Lakshya Sen goes down battling at World Junior Championship, wins bronze medal

By: Sports Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: November 18, 2018 10:32:54 am

Lakshya Sen has won a bronze medal at the World Juniors Championship. (Express Photo by Kevin D’Souza)

Lakshya Sen won his maiden medal at the World Junior Championship in Canada as he went down battling to World No. 1 Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the semi-finals. Contesting his third juniors tournament, Lakshya bagged the bronze medal after playing a lengthy hour and 11 minute contest where he finished second best. Vitidsarn won 20-22, 21-16, 21-13 in the marathon contest to level matters between the two players on head-to-head.

Sen, 17, had beaten the 17-year-old Vitidsarn in straight games in the final of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in July but could not repeat his winning feat on Saturday in Markham, Canada.

Prior to this defeat, Lakshya had only dropped one game over the course of the tournament – to Chinese Taipei’s Shiau Cheng Chen – but couldn’t continue his winning run.

This is India’s only medal in this edition of the World Junior Championship and the first one since Sameer Verma also won a bronze in 2011. B Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy had also won bronze in 2010, while Saina Nehwal had clinched gold in 2008.

Defending champion Vitidsarn no has an opportunity to defend his title when he takes on Kodai Naraoka in the final. The Japanese beat third seed Li Shifeng of China 21-11, 19-21, 21-17 in the day’s other semi-final.

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I Feel Like I’m Ready for a Test Match Now: Pat Cummins

I Feel Like I'm Ready for a Test Match Now: Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins. (Getty Images)

Speedster Pat Cummins is confident that he is “ready for a Test match” after he sent down 20 overs for New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield game against Queensland at Manuka Oval in Canberra.The Australian pacer, who made a return to the Australian setup in a recent ODI series against South Africa after a back injury had put him out of action for six months said that he felt fresh even after a grinding day which further ensured he was now fit and ready to play the longest format of the game.

”Anytime you come off a lay-off you’ve got an idea of how you’re travelling but it’s not until you play a game that you get a feel for how your form is,” Cummins said.

“For me, not bowling heaps in games over the past few months, knowing I can bowl 20 overs in a day pretty easy, my legs still fresh and I feel ready to do it again in the second innings.

“I feel like I’m ready for a Test match now.”

Cummins picked up 3/41 in his 20 overs giving a good account of himself ahead of the marquee Test series against India which underway next month in Adelaide.

“I feel like I’ve covered most of the areas you’re going to get in a Test match, and you know what kind of space you’re in and how you’re bowling, so it was a great hit out before India.”

The 25-year-old was playing his first first-class match since March and with him in the NSW side were Australia teammates Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, who in all likelihood are going to feature in the first Test against India.

The quartet which has become Australia’s mainstay in the Test arena over the last few years will again have a job on their hands against a potent Indian lineup and Cummins was resolute they will yet again rise up to the occasion.

“We’ve shown when we bowl together, and bowl well, more often than not we’re going to get 20 wickets,” Cummins said. “Especially for me, in my role, we’ll bowl a spell of bouncers a game, a spell with the old ball just before the new ball, so I got all that practice in, got some miles in the legs.”

India’s tour of Australia begins with a three-match T20I series on November 21 before the two teams will clash in a four-Test series which starts on December 6 in Adelaide.

First Published: November 18, 2018, 10:17 AM IST

Draw with England would be ‘something fantastic’ for Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic

By: Reuters | London |

Published: November 18, 2018 9:48:39 am

Croatia need a scored draw or better to secure top spot in the group in the UEFA Nations League. (Source: Reuters)

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said that even a draw against England at Wembley on Sunday would be “something fantastic”, although such an outcome would mean they miss out on the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals next year.

Croatia’s win over Spain on Thursday means victory for either Dalic’s side or England at Wembley will secure top spot in Nations League Group A4 and a place in the finals, with the loser relegated to League B.

Croatia would also be relegated with a goalless draw, while a score draw would see England drop down to the league below.


Nonetheless, Dalic knows that in-form England, who have won three and drawn one of their last four games, will cause his side problems, meaning any points, regardless of the consequences, will be positive.

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“They are very strong with young players who are very quick but I’m more worried about our team because we played against Spain and, yes, we are probably tired,” Dalic said.

“Maybe the time of the kickoff (1400 GMT) isn’t the best for us but what can we do? We will try to play our best and make a spectacular game. Even a draw would be something fantastic.”

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Croatia were the surprise package at this year’s World Cup, reaching the final for the first time in their history after beating England in the last four — a journey Dalic was keen to revisit ahead of another clash between the teams.

“It will be our third match in three or four months and both teams know each other,” Dalic added. “There is going to be rivalry on the pitch but it will be in a sporting atmosphere.

“We beat them in the World Cup semi-final and nobody can forget that. For sure that will be the most important result from these three matches.”

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New Zealand Complete Eight-wicket Rout of Ireland to Finish Campaign on a High

WWT20: New Zealand Complete Eight-wicket Rout of Ireland to Finish Campaign on a High


A strong all-round effort from the New Zealand bowlers led by off-spinner h’s three-wicket haul has helped them bow out of the ICC Women’s World T20 on a high with a clinical eight-wicket victory at Providence Stadium in Guyana on Saturday (November 17).New Zealand never allowed Ireland to take flight restricting them to just 79/9 in their 20 overs. Sophie Devine then cracked a 22-ball 51 as the White Ferns romped home in just 7.3 overs.

Amy Satterthwaite’s decision to field first was vindicated with Lea Tahuhu getting rid of opener Cecelia Joyce for 1 before Kasperek struck twice in an over first castling Clare Shillington for 12 and then accounting for Isobel Joyce (0) to leave Ireland vulnerable at 30/3.

Gaby Lewis and captain Laura Delany then got together and added some amount of respectability to Ireland’s innings forging a 39-run stand for the fourth wicket. Lewis was the aggressor of the two as she got going with a free-flowing drive off Tahuhu and then slammed leg-spinner Amelia Kerr for two more fours.

However, once the stand ended in the 15th over with the wicket of Delany (12), Ireland collapsed like a pack of cards. They slipped from 69/3 to 78/9 in no time with the New Zealand bowlers applying the squeeze.

Kasperek ended with fugues 3/19 from her 4 overs while Tahuhu and Kerr also chipped in with two wickets apiece.

The New Zealand batter hardly broke a sweat in the chase with Devine and Suzie Bates clattering the Irish bowling all over the park. Devine started off with a four and a six in the first over of Eimear Richardson and then slammed pacer Kim Garth for another boundary before thumping Ciara Metcalfe for two sixes and a four as New Zealand raced to 65/0 in 5 overs.

Devine notched up her half-century in just 21 balls – the joint-fastest in WWT20 – but fell soon after skying a fuller delivery from Delany with New Zealand 6 runs adrift from the target. Bates perished too but Satterthwaite and Katey Martin ensured they got the side home with a mammoth 75 balls to spare.

First Published: November 18, 2018, 9:17 AM IST

Women’s World Boxing Championships: Simranjit Kaur shows inner steel in a thriller

Written by Gaurav Bhatt
| New Delhi |

Updated: November 18, 2018 8:07:36 am

In the 64 kg category, Simranjit had a tough outing against Amelia Moore of the US. Four judges ruled in favour of the Indian while one went for Moore. BFI

With Simranjit Kaur feeling the butterflies ahead of her World Championships debut, Raffaele Bergamasco came through with some effective last-minute coaching. “There was nothing technical, nothing tactical,” said Berganasco. “I just told her, ‘you’re an Indian woman. You have the heart and the mind. You go win’!”

Simranjit did, with authority. With a 4-1 win over American Amelia Moore in the 64kg category on Saturday, the 23-year-old posted the fifth win for India, and certainly the most exciting. As it turned out, there was more to Bergamasco’s advice than just simple pep talk.

“I looked at the fights of the opponent, and I saw that she is a slow-starter,” said Bergamasco. “So in the match today Simranjit was very, very aggressive.”


“Very, very aggressive” is putting it mildly. Simranjit, who hails from Chakar village, Ludhiana, came out swinging, and within the first 10 seconds stunned Moore with a left hook. She maintained the pace, pressured Moore and disengaged at the right time more often than not. Simranjit landed flush right crosses on the American to end the round, but buoyed by the cheers from the crowd including her teammates and family sitting in the Indira Gandhi Stadium stands and the adrenaline rush of the frenetic first round, she landed a deliberate jab well after the bell.

“She needs to control her energy,” said men’s high performance director Santiago Nieva, who admitted it was the most entertaining bout of the day as a spectator. “Simranjit used a lot of energy in that first round and the USA boxer came on a lot stronger in the second and third round.”

Proving Bergamasco right, Moore hit her groove after the slow start. The 28-year-old slipped many of Simranjit’s swings, countering them with straights and body shots, but she couldn’t slip them all. The Indian continued to connect with the hooks and started slipping in combinations. In a feisty exchange, she landed three straight body shot-left hook combos, and moved to straight one-twos afterwards to finish the second round.

Moore, thae 2017 national champion, however, had gas left in the tank. The American slipped and landed multiple lunging left hooks, putting in some dirty boxing with short punches in the clinch. But Simranjit knew enough to disengage, step back and counter an attacking Moore with uppercuts and crosses. The Indian lit Moore up in the last ten seconds, finished strong with a flurry of clean shots. It is to Moore’s credit that she stayed on her feet, but the American also showed that there are holes in Simranjit’s game to be exploited.

“It would be a helluva fight for the Indian girl to recover. She has a day to recover so that may help but she needs to recover psychologically,” said USA coach Billy Walsh, who has trained the likes of Katie Taylor and Clarissa Shields to Olympic glory. “You can’t think that just because you’ve defeated USA, you’ve won any. It will only get tougher against quality opponents.”

Simranjit, who wants to win a medal at the World Championships for her father who expired in July, wouldn’t have made the cut for the tournament without Bergamasco’s conviction.

“This bout was also important for me because I wanted her for this tournament. And the performance justifies her selection,” said Bergamasco. “She can’t keep boxing like this in every fight. But I am sure she can switch up her game for the next bouts.”

Mother Rajpal, who wanted Simranjit to be a self-sufficient sportsperson “in Punjab, where they kill girls for dowry”, was in the stands at her daughter’s behest.

“I have always been with her since a school tournament in Patiala. She wants that support in the stadium,” says Rajpal, who adds that since then, it has become easier watching her daughter get punched in the face. “Usko lagte hain, but saamne waale ko zyaada lagte hain!”

Sonia, Pinki make it 5/5
Pinki Jangra advanced in the 51kg category with a 4-1 win over Armenia’s Anush Grigoryan. Proficient at fighting in the inside, Jangra was flummoxed with her opponent staying at a distance initially. Save for a handful of crosses, Jangra had trouble landing with Grigoryan dishing out counters. Caught in the clinch, she also failed to throw any punches. But the 28-year-old used feints to draw out her opponent as the match progressed, and her clean counters earned her the win.

Earlier in the day, Sonia, 21, got a unanimous decision over Moroccan Toujani Doaa on her World Championships debut to advance to the 57kg pre-quarterfinals.

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