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Sunday, April 12, 2015

India beats South Korea to win bronze in Sultan Azlanshah

At the time of posting this, Mumbai Indians opted to bowl in their first home match of the season, against Kings XI Punjab. The toss was redundant however, as George Bailey said his team were happy to bat first on what appeared to be a Wankhede track full of runs.  Kings XI finished at 177 with a good knock by Bailey and contributions by Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag. Sandeep Sharma has just given a great start getting Rohit Sharma for a 0.   In the earlier match,  sloppy fielding  allowed Delhi Daredevils to post 184 when they looked like they might waste a good start, but Daredevils went a step further by missing youngster Deepak Hooda twice in two overs. The youngest player in this IPL took them apart with four powerful sixes in his 25-ball 54, but when he fell Rajasthan Royals still needed 19 off 11. Chris Morris and Tim Southee scored the required 12 off the last over to make it 11 defeats in a row for Daredevils, the joint-longest losing streak in IPL.

More than IPL, there is good news for India at Sultan Azlan Shah at Malaysia !!

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an annual international men's field hockey tournament held in Malaysia. It began in 1983 as a biennial contest. The tournament became an annual event after 1998, following its growth and popularity.  During the tournament, Indian midfielder Dharamvir Singh reached the milestone of 100th International cap  when India realised a thumping  4-2 win against Australia in a league match on Saturday. Striker Nikkin Thimmaiah,  scored a fine hat-trick then.

Today is a day to remember for Indian Hockey.  India defeated South Korea 4-1 (6-3) on penalties to win the bronze medal in the 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here on Sunday. The bronze-medal playoff match ended 2-2 after regulation time at the Azlan Shah Stadium. Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh was India’s hero effecting three saves in the penalty shoot-out.

For India, Akashdeep Singh, Sardar Singh, Rupinderpal Singh and Birender Lakra scored in the shootout.  Earlier, the  2nd quarter saw a tough battle between two teams as South Korea came back strongly and kept on attacking on Indian defence. In the 20th minute, they managed to earn another penalty corner and this time they were determined to score a goal. PR Sreejesh again managed to prevent the shot but the rebound shot was received by Korea’s Hyosik Cho who hit the ball hard into the goal-box. With this goal, South Korea managed to equalise the score-line 1-1. However, after two minutes, Indians counter-attacked again and this time forward player Satbir Singh carried the ball speedily from the left flank and gave a short pass to midfielder Dharamvir Singh, who returned the ball to Satbir. India thwarted Korea’s two attempts but Hyunwoo Nam converted the third attempt and equalise the score-card by 2-2 by the end of second quarter.

The world-class goal-keeper PR Sreejesh showed his mettle n and thwarted two shoot-out attempts of South Korea to become the real hero of the match. He failed the attempts of Korea’s Kihoon Kim and Juhun Kim to help his team. For India, Akashdeep Singh, captain Sardar Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra out-foxed Korean goalie Jaehyeon Kim and hit successful goals to register a remarkable 4-1 (2-2) victory over higher-ranked Korea. With this win, India finished third and clinched Bronze Medal after 2012. For Sreejesh heroic performance, he was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match.

In the league stage, India stunned reigning world hockey champions Australia 4-2; lost to lower-ranked Malaysia and New Zealand, while edging past minnows Canada 5-3 and playing a 2-2 draw against South Korea to qualify for the bronze-medal play-off.

The Black Sticks Men [New Zealand team] will meet Australia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final after a thrilling 3-3 draw with South Korea. Going into the match, the Kiwis needed to either win or draw to assure a berth in the final, finishing second on the table at the conclusion of round robin play. The Black Sticks, who won the title in 2012, now have the chance to bring home gold in what will be the first ever all-Oceania final in the tournament's history at 12:30am Monday.

Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-lah, was the 34th Sultan of Perak and was the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. The child of a royal father and commoner mother, he grew up in Perak, Malaysia. He became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (elected king) of Malaysia in 1989, serving a five-year term before returning to his post as Sultan of Perak. In 2009, he exercised his royal authority to prevent the dissolution of the Perak parliament, sparking a constitutional crisis. Ultimately, the legal system ruled Sultan Azlan had acted properly. Arising out of his interest in Hockey, this tournament is being held in Malaysia every year.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Apr 2015 @ 22:00 hrs.

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