Firstpost Spodcast Episode 39: Alastair Cook's fairytale farewell, Dinesh Chandimal's absence from Asia Cup and more on our daily podcast

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

Alastair Cook is having a fairytale final Test, scoring 147 in the second innings in addition to the 71 in the first innings. Cook’s 33rd Test century takes him to the fifth spot in the list of highest run getters in Test cricket, 816 runs behind Rahul Dravid who is at number four. England declared their second innings at 423/8, setting India a massive second innings target of 464 runs. England captain Joe Root also scored a century in the second innings as his team piled on the runs. Root made 125 runs, his first century after 28 innings. Cook and Root had a 259-run partnership that took the match away from India completely.

Chasing 464, India’s wobbly top order faltered once again. Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed for 1 run while Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were dismissed without scoring. At close of play on day 4, India were reeling at 58/3, trailing England’s score by 406 runs. England bowler Jimmy Anderson equaled Glenn McGrath’s record of 563 Test wickets while Stuart Broad is one shy of Kapil Dev’s 434 Test wickets. Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul will resume batting on day 5 in an effort to save the fifth Test for India.

In other cricket news, Sri Lanka’s cricket captain Dinesh Chandimal has been ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup due to an injury he sustained in a domestic tournament. The 28-year-old batsman injured his finger in a domestic T20 match.

He will be replaced by wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella in the Asia Cup which begins on Saturday.

In tennis news, the WTA has come out in support of Serena Williams in the controversy that broke in the women’s final at the US Open.

Williams had claimed that the code violations that sparked her meltdown in the final were sexist. WTA Tour chief executive Steve Simon has backed Williams, saying, “The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same… We do not believe that this was done last night.”

Serena Williams was handed three code violations, and penalized twice – first a point, and then a game. The American star claimed chair umpire Carlos Ramos handed her penalties for infractions that male players could have gotten away with, specifically a violation for verbal abuse. Williams called Ramos a thief and a liar after he warned her about receiving coaching from her players' box. Williams has denied the coaching charge while her coach Patrick Mouratoglou said, “Yes, I was coaching just like everybody else. We have to stop this hypocrisy. Furthermore, Serena didn't even see my gestures. She felt humiliated by the warning.”

Ramos docked Williams a point when a racquet abuse violation followed. She was later penalized a game, which put Osaka on the brink of a title win.

Naomi Osaka eventually defeated Williams 6-2, 6-4 to lift the cup. Osaka, a 20-year-old, beat her childhood hero to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam. However, her win was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams.

Williams said, “I've seen other men call other umpires several things…I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff."
Men’s title winner Novak Djokovic steered clear of the controversy, saying, “I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a Grand Slam final… He did change the course of the match. It was, in my opinion, maybe unnecessary. We all go through our emotions, especially when you're fighting for a Grand Slam trophy.”

Djokovic said he wasn't sure sexism was at the root of Ramos's decisions. "It's hard to generalize things," he added.

Some football news now. India’s under-19 team lost 0-2 to France in a four nation football tournament held in Croatia. The French team scored in the 18th minute and India had a chance to equalise in the 34th minute. However, Aniket Jadhav was unable to get the ball past the French goalkeeper.

Indian goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill made an acrobatic save in the 44th minute and the score was 1-0 at half time in favour of France. Aniket had another chance to score in the 65th minute but his lob went over the crossbar. France then scored in the 73rd minute to take a 2-0 lead.

India had lost their earlier matches to Croatia and Slovenia 0-5 and 0-1 respectively, and finished the tournament without any wins. The team now travels to Serbia to play two friendlies against the Serbian U-19 team.

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Updated Date: Sep 11, 2018 10:58:20 IST

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