MbPT down WCG 4-2

Mumbai: Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) struck twice in the final minutes of the match to snatch a 4-2 win against Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana (WCG) in a Senior Division match of the MHAL League – 2014, and played at the MHAL Stadium, Churchgate. The scores were tied 1-1 at the end of the first half. For MbPT scored Ashutosh Lingesh scored two goals and Digvijay Naik and Saluddin one each, while Meghraj Murthy and John Fernandes scored for WCG. WCG made a positive start and took an early lead when Murthy scored in the fourth minute. However, their lead was short-lived as MbPT drew level through the efforts of Lingesh, who got the first of his two goals in the sixth minute. After the change of ends, MbPT grabbed the lead when the experienced and consistent scorer, Naik got the second goal in the 47th minute before WCG fought back and managed to draw level when Fernandes hit the target in the next minute. MbPT came up with solid late charge and scored two goals in as many minutes through Saluddin in the 67th minute and Lingesh in the 69th minute to walk away with the match.

H.S Prannoy clinches badminton title

Mumbai: Top seed H S Prannoy and unseeded junior shuttler Ruthvika Shivani Gadde clinched the men’s and women’s singles titles respectively in the US$ 25,000 Tata Open India International Challenge badminton tournament. Prannoy, the India no. 4 and world no. 22, defeated a fighting R M V Gurusaidutt – ranked 45th in the world – in a thrilling men’s singles final 21-16 20-22 21-17 that lasted 64 minutes at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) courts. Earlier, rising 17-year-old Hyderabad shuttler Ruthvika, continued her impressive run by stunning fourth seed Arundhati Pantawane, on a comeback trail after a shoulder injury, 19-21 21-18 21-14 in the 50-minute long women’s singles final.

Veterans tennis: Easy for Mayank

Mumbai: Qualifier Mayank Dwivedi registered a straight sets win to ease into the second round, in the Khar Gymkhana All India Veterans Open Tennis Tournament on Monday. Dwivedi made the most of home conditions to prevail over Mohan Chavan 6-0, 6-3 in a 55+ first round encounter. Joining Dwivedi in the next round were eighth seed Praveen Kulthe, Rajeev Punjabi, Vinod Kumar Minhas and M.S. Mayal. The categories for the 2.4 lakh tournament include 45+, 55+ and 65+ singles and doubles and 75+ doubles.

Italy to bid for 2024 Olympic Games

Rome: Rome will spearhead the Italian bid for the 2024 Olympic Games, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Monday vowing a strong campaign to win the event. Italy became the first to announce a bid taking advantage of new International Olympic Committee rules allowing events to be staged in more than one city. Speaking at the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) during an end-of-year medals ceremony, Renzi said:”We are standing side by side with CONI because in September 2015, we will officially present our candidature to host the 2024 Olympic Games. We don’t intend to simply participate in the bidding process, this is a challenge we would like to win. We will do everything we can until 2017 when the final decision is made,” added Renzi. The Italian capital, which last held the summer Games in 1960, shelved plans to bid for the 2020 event two years ago due to concerns over rising costs as the country battled an economic crisis. Turin held the Winter Olympics in 2006.

Chinappa, Pallikal in World pre-quarters

Cairo: India’s Joshana Chinappa dispatched 12th seed Madeline Perry of Ireland while 14th seed Dipika Pallikal survived a Mexican scare to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the Women’s World Squash Championship on Monday. World No. 22 Chinappa took 50 minutes to chalk out a 14-12, 11-7, 4-11, 11-7 win over 14th-ranked Perry in the opening round of the USD 150,000 competition. Chinappa will have to come up with something special to win against her next opponent, Low Wee Wern, the World No. 7 from Malaysia. Pallikal, who is the lone Indian female to reach the tournament quarterfinals, endured a tough start to the competition. She started badly against Mexican qualifier Samantha Teran before staging a fine comeback to win 9-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7. She is drawn to play World No.3 and her nemesis Raneem El Welily of Egypt in the next round.

Pak all-rounder Hafeez awaits Indian visa

Karachi: PCB is still waiting for a visa to be issued to all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez by the Indian High Commission in Abu Dhabi so that he can fly to Chennai for his informal bowling tests, an official said on Monday. “We would like him to fly there as soon as possible but we are still waiting for the visa to be issued. Normally, it takes a while for visas to be issued from the IHC in Abu Dhabi,” the official said. Hafeez is presently playing in the one-day series against New Zealand in the UAE but his role is restricted to batting as the ICC has suspended him from bowling in international cricket after he failed an ICC bowling test last month. The official said that the PCB was keen to get a clear picture on whether Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez would be available for the World Cup by the end of this month. “Saeed is doing practice and bowling daily at the National Cricket Academy and he will most likely play in the final two one-day games against Kenya,” the official said. “After he plays in these matches, the Board will decide when he should fly to Chennai for his official bowling test so that we know whether his action is cleared to bowl again in international cricket.”

Kobe Bryant NBA’s third-highest scorer

Minneapolis: American basketball star Kobe Bryant has moved up to the third spot in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) all-time scoring list, surpassing legend Michael Jordan. The Los Angeles Lakers star, in his 19th season, passed the Chicago Bulls stalwart (32,292 points) with a free throw in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. Bryant finished the game with 26 points to reach the scoring total of 32,310 as the Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 100-94. Bryant now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) and Karl Malone (36,928) in career points.

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