Riyadh gears up for Saudi Women’s Masters squash tournament

Nour El-Sherbini is the top seed for the PSA Women’s Masters event in Riyadh. (Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2017
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Riyadh gears up for Saudi Women’s Masters squash tournament

LONDON: World champion Nour El-Sherbini and France’s Camille Serme are seeded to meet in the final of the inaugural Saudi PSA Women’s Squash Masters after the main draw for the World Series tournament was released.
The Saudi Women’s Masters is set to be the first women’s professional squash tournament to take place in Saudi Arabia and will be held between Nov. 26 and Dec. 1 in Riyadh.
It will be the third women’s World Series tournament of the 2017/18 season, following the US Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management and the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, and El-Sherbini stars in a strong draw that sees her seeded to meet compatriot and world No. 5 Nouran Gohar in the last four.
No. 2 seed Camille Serme is also involved and she is seeded to meet eight-time world champion Nicol David in the quarter-finals. Serme, who will meet a yet-to-be-confirmed wildcard in round one, has never beaten the Malaysian legend in 16 previous attempts but she will need to break that unwanted streak if she is to play to her seeding, with world No.2 Raneem El-Welily seeded to meet the winner in the semifinals.
In addition to the lucrative $165,000 prize fund up for grabs, the world’s top players will also be battling for points on the PSA World Series Standings.
After her victory over Raneem El-Welily in the final of the US Open, Egyptian world No. 8 Nour El-Tayeb heads up the standings and every point will be vital as players bid to earn a top-eight berth by the end of the season to qualify for June’s lucrative PSA World Series Finals in Dubai.
The Saudi Women's Masters will be a boon for women’s sport in the Kingdom.
“We believe that the Saudi PSA Women’s Squash Masters will have a crucial role in promoting squash to a new generation of Saudi women,” said PSA Chairman, Saudi businessman and Saudi Squash Federation President, Ziad Al-Turki. “We are delighted to showcase the sport’s leading female players and look forward to the tournament forming an integral part of the 2017/18 PSA World Tour calendar, while simultaneously contributing to the growth of the sport across the region. The support of Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan (President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports) has been instrumental in putting on this event and I am pleased to be working with her to ensure the successful delivery of this tournament.”


Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

Updated 17 July 2018
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Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

  • This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings
  • Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker

LEEDS: Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker as an innings of exactly 100 not out on his Headingley home ground saw the hosts to an eight-wicket victory over India on Tuesday and a 2-1 series win.
This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings after his 113 not out helped England level the three-match contest with an 86-run win at Lord’s on Saturday.
This latest hundred was also Test skipper Root’s 13th in ODIs, taking him past the England record of 12 he had previously shared with Marcus Trescothick.
Tuesday saw Root and one-day captain Eoin Morgan (88 not out) share an unbroken third-wicket stand of 186 as England, first in the ODI rankings to their opponents’ second, ended India’s run of nine straight bilateral series wins in style.
England, who will be bidding to win the World Cup for the first time when they stage next year’s edition, had said they would treat Tuesday’s match as a dress rehearsal for a winner-takes-all game at the showpiece tournament.
And that made the comprehensive manner of their victory all the more satisfying for Morgan’s men.
It was England’s bowlers who set up this win, with Adil Rashid and David Willey, two of the five Yorkshire cricketers in their XI, taking three wickets apiece.
But, after left-arm quick Willey had kept things tight early on, it was leg-spinner Rashid who did significant damage by taking two wickets in an over.
He bowled India captain and star batsman Virat Kohli (71), as well as dismissing Suresh Raina, on his way to three for 49 in a maximum 10 overs.
Willey, who took three for 40 in nine overs, received excellent new-ball support from Durham quick Mark Wood (one for 30).
Root, who was dropped from the final match of England’s preceding 2-1 Twenty20 series loss, told Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic.
“To come into a big series like this and perform how we have as a side is great.”
Morgan added: “I think we were outstanding. I think the tone was set by the bowlers early on, David Willey and Mark Wood were on the money. From that point there was no let up.”
Meanwhile Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed.
“I thought we were never on the mark as far as runs on the board were concerned, we were 25-30 short, and England were really clinical with the bat and in the field as well,” he said.
After Morgan won the toss, Rohit Sharma, who scored a superb century during India’s eight-wicket win in the series-opener at Trent Bridge, struggled to make two off 18 balls, his innings ending when he flicked Willey to Wood at deep square leg.
Opening partner Shikhar Dhawan made a fluent 44 before was run out by Stokes’s direct hit.
Dinesh Karthik, preferred to KL Rahul for this match, then made 21 before he was bowled between bat and pad by Rashid.
Kohli pressed on, however, completing a 55-ball fifty before Rashid struck twice in six balls as India slumped to 158 for five.
He bowled Kohli with a superb leg-break and had Raina caught low at leg-slip by Root.
James Vince, called up in place of the injured Jason Roy cut the first ball of England’s reply, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for four.
Vince’s frustrating England career has seen him repeatedly get out on Tuesday he fell for a run-a-ball 27, although it needed a brilliant one-handed take by wicket-keeper Dhoni, from Hardik Pandya’s throw, to run him out.
But by then England were 74 for two inside 10 overs, well above the required run-rate.
Root, stumped off a Yuzvendra Chahal no-ball on 69, went to his century when he pulled Pandya through midwicket for his 10th four in 120 balls as England won with 33 deliveries to spare.
An elated Root celebrated by dropping his bat to the ground — the ‘mic drop’ gesture more associated with rock stars and stand-up comedians than cricketers.