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PV Sindhu loses to Okuhara in Thailand Open final

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P.V. Sindhu (File Photo)

Bangkok, July 16: India’s star shuttler P.V. Sindhu lost to reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight games in the women’s singles final of the Thailand Open here on Sunday.

The second seeded Sindhu lost 15-21, 18-21 in 50 minutes as the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist took a 6-5 lead in head-to-head record.

While fourth seeded Okuhara got a prize money of $26,250, Sindhu, a three-time World Championship medallist, bagged $13,300.

The Japanese was quick off the blocks, taking a 6-2 lead. But Sindhu did well to gain three consecutive points, trailing 5-6.

Okuhara then won a 23-rally battle to take a 7-5 lead before she went on to extend her lead to four points with the scoreline at 12-8, thanks to couple of unforced errors on the part of the Indian.

Sindhu sensed the urgency in reducing the deficit as she didn’t allow Okuhara to run away with the game. However, the Japanese cotinued to maintain at least a two-point game until she reached 17 points.

Thereafter, Okuhara produced four consecutive points in a hurry to pocket the first game 21-15. A body smash rattled Sindhu, who then hit a shot wide before hitting one onto the net to trail 0-1 in the match.

In the second game, Sindhu started brigh, racing to an early 6-2 lead. But Sindhu was left stranded at the six-point mark as Okuhara fought valiantly to garner five points on the trot to take a 7-6 lead.

The Indian then brought her high-jump smashes to the fore to reel in three successive points to lead 9-7 but the Japanese equalised at the nine-point mark. Sindhu managed to go into the midgame break with a two point lead.

Afterwards, Okuhara brought out some delectable cross-court net-game to trouble Sindhu and lead 14-12. Even though Sindhu quickly pulled level, Okuhara raced to a 17-14 lead.

Sindhu came out with a strong defence which earned her two quick points. Okuhara smashed at the left and Sindhu dived to put it slowly past the other net but the Japanese couldn’t reach there. Then Okuhara shot wide to manage to hold a slim 17-16 lead.

Then, Sindhu’s smash went long as she trailed 16-18. Under pressure, both matched shots for shots as a half-smash on the right from Sindhu made Okuhara lead by a point before the Japanese could only defend a smash into the net, with the scores tied 18-all.

Just like the first game, Okuhara then showed her aggression to force Sindhu on the defensive. And as the Indian’s shot hit the net, the Japanese got her match point.

In the men’s singles final, Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan defeated Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto 21-16, 13-21, 21-9 in 58 minutes.

The men’s doubles title went to Japanese top seeded pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, who defeated compatriots Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe 21-17, 21-19 in 44 minutes.

The mixed doubles final witnessed a huge upset as Indonesian eighth seeds Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja stunned English top seeds Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock 21-12, 21-12 in 28 minutes.

In the women’s doubles final, Indonesian fourth seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu thrashed Japanese third seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi 21-13, 21-10 in 53 minutes.

IANS

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Former India captain Ajit Wadekar passes away

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Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passed away here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 77.

Wadekar, who played 37 Tests, led India to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England in the 1970s.

Under him, India won five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s before beating England in a three-match series.

Wadekar, who scored 2,113 Test runs with 14 half centuries and a century, led India to a third successive series victory, beating England once again in 1972-73.

He also appeared in two One-day Internationals.

An aggressive left-handed batsman, Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67.

After his retirement, he also served as the Manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s.

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Virat Kohli slips to No.2 in ICC Test rankings

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Dubai, Aug 14: India skipper Virat Kohli dropped a spot to No.2 in the latest ICC rankings for Test batsmen, a day after his side slumped to an innings and 159-run loss to England in the Lord’s Test.

Kohli, who rose to the numero-uno spot by overtaking banned Australian Steve Smith last week, scored 23 and 17 at the home of cricket, even as the visitors succumbed for 107 and 130, to concede a 0-2 lead to the hosts in the five-Test rubber.

Besides Kohli, his deputy Ajinkya Rahane (23), and openers Lokesh Rahul (25), Murali Vijay (34) and Shikhar Dhawan (26) also slipped in their rankings.

However, Ravichandran Ashwin was the notable exception, moving up in the list for batsmen from 67th to 57th, with defiant innings of 29 and 33 not out.

Ashwin has also leap-frogged South Africa’s Vernon Philander to grab the third position among all-rounders.

For England, wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow’s 93-run knock has lifted him back into the top 10, in ninth place.

Among the bowlers, veteran quick James Anderson has become only the seventh England bowler and the first in 38 years from his country to breach the 900-point mark.

No.1-ranked Anderson’s outstanding match figures of 9/43 have enabled him to reach 903 points and join a select group comprising Sydney Barnes (932), George Lohmann (931), Tony Lock (912), Ian Botham (911), Derek Underwood (907) and Alec Bedser (903), all of whom peaked at over 900 points during their careers.

Anderson now leads second-placed South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada by 21 points in the bowlers’ list.

India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin are stable at No.3 and No.5, respectively with Philander separating the duo.

Among others, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has moved up 25 places to take the 74th spot among bowlers.

England’s Chris Woakes, who slammed an unbeaten 137 in England’s only innings and chipped in with four wickets in the match, has gained 34 places to reach a career-best 50th position among batsmen while also moving up three places to 32nd among bowlers and by five places to seventh among all-rounders.

IANS

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Lords Test : England outplay India by innings & 159 run at Lord’s

With the win, England took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

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London, Aug 13 : England bowled out India for 130 runs in the second innings to win the second Test by an innings and 159 runs on the fourth day of the play here on Sunday.

Having conceded the first-innings lead by 289 runs, India’s batting line-up could notch up only 130 runs in their second innings here to add to their first innings total of 107.

Seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson took four wickets each, while fellow seamer and Man of the Match Chris Woakes picked up two.

The fourth day started with England declaring their first innings at 396/7, taking a lead of 289 runs. Woakes (137) remained unbeaten.

Resuming the fourth day at 357/6, England added 39 runs to their overnight score with Woakes scoring 137 in 177 balls, which includes 21 boundaries.

England lost the lone wicket of Sam Curran (40) on Sunday.

Coming to bat in the second innings, India got off to a disastrous start as the visitors were 17/2 at lunch, trailing by 272 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara (5) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) were at the crease when sky opened up which forced umpires to call for the break early.

After hosts batsmen applied themselves brilliantly, bowlers did a superb job and put pressure on Indian batsmen right from the start.

Opener Murali Vijay (0) was the first one to go. He was caught behind off pacer James Anderson in the third over.

Lokesh Rahul (10) and Pujara then tried to repair the damage work but Anderson once again struck to dismiss Rahul. He was adjudged leg before wicket in the seventh over.

Rahane and Pujara then played sensibly and did not lose their wickets till the end of the first session.

The second session saw the same struggle as England pacer Stuart Broad took all the four wickets in the session to push India on the verge of defeat in the second Test, with the tourists reaching 66/6 at tea.

Broad’s fiery spell swept aside India’s batting spine, with Ajinkya Rahane (13), Cheteshwar Pujara (17), Virat Kohli (17) and Dinesh Karthik (0) falling to the right-armer, leaving the visitors trailing by 223 runs.

The Indian batsmen have struggled throughout the session, being bowled out for a paltry 107 in the first innings.

Resuming the second session at 17/2, Rahane was the first to go. The right-hander from Mumbai chased a wide delivery outside the off-stump only to edge it to Keaton Jennings at third slip.

Pujara worked really hard, showing many of his attributes, like patience and doggedness until a late inswinging delivery from Broad rattled his stumps.

Kohli, who was being troubled by back stiffness, could score only 17 runs. A delivery from Broad rose to kiss his gloves before hitting his hip as Ollie Pope at short leg dived forward to take a sharp catch.

Broad then sent back wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik for a duck as he failed to negotiate an inswinger before it hit his pad and the umpire declared him out LBW.

Hardik Pandya (1 not out) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0 not out) were at the crease when rain forced an early close of the second session of play.

The final session was a mere formality as India had virtualy lost the match.

With four more wickets remaining, England bowlers came out all guns blazing and wrapped up the lower order of Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma with ease.

Pandya and Ashwin, however, tried to put break on the fall of wickets but Woakes dismissed Pandya and then Anderson did the rest to hand his team a convincing victory.

Brief scores: India: 107 and 130 (Ravichandran Ashwin 33 not out, Hardik Pandya 26; Stuart Broad 4/44, James Anderson 4/23) vs England: 396/7 declared (Chris Woakes 137 not out; Jonny Bairstow 93, Sam Curran 40; Hardik Pandya 3/66, Mohammed Shami 3/96).

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