Listen: Full script of Episode 191 of Spodcast where we discuss RCB's victory against KXIP, Ankita Raina's shocking win against Samantha Stosur and more
In this edition of Firstpost Spodcast, we talk about Royal Challengers Bangalore beating Kings XI Punjab, Indian women's tennis player Ankita Raina beating Samantha Stosur and more.
Royal Challengers Bangalore scored a third successive win after defeating Kings XI Punjab by 17 runs on Wednesday.
Navdeep Saini bowled a fantastic 19th over, taking two wickets and conceding just three runs, to ensure Punjab’s chase ran out of steam. Chasing 203 for a win, Punjab began in earnest as KL Rahul, who scored a fluent 42 runs off 27 balls, and Chris Gayle, who made a quick fire 23 off 10 balls, put 42 runs on the board in less than four overs. Mayank Agarwal continued the aggression up front, making 35 from 21 balls in his 59-run partnership with Rahul. Both of them got out in quick succession, after which Nicholas Pooran and David Miller seized the moment with some lusty hitting. Pooran hit five sixes and looked set to take the game away from Bangalore. They scored 68 runs from 8 overs, and Punjab required 30 runs from the two final overs. Saini claimed the wickets of Pooran and Miller in the 19th over. Bowling the 20th, Umesh Yadav was good enough to defend 27 runs as Punjab finished well short at 185/7.
Batting first, RCB once again lost skipper Virat Kohli’s wicket early in the innings. But opener Parthiv Patel was in great form, blazing 43 runs from 24 balls including two effortless sixes. AB De Villiers was in even better form as he scored 82 from 44 balls. He punished the Kings XI bowlers, hitting them for 7 sixes and three boundaries. Marcus Stoinis also joined in the fun, making 46 from 34 balls and slamming three sixes. Stoinis and De Villiers scored 45 runs in the last two overs to take RCB to 202/4.
With four wins in their last five matches, RCB have kept their slender playoff hopes alive. They now have eight points in total and have three matches remaining.
Andre Russell, the big-hitting West Indian all-rounder, is set to return in West Indies colours at the ICC World Cup 2019. The West Indian cricket board announced their 15-man squad for the quadrennial event on Wednesday and many of the expected names have been included.
Russell last represented the Windies in limited-overs fixtures against Bangladesh at home in 2018. He has since been plying his trade in T20 leagues, including the ongoing IPL, where he has been in great form for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Veteran batsman Chris Gayle, another Caribbean star involved in the ongoing IPL, was also among those included in the squad, which will be captained by Jason Holder. Gayle had earlier announced his intention to retire from international cricket after the event.
Gayle's opening partner will be Evin Lewis, and the talented Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer have also been included in the squad. Injured bowler Alzarri Joseph has been left out, and the pace attack will be led by veteran bowler Kemar Roach.
The surprise omissions are Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, two established names who have not been included in the 15-man squad.
India’s wrestlers reaped a rich-harvest of five medals in the men's freestyle events but a gold medal eluded them on the second day of the Asian Championships in China.
All five wrestlers who competed yesterday won a medal each, but none could add a gold medal to Bajrang Punia’s first place finish in 65kg men's freestyle on Tuesday.
Amit Dhankar and Vicky lost their respective gold medal bouts in the 74kg and 92kg events. Dhankar, who won a gold in 66kg in the 2013 edition, lost to Daniyar Kaisanov of Kazakhstan 0-5 in the final. Alireza Mohammad Karimimachiani of Iran was too good for Vicky in the final of the 92kg category, completely outplayed the Indian wrestler in an 11-0 victory by Technical Superiority.
Rahul Aware, Deepak Punia and Sumit won bronze medals in the 61kg, 86kg, and 125kg events respectively. .
Aware, who won a 57kg gold at the Commonwealth Games last year, produced a dominant display to beat Jincheol Kim of Korea 9-2 in the men's 61kg freestyle bronze medal play-off. Deepak beat Bakhodur Kodirov of Tajikistan 8-2 in the bronze medal play-off in the 86kg category. For Sumit, it was a lucky bronze as he lost 0-3 in the quarterfinals against Zhiwe Deng of China. But Deng reached the final, hence Sumit made his way to the bronze medal play-off, where he crushed Farkhod Anakulov of Tajikistan 8-2
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal notched up contrasting wins en route to the second round while Kidambi Srikanth suffered a shock defeat at the Asia Badminton Championship on Wednesday.
Olympic and world championship silver-medallist Sindhu eased past Takahashi Sayaka of Japan in straight games. Sindhu looked in command from the beginning and registered a thumping 21-14 21-7 victory in just 28 minutes. The fourth-seeded Indian will next face Choirunnisa of Indonesia in the second round.
Saina Nehwal had a tougher time of it, working hard to get the better of China's Han Yue. The seventh-seeded Indian came back strongly to pull off a thrilling 12-21 21-11 21-17 win after conceding the first game. The London Olympics bronze-medallist will next square off against Kim Ga-Eun of South Korea.
In men's singles, fifth seed Kidambi Srikanth lost to Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 16-21 20-22 in a match that lasted 44 minutes. This was the Indian Open finalist's second meeting with Rhustavito. The two had last met at the BWF World Junior Championships in 2011, where the Indonesian had defeated Srikanth after losing the first game. Meanwhile, Sameer Verma notched up a hard-fought 21-13 17-21 21-18 victory over Sakai Kazumasa of Japan.
In tennis news, Indian tennis player Ankita Raina shocked former US Open champion Samantha Stosur for the biggest win of her career, progressing to the second round of the Kunming Open in China on Wednesday.
Raina, who is India’s top women’s singles player and an Asian Games bronze medallist, shocked the fancied Australian 7-5 2-6 6-5 in a gruelling two hour-fifty minute battle in the WTA 125k event.
The 26-year-old Indian struggled to hold her serve and managed only three aces throughout the match compared to Stosur, who smashed seven aces. However, the World No 77 made committed 18 double faults compared to Raina's six.
Raina will face Kai-Lin Zhang of China in the second round.
Ranked 178, the Indian had finished runner up at the $60,000 ITF event in Istanbul earlier this month. Last year, she became only the third Indian woman tennis player after Sania Mirza and Nirupama Vaidyanathan to breach the top-200 rankings in singles.
World number five Thiem said he wanted to concentrate on Wimbledon and then defending his only Grand Slam title in New York.
Puig was unseeded at the Rio Olympics, but capped a run of upsets by beating three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the singles final.
Cornet, currently 63rd in the world, dug deep to seal a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Spain's two-time Grand Slam winner Muguruza, now ranked 13th, after almost three hours on court.