Here are the top developments in Indian sport on Sunday, December 4.
Punjab dethrones Tamil Nadu for men’s title
Punjab dethroned defending champion Tamil Nadu 94-80 in the men’s final of the 72nd National basketball championship at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indoor Hall on Sunday.
Amritpal Singh and Gurbaz Singh Sandhu took the match away from Tamil Nadu’s grasp by scoring 63 points between them.
Punjab led 44-39 at half-time and Tamil Nadu came back strongly in the third quarter by scoring 32 points, but Punjab controlled the contest to emerge champion.
In the women’s final, Railways outplayed Kerala 110-64 after leading 48-22 at half time. The last quarter was most entertianing as the teams scored 59 points, but Railways had done enough to sail to the trophy.
Gurbaz of Punjab and and M. Pushpa of Railways were adjudged the “most valuable players” of the championship.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Durganshi wins ITF juniors girls title
Durganshi Kumar beat compatriot Sreenidhi Balaji 6-4, 7-6(0) in the girls final of the ITF grade-5 junior tennis tournament in Pokhara, Nepal.
Both the doubles titles were swept by Indian teams of Sagar Kumar & Swastik Sharma and Sreenidhi and Laxmisiri Dandu.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Railways beats SAI in Nehru women’s tournament
Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) scored a 6-0 victory over Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the Nehru women’s hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium on Sunday.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
I-League: Mumbai Kenkre holds Gokulam Kerala to a draw
Mumbai’s Kenkre FC played out a 1-1 draw with Gokulam Kerala FC in its fifth-round fixture at the I-League on Sunday.
An early first-half tap-in goal by Lalhmangaihsanga Ralte was cancelled out by a second-half strike from Shijin Thadhayouse as the host held the two-time champion to a draw at the Cooperage Stadium.
Gokulam Kerala is now fifth in the league table with eight points from five games, while Mumbai Kenkre now has five points from as many matches and sits in ninth place.
Kenkre FC had a dream start as it shot into the lead just three minutes into the game.
In an attempt to block a cross from Al Azhar Delhiwala, Gokulam’s Rahul Raju handled the ball, giving a free kick to Kenkre. The Gokulam defence failed to clear Azfar Noorani’s free-kick, which found its way to Ralte in the six-yard box, who tapped into an open goal.
Building from the back, the defending champion slowly grew into the game. Midway through the first half, Gokulam started putting pressure on the home defence. However, Kenkre, which adapted to a counter-attacking game, remained effective in its strategy.
In the 24th minute, Mumbai Kenkre caught the visitor on the counter. Aravindraj Rajan won the ball in the midfield and fed it to Aman Gaikwad on the right wing.
Gaikwad crossed the ball back to Rajan, who continued his run into the box. With only the goalkeeper Shibinraj Kunniyil to beat, Rajan took a low shot, which was saved by Kunniyil.
On the other end, Gokulam striker Auguste Somlaga found himself on the edge of the penalty area but his shot went wide. Ten minutes from halftime, Gokulam almost equalised.
Farshad Noor took a left-footed shot from the edge of the box, aiming for the bottom corner, but it was tipped away for a corner by the Kenkre custodian Tenzin Samdup. Gokulam received back-to-back set pieces but couldn’t make any use of them.
Gokulam Kerala’s Cameroonian head coach Richard Towa made three changes at the half-time.
One of the substitutes, Arjun Jayaraj, nearly equalised for the visitor two minutes into the second half. Fellow substitute Noufal PN passed the ball into Jayaraj’s way inside the box, who unleashed a powerful shot but it was just over the bar.
Jayaraj was again in the thick of things as he crossed the ball into the box and after a series of blocked shots and missed clearances, the ball fell for Shijin Thadhayouse, who equalised for the Malabarians in the 54th minute as Kenkre goalkeeper Samdup failed to stop a rather weak effort.
At the hour mark, Kenkre’s Aman Gaikwad put a teasing ball in for Raju in the box, but the striker couldn’t connect his header. Nine minutes later, Kynsailang Khongsit played a quick one-to-one with Raju and, as the fullback, took a shot on goal but it was saved by Kunniyil.
Unnati, Anish win silver at Asia Junior Championships
Indian shuttlers Unnati Hooda and Anish Thoppani signed off with silver medals at Badminton Asia U-17 & U-15 Junior Championships 2022 in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Sunday.
Men’s doubles pair of Arsh Mohammad and Sanskar Saraswat also finished second best as the Indian contingent finished the prestigious event with three silver and two bronze medals.
Odisha Open champion Unnati, who is the first Indian girl to reach the U-17 final of the continental championship, went down 18-21, 21-9, 14-21 against Sarunrak Vitidsarn of Thailand.
Anish lost 8-21, 24-22, 19-21 to Chung-Hsiang Yih in the U-15 boys’ singles final.
Arsh and Sanskar fell short 13-21, 21-19, 22-24 to Chinese Taipei’s Lai Po-Yu and Yi-Hao Lin in the summit clash.
All three Indian finalists were a game down, won second game, but failed to convert the third.
After losing the first game, Unnati dominated the next game. The decider was neck-to-neck till 14-14 before the Thai raced to victory.
Anish was little off-beat at the start and his opponent from Chinese Taipei took full advantage of that to win the first game without much ado.
The Indian regrouped in the second game to force a decider. He was seen calming himself despite tense situations and that yielded results as he pocketed the tougher second game 24-22.
The decider was a close affair but errors on crucial points hurt the Indian’s chances as he went down in a closely contested final game.
Earlier, Gnana Dattu in boys’ singles and doubles pair of Bjorn Jaison and Aathish Sreenivas P V had secured bronze medals in the U-15 category.