Thursday, September 21, 2017

India U-16 boys gear up for Nepal Test

KATHMANDU, September 21, 2017: After an impressive three-nil victory against a strong Palestine in the first match of AFC U-16 Qualifiers, India U-16 stay cautious in their approach when they take on hosts Nepal at the Halchowk Stadium on Friday (September 22, 2017).

“There's no room for complacency,” Coach BibianoFernandes said. “Nepal are a strong side and we know each other with both teams having played in the recently concluded U-15 SAFF Championship final,” he added. “They will be backed by a partisan crowd and it will be a challenge for us.”

"Everybody saw what we're capable of but we can't afford to be complacent,” he reiterated. “We had an ideal start in the tournament but the target is far away. We aim to continue the winning momentum and prefer to take one match at a time,” he stated.

Bibiano also mentioned that India wouldn’t start as the favourites even after getting the better of their rivals twice in the recently concluded SAFF U-15 Championship. "We won't have any advantage over Nepal. Although we beat them twice recently, it won't have any effect on tomorrow's game and everyone should start afresh."

He vented his confidence on his squad and showed his faith for “creating quite a few opportunities against Palestine.”

"At times we were shaky the other day but at the end of the game, we won the game convincingly. I have full faith in my squad who have created so many opportunities throughout the game."

Meanwhile, Nepalese coach Sunil Kumar Shrestha showed his utmost respect for the Indian side. “India have been going through a good phase right now and they were clearly the deserving champions in the SAFF U-15 Championship,” Shrestha mentioned. "We will try to play our natural football to spoil their party tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Nepal went down fighting by a solitary goal to Iraq in their first match of the Group D.

Honey Baisoya in the driver’s seat with a seven-shot lead; Aman Raj slips to T11

Noida, September 21, 2017: Delhi’s Honey Baisoya was in the driver’s seat after round three of the PGTI Players Championship at Noida Golf Course as he pulled ahead by a substantial seven shots courtesy a fiery six-under-66 on Thursday. Baisoya, who totaled 15-under-201 for three days, is now well-placed for a successful title defence at the Rs. 30 lakh event.

Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa (68) and Noida’s Vikrant Chopra (69) were a distant tied second at eight-under-208.

Honey Baisoya (66-69-66), the runner-up last week in Jaipur and the overnight leader by one shot, will now be the firm favourite for the title come Friday. Baisoya, looking for his second win of the year, had a blazing start in the third round with three birdies on the first six holes which gave him a handy lead early in the day.

The 21-year-old Baisoya’s bogey on the seventh was negated by three more birdies on the ninth, 10th and 13th as he sank almost everything that came his way. Honey bogeyed the 15th against the run of play but ended the round on a high with birdies on the 17th and 18th, making a 15-feet conversion on the latter.

Baisoya, who fired a record 19 eagles on the PGTI last season, said, “I’m quite happy with my current position. I have the self belief since I won at this venue earlier this year.

“My best birdies today came on the sixth and 18th. I was on the cart path on the sixth and didn’t have a clear shot at the green, but still managed to hit it within ten feet of the flag. The final birdie from 15 feet on the 18th further lifted my spirits. I also made a great par save after landing it on the bunker lip on the third.

“I’m quite satisfied about the fact that I’ve been extremely consistent in the second half of the season so far having posted top-6 finishes in the last three events. I’ve been playing with my natural aggressive attitude and that has only helped me grow in confidence,” added Baisoya, who is currently placed sixth on the PGTI Order of Merit.

C Muniyappa’s (69-71-68) third round 68 propelled him from overnight tied ninth to tied second place. Muniyappa used his wedges to great effect setting up a tap-in birdie on the 14th and thereafter recovering from the bunker on the 18th to land it within six feet for par.

Local lad Vikrant Chopra (69-70-69) emerged as a contender for the second week running after a timely 69 that moved him up three places from overnight tied fifth. Chopra set up four feet birdie putts on three occasions thanks to some brilliant chipping.

Delhi’s Sachin Baisoya occupied fourth place at seven-under-209.

Gaurav Pratap Singh of Noida shared fifth place at six-under-210 along with Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane, Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha and Gurgaon’s Shivendra Singh Sisodia.

Today was a bad day for Aman Raj as he shot 4 over 76 to be placed tied 11 with an aggregate of 4 under 212. The Patna lad was on the lead on the first day of the championships with 7 under 65.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fairytale start for Rajasthan Roarers and UP Heroes as Delhi Dashers and Bangalore Stars falter

IJPL witnesses two stunning all-round performances on Day 2

Anshul Choudhary (3/14& 18 off 15 balls) & Aryan Lakra (5/16 &12 off 17b)

Rajasthan Roarers beat Delhi Dashers by seven wickets

UP Heroes beat Bangalore Stars by seven wickets

Owner of Hyderabad Hawks, star Laxmi Manchu give pep talk to young guns
Bangalore Stars co-owner Aindrita Ray and Diganth interact with team

Dubai, September 20, 2017: Day 2 of the path-breaking Indian Junior Players League Talent Hunt (IJPL Talent Hunt) witnessed two sensational all-round displays from a couple of unknown rookies, Anshul Choudhary of Rajasthan Roarers and Aryan Lakra of UP Heroes. Both youngsters, inspired by the recent exploits of emerging India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, flourished with the ball and bat with impressive maturity and temperament to  lead their respective team to emphatic wins against Delhi Dashers and Bangalore Stars respectively.

A state with rich heritage of cricket but unable to produce as many international cricketers as they should have ideally, Rajasthan Roarersshowed plenty of promise in the inaugural edition of the IJPL Talent Huntas they thrashed fancied Delhi Dashers by six wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Anshul Choudhary became the first all-round sensation of the IJPL. The youngster shattered the confidence of Delhi Dashers batsmen with a lethal spell of three wickets for just 14 runs and returned to hammer 18 runs off 15 deliveries, including a towering six to finish the match in style.

Earlier, Delhi Dashers finished with just 80 runs on the board at the cost of seven wickets from their quota of 20 overs. While Hitesh Kumar struck 22 runs off 48 deliveries to stick around for the longest time for Delhi Dashers, Choudhary, along with co-bowlers Ajay Tanwar (1/6) and Bheem Dhamala (1/19) worked up an effective strategy and didn’t allow the frontline batsmen to find their rhythm.

Rajasthan Roarers broke no sweat in chasing down the required runs as almost all their top batsmen struck form. Younus Ali took the expressway to score 29 runs off mere 14 balls, while Keshav Sharma (21 off 21 balls) and Choudhary (18 off 15 balls) chipped in with the rest.

In the second match of the day, UP Heroes trounced Bangalore Stars by seven wickets. Bangalore Stars were dismissed for 76 runs in 13. 3 overs, with Nayan contributing more than half the runs with a brisk 39 off 24 ballls. Aryan Lakra captured five wickets for 16 runs, while Subham Agarwal (2/0) and YajuurvedaJanmeda (2/23) shared the spoils with two wickets each. In reply, UP Heroes scored 77 for three in just 12.1 overs, with Virat scoring the bulk of the runs with 32 off 30 deliveries, and Agarwal (19 off 23) and Lakra (12 off 17) making the rest of the contribution.

Former Pakistani fast bowler Sikander Bakhtwho is part of IJPL commentary team, said, he was impressed with the all-round performance of both the young all-rounders. The former fast bowler said, “The IJPL is just two days old and the tournament has already produced some sensational performances. I hope people back in India are following the exploits of these young talents. Both Anshul Choudhary and Aryan Lakra were a sheer delight to watch and it’s so nice to see these young guns completely fired up to bowl and bat, just in the footstep of the legendary Imran Khan and Kapil Dev.”

Earlier in the day, Telugu star and the owner of Hyderabad Hawks, Laxmi Manchu and Kannada film’s hit onscreen pair and co-owner of Bangalore Stars, Aindrita Ray and Diganth drew loud cheers from the 16 teams participating in the IJPL. The stars interacted with their respective teams for a pep talk.

On this occasion,Laxmi Manchu said, “I come from a family where cricket in particular and sports in general is a huge passion. I’m extremely proud to be associated with Hyderabad Hawks. The IJPL is a unique initiative and I’m confident that some of these youngsters who are participating in the IJPL will become future stars of the Indian cricket team.”

On this occasion, Aindrita Ray said, “I’ve been the brand ambassador for CCL and when IJPL MD Dr Dinesh Kapoor approached me for Bangalore Stars I was bowled over by the concept. It’s important for these youngsters to get the right exposure in their career.” On this occasion,Diganth said, “I’ve been a state-level badminton player and also played cricket for the CCL. The IJPL model is a great platform for our youngsters to perform and get noticed.”

Earlier, in late matches completed on Tuesday, Chennai Champs beat Kolkata Strikers by 17 runs while Punjab Tigers thrashed Assam Rangers by 87 runs. Batting first, Chennai Champs were bundled out for 134 runs in 19.2 overs. In response, Kolkata began their innings well but finished 17 runs short, with a total of 117/7 in 20 overs.  In the other match, Punjab Tigers scored 177 runs in 20 overs and then wrapped up Assam Rangers for just 90 runs, to script the biggest winning margin in the IJPL so far.

Caption pic 1: IJPL MD Dr Dinesh Kapoor with Hyderabad Hawks owner and Telugu star Laxmi Manchu and their team members.

Press release

Defending champ Honey Baisoya moves ahead in round two; Patna's AmanRaj slips to 2nd

Honey Baisoya

Noida, September 20, 2017: Delhi’s Honey Baisoya, the defending champion, posted a solid three-under-69 to establish a one-shot lead in round two of the PGTI Players Championship at Noida Golf Course. Baisoya’s total read nine-under-135 at the halfway stage of the Rs. 30 lakh event.

Round one leader Aman Raj (71) of Patna slipped to second place at eight-under-136.

The cut fell at three-over-147. Fifty-seven professionals made the cut.

Honey Baisoya (66-69) shot a 69 that helped him move up from overnight tied second to first place. Baisoya displayed the kind of form that saw him win at the Noida Golf Course earlier this year.

Honey, a three-time winner on the PGTI, dropped bogeys on the 11th and 13th, before rallying with consecutive birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th where he came up with some outstanding wedge shots. The 21-year-old Baisoya, who made the turn at even-par after a bogey on the 18th, produced a flawless front-nine, adding three more birdies to his card to end up with an imposing nine-under.  

Baisoya said, “I’ve done pretty well with 13 birdies in the tournament so far. This is not an easy course to score low once the wind comes into play as it did today. Importantly, I’ve been striking it really well and have been aggressive on the first two days.

“I recovered extremely well today despite the early setbacks. I’m now looking at scoring 11-under over the next two days to take my total to 20-under which should be good enough for the title,” added Honey whose 69 was the day’s joint best score.

Aman Raj (65-71) too had a slow start like Baisoya as he dropped a couple of strokes on the first five holes. Aman was thereafter denied birdies as his putts lipped out on multiple occasions. But the former 2016 Emerging Player of the Year turned it around with a chip-in birdie on the seventh. That was followed by two more birdies on the eighth and ninth.

Aman Raj said, “I was striving for a birdie all day but when I saw my chip roll in on the seventh it gave me a lot of satisfaction and confidence. I knew I was still in the game at that stage. I fought my way back into the match thereafter. The approach on the ninth was special as it landed three feet from the pin and led to another birdie.

“I’ll need to grind it out from here on and just repeat what I did in the first two rounds.”

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane kept himself in contention as he closed the second round in third place at seven-under-137. Gurgaon’s Shivendra Singh Sisodia was another shot back in fourth.

Vikrant Chopra was the highest-placed among the Noida golfers. He was tied fifth at five-under-139.

Noida golfers Amardip Sinh Malik (three-under-141) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (two-under-142) were placed tied 13th and tied 17th respectively.

Among the other Noida golfers who made the cut, were Dipankar Kaushal (tied 20th at one-under-143), Rahul Bajaj (tied 29th at even-par-144), Arjun Singh Chaudhri, Raju Singh and Vikram Rana (all in tied 47that three-over-147).

Press release