Race for Pro Kabaddi play­off heats up

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Tridib.Ba­[email protected] times­group.com

Panchkula: The 2015 Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) cham­pi­ons U Mumba are just a win away from ce­ment­ing a play­off berth in the on­go­ing sev­enth edi­tion of the league, but skip­per and star Ira­nian de­fender Fazel Atra­chali is not ready to take any team lightly to­wards the busi­ness end of the tour­na­ment.

While U Mumba stands fourth with 59 points in the ta­ble, Delhi, Haryana and Ben­gal have al­ready qual­i­fied for the play-offs.

The Fazel-led side will be up against three­time cham­pi­ons Patna Pi­rates on Wed­nes­day, and keep­ing in mind some of the star cam­paign­ers in their ranks, the Pardeep Nar­wal-led side could play the role of party-spoil­ers for U Mumba.

Com­ment­ing on the up­com­ing match against Patna, Fazel told TOI: “We know it won’t be any easy for us against Patna, they are a very good team. We can­not take any op­po­si­tion lightly, any team can pro­duce a win on their day. We are fo­cused on our per­for­mance and not think­ing about the op­po­si­tion.”

Fazel also said his team will face ev­ery team as an equal. When asked about his strat­egy against qual­i­fied teams Haryana and Delhi, the Ira­nian said: “If you ask me as a cap­tain, I would have rested my best play­ers in the fi­nal few games if we had al­ready qual­i­fied. This is my think­ing, it’s not nec­es­sary Delhi or Haryana will have the same things in mind.”

World cham­pion P VSindhu slipped a place to the sixth spot af­ter a poor run in the last two weeks but for­mer Com­mon­wealth Games cham­pion Paru­palli Kashyap con­tin­ued his good run, break­ing into the top 25 in the lat­est BWF rank­ing on Tues­day.

Olympic sil­ver medal­list Sindhu, who made early ex­its at the China Open and Korea Open, dropped to world No. 6 spot.

For­mer world No. 6, Kashyap was re­warded for his cred­itable semi­fi­nal fin­ish at last week’s Korea Open Su­per 500 event as he im­proved five plac

es to reach world No. 25 spot.

Meiraba, Tas­nim take In­dia to its 3rd con­sec­u­tive win:

Mais­nam Meiraba Luwang and Tas­nim Mir on Tues­day led In­dia to an im­pres­sive 4-1 vic­tory over Aus­tralia in their Group E clash on the se­cond day of the BWF World Ju­nior Mixed Team Cham­pi­onships. In the open­ing match, Goa’s Tan­isha Crasto and Chat­tis­garh’s Ishaan Bhat­na­gar con­tin­ued their good form, over­com­ing Jack Yu and Kait­lyn Ea of Aus­tralia 21-17, 20-22, 21-11 in a 43-minute match to give In­dia first point of the day.

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