Sports

Week In Review, December 11-17, 2023: India Women Register Record Win Over England In One-Off Test; Arsenal Go Top Of English Premier League Table

The T20I leg of India's tour of South Africa ended in a 1-1 draw, and the first ODI then saw KL Rahul's men thrashing Aiden Markram's team by eight wickets. In the Indian Super League, FC Goa occupied the top spot. Let us review the sporting week that went by

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India's Deepti Sharma celebrates her 5-wicket haul against England in the one-off Test in Mumbai.
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The week that went by - Monday, December 11, 2023 to Sunday, December 17, 2023 - brought joys and disappointments in almost equal measure for the Indian sports fan, across arenas. But one match that is likely to stay with them for posterity is the one-off Test between India and England's women in Mumbai. (Cricket News | Football News | Hockey News

Cricket
It was a momentous occasion as India were playing their first women's Test at home since 2014, and the first time they took the field in whites after the retirements of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. Harmanpreet Kaur and Co made the moment count as they registered a record 347-run victory at Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium, thanks to Deepti Sharma's heroics with bat and ball.

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Their male counterparts too tasted success, albeit in white-ball formats. The T20I leg of India's tour of South Africa ended in a 1-1 draw, as the washout in the first game (on December 10) was followed by a Proteas victory in the second one and an Indian triumph in the third. The first ODI then saw KL Rahul's men thrashing Aiden Markram's team by eight wickets, as the Indian seamers shot out the hosts for a lowly 116 in the first innings.

In Perth, Australia demolished Pakistan by a 360-run margin in the first Test, thanks to the seam-bowling firepower of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. The Aussies bowled out the visitors for a paltry 89 to make the 450-run target appear as if an insurmountable dream.

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Elsewhere, a touring England took on West Indies in the first three T20Is of a five-match series, and won the third game after losing the first two to stay alive. Meanwhile, after a two-Test series at home against New Zealand, Bangladesh returned the favour with a Kiwi tour that began with the hosts posting a comfortable 44-run win (DLS method) in the first ODI at Dunedin.

The Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 concluded with Haryana earning their maiden title, after they pipped Rajasthan in a pulsating final. In Dubai, the India colts ended their ACC Under-19 Asia Cup campaign in the semi-final stage, losing to Bangladesh, who ended up as the champions.

Football
In top-flight league football, Arsenal ended the week on top of the English Premier League 2023-24 standings after a 2-0 win over Brighton put them a solitary point ahead of Liverpool, who were held to a 0-0 stalemate by Manchester United the same evening later. 

In the La Liga 2023-24 season, Real Madrid returned to the top of the standings with a 4-1 thrashing of Villarreal, powered by an in-form Jude Bellingham.  

Elsewhere, in the Indian Super League's 2023-24 season, FC Goa occupied the top spot at the end of the week despite a 0-0 draw against Mumbai City. Kerala Blasters were a close second with the same number of points (20) but a worse goal difference than the table toppers.

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Badminton
The Indian pair of Tanisha Crasto and Dhruv Kapila secured the mixed doubles title at Odisha Masters Super 100 badminton tournament after eking out a thrilling three-game win over Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Tan Wei Han Jessica in a thrilling final. 

In the all Indian men’s singles summit clash, Sathish Kumar defeated world junior championships bronze medallist Ayush Shetty 21-18, 19-21, 21-14 to clinch his maiden title at this level. In the women’s singles final, former world champion Nozomi Okuhara beat Hong Kong, China’s Lo Sin Yan Happy 21-7, 21-23, 22-20 in a hard-fought battle.

Kabaddi
Bengal Warriors ended the week on top of the Pro Kabaddi League 2023-24 points table, with 18 points from five games. Gujarat Giants were a close second with 17 points from five games. Both teams have notched up three wins in the tournament so far.

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Hockey  
The Indian men's junior hockey team were unsuccessful in improving their fourth-place finish from 2021 as they were beaten 1-3 by Spain in the bronze medal match of the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Malaysia. Germany became the champions by claiming a 2-1 victory over France in the final.

As for the senior teams, both the men and women suffered back-to-back defeats in the ongoing Five Nations Tournament in Valencia. Harmanpreet Singh and Co first lost 0-1 to Spain, then 2-7 to Belgium. Savita Punia's team lost 2-3 to spain, before going down 1-2 to Belgium.   

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