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Para-Badminton WC: Suhas Yathiraj defeats reigning Paralympic champion Lucas Mazur to reach final

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Pattaya, Feb 24 (IANS) India para-badminton player Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj, etched his name in history as he stormed into the final of the Para-Badminton World Championships in the men’s singles Side Lower 4 (SL4) category, beating world number one Lucas Mazur of France in straight games.

With a commanding 21-16, 21-19 victory, Suhas displayed unwavering determination, propelling himself one step closer to championship glory.

An IAS officer of the 2007 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre, Suhas Yathiraj hailing from Hassan, Karnataka, journey from the corridors of academia to the pinnacle of para-badminton exemplifies the triumph of the human spirit.

Suhas is also a silver medalist at the Tokyo Paralympics and an Arjuna awardee.

Awaiting Suhas in the final is the winner of the intense showdown between Indian shuttler Sukant Kadama and Fredy Setiawan of Indonesia, setting the stage for a thrilling finale.

In another gripping encounter, legendary Pramod Bhagat showcased his mastery on the court, edging out compatriot Manoj Sakar 23-21, 20-22, 21-18 in a fiercely contested SL3 men’s singles semifinal.

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Pramod secured his record ninth World Championships medal, reaffirming his status as a dominant force in para-badminton.

However, the journey wasn’t as fortunate for all Indian contenders, as Nitesh Kumar faced a tough defeat against Bethell Daniel of England in a three-game thriller (18-21, 22-20, 14-21). Despite the setback, Nitesh returned home with a bronze medal.

In the women’s category, Manashi Joshi showcased her prowess, securing a bronze medal despite falling short 12-21, 12-21 in the semifinal clash against Syakuroh Ikhtiar. With her sixth World Championships medal, Manashi continues to elevate Indian para-badminton on the global stage.

As the competition intensifies, the Indian contingent remains poised to leave an indelible mark in the doubles semifinal, with Pramod Bhagat partnering with Sukant Kadam in the SL3-SL4 men’s doubles showdown.

–IANS

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Bengal Pro T20 League: We need to focus on building stands, says Siliguri Strikers skipper Priyanka Bala after loss in first match

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Kolkata, June 12 (IANS) Following their defeat in the opening match of the Bengal Pro T20 League, Siliguri Strikers Women’s team skipper Priyanka Bala emphasized the need to focus on building partnerships in the middle to secure victories in upcoming games. Siliguri Strikers Women lost the opening match to Harbour Diamonds on Wednesday here at the Jadavpur University campus grounds, Salt Lake. Harbour Diamonds Women began their campaign on a winning note.

Despite the loss, Priyanka Bala remains optimistic about the team’s prospects

“We played well but we have to improve on certain aspects so that we can make a comeback in the League,” said Priyanka Bala after the defeat in the opening match.

Batting first, Siliguri Strikers got off to a slow start with opening batters crawling their way in the middle. It was skipper Priyanka Bala who played a knock of 23 in 13 balls and took her side to 95/5.

Chandrima Ghosal also scored 24 runs in 22 balls but due to Siliguri Strikers starting very slow in the T20 match, the side wasn’t able to cross 100. Harbour Diamonds registered their first win in the opening match.

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“Today we didn’t build any partnerships, so our main focus will be to build a partnership in the next match. And in bowling we need to see our line and lengths and then bowl accordingly,” said skipper Priyanka.

Speaking about her innings, Priyanka said, “I batted just like I bat in any other game. Our run rate was quite slow, so I tried hitting some shots. If I would have been there till the end, we would have given them a good target.”

Siliguri Strikers will now lock horns with Murshidabad Kings on Friday in the women’s leg of the Bengal Pro T20 League.

The Bengal Pro T20 League, which is managed by Arivaa Sports, is conceptualised on the lines of the IPL involving 8 franchise teams in both the men’s and women’s categories.

–IANS

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Shooting World Cup: Bhowneesh in line for Men's trap final at Lonato

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Paris Olympic quota winner Bhowneesh Mendiratta shot a three-round qualification score of 74 out of 75 in Men’s Trap, to stay in contention for a top-six finish in qualifying round and finals berth at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Shotgun in Lonato, Italy on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Indian shotgun shooter will come back on Thursday for the last two rounds of qualification, with the final slated later in the day. Yu Haicheng of China was on top of the leaderboard with a perfect 75 at this stage.

Bhowneesh was the best Indian on the show on Wednesday as the others in Men’s Trap, namely, Prithviraj Tondaiman (71) was in 21st and Vivaan Kapoor (70) was in 33rd position had quite a lot of ground to cover.

In the Women’s Trap, Shreyasi Singh (67) and Rajeshwari Kumari (67) shot identical scores to occupy the 15th and 17th positions respectively while Manish Keer shot 64 to lie 43rd at this stage.

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–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Arshdeep’s four-fer restricts USA to 110/8 in key clash

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New York, June 12 (IANS) A clinical bowling performances by pacer Arshdeep Singh (4-9) and Hardik Pandya (2 for 14) helped India restrict host the United States to 110 for 8 in a Group A match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.

Put in to bat first, the host had a disappointing start on a track that offered plenty of swing and seam movement. It took Arshdeep all of one delivery to strike Shayan Jahangir’s pad with a superb in-swinger.

With three overs on the scoreboard, USA were yet to score a boundary and had already lost two wickets, both in the first over to Arshdeep Singh. Andries Gous tried to slap a short-of-length delivery but was defeated by an extra bounce.

The USA’s only boundary in the Power-play came off a top edge that flew over fine-leg for six when Aaron Jones attempted to hook a Mohammed Siraj bumper. After scores of 94* and 36*, Jones couldn’t get going against India. He got away with a short ball that he top-edged for six off Siraj, but fell trying to pull Hardik as the ball skidded on quicker than he anticipated. It’s Siraj who took the catch at fine leg to effect the dismissal.

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Shivam Dube, who bowled all of one over in IPL 2024, was given the ball and USA went after him immediately with eleven runs in the over. Steven Taylor cut loose by walloping a 122kph half-tracker over deep midwicket. The USA were 42 for 3 after the halfway mark.

Axar Patel was handed the ball ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and he got the dangerous Steven Taylor (24) off his second over, after conceding 12 runs in the over. A ball after he was dismissed into the stands off a slot ball, Axar slowed it down and shortened his length nicely to have Taylor chop on while attempting a cut shot.

Nitish Kumar, who hit the last ball for a four to take their game against Pakistan into a Super Over, had a clean swing. It didn’t take him long to find his hitting range. Hardik kept bowling length and short-of-a-length but got punished at the first instance of bowling. Two balls later, he drilled another straight hit off a full delivery.

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In the following over, Corey Anderson slog-swept Axar to the deep midwicket fence. After a crawl of a first half, USA finally got momentum towards the end and were eyeing a score of 120. However, Kumar’s (27) journey was cut short by Arshdeep Singh courtesy of Mohammad Siraj picking a blinder at deep mid-wicket.

Arshdeep ended his spell with 4 for 9 as Pandya claimed a two-fer for just 14 in four overs.

Brief score:

USA 110/8 in 20 overs (Nitish Kumar 27, Steven Taylor 24; Arshdeep Singh 4-9, Hardik Pandya 2-14) against India.

–IANS

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PCB proposes Feb 19 start for Champions Trophy 2025, rejects hybrid model for India’s matches

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Lahore, June 12 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has proposed that the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will start on February 19 and will be held in Pakistan, refusing to entertain a hybrid model for India’s matches, like in case of the Asia Cup 2023.

As per the PCB proposal, the ICC Champion’s Trophy 2025 will be scheduled from February 19 to March 9 2025 with all the matches to take place across three major cities — Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

As per sources in the PCB, International Cricket Council (ICC) officials, who visited Pakistan to inspect the arrangements for the event, have expressed satisfaction with the systems in place.

Interestingly, the PCB has refused to entertain a hybrid model, specifically for India’s matches, and has insisted that all matches should be played in Pakistan.

The move is expected to get a concentrated response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which had proposed a hybrid model with India’s matches being played at neutral venues on foreign land.

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In the past, India’s matches were relocated to Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup 2023. However, this time, Pakistan is not ready to opt for a hybrid model and wants to have all matches including that of India be played in Pakistan.

“We have not opted for the hybrid model. However, we have given this leverage that India’s matches can be played in Lahore only. This way, the team will not be required to move around cities within Pakistan and its security can be well maintained in Lahore”, said a source in the PCB.

“India can be based in Lahore for the entire tournament. This would minimise logistical and security complications associated with their travel between cities”, the source added.

The mentioned special arrangement for the Indian team may also provide an easier and more convenient option to attend matches, as they would be held in one city.

“The proximity of Lahore to Wagah Border crossing is also going to be more suitable for the Indian fans. However, the question remains, if India would accept and participate in the event”, the PCB source said.

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As per the PCB’s proposed schedule for the Champions Trophy, at least three matches will be played in Karachi, which includes the opening match and a semifinal. Lahore will hold at least seven matches, including the final. Rawalpindi will host at least five matches, including a semifinal.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Indian cricket team has not played in Pakistan since the Asia Cup in 2008. The decision to travel to Pakistan for the Champion’s Trophy will rest with the Indian government, which has not favoured the cricket team travelling across the border because of Pakistan’s alleged support of terrorism in India.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2025 will be the first major international cricket tournament hosted solely by Pakistan. Previously, Pakistan had c-hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and before that co-hosted the Reliance Cup with India in 1987.

–IANS

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Australian Open: Shuttlers Prannoy, Aakashi, Malvika, Anupama reach second round

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Sydney, June 12 (IANS) Indian shuttlers had a mixed day at the Australian Open 2024 with the top male player and fifth seed H.S. Prannoy and women’s eighth seed Aakarshi Kashyap advancing into the second round in their respective categories on Wednesday.

Former Thomas Cup winner Prannoy, who is ranked 33rd in BWF World Rankings, is the highest-ranked Indian player in this event and defeated Coelho Ygor of Brazil in straight games in the event being played at Quaycentre in Sydney.

Prannoy defeated the Brazilian 21-10, 23-21 in 47 minutes to reach the men’s singles second round of the BWF World Tour Super 500 Series event with a prize fund of USD 420,000.

Sameer Verma and Kiran George also progressed to the second round while Mithun Manjunath, Ravi, Abhishek Yeligar, Raghu Mariswamy and S.Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian were eliminated in the first round of action.

Sameer Verma defeated Australia’s Ricky Tang 21-10, 21-10 while Kiran George got the better of Xiaodong Sheng 21-17, 21-10. Manjunath lost to Farhan Alvi of Indonesia 17-21, 17-21; Ravi Lost to Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei 6-21, 13-21, Yeligar succumbed to Misha Zilberman of Israel 9-21, 15-21; Raghu lost to sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 6-21, 8-21 while Shankar Muthusamy went down in three games against third seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia 16-21, 21-18, 10-21 in a hard-fought contest that lasted just over an hour.-

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In women’s singles, Aakarshi Kashyap defeated Ukraine’s Polina Buhrova 21-14, 21-11in just 36 minutes to advance to the second round. In other women’s singles matches, Anupama Upadhyaya defeated Ling Ching Wong of Malaysia 21-14, 23-31 while Malvika Bansod defeated compatriot Keyura Mopati 21-10.21-8.

Samiya Imad Farooqui of India went down to Yu Po Pai of Chinese Taipei 23-21, 13-21, 22-24 in a well-fought encounter in 63 minutes.

In mixed doubles, the Indian pair of B. Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy defeated Malaysia’s Oi Tein Wong and Chiew Sien Lim 21-17, 21-19 but Tarun Kona and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli lost to Malaysia’s Pang Ron Hoo and Su Yin Cheng 6-21, 11-21.

In men’s doubles, Abhimanyu Rajain and Aman Nandal gave a walkover to Aneesh Nirmal and Stephen Sam Emmanuel of Australia in their first-round match.

–IANS

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