Indian sports news wrap, August 31

Here are all the major updates and results from Indian sports on August 31.

Published : Aug 31, 2023 15:25 IST , CHENNAI - 2 MINS READ




AIFF holds pre-bid meeting with Institutional League teams

The AIFF held a pre-bid consultation meeting with teams interested in the Institutional League to present the plan for the competition and understand the views of the institutional teams on Thursday.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Secretary General Mr Satyanarayan M and was attended by 25 teams - Aeronautical Development Establishment (Bengaluru), Air India (Mumbai), ASC Centre South (Bengaluru), Bank of Baroda (Vadodara), BSF North Bengal (Siliguri), BSF Punjab, Chennai Customs, CRPF (Punjab), CSIR – National Institute of Oceanography (Goa), Dravstream Tech Pvt Ltd (Mumbai), Employee State Insurance Corporation (Chennai), Employee State Insurance Corporation (New Delhi), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (Bengaluru), Indian Navy (Kochi), Indian Railways (New Delhi), IndiaPost Karnataka (Bengaluru), JCT (Punjab), Karnataka Police (Bengaluru), Oil India Ltd - Assam Field HQ (Duliajan), PDC Services (Alchemy Football) (Bengaluru), PFA Organization (Haryana), Punjab Police, Reserve Bank of India (Mumbai), Reserve Bank of India (Bengaluru) and Services Sports Control Board (New Delhi).

Institutional teams have been an integral part of Indian football since independence, frequently winning trophies and accolades by defeating the established clubs. Many great players have come out from institutional teams, adding a fresh flavour to the sport. More recently, the NFL/I-League contained at least one institutional side in its roster every season. AIFF is now looking to revive the amateur football structure and honour the contributions by such great institutions to Indian football.

Addressing the meeting, Satyanaranan said, “It’s great to see such encouraging response from teams across the country for the Institutional League. All such organisations have been doing a wonderful job of promoting football over all these years. It’s nice to see some old faces and old teams coming back.

“The Institutional League is part of our Vision 2047. Thanks to AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey, Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran and the Executive Committee, we are not exactly reviving but launching a new competition for the sector which has played a major role in the years gone by,” he added.

The objective of the league is to integrate institutional football with the Indian football structure and add value to the national competitive structure. It will provide aspiring footballers with employment opportunities and give a chance for the institutional teams to compete with the top clubs in India.

-Team Sportstar


Legends League Cricket season two to be held from November 18 to December 9

The second edition of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) will be played in India from November 18 to December 9.

The first season of the LLC was won by India Capitals in October last year.

“The forthcoming franchise season of Legends League Cricket would certainly add to the flavour with top legends of the sport descending into India,” the organisers said in a statement.

The organisers plan to take the forthcoming season of the tournament to newer venues.

Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Hashim Amla, Ross Taylor, and Chris Gayle were among the prominent cricketers who featured in the first edition of LLC.

- Team Sportstar


Nagal upsets second seed, reaches quarterfinal at Italian Challenger event

Sumit Nagal beat second seed Zsombor Piros of Hungary 6-3, 6-4 in the pre-quarterfinals of the €73,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Como, Italy, on Thursday.

In the $25,000 ITF women’s event in Thailand, Luksika Kumkhum did not let Sahaja Yamalapalli serve out the match at 6-4, 5-3 in the pre-quarterfinals, and turned it around to win 6-1 in the third set.

In the $15,000 ITF men’s event in Thailand, Ishaque Eqbal and Faisal Qamar saved five match points and converted their fifth match point to beat Sun Qian and Tang Sheng of China 1-6, 7-6(5), [19-17] in the doubles quarterfinals.

€73,000 Challenger, Como, Italy
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Sumit Nagal bt Zsombor Piros (Hun) 6-3, 6-4.
€73,000 Challenger, Mallorca, Spain
Doubles (quarterfinals): Sriram Balaji & Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Tomas Barrios Vera (Chi) & Nicolas Mejia (Col) 6-2, 7-5.
$80,000 Challenger, Zhangjiagang, China
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Francis Casey Alcantara (Ina) & Fajing Sun (Chn) bt Rithvik Bollipalli & Arjun Kadhe 6-0, 6-3.
$15,000 ITF men, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Siddhant Banthia bt Leo Vithoontien (Jpn) 6-4, 0-6, 6-2; Moerani Bouzige (Aus) bt Sidharth Rawat 6-3, 6-3
Doubles (quarterfinals): Han Seon Yong (Kor) & Thantub Suksumrarn (Tha) bt Nitin Kumar Sinha & Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (Tha) 7-6(2), 6-3; Congsup Congcar (Tha) & Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Francois Musitelli (Fra) & Kody Pearson (Aus) 4-6, 6-3, [10-8]; Ishaque Eqbal & Faisal Qamar bt Sun Qian & Tang Sheng (Chn) 1-6, 7-6(5), [19-17].
$25,000 ITF women, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Anastasia Zakharova bt Vaidehi Chaudhari 6-4, 6-1; Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) bt Sahaja Yamalapalli 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-1.
Doubles (quarterfinals): Vaidehi Chaudhari & Zeel Desai bt Gozal Ainitdinova (Kaz) & Anastassia Zakharova 7-6(4), 6-3; Luksika Kumkhum (Tha) & Park Sohyun (Kor) w.o. Shrivalli Bhamidipaty & Anastasia Kovaleva.
$15,000 ITF women, Baku, Azerbaijan
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Polina Leykina bt Teja Tirunelveli 6-1, 7-5; Maria Toma (Rou) bt Tanisha Kashyap 6-3, 6-2; Evgeniya Burdina bt Paavanii Paathak 6-4, 6-2; Nadezda Khalturina bt Sravya Shivani 6-4, 3-2 (retired).
Doubles (quarterfinals): Sravya Shivani & Snehal Mane bt Abigail Amos (GBR) & Arabella Koller (Aut) 6-1, 1-6, [10-8]; Luliia Ludenko & Alana Tuayeva bt Evgeniya Burdina & Saumya Vig 3-6, 6-4, [10-8].

- Team Sportstar

AITA women’s tennis tournament: Sejal Bhutada beats Samaira Malik to enter final

Seventh seed Sejal Bhutada bounced from a slow start to beat qualifier Samaira Malik 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Rs.100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Thursday.

In the final, Sejal will challenge second seed Kashish Bhatia who subdued Prathiba Narayan in straight sets.

Kashish also made the doubles final in partnership with Sahira Singh. The duo will face the top seeds Divya Bhardwaj and Shefali Arora.

The results (semifinals):
Singles: Sejal Bhutada bt Samaira Malik 2-6, 6-2, 6-4; Kashish Bhatia bt Prathiba Narayan 7-6(4), 6-2.
Doubles: Divya Bhardwaj & Shefali Arora bt Shireen Ahamed & Mirudhulla Palanivel 6-2, 7-6(3); Kashish Bhatia & Sahira Singh bt Kavya Khirwar & Tanushri Pandey 1-6, 6-3, [10-5].

AITA men’s tennis tournament: Oges Theyjo enters final

Top seed Oges Theyjo put himself in line for a second successive title, as he beat Bikramjeet Chawla 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Rs.100,000 AITA men’s tennis tournament at the Harvest Academy, Jassowal, on Thursday.

Oges, who was pushed to his wit’s end by qualifier Hitesh Chauhan in the quarterfinals, when he scraped through in the extended tie-break of the decider, will play Suraj Prabodh in the final.

The results:
Singles (semifinals): Oges Theyjo bt Bikramjeet Chawla 6-4, 6-1; Suraj Prabodh bt Udit Kamboj 6-4, 6-4;
Quarterfinals: Oges bt Hitesh Chauhan 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(8); Bikramjeet bt Akash Katewa 6-2, 6-1; Suraj bt Rhythm Malhotra 6-0, 6-0; Udit bt Chinmaya Dev Chauhan 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
Doubles (semifinals): Udit Kamboj & Ajay Kundu bt Pranav Gadgil & Nishit Rahane 6-1, 6-0; Amit Bzad & Anuj Malik bt Gourav Gulia & Sushant Dabas 7-6(4), 7-6(6).

- Team Sportstar


Diksha grabs lead in Irish Open, Indian-American Gurleen lies second

Diksha Dagar continued her brilliant run this season with a bogey-free 7-under 65, which gave her the sole lead on day one of the KPMG Irish Open in Dromoland.

The 22-year-old Rohtak golfer, who has one title, five top-10 finishes and a career-best finish in the Women’s Open, equalled her season’s best round of 65. She had recorded a 65 in the second round on way to winning the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open in June.

Diksha, currently fifth on the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit, is aiming to finish in the top-4 on the Merit list.

It is learnt that the top-4 on the Merit list will get an LPGA card, while the next 10 will get into the final stage of the LPGA Q-School. This bonus is acting as an extra motivation for Diksha, who stayed back in Belfast last week after finishing sixth in the ISPS Handa Invitational in Northern Ireland.

Diksha is being chased by Indian-American Gurleen Kaur, whose parents were born in India but emigrated to the US.

The 21-year-old Houston golfer shot 6-under 66 to share the second place with Frenchwoman Emma Grechi (66) at the Dromoland Castle Golf Club.

Ridhima Dilawari, who shot even-par 72, is tied-33rd.

Vani Kapoor and Tvesa Malik, playing on the LET after a long time, shot 73 each and are tied-63rd. Amandeep Drall shot 3-over 75 and is tied-109th.

Starting from the 10th tee, Diksha birdied on the the 11th, 12th, 15th and 16th. Then, birdies on the second, fifth and ninth -- her closing hole -- saw Diksha compile a bogey-free 7-under 65 that put her one ahead of the field.

“I spent the last week in Belfast to relax and it helped. I am happy to be playing some quality golf in a healthy golfing environment,” said Diksha.

“Some changes in equipment and greater focus and some good putting has helped me improve the scoring and the results show that.”

Her father, Narender Dagar, who has been on the bag, added, “Diksha is no longer playing with the pressure of expectation. She is playing freely and enjoying her golf. She has worked very hard, and it has shown results as she has risen to fifth on the LET Order of Merit. One of her goals is another win and try to get to the LPGA next year.”

After a slow start to the season, where she missed her first four starts, Diksha improved with finishes between the 37th and 49th in the individual segments of the next three events, which included two Aramco Series Team events.

The turning point came in Belgium, where she was tied-sixth. In four events, beginning with the Belgian, she finished in the top-8 in all four including a win in the Czech Republic.

It was her only triumph since the first one in 2019 in South Africa. She had a few more modest finishes before missing cuts at the Major, Evian and the Scottish Open.

She made up by finishing a creditable tied-21st at the AIG Women’s Open for her best result in a Major.

Last week Diksha achieved her best finish in an LPGA event at the ISPS Handa Invitational, co-sanctioned by LET and LPGA, where she was tied-sixth.

The Tokyo Olympian is also a near certainty for the 2024 Paris Games, as she continues to improve her current world ranking of 160.

What Diksha and her father avoid talking about is the possibility of topping the LET’s Order of Merit.

No Indian golfer has topped the Order of Merit in Europe. It would be a great feat for Diksha, who already has a gold and silver medal at the Deaflympics.



Murugappa Gold Cup: Central Secretariat knock out defending champions IOC

Central Secretariat defeated defending champion Indian Oil 6-2 in a Pool A match of Murugappa Gold Cup hockey, knocking it out in the process on Thursday.

Goalkeeper P Naveen Kumar was the star performer for Central Secretariat (CS), making countless saves.

Gurjinder Singh scored the opening goal for IOC through a penalty corner. But CS bounced back with two quick goals in the 20th and 24th minutes with Hassan Basha and R Manikandan finding the back of the net.

Minutes into the second half, CS extended the lead to 3-1 with Mohammad Umar netting the goal.

Gurjinder then successfully converted another PC in the 36th minute to reduce the margin.

However, CS struck back with another set of goals in the 40th and 51st minutes, ensuring an easy victory over the defending champion and knocking it out of the semifinal race.

Indian Army Red thrashed Indian Air Force 6-0 in a Pool B match.

Sumeet Pal Singh netted three goals, while Harman Singh scored a brace. Manish Rajbhar entered the scoresheet with a goal, as Army booked a berth in the knockouts.

Karnataka has joined Indian Railways as the semifinalists from Pool A, while Punjab National Bank and Indian Army Red are the ones heading from Pool B.


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