My Youth My Pride: Flood lights add life to the stadiums, attract thousands to the venue

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SRINAGAR : With the focus on sports and sports-related activities, J&K Sports Councils’ inclusive sports program, “My Youth My Pride” is garnering more support and appreciation each day.

The Football match played under the banner of My Youth My Pride program yesterday evening drew more than 15000 spectators to the Khushal Stadium, Sopore in North Kashmir to witness one of the best matches of the ongoing Industrial Cup slated between star-studded Real Kashmir FC and Ali Jana FC. The match lived up to every single penny as the winner was decided in a tie-breaker and Real Kashmir trounced Ali Jana FC by 5-4 balls in the net.

In South Kashmir’s Anantnag, competitions in the disciplines of Cricket were held in Seer Hamdan and Mattan Play Fields. In the first semi-final of the day played between Anantnag Royals and Anantnag Arsenals, the former opted to bowl after winning the toss.

Anantnag Arsenals were bundled out for a paltry 98 runs, with Mehraan being the top contributor scoring 35 runs and Irfan chipping in with 19 runs. In reply, Anantnag Royals chased the target easily with Mushraf scoring 40 runs for the team and Adeel contributing with a little cameo of 17 runs.

Musharaf was awarded the player of the match award for his brilliant 40 runs and one wicket.

In the 2nd semi-final played between Anantnag Titans and Anantnag Spartans, the latter won the toss and elected to bat piling up 135 runs on the board. Sahil Bashir scored 35 runs while Safroon and Zeeshan contributed 34 and 33 runs respectively to the team total. Junaid was the pick of the bowlers for Titans, he claimed 3 scalps. Though Titans at one time looked well poised for the victory yet the team fell short of the target by 10 runs and lost the match by 9 runs.

Wasif for his economical bowling spell of 4 overs giving away only 20 runs and claiming 2 wickets was adjudged player of the match.

Similarly in Sports Stadium Anantnag Hockey, Football, and Netball matches were held where scores of spectators were present to support their teams and players. In the Indoor Hall of Nilandrusu, Anantnag competitions in the Wrestling, Boxing, and Badminton disciplines were held in front of a mammoth gathering.

In North Kashmir, the Baramulla district hosted several competitions in the disciplines of cricket for the visually impaired and chess.

Yesterday evening, paddlers from the Indian Accounts and Audit Department decimated West Bengal 3-0 in the Men’s 40+ final while their 50+ squad put up a grand show to win gold against Maharashtra A in a tough final by 3-2.

In the men’s 60+ and 70 team finals, Maharashtra A teams lifted the trophies, beating Delhi 3-2 and 3-1, respectively. Like on many occasions, the crucial third rubber went the way of Maharashtra as Atul Deshmukh beat Anil Goel, while the others from both sides won a tie each.

In the men’s team final of 75+ and 80+, Madhya Pradesh made it a one-sided affair against Gujarat to clinch the gold with a 3-0 verdict. Earlier, Gujarat accounted for Tamil Nadu 3-2 in a tough semi-final, while MP blanked out Karnataka B.

In the only men’s singles final of the day yesterday, in the 80+ category, Gopalan Swaminathan of Karnataka defeated West Bengal’s Kamalesh Gangopadhyay 3-1 to win the gold.

Similarly, in the women’s 60+ singles, West Bengal’s Mantu Murmu had it easy against Delhi’s Indu Sharma, the top seed in the tournament. Murmu never lost control of the match and earned her points with fewer errors. On the other hand, Indu Sharma was giving away a lot of points. Despite her resistance in the third extended game, the West Bengal woman emerged triumphant.

Maharashtra and Gujarat shared the two titles on offer yesterday, while Maharashtra’s C team on the previous day claimed the Women’s 65+ team title after beating their A team 3-0. Gujarat’s 40+ team defeated West Bengal 3-1 earlier.

The Maharashtra women’s team of 50+ struggled before overcoming Gujarat 3-2 in the best final so far. The winners had to play 16 games in all to lay claim to the gold in the see-saw battle that went down to the wire. Though Gujarat’s Sonal Joshi the star performer won both her singles games yet ended up on the losing side.

More than 350 matches of the championship were slated for the day.

On the culmination of day 3, Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt. Governor presided over the function as the Chief Guest. He encouraged the players to play with utmost enthusiasm and distributed the prizes among the winners and other participants of the championship.

 

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