Weekly Digest (November 1-7): From India’s T20 World Cup ouster to Djokovic’s Paris Masters triumph

From India’s Super-12 stage exit from the T20 World Cup to Novak Djokovic’s record-extending sixth Paris Masters title, here are the top sporting headlines from the week gone by.

CRICKET

Virat Kohli’s final assignment as captain of the T20I side will end on a disappointing note even if India mauls Namibia to finish third in the group of six. (REPORT)

The game against Namibia will be Virat Kohli’s last as the India T20I captain.   –  GETTY IMAGES

 

New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in a Group 2 Super 12 game in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to progress to the ICC T20 World Cup semifinals. The win also meant India and Afghanistan were out of the tournament. (REPORT)

The BCCI announced that Rahul Dravid will take over from Ravi Shastri as the new team India head coach. (REPORT)

England and Australia on Saturday sealed their T20 World Cup 2021 semifinal spots from Group 1 of the Super 12 stage. (REPORT)

Renowned cricket coach Tarak Sinha succumbed to cancer in New Delhi early on Saturday. He was 71. (REPORT) – Tribute – a yogi who believed in gurukul training

Tarak Sinha never liked reeling off names of his successful trainees. The list was long but some were prominent, having represented India.   –  The Hindu

 

West Indies superstar Chris Gayle effectively called time on his international career on Saturday when he admitted: “I’d love to play one more World Cup. But I don’t think they will allow me.” (REPORT) His teammate Dwyane Bravo announced his retirement from from T20 Internationals (REPORT).

New Zealand has chosen Kolkata as its practice venue to prepare for the two-match series against India that will mark the start of a new cycle for the World Test Championship. (REPORT)

Senior pacer Trent Boult has made himself unavailable for the two-Test series against India due to bio-bubble fatigue as New Zealand on Thursday named five spinners in its 15-man squad for the tour, starting November 25 in Kanpur. (REPORT)

English umpire Michael Gough was withdrawn from the T20 World Cup on Wednesday following a breach of the ICC’s bio-security protocols. (REPORT)

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has been suspended from hosting international or major matches over their handling of allegations of racism by former player Azeem Rafiq. (REPORT)

FOOTBALL

Premier League: An own goal from Bailly and a second from Bernardo Silva saw Manchester City storm to a 2-0 win over Manchester United. (REPORT)

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva scores his side’s second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021.   –  AP

 

Antonio Conte’s first Premier League game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur ended in a scrappy 0-0 draw at Everton on Sunday, as a crucial VAR intervention helped the side scrape a point. (REPORT)

Arsenal closed in on the Premier League top four after a second-half goal from Emile Smith-Rowe gave the side a 1-0 home win over Watford on Sunday in manager Mikel Arteta’s 100th league and cup game in charge. (REPORT)

Aston Villa fired manager Dean Smith as the team was mired in a five-match losing run. (REPORT)

Premier League leader Chelsea was held to a surprise 1-1 home draw by struggling Burnley after the visitor’s substitute Matej Vydra struck out of the blue late in the game to cancel out a Kai Havertz opener on Saturday. (REPORT)

La Liga: Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema fired Real Madrid to a 2-1 win at home to Rayo Vallecano to go top of La Liga (REPORT), while Barcelona threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday in a chaotic game which underlined the scale of the task facing incoming coach Xavi Hernandez. (REPORT)

Striker Ansu Fati injured his hamstring during Barcelona’s 3-3 La Liga draw at Celta Vigo on Saturday and will miss Spain’s upcoming world cup qualifiers against Greece and Sweden.   –  AP

 

Barcelona announced in the early hours of Saturday that Xavi has agreed to a contract through 2024 after the former Spain midfielder was released from his contract as the coach of Qatari club Al-Sadd. (REPORT)

Serie A: Substitute Juan Cuadrado’s stoppage-time goal gave Juventus a 1-0 victory against 10-man Fiorentina and ended a three-game winless streak in Serie A on Saturday. (REPORT)

Venezia staged a remarkable comeback to clinch a stunning 3-2 win over Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma in the Serie A on Sunday. (REPORT)

Bundesliga: Robert Lewandowski scored his 60th goal this calendar year as champion Bayern Munich claimed a 2-1 home win over Freiburg to end the visiting side’s unbeaten start to the season (REPORT), while Borussia Dortmund’s four-game winning streak came to a halt as it was beaten 2-1 away to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday (REPORT).

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: 

Belgium must do without injured striker Romelu Lukaku for its last two World Cup qualifiers this month with coach Roberto Martinez naming two uncapped players on Friday in his squad for the matches against Estonia and Wales. (REPORT)

Spain coach Luis Enrique recalled Dani Carvajal to his squad on Friday for the remaining World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Sweden, the first Real Madrid player he has selected since March. (REPORT)

With Raphael Varane out injured for a few weeks, France coach Didier Deschamps recalled Kurt Zouma on Thursday for upcoming World Cup qualifiers. (REPORT)

Lionel Messi was included in the Argentina squad for two upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil despite having struggled with a knee injury in recent weeks. (REPORT)

Ligue 1: Neymar scored twice as runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain held on to win 3-2 at struggling Bordeaux after conceding late goals on Saturday. (REPORT)

Olympique de Marseille failed to make its domination count as it was held to a 0-0 stalemate by 10-man Metz and remained fourth in Ligue 1 on Sunday. (REPORT

Bahrain’s Al Muharraq lifted the AFC Cup in front of its own fans on Friday, handing Nasaf of Uzbekistan a 3-0 defeat to claim Asia’s second-tier regional trophy for the second time. (REPORT)

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic won a record-extending sixth Paris Masters title by avenging his U.S Open final defeat against Russian Daniil Medvedev with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory in Sunday’s showpiece match. (REPORT)

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.   –  AP

 

Russia won both singles matches to defeat Switzerland 2-0 in the final of the Billie Jean King Cup on Saturday to claim the trophy for the fifth time. (REPORT)

Next year’s Billie Jean King Cup finals will be held a week later from November 8-13 and organisers are working with the women’s tour on the schedule to allow more top players to attend, the International Tennis Federation said on Saturday. (REPORT)

Italian Jannik Sinner broke into the men’s top 10 to reach a career-high ranking of ninth on Monday while also taking a big step towards qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin by climbing up to the eighth and final spot. (REPORT)

Dominic Thiem said on Tuesday he has been vaccinated against Covid-19 and is targeting a return from injury in Abu Dhabi to prepare for the first Grand Slam of 2022 at the Australian Open. (REPORT)

TABLE TENNIS

Manika Batra and Archana Kamath stormed past Puerto Rico’s Melanie and Adriana Diaz to win the women’s doubles crown at the World Table Tennis Contender in Lasko on Sunday. (REPORT)

Manika Batra pushed Wang Yidi of China, the top seed and World No. 11, to the limit but the Chinese emerged stronger to triumph 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-5 in the women’s singles semifinals of the World Table Tennis Contender on Saturday. (REPORT)

Manika Batra

Manika Batra reached the women’s singles semis and won the doubles title at the World Table Tennis Contender in Lasko. (File Image)   –  Reuters

 

Former National champion and Arjuna Awardee Anthony Amalraj looks to be in danger of missing out on the World table tennis championships (individual) to be held in Houston, USA from November 23 to 29. (REPORT)

Ganeshan Neelakanta Iyer has been nominated as the Co-Chairman of the Asian Table Tennis Union’s 14-member Technical and Umpires’ Committee. (REPORT)

BADMINTON

The Indian challenge at the Hylo Open came to an end on Saturday as Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen suffered straight game defeats in their respective men’s singles semifinals. (REPORT)

BOXING

Debutant Akash Kumar (54kg) signed off with a bronze medal in the AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships after being bested by Kazakh teenager Makhmud Sabyrkhan in the semifinals on Thursday. (REPORT)

FILE PHOTO: Indian boxer Akash Kumar.   –  Special Arrangement

 

Long-serving national youth coach Bhaskar Bhatt is set to be given charge of the senior women’s camp after the BFI did not renew contracts of High-Performance Director Raffaele Bergamasco and chief coach Mohammed Ali Qamar. (REPORT)

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) on Friday announced the formation of an independent integrity unit to address issues such as competition manipulation, another step in its push to ensure that the sport remains on the Olympic roster. (REPORT)

Canelo Alvarez became the first four-belt world champion at 168 pounds in boxing history Saturday night, stopping Caleb Plant in the 11th with two dramatic knockdowns. (REPORT)

CHESS

Indian chess ace Dronavalli Harika could not break through the defences of lower-rated German Elisabeth Paehtz in the 10th round to slip to joint third with 6.5 points in the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss chess tournament. (REPORT)

The third edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will be held at the iconic National Library from November 17 to 21 and will offer a prize money of over $ 40,000. (REPORT)

SHOOTING

Saurabh Chaudhary shot 24 in the gold-medal playoff to finish second to Germany’s Christian Reitz in the men’s 10m air pistol; compatriot Abhishek Verma won bronze in the President’s Cup shooting championship in Wroclaw, Poland. (REPORT)

FILE PHOTO: Saurabh Chaudhary finished 10 points behind Christian Reitz in the final.   –  Getty Images

 

Manu Bhaker in partnership with Olympic champion Javad Foroughi of Iran won the mixed air pistol gold in the President’s Cup shooting championship in Wroclaw, Poland. (REPORT)

WRESTLING

Wrestler Shivani Pawar became the seventh Indian to win a silver at the U-23 Worlds after Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia. (REPORT)

India’s Radhika defeated the 2019 European senior silver medallist Aurora Campagna of Italy 6-4 in the bronze medal match of the women’s 62kg category at the U-23 Wrestling World Championship in Belgrade,  In the women’s 65kg event, Nisha Dahiya pinned Elma Zeidlere of Latvia 10-0, winning by technical superiority during the first round of the bronze medal match. (REPORT)

MOTORSPORTS

Ducati’s pole-sitter Francesco Bagnaia produced a near-flawless display at the Algarve Grand Prix on Sunday to claim his third victory of the season. (REPORT)

Francesco Bagnaia in action.   –  AP

 

Valtteri Bottas took a surprise pole position ahead of seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes locked out the front row for the Mexico City Grand Prix (REPORT)

Formula One announced on Saturday that the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, which will be absent from the calendar for the third year in a row in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had extended its contract until 2025. (REPORT)

HOCKEY

For the first time, the Junior National men’s hockey championships will be held in Kovilpatti from December 14 to 25. (REPORT)

Hockey India on Saturday named 24 players in the core probable group for a preparatory camp ahead of the men’s junior World Cup scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar from November 24. (REPORT

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