Firstpost Spodcast Episode 50: Bangladesh enter Asia Cup 2018 final; Saina Nehwal into Korea Open last-16 and more on our daily podcast
Bangladesh's gritty win over favourites Pakistan, Angelo Mathews' livid at the SLC, Manpreet Singh as the new hockey captain, Saina Nehwal's first-round win at the Korea Open – we discuss these stories and more on our daily sports podcast
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
Starting with the Asia Cup, defeated Pakistan by 37 runs on Wednesday to qualify for the final of the 2018 Asia Cup. Defending a score of 239, Bangladesh took wickets early and struck at regular intervals to limit Pakistan to just 202/9 in their full quota of 50 overs. From 12/3 in the 5th over, Bangladesh finished with 239 runs in the 49th over. Their bowlers did the rest to get them through to the final on Friday, where they will take on India.
Staying with cricket news, the announcement of India's squad for the series against West Indies that starts October 4 has been postponed. The selectors are waiting to hear about the availability of fast bowler Ishant Sharma and spinner R Ashwin. Sharma and Ashwin will face fitness tests on Saturday, after which the selectors will take a final call. A senior BCCI official told PTI, "Ashwin is already doing his rehabilitation at the NCA for groin injury...Ishant is expected to join him there...there is a fitness test scheduled on Saturday, 29 September. The selectors may announce the team a day earlier if NCA physios and trainers rule the duo out even before fitness tests."
India and West Indies will play two Test matches, 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is. The series starts on 4 October and ends on 11 November.
Meanwhile, in Sri Lankan cricket, Angelo Mathews' bad luck continues. He has been dropped from the ODI and T20I teams for the upcoming England series that begins on 10 October. Mathews had written a letter to SLC claiming he had been made a scapegoat after Sri Lanka crashed out of the 2018 Asia Cup. He had written, "I have been made the scapegoat in this entire saga of Sri Lanka's dismal performance against Bangladesh and Afghanistan..."
Hockey news now and midfielder Manpreet Singh was yesterday appointed as captain of the Indian men's hockey team for the Asian Champions Trophy that will be held in Oman next month. Manpreet, who received the Arjuna award this year, will take over from PR Sreejesh, who served as captain since July 2016. Chinglensana Singh was named the vice-captain.
Speaking on the team selection, chief coach Harendra Singh said, "...we have a great mix of players...there is a right balance between youth and experience. The tournament gives us the last chance to test a few players before the World Cup (in) Bhubaneswar...I'm sure...these players will produce the results in Oman. It is important we...have a good outing."
In badminton news, Saina Nehwal was the only Indian shuttler to advance to the round of 16 in the Korea Open. She had a straight-game win against Kim Hyo-min of Korea, beating her 21-12, 21-11 in the opening round. Saina, who is seeded fifth in the tournament, will face another Korean player, Kim Ga-eun, in the round of 16.
Sri Lanka govt accuses opposition of trying to undermine IMF bailout programme
Chief Government Whip and Minister of Urban Development Prasanna Ranatunga claimed that the opposition at a secret meeting with foreign diplomats called for stringent conditions to be applied when the IMF starts releasing the disbursements.
Sri Lanka bailout linked to tackling corruption, spells out IMF
The IMF has said the financial rescue was conditional on tackling the deep-rooted culture of graft and government mismanagement blamed for tipping Sri Lanka into an unprecedented economic crisis last year
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka: Hosts demolish Lankans to sweep Test series
Sri Lanka notched just 164 in their first innings and were asked to follow on after the Black Caps declared at 580 in Wellington. They were then bowled out for 358.