Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
India pulled off a stunning upset in the AFC Asian Cup football tournament in UAE on Sunday. They defeated Thailand 4-1 in their first Group A match with captain Sunil Chhetri scoring twice.
The audience included the 12 Thai school boys rescued from the flooded jungle cave in Thailand last year, but that did little to help raise the game of the Thailand team. India took the lead in the 27th minute thanks to a goal from the penalty spot by Chhetri, but Thailand equalised just minutes later when their captain Teerasil Dangda's header off a free kick by Theerathon Bunmathan landed in the goal. There were no goals in the remainder of the first half, but Chhetri scored just a minute into the second half to make it 2-1. Anirudh Thapa scored India's third goal in the 68th minute and substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua scored goal number four in the 80th minute. With the opening win, India are now the leaders in Group A.
In news from the I-League, Real Kashmir defeated Mohun Bagan 2-1 to notch up their sixth victory in their debut season.
Mohun Bagan were less than impressive on Sunday, and Kashmir made them pay as they continued their giant-killing run. Scottish player Mason Robertson, who is the centre-back for Kashmir, scored twice - in the 33rd and 73rd minutes. Mohun Bagan's star winger Sony Norde, who sat out four matches due to a leg injury, scored the solitary goal for the hosts in the 42nd minute. The win sees Real Kashmir jump to second place in the points table behind Chennai City. Former champions Mohun Bagan, with 15 points from 11 matches, fell back to sixth place and their title hopes have pretty much perished.
Sandeep Chattoo, co-owner of Real Kashmir Football Club, said, "Today's win is because of dedication and hard work of everyone at RKFC. The boys were exceptional and I am sure that the spirit continues as we begin our final uphill task."
Cricket news now. South Africa defeated Pakistan by nine wickets to win the second Test in Cape Town on Sunday.
They chased down the fourth innings target of 41 in just 9.5 overs. There was a minor amount of drama as the Proteas lost one wicket and Hashim Amla retired hurt before Dean Elgar and skipper Faf Du Plessis saw them home.
It was a familiar story of batting collapses for Pakistan. Their batsmen scored just 177 in the first innings. Seven of the 11 players had scores in single digits. South Africa piled on 431 runs when it was their turn to bat, with Du Plessis scoring his ninth Test century. The Proteas dominated the match as Temba Bavuma scored a gritty 75 and Quinton de Kock scored 59 while opener Aiden Markram made a brisk 78.
The second innings was a bit better for Pakistan. They made 294, with their middle-order making important runs. Babar Azam made a quick 72 from 87 balls while Asad Shafiq made 88 and opener Shan Masood chipped in with a steady 61. However, that wasn't good enough as it meant a lead of just 40, which the hosts chased down easily.
With this victory, South Africa have won the three-Test series, making it the seventh successive series win at home. The third and final Test of this series starts in Johannesburg on Friday.
Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis was suspended for one Test because of South Africa's slow over rate in the Cape Town Test, which could see him miss the third Test. The ICC announced the suspension in a statement after South Africa won the second Test by nine wickets to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Du Plessis and his team were also fined a percentage of their match fees. The hosts used an all-pace attack for the Test. Their four fast bowlers sent down just under 122 overs as they bowled Pakistan out twice. However, half an hour was added to play the first three days because of the slow over rate.
After the three umpires in the match charged the home team, match referee David Boon ruled that South Africa were one over short of the minimum target and imposed the prescribed measures - as per ICC rules, players are fined 10% of match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double.
Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has slammed the current Australian team's attitude during the fourth Test against India in Sydney.
He was speaking, in particular, about Nathan Lyon's dismissal on the fourth day of the match. The Australian spinner was adjudged LBW after being hit on the pad by a Kuldeep Yadav delivery. Lyon checked with non-striker Mitchell Starc about reviewing, but the two decided against it - despite Australia having two reviews in hand, with only two wickets left.
Ponting said, "That dismissal actually says a lot to me about the mindset of this Australian team at the moment. There's no desperation there whatsoever. Why wouldn't they have had a look at that? They've still got the two reviews up their sleeve. There had to be some sort of doubt in that. Given out straight away and Mitchell Starc just puts his hand out and says 'oh well, it's not me, it's up to you to make (a call)."
He added, "...unfortunately, when you're out there together it's a partnership. You've got to do whatever you can to try and save your mate. And there was absolutely none of that there." The former captain was miffed because replays suggested the ball would have probably struck Lyon outside the line of off stump, meaning he could have been adjudged not out if DRS was taken.
Ponting said, "...as it's shown already that would have been given not out. Slack and not desperate enough. You can see where Mitchell Starc is standing at the non-striker's end. One, look how wide he's standing. There's no need to be that wide in the first place. Nathan Lyon looks up, 'Oh what do you reckon?' 'Oh I don't know mate. Yeah I don't know. But let's not bother looking. We've only got two (reviews) up our sleeve."
Australia were all out for 300 in the first innings, after which Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on. The hosts then came out to bat in the second innings 322 runs behind India's first innings score of 622.