Weekly Digest: Ireland's debut test, Nadal's clay court rampage

The historic occasion of Ireland's first ever Test in Malahide, and Rafael Nadal's eighth title-win at Rome dominated the headlines in the week gone by.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory over Alexander Zverev in the Italian Open final. Photo: Getty Images

CRICKET

Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians are through to the playoffs after what has been a frenetic week in the Indian Premier League. (IPL page)

Pakistan survived a scare before overcoming Ireland by five wickets in the latter's debut Test in Malahide, Dublin. Kevin O'Brien's century, the first for any Ireland player in the format, gave his team a glimmer of hope of pulling off a miraculous win. Imam-ul-Haq, though, took responsibility for Pakistan to avoid an upset. (Report)

Officials from the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India met in New Delhi on Thursday to discuss various issues confronting the game globally. (Report)

ICC cricket committee will discuss the relevance of coin toss in cricket during its meeting scheduled on May 28 and 29 in Mumbai. (Report)

Shashank Manohar will serve a second term as the independent Chairman of the International Cricket Council after he was the sole nominee put forward by the ICC Board. (Report)

The BCCI may have created extremely popular and successful Indian Premier League (IPL) but the Indian board has not done “enough” to market Test cricket, revered by the purists, says former India opener Gautam Gambhir. (Report)

Sri Lanka's cricket board on Wednesday announced a profit of USD 14 million in 2017, far above all previous records, despite one of the worst on-field performances by the islanders in years. (Report)

There have been multiple reports that Steve Smith — who is in middle of a one-year suspension following his involvement in the ball-tampering saga — has been approached by the Global T20 Canada tournament. But tournament host Cricket Canada has confirmed that Smith is not one of the marquee players it has approached. (Report)

Nepal’s teenage spinner Sandeep Lamichhane continued his rapid rise in international cricket as he was named in the ICC World XI squad to take on the West Indies in a charity T20 International on May 31. (Report)

Shahid Afridi will miss the charity match featuring the World XI and the West Indies on May 31 as the former Pakistan captain is yet to recover fully from a knee injury. (Report)

Recovering from a knee injury, Pakistan’s flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi has no intention of giving up playing competitive cricket. (Report)

The Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai on Thursday firmly backed the Indian cricket team’s decision of not playing Day/Night pink ball Test against Australia during the upcoming tour Down Under at the end of 2018. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri also defended the board’s decision. “Who we play, when we play, where we play and how we play is our prerogative. We will back everything for the Indian team to play to win,” said Johri. (Report)

The BCCI on Tuesday opposed the plea by former cricketer S. Sreesanth seeking a relaxation of the lifetime ban on him by the country’s apex cricketing body so that he could play in county cricket in England. (Report)

The Supreme Court appointed Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramanium, in the matter pertaining to the implementation of Lodha reforms, said that "return of democracy in the BCCI is necessary." (Report)

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said that India is a sports-loving nation, but the country should transform itself into a sports playing nation. (Report)

FOOTBALL

Europa League:

Atletico Madrid won the Europa League with a 3-0 victory over Marseille, with Antoine Griezmann scoring a brilliant brace. (Report)

International:

Portugal has announced a familiar World Cup squad lead by Cristiano Ronaldo but Andre Gomes is one of the Euro 2016 heroes to miss out. (Report)

Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere were the high-profile omissions from England's World Cup squad as Trent Alexander-Arnold earned a maiden call-up. (Report)

Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette and Dimitri Payet were the glaring omissions from the 23-man squad named by France coach Didier Deschamps. (Report)

Bundesliga:

Jupp Heynckes' fourth stint as Bayern Munich head coach ended on a disappointing and controversial note as successor Niko Kovac led Eintracht Frankfurt to a 3-1 win in the DFB-Pokal final. (Report)

FA Cup:

Chelsea ended an underwhelming season on a high note as Eden Hazard sunk Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final. (Report)

Serie A:

Juventus celebrated their Serie A triumph in style with a 2-1 win over Verona, as Gianluigi Buffon made his final Bianconeri appearance. (Report)

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal came out firing after a lengthy rain delay to beat Alexander Zverev in an enthralling Internazionali d'Italia final and return to the top of the rankings. (Report)

Elina Svitolina defended her Internazionali d'Italia title with a comprehensive 6-0 6-4 beating of Simona Halep, whose fitness ahead of the French Open may be cast in doubt after she needed a medical timeout.(Report)

Injury-plagued former world number three Milos Raonic has withdrawn from the French Open. (Report)

Top seeds Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan clinched the doubles title in the $75,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Saturday. (Report)

Juan Martin del Potro will make a decision on whether he plays the French Open in the coming days after confirming he is battling a groin strain. (Report)

Karolina Pliskova has been fined a "four-digit amount" for an outburst that saw her smash the umpire's chair at the Internazionali d'Italia, according to her fiance and manager. (Report)

For a sport that appeared vibrant and glamorous when Sania Mirza was at her peak a few years ago, women’s tennis has conceded much ground to badminton these days. Olympian Rushmi Chakravarthi sees this as an opportunity lost and feels the current bunch of talented young girls need a hand to hold on the tough circuit. (Report)

Olympic champion Monica Puig will miss the French Open after sustaining a right hip strain at the Internazionali d'Italia. (Report)

The anti-doping charge against Alize Cornet has been dismissed after it was decided officials did not make great enough efforts to find her for a third test. (Report)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has withdrawn from the French Open, having failed to recover from a knee operation in time to compete at Roland Garros. (Report)

Czech Petra Kvitova jumped two spots to eighth in the latest WTA rankings released Monday after beating Kiki Bertens to win the Madrid Open for the third time on the weekend. (Report)

BOXING

Ace Indian pugilist M. C. Mary Kom will lead a star-studded Indian women’s boxing team’s training stint in Italy as part of preparation for the upcoming Asian Games. (Report)

HOCKEY

India failed to defend its crown at the fifth women’s Asian Champions Trophy after it lost 0-1 to host South Korea in the summit clash on Sunday. (Report)

BADMINTON

India’s men's and women’s teams jeopardised their chances of qualifying for the knockout stage after suffering an identical 1-4 loss to France and Canada in the opening Group A match of the Thomas and Uber Cup Final on Sunday. (Report)

ATHLETICS

Indian athletics is entering an uncharted territory as the country’s middle and long distance runners will be in Bhutan for four weeks for high altitude training as part of preparations for the upcoming Asian Games. (Report)

MOTORSPORT

Marc Marquez claimed his third race win in a row with victory at the French Grand Prix to surge ahead in the Moto GP standings as Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco crashed out. (Report)

CHESS

Top seeded Grandmaster Nigel Short of England was joined by Indian GMs Deep Sengupta and Narayanan Srinath in a three-way lead with six points each after the sixth round of the LIC Kolkata International Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament, in Kolkata on Sunday. (Report)