LISTEN: Full script of Episode 183 of Spodcast where we discuss MS Dhoni's rare outrage; Pinki Singh, Sakshi's wins at Boxing World Cup and more
Today, we discuss MS Dhoni's uncharacteristic act of outrage during CSK's win over RR, Pinki Rani, Sakshi assured of medals at Cologne Boxing World Cup and more.
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
Chennai Super Kings recorded their sixth win from seven games after defeating Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. CSK won off the very last ball after messing up what should have been an easy chase of a modest target. Mitchell Santner's last ball six sealed the win in a dramatic final over in which Chennai needed 18 runs.
That last over also saw a very rare public outburst by MS Dhoni against an umpire. A clear waist high no-ball to Santner was ruled out by umpire Ulhas Gandhe. That prompted an unusually angry Dhoni to enter the ground and verbally lash out as Gandhe before leg umpire Bruce Oxenford calmed him and sent him back.
Rajasthan bowled and fielded well early on to nearly pull off an unexpected win. Dhawal Kulkarni bowled a perfect out-swinger that squared up Shane Watson while Suresh Raina was run out by a direct throw. The reliable Faf du Plessis was also dismissed when Rahul Tripathi took a good catch at the deep-midwicket boundary off Jaydev Unadkat's bowling to reduce CSK to 15/3. Kedar Jadhav had made just one run when an air-borne Ben Stokes pulled off an incredible catch at backward point off Jofra Archer's bowling to send the all-rounder back. With CSK at 24/4, Dhoni walked in to face two young spinners, Shreyas Gopal and Riyan Parag, bowling well in tandem. He launched into their bowling, hitting them for a six each as Rayudu rotated the strike without fuss. Their 50-run stand for the fifth wicket came in 42 balls as Dhoni deposited Gopal into the stands for his third six. Dhoni was bowled by Stokes on the third ball of the final over after making 58 from 43 balls, but a bespectacled Santner hit a six off the last ball to see his side home.
Earlier, CSK produced another disciplined bowling effort to restrict Rajasthan Royals to 151/7 in 20 overs. Jos Buttler hit a flurry of boundaries, making 23 off 10 balls but none of other Rajasthan batsmen put up a fight. Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane failed once again, making just 14 runs before seamer Deepak Chahar trapped him leg-before. CSK skipper Dhoni's immaculate reading of the track once again helped the defending champions dominate the proceedings in the first half as the hosts looked set for another sub-par total. The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner claimed three wickets between them, and slowed down Rajasthan’s batsmen considerably. Rajasthan’s batting saw as many as 42 dot balls. Fortunately for them, spinner Shreyas Gopal struck a few meaty blows, making 19 off 7 balls, to take the score past 150.
Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Pinki Rani and reigning youth world champion Sakshi assured India of two more medals at the Cologne Boxing World Cup after they qualified, in contrasting styles, for the semi-finals on Thursday.
Continuing her impeccable form, India Open gold medalist Pinki Rani put on another dominating performance to blank Thailand's Phunsang Cahiranchaya 5-0 in the quarterfinal bout. 18-year-old Sakshi had a more challenging contest, facing stiff resistance from Cecille Kelle of Denmark. The Indian had to dig deep to stave off the Dane's challenge before she won by a split decision on points. Pinki is competing in the 51kg category while Sakhi is participating in the 57kg category.
The Indian contingent is already assured of a silver medal as well as a bronze after Meena Kumari Maisnam and Pwilao Basumatary reached the final and semi-finals in the 54kg and 64kg respectively. India has sent a seven-member team to this prestigious European event following a healthy haul of six medals from the erstwhile Chemistry Cup held at Halle last year. Twenty one nations are competing across 17 weight categories at this tournament, which will help elite boxers hone their skills ahead of the World Championships later this year.
An update from the NBA now. The last spot in the NBA Playoffs went to the Detroit Pistons last night. Their reward: a series against MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The drama of the regular season stretched all the way to the very end of the regular season, with seven of the eight first-round playoff matchups not being clinched until the final night was in the books — the last three of them, out West, going down to literally the final moments. Two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors will start their quest for a fourth title in five years against the Los Angeles Clippers. Warriors star Kevin Durant said, “It's not going to be as easy as people think it is.”
The first-round games in all eight series will be played starting this weekend. The second round cannot begin until 27 April at the earliest, the conference finals are unlikely to start before 12 May, and the NBA Finals will start on 30 May. The only matchup in the NBA that was set before Wednesday night was No 4 Boston against No 5 Indiana. Everything else, just like all the West matchups, fell into place during Game 82 on Wednesday.
The IPL is expected to clash with England's limited tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup.
India vs Sri Lanka: Being with CSK a big plus, my game has got better, says net bowler R Sai Kishore
The wiry framed left-arm orthodox spinner's rise through the ranks has been possible because of his hunger to learn and soak in as much knowledge as possible like he did during his month-long stint at the CSK.
The Suns were down one with 0.9 seconds left when Crowder lofted a high pass on an out-of-bounds play on the baseline. A soaring Ayton came down the lane and stuffed it through the net over LA's Ivica Zubac as the crowd roared in disbelief at Phoenix Suns Arena.