Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
The schedule for next year's T20 World Cup was announced yesterday. The women's tournament will be played in February and March of next year while the men's tournament will be played between October and November. This is the first time that both the T20 World Cups are being held in the same year and in the same country.
Hosts Australia will play in the opening matches of both competitions. The reigning champions of the women's T20 World Cup, Australia, will square off against India in the opening game in Sydney on 21 February. The final will be played on 8 March. The men's competition will start on 18 October with an Australia-Pakistan match and the final will be played at the MCG in Melbourne on 15 November.
There was some drama at the AFC Asian Cup semi-final between Qatar and hosts UAE. The Qatari team, which won the semifinal 4-0, was on the receiving end of jeers and abuses, and were pelted with shoes and bottles during the match.
At the start of the game, as the national anthems were played, the Qatari anthem was drowned out by the loud boos of a hostile audience. The semifinal was bristling with political tension over the long-standing Gulf blockade of Qatar. Boualem Khoukhi scored the first goal for Qatar in the 21st minute. The tension spilled over to the field when bottle-throwing Emirati fans targeted Akram Afif, who tried to take a corner.
Qatar score again in the 37th minute thanks to Almoez Ali's right-footed shot from the edge of the box.
As the Sudan-born striker celebrated with his teammates, things took a nasty turn with more bottles and shoes flung onto the field. UAE were no match for Qatar who scored goal number three in the 80th minute. Captain Hassan Al-Haydos sent the ball into UAE's goalpost, which incensed the 38,000 strong crowd further. Hamid Ismaeil scored the fourth goal in the 93rd minute to complete Qatar's rout of UAE in the face of disgraceful behavior by the home team's supporters.
Premier League news. Manchester City's Premier League title challenge was rocked by a stunning 2-1 defeat at Newcastle, while Manchester United's late escape preserved Ole Gunner Solskjaer's unbeaten start in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday.
City needed a win at St James' Park to close the gap on leaders Liverpool to one point ahead of the Reds' clash with Leicester on Wednesday.
Second-placed City's loss means Liverpool, chasing their first English title since 1990, can move seven points clear with a win over Leicester.
Of City's title chances, Guardiola said: "It is difficult. We have a chance to do it but we need to win our games. The advantage is not there but we need to continue."
Solskjaer had overseen eight straight victories in all competitions -- including six in the league -- since replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.
He lost that perfect streak, but still finished impressed by United's never-say-die spirit at Old Trafford
Leading 2-0, Burnley's Jeff Hendrick dragged back Jesse Lingard in the 87th minute to concede a penalty that was converted by Paul Pogba.
United poured forward and Victor Lindelof snatched the equaliser in the last seconds.
"The comeback was brilliant. The players have been asked how they would react if they went behind, so the way we fought back was fantastic," Solskjaer said.
The Indian women's hockey team registered a 5-2 win over Spain in the third match of the tour on Tuesday. India were in fine form yesterday as they outplayed the World Cup bronze medalists.
Lalremsiami scored two goals for India while Neha Goyal, Navneet Kaur and Rani Rampal scored one goal each.
It was Spain that drew first blood with a goal in the seventh minute from Berta Bonastre. Lalremsiami equalized for India in the 17th minute. India scored goals at regular intervals to make it a comprehensive win. India needed this win after a loss in the first match and a hard-fought draw in the second.
Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, "I am pleased with the performance. We are working to be more steady in our performance and we are improving match-by-match. This is a process and we need to keep repeating such performances to grow further."
The next match will be played on Thursday.
A chess update now. Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik, regarded as one of the strongest players in the world, announced his retirement from professional competition yesterday.
Kramnik, ranked seventh in the world, had made waves in 2000 when he defeated defending champion Garry Kasparov at the World Championship. He became the world champion in 2006. He said, "I already decided to finish my professional chess career a couple of months ago and now, after having played my last tournament, I would like to announce it publicly."
The Indian women's cricket team defeated New Zealand in the second ODI at Mount Maunganui by eight wickets.
India bowled out New Zealand for a paltry 161 runs in 44.2 overs. Jhulan Goswami was the pick of the bowlers with 3/23. In reply, India started badly, losing two wickets with just 15 runs on the board. However, Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj saw the Indians home with nearly 15 overs to spare. Mandhana top scored with 90 runs from 83 balls and shared a 151-run partnership with skipper Mithali who scored a sedate 63 runs from 111 balls. Mithali said after the match, "I am happy with the way the team is shaping up. I have always enjoyed batting in challenging conditions. It wasn't easy, it required patience here. Smriti is in good form and somebody had to give her support."
Mandhana said, "It feels great but I think our bowlers deserved the Player of the Match award more than me. I will give it away to our bowlers, they did a great job to restrict New Zealand on a good wicket."
India have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2019 13:14:46 IST