Indian sports News- October 3rd

October 3, 2019

Cricket, Chess, Lawn Tennis, Wrestling, Hockey, Boxing, Gymnastics, AthleticsRohit

Bytes: Youth Chess Championship, Mayank Aggarwal 200, SAvsIndia T20I, Hampi wins, PU Chitra improves her NR, PakvsSL, Ben Stokes wins, WFI sacks coach, Pro Kabaddi League- Playoffs, IPL, Vijay Hazare Trophy, India draw 4th match with Britain, China Open, Artistic World Championship, Boxing World Championship

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:

IndiavsSA– India’s Mayank Agarwal scored a splendid double-century against South Africa on day two of the first Test in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. The right-hander took 358 balls to get to the milestone and helped his team gain firm control of the match. The 28-year-old opener did brilliantly to convert his first international hundred into a double, hardly putting a foot wrong in his innings that lasted almost two days. Agarwal was eventually dismissed for 215 runs off 371 balls after hitting a full-toss from part-time spinner Dean Algar to Dane Piedt at deep mid-wicket. He struck fours and sixes in his highly-entertaining knock. India got to 450/5 from 124 overs at Tea on day two. Agarwal and Rohit Sharma had put on 317 runs for the first wicket – India’s highest stand for any wicket against the Proteas – before the latter was out for 176 off 244. The opening pair tore into the opposition bowling after the hosts resumed on 202 for no loss. Agarwal moved from his overnight 84 to complete his maiden Test hundred in his fifth match with a single off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj early in the morning session.

IndvsSA T20I– It was Deepti Sharma in the first match, and Poonam Yadav in the third as India marked the return of cricket to Surat after two washouts with another spin-to-win performance. Unlike the first match, though, India’s batting also came to the party with Shafali Verma scoring an entertaining 46, followed by useful cameos from the middle order. The result, of that and some uncharacteristically poor fielding by South Africa, was an above-par score for India (140/4) in a match which was reduced to 17 overs due to some work needed on the outfield. And then the spinners came to the fore. Poonam Yadav claimed three wickets as India registered a convincing 51-run win over South Africa in the third women’s T20I to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series in Surat on Tuesday. The 15-year-old Verma, who was dismissed for a four-ball duck on her debut in the opening match, laid the foundation for a good total with a chance-filled 33-ball 46, while Jemimah Rodrigues (33) provided the finishing touches, scoring a 22-ball 33.

India and South Africa will play an additional Twenty20 International match on Thursday evening to compensate for the two matches that were abandoned in Surat.The two boards have agreed to replace one of the two washed-out matches in the current T20 series with another match, according to a press release sent by Cricket South Africa. This means that Thursday’s match will be the fourth T20I while Friday’s fifth match stands as it is. It also means that India have not clinched the series as yet, as they had a 2-0 lead after winning the rain-curtailed last match on Tuesday. They still have an unassailable lead though after the 51-run win in the overs a side match.

IPL– Former India cricketer Anil Kumble is in talks with Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab to be their head coach, according to a report by Mumbai Mirror. The Mohali side finished sixth in IPL 2019 and are in search of their first title of the T20 tournament. KXIP, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore are the only three teams part of the tournament since its first season to have not won the title even once. Kings XI owners Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia and Preity Zinta are likely to meet Kumble in the coming days and discuss the future course of action for the team. Kumble was coach of the Indian cricket team from 2016 to 2017, with the side winning series’ against New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh and England at home, apart from reaching the final of Champions Trophy. The 48-year-old has also been mentor of RCB and Mumbai Indians in the past, with MI winning the IPL trophy in 2013 and 2015 during his stint with them. Kumble has competition from Andy Flower and Darren Lehmann for the job of KXIP head coach. The franchise is looking at George Bailey as batting coach for the next IPL season.

PakvsSL– Pakistan thwarted a spirited career-best century by Danushka Gunathilaka to defeat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the third and final one-day international in Karachi on Wednesday, taking the three-match series in the process. Gunathilaka’s 134-ball 133 lifted Sri Lanka to a challenging 297-9 in their 50 overs but Pakistan chased down the target in 48.2 overs for their first series win in 15 months. Pakistan won the second match by 67 runs while the first match was rained off without a ball being bowled – both also in Karachi. Pakistan were indebted to Fakhar Zaman (76) and Abid Ali (74) who provided a solid 123-run opening stand in 20 overs before Haris Sohail (56) and Iftikhar Ahmed chipped in with a 22-ball 28 not out. Pakistan needed 37 in the last five overs as Iftikhar cut loose, hitting a six and a boundary to bring up victory – Pakistan’s eighth consecutive ODI win over Sri Lanka since 2017. Sohail and Iftikhar hit three fours and a six apiece. The two teams will now play three Twenty20 internationals – all in Lahore – on October 5, 7 and 9.

Vijay Hazare Trophy– Skipper Manish Pandey and opener KL Rahul starred with the bat as Karnataka defeated Chhattisgarh by 79 runs in their Elite Group A match of the Vijay Hazare trophy in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Put into bat first at M Chinnaswamy stadium, Karnataka rode on Rahul’s 81 runs and an unbeaten 142 by Pandey. It was a Rahul and Pandey show all the way, as the duo hammered the Chhattisgarh bowlers. Karnataka posted a competittive 285/7 in their 50 overs, and managed to bundle out the opposition for 206 in 44 overs. Karnataka lost opener Devdutt Padikkal (8) and Karun Nair (1) quickly. But Rahul and Pandey had other plans, as they conjured up a solid 150-run stand for the third wicket.

Brief scores: Karnataka 285/7 (Manish Pandey 142 not out, KL Rahul 81; Pankaj Rao 2/60) beat Chhattisgarh 206 all out (Amandeep Khare 43, Shashank Chandrakar 42; M Prasidh Krishna 3-31) by 79 runs. Karnataka 4 points, Chhattisgarh 0 points.

Saurashtra 298/3 (Samarth Vyas 124 not out, V Jadeja 82; Manish Golamaru 1-40) beat Andhra 145 all out (Karan Shinde 52, Shoaib Khan 35; Jaydev Unadkat 3-18). Saurashtra 4 points, Andhra 0 points.

Jharkhand 258/5 in 36 overs (Kumar Deobrat 54, Saurabh Tiwari 49; Sandeep Warrior 3-33) beat Kerala 253 all out (Sachin Baby 60, Vishnu Vinod 56; Anukul Roy 4-31, Utkarsh Singh 4-38) by five runs. Jharkhand 4 points, Kerala 0 points.

CA Awards- England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been voted Players’ Player of the Year at the Professional Cricketers’ Association awards. Stokes played a starring role in England’s first 50-over World Cup triumph, culminating in his dynamic player of the match display in their dramatic final win against New Zealand in July. The 28-year-old then repeated his heroics with a superb match-winning 135 not out in the third Ashes Test against Australia. While Australia retained the Ashes, England finished the series with a creditable draw. Durham’s Stokes was honoured on Wednesday for those achievements by scooping the Reg Hayter Cup ahead of fellow nominees Simon Harmer, Ryan Higgins and Dom Sibley.

IndvsGB- The Indian women’s hockey team tasted its first defeat of England tour when they went down 1-3 to Great Britain in the fourth match in Marlow, England on Wednesday. Great Britain took an early lead through Hannah Martin (5th minute) but India’s Neha Goyal (18th) scored the equalizer. However, a goal before half-time from Charlotte Watson (29th), and one in the last quarter through Giselle Ansley (50th) meant that Great Britain secured their first win of the tour, snapping India’s unbeaten run in the last three matches of the tour. World No 9 India had notched up a 2-1 win in the first match, before drawing the next two games 1-1 and 0-0 respectively. The hosts dominated possession in the early stages and won their first Penalty Corner in just the 3rd minute, but India’s goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu produced a fine save to deny the hosts early on. India will play Great Britain in their fifth and final match of the Tour on Friday.

WFI Coach- The Wrestling Federation of India has sacked men’s freestyle coach Hossein Karimi just six months into his tenure, claiming that the Iranian brought with himself a VIP culture which cannot be followed in the country. Karimi’s contract was to run till the Tokyo Olympics. The Iranian was handed his termination notice on Wednesday. “He was following a VIP culture and it was increasingly becoming difficult to cope with his demands. We have intimated SAI about this. We are looking for a new coach,” said WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar. Asked to elaborate on the issues that the WFI was facing while dealing with Karimi, Tomar explained that he could never develop a bond with either the coaches or the wrestlers. “He always had one or other complaint or rather demand. He refused to stay at the Sports Authority of India complex where the national camp is held, so we had to hire a flat near the SAI centre for him. We had to hire a car for him every time he had to travel in India. Karimi was hired at a monthly salary of $3500 but WFI said the expenses stood at $5000 due to his additional demands. Another major concern for WFI was Karimi’s lack of camaraderie even with his wards.

Fide Women’s GP- India’s Koneru Humpy has jumped to world No 3 in the latest rankings released by the International Chess Federation. The 32-year-old from Andhra Pradesh made a brilliant comeback after a two-year hiatus to win the Fide women’s Grand Prix tournament held in Skolkovo in Russia recently. Grandmaster Humpy accumulated 17 ELO points to rise to the third spot with a global rating of 2,577. Humpy had taken a break of two years to take care of her newborn daughter Ahana. Chinese players Hou Yifan (2,659 points) and Ju Wenjun (2,586 points) occupied the first and second spots in the latest ranking. In the Open section, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand is ranked ninth with 2,765 points, while reigning world champion Norwegian Magnus Carlsen continued to hold on to the No 1 spot with 2,876 points.

World Youth Chess- India began their campaign in the World Youth Chess Championship 2019 on a thumping note, with Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa, Woman Candidate Master Mrudul Dehankar and Woman International Master Divya Deshmukh scoring emphatic victories in round one in Mumbai on Wednesday. Fourteen-year-old prodigy Praggnanandhaa, who has opted to play in the Under-18 category, beat Italy’s Botta Massimiliano in 35 moves. Mrudul, India’s top player in U-16 Girls, had it far easier, overcoming Kristyn Otrubova of Czech Republic in 19 moves. Mrudul started the game with her king’s pawn while Kristyn opted for the Sicilian Defence. Mrudul pounced on a couple of inaccuracies on moves 12 and 13 to take charge of the board. Six moves later, Kristyn had no option but to resign.

World Championships- The Indian team selection for the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships that start on Thursday in Ulan-Ude, Russia was far from a straightforward affair with the Boxing Federation of India canceling the 51kg category trials at the last minute and directly selecting six-time gold medallist Mary Kom to represent the country. It led to her closest challenger Nikhat Zareen crying foul and alleging favouritism. It is true that the former world junior champion hasn’t beaten the 36-year-old veteran during their past bouts and would have been an underdog even during the trials, but the BFI’s explanation that the London Olympics bronze medallist deserved the chance due to her past credentials was difficult to swallow. There is no doubt that 36-year-old Mary Kom is India’s most decorated boxer having won six world championship titles with the last one coming a year before on home turf. But what the federation conveniently overlooked while arguing about her past credentials was the fact that all those titles came in either 45kg or 48kg weight category, while the selection was for the 51kg category. Yes, Mary Kom had bagged the London Olympics bronze medal in the same weight category and even an Asian Games medal in 2014. But since then, she had failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Games and hardly fought in that weight category till a year back.
Even Neeraj (57kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Saweety Boora (75kg) would be aiming to earn a direct berth for China. Former world champion Sarita Devi has a relatively tough draw as she will face the likes of Julieth Dayana Cordero of Colombia, eighth seed Shoira Zulkaynarova and second seed Sudaporn Seedondee in the lower half of the draw.

Pro Kabaddi League- U Mumba sealed their place in the playoffs of the Pro Kabaddi League with a 30-26 win over Patna Pirates in Panchkula on Wednesday. In the second match of the day, Bengaluru Bulls raider Pawan Sehrawat created the record for the most points scored in a single game of the league, breaking Pardeep Narwal’s landmark. Sehrawat collected a sensational 39 points from 38 attempted raids to power his side into the playoffs with a 59-36 win over Haryana Steelers. He bettered Narwal’s 34 raid points score in a match. Sehrawat also crossed 600 raid points in the league. In the first match, U Mumba skipper Sultan Fazel Atrachali remained rock solid in defence yet again as the captain led from the front to neutralise Patna’s Pardeep Narwal with a strong performance at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex. U Mumba started the first half brightly with the defence taking an aggressive stance from the first minute. Fazel Atrachali set the tone early with double thigh hold tackle on Narwal in the very first minute of the match.

World Artistic Championship- A medal may be a challenge for the Indian contingent without an injured Dipa Karmakar as they face an uphill task at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships beginning in Stuttgart, Germany on Friday. The only Indian to have ever qualified for Olympics, Karmakar remains the country’s top gymnast but is out of the tournament after failing to recover from a nagging knee injury. In her absence, the onus will be on Pranati Nayak, Pranati Das and Aruna Budda Reddy to make an impact in the women’s category after they were selected in the six-member Indian team last month. Pranati Nayak has won a bronze in vault at the Senior Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Mongolia earlier this year, while Reddy claimed bronze at 2018 Gymnastics World Cup. But the World Championships will be a different ball scenario where even reaching the finals has proved to be a difficult task for Indian gymnasts in the past. In the men’s section, the focus will be on 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Ashish Kumar, while the team will also have Yogeshwar Singh and Aditya Singh Rana.

World Championship- Asian Champion PU Chitra ran her personal best in the women’s 1500m first round heats at the World Athletics Championships in Doha on Wednesday but that was not sufficient to advance further in the event. The Kerala athlete ran 4:11.10 seconds, to better her earlier personal best of 4:11.55, and finished eighth in heat number two. But the overall pace of the heat was significantly slower than the other two. The top six in each of the three heats and the next six fastest qualify for the semi-finals, which meant none of the runners in Chitra’s heat who finished outside the top six were eligible to progress. Chitra’s timing was 30th overall out of 35 runners championships, even if she managed to shave more than a second off her best effort this season before the Worlds (4:12.65). The 24-year-old Chitra had won the Asian Championships gold on the same tracks in April with a time of 4:14.56. Her earlier personal best was during the National Inter-State Championships in Guwahati last year. Hassan Sifan of the Netherlands, who has already won the 10,000m gold in this championships, led the time charts among the semi-final qualifiers with 4:03.88. Chitra was the only Indian in action on Wednesday in Doha.

China Open- Andy Murray expressed disappointment about crowds at the China Open tennis, where some of the best players in the world have competed in front of swathes of empty seats. Poor attendances have been in the sporting headlines because of sparse turn-out at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. And at the ongoing China Open in Beijing, the biggest matches have played out to rows of unoccupied seats at the cavernous Diamond Court, the main arena. “I think as the tournament goes on you tend to get better crowds towards the end of the week,” Murray said after his last-16 match on Wednesday. “Last couple of days in terms of atmosphere it’s been not as good as you would like,” added the former number one, 32, who is on the comeback trail from career-saving hip surgery.

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