Firstpost Spodcast Episode 228: Bangladesh stun West Indies in epic run chase, Gary Woodland wins US Open Golf and more
In today's episode, we'll discuss Bangladesh's gritty win over West Indies in World Cup, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's injury update, Gary Woodland's US Open Gold triumph and more.
In cricket news, Bangladesh powered to the second highest run chase in World Cup history as Shakib Al Hasan's brilliant century clinched a remarkable seven-wicket win over the West Indies on Monday.
Bangladesh won in emphatic fashion as Shakib blasted 124 from 99 balls while Liton Das hit a superb 94 from 69 deliveries. They ensured Bangladesh reached the target of 322 with 8.3 overs to spare.
The Windies batted first, and looked good for a big total. Shai Hope's 96 and the joint-fastest fifty of the tournament from Shimron Hetmyer helped the West Indies reach 321/8. Hope and Evan Lewis's partnership of 116 was the West Indies' first century stand of this World Cup. Lewis made a quick 70 from 67 balls before Hetmyer walked in and smashed 50 in 26 balls, including four fours and three sixes. There was some classic Windies style flamboyance on display at Taunton - a towering six from Nicholas Pooran left a hole in the roof of one of the stands. West Indies skipper Jason Holder's 33 from 15 balls, including four fours and two sixes, ensured the Windies went past 300.
With 321 on the board, the Caribbean side looked complacent on the field - their fielding was shambolic and their bowling was too wayward. Bangladesh punished them as opener Tamim Iqbal set the tone with six fours in his 53-ball innings of 48. It took a superb run out by Sheldon Cottrell to get rid of Tamim. But Shakib, who has been in great form in this World Cup, stepped up once again. After reaching his fifth successive ODI 50, he took command with scintillating innings that even included a boundary to get him to his century. He put on an unbroken stand of 189 with Liton Das, the second highest for the fourth wicket in World Cup history. Shakib finished with 16 fours, while Das bludgeoned eight fours and four sixes. Shakib is currently the highest run scorer in this year's World Cup.
A third defeat in five games for the West Indies means a semi-final berth is extremely unlikely as the optimism from the thrashing of Pakistan in their opening game fades away. On the other hand, given their form, Mashrafe Mortaza's side could have a chance of reaching the semi-finals after their second win in five matches.
Indian bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the World Cup for at least the next two games after developing a niggle in his left hamstring during the clash against Pakistan.
The pacer had walked off the field without completing his third over.
India skipper Virat Kohli said, “Slight niggle for Bhuvi, he slipped on one of the footmarks. He's out for two, maybe three games, but he should come back for us at some stage during this tournament. He is very important for us…(but) Shami (is) raring to go.”
Bhuvi’s injury is the second injury in the Indian team. Opener Shikhar Dhawan has already been ruled out of a few games due to a thumb injury, sustained during the match against Australia.
Meanwhile, Kohli was effusive in his praise for the team's top-order batsmen and the bowlers. He said, "Rohit's knock was outstanding again. KL helped Rohit, who showed why he's such a good ODI player again today. It was a team effort to get to 336….Kuldeep Yadav was brilliant. Babar and Fakhar were trying to play him out, but I wanted him to have a longer spell. The ball to dismiss Babar was an outstanding delivery. I think today was the best he bowled at this World Cup."
Kohli was also asked why India-Pakistan games have failed to live up to the hype of late, but the Indian captain’s answer was pragmatic. He said, "I think they outplayed us in the Champions Trophy final, in 2017, but if you focus on this game as too emotional, things can go wrong. We never approach them from that perspective. We are professional about it and the result is what matters."
Sri Lanka’s cricket team won't face any action from the International Cricket Council for skipping their media duties following the loss to Australia on 15 June. Dimuth Karunaratne-led Sri Lanka were beaten by 87 runs at The Oval, severely damaging their hopes of making it to the semi-finals. After five matches, Sri Lanka have a solitary win, two defeats and two washouts, leaving them with four points. They are fifth in the standings.
Karunaratne and other Sri Lankan players were due to face the press after the match in a media conference and ‘mixed zone’. However, they failed to show up and could have been sanctioned by ICC as press briefings are considered mandatory.
Sri Lanka Cricket released a statement that said, “Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that, contrary to various media reports, there won’t be any sanctions imposed on the Sri Lanka team by the ICC, over its non-participation in the post-match media conference...following the World Cup game played against Australia. Sri Lanka Cricket discussed the ‘Saturday’s Incident’ with the ICC and assured that a similar situation will not occur going forward in the tournament...The SLC also advised the team management to comply with the obligations, a participating team has to adhere during the ICC Cricket World Cup."
The Sri Lankan team’s refusal to speak to the media came just days after their team manager Ashantha de Mel slammed the ICC’s treatment of the squad. De Mel criticised the quality of pitches, practice facilities, transport and accommodation at the World Cup.
He is quoted as saying, “This is a World Cup where the top ten countries are taking part and I feel that all the participants should be treated equally.” De Mel was critical of the team bus, saying it was more cramped than the double-decker vehicles provided to other teams. He blasted the net facilities at Cardiff as “unsatisfactory” and the squad’s hotel in Bristol, which lacked a swimming pool.
Football news now. AS Roma legend Francesco Totti, who played for the capital club for 24 years before retiring in 2017, announced Monday that he was resigning as director. Totti said, "At 12:41pm on June 17, 2019, I sent an email... which was for me unimaginable: I handed in my resignation...I never thought that this moment would come."
The 42-year-old World Cup winner said his resignation was driven by his lack of inclusion in important decision-making within the club, an issue he blamed on Roma's American owner James Pallotta. Totti explained, “I was a weight for the club, I was told I was too cumbersome, both as a player and a leader. Now I'm leaving and it hurts. There are many things that made me think, they never let me take part. They only called me when they were in difficulty. In two years I've taken part in about 10 meetings.”
The former club captain, capped 58 times by Italy, insisted it was a goodbye, not a farewell. He said, “I can say that it is impossible for Totti to stay outside of Roma... I'll take a different path, but the moment another owner really wants to count on me, I'll be ready."
Totti’s departure follows that of former teammate Daniele de Rossi as the Serie A side decided not to renew the midfielder's contract after 18 years at the club.
Gary Woodland won the 119th US Open golf tournament on Sunday, capturing his first major title with a 13-under par total to deny two-time defending champion Brook Koepka's bid for history at Pebble Beach.
Woodland punctuated the victory with a birdie bomb at 18, a final flourish in a display of back-nine fortitude that saw him convert a 54-hole lead for the first time in eight career attempts.
He knew his 13-under total was one better than the 12-under posted by Tiger Woods in his US Open victory at Pebble in 2000. But 19 years ago, Woods was the only player under par, marching to victory by a massive 15 strokes while Woodland topped a leader board that featured 31 players under par.
Woodland, who is 35, admitted he once had trouble handling the rush of adrenaline in pressure situations. On Sunday, he displayed impressive poise when plenty of players were pressing on a receptive Pebble Course. Koepka, said, “Gary played a great four days. Cool way to go out on 18, to make that bomb...He deserves it, he's worked hard and I'm happy for him."
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