LISTEN: Full script of Episode 189 of Spodcast where we discuss Delhi's win over Rajasthan, India at Asian Athletics Championships and more
In today's episode, we talk about Gomathi Marimuthu and Tejinderpal Singh Toor's Asian Athletics Championships gold, Delhi's win over Rajasthan in a high-scoring contest, IPL final's schedule change and more.
Unheralded half-miler Gomathi Marimuthu and shot putter Tejinderpal Singh Toor clinched a gold medal each on the second day Asia Athletics C'ships
Delhi Capitals defeated Rajasthan Royals by six wickets on Monday to jump to the top of the points table
Kavinder Singh Bisht upstaged reigning world champion Kairat Yeraliyev to be assured of his first Asian Boxing Championships medal
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
In IPL news, Delhi Capitals defeated Rajasthan Royals by six wickets on Monday to jump to the top of the points table.
Rishabh Pant scored 78 runs from 36 balls as Delhi overhauled the imposing target of 192 with four balls to spare. Towards the end, Rajasthan's bowlers looked clueless as the diminutive Pant put on an impressive show. His blistering innings included six fours and four outrageous sixes - a display that will probably fuel debate over his exclusion from the 2019 World Cup squad, given his finishing skills with the bat.
Shikhar Dhawan got Delhi off to a rollicking start with a barrage of fours and sixes, adding 72 runs for the opening wicket with Prithvi Shaw in just 7.3 overs. Shaw had luck on his side as Ashton Turner dropped him on 10, and the young batsman capitalised by making a useful 42 from 39 balls. Dhawan made a quick 54 before he was caught off the bowling of Shreyas Gopal. Shaw and Pant then added runs in double quick time to help Delhi Capitals cross the line.
Batting first, Rajasthan Royals reached 191/6 on the back of a fluent century from former captain Ajinkya Rahane. Blending panache with power, Rahane roared back to form and remained not out on 105 off 63 balls. He hit three sixes and 11 fours, while new skipper Steve Smith made a quick half-century, scoring 50 off 32 deliveries. Rajasthan had a sedate end to an otherwise brisk inning as Ben Stokes and Ashton Turner fell cheaply. Turner, drafted in as a power hitter, scored his third duck of the season. Kagiso Rabada was the pick of Delhi's bowlers, taking 2/37.
Delhi Capitals are now at the top of the points table, with 14 points from 11 matches. They are ahead of second-placed CSK on net run rate. Rajasthan Royals are in seventh place with 6 points. RCB, who are in last place, have 6 points as well but have a net run rate of -0.83.
The IPL final scheduled for 12 May has been shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association failed to get requisite permission from the government to open the three closed stands.
The three stands, which make up around 12,000 tickets, have remained closed since 2012, except during one international match between India and Pakistan.
While the Chennai Super Kings still have a chance to play Qualifier 1 at home in case they finish among the top two teams in the league, the Eliminator on 8 May and Qualifier 2 on 10 May have been shifted to Visakhapatnam.
BCCI's Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai told PTI, "We had to shift the matches from Chennai to Hyderabad after TNCA intimated us that they have not procured the requisite permission to open the three stands I, J and K. Since the gate sales of the knockout matches is BCCI's prerogative, we had to take a call. We would be having two knock-out matches in Vizag."
Rai was asked why Qualifier 1 was allotted to Chennai if all the knockout matches' ticket sales are BCCI's prerogative. He replied, "CSK, by virtue of being defending champions, were allotted the Qualifier 1 and final. Now if they finish in the top-two, you cannot take away all the games. They deserve to get at least one of the knock-out games."
Fast bowler Hamid Hassan and former captain Asghar Afghan were on Monday named in Afghanistan's 15-member World Cup squad that includes IPL stars Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi.
Gulbadin Naib will captain the Afghan side that also features the big-hitting Mohammad Shahzad as well as spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman. Asghar Afghan was removed as captain in all formats earlier this year.
Hassan has been recalled after nearly three years. His fitness remains under scrutiny after he had been laid low by a thigh injury. The 31-year-old has represented Afghanistan in 32 ODIs and has 56 wickets to his credit. Chief selector Dawlat Khan Ahmadzai said, "Luckily for us, the comeback of senior fast bowler Hamid Hassan is good news. However, we will take into account his form and fitness during upcoming practice matches. As chief selector, it is my duty to select a competitive team. However, there were some challenges that we needed to handle. We selected the best squad considering factors such as experience, fitness, team balance, current form and conditions."
Ahmadzai said Afghanistan would aim to play inspirational cricket in World Cup. He explained, "It has been a six-month preparation process for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The mission is to play inspirational cricket in the tournament; I know there are strong teams but we will do our level best to achieve our goals."
Unheralded half-miler Gomathi Marimuthu and shot putter Tejinderpal Singh Toor clinched a gold medal each to share the limelight as India bagged five medals on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
30-year-old Gomathi clocked a personal best time of 2 minutes 02.70 seconds in the half-mile event to win an unexpected gold for India.
In shot put, national record holder and pre-competition favourite Tejinderpal Singh Toor's first round throw of 20.22m was enough to fetch him a gold in the men's shot put final at the Khalifa Stadium. 24-year-old Toor, who has a personal best of 20.75m, had entered the championships as the season leader among the Asians and lived up to the top billing.
Shivpal Singh won a silver in men's javelin throw by sending the spear to a distance of 86.23m, thereby setting a personal best score. That effort saw 23-year-old Shivpal also book a berth for the World Championships in September-October. Jabir Madari Palliyalil and Saritaben Gayakwad bagged bronze medals in the men's and women's 400m hurdles events respectively. Gayakwad clocked 57.22 seconds to finish third behind Vietnam's Quach The Lan and Bahrain's Aminat Yusuf Jamal. Jabir won a bronze in the men's 400m hurdles event as he clocked a personal best of 49.13 seconds. That meant 22-year-old Jabir joined national record holder Dharun Ayyasamy as the second Indian to qualify for the World Championships 400m hurdles event to be held at the same venue in September-October.
India's medal tally now stands at 1 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze.
In news from the Asian Boxing Championships 2019, Kavinder Singh Bisht upstaged reigning world champion Kairat Yeraliyev to be assured of his first Asian Boxing Championships medal, while Sonia Chahal advanced to the last four of the women's draw at the continental showpiece on Monday.
Bisht, who is competing in the 56kg category, clinched a split verdict over Yeraliyev, who hails from Kazakhstan, in a high-intensity contest. The boxer from Uttarakhand came into the tournament after a gold medal at the GeeBee Tournament in Finland.
Yeraliyev succeeded in drawing Bisht into a trap in the opening three minutes of the bout but the Indian fought back hard in the next two rounds. Bisht fought mostly with a shell guard and managed to thwart Yeraliyev's relentless attacks. By the second round, the Kazakh, who is a two-time bronze-medallist at the event, dropped his guard and Bisht managed to outmanoeuvre him comfortably.
Deepak Singh, participating in the 49kg category, also made it to the semi-final without having to step inside the ring after Afghanistan's Ramish Rahmani gave him a walkover owing to injury.
World silver-medallist Sonia Chahal, who is competing in the women's 57kg category, won a similar victory over Korea's Jo Son Hwa. She endured an exhausting bout against Hwa but came up trumps. The fast-rising boxer from Haryana struck some clean jabs in her thrilling win.
Meanwhile, world championship bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain, who competed in the 69kg category, bowed out of the tournament after a quarterfinal loss to reigning world champion Chen Nien-Chin of Taiwan. It was deja vu for the boxer from Assam against a rival who defeated her just months ago in the world semi-finals. The stage was different but the result was the same as Chen dominated the bout from start to finish to score a 5-0 triumph.
The much-criticised Chepauk track will host its 10th and final IPL game of the season in which both Pant and his opposite number David Warner would pray for a decent surface for their flamboyant batters.
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"Rajasthan Royals is pleased to announce a contribution of INR 7.5 Crores (over USD 1 million) towards COVID Relief to help with immediate support to people in India impacted by the surge of COVID-19 virus," the franchise said in a statement.