Firstpost Episode 227: India beat Pakistan in ICC Cricket World Cup, Maurizio Sarri joins Juventus as coach and more
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost. Today, we'll discuss India's convincing win over Pakistan in World Cup, Maurizio Sarri joining Juventus as coach and more.
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
Today, we'll discuss India's convincing win over Pakistan in World Cup, Maurizio Sarri joining Juventus as coach and more.
1. In World Cup news, the much hyped India-Pakistan match turned out to be a one-sided contest as Rohit Sharma produced an elegant hundred to help India win by 89 runs in a rain-marred encounter in Manchester.
India were just too good for Pakistan on Sunday, outshining their one-time rivals in all three departments of the game. Rohit Sharma, and stand-in opener KL Rahul, took the game away from Pakistan right at the start with a century partnership. The two were cautious at first, seeing off the danger of Mohammad Amir, before unleashing the stroke play that India’s batting is known for. Rohit pummelled the pedestrian Pakistan attack, scoring his 24th ODI century, and the second of this World Cup. He finished with 140 off 113 balls. Rahul made a steady 57 after which skipper Virat Kohli played a clinical innings, scoring 77 from 65 balls. Kohli also became the fastest batsman to reach 11,000 ODI runs. He got to the milestone in 222 innings, over 50 innings faster than the previous best of 276 held by Sachin Tendulkar. Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar played cameos to get India to 336/5 on a rainy day pitch.
It was then the turn of the bowlers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar retired hurt midway through his third over after pulling a hamstring. Vijay Shankar came on to complete Bhuvi’s over and trapped Imam-ul-Haq LBW on his very first ball. The first Pakistani wicket fell with just 13 on the board. Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman then stitched together a flowing 104-run partnership, pretty much the only thing that went right for them on Sunday. Kuldeep Yadav bowled an utter beauty to shatter Babar’s stumps and leave Pakistan 117/2. Once their best batsman was dismissed, Pakistan never recovered. They slumped to 129/5 in no time as their fans started trudging out of Old Trafford. Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar claimed two wickets each as Pakistan’s batsmen failed to cope with India’s disciplined bowling and fielding. When play was stopped by rain, just after 35 overs, they had managed just 166 runs for the loss of six wickets, nowhere near the DLS par-score of 252.
When play resumed, the match was reduced to 40 overs with a revised target of 302, which meant that Pakistan required a nearly impossible 136 runs from five overs. They finished with 212/6, as India won by a massive 89 runs. It’s fair to say that, for India, the demons of the 2017 Champions Trophy final have been laid to rest after an utterly dominating victory. India have now defeated Pakistan 7 times at the world cup.
They now have three wins from 4 matches, with one match abandoned due to rain, and are, arguably, the strongest side in the tournament.
2) In football news, Maurizio Sarri was named the new coach of Juventus on Sunday following his exit from Chelsea.
Sarri returns to Italy on a three-year deal just a season after leaving Napoli for Stamford Bridge, where he failed to garner fan support despite winning the Europa League and returning the Blues to the Champions League, thanks to a third-place finish in the Premier League.
Juventus said in a statement, “Maurizio Sarri has returned to Italy, where he has coached for the majority of his career. And from today, he will take over the reins at Juventus with a contract until June 30, 2022.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said, “In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant.”
The Europa League win last month was Sarri's first major trophy as a coach, but he will be expected to deliver far more in Turin. Juventus have won Serie A for the past eight seasons, denying Sarri's former club Napoli in the process. However, Massimiliano Allegri left at the end of the campaign after failing to guide the Italian giants to Champions League glory despite the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo last year. Winning the Italian giants' first Champions League title since 1996 will be Sarri's top priority.
Chelsea, meanwhile, must now turn their attention to hiring an 11th permanent manager of Roman Abramovich's reign in charge of the club. They are expected to try and lure the club's record goal scorer Frank Lampard back to Stamford Bridge. Lampard has had just one full season in club management at Derby County, who he led to the final of the Championship playoffs.
3) The Indian men's recurve team cracked under pressure against China to settle for a silver in the Archery World Championships on Sunday.
Seeking a maiden gold in the World Championships, India led 27-26 midway into the first set but the trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav let the opportunity slip later in the final. Seizing the opportunity, The Chinese team of Ding Yiliang, Wei Shaoxuan and Feng Hao produced a solid and consistent performance as they capitalised from the second set to seal a 6-2 win.
The men's recurve team featured in the final of the World Championships after a gap of 14 years. It was India's sixth silver at the World Championships where the country is yet to win a gold medal.
India ended their campaign with one silver and two bronze medals won in the women's compound team and individual events.
The men's recurve team, who had slumped to number 17 in rankings from being number one in May 2011, surprised everyone by sealing the Olympic quota place ahead of the fancied women's team. This is the first time since 2014 that the Indian men's team made the final of a world event. India won a silver at the Wroclaw Stage IV World Cup in 2014 with Rai being a member of the team, alongside Das and Jayanta Talukdar.
4) Motorsport now. In MotoGP, Spain's Marc Marquez, riding a Honda, stretched his lead atop the standings after streaking to victory on Sunday in Catalonia.
It was five-time world champion Marquez's first victory since 2014 on his home track of Montmelo, and came hot on the heels of that of his younger brother Alex in the Moto2 class earlier in the day.
French Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, just 11 days after undergoing surgery on his arm, started from pole in the seventh MotoGP of the season and eventually came in second, 2.66sec off Marquez.
The victory saw Marquez leapfrog Italian teammate Lorenzo Baldassarri in the standings.
There was more glory for Spain in the Moto3 race when Marcos Ramirez, on a Honda, notched up his maiden victory. He became the 12th different winner in the last 12 races in the highly competitive category. Ramirez took the lead from Honda teammate Kaito Toba after the Japanese, who started 24th on the grid, fell on the final lap.
Marquez’s win came on the 70th anniversary of MotoGP. The competition's first race, the Tourist Trophy of the Isle of Man, was held in 1949 and won by Britain's Freddie Frith.
Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo fires Manchester United into last 16, Chelsea thump Juventus to progress
Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by Benfica at the Camp Nou in Xavi's second game as coach, but remain above the Portuguese side in Group E.
Inter have won seven of their last nine matches in all competitions – drawing the other two – and are on a high after ensuring passage to the Champions League last 16 after a decade away midweek.
Dusan Vlahovic struck twice as Fiorentina ended AC Milan's unbeaten Serie A record on Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 win in Florence.