QPlay: Clarke’s Australia, Shuttlers Saina & Srikanth and F1’s Vettel Make it a Winning Sunday
All the latest sports news in The Quint’s morning sports wrap.
Clarke’s Australia Crowned World Champions
Skipper Michael Clarke scored 74 runs in his last ODI before retirement to guide his team to a 7 wicket victory over New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup Final.
The Kiwis were never really in the game after big-hitting batsman Brendon McCullum was castled by Mitchell Starc for a duck in the very first over of the match. Grant Elliott anchored the innings for a bit but the task at hand was too much for him as well as New Zealand were bowled out for 183.
In the chase, there was some early hope for the visitors when Trent Boult sent back Aaron Finch in the second over but a 112 run partnership between Michael Clarke and Steve Smith steadily took the game away from them. Australia eventually winning the game by 7 wickets.
Read more here.
Gavaskar: It’s a Tribute to Aussie System
Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar has written about the World Cup Final in his column in the Times of India today.
“In the end, it was a horribly one-sided final. Australia just packed too many guns for New Zealand and steamrolled to another world title, their fourth in the last five championships. It is a tribute to their system which has consistently produced top class players and will continue to do so for years to come. There is accountability at all levels; there is no room for sentimentality and only the deserving get to don the country’s colours,” he wrote.
About the beaten Kiwi outfit he writes, “New Zealand were completely out of their depth, and perhaps the fact that they had not ventured outside their country for any of the earlier matches came back to haunt them. They just wilted under that pressure, and the relentless way that the Australia skipper applied it, meant that there simply was no way out.”
Read full piece here.
Azhar Ali Set to Become Pakistan ODI Captain
In a surprise move, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to appoint batsman Azhar Ali as the new captain of the national one-day team and name wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed as his deputy.
Ironically Azhar has not played an ODI since early 2013 when he played in Kolkata but apparently the support he got from captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Waqar Younis turned the tide in his favour.
“Apparently they considered other candidates like Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam and Muhammad Hafeez but have eventually settled for Azhar Ali,” a source told PTI. “The interesting thing is that Hafeez got just one vote.”
Chief selector Moin Khan also met with the Chairman for over an hour and was told in clear terms his tenure is over.
Super Sunday for Saina and Srikanth
Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth gave double delight to the nation by clinching their maiden women and men’s singles titles at the India Open Super Series on Sunday.
Saina, the first Indian women shuttler to achieve World Number one ranking, clinched her title with a 21-16 21-14 scoreline over Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
While World Number four Srikanth notched up his second successive title of the season by getting the better of sixth seed Axelsen 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in a gruelling contest later in the day.
Read full report here.
Sebastian Vettel is Back!
Former four-time Champion and new Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel secured victory in the second race of the season in Malaysia, edging out Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.
After the victory, Vettel made a touching tribute to Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher is recovering from a skiing accident a few years back. He said, “It’s been a while since I was on the top step. The first time with Ferrari. Michael left very large footsteps but the target is not to fill those but to leave some new ones.”
The victory was Ferrari’s first in two years and comes on the heels of their worst season in 21 years in 2014.
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