NEW DELHI: India extended their medal tally to three during the World Para Athletics Championships 2017 with discus-thrower Karamjyoti Dalal claiming a Bronze medal. In the Women's F55 category, Dalal, at the last moment, managed a throw of 19.02m, just overtaking Baharain's Alomari Roba, who managed 19.01m.
Last year at the Rio Paralympics, Dalal didn't have the best of outings. After three unsuccesful throws, she wasn't able to get off the mark. However, the 30-year-old roared back to form during the Fazaa International IPC International Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai earlier in March where she clinched gold in the same category.
Earlier, Sundar Singh Gurjar opened India's account at the World Para Athletics Championships by clinching gold in the men's javelin throw event. Two days later, Amit Saroha added to the tally when he clinched silver medal in the club throw event in the F-51 category.
Originally a part of the national Kabaddi setup, Dalal had to give up the sport after she took a fall from her terrace, that resulted in her losing her motor sensations for a year. But since taking up discus throw in 2014, in two years Dalal has gone from being unranked to the top-10 in the world.
Currently ranked World No.8, Dalal secured a fourth-place finish at the IPC Para-athletics championships in 2015. With no support from the government, Dalal funding herself to the 2014 Asian Games in Beijing and won two bronze medals. She is supported by Anglian medal hunt.
All-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur struck a sensational, unbeaten 171 as India stunned champions Australia by 36 runs to storm into the ICC Women’s World Cup final on Thursday.
Harmanpreet smashed 20 fours and seven sixes in a whirlwind innings of 115 deliveries to help India overcome a slow start and amass 281/4 in 42 overs, after the match in Derby was reduced following heavy rain in the morning.
Indian pace bowlers Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey then led the spirited showing on the field before the champions were 245 all out in 40.1 overs, avoiding a big defeat thanks to a last-gasp 90 by Alex Blackwell.
Blackwell shared a 76-run partnership with Beams for Kristen Beams for Australia’s final wicket.
Mithali Raj’s side will face England in the final to be played at the Lord’s on Sunday. India will vie for the title a second time.
Harmanpreet Kaur played the innings of her life after India, having elected to bat, made a slow start. She played herself in before smashing the Aussie bowlers to all parts, hitting big sixes and cashing in towards the end as she was fed full tosses to hole out in the deep.
India lost openers Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut within the first 10 overs. However, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur got together in a 66-run stand to steady the innings.
While Mithali fell for 36, Harmanpreet held on and picked up pace to dismantle the Australian bowling.
Harmanpreet completed her century from 90 balls, adding 71 runs from her next 25 deliveries. She raised a blistering 137-run fourth-wicket partnership with Deepti Sharma, who scored 25. Veda Krishnamurthy scored 16 not out help India raise a formidable total in the end.
Delirium at Bhullar household
The phone has not stopped ringing at the Bhullar household in Moga (Punjab) since the cricketer started swatting the Australian bowlers out of the park at Derby in the ongoing ICC Women’s World in the second semifinal. Her father Harmander Singh Bhullar told Hindustan Times, “The real celebrations will only start when India wins the match and storms into the final.”
But he could not hide his feelings on the Harmanpreet’s spectacular knock.
“I am so proud of Harman. She has made not only us but the whole nation proud by doing well in the crucial match. She was really frustrated on missing out in the previous matches due to the finger injury she suffered against the West Indies. She will be relieved today. Waheguru jee has blessed my daughter today and hope to see India making it to the final and at Lords,” he added.
Batting at number four, Harmanpreet Kaur smashed 115-ball unbeaten knock of 171 runs to set up India to a huge total of 281 for 4 in 42 overs. Harman bettered her previous ODI best score of 107 runs. She hammered 20 fours and seven towering sixes during her blistering knock at the strike rate of 148.69.
Harmanpreet, who started as a medium-pacer in Moga, switched to batting under coach Yadavinder Singh Sodhi. Daughter of a clerk in the local District Court became the first woman to be signed by Sydney Thunder in the second edition of T20 Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia. She would also be playing in the England Kia T20 League in August.
Announcing his resignation as head coach of the Indian cricket team, Anil Kumble late Tuesday night said he was informed about the reservations captain Virat Kohli had with his working style “for the first time yesterday”. But those in the know say communication lines between the two had more or less snapped during the past few months.
“While trying to understand the differences between the captain and coach, we came to know that the two, for the last few months, mostly spoke in monosyllables,” a BCCI source told The Indian Express.
In a statement, Kumble said he was “surprised” by Kohli’s “reservations” since he had “always respected the role boundaries between captain and coach”.
Kumble says he is surprised by Kohli’s reservations
The BCCI, in a press release, had said that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) — comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — had endorsed an extension to Kumble’s tenure. What wasn’t mentioned in the official statement was a rider. “They made it clear that Kumble would only be retained if his differences with Kohli were solved. We had long chats with the two but we couldn’t solve the problem. While Kumble didn’t acknowledge there was a problem, Kohli’s view was very different,” said the source.
Kumble, in his statement, also mentioned the last-minute truce efforts. “Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on,” he stated.
It is also learnt that the BCCI is planning to extend the deadline for the application of the coach’s job. “With the Sri Lanka tour still a month away, we will ask for more applications. The CAC will meet the applicants and take a final call,” said the source.
Kumble’s year-long contract as India coach had expired at the end of the Champions Trophy. However, he was asked to stay on for the West Indies tour. While the Indian team boarded the flight to Barbados, Kumble decided to stay back in London for the ICC Annual Conference as he is the chairman of the Cricket Committee.
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said that among the Asian teams playing in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, “India are easily the pack-leaders.” He also rated England and Australia as strong contenders for the title.
In a column for the official website of the International Cricket Council, the Sri Lanka great rated the chances that each of the eight teams have in clinching the title. “This year we also have four Asian teams in the tournament and clearly India is current the pack-leaders in the region,” he said, “It won in 2013 and it has a team capable of winning this year too. In fact, the team is arguably stronger, better balanced with real firepower in its fast bowling.”
About Australia, Sangakkara said that they are “one of the strongest contenders.”It have been playing some great ODI cricket of late and it is probably the best-balanced team in the competition. Its batsmen are also in-form and its bowling attack is potent,” he said. He also said that England’s progress over the last two years as an ODI squad has been a “revelation.”
“It used to be one of the team’s that traditionally struggle in big tournaments, but under this set-up – shrewdly overseen by coaches Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace with Andrew Strauss a strong Director of Cricket – its past record is perhaps not relevant,” he said.
Kumar Sangakkara led Sri Lanka for two years between 2009 and 2011 and is regarded as one of the greatest Sri Lanka batsmen and one of the best wicket keepers of his time. He had led Sri Lanka to the finals of the 2009 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup.
The ICC Champions Trophy starts on June 1 with hosts England playing Bangladesh in the opener.
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