Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
Sri Lanka beat India by three wickets in the third ODI of the ICC Women's Championship at Galle. India made 253/5 in their 50 overs with skipper Mithali Raj scoring a career-best 125 runs. Her partnership with opener Smriti Mandhana yielded 102 runs for the second wicket. Mandhana scored 51. Mithali Raj scored her seventh ODI century in 143 balls to take the visitors to 253 but Sri Lankan captain Chamari Attapattu also scored a century to help the home team end the series with a consolation win.
Atapattu made 115 runs and shared a 101-run partnership with Hasini Perera, who made 45, to nearly take the Lankans home. After their dismissals, Sri Lanka held their nerves to get over the line with one ball to spare. They needed six runs off the last over and tail-ender Kavisha Dilhari smashed a four on the penultimate ball.
India won the ODI series 2-1 and will play five Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka.
A Formula One update and Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix to extend his lead in the 2018 season. With this win, Hamilton is now 40 points clear of second-placed Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes driver, and four-time world champion, had a perfect race – he claimed pole position in qualifying and led throughout the 61-lap race to finish in first place. Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen finished in second place, more than eight seconds behind Hamilton. Vettel finished in third place.
Hamilton said after the race, "It felt like the longest race of my life so I'm glad it's over… Max put up a great fight as well — but what a day, what a weekend."
It was an eventful start to the Singapore Grand Prix as the two Force India cars collided, ruling Esteban Ocon out of the race. The safety car came out on the very first lap, just as Vettel snuck in front of Verstappen who had started second on the grid. The German driver pitted on the 14th lap, only to have Hamilton and Verstappen rejoin ahead of him after their own pit stops. Vettel was heard saying on the radio, "We were too late again. These tyres will not make it to the end."
In badminton news, Japanese shuttler Kento Momota defeated Thailand's Khosit Phetpradab 21-14, 21-11 to win the Japan Open.
It was a big moment for the 24-year-old whose career is recovering from a gambling scandal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Momota was kicked off the Japanese team at the Olympics and banned for over a year for visiting an illegal casino. Last month, at the Asian games, he lost in the semi-finals. Momota said, "This victory is for all the people who have stood by me through everything."
Meanwhile, Carolina Marin successfully defended her Japan Open women's singles title. She defeated Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-19, 17-21, 21-11.
Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for the marathon, finishing the 42.195km race in Berlin in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds. 33-year-old Kipchoge beat the previous record by 1 minute 18 seconds, or 78 seconds. The previous record was held by Dennis Kimetto who had clocked 2:02:57 in 2014.
Kipchoge, who took the lead after the first 100 metres and stayed ahead of the field, ran the last 17 kilometres all alone after his pacemakers dropped out. He said, "I was prepared to run my own race early so I wasn't surprised to be alone... it was tough running alone, but I was confident."
Kipchoge, who is considered among the greatest marathon runners in the modern era, has dominated marathon racing since his debut in 2013. His win is the single largest improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2 minutes and 23 seconds in 1967.
The second and third places also went to Kenyan marathon runners. Amos Kipruto finished second in 2:06:23 while Wilson Kipsang was third with a timing of 2:06:48.
Kenya's Gladys Cherono won the women's race with a timing of 2:18:11.
Some news from Indian football now - Sachin Tendulkar, who has been associated with the ISL team Kerala Blasters since 2014, has sold off his stakes in the franchise. Tendulkar was often seen cheering for his team from the stands in both home and away games. He said in a statement, "It is time for me to reflect on the role that I should play. After reflecting and much discussion with my team, I have decided to exit my association with Kerala Blasters as a co-promoter. I am very proud of Kerala Blasters and a piece of my heart will always beat for the club."
The fifth season of the Indian Super League starts on 29 September, with the Kerala Blasters taking on Kolkata's ATK.
As Team India gear up to start their 2018 Asia Cup campaign, broadcaster Star Sports has complained to the Asian Cricket Council about the absence of Virat Kohli from the tournament.
Star Sports had written in an email to the ACC's Game Development Manager Thusith Perera, "In our view, the announcement of the absence of one of world's best batsmen from the Asia Cup, only 15 days before the commencement of the Asia Cup, is a severe dent to us and will severely impact our ability to monetise and generate revenue for the tournament."
The broadcasters asked the ACC to have a discussion with the BCCI. The Media Rights Agreement, or MRA, obligations require the ACC to ensure that the best national teams participate in the Asia Cup.
The BCCI was having none of it. In a terse reply, the BCCI said neither the ACC nor the broadcasters have any say in national team selection matters. CEO Rahul Johri wrote, "Please note that selection of best available team for participation in a tournament is sole prerogative of BCCI. It is not open for ACC or its broadcaster to insist on selection of any particular player."
Updated Date: Sep 17, 2018 18:03 PM