December 2014

CRICKET
Deodhar Trophy
East Zone put up a sterling all-round display to defeat holders West Zone by 24 runs in a keenly contested day-night final and regain the limited-overs inter-zonal title after a gap of ten seasons.

Australia-India Test Series
Australia beat India by 48 runs in a thrilling end to the first Test at Adelaide Oval, with Nathan Lyon picking up seven wickets after Virat Kohli scored an inspired century for India.  Set 364 to win, India seemed to be on their way to an unlikely victory after a brilliant 141 from Kohli and a gritty 99 from opener Murali Vijay. But Lyon, a former groundsman at Adelaide Oval, turned the match the home team’s way with his off-spinners, as India’s tail collapsed and were bowled out for 315.

A listless India capitulated to a four-wicket defeat in the second Test against Australia, at Brisbane, with an inept batting display by the top order to give the hosts an invincible 2-0 lead in the four-match series.  The defeat also brought to the fore India’s dismal record outside the sub-continent with their 15th defeat in the last three and half years. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s poor track record as Test captain in overseas conditions continued as he lost his 14th Test match outside the sub-continent. Dhoni has now lost seven Tests in England, four in Australia, one in New Zealand, one in South Africa since 2011.

Australia reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar trophy with a draw in the third test at Melbourne, as India resisted the home team’s attack and batted out the final afternoon session. Australia, knowing a draw would be enough to secure a series victory, waited until lunch to declare its second innings at 318-9, and ran out of time to bowl India out.

Virat Kohli became only the second Indian batsman after Sunil Gavaskar to score three Test hundreds in a series against Australia.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni broke the world record for most number of stumpings in international cricket after he effected his 134th dismissals on Day Two of the third Test.

Immediately after the third Test, Mahendra Singh Dhoni surprised the sporting world with his sudden announcement of immediate retirement from Test cricket, making way for Virat Kohli to don the mantle of captaincy. He has also scored most runs in Tests as captian of Indian team (3454 runs), after Sunil Gavaskar (3449), Mohammad Azharuddin (2856) and Sourav Ganguly (2561). In 60 matches as captain, Dhoni had a decent 27 wins, 18 losses and 15 draws to show. In the 90 Tests that he was part of, Dhoni scored 4876 runs at an average of 38.09 with six hundreds and 33 50s to his credit.

He remains one of the most successful captains ever for India, having led the side to the top of ICC rankings in Tests in 2009.

New Zealand-Sri Lanka Test series
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor guided New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

HOCKEY
Beighton Cup
Indian Oil defeated Punjab National Bank in the penalty shootout to clinch the 119th All India Beighton Cup.

Champions Trophy (Men)
Germany defeated Pakistan 2-0 in the final to win the Champions trophy.  Germany had stunned five-time defending champions Australia in the semi-final match. An inconsistent India missed out on a podium finish, going down 1-2 to Australia in the bronze medal match. The tournament was held in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.

KABADDI
World Cup
India defeated Pakistan in a controversy-marred final of the fifth World Cup Kabaddi tournament at the Guru Gobind Singh Multipurpose Stadium, Bhatinda. In the women’s final, the Indian eves defeated New Zealand.

LUGE
Shiva wins silver in Asian championship
India’s Shiva Keshavan added another international medal to his kitty by winning a silver medal at the 17th Asian Luge Championships in Nagano, Japan. Keshavan, who has participated in five Winter Olympics, clocked 49.934 seconds to cover the 1326 metre long ice track in the men’s luge competition at the Spiral Olympic Sliding Centre in Nagano. Hidenari Kanayama of Japan won gold in 49.791 seconds while Kim of Korea bagged the bronze with a timing of 50.178.

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