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Pant’s late surge helps Delhi post 168/7 against KKR



New Delhi, April 17: Promising wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant’s late surge helped Delhi Daredevils reach 168/7 after the hosts squandered a promising start by the openers in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 contest against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Monday.

Electing to bat, Delhi rushed to a 50-run opening stand in just 4.4 overs with the opening duo of Sanju Samson (39) and Sam Billings (21) sending the KKR bowlers on a leather hunt.

Samson’s purple patch continued to help the home side, with the Kerala youngster slamming seven boundaries, including three off pacer Umesh Yadav’s over, to lay the platform for a massive total.

Billings looked good during his brief 17-ball stay, helping the ball to the ropes on two occasions before being caught behind by Robin Uthappa off pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Just like the previous encounter against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday, Samson fell soon after his opening partner, facing 25 deliveries, with Umesh getting the better of the batsman this time around.

Samson, who faced 39 deliveries, fell in his attempt to poke at a back of a length delivery outside off to be smartly caught by Uthappa.

With Delhi at 63/2 after the eighth over, Shreyas Iyer (26) and Karun Nair (21) joined forces to add 43 runs for the third wicket before the Mumbaikar was undone, in his attempt to steal a second run, by a superb throw from de Grandhomme straight on the stumps. Iyer’s 17-ball effort was laced with four hits to the fence.

Nair too couldn’t seize the advantage of the life he got on 20 when he was dropped off Narine by the keeper. He was bowled in the very next over off a full toss from Coulter-Nile after facing 27 balls.

KKR made a brilliant comeback after the initial onslaught, to stop the flow of runs in the middle overs before Pant (38) took the attack to the opposition in the 17th over from Umesh.

Pant slammed three mammoth sixes, including a brilliant flick down the legs towards square leg, besides two boundaries as Delhi neared the 150-run mark.

Pant scored 34 runs to dominate the 35-run fifth wicket stand with Sri Lankan Angelo Matthews (1), who fell cheaply to West Indian Sunil Narine.

Playing his first match for KKR, pacer Coulter-Nile once again provided the crucial breakthrough to end Pant’s 16-ball blitzkrieg, which was laced with two boundaries and four massive sixes.

South African all-rounder Chris Morris then struck two consecutive fours off Woakes to take Delhi to 168 with nine-ball 16.

Brief Scores: Delhi Daredevils 168/7 (Sanju Samson 39, Rishabh Pant 38, Shreyas Iyer 26, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3/22) vs Kolkara Knight Riders.



Shooter Manu wins gold at Junior World Cup



Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker Photo Credit: ISSF @ISSF

Sydney, March 24: Teenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup gold medal inside a month, winning the womens 10m Air Pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World here on Saturday.

She did a double on the day, winning the team gold in the event as well with compatriots Devanshi Rana, who missed out on an individual medal placing fourth in the final, and Mahima Turhi Agrawal to end an amazing month for herself and extend a golden six month or so period of excellent performances.

Just 20 days ago, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the shooting world by winning the senior World Cup gold at the same 10m Air Pistol event in her senior team debut.

This comes after the Asian Championships silver last year in Japan to secure a Youth Olympics quota for her country and nine golds at the Shooting Nationals, all in the span of six months.

On Saturday, Manu finished the qualifying round at the second spot with a score of 570 behind Kanyakom Hirunphoem of Thailand.

Kanyakom was in great form throughout the day and was six points clear at the top with 576.

Also Kanyakom, even though still a junior, was a far more experienced than Manu, having represented her country at the Asian Games in Incheon, way back in 2014.

She shot off the blocks very strong in the final as well and appeared to be peaking just at the right time, when she edged ahead of Manu at the end of the 20th shot of the 24-shot final.

The duo were well clear of the chasing pack of six from the very onset of the final. At the end of the 22nd shot, Kanyakom was a point clear of Manu and had a lead of 0.9 on the last shot.

Manu shot a 9.8 while Kanyakom faltered with a 7.9 to seal the deal for the Indian. Manu finished with 235.9 to Kanyakom’s 234.9 while Kaiman Liu of China got the bronze with 214.2.

After briefly being in contention for the bronze, India’s Devanshi Rana finished fourth with a finals score of 195.3.

The Indian trio of Manu, Devanshi and Mahima logged a combined 1693 to win the team gold ahead of China (silver with 1681) and Thailand (bronze with 1673).

India also picked up another gold, two silvers and two bronze medals on the day to log a total of five gold, two silvers and five bronze, just behind China who have six golds.

India won the team gold in the junior men’s 10m Air Pistol when the trio of Gaurav Rana, Anmol Jain and Arjun Singh Cheema produced a combined effort of 1718.

Gaurav and Anmol also bagged silver and bronze in the individual event. Gaurav shot 233.9 in the individual final to finish well behind China’s Zhehao Wang who shot 242.5 for gold. Anmol shot 215.1 to settle for silver.

A second Indian team comprising Anhad Jawanda, Abhishek Arya and Adarsh Singh also got Bronze in the event with a combined effort of 1675.

India’s second silver medal of the tournament came in the Mixed Team Trap event where Manisha Keer partnered Ali Aman Elahi to finsih second with a score of 34 out of 50 hits in the final.

The gold went to the Italian pair of Petroni and Sessa who hit 38 birds in the final. China got the bronze.

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Aadil Anand wins 2 gold at Tunisian Junior & Cadet TT meet



Adil Anand

Rades (Tunisia), March 24: Paddler Aadil Anand delivered two gold medals as India bagged six medals in the Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open which concluded here.

Aadil,12, upstaged Algeria’s Abdelwahab Bellahsene 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6) to claim the honours in the Mini-Cadet Singles on Friday and then teamed up with Payas Jain for the Cadet Boys doubles gold, according to a release.

The Indian duo cruised past the local pair of Aziz Jerbi and Amine Mohamed Oueslati in straight games 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 for their triumph.

Overall, the young lads bagged a rich haul of two gold, two silver and two bronze medals for the country in the ITTF Junior World Junior Circuit tournament.

Aadil was over the moon on his maiden success for the country and thanked the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and former national champion and acclaimed coach Kamlesh Mehta for his guidance.

“I am so happy that after three years of hard work, I am being rewarded for my efforts. I will cherish this for a long time, particularly as it’s my first title for India. I believe this will spur me on for subsequent tournaments,” he said.

Payas had to settle for the silver in the Cadet Boys Singles losing the title clash to China’s Liu Menglong 3-1 (6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Manush Shah put up a gallant display in the Junior Boys Singles final but had to be content with a silver medal as he failed to get past Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, losing 2-4 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 9-11).

Manush also secured a bronze as he and Manav Thakkar were the losing semi-finalists in the Junior Boys doubles. They went down to the Chinese pair of Wang Yihao and Zhang Shangzheng 1-3.

Mainak Nistala, who lost to Aadil in the semi-finals of the Mini-Cadet boys’ singles, picked up the other bronze medal.


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Commonwealth Games 2018: PV Sindhu to be India’s flag-bearer



PV Sindhu

New Delhi, March 24: PV Sindhu, the silver medallist at the Rio Olympics, was on Saturday chosen as the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast, Australia.

The CWG opening ceremony will be held on April 4.

World No. 3 Sindhu is one of the favorites to win the badminton women’s singles title in Gold Coast after reaching the semi-finals of the All England championships last week.

With Japan and China not part of the Commonwealth, Sindhu should have little problem in her bid to win a medal in Gold Coast. And depending on the draw, Sindhu’s stiffest test could be against compatriot Saina Nehwal.

Sindhu had earlier won a bronze medal bronze in the 2014 edition of the multi-sport event.

Sindhu had earlier won a bronze medal bronze in the 2014 edition of the multi-sport event.

Sindhu had also bagged a silver medal at last year’s Badminton World Championships.

India will see participation of 222 athletes from 15 different sports including Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn bowls, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Para Sports in the quadrennial sport.


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