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Khalin Joshi Clinches Panosonic Open India

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Oct 28: India’s Khalin Joshi produced a dramatic finish when he fired four birdies in his closing five holes to sign for a four-under-par 68 and clinch his maiden Asian Tour title by one shot at the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India on Sunday.

Despite dropping two bogeys in this opening three holes, the 26-year-old Joshi withstood stifling pressure to bounce back with six birdies on his way home, including a seven-footer on the last to hold off the challenge of Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, at the Delhi Golf Club.

Joshi, who held a share of the overnight one-shot lead thanks to a superb third-round 64, would match the lowest winning score of the tournament with his four-day total of 17-under-par 271 in the event, which celebrated its eighth edition on the Asian Tour this week.

Delhi expert Siddikur fell short of his title bid after missing a 10-footer birdie putt on the last to settle for a par and a closing 69. He ended the week in second place on his own to mark his best result so far this season.

Young Thai talent Suradit Yongcharoenchai and Ajeetesh Sandhu of India shared third place on 274 following respective rounds of 69 and 70 while Aman Raj, also of India, recorded his career-best result on the Asian Tour after carding a 69 to settle a further shot back in fifth.

Joshi will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$72,000 courtesy of his victory, which saw him become the fifth Indian to win on the region’s premier Tour this season. He is also the 13th player to win for the first time on the Asian Tour in 2018.

The Panasonic Open India is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and is the second leg of the 2018/19 Panasonic Swing, which is an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

Khalin Joshi became the fifth Indian, following Shubhankar Sharma, Rahil Gangjee, Viraj Madappa and Gaganjeet Bhullar, to win on the region’s premier Tour this season. He is also the 13th player to win for the first time on the Asian Tour in 2018.

Joshi, who hails from Bengaluru, kept the trophy on home soil after becoming the seventh Indian to win the popular event, which was inaugurated in 2011. Australian Wade Ormsby, who won in 2013, remains the only foreign winner of the event.

It was Joshi's first ever victory at the Delhi Golf Club, despite having played numerous tournaments on the course since his junior days.

Prior to his breakthrough, Joshi has come close to winning his maiden title on several occasions. His previous best result on the Asian Tour was a runner-up finish at the 2017 TAKE Solutions Masters, which was held on his home course in Bengaluru. He has also enjoyed two top-10 finishes this season prior to his win.

Joshi, who turned professional in 2013, recorded his personal best 18-hole score at the Delhi Golf Club with his third-round 64. It was also the best score of the week.

Joshi matched the lowest winning score of the tournament, set by compatriot Shiv Kapur in 2017, with his four-day total of 17-under-par 271.

With this victory, Joshi moved up to 16th place on the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings and second place on the Panasonic Swing rankings.

Siddikur Rahman was left to rue a missed opportunity on ending his five-year title drought. It was his third time finishing runner-up/joint runner-up in the event. He came in tied-second in 2012 and 2015.

Siddikur holds an impeccable track record at the Delhi Golf Club. He won his second Asian Tour title in 2013, finished inside top-10 in four of his five attempts at the Panasonic Open India and has secured six top-10s in other Asian Tour events there.

Siddikur entered the week in 97th place on the money list.His runner-up result would propel him to 53rd place on the latest Merit rankings, where he needs to stay inside top-60 at the end of the season to keep his Asian Tour card for 2019.

Siddikur enjoyed his career-best season in 2013 when he came in fourth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He has not finished outside top-60 on the money list in his last eight consecutive seasons on Tour since 2010.

The 33-year-old Siddikur wrote a slice of history in 2010 when he became the first player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour at the Brunei Open.

Suradit Yongcharoenchai marked his third and second straight top-five result on the Asian Tour this season with his tied-third finish. He came in joint runner-up at the TAKE Solutions Masters in India in August and finished tied-fifth in Pakistan two weeks ago.
He joined the play-for-pay ranks at a tender age of 16. He turned 20 years old today.

Virat Kohli fastest to reach 10,000 ODI runs

VISAKHAPATNAM, Oct 24: It is one thing to dream about emulating one’s idol and it is a completely different thing to surpass him. Virat Kohli though has made it a habit to break Sachin Tendulkar’s records and he did so on Wednesday in Vizag as he breached the 10,000-run mark in one-day internationals during the second ODI against the Windies.

Kohli went past the milestone when he reached 81 in his innings and thus became the fastest to 10,000 ODI runs in terms of innings. Kohli has taken 205 innings to reach the feat as compared to Tendulkar’s 259. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has now been relegated to the third spot, he took 263 innings to bring up the milestone.

Kohli became only the 4th Indian and 13th batsman overall to achieve this feat. The Indian captain also holds the record for the fastest to 8000 and 9000 ODI runs.

During the course of his innings he also became the fastest Indian to complete 4000 runs on home soil.

Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar as he reached the mark in his 78th innings at home, while Tendulkar had taken 92 innings to complete the milestone.

Shiv Kapur aims to retain Panasonic Open India title

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Oct 23: India’s Shiv Kapur signalled his intent to savour more success at the venerable Delhi Golf Club as he prepares for his title defence at the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India which starts on Thursday.

Playing on his home course, Kapur claimed his third Asian Tour title and second win in 2017 when he cruised to a three-shot triumph 12 months ago. The victory was exceptionally sweet for Kapur as it was his first Asian Tour win on home soil.

The 36-year-old Kapur, father of one, will be gunning to become the first player to successfully defend his title at the Panasonic Open India, which is celebrating its eighth successive edition on the region’s premier Tour.

He will spearhead the strong local challenge which includes promising talents Viraj Madappa, youngest Indian winner on the Asian Tour, and 17-year-old Kshitij Naveed Kaul, who is making his professional debut this week.

They will be vying to retain the trophy on home soil in the popular event which has been dominated by the Indian players since its inception in 2011. Wade Ormsby of Australia remains the only international player to win the Panasonic Open India in 2013.

Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat returns to the site of his breakthrough Asian Tour win this week, confident of putting up a strong showing to turn his lacklustre season around. The 50-year-old marked his best result this season in Pakistan when he came in tied-24th two weeks ago.

Also in the fray are Tirawat Kaewsiribandit of Thailand, who broke through in Pakistan a fortnight ago before going on to win on his domestic circuit last week, as well as his compatriots Prom Meesawat, Jazz Janewattananond and Panuphol Pittayarat, all double-winners on the Asian Tour.

The Panasonic Open India is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and is the second leg of the 2018/19 Panasonic Swing, which is an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

Exciting Panasonic Open India Begins Thursday

By Deepak Arora

(From left) Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, Kshitij Naveed Kaul, Defending champion Shiv Kapur, Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia, Viraj Madappa and Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer.NEW DELHI, Oct 23: The Panasonic Open India is set to deliver another exciting week of top-notch golfing action when it gets underway for its eighth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour starting Thursday.

The highly-rated event, which forms part of the unique Panasonic Swing, will see leading stars from India challenging for top honours against a strong international field made up of players from 17 other countries at the venerable Delhi Golf Club.

Sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the Panasonic Open India will once again offer a prize purse of US$400,000 when it returns to its regular venue for the eighth time in succession.

Since its inception in 2011, the Panasonic Open India has welcomed worthy champions in Anirban Lahiri, Digvijay Singh, Australian Wade Ormsby, the only non-Indian to win the tournament, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Chiragh Kumar, Mukesh Kumar and defending champion Shiv Kapur.

Kapur topped the inaugural Panasonic Swing ranking with total points of 2922.90 last year, thanks largely to his victory at the Panasonic Open India, which was his first Asian Tour victory on home soil and second win in 2017.

The 36-year-old Indian would go on to win his fourth Asian Tour title at the Royal Cup in Thailand one month later and become the first and only player to win three times on the region’s premier Tour that season.

Kapur will spearhead the elite field alongside compatriots Chiragh Kumar and Viraj Madappa, who became the youngest Indian winner on the Asian Tour following his breakthrough in August, as well as two-time Asian Tour winners Jazz Janewattananond and Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.

Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia, said: “The Panasonic Open India has enjoyed huge success over the last seven years and produced many worthy champions. We are looking forward to this legacy taking centre stage this year as well. The tournament has played a key role in growing the game of golf in Asia over the years and it is our constant endeavour to provide a strong platform for players to excel.”

Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer, said: “On behalf of our talented players, I would like to extend our fullest appreciation to Panasonic for its unwavering support of the Panasonic Open India which goes a very long way in promoting and developing the sport in India as well as across the region.”

“The Asian Tour is honoured to forge a strong partnership with the PGTI, who shares the same vision in growing the game by creating more playing opportunities for our members. We are pleased to work alongside Panasonic, PGTI and the Delhi Golf Club once again to ensure another successful week of golf at the Panasonic Open India.”

Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said: “Golf in India has been on the rise in recent years and this is not possible without the support of great sponsors like Panasonic. Anirban Lahiri won his first Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open India in 2011 before making his mark on the international stage. Many other Indian golfers, including the likes of Shubhankar Sharma, Rashid Khan, Chiragh Kumar, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Viraj Madappa, have followed in Anirban's footsteps by achieving success at the international level in the following years. We look forward to seeing more Indian golfers continuing this trend by emerging as champions on the global stage in the coming years.”

The Panasonic Swing ranking, which initiated by the Asian Tour and the Panasonic Corporation to reinforce Panasonic’s support for professional golf across the region, is based on an aggregate point ranking earned by players at selected tournaments in Asia.

The second edition of the 2018/19 Panasonic Swing began at the 2018 Thailand Open in June with Panuphol enjoying the early lead on the rankings following his home victory. It will feature tournaments in India, Malaysia and Indonesia before concluding at the Panasonic Open Japan in 2019.

India crush Windies by 8 wickets

GUWAHATI, Oct 21: Virat Kohli marched to his 36th career ODI century, his 22nd in chase, to help India script a resounding eight-wicket victory over West Indies in first of the five ODIs at the Bhupen Hazarika Stadium in Barsapara. Such was India’s dominance that they reached the target of 323 in just 42.1 overs.

The skipper, who made 140 off 107 balls, put on 246 in 30 overs for the second wicket with his deputy Rohit Sharma who scored his 20th century and remained unbeaten on 152.

Kohli had walked into bat after India had lost an early wicket, of Shikhar Dhawan, to West Indies’ new pace find Oshane Thomas. The right-arm pacer was bowling in the high-140s and his pace saw Dhawan chopping the ball on to his stumps. India were 10 for one. Kohli took on the youngster, as India extracted 36 runs off his first four overs.

On a belter of a wicket, with Rohit playing perfect foil, Kohli raced to his half-century off 35 balls to take the wind out of Windies’ sails. By the time he was on 78, Rohit had reached 35 and India were well on course.

The India No. 3 reached his century off 88 balls before Rohit caught up and began matching him stroke for stroke. The West Indies tried their spinners but with no turn in the wicket just like no movement, they could not find any breakthrough.

The wrist-play was quite conspicuous as he worked deliveries from middle to the fence with ease.

Earlier, it was Hetmyer’s third career ODI hundred in just his 13th game that saw Windies put up a 300-plus total. Apart from Hetmyer, Keiran Powell scored 51 off 39 at the top while Shai Hope and skipper Jason Holder got crucial 30s.

India, who had elected to field after winning the toss went in with three pace bowlers with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal being the two spinners. The decision to leave out wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav didn’t exactly pay off as the seamers, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed, were milked for 209 runs in their 30 overs. Shami was the most expensive, conceding 81 runs in his 10 overs for two wickets.

West Indies would have made a score in the vicinity of 350, had some of their batsmen not thrown their wickets away. Opener Powell, who looked good for a century holed out to deep whereas Shai Hope (32) top-edged a short ball. Rovman Powell (22), who too was set, played across the line to Ravindra Jadeja, trying to hoick one over the mid-wicket.

But Hetmyer stayed at the crease and seemed to pick the right deliveries, getting most of his runs on the on-side. The left-handed batsman hit six sixes and six fours in his knock. Some of those strokes were breathtaking like the six over extra cover that got him to his third ODI century.

Having lost debutant opener Chanderpaul Hemraj early, Hope and Keiran Powell added 65 for the second wicket to lay a strong foundation before Powell squandered his wicket. Marlon Samuels, playing his 200th ODI and among the most successful West Indian ODI batsmen against India, was out for a duck, falling leg-before to Chahal. Soon Hope wasted his wicket and it was left to Rovman Powell and Hetmyer to take the score forward. The two put on 74 for the fourth wicket in about nine overs before Rovman Powell was out.

Skipper Holder (38) and Hetmyer added 60 but just as it seemed they’d take Windies to 300, Hetmyer was caught in the deep just after reaching his century. Holder stuck around for a while but it were the bowlers Devendra Bishoo (22 off 26) and Kemar Roach (26 off 22), who added unbeaten 44 to take the team to the eventual score.

Netherlands lifts Women’s Hockey World Cup

LONDON, Aug 6: Netherlands retained Women’s World Cup title with an emphatic 6-0 victory over Ireland on Sunday.

Ireland, the second-lowest ranked country in the tournament, was unable to produce a fairy-tale ending at Lee Valley Hockey Center.

Goals from Lidewij Welten, Kelly Jonker, Kitty van Male, Malou Pheninckx, Marloes Keetels and Caia van Maasakker capped a dominant performance from the Dutch as they won the competition for a record eighth time.

The Netherlands team hasn’t lost since the Olympic final two years ago.

This was Ireland’s first World Cup since 2002, and its previous best result was 11th in 1994. Ranked 16th, Ireland topped a group including Olympic champion England and was first into the quarterfinals.

Graham Shaw’s Ireland began brightly but did not manage a shot at goal until the final quarter and the Netherlands, which lifted the trophy on home soil four years ago, soon showed its superiority.

Welten put Alyson Annan’s team ahead in the seventh minute, turning to hit a powerful shot through a crowded circle and past Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran at the near post.

Jonker found the bottom-left corner to double the lead in the 19th, while superb blocks from Irish pair Shirley McCay and Roisin Upton following penalty corners prevented further goals.

The free-scoring Dutch, who registered 29 goals in five matches to reach the final, put the result beyond doubt with two quick goals in the final stages of the second period.

Tournament top scorer Van Male smashed in her eighth of the competition from close range and, moments later, Pheninckx was allowed too much space to fire the ball high into the net.

Shaw called for his players to “be proud” at halftime but they were outclassed by the world’s top-ranked team and powerless to stop Keetels tapping home a fifth and Van Maasakker adding another from a penalty corner.

Earlier Sunday, Spain beat Australia 3-1 in the bronze-medal match.

Spain went 2-0 ahead in 14 minutes with goals from Maria Lopez and Berta Bonastre.

Kathryn Slattery pulled one back for Australia in the 40th before Alicia Magaz extended Spain’s lead in the 51st.


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