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LISTEN: Full script of Episode 190 of Spodcast where we discuss Bajrang Punia becoming Asian champion, Chennai Super Kings' win and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

In IPL news, Shane Watson brought back memories of last year's IPL final with a blazing knock that all but ensured a play-off berth for Chennai Super Kings as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets in a home game on Tuesday.

 LISTEN: Full script of Episode 190 of Spodcast where we discuss Bajrang Punia becoming Asian champion, Chennai Super Kings win and more

Bajrang Punia celebrates with his gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xian. Image courtesy: WFI

On a vastly improved Chepauk pitch, Watson began his innings steadily as CSK made a cautious start, then switched gears to finish with 96 runs from 53 balls. A 77-run stand between Watson and Suresh Raina, who made 38, created the platform and the former Australia all-rounder single-handedly decimated the Sunrisers’ attack. CSK stuttered a bit towards the finish, but recovered to win in the final over. Even Rashid Khan was not spared, as CSK scored 44 runs off his 4 overs. Skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the best of Hyderabad’s bowlers, conceding just 18 runs from his 4 overs, and eventually scalping Watson in the 18th over.

Batting first, Sunrisers Hyderabad lost Jonny Bairstow in just the second over. Coming in at number 3, Manish Pandey made the most of his opportunity on Tuesday as he made 83 from 49 balls. He hit three sixes and seven boundaries. At the other end, it was business as usual for David Warner who scored yet another half century. His 57 runs off 45 balls included two sixes and three boundaries. Pandey and Warner added 115 runs for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a decent score on what was the best batting track this season at CSK’s home ground. When Warner fell in the 14th over, SRH were 120/2. CSK’s bowlers then pulled things back, giving away just 55 runs in the next 6.3 overs.

With last night’s win, CSK reached the cut-off limit of 16 points needed for a play-off berth.

Indian women’s cricket stars Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will the three competing teams in the women's T20 exhibition matches that will be held before the IPL final.

It is being speculated that overseas players from almost half-a-dozen countries will take part in the T20 matches. These exhibition matches are an attempt by the BCCI to test the popularity of women's T20 in the country.

ESPNCricinfo reported that Jaipur will host all four T20 exhibition matches on the sidelines of the Indian Premier League playoffs. The round-robin matches will be played on 6, 8 and 9 May before the finals on 11 May. Last year saw two teams, Supernovas and Trailblazers, face each other in a one-off T20 exhibition match and the game ended up as a last-ball thriller. The match was broadcast live and was played before Qualifier 1 of the men's IPL at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. However, the ground was empty, as fans did not turn up for the match, probably because it was played in the afternoon.

This time around, there will be three teams - Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity. The four matches might be telecast live this year as well, as the cricket board is set to finalise the timings of the matches after consultation with the broadcasters.

In news from the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019, world number one Bajrang Punia logged 10 points in a row in the gold medal bout to reclaim his Asian Championship crown while Praveen Rana settled for silver as India ended the first day with three medals.

Punia defeated Kazakhstan's Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in a nail-biting 65kg men's free style match. The CWG and Asian Games champion was trailing 2-7 with just 60 seconds to go for the final bell but the unperturbed Indian produced three gut wrench moves and an exposure move to take eight points after he began the attack with a two-point take down. The Kazkah was visibly tired while Bajrang displayed immense stamina and intelligence under pressure to emerge the winner. Yesterday’s gold was Bajrang’s second at the championship, following the win in 2017. Overall, it was the fifth medal for the Indian in this tournament. With Tuesday’s performance, Bajrang, who conceded just one point en route to the final, yet again sounded a warning to his opponents that he will be a strong medal contender at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, Praveen Rana won his first big medal in seven years though he missed out on the top prize. Praveen, who claimed a bronze in this championship in 2012, lost the 79kg gold medal bout 0-3 to 2017 world championship bronze medallist Bahman Mohammad Teymouri of Iran. Earlier, he had won a close 3-2 semi-final against Kazakhstan's Galymzhan Usserbayev.

Asian Games gold medallist and defending champion Swapna Barman settled for a silver in women's heptathlon while medal contender Jinson Johnson pulled out of the men's 1500m race on the third day of the Asian Athletics Championships on Tuesday.

22-year-old Barman logged 5993 aggregate points from seven events to finish second behind Ekaterina Vornina of Uzbekistan who scored 6198 points. Purnima Hembram, the other Indian in the fray, finished fifth with 5528 points.

Barman's aggregate on Tuesday was more than the 5942 points she logged while winning the gold in the last edition in 2017, but was less than the 6026 that she accumulated in the 2018 Asian Games. With her silver medal, India's medal tally stands at two golds, four silvers and five bronze medals.

Earlier in the day, Jinson Johnson pulled out of the 1500m race due to an injury just hours before the Round 1 heats. Deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair said, “His left calf muscle is troubling him at the moment. Doctors have advised him not to compete in such situation.” Johnson, who holds national records in 800m and 1500m, also chose not to compete in the 800m final race on Monday.

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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2019 14:52:26 IST