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Weekly Digest (February 21-27): India outclasses Sri Lanka, Liverpool wins League Cup after a decade


From India’s 3-0 rout of Sri Lanka in their T20 series to — defeating abc to win the EFL Cup, here are the top sporting headlines from the week gone by. (NEELADRI EDIT THIS)

CRICKET

Shreyas Iyer remained unbeaten on 73 off 45 deliveries in the third T20I as India completed a series sweep over Sri Lanka with a six-wicket win. (REPORT)

Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Iyer celebrates after scoring his third fifty on the trot.   –  Sportzpics for BCCI

 

Virat Kohli will play his 100th Test behind closed doors with no spectators because of a coronavirus outbreak in Mohali. (REPORT)

Rohit Sharma became the most successful T20 International captain at home after India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the second T20I at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala. (REPORT)

Rohit Sharma has 17 wins as India captain in T20 Internationals at home after India’s triumph over Sri Lanka in the third T20I.   –  AP

 

Harmanpreet Kaur struck a half-century to get back among the runs as India beat New Zealand by six wickets in the fifth women’s One-Day International on Thursday. (REPORT)

A week after Wriddhiman Saha alleged that a journalist was intimidating him for an interview, the BCCI has formed a three-member committee to investigate the matter. (REPORT)

Australia wicketkeeping legend Rodney Marsh is in critical condition at a Queensland hospital after suffering a heart attack on Thursday. (REPORT)

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar is set to join Delhi Capitals as assistant coach ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League season. (REPORT)

Indian opener V. R. Vanitha announced her retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 31 on Monday. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Liverpool won its first domestic final in a decade after beating Chelsea 11-10 on penalties to clinch the League Cup (also known as the Carabao Cup) on Sunday. (REPORT)

Leeds United has decided to part ways with Marcelo Bielsa, following the side’s loss to Tottenham Hotspur. (REPORT)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has given trustees of the London side’s charitable foundation stewardship of the Premier League club. (REPORT)

The Czech Republic joined Poland and Sweden on Sunday in refusing to play Russia in the 2022 World Cup qualifying next month in response to that nation’s invasion of Ukraine. (REPORT)

Russia was stripped of hosting the Champions League final by UEFA on Friday with St. Petersburg replaced by Paris after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (REPORT)

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen made his return to football, coming on as a substitute for Brentford in the 0-2 defeat against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday. (REPORT)

Eriksen was previously playing for Inter Milan after leaving Tottenham Hotspur, but was released by the club following his heart condition and owing to Serie A rules.   –  REUTERS

 

Brazilian coach Tite said he would step down after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which his five-time world champion team is among the favorites. (REPORT)

The Asian Champions League is set to move closer to its European namesake in its schedule and the number of foreign players each team is allowed, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said. (REPORT)

K.C. Narayana Gowda, Karnataka’s minister of Youth Empowerment and Sports, announced on Thursday that the Sree Kanteerava Stadium will henceforth not be used for football. (REPORT)

The Indian team was drawn alongside Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia in Group D of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup final round qualifiers to be played in Kolkata in June this year. (REPORT)

The ISL is set to feature crowds for the first time in two years when the final of the 2021-22 season is held in Goa on March 20. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid kept old foe Cristiano Ronaldo in check but couldn’t hold on to its lead against Manchester United, conceding late in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League. (REPORT)

Anthony Elanga equalised in the 80th, five minutes after coming off the bench to hold Diego Simeone’s side to a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.   –  REUTERS

 

Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic had a dream debut in the Champions League on Tuesday, scoring a superb goal after his first contact with the ball in a 1-1 draw at Villarreal. (REPORT)

Chelsea resumed its Champions League title defense by cruising to a 2-0 victory over Lille on Tuesday to take control of the round of 16 matchup heading into next month’s second leg. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Australian Open champion Rafa Nadal captured his fourth title in Acapulco on Saturday, continuing his good run with a 6-4 6-4 triumph over Cameron Norrie in the final of the ATP 500 event. (REPORT)

Rafael Nadal added yet another trophy to his cabinet.   –  GETTY IMAGES

 

An emotional Andrey Rublev said he will sleep for two days after securing his third trophy in seven days by ending the dream run of Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the Dubai final on Saturday. (REPORT) Russian Rublev had earlier written “No War Please” on the camera, as is common after matches, after his semifinal win over Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (REPORT)

Poland’s Iga Swiatek swept aside Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-0 in the Qatar Open final on Saturday and dedicated her victory to “the people who are suffering in Ukraine”. (REPORT)

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev was fined $40,000 by the men’s professional tennis tour and will forfeit more than $30,000 in prize money and all rankings points from the Mexican Open after hitting the chair umpire’s stand with his racket following a loss in doubles. (REPORT)

Novak Djokovic suffered a shock 6-4 7-6(4) defeat by qualifier Jiri Vesely in the Dubai Tennis Championships quarter-finals on Thursday and will lose his status as world number one to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev this week. (REPORT)

Australian Nick Kyrgios opened up on his mental health struggles in a social media post on Thursday, saying he had suicidal thoughts and the period around the 2019 Australian Open was “one of my darkest periods”. (REPORT)

ATHLETICS

Priya H. Mohan won the 200m to finish with a golden double in the 81st National inter-university women’s athletics championships which concluded at the KIIT-KISS Stadium, Bhubaneswar, on Thursday but the clash with Dutee Chand did not materialise. (REPORT)

File image of Priya H. Mohan.   –  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Periyar University’s V. Pavithra broke Mariya Jaison’s four-year-old pole vault meet record while silver medallist Pooja also bettered the old mark on the third day of the 81st National inter-university women’s athletics championships on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Multiple world and Olympic champion Mo Farah will return to action at the Vitality London 10,000 on May 2 after recovering from a foot fracture, organisers said in a statement on Monday. (REPORT)

WEIGHTLIFTING

Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu gave a ‘satisfactory’ performance in snatch on her way to claim the gold medal in women’s 55kg weight category at the Singapore weightlifting international meet, a Commonwealth Games qualifying event, here on Friday. (REPORT)

FILE PHOTO: Mirabai Chanu also qualified for the CWG in the 49kg weight category on the basis of her Commonwealth rankings.   –  PTI

 

Indian lifters Vikas Thakur and Venkat Rahul Ragala sealed Commonwealth Games berth on Sunday by clinching the gold and bronze medals respectively in the men’s 96kg event at the Singapore Weightlifting International. (REPORT)

CHESS

R. Praggnanandhaa achieved a slice of history as he defeated World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, that too, with black pieces at the Airthings Masters online rapid chess tournament. Praggnanandhaa is only the third Indian to beat Carlsen. (REPORT)

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) will be bidding to host the 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad later this year after the event was moved out of Russia, a senior official of the body said on Saturday. (REPORT)

HOCKEY

The Indian men’s hockey team made a remarkable comeback from three goals down to eke out a sensational 5-4 win over Spain in an edge-of-the-seat thriller in the FIH Pro League in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. (REPORT)

Indian women’s hockey team conceded a late goal to lose 3-4 against Spain for its first defeat in the FIH Pro League on Sunday. (REPORT)

BOXING

Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and Nitu (48kg) struck gold at the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria by notching up thoroughly comprehensive victories in their respective finals on Sunday. (REPORT)

FILE PHOTO: Indian boxer Nitu (48kg) clinched the gold medal in 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria by notching up a facile win over Italy’s Erika Prisciandaro in the finals on Sunday.   –  PTI

 

Indian boxer Nandini (+81kg) ended with a bronze medal in the Strandja Memorial after going down to former world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan in the semifinals. (REPORT)

Indian pugilist Sarjubala Devi made an impressive debut in professional boxing with a solid victory against Lulu Kayage of Tanzania in Dubai on Saturday. The Indian won by unanimous decision. (REPORT)

The Boxing Federation of India has designed a new selection policy for the upcoming IBA Elite Women’s World Championships, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games selections with a view of giving elite boxers more opportunities during their trials. (REPORT)

VOLLEYBALL

Kolkata Thunderbolts produced a brilliant all-round display to outsmart Ahmedabad Defenders with a 15-13, 15-10, 15-12 win in the final of the inaugural Prime Volleyball League championship on Sunday. (REPORT)

Thunderbolts’ captain Ashwal Rai led from the front in attack as Kolkata secured its maiden title for the inaugural Prime Volleyball League.   –  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

BADMINTON

Malaysian badminton coach, Tan Kim Her, has been cleared to be India’s doubles coach till the Asian Games in 2026 by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Friday. (REPORT)

SHOOTING

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has selected two different teams for the first two Shotgun World Cups to be staged in Cyprus and Peru. (REPORT)

Darshna Rathore shot brilliantly in the final to clinch the National championship gold, ahead of World Cup medallist Ganemat Sekhon. (REPORT)

TABLE TENNIS

Gita Mittal, chairperson of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed to run the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), on Sunday urged the coaches in the sport to be objective and fair while making selections and assessments. (REPORT)

This year’s World Team Table Tennis Championships in Chengdu, China has been pushed back to the end of September from its April dates due the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said on Friday. (REPORT)

MOTORSPORTS

Formula One said on Friday said it will not race in Russia this season, saying it was “impossible” to do so after the country launched an invasion on neighbouring Ukraine. (REPORT)

American Formula 1 team Haas did not sport the Russian colours of its title sponsor Uralkali during the last day of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Friday in protest at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (REPORT)

Formula One champion Max Verstappen defended Michael Masi on Thursday, saying the much-criticised former race director was “thrown under the bus” after last season’s dramatic finale. (REPORT)

Michael Masi has been replaced as the Formula One race director for the upcoming season.   –  Getty Images

 

Lewis Hamilton called for more “non-biased” officials in Formula 1 on the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Wednesday. He also said there should also be more female stewards to boost diversity in the sport. (REPORT)

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