Kohli backs Indian grit and class after Sri Lanka draw

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Updated 20 November 2017
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Kohli backs Indian grit and class after Sri Lanka draw

LONDON: Virat Kohli praised India’s response to their first-innings collapse as they nearly forced a remarkable win in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Kolkata.
The hosts were skittled out for 172 on day two of the the series with the Sri Lankans able to post a first-innings lead of 122. But undeterred Kohli’s side launched a counterattack in the second innings and thanks to the skipper’s 119-ball 104 not out were able to reach 352 for eight declared, setting the tourists a target of 231 for victory.
India had Diniesh Chandimal’s men floundering on 75 for seven when bad light stopped play, forcing the match to end in a draw.
But while he would have prefererd the victory, Kohli was more than happy with his side’s fightback after a torrid first two days.
“It was important to make something out of the game with whatever time we had,” the India captain (pictured left) said. “Conditions changed drastically over the five days. We had to show character, having been on the backfoot on day one and day two. Credit to Sri Lanka.
“The team showed a lot of character. We didn’t look at the batting collapse. We believed in our strengths. If you didn’t have intent on this wicket, it would’ve been difficult to survive. That was the key. If we got enough good balls in the right areas, it would’ve been tough. All in all, we’re proud of how we finished.”
Kohli’s ton was his 50th international century. India’s other star turn came from Bhuvneshwar Kumar who picked up four wickets to give Sri Lanka a scare in a nervous final session before the match concluded with honors even.
Dasun Shanaka (six not out) and Rangana Herath (0) played out the final few deliveries of a nervous final period which saw Sri Lanka lose five quick wickets.
But, like his opposite number, Chandimal was content with the result.
“In these kind of conditions, the toss was crucial,” the Sri Lanka skipper (pictured below) said.
“We fought hard and competed well. (Until) the last session, we fought well and played as a team. Unfortunately, the last 10-15 overs brought a lot of pressure but we played good cricket and competed well.
“Unfortunately spinners couldn’t come into the game. We’ll have to learn how to battle, especially in the second innings. In UAE also, we didn’t bat well in the second innings against Pakistan. If we can do that, we can do a lot better.”
The action now shifts to the second match in Nagpur starting Friday.


Women’s Bowling Championship 2018 wraps up in Jeddah

Dr. Razan Baker, 3rd left standing, with participants at the Third Women’s Bowling Championship 2018, in Jeddah on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2018
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Women’s Bowling Championship 2018 wraps up in Jeddah

  • Sixty-three competitors, many of them amateurs, participated in the competition which consisted of four rounds

JEDDAH: The first Women Bowling Championship in Saudi Arabia took place in October in three cities, Riyadh, Alkhobar, and Jeddah, where it finished at Ice Land Bowling Center on Saturday. Gada Nemer, 42, from Riyadh, who came first in the competition, told Arab News: “I participated in all three tournaments, in Riyadh, Alkhobar, and today in Jeddah. I won first place in Alkhobar too. “I am not a professional bowler, but I used to bowl with my kids. Two of them bowl on the national team. I am very glad to have the chance to participate in these tournaments, and look forward to future ones.”
It was the first tournament of its kind in the Kingdom, as the country is rapidly developing sporting facilities for women and increasing women’s involvement in sports by making reforms that have included allowing physical education for schoolgirls and opening female-only gyms. Sixty-three competitors, many of them amateurs, participated in the competition which consisted of four rounds. All competitors took part in the first round, 33 made it into the second round and 16 qualified for the third.
Participants were between 11 and 56 years of age. Nemer received a cash prize of SR5,000 ($1,335) and those in second and third place received SR3,000 and SR2,000 respectively.
The last round had the best three competitors competing for first place with Nemer winning first prize, followed by Meshael Alabdulwahed (second) and Wissam Al-Harbi (third).

Growing interest
Bowling is still a growing sport for women in Saudi Arabia. The first female bowling team officially registered in the Saudi Bowling Federation, and the Eastern Province bowling team is only seven months old, according to Dr. Razan Baker, member of the board of directors and head of media and women’s participation at the federation.
Baker told Arab News: “We were surprised by the excitement of the participants. The numbers were beyond our expectations.
“Many participants would like to become professional bowlers. With this high turnout I expect bowling centers to start supporting new female bowling teams.”
Abeer Abdulmalik, from Al-Qassim, participated in the tournament. Although she is new to bowling, she made it to the third round.
“I never bowled before in my life, and I did not prepare myself for the game. I am surprised and happy with what I scored, although I was hoping to be in the final round,” she told Arab News. “I would like to take part in future championships.”
Aminah Khan, who participated in the tournament with her two sisters, told Arab News: “I came here for fun, and to try my luck before I go to my midterm exam.”
Khan did not make it to the second round, but said she would start working to improve her skills and take bowling more seriously as a sport.
The championship was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, and General Sports Authority, and in partnership with Arab News as the exclusive English media partner for the event.