Weekly Digest (March 1-7): India cruises into WTC final, IPL schedule announced

From India's 3-1 thumping of England to reach the final of the World Test Championship to the announcement of the IPL 2020-21 schedule, here are the major sporting developments from the week gone by.

A jubilant Indian team after beating England by an innings and 25 runs to qualify for the WTC final.   -  PTI

CRICKET

The 2020-21 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) will be played entirely in India, starting on April 9, with the final set for May 30. The tournament will be played across six cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. (REPORT)

Mithali Raj's India has much work to do in both departments as it looked toothless against a robust South African lineup in the first ODI in Lucknow.  (REPORT)

Laura Wolvaardt and Lizelle Lee put on a 169-run stand for the opening wicket to help South Africa effortlessly chase 178 to win the first ODI against India in Lucknow.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Washington Sundar's 96 coupled with five-wicket hauls for R. Ashwin and Axar Patel propelled India into the World Test Championship final at Lord's in June. (REPORT)

Ish Sodhi led a concerted attack by New Zealand’s spin bowlers before Martin Guptill smashed a quickfire 71 runs to set up a seven-wicket win over Australia in the fifth Twenty20 international on Sunday and a 3-2 win in the five-match series. (REPORT)

India celebrating its series win and WTC final qualification after ousting England on Day 3 of the fourth Test.   -  Sportzpics

 

The 2021 season of the Pakistan Super League has been postponed due to rising cases of COVID-19.(REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski scored late to keep Bayern Munich top of the Bundesliga with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in their “Klassiker”. (REPORT)

NorthEast United FC found the equaliser off substitute Idrissa Sylla in the added time to hold ATK Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the second Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) semifinal. (REPORT)

Idrissa Sylla

NorthEast United FC players celebrate Idrissa Sylla's goal against ATK Mohun Bagan during their ISL 2020-21 semifinal clash on Saturday.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

 

Mumbai City FC came back from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw against FC Goa in the first leg of their Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) semifinal clash. (REPORT)

Football's rulemaker IFAB changed the laws of the game so that accidental handballs leading to a team mate scoring will no longer be penalised. The tweak to the handball law will become effective on July 1, although competitions will retain the flexibility to introduce changes prior to that date. (REPORT)

Liverpool’s woeful home form is developing into a full-blown crisis after Chelsea’s 1-0 victory on Thursday inflicted a fifth straight league loss at Anfield on the Premier League champions — the worst run in the club’s 128-year history. (REPORT)

Liverpool's five successive home league defeats have come after Jurgen Klopp's boys had lost none of the previous 68 games at Anfield.   -  Getty Images

 

The women's FA Cup will resume on March 31, the Football Association said on Thursday, after the competition was suspended in January as Britain went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (REPORT)

Barcelona eased some of the pressure on the club by rallying late to force extra time and defeat Sevilla 3-0 on Wednesday, reaching its ninth Copa del Rey final in 11 seasons. Barca will face Athletic Bilbao in the final. (REPORT)

Indian football team coach Igor Stimac has named a list of 35 players who will be in contention to play in the friendlies against Oman and UAE that are scheduled for March 25 and March 29 respectively. (REPORT)

Igor Stimac

Indian football team head coach Igor Stimac said has said that Brandon Fernandes, Rahul Bheke, Sahal Abdul Samad and Asish Rai do not feature in the list as they are nursing injuries at the moment.   -  AIFF

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is the "right time" for the United Kingdom and Ireland to launch a bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, while he added the country would also be willing to host extra Euro 2020 matches this year if required. (REPORT)

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was arrested on Monday after Catalan police officers searched the La Liga club's offices. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic, on Monday, will eclipse Roger Federer's record for most weeks as the men's world number one, holding the top ranking for the 311th week. (REPORT)

Roger Federer never contemplated retirement as he spent 13 months on the sidelines due to double knee surgery last year and the 39-year-old says he is now pain-free and ready to play again with a feeling that his story is not over yet. (REPORT)

 

India's Sumit Nagal's dream run at the ATP Argentina Open came to an end as he went down fighting against Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the men's singles quarterfinal. (REPORT)

The ATP will spend up to $5.2 million from its funds to shore up prize money for the players at its events, which are financially hit by restrictions on ticket sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (REPORT)

BADMINTON

P. V. Sindhu lost 21-12, 21-5 to Spain's Carolina Marin in 35 minutes in the final of the Swiss Open Super 300 tournament in Basel on Sunday. (REPORT)

India's former men's singles world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth and the men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty crashed out of Swiss Open after losing their respective semifinals on Saturday. (REPORT)

Olympic hopeful B. Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram bowed out of the Swiss Open in the men's singles quarterfinals, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa exited at the mixed doubles last-eight stage. (REPORT)

BOXING

Olympic-bound Indian boxer Manish Kaushik (63kg) struck gold in his first competitive outing in a year even as five others signed off with silver medals in the 35th Boxam International Tournament in Spain.  (REPORT)

The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics European boxing qualifiers will be held in Paris from June 4-8. (REPORT)

Six-time world champion M. C. Mary Kom has been picked as the chairperson of the International Boxing Association champions and veterans committee, a panel created last year by AIBA as part of its reforms. (REPORT)

Indian professional boxer Vijender Singh's next bout, his first since November 2019, will take place in Goa on the rooftop deck of a docked ship later this month.(REPORT)

WRESTLING

Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat grabbed the 53kg gold medal along with world number one rank while Bajrang Punia booked his spot in the final of the men's 65kg event at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event. (REPORT)

India's Sarita Mor (silver) and Kuldeep Malik (bronze) bagged medals in their respective events at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series wrestling event in Rome. (REPORT)

TABLE TENNIS (March 7)

Indian paddlers Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee started their campaign at WTT Star Contender Doha with comfortable victories in the first round of the women's singles qualifying event on Saturday. (REPORT)

World No 7 Lin Yun-Ju defeated Sharath Kamal 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 in the second round to end India’s campaign at the World Table Tennis Contender on Thursday. (REPORT)

HOCKEY

The Indian men's hockey team played out a 1-1 draw against Germany in the second game of its four-match tour of Europe. Simranjit Singh helped India hold Great Britain to a 1-1 draw later in the week. (REPORT)

Surender Kumar's solid block at the very last minute helped India earn a draw against Germany.   -  HOCKEY INDIA

 

The Indian women's hockey team remained winless in the four-match tour of Germany with the host winning the all four games decisively. (REPORT)

SHOOTING

The Indian women’s trap team of Manisha Keer, Rajeshwari Kumari and Kirti Gupta gave a good account of itself before being beaten 6-4 in the gold medal contest in the team championship of the Shotgun World Cup which concluded in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday. (REPORT)

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday said it will follow all the provisions of the National Sports Code except one clause that deals with state bodies' affiliation with the national federation. (REPORT)

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