Tripura struggles on Day 1 vs Andhra
Agartala: Medium pacers Paidikalva Vijaykumar and Kakani Harish shared seven wickets between them as Andhra reduced Tripura to 165/9 in the first innings on the opening day of their Group C Ranji Trophy match, here on Sunday. Vijaykumar (4/34) scalped four wickets while Harish (3/38) took three. Duvvarapu Shivkumar (1/16) and Garikina Prasad (1/22) too contributed with a wicket apiece after Andhra elected to field. For Tripura, Tushar Saha remained unbeaten on 53 while Abhijit Dey made a fighting 32. Asked to take the first strike, Tripura lost both their openers – Samrat Singha (9) and KB Pawan (5) within 8.3 overs. Vijaykumar snared the wicket of Kaushal Acharjee (8) as the hosts were left reeling at 74 for seven. Dey and Saha stitched together a crucial 44-run partnership for the eighth wicket to take the team past the 100-mark. Brief scores: Tripura: 165/9 in 63 overs (Tushar Saha 53 batting, Abhijit Dey 32, DP Vijaykumar 4/34, Kakani Harish 3/38). (PTI).
Kashyap stunned in National badminton
New Delhi: Junior national champion Rituparna Das and Thailand Grand Prix gold winner K Srikanth stunned defending champions Sayali Gokhale and Parupalli Kashyap to reach the finals of women’s and men’s singles competitions, respectively, at the 78th ATS Senior National Championship here on Sunday. Rituparna came from behind to upset seventh seed Sayali Gokhale 13-21, 21-13, 21-14, while K Srikanth got the better of top seed P Kashyap 21-14, 21-19 in 37 minutes at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here. Rituparna will now face second seed and pre-tournament favourite PV Sindhu, who defeated third seed Arundhati Pantawane 21-17, 21-14, while Srikanth will face off second seed RMV Gurusaidutt in the final. (PTI)
Martino denies any intention to sell Messi
Barcelona: Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has insisted that the club has no intention of selling star striker Lionel Messi. Martino made the remarks ahead of Sunday’s La Liga match in Getafe and in the wake of declarations from Messi, criticising Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus, whom he accused of having “no idea about football”. Messi also insisted that he did not aske for a pay rise in a new contract, raising speculation that Barca could consider selling him. “That is not true. I don’t usually get distracted by questions like this which have nothing to do about the pitch,” said Martino. One of the rumours said that the Argentinean would abandon Barcelona at the end of the campaign as he was unhappy at the club, something he denied. Barcelona faced the possibility of losing their leadership in La Liga unless they matched Atletico Madrid’s result this weekend and Martino highlighted the importance of ending 2013 as the leader. “It is very important to finish the year in first place and with a solid performance. I hope we can continue improving in respect to our recent displays,” said Martino. (IANS)
Kiwis cruise to series win over Windies
Hamilton: New Zealand eased to an eight-wicket win over the West Indies on Sunday to claim their first victory in a three-Test series in nearly eight years. The home side, needing just 122 runs to seal the series 2-0, reached their target for the loss of two wickets after the West Indies collapsed in the face of hostile New Zealand swing bowling. The rapid end to the match surprised New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum after his side trailed by 18 runs on the first innings following a mesmerising spell of spin bowling by Sunil Narine. “I certainly didn’t expect it to end up as quickly as this,” McCullum said, admitting he probably made the wrong decision to bowl first. “In hindsight we should have batted first. We misread the wicket and once we saw it turning and bouncing the way it did there was a bit of concern.” But once New Zealand seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee tore through the West Indies’ second innings, scuttling the tourists for a paltry 103, it became easy work for New Zealand to bat out the win. Hamish Rutherford, who sealed victory with a boundary to take New Zealand to 124-2, finished on 48 not out, with Ross Taylor on two. (AFP)