The week was a hectic one for sportspersons of the state. While some of them were busy taking part in events, others were seen putting in their best to get selected for the state team in various disciplines.
The state cricket team came up with a disappointing performance in their penultimate league match of the ongoing Ranji Trophy. They lost against visitors Vidarbha on the DRIEMS Ground, in Tangi, Cuttack.
Vidarbha scored 206 and 140 in their two innings while Odisha could only manage 121 and 119, losing the match by 106 runs.
Meanwhile, Media XI retained the Friendship Cup, defeating Bureaucrats XI by six wickets in a nail-biting final in the 6th Tata Steel Festival Cricket Tournament at the Infosys stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Chasing 90 in 12 overs, Media XI reached the target with one ball to spare.
From a challenging situation where 23 runs were needed from the last two overs, Pradosh Baliarsingh changed the match, hitting the opposition captain, Manoj Chhabra, for a huge six followed by a boundary off consecutive balls. The winning shot came off Fazal Alii’s bat.
For Bureaucrats XI, Debi Priya Biswal’s 36 was the best performance.
Khirod Behera claimed three wickets for Media XI.
The 35th National Softball Championship was inaugurated at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
Organised by Odisha Softball Association and the host university, the tournament features as many as 700 players.
Forty-five men and women teams are taking part in the event hosted for the fifth time in Odisha in 18 years.
Based on performances in the national championship, players will be selected for the West Asian Softball Championship.
International chess player Debashis Das will be conferred the 20th ‘Ekalabya Puraskar’ for 2012 on Wednesday. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
Apart from Das, weightlifter Pramila Krisani and athlete Shrabani Nanda will receive citations.
Debashis Das has a brilliant national and international track record. Among his achievements are a bronze medal at the World Youth Championship held in Caldas Novas (Brazil) in November 2010, and gold as member of the Gold Winning Team at the World Youth (under-18) World Chess Championship 2010, Beijing. He is the second youngest International Master of Odisha.
Citation winners, athlete Shrabani Nanda and weightlifter Pramila Krisani, selected for their performances both at the national and international level, will receive a cash award of Rs 50,000 each.
Battle of the belts
The 4th All-India Open Karate Championship was held at the Utkal Karate School from December 23 to 25.
The hosts were the co-organisers along with the Shuko Kai Karate Union. Over 400 participants from Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha took part in the event. The karatekas contested for titles in different weight categories in girls, boys, junior, senior, youth, cadet and men and women segments.
The National Chess Championship for the Blind will begin at KIIT International School on Wednesday. Organised by KIIT University, under All- India Chess Federation for Blind with All-Odisha Chess Association, 50 international rated players will participate in the event. There are a few players who have national and international titles and medals in the Blind Chess Olympiad. Two brothers from Odisha, Prachurya Kumar Pradhan (current junior blind champion) and Soundarya Kumar Pradhan, will be the local favourites among the 14 players from the state expected to take part.