SPORTS IMPHAL SUNDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2015 Hockey India League Hazari and Tombi State polo tournament Ranchi Rays beat Uttar Prasdesh Wizard, enter final ESC-A, ITPC-A enter quarters mobile and attacking, midfielders de Voogd and Sander Baart pressed forward and combined nicely with seasoned Australian Eddie Ockenden, who earned their first penalty corner in the 39th minute. Raghunath stepped up and his flick to the top-left easily defeated Lovell to make it 1-0 for Wizards. Ockenden regularly avoided his markers Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh to keep Rays on the guard. However, Rays equalised in the 42nd minute as an inspired run from South African Austin Smith was halted inside the box. That earned a penalty stroke which was easily converted by Jackson. Enthused after the equaliser, Rays looked a vastly improved side and continued to attack. Sreejesh was called in to action and he had a very good game apart from the stroke. Two Australians Beale and Nick Budgeon played crucial roles in staving off strong challenges from Wizards. Mandeep earned a penalty corner in the 59th minute for Rays. But Jackson failed to make the most out of two back-toback chances to enter the shootout. –– Agencies Indian hockey team to tour Australia in next 3 years Ranchi Rays and Uttar Pradesh Wizards players in action NEW DELHI, Feb 21 Ranchi Rays beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 9-8 via penalty shootouts, which reached sudden death, to enter the final of the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Saturday. Wizards’ VR Raghunath (39th minute) and Rays’ Ashley Jackson (42nd) scored but both teams refused to be separated after 60 minutes of play, taking the game to penalties. The competition saw a neck-and-neck contest even in the decider. Wizards’ Jeroen Hertzberger converted thrice but others were inconsistent while their swap of PR Sreejesh with George Bazeley didn’t work out eventually. For Rays, skipper Ashley Jackson, even though failing to convert a stroke, scored thrice to show them the way. Barry Middleton also scored thrice while Australian Daniel Beale scored the winner in the shootout. Manpreet Singh failed twice but others made amends for the mistake. With the loss, the Wizards have failed to win three consecutive HIL semi-finals. At the start, both teams were defensive and didn’t want to lose ball possession. Jackson and Middleton were in the thick of action from the beginning. The 31-year-old Middleton, especially, supplied twice inside the circle but Mandeep Singh and Nick Wilson failed to make it count. Wilson played with much more accuracy in the second quarter and earned a penalty corner in the 21st minute. It needed a diving PR Sreejesh to ward off Jackson’s flick. A couple of minutes later, Jackson again failed to go past India goalkeeper Sreejesh twice in the second quarter. After being dominated for the most part of the second quarter, the Wizards hit back. Dutch striker Hertzberger led a fierce counter-attack and shrugged off two Rays defenders but he poked it wide. Another Dutchman Bob de Voogd fed Nithin Thimmaiah inside the box but the Indian saw his effort being blanked by a save from Tyler Lovell. Wizards showed a very good game of defence, counter-attack and man-toman marking. While India international Jasjit Singh Khullar never allowed Mandeep to break free, Wizards skipper Wouter Jolie kept a close eye on Trent Mitton. Continuing to be more NEW DELHI, Feb 21 : Hockey India (HI) and Hockey Australia on Saturday signed a strategic bilateral agreement that will see India men’s hockey team tour Down Under every year for the next three years, i.e. from 2016 to 2018, a move that is expected to give a fillip to the sport back home. As per of the understanding, Hockey Australia will release its national players for the next three seasons of the Hockey India League, including 2016 just six months prior to the Rio Olympics. The agreement was signed between HI CEO Elena Norman and Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale on the sidelines of the semifinals of the third Hero Hockey India League at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here today. As per the agreement, India will tour Australia for a six-match Test series in the coming three years. The arrangement will not only be limited to the men’s team, as both the federations are working on plans to also include women’s sides in the agreement. “This is a milestone moment for Australian hockey. This arrangement is the first step in honouring our commitment to building a calendar of top class events for Australian hockey team and raising the profile of the sport,” Vale said. “We are committed to show our support towards Hockey India, the Hockey India League and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in their endeavours to grow the sport globally. We believe that for the sport to grow Hockey India League needs to be successful. Hockey India CEO Norman feels this tie-up augurs well for both the nations. “This move will work in both ways as when we play against each other we will learn from each other and better ourselves in the process,” she said. –– PTI By Our Sports Reporter IMPHAL, Feb 21 : Eastern Students' Club (ESC)-A and Ibudhou Thangjing Polo Club (ITPC)-A stormed into the quarter-finals of the ongoing 30th N Hazari and Dr N Tombi State Polo Tournament 2015, organised by Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA) today at Imphal Pologround. In today's pre-quarter final, Eastern Students' Club (ESC)-A outclassed Nongchup Pana Sagol Kangjei Lup (NPSKL)-B by a margin of 11 goals to three to book a berth in the quarterfinal. The match began with a brace from ESC-A's Ch Ajit followed by a goal from Th Momocha in the first chukker. NPSKL-B also witnessed a goal from A Joychandra in the same chukker. In the second chukker, NPSKL-B's Th Rishikanta pulled back a goal but brilliant strikes from Ch Ajit and Th Momocha helped ESC-A take a comfortable 4-2 lead. A hat-trick from Th Momocha in the 3rd chukker made the scoreline 7-2. In the final chukker, NPSKL-B managed to score a goal but ESC-A's N Houbi, Th Jacob and Th Basanta made the final scoreline 11-3. In another pre-quarter final, Ibudhou Thangjing Polo Club (ITPC)-A registered a convincing 10-1 win against Kangleipak Polo Club (KPC)-B. In the first chukker, a treble from M Manihar and a brace from S Sadananda helped ITPC-A to take a com- Victories forYCPAand COSMO YCPA, Chandel and UYC, Lairikyenbam Leikai players in action By Our Sports Reporter Pakistanis stage mock funeral for cricket team after defeat IMPHAL, Feb 21 : YCPA, Chandel downed UYC, Lairikyenbam Leikai by a margin of 7 goals to three while MULTAN, Feb 21 Pakistani cricket fans in the southeastern city of Multan held a mock funeral for their national cricket team on Saturday after a recordshattering World Cup defeat at the hands of the West Indies. Residents of the city organised a symbolic funeral procession, replete with a coffin with several cricket bats placed over it, directing their anger at the Pakistani national team after a poor start to the tournament that has also seen it defeated by arch-rivals India. “This time we were really hoping for Pakistan to win,” Shama Bibi, one of those taking part, said. “We don’t want to watch this anymore.” Another demonstrator who gave her name only as Rafia blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board for what she said were poor selections and politicisation of the game. Cricket fans elsewhere in the country, meanwhile, staged their own protests to show their frustration with the national side. Chasing the West Indies’s first innings total of 310 runs, Pakistan gave up its first four wickets for just one run — the worst start in one-day international history — before eventually losing by 150 runs. Pakistan, winners of the 1992 World Cup, now sit at the bottom of Pool B and will resume their faltering campaign against Zimbabwe in Brisbane on March 1, 2015. –– Agencies fortable 5-0 lead. The solitary goal for KPCB was scored by A Churchil in the second chukker. L Premjit slammed home two goals while S Sadananda slotted one for ITPC-A in the same chukker. M Dalen and O Somerjit contributed one goal each in the third chukker to claim a convincing 10-1 win against a hapless KPC-B. 5th Kanti Mukherjee hockey tournament ICC World Cup 2015 Pakistan fans outrage in Multan ESC-A and NPSKL-B players vie for the ball COSMO, Wangkhei blanked YAC, Yaiskul 7-0 in the ongoing 15th Dr Kanti Mukherjee Memorial Invitation Hockey Tournament organised by Hockey Manipur today at Khuman Lampak Hockey Stadium, Imphal. In the first match, YCPA's Th Ronaldo alone banged in four goals in the 1st, 19th, 23rd, 25th and 48th minute while G Ravaldo and Ng Rakesh contributed one goal each in the 27th and 44th minute to give 7 goals for the Chandel team. On the other hand, a brace from W Chitra in the 24th and 42nd minute and a strike from T Umakanta in the 22nd minute gave 3 goals for UYC. In the second match of the day, K Matilan struck twice in the 21st and 35th minute while S Swami (3rd), K Johnson (7th), RK Bikramjit (9th), L Sanajaoba (41st) and S Kash (51st) contributed one goal each to help COSMO, Wangkhei claim a convincing 7-0 win against YAC, Yaiskul. AFC appoint two State referees Trial selection By Our Sports Reporter IMPHAL, Feb 21 : The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has selected State referees Sapam Kennedy and Moirangthem Magho Singh to officiate the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia-Preliminary Asian Zone Round 1-first leg match between Chinese Taipei and Brunei DS to be held on March 12 at National Stadium, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. The selected referees are informed to confirm their availability by email at [email protected] within 48 hours, informed a statement issued by All Manipur Football Association (AMFA). Ronibala selected as U-14 goalkeeper coach By Our Sports Reporter IMPHAL, Feb 21 : L Ronibala has been selected as the goalkeeper's coach by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for the U-14 Girls' National selection trial/coaching camp to be held from March 4 to April 18 at SAI Centre, Gandhinagar. The said team will participate in the AFC U-14 Girls Regional Championship to be held from April 18 to 25 at Kathmandu, Nepal, informed a statement issued by AMFA. IMPHAL, Feb 21 : A trial selection for induction in the SAIL Football Academy, Bokaro, Jharkhand and Burnpur, West Bengal for the session 2015 will be held on February 27 at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium, Imphal, stated a press release issued by football coach Maniratan Singh. Players born between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2000 are eligible for the academy in Bokaro while players born between January 1, 1996 and December 31, 1997 are eligible for the academy in Burnpur. Intending players are informed to report to coach Maniratan along with their playing kits and birth certificates, added the statement. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: India vs South Africa preview MELBOURNE, Feb 21 Buoyed by their overwhelming victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening game, India will aim to turn the tables when they meet a formidable South Africa in the cricket World Cup, here on Sunday. While Pakistan failed to buck the trend against the defending champions for the sixth time, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men will hope that they turn fourth time lucky after losing to South Africa on three previous editions at the mega event in 1992, 1999 and 2011. Whether it is Peter Kirsten in ’92, Jacques Kallis in ’99 or Kallis and AB de Villiers in 2011, India have always found a Protea batsman, who had turned out to be a thorn in the flesh for them. In all three defeats, India have batted first and it will interesting to see what decision Dhoni will take if he wins the toss. Although a group league match in this tournament is of little consequence but the winner of this game might just go a long way in clinching the top spot in group B, considering that the other teams are just not world beaters. So there’s a few things that will be at stake and teams have a lot to play for. As the two teams clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), South Africa under De Villiers will certainly start as clear favourites against a young bunch of bravehearts led by Dhoni. Player to player, South Africa seem to possess a far more formidable line-up compared to India, who are just trying to hit the right rhythm post Pakistan victory. While South Africa were a bit patchy in their 62-run win against Zimbabwe, JP Duminy and David Miller’s magnificent late blitz turned the course after the minnows dominated the better part of the match. As South African captain Graeme Smith has aptly pointed out that it will be a battle between India’s famed batsmen and South Africa’s world class pace attack, the inexperienced Indian bowling will also be put to Test against a quality batting line up led by their talismanic captain, who recently scored the fastest ODI century in just 32 balls. Virat Kohli’s 22nd ODI hundred, Suresh Raina’s form during the business end of the innings and Shikhar Dhawan being back among runs is a boost team’s confidence, they will face an entirely different test against a far superior South African bowling attack. An attack led by world’s finest fast bowling pair in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel is not an easy proposition on any track in the world, let alone the MCG, where one can expect even bounce. If that’s not enough, Vernon Philander as third seamer can be a handful on track that offers a little bit of help. Steyn, suffering from sinus, was not in his element in the opening match against Zimbabwe. He came in as first change, and gave away 64 runs in 9 overs. While Rohit Sharma would quickly like to get over the disappointment of not scoring against Pakistan, the Kohli-Steyn battle can be as intriguing as the Tendulkar-Steyn battle used to be during earlier days. While Steyn is likely to torment the Indians with pace and swing, the steep bounce generated by 6ft 4 inch tall Morkel and the movement that can be ex- SQUADS INDIA Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel and Stuart Binny. SOUTH AFRICA AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, JP Duminy, Farhan Behardien, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir, Kyle Abbott, Rillee Russouw, Aaron Phangiso, Kyle Abbott, Wayne Parnell. Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (England) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan). Match starts: 8:50 tracted by Philander will definitely test both technique and temperament of the batsmen. If Philander fails to make it, Kyle Abbott or Wayne Parnell will take his place. Also Indians haven’t had much problems tackling the leg-spin of Imran Tahir. Whether South African team management would opt for a restrictive left-arm spin option like Aaron Phangiso is there to be seen. There are a few areas where India will like to worry despite their fabulous win against neighbouring country. Skipper Dhoni’s poor form is a cause of concern for the team although the captain seemed to work extra bit at the nets trying to find ways to counter the shortpitched stuff dished out by the South African attack. The other worry will be India’s batting slump at the death where they lost five wickets for 23 runs. While Pakistan’s batting resources were not enough to chase down the total, Proteas’ batting line-up is quite strong as it starts with ever consistent Hashim Amla and is followed by Faf du Plessis, De Villiers, Miller and Duminy. Miller and Duminy’s 111 run stand in last six overs against Zimbabwe showed what they are capable of. India’s pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami can hardly err in length as they can expect some heavy punishment for lack of discipline. But the key to India’s chances will be their spin duo Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. If the 20 overs bowled by the Indian spinners can pose a few problems for the South Africans, Dhoni and Co. Might find the wind blowing in other direction unlike last edition or the one before that. –– PTI Owned and published by Sapam Nishikanta Singh at Sega Road Thouda Bhabok Leikai, Imphal (Manipur) Pin-795001 & Printed by him at Sangai Offset Printers, Sega Rd, Thouda Bhabok Leikai, Imphal (Manipur) Pin-795001; Edited by Hijam Rajesh Tel: 9206040924, 9206345908 RNI No. 72025/99.
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