LISTEN: Full script of Episode 153 of Spodcast where we discuss Australia's T20I series win, Barcelona's El Clasico triumph and more
Welcome to Spodcast, where we cover the big sports headlines of the day. Today, we discuss Australia's 2-0 T20I series victory over India, Barcelona's 4-1 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in the Cope del Rey semi-final and midweek Premier League results
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
Glenn Maxwell blitzed a century in the second T20 in Bengaluru yesterday to help Australia clinch the two-match series 2-0. He made 113 off 55 balls as the tourists chased down the target of 191, scoring 194 with two balls and seven wickets to spare.
The Aussies lost two early wickets in their chase but Maxwell stood his ground, building two good partnerships including an unbeaten 99-run stand with Peter Handscomb. He finished the game with a six and four off medium pacer Siddarth Kaul to give the Aussies a convincing win after their last-ball finish in the opening match.
Earlier, India rode on a century stand between Virat Kohli, who scored 72, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made 40 runs off 23 balls, to take the attack to the opposition bowlers.
Opener KL Rahul gave his team a brisk start, scoring 47 off 26 balls, but Australia hit back with a couple of wickets to quell the surge. Nathan Coulter-Nile got Rahul’s wicket with a slower ball while Jason Behrendorff removed Shikhar Dhawan for 14. D'Arcy Short claimed Rishabh Pant’s wicket for just one run thanks to a brilliant catch from Jhye Richardson. Kohli dominated the bowling, sending the ball to all parts of the ground. He hit Coulter-Nile for three straight sixes in the 16th over to entertain a raucous home crowd. Dhoni joined the party with three fours and three sixes before falling to Pat Cummins, as India finished with 190/4.
The two teams now head into five one-day internationals starting Saturday in Hyderabad.
Australian fast bowler Kane Richardson has been ruled out of the tour of India due to an injury. Andrew Tye will replace him in the Australian squad for the ODI series.
Richardson suffered the injury while batting in the nets in Hyderabad last week. He trained on the eve of the second T20 International on Wednesday but was later left out of the squad.
Australia team physio David Beakley said, “Kane reported some left side pain at training prior to the opening T20I in Vizag. Unfortunately, he has not recovered well enough in order to play a further part in the tour. Kane will return home to continue his rehabilitation, and we (will) monitor his progress over the coming weeks.”
This comes as a blow for the Australian side, which is already missing the services of injured pacers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. 28-year-old Richardson was in top form in the recently concluded Big Bash League, ending the season as the highest wicket-taker for champions Melbourne Renegades.
HIs injury gives another opportunity to Andrew Tye, who last played for Australia in the drawn home T20 series against India in November.
The International Cricket Council assured the BCCI yesterday that if need arises, it will "uplift the security based on advice of relevant agencies" to address India's concerns regarding the upcoming World Cup in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
At the start of the ICC's Chief Executives Committee meeting, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri expressed India's concerns about the security of its players in the event, which starts 30 May. It is learnt that Johri told the CEC the BCCI believes in the security being planned by the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board. A senior BCCI official told PTI, “The ICC CEO David Richardson and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison underlined that security is an absolute priority and all necessary steps will be taken including an uplift in security, if that is needed based on the advice of the security authorities in the UK. Richardson assured Johri that ICC share excellent rapport with security and police authorities in the UK.”
Prominent former Indian players like Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly have urged the BCCI to boycott the 16 June World Cup group match against Pakistan in Manchester after the Pulwama attack. However, the BCCI has taken no stand on boycotting the game, as there remains a possibility that both teams may end up meeting in the knockouts as well. The ICC also assured the BCCI that it is evaluating "risk assessment" as is the norm for all global events.
An update from the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Delhi now. India’s Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker claimed gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event on Wednesday.
The two shot a total of 483.5 points to finish on top of the podium. Such was the dominance of the Indian duo all through the final that the difference between first and second place at the end was a whopping 5.8 points. That helped India finish the tournament with a flourish after some disappointing results over the last three days. The Chinese duo of Ranxin Jiang and Bowen Zhang won silver with 477.7 points while the bronze went to the Korean pair of Minjung Kim and Daehun Park, who scored 418.8.
India scored with three gold medals, topping the standings along with Hungary. However, they managed to secure just one Olympic quota of the 14 places on offer for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
In football news, French club Nantes referred their dispute with Cardiff City over the transfer fee of Emiliano Sala to FIFA, football's governing body confirmed on Wednesday.
The clubs are in a dispute over the payment of the fee following the tragic death of Sala in an airplane accident in January. Nantes turned to FIFA for help after the Welsh club declined to pay an initial six million euros of the total 17 million euro fee. A FIFA spokesperson said yesterday, “We can confirm that we have received yesterday evening (Tuesday) a claim from FC Nantes against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala...We are looking into the matter and consequently we have no further comments at this stage.”
Football agent Mark McKay had a mandate from Nantes to negotiate the transfer of the professional contract between the two clubs. Nantes has claimed the mandate had expired by the time Sala boarded the flight as he had already signed for Cardiff City. Cardiff said they wanted to wait for the results of the investigation into the accident before transferring the fee.
European body UEFA will look to support from the world football chief at its congress in Switzerland as it attempts to quash an initiative that threatens its prized Champions League and the health of domestic competitions such as England's Premier League.
Real Madrid are one of 12 European clubs who launched the breakaway competition on Monday, with Perez the league's first president and instrumental in the plans
European Super League: Chelsea preparing to ask out of breakaway league after backlash from other clubs, fans
Chelsea were preparing documents to tell the Super League they want out of the 12-team plan, a person with knowledge of the decision said.