Indian sports News- October 5thOctober 5, 2019
Bytes: Sumit Nagal SF, Tennis National, China Open, Boxing Men Nationals, Vijay Hazare Trophy, IndvsSA Test, IndvsSA T20I, Hardik Pandya Injury, Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Open, World Youth Chess Championship, NBA in India, Women Boxing 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:
ATP Challenger- India’s Sumit Nagal continued his fine form on Friday by reaching the men’s singles semi-finals of the $54,160 ATP Challenger event in Campinas, Brazil. The 22-year-old is having a fine run on the South American clay courts at the moment. He won the ATP Challenger event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week with a straight-sets victory against Facundo Bagnis in the final. In Campinas this week, Nagal has gone from strength to strength. The right-hander had it easy in his opening round match as his opponent withdrew midway through the first set. In the round of 16, the 135-ranked Indian defeated Orlando Luz 7-5, 6-3. In the quarter-final on Friday, Nagal got the better of Francisco Cerundolo with a hard-fought 7-6, 7-5 victory. He will now face Juan Pablo Ficovich in the semi-final on Saturday. Nagal shot to the limelight earlier this year when he took the first set off 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in their opening round match at the US Open. This has been an impressive year for the youngster and he isn’t done yet.
Nationals- Aryan Goveas registered a comfortable straight set victory to enter his first men’s singles final of the Fenesta Open, the National Hard Court Tennis Championship on Friday. Aryan will now take on top seed Nikki Poonacha, who defeated former champion Dalwinder Singh in the second semi-final. In the women’s singles, Sowjanya Bavisetti and Prerna Bhambri emerged victorious in their respective semi-finals and will lock horns with each other in the final on Saturday. Goveas, the second seed from Mumbai played solid tennis and mixed up his shots to defeat Kunal Anand 6-2 6-4. In the men’s doubles final, Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash and Ishaque Eqbal got a walk over from runners-up Nikki Poonacha and Prajwal Dev.
China Open- Ashleigh Barty will meet Caroline Wozniacki or Naomi Osaka in the China Open final after the world No 1 squeezed through in three tense sets against Kiki Bertens on Saturday. The Australian committed 52 unforced errors but still just about emerged victorious, saving match point in a nervy 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7) victory in Beijing. The 23-year-old Barty looked all set to rush into Sunday’s final and dominated the first set against the shell-shocked Bertens. But the 27-year-old Dutchwoman struck back to win the second set of their semi-final by the same 6-3 scoreline and took the match to a decider. They went with serve until the fifth game of the third set, when Bertens, ranked eighth in the world, profited from another Barty error to go a break up. Bertens though lost her nerve when serving for the match, the momentum swinging back in Barty’s favour. Barty went down 3-1 in the tiebreak, but overcame the deficit to seal the victory. Title-holder Wozniacki and reigning Australian Open champion Osaka play their semi-final later Saturday.
SAvsIND- Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara took India to a second innings lead of 246 on day four of the opening Test against South Africa on Saturday. Sharma and Pujara put on 154 runs for the second wicket to frustrate South Africa after the loss of opener Mayank Agarwal for seven. The hosts were 175 for one at tea with Sharma on 84 and Pujara on 75. Sharma, who made 176 in India’s first innings of 502/7 declared, survived a reprieve on 50 when he was caught at the boundary rope off Dane Piedt. Replays indicated that fielder Senuran Muthusamy’s foot had touched the rope however. Pujara matched his partner’s attacking play with a string of boundaries off spinner Keshav Maharaj. Maharaj struck before lunch with the wicket of Agarwal, who hit 215 in the first innings, but the bowlers failed to make further inroads. Earlier India’s off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin completed a haul of seven wickets as South Africa were bowled out for 431 in the morning session. Ashwin got overnight batsman Maharaj out for nine and then trapped Kagiso Rabada, leaving the Proteas 71 runs behind. Muthusamy made an unbeaten 33 after South Africa resumed on 385 for eight.
IndiavsSA T20I- The T20I international series against South Africa in Surat started with the Indian women in the middle of their worst losing streak in the history of the shortest format. Considering that, a 3-1 series win (with the sole defeat coming in the sixth and final T20I) is, on paper, a much-needed boost for Harmanpreet Kaur’s young side. Having lost all the matches starting from the World T20 2018 semi-final, the Indian side did well to open their account in T20Is for the year but, with less than five months for the World Cup, familiar concerns remain.
Hardik Pandya surgery- India’s first choice all-rounder Hardik Pandya underwent a successful surgery in London for an acute lower-back injury that may force him out of action for a longer period. “Surgery done successfully. Extremely grateful to everyone for your wishes. Will be back in no time! Till then miss me,” Hardik posted a message with a picture on his social media accounts on Saturday. Hardik is expected to be out of action for five months. The Baroda all-rounder is the second key member in the Indian after premier speedster Jasprit Bumrah, who has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series against South Africa due to stress fracture in his lower back.
Vijay Hazare Trophy- India pacer Navdeep Saini claimed three wickets as Delhi defeated Baroda by 10-runs in a rain-curtailed Elite Group B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, India’s domestic one-day tournament, in Vadodara on Friday. The match was delayed due to wet outfield and was eventually reduced to a 38-over-a-side affair at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Put in to bat, Delhi were bundled out for 148 in 37.4 overs, as Nitish Rana top-scored with a 42-ball 27. Anuj Rawat and Manan Sharma chipped in with 21 and 18 runs respectively. Senior batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who is returning to the Delhi side, was the first to depart for 7. For Baroda, captain Krunal Pandya starred with the ball returning with figures of 4/34, while Atit Sheth picked up two wickets, including that of Dhawan, giving away 41 runs. Chasing a revised target of 139, Baroda were folded for 128 in 33.2 overs, thanks to a disciplined effort by the Delhi bowlers. Speedster Saini picked up three wickets, while left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya and spinner Pawan Negi took two wickets each.
World Championships- Jamuna Boro gave India’s campaign a solid start at the World Women’s Boxing Championships by advancing to the pre-quarterfinals in the 54kg category on Friday in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Boro defeated Mongolia’s Michidmaa Erdenedalai 5-0, recovering from a slow start for a resounding victory. The 22-year-old, employed with Assam Rifles, has a tough bout next up as she will square off against Algeria’s fifth-seeded Ouidad Sfouh in the pre-quarterfinals. Sfouh had won a gold in the 2017 World Championships and was given a first-round bye. Boro, a debutant at the event, took her time to warm up but once she got going, the Assamese pugilist dominated Erdenedalai with her combination punches and her jabs connected particularly well. The Indian was unstoppable in the final three minutes of the bout and thoroughly out-punched Erdenedalai. On Saturday, former national champion Neeraj (57kg) and Saweety Boora (75kg), a ex-silver-winner at the event, will be in action for India. While Neeraj will face China’s Qiao Jieru, Saweety will face Mongolia’s Myagmarjargal Munkhbat in the opening round. The ongoing edition features 224 boxers from 57 countries. India’s best performance at the showpiece was back in 2006 when the country won eight medals, including four gold.
Men’s Nationals- Maharashtra’s Rohit Chavan defeated Bengal’s Mazhar Hussain in an exciting 60kg kg bout on the opening day of the fourth Elite Men’s Boxing National Championship Baddi, Himachal Pradesh on Friday. A total of 36 bouts were held on the first day at Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology with more than 300 boxers from 39 teams participating in the championships. In other bouts, Services’ Vinod Tanwar (49kg) landed a string of power-packed punches on Tripura’s Sayan Lodhi which forced the referee to stop the contest in the first round itself. In the 52kg category, Delhi’s Siddharth Solanki displayed superb control and movement to defeat Chandigarh’s Mewa Singh 5-0 in the preliminaries. The most exciting bout of the day was between Rohit and Mazhar in 60kg. Both the boxers fought neck and neck throughout the three rounds but Rohit prevailed at the end with a 3-2 verdict. Among the other key bouts of the day, Haryana’s Sahil defeated Varun Phaartyal of Uttarakhand in the 60Kg category in a unanimous verdict. The fourth edition will witness some of India’s top boxers like World Championships medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg), Asian Championships silver medallist and local boy Ashish Kumar (75kg), World Youth champion Sachin Siwach (57kg), Makran Cup bronze medallist Rohit Tokas (75 kg) and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg).
NBA India Games- Some breath-taking basketball was on display in Mumbai’s NSCI Dome on Friday as Indiana Pacers edged past Sacramento Kings 132-131 in a thrilling contest, in what was National Basketball Association’s first ever game in India. It was also NBA’s first pre-season game ahead of the upcoming season. After the regulation time ended at 118-118, the match was decided in the extra five minutes when the Pacers, who were trailing throughout the match, went ahead for the first-time and managed to eke out a close win. For Kings, a two-pointer by Marvin Bagley (12 points) in the dying seconds of the game could not quite seal the deal. In the additional time, it was T Warren (30 points) took the lead for Pacers with a three-pointer to take his side 121-118 ahead, but the Kings bounced back with Harrison Barnes (21 points) grabbing two points. However, Domantas Sabons (21 points), with a two-pointer again, took the Pacers ahead 123-120. And once again it was Warren with a two-pointer took Pacers ahead, but the Kings came back but finally it was a lay-up shot by Sabons that sealed the game for his side. The second pre-season game of the tour will be played on Saturday, while the regular season begins in the USA on October 22.
NBA plans- Just half an hour before the start of National Basketball Association first pre-season game in India between Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, NBA commissioner Adam Silver arrived at a packed media conference room at the NSCI Indoor Stadium on Friday. During his introduction, Silver recalled a story from 2014 where Vivek Ranadive, owner of the Sacramento Kings, persuaded him to travel to Mumbai just before he was set to begin his term as NBA commissioner. Silver flew down to Mumbai with a delegation of Sacramento Kings officials that included Vlade Divac and a group from the NBA, including deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. He revealed having a discussion with Ranadive on the formation of a 12-team franchise league in India. They plan on following the footsteps of the Basketball Africa League (beginning in March 2020) where NBA hosted its first-ever exhibition game in the continent in 2015.
World Athletics Championship- India’s Avinash Sable qualified for Tokyo Olympics in men’s 3,000m steeplechase event by shattering his own national record for the second time in three days though he finished 13th in the final race of the World Championships here on Friday. Avinash clocked 8 minute 21.37 seconds to breach the Olympics qualifying standard of 8:22.00. He also bettered his own national record of 8:25.23 which he clocked on Tuesday during the first round heats. But the difference in class with the medal winners was evident as he finished far behind at 13th spot out of 15 who completed the race. Reigning Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya defended his 2017 title with a time of 8:01.35, more than 20 seconds faster than Avinash, while Lamecha Girma (8:01.36) of Ethiopia and Soufiane Bakkali (8:03.76) of Morocco took the silver and bronze respectively.
Later in the day, race-walker KT Irfan was nowhere near his own national mark and finished 27th in the 20km walk with a timing of 1:35:21 while Devendra Singh was nine places behind at 36. The 27-year-old Irfan, who has already qualified for Tokyo Games, was lagging behind in 30th spot at the halfway mark but managed to improve three positions. Devendra also did not have a good start and was in 46th position at the 5km mark and was always playing catch up. Of the 54 athletes on the start list, two did not start, five were disqualified and seven did not finish. Japan’s Toshikazu Yamanishi bagged the gold with a timing of 1:26:34 with Vasiliy Mizinov (1:26:49) and Sweden’s Perseus Karlstrom (1:27:00) took the silver and bronze respectively.
Indian Open- Amandeep Drall shot a fine two-under 70 in the second round to be the best placed Indian at tied eighth spot in the Hero Women’s Indian Open golf tournament in Delhi on Friday. Amandeep (72-70) now occupy the tied-eighth position with a total of two-under 142. Australian Whitney Hillier rode a roller coaster of a back nine, which she rounded off with two birdies at the very end to sneak ahead of everyone into the sole lead. Hillier, who shot five-under on the first day for a share of the lead, dropped to three-under at one stage but fought back superbly in the last seven holes to rise to the top at six-under and was one ahead of Marianne Skarpnord (68-71), who had the clubhouse lead for the most part of the day. First round co-leader Meghan MacLaren dropped back to shared third place alongside Linda Wessberg of Sweden at two-under 140. Three players including Christine Wolf (73-68) were tied-fifth at three-under 141. Amandeep, a consistent player on the domestic circuit, who has never had a top-10 finish in an LET event, finished her day with three birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th. With the cut falling at seven-over, 68 players made the weekend rounds and that included 10 Indians, four of them amateurs. Tvesa Malik (72-72) and Vani Kapoor (74-70) played steadily to make the cut and are tied-15th. Starting from the 10th, Tvesa was one-over for the back nine, her first nine, and one-under for the front nine of the course just like the first day. Also starting on 10th, Vani, sixth in 2017, was one-under for back nine and on the front stretch she had two birdies and one bogey.
The bravest Indian on the second day was Diksha Dagar (72-73), who started the day with a quadruple bogey. She hit the far right and went back to the tee and had a four-putt on the green for an eight. She fought back with three birdies on third, fourth and eighth. Again she dropped shots on 11th and 12th, only to birdie the 13th and 14th. Then Diksha saved an improbable par on the 18th hole after hitting into the water with the first shot. Her approach shot, which became her third shot, sailed over the water and curled along and found its way into the cup from 115 yards for a par. She is one-over 145 and tied-22nd. Gaurika Bishnoi (73-74) was tied-31st, while fast-rising amateur Anika Varma (76-72) and Astha Madan (73-75) were in shared 37th place at four-over 148. Amateurs Jahnavi Bakshi (74-76) and Pranavi Urs (71-79) were tied-51st at six-over 150. Yet another amateur Seher Atwal (74-77), studying in the US, just made the grade at seven-over 151.
Indian Federation- International Gymnastics Federation has asked the sport’s Indian governing body to get its electoral college for the November 3 elections approved by the Indian Olympic Association. The FIG said that the electoral college prepared by Gymnastic Federation of India will need its final approval but it will do so if vetted through the IOA. “In view of the upcoming elections of GFI authorities on November 3, 2019, and in order to ensure full coordination between GFI, Indian NOC and FIG to resolve the situation smoothly, we ask you to send rapidly the list of electoral college to the NOC president [with a copy to FIG] for prior consideration and approval,” FIG Secretary General Nicolas Buompane wrote in a letter to GFI president Sudhakar Shetty. “Once the NOC president has given consent, please send it to FIG for final approval. The electoral college will be definitively confirmed once approved by the NOC president and by the FIG,” the letter said. The FIG said that it intends to send a representative to the electoral college “to assist your national federation in this process and to supervise the elections”. “We do hope that the upcoming elections will definitively conclude the current long-term disputes and allow the GFI to resume its daily work in favour of the gymnasts and the development of gymnastics,” said the letter dated October 1. GFI has been mired in factionalism for some time with rival groups claiming the right to run the sport in the country. The faction led by Shetty is recognised by the FIG but does not have the Sports Ministry’s recognition.
Youth Championship- India’s top players enjoyed mixed luck in round four of the World Youth Chess Championship, with R Praggnanandhaa scoring a comfortable victory and P Iniyan eking out a tough draw even while Divya Deshmukh suffered an upset defeat in Mumbai on Friday. FIDE Master Srihari LR was the dark horse of the day, shocking top-seed FIDE Master Sreeshwan Maralakshikari in the Under-14 Open category. GMs Praggnanandhaa and Iniyan topped the points table in the Open Under-18 with 3.5 points each, along with IM Aryan Gholami of Iran. Praggnanandhaa, who had endured an exhausting draw in round three against IM Artur Davtyan of Armenia, recovered smartly to beat IM Nikoloz Petriashvili of Georgia. He opted for the King’s Pawn Opening, which was countered with the popular Sicilian-Defence by Davtyan. After a complex middle-game, the Indian swiftly outplayed him in the endgame in 40 moves to take home an important point. Iniyan, however, could not emulate Praggnanandhaa, but will be happy to have held firm against a higher-ranked Gholami. The country’s other hope and top seed in the Girls U14, IWM Divya Deshmukh, who also had to be content with a draw on Thursday night, suffered an upset defeat to slide down on the leader-board. She lost to Mongolia’s Woman Candidate Master Bat-Erdene Mungunzul. In a London System game, Divya failed to obtain any tangible counterplay even as Bat-Edene’S double bishops reigned supreme on the board. This led to a blunder by the Indian, leading to her resignation on move 45. Key results: Round four:
U18 Open: P Iniyan (IND; 3.5) drew with Aryan Gholami (IRI; 3.5); R Praggnanandhaa (Ind; 3.5) bt Nikoloz Petriashvili (GEOl 3); Valentin Buckels (GER; 3) drew with Shant Sargsyan (ARM; 3)
U18 Girls: Honorata Kucharska (POL; 3.5) drew with Polina Shuvalova (RUS; 3); Vantika Agrawal (IND; 3) drew with Assel Serikbay (KAZ; 3)
U16 Open: Sankalp Gupta (IND; 3) lost to Rudik Makarian (RUS; 4)
U16 Girls: Lakshmi C (IND; 3.0) lost to Leya Garifullina (RUS; 4.0); Nurgali Nazerke (KAZ; 4) bt Salonika Saina (IND; 3)
U14 Open: Srihari L R (IND; 4.0) beat Sreeshwan M. (IND; 3.0), Alex Colay (USA; 3.5) drew Aydin Suleymanli (AZE; 3.5)
U14 Girls: Dhyana Patel (IND; 3.5) drew Eline Roebers (NED; 3.5); Kurmangaliyeva Liya (KAZ; 3.5) drew Poliakova Varvara (BLR; 3.5).
Pro Kabaddi League- Vikas Kandola was once again the star for Haryana Steelers as he helped his side finished off their Pro Kabaddi League home leg with a thumping 52-32 victory over Telugu Titans in Panchkula on Friday. Kandola scored 13 raid points and Ravi Kumar picked up seven tackle points as Haryana dominated the match right from the first whistle till the end in front of a packed audience at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex. The result will soothe the hurt ego of the Steelers who were battered by the Bengaluru Bulls and Pawan Sehrawat in their previous encounter.
In the other match of the day, Deepak Narwal shone bright to guide Jaipur Pink Panthers to a 41-34 win over defending champions Bengaluru Bulls. Deepak scored 16 points and was supported in the raiding department by Nilesh Salunke (9 points) as Jaipur maintained an outside chance of qualifying for the season seven playoffs. Pawan Sehrawat secured yet another super 10 (14 points) but Bengaluru’s defence couldn’t match the Panthers on the night. The Jaipur team’s defence held firm in the final minute to clinch an all-out and an important victory.