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Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth wins French Open title

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Paris, Oct 30, 2017: Star Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth defeated Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in straight games to win the men’s singles title at the French Open Superseries here on Sunday.

Srikanth dominated from the start to carve out a 21-14, 21-13 win in 34 minutes.

Sunday’s win helped the eighth seeded Indian to improve his head-to-head statistics against the unseeded Japanese to 2-0.

Srikanth is the first male shuttler from India to qualify for the French Open final. Sunday’s victory also made him the the fourth male player in the history of the game to win four Superseries singles titles in a calendar year.

Srikanth struggled in the early stages of the first game with the Japanese taking a 9-5 lead but he made a strong comeback to force the lead at 11-9.

The Indian did not look back from there, going on to win the opening game.

Srikanth dominated the second game right from the start, opening up a 10-5 lead and holding on to the advantage to win the game easily.

Earlier, the Indonesian pair of Greysia Polli and Apriyani Rahayu defeated South Korea’s Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan in straight games to clinch the women’s doubles title.

The Indonesians took 55 minutes to outclass the South Korean pair 21-17, 21-15.

In the first game, the Indonesian took a 3-0 lead in the early stages before the South Koreans fought back to draw level at 7-7.

However, the Indonesians won three consecutive points to regain the advantage. They did not look back from there, beating back a spirited fight from the Koreans to take the first game.

The early stages of the second game saw a see-saw battle before the Indonesians took four consecutive points to gain the upper hand.

The Koreans however, continued to put up a spirited fight winning five back to back points to level the score at 13-13.

But it did not prove to be enough as Polli and Rahayu claimed six consecutive points to close out the game and the match.

The mixed doubles title went to the Indonesian pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir who defeated China’s Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen 22-20, 21-15 in 45 minutes.

The Chinese pair took a 9-3 lead in the first game, before the Indonesians clinched four consecutive points to draw level.

With the momentum firmly behind them, the Indonesian pair survived a see-saw battle to take the first game.

The early stages of the second game saw a neck and neck fight before the Indonesians claimed six consecutive points to clinch the issue.

In the women’s singles, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei defeated Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in straight games to clinch the title in a match that lasted for 31 minutes.

The top seed defeated the fifth seeded Japanese 21-4, 21-16.

The first game was a cake walk for Ying who clinched the issue with ease.

The early stages of the second game saw an even contest with the score level at 8-8.

Ying picked up the momentum from there on with three consecutive points before going on to clinch the issue.

In the men’s doubles, Chinese Taipei’s Jhe-Huei Lee and Yang Lee defeated Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen to clinch the title.

The seventh seeds stunned the second seeded Denmark pair 21-19, 23-21 in 45 minutes.

The early stages of the first game was evenly balanced before the Danish duo picked up four consecutive points to take a 9-6 lead.

However, Denmark failed to maintain the momentum as the Chinese Taipei duo staged a strong come back to win the game.

The second game saw a neck and neck battle before the Chinese Taipei pair prevailed to claim the title.

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Asia Cup: Afghanistan thrash Bangladesh by 136 runs

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Abu Dhabi, Sep 21 : A disciplined all-round effort saw Afghanistan thrashing Bangladesh by 136 runs in their last group match of the Asia Cup here on Thursday.

Chasing 256, Bangladesh were bundled out for 119.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan picked up two wickets each to hand Afghanistan a comfortable victory.

Chasing a decent target, Bangladesh never looked in the contention as they lost their wickets at regular intervals.

Shakib Al Hasan (32), Mahmudullah (27) and Mosaddek Hossain (26 not out) mainly contributed to the Bangladeshi score. No other batsman clicked and went back to the pavilion one after another, posting single digit individual scores.

Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain scored towards the end but the lack of support denied the run chase.

Earlier, Afghanistan rode on some brilliant batting by Rashid Khan (57 not out), Gulbadin Naib (42 not out) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (58) to post a decent score.

Besides the trio, opener Mohammad Shahzad (37) also played handsomely.

For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan took four wickets while Abu Hider Rony scalped two wickets.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 255/7, (Hashmatullah Shahidi 58, Rashid Khan 57 not out; Shakib Al Hasan 4/42) against Bangladesh 119/10 (Shakib Al Hasan 32; Rashid Khan 2/13)

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Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur ruled out of Asia Cup

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Mumbai, Sep 20: Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur have been ruled out of the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 owing to injuries, the BCCI announced on Thursday.

BCCI’s senior selection committee has now replaced the trio by Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Siddharth Kaul, who will be joining the team in Dubai on Thursday.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya had suffered an acute lower back spasm during the game against Pakistan on Wednesday and is undergoing treatment and assessment by the BCCI medical team.

Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Axar Patel injured his left index finger while fielding against Pakistan. He was sent for scans and the results showed that he had a tendon tear.

On the other hand, right-arm pacer Shardul Thakur had experienced right hip and groin soreness after the match against Hong Kong.

The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side, who had thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets on Wednesday, will take on Bangladesh in their first Super four game on Friday.

IANS

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Asia Cup 2018: India thrash Pakistan by eight wickets

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Dubai, Sep 19: A strong bowling performance followed by some power-packed batting saw India thrash arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets in their Group A clash of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here on Wednesday.

Asked to field first, three-wicket hauls from pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav enabled India to restrict Pakistan to a paltry 162. Bhuvneshwar returned figures of 3/15 while Jadhav got 3/23.

In reply, a quickfire half-century by Rohit Sharma and his 86-run opening stand with Shikhar Dhawan saw India comfortably overhaul the target with a whopping 21 overs to spare.

Rohit plundered 52 runs off 39 deliveries, hitting six boundaries and three sixes along the way.

Dhawan scored 46 runs off 54 balls before a loose shot to a Faheem Ashraf delivery handed an easy catch to Babar Azam at point.

Following the duo’s departure, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthick ensured that India crossed the line without losing any more wickets.

Earlier, the Pakistan batsmen never really found any momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Pakistan got off to a slow start and could only manage 25/2 in the first 10 overs.

Bhuvneshwar sent back openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman early on to leave Pakistan struggling with two wickets down after 4.1 overs with just two runs on the board.

Shoiab Malik and Babar Azam then got going well and negotiated the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal — who went wicketless — and Kuldeep well. The pair stitched together an 82-run stand for the third wicket.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav triggered Pakistan’s slide with a brilliantly executed wrong un’ that outfoxed Pakistan’s best batsman Babar Azam (47) when he was looking good along with Shoaib Malik (43).

Jadhav removed Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (6) around the halfway mark of the first innings before accounting for Asif Ali (9) and Shadab Khan (8). That saw Pakistan, who were relatively comfortably placed at 85/2 at one point, collapsing to 121/7.

From then on, Pakistan could never recover as Mohammed Amir (18 not out) and Faheem Ashraf (21) joined hands for a 37-run partnership towards the end before Jasprit Bumrah (2/23) dismissed Ashraf and Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah got rid of Hasan Ali (1) and Usman Khan (0) respectively.

Malik hit the first six of the innings in the 13th over off Kuldeep and three overs later got a reprieve when Mahendra Singh Dhoni dropped him behind the stumps off Hardik Pandya.

Moments later, Pandya had to be stretchered off after suffering what turned out to be a lower-back injury during his follow through. Pandya clutched the floor and could not get up, needing attention from the medical team.

Just when the partnership seemed to be growing, Kuldeep once again underlined why he is a wily customer and can be unplayable at times with a ripper of a googly that pitched on middle and turned away from the batsman at the last moment to knock over his off-stump.

Malik then was dropped again at deep midwicket off Kuldeep as Bhuvneshwar failed to read a slog sweep in which the ball went high up in the air with the pacer misjuding the direction and over-running.

Captain Sarfraz, who had joined Malik at the crease, did not stay long as Manish Pandey took a superb catch at wide long-on off Jadhav.

Malik was run out soon after, failing to convert his start into a big one as the slide started for Pakistan.

Jadhav then added to his rivals’ misery by picking up the wickets of Asif Ali and Shadab Khan as Pakistan failed to string together partnerships.

Amir and Ashraf tried hard to get important runs towards the end but could not bat out the full 50 overs.

Brief scores:

Pakistan: 162 in 43.1 overs (Babar Azam 47, Shoaib Malik 43; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/15, Kedar Jadhav 3/23) lost to India: 164/2 in 29 overs (Rohit Sharma 52, Shikhar Dhawan 46) by eight wickets.

IANS

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