Weekly Digest: Bangladesh’s landmark win, Chelsea's dominance

A strong batting performance by India, Bangladesh’s landmark win over Sri Lanka, and Chelsea's dominance were some major sporting headlines in the week gone by.

Fans wave the national flag and cheer after Bangladesh’s historic win over Sri Lanka in its 100th Test.   -  AP

Cricket

A double-century from Cheteshwar Pujara and a century from Wriddhiman Saha has put India in the ascendancy after four days of the third Test in Ranchi. The Test began after match referee Richie Richardson had spoken to the two captains - a customary practice, but one which garnered particular attention after the ‘Cheat-gate’ controversy that dominated headlines last week. Australia’s captain Steve Smith elaborated on the message given by Richardson of the focus needing to be on the cricket. In a run-heavy contest so far, four players scored centuries, but India went ahead of its opponent with a 153-run lead in the first innings, and two wickets taken cheaply before end of play on Sunday.

(Update: The match ended in a draw )

 

Bangladesh registered a landmark Test win against Sri Lanka, its first ever against its opponent, to draw the two-match series in Colombo. It reached its target of 191 for the loss of six wickets, the chase largely handled by opener Tamim Iqbal (82), Sabbir Rahman (41) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (unbeaten 22). A strong first-innings batting performance led by Shakib Al Hasan’s century laid the foundation of the victory. Bangladesh now has two top scalps in five months - it defeated England in October last year in Mirpur.

A fire broke out in the hotel that provided shelter to Jharkhand’s Vijay Hazare Trophy team ahead of its semifinal against Bengal. M. S. Dhoni, the team’s captain, calmed his young players’ nerves by sending a text message not to worry. The match was postponed to Saturday; Bengal’s openers Abhimanyu Easwaran and Shreevats Goswami scored centuries to take their team to a 41-run win over Jharkhand. Dhoni’s 70 was in vain. Bengal will play Tamil Nadu - which won its semifinal on Thursday against Baroda - on Monday.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj helped South Africa defeat New Zealand in the second Test in Wellington on Saturday. New Zealand was bowled out for 171 in the second innings and this proved a decisive blow for the home team; Maharaj took six for 40. South Africa took a 1-0 lead after two Tests; the third and final Test of the series will commence in Hamilton from March 25.

The Committee of Administrators uploaded the new BCCI constitution on its website. According to the new constitution, all the North Eastern states including Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim will be granted full membership and voting rights as recommended in Lodha Panel reforms. Uttarakhand and Telangana will also become full members.

Well-known Pakistan players Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez have expressed their strong views on the spot-fixing menace that has made headlines with the on-going investigation against some players associated with the Pakistan Super League. Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq was of the same opinion that players found guilty must not be allowed to return to cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board has provisionally suspended four players - Khalid Latif, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hasan - for suspected wrongdoing.

Football

The Champions League headlined this week's football fixtures with Juventus, Leicester, Monaco and Atletico Madird all winning their second-leg fixtures. The quarterfinal draw is as follows: Juventus v Barcelona, Dortmund v Monaco, Atletico Madrid v Leicester and Bayern Munich v Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Manchester United got through the quarters of the Europa League with a drab 1-0 win against Russian side Rostov. It will face Belgium side Anderlecht.

In the weekend fixtures in the English Premier League, the headline fixture between Manchester City and Liverpool, at the Etihad Stadium, ended in a 1-1 draw. Elsewhere, second-placed Tottenham didn't let Harry Kane's absence affect its momentum as it beat Southampton 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

Chelsea maintained its lead at the top of the table to 10 points with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Stoke City. Manchester United finally moved away from sixth position after a 3-1 victory away to Middlesbrough.

In the Bundesliga second-placed RB Leipzig crashed 3-0 at Werder Bremen on Saturday to suffer a shock second consecutive league defeat, and its disappointment was compounded after Bayern Munich eked out a 1-0 win at Monchengladbach.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Bundesliga's top-scorer, claimed his 23rd goal in as many league games as Borussia Dortmund laboured to a 1-0 home win over struggler Ingolstadt on Friday.

Real Madrid consolidated its position at the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao. Atletico Madrid compounded a bad week for Sevilla to forget in a 3-1 win on Sunday.

Tennis

Nick Kyrgios, who had defeated Novak Djokovic earlier in the tournament, withdrew from Indian Wells Masters before his quarterfinal against Roger Federer due to injury. Elena Vesnina of Russia defeated compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova to clinch the women's singles title.

(UPDATE:  Roger Federer defeated Wawrinka to clinch season's first ATP Masters at Indian Wells)

Andy Murray withdrew from Miami Masters, the tournament commencing next week, due to an elbow injury.

Badminton

Lin Dan clinched the Swiss Open title with a 21-12, 21-11 victory over Shi  Yuqi in the final. India’s H. S. Prannoy progressed till the quarterfinals, at which juncture he lost to the eventual runner-up.

The Badminton World Federation has announced a new tournament structure for the sport, which will run next year onwards until 2021.