An Australian own-goal kept Japan in the race for an automatic spot in next year’s World Cup. Australia defender Aziz Behich put the ball into his own net in the 85th minute Tuesday to give Japan a 2-1 victory and six points from four matches in Group B, three points behind the first-placed Aussies. Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan tipped a shot from Takuma Asano and the ball bounced off the post and then ricocheted off Behich and into the net. Only the top two teams from each of the two six-team groups will automatically qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. Japan are seeking a seventh straight World Cup appearance. Australia has appeared at every World Cup since 2006. AP
Shafali drops a spot to 2nd, Mandhana 3rd in T20 rankings
Indian opener Shafali Verma dropped a place to be second among batters while her compatriot Smriti Mandhana is static at the third position in the ICC women’s T20 rankings. Australia’s Beth Mooney climbed a spot to top the chart. Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who ended up as the leading wicket-taker of the series against Australia with five wickets in two innings, rose to the 12th spot in the bowlers’ list.
Dhoni won’t charge fee for mentoring India: Ganguly
Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not charge any fee for mentoring the Indian cricket team during this month’s T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said. The iconic former captain was brought in as mentor by the BCCI last month when it announced the squad for the mega-event, scheduled to start October 17. “Dhoni will not charge anything to mentor the Indian team,” Ganguly said.
La Nucia (Spain)
Indian GM Iniyan wins chess tournament in Spain
Indian Grandmaster P Iniyan clinched the title in the La Nucia Open chess tournament with an unbeaten run. The 19-year-old, with an Elo rating of 2529, finished equal on seven points with GMs Andrey Sumets (Ukraine) and Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder (Chile) but the Indian won the event on the basis of a better tie-break score. Iniyan, who was seeded fifth, remained unbeaten in the nine-round tournament. He won six games and drew two, apart from getting a bye.
Indian GM Narayanan 2nd in chess tourney in Armenia
Indian Grandmaster SL Narayanan played a draw against Russian GM Aleksey Goganov in the final round to finish second in the ChessMood Open tournament at Tsaghkadzor near here. Goganov emerged a clear winner with 7.5 points while Narayanan logged seven points. — Agencies
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