Commonwealth TT: India makes clean sweep of all seven gold medals at stake

Indian paddlers clinched all the seven medals at the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships which concluded at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here today.
The domination of Indian paddlers at the championships could be gauged from the fact that all finals today featured only the home players, making it more of a national event than an international one. In the final analysis, India won seven gold—the best ever haul—five silver and three bronze medals to be the table toppers. 
G. Sathiyan was expected to lead the individual medal tally but could not surmount the rampaging Harmeet Desai as he faltered when it mattered the most against the 26-year-old. Desai, who brought India from the brink to help it win team gold, yet again proved his mettle in the singles final.
But the best thing that happened at the championships was that no individual could replicate the gold-winning performance in other events.
Indeed, no one deserved to lose the singles final, but Desai deserved more to win the title. After being in arrears (0-2), he brought out the best in a crunch situation to outwit favourite Sathiyan. A particular rally in the fourth game which brought a winning point to Desai must have been really demoralizing for Sathiyan. Equally important was the win by the Surat boy in the next which kept lingering until he sealed it 17-15. No doubt, Sathiyan made it 3-3 after trailing for the first time, but the Gujarat lad played a great game to wrap it up in the decider.
Earlier, Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal failed to counter the fury of Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar who claimed the men's doubles gold, downing the top pair 3-1, after the Indians had banished the Singpore and England pairs, respectively, in the semi-finals.
In women's singles, Ayhika Mukherjee seized the great opportunity to win her maiden gold in the championships when she blanked out Madurika Patkar 4-0. Madhurika was absolutely inert at least in the first three games despite her attacking posture. But Ayhika was clever enough to take pace off the ball, forcing her opponent make all mistakes. The former national champion showed glimpse of a fightback but Ayhika, after frittering away three match-points, won the fourth for a well-deserved victory.
In fact, Madhurika also had some harrowing moments in the semi-final against Sreeja Akula. The little girl from Telangana matched Madhurika’s strokes, but could not do much against the experience of her rival, particularly in the extended fifth game as Madhurika won 4-1 to seal her place. In the adjacent table, Ayhika put it across Ho Tin-Tin of England after dropping her third game to win by an identical margin.
In women's doubles, Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Krittwika Sinha Roy defeated the other Indian pair of Sreeja Akula and Mousumi Paul 3-1. The pair had, in the semifinals, beaten the Singapore duo of Goi Rui Xuan & Wong Xin Ru in straight games, while Sreeja and Mousumi defeated the third Indian pair of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee, also by a 3-0 verdict.
Men Singles:
Final: Harmeet Desai bt G. Sathiyan 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 17-15, 7-11, 11-9; Semifinals: G. Sathiyan bt Thomas Jarvis (Eng) 16-14, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9; Harmeet Desai bt Pang Yu En Koen (Sgp) 10-12, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2.
Women's Singles: 
Final: Ayhika Mukherjee bt Madhurika Patkar 11-6, 11-4, 11-9, 19-17; Semifinals: Ayhika Mukherjee bt Ho Tin-Tin (Eng) 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4; Madhurika Patkar bt Sreeja Akula 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12.
Men's Doubles: 
Final: A. Amalraj & Manav Thakkar bt A. Sharath Kamal & G. Sathiyan 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10; 
Semi-finals: A. Sharath Kamal & G. Sathiyan bt Pang Yu En Koen & Chua Shao Han Josh (Sgp) 12-10, 11-4, 14-12; A. Amalraj & Manav Thakkar bt Samuel Walker & Thomas Jarvis (Eng) 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5.
Women's Doubles:
Final: Pooja Sahasrabudhe & Krtittwika Sinha Roy bt Sreeja Akula & Mousumi Paul 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10; 
Semi-finals: Pooja Sahasrabudhe & Krtittwika Sinha Roy bt Goi Rui Xuan & Wong Xin Ru (Sgp) 11-7, 12-10, 11-9; Sreeja Akula & Mousumi Paul bt Sutirtha Mukherjee & Ayhika Mukherjee 11-8, 11-8, 11-6.
Medal's Tally:                                                                                
India: 7 gold, 5 silver, 3 bronze
England: 2 silver, 3 bronze
Singapore: 6 bronze
Malaysia: 1 bronze
Nigeria: 1 bronze. 

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TT: Sathiyan, Archana win gold in mixed doubles, Sharath crashes out in singles

On a day of mixed fortunes for the hosts, Indian mixed doubles pair of G. Sathiyan and Archana Kamath clinched the gold, while in the men’s singles second seed Sharath Kamal crashed out in the quarter-finals of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships.
Sathiyan and Archana Kamath defeated Singapore’s Peng Yu En Koen–Goi Rui Xuan 3-0 in the final. The gold count for the hosts on the penultimate day of the championships stands at three.
Sathyan and Archana, thus, avenged the defeat of  A. Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula in the semi-final—at the hands of same Singapore pair.
The Indian pair was on top in the final as they piled on the agony on their rivals, particularly on a tired Peng who could not cope with the pressure applied by the top-seeded duo who simply decimated them.
Earlier second-seeded Sharath Kamal squandered three match points and then the quarter-final match, shattering his men singles medal hope. Though Sharath failed to go past the semi-finals in mixed doubles, he would definitely rue the singles loss to the younger legs of Peng which played a major role in the left-hander snatching victory from the jaws of defeat as he not only survived 1-3 deficits but also seized the advantage in the decider to enter the semi-finals.
The other Indians who made grade included top-seeded G. Sathiyan, who beat Nigerian Bode Abiodun 4-0 and Harmeet Desai who accounted  for Sushmit Sriram 4-1. Sanil Shetty joined Sharath when he went down to England’s Thomas Jarvis 1-4.
In the women's section, top-seeded Ho Tin-Tin of England disposed of unseeded Archana Kamath, the reigning national champion, 4-1 to enter the women singles semi-finals. But second-seeded Madhurika Patkar and fourth seed Ayhika Mukerjee easily followed the Englishwoman into the last four while, in a marathon battle, Sreeja Akula defeated Sutirtha Mukherjee 4-2 even as Madhurika downed Krittiwika Sinha Roy 4-1 and Ayhika beat Mousumi Paul in straight games.
Archana, who played well until this point, was unable to find her feet against the attacking Ho who cashed in on several unforced errors committed by the Indian. After losing the first game, the Bengaluru girl came back to level 1-1 but lost her rhythm from there to lose tamely.
Madhurika had a good measure of Krittwika, the national runner-up and despite losing a game she punished her rival when the opportunities presented themselves. Indeed, Krittiwika had a slight advantage in the fourth game but lost it 10-12 and then the steam.  However, for Ayhika it was rather easy as Mousumi could not cope with her rival’s quick returns and excellent placements.
Two extended games must have sapped the energy of both Sreeja and Sutirtha but the former held her nerves despite squandering five match-points to romp home winners.
The scratch pair of Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula, in the absence of Manika Batra, had little problem up to the stage of semi-finals. But once there, the mismatch became more palpable when the Indian duo took on Singapore’s Yu En Koen Pang and Rui Xuan Goi, who play together more regularly.
More often than not, Sharath had to plug the gaps that became a yawn as the match progress and Singaporeans made most of the situation. Despite taking the first game, the Indian duo came back strongly to take the next two and lead 2-1. But the Indians lost their way with Pang and Goi combining well to level the score and then complete the decider in double quick time, the Indian duo managing just four points.
In contrast, Sathiyan and Archana hardly dropped a sweat when they beat the other Indian pair of Harmeet Desai and Ayhika Mukherjee 3-0. The first two games got over in less than 10 minutes. Though Harmeet and Ayhika resisted a bit longer in the third but could not stop Sathiyan and Archana from progressing into the final. 
In men's doubles, two Indian pairs—Sharath and Sathiyan and Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar—made it to the semi-finals while the two other pairs that will challenge the Indian domination will be Pang Yu En and Chua Shao Han from Singapore and the English duo of Samuel Walker and Thomas Jarvis, respectively, tomorrow.
In women's doubles, Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Krittiwika Singha Roy, Sreeja Akula and Mousumi Paul and Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee entered the semifinal while the fourth pair, top-seeded Madhurika Patkar and Archana Kamath went down to Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan and Won Xin Ru 2-3 (5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11) and missed the medal.
Mixed Doubles:
Final: G. Sathiyan-Archana Kamath bt Peng Yu En Koen–Goi Rui Xuan (SGP) 11-1, 11-7, 11-4; Semi-finals: G. Sathiyan-Archana Kamath bt Harmeet Desai-Ayhika Mukherjee 11-2, 11-2, 11-9; Peng Yu En Koen–Goi Rui Xuan (SGP) bt Sharath Kamal-Sreeja Akula (IND) 13-11, 8-11, 6-11 11-8, 11-4.
Men's Singles:
G Sathiyan bt Bode Abiodun (NGR) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Thomas Jarvis (Eng) bt Sanil Shetty 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 12-10; Harmeet Desai bt Sushmit Sriram 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8; Pang Yu En Koen (SGP) bt Sharath Kamal 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10.
Women's Singles:
Ho Tin-Tin (Eng) bt Archana Kamath 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6; Ayhika Mukherjee bt Mousumi Paul 11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8; Sreeja Akula bt Sutirtha Mukherjee 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 17-19, 6-11, 17-15; Madhurika Patkar bt Krittiwika Sinha Roy 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9

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Table Tennis: Nine Indian women, six men qualify for main draw

Nine Indians gained entry into the main draw of the women singles from among the 16 qualifiers to join the three seeds—Archana Kamath, Ayhika Mukherjee and Madhurika Patkar—in the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here today.
In comparison, only six out of 11 Indians that went through the qualification process, made the main draw grade. The ones that fell by the wayside included Sourav Saha (group 2), Anirban Ghosh (group 5), Arjun Ghosh (group 6), Jubin Kumar (group 12) and Siddesh Pande (group 16).
This would mean that  in the women's section, exactly half the number of 24 that forms part of the main draw, with eight seeded players having been given direct entry, will be Indians. Among the other qualifiers, three were from Singapore, two from Nigeria and one each from Australia and Malaysia. The top-eight seeds get first-round byes, too.
The Indians that failed to make the cut included Pooja Sahasrabhude, Reeth Risya and Surbhi Patwari. However, they will have to do something worthy and to put up a better show in doubles to make the chance count.
Surbhi Patwar managed just one victory over Malaysian A Xin Tee when she beat her 11-5, 3-11, 11-6, 11-6 but lost the crucial match to group 11 leader Rui Xuan Goi of Singapore in straight games of 8-11, 1-11, 11-13 to be placed just behind the Singapore paddler.
In group 12, Reeth Rishya, clubbed with four players, managed a lone win over Sri Lankan Chamathsara 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 but lost her match against Singapore’s Eunice Zoe Lim 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 13-15. The Indian had a couple of match points which she frittered away to finish second in the group.
However, it was a very disappointing outing for Pooja who finished third despite being seeded at the top of group 14. After beating Scotland’s Lara Sterling 11-5, 11-8, 11-8, Pooja suffered a shock loss to Nigeria’s Ajoke Ojomu 6-11, 7-11, 11-13. She finished her campaign with yet another defeat to Singapore’s Tan-Llin Jassy. Pooja lost 3-11, 13-11, 5-11, 12-10, 7-11. The Nigerian qualified from the group.
Though the singles main draw in both sections begins tomorrow with the top Indian men seeds in action,  the real point of interest attraction for the day would be which of the Indian mixed pair will go on to claim the gold in the final to be played on Sunday.
Men: Bode Abiodun (NGR), Thomas Jarvis (ENG), Sushmit Sriram, Manush Shah, Lucan Tan (SGP), Muhamad Rizal (MAS), Jeet Chandra, Ronit Bhanja, Azeez Jamiu (NGR), Yu En Koen Pang (SGP), Marios Yiangou (CYP), Sudhanshu Grover, Javen Choong (MAS), Clarence Zheyu Chew (SGP).
Women: Chunyi Feng (Aus), Krittwika Sinha Roy, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Alice Li Sian Chang (MAS), Nimotalia Aregbesola (NGR), Sreeja Akula, Mousumi Paul, Prapti Sen, Xin Ru Wong (SGP), Selenadeepthi Selvaumar, Rui Xuan Goi (SGP), Eunice Zoe Lim (SGP), Divya Deshpande, Ahoke Ojomu (NGR), Sagarika Mukherjee, Anusha Kutumbale.

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Table Tennis: India win men's, women's team titles in Commonwealth Championships

It was a double delight for India in the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships as  their men overpowered England while the women dethroned eight-time champions Singapore to lift the team titles at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here today.
England tried to change the script, but the Indian men brought in a twist to the tale through birthday boy Harmeet Desai to end the visitors' hopes of lifting the Host Association’s Cup, while the women played their characters to perfection to script their win for the India Cup in the 21st edition of the championships.
The Indian men beat England 3-2 while Indian women did the impossible downing Singapore 3-0 to dethrone the defending champions Singapore who had a stranglehold on the trophy since 1997. After having won the Cup for eight consecutive times, their vice-like grip was snapped when they chose to send a weak team.
The Indian men, on the other hand, could extend their reign for the second successive time after annexing the title in the previous edition at Surat in 2015. The Indian men had won their first crown in Kuala Lumpur in 2004.
Archana Kamath began it all for India but it took some time before she could shake off her rustiness to overcome Ho Tin-Tin, the promising player of Chinese origin with a pen-holder grip. Archana, when attacked on the forehand, found her returns going awry but her strong backhand rescued her against the Briton. After she won the extended second game, the Indian never looked back to put India on a winning path. 
Manika Batra decimated Denise Payet and Madhurika woke up from her passive play to tighten the noose around Emily Bolton and England for a 3-0 sweep.
Harmeet Desai, celebrating his 26th birthday, not only presented himself a wonderful gift but also brought India from the brink to a face-saving title victory. India, trailing 0-2 in the final, needed the Surat man to give that spark which was lacking. And he did not disappoint with a fantastic win over McBeath to pave the way for Sathiyan and Sharath to complete the task in their reverse singles.
If Sharath Kamal was awful against Thomas Jarvis, who is No. 186 in the world, in the opening tie, Sathiyan was equally guilty of plotting his own downfall against Samuel Walker, ranked No. 86. And that too after taking a 2-0 lead. But credit must be given to the two English players, especially Jarvis who not only blocked superbly but had the experienced Sharath in a tangle with his accuracy. Unable to counter him, Sharath threw in the towel earlier than one had expected him to.
Sathiyan faced a determined Walker who inched his way slowly but surely to first draw level and up the ante in the decider, keeping a sizeable lead. But Sathiyan was able to break the shackles and twice levelled the score at 7-7 and 8-8 before the Briton romped home winners to give his side a nice cushion (2-0).
Enter Desai, the twist came for India as he defeated McBeath to provide the much-needed oxygen and India snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Meanwhile Manika Batra, who withdrew at the eleventh hour from singles and doubles, forced the referee re-draw the seeding list this afternoon. Manika informed TTFI and the referee of her pullout this morning, citing her indisposition. She, however, played her part and helped Team India win the women’s crown.
Final: India bt England 3-2 (A. Sharath Kamal lost to Thomas Jarvis 7-11, 8-11, 4-11; G. Sathiyan lost to Samuel Walker 11-5, 11-9, 4-11, 8-11, 8-11; Harmeet Desai bt David McBeath 4-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8; G. Sathiyan bt Thomas Jarvis 11-2, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4; Sharath Kamal bt Samuel Walker 15-13, 12-10, 11-6); Semifinals: India bt Singapore 3-0 (A. Sharath Kamal bt Pang Yu En Koen 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5; G. Sathiyan bt Chew Zheyu Clarence 11-6, 11-8, 13-11; Harmeet Desai bt Beh Kun Ting 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8); England bt Malaysia 3-1 (Samuel Walker bt Wong Qi Shen 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6; Thomas Jarvis bt Ashraf Muhamad Rizal 12-14, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7; Davis McBeath lost to Leong Chee Feng 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, Samuel Walker bt Ashraf Muhamad Rizal 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2).
Positions: 3&4: Singapore bt Malaysia 3-0; 5&6: Nigeria bt Wales 3-0; 7&8: Australia bt Sri Lanka 3-0; 9: Cyprus; 10: South Africa; 11: Bangladesh; 12: Scotland.
Final: India bt England 3-0 (Archana Girish Kamath bt Ho Tin-Tin 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9; Manika Batra bt Denise Payet 11-6, 11-4, 11-3; Madhurika Patkar bt Emily Bolton 11-9, 11-7, 11-6); Semifinals: India bt Singapore 3-0 (Manika Batra bt Wong Xin Ru 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11; Archana G. Kamath bt Goi Rui Xuan 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5; Madhurika Patkar bt Lim Eunice oe 11-6, 11-7, 11-7); England bt Nigeria 3-0 (Ho Tin-Tin bt Cecilia Akpan 11-9, 11-3, 11-4; Denise Payet bt Offiong Edem 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6; Emily Bolton bt Ajoke Ojomu 7-11, 11-7, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9).
Positions: 3&4: Singapore bt Nigeria 3-0; 5&6: Malaysia bt Australia 3-0; 7&8: Wales bt Sri Lanka 3-0; 9: Cyprus; 10: Scotland; 11: Bangladesh; 12: South Africa.

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Table Tennis: Indian women reach semi-finals; men follow

Indian men and women were the first to book their semi-final slots after winning their Super Eights group matches in the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here today.
Though the Indian men have a formality to complete—they play their last match against Wales in group F—their women finished their engagements in group F with emphatic triumphs over Wales (3-0), Malaysia (3-0) and Nigeria (3-0).
Besides India, England men and women, too, made the semi-final grade having notched up two wins each. Their men beat Singapore 3-2 while they claimed a 3-1 victory over Australia. Their women, on the other hand, beat Australia 3-1 and then trounced Sri Lanka 3-0.
With two slots left in each of the two sections, the teams that look to book their berths are Singapore and Nigeria, barring a problem or two in the last match.
Earlier, hosts’ men paddlers defeated Sri Lanka and Malaysia with identical 3-0 margins to seal their berth.
Anthony Amalraj, who got to play his matches today, had it rather easy against Sri Lankan Krishan Wickramaratha, cleaning him up with a 3-0 verdict in the opener but was found to be struggling a bit against Malaysian Feng Chee Leong. But the Indian overcame the initial hiccups to beat him 3-1. As for the rest of the matches, they were as simple as they can get as G. Sathiyan and Manav Thakkar formed part of the squad against Sri Lanka while Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai were pitted against Malaysia.
Coaches Australian Brett Clarke and Soumyadeep Roy gave ample opportunities to all the players before the knockout semi-final and finals tomorrow. Like in men, Archana was the common factor in all the three matches while the two coaches rotated the other players, including Manika Batra, Madhurika Patkar, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee. All the players came out with flying colours against their opponents.
Meanwhile only one of the two Indians, G. Sathiyan and Manav Thakkar, will progress to the medal round as they were drawn in the same quarter while the other three Indians were lucky to find themselves evenly distributed into the other quarters.  
All the Indian men were among the top eight seeds (based on their ITTF July ranking) while only three women—Manika Batra, Archana Kamath and Madhurika Patkar—were seeded and got first-round byes in the main draw. The remaining two—Sutirtha and Ayhika—will have to make it to the main draw through qualifiers.
Results (Super Eight)
Group E: England bt Singapore 3-2; Nigeria bt Australia 3-1; England bt Australia 3-1; Singapore bt Nigeria 3-0;
Group F: India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (A. Amalraj bt Krishan Wickramarathna 11-5, 11-6, 11-3; G. Sathiyan bt Nirmala Jayasinghe 11-5, 11-3, 11-4; Manav Thakkar bt Milinda Lakshitha 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 12-10, 11-1);  Malaysia bt Wales 3-0; India bt Malaysia 3-0 (A. Amalraj bt Feng Chee Leong 7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-8; A. Sharath Kamal bt M.A.H. Muhamad Rizal 11-9, 11-8, 11-6; Harmeet Desai bt Qi Shen Wong 11-2, 11-4, 11-4); Wales bt Sri Lanka 3-1.
Group E: Singapore bt Sri Lanka 3-0; England bt Australia 3-1; England bt Singapore 3-1; Australia bt Sri Lanka 3-0; England bt Sri Lanka 3-0.
Group F: India bt Wales 3-0 (Madhurika Patkar bt Charlotte Carey 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8; Archana Kamath bt Beth Richards 11-8, 11-6, 11-7; Ayhika Mukherjee bt Lara Whitton 11-3, 11-8, 11-7); Nigeria bt Malaysia 3-1; India bt Malaysia 3-0 (Archana Kamath bt Tee Ai Xin 11-6, 12-10, 11-6; Manika Batra bt Ho Ying 13-11, 8-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9; Madhurika Patkar bt Chang Alice Li Sian 11-8, 8-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-5); Nigeria bt Wales 3-2; India bt Nigeria 3-0 (Archana Kamath bt Offiong Edem 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8; Manika Batra bt Ajoke N. Ojomu 11-4,1-3, 11-4; Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Cecilia Akan 11-4, 11-8, 11-8).

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Commonwealth TT: India dominates, Malaysia women upset Australia on opening day

India opened their campaign in team championships in style, topping  their groups to qualify for the Super Eight stage in both sections of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here today.
The domination of  the hosts  was such that they lost just two games—one by Sharath Kamal against Singapore’s and another by Ayhika Mukherjee against Chamathsara. But for this minor mishap the Indians sailed through.
The team management kept faith in the threesome of Sharath, Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai who did their job pretty much well to first beat Scotland 3-0 and then follow it up with a similar verdict against Singapore.
In the women's event, however, the coaches tried out the bench strength with different combinations in the two group matches. Manika Batra and Ayhika Mukherjee, who played against Sri Lanka posting a 3-0 triumph in the company of Archana Kamath, were rested for the match against South Africa. 
Instead, Madurika Patkar and Sutirtha Mukherjee were tried out with Archana. They didn’t disappoint as they posted yet another 3-0 victory over South Africa.
The chasm in the competing teams here could be seen and what Sharath said on the eve of the championships could come true as India looked well on course for a golden sweep in team and individual events.
No doubt, the Singaporeans have brought a young women's team while England, just with experienced Samuel Walker, is the team to beat as they are likely to meet the Indian men in the knockout stage.  
If one were to look for an upset on the opening day, it came about in the women's section when Malaysia downed Australia, the group C topper.
Meanwhile, the Uganda team and Guyana members have got their respective government’s nod and they would be sending them for participation in the individual events. According to a communication to TTFI from the two federations, Uganda will be sending five members while there will be three from Guyana, who will compete in singles and doubles events which get underway from July 19 after the team finals.
Results (Team championships/Preliminary):
Group A: Singapore bt Scotland 3-0; Singapore bt Wales 3-0;
Group B: India bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (Manika Batra bt Bimandi Bandara 11-5, 11-4, 11-5; Archana Kamath bt Ishara Madurangi 11-5, 11-5, 12-10; Ayhika Mukherjee bt Chamathsara Fernando 11-3, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4); India bt South Africa 3-0 (Archana Kamath bt Danisha Patel 11-6, 11-2, 11-2; Madhurika Patkar bt Palesa Mtshoelibe 11-2, 11-5, 11-3; Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Simeen Mookrey 11-1, 11-4, 11-4)
Group C: Australia bt Cyprus 3-0; Malaysia bt Australia 3-1
Group D: Nigeria bt Bangladesh 3-0; England bt Nigeria 3-1.
Group A: England bt Cyprus 3-0; England bt Sri Lanka 3-0;
Group B: India bt Scotland 3-0 (G. Sathiyan bt Niall Cameron 11-4, 11-7, 11-8; A. Sharath Kamal bt Colin Dalgleish 11-2, 11-6, 11-9; Harmeet Desai bt Dylan Curry 11-2, 11-6, 11-1); India bt Singapore 3-0 (G. Sathiyan bt Yu En Koen Pang 11-7, 11-9, 11-8; A. Sharath Kamal bt Zheyu Clarence Chew 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9; Harmeet Desai bt Shao Han Josh 11-4, 11-7, 11-6).
Group C: Nigeria bt Bangladesh 3-0.
Group D: Australia bt Wales 3-0; Australia bt South Africa 3-0.

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India have task cut out as Commonwealth TT C'ships get underway

India may have got the toughest group opponents from among the teams participating in the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, beginning at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday, but team captain and ace paddler A. Sharath Kamal is confident that India will retain the Host Associations Cup on Friday.
Sharath was not way off the mark when he talked about the draw as India are clubbed with Singapore and Scotland in group B, while England, the top-ranked team here and placed in group A, have Sri Lanka and Cyprus for company.
With the format allowing two teams from each group to qualify for the second stage, Sharath & Company are not losing any sleep. In fact, he said India would be aiming to sweep the gold medals.
His calculations are based on the weakest England, Nigeria and Singapore teams that have come here. He said it in as many words when asked for his opinion on the draw. "Indeed, we are in the toughest group but since England, Nigeria and Singapore have not fielded their best players, Indian men should win the team and open events," said the winner of 10 medals, including the 2004 singles and team championship gold medals.
With the Commonwealth Games getting all the attention in recent times, the focus has moved away from the Commonwealth Championship. But Sharath was appreciative of the efforts made by the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI). 
"TTFI has done a wonderful job by offering free hospitality to all the teams and this has kept the event alive," said the 37-year-old.
Coming back to the championships Sharath said the way G. Sathiyan, ranked No. 24 in the world, has been playing of late India would always fancy their chance against even the toughest. "He is in the form of his life. Besides, two seasoned campaigners in Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall (England) and Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola (Nigeria) are not here. Singapore, too, have fielded a young side while other teams are not that strong. It makes our job easier," he said.
In comparison, the women team draw looks far easier than one would have expected. Again, on the basis of team ranking, Singapore is the top-seeded squad but India, at No. 2, form a part of group B with South Africa and Sri Lanka, while group A has Singapore, Wales and Scotland. The other groups have lesser teams in terms of ranking.
The Indian women, on their strength, should be able to cross the first-stage hurdle without dropping a sweat. However, they could face some stiff competition from Singapore as the hosts approach the final. Manika Batra may not be in the kind of form she was in, in the 2018 CWG and Asian Games, but she is capable of pulling it off in a team event like this, particularly when the home crowd would be rooting for her and Team India.
In their first group match, the Indian women take on Scotland, followed by Singapore.
The inauguration is slated for 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday and the championships will be declared open by Governor Ganeshi Lal. And the championships open with group matches in the women section for the team championships.
The six-day event will be telecast live by Doordarshan. 
Group A: England, Sri Lanka, Cyprus; Group B: India, Singapore, Scotland; Group C: Nigeria, Malaysia, Bangladesh; Group D: Australia, South Africa, Wales
Group A: Singapore, Wales, Scotland; Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka; Group C: Australia, Malaysia, Cyprus; Group D: Nigeria, England, Bangladesh

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Two coaches of Bhubaneswar-New Delhi get decoupled near Cuttack, passengers safe

Two coaches of the 22823 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express got uncoupled on the Kathajodi bridge while the train was approaching Cuttack station this morning.
None of the passengers was injured in the incident and all the coaches were on the track, East Coast Railway officials said.
The incident occurred at about 0950 hours on the bridge on the river Kathajodi, a tributary of the Mahanadi, that links Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
The officials said coaches B3 and B4 got separated while the train was on  the bridge, about 4 km from Cuttack.
Senior railway officials and staff rushed to the scene and joined the coaches together again and the entire train was then moved to Cuttack, where engineers will subject all the coaches to a thorough examination before allowing it to resume its journey to Delhi.
"Only after full satisfaction regarding the train condition will the train be allowed to move ahead," the officials said, adding that this would take some time.
The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Khurda Road, has also appointed a committee of senior officers to inquire into the incident and establish the causes.

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7 killed as bus falls off Mahanadi bridge in Odisha

At least seven persons were killed and several others injured after a passenger bus fell over 30 feet off Mahanadi bridge in Odisha's Cuttack on Tuesday, police said.
The bus carrying around 30 persons was on the way to Cuttack from Talcher in Angul district. It fell off the bridge near Jagatpur this evening, according to the police.
Sources said the bus driver lost control after it ran over a bull on the bridge and fell over 30 feet off the bridge.
Director General of Police (DGP) R.P. Sharma said that seven persons have been killed in the accident while the injured have been shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
"I am extremely saddened to know about seven deaths...RIP...most of the other injured have been shifted to the hospital and are receiving treatment....wish them a speedy recovery," tweeted Sharma.
Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) team, fire personnel and police personnel were engaged in the rescue operation and shifting of the injured passengers to the hospital. Two boats were also engaged to the rescue operation.
Cuttack district Collector and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner also rushed to the spot to expedite rescue operation.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed deep shock over the incident.
He directed Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera to rush to the spot and ensure proper treatment to the injured.
Transports Minister Nrusingh Sahu said an inquiry would be conducted to ascertain how the incident occurred and action would be taken accordingly.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik expressed their condolences over the deaths and wished speedy recovery of the injured.
"Deeply saddened to see the visuals of this tragic bus accident at Mahanadi bridge. I urge the administration and local Congress workers to provide all possible help and assistance to the victims," tweeted Niranjan Patnaik.

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Justice Kalpesh Satyendra Jhaveri sworn in as Orissa HC Chief Justice

Justice Kalpesh Satyendra Jhaveri was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court here on Sunday.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal administered the oath at a ceremony held in the Orissa High Court.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other senior officials were present. 
Justice Jhaveri was appointed to the post following the elevation of Justice Vineet Saran as a Supreme Court judge along with Justice K. M. Joseph and Justice Indira Banerjee.
Prior to this, Justice Jhaveri was a Judge at the Rajasthan High Court.
Justice Jhaveri was elevated as a Gujarat High Court Judge in March 2004 and confirmed as a permanent Judge in June 2005. He was then transferred to the Rajasthan High Court in August 2016.

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Mild earthquake recorded in Cuttack district of Odisha

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Cuttack district of Odisha in the early hours of today.
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 20.6°N and longitude 85.1°E, occurred at 0303 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.

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Opposition leaders coming together to save themselves: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked the opposition unity, saying the corrupt leaders are coming together "not to save the country but to save themselves", making an apparent attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally organised to mark the fourth anniversary of his government, in Cuttack on May 26, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally organised to mark the fourth anniversary of his government, in Cuttack on May 26, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked the opposition unity, saying the corrupt leaders are coming together "not to save the country but to save themselves", making an apparent attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.
"Due to the commitment of this government against black money and corruption, people who are out on bail in the Rs 5,000-crore corruption case and many others involved in other corruption cases have come together on the same platform," Modi said addressing a rally here on the occasion of completion of four years of his government.
He was apparently referring to Gandhis taking bail in the National Herald case and opposition leaders coming together in Bengaluru during the Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony.
"As we promised four years ago about zero tolerance towards corruption, four former Chief Ministers are behind bars," Modi said.
The Prime Minister also said that his is a "committed government" instead of being a "confused government".
"With a clear commitment to work, we have shown how this government along with its ally parties is capable of taking harsh decisions and strict measures," he said.
"When a committed government works, then decisions like surgical strike and much-delayed One Rank-One Pension are taken."
"On seeing this government's commitment against corruption, even enemies have become good friends," he said, adding that the people of the country are watching them all. 
"These leaders have not come together for the country, they have come together to save themselves and their families."
Modi said that in the last four years, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become the party from Panchayat to Parliament.
He alleged that the opposition leaders want to destabilise the current government, "but people know everything".
Taking a dig at the opposition, the Prime Minister said: "The people who try to confuse the people for power can't bring back black money, neither they can fight against corruption."
Reminding the gathering of the corruption cases four years ago, Modi said: "People need to remember the situation of the country four years ago. This is important to remember what a family did for the country that remained in power for 48 years."
"How people can forget the cases of corruption in the previous government due to which the image of the country was maligned across the globe?" he said.
Attacking the Gandhis for guiding former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on every key decision, Modi said: "They believed in the development of their party as against the development of the nation. They remote-controlled the Prime Minister and issued directions to several ministers on e-mail.
"But now the government does not run from Janpath (the official address of Gandhis), it runs from Janmat (people's mandate)."
The Prime Minister also stressed that the President (Ram Nath Kovind), Vice President (M. Venkaiah Naidu) and the "Pradhan Sewak" (Prime Servant) of the country come from very humble and poor background.
"We have seen the days of poverty ... we were not born with silver spoons. In fact, we did not see the spoon in our initial days," Modi said, in an apparent jibe at Rahul Gandhi.
The Prime Minister also said that in last four years, the investigating agencies have carried out searches at over 3,000 locations and unearthed over Rs 53,000 crore of undisclosed money. 
Modi claimed that the government seized properties worth over Rs 3,500 crore after the Benami Properties Bill was passed by the government.
"It was the commitment of the government that led to the passage of Benami Properties Bill, unlike the confused government which delayed it for over 30 years," he said.
Modi said about half of the country's population is deprived of basic needs and that most of the schemes were only meant for the upper layer of the society.
"Over 50 per cent of the population does not have a gas connection, electricity connection or bank accounts. More than 50 per cent of the villages did not have road connectivity and half of the population did not have toilets in their homes," he said.
"Who were the people comprising this deprived half? They were the poor, the Dalits, tribals and others," he said.
Highlighting the works of his government in the last four years, Modi said: "Since coming to power in 2014, we have moved from incompleteness to completeness.
"Now the electricity has reached every village of the country. Now about 80 per cent of the population resides in clean surrounding as compared to 39 per cent in 2014. We have built over seven crore toilets in the last four years, which was earlier only six crore across the country," Modi said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the government has abolished over 1,400 such laws which were not useful. 
He also highlighted several schemes which his government launched for the people, including the Jan-Dhan Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, agriculture insurance scheme and several others that have changed the life of poors and farmers across the country. 
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14 wagons of goods train derail on Paradip-Cuttack route in Odisha

As many as 14 wagons of a goods train derailed on the Paradip-Cuttack section of East Coast Railway (ECR) in Odisha early this morning, official sources said.
The mishap occurred around 0555 hours between Goraknath and Raghunathpur stations, ECR sources said.
The wagons were carrying imported coal from the Paradip port on the east coast, they  said.
No one was injured in the mishap, but the down line was infringed, the sources said, adding that the second line was free for passage of trains. 
Restoration of the affected line is expected by tomorrow. Relief trains have been sent from Khurda Road and Sambalpur. Cranes have also been requisitioned to help move 12 wagons from the tracks, the sources said, addding that senior railway officials had reached the site to oversee the restoration efforts.

Pradhan launches PNG supply to residents of Bhubaneswar

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launching the piped natural gas supply to residents of NALCO Nagar in Bhubaneswar, on October 20, 2017.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launching the piped natural gas supply to residents of NALCO Nagar in Bhubaneswar, on October 20, 2017.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the commencement of piped natural gas (PNG) supply to residents of Bhubaneswar today.
Mr. Pradhan launched the supply of PNG by the  public sector natural gas company GAIL (India) limited in NALCO Nagar at a function in the presence of Mr. B. C. Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL, Dr. T. K. Chand, CMD, National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL, Mr. B K Thakur, Director (HR), NALCO and other dignitaries. 
Expressing happiness at the fast pace of work, Mr. Pradhan praised GAIL for the early commencement of the first phase of supply of PNG in 255 houses which was earlier expected to be completed by March 2018. He said GAIL took up the project on a war-footing and commenced supply of natural gas almost six months before the deadline. 
A press release from GAIL said the commencement of supply of natural gas is an important step towards the fulfillment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking Eastern India to the country’s natural gas grid through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’, which will pass through five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. The longest stretch of the project – 769 kms – will be built in Odisha. This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India, it said.
City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro – Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’. 
In Odisha, the natural gas pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,000 crore and have a length of about 769 km covering 13 districts -- Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Debagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri and Kendrapara -- and will connect major industrial clusters of Khurdha, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kalinganagar, Jajpur and Paradip.
GAIL also plans to provide PNG connections in the near future to adjacent Jeevan Bima Colony and Maitri Vihar Colony covering a total of 1,000 houses. Assessment is also being carried out for PNG supply to leading hotels, hospitals and industrial units of the city, the release said.
Initially, natural gas will reach Bhubaneswar in special containers called “cascades” which will be transported by road from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the JHBDPL. The pipeline is presently under construction and likely to be completed by 2019.
In Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, the number of PNG connections will be gradually ramped up in the next three to five years. Moreover, 25 CNG stations will be commissioned in the twin cities to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel to vehicles.
"PNG is not just eco-friendly, but is one of the most convenient and safe fuels. There are no hassles of booking and storing cylinders as gas is continuously supplied through pipes and payment is done after usage on the basis of meter reading. Moreover, in the unlikely incident of leakage, the gas quickly rises and disperses in the atmosphere without causing damage,"
In Bhubaneswar, construction activities of CNG stations have already been taken up at Chandrasekharpur, Patia, Khandagiri and Tamando, and supply will be commenced at the earliest.
 The overall capital expenditure for the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack CGD projects will be Rs. 1,700 crore, of which Rs 400 crore will be spent in the next three to five years.
GAIL (India) Limited is India’s number one integrated natural gas company with a market share of over 75% in natural gas transmission. With over 11,000 kms of natural gas network, GAIL supplies India’s fuel requirements across sectors like power, fertilizer, industrial, automotive and even household consumers. 
Apart from natural gas transmission, distribution and processing, the company has diversified business interests in Petrochemicals, LPG transmission, City gas projects and Exploration and Production activities. The company is committed to expand its current network to 18,000 km within five years, the release added.

16 wagons of goods train derail at Nergundi in Odisha, no one injured

As many as 16 wagons of a goods train derailed near Nergundi station in Khurda Road Division of East Coast Railway (ECR), about 11 km from Cuttack in Odisha, early this morning, but no one was injured, official sources said.
The train consisted of 42 covered wagons plus a guard van and an extra engine and the mishap occurred at about 0430 hours, blocking both the Up and Down lines, ECR officials said.
Senior railway officials, including the Divisional Railway Manager of Khurda Road Division, have reached the site and efforts were on to restore normal traffic on the section. Among other things, 140 ton cranes had reached the spot, they said.
"Train movement will not be hampered much as trains have alternate route available. Trains are now being run on an  alternate route via Barang/Kapilas Road," they said.
The officials said all Up and Down trains had been diverted via Naraj and Kapilas Road, bypassing Cuttack. The passing trains will be provided with stoppages at Kapilas Road and Naraj.
The diverted trains include:
18451 Hatia - Puri Tapaswini Exp diverted via Naraj.
07182 Secunderabad - Howrah Special diverted via Naraj.
Trains cancelled include:
58407 Bhadrask-Bhubaneswar Passenger
58411 Bhubaneswar - Brahmapur passenger 
58412 Brahmapur - Bhubaneswar Passenger     

Probiotic can prevent infections in infants

Thousands of infants die due to infections in the first few weeks of their life. A bulk of these deaths can be prevented with an inexpensive probiotic-based preventive therapy developed by a group of Indian and American scientists.
The therapy has been tested in over 4,500 infants from 149 villages in Odisha. Results of this trial, published this week in international journal Nature, show that the probiotic when given orally for one week after birth can reduce sepsis and death by 40 percent. In addition, it also drastically reduces respiratory tract infections. This is the largest ever clinical study of probiotics conducted among new born babies.
Sepsis is a severe complication of bacterial infection that results in around one million infant deaths globally every year.
The preventive therapy is called synbiotic treatment - a combination of probiotic bacteria and a prebiotic nutrient to support the probiotic strain. While probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide a health benefit, prebiotics are molecules such as certain carbohydrates in human milk or those derived from plants.
In the Odisha study, the synbiotic preparation was given daily for one week to full-term born babies when they were two to four days old. The oral preparation contained Lactobacillus plantarum, which had earlier been found to have shown good gut-colonizing properties in newborns, along with fructooligosaccharide, a plant-derived prebiotic.
The therapy was given in addition to breast milk which is known to contain prebiotics as well as other molecules that provide immunity to babies. Only mothers who had started breast feeding their children in their first 24 hours were included in the study.
Follow-up showed that the therapy reduced the risk of sepsis or death by 40 percent.
Substantial reductions were seen in all three subtypes of sepsis assessed, and reductions were also observed in diarrhoea and umbilical-stump infection in infants who had not been classified as having sepsis.
“This will reduce the nagging high neonatal mortality and infant mortality in developing countries. More importantly, reduction of such infections during infancy can prevent ‘stunting’ with even more grievous consequences such as reduced cognition and chances of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes in early adulthood,” Pinaki Panigrahi of University of Nebraska Medical Center, who led the research team, told India Science Wire. He said it is an affordable intervention as one-week therapy costs just one dollar.
“The trial provides evidence for the effectiveness of a global health intervention that could be used to complement existing strategies for giving every newborn the best chance to survive and thrive,” pointed out Daniel J. Tancredi of University of California, in a commentary published in the same issue of Nature.
Among the institutes that participated in this study are the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar; Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar; SCB Medical College, Cuttack; and Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, besides Universities of Nebraska, Michigan and Maryland. The community-based trial recruited local volunteers to coordinate follow up.
The research team included Pinaki Panigrahi, Sailajanandan Parida, Nimai C. Nanda, Radhanath Satpathy, Lingaraj Pradhan, Dinesh S. Chandel, Lorena Baccaglini, Arjit Mohapatra, Subhranshu S. Mohapatra, Pravas R. Misra, Rama Chaudhry, Hegang H. Chen, Judith A. Johnson, J. Glenn Morris Jr, Nigel Paneth and Ira H. Gewolb.
(India Science Wire)

Two dead, 22 injured as Bhubaneshwar-Bhadrak Passenger rams into goods train

Two persons died and 22 others suffered injuries when the 78408 Bhubaneshwar-Bhadrak passenger train rammed into a goods train from behind at a passenger halt near Cuttack in Odisha this evening, official sources said.
The train was crowded with passengers because private bus operators were on a strike today across the state, sources said.
The deceased were identified as Amulya Mohanty and Ranjit Das, East Coast Railway spokesperson J. P. Mishra told NetIndian.
The mishap occurred at around 6.30 pm when the passenger train rammed into the stationary goods train, which was on the same track. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals, the sources said.
Senior officials of the East Coast Railway, including General Manager Umesh Singh, rushed to the scene of the mishap.
Personnel from the Odisha Disaster Response Action Force (ODRAF) as well as from the district administration and police also reached the site as soon as news of the accident was received.
Rescue teams had to use gas cutters and other equipment to extricate the trapped passengers. Relief trains and medical vans were also rushed to the spot.
Efforts were being made to restore traffic on the affected section at the earliest, Mr. Mishra said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and told officials to expedite rescue and relief efforts. He said the state government would bear the cost of treatment of the injured passengers.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu expressed deep concern over the accident and ordered an inquiry into the incident.
He said anyone found guilty of negligence in the incident would be punished severely.
The East Coast Railway has set up the following helpline numbers at Cuttack: 0674-2490670, 0674-2301525 and 9437579238.

We have to improve our death bowling: Dhoni

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stressed the importance of death bowling after Chennai Super Kings stole a thriller against Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here tonight.

"The performance was great, we need to improve our death bowling drastically. We didn't get off to a good start, the pressure was there on the middle order. You can't really afford to play too many dot balls, you have to be there till the 15th or 16th over to cash in," said Dhoni.
Man of the Match Ravindra Jadeja, who nowadays is ridiculed as Sir Jadeja on the social media, said he was not trying to play silly shots.
"(With reference to Sir) they are just making fun in a lighter way, not a serious way. I was confident about my batting, I scored two triple-hundreds this season. I was not trying to play any silly shots, it was a good wicket," he said.
Royal Challengers skipper Virat Kohli said his team lost the match in the last six over.
"It was our game to lose in the last six overs. We are relying on big partnership as of now, a few small partnerships will do good for us. RP, T20 is a game like that, I'm still proud of him," he said.

Knight Riders beat Deccan Chargers by 5 wickets in IPL V

Kolkata Knight Riders logo
Kolkata Knight Riders beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets here tonight and denied them their maiden win in the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Knight Riders chased down the target of 127 with an over to spare after skipper Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary scored 30 each. Tiwary, who remained unbeaten, and Jacques Kallis (23) added 33 crucial runs for the fifth wicket that took Knight Riders to the third spot in the points table with eight points from seven matches.
Deccan Changers, 2009 champions, remained at the bottom of the table and are yet to taste a win even after five matches in the fifth season of the 20-20 tournament.
While chasing a small target of 127, Knight Riders kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 64 for three despite a 28-ball 30 by Gambhir.
But Kallis and Tiwary played a composed knock that took Knight Riders to the threshold of their fourth win in the tournament. Tiwary and Debabrata Das (9 not out) took the team home safely.
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn was the pick of the Deccan Chargers bowlers, picking up two for 24 while Ankit Sharma, Veer Pratap Singh and Anand Rajan bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, Knight Riders spinner Sunil Narine (2-26) and pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji (2-22) restricted Deccan Chargers to 126 for seven in 20 overs. Shikhar Dhawan was the top scorer with 50.
Deccan Chargers were cruising well at 81 for one but they suffered a collapse and lost seven wickets for 40 runs.
Deccan Chargers skipper Kumar Sangakkara said his team could have got to 150.
"We got a great start, was a great platform. We should have got 150, but Knight Riders fielded brilliantly. We can talk about another missed catch probably, but we bowled well, and made it difficult for Knight Riders," he said.
Knight Riders' Tiwary said it was a tough wicket to bat on. "It was a double-paced with wicket. It was stopping against the spinners, but coming on nicely off the fast bowlers," he said.
The two teams now face off each other in the return encounter in Kolkata, Tuesday.
Deccan Chargers:
Kumar Sangakkara b Balaji 12
Shikhar Dhawan c Das b Bhatia 50
Parthiv Patel run out (Kallis/Bhatia) 23
Cameron White c Das b Lee 10
Jean Paul Duminy not out 16
Ishant Jaggi c McCullum b Narine 3
Ankit Sharma c Gambhir b Balaji 1
Dale Steyn c Tiwary b Narine 7
Amit Mishra not out 1
Extras (lb 2, nb 1) 3
Total (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 126
Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Sangakkara, 5.5 overs), 2-81 (Patel, 11.3), 3-95 (White, 14.1), 4-100 (Dhawan, 15.4), 5-109 (Jaggi, 17.4), 6-113 (Ankit, 18.3), 7-121 (Steyn, 19.2) 
Yusuf Pathan 2-0-19-0
Brett Lee 4-0-15-1
Sunil Narine 4-0-26-2
Lakshmipathy Balaji 4-0-22-2
Jacques Kallis 2-0-16-0
Rajat Bhatia 4-0-26-1
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Brendan McCullum lbw Steyn 10
Gautam Gambhir c Sangakkara b Anand 30
Manvinder Bisla b Mishra 10
Jacques Kallis c Patel b Steyn 23 
Yusuf Pathan b Ankit 6
Manoj Tiwary not out 30
Debabrata Das not out 9
Extras (lb 2, w 7) 9
Total (for five wickets in 19 overs) 127 
Fall of wickets: 1-16 (McCullum, 2.5 overs), 2-44 (Bisla, 6.6), 3-64 (Gambhir, 9.5), 4-72 (Pathan, 10.4), 5-105 (Kallis, 16.2)
Dale Steyn 4-0-24-2
Ankit Sharma 4-0-19-1 
Veer Pratap Singh 4-0-35-0
Amit Mishra 4-0-27-1 
Cameron White 1-0-8-0
Anand Rajan 2-0-11-1
Toss: Knight Riders, who chose to field
Result: Knight Riders won by five wickets
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Shavir Tarapore
TV umpire: Vineet Kulkarni
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)

Odisha govt. conducts joint review of externally aided projects in the state

The Government of Odisha (GoO) conducted a joint review of all externally-aided projects with senior officials from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) in the Ministry of Finance, and representatives from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Bhubaneswar today.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) also made a presentation on how the state could improve its business environment, and leverage the investments from the private sector and the development potential of its entrepreneurs, a press release from the World Bank said.
Three World Bank projects, totaling a commitment of $ 404.8 million, were reviewed. These included the Odisha Community Tank Management Project ($ 75.1 million), the Odisha State Roads Project ($ 250 million), and the Odisha Rural Livelihoods Project ($ 79.6 million). The ADB-supported Odisha Integrated irrigated Agriculture and Water Management Improvement Program ($139 million) and the IFAD-supported Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood  program ($ 20 million) were also reviewed.

Sharma shines in India's thrilling one-wicket win over Windies

Rohit Sharma's valiant knock of 72 off 99 balls gave India a thrilling one-wicket victory over the West Indies in their nerve-wracking first encounter of the five-match ODI series at the Barabati stadium here tonight.

India made heavy weather of a modest target of 212 set by the West Indies, losing half of the side in quick succession, but Sharma's rescue act enabled the team to overhaul the target in 48.5 overs.   
The top order put up a pathetic exhibition of batting as three of them - Gautam Gambir(4), Virat Kohli (3) and Suresh Raina (5)- failed to reach double digits,  while the openers - Parthiv Patel and Virendra Sehwag - went back after scoring 12 and 20, respectively.
The Indian top order was wrecked by a belligerent pace attack from Kemar Roach and Andre Russel, who claimed five wickets between them.
With the team reeling at 59/5, Sharma, the comeback man, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja joined hands and led the resuce and revival act.
Their gritty association of 83 for the sixth wicket put India on course to victory. Jadeja (38), however, threw his wicket away and brought West Indies back into the game. The all-rounder slashed a full and wide delivery of Kiron Pollard and handed a simple catch to Simons at point.
Sharma continued to take the attack to the opposition and notched up his ninth half century in the fifty-over format. The 24-year-old's match winning knock comprised three crisply timed boundaries and a huge six.
The Mumbai player's dismissal when 11 runs were still required unfolded another twist in the tale. Even Vinay Kumar (18), who gave ample support to Sharma and was looking good, departed leaving the two rookie pacers - Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav - to  do the finishing. 
The greenhorns held their nerves and ensured a thrilling one-wicket victory for their side without further ado.  
Earlier, a superb display of all-round bowling enabled India to limit the visitors to a modest 211.
The visiting side were off to a poor start, losing three wickets within ten overs with 52 runs on board after stand-in captain Sehwag decided to field after winning the toss.
Vinay Kumar drew first blood for the hosts by dismissing Adrian Barath (17). The Carribean opener edged an away going delivery of Kumar which was pouched by wicket-keeper Patel.
Marlon Samuels (10) and Lendl Simmons (19) followed the opener in quick succession. Samuels was cleaned up by Aaron, while Simons became a vcitim of Umesh Yadav. 
Darren Sammy in company of Danza Hyatt steadied the Carribean ship forging a 75-run association for the fourth wicket. 
The Jamaican-Trinidadian progress came to an abrupt end when Hyatt (31) fell short of his crease while sneaking a tight single. He was done in by a brilliant throw from Vinay Kumar and the alertness of Patel.    
Bravo, cousin of great Brian Lara, contiued to wage a lone battle and brought up his sixth ODI fifty in the process. The 22-year-old scored a 74-ball 60 before playing on to his stumps while attempting a drive off Suresh Raina. His effort was studded with six hits to the fence.
Following his departure, the touring side lost its mooring and drifted apart as none of the lower order batsmen, excpet Russel, who scored 22, could withstand the deadly pace-spin combination of the Indians. Even Pollard (13), who joind the squad for the fifty-over
format, failed to live up to expectations and was scalped by Ravichandran Ashwin.  
In a bid to up the scoring rate in the power play, the tall hard hitter tried to hoist the spinner out of ground but found the hands of Virat Kohli at long-on.
Pace duo Varun and Umesh were the pick of the bowlers and ended with two wickets apiece, conceding 39 and 30 runs, respectively, while Kumar, Raina, Ashwin and Jadeja pocketed a scalp each. 

Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


Coast Guard helicopter makes an emergency landing in Cuttack


A helicopter of Coast Guard, Goa, flying from Barrackpore in West Bengal to Goa, made an emergency landing in a paddy field near Pratapnagari under Cuttack Sadar Police station here this morning.

Paradip Coast Guard DIG K Raghuvansi said the helicopter was flying to Goa via Bhubaneswar after a major repair at Barrackpore maintenance centre when the incident occurred.

He said Commandant Parveen Gaur and his assistant were supposed to make a night halt at Bhubaneswar tonight and fly to Goa tomorrow morning.

But when the helicopter showed some emergency signal, the pilot made a forced landing in a paddy field, Mr Raghuvansi said.

The officials of the Paradip Coast Guard were in touch with the pilot and the copter was likely to flow to Bhubaneswar soon, sources said.


Oriya film maker Basant Nayak passes away


The doyen of the Oriya film industry, Basant Nayak, a popular director, producer and distributor, passed away at a private hospital here today.

He was 74. Nayak is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter. His family said the last rites would be performed at Swargadwar in Puri today.

Born in 1937, Nayak founded "Brajaraj Movies" in 1977 at Cuttack after he left a lucrative job as a textile engineer in Mumbai and never looked back, directing and producing more than a dozen popular Oriya films.

He also directed a Hindi film, Spandan, and two Bengali films during his four-decade career in the industry. Most of his Oriya films were big hit. They include movies such as Naga Phasa,Danda Balunga, Jahaku

Rakhibe Ananta, Badsaha, Yosodha, Mana Rahila Tumari Pakhare, I Love You, Barsa My Darling and the Love Story.

His latest movie 143, I Love You, is now running in cinema halls across the state.



Orissa HC grants bail to four suspected Maoists

The Orissa High Court today granted conditional bail to four suspected Maoists whose release was listed as one of the 14 demands of the left-wing ultras to set free the abducted Malkangiri District collector R Vineel Krishna last month.

Mr Krishna, along with junior engineer P Majhi, was kept hostage by Maoists from February 16. While Mr Majhi was released by the Maoists on February 23, the Collector was freed on the subsequent day.

A single-judge bench of Justice C R Dash granted the bail to Andaluri Eswari, Kendula Sirisha alias Padma, wife of top Andhra Maoist leader Ramakrishna, Roja Mandingi and Gokul Kuldipia with some stringent conditions even as the Orissa government counsel did not oppose their bail pleas.

All the four were arrested by the Orissa police in Similiguda in Koraput district on November 13 last when they were sneaking into the state from Andhra Pradesh by a car. The police recovered Maoist literatures and some books from their possession. The Similiguda police had booked them under charges of sedition and waging war against the government.

While granting the bail, the high court directed that the bails would be executed in SDJM court of Jeypur in Koraput district with a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with two sureties each. Mr Justice Dash, however, imposed separate conditions for Eswari and Padma who are residents of Andhra Pradesh.

Eswari, a native of Vishakhapatnam and Padma, a native of Prakasham district would be handed over to Andhra Pradesh police within 48 hours. The Judge also directed both shall not enter Orissa except when they are summoned by the Orissa court.

For Roja and Gokul, both residents of Narayanpatna police station, in Koraput district, the court directed that they would report to the local police every 15 days and would not move out of the police station jurisdiction without prior permission of the investigating police officer.

Earlier, Orissa High Court had granted bail to Maoist intellectual Ganti Prasad Rao alias Prasadam on the eve of release of abducted Mr Krishna on February 24.

However, Prasadam has not executed his bail bond as his counsel had stated that as long as other Maoists and tribals lodged in various jails in Orissa will not be freed,he would prefer to stay in the jail.


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