India women cricketers crush New Zealand to seal semi-final berth

A sublime ton from captain Mithali Raj backed by a terrific bowling show by R Gayakwad bundled the Kiwis for a meagre 79 after the Indians put up a daunting total of 265/7 in 50 overs, at Derby on Saturday.

Suzie Bates won the toss and put the Indians to bat in a virtual quarter-final. India lost Punam Raut and Smriti Mandhana cheaply, before skipper Raj took control of proceedings in the middle building two century partnerships along with Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy to take India to a dominating total.

Raj was hitting the ball cleanly and belted out some drives through the covers. Running between the wickets became secondary as both Raj and Kaur was finding the fielders, which had kept the run rate at four till the 30th over. The onslaught began from the 43rd over when Krishnamurthy hit Amelia Kerr for two boundaries finally halting at 265.

Wickets kept tumbling from the start of their innings when Bates edged to first slip, while flicking Shikha Pandey. Jhulan Goswami on the last ball of her second over sent back R Priest, completing an easy caught and bowled. Satterthwaite and Devine chose to stem the rot and as a result the asking result climbed to 6.51 after just 17 overs.

Gayakwad bowled tight lengths and Devine was caught at covers by Deepti, when she tried to slice a wide delivery, after three consecutive dots. New Zealand surrendered helplessly to Gayakwad as she spun her way to her career best of 15-5.

 

Sources: ESPN, Cricbuzz

Image Source: Getty/ICC

 

Muguruza crushes Venus Williams to lift maiden Wimbledon title

Spanish international Garbine Muguruza brushed aside Venus Williams to register a 7-5 6-0 straight set victory, over the five-time champion at the Centre Court in the All England Tennis Club, on Saturday.

Muguruza won the last nine games, on her way to deny the 37-year old a grand slam in nine years. It is her second major title and coincidentally both have come against the Williams sisters, as she defeated Serena Williams in the French Open final in 2016.

The first 40 minutes was a breakneck affair as it was impossible to separate the two finalists, with Venus leading the charge 5-4. She failed to convert two set points and ultimately did not secure a single game after that.

Once again the proverb, ‘morning shows the day’ was tossed in the wind as Williams started with an ace and Muguruza with a double fault.

Williams’ forehand had completely gone haywire, as she committed four errors in a row and handed Muguruza with a break at 6-5. The Spaniard rifled a backhand lob to finally secure the set.

Williams dropped serve at the start of second set and her movement across the court was agonizingly slow compared to the quick-fire Muguruza who went for placement.

Exhaustion took the better of Williams when her serve whimpered at 80 miles an hour. A complete breakdown and a butchered forehand volley crashed at the nets that handed Muguruza with another break to go up 4-0.

Muguruza went down to the grass when she finally converted the third match point on serve, completing the demolition of Williams.

Sources: BBC, Guardian  

Image Source: EPA

 

Federer looks for No. 8 at Wimbledon

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach his 11th Wimbledon final. The seven-time winner at the All England Club beat the 2010 runner-up 7-6(4), 7-6(4),6-4 and will now face Croatia’s Marin Cilic for his record eighth title. 

Cilic is the 2014 US Open winner. He reached the finals on the other half with a four-setter victory over Sam Querrey 6-7(6),6-4,7-6(3),7-5. 

The last time Federer won here at center court was during the 2012 finals. In the process he tied Pete Sampras and William Renshaw for the most number of titles at Wimbledon. In the 2014 and 2015 editions, he fell short losing on each occasion to Novak Djokovic. 

This is his second grand slam of the year, he won the Australian Open in a five set battle against rival and friend Rafael Nadal. Federer subsequently chose to skip the French Open which was won by Nadal. 

In the seven times Federer has played this season, he has reached all finals, won five, lost one and plays one tomorrow. 

During the post match press conference, the 18-time grand slam winner admitted it was nice to avoid any of the other top-five players in the world. Earlier, Cilic had beaten Federer in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open. 

Sources: ESPN, Economic Times

Sundar Singh bags first Gold for India at World Paralympics Championship

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar emerged victorious at the World Para-Athletic Championship in London, winning a gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event, on the opening night of the tournament itself.

In F46 category, Sundar recored his personal best of 60.36m to secure his position in the first place.

21-year old Sundar, who is from Rajasthan, was disqualified from the Rio Paralympics last year as a result of missing his announcement call by a minute because of the failure to understand the accent.

After winning the Gold, Sundar said that he was highly disheartened with the Rio disqualification and his morale was completely shattered but has expressed his feeling of content with his comeback in this competition.

“This gold medal is great motivation for me to perform even better from here on. I have recovered fully, and will do even better at the Asian Games (next year).”

The second and the third position were secured by Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath with 57.93m and Gua Chunliang from China with 56.16.

Virender Bhanwar narrowly missed a medal as he finished fourth with 13.62cm in the men’s short put event at the World Championship. Ekta Bhayan finished sixth in the women’s club throw F51 event.

 

Sources: Indian Express, Times of India

Dani Ceballos joins Real Madrid on a six-year deal

Real Madrid continue their pursuit of young talent as 20-year old Spanish International Dani Ceballos became the latest to join the ranks at the Santiago Bernabeau, after youngster Theo Hernandez completed a controversial cross-town move from Atletico Madrid.

Ceballos was the player of the tournament in the recently concluded U-21 European Championships, and as per AS the player had already undergone medical for Los Blancos on Monday, after Real Betis consented to the move.

Ceballos had a release clause of €15m in his contract but Madrid ended up paying €16.5m to fend off competition from arch rival Barcelona. Negotiations continued for over a week, as disputes emerged over the mode of payment. Madrid wanted to half the amount now, and the rest in installments over the next six months.

The Andalusians stuck to the ground, and both parties agreed to a split up of 10m and 6.5m, the former amount to be paid immediately.

Ceballos, will be formally unveiled in the all-white strip on July 20, preceding a press conference with the club president Florentino Perez.

He made 105 appearances for Betis, scoring seven goals and assisting on nine other occasions.

This is the fifth addition to Zinedine Zidane’s side as Jesus Vallejo, Marcos Llorente and Borja Mayoral were the three other additions.

 

Sources: ESPN, Marca

Venus ousts Konta to face Muguruza in Wimbledon Final

Venus Williams stormed past Johanna Konta 6-4 6-2, on Thursday to reach her ninth Wimbledon Final, at 37 becoming the oldest finalist since Martina Navratilova in 1994. The Centre Court audience were gasping for some more action after Garbine Muguruza took just 65 minutes to beat world No.87 Magdalena Rygarikova 6-1, 6-1.

In the first set, Konta started well and troubled the grass court veteran, by hitting wide and deep targeting the baseline. The three aces in the sixth game were fired with power and precision, which infused poise to the scoreboard. Williams saved a vital break point on 5-4, as she punched a drive volley past a gasping Konta.

As the match rolled on, Williams increased her dominance over her opponent. A double-fault in the fourth game, was enough to send Konta into further troubled waters. A frantic effort helped her save one of the three break points, but failed to maintain her balance at the crucial juncture gifting the game to Williams.

It was evident that Williams’ inexperienced opponent was struggling to find her rhythm when she needed a surge in performance to recover lost ground. Within an hour she was a set and 1-4 down, as uneven bounce on a worn out Centre Court added to her woes.

Konta put in her all saving two match points until Williams’ forehand winner flew past the Briton.

In a bid to win her sixth Wimbledon title, Williams will lock horns with Muguruza on Saturday.

Sources:  BBC, AS

Image Source: PA

 

Vintage Federer through to semi-finals at Wimbledon

Third seed Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic in straight sets to clinch a record 12th semi-final at the All England Club. In the process, he also become the oldest to reach the last four since Ken Roswell in 1974.

The seven-time winner at Wimbledon won 6-4,6-2,7-6(4), this coming moments after second seed Novak Djokovic withdrew from his quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych. 

Losing only 19 points, Federer hit 11 aces and 46 winners as Raonic didn’t show any resistance until the final set. 

Speaking after the game, he said he was happy that his body has held up all these years. According to three-time champion Boris Becker, this was a masterclass from the 35-year old. Becker also said that Federer was one of a kind, a dominant player who is the clear favorite to win his record eighth title. 

This victory marks the Swiss tennis player’s 100th singles match, and 89th win at the tournament. The last time he won the title was in 2012 when he overcame Andy Murray. 

Federer now faces Berdych while Sam Querry will take on Marin Cilic to decide the final two.

Between Berdych, Querry and Cilic, they have only one grand slam. Cilic is a former winner of the US Open in 2014. 

Sources: BBC