Indian sports News- November 18thNovember 18, 2019
Bytes: WIvsAFG, INDvsWI, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Brazil GP, Euro 2020 Qualifiers, ATP Finals, Pune Challenger, NBA, Ritu Phoghat wins on debut at One Championship, Hong Kong Open, Shiv Kapur 2nd in Panasonic Open, SHotgun Nationals, ITTF Challenge Indonesian Open-Table Tennis
YoGems makes sure that you won’t miss a thing in the field of sports, so here is a quick recap to all the happenings from the last 24 hours:
INDvsWI- India women extended their lead to 4-0 in the five-match series by edging out West Indies by five runs in a rain-affected contest in Guyana on Sunday. Anuja Patil (2/8) was handed the ball in the final over of the innings with the Windies needing 13. Patil gave away just seven as India piled on the misery on the hosts, whose wretched record in T20Is continued; they have now lost eight on the bounce. Anisa Mohammed sent India to bat first following a long rain delay, following which the match was reduced to a nine-over contest. The Windies spinners kept taking regular breakthroughs to keep the run-scoring in check. Hayley Mathews (3/13), Afy Fletcher (2/12) and Sheneta Grimmond (2/10) kept chipping away. As for the Indian batters, there was very little application as slogging the ball out of the park took precedence. Barring Pooja Vastrakar (10) none of the batters reached double figures and Windies would have been happy with the way things progressed at the break. The Indian spinners soon came to the party and once again, it was Deepti Sharma who led the charge for the visitors. West Indies took a more conservative approach compared to their opponents with the emphasis on having recognised batters in the final overs. Despite getting only the odd wicket compared to the Indian innings, there was plenty of dot-ball pressure that was created and the West Indian batters limped towards the close. Radha Yadav (1/8) bowled the penultimate over and dismissed Chinelle Henry in the first ball. But, Natasha McLean’s boundary eased the pressure somewhat and it was all to play for in the final over. McLean, though, was run out courtesy of Veda Krishnamurthy’s accurate throw and the Windies could only get singles and twos, once again coming short against their skillful opponents who are on a roll.
Syed Mushtaq Ali- Prithvi Shaw made a splendid return to competitive cricket after serving a doping ban, hitting a 39-ball 63 to guide Mumbai to a 83-run win over Assam in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (India’s domestic T20 tournament) in Mumbai on Sunday. All eyes were on Shaw, who played his first game after serving a back-dated eight-month suspension by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for failing a dope test and the opener did not disappoint the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium. Shaw, who came in for in-form Jay Bista, struck a blazing half-century and then celebrated with ‘bat does the talk’ gesture. Shaw and Aditya Tare (82 off 48 balls) toyed with a pedestrian Assam attack to help Mumbai post a massive 206 for 5 in the Group ‘D’ match. The Mumbai bowlers led by medium pacer Shivam Dube (2/3) then restricted the visitors to 123/8 to complete the win. The focus was firmly on Shaw, who was named in Mumbai’s last two games of the league stage of the Mushtaq Ali trophy and the subsequent super league stage on Thursday. The 20-year-old made his intent clear as he hit seven boundaries and two sixes in his 39-ball knock and made optimum use of a reprieve which he got on 32 after being dropped at long-off. Tare was also in an attacking mood, smashing some well-timed boundaries. The two out together a 138-run stand for the first-wicket to lay the foundation of big total. Tare hammered 12 fours and a lone six. Brief scores: Mumbai 206 for 5 (Aditya Tare 82, Prithvi Shaw 63, Riyan Parag 3/30) beat Assam 123 for 8 (Riyan Parag 38, Sibsankar Roy 22, Shivam Dube 2/3) by 83 runs. Mumbai 4 points, Assam 0 points. Bengal 132 for 7 (Vivek Singh 43, Abhimanyu Easwaran 28, Suresh Kumar 4/17) lost to Pondicherry 135 for 6 (Rohit Damodaran 55, Suresh Kumar 16; Shahbaz Ahamad 2-16) by four wickets. Pondicherry 4 points, Bengal: 0.
WIvsAFG- Teenage opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit an attacking half-century to set up Afghanistan’s 29-run series-clinching win over West Indies in the third Twenty20 International on Sunday. Gurbaz hit 79 off 52 balls as Afghanistan registered 156/8, a total their bowlers defended by restricting the West Indies to 127/7 in Lucknow. They won the series 2-1 after losing the opening game and being swept in the preceding ODIs 3-0. Paceman Naveen-ul-Haq took three wickets to choke the West Indies’ chase despite a valiant 52 by wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope. But it was the 17-year-old Gurbaz, a wicketkeeper-batsman, who stood out with his second T20I fifty after the Afghans were in early trouble at 12/2. Gurbaz, named man of the match, put on a crucial 50-run stand for the fourth wicket with former captain Asghar Afghan, who made 24, and surpassed his previous T20I best of 61. He smashed six fours and five sixes before falling to West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard. Pacemen Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams and Keemo Paul took two wickets each. The West Indies lost regular wickets to falter in their chase against a disciplined Afghanistan attack that made the most of a slow track. Hope, who was dropped on 11 by Naveen off Gulbadin Naib, completed his second T20I fifty but got little support from the other end. Bowling all-rounder Karim Janat could not repeat his heroics from the second game where he claimed five wickets and scored 26 runs, but was named man of the series.
Brazil GP- Max Verstappen underlined his potential as a champion of the future on Sunday with a commanding victory for Red Bull in an astonishing and crash-hit Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. The 22-year-old Dutchman twice passed newly-crowned six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in a thrilling contest that had two safety car interventions and saw the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc clash and retire, before clinching the eighth victory of his career. His third win this season also made up for his disappointment in last year’s race in Brazil when he looked certain to win before a late accident wrecked his hopes of victory. He made the most of pole position and finished a dominant winner ahead of his former Red Bull team-mate Pierre Gasly, now with Toro Rosso, as they delivered a Honda-powered one-two for the Japanese company for the first time since the heyday of local hero Ayrton Senna. Frenchman Gasly came home 0.062 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who finished third for Mercedes but was demoted to seventh following a post-race stewards’ investigation after crashing with luckless Thai driver Alexander Albon, the man who replaced Gasly at Red Bull, in the final laps.
Pune Challenger- James Duckworth sealed an emotional fightback win over Jay Clarke to lift his fourth ATP Challenger trophy of the season at the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger in Pune on Sunday while hosts India had a doubles title to cheer. The Australian second seed beat fifth seed Jay Clarke 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 after being a break down in the decider. The win guaranteed him 80 ranking points, which will see him break back into the top 100 and compete in the main draw of his home Major, Australian Open. Later, in the all-Indian men’s doubles final, top seed Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja won an ATP Challenger doubles title for the second straight week as they beat Saketh Myneni and Arjun Kadhe 7-6 (3), 6-3. Ramkumar had won the doubles title last year at the event with N Vijay Sundar Prashanth. The singles final between the Australian and Brit turned out to an entertaining, tightly-contested affair. The 21-year-old Clarke was down a break in the opening game but fought back with a flurry of winners to clinch the first set after almost an hour of play. Duckworth, 27, faced triple-break point early in the second set but with a mix of grit and aggression, he held serve. After the four break points in the fifth game, he would not face another in the set and go on to take it with a clutch break. The Australian started coming to the net often and troubled Clarke’s groundstrokes from the baseline. In the decider, Duckworth was under the pump again after going a break down at 3-4. But the resilient Aussie channeled the fighting spirit that saw him return to the sport after five surgeries and did not drop a game after that. He won three straight games after that, breaking Clarke’s serve twice. This tournament ends Ramkumar’s ATP season while Raja will go on to play the last Challenger of 2019 in Portugal.
ATP Finals- Stefanos Tsitsipas battled back from a set down against Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals title on Sunday, emphatically staking his claim as the leader of the next generation of aspiring global superstars. The Greek, who won, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) is the youngest champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 and the fourth first-time champion at the season-ending event in as many years. It is the 21-year-old third title of the season and comes a year after he was crowned champion at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. He has charmed the crowd at London’s O2 Arena all week and earned his place in the final with an impressive straight-sets win against six-time champion Roger Federer. But Tsitsipas, who has beaten every member of the “Big Three” in 2019, will go into the new season with the belief he can take the next step towards the apex of the men’s game.
ITTF challenge Indonesia Open- Indian paddler Harmeet Desai staved off a strong challenge from compatriot Amalraj Anthony to win the ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open in Batam, Indonesia on Sunday. In an all-Indian men’s singles final, it was Harmeet who started on a positive note winning the opening game 11-9 but he lost the next game 9-11, allowing Amalraj to draw level. World no 104 Harmeet, however, took control of the proceedings and won the next two games by an identical margin of 11-9 to go 3-1 up in the match. Amalraj reduced the lead by winning the next game 12-10, but the reigning Commonwealth TT Champion did not make any further mistake and won the 6th game 11-9 to seal the match 4-2 and win his second international title of the year. Both the players looked in ominous form in the previous rounds getting past their respective opponents with consummate ease. Harmeet trounced Yuto Kizikuri of Japan and Siu Hang Lam of Hong Kong by the same scoreline of 4-2 in the quarters and semi finals respectively, while Amalraj recorded identical 4-0 victories over Joao Monteiro of Portugal and Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal in the round of eight and four. Harmeet and Amalraj also teamed up in the men’s doubles event and made it to the semifinals of the championship. Playing against the talented pair of Man Ho Kwan and Siu Hang Lam of Hong Kong, the duo came up with a spirited challenge but unfortunately capitulated 3-0 (7-11, 9-11, 9-11) to bow out of the tournament.
Hong Kong Open- Home favourite Lee Cheuk-Yiu battled to victory over Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting to secure a shock Hong Kong Open win as the city’s pro-democracy protests raged nearby on Sunday. Lee, 23, came from a game behind and then saw off championship point in a thrilling decider before winning 16-21, 21-10, 22-20 to lift his first major trophy. The final took place at the Hong Kong Coliseum, a short distance from the Polytechnic University where a police officer was wounded by a protester’s arrow in the latest fierce clashes. The city has been wracked by months of protests including this week’s chaos when major routes and rail services were blocked by masked protesters, bringing parts of the city to a standstill. Lee’s title run, which includes surprise wins over Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and Kidambi Srikanth of India in the quarter- and semi-finals comes after he appeared to show support for the protesters.
Shotgun Nationals- Shagun Chowdhary shot two rounds of 25 to grab the pole position on day one of the women’s trap qualifiers at the 63rd National Shotgun Shooting Championship in New Delhi on Sunday. The seasoned Shagun, representing ONGC, shot the same score of 71 as Punjab’s Rajeshwari Kumari, but two perfect rounds of 25 including the third and final round of the day, saw her claim the top honours at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. Intense competition is building up as the finals beckon after two more qualifying rounds on Monday, with Bihar’s Shreyasi Singh closely following on 70 and the likes of India’s only World Cup medallist Seema Tomar also in the top six with a score of 67. Defending champion Varsha Varman, however, was way behind in the 52-strong field with a 57. In the junior women’s trap, Shefali Rajak of Madhya Pradesh was on top of the chart with a 65, while Haryana’s Suhanya Singh, who shot 64, was close behind. Day two of competitions will see the senior and junior women’s trap finals.
Panasonic Open- A double-bogey on the last hole proved costly as Indian golfer Shiv Kapur signed off tied-second along with compatriot S Chikkarangappa at the Panasonic Open India in Gurugram on Sunday. Kapur (70 in round three), who lost out in a playoff at the Thailand Open last week, was again denied victory this week at the Panasonic Open India as he conceded a one-shot lead to seventeen-year-old Korean sensation Joohyung Kim, who fired a seven-under-65 to bag the top honours with a total of 13-under-203. Kapur and Chikkarangappa (67) ended with a total of 12-under 204 at the Classic Golf and Country Club. Indians Vikrant Chopra (10-under-206) and Veer Ahlawat (eight-under-208) claimed career-best finishes of tied-fifth and tied-eighth respectively. Kim, who earned his Asian Tour card for the remainder of the 2019 season after claiming three wins on the Asian Development Tour this year, continued his hot streak in India with rounds of 70, 68 and 65 at the $400,000 event which was contested over 54 holes.
One Championship- Indian wrestler Ritu Phogat made a successful mixed martial arts and ONE Championship debut, putting together a dominant performance on the way to a technical knockout victory over South Korea’s Nam Hee Kim in Beijing, PTI reported. Phogat immediately scored on a takedown in the opening seconds of the bout. She executed another successful takedown moments later, this time keeping Kim on the mat and proceeding to cause damage with ground-and-pound. After securing the mounted crucifix position, Phogat pounded Kim out until the referee intervened.
NBA- Bahamian guard Buddy Hield scored a season-high 35 points and the Sacramento Kings snapped the Boston Celtics’ 10-game NBA win streak with a 100-99 home triumph on Sunday. Sacramento center Richaun Holmes sank two decisive free throws with 13 seconds remaining to give the Kings their fifth win in seven games after an 0-5 start. Boston fell to 10-2, having not lost since their season opener three-and-a-half weeks ago at Philadelphia. The Celtics, led by Jaylen Brown’s 18 points, saw the end of their longest win streak since taking 16 in a row early in the 2017-18 campaign. Hield’s three-pointer with 1:52 remaining gave the Kings a 96-95 lead. Boston’s Jayson Tatum answered with a jumper but Hield, who went 14-of-24 from the floor, struck again with a fadeaway only for Boston to answer on a Daniel Theis dunk, giving the Celtics a 99-98 edge with 52 seconds remaining.
Euro 2020 Qualifiers- Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 99th international goal as reigning champions Portugal secured their place at the Euro 2020 finals on Sunday with a 2-0 victory away to Luxembourg, while France ended their qualifying campaign with victory. Bruno Fernandes struck the opening goal on 39 minutes before Ronaldo tapped in a scrappy second late on to clinch second place in Group B behind winners Ukraine, who drew 2-2 in Serbia. Iranian striker Ali Daei holds the world record with 109 international goals scored in 149 appearances between 1993 and 2006. Portugal became the 17th nation to qualify for next year’s multi-host tournament, which kicks off in Rome on June 12, joining the likes of world champions France, Spain, Italy and England.