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Firstpost Spodcast Episode 187: Sunrisers Hyderabad outclass CSK, Rafael Nadal enters Monte Carlo Masters second round and more

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Sunrisers Hyderabad produced a great all-round performance at their home ground on Wednesday to outclass Chennai Super Kings and win by six wickets against the table toppers. Suresh Raina captained CSK on Wednesday as Mahendra Singh Dhoni watched the proceedings from the dressing room, being ruled out of the game with a back spasm. It was the first time since 2010 that Dhoni did not lead the Chennai team, and his absence was apparent when Chennai bowled.

In tennis news, Rafael Nadal charged out of the blocks on Wednesday to defeat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-1 in his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal, an 11-time champion at tournament, showed no sign of the knee problems which forced him to quit the Indian Wells semi-final against Roger Federer a month ago. The 32-year-old had expressed pre-tournament caution regarding the health of his knee - a worry that appears to have been overstated, going by the 76-minute master class on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev rediscovered traces of his best form with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime. The German, who is a local, reached the third round as he tamed the 18-year-old who broke through for a Miami semi-final last month

In football news, Chennaiyin FC scored their maiden win in the AFC Cup with a 2-0 victory over Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club to move to the top of their group on Wednesday. The former Indian Super League champions scored their first goal of the AFC Cup after a goalless draw against I-League side Minerva Punjab in their opening Group E match.

Abahani will next face Chennaiyin on 30 April while Minerva will host Nepal's Manang Marshyangdi Club on 1 May in Bhubaneswar.

The debate around India's 2019 World Cup squad continued on Wednesday when it emerged that Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu were named among the standbys for the squad. Speedster Navdeep Saini also found a place in the list of three back-ups for the World Cup. A BCCI official told PTI, "Just like ICC Champions Trophy, we have three standbys. Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu are the first and second standbys while Saini is the bowler in the list. So if anyone gets injured, as per requirement, one of the three will be going."

In the bowling department, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan and Deepak Chahar will be travelling with the team purely as net bowlers, but they could also be drafted in if the management feels so. The BCCI official added, "Khaleel, Avesh and Deepak are not designated standbys. In case of bowlers, that possibility is there but when it comes purely to batsmen, it will be either Rishabh or Rayudu."

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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2019 12:48:13 IST