Sports World: Sebastian Vettel Joins Porsche For Le Mans, CSK Beat RCB In IPL Opener - As It Happened

Here are the highlights of the sports world news and events for Friday, March 22, 2024. The much-awaited Indian Premier League 2024 kicked off with the Chennai Super Kings Vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru match at Chepauk in Chennai where CSK beat RCB by six wickets. Sri Lanka dominated on Day 1 of the first Test against hosts Bangladesh in Sylhet, and England women beat New Zealand by 15 runs in the second T20I. In football, reactions trickle in after India's goalless draw with Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying match. Catch the highlights for the sports world on Friday, 22 March 2024, here

Chennai Super Kings' batter Ravindra Jadeja plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai. PTI Photo/R Senthilkumar

Sports World Highlights, Friday, 22 March 2024

Welcome to the highlights of the sports world news and events for 22 March 2024. The Indian Premier League (IPL) finally got underway with the big game, as Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the first match of the season. The former Brazil and Manchester City forward Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in jail for a rape conviction after being arrested at his residence in Santos. Catch the highlights for the sports world on Friday, 22 March 2024, here

India Vs Afghanistan, Half-Time Score

India Vs Afghanistan: 0-0 At Full Time

The match ended in a goalless draw. India and Afghanistan both failed to latch on to their opportunities as the Group A fixture of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers finished in a 0-0 stalemate in Abha, Saudi Arabia.

It was end-to-end stuff in the first half, with India coming quite close to scoring through Manvir Singh on two occasions and the hosts too having their share of chances. But most of them were half chances and goalkeepers of both teams were not tested enough.

Ex-Brazil Striker Robinho Arrested

Soon after being sentenced to nine years in jail for a rape conviction, former Brazil and Manchester City forward Robinho has been arrested at his residence in Santos.

The 40-year-old was convicted a couple of years back in Italy for his role in the gang rape of an Albanian woman at a Milan discotheque in the year 2013. He was a player for AC Milan at the time.

Robinho, whose full name is Robson de Souza, was taken into custody after his lawyers were unable to delay his detention over the 2013 crime.

Won't Bail Alves Out: Neymar's Father 

Football star Neymar's father has said that his family won't pay the one million euros ($1.1 million) required to bail Dani Alves out of a Spanish prison where the former Brazil defender awaits the result of an appeal to his rape conviction, Associated Press reports.

Neymar da Silva Santos said in a statement on behalf of his family that they financially supported Alves during his trial, but that they won't do it again now that the former player was found guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022.

“For us, for my family, this matter is over. Full stop,” Neymar da Silva Santos said.

Friendly: Portugal Beat Sweden 5-2

Portugal made light work of Sweden to seal an 11th consecutive victory with a 5-2 win in their international friendly match.

Roberto Martinez's team did not let up after Rafael Leao lashed them ahead in the 24th minute, with Matheus Nunes and Bruno Fernandes putting them three to the good by half-time.

Bruma made matters worse for Sweden before in-form Sporting CP forward Viktor Gyokeres netted at the other end, albeit that goal should have been disallowed for offside.

Goncalo Ramos rounded off Portugal's rout just after the hour, though Gustaf Nilsson did grab another consolation for Sweden in the final stages.

CONCACAF Nations League: USA Enter Final

The United States escaped defeat with an own goal in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time, Haji Wright scored twice in extra time and the Americans rallied past Jamaica 3-1 to reach the CONCACAF Nations League final against Mexico or Panama, Associated Press reports.

Greg Leigh scored 30 seconds in for the 57th-ranked Reggae Boyz, and the No. 13 Americans were on the verge of losing their third straight match. Instead, Wright scored in the sixth and 19th minutes of extra time and the U.S. will try to win the Nations League for the third straight time on Sunday.

Swiss Open: PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen Bow Out

The two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu ended her dream run at the Swiss Open losing to a Japanese teenager, Tomoka Miyazaki. In addition, the top Indian male shuttler Lakshya Sen lost to Lee Chia-Hao of Chinese Taipei in the pre-quarterfinals to bow out of the Super 300 tournament.

Swiss Open: Srikanth, Rajawat, George Cruise To QFs

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth secured a place in the quarterfinals by overpowering Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia 21-61 21-15 while Priyanshu Rajawat fought La Xi of China 21-14 21-13 to advance to the round of 8. Meanwhile, Kiran George rose to the challenge of French shuttler Alex Lanier to advance to the quarterfinals.

F1 Australian GP: Leclerc Finishes 1st In Free Practice 

Ferrari's ace Charles Leclerc finishing first surpassed the dominator Max Verstappen of Red Bull in free practice for the Australian Grand Prix and. Max, who finished second ahead of Carlos Sainz in FP, is en route to win 10 consecutive races to match his record in Melbourne. However, Leclerc's impressive drive at Albert Park in practice sessions has posed a threat to the Dutchman.

'Something Wrong' With Hamilton's Mercedes In Practice For Australia GP

Lewis Hamilton had one of the nightmares at the free practice of the Australian Grand Prix, finishing on P18 ahead of only Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. The seven-time champion ran off the track once and continued his struggle with the W15, concluding the session by saying "something is wrong".

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran Wins First WTT Feeder Title For India

India's star paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran became the first-ever to win a men's singles trophy at a WTT Feeder Series event in Beirut, Lebanon. Along the way to the final round, the seeded no. 11 took down his compatriot Manav Thakkar 3-1 (6-11 11-7 11-7 11-4), No.5 seed Harmeet Desai (15-13 6-11 11-8 13-11) and top seed Chuang Chih-Yuan (11-8 11-13 11-8 11-9) to finally secure the first title for India.

IPL: Tanush Kotian Replaces Adam Zampa At RR

Tanush Kotian who remained the key player of Mumbai in their record-extending 42nd Ranji Trophy win in 2024 is replacing Adam Zampa in Royals Rajasthan as he withdrew from the 2024 Indian Premier League ahead of the opening match citing personal reasons. Kotian joined the Royals at his base price of 20 Lakh INR while Zampa was retained at 1.5 crore INR.

Israel's Euro 2024 Chase End With Defeat To Iceland

Israel's dream to participate in the European Championship for the first time ended with a 1- 4 defeat to Iceland in the qualifiers last night in Budapest. Israeli forward Eran Zahavi went down with injury on the half-hour mark. Iceland is now set to face Ukraine on Tuesday.

Hockey Captain Savita Punia Recalls Lost Dream Of Paris Olympics

Indian women's hockey team captain Savita Punia recalls the pain she and the team had after losing the FIH Hockey qualifiers in January. "Good moments in life are not forgotten but neither are the bad ones. Losing the Paris Olympic qualifiers is such a bad moment that we will probably not be able to forget our entire life," the 33-year-old goalkeeper told 'PTI Bhasha' in an interview.

Had To Happen: Ashwin On CSK Captaincy Switch

Just a day ahead of Chennai Super Kings' opening match in the 2024 Indian Premier League, Mahendra Singh Dhoni handed over his captaincy role to Ruturaj Gaikwad. Reflecting on that matter Ravichandran Ashwin said "This decision was inevitable and it was coming at some stage."

"Two years ago, he had given the captain's armband to Jadeja. He has handed it to Ruturaj now. The decision had to happen" said Ashwin.

IPL Opening Ceremony: AR Rahman, Akshay Kumar To Shine

The opening ceremony of IPL 2024 will feature the musical wizard, A R Rahman, acting master Akshay Kumar, charismatic Tiger Shroff, and the legendary playback singer Sonu Nigam electrifying up the entire M. A Chidambaram stadium at 6:30 PM.

IPL Opening Match: CSK vs RCB

Chennai Super Kings led by Ruturaj Gaikwad and Royal Challengers Bengaluru led by Faf Du Plessis will lock horns in the opening match of IPL 2024 at 8:00 PM.

Le Mans: Sebastian Vettel Joins Porsche As Test Driver

The four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is getting back behind the wheel again signing with Porsche as a test driver on its Le Mans program. Vettel will drive the Porsche 963 car for works team Porsche Penske Motorsport as part of a 36-hour test session at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain next week.

Nishant Dossa Wins In CCI Billiards Classic Qualification

Nishant Dossa secured a 239-203 victory against Anant Mehta to qualify in the first-round match in the CCI Billiards Classic tournament in Mumbai

Don't Want To Think About Injury: Shreyas Iyer

The captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, has had a rough one month ahead of the 2024 Indian Premier League. But, he don't wants to pull any of the past negativities in the new season as he focuses on "what's there on the plate" in the present moment. "I have ticked the boxes in every way possible so I am in high spirits," said Iyer.

Julian Schuster Replaces Christian Streich As Freiburg's Coach

The long serving coach of Freiburg is stepping down for his role after 12 years in charge and the former midfielder Julian Schuster is set to replace him. Schuster who played 242 games for Freiburg, will be getting the role of head coach for the first time.

Swiss Open: Treesa-Gayatri Pair Face Defeat In QFs

The Indian women's doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand ended their run at the Swiss Open badminton tournament after facing defeat at the hands of Australia's Setyana Mapasa and Angela Yu.

Women's National Hockey Champ's: Haryana Reach Final

The defending champions Haryana secured spot in the final match of the the Senior Women's National Championship thrashing Jharkhand 4-0 with the score of Navneet Kaur, Jyoti, Sharmila Devi and Deepika.

ATP Men's Tennis Tour's 2025 Calendar Includes Expanded Events In Canada And Cincinnati

The Masters 1000 tournaments in Canada and Cincinnati will increase to 12 days each next season, and events in Dallas, Doha and Munich will be upgraded to the 500 level as part of changes announced Friday when the ATP Tour released its 2025 calendar for men's tennis, according to AP reports.

IPL 2024: RCB Set 174-run Target For CSK

Royal Challengers Bengaluru recovered to 173 for six against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL opener in Chennai on Friday, according to PTI reports. RCB skipper Faf du Plessis (35 off 23) got his team off the blocks before the visitors collapsed to 78 for five.

Anuj Rawat (48 off 25) and Dinesh Karthik (38 not out off 26) shared a 95-run stand off 57 balls for the sixth wicket to give some respectability to the total.

Brief Score: RCB - 173/6 (20)

Anuj Rawat - 48 (25), Dinesh Karthik - 38 (26) | Mustafizur Rahman: (4-0-29-4)

Three Meet Records Tumble In Indian Open Throws Competition

Three meet records tumbled in the third edition of the one-day Indian Open Throws Competition in Patiala on Friday, according to PTI reports. Maharashtra's Abha Khatua improved her own meet mark of 17.09m on her way to winning shot put gold with a throw of 17.56m.

The national record of 18.06m is in the name of Manpreet Kaur, which was set in 2022. Haryana's Nirbhay Singh also improved the previous meet record in the men's discus throw. His gold medal-winning effort of 54.89m was better than the previous mark of 53.28 set in 2022 by Arjun.

FA Defends Multicoloured Cross On England Shirt As Tribute To 1966 Team

The Football Association has defended the multicoloured St George's Cross on the back of England's new jerseys, claiming it is an homage to the 1966 World Cup-winning squad.

The back of the collar design has been questioned, and Rishi Sunak was among many who spoke out against it on Friday. Nike stated on Thursday that the "playful update" was intended to "unite and inspire" supporters for the 2024 European Championship, but the FA provided a different take on Friday.

IPL 2024: CSK Beat RCB By Six Wickets In IPL Opener

Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru by six wickets in the IPL opener in Chennai on Friday, according to PTI reports. RCB recovered to 173 for six against CSK after opting to bat. Skipper Faf du Plessis (35 off 23) got his team off the blocks before the visitors collapsed to 78 for five.

Anuj Rawat (48 off 25) and Dinesh Karthik (38 not out off 26) shared a 95-run stand off 50 balls for the sixth wicket to give some respectability to the total.