Matsuyama Out-Lasts Simpson For Second Straight Phoenix Crown
- LOS ANGELES : Japan's Hideki Matsuyama won his second straight Phoenix Open title on Sunday, and just like last year he needed a fourth playoff hole to do it. Matsuyama holed a 12-foot birdie putt at the fourth playoff hole, the par-four 17th at TPC Scottsdale, to edge former US Open champion Webb Simpson. Simpson's 20-foot birdie attempt to win at the third playoff hole, the par-four 10th, had stopped one roll of the ball short. Simpson charged up the leaderboard with a seven-under par 64, with birdies at 17 and 18 giving him the clubhouse lead at 17-under 267. Matsuyama had his chances to seize the win in regulation, but it went to a playoff when his 20-foot putt at the 72nd hole stopped inches short.
- He closed with a five-under par 66 to join Simpson on 267, one stroke in front of South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen. The duo took advantage of the struggles of overnight leader An Byeong-Hun, who started the day with a one-stroke lead over Scotland's Martin Laird but finished with five bogeys and three birdies in a 73 that left him in sixth place on 270. Rickie Fowler, bested in a playoff by Matsuyama in Phoenix last year, fired a 65 to share fourth with J.J. Spaun (67) on 269. World number five Matsuyama notched his fifth victory in his last nine starts worldwide, a stretch that included his triumph in the prestigious World Golf Championships HSBC Champions at Shanghai last October.
- "It was a struggle, especially that playoff, but I'm really happy to win," he said. Matsuyama was making his fourth consecutive start in Phoenix and has never finished outside the top five. He thrives in the rowdy atmosphere of a tournament that attracts mammoth crowds. Week-long attendance for the tournament this year was estimated at 655,434, by far the most for a golf tournament in history. The previous record of 618,365 was set last year at Phoenix. With the win, Matsuyama moved atop the USPGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, surpassing Justin Thomas, who missed the cut. He denied Simpson, the 2012 US Open winner, a first US tour title since 2013.
Russia Banned From London World Championships : IAAF
- CAP-D'AIL : Russia will miss August's World Athletics Championships in London after their doping ban was extended on Monday, world governing body president Sebastien Coe said. Coe said Russia, whose 15-month ban from athletics was prolonged at the IAAF's Council meeting in Cap d'Ail near Monaco, could not be reintegrated into the sport before November. Double Olympic 1500-metre champion Coe was speaking after the IAAF Council approved the Taskforce's recommendation that Russia was "not ready for reinstatement". Russia has been barred from international competition since November 2015 following a damaging report alleging that state-sponsored doping was rife in the country The ban had already been extended in March and then June 2016, preventing Russia's athletes from competing at the Rio Olympics.
- The Taskforce, which was set up to oversees Russia's reintegration into international athletics, produced recommendations detailing a roadmap to reinstatement. But while "acknowledging several positive developments" at recent meetings in Moscow with RusAF, the Russian Athletics Federation, and new Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, the Taskforce also "pointed to some negative developments" including "unhelpful public comments recently made by some Russian sporting officials". It said that RusAF "continues to face practical and legal difficulties in enforcing provisional doping bans and there continues to be very limited testing of Russian track and field athletes at the national level as well as troubling incidents at what testing is taking place". The roadmap to reinstatement specifies that "testing of Russian athletes must take place without further incidents or difficulties" and that RusAF takes "demonstrable objective and practical steps to cultivate the clean sport movement".
- Coe meanwhile reiterated the IAAF's commitment to giving clean Russian athletes the possibility to compete as neutrals, providing they are not tainted by the Russian doping system. "Our priority is to return clean athletes to competition but we must all have confidence in the process," said Coe at the IAAF's Council meeting in Cap d'Ail, France. "Clean Russian athletes have been badly let down by their national system. We must ensure they are protected and that those safeguards give confidence to the rest of the world that there is a level playing field of competition when Russians return." So far in 2017, 35 Russian athletes have applied to compete as neutral athletes in international competition, the statement added. Last week, RusAF revealed the names of 31 of its athletes to have made applications, including both world and Olympic champions.
- Ivan Ukhov, Olympic high jump champion in 2012, 2015 world 110m hurdles champion Sergei Shubenkov, 2015 world high jump champion Maria Kuchina, and 2014 world indoor triple jump champions Lukman Adams and Yekaterina Koneva, were all named on the list. More than 60 Russian athletes have been added to the IAAF's international testing pool which, although not guaranteeing those athletes reinstatement, Coe said it does mean the world governing body has a greater "guarantee they have undergone a long term recognised, independent and fully WADA Code-compliant drug-testing programme." Upon the Taskforce's recommendation, the Council also approved the participation of Russian under-15 athletes to compete in international competition, including at July's European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary.
India v Bangladesh : Rewind To 2000, Bangladesh's Test Debut
- NEW DELHI : Ahead of Bangladesh's first Test match on Indian soil, we take a look back to the first Test match played between these two teams - which was also Bangladesh's first ever. The setting This match was played at the erstwhile home of Bangladesh cricket - the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, the country's capitol. Since 2005, however, the stadium has only hosted football matches. This was Test match number 1512, played between November 10-13, 2000. The toss Bangladesh captain Naimur Rahman won the toss and chose to bat, much to the home fans' joy. Day one From 44/2, Bangladesh were led to a strong platform by Habibul Bashar and Aminul Islam, who put on 66 for the third wicket until the former was out for 71 off 112 balls. Aminul and Akram Khan (35) then added 65, before a brief wobble ensued.
- Akram's dismissal at 175/4 became 231/6 and by stumps the hosts were 239/6. Aminul was 70 not out, wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud 3 not out. Day two Aminul converted his innings into a century, and was ninth out at 395/9 having scored 145 off 380 balls, with 17 fours. Mashud (34), Mohammad Rafique (22) and Hasibul Hossain (28*) chipped in down the order and Bangladesh were out for 400 in 153.3 overs. By stumps, India were 81/1 with Sadagoppan Ramesh on 41 and nightwatchman Murali Kartik on 7. Skipper Naimur, aged 26, took Bangladesh's first wicket in Test cricket when he bowled SS Das for 29. Day three India lost two wickets in the morning session, that of Ramesh for 58 and Rahul Dravid for 28, and were 165/3 at lunch with Kartik still there on 37. The biggest scalp came during the afternoon when Sachin Tendulkar fell for 18 to Naimur, who then added Kartik for 43 (both wickets caught by the substitute fielder, Rajin Saleh).
- At 190/5 India were in trouble, but the recover came via the captain Sourav Ganguly and wicketkeeper Saba Karim, who put on 46 in 15.3 overs. Karim became Naimur's fourth wicket, but then came a partnership of 121 between Ganguly and spinner Sunil Joshi. Naimur removed Ganguly for 84, his fifth wicket of the innings, and India closed the day on 366/7 with Joshi on 71. Day four Joshi (92) and Ajit Agarkar (34) and their eighth-wicket stand of 56 in 15.5 overs helped India to 429. Naimur finished with figures of 6/132 from 44.3 overs, but what proceeded left the Bangladesh fans stunned and India on course for a facile win. From having bowled India out shortly before lunch, Bangladesh were very much in the game but then their naivety came to the fore.
- They were all out for 91 in 46.3 overs, on a pitch with no exaggerated spin or slow and low bounce. Zaheer Khan and Agarkar made early inroads before Joshi took over with three wickets, including those of opener Shahriar Hossain and the middle-order pair of Al Sahariar and Akram, and at 53/5 Bangladesh were in tatters. Javagal Srinath hasted the team's downfall with three wickets, and India were set a target of 63. After the early loss of Ramesh for 1, Ganguly's team won by nine wickets. Das was 22 not out and Dravid 41 off 49 balls, with five fours and a six. Ganguly had won his first Test match as captain.
India Watches Warily As China Further Ramps Up FDI Into Nepal
- NEW DELHI : China's influence in Nepal+ 's economy continues to grow by leaps and bounds with Beijing again topping the list of nations who have pledged maximum FDI into the Himalayan nation. According to Nepal government figures, China accounted for as much as 68 per cent of all FDI pledged for Nepal in the first half of current fiscal year. This is a massive jump from China's 40 per cent share of the total FDI pledged for Nepal by various countries in 2015-16. According to Nepal's Department of Industry, China accounted for $51.77 million out of a total of $76.39 million FDI pledged for Nepal in the first half of the current fiscal year. This has further cemented China's position as top contributor of FDI for Nepal.
- Quoting the figures, China's Xinhua said in a report Sunday that the total FDI pledged into Nepal+ for the same period during the last fiscal (2015-16) was only $59,93 million when the country had gone through troubling blockade from India''. In 2015-16, while China topped the list with a commitment of $57 million as FDI, India stood third with $18 million. The total FDI pledged to Nepal in 2015-16 was roughly $140 million. Indian officials responded by saying that that New Delhi's support to Nepal couldn't be measured only in terms of pledged FDI and that India also contributed $50-70 million every year as aid to Nepal. Against the $600 million commitment Nepal received in 2014-15, only $140 million was pledged to it in 2015-16, mainly because of the political uncertainty.
- China's share though remained steady in terms of percentage of total FDI committed. Half way into the current fiscal though, the pledged FDI by China has risen astronomically. It's also significant that last year, Nepal counted the UK, US, Japan, China and Switzerland as its top 5 bilateral development partners on the basis of official development assistance (ODA) disbursement, leaving out India from the list for the first time in past 5 years.
- Nepal's finance ministry had said in its Development Cooperation Report last year that ODA disbursement by India had decreased from over $47 million to $22 million in 2014-15. MEA countered it by saying that this figure was misleading and totally distorted the picture as actual funds released to assist Nepal from MEA's Aid-to-Nepal budget was in the range of Rs 300 to 400 crore annually, or over $50-70 million. The government had attributed this "discrepancy'' to the fact that a good part of India's aid to Nepal was not necessarily routed through the Nepalese treasury.
Bengal Inc To Vie For ET Awards Tomorrow
- KOLKATA : Captains of industry from Bengal are looking forward to February 8, the ET Bengal Corporate Awards night. For the fifth time, the Association of Corporate Advisers & Executives, Kolkata, and The Economic Times will celebrate the success of eminent organisations and individuals for their outstanding contribution to society. The objective is to felicitate eminent organizations and individuals in Bengal every year for their outstanding contribution and to recognize and celebrate private initiatives towards a larger goal. State commerce and industries minister Amit Mitra will be the guest of honour for the ceremony this year. Deloitte is the knowledge partner for this event. "It inspires many more to seriously reconsider their policies towards societal good.
- Create 'Corporate Leaders' from Bengal, who shall light the way and set the benchmark for the nation as a whole," an organiser of the annual award ceremony said. The categories for participation for this year's award are: best financial performance, fastest-growing company, highest job creator, innovation in business, best CSR idea, lifetime award for a leading industrialist and the visionary award. Last year, R S Agarwal and R S Goenka — the founder duo of Emami group — got the lifetime achievement award. In 2015, B M Khaitan received the lifetime achievement award from finance and industries minister Amit Mitra. In 2014, B K Birla received the lifetime achievement award, while R P Goenka bagged it in the first edition. The Indian visionary business award category was initiated in 2015 and was awarded to ITC chairman Y C Deveshwar.
- Last year, it was conferred on P R S Oberoi, the chairman of EIH Limited. This time, as many as 288 companies participated in various categories. In the best financial performance category, a maximum number of 288 nominations were received, followed by fastest-growing company and highest job creator categories. The main jury members are: Infosys co-founder and current chairman of Manipal Global Education T V Mohandas Pai, Deloitte chairman P Ramesh, Ashok Banerjee of IIM Calcutta and ET Kolkata resident editor Javed Sayed.
- The sponsors at the award night are: AKA Logistics, Amit Metaliks Ltd, Anmol Biscuits, Bengal Energy, Emami, Himadri Speciality Chemical, Mani Group, Rashmi Metaliks, Senrysa Technologies, Shyam Steel, SKM Group. The event will be managed by Cherry Tree. The Association of Corporate Advisers & Executives, one of the principal organisers, was formed as a society in 1960 by 30 founder members with the main objective of providing a common forum for persons engaged in or interested in corporate laws, taxation, audit, accounts and the likes. Its headcount has crossed 1,000 now.