at athletics stadiums as part of the IAAF’s five-year partnership with UN Environment, which is designed to create greater global awareness and promote action on air pollution.

The ultimate aim of the programme is to develop an air quality monitoring network linking 1000 IAAF-certified tracks around the world.

Commenting at the installation ceremony, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “We are all advocating and promoting more active lifestyles across the age spectrum and in all communities in order to fight the increasing sedentary lifestyles which in themselves cause heart disease, diabetes and other prolonged medical illnesses. But with over half the world’s population living in urban areas in 2015 and rising to a predicted 60% by 2030, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) – that is double the 30% of the world’s population who lived in urban areas back in 1950 – it is vital that we ensure we are not swapping one set of serious health risks for another. In the same way as the quality of water we drink is vital, it is high time that we are all equally demanding about the quality of air we breathe.”

President of Athletics Australia, Mark Arbib, said: “We are very supportive of the IAAF’s decision to make the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre the third stadium around the world to receive an air quality monitor.

“Air quality is something we mostly take for granted in Australia, but air pollution has a direct impact on the health of our population and as we have seen globally, the consequences can be dire if pollution reaches high levels over prolonged periods. We welcome the leadership of Sebastian Coe and the IAAF on this important issue and urge all governments and sporting federations to keep environmental and climate challenges at the front of their minds at all times.”

The IAAF’s goal is to help the global efforts of organisations like UN Environment and WHO by gathering data, conducting studies and helping to raise awareness and educate people on air quality. The IAAF’s ambition is to install a clean air monitor in all 1000 IAAF-certified track around the world over the next five years in partnership with UNEP.

The data will be available to the cities the tracks are in and, in time, will enable the IAAF to conduct meaningful performance studies with athletes who train and compete on these tracks and in these stadiums and use this information to benefit communities.

“It’s a big ambition and we have started small,” said Coe. “We are installing air quality monitors in six athletics stadiums in different parts of the world – in Monaco (installed in September), Addis Ababa (November), Sydney today and Mexico City, South America and Japan being installed over the next two months. We will run this pilot for the best part of a year to understand more about the data we can collect and, in that time, we hope to conduct one or two controlled studies on athlete performance and how their performances correlate to the quality of air they are breathing.

“The sport of athletics is run through member associations based in 214 countries. We are bigger than the United Nations. We want to use our know-how, our voice and our athletes to bring this issue to the forefront of both policymakers and the public. We need to act now. We need more awareness based on solid facts, we need more education on the impact of poor air quality on our communities and our children and we need more voices to demand better policies around pollutants,” said Coe.

The monitoring devices, produced by the Spanish firm Kunak, will collect real time air quality data, measuring levels of several pollutants including PM2.5 (particles), PM10, O3 and NO2, which research shows are the four main elements that have an impact on the performance of athletes.

IAAF

 

Bengaluru Bulls crowned champions, beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 in the final

– Pawan Sehrawat was the fittest player on the mat as he put in 25 raids
– Pawan Sehrawat’s two-point raids in the second half were the brave moments of the match

Pawan Sehrawat produced a raiding masterclass to lead Bengaluru Bulls to their maiden title as they were crowned champions of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 6. Sehrawat scored 22 raid points as Bengaluru Bulls beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 in a thrilling final in front of a packed house in Mumbai. Sehrawat singlehandedly led Bulls to the title as he turned the match around in the second half with a  terrific performance. Gujarat Fortunegiants were in the match till the last five minutes and fought really hard but couldn’t contain Sehrawat. Sachin got a super 10 for Gujarat Fortunegiants but just fell short to lead his team to the title.

Bengaluru Bulls got off the mark with a tackle point as they sent Gujarat’s danger man Sachin to the bench. Prapanjan made a successful raid to give Gujarat Fortunegiants their first point. Pawan Sehrawat got his point as he secured a bonus as Bengaluru Bulls tied the match at 2-2 after four minutes. It took more than six minutes for Gujarat’s famed defence to get their first tackle point.

The first half was closely contested as after 10 minutes both teams were level at 6-6. Gujarat Fortunegiants burst into life in the last five minutes as they reduced Bengaluru Bulls to lead 10-7. In the 19th minute Prapanjan made a two-point raid to inflict an all out and give 15-9 lead. At the end of the first half, Gujarat Fortunegiants led 16-9.

Bengaluru Bulls’ defence started the second half strongly as they picked up a couple of tackle points. Gujarat though kept their noses in front till the 27th minute as they maintained a six-point lead. Pawan Sehrawat then turned the match on its head with a slew of successful raids. He picked up a couple of two-point raids including one in the 31st minute that led to Bengaluru Bulls inflicting an all out and taking 23-22 lead.

Rohit Gulua produced a super raid for Gujarat Fortunegiants in the 36th minute as they led 27-25. Pawan Sehrawat picked a couple of more points and Mahendra put in a strong tackle as Bengaluru Bulls leveled the match at 29-29 in the 37th minute. In the 39th minute Pawan Sehrawat made a two-point raid as Bengaluru Bulls inflicted a critical all out to lead 36-29.  Gujarat Fortunegiants picked up a few raid points as they trailed 32-37 in the last minute. Sehrawat produced another two-point raid as Bengaluru inflicted another all out in the 39th minute as they were crowned champions for the first time.

 

Hyderabad Hunters score 4-3 against Ahmedabad Smash Masters

– Axelsen finishes home leg with a win as the Vodafone PBL4 moves to Bengaluru for the final leg
– Caljouw loses for the first time in 5 matches

Ahmedabad, January 6: Ahmedabad Smash Masters skipper Viktor Axelsen bounced back from a three-match losing run to end the home leg on a high at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 at The Arena by SE TransStadia, here on Sunday. Axelsen snapped the four-match winning streak of Hyderabad Hunters’ Mark Caljouw who had been in imperious form so far this season.

The former world champion, who is still not 100% fit, was desperately looking for a win to get back on track. Axelsen showed his hunger and determination in oodles by mixing up his smashes with deft touches that put the Dutchman, who is playing his first PBL in an uncomfortable position in the first game. Despite losing an exhilarating 51-shot rally, the Dane pocketed the opener 15-11.

The match had a different complexion from the mid-point of the second game. Caljouw found his rhythm to move ahead to 8-5 as Axelsen went off the boil. Even though the Dane regrouped to make it 10-10, the Hunters player could still get the game at 15-13.

Order was restored in the decider. With the crowd rooting vociferously for the lanky Dane, Axelsen found his game once more. He first built an 8-3 lead before finishing it off 15-11, 13-15, 15-8 in a 48 minutes long against the Dutch.

Earlier in the day, the defending champions started the tie on a positive note with their mixed doubles pair of Bodin Isara and Eom Hye Won beating the Ahmedabad duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Sikki Reddy 15-14, 15-9. Bodin and Eom simply upped the intensity from an 11-11 tie to take the opening game on a golden point.

The second game was way more hassle-free for the Hyderabad duo. From 4-4, they grabbed four consecutive points and never let the Smash Masters come back into the match.

There is a huge gulf in the world rankings between Ahmedabad’s World No. 23 Daren Liew and Hyderabad’s 146th ranked Rahul Yadav Chittaboina. The two have faced off only once before which went in favour of the Malaysian.

Sunday was no exception as Liew beat him 15-13, 15-9 to win the Trump for Ahmedabad and give his team a vital lead in the score. Chittaboina did show some spirited fightback to draw level at 12-12 after initially trailing 7-10 but it was not enough to make a dent in the confidence level of Liew.

POINTS TABLE

SR.No

Team

Ties

Matches Win

Matches Loss

Points

1.

Mumbai Rockets

5

12

8

19

2.

Hyderabad Hunters

4

15

5

17

3.

Pune 7 Aces  

6

13

17

17

4.

Awadhe Warriors

4

12

8

16

5. 

Bengaluru Raptors

4

11

9

13

6.

North Eastern Warriors  

5

12

13

11

7.

Chennai Smashers

4

10

10

10

8.

Ahmedabad Smash Masters

5

9

16

10

9

Delhi Dashers

5

7

18

2

(POINTS CONSIDERED TILL TIE 21 ONLY)

 

Top seeds rule the roost at Tata Open Maharashtra

– World No. 6 Kevin Anderson beats Ivo Karlovic in three sets 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 to clinch the singles crown
– Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan win their maiden ATP Tour title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Luke Bambridge-Jonny O’Mara

Pune, 5 January 2019: Top-seeds of Tata Open Maharashtra lived up to their billing as World No. 6 Kevin Anderson was crowned the Singles Champion while Indian pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan won their first ATP Tour title on the concluding day of the event held here at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium on Saturday.

Anderson defeated 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic in three sets 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in the singles final, while in the Doubles competition, the Indian pair reigned supreme in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 against the British duo of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara.

The Singles’ Final saw both the players depend mostly on their serves as they hit 57 aces between them. Kevin Anderson, who hit 21 out of those 57 aces, was more effective with his returns and won the battle of the tallest ever ATP Tour Finalists in the history of the Open Era. The 6’8” South African returned Karlovic’s second serves much better in the first set (54%) and won 90% of his first serves. 39-year-old Karlovic was also good with his first serves as he hit a total of 11 aces in the first set itself but struggled to return successfully. Even though Anderson twice had the opportunity to break the Croatian, Karlovic saved the two break points and took the set into a tie-break.

The decider saw Karlovic take a 2-1 lead through a couple of serves which included an ace, but it was the World No. 6 who came back to win the next five points and return for the set.  with an ace to make it 1-0 while Karlovic also showed his quality as he hit back with two great serves, the second being his 11th ace of the match. Some clever play from Anderson saw the South African go ahead 4-2. Karlovic still did not look comfortable playing long rallies, and ended up going behind 2-6. Even though Karlovic managed to save two set points, he was unable to go on par, and ended up losing the first set owing to a double fault at 4-6.

The second set saw both the players hold their serves for the first six games each, however Karlovic looked under pressure on a couple of instances as he had to save four break points. But the lanky Croatian’s game improved in the second set as he won 100% points off his first service to make it difficult for the World No. 6. Karlovic served 11 more aces on his way to winning the second set and his exploits in the tie-break saw him win 7-6(2) with Anderson struggling to keep up with the 39-year-old’s serves.

The deciding set of the match saw both the players use their serves to their advantage, holding throughout and taking the set into the tie-break yet again. Anderson did have a chance to close the match on a couple of occasions but lost three match points to see the tie go to the tie-break. Karlovic’s exploits took him to a 5-2 advantage in the tie-break but the 39-year-old twice lost his serve at 4-5 and ended up conceding the set and the match to give Kevin Anderson his first ATP 250 title since last year’s New York Open.

In the Doubles Final, Bopanna’s trademark big serves and some smart net-play from Sharan gave the top-seeded Indian pairing their first ATP Tour title. Such was Bopanna’s form with his service that he lost only four points on it in the entire match. The two pairs were not giving an inch until the 7th game when British pair had a chance to break which they missed. In the following game, Indian pair wasn’t so benevolent breaking O’Mara’s serve to take a 5-3 lead and eventually winning the first set.

Spurred by the capacity home crowd, Bopanna-Sharan took the initiative early on in the second set as they broke the British pair in the fifth and seventh game to go 5-2 up. Sharan’s serve in the eighth was broken, perhaps giving the Bambridge-O’Mara team some hope. But that was not to be as Bopanna did what he does best, serving out the 10th game in style to seal the deal.

 

Badminton champs at IIM

Prof. Rakesh Basant Dean of External Relationships,IIAM (2nd from Left) along with Badminton Champions Saina Nehwal and Carolina Marin, P Gopichand and Prasad Mangipudi, ED,SportzLive during their interaction with the students on Saturday in Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad, January 5: The badminton champs who are in the city for the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 campaign for the first time had a unique experience in an interactive session held at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). The ‘meet and greet’ event which took place at the reputed institution witnessed the presence of badminton stalwarts like 2018 CWG gold medalist Saina Nehwal and reigning World Champion Carolina Marin along with National Coach and PBL mentor, P Gopichand. While the shuttlers expressed their thoughts on issues of child marriage, girl education their experience as players and what takes to be a Champion and chase dreams.

Speaking about the interactions,  Marin said, “It was a unique experience for me to talk to students, however as players, we keep learning and we are students for life, said the three times world champion. Marin.

Saina Nehwal, the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist while sharing her story of how she got into badminton, the champion motivated the students and said. “take every challenge in life head-on and success will be yours.”

Apart from the interactions, the shuttlers also shared some light moments and played a game of badminton with the students.

 

Bengaluru Bulls crowned champions, beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 in the final

– Pawan Sehrawat was the fittest player on the mat as he put in 25 raids
– Pawan Sehrawat’s two-point raids in the second half were the brave moments of the match

Pawan Sehrawat produced a raiding masterclass to lead Bengaluru Bulls to their maiden title as they were crowned champions of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 6. Sehrawat scored 22 raid points as Bengaluru Bulls beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 in a thrilling final in front of a packed house in Mumbai. Sehrawat singlehandedly led Bulls to the title as he turned the match around in the second half with a  terrific performance. Gujarat Fortunegiants were in the match till the last five minutes and fought really hard but couldn’t contain Sehrawat. Sachin got a super 10 for Gujarat Fortunegiants but just fell short to lead his team to the title.

Bengaluru Bulls got off the mark with a tackle point as they sent Gujarat’s danger man Sachin to the bench. Prapanjan made a successful raid to give Gujarat Fortunegiants their first point. Pawan Sehrawat got his point as he secured a bonus as Bengaluru Bulls tied the match at 2-2 after four minutes. It took more than six minutes for Gujarat’s famed defence to get their first tackle point.

The first half was closely contested as after 10 minutes both teams were level at 6-6. Gujarat Fortunegiants burst into life in the last five minutes as they reduced Bengaluru Bulls to lead 10-7. In the 19th minute Prapanjan made a two-point raid to inflict an all out and give 15-9 lead. At the end of the first half, Gujarat Fortunegiants led 16-9.

Bengaluru Bulls’ defence started the second half strongly as they picked up a couple of tackle points. Gujarat though kept their noses in front till the 27th minute as they maintained a six-point lead. Pawan Sehrawat then turned the match on its head with a slew of successful raids. He picked up a couple of two-point raids including one in the 31st minute that led to Bengaluru Bulls inflicting an all out and taking 23-22 lead.

Rohit Gulua produced a super raid for Gujarat Fortunegiants in the 36th minute as they led 27-25. Pawan Sehrawat picked a couple of more points and Mahendra put in a strong tackle as Bengaluru Bulls leveled the match at 29-29 in the 37th minute. In the 39th minute Pawan Sehrawat made a two-point raid as Bengaluru Bulls inflicted a critical all out to lead 36-29.  Gujarat Fortunegiants picked up a few raid points as they trailed 32-37 in the last minute. Sehrawat produced another two-point raid as Bengaluru inflicted another all out in the 39th minute as they were crowned champions for the first time.
Final Score

Bengaluru Bulls – Gujarat Fortunegiants

38 – 33

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (JERSEY 17) BENGALURU BULLS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SUNIL KUMAR (JERSEY 11) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS
THE STAR SPORTS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (JERSEY 17) BENGALURU BULLS
BAJAJ ELECTRICALS TOP SCORER OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (JERSEY 17) BENGALURU BULLS
GILLETTE MACH 3 TOTAL CONTROL PLAYER OF THE FINAL: SUMIT (JERSEY 99) BENGALURU BULLS
HONDA X BLADE STYLISH PLAYER OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (JERSEY 17) BENGALURU BULLS
HDFC LIFE WINNING CAPTAIN OF THE MATCH: ROHIT KUMAR (JERSEY 9) BENGALURU BULLS

WINNERS AND RUNNERS UP

 

NO.

 

 

AWARD

 

Prize Money

 

 

WINNER TEAM

 

 

1

 

 

WINNERS 

 

 

 

 

Rs.3 crore

 

 

BENGALURU BULLS

 

 

2

 

 

RUNNERS UP 

 

 

 

 

Rs.1.8 crore

 

 

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

TOURNAMENT AWARDS – PLAYERS

 

NO.

 

 

AWARD

 

PRIZE MONEY

 

WINNER NAME

 

 

1

 

 

 

THE MASHAL SPORTS DEBUTANT OF SEASON V

 

 

 

Rs.8,00,000

+

               Trophy

 

 

 

SIDDHARTH SIRISH DESAI (UMUMBA)

 

 

2

 

 

RAIDER OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

 

 

 

Rs.10,00,000

+

Trophy

 

 

PARDEEP NARWAL (PATNA PIRATES)

 

 

3

 

 

 

TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

 

 

 

Rs.10,00,000

+

Trophy

 

 

NITESH KUMAR (U.P.YODDHA)

 

 

4

 

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT

 

 

Rs.15,00,000

+

Trophy

 

 

 

PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (BENGALURU BULLS)

 

Tata Mumbai Marathon
Ethiopia’s Abera Kuma heads the men’s field

Defending women’s champion Amane Gobena returns

Mumbai, 5th January 2019: Race promoters Procam International have once again brought some of the world’s top road runners to India to contest the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race and one of Asia’s leading marathons, on Sunday 20 January. In 2018, Ethiopian athletes took the honours in the City of Dreams with victories in both the men’s and women’s races and runners from this country head the elite fields this year.

Leading the men’s list, which contains four runners who have run under 2:08:00 and 11 under 2:09:00, is Abera Kuma.

Kuma, 28, ran his personal best of 2:05:50 when finishing second in last year’s Rotterdam Marathon and in that sort of form could certainly challenge the TMM course record of 2:08:35 set in by Kenya’s Gideon Kipketer in 2016.

The Ethiopian is hoping that success in the TMM 2019 will help him book a place in the Ethiopian team going to the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this year, having already been part of Ethiopian teams at the 2011 and 2013 world championships on the track as well as two IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Kuma will be racing in India for the first time but no doubt he will have got some useful advice about what to expect from his younger sister Dibaba Kuma, who was an impressive winner at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K last month.

One man who has experience of Mumbai and indeed India, having raced in the country several times before, is Bahrain’s Shumi Dechasa, who finished fourth in last year’s race.

The 29-year-old Dechasa is the second fastest man in the field with a best of 2:06:43 and has been a top 15-finisher at the last two world championships, including fifth place in 2015. He will be looking to make the TMM podium, at the very least, after the disappointment of just missing out on a top-three place 12 months ago.

Another runner to highlight in this year’s men’s elite field is Ethiopia’s Aychew Bantie.

Bantile finished fifth in Mumbai last year, at the time only his second marathon, but then reduced his best to 2:08:15 when finishing second at the Kosice Marathon in October and could be ready to make another improvement.

No less than nine men in this year’s race have personal bests faster than the course record and will be motivated by the fact that a US$45,000 first prize cheque, for both men and women, is on offer in India’s richest road race. (See prize money structure here.)

Amane Gobena is not only the defending champion in Mumbai but will also be the fastest woman on the TMM 2019 start line opposite the famousChhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).

Now 36, the Ethiopian is still a force to be reckoned with. She ran her personal best of 2:21:51 when finishing second in the 2016 Tokyo Marathon and in addition to her TMM 2018 win, she also finished third in the renowned Prague Marathon last year.

The formidable TMM women’s course record of 2:24:33 has stood to Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer in 2013 but Gobena showed that it could be challenged in 2018 when she ran the second fastest winning time ever, crossing the line in 2:25:49.

in what is anticipated to be an enthralling and entertaining contest in front of tens of thousands of spectators lining the course in India’s entertainment and financial hub, two previous Mumbai women’s winners have returned to try to regain their crowns.

The Ethiopian pair of 2016 champion Shuko Genemo – who finished third at the TMM 2018 but later in the year ran a season’s best of 2:26:10 when finishing fifth in a very high-quality Ljubljana Marathon – and her two-time predecessor in 2014 and 2015, Dinknesh Mekash will be part of a large contingent of Ethiopian runners in the women’s race, six of whom have run under 2:27:00.

Among that group is the 23-year-old Birke Debele who finished fourth in Mumbai last year but improved her personal best to 2:25:28 when finishing second in the Hamburg Marathon last April.

“This is the 16th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon and I think this may be the best elite field we have had,” said Vivek Singh, Jt. MD of Procam International.

“Having had the race recently elevated to IAAF Gold Label Road Race status confirms its position as India’s iconic marathon event and one of the leading marathons in the world.

“Every year, we at Procam International set the bar a little higher in a bid to bring the best athletes to India and stage the best athletics events in the country. I can look down the list of international runners who will be coming to Mumbai and feel excited about watching these elite runners, race for glory on home soil.”

The TMM 2019 Event Ambassador will be India’s own six-time world amateur boxing champion Mary Kom, who also won the 2018 Commonwealth Games light-flyweight gold medal in addition to a myriad of continental titles and a 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal.

MALE ELITE ATHLETES (with nationality, year of birth and personal best)

Abera Kuma                         ETH/1990        2:05:50            
Shumi Duchasa                    BRN/1989       2:06:43
Jacob Kendagor                 KEN/1984       2:07:33            
Elijah Kemboi                     KEN/1984       2:07:34
Cosmas Lagat                      KEN/1995       2:08:14
Aychew Bantie                    ETH/1995        2:08:15
Kipkemoi Kipsang                KEN/1990       2:08:25            
Silas Too                                 KEN/1988       2:08:26
Abdi Ibrahim Abdo             BRN/1997       2:08:32            
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir                 MON/1981     2:08:50
Shumet Akalnew                 ETH/1988        2:08:50
Ayenew Mekuant               ETH/1991        2:09:00
Eliud Barngetuny                  KEN/1987       2:10:15                                    
Derese Reta                          ETH/1997        2:12:05
Deresa Geleta                     ETH/                2:12:33
Daniel Muteti                                    KEN/1994       debut

FEMALE ELITE ATHLETES

Amane Gobena                  ETH/1982        2:21:51
Dinknesh Mekash                 ETH/1985        2:23:12
Shuko Genemo                    ETH/1995        2:24:31
Birke Debele                         ETH/1995        2:25:28
Melesech Tsegaye              ETH/1994        2:26:44
Worknesh Alemu                 ETH/1990        2:26:50
Mergertu Alemu                  ETH/1997        2:28:08
Tejitu Daba                            BRN/1991       2:28:50
Failuna Matanga                 TAN/1992       2:30:00
Almaz Negede                     ETH/1987        2:30:33
Zinash Gerado                      ETH/1998        debut

 

Top-seeds Bopanna-Sharan advance to Doubles Final

The Indian duo defeated the pairing of Simone Bolelli and Ivan Dodig 6-3, 3-6, 15-13; will face British pair of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara in the Final on Saturday

PUNE, 04 January 2019: Day Five of the Tata Open Maharashtra saw the doubles top-seed pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan advance to the Final as they beat the Italian-Croatian pairing of Simone Bolelli and Ivan Dodig 6-3, 3-6, 15-13 in a thrilling Semi-Final encounter held here at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Stadium on Friday.

The Indian pairing started the match by grabbing the opening game and keeping their serve intact while Bolelli-Dodig also did the same to make it 1-1. Sharan utilised his serve to good effect as he won the next game to put his team 2-1 ahead. Dodig served in the next game with his partner Bolelli providing good support at the net and winning their second game. Bopanna used his experience in the next game to win his service game while Simone Bolelli showed why his team reached the Semi-Finals as he made it 3-3.

It was Sharan who made it 4-3, but the eighth game was the one where the Croatian Dodig could not save double break points and gave an opening to the top-seeds as they led 5-3. In what turned out to be the last game of the first set, it was the 38-year-old Bopanna who ended up serving a double fault but recovered in time to save a break point, and then take the set 6-3.

The second set started with the Bolelli winning the first service game and giving his Croatian partner some much needed confidence after his serve got broken in the first set. The consequent two games saw both Bopanna and Dodig holding on to their serve but it was Sharan whose serve was broken in the fourth game which gave Bolelli-Dodig a 3-1 advantage. Bolelli held his serve to put more pressure on the Indians which was visible in the next game when Bopanna put a ball long when he should have scored a winner.

Eventually the Indian pair saved a break point to win the game as scoreboard read 4-2. Dodig did not repeat the mistakes of the first set and held his serve to make it 5-2 but Bopanna-Sharan saved a break point again to stay in the set as Sharan served to make it 5-3. The top-seeds then did save a set point off Bolelli’s but lost the deciding point of the set which meant the match went into the Super Tiebreak.

The final act of the match saw the top-seeds go 2-5 behind. But combining their experience and deft touches, Bopanna-Sharan pair levelled it at 5-5. With Bolelli-Dodig seeming to have run away with the match at 9-7 it was the Indians who saved two match points to keep their hopes alive.

The highlight of the Super Tiebreak was the back-hand winner by Bopanna to make it 9-9 and then backed it up with another winner to make it 10-9. With Sharan serving for the match, it was Bopanna who scuffed his return to give their opponents another opening at 10-10. Both the pairs had chances to finish the match but it was only at 13-13 that Dodig hit a long return which gave Sharan the chance to serve for the match and the 32-year-old held to advance to the finale by a 15-13 win in the Super Tiebreak.

“It was a tough situation for us when we were down two match points but we always try to not change too much and stick to our plans. It is important to have the consistency in our game and it worked today,” said a delighted Sharan after the hard fought win.

The Singles competition will also see two Semi-Finals to be played today as Ivo Karlovic takes on Steve Darcis while top-seed Kevin Anderson will play Defending Champion Gilles Simon in the last match of the penultimate day.

 

Awadhe Warriors jump to second spot in Vodafone PBL4

Ahmedabad lose their first match at home

Ahmedabad, January 4: World No. 5 Son Wan Ho beat former world champion Viktor Axelsen as Awadhe Warriors thumped Ahmedabad Smash Masters at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 at The Arena by SE TransStadia, here on Friday.

World No. 10 Beiwen Zhang too won her Trump match to pave the way for Awadhe’s third win in four ties this season. This was the Smash Masters’ second defeat on the trot after having topped the leaderboard in the initial stages of Season 4.

Birthday boy Viktor Axelsen had an uphill task against the in-form Son Wan Ho of the Warriors, considering the fact that he has still not recovered fully from the ankle injury that hampered his season last year. He looked subdued as the Korean dictated the terms, involving the Dane in long rallies.

From 10-3, the steady Son Wan Ho piled on the pressure on his rival, who conceded the opener 7-15.

Axelsen looked much more settled in the second game and built a 6-1 lead. Son did come back to within three points of the Dane but his unforced errors allowed Axelsen to grab the game 15-8.

In the decider, a resilient Axelsen erased a 3-7 deficit to even the score at 7-7. The persistent effort was still not enough as his unpreparedness at the net was exposed repeatedly by the Korean, who finished the 15-7, 8-15, 15-10 win to bring about Axelsen’s third defeat of the season.

Earlier in the day, Awadhe’s Beiwen Zhang wanted to make a statement, having beaten the BWF World Tour Finals champion PV Sindhu this season. And the World No. 10 did exactly that in her trump clash with Ahmedabad’s Kirsty Gilmour, even though it wasn’t easy for her.

The two are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head record in the international circuit and the match went the same way, with not much to separate the two. Gilmour’s excellent defensive skills were on display as she managed to edge her opponent to go up 8-5 and then continued the tempo to pocket the game 15-10.

Gilmour made it very close in the second game and trailed Zhang by just a solitary point at 11-12. But her hopes of wrapping it up were dashed by a highly motivated Zhang who took the next three points as well to set up a decider.

Zhang overturned a 0-3 deficit to add five consecutive points to her kitty and never let go of the lead after that. A calm and poised Zhang then kept going to grab the 10-15, 15-11, 15-11 win.

The men’s doubles was yet another highly entertaining affair where Awadhe’s Lee Yang and Mathias Christiansen teamed up against Ahmedabad’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Nandagopal Kidambi.

Determined to get the Smash Masters back on track after the loss in the first rubber, Satwiksairaj and Nandagopal kept it competitive till 12-12. However, Christiansen’s precision in the last few points helped swing the game their way with a 15-12 win.

The Ahmedabad duo rebounded strongly in the second game. With the young Rankireddy upping the intensity of his smashes, the Warriors had to bow down 10-15 in the second game.

But Christiansen once more made the difference in the decider. His perfect shuttle placement suffocated Rankireddy who couldn’t find his attacking shots. Racing ahead to 8-3, the Awadhe team wrapped it up 15-12, 10-15, 15-8.

 

Ramanathan goes down fighting against fourth-seeded Jaziri

Pune, January 03 2019: India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan went down fighting in his second round match of the Tata Open Maharashtra losing to fourth-seed Malek Jaziri in three sets 6-7,7-6, 3-6 here at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium. The 24-year-old Indian produced an inspiring display against the Tunisian as the game went on for close to three hours.

World No. 132 Ramanathan used his fierce serves to his advantage dishing out 10 of the 20 aces in the first set. The Chennai-born player showed great resilience saving a set point to take it to tie-breaker. Even in the tie-breaker, Jaziri had a set-point at 6-5, but Ramanathan bagged three back-to-back points, two on his serve and one on Jaziri to win the set at 7-6 (6).

In the second set, both the players played to their strengths. Jaziri showed great resilience saving two break points in the 11th game. Ramanathan held on to his serve to make it 6-6 and take it to yet another tie-breaker. Jaziri lost the first point on his serve in the tie-breaker as Ramanathan followed it by two on his serve to lead the proceedings at 3-0. Jaziri picked himself up from there to win five consecutive points and gain momentum to win the second set at 7-6 (5).

The deciding set was the one where 34-year-old Jaziri used his experienced as he broke Ramanathan thrice to secure the set 6-3 and with it, the match. The Tunisian will now meet Belgium’s Steve Darcis later today.

The doubles competition saw two Quarter-Finals take place which saw Indian pairing of N. Sriram Balaji and local boy Arjun Kadhe lose out to Great Britain’s Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara in straight sets 6-7, 1-6. Fourth-seed Spanish pair of Gerard Granollers and Marcel Granollers also advanced to the Semi-Finals with a 6-4, 6-7, 10-6 victory over Denys Molchanov and Igor Zelenay.

Earlier in the day, third-seed Gilles Simon also made his way through to the next round as he overcame Ilya Ivashka’s challenge in three sets 6-7, 6-2, 6-1. The defending champion will now meet his countryman Benoit Paire who beat World No. 89 Jiri Vesely in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

World No. 95 Ernests Gulbis was involved in the upset of the day beating second-seed Hyeon Chung in straight sets 7-6, 6-2. The Latvian will now take on Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic who beat World No. 97 Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 7-5.

Top-seed and World No. 6 Kevin Anderson had to dig-in to secure his berth in the Quarter-Finals as 23-year-old Laslo Djere gave him a tough outing with the match ending 7-6, 7-6 in Anderson’s favour. He will now meet World no. 81 Jaume Munar who comfortably beat Italy’s Simone Bolelli 7-5, 6-0.

RESULTS

Singles – Second Round

[1] K. Anderson (RSA) d L. Djere (SRB) 76(3) 76(6)
E. Gulbis (LAT) d [2] H. Chung (KOR) 76(2) 62
[3] G. Simon (FRA) d I. Ivashka (BLR) 67(3) 62 61
[4] M. Jaziri (TUN) d [WC] R. Ramanathan (IND) 67(6) 76(5) 63
[5] B. Paire (FRA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 64 62
[7] J. Munar (ESP) d [Q] S. Bolelli (ITA) 75 60
[PR] S. Darcis (BEL) d M. Mmoh (USA) 46 76(4) 62
I. Karlovic (CRO) d E. Donskoy (RUS) 64 75

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals

[4] G. Granollers (ESP) / M. Granollers (ESP) d D. Molchanov (UKR) / I. Zelenay (SVK) 64 67(3) 10-6
L. Bambridge (GBR) / J. O’Mara (GBR) d [WC] N. Balaji (IND) / A. Kadhe (IND) 76(5) 61

 

Lovlina in quarter-finals
Haryana and Kerala pugilists put up impressive showing in National Championship

Vijayanagara, January 3: Lovlina Borgohain, who finished with a bronze medal at the New Delhi the world championships in November, simply walked into the quarterfinals owing to a walkover in the JSW Sports presents third Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships at the Inspire Institute of Sport here today.

Though the most interesting aspect of the Nationals was four of Kerala boxers—Divya Ganesh (69 kg), Indira K.A. (75kg), Anaswara P.M. (81+kg) and Fousiya A.T. (81kg)—entered the quarterfinals along with four boxers from Haryana while three pugilists from Railways, two each from Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and All India Police and one from Rajasthan, make it a worthwhile event for themselves.

Except for Fousiya, who got a walkover from AIP’s Neha Jhadav, Divya beat Tamil Nadu’s S. Preethi 5:0, Indira achieved an RSC-1 decision against Gujrat’s Riya Upadhyay and Anaswara won on points (5:0) against Maharashtra’s Shayaan Pathan to move up for Kerala. 

As Haryana’s quarterfinal entrants—2017 World Youth Championship Bronze medalist Anupama was the lone boxer who benefited from a walkover from Ravi Chandrika Balga of Andhra Pradesh—even as Nisha, Nupur and Pooja Rani showed their ring superiority to advance to the quarterfinals. 

Coming back to Lovlina, who got walkover in the welter class (69 kg) pre-quarterfinals from Andhra Pradesh, Marathamma Saitivada. The 21-year-old Assamese, will be entering the ring for the first time when she takes on Mithrem Jagirdar of Gujarat, who stopped Delhi’s Anjali with an RSC-1 verdict in the quarters.

But the best bouts of the day were witness in the middleweight class, when Railways Neetu had to outbox to beat AIP’s Kalawanti with a split verdict (3:2) and also Avneet Kaur of Chandigarh, who tackled the tough Delhi pugilist, Shalakha Sansanwal, also by the same margin. Avneet will be up against Manu Badhan of Punjab tomorrow in the Quarter-finals. 

The two bouts had the edge-of-the-seat atmosphere as Neetu, despite starting well, seemed to have overtaken by Kalawanti in the second round before the former regained rhythm to win the judges’ verdict in her favaour. Similarly, Avneet did well to send down combination punches to open against her Delhi rival and continued with it in the second and third intermittently to draw the judges attention towards her even when Shalakha was making a good impression with her lefts and occasional rights.  

There were quite a few walkovers on the day, including Jharkhand’s Banty as she conceded to Chandigarh’s Sohini. The Chandigarh girl has earned a last-eight meeting with Meemthoi Devi of All India Police, who won 5:0 against Nancy Payasi of Madhya Pradesh.

But in other Ring 1 action, there were quite a few RSC verdicts which helped separate the pretenders from real contenders as Haryana’s Nisha downed Soma Yadav of Bihar, Railways Pooja won against Babita Bisht of Uttarakhand, both in 69 kg, Nupur, also of Haryana, won a RSC-1 decision against Sridivya A. Kandukuri of Andhra Pradesh in middle weight (75), Rekha of Himachal surprised Tamil Nadu’s J. Kumari with RSC-3 verdict and, finally, Punjab’s Manu Badhan beat Karnataka’s Devashree when she joined the growing list of RSC winners, forcing the referees take early decisions to end their opponents’ ordeal. 

At the adjacent Ring 2, there were eight RSC decision, coming in favour of Jigyasa Rajput of MP, Saara Afsaroodin Qureshis of Telangana, Mohini Thite of Mahrashtra and Pooja Rani of Haryana—all in light heavy weight category (81), while the other came in heavy weight class (+81) when Palwinder Kaur from Punjab, Barbara A Sampson from Rajasthan Kashna Kumari from Uttar Pradesh and Kavita Chahal from AIP secured their berth in the quarterfinals. 

The other winners included Pratibha Thakur (HP), Pooja (Delhi) and seasoned campaigner, Seema Poonia from the Railways, who had it as easy as it can get against Gonella Naganika of Telangana, winning the bout 5:0.

 

Sung humbles Marin

Chennai Smashers notch its second win at the Vodafone PBL4

Ahmedabad, January 3: Former World No. 2 Sung Ji Hyun held her nerves to stave off a spirited comeback from Olympic champion Carolina Marin as Chennai Smashers beat Pune 7 Aces at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 at The Arena by SE TransStadia, here on Thursday.

This was the second win on the trot for the Season 2 champions following their huge 6-(-1) win over the Ahmedabad Smash Masters. As for Sung, this was her second big upset this season, having accounted for PV Sindhu in an earlier match.

Pune captain and icon player Carolina Marin couldn’t find her sharpness in the initial stages of the match. Too many unforced errors bothered the Olympic champion as the Chennai shuttler raced ahead to 10-5.

The southpaw remained unfazed by that start and steadily got into the groove to draw level at 13-13. However, her efforts were in vain as the Korean managed to squeeze out the tight first game 15-14.

Having lost the opener closely, a resilient Marin looked lethal in the second game, racing ahead to 8-0. Continuing her brutal form, the unstoppable Spaniard wrapped up the second game 15-7.

Sung put up a valiant fightback in the decider to come back from 5-8 down to even the score at 9-9. With Marin inching ahead, the Korean dug deep to come up with a fabulous slice dropshot to make it 13-13 before completing the victory for the Smashers.

Earlier in the day, the tie started off with a highly entertaining mixed doubles match between the Chennai Trump pair of Chris-Gabby Adcock and the Pune pair of Ivanov-Kjaersfeldt.

With both determined not to give the other an inch of space, what ensued was a pretty competitive first game. The Chennai pair eked out the game 15-13 by the slightest of margins.

Ivanov upped the intensity of his smashes in the second game to build a 10-8 advantage for Pune. But the Adcocks showed why they are the No. 9 team in the world through a determined fightback to take the close Trump match 15-13, 15-14.

Consistency was the keyword for Chennai Smashers’ Rajiv Ouseph in the men’s singles rubber against Pune’s Brice Leverdez. The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist used a perfect concoction of attack and variation to take the game away from the Frenchman.

Starting off with a commanding 8-2 lead, he never relented and managed to close out the first game 15-6.

The 30th ranked Leverdez, who is four places above Ouseph in the BWF World Rankings, got down to work in the second game. Inching ahead to 8-7 at halftime, he was able to keep steadily adding points to go up to 10-7 before pocketing it 15-8 in a fantastic turnaround.

Rajiv made up for his mistakes and remained more consistent in the decider. Despite Leverdez drawing level at 11-11, Ouseph was able to hold his nerves for a 15-6, 8-15, 15-13 victory.

 

Hyeon Chung knocked out; Kevin Anderson, Benoit Paire, Jaume Munar progress to Quarter-Finals

Pune, January 02 2019: Day Three of the Tata Open Maharashtra saw World No. 95 Ernests Gulbis cause an upset against second-seed Hyeon Chung to progress to the Quarter-Finals of the singles competition here on Wednesday. The Latvian defeated the World No. 25 South Korean in straight sets 7-6, 6-2 in their second round match held here at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium. Top-seed and World No. 6 Kevin Anderson also secured his berth in the Quarter-Finals as he defeated 23-year-old Laslo Djere in straight sets 7-6, 7-6.

In the first of four big singles matches of the day, it was Gulbis who came from four games down in the opening set to win in the tie-breaker and turn the momentum in his favour winning the first set 7-6. Gulbis used his first serve to his advantage, winning 23 points which included eight aces during the entire match. Whereas, Chung seemed to have lost confidence after going down in the first set and could not return well enough to stay in the match as he lost out the second set 2-6 in what was a disappointing display for the 22-year-old.

“I thought I had a good start in the first set but I started to lose points and it became tough to comeback then, but I will need to improve in the coming season and hope to come back here next year,” said Chung after the defeat.

While 30-year-old Gulbis did not mince words in analysing his performance, “I think I started slow and he (Chung) was much better in the first set but I managed to comeback to save the set from 2-5 down and the rhythm helped me in saving the match.”

But Anderson was given a tough fight by World No. 93 Laslo Djere as both the sets went into the tie-break. The 32-year-old South African secured the first set by winning the tie-break 7-3, while the second set was equally challenging for him with Djere pushing hard. But it was Anderson who held his nerve and won the match in straight sets, serving a total of 20 aces in the process.

Fifth-seed Benoit Paire was in cracking form as he wrapped up his second round match against World No. 89 Jiri Vesely in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. The 29-year-old Frenchman had to overcome a tough challenge from Vesely in the first set as the scores were tied at 4-4 after eight games, but Paire was up to the task as he won 20 out of 22 points on his first serve and served 11 aces during the match to produce a dominating performance.

World No. 81 Jaume Munar also produced an impressive performance as he made his way through to the Quarter-Finals by defeating World No. 141 Simone Bolelli comfortably in straight sets 7-5, 6-0. The oldest player to take part at the Tata Open Maharashtra, Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic also progressed to the next round with a two-set victory over World No. 97 Evgeny Donskoy in a match which lasted just over an hour.

Results: Singles

E. Gulbis (LAT) d [2] H. Chung (KOR) 7-6(2), 6-2
[1] K. Anderson (RSA) d L. Djere (SRB) 7-6(3), 7-6(6)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d E. Donskoy (RUS) 6-4, 7-5
[5] B. Paire (FRA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 6-4, 6-2
[7] J. Munar (ESP) d [Q] S. Bolelli (ITA) 7-5, 6-0

 

Srikanth, Sai Praneeth guide Raptors to victory at Vodafone PBL4

Ahmedabad, January 2: Bengaluru Raptors rode on skipper Kidambi Srikanth and B. Sai Praneeth’s winning efforts to beat former champions Delhi Dashers at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 at The Arena by SE TransStadia, here on Wednesday.

This was the Raptors’ second consecutive victory at the league. With this, Srikanth continues his unbeaten streak this season, having won all three of his matches so far.

The teams opted to have their Trump matches up first. Sai Praneeth’s cancellation of Delhi’s Trump HS Prannoy was followed by the Raptors losing their own mixed doubles Trump. Srikanth then took the court to get a three-game win before Vu Thi Trang completed the job for Team Bengaluru.

In the first rubber of the game, Bengaluru’s Sai Praneeth met his Pullela Gopichand Academy training partner HS Prannoy, who represented the Delhi franchise. When the match started, it was evident that Prannoy, already hobbled by a right knee injury, wasn’t at his best. Facing breathing issues, the Indian national champion had a hard time stringing together points. Sai showed beautiful control of the shuttle to build a 6-2 lead.

It was only after the mid-game break that Prannoy started showing signs of resurgence and drew level at 10-10 before Praneeth dashed his hopes with a 15-12 scoreline.

Having gone down 8-10 in the second game, Prannoy found a second gear to explode to 13-10. With the score tied at 14-14, a struggling Prannoy found a wondrous drop shot to take the second game.

Sai cut down on his errors to take an 8-6 lead in the decider and extended it to 12-8 with a superb round-the-head shot, and finally slammed shut the match 15-12, 14-15, 15-13.

Bengaluru Raptors began their mixed doubles on a grand note, racing away to 5-0 through Commonwealth Games silver medallists Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith. But a spirited fightback from Delhi’s Maneepong Jongjit and Evgeniya Kosetskaya saw the latter snatching the game 15-13.

Agile as ever, the Thai shuttler simply kept oozing brilliance and carried the Dashers to 12-9 before adding the next three points as well to take the 15-13, 15-9 win.

Riding on his jump smashes, Bengaluru captain Kidambi Srikanth went ahead to 6-2 against Delhi’s Tommy Sugiarto. Looking fully in control of the play, he was relentless as he kept the scoreboard ticking to move up to 12-6, and then grabbed the one-sided opener 15-6.

The Indonesian showed real character to force an 8-3 turnaround in the next game. Srikanth went on a lull to allow Sugiarto to build a 13-8 advantage. A brief spark from the Indian couldn’t stop Sugiarto who pocketed the game.

The former World No. 1, however, managed to rebound strongly in the deciding game. Varying his shots, the aggressive Srikanth quickly went up to 8-4 as his opponent started looking more and more clueless.

It was just a matter of time before the Raptors man wrapped up the rubber with a 15-6, 12-15, 15-10 victory.

Delhi Dashers erased that setback soon through their women’s singles exponent Chia Hsin Lee. She opened the rubber with a strong play to get the first game 15-12.

However, having never met Bengaluru’s Vu Thi Trang on the international circuit, she simply wasn’t prepared for the fightback. The Bengaluru player absolutely toyed with her to grab the second game 15-3 in some smashing display.

Vu refused to give up in the decider despite Chia keeping it competitive till 6-6. Vu is ranked 59th and is placed 18 spots below Chia. That did not matter at all as a determined Vu kept cruising to add seven of the next nine points to fetch the tie win for Bengaluru.

The Ahmedabad leg will continue till January 6 before the league moves on to Bengaluru for the final proceeding of Vodafone PBL Season 4.

RESULTS

Delhi Dashers lose to Bengaluru Raptors- 0-2

(MS1)-HS Prannoy (T) lost Sai Praneeth: 12-15; 15-14; 13-15
(XD)-M.Jongjit/E.Kosetskayta bt M.Ellis/L.Smith (T): 15-13; 15-9
(MS2)T.Sugiarto lost K.Srikanth: 6-15; 15-12; 10-15
(WS)-C.H.Lee vs Vu Thrang: 15-12; 3-15;8-15

 

Six-Time World Boxing Champion, Mary Kom, is Event Ambassador of Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019

Mumbai, 2nd January 2019: Procam International, pioneers of distance running events in India, today announced the six-time World Women’s Boxing Champion, Indian Olympic Boxer and Padma Bhushan Awardee, MC Mary Kom as the Event Ambassador for the 16th edition of the IAAF Gold Label Tata Mumbai Marathon, to be held on 20th January 2019.

An inspiration to all, the 35-year-old ‘Magnificent Mary’ is the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the seven world championships. She has been conferred with some of the highest awards of India, including the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and Padma Bhushan in the year 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2013 respectively. She has also been ranked as No. 1 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Light Flyweight category, and became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea and is the first Indian Woman Boxer to win Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Mary Kom is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal.

In 2016, Kom was nominated by the President of India as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.

On being announced as Event Ambassador of the Tata Mumbai Marathon, MC Mary Kom said, “The Tata Mumbai Marathon has paved the way for a running revolution in India and is the largest showcase of individuals pushing boundaries of the human spirit. As a sportsperson and mother, I understand that behind every success is a story and support network. Mine not just ensured I excelled in my sport, but inspired me to Be Better! It is this sense of inspiration that connects me with the event and I am happy to be the Ambassador for the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019. It will be a moving experience to see 46000 runners cross the start line on Sunday, January 20th, all united by the BeBetter spirit!

Vivek B Singh, Joint Managing Director, Procam International said, “We are privileged to have on board the world-beater, Mary Kom, as the Event Ambassador for the IAAF Gold Label Tata Mumbai Marathon. We congratulate her for the historic 6th title win in the World Women’s Boxing Championships, and for being the first female to achieve this feat. From being a legend in the world of Boxing, to being an important catalyst for the growth of sports in India, Mary Kom is an inspiration; an individual that epitomizes the spirit of Tata Mumbai Marathon.”  

Tata Mumbai Marathon is amongst the world’s top 10 marathons. With prize money of USD 405,000, the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019 will witness over 46,000 participants, including world-class Indian and international athletes, professional and amateur runners, and fitness enthusiasts.

About Procam International

Since its inception in 1988, Procam International has been the driving force behind the growth and development of sports management in India. Envisioned by founders Anil and Vivek Singh, Procam, is one of the leading companies in holistic sports management, sports consultancy, and live television programming. With astute planning and exemplary execution, Procam has a track record of conceptualising and promoting over 100 international events, across disciplines -Powerboat Racing, Cricket, Football, Tennis, Distance Running, Squash, WWE, Horse Racing, Volleyball among others. These events have elicited the participation of the highest caliber of athletes, as well as huge public interest and attendance.

Pioneers of the distance running movement in India, Procam International’s Big 4 –Tata Mumbai Marathon, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Tata Consultancy Services World 10K and Tata Steel Kolkata 25 K are global leaders in their respective distances. These events have ushered in a running revolution that has helped to re-define, the health, fitness and giving paradigm of our country.

Tata in Sports

Tata Group, a global enterprise with combined revenues of around US $100 billion, along with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of the world’s leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organisations, are the title sponsor of the Tata Mumbai Marathon. Sport has always been an integral part of the Tata group for over 75 years. Tatas association with multiple sports ranging from cricket, football, hockey, badminton, chess, athletics, mountaineering and  motor racing, among others, has produced many award-winning sportspersons, helped the development of marginal communities and supported sporting teams, national and international events as well as training academies. The Tata Sports Club was set up in 1937 to encourage sports among its employee base across the country. TCS is the sponsor of many premier global marathons across the world like the TCS New York City Marathon, the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, and the TCS Lidingloppet (the world’s largest cross-country run), and the technology partner of the marathons held in London, Chicago, and Boston — all part of the company’s effort to promote health and fitness in the communities, the world over.

 

ICC announces Women’s ODI and T20I Team of the Year

– Suzie Bates and Harmanpreet Kaur named ODI and T20I captains, respectively
– Bangladesh’s Rumana Ahmed and Sana Mir of Pakistan also named in the squads
– Bates, Healy, Mandhana and Yadav feature in both the ODI and T20I squads
– Downloadable video clips of Bates and Kaur are available on the Online Media Zone

The International Cricket Council today announced the women’s ODI and T20I teams of the year with New Zealand’s Suzie Bates named as captain of the 50-over side and Harmanpreet Kaur of India appointed captain of the 20-over side.

The two sides have been selected by the same voting academy*, which comprised members of the media and broadcasters who also voted for the annual women’s individual awards to be announced later today, and took into consideration player performances in the 2018 calendar year.

Bates’s appointment as the ODI captain is a recognition of her contribution in inspiring her side to second position in the ICC Women’s Championship after three rounds. In the seven ODIs this calendar year, Bates has scored 438 runs with two centuries and a half-century. Bates is presently ranked seventh in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters.

Kaur has been rewarded for spearheading her side to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the Caribbean in November. In that tournament, Kaur scored 183 runs at a strike-rate of 160.5, while in the 25 matches in the calendar year, she accumulated 663 runs at a strike-rate of 126.2. Kaur is ranked third in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Player Rankings for T20I Batters.

Reacting to the news, Bates said: “Thank you very much to everyone who voted for the ICC team of the year. To be named captain is just an absolute honour. Obviously, I have been playing for a long time and stepped down from captaincy, but to be named captain of a World XI is pretty special and something I will always remember.

“It would be nice one day if we got together to play as a group and to captain some of the superstars, but once again such a huge honour and congratulations to all the award winners for this year.”

Kaur was delighted to be appointed T20 captain, when she said: “To be honest, it was really surprising for me. The last two years we did not get enough T20I matches to play and it was really tough for me to build that confidence in the team and show that self-belief that we can do well in T20Is. Credit goes to all team members, the way they worked hard and show that self-belief.

“This award means a lot to me to build my confidence, BCCI is showing confidence on me – that I can do well in the format and I am looking forward to do well in the future.”

The 11-member women’s ODI side comprises players from seven countries, including two each from England (Tammy Beaumont and Sophie Ecclestone), India (Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav), New Zealand (Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine) and South Africa (Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp), and one player each from Australia (Alyssa Healy), Pakistan (Sana Mir) and Deandra Dottin (the Windies).

For Sana Mir, this is a second ICC recognition in as many months after her delivery to Ireland’s Laura Delany in the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 was voted as the Play of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018. Sana has been selected in the ICC squad following her 19 wickets in seven matches and is top-ranked in the ODI bowling table.

The T20I side boasts players from five countries, including four players from the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 champions Australia (Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner and Megan Schutt), three players from losing finalists India (Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Poonam Yadav), two players from New Zealand (Suzie Bates and Leigh Kasperek) and one player each from Bangladesh (Rumana Ahmed) and England (Natalie Sciver).

Rumana is the first Bangladesh player to have been selected in the ICC squad. The right-arm leg-spinner has been the second most successful T20I bowler in the 2018 calendar year with 30 wickets in 24 matches, including four wickets in four matches in the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.

Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav are the two India girls who feature in both the ODI and T20I squads. Other players to find places in both the squads are Australia’s Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates of New Zealand.

ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year (in batting order):

1.     Smriti Mandhana (India)

2.     Tammy Beaumont (England)

3.     Suzie Bates (New Zealand) (captain)

4.     Dane van Niekerk (South Africa)

5.     Sophie Devine (New Zealand)

6.     Alyssa Healy (Australia) (wicketkeeper)

7.     Marizanne Kapp (South Africa)

8.     Deandra Dottin (Windies)

9.     Sana Mir (Pakistan)

10.  Sophie Ecclestone (England)

11.  Poonam Yadav (India)

ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year (in batting order):

1.     Smriti Mandhana (India)

2.     Alyssa Healy (Australia) (wicketkeeper)

3.     Suzie Bates (New Zealand)

4.     Harmanpreet Kaur (India) (captain)

5.     Natalie Sciver (England)

6.     Ellyse Perry (Australia)

7.     Ashleigh Gardner (Australia)

8.     Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand)

9.     Megan Schutt (Australia)

10.  Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh)

11.  Poonam Yadav (India)

*The voting academy was: Melinda Farrell, Melanie Jones, Lisa Sthalekar (all Australia), Charlotte Edwards, Kalika Mehta (both England), Anjum Chopra, Snehal Pradhan (both India), Lesley Murdoch (New Zealand), Urooj Mumtaz (Pakistan), Natalie Germanos (South Africa), Alan Wilkins (Wales) Ian Bishop (West Indies).

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT

Sami Ul Hasan
ICC Head of Media and Communications
Dubai Mobile – +971 50 452 8662
Email – sami.ulhasan@icc-cricket.com

ABOUT THE ICC

The ICC is the global governing body for cricket. Representing 104 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and is responsible for the staging of major international tournaments including the ICC World Cup and Women’s World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Men’s and Women’s World T20.

The ICC presides over the ICC Code of Conduct which sets the professional standards of discipline for international cricket, playing conditions, bowling reviews and other ICC regulations. The Laws of the game remain under the auspices of the MCC.

The ICC also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. Through the Anti-Corruption Unit it coordinates action against corruption and match fixing.

The ICC Development department works with associate members to improve the quality of international cricket, build better cricket systems, get more people playing cricket and grow the game.

 

Direct Qualifiers for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 confirmed

Former champions Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to feature in group stage of 16-team tournament

Dubai, 1 January 2019: The International Cricket Council today confirmed the sides that have qualified directly for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 to be held in Australia, based on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings as on 31 December 2018.

As per the qualification criteria set for the tournament, Australia and the other nine top ranked sides have ensured direct qualification. The top eight make it straight to the Super 12s stage while the remaining two will play in the group stage along with six other teams who will make it through from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019. Four teams from the group stage will advance to the Super 12s.

Of the top 10 sides on the rankings table, top-ranked Pakistan, India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the Windies and Afghanistan will start their campaign directly in in the Super 12s. Former champions and three-time finalists Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have to contend with the other six qualifiers in the group stage of the tournament, which will be held from 18 October to 15 November 2020.

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga was disappointed at the 2014 champions not making it to the Super 12s but was confident of the team doing well in the tournament while Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan indicated that recent performances had given them belief and they would prepare well for the challenge.

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga: “It is a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament.

“Having played three finals and winning once, it is natural that everyone expected us to finish in the top-eight but we have to take the opportunity in the extra matches of the group stage and prepare well for the knock-out matches.

“We have some fine players in the ranks and it is only a matter of doing our best when the time comes. We look forward to challenges coming our way as we prepare for the big event.”

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan: “We have not secured a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament by going through the group stage.

“We are a side capable of beating the best on our day and I see no reason why we can’t go far in the tournament. There is still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup.

“We won a T20 series against the West Indies, the world champions, in their backward not so long ago. That performance has given us a lot of belief in our Twenty20 capabilities.”

 

Bopanna-Divij, Ramanathan start with contrasting wins

-Top-seeded doubles pair beat Albot-Jaziri pair 6-1, 6-2
– Ramanathan comes back from a set down to beat Granollers 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Pune, January 1 2019: Top-seeded pair of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan registered a dominating first round win on Day Two of Tata Open Maharashtra here at Mhalunge Balewadi Tennis Stadium on Tuesday. The Indian pair outclassed Radu Albot-Malek Jaziri pair 6-1, 6-2 to live up to their top billing at India’s only ATP World Tour event.

Playing on Court 1, the Asian Games gold-medal winning duo took less than an hour to move to the second round dispatching the Moldova-Tunisian pair. In second round,Bopanna-Divij will take on Indo-Mexican pair of L Paes/ M. Reyes-Varela that beat D. Marrero/ H. Podlipnik-Castillo 6-3, 6-4.

In the third match at the Centre Court, perhaps the most exciting one of the Day 2, Ramkumar Ramanathan took on Spain’s Marcel Granollers in what was their second ATP Tour meeting.

Granollers broke Ramanthan in the first game itself. The Indian came back breaking his opponent’s first serve too. But Granollers took the initiative breaking Ramanathan second time and maintained his grip on the 1st set winning it 6-4 in 35 minutes.

But Ramanathan was determined to stay alive. With a more controlled game, the 24-year old sealed the second set 6-4 breaking the 32-year old in the tenth game to take the match to decider.

Ramanathan was charged after winning the second set and continued his momentum in the third. What defined Ramanathan’s form was the stunning cross-court in the fourth game to break the Spanish player and take a 3-1 lead in the decider. The two players held their serves until Ramanathan sealed the set and match at 6-3. Ramanthan will now take on fourth-seeded Jaziri in 2nd round on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, India’s Saketh Myneni, who entered the main draw after two gruelling qualifying matches, withdrew due to a foot injury. Thiago Monteiro came in his place a lucky loser to face France’s Benoit Paire. The fifth-seeded Frenchman got the better of Monteiro in straight sets 7-6(5), 6-3 with 18 aces.

In the first match at the Centre Court, Ivo Karlovic got the better of Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5. The match between one of the youngest players and the oldest at the event lasted for an hour and 14 minutes where the 39-year old Croatian hit 13 aces enroute the straight sets win over the 18-year old qualifier from Canada.

Karlovic broke Auger-Aliassime in the fifth game and held on to his serve to lead 4-2 and eventually won the first set 6-4. Auger-Aliassime put up a stronger show in the second but Karlovic broke him in the 11th game and dished out three aces in the final game to seal the second set 7-5 and the match.

RESULTS

Men’s Singles: 1st Round

(Q) S Bolelli d D Istomin 6-4, 6-4
I Ivashka d H Hurkacz 6-7 (9), 6-2, 603
I Karlovic d (Q) F Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5
(5) B Paire d (L) T Monteiro 7-6(5), 6-3
J Vesely d (Q) A Hoang 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
(W) R Ramanathan d M Granollers 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Men’s Doubles: 1st Round

D Molchanov/ Zelenay d P andujar/ R Carballes Baena 6-1,6-4
(1) R Bopanna/ D Sharan d R Albot/ M Jaziri 6-1, 6-2
S. Bolelli (ITA) / I. Dodig d [3] M. Arevalo / J. Cerretani 6-4, 5-7, 10-7
L Paes/ / M. Reyes-Varela d D. Marrero/ H. Podlipnik-Castillo 6-3, 6-4

 

UP Yoddha thrash Dabang Delhi 45-33

– Prashant Kumar Rai’s super raid in the second minute was the brave moment of the match as it set the tone for Yoddha victory
– Rishank Devadiga was the fittest player on the mat as he put quick and successful raids

In a one-sided encounter, UP Yoddha hammered Dabang Delhi 45-33in eliminator 3 of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 6. Prashant Kumar Rai was the star of the show as he scored 13 raid points and got able support from Rishank Devadiga who chipped in with 8 points. For Dabang Delhi, it was a disappointing night as their defence couldn’t muster enough points. Naveen Kumar top scored for Delhi but couldn’t save his team from crashing out of the competition. UP Yoddha will now play Gujarat Fortunegiants on Thursday to determine who will play Bengaluru Bulls in the final.

UP Yoddha got off to a flying start when Prashanth Kumar Rai made a super raid in the second minute. Dabang Delhi were reeling under the shock as they suffered an all out as earl as the third minute. UP Yoddha led 11-1 after three minutes and it looked like Dabang Delhi won’t recover from the early onslaught.

Chandran Ranjit made a two-point raid in the 7th minute as Dabang Delhi trailed 6-13 but UP Yoddha enjoyed the upper hand as after 10 minutes they led 17-8 . In the 14th minute UP Yoddha further asserted their supremacy as they inflicted another all out to lead 25-10. At the end of the first half, UP Yoddha led 27-13 and it looked like game over for Dabang Delhi.

Dabang Delhi tried to make a comeback in the second half and inflicted an all out in the 24th minute to trail 21-31. But Prashant Kumar Rai extinguished all their hopes of a comeback with a super raid in the 27th minute as UP Yoddha led 36-22. Another all out was inflicted in the second half as UP Yoddha were in complete command of the match.

The last few minutes were all about Dabang Delhi bringing some respectability to the score line. Naveen Kumar got a super 10 for the losing side but his effort went in vain as Delhi crashed out of the tournament.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches in the second qualifier on Thursday i.e. 3rd January 2019, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Eliminator 3 – VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season VI Powered by Thums Up

Match Report

UP Yoddha defeated Dabang Delhi KC in the 3rd Eliminator match of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season VI and now they will play against Gujarat Fortunegiants in Qualifier No. 2 which will take place at DOME@NSCI SVP Stadium, Mumbai on Thursday, 3rd January, 2019.

Final Score

Dabang Delhi KC – UP Yoddha

33 – 45

Match Awards

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PRASHANTH KUMAR RAO, JERSEY 4, UP YODDHA
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: NITESH KUMAR, JERSEY 2, UP YODDHA
THE MOMENT OF THE MATCH: PRASHANTH KUMAR RAO, JERSEY 4, UP YODDHA
HDFC LIFE WINNING CAPTAIN OF THE MATCH: RISHANK DEVADIGA, JERSEY 7, UP YODDHA

Bengaluru Bulls thrash Gujarat Fortunegiants 41-29, enter the final

– Pawan Sehrawat’s back-to-back super raids in the second half was the brave moment of the match
– Rohit Kumar put in a solid all-round performance to show his high fitness levels

Bengaluru Bulls produced a solid second half performance as they thrashed Gujarat Fortunegiants 41-29 in the first qualifier of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 to seal a spot in the final. Pawan Sehrawat continued his fine run of form and top scored for the Bengaluru Bulls with 13 raid points. Captain Rohit Kumar had an outstanding all-round game and scored 11 points for Bengaluru Bulls Sachin got yet another super 10 for Gujarat Fortunegiants and was ably supported by Prapanjan who scored 5raid points. While Bengaluru Bulls have qualified for the final, Gujarat still have a chance to make it when they play in the second qualifier against the winner between UP Yoddha and Dabang Delhi.

Pawan Sehrawat opened Bengaluru Bulls’ account with a running hand touch in the second minute while Sachin got a two-point raid for Gujarat Fortunegiants. It was Sachin who kept the Fortunegiants in the initial period of the match by picking bonus and raid points.

After seven minutes of play both teams were level on 7 points apiece as Prapanjan made a successful raid for Gujarat Fortunegiants.  Gujarat’s famed defence was having a quiet first half and took 11 minutes to score their first tackle point.

It was an extremely cagey affair with both teams playing with a bit of caution. Bengaluru Bulls were reduced to just three men when substitute Sumit Singh made a crucial do-or-die raid. At the end of the first half, Gujarat Fortunegiants held a slender one-point advantage to lead 14-13.

The first part of the second half was a close affair yet again with the biggest surprise being Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar struggling to get a tackle point. Gujarat Fortunegiants inflicted an all out in the 33rd minute to lead 26-20.

Pawan Sehrawat came up with a terrific super raid as he picked up three points to bring Bengaluru Bulls back in the game. Sehrawat followed it up with another super raid as Bengaluru Bulls inflicted an all out to lead 29-26.

With less than four minutes to go Bengaluru Bulls led 32-26 and looked in control of the match. Bengaluru Bulls inflicted an all out in the 39th minute to ensure Bengaluru Bulls’ victory and a place in the final of the season 6.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches in the second qualifier on Thursday i.e. 3rd January 2019, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Qualifier 1 – VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season VI Powered by Thums Up

Match Report

Bengaluru Bulls beat Gujarat Fortunegiants in the 1st Qualifier Match of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season VI and becomes the first team to reach the finals.

Final Score

Gujarat Fortunegiants – Bengaluru Bulls

29 – 41

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PAWAN SEHRAWAT, JERSEY 17, BENGALURU BULLS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: ROHIT KUMAR, JERSEY 9, BENGALURU BULLS
THE MOMENT OF THE MATCH: PAWAN SEHRAWAT, JERSEY 17, BENGALURU BULLS
HDFC LIFE WINNING CAPTAIN OF THE MATCH: ROHIT KUMAR, JERSEY 9, BENGALURU BULLS

 

Aadil Bedi, 17, earns Asian Tour card with tied ninth finish at Q School
Aman Raj too secures maiden tour card

Chiragh Kumar retains card; Abhijit Singh Chadha returns on the tour after a three-year gap

Hua Hin, Thailand, December 30, 2018: Seventeen-year-old Aadil Bedi, one of the rising stars on the Indian golfing horizon who turned professional only two months back, took a giant stride in his fledgling career by qualifying for the Asian Tour on Sunday.

Three other Indians, including 23-year-old Aman Raj, former Asian Tour winner Chiragh Kumar and Abhijit Singh Chadha, also earned their Asian Tour cards after finishing inside the top-35 players and ties at the end of the fifth and final round of the 2019 Asian Tour Qualifying School’s Final Stage.

Aadil Bedi (67-72-68-69-63), the youngest player to tee up in the Final Stage, fired a sensational eight-under-63 in the last round to finish tied ninth at 16-under-339, the best among the Indians, to earn full playing rights in Asia. Notably, it was the Chandigarh-based teenager’s maiden attempt at qualification.

Bedi, one of India’s leading amateurs prior to turning professional this year who also represented the country at the 2018 Asian Games, gained 27 spots from his overnight tied 36th as a result of his bogey-free final round of 63 at the Lakeview Resort and Golf Club in Thailand on Sunday.

The supremely fit Aadil, who notched a career-best third place finish at the PGTI’s Bengaluru Open earlier this month, said, “I lost a dear friend on the first day, back home. It was tough mentally, but I managed to play well and I’m glad that it has all come together. I had that belief in myself and that I have the game to earn the card.

“Now that I’ve earned the card, there’s more purpose in my practice and I’ll be definitely looking forward to the tournaments that I get to play. It was difficult to focus at times. When there are long waits between holes, or between rounds at night, I think about my friend. But, it was a good week. I’ve played really solid in all parts of my game.”

Aman Raj (69-64-74-68-65), the 2016 PGTI Emerging Player of the Year who went on to win his first professional title at the PGTI event in Jaipur this year, made the progression to the Asian Tour for the first time in his career after finishing tied 13th at the Q School with a total of 15-under-340. The Patna-based professional’s flawless final round of six-under-65 featured some long birdie conversions and propelled him 14 places from his overnight tied 27th.

Aman said, “My putting was exceptional through the week. The second round of 64 set up the week for me. It gave me the belief that I could finish inside the top-5. I now look forward to my first full season on the Asian Tour.”

Chiragh Kumar finished tied 35th at 10-under-345 to retain his Asian Tour card. Abhijit Singh Chadha, who also took a share of 35th place, claimed his card to make a return to the Asian Tour after a gap of three years. Both players shot final rounds of even-par-71 to drop 15 places from their overnight tied 20th.

The event was won by American Austen Truslow who totaled 24-under-331.

The four other Indians who had made the fourth round cut of the top-70 and ties but did not finish among the top-35 and ties after round five and thus missed their card, were Amardip Malik and Veer Ahlawat (both tied 57th at seven-under-348), Karandeep Kochhar (tied 65th at five-under-350) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (71st at even-par-355).

 

Dabang Delhi beat Bengal Warriors

– Naveen Kumar’s two-point raid in the 25th minute as the brave moment of the match
– Ravinder Pahal put in a strong defensive performance to show his high fitness levels

Dabang Delhi came up with a strong second half performance to beat Bengal Warriors 39-28 in the second eliminator of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 6.  Naveen Kumar and Chandran Ranjit led from the front as they combined to score 19 raid points. In defence, Ravinder Pahal scored four tackle points. It was a slow performance in second half by Bengal Warriors which led to their downfall. Maninder Singh top scored with 8 points but just didn’t get enough support from other raiders.

Chandran Ranjit opened Dabang Delhi’s account in the second minute with a successful raid. Maninder Singh picked up a couple of raid points as after two minutes Bengal Warriors leveled the match at 2-2. Bengal Warriors inflicted an all out in the 9th minute to lead 7-4. Bengal Warriors held the edge in the first half with Maninder Singh picking up raid points at regular intervals.

In the 15th minute Maninder made a two-point raid to give Bengal 12-8 lead but Chandran Ranjit replied with a  two-point raid of his own as Dabang Delhi trailed 10-12. Dabang Delhi forced a super tackle in the 16th minute to level the match at 12-12. Bengal Warriors came back strongly to inflict an all out in the 19th minute as they led 17-12. At the end of the first half, Bengal Warriors led 18-12.

Dabang Delhi made a strong start to the second half as they picked three raid points in the 21st minute to trail 15-18. Bengal Warriors were in the lead for the first part of the second half as after 25 minutes they led 20-19. Naveen Kumar made a brilliant raid in the 28th minute to give Dabang Delhi 24-20 lead. In the 32nd minute Dabang Delhi inflicted an all out to lead 33-23.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Gujarat Fortunegiants play Bengaluru Bulls while UP Yoddha take on Dabang Delhi on Monday i.e. 31st December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Dabang Delhi KC – Bengal Warriors

39 – 28

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: NAVEEN KUMAR, JERSEY 19, DABANG DELHI KC
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: RAVINDER PAHAL, JERSEY 6, DABANG DELHI KC
THE MOMENT OF THE MATCH: NAVEEN KUMAR, JERSEY 19, DABANG DELHI KC
HDFC LIFE WINNING CAPTAIN: JOGINDER SINGH NARWAL, JERSEY 8, DABANG DELHI KC

 

Ricky Ponting formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

ICC MEDIA RELEASE

Dubai, 26 December 2018: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was today formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. To mark the occasion, Ponting received his commemorative cap from compatriot ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Glenn McGrath during the tea break on the opening day of the third Test against India in Melbourne.

Ponting was named in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame along with former India captain Rahul Dravid and England woman wicketkeeper-batter Claire Taylor during the ICC Annual Conference in Dublin in July, which Ponting could not attend.

Ponting, after receiving the cap, said: “It’s an incredible feeling, I think for it to happen here at the MCG is what makes the whole thing a little bit more special. I found out today I am one of 25 Australians to be inducted. When you play one Test for Australia, you join a very elite group of players but now to part of the ICC Hall of Fame, you join an even more elite group of cricketers, so it’s a pretty special day today.

“I have lots of great memories with Glenn. I went to the cricket academy with Glenn in about 1990, so I have known Glenn for a long time. It’s a really cool thing that they do to have a fellow inductee actually hand over your cap and induct you in, so to have someone like Glenn do it, with whom I’m working with now and have played with for 10 or 12 years, makes the whole thing a little bit better.

“It’s great recognition. I thank the ICC for what they have done in making this possible. To be here in the MCG with 75,000 people, it makes it an awesome day.”

Ponting, a three-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner including two times as captain, is the 25th Australia cricketer to be formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. The 44-year-old retired from international cricket in 2012 after scoring 13,378 runs in 168 Tests with 41 centuries, 13,704 runs in 375 ODIs with 30 centuries and 401 runs in 17 T20Is with two half-centuries.

Ponting was named the ICC Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 while also being named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2006.

 

Gujarat Fortunegiants beat Patna Pirates 37-29

– Sunil Kumar’s super tackle in the 39th minute was the brave moment of the match
– Rohit Gulia was the fittest player on the mat as he made multiple successful raids

Gujarat Fortunegiants produced an excellent second half performance to beat defending champions Patna Pirates 37-29. Sunil Kumar with  a high five marshaled the defence superbly for Gujarat Fortunegiants. Rohit Gulia with 10 points and Ajay Kumar with 8 points led the raiding charge. Despite getting a super 10 Pardeep Narwal missed two raids in the last two minutes as Patna are now staring at an eliminiation. Patna Pirates can still make it to the playoffs if UP Yoddha don’t win against Bengal Warriors

Patna Pirates in the first half relied on Pardeep Narwal’s raid points as they maintained a lead. Gujarat Fortunegiants’ defence got their first tackle point in the 7th minute to trail 5-6. Pardeep Narwal made a two-point raid in the 11th minute to give Patna 8-6 lead. Rohit Gulia kept Gujarat Fortunegiants in contention as he led the raiding charts for the team.

After 14 minutes it was a close encounter with Patna holding a slender one-point lead. Gujarat’s defence made a slow start to the match but came on their own as they inflicted a super tackle to level the match. At the end of the first half Gujarat Fortunegiants led 13-12.

The second half began on a strong note for Gujarat Fortunegiants. With Rohit Gulia picking raid points consistently and their defence keeping Pardeep Narwal quite Gujarat led 21-16 after 30 minutes. Narwal struggled to score in the initial period of the second half.

Tushar Patil made a two-point raid in the 35th minute as Patna cut the lead to 22-24 but were reduced to just two men. Gujarat Fortunegiants inflicted an all out in the 36th minute as they led 28-23.

Pardeep Narwal picked up a two-point raid in the 37th minute as Patna trailed 26-29. With less than three minute to go Gujarat Fortunegiants held a slender two-point lead. Sunil put in an excellent super tackle on Pardeep Narwal to give Gujarat 32-28 lead. Gujarat forced another super tackle in the 39th minute to ensure a victory.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Bengal Warriors will play UP Yoddha while Bengaluru Bulls take on Jaipur Pink Panthers on Tuesday i.e. 26th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Gujarat Fortunegaints vs Patna Pirates

37 – 29

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PARDEEP NARWAL (JERSEY 9) PATNA PIRATES
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SURJEET SINGH (JERSEY 3) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS
THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: HADI OSHTORAK (JERSEY 44) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

 

Bengal Warriors beat Bengaluru Bulls 37-31

– Maninder Singh’s super raid in the 35th minute was the brave moment of the match
– Maninder Singh showed immense strength to power through Bengaluru Bulls defence

Bengal Warriors came up with a terrific second half performance as they beat Bengaluru Bulls 37-31 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 6. Bengal Warriors fine home streak continued with Maninder Singh leading their charge with 16 raid points. A five-point raid by Maninder turned the match in Bengal Warriors’ favour. Jang Kun Lee scored 7 points and also became the first foreign player to reach the 400 raid point landmark in the history of Pro Kabaddi League. For Bengaluru Bulls, Pawan Sehrawat scored 10 points but his team squandered a big advantage in the second half. Both these teams are already assured of a place in the playoffs.

Pawan Sehrawat picked two raid points as Bengaluru led 3-0 after two minutes. Jang Kun Lee opened Bengal Warriors raiding account. Maninder Singh made a two-point raid in the fourth minute as Bengal Warriors trailed 4-5.

After 10 minutes of play, Bengal Warriors led 8-7 and the match was evenly poised. Jang Kun Lee made a two-point raid in the 17th minute as Bengal Warriors trailed 12-14. Bengal Warriors defence had a quiet first half and scored just two tackle points. At the end of the first half, Bengaluru Bulls led 15-12.

Bengaluru Bulls inflicted an all out in the 24th minute to lead 21-15. Post the all out Bengal Warriors woke up and went on an excellent run. They didn’t allow any easy points to Bengaluru Bulls. Bengal inflicted an all out to lead 26-25 but the pivotal moment came when Maninder Singh produced a terrific raid. In one raid, Singh scored five raid points and put Bengal Warriors in command. Another all out was inflicted by Bengal Warriors which assured them of a comfortable victory.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Bengal Warriors will play UP Yoddha while Bengaluru Bulls take on Jaipur Pink Panthers on Tuesday i.e. 26th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Bengal Warriors vs Bengaluru Bulls

37 – 31

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: MANINDER SINGH (JERSEY 9) BENGAL WARRIORS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: RAN SINGH (JERSEY 13) BENGAL WARRIORS
THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: MANINDER SINGH (JERSEY 9) BENGAL WARRIORS

Standings

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

22

17

3

2

117

93

2

U MUMBA

22

15

5

2

189

86

3

DABANG DELHI KC

22

11

9

2

-1

68

4

PUNERI PALTAN

22

8

12

2

-45

52

5

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

21

6

12

3

-61

43

6

HARYANA STEELERS

22

6

14

2

-91

42

Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

21

12

7

2

96

73

2

BENGAL WARRIORS

21

12

7

2

18

69

3

PATNA PIRATES

22

9

11

2

-36

55

4

UP YODDHA

21

7

10

4

-61

52

5

TELUGU TITANS

22

8

13

1

-50

51

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

22

5

13

4

-70

42

 

Haryana Steelers play out a thrilling 40-40 tie with Tamil Thalaivas

– The brave moment of the was Vikas Kandola’s raid in the last minute to clinch the tie
– Ajay Thakur showed immense strength and high fitness levels throughout the match

Tamil Thaliavas and Haryana Steelers played out an exciting 40-40 tie in Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season 6. Haryana Steelers avoided defeat as they scored two points in the last minute. Monu Goyat top scored for Haryana with 17 points and put in a stellar performance. Ajay Thakur was in fine form for Tamil Thalaivas and he too scored 17 points. Haryana ended their league campaign on a positive note as did Tamil Thalaivas. Both teams finished bottom of the table in their respective zones.

Tamil Thalaivas began strongly and led 3-0 after three minutes with Ajay Thakur picking up a raid point. Haryana Steelers came back to trail 3-4 after five minutes. It was a close affair in the first 10 minutes. Monu Goyat picked up a two-point raid in the 7th minute to level the match at 6-6.

Haryana Steelers forced a super tackle in the 13th minute as they tied the match at 11-11. Anand was the star raider for Thalaivas in the first half. He picked up three raid points in two minutes as they led 16-14 at the end of the first half.

Tamil Thalaivas inflicted an all out at the start of the second half to lead 19-16. Haryana Steelers weren’t deterred by the all out and kept picking up points. In the 26th minute Haryana inflicted an all out to lead 27-23. Ajay Thakur made a super raid in the next minute to bring Thalaivas back in the match. In the 29th minute, Thalaivas inflicted an all out to lead 32-28.

It was a closely fought encounter with both teams level on 36-36 after 36 minutes. Ajay Thakur picked up two raid points in two minutes to give Thaliavas 39-37 lead after 38 minutes.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Bengal Warriors will play Bengaluru Bulls while Patna Pirates take on Gujarat Fortunegiants on Tuesday i.e. 26th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Haryana Steelers vs Tamil Thalaivas

40 – 40

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: AJAY THAKUR (JERSET 7) TAMIL THALAIVAS  
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: PARVEEN (JERSEY 9) HARYANA STEELERS
THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: SUNIL (JERSET 55) HARYANA STEELERS

 

Bengal Warriors edge out Telugu Titans 39-34

– Jang Kun Lee’s super raid in the first half was the brave moment of the match
– Surjeet Singh was the fittest player as he showed immense strength to tackle Titans’ raiders

Bengal Warriors continued their hot streak in their home leg as their beat Telugu Titans 39-34 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Maninder Singh scored 12 raid points for Bengal Warriors to lead his team’s charge.  Maninder also became the fastest man to reach 500 points in Pro Kabaddi League as he achieved the feat in 56 matches. For Telugu Titans it was the youngster Armaan who stood out and scored 11 points. Bengal Warriors have already qualified for the playoffs while Telugu Titans ended their campaign with a defeat.

Bengal Warriors got off to a flying start with Jang Kun Lee getting a super raid in the second minute. Telugu Titans fought back to level the match at 7-7 after five minutes. Maninder Singh continued to pick the points for Bengal Warriors in the first half.  At the end of the first half, Bengal Warriors 23-15 with Jang Kun Lee getting a raid in the 20th minute.

Bengal Warriors inflicted an all out in the 26th minute to lead 30-18. For Telugu Titans the performance of Anand was a revelation as he picked up raid points at will. After 30 minutes, Bengal Warriors led 32-22 and were in full control of the match.

The Titans did try to mount a comeback but the deficit proved too much in the end as they crashed out of the league.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Bengal Warriors will play Bengaluru Bulls while Patna Pirates take on Gujarat Fortunegiants on Tuesday i.e. 26th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Bengal Warriors vs Telugu Titans

39 – 34

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: MANINDER SINGH (JERSET 9) BENGAL WARRIORS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SURJEET SINGH (JERSEY 6) BENGAL WARRIORS
THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: JANG KUN LEE (JERSET 4) BENGAL WARRIORS

Standings

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

21

16

3

2

109

88

2

U MUMBA

22

15

5

2

189

86

3

DABANG DELHI KC

22

11

9

2

-1

68

4

PUNERI PALTAN

22

8

12

2

-45

52

5

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

21

6

12

3

-61

43

6

HARYANA STEELERS

22

6

14

2

-91

42

Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

20

12

6

2

102

72

2

BENGAL WARRIORS

20

11

7

2

12

64

3

PATNA PIRATES

21

9

10

2

-28

55

4

UP YODDHA

21

7

10

4

-61

52

5

TELUGU TITANS

22

8

13

1

-50

51

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

22

5

13

4

-70

42

 

UP Yoddha edge out U Mumba 32-31

– Prashanth Kumar Rai’s last minute raid was the brave moment of the match
– Sachin Kumar’s stellar defensive performance highlighted his high fitness levels

UP Yoddha edged out U Mumba 32-31 in an exciting match of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Prashanth Kumar Rai (8 points) with a two-point raid in the last minute clinched the win for UP Yoddha. It was a disappointing night for U Mumba as Siddharth Desai and Rohit Rana both suffered injuries. The loss means that U Mumba won’t finish top of the table in Zone A. UP Yoddha still have a slim chance of making it to the playoffs. Sachin Kumar had a brilliant game in defence for Yoddha and earned 6 tackle points while Rishank Devadiga got 7 raid points.

U Mumba made a strong start to lead 3-0 after two minutes but Shrikant Jadhav got 2 raid points as UP Yoddha cut the deficit to 3-4. U Mumba then forced two super tackles in the space of three minutes to lead 8-5 in the 8th minute.

UP Yoddha forced an all out in the 13th minute as they lead 14-8 after 14 minutes. U Mumba came back strongly with Abolfazl Maghsodlou producing a super raid to level the match 14-14 after 17 minutes. UP Yoddha didn’t buckle under pressure as Prashanth Kumar Rai made consecutive two-point raids. At the end of the first half, UP Yoddha led 18-15.

UP began the second half strongly with a super tackle in the 21st minute to lead 20-15. But U Mumba inflicted an all out in the 23rd minute to level the match at 20-20. For the next 10 minutes it was an evenly contested fight with both teams picking raid and tackle points.

Rishank Devadiga made a two-point raid in the 32nd minute to give UP Yoddha 29-25 lead. It was a close affair as with less than five minutes to go but Rohit Baliyan made a two-point raid in the 38th minute to level the match at 31-31. Darshian Kadian forced an error out of Yoddha’s defence in the 40th minute to tie the match at 32-32. Prashanth Kumar Rai made a brilliant two-point raid in the dying seconds gave Yoddha 34-32 lead.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Bengal Warriors will play Dabang Delhi on Sunday i.e. 23rd December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

U Mumba vs U.P. Yoddha

32 – 34

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: ROHIT BALIYAN (JERSET 33) U MUMBA
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SACHIN KUMAR (JERSEY 12) U.P. YODDHA
THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: PRASHANTH KUMAR RAI (JERSEY 4) U.P. YODDHA

 

Dabang Delhi beat Bengal Warriors 37-31

– Maninder Singh showed great strength as he powered through Dabang Delhi’s defence
– Meraj Sheykh’s super raid in the last minute was the brave moment of the match

Bengal Warriors’ unbeaten run in their home leg came to an end as they lost 37-31 to Dabang Delhi. Meraj Sheykh (13 points) was the star for Delhi as he produced a super raid in the last minute to lead them to a win. Maninder Singh top scored for Bengal Warriors with 9 points. Both teams have already sealed a spot in the playoffs. Dabang Delhi finished the league campaign with 68 points from their stipulated 22 matches.

Maninder Singh got Bengal Warriors to a flying start with a super raid in the first minute to lead 3-0. Dabang Delhi recovered from the early shock and fought back to lead 4-3 after four minutes. The first half saw both teams going hard for victory and it was  close affair. Maninder Singh scored with a two-point raid in the 11th minute to give Bengal 10-8 lead. A costly mistake by Bengal Warrior’s defence leveled the match 10-10 after 12 minutes.

Meraj Sheykh helped Dabang Delhi inflict an all out with a two-point raid in the 16th minute. It took Bengal Warriors 19 minutes to score their first tackle point of the match. A laidback defensive performance meant that Bengal Warriors went into the break trailing at 14-20 at half time.

Bengal Warriors made a strong start to the second half. They inflicted an all out and scored 8 points in six minutes to level the match at 22-22 after 26 minutes. With both teams neck and neck there were a slew of empty raids as neither wanted to commit any silly errors.

In the 33rd minute Meraj Sheykh came up with a two-point raid to give Dabang Delhi 26-24 lead. Sheykh followed it up with another two-point raid as he completed his super 10 and give Delhi 28-24 lead. Bengal Warriors forced a super tackle in the 37th minute to make it a one-point game.

Bengal Warriors forced a super tackle in the 39th minute to tie the match at 31-31. Meraj Sheykh produced a super raid in the last minute to win the match for Dabang Delhi

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Bengal Warriors will play Telugu Titans while Haryana Steelers take on Tamil Thalaivas on Tuesday i.e. 25th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi K.C.

31 – 37

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: MERAJ SHEYKH (JERSET 2) DABANG DELHI K.C.  

THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: MANOJ DHULL (JERSEY 5) BENGAL WARRIORS

THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: MERAJ SHEYKH (JERSET 2) DABANG DELHI K.C.  

Standings

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

21

16

3

2

109

88

2

U MUMBA

22

15

5

2

189

86

3

DABANG DELHI KC

22

11

9

2

-1

68

4

PUNERI PALTAN

22

8

12

2

-45

52

5

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

21

6

12

3

-61

43

6

HARYANA STEELERS

21

6

14

1

-91

39

Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

20

12

6

2

102

72

2

BENGAL WARRIORS

19

10

7

2

7

59

3

PATNA PIRATES

21

9

10

2

-28

55

4

UP YODDHA

21

7

10

4

-61

52

5

TELUGU TITANS

21

8

12

1

-50

50

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

21

5

13

3

-70

39

 

Om Prakash Chouhan prevails in the final round of 17th TATA Open 2018

Jamshedpur, December 23, 2018: The 17th TATA Open 2018 provided a fitting finale to the fiercely competitive 2018 PGTI season. Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, kept a calm head on an action-packed day to prevail by one shot after firing a rock-solid two-under-69 at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Sunday.

Chouhan finished with a total score of 20-under-264 at the Rs. 1 crore event and thus ended a four-year long title jinx. It was the Mhow lad’s fifth professional title and his second win at the TATA Open. Incidentally, he registered his last win at the 13th TATA Open 2014.  

Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa had the honour of shooting the day’s best score, an eight-under-63 that helped him finish runner-up at 19-under-265. Chikka had a fabulous closing stretch as he sank birdies on his last four holes.

While Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi had already sealed the PGTI Order of Merit title with earnings of Rs. 62,81,340 before the start of the 17th TATA Open 2018, this week’s tournament decided second place on the merit list which went to Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa who had earnings of Rs. 46,17,097. Notably, Madappa did not play the Jamshedpur event. Chikkarangappa’s runner-up finish this week, helped him clinch third place on the money list with earnings of Rs. 44,01,435.

Mysuru-based 23-year-old Yashas Chandra, who missed the cut at Jamshedpur, won the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year race. His season’s earnings of Rs. 13,26,493 was the highest among the rookies by a long distance. Chandra had nine starts in the season and posted two top-5 finishes. His best result was fourth at the CG Open 2018.  

Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67-65-69), leading by one over Delhi’s Rashid Khan after round three, struck an early blow in round four with a birdie on the first. However, that was neutralized by his bogey on the next hole.

The 30-year-old Chouhan then got back to the process of rebuilding his round with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the fourth and another birdie on the ninth that came as a result of a brilliant 2-iron approach shot.

A three-putt bogey on the 10th had Om Prakash in a spot of bother as Rashid Khan drew level with him on the next hole for the first time during the final round. But ‘OP’ as Chouhan is fondly referred to, once again surged ahead after driving the green on the par-4 12th which set up another birdie for him. The gap widened on the 12th as Rashid dropped a double-bogey there and couldn’t recover thereafter.

OP, who was nurtured by stalwart Mukesh Kumar, another Mhow-based golfer, in the early stages of his career, then missed a few short birdie putts but kept his nerve to come through despite the late charge by Chikkarangappa. OP’s exceptional chip shot from over the green on the 18th hit the flag stick and led to a tap-in for par that saw him home. He thus bagged the winner’s cheque worth Rs. 16,16,500 to move up from 10th to fourth place in the Final PGTI Order of Merit standings. His earnings for the season stood at Rs. 40,69,844.

Chouhan said, “The turning point today was the birdie on the 12th. I was feeling the pressure on the 12th tee as Rashid had caught up with me. But after I birdied that hole and Rashid made a double-bogey there, I felt quite at ease. I knew I just had to keep playing regulation from there on.

“Chikka did come close towards the end but I only got to know his score when I was going to chip to set up a par on the last. Chipping is the strongest part of my game so I was quite confident of landing it close on the 18th. That’s exactly what I managed to do.

“I owe this win to my brother Deepak who also caddies for me. He has always helped me get my game back on track with his sound advice. Last night Deepak told me to play my game, not think too much about the others and shoot at least a two-under which he felt would be good enough to win. He was proved right as I won with a two-under.

“I was out of form for a long time due to a shoulder injury. In order to make up distance off the tee which I had lost due to the shoulder injury, I altered my golf swing to make it faster. But recently my brother Deepak advised me to go back to my original swing. That move paid off and I thank my brother for that.

“It’s great to win the TATA Open for the second time. I now look forward to an even better 2019 season.”

Chikkarangappa (66-67-69-63), who was one-over through three holes, sank nine birdies thereafter and got himself in the mix. Two of his last four birdies were a result of long conversions. He thus climbed seven places from his overnight tied ninth.

Noida’s Amardip Malik came up with a flawless 66 which featured four birdies on the last six holes. He clinched third place at 18-under-266.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the leader in the first two rounds, slipped from overnight second to fourth after a final round of 71. Khan, seeking a second title in two weeks, was all square with the leader till the 11th but his challenge faded away with the double-bogey on the 12th. His total for the week read 17-under-267.

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi (66), the 2018 PGTI Order of Merit champion, finished 10th at 14-under-270.

Round 4 Leaderboard:

20-under-264: Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67-65-69)
19-under-265: Chikkarangappa (66-67-69-63)
18-under-266: Amardip Malik (64-69-67-66)
17-under-267: Rashid Khan (62-67-67-71)

 

17th TATA Open 2018
Rashid Khan continues in the lead on day two

Jamshedpur, December 21, 2018: Delhi’s Rashid Khan held on to his one-shot lead on day two of the 17th TATA Open 2018, the PGTI’s season finale, with a four-under-67 that pushed his total up to 13-under-129 at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Friday.

Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, the 2014 champion, also delivered a 67 in round two of the Rs. 1 crore event to be placed second at 12-under-130.

However, the best round of the day belonged to veteran Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, a three-time champion at the TATA Open. Mukesh signed for an error-free eight-under-63 to rise 23 places to third at 11-under-131.

The halfway cut fell at three-under-139. Fifty professionals progressed to the money rounds.

Rashid Khan (62-67), seeking a second title in two weeks on the PGTI, kept the birdies coming on day two as he made a chip-in and some top-class chip-putts to stay ahead of the rest. Rashid mixed six birdies with two bogeys and was two-under on both the back-nine and front-nine.

The 27-year-old Khan said, “I didn’t hit it as well as round one and was struggling with my irons today. Both my bogeys came as a result of some ordinary wedge shots.

“The big positive was making two birdies on the last three holes. That helped me close the round on a high.”

Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67) improved from overnight tied second to lone second as he grabbed most of his opportunities on the greens. The 30-year-old from Madhya Pradesh was even-par for the day till the eighth but then sank four birdies over the next eight holes to stay in touch with the lead.

Chouhan said, “I made some long putts today including a 12-footer for birdie on the 14th. I’ve been playing well since the last four events. I just need to close the week well now. I’ve decided not to be too aggressive over the weekend this time as that strategy has cost me dearly in the recent past.”

Mukesh Kumar’s (68-63) bogey-free 63 propelled him from overnight tied 26th to third place. Mukesh, who last won the TATA Open in 2015 after prevailing in a three-way playoff, judged the green speed to perfection on day two. The 53-year-old sank two long birdie putts and set up four birdies within a range of three feet.

Mukesh said, “I judged the green speed really well today and that made all the difference in my score. I’ll enjoy competing with the youngsters on the weekend.”

Delhi’s Kapil Kumar (66) was in fourth place at 10-under-132.

Among the prominent names, Bengaluru-based Chikkarangappa was tied fifth at nine-under-133 while defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka and Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi were both in tied 19th at six-under-136.

All the Jamshedpur players, two professionals and three amateurs, missed the cut.

Round 2 Leaderboard:

13-under-129: Rashid Khan (62-67)
12-under-130: Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67)
11-under-131: Mukesh Kumar (68-63)
10-under-132: Kapil Kumar (66-66)

 

Bengal Warriors beat Tamil Thalaivas 27-24

– Jang Kun Lee’s super raid in the first half was the brave moment of the match
– Ran Singh’s defensive performance showed his high fitness levels

Bengal Warriors started their home leg with a bang as they beat Bengal Warriors 27-24 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Incidentally, this was the 500th match in te history of Pro Kabaddi League. Jang Kun Lee was the star of the show for Bengal Warriors and top scored with 12 points. Ran Singh marshaled the defence for the Warriors and scored 4 tackle points. Sukesh Hegde top scored for the Thalaivas with 9 points and was ably supported by Ajay Thakur. In the absence of Manjeet Chhillar, Bengal Warriors’ defence couldn’t contain Bengal raiders and scored just six tackle points. Bengal Warriors remain in contention for place in the playoffs while Tamil Thalaivas were knocked out earlier.

Maninder Singh got Bengal Warriors to a good start with a two-point raid in the first minute. For Thalaivas, Sukesh Hegde produced a super raid in the third minute as they led 6-4. Jang Kun Lee also scored with a super raid as Bengal Warriors leveled the match at 7-7.

It was a closely fought first half with both teams’ raiders getting points. For the defenders, it was a low-scoring affair as only five tackle points were scored. Jang Kun Lee scored seven raid points in the first half for Bengal Warriors while Sukesh Hegde got the same for Tamil Thalaivas. Bengal Warriors ended the first half with a super tackle as the scored was 15-15 at the break.

Bengal Warriors defence got their act together at the start of the second half and forced a super tackle to avert an all out in the 23rd minute. Tamil Thalaivas wasted a couple of opportunities to inflict an all out in the second half. Jang Kun Lee completed his super 10 in the first half.

With less than five minutes to go, Bengal Warriors held a slender two-point lead with the score 23-21 in their favour. Bengal Warriors maintained their calm and composure in the final few minutes and won the match 27-24.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when U Mumba take on UP Yoddha whereas Bengal Warriors will play Patna Pirates on Saturday i.e. 22nd December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Bengal Warriors vs Tamil Thalaivas

27 – 24

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: JANG KUN LEE (JERSEY 4) BENGAL WARRIORS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: RAN SINGH (JERSEY 13) BENGAL WARRIORS
THE BENGAL WARRIORS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: JANG KUN LEE (JERSEY 4) BENGAL WARRIORS

 

17th TATA Open 2018
Rashid Khan dominates round one with a 9-under-62

Om Prakash Chouhan and Sanjeev Kumar also shine with scores of 63 to be tied second

Jamshedpur, December 20, 2018: Delhi’s Rashid Khan dominated round one of the 17th TATA Open 2018, the PGTI’s season finale, with a red-hot nine-under-62 at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Thursday. He thus enjoyed a one-shot lead.

Rashid, who won the PGTI’s last event in Mumbai last week, carried forward his form into the year-ending Rs. 1 crore event with an outstanding run of 10 birdies that came at the expense of just one bogey.

Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, the 2014 champion, and Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar struck sizzling 63s to be placed tied second.

Delhi’s Tapy Ghai and Noida’s Amardip Malik produced scores of 64 to occupy tied fourth.

Rashid Khan, who ended his two-year title-drought last week, seemed to continue from where he had left in Mumbai as he drove his way to the top of the leaderboard. The 27-year-old Khan made an impact early on in his round thanks to some excellent driving and tee shots that set up birdies for him on the second, third, fourth, sixth, eighth and 10th.

Rashid, who had finished a close runner-up to Shubhankar Sharma at the 2016 edition, only had a blemish on the 11th where he found the trees and as a result dropped a shot. On the back-nine, Khan’s accuracy with the 3-wood helped him collect four more birdies on the 12th, 15th, 16th and 18th.

A confident Rashid said, “I’ve been feeling the form since the Bengaluru event two weeks back. I started off with some good scores there before winning in Mumbai. I’ve been executing my shots to perfection, just the way I visualize them.

“The golf course is in excellent condition and the rain at the start of the week has made sure that the ball is holding on the green after landing. That has resulted in a lot of low scores.

“I hit my driver and 3-wood really well and thus got into good positions to attack the flag,” added Khan, who began his purple patch with an eight-under-62 in round two of the Mumbai event last week.

Om Prakash Chouhan and Sanjeev Kumar went error-free in their rounds of 63 as both left themselves a lot of short birdie putts. Sanjeev also had a chip-in birdie on the eighth.

Tapy Ghai was exceptional with the wedges making two chip-in birdies during his flawless 64. Amardip Malik, who too posted a 64, enjoyed a spectacular run of six consecutive birdies from the 15th to the second hole.

Among the prominent names, Bengaluru-based Chikkarangappa and defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka were both in tied ninth with scores of 66.

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi, the 2018 PGTI Order of Merit champion, fired a 69 to be tied 38th.

Among the Jamshedpur-based players, amateur Navtez Singh was in tied 51st having carded a one-under-70, amateur Aditya Panchamiya was placed tied 87th after returning a two-over-73 while professional Karan Taunk and amateur Armaan Parikh were both in tied 114th with scores of five-over-76. Chhotu Singh, another local professional shot a six-over-77 to be tied 121st.

Out of the 126 players, three players could not complete their first round due to fading light. They will resume their rounds at 0715 hrs on Friday, December 21.

Round 1 Leaderboard

Nine-under-62: Rashid Khan
Eight-under-63: Sanjeev Kumar, Om Prakash Chouhan
Seven-under-64: Tapy Ghai, Amardip Malik

 

IAAF Nationality Review Panel clears 10 Athletes to compete under new flags

PRESS RELEASE

Ten athletes have been cleared to represent new countries since the last update from the IAAF Nationality Review Panel (NRP).

After the IAAF Council approved new Transfer of Allegiance rules, eight athletes were cleared in October to represent new countries.

The new regulations established the role of the NRP and the requirements under which athletes may represent an IAAF Member Federation in international competition.

The panel reviewed the first set of full applications earlier in the year and approved five athletes to transfer allegiance and determined the eligibility of three athletes who requested approval to compete for their new countries.

Since then, a further 10 athletes have been approved to transfer allegiance. Eight of those – Adhanom Abraha (Eritrea to Sweden), Nick Ekelund-Arenander (Denmark to Sweden), Samrawit Mengsteab (Eritrea to Sweden), Abdelhamid Zerrifi (Algeria to France), Ontoniel Costa Badjana (Guinea-Bissau to Portugal), Mohamed Ali (Somalia to Netherlands), Yanique Haye-Smith (Jamaica to Turks and Caicos Islands) and Yunier Perez Romero (Cuba to Spain) – can compete for their new countries with immediate effect.

USA’s Blake Haney will be eligible to represent Canada on 10 July 2019, while Greece’s Paraskevas Batzavalis will be eligible to represent Cyprus on 1 June 2021.

The NRP has received 24 complete applications so far. Some of these are still under review and, in accordance with the new regulations, only the final decisions of the NRP will be announced. The panel will continue to consider applications submitted by Member Federations that are complete, including all the required information and documents.

The new rules require a minimum three-year waiting period before an athlete may transfer to represent another Member Federation, and the provision of evidence that those countries are offering full citizenship and associated rights. No athlete can transfer before the age of 20 or transfer more than once.

“We reviewed the rules governing Transfer of Allegiance for the specific purpose of protecting our athletes from any abuses that occurred under the previous system,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

“I’m pleased to see the new system is now working as we intended, allowing athletes with a genuine connection to a new country to represent that country after appropriate checks and balances.”

The full list of decisions taken by the Nationality Review Panel can be found here.

Currently, the Nationality Review Panel is composed of Hiroshi Yokokawa, Geoff Gardner, Marton Gyulai and Rozle Prezelj.

 

Dabang Delhi play out a thrilling 37-37 tie against Jaipur Pink Panthers

– Selvamani’s four-point raid was the brave moment of the match
– Sandeep Dhull showed immense strength and high fitness levels to score 6 tackle points.

Jaipur Pink Panthers ended their home leg with a 37-37 tie against Dabang Delhi in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Dabang Delhi would feel disappointed as they were in control for most of the match but lost their composure in the last five minutes. Deepak Hooda scored 8 points for Jaipur while Sandeep Dhull got a high five. Chandran Ranjit (11 points) and Pawan Kadian (9 points) were among the top scorers for Dabang Delhi

Dabang Delhi made a strong start and led 5-0 after four minutes as they picked up a couple of raid and tackle points. A super tackle in the 5th minute opened Jaipur Pink Panthers’ account. Jaipur Pink Panthers were kept alive in the match because of their defence as they forced another super tackle in the 8th minute to level the match at 6-6.

Dabang Delhi took the lead once again as they inflicted an all out in the  11th minute to lead 11-7. Selvamani’s super raid in the 13th minute got Jaipur back in the match once again. It was a see-saw of  amatch with Jaipur cutting the deficit every time Delhi threatened to run away with the match. Ajinkya Pawar’s two-point raid in the 17th minute made it a one point gap. At the end of the first half Dabang Delhi led 18-17.

Pawan Kadian made a super raid in the 21st minute to give Delhi 21-18 lead. But Selvamani’s brilliant four-point raid in the 24th minute got Jaipur back in the match once again.

With less than five minutes to go Jaipur were trailing by five points when Ajinkya Pawar made a two-point raid to reduce the gap to three. In the 38th minute Jaipur inflicted an all out as they trailed 35-36 and Deepak Hooda leveled the match in the next minute with a successful raid.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Dabang Delhi on Thursday i.e. 19th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Delhi Dabang K.C.

37 – 37

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: CHANDRAN RANJIT (JERSEY 66) DABANG DELHI K.C.
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SANDEEP DHULL (JERSEY 44) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: SELVAMANI K (JERSEY 10) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE GILLETTE MACH 3 TOTAL CONTROL HOME TEAM PLAYER: SANDEEP DHULL (JERSEY 44) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE HONDA X BLADE STYLISH PLAYER OF THE PANCHKULA LEG: SANDEEP DHULL (JERSEY 44) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE ULTRATECH CEMENT NO.1 PLAYER OF THE HOME TEAM: DEEPAK NIWAS HOODA (JERSEY 5) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

Standings

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

21

16

3

2

109

88

2

U MUMBA

21

15

4

2

191

85

3

DABANG DELHI KC

21

10

9

2

-7

63

4

PUNERI PALTAN

21

7

12

2

-60

47

5

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

21

6

11

3

-61

43

6

HARYANA STEELERS

21

6

14

1

-91

39

Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

20

12

6

2

102

72

2

PATNA PIRATES

20

9

9

2

-12

55

3

TELUGU TITANS

20

8

11

1

-35

50

4

BENGAL WARRIORS

16

8

6

2

-6

48

5

UP YODDHA

20

6

10

4

-63

47

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

19

5

12

3

-67

38

 

Gujarat Fortunegiants beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 33-31

– K Prapanjan’s two-point raid in the second half was the brave moment of the match
– Sandeep Dhull put an impressive display of strength with robust tackles

Gujarat Fortunegiants notched up their 15th win as they beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 33-31 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Led by the impressive raiding duo of K Prapanjan (11 points) and Sachin (8 points), Gujarat Fortunegiants survived a late second half scare from Jaipur Pink Panthers. Ajinkya Pawar with 9 points and Sandeep Dhull with 6 tackle points rallied to make a comeback but just fell short in the end. The win means Gujarat Fortunegiants go top of the table in Zone A.

The match started with both teams on equal footing after four minutes with Gujarat leading 4-3. A two-point raid in the 7th minute followed by an all out gave Gujarat Fortunegiants 10-4 lead. Jaipur’s defence was having an off night as they struggled to contain the Fortunegiants’ raiders in the first half.

Jaipur Pink Panthers’ star raider Deepak Niwas Hooda had a quiet first half and it was left to Ajinkya Pawar to get raid points. Pawar made a successful raid in the 11th minute as Jaipur trailed 7-12. Gujarat Fortunegiants kept Hooda quiet who didn’t score a single point in the first half. At the end of the first half Gujarat held a seven-point advantage as they led 17-10.

Prapanjan got Gujarat off to a good start in the second with a two-point raid. In the 22nd minute Gujarat Fortunegiants inflicted another all out to open up a 12-point gap as they led 24-12. Ajinkya Pawar made a succcesful raid in the 28th minute as Jaipur inflicted an all out in an attempt to make a comeback.

With less than 10 minutes to go Gujarat Fortunegiants held a three-point lead and showed all their experience. Prapanjan’s two-point raid in the 32nd minute extinguished all hopes of a Jaipur comeback as they led 30-24. Sandeep Dhull produced a strong defensive performance for Jaipur in the second half and got a high five.

Ajinkya Pawar got two points in two minutes as Jaipur trailed by just two points in the last minute. Rohit Gulia got a raid in the 40th minute to seal a narrow win for Gujarat Fortunegiants.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Dabang Delhi on Thursday i.e. 19th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Gujarat Fortunegiants

31 – 33

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: K. PRAPANJAN (JERSET 25) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SANDEEP KUMAR DHULL (JERSEY 44) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: ROHIT GULIA (JERSEY 7) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

Standings

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

21

16

3

2

109

88

2

U MUMBA

21

15

4

2

191

85

3

DABANG DELHI KC

20

10

9

1

-7

60

4

PUNERI PALTAN

21

7

12

2

-60

47

5

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

20

6

11

2

-61

40

6

HARYANA STEELERS

21

6

14

1

-91

39

Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

20

12

6

2

102

72

2

PATNA PIRATES

20

9

9

2

-12

55

3

TELUGU TITANS

20

8

11

1

-35

50

4

BENGAL WARRIORS

16

8

6

2

-6

48

5

UP YODDHA

20

6

10

4

-63

47

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

19

5

12

3

-67

38

 

Captain Cool, Anup Kumar retires from Kabaddi

Panchkula, 19 December: Legendary Kabaddi player, Anup Kumar announced his retirement today as his team, Jaipur Pink Panthers played during the teams’ home leg match for VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Season VI, at Panchkula. The iconic player concludes a historic 15-year career, where he has led several teams to victory and grown the sport in the country.

A veteran in his sport, Arjuna Awardee, Anup Kumar began his international career in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka. He was part of the Indian National Kabaddi team that won gold medals in 2010 and 2014. Thereafter, he captained the Indian National team in 2014 and it was during his tenure that the team won 2 gold medals at Asian Games in 2014 and the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016. In season 2 of the Pro Kabaddi League, Anup captained U Mumba and led the team to victory.

Announcing his retirement, Anup Kumar said, “When I started playing kabaddi, I was invested in the sport because I liked it and it was a great hobby, over the years a hobby became the most important part of my life. The day I took to playing kabaddi professionally, I had one dream, to represent my country and bring back a gold medal, I am one of the few lucky people who had the opportunity to accomplish the most important dream of my life. Today, with the Pro Kabaddi League, the magnitude of the sport has grown leaps and bounds and I could not be happier than to watch and grow and be a part of this journey. This platform is an extremely important aspect of my life and that is why today I use the platform to make this announcement. Coincidentally, today is also the 10th birthday of my son, and that makes this date even more memorable. Going forward, if there is anything I am confident about, it is knowing that I will always want to be connected to the sport.”

Reacting to the announcement, League Commissioner of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League Anupam Goswami, said, “This is a great decision by a great player from a great stage of kabaddi. It is also for the first time a senior player has announced his retirement of his playing career during an ongoing season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. Just shows the importance kabaddi players attach to a league like Pro Kabaddi. Anup of course has been a senior player and a role model athlete for this sport. We totally respect his decision.

It is well recognized that Pro Kabaddi has had a profound impact on the emergence of the sport on the global stage. Anup has played such a crucial role and a distinguished role in the process. He has established himself as a role model by his sportsman spirit, by the competitiveness of his captaincy as well as his play. He will continue to impress Kabaddi players for a long time. I am sure that this retirement decision of his career relates only to him as a player and he will continue his engagement and involvement with Kabaddi in various roles.  In that process as well, I am sure he will emerge as role model for kabaddi players.”

Ronnie Screwvala, team owner U Mumba, said, “When I heard of Anup Kumar’s retirement, I have to say it didn’t surprise me because he is one of the smartest and intelligent players in Kabaddi. He gets his sense of timing on the field and I think he gets his timing when he is looking at his own career off the field as well.

One thinks sometimes that retirement is the end, but it is the beginning of another challenge in your life. Also, for a lot of people whether they are in the professional world, in the field of art and culture, knowing when to call it a day is as important as what you have done; and I think there is a certain sense of astute that follows Anup Kumar in this as well. The timing that he chose is really at the peak and there is no question that he is at the best of his career. As far as I know Anup, he chose this moment, as a gesture to say – you need to respect younger talent and make way for them. It is a huge precedent for other players that look at the sport like a very finite thing in your career whether you’re young or it is a tenure period, let’s make the most out of it.

The good part I think is that Anup made the most out of it and at the same time he is starting a new innings in Kabaddi- he can play any role he wants to- he can champion the cause, he can be the brand ambassador, he can be a coach, he can be a mentor, he can start the whole ground service to many people and I think he has gotten his timing right.

For me personally, I think it’s a great tribute because 5 out of the 6 seasons he has played with U Mumba, I can only recall the time we all gathered at a small hotel for the first auction and everyone was starting to get familiar. To us, players were a picture and statistics and there wasn’t that much of statistic. That time instinctively between the coach and Supratik, CEO U Mumba and I picked on Anup and it was instinctive when we met them, the level of his maturity, the level of his respect for co-players. I think if I reflect, I know we branded him captain cool and then the commentators did and then everybody else did, all for good reasons, I think how he would take a loss and compensate with people. I think his thing about his demeanour when we have lost a game but not lost anything more than that. The tonality of that “Koi Baat Nahi” – there is a certain heaviness in his ‘Koi Baat Nahi’ and I have seen that tonality in season 1 and in season 5.”

Adding to the reactions, Abhishek Bachchan, team owner Jaipur Pink Panthers, said, “First of all when Anup Kumar told us about his retirement, we were very unhappy, because from the time I have been associated with kabaddi it is my belief that there is no one with his calibre. Whatever we have learnt from Anup from the time when he was with U Mumba, there was always love and respect for him. Anup is such a player who has been a role model. Everything that he has done for Kabaddi off the mat, with respect to the players, franchises, owners, his demeanour has always been extremely warm. Back in season 1 of Pro Kabaddi, I had told Anup, that I was waiting for the day when he will be seen in the Jaipur Pink Panthers jersey, and for all of us at Jaipur Pink Panthers it is a matter of great pride that he was our captain this season. Today, I am sad, because we won’t see him on the mat after this, but I really hope he will always be connected to the sport because everything that he has done for the sport in the past is something that no one can replicate.  On behalf of our entire Jaipur Pink Panthers team, we would like to wish Anup, all the best for all his future endeavours, and congratulations on possibly one of the greatest sporting careers in India.

After asked what young players should learn from Anup, Abhishek Bachchan said, I think young players should make their own style, and not try to copy Anup, because Anup is only one. But there is one thing I would like to say, they should try and be like Anup off the mat, Anup’s dedication and his humility is what they should imbibe. I think he is one of the greatest sportsmen India has ever had, he is grounded, humble, extremely polite and always there for his peers, especially the younger athletes and this is what everyone should pick up.

It is very difficult to map how much the kabaddi universe will miss Anup, he has been a beacon for the kabaddi universe, set the standards, it is going to be difficult for anyone to match up to this standard. Anup Kumar is a legend and will continue to be a legend.”

 

Patna Pirates play out a thrilling tie against Bengaluru Bulls

– The brave moment of the match was Vikas Jaglan who got a two-point raid in the dying seconds of the match
– Rohit Kumar was the fittest player on the mat as he made as many as 21 raids.

Patna Pirates pulled out a miraculous 40-40 tie against Bengaluru Bulls with as they scored three points in the less than 20 seconds. Vikas Jaglan was the hero for Patna as he got one tackle and two raid points to save Patna from a certain defeat. Pardeep Narwal was the top scorer for Patna Pirates with 17 points. For Bengaluru Bulls, Rohit Kumar scored 16 points while Mahender got a high five in defence.

Patna Pirates are still in contention of a place in the playoffs while Bengaluru Bulls have already qualified.Both teams got a couple of raid points in the first two minutes to be level at 2-2. Pardeep Narwal and Pawan Sehrawat picked up a few more raid points for their teams with Patna leading 5-4 after five minutes. It did look like Patna Pirates would steal a lead as Pardeep Narwal made a two-point raid in the 6th minute to led 8-5.

A super tackle in the 7th minute turned the tide completely in Bengaluru Bulls’ favour. Rohit Kumar mad a successful raid in the 16th minute as Bengluru Bulls inflicted an all out to lead 17-11. Patna Pirates failed to score a single point for nine minutes and paid a price for it as they went into the break trailing 11-20. Patna Pirates defence had a disappointing first half as they could score just three tackle points in 20 minutes.

Patna Pirates began the second half strongly as they inflicted an all out in the 24th minute to level the match at 21-21. It was a solid run as Pirates scored 10 points in four minutes to wipe out Bengaluru’s lead. Pardeep Narwal made a brilliant raid in the 26th minute to come up with a super raid and give Patna Pirates 26-22 lead.

Rohit Kumar tried to wake Bengaluru from their slumber as he made a two-point raid in the 29th minute to trail 25-27. Bengaluru picked up two bonus points as they trailed by just one point with less than 10 minutes to go.

It was Rohit Kumar yet again who got a super raid as Bengaluru Bulls led 32-30 in the 33rd minute as they averted an all out once again. Patna Pirates inflicted an all out in the 35th minute to lead 35-34.

With less than three minutes to go Bengaluru Bulls led 37-36 but it was still anyone’s game. Bengaluru Bulls sent Pardeep Narwal to the bench in the 39th minute as Bengaluru looked to close out the match.

There was last-minute drama as Vikas Jaglan got a touch, bonus and raid point to secure a tie for Patna Pirates

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Dabang Delhi on Thursday i.e. 19th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Patna Pirates vs Bengaluru Bulls

40 – 40

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PARDEEP NARWAL (JERSEY 9) PATNA PIRATES
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: MAHENDER SINGH (JERSEY 4) BENGALURU BULLS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: VIKAS JAGLAN (JERSEY 2) PATNA PIRATES

 

Rashid Khan rediscovers form to win CG Open 2018

Mumbai, December 15, 2018: Delhi’s Rashid Khan produced a determined final round of seven-under-63 at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC) on Saturday to rediscover his form with a comfortable four-shot victory at the PGTI’s CG Open 2018. The 27-year-old Rashid, who closed the Rs. 1 crore event with an imposing total of 16-under-264, thus returned to winning ways after two years.

Two-time Asian Tour winner Khan, who returned the last day’s best score, was a third time lucky at the CG Open since he had finished runner-up at the tournament twice before. The CG Open triumph accounted for Rashid’s 10th professional title and eighth win on the PGTI.

Shamim Khan (67-71-66-64), the 2016 champion, came up with a flawless final round of six-under-64 to gain three spots and finish runner-up at 12-under-268.

Rashid Khan (68-62-71-63), lying overnight second, one behind third round leader N Thangaraja, made an early charge with a birdie-eagle-birdie run from the third to the fifth where he made a tap-in followed by two eight-footers. He consolidated his lead to three shots with another birdie on the ninth.

Khan, the runner-up in the 2012 and 2013 editions as a result of his playoff losses to Harendra Gupta and Chikkarangappa respectively, then had a relatively quieter back-nine making a bogey on the 10th and three birdies that was enough to see him through to the finish line even as the others struggled to catch up.

Rashid, a two-time PGTI Order of Merit champion, took home the winning cheque worth Rs. 16,16,500 on Saturday that catapulted him from 98th to 19th position in the current PGTI Order of Merit.

Rashid said, “I’m extremely glad to come through this week after a long winless streak. I needed a good start today and I managed that with some quality iron-play early on that helped me build a decent lead.

“The bogey on the 10th was disappointing but I made up for that with a 25-feet birdie conversion on the 14th. At that point I knew that the match was in the bag.

“I’ve tried a lot of things over the last two years as I struggled with my form. But now I’m visualizing my shots well and executing them to perfection. This week I landed most shots where I wanted to.

“This win also helps me erase memories of the two previous playoff losses at the CG Open. It’s a relief to finally win at the BPGC.”

Shamim Khan, who began the day with a 35-feet eagle conversion on the first hole, added four more birdies to his card to finish a respectable second. Reigning PGTI Order of Merit champion Shamim’s runner-up cheque of Rs. 11,16,500 saw him rise from ninth to third place in the current money list.

Sri Lankan N Thangaraja, the third round leader, claimed third place at 11-under-269 after a final round of 69.

Mysuru-based 23-year-old rookie Yashas Chandra secured fourth place, his best so far as a professional, after a last round of 68 that pushed his total to 10-under-270.

Both Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane and Delhi’s Gagan Verma, the only amateur to make the cut, finished tied 44th at seven-over-287.

 

Khalin Joshi emerges 2018 PGTI Order of Merit champion

NEW DELHI, 28 October 2018 : Pictured during final round of the Panasonic Open India 2018 at Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi, INDIA. Pix by Arep Kulal / ASIAN TOUR
Copyright © ASIANTOUR2018

December 17, 2018: Khalin Joshi has emerged as the PGTI Order of Merit champion for 2018. With just one event remaining in the season, the 17th TATA Open 2018, scheduled to be played at the Golmuri Golf Club in Jamshedpur from December 20 – 23, Joshi already enjoys an unassailable lead in the money list.

The 26-year-old Bengalurean Khalin, who won his maiden international title at the Asian Tour’s Panasonic Open India (joint sanctioned by the Asian Tour & PGTI) in Delhi two months back, currently sits atop the PGTI Order of Merit with earnings of Rs. 60,74,840.

Besides his win, Joshi, who has had seven starts on the PGTI so far this year, also registered a sixth place at the LP Cup and a tied sixth at the TAKE Solutions Masters (both events joint sanctioned by the Asian Tour & PGTI).

Twenty-one-year-old Viraj Madappa, who became the youngest Indian to win an international event when he bagged the Asian Tour’s TAKE Solutions Masters this season, is currently in second place on the PGTI’s merit list with earnings of Rs. 46,17,097.

However, Madappa will not be participating at the season finale in Jamshedpur which means he will not be vying for the top spot with Khalin, who will be teeing it up at the year-ender.

The seasoned Shamim Khan lies third in the money list with earnings of Rs. 34,28,798. But even a triumph for Shamim at Golmuri will not be enough for him to challenge Joshi’s top position in the rankings as the winning cheque at the season-ending event is Rs. 16,16,500.

On being declared the 2018 PGTI Order of Merit champion, Khalin, a winner of four titles, said, “It’s been a dream to win an Order of Merit title and to achieve it on a tour where I started my professional career is quite special.

“To be honest, it’s not been a very consistent year for me, but I’m happy that I still managed to put together some good weeks and get the job done. So many great Indian golfers have won the Order of Merit in India before going on to achieve bigger things at the international stage. So it’s nice to be in their company.

“The fact that my good friend Shubhankar Sharma won the Asian Tour Order of Merit while I won the PGTI Order of Merit at the same time, is a happy coincidence, and makes the 2018 season even more memorable for me.

“My focus will now be on performing well at the European Tour and Asian Tour joint sanctioned events next season so that I can earn my card on the European Tour.

“The PGTI has provided many Indian golfers including myself the platform to sharpen our games and make a smooth and successful transition to the international level. I’m confident that this trend will continue in the coming years as the tour is set to grow bigger with its inclusion in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system from 2019 onward.”

Incidentally, Khalin Joshi also finished a career-best 17th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit this year.

 

Bengaluru Bulls thrash rivals Telugu Titans 44-28

– Pawan Sehrawat’s agility and high fitness levels helped him power through Titans’ defence
– The brave moment of the match was the all out inflicted by Bulls at the start of the second half

Bengaluru Bulls notched a thumping 44-28 victory over Telugu Titans in the southern derby of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. The victory ensured that Bengaluru Bulls have now qualified for the playoffs. Pawan Sehrawat continued his fine form and got another super 10 and top scored with 13 points. It was a soild defensive performance by the Bulls defence as they 12 tackle points. Rahul Chaudhari scored 12 points for Telugu Titans but couldn’t muster enough support from his teammates. Titans still remain in the hunt for a place in the playoffs but are under pressure now.

It was a close affair in the first half as both teams started on equal footing with the score 2-2 after two minutes. Pawan Sehrawat made a two-point raid in the third minute to give Bulls 4-2 lead. A super tackle in the fourth minute got Titans back into the game as they trailed 4-5.

Bengaluru Bulls inflicted an all out in the 7th minute to lead 11-5. Rahul Chaudhari produced a super raid in the 9th minute to get Titans back in the game once again.

Titans inflicted an all out in the 15th minute to level the match at 16-16 and put pressure on Bengaluru Bulls. However, Bulls scored six straight points to end the half on a high as they led 22-16.

The second half saw Bengaluru Bulls take complete control of the match as they inflicted two all outs to maintain a healthy lead. There were moments of quality from Titans in the second half but it just wasn’t enough. A super tackle in the 27th minute reduced the Bulls lead to 10 points as Titans trailed 21-31.

But Sehrawat and co. continue to score easy points at will and completed their third successive win over their arch rivals.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Haryana Steelers while Bengaluru Bulls face Telugu Titans on Tuesday i.e. 18th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Bengaluru Bulls vs Telugu Titans

44 – 28

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (JERSEY 17) BENGALURU BULLS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: AMIT SHEORAN (JERSEY 12) BENGALURU BULLS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR SHERAWAT (JERSEY 17) BENGALURU BULLS

 

Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Haryana Steelers 39-30

– Ajinkya Pawar’s critical raid in the 36th minute was the brave moment of the match as he sent Monu Goyat to the bench
– Deepak Niwas Hooda was the fittest player on the mat

Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Haryana Steelers 39-30 in a see-saw of a game in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Haryana Steelers came back strongly in the second half but just fell short in the last five minutes of the match. Deepak Niwas Hooda earned his 9th super 10 of the match for Jaipur and got able support from Selvamani. Both teams are out of the playoffs race and were playing for pride more than anything else.

Selvamani produced a super raid as early as the third minute to give Jaipur Pink Panthers 5-2 lead. Haryana Steelers fought back to level the match at 5-5 after four minutes. It was an evenly contested affair in the first half as both teams traded raid and tackle points.

The lead kept on changing hands but no team was able to assert complete domination in the first half. Jaipur Pink Panthers’ defence did a fine job on Haryana Steelers’ star raider Monu Goyat in the first half. Goyat could score just one point in the first half and it was left to Vikas Kandola to get raid points. Kandola made a successful raid in the 18th minute to level the match at 13-13. With little to choose between the two teams, it wasn’t a surprise to see them go level on points at the end of the first half.

Jaipur Pink Panthers began the second half strongly as they inflicted an all out in the 25th minute to lead 21-14. Haryana Steelers mounted an excellent comeback as from trailing 17-26, they led 27-26. Monu Goyat made a two-point raid whereas their defence also sprung into action to contain Jaipur raiders.

The match was headed for a photo finish in the last five minutes. Jaipur Pink Panthers held a slender one-point lead with just over four minutes to go. Ajinkya Pawar made a crucial raid in the 37th minute as he sent back Monu Goyat to the bench and gave the Pink Panthers 30-27 lead. Deepak Niwas Hooda made a successful do-or-die raid in the 39th minute to ensure the victory for Jaipur Pink Panthers. An all out was inflicted by Jaipur as they ran out winners in the end.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Gujarat Fortunegiants while Bengaluru Bulls face Patna Pirates on Wednesday i.e. 19th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Haryana Steelers

39 – 30

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: DEEPAK HOODA (JERSEY 5) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SUNIL SIDDHGAVALI (JERSEY 11) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: DEEPAK HOODA (JERSEY 5) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

 

Crowdfunding is a challenge for sports, Rasquinha

Bhubaneswar, Dec 16: In the past two Olympics India have won 8 medals and the majority of these medals have come from athletes managed by the non-profit Olympic Gold Quest programme, led by former hockey skipper
Viren Rasquinha.

But it hasn’t been an overnight journey for Rasquinha and his team, especially in a diverse country like India where sports wasn’t a voluntary choice until a few years back till the likes of Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, Sushil Kumar and P.V.Sindhu started winning Olympic medals.

Not each one of the Olympic medallists come from a well-to-do background and that’s where the challenges of organisations like the OGQ start. And one of the possible solutions these organisations depend is on crowdfunding.

Ask Rasquinha the challenges involved in crowdfunding, the former India centre-half counts a number of obstacles involved in the process.

“Crowdfunding mainly comes from donations from individuals and corporates but it’s much easier to get crowdfunding for pressing needs — like building toilets, but when it comes to sports the job gets tougher,” Rasquinha said during an interaction at the SJFI’s inaugural Young Reporters Programme here on Sunday.

“The challenges mainly revolve around conceptualisation, marketing, budget and the time constraint involved in it. In India, crowdfunding is more subtle unlike in foreign countries.”

Elaborating on the subject further, Rasquinha said crowdfunding is easier for individual sports but isn’t a good idea for team sports.

“From our experience when India’s ranking in a team sport is over No.100 and want to rise to No.20, it is a long and tedious process. Crowdfunding for team sports isn’t a very good idea as the process needs to be more specific and involve short term goals,” he signed off.

 

‘Professional leagues bode well for sports in India’

Bhubaneswar

Cricket, football, badminton, kabaddi, hockey and now volleyball. India is well on track to replicate the success of professional sports franchises in other countries. While cricket still dominates the sports viewership in the country, interest in other sports has been on the rise particularly due to the introduction of domestic leagues (Indian Super League, I-League, Premier Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League and Hockey India League).

Joy Bhattacharya, CEO of newly-formed Indian Volleyball League and FIFA U-17 World Cup strategist for India last year, feels the above-mentioned leagues bring together India’s best performers with the promise of a better future.

“Professional leagues are good for sports in India. By giving the sportspersons a platform to play and learn will surely be an excellent thing for different sports in the country,” he said while addressing the SJFI’s inaugural Young Reporters Programme (YRP) here on Sunday.

Asked about the idea behind launching the Pro Volleyball League, he said: “There’s an opportunity (for the sport to grow in the country). There’s a lot of high-flying action and that’s good for TV. We will have some world players like David Lee from America. It’s a big journey, let’s see how things go.”

 

Belgium’s Red Lions win Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

– Red Lions claim dramatic shoot-out victory over Netherlands to claim first World Cup title
– Triumph puts Belgium at the top of the FIH Hero World Rankings
– Australia storm to bronze medal with 8-1 thrashing of England

MEDIA RELEASE

16 December 2018, Bhubaneswar, India: Belgium have claimed their first ever World Cup title thanks to a dramatic shoot-out victory over the Netherlands in the final of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.

It proved to be third time lucky for the Red Lions, who finished runners up at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the EuroHockey Championships in 2017. Goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch excelled in the shoot-out, making numerous key saves to help his side became the first Belgium side in any team sport to win a world title.

As well as winning the iconic trophy for the first time in their history, it has been confirmed that Belgium, coached by New Zealander Shane McLeod, have moved into first position in the FIH Hero World Rankings.

The bronze medal was taken by Australia, who recovered from their semi-final loss at the hands of the Netherlands on Saturday to storm to a sensational 8-1 victory over England. Tom Craig scored a hat-trick in the contest to earn the Odisha Player of the Match Award.

The medal matches brought the curtain down on a thrilling two and a half weeks of sensational hockey at the 15,000 capacity Kalinga Stadium, the stunning venue that has welcomed mammoth crowds on a daily basis throughout this wonderful event. Belgium defender Arthur Van Doren was named as the Odisha Best Player of the event, being presented his award by Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. Dutch duo Pirmin Blaak and Thijs van Dam were also winners of individual awards, being named Odisha Mining Corporation Best Goalkeeper and Hockey India Best Junior Player respectively, while the Hero Top Scorer Award was shared by Australia’s Blake Govers and Alexander Hendrickx of Belgium, who scored seven goals apiece.

The gold medal match, witnessed by a sell-out crowd at the Kalinga Stadium, was packed full of drama as two evenly-matched teams set about the task of claiming the world title. The Netherlands were chasing a fourth World Cup success to draw level with Pakistan as the team with the most title wins, while Olympic silver medallists Belgium – a side beaten by the Dutch in the final of the EuroHockey Championships 2017 in Amsterdam – were determined to claim their first major crown to cap what has been a remarkable rise over the past ten years.

The two finalists went hard at each other in the opening stages of the match, with chances being created at both ends. Jeroen Hertzberger forced an early save from Belgium shot-stopper Vincent Vanasch, while Simon Gougnard’s speculative, high backhand strike was almost brilliantly turned into the Dutch goal by Tom Boon.

The play switched from one end of the field to the other throughout the second quarter, with Netherlands defender Glenn Schuurman making a crucial interception to deny Florent Van Aubel a clear scoring opportunity with Arthur de Sloover doing the same in the Belgian back-line. The Netherlands had two penalty corner opportunities ahead of half time, but failed to take their chance as the Red Lions defence held firm.

The two sides remained locked together throughout the third quarter, although Belgian captain Thomas Briels forced a save from Pirmin Blaak while Mirco Pruijser flashed a backhand effort across the face of the Belgian goal. It was a tense and cagey period, although the same could not be said for the fourth quarter as both teams desperately tried to get the win before the lottery of the shoot-out would be brought into play. Netherlands ace Bob de Voogd rattled the pads of Vanasch, while Nicolas de Kerpel hit the side of the goal just before Briels almost won it for Belgium, with Sander Baart making a crucial goal-line clearance to take the match into a shoot-out.

The Dutch took a 2-0 lead in the shoot-out thanks to strikes from Jeroen Hertzberger and Jonas de Geus, but goals from Florent Van Aubel and Victor Wegnez, combined with some brilliant saves from Vanasch, restored parity at 2-2. When Thijs van Dam missed, Arthur de Sloover thought he had won the title for Belgium when he fired home, but his effort was ruled out by a smart video referral from the Netherlands.

However, Belgium did not have long to wait for their moment in the sun. When Florent Van Aubel scored in sudden-death, Jeroen Hertzberger needed to find the net to keep his team alive. However, it was not to be, with Vanasch forcing the brilliant Dutch attacker wide before his shot sailed over the cross-bar. While was heartbreak for the Netherlands, who had suffered defeat in a second successive World Cup final, the triumph for the Red Lions will be forever remembered as one of the greatest moments the history of Belgian team sport.

The game was an extra special occasion for Australian umpire Adam Kearns, who reached the milestone of officiating his 100th international match in the World Cup final. Kearns was presented with his Golden Whistle in recognition of his achievement after the match from Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Earlier in the day, the bronze medal was claimed by Australia, who blew England away with a sensational performance to emerge 8-1 winners. The Kookaburras had emerged 3-0 winners when the two sides met in very close Pool B encounter earlier in the competition, but the meeting between the two losing semi-finalists was far more comprehensive, with the outgoing world champions ending their competition on a high.

Australia were at their devastating best from start to finish in the contest, showing that they had very much put Saturday’s agonising semi-final shoot-out loss against the Netherlands behind them. Blake Govers continued his brilliant form in Bhubaneswar with a stunning backhand strike midway through the first quarter, with Tom Craig doubling the lead a minute later after some excellent build-up play from exciting youngster Tim Brand. Craig claimed his second goal of the game in the second quarter, guiding a Govers pass into an empty goal after a flowing move ripped England’s defence wide open.

The Kookaburras put the result beyond all doubt in the third quarter, scoring three goals in three minutes to take the score to 6-0. Trent Mitton slammed a penalty corner rebound into the net, with Tim Brand firing in seconds before Craig – later named Odisha Player of the Match – completed his hat-trick with a cool finish under the arm of onrushing England goalkeeper Harry Gibson.

The tireless Barry Middleton scored for England at the end of the third quarter, but it was Australia who were to have the final say, with Jeremy Hayward sending two unstoppable penalty corners into the England net to complete an emphatic 8-1 score-line. While Australia claimed their tenth medal in men’s World Cup competition (three gold, two silver, five bronze), defeat for England resulted in a third consecutive fourth place finish in this pinnacle competition.

Speaking after his team’s bronze medal success, Australia’s Tom Craig said: “It feels good to be bronze medallists. The disappointment last night, we were insistent that we would not carry it into this game and I think none of us did that. We looked at each other in the eyes before the game and we said we’ve got your back and we did. I think we produced a performance we can be proud of. We wanted to continue to get better with every game. We did not want to take any backward steps, and I think we did that. We continued to improve. The Dutch game was a step up, was a fantastic game of hockey. That’s what hockey is all about. Good, fast, entertaining game. The fans loved it, people at home loved it. It was brilliant. We’re happy with our tournament.”

The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 took place between 28 November and 16 December. The Men’s World Cup is played every four years. For all information regarding the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, including the full results, teams, news and more here.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Sunday 16 December 2018

Bronze medal match: England 1, Australia 8
Odisha Player of the Match: Tom Craig (AUS)

Gold medal match: Belgium 0, Netherlands 0 (Belgium win 3-2 After Shoot-Out)
Odisha Player of the Match: Vincent Vanasch (BEL)

Awards
Odisha Best Player: Arthur Van Doren (BEL)
Odisha Mining Corporation Best Goalkeeper: Pirmin Blaak (NED)
Hockey India Best Junior Player: Thijs van Dam (NED)
Hero Top Scorer: Blake Govers (AUS) & Alexander Hendrickx (BEL) – 7 goals
Odisha Fair Play Award: Spain
Hockey India Fans Choice: Arthur Van Doren (BEL)
Hockey India Maximum Team Goals: Australia
Hockey India Best Team Goal Celebration: India

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 – Classification Positions
1: Belgium
2: Netherlands
3: Australia
4: England
5: Germany
6: India
7: Argentina
8: France
9: New Zealand
10: China
11: Canada
12: Pakistan
13: Spain
14: Ireland
15: Malaysia
16: South Africa

 

UP Yoddha hammer Patna Pirates 47-31

– Azad Singh’s super raid in the first half was the brave moment of the match as he came on as substitute and turned the match in UP Yoddha’s favour
– Prashanth Kumar Rai put in quick raids to show his high fitness levels

UP Yoddha produced a terrific team performance as they earned a resounding 47-31 win over defending champions Patna Pirates in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. UP Yoddha raiders led by Prashant Kumar Rai (XX points) were in fine form and tormented Patna defence throughout the match. Azad Singh with 8 points made a crucial contribution to UP Yoddha’s win. It was a disappointing night for Pardeep Narwal who scored just 2 points. Manjeet top scored for Patna Pirates with 10 points. Patna Pirates are still in contention for a place in the playoffs but will need massive improvement. UP Yoddha can also qualify for the playoffs.

Patna Pirates were off to a strong start as Manjeet picked up three raid points to lead 4-0. UP Yoddha came back to level the match at 4-4 in the 4th minute. The match was balanced for the first 10 minutes as both teams were tied at 9-9. The biggest surprise was how Pardeep Narwal couldn’t get a single point in the first 15 minutes. Prashanth Kumar Rai made a successful raid as UP Yoddha inflicted an all out to lead 15-10.

Pardeep Narwal finally got his first raid point in the 17th minute as Patna trailed 15-18. UP Yoddha led 22-17 at the end of the first half.

UP Yoddha were in rampant form in the second half led by Prashanth Kumar Rai. They inflicted an all out in the 22nd minute to lead 26-19. Shrikant Jadhav then produced a raid in 27th minute to give UP Yoddha 38-21 lead.

With Pardeep Narwal misfiring, it was left to Manjeet to get raid points for Patna but it wasn’t enough. Patna’s defensive duo of Jawahar Dagar and Jaideep just couldn’t handle UP Yoddha’s raiders. UP Yoddha led 43-25 after 34 minutes and were cruising to a comfortable win.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Haryana Steelers while Bengaluru Bulls face Telugu Titans on Tuesday i.e. 18th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Patna Pirates vs UP Yoddha

31 – 47

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: Prashanth Kumar Rai (Jersey 4) UP Yoddha
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: Sachin Kumar (Jersey 12) UP Yoddha
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Azad Singh (Jersey 55) UP Yoddha

 

Gujarat Fortunegiants beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 34-29

– Dong Geon Lee’s super raid in the first half was the brave moment of the match
– Ruturaj Koravi showed great amount of strength in the five successful tackles he put

Gujarat Fortunegiants continued their fine form as they beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 34-29 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. It was a solid defensive performance by Gujarat with Ruturaj Koravi and Parvesh Bhainswal leading their charge. Sachin scored 7 raid points for Gujarat while Prapanjan chipped in with 5 points. A slow start cost Jaipur as they rallied to make a comeback but just fell short in the end. Deepak Hooda and Ajinkya Pawar scored eight points each for the losing side. Gujarat Fortunegiants leapt into a 4-1 lead with three raid points in four minutes. Jaipur Pink Panthers forced a super tackle in the next minute to cut the lead to just one point. Gujarat Fortunegiants were in fine form as inflicted an all out in the 8th minute to lead 10-3.

Ajinkya Pawar made a two-point raid in the 10th minute as Jaipur Pink Panthers trailed 6-11. A super raid in the 14th minute by Dong Geon Lee gave the Fortunegiants 16-7 lead. Gujarat held a comfortable eight-point lead at the end of the first with the score 18-10 in the favour.

Jaipur Pink Panthers were the better team at the start of the second half. Deepak Hooda got a two-point raid in the 23rd minute to trail 14-19. Gujarat forced a super tackle in the 25th minute to avert an all out. Jaipur did inflict an all out in 27th minute but still trailed by five points.

Prapanjan who had a quiet game made a two-point raid in the 31st minute to give Gujarat eight-point lead. In the last 10 minutes, Jaipur made a strong attempt to mount a comeback but Gujarat were in no mood to relinquish their lead.

With less than five minutes to go, Gujarat Fortunegiants led 31-24 but Jaipur scored a couple of raids to cut the deficit to four points. Gujarat Fortunegiants showed composure and didn’t panic to win the match 34-29.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Haryana Steelers while Bengaluru Bulls face Telugu Titans on Tuesday i.e. 18th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Gujarat Fortunegiants

29 – 34

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: DEEPAK NIWAS HOODA (JERSEY 5) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: RUTURAJ SHIVAJI KORAVI (JERSEY 12) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: DONG GEON LEE (JERSEY 14) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

 

Sougou flexes muscle as Mumbai demolish Kerala

Mumbai, December 16: Mumbai City FC will be delighted with their showing in the first phase of the Hero Indian Super League after an impressive 6-1 demolition of Kerala Blasters FC at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Sunday

Claudio Matias Mirabaje of Mumbai City FC celebrates after scoring a goal during match 59 of the Hero Indian Super League 2018 ( ISL ) between Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC held at The Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai, India on the 16th December 2018
Photo by: Faheem Hussain /SPORTZPICS for ISL

Moudou Sougou was the star of the show, becoming the first player to score four goals in a match in ISL history (12’, 15’, 30’, 90+4’). Rafael Bastos (70’) and Matias Mirabaje (89’) were the other scorers for Mumbai, while Kerala’s consolation came from Seiminlen Doungel (27’).

On the back of that sensational result, Mumbai inched to within three points of league leaders Bengaluru FC, while Kerala Blasters remained eighth.

The Islanders gave Kerala a taste what was to come right from the start as Sougou almost turned in a cross from Arnold Issoko in the very first minute.

But Sougou would taste success only in the 12th minute as the Kerala defence was caught ball watching. Paulo Machado received the ball on the left flank and sent in a peach of a cross which was turned home by a sliding Sougou.

Three minutes later, the Senegalese was at it again. This time, goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh was the culprit as his poor pass from the back fell to Raynier Fernandes, who passed it to Sougou. The striker went on to unleash a piledriver that flew into the net to double Mumbai’s advantage.

A stunned Kerala Blasters tried to mount a response and got a goal back before the half an hour mark. After Sahal was dispossessed, the loose ball fell to Doungel on the edge of the box and the Kerala forward went on to beat Amrinder Singh with a shot that went in off the post.

However, any ray of hope that Kerala would have had was quickly extinguished. Sougou was not picked up inside the box once again and the striker headed in Subhasish Bose’s cross from the left to make it 3-1 in the 30th minute.

Mumbai were in complete control by this time and Kerala’s task was made even harder just before the half-time break as Zakeer Mundampara received a second yellow card for his challenge on Bastos and was sent off, reducing the Men in Yellow to 10 men.

The game slowed down at the start of the second half as Mumbai looked to frustrate their opponents.

Despite Kerala’s intent, it were Mumbai who had all the clear-cut chances. Sougou could have added a couple more goals to his tally, while Amrinder was called into action by Courage Pekuson at the other end.

But Mumbai City went on to quell Kerala’s challenge with two outrageous goals late on in the second half. In the 70th minute, Issoko broke forward on a run before losing the ball. It fell to Bastos who let a terrific strike fly from 35 yards which beat a diving Dheeraj all ends up.

Towards the end of regulation time, it was Matias Mirabaje’s turn to wow the spectators with an incredible left-footed long ranger that beat the Kerala goalkeeper again.

In added time, there was time for another goal as Nemanja Lakic-Pesic’s clearance fell to Sougou who had the simple task of rolling the ball in, with Dheeraj well off his line.

 

Sachin Tendulkar adds glitz to the Final

Bhubaneswar, 16 December 2018: As the curtains rolled down on Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, hockey fans witnessed one of India’s most cherished and celebrated sportsman Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar attending the Finals here at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday, 16th December 2018.

Tendulkar, who amassed over 34000 runs in international cricket, has been the greatest cricketer the country has ever seen. Making a record six World Cup appearances, the Little Master is no stranger to the hype, expectations and buzz around a World Cup winning the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup in his hometown Mumbai.

The former India cricketer gave away Player of the Tournament award at the presentation ceremony after the Final of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 to Belgium’s Arthur Van Doren.

“Whatever I have experienced here today is truly magnificent and this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of state government and Hockey India. The atmosphere is incredible and I also want to thank all players for making this what it is,” said Tendulkar.

In the Final, Belgium beat the Netherlands in sudden death by eking out a 3-2 win in the penalty shoot-out to win their maiden World Cup. Earlier, Australia beat England 8-1 in the Bronze Medal match.

PFA pictures of Sachin Tendulkar at the Final with FIH President Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra and Odisha Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik.

 

Sir Cecil claims The Villoo Poonawalla Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr1)

Mumbai, 16th December 2018: The Mumbai racing season at the Royal Western India Turf Club witnessed the second Classic of the season: The Villoo Poonawalla Indian 2000 Guineas on Sunday 16th December 2018 with a large crowd gathered to witness the Indian 2000 Guineas. The WINNER, Sir Cecil, owned by Mr Tegbir Singh Brar rep. Sarainaga Racing Pvt Ltd. trained by Mr. S.Padmanabhan was ridden to victory by jockey David Allan. What makes this race even more special is that Sir Cecil remains UNBEATEN and is truly a champion.

The Indian 2000 Guineas, is a Group 1 race for 3-year-old colts and fillies run over a distance of a mile at level weights, the fillies claiming 1.5 kg allowance. Geldings were not permitted to race till 1965 and for a few years in between thereafter. The 2000 Guineas, The Derby and The St. Leger, together form the “Triple Crown” of thoroughbred racing of that age group. It is the second Classic out of the five Indian Classics (4 run in Mumbai and 1 in Pune). It was first run on Saturday, 16th January 1943. 

The inaugural running was won by “Princess Beautiful”, owned by His Highness The Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda, trained by M.C. Patel and ridden by Jockey E.Britt, won by 8 lengths and 9 runners faced the Starter. The winners’ stakes was Rs.20,250/-. Interestingly, in the year 1967, the closest finish was a dead-heat (till date) between two horses “Bulund” and “Our Select”. Later on, “Our Select” went on to win the Triple Crown that year.

Placing

Horse

Wt

Jockey

Trainer

Length

Odds

Time

Horse Wt

1

SIR CECIL

57.00

David Allan

S. Padmanabhan

1 1/4

45/100

1:36:003

509

2

STAR SUPERIOR

57.00

Suraj Narredu

Rajesh Narredu

6 3/4

11/2

1:36:209

522

3

SACRED ROMAN

57.00

Leigh Roche

P. Shroff

3 1/4

25/1

1:37:325

525

4

AWESOME ONE

57.00

Yash Narredu

Deepesh Narredu

nk

25/1

1:37:883

478

5

BUSHTOPS

57.00

A. Sandesh

M. K. Jadhav

nk

50/1

1:37:929

442

6

INTENSE STYLIST

57.00

P. Trevor

S. K. Sunderji

3 1/2

18/1

1:37:969

490

7

EXCELLENT

57.00

Neeraj Rawal

Dallas Todywalla

10 1/4

30/1

1:38:534

423

8

JETFIRE

57.00

T. S. Jodha

A. M. Jadhav

 

60/1

1:40:242

479

Owner

Mr Tegbir Singh Brar rep. Sarainaga Racing Pvt Ltd***’s,

About The Royal Western India Turf Club

The Royal Western India Turf Club is renowned as the premier-racing club in India offering unrivalled facilities matching with the best in the world. RWITC has a history spanning just over two centuries. The RWITC conducts racing at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse (from November to April), and Pune (from July to October). The RWTIC boasts of 41 A licensed trainer’s, approximately 83 jockeys which includes foreign jockeys from England/Ireland and typically houses around 850 horses in training at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse.

Today it stands as one of the premier racecourses in the world that not only provides world-class quality horse racing while maintaining the highest level of integrity in wagering, but equally it embodies an efficient, effective and socially responsible organization. It constantly evolves to integrate other fun activities with horse racing with a view to elicit the interest of the millennials as well.

 

Overcoming language barrier is imperative: Savio Madeira

Soumo Ghosh
AIFF Media Team

MUMBAI: India is at an interesting stage when it comes to the football market, which is ever-growing in the country. While we see the glitz and glamour of the top divisions, overall development of football comes down to how the game is built from ground-up.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) Acting Technical Director Savio Madeira, who attended a FIFA Workshop for Technical Directors, took some time out of his busy schedule to speak to the-aiff.com about the kind of changes he is planning to bring in to Indian football. EXCERPTS:

How important is it to coordinate with State Associations in order to grow football?

Liaising with the state associations is very important as they are the ones dealing with the growth of football at the grassroots level on a day-to-day basis. India is a vast country with a large and diverse population. Due to this, we have a massive potential to grow the beautiful game in the country.

However, the main challenge is that there is a huge cultural difference between the various states. Hence, unlike other countries, we cannot really have a blanket operation to grow football in India. This is why the state associations become so important in developing football in our country.

We have already started closely working with the Indian Football Association (IFA, West Bengal) and the Goa Football Associations (GFA) to grow the football infrastructure in the respective areas. In the coming few months we are looking to closely work with more state associations to do the same.

The senior women’s team recently created history in the AFC Olympic Qualifiers. How has that helped you in your bid to grow women’s football?

There is a vast difference between men’s and women’s football in India, as is the case in many other countries as well. However, in recent years, we have seen a massive rise in interest in the women’s game.

The senior women’s team recently had a great result, when they made it to the second round of the Olympic Qualifiers. Due to this result, the government has agreed to invest in women’s football in our country. This could go a long way in improving women’s football in India.

How do you plan on bridging the gap between Men’s and Women’s football in India?

The first and foremost thing that we want to do is to build an academy for the girls. That is the need of the hour. Not only just academies, but we are also looking to introduce baby leagues and school leagues for young girls. That will give us a firm base to build upon.

The Indian Women’s League and the Vedanta League in Goa have set a new precedent, and we want to build on that now.

Culturally, there is a big language barrier in India, when it comes to coach education. How do you plan on improving the current predicament of the coaches in India?

One of the things we direly need to improve in India is coaching education. One of the biggest challenges that our coaches face is that of language. Someone may be a good coach, but may not be fluent in English. We cannot just force them to do their licenses in English in such faces.

We are planning to have courses in vernacular languages in the respective states. These vernacular courses will be in the AIFF D and C level licenses. The idea behind this is that the coaches who do not know English learn the basics in their own language. After doing their D and C License courses, they can take a gap, of a year or two, learn English, and then get back to doing their B and A License courses.

Look at what Pep Guardiola did after his stint in FC Barcelona. He took a sabbatical for a year and spent that time to learn German, before moving to Bayern Munich. His first press conference at Bayern was in German. If we take Guardiola as an inspiration for coaches, we should also look at the time he spent on learning a language, in order to be a successful coach.

 

VK Karthika, Publisher, Westland Publishing says
“Passing essays are needed, but large-scale narrative is required”

Bhubaneswar, December 14: Like any form of art, sports writing has evolved and transformed with time, especially with the advent of social media. As far as sports publishing is concerned, the numbers may be dwindling but yet it holds its space in the market, believes VK Karthika, Managing Editor at Westland Publications Pvt. Ltd.

Interacting with participants of the Young Reporters’ program being organised by The Sports Journalists’ Federation of India, Karthika explained the dynamics of sports publishing and why there is still need for books in the era of social media.

“Passing essays are needed but the large-scale narrative is required. It’s still very significant but the writers need to step out. It’s not enough to have syndicated columns. You are not just writing about the sport but the humans involved in it. You need to write what makes a sportsperson rise and fall,” Kratika said on the third day of the program which has about 30 participants.

Karthika, who has also worked with HarperCollins and has been instrumental in bringing out several bestselling sports titles,  believes that writers should try to focus on the bigger picture than solely focusing on individual stories.

She listed out points that could help aspiring writers land their first book deal.

“A good, thoughtful proposal on the subject is required. You have to tell us why this is different and why we should choose you to write and not someone else. A good blueprint with a working chapter is ideal,” she said.

 

No drastic changes needed after World Cup exit: Merwyn Fernandes

By Tridip Bapranash, Young Reporter, SJFI

Three Indian Olympic gold medallists, Joaquim Carvalho (left), Merywn Fernandes and MM Somaya (right), interacting with the SJFI young reporters on Friday in Bhubaneswar. (Photo by SJFI)

Bhubaneswar, December 14, 2018: In the past few years, every time the Indian hockey team has fared poorly in a major tournament, the axe usually fell on the head coach, a fear former stars have after the hosts crashed out of the
2018 World Cup with the heartbreaking quarter-final loss to the Netherlands here.

The Harendra Singh-led Indian team went down 1-2 to the Dutch side in a closely-contested affair at the Kalinga Stadium here on Thursday.

But the important question is will the Indian coach be made the scapegoat by the administrators of the game?

Legendary forward Merwyn Fernandes, a member of the 1980 Moscow Olympics gold medal winning team, termed it a “negative approach” while backing the current coach said any coach should be given a longer run.

“Lets not make any drastic changes, this is a young team. I am proud of the way our players have performed in the World Cup. We also have a great batch warming the bench and waiting for their chances,” Fernandes said while addressing the SJFI’s inaugural Young Reporters Programme (YRP) here on Friday.

Elaborating further on the subject, Fernandes, sharing the stage with his former teammates Maneyapanda Muthanna Somaya and Joaquim Carvalho, prescribed at least a rope of 3-4 years for a coach to build a team.

“One loss doesn’t make you a bad coach. There must be a specific time frame given to any coach to build his team. It’s unfortunate that we have lost many good coaches in the past few years but I believe every coach should get
atleast more than a couple of years,” he said.

Fernandes, however, refused to side with Harendra, who on Thursday blamed umpiring errors for the narrow 1-2 loss to the Dutch side.

“We also went through times where some decisions went against us but as professionals we need to be mentally strong. Personally there were some decisions on Thursday which I believe were unfairly against us but we need to take that by our stride,” he said.

His comments came after India’s head coach Harendra Singh lashed out at the on-field umpires post Thursday’s quarter-final tie where he said: “I want to say that we can fight 11 versus 11 in a match but not 13 versus 11. The umpires cannot rob the world Cup from this team.”

On being asked about the changes that the game has witnessed from his days, Fernandes, who was a part of the 1982 World Cup quarter-finalist Indian side, said the introduction of total hockey since 1984 has been a game changer.

“During our initial days, we did not have the ability to go beyond our positions. Earlier, forwards were only good attackers but very poor defenders. Today the forwards are as good in defence as the full backs. It’s great to see
youngsters focussing on the basics of the game,” he said.

“Off-the-ball running is a new addition to the game, especially on astro turf whereas we started on natural surfaces. Man-to-man marking is also a new concept while rolling substitution has made the game much much faster. No off side rule has helped free passes inside the D.”

He also threw light on the “no goalkeeper” rule where he felt the coach has the liberty of enhancing his attacking line to put more pressure on the opposition, while admitting to the risk of weakening the defence during high pressure
situations.

 

Aneesh Madani of Twitter says
Key moments vital for rookie athletes and young reporters to find a voice on Twitter

By Annesha Ghosh

Bhubaneswar, December 13: With the ever-evolving social-media landscape presenting new challenges on the path of driving meaningful conversations around sport, realising key “moments” on the field of play is vital to finding a voice off it for both athletes and journalists at a nascent stage in their career, according to Aneesh Madani, Head of Sports Partnerships for Twitter in Asia Pacific.

“Twitter is a platform of moments, so it makes sense in knowing what to do when,” Madani said on Wednesday, on the second day of the inaugural Sports Journalists’ Federation of India Young Reporters Programme, in Bhubansewar. “At certain moments of brilliance in the field… those are times when it really helps them connect and engage with their fans in a really special way.”

“This year, for instance, Hima Das won India’s first ever track gold medal [at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland]. She sent out her first video tweet a few hours after her medal, and you can see the outpouring of emotion, how people are really proud of the work these athletes do, the sacrifices they make to represent their countries.”

While emphasising that the priority for any athlete or reporter should be to hone their skills in their respective fields, the potential that a news-heavy social-media platform such as Twitter holds in helping widen the reach of tales of athletic distinction, should not be lost on either.

“The biggest opportunity that’s out there for young journalists today is that they could learn something new on Twitter every day,” Madani said. “If you follow the right people, the right organisations which are in alignment of your career and interests in particular, you can really learn a lot about what’s happening around the world, the stories they have worked so hard on. So, yeah, there’s a lot to look forward to.

“For athletes, it’s a great platform to help share their struggles and successes with the world. Their stories are unlike most of us. Athletes don’t have retakes in their lives. It’s the only shot they’ve got, on which depends their future. So their first commitment is always to their sport; that’s something they will be focused on and we respect that. But we want to make sure their voices are heard and they are building towards being able to engage with their fields off the field.”

Madani said that aside from the innovations engineered by Twitter to help widen the reach of a story on an athlete or a tournament, it’s often a simple message from the sportsperson themselves that can help generate interest around an event they’re participating in. He underlined how the India men’s football team captain Sunil Chhetri’s emotional plea – a near-two-and-a-half-minute-long video – on Twitter, asking football fans to support the national team during the Intercontinental Cup 2018 in June, not only resonated on the field but, off it, also ballooned into the most Retweeted tweet on Twitter in India this year.

“And it goes on to show just the kind of leader Indian sport is lucky to have on Twitter as well,” Madani added. “For helping drive conversations around some of these [continental and global sporting] events, for instance, the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, we had emojis for each of the captains of every team participating in the event. And it added a different feel to a tweet when an emoji popped up every time someone tweeted the captain’s name. Every little thing can make a difference.

“We are constantly looking to making sure the experience for the fan is better and better every year on Twitter. That could mean many things. For instance, we try to find out if a community for the sport or this event already exists on Twitter. If it doesn’t, we try to make sure as many diverse voices from as possible on the platform so that fans have a reason and an ability to listen to and engage with those voices.

 

CG Open
N Thangaraja races into the lead with a 66 in round three

Mumbai, December 14, 2018: Sri Lankan N Thangaraja raced into the third round lead at the PGTI’s CG Open 2018 after posting a four-under-66 at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC) on Friday. Thangaraja, lying overnight tied fourth and four off the lead, threw his hat in the ring at the season’s penultimate event as his 54-hole total read 10-under-200.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the halfway leader by three shots, slipped to second place after firing a one-over-71 which moved his total to nine-under-201 at the Rs. 1 crore event.

Mysuru-based rookie Yashas Chandra submitted a card of 68 to rise into contention as he climbed from overnight tied fourth to third place at eight-under-202.

N Thangaraja (66-68-66), a winner on the PGTI this season, raised hopes of a fourth career title with his superb 66 on day three. Thangaraja didn’t have the ideal start when he bogeyed the first hole but he fought back with a couple of accurate tee shots on the sixth and 10th, both par-3s, where he left himself five feet birdie conversions that negated the slow start.

The 37-year-old Thangaraja’s only setback on the back-nine was the bogey on the 11th. Thereafter, Thanga put up a brilliant display of ball-striking as he got into good positions with his tee shots and approach shots to set up birdies on the 12th and 16th and an inspiring eagle on the closing 18th.

Thanga said, “I’ve been striking it well with my irons all week while my putting has been the weak link. I made 15 regulations today and that helped me create a lot of chances. I made some modifications in the ‘lie angle’ of my irons last week that has further improved my hitting.

“The key for me now is to sharpen my putting as that could be the deciding factor in the final round. The eagle at the end today was a huge confidence-booster and came just at the right time for me. It helps me start the last round in a positive frame of mind,” added Thanga, who currently lies 16th in the PGTI Order of Merit with five top-10s this season.

Rashid Khan (68-62-71), a two-time PGTI Order of Merit champion, looked set to extend his lead on day three when he birdied three of the first five holes. However, Rashid had a disastrous stretch from the 13th to the 15th where he dropped a bogey followed by two double-bogeys, the latter coming as a result of three-putts.

After stuttering in the middle of the back-nine, Khan recovered just in time with two birdies on the last three holes to sign for a hard-fought 71 that kept him in the game.

Yashas Chandra, playing only his eighth event as a professional, was impressive for the third straight day as he followed up his opening 66 with consecutive rounds of 68. He mixed three birdies with a bogey on Friday to get in a position that could see him improve upon his previous best of fifth place which he achieved at Chandigarh last month.

Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar (70) was in fourth place at seven-under-203.

Delhi’s Shamim Khan (66), Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (69) and Gurugram-based Digvijay Singh (70) were all in tied fifth at six-under-204.

Chiragh Kumar’s bogey-free 64 was the day’s best score. It placed the Delhi golfer in tied eighth at five-under-205.

Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane was tied 44th at five-over-215.

 

Preview: England, Belgium, Australia and Netherlands set for semi-final showdowns at Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Bhubaneswar, India: Sixteen nations started the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, but only four teams remain. After 16 days and 32 matches featuring the finest men’s hockey teams and players on the planet, we now know that the iconic World Cup trophy will be raised aloft by either England, Belgium, Australia or Netherlands on Sunday 16 December.

Ahead of Saturday’s semi-finals, we take a look at the journey that each team has made to get to this stage of the competition, as well as getting the thoughts from those within each camp.

Semi-final 1: England versus Belgium – 1600 IST (UTC +5.30)

England – FIH Hero World Ranking: 7

How they qualified: 3rd Place – Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final London
Notable honours: FIH Men’s World Cup silver medallists (1986), European gold medallists (2009), European silver medallists (1997), 7x European bronze medallists (1978, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2017), Hockey World League bronze medallists (2013), 3x Commonwealth Games bronze medallists (1998, 2014 & 2018)

Rank in previous WC editions: 1973 – 6th, 1975 – 6th, 1978 – 7th, 1982 – 8th, 1986 – 2nd, 1990 – 5th, 1994 – 6th, 1998 – 6th, 2002 – 7th, 2006 – 5th, 2010 – 4th  2014 – 4th.
Form in Bhubaneswar: Pool B – ENG 2-2 CHN, ENG 0-3 AUS, IRL 2-4 ENG. Crossover – ENG 2-0 NZL. QFL ARG 2-3 ENG.
Top scorer in Bhubaneswar: Liam Ansell, Will Calnan, Mark Gleghorne – 2 goals each

About the team: England’s growth in the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar has been clear for all to see. A 2-2 draw against 17th ranked China was a fairly ordinary start, although there were signs of improvement in their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Australia. Since then, their performances have been excellent, with the 4-2 victory over Ireland setting up a cross-over play-off against New Zealand, a match they deservedly won 2-0. Their greatest challenge came in the quarter-final when they faced Olympic champions Argentina, where they once again produced the goods as the evergreen Barry Middleton and the electric Liam Ansell inspired the team to a 3-2 triumph to reach the semi-finals for the third successive World Cup. Head coach Danny Kerry – the man who guided Great Britain’s women to Olympic gold at Rio 2016 – is getting the best out of a talented group of players who will be determined to not let this opportunity slip from their grasp.  

Player perspective – Phil Roper (co-captain): ‘It feels amazing to be in the semi-finals of the World Cup. We’ve enjoyed improving and seeing positive results as we have progressed through the tournament. Belgium are a very talented team, with some great players, but we are confident and have a lot of momentum behind us, and we want to keep that going, and see where it leads us!’

Belgium – FIH Hero World Ranking: 3

How they qualified: 1st Place – Hockey World League Semi-Final Johannesburg.
Notable honours: Olympic silver medallists (2016), Olympic bronze medallists (1920), Hockey World League silver medallists (2015), European silver medallists (2013, 2017), European bronze medallists (2007), 5th place – Olympic Games (2012), 5th place – Rabobank Hockey World Cup (2014), 5th place – Hero Hockey Champions Trophy (2014).

Rank in previous WC editions: 1973 – 8th, 1978 – 14th, 1994 – 11th, 2002 – 14th, 2014 – 5th.
Form in Bhubaneswar: Pool C – BEL 2-1 CAN, IND 2-2 BEL, BEL 5-1 RSA. Crossover – BEL 5-0 PAK. QF – GER 1-2 BEL.
Top scorer in Bhubaneswar: Alexander Hendrickx – 5 goals

About the team: As the Olympic silver medallists from Rio 2016, it comes as little surprise that Belgium have reached the final four. However, it is easy to forget just how far this team has travelled in a very short space of time. This is the first World Cup semi-final in Belgium’s history, with their previous best performance being the 5th place achieved four years ago in The Hague. While Belgium have earned a reputation as a team with plenty of attacking flair in recent years, their displays here in Bhubaneswar have shown just how brilliant they are in defence. 2017 FIH Player of the Year Arthur Van Doren has been majestic in the Red Lions’ back-line, while 2017 FIH Goalkeeper of the Year Vincent Vanasch has also been at the top of his game. Both were exceptional in the semi-final victory over in-form Germany, a result which certainly turned some heads. Remarkably, the loss of vastly experienced duo John-John Dohmen and Emmanuel Stockbroekx seems to have had little impact, with replacement players Antoine Kina and Agustin Meurmans proving that the Red Lions have genuine strength in depth.

Player perspective – Thomas Briels (captain): “We are very happy to reach the semi-final after a great team performance against Germany, but we are not yet satisfied. We will need another big performance against England to reach the final. They are playing very well and they will be ready for the challenge.

Semi-final 2: Australia versus Netherlands – 1830 IST (UTC +5.30)

Australia – FIH Hero World Ranking: 1

How they qualified: Continental champions of Oceania / 3rd Place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg
Notable honours: Olympic gold medallists (2004) 3x Olympic silver medallists (1968, 1976, 1992), 5x Olympic bronze medallists (1964, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012), 3x FIH Men’s World Cup winners (1986, 2010, 2014), Hockey World League champions (2015, 2017), 15x Champions Trophy winners (1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018), 6x Commonwealth Games gold medallists (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018), 10x Oceania Cup champions (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017).

Rank in previous WC editions: 1971 – 8th, 1975 – 5th, 1978 – 3rd, 1982 – 3rd, 1986 – 1st, 1990 – 3rd, 1994 – 3rd, 1998 – 4th, 2002 – 2nd, 2006 – 2nd, 2010 – 1st, 2014 – 1st.
Form in Bhubaneswar: Pool B – AUS 2-1 IRL, ENG 0-3 AUS, AUS 11-0 CHN. QF – AUS 3-0 FRA
Top scorer in Bhubaneswar: Blake Govers – 6 goalsAbout the team: As the top ranked team in the world and the double defending champions, Australia are certainly not playing like a team that is feeling the pressure. Much of this comes from the calm, reassuring figure that is head coach Colin Batch, a man who as a player won the 1986 World Cup and is unquestionably one of the most well-respected people in the game. Australia’s record in Bhubaneswar is intimidatingly good, having scored nineteen goals and conceded just once in their four victories so far. While the Netherlands are certain to provide the Kookaburras with the biggest test yet, the Oceania champions will feel confident about their chances of reaching their fifth successive World Cup final. Jake Whetton is proving himself to be a key player here in Bhubaneswar, enjoying his new role as an attacking midfielder whilst still contributing regularly to the score-sheet, while forward Blake Govers is earning a reputation as one of the best drag-flickers in the game. They will take some stopping.  

Coach comment – Colin Batch: “We knew it was going to be a tough game no matter who we were playing, but the Netherlands are in very good form and they performed well last night to beat India. It is really about winning this match. We will try to block out that it is a World Cup semi-final, it’s just a match against the Netherlands. We know them well, they toured Australia earlier this year and played them in the Champions Trophy. They are a very good side and it will be a close fought match, it will be right down to the line and hopefully we can come and win it. They have only had one ‘off game’ in this tournament, which was against Germany [in Pool D]. If you want to have an off game you want to do it in the pool phase, and they have been good enough to respond to that situation, so we are expecting a very tough match. They were one of the favourites leading into this tournament and it is proving to be.”

Netherlands – FIH Hero World Ranking: 4

How they qualified: Continental champions of Europe / 1st Place – Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final, London.
Notable honours: 2x Olympic gold medallists (1996, 2000), 3x FIH Men’s World Cup winners (1973, 1990, 1998), 8x FIH Champions Trophy winners (1981, 1982, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006), Hockey World League winners (2012- 14 Edition), 5x European champions (1983, 1987, 2007, 2015, 2017).

Rank in previous WC editions: 1971 – 6th, 1973 – 1st, 1975 – 9th, 1978 – 2nd, 1982 – 4th, 1986 – 7th, 1990 – 1st, 1994 – 2nd, 1998 – 1st, 2002 – 3rd, 2006 – 7th, 2010 – 3rd, 2014 – 2nd.
Form in Bhubaneswar: Pool D – NED 7-0 MAS, GER 4-1 NED, NED 5-1 PAK. Crossover – NED 5-0 CAN. QF – IND 1-2 NED.
Top scorer in Bhubaneswar: Thierry Brinkman – 4 goals

About the team: The Netherlands made a huge statement about their World Cup title ambitions in their opening match here in Bhubaneswar, playing scintillating hockey to crush Malaysia 7-0. However, they were brought crashing back down to earth in their next match, with Germany powering to a 4-1 victory over the team coached by former Argentina international Max Caldas, the man who guided the Netherlands women to the World Cup title in 2014. That score-line gave a false impression about how close that match really was, with Germany scoring three goals in the final eight minutes of the contest. Since then, the Dutch have shown once again why they are always rated as potential winners of every competition they enter, comfortably overcoming the challenges of Pakistan and Canada before showing true grit in their 2-1 defeat of home favourites India in a boisterous Kalinga Stadium on Thursday. With the likes of seasoned stars like Robbert Kemperman, Billy Bakker, Valentin Verga, Mink van der Weerden and Jeroen Hertzberger being joined by exciting talents such as Thierry Brinkman and Thijs van Dam, the Netherlands will rightly feel that they have a wonderful chance to add to claim their first World Cup title since Utrecht 1998.

Coach comment – Max Caldas: “We are very happy that we’ve reached the semi-finals. We worked hard to get to this point. Tomorrow brings a new challenge. After playing the home-team in a fantastic atmosphere, we’re now preparing to play the reigning champions and number one in the world rankings. We are looking forward to that.”

The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 takes place between 28 November and 16 December. The Men’s World Cup is played every four years. For all information regarding the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, including the full schedule, teams, news and more, click here.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 – Upcoming fixtures

Saturday 15 December 2018
Semi-final 1: England v Belgium – 1600 IST (UTC +5.30)
Semi-final 2: Australia v Netherlands – 1830 IST (UTC +5.30)

Sunday 16 December 2018
Bronze medal match – 1630 IST (UTC +5.30)
Gold medal match – 1900 IST (UTC +5.30)

If at the end of regulation time the result is a draw, in order to establish an outright winner of a classification match for the purpose of the competition, a shoot-out will be played to establish the winner.

More information about the tournament format can be found by clicking here.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 – Classification Positions

1:
2:
3:
4:
5: Germany
6: India
7: Argentina
8: France
9: New Zealand
10: China
11: Canada
12: Pakistan
13: Spain
14: Ireland
15: Malaysia
16: South Africa

Information regarding the classification ranking process can be found in Appendix 2, Article 4 of the Tournament Regulations which are available by clicking here.

 

Dream11 becomes the Official Fantasy Game Partner of the Australian Big Bash League

December 14, 2018, Mumbai: Dream11, India’s Biggest Sports Game, today announced a three-year partnership agreement with KFC Big Bash League (BBL), the Australian domestic Twenty20 cricket competition. Dream11 will be the ‘Official Fantasy Game Partner’ of WBBL and BBL across 129 exciting matches until 2021.

The international partnership kick-started with Women BBL matches. Through Dream11, cricket fans will get the unique opportunity to select their fantasy cricket teams for all the KFC BBL and WBBL matches. Cricket enthusiasts will enjoy a highly engaging and immersive experience as they get closer to the real-life sporting action by making their fantasy teams on Dream11.

Commenting on this unique partnership, Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11 said: “With over 800 million cricket fans and 50 million fantasy cricket users, India has become the largest fantasy sports market in the world. We are very excited to partner with BBL, one of the premier T20 cricket leagues in the world, and bring the authentic Australian cricket experience to our Indian fans. It will also give international cricket fans an opportunity to engage deeply with their favourite sport.”

Commenting on this unique partnership, Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital, BBL said, “At Cricket Australia, we always seek to partner with world leaders in technology, and Dream11 is the clear global leader in fantasy cricket. We look forward to working with them to deepen our fan’s connection with the game they love.”

About Dream11:

Dream11 is India’s Biggest Sports Gaming platform with 4.5 crore+ users playing Fantasy Cricket, Football, Kabaddi, Basketball & Hockey. It is a ‘Game of Skill’ that offers Indian sports fans a platform to showcase their sports knowledge. Fans can create their own teams made up of real-life players from upcoming matches, score points based on their on-field performance and compete with other fans. Dream11 helps sports fans increase their engagement and connect deeper with the sport they love by being a team owner, not just a spectator. Dream11 is the Official Fantasy Game partner of the International Council of Cricket (ICC), VIVO Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Hero Indian Super League (ISL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Big Bash League (BBL). A Series D funded company, Dream11 was founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth. Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity & Tencent are the marquee investors in Dream11. Dream11 has been ranked #9 among India’s Great Mid-Size Workplaces – 2018.

 

Ranjit Singh emerges as top pick in the inaugural Pro Volleyball League player auction and draft

Ahmedabad Defenders makes the highest bid for the setter
– Carson Clark becomes the top draw in the draft joining Black Hawks Hyderabad

Delhi, 14 December 2018: The auction and player draft for the inaugural edition of the Pro Volleyball League concluded here today after an intense bidding war for Indian players. India’s newest franchise-based professional league, an initiative of Baseline Ventures and Volleyball Federation of India, saw 6 foreign players picked through a draft process while 117 Indian players went under the hammer.

Ahmedabad Defenders didn’t hold back while splurging money to  acquire  the services of Ranjit Singh for Rs. 13 lakhs, making him the costliest Indian player in the auction. The attacker who has represented India with distinction was surprised and excited at the end of the day’s proceedings. “I am excited to see what’s building up here. For all of us, this is a new chapter and hope we can live up to the expectations and faith shown in us by the team owners, federation and organizers here,” said Ranjit Singh.

Some of the surprise picks from the auction were Muthu Samy purchased by Black Hawks Hyderabad for 10lkhs, Ratheesh Ck  purchased by Calicut Heroes for 9.8lkh, Rahul Greak by Ahmedabad Defenders for 7.4lkh and Shubham Chaudhary brought by U Mumba Volley for 5.5lkh.

In the foreign player draft, the Black Hawks Hyderabad got Round 1 first pick and they chose USA’s Carson Clark. Clark’s fellow American Paul Lotman was the second pick, joining the ranks of the Calicut Heroes. The third pick of the foreign draft was Canadian Rudy Verhoeff who was picked by the Chennai Spartans. Tomislav Coskovic, David Lee and Novica Bjelica were picked 4th, 5th & 6th by U Mumba Volley, Kochi Blue Spikers and Ahmedabad Defenders respectively.

Olympic Gold medalist Lee, who was drafted by Kochi Blue Spikers, said, “I am thrilled to join the Kochi Blue Spikers and looking forward to forming a formidable outfit alongside other players in the team. The league will do a world of good not only to the players but also the sport and its fans. Can’t wait to get to India and get in the thick of action.”

The Pro Volleyball League (PVL), scheduled to begin on 2nd February 2019, promises to be a thrilling prospect with six franchises who were present at the player draft and auction. Less than a month ago, the league had announced the team owners of the six franchisees that includes Bonhomie Sports Event Mgmt. Ltd. who own Ahmedabad Defenders, the Calicut Heroes owned by Beacon Sports, the Chennai Spartans owned by Chennai Spartans Pvt. Ltd., U Mumba Volley owned by U Sports, Black Hawks Hyderabad owned by Agile Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and the Kochi Blue Spikers owned by Thomas Muthoot.

Pro Volleyball League’s first season will be held in two volleyball hotbeds of India i.e. Kochi (Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium) and Chennai (Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium). Each of the six teams will have 12 players including two foreign players, one Indian icon player and two Indian U-21 players. The league will be played over a total of 18 matches with each team playing each other once in a round-robin format and the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. 

Tuhin Mishra, Co-Founder & MD, Baseline Ventures Pvt. Ltd. said the successful conclusion of the player draft and auction was a historic moment in the sport. “Our endeavor is to take this sport and everyone in the sport on platform that is world-class. The player draft and auction today shows that the sport is ready to take the leap which will take it to the next level,” said Mishra.

Meanwhile VFI Secretary General, Ramavtar Singh Jhakar also a former player, stated, “It is a known fact that well-organized leagues can give a sport much-needed shot in the arm. We expect Pro Volleyball League to do that to Volleyball. The player draft and auction is the beginning of the fillip that the sport needs.”

Please find below updated list of players and position 

Pro Volleyball League Season 1- Player Draft & Auction List

 
 

 

 

Sr no.

Player’s Name

Amount (INR)

Team

Position

 

INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS DRAFT

 

1

Carson Clark

 

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Universal

 

2

Paul Lotman

 

Calicut Heroes

Attacker

 

3

Rudy Verheoff

 

Chennai Spartans

Universal

 

4

Tomislav Coskovic

 

U Mumba Volley

Attacker

 

5

David Lee

 

Kochi Blue Spikers

Blocker

 

6

Novica Bjielica

 

Ahmedabad Defenders

Blocker

 

ICON PLAYERS

 

1

PARBHAGARAN S

12L

Kochi Blue Spikers

Attacker

 

2

JEROME VINITH

8L

Calicut Heroes

Universal

 

3

VINIT KUMAR

5L

U Mumba Volley

Universal

 

4

DIPESH KUMAR SINHA

9L

U Mumba Volley

Blocker

 

5

AKHIN G S

10L

Chennai Spartans

Blocker

 

6

GURINDER SINGH

5L

Ahmedabad Defenders

Universal

 

7

RANJIT SINGH

13L

Ahmedabad Defenders

Setter

 

8

UKKRAPANDIAN Mohan

6.75L

Kochi Blue Spikers

Setter

 

SR. INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS

 

1

MANU JOSEPH

4.2L

Kochi Blue Spikers

Universal

 

2

Rohith P

3L

Kochi Blue Spikers

Blocker

 

3

VAISHNAV

3.1L

Ahmedabad Defenders

Blocker

 

4

KAMLESH KHATIK

2.2L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Libero

 

5

PANKAJ SHARMA

6.6L

U Mumba Volley

Attacker

 

6

AMIT KUMAR

5.3L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Attacker

 

7

K.J.KAPILDEV

2.6L

Chennai Spartans

Setter

 

8

VIBIN GEORGE

4.8L

Chennai Spartans

Attacker

 

9

Shelton Moses

1L

Chennai Spartans

Blocker

 

10

ROHIT KUMAR

7L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Attacker

 

11

DILIP  KOIWAL

3L

Ahmedabad Defenders

Attacker

 

12

Hardeep Singh

3.1L

U Mumba Volley

Attacker

 

13

Prabhakaran P

5.2L

Chennai Spartans

Libero

 

14

Ajith Lal C

8.6L

Calicut Heroes

Attacker

 

15

Naveen Raja Jacob

7L

Chennai Spartans

Attacker

 

16

Karthik A

5.8L

Calicut Heroes

Blocker

 

NATIONAL PLAYERS

 

1

Suresh Chandra Khoiwal

1.8L

Kochi Blue Spikers

Attacker

 

2

Piraisoodan

1L

Chennai Spartans

Attacker

 

3

Raman Kumar

1.6L

Ahmedabad Defenders

Attacker

 

4

Gagandeep Singh

2.7L

Ahmedabad Defenders

Attacker

 

5

Jeetu

1L

Calicut Heroes

Attacker

 

6

Guramritpal Singh

1L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Blocker

 

7

L.M. Manoj

3L

Calicut Heroes

Blocker

 

8

Aswal Rai

9.4L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Blocker

 

9

Mujib

1L

Kochi Blue Spikers

Blocker

 

10

Muthu Samy

10L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Setter

 

11

Saqlain Tariq

1.1L

U Mumba Volley

Setter

 

12

V. Hariharan

1L

Chennai Spartans

Setter

 

13

Parshant Saroha

1L

U Mumba Volley

Setter

 

14

Nandi Yashwant Kumar

1L

Hyderabad Black Hawks

Setter

 

15

Vipul Kumar

3L

Calicut Heroes

Setter

 

16

Shubham Chaudhury

5.5L

U Mumba Volley

Universal

 

17

Sayyad Mubarak Ali

 

Goa find form to leave NEUFC dazed

Goa, December 14: FC Goa turned on the style in the second session as they drubbed NorthEast United FC 5-1 in an entertaining Hero Indian Super League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

During match 57 of the Hero Indian Super League 2018 ( ISL ) between FC Goa and Northeast United FC held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa, India on the 14th December 2018
Photo by: Faheem Hussain /SPORTZPICS for ISL

Ferran Corominas grabbed a brace (59’, 84’) to equal Iain Hume’s tally of 28 goals and pull level with him as the all-time highest scorer in the ISL. Edu Bedia (69’), Hugo Bumous (71’) and Miguel Palanca (90+1’) also got on the scoresheet for Goa, while Bartholomew Ogbeche (90) scored a consolation for the visitors.

The win sees Goa climb to the third spot on the table with 20 points from 11 games, a place above NorthEast United.

FC Goa started the game well, keeping hold of the ball well and looking to get in behind the NorthEast United defence. They had a chance in the very first minute when a poor touch from Gurwinder Singh allowed Jackichand Singh to get a shot away which hit the side-netting.

Boumous, who was finding a lot of space to operate, then saw Coro and Mourtada Fall fail to get a touch to his inviting cross into the box.  

Despite sustained intent from the Gaurs, NorthEast hung on and slowly grew into the game. Though they did create a couple of half-chances towards the end of the first half, nothing concrete came off them.

However, they improved after the break and should have taken the lead in the 54th minute when Federico Gallego played Redeem Tlang through on goal. The winger eased past Mandar Rao Dessai and reached the byline. But he could not control the ball and ended up rolling it towards goalkeeper Mohammed Nawaz, who cleared it for a corner.

Goa were fortunate to escape an appeal for a handball inside the box but Sergio Lobera’s team responded by surging into the lead in the 59th minute. Jackichand was afforded space down the right wing and his cross was acrobatically turned in by Coro to end his goal drought.

That strike opened the floodgates as Goa found their freescoring ways again. Edu Bedia slipped past Gurwinder Singh in the 69th minute before executing a delightful chip to make it 2-0.

Brandon Fernandes’ low cross was expertly steered home by Boumous two minutes later as NorthEast United looked stunned.

With confidence seeping through them, Goa had the time to get another goal. This time, Boumous was the provider with a good ball across the box and Coro tapped in his 10th goal of the campaign.

Ogbeche’s late consolation goal for NorthEast United, however, would not dampen the party in Goa as Miguel Palanca added a fifth for the Gaurs after a surging run into the box in injury time.

 

Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Puneri Paltan 36-23

– Deepak Hooda’s two-point raid in the first half was the brave moment of the match as it set the tone for Jaipur’s win
– Sunil Siddhgavale put on a show of strength as he made eight successful tackles

Jaipur Pink Panthers began their home leg with a comprehensive win as they beat Puneri Paltan 36-23 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Deepak Hooda with 8 raid points and Sunil Siddhgavale with 8 tackle points were the heroes of the match for Jaipur. Puneri Paltan lost their way after the first 10 minutes of the match. GB More top scored for Pune with 5 raid points. Jaipur Pink Panthers still have an outside chance of making it to the playoffs while Puneri Paltan are not in contention.

The first five minutes of the match were evenly contested with both teams trading raid and tackle points. Ajinkya Pawar made a successful raid in the 6th minute to give Jaipur Pink Panthers 5-4 lead. Deepak Hooda made a two-point raid in the 10th minute as Jaipur led 9-7. From that point Jaipur Pink Panthers never looked back and left Puneri Paltan behind.

An all out was inflicted by Jaipur as they led 12-7 and were in rampant form. In the next 10 minutes they allowed Puneri Paltan to score just two points as Deepak Hooda led the raid department while Sunil Sidhgavali marshaled the defence. At the end of the first half, Jaipur Pink Panthers held a healthy lead of 12 points with the score 21-9.

Sandeep Narwal started the second half on a brighter note for Puneri Paltan with a two-point raid in the 22nd minute.  Jaipur Pink Panthers in full control of the match in the second half as they didn’t take any unnecessary risks. With less than five minutes to go, Jaipur led 30-20 and were on course to a comfortable victory. Puneri Paltan’s efforts of making a comeback were thwarted as their raiders just couldn’t pick up enough points

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on U Mumba while UP Yoddha face Tamil Thalaivas on Friday i.e. 14th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Puneri Paltan

36 – 23

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: DEEPAK NIWAS HOODA (JERSEY 5) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SUNIL SIDDHGAVALI (JERSEY 11) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: SUNIL SIDDHGAVALI (JERSEY 11) JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

 

Bengal Warriors beat Tamil Thalaivas 28-21

– Ran Singh’s two-point raid in the 36th minute was the brave moment of the match
– Surjeet Singh was the fittest player on the mat as he contained Thalaivas raiders brilliantly

Bengal Warriors earned a hard-fought win as they beat Tamil Thalaivas 28-21 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. Maninder Singh was the star raider for Bengal Warriors as he scored 7 points while in defence Surjeet Singh put in a commanding performance and scored 6 tackle points. Amit Hooda was a rock at the back for Tamil Thalaivas and scored 8 points but just didn’t get enough support from his raiders. Bengal Warriors remain in the hunt for a place in the playoffs and will be looking to win their next few matches.

It was an evenly contested first half with the defences of both teams in fine form. Tamil Thalaivas started brightly and led 3-1 after first three minutes with Ajay Thakur and Sukesh Hegde getting raid points. For the first 10 minutes of the match it was the Thalaivas who were in lead.

Bengal Warriors came back strongly and leveled the match at 8-8 in the 12th minute. At the end of the first half Bengal Warriors held a slender lead as they eld 11-10.

In the 16th minute the Warriors inflicted an all out to lead 16-13. Surjeet Singh marshaled the defence brilliantly for the Warriors. Till the 35th minute the teams were locked in an intense battle but Warriors switched gears. Ran Singh’s two-point raid in the 36th minute was the turning point as it helped Bengal Warriors inflict an all out and ensured their win.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on U Mumba while UP Yoddha face Tamil Thalaivas on Friday i.e. 14th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Bengal Warriors vs Tamil Thalaivas

28 – 21

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: Maninder Singh (Jersey 9) Bengal Warriors
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: Amit Hooda (Jersey 10) Tamil Thalaivas
THE JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ran Singh (Jersey 13) Bengal Warriors

STANDINGS

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

U MUMBA

20

15

4

1

191

82

2

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

19

14

3

2

102

78

3

DABANG DELHI KC

20

10

9

1

-7

60

4

PUNERI PALTAN

21

7

12

2

-60

47

5

HARYANA STEELERS

20

6

13

1

-82

39

6

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

16

5

10

1

-63

30

 Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

18

11

6

1

86

64

2

PATNA PIRATES

18

9

8

1

4

52

3

TELUGU TITANS

19

8

10

1

-19

50

4

BENGAL WARRIORS

16

8

6

2

-6

48

5

UP YODDHA

18

5

10

3

-79

39

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

19

5

12

2

-67

35

 

Rashid Khan pulls ahead by three shots after a class act of 62 in round two of CG Open
Rashid fires six straight birdies during his error-free round

Mumbai, December 13, 2018: Two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan’s class act of eight-under-62 in round two of the PGTI’s CG Open 2018 helped him pull ahead of the rest by three shots. The Delhi golfer, who produced a sensational run of six straight birdies during his error-free round at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC), now has a total of 10-under-130.

Australian Kunal Bhasin, a former CG Open champion and resident of Mumbai, carded a 67 to end the day in tied second at seven-under-133 along with Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar (69) at the Rs. 1 crore event.

The cut was declared at three-over-143. Fifty professionals and one amateur made the cut for the money rounds.

Rashid Khan (68-62), lying overnight tied 11th, took a flight to the top of the leaderboard on day two riding on his good putting form. Khan, a two-time runner-up at the CG Open, set the course on fire with birdies on his first six holes sinking putts from 15 to 25 feet on three occasions.

The 27-year-old Rashid, fresh from a top-10 in Bengaluru last week, picked up two more birdies on the back-nine including one from 25 feet to stake his claim for the title this week.    

Rashid said, “I’ve been striking the ball well but was struggling with my putting till last week in Bengaluru. I tried a few things and managed to fix my putting during the Bengaluru event that also helped me put up some good scores there including a 67.

“I had changed my irons before the Asian Tour event in Hong Kong and that also had a positive impact on my game. The birdie-run on the first six holes today really boosted my confidence and set up the round for me,” added Khan, whose second round 62 is so far the best round of the tournament.

Kunal Bhasin (66-67), the 2009 CG Open champion, moved up from overnight tied fourth to tied second as a result of his second round 67 that featured five birdies and two bogeys.

Bhasin, who had withdrawn from last week’s event in Bengaluru due to a back spasm, said, “I’m still a little stiff and restricted in my swing due to the back spasm and that’s the reason I’ve changed my set up and am playing with an open stance. Nonetheless, I’ve not felt this good about my game in a while.

“Even though I didn’t drive as well today but my iron-play was solid and I putted well. I birdied four of the six par-3s and that at this venue always ensures a low score.”

Sanjeev Kumar, the overnight joint leader, dropped to tied second after a 69.

Gurugram’s Digvijay Singh, the other joint leader from round one, also slipped on day two after he fired a 70. Digvijay shared fourth place with Sri Lankan N Thangaraja (68) and Mysuru’s Yashas Chandra (68) at six-under-134.

Delhi’s Pawan Kumar shot a brilliant 63 to move into tied ninth at four-under-136. Pravin Pathare from neighbouring Pune returned an equally impressive 64 to close the round in tied 18th at one-under-139.

Delhi’s Gagan Verma was the only amateur to make the cut. He totalled two-over-142 at the halfway stage to be tied 32nd.

Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane was the only local golfer to make the cut. He was tied 44th at three-over-143.

 

Telugu Titans beat Patna Pirates 41-36

– Nilesh Salunke’s super raid in the first half was the brave moment of the match.
– Rahul Chaudhari showed immense fitness levels as he made multiple successful raids throughout the match.

Telugu Titans ended their home leg of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 6 in style as they beat defending champions Patna Pirates 41-36. Rahul Chaudhari, who became the second man to reach the 800-raid point mark in Pro Kabaddi, led the Titans’ charge with 13 points. Nilesh Salunke supported Chaudhari well and scored 9 raid points. Pardeep Narwal had a slow first half yet top scored for the Patna Pirates with 12 points. Both Patna Pirates and Telugu Titans remain in contention of a place in the playoffs.

Telugu Titans got off to a dream start as Nilesh Salunke made a super raid and took out four Patna players in the second minute. Vijay made a two-point raid in the third minute as Patna Pirates trailed 2-6. In the 4th minute Telugu Titans inflicted an all out to lead 11-5. Patna’s star raider Pardeep Narwal was struggling to get points on board and that reflected in Patna’s performance.

It was the Pirates’ defence that kept them in the match’s first half. They trailed 11-19 after 14 minutes but things got worse as they suffered another all out in the 15th minute. With Narwal unable to get off the mark in the first half, Patna Pirates went into the break trailing 15-26.

Pardeep Narwal took 23 minutes to open his account as Patna trailed 17-28. On the other hand for the Titans, Rahul Chaudhari was in fine raiding form as he achieved the 800-point milestone in the history of Pro Kabaddi League.

Patna Pirates inflicted an all out in the 26th minute as they trailed 24-30 and looked to mount a comeback. But Rahul Chaudhari and Nilesh Salunke kept picking raid points at regular intervals as Telugu Titans led 36-28 after 34 minutes. With less than five minutes to go Patna Pirates trailed by seven points and the Titans were looking on course to a victory. Patna’s hopes of a comeback were looking dim as Pardeep was sent to the bench in the 36th minute.

A tackle point in the 37th minute gave Telugu Titans a 10-point lead as their victory was ensured. Patna Pirates picked up six points in two minutes to reduce the  margin of defeat.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Jaipur Pink Panthers take on Puneri Paltan while Bengal Warriors face Tamil Thalaivas on Friday i.e. 14th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

TELUGU TITANS vs PATNA PIRATE

41 – 36

FIRST HALF SCORE

Telugu Titans – Patna Pirates

26 – 15

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: RAHUL CHAUDHARI (Jersey NO.9), TELUGU TITANS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: JAIDEEP (JERSEY NO.8), PATNA PIRATES
THE TELUGU TITANS MOMENT OF THE MATCH: MOHSEN MAGHSOUDLOUJAFARI (JERSEY NO.11), TELUGU TITANS
THE GILLETTE MACH 3 TOTAL CONTROL HOME TEAM PLAYER: RAHUL CHAUDHARI (Jersey NO.9), TELUGU TITANS
THE HONDA X BLADE MOST STYLISH PLAYER OF THE VIZAG LEG: RAHUL CHAUDHARI (Jersey NO.9), TELUGU TITANS
THE ULTATECH CEMENT NO. 1 PLAYER OF THE HOME TEAM: RAHUL CHAUDHARI (Jersey NO.9), TELUGU TITANS

 

Bengaluru a goal too good for ATK

Bengaluru, December 13: After back-to-back draws, Bengaluru FC returned to winning ways in the Hero Indian Super League with a solitary goal win against ATK at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, on Thursday.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Goalkeeper of Bengaluru FC reacts during match 56 of the Hero Indian Super League 2018 ( ISL ) between Bengaluru FC and ATK held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, India on the 13th December 2018
Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for ISL

It was Erik Paartalu, who scored the winner when these sides met in Kolkata earlier this season, and the Australian midfielder proved to be their nemesis yet again. A 37th-minute header from the Aussie separated the teams and gave the hosts their eighth win of the season.

Bengaluru extended their lead at the top of the table to six points ahead of the international break and preserved their unbeaten start to the season, while ATK remain sixth with 11 points from 12 matches and without a win in six matches.

The teams started with urgency that resulted in openings at both ends. Kean Lewis dribbled past Ankit Mukherjee and crossed for Sunil Chhetri in the box but the India international shot wide. Within minutes, Ricky Lallawmawma found Jayesh Rane’s run into the box from the left flank and the Indian winger’s shot was blocked by Nishu Kumar.

Things heated up as ATK denied space for Bengaluru to freely operate in midfield and the tackles started flying in as the half progressed.

In the 19th minute, ATK’s Gerson Vieira laid the ball for Everton Santos who sent a powerful shot towards Gurpreet Singh’s goal. The Indian goalkeeper got his body behind the effort and saved.

Bengaluru took the lead in the 37th minute following a period of consistent pressure. Udanta Singh won possession on the right and Bengaluru switched play over to Kean Lewis on the left who played an exquisite cross into the centre of the box. Paartalu sneaked in between John Johnson and Andre Bikey, leapt above the pair and glanced a header into the net.

Two minutes into the second half, ATK striker Balwant Singh ghosted in behind the Bengaluru centre-backs to latch on to a long free-kick from the visitors’ own half. Despite a head start over the defenders, Balwant was dispossessed inside the box with a brilliant recovery tackle by Juanan before the striker could get a shot away.

The Bengaluru defence was caught watching the ball again as Manuel Lanzarote swung a free-kick into the box in the 57th minute. Balwant Singh moved into the space between the defence and the goalkeeper but blasted his effort over the crossbar from five yards.

ATK went close again in the 68th minute when John Johnson’s through-ball from the back released Balwant into space behind the hosts’ backline. The Indian striker dribbled into the box and struck a low shot that rolled just inches wide of the goal.

Udanta Singh could have doubled his team’s lead in the 73rd minute. Dimas Delgado threaded a well-timed through-ball for the Indian winger who skipped past Lallawmawma, dribbled into the box but sliced his effort wide.

Despite concerted effort from ATK to sneak in an equaliser in the closing stages, Bengaluru remained firm at the back to win all three points.

 

Netherlands break Indian hearts at Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

– Van der Weerden strike give Netherlands a 2-1 quarter-final triumph over host nation
– Dutch will meet reigning world champions Australia in the semi-finals
– Belgium defeat Germany to reach first ever World Cup semi-final where they play England

Bhubaneswar, India: The line-up for the semi-finals of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 has been revealed following quarter-final victories for Belgium and Netherlands on Thursday (13 December).

Belgium’s Red Lions claimed a hard-earned 2-1 triumph over Germany to secure a first World Cup semi-final appearance in their history. Their opponents in Saturday’s final four meeting will be England, who defeated Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday. The Netherlands completed the semi-final line-up by breaking the hearts of host nation India, with the Dutch battling to a 2-1 success over the home favourites to keep alive their hopes of World Cup glory. The Netherlands will now face reigning champions Australia in their semi-final, a re-match of the gold medal match at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.

The quarter-final match between Pool D winners Germany (FIH Hero World Ranking: 6) and Belgium (WR:3) – 5-0 winners against Pakistan in the cross-overs – was fascinating from start to finish, with both teams showing attacking intent throughout. Germany were the first team to make a mark on the scoreboard a minute before the end of the first quarter through midfielder Dieter Linnekogel, who drilled a low, powerful shot through the legs of Vincent Vanasch after being expertly found by Tom Grambusch’s searching pass from the right.

The Red Lions pulled level three minutes into the second period, with Alexander Hendrickx scoring his fifth goal of the competition with a perfectly executed penalty corner drag-flick. It was no more than Belgium deserved, who were thwarted on numerous occasions thanks to some terrific goalkeeping from Germany’s Tobias Walter.

The high-paced action continued throughout the third and fourth quarters, with the defensive lines of both teams excelling before Belgium made what proved to be the decisive breakthrough ten minutes from the end. Shot-stopper Walter produced another fine save to deny Belgium captain Thomas Briels, but could do little about the follow-up, with Tom Boon brilliantly spinning to slide the ball under the outstretched leg of the Germany goalkeeper.

Die Honamas went for broke in the final stages, replacing Walter with an outfield player in an effort to ramp up the pressure on their European rivals. However, Belgium’s defensive line – marshalled by Odisha Player of the Match Arthur Van Doren – were simply superb, running down the clock to put Belgium into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Speaking after the match, Belgium’s Simon Gougnard was understandably thrilled about the result, but indicated that the team’s focus had already switched to Saturday’s semi-final against England. “We had to fight really hard”, said Gougnard. “We are really happy but now we have to refocus and reboot and we’re looking forward to play the next game against England. The English team has some really quality players on the ball. A really physical team so we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game if we want to be able to contest with them. We will have to analyse them on video and come back with a really good plan if we want to win.”

With three of the four semi-final places decided, the final berth was to be taken by the winner of what proved to be a thrilling encounter between host nation India (WR:5) and Netherlands (WR:4) in front of a huge crowd responsible for creating a deafening noise and an incredible atmosphere.

Dutch ace Jeroen Hertzberger rattled the side of the India goal early in the contest, but it was the home favourites who were first to register when Akashdeep Singh showed his renowned finishing abilities to fire into the roof of the Netherlands net following Harmanpreet Singh’s saved penalty corner effort. The European champions restored parity with two seconds of the period remaining thanks to Thierry Brinkman’s brilliant touch in the circle, getting just enough on Mirco Pruijser’s hopeful pass to guide the ball past the despairing dive of goalkeeper PR Sreejesh.

The two teams could not be separated in the second and third quarters, although both teams had their chances. Mink van der Weerden saw a string of penalty corner opportunities wasted, while Akashdeep Singh fired high over the Dutch goal with a backhand strike.

When the Netherlands had a goal ruled out by a smart Indian video referral early in the fourth quarter, it seemed that it was not going to be their day. However, a poor tackle from Chinglensana Kangujam outside of the Indian circle resulted in a penalty corner, and the Dutch made no mistake from the opportunity as Mink van der Weerden slammed a low effort into the net.

India’s hopes of getting back into the match were reduced when Amit Rohidas was given a ten-minute yellow card suspension for a foul on Mirco Pruijser. Despite that hinderance, India rallied and forced a fine save from Netherlands goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak, who brilliantly kicked clear a blistering backhand strike from the outstanding Harmanpreet. While the Dutch held on for their 2-1 victory, India’s 43-year wait for a World Cup semi-final appearance will continue for at least another four years. It was a painful end for the young team coached by Harendra Singh, but they have provided plenty of evidence at this event that the future of Indian hockey is very bright indeed.

Speaking after the match, Netherlands match winner Mink van der Weerden said: “It’s been an exciting game to look at, I guess. It’s been going up and down. We didn’t get the control we really wanted, I think. It’s hard playing India. They were really creative and fast and sometimes a bit unpredictable, which is one of their strengths. But I think we did well. It’s been a pleasure to be on the field. The crowd was crazy. It’s been impressive and it’s been a lot of fun playing this game.”

Looking ahead to the semi-final meeting with Australia, Van der Weerden said: “Australia and the Netherlands are two different teams from four years ago, so we cannot compare now with the 2014 final. It’s a new game. We’ll see what happens and may the best team win!”

Friday 14th December is a competition rest day, with the action resuming in the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday 15th December when the semi-finals take place. England’s match against Belgium takes place at 1600 IST (UTC 5.30), with Australia playing Netherlands at 18:30.

The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 takes place between 28 November and 16 December. The Men’s World Cup is played every four years. For all information regarding the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, including the full schedule, teams, news and more, click here.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Quarter-finals

12 December 2018

Match 5*: Argentina 2, England 3
Odisha Player of the Match: Liam Ansell (ENG)

Match 7*: Australia 3, France 0
Odisha Player of the Match: Aran Zalewski (AUS)

13 December 2018

Match 6*: Germany 1, Belgium 2
Odisha Player of the Match: Arthur Van Doren (BEL)

Match 8:  India 1, Netherlands 2
Odisha Player of the Match: Surender Kumar (IND)

Semi-finals

15 December 2018
England (Winner Match 5) v Belgium (Winner Match 6) – 1600 IST (UTC +5.30)
Australia (Winner Match 7) v Netherlands (Winner Match 8) – 1830 IST (UTC +5.30)

 

The SJFI-YRP 2018 with Chief Guest Mr. Asit Tripathy, Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Government of Odisha.

SJFI’s inaugural Star Sports Young Reporters Programme gets off in style

Bhubaneswar, November 12, 2018: The inaugural Young Reporters Programme (YRP), supported by Star Sports got, was inaugurated by Asit Tripathy, Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Government of Odisha.

Praising the state’s effort, Tripathy, who is also the President of the Odisha Tennis Association and the state’s golf association, said Bhubaneswar has pulled much above its weight by organising one major tournament after another in a short span.

“Bhubaneswar is pulling much above its weight, in the past couple of years it has hosted a number of international events like the Hockey World League Finals and the ongoing FIH World Cup,” Tripathy said after inaugurating the event.

Commending the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India’s (SJFI) efforts in organising the maiden YRP, also supported by Procam International, that has attracted eight overseas young reporters from neighbouring Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Tripathy termed the profession as a “noble” one.

“I am very impressed with the SJFI’s effort, journalism is a noble profession. This is a unique initiative. I am glad to be a part of the event,” he said.

The YRP also comprises 22 young sports journalists from across the country, taking part in the five-day event that culminates on December 16.

Rueing the lack of adequate Olympic medallists in a country of a billion, Tripathy called for the need of expanding the base at the grassroot level.

“We have 1-2 Olympic medallists out of a billion population just because the base is narrow. Sports is a democratic activity. In a field if you don’t perform well, it hardly matters whose family you belong to,” he quipped.

Following the event, each of the young reporters introduced themselves while highlighting their motive behind taking up sports journalism as a career.

 

 

England end Argentina’s title ambitions at Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

– Martin strike puts England into semi-finals at expense of Olympic champions Argentina
– Title holders Australia end French fairy-tale to reach final four
– Quarter-finals continue on 13 Dec with Germany vs Belgium and India vs Netherlands

Media Release

12 December 2018, Bhubaneswar, India: England and Australia became the first teams to reach the final four of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 thanks to victories in their respective quarter-final matches on Wednesday 12th December.

England claimed a stunning 3-2 triumph over Olympic champions Argentina to book their ticket to the semi-finals, with Harry Martin’s fourth quarter strike proving decisive to set up a last four meeting with either Germany or Belgium, two teams that meet in the quarter-finals on Thursday 13th December. Reigning world champions Australia proved too strong for 20th ranked France, powering to a 3-0 win to maintain their own ambitions to claim a third successive title. The Kookaburras’ semi-final opponents will be either host nation India or European champions the Netherlands, two sides that also go head-to-head tomorrow.

The opening stages of the quarter-final meeting between Pool A winners Argentina (FIH Hero World Ranking: 2) and England (WR:7), winners against New Zealand in the cross-over play-offs, was a cagey affair, although England certainly had the better of the first quarter. Danny Kerry’s team saw a penalty corner effort blocked by the Argentina defence in what was England’s best chance of the period, before Los Leones – who defeated England in the bronze medal match at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague – hit the European nation with a sucker-punch at the start of the second quarter. The goal came through a very familiar source, Gonzalo Peillat finding the net with low and powerful penalty corner effort that England goalkeeper George Pinner half-blocked, but not enough to keep it out.

England dragged themselves level before half time when 34-year-old Barry Middleton rolled back the years with a stunning strike into the bottom corner, smashing home after a surging run into the Argentina circle from Odisha Player of the Match Liam Ansell. Things went from good to great for England at the end of the third quarter when Middleton sent an aerial pass deep into Argentine territory, with Will Calnan capitalising on a defensive error to drill a terrific effort past the left foot of Juan Vivaldi, putting his side in command ahead of a thrilling final fifteen minutes of play.

A video referral by umpire Javed Shaikh saw a penalty stroke initially awarded to Argentina downgraded to a penalty corner. However, it made little difference, as Peillat showed once again why he is rated as the world’s finest drag-flicker by scoring his sixth goal of the tournament to tie the match at 2-2 with 12 minutes remaining. Incredibly, England regained the lead just a minute later, with Harry Martin forcing home after Argentina’s usually reliable defence failed to clear their lines. Argentina almost conceded a fourth goal when Ansell rattled the left post after a mazy run from deep in his own half, while Pinner was brought into action in the dying seconds to make a crucial block and confirm England’s place in the semi-finals for the third Men’s World Cup in succession.

“I think it was a good game”, said England’s Michael Hoare, who tasted victory against the Olympic champions on the occasion of his 100th international match. “Scoring with one second left in the end of the third quarter… we’ve had that against us in the last World Cup, it’s nice to get one in this one. I felt the boys dug in really deep at the end and we played really well. We deserve to win. We got to the semi-finals last time. I think this time we’re in a better position than last time. Our team is a bit stronger. Defensively we’ve been really good in the last two or three games. If we can do that again in the semis, I think we’ve got a great chance to get to the final.”

Despite being the top ranked team in the world and entering their quarter-final meeting against France (WR:20) on the back of a devastating 11-0 Pool B victory over China, Australia (WR:1) had no intention of taking their opponent from Europe lightly. It was hardly surprising, given the stunning victory Les Bleus claimed over Argentina in their final pool match.

The Kookaburras were dominant throughout the first period, scoring the opening goal just four minutes in when Jeremy Hayward sent a low penalty corner drag-flick into the net, either side of both Trent Mitton and Jake Whetton hitting the frame of the France goal.  A second Australian goal arrived four minutes into the second quarter, with Blake Govers bagging a penalty corner to move level with Gonzalo Peillat on six goals in the top scorer’s chart.

France had a chance to pull a goal back when Timothée Clement created a good opportunity for Aristide Coisne, who managed to beat Australia goalkeeper Tyler Lovell only for Jeremy Hayward to clear the ball off the goal-line.

Australia’s third and final goal arrived in the third quarter, again from a penalty corner situation. This time it was team captain and Odisha Player of the Match Aran Zalewski who found the net, flicking into an unguarded goal after two slick passes eliminated the majority of the France defence. It was the icing on the cake for the title holders, who enter the semi-finals with four wins from four matches and having conceded only once in 240 minutes of World Cup hockey in Bhubaneswar.

“It was a really good game”, said Australia’s Tim Brand after the match. “We held the ball and defended really well. I don’t think we allowed France much possession. They did not have many chances. Full credit to them, they played a good game but in the end we played really well tonight. Now we’re going to go home for a long shower, just rest a bit and then we’ll do our homework. We don’t know whom we’re playing yet but whoever we play, we’ll do a bit of research. We’re looking forward to that, hoping to win the next game to get ourselves to the final.”

While Australia were deserving winners, France’s outstanding performances here in Bhubaneswar earned them praise and admiration in equal measure. Their guaranteed top eight finish in the event is likely to reap rewards when the updated FIH Hero World Rankings are revealed at the end of the competition.

The quarter-final phase of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be completed on Thursday 13 December. Germany (WR:6) face Belgium (WR:3) at 16:45 IST (UTC +5.30), with the winner facing England in the semi-final. Australia’s semi-final opponents will come from the winner of Thursday’s second match, with host nation India (WR:5) playing the Netherlands (WR:4) at 1900.

Looking ahead to his team’s quarter-final clash against Belgium, Germany captain Martin Häner said: “We were quite happy with our pool performance, but we also know that we haven’t played to our maximum yet, probably not good enough to win a quarter-final against Belgium. Belgium is a tough opponent. They totally controlled their first knock-out match [against Pakistan] and furthermore dominated India in the first half of their pool match.”

The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 takes place between 28 November and 16 December. The Men’s World Cup is played every four years. For all information regarding the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, including the full schedule, teams, news and more, click here.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Quarter-finals

12 December 2018

Match 5*: Argentina 2, England 3
Odisha Player of the Match: Liam Ansell (ENG)

Match 7*: Australia 3, France 0
Odisha Player of the Match: Aran Zalewski (AUS)

13 December 2018

Match 6*: Germany (1st Pool D) v Belgium (Winner Match 3) – 16:45 IST
Match 8: India (1st Pool C) v Netherlands (Winner Match 4) – 19:00 IST

Semi-finals

15 December 2018
England (Winner Match 5) v Winner Match 6
Australia (Winner Match 7) v Winner Match 8

The winners of these matches will play for 1st and 2nd places (the final) and the losers will play for 3rd and 4th places. These matches will take place on Sunday 16 December 2018. The score at the end of the regulation time of any match will be registered by the FIH as the result of the match. If at the end of regulation time the result is a draw, in order to establish an outright winner of a classification match for the purpose of the competition, a shoot-out will be played to establish the winner.

 

Cahill, Choudhary fire Jamshedpur back into top four

Jamshedpur, December 12: Jamshedpur got their chase for the  Hero Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs back on track with an excellent 2-1 comeback win against Delhi Dynamos on Wednesday at the Tata Sports Complex.

Farukh Choudhary of Jamshedpur FC celebrates the goal with team players during match 55 of the Hero Indian Super League 2018 ( ISL ) between Jamshedpur FC and Delhi Dynamos FC held at JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur, India on the 12th December 2018
Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for ISL

Lallianzuala Chhangte opened the scoring in the 24th minute but Tim Cahill restored parity in the 29th minute with a trademark header. Jamshedpur completed the comeback after the break with a 61st minute match-winner from Farukh Choudhary.

Delhi started with a bang and almost scored within seconds from kick-off. Adria Carmona played a neat one-two with Rene Mihelic outside the box and thumped a powerful shot that rattled the crossbar and went out.

The visitors’ desire to take an early lead denied Jamshedpur time and space on the pitch. In the 7th minute, Marcos Tebar played a delightful ball over the top for Lallianzuala Chhangte who beat Tiri for pace but hit the ball off target.

Delhi kept knocking on the doors and took the lead in the 24th minute. Narayan Das’ cross from the left flank was met by Mihelic inside the box who squared the ball for Chhangte. The pass took a deflection off Tiri and fell perfectly for Chhangte who slotted home.

Jamshedpur hit back with an equaliser five minutes later. Carlos Calvo took a short corner and exchanged passes with Memo before delivering into the box for Tim Cahill who headed into the net.

The hosts tried to put pressure on the Delhi defence after the break. In the 50th minute, Choudhary delivered a low cross from the right flank and with the defenders focused on Cahill’s movement inside the box, Mario Arques timed an excellent run towards the near post but failed to head the ball on target.

The creator then turned goalscorer in the 61st minute. Delhi failed to deal with a Carlos Calvo corner that caused panic inside the box. Marcos Tebar tried to head the air-borne ball clear but it fell to Choudhary who slammed a terrific strike into the top left corner of the net from the edge of the box.

In the 70th minute, Nandhakumar Sekar failed to get the better of Robin Gurung inside the box as the ball hit the full-back’s hand. The visitors’ appeals for a penalty were waved away as the loose ball fell to Andrija Kaludjerovic whose snapshot was kept out by Subrata Paul.

Kaludjerovic tried to single-handedly rescue a point for Delhi with a mazy run from the left flank. The striker skipped past a couple of challenges, entered the box and sent a forceful strike at Paul who parried the ball away and thereby, sealed a vital victory for Jamshedpur.

ISL MEDIA TEAM

 

Gujarat Fortunegiants notch a comfortable 47-37 win over Haryana Steelers

– Prapanjan’s two raids in the first five minutes were the brave moments of the match as it set the tone for Gujarat
– Parvesh Bhainswal was the fittest player on the mat as he made strong and hard tackles

Gujarat Fortunegiants continued their fine form as they beat Haryana Steelers 47-37 in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6. The raiding duo of K Prapanjan and Sachin led the charge for Gujarat and both achieved a super 10 each to score 22 points. Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar led the defence for Gujarat and contained Haryana raiders throughout the match. Haryana Steelers are now out of contention of making the playoffs and suffered throughout the match as their defence couldn’t get going. Monu Goyat top scored for Haryana Steelers with 11 points.

K Prapanjan kickstarted the proceedings for Gujarat Fortunegiants with a two-point raid in the second minute as they led 4-1. Haryana Steelers crumbled under Gujarat’s fast start and suffered an all out as early as the 4th minute. Monu Goyat tried to restore some parity in the first half with a couple of good raids. After 10 minutes of play, Gujarat Fortunegiants led 18-9.

Naveen made a super raid in the 12th minute as Haryana Steelers reduced the deficit to seven points and trailed 12-19. But the raiding duo of Prapanjan and Sachin were relentless in the first half. Gujarat’s defence joined the scoring with a super tackle in the 18th minute. At the end of the first half, Gujarat Fortunegiants enjoyed a 12-point lead.

Haryana Steelers defence struggled in the first half as they scored just two tackle points. Gujarat made a two-point raid in the 27th minute to extend their lead to 32-19. Gujarat Fortunegiants inflicted another all out in the 29th minute to lead 36-20.

The last 10 minutes were more about Haryana Steelers reducing the margin of defeat. Vikas Kandola made a two-point raid in the 35th minute as Haryana Steelers trailed 27-40. Monu Goyat made a two-point raid as Steelers inflicted an all out in the 36th minute to reduce the deficit further by eight points.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Telugu Titans take on Patna Pirates on Thursday i.e. 13th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

Final Score

Haryana Steelers vs Gujarat Fortunegiants

37 – 47

FIRST HALF SCORE

Haryana Steelers – Gujarat Fortunegiants  

16 – 28

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: K. PRAPANJAN (JERSEY 25) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: SUNIL KUMAR (JERSEY 11) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS
THE HALDIRAM’S MOMENT OF THE MATCH AWARD: SUNIL KUMAR (JERSEY 11) GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

 

Bengaluru Bulls beat Telugu Titans 37-24

– Pawan Sehrawat’s two-point raid in the 39th minute was the brave moment of the match
– Mahender Singh showed immense strength as put strong tackles on Titans’ raiders

Bengaluru Bulls produced a strong second half performance to beat Telugu Titans 37-24 in the southern derby of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 6. Pawan Sehrawat yet again delivered for the Bulls as he top scored with 13 points. Mahender Singh put in a solid defensive performance and earned himself a high five. Telugu Titans faded away after a bright start as their star raider Rahul Chaudhari couldn’t get going and scored just 4 points. Nilesh Salunke top scored for Titans with 6 points. Telugu Titans remain in hunt for a place in the playoffs but their 3rd home defeat has made it an uphill task.

Telugu Titans made a strong start and led 5-1 after four minutes as their defence picked up three tackle points. It took a while for Bengaluru Bulls to get going as Pawan Sehrawat was tackled a couple of times. After 10 minutes, Telugu Titans led 9-5 and were looking in control of the match.

But the Bengaluru Bulls fought back in the latter part of the first half as Pawan Sehrawat picked up a few raid points. At the end of the first half, Telugu Titans held a slender two-point lead with the score 12-10.

Bengaluru Bulls tied the match at 13-13 in the 22nd minute and then inflicted an all out to take the lead for the first time in 23 minutes. Nilesh Salunke got a two-point raid in the 30th minute for the Telugu Titans as they trailed 18-12.

With less than five minutes to go Telugu Titans trailed by just two points but Bengaluru Bulls thwarted all hopes of a comeback as they scored four points in two minutes to lead 28-22. Pawan Sehrawat made a two-point raid in the 39th minute to ensure victory for Bengaluru Bulls as they led 30-22. Bulls inflicted an all out in the second last minute and ran out comfortable winners in the end.

Fans can catch live action of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 6 matches when Telugu Titans take on Patna Pirates on Thursday i.e. 13th December 2018, 7:30 pm onwards, on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 HD Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Suvarna Plus, Star Maa Gold, Star Sports First and Hotstar.

FIRST HALF SCORE

Telugu Titans – Bengaluru Bulls

12 – 10

Match Awards:

THE VIVO PERFECT RAIDER OF THE MATCH: PAWAN KUMAR (JERSEY 1) BENGALURU BULLS
THE TATA ACE DEFENDER OF THE MATCH: MAHENDER SINGH (JERSEY 2) BENGALURU BULLS
THE HALDIRAM’S MOMENT OF THE MATCH AWARD: PAWAN KUMAR (JERSEY 1) BENGALURU BULLS

STANDINGS

Zone A

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

U MUMBA

20

15

4

1

191

82

2

GUJARAT FORTUNEGIANTS

19

14

3

2

102

78

3

DABANG DELHI KC

20

10

9

1

-7

60

4

PUNERI PALTAN

20

7

11

2

-47

47

5

HARYANA STEELERS

20

6

13

1

-82

39

6

JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS

15

4

10

1

-76

25

 Zone B

RANK

TEAM

MATCHES PLAYED

WON

LOST

TIE

SCORE DIFFERENCE

POINTS

1

BENGALURU BULLS

18

11

6

1

86

64

2

PATNA PIRATES

17

9

7

1

9

51

3

TELUGU TITANS

18

7

10

1

-24

45

4

BENGAL WARRIORS

15

7

6

2

-13

43

5

UP YODDHA

18

5

10

3

-79

39

6

TAMIL THALAIVAS

18

5

11

2

-60

34

 

India storm to top of Pool C; Belgium finish second and Canada third in Pool C on Day 11 of Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

– Belgium and Canada qualify for cross-over matches
– South Africa are eliminated
– Pool C winners and host nation India go on five goal rampage

Bhubaneswar, India: It all came down to goals in the final round of Pool C matches at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018. Belgium knew they had to score a lot of goals against South Africa if they were to keep India from taking top spot in the pool. While their penalty corners were effective, the Red Lions lacked bite when it came to scoring from field play and a number of chances to score went to waste.

In the second match, host nation India knew they purely needed a win over Canada in order to top the pool and win a ticket straight to the quarter-finals. A Canadian team, who defended brilliantly for the first two quarters and were on equal terms for the first three quarters, put pressure on India, but an exhilarating fourth quarter saw India storm to a 5-1 win and take pole position in Pool C.

The opening game of the day was just 35 seconds old when South Africa (FIH Hero World Ranking 15) took the lead against their higher-ranked rivals, Belgium (WR:3). Nicholas Spooner was the scorer as he gathered the ball from a fantastic pitch-splitting pass from Rhett Halkett and then slammed it into the corner of Vincent Vanasch’s goal.

However, Shane McLeod’s Red Lions have come to Bhubaneswar with a firm intention to make the podium and the higher ranked team quickly recovered from the setback and began to turn the screw, not just on South Africa, but also on India, who were vying with the Red Lions for the top of the pool. At the start of the game India had a superior goal difference – plus five to Belgium’s one – so Belgium’s task was clear.

McLeod says that penalty corners have been a focal point for his side and the team soon demonstrated their efficiency in this area. Alexander Hendrickx is the in-form penalty corner specialist for Belgium at the moment and his two goals from penalty corners in the first half sandwiched a neatly taken field goal by Player of the Match Simon Gougnard. A fourth goal was added when Loick Luypaert also showed his prowess from the top of the circle. The half-time stats spoke for themselves, while possession was nearly equal between the teams, the significant figures for Belgium were three penalty corners, three goals.

South Africa made their own chances in the opening 30 minutes with the best chance falling to Dayaan Cassiem. The midfielder received the ball in the centre of the Belgium circle and should have capitalised. His shot flew wide of Vanasch’s far post.

The second half saw Belgium continuing to press forward, and Tom Boon will be disappointed not to have added to the score when he was through on goal twice in quick succession but was not balanced enough to shoot with any force. A series of three Belgium penalty corners were dealt with by Gowan Jones who replaced Rassie Pieterse in the South Africa goal. Hendrickx thought he had scored his third goal when he slotted home a penalty corner, but the injected ball was judged not to have left the circle before Hendrickx shot for goal.

The final minutes of the third quarter saw South Africa pile on pressure of their own. A quick break found captain Tim Drummond on the baseline and he was able to slip the ball back to goalscorer Spooner. Unfortunately for South Africa, Spooner shot over the crossbar. Seconds later a penalty stroke was awarded to South Africa but was disallowed on referral.

Belgium went into the final quarter knowing they needed to score more goals in order to keep the pressure on India and Cedric Charlier was quick to deliver. He pounced on a ball that was slipped from the baseline by Gougnard, who had muscled his way past the South Africa defence.

The drama intensified in the final few minutes as Belgium sought another goal. For their part, South Africa were working hard to find a second goal but it was Belgium who found the net as the game came to an end. For Belgium’s goal difference this was crucial but the referral showed that the goal was scored after the final hooter had gone and the score remained 5-1 meaning India just needed a win over Canada in the second match of the day to finish top of the pool.

Player of the Match Simon Gougnard was in critical mood despite the win as he discussed his team performance in the post-match interview: “I don’t think we put enough pressure on India tonight. We started poorly and we didn’t put enough pressure on South Africa throughout the match. We made a lot of stupid mistakes in the game. There is a lot for us to look back over and which we will work on. We must also work on our structure and try to reduce the number of turnovers during a game. Our penalty corner worked well, so we are quite pleased with that aspect of the game.”

Belgium captain Thomas Briels added: “We did not start so well tonight but we played better and better. I think that’s a bit the difference with the first two games where we started really good but could not keep up our performances. So that’s really good to see. In the end we could have scored more goals if we would have been a bit more smart. During this first round, we played some really good hockey but we were not really consistent, so we have to analyse that and we can improve for the next round.”

The second Pool C match pitted a stoic Canada team, who had conceded no penalty corners prior to this match, against an Indian side determined to take the top of the pool position. The first quarter saw a pressure cooker of an atmosphere slowly build on the pitch and in the stands. That tipped over in the 12th minute as Harmanpreet Singh shot his team into the lead from a penalty corner after the Indian forwards had piled pressure onto the Canada defence. Prior to that moment, the Canada goalkeeper Antoni Kindler and his defence had withstood everything that Manpreet Singh and his men had thrown at them.

The second quarter saw much of the same pattern. Manpreet Singh was becoming more and more pivotal to the India attack, sending aerial balls high and deep into the Canadian defensive area, feeding, among others, Lalit Upadhyay who danced around the Canadian circle but was unable to get his shot away. Akasdeep Singh came closest to doubling the lead, as he picked up a bouncing ball and shot to Kindler’s right-hand post. The tall ‘keeper was down quickly to make the save and keep the India lead to 1-0.

While Canada were mostly playing a defensive game, they also created their own chances. Keegan Pereira, who was born in India, forced a save from PR Sreejesh and Floris van Son fed a lovely ball through to Oliver Scholfield but he was unable to find a way past Sreejesh.

As the second half go under way, Harendra Singh, India’s Head Coach, called for his players to play a calmer game. He said the pressure his team was creating was good, but to really capitalise, they had to keep their composure in front of goal.

The importance of composure in front of goal was demonstrated perfectly by Canada’s van Son who momentarily silenced the crowd when he brought Canada back on equal terms. The player, who came in as a replacement for Brandon Pereira, was perfectly placed to receive the ball and shoot smartly past Sreejesh.

Emerging for the final quarter, India knew they had to score and put the game to rest. There was a definite ramping up of the pressure and with just one minute of the quarter played, a great ball into the circle by Kothajit Khadangbam was cleared by Kindler but picked up by Chinglensana Kangujam, who shot home to restore India’s lead. As the spectators went wild, India fed off the energy and there was a visible shift through the gears, leaving Canada unable to match their opponent’s speed and attacking flair. Upadhyay made it 3-1 when he slammed home a few seconds later and Amit Rohidas put the game beyond doubt when he rifled home a penalty corner to make it 4-1.

A fifth goal and a second for Upadhyay – voted Player of the Match – was the final scoring action of the game, although Canada had to endure a series of penalty corners before the final whistle blew. Despite the loss, Canada qualify for the cross-over matches by virtue of a better goal difference than South Africa.

Head Coach Harendra Singh, “We really respect Canada because they made us struggle in the first half. In the second half we stuck to our game plan. They relaxed more in the final quarter, they waited for the opportunities and they came in the fourth quarter. Now, we are in the play-off rounds, we are about to start climbing a mountain so there will be less oxygen, the fittest will survive. We will rest now and prepare and plan for the quarter finals. I think the right preparations, the right mood and the right atmosphere will help us achieve our targets.”

Manpreet Singh, India captain, added: “I think we played very well today. But I think in the second and third quarters we lacked of energy. However in the fourth quarter we put more energy and we got quite good goals. Obviously it was important for us to finish at the top of the pool. That’s why we played very well today.”

On Sunday 9th December, the final matches in Pool D will take place, with Malaysia (WR:12) facing Germany (WR:6) at 1700 IST (UTS+5:30) before all the pool matches are wrapped up when Netherlands (WR:3) take on Pakistan (WR:13) at 1900.

Germany are currently top of Pool D with two wins from two matches, including a 4-1 win over their European rivals Netherlands and a 1-0 win over Pakistan. Netherlands are in second place on three points and Pakistan are holding onto third place ahead of Malaysia, with a healthy goal difference. The pool winner will earn a direct ticket to the quarter finals, while the teams that finish second and third will go into the cross-over play-offs. The team that finishes fourth will be eliminated from the competition.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s matches, Head Coach to Malaysia, Roelant Oltmans, said: “The performance of Malaysia is clearly disappointing so far. The second match was a lot better but unfortunately we didn’t manage to get the necessary win out of it. The last match will be very difficult against Germany, one of the favourites for the title, but for sure we’ll fight for a positive result.”

Clearly delighted with his team’s results so far, Stefan Kermas, Head Coach to Germany, said: “I´m happy with the general performance so far and winning the first two matches. We improved offensively against the Dutch, although we conceded too many turnovers in our build up. We are happy with the start, knowing that a clear 4:1 win was achieved after a really tight first 50 minutes. We want to finish the pool at the top, so winning against Malaysia is our aim. Keeping the rhythm of play plus improving next steps in our game would be the perfect fit from a coach’s perspective.”

And Germany’s stalwart defender Martin Häner added: “We‘re quite happy with our results so far, but we also know that we haven‘t played our best hockey yet. The last pool match is very important because we want to finish first in our group and go straight through to the quarter finals. Furthermore, it‘s important to keep our rhythm and stay focused to show our best hockey in ‘do or die’ matches.”

The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 takes place between 28 November and 16 December. The Men’s World Cup is played every four years. For all information regarding the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, including the full schedule, teams, news and more, click here.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Day 11 Results – 8 December 2018: Pool B

Belgium 5, South Africa 1
Odisha Player of the Match:  Simon Gougnard (BEL)

Canada 1, India 5
Odisha Player of the Match: Lalit Upadhyay (IND)

Final Standings – Pool C
1: India (Qualified for quarter-finals)
2: Belgium (Qualified for cross-over play-offs)
3: Canada (Qualified for cross-over play-offs)
4: South Africa (Eliminated)