Here are all the major developments in Indian sport on Saturday, March 4.
Indian men win Junior Kabaddi World Championships
Indian men’s team beat host and defending champion Iran 41-32 in the final to win the Junior Kabaddi World Championships on Saturday.
India trailed 18-19 at half-time but managed to come back in the second half to emerge victorious.
- Team Sportstar
Santosh Trophy: Services beats Punjab to clinch third place; VAR introduced
RIYADH: Services won the third place beating Punjab 2-0 in the play-off match held before the final. Shafeel P.P. and Christopher Kamei found the target once in each half to realise the win for the 2018-19 champion.
The third-place playoff match also saw the introduction of the VAR system making it the first time an Indian men’s team played under the electronic referral procedure for the referee. The system was not used in the match but it was in place for the Saudi Arabian referee Mohammed Al Daqqash to consult.
-Amitabha Das Sharma
Cricket for Differently Abled: India beat Nepal by 153 runs, win T20 series
India outclassed Nepal by 153 runs to win the three-match T20 series for differently abled cricketers in Bhiwani on Saturday.
It was India’s second successive win against the visiting side in the series for the Late Sh. Karan Singh Dalal Memorial Cup.
The third match will be played on Sunday.
Batting first, India scored 192 for seven with opener Yogendra Bhadoria top-scoring with a 49-ball 71.
Skipper Vikrant Keni, who played an unbeaten knock of 53 runs off 40 balls, and Wasim Iqbal with 26 runs in 14 balls, were the other main contributors for India.
In reply, Nepal collapsed for just 39 runs.
Surendra Kumar Khorwal and Akhil Reddy scalped three wickets each, while Vikrant Keni and Ravindra Sante took one apiece.
In the first match, India defeated Nepal by 152 runs.
Aakanksha clinches gold at India Open championship
Aakanksha Bansal beat Yashika Goel 17-15 for the gold in women’s air pistol in the India Open shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.
In men’s air pistol, Karan Sehrawat beat Akshit Chauhan 16-8.
10m air pistol: Men: 1. Karan Sehrawat 16 (243.7) 573; 2. Akshit Chauhan 8 (244.7) 583; 3. Pankaj Kumar Sharma 242.5 (567); 4. Navratan 241.1 (571).
Women: 1. Aakanksha Bansal 17 (245.4) 570; 2. Yashika Goel 15 (249.9) 565; 3. Disha Verma 244.1 (545); 4. Varsha Singh 243.8 (570).
Pranavi finishes 22nd, England’s Lily May wins Joburg Ladies Open
After three good days, India’s Pranavi Urs stumbled in the final round, carding a disappointing four-over 77 to sign off tied 22nd at the Joburg Ladies Open here.
It saw her slip from tied ninth to tied 22nd on the leaderboard, but it was still a good result as she tries to find her way on the Ladies European Tour.
India’s other golfer in the weekend rounds, Ridhima Dilawari shot 2-under 73, her best round of the week, to move up from tied 59th to tied 47th, which should give her some confidence ahead of next week’s prestigious Investec Women’s South African Open.
Pranavi never really got going on the final day as she had an early double bogey on Par-4 second. She then parred her next eight holes, while missing a few birdies chances though she did have a couple of good par saves, too.
Further bogeys on 11th, 14th, and 16th with just one birdie on Par-5 13th bogey meant a round of 77 that saw her drop down the leaderboard.
Ridhima had five birdies in first 12 holes to be five-under at that stage, but three bogeys in a row from 13th to 15th saw her finish a 2-under and tied 47th.
England’s Lily May Humphreys produced a dramatic finish with a round of 6-under 67 including three birdies in last six holes.
With Moa Folke of Sweden bogeying 14th and 15th and finishing with 75, the English golfer won by two shots.
Ana Pelaez (69), who like Lily May bogeyed 14 and 15, managed to birdie 17th and 18th to finish in a tie for second.
Nicole Broch Estrup, who led at halfway stage, finished with 74 and ended in a tie for fourth with Kiera Floyd (71) and Klara Davidson Spilkova (73).
The next event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour is Women’s South African Open, which is also co-sanctioned with Ladies European Tour.
Atwal misses cut, Bhatia 11th and Young keeps lead in Puerto Rico
India’s Arjun Atwal shot a decent one-under 71 in the second round but still missed the cut at the Puerto Rico Open here.
Atwal’s first round 77 proved costly as he finished four-over and exited early once again.
Carson Young carded a five-under 67 and built a four-shot lead going into the weekend.
Young, a 28-year-old rookie on the PGA TOUR, did not have the kind of a round he had on the first day with three eagles, but he did shoot 67 to move to 14-under 130 and put himself in great position for his first PGA TOUR win.
Indian-American Akshay Bhatia, who had a six-under on first day, added one-under 71 and was seven-under and tied 11th, down from overnight tied second place.
While rookie Young led the field, another rookie, Nico Echavarria of Colombia had a 67 and was four shots back along with Paul Haley II (66).
Ryan Gerard had a 67 and was six shots behind in a tie for sixth.
Gerard earned the last spot in the field at The Honda Classic last week in a Monday qualifier, and then finished fourth to earn a spot in Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rico Open is held opposite the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. The winner gets them into THE PLAYERS Championship, the PGA Championship and a two-year PGA TOUR exemption.
- Press Trust of India
Aman Raj closes it out with 73, wins Gujarat Open
Patna’s Aman Raj closed out the week with a stoic final round effort of one-over 73 to bag the Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2023 title at a tournament total of 11-under 277 on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Aman (66-68-70-73), who was at the top of the leaderboard from the first round till the end, thus emerged wire-to-wire winner at the Rs. 1 crore event.
The win, Aman’s second, pushed him up from 11th to second position in the PGTI rankings after he took home the winning prize purse of Rs. 15,00,000.
Bengaluru-based rookie Aryan Roopa Anand (71-69-69-69), the 2023 PGTI Q School winner who was playing only his second event as a professional, finished a creditable second at 10-under 278 following a last round of 69 to continue his fine form and move up from 23rd to sixth spot in the PGTI’s merit list.
Anshul Patel (66-71-67-76), playing at his home course, shot a fourth round of 76 to end tied third at eight-under 280 along with Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan (70-72-70-68).
Aman, the overnight joint leader along with Anshul Patel, had a poor start with bogeys on the first two holes where he missed up and downs at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club.
Aman, who won his only previous title in 2018, then didn’t hit it close enough to the pins to set up birdies but kept believing in himself and did not drop a shot as he also made some god par saves with a number of two-putts. His only birdie came on the 12th.
Aman, who was recovering from a bout of food poisoning on Saturday morning, finally crossed the line courtesy his determined approach and a patient display on the greens.
Aman said, “I wasn’t feeling too well this morning as I had food poisoning last evening. But I was still swinging it well. I missed a number of birdie opportunities not hitting it close to the pins but I made a lot of good two-putts and hung in there.
“I was expecting three to four birdies today but then I just told myself to keep the lead till the end and not make any errors.
“My experience told me to just keep it on the fairway and green and give myself chances. I kept believing in myself. It was a relief to get the job done finally.” Aryan Roopa Anand, who was overnight third and five shots off the lead, produced six birdies and three bogeys on the final day to follow up his 10th place finish in Kolkata with another top-notch result in Ahmedabad.
The 21-year-old Aryan made three long conversions on Saturday and his last birdie came on the 13th.
Abhinav Lohan’s 68 was the best round of the day and saw him rise from tied seventh to tied third. Anshul Patel, on the other hand, slipped two spots from his overnight joint lead.
Delhi’s Sachin Baisoya, who finished tied 17th at two-over 290, continues to lead the PGTI rankings.
Ahmedabad’s Varun Parikh closed the week in tied 24th at six-over 294.
Noida-based 15-year-old Aarav D Shah was the best performing amateur. The Australian national ended tied 48th at 13-over 301.
- Press Trust of India
Pune Challenger: Anirudh-Vijay clinch doubles title
Anirudh Chandrasekar and Vijay Sundar Prashanth beat Toshihide Matsui and Kaito Uesugi of Japan 6-1, 4-6, [10-3] in the doubles final of the PMR Open $130,000 Challenger tennis tournament at the Balewadi Stadium on Saturday.
It was the maiden Challenger doubles title as a pair for Anirudh and Vijay who had lost the final last week in Bengaluru.
It was the third Challenger doubles title for the 36-year-old Vijay, following the ones with Saketh Myneni (2017) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (2018).
It was the first Challenger doubles title for the 24-year-old Anirudh, who has won five doubles titles in the ITF circuit, two of them with Vijay.
In singles, Max Purcell of Australia put himself in line for a third successive title following the ones in Chennai and Bengaluru, as he set up a final with fourth seed, the 19-year-old Luca Nardi of Italy.
Singles (semifinals): Luca Nardi (Ita) bt Dominik Palan (Cze) 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-5; Max Purcell (Aus) bt Miljan Zekic (Srb) 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles (final): Anirudh Chandrasekar & Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Thoshihide Matsui & Kaita Uesugi (Jpn) 6-1, 4-6, [10-3].
- Kamesh Srinivasan
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