March 2015

BADMINTON
All-England Open 2015
Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal’s dream of becoming first Indian woman to win prestigious All England Badminton Championships title was quashed after she lost to Carolina Marin of Spain in the final at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham. Saina did become the first Indian woman to reach the final of the tournament.

Among men, Prakash Padukone and Saina’s former coach Pullela Gopichand are the only players from India to have won the title.

In the men’s final, world champion Chen Long captured the title for the second time in three years as he overcame charismatic Denmark player Jan O. Jorgensen.

Srikanth wins Swiss Grand Prix Gold championship title
Young Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth created history by clinching the men’s singles title after overcoming a strong challenge from Viktor Alexson.

Indian Open Super Series
In a historic day for India, top shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth clinched the women’s and men’s singles titles of the $275,000 India Open Super Series held in New Delhi.

While London Olympic bronze medallist Saina notched up a stunning straight-game victory over former World Champion Ratchanok Inanton of Thailand, to become first Indian woman to win the title, young Srikanth had to draw from his vast reservoir of experience to stave off the challenge of Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.

Women’s doubles: Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) defeated Luo Ying/Luo Yu (China).

Mixed doubles: Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin (China) defeated Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen (Denmark).

Men’s doubles: Chai Biao/Hong Wei (China) defeated Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding (Denmark).

Sania tops world ranking
India’s Saina Nehwal has replaced Olympic champion Li Xuerui as the women’s world number one badminton player, ending China’s stranglehold at the top of the rankings. She is also the first Indian woman player to hold number one ranking. China have long dominated the women’s game and the last non-Chinese to be world number one was Denmark’s Tine Baun in December 2010.

CRICKET
Ranji Trophy
Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs to win the Ranji trophy. This was their eighth Ranji Trophy title. They went past Delhi to become the second-most successful side in the competition behind Mumbai, who have won it 40 times.

Irani Trophy
Manish Pandey’s scintillating century and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal’s sterling bowling effort helped Ranji champions Karnataka retain the Irani Cup after beating Rest of India by a massive 246 runs.

World Cup
Australia won its record-extending fifth cricket World Cup by defeating co-host New Zealand by seven wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia previously won the World Cup in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007. No other country has won the tournament, which was first held in 1975, more than twice.

The victory came after New Zealand elected to bat and was all out for 183 in 45 overs. Australia only needed 33.1 overs to finish the chase, reaching 186-3 with Smith’s boundary.

In a dream farewell, Michael Clarke retired from ODIs after leading Australia to their fifth cricket World Cup title, scoring a match-winning 74 in his swansong appearance.

In the semifinals, Australia had defeated India while New Zealand had won against South Africa.

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc was named the player of the tournament. The 25-year-old left-arm quick finished with 22 wickets in the tournament, tied with New Zealand left-arm seamer Trent Boult though having played a match lesser than his Tasmanian rival. His best bowling display came in Australia’s pool stage loss against New Zealand in Auckland when he almost won his team the match with figures of 6-28.

FOOTBALL
National Championship, 69th
Services overpowered hosts Punjab in the final to win the 69th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy.

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