Sethu FC turned around a first-half deficit to beat Manipur Police SC 3-1 and win the Indian Women's League trophy on Wednesday.
Sethu had more chances to score in the first half as they kept Manipur’s attackers in check and built on their swift counter-attacks to move the ball up the pitch quickly.
Their left winger Sandhiya looked lively in the opening exchanges, as she shot down the left flank to give a lot of trouble to Manipur’s defence. The India international had the first clear chance 10 minutes into the match, when she received the ball just inside the box and pulled the trigger. However, she scuffed her instep shot and it lacked any sting.
Radharani Devi then put Manipur Police in the lead towards the end of the first half. But an own goal by Umapati Devi brought Sethu back into the game. Later, Sethu FC’s Nepal international Sabitra Bhandari scored two goals to win it for the Madurai-based side.
After Sabitra’s brace, it was a matter of seeing out the Manipur attacks, a responsibility that Sethu defenders Ashalata Devi and Sweety Devi, and midfielders Sumithra, Ratanbala and Indumathi carried out perfectly.
India crashed out of the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championships after losing 0-5 to 10-time champions China in the second and final group match on Wednesday.
India put themselves in a tight spot after losing to Malaysia on Tuesday. That made their tie against China a must-win affair. Unfortunately for India, the Chinese shuttlers were just too good on the day.
The gap between India's mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy and the Chinese combination of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping was evident once again. The Indian pair lost 5-21 11-21 against the world no 2 pair to leave India trailing 0-1. Sameer Verma, whose straight-game loss to Lee Zii Jia proved to be crucial in the tie against Malaysia, once again took the court after Kidambi Srikanth suffered an injury during practice sessions.
Sameer fought for an hour and 11 minutes in the men's singles tie but lost 17-21 20-22 to Olympic champion Chen Long as India fell behind 0-2.
In the men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the first game against the world no 7 pairing of Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong. The Indian team eventually lost 21-18 15-21 17-21 to give China an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Saina Nehwal lost 12-21 17-21 to All England Champion Chen Yufei in a 33-minute women's singles match, while World no 3 women's doubles pair of Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan beat Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy 21-12 21-15 as India caved completely before the skills of the Chinese shuttlers.
Wednesday saw a spectacular homecoming for World championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa, while Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal lived up to his billing, reaching the semi-finals in the 52kg category at the second India Open boxing tournament.
Three years after he was crowned national champion at the same venue, a wiser Thapa returned stronger, clinically executing his plans to outwork his taller opponent from Mauritius Hellene Damien.
Thapa won 5-0 and set up a semi-final clash against D Krystian Sczepanski of Poland in the 60kg category. Recalling the contest, Thapa said, “ I was facing a taller opponent like him for the first time in my category. He had a better reach so my strategy was to hit him from close range and then quickly go out of his reach. It worked out perfectly...I can't express in words the amazing feeling. The crowd was all at their toes and it was about living up to their expectations.”
In the 52kg category, India ruled the roost with Amit Panghal, national champion PL Prasad, former world youth champion Sachin Siwach and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Gaurav Solanki making it an all-Indian line up.
Expectations were fairly high from Panghal - he won the 49kg gold after defeating reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan at the Asian Games in Jakarta last year. On Wednesday, he opted to play the waiting game against Thai boxer Chakapong Chanpirom in the first round. Panghal then stepped up his pace to win 5-0.
Explaining his approach, he said, “It took some time for me to assess him and get a grip of his style of play but I'm happy that it paid off...It's a tough category. Many new boxers will come in to meet the Olympic qualification standard. I have to watch both.” He will take on reigning national champion Prasad in the semi-final.
Former world youth champion Sachin Siwach is coming off a bronze medal performance at the GeeBee Boxing tournament Finland. He did his homework well to exact revenge on world championship bronze medallist Rogen Ladon of Philippines yesterday. The two-time former Olympian had defeated Siwach by a split-decision in the President's Cup quarterfinals in Astana last year.
Siwach worked on his weaknesses and waited to capitalise on the Filipino's mistakes to go for the kill as he won 4-1 via split decision.
He said after the bout, “Last time I went for an all out attack that did not pay off. I watched videos of the bout and this time I could rectify my mistakes.”
Sachin Tendulkar said on Wednesday that Virat Kohli alone will not be able to win the World Cup for India, and others will need to step up.
Asked if Kohli shoulders the same burdens Tendulkar did during World Cups, the now retired batsman said, “I think you will always have a couple of individuals stepping up every game but without team support, you can't do much. Just because of one individual, you can't win a tournament. No way. Unless, others chip in at every crucial stage. If that doesn't happen, there will be disappointment.”
Tendulkar said he’s not worried about the number 4 batsman’s slot that is the subject of much discussion right now. He is of the idea that the slot can be kept flexible as per requirement and match situation.
He said, “I think we have batsmen, who can do the job. Number four is just a number and it can be adjusted. I particularly don't see No 4 as a problem. Our boys have played enough.”
Sachin also spoke about ODI cricket favouring batsmen at the cost of bowlers. For instance, the recent England vs Pakistan series that saw scores of 350 being chased down with many overs to spare.
The master blaster said, “It's become one sided with (the) introduction of two new balls, and flat pitches have made lives of bowlers much more difficult. One team is scoring 350 and the other is chasing down inside 45 overs.”
What Tendulkar finds even more disappointing is that reverse swing had been taken out of equation with two new balls. He said, “The ball is staying hard. I mean when was the last time you saw reverse swing in ODIs?... I think some thought needs to go into this. Either prepare helpful tracks if you have two new balls so that there is some help upfront. Or else go back to the old one-new-ball system which aids reverse swing. Whatever but do something for the bowlers."
Tendulkar also said he expects the Indian team to do well at the World Cup.
He said, “There is a good balance in the side. We have a number of guys with 8-10 years of experience and at the same time we have talented youngsters like Kuldeep, Rahul, Chahal, Hardik (Pandya) and Jasprit (Bumrah) with a couple of years of international cricket "So it's a perfect blend with all the makings of a wonderful team. I rate our chances very high.”
English bowler Jimmy Anderson released his new book named Bowl, Sleep, Repeat recently, and shared a funny episode that involved fellow England pacer Stuart Broad.
British tabloid The Sun published an excerpt that read, “The first time Stuart Broad walked into the dressing room, with his flowing blond hair, striking blue eyes and perfect figure, I thought: 'My God, she's beautiful'. It's surreal we've taken more than 1,000 wickets between us.” He praised broad, writing, “We've never been in competition as bowlers because our skills are very* different.
"Stuart has been under pressure at times from bowlers who get steep bounce and move the ball off the seam and I have from the skiddier ones who swing the ball. It's never been me or him in selection…A common initial misconception of Stuart in the early days was that he was a bit of a show pony. He's not. He works so hard....We share a car to grounds now.”
Anderson, who has taken 575 wickets from 148 Tests, also wrote about off-spinner Graeme Swann's 'loudest fart' during a team meeting addressed by coach Andy Flower.
Anderson wrote about the incident, “I remember when Andy Flower had taken over and we were having a team talk. Flower required a respectful silence when he was speaking...Halfway through, Swanny farted. It was loud.
"To this day, the loudest fart I've ever heard. Flower looked at him, in borderline shock, then paused. Swanny apologised...Flower continued but then reconsidered, stopped and turned back to Swanny, pointing his finger in his face: 'Actually, that is out of order'. Swanny held his ground. He said: 'I've said sorry once, I'm not doing it again'.
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Updated Date: May 23, 2019 15:40:15 IST