Indian sports News- October 16th

October 16, 2019

Hockey, Kabaddi, Football, Cricket, Lawn TennisPV Sindhu

Bytes: Pro Kabaddi League, Vijay Hazare Trophy, ODI Rankings, Nigeria WC, Dutch Open, Ankita Raina, Davis Cup, Ningbo Challenge, Australian Open Broadcast, Sultan of Johor Cup, Denmark Open, WC Qualifiers, Real Kashmir FC goes down against Chennaiyin FC, India wins SAFF U-15

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:

Vijay Hazare- Mumbai opener Yashaswi Jaiswal became the youngest cricketer to score a double century when the 17-year-old hit a 153-ball 203 against Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy Group A encounter at the Alur Cricket Stadium III in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The opener, who has now scored three centuries in five group matches in the tournament, took control of the proceedings once Mumbai skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and chose to bat. Mumbai opener Yashaswi Jaiswal became the youngest cricketer to score a double century when the 17-year-old hit a 153-ball 203 against Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy Group A encounter at the Alur Cricket Stadium III in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The opener, who has now scored three centuries in five group matches in the tournament, took control of the proceedings once Mumbai skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and chose to bat.

ODI Rankings- Injured India opener Smriti Mandhana lost her top-spot in the International One-day International rankings after being toppled by New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite in the batting charts. Mandhana, who has 755 points, slipped to the second spot after she missed India’s recently concluded ODI series against South Africa due to injury. The 23-year-old suffered a fracture on her toe after being struck by a ball during a net session before the start of the ODI series against South Africa, which India won 3-0. Among others batters, skipper Mithali Raj moved down to the seventh spot while her Harmanpreet Kaur rose in the rankings to occupy the 17th place. In the bowlers’ rankings, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey and Poonam Yadav moved down to be placed sixth, eighth and ninth respectively. Among the all-rounders, Deepti Sharma has moved down to the third spot while Shikha Pandey broke into the top-10.

Nigeria WC Qualifiers- When Ademola Onikoyi was a teenager he struggled to explain to his friends why he would leave football games early to go to cricket practice. Reaching this far is a huge step up for Africa’s most populous nation as it edges closer than ever before to a major international tournament. The Nigerian side recognises it is lucky just to be in the UAE ahead of its opening game against Jersey on October 19. The squad only got through to this stage after the International Cricket Council suspended Zimbabwe in July over government interference in the game. The team of amateurs – students and businessmen – is the lowest ranked side at the qualifiers and faces overwhelming odds to reach the World Cup in Australia next year.

Ningbo Challenger- The top Indian singles tennis players were in action this week across the ATP Challenger and International Tennis Federation circuit. India No 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who is back on court after almost a month, beat Max Purcell 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Ningbo Challenger in China. The top seed had a bye in the first round. The Indian is also teaming up with Vishnu Vardhan to play doubles, where compatriot Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and partner Adil Shamasdin were beaten by Alex Bolt and Matt Reid 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. Meanwhile, India No 1 in women’s singles Ankita Raina started her campaign at the $100K ITF event in Suzhou, China with a good 6-1, 6-1 win over eighth seed Valeria Savinykh. However Ramkumar Ramanathan had a poor run, going down in his first match of both singles and doubles at the Ismaning Challenger in Germany.

Davis Cup- The All India Tennis Association on Tuesday decided to begin the process to procure Pakistan visas for its players and support staff, indicating that they may send a team nation for next month’s Davis Cup tie in case the International Tennis Federation rejects its request to move the matches to a neutral venue. It is reported that the AITA won’t force any player to travel to Pakistan and is willing to send even a second-string team to avoid suspension, relegation and a fine by the International Tennis Federation. If the ITF moves the tie to a neutral venue, all top players are expected to make themselves available except Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who is getting married on November 29. The tie was originally scheduled to be held in Islamabad on September 14-15 but was postponed to November 29-30 by the ITF after a security review. The AITA is consistently writing to the world governing body to shift the tie to a neutral venue, citing security concerns.

Australian Open Broadcast- Tennis Australia announced on Tuesday that they have extended their partnership with Sony Pictures Networks for the broadcast and digital rights for the Australian Open for the next three years in India. The broadcast will be on a minimum of two English language television channels, along with streaming of all 16 match courts on their video on demand service, SonyLIV, it was announced at the official Australian Open 2020 media launch. This will be the first time that Sony will stream the video feeds from all 16 courts on the app. Select matches will also be broadcast in Hindi during the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season held in January every year. Crucially, the tournament’s media team told that the live streaming of all courts are likely to be available only on paid subscription in the streaming app. This would mean that the live streaming that was available on the official site of the Australian Open will no longer continue from 2020. The Major Down Under is the only Grand Slam of tennis that is broadcast on the Sony Network, with the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open being shown on Star Sports.

Sultan of Johor Cup- India went down to Japan 3-4 in a high octane game for their first loss at the ongoing Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia on Tuesday. It was Japan who took an early lead in the game, their very first attack earning them a first Penalty Corner. From the resultant drag flick, Wataru Matsumoto converted to give them the lead in Johor Bahru. India didn’t let their heads drop though, and almost drew themselves level with a penalty corner of their own in the third minute. But, Pratap Lakra’s effort was saved by Takumi Kitagawa. India’s attacking efforts were constant and through the first quarter they were a threat going forward, but were unable to apply the finishing touch to their play. At the back, Prashant Chauhan pulled off a succession of great saves right at the death to ensure India went into the break down by just one goal. India will face Australia in their next round robin league-stage match on Wednesday.

Denmark Open- World Champion PV Sindhu made an impressive start to her campaign at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament, claiming a straight-games win over Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the women’s singles competition in Odense on Tuesday. Fifth seed Sindhu, who had made early exits in China and Korea, got back her bearing as she overcame former World Junior Champion Gregoria 22-20, 21-18 in 38 minutes to keep her 5-0 record intact against the Indonesian. The Olympic silver medallist will now face Korea’s An Se Young next. World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth also made it to the second round beating the legendary Lin Dan 21-14, 21-17 in a 35-minute opening round clash. The five-time world champion has been out of form lately and is, in fact, ranked six places lower than Sai Praneeth. This was the Indian’s first win over Lin Dan in three attempts.

Dutch Open- With a first-ever BWF World tour title pushing him closer to top-50, Dutch Open champion Lakshya Sen says he will look to put up a good show in the remainder of the season to break into the world’s top-30. The 18-year-old on Sunday clinched the Dutch Open title, beating Yusuke Onodera of Japan 15-21, 21-14, 21-15 in the summit clash. Sen will play the Saarlorlux Open Super 100 (Oct 29-Nov 3) next, before participating in two International Challenge events at the Irish Open (November 13-16) and Scottish Open (Nov 21-24). He will also play the Syed Modi International Super 300 (Nov 26-Dec 1).

WC Qualifiers- Adil Khan saved India’s blushes with a late equaliser against Bangladesh on Tuesday in Kolkata as the Blue Tigers’ hopes of earning their first win at the ongoing 2022 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers were thwarted by a sturdy Bangladesh performance. Khan’s 88th-minute goal helped India level the score 1-1 after Bangladesh had taken the lead through Saad Uddin in the 42nd minute. The result does neither side any favours in terms of their position in the standings as they remain winless in Group E. Despite looking the likelier side to score when the referee blew for full-time, India were largely lacklustre on the night. In the opening quarter, right-back Rahul Bheke came close to conceding a penalty to the visitors twice but the referee waved away the worthy appeals on both occasions. India take on Afghanistan on November 14th in their next match.

SAFF U-15- India beat Bangladesh 5-3 via penalty shoot-out to win the Saff U-15 Women’s Championship title after the summit clash ended goal-less in the regulation time in Thimphu on Tuesday. India made a strong start to the game as they looked to take the early initiative. Priyanka Sujeesh orchestrated the attacks from the middle of the park, while Amisha Baxla looked lively from the right flank. Bangladesh, on the other hand, looked to hit India on the counter. They almost succeeded when forward Sapna Rani was played through behind the India defence with only goalkeeper Adrija Sarkhel to beat. The Indian goalkeeper, however, rushed out of her line to avert the danger. Amisha Baxla and Lynda Kom Serto combined to create a couple of chances, but the Bangladesh keeper foiled them. Sunita looked lively down the right for India for the remainder of the match but it ended with the two teams deadlocked. Goalkeeper Adrija Sarkhel stepped up in the dreaded penalties to save Bangladesh’s first spot-kick. Indian captain Shilky Devi slotted home from the final spot kick to hand her side 5-3 win.

Pre-season friendly- Indian Super League team Chennaiyin FC cruised to a 4-0 victory over I-League side Real Kashmir FC in its final pre-season friendly at Chennai on Monday. Romanian winger Dragos Firtulescu scored a goal in each half, with two other foreign signings Andre Schembri and Rafael Crivellaro also getting on the scoresheet. Dhanpal Ganesh started alongside Afghan midfielder Masih Saighani in midfield, with Thoi Singh and Dragos on the wings, as Brazilian Rafael supported Schembri. CFC began brightly and took the lead just after the opening ten minutes from a delightful Dragos free-kick. The Romanian, felled just outside the box on the left flank, stepped up himself and curled it into the top corner out of the RKFC keeper’s reach. Chennaiyin added a second in as many minutes, this time Dragos turning provider. Dhanpal Ganesh won the ball in the middle with a crunching header, finding the new CFC No 10 in space. He looked up and slid in the perfect through ball for Andre Schembri, the Maltese taking a touch before firing it low past the keeper to make it 2-0. Real Kashmir did come close with a couple of shots from distance, but that was all they could conjure up in the first half. CFC begins its ISL-6 campaign against FC Goa in Goa on October 23.

Pro Kabaddi League- Pawan Sehrawat did the star turn as defending champions Bengaluru Bulls outwitted UP Yoddha 48-45 after extra time in the first eliminator to qualify for the semi-finals of the Pro Kabaddi in Ahmedabad on Monday. Star raider Pawan secured 20 raid points as the Bulls fought their way back to set up a semi-final clash with Dabang Delhi. The UP side dominated the early minutes of a fiercely-contested first-half as Bengaluru struggled to get a stranglehold. Bulls’ attack, heavily reliant on Pawan once again, with Rohit Kumar starting in the bench, struggled against well-organised Yoddha defence led by captain Nitesh Kumar.

In another match of the day U Mumba produced an all-round performance to thump Haryana Steelers 46-38 in the second eliminator match of Pro Kabaddi League in Ahmedabad on Monday. Raiders Abhishek Singh (16 points) and Arjun Deshwal (15 points) impressed for the season two champions who outperformed Haryana in all departments to book a semi-final date against Bengal Warriors. A closely contested first half saw both teams trade blows in the initial minutes. Arjun Deshwal, returning from an injury, looked back to be in his best shape, as he picked up crucial raid points for the Mumbai side while at the other side Haryana’s raiding trio of Vikas Kandola, Prashanth Kumar Rai and Vinay picked up multi-point raids.

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