Indian sports News- November 8thNovember 8, 2019
Bytes: FC Goa on top of ISL, Chinki Yadav quota for Tokyo, Rohit sharma shines against Bangladesh, Prithvi Shaw, Ashwin to Delhi Capitals, ATP Finals, China Open, IAAF drop 3 events from core, Turkish Airlines Open, Thai Open, Hero Women’s Pro Golf
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:
ISL- FC Goa picked up their second win of the 2019-’20 Indian Super League season and climbed to the top of the table after dishing out a clinical performance to beat Mumbai City FC 4-2 in a six-goal thriller at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The visitors looked in control of proceedings after Lenny Rodrigues and Ferran Corominas had put them 2-0 up at the break. But quickfire strikes from Sarthak Golui and Souvik Chakrabati brought the home side back into the game only for Hugo Boumous and Carlos Pena to restore the advantage for Goa who ran out comfortable winners in the end. The first big chance fell to Mumbai in the 13th minute after Raynier Fernandes picked up the ball from the midfield and played a defense-splitting pass to winger Bipin Singh who had his shot blocked by Pena. Whenever Goa had the ball, Mumbai City players kept their shape and made them attack from the wide spaces. The visitors, however, continued to make inroads and were finally rewarded after the quarter mark. Lenny Rodrigues controlled the corner from Brandon Fernandes with his right foot before firing past Amrinder in goal who failed to stop the shot despite getting a hand to it. Mumbai’s defence was all over the place as Goa sneaked into the lead. With their second defeat this season, Mumbai City remained fifth on the table. The Islanders have now conceded eight goals in two home games so far, leaving coach Costa with a lot to ponder during the international break.
Tokyo Olympics- Chinki Yadav sealed India’s 11th Tokyo 2020 Olympics quota place in shooting by reaching the women’s 25m pistol final at the ongoing Asian Shooting Championship in Doha on Friday. This is India’s second quota spot in the discipline after Rahi Sarnobat won first at the World Cup in Munich earlier in the year. In the qualification, Yadav shot a superb 588 (21x) to finish second on the table behind Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon. She was eligible for one of the four available Tokyo berths by reaching the final. The 21-year-old will now look to win a medal as well. On Thursday, she had kept alive India’s hopes of securing the second Olympic quota in women’s 25m pistol by clinging to fifth place in the first round qualification with an exceptional 292. With China having secured the maximum of two quota spots in the event and the two Korean shooters in the final also having booked their Tokyo ticket, the field was open for any finalist with no quota to win it. Of the other Indians in the fray, Annu Raj Singh finished 21st (575 points) while Neeraj Kaur was 27th (572). However in the MQS category, Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker – who have both sealed their Tokyo quota spots – scored a solid 589 and 584 respectively.
ATP Finals- Novak Djokovic can end his season with a flourish by equalling Roger Federer’s record haul of six titles at the ATP Finals and pipping Rafael Nadal to the year-end number one spot. Germany’s Alexander Zverev shocked Djokovic in last year’s final at London’s O2 Arena but the Serbian will start as the firm favourite after cantering to victory at last week’s Paris Masters. Djokovic and Nadal have shared the spoils at this year’s four Grand Slams, refusing to yield to the next generation. Nadal, who has never won the ATP Finals, dethroned his old rival from the top of the rankings this week and will be hoping to seal the year-end spot despite injury doubts ahead of the tournament, which starts on Sunday. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic were the top three seeds when they first competed together at the tournament way back in 2007. Twelve years later little has changed at the top of men’s tennis, although they will be wary of the challenge from Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who has won two Masters titles since August and pushed Nadal to five sets in the US Open final. Austria’s Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Germany’s Zverev and Italian Matteo Berrettini make up the rest of the field of eight players. The season-ending event in London, featuring the year’s best eight players, is contested in a round-robin format with the best four players and doubles teams reaching the knockout semi-finals stage.
China Open- India’s rising doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen 21-19, 21-15 in 43 minutes to enter the semi-finals at the China Open on Friday. Standing in the way of Satwik-Chirag and their third World Tour final appearance of the year will be top seeds Marcus Fernando Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The Indian pair hardly put a foot wrong in the hard-fought first game. They were tactically better and led all the way. The Chinese pair made took it close at 17-17 but Satwik-Chirag found a way to pull ahead at crucial moments. They had two game points and needed just one to clinch the game, 21-19 in 20 minutes. Most were expecting former world champions Li and Liu to come hard at the Indians in the second game but Satwiksairaj and Shetty were more than up for the challenge. Both pairs were neck-to-neck at 12-12 but thereafter, the India duo pulled away with some clutch shots under pressure. The Indian pair took the second game 21-15 as the crowd was stunned into silence. Satwik and Chirag, who had won their maiden Super 500 title at the Thailand Open in August before reaching the French Open final last month, are the lone Indians left in the tournament.
IndvsBan- Rohit Sharma made it a memorable 100th T20 international, as a captain and as a batsman, as he powered India to a convincing series-levelling win against Bangladesh in Rajkot on Thursday. Blending grace with brutality in his 85 off 43 balls, Sharma helped India canter to an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh as the hosts bounced back from their surprise defeat in Delhi. On a far better batting track compared to Feroz Shah Kotla, Sharma showed the gulf in class between him and the others on the park, hitting six fours and six sixes as India chased the target of 154 in just 15.4 overs. The three-match T20 series now stands at 1-1 and the final game will be played in Nagpur on November 10. Such was Sharma’s dominance during the 118-run opening stand that it managed to overshadow Shikhar Dhawan’s (31 off 27 balls) struggles. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul took India home after the stand-in captain fell 15 short of what would have been his fifth T20I century. Sharma teed off in the fourth over of the innings when he hit an off-drive, followed by a cover drive and then a straight six off Mustafizur Rahman. It was difficult to come back from that point for Bangladesh as the Indian captain got boundaries and sixes at will.
Prithvi Shaw- With his suspension for a doping violation coming to an end, Prithvi Shaw could be in line for a swift return to competitive cricket for Mumbai’s senior squad. Milind Rege, chairman of Mumbai’s ad-hoc selectors’ panel, has said that the 19-year-old is physically fit and will certainly be considered for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. The squad that was announced earlier is for the first three matches. “He will be free to play from [November] 16, so of course he will be considered for selection,” Rege told ESPNcricinfo on Thursday. “I can’t make any commitment to whether he will be back, but we will certainly discuss his selection. He is doing the right things. Physically he is fit.” Suryakumar Yadav was named as the captain of the original 15-member Mumbai squad for the national T20 tournament, beginning in Mumbai from November 8. Shaw had been handed a back-dated suspension for a doping violation in July this year. His suspension is supposed to run till 15th November 2019. The Mumbai batsman had inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups, said the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
IPL- Kings XI Punjab on Thursday traded Ravichandran Ashwin to Delhi Capitals for Rs 1.5 crore and Karnataka spinner Jagadeesha Suchith, ending a series of intense negotiations over the Indian spinner’s IPL future. Besides Suchith, KXIP had also asked Delhi for New Zealand pacer Trent Boult as part of the Ashwin trade-off but that did not materialise. Ashwin is expected to be paid Rs 7.6 crore, his auction value, by Delhi. A formal announcement will be made before the IPL transfer window closes on November 14. Under Ashwin’s leadership, KXIP showed a lot of promise in the first half of the past two seasons before losing momentum in the second half. They finished seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2019. The off-spinner, who only plays one format for India, made a strong comeback in the home Test series against South Africa after warming the bench in the West Indies, where Ravindra Jadeja was preferred as the sole spinner in the playing eleven.
BFI- Controversy and allegations of foulplay were at the centre of Indian basketball this week as the Basketball Federation of India started an inquiry into three players who had left the national camp without permission. The three players, reportedly Amjyot Singh, Arshpreet Bhullar and Amritpal Singh, were allegedly involved in a roadside scuffle in Bengaluru and were injured on their way back to the national camp. However, Amjyot has alleged that he is facing a threat to his life from BFI, sharing photos of bruises on his body on his social media accounts. According to The Times of India, the players left on motorbikes without informing the officials or coaches and later met with an accident. The players are part of the camp for the South Asian Games to be held in December. However, there was another version of the story. According to Amjyot, he was forced to drink alcohol during the trip outside the camp and he and Arshdeep got into an altercation because he refused. He also said that the latter assaulted him in his hostel room.
IAAF- The IAAF has dropped the 200 metres, 3,000m steeplechase, triple jump and discus from its list of “core” disciplines at Diamond League meetings in 2020. The International Association of Athletics Associations said its decision was based on online research in China, France, South Africa and the United States and post-event surveys in Belgium, Britain and Switzerland. It said the aim was to reduce the length of the Diamond League meetings to fit a 90-minute international broadcast window. There will be 12 disciplines staged at each of the 15 Diamond League meetings with the season beginning in Doha on April 17. The 200m will in fact still be in the programme at 10 of the 15 Diamond League meetings and the discus and the triple jump will be contested at two meetings. Triple jump, discus and the 3,000m steeplechase ranked “towards the bottom” in the research conducted, the IAAF said in a statement.
Turkish Airlines Open- Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma finished with back-to-back birdies to salvage a round that seemed to be getting out of hand after the first 10 holes in the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on Thursday. Sharma, playing the Maxx Montgomerie course for the first time, mixed five birdies with two bogeys and a double bogey for a one-under 71. Sharma was Tied-37th alongside Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger and former Masters champion Patrick Reed. Englishman Tom Lewis and Austrian Matthias Schwab carded a superb seven-under 65 each to share the lead with American David Lipsky, Belgian Thomas Pieters and Swede Alex Noren at six-under 66 each. Justin Rose, the double defending champion, two-under for the front nine and hit two bogeys on either side of an eagle on par-5 11th to be two-under at that stage. He finished in style with a trio of birdies to reach five-under 67 and was Tied-sixth alongside 2016 Masters winner Danny Willett. Shane Lowry carded 72 despite missing three putts inside three feet, something he said he has not done the entire year during which he won the Open Championship. Sharma needs to get to about 70-72 to play next week in the second of three-leg Final Series. Next week’s event is the Nedbank Challenge tot be followed by the DP World Tour Championships for which only Top-50 on Race to Dubai points will qualify. At the start of his week, Sharma was 81st.
Thai Open- Rookie Aadil Bedi fired a bogey-free five-under 66 to lie two shots behind the leader, Thai amateur Natthaphat Harnchokchaiskul (64), at the end of the first day of USD 300,000 Thailand Open Chachoengsao, Thailand on Thursday. Bedi, whose best Asian Tour finish has been fourth at the recent Classic Golf and Country Club International in September, birdied each of the three Par-5s at the Thai Country Club. He had five birdies, one on the front nine and four on back nine, including three in last five holes. Bedi was the best Indian, while veteran SSP Chawrasia and in-form Ajeetesh Sandhu recorded three-under 68 each to be tied 12th. The 19-year-old Natthaphat, playing his first Asian Tour event, is one of the 10 amateurs in the field, and stole the show with a solid seven-under-par 64 to grab a one-shot lead over fellow Thai Phachara Khongwatmai (65).
Hero WPG- Ridhima Dilawari, who has already won three times this season, opened up a massive six-shot lead with one more round to go in the 14th Leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour in Noida on Thursday. Overnight co-leader Ridhima, who was one of the four players to shoot a sub-par round on the first day, was the only one of them to repeat the effort, as she brought home 71 to go with her first round 69 and get to four-under 140 in the Rupees Eight lakh event. Amandeep Drall, the only other player to shoot under par in the second round, added 71 to her first round 75 to leap to 146 and sole second place. Meanwhile, Diksha Dagar, who shared the first-round lead with Ridhima, suffered a severe reversal of form with six bogeys and no birdies as her 78 saw her fall to three-over 147 and third place. Gaurika Bishnoi, the leader on the Hero Order of Merit, was also unable to land any birdies as she had three bogeys and a double on the Par-4 12th hole for a 77 that saw her at four-over 148 and fourth place. Tvesa Malik, the other player apart from Ridhima with three wins this season, did have two birdies, but she also gave away six bogeys and a double bogey. Her back nine was a nightmare with four bogeys and a double on the Par-5 14th as she dropped to fifth place at five-over 149. In the final round, Ridhima will play with Diksha Dagar and Amandeep Drall, and unless there is a big change in fortunes, Ridhima is looking good to win her fourth title of the season.