Week In Review, Feb 26-Mar 3: India Claim Top Spot In WTC Table; Manchester City Beat United

The Indian women's football team finished as runners-up at the four-nation Turkish Women's Cup. In Ranchi, Dhruv Jurel and Shubman Gill guided the hosts to a five-wicket, series clinching victory in the fourth Test. Let us review all that transpired in the world of sports from February 26 to March 3, 2024


AP/Ajit Solanki
Dhruv Jurel (left) celebrates India's win over England in the fourth Test match in Ranchi on Monday, February 26, 2024. Photo: AP/Ajit Solanki

The fourth Test between India and England was tantalizingly poised at the turn of the week in Ranchi. Proceedings turned from riveting to worrying soon for Indian fans, as the hosts went from 84-0 to 120-5 on Monday (February 26) morning. But the emotion eventually became one of jubilation, as the promising young Dhruv Jurel joined forces with proven performer Shubman Gill to rescue India and script a series-sealing five-wicket victory. (More Sports News)

The heartening win was but one of the numerous notable performances and events in the week that went by. Let us review all that transpired in the world of sports from February 25 to March 3, 2024.



Jurel (39 not out) and Gill's (52 not out) gritty knocks in the fourth innings took India past the 192-run target and handed Ben Stokes' England their first series loss since the onset of the 'Bazball' era. The win also eventually led Rohit Sharma's men to the top spot in the International Cricket Council's World Test Championships 2023-25 points table.

India displaced New Zealand, who lost the first Test of a two-match home series against Australia by 172 runs in Wellington. Tim Southee's were behind the eight ball for most of the game, and despite Glenn Phillips' fantastic fifer with the ball, could not avert a comprehensive loss. The Aussies rode on Nathan Lyon's 10-wicket match haul and Cameron Green's unbeaten century (174 not out) to take a 1-0 lead and also inch closer to the second position in the WTC table.


In the United Arab Emirates, Ireland beat Afghanistan by six wickets at the Tolerance Oval to register their maiden Test triumph, nearly seven years after being granted Test status. Skipper Andrew Balbirne anchored the 111-run chase in their second essay with an unbeaten 58 off 96 balls after pacer Mark Adair's eight-wicket match haul (5/39 and 3/56) to secure the historic win.

Meanwhile, in the Ranji Trophy 2024 quarter-finals, Madhya Pradesh edged out Andhra by four runs in a thrilling encounter to make the semis. Mumbai advanced thanks to a first-innings lead over Baroda, and Vidarbha notched up a convincing 127-run win over Karnataka. The semi-finals are currently underway, with Mumbai in the ascendance against Tamil Nadu and Vidarbha trying to offset MP's first-innings lead with a good batting display in the third innings.

In T20 franchise cricket, the Women's Premier League completed its Bengaluru leg in the 2024 season. The five teams have played four games apiece, with Delhi Capitals leading the table at the halfway stage with six points (three wins) and a superior net run rate than Mumbai Indians. The action now moves to Delhi for the return fixtures in the round-robin group format, before the Eliminator and Final at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.


The much-awaited Manchester derby threw up a somewhat expected result, albeit not before some drama. The red-hot Manchester City had to claw their way back from a one-goal deficit to eventually romp home 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium, courtesy a brace from Phil Foden. Star striker Erling Haaland raised eyebrows with a glaring miss at the goalmouth, but later made amends with a stoppage-time goal.


In La Liga, Real Madrid first beat Sevilla at home, then were held by Valencia 2-2 in an away fixture. Barcelona were held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Bilbao in the weekend. In Copa del Rey, brothers Inaki and Nico Williams took Athletic Bilbao into the final with a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the return-leg of their semi-final clash. In the title meeting, Athletic will face Mallorca, who went through penalties to edge out Real Sociedad.

Elsewhere, the Indian women's football team ended as runners-up at the four-nation Turkish Women's Cup after losing 0-1 to Kosovo. Nevertheless, it was creditable achievement for the Blue Tigresses, who notched up two wins in the tournament.


Other Sports

India's top-ranked singles tennis player Sumit Nagal went down fighting to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego 4-6, 7-5, 1-6 in the round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships. He is now competing at the Indian Wells Open in California, where he will be up against Stefan Dostanic of the United States in the first qualifying round.

In track and field, the two Indians in the fray at the World Athletics Indoor Championships 2024 in Glasgow both returned disappointing results. Jeswin Aldrin finished 13th in the long jump category and Praveen Chithravel was 11th in the triple jump.

And in badminton, the fast-rising Indian women's doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand reached the quarter-finals of the German Open before losing to China's Li Yi Jing and Luo Xu Min 21-16, 21-14. The Indians are now in Paris for the BWF Super 750 French Open, where they are up against compatriots Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa in the round of 32.