Weekly Digest (Dec 31-Jan 6): From India's Asian Cup win against Thailand to the Federer-Serena match

Here's a round-up of all the major happenings from the world of sport over the last week.

Serena Williams and Roger Federer pose for a selfie after their Hopman Cup meeting   -  Getty Images

Cricket

On a heavily truncated day of cloud cover and rain, India moved closer to its first ever Test series triumph in Australia. (REPORT)

India enjoyed another strong day against Australia in Sydney   -  Getty Images

 

South Africa beat Pakistan by nine wickets on the fourth day of the second Test at Newlands on Sunday.(REPORT)

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will miss the third and final Test against Pakistan through suspension following an over-rate offence. (REPORT)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), following orders from the CoA head Vinod Rai, has awarded a two-year contract as head coach of the national women’s team to former India Test opener W.V. Raman. (REPORT)

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has confirmed the appointment of Richard Pybus as the team's new head coach on an interim basis. (REPORT)

Wicket-keeper batsman Aditya Tare has lost his place while Shreyas Iyer has been rested for Mumbai’s concluding Ranji Trophy fixture of the season, to be played against Chhattisgarh. (REPORT)

Veteran cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar, who trained Sachin Tendulkar, passed away at his residence in Dadar. He was 86. (REPORT)

Sunil Gavaskar could miss the presentation ceremony of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as he hasn't yet received an invite from Cricket Australia. (REPORT)

Football

India kicked off its AFC Asian Cup 2019 campaign with a stunning 4-1 win against Thailand as Sunil Chhetri put up a jaw-dropping display to score two remarkable goals. (REPORT)

Sunil Chhetri's brace in India's 4-1 win against Thailand took his international tally to 67 goals - two more than Lionel Messi.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Australia's bid to defend its Asian Cup crown began in miserable fashion as it slumped to a shock 1-0 loss to Jordan in Al Ain on Sunday. (REPORT)

Manchester City reinvigorated its title defence and ended Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League run with a crucial 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium. (REPORT)

Leroy Sane scored in the 72nd minute after Roberto Firmino equalised for Liverpool in the 64th minute.   -  AFP

 

Chelsea produced a toothless display as it was held to a 0-0 draw at home by struggling Southampton and lost Willian to injury in the process. (REPORT)

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer managed a fourth win in as many outings at the start of his reign – a feat only previously achieved by club great Matt Busby. (REPORT)

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has not ruled out increasing the number of teams participating at the 2022 World Cup to 48. (REPORT)

Chelsea secured a €64million deal for Christian Pulisic, who will stay at Borussia Dortmund on loan until the end of the season. (REPORT)

Tennis

Kevin Anderson defeated Ivo Karlovic in a gruelling three-set thriller to win the Maharashtra Open in Pune, twelve months after losing at the same stage. (REPORT)

Kevin Anderson of South Africa celebrates with the trophy after winning the men’s singles title in Pune on Saturday.   -  R. Ragu

 

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan clinched the doubles title at the Maharashtra Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara. (REPORT)

Roger Federer took the honours in the much-anticipated mixed doubles clash with fellow great Serena Williams in what the latter described as the “match of her career” at the Hopman Cup in Perth. (REPORT)

Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic retained the Hopman Cup for Switzerland after prevailing in a mixed doubles battle with Germany's Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev. (REPORT)

Federer and Bencic won their second successive Hopman Cup on Saturday.   -  AFP

 

Maria Sharapova was forced to retire through injury at the Shenzhen Open on Friday, just 10 days before the start of the Australian Open. (REPORT)

Juan Martin del Potro will miss the Australian Open as he continues his recovery from a fractured kneecap. (REPORT)

Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to overhaul Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko and win the Brisbane International. (REPORT)

Julia Goerges retained the WTA Auckland Classic title as she came from a set down to end the stunning run by Canadian teen sensation Bianca Andreescu. (REPORT)

Japanese star Kei Nishikori claimed his first title since 2016 when he downed Russia's Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the final of the Brisbane International. (REPORT)

Roberto Bautista Agut followed up his shock victory over world number one Novak Djokovic by lifting the Qatar Open title. (REPORT)

More sports

Bengaluru Bulls made its second appearance in a Pro Kabaddi League final a winning one, coming from behind to romp home 38-33 against Gujarat Fortunegiants at the NSCI indoor stadium on Saturday. (REPORT)

Bengaluru Bulls with the Pro Kabaddi 2018 trophy after defeating Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 in the final.   -  Vivek Bendre

 

Mousumi Paul and Krittwika Sinha Roy helped West Bengal regain the women’s team championship after two years by stunning favourite PSPB in the 11Sports 80th Inter-state & National Table Tennis Championship. (REPORT)

World Championship bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain of Assam claimed the gold medal while Haryana boxer Manisha Moun had to be content with silver at the women’s National Boxing Championships on Sunday. (REPORT)

Punjab Royals picked up Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia for Rs 30 lakhs during the players draft of the Pro Wrestling League on Friday. (REPORT)

Teenage shooting sensation Manu Bhaker on Friday reminded Haryana sports minister, Anil Vij, of a Rs 2 crore cash award promise, which he made after her Youth Olympic gold medal, but is yet to fulfil. (REPORT)

James Harden posted his fifth straight 40-point game, while tallying a triple-double, and hit a game-winning 3-pointer with just a second left on the clock in overtime. (REPORT)

Russia faced up to the possibility of renewed sporting sanctions on Tuesday when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed the country had missed a December 31 deadline to hand over data from its anti-doping laboratory in Moscow. (REPORT)

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