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LISTEN: Full script of Episode 193 of Spodcast where we discuss DC's qualification to IPL playoffs, Sachin Tendulkar's conflict of interest case and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

Kolkata Knight Riders snapped their six-match losing streak with a 34-run win over Mumbai Indians in a high-scoring game that saw brutal stroke play from power-hitters of both teams.
Put in to bat first. KKR got off to a fiery start with Shubman Gill, who made 76, and Chris Lynn who made 54, putting on a 96-run opening stand, their highest this season. Gill classy knock included six fours and four sixes as he forged another crucial stand with KKR's game changer Andre Russell. The duo shared 62 runs from 35 balls of which Gill scored 34, and Russell 24.

Mumbai's fielding was shoddy on Sunday, as Lynn and Russell were dropped early in their innings by Kieron Pollard and Evin Lewis respectively. That allowed Lynn to reach his fifty off just 27 balls, his fourth half-century of the season. As KKR faced elimination, Russell put on another display of breath-taking hitting, belting six fours and eight sixes to score 80 not out from 40 balls. He hit a six off the final ball of KKR's innings to take the team total to 232/2. Kolkata had scored 75 runs from the last five overs and 135 runs in the final 10 overs.

In reply, Mumbai Indians were reduced to 58/4 in the ninth over, and the match looked all but done. However, Hardik Pandya, arguably Mumbai's most valuable player this season, walked in and nearly took the match away from KKR. He hit nine sixes and six boundaries, making 91 off 34 balls in a fantastic display of power hitting that nearly won Mumbai the match. Fortunately for KKR, he fell in the 18th over and that sealed the game in their favour as Mumbai ended at 198/7. Andre Russell took 2/25 with the ball, and took the catch that dismissed Hardik. His all-round performance saw him win the Player of The Match award.

Sunday's win keeps KKR alive in the tournament as they now have 10 points from 12 matches. Mumbai remain in third spot with 14 points from 12 games.

Delhi Capitals qualified for the playoffs after a convincing 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday. This is the first time since 2012 that the Delhi team has made it to the playoffs. DC captain Shreyas Iyer made a quick half-century, scoring 52 off 37 balls while Shikhar Dhawan made 50 from 37 balls to help the home team put up a daunting 187/5 on the scoreboard. They shared a 68-run stand and looked set to score an imposing target, but Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB's best bowler this season, dismissed Dhawan in the 13th over. In his next over, Chahal dismissed danger man Rishabh Pant for just seven runs. DC scored 20 runs of a wayward final over bowled by Navdeep Saini.

RCB began the chase well, reaching 60 in just the sixth over thanks to Parthiv Patel's brilliant stroke play. But he was dismissed in the same over, and Bangalore struggled to keep up after that. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals for RCB as their batsmen failed to make an impact. Kohli fell on 23 after hitting the ball in the air straight to Sherfane Rutherford who was fielding in the deep. Axar Patel took a stunning catch at the boundary to dismiss AB de Villiers for 17 runs and Heinrich Klaasen played a silly shot to get out on three. RCB recovered briefly, and even seemed to be heading towards victory when Marcus Stoinis, who made 32 not out off 24 balls, and Gurkeerat Singh, who 27 off 19, were in the middle of a blistering stand but Delhi's total proved to be too much in the end. Requiring 26 runs off the final two over, Bangalore managed just 4 runs in the 19th and 9 runs in the 20th to finish with 171/7.

It was Delhi's eighth win in 12 games, giving them the 16 points needed to seal a top-four berth. Chennai Super Kings were the first team to quality for the play-offs.
The season is all but over for RCB, who have now lost eight of their 12 games.

Sachin Tendulkar has refuted all allegations of Conflict of Interest levelled against him as he claimed to have neither "received any compensation" nor holding any decision making role in the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman, who is part of the team management, has expressed his desire to step down from the Cricket Advisory Committee (or CAC) to clear himself of the allegations.

The CAC, comprising Tendulkar, Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, is facing Conflict of Interest allegations. While Ganguly's advisory role with Delhi Capitals came under scrutiny earlier this month, Laxman and Tendulkar responded to the allegations yesterday. A Conflict of Interest complaint was filed by the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) member Sanjeev Gupta, who claimed Tendulkar and Laxman are allegedly performing dual roles, firstly as "support staff" in their respective IPL franchises Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and secondly as members of the Cricket Advisory Committee. '

Tendulkar filed a 14-point written response, saying, "...the Noticee (Tendulkar) denies the contents of the Complaint in totality (except the statements specifically admitted herein). No part of the Complaint should be deemed to be admitted by the Noticee for lack of specific denials...The Noticee (Tendulkar) has received no pecuniary benefit/ compensation from the Mumbai Indians IPL Franchise in his capacity as the Mumbai Indians 'ICON' since his retirement, and is certainly not employed with the Franchise in any capacity. He does not occupy any position, nor has he taken any decision (including selection of team players) which could qualify as being in governance or management of the Franchise. Accordingly, there is no conflict of interest, either under the BCCI Rules or otherwise...The Noticee was appointed to the panel of the Cricket Advisory Committee ("CAC") in the year 2015. The Hon'ble Ethics Officer will appreciate that the Noticee was named as the 'ICON' for Mumbai Indians much prior to his empanelment with the CAC - which fact has always been in the public domain. Accordingly, the BCCI aware of the Noticee's association with the Mumbai Indians Franchise at the time of his appointment to the CAC."

VVS Laxman, in his reply to the Ombudsman, has reportedly expressed a desire to quit the Cricket Advisory Committee if such a situation arises. A senior BCCI official told PTI, "Laxman's case falls under tractable conflict of interest category. He is a part of the Sunrisers management."

In Premier League news, a costly error from David de Gea dealt Manchester United's chances of Champions League football a potentially fatal blow as Chelsea consolidated their place in the Premier League top four with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

De Gea spilt Antonio Rudiger's long-range effort to allow Marcos Alonso to equalise just before half time and cancel out Juan Mata's early opener.
Manchester United took the lead as early as the 11th minute. Romelu Lukaku, who was recalled to the starting line-up made amends for an earlier mistake as United scored from open play for the first time in two minutes short of nine hours. The Belgian's lofted pass picked out the run of Luke Shaw from left-back and his cutback found Juan Mata to roll into an unguarded net against his former side.

However, Chelsea were given a lifeline two minutes before half time as De Gea's miserable run continued. The Spaniard was at fault in heavy defeats recently at Barcelona and Everton, as well as for City's two goals midweek. And his loss of confidence was evident as he spilt Rudiger's speculative effort. Marcos Alonso reacted quicker than the United defence to turn home the rebound off the inside of the post to make it 1-1.

That result halted a run of seven defeats in nine games for United but does little for their chances of overhauling Chelsea, who remain three points clear of the Red Devils and with a superior goal difference. Also, Arsenal's defeat by Leicester earlier on Sunday means Chelsea move two points ahead of the Gunners with two matches to go.

India wrapped up their campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championships on a resounding note on Sunday as the Greco-Roman grapplers added a silver and a bronze to take the final tally to 16 medals. Harpreet Singh won a silver in the 82kg category while Gyanender won a bronze in the 60kg event on the final day of competition.

Harpreet had put up an impressive performance to storm into the gold medal round, having thrashed Haitao Qian of China 10-1 in the semi-finals and handing a 5-1 defeat to Burgo Beishaliev of Kyrgyzstan in his last-eight stage bout. But Iran's Saeid Morad Abdvali, a former world champion and Olympic medallist, did not allow the Indian to settle as he went on to register a comfortable 8-0 win by technical superiority over Harpreet.

Harpreet said after the final, "I gave my all but it wasn't my day, especially an opponent who is a former world champion and Olympic medallist, was too strong. I am still happy to have bettered the colour of my medal from last year and hopefully will be able to bring more laurels for India in future."

For Gyanender, a quarterfinal round win over Ali Abed Alnaser Ali Abuseif of Jordan 9-1 was followed by a 0-9 defeat against Islomjon Bakhramov of Uzbekistan in the semi-final. He bounced back and stamped his authority over Jui Chi Huang of Taipei to win the bout 9-0 in the bronze medal play-off. With this performance, India's Greco-Roman wrestlers have bettered their tally of two bronze from the last edition and this is the country's best ever showing in this discipline at the Asian Championships.

In Formula One, A determined Valtteri Bottas fought off an attacking final charge by teammate Lewis Hamilton to win Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix and regain the lead in the 2019 driver's title race. In a thrilling, closely-fought and dramatic race, the Finn came home 1.5 seconds ahead of Hamilton as Mercedes swept to a fourth successive one-two finish in the first four races this season, the only team to do so since Ferrari in 1952.

It was Bottas' second win this year and delivered some redemption after leading last year on the streets of Baku until his car suffered a puncture with three laps remaining. The two Mercedes men finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Max Verstappen who was fourth for Red Bull and Ferrari's new boy Charles Leclerc.

Bottas said, "We are all performing really, really well...It was a tough race even though not that much was happening. Lewis put on pressure, but it was under control."

Bottas is one point ahead of Hamilton in the early stages of the championship courtesy of his fastest lap in Australia. Bottas has 87 points, Hamilton 86 and Vettel has 52. Defending five-time champion Hamilton congratulated his teammate, saying, "Congratulations to Valtteri. He drove a fantastic race, made no mistakes and deserved the win...It was all lost in qualifying (for me), but it's great for the team - the best start we've ever had."

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Updated Date: Apr 29, 2019 15:48:30 IST