SYDNEY (Australia): Megan Schutt’s two for 17 powered Australia Women into the finals of ICC T20 World Cup 2020, with a thrilling five-run victory over South Africa on Thursday. Australia will face India at the MCG on Sunday — 60,000 tickets of which have already been sold.
Australia defied Sydney’s rain, a doughty South Africa and the absence of their hamstrung talisman Ellyse Perry to survive a nerve-shredding semi-final at the SCG and progress to the Twenty20 World Cup final at the MCG on Sunday: an event that had been marketed so strongly and pointedly around the world’s No. 1 team and tournament hosts getting there.
Captain Meg Lanning led from the front with a steady 49, taking her side to a competitive score of 134.
After the weather cleared, the target was adjusted to 98, and South Africa needed 19 off the last over with six wickets in hand. Laura Wolvaardt kept the visitor alive with an unbeaten 27-ball 41 including two sixes and three fours but found little support from her teammates.
With 27 needed off the last 12 balls, Schutt bowled a superb penultimate over, claiming Luus and conceding just two runs from five balls. Wolvaardt clumped a six off the final ball to leave 19 needed from the final over as the rain returned. Jonassen, who was handed a greasy ball, had Chloe Tryon pouched off a first-up full toss before Wolvaardt nailed another boundary. Jonassen reverted to over the wicket and did enough to keep the South Africans out.
Earlier, India entered its first-ever Women’s T20 World Cup final without a ball being bowled, after the semifinal was rained out. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led squad qualified ahead of England by virtue of having finished top of the table in the group stage.
India opened their tournament with a win against Australia before securing a clean sweep of the group with wins against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka meaning they finished above Australia. It meant that when rain washed out the first semi-final at the SCG, India progressed to their first T20 World Cup final.
But the development lead to some disappointed, if not angry, reactions:
First #T20WorldCup semi-final officially called off. India into the final, England out without a ball bowled. Gutted for the players/staff who put months/years of planning into a campaign for it to end like this. pic.twitter.com/n2xlj0j5nq
— Laura Jolly (@JollyLauz18) March 5, 2020
Scorecard (2nd Semi-Final):
Australia – 5 for 134 (Lanning 49*, Mooney 28, de Klerk 3-19)
South Africa – 5 for 92 (Wolvaardt 42*, Schutt 2-17)
Australia beat South Africa by 5 runs (DLS method)
COVID-19 Effect: Japan, IOC Agree to Delay 2020 Olympics by One Year
The global spread of the coronavirus has forced the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed.
LAUSANNE (Switzerland): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he agreed with the International Olympic Committee’s president that the Summer Olympics previously scheduled to start in Tokyo on July 24, 2020, would be delayed by around one year. Abe spoke by phone Tuesday with IOC President Thomas Bach.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC and Abe said in a joint statement.
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
The Japanese leader said it was difficult to hold the Olympics this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and a delay was needed to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators. He said he proposed a delay of “about one year” and received “100% agreement” from Bach.
“We have agreed that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said in Tokyo. He said the study would now begin on arranging venues for the Games.
He didn’t give an exact date for the start of the Games in 2021.
In the Sunday (March 22, 2020) statement, the IOC said it would begin “detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement.”
The committee added that those talks, held “in full coordination and partnership” with organizers and Japanese authorities, would likely be finalized “within the next four weeks.”
Canada and Australia have already announced they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo, while USA Swimming called on U.S. officials to do the same.
PK Banerjee, The Last Of The Golden Generation, Dies
KOLKATA (West Bengal): A glorious chapter of Indian football came to an end with the passing of legend Pradip Kumar Banerjee, fondly called PK, on Friday, 20 March. The 83-year-old breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata, according to his family sources.
Since January 2020, the former India football captain and coach was suffering due to a number of ailments. He made several trips to the hospital since the start of the year before he was put on life support earlier this month. He breathed his last at 12:40 pm.
He is survived by daughters Paula and Purna, who are renowned academicians, and younger brother Prasun Banerjee, a sitting Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament.
Born on June 23, 1936, in Moynaguri on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri in Bengal, Banerjee’s family relocated to his uncle’s place in Jamshedpur before partition.
The 1962 Asian Games gold medallist’s best days as a player coincided with Indian football’s golden era.
He scored 65 international goals in 84 appearances for the national team.
His contribution was duly recognised by football international governing body (FIFA), which rated him as India’s greatest player of the 20th century, bestowing him with the Centennial Order of Merit in 2004.
Barring one year, when he joined Aryan Football Club, PK played for Eastern Railways from 1955 to 1967. It was during his stay; the club reached their pinnacle winning the Calcutta Football League (CFL) in 1958. At that time, it was one of the most prestigious trophies to get your hands on, along with the IFA Shield, the Durand Cup and DCM Trophy.
From his debut for Bihar in the Santosh Trophy as a 16-year-old in 1952 to a stint as Mohammedan Sporting coach 51 years later, Banerjee takes leave as one of India’s greatest. A member of the holy trinity that included Chuni Goswami and Tulsidas Balaram, Banerjee was the last surviving scorer of the 1962 Asiad gold-winning team. Another one his bright moments with the national team was a fourth-place finish at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, during which India beat Australia 4-1.
In the final of the 1962 Asiad, India prevailed in front of a hostile crowd that had been angered by Indian chef-de-mission Guru Dutt Sondhi’s remark that it was ‘Jakarta Games’, after countries like Taiwan and Israel were barred. Banerjee scored the opener in that game. He was the captain of the Indian team that last played the Olympics in Rome 1960. He retired as a player in 1967 after being laid low by recurring injuries.
However, he went on to accumulate a staggering 54 trophies as a coach. Banerjee pulled off a heist as the Mohun Bagan coach when they famously held New York Cosmos 2-2 in an exhibition match starring Pele in 1977.
Sporting Icons React:
I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. PK Banerjee as well as to the entire Indian football fraternity.
He was a pioneer in every sense of the word, and his achievements will forever have a place in Indian footballing history. Rest in peace.
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) March 20, 2020
I had played under Pradip da in the Indian team also. He was a true leader. I have not played under such a great coach, great human being and someone who always used to bring the best out of you. I am Shyam Thapa because I had Pradip Kumar Banerjee to guide me. He was my godfather. — Shyam Thapa, Former India striker
Lost a very dear person today .. someone who I loved and respected enormously.. someone who had so much influence in my career when I was a 18 year old boy .. his positivity was infectious .. may his soul rest in peace .. lost two vry dear persons ths week https://t.co/unRE125C9w
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) March 20, 2020
He taught us what no one ever could. As a player and coach, Pradip da’s contribution to Indian football can never be matched and I don’t need to say this. — Subrata Bhattacharya, Former India defender
Heartfelt condolences on the passing of the great Indian footballer PK Banerjee!
Have fond memories of meeting him on a few occasions and the positivity he spread.
May his soul Rest In Peace!🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/NqXO2A91wc
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 20, 2020
Five Indian Boxers Secure Berths For Tokyo Olympics
Pooja Rani Bohra became the first boxer to qualify for Tokyo Olympics 2020, quite fittingly on Women’s Day.
NEW DELHI: Five Indian boxers, including the seasoned trio of Vikas Krishan in 69 kilograms, Pooja Rani in 75 kg and Satish Kumar in 91 kg category, yesterday secured Tokyo Olympic berths by advancing to the semifinals of the Asian Qualifiers with mostly commanding victories in Amman, Jordan.
Five Indian boxers including @LovlinaBorgohai, #satishkumar, #ashishkumar, #vikaskrishan qualified for Tokyo on an action-packed Sunday. Earlier Pooja Rani had become the first Indian boxer to qualify for #tokyo2020. @KirenRijiju congratulates all of them. pic.twitter.com/NtbrID3qdv
— Kiren Rijiju Office (@RijijuOffice) March 9, 2020
— Ajay Singh (@AjaySingh_SG) March 8, 2020
Satish, Rani, Krishan, Lovlina Borgohain in 69 kg and Ashish Kumar in 75 kg became the first set of Indian boxers to qualify for quadrennial showpiece scheduled in July-August this year.
While fourth-seeded Rani notched up a facile 5-0 win over Thailand’s Pornnipa Chutee, Krishan endured a difficult one against third-seeded Japanese Sewonrets Okazawa before prevailing in a unanimous verdict against the Asian silver-medallist.
Rani will next face the reigning world and Asian champion Li Qian of China, who has the top billing in the 75 kg category.
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