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Sports World, January 2, 2024: Rafael Nadal Makes Winning Return; India U-19 Thrash South Africa - As It Happened

Also, as the January transfer window has opened up, Paris Saint Germain star Kylian Mbappe's future remained up in the air as he is free to speak to rival clubs. Here's what happened in the sports world on Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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IND-W vs AUS-W: Australia beat India by 190 runs to claim series 3-0
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New Year's Day has passed and sporting action continues to build up. In cricket, the Indian men's team faced the media ahead of the second Test match against South Africa at Cape Town. The Australia women's cricket team had already sealed its victory in the ODI series and continued their rich form into the New Year with a win in the third and final ODI match against India. Meanwhile, the India U-19 team beat South Africa as part of their preparation for the upcoming World Cup. Here's all that happened on January 2, 2024, in the world of sports. (Cricket News | Football News)

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9:00pm: A comprehensive win for India U-19

Led by Arshin Kulkarni's 91 off 106 balls, the India U-19 men's cricket team beat South Africa in their U-19 Tri-Nation Series, which will serve as a preparation tournament for the upcoming U-19 World Cup. India limited South Africa to 240 runs in 46.1 overs, Aaradhya Shukla the star of the Indian bowling spell with four wickets. India then chased down the target for the loss of just three wickets, with Adarsh Singh and Aravelly Rao joining Kulkarni on 50+ scores. 

8:00pm: India All-Out!

India's disastrous batting performance has reached its full stop in the 33rd over, with Deepti Sharma the sole survivor of an Australian beating. Despite winning the series the last time around, Australia did not allow their standards to drop; setting their opponents a target of 339, the Aussies returned the entire Indian team to the pavilion for just 148 runs, with Georgia Wareham claiming three wickets. For India, Smriti Mandhana was the highest run-scorer with 29 runs, followed by the unbeaten Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues, with the duo contributing 25 each. Consequently, Australia beat India by 190 runs to take the series 3-0. 

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7:10pm: Innings Update (IND 99/5, 21 Overs) 

India have puffed and panted, but are on the cusp of crossing into the 100-run threshold. That, however, has come at a cost, that of five wickets. Australia are well set on their way to a series domination, barring a miraculous fightback from the hosts, who have witnessed batters fall like dominoes in the early stages of their innings. Deepti Sharma and Amanjot Kaur persist on the field at the time of writing, with the entire Indian top order having returned to the pavilion. 

6:30pm: Innings Update (IND 59/3, 12 Overs)

Two early wickets mean India are already on the ropes against Australia, with the visitors starting to turn the screw in what is looking like a third successive win for them in the ODI series. Megan Schutt has been the star bowler early on, removing both the Indian openers, Yashika Bhatia and Smriti Mandhana, for a combined 35 runs. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, too, has come and gone, adding just three runs to the Indian total with the Women in Blue hoping to chase a massive 339-run target. 

6:10pm: India's Batting Underway 

The Women in Blue, battling to prevent a washout at home, are chasing 339 runs in 50 overs against the mighty Australia. India have lost the previous two matches against the perennial world champions, one while defending and one while chasing. 

5:18pm: Innings Update (AUS-W 338/7, 50 Overs)

Despite the loss of quick wickets in the middle overs, the Aussies have managed to score 82 runs in the last 10 overs to end up with a record 338-run total in the first innings. Phoebe Litchfield was the star of the show again as she smashed a scintillating century (119 off 125 balls; 16x4, 1x6). She was ably supported by captain Alyssa Healy, who notched up another half-century as the duo posted a 189-run opening stand. Shreyanka Patil was the pick of the bowlers for the home team, as she scalped three wickets. India now have the unenviable task of attempting to chase down the Aussies' highest-ever ODI total scored against them.  

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4:28pm: India Women Strike Back (AUS-W 256/5, 40 Overs)

The Indian women have pulled things back in control to a fair degree after the walloping in the first 25 overs. The Aussies have lost five wickets in the next 15 overs in the quest for pressing home the advantage. Though the run rate is still well over 6 runs an over, the fall of wickets could delay a possible onslaught in the death overs.

4:10pm: Nadal Beats Thiem With Ease

A whole 349 days after he last played elite tennis, Rafael Nadal purposefully ran, scrambled, returned on court again. This time, though, he won. With ease. The 37-year-old set aside familiar foe Dominic Thiem with a dismissive scoreline of 7-5, 6-1 in their round of 32 clash at Brisbane International - a tune-up tournament for the upcoming Australian Open. Read our match report here.

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3:26pm: Fifties for Aussie Openers (AUS-W 168/0, 25 Overs)

The Australian batters look in the mood for a masssive total today. Both Alyssa Healy and Phoebe Litchfield are still at the crease and are plundering runs at will to leave the Indian bowling harried. Debutante Mannat Kashyap is leaking runs and with all 10 wickets in hand, Healy and Co would surely be eyeing a 300-plus score in the first innings.

2:43pm: Nadal Match Underway

The long wait has ended. After a year-long injury layoff, Rafael Nadal is finally back in competitive action. The Spanish tennis titan is playing Dominic Thiem in their Round of 32 clash at the Brisbane International - a tune-up tournament for the Australian Open. The match has begun it's one-game each in the first set at the moment.  

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2:30pm: Australia Openers Powering On (AUS-W 79/0, 13 Overs)

Captain Alyssa Healy and Phoebe Litchfield are piling pressure on the Indian bowlers. They are scoring freely and have welcomed debutante Mannat Kashyap into international cricket with a six and four, taking 12 runs off her first over. Time for Harmanpreet to think fresh.

1:50pm: Australia Start Well (AUS-W 27/0, 5 Overs)

The opening pair of Phoebe Litchfield and Alyssa Healy has started confidently for Australia, maintaining a healthy run-rate without losing any wicket. Renuka Singh and Pooja Vastrakar are sharing the new ball for India but haven't been able to make any inroad as yet.  

1:40pm: IND U-19 Vs RSA U-19

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India U-19 captain Uday Saharan won the toss and opted to field first against their South African rivals in Johannesburg. Afghanistan are the other team in this three-team ICC U-19 World Cup warm-up tournament.

Playing XIs

South Africa U-19: Lhuan-dre Pretorius, Steve Stolk, David Teeger (c), Richard Seletswane, Dewan Marais, Ntando Zuma (wk), Juan James, Nqobani Mokoena, Oliver Whitehead, Kwena Maphaka, Martin Khumalo.

India U-19: Adarsh Singh, Arshin Kulkarni, Aravelly Avanish (wk), Sachin Dhas, Uday Saharan (c), Musheer Khan, Saumy Pandey, Dhanush Gowda, Priyanshu Moliya, Murugan Abhishek, Aaradhya Shukla

1:10 PM: IND-W Vs AUS-W Toss News, Playing XIs

Australia have won the toss and will bat first in Mumbai. One change for them, with Megan Schutt coming in for Darcie Brown. There's a debut for India, with Mannat Kashyap getting her first ODI cap. She comes in for Sneh Rana.

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India Playing XI: 1 Yastika Bhatia, 2 Smriti Mandhana, 3 Richa Ghosh (wk), 4 Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), 5 Jemimah Rodrigues, 6 Deepti Sharma, 7 Amanjot Kaur, 8 Mannat Kashyap, 9 Pooja Vastrakar, 10 Renuka Singh, 11 Shreyanka Patil

Australia Playing XI: 1 Alyssa Healy (wk, capt), 2 Phoebe Litchfield, 3 Ellyse Perry, 4 Beth Mooney, 5 Tahlia McGrath, 6 Ashleigh Gardner, 7 Annabel Sutherland, 8 Georgia Wareham, 9 Alana King, 10 Kim Garth, 11 Megan Schutt

12:15pm: NBA Update

Jordan Clarkson registered Utah’s first triple-double in nearly 16 years and the Jazz avenged a 50-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks with a 127-90 victory on Monday night in Salt Lake City. Clarkson totaled 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to become the first Jazz player with a triple-double in the regular season since Carlos Boozer had one on February 13, 2008. The Mavericks trounced the Jazz 147-97 in Dallas on Dec. 6. Luka Doncic, who had a first-half triple-double in that blowout, finished with 19 points, 14 assists and six rebounds on Monday. Kyrie Irving returned from a 12-game heel injury absence and had 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists for Dallas.

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11:35am: United Cup Update

Hosts Australia advanced to the quarterfinals of the United Cup with a 2-1 victory over defending champions United States. Matthew Ebden and Storm Hunter combined effectively in the decisive mixed doubles match to beat Jessica Pegula and Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-1 in Perth and ensured that Australia finished top of Group C in the 18-country mixed-teams event with the Americans second.

10:20am: Nadal Returns To Tennis Today

Rafael Nadal will make his much-awaited comeback to elite tennis with a blockbuster opening match against familiar foe Dominic Thiem in their round of 32 clash at the Brisbane International. The 37-year-old Spanish southpaw was away for almost a year with a hip injury. Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion, last played in the second round of the Australian Open in January, and eventually decided to have surgery on his troublesome hip in June. All you need to know about today's match is in our report here.

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9:15am: Warner Loses Baggy Green

The backpack that contained David Warner's prized Australia Test cap has gone missing from his luggage. The veteran opener took to Instagram to request that the bag be returned to him before the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney. You can watch the video of his emotional appeal here.

8am: Liverpool Vs Newcastle Update

Mohamed Salah has headed off to the Africa Cup of Nations on the back of a starring role for Liverpool in their 4-2 win over Newcastle, that has opened up a three-point lead in the English Premier League. Salah scored Liverpool’s first and last goals and had a hand in the other two for his team in a chaotic game in wet and wild conditions at Anfield. All of the goals came in an end-to-end second half.

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