1st HOCKEY TEST MATCH RESULTS: INDIA 0:2 NEW ZEALAND

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India’s Gurjinder Singh failed to convert India’s only penalty.

India’s Gurjinder Singh failed to convert India’s only penalty.

India men’s hockey team lost to New Zealand 0-2 in the opening Test match of the four-match at Nelson on Tuesday.

New Zealand took the lead early in the sixth minute via a penalty corner conversion by Nick Haig. In the second half, the hosts double the lead when Jared Panchia found the net late in the second half.

It was evident that New Zealand mens hockey team had the control of the game in the first two halves of the first Test match.

The hosts continued to remain upbeat and looked for more goals in the second half as well. They eventually doubled their lead late in the second half when Jared Panchia found the back of the net just ahead of the final whistle.

Meanwhile, India’s Gurjinder Singh failed to convert the lone penalty corner earned by India. The visitors came back strongly in the third and the fourth quarter but failed to find the net.

One would have expected a better result from India after they had won two back-to-back games against New Zealand A team ahead of this first Test match, but they could not carry that momentum into this game and ended up losing it.

India will surely try and bounce back in this series against the upbeat hosts in the second Test match of the series, which will be played on Wednesday.

HARDEN: I DESERVED MVP TITLE AND IS CAPABLE OF MORE

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It wasn’t long after the 2014-15 NBA season ended where he finished as runner-up for the MVP award and led the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference Finals, but James Harden is ready show everyone what he is capable of.

“You don’t think I can do more?” Harden asked, via Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. “Just wait. I’ll show you.”

The 26-year-old was nearly impossible to stop on offense last season, averaging 27.4 points, 7.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game. Despite the injuries Houston had to deal with, the team captured the No. 2 seed in the West and was just one series away from an NBA title.

That’s why—and no disrespect to LeBron James, Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant—the Rockets guard believes he is the best player in the NBA.

Part of the reason Harden may be able to take his game to an even higher level this coming season is the chip he has on his shoulder. As good as Curry was last season, the Arizona State product believes he should have won the MVP award.

He wasn’t shy when making his case, via Blinebury:

“I know I was the MVP. That’s 100 percent given all the things that happened last season.

Credit the Golden State Warriors for an unbelievable year. They had an unbelievable team, coaching staff, everything.

But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

Finishing runner-up to Curry in the MVP race last season could motivate Harden to be even better in 2015-16. It’s hard to imagine that, but the rest of the NBA should be on high alert just in case.

SHASHANK MANOHAR APPOINTED BCCI PRESIDENT FOR SECOND TERM

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Clean Slate: Shashank Manohar promises transparency for his term ahead

Clean Slate: Shashank Manohar promises transparency for his term ahead

SHASHANK MANOHAR APPOINTED BCCI PRESIDENT FOR SECOND TERM

Shashank Manohar was the unanimous choice as BCCI President and this was confirmed in the Special General Meeting of the BCCI in Mumbai on Sunday.

He promised to “clean the image” of the Board of Control for Cricket in India after being elected president for a second time.

The 58-year-old, who previously held the role from 2008-2011, succeeds former president Jagmohan Dalmiya who passed away last month.

“The first priority is to restore the faith of the fans,” said Manohar.

“There is grievance that the board is not transparent. It’s a perception created that because information does not come out, there’s something wrong.”

Manohar, who will serve a two-year term as head of arguably the most influential organisation in world cricket, has pledged to put the BCCI’s constitution, expenditure details and balance sheet on its website.

He also revealed that the board would appoint an independent ethics officer who would look into cases of conflict of interests involving players and administrators.

Manohar also asserted that there will be central contracts for women cricketers, a revival of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and financial accountability within state units.

The Nagpur-based lawyer was the lone candidate and elected at a special general body meeting of the BCCI at its headquarters in Mumbai.

MLB 2015: MOVING TOWARDS THE PLAYOFFS

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The Pirates lost 3-1 to Chicago cubs on Sunday.

The Pirates lost 3-1 to Chicago cubs on Sunday.

LA Angels was trailing 6-10 when they scored five runs to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

LA Angels was trailing 6-10 when they scored five runs to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

MLB 2015: MOVING TOWARDS THE PLAYOFFS

On Sunday, it’s time for 20 MLB teams to finally bid farewell to the 2015 season. For the other gifted 10, it’s hello to the postseason. In both cases, it’s time for fans to stress about their teams’ futures.

Five of the six division titles are wrapped up, as well as three of the four wild-card spots. The playoff picture would’ve been much clearer after Saturday if it weren’t for a thrilling comeback.

Leading the Los Angeles Angels 10-6 heading into the ninth inning, the Rangers had a 99 percent chance of winning the game and, by extension, the American League West, per ESPN.com. However, they let the Angels score five runs in the top of the final frame for an improbable 11-10 come-from-behind win, one that kept both their AL wild-card hopes alive and the Houston Astros’ hopes of winning the AL West division.

“It’s probably the craziest game I’ve been part of,’’ Angels center fielder Mike Trout said, via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, “with everything we’ve got on the line. We lose that game, we’re in trouble.’’

The AL playoff picture is clearly in a state of flux, nor is everything settled in the National League.

Below are tables showing the playoff picture and standings heading into Sunday’s finales, followed by a look at what’s at stake on the final day of the regular season.

2015 MLB Playoff Picture Heading into Sunday

American League
RoundAwayHome
Wild CardHouston AstrosNew York Yankeys
ALDSTexas RangersToronto Blue Jays
ALDSAstros/YankeesKansas City Royal
National League
RoundAwayHome
Wild CardChicago CubsPittsburgh Pirates
NLDSNew York MetsLos Angeles Dodgers
NLDSCubs/PiratesSt Louis Cadinals

American League, National League Relevant Standings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Division LeadersWL
Toronto (AL East)9368
Kansas City (AL Central)9467
Texas (AL West)8774
Wild Card
New York Yankees8774
Houston Astros8675
Los Angeles Angels8576
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Division LeadersWL
New York Mets (NL East)8972
St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central)10060
Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West)9170
Wild Card
Pittsburgh Pirates9764
Chicago Cubs9665