Firstpost Spodcast Episode 133: Manika Batra breaks into top-50 in table tennis rankings, Bengaluru FC's win in ISL and more

Today, we discuss Manika Batra becoming first Indian woman to break into table-tennis top-50, G Sathiyan reaching career-high 28, Bengaluru FC's win in ISL and more.

FP Sports January 31, 2019 12:26:46 IST
Firstpost Spodcast Episode 133: Manika Batra breaks into top-50 in table tennis rankings, Bengaluru FC's win in ISL and more
  • Manika Batra became the first Indian woman to break into the table-tennis top-50 rankings.

  • G Sathiyan, who was ranked 31 previously, is now at 28 while veteran Sharath Kamal, who achieved a career best ranking of 30 has dropped three places to 33.

  • Bengaluru FC climbed back to the top of the points table after a thrilling 2-1 win over North East United.

We begin with table tennis. Manika Batra became the first Indian woman to break into the table-tennis top-50 yesterday. Batra, who was ranked 51 previously, moved up four places to 47 in the February rankings released by the International Table Tennis Federation.

G Sathiyan, who was ranked 31 previously, is now at 28 while veteran Sharath Kamal, who achieved a career best ranking of 30 has dropped three places to 33. Kamal was awarded the Padma Shri last week.

KL Rahul will play for India A in their first unofficial Test against England Lions in Wayanad from 7-10 February. Rahul was suspended after the controversy surrounding his appearance Koffee With Karan with fellow cricketer Hardik Pandya. Their offensive remarks on the show earned them suspensions from the BCCI, but those were set aside pending an inquiry by an ombudsman who will be appointed by the Supreme Court.

Sri Lanka's preparations for the final Test against Australia suffered more setbacks on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka’s problems began when bowlers Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera were forced to return home after picking up injuries in the first Test in Brisbane.

Now comes news that coach Chandika Hathurusingha was stripped of his team selection responsibilities while the batting coach returned home for personal reasons.

There were reports of another controversy brewing on Wednesday morning. All-rounder Thisara Perera has hit back at ODI skipper Lasith Malinga’s wife Tanya for alleging on social media that he had requested the Sri Lankan sports minister’s help to secure his place in the one-day side.

British investigators said it is “likely” that two seat cushions, which washed up on the French shore this week are from the missing plane carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala to Cardiff. Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said, “From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.”

An ISL update now. Bengaluru FC climbed back to the top of the points table after a thrilling 2-1 win over North East United.

Bengaluru were aggressive from the get go, as they have been all season. The pressure paid off as Mislav Komorski scored an own goal in the 14th minute, handing Bengaluru a 1-0 lead. North East tried to equalize but had no luck as Bengaluru goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had yet another great game. Eventually, in the 60th minute, United’s Federico Gallego scored the equaliser when his right footer got past Sandhu’s legs.

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