Playing to empty stadiums, Taiwan has managed to keep its baseball league running during the coronavirus pandemic — but social distancing went out of the window on Sunday when a game descended into an on-field brawl.The island has been held up as a model for how to battle the virus outbreak. Despite its close proximity and economic links with China, it has just 422 confirmed cases and six deaths. “For our international viewers, you need to understand that this never really happens in the CPBL,” he added, referring to the league’s formal name.”It’s usually a very conservative league. They don’t even argue balls or strikes or outs very often.”Taiwan’s new baseball season opened last weekend — although fans are not allowed into the stands in a bid to keep infections down.Rakuten made headlines after they unveiled a troupe of robots to bang drums and mannequins to stand it for real fans.Eleven Sports Taiwan said it had close to a million views during two games live-streamed with English commentary last week.Many other sports leagues have tough decisions to make on whether and when to let new seasons begin during the ongoing pandemic.Pro baseball leagues in South Korea and Japan are targeting starts in May and June respectively after delays.But the US Major League Baseball (MLB) may cancel the 2020 season altogether as America’s coronavirus deaths soar past 40,000.Topics : As a measure of its success, Taiwan has one of the few professional sports leagues in the world still operating, and a new international audience starved of games back home.We’ve got a benches clearing brawl in Taiwan!!! pic.twitter.com/gPvPvWtHSx— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) April 19, 2020But on Sunday night, fans following on TV watched as the Rakuten Monkeys against Fubon Guardians erupted in a bench-clearing brawl.The melee broke out after Fubon pitcher Henry Sosa hit in-fielder Kuo Yen-wen in the hip with an inside ball, the fourth inside pitch at Kuo.”There are some tempers exploding out there right now,” an English-speaking commentator said on Eleven Sports Taiwan, which has started broadcasting Rakuten Monkeys home games in English worldwide.
“We have never been able to afford the basic pension,” the spokesperson said, adding that funds for the measure are based on EU financial transaction tax that will never exist.A national debate has erupted yet again after, on May 15, the German parliament reviewed in the first reading a draft law for the introduction of the Grundrente for long-term insurance in the statutory pension, based on a gorvernment proposal.The coalition partners, consisting of the SPD, CDU and CSU parties, included the basic pension in a contract to support Angela Merkel’s government in 2018, reviewed last November, but still a source of doubts on essential points.The SPD originally required that the income would not play a role to assess whether a person had the right to a basic pension, while the Union (CDU/CSU) asked to take into account not only their income but also their entire financial situation.The pension expert for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Peter Weiß, now believes that a basic pension will start in 2021, but one condition, he said, is a solid financing concept.The government intends to present various financing models, including a European financial transaction tax, but “we lack a binding, clear statement of where and when this money is available. This is a basic requirement for the Union. The financial concept must also be in place if we give the final consultation (on the law) in the parliament,” he explained.Under the new scheme, additional pension will be paid to anyone who has at least 33 years of contributions to the statutory pension insurance based on periods of employment, child-rearing or care work.The basic pension is calculated in steps, from 33 to 35 years of contribution to ensure that also below 35 years additional payment is provided, according to the legislator.The Grundrente is guaranteed after assessing that single earners own a maximum monthly income of €1,250, or €15,000 per year, and €1,950 per month (€ 23,400 per year), for married couples or partners.The parliamentary commission labour and social affairs” will hold a hearing on the draft law on May 25. The Deutsche Rentenversicherung (DRV), the administrator of the state pension scheme, has submitted a series of proposals to streamline the financial and bureaucratic processes to grant a basic pension.In a statement, the DRV had considered an “enormous challenge” assessing the requirements for granting a pension. For the first time, pensions must be retrospectively examined and, if necessary, insurance biographies upgraded.The authority foresees July 2021 as the earliest date possible for the payment of the additional pensions because the IT architecture has to be adjusted in a highly complex pension system, and the 26 million already existing pensions can only be processed by the end of 2022.The DRV thinks it is possible that the basic pension is financed with taxes, but “parameters” for financing the measure in the new rules have not been determined exactly.An increase of the federal subsidy may not be sufficient in the long run to cover the additional expenses for pension insurances.The DRV, therefore, supports a reimbursement scheme that would also take into account additional administrative and procedural costs. Reimbursements are made, for example, by the federal government in the context of the Claim and Benefit Transfer Act (AAÜG) or by the Federal Employment Agency for reduction of earning capacity.The spokesperson for Gesamtmetall said: “The basic pension creates new injustices. Everyone involved would be well advised to forego the basic pension.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. The introduction of a basic pension in Germany – or Grundrente – has been raising pressing questions over its long-term financial sustainability.“Pension policy decisions will cost money for decades to come and the basic pension will not help against old-age poverty,” a spokesperson for Gesamtmetall, the organisation representing companies in the metal and electrical engineering sector, told IPE.According to Gesamtmetall, the costs to provide a basic pension are “enormous”, with €400m in administrative expenses to calculate in 2021 alone for a pension insurance pot of €1.3bn.A total of around 1.3 million people will benefit from the basic pension from 2021, including 70% of women.
Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: We’re ‘not going to be a market-setter’ on contracts for Ezekiel Elliott, other stars Ezekiel Elliott contract: Cowboys star’s no deal-no play ultimatum ‘news to us,’ COO says The Cowboys will be down a defensive end when they open preseason play this week.Robert Quinn, who is entering his ninth NFL season and first with Dallas, left Tuesday’s workout “with a hand issue,” according to a report from 105.3 FM The Fan, a local Dallas radio station. The issue turned out to be a serious fracture that will require surgery. However, the team is optimistic he will be able to play when the Cowboys host the Giants in the season opener. “I think he’ll be ready for the start of the season, for sure,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “The relief is he’s going to be back and be fine and be ready to play the Giants (in Week 1).” Related News Amari Cooper leaves Cowboys practice with heel injury Check out the play where #Cowboys DE Robert Quinn fractured his left hand. He’ll need surgery, but Stephen Jones says Quinn should be ready for the season opener.#WFAACowboys pic.twitter.com/4IxyjYVsif— Joe Trahan (@JoeTrahan) August 7, 2019Dallas acquired Quinn from Miami during the offseason.He had 6 1/2 sacks for Miami last season and has 69 in his career.Quinn, who was the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft, is a two-time Pro Bowl player and was a first-team All-Pro in 2013 after racking up 19 sacks for St. Louis.He also spent two seasons with Los Angeles. Quinn seems to be excited about his new home.“I don’t see a weakness, which is unbelievable to say,” he said recently. “It makes you more excited to come into the building. It makes you want to work harder. You don’t want to let anyone down because of what they did last year. I believe I’m a pretty decent player. So I just want to add what I can do and help this team get even better.”
Axios reporter Alexi McCammond shared a story of her encounter with Charles Barkley from Tuesday night in which the NBA analyst reportedly told her, “I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you.”McCammond is a reporter who is covering the 2020 presidential election. She was in Atlanta to cover Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, and she was interviewing Barkley about his support for former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Barkley made his comment off the record, but McCammond explained why it was important for her to break that agreement.McCammond also tweeted a photo of Barkley as proof he was there.On Wednesday morning, Barkley sent an apology statement through Turner Sports.Before Barkley’s statement, McCammond sent a series of tweets further explaining why she broke the off-the-record agreement.”I hate being part of a story so here’s a reminder that this is so much bigger than me: nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence. It’s not about me or my feelings — though I’m grateful for the many friends who have reached out. But it’s about refusing to allow this culture to perpetuate because of silence on these issues. It’s easier and less awkward to be silent, but that helps NO ONE but the perpetrator. I encourage you to consider how you’d respond if a friend said something similar to what Barkley said tonight. And then challenge yourself to ask the same of yourself if a stranger (or ‘celebrity’) said that. I hope the answers are the same. Everyone should be held accountable.”After McCammond’s tweet started gaining attention, other social media users began to find similarly misogynistic quotes from Barkley’s past. For instance, when the NBA was looking to hire female referees, Barkley said, “This is a man’s game, and it should stay that way.” Another quote of his that gained a lot of attention was something he said in 1990 after a win against the Nets.”This is a game that if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids,” Barkley said at the time. “Did you see my wife jumping up and down at the end of the game? That’s because she knew I wasn’t going to beat her.” Barkley had the same response back then as he does now, claiming it was a bad joke.As for any repercussions for Barkley, it appears he’ll avoid any harsh punishment from Turner Sports. The company’s release Wednesday morning just added Barkley’s statement and made no mention of a potential suspension.UPDATE: Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, citing unnamed sources, reported Wednesday night that Barkley will appear on Thursday’s “Inside the NBA” and issue another apology.
by Malik VincentUnfortunately for City League teams playing in area tip-off tournaments last weekend, none could muster more than a split in their two games.On the boys side, four teams earned a split.1. Carrick participated in the Brentwood Tournament. They won their first game 74-34 over the host Spartans on Friday night. They then dropped an 85-82 thriller to Meadville in the championship game on Saturday.2. Peabody played in the South Side Beaver tournament. They suffered a 69-48 loss to Quaker Valley in the opening game but bounced back to avenge the host Rams in the consolation game, 73-56 on Saturday.3. Perry, the defending champs, came out strong with a 72-66 win over Beaver Falls in the New Castle tournament on Friday but dropped a 67-49 decision to the host Red Hurricanes in the final.4. Schenley fell to Bethel Park in its tournament, 58-44, on Friday but prevailed in the consolation match, 52-46, the next day against Mercyhurst Prep.Other teams: Brashear (Pine-Richland tournament) lost 67-39 to Woodland Hills and 53-42 to Summit Academy; Langley (Plum tournament) lost to Plum 71-41 and Highlands 58-56; and Oliver (North Hills tournament) lost to North Hills, 70-45, and Hampton, 55-31.For the girls, two teams came away with at least one victory.1. Allderdice beat host Serra Catholic, 56-45, in the opening game on Friday but dropped the championship, 53-48, to Vincentian Academy on Saturday.2. Brashear lost to Avonworth in the opening round of the Brentwood tournament, 70-26, on Friday then bounced back to claim the consolation match-up, 63-35, over league opponent Carrick on the following day.Other teams: Oliver did not participate in a tournament but lost their nonconference opener to Belle Vernon, 50-12 on Friday; Perry (Seneca Valley tournament) lost their opener to Riverside, 58-17, and it is unknown how they fared in the consolation round against Valley; Carrick (Brentwood tournament) lost 60-30 to Brentwood and 63-35 to Brashear; Peabody (Wilkinsburg tournament) lost to Wilkinsburg, 58-32, and Clairton, 55-28; Schenley (St. Joseph tournament) lost to St. Joseph, 38-23, and Riverview 39-19, and Westinghouse (Trinity tournament) lost to Trinity, 39-34, and Washington, 39-37.(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
by Doug Ferguson AP Golf Writer SAN DIEGO (AP) — Due to the fog that wiped out an entire day of golf, the Farmers Insurance Open was never going to end on Sunday.Tiger Woods just made it look as if it was over.Hands thrust in the pockets of his rain pants, Woods walked off Torrey Pines in the chill of twilight with a six-shot lead and only 11 more holes standing in the way of winning on the public course along the Pacific Ocean for the eighth time in his pro career.He drove the ball with superb control in the third round on his way to a 3-under 69 to build a four-shot lead after three rounds. He lost control with his driver in the fourth round and still managed three birdies in seven holes.“All we can do tomorrow is go out and try to make him think about it a little bit and see what happens,” said Nick Watney, one of two former winners at Torrey Pines who faced the tough task of trying to make up six shots on Woods.The other was defending champion Brandt Snedeker.“I’ve got a guy at the top of the leaderboard that doesn’t like giving up leads,” Snedeker said. “So I have to go catch him.”Woods was at 17-under par for the tournament and will resume his round on the par-3 eighth hole. CBS Sports wants to televise the Monday finish — no surprise with Woods in the lead — so play won’t start until 2 p.m. EST.Snedeker played 13 holes of the final round. Watney played eight holes. Both were at 11-under par.Woods played 25 holes. He started with a two-shot lead and tripled it before darkness suspended the final round.“It was a long day … and I played well today,” Woods said. “Overall, I’m very pleased that I was able to build on my lead.”Thick fog washed out all of Saturday, forcing players to go from sunrise to sunset Sunday. They finished the third round, took about 30 minutes for lunch and went right back onto the golf course. IN CONTROL–Tiger Woods pulls his driver from the bag as he gets ready for his tee shot on the fourth hole at Torrey Pines during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, Jan. 27, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:28Groups urge swift passage of bill on higher tax on e-cigs, liquor01:15DOH wants a drug rehab center in every region01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next Although they didn’t always see eye to eye on some matters, the duo formed one of the most celebrated player-coach relationships in all of sports.Bryant, meanwhile, has also been referred to as the closest player to Jordan, and was considered his heir apparent during his career.The two played the same position and displayed a seemingly frenzied drive and passion for the game.Other big-name stars eligible for the loaded Hall of Fame Class of 2021 include Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT Warriors come back to beat Wizards; Green, Beal ejected John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kobe Bryant gestures to fans as he takes the court for his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers against Utah Jazz in their season-ending NBA western division matchup n Los Angeles, California, on April 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO/FREDERIC J. BROWNKobe Bryant is definitely a shoo-in in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in four years’ time.In a storied career that span 20 seasons, the five-time NBA champion has worked with and played against some of the biggest names in basketball.ADVERTISEMENT But when it comes to the person he wants to present him come the historic day, “The Black Mamba” already has two people in mind.“For me it’s two people: Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson,” Bryant told Complex’s Liz Levy.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They’ve been the greatest mentors, not only in my career as an athlete but also as a person. And what I might say is just a lot of thank yous. ‘Cause I’ve had a lotta help along the way. A lotta lotta help.”Jackson, of course, steered the ship for Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship dynasty from 2000 to 2002, and again in 2009 and 2010.
Defending champion Roger Federer matched a Grand Slam record which magnifies his extraordinary consistency over eight years, while Francesca Schiavone established a record for endurance in a women’s singles match.Day 7 at Melbourne Park was a day of record marks for the majors.Roger Federer returns to Tommy Robredo during their fourth round match at the Australian Open on Sunday. APFederer equalled Jimmy Connors’ mark for consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals appearances when he beat Tommy Robredo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday. The 16-time Grand Slam winner has now reached the quarterfinals at 27 majors in a row since 2004.He’ll next play Stanislas Wawrinka in the first all-Swiss quarterfinal at a major in the Open era. Wawrinka had a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Andy Roddick in the last match Sunday, meaning there’ll be no Americans in the men’s or women’s quarterfinals.”Obviously wasn’t the showing that we wanted, you know, but I’m doing what I can,” said Roddick, who said Wawrinka completely outplayed him. He planned to book a flight home first thing Monday.On the women’s side, French Open champion Schiavone established a Grand Slam record, needing 4 hours, 44 minutes for her 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 fourth-round win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.Schiavone saved six match points, then converted on her third match point in the longest women’s match at a major in terms of time in the Open era. The previous record was set here last year when Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova beat Regina Kulikova 7-6 (5), 6-7 (10), 6-3 in a match lasting 4:19.The 30-year-old Italian battled exhaustion but, “at the end, you have something more, always.”advertisement”Was for me, fantastic,” she said. “When you’re in a situation like this, every point is like a match point. You have to keep going. You know that physically you’re tired. Mentally just keep going.”Kuznetsova said the match was so long she was forgetting the score or who should serve.Schiavone said it wasn’t quite that bad for her, “but I was watching the clock, and I say – ‘Bravo, Francesca, you are tough!'”Schiavone will meet top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals.Shortly after, 2008 champion Maria Sharapova lost 6-2, 6-3 to Andrea Petkovic, who had a relatively easy run into the fourth round when Venus Williams – the last American in the women’s draw – retired after just four minutes in their third-round match. Sharapova attributed her loss to just a “bad day in the office.” She took one positive – it was better than her first-round exit last year.Petkovic will now take on China’s Li Na, a semifinalist here last year, in the quarterfinals.Federer didn’t concede a point on his serve in the first set, but had a lapse in the second when Robredo’s serve was dominant and he took a set off Federer for only the third time in 10 matches.Federer, seeking a fifth Australian title, regained control in the third set and dominated after getting an early break to lead 2-0.”It’s a lot of hard work. I’m sweating bullets right now,” he said. “I’m excited to be in the next round.”He admitted he’d had a tough first week, including a five-set win over Gilles Simon.”I’m in another quarterfinal. Got all the chances to make it to the semis again,” Federer said, “so I’m very pleased.”Connors reached the quarterfinals in 27 consecutive majors he entered between 1973 to 1983 – although he missed 13 Grand Slam tournaments during that period of time either through injury or because he didn’t travel to Australia.No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic is aiming for his second Australian crown. The 2008 champion advanced to the quarterfinals for the 13th time in the last 15 majors with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over No. 14 Nicolas Almagro and will next play last year’s Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, who beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.Wozniacki moved into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Anastasija Sevastova and is just one victory from ensuring she’ll retain the top ranking.The 20-year-old Dane, playing her first major as world No. 1, can keep her top ranking with an appearance in the semis.The questions about Wozniacki’s worthiness of the top ranking are starting to diminish. Asked which player she feared most, she said: “I don’t fear anyone actually.””I’m feeling confident. I feel like I can beat anyone on a good day. I think they have to fear me when they’re playing me,” she said. “I just go out there and do my best. If they’re better than me that day, it’s just too good.”advertisementWozniacki lost three of the first four games of the match before reeling off six in a row to take control.She now has reached the quarterfinals at all four majors, and she’s navigated some troublesome ground. According to the WTA, only one of the last five women to be ranked No. 1 went beyond the first round in the first major they played with the top ranking.She also steered herself in and out of trouble after telling a false story in a post-match news conference about being scratched by a kangaroo.After her match, she described an up-close encounter with a baby kangaroo that had scarred her.She said she tried to pet the kangaroo and it scratched her, and noted she had seen a doctor and rejected advice to get stitches.But she later tweeted: “Round 2 with the media:) hope you enjoyed my kangaroo story, hope you know i was just kidding:) see you on tuesday for round 3!”She later returned to Melbourne Park to clarify she’d made up the story and to apologize, saying she didn’t think anyone would believe it.
Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments LATEST STORIES Kawhi Leonard lifts Raptors within one win of NBA title dream Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess With comebacking coach Tai Bundit calling the shots once again, Creamline was caught flatfooted as it ran smack against a determined Motolite side in the first frame.But the Cool Smashers gathered their wits, out-attacking in the second set, 12-6, and then witnessing the Motolite Spikers self-destruct with 13 unforced errors in the third set.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsKaewpin scored two of her points in the later fourth set when Motolite was trying to get back racing from 21-17 to 24-23.Motolite suffered its fourth defeat in as many games. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP MANILA, Philippines—Creamline got its act together after a disastrous opening set to defeat Motolite, 13-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23, Saturday for its third straight win in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Kuttika Kaewpin banged in 17 points for the Cool Smashers who improved to 3-1, just behind the unbeaten leader PetroGazz Angels.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss
Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth booked his place in the Indonesia Open Super Series Badminton tournament finals after producing a spectacular performance to defeat Son Wan Ho of Korea in an intense semi-final contest here in Jakarta on Saturday.In a gruelling last-four contest that lasted for 73 minutes, Srikanth defeated the second-seed 21-15, 14-21, 24-22 to set up the summit clash against Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai.The Indian shuttler, who had produced a rich vein of form as he swept aside Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei 21-15, 21-14 in a one-sided quarterfinal clash yesterday, came out with a strong performance as he won the first game rather comfortably 21-15 against Wan Ho.Srikanth continued his form in the second game as well leading 5-2 before the World No. 1 made a comeback to close the gap to a solitary point at the break, Srikanth leading 11-10.The Korean then went along in the second half of the game as he dominated Srikanth, and eventually closed the game 21-14.The third game went on neck and neck as Wan Ho took a slender lead at the break, 11-10 and then a three point lead at 13-10.However, both matched each other point for point as they were tied 15-all and later 18-all.A HawkEye call by Wan Ho was overruled with the 22nd ranked Indian trailing 20-19 at match point and the third game was tied at 20-all.Srikanth then had three match points but the Wan Ho showed why he is the number one ranked player with his grit and class and came back every time to level the match up.advertisementThe 24-year-old from Hyderabad, however, brought an end to what was a marathon match on his fourth match point and entered his second consecutive Super Series final.Earlier, Sakai defeated India’s HS Prannoy 21-17, 26-28, 18-21 in a gruelling last-four contest that lasted for one hour and sixteen minutes to enter the finals.The Indian shuttler, who had stunned World and Olympic Champion Chen Long of China to enter the semifinals, won the first game 21-17 but his Japanese opponent came out with a more aggressive approach in the second game to build an early lead.However, Prannoy stuck to his natural game and clawed his way back to take an 18-17 lead. From then on the lead kept shuttling between the two till the Japanese edged out the mammoth game 28-26.Sakai, who is ranked 20 places lower to Prannoy, came out strong in the final game and built a healthy lead. However, the Indian came back again and took the lead which Sakai, holding on is nerves in the final stages, won the game 21-18 to seal the final berth.Both Prannoy and Sakai were appearing in their first Super Series semi-final. Their only previous meeting was at the Indonesia Open in 2013, where Sakai won 21-13, 14-21, 21-17.