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Firstpost Spodcast Episode 5: India women's hockey team's woes, Essex's strong reply and more on our daily sports podcast

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost where we do a quick run through of the big sports news of Friday.

Today, we are touching upon stories around Indian women's hockey team, India's tour of England, the Tour De France, MMA and boxing.

We start with hockey. The 2018 FIH Women’s Hockey World Cup is underway in London. The tournament began on 21 July and will end on 5 August. This is the 14th World Cup in Women’s hockey. And the big news comes courtesy the giant-killing ruin that Ireland is having at the tournament.

The Indian team is in danger of missing the quarter-final berth after the Irish pulled off a 1-0 victory. Ranked No 10 in the world, the Indian women’s team started the match as favourites but never quite looked the part. Ireland looked more energetic and assertive in their playing, and seemed better prepared with their game plans, while India looked slow, even listless.

With this win, Ireland's have secured the top spot in their pool with one game remaining. They beat USA 3-1 to pull off an upset in their first game. India drew the first match against England. With this loss, India will have to fight to finish in the top three in the pool.

Some cricket news, of course, because India is on tour. The warm-up game against Essex seems to be progressing less than impressively for the men in blue. India added 73 runs to the overnight score of 322, ending all out for 395. Essex replied strongly, ending Day 2 at 237 for the loss of five wickets.

There was a bit of drama around the England cricket team on Thursday. The ECB selectors included spinner Adil Rashid in the 13-man squad for the first test with India that starts next Wednesday. This move came as a surprise to many because Rashid has opted out of playing any red-ball games for his county team Yorkshire.

However, given his good showing against India in the ODI series with the white ball, the selection panel, led by chief selector Ed Smith, decided to include Rashid in the side, ignoring the fact that he has not played the longer version since December 2016.

Meanwhile, the Tour de France wrapped up its 18th stage on Thursday, There was some home team cheer in this stage as Frenchman Arnaud Demare won the stage. Demare held off fellow Frenchman Christophe Laporte to win the stage.

Popular MMA star Conor McGregor, the UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, has pled guilty for an assault charge but will be able to avoid going to prison. The Irish MMA fighter and boxer reached an agreement that will drop all felony charges for his involvement in an April bus attack incident in New York.

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Updated Date: Jul 27, 2018 14:09:07 IST