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Firstpost Spodcast Episode 197: Mumbai Indians finish at top in IPL points table, Manchester United's Champions League hopes end and more

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Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma struck an unbeaten 55 to lead his team to an easy nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. The win took Mumbai to the pole position in the IPL table, and also ensured a lucky fourth place finish for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

KL Rahul scored a scintillating 36-ball-71 that paved the way for a consolation six-wicket victory for Kings XI Punjab on Sunday against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai. With nothing to lose in the final game of the season, Rahul, Chris Gayle, who made a run-a-ball 28, and Nicholas Pooran, who slammed 36 off 22 balls, played freely to help KXIP's successful chase down the target of 171 runs in just 18 overs. Such was Rahul's domination that 'Universe Boss' Gayle's run-a-ball knock paled in comparison as the duo added 108 runs in only 10.3 overs to seal the match.

In Premier League news, Chelsea defeated Watford to climb to third place on the table, Arsenal were held to a draw by Brighton, and Manchester United's Champions League hopes came to an end on Sunday. Chelsea moved into third place as a quick-fire blitz from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz inspired a vital 3-0 win over Watford on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's chances of qualifying for the Champions League via a top-four finish in the Premier League were all but snuffed out on Sunday as they were held 1-1 by lowly Brighton. The drawn match leaves Unai Emery's men in fifth spot, three points behind north London rivals Tottenham, who have a far superior goal difference. Arsenal can no longer catch up with Chelsea, who have 71 points. Leaders Liverpool and Manchester City have already sealed the top two spots ahead of the final round of Premier League fixtures next weekend.

Following the draw, Arsenal have a goal difference of +20, compared to Tottenham's +28, meaning the Spurs, who host Everton next week, are almost assured of finishing the season in fourth spot. Arsenal travel to face Burnley in their final league game.

Elsewhere, Manchester United's hopes of Champions League football next season came to an embarrassing end following a 1-1 draw at already-relegated Huddersfield on Sunday. United have won just two of their last 11 games in all competitions.

Indian cricketer Kedar Jadhav hurt his left shoulder while fielding during Chennai Super Kings' IPL game against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, with CSK head coach Stephen Fleming virtually ruling him out of the play-off matches.

West Indies openers John Campbell and Shai Hope shattered the record for the highest first-wicket partnership in a one-day international with a stand of 365 runs against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday. Campbell and Hope comfortably exceeded the previous best at this level - a 304-run stand between Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last year. Campbell made 179 runs, and Hope made 170, as the Windies finished with 381/3 after being put in to bat by Ireland captain William Porterfield.

Campbell faced 137 balls, hitting 15 fours and six sixes while Hope's 152-ball knock featured 22 fours and two sixes. Ireland were then dismissed for 185 in just 34.4 overs as the Windies won by a massive 196 runs. Ireland's bowling attack had sparked an England top-order collapse on Friday but had no answer as the West Indies ran riot in the opening match of a triangular series also featuring Bangladesh.

In boxing, Gaurav Solanki and Manish Kaushik bagged a gold medal each as Indian boxers finished with a rich haul of six medals at the XXXVI Feliks Stamm International Boxing Tournament in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday.

22-year-old Solanki, competing in the 52kg category, outpunched England's William Cawley 5-0 on his way to a first place finish. He showed glimpses of the impeccable form that brought him gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and the Chemistry Cup last year.

Kaushik, who competed in the 60kg category, exhibited the same confidence he had displayed last year to grab the India Open gold and the Commonwealth Games silver. The 23-year-old was sharp and agile and emerged victorious 4-1 against Morocco's Mohamed Hamout.

Mohammed Hussamuddin had started the 2019 season with a silver from the Gee Bee Boxing tournament. In Poland, competing in the 56kg category, he had to settle for another second-place finish following a 1-4 defeat to Russia's Mukhammad Shekhov, despite producing a strong show throughout the bout. In the 69kg semi-final, 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and Arjuna awardee Mandeep Jangra went down 0-5 to Russia's Vadim Musaev. In the 91kg semifinal, Sanjeet lost to David Nyika of New Zealand by an identical score. In 64kg, Ankit Khatana gave his all but was edged 2-3 by Damian Durkacz of Poland in a tight semi-final clash.

Double-delight in squash. In a memorable day for India, Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa won the individual titles in the Asian Squash Championship. Joshna Chinappa, the second seed, successfully defended her title, beating the top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6 in the summit clash. Ghosal, the top seed and finalist last year, ensured there was no slip this time when he downed the fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming, also of Hong Kong, in straight games 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.

It easily was one of Joshna's most memorable matches. Only last month in the Macau Open, Annie had beaten her in straight games for her 12th win in 20 meetings between the two. In fact, not since September 2017 in the Hong Kong International Open has Joshna tasted success against the Hong Kong player. All that was set aside as the Indian played with a fixity of purpose and with lot of conviction.

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Updated Date: May 06, 2019 15:27:50 IST