Week In Review, Feb 12-18: Indian Women's Badminton Team Conquers Asia; Rohit Sharma's Men Pull Off Biggest Test Win

Paddlers Ayhika Mukherjee and Sreeja Akula beat the World number 1 and 2 Chinese players, respectively to mark a golden day for Indian TT at the World Table Tennis Championships. Let us review what transpired in the world of sports from February 12 to 18, 2024


X/BAI Media
The victorious Indian women's team at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 in Shah Alam, Malaysia on Sunday, February 18. Photo: X/BAI Media

The week that went by witnessed a potpourri of high-profile action across sporting arenas. But looked at from an Indian perspective, it indubitably belonged to the women in top-flight racket sports - the paddlers and shuttlers, in particular. (More Sports News)

First, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sreeja Akula did the unthinkable at the World Table Tennis Team Championships in Busan, beating the World number 1 Sun Yingsha and number 2 Wang Yidi in their respective singles matches of the India vs China tie. Later, the women's badminton team produced a performance of a lifetime to lift the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Shah Alam, Malaysia.


There were several notable results in various disciplines, before and after. Let us review what transpired in the world of sports from February 12 to 18, 2024.


The Indian men's cricket team showed exactly why they are the most dangerous side in the world at home currently, bar none. Rohit Sharma and Co beat the Bazball-minded England by a record-shattering 434 runs in the third Test in Rajkot to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed a world record-equalling 12 sixes en route his second Test double ton, and Ravindra Jadeja followed up his century with a fifer to earn the Player Of The Match laurel.


In New Zealand, the BlackCaps warded off a third-string South Africa side's resistance to win the second Test in Hamilton by seven wickets, and clinch the series 2-0.

Back in the sub-continent, Sri Lanka cantered to a seven-wicket win in the third ODI to sweep the ODI series 3-0 against Afghanistan. The T20I series commenced later in the week, and the hosts won the first game there too, albeit rather narrowly. Chasing a target of 161, Afghanistan ended up with a total of 156 to fall four runs short in Dambulla.

In T20 franchise cricket, the much-awaited Pakistan Super League kicked off, with Islamabad United defeating Lahore Qalandars by eight wickets in the season opener. In Dubai, MI Emirates were crowned the International League T20 champions, as they prevailed over Dubai Capitals by a convincing 45-run margin in the final.


The Africa Cup of Nations ended with hosts Ivory Coast conjuring a fairytale ending to their extraordinary run at the tournament. Sebastian Haller’s strike completed a 2-1 comeback victory over Nigeria in the final.

Ivory Coast had lost two of their group-stage matches, sacked their manager and then produced a penalty-shootout win and a 122nd-minute winner, en route booking an improbable place in the final. It all came to fruition eventually with the title, and a 10-place jump to the 39th spot in the FIFA Rankings.

In European football, Manchester City beat Copenhagen 3-1 in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie at the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid edged RB Leipzig 1-0, PSG blanked Real Sociedad 2-0 and Bayern Munich lost 0-1 to Lazio.


The cup of woes runneth over for Bayern, who ended the week with a 2-3 defeat to VfL Bochum in Bundesliga - the German powerhouse's third consecutive loss across competitions.

Elsewhere, City held Chelsea 1-1 in a riveting English Premier League derby to stay in the third spot, behind leaders Liverpool and Arsenal. Manchester United beat Luton 2-1 but continue to languish in sixth place.


Spearheaded by PV Sindhu, an inspired Indian women's badminton team set aside continental titans China and Japan, and also overcame Hong Kong and eventually Thailand in the final to cap off a dream run at the Asia Team Championships with a maiden title. The heartwarming triumph was architected by 17-year-old Anmol Kharb, who repeatedly bailed India out in tense deciders to deliver the goods.


The men's team, meanwhile, lost to Japan 2-3 in the quarter-finals.

Table Tennis

Ayhika Mukherjee and Sreeja Akula's miraculous wins rattled China, but the table tennis powerhouses just about edged India 2-3 in the group match of the World Table Tennis Championships in Busan, South Korea. Nevertheless, the women's team won their second tie against Hungary 3-2, with Manika Batra winning both her singles matches.

The men's team, which includes the veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal, won their opening tie against Chile 3-0, but slumped to a 1-3 defeat to Poland in the second.



After winning the Chennai Open Challenger title last week, India's top-ranked singles player Sumit Nagal reached the semi-finals of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger, eventually succumbing against Stefano Napolitano of Italy.

World number 2 and tennis' next big thing Carlos Alcaraz was stunned by Nicolas Jarry in the semi-finals of the Argentina Open ATP 250 tournament. In the women's category, world number 1 Iga Swiatek vanquished Elena Rybakina in the final to take home the Qatar Open trophy for the third year in a row.


The Indian women's hockey team had begun their FIH Pro League 2023-24 campaign on a dismal note last week, but ended the Rourkela leg on a high this week. Savita Punia and Co first beat the mighty Australia 1-0, then edged out the USA in a penalty shootout at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium.


The men's team had a smoother ride, and though they lost 4-6 to Australia in a thrilling goalfest, warded off Ireland 1-0 to end the week with three wins out of four games played so far.