April 4: Indian sports news wrap of the day

Here is the action from Indian sports on Monday.

Shruti Ahlawat won her singles and doubles matches to help India beat Malaysia in the Junior Billie Jean King Cup tennis tournament in Delhi on Monday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

TENNIS-

Shruti Ahlawat rose to the challenge to help India beat Malaysia 2-1 in a group-C league match of the Asia-Oceania Junior Billie Jean King Cup under-16 girls tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Monday.

On a warm day when a steady breeze kept things under control for the players, India stumbled to an indifferent start as Niyati Kukreti missed a set point at 5-4 and lost 5-7, 2-6 to Yu Chi Chan.

Seeded fourth, India had reputation at stake. Shruti, a top 100 junior in the world, who has been performing well in the international women’s circuit, overcame the hiccups in the second set to beat Jo Leen Saw 6-0, 7-6(5).

India asserted itself in the doubles, before the Malaysian girls wilted in the sweltering conditions.

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‘’It could have been a lot easier for us had Niyati converted the set point’’, said captain Archana Venkataraman.

India next plays Uzbekistan which upset the sixth seed Iran 3-0.

In group-D, third seed Kazakhstan overcame a fighting Korea 2-1. In another match in the same group, Vietnam beat fifth seed Singapore 2-1.

Japan in group-A and Australia in group-B made light of the challenge from Hong Kong and Sri Lanka respectively.

The results (league):

Group-A: Japan bt Hong Kong 3-0.

Group-B: Australia bt Sri Lanka 3-0; Thailand bt Indonesia 3-0.

Group-C: India bt Malaysia 2-1 (Niyati Kukreti lost to Yu Chi Chan 5-7, 2-6; Shruti Ahlawat bt Jo Leen Saw 6-0, 7-6(5); Shruti & Niyati bt Yu Chi & Jo Leen 6-3, 3-0 (retired)); Uzbekistan bt Iran 3-0.

Group-D: Kazakhstan bt Korea 2-1; Vietnam bt Singapore 2-1.

- by Kamesh Srinivasan

BASKETBALL-

Punjab team basketball player Tajinder Pal Singh (blue) in the match against Kerala at the 71st Senior National Basketball Championship.   -  R. Ragu



Punjab men shut out Kerala 98-50 in a men’s Group-A match of the Senior National basketball championships here on Monday. Later in the day, Tamil Nadu women pulled off a brilliant performance in the fourth quarter, defeating Delhi 62-55 for their first win in two matches in a Group-A tie.

Punjab was the favourite to win by a big margin, but Kerala made life difficult albeit briefly.

The first quarter belonged to Kerala as it employed a solid defence and exhibited fine shooting skills to lead by a four-point margin (26-22) and in the second, too Kerala took the lead at 38-35 after a fine lay up by Antony Johnson.

Immediately, Punjab took a time-out and from there on it never looked back with Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh finding their scoring mojo regularly. The half-time score read 47-42 in Punjab’s favour. Such was the 11-time champion’s dominance that at the end of the third quarter Kerala’s scorecard remained at 42!

The results:

Men:

Group-A: Punjab 98 (Kanvar Singh 13, Amritpal Singh 29, Amjyot Singh 26) bt Kerala 50 (Antony Johnson 14, Pranav Prince 13).

B: Services 100 (Joginder Singh 14, Gaurav Chandel 19, Nikhil KUmar 29, Ajay Singh 20) bt Rajasthan 73 (Tushar Vijay 11, Rajveer SIngh 13, Jitendra Sharma 11, Piyush Meena 10); Karnataka 86 (Abhishek Gowda 14, Anil Kumar 18, Pratyanshu Tomar 11, A. Arvind 20) bt UP 56 (Harsh Dagan 13, Vishal Kumar 10).

C: TN 90 (Soorya 22, Lokeshwaran 15, J. Justin Gnanaraj 10) bt Mizoram 50 (Lalrina Rentheil 14, Valalthazvala 10).

D: Indian Railways 81 (Kamran Khan 15, Palpreet Singh 19, Rakesh 20) bt Haryana 70 (Lalit 13, Siunil Rathee 15, K. Abhishek 25).

Women:

Group-A: Indian Railways 83 (Poonam  Chaturvedi 16, Nishanthi 10) bt Maharashtra 39 (Sakshi Pandey 12); TN 62 (S. Rajeswari 24, R. Sruthy 14) bt Delhi 55 (Raspreet Sidhu 18, Namarata 13).

-by K. Keerthivasan

ATHLETICS-

The quartermilers and relay runners will be off to Antalya in Turkey for a two-month training-cum-competition tour in the next few days while the middle and long distance runners will be travelling to Colorado Springs as part of their preparations for this year’s majors.

The Government has sanctioned Rs 1.57 crore for the Turkey trip and Rs 1.19 crore for the US training, according to a Sports Ministry-SAI release.

Prominent quartermilers including National 400m record holder Muhammed Anas, who is recovering from an injury and is yet to open his competition season, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv along with sprinters Hima Das, Dutee Chand and steeple chaser Avinash Sable figure in the list (12 athletes for the US and 31 for Turkey).

According to the release, the Turkey trip is from April 10 to June 6 while the US exposure tour will be from April 15 to June 6.

“That is the plan,” said Adille Sumariwalla, the president of the Athletics Federation of India, told Sportstar on Monday.

This year is a packed one with the World championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games all coming close together between July and September.

- by Stan Rayan

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