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  • First Indian team for FIFA U-17 World Cup announced

    New Delhi, Sept 22: The first ever Indian squad to participate in the a FIFA World Cup, U-17 World Cup Squad has been announced. The 21 players who will participate in the World Cup Squad include Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin and Hendry Antonay.

    FIFA U-17 World Cup is scheduled to start in Panaji from 6 October. India have been drawn in Group A alongside USA, Colombia and Ghana. India will take on USA on 6 October, followed by Colombia and Ghana on 9 and 12 October respectively at New Delhi.

    P. V. Sindhu wins Korean Open 2017

    Seol, Sept 18: India's P V Sindhu has lifted the women's singles title at the Korea Open Super Series badminton tournament. In a thrilling summit clash at Seoul today, the Rio Olympics Silver medallist defeated Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in three sets 22-20, 11-21, 20-18.

    Playing back-to-back finals against Okuhara, Sindhu thus exacted sweet revenge of her World Championship heart-break in Glasgow last month in an epic battle. Today's energy-sapping contest lasted an hour and 23 minutes. In the process, Sindhu became the first Indian to win the Korea Super Series crown. It is also her third super series title of her career.

    World no. 4 Sindhu had clinched the 2016 China Super Series Premier and India Super Series and Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold this season. Sindhu's win also dashed World No. 7 Okuhara's bid to win her third straight title after winning the Australian Open and the World Championship. 22-year old Sindhu is now level in head-to-head record against Okuhara, making it 4-4 in eight meetings between them.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Badminton Player P.V. Sindhu on winning Korea Open Super Series title.In his message, the Prime Minister said, India is immensely proud of her accomplishment.

    Indian hockey team play out 2-2 draw against Belgium

    Antwerp, Sept 13: The Indian women's hockey team held on to a 2-2 draw against the Belgium junior men's team in a closely fought match in Antwerp. India, led by captain Rani, started the match on a positive note by earning a penalty corner within 40 seconds of the start but could not convert it. Two minutes later, another penalty corner was saved by the Belgian goalkeeper.

    However, it was the young Belgium team that got three PCs in a span of six minutes, but goalkeeper Savita did well to keep the home side from taking an early lead. Forward Vandana Katariya created a beautiful chance for India inside the striking circle but could not score as the first quarter ended goalless.

    India beat Lanka by six wickets, win series 5-0

    Srilanka, Sept 4: India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the fifth and final ODI to win the series 5-0 in Colombo on Sunday. Chasing a target of 239 runs, India crossed the line with 21 balls to spare. Kohli remained unbeaten on 110 runs off 116 balls, smashing nine boundaries along the way. He was involved in a 108-run partnership with Kedar Jadhav, who scored 63 runs off 73 balls before being caught behind off Wanidu Hasaranga’s bowling a couple of balls before the end.

    This was the 30th century of Kohli’s ODI career. India thus whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-0 in the series. The visitors, who remained dominant throughout the series, produced another superb performance during Sunday’s match, dominating the Sri Lankans in all departments of the game. Defending a low total, opening pacers Lasith Malinga and Vishwa Fernando gave the hosts some hope by removing Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma respectively early in the Indian innings.

    But Kohli strode to the middle and added 99 runs with Manish Pandey to steady the Indian innings. Pandey scored a steady 36 off 53 balls before being dismissed while trying to go for a big hit off Malinda Pushpakumara’s bowling. However, any hope of an unlikely win that the hosts may have entertained soon went up in smoke as Jadhav joined Kohli and the duo proceeded to take the visitors towards victory.

    By the time Jadhav mistimed a late cut to hand an easy edge to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella off Hasaranga’s bowling, India needed just two ruuns to win with 23 balls remaining. Earlier, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a disciplined bowling effort to pick up a five-wicket haul as India restricted Sri Lanka to 238 runs.

    Kohli, Rohit fire India to another emphatic win against Sri Lanka

    Srilanka, Sept 1: Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma produced sublime centuries as India dented Sri Lanka's chances of a direct World Cup qualification with a thumping 168-run victory in the fourth ODI in Colombo on Thursday. Kohli (131 runs off 96 balls) and Rohit (104 off 88) made merry on a batting beauty to guide India to 375 for five, the highest total posted by a visiting team in an ODI in Sri Lanka.

    The final flourish was provided by comeback man Manish Pandey (50 n.o. off 42) and MS Dhoni (49 n.o. off 42), who achieved a memorable milestone of 300 ODIs. Sri Lanka never looked like getting close to India's imposing total and could only manage 207 all out in 42.4 overs with Angelo Mathews' 70-run knock being the sole noteworthy batting performance. The heavy defeat was also Sri Lanka's biggest at home in terms of runs. India now lead the five-match series 4-0 and look set to complete another whitewash after blanking Sri Lanka in the preceding three Tests.

    PV Sindhu loses epic final, settles for silver at World Ch'ship

    Glasgow, Aug 27: PV Sindhu's gallant effort to become India's first ever World Champion ended in a defeat against Nozomi Okuhara in an epic final at Glasgow on Sunday. In a nerve-wracking final, which tested the physical and mental strength of both the players, Sindhu lost 19-21 22-20 20-22 after battling hard for one hour and 49 minutes.

    After closing the second game by winning an incredible 73-shot rally, Sindhu saved one championship point in the decider but it was the Japanese who had the last laugh. Nevertheless, Sindhu fought like a true champion and kept her promise that she would strive to change the colour of her medal, having won two bronze from past editions. Although she would have hoped for a gold, which no Indian has even won at the World Championship.

    Dhoni, Bhuvi guide India to 3 wicket victory over Sri Lanka

    SriLanka, Aug 25: Disciplined innings from former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar saw India defeating Sri Lanka by three wickets in a thrilling second One-Day International in Pallekele on Thursday. Chasing a revised target of 231 due to rain, India were cruising at 108 for no loss in the 16th over. But the match turned on its head in a space of six overs as the visitors lost seven wickets for just 22 runs.

    All-rounder Akila Dananjaya created havoc in the India's batting line-up as he scalped six wickets in his 10 overs. But then Dhoni (45 not out) and Bhuvneshwar A(53 not out) forged a match-winning partnership to seal the deal for India. India now lead the five match series 2-0. The visitors had defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the ODI at Dambulla.

    1st ODI: Dhawan, Kohli star as India thrash SL by 9 wickets

    SriLanka, Aug 21: India thrashed Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the first ODI in Dambulla on Sunday; Chasing 217, Dhawan added 197-run partnership with captain Virat Kohli and ended the proceedings in 28.5 overs. India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma early in the innings. Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan continued his fine form in the one-day internationals as well. Dhawan was the man-of-the-series in the three-match Test series in which he scored two centuries in four innings.

    In the first ODI, Dhawan scored his 11th century and that too in quick time. The opener took only 71 balls to reach the three-figure mark. With the 71-ball hundred, Dhawan now has his fastest ODI hundred. He surpassed his previous record of 73 balls where he scored a century against West Indies in Kanpur in 2013. Earlier after a terrific start, Sri Lanka slumped to 216 at Dambulla International Stadium.

    Dhawan and Rahul achieve career-best rankings

    SriLanka, Aug 16: K L Rahul broke into the top-10 at 9th, while Shikhar Dhawan also attained a career-high position of 28th in the latest ICC Test rankings after India's clean-sweep of Sri Lanka in a three-match series. Left-hander Dhawan, who top-scored with 119 in the final Test in Pallekele, has moved up 10 places to 28th position after India won inside three days.

    This was the Delhi batsman's second century in three Tests as he finished with 358 runs and was named player of the series. Rahul has moved up two positions to equal his career-best ninth position after a contribution of 85 in the opening stand of 188 that came in under 40 overs.

    Rahul thus equalled his career-best ninth rank attained in July this year but the present tally of 761 ratings points is his highest till date. Top-ranked India and seventh-placed Sri Lanka have retained their positions in the team rankings with India gaining two points to reach 125 points, increasing its lead over South Africa to 15 points.

    Davinder becomes 1st Indian to qualify for javelin throw finals

    London, Aug 11: Davinder Singh Kang has become the first Indian to qualify for the final round of the javelin throw World Championships being held in London. However, another Indian and world junior record holder Neeraj Chopra crashed out in the qualification round.

    Competing in the qualification round Group B, Kang, who was carrying a shoulder injury, cleared the automatic qualification mark of 83m in his third and final throw as he threw the iron spear at a distance of 84.22m.

    In the competition, thirteen throwers including five from Group A and seven from Group B crossed the automatic qualification mark of 83m and all of them will compete in the final round.

    IAF chief felicitates Indian cricketer Shikha Pandey

    ND, Aug 2: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Tuesday felicitated Flight Lieutenant Shikha Pandey of Women's Cricket team for her sterling performance at the recent World Cup. Pandey was awarded the chief of the air staff commendation by Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa for her performance at the recently concluded ICC Women's World Cup.

    The Air Chief Marshal appreciated her performance and wished her success for future endeavours. The Indian women's cricket team finished runner-up, losing to England narrowly by nine runs. However, the team's magnificent performance to reach the finals won laurels from all quarters.

    India crush Sri Lanka by 304 runs in 1st cricket Test

    Srilanka, Jul 29: India on Saturday outclassed Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the opening Test at Galle to take 1-0 lead in the three match series. This was India's biggest overseas win (in terms of runs) surpassing 279 run-victory against England at Leeds in 1986. For Sri Lanka, it was their biggest defeat (in terms of runs), surpassing their 301-run loss against Pakistan in 1994.

    A gigantic victory target of 550 was out of question for the hosts but they fizzled out in the final session of the fourth day to finish on 245 in 76.5 overs -- their innings terminated with injured skipper Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne ruled out. This was after India captain Virat Kohli struck his 17th Test hundred with India declaring their second innings at 240 for three.

    The Sri Lankans, especially their opener Dimuth Karunaratne (97) batted gutsily for the first two sessions reaching 192 for 4 at tea. However Ravichandran Ashwin (3/65 in 27 overs) ran through the middle-order. Once Karunaratne was dismissed trying to play paddle sweep, it was all over for the islanders.

    Indian women's cricket team has inspired youth to take up sports: Vijay Goel

    New Delhi, Jul 27: Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Thursday felicitated the Indian women's cricket team for its spectacular performance in the ICC World Cup, saying that this will inspire the country's youth to take up sports as a career option. India lost to host England by nine runs in the final of the mega-event at the Lord's after a campaign that forced the entire country to follow and support the women in blue. "Our women's cricket team has done exceedingly well and any form of appreciation will be less for them. Despite ending as runner-ups, I feel that the women's team has won the finals because they have won the hearts of the entire country," Goel said.

    Welcoming the team, Goel said these players have "inspired youths, especially millions of young women across the country to take up sports as a career. From Rio Olympics to Paralympics and in games like hockey, wrestling, badminton, and now the splendid performance in the Women's World Cup, Indian women are leading the way in the international sporting arena."

    He stated that this performance will also inspire India's football team in the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup. Goel said the ministry's doors are open 24x7 for players and best facilities will be provided to them. He also felicitated the coaches and the support staff for their efforts behind the scene.

    Sharing her experience, captain Mithali Raj appreciated the performance of each member of the team and thanked the Prime Minister and Sports minister for their encouragement. Star performers Harmanpreet Kaur and Poonam Raut were among the cricketers present on the occasion. On Thursday, the Indian team was given a rousing reception in Mumbai on its return from London.

    India storms into final of ICC Women's World Cup beating Australia

    UK, Jul 21: India stormed into the final of ICC Women's World Cup beating Australia by 36 runs at Derby in England last night. The match was reduced to 42-over-a-side due to rain which delayed it by over three hours. Deciding to bat first, India posted a challenging 281 for 4 against Australia in the rain-truncated second semifinals match.

    For India, Harmanpreet Kaur top scored with a blistering century of unbeaten 171 runs, the third highest individual score by any player in the World Cup and fifth highest overall. Mithali Raj contributed 36 runs. India will now face hosts England in the title clash on Sunday.

    In the first semi-final, three-time champions England had defeated South Africa by 2 wickets. India had played the Final of the World Cup only once in the 2005 edition, when they lost to the Aussies.

    India defeats New Zealand to reach semi-finals of Women's World Cup

    UK, Jul 17: India stormed into the semifinals of ICC Women's World Cup crushing New Zealand by 186 runs. Riding on left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad's brilliant five wickets for just 15 runs and skipper Mithali Raj's magnificent 109 runs, India defeated Kiwis In Derby yesterday. The win ensured Indian eves qualify for the semi-finals for the first time since 2010. Put into bat, India recovered from an early wobble of 21 for 2 in eighth over to score a challenging 265 for 7 in their final league match. A 132-run stand between Mithali and Harmanpreet Kaur for the third wicket brought them back into the match.

    Kaur scored 60 runs. A brilliant quick-fire 70 off just 45 balls from Krishnamurthy, studded with seven fours and two sixes, took India past 260. Chasing 266 for a win, New Zealand crashed out for just 79 runs in 25.3 overs. In Women's Cricket World Cup second Semi-final, Indian eves will clash with Australia on Thursday. In first semifinal England will take on South Africa on Tuesday. The final will be played on next Sunday.

    BCCI welcomes back Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals in IPL

    Mumbai, Jul 15: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has welcomed the IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals back into the Indian Premier League. The two franchises have completed the two-year suspension imposed by the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee and will now participate in next year's Indian Premier League.

    Acting President of the BCCI, CK Khanna said in New Delhi that IPL will be enriched by the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Both the teams have enjoyed tremendous on-field success and have a mass following.

    Brilliant Kohli leads India to 3-1 series win over West Indies

    WI, Jul 7: Skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with a fluent century as India today wrapped up the five-match series 3-1 with a convincing eight wicket win over West Indies on Thursday. Asked to bowl, comeback man Mohammed Shami bagged four wickets as an under-fire India produced a disciplined bowling effort to restrict West Indies to a modest 205 for nine. Playing only his second ODI after a long injury lay-off, Shami picked up four wickets giving 48 runs from his 10 overs to pull West Indies back.

    Besides Shami, Umesh Yadav gave him ample support from the other end and returned with impressive figures of three for 53. For West Indies, Shai Hope top-scored with a patient 51 off 98 balls during which he hit just five boundaries, while his brother Kyle made 46 off 50 deliveries with nine fours to his credit.

    Later chasing the total, India hardly faced any trouble as Kohli (111 not out) and ever-consistent Ajinkya Rahane (39 off 51) shared 79 runs for the second wicket in 17.5 overs to set the platform for the comfortable win. Thursday's match was a test of character for Kohli and his men after the unexpected 11 run loss against the hosts in the low-scoring fourth ODI in Antigua. But Kohli meant business as he anchored India's chase with his 28th ODI century that came off 115 balls balls and was studded with 12 fours and two sixes.

    Dhoni, bowlers give India unassailable series lead

    WI, Jul 1: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the bowlers fashioned India's 93-run win over a lacklustre West Indies in the third ODI, giving the visitors an unassailable lead in the five-match series. India overcame a bad start to post 251 for four on a slowish surface, largely due to the efforts of Dhoni (78 no off 79), Kedar Jadhav (40 no off 26) and Ajinkya Rahane (72 off 112). The Indian bowlers then proved too good for the inexperienced West Indies' batting line-up, dismissing the hosts for 158 in 38.1 overs.

    Hardik Pandya (2/32) used the short ball effectively while chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (3/41) was impressive again, foxing the opposition with his wrong ones. Offie Ravichandran Ashwin (3/28), on a comeback trail after injury, troubled the batsmen with his accuracy. India now lead the series 2-0 after the series opener was washed out. The fourth ODI will also take place at the Sir Vivian Richards in North Sound on Sunday.

    Sublime Srikanth lifts Australian Open Super Series

    New Delhi, Jun 27: A resolute Kidambi Srikanth clinched his fourth Super Series title with an incredible straight-game triumph over reigning Olympic and world champion Chen Long in the Australian Open final in Sydney on Sunday. The world no.11 Srikanth won 22-20 21-16 in a 45-minute clash against the world no.6 Chinese, who is also a two-time All-England champion.

    The triumph is his second successive after clinching the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier title last week.Entering the summit showdown, Srikanth was only the fifth player in the world to contest three successive Super Series finals (Singapore and Indonesia prior to this). The Indian, a semi-finalist in the last edition of the tournament, was the one to grab the early lead. Following a sedate start, Srikanth capitalised on his opponent's rather sluggish game to clinch a 10-6 lead.

    But perhaps jolted by the lead he had conceded, Long gathered himself just in time, starting with a deftly-placed smash, to make it 11-11. The Chinese shifted gears quite suddenly to add pace to the proceedings and his baseline strokes stood out for both ferocity and accuracy. But the Indian was no pushover and played the catch-up game quite well, coming up with a couple of brilliant smashes of his own.

    And it was this tenacity which got Srikanth a 17-15 lead even though Long continued to breathe down his neck. But Srikanth did not let the momentum slip, and helped by Long's erratic play, the underdog earned his first game point at 20-19. Long managed to save that with a rasping smash but Srikanth's perseverance fetched him another at 21-20 when the Chinese was foxed by a low backhand return. This time, Srikanth made no mistake and sealed the first game in 23 minutes.

    Pakistan lifts ICC Champions Trophy 2017

    UK, Jun 19: An inspired Pakistan defeated India by 180 runs to lift the ICC Champions Trophy, riding on a scintillating hundred from rookie opener Fakhar Zaman and a sensational bowling spell from Mohammad Amir. This is Pakistan’s first ICC title triumph since their 2009 World Twenty20 win. It was a charged-up performance from Sarfraz Ahmed’s underdog team with left-handed opener Zaman, after a lucky reprieve, scoring a pulsating 114 in their imposing 338 for 4.

    Amir (6-2-16-3) then tormented the Indian batsmen with a devastating first spell and eventually the defending champions were bundled out for 158 in only 30.3 overs. The match turned out to be one of the most nightmarish under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. It was a match where everything went awry for the ‘Men in Blue’ from the time Kohli went out for the toss. On a flat deck, Kohli surprised everyone opting to field, a decision prompted by the current team?s ability to chase any target. It started on a wrong note when a beautiful delivery from Jasprit Bumrah was nicked by an edgy Zaman only to be called no-ball due to overstepping. Zaman scored a ton.

    The two spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (0/70 in 10 overs) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/67 in 8 overs) were then taken to the task with not a single wicket-taking delivery being bowled by the duo. With no assistance from the pitch, their limitations were thoroughly exposed against batsmen, who were ready to use their feet.

    The ‘Law of Averages’ were certainly going to catch up with India’s ‘Big Three’ after their brilliant run in the tournament. Worse, it happened in the final. Rohit Sharma (0), Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Virat Kohli (5) were snuffed out by Amir in a devastating first spell with three brilliant deliveries. The fate of the match was sealed.

    Hardik Pandya smashed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide some entertainment, before being run-out due to a horrible mix-up with Jadeja. Pandya was livid but he was only delaying the inevitable. As the final wicket fell, Oval, immersed in a ‘Sea of Green’, was euphoric in its celebration along with those eleven on the field.

    ICC CT: India beat Bangladesh, enter final

    UK, Jun 16: India dished out a clinical performance to book a record fourth final appearance at the ICC Champions Trophy after sweeping aside Bangladesh in a one-sided semi final in Edgbaston on Thursday. Powered by splendid innings from Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli, India coasted to a nine-wicket win, chasing down 265 in 40.1 overs. With this win, defending champions India set up a mouth-watering title clash with Pakistan on Sunday - a team they thrashed earlier in the league stage to kickstart their campaign.

    It did not take long for India to make a breakthrough after Kohli won the toss and fielded under grey skies. The very first over saw Soumya Sarkar fall for a second-ball duck off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Sabbir Rahman was soon caught by Ravindra Jadeja off Kumar's bowling. But from 46 for two, the experienced pair of Tamim and Mushfiqur rebuilt the innings. Tamim, bowled off a Hardik Pandya no-ball on 17, was in fine touch and Bangladesh´s third-wicket duo shared a stand of 123.

    It seemed they would cross the 300 run mark easily. However, Kedar Jadhav proved India´s surprise weapon with the ball as he removed Bangladesh top-scorers Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. In between, Shakib al Hasan was scalped by Ravinder Jadeja. Some late-order hitting from Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, helped the Tigers reach 264 for 7 in the stipulated 50 overs.

    The in form pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma continued their good run. Rohit Sharma completed his century, while Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman to accumulate 8000 ODI runs. Rohit remained not out on 123 and Kohli unbeaten on 96. India will now play Pakistan in Sunday´s final at the Oval.

    Champions Trophy 2017: India beat Pakistan by 124 runs

    UK, Jun 5: India began their title defence with an easy win by 124 runs over Pakistan under the Duckworth/Lewis method in their rain-hit ICC Champions Trophy match at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Sunday. Batting first, India scored 319 for three after the match was reduced to 48 overs a side at the Edgbaston. Set a revised target of 324 in 48 overs, which became 289 in 41 after the day's third rain interruption, Pakistan were bowled out for 164 in 33.4 overs.

    Brief scores: India: 319 for 3 in 48 overs (Rohit Sharma 91, Virat Kohli 81 not out, Yuvraj Singh 53, Shikhar Dhawan 68; Shadab Khan 1/52). Pakistan: 164 all out in 33.4 overs (Azhar Ali 50; Umesh Yadav 3/30)

    India vs Pakistan on field on 4th June

    UK, Jun 3: Defending champions India will be aiming to lock horns with arch-rival Pakistan in their ICC Champions Trophy opener -a marquee contest where tension and drama is never in short supply. One of the finest fast bowlers of current times, Mohammed Amir would be pitted against the talismanic Virat Kohli in what could turn out to be a battle primarily between India's vaunted batting line-up and against Pakistan's potent bowling attack. A line-up that boasts of Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni can be intimidating for any bowling attack.

    But facing Amir and an equally talented Junaid Khan in English conditions, despite Edgbaston showing signs of being a batting-friendly track, will be testing for the Indian batsmen. For India, the bone of contention will be their bowling combination, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being the balancing factor. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are certainties. Umesh Yadav has more zip in his bowling after a successful Test season but Mohammed Shami has a variety of skill in his repertoire to trouble the best batsmen.

    With Pakistan's top-order full of right-handers, Ravichandran Ashwin will have a tough fight making it into the team in place of Ravindra Jadeja. The 'Batsman' Virat Kohli knows more than a thing or two about how to win matches against Pakistan but for 'skipper' Virat Kohli, the tournament as a whole would test his maturity. Ironical as it may sound, the Pakistan team, which has always been controversy-ridden, has not had any major flare- ups till now save enfant terrible Umar Akmal being sent back due to poor fitness.

    While Champions Trophy is one ICC event where Pakistan enjoy a 2-1 head-to-head record against India but on paper, Kohli's men are far superior in each and every department of the game. In batting, man-to-man, India have more experience and quality. While Rohit Sharma will be playing his first international match after more than six months, Shikhar Dhawan will look to relive his performance during the 2013 edition, when he was in the form of his life winning 'Man of the Tournament' award.

    But Rohit and Shikhar are proven match-winners on their days and on good tracks they can be bullies. Cut to Pakistan, Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad are talented but they are not as prolific as the Indian duo as their averages of 38 plus and 33 plus will suggest. At No.3, there are no debates and the Indian captain already rates among the top four batsmen in world cricket along with Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root.

    Babar Azam, with an ODI average close to 45, has been a terrific young find for Pakistan. However, the India match will not only test his technique but also his temperament in front of a packed-to-capacity stadium. Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are a few years ahead in terms of quality and execution compared to opposition veterans Mohammed Hafeez and Sarfraz Khan. It will be interesting if Yuvraj, who couldn't play the warm-up games, is fit for the 'Battle Royale'.

    In case Yuvraj is not fit, Dinesh Karthik will get a look-in. Pocket dynamo Kedar Jadhav will also face his first big test outside the sub-continent. However it's the bowling where Pakistan may just have a slight edge as Amir, Wahab and Junaid are tough to face if there's cloud cover. But Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Shami and Umesh also combine to form a quality attack. In all, it's advantage India despite the reported dressing room unrest.

    Squads: India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin.

    Pakistan: Sarfraz Khan (captain and wk), Ahmed Shahzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz. Match starts 3pm IST.

    Indian cricket team leaves for England for Champions Trophy

    Mumbai, May 25: The Indian cricket team left for England from Mumbai for the ICC Champions Trophy to begin from June 1st. The defending champions have not made major changes to their ODI squad.Manish Pandey was included in the side while Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami returned after recovering from injuries. Famously known as the ‘Mini World Cup’, the ICC Champions Trophy will mark its eighth anniversary this year. Host England will take on Bangladesh in the first game at the Kennington Oval, London. The tournament will be contested from June 1 to 18.

    Team India will open their tournament against arch-rivals Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4. Skipper Virat Kohli acknowledged the significance of the India-Pakistan clash in the ICC Champions Trophy but said the players can’t afford to get carried away by the hype outside the ground. Kohli was speaking to media in Mumbai before leaving for UK.

    The Indian squad for the ICC cup is : Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Mohammed Shami

    India registers 4-1 win aganist Indoneshia in Sudirman cup 2017

    Mumbai, May 24: India registered a stunning 4-1 win over former champions Indonesia in the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championship at Gold Coast in Australia. Yesterday's victory has kept India's hopes alive for a knockout berth. After suffering an embarrassing 1-4 defeat against Denmark in the opening match, India desperately needed to win this contest against fifth seeds Indonesia. India rode on stupendous performances by K Srikanth, P V Sindhu and the the experienced Ashwini Ponnappa to outwit Indonesia for the first time in team events.

    BCCI announces Champions Trophy squad

    Mumbai, May 8: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced a 15-member squad led by Virat Kohli for the ICC Champions Trophy, starting June 1 in England. India had missed the squad announcement deadline of April 25 due to revenue sharing issues with the International Cricket Council (ICC). There were speculations that India might pull out of the tournament but on Sunday (May 7), at the Special General Meeting (SGM), BCCI took a decision to send the team to Champions Trophy.

    The team has no surprises, with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Mohammed Shami making it back to the team, after their respective injury lay offs. Squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, M.S. Dhoni (WK), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ajinkya Rahane.

    Boxer Shyam Kumar wins gold at Thailand International

    Bangkok, Apr 8: Indian boxer K Shyam Kumar won a gold medal in the 49- kilogram category at the Thailand International Tournament in Bangkok today. He clinched the medal without even stepping inside the ring for his summit clash.

    Shyam was to take on Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the final. However, Dusmatov pulled out of the bout owing to an injury, giving the Indian his second gold medal at the event. Shyam had won a gold at the 2015 edition of the event.

    Rohit Tokas (64kg) had lost in the semi-finals and settled for a bronze medal. Incidentally, Rohit had won the bronze medal in the 2015 edition as well. India, thus, finished the tournament with two medals.

    Yuvraj shines as Sunrisers beat RCB by 35 runs in IPL opener

    Hyderabad, Apr 6: Sunrisers Hyderabad outplayed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 35 runs to win the opening game of the 10th edition of Indian Premier League, at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Batting first, Sunrisers scored 207 for 4 in 20 overs after being put into bat first courtesy Yuvraj Singh's 27-ball-62. The innings was studded with seven boundaries and three sixes.

    He was well supported by Moises Henriques with 52 off 37 balls and Shikhar Dhawan contributing 40 from 30. In reply, RCB were restricted to 172 with Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan Arman and Ashish Nehra getting a couple of wickets apiece. Kedar Jadhav was the top scorer with 31 off 16 balls.

    Never too late! Sindhu beats Carolina in India Open

    New Delhi, Apr 3: Third seed and home favourite PV Sindhu displayed nerves of steel as she defeated top seed Carolina Marin of Spain to win India Open Super Series title. Sindhu won the final clash in straight games 21-19, 21-16 in 47 minutes at the capital's Siri Fort Sports Complex on Sunday. The win gave Sindhu her first India Open title and second Superseries title after the China Open last year.

    Both these players were also involved in an epic battle during the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the one hour 23 minute classic, Marin emerged the winner in an epic three-game match but Sindhu created history as she became the first Indian female shuttler to clinch the silver medal in the Olympics.

    India Open Badminton: Sindhu beats Saina to enter semis

    New Delhi, Apr 1: In an exciting clash, Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu on Friday prevailed over compatriot Saina Nehwal in a hard-fought straight-game encounter to advance to the semi-finals of the India Open Super Series in New Delhi. Sindhu emerged victorious over her senior pro 21-16 22-20 in the much-anticipated contest to set up a clash with second seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun in the semi-finals on Saturday.

    Saina, a London Olympics bronze medallist, and Sindhu had previously met each other just once in an international competition -- at the 2014 Syed Modi International -- where Saina had won in straight games. They had played against each other in PBL early this year with Sindhu having got an upper hand. They had also faced each other in the Indian Badminton League in 2013 when Saina emerged victorious.

    Earlier in the day, second seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun edged out defending champion Ratchanok Intanon, seeded fifth, 21-16 22-20, while fourth seeded Akane Yamaguchi staved off a challenge from former All England champion Nozomi Okuhara, seeded seventh, 21-13 11-21 21-18 in an all-Japanese contest. In men's singles, two-time runners-up Viktor Axelsen of Denmark eked out a hard-fought 19-21 21-14 21-16 win over Chinese Taipei's Tzu Wei Wang to reach the semifinals.

    India beat Australia by 8 wickets to win series 2-1

    Dharmshala, Mar 29: A clinical India on Tuesday regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, beating Australia by eight wickets in the deciding fourth Test here to clinch one of the most controversial and hard-fought bilateral contests in recent times. It was India's seventh Test series win in a row continuing the dominance that started in 2015 with Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh being annihilated.

    Needing 87 runs on the fourth day to reach a modest victory target of 106, opener Lokesh Rahul (51 not out) dominated from the start with a flurry of boundaries and finished with six half-centuries in the series. The match ended in just three days and a session, a reflection of India's distinct upperhand in the 2-1 triumph.

    There were some hiccups when Murali Vijay (8) and Cheteshwar Pujara (0) were out in quick succession but stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane (38 off 27 balls) came in with the intent of hammering the bowlers into submission. Rahane and Rahul added 60 runs for a third wicket partnership which took the team to victory in 23.5 overs.

    Rahul's innings of 76 balls had nine fours while Rahane hit four boundaries and two huge sixes of Pat Cummins. It brought the curtains down on a very productive home season in which India won 10 out of the 13 Test matches with two draws and the only defeat coming on a Pune dust-bowl against Smith's side. The victory was even more special as skipper and team's premier batsman Kohli was unavailable in the deciding contest.

    BCCI doubles annual retainership fee of 32 centrally contracted cricketers

    Mumbai, Mar 23: BCCI has doubled the Annual Retainership fee of India's 32 centrally contracted cricketers. The Committee of Administrators (COA) met yesterday and decided on the contracts for male cricketers for the period ending 30th September this year. Seven Grade-A cricketers, comprising current skipper Virat Kohli, former captain MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay, will be paid two crore rupees annually.

    Nine Grade-B players, including Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Lokesh Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha, will be paid one crore rupees per annum. Sixteen Grade-C players, including Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra and Ashish Nehra, will be paid 50 lakh rupees annually.

    The biggest name missing is Suresh Raina, who till recently was a permanent member of the limited overs fixtures. Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir are also not in the list. The Match Fee has also been increased for the players. They will be paid 15 lakh rupees per Test, Six lakh rupees per ODI and 3 lakh rupees per Twenty-20 match. The match fee increase will be effective from October last year.

    India-Australia 3rd Test ends in a draw

    Ranchi, Mar 21: Indian bowlers were thwarted by Australia's perseverance as Steve Smith's men survived a battle of nerves on Monday to force a draw in the third Test at JSCA stadium in Ranchi keeping the series alive. Starting day 4 at a nervy 23/2 in reply to India's 603/9 declared, Australia were 204/6 in 100 overs in their second innings when the two teams decided to end the proceedings.

    The visitors managed to hold on thanks largely to Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh's gritty vigil at the crease. Handscomb (72 not out) and Marsh (53) combined to share a 124-run fifth-wicket partnership to steer Australia to safety after the cheap dismissal of skipper Steve Smith (21) and Matt Renshaw (15) had given the visitors' dressing room moments of anxiety.

    Marsh was eventually dismissed by India's bowling star Ravindra Jadeja, who continued his purple patch to finish with figures of 4/54. Handscomb, on the other hand, played the anchorman role to perfection and remained unbeaten after holding the fort for 200 deliveries.

    The Indian bowlers, especially pacer Ishant Sharma (1/30), looked menacing in the pre-lunch session but the Aussies managed to hold their ground in the last two sessions. With this result, the series remained locked at 1-1 setting up a mouth-watering finale in Dharamsala, starting March 25. The hill town would be hosting its maiden Test match.

    Shashank Manohar resigns from ICC chairman's post

    Dubai, Mar 16: Shashank Manohar, the person chiefly responsible for trying to reduce the influence wielded by the Big Three, has resigned from his post as ICC chairman after only eight months in office because of personal reasons. Manohar was elected unopposed as the ICC's first independent chairman - one not affiliated to any of its member boards - in May 2016 for a two-year term, and since then had led the effort to decentralise the power held by the BCCI, CA and ECB.

    In February this year, the ICC had passed in principle a new constitution that undid much of the imbalance in power and finances the Big Three had attempted to create in 2014, but a final decision was to be taken at the ICC Board's next round of meetings in April. Manohar, however, will now not be the head of the ICC at those meetings.

    Kohli drops to 4th in ICC Test batsmen rankings, Ashwin top all-rounder

    Dubai, Mar 14: Indian captain Virat Kohli slipped one place to 4th while R Ashwin was back as top all-rounder in the ICC Test rankings released in Dubai today. Ashwin has also maintained his number one place among bowlers. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson gained two places to reach second spot in the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen. Another Indian Cheteshwar Pujara is unchanged on sixth.

    The top 10 of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers remained unchanged with Ashwin and Ravindra jadeja occupying first and second spots respectively after the duo spun India to a sensational victory over Australia in the second Test in Bangalore by claiming eight and seven wickets respectively. Meanwhile, Ashwin also dethroned Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan from the top spot for all-rounders.

    My mom and Anushka two strongest women in my life: Virat Kohli

    Bengaluru, Mar 9: Virat Kohli has praised his mother Saroj Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma for being the two "strongest" ladies in his life as the cricket star shared a special message on International Women's Day. The 28-year-old Indian skipper gave a shout-out to all the women around the world and posted a collage on Instagram featuring him along with his mother and Anushka.

    "Happy women's day to every woman out there, but specially to the two strongest women in my life. "...My mom for looking after the family in toughest times in life and @anushkasharma for fighting against the odds regularly and standing up for righteousness and changing the norms. #happywomenday," writes Virat.

    Last month, Virat also shared a sweet Valentine's Day message for Anushka in which he said, "Everyday is a valentine day if you want it to be. You make everyday seem like one for me. @anushkasharma.

    India wins Bengaluru Test by 75 runs;India level series 1-1

    Bengaluru, Mar 7: India comeplete a 75-run win against Australia in the second Test in Bangalore to level the four match series 1-1. Chasing a target of 187 in the fourth innings, Australia were bowled out for 112 runs with Ashwin taking 6 wickets for 41 runs. Earlier, Pujara scored 92 and Rahane scored 51 to help India post a competitive total. Riding on Umesh Yadav and R Ashwin's superb show with the ball, India took 6 wickets as Australia stumble to 101/6 at Tea, needing 87 runs to win the Bengaluru Test.

    Earlier, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood created havoc as India's middle order crumbled in a heap and ended with 274 in the second innings to set 188-run target for the visitors. The highest total chased down by the visiting team has been 194 at this ground.

    From India, Ajinkya Rahane scored a gritty fifty in the morning and completed his 11th half century. Along with Pujara, he stitched a stand of 108 runs for the 5th wicket.

    Virat Kohli all set to receive Polly Umrigar Award for the third time

    Mumbai, Mar 2: Virat Kohli who received the award in 2011-12 and 2014-15, will get it for the third time this year. Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is all set to receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award. The award is given to India's International Cricketer of the Year at the BCCI Annual Awards, to be held in Bengaluru on March 8. This is not the first time Kohli will receive the Polly Umrigar Award.

    He had also won it in 2011-12 and 2014-15 and becomes the first Indian cricketer to be bestowed the honour on three occasions. Ravichandran Ashwin, on the other hand, has been nominated for the Dilip Sardesai Award. Ashwin is the number one ranked Test bowler and also holds the pole position as an all-rounder as well. Ravichandran Ashwin, meanwhile, will also become the first Indian cricketer to receive the Dilip Sardesai Award twice.

    India can still bounce back: Tendulkar

    Mumbai, Feb 27: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar backed Virat Kohli-led team India after their massive defeat in the Pune Test against Australia. Speaking on the sidelines of an event in the capital on Sunday, Tendulkar said tough moments come in every team and sportsperson's career and that makes sports interesting.

    He further said that he had complete faith on the Indian players and was confident of the boys coming back strongly in the second Test. India lost to Australia by a huge 333-run margin in the first Test failing to score even 110 runs in both innings.

    Pune Test: India lose first Test to Australia by 333 Runs

    Pune, Feb 25: India lost the opening cricket Test against Australia by 333 runs on the third day of the match here. India are now 0-1 down in the four-match series. India suffered a second batting collapse in two days and were bowled out for 107 runs in the second innings.

    India surrendered the Test to Australia inside three days after Steve O'Keefe picked up six wickets each in both innings. India were chasing a target of 441 runs but were bowled out for 107 in just 33.5 overs in the second innings with Nathan Lyon picking up four wickets in the second innings.

    This was Australia's first win on Indian soil in 13 years. The loss ended India's winning streak of 19 matches on the trot and also the 17 match home-winning streak. This was also Virat Kohli's first defeat as captain in Test cricket at home.

    Pune Test: Australia take over India with 105

    Pune, Feb 24: Australia have taken a firm control of the first cricket Test against India at Pune. The visitors were 143 for 4 in their second innings at close of play on day two on Friday, securing an overall lead of 298 runs. Skipper Steven Smith on 59 and Mitchel Marsh on 21 were at the crease.

    Earlier, replying to Australia's first innings score of 260, the hosts were all out for 105, to hand the visitors a crucial lead of 155 runs. Left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe claimed a career-best haul of six wickets for 35 runs.

    Hyderabad Test:Bowlers turn on heat as India beat Bangladesh by 208 runs

    Hyderabad, Feb 13: Ravindra Jadeja's relentless left-arm spin and Ishant Sharma's swing ensured India’s win. India dismissed Bangladesh for 250 in an uphill chase of 459 and secured their sixth consecutive series win in Test cricket, in Hyderabad. Bangladesh lost their final four wickets for 37 runs. The odds were stacked against Bangladesh team as they took the field on the final day of the one-off Test in Hyderabad against India. They had to thwart the marauding forces of Kohli and company and hope for some miracle to draw the test.

    But once again Bangladesh's hope of not losing an early wicket was dented by Jadeja in the third over itself. Bowling round the wicket, the ball pitched on one of the footmarks and took off to take Shakib Al Hasan's glove and was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. With plenty of turn and bounce on offer, Virat Kohli brought in five close-in fielders around the bat.

    Ashwin, who came into the attack an hour and 15 minutes into the day, struck with his fourth ball when Mushfiqur, who had been batting sensibly until then, stepped out and injudiciously hit over the top against the break and holed out to wide mid-off. His wicket exposed the inexperienced lower-middle order and added to the list of inglorious Bangladesh dismissals in the recent past.

    Mahmudullah, who moved to his first half-century in Test cricket since July 2015, and Sabbir Rahman, playing only his fifth Test, then pushed Bangladesh to lunch without any further damage. Post Lunch, it was Ishant Sharma show as the lanky pacer bowler bowled his heart out and removed Sabbir Rahman and Mahmudullah. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 4 wickets each. The victory extends India's unbeaten run to 19 Test matches.

    Official mascot of FIFA U-17 World Cup unveiled

    New Delhi, Feb 11: With just 238 days remaining for the start of the tournament, the official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, 'Kheleo' was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday. In a glittering ceremony attended by Sports Minister Vijay Goel, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee and AIFF President Praful Patel, the young and charismatic face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, a clouded leopard called Kheleo, was introduced to hundreds of football fans.

    The clouded leopard is an endangered wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia. To commemorate Kheleo's first public appearance, Sports Minister Goel said: "We are sure that he will be one of the most memorable mascots a sporting event in India has ever seen. Kheleo is young, vibrant, enthusiastic and a perfect representation of our country. He will help us to involve kids with football in a fun way."

    Patel termed the official mascot as a major component of the overall event brand that will represent the tournament and the host country. "Presenting Kheleo as the official mascot to the world is another big step for our event. As the face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, he will be going across the country to promote the tournament and to inspire kids and adults alike," the All India Football Federation president said.

    Kheleo will participate in numerous activities in the run-up to the first-ever FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, which will be played from October 6 to 28 this year.

    Hyderabad Test: Bangladesh struggle to reach 125/4 at Lunch on Day 3

    Hyderabad, Feb 11: Umesh Yadav rattled Bangladesh batsmen with pace while Ishant Sharma got some reverse swing as the visitors were left struggling at 125/4 at lunch on the third day of the one-off cricket Test against India in Hyderbad today. Bangladesh need another 363 runs to avoid follow-on which is highly unlikely looking at the apparent discomfort that their batsmen endured while facing the Indian speedsters. India had scored a mammoth 687 for 6 in their first innings. The first session of the third day certainly belonged to Umesh, who worked up good pace for a consistent period of time.

    The only batsman who had looked comfortable was Tamim Iqbal (25) and he was run-out after a horrible mix-up with Mominul Haque (12). The miscommunication, while going for the second run, became Tamim's undoing as he could add only a run to his overnight score. Mahmudullah Riyadh (28) and Mominul both were distinctly uncomfortable as Virat Kohli always employed the pace-spin attack from both ends.

    After Umesh (2/33) bowled three overs from the pavilion end (the Shivlal Yadav End), Kohli cleverly switched him to the far end (VVS Laxman) from which he bowled another 6 overs at a stretch. He continuously troubled both Mominul and Mahmudullah for a considerable period of time with his out-swingers. After bowling a number of out-swingers, he got one to come back sharply into Mahmudullah, which trapped him in-front. India went for a DRS but it was an Umpires' Call despite the delivery grazing the leg stump.

    But Umesh didn't lose heart and left-hander Mominul got a fuller delivery that came in after pitching. The umpire promptly adjudged leg before and the batsman didn't even take a review. It was a testimony to Umesh's stamina that his pace never dropped during the nine overs that he bowled in the morning. Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan (29 batting) then added 45 runs during and also got their share of streaky boundaries in between.

    But right-hander Mahmudullah was never in control during his stay. When Umesh was bowling, it was Jadeja bowling from the 'pavilion end' and often the ODI specialist would rush to meet the quicker deliveries from Jadeja. Once Kohli decided to rest Umesh and Jadeja, he introduced Ishant (1/38) and Ashwin from either ends.

    With the 'SG Test' ball now being 30 plus overs old and the team having maintained the shine, it was time for the lanky Ishant to get it to reverse and hit that length close to the full which makes life difficult for the batsman. Mahmudullah, who looked like a walking wicket, got one that darted in sharply with hint of reverse and was beaten. The umpire adjudged the batsman leg before, who went for a review which didn't work in his favour. India, however, lost their second DRS appeal when Ashwin got one to straighten enough, beating Shakib's bat but it was ruled not out.

    At 300 off 72, Delhi's Mohit Ahlawat rips apart records

    New Delhi, Feb 10: Delhi cricketer Mohit Ahlawat ripped apart the record books on Tuesday when he smashed an incredible 300 not out off just 72 balls, hitting an unbelievable 39 sixes, in a Twenty20 match at Lalita Park in New Delhi. The 21-year-old, who has played three first-class games for Delhi, was playing for Maavi XI against Friends XI in the Friends Premier League. In those three first-class matches, all of which he played in October 2015, the youngster only managed five runs with the highest score of four.

    A wicketkeeper-batsman, Ahlawat also punished the rival bowlers with 14 fours as his side put 416 for two in 20 overs on the board and won the match by 216 runs. The size of the ground and quality of bowlers however are unknown factors. With the mind-boggling innings Ahlawat has created history by becoming the first batsman to score a triple-century in a Twenty20 match at any level.

    He was batting on 250 at the end of 18 overs and went to score his last 50 runs in the remaining two overs of the match, including 34 off the last one. He hit five consecutive sixes off the last five balls of the innings. Apart from Ahlawat his teammate Gaurav went on score 86 runs for Maavi XI.

    While Ahlawat debuted in first class cricket against Rajasthan, he also went on to play two more games against Vidarbha and Haryana. The highest score of Twenty20 cricket, not including club cricket, belongs to West Indies great Chris Gayle who had hit 175 not out in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013. In Twenty20 Internationals, Australia's Aaron Finch holds the record most runs in an innings when he scored 156 against England in 2013.

    Davis Cup: India beat NZ 4-1 in Round 1

    Bangaluru, Feb 6: A lanky Ramkumar Ramanathan was fluent in his win over Finn Tearney while Yuki Bhambri struggled past Jose Statham as India completed an emphatic 4-1 victory over New Zealand in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie, in Pune on Sunday. Ramkumar sealed the tie for the hosts by thumping Tearney 7-5 6-1 6-0 in two hours in the fourth rubber before Yuki won the dead fifth rubber against Statham 7-5 3-6 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes.

    India now play second round tie at home in April against Uzbekistan, who got past South Korea in their first round away tie. The 22-year-old from Chennai, with a singles world ranking of 276, was lifted shoulder high by all his team members after his superb show and the entire team made a lap of the stadium with the Indian tricolor.

    The resounding victory for India also signaled the end of Anand Amritraj?s three-year reign as the team captain as he will be replaced by Mahesh Bhupathi for the second round tie against Uzbekistan. India had taken a 2-0 lead on the first day when Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar clinched their singles rubbers against Tearney and Statham respectively.

    New Zealand clinched the doubles rubber yesterday when Artem Sitak and Michael Venus got the better of Indian veteran Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan. Ramkumar clinched a closely fought 51-minute first set and Tearney's game went to pieces thereafter as the Indian seized on the opportunities and ran away with the second and third sets.

    The 22-year-old Chennai-born 276-ranked Ramkumar fired 12 aces but also committed nine double faults as compared to Tearney's 16. The Kiwi player committed a staggering 10 double faults in the opening set, including three in the 12th game in which he was decisively broken by his Indian opponent.

    The 6-foot-2-inch tall Indian youngster also had to dig himself out of the hole in two service games in which he faced break points. He saved three in the fifth game in which he committed the first of his two double-faults with the help of his strong first serve clocked at over 200 kmph.

    3rd T20: India beat England by 75 runs, win series 2-1

    Bangaluru, Feb 2: Young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal scripted a dramatic collapse with incredible figures of 6 for 25 as England lost 8 wickets for a mere 8 runs losing the final T20 International against India by whopping 75 runs thereby surrendering the series. As a full-time captain, Kohli recorded series wins against England across all formats. Chahal's performance was the first-ever five-wicket haul in T20 International by an Indian and the third best figures by any bowler with the first two slots being taken by Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis.

    Batting first, the former Chennai 'Super Kings' Suresh Raina (63, 45 balls) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (56, 35 balls) lit up the Garden City with half-centuries while Yuvraj Singh's final flourish 10-ball-27 enabled the hosts to reach a competitive 202 for 6. In reply England were cruising along at 118 for 2 when they committed absolute hara-kiri with atrocious shot selection with wickets falling like nine pins as they were all out for 127 in 16.3 overs.

    A competent national level chess player during his school days, Chahal wouldn't have even in his dreams planned such perfect moves as the visitors with lousy shots made it tad easy. Chahal got good support from last match hero Jasprit Bumrah (3/14 in 2.3 overs) as England middle-order collapsed in a heap like a pack of cards.

    Five England players failed to open their accounts as Chahal was on a rampage taking five wickets in the 14th and 16th over of the innings. This was after he removed opener Sam Billings in the second over of the England innings. Joe Root (42) and Eoin Morgan (40) had raised visions of a series win with 64-run stand for the 3rd wicket. But the 14th over turned out to be a turning point as Chahal removed Root and Morgan off successive deliveries.

    Morgan attemped a slog sweep and was smartly caught by debutant Rishabh Pant in the deep. Root, who had crossed over, was out next ball trying to pull a straighter one as England slumped to 119 for 4. Jos Buttler's wild slog was pouched by Kohli in the next over off Bumrah and England were all but out of the match.

    It became worse when Chahal came for his final and the 16th over of the innings. Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan threw their wickets as the run-rate was climbing steeply. Bumrah finished the formality in the very next over as India completed another emphatic series win under 'Captain Inspirational' Kohli.

    PM conveys best wishes to participants of T20 World Cup for Blind-2017

    New Delhi, Jan 31: PM Narendra Modi has conveyed his best wishes to all the participants of T20 World Cup for the Blind-2017. A warm welcome & best wishes to all the teams & supporting staff who have come to participate in the T20 World Cup for the Blind 2017 The T20 World Cup will showcase quality sporting talent among the players & will popularise cricket among blind persons.

    Here is the Anthem of the T20 World Cup for the blind. PM Narendra Modi also tweeted the Anthem video of the T20 World Cup for the blind. The youthful and peppy anthem for the T20 World Cup for the Blind was released last week. The anthem consists of a youthful number which explains that Blind cricketers cannot see but can show their wonderful game which is a treat to watch.

    They can't see but they can listen which is a supreme tool for them to hit the ball hard or field to perfection. The anthem although featuring the Indian team, who are defending champions, wants to encourage all blind cricketers across the world to take up this sport as a career and calls for common people to watch the game at the venues and enjoy it.

    The anthem ends with Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav and Ashish Nehra asking people to watch the games to support the blind cricketers and increase their confidence.

    The second edition of Blind Cricket T20 World Cup will see 10 international teams battling it out for the coveted title.

    The matches will be played at Delhi, Mumbai, Faridabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kochi, Anantapur, Ahmadabad, Indore, Bhubaneswar with the finals being played in Bengaluru.

    Australian Open: Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win 18th Grand Slam title

    Oz, Jan 29: After missing the second half of last season with a knee injury, the Swiss star came back in style by winning the Australian Open Sunday and turning the tables on nemesis Rafael Nadal with a gripping 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory in just over 3 1/2 hours. The clash marked an extraordinary comeback for the players, both of whom have battled recent injuries and are older than most of their fellow tournament opponents.

    "I don't think either one of us believed we were going to be in the finals at the Australian Open... four, five months ago, and here we stand in the finals," Federer said. But Federer was obviously much the happier. "This is beautiful, but it's still much better, the (other) trophy," Nadal said as he looked at the runner-up trophy.

    1st T20: England beat India by 7 wickets

    Kanpur, Jan 26: Eoin Morgan played a captain's knock as England outplayed a listless India in all departments to record a crushing seven-wicket victory in the first T20 International, thereby taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, in Kanpur on Thursday. England bowlers cashed in on the questionable shot selection of the Indian batsmen to restrict the hosts to 147 for seven, before Morgan led from front with a 51 off 38 balls to set up an emphatic win for his team.

    Joe Root too played his part well to remain unbeaten with run a-ball 46 as England overhauled the 148-run target with 11 balls to spare. Having found some momentum after their first win of the tour in Kolkata, England will now eye a series win in shortest format.
    England, with their long batting line-up, were expected to chase down a target of 148 with little difficulty. Their destructive openers Sam Billings (22) and Jason Roy (19) provided a flying start with the visitors racing to 36 for no loss in three overs.

    Jasprit Bumrah was the first to be at the receiving end after Ashish Nehra bowled a tidy first over. Billings was on fire from ball one as he smashed Bumrah for 20 runs in the second over. His stand out strike was the six over fine leg as he exposed all his stumps to dispatch the ball just over the ropes.
    Roy was not to be left behind. In a sublime display of clean hitting, he hammered Nehra for a six over long off to make his intentions clear. Kohli realized the ball was coming on nicely on the bat off pacers, therefore he slowed with spinners at both ends.

    Saina Nehwal wins 2017 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold

    Cuttack, Jan 23: Saina Nehwal started the new year in the best possible manner after beating Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 22-20 in the women's singles final of the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold in Sibu on Sunday to lift her first title since coming back from the knee injury she had sustained during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
    The Indian badminton ace recovered from a poor start in the first game to stave off the 19-year-old Chochuwong in Sunday's final. Saina's last title win was at the Australian Open in June 2016.

    Ind Vs Eng: Dhoni, Yuvraj power India to series win

    Cuttack, Jan 20: Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned the clock back with a batting masterclass as the old warhorses' twin tons powered India to a 15-run win over England in the second One-day International and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series in Cuttack on Thursday. Coming into bat with India struggling at 25 for three, Yuvraj and Dhoni brought into play their years of experience to not only bail the team out of trouble, but also propel them to a formidable 381 for six in the stipulated 50 overs.

    In reply, England fought to the end with captain Eoin Morgan leading the chase with a swashbuckling century, only for his side to fall short narrowly at the packed Barabati Stadium. Needing 22 off the final over, seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept his nerves and conceded a mere six runs, even as triumphant skipper Virat Kohli punched his fist in the air in jubilation.

    Despite being set a mammoth target, England were in the game as long as Morgan was in the middle, but bowler Jasprit Bumrah put paid to the visiting side's hopes when he calmly ran out the England skipper in the non-striker's end after he backed up too far.

    Invited to bat, Yuvraj (150 off 127 balls) and Dhoni (134 off 122) forged a record 256-run partnership to put their team in a position of strength from a precarious one. Yuvraj was on fire from ball one and hammered 21 fours and three sixes in his career-best knock in ODIs. The southpaw, brought back into the national team, could not have silenced his detractors in a better way as got to his 14th ODI hundred, which was his first since the 2011 World Cup.

    Dhoni too crossed the three-figure mark after a while with his last hundred coming way back in 2013 when he struck an unbeaten 139 against Australia at Mohali. He ended up hammering 10 fours and half a dozen sixes, scoring his 10th ODI hundred in the process and first since handing over captaincy to Kohli. It was raining sixes and fours especially in the last 10 overs with India plundering 120 runs.

    Kohli, Jadhav hit magical centuries to script sensational win against England

    Pune, Jan 15: Kohli and Jadhav rattled up a sensational 200-run partnership for the fifth wicket to set up the platform after England set the hosts a stiff 351-run target. Chips were down for India after losing four wickets for just 63 runs but Kohli and Jadhav scripted a comeback with their gritty batting as Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6) and Yuvraj Singh (15) could not contribute much in the chase.

    India required 60 runs from the last 10 overs after the fall of both Kohli and Jadhav but Hardik Pandya ensured that their good work does not go waste with his responsible unbeaten 40-run innings. Pandya saw Ravindra Jadeja losing his wicket in the 45th over but the young all-rounder kept his cool to steer India to the finish line.

    He hit a six off Adil Rashid to level the scores and R Ashwin finished it in style, hammering Moeen Ali into the stands in the first ball of the 49th over. England had feasted on a listless Indian bowling to pile up 350 for seven, their highest total in ODIs against India with Joe Root (78), opener Jason Roy (73) and Ben Stokes (62) striking half-centuries.

    India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the next match scheduled in Cuttack on January 19.

    FIFA WC to expand from 32 to 48 teams in 2026

    Switzerland, Jan 11: FIFA council unanimously votes to expand the soccer world cup from 32 to 48 teams; new schedule to be implemented from 2026 World Cup. The FIFA council has unanimously decided that the football World Cup will be expanded to host 48 teams, up from 32. An initial stage of 16 groups of 3 teams will precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32 when the change is made for the 2026 tournament. The sport's world governing body voted through the change at a meeting in Zurich on Tuesday.

    The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games. The tournament will be completed within 32 days - a measure to appease European clubs, who objected to reform because of a crowded international schedule. The changes mark the first World Cup expansion since 1998.

    Chennai Open: Bopanna and Jeevan bag doubles title

    Channai, Jan 9: Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan captured men's doubles title defeating India's Divij Sharan and Purav Raja in Chennai Open on Sunday. This was for the first time, an ATP 250 event witnessed two Indian teams contesting a final and also one of them winning at the SDAT stadium since Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi triumphed in 2011. "I think the early break in the first set gave us the momentum," said Bopanna. "It is great to start the season with a title, especially after last year, and I think I am headed in the right direction."

    With this win, Jeevan became the first player from Chennai to win the title here. "I loved the moment. It’s great," he said. "You are playing in your backyard, making the final despite not being seeded, it’s already a great start to the season."

    Virat takes charge; Yuvi, Nehra make comeback

    Mumbai, Jan 7: Indian cricket entered a new era as Virat Kohli was on Friday officially anointed captain for all three formats as he took over leadership for the limited-overs series against England where veterans Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra will make a comeback. While Mahendra Singh Dhoni, after more than nine years at the helm, will play only as keeper-batsman, the national selection committee under MSK Prasad's chairmanship named rookie Delhi keeper Rishabh Pant in the T20 squad giving an indication as to whom they consider Dhoni's successor.

    The selection committee meeting today had its share of drama and was delayed by three hours on technical grounds before a go ahead from the Lodha panel set the proceedings rolling. Today's meeting was convened by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri after joint Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary stood disqualified owing to the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked the entire BCCI top brass last week.

    Among the notable omissions, Ajinkya Rahane has been dropped from the T20 team and Pant replaces him as a batsman who will also be Dhoni's understudy in limited overs for the time being. "We know what Mahi is all about, he is a captain by nature, a leader from the front," Prasad showered accolades on the outgoing captain.

    Yuvraj was in splendid form during the Ranji Trophy and scored 672 runs in five games at an average of 84 with a highest score of 260 against Baroda before he took a break due to his marriage. "We should appreciate how Yuvraj has played. He did extremely well in domestic cricket, which has been appreciated," Prasad told mediapersons about Yuvraj, who is making a comeback nine months after the World T20 last year.

    Team for 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Umesh Yadav

    Team for 3 T20Is: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Mandeep Singh, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Ashish Nehra.

    Dhoni steps down as ODI, T20 captain

    Mumbai, Jan 5: Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday stepped down as captain of the Indian team in limited overs cricket. A BCCI press-release stated, “Mahendra Singh Dhoni has informed the BCCI, that he wishes to step down as the captain of the Indian Cricket Team from the One Day Internationals and the T20 Internationals formats of the game. He will be available for the selection for the Paytm One Day Trophy and Paytm T20I Trophy against England and the same has been conveyed to the Senior Selection Committee.

    Through the press-release, the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri declared, “On behalf of every Indian cricket fan and the BCCI, I would like to thank M.S. Dhoni for his outstanding contribution as the captain of the Indian team across all formats. Under his leadership, Indian team has touched new heights and his achievements will remain etched forever in the annals of Indian cricket.”

    SC removes BCCI President Anurag Thakur

    New Delhi, Jan 2: Supreme Court has removed Anurag Thakur from the post of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President for allegedly lying on oath. SC questioned why proceedings against Thakur for perjury should not be initiated. Ajay Shirke has also been removed from the post of BCCI Secretary by SC. Meanwhile, SC also issued contempt notice to Thakur. The apex court has said committee of administrator will look after the affairs of BCCI.

    The Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court after a betting scandal in the Indian Premier League, has recommended sweeping changes in the way the board is run and led and has complained that the BCCI or Board of Control for Cricket in India is refusing to implement them. The board has pleaded that it cannot implement all the reforms, which include large-scale structural and management changes including retirement of all office bearers as they cross the age of 70 years.

    Reacting to the SC decision of removal of the BCCI president Anurag Thakur, Justice Lodha termed it a Victory for cricket. He said administrators come & go but ultimately the decision is for the game's benefit. Former Cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi welcomes Supreme Court decision of removal of Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke from BCCI. He said that this will be very good for Indian sports and cricket in particular.

    Tennis: Former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic retires

    Serbia, Dec 29: Former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic announced her retirement from tennis, admitting that the physical toll of the circuit had proved too much. The 29-year-old Serbian held the top spot for 12 weeks in 2008, the season when she claimed her sole Grand Slam success by winning the French Open. "I've decided to retire from professional tennis," Ivanovic announced. "It has been a difficult decision but there's so much to celebrate."

    The Serb added: "I was ranked number one in the world and won Roland Garros in 2008. I've seen the highs I never dreamt of achieving. "I won 15 WTA tour titles, (and played in) three Grand Slam finals and Fed Cup finals and played so many memorable matches.

    "Any professional sport requires top physical form and it's well known that I've been hampered by injury. "I can only play if I can perform up to my own high standard and I can no longer do that so it's time to move on."

    Samit Gohel makes world record 359 for Gujarat

    Jaipur, Dec 28: Gujarat batsman Samit Gohel created a world record in the ongoing Ranji Trophy quarter-final match against Odisha by notching up the highest score by an opener in the history of first-class cricket on Tuesday. The 26-year old Gohel remained unbeaten on 359 as he surpassed the 117-year old record set by Surrey's Bobby Abel who scored 357 not out against Somerset at The Oval in 1899. Gohel has also become the fourth triple centurion in the history of first-class cricket to carry his bat through the innings.

    India beat Sri Lanka by 34 runs to lift U-19 Asia Cup title

    Lucknow, Dec 24: India dished out a clinical performance to beat hosts Sri Lanka by 34 runs and lift the Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title in Colombo on Friday. Opting to bat after winning the toss, India Under-19s first posted a competitive 273 for eight in their 50 overs and then rode on its spinners fine bowling effort to bowl out Sri Lanka Under-19 to 239 in 48.4 overs at the R Premadasa Stadium.

    The first five batsmen, especially Himanshu Rana (71 off 790 and one-down Shubman Gill (70 off 92), were instrumental in laying the foundation for India's total, which in the end turned out to be too much for the islanders to overwhelm. After opener Prithvi Shaw's (39) dismissal at the team score of 67, Rana and Gill added 88 runs for the second wicket to take India's innings forward.

    Later, skipper Abhishek Sharma (29), middle-order batsman Salman Khan (26) and tailender Kamlesh Nagarkoti (23) too played useful hand to help India's cause. For Sri Lanka Under-19s, pacer Nipun Ransika (3/50) and left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama (3/53) shared six wickets between them.

    Chasing 274 runs for win, Sri Lanka Under-19s lost opener Vishva Chathuranga (13) early before Reven Kelly (62) and Hasitha Boyagoda (37) stabilised their chase with a 78-run second wicket stand.

    Skipper Kamindu Mendis (53) also made half-century for the Lankans in the losing cause. The hosts at one stage were in control of the chase at 196 for four in 37.4 overs before they lost wickets at a heap to lose hold of the match.

    India beat Belgium 2-1 to win hockey junior World Cup Crown

    Lucknow, Dec 18: India have become the first nation to win the hockey junior World Cup at home. At the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Sunday night, India beat Belgium 2-1 to win their second world title after 15 years. India have entered the final of the tournament after a gap of 15 years having won the tournament in 2001.

    This will be India's third appearance in the final of the Junior Hockey world cup, with previous outings in 1997 and 2001. India's forward line with Mandeep singh and Gurjant Singh have been impressive throughout the tournament. India defeated Australia in the semi finals to reach the Final of the Junior Hockey World cup.

    SC dismisses BCCI review plea against Lodha panel reforms

    New Delhi, Dec 14: In a setback to BCCI, the Supreme Court has refused to review its verdict in which a slew of direction was passed to transform the cricket body by barring ministers and officials from the board and setting an age limit of 70 years for office-bearers.

    The Apex Court on July 18 had passed the order on the recommendations of Justice Lodha committee and ordered a comprehensive revamp of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the next six months, to be overseen by the committee.

    It had also directed implementation of the contentious one state, one vote suggestion and had closed the doors on those who for decades had remained in the BCCI governing body by prescribing a maximum of three terms, each of three years, with the caveat that there would a cooling-off period between two terms.

    India beat Pakistan to win Women's Asia Cup T20

    Bangkok, Dec 5: Indian women maintained their supremacy in the Asia Cup by beating arch-rivals Pakistan for their sixth title in as many editions in Bangkok on Sunday. Veteran Mithali Raj, who was removed as T20 captain before the start of the tournament, made a statement with an unbeaten 73 to guide India to 121 for five in 20 overs. The bowlers then bowled brilliantly to limit Pakistan to 104 for six, completing a comprehensive 17-run win. The star with ball once against was left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht, who took two wickets conceding 22 runs in her four overs.

    It was the second time that India got the better of Pakistanin the competition, having beaten them by five wickets in the league stage besides remaining unbeaten in five games en route to the final. It was also a sweet revenge of sorts for India, who had lost to Pakistan during the World T20 at home in March. Recently, the ICC had docked them six points for not playing Pakistan. With the memorable win, India also managed to maintain their enviable record in the continental event, having won all the six editions to have taken place so far.

    Virat Kohli attains 3rd place, a career-high in ICC Test rankings

    United Arab Emirates, Dec 01: A week after he moved to fourth spot, India's Test captain Virat Kohli has attained a career-high third place in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen. Virat Kohli's scores of 62 and 6* during India's eight-wicket win over England in the third Test in Mohali moved him up a spot and gave the 28-year-old 833 points. Kohli is now just 14 points adrift of the second-ranked Test batsman, England's Joe Root, with two Tests to play between the teams.

    Kohli had entered the best-of-five series against England at 15th place on the ICC List and has soared on the basis of 405 runs so far. Australian captain Steve Smith is at No. 1. Ravindra Jadeja's Man-of-the-Match showing in Mohali has moved him up two spots to a career-best fourth in the all-rounders' list. R Ashwin remains the No 1 ranked all-rounder with 493 points, a tally not reached by anyone since Jacques Kallis in 2008. Mohammed Shami's five wickets in Mohali earned him a promotion from No 21 to No 19 in the bowlers' list.

    PV Sindhu wins maiden Super Series Premier title

    China, Nov 21: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu clinched her maiden Super Series Premier title after edging out Sun Yu of China in the finals of the USD 700,000 China Open badminton tournament in Fuzhou on Sunday. Sindhu, who became the toast of the country after becoming the first Indian women to win a silver at Rio Games, continued her rampaging run as she lifted the prestigious title after beating Sun 21-11 17-21 21-11 in the summit clash that lasted an hour and nine minutes.

    World No. 11 Sindhu had come into the match with a 2-3 head-to-head record but then statistics counted little when she took the court at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center. Sindhu dished out a dominating game as she zoomed to a healthy 11-5 lead early on. The Indian looked sharp and athletic as she engaged in a fast-paced game to bamboozle her opponent.

    Eventually it was a cross court return which earned Sindhu a massive 12 game points at 20-8. A couple of smashes on Sindhu's forehand and backhand and a drop going to the net helped Sun save three points. But Sindhu sealed the opening encounter after dominating a parallel game and finishing it with a return that hit Sun's face. In the second game, Sindhu had a slender 6-3 lead which she extended to 11-7 and 14-10. But Sun soon broke the rhythm by mixing her strokes and coming up with steep and powerful body smashes to catch up with the Indian at 14-14.

    A sharp smash and a superb return on Sindhu's backhand helped Sun grab a 18-16 lead which became 19-16 after the Indian lost a video referral. At 20-16, Sun hit the nets but she roared back into contest when Sindhu's stretched low return at the forecourt could not cross the net. Back to her winning side of the court, Sindhu once again started with new exuberance as the duo locked themselves in a battle of supremacy. As a result service changed hands too quickly as they moved together till 6-6.

    But Sindhu moved ahead with a couple of powerpacked returns which Sun failed to negotiate. The Chinese also faltered with a lift and also hit wide as Sindhu reached 10-6. A few errors helped Sun make it 8-10 before Sindhu entered the interval with a 11-8 advantage. Sindhu continued to extend her lead even as Sun tried to vary the pace of the rallies but her errors continued to pile up as the Indian was soon 19-11 up. Sindhu then grabbed the match point when Sun let go of the shuttle as it kissed the back line and then the Indian pushed the shuttle at the back, leaving the Chinese stranded before letting out a joyous scream.

    Saina Nehwal had clinched the China Open in 2014 before finishing runners-up last year. Sindhu had reached her maiden Super Series final at the Denmark Open last year but the title eluded her then as she lost in straight games to 2012 Olympic champion China's Li Xuerei.

    BCCI announces squad for England Tests, Hardik Pandya gets maiden call-up

    Mumbai, Nov 2: All-rounder Hardik Pandya was the lone new face even as senior speedster Ishant Sharma made a comeback, after recovering from Chikungunya, in the 15-member Indian Test squad announced on Wednesday for the first two matches against England starting November 9 in Rajkot. While KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were left out due to fitness related issues, batsman Rohit Sharma was also out forced out by a thigh injury which might require surgery.

    Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir was retained in the squad after scoring a half century in the Indore Test against New Zealand. Karun Nair is the reserve batsman and Jayant Yadav is the fourth spinner in the squad after Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra. The pace duo of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadavretained their places in the side. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay, on the other hand, were automatic inclusions.

    India Squad:
    Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jayant Yadav.

    My role is to score from PCs, says ten-goal flicker Rupinder

    Kuantan, Oct 28: By his own admission Rupinder Pal Singh is witnessing a "dream run" in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy but the ace India drag-flicker said he was just doing his duty as his role in the team is to score goals from penalty corners. For the first time in his career, Rupinder has scored 10 goals in a hockey tournament with his rasping drag-flicks. Starting with six goals in India's tournament opener against Japan, Rupinder scored one goal against Pakistan and one against China before producing both Indian goals in the 2-1 victory over Malaysia on Wednesday.

    The lanky Indian penalty corner shooter, who mostly plays deep defence, says he is now eager to add a few more goals to his tally in the knockout rounds starting with the semi-finals on Saturday. "I would call this a dream run. Obviously, I am feeling great. It is indeed a special feeling when you score crucial goals," said Rupinder.

    India crowned 2016 Kabaddi world champions

    Ahmedabad, Oct 23: A brilliant second half performance saw India stage a memorable comeback as they beat Iran 38-29 in the title clash to lift the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup in Ahmedabad on Saturday. In a match contested between two titans of the sport, India beat a resolute Iran side to become the world champions. Riding on a terrific performance by Ajay Thakur's 12 points, India produced a strong comeback in the second half at the TransStadia Arena to send the packed crowd into raptures.

    The final was like a boxing bout as both teams traded punches and gave it as good as they got. India struck the early blows as Sandeep Narwal and Thakur scored raid points to lead 2-0 in the third minute. Meraj Sheykh scored Iran's first point as they levelled the game at 2-2 in the fourth minute. Iran's defence was up for it as they contained Pardeep Narwal effectively and then sent Thakur to the bench to lead 5-4 in the eighth minute.

    The match lived up to its expectations as both teams fought hard and refused to give an inch. Skipper Anup Kumar scored his trademark bonus point to level the scores at 6-6 in the 10th minute. Meraj Sheykh scored with an excellent raid and reduced India to just three men as Iran led 9-7 in the 13th minute. India's defence had a below par first 15 minutes as they scored just one tackle point. Iran reduced India to just two men but a brilliant super tackle by Mohit Chhillar the 16th minute to cut the lead to just one point again.

    Meraj Sheykh continued to be a thorn in the Indian defence but Nitin Tomar came up with a brilliant raid and scored two points in the 18th minute as India trailed 11-12. India were again reduced to just one man and Iran inflicted the first all out of the match in the 19th minute to lead 16-12. The first half belonged Iran's defence as they did a brilliant job on Indian raiders as they led 18-13 at the end of the first half. Both Manjeet Chhillar and Pardeep Narwal scored zero points and their subdued performances hurt India's chances.

    Iran made India commit errors as Meraj Sheykh forced Manjeet Chhillar off the court during a raid to lead 19-13 in the 23rd minute. Thakur scored two points in the 25th minute as India cut the lead to three points and sent Fazel Atrachali and Meraj Sheykh to the bench. Iran sent Pardeep Narwal to the bench yet again as they led 20-17 in the 28th minute. The tide turned for India when Ajay Thakur scored his ninth point in the 29th minute to level the game at 20-20. India inflicted their first all out the match in the 30th minute to lead 24-21 as they took their biggest lead of the match.

    It has been an enthralling two weeks, as Kabaddi truly become a global game. The 2016 World Cup provided with thrills, excitement and reached out to the hearts of millions across the world. India lived up to their favourites tag and delighted their fans all over the country. The all out was perhaps the fillip India needed as Ajay Thakur completed his super 10 and sent Meraj Sheykh to the bench. India led 26-21 with nine minutes to go. TransStadia Arena was a cauldron of noise and passion as India played it smart once they had the lead.

    Nitin Tomar produced another excellent raid in the 34th minute as India led 29-22 and reduced Iran to just two men. Fazel Atrachali forced a super tackle in the 35th minute as Iran trailed 24-29. Thakur all but sealed the match in India's favour in the 37th minute as he scored two points and India inflicted another all out to take an unassailable 34-24 lead.

    Meraj Sheykh scored with a two-point raid in the 28th minute as Iran trailed 27-34. Surjeet, however, produced an excellent tackle on Sheykh in the 39th minute as India led 35-27. A terrific second half performance saw India emerge victorious as they won 37-30 to become the world champions for the third time. Kenya were named the emerging team of the tournament as they won a lot of hearts and almost made it to the semi finals. Jang Kun Lee who had a superb tournament was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Cup. The best referee of the tournament award was given to SMA Mannan from Bangladesh.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his happiness over this win and tweeted, “Congratulations to Indian team for winning the Kabaddi World Cup. The team showed exceptional skills, grit & determination. Well done!”

    India to face Iran in Kabaddi final Today

    Ahmedabad, Oct 22: India enters the final of Kabaddi World Cup; crush Thailand with a score difference of 73-20; India will play against Iran in the final today. India will face rising Asian power Iran in the summit clash of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup on saturday. Earlier.. Seven-time defending champions India stream-rolled a hapless Thailand 73-20 to storm into the final in Ahmedabad on Friday.

    The Indians proved their supremacy and prowess in the sport and toyed with the Thais in the lop-sided second semifinal. Iran had earlier defeated South Korea in a low-scoring thriller. Iran came back from 11-13 down to beat the Koreans by 28-22.

    Kabaddi World Cup: India enters Semifinals

    Ahmedabad, Oct 19: India registers huge win against England in the crucial match to enter the semi finals of the ongoing Kabaddi World Cup, Kenya beats USA in another match. Indian team dished out a stunning performance to make it into the semi-finals of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup after registering an emphatic 69-18 victory over England in their last Group A match on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.

    India finished the group with 21 points in five matches with one loss and four victories. The two-time defending champions' only loss came in the tournament opener when they were stunned by South Korea. But the host nation came back with a bang and defeated Australia, Bangladesh and Argentina by huge margins. South Korea is the other team from Group A to have made it to the last four after winning all the league matches which gave them 25 points.

    Saina Nehwal appointed member of IOC's Athletes' Commission

    Hyderabad, Oct 18:In a rare honour for an Indian sportsperson, star shuttler Saina Nehwal has been appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission. Saina received a letter to the effect from the IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday night.

    "Following your candidature for the elections of the IOC Athletes' Commission during the Olympic Games Rio 2016, it is with great pleasure to appoint you in consultation with the Chair, as Member of the Athletes' Commission," the letter said. The Athletes' Commission is chaired by Angela Ruggiero and it comprises nine vice presidents and 10 other members. The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for November 6.

    Saina's appointment to the prestigious panel has come just when she is set to resume practice after recovering from a knee injury. Saina's father Harvir Singh expressed happiness over her appointment to the Olympic panel.

    "I have become very emotional. It is a matter of great privilege for us that they recognised her and to be a part of the IOC. They thought that she could be of some use. She lost (a medal in the Olympics) because of the injury. We are proud of her," Harvir Singh said.

    Ashwin spins India to massive win against Kiwis

    Indore, Oct 12: Ravichandran Ashwin mesmerised the New Zealand batsmen with another magical spell of spin bowling as India completed a 3-0 whitewash of the visitors by winning the third and final Test by a whopping 321 runs in Indore on Tuesday. Chasing an improbable 475-run target, Ashwin ripped through the brittle New Zealand batting line-up with a sensational spell of 7 for 59 to skittle the opposition for a paltry 153 in 44.5 overs with an entire day to spare at the Holkar Stadium, which hosted its first ever Test.

    The 30-year-old finished with a match haul of 13 for 140 and ended the series with a bagful of 27 wickets to emerge as the standout performer in a thoroughly one sided series which helped India to regain number one position in Tests. Earlier, resuming at 18 for no loss, the hosts rode on Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 101, his eighth Test ton, and an aggressive 50 by comeback man Gautam Gambhir before declaring their second innings at 216 for three an hour before the tea break.

    There was hardly any resistance from the Kiwi batsmen as Ashwin scalped one wicket after another to demolish the opposition in just about three hours of play, much to the delight of a near capacity Dussehra crowd. The pitch in this match did not turn as much as it did in the earlier two games but still New Zealand batsmen looked clueless against the Indian spinners.

    Indian coach Anil Kumble and his entire staff erupted in joy in the dressing room as Ashwin fittingly took the last wicket with a return catch of Trent Boult, triggering wild celebrations on the field as well. It was also Kumble's first series win at home after the success in the West Indies. The focus will now shift to the five match ODI series beginning at Dharamsala from October 16 with Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking over the reins of the team from Kohli.

    India pummel New Zealand, zoom to top in ICC rankings

    Kolkata, Oct 3: India pulled off a brilliant all-round performance to trounce New Zealand by 178 runs in the second Test to clinch the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead which also propelled them to the top of the ICC rankings dethroning arch-rivals Pakistan, in Kolkata on Monday. Virat Kohli's men wrapped up the series-deciding victory on the Fourth day of the match after setting the Black Caps a mammoth target of 376 runs to chase. The visitors showed some spark to start with but their chase floundered in the post-tea session and the side was bowled out for 197 in 81.1 overs in what was India's 250th home Test.

    The home team had earlier finished its second innings at 263 in 76.5 overs. Following Rohit Sharma's 82-run knock yesterday, Wriddhiman Saha also picked up his second successive half-century of the match by scoring a 120-ball 58, laced with half a dozen fours. Faced with an improbable chase, New Zealand were off to a confident start before things went downhill in the final session of the day.

    Opener Tom Latham top-scored for them with a 148-ball 74, which included eight hits to the fence. His innings gave New Zealand some hope of springing a surprise but off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin put paid to any such eventuality in just the second over after tea, inducing an edge off his bat which was comfortably taken by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

    Besides Latham, Luke Ronchi was the only one to play an innings of significance, accounting for 32 runs (60 balls, 4x4). However, rest of the Black Caps' line-up failed to apply itself on the tricky track, exploited well by both the pacers and spinners. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the top Indian wicket-takers with hauls of 3/82 and 3/41 respectively. Among the pacers, Mohammed Shami grabbed 3/46 in a fine concerted bowling performance.

    The two teams will now move to Indore for the third Test starting October 8 which would be followed by a five-match ODI series. Having extracted reverse swing with the old ball, Shami cleaned the tail after new ball was taken in the 80th over. Trent Boult was the last wicket to fall today when he tried to pull a bouncer but instead top-edged to Murali Vijay, who completed a clean catch.

    New Zealand desperately missed skipper and batting talisman Kane Williamson, who was ruled out of the match owing to illness. Latham, however, stood out with a stellar knock but the left-hander lacked support at the other end, and the writing was on the wall after he was dismissed in the second over after tea.

    Having starred in Kanpur with a 10-wicket match haul, Ashwin, bowling with a corn in his middle finger, was once again the key on an eased-out track that looked slow, aiding little turn. Ashwin struck in the fifth ball after lunch to give India the first breakthrough by dismissing senior opener Martin Guptill (24), snapping the 55-run opening partnership.

    Jadeja joined in before Ashwin took his second but Latham stayed on completing his second successive half-century and ninth overall. Latham looked in firm control of the proceedings till he took a leading edge on 66 but survived owing to confusion between Kohli and Ashwin.

    Kohli dived for the catch from short cover but it was a half-hearted attempt after realising that Ashwin too was going for it. But neither of them could hold onto it and Latham did not mind it. Latham, however, could not extend his vigil as Ashwin once again gave a crucial breakthrough in the second over after tea by ending the left-hander's elegant innings.

    Bowling around the wicket to left-handers, Shami got reverse swing from the wicket and took two in successive overs dismissing Mitchell Santner (9) and BJ Watling (1) to dent New Zealand's chase. Having trapped Saunter LBW, Shami got a second one after Watling got out to a ripper, a lovely delivery that came back in to uproot the off-stump. Earlier resuming on 227 for eight, India were bundled out for 263 in 76.5 overs setting New Zealand an improbable target.

    Gautam Gambhir back in test squad

    Mumbai, Sep 28: Gautam Gambhir makes a come back to Indian Test Squad as he is recalled to the team in place of injured KL Rahul for the next two test matches against New Zealand. The announcement came late on Tuesday as Team India landed in Kolkata for the second Test scheduled on Friday .
    Also, fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who missed the first Test due to illness, is replaced by Uncapped Haryana offspinner Jayant Yadav. Gambhir's impressive show in the recent Duleep Trophy brought him back to the team after a gap of two years.

    Kanpur test: India beat New Zealand

    Kanpur, Sep 26: India have won the historic test number 500 in style in Kanpur. The Kiwis raised the bat of revolt but failed to counter the Indian spin to lose the first test by 197 runs. R Ashwin was the star with the ball picking his 19th five wicket and 5th 10 wicket haul in test cricket. Chasing 434 runs to win the test, the Kiwis got bowled out for 236 runs in the second innings. The Final day of the test match and the Kiwis came with just 6 wickets and India eyeing an historic test win in Kanpur.

    Mitchell Santner and Luke Ronchi delayed the Indian celebration plans with some purposeful batting. Santner's partnership of 102 with Luke Ronchi, calmed the kiwi dressing room before Ravindra Jadeja struck to get the breakthrough. Ronchi who played outstandingly for 80 off only 120 balls was perhaps the best spell of play New Zealand have had in the last two days.

    Mohammed Shami found reverse swing and took out two wickets in two balls to put the match on the fast-track to a quick close at Lunch. Mitchell Santner, in his first Test in India showed character and discilpine to become the most important player on this tour with the knock of 71 falling to ashwin for this 4 wicket of the 2nd innings.

    Santner's wicket opened the flood gates as Ashinw wrapped up the tail to bowl out the Kiwis for 236 runs. Ashwin send back Ish Sodhi with the new ball to take his 19th five wicket haul in test cricket. Ashwin then picked the final wicket his 6th of the innings to add to his 4 in his first innings to complete his 5th 10 wicket haul in Test cricket.

    The Kiwis end up on the wrong side of the result at Green Park, but their fight may lead them to be a lot more hopeful of their chances in this series. The 2nd test begins in Kolkata from 30th September.

    Kabbadi World Cup to begin from October 7

    New Delhi, Sep 19: Seven-time champions and favourites India will face South Korea in the opening match of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup, to be held in Ahmedabad from October 7 to 22. Besides hosts India, other participating nations in the tournament are USA, England, Australia, Iran, Poland, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan, Argentina and Kenya.

    The 12 teams have been divide in two groups of six each. While Group A consists of India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Australia, England and Argentina, Group B will have Iran, Thailand, Japan, USA, Poland and Kenya. The semi-finals of the tournament will be held on October 21 with the summit clash slated for the next day.

    India finishes 2nd in Track Asia Cup; win two more gold medals on final day

    New Delhi, Sep 16: India ended their campaign in the Track Asia Cup at second position at the Cycling Velodrome in IG Stadium in New Delhi today. India got eight medals, including two gold, on the final day of the competition today. With this, India's medals tally comprises 16 with five gold, four Silver and seven bronze. Hong Kong topped the table with 18 medals which comprise 11 Gold, four Silver and three bronze.

    India's Deborah Herold, in her Final Sprint event, clinched the top position with a time of 12.576 minutes and 12.493 minutes in the first and second rounds, respectively. She beat Zhaojuan of Hong Kong, who clocked 12.820 minutes and 12.734 minutes in both the rounds to settle for a silver.The third position was taken by Farina Shawati of Malaysia with a time of 12.552 and 12.342.

    Of faith & hard work: Deepa Malik wins silver at Rio

    Rio, Sep 13: India's Deepa Malik has created history by becoming the first woman from India to win a medal at the Paralympics as she bagged a silver in the shotput event at Rio De Janeiro. Deepa's best throw of 4.61 metres from her six attempts was enough to clinch the silver medal. India now have secured three medals from the Rio Paralympics. Deepa will receive a cash award of Rs 4 crore under Haryana Sports Scheme for her feat.

    Bahrain's Fatema Nedham won the gold medal with a best throw of 4.76 metres, while Dimitra Korokida of Greece bagged the bronze medal with a throw of 4.28 metres. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Deepa Malik on her feat. In a tweet, PM said, "Well done Deepa. Your silver at the Paralympics makes the nation very proud. Congratulations". Sports Minister Vijay Goel has congratulated Deepa Malik for scripting history by winning a silver medal in shotput event.

    Truly differently-abled: Thangavelu gets India her first gold

    Rio, Sep 10: Day 2 of the Rio Paralympics Games saw India win it's first two medals when favorites Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati lived up to the expectations to grab the gold and the bronze medals in the Men's High Jump T42 Finals at the Olympic Stadium in Rio De Janeiro. However, Sharad Kumar could not finish on the podium along with his fellow Indian high jumpers. The event saw all the athletes going head to head as nine of the total 12 jumpers had cleared the height of 1.65 metres after their respective first five attempts which also included India's Mariyappan.

    The 22-year old Bhati then went on to be successful in his sixth attempt as well as he cleared a height of 1.68 metres making him one of only three athletes to do so. In what was a nail-biting climax to the event, it was eventually the Mariyappan who grabbed the top honours in Brazil by finishing with a reach of 1.89 metres. Tamil Nadu's Mariyappan cleared a distance of 1.78 meters in the men's high jump T42 event at the IPC Grand Prix in Tunisia to achieve the A Qualification Standard for the Rio Paralympics.

    Biggest Paralympics yet begins in Rio

    Rio, Sep 8: The after party has begun. The XV Paralympic Games in Rio opened at the Maracana Stadium with a carnival atmosphere on Wednesday. Seventeen days after the Olympics closed, with the Paralympics embroiled in the worst build-up in its 56-year history, Brazil belatedly got into the Paralympic mood. Despite the slow uptake of tickets, 1,459 days since the London Paralympics closed on September 9, 2012, the 78,000-seat Maracana was full on Brazil's Independence Day.

    Paralympians describe the Olympics as the warm-up; their own inspiring festival as the After Party. And Rio, Brazil and the world must prepare to be amazed over the next 11 days. More than 4,300 athletes from 159 nations, plus two refugees in an independent team, are prepared to perform to the peak of their physical capabilities and change perceptions of what is possible.

    It is the biggest Paralympics yet - in terms of athletes participating - and the greatest performances are expected to take place in Rio. China leads the medals table with Russia coming second followed by Great Britain in 2012 games. Four years later Russia is banned while hosts Brazil would look to take the spot.

    In a fine gesture, the Sports Ministry announced that medallists from the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro will be given cash awards at par with the medal winners of last month's Olympic Games. "Gold medallists of #Paralympic Games are entitled to Rs 75 Lacs, Silver Rs 50 Lacs & Bronze Rs 30 Lacs as cash award from MYAS," the Ministry tweeted from its official handle.

    "This cash award to the #Paralympic medallists is at par with medallists of #Olympics," it added. India has sent its biggest-ever contingent of 17 athletes to the Rio Paralympics starting tomorrow. There in the squad is, Devendra Jhajharia, India's first Paralympic gold medallist (Athens 2004), and will be eyeing a medal at the javelin throw event in the F46 category.

    The Squad:
    Mariyappan Thangavelu (high jump), Varun Singh Bhati (high jump), Pooja (archery), Sharad Kumar (high jump), Rampal Chahar (high jump), Sundar Singh Gurjar (javelin throw), Devendra Jhajaria (javelin throw), Rinku (javelin throw), Narender Ranbir (javelin throw), Sandeep (javelin throw), Amit Kumar Saroha (club throw), Deepa Malik (shot put), Dharambir (club throw), Ankur Dhama (1500 metres), Basha Farman (powerlifting), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (swimming), Naresh Kumar Sharma (shooting).

    India beat Puerto Rico in football friendly

    New Delhi, Sep 5: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, wearing the captain's armband for India, saw his forwardline thrashed Puerto Rico 4-1 in an international friendly match at the Mumbai Sports Arena on Saturday. India, who led 3-1 at the half-way stage, scored through Narayan Das, Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Jackichand Singh. Mumbai Football Arena was witness to one of the best displays by India as they thrashed the higher ranked Puerto Rico side 4-1 on Saturday.

    It was a commanding display from the home side as they bounced back after conceding an early goal to Emmanuel Sanchez and produced a scintillating display of football in the financial capital which hosted its first international friendly in over 60 years.

    Indian Para athletes leave for Paralympic Games

    New Delhi, Sep 2: Indian para athletes left for the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro last night for the Summer Paralympic Games beginning next week. The Indian contingent, largest-ever from the country, comprises of 18 athletes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet wished the very best to the athletes. He said, the people of country will be enthusiastically cheering for them. He expressed the hope that the athletes will give their best and make everyone proud. The Paralympic Games begin on Wednesday and will conclude on 18th of this month.

    Yogeshwar's London Games bronze medal upgraded to silver

    New Delhi, Aug 31: Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt's bronze medal from the London Olympics has been upgraded to silver after second-place finisher late Besik Kudukhov of Russia was stripped off his medal for failing a dope test. "This morning I came to know that my Olympics medal has been upgraded to silver. I dedicate my medal to people of the nation," Yogeshwar tweeted.

    As per reports, the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Kudukhov, who had died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, was found to have used a banned substance in a test conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    As a result, Yogeshwar, who had bagged a bronze medal in men's 60kg freestyle category in the London Games, has now joined Sushil Kumar as the other silver medallist wrestler from the 2012 Olympics.

    Yogeshwar, who had bowed out in the first round of men's 65kg freestyle at the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games, had lost to Kudukhov in the pre-quarterfinals at London. But once the Russian advanced to the final, Yogeshwar got another chance in the repechage round and went on to win bronze.

    Sania Mirza wins Connecticut Open doubles title ahead of US Open

    New Haven, Aug 29: Ahead of the US Open Grand Slam tournament beginning tomorrow, Sania Mirza has received a confidence booster. She has won the Doubles title at the Connecticut Open in New Haven with her Romanian team-mate Monica Niculescu. Sania and Niculescu capped off their newly rekindled partnership after they defeated the duo of Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Chuang Chia-Jung of Taiwan, 7-5, 6-4. This is their first title together.

    The last time Sania and Niculescu partnered up was in 2010. They had played one tournament together before calling time. Sania had recently parted ways with Swiss Martina Hingis after a hugely successful partnership.

    A BMW Each For PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik: Sachin Tendulkar Does The Honours

    New Delhi, Aug 28: Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu, bronze winner wrestler Sakshi Malik along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and badminton coach Pullela Gopichand were presented with BMW cars at a function in Hyderabad on Sunday.

    Sachin Tendulkar, who was the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian team at Rio Olympics, handed over the keys at a function at Gopichand Badminton Academy.

    Upon receiving the keys of her BMW car, Sindhu was elated. "I was promised by Sachin sir earlier that if I get a medal at the Olympics, he will gift me a BMW car. He kept his promised today, Thank you sir," Sindhu said.

    Sindhu's coach Gopichand had an interesting take on India's performance at Rio Olympics. "No more 'Save Girl Child', this time (in Rio) we were saved by girl child," he said.

    Wrestler Sakshi Malik said she would aim to change the colour of the medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "This time in Rio I won bronze medal, but in Tokyo I will surely aim for gold," Sakshi said.

    Badminton Rankings: Saina Nehwal drops 4 places to be 9th; PV Sindhu remains at 10th position

    New Delhi, Aug 26: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has dropped four places in the latest world rankings to be at the number nine spot. PV Sindhu, despite winning India's first ever Silver medal in Badminton at the Rio Olympics, remained world number 10. Sindhu had won the Silver after beating three higher-ranked players - world number four Yihan Wang of China, number three Japanese Nozomi Okuhara and number seven Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.

    On the other hand, Saina, the London Olympics Bronze medalist, had failed to progress to the knock-out stage at Rio in a shock early exit. On her return home, Saina underwent a knee surgery and is likely to be out of action for as long as four months. In the Men's rankings, Kidambi Srikanth, who lost to Lin Dan in the quarterfinals at Rio, gained a place to break into the top 10.

    President, PM Modi congratulate PV Sindhu

    New Delhi, Aug 20: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated P.V. Sindhu for historic silver medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. PM Modi congratulated Sindhu, saying her accomplishment is historic and will be remembered for years.

    President Pranab Mukherjee hailed Sindhu's Achievement. In a tweet he said "Great game played with grit; Hearty congrats #PVSindhu on creating history by winning for India Olympic Silver medal."

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Sindhu for her historic win. In a tweet he said " Sindhu fought very well. Your accomplishment at #Rio2016 is historic & will be remembered for years.

    PV Sindhu's match against Spain's Carolina Marin at badminton women's singes finals in Rio Olympics will go down in history as one of the most pulsating matches played ever. PV Sindhu created history on Friday as she became the first Indian woman to clinch silver at the Olympics.

    Rio 2016 : PV Sindhu beats Nozomi Okuhara to reach final

    Rio, Aug 19: PV sindhu has created history and has gone one step ahead than what Saina Nehwal did in 2012 London Olympics. Sindhu beat Nozomi Okuhara in straight games 21-19, 21-10 to storm into the final. She would meet Spain's Caroline Marin in the final. Sindhu will be assured of a silver medal in Rio Olympics. Sindhu will be the 5th Indian Women player to win a medal in Olympics and the 2nd in Rio to stand on the podium.

    PV sindhu in bright yellow with a billion hopes and prayers up against a better ranked Japanese opponent Nozomi Okuhara in Red. Sindhu started strongly and opened a 11-6 advantage in the first break. The world number 6 bounced back at the change of ends to narrow the lead to 2 points but Sindhu held on the advantage.

    Sindhu had two bites at the cherry in the first game when at 20-18 she returned a shot that was possibly going out and the Japanese made most of that error of judgement. However Sindhu didn't make a mistake on the next point as Okuhara herself hit the top of the net with a smash to win the first game 21-19.

    The second game was a tight affair but Sindhu managed to hold on to the one point advantage at the change of ends at 11-10. Sindhu displayed a confident and dominant display of badminton which was visible with eleven points in a row in the second game to seal the deal with a defiant smash past a defenseless Japanese. However, Sindhu surged ahead with her powerful smashes to pocket the game in straight games 21-19, 21-10 to book her berth in the final.

    Rio: Archers Bombayla, Deepika in pre-quarters

    Rio, Aug 11: Laishram Bombayla Devi and Deepika Kumari advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the women's individual recurve event as Indian archers rounded off a good day in office at the Olympic Games on Wednesday. Competing in her third Olympics, the 31-year-old Bombayla, who finished 24th in the ranking round, dished out a dominating show to get the better off Chinese Taipei's Lin Shih-Chia 6-2 in the 1/16 elimination after beating Austria's Laurence Baldauff in 1/32 elimination round.

    Deepika also put up an excellent show as she comprehensively defeated Italy's Sartori Guendalina 6-2 in the 1/16 elimination after prevailing over her opponent from Georgia, Kristine Esebua, 6-4 in the 1/32 elimination round.

    The 22-year-old from Jharkhand, who had lost in the first round in London Games four years ago, came back strongly from a set down to register a dominating 24-27, 29-26, 28-26, 28-27 victory in the end.

    IOC welcomes Refugee Olympic Team

    Rio, Aug 3: The 10 members of the first Refugee Olympic Team were welcomed by the International Olympic Committee in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. The athletes were introduced to the gathered delegates, before each of them shook hands with IOC President Thomas Bach. Rio's Olympics open this Friday and run until August 21 and are the first to include a team entirely of refugees. The team includes 10 athletes from four countries all of whom will compete under the Olympic flag.

    Narsingh Yadav will bring laurels to country in Rio Olympics: PM Modi

    New Delhi, Aug 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed hope that wrestler Narsingh Yadav will bring laurels to the country in the upcoming Rio Olympics. Narsingh met the Prime Minister at the Parliament House today.

    Talking to reporters after the meeting, the grappler said, Mr Modi asked him to participate in the Games without any tension. Narsingh was yesterday given a clean chit by National Anti-Doping Agency over the charges of violating anti-doping rules. Rio Games begin on Friday.

    Prime Minister flags off 'Run for Rio'

    New Delhi, Aug 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wished luck to the Rio-bound Indian contingent and exuded confidence that they will not only clinch medals but also win hearts with their conduct during the Olympic Games starting on August 5.

    Modi today flagged off 'Run for Rio' event at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium to cheer for the largest ever Indian contingent who will be participating at the multi-sport event in Rio. Thousands of school children, wearing masks of Rio-bound Olympians, participated in the 'Run for Rio' from Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

    In his address the Prime Minister said, "Wherever our athletes go, India is visible not only on the ground but in their conduct as well. I am confident that these players will win hearts with their behaviour during the Games. They will introduce the great Indian heritage to the world." He also urged the youth to work hard for 2020 Olympics and said the focus should be on sending more than 200-member contingent to Tokyo.

    NADA defers final verdict on Narsingh's case on Saturday or Monday

    New Delhi, Jul 29: The suspense over wrestler Narsingh Yadav's Olympic participation was today prolonged further after the National Anti-Doping Agency deferred its final verdict on the doping scandal surrounding him to Saturday or Monday at the end of a two-day hearing.

    A day after Narsingh and his lawyers presented their case on the failed dope test, which according to them, was a conspiracy against the grappler, NADA's legal team gave its arguments against the sabotage theory before the disciplinary committee.

    The wrestler, who has alleged the involvement of fellow grapplers in the conspiracy, has already been replaced by Parveen Rana in the Olympic bound squad but will be reinstated if he gets a favourable verdict from NADA.

    Football for Nation: Film Stars Vs Parliamentarians

    New Delhi, Jul 26: Fans witnessed an exciting battle between film stars and Parliamentarians in a charity football match at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday. The proceeds from the match will go to the "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" and "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" to further the impact of the noble initiatives heralded by the government.

    The Film Stars' team comprised of Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachan, Aditya Roy Kapoor and others while on the other side team of Parliamentarians included Babul Supriyo, Manoj Tiwari, Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma. The film stars,led by Ranbir Kapoor, outpaced Parliamentarians as they won by 10-0.

    The attraction of the match was Yoga Guru Ramdev who enthralled visitors with his enthusiastic moves. Parliamentarian led by Union Minister Babul Supriyo had won the toss. Since the beginning only, film stars outwitted Parliamentarians, and scored five goals in the first half. In the second half, team of Parliamentarians including Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, Manoj Tiwari, Tej Pratap Yadav, Prahalad Patel besides other displayed their full calibre but were unable to score any goal against the film stars.

    Parliamentarians including Sports Minister Vijay Goel, MP Meenakshi Lekhi besides other famous personalities were present at the stadium to boost the morale of the players.

    Antigua test : India beat West Indies by innings and 92 runs

    Antigua, Jul 25: India beat West Indies by an innings and 92 runs in the first cricket Test in Antigua last night to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. After putting West Indies to follow-on, India managed to bowl out the hosts for 231 in the second innings.

    The bowlers were led by R Ashwin, who took 7 for 83, while Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma picked up a wicket each. For West Indies, Marlon Samuels (50) and Carlos Brathwaite, 51 not out scored half-centuries and Devender Bishoo (45) delayed the India win. The second Test is scheduled to begin from July 30.

    1st TEST: India coast to 566/8 in day two

    West Indies, Jul 23: India were in firm control of the first Test against the West Indies after Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin helped the visitors amass 566 for 8 on day two at North Sound in Antigua yesterday. With India declaring post tea, pacer Mohammad Shami, who is back in action after a long layoff, removed Rajendra Chandrika to reduce the West Indies to 31 for one in 16 overs. The hosts trail India by 535 runs going into day three at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

    It was memorable day for captain Kohli, who eased to his maiden double hundred in Tests before Ashwin struck his third Test ton to ensure it was another tough day for the West Indies bowling side.

    IndVsWI, Test 1: Kohli's unbeaten century put India in driver's seat on Day 1

    West Indies, Jul 22: Captain Virat Kohli's unbeaten century put India in a commanding position on the first day of the opening cricket test against West Indies in Antigua yesterday. Earlier, India won the toss and decided to bat first.

    Virat Kohli was on 143 at stumps as the visitors reached 302 for four. Kohli played freely on both sides of the wicket with a rich array of strokes and posted his 12th test century and second highest test score. He shared a 105-run stand for the third wicket with Shikhar Dhawan. Opener Shikhar scored 84 while Ravichandran Ashwin was 22 not out at stumps. The West Indies bowlers toiled hard for little reward on a flat pitch but only leg spinner Devendra Bishoo managed three wickets for 108 in 27 overs.

    India beat South Korea 4-1 in Davis Cup Asia/Ocenia gr-I tie

    New Delhi, Jul 18: India have defeated South Korea 4-1 in the Davis Cup Asia\Oceania Group I tie in Chandigarh on Sunday. Playing his first Davis Cup singles match in four years, Rohan Bopanna edged past Hong Chung in a tough match. Asked to take court in place of Saketh Myneni, who is still recovering from his gruelling match on Friday, Bopanna laboured to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win against Chung. Ramkumar, however, lost the close contest 3-6, 6-4, 6-7.

    India will now make its third attempt to qualify for the elite 16-nation World Group. India last played in World Group in 2011 when it lost the first round against Serbia.

    India jumps 11 places to 152nd in football rankings

    New Delhi, Jul 15: Riding on their back-to-back wins over Laos last month, India made a big leap of 11 places to occupy 152nd spot in the latest world football rankings issued by FIFA. India beat Laos 6-1 and 1-0 in the home and away play-off matches to make it to the 2019 Asian Cup qualifying tournament.

    In fact, India is the fourth best positive mover among the Asian countries this month after Tajikistan (up 19 places to 145th), Yemen (up 16 places to 160th) and Turkmenistan (up 14 places to 120th).

    Iran (39th) remain Asia's number one ranked team, followed by Korea Republic (48th), Uzbekistan (56th), Japan (57th) and Australia (59th). Overall, Argentina remain on top, despite losing to Chile in the Copa America Centenario summit clash.

    Belgium,Colombia, Germany and Chile retained their places at second, third, fourth and fifth while UEFA Euro 2016 champions Portugal moved up two places to be at sixth.

    Euro losing finalists France are at seven, followed by former world champions Spain, Brazil and Italy in the top 10.

    PM meets Indian athletes going to participate in Rio Olympic

    New Delhi, Jul 4: PM Narendra Modi on Monday met the athletes who will represent India at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Modi interacted informally with the meabers of Indian contingent at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi.

    The Prime Minister wished them well for their performance in the world’s biggest sporting event. So far, around 100 athletes from 13 sports disciplines have qualified for Rio Olympics. This is the largest ever Indian contingent to be sent to Olympics.

    India beat Zimbabwe by 3 runs, seal T-20 series 2-1

    Harare, Jun 23: India have clinched the T20 International series against Zimbabwe by a 2-1 margin, winning the third and final match by a narrow three-run margin. The series decider went right down to the last ball. After restricting India to 138 for six, the hosts got close to the target before ending at 135 losing six wickets. Kedar Jadhav, who bailed India out of trouble with a timely 58 off 42 balls, was declared Man of the Match. Indian bowler Barinder Sran won the Player of the series honour.

    The second-string Indian team had to work a lot harder in the T20 series in comparison to three ODIs where they blanked Zimbabwe easily.The scores: India - 138 for 6 in 20 overs.Zimbabwe - 135 for 6 in 20 overs.

    Australia beat India to clinch 14th Champions Trophy title

    London, Jun 18: Australia beat India 3-1 in the final of Champions Trophy Hockey tournament in London last night. India settled for silver after losing to Australia in penalty shootout. Both the teams failed to score a goal even after getting several penalty corners during regulation period and the match went into the shootout to decide the winner.

    India have lodged an appeal against the second shot awarded to Australia in the title-deciding shootout delaying the final outcome of the match.

    During the shootout, only Harmanpreet Singh was able to score for India while SK Uthappa, SV Sunil and Surender Kumar all shot wide off the target. Just four attempts were required from the two teams as Australia had gained a winning 3-1 lead.

    India clinch ODI series 3-0 against Zimbabwe

    Harare, Jun 16: India have won the third and final cricket one-dayer against Zimbabwe. A dominant India predictably completed a 3-0 whitewash by bulldozing a sub-par Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the final ODI cricket match here today in what turned out to be one of the most one-sided series in recent times.

    Set to score 124 runs for a win, they surpassed the target by making 126 in 21.5 overs. Earlier, electing to bat, Zimbabwe were all out 123 in 42.2 overs. This is India's third successive series sweep against Zimbabwe, after the triumphs in 2013 and 2015. The two sides will now play three T20 matches which will begin on Saturday.

    Thimmaiah strikes as India clinch 2-1 victory over South Korea

    London, Jun 15: India beat South Korea 2-1 in the Champions Trophy Hockey in London last night. At the Lee Valley Hockey Centre, India's domination earned them the lead through SV Sunil's 39th minute goal. However, South Korea equalised it through J Kim's goal in the 56th minute.

    But Nikkin Thimmaiah's goal in the same minute won the day for Indians. India, which have seven points from four matches, will take on Australia tomorrow in the last league fixture.

    Saina Nehwal lifts Australian Open Super Series Badminton trophy

    Sydney, Jun 12: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has lifted the Australian Open Super Series Badminton tournament title. In the final match played at Sydney today, Saina defeated Chinese Sun Yu to claim her first title of year 2016.
    The match went see saw, as both won a set each and the decider set was won by Saina. In the first set the Chinese took lead 11-21, and Saina took the second set 21-14 and third was won by Saina 21-19.
    In the semi-finals yesterday, while Seventh Seeded Saina easily saw off higher placed Chinese Yihan Wang, Sun stunned compatriot and third seed Xuerui Li.

    Indian cricket team arrives in Zimbabwe for short series

    Harare, Jun 10: 16-member Indian cricket team, led by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has arrived in Harare for a short limited-overs series. The team which left Mumbai on Tuesday, will be playing three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals against Zimbabwe between June 11 and 22. All the matches are scheduled to be played at the Harare Sports Club.

    The ODIs will be played on June 11, 13 and 15 while the T20 Internationals are scheduled for June 18, 20 and 22. The new look Indian team is without senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ravichandran Ashwin.

    Nowhere near Sachin Tendulakr's all-time record for Test runs:A Cook

    Durham, Jun 9: England captain Alastair Cook has said that India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar's all-time record for Test runs has yet to come into his sights. However, he had surpassed one mark set by the Little Master. Cook became the 12th player in history to score 10,000 Test runs during England's nine wicket win in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Durham to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series ahead of today's third Test at Lord's.

    The left-handed opener was also the first Englishman to achieve the feat and, at 31 years and 157 days, the youngest to get to the landmark, breaking Tendulkar's record by more than five months. Cook 10,042 runs in 128 Tests is, however, nearly 6,000 runs short of retired star Tendulkar's record aggregate of 15,921 runs from 200 Tests. The England skipper has 28 Test hundreds to his name, with his runs having come at an average of 47, whereas Tendulkar bowed out with a record 51 centuries at an average of nearly 54.

    Tennis star Rohan Bopanna secures direct entry into Rio Olympics

    New Delhi, Jun 7: Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna today officially returned to top-10 in the ATP ranking doubles chart, securing a direct entry into the men's doubles event of the Rio Olympic Games. After exiting the French Open at quarterfinal stage, Bopanna needed defending champions Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig to lose in the semi-finals to return to top-10.

    As Melo and Dodig lost, Bopanna today gained a position to be ranked 10 in the doubles chart issued today. Veteran Leander Paes, who also made the quarterfinals, gained five places to be placed 46 now. Bopanna being a top-10 player not only gets a direct entry but also has the choice to pick his partner for the men's doubles event irrespective of his ranking.

    Novak Djokovic Beats Andy Murray to Win French Open

    Paris, Jun 6: Novak Djokovic captured a first French Open at the 12th time of asking on Sunday, becoming just the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. The world number one downed old rival Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to claim a 12th career major and join Don Budge in 1938 and Rod Laver, in 1962 and 1969, as the only players to simultaneously possess the French Open, Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon trophies.

    Djokovic, 29, also put himself halfway to the calendar Grand Slam, last achieved by Laver 47 years ago. But the Briton, who was playing his 10th final at a major, hit the ball early to set up three break points in the following game, converting the third with a fine lob. He held to love and then broke again, winning 16 of 20 points to lead 4-1.

    Djokovic, who is now on a 28-match winning streak in grand slams, broke to love to lead 5-2. Murray pulled a break back but Djokovic shook off late jitters to win the title on his third match point when the Scot netted a backhand at the end of a nail-biting rally.

    Saina Nehwal loses to Carolina in quarterfinals of Indonesia Open

    Jun 4: Three-time champion Saina Nehwal lost to World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain in the quarterfinals of the 900,000 US Dollar Indonesia Super Series Premier badminton tournament today. In the event being held in Jakarta, the Olympic-bound Indian ace lost to the All England and World Champion in straight games 22-24, 11-21, in a women's singles battle that lasted 47-minutes. Saina had won the Indonesia Open title in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

    ICC announces groups for ICC Champions Trophy 2017

    Dubai, Jun 2: ICC has formally announced the groups for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The tournament is scheduled to be held in England. Defending champions India have been seeded second and will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening cricket match of next year's ICC Champions Trophy after the two countries were on Wednesday placed in the same group for the event.

    Hosts England will face world champions Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh in Group A of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Defending champions India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa have been drawn in Group B.

    World Twenty20 champions West Indies will not take part because they were ranked outside the top eight sides at the cut-off point in September 2015.

    IPL final: SRH defeat RCB by 8 runs to win title

    Bangalore, May 30: Riding on brilliant all-round performance, Sunrisers Hyderabad, defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs to clinch their maiden Indian Premier League title in a high-octane summit clash at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore last night. Chasing the target of 209 runs, Bangalore got off to a flying start as Chris Gayle (76) and Skipper Virat Kohli (54) laid a perfect platform and forged 114 run partnership.

    But after the fall of the openers, no other batsman could contribute much, as a result they only managed to score 200 runs for seven in 20 overs. Earlier, propelled by skipper David Warner, Hyderabad scored 208 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. Warner, who hit 69, finished second in run-getters' list with 848 runs.

    Ben Cutting of Hyderabad was declared the Man of the Match for his all round performance. He had scored 39 runs and claimed two wickets.

    Centre urges States, UTs to promote Football ahead of FIFA U-17 WC

    New Delhi, May 29: The Centre has urged the states and Union Territories to take necessary steps to popularize and promote the sport of Football in their territory to make the FIFA U-17 World Cup a huge success. Sports Ministry has sent a letter to all Chief Secretaries of states and asked them to include Football in various programmes of the State Governments.

    The Ministry has said that FIFA U-17 World Cup is going to be held in India in October next year and it is the first time that this prestigious tournament will be held in India.

    It said, Prime Minister in his Mann ki Baat programme, has also called for building an atmosphere and fervor of Football in the country and he wants Football to be played in every nook and corner of the country.

    The Ministry said, Department of Sports has initiated a series of steps to popularize Football throughout the country. Mission 11 Million programme has been formulated and will be launched in coordination with FIFA in about 30 cities across the country.

    The letter said, the primary objective of the programme is to engage more than 11 million children in activities relating to Football. It said, the programme is likely to be launched in October this year.

    IPL: SRH beat GL by 4 wickets to enter final

    New Delhi, May 28: Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Gujarat Lions by four wickets in the second qualifier to enter the final of 9th IPL in New Delhi last night. Chasing a target of 163, Sunrisers Hyderabad made the required runs for the loss of six wickets in 19.2 overs. Skipper David Warner produced a majestic 93 not out embellished with 11 four and three sixes.

    Earlier, put into bat, Gujarat Lions posted 162 for 7. For Gujarat Aaron Finch made 51 runs. Bhubanesar Kumar and BCJ Cutting claimed two wickets each for Hyderabad team. Sunrisers Hyderabad will now face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Final to be played in Bengaluru tomorrrow as the two teams will compete for their first ever IPL title.

    Hyderabad seal place in Qualifier 2; to take on Guj Lions on Friday

    New Delhi, May 26: In IPL cricket, Sunrisers Hyderabad produced a clinical performance to seal their place in the Qualifier 2 as they crushed the hopes of two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders with a comfortable 22 runs win in the Eliminator last night. After putting on 162 for eight, riding on Yuvraj Singh's 30-ball 44, Sunrisers came up with a fine bowling performance and accurate catching to restrict KKR to 140 for eight to progress to the Qualifier 2 stage for the first time since making their debut in 2013.

    Sunrsiers will now take on the losers of the Qualifier 1, Gujarat Lions on Friday for their maiden entry into the summit clash of the tournament. The final will be played on Sunday in Bengaluru.

    Stan Wawrinka survives Lukas Rosol scare

    Paris, May 24: Defending champion Stan Wawrinka managed to avoid an ignominious first-round exit at the French Open Tennis yesterday. The Swiss third seed Wawrinka trailed twice but finally beat Czech Lukas Rosol 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round at Roland Garros.

    Struggling against his Czech opponent, Wawrinka was at risk of becoming the first defending champion ever to lose in the first round at Roland Garros. Fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan completed a 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Simone Bolelli of Italy yesterday.

    World number two Briton Andy Murray was two sets down before fighting back against the Czech Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 4-2 after the match was stopped for poor light. The match will be resumed today.

    In the women’s singles, fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain rebounded from losing the first match against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova to beat the Slovakian 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced to the second round with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Yaroslava Shvedova.

    KKR defeat Sunrisers; RCB defeat D Daredevils to reach play-offs

    Kolkata, May 22: In their IPL match at Eden Gardens here yesterday, Sunrisers Hyderabad elected to bowl after winning the toss against Kolkata Knight Riders. Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan guided Kolkata Knight Riders to 171/6 in 20 overs. In reply, the home team halted the David Warner-led side by 22 runs to qualify for the Indian Premier League playoffs. (149 runs losing 8 wkts) With this KKR have 16 points, after playing 14 matches and winning 8 of them.

    Chasing 172-run target, Hyderabad got their first shock in David Warner who was bowled out in Sunil Naraine's bowling with his score at 18 runs. After him Shikhar-Naman Ojha added 58 runs in 8 overs. Shikhar Dhawan (51) then returned to pavilion, after being caught, the bowler being Kuldeep Yadav. Naman too met the same fate on Sunil’s bowling with his score at 15. Next batsman was Yuvi who made 19 runs.

    In the second match, Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Delhi Daredevils by 6 wickets last night to book a place in the play-offs. Sent in to bat at Raipur, Delhi made 138 for 8, with Quinton de Kock top scoring with 60. In reply, skipper Virat Kohli continued his exceptional form as he anchored Bangalore to victory with a brilliant half-century.

    Women's World Boxing: Pooja enters pre-quarterfinals

    Astana (Kazakhstan), May 21: Eyeing a medal as well as an Olympic berth, Asian Games bronze-medallist Pooja Rani (75kg) entered the pre-quarterfinals of the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships today. At Astana, Kazakhstan, Rani recorded a a hard-fought triumph over Ukraine's Mariya Borutsa to advance to the last Sixteen round.

    Tomorrow, M C Mary Kom (51kg) will clash against Germany's Azize Nimani, while L Sarita Devi (60kg) will square off against Mexico's Victoria Torres in their respective second round bouts. The prestigious event--the final qualifying event for women boxers in the three Olympic categories of 51kg, 60kg, and 75kg--has 12 Rio tickets on offer.

    In the non-Olympic categories, Nikhat Zareen (54kg) and Sonia Lather (57kg) emerged triumphant to enter the pre-quarterfinals of their respective categories. However, Meena Rani (69 kg) went down to Germany's Nadine Apetz in a one-sided contest.

    World Boxing: Mary Kom, Sarita reach second round

    Astaan, May 20: Five times World Champion and Olympic Bronze medalist, women star boxer, MC Mary Kom and former Asian gold medal winner Sarita Devi, in their first round of World Boxing Championship, defeated their rivals and entered the next round. Mary Kom defeated Juliana Soderstorm 3-0 in a one-sided contest in 51 kg category fight. At the same time Sarita defeated Ela Yashirwich from Belarus in 60 kg category fight, winning by a similar points margin.
    For the 32-year-old Mary Kom, this tournament is important for qualifying in the Rio Olympics. Her next contest will be with Germany’s Aziz Nimani on Saturday. Sarita will face Victoria Torece from Mexico.

    Uber Cup: Indian women team qualify for quarter-finals

    Kunshan, May 19: Indian women shuttlers will take on Thailand in the quarterfinals of the Uber Cup Badminton tournament at Kunshan, China today. Indian women's team yesterday qualified for the quarterfinals despite suffering a narrow 2-3 loss to Japan in its third and final Group D match.
    Ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu notched up straight-game victories in the first two singles but Indian eves could not win the two doubles and third singles to go down fighting to 2014 runners-up Japan. The Indian Men's team continued its dismal run in the Thomas Cup and crashed out after being blanked 0-5 by Indonesia in their third match of Group B at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium yesterday.

    Adam, George help Rising Pune Supergiants beat Delhi Daredevils

    Visakhapatnam, May 18: A frightening blow suffered by George Bailey and another superb showing from Adam Zampa highlighted a significant Australian contribution to Rising Pune Supergiants' win over Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday. The Duckworth-Lewis method saw Pune claim a 19-run victory, reaching 1-76 before rain brought the match to an end after 11 overs. The revised target was 58 and hence Pune claimed the points, denting Delhi's hopes of reaching the semi-finals. Bailey remained not out on 8 off 18 balls but the fact he was in the middle at the end was good news for all cricket fans after a scary incident early in his innings.

    The veteran batsman had his helmet knocked clean off his head after top-edging a short ball from fellow Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile straight into the helmet grille. Bits of padding flew off the helmet, which itself landed just behind the stumps.

    Uber Cup: Indian eves grab maximum points, maul Australia 5-Nil

    Kunshan (China), May 17: Indian eves made a remarkable start to their campaign at the Uber Cup badminton tournament by thrashing Australia 5-Nil at Kunshan in China . The Indian eves, who had created history by clinching the bronze medal in the last edition at New Delhi, won all the three singles and both the doubles to grab maximum points.
    World No. 8 Saina Nehwal started the proceedings for India beating World No. 74 Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen. Two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, P V Sindhu then brushed aside Joy Lai to make it 2-0. Celebrated women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa dished out a clinical performance to get across Hsuan-Yu Wendy and Gronya Somerville.
    South Asian Games gold-medallist, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde then hammered Tiffany Ho in the third singles, while Sikki Reddy N and Sindhu dismantled Leanne Choo and Joy Lai to complete the 5-nil drubbing of Australia. India will take on Germany tomorrow in their next Group D match.

    Andy defeats Novak to win Italian Open title for first time

    Rome, May 16: Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic on clay for the first time to win the Italian Open Men's Singles Tennis title. The third-ranked Murray defeated the top-ranked Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 yesterday. It's Murray's first title in Rome and it comes exactly a week before the French Open begins. During the trophy ceremony, Murray was presented with a birthday cake as it was his 29th birthday. The only other British man to win the tournament was Pat Hughes in 1931.
    Earlier, Serena Williams ended a nine-month title drought with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Madison Keys in an all American women's Singles final. Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis yesterday won the Women's Doubles Title. In the final, the World Number One pair defeated the 7th seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-7, 10-3.

    Mumbai Indians to lock horns with Kings eleven Punjab

    Bengaluru, May 14: In the first match of IPL T20 today at 4 pm, Gujarat Lions have won the toss and have opted to field. Kohli put a brave face after losing the toss. Knows how serious the situation is now. Bangalore will need their heavy-batting to come to the party today. (Pic: Saha plays steller role Punjab vs Mumbai match) In the second match Knight Riders will face Rising Pune Supergiants in Kolkata at 8 PM.
    In yesterday's match, Kings Eleven Punjab had a convincing seven-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in Visakhapatnam last night. Put into bat first, Mumbai Indians made a score of 124 runs for nine in the 20 overs. In reply, Kings Eleven Punjab scored the victory target with three overs to spare

    Mumbai Indians to lock horns with Kings eleven Punjab

    Visakhapatnam, May 13: In IPL, defending champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Kings eleven Punjab at Visakhapatnam tonight. The match will start at 8 p.m. Mumbai Indians, led by Rohit Sharma, are placed fifth in the points table with six victories and five defeats from 11 appearances. While struggling at the bottom of the eight-team table, Kings XI Punjab are already out of reckoning for a play-offs berth, having lost seven of their 10 matches.

    Yesterday, Delhi Daredevils cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a match played at Hyderabad. Sent into bat, Hyderabad scored 146 for the loss of 8 wickets in their stipulated 20 overs. In reply, Delhi Daredevils chased down the target with 11 balls to spare, with opener Quinton de cock scoring 44 off 31 balls and Rishabh pant hitting an unbeaten 39 off 26 balls.

    Asian Youth Championships: Indian boxers bag silver, bronze medals

    Kazakhstan, May 10: Indian boxers bagged three silver and a bronze medal, to finish third in the overall standings, in the 7th Asian Youth Championships held in Kazakhstan. National champion Ankush Dahiya in 60 Kilograms, Ashish Kulhirya in 64 Kilograms and Reyal Puri in 81 Kilograms categories fetched silver medals for the contingent, while Manjeet Singh contributed the solitary bronze to the tally. India were placed behind Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the medals tally. India were placed behind Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the medals tally. The tournament featured more than 150 boxers from 23 countries.

    Madrid Open: Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray in Men's Singles final

    Madrid, May 9: World number one Novak Djokovic has defeated defending champion Andy Murray 6-2 3-6 6-3 in the Men's Singles final of the Madrid Open Tennis. The defeat means the 28-year-old Briton will lose his world number two ranking to Roger Federer.With his win, Djokovic of Serbia now moves ahead of Spain's Rafael Nadal with a record 29 ATP Masters 1000 titles.Earlier, Indo-Romanian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea could not defend their Men's Doubles title on Sunday.

    Sania- Martina pair to take on Vania- Alla in Madrid Open semifinals

    Madrid, May 6: In Tennis, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis will be seen in action in the semifinals of the Madrid Open today. The top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair will take on the Swiss team of Vania King and Alla Kudryavtseva.

    Last evening, Sania and Hingis had eased into the semifinals by beating the Czech pair of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, 6-3, 6-2. In the Men's Doubles, the Indo-Frech pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Fabrice Martin crashed out of the tournament in the second round.

    BCCI recommends Kohli for Khel Ratna, Rahane for Arjuna Award

    Mumbai, May 4: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended Test captain Virat Kohli for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting honour, and Ajinkya Rahane for the Arjuna award this year. If Kohli wins, he would become only the third cricketer after the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and the country's most successful captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to win India's highest sporting honour.
    It is after a gap of four years that a cricketer has been recommended for the Khel Ratna. The prestigious Khel Ratna award carries a cash award of Rs. 7.5 lakh in addition to a citation, while the Arjuna awardee receives a cash prize of Rs. five lakh and a citation.
    Kohli is enjoying a fine run of form in the ongoing Indian Premier League. He was also at the top of his game in the preceding ICC World T20, singlehandedly guiding India to wins over Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. For his exploits, Kohli was named the World T20 Player of the Tournament and skipper of the World T20 team.
    Rahane equaled the record of holding the highest number of catches in a Test innings during India's series win against Sri Lanka last year under Kohli's leadership.

    Indian women hockey team lost to Great Britain 0-2

    Marlow (UK), May 4: The Indian women hockey team lost to Great Britain 0-2 in the opening game of the 5-match Test series at Marlow. Indian side kept pressing through the first quarter and Vandana's deflection went into the opposition goal, but the referee disallowed it for dangerous play.
    The second quarter also saw the Indian women pressing hard as Ritu almost gave India the lead but her shot was saved by the British goalkeeper. At half time the match was poised at 0-0.
    In the third quarter, Great Britain took the lead with Ellie Rayar scoring in the 38th minute.The fourth quarter saw Indian women trying to make an impact on the match. However the host scored their second goal with three minutes remaining via a penalty corner. India play their second match of the Test series against Great Britain on May 5.

    Asia Badminton: Malaysia's Lee, China's Wang wrest championship

    Beijing, May 2: Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei defeated his rival and world number one Chen Long of China on Sunday in the final of the Asia Badminton Championships. In the women's singles, China's Wang Yihan defeated Li Xuerui of China 21-14, 13-21, 21-16 in an hour, clinching her third Asian title.
    The 33-year-old Lee beat Chen 21-17, 15-21, 21-13 in the closely-fought final that lasted an hour and 22 minutes in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
    Chen won seven straight points in the first set before Lee finished off with six straight points for the win. Chen then bounced back in the second set, but Lee won by a large margin in the third with 21-13.

    Pollard, Rohit help MI to overwhelm 175-run KKR target

    Mumbai, Apr 29: Keiron Pollard and Rohit Sharma help Mumbai Indians chase down 175-run target in 18 overs to beat Kolkata Riders by six wickets. Pollard hit six huge sixes and two fours to score an unbeaten 51 off just 17 balls, whereas Rohit remained undefeated on 68 off 49 balls, which included two sixes and eight fours.
    The duo added 72 runs for the fifth wicket in just five overs as they finished off with six wickets and two overs to spare. Sunil Narine was the only bowler who escaped the Pollard-Rohit carnage as he finished with impressive figures of two for 22 in his four overs.
    Sent in to bat, Gautam Gambhir scored third fifty of the season and put on 69 runs for the opening wicket with Robin Uthappa to help KKR post a competitive 174/5.

    Badminton: Saina to open campaign against Fitriani

    Wuhan, Apr 27: In the Badminton Asia Championship, Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal will open her campaign against Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia in Chinese city of Wuhan today. World Number 10 PV Sindhu will starts her campaign against Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia in another women's singles match. World No.

    13 Kidambi Srikanth will clash with Korea's Lee Dong Keun in the opening round. 2010 Commonwealth Games champion pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will face Korean pair of Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee.

    Govt to provide Rs 1 lakh per month to Rio-bound athletes

    New Delhi, Apr 26: Union Sports Ministry has decided to provide one lakh rupees per month as out of pocket allowance to the sports persons under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme in their preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics Games at Rio de Janeiro.
    77 Indian athletes in eight disciplines have qualified for the Olympics till date and many more are likely to qualify in the next two months. Target Olympic Podium scheme is a sports ministry initiative under which Olympic medal prospects are funded by the government for top class training as part of their preparations for the Games...

    Exciting win for RKDF Titans against Bambole

    Bhopal, Apr 21: In the second match, under RN Kapoor inter-college cricket tournament on Bhabha campus grounds, RKDF Titans team (1st year) won the match against Bambole (1st year Dental) by 4 wickets.

    Batting first after winning the toss, Bambole batsmen Virendra Pal and Aman contributed 25 and 27 runs respectively in the team's total score of 119 runs in 12 overs. Prince and Manoranjan of RKDF team took 3 wickets each.

    RKDF Titans batsmen started on a confident note. Dhananjay and Manoranjan batted excellently with their individual contributions being 45 and 23 runs respectively. The match became exciting when only 7 runs were needed in the last over to win the match. And the batsmen did not disappoint. Dhananjay was declared Man of the Match.

    Bhabha Blasters blast RKDF; Raunaq Man of the Match

    Under RN Kapoor inter-college cricket tournament on Bhabha campus grounds, Bhabha Blasters won the match against RKDF-II EC team by 61 runs.It was IInd match of the day.

    Batting first, Bhabha Blasters made a mammoth total of 156 runs losing only 4 of their wickets. Top scorers were Raunaq (70 runs in 34 balls), Sonu (27-13) and Chandan (16-16). Main RKDF bowlers were Umesh, Anand, Gagandeep and Mithilesh who took one wicket each. It was a disappointing start for the RKDF team as their opener Amar was caught for duck on the second ball of Rishabh. Manoj, Mithilesh and Umesh then carried the score forward by their double digit scores. The 12th over brought the game to an end with the team score at 95 for the loss of 7 wickets. Raunaq of Bhabha team who also took 3 wickets was declared Man of the Match.

    RN Kapoor MICCT : RKDF Univ trounce Bhabha Royals

    Bhopal, Apr 20: Under RN Kapoor cricket tournament, underway on Bhabha campus grounds on Wednesday, RKDF University players got the chance to bat first. The team scored 115 runs in 12 overs with their top scorers being Hari (25 runs in 22 balls) and Niranjan (26 runs in 16 balls). From the fielding side, Bhabha Royals (Pharmacy) bowlers Naved took 3 wickets in 2 overs conceding 25 runs. Anirudh took 2 wickets conceding 17 runs.

    Bhabha Royals batsmen Abhishek and Prashant contributed 28 and 26 runs respectively. By the sixth over the score stood at 2wickets-47 runs. In the 8th over there was batting power play. Rest of the batsmen continued to play with determination taking the score to 101 and on the last ball a fine catch of the batsman was taken. RKDF University won the match by 15 runs. Man of the Match award went to Niranjan for scoring 26 runs.

    RN Kapoor MICCT : IES defeats NRI by six wickets

    Bhopal, Apr 19: Under RN Kapoor Memorial Inter-college cricket tournament, being played on Bhabha campus grounds, the NRI captain won the toss and decided to bat first. Opener Neeraj batted well and took his score to 38 runs when he was bold out. Vinay too contributed 17 runs. By the 10th over the score had reached 80 runs for the loss of six wickets. And by the time the last over was bowled the team was all out with score at 89. IES bowler Manish took 4 wickets in 3 overs conceding 22 runs.

    The IES team, led by Capt Saurabh started confidently. However, after the sixth over the team's score stood at 26 runs with 3 wickets down. Coming of Rocky and Chaitnya changed the scene as they contributed 36 runs and 19 runs. Finally, the match became a do or die battle for the team as in the last over it needed only 9 runs to win. And Chaitnya did it. Man of the Match award was given to Manish. In the earlier match, RKDFIST (Titans) defeated RKDF HMC. Dhananjay was awarded man of the match prize.

    RN Kapoor inter-college cricket tournament: Bhabha Blasters maul VITS

    Bhopal, Apr 18: Under RN Kapoor inter-college cricket tournament, underway at Bhabha campus grounds, the first match was played between Bhabha Blasters and VITS teams. VITS team captain won the toss and decided to field. Bhabha Blasters Chandan and Raunaq batted brilliantly taking their individual scores to 46 and 39 runs respectively.

    VITS bowlers Manoj and Akshay took two wickets each. Losing 7 of their wickets, the team scored 184 runs in the 12-over match.

    From VITS, opener Manish and fourth down batsman Chun Chun scored 15 and 21 runs respectively. Rest of the batsmen could make the score reach 99 when the team was out. Rizwan of Bhabha took 5 wickets in 1.5 overs conceding 12 runs. Man of the Match award went to Rizwan.

    RN Kapoor cricket: AISECT-XI trounce Glorious-XI by 8 wickets

    Bhopal, Apr 17: On the third day of RN Kapoor inter-college cricket tournament being played on Bhabha campus grounds here, AISECT-XI team captain Navin won the toss against Glorious XI (Bhabha main) team and decided to field first. Glorious XI team, led by its captain Rishabh, scored 100 runs in stipulated 12 overs, losing 8 of their wickets. Individual run-scorers include Umashankar 19 and Rishabh 16.

    Then AISECT players came to bat with full vigour. Opener Arif scored powerful 50 runs. Other contributors include Rahul 33 and M Tiwari n.o. 8. Man of the Match prize was won by Arif of AISECT team. The SECOND match was played between Bhabha first year and Bhabha Second year teams.

    The toss was won by Bhabha II year captain and he decided to field. Bhabha first year team scored 117 runs losing nine of their wickets in 12 overs. Aman scored 34 runs in 24 balls; he was bowled out by Nitin. Hamid scored 22 runs in 19 balls, he was stumped out on the bowling of Sonu.

    Bhabha II year team was all out after scoring 99 runs. Nitish scored 12 runs in 9 balls. Man of the Match award went to Aman. The THIRD match of the day was played between RKDF IST and RKDF II (Jharkhand) teams. RKDF-II captain won the toss and decided to bat first. The team scored 112 runs losing five of their wickets in 12 overs. Ritesh scored 35 runs and Satish 23.

    RKDF IST team could not stand the bowling, fielding of RKDF-II players with their score hovering around 64 runs at the loss of all wickets. Man of the Match prize went to Ritesh Kumar (35 runs one wkt).

    RN Kapoor cricket: RKDF Univ defeats NRI; Vinay Man of Match

    Bhopal, Apr 16: On the second day of RN Kapoor Memorial Cricket Tournament on Apr 14, three matches were played. The first match was played between RKDF University and NRI college. NRI team captain won the toss and decided to bat first. The team scored 169 runs losing two of their wickets. From NRI Om Prakash scored 54 runs in 34 balls. RKDF Univ team players batted well and won the match by 71 runs.

    Vinay Kumar was the top scorer hitting 74 runs in 34 balls. It included NINE sixers. The Man of Match prize was bagged by him. The SECOND match of the day was played between RKDFIST MDS and RKDF Gandhi Nagar teams. RKDFIST MDS team scored 73 runs losing 7 of their wickets in stipulated 12 overs. The RKDF Gandhi Nagar college team proved too strong for the MDS players. They scored the targeted runs easily. Sarvesh of RKDF team was declared Man of the Match. (Pic caption: Sarvesh receiving Man of the Match award).

    The third match of the day was played between RKDF MBBS (Dashing doctors) and Bhabha Pharmacy (Bhabha Royals) teams. Batting first, Bhabha Royals set a target of 128 runs, losing nine of their wickets in stipulated 12-over match. The doctors batted to their best stamina but ultimately lost the game when the score had reached near 90.

    RN Kapoor Cricket tourney inaugurated; IES wins first match against Bhabha

    Bhopal, Apr 14: A cricket extravaganza, being participated by teams of 32 different engineering colleges, began on the Bhabha campus grounds at Jatkhedi yesterday. Organized in memory of late RN Kapoor, the tournament was inaugurated by Dr SS Kushwaha, V-C, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan University, by tossing the coin in which Bhabha Hostels team captain won the toss and decided to field first against IES college team. The matches would be of 12-12 overs. The winning team would get trophy and cash prize of Rs 15,000; the runners-up would get Rs 7,000.

    Other guests present on the occasion include Ruchi Kapoor of RKDF Group; CEO, Bhabha group, Deepa Bakshi; Raj Raut, Director, RKDF-II and Amarjeet Singh, Director, Public Relations, RKDF Group. Batting first, the IES team, led by its ebullient captain, Saurabh Sinha, scored 119 runs losing 5 of their wickets in stipulated 12 overs.

    Amresh Kumar scored highest 51 runs in 36 balls. Similarly, Rocky made 39 runs in 15 balls. Now, it was the turn of Bhabha Hostel players to achieve the target of 120 runs to win the match. Their scorers include Ankit Singh 42 runs in 23 balls, Suvesh 14 runs in 5 balls and Ritu Raj scored 23 runs in 11 balls. But, soon there was a tumbling down of wickets one by one. Rituraj then steadied the situation by hitting sixes and fours and the score had narrowed down to 20 runs in remaining 4 balls.

    But, the stipulated 12th over was over and IES became the first victor. Saurabh Sinha bowled gracefully taking two wickets in 3 overs and conceding 18 runs. Man of the Match prize went to Amresh Kumar of IES (51 runs in 36 balls). A fine commentary was delivered by Ashish Chaudhary and Anand Sharma. Shubham Dwivedi jotted the scores taking all pains. Head coordinator, Kautilya kept an eye on the nitty-gritty of the proceedings.

    IPL 2016: Kings XI Punjab to face debutants Gujarat Lions in Mohali

    Mohali, Apr 11: David Miller-led Kings XI Punjab will open their IPL season 9 campaign against debutants Gujarat Lions at 8 pm tonight in Mohali. Kings XI Punjab continues to lack the team balance as it has not added any significant player and even lost Virender Sehwag who will only be the team mentor this season.

    On the other hand, Gujarat Lions have explosive batsmen in Brendon McCullum, captain Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch and a plenty of top-notch all-rounders in Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and James Faulkner in their side.

    Yesterday Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Delhi Daredevils by nine wickets at Eden Gardens.

    IPL 9th edition kicks off with 1st match between Mumbai & Pune; Pune wins

    Mumbai, Apr 9: Amidst a glitzy ceremony, the ninth edition of Indian Premier League started at the National Sports Club of India here on Friday. The opening clash was between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. Spanning over a month and a half, the ninth edition of IPL will be played without Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, which is being seen as Pune and Gujarat's gain.
    The heart of both sides have been ripped and spread between the two new franchises-Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions-led by MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina.

    Hockey: Indian eves lose to Japan in Q-F; men too succumb to Oz

    Hastings (NZ), Apr 9: The Indian Women's Hockey team's hopes of winning the Hawke's Bay Cup at Hastings in New Zealand, ahead of the forthcoming Rio Olympics, came to an end yesterday. They lost the quarterfinals to Japan, 1-3. Japan scored three goals in quick succession in the opening quarter leaving the Indian eves gasping. They, however, converted a penalty corner to reduce the gap.

    In the second half, India made few more shy attempts at goal but as the final whistle blew the scoreline remained 3-1 in Japan's favour. India will next play Canada tomorrow in 5th to 8th classification game. Over in Malaysia, in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, after a winning start against Japan, Indian Men's team got drubbed by world champions Australia 1-5 at Ipoh yesterday. India will take on Canada in their next game on Sunday.(Pic is of Indian men’s hockey team).

    Hockey: Sardar Singh helps India survive Japan scare with a 2-1 win

    Ipoh, Apr 7: India will take on world champions Australia in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2016 at Ipoh in Malaysia today. In its opening encounter yesterday, India defeated Japan 2-1. Initially Japan took the early lead, as in the second quarter Kenji scored to make the scoreline 1-0.

    It was, however, short lived as Harmanpreet Singh sounded board to make it 1-1 before half time. Heading in the third quarter India took lead from Captain Saradar Singh's goal in the 31st minute, to make the score line 2-1 and maintained that lead till the end.

    In another fixtures today, New Zealand will play against Canada and Japan will clash against Malaysia. This is the 25th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and has India, Pakistan, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan battling it out for the prestigious title. The event will serve as a barometer to measure the team's preparation for the Rio Olympics in August.

    India, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have already qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics and they will use this tournament as practice ahead of the mega event. India has had a good run in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup winning the annual event five times in 1985, 1991, 1995, 2009 and 2010, earning bronze on six occasions and finishing runners-up once in 2008.

    Badminton: Srikanth, Prannoy crash out of Malaysia Open

    Kuala Lumpur, Apr 6: In Badminton, K Srikanth and HS Prannoy today crashed out of the Malaysian Open in the opening round. While Srikanth went down fighting Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, 21-23, 21-9, 10-21, Prannoy lost to Kento Momota, the third seeded Japanese, in straight games, 19-21, 20-22.

    PV Sindhu, however, progressed to the second round. She defeated China's Bingjiao He, 21-16, 21-17. Third placed Saina Nehwal will play her first round match later in the day. She will meet Thai, Nitchaon Jindapol. Ajay Jayaram and the pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy will also be seen in action in the opening round.

    Virat Kohli, India maintain top spot in ICC rankings

    Dubai, Apr 5: India's star batsman Virat Kohli has maintained his number one position in the ICC T20 batsmen rankings after the conclusion of the World T20. Kohli, who was adjudged player of the tournament, leads Australia’s second-ranked Aaron Finch by 86 points. Team India too has retained its number one position.

    West Indies are now one point behind India's 126 points. World T20 runner up England are now fourth after swapping places with South Africa. New Zealand, who lost to England in the first semi-final, have retained their third place at 120 points.

    ICC T20: Windies men, women bag champs; Marlon Man of Match

    Kolkata, Apr 4: In a thriller game last night at Kolkata's Eden Gardens, the Caribbean snatched victory from England to lift the title for the second time, the only team in history to do so. With 156 runs on chase, the competition went to the last over, West Indies requiring 19 runs in 6 balls with 4 wickets in hand. Lower order batsman Carlos Brathwaite then smashed 4 sixes in a row against Ben Stokes to ensure victory for his side.

    Brathwaite made crucial 34 off just 10 balls, while the other end was held by Marlon Samuels who made a fighting 85 when other batsmen perished during the chase. The match went see saw and swayed towards England for the most of the time till the last over. Earlier, batting first, England made 155 for 9 in stipulated 20 overs riding on Joe Root's brilliant 54.

    For his holding innings, Samuels was adjudged Man of the Match while India's Virat Kohli was adjudged Man of the series. Earlier yesterday, the West Indies women created history by clinching the Women's World T20 crown. They ended the domination of three time defending champions Australia in the tournament with an emphatic eight wicket victory in the final played in Kolkata.

    Rio Olympics: Thapa Qualifies to box for India, heartbreak for Kom

    Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka reach Miami Open final Miami, Apr 2: Two-time Australian Open champion and former world number one, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus has entered the finals of Women's singles in Miami Open Tennis tournament.

    She defeated second seed and reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 7-5 in the semi-final today. Both have defeated top-ranked Serena Williams earlier in the finals. Kerber beat Serena at the Australian Open and Azarenka at the Indian Wells tournament.

    Azarenka will take on Russia's Svetlana Kudgnetswa in the Miami title clash. In men's singles title clash, top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia will take on David Gophin of Belgium.

    Meanwhile, top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a strong challenge from Belgium's David Goffin to reach the Miami Open final with a 7-6(5) 6-4 victory on Friday as he continued his pursuit of a fifth title in six years on Key Biscayne. Australian Open champion Djokovic improved his stellar record for the year to 27-1 and will next face Japan's Kei Nishikori, who ousted Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-5 in the second semi-final.

    While happy to get through he was under no illusions of what lay ahead on Sunday, when he will be looking to break a five-match losing streak against the Serbian world number one.

    Rio Olympics: Thapa Qualifies to box for India, heartbreak for Kom

    Qianan, (China), Apr 1: World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) today became the first Indian boxer to make the cut for this year's Olympics by entering the Asian Qualifying Tournament's final in Qianan, China. Shiva sailed past 2013 World Championship bronze-medallist Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan in the semifinal. He will face second seed Chatchai Butdee of Thailand in the final tomorrow.

    But, it was heartbreak for another top seed, Mary Kom, who went down to Ren Cancan of China in the semifinals, which will only translate into a bronze medal for her. However, Mary Kom has another chance of qualifying for the Rio Games during the World Championships in May.

    Another Indian in fray in the men's draw , fourth seed L Devendro Singh (49kg) lost to top seed Rogen Ladon of Mongolia in the semifinals. Assured of a bronze medal, Devendro will now fight it out for an Olympic quota place by taking on Mongolia's third-seeded Gan Erdene Gankhuyag tomorrow.

    It's going to be a `David vs Goliath contest', says Indies Capt Sammy

    Mumbai, Mar 31: Team India is only two steps from winning its fourth T20 World Cup title. India and West Indies play today in Mumbai and the winner will face England in the final at Kolkata on Apr 3. It may be recalled that Team India had won the World Cup on this ground in the year 2011.

    Meanwhile, Yuvraj who is nursing injury, has been replaced by Manish Pande. The pitch here is very favourable for batsmen. All eyes will be on Virat Kohli. Other players in limelight would be Chris Gayle and the Indian bowler Badri. Andre Russell is also an ace bowler as well as batsman.

    Meanwhile, West Indies captain Darren Sammy insisted that his side would be no pushover in the World Twenty20 semifinal clash against India on Thursday even though it seems like a "David vs Goliath contest".

    Badminton: Saurabh stuns Tago of Japan to reach main draw

    New Delhi, Mar 30: Indian shuttler Saurabh Varma stunned former top 10 player Kenichi Tago of Japan in straight games to reach the main draw of India Open Super series Badminton championship in New Delhi last night. Saurabh registered a 21-18, 21-10 win over fellow countrymen RMV Gurusaidutt in the men's singles round 1, before notching up a surprise victory over Tago 21-18, 21-12 to reach the Round of 32.

    Saurabh will take on Chinese legend Lin Dan in the main round match. In mixed doubles, new Indian pair of Manu Attri and Ashwini Ponnappa defeated Saurav Agarwal and Sraddha Tiwari 21-4, 21-8 in round 1 and got a bye in the second round to reach the main draw.

    In women's singles, Rituparna Das, Ruthvika Shivani, Tanvi Lad and Anura Prabhudesai reached the main draw. However, Anand Pawar and PC Thulasi's campaigns came to an end at the Siri Fort Sports Complex. Anura will take on Rituparna, Tanvi Lad will clash with defending champion Saina Nehwal, seeded second, while Ruthvika Shivani will take on 2011 All England Champion, China's Wang Shixian, seeded sixth.

    Saina, Srikanth to start their campaign at India Open badminton

    New Delhi, Mar 29: The India Open Super Series badminton starts with the qualifiers in New Delhi today. Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth are the defending Singles Champions. London Olympic bronze medallist Saina will be eager to reach her peak ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

    The 26-year-old, who received the Padma Bhushan award from President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, will take on a qualifier in the opening round at the Siri Fort Complex. 23-year old Srikanth will meet Chinese seventh seed Tian Houwei in the first round. Among other Indians, PV Sindhu will start her campaign in the main draw against Jeanine Cicognini tomorrow.

    All three Indian pairs suffer losses in NZ Open badminton

    Auckland, Mar 26: It turned out to be a dismal day for India at the New Zealand Open badminton tournament after all the three Indian pairs, including Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, suffered straight-game losses to bow out of the Grand Prix Gold event at Auckland.

    2011 World Championship bronze-medallists, Jwala and Ashwini, gave a tough fight in the opening game but ran out of steam in the second to go down 22-24, 8-21 to the local combo of Setyana Mapasa and Gronya Somerville in the women's doubles competition.

    In men's doubles, sixth seeds Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who had won the Mexico Open last December, lost 10-21, 20-22 to second seeded Korean pair of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol.

    Shin Baek Cheol also paired up with Chae Yoo Jung to defeat Indian mixed doubles combo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy 21-14, 21-18 in another quarterfinal match.

    Iran beat lacklustre India 4-0 in football World Cup qualifier

    Tehran, Mar 25: India went down 0-4 to Asian football giants Iran in a one-sided 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi Stadium here on Thursday. Ehsan Hajsafi (33rd, 66th minutes) struck twice from the penalty spot, while Sardar Azmoun (61st) and Alireza Jahanbakhsh (78th) struck once each.

    Iran finished as the top team in Group D with 17 points. India remain last in the five-team group with just three points to their name ahead of their final game against Turkmenistan in Kochi on March 29. India do have a faint chance of qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup, but they will have to defeat Turkmenistan and depend on results from other matches in the group.

    Up against the highest ranked team in Asia, the Indians adopted a defensive approach. But they produced a limp performance and were undone by a couple of defensive blunders which led to penalties. The men in blue started off well enough, restricting the hosts to just a single goal in the first half. But their game fell apart in the second half as Iran, coached by former Manchester United manager Carlos Quieroz, made their domination count.

    Anand surrenders his lead in Candidates Masters tournament

    Moscow, Mar 24: Former world champion Viswanathan Anand has surrendered his lead in the Candidates Masters tournament after losing a crunch game against Fabiano Caruana of United States. In the Round 10 match in Moscow tonight, Anand playing with black could not overcome the early advantage seized by Caruana through a temporary bishop sacrifice.

    With this loss, Anand has slipped to shared third place with just four rounds remaining. Caruana and Sergey Karjakin of Russia share the lead. They are one-point ahead of Anand and Levon Aronian. The winner of Candidates tournament will be the Challenger to Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the world title.

    Open squash: Joshna goes down to unseeded Donna

    New Delhi, Mar 22: India's highest ranked player Joshna Chinappa failed to cross the opening hurdle, going down to unseeded Donna Urquhart of Australia, to crash out of the prestigious British Open Squash in New Delhi. Seeded 14th, Joshna ran out of steam against Donna, who carved out a 12-10, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5 win over the Indian late last night.

    The match lasted 40 minutes. Another Indian, National Champion Saurav Ghosal is set to play his first round match against eighth seeded Mathieu Castagnet of France tonight.

    Prannoy wins Swiss Open; Saina goes down fighting

    Basel (Switzerland), Mar 21: India's HS Prannoy won the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in Basel, Switzerland, today. The 13th-seed Prannoy (World No. 27) defeated Marc Zwiebler ((World No. 19)) of Germany 21-18 ,21-15 in the final. The rising Indian star took just 45 minutes to outclass the seventh-seeded German as he lifted his second Grand Prix Gold title. Earlier, he had won in Indonesia in 2014.

    The first game was a tense affair with both the players matching each other stroke for stroke. However, at 18-18, Prannoy accelerated to pocket three points in-a-row to go 1-0 up. The 23-year-old Kerala lad was always in control in the second game and maintained a slender lead throughout to seal the fate of a tall German.

    On Saturday night, in the women’s singles semifinal, top seed Saina Nehwal went down fighting against third seed Wang Yihan of China 11-21, 19-21 in 40 minutes. It was Saina's tenth loss against Yi-han in 14 meetings.

    Candidates chess: Anand to take on Dutch-man Anish Giri

    Moscow, Mar 19: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will take on Dutch-man Anish Giri in the seventh round of the Candidates Chess Tournament in Moscow today. Anand had staged a brilliant comeback by crashing through the defences of Peter Svidler of Russia in Thursday's sixth round game. The win helped Anand to gain joint second spot with 3.5 points in his kitty. Russia's Sergey Karjakin is leading the field with total 4 points and eight more rounds still to come in the Tournament.

    The Candidates Tournament will decide the challenger to current world champion, Magnus Carlson of Norway for the world chess championship planned in November at New York.

    Swiss Open badminton: Saina, Prannoy reach quarter-finals

    New Delhi, Mar 18: : Indian badminton queen Saina Nehwal reached the quarter-finals Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament being held at Basel, after registering a straight-game victory in women's singles match against Czech Republic player 21-18 21-17 in a 34-minute duel.

    The Olympic bronze medallist will next take on seventh seed Japanese Sayaka Sato. Meanwhile, men's badminton player HS Prannoy too reached the quarters after beating Rajiv Ouseph of England in straight sets. Prannoy overcame the seeded sixth Rajiv 21-13 21-18 to set up a clash with 16th seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. Sixth seed PV Sindhu, who also reached the quarter-finals, will meet China's He Bingjiao next.

    Swiss Open Grand Prix: Prannoy, Sameer continue winning run

    Basel, (Switzerland), Mar 17: Indian shuttlers HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma continued their winning run in the men's singles competition to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold in Basel. In late night matches, 13th seed Prannoy beat Germany's Lars Schaenzler 21-16, 21-13 to set up a meeting with 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph of England, seeded sixth.

    Young Sameer also continued to punch above his weight, notching up a stunning 21-19, 22-20 win over fourth seed Chinese Wang Zhengming. He will next take on Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, seeded 16th. However, it was the end of 11th seed Ajay Jayaram's campaign as his fight ended with a narrow 21-23, 18-21 loss to Kenichi Tago of Japan last night.

    B Sai Praneeth also made it to the pre-quarterfinals after prevailing over Uzbekistan's Artyom Savatyugin 21-7, 21-10. He will next take on second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. Two-time champion and top seed Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu also reached the pre-quarterfinals of the women's singles competition.

    Olympic bronze medallist Saina saw off Germany's Karin Schnaase 21-7, 21-to set up a meeting with Czech's Kristina Gavnholt. Double World Championships bronze winner Sindhu, seeded sixth, sent Ireland's Chole Magee packing 21-19, 21-10. She will face Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei in the pre-quarterfinals.

    Anand to take on Russian Sergey in Round 4 of Candidates Chess

    Moscow, Mar 15: Former world champion Viswanathan Anand will take on Russian Sergey Karjakin in the Round 4 of Candidates Chess tournament, in Moscow today. Anand is presently in joint lead with Karjakin and Armenian Levon Aronian with eleven rounds still to come in the tournament.

    Earlier Anand drew his games with Aronian and America's Fabiano Caruana following a victory over Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the first round. The candidate tournament will decide the challenger to current world champion, Magnus Carlson of Norway for the world chess championship planned in November at New York

    Wayde van Niekerk: South African creates sprinting history

    Mar 13:South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk has become the first athlete to run under 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for the 200m and 44 seconds for 400m. Van Niekerk ran 100m in 9.98 seconds in Bloemfontein on Saturday to add to his 19.94 personal best over 200m and 400m world title-winning 43.48. The 23-year-old was helped by a legal 1.5m/sec tailwind and 1,300m altitude.

    "Wow! Finally reaching my dream of sub 10," Van Niekerk wrote on Instagram alongside a video of the race. Former world and Olympic 200m and 400m champion Michael Johnson wrote on Twitter: "Sub 10, sub 20, sub 44. That's crazy. Great things could be ahead for Dwayne." Van Niekerk will only run the 400m at the Olympics in Rio this summer.

    Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei spoils Saina's dreams for championship

    Birmingham, Mar 12: India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has crashed out of the All England Badminton Championship after suffering a straight-game defeat against Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals of the women's singles event. World no. 2 and second seed Saina was India's lone hope after the exits of the trio of B Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma in the second round of the men's singles event. But the London Olympics bronze medallist, was skittled out 15-21 16-21 yesterday at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.

    Earlier, Praneeth, who had stunned two-time Olympic silver medallist and former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the opening round, lost to Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in a three-setter to bow out of the prestigious tournament. Also the highest ranked Indian, K Srikanth was no match for fourth seed Kento Momota of Japan as he lost 10-21 13-21 in a lopsided match. Qualifier Sameer Verma put a good fight before losing to eighth seed Tian Houwei of China in a three-setter.P V Sindhu had crashed out of the women's singles in the first round itself.

    All England Badminton: Saina, Srikanth to play pre-QF matches

    Birmingham, Mar 10:Saina Nehwal, K Srikanth and two other Indian shuttlers will play their pre-quarterfinal matches of the All England Open Badminton tournament at Birmingham today.

    While second seed Saina will take on Busanan Ongbumrungphan of Thailand, Srikanth will meet the higher placed Japanese Kento Momota. Sai Praneeth, who stunned second seed Chong Wei Lee yesterday, will clash with Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark. Sameer Verma will also be seen in action. (Pic: Jwala and Ashwini)

    Meanwhile, star pair of Ashwini Ponappa and Jwala Gutta and star male player Ajay Jairam tasted defeat, bowing out in the first round itself. Others who faced defeat include HS Pranay, in singles and Manu Atri and Sumit Reddy in men’s doubles. Jwala-Ashiwini pair was defeated by Holland’s Samanta and Iris pair in 36 minutes 26-24, 21-17.

    All England Badminton: Saina among 11 to be seen in action

    London, Mar 9: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and K. Srikanth are among the 11 Indian shuttlers who will be seen in action today in the opening round of the All England Open Badminton tournament in Birmingham. While second seed Saina will take on Michelle Li of Canada, Sindhu will meet Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.

    In the Men's section, K. Srikanth will clash with local boy Rajiv Ouseph, with Ajay Jayaram battling it out against Long Angus of Hong Kong.

    Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy and the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are also among the Indian shuttlers who will play their first round fixtures today.

    Davis Cup: Andy Murray & Kei Nishikori win, Britain & Japan level

    Birmingham, Mar 5: Andy Murray returned to action with a comfortable win as Great Britain ended day one of their Davis Cup defence tied at 1-1 against Japan in Birmingham. The Scot, 28, beat world number 87 Taro Daniel 6-1 6-3 6-1 in his first match since becoming a father last month. World number six Kei Nishikori brought the visitors level with a 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7-3) win over Dan Evans in Birmingham. Murray will face visitors' top player on Sunday. (Pic: Andy Murray shakes hands with Japan's Taro Daniel)

    Victory in the best-of-five first-round tie will secure a quarter-final place and World Group status in 2017. Dom Inglot and Jamie Murray are scheduled to take on Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama in Saturday's doubles contest, although the line-ups can change up to an hour before the 14:00 GMT start time.

    World TT: Eves advance to main draw; Men team to meet Slovak

    Kuala Lumpur, Mar 3: India's women team has advanced to the main draw of the World Table Tennis Team Championships. They did so in Kuala Lumpur today, after thrashing Croatia 3-0 in the Second Division last group match. Manika Batra, Mouma Das and K Shamini won their respective matches and helped the team top group G. Yesterday, in the late evening match, the women's team got a walkover from Nigeria.

    Indian men's team, after the third round reverse against Nigeria, beat Switzerland 3-0 in a late evening match yesterday. The men's team is scheduled to play Slovak Republic to complete their group F engagements and the results of which will decide their fate. The Nigerians are leading the points table with eight points while the Indians are just behind them with seven points.

    World TT: Indian eves beat Portugal, enter fourth round

    Kuala Lumpur, Feb 2: Indian women team defeated Portugal 3-0 to enter the fourth round of the World Table Tennis Championship at Kuala Lumpur. However Indian Men's team lost to Nigeria 0-3 in their third round match. India's Manika Batra defeated Leila Oliverira 11-5,7-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9 in the first match while compatriot Mouma Das beat Catia Martins 11-5, 11-9, 11-6. K Shamini then beat Patricia Maciel 11-1, 11-4, 11-9 to make it a clean sweep for India.

    The Indian women next play Nigeria. The Indian men's team, led by Achanta Sharath Kamal gave in to higher-ranked Nigerians rather meekly. Soumyajit Ghosh lost the opening match to Aruna Quadri 11-5, 11-4, 11-3. Sharath went down to Nigerian opponent 13-15, 6-11, 13-11, 5-11. Anthony Amalraj also lost the third tie 13-11, 8-11, 9-11, 8-11. The men play Switzerland today.

    Baghdatis rallies to defeat Lopez, will play Wawrinka in Dubai final

    Dubai, Feb 27: Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis battled back from an early deficit to defeat Spain's Feliciano Lopez 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1 Friday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and will take on second-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the final.

    The story of the match was Lopez's steadily declining winning percentage on second-serve points, which fell from an outstanding 69 percent in the first set to just 37 percent in the second set and a miniscule 20 percent in the decider.

    Sania-Martina bow to Russian pair of Elena and Daria Kasatkina

    Qatar, Feb 26: In Tennis, the record 41-match winning run of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the world number one pair, came to an end at the Qatar Open yesterday. The duo lost the quarter-final match to the Russian pair of Elena Vesnina and Daria Kasatkina, 6-2, 4-6, 5-10 to bow out of the tournament. Prior to Qatar, Sania and Hingis had won four titles this year out of an overall 13 trophies. These include three consecutive Grand Slams - Wimbledon, US Open and the Australian Open.

    In the Singles, world number one Novak Djokovic was forced to retire from his quarter-final against Feliciano Lopez yesterday with an eye problem. Djokovic quit the match after losing the first set, 6-3, in which he made 18 unforced errors in only nine games. With this, Djokovic's run of making 17 successive Tour finals has come to an end. He had, earlier, progressed to the quarter-finals with a 700th career win.

    WTA Qatar Open: Sania-Hingis survive scare, enter Quarter Final

    Doha, Feb 24: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis survived a scare before pulling off a three-set win over the Chinese pair of Yi-Fan Xu and Saisai Zheng in the WTA Qatar Open to extend their unbeaten streak to 41 matches in Doha today.

    The top seeded Indo-Swiss pair toiled for one hour and 24 minutes to prevail 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 over the unseeded Chinese duo to enter the quarterfinals. They got a bye in the first round in the hard court tournament. Sania and Hingis have together won four titles this year out of an overall trophy count of 13.

    Asia Badminton: Prannoy secures berth in semis; women team bow out

    Hyderabad, Feb 20: In the Badminton Asia Team Championship, being played at Hyderabad, Indian Men's team continued its impressive run, as they booked a semifinal berth with a 3-2 win over former champions Malaysia Friday. However, Women's team bowed out after losing to Korea, 3-0. HS Prannoy won the deciding singles after India and Malaysia were locked 2-2 in the five-match quarterfinals. Prannoy beat Teck Zhi Soo 21-12, 22-20 to put India in the semifinals.

    The win has qualified India to play in Thomas Cup in May. Badminton Asia championship selects qualifiers for Thomas and Uber cup. Today India will clash with Indonesia. The women's team included PV Sindhu, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.

    Asia Badminton: Indian men defeat China in 3 singles, lose in doubles

    Hyderabad, Feb 19: The Indian men beat China for the first time in a team event before the women lost to Japan in the Badminton Asia Team Championship here on Thursday. The Indian men defeated a depleted China 3-2 in the five-match tie comprising three singles and two doubles. The home team won all three singles but went down in doubles.

    In the first men's singles match, captain Kidambi Srikanth, currently the top ranked player for India at 9, gave a good start to his team with a superb 21-11, 21-17 win against China's Houwei Tian. In the second singles between India's Ajay Jayaram and China's Zhengming Wang, the Indian came out on top winning 22-20, 15-21, 21-18.

    India's HS Prannoy, ranked 27, too was not found lacking as he went on to win against his low-ranked rival Yuqi Shi in the third singles 21-14, 21-10. The two doubles matches of the tie were, however, a disappointment for India as the team lost both of them. Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy lost to China's Junhui Li-Zihan Qiu 20-22, 11-21. In the second doubles, the pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar was defeated by Yilv Wang-Wen Zhang 10-21, 18-21.

    Mithali (53 runs), deepti (4wkts) star in 2nd OD win against Lanka

    Ranchi, Feb 18: The Indian women's cricket team have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. In the second encounter in Ranchi today, the hosts beat the visitors by six-wickets. (file pic of Mithali) India had won the first match in Ranchi by 107 runs on Monday. The third and final match will be played in Ranchi on Friday.

    Opting to bat first, at the JSCA International Stadium Complex yesterday, Sri Lanka could manage only 178 for nine in the allotted 50 overs. India achieved the victory target by making 179 for four in 43.1 overs. Skipper Mithali Raj remained unbeaten on 53. Opener Smriti Mandhana - 46, and Harmanpreet Kaur - 41 were the other notable scorers. 18-year-old medium pacer Deepti Sharma was the wrecker in chief for India in the Sri Lankan innings. She picked up four wickets for 23 runs.

    The scores:- Sri Lanka women: 178 fo 9 in 50 overs. India women: 179 for 4 in 43.1 overs.

    ATP Challenger tennis: Yuki-Mahesh advance to quarterfinals

    New Delhi, Feb 17: Yuki Bhambri and Mahesh Bhupati advanced to the doubles quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger tennis tournament Delhi Open at RK Khanna Stadium in New Delhi. Yuki Bhambri’s sagging spirits got a boost as he and Mahesh Bhupathi beat Chandril Sood and Lakshit Sood 4-6, 6-1 yesterday.

    After having suffered a first-round defeat in the singles to Belgian Joris de Loore, the doubles victory was Bhambri's first of the season. Top seed Yuki Bhambri exited from the singles event after losing 4-6, 6-7 against the Belgian. Among the Indians, only Vishnu Vardhan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran progressed to the second round of the singles, beating compatriots Adil Kalyanpur and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan respectively.

    SA Games boxing: Marykom, Sarita & Pooja clinch Gold medals

    Guwahati, Feb 16: India today white-washed the Boxing events of the 12th South Asian Games. MC Marykom, Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani clinched Gold medals in their respective categories to help India clean sweep Boxing with 10 Gold medals.

    Yesterday, the host nation had won all the seven categories in the Men's section. The Gold medal winners included Shiva Thapa, L. Devendro Singh, Mandeep Jangra and Vikas Krishan. (File pic of Mary, Sarita and Pooja)

    Besides Boxing, Judo and Taekwondo are today's events with medal hopes. After the events, the Games will culminate with a closing ceremony this evening. India's medals tally is now 309 - 189 Gold, 90 Silver and 30 Bronze. Sri Lanka is second, while Pakistan is third

    SAG: Shooters bag two Gold medals; Mary Kom final tomorrow

    Guwahati, Feb 15; In the 12th South Asian Games, Indian shooters bagged two Gold medals today taking their yellow metal tally at the event to 23. A Gold each came in the team events of Women’s 10-metre Air Pistol and Men's 25-metre Rapid Fire Pistol events. The Women's team comprised of Heena Sidhu, Yashaswini Singh and Sweta Singh, while the Men's team featured Vijay Kumar, Gurpreet Singh and Akshay Suhas. (File pic: Heena, Shweta and Yashaswini) Meanwhile, 7 Indian boxers will be seen in action in the Finals today. These include L Devendro Singh, Shiva Thapa, Mandeep Jangra, Vikas Krishan and Manoj Kumar.

    Female pugilists, MC Mary Kom, Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani will play their final bouts tomorrow. In Kabaddi, the Indian Men's team will take on Pakistan, while the Women's team will clash with Bangladesh in the Finals. In Football, both the Men's and Women's teams will play against Nepal for Gold medals. India's medals tally currently stands at 162 Gold, 88 Silver and 28 Bronze. Sri Lanka is second, while Pakistan is third.

    Kiren Rijiu slams politicians, intellectuals supporting 'anti-India elements'

    New Delhi, Feb 15: Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiu has said, it is a tragedy for India that some politicians and intellectuals are supporting elements propagating anti-India sentiments. In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Rijiju said, freedom of expression is not absolute and unqualified and it cannot be at expense of national interest. His statement came in the wake of JNU controversy.

    The Minister said, he was deeply hurt by the anti-India slogans raised by some students at JNU recently at an event against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. He also advised such people to stay in border states like Arunachal Pradesh and learn patriotism from villagers.

    India bags 2 Gold and 2 Silver medals in Triathlon

    Guwahati, Feb 13: India today began the day with 2 Gold and 2 Silver medals in Triathlon. Triathlon is an event involving Swimming, Cycling and Running in immediate succession over various distances. In the Men's section, Dilip Kumar bagged the Gold, with Guru Datt taking the Silver. In the Women’s category, Pallavi Retiwala clinched the Gold, while the Silver went to Pooja Charushi.

    In Kabaddi, the full strength Indian Men's team defeated Bangladesh, 30-17. The Men's Football team is now playing its semi-final against Bangladesh. The Women's team will also play against Bangladesh at 4 PM.

    Besides, India are figuring in Boxing and Taekwondo among others events. India currently have 148 Gold, 82 Silver and 23 Bronze. Sri Lanka is second while Pakistan is third.

    Nitender Singh Rawat claims yellow metal in athletics

    Guwahati, Feb 12: India today continued its stunning show in Shooting at the 12th South Asian Games. They swept both the 10 metre Standard Pistol individual as well as team event. In the Individual section, Neeraj Kumar bagged the Gold, with Gurpreet Singh claiming the Silver, and Mahendra Singh taking the Bronze. The trio also won Gold in the team event.

    Indian shooters have, now, claimed 10 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in the Games. In Marathon, India took 2 Gold and a Bronze today as the Athletics events ended. In the Men's section, Nitender Singh Rawat claimed the coveted yellow metal, with Kheta Ram taking the Bronze. In the Women's category, Kavitha Raut clinched the top honours. India now has 144 Gold, 79 Silver and 21 Bronze.

    In Kabaddi, Indian Men's team defeated Nepal, 47-23 in a group match. Tonight, in Hockey, India will take on Pakistan for the Gold medal at 8 PM. Thursday night, Indian eves had defeated Sri Lanka, 10-0 to clinch the South Asian Games' first Women's Hockey Gold medal. India will also figure in Men's and Women's medal matches in Taekwondo, besides Handball and Football.

    SAG: Indian shooters claim 6 medals; tally at 122 Gold, 66 silver

    Guwahati, Feb 11: Indian shooters claimed 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze in the 12th South Asian Games today. They got the coveted yellow metal each in the Men's 50 metre Rifle Prone Team and Individual, and Men's 25 metre Center Fire Pistol event. The Rifle Prone team comprised of Gagan Narang, Chain Singh and Surendra Singh. In the Individual section, Chain Singh bagged the Gold, while Narang settled for a Silver.

    India swept the Men's 25 metre Center Fire Pistol Final, with Samaresh Jung taking the Gold, Pemba Tamang winning the Silver and Vijay Kumar claiming the Bronze. Pic shows Chain Singh, Gagan Narang (India) and Siddique Umar (Pakistan) who won Bronze Medal in the 50m Rifle contest.

    In Tennis, Prarthana Thombre and Sharrmadaa Baluu won the Women's Doubles Gold. They beat fellow Indians Rishika Sunkara and Natasha Palhaindia who took the Silver. With this, India has easily broken its South Asian Games record of 118 Gold set in the 2006 in Colombo.

    Meanwhile, 12 Track and Field events are scheduled for today. These include Men's Shot Put and Triple Jump, and Women's 10,000 metres race, and 4X400 metres relay. 10 Gold, 9 Silver and 3 Bronze were won in Athletics yesterday. The Women's Hockey Gold medal match between India and Sri Lanka will also take place today. India will also figure in Football and Kabaddi.

    12th SA Games: Tennis, Table Tennis medals in India's kitty

    Guwahati, Feb 10: It was all India in Tennis and Table Tennis on Wednesday as it bagged 4 Gold and 4 Silver medals in both the Sporting disciplines. In Tennis, a Gold and a Silver came each in Men's Doubles and Women's Singles categories.

    The pair of Ram Kumar Ramanathan and Vijay Sunder bagged the Gold in the Men's Doubles, with Ankita Raina claiming the top honours in the Women's Singles. In Table Tennis, Manika Batra and Pooja Sahasrabudhe took the Gold beating Mouma Das and Shamini. Sathiya Gnanasekaran and Devesh Karia secured the top honours in the Men's section. In the 12th South Asian Games, India now have a total of 131 medal - 82 Gold, 39 Silver and 10 Bronze. Sri Lanka is second while Pakistan is third.

    In Shooting, 4 Indians - Apurvi Chandela, Omkar Singh, Om Prakash and PN Prakash entered the final of their respective events. Many Indian swimmers, including Veerdhawal Khade, Neil Contractor and Shivani Kataria, also made it to the Final. In Hockey, the Indian Men’s team will take on Sri Lanka in the evening.

    New Zealand bids adieu to Maccllum with victory

    Hamilton, Feb 9: New Zealand defeated Australia by 55 runs in the third and last one-day match on their home ground and gave a befitting farewell to their all-round player and captain Brendon Maccullum in his last career match. In his last career match, Capt Maccullum (34) scored 47 runs. Playing his 260th one-day match, Macllum made the match memorable by scoring six fourers and three sixers in 27 balls. He has become the fourth batsman to score 200 sixers in one-day match.

    Gold rush continues as India shines in Archery

    Guwahati, Feb 8: Indian archers today joined the party at the 12th South Asian Games as they bagged all the three medals in the Compound Team events. The Women's team comprised of Purvasha Sudhir, Jyoti Surekha and Lily Chanu, while the Men's team featured Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Manash Jyoti. Abhishek and Purvasha made the Mixed team.

    India Archers are yet to figure in Compound's Individual events, and 2 Gold and 2 Silver are assured in that as well, as the finalists are all Indians.

    In Weightlifting, Kavita Devi and Vikas Thakur bagged the top honours in their respective weight categories. In Squash, Joshana Chinappa brought laurels to the country, winning Gold in the Singles event. She defeated Pakistan's Maria Toorpaki Wazir, 3-1 in the final. Earlier, Indian cyclists again began the day for India with a Gold.

    Compete with togetherness, teamwork and talent, calls PM

    Guwahati, Feb 6: Describing the Games as a springboard for the overall development of the North East India, India as a whole and the South East Asia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all to play for Peace, Prosperity and Progress. The Prime Minister further said that his vision for South Asia is the same with his vision for India -- that is, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.

    He also said that 21% population of the world resides in South East Asia contributing 9% of the world economy. He said that this Game will further strengthen cooperation among the SAARC countries.

    The Flame of the 12th South Asian Games was brought into the grounds by Gagan Nareng and was relayed through by eminent sport personalities including Monalisa Mehta, Bhogeshwar Baruah, Anju Bobby Goerge, Krishna Poonia and Rani Nagpal. Baichung Bhutia did the final lap and lit the digital flames in the centre of the ground.

    The cultural show, which followed the flame lighting ceremony was a glittering spectacle showcasing the confluence of the digital and the traditional. Immersing the grounds in a show of vivid colours and lights ,the show started with the theme song of the Games, 'Ai Prithibi Ek Krirangan'. The song originally composed by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, it was performed by artists' Mayukh Hazarika, Lou Majao and others and spreads the message of peace and harmony through sports. It was followed by a colourful display of the traditional dances of the region and song performances by artists like Zubin Garg, Angaraag Mahanta and Nahid Afrin.

    BCCI announces squad for Asia Cup and World T20

    Mumbai, Feb 5: BCCI on Friday announced the team for the Asia Cup and World T20. India have picked seamer Mohammed Shami for the World T20. Shami came back from Australia with a hamstring injury. He has not played for India since the 2015 World Cup.

    Virat Kohli, who is rested for the three T20Is against Sri Lanka, replaces Manish Pandey in the 15. Shami took Bhuvneshwar Kumar's place. MS Dhoni will be captain, and the rest of the team is:

    Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Shami.

    Kerala wins 61st National School Athletics championship

    Kozhikode, Feb 4: Kerala has won the 61st National School Athletics championship which concluded in Kozhikode yesterday. This is for the 19th consecutive time Kerala becomes the champions in the event. The sports events had begun on Jan 29. It was hosted by the School Games Federation of India.

    According to newspaper reports, Tamil Nadu came second. Kerala, the host of the championship got 306 points winning 39 gold, 29 silver and 17 bronze medals. Tamil Nadu, who came second, got 116 points winning 11 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals. Maharashtra with 101 points gained the third position. Kerala won 10 meet records out of 20 records which were reported in the meet.

    Kerala's Anumol Thampi won the Junior Girls section 3000m with a record breaking effort of 9:47.19 seco, eclipsing the meet mark of 10:00.03s by Ritu Dinakar of Uttar Pradesh in 2008 in Kolkata.

    In the Junior Boys 3000m, P N Ajith (Ker) claimed the first spot finishing the race in 8:46.54s and Karthik Kumar (UP) came second with 8:47.69s. Vidya Bharathi's Shyam finished third with 8:49.37s.

    Sanjeev secures 12th Olympic quota berth from shooting

    New Delhi, Feb 3: Two-time Olympian Sanjeev Rajput has secured India's 12th Olympic quota berth from shooting for the upcoming Rio Games. In New Delhi yesterday, he finished fourth in men's 50 metre rifle 3 positions at the Asian Olympic Qualifying Competition.

    Owing to the 35-year-old marksman’s effort, India could be sending 12 shooters, their highest-ever, to the quadrennial extravaganza in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro come August. At the London Olympics four years ago, India had 11 representatives in shooting.

    Rajput's effort also brought to end a three-day barren run that set in on day four of the competition. Sanjeev shot 429.5 after an impressive comeback in pone in the eight-man finals at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range to earn the country another Games berth.

    There were three quota places available in the finals and the other two went to Kazakhstan's Vitaliy Dovgun and Thailand's 20-year old Napis Tortungpanich. India, however, missed out on a quota in men's skeet as Angad Vir Singh Bajwa narrowly failed to make the cut after finishing eighth with a score of 118 in the qualification rounds. Six top shooters play in the finals of skeet.

    Torch Relay of 12th South Asian Games held in Itanagar

    Itanagar, Feb 3: Torch Relay of the 12th South Asian Games was held in Itanagar today. Arunachal Pradesh Governor JP Rajkhowa flagged of the event by handing over the Torch to Mountaineer Ansu Jensenpa, who holds the world record of climbing the Everest thrice. The relay started at Raj Bhawan and culminated at Indira Gandhi Park from where it returned to Guwahati.

    12th South Asian Games which is being organized from 5th of this month to 15th at Guwahati and Shillong, is the first mega sports event that would take place in the North East. The SAG is a biennial multinational multi-sport event held amongst the athletes from South Asia and being organized in the similar format of Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games (CWG).

    The SAG this year will have athletes participating from eight member countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Over three thousand five hundred athletes and sports officials confirmed to participate in the Games.

    Meanwhile, the Centre has deployed 45 additional companies of security forces in Guwahati in the wake of upcoming South Asian games. Guwahati Police Commissioner Mukesh Agarwal said that five more companies will also arrive. He said that proper security measures have been put in place in Guwahati. He said that aerial and riverine surveillance is also being done to ensure safety of the players and visitors.

    Mr.Agarwal further said ,special security arrangement has been made at hotels where players are staying. 15 additional companies of state police have also been deployed. Police have set up 24x7 help line desk .The numbers are 0361-2601879, 09531288130 and 09531288132.

    Rishabh Pant records fastest fifty against Nepal

    Mirpur, Feb 2: Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant smashed his way into the record books with 78 off 24 balls as India colts gave Nepal a rude reality check by handing them a seven-wicket hammering to finish their league engagements unbeaten in the ICC U-19 World Cup in Mirpur today. Left-hander Pant, hit nine fours and five sixes during his fastest 50 off 18 balls in the U-19 World Cup history as India cruised to the victory target of 170 in only 18.1 overs.

    Nepal, who have been the surprise package of the tournament, were blown away as Rishabh and skipper Ishan Kishan , 52 , added 124 runs in 9 overs. Earlier, Indian bowlers, led by Avesh Khan who took 3 for 34, restricted the Himalayan nation to 169 for 8 in a match that was reduced to 48 overs.

    India sweep T-20 series against Australia; also gain top rank

    Sydney, Feb 1: India completed a total whitewash of the three match T-20 series against Australia, defeating the hosts by seven wickets in the third and final Twenty20 match to win the series 3-0 in Sydney.

    India surpassed the target of 198 by making 200 for three in their 20 overs. Rohit Sharma was the top scorer with 52, while Virat Kohli made 50. Suresh Raina remained unbeaten on 49 and Yuvraj Singh on 15. Needing two runs off the last ball, Raina hit the winning shot for a boundary.

    Earlier, Australia's stand-in captain Shane Watson won the toss and decided to bat first. Watson pulverised a mediocre Indian bowling to smash an unbeaten 124 as Australia scored a commendable 197 for five in 20 overs. The seasoned all-rounder played only 71 balls hitting 10 fours and half a dozen of sixes carrying his bat through the innings.

    Meanwhile, Indian men's team today became the number one side in the ICC T20 rankings after whitewashing Australia in the three-match series in Sydney today.

    India, who are also the number one in Tests, overtook the West Indies to reach the top sport in the shortest format. India have 120 rating points, two more than the Caribbean unit. Sri Lanka also have 118 rating points like the West Indies but they are third in the charts.

    India have hit top form in the T20 format ahead of the World T20 to be held at home in March-April.

    England with 117 rating points are fourth in the rankings ahead of New Zealand 116 points, South Africa 115 points, Pakistan 113 and Australia 110. Afghanistan with 80 points and Scotland 66 points round up the top-10.

    In another cricket match in Sydney today, in the third and final Women's Twenty-20 match, Australia defeated India by 15 runs. Chasing the victory target of 137 runs, Indian Women's team could manage only 121 runs for 8 wickets in 20 overs. Earlier, Australian team made 136 runs for 5 wickets in 20 overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Indian eves have already grabbed the T-20 series winning first two matches.

    Novak Djokovic retains Australian Open Men's Singles Title

    Melbourne, Jan 31: World Number One Novak Djokovic has retained the Australian Open Men's Singles Title. In the final in Melbourne today, the Serbian defeated Andy Murray of Britain in straight sets 6-1, 7-5, 7-6. Djokovic also equalled the record of Roy Emerson's record of six Australian Open Singles titles.

    The defending champion also kept his unique record against Murray in the Australian Open Final, by beating the Briton for the fourth time in Men's Singles at the year's first Grand Slam championships. Murray succumbed to his fifth loss in five Australian Open finals. Djokovic claimed his 11th grand slam title to match the totals of Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg.

    India maul Kangaroos in second match too, win T-20 series

    Melbourne, Jan 30: India's emphatic win over the Kangaroos on their own soil will be a morale booster for the more matches on the way. After losing four one-day matches--one after the other--India had won the fifth one and from then on there has been no looking back.

    India won the toss and decided to field first. The Aussies could score only 157 runs, losing 8 wickets in 20 overs (Capt Aaron Finch made 74). In reply, the Indian team scored 184 runs, losing only three of their wickets. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli batted aggressively scoring 60 runs and 59 runs respectively.

    Sania-Hingis win Women double Australian Open title

    Melbourne, Jan 29: The unbeaten run of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis continues. The Indo Swiss Duo today won the Australian Open women's doubles champions. They beat spirited Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets by 7-6 (1) 6-3. This is the third consecutive Grand Slam title for Sania and Martina, having won the Wimbledon and US Open in the 2015 season.

    Sania will also be seen in the semi final action of mixed doubles later today. Partnered with Croatian Ivan Dodig in the event, top seed Sania will be meeting Russian-Brazilian pair of Elena Vesnina and Bruno Soares.

    In an incredible feat, Sania and Martina have now extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches, winning eight titles in a row. It was Sania's second title at the Australian Open, having won the mixed doubles in 2009 with Mahesh Bhupathi.

    Australian Open: Sania-Ivan enter mixed doubles semifinals

    India's tennis star Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig entered the mixed doubles semifinals at the Australian Open after posting straight-set win over defending champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis today.

    Meanwhile, world number one and defending champion Serena Williams will meet Angelique Kerber in the Women's Singles final of the Australian Open. Serena today stormed into the final of, the first Grand Slam of the season, defeating fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4. Serena is now just one step away to win her seventh Australian Open and 22nd Grand Slam title.

    In the other semifinal this morning, Angelique Kerber defeated Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-2. With this loss, Johanna Konta's bid to become the first British female to reach a Grand Slam final since Virginia Wade in 1977 was unsuccessful.

    In the Men's Singles, semi-finals match between world number one Novak Djokovic and third seed Roger Federer is underway. Both players have met 44 times in the past, and each have won equal number of matches. The second semi-final is slated between world number two Andy Murray and Milos Raonic.

    Rio Olympic: 575 shooters from 32 countries to compete

    New Delhi, Jan 27: Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition for Shooting begins today at the Karni Singh Range in New Delhi. 575 shooters from 32 countries will compete for 35 quota places for 2016 Rio Olympics. Indian shooters like Heena Sidhu, Vijay Kumar and Manavjit Singh Sandhu will make one last attempt to secure berths for the Rio Games.

    Pooja Ghatkar, Ayonika Paul, Sanjeev Rajput, Rahi Sarnobat and Lajja Gauswami will also look forward to secure quota places for the sports extravaganza taking place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in August this year.

    Sindhu beats Gilmour to claim Malaysia Masters Grand Prix title

    Penang (Kuala Lumpur), Jan 25: India's ace shuttler, PV Sindhu has won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton title. She defeated Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour 21-15, 21-9 in the final at Penang this afternoon. Sindhu had an easy final where she dominated right from the start to seal the match in straight games. This is Sindhu's Fifth career Grand prix gold and first title of the year 2016.
    Appreciating PV Sindhu for winning the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold title, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) today announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for the shuttler.

    Pallikal powers into semis of Granite Open squash tournament

    Toronto, Jan 22: Last year's runner-up Dipika Pallikal has moved into the semifinals of the Granite Open squash tournament. In the quarterfinals held in Toronto Wednesday, she recorded a convincing win over Egyptian Salma Hany Ibrahim.

    The 17th-ranked Indian and second seed defeated her 27th-ranked opponent in straight games 12-10, 11-2, 11-4. Except in the first game where the fifth seeded Egyptian went close, Pallikal kept things her way to complete her task in 34 minutes. She faces Nicolette Fernandes, the sixth seed from Guyana, in the semifinals.

    Sindhu, Srikanth in second round of Malaysia Masters

    Penang, Jan 21: Indian shuttlers have made a rousing start to the new season by reaching the second round of the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold tournament. At Penang yesterday, PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, Subhankar Dey, B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma outclassed their opponents in the opening round of their respective singles event. Also, the pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa notched up a stunning win to make their way into the women's doubles second round.

    Two-time World Championship bronze-medallist, Sindhu, seeded third, thrashed Switzerland's Sabrina Jaquet 21-17, 21-16 in a 33-minute battle, while 2014 China Open winner Srikanth brushed aside Malaysia's Wei Feng Chong 21-17, 21-11. 10th seed Ajay Jayaram sent packing Japan's Takuma Ueda 21-19, 21-11, while TATA Open winner Sameer stunned Japan's Sho Sasaki, seeded 12th, 21-18 21-18 in another men's singles match.

    Sai Praneeth defeated Malaysia's Shahzan Shah Misfahul 21-13 21-15, while new kid Subhankar Dey, too, notched up a 21-19 21-16 win over Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen in another men's singles clash. In Women's Doubles, 2010 Commonwealth Games champions, Jwala and Ashwini edged out Malaysian combo of Mei Kuan Chow and Lee Meng Yean 21-14 14-21 25-23 in a 54-minute hard-fought clash.

    Bhupathi-Gilles pair beat Alex-Andrew; but Paes pair faces defeat

    Melbourne, Jan 20: Mahesh Bhupathi returned to Grand Slam action with a first-round win at the Australian Open but Leander Paes' bid fell flat at the first hurdle. Bhupathi, playing with his partner Gilles Muller from Luxembourg, beat the Australian pair of Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in his tournament-opener. The 42-year-old Leander Paes made an exit with his French partner Jremy Charady after losing his first round 3-6 4-6 to Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

    In the men's singles, Swiss maestro Roger Federer, seventh seeded Kei Nishikori from Japan and sixth seeded Thomas Berdych stormed into the third round by defeating their respective opponents in straight sets. In the women's singles winner of 21 grand slams Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova defeated their opponents to move into the third round.

    Australian Open: Venus loses to Konta; Rafael knocked out by Fernando

    Melbourne, Jan 19: Fifth seed Rafael Nadal and Eighth seed Venus Williams bowed out of Australian Open tennis today. Venus tried to rally, winning two games and getting another break-point chance after falling a set and 5-0 behind, before her 16th trip to the Australian Open finished in a first-round loss to Johanna Konta.

    The 35-year-old went down in a surprising 6-4, 6-2 loss to the No. 47-ranked Konta, a Sydney-born British player who was making her debut in the main draw. It was the eighth time Venus has lost in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament and the third in Australia. In Men's Singles, Rafael Nadal was knocked out in first round. He lost to Fernando Verdasco in five sets.

    Andy Murray and Garbine Muguruza raced into the Australian Open second round today. Murray doused the challenge of exciting German prospect Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to get his campaign underway. In Women's Singles, Muguruza wasted little time as she beat Estonian debutante Anett Kontaveit 6-0, 6-4.

    Australian Open: Novak, Serena advance; Tomas makes exit of Yuki

    Melbourne, Jan 18: In Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam, defending champions and top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams advanced to the second round today. While Djokovic defeated Korea's Hyeon Chung, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, Serena beat Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5.

    Kei Nishikori, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Marin Cilic also progressed to the second round. India's Yuki Bhambri, however, bowed out in the opening round. He lost to world number six Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, 5-7, 1-6, 2-6. World number three Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be seen in action later in the day.

    Sania Mirza will look to carry forward her sparkling run with Martina Hingis. The top seeded Indo-Swiss pair will play its first round match later in the tournament. Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Purav Raja, with their team-mates, will figure in the Men's Doubles.

    Mumbai Rockets to take on Delhi Acers in title clash in Delhi

    Hyderabad, Jan 16: In Premier Badminton League, Mumbai Rockets stormed into the Final Friday night after world number two Saina Nehwal suffered a shock defeat in Awadhe Warriors' Trump match at Hyderabad. Mumbai's Han Li from China stunned Saina with a 15-8, 13-15, 15-7 victory.

    Mumbai won the Men's Singles, Men's Doubles and the Women's Singles to bag four points. Awadhe won the Mixed Doubles, but Saina's loss in the trump match meant Lucknow drew a blank. Mumbai will take on Delhi Acers in the title clash in Delhi tomorrow.

    Sania, Martina create world record, win 29th straight match

    Sydney, Jan 15: India's Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis broke a 22-year-old world record by winning their 29th women's doubles match in a row en route to their entry into the women's doubles final of the WTA Sydney International, here Thursday.

    The World No. 1 pair came from behind to beat the pair of Romanian Raluca Olaru and Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6 6-3 10-8 in a closely-fought semi-final. They have now surpassed the pair of Puerto Rican Gigi Fernandez and Belarus' Natasha Zvereva, who won 28 matches on the trot during their successful pairing back in 1994.

    A win in the final will be their 11th WTA title together. The semi-final was a well-contested affair that went on for an hour and 31 minutes.

    7 teams to take part in Nagjee Football Tourney in Kerala

    Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 14: In Kerala the Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho Gaucho will inaugurate the Nagjee International Club Football Tournament, which is being revived after a gap of 21 years, at a function in Kozhikode later this month. The tournament will kick off on Feb 5, and the final is scheduled to be on 21th of February.

    This is for the first time in India more than five foreign teams participate in a club football tournament. Seven foreign teams have confirmed their participation which includes Argentina (U-23), Watford FC (U-23) from England, Levante UD (U-23) from Spain, Atletico Paranaense (U-23) from Brazil, TSV 1860 Munchen (U-23) from Germany, Rapid Bucharest from Romania and Hertha BSC (U-23) from Germany. I league team from India also will participate in the event.

    The tournament is being conducted as a joint venture of Mondial, a noted sports company in Saudi Arabia, and the Kozhikode District Football Association. Ronaldinho had earlier visited Pune in 2012 for the promotion of his animation movie 'R'-10.

    Messi grabs Ballon d'or award for best football player for 5th time

    Zurich, Jan 13: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has bagged the Ballon d'or award for the world's best football player of the year for a record fifth time. At a function in Zurich last night, the Argentine claimed the award with 41.33 percent votes.

    Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo was second, while Messi's Barcelona team-mate Neymar was third. In the 2014-15 season, Messi had played 61 games in which he scored 52 goals, and gave 26 assists.

    He clinched the treble with the Spanish giants by winning the La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo had won the award last year for the third time, while Messi was the winner from 2009 to 2012. Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was named World Coach of the Year. US midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final recently, claimed the Women's player of the year award.

    Mirza-Hingis pair equals record, enters Sydney semis

    Sydney, Jan 10: Advancing to the WTA Sydney International semifinals with a straight set triumph, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis today equalled the record for the longest women's doubles winning streak.

    Top seeds Mirza and Hingis got the better of China's Chen Liang and Shuai Peng 6-2, 6-3 in less than an hour to enter the last-four stage and remain on course for a second successive title this year.

    With today's win, Mirza and Hingis won their 28th consecutive match to equal the record set by Puerto Rican Gigi Fernandez and Belarus' Natasha Zvereva in 1994.

    Mirza and Hingis will next be up against the winners of the match between Timea Babos and Katarina Srebotnik and Raluca Olaru and Yaroslava Shvedova.

    Sania, Martina start off 2016 with Brisbane title

    Brisbane, Jan 10: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis carried the dominance of 2015 into the new season, winning their sixth consecutive title by lifting the WTA Brisbane trophy in Brisbane on Saturday. The top seeds quelled the challenge of German wildcards Angelique Kerber and Andrea Petkovic 7-5 6-1 in mere 69 minutes. The Indo-Swiss duo, who had won seven doubles titles and two grand slam titles in 2015, carried their wonderful form into 2016 with a clinical performance.

    After a tough fight in the first set which they won 7-5, Sania and Martina were thoroughly dominant in the second set to sweep the set 6-1 and add yet another trophy in their cabinet.

    Sania-Martina has won 26 consecutive matches and this is their sixth consecutive title. They are on course to beat the record of 28 consecutive wins in doubles set by Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva in 1994.

    Over 1400 players to participate in Delhi Global Chess Tourney

    New Delhi, Jan 9: In a record feat, over 1400 players will participate in the 14th edition of the Delhi International Chess Tournament starting at the Ludlow Castle Sports Complex in Delhi today. The players will fight it out in three categories in the Rs 35 lakh prize money tournament.

    The Indian challenge will be spearheaded by Grandmaster and former Commonwealth Champion MR Lalith Babu. He will start as the 10th seed in a star-studded field comprising 21 Grandmasters and 20 International Masters in a field of around 190 participants.

    The premier 10-round event has also drawn world-class players like Boris Grachev of Russia, who will start as the top seed in the 'A' group.

    Sania-Martina pair reach Brisbane Tennis final

    Brisbane, Jan 8: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis continued their stupendous run by clinching their 25th victory together to enter the final of the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament today. The top-seeded Indo-Swiss duo defeated the Slovak-Russian combination of Andreja Klepac and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 7-5 to make the summit clash.
    Sania and Hingis won five titles last season and their unbeaten streak is the longest since Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci's 25 in a row in 2012.

    Chennai Open: Ramkumar knocks out Daniel, Somdev crashes out

    Chennai, Jan 6: Ramkumar Ramanathan recorded the second-biggest win of his career by shocking world number 98 Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the opening round of the ATP Chennai Open but there was no end to Somdev Devvarman's struggle as he was knocked out of the singles event, here on Tuesday.

    Making a stupendous start to his 2016 season, wild card entrant Ramkumar annihilated his Spanish rival 6-2 6-0 as the Chennai-lad enthralled the sparse crowd by playing with lot of passion and power.

    All he needed was one hour to move to the second round where world number 12 South African Kevin Anderson awaits him.

    Pranav Dhanawade hits world record 1009 runs at school level tournament

    Mumbai, Jan 5: Indian skipper M.S.Dhoni, Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar and ace India spinner Harbhajan Singh today congratulated young teenage cricketer Pranav Dhanawade for smashing an unbeaten 1009 in an inter-school tournament in Mumbai. Praising Dhanawade , Dhoni said that it was a serious business to score these many runs. He also advised Dhanawade to maintain focus on his game.

    In his tweet, Tendulkar applauded Dhanawade's feat and stressed on the need for scaling new peaks. Praising the young batsman, spinner Harbhajan Singh said no matter what level of cricket it was, the numbers were just unbelievable. Harbhajan believed another Sachin was right in the making in Dhanwade.

    Laxman's 281 voted best Test knock of last half century

    Mumbai, Jan 4: V V S Laxman's classy innings of 281 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata has been rated as the greatest Test performance of the last 50 years. In a poll by cricket players, commentators and journalists in a digital magazine 'Cricket Monthly' the honour was accorded to the wristy Hyderabadi player for fabulous series-turning knock.

    In the historic match in 2001, India came from a follow on trailing 274 runs in the first innings to win the match. Laxman after his first innings' 59 out of a team score of 171, came up with his magical innings of 281 and also added 376 runs for the fifth wicket with Rahul Dravid 180.

    Paris, Joel new faces in the Oz team

    Perth, Jan 3: India play on a new Oz team in the limited-over series beginning on Jan 12. Cricket Australia selectors decided to include uncapped seamers Joel Paris and Scott Boland.

    Paris has been consistently performing well in the domestic circuit and his ability to swing the ball made him a good choice for the selectors.

    "Joel is an exciting young left-arm bowler, who swings the ball well and has bowled beautifully in the Big Bash League for the Perth Scorchers. He has had very good figures in short-form cricket and we really want him to make the most of this opportunity," chairman of selectors Rod Marsh told reporters after announcing the 13-man squad.

    Premier Badminton League: Mumbai Rockets take on Awadhe Warriors

    Mumbai, Jan 2: The revamped Premier Badminton League (PBL) will begin today in Mumbai with hosts Mumbai Rockets taking on the Saina Nehwal-spearheaded Awadhe Warriors in the opening encounter. The League has been revived after a gap of two years following a successful inaugural Indian Badminton League in 2013. Besides Mumbai, other five franchisee participating are Delhi Acers, Hyderabad Hunters, Bengaluru Top Guns, Chennai Smashers, and Lucknow-based Awadhe Warriors.

    The second leg of the tournament, after its two-day stint in Mumbai, is to be held in Lucknow on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The winners will receive 3 crore rupees, the runners-up two crore rupees and the losing semifinalists will get 75 lakh rupees each.

    Organisers are going to experiment with a new concept - Trump match - that is expected to keep the interest till the end of a tie. A victory by the team that picked the particular game as its Trump will provide it with one extra point but a defeat will set it back by one point, and the intrigue generated by this new concept would keep the ties alive till the end.

    Malaysian veteran Lee Chong Wei was bagged by Hyderabad Hunters while World championship double bronze medallist PV Sindhu was snapped up by Chennai Smashers. Rising India star Kidambi Srikanth went to Bengaluru Top Guns whereas 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap went to Hyderbad.

    Ashwin on top In ICC player rankings for Test bowlers

    Dubai, Jan 1: In the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Ashwin has become the first India bowler since Bishen Bedi in 1973 to achieve the milestone of finishing the year in number-one Test position.

    Ashwin has finished 2015 as the most successful bowler with 62 wickets in nine Tests, and this is reflected in his ranking after he started the year in 15th position and slowly but surely moved to the top of the chart.

    In the past decade, Shane Warne has finished in the top position in 2005 and Muttiah Muralidaran completed a hat-trick from 2006 to 2008, before Steyn got his grip on the top spot which was only broken in 2013 when his team-mate Vernon Philander topped the table.

    National School games: hockey- Punjab lads defeat MP boys 4-2

    Bhopal, Dec 30: Punjab boys defeated Madhya Pradesh lads 4-2 to make their place in the semifinal in the ongoing under-19 hockey match of the 61st national school games here. In other matches, Odisha students defeated Punjab boys 4-1 and Delhi defeated Uttar Pradesh in penalty shootout 5-3 to enter finals.

    The results of other matches are: Delhi defeated IPSC 8-2; UP defeated Chandigarh 7-0, Odisha defeated Rajasthan 6-2. In the first semifinal Delhi defeated UP in penalty shootout 5-3. In the girls section, Punjab girls defeated Jharkhand 4-3 and UP girls defeated Odisha 5-2 to make place in the final.

    Rakhi, Kavita win Gold in Senior National Weightlifting Championship
    New Delhi, Dec 30 : In the ongoing Senior National Weightlifting Championships, Rakhi Haldar and Kavita Devi finished on top of the podium in their respective women's weight categories in Patiala. Rakhi won the gold medal with an overall lift of 213 kilograms in 69 kilogram category.

    In 75 kilogram category, Kavita Devi clinched the yellow metal with a total lift of 217 kilograms. V A Christopher won the gold medal in Men's 105 kilogram category with an overall lift of 329 kilograms.

    Vijay Hazare Trophy: Unmukt Chand's 80 lifts Delhi into final

    Chennai, Dec 28: Delhi cruised into the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16 as they rode on Unmukt Chand's unbeaten 80 to register a six-wicket victory over Himachal Pradesh in the first semi-final.

    After Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir chose to field, his bowlers restricted Himachal to 200 for nine in 50 overs at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

    Chasing a modest total of 201, Delhi were helped by Chand's 86-ball knock, which was decorated with seven boundaries and two sixes.

    India opener Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed for 39 by Bipul Sharma.

    Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant and Milind made 16, 18 and 10, respectively, before Chand and Nitish Rana ,19 not out, guided Delhi past Himachal's total with 8.5 overs to spare.

    Steve Smith named Test cricketer of Year, AB De Villiers ODI Player

    Dubai, Dec 23: Australian cricketer Steve Smith has been named Cricketer of the Year for 2015 at the ICC Awards ceremony in Dubai. Smith became the fourth Australian and 11th overall to win the prestigious award named after Sir Garfield Sobers . The top-order batsman was also adjudged the Test Cricketer of the Year.

    During the voting period, which ran from 18 September 2014 to 13 September 2015, the 26-year-old from New South Wales finished as the leading run-scorer in Tests with 1,734 runs in 25 innings of 13 matches at an average of 82.57. This included seven centuries and six half-centuries.

    In 26 One-Day Internationals, Smith scored 1,249 runs at an average of just under 60 with four centuries and eight half-centuries. South Africa's ODI captain AB de Villiers was named the ODI Cricketer of the Year for the second time in a row. Australia's paceman Josh Hazlewood was adjudged the Emerging Player of the Year.

    India's men hockey team to face Germany, Holland in Rio Games

    Lausanne, Dec 22: Eight-time champions India have been clubbed alongside title holders Germany and world no. 2 Netherlands in Pool B at the men's hockey competitions of 2016 Rio Olympics. Other teams in world ranked seventh India's pool are Argentina (ranked 6th), Ireland (12) and Canada (14).

    The teams in Pool A are reigning world and Hockey World League champions Australia, currently ranked number one in the world, Great Britain (4), 2015 Hockey World League runners up Belgium (5); New Zealand (8); Spain (11) and hosts Brazil (32). The hockey event in Rio Olympics will be played according to the new format i.e knock quarterfinal round and India just need to beat lower-ranked Ireland and Canada to qualify for the last eight stage.

    Meanwhile, the Indian eves, the lowest ranked team in Rio, have been placed along side Argentina (2), Australia (3), Great Britain (6), USA (7) and Japan (10) in Pool B.

    Commonwealth Table Tennis: Indian men claim Gold; Women win Silver

    Surat, Dec 19: Indian men have claimed the team championship Gold Medal in the 20th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships. They beat England 3-1 in the final at Surat Friday. The women squad, however, had to satisfy themselves with the Silver Medal after losing to Singapore 1-3 in the final. The Indian men paddlers have done it only second time in 20 editions of the championships, having won Gold in 2004 in Malaysia under Sharath Kamal, who went on to win his individual Gold, too.

    England came into the competition without their star player, world no.64 Liam Pitchford and 66-th ranked veteran Paul Drinkhall. The Indians, on the other hand, did not have their top player Sharath, who was forced out of the event after suffering a freak accident in Germany. For the women, this was the fourth occasion to claim Silver. They had won the white metal in 1975, 1983 and 1991.

    Commonwealth TT: Indian women to meet England in semis

    Surat, Dec 18: Indian women finished on top in the Stage-2 of the 20th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at Surat. They will meet England in the semifinals. Similarly, Singapore women topped Group E and will clash with Wales, who finished behind India in Group F after beating Cyprus.
    In men's team event, India went through the rituals and defeated Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka in Group F while Singapore beat South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago. Both India and Singapore have a group match against Scotland and England, which should be mere formalities. After that group leaders will clash in the Gold medal showdown, followed by positional matches.

    Shiva, Mandeep, 2 others get IOC Olympic scholarships

    New Delhi, Dec 17: In a massive fillip to their Olympic dreams, four Indian boxers have been selected by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for a scholarship. The selected boxers are World Championships' bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa in 56 kilogram, Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra in 69 kilogram, Gaurav Bidhuri (52 kilogram) and Sumit Sangwan in 69 kilogram category.

    The boxers will get 800 US Dollars or about 53 thousand rupees every month till August next year, provided they qualify for the Olympic Games. The will also get an additional 5,000 US Dollars or about 3 lakh 34 thousand rupees to cover their transportation cost for participation in the Olympic qualifying events.

    Anirban sets goal to win in America, become a major champion

    New Delhi, Dec 14: India's star golfer Anirban Lahiri has lifted Asian Tour's coveted Order of Merit crown for this year. Describing the achievement as "really special", the world number 41 has now reset his goals to winning in America and becoming a Major champion in the near future.

    The 28-year-old enjoyed a stellar campaign this season. He won twice on the Asia's premier Tour, broke into the world’s top-50, posted a top-five finish in a Major, qualified for his maiden Presidents Cup and earned his PGA Tour card.
    As he savoured the rewards, Lahiri said he was honoured to join the countrymen Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa as Asia's number one golfer in history. Lahiri had finished third and second on the Merit list in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
    The tenacious Indian won the Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open in February on Asian Tour and went on to record five other top-10s around the world in this year.

    T-20 Cricket World Cup: India to play Pak in Dharamsala Mar 19

    New Delhi, Dec 12: The schedule of matches in next year’s T-20 Cricket World Cup to be played in India has been announced. Team India is set to play Pakistan in Dharamsala on the 19th of March. The two archrivals have been drawn together in the same group.

    The mega event will start on March 8 and the final will be played on April 3 at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. New Zealand and Australia, the other two teams in India's group, will clash with the hosts on March 15 in Nagpur and on 27 March in Mohali respectively.

    Saina scripts memorable victory against Carolina Marin

    Dubai, Dec 11: Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal scripted a remarkable victory over reigning World Champion Carolina Marin to turn around her campaign at the BWF Badminton Super Series Finals in Dubai yesterday evening. Facing early exit after her capitulation against Japan's Nozomi Okuhara, Saina rose and notch up a memorable 23-21, 9-21, 21-12 win over the World No. 1 in a women's singles Group A match that lasted an hour and 15 minutes. The Indian plays defending champion Tai Tzu Ying in her final league match today.
    Meanwhile, in Men's single event, Kidambi Srikanth was pushed to the brink of exit after he suffered his second consecutive loss.
    Srikanth, who had beaten Denmark's Viktor Axelsen twice early this year en route to his triumph at Swiss Open and India Open, could not produce his best and lost 13-21, 18-21 in a 37-minute contest. The 22-year-old Srikanth will meet Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen today in his final Group B match in the round-robin stage.

    IPL: Pune, Rajkot replace suspended CSK, RR for next two years

    New Delhi, Dec 8: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday awarded the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) teams to Intex and New Rising. Mobile phone manufacturer Intex group will pay 10 crores for Rajkot, while Sanjeev Goenka-owned New Rising consortium will shell out for Pune.
    Goenka is also the co-owner of Indian Super League's Kolkata franchise. Both the winning bids went into the negative. The teams were sold through the reverse bidding process for which the base price was set at Rs 40 crore and bidders had to quote an amount less than that. The lowest bidder was given the franchises.
    The process was necessitated by the suspension of CSK and RR for the involvement some of their officials and co-owners in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, which was probed by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice (retd) R M Lodha committee.

    Saina, Kidambi Srikanth set eyes on World Superseries Finals

    Dubai, Dec 9: India's leading shuttlers Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth will begin their campaign in the year ending prestigious World Superseries Finals starting in Dubai today.
    Top eight players and no more than two players from same nation are invited for one particular event in this tournament. The players are divided into two groups and they play round robin matches to decide further tie of the tournament.
    In the women's singles event, Saina is placed in Group A along with world number one Carolina Marin, Nozomi Okuhara and Tai Tzu Ying. She will be playing Japanese Nozomi today in her first round robin match.
    In the men's singles event, Srikanth is put into Group B and he will be taking on Japanese Kento Momota in his first round robin match.
    For India only Saina and Srikanth were elligible players for the year ending tournament. Saina is returning after a much-needed rest following an injury and will look eager to regain her form, while Srikanth would be hoping to carry on his confidence from Indonesia Masters.

    Australia pip Belgium to lift title, India defeat Netherlands

    Raipur, Dec 7: Top ranked Australian Men's Hockey team defeated Belgium 2-1, last night, to lift the title of Hockey World League Final at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium, Raipur. In the summit clash, after a barren first quarter, Australia surged ahead in 16th minute through a field goal. Seven minutes into the second half, Australia doubled their lead through a penalty corner.
    Belgium pressed hard and in the final quarter and managed to secure a penalty corner in the final minute of the match. However, it was not enough to take them over the line as Australia became the Champions of Hockey World League Final. Earlier, in the third place play off in the day, hosts India defeated world number two and defending champions Netherlands 3-2 in the shoot-out after the two teams were locked at 5-5 in the regulation time.
    Pic: India's Rupinder Pal Singh celebrates scoring the winning goal against the Netherlands during the bronze medal.

    Indonesian Masters : Indian shuttlers to begin campaign

    Jakarta, Dec 2: PV Sindhu and K Srikanth are among the 4 Indian shuttlers who will begin their campaign of the Indonesian Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament at Malang in East Java today. World number 12 Sindhu, who won the Macau Open for the third consecutive time this Sunday, her first title this season, is the top seed and the lone Indian in the Women's Singles. She will be up against Indonesian Gregoria Mariska.
    World number two Saina Nehwal has been out of the recent tournaments due to injury. India's top ranked K. Srikanth is the top seed in the Men's Singles. He will take on unseeded Indonesian Wibowo Putra. HS Prannoy and RMV Gurusaidutt are the other Indians who will be seen in action today.

    PV Sindhu wins Macau Open Grand Prix Gold third year in a row

    Macau, Nov 30: Two-time defending champion PV Sindhu produced a dominating game to notch up a 21-9, 21-23, 21-14 win against sixth seed Japan's Minatsu Mitani in a women's singles match that lasted an hour and six minutes here on Sunday. World No. 12 Indian dished out some superb strokes and acute angled returns, making Mitani to struggle to keep the shuttle inside the court. Sindhu dominated the proceedings right from the start as she rode on the errors of Mitani to reach 11-5 at the break. Mitani came up with an aggressive rally and sealed it with a down the line smash but she failed to curb her errors and most of her returns went wide and long to allow Sindhu lead 17-6 in a jiffy. Sindhu was mostly accurate with her smashes and drops as she led 19-9. The Indian came up with some acute angled returns to trouble Mitani and reached the game point with a smash. The Japanese then went wide to hand over the first game to Sindhu. After the change of sides, Sindhu once again started on a confident note but she also began missing the lines and Mitani led 4-2. The Indian checked her unforced errors and came up with stunning smashes to wrest the lead and move to 7-4.

    Ashwin's superb bowling leads to India's victory against SA

    Nagpur, Nov 28: India defeated South Africa by 124 runs at the Nagpur Test, thereby claiming the 4-match series. In the second innings, Team India bundled out SA for 185 runs.
    Team India is winning the match against South Africa after 11 years. Prior to this India had won the match against SA in 2004. On their part, they had won only one series in 1999. The last Test would be held in Delhi on Dec 3.
    Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin (7/66) who took 12 wickets was declared Man of the Match. This year he has played 8 Tests and took 55 wickets. Stuart Broad (England) is at second spot by taking 51 wickets in 13 Tests.
    Till now South Africa has won 15 series abroad. Its record is behind West Indies who have won 18 series abroad. The match was a record of sorts as five of SA's top order batsmen were out for mere 12 runs. It was in 1902 when the team had lost 5 wickets after scoring only 14 runs.

    Hockey World League Final: India to take on Argentina in opening match in Raipur

    Raipur, Nov 27: Men's World Hockey League Final will start in Raipur today. Total eight world's best national hockey teams are participating in this tournament. The final match will be played on 6th of December. The eight teams participating in Men's World Hockey League Final have been divided into two pools of four teams each.
    Australia, Belgium, Canada and Great Britain are in Group A and Argentina, Netherlands, Germany and India are in Group B. With all eight teams having already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics, this tournament will be one of the last opportunities for the teams to test their mettle against each other before the Games next year.
    The teams will also be competing for valuable International Hockey Federation World Ranking points. In the opening match of this tournament India will take on Argentina at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Hockey Stadium in Raipur today. In the second match of today, Germany will clash with Netherlands.. The event also marks a special occasion for the newly built Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Hockey Stadium, as Chhattisgarh's capital gets ready to host its first ever international Hockey tournament.

    RKDF University Challengers pip RIT Rewa to win Bhabha Cricket Cup

    Bhopal, Nov 24: Bhabha Premier Cricket League, participated by 16 faculty teams, concluded on Tuesday. The chief guest on the occasion was Minister of State for Higher Education, Deepak Joshi. Whereas cricketer Mohnish Mishra from Bhopal, who has represented in ICC under 19 world cup, graced the function as special guest. MD, RKDF Group, Siddharth Kapoor was specially present along with other officials of the group viz SRK University V-C, Dr Jindal, Deepa Bakshi, CMD Bhabha, Smitha Shukla, RKDF IST, principal PK Mohanti.
    In his address, to the well-attended audience comprising of students, staff and other cricket loving children, Deepak Joshi stressed on constant improvement in one’s areas of success. Defeat should not become the cause for losing hope, rather it should spur one to remove the shortcomings.
    The final match was played between RKDF University Challengers and RIT, Rewa team. This was the second time when RIT Rewa was coming till the final match.

    Winning the toss, RIT captain Varun decided to field first. It was a 12-over match. RKDF University Challengers started on a good note by hitting fours and sixes. The batsmen who performed well include Shoaib (9 runs), Waseem (12), Rajesh (26) and Ajay (7). Prashant Pare remained not out on 33. The team scored 98 runs including wides, no balls. RIT team main bowlers included Capt Varun, Manish and Patel.
    Now, it was the turn of RIT to show its spirit. The opening was done by Manish Mishra (striking end) and Nagendra Pande. On the first ball, Manish hit a four, boosting the morale of the team. The score at the end of first over was 8 runs. At the end of 7 overs, the score stood at 54 runs for the loss of two wickets. It looked as if the team would reach the target soon.
    But, that was not to be as one after the other wickets tumbled down. Manish Mishra was run out in the 8th over scoring 43 runs. So also Manish Gautam was run out. The team’s score could reach only till 76 runs when all their players were bowled out. Players awarded include: Best fielder to Waseem; Best wicketkeeper Ravi Tiwari; Best bowler Nilesh; Best batsman Manish Mishra; Man of the Match prize went to Chirag and Man of the series prize to Rajesh. Mementos were awarded to other Bhabha staff for their contribution in making the tournament successful.

    India beat Pak 6-2 to lift junior men's hockey Asia Cup

    New Delhi, Nov 23: Indian junior men's hockey team thrashed arch-rival Pakistan 6-2 to win the Junior Men's Asia Cup at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia on Sunday.
    With the win, India equalled Pakistan's record of three victories in the Cup's eighth edition. India were also champions in 2004 and 2008 while Pakistan were winners in 1987, 1992 and 1996.
    Harmanpreet Singh was in his element, scoring all his four goals from penalty corners as India ended the tournament unbeaten. Harmanpreet, who has been on a goal spree in this tournament, opened India's account in the 10th minute converting a penalty corner in scintillating fashion.
    Harmanpreet netted another in 15th minute with a rocket of a strike to convert yet another penalty corner. Pakistan struck back in the 28th minute with a field goal by Muhammad Yaqoob before Harmanpreet rose to the occasion with a hat-trick in the 30th minute as India finished the first-half with a comfortable 3-1 lead.

    Pankaj Advani wins IBSF World Snooker Championship for record 15th time

    Egypt, Nov 23: India's most successful cueist Pankaj Advani has added another feather in his cap by winning the IBSF World Snooker Championship in Egypt. Advani defeated his Chinese opponent Zhua Xintong 8-6 in the final at Sunrise Crystal Bay resort in Hurghada. With this win, Advani took his world title count to 15.
    The victory came just after he clinched the IBSF Billiards crown in September. Advani is also the first person in history to take the short and the long snooker format in the same calender year.

    Djokovic becomes 1st player to win ATP World Tour Finals for 4th consecutive time

    Nov 23: World number one Novak Djokovic has become the first player to win the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals for the fourth consecutive time. In the title clash played in London last night, Djokovic defeated third seed Roger Federer, in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 to cap a remarkable season, and surpass Ivan Lendl's 1987 feat, when he had won his third straight Tour Finals title. Overall, this was the fifth time that Djokovic won this tournament. He ends the year with 11 titles, including three Grand Slams, taking his total to 10 majors.
    Federer had defeated Djokovic in the round-robin stage, but the world number one Serb made sure that he drew level with Federer in 44 career meetings, with both players now winning 22 games each. The defeat for the Swiss also means that he will not be overtaking Andy Murray in the rankings, and the Briton will end the year as world number two for the first time.
    Meanwhile, in the Doubles, the eighth seeded Indo-Romanian team of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea has ended as runner up. They lost to the second seeded Dutch-Romanian team of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, 6-4, 6-3. Bopanna was appearing in his second season-end Finale, having reached the final with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012.

    BCCI effects reforms, ombudsman to tackle conflict of interest

    Mumbai, Nov 10: BCCI Board, in its meeting on Monday, decided to remove N Srinivasan as chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Srinivasan was elected for a two-year term. His tenure will be completed by current BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who will now head the world body's Executive Committee till June 2016.The BCCI will now recommend this change to ICC. As per protocol, respective Boards name a representative on the Ex-Co. The BCCI will propose former ICC president Sharad Pawar's name as an alternative director in the executive committee. The Board decided to appoint a retired judge as its ombudsman.
    "The Ombudsman appointed by Board is Justice AP Shah who will look into complaints of conflict of interest. The Board has also decided to have people who are professionals.
    "Whatever I had said a month ago, that we would clean up the system and try to run the Board in a transparent fashion, we have done everything we could," Manohar said.
    The Board also decided to trim some of its sub- committees, dropped Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri from the IPL Governing Council and axed Roger Binny from the selection panel to negate the perceived conflict of interest.
    The decisions were taken at the Board's 86th Annual General Meeting in which former captain Sourav Ganguly was appointed Chairman of the Technical Committee, replacing Anil Kumble.

    Athletics doping: Russia accused of state-supported doping prog

    London, Nov 10: Wada's independent commission examined allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics, which also implicated the IAAF, the sport's world governing body. It says London 2012 was "sabotaged" by "widespread inaction" against athletes with suspicious doping profiles. Russia was also accused of running a "state-supported" doping programme.
    The report recommended that five athletes and five coaches should be given lifetime doping bans. IAAF president Lord Coe told the BBC that the Russian athletics federation, Araf, had been asked to respond to the allegations by the end of the week. The 59-year-old said that after reviewing the feedback the IAAF "would look at a range of options, including sanctions", which could result in suspension from the sport.
    "I'm not putting in a time frame but I will do whatever is necessary. This is not a swift road back," he added. Pic: Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Yulia Yarapova is one of the many Russian athletes to have been found guilty of a doping offence in recent months.

    Cricketer Mongia participates in conclusion of SRK sports league

    Bhopal, Nov 9: University Sports League, organized by the SRK University concluded on Old Campion school grounds on Sunday. Chief guest on the occasion was ex-wicketkeeper and batsman, Nayan Mongia. The final cricket match was played between Prestige College, Indore and Sanghvi College. Prestige College won the match by three wickets. The winning team was awarded Rs 50,000 cash prize and the runners-up college got Rs 25,000/-.
    Others who were awarded prizes include Ashish Yadav- Man of the Series prize; best batsman award went to Amrit Suman; best bowler to Saurabh Singh. On the occasion, outdoor players were also honoured.
    Specially present on the occasion were former Ranji player, Brajesh Tomar; chairman Akhilesh Pande and Dr Sunil Kapoor of the RKDF group.
    Details of the cricket match: Batting first, Sanghvi team made 139 runs in stipulated 20 overs. Whereas Prestige team reached the target in 18.4 overs of play losing only 7 of their wickets.


    Cricket All-Stars: Warne's Warriors trump Sachin's Blasters

    New York, Nov 8: the first 'Cricket All Stars' Twenty20 match played at New York yesterday, Sachin's Blasters Team went down to Warne's Warriors. Tendulkar was the undisputed favourite for the largely Asian crowd at a baseball stadium but it was Shane Warne, who weaved some old-time magic to lead his side to a six-wicket win. Electing to field after winning the toss, the Blasters were given a rollicking start by Tendulkar and Sehwag. Together, the former Indian batsmen raked in 85 runs in a mere 48 deliveries. However, the rest of the star-studded line-up failed to come good and the team ended with 140 for 8. For Warriors, Warne snared three wickets with that of Sachin & Lara. In reply, Ponting (48 not out) and Sangakkara (41) steered the Warriors home after a top-order collapse. Overall, Tendulkar and Warne's attempts to introduce cricket to the Americans worked quite well on debut. Tendulkar said, the whole idea of Cricket All Stars is that, to try to get as many nations together to celebrate this. The match attracted a 36,00 strong crowd to Stadium.

    Heena Sidhu wins gold in 13th Asian Shooting Ch'ship

    India's Heena Sidhu made a grand return to form by winning the gold medal in the 10m air pistol women's event at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship in Kuwait City on Friday.
    Heena, who won a gold at the Asian Air Gun Championship at home recently, shot an excellent 198.2 in the finals to edge out Mongolian Gundegma Otreyad, who shot 198. Jangmi Kim of Korea won the bronze with a score of 176.2.
    In the 10m air pistol junior women's event, Shri Nivetha too won a gold with a score of 195.8 in the finals. She edged out Shinemurun Nyamdorj of Mongolia (195.4) and Heesun Kim of Korea (174.4), who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
    So far, India had bagged seven medals, including five Gold, on the 3rd day of Championship. Meanwhile, Olympian boxer Vijender Singh will play his second professional career bout today. He will take on Briton Dean Gilen. The middleweight category four-round match will be played at Dublin in Ireland at 11 PM Indian Time.

    India win 7 more medals in Asian Shooting Championship

    Kuwait City, Nov 6: On day three of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship here , the Indian contingent added seven more medals, including five gold, to their kitty. This took India's overall medal tally from the competition to 21. On the third day, Shainki Nagar won a gold with a score of 197 in youth's 10m air pistol finals. Samarjit Singh won the bronze. The two combined with Mohit Gour to also win the team gold in the event, shooting a combined total of 1690 to beat the Korean team which shot a total of 1677 while Thailand team won the bronze with a score of 1629.
    Sumedh bagged his 3rd medal of the competition by winning a bronze in the 10M air pistol junior men's event. He also won the team gold in the event combining with Hemendra & Achal after shooting a total score of 1706. In 50m rifle prone junior men's event, Swapnil claimed the gold by shooting a score of 185.4.

    Murray crushes Coric to set up David Goffin Meeting in Paris

    Paris, Nov 5: Andy Murray demolished Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday to set up a Davis Cup-flavoured clash with Belgium's David Goffin. Murray needed less than an hour to dismiss the 18-year-old Coric, converting four of his five break points while never allowing his opponent the chance to steal his serve.
    Japan's Kei Nishikori, the sixth seed, survived a barrage of aces to beat France's Jeremy Chardy 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-1. The Paris Masters is the last tournament before the season-ending ATP World Tour finals, which will be played between the eight best players of the season from November 15-22 at the 02 arena in London.
    World number one Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Nishikori, Murray, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer have all qualified.

    Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win Swiss Indoors final

    Roger Federer has defeated his old foe Rafael Nadal to win Swiss Indoors Basel Tennis title 6-3 5-7 6-3. With this win, Federer has ended a three-and-a-half year drought against Nadal. Competing in a record 12th final on home soil in Basel yesterday, he added the Basel trophy in his kitty for the seventh time. This is 88th title of Federer's career at the tour-level.
    Agnieszka claims WTA Finals title
    Agnieszka Radwanska claimed her maiden WTA Finals title with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Czech Petra Kvitova in an absorbing encounter at the Singapore Indoor Stadium today.
    Playing a first final in her seventh appearance at the season-ending event, the sixth-ranked Pole also created history by becoming the first woman to lift the title after completing round robin play with a 1-2 record.

    Rahane kickstarts University Sports League of SRK University

    Bhopal, Nov 1: Well-known Indian batsman, Ajinkya Rahane on Sunday kick-started the University Sports League (USL-15), being organized by the SRK University, Bhopal. The event was well attended by a large crowd of fans and audience at Old Campion school ground. Rahane tossed the coin for the start of the cricket match between RKDFIST and Oriental College.
    Later, Rahane inaugurated a badminton court, in memory of late founder of the group, RN Kapoor, at RKDFIST campus, on Hoshangabad road.
    The function was specially graced by Bhopal MP, Alok Sanjar. Among others present were Chancellor of SRK University, Janak Kapoor, Vice Chancellor, VN Jindal. Result of cricket match on Old Campion ground: After winning the toss, RKDFIST captain decided to bat first. The team scored 143 runs losing eight wickets in 20 stipulated overs.
    In their turn, the Oriental College players were all out for 141 runs in the stipulated overs. Man of the Match prize was awarded to Shubham Shukla of RKDFIST. The open sports event from 1st to 8th Nov comprises of a number of games like Cricket, Volleyball, Table-Tennis, Chess, Kabaddi, Race, Badminton etc.

    Sania-Martina wins WTA finals in Singapore

    Singapore, Nov 1: World number one pair, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis beat eighth seeded Spanish team of Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro to win the WTA finals in Singapore on Sunday.
    Earlier, the duo of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis sailed into the 10th final of the year at the Women's Tennis Association's (WTA) Finals after beating Chinese Taipei's Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan in straight sets in Singapore on Saturday. The Indo-Swiss pair posted a comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory over the Chan sisters and went in on a monster 20-match winning streak.
    Sania and Martina's last loss was against the Taiwanese sisters in the semifinals at Cincinnati. But since then the top seeded combination had beaten them three times and kept that pattern going this time as well.
    Saturday's tie saw the third seeded Taiwanese pair take an early lead, going 3-1 up in the first set but Sania and Martina reeled off 11 of the next 14 games to completely crush their opponents and run away with the match.

    Second straight Draw for Anand in Bilbao Masters Chess

    Bilbao, (Spain), Oct 29: Defending champion Viswanathan Anand drew with Chinese Liren Ding in the second round of Bilbao Masters Final in Bilbao, Spain today. With this draw, he remains on joint 2nd spot. The draw against Liren Ding came after Anand did not convert a seemingly superior position against Dutch Grand Master Anish Giri in the opening round.
    His second straight draw came with white pieces. Now, Anand is under pressure to retain his crown as he has three black games remaining in the last four rounds. In the third round now, Anand will get his first black game in the tournament against American Wesley.
    The other game in the four-players double round-robin tournament between Wesley So and Giri also ended in a draw leaving the standings as they were after the first round.

    Deepika bags silver in Archery World Cup final

    Mexico City, Oct 27: Deepika Kumari has bagged the Silver medal in recurve event at the Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City. Eyeing her first gold medal in five attempts at the showpiece season-ending event, Deepika won her quarters and semifinals easily but lost 2-6 against the reigning world number one and top-seeded Choi Misun of Korea.
    This was Deepika's fourth World Cup Final silver after being runner-up at Istanbul 2011, Tokyo 2012 and Paris 2013, an unparalleled achievement in consistency on the circuit.
    India thus concluded their campaign with two silver medals with Abhishek Verma opening the account for the country in the compound section on Saturday.
    Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has announced that refugee athletes will be allowed, for the first time, to take part in next year's Olympics.

    Khel Sangram at RKDF University begins

    Bhopal, Oct 26: As in previous years, this year too the annual sports meet of the RKDF University promises to be a grand affair. A number of sports events have been planned for six days for students of different colleges and universities of Bhopal and Madhya Pradesh. The main sports events include cricket, basketball, volleyball, carom, kabaddi, kho-kho, badminton, table-tennis, chess.
    On the opening day today, Oct 26, a marathon run has been arranged with the theme to promote child education and discouraging child labour. The first three winners would be suitably awarded.
    This year, well-known Indian cricketer, Suresh Raina has consented to grace the function and boost the morale of young sportspersons. In earlier years, the personalities who had graced the function include tennis ace Sania Mirza, cricketers Ajay Jadeja, Chetan Sharma, Sandeep Singh.

    Lewis Hamilton wins his third F1 World Championship

    New York, Oct 26: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling United States Grand Prix to seal his Formula 1 third World Championship.
    Hamilton pressured team mate Nico Rosberg into a mistake during a frantic last 10 laps after a safety car and swept by to take his 10th win of 2015. Hamilton becomes only the second British driver after Sir Jackie Stewart to win three Formula 1 drivers' titles.
    Lee Chong Wei clinches 3rd French Int'l Badminton title
    In Paris, former world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia clinched his third French International Badminton title yesterday with a 21-13, 21-18 win over Taiwan's Chou Tien Chen.
    Lee, now down at 19 in the world after serving an eight month doping suspension, also won in Paris in 2007 and 2011.

    Lawyer Shashank Manohar elected unanimously as BCCI chief

    Mumbai, Oct 5: In a smooth transition of power following the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya, Vidarbha-based lawyer Shashank Manohar was on Sunday elected as the 30th president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The board's Special General Meeting (SGM) was convened following a consensus over his name, All the six units of East Zone had unanimously agreed to Manohar's candidature for the president's post. The 58-year-old Manohar, who enjoys a clean and credible image, will take over the reins of BCCI for the second time, after his last stint from 2008 to 2011.
    Interestingly, one of the proposers for Manohar was late Jagmohan Dalmiya's son Avishek, who represented his family club National Cricket Club (NCC) at the SGM. Others who also proposed Manohar's name were Sourav Ganguly from Bengal, Sourav Dasgupta from Tripura, Gautam Roy from Assam, Ashirbad Behera of Odisha and Sanjay Singh of Jharkhand.

    Sania-Martina duo lift WTA Wuhan Open Tennis trophy

    Beijing, Oct 3: Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis today lifted the Doubles Trophy of the WTA Wuhan Open Tnnis tournament in China. In the title clash, the top seeded Indo-Swiss pair beat the Romanian team of Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu, 6-2, 6-3 to win their seventh title of the season.
    In the semi-finals, Sania and Hingis had defeated the Chinese Taipean pair of Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan. The Indo-Swiss pair had recently won the Guangzhou Open. They had also bagged 2 of the 4 Grand Slams this year, the Wimbledon and the US Open.
    Meanwhile, Serena Williams said Thursday she is withdrawing from the season-ending WTA Finals and the China Open to take time to heal after playing through injuries all year.

    T20: South Africa beat India by 7 wickets

    Dharamsala, Oct 2: South Africa on Friday showed just why they are such a feared side around the world as they easily chased down the 200-run target, set by India in the first T20I, to begin their long tour on a victorious note in Dharamsala.
    Except Ravichandran Ashwin, none of the Indian bowlers gave a good account of themselves as the marauding South African batsmen had little trouble chasing down the seemingly stiff target.
    During their chase, South Africa were given the initial momentum by AB de Villiers, who made 51 off 32 balls and Hashim Amla, who scored 36 off 24. But JP Duminy's unbeaten 68 ensured there were no hiccups. Duminy was the most brutal as he hit seven sixes in his quickfire innings.
    Earlier, Indian opener Rohit Sharma started off the Twenty20 series against South Africa with a bang as he blasted his way to the maiden T20 century off just 62 balls. With this ton, the talented batsman powered India to a massive 199 for the loss of 5 against Proteas at the picturesque HPCA Stadium.
    Rohit's century knock was studded with 12 fours and five sixes. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis' decision to bowl first have backfired badly after the duo of Rohit and Virat Kohli added 138-run stand for the second wicket. At the fag end of the match South Africa pulled the match a bit restricting India to 199.

    MC Mary Kom to hang up gloves after 2016 Olympics

    New Delhi, Oct 1: The hunger for an Olympic gold motivated her to continue boxing at the top level, but ace pugilist MC Mary Kom has finally made up her mind to hang up her gloves after the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
    Mary Kom said it is the right time to quit boxing even though winning a gold medal at Olympics remains her dream. O2-Mary Kom said that after retiring she would devote all her time to the "Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation" that was set up in 2006.
    Last week, Mary Kom broke down and accused the Indian selectors of regional bias during boxing selection and trails. The 32-year-old boxer alleged that Haryana's Pinky Jangra, who competes in the same weight category as her, is being repeatedly favoured by the selectors despite being beaten by her.

    Bangladesh square series, seal Champions Trophy place

    Oct 1: West Indies have failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, while Bangladesh will play the tournament for the first time since 2006. Pakistan pipped the West Indies to the eighth position in ICC's one-day rankings at the 30th September cut-off.
    Only the top eight teams on the date will compete in the tournament. It will be the first time since the tournament's inception in 1998 that assortment of Caribbean nations will not be a part of a premier event. Bangladesh, which had ensured their place by beating South Africa in July, was seventh in the rankings.
    World champions Australia were at the top, with defending champions of the tournament, India second. South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England will also participate in the tournament.

    Sardar to lead hockey team for New Zealand tour

    New Delhi, Sept 25: Indian men's national hockey team will take on New Zealand in a six-match test series from October 2nd to 11th in Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch.
    According to a statement from Hockey India, the Indian team will first play two matches against the New Zealand 'A' team as warm-ups for the last four against the New Zealand senior men's team.
    The series will act as preparation for the crucial FIH Hockey World League Finals to be held in Raipur between 27 November and 6 December 2015.
    As part of their preparations for next year's Olympic Games, India will compete against New Zealand in a six-match hockey Test series from October 2 to 11 in Auckland, Nelson and Christchurch.
    For India, the Tour will be in preparation for the all-important FIH Hockey World League Final to be held in Raipur later this year, followed by the Rio Olympics slated in 2016.
    New Zealand, on the other hand, will seek to prepare for the upcoming Oceania Cup wherein a win there would confirm a berth for them in the Rio Olympics 2016.
    In June 2015, New Zealand playing in the FIH Hockey World League Semi-Final in Argentina finished sixth after a loss against Canada in the quarter-final match.
    With another defeat against Spain in 5th-6th Classification Match, New Zealand missed the opportunity to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
    However, New Zealand still has a chance to qualify for the Olympics if they win the 2015 Oceania Cup, which will be held at their home-turf coming October and hence their clash against India will be an important ground to gear up for the upcoming challenge.

    BCCI president J. Dalmiya, who made Indian cricket wealthy, no more

    Kolkata, Sept 21: Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), passed away at a city hospital on Sunday evening following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 75. Dalmiya was admitted to BM Birla hospital three days back after he complained of chest pain.
    The doctors performed coronary angiography on him. He studied at the Scottish Church College and started his career as a wicketkeeper, playing for cricket clubs (including his college team) in Calcutta. He joined his father's firm ML Dalmiya and Co. and made it into one of India's top construction firms. His firm constructed Calcutta's MP.Birla Planetarium in 1963.
    Dalmiya at the peak of his powers in the nineties and early 2000's, was a firm, ruthless man, who controlled the Indian Board with an iron hand. No task was beyond him.
    Dalmiya's death plunged the cricket fraternity into a grief as reactions poured in from former cricketers and administrators condoling his demise.
    President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in mourning Dalmiya.

    Novak Djokovic Defeats Roger Federer to Win US Open

    NY, Sept 14: Novak Djokovic clinched his third Grand Slam title of 2015 and 10th career major triumph over sentimental favourite Roger Federer in the US Open final in New York on Sunday.
    Djokovic's 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory gave him a second U.S. Open singles title and a 10th Grand Slam singles title, moving him into a tie with Bill Tilden for seventh place on the career list. Federer remains on top of that pecking order with 17, but Djokovic has prevented him from adding to his record total.
    Federer is playing remarkable tennis at age 34, but Djokovic, at 28, is in his prime and remains one of the great tennis conundrums for any opponent with his tactical versatility and peerless defensive skills.
    "You have to find the right dose of risk," Federer said after his latest defeat. "Sometimes I did it well and other times not as well."

    Tennis star Sania Mirza gets Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award

    New Delhi, Aug 31: Tennis star Sania Mirza, who won the Wimbledon women's doubles title recently, was on Saturday conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
    Mirza became the second tennis player to receive the country's highest sporting honour after Leander Paes.
    President Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Sports Awards for 2014-15 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
    Currently ranked the World No. 1 tennis doubles player in the women's category, Mirza on Friday expressed her happiness at receiving the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and dedicated it to her family and to India.
    "I feel very happy, privileged and honoured to receive this award and I would like to dedicate it to the people of India and my family," Mirza said.
    The World No. 1 also extended her gratitude to the Indian government and the sports ministry for nominating her for the award.

    Asian Boxing Ch'ships: India's Manish beats Hossen of Bangladesh

    Bangkok, Aug 28: India has made a winning start at the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok. Manish Kaushik on Wednesday thrashed Bangladesh's M Hossen 3-0 in the first round in a one-sided fight to open the event on a winning note for India. He will take on China's Chin Long on Saturday.
    The tournament is a qualifying event for the World Championships scheduled in Doha in October Among those who got first round byes were defending champion Shiva Thapa, Vikas Krishnan, L Devendro Singh, Madan Lal, Manoj Kumar and Kuldeep Singh.
    Asian Games bronze-medallist Vikas Krishnan has been seeded second in 75 kg category and he will be up against the winner of the bout between Japan's Ryota Hamazaki and Turkmenistan's Arslanbek Achilov in his prequarters on Sunday. Another silver-medallist from the last time, Mandeep Jangra will open his campaign tomorrow.

    Paes, Wawrinka enter doubles quarter-finals of Cincinnati Masters

    Cincinnati, Aug 20: The Indo-Swiss tennis combine of Leander Paes and Stan Wawrinka earned a three-set victory to enter the men's doubles quarter-finals of Cincinnati Masters here. The unseeded pair ousted Canadian-American eighth seeds Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-3 in an hour and 17 minutes on the outdoor hard courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center on Tuesday.
    The first set was a neck-and-neck affair and was evenly contested as neither pair gave even a single breakpoint opportunity to the other. No break of serves meant the set entered the tie-breaker where Paes and Wawrinka proved a tad bit better to seal the set 7-4. The North American pair came back stronger in the second set to earn as many as nine breakpoint chances to none of Paes and Wawrinka. However, they managed to convert only one but it was enough to clinch the set and push the match into the decider.

    India to host Czech Republic in World Group Play-offs

    New Delhi, July 23: India were handed a tough draw in Davis Cup Tennis. They have been pitted against top seeds Czech Republic in the World Group Play-offs, to be held from September 18 to 20 either in New Delhi or Pune. The draw was held in London yesterday.
    India defeated New Zealand 3-2 in Group I second round last week to reach Play-off stage while the Czech team had lost 2-3 to Australia in March in the World Group first round. The last time the two sides played each other was in 1997 when India had travelled to Pribram, where they lost 2-3. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had played all the singles and the doubles matches. The winning nation will progress to the 2016 World Group while the losing outfit will be relegated to their respective Zone Group I events. The draw took place at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) headquarters in London in the presence of its president Francesco Ricci Bitti. Czech Republic won the Davis Cup in 2012 and 2013 and in 1980 as Czechoslovakia.
    Meanwhile, in other sports news, national selectors are to meet in Delhi today to pick Team India's squad for the 3-match Test series against Sri Lanka which begins on the 12th of next month in Sri Lanka.

    India beat Zimbabwe by 83 Runs, clinch ODI Series 3-0

    Harare, July 14: Young Kedar Jadhav struck his maiden international century as India thrashed Zimbabwe by 83 runs in the third and final cricket ODI to complete a 3-0 series whitewash, on Tuesday.
    Jadhav smashed a career-best 105 not out off just 87 balls to enable India recover from a top-order collapse and post a competitive 276 for five after being asked to bat at the Harare Sports Club. Jadhav, in the able company of Manish Pandey (71), put on a crucial 144-run stand for the fifth wicket to revive India after a sloppy start.
    Chasing the target, Chamu Chibhabha kept Zimbabwe in the hunt with an 82-run knock but the hosts kept on losing wickets from the other end to be eventually bowled out for 193 in 42.4 overs. Chibhabha, the most successful batsman for the hosts in the series with two consecutive half centuries, played a gritty knock that came off 109 balls with the help of seven boundaries.
    Zimbabwe's chase never got going after the early dismissal of Hamilton Masakadza (7), who fell LBW to Mohit Sharma (2/33) in the sixth over. Chibhabha and Regis Chakabva (27) then put on a 70-run second wicket stand to keep Zimbabwe afloat before Indian bowlers picked up two wickets in quick succession to derail the hosts' chase.
    Chakabva was cleaned up by left-arm spinner Axar Patel (2/39)in the 23rd over before skipper Elton Chigumbura (10) fell LBW to part-time spinner Murali Vijay (1/19). Wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami (22) played a good hand and shared a 53-run fourth-wicket stand with Chibhabha before he departed LBW by Stuart Binny (3/55).
    From there on, Zimbabwe's hopes completely rested on Chibhabha but the opener fell in search of quick runs, caught by Jadhav off Binny. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2/35) then came to the party and picked up two wickets -- Sikander Raza (13) and Graeme Cremer -- in consecutive balls of the final over of his spell to take India close to a comprehensive win.
    Binny picked up his third wicket of the day in the next over in the form of Malcolm Waller before Prosper Utseya became Sharma's second victim of the match. Patel completed the formalities for India, picking up the last wicket of Neville Madziva, stumped by Robin Uthappa.
    Earlier, Jadhav and Pandey joined hands when India were in a spot of bother at 82 for four after being sent into bat, but the duo played maturely to resurrect the innings.

    Harare ODI: India beat Zimbabwe by 4 runs

    Harare, July 10: India earned a narrow four-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Harare on Friday.
    Put in to bat, India scored 255/6 in their allotted 50 overs with Ambati Rayudu scoring an unbeaten 124. He was well supported by all-rounder Stuart Binny (77) as the duo put up a 160-run partnership.
    Donald Tiripano and Chamu Chibhaba were the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers, both clinching two wickets a piece.
    In reply, the hosts batted well but fell short by four runs despite an unbeaten 104 from skipper Elton Chigumbura. Binny and spinner Axar Patel took a brace each for India.

    Mixed fortunes for Indians at Wimbledon

    Wimbledon (London), July 7: Monday was a day of mixed fortunes for Indians at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis defeated Spanish duo of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja.
    The top seeded Indo-Swiss pair won the match 6-4, 6-3 in just 1 hour 7 minutes to march into the quarter-finals of the grass court event. In men's doubles match, ninth seeded Indo-Romanian pair of Bopanna and Florin Mergea faced stiff resistance from Lukasz Kubot from Poland and Max Mirnyi from Belarus before prevailing 7-6 6-7 7-5 7-6 in a marathon third round, which lasted three hours and 19 minutes. It was scintillating tennis by the two pairs as all the sets were decided via tie-breakers.
    11th seeded Paes and Daniel Nestor dug deep into their reserves to make a comeback from two sets down but eventually lost 3-6 5-7 6-3 6-2 2-6 to Austria's Alexander Peya and Brazilian Bruno Soares in their third round, which lasted two hours 42 minutes. Paes' challenge is still alive in the mixed doubles where he has reached the second round with Hingis.

    World Hockey: India beat Malaysia, to meet Belgium for final place

    Antwerp (Belgium), July 2: In the Hockey World League Semi-Finals at Antwerp, Belgium, the Indian Men's team came back from a goal behind to beat Malaysia, 3-2 and book a place in the last-4 stage.
    Satbir Singh opened the scoring in the 5th minute after which Malaysia bounced back with 2 quick goals. Jasjit Singh Kular, then, converted two penalty corners in the final quarter helping India breeze into the semi-finals. Indian Men, who have already qualified for next year's Rio Olympics, will take on hosts Belgium for a place in the Final.
    Meanwhile, Indian Women's team will clash with Italy today in the 5th to 8th position classification fixture. The match will begin at 4:30 PM Indian Time. They will have to win the game to keep their hopes of an Olympic place alive.

    Barcelona makes history with second European treble

    Belgium, July 1: In the Hockey World League Semi-Finals at Belgium, the Indian Men's team will slug it out against Malaysia in the quarter-final today. The match will begin at 9:30 PM Indian Time. While India had finished the group stage second in Pool-A, Malaysia were third in Pool-B.
    Both teams had last met in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year, with Malaysia winning that game, 3-2. Meanwhile, the Indian women's team crashed out of the tournament yesterday after losing to world champions Netherlands, 0-7 in the quarterfinal. Meanwhile, the Indian eves are still nurturing next year's Rio Olympics qualification dream as they are to play Italy in the 5th-8th position classification match tomorrow. They will have to come out victorious for that dream to sustain. The Indian Men's team is already assured of an Olympic berth.
    Women's football: USA pip Germany; to meet England or Japan
    Montreal, July 1: The USA will play in their fourth Women's World Cup final after beating two-time winners Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Germany striker Celia Sasic missed a penalty on 58 minutes, but USA captain Carli Lloyd kept her head to score from the spot 10 minutes later. Substitute Kelley O'Hara booked the USA's place in the final six minutes from time with a close-range volley. The winners will play England or Japan in Vancouver at 00:00 BST on Monday.
    It was a hard-fought semi-final encounter played out in front of a partisan crowd of more than 50,000, but English-born coach Jill Ellis's USA side took their chances to end Germany's World Cup dreams. Olympic champions USA came into the match boasting the meanest defence of the tournament; in five games only Australia had beaten goalkeeper Hope Solo and that was in their opening match.

    Barcelona makes history with second European treble

    Berlin, June 8: Barcelona were crowned kings of ­Europe for the fifth time after beating Juventus 3-1 in a pulsating Champions League final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Saturday, capping their magnificent season with a title treble.
    Goals from Croatian Ivan ­Rakitic in the fourth minute, Uruguayan Luis ­Suarez in the 68th and Brazilian Neymar with the last kick of the game sealed Barca's second treble, ­becoming the first team to twice win the ­European treble.
    An early goal by Barca's Ivan Rakitic late last night was cancelled out by Juventus' ex-Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, who equalised on 55 minutes. But Suarez put the game beyond the Italian champions with a 68th minute strike off a rebound. Neymar added the third with the last kick of the game in the 97th minute. Juventus suffered the indignation of becoming the first team to lose six European Cup finals, 30 years after winning the trophy for the first time amidst the tragedy of the Heysel Stadium disaster.
    This was the fifth time Barcelona have been crowned European champions and it is their fourth Champions League title in the last decade after their 2006, 2009 and 2011 triumphs.
    On the streets of Barcelona, where you could have heard a pin drop during the final, thousands of ecstatic fans dressed in their team colours of blue and red celebrated with cheers, chants and fire crackers. "It's a dream, I still can't believe it!" said Eduard Ocana, a 23-year-old student, in the Catalan capital, as cries of "champions, champions!" echoed around the famous party street of Las Ramblas.
    For Suarez it was a triumphant end to a first season with the Spanish champions after his ignominious biting ban at the World Cup. "It's incredible, it's something unique. To win these trophies you have to suffer," he said. "The best thing about this side is the spirit and the fact we've been united since the start of the season.

    Djokovic, Nadal to meet in French Open QF

    Paris, June 2: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will clash in a French Open quarter-final blockbuster in one of the sport's most-eagerly awaited clashes of recent times.
    World number one and top seed Djokovic eased into the last eight on Monday with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win over France's Richard Gasquet. Defending champion Nadal, seeking a 10th Roland Garros crown, saw off unseeded American Jack Sock, 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
    It was Nadal's 70th career win at the French Open against just one defeat and his 39th in a row at the tournament he has dominated for a decade. "It's the biggest challenge I can have on clay," said Djokovic who needs a French Open title to complete the career Grand Slam.
    On facing Djokovic, sixth-seed Nadal said: "I will have to play my best tennis. He's the world number one and is having a great season. It'll be a complicated match." Nadal has beaten Djokovic in the 2012 and 2014 finals in Paris as well as the 2013 semi-finals and holds a career 23-20 edge in head-to-head meetings.

    Defending champion Sharapova sent packing in Paris
    Defending champion Maria Sharapova was sent packing from the French Open at the fourth-round stage Monday, losing in straight sets to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. Safarova, the 13th seed, won 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 to progress to a first ever quarter-final at Roland Garros, where she will face Garbine Muguruza after the Spaniard saw off Flavia Pennetta.
    Sharapova, who also won the clay-court Grand Slam event in 2012 and was the beaten finalist in 2013, had been forced to wait until Monday morning for her clash with Safarova, which had been postponed on Sunday due to the rain in the French capital. But on a bright Paris morning the Russian second seed, who was looking to become the first woman to successfully defend the French Open title since Justine Henin in 2007, was punished for an erratic display from beginning to end.
    Sharapova was broken in her second service game, and although she soon broke back, Safarova claimed the opening set in the tiebreak on Court Philippe Chatrier. Breaks were again exchanged in the second set but Sharapova found herself serving to stay in the match at 5-4 down, and while she saved one match point she could not save the second that came her opponent's way.
    "I had a few small openings but I wasn't able to keep up my level. She was more consistent and aggressive, created the angles and that was the difference," said Sharapova who had been battling a heavy cold all week. "It was a tough day at the office." The Czech had not won any of her last four meetings with Sharapova since triumphing in their first ever clash in Madrid in 2010 and will now face Muguruza on Tuesday after the Spanish 21st seed breezed past Pennetta.
    Muguruza won 6-3, 6-4 on Court Suzanne Lenglen to reach the last eight at Roland Garros for the second year in succession.

    Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title

    Kolkata, May 25: Mumbai Indians clinched their second IPL title following a crushing 41-run win over Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians posted an imposing 202 for five as skipper Rohit Sharma (50) and Lendl Simmons (68) rattled up a 119-run stand off just from 67 balls after being invited to bat.
    The Mumbai captain, who has an ODI world record of 264 and also a debut Test hundred at the Eden Gardens, yet again exploded at his favourite venue. Sharma (6 fours, 2 sixes) and Simmons (8 fours 3 sixes) plundered 19 boundaries in their partnership. CSK have reached their sixth final in eight editions of IPL; a testament to the fact that they are hands down the most consistent side of IPL. On the other hand, Mumbai Indians have made it to their third final. Co-incidentally, both of Mumbai's finals have been against CSK.
    After Sharma and Pollard's dismissal in consecutive balls, burly West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard (36) in the company of Ambati Rayudu (36 not out) led the side past 200.
    Mumabi bowlers complimented the good work of the batsmen as they took the fizz out of the Chennai's chase with a very disciplined effort. They straitjacketed the Chennai batsmen, restricting them to 161 for eight as seasoned spinner Harbhajan Singh took key wickets of Dwayne Smith (57) and Suresh Raina (28) in two overs. Kiwi paceman Mitchell McClenaghan (3/25) took three wickets while his Lankan pace colleague Lasaith Malinga (2/25) scalped two batsmen.
    Mumbai had won their first title in 2013 at this very venue, defeating the same rivals. Chennai have now lost four finals (2008, 2012, 2013, 2015) in six appearances.

    Chasing the huge target, CSK opted to have it easy and concetrated on building a platform after losing Michael Hussey (4) early. Smith and Raina bided their time and looked to consolidate but it meant that they managed only 31 runs from the first six overs. The required run-rate kept on going up and shot past 13 at the midway mark.
    Smith completed his half-century in 45 balls but only to be trapped lbw by Harbhajan in his penultimate over. Having made a grand comeback into the Bangladesh-bound Test side, Harbhajan completed his spell in style dismissing Raina. Looking to step out, Raina was brilliantly deceived by the veteran off-spinner who bowled a wide ball and Parthiv Patel did the rest behind the stumps.
    With Hussey, Smith and Raina back in pavillion, and skipper Dhoni not looking in his usual elements it looked as good as over for the yellow brigade who choked in an IPL final for a fourth time. Talk about Sharma and his sizzling love-affair at Eden Gardens, and he has done nothing wrong here. A stunning 177 on Test debut, an ODI world record of mindboggling 264, an IPL century (60-ball 109) against Kolkata Knight Riders and an unbeaten 98 in the opening match of this season.

    BCCI announces Team India for Bangladesh tour

    Mumbai, May 20: The BCCI today announced the Team India for upcoming Bangladesh tour where it will play one Test match and three ODIs starting June 10. The announcement was made after the five-member selection panel headed by Sandeep Patil met here and decided to go with full strength squads for both the one off Test and the three ODIs.
    ODI Squad: MS Dhoni (C), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, A Rayudu, R Ashwin, Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Singh, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni
    Test Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, C Pujara, A Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Karan Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Singh, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma.
    Harbhajan's inclusion was the lone surprise in the Test side, which would be led by star batsman Virat Kohli after Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired from the format in January. Dhoni will, however, lead the ODI squad.

    "Harbhajan has been discussed earlier as well. The selection committee has picked Harbhajan due to the strength of Bangladesh batting especially the number of left-handers they have. It was decided that Harbhajan should be there for these reasons. Captain Virat Kohli's opinion was also taken on this," Patil told reporters after the meeting that lasted little over an hour.
    Harbhajan last played a Test for India in March 2013 against Australia in a home series. The 34-year-old is the third highest Test wicket-taker for India with 413 scalps to his credit in 101 matches.
    Kohli led India in the opening Test against Australia at Adelaide in injured MS Dhoni's absence and then captained the Team in the final Test after the wicketkeeper-batsman retired post the third match in Melbourne in December last year.
    The Bangladesh series is a fresh start for India after the 2015 World Cup.
    The Indian cricket team will arrive in Bangladesh on June 7 to play lone Test and three One-Day International (ODI) matches. Fatullah's Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium will host the Test from June 10 while all three ODIs will be played on June 18, 21 and 24 in Mirpur.

    Tennis: Federer defeats Pablo; Andy Murray Jeremy Chardy in Rome

    Rome, May 14: Roger Federer defeated Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas for the second time this month as the Swiss legend began his campaign at the Italian Open with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 win on Wednesday (May 13).
    The second-round success in 80 minutes came just over a week after Federer beat the Uruguayan on clay in the final in Istanbul.
    Federer was tested all the way by Cuevas, ranked 24th in the world, with the second seeded 33-year-old winning a tiebreak to seal the opening set in 45 minutes. A break for 3-2 in the second gave Federer - seeking his first title in Rome after losing three times in the final in 14 previous appearances - the lead which he never surrendered. Andy Murray kept his clay-court purple patch alive, defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-3 to extend his unbeaten record on the surface this season.
    Murray extended his record to 10 wins in 10 matches after making a late decision to see how his body had held up after the stunning Madrid Open win on Sunday over Rafael Nadal. Murray, who turns 28 on Friday, beat Chardy in 84 minutes with six aces and three breaks of the Frenchman's serve.
    `My legs were a bit tired at the start but they started to feel better after a few games,’ said Murray. `I played a good match. He (Chardy) has a big serve, it was tough for me. But I hung in, moved well and didn't give him loads of opportunities. I served well throughout the match.
    `I'm happy with how I adjusted to conditions, I made it difficult for him to win free points. I don't know how my body will feel over the next days, but I'll try to spend as much time recovering and resting as possible.

    India not in race to host 2024 Olympic Games: Bach

    New Delhi, Apr 28: International Olympic Committee, IOC, President Thomas Bach has expressed surprise at media reports that India may bid for 2024 Olympics.
    Clearing the air, IOC President said it's too early for India to host Olympics. Mr. Bach who is on a one day official visit to India, said a year after returning from Olympic suspension, Indian Olympic Association still needs to find its feet. He said its too quick as of now for India to host the Olympics in 2024.
    On his visit, Thomas Bach met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed India's Olympic candidature in the future. He said he wants India to be well prepared as from now to September, it would be difficult to get everything ready in time. He added both the IOC and PM will be in contact about this in the future. Earlier Mr. Bach had a meeting with top IOA members.

    IPL season 8 to kick start from 8th April

    Mumbai, Apr 3: The 8th season of the IPL will kick start on the 8th of this month. The first match will be played between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians. The T20 league is will be held in various cities across India and a total number of 60 matches will be played.
    While the costliest buy of IPL history was Delhi Daredevils buying of Yuvraj Singh for a whopping 16 crores.
    The surprise buy was Kolkata Knight Riders' KC Cariappa, who was grabbed for a hefty 2.4 crores. He is said to be the next mystery spinner for the team, with their trump card, Sunil Narine being unsure of playing this IPL because of his illegal bowling action.
    The Opening Ceremony is going to take place 2 days before the start of the tournament and will be telecasted on the same day of the match. Word is out that Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma will perform at the opening ceremony.

    This IPL season consists of 8 teams, which are, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals.
    Rajasthan Royals' franchise owner, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Raj Kundra having sold their stake because of the spot fixing scandal have left the team with a new owner while rest of the teams remain with the same owners.
    So will cricket in the fast lane be able to hold the attention of the Indian fans... one thing is for sure. We won’t give it back dreams come true with IPL as the champion team and the trophy will be from India.

    Saina Nehwal, K Srikant win Indian Open Super Series

    New Delhi, March 30: In the final at the Siri Fort Indoor Complex in New Delhi on Sunday, she defeated Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in straight games 21-16, 21-14.
    The girl from Hyderabad, who has been on a roll ever since her victory at the China Open, played like a champion as she anticipated her opponent's moves and caught her on the wrong foot during rallies.
    The energy-sapping clash seemed to have made her movements slow on the court as she struggled with her returns.
    Kidambi Srikanth brought more joy to the Indian camp after Saina Nehwal's victory when he won the men's singles title at the India Open Super Series. He beat Denmark's Viktor Axelsen 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 to win his maiden India Open Super Series title.
    The World No.4 defeated China's Xue Song 21-16, 21-13 in 42 minutes to enter the summit clash.

    Australia lift World Cup 2015, beat New Zealand by 7 wickets

    Melbourne, Mar 29: Australia broke New Zealand hearts with a dominant final performance, bringing home the Cricket World Cup. Australia crushed New Zealand by 7 wickets in the final at the MCG on Sunday.
    The MCG turned into a sea of yellow cheering for its team. The team which has won its fifth world cup is Australia.
    Being the last World Cup for the Aussie Captain Michael Clarke, what better send off would he have had asked for.
    New Zealand batted first after winning a rare toss, openers failed to provide a promising start to the Kiwi innings.
    Mc Cullum was out for a duck and Martin Guptill was bowled by Glen Maxwell. Kane Williamson soon followed the openers to the pavilion.
    Elliott's 83 runs from 82 balls was smooth alongwith a resilient knock of 40 by Ross Taylor. Elliott and Ross Taylor's 111-run stand anchored the Kiwi innings until the 36th over.

    Faulkner's removal of Taylor and Corey Anderson within three balls in the 35th over signaled the definitive turning point in the innings.
    Starc and Johnson returned to ravage the tail, Tim Southee fell short of his crease and was run out. New Zealand were all out for a modest 183 in the 45th over.
    Chasing a low target of 184,New Zealand had to go all-guns- blazing at the Aussie batsmen.
    The pressure by New Zealand paid early dividends. Aaron Finch was caught and bowled by the in-from pacer and leading wicket taker Trent Boult in the second over.
    Coming at the elevated Number 3 slot, Steven Smith played cautiously to ensure a 60-run plus partnership with David Warner.
    Opener Warner scored a 46 ball 45 runs before falling prey to Henry's ball.
    Michael Clarke and Steven Smith stroked fluent half-centuries to chase the target down inside 34 overs.
    Clarke, the departing captain, had a standing ovation when he left the field after his sparkling 74 from 72.
    Smith, his most likely successor, stayed at the crease to hit the last ball of the World Cup through deep square leg for four.
    It was despair for New Zealand, who got to the end of their fairytale Cricket World Cup story only to find Australia had penned a cruel twist on the final page.

    Saina, Srikanth win; Prannoy, Guru lose in India Open

    New Delhi, Mar 28: Five-time world champion Lin Dan also made a stunning exit from the tournament as world number 10 Tommy Sugiarto beat him 21-17 15-21 21-17 in the men's singles at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.
    Olympic bronze medallist, Saina sailed past Indonesia's Hana Ramadhini 21-15 21-12 in the women's singles competition to stay just one win away from becoming the first Indian woman to achieve the world number one ranking.
    Reigning world and All England champion, Carolina Marin of Spain also eked out a 21-15, 17-21, 21-15 win over sixth seed Japanese Nozomi Okuhara to set up a clash with former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, seeded third.
    In men's singles, world number four Srikanth outwitted Japan's Takuma Ueda 21-15 23-25 21-18 in a hard-fought battle that lasted an hour an 19 minutes.

    Prannoy, who had sent the top seed and world number two Jan Jorgensen of Denmark packing, also conjured up hopes of another upset before falling short against world number six Viktor Axelsen 21-16 9-21 18-21.
    Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Guru had started the proceedings for India and despite playing a compact game initially, he too ran out of ideas in the end to go down 21-15 18-21 13-21 to China's Xue Song in a match that lasted over an hour.
    The reigning China Super Series premier champions, Saina and Srikanth, will next take on Japan's Yui Hashimoto and China's Xue Song respectively in the semifinals on Saturday.
    Saina led 10-6 early on but Hana blasted off four straight points to catch up with the Indian.
    However, Saina slowly increased the gap with her rival to eventually win the first game.

    Cricket Irani Cup:Karnataka reign supreme

    Bengaluru,Mar 21: On the fourth day, Karnataka were all out for 422, setting Rest of India a victory target of 403. They didn’t come anywhere close, getting bowled out for 156 in 43.3 overs. Manish uprooted the stumps to catch Pragyan Ojha well short of the crease, signalling Karnataka’s 246-run win over Rest of India in the Irani Cup.
    Earlier Manish remained unbeaten on 123 and by the time HS Sharath, the last Karnataka batsman, was dismissed they had amassed a formidable total.
    Paras Dogra too was guilty of not moving his feet as Mithun crashed through his defence. But the bigger blow was just round the corner. Naman Ojha was one batsman who could have offered some fight. But the Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper-batsman lasted just two balls, nibbling Mithun to Uthappa.
    The Rest of India team could not match the Karnataka players. In the blink of an eye, Rest had slipped eight for three in four overs. Jiwanjot Singh and skipper Manoj Tiwary tried to resist the Karnataka bowlers but to no avail. They had to earn each and every run the hard way.

    Dhoni guides India to victory against West Indies

    Perth, Mar 7: World Cup Pool B, Perth: Scorecard:
    West Indies 182 (44.2 overs): Holder 57, Sammy 26, Shami 3-35
    India 185-6 (39.1 overs): Dhoni 45no, Kohli 33, Taylor 2-33
    India won by four wickets;
    India sealed their progress to the Cricket World Cup quarter-finals as they recorded a nervy four-wicket win over West Indies.
    The defending champions looked set for a comfortable victory in Pool B when they reduced West Indies to 85-7.
    But captain Jason Holder made a brilliant 57 at number nine to stretch the total to 182, before India faltered to 107-5 in reply.
    It was left to skipper MS Dhoni to see India home with a composed unbeaten 45.
    Despite the modest target, India were in trouble with Jerome Taylor (2-33) and Kemar Roach (1-44) dismantling the top order.
    But just as he did in the 2011 World Cup final, and in countless other one-day internationals, captain Dhoni guided India to victory under substantial pressure.

    National Games: MP players bag 18 medals including 3 gold

    Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 13: As the 35th national games being held in Kerala enters the concluding day, Services has surged ahead of other teams, retaining the top position in the medals tally, with an unbeatable tally of 82 gold medals, 28 silver medals and 24 bronze medals.
    Meanwhile, sportspersons from Madhya Pradesh continued to perform well on Thursday also bagging three gold medals, five silver and 10 bronze taking the total medal tally to 81. With 22 gold medals, 21 silver and 38 bronze, the State stands in the sixth place in the medals tally.

    On Thursday, the kayaking-canoeing team of MP players viz Kirti Kewat and Inocha Devi won a gold medal in C-2, 200 metre whereas the second gold medal was won in C-4, 200 metre by the team of Rajeshwari Kushram, Tajmandi Chanu, Inocha Devi and Anjali Vashisht. In K-2 women 200 metre race, the female duo of Nanao and Sonia bagged a silver medal. Similarly in K-4, 500 metre, the combination of Aruna Devi, Jeenadevi, Nanao and Omola Devi secured a silver medal. Nanao also won a silver medal in the K-1 200 metre race.
    The badminton players were successful to get three bronze medals; the winners are Abhimanyu Singh, Sameer Verma and Shreyanshi. MP boxers had to be satisfied with two bronze medals; the boxers being Manish Uike and Narendra. A bronze medal each was won in Wushu, Fencing and Athletics sports too. In taekwondo sport, MP got three medals. Star player Lalita Bhandari secured a gold medal; she defeated Assam player 5-0. Sharvya De won a silver medal in 78 kg category and Shalu Raikwar won a bronze in 73 kg category.

    Aus Open final: Serena to face Maria; Murray in decider

    Jan 30: Serena Williams will meet Maria Sharapova in the women's Australian Open final after progressing past Madison Keys in straight sets on Rod Laver Arena. World number one Williams downed her fellow American 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to keep alive her hopes of a sixth Australian Open crown.
    Sharapova was the first to book a spot in the decider, thumping fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2 in 87 minutes. Williams will start as a heavy favourite in the final, having won her past 15 matches against Sharapova over the past decade.

    Men’s: Andy Murray has the chance to avenge three Australian Open final losses after defeating Tomas Berdych in a tense and dramatic semi-final on Rod Laver Arena. The sixth-seeded Murray came back from a set down to beat Berdych 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in three hours and 26 minutes on Thursday evening. The angst-filled match was fuelled by lengthy stares from Berdych and Murray's often-angry remonstrations.
    Murray will take on world number one Novak Djokovic or reigning champion Stan Wawrinka in Sunday evening's final.

    SA batsman AB de Villiers smashes century record

    Jan 18: South Africa batsman AB de Villiers hit a century off 31 balls to record the fastest ever one-day international ton. De Villiers, 30, set the new landmark during an innings of 149 against the West Indies in Johannesburg.
    He smashed eight fours and 10 sixes in beating the previous ODI record of 36 balls by New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson against West Indies last year. "I was on 92 when I realised it was going to be close. I wasn't going to take singles in the nineties," he said.
    "I got really fired up in the changing room and sort of played my knock before I even came out to bat. "Aggression was the main thing for me today - I just wanted to go right from the start."
    Chris Gayle's 100 from 30 balls in the Indian Premier League in April 2013 is the fastest century in cricket history.
    South Africa scored 439-2 as they registered their highest ever ODI score, beating the 438-9 in a win against Australia in March 2006.
    The total was just four short of the all-time ODI record score of 443-9 set by Sri Lanka against Netherlands in July 2006.

    Brett Lee to retire from all forms of cricket after BBL season

    Jan 15: Former Australia Test fast bowler Brett Lee today announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket following the conclusion of the Big Bash League (BBL), thereby drawing curtains to his illustrious 20-year career. The 38-year-old pacer quit from international cricket in July 2012, but has continued to play Twenty20 cricket for Sydney Sixers at the domestic level in the BBL and the Indian Premier League.

    The final-round BBL clash against cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder next Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground could be Lee's swan song match if the Sixers lose and fail to book a play-off berth. While announcing his decision, Lee said he is both emotional and excited. Lee played 76 Tests for Australia, taking 310 wickets at an average of 30.81. He also made 221 appearances in ODIs and claimed 380 dismissals at average of 23.36. Lee is Australia's fourth-highest Test wicket-taker of all-time behind Warne, McGrath and Dennis Lillee. The 38-year-old is also Australia's leading wicket taker in the 50-over format alongside Glenn McGrath.

    Wawrinka retains Chennai Open Tennis title; Paes- Klaasen pair lose

    Channai, Jan 11: Top seed Stanislas Wawrinka has retained the ATP Chennai Open Singles title. In the summit clash at Chennai, the Swiss World No. 4 overcame the challenge of Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
    Wawrinka did not face a single break point on his serve and needed only 90 minutes to grab his third Chennai Open title. Bedene was the first qualifier to reach final.
    The victory was worth $73,400 and 250 ATP ranking points for Wawrinka while Bedene was richer by $38,650 and 150 points. In the Doubles final, India's Leander Paes partnering South African Raven Klaasen lost to the pair of Jonathan Marray and Yen-Hsun Lu in straight sets 3-6. 6-7.

    Selectors declare team to play in World Cup Cricket

    Finally, the selectors have declared the names of the Indian cricketers to play matches in the World Cup 2015. The team of 15 is the most young as of today with their age averaging 26 years. Out of these 11 players would be playing the World Cup for the first time. The inaugural matches would be held on Feb 14 at Christ Church, New Zealand and in Melbourne, Australia.

    The final would take place on March 29. In all there would be 49 matches.
    The five strong batsmen selected include Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, A Rahane and Suresh Raina.
    The four fast bowlers are Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohd Shami and Umesh Yadav. The lone spinner is R Ashwin.
    The three all-rounders include Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Bini and Akshar Patel.
    Two wicket-keepers are MS Dhoni, (Capt) and Ambati Raiyudu.
    India would be playing its first match against Pakistan on Feb 15.

    Kohli at 15th spot in latest ICC Player Rankings

    Backed by centuries against Australia in the ongoing Test series, Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay have climbed up in the latest ICC test rankings. Kohli has moved up to 15th place while Cheteshwar Pujara is at number 19 and Murali Vijay is placed 20th in the ranking. South Africa’s AB Devilliers is the top batsman followed by Kumar Sangakkara and Hashim Amla. Among the bowlers, Dale Steyn is at the top followed by Ryan Harris and Rangana Hearth. India’s Pragyan Ojha is placed 14th while Ashwin is at number 15. Among the Indian fast bowlers, Ishant Sharma is at number 20 while Umesh Yadav is placed at 36th position followed by Mohammad Shami is at number 38. In the All-rounders category, Bangladesh’s Shakib Ul Hasan is at the top followed by South African Vernon Philander and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin. The latest ICC test ranking was released in Dubai on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, South Africa is just a draw away from retaining the ICC Test Championship trophy and a cash prize of 5 lakh dollars. If South Africa draws the Cape Town Test against West Indies and Australia wins in Sydney against India, then South Africa will finish on 122 ratings points, compared to Australia’s 119 ratings points. However, if the West Indies wins in Cape Town Test and Australia wins in Sydney, then Australia will finish ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a point. The team finishing second will receive 3.90 lakh dollars. England and Pakistan have been guaranteed 2.80 lakh dollars and 1.70 lakh dollars after sealing third and fourth positions. India stays at sixth position in the ICC test rankings. The annual cut-off for the Reliance ICC Test Championship is 1 April 2015. But with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be played from 14 February to 29 March 2015, the current Test series are the last for the season.

    Nathan Lyon shines in sensational Australia victory

    Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, who is the all-time leading run-getter in World Cup history, was named the event's ambassador for the second successive edition.
    "The International Cricket Council today announced Sachin Tendulkar as the World Cup 2015 Ambassador. It will be the second successive time that the India maestro will be the Ambassador of ICC's pinnacle tournament, after he fulfilled the role in the previous event in 2011," the ICC said in a statement in Dubai on Monday.
    In his role as ambassador, Tendulkar will promote and support a variety of ICC initiatives to enhance the profile of the tournament, which is the third biggest sporting event in the world and will take place in Australia and New Zealand from 14th February to 29th March.
    Tendulkar retired from international cricket last year after representing India in 200 Tests, 463 One-Dayers and one Twenty20 International.
    In a career spanning 24 years, the 41-year-old scored a total of 34,357 international runs and 100 centuries.

    Tendulkar added the missing World Cup title to his long list of achievements in his sixth attempt in 2011. He is the all-time leading run-getter in World Cup history with 2,278 runs in 45 matches at an average of 56.95.
    For his 673 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, he was awarded player of the tournament as India finished runner-up to Australia.

    "I am delighted and honoured to be appointed ICC Cricket World Cup Ambassador for the second successive time. After playing in the last six editions, the upcoming World Cup will be a different experience as I will follow it from the sidelines. It could probably be comparable to the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 where I was a ball boy, enthusiastically cheering every ball," Tendulkar said.
    "The excitement of the World Cup grows with every new edition and this year's host nations, Australia and New Zealand, are known for their sporting culture, great cricket facilities and knowledgeable crowds. Lifting the World Cup is every international cricketer's quest and the tournament brings out the best of individuals and competing teams.
    "The image of the champion team lifting the World Cup inspires many youngsters around the world and gives them a dream to chase a dream which I fulfilled after 22 years of relentless pursuit by being part of the victorious Indian team in 2011," he added. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said Tendulkar is the perfect ambassador for the marquee event. "The ICC is delighted to once again have Sachin as an Ambassador for its biggest and most prestigious tournament. Sachin is not only an inspiration to cricketers but to all sportspeople for his endurance, perseverance, talent, personality and commitment to the game," he said.

    The 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup will kick off in Christchurch on 14th February when co-hosts New Zealand take on former champion Sri Lanka.
    On the same day at the picturesque Melbourne Cricket Ground, four-time world champion Australia will square-off against England, which reached the final the last time the event was staged in Australia/New Zealand in 1992.
    A total of 49 matches will be played across 14 venues, seven in New Zealand (Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington) and seven in Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney).
    The format of the tournament is the same as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, i.e. two groups of seven sides each, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. All the knock-out stage matches will have reserve days.
    Apart from the 10 Full Members, four qualifiers -- Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates -- will take part in the tournament.
    (DD-22.12)

    Nathan Lyon shines in sensational Australia victory

    Adelaide Dec 13: Australia declared at their overnight 290 for five to set India 364 runs to win. India were 105 for 2 at lunch, trailing Australia by 258. Dhawan was caught behind the stumps by Brad Haddin off Mitchell Johnson for 9 runs, while Pujara's wicket was scalped by Nathan Lyon.
    OVERS 65// RUNS 221// WICKETS 2
    The visitors have resumed after the break. Lyon starts with the bowling and concedes six runs from the first over. Harris starts from the other end and keeps it simple back of a length and gets a maiden. Vijay watchful here. Lyon continues and Vijay dances downs the track and heaves Lyon for a six through long on. He moves into the 90's. Harris continues with his good work and gives away just a single.
    OVERS 69// RUNS 242// WICKETS 2
    Lyon continues and the batsmen pick up five runs through singles and a two. Harris meanwhile, keeps up with the good work he has been doing all day. His length has been good. Vijay then flicks Lyon for a four through mid-wicket between three fielders. He then survives as the ball falls short of Warner at short fine leg. He then survives some close chances as he stays on 99. Harris continues and Kohli gets to his hundred, his second one successively. Four byes come next and some valuable runs these for India. Aussies need wickets!
    OVERS 70// RUNS 242// WICKETS 4
    Lyon bows well picking up his eighth wicket. Murali Vijay departs missing his ton by one run.. He went back to his back foot and tried to get a run through on-side but misses and the ball struck his pad and that looked plumb. Rahane follows and after looking nervy for the first four balls knicks one to forward short leg Blow for India and a big big turn around!
    OVERS 78// RUNS 279/ WICKETS 5
    Rohit Sharma departs! Nathan Lyon gets the wicket again! Saha is the new man in and one more wicket will see the tail get exposed.
    OVERS 80// RUNS 299/ WICKETS 6
    Lyon gets hit for two boundaries and a six with Saha joining the attack with Kohli. And after some good positive strokes his inexperience shows and tries to go for a big one and misses.
    OVERS 82// RUNS 304// WICKETS 7
    Lyon strikes again! Kohli this time. Lyon's 6th wicket! Kohli gets a boundary before pulling a loose delivery straight to Marsh at deep mid-wicket!
    OVERS 85// RUNS 309// WICKETS 8
    Shami is the man to go as he tries to hit Harris and skies a shot to Johnson! Matter of time for Aussies!
    OVERS 87.1// RUNS 315// WICKETS 10
    Aaron departs and Aussies one wicket away from a victory. Johnson gets Aaron LBW after a peach of a delivery! Lyon comes in and gets Ishant and Australia get a surprise win here. India lost eight wickets after tea and from 243/2 they succumb to 315 all out!

    Adelaide to host 1st India-Australia Test

    The first cricket Test between India and Australia will be held in Adelaide from December 9 after the four-match series' schedule was revised on Monday in the wake of young player Phillip Hughes' tragic death which left the home team distraught.
    "Revised Schedule: 1st Test (Dec 9-13), 2nd Test (Dec 17-21), 3rd Test (Dec 26-30) and 4th Test (Jan 6-10). Venues: 1st Test (Adelaide), 2nd Test (Brisbane), 3rd Test (Melbourne) and 4th Test (Sydney) #AUSvsIND," the BCCI said on its official twitter handle.

    Hughes' funeral would be held in Macksville on Wednesday. The entire Australian team, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, visiting side's coach Duncan Fletcher and Team Director Ravi Shastri will attend the funeral of the young batsman, who would have turned 26 on Sunday.
    The first Test was originally scheduled to start on December 4 in Brisbane, which has now become the venue for the second match.
    The Adelaide Test was originally scheduled to start from December 12.
    The second Test in Brisbane will start on December 16, followed by Melbourne on December 26 and the final match in Sydney, starting January 6.

    A two-day tour game featuring a CA XI was cancelled last week, but India might get an opportunity to play a practice match later this week.
    The tourists were due to fly to Brisbane on Monday, but put off their travelling plans until the venue and dates for the first Test were confirmed.
    "The Indian side will remain in Adelaide until details for the first Test have been confirmed," CA had tweeted.
    Australian players were left in mourning after Hughes lost his life on being hit by a bouncer during a domestic game here last week.
    Australian captain Michael Clarke, who described Hughes as his little brother, were among the players who broke down publicly and penned emotional tributes to the youngster.

    Veterans like Sehwag and Yuvi omitted from 2015 WC probables

    Four veterans --Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh - were omitted from India's World Cup 30-member probables list which includes young spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.
    Another seasoned cricketer Gautam Gambhir has also been left out with the selectors reposing faith on the young guns to retain the title in Australia and New Zealand.
    The decision to ignore the veteran players, who were a part of the 2011 World Cup winning team along with Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir, has put a question mark on their future given that none of the five have featured in an ODI for the last one year.
    Apart from the famed five, pacers Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel, spinner Piyush Chawla and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan were also among the players axed from the list announced by BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the selection committee in Mumbai on Thursday.
    Apart from Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool and batting duo of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav benefitted from the overhaul, riding on their consistent performance in the domestic circuit.

    With the selectors opting to ignore seniors, there were no major surprises on offer in the list of probables.
    The selectors included all-rounder Stuart Binny and in-form batsman Manoj Tiwary and young wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson in the list which would be further pruned to 15 on January 7, five weeks ahead of the World Cup starting 14th February.
    Eleven players from the 2011 World Cup-winning squad will not be seen in action when the team goes Down Under to defend the trophy.
    While most of them have been ignored for poor form, Sachin Tendulkar has retired and pacer S Sreesanth has been banned for spot-fixing. Of all the players ignored, Yuvraj's journey has been the most dramatic.
    The left-handed batsman was named Player of the Tournament for his fantastic run in the 2011 World Cup but his career took a hit after he had to undergo treatment for rare form of germ cell cancer between his lungs.
    His attempts at a comeback were not too successful and he was eventually pushed to the sidelines.
    Of the selected players, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja picked themselves after delivering consistently.

    Among the bowlers, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohit Sharma and Ashoke Dinda got the selectors' nod by virtue of their fine performances in both the international and domestic circuit.
    Apart from Dhoni, the list has two wicketkeepers in Wriddhiman Saha and young Sanju Samson, who has also impressed with his batting in the domestic arena.
    Cheteshwar Pujara, who is regarded a Test specialist, Pragyan Ojha, Dinesh Karthik and Naman Ojha were among the other notable omissions.
    Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu and Robin Uthappa, who have been in and out of the national squad in recent times have also found a place in the probables list.

    India World Cup probables:
    Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sanju Samson, R Ashwin, Parveez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Ashoke Dinda, Kuldeep Yadav and Murali Vijay.

    India's Ravi in ICC panel of umpires for World Cup

    Indian umpire S Ravi was on Wednesday named in a 25-member list of match officials for next year's ICC ODI World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
    "The team includes five officials from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, 12 umpires from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and eight umpires from the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires," the ICC said in a statement.
    The match referees are David Boon, Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama.
    The elite panel umpires in the list are Aleem Dar, Billy Bowden, Bruce Oxenford, Ian Gould, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Nigel Llong, Paul Reiffel, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Rod Tucker and Steve Davis.
    The international panel of umpires for the event comprises Johan Cloete, Simon Fry, Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Ranmore Martinesz, Ruchira Palliyaguru, S Ravi and Joel Wilson.

    "The eight umpires from the international panel have been identified as emerging and talented match officials, who have already officiated at international level."
    The World Cup winners in the line-up are Boon, Dharmasena, Mahanama and Reiffel. Boon was part of Allan Border's side that triumphed in Kolkata in 1987, Dharmasena and Mahanama played in the 1996 final in Lahore and Reiffel represented Australia at Lord's in the 1999 final.
    In addition to the four, Crowe represented New Zealand in the 1983 and 1987 World Cups, Broad featured in three matches of the 1987 edition, Illingworth participated in the final of the 1992 event as well as 1996 and Madugalle played in three World Cups -- 1979, 1983 and 1987.
    The umpires were chosen by the selection panel of Geoff Allardice (ICC General Manager -- Cricket), Ranjan Madugalle (ICC Chief Match Referee), David Lloyd (former player, coach, umpire and now television commentator) and S Venkataraghavan (former elite panel umpire). Match appointments will be announced closer to the warm-up matches.

    Hughes given tearful final farewell; PM Modi pays tribute

    Cricket world stood united in grief as Australian batsman Phillip Hughes was laid to rest in his hometown in Macksville on Wednesday amid an outpouring of emotional tributes by mourners including a distraught national skipper Michael Clarke.
    Hughes, who would have turned 26 last Sunday, was fatally hit by a bouncer at the back of his head during a domestic game last week. He
    battled for life for two days before passing away to leave the sporting world in stunned sadness. In a funeral attended by thousands and televised live, friends, family and teammates paid their tributes to the young batsman.
    The Indian team, which is here for a Test and limited-overs series, was represented by captain Virat Kohli, batsman Rohit Sharma and Team Director Ravi Shastri during an emotional goodbye to the player. Clarke, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland besides members of the Hughes family, read out heart-rending tributes to the youngster before Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" filled the air. "I don't know about you, but I keep looking for him. I know it is crazy but I expect any minute to take a call from him or to see his face pop around the corner. Is this what we call the spirit? If so, then his spirit is still with me. And I hope it never leaves," a choked Clarke said.
    PM MODI PAYS TRIBUTE TO HUGHES
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi also joined the world in bidding farewell to Hughes, sending out a tweet to pay his last respects.
    "Heart-rending funeral in Australia. Phil Hughes, we will miss you. Your game & exuberance won you fans all over! RIP," Modi tweeted.
    TENDULKAR PAYS TRIBUTE TO HUGHES
    Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar joined the cricket world to mourn the tragic death of Phillip Hughes.
    In a tribute to Hughes, who would have turned 26 last Sunday, Tendulkar wrote in his twitter page: "Will miss you Phil. Your enthusiasm to learn and drive for perfection was most impressive. #FarewellHughes." The 41-year-old Iconic batsman also posted a photograph of him along with Hughes, who was part of the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians in 2013.

    Former India skipper Anil Kumble also paid his tribute. "Phil Hughes RIP...#63notout cricket will miss you," wrote the spin legend in the social networking site. Hughes' coffin was led out after the tribute ceremony for a procession around the streets of Macksville to allow the locals to pay their last respects.

    The procession moved through the streets with players and other mourners walking behind. The Australian players later formed a guard of honour and the hearse and the funeral procession moved past them en route to the burial.
    The coffin was carried from the prayer hall of the Macksville High School by pallbearers -- Phillip's father Greg and brother Jason, along with Clarke, Mitchell Lonergan, Matthew Day, Aaron Finch and Tom Cooper, who was the departed player's housemate in Adelaide and was batting with him when he was struck by the fatal delivery.

    CA, Cricket NSW support State Memorial Service for Hughes

    Cricket Australia and Cricket New South Wales on Friday supported NSW Premier Mike Baird's announcement of a State Memorial Service for Phillip Hughes, who passed away on Thursday. "We would like to thank the Premier for his decision to grant a State Memorial Service for Phillip, and for putting the Hughes family's views first in
    offering such a service to the family," said Cricket Australia Chief Executive officer James Sutherland in a statement. "As the Premier outlined, it will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground and as such will be an opportunity for the entire community to pay tribute to a much-loved Australian.
    "The SCG is a place that Phillip cherished so dearly, and it is a ground where Phillip provided cricket fans from around the world with so much joy," he added. Cricket NSW Chief Executive officer Andrew Jones said it was important to come together and remember Hughes.
    "It's important for the community to be able to come together as one to remember Phillip, and we thank the Premier for continuing his staunch support of cricket in NSW and giving us the ability to host this service here in Sydney. "Phillip made his first class debut at the SCG and we believe this is a fitting way to celebrate his life," Jones said. A date for the service and other details will be decided in due course.
    twitter@ sachin tendulkar said: Shocked to hear about Phil. Sad day for cricket. Deepest condolences to family, friends and well wishers.

    Rohit creates history as India crush SLanka by 153 runs

    Rohit Sharma on Thursday created history by smashing the highest individual ODI score with a breathtaking knock of 264 as India thrashed Sri Lanka by 153 runs in the fourth cricket one-dayer to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series in Kolkata.
    Courtesy Rohit's mayhem, India scored a mammoth 404 for five and then easily bowled out the islanders for 251 in 43.1 overs. Returning after a 10-week injury lay-off, Rohit had everything going his way after being let-off on individual score of four.
    The Mumbaikar paced his innings to perfection as he first got set during the initial 50 runs before exploding against a clueless Lankan attack, as he scored his 264 off only 173 balls that had 33 fours and seven sixes.
    In the process, Rohit also broke compatriot Virender Sehwag's earlier world record of 219 runs, which he had set against West Indies in Indore, back in 2011.
    Rohit is also the only batsman to register two double centuries in ODIs and also now holds the record for highest number of boundaries during his innings. The epic milestone was reached when Rohit hit an elegant cover drive off Nuwan Kulasekara to become the first batsman with two double hundreds in ODIs.
    Rohit did have 'Lady Luck' going his way as he was dropped twice after reaching his double hundred.
    The stylish right-hander was all set to carry his bat through before he was holed out in the long-off region off the final delivery of the Indian innings.
    Fittingly, he received a 'Guard of Honour' from his teammates, who stood on both sides outside the dressing room with spectators also giving him a standing ovation.
    It couldn't have been a more memorable innings on the 150th anniversary of the hallowed ground which has seen many outstanding individual performances.
    Rohit's magnificent knock will rank among the very best played at this ground by the likes of VVS Laxman, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar to name a few.
    The fifth and final match of the series will be played at Ranchi on 16th November.

    India posts thumping win over Sri Lanka in 1st ODI

    Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone Indian to feature in the top 10 of the latest Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings as he continues to lead the way in the all-rounders list.
    South Africa's Vernon Philander is second in the Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings for All-rounders behind Ashwin, while Bangaldesh's Shakib Al Hasan is placed third.
    Meanwhile, Pakistan batsmen Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali have all improved their rankings in the latest Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings, which were released on Tuesday.
    Younus, who scored 213 and 46 in Pakistan's 356 runs victory, has climbed one place to sixth.
    The middle-order batsman, who rose to number-one position following his triple century against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009, had entered the series in 11th place on 759 ratings points.
    During the series, in which he aggregated 468 runs, Younus gained five places and 101 ratings points, and is now just three ratings points behind South Africa's fifth-ranked Hashim Amla.
    Misbah, who scored 69 and 101 not out, which was the joint fastest century in the history of Test cricket, has risen three places to eighth position.
    The Pakistan captain scored 271 runs in the series, as a result of which he gained two places and 56 ratings points. Misbah now trails Australia's David Warner by 40 ratings points.
    Azhar Ali, who scored two centuries in the Abu Dhabi Test, has rocketed nine places to 18th position. Azhar, who also scored 53 and 30 in Dubai, had started the series in 26th position.
    The batting table is headed by Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, with AB de Villiers of South Africa in second position.
    In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah has risen 29 places to 36th after taking five wickets in the match.
    Yasir's fellow spinner, left-armer Zulfiqar Babar, has climbed 13 places to a career high of 40th.
    Australia's Mitchell Johnson has retained his fourth position on 849 points, two points adrift of Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath.
    South Africa's Dale Steyn leads the bowling chart, followed by Ryan Harris, who missed the Pakistan series due to an injury.

    India posts thumping win over Sri Lanka in 1st ODI

    Cuttack: India have won the first One-Dayer against Sri Lanka by a huge margin of 169 runs. Chasing a victory target of 364 runs at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, the visitors collapsed for 194 runs in 39.2 overs. Earlier, sent in to bat, India posted an imposing 363 for five in the stipulated 50 overs. Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan struck fluent centuries. Rahane struck 111 from 108 balls en route to his second ODI century, while Dhawan returned to form with a 107-ball 113, which was his sixth century overall. The two were involved in a 231-run opening partnership. Suresh Raina scored a quickfire 52 off 34 balls.
    India continued to dominate the proceedings as bowlers took the baton from the batsmen. They called the shots, bundling out the 'under-prepared' visitors for a mere 194 in 39.2 overs.
    The pacers, led gangly Ishant Sharma, and spinners bowled with authority, never allowing the Sri Lankans to build partnerships or score freely. Delhi lad Ishant made an impressive comeback to the One-day side after a gap of one year as he accounted for four batsmen and conceded just 34 runs in his 8 overs. He had both Kumar Sangakkara (13) and Ashan Priyanjan (12) caught behind and later added two lower-order batsmen to his kitty.

    An event to remember: ISL kicks off with glittering ceremony

    It was an evening to remember for the people residing in 'Mecca of Indian Football' as a riot of colours lit the Salt Lake skyline with much awaited Indian Super League (ISL) doing everything possible to strike the right chord with the football afficianado.
    Touching the hearts of the football-loving crowd, chairperson of IMG-Reliance and founding Chairperson of Football Sports Development (ISL) Nita Ambani formally declared open the ISL in Kolkata on Sunday.
    "Ami Indian Super League er Subho Suchona Korchi (I declare the auspicious opening of ISL)-- I formally declare the Indian Super League open," she said surrounded a rare amalgamation of Bollywood and cricket and world football celebrities who represented the eight franchises.
    The fireworks lit up the sky in a full capacity Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan to conclude a 45-minute opening ceremony as the 70,000 capacity crowd were treated to some eye-catching visual extravaganza.
    Amid the confluence of Bollywood superstars, renowned sportpersons, corporate magnates and politicians, it was master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who drew the maximum applause.
    With chants of 'Sachiiiiin, Sachiiiiin' reverberating the colossal stadium which had the earlier capacity of 120,000 now reduced to 72,000, crowd gave a standing ovation to the retired legend.
    For a moment, it felt Tendulkar was once again going into the middle to take guard before the reality took over as clad in yellow t-shirt Tendulkar and his Kerala Blasters marquee player David James made the entry into the centre podium.

    Asian Games: Kabaddi golds prop India on day 14, total haul at 57

    Incheon: India brought the curtains down on their campaign in the 17th Asian Games, maintaining their domination of kabaddi with two gold medals as the country rose a rung to eighth in the overall standings on the penultimate day of competitions here on Friday.
    The two gold medals provided the final flourish for India at the Games, which can be considered a disappointment for the country given that the overall medal count went down in this edition.
    Although the women's team won their match against Iran quite comfortably, it was not a cakewalk for the men's team which literally overcame a scare before notching up their seventh successive gold medal in the event.
    With two gold medals coming today, India were placed eighth on the table with a total haul of 57 medals -- 11 gold, nine silver and 37 bronze. China continued to be at the top with an impressive haul of 329 (145-103-81) followed by hosts South Korea 222 (75-70-77) and Japan 190 (46-72-72).
    The medal collection was well below India's expectation as they had managed a haul of 65 -- 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze -- in the previous edition of the Games in Guangzhou.
    With no Indian participation on the last day of competitions on Saturday, the country's overall standing can change depending on others' performance.

    Asian Games, Oct 1: Indian tally stands at 7 Gold, 8 Silver and 32 Bronze

    Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom has bagged her first ever Asian Games Gold. In the Final of the Flyweight category a short while ago, she defeated Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan, 2-0, to bag India's 7th Gold of the Incheon Games.
    India, now, have 7 Gold, 8 Silver and 32 Bronze in it's kitty and is at the 10th spot.
    In India's other events scheduled for today, Ashwini Akkunji and Jithin Paul in the 400-metres Hurdles; M. Prajusha and Mayookha Johnny in Triple Jump; Tintu Luka, Sushma Devi and Sajeesh Joseph in 800 metres; and Annu Rani in Javelin Throw will be seen competing for the top medal. The Women's Hockey team will take on Japan in the Bronze medal match. All India Radio will broadcast live commentary on the match from 12:55 PM. In today's other results, Indian Wrestlers in the Greco Roman category again failed to make their mark, as Gurpreet Singh, Sandeep Yadav and Dharmendar Dalal bowed out in their respective categories.
    The Men's Volleyball team lost to Japan, 2-3 in the quarterfinals. In the Men's 50 km Race Walk, Sandeep Kumar finished fourth, and Basanta Bahadur Rana fifth. In Sepaktakraw, the Indian Women's team lost to China, 0-2 in a preliminary group match. China's unassailable lead in the medals tally continues. Korea is second, with Japan third.

    Asian Games 2014 Schedule: Time Table & Fixtures of 17th Incheon Asian Games

    The 17th Incheon Asian Games, officially known as the XVII Asiad is the Pancontinental multi-sport event that is all set to kick start from September 19 – October 4, 2014. The 2014 Asian Games is scheduled to take place with 45 nations participating in Incheon with 439 events in 36 sports and disciplines set to feature in the Games. With Incheon, this will be third time South Korea will be hosting the Asian Games after Seoul in 1986 and Pusan in 2002. The fixtures of the Asian Games 2014 starts with the opening ceremony scheduled to take place on September 19, which is expected to be mix of Korean traditional culture with the modern technology. The closing ceremony will take place on October 4.
    The 2014 Asian Games remains very special and close to India that were the first host of the Asian Games way back in 1951 as 17th Edition of Asian Games torch was lit at Major Dhyanchand National Stadium on August 9, 2014. This is for the first time the torch has been lit outside the host nation. The Asian Games 2014 is the next big thing for the athletes after the successful outing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. With the inclusion of new sporting events like archery, mixed relay triathlon, judo team events introduced for the first time in the 17th edition of Asian Games sees high medal hopes from the Indian contingent. India would be seeing the participation of 262 competitors in 11 sports – high medal hopes in events like wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, shooting, tennis, archery, badminton, table tennis and squash.

    In the 2010 Asian Games, India finished sixth in the medal table with their best ever performance bagging 64 medals including 14 gold at the Guangzhou. With India performing well at recently held Commonwealth Games, all eyes would be on the Indian athletes to better their previous best at the 17th Asiad. The Indian side have won in some unknown territories like athletics, their full strengths in form of the wrestlers, boxers and shooters and return of tennis and archery in Asian Games unlike CWG should motivate India to touch higher new heights.
    The Asian Games have been dominated by China, who last topped the medal table with 416 total medals including 199 gold. 2014 Asian Games host nation South Korea had finished second with 232 medals including 76 gold. Japan formed the top three of the 2010 Asian Games with 216 total medals. For India, the challenge to topple them looks invincible but bettering their own records is highly possible.
    The 17th Asian Games spread over the period of 16 days will start off with grand opening ceremony on 19th September, following which the medal events will take place from September 20 onwards at Incheon.

    Sports ministry slams IOA funding delegates for Asian Games

    Livid with the Indian Olympic Association for sponsoring the Asian Games 'junket' of sports federation officials, the Sports Ministry has said the IOA could have better spent the money in ensuring "good governance" and "transparency".
    On September 9, the IOA had written to 35 National Sports Federations (NSF) to nominate one delegate each for the Games beginning on Friday for the largesse costing Rs 1.25 lakh per official, covering air travel and stay for seven nights. "Why should the IOA fund officials who have no work and are going on a paid holiday?" asked a Sports Ministry official while talking to a news agency.
    "They should rather use the money for sports promotion and athletes. It is pointless to spend on delegates who have no work there," the official said. Following IOA's invitation, the Cycling Federation of India had questionably recommended name of Congress MP from Rohtak, Deepinder Hooda and his wife.
    The Olympic body's decision to take care of delegates comes after the ministry pruned India's Asian Games contingent from 942 athletes and officials to 679 members. The ministry is also unhappy about the IOA and NSFs not paying heed to its demand for submitting the details of expenses on officials during the July 23-Aug 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
    The ministry asked for the information following the arrest of two officials in Glasgow, including the IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta. "Instead of sponsoring junkets, I think the IOA should focus on putting its financial details on its website. The public should know their source of income and whatever money is there, they should use it on athletes," said the official.
    "I am also very sorry to say none of the federations have bothered to furnish the details. Their basic purpose is to provide good governance and transparency," he added. On the other hand, a Secretary General of a NSF said IOA taking delegates was routine.
    "I don't know what the fuss is about. IOA has been sponsoring delegates for many years. This time the number is only 35. When Suresh Kalmadi was in charge, the number used to cross 100 easily," he said.

    Cilic routs Nishikori to win US Open

    Marin Cilic clinched his first Grand Slam title, shattering Kei Nishikori's bid to become the first Asian man to win a major with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory in the US Open final. Cilic, the 14th-seeded 25-year-old, on Monday became the first Croatian man to win a major since Goran Ivanisevic, now his coach, at Wimbledon in 2001.
    It also comes 12 months after he was forced to skip the tournament to serve out a controversial doping ban. Cilic, playing in his 28th Grand Slam event, is the lowest-ranked champion since Pete Sampras, then 17th in the world, claimed the 2002 title in New York.
    But victory was well-deserved with Cilic saving eight of nine break points, firing 17 aces and 38 winners past a weary-looking Nishikori who had defeated three top five players to make his maiden major final -- Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and world number one Novak Djokovic. Monday's final was the first at a major not to feature either Djokovic, Federer or Rafael Nadal since the 2005 Australian Open so long ago that it was pre-Twitter.
    It was also a battle of contrasting styles between the 5ft 10in (1.78m), 150lbs (68kg) Nishikori and the bigger, heavier 6ft 6in (1.98m), 180lbs (82kg) Cilic who had knocked out five-time champion Roger Federer in the semi-finals. Under overcast skies and on the coolest day of a two-week tournament marked by punishing heat and high humidity, the championship match began inside a half-full Arthur Ashe Stadium.
    Once he had saved a break point in the first game, Cilic was comfortably the dominant player breaking for 4-2 and claiming the opening set in 33 low-key minutes when Nishikori, on the defensive and pinned behind the baseline, patted a meek backhand into the net.
    The big Croat's 11 winners to the Japanese's two illustrated the one-sided nature of the contest.
    The winner of 20 of the previous 21 men's finals in New York had claimed the first set. However, Nishikori had dropped the opener to both Raonic and Wawrinka in the fourth round and quarter-finals but still came out on top.
    Cilic, finding the tightest angles, pounced again in the third game of the second set when his opponent sliced another apologetic backhand into the net.
    He backed it up for 3-1 after Nishikori was unable to convert two break points.
    "Special K playing too defensive especially with his backhand. A lot of slices for some reason," tweeted Brad Gilbert, who coached Nishikori in 2011, from the sidelines.

    US Open: Bopanna-Srebotnik in mixed doubles quarters

    India's Rohan Bopanna and his Slovenian partner Katrina Srebotnik sailed into the US Open mixed doubles quarterfinals after a comprehensive straight-set win in their second-round match in New York.
    Sixth-seeded Bopanna and Srebotnik defeated the Spanish-South African pairing of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Raven Klaasen 6-3 6-4 in a contest which lasted an hour and five minutes.
    Therefore, the quarterfinal will have an Indian on both ends of the court as Bopanna and Srebotnik will square off against top seeds Sania Mirza and her Brazillian partner Bruno Soares.
    In a rather lop-sided match, Bopanna and Srebotnik took merely half an hour to clinch the opening set after converting two of the three break points they earned.
    The Indo-Slovenian team had a markedly better second serve percentage and the pair sent down 10 winners against its rival's five.
    The second set was a tad more competitive but Bopanna Srebotnik were still the better of the two combinations.
    They once again broke Garrigues and Klaasen twice to seal the issue in their favour.

    P Kashyap wins gold, Jwala-Ashwini settle for silver at CWG

    Parupalli Kashyap etched his name firmly in the history books by becoming the first Indian male shuttler in 32 years to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, but women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had to settle for a silver on Sunday.
    A bronze-medallist at the Delhi Games, Kashyap rose to the occasion and played a sensational game of nerves to eke out a breath-taking 21-14 11-21 21-19 triumph over Derek Wong of Singapore in the final showdown, which lasted over an hour.

    The 27-year-old from Hyderabad thus joined badminton legend Prakash Padukone and the late Syed Modi, who had won the title in the past. While Padukone had won the men's singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Modi retained it four years later. However, 2010 gold medallists Jwala and Ashwini failed to recreate the same magic as their title defence lay in tatters after a 17-21 21-23 defeat against World No. 18 Malaysian combo of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon in the 41-minute summit clash at the Emirates Arena here. Nonetheless, the silver medal is yet another feather in the caps of Jwala and Ashwini who had clinched the 2011 World Championship bronze and also bagged the bronze at the Asian Badminton Championship in April this year.

    It turned out to be a red letter day for World No. 22 Kashyap who bagged the biggest title of his career. He had reached the quarterfinals of the London Olympics and won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in 2012. Up against a tricky player, Wong, who was immaculate with his court coverage and wrist play, Kashyap was rewarded for his relentless never give up attitude. In the first game, Kashyap was leading 14-8 before Wong came back with the help of some precise smashes to gather four straight points. But the Indian soon turned the tables. Kashyap put pressure on his opponent and gathered few points at the net to reach 18-12. 12. Soon he garnered seven game points after Wong's return got buried into the nets.

    An inaccurate down-the-line smash from Kashyap helped Wong save one game point but the Indian soon wrapped it up with another jump smash to earn the bragging rights. Not ready to take it lying down, Wong changed his gameplan and started penetrating the defence of Kashyap to lead 11-6 at the interval. Kashyap committed too many unforced errors while Wong stepped up to move to 15-8. In the end, a down-the-line
    smash from Wong and a few wide shots helped the Malaysian make a roaring comeback into the contest. Back to his winning court, Kashyap started the decider on a positive note. His smashes were more accurate and he judged the shuttle well.
    But still he found it tough to break the defence of Wong, who used his tricky deceptive shots, better court coverage and better net play to lead 11-8. After the interval, Kashyap narrowed the lead to 11-12. At 13-11, the duo engaged in a long aggressive rally, which the Indian won, amid loud cheers from the fans.
    Kashyap soon drew level at 14-14 when Wong found the net and then surged ahead with a bodyline smash. The Indian stepped up the attack and engaged in a fast-paced rally, which ended with Wong hitting long.
    Wong found the net again and Kashyap earned a point with a cross-court smash to move to 19-16. The Malaysian, however, soon rubbed off the deficit with a three-point burst but he hit long and wide next as Kashyap burst into celebration.
    In the women's doubles final, Jwala and Ashwini paid the price for committing too many unforced errors as they first blew up a narrow 15-13 lead in the opening game, before wasting a four game point advantage in the second game.
    Ashwini was specially not in her elements today as the Indian failed to connect her strokes, which saw the shuttles going wide and long, resulting in a lot of points for their Malaysian rivals. The match between the two pairs -- separated by just three ranking points -- was a rollercoaster ride right from the start as the Malaysian combo could only earn a narrow 11-10 lead at the first interval.
    Ashwini's deceptive flicks earned India a couple of points after the breather but unforced errors by the Indian and a mistake at the net by Jwala helped Hoo and Woon drew level at 16-16. Two wide shots then helped the Malaysian pair earn a three-game point lead and they soon pocketed it to grab a 1-0 advantage.
    India had an early 4-1 lead in the second game but soon Hoo and Woon caught up at 5-5 and entered the break at 11-9 with Jwala finding the net once again. With a precise return that landed on the line, Jwala helped India to claw back. The Malaysian pair then found the net and hit a long shot to allow India a 17-15 cushion. India capitalised on the advantage and swelled the lead to 20-16 with a beautiful tap at the nets by Jwala, but they squandered the lead with a series of wide shots and the scores were tied at 20-20.
    Hoo and Woon then didn't spare anymore time and sealed the issue with a couple of smashes, which Ashwini had no answers to.
    Jwala admitted that she made a number of mistakes during the match. "From my side there were a lot of mistakes. I should have controlled from the net but I wasn't doing my job. The excitement was too much, and from that the pressure also builds," said Jwala after the match.
    "For me every point is important. We have to learn from every win or loss but I would proudly say we have played consistently," she added. Jwala said while they failed to defend their gold from the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, bagging the silver was still a good performance.
    "Last time we got gold and this time we got to the final, so it's still good," insisted Jwala. Ashwini said although she was "irritated" with herself during the match, she was happy to pocket a silver.
    "We gave it our best. I was irritated with myself but now I'm happy after winning silver," said Ashwini.

    India in with chance to rise in ICC Test rankings

    The Indian cricket team has a chance to go up a rung and be third in the ICC rankings if it beats England in the upcoming five-Test series starting July 9.
    As things stand at present, India occupy fourth position with 102 ratings points, while England are a spot behind with 100 ratings points.
    Depending upon the outcome of the Test series, both teams can go as high as number three or drop to as low as number seven.
    For India, the equation is straightforward -- a series win will be sufficient to help it leapfrog Pakistan into third position, the ICC said in a statement.
    However, a vault up the rankings is a bit trickier for England, who need to win the series by a difference of no less than two Tests to take on the third place. Victory by just one Test will help them swap places with India.
    Meanwhile, both teams can potentially drop to number seven. If India win all five Tests, Alastair Cook's side will plummet to seventh position, while a 4-1 series result will see England slip to sixth.
    Conversely, if England win the series 4-0 or better, India will drop to seventh spot.
    Movement is also expected on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen.
    India's Cheteshwar Pujara, static in seventh place, will have the opportunity to break into the top five, while Virat Kohli, who currently occupies 10th position, will have the chance to consolidate his place in the top 10.
    Pujara trails fifth-ranked Shivnarine Chanderpaul by 35 ratings points, while Kohli needs 16 ratings points to both move ahead of Ross Taylor of New Zealand and also break the 800-point barrier.
    Ian Bell, in 18th place, is the only batsman from England to find a place among the top 20.
    Outside the top 20, batsmen likely to be seen in action from both the sides are Alistair Cook (21st), Joe Root (26th), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29th), Matt Prior (32nd), Rohit Sharma (33rd), Murali Vijay (42nd), Ajinikya Rahane (45th) and Shikhar Dhawan (50th).
    Gary Ballance and Sam Robson, who did well for England against Sri Lanka, are in 83rd and 94th places, respectively.
    India's Ravichandran Ashwin, in seventh position, is the highest-ranked bowler from either side in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers. James Anderson (12th) and Stuart Broad (14th) are the other bowlers to feature inside the top 20.
    Other bowlers to watch out for are Ishant Sharma (23rd), Ravindra Jadeja (26th), Mohammed Shami (33rd), Ben Stokes (46th), Liam Plunkett (50th), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (73rd) and Chris Woakes (118th).

    Keeper impresses in USA's dramatic 2-2 draw with Portugal.

    Tim Howard produced an impressive personal display – but it was late frustration for the United States as Portugal grabbed an equaliser deep into stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw in Manaus.
    In what was another compelling World Cup group clash, the Americans looked on course to have produced a superb comeback win, one that would have seen them book a place in the last 16 of the tournament.
    But Portugal, who were facing elimination, netted a last-gasp equaliser thanks to substitute Varela's bullet header.
    Nani had given the hosts the lead on five minutes, only for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side to respond in the second half with an arrowing strike from Jermaine Jones and a close-range finish from Clint Dempsey.
    Howard’s performance will attract plenty of praise, particularly a top-draw double save shortly before half-time when he pushed an effort from Nani onto the post before tipping the follow-up from Eder over the bar. It was a contribution that allowed the Americans to launch their spirited response in the second period.
    The US, who beat Ghana 2-1 in their opening game, now move onto four points with one Group G game left to play against Germany on Thursday.
    A draw or victory against Joachim Low’s team would see the US progress – but a German win would leave the door open for Ghana or Portugal to steal the final qualification position.

    1 day left for World Football extravaganza

    The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men's football tournament that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina, and the fifth time overall.
    The national teams of 31 countries advanced through qualification competitions that began in June 2011 to participate with the host nation Brazil in the final tournament. A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil in either new or redeveloped stadiums, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches will use goal-line technology.
    With the host country, all world champion teams since the first World Cup in 1930 (Argentina, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay) have qualified for this competition. Spain is the defending champion, having defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in the 2010 World Cup final to win its first World title. The previous four World Cups staged in South America were all won by South American teams.
    The very term football is synonymous with thrill and speed and the history of the World Cup makes the event even more exciting. World Football Body, FIFA, has seen great changes along with development of most modern stadia. Along with growing interest of fans for the game, the FIFA has left no stone unturned to make it even more popular. Along with negative side of disputes, efforts have continuously been made to make the game positive and healthy one.
    India ranks at 147th place in the football world. It is hoped that India would participate in the 2022 World Cup to be held in Doha.

    2014 FIFA World Cup
    Total number of matches to be played: 64
    July 13: Top teams to play for honours
    32 teams accommodated in 8 groups
    India would host World Cup under-17 matches to be held in 2017; being the host nation, India would, for the first time, take part in the 24-nation game.
    Grouping of teams

    Group A- Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
    Group B- Spain, Netherlands, Chili, Australia
    Group C- Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
    Group D- Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
    Group E- Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
    Group F- Argentina, Bosnia, Iran, Nigeria
    Group G- Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
    Group H- Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

    Hockey WC: India draw with Spain

    The Hague: It was great consolation for the Indian hockey team which drew their third Group A match against World No.10 Spain 1-1 at the GreenFields Stadium here Thursday. Earlier, they had lost their opening matches against Belgium and England.
    India broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when Rupinder Pal Singh scored off a penalty stroke to put the 1975 champions on the board. When it looked like India would head into the break with the lead, Spaniard Roc Oliva equalised through a field goal in the 34th minute to equalise.
    Both teams had many attempts of scoring in the second half but failed to convert the chances to keep the same score till the hooter. While India are in fifth position in the six-team group with one point from three games, Spain have two points from three matches and are fourth.

    Gambhir, Binny & Pankaj in Test squad for England tour

    The Sandeep Patil-led selection committee on Wednesday announced an 18-member Indian squad for the Test series against England beginning June 26. The tour which concludes on Sept 7 will have five Tests , an equal number of ODIs and one Twenty20 International.

    While veteran opener Gautam Gambhir has been recalled and other surprise picks are all-rounder Stuart Binny and unheralded paceman Pankaj Singh, the notable omissions include Injured pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha. The side features seven pacers, led by the gangling Ishant Sharma, and just two spinners in Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Apart from adding the experienced Gambhir, the batting line-up has not been tinkered with.

    Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are the two openers, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma. Wriddhimaan Saha has been taken on board as backup for Dhoni, who is the team's first-choice wicketkeeper. The selectors continued to ignore veteran Virender Sehwag, who has done his case no good by continuing to under-perform in the domestic arena.

    Bradman's first Test bat up for auction

    Sydney: The cricket bat used by Australian sporting legend Don Bradman to launch his Test career has been put up for auction and is expected to fetch up to Australian dollars 145,000. Bradman, who retired with a yet-to-be-topped Test batting average of 99.94, used the bat to open his Test career in the 1928 series against England. It was donated by him to the Sydney Sun newspaper in 1930 as a competition prize to raise money for a children`s hospital and was held by the boy who won until 2008 when he sold it for Aus$145,000 ($136,000).

    The current vendor, an Australian collector, put it on display at the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but has now decided to sell. "The market is tougher now but we expect to reach around the same price again," Max Williamson of Mossgreen Auctions in Melbourne said. "Cricket has got a very big community of collectors so we expect it to be sold to a collector or an institution."

    The bat, signed by Bradman as DGB, also holds the signatures of 19 members of English and Australian teams who played in his maiden Test. Bradman scored just 18 and 1 in his first Test but went on to become a player widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time.
    The market for memorabilia related to Bradman, who died in 2001 aged 92, remains strong with a bat he used and signed by his 1948 "Invincible" team selling for Aus$61,000 last year. The baggy green cap he wore at his final Test sold for more than Australian 400,000 dollars in 2008.

    Lalit Modi elected President, BCCI suspends RCA

    Controversial former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, who has been living in exile after being slapped with a life ban, was on Tuesday elected President of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, prompting a livid BCCI to suspend the RCA.

    Modi predictably swept the polls, winning by an emphatic 24-5 margin after the Supreme Court cleared the decks for the announcement of the election results, more than four months after the acrimonious polls.
    The result was announced by court-appointed observer Justice (retd) N M Kasliwal in Jaipur on Tuesday.
    The announcement of results is expected to trigger another round of legal tussle between Modi and the BCCI, which has made it clear that it would not accept the verdict.
    Out of a total 33 votes, Modi's opponent Rampal Sharma earned just five.

    Within a couple of hours of the declaration of RCA poll results, the BCCI indefinitely suspended the RCA and decided to form an ad-hoc committee to run the affairs of the affiliated unit.
    "As per Order dated 30/4/2014 the Honble Supreme Court had directed that if it is found by BCCI that any person has acted against its rules, regulations or law, which is to be enforced by it, it would be open to it to take action against such a person," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.

    "In pursuance of the order, under authority vested in him as per Regulation 32 (vii) of the Rules and Regulations of BCCI, Mr. Shivlal Yadav, Interim President, BCCI, has suspended the Rajasthan Cricket Association from the membership of the BCCI, pending disciplinary proceedings against it on charges of misconduct," he added.

    "Keeping in mind the interests of the sport of cricket and in order to safeguard the best interests and welfare of the cricketers playing the game in different age-groups and their future, an ad-hoc committee will be constituted shortly by the BCCI," the statement read.

    The RCA, on its part, vowed to challenge the suspension in court.

    "We are mulling over the situation and would appeal in the High Court," said Mehmood Abdi, the newly-elected vice-President and Modi's lawyer.

    IPL-7: King XI Punjab in great form

    George Bailey of the Kings XI Punjab and Yuvraj Singh of the Royal Challengers Bangalore shake hands after the match in Dubai.

    Wisden Almanack salutes Sachin Tendulkar in its 151st edition

    Retired legend Sachin Tendulkar is the first Indian to feature on the cover of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He was earlier chosen to feature on the cover of the second edition of the Wisden India Almanack.

    The 40-year-old cricketer is the first Indian to feature on the cover of the Almanack. He was earlier chosen to feature on the cover of the second edition of the Wisden India Almanack.

    The yellow page shows Tendulkar walking out of the Wankhede stadium after playing his last innings against the West Indies in November last year. The photograph captured Tendulkar acknowledging the crowd with his bat raised.

    "Sachin simply picks himself," said Lawrence Booth, the Wisden editor. "His status and influence on the game are beyond question. Wisden is delighted to add its own tribute to an exceptional career in this year's Almanack."

    The 2014 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack will be published in London on Thursday.

    The Wisden said: "Tendulkar played Test matches in front of the most demanding fans in the world for 24 years."

    Wisden also compared Tendulkar's record with England skipper Alastair Cook and Australia captain Michael Clarke.

    "If further proof was required of just how astonishing that was, it came at Perth in December, when for a few moments one Cook and one Clarke added up to exactly one Tendulkar: 200 Test caps, 15,921 runs and 51 hundreds."

    The Long And Short Of It

    “There is no more renowned beard in all humanity.” So said Clifford Bax, the versatile 20th century English writer, poet and hymn writer, of Dr WG Grace.

    The good doctor was the true pioneer of the modern game, ‘the first superstar of the game’, according to Sir Ian Botham. The man who “found cricket a country pastime and left it a national institution”, wrote EW Swanton, the cricket writer and commentator, of Grace, flowing beard, imposing presence, 54,211 first-class runs and 124 first-class hundreds, among other things.

    For all his accomplishments on the field, for all the force of his forceful personality, the first association you make with Grace is his beard. Not a fashionable stubble, not a style statement but a long beard with liberal streaks of grey beneath a bushy moustache.

    Facial hair was for long considered a sign of machismo. Gradually, it evolved into a fashion statement, has since associated with various causes – charitable, religious, prudent – and today is even a symbol of superstition, an effort to change one’s fortunes, a tool to try and hoodwink the omniscient eye of fate.

    During India’s tour of New Zealand this January-February, Brendon McCullum started to sport an unshaven look because he was looking for any means to arrest a streak of lost tosses. That Mahendra Singh Dhoni called correctly every time did not make any difference to New Zealand’s fortunes – they went undefeated in seven international games, winning four One-Day Internationals and a Test match with two other fixtures ending indecisively – but he still wanted to win a toss. Desperately so. It didn’t bear fruit, of course. Long after the stubble had grown into a full beard, fashionably styled, McCullum continued to be baulked by Dhoni’s calling, to the extent that by the time the Test matches started, he decided enough was enough and summoned the old razor. His fortunes did change – he didn’t win a toss, of course, but he did go on to become New Zealand’s first triple centurion in Test cricket.

    The ICC World Twenty20, in its climactic stages in Bangladesh, hasn’t been short of men sporting facial hair liberally. Hashim Amla, Moeen Ali, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed, among others, have long beards in keeping with their religious sentiments; then, there are individuals like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan and Ahmed Shehzad, representatives of the modern generation, gelled hair and all, with carefully tended-to beards. Jadeja and Dhawan have the twirling moustache to go with the designer beard, while Dhoni alternates between a seriously grey stubble and a clean-shaven look, fuelled neither by the desire to make a statement nor by superstition.

    Depending on which time of the year they tour the subcontinent, several of Australia’s players arrive with crew cuts and a stubble, which they allow to mushroom into a substantial mass, mainly to offer their skins protection against the harsh sun. The need to look good is then tempered by the necessity to safeguard oneself against tanning, among other things. Machismo be damned, this is practicality at its most obvious and essential, they might be saying.

    Botham himself and Sir Viv Richards, his great mate, both sported beards of varying degrees of ferocity during their playing days though neither man needed facial hair to display his machismo. Richards, of the unforgiving eye, scything willow, practised swagger and furious gum-chewing, cut a dashing, intimidating figure every time he walked on to the cricket field while Botham, a tightly coiled figure of scarcely concealed kinetic energy, had the unique ability of making things happen, ‘stache and beard or not.

    Several of the Australian players were engaged in a personal moustache-growing competition of their own from November 1 last year in offering their support for Movember, one of Cricket Australia’s two official charity partners, to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. David Warner, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc and Darren Lehmann, the coach, all were in the running for the hairiest upper lip prize but it was Mitchell Johnson who beat them all to the title, not just for his drooping moustache but also because he backed up his menacing new look with great hostility with the ball during the Ashes, battering and bruising the English into submission.

    Johnson also dyed his moustache pink during the SCG Test in early January as part of the McGrath Foundation campaign to enhance breast cancer awareness, associated with the colour pink, and received a fair ribbing from Shane Watson when he opted to shave the moustache off at the end of the Australian home summer, before regrowing it for the tour of South Africa.

    Indian cricket has had its fair share of moustached heroes. Kapil Dev arrived in a blaze of hair and wickets on his maiden tour of Pakistan, by which time stalwarts such as BS Chandrasekhar, Gundappa Viswanath and S Venkatraghavan, not to mention domestic giants like Brijesh Patel, had made the hairy upper lip a popular option for Indian fans in the mid- ’70s. Sunil Gavaskar, generally clean-shaven, sported a thick moustache while leading India to the World Championship of Cricket title in Australia in 1985, in his final stint as the national captain.

    And who can forget Graham Gooch’s Zapata, armed with which he took 333 off India at Lord’s in 1990, or the Chappell brothers who at their peak, sported rugged moustaches and beards that were in direct contrast to their silken strokeplay. Australia, in fact, have given the cricket world some of the most famous and most talked-about moustaches – David Boon and Merv Hughes with their handlebars, Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh with their thick bushes.

    At a time when professional athletes and swimmers shave off as much facial and body hair as they can to maximise performances – especially in the dashes where even a fraction of a second can be a lifetime – more relaxed adventures such as cricket allow their protagonists to express themselves in hairy, occasionally hair-rising avatars. For every Chris Martin, there is a Chris Gayle. Moustaches, beards and cricket makes for an unbeatable combination, from Grace to Kohli and beyond.

    courtsey: wisdenindia.com

    Sri Lanka break finals jinx, thrash India to win World T20 title

    DHAKA/Meerpur: The finals hoodoo has been broken. Sri Lankan supporters can finally smile. Their golden generation of cricketers, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and captain for the last three matches Lasith Malinga have something to show for their efforts.

    After coming second-best in the last four ICC finals, the Islanders managed to grab their hands on the big prize by winning the fifth edition of the ICC World T20 with a six-wicket win over India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday. They got there with 13 balls to spare. Set to chase a modest 131, Lanka were guided by Kumar Sangakkara, who struck a majestic, unbeaten 52 (35 balls; 6x4, 1x6) to see them home. Man of the Match Sangakkara, playing his last T20 International, was well assisted by Thisara Perera, who belted 21 not out in 14 balls (1x4, 2x6) as the duo added 54 runs in 5.2 overs on a wicket that wasn't easy to bat on, with the ball stopping on the batsmen. Perera was drafted into the side at the expense of leg-spinner Sekkuge Prasanna, and what a call it turned out to be.

    India, who were unchanged from the side that beat South Africa in the semis, looked to be back in the game when Amit Mishra dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne caught behind for just two. At that stage, Sri Lanka were 78 for 2 needing 53 runs off 45 balls. Sangakkara's wicket then could have swung the game in India's favour but the experienced southpaw held one end up and as the target drew closer, started hitting out. Perera carted a few big ones too. Credit should also be given to another great servant of Sri Lankan cricket, Mahela Jayawardene, who too was playing his last T20 International. He soaked in the pressure after the early loss of Kushal Perera and hit a run-a-ball 24 ensured they got some stability back in the innings. The Indian spinners R Ashwin and Amit Mishra bowled well, but with only 130 to defend, their threat was negated as it was always about a couple of good overs and one decent partnership for Sri Lanka. India's dream of becoming the first team to win the World T20 twice was shattered by a clinical display from their opponents. Earlier, the game began 40 minutes late after a sharp shower delayed proceedings. India, after being put in to bat, could score just 130 for 4 despite an electric knock from Virat Kohli 77 (58b; 5x4, 4x6). Kohli survived a dropped chance from the Sri Lankan skipper Lasith Malinga at mid-wicket off Rangana Herath when he was on 11. He capitalized on that and smashed Herath for two sixes and hit two more off Kulasekara.
    He added 60 runs for the third wicket with Rohit Sharma 29 (26b; 3x4), who struggled to get going. At 64/2 in 10.4 overs and batsmen like Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni left to accompany Kohli, India were looking at a score of 160-plus, which could have been a match-winning one. However, Yuvraj singh struggled to get going and his 11 (21 balls) affected the momentum of the Indian innings. MS Dhoni too seemed to be under pressure because of that knock and instead of giving the well-set Kohli more of the strike, he attempted wild slogs and swishes and failed to connect any of them as he scored 4 not out (7 balls).

    Kohli, named Man of the Tournament for his tally of 319 runs, would have traded the prize for the trophy as an Indian victory would have made him the first cricketer to have won all ICC events - the Under-19 WC (2008), ICC World Cup (2011), ICC Champions Trophy (2013) and the ICC World T20 (2014). He will have to wait for the tournament to come to India two years later.

    WHAT HURT INDIA IN THE FINAL
    * Virat, who was going great guns, faced only 8 balls in the last four overs as Yuvraj and Dhoni failed to rotate the strike
    * Yuvraj, Dhoni together played 28 balls for 15 runs at a stage when India needed fours and sixes
    * Indian innings had as many as 48 dot balls
    * Amit Mishra, who had an off day, could not make any inroads in the middle overs when India needed wickets.



 



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