Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
We begin with IPL news. Kolkata Knight Riders registered their second win of the season on Wednesday after defeating Kings XI Punjab by 28 runs in a high scoring match.
Andre Russell was the destroyer in chief for KKR, smashing 48 runs in 17 balls when batting, then taking 2/21 with the ball. It was a dramatic game for Russell ― batting on three, he was yorked by Mohammed Shami off the last delivery of the 17th over but to the horror of KXIP, the umpire signalled a no-ball. Punjab were found to have one fielder short of the mandatory four inside the 30-yard circle. 30-year-old ‘Dre Russ’ made full use of that reprieve, hammering five sixes and three fours from the next 11 balls, sending the Eden Gardens crowd into a frenzy. His ruthless blitz saw KKR score 56 runs in 19 balls after the no-ball. Robin Uthappa top scored for KKR, with 67 from 50 balls while Nitish Rana smashed 63 runs in 34 balls to lay a platform for Russell’s onslaught. KKR eventually scored 218/4 in their 20 overs.
Punjab’s chase started disappointingly. Chris Gayle was back in the hut after making just 20 runs while KL Rahul failed once again. Mayank Agarwal and David Miller made half centuries as they attempted to chase down the imposing KKR total. They scored 50 runs in 4.9 overs and stole 19 runs from the 12th over by Sunil Narine. But by the end of the 15th over the asking rate had shot up to 17.2 runs an over. Agarwal fell in the 16th over after making 53 from 34 balls. Miller remained not out on 59 from 40 balls as KKR restricted Kings XI to 190/4 in their 20 overs.
Some news from the 12th Asian Airgun Championship being held in Taoyuan, Taipei.
Teenage Indian shooting stars Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary smashed the qualification world record as they won the 10m air pistol mixed team gold medal on Wednesday.
This win comes exactly a month after they won the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup stage gold in the same event in Delhi. 17-year-old Manu and 16-year-old Saurabh shot a combined score of 784 in the qualification round, breaking the record set by Russians Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov at the European Championships five days ago. The two Indian shooters then went on to win the five-team final with a score of 484.8.
Hwang Seongeun and Kim Mose of Korea took the silver with a score of 481.1 while Wu Chia Ying and Kou Kuan-Ting claimed the bronze for host nation Taiwan with a score of 413.3. The second Indian team comprising Anuradha and Abhishek Verma also reached the finals but finished fourth with a score of 372.1 points.
Hockey news now from the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia. Striker Mandeep Singh scored a brilliant hat-trick as India defeated Canada 7-3 in a goal fest on Wednesday to enter the final of the tournament.
Varun Kumar gave India the lead in the 12th minute of the match off a penalty corner. 24-year-old Mandeep fired in three quick field goals in the 20th, 27th and 29th minutes and India were 4-0 at half time.
Canada clawed back into the game and an infringement by an Indian defender gave away Canada's second penalty corner in the 35th minute. Mark Pearson ensured the opportunity was not lost as he put the ball past India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak with a powerful flick. Amit Rohidas scored another goal in the 39th minute that made it 5-1 for India.
The final quarter was a goal-fest with both teams scoring two goals each. Canada scored goal number two in the 50th minute, only for India to hit back and make it 6-2. Canada scored again in the 57th minute through James Wallace thanks to a penalty corner. India hit back again with a goal in the 58th minute by Nilakanta Sharma to make it 7-3. Mandeep was named the man-of-the-match for his fine hat-trick.
In badminton news from the India Open, Indian star Kidambi Srikanth prevailed in a taxing three-game win over Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent on Wednesday to qualify for the second round. Cheered on by a vociferous home crowd, the World No 7 found enough will in his reservoir to overturn an 11-17 deficit in the final game to register a 21-16, 18-21, 21-19 win in 56 minutes.
Srikanth, the highest seeded Indian in the men’s draw, began the match with good net control and used the corners well to reel in his smashes. However, Vincent proved to be a tough nut to crack. His high tosses and deceptive power kept Srikanth on the mid-court on most occasions, which translated into a higher percentage of errors at the net.
In the pre-tournament media interaction, Srikanth had spoken about the challenges his 29-year-old adversary posed, chief among them being familiarity. The duo has played with and against each other at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) in addition to 12 previous career meetings. Their matches are rarely one-sided. Vincent later admitted that it is a lot like playing a mirror image. He said, “Playing Srikanth is like I am playing myself. We have played a lot against each other, and I think his skill and net control are better than mine and my speed is better than his. So in a way, it's a very even contest. We always play a close match...I should have grabbed my chances, especially when I was 17-11 up in the third game. He just concentrated on the serve and return in the third game. He was always there on the net, and didn't let me push him back. ”
Srikanth said, “At this level, games will be high-paced and close. If you are among the top players of the world, you should be prepared for the intensity...I am happy I pulled it off. It was also a good test of my fitness."
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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 15:19:49 IST