Indian sports News- November 30thNovember 30, 2019
Bytes: Syed Mushtaq Ali, CoA committee, AUSvsPAK, NZvsENG, Davis Cup, I-league, ISL, Chennaiyin FC coach sacked, Andaluca Costa del Sol Open de Espaa Femenino, ITTF WC, Gymnastics Federation of India, Syed Modi Badminton 300, Aditi Ashok, Kensville Open, South Asian Games- volleyball, David Warner scores triple ton, Wrestling- Nationals
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:
Davis Cup- Veteran Leander Paes bettered his own Davis Cup record by winning his 44th doubles match along with debutant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan as India took an unassailable 3-0 lead against Pakistan with victory in the third rubber in Nur-Sultan on Saturday. Pakistan teenagers Muhammed Shoaib and Hufaiza Abdul Rehman were unable to match the experienced Indian pair, who won 6-1 6-3 in just 53 minutes. Hufaiza and Shoaib began with a hold of serve in the opening game of the match but the Indians broke the teenagers in the third game before holding their own for a 3-1 lead. Paes had become the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup when he won his 43rd doubles match last year against China, surpassing Italian great Nicola Pietrangeli. The Indian took 56 ties for his 43rd win while Pietrangeli competed in 66 ties and won 42 doubles matches. Paes’ record of 44 wins is unlikely to be broken anytime soon as except him, none of the active doubles player feature in the top-10 list. Belarusian Max Mirnyi, at number three, has 36 wins but has not played on Tour since 2018.
I-league- With its fate finally sealed after the Asian Football Confederation promoted the Indian Super League as the premier football division in the new roadmap for Indian football, the I-League marks a return with its 13th edition taking place on Saturday. The excitement and buzz surrounding the league may have died down a bit, players who lit up the league last year have left for lucrative ISL contracts but despite losing its sheen, what separates the I-League from their counterparts has been the rich history and unpredictability in the title race. Since the past few years, the I-League has forged itself as a league of the underdogs.
From Aizawl FC’s fairytale title triumph in 2017-’18 to Chennai City’s thrilling final-day finish last season, the league has witnessed several climax and thrills. A total of 110 games are scheduled to be played across five months and 17 weeks in the upcoming season, with the winners grabbing an automatic spot in the AFC Cup.
ISL- An injury time strike by Robin Singh helped 10 man Hyderabad FC salvage a draw against Bengaluru FC in a thrilling 2019-’20 Indian Super League tie at the GMC Balayogi Athletic Stadium in Hyderabad. A second minute strike by Sunil Chhetri looked enough for Bengaluru to pick three points before Robin scored against his former side at the death to help his side pick an important point. Laldanmawia Ralte and Sahil Panwar were handed a start by Phil Brown as he made a couple of changes to their line-up from the defeat to Chennaiyin FC. Meanwhile, Cuadrat named an unchanged starting eleven from their 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters.
Augusto, Chhetri and Udanta combined in the final third but neither of the trio could apply the finishing touch. Brown threw Robin Singh into the mix in their search for an equalizer and the former Bengaluru striker didn’t disappoint. Marko Stankovic picked a pass for substitute Ashish Rai who pulled it back from the right for Robin to place it home.
Chennaiyin FC coach- Indian Super League club Chennaiyin FC parted ways with coach John Grgeory after a dismal run for the former champions in the ongoing season. The announcement came early Saturday morning after a late draw against Odisha FC on Thursday. The 2018 champions are currently placed eighth in the ten-team table with five points and just one win. After winning the 2018 season, the had finished last in 2018-’19 season and failed to qualify from the group stages of the AFC Cup. They showed faith in Gregory and he was given a one-year contract extension even after. However, Chennaiyin registered a dramatic 2-1 win against Hyderabad FC to end their goal drought in the tournament and get their first win just earlier this week. That should have sparked some change but the fact that they drew a game they could have won in the 82nd minute seems to have been the last straw. The club has not announced a replacement as yet.
Syed Mushtaq Ali- Medium pacer Abhimanyu Mithun picked up five wickets in one over before opening batsmen KL Rahul and Devdutt Padikkal made a mockery of a big target as Karnataka beat Haryana by eight wickets to reach the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in Surat on Friday. Haryana, asked to bat first by Manish Pandey, dominated large parts of the first innings. Fifties from Himanshu Rana (61) and Chaitanya Bishnoi (55) put Amit Mishra’s side on course for a big score. But Mithun, who had picked up a five-for and a hat-trick in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy against Tami Nadu, repeated the feat in the semi-final of the T20 tournament as well. This one was even better as he picked up all five wickets in the final over of the innings with four on the trot. In the 20th over of the innings, he dismissed Himanshu Rana (61) and Rahul Tewatia (32) off the first two balls and completed his hat-trick by sending back Sumit Kumar (0). There was more drama in store as Mithun got a wicket on the fourth ball, that of Amit Mishra (0), and then sent back Jayant Yadav (0) on the final ball of the over. Haryana went from 192/3 to 194/8 in the final over as Karnataka went into the break with the momentum.
Tamil Nadu were dominant in the second semi-final, chasing down Rajasthan’s 113-run target with ease, getting home by seven wickets and 13 balls to spare. After Dinesh Karthik opted to bowl, the bowlers, led by Vijay Shankar restricted Rajasthan, taking wickets at regular intervals and not allowing too many boundaries, managing only 112/9 in their 20 overs. After playing each other in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka clash once again.
CoA committee- Indian cricket greats Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman are set to return to the Cricket Advisory Committee to be formed on Saturday, months after resigning from their posts due to conflict of interest allegations. According to a top BCCI official, Tendulkar and Laxman who both had resigned in July will resume their roles in the CAC. Current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, who was the third member of the CAC which was entrusted with the task of selecting India’s next coach at that time, had also resigned. The BCCI led by Ganguly will hold its 88th Annual General Meeting on Sunday at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai, while the Apex Council meeting will be held on Saturday. The CAC comprising Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly had come under the scanner with conflict of interest allegations being levelled against them in complaints before the BCCI Ethics Officer D K Jain.
AUSvsPAK- An irrepressible David Warner cruised to a triple century on Saturday while Steve Smith became the fastest man to 7,000 Test runs as Australia put Pakistan to the sword on day two of the second Test in Adelaide. He finished unbeaten on 335 as Australia declared on 589/3. Warner cruised to his historic triple ton century off just 389 balls, the first triple century in Test cricket history at Adelaide Oval. In the process, he went past Don Bradman’s 299 not out (versus South Africa in 1932), which was the highest Test score at the venue. This is the 31st triple hundred ever in Test history. The last one was Karun Nair’s 303* against England in Dec 2016. The last by an Australian was Michael Clarke’s 329* against India in Jan 2012.
NZvsENG- England lost two early wickets in reply to New Zealand’s 375 as their hopes of saving the series faded after another Black Caps defining partnership involving BJ Watling in Hamilton on Saturday. When New Zealand had the wobbles, their first-Test hero partnered debutant Daryl Mitchell in a 124-run stand for the sixth-wicket to get them up to a respectable total. England were then in immediate trouble with Dom Sibley and Joe Denly removed as they reached stumps at 39/2. With only three days remaining England appeared to have little chance of building a big enough total to win the Test and square the series.
Nationals- It’s only been two months since Gourav Baliyan turned 18, but he has already added his name to the record books. On his debut at the senior wrestling National Championships in Jalandhar on Friday, Baliyan earned a reputation when he upset Praveen Rana in the final of the 74 kg to win the gold medal. In a thrilling bout, Baliyan made a comeback from being 2-4 down to win 5-3 to become one of the youngest winners in this edition of the National Championships. But Baliyan was not the only young wrestler to win a title at the Punjab Armed Police Complex as four others claimed gold medals. Rahul in 57 kg, Ravinder in 61 kg, Naveen in 70 kg and Sandeep Mann, all claiming their first senior national titles. Satyawart Kadin also ended a long-wait after winning the 97 kg weight category in Mausham Khatri’s absence. The 125 kg gold was successfully defended by Sumit Malik of Railways which claimed the team title by finish ahead of Services by a single point.
Kensville Open- Sunit Chowrasia shot a second straight five-under-67 to share the halfway lead with veteran Shamim Khan at the third edition of the Kensville Open in Ahmedabad on Friday. Chowrasia and Shamim, who carded a matching 68 on Friday, had identical totals of 10-under-134 after 36 holes, while Udayan Mane (67) and Arjun Prasad (70) were two shots off the lead in tied third place. Fifty professionals and two amateurs made the cut which fell at two-over-146. Chowrasia enjoyed a solid start as he made a chip-in for par on the 12th followed by a tough two-putt for par on the 13th and an eagle chip-in on the 14th. The 25-year-old, the nephew of Indian golfing legend SSP Chawrasia, added four more birdies and a bogey thereafter which included a 12-feet birdie conversion on the third to end up with the day’s joint lowest round.
Andaluca Costa del Sol Open de Espaa Femenino- India’s Aditi Ashok, playing only her sixth LET event of the season, followed up a first round two-under 70 with five-under 67 to get to the second place in the Andaluca Costa del Sol Open de Espaa Femenino in Marbella, Spain. Aditi, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, was placed tied-eighth in Abu Dhabi in January and was then finished eighth at Estrella Damm Ladies Open in September. Aditi, who has spent most of her time on the LPGA, had five birdies against two bogeys in the first round and then had six birdies against one solitary bogey in the second as she reached seven-under 137. She is one shot behind Karolina Lampert (68-68). Among other Indians, Diksha Dagar shot 72 in first round and was one over through eight in second. Tvesa Malik, also 72 in first round, was also one-over through seven in second. Astha Madan struggled to 81 in first and was two-over through eight in second.
South Asian Games- The Indian men’s and women’s volleyball teams notched up similar straight game victories to cruise to the semi-finals of the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu on Friday. The men’s team beat hosts Nepal 25-15, 25-13, 25-16 to top group A while the women’s side defeated Bangladesh 25-8, 25-11, 25-9. The women’s team will take on Maldives in their last-four clash on Saturday. Though the formal opening ceremony of the 13th South Asian Games will take place on Sunday, some sports events have already begun. Over 2,700 athletes will compete for 1119 medals, including 319 gold, in 26 game categories. As many as 499 athletes from India are participating in the biggest sporting event of South Asia. The closing ceremony will be held on December 10.
GFI- The International Gymnastics Federation has granted recognition to the governing body of the sport in India after accepting the results of its recent elections. Earlier this month, former Competition Commission of India chairman Sudhir Mital and Shantikumar Singh were elected as president and general secretary respectively of the Gymnastics Federation of India, bringing an end to the long-drawn factionalism in the sport. Returning officer SK Mendiratta declared Mital and Shantikumar elected unopposed in the elections held at the Indian Olympic Association headquarters. Observers from the FIG, Sports Ministry and the IOA were present during the elections. GFI was de-recognised by the Sports Ministry in 2012 but, after the November 5 elections, it is expected to get back its recognition. IOA is also expected to give recognition to the new national gymnastics body as it was involved in holding the elections.
Syed Modi 300- In a battle of former world No 1s, India’s Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out by South Korea’s Son Wan Ho in the men’s singles quarter-final of the Syed Modi International badminton tournament in Lucknow on Friday. Srikanth’s hopes of ending a long-wait for a title on the BWF World Tour continued Son knocked out the Indian shuttler 21-18, 21-19 in the quarter-final that lasted 45 minutes. With the semi-finals scheduled on Saturday, Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das were the only two Indian shuttlers left in contention at the Super 300 tournament. Srikanth, the third seed at the tournament, was one of the favourites to go the distance (especially with top seed Shi Yuqi’s elimination in the opening round) but the seventh seed from South Korea had other ideas. Son, who rose to the very top of the game a couple of seasons back and has a reputation for playing an error-free game, was at his clinical best while Srikanth blew hot and cold. There were flashes of brilliance from Srikanth – like when he fought back from 7-13 down in the second game to make it 18-18 – but once again, he was left ruing too many costly errors. Earlier, Sourabh made sure there will be at least one men’s singles shuttler in the semi-finals as he defeated the three-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-19, 21-16. The Thai shuttler had outplayed B Sai Praneeth in the previous round. Sourabh will take on South Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee in the final four. The 2018 national champion has two BWF Super 100 titles to his name this season with victories in Hyderabad and Vietnam.
ITTF WC- Sathiyan Gnanasekaran’s dream run at the International Table Tennis Federation Men’s World Cup came to an end after India’s top-ranked paddler went down to former world number one Timo Boll in China on Saturday. The world No 30 Sathiyan, making his World Cup debut, went down 1-4 (11-7, 8-11, 5-11, 9-11, 8-11) to the German in the pre-quarters. Sathiyan started on a bright note, taking a 1-0 lead, but the experienced Boll replied quickly to level the match. The two-time World Cup champion then dominated the tie, winning the next three games without much trouble. On Friday, Sathiyan had defeated higher ranked Frenchman Simon Gauzy 11-13, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 before beating world number 24 Groth Jonathan of Denmark 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-2, to top his group and reach the round of 16.
NBA- Giannis Antetokounmpo drained four clutch baskets down the stretch as the Milwaukee Bucks won their 10th consecutive game with a 119-110 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Milwaukee led by as many as 22 points in the first half but Cleveland chipped away until they closed the gap to just three late in the fourth but that was as close as they would get.
Elsewhere, Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 19 points in his second game back in San Antonio since being traded away prior to last season, but it wasn’t enough as the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-97.