Sports World: Mohammedan SC Crowned I-League Champions; Man City Beat Crystal Palace - As It Happened

The day ended with a thumping victory of Rajasthan Royals against Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Indian Premier League 2024 at Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Elsewhere, County Championship Division One action continued across the UK. Arsenal took the top spot in the points table after beating Brighton 3-0 in the Premier League. Manchester City also beat Crystal Palace with 4-2. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has taken pole position in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Catch the highlights of the sports world for Saturday, 6 April 2024, here

New I-League Champions Mohammedan SC X

Sports World, Highlights, April 6, 2024

Here are the highlights of the sporting action from across the globe for Saturday, April 6, 2024. In cricket, Rajasthan Royals beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru by six wickets in Jaipur. In football, Arsenal beat Brighton 3-0 and Manchester City humbled Crystal Palace 4-2 in Premier League matches. League action also saw the likes of AC Milan, Bayern Munich and PSG in their respective leagues. Japanese Grand Prix continued with the Qualifying at Suzuka. Catch the highlights of the sports world for Saturday, 6 April 2024, here.

EPL Fixture List For This Weekend

FIDE Candidates: Vidit Gujrathi, Gukesh D Shine

Heartening news awaits Indian sports lovers on Saturday morning. Vidit Gujrathi has taken down world number 3 Hikaru Nakamura in the second round of FIDE Candidates 2024. The superb victory, with black pieces, halts the American's 47-game undefeated streak in classical chess. Elsewhere, in an all-Indian battle, Gukesh D pipped R Praggnanandhaa with black pieces.

Lionel Messi Back In Action

Lionel Messi will return to Inter Miami's lineup, with the team saying his absence for a hamstring injury will end with their home game in Major League Soccer against the Colorado Rapids. “He's back,” the team wrote in a social media post.

Marrakech Open: Bhambri-Olivetti Lose In Semis

India's Yuki Bhambri and his French partner Albano Olivetti crashed out in the semi-finals of the the ATP Marrakech Open in Morocco after a hard-fought duel against second seeds Lucas Miedler and Alexander Erler of Austria, PTI reports. The unseeded Indo-French pair lost 5-7, 6-3, 7-10 in a gruelling tie in the last-four stage of the ATP 250 event.

Bhambri and Olivetti had earlier knocked out third seeds Nicholas Barrientos and Rafael Matos to breeze into the men's doubles semi-finals.

Serie A Update

Sassuolo's hopes of avoiding relegation from Serie A were dealt a blow in stoppage time when they gave up a two-goal lead and drew with bottom-of-the-table Salernitana 2-2. Sassuolo have 25 points, equal with Frosinone and Empoli, both of whom have a game in hand.

Salernitana remained on the bottom of the table, 10 points adrift of Sassuolo, and with only seven games remaining almost certain of relegation.

Hockey India League To Resume After 8 Years: Report

Hockey India has reportedly secured clearance from the international hockey federation (FIH) to host Hockey India League from December 28 to February 1, with the tournament to adopt a home-and-away format. This will mark the return of the league after eight years.

“We have been given a clear window by the FIH. We have been in touch with many national federations like Australia and Netherlands, all of whom have agreed that their best players will be available,” a Hindustan Times report quoted HI secretary general Bhola Nath Singh as saying.

Charleston Open: Jessica Pegula Into Semis

Top-seeded Jessica Pegula saved four match points in a third-set tiebreaker to defeat Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7) and reach the Charleston Open semi-finals. Danielle Collins, the Miami Open champion, won her 11th straight match with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens.

Pegula squandered four match points of her own, up 5-4 in the final set against Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion. But tied 7-7 in the tiebreaker, Azarenka missed wide with Pegula at the net, then pushed a service return long.

US Clay Court C'ship: Ben Shelton Enters SFs

Top-seed Ben Shelton prevailed over Brandon Nakashima 7-5 7-6 (9) to advance to the semi-finals of the US Men's Clay Court Championship. The 21-year-old Shelton advanced to his fifth tour-level semifinal on Friday and improved to 17-1 against players outside of the top 50 in the ATP Rankings since the ATP Masters 1000 in Toronto in August.

Shelton will face fourth-seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry, last year's runner-up, in the semifinals. Etcheverry led Michael Mmoh 6-3 0-1 when Mmoh retired because of an injury.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks Pip Golden State Warriors

P.J. Washington capped a 32-point night with a tie-breaking layup with 4.5 seconds left that lifted the Dallas Mavericks to a 108-106 victory over Golden State, which halted the Warriors' season-high six-game winning streak. After Golden State erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit on Stephen Curry's jumper with 13 seconds remaining that tied the game at 106-106, Dallas' Tim Hardaway Jr. found a cutting Washington for an inside basket that put the Mavericks back in front.

Coming Up: India Vs Australia Hockey Series Opener

Even as the anticipation for Paris Olympic Games 2024 ripens, the Indian men's hockey team is ready to face Australia in a five-match Test series, starting today in Perth. The first of five games will begin at 2pm IST.

Before the clash unfolds, check out all you need to know about the series, in our tour guide here.

Hockey India Organizes Coaching Programme For Former Players

Hockey India has launched a new initiative aimed at bringing uniformity in coaching, and former India drag-flickers and goalkeepers Rupinder Pal Singh, VR Raghunath, Adrian D'Souza and, Bharat Chetri were among the first ones to receive the training.

The programme, aimed at standardising coaching methodologies across the nation and nurturing the next generation of hockey talent, was executed by high performance director Herman Kruis at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru recently.

Japanese GP: Max Verstappen Surges To Pole Position

Max Verstappen stormed to pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix as his dominance in qualifying continued. The world champion has locked out the first spot on the grid this season and there was no answer to his pace at Suzuka. His time of one minute 28.197 beat Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez into second place by just 0.066 seconds, while McLaren’s Lando Norris was the best of the rest.

Verstappen’s run of pole positions now stretches back to the last race of last season and he is now toasting a third pole in Japan.

Hockey Test: India Trail Australia 0-2 At Half-Time

Anupama, Tharun Bag Kazakhstan Titles

Indian shuttlers Anupama Upadhyaya and Tharun Mannepalli have emerged as champions in the women's and men's singles competition at the Kazakhstan International Challenge tournament in Uralsk.

The 19-year-old Anupama from Almora, who won the Polish International challenge last month, claimed her second successive title with a 21-15 21-16 win over compatriot Isharani Baruah in a 41-minutes final.

The 22-year-old Tharun, who was runner-up at the senior national championships in Guwahati last December, beat eighth-seeded Malaysian Soong Joo Ven 21-10, 21-19 to register his maiden international title.

Hockey Test: India Lose 1-5 To Australia 

India lose the first hockey Test against Australia by a massive 1-5 margin in Perth. Gurjant Singh was the only player from the visiting team to sound the board. With the Paris Olympics barely three months away, the result is sobering, perhaps even alarming and Harmanpreet Singh's side need to come back strong in the next four games.

Geoffrey Boycott Has Some Harsh Words For Bazball

“Heavens! Those three (Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav) have some 900 wickets among them in Tests. And we have a captain (Ben Stokes) who does not bowl. So, play with aggression, which is fair, but have that bit of common sense too,” said Boycott during the cricket talk show, Midwicket Stories, which also featured batting legend Sunil Gavaskar and former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull.

Sumit Nagal Wins In Monte Carlo Masters Qualifiers

Ace Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal was off to a winning start in Monte Carlo Masters as he defeated world number 63 Flavio Cobolli of Italy in straight sets in the qualifiers here on Saturday.

The unseeded 95th-ranked Indian registered a 6-2 6-3 win over eighth-seeded Cobolli.

Nagal will now be up against the winner of the two Argentinians -- Facundo Díaz Acosta and Diego Schwartzman -- in his final qualifier fixture. (PTI)

Lando Norris Dismisses Red Bull Duo’s Concerns Over Race Pace In Japan

Lando Norris has dismissed suggestions from dominant Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez that they could struggle for pace in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen took pole position to continue his run of locking out the first spot on the grid so far this season, while Perez was just 0.066 seconds slower to secure his place on the front row.

Norris emerged from a pack of cars all running very similar times to take the place as best of the rest for McLaren on another Saturday where it was Red Bull who shone. (Stats Perform)

EPL: Man City Go 2nd With Win Over Crystal Palace

IPL: RR Bowling First Against RCB

I-League Results Today

Mohammedan Sporting 2-1 Shillong Lajong

TRAU 2-1 Real Kashmir FC

Neroca 1-1 Srindi Deccan

Mohammedan SC win I-League 2023-24

EFL: Huddersfield Beat Millwall 1-0

Huddersfield clinched a dramatic 1-0 win over the fellow strugglers Millwall. The team's boss Andre Breitenreiter was delighted to have secured the win that was termed as 'dirty' by him. Substitute Rhys Healey pounced for the Terriers’ late, late winner in added time, one which handed his side a first win in seven games and lifted them out of the Championship drop zone. (Stats Perform)

IPL: RR Beat RCB By 6 Wickets

In a match that witnessed the first ton of the 2024 Indian Premier League, delivered by the batting maestro Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bengaluru despite all its glories faced defeat at the hands of the undefeated Rajasthan Royals by 6 wickets.

I Want To Keep Bowlers Guessing: Virat Kohli 

Virat Kohli feels that opposition bowlers want him to go hammer and tongs every time he comes out to bat, but he prefers adapting to match conditions without any predetermined strategy as he did in his unbeaten century against Rajasthan Royals in an IPL match on Saturday. (PTI)

EPL: Arsenal Back On Top With Win Over Brighton

Arsenal regained top spot in the Premier League after goals from Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard secured a thumping 3-0 success which dented Brighton’s push for Europe.

Mikel Arteta’s men arrived at the Amex Stadium having dropped to third place in the table following Manchester City’s 4-2 win at Crystal Palace in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. (Stats Perform)

Jos Is Best White-Ball Opener In World Cricket: Sangakkara

Virat Kohli may be leading the IPL charts with 316 runs as an opener, but Rajasthan Royals' head coach Kumar Sangakkara feels that Jos Buttler is, by far, the best white ball opener in world cricket, according to PTI reports.

Buttler was back in form with a 58-ball-100 not out as Rajasthan easily beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru by six wickets despite Kohli's eighth IPL hundred.

That's all from our side!

We will be taking your leave now. Thanks for joining us. We will come again tomorrow as there are many matches scheduled for the 'Blockbuster Sunday'. That's all for today. Goodnight!