Firstpost Spodcast Episode 44: India's Asia Cup win over Hong Kong, Roberto Firmino's late goal and more on our daily podcast
India's jitters against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup, PV Sindhu's exploits at the China Open, Champions League round-up — all this and more on Spodcast, Firstpost's daily sports podcast
Welcome to Spodcast. We’re looking at the big sports headlines of the morning.
On today’s episode, we talk about India’s nervous start to their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong, wrestler Ritu Phogat earning a quota for the World Championships, shutter PV Sindhu made it to the pre-quarter-finals of the China Open and the night’s Champions League results.
The big story of the day on Spodcast is India’s win over Hong Kong in the ongoing Asia Cup. India had a nervous start to their campaign as the unfancied Hong Kong team ran them a bit too close for comfort. Shikhar Dhawan made his 14th ODI century, scoring 127 in 120 balls while Ambati Rayudu scored 60 runs. India scored 285 runs in 50 overs losing seven wickets. They made just 48 runs in the last 10 overs. In reply, Hong Kong finished with 259/8. Opener Nizakat Khan scored 92 runs, sharing a 174-run opening partnership with Hong Kong’s skipper Anshuman Rath, who scored 73. The first breakthrough came in the 35th over as Rath drove a Kuldeep Yadav delivery into Rohit Sharma’s hands.
Hong Kong then lost wickets at regular intervals and finished 26 runs short. Indian bowler Khaleel Ahmed took three wickets on his debut while Yuzvendra Chahal also claimed three wickets.
India take on Pakistan in their second match later on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, wrestler Pinki was a no-show for selection re-trials for the World Championships in October, thereby making way for Ritu Phogat in the 53kg category. Pinki had booked a place for herself in that category at both the Asian Games and the World Championships at earlier trials in Lucknow. She then had a disappointing Asian Games last month after which, according to WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar, they decided to hold fresh trials in the ‘interest of the country’.
We also talk about PV Sindhu entering the pre-quarter-finals of the China Open World Tour Super 1000 tournament. Sindhu, who is seeded third in the tournament, beat Japan’s Saena Kawakami 21-15, 21-13 in her opening round match.
In football news, Roberto Firmino's late strike saw Liverpool win 3-2 over Paris Saint-Germain on the opening night of the 2018 UEFA Champions League group stage.
In the other big match of the day, a Lionel Messi hat-trick helped Barcelona get off to a winning start.
Liverpool had an excellent start to the match and were 2-0 up by the 36th minute. Daniel Sturridge scored the first goal while James Milner scored the second off a penalty. But PSG pulled one back after Thomas Meunier scored their first goal. Then, Neymar assisted Kylian Mbappe in scoring the equaliser for PSG in the 83rd minute.
Firmino, on as a substitute, scored Liverpool’s third goal in second minute of stoppage time.
In Barcelona’s game against PSV Eindhoven, Messi scored three goals to complete his eighth Champions League hat-trick, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo. Barca won the match 4-0. Coach Ernesto Valverde said, “Messi makes the extraordinary routine.” Barcelona’s next match is against Tottenham Hotspur, who lost to Inter Milan 1-2.
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